A/N: Sorry if this seems jumbled or erroneous in any way, please let me know if there are any fatal errors in this chapter that I didn't catch. I've been neglecting myself of sleep for the past few days, and I feel as if I'm about to pass out. So I'm skipping on proofreading and praying that Microsoft Word has caught any bad grammatical errors. Thank you!
Part TwentyNine – Home Sweet Home?
I made my way through a countless number of intricate hallways, stopping every so often to try and recall where I was and where I was heading. Even after being at Wammy's House for two weeks, I was still getting lost just trying to make my way to Roger's office. That was where L and his successors were currently, if I remembered correctly. Or… were they in Watari's office? I took a deep breath and let it out in a frustrated sigh.
'I turned right at the main courtyard… now I take a left? Or go straight?' I started to walk forward, but changed my mind at the last second and turned left.
I hummed softly to myself as I walked through the quiet hallways, just to listen to something other than my own unsure footsteps. All of the kids here in Wammy's House were in class, I assumed, seeing as it was a Monday afternoon.
Rounding a corner, I realized that I had come full circle and ended up once again by the courtyard, in the back of the orphanage. I sighed once more, and leaned against a wall opposite the courtyard's entrance.
Although I was frustrated, I couldn't help but be amazed by the beauty of the old building, and especially of the landscape surrounding it. The hallway I stood in was brightly lit by the sunshine slanting in through the windows, and I admired the way it illuminated the golden-threaded flowers that ran along the deep red carpet. The white walls were decorated by paintings and photographs, most of which were drawn or taken by the various inhabitants of the orphanage.
Not only were most of the students here geniuses, but many of them were talented enough artistically to be the next Van Gogh, or a Beethoven for the musically adept. Though I wasn't surprised that they were all so talented, since they're being raised to succeed L, I was surprised at how much like L they really were. They all had their many quirks, and all of them had that calculating look in their eyes. It was a bit unnerving at times, but usually I enjoyed it. There would never be a dull day at Wammy's House…
Through the large window in front of me, I saw a light breeze stir the remaining leaves on the large trees, and watched as a red, slightly withered leaf floated gently to the faded grass. Despite the brightly shining sun, I knew that once I stepped outside I'd be greeted with a chilling breeze. It was the beginning of December, and nearly every kid was wishing for the year's first snowfall. As for me, I wished it would stay Fall all year. Not too hot, not too cold… just perfect.
Staring outside at the nearly bare trees and the intricately bricked walkways made me almost forget what I was doing there in the first place, and I pulled myself away from my thoughts. Just as I began walking away, however, I caught something moving in my peripheral vision and stopped. I turned my head to look outside, and realized it was just a bird, hopping around and pecking the ground for food. I grinned, and watched as it made its way around the grounds. I was supposed to be looking for L, but for some reason I couldn't pull myself away from the beautiful courtyard. There was no important reason, really, to find him except to check in and ask a few questions, so I shrugged absently and kept my eyes fixed on the little bird. I began to walk slowly toward the entrance to the courtyard, cautiously so as to not scare the tiny creature.
I slipped easily past the doorway and into the cool afternoon breeze, always minding to keep silent. At one point the bird stopped hopping and twitched its head to the side, staring at me. I hesitated and willed it to not fly away, while slowly sitting down on the grass a few yards away from it. After a few moments of suspicious scrutiny, the little animal chirped happily and returned to its previous task. I grinned once again at the bird, and absentmindedly watched it as I thought about all that had happened recently.
After turning nineteen [finally!] and spending about a week longer at the apartment, L and I had flown out to Winchester, England, the location of Wammy's House. I hadn't been in an airplane since I was four years old, so needless to say I was a nervous wreck. But to my surprise, once the airplane took off and we were in the air, I realized that it wasn't so bad. It was a very long trip, too, so I slept most of the time anyway. I smirked as I remembered our arrival in England
The plane had just landed, and I hurriedly jumped up, grabbing my carry-on backpack and L's arm. As soon as my feet touched solid ground again, I laughed in relief. The ride hadn't been too bad, but it was still nerve-racking and tremendously disorienting. I glanced over at L and said, "Let's not do that again. Not for a long, long while…" He smirked at me and walked forward.
Once we entered the large airport, we were greeted by none other than Quillish Wammy himself.
