Title: Dirt

Author: SunMoonAndSpoon

Rating: PG-13

Characters/Pairings: Sayu, Mello, Matt. Reference to the rest of the Yagami family, and random members of the mafia.

Warnings: There's some talk of rape here, though nothing explicit.

Word Count: 3,581

Notes: Mello's got a major inferiority complex, and I find it hard to believe that Sayu wouldn't have one, too. This fic, set in scenic 'wherever Sayu is when she gets kidnapped', deals with that subject. Via The Sims2.


"No, please, god, no no no NO, you can't, no, please…"

Such is the soundtrack of Mello's life right now. When he had Sayu kidnapped, he'd focused on the logistics of getting it done, and the benefits he could reap from it. He hadn't thought much about what would actually happen when she got there. The mafia isn't exactly crawling with the morally upright, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that his henchmen are using the girl as a sperm dumpster. He doesn't exactly approve of this, and he's said so, but it's not a battle he's prepared to fight. Sayu's comfort is of no concern to Mello, right now all he cares about is getting the notebook before Near does. He's told them not to kill her, since if they do that then they have no bargaining chip, but beyond that…well, he doesn't have to watch what they do to her.

He does have to listen, though. Their headquarters may be isolated from the outside world, but the rooms themselves aren't particularly soundproof. The girl has a shriek that could shatter eardrums, and she whines and begs like a dog. Cries all night long for her fucking daddy. Mello finds her difficult to avoid, even though he doesn't go in to see her more than once or twice. He can't say he enjoys her twisted cries of agony, and he isn't sure what to do about it. Ignoring her will only get him so far—eventually he's going to have to resort to shutting her up himself.

--

Consulting Matt leads to fairly predictable results. He should have know that he'd bring up video games—sometimes it seems like Matt doesn't care about anything but games and smoking. Mello knows this isn't true, knows that he wouldn't be mixing himself up in Mello's highly illegal schemes if he didn't care about anything, but the kid can be anti-social and confusing. Especially when he's mumbling past a cigarette and playing his Nintendo Whatever. Which is what he's doing right now.

"Matt, I can't give her computer games. That doesn't stop all those mafia fucks from raping her, either." Mello growls, gnaws on his chocolate bar. It's a bit stale, and alas, not particularly delicious.

"I don't see why you can't," says Matt, fingernails clacking endlessly against the buttons of his machine. Mello doesn't know how he avoids carpal tunnel syndrome. "It's not like I'm saying you should give her a computer with Internet or anything. There are a bunch of old computer parts here, I could easily throw something together for her, and I've got like twenty copies of The Sims2 lying around. It's not going to stop the mafia from having their way from her, but that's not what it's meant to accomplish. It's supposed to distract her, you see?"

He sighs, rubs his eyes with his knuckles. "I guess that makes sense. I'm not really sure why I thought that it didn't. I've been doing a lot of work lately…not getting much sleep." Matt stares vaguely at him over chipped, yellow-tinted goggles. Hideous things. Mello continues, ignoring his friend's poor fashion sense. "Sure," he says. "If you want to set her up with your stupid computer game, you can go right ahead."

--

For some reason, Mello had assumed that the set-up would take several days. That doesn't make a lot of sense when he thinks about it—Matt's a fucking prodigy when it comes to electronics, even if he's a lazy shit when it comes to just about everything else. He can put a computer together in no time at all. According to Matt, it's impossible for Sayu to gain access to the Internet on it, not even if she came prepared with wireless chips embedded in her wrists, and Ethernet cables strung through her intestines. Which is, of course, highly unlikely. That's something Matt would do. The game is installed by the time Mello returns from a meeting with the guy who's supposed to be meeting Yagami if and when he agrees to the proposed ransom—the notebook for the girl. Despite Matt's repeated assurance that the plan is foolproof, Mello is convinced that something (everything) will go wrong.

At least something worked out, even if it's not particularly important. The game is playable, and Sayu doesn't seem terribly adverse to the idea. When Matt sauntered in, bulky computer straining his arms, it was probably much preferable to Matt walking in, penis dangling from his open fly. Not that he's actually done that, but. A lot of the other folks here have. Apparently, Sayu knows the game well enough, and she's more than happy to be provided with a distraction. "This must have been expensive," she'd mumbled, starting up the game without caring. Keeping her here is expensive, much more so than throwing together shit that Matt already has.

