Author's Notes: Apologies for the delay. Actually, I hadn't even written this chapter before I was whisked away into the business (and laziness) of summer vacation, so that'll be my excuse this time.
Disclaimer: The World Ends With You is property of Square Enix; Durarara‼ is property of Ryohgo Narita and Suzuhito Yasuda. I do not claim any rights.
And We All Fall Down
Durarara‼ × The World Ends With You
Of the numerous suspicious thoughts that Celty had about the entire situation, two circulated endlessly, and refused to stop because Celty knew that they were the key to everything. Celty was of the opinion that these thoughts would remain paramount even after the situation ended – if it would end – because that's how shocking they were, and that's how often they spun around her head again and again.
Her first thought, the one that bothered her less but was likely of more significance, was: There's something bothering Izaya. It had been something she'd never seen before; Orihara Izaya was always on top of things, so on top that it was despicable. But here, it was obvious that the situation at hand was out of Izaya's control. Irritation harassed him throughout the briefing he'd had with the group of 'Reapers' he'd assembled, and every now and again he would glare out the window as though someone was standing there – unless he happened to be particularly cross with the moon.
The supernatural thing didn't suit Izaya, either. It just wasn't like him. The entire situation wasn't, but he'd been swept into it and so had the rest of Ikebukuro, and there was no going back, no personal choices allowed. Celty wouldn't admit it, but even as a Dullahan, she was kind of scared. Scared for all the people involved, maybe even Izaya, but mostly her fright involved her second thought—
Shinra didn't recognize me.
It had occurred only moments ago. Celty, flat-out refusing to use her Reaper's wings to harass the Players, had decided to loiter for most of her shift at Ikebukuro Station. There were no Players within her range at the start, so it was relatively quiet (at least, as quiet as Ikebukuro Station could get). Forty minutes had passed since the mission had been delivered to the Players, and no one had been erased yet, but only one pact had been successfully formed – Mikado and Masaomi were quick at catching on.
That was when it happened. There were two Players in the game that had been added last minute, that the Reapers hadn't been told about before the Game began. Both were Celty's friends. One was more important to her than the other.
"Shinra?" she'd stuffed the phone in his face, hoping very much that he wouldn't be able to see it. Her frequency was set so that she could only be visible in the UG.
But Shinra looked up, and it was the lack of his excited, boyish cry of her name that made it hit Celty immediately. And hard.
He hadn't recognized her. He hadn't launched into a thousand conversations at once at the sight of her, hadn't smiled and reminded her that he'd loved her for as far back as he could remember. Really, the Kishitani Shinra that she'd explained to what was going on, why he should take the skull pin she was offering him, and why he needed a partner immediately wasn't the Shinra she knew at all – he'd lost all his… well, Shinraness.
And for that, no matter the amount of innocence he had this time, Izaya would pay.
Sonohari Anri ran.
She ran, and she kept on running through the grey masses until she could find someone, anyone. All she needed now was to run into someone – and how strange, she'd never wished for something like that to happen before so badly, ever. An image of Harima Mika flew through her head and a pang of sadness and desperation hit her heart hard. Mika… Anri had clung to her, as she always seemed to cling to people, but now… where was she? Why was Anri incapable of holding onto things? Her fingers; so slippery she had no parents, no close friends, no possessions, no anything. No heart. She had nothing, she was worth nothing, she needed a partner…
Anri spared a look behind her. Mikado and Masaomi were no where to be seen. There was not a trace of them left behind. Anri fisted the skull pin on her clothes, forgetting for a moment the strange sensation that had swept over her the last time she'd done so. Voices and thoughts poured into her head for a second time, and she doubled over in pain, clutching her head and yelling out in agony (maybe someone will hear me, maybe I'll find a partner!).
Mother, mother, mother, mother—
I saw the Slasher yesterday, I swear I did—
Geez, the gangs have been really active lately—
The death toll is gaining, what exactly happened last night?—
But no one heard her screaming. She was alone; alone, and there were red sigils looming everywhere around her. Mikado has said she needed a partner, and one look at her palms said she only had fifteen minutes left to find one.
Anri stared at the statue of ikefukuro-zo. Meeting up with someone there would be a dream.
What was really stupid, Shizuo thought, was this damn frog. Because seriously, what? It was a frog, and Shizuo didn't like to brag but he was Shizuo, and he had freaking concrete in his hands and it was definitely not possible for a frog to survive a hit to the head by freaking concrete. It was his second frog, and his second makeshift weapon (eventually, he gave up on the first frog, deciding that a heavier weapon was in order), and Shizuo did not plan on a third anything.
Except maybe a third attempt to whack the frog with his freaking concrete. It hit the frog straight on and crushed it, but there was no sickening and satisfying sound of the frog being squished into nothingness. In fact, when Shizuo lifted his weapon back up, the frog was in perfectly good condition and promptly blew a poisonous bubble at his face. And the bubble, something that resembled the big ones that Kasuka always made when they were little (Shizuo's had always been kind of pathetic), had the nerve to burn his face. And it hurt so bad that Shizuo was forced to run away from this fight, too. Once he'd escaped the sigil's clutches, the burning went away immediately.
