-1Disclaimer: Death Note and the characters are all Ohba and Obata's, not mine. Belle is, but tbh I don't know why anyone would really bother stealing her so hey.
Note: Yeah this sounded better in my head. This takes place when Matt is about ten and Mello's about eleven or twelve, I think, and if Belle seems to stupid for Wammy's just ignore it and put it down to the fact that her parents just died. I was worried about Matt being OOC but then, he's not reeeeally developed that much so idk maybe he is the type to look after a little girl that attaches herself to him. There's really no point to this story, but my friend got a kitten recently and I wanted to write about one. Ah well.
Matt didn't look up from his video game.
"God, what?" he snapped, glancing up. A kid stood in front of him, a girl, probably no more than about five or six. He recognised her vaguely as the last person Roger had dragged out of normality and into Wammy's.
"How should I know?" he said irritably, returning his attention to his game.
"Linda says you're his friend."
Matt chuckled. "Kid, you don't describe people as Mello's 'friends'."
"Okay. So you don't know where he is?"
"No. Now, go away. He won't play with you anyway."
"I don't want him to play with me," the girl said quietly, but she turned to leave anyway.
She was most of the way out of the room when Matt's curiosity got the better of him. "So what do you want him for?"
"He said he was going to feed Cable his chocolate."
"What the hell is Cable?"
The girl bit her lip. "He's my dog. My - my mummy got him for me last year." Her eyes begin to fill with tears.
Ah, right. If she's new here, that means her parents probably died not so long ago. Damn, she's going to cry. I made a little girl cry. Guess this means I'm helping her find Mello.
"Okay - er - what's your name?"
"Roger says - he says it's Belle now," she answered, pulling at her sleeve.
"Well, that's cute." Reluctantly, he laid down his game. "Let's go look for Mello then, Belle."
Belle nodded and stuck out her hand. Matt looked at it, confused, before realising what she was expecting.
Oh, you've got to be kidding me.
Mello was a little more than surprised when Matt entered the room holding, instead of his usual game, the hand of a girl who barely came above his waist.
"There he is," Matt said, pushing the girl towards Mello. "Give the kid her dog back, Mello."
"Huh? Oh, right, it's you," Mello said, leaning back on his bed. "Yeah, your dog puked up the chocolate."
"Dogs can't eat chocolate," Belle said, eyes swimming again.
"Yeah, no kidding."
"Mummy said it could kill them -"
"Hey, I don't have your dog anymore, okay? It…fell out the window."
Belle gave a strangled yelp - Matt couldn't help but think that cable probably made a similar noise before 'falling' - and dashed to the window. "Cable!"
Matt followed her over. Many feet below, sprawled on the grass was an obviously-lifeless little white terrier. He swore under his breath, before remembered the five-year-old next to him.
"Mello, was that-"
"Like I said, it fell." Mello's eyes had gone steely, the way they always did when he was telling Matt something that, one way or another, was going to become the truth. "You and me were playing with the dog and it fell out the window. She -" he jerked his head towards Belle, who was still staring helplessly at her dead dog, "- was the one who put it on the windowsill. Remember?"
He was supposed to say 'Yeah, I remember', and then that would be the story they would give Roger, and Roger would look sadly at Mello and know that it wasn't what had happened, but he'd have no way of proving it and they'd get told off for being irresponsible, but not for killing a dog.
Instead he found himself saying, "Mello, her mother gave her that dog."
"Shame," Mello replied, the same steely look in his eyes. "Shame that it fell."
"It didn't fall." Matt felt sick, and the sound of Belle crying seemed to be filling the room.
Mello raised his eyebrows. "You gonna tell Roger on me?"
"No. I'm not going to tell Roger anything this time. Not your story or anyone else's."
Mello shrugged, leaning back. "Whatever, Matt. It's just a dog."
"I'm gonna take Belle downstairs."
"Bye, Matt." And that was the end of the conversation. Sometimes their friendship was fair, and
sometimes it wasn't. Mostly, it wasn't.
"Belle, come on," Matt said, taking the girl's hand. "Let's go find Roger, okay?"
When they did find Roger, and he picked up the dead dog from off the grass, its body pathetic and its tongue lolling, Belle started to cry again and Roger asked Matt if he had anything to do with it.
"No," he answered, and he was glad that, for once, he was able to be honest.
"M-Matt helped me find him," Belle said, shakily, coughing. "He even put down his game for me."
Roger frowned a little, trying to guess whether or not he was being fed another one of Mello's stories. "Belle, why don't you come to my office, and you can tell me what happened?"
Belle nodded miserably, and released Matt's hand in favour of Roger's. The old man took it almost as awkwardly as Matt had done earlier, and cast Matt a look that clearly said 'I am getting to the bottom of this one'. And Matt was pretty sure he would.
He was surprised, then, when Roger called him to his office after dinner, and asked him if Mello had had anything to do with it, because he was sure Belle would have told Roger that the blond boy had pushed her dog out of a window.
