Allo, Allo! This is Evil-Neji, here with yet another TWEWY fanfiction!
This Fanfiction is Dedicated to Akiko Fujiyama, she requested it of me! (Of course, I was happy to oblige!) Also, I'd like to apologize for how long this took, but Exams are coming up, and I've had a shitload of projects. (none of which are finished...)
It also turned out a lot longer than I expected it to. I think I was aiming for about 4000-5000 words? This ended up being a whopping 9094 words, and that's JUST the story. Not including this authors note or anything.
Evil-Neji does not own The World Ends With You
Joshua sighed, brushing his silver locks out of his pale face. Life had become quite boring lately, what with him constantly repairing Shibuya and all that. There hadn't even been any decent Games to keep the Composer amused. Sure, the weekly run-abouts were still a normal occurrence, but they were nothing compared to the Games that the ex-Conductor, Megumi Kitaniji and he had Played over the fate of Shibuya. These new Players were...expendable. Half of them were so weak, they couldn't even handle a group of Bibganfrogs, forget taking on the GM. Seven Games, seven Games had passed since his Proxy had defeated Kitaniji, and in all that time, only ONE Player had managed to win a second chance since then. This week, there weren't even enough Players to hold a Game.
In other words, there was nothing for everyone's favourite Composer to do.
"Sanae..." Joshua called to his Producer, who had been dozing off along the back wall of the Room of Reckoning, leaning his head back against the cool, dark stone.
"Yeah, Boss? What's up?" Mr. Hanekoma replied pleasantly, turning his focus to Joshua, who had taken to twirling a finger through his hair absentmindedly as he lounged about on his giant throne. Sanae yawned, stretching his ivory wings out behind him.
"Where do you suppose my dear Proxy is now?" The silveret asked, his phantom-like form flickering eerily in the dim lighting of Shibuya's basement. It was customary of Joshua to remain in his true form whenever he was focused solely in the UG, being that he held much more power in his UG manifestation. And lord knows that Joshua would fiddle with his godly powers to whittle away the long days.
"Dunno, J. He's alive now, an' it's a Wednesday. Phones' probably in school." Mr. H pondered, scratching his head, "Been a slow week, though, ain't it? The Harriers've been complaining about lack of work." The Producer shrugged, wondering vaguely what was behind Joshua's apparent interest in the boy Neku Sakuraba, his Proxy.
"Heheh. Of course they would," Joshua giggled. Oh, he'd just gotten a wonderful idea. Naturally, he wasn't about to tell Sanae about it. Why give the old Angel the grounds to spoil his fun, right? Of course not. Nothing got in the way of Yoshiya Kiryuu's entertainment. Sanae Hanekoma was no exception.
"What'cha thinking about, Josh?" Hanekoma asked, already getting the feeling that the Composer was plotting something, and every single Reaper and Angel out there knew that Joshua's plans never bode well for others. Quite the contrary, in fact. The Producer seemed to recall one of Joshua's past endeavors involving a rather large horde of Classi Corehogs and a giant catapult...but that was when their Composer was still fairly young, so he really shouldn't expect that sort of shenanigans from the silveret.
"Oh, Nothing..." The Composer sang, dismissing the interrogating question with an idle wave of his hand.'Silly, silly Sanae. As if I'm going to tell you~' Josh giggled mentally, leaving a rather secretive grin on his face.
Sanae gave Joshua a wary gaze, analyzing the younger figure. It was kinda difficult to trust the silveret. Mr. H raised a hand to his forehead, what was the boy up to now? He'd heard the 'Oh, it's nothing' drivel too many times to believe it. Last time Joshua had given him that story, he'd gone off and shot a boy in the RG. Fun times, fun times. But of course, he'd had a convenient excuse for that little incident.
"Right Boss, if you're sure." He said unsurely, closing his eyes and once again dozing off.
'Hmm....Neku's at his school, eh?' Joshua pondered, a near devilish smile finding its way onto his features, 'Well then, I suppose I'll just have to pay a visit to my dear Proxy... After all, I've got nothing better to do, hehehe...' He cast a quick glance to Hanekoma, pleased when he saw that the brunet had gone back to his napping. With a grin and a giggle, Joshua was gone.
Neku Sakuraba was most certainly NOT considered a patient person. Rather, he was the kind of person who could get pissed off at the prospect of someone arriving but five minutes late. So when school was dragging on at five miles-per-hour, he was feeling downright homicidal. And of course, fate had just decided to make his day a little shittier. He just didn't know it yet.
"Ugh..." He groaned, slamming his head down onto his standard wooden desk. French Class was so BORING. It also most certainly did not help that their local School Board had decided to use a new semester layout plan for its' students. They would have 5 seventy-five-minute classes per day, two in the morning, then lunch, then two in the afternoon. Meaning that he had to endure that much more of each class. Why lord? Why did life hate him so?
"Attention, toute le monde!" His teacher called, trying to get the class to pay some attention to his lesson, "For simple future-tense verbs, you leave most ER and IR verbs the same, but remove the 'e' from the end of RE verbs, then add the respective ending depending on the subject! Repeat after me: J'ai trouverai."
"J'ai trouverai." Neku monotoned, not looking up from his desk. It felt like he'd been stuck in this foreign deathtrap for hours! Well, it had been an hour, actually, it had been an whole hour since the beginning of class. 'Fifteen minutes left, Neku. Hang onto your sanity for fifteen minutes...fifteen minutes...quanze minutes...GAH!' Oh hell, no! He'd even started THINKING in French!
