Title: Deep River
Pairing: ShoxNeku, a bit of PKxSho and PKxNeku
Rating: K, for Princess K!
Summary: Sho just wanted his hat back. He may have gotten just a little bit more than he asked for, however.
Disclaimer: I do not own World Ends With You.
A/N: Came to me on a whim; the title is actually a name of a song; a very pretty song. I like it, at least. DEDICATED TO MY LOVE FOR PRINCESS K AND MY BEIEF THAT SHE IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SCARE SHO INTO PROPER GRAMMAR.
A/N 2: And I finally get the courage to post this on FF. ._. Read and enjoy.
Oh, and fair warning, this is UTTER FAIL.
Sho wanted his hat back; bad.
He knew that someone took it, for before he got crunched with something oddly heavy and unnecessary, his hat was there. His hat was there, and then it was gone when he woke up. It was not exactly one of his happier moments. And then that devious little silver-haired Composer had the nerve to walk over to him and say that he was going to give him another chance. Honestly, Sho just wanted to kill the little bastard for outwitting him, but that went against what he was trying to do presently.
Which was, in fact, involving him, equations, and his hat; the hat that was not in his possession.
And so, he wondered where it was while he walked around in the Underground, visiting different places only to see that they were apparently selling his clothes. As if it wasn't enough, he passed Lapin Angelique, that wretched place he used to work at, and seen a rather pretty red head girl stuffing a black hat in her backpack through the window.
A black hat with pins on it.
Sho's black hat with pins on it.
Some girl had his hat. How did she get his hat? He wanted it back.
Alas, the mere memory of working at Lapin Angelique in the past was something he dreaded to even recall, and he would be screwed if he was forced to work there again. It wasn't like Sho was on a Composer issued mission, anyway; he could just walk in, avoid the shop owner, snatch up his hat, and leave. It was as simple as pi.
That was how it was going to end up, he was sure.
The tall, dark male decided to just get it over with and walked into Lapin Angelique as calmly as he could. His gold eyes darted around the store, spotting several familiar outfits and even some new ones he had never seen before, before he caught sight of the girl he seen through the window. She was wearing one of the Lapin Angelique dresses, the pink and black lace-up dress, the black and red mini hat that Princess K always seemed to be wearing, long white stockings, and black platform shoes.
Honestly, if Sho wasn't looking for his hat at the moment and if talking to her didn't put his ego at risk for Princess K could be out any minute, he would be talking up a storm.
It really was too bad he was dead.
He went to head into the back, but was stopped short when he heard the "girl's" voice.
"Hey, if you'll wait for a minute, K will be right out," 'she' said as 'she' turned around, showing brilliant blue eyes that widened in shock immediately. "Oh, you must be joking!"
Sho whirled back to the girl, then realizing that 'she' was a 'he'. And he knew that 'he'.
"Ah, it's you!" He exclaimed as he pointed at the red head. "Neku Sakuraba!" Immediately after, his mouth opened and he started laughing hysterically. "No way! Where's your beauty, hectopascal!? Girl's clothing; now that's a hitter!"
Soon enough, the loud hysteria caused the manager of Lapin Angelique, Princess K, to come skipping out of the back with a wide smile on her face. She brought her hands together and wistfully walked over to Sho, putting a hand on the lion's arm. "Ah, I knew I recognized that laugh. You're Sho Minamimoto, right; the boy who worked here with me two years back?" She asked sweetly. "It's so nice to see you again! Would you like to stay for a cup of tea, or are you here to be put to work again?"
Sho knew he was screwed unless he stayed for tea.
"So, Sho--how have you been doing?" The deviant Lolita asked as she handed Sho his cup of tea, making him glance down in it as if checking for something. The last time she gave him tea was two years ago and back then she was still the devious little thing she was now. He took a drink and passed out right there on the couch, and when he woke up he was in the vampire dress that they sold and she had blackmail material for a lifetime.
It was why Sho never came back after that mission.
The mathematician shrugged and took a drink of his tea, his inspection through, gold eyes peering over at the busy bee handling a costumer at the register. There was a smile on the boy's face, something that Sho had never seen before, and he looked like he was having fun. Sho wondered what was so fun talking to people who would never understand you--there was a good chance they would never see each other again. So, why was that boy smiling again?
