"That's good."

"It's delicious!"

Neku and Shiki gave their compliments to Ken Doi as he served them their bowls of ramen. The shop owner was only all too happy to have his favourite customers in his shop again and left them to eat with a big smile on his face. Business was booming ever since the Prince F'ed this place on his blog, but Neku and Shiki always had a place to sit at when they came in. Ken Doi said it was because of Neku that his business succeeded over the competition and it was the least he could do to repay the favour.

Shiki dug into her Shoyu Ramen happily while Neku took his time with his Miso Ramen. They ate for a while before Neku looked up and realized Shiki was kind of picking at her noodles.

"Oog...I think I ate too fast," Shiki said quietly. "But I was just so hungry, I couldn't wait!"

"Sounds just like you," Neku said with a low chuckle. "Weren't you the one always jumping from one thing to another back in the UG?"

"You would have been, too, if you had known the rules of the game right from the start," Shiki said. "Unless you prefer to take everything slow. But if you're too slow in the UG, you're prey. I'm glad we escaped and got our second chances."

"Same." Neku poked at his ramen. "I think I got a second chance in more than just life. I never really had friends before. People always just gave me reasons not to trust them."

"Did I?" Shiki asked softly.

"No. But by then, I had closed off to anyone and everyone." Neku set his chopsticks down. "I guess you were a reason I changed. I know I'll never forget how pissed I was at Megumi for making you my entry fee for my second game. You were more than just a partner, Shiki. You pretty much became my reason for survival."

"And it's still like that now?" Shiki asked with a small smile and set her hand over Neku's. "The Reapers' game was months ago, but we've been inseparable."

"I guess I can't let you go at all," Neku replied. Behind his collar, he was smiling. He liked spending time with Beat and Rhyme, but it was only when he was alone with Shiki he felt truly happy and at peace. Today he had asked Shiki to get a bowl of ramen for lunch and it was the right move. Beat and Rhyme had homework to take care of (or rather Rhyme had homework to take care of while trying to help Beat with his), so he had Shiki all to himself.

"Hey Neku?"

"What's up?" Neku asked, looking at Shiki directly.

"Do you believe in the idea of soul mates? You know, two people who are destined to be together forever?" Shiki had a thoughtful expression on her face. "It's been on my mind a lot seems a bit much, don't you think? Soul mates mean that there's no other person for someone to be with. And what if they don't even realize they are soul mates?"

"Then I guess they're just unlucky," Neku replied. He picked up his chopsticks and took a bite of one of the vegetables. "I kinda do and I kind of don't, I guess. I believe that everyone fits together with someone else...someone else who really makes them happy in a way no one else can. But being soulbound is a bit crazy. What if something happens to one of them and the other one is left alone? Like...death?"

Shiki felt a shudder pass down her spine. "I hope that never happens."

"Same..." Neku gave Shiki an intense stare. "I know I couldn't live with myself if something happened to you again."

"Huh?" Shiki blushed bright red. Neku laughed and squeezed her hand.

"Let me spell it out for you, Shiki. You're the one who makes me happy in a way no one else can. If you're not my soul mate, who else is? No one else matters in my life, except you. Beat and Rhyme are my friends, but you're closer to me. I'm happy right where I am with you. Who needs to go looking?"

"Wow, Neku..." Shiki smiled brightly. "I never knew you could be so flattering!"

"It's not flattery. It's the truth," Neku replied.

"So the reason you asked me to go for ramen was..."

"A date. But I had you fooled, didn't I?" Neku said with a smirk. "What do you say, Shiki? Will you keep dating a hardass like me?"

"You're no hardass," Shiki said with a smile. "You're just Neku. Of course I'll keep dating you!" She giggled. "I've always liked you, Neku. Even when you didn't like me. How's that for soul mates?"

"I say it's a good match," Neku replied.

"No. WE'RE a good match," Shiki corrected him. "We were soulbound in the UG and now we're just normal teenagers with normal lives. Except now we have each other."

"And now I'm stuck with you for life," Neku laughed.

"Bet on it!" Shiki said, laughing with him.

Finally, a NekuxShiki fanfic. I've been dying to do one for a while.

I really liked Neku and Shiki's interaction throughout the game and I really loved how Shiki really did become a lot more than Neku's partner as the game went on. If Megumi couldn't take Shiki as Neku's entry fee, what else could he have taken? It's pretty much proof that Neku cared a lot more for Shiki than he showed. And I really like how Shiki never gave up on Neku during their week together. They make such a great couple!

This one's dedicated to my own soul mate, Regii. Not only did he get me the game, he and I both love NekuxShiki as a couple. Thanks, hun!