"Alright now, listen up." Stern, glaring, and practically radiating menace, Roger stared down at three very different little boys. Well, teenagers, he supposed. He was still having trouble looking down at them and not seeing their pacifier filled mouths, so even thinking boys instead of toddlers was a step forward for him.
The other children snickered as they slowly filtered out of the living room, hoping to catch a glimpse of some surely epic punishment. Roger paid them no mind. He had all of his attention focused on the three menaces staring oh so angelically back at him.
Near fidgeted with the sleeve of his white pajamas. When he looked up to meet Roger's glare, his eyes seemed unnaturally huge in his small, pale face.
To his right slouched Mello. He was sixteen and fit to burst with the sense of invincibility smart, cocky little brats like him always seemed to possess.
Matt stood slightly behind him, using him to block a glare cast by a rather unfortunately shaped elephant lamp. Although his fingers still spasmed as they furiously mashed away at his video game, he had tilted his goggles up on his forehead so Roger was free to meet his eyes.
Roger finally sighed, deciding that they would probably be able to keep up their act longer then he could his. He would have to make his move first, without the benefit of them being too sleepy to argue.
"You know L is going to be here tomorrow." His glare intensified as the three children seemed to cheer up. "I know L is going to be here tomorrow." Despite having a good couple decades of practice, his glare was apparently not up to their standards, as they remained unfazed.
"If we all know this shi-" Matt spared an arm to elbow Mello in the ribs, "-stuff, then what are you doing wasting my fu-" Roger watched, trying not to let his glare fall away, as Matt got to the ticklish blond's ticklish before he could mess up his case anymore. "fuh-reaking time for?" His eye almost twitching in annoyance, Mello swatted the other teen's arm away.
Near, of course, stayed wide eyed and silent. The brat was probably 'waiting for the ideal time' to tell him that there was a time delayed poison soaked into his trousers again, like last week.
Roger wasn't going to let that squeaky clean and innocent look fool him again.
"We both know that you," Roger paused for dramatic effect, glare bouncing from the bored Matt to the furious Mello to the plotting Near, "out of all the other children here, are going to cause the most trouble."
"I object!" Mello crossed his arms with a huff. "I completely agree that Near is a complete, spotty little swot who deserves what's coming to him, but I'm-"
"The one who cut off Lily's pigtails and glued them onto Edward's chin while he was sleeping," Near smoothly interrupted, turning his wide accusing eyes onto Mello before turning his wide so-not-innocent eyes onto Roger.
Mello snarled. Actually snarled. With teeth and everything. Roger was so surprised it took him a moment to remember that he was supposed to be interrupting them, otherwise they could probably go on all night. "Only because you shampooed Sophie's hair with glue and then told Lily I was the one who gave you the bottle of it!"
Near imperiously raised an eyebrow. "That was because you grated up soap to look like cheese and then ruined my alfredo spaghetti the other week-"
Mello screwed his face up even more. Roger was starting to worry it might get stuck like that, and he knew that he would never be able to explain away that. "Yeah, well at least I'm not the one who hacked into the security footage so that I wouldn't be caught-"
"Boys!" Roger crossed his arms and drew his shoulders back, hoping to look more intimidating. Telling by the unimpressed looks it drew from his most troublesome charges, it still needed a bit more work, but at least it got them to shut up. "I'm telling you now, don't even think about it."
Mello's face smoothed back to normal. Rocking back on his heels, he smirked mischievously. "Think about what, Mr. Rogers?" Then, perhaps getting back at Matt for his earlier jabs, he slammed his fist into the gamer's side with more force than it really called for.
"Fucking-" Matt clamped down on his lower lip as he raised his head. "I mean, yeah. Totally." His eyes drifted back to his game even as Mello hit him again. "I mean… you know… what you're… talking… about…"
Roger's lips twitched as he watched the distracted boy trail off. Mello, judging by his furious expression, wasn't pleased. He coughed as he tried to resume control of the conversation. "Yes, well. I'm telling you know, so don't say I didn't warn you."
Near finally straightened up, wide eyes narrowing as he looked up at Roger. The man in question sighed. It looked like he was about to make Near late for one of his shows again… He hated to see what the little brat was about to do next. He always did hate being late for something.
"Come on, Roger Rabbit." The mocking words were delivered monotone, as usual for the still prepubescent fourteen year old. Roger lived for the day the creepily effeminate boy would hit puberty and stop acting so… disturbingly disturbing like. "You know you're doing this because of Watari." Near's chapped lips creaked up in something like a smirk. "We know you're doing this because of Watari."
Matt and Mello, who did not know, bit their lips. Unlike usual, they said nothing.
Roger held back a groan. When the three of them started working together, you knew you were going to be in trouble.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Roger focused his eyes on the ceiling. Maybe if he backed out now, they'd let it go this time.
Near frowned before picking an exquisitely carved wooden toy horse out of his pocket. Mello and Matt eyed him warily as they started to edge away from him. Or, rather, Mello eyed him warily, started to edge away from him, and then dragged Matt along with him as a meat shield.
"Now, now, Roger Rabbit." Near waved his new toy, made courtesy of L's latest boy-toy, in front of him. "We all know what happened last time."
When no one looked like they remembered what happened last time, Near sighed. "Remember? Everyone? In the kitchen?" With blank faces still all around, he set his toy on the floor irritably and crossed his arms. "With the ketchup and the chocolate?"
Wincing, Matt spared a moment to look up from his game. "I thought we agreed to never speak of that again?" He glared at Near. "Remember?" Mello peeked over Matt's shoulder, nodding his head furiously.
"Oh. Yes. That." Roger's face alternately paled then flushed. "I, ah, don't think that it will be necessary to bring that... matter up again." Coughing slightly, Roger decided he'd really given it his best and that there wasn't much more that he could do. Time to usher the boys out and the gin and tonic in. "Come along, then. It's time for tired little boys like you to get to beddy-bye now!"
Even Roger winced at that. The trio, taking pity on him for once in their mischief making lives, just shook their heads as they left for greener pastures.
Raising one hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead, Roger collapsed, boneless, into a hard backed chair. "This," he muttered as he poured a rather generous amount of gin into his glass, "is going to be one hell of a holiday."