Title: Black Metal

Title: Black Metal
Fandom: The World Ends With You
Characters: Beat
Rating: PG
Notes: Spoilers for up to and including Week 2, Day 1 of TWEWY

Summary: Everything has a price in Shibuya and this price may be more than Beat can bear.

Beat cried out and doubled over, wrapping his arms tightly around himself as though that would stop the burning pain coursing through his body.

He hadn't thought that it would hurt this much. Hadn't expected it to hurt at all and Kitaniji had never said anything about it. It felt like there were needles being stabbed into his back, thousands of them all at once, searing his skin and it burned like-

He screamed, back arching as he felt skin rip and tear, something thick and hot and wet seeping out over his skin, soaking his shirt and Beat bit down on the side of his hand to stifle another scream. He felt the rips get wider and he couldn't even begin to imagine how it would look to match up with the pain; broken flesh and white bone and blood everywhere. His heartbeat was thunderously loud in his ears like his eardrums were going to burst. He clapped his hands over them, wishing that he could block out the noise.

The noise... hysterical laughter escaped his lips amidst the screaming and Beat tasted blood in his mouth where he'd managed to bite through his lip. The Noise... the Reapers...

It took a long time before Beat could move again, even after the pain stopped, becoming a dull ache along his spine, although time was always so messed up inside the Game that it could have been seconds for all he knew. He finally uncurled and laboriously began to push himself to his feet, nearly overbalancing from the unfamiliar weight against his back. He turned for a moment, expecting to see the floor soaked with his blood but finding nothing except pristine white tile. Startled, he twisted to see over his shoulder, and saw only a clean white undamaged shirt and...

The sight threw him because until that moment, he hadn't quite believed it could happen, that he'd really done it, but they were there. Frowning, he raised a hand to finger the black tattoo wings now sprouting from his back. A Reaper's wings. They didn't feel quite real in the same way that some of those Noise hadn't felt real, despite the damage they caused being very real and painful. They seemed to give, almost like his fingers would pass right through them, but at the same time, when he did touch them they felt like cool twisted metal.

He felt bile rise in his throat and pulled his hand away from the wings quickly as though he'd been burned by them and grimaced, remembering Shiki and Phones' expressions when he'd asked to change sides. But the bell in his pocket chimed softly as he moved and his expression hardened into one of determination.

No, this was for her.