~*Tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam libens.*~
~~With you I should love to live, with you be ready to die.~~
1. Beginning: Their beginning was one as complex as life, meeting beside a statue of a dog, forever faithful, even when as cold as death. Form a Pact with me! Together they could fight the Noise, together they could do anything.
2. Middle: Shiki felt like she was caught in the middle, hopelessly trying to stop Neku from being so cold and inhuman to everyone he met. Why wouldn't he be friendly, just this once? …For her?
3. End: "Our friendship was over before it even begun," Shiki said sadly as she watched the orange haired boy, Neku, stalk away through the crowd. What was she doing wrong?
4. Hours: So many hours defined their lives; if they didn't complete the Mission in so many hours, they'd be Erased. Failure. Neku said you couldn't count on others to do your Missions for you, just like you couldn't expect them to do anything else. She wanted to say that wasn't true, but she couldn't argue with what he thought was the truth.
5. Days: "You have 7 Days," declared the billboard in great red letters that uncomfortably reminded Shiki of blood. She looked around, wondering where the best place to find a Partner would be, and whether or not she could survive the first Week of her afterlife.
6. Weeks: Neku had to play for Weeks, three to be exact, but Joshua remembered the boy's second Week the most. I'm not just doing it for me; I'm doing it for her.
7. Months: How many months Shiki and Neku spent together didn't matter. The only thing that mattered to him now was that fact she was here, and he didn't want to remember anything before.
8. Years: The years went by, and Shiki wondered where they went. She wanted to go study fashion across the sea with Eri, but leaving Neku made her heart ache, especially after how strong they had become together. Everything they had always done together, since they first met…
9. Sea: Neku remembered the first time Shiki had seen the sea with him. She had stared at the crashing waves, then at him, and had unexpectedly said, "Your eyes are better."
10. Shore: To Neku, it was like during the Game he had only seen the edges of Shiki, the shore. Now, afterwards, he was lucky enough to finally see the real her, as deep and complicated as the ocean.
11. Faith: It was like Neku's belief in humankind had died off. He saw nothing good in them, wanted them to go away, to shut up. And yet Shiki didn't give up, she wanted to help him, and hoped one day she'd get through, like Eri would have done.
12. Trust: It was like Mr. Hanekoma had said, trust your partner. Did he trust her? Neku looked out of the corner of his eyes at the Stalker, who was stubbornly following him through the city. Maybe he could, but she hadn't earned it yet.
13. Respect: Shiki had to admit, she had just a small level of admiration for Neku, who could pretty much tell anyone to their face what he thought. Unfortunately, that included her.
14. Joy: There was no greater happiness that Neku had ever felt in the world than having Shiki in his arms as he hugged her by Hachiko. The real Shiki, with her brown hair and glasses that he thought, in his honest opinion, looked better than Eri ever had.
15. Sorrow: It was rather bittersweet, seeing Shiki lifting slowly into the air in the light. But she'd be okay, right? Neku slowly reached a hand up, and she did too, their fingers briefly brushing before she was gone.
16. Purple: "Dark colors," Shiki explained to him inside D+B. "Look much better on you than lighter shades, like white." Neku raised his eyebrows, watching her hold shirts up to him for a size comparison. Why this was important he'd never know. With a grin she held up a purple T-shirt. "Perfect!"
17. Red: Neku realized with a sinking feeling what was going on. Shiki's eyes were burning scarlet in the light, and Megumi chuckled, for even though the battle was over for now, they still had Shiki to deal with. Horrified, Neku realized Beat was going to kill Shiki to get to the Composer. He whirled around, his back to Shiki to protect her, glaring at Beat. "Stop! Don't you touch her!"
18. Black: Neku was seeing Stalker through a veil of darkness. He lifted his hand, and she rose into the air, struggling vainly, her eyes rolling back. "Don't kill me," she pleaded. Desperate. Afraid. Neku saw Mr. Mew, her pathetic stuffed cat, fall limp on the ground. She had been tired from the fight, more than he was, and she wouldn't attack him. "I have to," he said, as her vision faded to black.
