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Carnival

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It’s the brightly coloured poster that first draws Shiki, then Neku towards it. The poster is nothing special; it’s just a garish yellow, which almost makes Neku squint, with the obvious words Carnival blasted across it and if the message wasn’t clear enough, below the writing were prints of a Ferris wheel with some leering clowns.

Neku snorts and stuffs his hands in his pockets not at all interested in the event that was going to happen in Yoyogi Park in a couple of days’ time. He is even about to suggest that they leave and head over to Hachiko to meet up with Beat and Rhyme but the dreamlike and almost wistful look on Shiki’s face stops him.

After a couple of minutes Neku subtly  coughs drawing Shiki’s attention back to the present and after one more look at the hideous poster she re-joins Neku.

“So what was that about?” Neku abruptly asks, breaking the silence between them along with Shiki’s stride.

Shiki sighs and looks back to where they came from, “I guess it’s been so long.”

Neku furrows his brows and shoots Shiki a confused look which makes Shiki roll her eyes and playfully push him away.

“The Carnival, you idiot,” she says expectantly sounding more like she did when she had Eri’s body in the UG then when she had her own. Shiki suddenly blushes and looks down to the ground, her hair falling in front of her face, “I’m sorry that was rude.”

Neku shocked by the sudden change of attitude stammers a bit. “N-no it’s fine,” which breaks the conversation and the pair carry on walking , still leaving Neku as confused as ever. Are all girls that strange is it just her?

 “Yo , watch’a doin waiting around like this, we’re waiting for you Phones,” Beat calls out to Neku who was trailing behind.

Rolling his eyes at the nickname, Neku picks up the pace to join the rest of the group where Shiki is animatedly describing the carnival to Rhyme

“-oh the lights around the stalls are stunning and the Ferris wheel.” Shiki is undoubtedly about to let herself get carried away but at the sight of Neku approaching she drops off a blush forming on her cheeks which goes noticed by everyone except Rhyme.

“That sounds great,” Rhyme exclaims being affected by Shiki’s contagious enthusiasm. “Maybe we could all go as a group and …..” by now Neku’s attention is largely focused of Beat who keeps on looking between Shiki and him as if trying to figure out a particularly difficult puzzle but then breaks out into a huge grin and looks too happy for Neku’s taste.

Neku shoots him a questioning look in hopes to stop that ridiculous grin on his face however it only adds to the ever becoming smug smile.

“So when shall we go?” Rhyme’s thoughtful voice and Shiki’s piercing stare bring the two boys back to reality.

“Wha-what?” Neku asks lost on the subject matter which causes Rhyme to look slightly crestfallen and for Beat to hastily say an excuse.

“Sorry Rhyme, I was jus’ like lost in my own thoughts, you know,” he says hiding his ever Joshua like smirk.

xxxxxxxxxxx

“So you know you an’ Shiki,” Beat asks to an unresponsive Neku who is sitting in the seat next to him on the moving train.

Neku doesn’t notice the question at hand and only responds after Beat yelling quite loudly “YO , PHONES ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING?” causing the whole carriage to turn round and Neku to resignedly remove his headphones to listen the blond buffoon.

“Yes,” he states irritably.

Beat looking pleased that he has gained the attention of Neku asks his question again “So you know Shiki,” he begins which causes Neku to be on high alert.

“Yes?” he answers suspicious of where the conversation was going.

“Are you two going out?” Beat bluntly asks.

“What!” Neku half shrieks, half shouts which then receives several dirty looks from the passengers on the train and for Rhyme to stir who is sleeping , her head on Beat’s shoulder.

“Yo Phones, there ain’t no need to over react,” Beat comments muddled by Neku’s reaction.

Fighting the blush rising up to his cheeks he replies with as much control as he can muster. “No,” he states slowly resisting the urge to punch the nearest thing which would be Beat’s face.

Beat scratches his head then shrugs. “Well if that ain’t the case Bro,” he starts and Neku had a rather bad idea of where this was going, “why don’t you ask her out at the Carnival?” he finishes as if it was the simplest solution in the world.

Neku face is unchangeable apart from the obvious blush on his cheeks. “No, I won’t,” he determinedly states much to Beat’s disapproval.

“Bwaah!” he exclaims using hand gestures to emphasise his point. “But what the hell man, you and her, her and you,” he states simply.

Before Beat could come up with another argument, the train had come to a stop and Neku was getting off the train.

“Bye, Beat,” he calls out and before the door closes he hears Beat’s shout of protest.

Shaking his head he heads along the platform, that idiot isn’t going to stop he groans inwardly. Now all we need is Joshua to show up.

As if the world hated him, his phone buzzes in his pocket bringing his attention to a new message.

Frowning he clicks on it and as soon as he does, he wishes he hasn’t.

I’ve heard from a little birdy that you need some help.
Don’t worry Neku-chan the magician of love will help.
J

“Neku- chan,” he screeches, there was no doubt who the text was from. The endearing nickname was one obvious clue yet another was the name which had just appeared on his contacts.

“Magician of love,” Neku reads out, then snorts and stuffs his phone back into his pocket. “Yeah right?”