"Tu trouveras!" The teacher chanted
"Tu trouveras." 'Oh lord, make it stop! We're in the Tenth Grade, not fourth, make the repeating stop!' His mind sobbed. Then it giggled. Wait....that wasn't his voice. There was something very wrong here. Either all the foreign speak had driven him straight into the loony bin, or...
'Honestly Neku, you don't remember me? How could you hurt me so?" A voice taunted childishly, echoing through Neku's head. Neku furiously looked around. He new that voice...Oh HELL he knew that voice all too well.
'Joshua?' Neku thought, furrowing his eyebrows. He most certainly didn't need to add the silver-haired asshole to his growing headache.
"Bravo, Neku! Aren't you sooo smart!"
Neku growled, it was most definitely Joshua. 'What the HELL are you doing here? More importantly, where are you?'
"Silly. I'm right in front of you! Oh wait, you can't see me in the RG, right?" Joshua feigned innocence. Neku scowled. He could almost see the smug look on the boy's face. And knowing that just made him want to beat the living hell out of Josh. No. Bad Neku. Refrain... Must... Refrain.
"No shit, Sherlock...." Neku muttered crossly, glaring straight ahead of him, for lack of the knowledge of his offender's whereabouts.
"I beg your pardon, Mr. Sakuraba?" Neku's teacher aimed a potentially dangerous glare at the orangey-blond haired boy. Said boy realized that he had uttered his insult aloud, while the teacher was talking.
"N-nothing, sir." Neku flushed red. His homicidal anger had just been increased tenfold. And then tenfold again, and was directed at Joshua.
"That's what I thought. You may want to wait until my back is turned before you try to insult me, Sakuraba." The teacher warned, before turning back to the rest of the class.
'Joshuaaaaa! Look at what you've done!' Neku protested, plastering a dirty look on his face. Oh, he was going to make the damned Composer pay for this. There would be hell to pay! If only there were a way for Neku to kick Josh's scrawny ass without him either being dead to start with, or him dying in the process. The world is so unfair that way. Maybe if Neku got hit by a car or something, he could beat the shit outta him once he got to the UG? Actually no, scratch that. There was no way in hell that Neku was going back there ever again.
"Oh Neku. I had absolutely nothing to do with it! You were the one who swore at your teacher." The silveret sang, giggling at the death glare Neku shot at him for that comment. "Nekky, don't look at me with love in your eyes. It's so unbecoming."
Neku's glare doubled.
"Oohhh, lust!" Josh cooed at his Proxy, letting his nonexistent hand glide through the pissed off boy's hair.
"AUGH!" Neku screamed, smashing his head against his desk with as much force as he could muster, which was a lot. The entire class fell into a stunned silence, as every single head turned to stare incredulously at the cause of the disruption. A few hushed muttering were thrown about on the concerned boy's mental stability, and the teacher was certainly thrown for a loop.
"NEKU SAKURABA! If You can't seem to find yourself able to control yourself during my class, you can go sit at the principals' office!" The teacher bellowed, storming over to his desk and grabbing a red slip of paper. He handed it firmly to Neku, a look of absolute disgust stuck to his face.
Growling in frustration, Neku snatched the detention slip from his French Professor and stood up from his desk, knocking his chair over. He didn't bother to pick it up. The brunet stomped out of the room, slamming the heavy door behind his retreating back.
Joshua laughed manically. This was just so much fun! Seriously, he must have been crazy not to have come down to bother his Proxy before! It was enough to brighten anyone's day, bar none. The Composer ran a hand back through his hair, keeping it out of his eyes, before following Neku out of his classroom, walking straight through the same door that Neku had slammed shut with enough force that Joshua'd be surprised if the other end of the school didn't hear it.
"Nekuuuuu! Wait for me! You don't want to just leave me there, do you?" He called after the furious boy, who promptly quickened his pace.
"No. That's exactly what I'm HOPING will happen! Why did you have to come and piss me off?! Didn't you torture me enough while I was in your Game? Huh!? Or are you here to shoot me again? You know what they say, third time's the charm, right Joshua!?" Neku yelled, whipping around suddenly, although he couldn't see where Joshua was.
Joshua stopped. Neku thought that he was there to hurt him? He only wanted to have a little fun.
"I wasn't going to hurt you, Neku. I was simply suffering from boredom." He replied, trying to hide the depressive tone in his voice.
"You know what Josh, I don't want to hear it! You show up in the middle of my school, you taunt me and go on being the asshole that you are! Would it kill you to just leave well enough alone!?" Neku demanded, clenching his fists.
"But--" Joshua was getting angry with the way Neku was continuing to yell at him. Sure, Neku had every reason to be suspicious of him, but what the hell had happened to 'trust your partner'?!
"Just screw off, Joshua!"
The Composer blinked, not bothering to follow the fuming brunet, who promptly stormed off, leaving Joshua to his lonesome. He sighed, maybe this wasn't such a good idea, after all. It was almost unnerving to think that Neku would act like such a prat, it wasn't like Joshua had really done anything deserving of such a rebuking. What the hell had gotten into the Sakuraba? Maybe it was just his time of the month...oh wait, that's another joke at the boy's masculinity. Better not say that near him, poor Neku would likely be put into an asylum for trying to kill thin air.
He shrugged, and decided that his best plan of action would be to wait until the other boy finished school before he harassed him again. So the Composer left, feeling unnaturally dejected and equally confused at his Proxy's behavior. Josh decided that he would wait at Neku's house for him, seeing as he already knew where it was; he'd been trailing Neku before he'd shot him for the first Game. Maybe when Neku went home, he'd be in a better of moods.
