Title: Lost Equation

Author: BlueSai

Fandom: The World Ends With You

Prompt: #10 - Silence

Character/Pairing: Vague Sho/Rhyme? If you squint really hard :x

Rating: PG – for mild violence

Word Count: 1919

Summary: Sho plays witness to a tragedy; two souls meet and the foundation of a very important lesson is laid.

Authors Notes/Disclaimer: Sho, Rhyme, Beat and all places and characters within this are property of Square Enix. Not mine. -sad sigh-

This is being done for LJ's 10 Prompts Challenge. For any of you who know me, or follow me, you know the chances of all ten of these being done are about as high as the possibility of diving by zero. : I fail.

My first TWEWY fic so any suggestions on characterization, particularly Sho's would be greatly appreciated. He's a right difficult bastard to write :x

Spoilers for and hints to spoilers abound. So if you haven't beaten the game I wouldn't read xD

Much love and thanks to my beta-reader, Vampire Toy.

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Lost Equation.

He was somewhere here. Sho was certain. Scampering about in the RG for some unknown reason. Whatever it was, it would prove to be his undoing. Sho was certain that whatever power the Composer possessed would be greatly limited within actual reality, so who would he be to not take that to his advantage?

Now it was simply a matter of finding him, which could prove to be a little difficult. Shibuya wasn't all that big a city, but it was certainly packed and ever changing. The rhythm of life here was fast and constant, never slowing down for a moment, never even pausing for a breath. Blink for one second, and it transformed.

He was standing in the middle of the scramble, unseen to all the eyes of the living (no point in entering the RG until he actually found the cowardly hectopascal) , contemplating where his target might when suddenly, something rushed past him. A large blonde figure practically bull dozed through the crowd nearly sending some people sprawling. Colourful words and sharp looks were tossed at the boy who was forcing his way through, but that wasn't what had caught Sho's attention. It was the large amount of Negative Noise surrounding the boy, and even more so...

The torrent that was following him.

"What the factor?" He said out loud, tone incredulous. Noise tended to be attracted to any person feeling particularly negatively, and so it was quite common to see them milling around people. Sometimes it may only be two or three, other times five, maybe even six. He hadn't been a Reaper for too long, but still. In his time he had never seen such a large amount following anyone.

"Interesting..." he murmured, his thrown expression growing into his usual smirk. What a curious outlier. Joshua could wait. Sho was so confident in the success of his plans that he was in no rush. This was one equation he had to figure out, so he spread his wings, and swiftly descended to see just what was going on. He got a closer look at the boy and studied him. He looked about his age, pretty tall, slightly muscled and wearing an assortment of Wild Boar clothing: a loose white tank, baggy pants, and a large black cap with a skull on his head. He had an assortment of chains and other accessories on, the most prominent of which was a thick black one with yet another skull that hung around his neck. There was nothing in particular that really stood out about him. Young kid. Energetic. Quite so, in fact. Much like a lot of Shibuya's youth. Sho hovered above him for a moment before he swiftly turned so he was flying backwards and he flew in front of the boy as he continued his forward march.

From this angle Sho could see the blonde hair messily stuffed under his cap. His jaw was set in a straight line, eyes giving away every emotion. Anger, spite, hurt. "Useless. See if I care, yo. Be more responsible my ass." he muttered.

Sho leaned back lazily, stuffing his hands in his pockets with a rather unimpressed expression on his face. The boy's words didn't reveal much, but it just sounded like typical teen whining to him. Certainly nothing to garner that myriad of Noise.

"Beat!"

The new voice sounded clearly though the ruckus of the rushing streets of the scramble. Sho saw a flicker of hesitation cross the boy's—Beat's face, before it became even more determined and he only hurried his steps. Sho glanced back to see that the gather of Noise had fallen behind, there were only a couple now clinging onto the boy. That great group didn't belong to Beat, they belonged to someone else.

"Beat, please wait!" There were so many, that the Reaper simply hadn't seen who was being clouded by the Noise. This equation was getting longer and more compelling by the minute. He quickly left his spot in front of Beat and went over to the mass of Noise, trying to see through but even with his sharp sight it was nigh impossible, and he was hardly going to go and erase them, as easy as that would be. He caught a glimpse of gold here, and a ghostly flicker of something salmon coloured but that was all. Hmph. He ascended so he could get a good view from above. He wanted to see the sum of this all, now.

He followed the two through the scramble, through the bus station and towards the underpass. Whoever was following this Beat person was catching up a little now that there wasn't such a huge crowd, but it was obvious to him which of the two had more stamina.

"They didn't mean it, Beat!" a voice rasped out, clearly tired from all this running around. The voice was feminine. Why was she after this guy? Was he her boyfriend or something? He scoffed at the idea. If that was the case then these two were a regular pair of zeros, allowing themselves to be caught up in something so insignificant as romance.

