While out on the city and lunch, Anna opens up to Tsuzuki a little more about her childhood.
Chapter Sixteen: Innocence in the Sun:
With plum blossom scent,
this sudden sun emerges
along a mountain trail
Tsuzuki and Anna walked through the sea of busy people. The rain pouring on them seemed to balance out any chance of tense moments. Neither felt like talking at the moment. They just looked around at the mundane city sites. Nothing special really. They came to a candy store. Tsuzuki pressed his face against the glass. The puppy qualities came out as his drool met the glass.
“Wow!” he cheered. “There’s so many of them!” His puppy tail wagged in the air at all of the festive colors on display. Anna watched along with him as if observing a test subject. She secretly found it amusing how Tsuzuki ogled over sweets. “/Like a little child,/” she thought as she looked at the display along with him. One patch of candy in particular caught her eye. Botan Rice Candy was on sale today. A handful for a hundred yen to be frank. A warm tingle filled her being. She turned to her boyfriend.
“Asato-kun,” she said. “Let’s buy some candy.” The Shinigami looked at her, excited.
“Really, you mean it?” he questioned. Anna nodded at him.
“Yeah,” she replied. “Whatever you like.” Tsuzuki turned around to her, doing his all to repress his fire-like content.
“Oh, I want to hug you now, but, you know…” he said.
“Yeah,” Anna agreed. They walked into the candy store. Both walked out with big bagfuls of little sweets. Puppy Tsuzuki turned to Anna, oozing with uncontained joy.
“Can we eat them now?” he pleaded. “Can we please? Please? Please?” Anna held up her hands, giggling.
“There, there,” she said. “Let’s find somewhere to eat first.”
“Yay!!!” Tsuzuki cheered.
“Let’s just get out of the rain,” Anna said. Tsuzuki nodded quickly.
“Yeah, yeah,” he said. “Can we get lunch too? I’m starving!”
“Lunch?” his girl asked. “But isn’t it too early for that?” Tsuzuki pouted at her.
“Pleaseeeee!” he begged. Anna looked away and sighed.
“Fine, fine,” she said softly. “We’ll have lunch.” Tsuzuki cheered again.
“Thank you, Anna-chan!” he said. She only smiled at him.
“Silly,” the woman mumbled. They came to Pinkku Kitsune café. The couple sat under the shade outside away from the rain. Both ordered a sampler plate off the menu. This café not only specialized in Japanese cuisine, but they went all out with French and Filipino food as well. Plus, Pinkku Kitsune slaved over the stove to get their desserts to perfection. The sampler plate practically took up the whole table. Anna looked at their lunch with big eyes.
“Wow!” she nearly yelped. “We might have to bag this and take it home!” Tsuzuki wasn’t listening, of course. He had already started eating. Anna smiled and shook her head to herself.
“/Typical,/” she thought. “/You don’t hear a single word anyone says when food goes in your mouth./” Well, might as well dig in. Anna picked up her chopsticks and began eating.
No talking was allowed while the couple ate. Halfway through lunch, Tsuzuki looked up at his girl.
“Anna,” he spoke. The woman’s eyes trailed up to him.
“What is it?” she asked. Tsuzuki lowered his chopsticks before him.
“When we were in the candy store a few minutes ago,” he began. “I noticed that you only bought Botan Rice Candy, why is that?” Neither one spoke for a moment. The Shinigami noticed a small smile spreading onto Anna’s face.
“Oh,” Tsuzuki said. “Happy memories, huh?” Anna nodded at him in a matching mood.
“How do you read me that well?” she asked. Tsuzuki shrugged at her.
“Am I right?” he asked. Anna pressed her lips together as she smiled.
“Alright,” she fessed up at last. “Yes, my childhood was good. It had its up and downs. But, it was mostly normal. Papa tried his best to keep it that way. I never noticed it at the time. I was more… how do you put it?”
“Naïve?” Tsuzuki offered.
“I guess you could say that,” Anna replied. “I was pretty much the only child in my old neighborhood before we moved to the Manor. So, our neighbors practically spoiled me rotten.” A little giggle escaped her lips.
“When I wasn’t looking,” Anna went on. “Kato-san used to sneak little Botan Rice Candies in my pocket. He made keep quiet about them, though. I guess it was supposed to be some sort of a secret between us. Just seeing those candies in the window reminded me of my childhood.” Anna gently brushed her bangs from her eyes. Tsuzuki listened on as he finished his lunch. He enjoyed hearing stories about Anna’s childhood. It helped him put the pieces together in his head about her.
“Why did you and Daisuke leave?” the Shinigami asked. Anna shrugged and shook her head.
“Papa never told me,” she explained. “We just packed up our things and left. He only said that we needed to leave.”
“I see,” Tsuzuki replied, softly. It was then he realized that Anna was finally opening up to him. Slowly, but surely she was starting to trust him. This was a good sign. Maybe now, he could learn more and more about Kimoto-san. However, that itself carried a hefty fee around its waist. To get Anna to open up about herself, he would have to tell her about his own past. Tsuzuki’s glow on his face slowly began to dim. “/Can she even begin to take all of that?/” he thought. She would have to some time. Tsuzuki shook his head. “/No!/” he thought. “/I can’t tell Anna-chan, not just yet./” That grim chore refused to leave until it was completed. His hands began to tremble as they went pale.
“Asato-kun, what’s wrong?” a sweet voice asked. The Shinigami jerked his head forward. Anna looked at him with worry clouding her eyes. Tsuzuki blinked once at her.
“Huh?” he asked, blankly.
“Are okay; you look so pale?” Anna asked again. Her lover quickly shook his head.
“It’s nothing,” he lied. Anna kept her eyes focused on him.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“I’m fine, Anna-chan,” he insisted. His girl eased back some.
“Okay…” she replied, uneasily. They didn’t speak anymore after that. Anna paid the bill and they continued on with their walk. Tsuzuki planned to tell Anna about his past. Just not yet…