A/N: I wrote this years ago, after I had just finished playing The World Ends With You. I'm just wondering what people think. So if you take the time to read, please take the time to review!
Axiom wandered the streets of Shibuya, trying to get used to her new home. Everything here was so different – and everything she hated. Completely ruled by trends, with no individuality to speak of. She was her own person – always had been, always would be. Shibuya was the exact opposite of where she would want to live. It was noisy, with no architectural merit, crowded with people who all desperately wanted to be exactly like the person who was standing right next to them.
She stopped in front of a few stores, wondering if anything would be in her price range. She doubted it, but didn't care. She'd find something to wear. Her overly baggy cargo pants and t shirts were sure to get her through the rest of her teen years. At 15, she was completely unoccupied with looks, friends, and most of humanity. She didn't have time for them, just meandering around. She had her own things to do. Her music played in her ears as she wandered around the sprawling city.
Eventually, she got hungry. She stepped into a small café, choosing the most secluded table she could find. Just as she decided what she was going to order, a gaggle of giggling girls walked in the door, laughing and generally being airheads.
"Oooh, I don't know what to get. What are you getting?" one squealed. Axiom snorted, rolling her eyes.
"Did you say something?" one said venomously, turning to Axiom. She flicked her blonde and blue hair out of her face, restraining herself.
"I didn't say anything," she said flatly.
"But I heard you! You had to say something," she insisted, pouting. A few more turned around, glaring.
"Fine. If you must know, I was mocking you," Axiom said shortly.
She stormed out of the tiny café angrily, no longer willing to deal with the bubble-heads. She wasn't watching were she was going, and her feet were carrying her quickly across the street.
A jerk at her waist.
The sounds of the street assaulted her as her ear phones were ripped from her ears. Pain lanced across her back, then her shins, wrists, and palms.
"What are you, crazy?" a voice demanded.
Axiom rolled over, arms pressed tight to her stomach. People were talking loudly all around her. She longed for silence. She could see, but everything was blurry, and her eyes wouldn't focus on anything. Her head hurt, and blood – her own – oozed everywhere. The red liquid was swelling from a cut above her eye, beading on her hands, and tingling and staining her back and sides.
"Hello? Can you hear me?" The voice was worried now.
Axiom nodded weakly, sending pain shooting down her spine. "Yes, I can hear you, no I'm not crazy," she qualified. She knew that her injuries were making her snappier than usual.
The other voice – male, she recognized – sounded surprised. "Uhm, okay. Can you get up?" Her vision began to clear. She saw and felt a hand on her shoulder. The fingers were long and pale, attached to a thin arm. The face was pale as well, with a spike of orange hair poking up and around it. It touched his ears at the longest point, falling around headphones around his neck. She knew someone behind the boy wouldn't see the head phones because of his absurdly large collar.
"Yes, I think so." Axiom grimaced, and placed her hands on the side walk, pushing herself to her knees.
"Good. I'll...uh...hang on," he said. Axiom slowly gathered her bearings and returned to her surroundings. The people had already moved on, no longer looking at her or the boy.
"All right, bye," the boy was saying, and then turned to face her. "Let's get out of here. You need to sit down."
Axiom wasn't really ready to trust him, but her body ached, so she wasn't going to take chances. If the blood flow didn't stop soon, she might pass out. Being alone was not a situation she wanted to be in. The boy lead her down a few alleys, and before long, they were on a part of town Axiom didn't know existed. It was dark and secluded, with only a few shops and fewer people.
He led her just a bit farther, until they stopped at a huge mural painted onto a wall. It was a masterpiece – there were so many vivid colors she could almost hear the cacophony of sounds from each color. The reds were screaming their thoughts, yellows speaking soothing words, blues crying their sorrows. The greens twittered with excitement, purples offering advice, oranges watching it all with amazement. Blacks and grays lurked in the background, creeping and whispering terrors of the night.
She glanced at the boy and he was glaring intensely – seemingly at the mural. But she looked through his eyes – his heart was not with this mural. His heart was somewhere else, thinking of some far off turmoil. She stared at him, wondering just how he had come to find her...and save her.
Eventually he glanced at her. "Amazing, isn't it?" he said, staring at the mural this time. His eyes grew cheery, and he looked like a different person. She had not noticed before that his face was full of angst – that he was always glaring at something or other that no one else could see. "This is CAT's monument. For a long time, it was what I lived by. All CAT all the time." He chuckled. "Then I learned it wasn't so great after all."