Neku groaned in exasperation as he trudged through the halls, weaving his way toward the back exit of the school; he wasn't about to lie down and take any of the shit the principal would undoubtedly hand him over 'how he was such a bad influence' or 'surely his mother taught him much better than that'. It was all bullshit. No, he was leaving school early. The teachers didn't care if he was at classes, as long as he passed his finals.
Shoving open the large double-doors to the school, he stepped out into the cooling Autumn air. November in Shibuya rarely ever brought temperatures low enough to freeze or snow, but it still got chilly enough for the air to nip at your face as it blew past. Shivering slightly, Neku pulled his muffler tighter around his neck, breathing into it to warm the thick fabric.
"Hmmmm...." He pondered, thinking. He couldn't really go home right now, his mother would throw a fit if he wandered home in the middle of the day. He supposed that he could go to Wildkat, and chat with Mr. H for a while, but he really didn't want to risk the chance of running into Joshua again. Speaking of which, why the hell had he shown up? And at Neku's school of all places? If one could still believe that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus were real, then Neku might've bought Joshua's 'boredom' excuse. Neku had learned not to trust the silveret the hard way, and it would take one hell of a revelation for the Composer to earn it back. Sure, Neku understood the point that he should trust his partner, as Mr. Hanekoma had told him on many occasions, but this wasn't the Game. This was the RG, you don't need to depend on anyone else to survive, and trust was simply something to be broken.
He sighed. He didn't want to be suspicious of Joshua, but how couldn't he? In truth, he missed the two days that he had gotten along well with the other. It was like he had found a friend who understood him; Joshua seemed to understand all of his values of the world, and approved of them. He had even agreed with Neku about thinking that people have no need to interact with others, because they will never understand you. After being given his second chance, Neku had taken to being more social; to trying to expand his world's boundaries.
It hadn't worked out so well.
The first two weeks had gone well, he hung out with Beat, and Shiki and Rhyme, he stopped to talk to shopkeepers whenever he wasn't too busy, and, in truth, he felt like a better person. After that, though...he didn't really know what had happened, he just suddenly withdrew from everything. It was like a relapse in his personality. He returned to his age-old habit of wearing his headphones, he stopped socializing with anyone he didn't know personally. Shiki and Rhyme had noticed that something was wrong, and tried to talk to him about it, but he'd brushed them off. Even after that, he'd eventually stopped talking to them and Beat.
That was where he was now. Four months out of the Game, three months into returning to being the social misfit he always was. It was frustrating, to say the least; being back at square one. But he didn't know how to change it. He wasn't even sure that he wanted to change it, it was just a hassle, a hassle that he didn't need at the moment.
"Okay, Neku. This isn't the time to drown in my self-pity. I've got to get off school grounds before anyone notices me," He reminded himself, rubbing his arms furiously to keep warm. Maybe he'd just walk around Shibuya for couple hours...no. It was way too cold for that, and Neku wasn't feeling up to freezing his ass off anytime soon. He supposed that it wouldn't be too bad if he wandered down to the 104 Building and hung around there for a while; lots of students liked to hang out there when they didn't feel like staying at school, and nobody really cared that they were there.
Now with a destination in mind, Neku picked up his step. His school was just outside of Shibuya; it wasn't like the city actually had any more room to put in a High School. Hell, this is Tokyo; Overpopulated. He could be in Shibuya in five minutes if he walked fast, and he would come in through CAT Street. On a weekday, it would be perpetually empty, so there wouldn't be much chance of him seeing anyone he knew.
The gravel crunched lightly under his step, as he made his way toward the aforementioned street. It was a little past 1:00, and the sun was still high in the sky. There wasn't a cloud in sight, making the crisp air even colder than it was when Neku had first left the school. As he had expected, CAT Street was almost completely devoid of life, save for the odd person on a trip to the Jupiter Of The Monkey store.
'What the hell kind of name is that, anyway?' Neku wondered, 'Jupiter Of The Monkey. What the heck was that guy smoking when he opened that store?...Obviously something he's not sharing...' He sighed, this was going to be another boring, lonely, walk for Neku. And whenever Neku was bored and lonely, his mind tended to wander to places it really has no business pondering in. Aw, Hell...
'So...maybe when I get home, I'll drink a huge mug of hot chocolate. Then I'll go upstairs to my room and have a heated game of...Kingdom Hearts II. Yeahhh.....I bet that this time, I'll be able to get through ALL of the fights with Xemnas in about 10 minutes...ON PROUD MODE!!!' The Proxy's mind was dead set on ranting, rather than focusing on his goal of reaching 104. As I'm sure you can all tell. Anyways, back to Neku's...interesting mind, 'And then, I'll go to all of my saved files, and kill all of the Organization XIII again...and watch Axel die...WHY did Axel have to die?! He was the freaking only decent character......and he was like Reno. Gawd, I loved Reno. He's all like 'Whazzup, Yo?'! Hmmm.....I wonder if Beat was some reincarnation of Reno, he does have the horrible grammar skills and adding 'Yo' to every sentence...'
Yep. Now who'da thought that Neku was a Square Enix buff? Ugh. He shook his head violently to erase his mental blabber. He was never really in his right mind when he was bored.
Towa Records was a fair bit more crowded; a couple dozen university students rushing around in between classes, in pairs or groups, some of them were alone. Tuning out everyone around them with their iPods or MP3 Players. It never changed.
