Plot bunny alert! Plot bunny alert! (Yeah, ANOTHER plot bunny...I get so many of those)
I was wondering how a crossover between KH and TWEWY might go. No, I'm not abandoning my other stories. Just tossing this one out there because I feel like it. This is my first TWEWY-related fic. Don't hurt me! (hides)
Summary: An accident sends Neku back into the Reaper's Game, but this time it's more than accomplishing missions or even survival. Neku knows these new creatures aren't noise, and a certain keyblade-wielding boy may hold the answers for him... (Kingdom Hearts Crossover, spoilers for both)
Playing for Keeps
Chapter One: Back to the UG
Neku swore countless times under his breath as he stared at his surroundings. He knew this place so well it wasn't even funny; it was the Scramble Crossing, named as such because of how the masses of people crossed it in such a tangled mess of society. It was the place where, if you were thrown into the Reaper's Game by some twisted misfortune, you started. There was a routine to it. Wake up at the scramble, get ambushed by noise, run to the statue of Hachiko, make a pact with a total stranger in order to survive, then go through the rest of the week trying not to get erased. Neku screamed loudly and furiously, but no one heard him. Of course no one would. Technically, he wasn't even there. He was dead.
How'd I die this time? Neku thought, crossing his arms in frustration. I can't remember…I was just crossing the street to head to Towa Records…I guess I must have gotten hit by a car or something. He paused. Yeesh, I can't believe I'm entertaining that thought.
With a sigh, Neku reached into his pocket and fumbled around. His fingers found several familiar objects that he identified as pins, but he wasn't looking for them in particular. He felt around a bit more and found what he was seeking: a phone. The problem was, Neku didn't have a phone. At least, he didn't have one normally. If you didn't have a phone when you entered the UG, you were given one the same way you were given your pins: completely out of nowhere and with no real explanation.
Why am I back in the UG? He thought angrily. Did he decide to shoot me again for the thrill of it or something? Deep down, of course, he knew there had to be a reason. Something simply told him that there was a slid, bonafide reason he had been dragged back here.
Out of old habit, Neku flipped open the phone. He had been in the game for three weeks previously, and had always checked his phone for mission mail first thing after waking up. What he saw, however, wasn't exactly mission mail, but a normal text message. "Weird," he muttered. "Who'd be sending me a text message before we even get mission mail?"
Neku stared at his phone in disbelief. "A meme?" he muttered. "There's no mission, and I'm already getting a meme?" He glanced around. There were no noise to be found. Odd…I always got attacked on day one. I wonder where they all are. Not that I want them around or anything.
With an idle glance back at his phone, Neku sighed. He didn't like the idea of being in the game again, but he had no choice but to win if he wanted out. But what kind of meme is this? I've never heard of a group called that, and I've made sure to keep up with all the trends and stuff, too.
Finally, the mission mail.
But when Neku checked his text messages, he didn't find mission mail. Instead, there was another message.
Check your left pocket for a note.
"Three cheers for subtlety," Neku grumbled, reaching in his other pocket. Indeed, there was a small scrap of paper with familiar handwriting. Intrigued, he began reading.
You've probably already noticed that you're in the UG again. Before you get mad, no, your death wasn't a murder this time, but for now it's both a misfortune and a convenience. Normally, we'd wait until the start of the week to wake you up and start the game (I don't make the rules, so don't blame me), but something weird is going on, so we woke you up early. There was a discussion about what your entry fee would be, but the Composer said to waive it this time. It's not like him to do that, but we both know that something's in the UG that shouldn't be, and if we don't take care of it soon, it'll be in the RG. We don't want that. The meme we sent you will only work for one person, and whoever it is will probably know something that might help us. We don't know who it is, but if someone's acting suspicious, it'll probably work on them. At least, that's what we were told. Find that person and get in contact with him somehow. Tell him to meet with me as soon as he can. You know the place.
Crumpling up the bit of paper and putting it back into his pocket, Neku pulled out the familiar-looking player pin and glanced at the people passing by him and not even noticing. He was very miffed that he was the one being stuck with saving Shibuya again, much less being stuck in the reaper's game a fourth time, but at least he knew how things were done in the UG. He stared at the pin in his hand. "Time to put this baby to the test, then," he said, tossing it idly and immediately straining his focus as the rush of thoughts came in. Sometimes, hearing them was more annoying than dealing with the noise interfering since there could be so many at once, but he had quickly learned how to keep his concentration. The search began.
