Watari watches Tatsumi. Companion piece to Be Careful....
By: youkai_girl AKA eternalsailorsolarwind
Disclaimer: Not owned by me; but I'll take them if Matsushita-san wants to give them to me....
A/N: Many thanks to Farasha, my beta. Without whom this might have never come out. A companion piece to Be/ Careful.../, from Watari's viewpoint. Oooh, serious Watari....
He's hurting again.
Watari watches as the kagetsukai enters the break room and walks past him to the kettle. The scientist looks the man over, gauging the set of his shoulders as he fills the kettle. Outwardly, Tatsumi looks as impassive as ever.
But Watari knows better.
After all, he's watched this man for over thirty years now, seeing the ups and downs of his emotions. Though he can't read Tatsumi's thoughts and emotions like Bon can, he has picked up on the nuances of what his friend and some-time partner is feeling.
Besides, he can smell the scent of that damn candle lingering on Tatsumi's suit.
His eyes continuing to monitor the Secretary, Watari thinks back to when he was able to match the scent of that candle - that Tatsumi thought was hidden from everyone - to low points in Tatsumi's life. It had to be nearing twenty years now, at least. Twenty years of watching Tatsumi use a candle - a candle! - as an emotional outlet. Never allowing anything more than the barest minimum of friendship from others.
It broke Watari's heart to see Tatsumi do this to himself.
He had seen the depths of the /kagetsukai/'s emotions in Kyoto; had seen how fragile they actually were. In the moments before Bon had gone to join Tsuzuki in Touda's flames, Watari had actually been more worried about Tatsumi's emotional state than either Bon's or Tsuzuki's.
Had Tsuzuki actually died his second death that day, Watari was sure that Tatsumi would have slowly wasted away, unable to bear the loss.
Tatsumi turned to face him, breaking the train of the scientist's thoughts. "Watari-san? What are you doing here so late?"
Summoning up his usual grin, Watari answered, "What else? Working on my sex-change potion, Tatsumi. I'm sure it's going to work this time; all I have to do is wait another ten minutes for it to stop spinning on the centrifuge."
Tatsumi shook his head, a weak, if rather amused smile gracing his lips. "You and that potion."
Watari was pleased that Tatsumi smiled. Perhaps the other man was not as depressed as he had thought.
Tatsumi's eyes narrowed at him, looking at him with growing disapproval. "Watari-san, you better not be planning to spike the coffee pot in the morning..."
Watari wondered momentarily if the secretary really knew him that well, or if he was becoming that predictable. He would prefer the former over the latter any day. Summoning up his best innocent look, he decided to put Tatsumi's fears to rest.
"Relax, Tatsumi. Only Terazuma and Wakaba will be in that early, so no, I won't be spiking the coffee in the morning. Besides you, I mean," replied Watari, looking at the secretary, deciding, on the spur of the moment, to take a chance. "You know, you really need to get out more."
Tatsumi stiffened in outrage, and Watari couldn't help but smile. "Come on, Tatsumi. You come in early, you work late, and you stay all day on Saturday. It's time you learned to relax and enjoy your afterlife every once in awhile."
Tatsumi opened his mouth to reply but closed it, looking away. Narrowing his eyes, Watari thought the other man looked rather...unsure of himself. It was all Watari could do to not chuckle at the absurdity of the idea of Tatsumi being unsure of himself in any situation.
"Come on, it's easy. Tell you what, once my potion is finished on the centrifuge, we'll go out and have dinner. Only one string attached," Watari said, hastily clarifying what his "string" was at the disapproving frown that Tatsumi was giving him. "You have to enjoy yourself. That's all."
Tatsumi at least gave the appearance of thinking it over. "Thank you Watari-san, but..."
"Come on Tatsumi, live a little. Just this once."
Watari watched as Tatsumi struggled with himself before giving in, still rather gracefully. "All right, Watari-san. Just this once."
Grinning with pure pleasure, Watari nodded. "Good. I'll meet you back here in...fifteen minutes. Don't get buried in your work while I'm gone, Tatsumi."
An elegant eyebrow quirked upwards, but its owner said nothing. As Tatsumi turned to go, Watari got the odd impression that the other man was somewhat relieved to not be going straight home tonight. That someone made the effort to draw him out. That someone cared enough to do so. Narrowing his eyes as the secretary left, he again gauged the set of Tatsumi's shoulders. Slightly higher than before, but still lower than usual. Tatsumi must be truly upset by something to still be letting it show physically, no matter how small the signs actually were. He'd just have to keep watching Tatsumi, try to figure out what was wrong, and help him get past it. He'd waited this long, he could hold out for a little longer.