...and yet, even if that was the case, the sheer number of Noise just went to show that it was hardly something trivial. Sho could not read emotions, but the Noise practically fed off it. Whatever was being felt by these two, particularly the girl was genuine. And it was hard. He let out a frustrated growl. Now he was tempted to just erase the Noise. He wanted to see who this girl was, but if he did that he could completely alter the situation. In moments though, his opportunity for choice was stolen from him.

The girl wasn't watching where she was going. She must have been so fixated on catching up with Beat that she wasn't even thinking of herself. She ran blindly into the streets--

"RHYME!" This came from Beat, who had turned around when the car started honking.

A mad dash. The Noise, and thus girl frozen. He disappeared into the torrent, arms open, and then there was a sickening crunch as the car hit. Beat and the girl were tossed and fell several feet away. The Noise slid easily away from them all.

After all, they wouldn't be feeling much of anything very soon.

For a moment the mathematician just stared. Even he couldn't have calculated this unexpected turn. How could someone have been so blind as to put themselves in danger like that? How could he have been so dumb as to go back for her? The Reaper descended, landing silently on his feet next to where their bodies lay. He would have to look quick, already he could hear cars everywhere screeching to a stop—and the screaming and sobbing driver talking into their cell phone for an ambulance. Load of good that would do. Sho could tell just by looking at them that their time had run out. The timer had reached zero.

Beat had used his body to try and save her, so his had taken the brunt of the damage. Still, the human body was a frail thing and even with that Rhyme—that was the name he had called out, had taken quite a hit too. Consequently, though his actions had been well intended they weren't smart. When they hit the ground his body must have crushed her's.

She was an absolutely tiny digit.

He didn't know what he had been expecting, but certainly not this. Were she to stand up her head would barely come to his chest. She was kind of scrawny, having more elbow and knee than anything else. A young thing. He stood over the two as chaos happened around him, just quietly contemplating everything that had happened and trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Beat had been running from something. Rhyme had been chasing him. He had been complaining about someone...who had called him useless, in all likelihood. Rhyme had been trying to convince him this person didn't mean it.

And yet none of it added up. He was baffled. Why would Rhyme care about convincing him of this so much. So much that she would get herself killed by it? Why would he care about her? Especially when he had obviously been trying to avoid the girl earlier, and now he too had stupidly died for her sake.

A tiny whimper came from below. Inconceivable. The odds that either of them could still be alive were exactly 1 in 134.

He watched as her eyes struggled to open. They were glazed over, staring into nothingness and shutting tight with every shot of pain that went through her broken body. She struggled to move, but she was pinned by Beat's body, and by the increasing weakness as her blood slowly fled her body, mixing with that of the boy who had failed to save her.

"Beat...brother?" she managed, forcing her head to look at Beat. Ah. So they were family. That answered some questions.

There came no answer from the boy. He was gone, Sho could sense that. The girl wouldn't be long either. Her eyes drew away from her brother, and then their's connected. She was looking at him. Sho was currently in the UG, but he could see the vague focus in her eyes as she zoned in on him. She must be close enough that her soul was beginning to transition.

"Are you an angel?" she whispered, every word taking so much effort.

Sho laughed, though something about it didn't feel quite right. "Do these look like the wings of an angel, to you, digit?"

"I don't know...angels come in different forms...right?" she replied weakly, her fingers clenching on Beat's shoulder.

Sho didn't answer. He just stared at her for a moment before he asked. "Why the factor did you do something so zetta stupid? You could have waited, and then gone after him."

She gave a little laugh of her own, and a smile, quite obviously delirious now. "It was...but I was so. So scared for him. I thought I was going to lose him, forever. I didn't want that, I love him so much."

"Why?" A simple question, but one he expected a complicated answer for.

"Because he's Beat, silly."

...that was it?

He was going to demand a better explanation than that but before he could speak, she gasped, and her eyes closed as the undercurrent finally pulled her down into an infinite silence.

Because he was Beat. She had died because he was Beat. He couldn't really believe that was the reason. Any bond between two people was frail at best. He had seen partners in the Game easily manipulated and turned against each other. Sure, there had been some outside involvement, but in the end it had still been their decision to hurt one another. Even amongst the Reapers, especially amongst Reapers, there were so many cutthroat tendencies. Yet that Noise proved that her distraught and fear had been real, and their deaths for each other measured into infinity.

"Hmph," he tipped his hat back a little, the closest thing one would ever get from him as a mild show of respect, "Interesting duo"

The ambulance had arrived now. He had not need to stay.

"I'll see you in the Game, Little Digit."

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