19. White: Panicked, unsure what to do, Neku accepted the girl's strange Pact. There was a flash of clear, beautiful, warm, watery light that swept them off their feet before Neku became aware of something else. An extra feeling, the girl's heartbeat.
20. Blue: Shiki saw only a dark, sapphire glare from behind a veil of orange hair before he turned away again. "Hurry up," he growled. She knew they had a mission to do, but they also had to buy supplies. After all, she had waited patiently for him to pick Pins; she should be able to get some dang clothes!
21. Friends: Neku never saw the point of friends, never had, never will. They only got in the way, couldn't be trusted…or they left you. "I'll never leave you, Neku." Shiki said to him so quietly that he barely heard her, as if reading his thoughts.
22. Enemies: Neku wondered when his Partner stopped being his enemy, his burden. He was aware of her now, skipping and jumping to dodge her foes, controlling her cat with the merest flicks of her fingers as they fought their true adversaries.
23. Partners: "Can two teams partner up in the Game?" Shiki voiced her opinion to Rhyme as Neku and Beat slept behind them. The girls had woken up early, though it was clear Beat was beginning to stir in his slumber. "I don't know," Rhyme replied. "But I sure don't see why not." Shiki turned to smile at the unconscious Neku, and in her gaze Rhyme could read her warring emotions, but said nothing.
24. Family: He saw them as his family, his own little family, these smiling friends of his. Beat, Rhyme, dear Shiki, and…Joshua. Though the Composer wasn't there, Neku knew he was watching, and gave a little wave to the sky. Without the Game, where would he be now? Friendless, pessimistic, and without…Shiki.
25. Strangers: "That man is freaking me out," Stalker murmured to him. Neku turned his head and saw what she meant, the guy in the red hoodie. He didn't say anything, but all of these people in the hooded jackets were making him feel uncomfortable…and worried for himself and his Partner.
26. Teammates: "Yeah, we're a team." Shiki said to Neku quietly. "Or were a team, Eri and I." Neku shook his head impatiently. "From what I've heard, Eri misses you too. She's nothing without you, like she said. She can sketch all she wants but nothing will ever happen without you." Shiki lifted her head slightly, and her gaze was so searching and confused, (Why was he comforting her?), that he averted his own eyes. He'd never say he hated to see her so subdued.
27. Parents: "My parents must be so unhappy," Shiki said to herself as they walked through Shibuya. To her surprise, Neku had heard and he replied, "They don't need to be, we're going to win, no matter what happens."
28. Children: They were all children, just fifteen or so. But everyone, even Neku, felt it was necessary to watch just a little more carefully what was going on when it came to Rhyme, for they all remembered the shark attack. Shiki remembered because of what she had called Neku. Inhuman. But the truth was Neku had just been so shocked that he couldn't react. He was more human than anyone.
29. Birth: Neku felt like he had been reborn. After the Game, his parents were so amazed and happy, (their joy affected him), when he came home with a group of kids at his back, all chatting cheerfully. Their eyes hadn't missed Neku's smile that was all for the girl with the stuffed cat, and they exchanged a knowing glance.
30. Death: "I'm…dead?" That knowledge alone was so staggering that Neku didn't notice, nor did he truthfully care at the moment, that Shiki was falling apart and begging the huge Reaper to stop. He barely registered the sound of running footsteps as she fled.
31. Sunrise: The rising sun over Shibuya tinged everything red and yellow. Shiki opened her eyes, sitting up, wondering what mission were they in store for today. They were by Hachiko, and as she looked to her left, she saw Neku, frowning in his sleep, his back to her."Another day, another way to get farther away from him." She sighed, defeated.
32. Sunset: Neku knew the mission was over and soon they'd drop to the ground, asleep. They were helpless against it, really. He turned his head and saw she had just slumped against the wall, tired, but not saying anything. "You all right?" He asked her. Shiki looked up, nodded mutely, and then looked down. Another day, another few hours of pushing her farther away. Was that good or bad?
33. Too Much: It was too much. She should have been safe, damn it! But he had gotten too close to her, and she was his Entry Fee. Dear, sweet, patient, silly, caring Shiki was his Entry Fee. He'd have to win, no matter what. If it meant putting up with the prissy kid, then so be it.