“Why, I think that is quite offensive Neku-chan” a smug voice calls out behind him.

“Joshua,” Neku states as he turns round, why can’t my evening be peaceful, “cut it out with the chan,” he demands

Joshua isn’t fazed “Why don’t you think it’s cute?” he asks ‘innocently’.

Neku scoffs, not believing Joshua’s act at all, the day Joshua is innocent the day pigs can fly, “No and why are you here, shouldn’t you be terrorising people.” he says with a slight tone of bitterness.

Joshua flicks his hair and giggles. “Don’t be silly Neku-chan, you know why I’m here and don’t worry about the UG, things have been slow, I can take a break.”

Neku grits his teeth and starts to walk, hoping that Joshua will get the hint. Which he doesn’t. “Stop following me Josh”

Joshua just smirks. “So you don’t want me to help you with your love life?”

Neku turns to face the composer and glares which Joshua just ignores, “I don’t need help and I don’t have a love life.”

Joshua sighs, “Which exactly shows why you need my help, Neku-chan.”

Neku rubs his temples. “Drop the nickname,” he says slowly.

Joshua just blinks “You don’t like it?  Hmmm” striking a thinking pose he taps his foot “what about sakura-chan, instead?” he says with a smug smirk.

Neku wants to bang his head against a door. “Can we go back to ‘kun’?” he mutters as he turns back around, they were almost near his house, hoping that Joshua will leave once he reaches it he makes a beeline for it.

As he is about to cross the road he feels a hand grab his collar and pulls him back just in time as a car zooms past.

“Be careful there, we don’t want you re-entering,” Joshua calmly says and let’s go of Neku’s collar.

Neku scowls and checking the road crosses it, rummaging around in his pocket for his key, he hears Joshua approaching.

“Clear off, Joshua,” he says grumpily, he was at the end of his patience and the person behind him wasn’t helping, at all.

“I’m really hurt by that,” Joshua says in mocking tone, “even after I just saved your life and I’m trying to save your love life.”

Neku struggles with the door, due to frustration but after a couple of goes it swings open, wrenching his key of the lock, he turns round. “Good night Joshua,” he states and shuts the door on the Composers smug face.

As soon as Neku reaches his room, he lies flat on his bed, groaning. Today was already hectic with Beat and Joshua just made it complete chaos.

Before he could muse on these thoughts, his phone vibrated. Rolling over he fishes it out of his pocket.

“3 messages,” he says curiously and opening them just made him want to bury his head in his pillow.

Beat- 19:37
Wazzup. Yo, so we’re alright for the Carnival yo, I think Shiki’s buying tickets, beforehand, ya know. What’s going on with you and Shiki?
Night man
Beat

Neku wondered if he could be bothered to text Beat back, not that it mattered. Whatever he said Beat wasn’t going to believe it or just ignore him.

Shiki- 19:43
Hey Neku, I’m just messaging to check about the Carnival, I think we’ve agreed to go on the Thursday. Just get back to me ASAP. Also what was up with you and Beat?
Shiki

Magician of Love- 19:57
Just message me if you need any help, trust me you need it.
Love
J

Neku scowls at the message and has the temptation to throw his phone at the wall, after sending a quick message back to Shiki and deleting Joshua as a contact, he goes and gets changed.

However when he comes back, the contact has reappeared along with a message from the ‘magician of love’ claiming how upset he was about being erased.

Grumbling Neku is about to go downstairs when a message back from Shiki.

Shiki- 20:15
Thanks for the reply and Beat’s just texted me about ‘you’ and ‘him’ and ‘him’ and ‘you’?
Do you have any idea what he is talking about?
Shiki

Neku groans and reopens the message from Beat, he definitely wasn’t going to stop. Without thinking twice he quickly replies back.

Fine, I will go along with your crazy theory but keep it SUBTLE
Neku.

Hitting the send button Neku didn’t realise he had just signed up for one hell of a day.

xxx

Thursday sneaked up on him and much to his displeasure. Beat hadn’t forgotten about it and was grinning like a maniac all the way to Yogi Park and giving him not so subtle nudges every time Shiki and Rhyme weren’t looking.

 

When they get off the train and head towards the entrance, they realised they’d underestimated the scale off it and the number of people coming.

Pushing their way through the crowds the group of teens make their way to the ticket both, however a particular figure stops them.

It’s not only the white boots and shockingly pink hair that gives it away but also the fact that she is screaming Kariya at the top of her voice.

“Kariya where are you, you jerk” she hollers attracting a fair few stares as she makes her way through the crowd, however she stops when she sees them.

Uzuki freezes and glances nervously at them particularly at Neku before a cruel smile comes across her lips.

Reaching for her gun they automatically check for pins and arms and prepare themselves, but before any fight started it’s stopped.

“That is so cool!” A little boy gapes at the gun in Uzuki’s hand, “is it real is it fake, what can it do?” he speedily talks causing confusion among them.

“What!” Uzuki hisses and bats away the child’s hand however this doesn’t deter him and he is now jumping to reach the gun, “STOP!” she screeches.

The boy puts his hand by his sides, “can I touch it?”

