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Neku's gotten kind of used to it: coming back to his apartment to find his stuff rearranged, and his closet full of clothes that he didn't buy and wouldn't choose to wear but are now, apparently, his. It doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough that he's extra careful about who he brings home. Most people think he's joking when he says his place is haunted.

One day about a year ago Neku left a shopping list half-finished on his desk; he came back five minutes later to find bulletproof vest added in a neat, elegant script. He rolled his eyes at it, picked up his pen, and jotted down restraining order just beneath it, but in the days that followed he caught himself leaving other bits of writing unfinished, setting them down casually like half-open doors. Not invitations, because Joshua's like a reverse vampire: he never turns up when Neku invites him. But—opportunities, maybe.

Joshua didn't take any of them, because of course he didn't.

Sometimes Neku wishes that Joshua would just talk to him like a halfway normal person, and then he remembers that talking to Joshua is really fucking irritating, and he doesn't. Some things don't change, even after years, and he suspects that's one of them. And anyway, it's never going to happen. Neku's mostly resigned himself to that, these days.

But then there are days—as now—when Neku walks into his place and promptly trips over the edge of a godawful lime-green rug covered in geometric patterns, which wasn't there yesterday and which he would not personally have elected to install unless it was the only way to resolve a hostage situation. He regains his balance, sets his backpack down, stares around the room with eyebrows raised, and then says, deadpan, "Oh. Wow. You shouldn't have."

And a part of him wishes that he wasn't imagining the answering chuckle.