Chapter Forty-Five: Second Therapy Case:
Anna and Hisoka waited in the hall as Tsuzuki was being checked out in the Club Orange Care Center. Hisoka looked up at Anna.
"How is he?" he asked. Anna didn't look at him.
"Good," she said. Anna took a breath. "Let me ask you something," she spoke up after a few seconds in the silence.
"Hm?" Hisoka asked he glanced over at her.
"Aside from the obvious, why did you come to save me?" Anna asked him out right. Hisoka shrugged as he shook his head.
"Does there have to be a reason?" he asked. Anna thought about that question.
"Guess not," she admitted. "So how did you get the gun?"
"While I was looking for you and Tsuzuki, I figured out something in the illusion,” the shinigami explained. “Kohaku was using our dreams to power it." Anna gave him a puzzled look.
"Our dreams?" she asked.
"Yeah," he said.
"Oh, is that why I managed to get Asato to stop choking me?" she asked. Hisoka gave her a stern nod.
"I thought about a way to put an end to this mess and that's how I got the gun," he summed up.
"Ah," the woman said, nodding. She waited for a beat before she broke out with the truth. "Listen, he still cares about you, you know?" Anna spoke up. Hisoka stared at her with big eyes.
"Huh?" he asked with surprise in his voice.
"Asato is still close to you,” she explained. “He isn't trying to close you out of his life. I will never replace you." Anna clenched her fists together. "I can't replace no more than I can erase all of my scars,” she declared. “I love Asato and he loves me. The last thing I want is to tear his friendships apart. Do you understand?" Hisoka gave her an indifferent nod.
"I want Tsuzuki to be happy,” he declared himself. “If he's happy with you, then fine." He gave her a little smile. "Don't think I'm fully ready to accept your relationship with him right away. I still love him." Anna smiled back at the boy.
“I can live with that," she said. Suddenly, Tsuzuki came out into the hall. The boy and woman looked up.
"Well?" Hisoka asked. Tsuzuki gave him and Anna a little smile.
"I'm good," he replied. "They signed me out just now." Anna's face perked up.
"That reminds me, I need to make a phone call," she said. The woman headed outside. The boys watched, curious. Only Tsuzuki knew the reason.
At noon, there came a knock on the door of apartment 27, Ko.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm coming!" the graduate student mumbled. He opened the door to find a woman in a suit looking inside. She held a clipboard in her hands. The student blinked at her.
"Uh… Can I help you?" he asked.
"I am with child services," the woman spoke. "I'm just going to ask you and your ward a few questions. May I come in?" The graduate student blinked at her.
"What?" he asked.
"It should only take a couple of minutes," the social worker went on to explain. It took a minute for the man to get what had happened. He gritted his teeth and sneered.
"Bitch ratted me out!" the student muttered under his breath.
"Sorry?" the woman asked.
"Big brother" a small voice spoke up. "Why did you leave so sud-?"The student and the social worker looked up to see the young girl coming into the living room. She had just woken up and looked hung-over. Her hazy, dull eyes sprang to life when she saw the social worker.
"Hi there," the woman said. The girl looked at her guardian.
"Big brother, what's going? Who is she?" she asked. As she spoke, the social worker observed the girl. The ward in question only had bed sheets wrapped around her skinny pale and bruised body. She shook all over despite it being late August at noon. The only coloring to her skin was the red handprints to her face and neck. Based on the case details she had from the anonymous caller this morning and the girl's appearance now, the social worker had all of evidence she needed.
"Young lady, you'll have to come with me," the social worker said. The girl blinked.
"Why? What for?" she asked.
"This is for your safety, miss," the woman said. "Come with me." The girl looked at her guardian. The student snorted at her.
"Whatever," he mumbled. The girl turned back to the lady with a scared look in her eyes. The social worker had her hand stretched out to the ward.
"It's okay," she said. "Just come with me." The girl stood there for what felt like the longest time. She finally nodded walked over to the woman. They left the graduate student standing alone at the front door. He shut the door when they disappeared from view. Later on, the police would arrive at his door and charge him with drug possession and child abuse.
Later afternoon, Tsuzuki found Anna sitting in the Club Orange lobby. They exchanged smiles.
"You okay with… you know?" Tsuzuki asked.
"Of course, why wouldn't I be?" Anna replied.
"It's just…" her boyfriend replied. He paused and bit his lower lip. Anna shook her head at him.
"It's okay," she told him.
"But…" the shinigami spoke up.
"It's okay,” his girlfriend told him. “I trust you, remember?" Tsuzuki went quiet as he closed his mouth. Anna sat back on the pink sofa.
"I made the call," she said.
"You did?" Tsuzuki asked.
"Yes," Anna admitted. The smile faded from her face. "My only worry now is what's going to happen to her now," she added.
"That's out of our hands now,” the shinigami said in a calm voice. “You did the right thing, at least." Anna sighed as she dropped her shoulders.
"I guess you're right," she said. Tsuzuki rose to his feet from the couch.
"Ready to go?" he asked.
"Why yes I am," his girlfriend replied.
Elsewhere at Kyoto University, Masayuki received a small box delivered in the mail to his dorm as his father and step-mother were on their way to retrieve Rieko's things.
"Huh?" he asked. The boy examined the box closely. No return address. Curious, Masayuki opened the box. His eyes were in for a surprise.
This is… Rieko's diary sat before him in his curved, clutched fingers. Now, he would learn about her true feelings for him. Rieko-chan…
Tsuzuki helped Anna to her feet and they walked hand-in-hand to the outside to catch up with Hisoka.
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