Sho has celebrated Christmas once before, he's only celebrated New Years until Neku and Joshua started living with him Post Game.
That... and Neku had just volunteered to host a student...

This takes place after the main story around December. Minoru is (c) Phailure (deviantART). All else is owned to their respective owners.
Extended to a two-shot, seeing that one file is far too big to upload. |D

Merry Christmas, y'all!


Oh man...
How basic can you get?

Neku was light on his feet as he sprinted home amongst the bustling urban mess, Shibuya. He was leaving his sibling-like schoolmate, Joshua, in the dust.
How could I forget to tell him about the exchange student!?
Determined to get home, nothing could break his stride.

Sho had left the campus early today, simply because he needed the peace and quiet at his secured home in Pork City. He was cross-checking the midyear Math Exams with a keen eye.
It was the season for winter again, and that much appreciated happiness came in slowly like frostbite, but in a warm, reassuring way. And he loved it. What's more, the adopted students, Neku Sakuraba and Yoshiya Kiryu were living with the familiar math teacher. This will be the very first time they would spend Christmas and New Years together.
There was a slight problem with it; true that Sho had celebrated Christmas the year before working as a teacher, but without any background knowledge, it had been dull and boring. And he didn't celebrate last year because he had his concerns with Neku.
Sho sighed, and put the pen down in order to have a brief break before continuing to mark the Exam sheets.

The door to the apartment rustled, before being opened abruptly. Neku stepped in, but took a moment to catch his breath. He slowed down a little and made his way over to Sho, who had been disturbed by this sudden entry. Still panting, Neku cut to the chase. "I... forgot..." he took a deep breath, "...To tell you something important!"

Sho perked up at this. He put his pen down as he turned to face the panting teen. "Oh? What is it, Phones? By the looks of things, you've left it too late." he said, quirking a brow. Whatever it is, he knew he wasn't going to like it.

Neku scratched his neck. "Eheh... Well you know that exchange student coming in our grade...?" He looked around the room, avoiding the unimpressed look Sho gave him. "...Well he's s'posed to be living here for a while..."

"Live here...?" Sho froze. His assumption was correct, "You volunteered us to be a host family?"
He paced around, displeased with himself, before perking up, and out of the blue, yelled at Neku, "An Inverse Matrix?!"
What's more, not even the staff had informed him. "Thanks a lot, Phones. If you planned on adding my easygoing attitude to the heap, CRUNCH!! Mission accomplished! Now if you excuse me, I need time to let it sink in." and before Neku could protest, Sho slammed his study room shut with a loud bang!

Neku shrugged. "It's not my fault..." he said to himself. He took his things and made his way to his room. Before he could do so, Joshua finally got home. He looked like he had taken his time a little. Neku stopped to say nothing, but roll his eyes at Josh, telling him in a look that Sho was acting somewhat childish.

After fifteen minutes in the study room, Sho finally calmed down enough to leave the Exam sheets later. They will need to prepare for the exchange student's arrival.
He walked on over to the lounge room, not even surprised, or amused, to see the boys fighting over the remote. Again. "And you 2 say I'm childish?" Sho asked, deliberately intervene this ridiculous competition.

Joshua had Neku pinned, freezing and dropping the remote to the ground the moment he heard Sho's voice. He quickly got off of Neku and sat back on the couch.

Neku gave Josh a stingy glare as he sat up and rested his head on his arm. "Hmph..."

Joshua smirked a little at Neku's defeat. He looked up at Sho. "So you know about the exchange student?" he asked calm and casually.

"Not until Phones made it home. No, not even the staff told me." Sho growled a bit, realizing this before settling down to ask the questions.
"First of all, when will they be here, and for how long? Second, where will they sleep? And what sort of student are we looking at?" he asked briefly, before sitting down between the boys on the couch and picking up the remote.

Neku stared at the screen, still a little annoyed with Josh. "He'll be here in 3 days, and he'll be leaving on the 22nd." he paused to confirm in his mind what he knew; "His name is Minoru. That's about all I know..." Neku relaxed a little, slumping on the couch, "As for where he'll sleep... Well I guess he can stay in Josh's room..." With that, he gave an evil grin to Joshua behind Sho's back.

