Back to the scramble : check. Running to Hachiko again : check.

Getting forced into reiterating a pact with the guy who killed him, once more : check.

Putting all this in perspective of all the stuff he's read : check. Getting a headache : check. Concluding that Josh isn't even one bit human at all : check. Wondering if and when the insanity will ever stop : check.

Joshua looks at him for what is not and never was the first time, and Neku thinks he can almost read the words on his lips :

hello there, my dear, dear proxy


Oh, and by the way yes, Josh is definitely using his shiny beams again. Composer powers demonstration from the very first day on. Enjoy the show.

Poor crabs.

Talking about things getting crushed and crunched, of course the goddamned headache isn't helping but Neku's pretty sure no amount of repeating is ever going to make Minamimoto make one iota more sense to normal people (i.e. people that are not Joshua, obviously).

... is what he thought, anyway, until he finally puts two and two together to get to the chilling realization that Minamimoto's recognized Josh on sight. And by Josh, he means the Composer.

Well, of course he would. He saw Joshua's UG form — no, RG, he was still in the RG back then — back then in Udagawa, didn't he ?

It's so, so obvious that they know each other, know who they really are and what they're planning — Neku's head is spinning not only from the Pi-Face speech but also from all the double-entendre and code-speak volleying back and forth between the two of them, and he cannot believe it's actually possible to give stupid trigonometry mnemonics such scary second meaning.

"Some Old Horses Can Always Hear Their Owner Approach," Minamimoto delivers proudly. Of course he isn't exactly a horse (more like an ass), but at this point it's definitely the "owner" part Joshua is smirking at.


Kill me now, Neku finds himself thinking apathetically. Or, well, you know what I mean.

He's sorely aware, however, that Joshua and Fate are having way too much fun to end his suffering just yet.


"Well," Joshua concludes, back down to Earth and dusting his pants as if to chase clinging remains of Noise static from them, "the two of us should be able to cruise right through this week — between your psychs, my inspired brilliance, and our excellent teamwork."


Oh God, Neku hadn't quite realized yet that he's gonna have to put up with the giggles for a whole week again.

If someone had only told him what he was getting into, the first time around, if he'd only been told that he was dealing with an almost literal devil...

... what then ?

He'd still have gone through with it, he knows. For Shiki, he'd have done anything, and he will again.

"Say, Neku. Aren't you so happy you've got me as your partner, hmm ?"

Still, aarghl. "Just — screw you, Josh."



Did he actually say that ? Out loud ? He's fairly sure he's a bit ahead of schedule. He doesn't recall insulting and calling his partner 'Josh' out loud before a few excruciating days of suffering him.

Isn't that a good omen for the fabulous week he's got ahead of him.