Neku cast a wan glance at the solitary bypassers, the ones who were just like him. He understood; it was far easier to just drown out the troubles of the world in music, instead of concerning yourself with them. The only problem with that is that when no one else's problems can reach you, your own problems seem to echo louder inside your head. It turns you into something selfish.
He walked even faster as he passed Cadoi City. There was nothing interesting to him there, so he saw no point in taking a long time walking through there.
The Shibu Dept. Store was horribly crowded, as always. This time with busy adults hurrying around their busy lives. Shopping, working, errands. All the fun stuff that children had no business with until they were older. Of course, it wasn't common to see kids around this part of Shibuya, unless they were just passing through on their merry ways. The shops at the Department Store didn't hold much for youth, unless they happened to be rich enough to shop at Pegaso, or liked herbal remedies. Neku payed no attention to the stares that were thrown his way as he passed through.
The Scramble Crossing was...a menagerie of people. Almost too crowded to have a half-arms width between people as hundreds of pedestrians shoved past each other, each set on their own destination.
'Not to mention all the Players who wake up here day after day...' Neku thought grumpily. The Scramble never brought good memories to the ex-Player, instead filling his head with reminders of exactly what happened on the streets of Shibuya.
Sighing heavily, he shoved his way past a clique of giggling schoolgirls, who were obviously cutting class, as he was. Neku ignored their offended protests with an indifferent shrug, reaching for his signature headphones that were slung around his neck. It hadn't been very long, either, since he'd gotten back into his habit of blocking out the world.
Grabbing his mp3 out of his pocket, he switched it on, opting for cranking up his Maximum The Hormone playlist. Much better. You can't be bothered if the only thing you can hear is the clashing of heavy metal and screaming in your ears. The song that was automatically at the top of the list was Buiiki Kaesu!!, which was perfect; it was one of his favourites.
Humming under his breath, he waded through the crowd until he reached his final destination: 104. Ah, he knew that looming building almost too well. It was always the first mission during the Reaper's Game, make a pact and reach 104 within one hour. Stepping through the large glass doors, it was a relief to feel the breeze of warm air that washed over him. The shopping outlet was bustling, as usual, but it wasn't anything ridiculous, now that the hordes of girls that swarmed the clothing stores were in school.
Glancing around briefly, he decided that he would hang out in the Mus Rattus store that the mall provided. It wasn't anything huge or particularly popular, but it did have a small sitting area in the back with a couple of vending machines. He slipped into the small shop, offering a small greeting to Yumi. It was kinda funny though, she always seemed to be on shift whenever he came through.
Slouching down on a bench, he decided that he was very comfortable here. It wouldn't be the end of the world of he just lounged around there for a while.
Joshua gave the dark room a once-over, before flopping down on the small bed. Unfortunately, Neku's room was pretty damn boring. He didn't even have a television in it! In fact, the only things that seemed to inhabit the room right now were a few piles of cleaned laundry that the auburn-haired teen had neglected to put away, half a dozen or so posters of various things, a dresser, closet, and a small laptop computer. And none of these things were really interesting to the Composer. Well, except the computer, that would serve as a great source of entertainment if he found himself getting too bored.
"And now, I wait." He mused, twirling his hair around a finger again, "I wonder how long until Neku get's home? He certainly didn't go to the Principals Office like he was supposed too, else I'd be there watching, so...he's probably skipping. Ah well, I don't want to be outside all day in this weather." He sighed. It wasn't every day that the almighty Yoshiya got depressed about anything, but Neku's words at the school had stung.
"Didn't you torture me enough while I was in your Game? Huh!? Or are you here to shoot me again? You know what they say, third time's the charm, right Joshua!?"
Those words replayed over in his head. He didn't want Neku angry with him, but it seemed he'd done just that. Perhaps when the other boy got home, he'd apologize and tell him why he was really here. Although he didn't think that Neku would believe that his killer would pay him a friendly visit. It was saddening, to say the least. Sure, Joshua was used to having people dislike him, it came with his job as well as personal disposition, but he'd never had a rebuking like that one.
It was frustrating atop all of that. Neku was a good kid, but Joshua noticed some disturbing changes in the boys' Soul as soon as he saw him. The best way for him to describe it was a relapse. Neku had gone back to the way he was before Josh had brought him into the Game. Joshua had brought Neku into the Game for selfish reasons, yes, but it was more than that. The Composer had been watching Neku for a while even before the Game with Megumi. The boy had intrigued him for some reason, and he also figured that by entering the Game, he would break out of his anti-social ways. It had worked, but now it seemed that they were back to square one.
And by selfish reasons, he had partially meant that he didn't want to watch the teen go on like he had been. Joshua liked Neku, he didn't want such a unique Soul with such great Imagination to be wasted. Even if that meant he had to betray the boy to do it.
But damn was he regretting it now. Not only was Neku sinking back to where he had been, but now he was pissed off at Joshua, completely blown up on him over a misunderstanding. Didn't Neku realize that he had been trying to help him?!
"This is all so annoying...why can't Neku and I just get along and stop dwelling on the past?" He asked himself, rolling over to stare at the white ceiling, shadowed over from lack of light in the room. Wordlessly, he reached a hand out, pointlessly flexing his hand, frowning slightly as he saw the roof through it. He'd almost forgotten that he was still in the UG.
