Sorry for the late update. My laptop died (may it R.I.P) and I did have all my files backed up but I had no way of writing (or in this case TYPING). My brother (bless his heart) set up an old computer for me but it doesn't even have word on it. :(

Ive been stuck with wordpad which doesn't have any form of spell check. So sorry for mistakes and sorry for the shortness of it. I will complete this story! I promise Dag-nab-it! If its the last thing I do! *eyes light up with a fire of conviction*

Anyway, Enjoy!


Chapter 2: The New Roomate

Mother.

She told him to call her that.

Was she serious? It appears that…..she was.

He forced out the word earlier and he shivered uneasily when it rolled off his tongue. Avoiding the word completely would be the best course of action at this point. Saying it made old wounds fester and itch like some wayward crow was picking at them. But;

How could he refuse? He had only been here for an hour and he was already aware of the incredible debt he owed her. Renato stewed on this moodily, as he stared at their joined hands. Every couple minutes he would tug a little, hoping for freedom, but she never got the hint. Or rather, she was either ignorant or just ignoring all of his stints for freedom. He was betting on the latter.

His new…authority figure…prattled on, despite his grumpy aura. She talked about his new home and all the children that she hopes he can get along with. There where rules which he promptly ignored because he was still sore over the mother thing and if Renato could hold anything forever; it would be a grudge.

Renato glanced wearily at all the doors with the weird brass knockers and vaguely wondered how many children his new 'authority figure' had. A lot, apparently; he estimated that over twenty children lived in the orphanage, ages ranging from three too twelve. He knew this not because the authority figure just said this, not at all. He wasn't listening to her. Honest.

His denial was cut short however when she mentioned a roommate and he had to concentrate on another shudder that threatened to escape. Renato may have been living on the street and the whole 'beggars can't be choosers' applied to most, but he hated sharing. It was simply who he was.

When he was living in that alley off the corner of the town's bookstore he always got very territorial over the cardboard box he slept in. And now he had to share a fully walled room. This could only end badly. He tried to protest but the authority figure shushed him and gave him a hard look. At the glare he wilted and accepted his fate…but he wouldn't have to like it.

They stopped at a black door with a rusty handle and…was that an Elephant knocker? His jaw dropped and Renato kissed his patience good bye. The creepy Elephant knocker was just the appetizer and beyond the door was the main course of doom. He could practically feel the horror awaiting him on the other side.

"Why don't you go in and introduce yourself, he's a little eccentric but he's real nice." The woman said with a smile, letting go of his hand (finally!) to pat his head.

'Yeah, right. I'll take that as a warning to prepare for the terror!' Renato thought, not even daring to say it out loud, while slowly edging his head away from the hand on his person. The woman gave a little shrug, withdrew her hand, and turned away clearly stating her destination as she did so; too fetch clean linens.

Renato watched her walk away till she turned a corner out of sight. When he could put it off no longer he slowly inched his head around and had a staring contest with the creepy elephant knocker. Time passed.

This was getting absolutely ridiculous. If he could face Smelly Hobos (note the capitalization, they deserve it) then he could face this 'eccentric roommate'. He started to reach for the knob, his eyes seeming to get bigger as his hand got closer to the elephant door knocker. Then he groaned quietly when his hand dropped.

What was the matter with him?! Could he possibly fear…rejection?

Renato groaned again and smacked the palm of his hand to his forehead. Tears lined his eyes in pure frustration, he felt so weak. He loathed this feeling. Hated it, it was like being back on the streets, the fear of being alone. His eyes flashed with self loathing before steadying; 'I. WILL. NOT. YIELD.'

Renato took a deep breath and exhaled noisily out his nose, feeling confidence and assurance rise up inside of him. He was going to give his roommate the show of their pathetic little life. Like a warrior preparing for battle he let out a war cry and kicked the door open and entered with purpose. As he burst open the door he tried to swallow his inner voice of reason that was screaming at him; that this was not the right way to greet people!

What he saw on entering the room made his thoughts die and, frankly, made his eyebrow twitch in an annoyed way.

The room reminded him of a bigger, cleaner version of the cardboard box that used to be his makeshift bed. Really, the only exception was the grey walls, another door; which he assumed went to a bathroom, and regular room stuff like beds and dressers. The walls were bare but every surface was littered with wires and bolts. Even the spare (now his) bed was covered with mechanical innards. He was in there for a whole two seconds and he thought of two words: Nerd. Den.

The 'nerd' of said den was at the desk in the front of the room. He didn't seem shocked that someone just kicked open his door. He simply turned in his chair to look at his intruder. His eyebrows rose, surprised at the sight of Renato then, relieved? Was he actually expecting someone else to kick open his door? They stared at each other awkwardly;

Renato floundered through his mind, trying to remember his game plan, only to realize that his game plan was to; kick open the door, make an entrance, and then…what? Every slow second that passed made the two boys realize more and more, that neither of them harbored a speck of people skills. They 'lipped twitched' at each other, unable to force genuine smiles with the uncomfortable atmosphere;

"The door…?" The 'eccentric roommate' hesitantly asked, not really sure how to ask such a thing from the strange new boy in his room, and kind of dreading the answer.

Renato's brow furrowed, and decided that the truth would be the best course of action; "Oh, you know…it's all about entrance."

"Oh…."

"…..?"

