And chapter six. I'm probably going to stop with the A/Ns from now on, at least unless I have something important to say.
I'm sorry for the lack of updates recently. I had a complete block over Christmas and have been forgetting to research a little bit of this...
When Neku arrived at Tamaki's home, he decided not to waste any time with the blond, deciding to avoid his host at all costs.
Of course, Tamaki was waiting for him. Neku in turn sighed, and took a staircase Tamaki hadn't thought to block, avoiding the teen who stood at the foot of one of the grand staircase.
The staircase led him to a part of the mansion he didn't recognize, but with a bit of guesswork he managed to find his way to his room. As big as the mansion was, it had a fairly predictable layout.
Unfortunately for Neku, Tamaki had seen Neku dart up the other staircase, and was waiting for him outside of his room.
"Neku!" He called as he spotted the teen at the other end of the corridor.
"Tono." Neku replied, using the nickname the Twin's had given Tamaki without noticing.
"Do you have any clue what those things are?" Tamaki asked, walking up to Neku. "I mean, what if they appear in the house tonight? What if they're watching us now?" He shivered slightly as he said that, looking around quickly.
Neku sighed. "Tono, I don't know." He lied. "Why'd I get another Shiki?" He muttered, annoyed.
"What was that?" Tamaki asked, turning his head slightly to try to hear. Neku sighed, then quickly stepped around the teen and slipped into his room before Tamaki even realized Neku had moved.
As Neku turned the key in the lock, he heard fists hammering on the door. "NEKU! LET ME IN!"
In response, Neku kicked the door as a chuckle sounded in the room. The hammering stopped. "Well Neku, that's not a good way to treat your host." A voice told him.
Neku turned to face Joshua, no longer as surprised as he used to see to see the Composer sitting on the edge of his bed. "Have you heard of privacy?" Neku asked as he walked over to a chair, sitting down heavily.
"Of course." Joshua replied, smirking slightly. "Hence why I didn't wait for you to start getting dressed before I appeared." Neku glared at Joshua, and a shadow of fear flickered across Joshua's face before Neku turned away.
"So what is it?" Neku asked, guessing that his friend had something he wanted to talk about.
"It's the Noise." Joshua remarked. Neku looked at him and frowned.
"What about the Noise?"
"Well, Noise can't normally exist in the RG." Joshua remarked. "They can't even be created here." He added. "So why are we fighting them?"
"I thought you explained that. Something about some Reaper power…"
"Teleportation." Joshua supplied. "She managed to learn the trick of Teleportation between the RG and UG, it seems." He sighed. "It's a weird thing. Noise can be made in two ways, one at a time or many at once, and both use up a Reaper's energy. Teleportation does the same."
"So what you're saying…"
"Natsuki seems to be using up a lot of energy to take the two of us out."
"I think you're the target…" Neku muttered idly.
"True." Joshua smirked. "So, what shall we tell the Hosts?"
"Nothing." Neku replied, sighing. "Isn't the Game meant to be secret?"
"To all but the Players and the dead." Joshua replied idly. "That's how I discovered it. I had the same aim as Beat, but I also had a gun."
"Keep what they know to a minimum." Neku stated, looking at Joshua.
"A minimum." Joshua agreed, nodding his head slightly. "Now we just need to know what to do with you…" He muttered, his hand rising to his chin.
"What?" Neku asked, confused.
"Your pins." Joshua replied. "Which are you taking?"
"These ones." Neku reached into his pocket, pulling out the five pins he'd started his game with, along with Cure Drink.
"Hmm…" Joshua took them, looking. "Keep Cure Drink, let's have a look at others." He said, falling back to reach for the tin next to Neku's bed and opening it. "You should definitely take the pin you picked up just before we met up…" He said, pulling the pin – protective wrapping and all – out of the tin. "Really Neku?"
"Shut up." Neku growled in response, glaring. "It's expensive."
"Take this Shockwave pin, it's the better of the two." Joshua continued, pulling out Kanesada. "And you should have defense…" Crackle Pop Barrier came out next. "Boomerangs are the best ranged weapon in these pins…" Joshua looked through the pins for a moment, then reached into his own pocket and pulled out another pin. "Take this one. You don't have it after all." The Pteropus pin was added to the other four pins.
"What else?" Neku asked, annoyed in his own lack of input.
"Psychokinesis." Joshua replied certainly. "Practicality is key." He fished out the last pin and passed the six to Neku, closing the lid.
There was silence for a few seconds as Joshua returned the tin to where it was, and Neku heard something at the door. A very irritating something.
"What is it?" Joshua asked.
Neku didn't reply, instead moving towards a wall and then heading towards the door. He put his ear to it, and listened. Breathing, and the occasional bump or tap. Neku sighed, then grabbed the door handle and threw the door open.
