Disclaimer: Do I look like I own TWEWY? Yes? Get your eyes checked, please.

Characters: Neku (Shiki, Joshua, Beat)

Summary: If Neku thought that pins were confusing to use, he hasn't seen anything yet. Fortunately, his various partners are all too happy to enlighten him about their Fusions. Or just plain confuse him. Either works. No spoilers.

Warnings/Spoilers/Timeline: None. Shiki, Day 4. Joshua, Day 3. Beat, Day 1.

.:. Third Time's the Charm .:.

"Neku!" Shiki claps her hands together, beaming. "Oh, I'm so glad you're opening up!"

"I just asked how your Fusion worked," Neku grumbles, scuffing his shoes against some little kid's oversized shoes. It's amusing to see how much he can pull off in the UG. "Nothing major."

Shiki is all too eager to continue. "But it's a start! Omigosh, we could get you to try on-"


Her face falls. "Oh, fine. I'll explain."

"Please do."

Shiki looks as if she isn't sure what way to take that. "Um... right. I have these three cards floating above me while I battle, okay?"

"Yeah." Weird mental image, but it works.

"Then there's three different ones that float over different enemies, and I send Mr. Mew to attack through one of those cards during a combo. Like, say, I needed a plus sign?"

"Plus sign?"

"Oh, sorry!" She winces a little. "The three cards above me – not in front of me – are all flipped over, so I can't see them. Basically, I have to guess what symbol they have on them by hitting the cards in front of me with Mr. Mew. The ones in front of me-"

"-You can stop putting extra focus on that."

Shiki stomps her foot. "I was only trying to be helpful! Now you threw me off! Anyway!"

How could he have thrown her off if she'd just gotten straight back into it? Girls. "Um..."

She ignores him. "The three cards in front of me-" Neku sighs in relief. "-All have symbols on them. Like, squares, stars, zig zags, circles, and a plus. I have to hit the symbol, and if it's right, then the card flips over, and I get a star. If I get it right on my first go, then I get two stars!"

"So... what happens if you get it wrong?"

"Well, if the design's along the other two above me-" Neku mentally groans. "-Then it flashes up briefly. If not, I know that it's useless." She smiles warmly at him. "You get it? It's easy, isn't it?"

"...What's your definition of hard?"

Her face falls just a little. She really could do with smiling more. It looks nice on her. "Vastly different from yours?"

"Yeah. I think I'll stick to pins, thanks."

She grabs his arm with a wink. "Then let's go shopping for some!"


"So. Um." Wow. This is awkward.

"Something you need to know, Neku?" Joshua asks dryly, smirking. "Ask away."

He resists the urge to choke him painfully. Unlike with Shiki, he's pretty sure he'd enjoy it, too. "How do your cards work?"

Joshua shrugs. "I already explained this."

"Well, explain again." Neku crosses his arms. "'Sides, you only said 'high or low cards, now let's see you try and understand that, sucker'."

"I'm sure I didn't use those exactwords. My, you're simply awful at quoting."

"Oh shut up," Neku snaps unthinkingly. "Just, I dunno, describe it. It can't be as hard as Shiki's."


"My partner from last week?" Josh really wasn't paying any attention to him whenever he bought her up, was he? "Ugh, never mind."

"Since you asked so nicely," Joshua says sarcastically, and then morphs into serious mode in a blink. He has a weird tendency to do that. "You understand that I have three combo branches?"

Was that a running theme or something? "Yeah."

"Heehee. Very good. Give yourself a pat." Neku does nothing, apart from maybe trying to make his eye not twitch as much. "I press the number that I want. Say I want the top one. I press one. Middle, two. Bottom, three. Basic knowledge."

"Keep going."

"Say please." Nevertheless, Joshua goes on, smirking. "Now, let's say that I need a number higher than five to get a star. I need to press different numbers in my combo. At the end of the combo, I add up the total amount of digits, and if the answer is higher than five, then I get the star."

Neku's lost it at 'press different numbers'. Joshua sighs heavily upon seeing the utterly baffled look on Neku's face.