Joshua heard this, and gave an alarmed look at Neku in response. Are you HIGH?! If he touches anything of mine, you're taking the hits, Soda!

Sho wasn't all that sure. He said he could look after a classroom effectively, but an individual far from home was a different factor overall. He crossed his arms.
"We'll spend the weekend to prepare for him, then. Oh and Phones?" Sho paused and looked at Neku, "I hope you've made the right decision. Any tears, and you will not get an otoshidama for this New Year. It's bad enough you left it to the last minute, so I zetta highly recommend you don't push your luck."

Neku scratched his neck, looking away. "It's not my fault the school - or Josh - didn't tell you..."

Joshua frowned, giving Neku a death glare. Don't try dumping your load on me, 'brother'. I wasn't informed of this either!

Neku got up and stretched. It was still quite early in the afternoon, but Neku was looking forward to an early night. "We'll figure something out." he said with a bit of uncertainty before heading off to his room and gathering his things for a shower. The night progressed faster than usual. Neku spent some time in thought. It was exciting having an exchange student stay, but what would he do if the student turned out to be stuck up? What if Neku had to give up his room for the week? These thoughts crossed his mind, but weren't clouding it. Out of the three, Neku seemed to be the least concerned about the oncoming stranger.


Monday morning, Sho had got up in advance, had his shower and consumed breakfast before either of the boys got up. Before heading off, he'd stop by in the boys' rooms, smiling and giving them a brief mess up of their hair before leaving soundlessly.

Joshua was up the moment his alarm went off five minutes after Sho's departure. Glad that he turned his alarm clock, he'll be able to beat Neku for the first shower before dressing, breakfast, making his own lunch, and booking it to school.

Neku ignored his alarm two times. He took his time to get ready and consequently left much later then Josh. He still made it on time, but he took his time. With his headphones on, he wandered through the schoolyard as he usually does. His first class of the day was shared with Ayaka, so he met up with her with a small smile in the courtyard. It was a surprisingly calm day. Few clouds in sight as the weekend had just came and gone.

Joshua went to his Physical Education class, and quickly knuckled down with the competitive sports. Last year, the teen would not have chosen such a strenuous class, since he disliked working up a bit of sweat. That all changed the moment he left the hospital late January this year.
Now with one lung and physically fit, Joshua had been living life to the full, while avoiding to even whisper a single word inside and outside of school.

Sho was promoted before their summer holiday late June. He was allowed to teach Accounting, Metalwork and Art and he took pride in it. All business at work, and childish at play, the students loved him for having such a quirky nature and the fact that his teaching was fair, accurate and understandable.
Come lunch, he went off for the staff meetings to discuss the exchange student programs.

Meanwhile, Neku was called to a short meeting conducted by one of the head administrators of the school. He and few other schoolmates were also called to one of the language studies rooms to meet with their exchange students. Neku entered the room. A group of foreigners and country neighbours alike stood idly in the room, waiting for a representative from their host family to step forward.

Among the crowd was a male teen, identified with what looked like the Negative Polo shirt from Natural Puppy, and a pair of glasses. He certainly didn't look pleased, but he had been looking forward to this trip. However, he wasn't impressed with how... bland Shibuya was in general from his perspective.
Oh fun... I wonder who's the sorry soul to look after me? he thought disdainfully.

Neku looked around. He noticed 'Minoru' written subtly on the luggage sitting beside the teen. Neku crossed his arms. He had a bad feeling. He knew this kid was trouble. He sighed a little and approached Minoru. "Uh... Yo..."

As if spacing out of boredom was bad enough, some stranger teen with a wild mix of colours had approached Minoru. And already he didn't like it. Still, something appropriate needed to be said.
"So you must be Neku?" the teen responded, folding his arms.

Neku nodded and offered a half-assed smile, hiding his instinctive dislike for the foreigner. Great. A whole week of angst...
"Yeah. Nice to meet you."

Minoru didn't say anything afterwards, disliking Neku in return. After the bell went, he gathered his stuff in order to head off with the group.
Before he did, he needed to know something; "Where do you and your family live?"

Wiping his face from any attempt of polite formalities, Neku crossed his arms. "Pork city. It isn't too far from here. Third floor. We can take you there after school..."

