Strips of Villany
Disclaimer: No, I do not own Death Note.
Chapter 5: Home
"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration" - Charles Dickens
The dark-haired child tightly clutched Wammy's once wrinkle-free, black winter coat, whilst peering cautiously about with large solemn eyes. His face was as pale as the snow; glimmering with a sort of innocence that was unlike any found in our contemporary decaying society. "Quillsh-san," he murmured, keeping his voice low. "What are those things near the statue?"
"Those are ravens," Wammy replied, following Lawliet's gaze. "They're native to England."
"You've never seen one before?"
"No," Lawliet shook his head, before adding shortly. "I wasn't allowed outside much." After all, the asylum kept all of us, inmates, indoors at all times; and my father…didn't want others to know about my condition. The boy frowned noticeably at the memory, feeling the sting of rejection.
Wammy's dark eyes were gentle and understanding. "If you wish, I can purchase books regarding the natural sciences for you." The elderly man smiled wanly, though with a touch of embarrassment. "I don't believe I have any of such books in my library back home."
"Thank you," The boy answered, a faint glimmer of a smile appearing on his face. "That would be most agreeable."
Wammy dipped his head and smiled.
The two of them walked about in companionable silence, with Lawliet hopping awkwardly to catch up with him. The young boy fell silent as they left the safe, relatively empty confines of the park and entered the very edge of the city. His fingers dug into Wammy's coat as he glared distrustfully at the people milling about the street.
"If you're tired, we can head back," the older man offered.
Lawliet tilted his head up and frowned. From Quillsh-san's tone and body language, I suspect he feels I am unprepared for such a venture. The young boy fixed the object of his thoughts with an unblinking stare. And perhaps he is right. I do not trust these…people. I do not want to be here. Feeling his body start trembling as his thoughts raced ahead, Lawliet forcefully straightened his back and shoved the feelings of panic away.
"I am," he managed to grit out. "I want to go home, Quillsh-san."
The older man nodded in understanding and held out his hand, with which Lawliet studied hesitantly for a couple of seconds before shyly grasping. Without further ado, the two of them doubled back and promptly retraced their steps through the park…
Wammy hid the ever growing smile on his face, knowing without a doubt, that Lawliet would be annoyed if he caught the involuntary action.
It made him incredibly pleased to hear that his abode had finally been transformed from a "comfortable shelter with an inordinate amount of delightful confectionary," as Lawliet had once put it, to "home."
Wammy gave the boy's hand an extra squeeze.
Lawliet sat with his knees against his chest, staring impassively at the elderly man who had just entered the room and brought him a plate of strawberry cheesecake to cheer him up after the trip. He didn't understand. That man…Quillsh Wammy was an enigma. He didn't understand why the kind old gentleman had singled him out to dote upon; why him of all people? Out of all the orphaned children in England, Quillsh would have been much happier adopting an affectionate, unbroken child…
Not a monster like me.
"You may sit if you wish," he offered, not looking up from the cake. Lawliet heard a moment of silence, before the elderly man gracefully positioned himself into the chair next to him. He dangled the fork between his fingers above the cake as he carefully planned his method of attack.
I will uncover the truth.
Wammy straightened his cuffs idly, studying the frowning boy with a hint of worry. He kept silent, nonetheless, feeling like as if he was sitting next to a particularly flighty creature, like a raven perhaps. He feared, for some strange reason, that if he pushed too hard, the boy would crumple before him and disappear.
"Quillsh-san is a stranger," Lawliet said quietly, picking idly at his cake. He paused, making interesting shapes with the icing, before looking up to meet the older man's surprised eyes. "I know nothing about you beyond your name and the fact that you are a gentleman and philanthropist."
"That's true," Wammy said troubled. I completely forgot. "What would you like to know, Lawliet-kun?" he said gently. "I'll answer your questions to the best of my abilities."
Lawliet nibbled daintily on the edge of the cake.
"Why doesn't Quillsh-san tell me what he believes is necessary first?" the boy suggested, his ebony black eyes bore into the older man. "I will ask questions if I am unsatisfied," he offered, taking another bite out of his cake.
"Very well," Wammy agreed without a hitch. "I must warn you though, Lawliet-kun," he said with a smile, "This will probably be a fairly long and boring story…given the fact that people as old as I am generally possess a fair amount of history under their belts."
The boy shrugged. Boring is subjective.
"I am currently nearing fifty," he said, leaning back easily against his chair. "I was born as the second son of Lord Wammy, Earl of Nottingham. My brother died of malaria when he was fourteen and my mother was devastated. She followed soon after." Wammy let out a melancholy sigh. "My father spoiled me rotten after that; I was all that he had left. But much to my eternal shame, I couldn't do anything right by him."
Lawliet tilted his head to the side curiously, shifting the plate forward to avoid getting blue icing on his white shirt. How interesting.
"I was raised an aristocrat; I was supposed to find a wife and beget a heir to carry the family name; just like the rest of the men in my family had done for generations," Wammy said lightly, looking down at the floor. "Unfortunately, I fell in love with a woman who was far below my station. She could not read nor write. She was a parlor maid."
The boy frowned. What's wrong with a parlor maid?
"My father was, predictably, furious when he discovered the truth," the elderly man continued. "He banished the girl and gave me the worst beating I've ever had." Wammy's wrinkly face frowned darkly at the memory. "And so I ran away." There was a pause. "I did many things that I've never been allowed to – drink, have friends, played vile games – I felt alive."
Lawliet's frown deepened in confusion. Why would engaging in sinful behavior make Quillsh-san happy?
"To make a long story short," Wammy said finally, "I eventually made a name for myself as an inventor; I earned enough money to get by; however, it wasn't until my father's death that I inherited all of this," he motioned to their opulent surroundings. "To be honest, I didn't know what to do with all the money so I decided to use it to benefit others. After all, it's not like as if I can use all of it in my lifetime," he finished with a laugh.
"Was that enough to satisfy your curiosity, Lawliet-kun?"
The boy chewed his thumb thoughtfully.
Wammy's eyes crinkled in amusement. "Well, then ask away," he said, straightening his back in preparation for being shocked by the boy's unpredictable questions.
A ghost of a smile emerged on the child's face.
Sorry for the short chapter! I promise the next one will be longer...so PLEASE review!! :)