"Goodness. Looks like I have to explain this in Layman's terms. Hmm... let's say that during my combo, I hit a five, three, seven, and nine. In total, they add up to twenty-four, or two four." Josh is like a mini version of the Grim Heaper, Neku realizes. Oh God. "I then add the digits, which are two and four, together. Since the answer is six, and therefore higher than five, I get the star. Do you get me now?" Joshua's bored look makes it clear that he won't explain it again; that, or he'll make Neku buy viper drink, which is one of the only things Josh likes, and, surprise surprise, it's one of the most expensive drinks on Earth. At least shio ramen's cheap.

"...So, you have to do a bunch of math sums while fighting for your existence."

Joshua shrugs. "Mathematics always was my favourite subject at school. Well, truthfully, it was music, but no one appreciates it any more."

Like he cares about what Joshua's freaking favourite subject is. "...Couldn't you just press the number that you wanted multiple times?"

Neku smirks at Joshua's own smirk falling off. "...I hadn't thought of that." Then it plants back onto his face again. "I like something at my ability. What can I say? Not my fault that I'm a natural genius."

Neku rolls his eyes. "It is your fault that you're an obnoxious and prissy brat. C'mon, let's grab some ramen."

"Yes, sir!"

"...Your combo." Oh dear God please let it be easier than Josh's please.

Beat stares at him for a few seconds. The pink Noise on his shoulder peeks out from behind his beanie hat. "Huh?"

"How do you get Fusion stars?"

"Oh, 'em?" Beat's face lights up. "Man, it's easy! You just gotta... gotta..."

"Gotta what?" Neku prompts. This does not bond well for the future of his sanity; well, it does somewhat depend on the fact that he might not have any left.

"...Eh, I dunno, yo. Rhyme 'plained it for me. Oh! Yo yo yo! I got these-" He waves his arms in the air animatedly. "-Cards, man, and I gotta match them up!"

"Fantastic," Neku drawls dryly. "Could you, I dunno, explain?"

Beat stares at him again. This isn't going to become a habit, is it?


"What kind of cards? Numbers?"

"Ya kiddin' me!?" Beat shouts loudly. The squirrel nearly falls, its claws dug into Beat's shoulder being the only thing to keep it on. Beat doesn't seem to mind. "Yo yo yo! Men ain't needin' numbers! I use suits!"

Neku is impressed that he knows that word. "Suits? Like, hearts and diamonds and all of that?" Oh no.

Beat nods. Oh no. "Ya see, these weird lookin' pairs of cards are all floatin' and all tha', and I gotta slam the right one wit' my board, yo. You dig?"

Neku nods, although it sounds – somehow – more difficult than Joshua's. "How do you know which one to hit?" And what if he breaks a bone trying to hit the cards?

"Wheneva I hit one, they pop up-" He throws his arms into the air again. The poor Noise struggles to stay on his head. "-And floatin' there. I gotta match two or more suits up, use a skull, then bam! They all come crashin' down!"

"And what happens if you don't use the skull?"

"Then I take damage, man."


Slow down.

Did he hear that right?

So not only is Beat's the most confusing, but it also hurts him?

...What kind of moron comes up with these things?

"So, basically, you can get erased by your own Fusion?"

"Very imprecious, Phones!"

Neku tries not to scream.


I am sorry.

Actually no I'm not sorry in the slightest.

This came to me when I was playing the game through Easy (trying to get 100% on pins, people!) and with Beat as my partner. If I so much as blinked, the Noise were erased. Well, not exactly, but you get what I mean.

My point is; Fusions are near impossible to get! Shiki's alright until you get all five patterns, and I can never memorize them. With Beat, sometimes he's a beauty (got me to a level three Fusion from no stars in one go, once), but most of the time he only gets one or two in the space that Shiki and Josh could get five or six. As for Josh? I love maths, so... I think it's natural that his is my favourite? XD It's a pain when you just floating there waiting for the correct number to pop up, sometimes.

But that's enough about me. Review?