"Watari!" I squealed, and threw my arms around his neck, almost knocking him over in my enthusiasm at seeing him alive. He chuckled in response and pat my head,
"Good evening, Ms. Connor," he greeted, referring to my alias, "Glad to see you're doing well."
I smiled in response, pulling away from the elderly man and standing next to L. A fresh surge of relief washed over me as I realized again what I could have lost, and I was temporarily overwhelmed with joy. I blinked once, hard, to clear way those damn tears that always came when I realized how fortunate I was to have them both back. L half-smiled down at me, obviously knowing what I was feeling. Still grinning, he grabbed my hand and turned to Watari.
"Watari." L said, raising a thumb to his mouth and nodding slightly.
"Hello, Ryuzaki." There was a knowing glint to the man's eyes as he greeted the younger detective, and an unmistakable hint of pride as he grinned back.
From there, we collected our luggage and Watari drove us to Wammy's House. That was when things got interesting.
I smirked as I remembered pulling up to Wammy's House, recalling with clarity the shock at seeing the grand old building, and the hesitation I'd first felt around the extraordinary students. A few of them stood out to me in particular- there was one girl, Kat [or 'K'], whose various drawings lined many walls of the building and landed her a spot in Wammy's House. But it was her witty personality that made me remember her; from the first day that I met her, she wasn't afraid to speak her mind and say something that would catch me completely off guard. I got a laugh every time I was around her. There was also Ayako Saitou, who always had a small black kitten trailing after her. She was a very quiet young girl, which struck me as odd since she hung out with Kat a lot. When I first saw her, she was cradling the black kitten in her arms, and had looked up at me with piercingly gray eyes.
"You're feeling uncomfortable, aren't you?" The girl asked, stroking the kitten's head gently. "I know how that feels."
I was slightly unnerved by her intense gaze, so much like L's, yet so full of emotion. She seemed to see right past me, and I wriggled under her calculating scrutiny. Of course, she was right. I was surrounded by kids who had more talent in their pinky finger than I did in my whole body! I frowned as that thought crossed my mind.
My voice was defensive as I stuttered, "N-no, really, I-"
"There's no need to lie." The younger kid snapped at me. I was briefly taken aback, but then realized that she was right. "Lying makes everything worse, in the end."
There was obvious pain in her deep gray eyes, and I wondered what had happened to her before she'd gotten to Wammy's House. When I didn't answer her, she said in a softer voice, "My name is Ayako Saitou. It was nice meeting you, Adelynn Jae Christoph."
With that, the twelve year old turned on her heel and left, kitten still in her small arms.
After that first meeting, I'd only seen her a few more times; either she was alone with that kitten, or with Kat. Each time I saw her I wanted to approach and talk to her, but every time I stopped just short of reaching her, not sure of what I could say. Maybe that was why she was alone a lot of the time, people probably felt intimidated. 'Next time I'll speak with her…'
And, of course, there were L's two successors: Mello and Near. I met them almost as soon as I had walked through the large wooden front doors of the orphanage. Near had been kneeling about a yard away from the entrance, a toy car in one hand and the fingers of his other fiddling with a lock of his white hair. His emotionless gray eyes had swiveled up to meet mine for a moment, and then flickered to L's. He smirked, noting our twined hands and my nervous composure, then went back to playing with his blue car. Mello was leaning against a wall directly opposite of where the younger successor was sitting, his leather jacket reflecting a bit of the chandelier's light and his arms crossed. He glared at Near, seeing that we had noticed him first apparently, and then narrowed his eyes when he saw that I was looking over at him. I had averted my gaze then, and instead focused on the young boy with the shockingly white hair. He reminded me of L more than any kid I had seen running around outside; his eyes were an emotionless gray-black, he had a prominent slouch, and he sat with his feet pulled up to his chest, just the same as L. I immediately took a liking to this boy. Mello, on the other hand, I wasn't so sure about. His obvious hostility didn't really help things.
I still don't really know either of them at all right now. I have seen them a few times, just off doing their own thing around the orphanage. Neither of them had really made any effort to befriend me, and I was fine with that. Right now, though, the two heads of the house, Roger and Watari, and L's two successors, Near and Mello, would be meeting with L. Which is why I figured they'd be in either Watari's or Roger's office. If only I knew how to get to either of those...