Where the hell is Jonny? I totally asked him to be here by ten, and it's what, noon now? He owes me a rematch at DDR!
Nope. Not that one.
Geez, I know it's weird that he keeps seeing people vanish once they leave the stores and what not, but that doesn't mean they're ghosts. This guy needs to get a grip…
Amusing, but not what he needed. Neku made a quick note of the person's appearance, however, in case he felt like spooking them for fun. He refocused.
It's bad enough that I got dumped into the middle of a street full of weird people… I can't even figure out where I am?
Neku paused. This person apparently didn't know much about the Scramble Crossing. Maybe he wasn't from Shibuya. Curious, he continued.
Cid told me he was getting weird readings from here, and there's one coming from here in this intersection, but I don't see anything out of the ordinary. I doubt anyone here is a Nobody; I would have sensed it.
"You can sense outcasts?" Neku grumbled. "That's new."
Wha…? No, not outcasts. Nobodies. Geez, Sora, get a grip…let's just find that guy and get this over with.
Neku froze, realizing his error. Though not much time had passed since he had last been in the game, he had forgotten that imprinting was a lot easier than it seemed. Keeping his mouth closed, he tracked the facts silently. This person's name was Sora. He was able to sense Nobodies, which were not outcasts. He was also looking for someone. Neku shook himself out of his thought-reading daze and found the person whose mind he had been reading: a brunette boy dressed in mostly black clothing, wearing large tennis shoes and sporting some of the spikiest hair he had seen since he played through Final Fantasy VII.
Maybe this is the guy, Neku thought, almost grinning in victory. The meme can wait. I wonder what he's up to…
Sora made a mental note to get back at Cid later. He had just been dumped into the middle of a street in what appeared to be a large, bustling city. For once he could actually read the signs on the buildings – many of the other worlds he had been to had contained some alphabets he couldn't read – but it didn't help that no one really paid that much attention to him. Groaning and standing up, the keyblade master examined his surroundings. He had never seen this many people gathered in one place before. Nervously, he reached up for the small headphone-communicator he had been given. "I made it in one piece," he said calmly. "Do you read me, Cid?"
"I hear ya," Cid's voice replied. "I was getting some of the weirdest readings from this place. Not sure whether it's heartless or nobodies, but I thought it might be a good idea for you to check it out."
"That's what you tell me every time," Sora grumbled, though underneath he was grateful. A while ago, he had joined the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee in keeping world order. Heartless and Nobodies were still running about, and since Radiant Garden had long been fixed up, they decided to instead focus their efforts elsewhere. Every now and then, Sora would be tossed into a strange world that would need some fixing up, but he never really minded. So far, nothing too terribly bad had happened to him.
The sound of fingers going across a keyboard met Sora's ears. "We can't really figure out what the readings are from. There's one right near you. Can you see anything?"
Sora paused, glancing around. "No. All I see are people. You sure your tracker isn't messed up?"
"I'm sure," Cid replied. "It might be a stealth soldier or something like that. Just keep on your guard. And watch your back."
"I will," Sora replied, hanging up and stuffing the communicator in his pocket. With a sigh, he headed down the street and entered a small burger shop, pulling out some munny from his pocket and staring at the menu. Striding casually up to the counter, he waited patiently until someone came to the counter.
A girl donning a clean uniform was quickly with him. "Welcome to Sunshine!" She greeted. "May I take your order?"
"Yeah," Sora began. "Can I get a double burger with some fries and a cola?"
"Sure," the girl replied, ringing up his order. "That'll be 1,010 yen!"
Sora felt his entire body go stiff. Not good, he thought. This place uses a different currency! What am I supposed to do now?!
The girl blinked. "Sir, is something wrong?"
"Actually," Sora began, hesitating. How was he supposed to get food without money? "I, uh…what I mean to say is-"
"He wants you to put it on my tab."
Sora spun around to see a boy walk in the door behind him, his hands in the pockets of his white, baggy pants. His shirt was mostly black, with a large blue streak running up the center and a muffler-like hood, and his shoes bore a similar design. The boy also had a pair of headphones on, but they looked more like a fashion statement than anything, and rested calmly around his neck, leaving his spiked brown hair bare. The boy looked Sora over a few times with deep blue eyes, then dismissed him and headed over to the counter.
The girl apparently recognized him. "Oh, hey there, Neku! Getting the usual? I'll stick some extra fries in for you."
