A/N: okay for starters, I consider this important to mention so here it is. While I think fan Matt is cute (red hair, usually green eyes, black and white stripes) I write Matt using his anime colors (brown hair, blue eyes, and red and black stripes) simply because I personally think it suits him better. So just to get that out of the way. Hopefully it's not too deterring for those of you who prefer fan Matt. . . That aside, this is a Wammy fic. It is sort of AU; meaning no Kira. Additionally, each chapter will be told in first person perspective, with alternating points of view between Matt and Mello. This chapter is in Matt's POV.
Warnings: anime Matt, colorful language, Matt's sarcasm, yaoi, and more than likely fresh squeezed lemons in later chapters.
Disclaimer: Erm. . . No. Do I really need to say it. I can assure you all that I am NOT secretly Takeshi Obata or Tsugumi Ohba. Although, that would be pretty darn awesome. . .
My feet stopped just short of the wrought iron gate that wrapped around the building I was to be living in from now on. It looked pretty nice, I guess. I didn't really know what was waiting for me inside but I didn't really care. It couldn't be any worse than the previous two orphanages I'd been forced into up until now.
The first was nice enough I guess. And by that I mean they didn't expect too much from you. Basically, you were just there to be gawked at by childless couples who would never really adopt you anyway. No couple wants a kid who's half grown up already. No not even half, more like two thirds grown up.
The living conditions though. Disgusting. As if that's not the understatement of the millennium. Now the second was the opposite. They transferred me after realizing exactly how smart I was. That was two years ago. At first, the place was an upgrade. But then, the expectations made themselves known. And I mean that in a 'raving nuns with paddles' type of way.
They had nicer rooms. Most of the quarters housed at least ten or more orphans though. It got pretty crowded.
It wasn't until about a week ago, when one of the teachers (raving nun with a paddle) got her hands on an entrance exam for an orphanage twenty miles from where we were, in Winchester. It was a school for gifted children apparently.
I was first in line to take the exam of course, although I didn't really want to. They all called me a "Natural genius." I didn't really get it. Sure, I was smart. I usually didn't even have to try.
I just remembered things. Insignificant things, that normal people just allow to flow through their brains for only moments before discarding it as useless. It is for this reason I try not to pay too much attention to anything anyone says, to me or otherwise.
It's not that simple though, it never was. Needless to say, I passed the entrance exam. The only one in the orphanage that did. Hooray. . . Ugh, I'm such a sarcastic little bastard. I can't help it, sarcasm is my security blanket.
So, here I am. At the end of the walkway leading to my newest Hell. Although, to be fair, I could've bombed the exam on purpose. I guess I really did just want to leave. On some level anyway. This place was bound to have high expectations for me too but from the sound of it, there were a lot more perks.
The nuns said this place was loaded. They also happened to mention the abundance of space versus the small number of orphans. So great orphan/ball space ratio. I heard from one of the other orphans that there are actual teachers here. No nuns wielding heavy wooden boards. Probably its biggest highlight actually.
I was lead inside by a social worker who agreed to escort me. Psht, c'mon, if they couldn't trust me, who could they trust? There's that sarcasm again.
The foyer was nice and huge. As you'd expect from a well funded learning establishment. I followed the well dressed social worker down the main corridor quite a ways. Until we stopped in front of a particularly fancy, darkly stained, oak door with a plaque that read 'Roger' nailed to it.
I watched as my escort knocked on the fancy door. A faint acknowledgment came from within but I couldn't really make out what was said. I'm not sure the social worker did either but he entered all the same, me in tow.
There, sitting at a desk in front of us, was an old man. His grey hair was receding to the back of his head. What little he had in front was somewhat knotted into an obnoxious curl right in the dead center of his forehead. His brown suit was a pretty clear indication, to me anyway, that he was the owner of this place.
The old man, who I might be crazy to assume is Roger but go ahead and do so anyway, glances at us over his spectacles. He doesn't seem too happy from the looks of it.
"You must be our new recruit," he says, more to himself than me I would guess. I nod. Sighing deeply, he leans down and grabs something out from within his desk. He produces a packet of papers, stapled together rather hurriedly from the looks of it, and a pencil.
"This is a placement exam. It's so that we can determine where you rank among the other students. Our dormitory system is based on rank. We place two students to a room. Most students have roommates already but there are a few within each group that do not. We need to know where to place you," he explains.
I find it rather hilarious that he refers to the orphans as "students". Yeah, like that's gonna make us feel any more wanted. He continues, not really caring one way or another if I'm even listening. Which I am. I usually tune people out when they rant but this is kind of important.
"From this point on you are not to use your given name at any time, under any circumstance. Seeing as how you are all here to compete for the title of L's successor, you will have to get yourselves used to using aliases. Besides that, the position of L is a dangerous one, made even more dangerous if you were to use your real name. So, from now on your name here will be. . ." He trails off, contemplating a false name for me.
Aliases? Really? Wow, this place didn't mess around. I was told that I had kind of signed up for something potentially dangerous but I never imagined aliases being used. It makes me feel kind of, I don't know, kind of badass.
