Death Note Fan Fiction / Death Note Fan Fiction ❯ Days ❯ The Van ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Who the hell in their right mind would build a mall in the middle of nowhere?

This was what Matt thought as he peered out of the GameStop entrance and into the empty
hallway of the Plainsville mall. He had seen at most five people wandering the mall at once, and
they were always somebodys little brother or sister from high school, or his next door
neighbors, or that annoyingly chatty lady from down the street. How any of the stores even
stayed open was beyond him. GameStop would get the Friday afternoon rush of middle school
boys who had just gotten their allowances, but for most of the week, if it hadnt been against the
rules, Matt could have spent his entire shift sleeping or playing his PSP and it wouldnt have
made a difference. The only reason he even worked there was to get discounts on the game, and
to earn a living.

A living. There was something about that phrase that hit him wrong. If this was his living, what
kind of a living was it? He spent his days bored out of his mind watching over an empty
GameStop in an empty mall, and he spent his nights in front of his computer, TV, or PSP playing
games he bought with his discounts. He was going nowhere, doing nothing. It was as if he were
stuck in limbo, suspended between his childhood and the real start of his life.

Matt wanted out.

He usually didnt do anything rash. He was extraordinarily lazy, but he usually didnt do
anything against the rules- he just didnt do anything at all. He was absolutely sick of it, though.
He wanted to shake the dust off that crummy old town and see the world. His manager was out
to lunch, so there was nothing to stop him from pulling his goggles out of his backpack, pulling
them over his eyes, slinging the bag over his shoulder, and heading out. He was sure the other
bored shop workers saw him walking, but none of them bothered to say anything to him. He left
the mall and headed down the main road, a street that lead through the tiny Plainsville town
center and out into the nothingness around it.

Once Matt had left the town, he walked for about five minutes before he found himself coming
to a stop. He had no clue what he was going to do, no clue where he was going to go. He had no
plan, not to mention he was leaving behind his apartment full of expensive gaming equipment.
This was possibly the stupidest thing he had ever done in his life.

Matt couldnt help but smile.

~~DAYS~~

Hours had gone by, and the highway seemed to stretch on forever. There was nothing to either
side as far as the eye could see, except the low houses of Plainsville far in the distance behind
him. Matt was getting tired and thirsty. The hot sun in the sky was starting to get to him. He
wasnt about to turn back, though. He would sooner sleep by the side of the road than turn back.

Suddenly, from the corner of his ears, Matt heard the dull roar of a car behind him. He turned
around to see a black dot racing towards him, dust flying up behind it. It certainly wasnt
entirely on the road as it should have been, and it might not even have been on the right side of
the road, but Matt couldnt really tell from that distance. He watched it approach for what

seemed like eons. Finally, when he could see that it was a large black van, he lifted his arm out
across the road, sticking up his thumb. They had a long time to notice him, so he figured that if
they were willing to pick up a hitchhiker, theyd have plenty of time to slow their speed. He had
been warned many times about hitchhiking because he had threatened to do it when he didnt
have a car and wanted to go to the nearest city, but he didnt care. As far as he saw it, they had
the distinct advantage, because with a van that size, its occupants probably outnumbered him.

The van finally grew closer to him. It flew towards him at breakneck speeds and he was almost
afraid that it wasnt going to stop, that it would hit him, but instead it came to a screeching halt,
stopping a few yards in front of him. From where he stood, Matt could see that the van actually
looked rather sketchy, the black coat spreading over the windows and white gothic L curling
across the side. He hesitated as he lowered his arm.

The passengers door flew open before he had much of a chance to act, and out stepped a rather
peculiar-looking man. He wore jeans and a plain white long-sleeved shirt, and his jet-black hair
stuck out at rather odd angles. He had enormously deep bags under his eyes. It didnt seem as if
he could stand up properly, either- he stood in a low, stooped hunch that Matt thought at first was
from exiting the van, but remained long after he had exited. He certainly didnt help the van to
look any less sketchy, either.

The man stared unblinkingly at Matt, making him feel a little uncomfortable.

"Woah," he finally said. "Your goggles...they make your eyes like- like headlights or
something."

"Thanks?" Matt replied, unsure of whether the comment was really intended as a compliment.

He could practically smell the pot wafting off of the guy as he approached and stuck out a hand.
"Im L, by the way," he informed Matt. "Im the general guitarist for the band, Lament the
Fallen. I dont know if youve ever heard of us. Were pretty...underground."