Before Uzuki could shout or cause a big enough scene, Kariya emerges from the crowd his orange hair clearly visible.

Uzuki catches sight of him and storms over but before she could scream at her partner, he shoves a lollypop in her mouth, causing her to splutter.

Ignoring her angry ravings and shouting, he walks over to the little boy and crouches, “don’t worry about it, here have a lollypop” he says handing out the candy.

The boy eyes it warily, “what flavour”

“Red bean paste” Kariya simple replies standing back up, “oh and the gun is fake, she couldn’t hurt a fl-“ he starts but is then hit on the back hardly by Uzuki and ends up face flat on the ground.

Neku watches slightly amused and worried as the scene evolves and only notices them moving on when Shiki gently tugs on his arm, “let’s go,” she says smiling brightly.

Neku nods and follows them through the entrance.

When they got in, everyone was surprised. The Carnival lived up to what was advertised, there were brightly lit stalls everywhere, selling everything to food to stuffed animals and as promised a Ferris Wheel dominated most of the park looming over the four of them.

Neku watches as Shiki stares at it in amazement and smiles slightly however when Shiki glances in his direction she drops his gaze and blushes lightly causing him to do the same, but to Beat’s pleasure who gives him another nudge.

Rolling his eyes, Neku heads towards where Shiki and Rhyme are and catches the end of their conversation,

“I know maybe we should start at the Ferris wheel,” Rhyme suggests, which at that Shiki pales slightly and stutters.

“I I don’t think that is a great idea” she says quickly and, looking around hurriedly, she adds, “the queue is really long as well.”

“Maybe at the end of the day,” Neku suggests shoving his hands in his pockets, Shiki opens her mouth but before she could say anything, Beat interrupts.

“What about the tea cups, ya know. The queue ain’t that big.”

Neku looks quickly at Beat, something was fishy. Even though he would love watching Beat be spun around in a pink teacup. He wouldn’t have thought that would be Beat’s first choice. When he catches Beat’s eye, he gives a thumbs up and massive grin. Yep, something was definitely up.

As they are about to get on the ride, Beat suddenly holds Rhyme back and calls out, “I don’t think there’s enough room yo, we’ll get the next one,” which causes quizzical looks from all of them.

“Beat, there’s two more places” Rhyme says and tries to get under Beat’s obstructing arm, “Bwahh, Rhyme!” he exclaims.

“What!” Rhyme answers back more confused than ever.

Beat places a hand behind his head and looks incredible suspicious “Um, I’m a bit nervous, yo. I just want to watch first.”

Neku shakes his head and crawls into the cramped teacup, when he looks over his shoulder. He’s sees Beat mouthing words and making extravagant arm gestures, which alarms some people.

It takes a moment to realise that he is mouthing, Put your arm around her, which he only gets when he demonstrates what he means, which causes the person next to him to freak out.

Neku groans, apparently subtle was not in Beat’s dictionary. Turning round he jumps slightly when he sees Shiki next to him and causes her to jump too.

Before they could both apologise the ride starts and causes Neku to slam into Shiki squishing her into the side, seeing her wince. He holds out his hands in apology.

“I’m so sor-” he tries to finish but the teacup changes direction causing Shiki to slam into Neku making her fall over from the momentum… into his lap.

“Um, um” Shiki starts and sits up bright red and Neku was sure he was mirroring her. “We should grab on to something,” she quickly says.

Neku and Shiki grab on to the disc in the middle, however with no seatbelts they were sliding around which makes it seem as the ride is going faster than it actually is.

Neku suddenly loses hold of the disc and to stop another incident occurring he grasps on the closest side which effectively causes him to put his arm around Shiki as he’s grasping the side that is on the other side of her.

Neku thankful that he didn’t crash into Shiki and is distracted by another thought.

I don’t feel too well, hey was already dizzy from the spinning surrounding as the speed of it wasn’t exactly settling his stomach. Clenching the side he wills the ride to end soon and scrunches and shuts his eyes.

He is too focused on not being sick he doesn’t notice, Shiki who is still blushing and hunching into herself, having got the wrong idea of why Neku’s arm is around her.

As soon as the ride is finished, Neku is the first out and stands off the side. Hunched and breathing heavily as if he had just run a marathon.

Don’t be sick, don’t be sick he chants to himself and it takes him a moment to realise that Shiki, Rhyme and Beat are standing around him.

“Neku are you okay?” Shiki asks, worry lining her face.

“Yo, phones, you seem pale,” Beat asks with his version of worry.

“I’m fine,” Neku says quickly and stands up however that makes him feel even queasier.

“Are you-“ Shiki starts but is abruptly cut off by Neku.

“I am fine,” he says slowly and looks up to see a hurt expression flash across Shiki’s face, feeling guilty he adds, “Thanks though.”

Shiki nods “I’ll get some water” she hurriedly says and rushes off.

Rhyme blinks “What was that for?” she asks but then shrugs “I’m sure she’s alright?” she says half questioning.

Neku nods slowly in the direction Shiki went, frowning. Is she really okay? He thinks silently.

“Dude, you were meant to be subtle,” Beat hisses in too Neku’s ear.

