Disclaimer: See chapter 3.
Thank you to zombiecupcake'eats-you, ismyneli-SL, Infamousplot, Do a Barrel Roll, LittleKing9512, PMiller1, Nix-the-Neko, Starowner, Amulet Misty and anon for the lovely reviews.
I AM UNDESERVING.
A/N: ...I seriously am overwhelmed by the support for this fic. Guys. Guys. Are you okay.
Thirty one favourites and thirty seven alerts!?
ABALOWWMA WOW WOW WOW.
So I shall award you with a crappy Neku/Shiki drabble.
Which is really short.
Also is the first vaguely-romantic thing I have ever written.
And Joshua barely featu-
-OH SO NOW YOU'RE INTERESTED.
.: of skinny behinds and dresses :.
"You're sooo cute."
Nothing much had happened in Traverse Town in the last few months, Neku realized as he and Shiki walked around a large store located in the Fourth District, sea salt ice-creams in hand. Sure, there were still Nightmares lurking about, and occasionally they would get missions, but more often than not, the missions were impossibly easy to complete. Not that he was complaining or anything, but for goodness sake, the last mission had been to play Flick Rush! Rhyme had completed it for the rest of them without even knowing.
It only added to the looming sense that something big was going to happen soon.
He looked up at Shiki at the sound of his name. "Yeah?"
She held up a dark blue turtle-neck shirt next to her, smiling. "How would this look? I need to get a change of clothes soon; winter's coming up soon, and you know that I'll freeze if I carry on like this."
"Shiki, I've got plenty of jackets at the hotel. Just borrow one." They didn't need to waste any more munny then the limited amount they had; the mission before the last one had been to make Pegaso the most popular in Traverse Town, and they'd spent all of the munny, because of course, Pegaso was by far the most expensive brand of them all. What kind of idiot spent ten thousand munny on a scarf?
Shiki pouted. "Yeah, but they'd be too small for me-" How? "-And, um... I kinda want to look fashionable."
"...Are you saying that I have bad taste in clothes?" Well that was rude.
"You like Jupiter of the Monkey," she teased, "'Nuff said." She giggled at Neku's frown. "Heh, it's true!"
"The only people that are gonna see you are me, Beat, Josh and Rhyme. The old geezers wouldn't know fashion if you smacked them in the face with it."
"Neku, that's mean!" She put her hands on her hips, smiling. "At least they know what clothes are."
"Um, remember that guy we met y-"
"-Don't mention him," Shiki hissed. "Don't."
"He was naked. And fat." How was that even legal? Scratch that; were there even any laws in Traverse Town? Or did everyone just do whatever they wanted to do? Then again, it was mostly old people, so they probably spent all day inside knitting cardigans or something. Not to be ageist or anything.
"Oh! I thought you were referring to him!" Shiki hissed. "The nude guy had better fashion sense then some of the people you see around here. Omigosh! There was this guy wearing a hot pink shirt with red leggings the other day! He looked so bad!"
Neku took a lick of his melting ice-cream. He didn't have a clue on fashion; wear whatever you wanted to wear, as long as it was clothes. That was what he lived by. Unfortunately, knowing Shiki for so long had unconsciously converted him into bit of a fashion geek as well. "Man, that's bad." He shook his head. "Hey. Just go and buy whatever you want. I'll lean you some of my munny if you don't have enough."
He smirked a little. "Only if you pay me back. And I charge interest."
"Oh, but I'm your partner! I'll buy you some new pins after!"
That got him. The pins that he had at the moment were basic things; barely enough to scratch the Nightmares nowadays (they seemed to get ten times stronger after Sora left). He had to rely heavily on Flowmotion, and honestly, that tired him out quickly. But he was not being useless, damn it! "...Okay."
"Hmm... this shirt's a Natural Puppy one." Shiki flipped her phone open. "The top brand at the moment is Tigre Punks; ugh, I'll need to talk to Beat about that."
"I thought that the brands only affected the attack of my pins?"
"Well, yeah, but by wearing different stuff into battle, we boost the rankings of that brand up. You use mostly Jupiter pins, right? Murasame and Yoshimitsu and all of that."
Neku nodded. "So? I use the force rounds a lot, too. It's useful for when I need to stay away, especially from the deer Nightmares."
"Oh, they're such a pain!" Shiki agreed. She flipped her pink phone shut. "So... force rounds tend to be Natural Puppy based. Just lemme buy this shirt, and then we'll drop at the hotel to get your stuff. Is that okay?" Without warning, she flung her ice-cream into the trash can nearby. Neku stared at it before hurrying on to meet with his friend. He could have finished it for her! His was already long finished, and he was carving the salty taste.
"I thought we were going to get some pins?" he asked, confused. Shiki wasn't one for forgetting stuff easily.
"Well, yeah; but you've got Nenekiri at the moment. We'll need to battle and evolve it into a Kanesada pin."
"All of this crap goes over my head," the boy muttered, slouching into his shirt collar deeper. Shiki laughed and gently took his wrist, guiding him over to the counter.
"You'll get the hang of it one day!"
"I don't want to get the hang of it!"
Shiki handed the shirt over and smiled warmly at the store clerk. She dug into her wallet, looking for munny. "Don't you find it strange?" she asked suddenly.
"Find what strange?"
"Because we're not in Shibuya, but we've still got all of the brands here." Her face fell. "Well, apart from Gatito, but..."
Mr. H was still missing. It wasn't that noticable at first; Neku, at first, just believed that he would show up any day, because hey, he was CAT, and CAT doesn't pull crap like that. But it had been nearly a year now... and still no sign. Neku nodded, not wanting to talk about him. "Yeah. Let's head back and grab my stuff. What if a mission shows up before then?"
"Well, depends on what the time limit is, right? If we have long enough, we'll drop by to the hotel. It's only a five minute run from here, anyway."
"So?" She shrugged. "We ran around Shibuya the whole time, right?"
"Yeah, but I'm sure that we can walk. I feel like I'm being a noisy neighbour if I run."
Much to his surprise, Shiki laughed. Loudly. "Pff!" She took the small pink bag from the man, thanking him for his services, and that yes, she would be coming back soon, before they headed out. The sky of Traverse Town was as dark as ever, no light save for the dotted stars shining overhead. It was impossible to tell what time it was, or if it was even day or night. "Oh, Neku."
She wrapped her frosty arm around his, smiling up at him. "Boys. Now, c'mon. We've got places to be."
"What do you mean, boys?"
"You and Beat and Josh try and act all tough, but it really doesn't work."
"I'm not acting!"
She poked his nose with her free hand, grinning. "You're sooo cute."
He shooed her hand anyway, smiling despite the protest in his voice. "No I'm not!"
How many times did she- "Look, I am not dorky. What does that even mean?"
Shiki sighed dramatically. "Boys will be boys."
He smiled whenever her hand dropped down to wrap around his and gave a gentle squeeze. He gave her one back, lancing their fingers together with a wider smile. She smiled back.
It didn't matter how long they were here for. As long as he had his friends, that was all that mattered.