Disclaimer: I don't own TWEWY but TWEWY owns my soul.
Summary: In which Shiki is determined to find out what Neku's project for school is, Neku stalks Shiki at the fabric store and has an interest in sewing, and Joshua trips. Again. Post-game, slight Neku/Shiki.
Characters: Shiki, Neku (Joshua, Eri, Rhyme, original characters).
Warnings: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS and also a failed attempt at Neku/Shiki. Also there's two OCs but one of them is Neku's fangirling mother and the other one is a shop clerk with one line so yeah.
Author's Notes at the end of the story.
"So this is your project for school?" Shiki asks one time when she's around at Neku's house, referring to the ominous brown box hiding on top of his stereo player. His mom is out and – she is not even going to ask why he's here – Joshua's crashed out in the guest room with a snake that likes wearing sunglasses. Right. Could be odder.
"Yeah." Neku's busy packing away his art supplies; and by packing, Shiki means that he's throwing all of the tubes and brushes into his already-overflowing drawers for a rainy day. She did drop over unannounced, but given the sheer amount of times that everyone else (but especially Neku and Eri) crash at her place without warning, she figured that Neku would have been used to it. Obviously not.
"Hey, are you doing anything for the project?" Neku asks as she sits down on the edge of the bed. His shorts are hanging down, not tied up by his usual belt, so it's slightly revealing his bum. Lovely.
"Hmm? Oh, I'm just making an outfit for Mr. Mew to wear. You know, since it's coming up to Easter and all. He must get so cold all of the time!"
Neku stops briefly to glance at her, sighing. "Uh-huh. You get cold in winter, Shiki."
"Actually, you can get cold in all weather."
And it's in that tiny moment, when he looks at her, that she realizes something truly amazing. Her snarky reply dies on her lips. Something bigger has happened. "...You cut your fringe."
He snaps his head back to the wall, grumbling quietly. "Actually, Mom did. She kept saying that it got in the way, so... she cut it in my sleep."
"In your sleep?" Does she not know how dangerous that is? What if Neku had suddenly woken up? He would have cut himself on the scissors! Through his skull! Eek! "That's dangerous!"
"My mom's weird."
Moving onto different things, she stands up and starts to picks through his cupboard box, stopping when her fingers tap something sharp and cool. Curious, Shiki takes out the thick notebooks layered on top, noticing a needle stuck into a black ball. Since when was Neku interested in sewing? He always told Shiki that he thought it was something that old women did. And, well, last time she checked, Neku was a fifteen-year-old who needed to go onto a shopping trip.
The boy in question quickly shoves Shiki out of the way and slams the box shut, actually looking a bit nervous. Well. That's a first. "Ah, um... n-nothing! Absolutely nothing!"
He's blushing. Shiki does not find this the most adorable thing in the whole world, no no, not at all. "Lies."
"I-I'm telling the truth!" Neku stammers, trying to slyly hide the box away from Shiki's line of sight. "It's a surprise!"
"For me?" Shiki teases lightly. She knows that it probably won't be.
"Sooo... can I see it, then?"
"You'll see it when it's done, okay!"
Shiki grins. "Oh, so it is for me? That's so sweet!"
"I'm doing stuff for everyone!" Neku says. "'Cause, uh... I was bored! Yeah, completely bored!"
Okay, now she's getting worried. Neku never flusters this much. Or stutters. Or is anything that does not resemble ultimate coolness. She puts a hand on his forehead. "Neku... are you feeling okay?"
"Never been better!"
"You look unusually hot-"
The door creaks open. "Some people," Joshua says, irritated. "Are trying to sleep after a long day of work." He notices Shiki. "Ah, hi, Shiki." He gives a half-hearted wave. "Neku; shut up." He's lost his usual grace while half-asleep, and when he trudges his way down the hallway, he trips on Neku's hair-dryer wire.
"Why do you even have that?" Shiki wonders aloud, giggling as Joshua attempts to pick himself up, only to keep on falling over.