Anyway, she's playing it now. Clicking away as mindlessly as Matt does. Creating a girl who Mello thinks is supposed to resemble Sayu.

--

It is not that he's actually interested in Sayu's stupid Sims game. He's not a computer person, he can work them just fine, but he's not like Matt. Doesn't need to game or troll the Internet for hours every day. Mello's computer time is for practical use only. Still, he can't help but feel an odd tug towards the captive girl's room. It's interesting to watch her clicking tentatively, trying to play past the fact that she's chained to the chair. It's possible, but it has to hurt.

Mello winds up slumped in the doorway, staring at the computer screen. Trying to pretend that he isn't by trying to determine whether or not he has an overbite. He seems to have a slight one. Near's teeth are, of course, perfect. Thank God, L's were probably rotting out of his head before he died. Yes, his teeth are very important. Far more so than anything that Sayu's doing right now. He isn't paying attention. Not at all.

Which is why he winds up knowing the names of all the Sims in Sayu's game. The ones in the house she spends most of her time playing with, at least. Matt says that you can get custom content that makes these false creatures look a hundred times better, but since Sayu hasn't got the Internet, her Sims walk around looking what Matt calls 'Maxis hideous'. She's got a standard family of four—a mom, a dad, and two teenagers. One boy and one girl. Judging by the fact that this is the Yagami family, they're probably meant to represent her loved ones. Figures. God forbid she should be more creative than that, escape into fantasy instead of pining for home.

Still, it's kind of sweet to see the nice, smiling father Sim march cheerfully to work every morning. (And it's kind of amusing to watch him wave his arms in utter confusion because a small electric toy blocks his path. Sims are apparently rather stupid, and it gives Mello hope that the man this father-Sim represents is equally so.) Mello doesn't especially care for anything sweet or amusing, but Sayu is, at long last, doing something other than sobbing. Which means that Mello can focus on what actually has to get done. Catching Kira. Beating Near. Important shit like that.

--

Unfortunately, Mello's plans involve a lot of waiting. Idle, he feels utterly useless, but there aren't enough tasks to fill each moment of the day. When he isn't running around like a chicken with its head cut off, Mello finds himself back in Sayu's room, watching her Sims game. She's obviously developed an extensive neighborhood, but whenever Mello's around, she fixates on the Yagami family. Perhaps wanting him to know how much she misses them. As if she thinks that he'll actually care.

The lives of her Sims are dull and cheerful, and she makes no attempt whatsoever to spice things up. The father Sim, Soichiro, spends most of his time in a grey, three-piece suit, and the mother, Sachiko, is decked out in an unrealistically flattering housedress. She spends her days cleaning and painting, while her husband spends his time working as a police officer—though far less time than Mello suspects he actually spends on such things. The kids, Light (aka the scum not fit to lick the dirt from L's fingernails), and Sayu, are bland, friendly, and dressed in ordinary street clothes. When adulthood makes homework irrelevant, he starts to spend most of his time with the telescope, so much so that he's actually abducted by aliens. When this happens, the real-life Sayu squeaks in protest, while the Sayu-sim stands around outside, feet stomping and eyes popping in horror. Mello cackles loudly, alerting Sayu to his presence if she has not already sensed it. She squeaks again, and Mello says, "hey kid, can you talk? Or are you just going to make noises at me?"

"I'm not here to entertain you!" she snaps, more hysterical than sure. The second those words drip from her mouth she starts to cry. Her cheeks are stained and warped from too many tears already. "I…" she chokes. "I…I just…my brother, I mean, not my brother, in the game…it's just a game, I guess, but…"

"Okay, you're getting there, why don't you try a complete sentence next time?" Mello says, grinning cruelly. Riling up the girl is pointless, she's already crying and he won't accomplish much else. It's not like he wants to upset her, it's just that he hasn't got anything to make him feel useful, and it's easier to blame her for this than to blame his own inadequacies. How dare she not be loved enough for immediate rescue? How dare she (think she's worth enough to bare her misery) be worthless enough to be abandoned? Sayu doesn't respond to his barb. Instead she focuses on naming the alien child. It's a girl, apparently. Green-skinned and pixel-eyed. She names it Kira, and Mello balks. Does she want to cast suspicion on her family? What the fuck is wrong with her? "What the hell kind of name is that?" he asks. "Kira? You realize what that means, right? Or are you really that stupid?"