"Belle has told me," Roger said stiffly, "that she was playing with her dog - alone - upstairs, and put it on the windowsill, when she accidentally knocked it out. She said that because she didn't know the grounds very well, she went to find someone to help her find where the dog had fallen, and she found you. Is this correct?"
"Yes," Matt answered, a little numbly. Why hadn't she told Roger the truth?
Roger surveyed him for a few moments longer, then sighed. "Very well. Thank you for helping her, at least. She has only been here for three weeks."
Her parents have only been dead for three weeks.
She has only had a dog to remember her mother by for three weeks.
"She seems fond of you," Roger continued, "and, while I know it's not in your personality…I would ask that if she comes to you, you do try to look after her, a little. Until she is stronger."
"Yeah, sure," Matt said, a little too quickly, and he didn't think Roger believed him, but he meant it.
"Very well…you may go, Matt. Should I bother sending for Mello?"
"I wouldn't bother."
"I see. Goodnight, then."
After leaving the office, Matt headed back to the room where he'd left his game. He hadn't gone back to it after Belle had gone to Roger's office. Instead, he had gone up to the library, and searched the shelves for a book that wasn't about maths or deduction or the native tribes of Indonesia.
He'd been ready to give up when he had found, stuffed at the very end of one shelf and looking very dejected, a book of fairytales. When Belle came out of the office, he had offered to read to her. She had followed him silently back to the library, where they had both sat until dinner, Matt reading, and Belle curled up next to him, chewing on her sleeve and listening to stories about worlds where parents died all the time and it never mattered.
As he turned the corner onto the corridor where the room was, he collided with something below his line of sight. Looking down, he saw that it was Belle.
"Oh, hey, sorry," he said, pulling her to his feet. "What were you doing up - hey, that's my game."
Belle nodded, holding up the object she had been clutching in her hands. "I was going to find you and give it back to you."
"Uh, thanks," he said, taking it. "Belle. Why - why did you tell Roger you were playing with your dog when it fell?"
Belle looked down, shuffling her feet. "I - Linda…Linda told me before that I should be careful of Mello 'cause he can be mean. And - and he already - Cable -" she rubbed her eyes, and continued, "- and I hadn't even done anything to him, so I thought, if I told on him, then he might start picking on me…"
"Belle, that's - well, that's probably exactly what he would have done. I'm sorry about your dog, though."
"It's not your fault."
"Yeah. But someone should be sorry about it, and Mello's not going to."
"Thank you, Matt. And for reading to me."
Awkwardly, he patted her on the head. "No worries, kid. See you about, I guess."
Mello came in just as Matt reached the fourth level of his game.
"You hear?" he asked, and he was practically crowing. "That kid Belle lied to Roger! Brilliant, right?"
Matt didn't answer. He turned up the volume on his game.
"Haha, are you mad at me, Matt?" Mello said teasingly.
Matt pushed the volume up more. For the next three days, he played his game with the volume right up, and didn't listen when Mello spoke.
"So can I keep her, Roger? Please? I'll make sure she doesn't make a mess and doesn't rip the curtains and doesn't scratch anyone or get out of my room and -"
"Well, I suppose, I mean, considering the circumstances, but if she gets out of hand -"
"Thank you, thank you, thank you Roger!"
Curiously, Matt glanced at the figures passing the open doorway. It was Roger and Belle. Belle seemed to be cradling something in her arms, and was practically bouncing. Catching sight of him, she ducked into the room, calling his name. Roger smiled bemusedly after her, shook his head and continued down the corridor.
"Matt! Matt! Look!"
"Okay, hey, what is it? Stop pushing it at me - is that a cat?"
"It's a kitten," Belle beamed. "Isn't it cute? Do you want to name it? It's a girl, so you have to give it a girls' name, at least, you can't call it Mario or something."
"Where did you get a cat?" Matt asked, before adding, "Can we call it Peach, then?"
Belle giggled. "Okay. And I don't know, someone put it outside my room in a little box. Roger said I could keep her, too! Right, Peach?"
'Peach' mewled in response, revealing very white, very tiny teeth. She cast Belle a slightly disdainful, slightly bored look. Matt laughed.
"That's great. Go play with Peach then, Belle, I wanna finish this."
But after she dashed out of the room, looking for Linda, Matt didn't go back to his game. Instead, he turned it off, and headed upstairs to Mello's room. The blond was lying on his bed, a book in one hand and a half eaten chocolate bar in the other.
"You bought her a cat."
Mello didn't look up. "So what if I did?"
"That…that was a nice thing to do for someone, you know that, right?"
"I didn't do it to be nice. I was getting bored of you being silent all the time, and not listening to
me." Mello turned the page of his book.
"It was still a nice thing to do."
Matt grinned, and jumped on the bed next to Mello. He turned his game back on, and pushed the volume down.