Ikebukuro sped past the motorcycle, all flashing lights and surprised faces. The black bike roared beneath Celty, echoing through the city streets.

No no no no.

She trusted Shinra. She trusted him, more than anyone else in the world, maybe even loved –


Celty's hands clenched the grip. Something ached deep inside her, like a tear through her chest. Twenty years she had been searching, always searching, and he had been there. How long had he known? How long had he kept this from her?

I thought you loved me.


He reads the fortune, and his heart breaks a little. But Celty is overjoyed with hers, so he palms it and quickly eats the paper.

"Ah, I guess they forgot to put one in mine," he says, and gives her an earnest smile. He's good, twenty years of practice covers over any heartache in his expression.

Your love shalt not come true.


Shinra has seen more dead bodies than most 24-year olds, even among his more legitimate peers in the medical field.

He isn't much of a mortician, but sometimes he's called in to alter a corpse's features. Those are the worst jobs, dead flesh is so much harder to work on than living, and… And there's the whole corpse deal of it. He may not be a squeamish man but he is still uncomfortable around the recently dead.

He tries to think about Celty while he's got a surgical knife to a gang member's face. The boy is young, was young, couldn't be older than Shinra himself, and he can't help but wonder if this boy had someone he loved too. He shudders and tries to remember the good times, but there's been so few of them. Shinra has had to live with fantasies. Instead he tries to think about a future with the woman he loves.

There's not much there, either.

He has no past, he realizes, in this dimly lit room, underground in some back ally, carving up a dead man, surrounded by dangerous and ultimately unpredictable human beings.

At the rate he's going he has no future either.

But when he's done he can go home, and he can see Celty. There's a promise of something other than this, and he'll cling to that for all of eternity.