Yay, my first contest entry! For The Light's Refrain's competition.

This is connected to "Arts and Craftiness".

***

Disclaimer: I don't own The World Ends With You, if I did, I'd have my own laptop.

Poisonous Snake

Shiki couldn't believe she had actually added his number to her contact list.

She couldn't believe she had actually texted him, one week after the WildKat fiasco.

Now, she couldn't believe she had decided to visit his mansion.

"You're so stupid, what were you thinking?" She grumbled, knocking on the door.

She knew exactly what she was thinking. Neku hadn't talked to her since the incident, and to be honest, she was just a little lonely. Rhyme had promised her she'd come over today, but that was still two hours away. Eri was due back today too, from some kind of trip. So, she had sat there staring at her cell phone before she gave in and texted him.

Are you busy?

She was beginning to become paranoid that he was watching her, because almost as soon as the message went out, his came in.

Not at all.

Then, she had prepared to ask him if she could go over to his house, but instead he wrote back another message without waiting for her reply.

Of course, dear Shiki, you can come to my humble abode.

And thus, here she was, staring at his "humble" home, which was in reality a mansion of insane proportions. She hesitated, about to tap the door, when it opened and Joshua was there, smirking, violet eyes glimmering.

"Well hello, Shiki. What a pleasant surprise to see you've finally worked up the nerve to visit me." He stepped aside, letting her enter his home. The walls were covered in luxurious tapestries; the carpet just looked expensive, and if the snooty butlers and maids walking around were anything to go by, he was very rich indeed.

Wonderful. She thought sarcastically, hugging Mr. Mew tight. She smiled, for his sake.

"I'm here to yell at you, actually." Shiki teased, following him across the wide room. "I think Neku hates me now, he won't pick up on my calls!"

Joshua smirked, leading her up a small flight of stairs and into a sitting room.

"I'm very sorry to hear that, Neku should learn to listen when others are trying to explain."

"It's your fault! You have to come with me to explain!"

Joshua paused to face her, leaning close, grinning again. "You seem to be under the impression that the kiss was my fault. Surely not."

Shiki leaned away from him, holding Mr. Mew protectively. "Of course it was! If I recall, I wanted you to leave! You were the one stalking me across the arts and crafts store!"

At first, she thought he narrowed his eyes, but they just looked half closed, like he was sleepy or something.

"I was not stalking you. I just wanted to see you." He whispered, smiling slightly as she blushed.

"Stop being so creepy, all right? You're really aggravating." She turned around, just trying to get his expression out of her mind.

Joshua said calmly, still in a quieter tone than normal, "If you wish, we can go talk to Neku."

"That's right." Shiki replied, still not looking at him. "When are we going to do it? I've got to talk with Rhyme in a little bit."

"It's not polite to talk to someone with your back turned." He said with a smirk embedded in his voice.

She turned her head a little to stick her tongue out at him. "It's not polite to make my friends think I'm going out with you!"

Joshua didn't say anything, and she was relieved when he walked over to a couch and sat down.

"Would saying 'touché' make you stop nagging me?"

"Possibly." She gave up and sat down in a chair across from him, placing Mr. Mew on the small table between them.

"If I recall correctly, you have about two hours before Rhyme will be at your place."

Shiki gasped. "How did you-"

"Isn't it obvious? But I don't spend my time stalking little girls; I just heard Rhyme's thoughts while passing by. She was reminding herself to meet you." Joshua replied, eyes half lidded again.

She picked at the sleeves of her white sweater. "Oh."

There was a semi-awkward silence, where whenever Shiki looked up; Joshua just smirked, uncomfortably reminding her of their walk to the WildKat a week ago. His eyes were still half closed, the pupils staring at her.

"Are you tired?" She blurted out, confused and wishing she hadn't walked over here.

He didn't smirk for once, just blinked, and then giggled a little. "What gives you that impression?"

"Your eyes are half closed." She muttered, reaching for Mr. Mew. "You know, I'm just going to go and-"

He grabbed her hand, smiling, and then slowly looked at her with his eyes still half closed.

"What's the matter with you?" She snapped, trying to pull her hand out. He held on though, snickering, slowly, very slowly, he brought her hand up and kissed it.

"W-what are you doing?" She felt the annoying blush creep up on her cheeks.

He smiled, and she felt his lips move when he answered. "To be honest, I don't know myself. Maybe we'll find out?"

Joshua smirked then when Shiki pulled her hand out. "Ha hah." She said sarcastically. "Stop, Joshua, for real."

