A/N: Yeah. I got this game after Christmas, I'm only just playing it now and I'm basically blown away by it. It's like Jupiter took Chain of Memories and fixed every single part of the battle system that could be considered annoying.
So anyway, I'm on the final week of the game, and this pretty much struck me when I realised that it was Valentine's Day today. Needless to say, after seeing the events of the previous two weeks unfold, the idea took hold. The inspiration came from thoughts after finishing the second week. Me and my mom dropped my brother off at college for something or other, and when she drove back she put on the CD. Three sad songs, mostly about mourning, in succession.
I was sure to inform her how tactful that was afterwards.
The streets near Molco were well-known for the number of people passing through them. No surprise there, really. The Tin Pin Slam-off competitions held there were big news. Everybody who was anybody played the game. A lot of people in other parts of Shibuya thought they were insane. And then they played it.
But there was another reason, too. And that one was a proper urban legend.
There were plenty of urban legends around Shibuya, too. One of the more special ones was the Hachiko statue standing next to the scramble crossing; there was also the Moyai statue of teamwork; and finally, the area around Molco had its own secret. The magic phone box.
It was basically agreed that said phone box had an impressive power. A lot of people who called their crushes from there walked away with said crush wrapped around their finger. Marriages had been planned from there. First dates had been set up. Heck, anniversaries had been spent making calls from that phone while others watched and cheered.
Matchmaker telephone box? You said it.
Which made everything all the more sad when you were technically a ghost.
Sakuraba Neku and Biito 'Beat' Daisukenojo, his partner for the week, had decided to drop in on Molco for a short while and spend some time watching the box. They had tried completing the mission today, and they weren't about to fall asleep just yet anyway.
Besides, it was Valentine's Day. You could watch all the girls picking up chocolates for their prospective boyfriends while the guys tried dodging all the pink being thrown around.
Neku was pretty lucky to have calmed Beat down, considering how his sister's Noise-soul-familiar-whatever-it-counted-as was currently in the grasp of the Reapers. After he had done so, because Neku assured him that taking a break wasn't giving up on going after them, the orange-haired boy had decided to take him over to Molco to watch the phone box, remembering just what day it was.
So the two boys were now eying every single boy or girl that went in there.
One girl caught Neku's eye, and he blinked. It was a thin redhead, who was being accompanied by a girl with cropped hair. The other schoolgirl, Neku didn't recognise, though she did seem rather familiar; however, the other girl looked like somebody he hadn't seen in a while.
Beat frowned. "Hey, ain't that chick Shiki?" he asked.
Neku shook his head. "That's her friend Eri. Shiki gave up her appearance up for the game, and ended up looking like her," he explained in a hollow monotone. Much like everything else he said, to be honest. "She always wanted to be just like Eri."
"That's a drag, yo," Beat sighed, hands in his pockets. He leant against the box. "Tradin' her appearance. She jealous of her pal that much?"
"'Course she was. Eri's basically what you'd call a fabulous person," Neku said. "She's always on top of the latest fashions. See? She's carrying a Red Skull pin." He pointed to the little badge on her hat. Indeed, there it was: a black skull icon on a red backdrop. It was the hottest thing; the trend had started two weeks ago now, and Neku and Shiki had been responsible for it. "Seems weird now. We helped that guy Makoto set the trend. Shiki'd always been on the backburner of fashion. For her to be on the forefront for once must have felt incredible."
"Hmm." Beat pushed himself off the glass and crossed his arms. "Yo, Phones."
"Who'd you reckon Eri's gonna call if she comes over this way?"
Neku placed a hand over one of the headphones he was wearing, before taking it away again. "I'd hope to hell it's somebody she really likes, but if Shiki comes back and Eri's taken, then she might forget about Shiki altogether. Then Shiki's dreams of being a fashion designer would be ruined. So… if Eri calls anybody, I would want it to turn out to be an unrequited love."
Beat smirked. "You savin' Eri for yourself?"
Neku grimaced. "Of course not, you stupid asshole."
"Then, you sayin', 'I want my love to be happy', are ya?" The fifteen-year-old boy broke into laughter. "That's classic, yo! I support ya there."
"Actually, I'm not." The orange-head stretched, closing his eyes serenely. His back made a very audible clicking sound.
His partner pulled a face. "You aight, Phones?"
Neku opened one eye. "Yeah, just... thinking." He then sunk down onto the floor, legs splayed out. He turned up the music on his MP3 player and bowed his head in silence for a few minutes.
Molco was a nice place, and so was the rest of Shibuya, but the sky still hung grey and white over the top of their heads. And the grey and white was too much for Neku's tastes. It was too bleak and cold. The air bit at his skin; the shadows marked black lines upon the floor; the glass of the phone box was hard and uncomfortable.
"Phones?" Beat asked softly, worrying.
"Wouldn't want him to worry about me, would I?" he mumbled.
"Phones, you aight?" The blond knelt down and placed a hand on his shoulder.
At once Neku's head snapped up. His eyes were shiny and unfocused, and his mouth was just barely hanging open, spelling out words without sound.
Beat pulled him up to his feet. "Phones. Who's it you're talkin' 'bout?" he asked, keeping an arm wrapped around him just in case he threatened to collapse again.
"...Forget it." Neku switched tracks and let the melancholy piano drift over his senses for a second, if only to calm his thoughts. "It doesn't matter anyway. Come on, let's rest up or something. Yeah..."