That reminded him. It had been odd when Neku had heard him during his schooling class. He had intended to only observe his Proxy, perhaps get a kick out of Neku getting a few wrong answers. But when he heard the boy's thoughts, he just couldn't help but laugh. When Neku had heard him though, he decided to get over his initial shock and pretend like it was all part of his idea. Which, of course, it wasn't. That must have meant that Neku's frequency had been altered from his extended stay in the UG. The boy hadn't been able to see Joshua, but he could hear him. Also going toward that was the fact that Neku stood out to Josh. Now, this wasn't just personal fancy, this was that he literally stood out, as if he was a clearer resolution. It was strange.
Speaking of which, Joshua immediately tuned himself down to a lower frequency, so that Neku would be able to see him when he arrived.
'Hey genius,' His mind giggled girlishly, 'You DO realize that your little frequency pondering thing made you sound like a total creeper. Personal fancy? Doth my ears deceive me? Or does someone have a crush...you little boy-lover, you~'
Joshua blanched. What the hell? He'd never known his inner voices to question his decisions, much less to imply that he was homosexual. Which, he wasn't. He was bisexual and very aware of this fact, apparently being over 100 years old leads to some very interesting discoveries. And even though he admitted to this fact, he wasn't really interested in Neku that way, right? Although he had to admit, he might have enjoyed those Walls where Neku had to change to a different brand of clothes to pass...
Oh great, now he was contradicting himself. Groaning, he pulled himself into a sitting position, scratching his head a few times. Maybe he was just over-thinking this whole thing. He was the Composer, and had been for who knows how long. He was the owner of the loneliest job in all of Shibuya, and he'd never had a problem before. Yes, he was definitely just overreacting.
It had been about forty-five minutes since he'd first sat down in Mus Rattus, and he was beginning to feel a little restless. So, rather than let boredom take its course, Neku opted for walking around some of the other stores, brushing past the crowd that was getting bigger and bigger every minute. At last he really didn't have to walk around for that long, his school gets out at 2:45 and it was currently ten ofter, according to his watch.
He supposed that he could always head home right then, and tell his mom that they had a buyout for a football game, and the entire school had gotten out early. But he really wasn't feeling up to going home at the moment; he still had a lot on his mind.
Wandering into the Wild Boar shop, he slipped in unnoticed, despite the considerable crowd. It really didn't bother him. It seemed that after his Games, he was easily overlooked, but it wasn't as though he was invisible to them, he just wasn't really seen unless he was looked for.
He looked around for a bit, before that grew boring, too. Ugh, just great, here he was, trying to do something to get the billion questions he had off his mind, and he couldn't freaking find anything to do! Groaning in frustration, he sat down on a small bench that was adorning the hallway of 104. It wouldn't serve him any good to keep running from mental queries, so he might as well face them now.
'Okay, first matter of business: What is Josh REALLY doing here?' He thought, mentally ticking that question off of his list, 'Well, He said that he didn't come to kill me again, but why should I believe him? All I've ever heard from him are lies. Well, I can't really answer that question on my own...' He trailed off, thinking of his silver-haired nemesis, 'Secondly, what had he been doing all this time before he showed up? Well, probably fixing up the city, right? Wasn't it like...degenerating or something like that? And then Pi-Face's Taboo Noise trashed it some more.
'Thirdly, why did I freak like that? Didn't I ask him if he would meet me at Hachiko with the rest of my friends after the game? I should've been happier to see him, but hell, the kid shot me. Fuck, I don't even know if he IS a kid. Does he like...not age or something? Maybe it's because I have been waiting for him that I overreacted. I don't know...I still haven't forgiven him for that, but why should I think that he'd come to kill me again? Wasn't I supposed to trust my partner? Come on, Neku, you fucking LIVED by that rule for three weeks, way to screw up BIG TIME!' He thought angrily, smacking himself lightly upside the head at his stupidity
Yeah, he'd been waiting for the Composer to show up, maybe even hoping for it. After all, the silveret was probably the best friend he'd ever had, bar none. Not even Shiki or Beat had really understood him during their times together, but Joshua had so many similarities to Neku. That was probably why he couldn't stand the other boy at first.
"Alright," Neku began, speaking aloud because he new that no one was really listening to him, "Maybe when I see Josh again, I'll apologize to him. I really don't need the Composer of Shibuya pissed off at me."
He sighed, opting to head for his house. He didn't need to go back to the school to get homework, anyway. It was his lacking semester; French, Japanese History, Phys. Ed, and Visual Arts. He never really got any homework from any of these subjects anyways, so he didn't need to worry.
Heading out into the streets again, Neku grimaced at the cold. Honestly, this was hardly seasonal weather for Shibuya. Why couldn't they have something a little more normal for this time of year, like...rain or something? Oh wait, no. Then he'd have to walk home in the rain, and that would most definitely not brighten his mood.
Shivering slightly, he rounded the corner and continued his walk through Dogenzaka. If he didn't make any stops, he could get home in about twenty minutes.
"Mom, I'm home!" Neku called as he entered his house, swinging the wooden door shut behind him. He shook his boots off on the doormat, and pulled his headphones back down to his neck.
"Oh, Neku sweetie, you're early. You didn't get kicked out, did you?" His mother smiled warmly, walking out of the living room with a dusting rag in her hand.
"Naw, we had a buyout for the football game. It was pretty cold, though, so I decided to just come home." He lied, waving his hand to ward off any suspicion.
Without waiting for his mother to put her two cents in, Neku walked down the carpeted hallway, pausing before the staircase. Would he see Joshua again? If he was the silveret, he wouldn't even bother to look for Neku again, after the way he treated. Although, Joshua wasn't the type to give up easily, from what Neku remembered.