34. Not Enough: She didn't have it, not enough strength, to resist the influence of the red Pin. She struggled, but Megumi's will crushed her own. That's when everything went black, and she woke up with a broken Pin beside her.
35. Sixth Sense: Some innate ability, some sixth sense, told Neku his life was about to change. For better or worse he didn't know, he'd just have to wait and see…and collide accidentally into a pink haired girl.
36. Smell: Neku was standing beside her, silent as always, but when she turned to address him he was stunned by the scent of honey and lilacs that hung around her, and he couldn't answer her question without taking another breath, so he said nothing.
37. Sound: The sound of his voice was utterly absorbing, so dark but rough and smooth at the same time. It was impossible, but Shiki didn't care. She was in a game of death, after all. She would do anything to hear it again.
38. Touch: Her touch was light and gentle, and he found he couldn't move anymore, couldn't walk away, only because she was holding his arm. "Wait, Neku." She pleaded. So he waited, and if she only knew the power she had over him, Neku thought.
39. Taste: It was their first kiss, ever, small and secret. But all the other could think was the difference there was between them, and yet, they were perfect for each other. The touch of their lips was hot and cold.
40. Sight: Shiki thought something was wrong when she met Neku at Hachiko, she begun to lose her eyesight. It was only when she felt Neku brush his fingers gently along her face that she realized they were tears of joy. He was okay, they all were.
41. Temptation: It was a terrible attraction that Neku just couldn't resist. He had woken up before Shiki during one of the Days of the Game, and he finally gave in to the temptation. He brushed his fingers through her silky reddish pink hair and along her jaw line, smiling when she gave a small sigh in her sleep.
42. Whisper: Neku's breath touched her ear, and Shiki shivered as he whispered, "Love you, Shiki." She hugged him back, inhaling the icy scent of his jacket. "Love you too, Neku."
43. Nightmare: Shiki woke up panting and wide eyed from a terrible nightmare, she dreamed she had died. When she looked down and saw Eri's clothes, Eri's hat beside her, she remembered. No, it wasn't a dream, it was real. Neku silently took her in his arms and she was so surprised that she couldn't move until he let go.
44. Bittersweet: She's gone. In a way Neku was glad she was out of the Game, (or so he thought), but in another way he wished she was here beside him with her cheery smile and energetic personality. He needed her support, now more than ever.
45. Guilt: Neku's remorse was unending. He couldn't stop the agony of it from tearing at his heart, because as he lost his temper, glaring at Shiki at what he considered one of her dumb questions, she actually shrank back from him in fear, and he saw the same look that had been in her eyes when he had strangled her. Terror.
46. Star: There were only two stars visible in the vibrant lights of Shibuya, Japan. Shiki privately though they existed in Neku's eyes, but she wouldn't dare say that to him.
47. Moon: "Do you see the moon, Neku?" Shiki asked him. Neku scoffed. "Of course I do." She looked up, her face illuminated by its pale radiance. "Ever heard the expression 'over the moon' for someone?" When he shook his head she only smiled.
48. Run: Neku ran, ran as fast as he could because he didn't know what was happening! Where was he and what were these strange frog freak things coming after him?! His desperate flight took him straight to the girl.
49. Hide: Shiki just wanted to hide from them, escape and wait for a Player to show up. She noticed a boy struggling to fend off some of the Noise and called, "Form a Pact with me!"
50. Play: It was all fun and games until she got basically her rear handed to her by Neku in Tin Pin. "You're no fun," Neku said to Shiki. "…Jerk," was the affectionate reply.
51. Water: Shiki wondered where it came from, the howling rainstorm seemingly summoned by Yodai as he battled them in his monstrous Noise form, reciting bad cooking puns all the while. But she was ready for a second chance, and so was Neku, so she called encouragingly, "We can do this, Neku!"
52. Fire: She remembered how it had first started. An innocent enough Pin, just a little circle of metal with the emblem of a flame on it. She had been impressed, because not only could Neku use it, he could use every other Pin she had too.