"Very well..." Minoru mused, glancing up at an irritated Neku, "I'll meet up with you after school."
The exchange student watch Neku quickly leave the room, before muttering, "Asshole."

Neku snickered. His eyes traced the floor of the corridor with his hands in his pockets. "I heard that, you damn princess..." he muttered spitefully to himself. So much for optimism. This kid was trouble, and Neku knew it.

The bell to mark the end of lunch sounded, and, as usual, Joshua had been waiting outside his next assigned room five minutes in advance. But he was thrilled. After all, next up was Visual Arts with Sho, and accompanying them was Neku.
However, a rather annoyed Neku was Joshua's way of knowing bad news in advance. What's wrong? You look like someone has had a go at you.

Neku approached Joshua, still looking sour. "Minoru's got some nerve..." he said to Josh before entering the classroom. Neku took his seat as he always did. I wonder if I was ever that stuck-up...

Looking concerned, Joshua followed quietly and sat next to Neku as usual. Are you still going to make sure he sleeps in my room, too?

Sho, their teacher, didn't take long to arrive, looking rather grim after bearing with the nonsense from the staff. He was given more work to correct throughout the week, as if hosting a student hadn't been a bad strain to his train of thoughts. And unlike Neku or Joshua, Sho didn't know what the kid was like.
The noisy students followed, but once everyone was here, Sho got their attention to mark the roll and ordering them to get their art folios out.

Class progressed as it always did. Neku took every opportunity he could to procrastinate, often earning himself a nudge from Josh.

Yep, you're really out of synch, Neku. He must be that bad if you're stubborn with the work.
Joshua continued to imprint casually while keeping his sights focused on the task at hand.

Before the bell to their last class could ring, Sho wandered over to where the pair had been sitting. "So what did they say Neku?" he asked casually.

Neku stopped packing his things and looked up, spacing out a little. "Say about what?"

"What is the student like?" Sho inquired more accurately.

"Oh," Neku finished packing his things and held them under his arm, "He's a jerk." he said without a hint of regret.

"I see..." Sho mused for a moment, "I'm staying behind a bit after school for Joshua and in order to correct these assignments. Then I'll stop by at home to drop Josh off, grab a bite, and then report for the late-hour meeting. So that will leave you with the student. If he is a jerk, try not to start a fight, please?" he finally informed.

Joshua certainly didn't want a part of this, but he hung around for a while before leaving for his last class alone.

Neku scratched his neck and nodded before leaving the classroom. The weather outside was fine. Nothing he could complain about.
He waited just by the front gates to meet with Minoru, who took his time.

Minoru, with a nonchalant and bored look, came walking out of the grounds and dragging his stuff. The idea of cleaning up after school was out of the question for the visitor, and he seem glad that his host was thinking so otherwise.
He said nothing to Neku, and waited for him to stop spacing out.

Neku finally noticed Minoru and approached him. "C'mon then." he took the lead and walked on ahead, making sure Minoru was following at a close distance. He didn't want to lose the exchange student. Even if he was a jerk. Neku took the safest route, avoiding shortcuts.

Minoru reluctantly followed. He continued to keep quiet. As the pressed on, Minoru took the time to soak up their surroundings, making sure to keep a mental map and identify what's familiar. It would have been easier to take the bus.

Without taking any shortcuts, the trip felt much more drawn out then Neku could recall. Maybe it was the presence of Minoru which slowed him down a little. Regardless, the apartment block was within sight. Neku pointed it out from the rest, but continued to press on after receiving no response from Minoru.
A short time later, they had reached the foot of the apartment building. Neku waited for Minoru to catch up a little before heading inside.

Minoru picked up the pace the moment he saw where he would be staying for his visit. I'm stranded in this trashy place?
"Just so you know, I have heart problems. So climbing the stairs is out of the question." he said coldly to Neku.

Neku continued on ahead to the elevator. "Gotchya."
Like I was going to take the stairs anyway...
With some luck, one of the lifts opened right away. Neku got in and held the door for Minoru, who, to no surprise, took his time to drag his belongings into the elevator. The trip to the third floor was awkward. There was a sense of tension in the air, however Neku preferred to avoid cutting the silence at this time.
The door to the elevator opened up. Neku took the lead once more and rummaged through his bag to retrieve his key. Not even looking back to see if Minoru is following, Neku opened up the door to the apartment, entered, and swung his bag aside.

