So, like, I was gonna make the Joshyme Angst instead of Neshiki Romance/Fluff (to me they're the same ) but I decided that the story I was writing was WAY too depressing for Christmas. I MAY finish it and upload it as a one-shot, but… yeah. I got this idea while we were driving home from the airport. I was falling asleep, and it was dark outside the window, and I was like, what the heck, Neshiki shopping day!
Anywho, MERRY UBERLY BELATED CHRISTMAS, ANGEL! Yaaaaaaaay for Secret Santa!
She had tucked her short brown hair into fluffy hat residing on the crown of her head. She repeatedly pulled at it, tugging it over her ears. She sighed, exasperated, and a large white puff of breath became visible as she exhaled, fogging her glasses. Shiki blinked, and scowled. "Stupid glasses…" She murmured pulling them off and rubbing them against her shirt to clean them.
It was Christmas Eve in Shibuya. And of course there was a load more of hustle and bustle than usual, being it was Christmas Eve and people still needed a lot of last minute shopping to do. Shiki was surprisingly one of them. While Shiki Masaki was usually much better with getting gifts ready, it seemed she just didn't have a gift for everyone. She was positive, though, she would get everyone a present.
And who had she woken up on this early Thursday morning to help her get presents? Why, the one an only Neku Sakuraba. His ears were red from the cold, and he was nestled in a dark blue coat. Shiki had practically broke into his apartment to get him up, but she thought it was worth it. Why she had asked him? Because she already had his present tucked away safely, and he was Neku. He needed to get out more. Though he had brought no money of his own, Neku still watched the dark haired girl search through objects, looking for the precise item.
It was about noon, and the walking had not ceased. Neku didn't complain. He and Shiki had to run all around Shibuya on that first week of the Game. But it was agitating him. He really had been looking forward to sleeping in on his first day of Winter Break. Now, Shiki had decided to be spontaneous, and she painted her whole face black. Why would she do such a ridiculous thing? Well, Shiki came to Neku's apartment at five sharp, the day was still covered in darkness, and Shiki could easily scale the fire escape up to Neku's window. Neku had no clue how she managed to unlock it, but he found no trace of what she used. Maybe she had been a thief in a past life, he thought, kicking a bit of slush. But Shiki? A Thief? It was hard to imagine.
Shiki had gotten all the black paint off her face easily after requesting to use Neku's bathroom while he dressed. She was being awfully assertive today, Neku found as he hurriedly got dressed before she got all of the paint off her face. She then informed him that she needed to go Christmas shopping, and since she already had his present, he could go with her. Not that Neku really wanted to go shopping, but he decided that if it was for Shiki, then he'd do it. Very loyal, indeed.
"Are you still back there, Neku?" Shiki called over her shoulder to the quiet boy.
"Yeah," Neku muttered, popping up behind her, "Still here."
"Oh, good. I thought I lost you, truthfully." Shiki laughed, pulling her purse up her shoulder. Neku grimaced, sighting the infamous pig-cat, Mr. Mew sticking out of it. "Piggy." Neku said to it, scowling as it winked at him. Ever since the thing had become animated for those seven days, the animal would twitch, or smile, or wink. Neku suspected Joshua had bended the rules for pig-zilla to make Neku question his sanity. Or Neku really was going insane, either one was fairly possible.
"It's a cat!" Shiki shouted, spinning to face Neku.
"A very cute piggy, but still a piggy."
"Aww," Shiki grinned, "You think Mr. Mew's cute? You're getting soft Neku."
Neku rolled his eyes, and toyed with his headphones. "Whatever… where the hell are we going?"
"Molco. Then we can hit Dogenzawa for some Ramen, alright? I just now there's something in there Eri wanted…" Shiki sighed, and pressed her lips to her gloved hand, puzzled.
"I'd think it would be in 104 if Eri wants it." Neku sighed, kicking some more slush.
"Well, she wants it from Molco. You can't pin point Eri's taste, Neku. Trust me, I've tried." Shiki shrugged, and pushed her glasses up her nose to keep them from falling. "Although, I think I've got this one gift pinpointed. That's a start."
"I didn't go Christmas shopping." Neku admitted with a shrug.
Shiki turned to face him with wide eyes. "You didn't go Christmas shopping?" She gaped.
"No…" He shifted under her gaze, "I never go Christmas shopping."
"Because I'm me."
Shiki sighed. "Neku…"
"Don't give me that. You always do that when you're about to tell me about the value of friendship, and that crap." Neku muttered, glaring at the dark haired girl.
"I am not that predictable." Shiki said with a scowl.