This irratates Neku who angrily whispers back “Yes, whose brilliant idea was this?”

“Don’t blame me man, I didn’t know you get motion sick.” By now the two boys were glaring at each other and it’s only when Rhyme gives an annoyed cough they realise her presence.

“What is up with you two?” she exasperatedly asks, annoyed to be out of the loop.

“Uhhh, sorry Rhyme um it’s…” Beat starts and being immediately stuck he looks to Neku whose turn it is to be in the firing line.

“Um,” not being able to think of an excuse he puts his hands behind his head “Sorry Rhyme, it’s complicated”.

Before the interrogation could continue, Shiki comes back water in hand effectively saving the two boys.

“Here you are, sorry it took so long,” she apologises, panting she holds out the water to Neku which he gratefully takes and drinks half before offering it too Shiki and Rhyme who politely refuse. Neku then turns to Beat who grabs the water and finishes it before Neku could tell him not too.

Scowling he throws away the empty bottle which Beat annoyingly gave back to him, chucking it in a nearby bin and reluctantly follows him.

“He’s only trying to be helpful” Shiki says cheerfully, startled Neku jumps slightly and looks alarmed at Shiki, does she know?

Shiki giggles. “To make this day fun,” she explains mistaking Neku’s alarm for confusion. Hugging her arms she continues, “I know it’s not going to be the most perfect ideas, but at least he’s trying.”

Neku nods and stuffs his hands in his pockets, “so your saying give him a chance.”

Shiki nods and is about to say something when she shoots a quizzical look at their location, “where is he leading us?”

Neku chuckles, “well why don’t we give him a chance to show us” he states casually also slightly confused of where they were going, but breaks out into a grin when he sees them heading to the basketball hoops.

He walks quicker to catch up with Beat and Rhyme and beckons Shiki to catch up as well but when he looks over he catches Shiki looking at him in a weird way but when noticed immediately drops her gaze and rushes over to join Rhyme.

A blush begins to form on Neku’s cheeks but before he could register why,

“Phones,” Beat loudly whispers not looking suspicious at all.

“What!” Neku responds in the same tone.

“This is the time to redeem yourself,” Beat excitedly whispers as a plan begins to form.

“What do you mean?” Neku responds dryly.

“I mean you can prove yourself to Shiki.”

“Why would I do that?”

“Because you want to get with her,” Beat explains his mastermind plan.

Neku groans, why did he agree to this, he is about to refuse when he remembers Shiki’s words. Hoping not to regret it he tentatively asks.

“What should I do?”

Beat grins, “Go over to the twisty thing and win her something”

Neku eyes him warily, it was a decent plan but the challenge it’s self didn’t look too good. The ‘twisty thing’ were in fact ladders only secured at two ends, meaning they could twist, the aim to climb up without falling off.

“Why can’t I go on the basketball hoops?” he asks much preferring his suggestion.

“It’s not as manly yo, you need to show off your strength”

Grumbling Neku heads over to the ladders and eyes each of them up, Which one looks easiest?

Are going to try?” Shiki asks.

“Hmm,” is Neku’s firsts response but then he stutters, “Um yeah, aren’t you gonna try anything?”, he asks noticing Shiki was standing around, not interested in anything.

“Um,” she starts then hides her face in her hair, “nothing here is really my type, I won’t win anything.”

“I could try” Neku says abruptly then corrects himself, “I mean I can try to win you something” he suggests.

Shiki giggles, making it Neku’s turn to look confused, “I’m sorry but you aren’t that,” thinking of a word she comes up with, “physically strong”.

Neku is slightly hurt, yeah he wasn’t built up like Beat but he wasn’t weak, seeing the hurt look, Shiki quickly says, “Thanks though.”

Neku is surprised, slightly lost for words he nods and pays for his 3 turns. As soon as he gets on to the rickety ladder he flips, causing him to fall off.

Lying on the mat he gets up for his second turn. Carefully balancing his weight, he gets up a few rungs before flipping, gritting his teeth he tries to reach of the next rung but slips and falls to a second loss.

This time when he gets up, Shiki calls out. “It’s really okay Neku, I don’t mind.”

Neku turns round determined to finish, “I’ll do it this time.”

“Well you better, because it’s you last go Kid,” the attendant angrily mutters.

This time Neku decides speed is the best strategy, getting on the ladder he quickly scurries up only slowing to balance the ladder, when he gets near the top things start to be more difficult as only the slightest shift of weight will flip him.

Wobbling slightly, Neku reaches out for the bell and stretches himself to ring it, so focused he doesn’t hear the rebound or an alarmed cry and he definitely doesn’t see the stray basketball coming towards him until he is flat on his back winded.

 

Groaning when he lifts his head he sees both the attendant and Shiki running towards them and behind them Beat and Rhyme looking very apologetic. No guess who stray ball it was.

He gets himself up into a sitting position and starts to pat his head in order to assess the damage and he finds a very sore patch just above his eye.  Wincing slightly he predicts that it’s going to form a very nasty bump with an attractive bruise to go with.

Great what I just need, Neku thinks sarcastically as the attendant ask how he is.

