This is sort of an opening chapter. We get down to the angsty, gritty goodness next chapter.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nothing at all.

No fuckin' way.

It took every ounce of self control that Matt possessed not to turn tail and run back to the relative safety of the car at the sight of the line outside the club. People ranging in age between seventeen and thirty, most dressed in some combination of outlandish and garish garments, lined the gritty sidewalk outside the pitch black entrance to the building. Matt saw a man in a red vinyl – vinyl? Really? – suit with his arm around a girl in an outfit that had more sequins than actual fabric. A group of giggling girls in neon outfits so bright they nearly blinded him ran past, leaving the lingering smell of sweat and perfume in their wake. Matt took in all this in a glance and quickly concluded that he did not belong here.

Not one bit.

"Uh, guys? I um… I'm not feeling that well and it would probably be better if I just—" Matt began, a slight undertone of panic in his voice.

"No way, man," one of Matt's friends, a young man dressed in simple, dark blue jeans and black v-neck t-shirt spoke up. "No way are you ditching us tonight, Matt. Half-price, all the best d-jays; tonight is the night to be at the club. Come on, even L came," he gestured at another member of their party, a teen who hadn't bothered to change out of his usual attire of jeans and a baggy white shirt even for their night out.

Matt sighed in slight despair; Light could be rather forceful when he made his mind up about something. Was it even worth it to argue? Matt quickly shifted his glance between Light's determined glare and the ever-growing line of increasingly odd people. Oh yes, it was definitely worth it. The wrath of Light paled in comparison to the thought of having to spend the next God-knew-how-many hours pushing his way through sweaty masses of intoxicated strangers all dancing to the latest crappy techno mix.

Because really, Matt thought, that's all that clubs were. They were just an excuse for people to dress in ways society normally rejected, drink themselves stupid (or ingest enough illegal substances to take down a small elephant), and rub against strangers, all so that they could go brag to their friends and co-workers about what a 'totally awesome party weekend' they had had. Guilt-free of course, because somehow in the midst of the flashing lights and the pounding music, people seemed to lose all sense of themselves, and they acted in ways they would normally be ashamed of.

Matt detested that mindset. Of course, that wasn't his only reason for not wanting to come tonight. He wasn't anywhere near that noble. He wasn't all about upholding ideals. In reality, he was just lazy. Pure and simple. And anti-social too. He didn't want to be here, among the party-goers, because he would rather be at home, butt rooted firmly to the couch cushion, beating the latest video game he got on discount from the game store he worked at. To put it plainly: Matt would rather be alone with his consoles and his television set, than here with his sometimes, sometimes-not friends.

Matt really did value their friendship. He just wasn't sure if they valued his at times. He sometimes wondered if they would notice if he disappeared for a year. Oftentimes, he went weeks without seeing or speaking to any of his so-called closest friends. Tonight was actually a rare occurrence. An hour prior, Matt had been surprised to answer a knock at the door and see Light, L, Mikami and even Misa standing outside his apartment. He should have known by the look in Light's eyes or the shortness of Misa's skirt what the plans for the night were going to be.

But then again, Light often had that scary, determined look and Misa's skirts really did seem to be getting shorter every time Matt saw her- or maybe she was getting taller.

No, it was probably the other way around.

Whether or not the warning signs were there, Matt quickly found himself forced into the least dirty clothes that his friends could find on his bedroom floor, shoved into the backseat of Light's car and pushed and prodded up to the end of the line to enter the club. Why had he let himself be forced into this? He couldn't even remember the name of the place, for God's sake. He had absolutely zero interest in wasting his time avoiding drunken chicks when he could be at home gaming instead. And his friends hadn't listened to a single one of the protests (or threats) he had made concerning his attendance.

"Give it up, Matt. There's no way we're letting you leave. Besides, Light drove, how were you planning on getting home anyway?" This time it was Mikami, a rather tall teen with long black hair and glasses, who spoke.

"Kiss-ass," Matt muttered under his breath, aiming the insult somewhere in Mikami's general direction. It was a well-known fact that Mikami practically hero-worshipped Light for God-knows-what reason, and would take his side in any given argument. It was disgusting really. Matt saw nothing about Light that he would particularly want to emulate. Light was a prick cleverly disguised as a attractive young man with an unusually high IQ.

"Aw, come on Matt? Please?" Misa spoke next, her syllables bouncing almost as much as her bright blonde hair, which was pulled into pigtails high on her head and heavily doused in glitter for the night. "It won't be the same without you, Matt." She pouted and planted her hands firmly on her hips, trying to strike what Matt assumed to be an intimidating yet appealing pose.

Desperately, Matt turned to the only person in the group who had yet to speak, hoping to find his salvation in those wide, oddly blank grey eyes. But L, usually the smartest member of the group and the one whose anti-socialness rivaled even Matt's, simply looked him straight in the eye and said in his usual monotone, "Looks like you're stuck with us for the night, Matt."

Matt let out a string of curse words under his breath and silently raged against whatever gods were responsible for the creation of nightclubs, techno music, glow sticks, glitter…

Before Matt was finished cursing anything and everything he could think of that was, or would be, grating on his nerves tonight, the five of them had reached the front of the line. Matt flashed his driver's license at the heavily muscled bouncer, who then waved him over to a man collecting twenties. Matt cursed again in his head as he handed over forty dollars of his hard-earned cash and then stepped from the relative dark of the street to the pitch black of the entrance. He took another few steps and emerged from the entrance into the front room of the club, and immediately his attention was swept in twenty different directions at once. A pounding techno beat assaulted his ears, as kids in the corner twirled glow sticks maddeningly in an amateur light show. A few scantily clad girls dove past him, eager to get closer to the source of the deafening music, one of them spilling a bit of her drink down Matt's arm as she passed.

He looked down at his watch wearily. Ten o' clock. It was going to be a long night.

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Beta-ed by: Emo-Nerdy-Insane-Writer