Neku grinned. "If you say so," he replied, dropping a number of coins on the counter. "This kid's a friend of mine. He's from out of town, so I'm showing him around a bit."
"Right," the girl said, nodding. "I'll get your food ready. Go ahead and pick a seat; we won't take too long."
"Sure," Neku replied, taking Sora's arm and dragging him along. "Come on, spiky."
Spiky? Sora echoed. "Uh, okay," he said, following the boy until he sat him down at a table near the window. Once there he breathed out a sigh of relief he didn't know he was holding. "Thanks."
"You have to be a total moron to walk around Shibuya without any money," the boy replied, groaning. "You're lucky I came when I did, but don't worry about owing me. I've got plenty of money I won from the Tin Pin Slam-off yesterday." He held out a hand. "The name's Neku Sakuraba. Nice to meet you."
Sora held out his own gloved hand and shook Neku's. "I'm Sora. Nice to meet you, too."
Neku nodded. "What brings you to Shibuya? Last time I checked, this wasn't exactly a tourist location."
For a casual question, it sure can seem nosy sometimes. "I'm here to visit someone," Sora replied. He really was; he just wasn't sure who. At least, not yet anyway. "You live here or something?"
"Not really," Neku replied. "I might as well though; I end up spending a lot of time here."
Sora tilted his head. "You talk like it's a bad thing."
Neku chuckled humorlessly. "Trust me, it can be."
The waitress arrived and set their trays down. "Here's your order, Neku. If you need anything, let me know!"
"I will," Neku replied before he took his food. Sora noticed that he had chosen chicken nuggets and orange juice and stared at his own burger for a moment before digging in. Neku took a sip from his own drink before speaking up. "So, how long have you been here?"
"Just got here today," Sora replied, downing a few of his fries. "Are there any ramen shops around here?"
"There's the Ramen Don down at Dogenzaka," Neku said. "Don't let the smell fool you; the ramen there is absolutely phenomenal. Personally, I prefer the Shoyu ramen they serve there."
"I'll have to head down there sometime," Sora said, grinning. "Once I get my own cash of course."
"Just tell Sebastian I sent you," Neku suggested, eating another of his nuggets. "He's the owner of the shop. His real name is Ken Doi, but no one calls him that."
"Kind of reminds me of a friend I have," Sora said after swallowing a bite of his burger. Wow, this place is great. I'll have to come back here after checking out the ramen store… "Where do all the kids hang out around here?"
"It depends on where you like to hang out," Neku replied, tossing his now-empty OJ cup into the trashcan nearby. "My friends normally hang out at the statue of Hachiko right outside. It's sort of a commemorative place for us."
Sora grinned playfully. "What, did you all meet there for the first time or something?"
The expression on Neku's face was odd. It was sort of sad, insulted, amused and happy all at the same time. The boy finally decided on amused and nodded. "Yeah, you could say that. So, are you ready to get going?"
"Get going?" Sora echoed. "Are you taking me somewhere?"
Neku paused again before shaking his head. "Sorry. Old habit."
Old habit, huh…I wonder what from?
"Anyway," Neku continued. "I'm done eating, and I've got somewhere I need to be at. Could you do me a favor though?"
Sora nodded. He was always eager to help out. "You got it."
"There's a girl that normally hangs out at Hachiko," Neku explained carefully. "She wears glasses and she's always toting around this stuffed animal. She says it's a cat, but it looks like a pig to me…" He chuckled quietly. "Anyway, her name is Shiki Misaki. If you see her, can you tell her I'm okay?"
"Sure," Sora replied slowly. "But…could I ask why? I mean, it's not as though Hachiko is really far away… Not to be rude or anything!" He quickly added.
Neku didn't seem to take the comment personally, thankfully, and just shook his head. "I've got to be somewhere else for a while, and she's probably going to be worried sick about me. Just let Shiki know I'm fine." With that, he picked up the carton containing the rest of his nuggets and began walking out the door. "If you need anything, Sora, go to Hachiko. I'm almost always there."
Wait, what? Sora found his head buzzing in confusion. If Neku wanted to tell someone he was alright – someone that hung out at the same spot he did – wouldn't it be easier to just walk up and tell them? There weren't two Hachikos. Something fishy was going on. Standing up abruptly, Sora hurried toward the door just as Neku exited and looked outward, searching for the boy whom he had just spoken with.
But Neku was nowhere to be seen.
END CHAPTER ONE.
Yeah, I did some research on that food order. I hope I got the yen count and what Neku's favorites were right...