Gripping the railing, he headed upstairs, toward his bedroom. The hallway was dark, so he guessed that his mother hadn't been up there that day. Surprisingly though, his bedroom door was slightly ajar.
"That's weird, I could've sworn I shut this before I left this morning," Neku whispered under his breath, pushing the door further open and stepping inside. The lights were off, so the room was almost completely black, thanks to the thick navy curtains that hung over the single window. Fumbling his hand along the wall, he found the switch with his fingers, flicking it on.
His eyes widened.
'Oh-kay...this is definitely not what I expected,' He thought, casting a skeptic glare at the scene before him: Joshua. And not just him, it was the fact that he was asleep on Neku's bed, in front of his laptop computer, which was still on.
Tiptoeing over to the bed silently, he peered at the screen. It wasn't a website he was familiar with, something called , whatever that was. It appeared to be some kind of book website. Reading further on the screen, he came to realize that it was a story, involving characters from a video game. Well, imagine that.
Closing the laptop, he gave the Composer a rough shove on the shoulder, causing him to jolt awake.
"What the--" Joshua yelped, a little bit frazzled by his rude awakening. Then he blinked, squinting in the light, "Oh, Neku! I was wondering when you'd get here."
"Obviously. What are you doing in my house?" The Proxy asked, frowning.
"Well, I was waiting for you to get here, of course! What's with your change in attitude? No, 'get the fuck out before I kick your ass' speech this time?" Joshua queried, sitting up to look Neku in the face.
"No. About that, I wanted to say sorry. I kinda freaked," Neku admitted sheepishly, offering an apologetic look.
"Actually," Joshua interjected, "It was probably my fault. I really shouldn't have been spying on you anyway."
Neku raised a brow, "Spying? Joshua, if I didn't know better, I'd say it sounded like you were stalking me. Hell, that's creepy," The ex-Player waited expectantly, resting a hand on his hip. He didn't know why, but he was in a much better mood now that he was talking normally with the Composer.
Josh countered with a coy smile, "You never know, Neku dear. Perhaps I'm just drawn to you."
"Yeah, yeah. You're such a woman, Josh. I'm not even close to kidding, you're a disgrace to masculinity," He scoffed. He was secretly enjoying himself, though. It was sad to say, but he'd missed the old quarrels between him and the silveret.
'Hey Neku. You're such a cliché, you know that?' His mind asked, laughing, 'And so, the brave warrior is reunited with his princess, and they go on to live happily ever after! Suits you perfectly, don't ya think? Of course, if you're the one wearing the dress, then I suppose--'
"Neku, are you alright?" Joshua asked, snapping said boy out of his mental stupor, "You spaced out for a moment. Not feeling well? You really shouldn't have gone out in that weather, you'll probably get the flu or something."
"Nah, I'm fine," Neku assured, shrugging. 'See. you distracted me! And there is no way in HELL that I'd go out with Josh, he's the fucking Composer!' Neku shouted angrily at his mind, which retorted with a mild, 'Yeah. And you're both so obviously gay, it hurts to look at you. Either your gay-dar is seriously zapped, or you're in total denial. '
Now Neku had a reason to space out. In short words, he was in a 'WTF' moment. Had his mind just implied that he was attracted to Joshua? Sure, Neku had been openly gay for going on two months now, and it would be a shock if Joshua was straight, but seriously. Him and Joshua? It wasn't as though he rejected the idea, it was just a little too strange for him to deal with right now. Especially when the person in question was sitting right in front of him.
"Yoo-hoo? Neku, you in there?" Joshua asked annoyingly, waving a hand in the other boy's face. In response, Neku slapped his hand. Joshua pouted, "Ouch. That was uncalled for!"
"Yeah, well so was you waving your hand in my face," Neku retorted, sitting down on the bed beside Joshua.
Joshua pouted even more, quivering his lip like a sad puppy-dog, "You wound me, Neku, you really do. All I did was come down here to visit you, and you go and hurt my feelings. Oh, woe is me!"
"Cut the crap, Josh. Oh, and by the way, why the hell did you come here?" Neku asked, remembering the questions he was going to ask when he was in 104.
The Composer waved his hand idly, "Oh, it was a slow week. There isn't even a Game to supervise, so I decided to come visit my favourite Proxy. Aren't you happy to see me?"
Neku sighed, of course he was happy to see the silveret, but he's drag himself through hell before he would say that to the other boy's face. In fact, if he even answered that question, he was likely to be assaulted by another stream of Josh's sarcastic drivel, so he decided to play it safe and avoid the entire question.
"Whatever. What were you doing on my computer?"
"Oh, nothing much. I was bored waiting for you, so I decided to read some fanfictions in my spare time. They're fascinating really," The silveret replied, handing the laptop over to Neku so he could see the screen.
"So what's this one about?" Neku asked, scrolling down the page. In truth, he'd never even heard of the term 'fanfiction'.
"A game called Final Fantasy VII. I'm pretty sure you've heard of it," The Composer replied, brushing his hair out of his face as he read over his Proxy's shoulder.
"Yeah, the one with Cloud. What's this abou--" Neku trailed off as he read further into the story, eyes widening, "Josh, what the hell is this?" He asked incredulously, eyes remaining stuck to the page. Wow. That was all that was going through his mind.
"What? Oh. That," Joshua giggled, but it seemed a bit off. Like he was nervous, maybe, "That's... the pairing. Sorry, I forgot what I was reading about," He giggled again, taking the laptop back and shutting it down, "I apologize if that...scarred you in any way."