53. Earth: "Earth to Neku?" Stalker rudely interrupted his thoughts, and Neku glared balefully at her. He didn't need the earth, the world was so small and stifling, he would much rather fly. If only he could.
54. Air: To Shiki, after she had been cured of her jealousy for Eri, it was like she was light as air. She gave a small skip in every step, a happy grin, and Neku only smiled slightly, saying nothing, though she knew he noticed. He'd be blind not to.
55. Spirit: Shiki was full of life and spirit…that wasn't her own. Now that she was her normal, more modest self, Neku wondered how alike-or unlike-she was compared to Eri. He soon found there wasn't much difference to her except that she wasn't as talkative…and he could live with that.
56. Breakfast: During the Game, their breakfast usually consisted of whatever the pair could get while on the go. "If I have ramen one more time…" Shiki mumbled to herself. Neku said, "Shut up and walk." Though he was almost as sick of it as she was.
57. Lunch: Lunch wasn't much different from breakfast, and she wondered why she was eating when she was dead, after all. When she cautiously asked Neku what he thought on the matter, he surprised her with an honest, "I don't know."
58. Dinner: "…If you didn't like this restaurant, you could have said so," Neku grumbled to Stalker. She looked up at him briefly, brown eyes behind a curtain of pink hair, before picking at her food again. "Food's food," she mumbled.
59. Food: "Apparently food helps our 'Sync Rate'…or something." Stalker said to him after they had finished breakfast. "What makes you think that?" He replied. She hesitated. "I asked one of the Players inside of there, the more we eat, the more vitamins and…stuff we get." Neku put his food down immediately. The less "Synced" he was to her the better; he might be as high as she was all the time. And then where would they be?
60: Drink: "Ever since I told you about our Sync Rate, you won't eat or drink anything." Stalker shoved a can of soda into his startled grip, and she glared at him. "Drink. The Soda. Now." Neku took one look at her face and downed the can in three gulps.
61. Winter: It rarely or never snowed in Shibuya, and yet here they came, thick snowflakes like downy puffballs totally unwarranted for this place. Something impossible, Neku thought, that was just within reach. Just barely. Just like how he wasn't so far from his old life that he wasn't cold and skeptical, but his new life saw the borders between himself and the world had never existed in the first place, and let others cross. He glanced at the girl beside him. Of course, others just helped themselves.
62. Spring: The ice of jealousy had retreated and spring had come at last. Shiki hummed pleasantly to herself, (and maybe Neku too), sewing an outfit of Eri's, and it was like the frost had never been there to begin with.
63. Summer: With the array of summer fashions arriving in Shibuya, Shiki went to 104 every day to make sure she and Eri knew about the newest trends. Unfortunately that meant her boyfriend was dragged along for the ride, and if it wasn't for the fact it was for her, Neku would have left due to the accusing gazes of a dozen or more fan girls at his outfit.
64. Fall: It was only later that Neku and Shiki learned that Mr. H, an Angel, had recently been changed to Fallen Angel status, and would probably be punished. The two held an affectionate spot for CAT, and they promised to help in any way they could. Neku mainly because Mr. Hanekoma was his idol, Shiki because he had saved her life from Neku.
65. Time: The Timer in the Game was almost more feared than the threat of Erasure itself, because once the burning numbers reached zero, you can only pray that someone else had completed the mission in time, or a lot of Players were screwed. Shiki exchanged a fearful look with Neku as they fought the bat. Just a few seconds left.
66. Rain: The droplets were pattering against Neku's window, but the two friends on the couch didn't move. One said nothing; the other quietly explained about her day until the boy wrapped an arm around her and held her close. A soft silence invaded afterwards.
67. Snow: Staring into the wintry snow through her window, Shiki swore that just for one single moment that one of the flakes had been a feather, some sort of plume from a mighty bird…or a pair of wings. Ridiculous, right? When she told Neku, he only shrugged, not saying that he thought they were all feathers.
68. Lightning: Lightning unexpectedly crackled so loudly that a startled Shiki jumped almost a foot in the air, earning a snicker from Neku that only lasted for a few seconds. But the sound was so rare and precious that she wished it would happen again.
