I know it's nowhere near Christmas (did I just repeat the title?) but this idea popped into my head as I was rereading my favorite parts from death note, and one of them included this small scene of Near decorating a Christmas tree! And then I thought to myself, "Does Near believe in Santa Claus?" So, here is my story! Enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note or Legos (um, you'll see).
The Wammy House was decorated from head to toe with glistening lights, glittering ribbons, and the glamour of multiple pine trees in every room. Yes, the spirit of Christmas was truly in the air.
The waft of warm cookies baking spread from the kitchen to each, individual child at the home. People were cheerful; the teachers loosening up as they spoke joyfully with one another over a cup of steaming hot coffee, the students running around, finally at ease due to the end of their exams, and even the home's first orphan, L, was there to take in the scene that was before him.
One giant tree stood out among the rest as it lied to the side of the orphanage's common room, sparkling and shining brightly with ornaments, candy canes, and a single, great star on top. On Christmas day, this tree would hold two presents for each of the boys and girls of the Wammy House, clearly delivered straight from Santa Claus's workshop.
Or, would they really come from the North Pole?
Near, only seven years of age, had spent two Christmas holidays at the house, and within two weeks it would be his third. Lurking in the back of his mind, however, was probably the single most important question for a child at his age. Is Santa Claus real?
This unusually bright child had always used clear, thought out reasoning behind every problem or question he encountered. However, this one subject that he was examining proved to be rather difficult.
Near, attempting to use cold, harsh logic, surmised that it was simply impossible for an overweight man living in the North Pole with elves (which have never been proven to exist) to deliver toys to all the good girls and boys in the world in a single night, even considering how few good children in the world Near believed there to be. Also, an overweight man could never fit through a chimney, reindeer couldn't fly (as far as he was aware), and he never seemed to get that one single Christmas wish he had been secretly asking for each year.
Of course, perhaps he should have written down his wish in the first place, but if this man could "supposedly" be watching each individual child in the entire world, then Santa Claus should have been well aware of what Near wanted.
Perhaps Near never received this one wish because it wasn't a toy. You see, there was only one thing that could make Near the happiest little boy on earth during Christmas day, and that was if Mello would just tell him, "Merry Christmas."
Roger gathered all of the children in the common room. Once everyone was settled, he said, "Okay, children. As you know, Christmas is only two weeks away. We have to write letters to Santa Claus! Now then, I want you all to take a piece of paper and write your letters. When you are done, give them to me and I will have them mailed out tomorrow."
Practically all of the little orphans scrambled to write their letters as Roger shouted behind them, "Remember! Two presents only! Santa is a busy man!" Under his breath he mumbled, "A little too busy."
Near wasn't stupid. He realized that these letters would be given to Roger by the end of the day. Then, the staff would read the letters and go out and buy the presents the very next day. He glanced down at his piece of paper and began to write.
To Whom It May Concern:
I realize that it is customary in the Wammy House to request two gifts to receive on Christmas Day. Very well. I require a 750 piece puzzle of the Eiffel Tower and the Robo Action DX-290 robot action figure complete with all of its equipped features, including the ray gun and removable helmet. If you are unaware of these two items, I have enclosed pictures from various catalogues to aid you. I hope to see these two toys under the tree of the Wammy House common room in Winchester, England. Until then, happy holidays.
Near, satisfied with his letter, went to hand it straight to Roger, currently residing in his private office.
"So, what're you gonna ask for, Mello?" Matt asked his best friend as they sat in their room just after Roger had given his annual Christmas speech to write their letters.
"You know," answered Mello, sinking his teeth into his favorite, rich delight, "chocolate."
"Yeah, but what else?" Matt had been wondering what Mello might actually want other than chocolate for a change.
"Well…" the blond boy started, looking towards the ceiling in thought, "I do need a new soccer ball. Maybe I'll ask Roger for that."
"Wait, what happened to your old soccer ball?"
"I told you that before, Matt. Sheesh, no wonder you're only third in this house…" said Mello as he rolled his eyes.
A look of remembrance ran over Matt's features. "Oh yeah, now I remember! It exploded, right?"
"It did not explode!" Mello shouted at his best friend. "It…you know, caught on fire." The chocolate loving boy mumbled this last part.
"Oh yeah," recalled Matt. However, the memory of the soccer ball incident soon faded as he looked over at his paper, unsure of what he should write. After much debate, two video games were scrawled onto the loose leaf in his messy handwriting. Finally having gotten his own letter out of the way, he took out his DS and began to play Mario Kart.
