And here we go again. Hello folks. Yup. It's another one. Yes, more OCs. Yes, I'm screwing with Death Note. Deal with it. I'm enjoying myself. If you don't like the style this is written in, don't despair. I'm only using this style for the first chapter - it's an effect thing.

Turn on BitterSweet Symphony when the dates stop appearing after each tick/tock for full effect. Or when you start, it's up to you.

Read on, friends!


Confluence I

Butterfly

Chapter 00

.:Prelude:.


Tick.

1995, May 21st

"—one hundred and seventy six…"

The mother smiles delightedly. She sweeps her son – only three – into a hug, and presses an adoring kiss to his temple. The blond boy giggles, grinning a gap-toothed smile for her.

"You're such a smart boy," the mother praises, stroking the straight locks forming a halo about his face. "I'm very proud of you, sweetheart."

He ducks his head away from her hand, making an offended sound. She laughs, and turns her attention to the man. He is flustered. It is not hard to understand why. She is a beautiful woman.

The boy toys with his mother's sleeve, attention elsewhere. They converse, but he hears nothing – their conversation is irrelevant to him.

Tock.

1997, June 18th.

She's very young; only a toddler. Perhaps two years old. Her mother works feverishly at her desk, and the girl is quiet. Chubby hands create misshapen flowers. Nameless things with folds that follow patterns only she knows.

The mother sighs, frustrated. She stands abruptly, glancing at her child with a worn smile on her thin, too-pale face. The child, oblivious, crushes the paper into poorly executed folds with the same enthusiasm one her age might reserve for unwrapping a gift or greeting a pet.

"Mumma's just going to get a drink," the mother assures her daughter in a weary tone.

The toddler does not acknowledge her mother. She is focussed on the paper, not the way her mother pours a drink of amber liquid from a clear bottle in the kitchen. The paper is her world, at the moment. For children create worlds with their games, worlds where the parameters are set and they are the game master.

Tick.

1997, August 29th.

He fidgets, bored already. The process seems too familiar for one so young. He is perhaps six, with a nest of light brown hair fluffed around his face. He sits. Waits. Who will it be this time? What will they think of him?

Idle curiosity. It doesn't matter. It will end the same way.

"… very intelligent… easily…"

They are not careful with their speech. If he had cared to try, he could have heard their every word. But they are always the same words, the same tone. He has heard them before, when they were first spoken and several times more, wondering if they might change.

The door clicks open. He does not look up, too interested in his drawing to pay attention to them. Graphite and colour run together, a chaos of lines with no real form or purpose. He draws often.

"Why don't you come and meet your new foster parents, son?"

He spares them a glance this time. They are old people, as always, with faces full of hope and welcome and nervousness. They are nothing new, nothing interesting.

He greets them.

Tock.

1998, January 14th.

"Mumma, just a few more minutes!"

The stunning woman, with her coils of gold hair flawlessly styled about her head, gives him a mock stern look. The boy is sitting amid a sea of cloth, pouting. His clothes speak of riches, likes hers. Soft cream cotton on caramel skin.

"Very well," she sighs as though greatly annoyed. "But get to your homework soon, honey."

"Yes, Mum…"

She seems to float towards him, stoops, and kisses his head. He smiles, leaning into the affectionate touch.

She leaves.

The smile wavers a little, but he grips the cloth tightly, and seems to remember something. The smile ignites once more, and his eyes come alive as he lays fabric upon fabric, colour upon colour. He is thoughtful, mixing them, changing them, to find appealing matches.

His homework will not be attended to for some hours.

Tick.

1998, April 30th.

He is the epitome of calm. He sits, isolated by his own will, in a corner of the room. No one approaches, and he is aware, but he does not mind. His world is the growing expanse of white before him.

His fingers are long for a child's. Their motion is clockwork, without pause. They deftly grasp a puzzle piece, lift it and place it. He does not hesitate, but the pieces always fit.

Sometimes another child might spare him a look, and begin to speak. But a friend will quiet them; draw their attention back to their own games. He does not care to join them anyway.

Tock.

1998, April 30th.

He is chaos where the other is calm. He too, is isolated. He is dangerous, sometimes. Unpredictable. The children who live there do not like unpredictable. He is too much fire and passion and emotion, and there is only one who shares his child's-world. Just as there is only one who is the focus of it.

He wears black where the other wears white, a fitting juxtaposition. There is rivalry, but not yet true hatred. With time, that will come. But for now, blue eyes watch a white figure with jealousy. They watch the way a child's hands fit pieces together without pause.

The one who shares his world speaks. He cautions.

"Leave him alone, Mello. You're going to do something stupid again."

The red-head's world is the game his fingers control. His focus is the blond beside him, snapping pieces of chocolate from the whole with an angry viciousness. The boy in white is, for now, just another person. The focus of his focus.

The blond mutters something, and, as though interested, leans on his companion to watch him play. The red-head's expression does not change, but there is a stutter in his methodical, fast-paced button pushing.

Just for a moment, they are each other's focus.

Tick.

1998, September 7th.

The mother does not sit at the desk, surrounded by her towers of endless papers. Instead, she lies on the floor beside her child, watching her play. The girl smears red across the paper, silent, and begins to fold. The creases are more defined, the form more recognisable, but the mother does not see that.

She watches her child, with eyes glassy as though tears threaten to fall. The child does not notice, she continues to stain her hands with red, beginning a new piece.

Someone knocks at the door, but the mother does not move. She lies on her stomach, her eyes fixed on her child. The child's hands still a moment, but she continues almost immediately. There is only her child's-world, with paper and toys and games and make-believe. There is no-one at the door, for her. She plays.

Tock.

He steps out of the car, and they walk with him to the door. The woman hugs him, and the man pats his head awkwardly. They leave in tears while a weary woman leads him inside.

Tick.

She is frustrated. She yells at him. He ducks his head and nods several times in swift succession. She sighs, apologises, justifies. She speaks more gently. He nods as though her tone has not changed.

Tock.

They marvel at her. So calm, so quiet and unperturbed. Some worry, others praise. She does not care. They are not a part of her world. They are other planets, other worlds, brushing her gravity, changing her course. That is all.

Tick.

He lifts a block of sharp-edged plastic, fitting nubs to notches. A city grows.

Tock.

A sound wakes the blond, startles him. He realises he has fallen asleep on his friend's shoulder again.

Tick.

Level Cleared! It flashes in bright colours.

Tock.

They wash the walls. His drawings become a river of muddy colour.

Tick.

She blinks at the new place. Old walls and iron gates.

Tock.

She cries. He tries not to hear. He is leaving.

Tick.

Paper was her focus. Now it is him.

Tock.

He does not acknowledge her. She is unimportant.

Tick.

He bites into the chocolate-

Tock.

-hugs his waist-

Tick.

-the paper-

Tock.

-colours blend-

Tick.

-steps onto the gravel-

Tock.

-sets a flower down in the city-

Tick.

-pauses and appraises the flower. He continues without-

Tock.

-Cleared!-

Tick.

Snap!

Tock.

Crunch!

Tick.

Click!

Tock.

"-Wammy's House."

Ti-