Inequity

BY : crescent-shadow
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 763
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Death Note franchise or any of the characters from it and make no money from writing this story.


The little boy sat silently on the seat of the train, staring up at the old man with a calculating expression.  The man was older, that much the boy could tell for sure.  He could also tell by his accent when he spoke to the attendant that the man was not German.  He was also not Japanese.  But he seemed to speak German well enough, so they may be able to understand each other.  Not that it mattered.  He’d just end up somewhere else in a few months.  That was what had happened with every place they had ever sent him.  He had thought this last orphanage would be his final stop – that was what the program directors had told him – but it seemed even that wasn’t true. 



That was where that particular train of thought stopped, derailed by a more pressing issue.  While the old man wasn’t looking at him right now, the boy was certain there had been something appraising in his look earlier.  As though he had found exactly what he had been looking for.  It was disconcerting on some level, mainly because he didn’t know what to make of it.  But more disconcerting still was the hushed conversation between the man and the orphanage attendant earlier that afternoon.  The child hadn’t been able to hear what was being said, but he knew they had been talking about him.  The man knew he was intelligent and it seemed as though that had been the deciding factor in his selection.  And that unsettled the boy even more.



When at last he directed his gaze out the window, it was dark.  He was beginning to lose control of his thoughts.  He could feel them slipping away into the haze of dizziness.  He would faint soon.  Everything was so much sharper now and his whole body ached.  He wasn’t exactly sure why he would have spells of lightheadedness and pain, but he had learned when to expect them.  The attendant at the orphanage had given him something.  It was nothing unusual, merely a glass of water.  However, as had become typical when anyone important came to see him, it had tasted powdery.  Shortly after, he always felt limp and tired.  A few hours after, however, it was not uncommon for him to experience these headaches.



He fought hard against the impending darkness, mainly out of fear.  He could hardly believe they had allowed this man to adopt him.  He hadn’t even spoken to the man.  Then again, it had been quite a while since he had spoken at all.  It seemed unnecessary.  He could let them know if he needed something without speaking, could follow orders without speaking, and avoided being seen as strange.  This last one was a mystery to him.  Certainly he didn’t speak like most children his age, but he wasn’t sure why that bothered people so much.  And now here he was, on his way to England with a man he had never spoken to.



He had, though, spend most of the previous week with the man.  He was called Quillsh Wammy – a very odd name in the boy’s opinion.  Much of the week had consisted of paperwork and talking to attendants and watching the child watching him.  It had been long and tedious and not altogether easy on either of them.  And all of this found him here.  He sat opposite the man, having flatly refused to sit beside him where he could not watch him easily.  Perching oddly on his seat, his knees pulled up to his chest, he sat watching the old man warily as he read Frederick Nietzche’s Jenseits von Gut und Buse.  It was the one spoken request he had made at the last orphanage – the only time he had spoken at all – so one of the attendants had found a copy for him.  He wasn’t really reading it at this point.  There was no need, as he had already read it twice, but it did give him something to do.  Besides which, pretending to be engrossed in his book was a good way of hiding just how difficult it was becoming to maintain consciousness.



This along with two other books and a few articles of clothing were all of his possessions.  They fitted neatly into a knapsack which was now sitting on the rack above his head.  The books were the only things he was really attached to, so he didn’t worry too much about his things.  The only thing of any real value in that bag was his passport.  He would be needing it soon.  They were nearly at the German border and would have to get off at the station to show their passports before being allowed into Belgium.  From there they would cross the English Channel to England proper.  There, a car would meet them and take them to Quillsh Wammy’s home in Winchester, near Southampton.



He had been a bit bemused by the passport when the man had first showed it to him.  It listed his name as Lawliet Wammy.  Though he had given consent, as much as an eight year old was permitted to give such consent, to have his name changed, it was still strange.  But it didn’t matter in the end.  He wasn’t even quite sure what his first name had actually been – he knew, but like with so many memories of his childhood, it just wasn’t there – and he had only ever really been addressed by his surname in the orphanages anyway.  So making his last name his first name and taking the surname of the man who was adopting him made as much sense as anything else.  After all, it was only a name.  What real difference did it make?



By the time they had nearly reached the Belgian border, he was so lost in his own mind and the all-consuming dizziness that he startled when the man across from him offered him a glass of water.  Quillsh watched the boy’s reaction with interest.  Apparently he was better at making himself appear aware of his surroundings than he was at actually keeping track of them.  Then again, this might have had something to do with Quillsh’s own forgetfulness.  He hadn’t realized it was so late and because of that the boy would be suffering.  The orphanage had informed Quillsh of the boy’s special needs and of his situation prior to the deaths of his parents.  And so, thinking the boy was watching, he had taken one of the tablets he had been given, broken it, crushed it, and mixed it into the water he was now offering to the boy.  He was less than entirely sure how he felt about this, but it was better than seeing the boy suffer. 



It was nearing eleven in the evening and Quillsh had noticed a steady drop in the temperature.  This worried him because he had only just realized that the child had not brought a coat, indicating that he most likely did not own one.  With everything else on his mind he had not thought to inquire whether or not Lawliet actually owned the coat Quillsh had seen him wear outside, or whether it was borrowed.  Apparently it had been the later.  He resolved to amend that when they reached Belgium.



Quillsh watched as the child took the cup from him, studied its contents for a moment with a resigned expression, and then drank it all in one gulp.  Lawliet then turned his gaze back to the book held neatly on his lap, reaching out to set the cup about a foot from where he was perched.  It didn’t take long for the numbness to set in, weighing down the already oppressive dizziness and adding to the weakness in his limbs.  When they finally stopped at the Belgian border, he stood to collect his things, and that was when the darkness finally took him.




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