Minoru followed slowly, he perked up once they made it to the apartment. It seemed much cleaner than the first impression attire. "So?" he started, with a tone that wasn't all that thrilled, "Where will I stay? Here in general seems quaint, very quaint, and not tacky like everywhere else."

Neku crossed his arms. I'll take that as a compliment...
"There's no guest rooms, so you can stay in Josh's room. If you're alright with that..." he trailed off, preferring not to offer the alternative of his own room.

"Josh's room, you say?" Minoru replied with satire, "You never told me you had siblings. I do hope he doesn't mind. Can you be a dear and show me where his room is, then?"

Neku nodded. "Sure..." he mumbled unenthusiastically before showing Minoru to Josh's room. Josh isn't going to like this...
"Here you go. He's not really messy, so there's not a lot you have to worry about..."

"Thanks." Minoru chirped, before slamming the door. Ass!


It was roughly 2 hours before the door knob rattled again. Meantime, Neku and Minoru had shared the TV, with the host quickly relinquishing the remote without even fighting.
Sho and Joshua entered once the door opened. Minoru perked up, smirking. He wasn't sure what to think about the other teen just yet. "So? Is this the mute you're talking about?"

Neku looked up too. "...This is Josh. And I shouldn't have to introduce you to Sho..." he said, letting Minoru's sly remark for Josh slide, just this once.

Joshua felt immediate danger once his violet eyes settled on the guest. I knew I had a bad feeling the moment you started acting weird. So, I can't talk at home either? He questioned Neku soundlessly.

Sho just waved briefly, also feeling slightly uncomfortable. "Listen, I'm going to head back down and hand in what I've done with the exams. I won't be too long, so you two better be nice to Minoru, or else."
He turned and was about to shut the door, when he asked, "So what are we having tonight?"

Neku shrugged. "I'm easy." he forced a polite tone, trying to give Minoru the benefit of his doubt. "What do you feel like...?" he asked, addressing the question to both Minoru and Joshua.

"I'll try anything of the traditional sort, thanks." Minoru faked his kindness.

And Joshua detected it. He shifted uncomfortably before deciding to sit on the floor, closer to Neku and away from Minoru. Why not ramen?

Neku crossed his arms again. "Ramen sounds pretty good right now." It's easy too... and not that expensive. Good thinking Josh.

Sho offered a kind smile to the group, "Ok, so we'll head down when I get back?"

"Oh..." Neku scratched his neck and looked at Joshua. "Hope you don't mind Minoru taking your room..."

Sho nodded, "Glad that you're sharing. Ok, I'll be back in an hour or two." And with that, he closed the door to depart.

Joshua sat still for a while with a sour look on his face. Rest assured, Soda. You just kept to your promise last night. But you're dead if he does anything severe.

Neku sighed. It was going to be a long week... He switched on the TV again. The show they were watching before Sho arrived was still going. Staring blankly at the screen, he tried to keep the peace. "So... Where are you from?" he asked Minoru, half interested.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Minoru curtly replied.

Neku kept quiet, a sour look forming on his face again. He rested his head on his hand Freakin' jerk...

Joshua stood up. Without as much as a glance, he returned to his room. He may not have had much of a choice, but at least he could gather his things and lock up valuables as he did. He didn't have much, but he took what he needed and dumped it in Neku's room. You can kick me out of my room, Neku, but there's no way I'm sleeping on the couch for a whole week...


Not much else had been said, apart from Minoru making nice complements in an attempt to suck up to Sho.
It was bed time, and Neku, whether he liked it or not, was going to have company with Joshua.

"So... You didn't want the couch, huh?" Neku asked Joshua rhetorically.

Lying down, Joshua stared blankly at the roof. "...I have a bad feeling about Minoru..." he said quietly, so that only Neku would hear.

"I know..." Neku agreed. "...Maybe he just hasn't adjusted yet. He just needs a little time." he continued, attempting to be reassuring.

Joshua closed his eyes. "Maybe..."


