Warnings : shounen-ai, language, Joshua weirdness and mentions of in-game character death and violence.
Spoilers for Week 2, dealing with spoilers for the end of the game in a roundabout, imprecise way.
Disclaimer : All I own of the game is one DS card and a box set. It, however, owns my sanity.
I've only just bought and finished this game but damn I love it so much. This little piece is my humble way of showing my love. Hope it makes for a nice distraction. ;D
10 facts Neku knows about Joshua :
1. Neku knows all he needs to know about his new partner five minutes after meeting him : the kid should be choked until he dies. Again.
That's all he thinks he needs to know, anyway ; but strangely, despite Joshua's stubborn refusal to give any hint of information about himself, Neku still manages to learn a surprising amount of stuff about him in a week.
2. Kiryu Yoshiya, aka Joshua, is a snot. But only when it suits him. He is perfectly capable of being as nice, polite and charming when needed (and not only with girls) as he can be snotty. As he is snotty the rest of the time.
There is, of course, never any need for him to be non-snottingly charming just for Neku's benefit.
3. There are many aspects on which Neku and Joshua differ. Neku listens to anything from good ol' rock to J-pop to trance and dance with those headphones of his, anything except the classical crap Josh absently hums when thinking (and bitches at him for not recognizing it, too). When Neku reads, it's manga - and it's more staring at the artwork than reading, really ; Joshua's a literature freak who'll quote poetry when he's not swearing at innocent idiots like any normal Shibuya kid (which he's not). Neku idolizes CAT ; Joshua's known the guy personally for quite a while and honestly doesn't think he's anything special. Neku cares a lot for personal space ; Joshua doesn't seem to have ever heard of the concept. Neku doesn't do well with people ; Joshua's a smooth talker who'll get anyone to tell him anything he wants to know. Neku only pays vague attention to trends because of Shiki and her lessons in fashion ; Joshua would spend hours shopping if Neku let him. Neku hates the Game ; Joshua entered it of his own free will for the sheer kicks of it. Neku wants to live again, wants himself and all his friends to get a second chance ; Joshua never found anything that made life worth living it. Neku's found someone to protect, to save, to care for ; if Joshua even cares about anyone, it's himself.
And that's just some of it.
4. The only two things they ever agree on : ramen tastes best shio-style, and you can never understand people.
5. Joshua actually has no particular qualms against giving straight answers and reliable info. He does, sometimes. Rarely. He just seems to think it way more fun to screw with (Neku) people's minds most of the time. Ask him too many precise questions and he'll even start flirting with you to change the subject.
(P.S. : Actually, no, that seems to only work with Neku after all.)
6. Joshua giggles. It's not that girly, actually (surprisingly), but it's very... queer. Now queer isn't exactly a word Neku uses a lot, but it's the best word he's found yet to describe his new partner.
... Strike that, actually. Creepy's better.
7. Strike that and take queer back. Ignoring the fact that Josh thinks all the guys in Shibuya (okay, just two Tin Pin Slammerkids and a math fetishist Reaper, but that's already way too many) have a crush on Neku, his own flirting only gets less and less subtle as the week goes by.
Neku tries hard to ignore it, but it's not working very well.
8. Josh is probably, maybe, possibly just a little totally gay.
9. Josh has an exhibitionism fetish.
Neku first suspected this on Day 2, when the kid decided he wasn't going through another day sweating in the same set of clothes (never mind that he never did anything even remotely physical enough to make him sweat the slightest bit) without at least having a bath. Which he had in a pond in the middle of Shinjuku Gyoen park. Neku, disturbed and pissed off, was assigned to keep watch for Reapers and Players while the creepy kid relaxed in the water, stark naked in the middle of the Shibuya crowd. Of course no one could see him, but that didn't make the whole thing any close to normal.
Then, only strengthening his suspicions, there was the whole dressing up in Lapin Angelique thing, of course. At least Josh didn't force Neku to dress up in a matching outfit (just asked, insisted, flirted and finally bitched for a long time before ultimately giving up when Neku just turned his music louder). That was pure showing off. People could actually see him - every time they came inside a shop, heads would turn and eyes would stare. (Neku also tries not to think about the fact that there were less shocked and more pleased looks.) And Josh, hiding it as he may with his pretense of blasé boredom, obviously had a blast.