69. Thunder: The sound was like a million trees falling at once. The boom rumbled in the stormy gray rainclouds massing over Shibuya, but Neku just turned his headphones up and continued texting Shiki. He was most certainly not afraid of thunder, and obviously was not trying to hide it.
70: Storm: The storm that had been threatening the sky all day broke loose with a vengeance. Everything was drenched in an icy cold covering, but Neku and Shiki didn't feel it as they slept, and the rain and everything else passed right through them.
71. Broken: It was torn, the cat. Neku noticed Shiki's desolation as she knelt down and picked at its wound with the most delicate touch he had ever seen. Stroke, poke, in the cotton goes. Sew it back up, and the next thing you know, Mr. Mew is as good as new. If not better.
72. Fixed: Nothing is fixed in place, everything isn't set in stone. Life can change, as Neku found he could. Because why the heck else would he be sitting outside in the rain with a girl who insisted on being one of the first to see the new outfits in the store?
73. Light: Gently, lightly, Shiki brushed Neku's bangs from his eyes and stuck her tongue out teasingly. "You're silly, you know that? That man wasn't going to do anything to me, he just wanted the time." Her boyfriend was flat on the ground, grinning nervously. "How would I know?"
74. Dark: The clouds gathering outside made everything seem dark and dangerous. Neku looked up, then at the girl beside him. One more day, and they'd all go home. He remembered what Rhyme had said. It was always darkest before the dawn.
75. Shade: Sitting in the shade of the umbrella, keeping a careful eye on the kids in the yard, Neku started when Shiki said from behind him, "They're going to be fine, Neku."
76. Grief: She wanted nothing more than to be able to get Neku to open up. Of course Eri could do it, do it and probably get him to fall in love with her. Unfortunately, she still wasn't Eri, despite everything. She was only, and forever would be, Shiki Misaki.
77. Tears: Shiki had never seen Neku cry before. "Neku…are you okay?" Her companion wiped his tears away and hugged her again. "If this is the real you, it's better than Eri ever will be."
78. Lies: How many times did she tell Neku she was okay? She wasn't okay, she would never be okay. It wasn't Eri's fault she was in the Game; it was only because Shiki had tripped down those darn stairs and ended up in traffic…
79. Truth: The simple truth was evident by what she saw. Shiki sighed, reaching out and somehow, her fingers made contact with the black wings. "Neku, what have you done?" She asked quietly, miserably.
80. Lost: "We're lost, aren't we?" Neku asked her. He wouldn't be a bit surprised if Stalker got them lost here in Shibuya. "No, we're not that far from 104. It's right there. "She bit back a sarcastic comment she was apparently itching to give and simply walked away, with him following.
81. Tease: Neku had once softly teased her skin with his lips until she was so bright red that he had remarked, quite sarcastically, that she looked like a cherry.
82. Anger: Shiki felt fury rise inside of her. "Neku Sakuraba, stop laughing! I'm wearing this to support Eri!" Neku kept guffawing, covering his mouth and snorting with laughter as she stamped her foot. It wasn't her fault that he thought Lapin Angelique looked funny on her.
83. Shy: "Neku, are you sure you're not just a shy person, that's why you-"Shiki stopped her sentence cold as Neku glared silently at her. She decided it would be wise to end her sentence right there.
84. Love: Neku never went into the details in his mind. The simple fact was, he was in love with Shiki, and she liked him back, so he wasn't going to trouble himself with anything else.
85. Hate: Shiki didn't know if she hated Joshua or not. He had killed Neku. But if he hadn't, she would never have met him. She looked silently at the violet eyed boy who only smiled back.
86. Found: Neku may have lost his life, but he found so much else. A new existence, friends…the most important things he'd ever have. Especially since they were all bullheaded enough to put up with him, and weren't afraid to say to his face, "no".
87. Life: "This is the life, yo." Beat said to him as they watched the girls get the ice cream from the store. Beat was keeping a careful eye on Rhyme, and Neku was looking at Shiki as she joked with Joshua, whom apparently had also decided he wasn't going to pay for anything. "Yeah, it is."