The following morning, it was in routine again as Sho got up in advance and departed for work, followed by Joshua, and soon Neku. Minoru had to be escorted to school, the only thing he took with him was his packed lunch.
First up was the welcoming assembly, with music, dancing and gift giving, something that non-participating students like Joshua and Ayaka, and by standing teachers like Sho, weren't involved with. It was entertaining for Minoru, and he took advantage of it by keeping his spite at bay.
Come lunch time, however, things were about to make a change for the worse yet again.

Neku was sitting on a ledge of a garden bed with Josh. He avoided loitering around the buildings like he did in the past, mostly from paranoia. Most of his grade hanged around in this new area anyway. He stared blankly into the skyline, eating his lunch slowly to waste the time. Neku was quick to snap out from spacing out when visited by Ayaka, who waved with a smile to both him and Josh. Josh waved back. Neku greeted her with a casual smile. "Man, Kamiyama was sure pissed off today..." Neku joked as Ayaka sat down beside them. She laughed a little.
"No kidding. I thought he was going to kill me if I didn't get anything done!" she replied, earning a chuckle from Neku, followed by a sudden awkward silence.

Minoru had gone to seek his host siblings, much as he didn't want to, he would be lost otherwise. Oh well, catch up with the emo and mute now, join his fellow acquaintances later as the bell goes. It didn't take long before he'd spot the familiar boys and a new face at the garden bed. He smirked, already assuming that the girl was either a good friend, or a girlfriend of Neku's.

Joshua perked up, getting a bad vibe simply by one look. Neku, we have trouble...

Neku looked up too. His gut sank at the sight of Minoru walking straight towards them. Out of curiosity, Ayaka looked up too to see what the fuss was about. "Who's that?" she asked.

Neku crossed his arms, "Minoru. He's staying with us on exchange for a while..."

Minoru quirked an eyebrow, "Why the sour look, 'brother'?" he sneered.
Not earning an answer from the three, he quickly switched tactics. "So, I haven't seen you before," he stated calmly to Ayaka.

Joshua tensed at this. He knew what Minoru was planning, just to get onto Neku's bad side yet again.

Neku glared at Minoru, eying him carefully. Quit while you're ahead, 'brother'...

Ayaka just gave an uncertain, but polite smile. "Uh... I've always been here."

Joshua frowned, the tensions tightening. Neku, don't. I know what you're thinking, but just hold off now... violence is the last thing we need...

"Ah," Minoru mused, "So, what is your name?"

Before Ayaka could answer, Neku blurted the answer out for her, in a stingy tone. "Ayaka. Her name is Ayaka."

Minoru snickered at this, "I see," he said sourly to Neku, before he turned his attention to Ayaka again.

Joshua knew it was trouble, so ignoring Neku's protests, decided to drag him a fair distance from the two. I know that look, I know your tone. We're having none of this, brother.

Taken off guard, Neku struggled a little, "H-hey, what are you doing?"
He turned his head to get a glimpse of Minoru still talking with Ayaka. Minoru had a sly look on his face. He turned around to look at Neku and Josh, obviously mocking them in some subtle way. From the distance, Neku could see Ayaka giggling at whatever Minoru had said. Neku's patience had worn out fast. He made an attempt to break free from Josh's hold. You...

C'mon Neku! We don't need this...! Joshua protested, finding his strength and dragging his enraged schoolmate away from trouble, And you wonder why you got expelled...?!

Neku held himself back and snickered, still keeping a sharp eye on Minoru. "That punk... If he tries anything, I swear..."

Joshua knew this was serious, and not wearing a smirk or having a teasing tone in his thoughts showed it. What's wrong, Neku? Jealous? I don't know why you're so worked up, but I'm on your side. Just... don't get yourself booted by doing something stupid!

Neku broke free from Joshua's grip just as the bell began to ring. Without saying anything more to Joshua, he stormed off to his next class.


The door rattled, and Joshua bolted inside in fright, seeing that an enraged Neku chased him home.
Or that they were beating Minoru to get there first.
He quickly stood aside as said angry teen quickly followed.

Neku didn't bother fighting for the remote today. He wasn't in the mood. Instead he marched on into his room, threw his stuff beside his bed and fell back onto the sheets. He couldn't help the way he felt. Minoru just got under his skin, and there wasn't a thing he could do about it. Although if it wasn't for Joshua, there's no telling what he would have done.

