Disclaimer: I do not own TWEWY or its characters. This story was written purely for enjoyment and no profit was made from it.
Author's Note: An old, old prompt fill for the illustrious Umarekawareru that I'm only getting around to putting up here now. This is the original prompt: TWEWY, Joshua/Neku, of course! AU in which the Game is all about beating as many Reapers as possible at Tin Pin and racking up victory points in order to come back to life. Bonus points if it's somehow AD!verse, oh man. Just a one-shot.
The Tin Pin Match Of Your Life
"Yoohoo! Players! Over here!"
"Steroids is calling us, Neku," Joshua said with a smirk. "Are you just going to ignore him?"
Neku eyeballed the enormous Reaper. "How many points do we have today?"
"Five wins so far."
Joshua sounded far too happy for someone in their situation. "Let's go for it. We've got to get as many points as possible."
"Whatever you say, dear."
Neku grumbled internally as they trooped over to ram-crotch. The massive brute grinned maniacally as they approached.
"You kids ready to slam?"
"You're going down, Reaper scum!" Neku challenged.
Joshua tucked his hair behind his ears. "Hee hee."
Yeah. You tell him, giggles.
Five pins each. If they won, they'd get the Reaper's pins and a victory point. If they got enough victory points by the end of the week, they could come back to life. But if they lost…
If they lost, they were dead for good. That was kind of bummer. If only he'd…
No! He couldn't give in to the emo urges! They still had a chance! Tin Pin! The light of his life! It was going to save them! All they had to do was defeat enough Reapers at the game, and they could come back to life!
"Argh!" Higaishizawa recoiled. "Impossible!"
"You lost fair and square, big guy," Joshua gloated – even though he hadn't lifted a finger. "Hand over the pins."
"I won't forget this!" The Reaper threw his pins to the ground.
And everyone told him he was wasting his time on Tin Pin.
Neku crouched to pick over the wares. "Hey, they are some really rare ones in here."
"Dibs on the rainbow pin," Joshua piped up.
Of freaking course.
"Do you always have to be so… you know… gay?" Neku asked flatly.
"Aww, Blue, I didn't know you cared."
…He was still calling him that? Seriously?
"Anyway, we've got to keep looking. We need more points, and there aren't any more Reapers around here."
"I know a place," Joshua said, heading past Pork City. Neku followed along, for lack of any other plan, until they reached some kind of creek.
"Shibuya River," Joshua provided. "It stretches 2.6 km between the Miyamasu and Tengenji Bridges, but really, it's a river in name alone. It has no real source, and is awfully shallow. It's been converted into a drain way now."
"You mean a sewer." He eyed it critically. He didn't remember a place like this in Shibuya, but it certainly looked sinister enough to be hiding Reapers.
"Like a channel dividing this world and the next," Joshua commented breezily as he waltzed in like he owned the place. As though owning a sewer was an achievement.
"The Styx of Shibuya. Creepy."
"It's a common misconception that Charon ferried the dead across the Styx. That was actually the river Acheron. The Styx circled Hades, the realm of the dead, nine times, forming the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. Fascinating stuff."
"Yeah, fascinating," he deadpanned.
Joshua just smirked at him, and headed deeper into the darkness.
They walked through the gloomy pipe for some distance. It soon became difficult to see. "Hey, Josh, I don't know if-"
An unfamiliar voice. "Who's there?"
No way! There really were people down here?
"Players? You hectopascals must be zetta stupid, risking your necks on a zero probability gamble!" Manic laughter. "I like your style! Let's Slam!" He moved into the light, pins brandished like weapons.
"Wait, I know you…" The realisation dawned upon Neku like a breaking tide of horror. "You're Dr Pin!"
The Reaper grinned. "You've heard of me? Not such an binomial loser, then."
No way! Dr Pin? Dr Pin was a Reaper?
"Haunting the sewers again? I'm surprised you're not out challenging the Players when there's a Game on," Joshua remarked.
Neku whirled on his partner. "You knew? Why the hell would you bring us to challenge Dr Pin?" He was all for victory points, but wasn't it smarter to seek our weaker Reapers and take them on instead?
"The better the challenge, the sweeter the rewards, right, Blue?"
"….I've been meaning to ask this for a while…Are you high?"
"Just shut up and play, dear."
Not like he had a choice, now that they'd wandered straight into the Reaper's den.
The Reaper cackled. "Ready to face MY brilliant creations? I'll crunch you inverse idiots into fractions!"
He clutched his pins and grit his teeth. This was going to be the Tin Pin match-up of his life! "If we win this, Josh, I'm killing you."
"Neku, dear, we're already dead."