"It's my mom's!" Neku cries as he hurriedly removes it from the socket. "And Joshua; get back into the guest room before Mom comes back!" He shoves the sleepy boy away. Shiki hears some rather loud banging noises, and prays that no one's fallen down the stairs. "Bye not nice knowing you."
Neku quickly frisks into the bedroom and slams the door behind him, sighing. "Phew."
"Why does the hair-dryer have the CAT logo on it?"
"Tell me why, and I won't pester you about your project?" She leans forward, grinning.
Neku sighs, pulling at the edge of his spiky hair, like he always does whenever he's flustered or grumpy. "...It's mine. Okay? My hair takes hours to dry after I shower, so, um... I use a hair-dryer."
"And hair gel?"
Shiki laughs. "It's okay. We all have our guilty pleasures."
Shiki is surprised to spot Neku while shopping in her favourite fabric store the next day. Eri's gotten, yet again, a fantastic idea for an outfit, but since she's busy all week, she's asked Shiki to find the materials needed instead. They'd had an argument for half an hour over the phone about who should pay for it, until a thoughtful Rhyme chipped in with that they could pay half each.
Neku drops the small balls of white that he had been looking at, throwing the basket behind his back. "S-Shiki! Hey."
"What, trying to act all mysterious and cool?" She sniggers as the marbles roll across the ground, landing at the heel of her shoes. "Lost some balls?"
Neku ducks his head, picking some of them up. "No! I'm, just, um... Mom asked me to get some stuff?" He stands back up again, careful to keep the basket behind him.
"She's a model." Shiki points out. "And hasn't been home all week."
"Okay, okay!" Neku blurts out. "It's for my project! I'm sewing something, and I need some-" His cheeks brighten a little. "-balls, okay? For eyes. Not anywhere else."
"Eyes?" Just what is he making? It sounds humanoid, but... with Neku, it really could be anything. For all she knows, he could be stitching up a Noise. Or a flower. With eyes. You never could be too sure when Neku and art came together.
"You never heard that," Neku says, picking up several more white balls before shuffling out of Shiki's view. She laughs and walks down to the fabrics section.
Where she comes face to face with a very familiar person.
"This never happened." Neku slides out of view again. Shiki bursts out into laugher as soon as she turns the corner, quieting down to giggles and a small snort. She then picks up some fabrics of any colour – Eri doesn't mind what colour she gets too much – and walks up to the short line.
Then Neku tie-toes into the line behind her.
"Neku." And he'd called her a stalker for ages? Had he bothered to look in a mirror?
"-As much as I like flirting with eyes-" The store clerk says with a large grin, leaning skinny elbows onto the counter. "-Saying each other's name really isn't the way to go, Shiki."
About two weeks later, Neku invites Shiki around to his house, telling her that he wants to give her something. Joshua doesn't stop cooing 'Neku and Shiki, sitting in a tree' during their whole conversation.
She thinks that Neku punched him at the end.
Joshua's sleeping in the guest room with the sunglasses-wearing snake (who she had earlier found out was the same guy that had made her nearly erase Neku and Beat, and just the thought makes her shiver, but everyone deserves seco-uh, third chances?), so it just leaves her and Neku alone in his room.
On his bed.
So many things could go wrong.
Neku fidgets with the cupboard box on his lap. Shiki's sitting close to him, inspecting the frayed edges of his blanket with a frown. She's going to bring her sewing kit the next time she calls around, and demand Neku to empty his wardrobe.
If nothing else, Neku's face would be priceless.
"Um," Neku begins, cutting her out of her thoughts. "I'm really sorry if you don't like this."
"I'm sure I'll like it," she says, wrapping her fingers together on her lap and humming. "You made it, after all. As long as you put your heart into making it, that's all that matters."
Neku smiles a little. "You think?"
She shakes her head. "I know. You've seen some of the stuff Eri makes me."
He laughs, ducking his head down behind his massive Jupiter of the Monkey collar. He's probably thinking of the giant monkey Eri had made that ended up looking more like a rhino. "Heh. True."