Matt couldnt help but notice that the band name started with L, their van had an L on the side,
and this guys name was L. It was a little too much of that letter for him, but he wasnt about to
criticize.

"Im Matt," he said, shaking the guys hand. For someone who looked rather weak, L had a
surprisingly firm grip. "I havent heard of you," he added.

"Well, you could always listen to our demo. Looks like you need a ride somewhere...where are
you headed?"

Matt paused for a moment. Where was he headed? "I dont know," he answered truthfully.
"Just somewhere other than Plainsville."

"Woah, thats deep," L said, his slightly bugging eyes staring through Matts goggles. It was
starting to creep him out how the guy never seemed to need to blink. "Were headed to Pointe

City for a big gig. Weve got plenty of room in the back." With that, he turned and walked
towards the passengers door to the van. Matt decided after a moment that L meant for him to
follow, so he did. He hesitated when L climbed into the passengers seat, but L turned around to
face him from there.

"The painters kinda messed the van up, plus theres stuff blocking the back doors, so you gotta
come in through here," he informed Matt. He moved to the side, and Matt climbed onto the seat.
He was about to follow L into the back when he found himself face-to-face with a rather
attractive leather-clad blond guy.

"This is Mello, by the way," L introduced. "Lead singer and sometimes guitarist. Hes not
really mellow, but its a cool stage name, and it just sort of stuck, so you know..." He shrugged
and hunched off down the van.

"Hey," Mello greeted with a smirk. Matt gave a half-smile and squeezed hurriedly through the
seats after L. There was something about Mello that made him rather nervous.

Matt hadnt entirely noticed it from the outside, but the van was actually quite enormous. There
were an entire drum set, two guitars in cases, and several amps stored in the back, but there was
also ample space for seating, and even a table bolted to the floor. He plopped his bag on the
table and sat himself down next to L. Across from L was another leather-clad person, this time a
female brunette. She smiled at him, and something about her face led him to believe she was the
only normal member of the band.

"Im Naomi," she introduced.

"Matt," he replied curtly.

She looked like she was about to say something, but was interrupted by a shout from the front of
the van.

"Lets get this show on the road!"

The vehicle lurched forward, quickly reaching breakneck speed. Matt gripped the table
nervously, wishing that there were seatbelts- he had noticed when he sat down that there were
not.

"Mellos a speed demon," Naomi commented apologetically.

There was an awkward silence among the passengers. L and Naomi seemed friendly enough, but
Matt was still an outsider, making the situation a little awkward.

"Yo, Mel!" L suddenly shouted over Matt, causing him to cringe. "Matt hasnt heard our
music!"


Matt could picture the blonds smirk as he saw a hand encased in a leather glove reach
dangerously across into the glove compartment. He clung harder to the table, knowing that there
was nothing for miles but still nervous about the fact that Mello was blatantly disregarding the
road. He finally pulled out a shining silver CD and slipped it into the vans radio.

A few moments passed, and the sound of an electric guitar peeled through the space, backed by a
steady drum beat. It wasnt what Matt usually listened to, but he didnt mind it- it was actually
pretty good, better than he might have expected. L nodded his head to the beat and jammed out
on an air guitar, while Naomi tapped subtly on the table along with the drums. When the lyrics
came in, Matt could faintly hear a voice from the front of the van behind all the ruckus.

The lyrics were rather grotesque. Matt couldnt catch all of them, but he distinctly heard the
words "fire," "tearing," "knife," and "blood." There was something like "hang me gently with
this noose" before the voice changed to roaring screamo. This rendered the lyrics completely
incomprehensible. The song finished on one extremely long word that Matt thought was the
word "woe," but he forgot whether or not it really started with a "w" by the time it was finished.

In the brief silence between songs, both L and Naomi turned to him, their eagerness apparent in
their faces. He shrugged.

"s pretty cool," he told them. This rather vague answer seemed to satisfy them, and anything
else they might have wanted to say was cut off by the next song.

