Hello and welcome to my new story, readers old and new! So after the whole Netflix live action movie fiasco (sorry if you were a fan, but I couldn't get passed the bastardization of Light's character) I was drawn into the world of death note once more and wanted to write a story. Wammy's House is an area that was definitely the most tantalizing for me to want to explore because the possibilities are endless. Obviously this isn't meant to be taken as canon, but I want to keep it as close in the vein of Death note as I can, so I don't want you guys to have to worry about those details. I just want you to have fun and enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own only any OC's and original plot points, the rest lies in greater hands than mine.
The first time Cherish met L was when she was 11 years old.
The autumns were cold in Winchester, and this year was no exception. The brisk wind matched her pace as she strode with her hands buried deep into her wool pockets. Her fingers were curled up into fists in an attempt to retain any warmth, and she regretted not listening to her mother about wearing mittens. She had lied and said she was going to meet with 'friends'.
'But mittens are for children', she had declared before marching out the front door proudly. That foolish pride had long abandoned her, along with any feeling in her hands.
She kept her chin tucked down behind her thick knit scarf, but the tops of her cheeks had already turned an apple red the moment she had stepped out for her journey. Fortunately, she did not need to see straight ahead to know where she was going. Every day after school it was the same. She had made this same walk through the streets and across the bridge many times, stopping at the large house locked away behind bars.
It had become something of an obsession for her, getting passed the large Iron Gate that is. She knew there were kids there. The delightful sound of fun had been easy to pick up on while going to the park with her parents one day, and she had wanted to run towards it. But then her mother had calmly explained to her what an orphanage was. She couldn't quite comprehend what it meant to be a child without a mum or a dad, but she liked the idea of going to school in the same house where you slept and ate food. More than anything, there would always be someone for her to play with.
She pressed her face up between two of the bars, mindful not to get her lips or tongue stuck to the cold metal. That had happened to a boy on the schoolyard last winter, and she was sure she had never seen that much red come out of anyone before.
The grounds around the house were covered in leaves, which left the trees standing naked in the wind. Someone had gathered the leaves into crunchy piles, and they looked perfect to jump into. Her eyes darted around with anticipation, and her ears were listening for the sound of laughter. A minute went by, and she stood with an eager smile. She even had her hands out from her pockets, grasping onto the bars of the gate, though it burned her palms with the touch of frost. The breeze stirred her hair around her face, and still no voices. It was just her and the howling wind.
Gradually her excitement waned, and her grip slackened on the gate until her arms flapped back down to her sides. She wasn't going to get through to the house today. This wasn't the first time she had stood gaping on the other side, and it probably wouldn't be the last unless she decided to climb over the bars. Fear of punishment kept her from doing that though. Nothing short of a golden ticket from Mr. Wonka himself was going to let her inside Wammy's House.
She huffed in disappointment and took a step back. The windows were too far away for her to see if there was anyone wandering around inside, though they probably weren't going to rush out just for her anyway. It was always quiet there now, and she began to wonder if she had imagined all those fantastic, fun sounds from before.
Even that thought wasn't enough to shake her determination of getting inside, and she already had herself convinced to return tomorrow. Wammy's orphans couldn't hide forever. With hope in mind, she returned her frigid hands to her pockets and set off back the way she came, not knowing that there was a pair of big, owlish eyes watching her.
L first saw Cherish when he was 10 years old
The girl had returned yet again. It was like clockwork, and L had put together a schedule for her appearances. She returned between the time of three-thirty to four O'clock on weekdays and varying afternoons on weekends when her parents allowed for it. Never on Saturday mornings, however, which likely had her attending Shabbat … or she was just a late sleeper.
Her goal to attract the attention of the occupants of Wammy's House had been achieved. A little competition had even been started to see how long it would take her to pass through the gates of her own accord, which meant none of the other children could aid her in any way. For some of the younger children, this seemed an impossible task. They saw the strange girl as a new friend to play with, someone other than special.
L didn't care much one way or the other. People were curious about the unknown, especially children. Once she had taken her fill of the orphanage, the novelty of this place would disappear for her. If she was ever so bold to cross the property line of course. He figured there was about an eight percent chance of her taking matters into her own hands.
She was obedient, too afraid to break any rules. Parents were the creator of rules. While both Watari and Roger tried to show a firm hand with the children, it was mostly met with disobedience. Such restrictions stunted intellectual growth, and for the gifted of Wammy's House, that was unacceptable. L didn't fault the girl though, she was simply a product of her upbringing.
L looked at the window again and saw that his breath on the glass had caused a small patch of fog to appear. He was up in the attic of the house, space he had adopted for himself since he had no need of his bedroom. Sleep came to him a little less every night now.
L found his time split between solving cases and practicing tennis, and there wasn't much time left between the two. He made the exception to partake in food, though his eating habits were growing to a threatening level of sweet that would make a dentist's head spin. Watari was an enabler to his saccharine diet by bringing him the most decadent pastries and sweets, though he tried to ease his guilt for it by bringing the occasional fruit.
With one of his pale, skinny fingers, he reached towards the window and drew a strawberry in the condensation he had created. Through the lines in the steam, he had traced he could see outside. More to the point, his eyes were drawn to the front gate and the girl who had scaled to the top. So she had abandoned habit in favor of recklessness. L approved of this change, even if it meant his inference about her had been wrong. Half observations from a distance could only provide him with so much information.
For a while, he continued to watch her from his vantage point in the attic, until the watching turned to waiting. She was wavering up on the gate like a weak waving flag, and with a sigh of disappointment, L understood that she had gotten herself stuck. What an unsatisfying turn this had taken.