"No, but..." Neku trailed off. Any doubt in his mind that Joshua wasn't into guys was gone, just like that. Poof! Although, Neku didn't really have anything wrong with that. Heck, being hypocritical wasn't really something that was normally associated with the auburn-haired boy. But still, that fanfiction came as a bit of a shock. That one page of literature had managed to transcend all of the years of sexual education he had ever had, and turn them into something concerning two men in ways that made him seriously wonder where the author had gotten reference for that scene.
"Yes. That's what is called yaoi, my dear Neku," Josh explained, coughing awkwardly.
"You don't say," Neku shot back sarcastically, "I never knew you were into that kind of stuff, Josh. Should I be scared to be alone with you?" He asked, giving the other a challenging look.
"Oh, I'd be scared if I were you," Joshua replied smoothly, not missing a beat, "After all, what would you expect if you lock me up with a hot redhead with no security measures?"
"Oh, I don't know. Why would you think that it's the 'hot redhead' that would be compromised and not the cute feminine one?" Neku laughed, before both of them caught on to what they had just been insinuating.
The silence that followed was both awkward and uncomfortable. Actually, it was teetering on the verge of unbearable.
Neku fiddled with his thumbs, pondering on what had just been said. It wasn't really what he was expecting to be said by the other boy, much less what Neku himself had said to Joshua. Cute? That was a word that Neku normally liked to exclude from his vocabulary, and yet, he wasn't about to deny that the adjective suited the silveret well. He also wasn't about to admit that he thought that last sentence.
The moment was broken when Joshua coughed, turning to look at Neku, "Look, I'm sorry for troubling you. I should be leaving..." He stood, making the bed indent toward Neku. The Composer flashed Neku an almost apologetic smile, before turning away, obviously with the intention of leaving.
"Josh, wait--" Neku blurted out, not even registering that the words had left his lips.
Before he had time to blink, Joshua was in front of him, leaning in to his face until their noses were almost touching. Neku blushed hard at the feel of the other boy's breath brushing his skin in shallow wisps, the way his beautiful lavender eyes were shadowed by thick eyelashes.
Joshua brought a pale hand up to cup Neku's face gently, guiding their lips closer together. Their breaths mingled before their lips sealed together, slowly massaging against each other in sweet unison before Joshua pulled away, leaving his hand on Neku's cheek. The boy's deep blue eyes were wide and swimming with confusion and shock. Joshua sighed heavily in guilt, moving his eyes so as to not make eye contact with his Proxy.
"...I'm sorry," He whispered, moving away from Neku, who stood still, breathing deeply in long, even breaths.
Josh turned once again to leave, intent on forgetting his...irrational behavior and never speaking of this to anyone. That is, until he felt a warm hand wrap itself around his thin wrist, its grasp gentle but surprisingly strong. Fixing his gaze on the floor, he stopped, not even bothering to resist the questions that he knew were undoubtedly coming. What he didn't expect though, was for that hand to spin him around, forcing him to face the other boy.
"You think you're going to just leave after that?" Neku asked incredulously, cobalt eyes burning into Joshua's guilty ones.
"I was out of line. It was completely irrational of one such as me to--" The Composer was cut off as a familiar pair of lips collided with his own, forcefully this time. Startled, Joshua's eyes widened, unable to comprehend why Neku would kiss him. Hadn't it been Joshua who kissed Neku without warning before? He tried to protest, pushing Neku off of him gently, fixing the boy with a stare akin to the one Neku had given him the first time.
"What?" Neku asked, smirking slightly, "Wasn't it you who kissed me before?"
"W-well, I..." Joshua was at a loss for words, before hanging his head in defeat, "Why would you kiss me? I've done nothing but hurt you since...well, that's all I've ever done to you," He frowned concernedly.
"Not true. Don't you remember back in the Room of Reckoning, when I told you that I considered you a friend that understood me?" Neku protested. Joshua nodded, Neku had said that, but it wasn't exactly in an endearing context at the time.
"Besides," Neku continued, taking a step closer to the distressed silveret, "I was returning the favour there. You got to kiss me, so it's only fair that I kiss you too," His smirk by now had transgressed into a bit more of a kindhearted grin.
Joshua' head snapped up, staring straight into Neku's eyes. His Proxy simply smiled. Joshua took two quick strides forward, reaching to the back of Neku's head to pull him in for another kiss. This time it was different, both sided participated actively in the sport, both boys allowing their hands to roam one another's bodies as though the appendages had minds of their own. Joshua slowly swiped his tongue along Neku's bottom lip, sliding his tongue in when Neku opened his mouth without hesitation.
Neku moaned lowly into the kiss when he felt a hand slide under his shirt, and cold, smooth fingers beginning to trace over every inch of his chest. Instantly he brought his own hand up Joshua's back, trailing his fingernails up and down the other boy's spine, feeling thoroughly satisfied when he earned a shiver and a throaty purring noise from the Composer. He immediately gave Joshua the upper hand when he felt the silveret push him back toward his bed, collapsing onto it as soon as the back of his legs made contact with the soft mattress.
He made no sound when Joshua crawled on top of him, straddling his hips and leaning down over Neku to steal another deep kiss. This one was broken quickly though, as Joshua backed off, allowing both boys to breathe.
"Shirt...off," Joshua panted out between laboured breaths, tugging at the hem of Neku's top. The Proxy raised his arms over his head, arching his back so that it would be easier for Josh to remove the piece of clothing. Joshua hissed when Neku arched like that, grinding down on the auburn-haired boy. Fuck this felt good. He held still as Neku began to fumble with the bottons to his shirt, starting at the top and working his way down ever so slowly. Joshua raised an eyebrow, where did Neku learn how to be so damn seductive?