Neku looked at her, a quizzical look, before continuing on ahead. Shiki frowned. "I'm not!" She pouted, running to catch up with him.
Molco was crowded with dozen and dozens of shoppers, most were juggling six bags at once, others were looking around frantically. Neku didn't really care about the crowd issue. He just wanted some Ramen… and since Shiki had all the money he had to wait for her. She was undoubtedly mad at him for leaving her, after she caught up with him. Neku muttered a few words that she couldn't catch, and went inside. Shiki followed, her eyebrows knitted in annoyance.
"Neku…" She looked around, frowning at the fact that Neku didn't cross her vision. "Neku…"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm over here. Just get what you need, and let's go. I'm starving." Shiki finally spotted him sitting on a shelf-like rack.
"You'll live." Shiki rolled her eyes. She looked around and spotted the shelf she was looking for easily. The colors stuck out widely against the sheet-white wall. Though, all the other walls were a faint orange, this wall was white. It certainly was eye catching.
She began to examine the clothes closely, smiling at the stitching. It was much better than the last shirt she had looked at. The thread was still in place, and she could defiantly tell it would hold. Good.
Meanwhile, Neku was examining a book of Greek mythology. He realized why he never really paid any attention to it when they were learning about it in class.
"What are you doing?"
Neku looked up, seeing Shiki clutching a bright pink shirt. "Reading the most retarded thing ever." Neku muttered, tossing the book back into the stack. Shiki blinked.
"Greek mythology isn't that bad." She argued.
Neku raised an eyebrow. "'Aphrodite was born when Cronus castrated Uranus and threw his severed genitals into the sea. Aprodite then rose from the sea foam on a giant scallop, then walked ashore in Cyprus'."
Shiki winced. "That's only one story!"
"Yes! There's also a story of Aphrodite being Zeus's and Dione's child!"
Neku shook his head. "It's screwed up."
Shiki sighed, and shook her head. "Well, it's not real." She murmured, "So let's get off the topic."
"Fine." Neku sighed, glancing at the object in Shiki's hands. "You done here?"
She nodded. "I just have to pay for this, then we can go to Dogenzawa."
"Finally." He muttered, pulling himself up from the shelf. Shiki glanced at him, and shook her head. "Why were you even reading that book?" She asked, adjusting her glasses.
"I was bored, and it was right there." Neku grunted.
Shiki nodded, and hurried to get into the overly large line at the register. Neku watched her slowly, his mind adjusting to her movements. He still wasn't used to having friends. It was a touchy thing to grasp. He was grateful though. His friends were one of the best things that had ever happened to him. He couldn't complain.
He continuously prodded himself about his entry fees. His memories, and Shiki… His memories because he had always known how precious his memories had been to him. And Shiki because… he still was trying the digest that he cared about her enough to play the Game again to get her back. And that was only when he had known her for a week. And now, he's known the girl for six months, and he still didn't understand it.
Neku could easily remember his past. It was only the years below five that it was hazy. The mere feeling of heartbrokenness still lay in those memories, imbedding itself forever in Neku's heart. Whatever it was that had happened… it still scarred him. He stuck his hand into his pocket, feeling for the familiar silver chain. He pulled it up, and examined it closely. Neku only did this when he was seriously troubled.
The locket was probably a family heirloom, if Neku was correct. It had most defiantly belonged to his biological mother. He only wished he could open it to see what she looked like. But he had given up on doing so when he was about twelve. There didn't seem to be a point. What Neku didn't notice was the wear and tear on the locket. Having kept the locket in his pocket for ten years was sure to do something. If Neku had tried to open the locket just once more, he would probably succeed. But he didn't try. And the locket resided unopened.
It was just a tiny little thing. An oval engraved with flowers, intricately designed to flow over the locket, continuing on the back. To Neku, it was a connection to the fuzzy memories he had yet to remember. If he ever remembered them.
Neku pocketed the locket as Shiki made her way back to him, a smile playing lightly over her lips. "Done." She said, adjusting her hat. Neku nodded, glancing at Shiki, frowning slightly. Sometimes he'd see a glimpse of something in Shiki that hadn't been there before. Neku didn't know what to make of this feeling. And as he got to know Shiki better and better, the strange glimpses become more and more prominent.
The duo was quiet on their way to Dogenzawa. Neku had no idea what Shiki was thinking, but he knew that it probably centered around her worry for him. Neku was practically waiting for her to ask him what he was thinking, or what was wrong. But she didn't say anything. They were both just sitting on the edge of insanity, waiting for the other to speak.
