Title: Shibuya Heartbreak* aka The Joshua is a Bastard Fic
Disclaimer: TWEWY (c) Square Enix and Jupiter.
Pairing(s): One-sided? Eri/Joshua, implied one-sided Joshua/Neku, Neku/Shiki
Rating: Err. R-15 for implied sex?
Warnings: Joshua is an unrepentant bastard, angst, implied yaoi! Implied het sex! Lol.
Notes: Am trying a different kind of style here. If you're confused about Eri's actions, that means I'm doing my job right. Prolly.
I left my heart on the shattered roads
Shiki's new friends are an eclectic bunch, so diverse that they seemed to exemplify Shibuya in one small group. Eri can pick out their favorite brands and end up with most of Shibuya's fashionable soul all around her.
Beat is a simple guy with a love affair with his board and a heart made of gold WB. Rhyme is his tiny shadow, dressing up in the same street tough as she laughingly makes sure her brother doesn't forget one of his decks. Neku could be Jupiter's poster boy, all irreverent wit and still half-guarded eyes. At least, unless he's talking to Shiki.
And that hadn't taken too long to find out. Hadn't needed the tiny stuffed Mr. Mew on a keychain that Neku always puts on his bag.
And then there is him.
Joshua is an enigma, hidden behind the sharp effortless cut of his bare essentials Dragon Couture. His words are too-polite and his tone is acerbic. His hands are elegant and everything he wears seems to fall in inhumanly perfect accents, trailing palpable confidence in every thread.
She is fascinated.
His eyes meet hers, every so often, gleaming with an unspoken 'I know.'
And it doesn't seem to matter to him what to do with what he has.
He'll toy with her, talking to her for a spell and ignoring her the rest of the afternoon. He'll pull out chairs and hold open doors, the movements so smooth that they must be practiced.
Sometimes he does it for Rhyme and Shiki, too, but then Neku glares at him, a wolf protecting its mate, and Joshua would make some innocent remark and smile ever so sharply, so sharply, almost like a beast with green eyes.
And she knows that there are stories there, like a locked leather chest in an empty attic.
But he'd pay her an off hand compliment, once or twice, and she finds herself double checking her clothes each time the group meets; fidgeting with her hemlines and wondering if they're too high or too low, too much or too little- because Joshua never says.
Eri wonders when was the last time she had ever felt this giddy; this small.
"I've always thought that an idea is a terrible thing to waste," Joshua comments over the designs she has brought for Shiki to look at. The skirts on the paper are flirts, daringly high hemlines just barely covering what they need to, and the long flowing dresses over them might as well be gauze.
Joshua runs a finger down the seam of an A-line and looks up at her from beneath those long lashes. "But there are some things too terribly bland to be an idea."
Eri's throat closes up and her chest stings, and she doesn't want to; hasn't cried since she was six, but she'd never liked a boy she couldn't have.
Shiki picks up on it a little too late. Her dark worried eyes dart between her and Joshua as the entire table groans and tells him to shut the hell up. He only quirks an eyebrow and shrugs, leaning back in his side of the booth and ignoring the way Neku scoots over ever so slightly away.
Shiki drags Eri into the nearest rest room and tells her to stop.
"I can't," Eri tells her, chest still tight.
"Joshua- he's- he's not good for you, Eri," Shiki pleads.
But that isn't anything she doesn't already know and hasn't stopped her at all.
"I know," Eri chants, "I know, but I still-"
Shiki looks at her, hands over hers, and she is so scared. So scared for Eri.
When they get back, Neku points out that Joshua is a jerk and apologizes for him. Beat gives her his loud affirmative. Rhyme smiles at her. Joshua simply gives her a level look and the smirk of someone who knows he has you in his hand and doesn't particularly care.
Eri smiles at them all sunnily, falling back on years of experience and brightly steers the conversation to the new movie they're going to watch.
It isn't until the next time that Neku announces that they're promised, him and Shiki. She looks so sweet and happy that Eri knows it is real.
And it isn't until next time that she sees Joshua go so still, his voice so carefully calm, as he inquires what he should bring to the wedding.
Isn't until that time that she follows him on the streets, only to find herself pushed against the wall; Joshua asking her in too-casual tones if she knows what she's doing.
And of course she doesn't. Not since she met him.
She says 'yes'.
Joshua only smirks and the violet in his eyes goes heart-shatteringly hard. He places a hand on her hip, slender fingers tucking into the strap of the thong she'd let peek through the miniskirt.
He kisses her like a shark, betrayed of its prey. And he fucks her with the disinterest of a man paying a whore.
Eri leans against the dinghy wall in the little alley around 104 and sinks to her knees with his handkerchief clasped in her hands, soiled panties still dropped around her booted ankles, and cries --- a speck of dirtied color between tall, tall buildings.
But it is only a touch to the shoulder, a tilt of Joshua's head when Eri fidgets, thighs pressing together tightly, as they sit on opposite sides of the booth, before they're doing it again.
Sometimes she can't bear to look at her designs anymore. She wonders when it was that she lost everything.
It's ten weeks and three days before Shiki realizes; before her heart breaks for Eri.
And she knows it will end now, one way or another. Her clasped hands are white as she mutely tells Shiki everything she already knows. Everything she already fears from the pallor of Eri's face and the ragged edges of her mouth.
The next time they meet, Neku punches Joshua and breaks his jaw.
Joshua doesn't seem to mind at all. Doesn't tell them that it was Eri's move. He simply stands very still, unflinching, his mad eyes glittering with amusement. His laugh is mocking scorn and the entire city seems to freeze over, seems to suddenly cave in itself like a bubble had burst.
"Four years too late," Joshua tells him, his jaw re-aligning even as the blood drips down his chin.
"You deserve extra," Neku shoots back.
Joshua pushes back his hair and takes out his phone.
Neku tenses, eyes never leaving it.
Something flashes then, briefly, the passage of a bird, in Joshua's eyes.
Like someone who'd finally seen the foretold.
And then he smirks and smoothly dials a number.
Eri never sees Joshua again. And neither does anyone else. Neku and Shiki end up going to the same university far, far away in another prefecture.
And on her dresser one day, Eri finds a letter addressed to her containing an approval for a scholarship in Paris.
She doesn't remember applying.
Or maybe she does, once, a very long time ago.
She folds it neatly and places it on top of her dusty sketchbook, for tomorrow or tomorrow's tomorrow, but not just yet.
She wants to stay, for a little while longer, in Shibuya, whose heart like hers is broken.