A/N:: I'm going to attempt at writing a Death Note story, if I get good reviews and/or if I even feel like continuing this story, there'll be more updates...
Disclaimer:: Death Note and all its lovely characters belong to Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
1~ The Taciturn Orphan
"Welcome to Wammy's House," The old man was saying. He looked at the little girl before him, seeming to expect a reply, but she said nothing. She only swiftly glanced at the immense brick building, with ivy crawling up one of the visible sides, and large glass windows at the face, then tucked her head down, and stared at the old man's leathery shoes with a sheen of unshed tears over her eyes. "Well alright then." The old man began ambling forward, through the doors of the imposing brick building. "Come now, child. Hurry it up."
He led her to an office room, where he sat down behind a large desk and motioned for her to take a seat. She remained standing, gripping the straps of her backpack tightly. Her wide eyes roamed the room. She took in the wood floors, with a small scuff underneath the front left leg of the table. She took in the white ceiling and the pale green wallpaper. She took in the window behind the man where the evening sky was painted a rosy pink, with smears of oranges, yellows and reds from the setting sun.
"I am Roger Ruvie, caretaker of this orphanage," said the elderly man. He paused, waiting for her to acknowledge this. The girl did nothing but stare out the window behind his head. With a sigh at her silence, Roger continued, "Now listen child, you know who I am, but I do not know your name, as it should be. Here in this house, no one knows anyone else's name. At a more appropriate time, the rules will be properly explained to you, but as of now, all you need to know is that secrecy is vital. You must think up a new name. Is that understood?"
The child blinked once, a single tear brimming over despite her efforts not to cry, and then she turned her head, staring with hard eyes into the wall.
Roger breathed out another sigh. "I know it is a difficult time for you right now, child, what with the accident happening only a week ago…" The girl winced at the memory. "…but you need to cooperate here so that you are able to be taken care of properly. If you don't speak, how am I supposed to know what to call you? 'Child' is hardly something I can say every time I need to speak with you. What if you need something, how will anyone know what you want? Speak, child!"
The girl bit her lip and continued to stare at the wall.
Roger shut his eyes. Children were so hard to get through to. When he opened his eyes, he didn't look at the girl. He reached down and pulled open a drawer in his desk. There was a startling noise as he slapped a pad of paper onto the tabletop. "Can you write?"
Still, the girl ignored him.
The old man was growing impatient, and the girl was on the verge of breaking down, when there was a squeak, and the door opened a fraction of an inch wider. Roger's eyes were drawn to the door, and so was the girl's attention, though her eyes continued gazing at the wall.
"What is it?" Roger called out.
In poked the snowy white head of a boy about the girl's age. She watched him in her peripheral vision. "Roger." His voice was soft, and quite, though it held an edge of irritation. "Mello won't-" then seeing the girl, he cut himself off and stepped into the room.
"Near," Roger said. "This is… well, she doesn't have a name at the moment, since she isn't speaking, but from now on, she is going to be living here."
Near walked around the girl so that he was standing right in front of her. "Hi," he murmured. The girl blinked rapidly, still fighting back the tears that threatened to come, and shifted her eyes to the boy, keeping her gaze unfocused, so though she was looking at him, she wasn't quite seeing him.
"Aha! That is more than what I've gotten out of her. Try and get her to talk, Near." Roger had positioned himself behind the girl, seated in one of the armchairs.
Near cast him a brief glance that seemed to say 'what does it look like I'm doing?'. Then he spoke again, "Look, you're going to need a name, and it can't be the same as the one you were born with. That name has to go away, okay?"
The little girl shook her head vehemently.
Near was surprised. "Why not? Its only fitting. You have a new home, a new life now. It makes sense that you get a new name. All the old things are gone now. All the other people too. You get a fresh start."
The old things. Like her home. The other people. Like her parents. Yes, they were irrefutably gone. Her name, her identity, was all she had left of her old life. It was all she had aside from her memories. How could she give that up, when everything else she had, had been taken away from her? She shook her head again.
Behind her, Roger shifted and sighed again. "Near," came his voice from behind her. "Why don't you take her to a room. Let her get settled in. Maybe later she'll feel like speaking."
The boy in front of her nodded, and reached toward the girl. She flinched as his hand lifted. "Its alright." Near looked at her with inquisitive eyes, perhaps wondering what she had to be afraid of. "Give me your backpack. I'll carry it for you."
The little girl shrugged the bag off her shoulders and let it slump to the floor, where Near bent down to pick it up. Shouldering the pack, he led the way out of the room. The girl followed silently.
The house had many hallways, and countless rooms. The girl remained silent, and Near was quite also, save for the times when he pointed out important rooms like the bathroom, or the kitchen. Finally, after what felt like much walking, Near announced that they had reached one of the sections of the orphanage that held bedrooms.
"There's a few empty rooms that you can have," Near stated. "But there's also a few where you can share with someone else."
Unsurprisingly, the girl standing beside him responded with silence.
For a moment, the white haired child deliberated, then decided that the girl would feel more comfortable in a room by herself. She didn't seem ready to be spending much time with other people, much less strangers. He began walking, leading her to one of the numerous oak doors in the long hallway and then pushed it open.
"Obviously, there isn't much in here," Near pointed out.
Indeed, the room was a bit bare. It was square-ish in structure, with one rectangular window in the center of the far wall, a bed in the top left corner beneath the window, and a dresser made of some light colored wood sitting beside the door.