After telling him that he was fine and just needed some ice, he gets up. Though that doesn’t go to plan as he just stumbles has to be stopped swaying by Shiki, whose face is lined with worry.

“Neku are you sure you’re okay?” she asks.

Neku dismisses it with a wave of his hand, “I’ll be fine, I’ve been through worse.”

Shiki bites her lip clearly not happy with the answer, “I’ll go get some ice,” she concludes and runs off and after talking to Beat and Rhyme, Rhyme goes along with her.

Neku carefully navigates his way out of the pit and goes to Beat.

“What the hell was that?” he hisses absolutely fuming.

“Woah man, calm down yo. It was an accident and Rhyme didn’t mean it,” Beat hurriedly speaks hands in front of him.

This dissolves Neku’s anger, “Wait, It was Rhyme’s stray ball?” he asks confused.

Beat nods “She really sorry man, she didn’t expect it to go that far.”

Neku sighs, “It’s fine.”

This seems to register well with Beat until he realises something, “Wait, you though it was me!”

Neku raises an eyebrow surprised that Beat managed to get it, “Yes” he simply responds but that doesn’t sit well with the blonde.

“Bwahh, I thought we were Bros and you go assuming stuff,” Beat says and before he can go on about the bond of trust between them a rather annoying voice cuts through.

“Well isn’t this amusing.”

“Priss,” Beat says surprised at the same time Neku says, “Joshua.”

A giggle confirms their suspicions along with a teenager walking towards them that was not there earlier.

“Tadaa , the magician appears” Joshua says with an extravagant sweep of his hand.

“What do you want Joshua?” Neku says dryly not impressed by his entrance.

“Yeah, what ya doing here Priss?” Beat exclaims getting defensive.

Joshua tuts. “Is this the reception I’m going to receive even after I am offering my service?”

“We don’t need your help,” Neku , grits his teeth. He really didn’t need this now.

“Well that wouldn’t seem the case,” Joshua giggles making the temptation to punch him even greater.

“Everything is fine.”

“Hmm, keep telling yourself that because if you follow this buffoons plan.” Beat lets out a cry of disapproval which Joshua ignores, “Well let’s say the chance of you going out with Miss Misaki will go down to nil”.

“When hell freezes over, I will accept your help,” Neku states, getting tired and frustrated of Joshua’s antics.

Joshua’s reaction was simple, “I can make that happen.”

Beat and Neku stare at him in shock “Wha-what?” Neku manages to get out.

Joshua just smirks and fishes out his phone “Well if that didn’t persuade you, maybe this will,” holding out his phone to Neku, Neku just pales.

“You wouldn’t,” is Neku’s only response.

Joshua giggles. “Now we wouldn’t want this to spread”, Beat tries to get a look at what was on the phone but Joshua snaps it shut.

Neku groans, giving into the blackmail, having no other option. “Fine, I’ll accept your help”

Joshua claps his hands together looking too happy for Neku’s taste, “Perfect, let’s get going.”

“But what about Shiki and Rhyme, we can’t just leave them,” Neku exclaims along with Beat’s agreement.

Joshua dismisses it with a wave of his hand, “don’t worry, they’re just about to come,” and as if on cue the two girls come running back but stop at the sight of the composer.

“Joshua what are you doing here?” Shiki asks warily, the ice forgotten.

“Why, Neku invited me of course,” Joshua responds with his usual extravagance and smirk.

Shiki shoots him a questioning look to which Neku whispers to her, “I didn’t invite him he,” searching for a better word Neku settles on “came along”.

Shiki seems unsatisfied by the answer but she just nods, “Oh, the ice,” she realises and hands Neku the half melted icepack that as sitting in her hand.

Though Neku doubted that it would have much effect, he still took it and he was proven right as within 2 minutes, the right side of his was more wet than cold.

Shifting the ice pack to the place of injury he is distracted by Shiki’s laughter well it was more of a giggle, which increases in volume when Neku looks at her curiously.

“Sorry Neku,” she apologises. One hand in front of her mouth trying to stifle the laughter, “you just look so…. Adorable” she concludes, which causes Neku to blush. What does she mean adorable, is that even a compliment?

“She means you look like a half soaked orange puppy,” Joshua smugly says, “the half soaked face look is rather fetching, don’t you think?”

In response, Neku just rolls his eyes. He figured it was better to go along with Joshua’s antics, rather than oppose them. That would just cause more hassle. Though Neku does try and rub the wet side of his face with his shirt which obstructs his vision.

“Hmph,” Neku grunts as he crashes into the solid figure of Beat, who had just stopped still.

“Yo, where are we going Priss?” Beat asks as the others look around.

Neku questions his surrounding they were on the far side of the carnival and seemed to be heading towards what looked suspiciously like a haunted house.

“The obake yashiki*,” Joshua lightly responds pointing straight towards,

“You’re joking right?” Rhyme nervously says though they all knew the answer.

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fun” Joshua replies in a tone that indicates it will be fun for just one person, him.

“Priss, you can’t expect us to go in there,” Beat defensively says.

“Don’t be such sour pusses, if you want I’ll hold your hand the whole way,” Joshua says patronisingly.

