sincere: TOA: Ion hovers uncertainly (your eyes open ;;)
Kay ([personal profile] sincere) wrote in [community profile] insincere2015-08-31 03:09 pm

The World Ends With You, "Lost and Found" (Rhyme+Beat)

She doesn't know much about Beat, but she's grown to care about him fast in the scant time -- only minutes, really -- that they've been partners. He must remind her of her own brother.
Contains siblingy cute and angst, as well as reference to Rhyme's entry fee implied by the game. Written for the [community profile] fic_promptly prompt, "the stranger she formed a pact with" (theme: love).

.lost and found.
"It's funny," Rhyme said thoughtfully.

"What?" In front of her, Beat stopped in his footsteps, looking around. "You hear a joke?"

"No, not that kind of funny." She couldn't help smiling, though. He might not be the most clever, but he was very earnest and seemed like a good person. And they said that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones... Who was she to complain? "I was just thinking about how strange our instincts are."

Beat gave her a look of consternation and then lifted an arm to sniff his armpit.

"Instincts," she said, enunciating clearly. "It's amazing, really. When things get tough, thousands of years of evolution compels us to survive, even if there's no point."

"No point?" He didn't look any less distressed. "Whatchu mean, no point? Who's gotta have a point to survive?"

Rhyme rubbed the back of her neck. "It's just that -- when I was talking to the Conductor, before the Game, I remember feeling really strongly that I had to play and I had to win. I was so sure. But it's not like I have anything important to go back to."

"That ain't true!" he said immediately. "What about... your family? Dontchu got family? You've gotta go back to them!"

She lifted a hand to her bell pendant reluctantly, guilty thoughts turning to her brother and her parents. "I do... But they already think I'm dead." She didn't add that her brother had tried and failed to push her out of the path of the truck, and she couldn't even be sure if he was alive or not. "And there's nothing I really want to do with my life... Why should I survive?"

It was supposed to be a rhetorical question, a simple statement of fact, but her eyes unexpectedly teared up. She lifted her hand to swipe at her eyes with a voluminous sleeve. "Sorry. I don't mean that to be passive-aggressive or anything! I really mean it. I'm sure there are a lot of people who have big dreams to accomplish. I'd feel really bad if I got to go home again and someone who might cure cancer or something didn't--"

"Why can't it be you who's gonna cure cancer?!" Beat demanded, his jaw setting. "You got dreams, too!"

Rhyme shook her head mutely. She didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. She wasn't exceptionally good at anything other than doing well in school. She couldn't shake the feeling that a second chance at life would be wasted on her.

"Nothin'?" Beat whispered. He seemed upset, although she couldn't think why.

"You see, right?" she asked. "What's the point of coming back without doing something with my life?"

There was silence for a moment before Beat straightened up, such an abrupt and visible motion that it drew Rhyme's attention straight to him.

"'cuz you're my partner, that's the point," he said, proudly. "And I've got -- you know, big dreams!"

Her eyes widened. She hadn't even thought that Beat might have something he was passionate about; partly because he was goofy, but she thought it was more because he reminded her of her brother, and he hadn't cared about much of anything. "Really? What do you want to do with your life?"

Beat paused, then quickly snatched up his skateboard. "I'm gonna be a pro skater!" he boasted. "I should show you how good I really am sometime. I can't get enough of it, yo!"

He went on, talking about his skating, and Rhyme started to smile slowly, listening to him. Obviously she'd made a mistake, judging a book by its cover. She'd have to survive so that she could help him achieve his dream, and somehow the rationalization made her feel better.

It was funny how instincts worked. She'd barely known him for two days, but they relied on each other to survive -- maybe that was why she felt this warmth, like she'd never loved anyone so much.