Tamaki fell into the room, shocked. He landed heavily on the floor. Neku glared at him as he stood up. "What're you doing?" He asked, annoyed.
"Nothing…" Tamaki said, suddenly worried. The Host King was suddenly reminded of Kyouya. A very tired Kyouya. "I – I'll just go…" He said, quickly leaving the room."
"Idiot…" Neku sighed, seeing Tamaki run before being distracted as his phone rang. "Shoot."
"What is it?" Joshua asked.
"I've not called Shiki in the last week…" Neku replied. Joshua smirked.
"I'll leave you alone to talk to her then." Joshua smirked, vanishing as suddenly as he appeared. Neku sighed, then picked up the phone.
The next morning, Neku was up earlier than any of the staff had known Tamaki to be up. He washed and dressed quickly, checking his bag to make sure he had the right books and his blazer for money – a fall back in case something happened. He'd been stranded in Shibuya too many times to take that chance.
He surprised the cook when he appeared in the kitchen, ignoring him as he prepared himself some toast, then ate before setting off for Ouran on foot, bag over his shoulder. The streets were almost empty, save for joggers and early-morning dog walkers on the side streets.
Although used to Joshua's random appearances, he was still surprised when the Composer appeared next to him, dressed in an Ouran uniform instead of his usual lavender shirt and (colour) trousers.
"You really did enroll." Neku sighed.
"I told you I would." Joshua replied, smirking slightly.
"Aren't you meant to be in hiding?"
"I think Natsuki knows where I am already." Joshua replied. "Besides, what fun is there in being hidden?"
"Where are you even staying?"
"I've been accepted as a guest with the Haninozuka family." Joshua smirked. "Hunny really likes me, though I don't think Chika does…" He mused.
"How have you even enrolled this quickly?"
"A friend owed me a big favor. Her name's Amber. Maybe you'll meet her some time." Joshua shrugged.
The two continued to walk in silence, sometimes passing comments between them. It didn't take them long to arrive at the Academy, among the first few people, most of whom were driven through the games in Rolls Royces or limousines. Haruhi reached the gates from the other direction, and the three greeted each other before heading to the second library to work, the silence not quite awkward.
The silence was enjoyed, at least until the three Hosts were spotted by the early members of the female population, who were endured until they reached the library. At that point, only one girl managed to stay near.
"You two are from Shibuya, aren't you?" She asked.
"Yes." Neku answered.
"Do you know CAT?" She asked.
And so began a quiet conversation about street art.
Neku did not have all that good of a day. When Joshua was nearby, he was annoyed by the girls who wanted to see the two of them showing their affections. When he was alone, he was annoyed by the girls who were asking about the two of them.
At the club, he was really annoyed when Renge released her latest dojinshii for sale. And embarrassed. Very much embarrassed. Later, he swore he saw a Noise appear and be erased almost immediately when the female population of the school stampeded over to them.
So you can imagine his annoyance when Tamaki called a meeting when the doors closed. And he locked the doors.
"What's all this about Tono?" Hikaru asked, arms crossed over the back of his chair as he knelt on the seat.
"What doesn't take long to cook...?" Haruhi herself, already resigned to the fact that they would be there a while.
"Well…" Tamaki spoke. "There is something that I want to ask two of you." He explained. Neku got the distinct feeling that the two were him and Joshua, his fist clenching automatically. "Neku, Joshua. What are those things that keep on attacking us?" He asked, pointing at the two dramatically.
"Well, may as well explain that." Joshua sighed. Neku looked at him, surprised. "Those monsters are called Noise. They live in another dimension and sometimes enter this one by way of a sort of sub dimension." Joshua said. "No clue how though." He added.
"And how do you two know about them?" Tamaki asked, sounding fairly accusing.
"Everyone in Shibuya knows." Neku spoke up. "They appear sometimes, and you have to be ready."
"Oh…" Tamaki stopped, stunned.
"Shibuya's a bit of a weak point." Joshua added, picking up from Neku. "It's easy for the Noise to cross there, and most do." He shrugged. "I guess some are working their way through here."
"Can we go now?" Neku asked impatiently. "I have lots of work." He sighed, dreading opening his bag later that night, as he would have to.
Tamaki unlocked the door, apologizing for keeping them all from heading home, and the Hosts dispersed towards the cars. On the way through the school, when the other Hosts were out of earshot, Neku turned to Joshua.
"Do you Reapers really not know how you summon Noise?"
"We know how to." Joshua replied mildly. "We don't know why that way works." He added.
"So Reapers summon Noise, but they don't know why they can?"
"That sounds right." Joshua smirked. "Makes us sound mad."
"I thought you all were." Neku grumbled, smirking slightly himself.
"We must be to happily erase so many people." The nonchalant tone of that comment put an end to the conversation, and the two headed back to the cars in a grim silence, climbing in them and heading home.