I watched the bird hop happily around the courtyard, and smiled encouragingly at it as it drew nearer to where I sat. Just as it was mere inches away from my outstretched legs, dark storm clouds rolled in and blocked the sunlight that had lit up the outside premises. That didn't really surprise me, though, since it had been raining randomly on and off for the past few weeks. I assumed that this rains was just foreshadowing the coming of snow. That was something I was not going to enjoy.
The little red bird that had been my company for the afternoon stopped hopping and tilted its head to the side. I held my breath and sat still as stone, wondering if I had frightened it in any way. After a moment it looked at me and then took off, leaving without as much as a farewell chirp. I sat there for a minute, glaring at the storm clouds that had darkened the sunny afternoon. When I stood up to go, I caught something moving out of the corner of my eye; it reminded me of earlier, when I'd first seen something moving. I swung around curiously, wondering if my bird friend was back, and gasped.
Right behind where I'd been sitting was a stone bench. Perched haphazardly on its armrest was now a raven, its wings ruffled and its piercing black eyes staring directly at me. I didn't know why, but at that moment a cold trickle of fear ran through me, and I stepped back cautiously. Its gaze never wavering from mine, the ominous bird flexed its talons. I stepped back again, more hurriedly this time, and jumped backwards in fright when it cawed loudly and spread its wings. With no further thought, I whipped around and started to run back inside. As soon as I did this, the bird flapped its wings and cawed again, its hoarse, mocking tone following me as I dashed through the doors and into the safety of the orphanage.
Through the window I saw the raven fly away, its sharp talons glistening even in the gloom. It was still cawing as it left, and from where I stood I could've sworn it was laughing. I shuddered and folded my arms across my chest, heart beating rapidly, and hurried out of that hallway and into the next.
A/N: Hello once again! I'm glad that I was able to get this chapter up this weekend. I would have had it up sooner, but I just recently finished Driving School and am doing in-cars whenever they schedule me. But I have gotten the main time-consuming things out of my way, at least for now. The musical is over, I took my Ohio Graduation Tests [OGT's. OverlyGrotesqueTimewasters.], and I am planning on shutting myself in my room and once again becoming the anti-social kid that updates her fanfiction story once or twice a week.
So... ominous raven? I dunno. Ravens have always freaked me out. But this one didn't start saying, "Nevermore." Thank goodness. I think Adelynn would have passed out, the poor kid. The next chapter I post will pick up exactly right where this one left off, since she still needs to go and find L. But seeing as I wanted to have this one out by this weekend, I ended it just a bit shorter than I originally intended. Review please, loves!
Also, I put up a [very crappy] picture of L and Adelynn on my deviantART. There's a link to my dA account on my profile. Check 'em out!
And IknowIknowIknow that this chapter contained a very brief, unsatisfying overview of Mello and Near. But bear with me, I have plans for them in the next chapter. Adelynn still doesn't know them very well, so she'll be closer to them in just a bit. Matt will appear, too, the silly boy!
I felt terrible that I never replied to any of the reviews that were sent pertaining to my Author's Note in Chapter 28. So, here they are! Once again, thank you all. -hugs everyone- You really are like a second family to me. My fanfiction family. =] If I missed any of you, you have my full permission to bombard me with angry PMs filled with whatever you see fit. ^^
LRyuuzakisan- Thank you, I am feeling a lot better now. I think I just needed a break. And to shut down for a while. But now it's back to busy bee me! Heh.
Miorochi- :3 Thanks. I'm glad you liked the lemon.
xXImmortalsxDiceXx- That's terrible! I'm so sorry. I couldn't imagine losing three pets in such a small period of time. I'm truly sorry. And that's right, we will see them again soon. :] What a happy day that will be.
KaiSea- Thank you. I didn't mean to take such a long break, but it's good to know that you were fine with it. :3
MakoStorm- Thanks. Sorry this took so long to reply to. But don't worry about your cat just yet, I'm sure you'll have many more happy years with her. And I'm here to talk to if you ever needed someone...
Lawlipop1031- I'm glad that you weren't too upset that I was taking a break, it was good to know that you'd still be there when I got back. :] Thank you.
ownpersonalhell- It kills me to see you hurt, too, dear. I want you to feel better soon. I'm sorry I haven't been very... communicative lately. I love you too. =\
Landen Ru- Aww. Baxter is a good name for a dog. Thanks. You have a good day, too.