The girl took a step inside only after Near had gestured for her to do so. He dropped her backpack atop the dresser, and she walked over to the bed, sitting down stiffly on its neatly folded covers. She fought to keep her hands from shaking, gripping the edge of the mattress until her knuckles turned white.
A new room. It made the tragedy of living in this orphanage so much more real. It was hard to deny the fact that this was her new house - she refused to think of it as home - when she now had her own bedroom. She didn't like it though. The room was too cold, the air inside still and unwelcoming. It lacked the warm coziness of her old bedroom. The sky blue walls looked pale and washed out to her, and the wooden floor was bound to be cold when she took her shoes off. The violet bed sheets were too crisp underneath her hands, not soft and snug like she wanted them to be. Her eyes drifted to the window, the only benefit in the room.
"If this is alright with you, I'll be leaving now." The boy was standing in the doorway.
She made no indication of how much she disliked the room, so the boy began to turn.
"Oh, don't forget," He called over his shoulder. "Think up a name. Roger will probably come by in a few minutes to check on you. See you around."
The door shut behind him.
For a moment, the girl remained still in the silence of the room, then, no longer able to contain them, the tears spilled out from her eyes, and she sat crying, as she stared out her window. She wept for all that she had lost; her belongings, her home, her parents. And for those nonmaterial things like comfort, love, and the feeling of security. Three minutes passed, then she abruptly stopped crying, scolding herself for being so weak when she had to be strong for all these oncoming changes in her life. Being miserable and weepy would get her nowhere, so she swung her legs off the bed and resolved to do something productive and began to unpack.
The bag slumped on the bureau was filled with clothes that were given to her by a middle-aged lady who worked for a child services-type facility. The girl hadn't wanted anything, especially anything from strangers, but the woman insisted and the child ended up having a backpack stuffed with pants, shirts, and undergarments.
The clothes at the top of the bag that she was pulling out first were t-shirts and sweaters. None were outstandingly remarkable, but they were in well enough shape, and the sweaters looked like they would more or less keep her warm from the chilly autumn air. All these she put in the top drawer. Beneath the tops were four pairs of jeans - three of which had small holes and/or tears in the fabric - two pajama bottoms, and a pair of too-long navy blue sweatpants. These were placed in the second drawer.
One final piece of clothing lay in the backpack. It was a dress. Slowly, she pulled it out, and decided that, in comparison to the obvious hand-me-down donations, it was worth some admiration. The child held it up against her body. The dress was a vibrant purple with a strap that pulled over her head. The cloth looked like it would cling loosely to her form, until it reached just below the waist where it flowed down to mid calf in sectioned ripples, each piece a slightly different shade of violet than the next. It was a shame she didn't like dressing up like other six year old girls- the byproduct of having a love for laying in the grass. Eventually her parents gave up on buying her nice clothes that only ended up getting stained. Shrugging, she folded it carefully and placed it in the top drawer.
As she was putting the dress away in the drawer among the shirts, there was a tap on the door, which she chose to ignore.
After a few seconds of hesitation, it swung open slowly to reveal the boy from earlier standing in the doorway. A small glint of approval lit up in his eyes as he saw that she was doing something and not just sitting there.
"Have you picked out a name yet?" Near asked, stepping into the room and settling himself on the corner of the bed. The girl pushed the drawers closed and sat herself beside the boy, only seeing him through her peripherals.
Near let a moment of silence lapse between them, then tried again. "I'll just sit here with you until tell me your new name."
Stubbornness kept her silent. Why should she have to change her name? What a stupid requirement it was. What if she liked her old name? It was very pretty, and she loved how it rolled off her tongue; Felicity Brookelle Dautry. But as she thought about it, she realized that the name didn't fit her at all. That name belonged to a carefree little girl, who lived in bliss surrounded by her parent's love. She wasn't the same little girl. The accident had hardened her into someone stronger, more serious and less naïve. Quite ironically, if you looked up 'Felicity' in a thesaurus your resulting synonyms would be words like 'happiness', 'joy', and 'luck'.
Hah. She scoffed silently at this. She felt anything but lucky.
The boy and old man were right then. It was time for a new name.
Thinking of one couldn't be all that difficult. She had the notion of wanting to keep at least a part of her soon-to-be-former name; maybe shortening Brookelle to just 'Brooke'. Or perhaps rearranging the letters? She quickly tossed aside that idea, seeing as moving the letters around would result in nonsense words. She wrinkled her nose, realizing that she had to like this new name, because it would be the one she would grow up with.
She decided she would keep the first letter of her name. So, all that was left to do was think of name that she liked beginning with the letter 'F'. Unfortunately, she could think of none that appealed to her. Coming up with a new name that still held a piece of the old was not as easy as the little girl thought it would be.
Maybe if… Aha! She had it. She would keep the first two letters and last letter in her first name. 'Fe' and 'y'. F-e-y. Fey. Perfect. She loved it.
One problem remained; she had to work up her voice. The name did no good if no one aside from herself knew it. She turned to Near, and only then realized that he had said something to her.
She blinked at him, and tilted her head.
"Did you think of one yet?" He repeated.
Near waited patiently for her to speak.
It took her a few mental pep talks, but eventually she managed to whisper almost inaudibly, "Fey."
Near's lips curled up at the edges, seeming pleased that she was finally deciding to cooperate. However, he did not hear what she had said, so he turned his head and leaned closer. "Didn't catch that."
The girl swallowed, then said in a much stronger voice, "My name is Fey."
A/N::So, reviews anybody? They'll be much appreciated. :D