Disclaimer: Don't own Death Note, Matt or L. Quote is from the Bible.
Note: This is silly. I don't know. Had an idea so wrote it because it's the holidays and as usual I'm not sleeping right. I need to write more L and I haven't written Matt in a while so here we go. Because why not.
The Third's Request
For we cannot but speak the things that we have seen and heard
When he is fourteen, Matt sits down, and he writes a letter.
Dear L –
And he crosses it out. No, that's an awful way to start. 'Dear L'? Who the hell does he think he is, the guy's mother? He crunches up the piece of paper and lobs it in the direction of the waste paper bin. It circles the rim, and drops inside.
To L –
Nah, too childish. He tries a couple of other variations – Sir is too formal, and my hero is a bit too forward – and eventually, he settles.
Then, he pauses. He rubs his chin with the end of his pencil, then checks the nib. It looks a bit blunt, so he fumbles for his sharpener, and turns it, very quietly, in the slot. He doesn't want to wake Mello, and there's two reasons for that. First off it's never a good idea to wake up Mello in the middle of the night unless you have a plan for a really good prank or a really, really big bar of chocolate – and secondly, he doesn't want him to know he's writing to L.
I am writing to ask –
And that sounds stupid, too. But then Matt sits back and he thinks that the whole idea of the letter is stupid anyway, so whatever – he keeps it as it is, and carries.
I am writing to ask - no, cross out the ask- I am writing to say –
He gives up. He doesn't know what to say, or how to say it, and he's way, way too embarrassed to even think about actually genuinely sending this. It's L! L! And he's just – just third in line. L wouldn't even be interested in listening to him, anyway.
The paper misses the waste basket, and Matt looks at it glumly.
There's one more piece of paper left in the pile, and his pencil's still sharp. Rolling his eyes, Matt mouths, 'oh well, what the hell', and starts writing.
Hey L. It's Matt. One of the kids at Wammy's House. I'm third in the rankings, I don't know if you know. You probably do because you're L and stuff. You know pretty much everything I think. But I had this dream the other night and – yeah, well, the dreams not really important, okay, it's just sort of a set-up to what I want to say. See I had this sort of – well it sounds kinda dodgy to call it a 'premonition' but you know, I had like this feeling? Yeah.
So I had like this feeling that something bad would happen to you on the Kira case. Like, death bad. And I feel really stupid writing to you about this because you obviously know that there's danger, I mean everyone does, and then it's silly of me to be trying to tell you like I know better...and whatever, you're L, you probably know what I'm trying to say better than I do, right?
Right so. If you die, right, one of the Wammy House kids becomes your successor. We all know that. Anyway, I just wanted to say that if you haven't picked a successor yet, I want to ask you something.
Can you please not pick Mello?
I know he's number two in the rankings and everything, and he's really really smart, and that he's resourceful and all of the stuff that's great for being L. But the thing is about being L is he'll die. I feel kinda bad saying it, but let's face it, the job doesn't exactly seem to have a lot of life expectancy attached to it. Especially with the Kira case and everything. So yeah. This is really selfish but I don't want Mello to die. I think he'd make a great L and he'd give it more than everything he had. He'd put his life and his soul into it and if it killed him he wouldn't care so long as he had a few more clues from what he did.
Oh, and if it meant he was being better than Near.
I know Mello wants to beat Near at everything (Near is number one in the rankings, by the way) and he'd hate me forever if he found out I was asking you NOT to pick him for your position, but the thing is Near would be more careful. Near would be good as L because he would do things sensibly and by thinking them through, and it might take longer but he wouldn't really risk himself. Mello would do it like there isn't going to be a second chance and I think that would probably kill him.
And yeah, like I said, I kind of really don't want him to die.
So um, that's me done. Yeah. Sorry for wasting your time. But I'm not going to send this to you, I'm just going to throw it in the bin so I don't know why I'm apologising or anything. Okay. So thanks, piece of paper. I don't know what I'm doing anymore. This is stupid. I'm going to bed.
Matt glances over what he's written. He smiles, once, very thinly, and then he crumples the last sheet of paper up and throws it smack-bang into the waste bin. Then, he curls up in bed, and he goes to sleep.
In the morning, when Matt and Mello and all the others are in lessons, a maid comes in to empty the bins. She scoops up the papers that landed on the floor and drops them into the bin, and carries it out to the landing, where she tips it into a bigger basket. A crumpled up ball tips over the edge, out of her line of sight, and as she puts the bin back in Matt and Mello's room and wheels her basket away, she doesn't notice. When the classes come out the piece of paper gets kicked towards the edge of the stairs where it bounces down, coming to rest on the ground floor, close to the doors leading to the grounds.
An hour or so later those doors swing open, and an elderly man walks through. He's followed by a man with dark, ruffled hair and dead eyes, who glances around, as if making sure no one is watching.
"Deserted again," he says. "Good call, Wat – Mr Wammy."
"Indeed." The elderly man glances round, too, and his gaze falls on the paper on the floor. He bends, and picks it up, unfolding it very precisely and very gently. He smoothes out the page, and glances at the first line of words. "It's for you," he says, passing it to the younger, dark haired man, and his tone shows no hint of surprise.
The younger man blinks, and takes the page from Wammy. He glances over it, too, and then stops, goes back to the top, and begins to read it a lot more carefully. His brows knit, and then relax, and then, finally, he smiles. He stares at the words for a few moments longer, until Wammy clears his throat.
"Oh. Yes. Duty calls." He looks around, scanning for a bin, and then changes his mind. Instead, he folds the paper in half, and then in half again, and slips it inside his jean pocket. Wammy watches him.
A long time later, when he climbs back into the long, black car that brought them there, he speaks. "Watari. Which one is Matt?"
"The slim redhead with the goggles."
"The one who hacked all of Roger's files last year."
"Ahhh," the young man says, in realisation, smiling a little. "And he is friends with Mello?"
"He is his roommate."
"I see." The young man's hand rests on his pocket. "Well. Let's hope they remain close, shall we? I believe there will come a time when Mello is in great need of such a friend."
Wammy casts him a querying look. "L? Have you decided something I should know about?"
The young man bites his thumb. "No, I don't think so," he says, slowly, thoughtfully. "Call it...a premonition."
With a final slight smile, he glances behind him, as the orphanage fades from view. It's late at night, and one light is still on. Maybe he's imagining it, but he thinks he sees a silhouette of a figure with goggles, and a flash of red.
Stupid, really. But still...