Lillulan- Thank you. I'm happy that you like this story so much, and that you're glad to hear it's not ending just yet. And that's very sad, I'm sorry for your loss, as well. I wish our animal friends could live just as long as we do.
crazyasian12- Don't worry, I'm not suicidal. ^^ I could never kill myself, and not finish this story. If I did, I'd probably come back as a ghost, because of that unfinished business. I'd be haunting FF. Haha. You're right, Meeko would have probably clawed my eyes out if she saw how down I was. Heh. She was a silly kitty. Thank you.
Midnight Mel- Thank you, dear. I'm sorry to hear about Carm, and I hope that you and Blackie have a very long, happy time together. And I'm sure that the Cat Goddess is taking good care of Meeko and Carm.
random-tuesday- Fantasia is a very fitting name for a cat. :3 An outdoor kitty, eh? She sounds like a tough one. Heh. I don't think it's normal for cats to pass away at thirteen, though. I was expecting Meeko to go when she was around seventeen, but I guess there were things wrong with her that we didn't know about until she started getting sick. I'm here to talk to, though, if something happens. Thank you, dear. And I'm so glad that you like this story! ^^ I just posted a few new drawings on dA, and I am on my Gaia almost 24/7. Heh. I agree, Gaia is extremely addictive. Crack-fics? I haven't read any of those. Maybe I should start... :D
Mistress Eries- Thank you. I'm sorry that it took a while to reply to your review, and get something new posted. And I'm sorry about your dog, that must've been a terrible feeling.
Kookie-chan- Thank you =] I do feel a bit better, now. I can actually function. Heh. Glad you like this story :D
A/N: Now to reply to the reviews from Chapter 29! -sweatdrop- I think the replies are longer than the actual chapter...
XxImmortalsxDiceXx- Hehehe. I can't reveal who she is, not just yet. But you will see! Eventually. Thank you, dear! I hope the upcoming chapters seem a bit more interesting than this one was... ^^
EleganBlack- Ha! Thank you for holding back on those shuriken and kunai. I would have been very virtually sad if you hadn't. Haha. Just kidding. And I hope that Mello didn't hurt you for stealing his chocolate. If he did, I'd be very disappointed in him and hide his leather jacket for a while. Mwahaha! But I really and truly am sorry that they didn't play a big part in this chapter. At least I introduced them, though. ^^ Can't wait for you to update your story, as well...
Lawlipop1031- Aww thank you! I've never had my tonsils taken out, so I have no clue how that feels. It must suck, though! Glad I could make you feel a bit better :D Tell me when you post that story, and more lemons! I'd love to read them.
KaiSea- Yes, this new character will definitely throw things off balance for everyone! Hehe. I love controlling other people's fates. Even if they are just fictional characters... ^^ I'm glad you liked the chapter! Thank you. :3
Kookiechan- -plays Jaws theme- It's more like that. haha. But yes, this new girl will make things a bit darker and confusing. Yay for multiple Death Notes! :D
melancolie- L-hotness-poisoning? Woah! I never thought of it that way. That could definitely be a new sickness. Maybe I'll use that as an excuse to stay home from school and write one of these days... hehe. I know, I'm jealous of Adelynn. That silly kiddoe. I never got that great of a birthday present. -.- Haha. Thank you, I'm happy that you like this story!
Amber- Thank you! And, much to my paren't surprise, this past quarter I didn't do so well in English. I think it was because I didn't do my homework. Damn homework. Heh.
xXxDamienMaslinxXx- Really? Cool! Hopefully I can keep my ranking, then! I shall work extra hard now. -insert shifty ninja eyes here- If you ever do invent that machine, can I borrow it? I'd love to jump out and surprise my friends. They just might kill me, though. And I'm glad that you like this story so much, your review made me laugh. I had almost the same reaction as you when I saw L die. It was not a good day for me. ^^ I asked myself those same two questions while writing the lemon, coincidentally. Hehe. Thank you, I'm glad that you have enjoyed reading it so far.
A/N: Well, now that those are over and done with, I will get back to writing Part Thirty! Have a good day, everyone! And just in case I don't post anything on Sunday, Happy Easter to everyone! Hope Mello doesn't steal any of your Easter baskets. O.o
Love - Sydney