"I don't like this baby," she mumbles, voice clogged almost past comprehension. Too much crying will do that to you. Not that Mello would know, since he never cries. Hardly ever, anyway. She keeps going, says that the alien baby wasn't supposed to happen, that it was not part of her plan. "It's just, I gave Light all these logic points, so I couldn't get him away from the telescope, and he got abducted. And now he's stuck with Kira. It's kind of like how in real life he was so obsessed with the law, and justice, and all those things our daddy liked so much, so we couldn't keep him away from the police station, and now he's…okay it's not a very good comparison. I'm sorry, I'm not very smart. You probably don't even know what I'm talking about."

Mello crosses his arms, drums his fingers on his sleeve. Gnaws his lip in feigned disinterest. It's not that he cares about her ridiculous family problems. Not that he cares about a computer game that you can't even win. And he doesn't care about Sayu in any sense, unless you count wanting her to shut up so he can forget about her once he gets his hands on the notebook. But something inside him squirms when he hears her says 'I'm not very smart'. "I wouldn't expect anything better from Kira's sister," he spits. Not that he has any concrete proof that her brother is Kira—it's just that L's hypothesis is all he's got. He'll prove L right if it kills him, and he'll dig up that proof long before Near. Is there anything more he can glean from this girl? Perhaps her reaction to his accusation will shed some light.

But Sayu only laughs at him. "No, you've got it wrong. I'm Kira's aunt. See, Light's the one who gave birth to her. Weren't you watching?"

She must truly be as stupid as she claims to be.

Mello rolls his eyes, says, "I think you've been playing this game a little too much lately. You're not in touch with reality. Do you understand what's going to happen to you? If your father doesn't come for you, we'll have to kill you. And when you die, none of this crap about Kira…or Kira…well, none of it is going to matter. I don't think the task force will place more value on a single life than on the safety of the world. Do you know how dangerous it is for the mafia to have the notebook? It's like giving Japan a hydrogen bomb as an apology gift for Hiroshima!"

"That's not a very good comparison," Sayu mutters, making Soichiro hug his daughter on the screen. "I guess you're not very smart either. I mean, you couldn't even come up with a plan that you thought would work."

Sparks of rage zap straight down Mello's spine, and if it weren't for the sliver of hope that his plan would work, he'd have shot her right there. (Of course he would.) But he can't give up on his only chance to prove L right, to prove to L and to himself that he's superior to Near. Instead he slaps her in the face, leaving a bright red mark shaped like his fingers. Mello doesn't like the shape of his fingers. He snarls, says, "How dare you speak to me that way, you impudent little bitch! Doesn't 'we'll kill you' mean anything to you? Do you think that mouthing off is going to make that any less likely?! Don't you care if you live or die?!"

"If you're going to kill me anyway, I might as well stop cowering, right?" she whispers, as if her quiet voice indicates no such thing. She places a shaking hand on her injured cheek, says, "you're right. I know you're right. I know he's not coming for me. If I were Light, he would, because Light is perfect and Light deserves to be saved, but I'm not more important than all those people…I don't want them to have to die instead of me. Even if they are criminals. Well, this is the mafia. Maybe you'd kill good people too."

"We only kill when we have to," Mello scoffs, and Sayu cackles hideously when she hears this. "Just what the fuck is so funny?" he snaps, and she laughs so hard she almost cries.

"Oh yeah, you guys are all about minimizing harm. That's why I've been your fucking sex toy for the past few days. I guess if it doesn't kill me, it must be okay though, right? You don't have any dead bodies to dispose of, and if anybody ever does come for me there will be so much semen that no one will ever be able to tell who did it!"

"That isn't my fault!" Mello snaps, horrified, briefly, to be compared to the grabby bastards he spends his days with. They are all cretins, perverts, idiots. Certainly not the sort of people L would want him consorting with. That is, if L would even care. Which he wouldn't. Mello is deluding himself. Like Sayu, he isn't particularly important, either. He just has a harder time accepting it than she does, that's all. "Look," he says, "you're just going to have to get used to it. You're trapped here with a lot of lonely brutes who don't care much for the law, so what do you expect? You have to learn to deal with the occasional fuck. I bet your life has been completely perfect up until now, right? I bet nothing like this has ever happened to you before."