"What the hell," was all that Shizuo had the capacity to say, and in his anger he punched ikefukuro-zo's little owl head clean off. "It's just a stupid frog, and I had freaking concrete."
"Um," said a small voice suddenly from behind him, "E-excuse me, Heiwajima-san?"
Shizuo turned around furiously, dropping his makeshift weapon. "What?"
There was a girl standing there, small in size but ample sized in… other things. Wait, hadn't he seen her somewhere before? Ah, whatever. On her clothes there was a skull pin, one that looked kind of familiar. Oh, that's right, he had one just like that in his pocket – he'd found it lying on the ground after his first frog fight attempt, and kept it for… some reason. He wasn't sure why, really.
"Ah, those monsters. You're trying to fight them, but you're supposed to make a pact before you can hurt them… that's what I've heard, anyway."
Shizuo raised an eyebrow. "A pact? And then I can destroy these pests?"
She nodded. "Yes, and—"
"Let's do it then," he said, cutting her off. He didn't need an explanation.
Anri didn't argue. They made their pact. Then, without warning, Shizuo picked up the freaking concrete he'd left abandoned and charged at the frogs like they were Izaya's head. This time, they had the decency to die.
As it were, Izaya had absolutely nothing to do with the matter that Celty was most concerned about. In fact, he wasn't even aware of Shinra being a part of the Game until Celty stormed into his office, grabbed him by the front of his shirt, thrust him against the wall, and declared that once this was all over, she was going to rip him apart limb from limb.
Izaya tilted his head to the side, and with a curious smile because that was just his style (and his style was definitely going to get him killed some day), said, "I… have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Could you expand for us non-mythological types?" In response Celty brought her other hand to his neck, threatening to choke him here and now. Unlike some people involved, Izaya wasn't immortal.
In the corner of the room, Yagiri Namie sat in her usual desk as though today was just another day at work and Izaya was threatened every other lunch break (which he usually was). Without looking up from her work, she answered in Celty's place, "I think she's on about Kishitani and Heiwajima being apart of the Game."
From his comfortable place against the wall with Celty nearly choking him, Izaya glanced at Namie through the smoky space where Celty's neck ended, his eyes narrowed. "Shizu-chan?"
Celty, too, looked at Namie for an answer, because the tone that Izaya was using clearly stated that he was completely unaware of the addition of the two extra Players. Namie, for her part, had no humility, and still typing away at her computer desk put in, "Yes. I added Heiwajima Shizuo and Kishitani Shinra to the roster of Players, and no, that is not illegal, Orihara-kun, because Joshua approved it."
"Ah, Celty-san, I'm choking here, so if you wouldn't mind – ?"
Celty politely let go and pulled out her PDA, immediately typing in, "Who's Joshua?"
Izaya read it aloud like a child, slow and spaced, as though he was just learning how to read. "Who… is… Joshua?" Putting on a plastic smile, he responded, "That's a good question. Who is Joshua?"
"Your boss," Namie put in helpfully.
"My boss," confirmed Izaya. "Thank you, disloyal assistant."
Namie laughed. "There's more disloyalty where that came from, Orihara-kun."
Izaya exaggerated his bewilderment. "Worse than Shizu-chan?"
"Oh," said Izaya, "That won't do. Celty-san, I know this is very rude of us, but could I trouble you to leave so that I may have a word with my disloyal bitch?"
And then Celty found herself standing outside of Izaya's office. Her latest thought:
What just happened?
There's something bothering Izaya – it's probably about Joshua.
Shinra didn't recognize me.
Over there – that girl had a skull pin on her shirt, just as the Reaper he'd met earlier had told him, just as he had on his lab coat.
"Hey!" Shinra called out to the girl, and thankfully, she heard him. There were only seven minutes left, finally –
"Oh, thank god, you haven't made a pact, have you?" When Shinra shook his head, she continued, smiling, "Okay sensei, let's team up!"
And they did.
"I'm Kishitani Shinra," he introduced, offering his hand once the timer disappeared. "What's your name?"
The girl hesitated for a moment, and then took it, murmuring, "I'm… Celty. Celty Sturluson."
"Celty," said Shinra, testing the name on his tongue. "That's a nice name."
Only for you (I'm right here, beside you).
Author's Notes: And that's the end of Day One!
A reviewer asked why Shizuo wasn't healed at the start of the game, since Neku was at the start of his. My answer is that Namie added him and Shinra to the roster after Izaya reviewed the other Players (Mikado, Masaomi, Anri, Mika, Seiji, and Saki), so their situation is a little different. Speaking of Seiji and Saki, they're now teamed up (once again the work of Namie); sorry, but you don't get to see their first day.
Anyway, any thoughts as to the situation with Neku? Will he be involved in this at all? What about the other TWEWY characters?