Mello, done with his chocolate bar and bored out of his mind as he watched Matt play his video games, took to looking outside of their room's door. And who else should pass by as Mello was watching other than the house genius, Near?
Mello, getting an evil glint in his eye, immediately ran up to the small boy outside the room and snatched Near's letter from the boy's hands.
"Mello…" Near stated as he lifted his hand to twirl his hair as he averted his eyes.
Mello's eyes quickly ran over the letter. "'To Whom It May Concern?' Near, you're writing to Santa Claus. Why the hell would you write like this? Oh yeah, I forgot, you're just a weird albino."
"Mello, I would appreciate it if you were to give me my letter back," Near stated, slightly annoyed at the unexpected interruption on his way to Roger's office.
"Don't tell me you don't believe in Santa Claus, Near?" Mello sneered.
Matt, from inside his room, finally lost interest in his video game and looked towards the two boys outside. "Near, you don't believe in Santa?" he asked.
Near looked first at Matt, then to Mello, and finally to the letter. With a sigh, he stated, "I can honestly say I don't believe I have ever really believed in Santa Claus. While not including the physical impossibilities that accompany his legend, you both know as well as I do that Roger and the staff read these letters so that they may purchase these gifts to be put under the tree."
"Whoa, Near," said Matt. "Way to skip childhood, man."
Mello took a look at Near, and thrust the paper back into the tiny boy's arms. "Ah, let him believe what he wants. Just remember Near," started Mello maliciously, "Santa's watching."
Near soon escaped Mello with a lingering feeling in his heart. If Santa was real, then was it possible that he would not receive his presents on Christmas day due to the fact that he stated that he didn't believe? There was only one person who would truly be able to tell Near if Santa was real or not: L.
"L," Near said as he tapped the foot of the older boy, the only body part he could reach seeing as how L was currently enjoying a piece of strawberry shortcake, crouching atop a very high armchair. "Is Santa Claus real?"
L looked down to find the little orphan staring at him with wide eyes. "Well, Near, why do you want to know? I am not at any obligation to divulge any sort of top secret information at this moment."
"Curiosity," stated the boy simply.
L set his plate down and picked Near up to seat him on top of his knees. "I fear both answers will make neither of us happy. For example, if I state yes, you might doubt the answer and your opinion of me would fall. However, if I state no, then that would ruin your childhood, would it not?" L asked Near as he shifted his head to the side questioningly.
"But L, you know the illogical myths that surround Santa, so wouldn't you say he couldn't possibly exist?" argued Near, only wanting peace of mind.
"Sometimes, Near, things are just not logical." L stated simply, beginning to lose interest as he stared at his strawberry shortcake.
"L…" Near began. L cut him off shortly.
"Listen Near, you are currently in first place to succeeding me in the event that I can no longer perform my duties. Why don't you take this opportunity to act like a detective and find out for yourself whether or not Santa Claus is real?"
Near let this idea sink in before a small smile appeared on his face. "Thank you, L. I shall begin my investigation immediately."
Near hopped off of L's legs and quickly ran to his room, a plan currently formulating in his mind. L, glad that he had managed to avoid answering the small boy's question, picked up his slice of cake and began to happily munch away.
It took Near quite a while before he had the perfect, new letter clutched in his hands. This letter was to be mailed separately from the rest. It would not be given to Roger and the two requests it called for were completely different from the others he asked for in his former letter. Placing the paper in the drawer of his nightstand, Near turned out the lamp and snuggled under the covers of his bed. The small boy contemplated delivering the letter tomorrow and soon fell asleep.
However, Near was unaware that as he put the letter in his nightstand that someone was watching him: Mello.
The blond-haired boy, knowing that Near was clearly up to something, quickly ran to the room he and Matt shared.
Matt was sleeping when Mello barged in and jumped onto his bed. Startled, Matt fell off with his covers and began to use some of the colorful profanity he had learned over the years of living in the same room with the chocoholic.
"Matt! Get up! We're going on a mission!" Mello whispered urgently.
"Mello…" stated Matt dangerously. "It is 1 in the morning. What the hell could possibly be so freakin' important that you wake me up at 1 am?!" Matt was usually cranky if he didn't have at least twelve hours of sleep.
"It's important!" Mello whispered.
"Is this about Near?" asked Matt, seeing as how 99 percent of the time this was the case.
Mello, looking down at Matt who was still on the floor, said, "Yes! He's up to something! I just saw the little albino sneak a piece of paper into his nightstand!" This was obviously of extreme importance.
Matt gave Mello a look before he began, sarcastically, "Oh, wow, that must be important! I mean, putting a whole piece of paper in his drawer? It couldn't possibly be, oh I don't know, homework or something?!"