Sayu shakes her head violently, beads of sweat fleeing her scalp as she does. "No," she whispers. "It hasn't been perfect but…it hasn't been like this. This shouldn't happen to anyone, and it'd be terrible to live your life expecting it…I don't know. My parents don't love me. My brother doesn't love me. I'm never going to be good enough for any of them, and they're not…they're not going to s-save…oh, I know this already, why do I care…?" Cool façade gone, she bursts into tears again. Mello rolls his eyes despite not wanting to.

"Your parents love you," he scoffs. "Just not enough to risk this much. If they didn't love you, they'd toss you out in the street. That's what parents who really don't care about their children do. That's what real hardship is." He stops, fiddles with he gloves and mumbles, "you dumb bitch." An afterthought. Just to make sure she knows he isn't going soft on her. As if it matters what she fucking thinks.

"Is that what happened to you?" she gasps, arms flexing under the chains in a vain attempt to wipe her eyes dry. The chain won't let her go much further than the mouse. On screen, her virtual mother is carrying out the 'comfort' action. "I guess that makes sense. My daddy says that criminals don't usually have very good home lives."

He snorts. What pat, pathetic, high-school level psychology drivel. The girl has absolutely no concept of what drives people to criminal behavior, and it pisses Mello off to hear her talk as if she does. Maybe his parents dropping him off on the side of the road has something to do with it—he wouldn't have met Near otherwise, or L, and he'd have nothing to strive for. But this isn't some poor me routine. Mello is smarter than that, better than that, and oh yes here comes the arrogance, here comes his lifeline, his breath of fresh air. Mello is Great, absolutely. "Why do you think your family doesn't love you?" he says, caressing the cheek he once assaulted. Because if he's kind to her, (he might discover a kindred spirit, someone who understands what it's like to be constantly second best and constantly unworthy, who knows what it's like to hate themselves) she'll shut up and stop questioning him, get back to her ridiculous game.

"They just don't," she says, flinching and shrinking away from him. "Light is always going to be better than me—he's always had better grades, and now he's working with the police and everyone's so proud of him. I haven't done anything worth mentioning, really. I used to try, but there's no point when nothing I do will ever be as good as what he can do. I used to really like drawing, but I had to work constantly just to get up to the point where he started. I didn't see the point…I don't really see the point in telling you this, either, um…can I get back to my game now? I want to see what the alien baby looks like as a toddler."

"That's why you have to work harder," Mello snaps, ignoring her aside about the stupid Sim-baby. "Don't let him beat you, no matter what the odds are. Your brother's a genius, and you're not, right? Being a genius isn't the most important thing in the world. It won't buy you love, just applause. And that's hollow as bird bones. People will love you when you beat the odds. Nea—Light probably doesn't even know how to work. He doesn't know how to try. When things get too difficult, he'll just give up, because he's a pampered little prodigy. But it's the underdogs, people like you and me, who are going to come out on top. Because we know how to work." He stops, panting slightly. Breathless with the power of his words. Mello is inspirational, a fucking prophet. But Sayu isn't saying anything. She doesn't feel the power of his words.

Mello spins around and stalks out of the room, overbite tearing his bottom lip to shreds. He has better things to do than this. It's not like he actually cares.

--

After that, Mello doesn't go in to watch Sayu play The Sims anymore. They come to an arrangement with Chief Yagami, a soft man who puts his little girl before the world. Sayu is loved after all, more than she will ever know. Mello likes to think that the same applies to him, that if he were in danger someone (L), anyone (mommy, daddy) would let chaos reign to save him. That he's worth a hydrogen bomb in vengeful hands. But he knows that he's the dirt under L's fingernails. No one will love him until he proves himself worthy. And he will. With the notebook, he'll be invincible.

When Chief Yagami comes for his daughter, Mello doesn't go to watch the exchange. He tells his henchmen that his life means more than theirs do, that he will not risk getting shot when one of them would do just as well. That's a valid concern, but not the point. When Mello sits chained to his desk, pouring over the plans with Matt by his side, it's not because he needs to go over them again, or because he doesn't want to be there. No, Mello just doesn't want to see the look of smug relief on Sayu's face when she finds out that she is loved enough to be saved, and he is not.