Even as they got their Ramen, and quickly went back to Shiki's shopping, the silence was coming between whatever teasing had manifested before. They were both in a loop, unable to think about what to say next. Neku didn't know what to say, really.
The day began to fade into night, and a darkness spread about the sky. But there was still a large crowd. Neku was still following Shiki. He couldn't do much else. He stopped suddenly, hearing Shiki gasp. Her eyes were cast upward, and they were wide with a flow of emotion. Surprise, and happiness, and delight. She stared as a flurry of white flakes fell onto her glasses, dissolving into water.
"Snow…" Shiki whispered in a dazed voice. Neku watched her silently, pondering on what to say. He looked up as well, the flakes fell simultaneously from the dark sky, made visible by the shining neon lights of Shibuya.
Neku made himself silent, looking down as the cold flakes stuck to his eyelashes. He had never liked snow much. Mostly because it turned into slush. And slush was ugly. To prove so, Neku kicked a bit of it. How Shiki was in awe over the death flakes, Neku hadn't a clue. It was just frozen rain. What was so great about it?
"It's so… beautiful… oh Neku!" Shiki spun around to face the orange haired boy, her eyes fixated in an awe and brightness.
Neku nodded. "You… like snow?" He asked quietly, feeling a sudden nagging in the back of his mind. The nagging was in mumbles.
"Of course I do…" Shiki laughed. It slowly melted like the snow, seeing his expression. "You don't, do you?"
Neku shrugged. "I never cared much for it."
"You never cared much for anything until the game." Shiki laughed. It was cut short when Neku began to turn away.
"Neku!" She grabbed his hand, stopping him from walking away. Neku looked down, and sighed.
Shiki watched him silently. A small smile began to form on her lips, tingling her features. "I'll make you a deal, okay? I don't have a lot of shopping left… but I think… well, let me explain. Eri and I stayed out until midnight once- and there was no one around. It was really nice, and strange at the same time. How about we stay here until midnight… will you? Stay? I promise it'll be fun… and I'll give you your gift! Because it'll technically be Christmas… Just… don't walk away, okay, Neku?" Shiki's eyes had turned from delighted to pleading so rapidly, the dark brown might've melted from the intense change. Neku blinked, and turned around.
"You want me to stay up until midnight?" Neku asked, blinking. Shiki smiled, nodding vigorously.
"You're insane." Neku said bluntly, turning away.
Shiki felt the sudden coldness of being shot down, and quickly tried to recover the shattered pieces. "Aww, Neku! Don't you want to try it at least once to see what it's like?" She asked, running up to him.
"Why does it sound like you're pressuring me to have sex, or something?" Neku asked, massaging his temples as if Shiki were giving him a headache. Shiki's cheeks warmed suddenly, contrasting from how brutally cold they were before. Shiki shook her head, trying to ignore the comment.
"Please?" She asked, trying to form her lips into an Eri-Worthy pout. Neku glanced at her, and raised an eyebrow.
"You know you don't have to act cute, right?"
A sudden boldness welled in Shiki's chest, and words spilled over her mouth so suddenly, the sunk in like an anchor. "Who's acting?"
Neku blinked, looking at the girl quizzically. He sighed, and shook his head. "Fine, I'll do it."
A smile spread across her face easily, and quickly. Buttermilk Icing across a cake. A sweet, tingling smile. A small Shiki signature that fit her like a puzzle piece. "Thank you, Neku." They continued walking.
"That was really random."
Shiki looked up, and laughed. "Yeah, it was, wasn't it?"
"Why do you want to stay up until midnight? It's Christmas Eve- I'd think you'd want to be home before midnight." Neku was confused to why Shiki would request such a strange thing. He was also confused as to why he agreed.
"Because it's fun. And, it's Christmas, Neku! I just…" She blushed suddenly, and shook her head, "I just want you to have a nice Christmas."
Neku stared at her, a blank expression on his face. "Shiki, I'd have all day tomorrow to be with you, if that's what you wanted. You could've just asked." He muttered.
Shiki's face seemed to heat even more. "It'll be worth it." She said, trying to hide her face from Neku.
Neku didn't answer. He looked up at the snow, and back at Shiki, without any words. He looked back up. "Okay." He said quietly.
Shiki looked up at him. "Okay." She murmured in an equally quiet voice.
They stood there quietly, watching the snow, until Shiki reminded Neku she still had presents to get. And so they ventured to Spain Hill. It was getting later and later faster than Neku expected.
"I'm thinking of getting contacts." Shiki said suddenly in AMX, looking at a CD for Beat.
Neku looked up from his own CD, and frowned slightly. "Why?"