Timidly, Joshua followed Neku and sat on the bed next to him, but not too close. There was no telling how violent Neku was at present. So scarred was the teen, he didn't bother imprinting his thoughts, as he watched with a worried look.

Neku sighed a little, looking away, "I didn't mean to blow up or anything... I don't know what came over me." he said, now a little embarrassed about the incident.

Joshua sighed a bit. Hey, you needed to vent sooner or later... Oh, and go right ahead if you still have anything against me when you're done with Minoru. I must say; he's one nasty piece of work, worse than myself may I add.

Neku shook his head. "Hm, no kidding... That kid's got some nerve." He looked over at Joshua. "I would never expect such a faggot for an exchange student... I mean, where is he even from anyway?" he scratched his neck and let his eyes wander around the room. He calmed down a little, "...Thanks for stopping me today... As much as it'd be nice to stick it to him, it wouldn't have helped at all..."

No problem, Neku. Joshua smiled in response, glad that he did step in. After some thought, he looked up again, I don't feel like studying, what do you say we have ice cream on the balcony, like always?

Neku smiled back and nodded once. They did just that; grab some ice cream from the freezer and went to the balcony. Neku sat down, leaning against the support pillar, looking into the Shibuyan life below. It wasn't glamorous, but there was a certain atmosphere which Neku always liked about Pork City. It was almost surreal.

So what if it was third floor? It was still as good a view as always. Joshua took a bite of his ice cream while admiring the view. Oh well, there's tomorrow. Minoru will get back late, so we can fight then. He giggled at that thought, glancing at Neku to see that spark of fire in his eyes. Don't get too confident, I get stronger every day.

Neku smirked, "Not strong enough to beat me." he joked. He took a bite out of his ice cream. His mind was taken off of the whole situation with Minoru for the meantime, and it was a good feeling. Thanks, Josh...

Joshua snickered again. Oh yeah? I managed to drag you away effectively. You'll see, you'll get yours.

Neku shrugged. He was confident in his strength. He took another bite from his ice cream, the confidence disappeared from his face, "...Why does he have to make things so hard? We haven't done anything..."

Joshua's smile vanished at Neku's statement, worried for him once again. He took another bite of ice cream. Neku? Are you alright?

"Y-yeah..." Neku replied, trailing off.

The tension became unpredictable again. Joshua knew Neku was upset over something worth ignoring, but at this rate, how could anyone ignore Minoru?
Even the quiet teen could recall getting under Neku's skin, but never this severe. Hey... if you're looking for comfort, a shoulder to cry on, I'm here...

Neku scratched his neck. "...Thanks Josh."
Taking the opportunity, Neku shuffled closer to Joshua, leaning on him. At least Josh understood...
A rustle went off from the door, followed by the entry of none other than Minoru.

Minoru suspected nothing at first, but as he went to Joshua's room, he paused as he almost passed the balcony. This had to be a joke, right?
He snickered again, gaining their attention. "I never knew that you two were faggots." Minoru snorted, an amused glint evident behind his glasses.

Joshua perked up, now vexed. He turned soundlessly, giving their visitor a death glare. Why don't you just piss off already?!

Disturbed from his comfort zone by the voice he quickly learned to dread, Neku turned around too. "Shove it, a-hole," he said all too smoothly.

"Shove it? Shove IT?" Minoru laughed heartlessly, "As-s IF!"

The aggravating torment made Joshua's blood boil, as he leered dangerously at the mocking student. He clenched his fist, his ice cream forgotten. You're getting on my nerves...!

Neku stood up to meet on an eye-level with Minoru. He crossed his arms and stood his ground. He gave Minoru a deathly glare. "Just leave it now, Minoru." he said with a hint of reason.

Minoru didn't even flinch, keeping a sly smirk on his face, his eyes narrowed behind his glasses. The ambient-filled silence passed before he responded with, "Ok, you're the boss." He stood aside to let Neku back in. However, he blocked Joshua from getting back as well.

Joshua just got up to see that gaining access back inside wasn't going to be easy. He continued to keep his voice, and now his thoughts, to himself.

Neku turned to Minoru and sighed. "Let Josh in too." he demanded, sounding fed up with Minoru's antics.