And well, when by the end of the week Neku somehow found himself regularly pinned against walls and groped and kissed senseless by his crazy partner, with his protests ("What the heck, Josh, there're people everywhere !") only answered with smirks, giggles and something like "I know. Exciting, hm ?"... he was kind of certain of it.
By now, he's only praying that Josh never thinks up even weirder plans, like, for example, having his personal perverted idea of fun (i.e. doing unspeakable things to Neku) in stores changing rooms - where people can both see and hear them. But, what with it being, well, Josh and all, Neku has the sinking feeling it's only a matter of time before he does.
10. Joshua really, really shouldn't ever be trusted.
But at the end of it all, Neku still does.
Some of the things Neku remembers when he wakes up at the scramble crossing, once again : Joshua smiling that infuriating smirk of his, hands in his pockets, flippant and snobbish ; Joshua giggling and putting his hair back behind his ear flirtatiously ; Joshua playing with his phone, frowning the slightest bit and distractedly twirling his hair with his free hand ; Joshua bitching about losing at Tin Pin Slammer and having to wait for a mission ; Joshua thinking, nibbling at his lower lip ; Josh napping in a sunbathed patch of grass, looking unguarded and almost relaxed, almost innocent ; Joshua cracking jokes with Mr. H and drinking coffee like a lady drinking tea ; Joshua in a Lapin Angelique dress, laughing his pretty ass off and snapping pictures of himself with his phone because Neku was feeling just a little sick ; Josh pressing him to a street wall, purple eyes clouded and eerie smile plastered on his lips even as he kissed him ; himself, dead in Joshua's head ; Joshua gently pushing him off the building and turning his back to him, smiling softly ; the smile on Joshua's face as he pulled the trigger ; the look in Joshua's eyes.
5 facts Neku never knew about Joshua :
1. Joshua's never really been a kid. Seeing dead people does that to you ; among other things.
2. Neku is the first person Joshua has really understood. Not in the I know what your weakness is, I know how to manipulate you, I know just what you're thinking and you are a pawn dancing in my hand way ; actually, he's also one of the only persons that Joshua was not able to manipulate all the way through.
Simply, he is the first person that Joshua has ever felt any kind of bond with (frail and fragile and insignificant as it is) because, unbelievable as it seems, they think the same and they feel the same and they're not so different, really.
3. Mr. H might be the only person who'd believe it, but Joshua actually likes Neku quite a lot. In his own twisted personal way.
4. Joshua knew from day one (or even earlier than that, actually) that Neku would never trust him.
His consolation - the reason why he's still smiling after he's got Neku out of the way and he is standing alone in the ray of light, arms outstretched and eyes open - is that he also knows Neku will never forgive himself for it.
5. He is not so foolish as to think Neku will ever forgive him either.
Some of the things Joshua remembers as he smiles and turns away : Neku scowling, grimacing, yelling, fuming ; Neku talking about CAT, eyes shining, cheeks flushed, deliriously happy ; Neku, eyes shining and cheeks flushed and delirious for another reason entirely ; Neku listening to music in his headphones, unconsciously mouthing the lyrics, eyes closed, completely relaxed ; Neku saying you can never get people and never think like them, vocalizing his very own thoughts word-to-word ; Neku calling him Josh for the first time in-between biting sarcasms ; Neku rushing to his partner's, Players', Reapers' help ; Neku on the verge of tears as he fails to save the ones he cares about (every time) ; Neku blaming himself for what his killer is doing to the very same people he once swore never to give a damn about ; Neku touching the mural graffiti with a childlike smile on his face ; Neku looking up at him, eyes wide, confused and terrified ; Neku lying dead on the pavement ; Neku calling him his killer ; tears spilling down Neku's cheeks ; Neku's hands shaking on the gun ; Neku pulling at his hair and kissing him back.