Kaneki's POV of the first side story, inspired by his sleep talking last chapter where he mumbled: 'Hide…no more rabbits. Too fluffy.' Enjoy!

Side Story Two: Dream

For the first time in many months, Kaneki didn't dream of descending numbers echoing off the black and white checker floor, a bucket of toes and fingers, or the rusty pliers dripping with blood.

There was no pain or Yamori here in this sunbathed field. Not even Rize.

"Where am I?" Kaneki muttered aloud as his gaze fell on the sunflower growing by his feet, one of its leaves curling reassuringly around his ankle. There was a hazy light around it; the fuzzy, surreal quality he only ever sees in dreams.

Kaneki stared at the oblivious flower, pinning it in his silver gaze.

The sunflower stared back, two of its leaves lifting into a nonchalant, shrug-like gesture.

Kaneki blinked. Did it just…? The white-haired boy shook his head and scanned his surroundings a second time. Everything is so…warm here. The sun that enveloped the world around him with its golden glow, the breeze that ruffled his snowy hair and caressed his cheeks fondly, even the earth beneath his bare feet.

When Kaneki's gaze finally returned to the flower, he nearly fell over in his surprise. It's gone!

Where the flower once grew, a black and white rabbit sat, nibbling the grass. Upon noticing the half-ghoul's stare, the rabbit looked up at him with large, doe-like eyes.

"Ka-ne-ki~!" A familiar voice sang and Kaneki felt a wave of longing crash into him. How long has it been since he last heard his best friend's voice? "Yo, Kaneki." The voice rang clearly, as though it was spoken directly into his ear rather than distant and dream-like.

Kaneki felt the nostalgia twisting inside his chest, coiling around his heart and constricting it like a python.

He left to protect him.

He can't be near him.

He can't put him in danger.

"Hide…" Kaneki heard his voice cracking as he whispered his childhood friend's name. Hide beamed at Kaneki with that sunny smile of his that never failed to brighten Kaneki's mood.

Kaneki felt Hide's arms wrap around him, enveloping him in warmth not unlike the sun shining down on them. Something fluffy brushed against Kaneki's arm as Hide pulled away, grinning.

In Kaneki's arms was another rabbit, its fur as brown as Hide's eyes. Kaneki lifted his eyes from the rabbit to look at his best friend in confusion, raising them in time to catch the fleeting thoughtful expression flashing across Hide's face. Another blink and the expression was gone, replaced by a perpetual smile and twinkling eyes. "You look like you need more rabbits!"

Realisation dawned on Kaneki and he opened his mouth to begin his futile protest, "Hide, no!"

An armful of furry bunnies, from where Kaneki didn't know, fell into the white-haired boy's arms. "Hide!" Kaneki yelped as the blonde deposited a second load of the fuzzy mammals into his embrace.

"Rabbits die when they get lonely, 'Neki!" Hide exclaimed, cheerfully, as he offered Kaneki another armful to hold.

"Hide, I can't hold anymore! There's too many rabbits," his voice was muffled by rabbit fur as one of the black bunnies tried to climb up his face. The dream world around him shifted and wavered, grass morphing into fur as number of rabbits surrounding him multiplied. "Hide?!"

"I've found some more rabbits for you," Hide replied from somewhere nearby, "here!"

"Hide, wait. No more rabbits! I can't move, there's so many of them. It's too fluffy." Kaneki struggled to get out from beneath the pile of soft, furry rabbits he was buried under.

"Too fluffy?!" Kaneki heard Hide gasp, he imagined his friend was clutching his heart melodramatically as he declared, "Rabbits can never be too fluffy!"

The rabbits' fur wrapped around him, fluffier than what it had been when Kaneki had previously felt them, comforting and gentle. Around him the world filled of rabbits rippled and faded into darkness, Hide's jubilant voice ringing in his ears, pleasantly, like a bell.

"Come home soon, Kaneki!"

Kaneki blinked groggily as the fur morphed into cotton, the rabbits transforming into blankets. "What?" Disoriented, Kaneki scanned his surroundings. Oh…I'm in the tent…on my sofa? His blurry gaze met with the now familiar eyes of Amon and Shinohara.

"Why…am I still in the tent?"

A/N: I hope you all enjoyed this side story! :)

I'm still working on a side story which will be the epilogue of Captive: Ghouls and Doves and you'll be pleased to know that it wouldn't just be one chapter. I'm thinking of splitting it into multiple parts and I want the main two parts to be posted together up here sometime soon. It might take a while to write them.

Chances are, you might see another side stories or spin-off posted before then. We'll see.

Wishing you a good day,