A/N: Hello. This is my first fanfic ever. So please give lots of constructive criticism. I just finished TWEWY, and I'm totally obsessing right now, except there aren't really many Neku/Shiki fanfics out there, so I decided to write my own. Thanks and enjoy. Oh btw, there's a few spoilers so if you haven't finished the game, proceed at your own risk.

Edit: Haha, sorry about the whole inconsistency with plot thing. It's fixed now.

In the beginning, I thought that this whole game thing was fairly simple. Fight through a week of missions, and then get brought back and continue on with my normal life. Normal life meaning hanging out with Eri, squealing over the newest trends at 104, sewing super awesome clothes, etcetera – pretty much your average schoolgirl existence.


Not so much.

This whole thing has been pretty messed up. I guess I should have remembered Murphy's Law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

One. I wasn't supposed to get stuck with Mr. Emo. I was supposed to get Mr. Hot-Charming-Guy like the prince, or Ms. Nice-Charming-Girl who would be Eri's dead counterpart. Either way, I was supposed to wind up with someone whose company I actually enjoyed, instead of some jerk who, honestly, I think would have let me get erased if I dragged him down.

Two. I was only supposed to play the friggin' game once. Okay, I feel sorry for Mr. Emo (who played it not once, not twice, but three times), but that doesn't change the fact that I got more than my allotted 7 days worth of horror. Not only was my life in mortal peril for a whole week (not that I knew about it until later), but I had to be dragged back into existence in the UG to aid Mr. Emo in his third week (once again, trapped helplessly while watching Mr. Emo fight something way beyond his abilities because the whole darn game is just that rigged).

Three. I was supposed to be able to slip into my wonderful old life seamlessly and effortlessly after this whole ordeal. I should have been able to zoom back to Eri's side as her adoring number one fan. We would have been attached by the hip again, and all would have been fine.

Apparently should have happened is a phrase that does not exist in reality. Reality is a bit more complex. And it's not just that things can't go back to the way they were before, but I've realized, that maybe I wouldn't want them to go back, even if I could.

Reality was, I wasn't able to paste myself back at Eri's side. Not after realizing that I actually valued myself as an individual. Not after realizing that she respected me as much as I adored her. Sure we're still friends, sure we're still sometimes inseparable, but we've both changed, and it's a different kind of relationship now. We know where we stand with more clarity, and it's easier to understand each other without second guessing our actions. For better or worse, it's change. And that's just that.

Reality also was, I couldn't stop thinking stop thinking about jerk-face-emo-boy-with-too-many-zippers-for-my-fashion-taste.

He has a name. Neku.

Okay, I can't stop thinking about Neku.

For some reason, I couldn't shove him along with the rest of the hundreds of random acquaintances I had met into that dark never-acknowledged corner in the back of my mind.

With him, it was a chance to start over again. He didn't really care how I looked (half the time, I swear he was just sleeping behind that absurdly gigantic collar of his), and he didn't care what I was before.

It was insanely weird, quite frankly. That kid knew my deepest darkest secrets, my greatest fears, and my wildest dreams. Why? I'm not too sure myself. I guess I'll just have to say, that playing the Reaper's game, and chasing around after someone 24/7 is one heck of bonding party. I was so desperate to pry him open, that I didn't realize that I had cracked myself open in the process.

Here's the reason I can't forget about Neku-emo-jerkface-boy: I've come to like him. I actually do. Not like, like like, not like swoon like (like the Prince). Just as-a friend-like. After all we've been through, I simply can't ditch him to hang out with Eri when I know that the only friends he has are the ones he met during the game. I can't just let him sink back into the darkness after all my hard work of un-emo-fying him.

Speaking of which, I don't even know what I'm going to do with Eri anymore.

Hello Eri. I'm back from the dead. Guess what? I used to super-admire you so much to the point where all I wanted to be was you. So when I died, they put me in your body and it was kind of fun at first, but then it turned a little creepy. But anyway, I'm back, and I still adore you, but I must say I adore myself more. Now let's go shopping, and I can help you sew clothes just like the old times. Oh by the way, Mr. Mew can attack noise, which are monsters, so if there's any trouble on our perilous journey to the nearest shopping center, he can save us. –insert freakishly charming grin here-

Yeah. I'm not sure that would work.

Besides, I need to forge a new identity for myself anyway. Shiki the awesome seamstress girl, who believes in herself, doesn't hero-worship anyone (the Prince and 777 don't count as people). Shiki the girl who Is. Just simply Is herself. That has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

So here I am, standing in room blazing with incandescent light, because that's how these rooms are supposed to work, I guess. After an excruciating battle with the dragon who was really Mr. Megumi-Shades-Kitanji, a huge confusing confession from Joshua-who-killed-Neku, this whole ordeal is finally finally over.

Neku looks a bit dazzled, and I can almost see invisible cartoon-stars circling around his head. He has that dorky confused expression sprawled all over his face, and I struggle to hold back a giggle. Almost dying does weird things to your mind.

Beat is wringing his hands nervously, and for someone who so recently slipped out of the grasp of death (or erasure, I guess you could call it), he's surprisingly sullen. I'm guessing he's wondering about Rhyme, and for a brief second, Rhyme's adorable face flashes in my mind. Good luck Beat, I hope you get Rhyme back too.

Joshua, not a single hair out of place, smirks down at us. It isn't that cruel taunting smirk like I'm used to. It's a friendly one; amused and almighty, but friendly nevertheless.

"I guess it's time." Joshua chortles and raises his hand towards me.

Wait- I think frantically. I want to tell the others how much I've appreciated them. How much they've come to mean to me over the first week. But my thoughts swirl around in my head as if they can't escape.

An iridescent white beam shoots out of Joshua's hand, and my open mouth catches some of the glimmering threads. It tastes sweet. It tastes real. Not like that lame UG food.

"Enjoy reality." Wait what?

And the white light engulfs every particle of my being. And I am no longer coherent, dazzled by the strange strands of rainbow within the incandescence of the beam.

And so my world began again.