"Matt," Roger finally says after a while. Matt?! C'mon, I know he can do better than that. What about Magnum. Or maybe M-Eighty, or some cool espionage sounding name of the like. Hell Jump-jugs would be a better nickname than Matt. It's so boring and normal. It doesn't really sound like an alias. . . but then again, I guess that's the point.
"Uh, okay," I say, trying to sound cool with the idea of being called 'Matt' from now on. I'm pretty sure Roger caught my distaste but chose to ignore it. Instead, he handed me the exam and motioned over to a little desk beside the oak door.
It took me less than an hour to finish it. It wasn't exactly a cake walk, so to speak, but there wasn't much to it. I still felt pretty confident I did well. Sort of.
I handed it to the lethargic old man and waited. He gave it a quick glance and nodded. I didn't know if it was a good nod or one that meant 'you're out of your league here kid, I laugh at your ignorance'. I was pretty sure he wasn't that big of an asshole.
"Okay. I need to grade this and place you accordingly. Why don't you take a little tour, get acquainted with your new home. Come back here in about thirty minutes. If you can't find your way back, ask one of the staff or a student to show you."
He didn't leave room for argument, not that I really wanted him to. I did want to get myself used to the layout of this place, it was pretty huge and easy to get lost in, I would wager. So I left Roger to his devices and set off to make my own damn self comfortable. Which wasn't exactly easy since I'm not really the social type. But then again, this was a home for sheltered geniuses, so I doubted there would really be much communication going on.
So much for that idea. The second I'm out the door I'm bombarded by this short girl, her red hair in pigtails and her glassy brown eyes beaming up at me. She doesn't seem like a sheltered genius.
"Hi there. Are you new here?" She asked brightly. I guess it wasn't so bad, at least if I get lost I'd have someone to show me the way back. Although, I wasn't likely to get lost in the first place, near photographic memory and all.
"Yeah. What do you guys do around here for fun?" My tone probably couldn't have been less energetic if I had tried. I was really curious, fun was pretty much the only thing I cared about, rankings could kiss my ass. I was just tired. It had been a long day, for me at least. Things like this take a lot out of me. She seemed to think for a minute before a huge smile crossed her tiny face.
"Well, we're allowed to go out on the weekends. We have a curfew but Roger doesn't keep tabs on us seeing as how none of us really have anywhere else to go. We always end up back here eventually. There are tons of places to go though!" I scowl a bit, not at her so much, just the option she presented me with. It didn't really appeal to me. Her expression changed to a thoughtful sadness.
"Well, there are plenty of things to do here. Most of us study or play sports out in the fields. Mostly just the guys though, they like playing football." My scowl turned into a full blown grimace. I hated nature. With every fiber of my being.
"um, okay. Well there are tons of interesting people to talk to." Her voice sounded as if she was trying to prove something to me. Interesting people, huh? She wasn't really doing a very good job of backing that statement up. I was thinking more along the lines of an arcade or something like that.
That's probably way too much to hope for. A school for gifted children is not very likely to have a room full of machines designed to numb children's sensitive brains so that they can't focus on school work. When I didn't respond to the girl's suggestions she took initiative by grabbing my hand and dragging me off.
What the hell did she think I was, some sort of rag doll. We stopped in a big open room at the far end of the hall. The other orphans sitting around and laughing eagerly. The girl pulled me over to a bundle of white. . . something piled on the floor, at the foot of a stain glass window. Upon closer inspection I realized that it was a person.
"This is Near, he's ranked number one here at Wammy's. Near, this is. . ." She trailed off finally noticing that she never asked me for my name. Or rather, my alias.
"Matt," I offered. She grinned ear to ear.
"Matt," She finished, "Oh, I'm Linda by the way."
"Hi Linda," I said politely. I didn't want her to think we were friends or anything, mainly just because friends are too high maintenance. Especially female friends, as fun to look at as they are. I'm a laid back kind of guy. Don't really want any unnecessary stress in my life. Near, the ball of cotton that was contentedly putting together a puzzle, (at least I think he was content, I couldn't really tell.) didn't even look up.
"Hello Matt," he murmured, reminding me of a robot. A very squishy robot. Linda didn't seem too surprised that he didn't say anything else. I guess I shouldn't complain, I don't want to be friends with either one of them. Especially not him if he ranked first. I could bet money that he was really uptight and more than likely had a severe case of know-it-all-itis.
"The one who ranks second isn't in the common room right now. He never really is. He's always in his room studying. Heads up though, don't mention Near's rank in front of Mello. He hates coming in second," Linda informed me.
I'd be sure to do that if I knew who Mello was. I doubt I'll ever even talk to the guy. I didn't plan on talking to Near after today either. He didn't really seem to want any company.
Linda showed me around a bit more and tried introducing me to a few other orphans, none of which seemed like my brand of potential friend. Before I knew it though, thirty minutes had passed and I found myself happy to escape the clutches of the evil Linda.
"Kay, well, I gotta go back to Roger's office, he has to give me a room," I told her, trying not to sound as excited as I was. Not just because of my clever escape. Roger was going to determine my future here at Wammy House. I couldn't help but wonder what it was.