He raised his eyebrows. "I had no idea you were against that. It's a simple gesture they do in courts all the time."

"What courts? Like the ones from two hundred years ago?"

"Exactly. Wouldn't it be worse if…?" He suddenly leaned in so close his breath touched her face and made her eyes flutter. Her heart went at about three hundred miles per hour, and was probably about to burst out of her chest.

Neku made her calm, but Joshua sent her pulse racing in…

Fear?

Excitement?

She didn't know anymore. All she knew is that he was grinning, so close, so very close, that they weren't even an inch apart.

"Is this worse?" He asked, his tone quiet, his wretched half lidded eyes shining with his silent, mocking laughter.

"J-Joshua…" She didn't know what else to say, but she was not going to fall for his trap. He was not going to get her to kiss him…

She clenched her free hand, the other Joshua had in his grip, lightly stroking her skin.

"Well, Shiki? It's not polite to keep someone waiting."

Shiki bit back a smart remark, and instead answered truthfully. Wasn't Rhyme always saying the truth was better; it would set you free or something?

"No. It's not worse." She said at last, earning a small giggle from him.

"I knew it." His smug tone almost made her want to bash him with Mr. Mew.

A vibrating noise filled the air, and Joshua leaned back, allowing Shiki to grab her purse and pull out her cell phone.

"Hello?"

Rhyme's voice replied back. Two hours had not passed already, right?

"Shiki, I might need to see you earlier than I intended. Are you free right now?"

Joshua leaned back, hands behind his head, studying her.

"I am, actually."

"Eri is coming too. Is that okay?"

"Yeah, be there in a few." She hung her phone up, smiling at Joshua, secretly relieved.

"Got to go earlier than I planned. See you." She turned, preparing to leave.

"Let me show you out. No, I insist." He said, waving her words away.

They walked down the stairs, Shiki hanging onto her cat, making sure she didn't leave anything behind to stop him from having an excuse to visit her again.

Arriving at the door, Joshua opened it and bowed.

"Have a nice day; I'll text you when I'm free to talk to Neku. I'm sure it's all just a misunderstanding."

Shiki nodded, preparing to walk down the path.

I got out of there without having another incident!

Suddenly, she felt his hand grab her arm.

Snap, I spoke too soon.

He pulled her back with more force than she expected, and she ended up in his arms, his lips suddenly on her own.

Yeah, spoke waytoo soon.

He once again surprised her with the thrilling desire in his kiss, exploring her mouth as if he had done it before, his arms wrapping around her, as his lips gently caressed hers. She was mortified when she actually returned the kiss, his eyes still half lidded, her own had closed…

He finally released her, waving cheekily good bye, closing the door.

Shiki stared, hanging onto Mr. Mew, whom she had almost dropped. She stared at her stuffed cat, who stared back at her.

"Now what, Mr. Mew?" She said hopelessly.

If the cat knew anything, it deigned not to speak.

***

Shiki was still sort of shaky from the kiss when she got home. (Dang, he was a good kisser!), and she hadn't been home long before a knock came on the door.

She opened it, adjusting her glasses, not surprised to see her friends.

"Hi, Eri, Rhyme."

They returned the greeting, and Eri flopped down on a chair, legs across the arm.

"Okay, spill it. What's up between you and Joshua?"

Shiki moaned, sitting down on a couch, Rhyme beside her. She buried her face in her hands.

"I don't know! He said he wanted to talk to me, in the arts and crafts store, and then he asked if he could take me to lunch. I said yes, because he said he'd stop stalking me if-"

"You have a stalker?" Eri sounded startled, and Shiki just groaned again.

"I know. To make it worse, he kissed me in the WildKat, I didn't kiss him! I swear he planned it! Then Neku saw it… Later, Joshua came by my place, and gave me his address and phone number, and a necklace…" She touched the necklace around her neck, she had worn it to his house since it would be rude not to. "I just wanted to visit him to see what he was playing at, and then he kissed me on the way out! And I kissed him back! I'm cheating on Neku!"

Eri looked puzzled. "I thought you and Neku were never together, not really."

"I-I wanted to…but…Joshua's kisses are like poison! The more he kisses me, the harder it is to resist him! How long 'till I just give in to the temptation? I'm weak." She finished in a defeated tone. "Boys just walk over me."

Rhyme, who had been silent until now, said thoughtfully, "Do you really think it's weakness that leads to temptation?"

"Of course! If you're strong you don't give in." Shiki muttered; her hand on her face. Eri nodded in agreement,

Rhyme shook her head. "There are terrible temptations that require strength and courage to yield to."