"I'm telling her you said that!"
Shiki laughs at Neku's face. Once he seems to realize that she isn't serious, he frowns. "Ha, ha. Not funny."
"It really was!"
He pushes the box onto her knees. It bumps on its way over. "Open it."
Shiki nods and does so, unfolding the cupboard folds and pushing them back, with a pounding heart. What she finds makes her stop.
It's a beautiful, absolutely gorgeous – no, words cannot do it justice – version of Mr. Mew. Tiny beady eyes stare up at her, framed with thick eyelashes. That's a new addition.
But Neku's got the details perfect, right down to the way his tail protrudes slightly at the end, and his nose! Eek! So so so so so cute! She yanks it out of the box and gives it a huge squeeze, her stomach fluttering with butterflies and ribbons and everything cute in-between. Something soft tickles her chin.
Pulling away the cat, she cooes at the adorable little pink ribbon around its neck. The ends have been tied into a neat bow, frilly and decorated with hearts. The paws are also dyed a light blue at the ends, most likely to make nails, making her grin wider. She looks up at Neku, beaming. "Thank you so much, Neku! I... this is..." She glances down to it again. Who knew that Neku was so amazing with a needle?
"It's Mrs. Mew," Neku admits sheepishly, turning slightly red. "Uh, I wasn't sure if you'd like it-"
"-I don't like it, Neku. I love it!" She hugs her again, and this time, she remembers to give Neku a quick squeeze as well. He hesitantly hugs her back, but she can feel him grinning through her jumper. "Thanks. Really, I..." She smiles widely. "I'm gonna keep it with Mr. Mew."
Neku is still smiling at her. "Heh. I'm really glad you like it. Josh helped out with the bow."
"He knows how to do them?"
He laughs. "Yeah, I wondered about that, too."
Shiki shakes her head. "Really. Thank you, Neku." She gives him another hug. "This is amazing."
"You're welcome. More than welcome."
The door creaks open. "NEKU! Whywasn'tItoldsooneraboutthefreakingsnakeandboyor girlIcan'treallytellbut- ooooohhhhhhWHATISGOINGONHERE."
The two of them immediately break free, blushing furiously as Neku's mother strides into the room, huge heels clicking against his wooden floor. She's grinning evilly, and oh no, here comes the teasing in three, two-
"-You should have told me that you and Shiki were together!" Her face turns sly. "I didn't, ah, interrupt anything, did I?"
"We're not together!"
"M-Miss Sakuraba, me and Neku... we're... we're just-"
"-Eek, just wait until I tell your grandmother, young man. We're going to have children"
"-No no no don't!"
A/N: Mana means love in Japanese. ^^;
There's a call out in the summary to one of my favourite TWEWY fics on here. Bravo if you get it. XD
I guess I've warmed up to the idea of Neku/Shiki. I mean, at first, I absolutely hated it, but now... I love it platonic, but I honestly cannot see them together in a romantic sense. The arguments for Neku/Shiki, I find, are often pretty poor. Shiki was Neku's entry fee? Well, DUH. It mentions in the Secret Reports that the Composer is the only person able to return people to life. Since the Composer was kind of missing, Megumi had to come up with a way to not revealing the fact that the Composer's gone. So he only allows one winner, and then said winner becomes Neku's entry fee! That way, no one has to be returned to life! It would be the same if it was Shiki that had to play the second round. Neku would have been her entry fee, but it's because it works best for Megumi.
Does not show, in any way, that they lufffff each other.
But I do like writing shipping tease for them, since I imagine Shiki to be a teasing and joking like person post-game, but she's still pretty kind and caring and all of that stuff.
Also Neku's mom is totally a shipper of them two DON'T DENY IT.
Also why is Joshua there, I hear you ask?
He is there because he is too awesome to not be there.
I'm not expecting any reviews or favourites or anything, since everyone in this fandom is pretty much obsessed with Neku/Joshua, and I only know a small handful of people who like Neku/Shiki. D: But ah well! I had fun writing this, and that's what matters. :)