He stood up to a hunch, his bones creaking more than the floorboards of the attic. With shuffled steps he made towards the door, snatching a scarf from a peg on the wall. That was more for Watari's benefit than of his own need to keep warm. L doubted he would be outside for more than five minutes.
The rest of Wammy's House was quiet because most of the children were attending lessons. L opted for more practical one-on-one tutoring with Watari, while also taking his learning into his own hands. He only had to read something once to have a thorough grasp of the subject.
Slowly he padded down the stairs from the attic and through the hallway of the second floor. He moved unhurriedly, both enjoying the silence of the house, and comfortable with his assumption that the girl would still be on top of the gate once he got there. He chose not to interact with his peers out of his preference for solitude. Though their exact purpose had never been stated by neither Watari nor Roger, L knew the other orphans were brought here to be like him. Special. Something that could change the world.
The double doors at the front of the house were in sight, and he wasted no time twisting back the brass handle. A blast of the cold quickly escaped into the house, ruffling back L's hair. He haphazardly tied the scarf around his neck before closing the door behind him, it shut with a dull thud that rattled the knocker. It took but a moment for his sensitive eyes to adjust to the orange light of autumn, and then his focus was back on his objective.
At first, she didn't notice his approaching figure, her eyes pulled down and presumably worrying about a fall from such a height. Her long hair, which was white like cake frosting, was tied back with a red silk ribbon. L considered that she looked like a cupcake with a cherry on top of her head. This idea made it easier for him to speak up.
"You're stuck," He said, and at first he wondered if his voice would be lost to her in the wind. Usually, he only shared words with Watari, quietly spoken in a barren room. But he must have used the appropriate pitch, because she jolted up on the gate, her hands clenching tight around the bars as she spun her head towards him.
"You scared me," She said quaveringly.
L pondered that. Scared was a feeling reserved for one's fears, like Linda's terror of storms or Zachariah's fright around spiders. She would have to feel the same uneasiness being in his presence, which was absurd because they had only just become acquainted. Startled then. He decided that fitted her mood better.
"Why don't you come down?" L suggested while he crouched down in the grass, placing his hands on his knees.
"As if it's that easy," She complained.
"You ascended to the top without difficulty, so it stands to reason that you should be able to climb down in reverse of those steps."
She looked at him with a funny expression, though not in a manner he was unfamiliar with. "But what if I fall?"
L put a thumb to his mouth before speaking. "You would sustain an injury, from a bruise to a broken bone, though that is depending on how you would land and if you tense up."
"Would you catch me?" She said softly, almost pleading.
"I ..." L blinked rapidly, unsure how to respond. He recalled the game that had been made, on whether or not she would ever pass the gate. L had never agreed to join the game, but if he made such a promise to catch her, that would be coercing her to come down. Cheating.
"I won't catch you," He said, and the girl appeared stricken by the news.
Slowly he stood back up and began to approach the gate. Confident in his dexterity and athletic ability, he put his hands to the bars and began to climb up. It only took him a few stretches to the top before he was seated beside her. He had one of his legs swung over each side of the gate, just like she had. His dark eyes linked with her green ones.
"Hello," She said in a voice that was silvery, not having the shrillness of most of the young girls in the house.
L blinked back. "I can show you the steps to climb down, but you have to decide yourself which way you'll go."
She was watching him with apt attention, so much so that L began to feel uncomfortable. He trained his eyes down so he could watch his footing, and to escape her minty eyes. She must have followed suit because he heard her gasp in surprise, no doubt in shock at the sight of his toes curled around the bars.
"Where are your shoes? I get in trouble when I don't wear mittens. Won't your … isn't there an adult that will be mad at you?" She had likely wanted to say parents before catching her mistake. So she had never met an orphan before.
"Perhaps," He answered vaguely. "Now please, pay attention to what I'm showing you."
She nodded, causing her hair to bob along with the movement. L let natural instinct take control of his actions as he started to guide his body back down the gate. He alternated between placing his feet and his hands on the bars until he touched the stone walkway below.
"Seems simple enough," she said.
L took his place back out on the grass to observe. Slowly she lifted her left leg back over the bars and put to test copying the steps that he had shown her. Her moves were more cautious, and steady, but she reached the same result. L was only slightly curious as to why it was back over the same side from which she had come.
"Thank you," She told him through the bars, and L nodded in kind. "Now I know how to for next time."
Next time. So she would come back of her own volition, and use the skills he had taught her. That meant he had won the game. He smiled to himself in victory.
"Well, see ya," She gave a small wave, then huddled into her black pea coat as started back in the wind.
L watched until he could no longer see her vanilla and cherry topped head when it disappeared around the corner. It was an odd experience to be sure, but the moment had passed and so he started to make his way back to the house. He stopped only once he had made it up the stairs to the doors.
The bells began to chime, and he closed his eyes to listen to their peaceful song. It was like being under a spell, oblivious and wonderful. Sometimes it was the part of the day he waited for, while other times he resented the calm they enforced upon him. But the singing of the bells eventually stopped, and it was the only thing L could always be certain of. His eyes opened to the silence, and he returned inside.
Thoughts? I have a fair amount of this story already planned out, which includes Mello, Near, and Matt also playing big roles. It was said the L only was in England for about 5 years, and was brought to Wammy's house when he was 8, so this gives me some time to explore his growing up faze. Mello, Near, and Matt aren't at the house yet, but I have plans for when they all get there. A, and BB will probably play a part too, though I'm undecided in what capacity. Let me know what you liked about this chapter and if it's worth continuing!