"I moved because you told me to. If Joshy wants in, he needs to speak up," Minoru smirked again, "I'm a little deaf in this ear."

Joshua folded his arms with a less-than-impressed look on his face. You know that'll never happen.

Neku snickered. "You know he can't! Now move it, or I'll make you move it."

Just then, the front door opened to see Sho just returning home. "Man, that's zetta hectic. Bomb me now before the holidays?" he grumbled to himself.

Minoru heard that, and before Sho could see what's happening, grabs Joshua and dragged him inside, quickly, but quietly closing the door.

Joshua struggled against Minoru. Through practice, he managed to stay silent, however his patience was growing thin. You get your filthy hands off me...!
He broke away from Minoru's grip once inside. He stood up and glared at Minoru, ready to do some damage if Sho wasn't present.

"Why you're welcome," Minoru smirked again. At least he won't be seen as the bad guy at first glance.

Sho quickly went to his room first, before coming out again, to see no one fighting the remote. This is zetta new... he grinned.

Neku snarled. Don't think I didn't see that! He had to approach Joshua and tug his shirt gently to get him to walk away from Minoru. Some nerve...

Joshua calmed down, feeling miserable after that. He kept his head down as he followed Neku.

Sho heard that snarl, and went to investigate.

Minoru just stood there, smug. He was testing their patience out of pure boredom, yet he still didn't understand why the damn mute won't talk.
Not that he cared anyway.
He had another trick up his sleeve, knowing that Sho was on his way. "Shouldn't you two be studying?"

Neku looked away and forced a sincere tone to distract Sho from their disdain for Minoru. "Our midyears are over, so there's no need."

"But Neku, there's the end year, exams. You and Josh better study." Minoru continued to preach, knowing he was getting on their nerves.

Sho blinked once, before he broke into a chuckle. "Minoru, I know you mean well, but Phone's right. We have a fair way to go before the next. So relax. They'll study after the holidays."

Neku shrugged and nodded. "Wouldn't want to overstudy, now." he said slyly. However, the thought of spending excess free time with Minoru wasn't comforting. Some time out of the house would do a world of good at the moment, given that Minoru chose not to tag along.

Joshua smiled and nodded with Neku in agreement. Time out is what they need. Neku, can I come with you, please?

Sho understood that Minoru wasn't great company, so he offered a kind chuckle. "Don't stay out for too long, boys." he said, acknowledging their rights to leave Pork City for an hour or so.

Neku nodded to Josh. "Let's go then."
As they reached for the door, Minoru's voice was right behind them. "Don't go forgetting me, now?" he said with a grin. Neku grumbled and opened the door. It was an unavoidable situation, but at least they wouldn't be held back by Sho on the streets.

Joshua followed Neku soundlessly, looking nervous. I don't like this... Why did we get stuck with him? He sounded nice in the letters...

They entered the elevator down. Neku kept his sight set straight forward. Apparently sarcasm doesn't transfer well in text. The elevator halted and the group walked into the foyer. "So... Where too?" Neku asked, directing the question more at Josh rather than Minoru.

Joshua shrugged. I'm easy, but tense...

Minoru didn't answer, but before Neku could reply, he blurted out, "What's with you? It's like you can read the mute's thoughts."

Neku turned to half-face Minoru, a freaky grin on his face. "That's because I'm psychic." Minoru gave him a stern, unimpressed look. Neku wiped the grin off his face and turned back around. "Fine, we'll go to Molco..."

Joshua suppressed a giggle himself, I imprint my thoughts only to those unaffected, dear.

With slight reluctance, Minoru followed the two outside of Pork City.


Following Neku's lead, the group ended up nearby the 104 building. Festive decorations lined the buildings. Christmas wasn't a huge occasion, and it was rare to find such a mass of publicity for the holiday, but the more tourist-oriented parts of Shibuya were open to the idea. Neku paid attention to the Christmas items for sale in store windows as they walked by. "...I don't get this whole Christmas thing..."

Not many of us do, Neku, Joshua started to explain soundlessly, it's a Christian thing, and not many of us are otherwise. It's a huge event overseas, but I feel that Japan is getting the idea seeing some tourists tend to like living here. So they make our new residents feel right at home. That's all I know.