He turned his face toward her. "I'm Neku Sakuraba. Welcome to Shibuya."
"Axiom Allegory. Thank you for saving my life," she said, blonde bangs covering her purple eyes.
The orange haired boy chuckled again. "You're names a bit of an oxymoron, isn't it? Truth Myth. Isn't that what it basically means?"
She almost smiled, remembering what she used to say when someone mentioned that. Now it was painful to think about the people who have given her the name. "I'd say I hated my parents for it, but it's impolite to disrespect the dead," she said flatly, still staring at the CAT mural.
Neku tensed. "I'm sorry. I didn't know. Your name is perfectly fine." A pause, then, "How long ago did it happen?"
"Just a few weeks ago. Today was the first day I chanced wandering around Shibuya by myself – not the greatest idea, apparently."
Neku bit his lip. "Guess not. It takes a while to get used to living here."
"Yo, Phones! Where's the chick?" a loud voice called out with no warning.
"Here, Beat!" Neku called, seeming exasperated. "You crude good for nothing lout…" he muttered under his breath. Axiom turned around to see the other boy that had called out.
He was taller – taller than both Neku and Axiom – with large muscles and a bright face. How someone like him and Mr. Sakuraba here came to be acquaintances Axiom would never understand. He was accompanied by a slender girl with killer fashion sense, who was laughing at the boy – the one Neku had called Beat. On his other side was a tiny girl who resembled the tall boy, with blonde hair and an adorable face. She had a bell charm around her neck that tinkled daintily as she walked.
"Axiom, meet Beat and Rhyme Bito," he indicated the tall boy and the shorter girl, "and Shiki Misaki." The black haired girl carried herself well, proudly. The trio kept walking closer to where Neku and Axiom were standing.
The youngest – Axiom assumed that tiny Rhyme was the youngest – immediately looked concerned. "What happened?" she asked, voice as angelic as her face.
Axiom remembered that, in addition to her body being sore, it was also covered in blood, a majority of it fresh.
Shiki answered for her. "She was nearly killed not that long ago. Neku saved her life. That's why he asked us to come – you know how clueless he is around girls." Rhyme and Shiki giggled, and Beat boomed a laugh. Neku glared, but did not blush. Axiom took little to no notice of the exchange. As far as she was concerned, these four would probably turn out to be like anyone else.
"Shiki, can you take her to your house and get her cleaned up? Eri can help, but I don't really want to deal with my parents asking why I'm bringing a bloody girl home."
Beat grinned nastily, sending Neku a significant look. Neku glared daggers. Beat kept on grinning. Once more, Axiom took no notice, but Shiki was talking to her.
"No problem, Neku. I'll tell Eri to bring over some things for you to try on."
Axiom nearly rolled her eyes. "Don't bother. I'll just wear this."
Shiki gagged. "I won't have any friend of mine walking around like a zombie!" She was appalled, much to Axiom's surprise and flattery. Friend? That was something to appreciate. First day in this town and someone who already considered her a friend. She wasn't completely sure how it had happened, but it had.
"Good. Well, just call Eri and get her cleaned up," Neku said after glaring at Beat for a few more moments.
Shiki immediately pulled out her cell phone, dialed, and was talking within ten seconds. "Eri? It's Shiki. Sorry I had to dash like that – hope you managed without me. But anyway, I've got a little bit of a fashion crisis here. Care you help?" A moment's pause. "Perfect. Well, Neku seems to have made himself a friend in serious need of our fashion expertise. Can you come pick us up?...Yeah, just in Dogenzaka. Five minutes max, all right? Call me if you get stuck in traffic." Shiki quickly snapped the phone shut, grinning at Axiom.
Beat suddenly paled. "Oh shit. I know that look! Don't say it, please don't say –"
"Make over!" Shiki and Rhyme shouted, giggling.
That sounds lovely, Axiom thought.
"Oh, come on, just get her some new clothes and get out! No need to torture her, Shiki," Neku laughed. Axiom saw that flash in his eyes – the same he had when looking at the mural. She wondered what the connection was.
"Please, Neku. Call it a girls' night out. A little welcome party, for just us. You guys can do...whatever it is you do. We'll be busy." Shiki said. "Oooh, look, here's Eri!" Shiki waved her friend down. Axiom reluctantly followed Shiki and Rhyme, both already chattering excitedly. She glanced uncertainly back at Neku. He smiled at her – and the flash in his deep blue eyes was meant just for her.