88. Fear: "The truth is, I'm scared. I'm scared of getting a second chance." Shiki sobbed, covering her eyes, silver tears falling from between her fingers. Why would she be? Neku wondered. She could start over as a new person…with his help.
89. Hero: Oh sure, he was her hero, now. Neku just wondered if she was being too trusting, after all, he had almost killed her. As they met by Hachiko, he decided that was what he liked about her.
90. Villain: "Josh isn't the bad guy," Neku said evenly as Shiki glared at Joshua over his shoulder. "Let's not lie to her, Neku dear," said the Composer with a smirk. At the word "dear", Shiki bristled for reasons Neku didn't know.
91. Slave: "We're slaves to the system," declared the shop manager of Hip Snake. He continued to rant while Shiki picked some amethyst earrings. "Do these bring my eyes out?" She asked Neku with a grin, knowing he probably had no idea. He shrugged. "I don't know, but we should leave before he gets violent."
92. Freedom: Neku ran as fast as he could, sprinting through the city, and there was no reason for it. He was free, free from the Game, and for the moment it was just him, Shiki, and everyone else as they celebrated and shouted with joy what most people in Shibuya wouldn't understand. "The Game, the Game, we beat the Game!"
93. Quest: "I'm not playing that cheap ass game, 'Quest for Glory'." Neku growled. Shiki laughed and asked why. "It's one of those weird RPGs where you can kill yourself with a lock pick." Everyone broke into laughter and even Joshua couldn't stop his giggles.
94. Journey: "Is life one big journey, Rhyme?" Neku felt silly for asking the little girl, but she seemed so wise at times that he wondered if she was more than she appeared. Rhyme replied instantly, "Yes, that's exactly what it is." Neku wondered if his real journey had begun when he first met Shiki in the Game. Was everything before her just a prelude to what would come?
95. Triumph: Neku was grinning uncontrollably as Joshua huffed. "I win, Josh." The Composer raised his eyebrows as Shiki kept laughing. "I despise Tin Pin," he grumbled, causing Shiki to laugh harder. She had never seen Joshua so irritated after losing three times in a row. She had been having a bad day; leave it to Neku to cheer her up.
96. Gentle: When Neku kissed her, or hugged her, he was never forceful. He was always gentle and soft and calm, because he would never hurt her. That was comfort enough in any bad time.
97. Rough: "No wonder you're always in a bad mood," Shiki said, appalled. She was studying Neku's blue jacket as he stood in his gray shirt. "What?" He growled. "Your jacket-it's so…scratchy."
98. Change: "Is change good or bad?" "Depends." Shiki answered his question with a shrug. "With me and you? Good. With people like Rhyme? Bad. I think Rhyme's fine as it is." Neku thought a few things could be changed about her. He thought she was too damn happy all the time, but that was her, after all…
99. Momentary: The kiss lasted only a moment, but it was the only thing Shiki needed before she stepped onto the stage with Eri. "This is our new line of clothes…" Was that her voice, all steady and strong?
100. Eternity: Neku felt like he could sit with her forever, just on the couch, while she smiled and laughed and cried with whatever silly movie she was looking at. He wasn't a particular fan of romance comedies but he'd handle them.
101. Headphones: There was a pair of headphones on the streets of Shibuya, dark blue. They told a million and one tales if anyone cared to listen, and if one did listen, they'd hear about the Game, Noise, Composers and Conductors, Reapers, Game Masters. But mostly you'd hear about Beat and Rhyme Bito, Joshua Kiryu…and you'd hear even more about Neku Sakuraba and his first Partner, Shiki Misaki. Neku didn't need to hear tales though—he was the one making them after all. And he had plenty more to create.
Woo! It's finally done! This is a gift for the incredibly talented and wonderful The Legendaerie LT. She's my main form of inspiration for a lot of things, be it Neku and Shiki stories, Joshyme, basically everything to do with The World Ends With You.
Prompt 101 is from Upon The Rocks--credit to him!
I put a lot of effort into this guys; can you do me a favor and review? Possibly tell me your favorite number too?