Tatsumi spends the afternoon with Tsuzuki and Anna comes across with a disturbing realization.
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Trojan Horse:
Tatsumi does not enjoy this. He fought to keep his poker face every time he saw Tsuzuki and Anna together. She was supposed to be dead last year. Tsuzuki kept her alive past her expiration date. Plus, they were in love too?
Before, Tatsumi did a better job ignoring the problem. But lately, something had changed. He saw it this morning.
Anna stopped by to fill out some paperwork for souls she summoned yesterday. Tsuzuki appeared behind her and playfully covered her eyes.
“Asato?” she asked. Her lover chuckled. He nuzzled her on the neck.
“Asato!” Anna whimpered. “Someone could see us!”
“I don’t mind,” he said.
“Wait until we get home.”
Tsuzuki looked up at her. “You promise?”
She gave him a gentle smile. “Yes, yes.” The woman turned to him. They stared at each other for a good moment. Tsuzuki clutched her wrist. Anna gave him a peculiar look.
“What?” she asked. Tsuzuki shook his head.
“I can’t feel it,” he said. Anna raised an eyebrow at him.
“Feel what?” she asked. The Shinigami smiled as he shook his head.
“It’s nothing,” he said.
“You are so cute,” Anna said. Tsuzuki only laughed. Tatsumi watched from the other room. He couldn’t hear what they said, but he didn’t like it.
/This isn’t good/, he thought. She was supposed to be dead. Judged and a permanent resident of Meifu. But, no! He had to bring her back. Tatsumi shook his head.
/Unbelievable/, he thought. Wait. Maybe it’s not that bad as it looks. There’s still hope, right? Only one way to see.
Tatsumi pushed up his glasses. Right…
The morning carried on as usual. Tsuzuki couldn’t stop grinning. Hisoka looked bummed out again. Tatsumi observed them both for a moment. This test looked painful already. Tatsumi shook his head. /Sorry to do this to you, Hisoka/, he thought. The secretary cleared his throat.
“Tsuzuki-san!” he said as he walked through the door. Tsuzuki looked up.
“Huh?” he asked. His old partner smiled at him.
“Hey,” he said. “How are you?” The Shinigami blinked.
“Am I… in trouble?” he asked. Tatsumi smiled as he shook his head.
“No, no,” he said. “Why would you think that?” Tsuzuki looked around.
“Don’t know…” he said quietly. Tatsumi patted him on the shoulder.
“Relax. I just want to talk.”
Tatsumi smiled. “Are you doing anything this afternoon?”
Tatsumi patted him on the head. “Oh, just thought we could spend some time together. You and I.”
“You and me?” Tsuzuki asked.
“Yeah… and Anna,” Tatsumi added. The Shinigami felt his stomach drop. He looked away some.
“I don’t have a choice, do I?”
“No.” Tatsumi handed him the phone. “Call her up.” Tsuzuki nodded uneasily.
“Okay…” he mumbled. Tatsumi stood there and watched him make the call.
By noon, the observation began.
Tsuzuki flirted with Anna the whole time. Lunchtime.
“Lunch is on me,” Tatsumi said.
“Okay,” Tsuzuki said. He turned back to Anna.
“You sure this okay?” she asked. Tsuzuki nuzzled her neck.
“I guess…” he said. He stroked her creamy pale hand. Anna couldn’t help but smile. She leaned in and nibbled on his right ear. Tsuzuki trembled.
“Ooo! That tickles!” he said. Anna gave him a dirty little smirk.
“I see,” she said. “I found your secret weakness.” The woman nibbled on her ear again. Tsuzuki laughed hard and loud.
“Stop!” he said. Anna did no such thing. She continued on, this time adding little licks. Tatsumi watched from another table at the café. He shook his head.
Time for a little shopping.
Tsuzuki held Anna’s hand the whole trip. He turned to her with a smile.
“I want to get you a present,” he said.
“Aww,” Anna said. “You don’t have to.”
“But I want to.” He kissed her cheek. Anna’s cheeks felt hot.
“Wow…” she murmured. “Okay…” Her heart began to flutter. Her lover smiled.
“You’re so cute like that,” he said. Anna blushed. They went inside a gift shop in downtown Tokyo. Tsuzuki looked for a cute little gift. He walked over to the stuffed animals.
“Cute, huh?” he asked. Anna nodded. Her hand reached for a small light blue bear. Its nose and eyes were a darker shade of blue, close to navy to be exact. Tsuzuki smiled and looked for a match. He spotted one, a purple bear, to his fancy. He picked it up and held it out inches with hers. Anna’s bear nuzzled on his. Tsuzuki made his own do the same. Anna glanced up at him. Her bear moved to kiss his on the mouth. Tsuzuki let his bear “kiss” hers back.
Tatsumi watched them, sneering. It made sense to him now.
That evening, Tatsumi came across a realization. It tore him up inside to see them together.
Every loving glance. Every kiss. Every caress. She even got to undress him and take him to bed with her. Sure, he and Tsuzuki had a strained relationship back then. But ever since Anna and Tsuzuki became a couple, he felt even more left out in the ice.
He acted like it didn’t bother him, but they were all starting to see it now. The way she smiles at Tsuzuki was the way that the big goofball used to smile at him.
Now, there was nothing there. Nothing there at all.