"Oh, you want me to show you the way?" We had strayed pretty far from the old man's office but I made sure to memorize every turn.
"Nah, I can figure it out. Thanks for the tour." With that I waved quickly and ran off in the direction of that fancy oak door. I was there within a couple minutes, which I found myself being way too proud of.
Once inside, I saw Roger sitting at his desk, scribbling frantically on some papers, that didn't look like my exam. His head darted up the second he heard me come in.
"Ah, Matt. Well, I have some good news and some bad news." Uh oh. I didn't think bad news was an option here. Just my luck. "Based on your placement exam scores, you rank third here at Wammy's."
My brain stopped for a second or two. Third!? I knew I did well but I did better than like 60 plus genii? How? Was I really that smart? Still, I figure at this point I have more to worry about. I'd need to make note not to pass third, due to what Linda had told me about number two. Also, I had a feeling I wouldn't be so lucky as to not have to talk to Near again.
"The bad news is that because you rank third we have to place you in a room with someone in the top ten. The only available room in that group is with Mello. He's the one ranked second here at Wammy's."
He continued to explain how all of Mello's previous roommates had begged and/or demanded their rooms be switched. I, however, was a little too focused on how terrible my luck was. Seriously.
I finally came back to reality whilst Roger explained that if I ever got dissatisfied with my living arrangement then all I had to do was tell him and he'd find somewhere else to put me. That was nice to know I guess. It still didn't help the fact that I apparently have the brattiest roommate in the whole orphanage.
"As the third ranking student, you may be given privileges. . ." That was all it took for Roger to gain my full attention. I cut him off mid sentence.
"Will I be able to get video games?" I found myself asking, a huge smile suddenly sprawled across my face. Roger sighed.
"Perhaps. In time, if you display your talents well enough, you'll be permitted some privileges. For now though, let's just worry about getting you settled in."
I hesitated for a moment on my next question. Roger didn't seem to be a very tolerant man but he apparently, according to Linda, wasn't too strict.
"What about your policy on smoking?" He gave me a scrutinizing glare that was urging me to elaborate. "I picked up the habit about a year ago, the janitor at my old orphanage would share 'em with me."
He sighed again and rolled his eyes rather dramatically. I figured since I was fifteen he shouldn't have much of a problem with it. I added some incentive to soften the blow.
"I'll only smoke outside. And I won't do it around any of the other orphans." He seemed to be okay with this idea.
"If it's necessary for you to function then I suppose it won't be a problem. Fine, we'll supply you with your cigarettes if you make certain you smoke them outside and do not come into contact with anyone else while smoking them. No selling them or giving them away either." Maybe this guy wasn't trying to make my life Hell.
I was so wrapped up in our conversation about my slow death that I didn't realize we had both left the office and were now in a different wing of the orphanage.
We came to a halt in front of a door that was identical to all the other doors in the hall, save for the '224' that hung in gold on the front. Roger knocked, rather gingerly, as if he would frighten the hostile beast that rested within if he knocked too loudly.
There was no answer but Roger opened the door and stepped inside. I reluctantly followed. There at the desk in the west corner of the generously sized room, was a figure, presumably Mello, dressed in black pants, a black, long sleeved, cotton shirt which clung to his shoulders, revealing his collar.
"What," was all he said, not even turning to face us. Man, what was with these higher ranking orphans. They all seemed to think they were to good to have to look at you when you're talking to them. Roger cleared his throat, seemingly preparing to recite something he's repeated many times before.
"Mello, I want to introduce you to your new roommate." With that, Mello spun his chair around without hesitation. His eyes passed Roger up completely and locked right onto me. It kind of felt like someone just threw about twenty heavy stones on me and they were crushing me under their intense weight.
I didn't really know what to say. So I said nothing. He stood up far more quickly than a human should be capable of and strode over to me. Once he felt that he was close enough, he huffed. Only then, after sizing me up, did he turn to Roger.
"What the hell Roger!? I thought you weren't going to give me anymore roommates!" His voice was so sharp and demanding.
"Initially yes, that was the idea. But only because all the students in the top ten have been your roommate at one time or another and they all requested to be moved. This one, however, is new. Mello, meet Matt. He is number three." I could tell Roger was daring Mello to raise his voice again. He succeeded in making me quite uncomfortable under Mello's icy gaze.
I tried not to look at him but he was staring at me for so long that I just had to. Unfortunately, the deep blue eyes that met me once I did, were those of pure malice. Maybe he just always looked like that.
"Anyway, make yourself at home Matt. You won't be starting classes for a few days, so just try to relax," Roger offered me before closing the door behind him as he walked back to the Mello-less safety of his office. Who's idea was it to name this kid 'Mello' in the first place? I bet it was some sort of sick joke, it was almost oxymoronic.
I had a really bad feeling I wouldn't be getting a very sound sleep tonight. Just when I thought Mello would finally snap and try beating my head in with a table lamp or something, he turned on his heel and sat back down in his chair.
He didn't say another word for the rest of the night but I could tell, just by the almost palpable tension in the air that this wasn't quite over yet.
A/N:Whew, this chapter took a while. Review if you have the time, please. Thanks for reading!