Chapter 1: All Ears
01 - Drabble - Post Game
"Your ears look kind of funny."
Neku, who had been sketching in his art book, looked across the room to the girl on his bed.
"My ears are perfectly fine, thanks."
"That's not what I meant. It's just - I was so used to seeing you with your headphones all the time."
"Yeah, and I was used to you running around with blindingly pink hair."
"Sorry. That was uncalled for."
"It's easier to listen to you when you're talking to me, without them on."
Shiki smiled - he could sometimes be sweet, in his odd kind of way.
Chapter 2: Another Stalker
02 - Drabble - Post-Another Day
"Can you please stop stalking me?" Neku snapped, surprising the pink-haired teen who thought he hadn't noticed her.
"I wasn't stalking you."
"You followed me all the way back home-" He gestured to his apartment building. "-from The Scramble."
She fidgeted with her cap. "Well yeah."
"Didn't you have a curfew or something?"
"But I, um, wanted to ask you something."
"Are you going to go out with Pink?"
"No," he said flatly. "Definitely not, geez."
Unscrambling the rush of what she said, Neku turned away, before she could see his face turn red.
"...I'll think about it."
03 - Drabble - In-Game
Cool as Ice
I am cool. What does she expect me to wear? Mus Rattus? Or the frilly excuse of a shirt that 'Prince' wears. My clothes suit me just fine.
"Stop looking so sour," said Stalker, poking my arm.
I glared at her. "What?"
She sighed. "I didn't want you to be mad at me." Then she muttered, "Who knew he was so sensitive about his fashion sense?"
"I heard that. I'm not sensitive."
"It's alright; fashion's not something you can pick up in a day."
"I really don't give a crap."
"Then why are we still talking, Mister Super Silent?"
04- Drabble - Post Reaper's Game
Let's Do IT
I flung my notebook across my room. It was useless - I couldn't come up with a good design if my life depended on it.
Don't get me wrong. I was set on becoming a seamstress - this was a web design for my IT project.
My eyes widened as I realised Neku was standing by my door frame.
I gave Neku a weak smile. "I'm no good at anything computer related."
"I could help."
"Oh no, you don't want to spend your weekend doing this with me."
He picked the notebook up and smiled at me. "Maybe I do."
Geez, why did I like writing in first person ahahaha...although, maybe I should try it again sometime.
Chapter 5: Voice
05 - Drabble - Post Reaper's Game
Her voice. Everything else about her from her short dark hair to her round glasses was foreign to him, but it was her voice that really got him.
When she was in Eri's body her voice was louder and stronger - one that demanded attention.
Shiki's real voice was quiet. It wasn't that she wasn't cheerful about being with her friends; she just had a softer voice was all.
"Neku, I wanted to say thank you - for everything," she said gently, smiling at him sincerely. "I'm really glad I met you too."
He decided he preferred her this way.
Chapter 6: Prom
06 - Drabble - Post Reaper's Game
"How do Americans do this?" Neku pulled at his tie, as if it was suffocating him.
Shiki rolled her eyes at Neku's ignorance. "It's called 'formal-wear'."
"I know what a suit's for. I meant why would they have a dance before graduation? What's the point?"
"It's supposed to be fun."
Her school's cultural mix festival was supposed to be her chance to try ballroom dancing. But here they were, just sitting at a table.
She watched the other dancers wistfully.
Neku sighed, standing up and offering her his hand. "Would you like to dance, Shiki?"
Her smile lasted all night.
Chapter 7: The 7th Day
When I first posted these I did one a day for a week. Ahh, good times. I think that's all I'm updating for today. Weird re-reading stuff I posted six years ago, but pretty nostalgic.
07 - Vignette- First Week, Day 7
The 7th Day
"I'll be waiting for you - every day in front of Hachiko…till you come back."
"I'll see you there soon. That's a promise."
The Conductor's voice rang out. "Finished your goodbyes, then?"
Light flashed into their vision, suddenly, making Shiki gasp. "Neku!"
She still had one more thing she needed to ask him. "Once you see the real me, will we still be friends?"
"Count on it. You'll always be Shiki." His eyes gazed softly into hers.
She turned away, overcome with emotion, fist clenched above her heart. She couldn't do it. She couldn't look at Neku, knowing that he was about to play the Reaper's Game – to endure another week of not knowing whether he'd live again. Lights surrounded her, and Shiki started to feel lighter and lighter. Neku would be fine without me, right?
But she felt his gaze on her. She turned to look at him, just as her body started lifting off the ground.
Neku. She reached for him. She wished so much that he could come back with her.
His hand extended towards her, and she smiled. Neku's own smile told her not to worry; he'd definitely meet her back in the Real-Ground. His hand grew closer to hers – almost close enough to touch – but with a final sparkle of light, Shiki felt herself fade into nothingness.
"Now then. As for your new entry fee – "
"You're taking my memory again!?" Now? When he just got them back?
"A Player's entry fee is that which they hold most dear." The Conductor was smiling. "That is a rule." He brushed his forehead with his left hand. "I've already taken the liberty of collecting yours."
"What!?" No, he hasn't. My memory is still-
"This time, you're playing for…" the Conductor put his hands back in his pockets, "Shiki Misaki." Neku's heart, which he shouldn't even have been able to feel beating, nearly stopped.
"WHAT!?" He couldn't believe it. He wouldn't believe it.
"That's not…" It wasn't possible. His entry fee was supposed to be what was most important to him. Shiki's not…he thought of her smile…what I hold…he thought of how he wanted – no – needed to reach for her…most dear. He thought of everything they'd been through. Shiki, who initially hid between a bubbly façade, just wanted to change herself. Who had, after over only seven days changed him.
It was a crushing taste of reality when he realised - yes, he cared for Shiki, even more than his values, even more than CAT – and that it was his fault that she wouldn't make it back to the Real-Ground any time soon.