By the time Neku was finished and Joshua had quickly shrugged his shirt off his shoulders, they were back at it again, kissing and moaning and racking their fingers down each others perfect torsos. Joshua deached himself from Neku's mouth momentarily, dipping his head to nip and suck at the exposed skin of Neku's throat, before he found a partucilarily sensitive spot at the junction where the boy's neck met his shoulder, just above his collarbone. He bit the soft flesh, earning a sharp intake of breath from his partner. Once he was certain that there was an angry red hickey adorning the brunet's pale flesh, he trailed chaste kisses up Neku's throat and back up to his eager mouth.
"O-oh god Josh--" Neku moaned into the kiss, tangling his fingers into the Composer's wispy hair.
"Shhh, not too loud now, dear," Joshua smirked, moving away from his attack on Neku's mouth to observe the other boy. It was a thoroughly pleasing sight, "We can't go all the way, but I'm happy with just you."
It was with this that Joshua got off of Neku, rolling beside him on the bed. They were both flustered and out of breath, beads of sweat breaking out along their bodies.
Neku, however, was the first to sit up, using one hand to support himself, and the other to brush his bangs out of his face. It was a little difficult to grasp what he had just done. And with Joshua of all people. He wasn't worried though, on fact, he'd probably never felt so good in his life. Even the dull tingling on his collarbone where Joshua had given him the hickey didn't bother him at all.
The room was silent, save for the deep breathing of its two occupants, but of course, calm atmospheres were meant to be broken.
"Neku!" Mrs. Sakuraba's voice rang through the quiet room, "It's time for dinner! Wash up and come help me set the table!"
Neku sighed, rolling over before forcing himself up to his feet, "Damn, she has the worst timing ever," He grouched, stretching and then beginning to search for his previously discarded shirt. He heard a soft giggle from his bed.
"Of course. I suppose it's just bad luck," Joshua replied, slipping his arm into the sleeve of his smoke-blue botton up, "Besides, Mr. H is probaby turning Shibuya upside down looking for me."
Neku turned to face the Composer, worry evident in his face, "Are you gonna disappear again? I'm not going to see you again, am I?" He asked, a tone of dejection lacing his words.
"Now, now. Why would you think that?" Joshua purred, prowling over to where Neku stood and giving him a small peck on the cheek, "I'm the Composer of Shibuya. I'm always there. Try to expand your world, eh, Neku?"
That was the last thing he heard from the petit silveret, before the boy flickered in and out of focus--much like an untuned television-- before he was gone from Neku's sight. Back into the Underground.
Neku sighed, finding his shirt and slipping it on over his head, adjusting the large collar slightly so it covered the red mark Joshua left him with. He smirked. Maybe it was a good thing that all his shirts had ridiculously high necks.
Neku strolled lazily through the crowded Scramble Crossing. It had been like this for almost a month: Every Saturday, he'd meet up with Beat, Shiki and Rhyme at Hachiko. Just like old times. The other ex-Players had accepted Neku's apology without so much as a second thought, claiming that they'd always known that he'd never really leave them.
It was warmer this day, much unlike the weather that day back in November. There was a warm period in the month today, so he didn't have to wear anything other than a light jacket over his casual sleeveless shirt. He left his headphones at home today, knowing that today, at least, he wouldn't be needing them.
Approaching the statue, the brunet caught sight of Shiki, crouching in front of the Loyal Dog, clutching Mr. Mew tight to her chest, as per usual. Beast was discussing something animatedly with Rhyme, whe was laughing and smiling and encouraging her brother like a good sibling should. He waved once when Shiki caught sight of him, and she returned the gesture, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose.
"Hi Neku!" She smiled at him as he joined the quartet of friends.
"Yo Phones! I dun thought ya was ever gonna make it!" Beat agreed, giving Neku a friendly clasp on the shoulder. Neku chuckled, the Bito boy had such a hard time trying to act all manly around Rhyme.
"What, don't you trust me that much?" Neku asked sarcastically, making the beanie-wearing boy shake his head in apology. Rhyme simply giggled and explained to her brother that Neku was just kidding him.
Neku watched the whole group fondly. It was great to have friends, it really was. He'd missed having the gang to hang out with, but that was all a thing of the past now. He smiled. Yeah, everything was working out again.
"Oh, Neku," Rhyme said suddenly, looking up to stare innocently at the older teen, "There's a boy over there. He said that you invited him here a while ago, but he only got here today," She said mildly, pointing to a figure who was standing toward the back of the statue.
Neku blinked in shock, then he gasped. How did he not see the boy standing there before? Without even a warning, Neku ran to Joshua, wrapping his arms around the Composer in a tight embrace. He smiled brightly when he felt the skinny boy do the same, burying his head in the crook of Neku's neck.
Seconds later, Neku found his chin being pulled upward, lips connecting with a pair that were soft, and familiar. He immedeatly poured his soul into the kiss, oblivious to the disbelieving yelps of Beat and a fangirlish squeal that he knew was Shiki. When Joshua finally broke their connection, Neku beat him to speak.
"--What are you doing here?!" Neku asked, voiced coloured with excitement and happiness, "I didn't think I'd see you again."
Joshua merely smiled, wrapping his arms around Neku's waist and holding his Proxy close to him, lowering his head down until his lips were just barely brushing the shell of Neku's ear.
"...I've been having a slow week," He whispered seductively, as his lips curved upward into his trademark smirk.