Why was he smiling like he was when he was looking at the graffiti in the Udagawa back streets?
"Oh ho, have you taken a liking to my new employee? Isn't he just darling?" Princess K asked as she glanced over her shoulder and smiled. "He came here a month and a half or so back, saying that he would help me with whatever I needed. He's such a sweet boy."
"Hmph...That digit? Sweet? No, you obviously don't know him," Sho snorted as he averted his gaze to the floor. "The world is garbage. That doesn't exclude him."
Light blue eyes twinkled in amusement. "Oh? Is that so? Well, then you certainly know nothing about him either, Mr. Minamimoto. If you did know anything about him, you wouldn't still be here, thinking that all you're here for is your hat," the brunette sing-songed as she set her cup of tea down on the table in front of her. She smoothed out her dress as Sho contemplated her words, choosing then to snort and look back at Neku.
The red head was thanking the customer, a broad, bright smile plastered on his face. He looked happy.
"I don't want to know him. I want my hat," the dark-haired male concluded, looking at a rack of clothes. He was not willing to get to know Neku; he knew what he needed to know. It seemed the boy admired CAT, and he was killed by the Composer and made a Player. That was all he needed to know.
Princess K huffed and stood. "Well, then I might as well show him those…" She said, trailing off at the last second, lips curving into a sly smile. "I still have them in the back, actually. I'll just go and get them…"
Sho went to jump up and tell her that she had better not show him, but the gothic Lolita was gone in a flash.
The red head was done at the cash register and came back just in time to see Princess K running to the back of the shop. He guess that she was going to look for something and shrugged, walking over to Sho and waking a seat on the couch across from him where Princess K sat just moments ago. He glanced up at Sho, seeing the other in a tense position, a hand on the arm of the couch and legs poised. It was as if he was ready to pounce on someone. Neku guessed that Princess K must have said something to rile the elder male into a defensive stance.
"I wouldn't advise doing that if I were you," he said as he spotted the extra cup of tea, still steaming, that Princess K left for him. He smiled lightly and carefully picked it up, saucer and all, before balancing it on his covered thigh, waiting for it to cool down.
Sho nearly snarled. "I don't care!" He exclaimed, obviously unhappy with what was going to happen. He knew Princess K. She was not one to not follow through with her threats. It was near infuriating; she was almost like that hack Composer whom he was trying to kill.
Somewhere in the Underground, Yoshiya Kiryuu sneezed loudly, startling Kariya and Uzuki, but making Hanekoma laugh. Tenho and BJ merely shook their heads and headed out, saying something about finding 777 for practice.
Neku sighed and frowned, shaking his head. "You don't get it, do you? The minute you try to grab her, she's going to kick you in the shin," he said as he traced a finger along the edge of the tea cup, admiring the black porcelain and bat design it donned. He was used to Princess K's taste in cups by then.
The lion-esque male blinked, and relaxed for a minute to contemplate that thought. By the time he was through convincing himself that Neku was right, Princess K was coming out with a small, black and silver camera, a graceful tone to her stride over to the couch. She took a seat next to Neku, offering him the camera.
"Here you are, Neku. Take a look at these," she said as she guided him through the complicated process of finding the pictures of Sho through the numerous galleries on the complex device.
The red head was finally able to reach the pictures and barely held in a snort before he went into fully laughing, tears forming in the corners of his eyes. "What the hell, man!?" He cried, reaching a hand up to his face to wipe away the tears.
"Don't. Laugh. At. Me," Sho ground out as he growled and snapped out to grab the camera, failing when Princess K took it back. However, he had lunged forward towards Neku to grab it, and so he landed face first in the boy's lap, not caring as he scrambled to get the camera. Neku, on the other hand, was flustered into putting his hands on the elder teens face to push his head away from his lap, failing utterly as Sho over powered him.
There was a flash, signifying that Princess K had gotten another picture of him, being Sho Minamimoto, doing something utterly ridiculous.
"You two are so cute," she crooned as she quickly hid the camera in her clothes where Sho was obviously not going to reach no matter how desperate he was.
Neku's blue eyes widened and his entire body flushed in comprehension before he pushed Sho away with all of his might, making the darker slam his back into the table. He watched as Sho doubled over in pain, hands flying to his back as he cursed loudly and a slew of off handed numbers left his mouth. It sounded like he was listing the numbers of pi, but Neku immediately shot up from his seat and waved his hands in an apologetic motion. All he got was a heated glare from the genius on the floor, which made him sit back down.
