The Visit, a The World Ends With You one-shot
DISCLAIMER: I own a copy of the US release of "The World Ends with You", but I am not affiliated with Square-Enix in any way.
SUMMARY: Joshua could distinctly remember every player who found him or herself landed in Shibuya's Underground after an unexpected meeting with death. He likes to visit these former Players, especially when they least expect it. This is one such visit. No pairings, but hints towards future JoshuaxNeku - as well as Various Other ThingsxNeku (you'll see what I mean).
Read this with an open mind - it's quite a few years post game, so everyone's grown and changed quite a bit.
And anyone else notice that Rhyme and Beat's last name are listed as Daisukenojō and not Bitō? Anyone know how I can inform them?
Yoshiya Kiryu, who much preferred to be called 'Joshua' than anything else, strolled through Shibuya, planning on paying "visits" to former players in his Game. Despite the amount he has participated in, Joshua could distinctly remember every player who found him or herself landed in Shibuya's Underground after an unexpected meeting with death. Most former players began to change after their reincarnation (Yumi Yasumoto-sensei no longer played favorites with her students and, instead, endeavored to help them all reach their full potential) until their deaths (a player from 1989 named Seishirou Ayumi went from a chauvinistic, embezzling ass-hole to an upstanding citizen who was both ruthless and protective of his employees. He died on September 11, 2001 when he pushed a subordinate's daughter out of the way of a falling support beam. That man was sorely missed), but a good few still learned nothing and remained the same (Matsuda Hiiro, 1938, died while biking intoxicated. After his game, he went right back to being a menace to society, preying on young children. Ironically enough, his final death came in 1945, after being told to 'meet up' with a pen-pal in Nagasaki). Joshua made a point to visit every single one that remained within Shibuya (in life, death, or otherwise, as in the case of people like Kariya) throughout the year - a special few got multiple visits every year.
One such person was Joshua's beloved proxy (because, despite any and all of Neku's protests, the red-haired boy belonged to him just as much as- if not more-so than - the city) who got a visit of some sort every week, at the least. Most of his visits, Joshua was never really noticed by the ex-player, for he was either in an inconspicuous form, or he was on a different frequency all together. There were a few exceptions, since sometimes Joshua wanted to be acknowledged, but they were far and few between - the true exceptions were those who could find him when he didn't want to be noticed. Neku is one such example - even when Joshua wanted to remain unseen by the blue-eyed cutie, his ex-proxy could still hone in on his music with no problem. It would be more aggravating if there wasn't the possibility of using Neku as his part of his entourage the way Hanekoma and Megumi was. It was a tantalizing thought that had Joshua placing the pawns to bring his queen back to his side in the near future.
Another exception was found in Raimu Bito. Certainly, the girl did not have Neku's vibrant Soul to be able to flip through Frequencies with the ease of a Composer, but she noticed denizens in the UG easily enough.
Joshua slipped through Shibuya's streets until he found himself on Ebisu Hill near a certain residence. Well, look where his thoughts took him. Since he was here, might as well pay the poor dear a visit. It was the middle of summer holidays and Joshua distinctly remembered his Neku talking about a Bito-family trip that little Rhyme was missing due to a small cold. Nary a thought later, Joshua was residing in the thin line between the Real- and Undergrounds within the Bito household. There, Rhyme had a thick blanket laid across her shoulders as her hands seemed to spasm across a sheet of paper. Since the years after the "Long" Game, Rhyme grew up from being "Skulls, Jr." - she shot up a few feet (still nearly a head shorter than her older brother, but taller than Neku, much to the red-head's displeasure), her scraggly blond hair was grown out a bit, and her body matured to that of a young woman.
The high school freshman stopped her mad scribbling, blinking owlishly towards where the Composer was standing. "Would you mind either leaving or getting me another cup of tea?" She took a swig of the contents in her coffee-cup, grimacing at the taste of cold tea. "No, forgo the tea. Pass me that eraser over on that table near you. This one is dead."
Bemused (for it wasn't everyday someone could boss around the Composer of Shibuya), Joshua complied, retrieving the desired item as he changed frequencies into one of his RG personas. A smile and a short cough was his only answer as he sat down across the chabudai from Rhyme. "So, what are you drawing?" he asked, curious despite himself. The skritching of a pencil on paper continued for a few moments before Rhyme carefully took a feather and swept all the eraser bits away. Joshua - through a one-time conversation with Shiki - knew better than to try and ask again until the young blonde was ready.
You see, Rhyme had lost the Game and would never be able to regain her dreams of her younger self. That never meant she could never create new ones. Shiki, in all her fangirl-y glory, had introduced Rhyme into the world of doujinshi. Now, she had a new dream - to become a well-known mangaka. Not surprising, Rhyme's Imagination was in her ability to draw. So far, her Square-Enix doujin (under the name of Risumini Kokoroyo, seeing as Rhyme was a little young to be drawing some of the things she draws) were quite popular, feeding her Imagination and Soul as her fanbase grew.