~~DAYS~~

It didnt take Matt long to become comfortable with the band. Their music was a little too
depressing for his taste, but it grew on him, and by the third repeat of their album he could
actually understand most of the lyrics. The band members were all friendly, too, albeit strange.
Ls oddities were almost endearing, though his staring continued to unnerve Matt. He turned out
to have a rapturous love of sugar, which his pot smoking only helped to increase. Naomi was
quite the conversationalist, and very frank about her opinions. Both of them seemed to know a
little about everything, and no subject seemed to be off-limits. Mello focused mostly on the
road, which greatly relieved Matt, but occasionally he shouted back sharply snarky comments
that Matt couldnt help but laugh at. They had only been driving for a few hours, but Matt felt
like it had been days- many joyful, interesting days.

"Im all out of chocolate up here!" Mello called back, interrupting a rather riveting conversation
about one-on-one fighting games versus real life fighting. Both Naomi and L were practiced in a
Brazilian martial art called capoeira, it turned out, which was actually the same fighting style as
one of Matts favorite characters in a game called Takedown.

L reached into one of his mysterious boxes tucked under the table from which he had been
producing a steady stream of sweets. He pulled out a foil-wrapped chocolate bar which he
handed to Matt. After a surprised moment, Matt took it and stumbled up to the front. He handed
the bar to Mello, who proceeded to steer the van with his knees as he ripped open the foil
package. Matt, who was now used to the fact that his life was in danger while Mello drove,
turned his gaze to the road. This, of course, didnt help- they were swerving wildly between

having two wheels off the road and veering into the other lane. The speed was dizzying, and
Matt felt himself fall involuntarily into the passengers seat. He looked away from the road and
his eyes landed again on Mello, who was now steering with one hand but still paying more
attention to his chocolate bar than to the road. He snapped off a piece of the bar with his teeth,
creating a rather distinctive sound. Mellos attention turned from the chocolate bar briefly to the
road and then came to land on Matt.

"Whatre you doing here?" he asked. The words were hostile, but the tone of his voice though
sharp was not unwelcoming.

Matt shrugged. He didnt know why he was still sitting there, but for some reason he wasnt
compelled to return to the back.

The silence that followed wasnt as awkward as Matt had expected it would be.

"So whats with this band thing?" Matt blurted out suddenly. He had been thinking it for a
while, since the three members seemed like such a ragtag group of people. They were all
friendly enough towards each other and they all seemed to work rather harmoniously, but each
was so different from the others that Matt had to wonder what it was like when they fought, or if
they fought more often and were just hiding their tension in the presence of a guest.

"Band thing?"

"Yeah."

Mello, who had turned himself back towards the road, didnt respond at first. Matt was
beginning to wonder if Mello were just ignoring him when he spoke.

"It was all Ls idea," he answered definitively. "We met in high school- he was a senior, I was a
freshman. We hung out a little from time to time. Once in a while wed have a jam session, but
nothing serious. All of the sudden, he came up to me and was all like, ,,Hey, do you want to start
a band? It was kind of out of the blue, because we hadnt played together for like a month, but I
said ,,sure. I showed up at his house and there was Naomi with her drum set. I still dont know
how he met her, but it doesnt really matter. The second we started our jam session, we all knew
that it was going to work. We just sort of...clicked, I guess."

Another silence fell after Mello finished. It sounded almost too perfect, how smoothly things
had gone. Matt wondered if Mello was lying, and this was a story they had concocted to make
themselves sound good for the fans. Somehow, he still didnt understand how they could all get
along so well and be so different.

As if he had heard Matts silent question, Mello spoke once again. "You seem to get along well
with them. Thats how it is with me, too. We get each other somehow. Its almost like theyre
family...the family I never had."


Matt thought he saw Mellos hand tighten on the wheel, though he couldnt quite tell. Mello
took another bite of his chocolate bar and focused on the road. It seemed like family was one of
the few topics that was closed, so Matt turned his attention to the road as well.

Living in the middle of nowhere made Matt rather good at spotting things in the distance. It was
no surprise that he was the first to notice a black dot on the horizon. After a few moments of
staring intently at it as it grew marginally in size, he noticed that it did not seem to be moving at
all. He waited until it was close enough to almost be recognized a car before he pointed it out to
Mello.

"I think something happened there," Matt said, pointing outwards.

Mello squinted into the distance as he licked his chocolate bar. As they approached, it morphed
into what appeared to be a stretch limo. Smoke billowed from what Matt guessed to be the hood.

After a few moments, they were joined by L and Naomi, who looked out from behind the front
seats.

"Shit," L said elegantly. "Pull over," he told Mello. "They might need help or something."

Mello acquiesced, and this time they rolled rather pleasantly to a stop behind the limo.


Chapter 2
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