Disclaimer:

I own not a hair on Lawli's adorable head.

Nor do I own the rest of Death Note

Social Behaviors

Just before dinner that night, Quillish rapped on L's door.

"Yes?" came the young, cold voice.

"L, it is dinner time. I am going to bring you down to the dining room, and present you to the other children." Quillish said.

"Alright, I'm coming," L said, sounding slightly muffled. The door opened, and Quillish saw the source of the muffling: the boy's mouth was full of sugar cubes.

"L, why do you have sugar cubes?" then he noticed something else. "And why are you wearing pajamas?"

"The lady who came in to take care of me gave them to me." L said.

"Which, the sugar cubes or the pajamas?"

"Both."

"And why did she give them to you?"

"I asked her for them, and I kept asking. She gave in."

"Hm," Quillish said, suspicious. He doubted L had been so nice. "Come along then," and he led the young boy in pure white pajamas down the corridor.

The dining room of the orphanage was quite large. It had to be in order to fit the three hundred odd orphans, of all ages, that lived within Wammy's House. When Quillish and L entered it, almost no one had arrived for dinner yet, so its hugeness was all that more distinct. L blinked up at him.

"Now that we are here," said L, "I would like to know what this means, 'present me to the other children'."

"It means that I stand up and introduce you to everyone, and they all come to greet you." Said Quillish.

"Why would they do that?" asked L, head tilted to one side.

"So that they know who you are. So they can put a name to your face."

"Hm. I do not understand why this would be a desirable situation, but it has few disadvantages, so I will submit to this arrangement."

"Good. Now-" Quillish started to say 'will you sit normally at the table?' but was drowned out by the dinner bell. The low vibrating chimes were loud enough to make him wince, and judging by L's reaction, they were much worse for the boy, with his keener hearing. L was crouching, hands firmly over his ears, face contorted. The bells stopped ringing, and the boy looked at him accusingly.

"Quillish, what was that?" L asked, voice still monotone, though slightly strained.

"The dinner bell. It rings to tell everyone to come eat." Answered Quillish.

"Why must it be so loud?" asked L.

"So that the whole orphanage will hear it."

L rubbed his ears. A few moments later, the door opened, and the first stream of children entered.

"Mr. Wammy!" came the collective cry, and they swamped him, engaging in what was more of a pileup than a group-hug. As the first few neared Quillish, L sprang backwards several feet, in what Quillish would have called a panicked motion had the boy's expression not been perfectly calm. "L, what are you doing?" he asked, as orphans continued to crowd around him.

"I do not enjoy the company of those my own age." Again the monotone was strained, as though masking actual discomfort.

"Then you're out of luck, young man." Quillish smiled gently. L shot him a poisonous look just as one of the girls clinging to Quillish's leg pointed to the new boy.

"A new kid!" shouted a boy, and some of the crowd around Quillish dispersed in favor of investigating L.

L backed away from the other orphans as they approached him, firing questions such as "what's your name?" and "how did you end up here?".

"Quillish," L said, the boy's voice almost losing its monotone indifference, "please call them off. They are approaching uncomfortably close to my person."

"You must learn to be with your peers, L." said Quillish, still smiling. Perhaps a little social contact from his own age group was all the little boy needed to make him more normal. That thought was erased nearly as soon as he'd had it, however, for at that moment, a little girl reached out and touched L's arm. L's foot snapped out, almost too quickly to see, and connected with her ribs. The little girl fell backwards, and began to bawl.

"L!" Quillish spoke angrily to the boy as he rushed to the side of the little girl. "How dare you! At this institution, violence will not be tolerated against anyone, especially your fellow orphans!" But then, with a sinking heart, Quillish looked around at the other children. They were backing away from L, leaving him alone, as he'd wanted. The boy would learn the wrong lesson from this.

"It was self-defense. She initiated an attack on me, I defended myself." The boy's voice had lost its strain, and Quillish knew he was right. He sighed inwardly.

"L, she wasn't attacking you. She just touched your arm."

"They were attacking me. All of them."

"They were just being social. It is a normal human behavior."

"So is violence. That does not make it good."

"L… you need to be social. It is a basic human requirement. You have to at least try."

In reply, L fell to the crouch that seemed to be his most comfortable position, and shielded his face with his arms.

"No." came the high, monotone voice. Quillish sighed.

"It's time to eat. Children, go sit." He waved towards the long, low tables decorating the floor of the hall. Wammy's House housed orphans until age eighteen, but the teenagers could stand sitting at a slightly lower level than normal to accommodate the young ones. "L, look at me. They're gone." Said Quillish, to the unresponsive, white pajama'd boy. Nothing. "Look at me." He said again. Nothing. "Come here, you need to eat." Nothing. Quillish began to walk away, steps slow and deliberate. Still nothing. He turned around, and picked to boy up. L was limp, not resisting, simply not responding. Quillish carried the boy over to an empty chair, sat him down, and put a plate of food in front of him. The boy slumped against the back of his seat, not supporting his own weight. Quillish put his face in his hands. He waited until the meal was almost over before trying to awaken L one last time. Dessert was being served, and he grabbed a slice of strawberry cake, hoping to get the boy to at least eat something. When he placed the plate carrying the cake in front of L, the boy blinked once, pulled himself into his customary sitting position, and fell on the sweet. The cake was gone before Quillish could say 'eat some real food first.' L immediately grabbed for another slice, and before Quillish could stop him, he finished that one, too. The plate on which the cake sat was decoratively garnished with strawberries, and Quillish watched as L picked them up, one by one, and popped them in his mouth. Then L took another slice of cake, and devoured it just as he had the first two.

"That's enough, L, you shouldn't eat that much sugar, it will make you sick." Quillish said.

"Will not." L said, still somehow managing to maintain the monotone, even with his mouth full.

"L, stop." Quillish said firmly, placing a hand on the boy's arm as L reached for his fourth slice of cake. In answer, Quillish got a set of small teeth biting into his wrist. Quite hard. "L, stop." He said again. The boy did not let go. They stayed like that, L's teeth sunk into the flesh of Quillish's wrist, until most of the children had left the dining hall. Then Quillish said, "L, come on, you need to go to bed."

L released his arm, and followed him, wordlessly, back to the small blue bedroom.

They stood in one of the orphanage's many bathrooms.

"L, you must brush your teeth," Quillish said, expecting the boy to resist. To the man's shock L did not.

"I have no toothbrush. Can you provide one?" said L.

"Here," said Quillish, reaching into the bag of new toothbrushes in the cabinet of the bathroom. He handed it to L, and, without further prompting, the boy put toothpaste on it and stuck it in his mouth.

"You may go, Quillish, I can put myself to sleep." L said, gesturing towards the door. So Quillish exited the small bathroom, wondering what on earth could be done about this strange boy.