Author's Note: So... yeah. Finally decided to put my account to a use... surprising, huh? Um, yeah. Anyway. For a fic-trade on LJ: "Shopkeepers ... meeting up and fighting over who will go out with Neku". Even though I've already posted it there, I decided, hey, I'll post it here, too. The only thing I can think to warn for is that, of course, I had to put HT Masuoka in. If you take umbrage with his existance, well... he's mentioned.

What began as a civil-enough meeting... well, the shopkeepers of Shibuya had an astounding ability to cause conflict, whenever they met up to discuss this and that, usually scheduled on a whim. It wasn't that arguments weren't out of the ordinary; at these little gatherings, there was usually some argument or the next. Opposing brands and their sellers, and a memorable debate over the ideal flavour of ramen (Ken Doi was of long enough patience to allow them to hold their meets in the back, you see)... commonplace.

So it was no real SURPRISE that yet another fight had broken out. It was just... a bit of an unusual subject. That is, one orange-haired teenager, perpetually sporting headphones and, as quickly as he materialized from the crowd, disappeared again, and yet managed to be something of a minor celebrity to this group of people. As soon as it was brought up, the vast majority of the male shopkeepers suddenly became unusually engrossed in their bowls of ramen. Except (to nobody's surprise-- at least one of them, indistinguishable in the crowd, muttered a quiet "of course" upon noticing this) one HT Masuoka, who, at that moment, suddenly became a lot more interested in the conversation.

What began as a civil meeting had degenerated in record time into a mess of hair-pulling, slapping, and nasty comments... but most prevailantly, the women (and Masuoka) rather posessively laying claim to him.

"You hussy!"
"He's mine!"
"He likes ME!"
"Are you KIDDING? If you tried coming onto him he'd punch your face in!"
"The cute boy likes Princess K! Princess K knows it to be true!"
"What makes YOU so sure?!"

The short-lived but intense argument was brought to a screeching halt as an all-too-familiar voice could be heard just outside of the ramen shop:

"I told you, Shiki, I'm NOT going to wear that thing just because you bought it!"

"Oh, come ON, Nekuuuu! You'd look cute in it!"

"Are you HIGH?"

And into sight stepped the teenaged boy.
Who was promptly all-but trampled, the girl accompanying him (and holding a bag that could only hold some article of clothing bought from some other outlet) looking downright bewildered as she watched a dogpile form on her partner. "Um, Neku... are you okay?"

"... I can't breathe..."