“I’ll go if you shut up,” Neku responds and without a second thought, head towards the building and when no one else follows him, he looks behind.

“You can’t say you’re scared Joshua,” Neku calls out, the way Joshua just did.

Neku sees a flash of irritation cross the composers eyes, before flicking his hair, “I was just thinking of the best way to make my entrance.”

Neku looks to Beat and Rhyme, “Phones, I’ll think we’ll sit this one out” Beat states speaking for Rhyme than himself. “We’ll get seats so we can eat later, yo”

“You don’t have to come Shiki,” Joshua pipes up before Neku couldn’t even get Shiki’s response, “the minimum of people of allowed is two and I can handle Neku’s screams.”

Neku grits is teeth, the temptation to strangle or shoot the Composer growing stronger, looking to Shiki he adds in  a less patronising tone, “if you don’t want to come, you don’t have to, I’ll keep Joshua from killing anyone.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll come,” Shiki confidently says, annoyed that the two boys thought that she was too scared to go.

Joshua smiles “perfect” he says suggesting that everything is going to plan, his plan, which means bad news for everyone else.

Xxx

As soon as they enter the obake yashiki, the air suddenly gets colder causing goose bumps to appear on Neku’s arm.

Carefully following Joshua as soon as they head in an adjacent room, it goes pitch black, causing Shiki to shriek and grab on to Neku’s arm, this causes Neku to immediately stiffen but then he relaxes.

Neku furrows his brow and whispers to Shiki, “if you want, we can just head back,” concerned for her as he can feel her slightly shaking.

“It’s okay,” she whispers back, “I can manage”, after a moment she whispers, “though can I hold on to you if you don’t mind.”

This causes Neku to slightly smile and nod but after no response from Shiki he remembers, they can’t see anything.

“Yeah, it’s fine.”

“Hurry up lovebirds” Joshua’s condescending voice is the only indication they are still following him and even though annoying, Neku is glad that he is there.

“We’re coming,” Neku hisses back and feels his way across the room and winces slightly when Shiki squeezes his arm when a cobweb brushes past them.

Who knew Shiki could be this adorable, Neku muses which is broken by Shiki’s scream as a ghost launches themselves towards them.

Screaming as well Neku stumbles back into something solid and falls against it dragging Shiki down with him, though it isn’t as solid as he thought since it shifts and he can feel it falling.

Suddenly the lights come back on and once his eyes had adjusted, he realises what precarious and awkward situation they were in.

The solid thing which Neku had crashed into was a bookcase and the only thing that is stopping it from falling on the two of them is the safety cord which, Neku has tangled his legs in.

Though the main thing Neku notices is how, Shiki is lying on top of him.

“Um,” he starts however that is enough for Shiki to go bright red and to try and get up, which only causes more problems as her feet are also entangled and she ends up collapsing on top of him again.

Looking around from his position, he cannot see the actor that scared him, just a smug looking teenager.

“God you two, if you just wanted to be alone you just had to say, you didn’t have to wreck the attraction,” his arrogant voice not making Neku feel any better about the situation.

Soon enough the attendants come and their first reaction is ‘kids these days’ and despite the excuses they make. It doesn’t stop them from being kicked out.

Dusting off the rest of the dust from their clothes, both Neku and Shiki won’t look at each other as whenever they make contact both blush a deep red. Which just causes the amusement of others around them.

Neku even gets a pat on the back from the person admitting people telling him.

“Not the most original of plans, but boy it worked, good on you kiddo”.

Neku just turns a deeper shade of crimson and mutters something about it being an accident, which just causes a laugh and another, “yeah right.”

Hanging his head in embarrassment, Neku makes his way over to where beat and Rhyme are sitting and buries his head in his arms.

“Yo phones, what happened yo?” Beat asks curios and concerned about what happened to his friend.

“Ask him,” Neku says jerking his thumb towards the sound of footsteps approaching, hoping it to be Joshua not Shiki.

“Lucky guess,” Joshua smugly responds and settles down into the picnic table.

“Where’s Shiki?” Rhyme asks looking around for the brunette.

This causes Neku to come out of his misery and looks up from his arms to search for her , “She’s gone to powder her nose,” Joshua’s comment stops his search and just ends up in him being confused.

“Whatcha mean Priss? We ain’t prissy like you, yo,”  Beat bluntly says voicing the others thoughts.

Joshua sighs, “it means she gone to the toilet,” resting his head in his palm he continues, “you really need to be more educated in the form of euphemisms.”

“Eupha-wha-?” is Beat’sonly response which emits another sigh from Joshua.

Before the cycle could be repeated again and however many times it could happen, Neku stands up.

“I think, I’m going to look for Shiki”, he felt bad about the situation he did sort of cause it and if it caused Shiki to not enjoy the rest of the day. He might as well apologise.

“I don’t think that is a good idea, Neku,” Joshua comments not even looking in his direction.

“Yeah, I agree with Priss on this one,” Beat adds.

“Why?” Neku asks warily, suspicious on why Beat and Joshua were agreeing.