"We don't have homework, Matt, and you know it! Are you going to see what the paper says or not?"
Matt looked up at Mello, and sighing in defeat, answered, "Yeah, let's go."
Mello and Matt quietly snuck through the halls of the Wammy House and entered Near's room. Once they managed to secure the paper, they quickly ran back to their own bedroom. Making sure their door was locked, they took out their flashlights and began to read Near's letter:
Dear Santa Claus,
I am still unaware if you are real or not. Under the guidance of L, I have decided to test it out. In order to do this, I am going to ask you for two more things this year. If this is in fact Santa who is reading this letter, then let me already make you fully aware of the fact that I am a good and well-behaved child. Now then, it would please me greatly if you were to give me any Lego set of your choosing as my first present. My last request, however, is one that is the most important to me. You see, as I'm sure you are aware, there is another boy in this orphanage that goes by the name of Mello. He can be very mean to me at times, even on Christmas day. I know he does not want to be my friend, but it would mean a lot to me if you were able to use your "magic" to make him wish me a merry Christmas. In the case that this is not Santa reading my letter, I will have you know that it is illegal to be reading someone else's mail and I will have you promptly arrested.
Matt and Mello looked at each other as soon as they were both done reading the letter.
"Hey Matt…" Mello began to ask. "How much does a Lego set cost?"
Near woke up the next morning to find his letter still in the drawer of his nightstand.
Later, after much convincing, Roger allowed Near to go outside for five minutes (with proper clothing, of course, much to Near's misfortune). Near had lied to Roger, explaining how he was only going to look for a lost puzzle piece that he believed to have gone missing in the front yard.
After making sure that he was out of Roger's eyesight, he quickly shuffled to the nearest mailbox down the block and placed his letter, already sealed in an addressed envelope, inside.
Near had been unaware, however, that two boys had snuck into his room last night, read the letter, and placed it back in his drawer. These two boys were currently pulling their money together while sifting through a catalogue. After much debate, they picked a Lego set that would seem fitting for the tiny genius.
"L!" Mello shouted as he ran around the house searching for his most favored mentor. L, sitting in his favorite armchair and sniffing the wafting smell of cookies that were being baked in the kitchen, looked towards the boy that had called his name.
"Mello, may I help you?" he inquired.
Matt quickly rounded the corner and was soon behind Mello. Both boys were looking up at the famous detective.
"L?" Mello began to ask, "Can you take us to the nearest toy store? We need to get someone a present."
"I see…now, what is this all about, exactly?" L asked, with the slightly suspicious feeling that there was more to the story.
After much inquiry, Mello and Matt told L of the situation. With that, L swiftly put on a jacket and, regrettably, shoes, and took the hands of the two boys (already properly dressed) and proceeded to take them to the nearest toy store.
Near woke up Christmas day with his stomach full of butterflies. Anxiously, his heart beating fast, he wondered to himself whether or not his plan worked. The small boy heard the voices of the house's children, already downstairs, and proceeded to leave his bed and head towards the common room.
As he approached the tree, he saw all of the presents that were lying beneath its huge expanse of branches. After much searching, he found two presents addressed to him. "From Santa, To Near" it read. With much anticipation, Near carefully unwrapped both gifts.
A puzzle of the Eiffel Tower and a robot action figure.
"Figures…" he muttered to himself. An enormous wave of disappointment flooded his heart. He looked towards the banister of the stair case, where most of the children were for some strange reason, and saw stockings hanging from it. As a matter of fact, there were stockings everywhere. Near's eyes accurately located his own stocking. From what he could tell, these stockings were filled with candy and other sweets.
Feeling especially down, Near shuffled over to his stocking. He glanced over at Mello and Matt on his way there, only to find that both boys were immersed in their own presents. Near placed his hand in his stocking and quickly felt around for some candy. Instead, his hand felt something different. Was that a box?
Near pulled out a small, wrapped package. Excitement building, he quickly tore off the paper. It…it was a Lego set! On the box was written, "To Near, From Santa Claus." Near rapidly looked around the room to see if anyone else had received a third present. His eyes were wide with disbelief, and there was so much exhilaration in his heart that he thought he might explode.
"Hey Near!" someone shouted at him from across the room.
Near instantly turned around to face the person speaking to him.
Mello, smiling as he munched on a piece of chocolate, said, "Merry Christmas."
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this story! I know I had a lot of fun writing it. For the record, Near always believed in Santa Claus after that. XD Reviews of all sorts are welcome!