Slightly, but surely, these chapters are getting just a liiiiittle bit longer each time.

Thanks for reviewing as always, guys, enjoy.


Eventually, Joshua peeled him off of the floor with a chuckle. "I swear I didn't think that little joke would make you THAT embarrassed." Joshua looked pretty amused at the situation, but Neku was not amused at ALL.

Neku had to stop himself from strangling Joshua right there. He'd gone and messed with him again. AGAIN! He'd been bamboozled!

As Neku stormed out of the ramen shop, Joshua was still laughing behind him. "Oh come now, Neku, you're STILL mad? I said I was sorry." Neku walked faster. Joshua easily kept up with him. "Geez, Neku, I came up with that one on the spot and you're STILL flustered?" Neku put a hand to his face, which did seem a bit warmer than usual, before he pulled the collar on his shirt up.

"I'm going to clock you one again if you don't shut the hell up, Joshua!" Neku was infuriated. His face must have turned even redder from being so mad, but Joshua really knew how to piss him the hell off.

Then he heard Joshua sigh. "I was only a joke, Neku. Come on, I'm sorry." Joshua sounded surprisingly sincere about the apology.

"Whatever. Just shut up."

They continued walking in silence until Joshua finally spoke up.

"Neku?"

"I said shut up!"

"But I'm pretty sure yo—"

"Shut up." Neku interrupted.

"But I'm almost positive that you—"

"I said—" Neku interrupted again.

"You walked by your house, Neku." Joshua finished, pointing at the small sign that clearly read 'Sakuraba'. "My, snappy even when someone's trying to help you."

Neku turned around and gave Joshua a shove, but failing to move him more than a few inches. Muttering profanities, Neku marched to the stairs of his house. "Neku?"

"What?!" he snapped. Joshua seemed a bit taken aback at how irritated Neku really was over the entire little forehead kiss.

"You're overreacting a bit, Neku. Calm down."

"How can I calm down when you just show up all la-dee-freakin-da and messing with my goddam—" Neku was cut off with the door opened. His mother stood smiling in the doorway. Apparently she hadn't heard him yelling.

"Neku, is this your friend?"

"… Yeah. This is Joshua." Neku turned to send a glare at Joshua, who simply pat him on the back.

His mother seemed surprised when she looked at Joshua. "Oh it's you!"

It's him? "You know him?"

Joshua smiled. "Oh yes, I remember, you're the nice woman I helped with the groceries the other day. You're Neku's mother? I had no idea."Neku on the other hand, looked like he was ready to smash his face into the concrete. Joshua, without even trying to, had weaseled his way into his mother's good side. Next thing you know, she'd be insisting he stay a while longer.

"Why don't you come in and stay a while?" Speak of the Reaper Review.

"Uh, mom? It's kinda getting late out. I'm sure Joshua has someplace else to be." Just keep trying excuses, Neku, you'll get something eventually.

Joshua shrugged. "Actually I've got nothing better to do that to look for a motel to spend the next few weeks in."

"So you should be getting that that then, shouldn't you? Yep. Okay. Later Joshua. Don't fall down the stairs on your way out."

"Neku!" His mother admonished. "Don't be so rude. Joshua, dear, you're welcome to stay here. Neku doesn't have any siblings so I think hen could use a sleepover."

Did she not hear the 'few weeks' part? Neku nearly smacked his forehead in exasperation. He could hear the suppressed snort of amusement from Joshua and discreetly stepped on Joshua's foot. After a second, however, Neku's mother dragged the two of them inside and sent them up the stairs. Joshua laughed all the way.

"Did you see that coming, Neku? Because honestly, I didn't, and that's not very often. Is she always that quick to help?"

Neku groaned and rolled his eyes. "I never was that keen on inviting my non-existent friends over. So she must be excited." Neku had never found any interest in making friends after most of the kids in his neighborhood moved unexpectedly without so much as a word. They'd been the only ones Neku even bothered to play with when he was a kid and after the new group of them moved in he just stopped bothering to try.