Shiki shrugged, setting the CD down. "I don't like my glasses."
Neku watched her, a silent scoff itching at his lips. But he said nothing. He watched her with a blank stare, which made her squirm a bit from the emptiness.
"Don't get contacts." Neku said, his voice etching with a bit of monotone.
"Because I like your glasses. They make you more like Shiki."
Shiki stared at him, her mouth agape in shock. She hurriedly composed herself, and smiled at him. "Neku," She said slowly, "That's really sweet."
Neku blinked, digesting her words. Shiki caught site of his cheeks beginning to tint pink, before they were quickly hidden by his collar.
"I didn't mean it to be." He said softly. Shiki smiled at the fact that he had meant it to come out icy, but it sounded exactly the opposite.
"Well, it was… thank you." Shiki said looking down. Her own cheeks were heating as well. Why am I blushing? I shouldn't be blushing- why am I blushing?
Shiki smiled to herself. At least Neku was blushing too.
Neku watched Shiki's head bob through the deserted streets of Shibuya. Neku was surprised. He hadn't expected midnight to be so secluded. Neku glanced at his cell phone. It wasn't midnight yet.
Neku had been having a mental battle with himself for most of the night. Shiki had gotten him a present. He needed to give her something. Why did he even care? He kicked himself mentally. He didn't know why. He just did. And he didn't think that would change for a while.
So he made a careful decision. He pulled out the old locket of his mother's, and stared at it. It was better off with someone who would wear it. Because Neku knew if he gave it to the dark haired girl in front of him, she'd keep it safe. Because Shiki was just like that. She was just Shiki. And he liked it that way.
He closed the locket into his fist and caught up with the girl. She glanced at him, frowning as he made a motion for her to turn around. She obliged anyway.
"Close your eyes." Neku muttered, trying to sound remotely grateful.
Again, she obliged. She's way too trusting. Neku shook his head, clearing it of thoughts. He lifted the necklace in front of her, draping it around her neck, and fumbling to clasp it. He was suddenly glad Shiki's hair was so short. The locket easily slipped from his fingers, clinging to her neck. Shiki slowly turned around, examining the locket. She looked up at him with wide eyes.
"I'd never wear it any way."
She was silent. "Who's was it?" She asked quietly.
Neku sighed quietly. "My mom's."
Shiki's eyes grew even wider. "Neku- I couldn't- why- would you-"
"Because I don't need it anymore." He said, his voice barely audibly over the hushed, but still prominent sounds of Shibuya.
"I feel bad though- I mean, what I have for you… it just doesn't seem fair." Shiki shook her head, and pulled out a box from her purse. She reluctantly handed it to him, and watched as he opened it. The corners of his lips turned upward as he pulled at a small cell phone charm. A miniature version of Mr. Mew dangled from a dark blue string.
"I know- it's not really-"
"I have my own little piggy." Neku mused, a smile tickling it's way onto his lips.
"He's- a cat-"
Neku's lips still tingled from the smile. They tickled, and itched, and out of pure serendipity, they found their way to Shiki's. Now, one can only imagine Neku's embarrassment as he realized what he was doing. Both teenagers quickly pulled away, cheeks blazing.
"U-uh…" Shiki stammered, trying to find the words.
Neku looked down. "Sorry."
Shiki blinked, and shook her head. "D-don't be."
Neku looked up, staring at the girl. He frowned, and shook his head. "Sorry."
Shiki smiled, and laughed. "It was nice, Neku." She said, looking up at him.
Neku looked down, hiding his face in his collar. "Neku… the necklace…"
"Don't worry about it."
"Just…" Neku sighed, and looked up. "Just don't take it off, okay?"
Shiki stared at him. "Okay." She murmured.
Shiki watched him slowly, and she began to step back. Soon the snow blocked his view of her.
Neku stood there a little longer, staring at the little Mr. Mew in his hand. And then, it winked at him.
He was so not sane.
I came up with most of this on the way back from JFK when my sister came home from Italy. It was dark, and it was actually pretty inspiring. Surprisingly.
We're learning Greek Mythology in class, so I thought I'd just add the Aphrodite thing.
And I'm probably going to put a 'Prequel' up. Because it would explain the whole Locket Scenario, and I've had this idea in my head forever.
Neku's insane, apparently. I found it funny, and a good way to end a story ^^
Anyway, HAPPY HUGELY BELATED CHRISTMAS, ANGEL! MAY ALL YOUR NESHIKI DREAMS COME TRUE! This could also be a Birthday present if you think about it...
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY ANGEL!
Okay, I'm done. Sue me, if their's any errors I missed, kay?