Eri said sarcastically, "Oh really? Like what?"

She hesitated, crossing her arms and getting that far away look that meant she was lost deep in thought.

"Like…Sometimes, you are tempted to admit you were wrong, but were afraid too. Wouldn't it take courage to say it, and strength?" Rhyme said at last, smiling serenely.

Eri looked thoughtful. "Oh, that's a good one, Rhyme! Do you just make these up or…?"

"I read books." She said cheerfully. "Philosophy is very interesting."

Shiki sighed. "So, who do you think I should…?" She looked up at them, toying with Mr. Mew's paw still, watching Eri and Rhyme.

"I don't know." Said Eri with a shrug.

Rhyme looked at Shiki, nodding slowly. "I think this is something you have to pick for yourself. Don't forget, weakness does not always lead to temptation. Sometimes, you're so strong, you're afraid to give in, because you never have before. That's when you need courage and strength…"

Shiki stood up. "You know what? You're absolutely right! I'm going to Neku's house."

She opened the door, leaving quickly, heading into the streets. That's when it happened.

Someone placed their hand on her shoulder. "Where are you going?"

She jumped, startled, whirling around, and almost smacking him upside the head, when she realized-

"Neku!" She breathed a sigh of relief, leaning against the building behind her. "Don't scare me like that!"

Neku's face twisted slightly, almost like a sneer, a sign of a sarcastic comment. Instead, he just tapped his foot.

"So I keep getting messages about how sorry you are. I wanted to hear it from you, personally, since I already heard Josh's." He pulled his earphones down to rest on his neck.

"O-okay. Neku, for real, trust me, okay? I didn't plan that!" She explained about Joshua and the arts and crafts store, and then the WildKat scene.

"So," she finished. "I didn't want to kiss him. He just won't leave me alone!"

"So, were you expecting the Stalker when I touched your shoulder?" He asked, amusement lacing his tone.

"Actually, yeah. I was about to go over to your place, but now that you're here…" She scuffed her foot on the ground. "Sorry?"

Neku stared at her, obviously fighting a scathing comment, then he said, "So what's this Josh was telling me about you 'kissing in his arms'?"

Shiki felt her temper flare. It snapped.

"WHAT?! DID HE SAY THAT?!"

She pulled out her cell phone, furiously selecting his name and waiting for him to pick up. She even put it on speakerphone.

"Yes, dear Shiki?"

Neku's face remained expressionless, but his eyes narrowed.

"Don't you 'dear Shiki' me! What was that lie you just told Neku?!"

Joshua giggled. "It wasn't a lie; you did kiss me, didn't you?"

"I-he-you-That was your fault! You dragged me into that!"

"Possibly. But I swore you kissed me back." He sounded outright delighted, and he laughed again, unaware of the fit Shiki was having.

"You-you snake! We're through, DO YOU HEAR ME?!" She ripped his necklace off, stuffing it into a stunned Neku's hands.

"Here, take it, I don't want it!" She told him, glaring at her phone still.

Joshua just sounded happily amused. "How can we be through, if we were never involved in the first place? Unless…we were?"

"That's it, you bast-"

Neku interrupted her hastily, taking her phone.

"Joshua, I think you should leave Shiki alone. Don't you?"

"I will if you do, Neku."

"What?! Oh, never mind. Don't you dare lay a hand on her, you hear me?" Neku hung up furiously, grumbling to himself.

Shiki looked at Neku shyly. "Sorry. I really am. I don't like him like that…"

Neku just shrugged. "I know." He studied the golden necklace with its obsidian Mr. Mew pendant, and then he grinned.

"We'll turn this in at the pawn shop, and then we can treat the others to lunch."

Shiki smiled, switching Mr. Mew to her other arm, and walked with Neku down the street.

"I'm having trouble resisting two temptations." She informed him.

"Oh really? What are they?" He sounded amused, his earphones back on.

"The first wants me to walk over and slap Joshua upside his head."

"You're not the only one." Neku muttered. In a clearer tone he said, "The other?"

Shiki thought about what Rhyme had said, about sometimes it takes courage and strength to give in to a temptation. She was tempted. Did she have to courage to…?

She quickly stood on tiptoe and kissed Neku's cheek. He sat there, stunned, hand on his face, staring at her.

Shiki giggled, looking at the sky, smiling. Looks like she found the antidote to Joshua's poison, she felt better already.

***

This is probably the end of my little one sided Joshua/Shiki stories. I now favor Joshua/Rhyme and Neku/Shiki.

Review!