"E-excuse me, K?" Neku stuttered as he smoothed his dress out in a familiar motion, just like Princess K had done earlier. Sho guess that he had picked it up from the princess herself.
The brunette looked over at her employee and smiled gently. "Do you need a break?" She asked sweetly, getting up from the dark couch and walking over to one of the racks. Her light blue eyes glittered as she took out a red bonnet, nodding to herself happily.
Neku nodded in time with the other's nod, glancing at Sho from the corner of his eye. The Reaper had moved back to the other couch, stretching long ways and running a gloved hand through his hair, smoothing it back. Gold eyes caught his and a smirk worked its way on to thin lips. The red head groaned and looked back at Princess K, not wanting to hear the ruffian's snappy comments.
"Yeah, I need a break," he confirmed out loud.
"You're so zetta lazy, Sakuraba!" Sho announced loudly, adjusting his glove so it fit more comfortably.
Princess K turned around and walked over to Neku, handing the teenager the bonnet. "Of course you can have a break. I'll handle the customers, so just put this on for me," the Lolita said as she patted his shoulder gently and smiled as if to say not to worry about Sho. "He's a nice guy underneath it all. He just has some problems with making friends."
Sho snorted. "I hope you're not talking about me over there, hectopascal," he huffed rather loudly as he flung his arms around the back of his head to lean on.
The red head smiled back at his boss and proceeded to sit down, tugging at the ribbons of his hat under his chin. He could feel Sho's gaze on him and tried to ignore it as he pulled the hat off, setting the accessory to the side and beginning to put the bonnet on.
The elder male hummed lowly for a minute, going through a vast array of numbers and complicated algorithmic equations in the back of his head, waiting until the headgear was settled on the other's head—with some difficulty. It was lop-sided and Neku seemed to be troubled by t. Sho muttered something under his breath about a zetta son of a digit, for being the perfectionist he was that lop-sidedness needed to be fixed soon or he was going to through a temper tantrum. And so, such imperfection resulted in Sho hopping to the other couch, landing neatly beside Neku, quickly bringing his hands to the boy's head.
Neku jumped when Sho began adjusting his bonnet. "Wh-what are you doing!?" He squawked indignantly as the man pulled on the red lace, retying it swiftly in perfect bows. He slowly craned his neck to look at the other, brow twitching when the elder male looked away and rested his chin on his palm, elbow on the arm of the couch. "Why did you fix it for me?" The boy asked carefully.
"It was pissing me off, too; you're too zetta slow with it. You can't even tie a bow right," Sho mumbled quietly. He was so out of it; really, he was. Lapin Angelique was so nostalgic to him; it was his second mission as a Player two years back. He had to work there and wait for a couple infected with Noise. Princess K knocked him out and took a picture of him "for future reference," as she put it. His partner laughed even until the end (and he almost got knocked out for it, too—Sho wasn't going to take that crap from anyone).
It was such garbage to him. Even during the first mission, he thought it would be better to be a Reaper. Finally, when he became a Reaper at the very end, it took him two reach the point where he could hit the Game Master status mark. He remembered chasing Joshua, the Composer, down in the Real Ground. That was the day the silveret killed Neku Sakuraba, right in front of a CAT design. Sho never thought he would see Neku again, didn't really even know who he was.
While he was Game Master, he seen Neku with Joshua. Sho was so busy that he overlooked the fact that the silver-haired pretty boy was the Composer—but Neku…is was not like he could stand there and ignore Neku. The boy was a Player then, after all. His attitude was so negative, so dark that Sho doubted the red head would be able to recover enough to go into society again. He was so cold and antisocial then, and his aura was not something to be desired.
However, Sho came back again during the last week. Anyone could imagine his surprise when he encountered Neku yet again that week. He was not expecting it—but what surprised him was the most was the boy's energy and smile. That smile was small, but it was still there; there even now as Neku turned to talk with Princess K, who was at the register with a happy grin on her face.
It was beautiful.
That was the beauty he was looking for, he supposed; a beautiful jewel in a city of pure trash.
He wanted to burn it into his memory.