Minoru heard, but said nothing. Those faggots don't even know Christmas? Someone hasn't been studying, and I don't do teaching, thanks.
Annoyed for no reason, Minoru went the other way away from the two. He'll meet them out front if needed.

Neku noticed Minoru walking off. He stopped himself from calling out to him. ...Fine. Get out of our hair for a while.
He turned to Josh and shrugged, a shred of guilt grew at the thought of Minoru getting lost. He was a jerk, but Sho would kill the two if they lost the exchange student. "...Should we go after him?"

Joshua only smirked in response. Don't worry. Much of a stubborn soul he is, he won't stray too far. Not if he's familiar with Shibuya in general.


And the quiet teen was right. Minoru patiently waited for them outside of 104, before they pressed on.


On the way back, they went into A-East as a detour. Minoru still tried memorizing everything he can, while still making nasty remarks of the two. Just then, he had an idea. "Who's up for truth or dare?"

Neku eyed Minoru suspiciously. "That's gay."

"Aw... I try being nice, and that's all I get?" Minoru cooed, trying to get a reaction from Neku.

Fortunately, Joshua intervened again. Ok, ask away. I'm game.

Neku shrugged and sighed a little. Really...
"Fine, we'll humour you for a while."

Well, the truth is out of the question, he'll ask why I never talk. So I'll go for dare. Joshua smiled, which was nicer than Minoru's and gave a slight nod to Neku.

Neku crossed his arms, still not entirely sure about the idea. "We're game."

Minoru grinned. "Wonderful, I'd like to ask Joshua truth or dare."

Neku looked over at Joshua uncertainly. "Well you know he can only do dares..."

Minoru huffed, folding his arms. "There goes my question. Alright," he paused, looking around.
"I dare you... to dress up head-to-toe in Lapin Angelic."

It was an odd request, but the quiet teen hadn't a problem with it. His grin showed it all. Yes sir!

Neku was shocked. "Wh-what...!?" he saw the grin on Minoru's face and the determination on Joshua's. He couldn't believe how easy Josh could agree to such a dare. Neku shook his head. This is nothing but bad news...

Judging from Neku's reaction, Minoru could only guess that the mute had taken the dare without hesitation. He watched begrudgingly as Joshua entered the Lapin Angelic.

Neku cringed as he watched Joshua walk in. I don't know whether to stop him... Or just be disturbed.
He gave Minoru a glare. "What kind of sick pleasure are you going to get out of this?" Without a response, Neku took a breath and entered the store to meet with Joshua in the change rooms, followed by Minoru.


After some time waiting in an alien surrounding, Joshua emerged from the dressing room, dressed head-to-toe in frilly, gothic attire. He even had a parasol and a bonnet to match. Neku looked almost in disbelief. He scratched his head and looked away. Where's that mind bleach...?

Joshua smirked, paying absolutely no mind to his new attire. That's beyond easy, where's the challenge in it?
Although his smirk melted when he saw how disturbed Neku was. Ok, I had my fun, I'll be out again in a second...

Minoru did personally enjoy it, but actually didn't show it. He was also left unimpressed by how... brave Joshua was. And then a new idea formed in his head, never mind Neku.

Neku crossed his arms as he waited. This place creeps me out...

Josh emerged shortly after in his casual clothes with a smug look directed to Minoru.

Giving their thanks to the shopkeeper, the trio left and hurried home to Pork City. Giving a weary glance, Joshua soundlessly told Neku, To be honest, I was putting a game face on for glasses over there. I'm not doing that again...

Wandering the cold streets, Neku was given some peace of mind from this. That's good to know... Neku looked over to Minoru, who had kept quiet ever since. "You've had your fun. Now what?" he asked expectantly of him.

"I'm hungry..." Minoru gave his blunt reply.

Joshua frowned a bit. That means we head home, now. I can't help but think... that completing the dare has given him a few ideas. He visibly cringed at the thought on what their guest had in store for the time to come.

Neku nodded, agreeing with Minoru for once. "Let's get back home then." They headed back to the apartment; the silence that was upheld by the three was filled with the Shibuyan atmosphere. The rest of the day followed in a similar fashion. Joshua and Neku were on edge, keeping a close eye on the troublesome exchange student.