The awkward silence was back and could have broken records. Since basic social protocol seemed to be taking a vacation, the two children seized each other up as the unfortunate silence trudged on.

Renato wasn't sure what to make of his new roommate. He wore a loose white collared button up shirt with black slacks; plain but clean. Renato was expecting this from all kids in the orphanage; His looks however were unique. He had green hair that was spiked back but not straight up like Renato's own hair. He had a pointy chin, which was unusual for a child his age. He was absent of the chubby kid look most children still had. He was long and skinny with round glasses. Typical nerd look…but there was something about him…..

The green haired boy was also taking in Renato as the boy analyzed him. He was guessing his Mother decided to adopt another poor soul and he was to be his new roommate. When the door burst open he was expecting some of the children (who he refused to recognize as his brothers) to come and tease him like they always do. Judging by the curious black eyes he was met with, this wasn't the case.

Despite the fact the awkwardness was reaching new heights every passing minute, the eccentric boy was pleased his new roommate was as unadjusted as he was. Maybe perhaps, this was the brother he was waiting for…..but he wouldn't get his hopes up just yet.

"It's customary in most countries and continents to knock on a door before you enter it if unknown persons wait on the other side." The green haired boy explained flatly, falling back on his inexpressive fact stating; he was more comfortable with it.

Renato stared dumbly at the green haired boy, willing his cheeks and ears to not flush in embarrassment. When stated so factual, it made him feel like a total idiot. But, forever the prideful one, his new roommate didn't have to know he felt like that.

"Well, I'm not…..'customary' people" Renato explained bringing up his fingers to quote when he said 'customary'. It was a good enough explanation for the green haired boy who just smiled warily at him. There was a short silence and Renato, unwilling to let them plunge back into the depths of awkward, blurted out the first thing that came into his head;

"Can I call you Verde?" he regretted it as soon as it came out, but he couldn't take it back, lest he look like an idiot who just blurted stuff out. He rushed to explain himself;

"You know…because your hair is-"

"Green." The boy with glasses finished for him, his face suddenly very open and expressive compared to the blankness it held before. It made Renato feel uncomfortable but he didn't look away.

"What…like a nickname?" the boy asked his tone of voice disbelieving as he stared at Renato strangely. The black haired boy answered by giving a wordless nod/shrug. The answer didn't seem to please the tall lanky boy and he leaned forward intently;

"Aren't nicknames for people who are...you know...friends?" boy pressed his voice sounding a tinge...desperate? No, Renato mentally shook his head. It was something similar maybe, but the green haired boy wasn't exactly, desperate and he could only puzzle over the emotion he picked up but couldn't identify. But whatever the emotion was it made Renato want to...fix it. 'how odd.' He puzzled to himself. Shaking his head for real this time Renato stuck out his hand making the boy in front of him jump slightly;

"Hello, I'm Renato, nice to meet you." he intoned sounding slightly flat but still genuine. The green haired boy hesitantly shook Renato's hand and opened his mouth to reply when the boy in question cut him off;

"Good, we are acquainted now, therefore, friends...here's to a beautiful life together." Renato said seriously making a big show of picking something invisible up, throwing it on the ground, and dancing over the imaginary broken pieces. The green haired boy watched all this with a slightly annoyed (The jerk interrupted me!), slightly bemused (Whats with this show? Is he Greek?), and confused (Friends?) expressions on his face. It made for an interesting expression when they were all combined

The green haired boy then realized that his new roommate was someone who probably did unexpected things like this; he was currently thinking back on a certain door that was kicked open. It was apparent his fellow orphanage mate was a firecracker, but he couldn't even find it in himself to be annoyed at all. Already he was feeling a sense of, dare he say it, comradeship with his roommate. It just seemed to cackle in the air with intensity; he wondered if the other boy could feel it to. He shook his head shaking the thought away and raised both arms in a surrendering position making Renato stop short in his...celebration to stare;

"What?" Renato demanded, not sure if he liked the look the other boy was sending him. The green haired boy shook his head quickly with a smile;

"I yield and accept that my new roommate is insane." he said with a smirk lowering his hands. Renato made a dramatic motion with one of his arms and furrowed his brow; opening his mouth, only to be cut off by his smug roommate;

"Oh-and you can call me...Verde. Nice to meet you." Verde smiled widely at Renato who had crossed his arms and rolled his eyes.

"I guess I deserved that one." Renato replied simply.

"Yes, you did." Verde shot back.

The two boys glared at each other; both thinking, that if this were a cartoon, lighting surely would have shot out of each others eyes but slowly but surely, their glares turned to smirks, their smirks to grins, and they stared goofily at each other basking in the carefree mood.

Soon enough the mood was gone and Verde coughed awkwardly into his hand turning back towards the desk and shuffling with some of his notes and Renato spun on his heel and said something along the lines of; beautiful day! The two boys where unadjusted; yes. But all little boys knew that if things were turning sappy, bad things surely would happen.

Years and decades in the future when these two boys were grown (or cursed and digressed to a babies form if you want to get technical), they always looked back on this meeting with fondness, no matter how much they grew to hate the other.


AN/ To my previous readers: Those of you who are going "Wahhhh! Wheres Verde's cool invention!?" don't worry! It will return in later chapters! Just not in chapter 2 where it was before.

To everyone: R&R