"My last doujinshi for a while," was the sudden answer to his question, said with a small giggle that made Joshua jump. His eye twitched, not sure if he liked someone sounding like him. "I got a message from my editor," one of Hanekoma's friends, although Joshua wasn't sure if she knew, "and she said that I've gotten popular enough that she was able to get Libre Publishing! I've got the chance to write and draw a series for Be-Boy Gold, with a tie-in novella for Shousetsu BEaST a little after the series picks up." She pointed at a stack of books, "Preliminary designs for MUSE."
Joshua got up to look at the drawing pads, knowing that anything going into Gold was well worth seeing. There were four or five Moleskine A3 Sketch notebooks piled upon each other and a much smaller Storyboard Moleskine on top. They would be just like any other Moleskine notebooks, except for what the girl took the time to design, cut, tape, and clear coat onto her notebooks. The むせ - "Mu-se" in romanji - and, below that, the English letters "MUSE." Hmmm, Joshua thought to himself, voiceless and Greek mythology? Looks promising. Of course, it looked promising the moment Rhyme stated that she was being picked up by Libre. Leaving the Storyboard alone, Joshua opened up one of the Sketch's to a random page and ended up looking at page after page of tentacle monsters attacking (and ravishing) unexpected people. The whole notebook was filled with nothing but Naught Tentacles. The last few pages had Joshua tilting his head and squinting - huh, that boy being attacked looked familiar. He opened up the next notebook and was met by -
"Is that Neku being molested by a bunch of Jelly Germanic's?" spluttered the nearly unflappable Composer. That was not what he had in mind for the Noise when he designed them. Although... Well, now Joshua had ideas for a... H-Game for the near future - that was bound to be fun, even if those on the Higher Plane would... disapprove. Not like Joshua cared about that sort of thing anyways.
"Technically?" Rhyme asked while trying to put the pages of her latest SeiferxIrvinexSquall Final Fantasy VIII doujin back in order. "That'd be a 'no' - that is not Neku; it's MUSE Aoide being attacked by the Muwakurage of the Mechasaur Army from Gilese. But, yeah, it's Neku. Or based off of Neku. Whatever." Shrugging, Rhyme leafed through the 60-odd page doujinshi before passing it to Joshua. "Look over that will you? I want to make sure the plot and everything makes sense before I start inking and shading these to send to Murakami-san. You can help with that, too."
The questioning eyebrow shot up. "And why, exactly, would I do that? I do have my duties to attend to." Joshua was quick to use that excuse whenever one of his new-found "friends" wanted him to do something, since they were quick to use his 'job' as a reason for him to stop "pestering" them. It was good to throw it back in their faces every once in a while, even though Rhyme never got snippy at him.
"Help," and, dammit, she was using her puppy eyes! Rhyme knew that nobody, not Beat, not Neku, not even the great Composer of Shibuya, could resist that. "And I can guarantee that the mysterious stranger who not only saves MUSE Aoide from getting eaten, but gets to have a willing one-night stand with said mahou bishounen will bear striking resemblance to Shibuya's composer." Rhyme had Joshua at the puppy eyes, but the thought that a character that was supposed to be him gets to fuck a character that was pretty much Neku was further incentive. He took the sheaf of papers, sat down at his side of the table and started reading.
Joshua was suddenly very happy that Neku continued to scoff at Rhyme's numerous attempts to teach him her puppy eye look. If things turned out the way Joshua wanted (and, they most undoubtedly would) and Neku had that sort of weapon under his belt, the two of them might as well switch jobs.
Four hours later, Joshua was sitting at the chabudai, his silvery bangs pushed out of the way by a headband. His hands were painstakingly inking the last few pages of Bad Romance, and he was not going to get yelled at again for messing up a page. Once, Rhyme had enlisted the whole crew to help her with a soft doujin, and blew up at her brother for putting a page out of order. Seeing the always calm and serene girl yelling out obscenities at her brother was traumatizing to everyone (himself included, although he would not tell the others that) and was not something he wanted to receive.
The phone rang and Joshua was instantly pulling his orange cellular out, blinking in surprise that it wasn't his.
Rhyme's voice floated from the kitchen, where she was making another batch of tea and cookies, because her hands were starting to cramp from all the work she had done the last day and a half. "Could you get that for me, please?"
Not like I have a choice, Joshua mused as he picked up the receiver. He registered the moshi moshi, but didn't pay attention to who said it."Good," he checked his time on the phone, "evening. This is the Bito residence."
"BWAH! Wha' the hell, Prissy!? What'cha doin' in mah house, yo?"
