After the big battle, everyone heals up and Hisoka and Anna have a talk.
Chapter Forty-Five: Second Therapy Case:
Club Orange Care Center. Anna and Hisoka waited in the hall as Tsuzuki was being checked out. 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.”
“Aside from the obvious, why did you come to save me?”
Hisoka shrugged. “Does there have to be a reason?”
There was a pause.
“So how did you get the gun?”
“While I was looking for you and Tsuzuki, I figured out something in the illusion. Kohaku was using our dreams to power it.”
Anna gave him a puzzled look. “Our dreams?”
Anna thought about that for a moment. “Oh is that why I managed to get Asato to stop choking me.”
Hisoka nodded. “I thought about a way to put an end to this mess and that’s how I got the gun.”
“Listen, he still cares about you, you know?”
Hisoka stared at her. “Huh?”
“Asato is still close to you. 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. I love Asato and he loves me. The last thing I want is to tear his friendships apart. Do you understand?”
Silence at first. Hisoka gave her an indifferent nod.
“I know. I want Tsuzuki to be happy. 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.” Then, 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. Then, the woman headed outside. The boys watched on, 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 a shock. A woman in a suit looked 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, san,” 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.
“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 hungover. 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. 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. What did he care anymore? That girl was just an annoying liability to his life, anyway.
Later afternoon, Tsuzuki found Anna sitting in the Club Orange lobby. They exchanged smiles.
“You okay from, you know?” Tsuzuki asked.
Anna nodded. “Of course, why wouldn’t I be?”
“It’s just…” He bit his lower lip. Anna shook her head at him.
“It’s okay. I trust you, remember?”
Tsuzuki went quiet as he closed his mouth. A pause floated between them. Anna sat back on the pink sofa.
“I made the call.”
“Yes.” The smile faded from her face. “My only worry now is what’s going to happen to her now.”
“That’s out of our hands now. You did the right thing, at least.”
Anna sighed. “I guess you’re right.”
Tsuzuki walked closer to her. “Ready to go?”
“Why yes I am.”
Elsewhere at Kyoto University, Masayuki got 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…/, he thought. Rieko’s diary sat before him in his curved, clutched fingers. Now, he would learn about her true feelings for him. /Rieko-chan…/, he thought with some new closure.
Tsuzuki helped Anna to her feet and they walked hand-in-hand to the outside to catch up with Hisoka.