Vaguely, he wondered if it was the blasted Composer and the boy's friends who provoked the change.
"Oh no," K crooned, "dearest Sho is thinking too hard! Oh, look Neku; it looks like his head is going to burst from the intake of oxygen!"
'Nice way to ruin my inner monologue, Kurohime,' Sho thought angrily as he snapped at the girl and jumped over the back of the couch to argue with her at the cash register like the hot head he was.
Neku was startled for a moment before he allowed himself to watch the darker male talk back with his usual temper while Princess K giggled, feigned fear, and dealt with him calmly. If there was anyone in the world who could put out Sho's fire or ignite it spontaneously, Neku was sure it would be Princess K.
"Ne, ne, Sho dear, isn't Neku cute in that dress?" She asked as she waved her hand over at the red head.
"I'm not cute," Neku huffed, crossing his arms over his chest.
Sho watched the other's reaction and smirked, canines showing. "He's so zetta adorable," he teased sadistically, playing along with Princess K.
The younger teen stood up abruptly and shouted, "NO I'M NOT!" He quickly covered his face and sank into the couch, feeling the need to crawl into a corner and die there coming on. They were so horrible; he heard them snicker—or maybe it was just Princess K who snickered at him—and sank deeper.
Somehow, Neku's day ended as Princess K decided to close shop early, and once he changed he found a certain Reaper following him, arms behind his head. He found himself slightly disturbed before he realized that he still had Sho's hat—and maybe his jacket, pants, and bandana too (but he wasn't going to mention those). The red head wanted, initially, to turn around and tell the other to go away, but something in the back of his head told him that he enjoyed the company.
After all, it was the start of the weekend, and it was not like he had anything else planned.
The elder teen yawned rather loudly, catching Neku's attention. Gold eyes glinted in irritation, and a gloved hand shot out, palm upwards and groping the air. "Can I have my hat now?" Sho asked, as if he thought he was going to get it back with something as simple as that.
Neku hummed and took the hat out of his backpack, swiftly putting it on his head and laughing under his breath. "You'll have to catch me first," he joked as he took off into a mad dash, still used to running away from Reapers around Shibuya from a month and a half previous. He was still running, and would be running for a while, until he achieved efficient footing away from the Reaper trying to steal the hat that was currently in his possession.
And, for some reason, Sho found it extremely hard to catch the little bugger as he ran for the back streets of Udagawa. Sure, he was tailing him easily, and even though Neku was waving at the guy in Towa Records and AMX from the window, he still couldn't grab the teen by the back of his shirt. Since when, Sho wondered, had Neku gotten such stamina? Randomly, pi ran through his head along with a few combinations from Pascal's Triangle, and soon he understood.
'Stupid quack Composer,' he cursed.
It took at least a half hour for Neku to reach his destination, and he briefly, but fondly, gazed up at the mural.
Sho stopped on the steps, and stared at the younger teen's back, lips forming into a deep frown. "So, are you going to give me my hat back, hectopascal?" He asked as he walked up two steps, only to have his hat thrown at him from over that distance. He caught it briskly, staring at the back of the other's head. He didn't know whether to say thank you, or to just leave.
"If you're going to go now, just go...and no, I don't have anything else of yours."
'Why that little,' Sho twitched, and wondered why people were so adamant on stealing his things while he was away or knocked out. "So, how's life?"
The words spilled from his lips.
"Fine--as you can see, I have a job that makes me crossdress."
And the answer was no problem.
"You look very good in that dress."
Teasing came naturally.
"Oh, ha, ha, ha--very funny, you ass."
Sarcasm was the best thing in the situation.
"You were as pretty as pi," Sho said finally, putting his hat on and suddenly grinning as his vocabulary increased by a few words.
The shade that Neku's face turned rivalled that of a tomato as he snapped his gaze to Sho and yelled at him, arms tensed at his sides as he ran at the mathematician. "I AM NOT PRETTY!"
The lion cantus snickered, angled his hat slightly, and ran with a wild red head chasing after him.
Later that night, when Neku got home, he was brought to wonder just why Sho's hat was back on his bed. He picked it up, a note falling from it, and his blue eyes quickly scanned over the words before his face lit up a brilliant red and he flopped down on his bed. It was never going to end!
I'll be back for my hat.
Pi. Solved. : Wear the vampire dress next time.