"Oh, Beat, is that you?" Giggling, from Joshua. "How is your vacation?"
"What the hell are ya doin' in my house?" Beat repeated, voice slowing dipping towards rage. It just made Joshua giggle again.
"Don't worry. I just got roped into working on your little sister's latest project."
Even over the phone, Beat's relief was practically palatable. "Oh, so that's it. Man, don' get meh worried like dat over nuttun', yo! Did Rhyme... yanno, show ya 'er new idea?"
"If by 'new idea,' you mean Neku being sexually assaulted by various Noise? Then, yes, I have."
"Wah!? Phones got wha!?"
"Nevermind, guess you weren't there that far in it."
"Yeah, bro, I ain't want nutin' ta do wit' dat if Phones sees it, yanno?"
Cue giggling. "Don't worry, if Neku has any qualms with what Rhyme's character does for a living, I would be more than happy to show the poor dear just why Aoide enjoys his work."
"Ah, nevermind, it's not important. Do you need to talk to young Raimu now? She's making a batch of cookies right now and-"
"Nah, it's s'okay, Prissy. Gotta book it 'cuz the 'rents jus' wanted me ta check up on sis. She's obviously feelin' better if she's bullyin' ya ta help 'er out, righ', yo?"
Regardless of Beat's thought on the matter, Rhyme came out of nowhere with a smile, grabbing the phone from Joshua's hand (and only because he let her - he wouldn't have let a weapon get away with him otherwise) and talking a mile a minute to her brother about a project the young man really did not want to know more about.
Joshua smiled at the site as he silenty went back to his cushion, shaking out his hands to get ready for more adventures with an ink pen. Shibuya was his city and her inhabitants was his pawns to play with, to do as he pleased. Despite that, he allowed himself to be pulled along with Rhyme's new fantastical dreams of her friends in quite graphic situations and hopes for letters from fans who were enamored with her work not for the characters she was borrowing, but for the people her imagination created, the world that she envisioned, hopes to see fanworks about her own story being sold at the local Kinokuniya right next to her own Final Fantasy projects.
This was how nearly every visit to Raimu Bito went - he came in, he was seen, he was put to work. But it didn't mean he wanted to stop coming by either. Especially if those cookies were involved.
Okay, so shoot me, I suck at giving titles =3=;;;
This idea has been bouncing in my head for a looooong time now, so I decided to up an' write it.
All people who are mentioned in the short who are not owned by Square-Enix are owned by moi. Any relation/resemblance to real people is a coincidence. They are NOT real.
Ebisu Hill is a real place in Shibuya - but not mentioned in the TWEWY universe. It's near both central Shibuya and Roppongi. I found it fitting for the Bito's to be near foreign embassies - because, seriously, BLONDE!? Does not compute, yanno?
Libre Publishing is a real company in Japan. It's the successor of BIBLOS, which tanked a few years back. Those are actual names of the magazines they publish.
The idea of MUSE is mine, kthnxbai. Don't take it. If anyone wants to write it with the actual TWEWY characters filled in, drop me a line, mkay?
Murakami is a common Japanese family name. It's one shared with the mangaka of Gravitation, as well as a famous Japanese novelist. Yes, I named Rhyme's doujin off of the Lady Gaga title - I don't own that either. My knowledge of FFVIII is fail, so all I know is that the pairing I used is both a rival- and best friends-ship. So, yeah, shaddup.
Kinokuniya is a chain of Japanese bookstores. They have some stores overseas, including a few in the States (there's one in San Francisco and one in NYC, at the least). I'm not sure if they sell doujinshi, but I did see some artists I knew were doujinka had books there - I'm just not sure if they were doujin or not, lulz.
Translation Attempts (very shoddy)
Chabudai - low tables, normally used for eating on.
Doujinshi - fan comic (or one not published with a real publisher) || Manga - comic
Doujinsha - Fan comic writer/maker || Mangaka - comic maker
リ ス身に快い (Risumini Kokoroyoi) - I was trying to get "to please the squirrel's ear" and, instead, got "squirrel that flatters the body"; meh, it's good enough, and I thought it was cute "D
むせ - I'm getting "voiceless" via Google, but Densho's also tossing out むせい, which means "wet dream" lulz.
Muwakurage - not a real word. Using "muwa" from "muwasu" (to gang rape) + "kurage" (jellyfish)
Moshi Moshi - the Japanese equivalent to saying "hello" on telephone. When you call someone, the click of the receiver is signal to start talking, unlike in the states where the call's receiver talks first.
Mahou Bishounen - "Magical Boy," roughly. 'Cause is Mahou Bishoujo is a magical girl, Bishounen ought to work, right?
Upon reading it, I realized it's sorta disjointed. I hope everyone else can understand how I go from this to that ^_^;;; And sorry if the kana is just crudding out on your computer.