Joshua sighs and looks up to him “do we have to explain the birds and bees to you, she’s gone to the ladies.” Joshua states emphasising the last word

“Oh,” was Neku’s only response, saving him slightly from embarrassment, Rhyme pipes up.

“Don’t worry I’ll go.”

Neku gives an appreciative nod as Rhyme makes her way through the crowd, as soon as she’s out of ear shot. Beat leans forward.

“So what happened, yo?” he asks clearly he hadn’t forgotten about Neku’s misfortune much to his disappointment.

Joshua perks up, “well,” he starts and looking very eager and continues to tell the story with extravagant hand movements and much exaggeration. At the end of it Beat’s is practically halfway across the picnic table and Neku’s head is as far as into his arms as physically possible.

“Whoah” Beat sits back as Joshua finishes his mostly false tale,  “I mean I knew you wanted to get with Shiki but I didn’t know yo were so eager yo.”

Neku looks up “it wasn’t like that” he says dryly.

Joshua giggles. “We all know your just trying to cover up your adoration for Miss Shiki,” and if he couldn’t get patronising enough, Joshua pats his head.

Too humiliated to care, Neku mutters something that Joshua should shut up if we wanted to live and slumps back down.

“I mean the two of you should have at least gotten room, yo” Beat remarks, still going on about Joshua’s version of the tale and refuses to listen to the events that Neku is trying to recall.

“I think, I’m getting quite a harsh reaction since when I’ve helped you so much,” Joshua notes tracing the grain on the wood.

“What do you mean help?” Neku questions sarcastically, Joshua being a big help, yeah right.

Joshua smirks “I mean I got you closer to Shiki than you would have ever done or will especially if you continued getting help from this blonde baboon.”

Before Neku could respond snarkily, Beat realises the insult and starts hurling insults at Joshua, claiming that his methods worked perfectly fine and it would have had the same outcome.

“Point proven,” flicking his hair, the Composer continues, “you need a plan with more tact than he can ever obtain.”

Neku rubs his temples he, the bickering starting to get to him taking a deep breath he stands up again, stopping the two of them.

“I’m going to go get something to eat.”

“Yo, get you get something for me while you’re at it?” Beat asks, to which Neku regretfully complies which ends up with a massive order.

“Do you have enough money to pay for that?” Neku asks as he goes through the end part of the list in his head, one pack of poky and three bowls of Ramen Don.

Beat scratches his head and checks his wallet, “Uhh, just get the Ramen,” he concludes smiling brightly and apologetic at the ever irritated ginger.

“Where is his stall?” Neku asks and receives an ever long winded description about it being somewhere near the Carousel but not exactly.

“…. So you got that yo?” Beat finishes to which Neku nods, trying his best to understand what Beat had just said.

As he is turning round to head off Joshua interrupts him, “Neku aren’t you forgetting me?” Joshua inquires.

“I’m coming back later,” Neku replies sharply letting his irritation of the two show through.

Before Joshua could respond with some snarky as hell comment Neku is out of ear shot and  when he returns fifteen minutes later after getting lost, ramen in hand. Shiki and Rhyme are back.

“I would like some katsu curry please, Neku,” Joshua requests as Neku is getting back in his seat.

“I’m not a waiter,” Neku grumbles and despite his protest Joshua hands him the money and gives him a gentle nudge in the right direction, by pushing him.

“Joshua,” Neku shouts as he brushes the dust off his knees and Joshua’s response is.

“if you don’t hurry up, it’ll be gone.”

Having to other choice Neku heads of again, “fine I’ll get your stupid curry but don’t be surprised if it lands on your head,” he angrily mutters.

It didn’t take long for him to find the stall but the queue to reach the stall was massive and Neku stood in line tapping his foot thinking of the best ways to wipe of the smirk of Joshua’s face and in some of the ways it meant literally.

Neku gets back with a hot curry which appeases Joshua and shuts him up, which is enough payment for standing in line. When he tunes to the conservation Beat, Shiki and Rhyme are having it pipes his interest.

“So the only place left is the Ferris Wheel,” Rhyme comments pointing at various locations on a map.

“Are you sure?” Shiki nervously says, “I mean we can miss that out and go on more rides.”

“But that’s the best part yo, being high above everyone else,” Beat explains but Neku diverts his attention from Beat to Shiki, who seems to be getting paler with every word of Beat’s description.

“I think it’s a brilliant way to end today,” Joshua chimes in the temptation of the food not enough to distract him for the whole of the time, he’s eating it.

“But the queue is quite long,” Shiki makes another feeble attempt of an excuse. Neku is confused  why she so against, when it dawns on him. He is unsure but tries to defend her case.

“Well I don’t know about you but I don’t want to line up.”

Joshua just smirks, “well we can line up, while you go get ice creams for us,” he suggest much to Neku’s annoyance.

“Wha-That’s not what I meant” Neku exclaims, the whole point of what he had just said being turned against him.

“Well we better get going, if we don’t want to be stuck here all day,” Joshua remarks and heads off towards the looming Ferris wheel.

“Are you okay Neku?” Shiki asks waiting for him to get up, whilst Beat and Rhyme catch up to Joshua.

Neku nods “Yeah, are you?” he responds, concern for her showing.