His father was always away on business trips in different countries, and his mother only worked part time. She had no siblings, both of his grandparents were dead, her friends all moved away so all she really had to look forward to was Neku.

He felt a little guilty now that he thought about it.

Joshua smirked. "I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Neku, but where exactly am I supposed to sleep? I hope it's not with you in your bed."

Neku threw a pillow at him, which Joshua caught. "In your dreams. You're using the sleeping bag." Neku dig through his (incredibly messy) closet for the sleeping bag that was never actually used for a camping trip or any other form of use and threw that at Joshua.

Neku looked at the floor. Not expecting company, there were clothes thrown about his room, papers and tin pin magazines-- he threw those under the bed as quickly as possible; Joshua still saw this, but didn't make any teasing remarks or smirks— and a plate from his snack last night. Neku spent the next ten minutes scurrying around his room picking up his clothes. He walked down the hall to toss them in the closet and was surprised to see Joshua had pulled his magazines from under his bed and stacked them and the papers into neat piles. He was currently sitting with his back against the side of Neku's bed thumbing through the pages of Tin Pin Weekly, occasionally smirking. Neku felt his face redden in embarrassment. Joshua noticed him standing there. "Oh, hey Neku, that was fast. I picked up those papers for you. You're still into Tin Pin?"

"… yes." He admitted. He wasn't into Tin Pin, he was OBSESSED with it.

Joshua's smirk broadened slightly. "I could tell from the Tournament poster on the door." Neku nearly died on the spot. Utterly embarrassing. Placing the magazine neatly on the pile and picking up the pile to put it on the bookshelf, Joshua rolled out sleeping bag and pulled down the zipper.

"You're going to bed already?"

Joshua gave him a bemused look. "It's close to eleven thirty, Neku."

Neku turned to look at the clock on his nightstand. "It is?"

Joshua laughed. "Did you have so much fun with me that you lost track of time?" Neku scowled at him childishly.

"Shut up."

Joshua laughed again as Neku dug through his pajama drawer to get a pair of blue soft sleep pants with CAT's logo on them and a black tee. He realized that Joshua couldn't exactly sleep in a pair of jeans and a dress shirt. He tossed a white tee shirt and a black pair of pants with white feathers on them to him. "Go change in the bathroom."

Joshua smirked again and left the room to change. Neku changed from his clothes quickly and tossed them on the chair. He could still wear them tomorrow, probably. He did just wash them that morning. The only thing he took special care for was his pair of blue headphones, placing them on the nightstand in front of the lamp.

When Joshua came back, the other climbed into the sleeping bag and attempted to zip it up. Attempted being the proper word.

Joshua cusses while he continued his vain efforts to get the zipper up on the sleeping bag. "They make this a lot more tenacious than it should be."

Neku grinned. Another reason I wish I had more zippers. They make Joshy-boy look like a twit.

"Maybe if I zip it down more then pull it up." Joshua's plan backfired only when he went to zip the stubborn zipper back up.

Zipper Sleeping Bag: 2

Joshua, Shibuya's Composer: 0

If there were Sleeping bag Noise when I was dead, we'd have been boned.

"Freaking hilarious." Neku stated as he got off his bed to zip up the sleeping bag effortlessly. Joshua's face twisted into a slight scowl. "It's karma for earlier on, Josh." Neku laughed as he climbed back in bed.

"Being able to stay here; convenient. Trying to get to sleep; inconvenient." Joshua rolled his eyes. "Laugh it up, Neku. I'll be sure to get you for every little mistake tomorrow."

"Sure you will, Camping Failure. Lord forbids we ever get into a fight with Smokey the bear and a gang of campers." Neku laughed as he shut off the lights.

"Ha. Ha."

Neku had the last laugh this time.


Over Memorial Day, I had this amusing little situation with a sleeping bag where the stupid zipper wouldn't zip up and all I could think of was Joshua having the same problem and Neku thinking 'This is why I love zippers. They help me tell people to shut up and they make Joshua look like an idiot.'