Title: Run
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: subtle JoshNeku
Summary: No one knew the worst part of being the Composer.

Note: Older fic I never got around to posting up here... yep.

Shibuya's quiet.

Shibuya's never quiet, is the first thing Neku notices as he walks home after having had a late night smoothie with his friends at Wildkat. The city air wraps around like a blanket as he traverses through the familiar streets, sees the familiar neon lights, passes by the familiar people, and breathes in the same air that he's been breathing for his entire life. Shibuya's so beautiful, he smiles in thought. Shibuya's so beautiful now that he has friends, a face to put to a name, and a better understanding of the working of this city. Of his home.

The streetlights bend to his will as he all but skips home. He does not skip, though, knowing that that is what girls do and that he could not pull it off even he tried. He is not graceful physically, mentally, or verbally. He does not mind, though, Shibuya makes up for his flaws. Shibuya is so perfectly flawed that it inspires Neku to strive on.

Neku returns home, the conversation fresh in his mind. They are seniors in high school now—it's been almost four years since the Game ended. Shiki is still as cheerful and beautiful as ever, Beat's as protective and loyal as ever, and Rhyme's as gentle and pretty as ever. And Neku. Neku's opening up now. He's still timid, still has an edge, still is as stubborn as hell, but he has grown.

Neku sighs peacefully as he opens his home. He's been thinking about leaving Shibuya for college. He's been thinking about dating some girl from his Physics class. He's been thinking about taking a risk and applying to that Ivy League college in the US. He's been thinking about contacting his biological father for the first time in five years. He's been thinking a lot lately. About life, about his future, and about himself.

When Neku closes the door to his humble home, he's quiet. He knows that his Mother is asleep in the room down the hall. He smiles, though, as he takes off his jacket. She's always been there for him. She's such a powerful woman. He idolizes her strengths and perseverance.

Neku walks upstairs, humming a soft tune under his breath. He is not sure what tune it is, but it's beautiful. It reminds him of Shibuya, complex but so elegant.

Neku pauses at the top of the stairs. His eyes lock with a set of eyes in his bedroom down the hall. There's ten feet between him and his room, but the effect is as strong as if he had been in the room. His breath hitches, his fists curl, and he contemplates running.

"What are you doing here?" he asks, torn between being upset, confused, or grateful. He hates grudges, but he isn't sure if he can forgive him just yet.

"What? No 'Hello'?" the Composer of Shibuya pouts.

Neku walks into his bedroom and quickly shuts the door, mind spinning. All his thoughts have ceased. "I haven't seen you…for four years, and you just randomly show up in my bedroom?" he snaps, gaze turning stoic as he looks to the silver-haired teenager who is sprawled out on his bed.

Joshua giggles, twirls a strand of hair around his finger, and shrugs. "I was waiting for the right time."

Neku scoffs as his arms fold to his chest. "Well, whatever. What are you here for?"

"Nothing, just to talk. Your accusations wound me," Joshua states dramatically, placing a dainty hand over his heart. He's grown as well, but he's still as fragile and feminine looking as ever.

Neku rolls his eyes and stays where he does, not want to get any closer. "Okay then, let me ask some questions."

"Ask away," Joshua muses, tossing Neku a familiar smirk.

Neku deflates a fraction. "I invited you to Hachiko after the Game. Why didn't you come?"

"Banished from the RG for threatening to destroy Shibuya," Joshua sighs and shakes his head, not pleased. "Apparantly the Higher-Ups felt that Megumi and I's bet was inhumane and unjust."

"I kinda have to agree," Neku mumbles and sucks in a deep breath. "If I had any brains, I would have thrown you out by now, you know. You did kill me."

"Twice," Joshua corrects, as if he was thinking the same exact thing at the same exact time.

Neku blinks. "Yeah, twice," he agrees in a murmur.

Neither says anything for a moment. "Well, are you going to throw me out now, Neku?"

Neku hesitates, rubbing the back of his head in confusion. "There has to be a reason that you came here. I'm not throwing you out until you tell me," he decides, nodding sternly.

Joshua frowns as his gaze settles upon Neku's hand. He does not look away for a great deal of time. "…Are you enjoying life, Neku?" he questions, breaking the awkward silence that has befallen the once-friends.

Neku shifts uneasily. "What? Thinking about killing me again?" he laments.

Joshua's brow fall, his lips contort into a look of melancholy. The expression disappears rapidly and is replaced with his constant, indifferent stare. "No, that'd be cruel," he giggles.

Neku shivers and decides to ignore Joshua's odd behavior. "Of course I'm enjoying life. I have awesome friends, I'm getting good grades…all is going well." He pauses. He has to ask. "…How's the UG?"

"Fine," Joshua mutters, his gaze settling upon Neku's hand again. He says nothing.

"…Uh, Josh? You okay?" He doesn't really care, but the look Joshua is giving him is unnerving him. "…Josh?"

Joshua arises from the bed and stares at his proxy. Shibuya's Music pulsates, echoes, and contorts. The Composer meets Neku's uncertain eyes. There's still hate, there's still a grudge, but Joshua notices the sparkle of trust in the sea of blue. The Composer remains silent, standing a foot in front of the puzzled Neku. Neku looks like he is either about to smack Joshua or laugh, but he does neither and stares back. Shibuya's Music continues to get louder, louder, until Joshua closes his eyes and the Music stops.

"I'm sorry," Joshua states into the quiet fall air.

Neku is about to question the random apology, but when he parts his lips to speak, a pair of petal soft lips are upon his. For some reason, he knows the apology was not intended for this…kiss. Before he can actually enjoy the kiss—or hate it—it's gone. Joshua is gone.

Neku blinks, staring at his empty bedroom. Joshua does not seem like the type to apologize, or randomly kiss someone. Neku shakes hi s head, curses the Composer for being so damn ambiguous, and plops down on his bed. He does not notice the single white feather on his night-stand, nor he tingling on his lips. He ignores the rapid beating of his heart, and the butterflies in his stomach.

He's too busy trying to process Joshua's apology.

However, by the time the white feather is noticed, it is not by Neku, and it is too late. The next day, Neku is accidentally killed in a freak accident, the details being unknown. Something about a car, a group of pedestrians, and an error in a stop light. The white feather is noticed by Neku's grieving mother…not the boy who it was intended for.

As Neku's purified Soul ascends, Shibuya's Music begins again, a low, melancholic, nostalgic tune beginning.

Shibuya cries and somewhere in the Heart of the city, somewhere where no one can see, the Composer offers a single, silvery tear because the worst part about being the Composer is knowing the time of death of the inhabitants of your city.