Shiki nods violently almost dislodging her glasses, “yeah I’m absolutely fine.”

Neku raises an eyebrow he didn’t believe her but instead of pushing he drops the subject.

“What flavour do you want?” he asks as they start to head over.

“Hmm?” is Shiki’s confused response.

“Flavour of ice-cream,” Neku explains, “as I am the designated waiter of today.”

Shiki giggles, “You’re too nice to them,” she remarks.

Neku shrugs, “I just deal with them, that’s all.”

Shiki opens her mouth to reply but Beat interrupts her, “Yo, Phones Shiki, we need to get moving.”

Shiki gives an apologetic look to Neku and runs towards Beat and Rhyme whilst Neku walks in the opposite direction.

Finding his way to the ice-cream venders, he realises he has a problem. He forgot to ask for the flavours. Looking at the selection he’s in luck, they had run out of flavours apart from Vanilla, chocolate and a suspicious looking blue ice cream.

Wanting to be safe he gets two chocolate, two vanillas and the blue one, just to spite Joshua, you can’t go wrong with the basics right?

Neku soon then realises his second problem, he has no idea where to meet them, by the Ferris wheel, Neku remembers however getting to the Ferris wheel would be more of a challenge than expected.

Sure he could see it but getting to it through a crowd of people was much more difficult that it looks especially when balancing five ice creams.

Pushing his way through the hordes he ends up in an open space directly opposite the queues for the wheel.

 Scanning the line he is so focused on finding them, he doesn’t realise why there is no one in the area or why people are giving him worried but amused looks.

It isn’t until he hears the excited scream, the sound of smooth metal on meat and finally the plume of water that washes over him that he realises the exact reason why no one stood there.

Spluttering, ice cream completely forgotten, he wipes the water from his eyes and looks around. The person in the chair that was dunked into the water is offering him a towel which he grateful accepts.

The next sight he takes in, is his group of friends in mixed states of shock and laughter with Joshua recording the whole event on his phone. His plan of revenge starts to take a form however he is broken out from his mastermind plan by a one of the attendants offering him a change of clothes which he gratefully accepts.

Despite the warm weather, he’s starting to feel chilly and walking around the rest of the day in wet clothes isn’t number one on his list.

After changing and dumping his wet clothes in a plastic bag he heads back, to his friends and joins the line.

“I must say Neku, brilliant entertainment,” Joshua comments and in response Neku just glowers but before he can punch him in the face, Beat interrupts him.

“Phones, we have a plan yo,” Beat excitedly whispers in his ear,”You see Shiki is afraid off,” he starts before he could finish, the attendant supervising the line shouts.

“Next.”

Ignoring both Beat and Joshua, who are trying to get his attention, to explain their ‘brilliant plan’. He turns round and gets into the carriage which is swinging slightly.

“It’s two per carriage,” the attendant says, “one more,” she adds as if it wasn’t obvious.

Another unsteady swing indicates that someone has joined him, looking over he is surprised to see Shiki, he was really expecting Joshua to be there.

Before the Ferris wheel starts moving, Shiki asks “Are you okay Neku, I mean you’ve been acting odd all day?”

Neku groans inwardly so Shiki hadn’t been oblivious to his antics caused by Beat and Joshua, “I’m fine, it’s just been…..” not sure how to finish he settles with “complicated.”

Shiki laughs. “That is one word to describe it.”

Neku grins back in response however it turns into a concerned look, since when the ride starts and the carriage swings Shiki lets out a muffled shriek and grasps on to the safety bar.

Unsure what do Neku is left with an awkward situation. “Shiki,” he says softly “we’re not that high up, you can open your eyes.”

Shiki shakes her head “It’s better like this, I can’t see how high up we are,” she responds meekly, gripping tighter and tighter on to the bar everytime the carriage swings, which is everytime it stops.

Doubting his actions Neku places a hand over Shiki’s clenched one and gives it a gentle squeeze everytime she stiffens.

Once they reach the top, Neku whispers, “We are at the top, if you won’t you can open your eyes,” Shiki hesitates. As an after though Neku adds, “You can hold on to me if you want.”

After a moment Shiki opens one eye but closes it immediately, after a gentle squeeze of the hand, Shiki opens both eyes and lets out a small gasp.

Neku smiles softly, it’s a pretty amazing sight. The Ferris wheel brought you above Yoyogi Park meaning you could see all of Tokyo, well until the highest buildings block your view.

“It’s a pretty pathetic fear,” Shiki murmurs.

“Hmm?” Neku asks.

“Being scared of heights,” Shiki explains, “of all the things to be scared of it’s heights.”

“Well I get motion sickness,” Neku adds hoping to make Shiki feel better.

“So that what it was,” Shiki realises. “Beat was right about this,” she continues, “feeling like you’re on top of the world.”

By now Shiki had let go of the safety bar however one arm is looped round Neku’s which he notices but remains silent, “I agree, sometimes Beat’s advice is actually right,” he states which earns him a playful push from Shiki.

 “Despite complications, I had fun today,” Shiki muses as she rests her head against his shoulder.

Neku blushes at the contact but smiles softly.

 “Yeah, me too”.