An AU for the October 17th theme at the 31_days community: "Tea theory; good tea is always like beauty."
Tsuzuki eats all the time: impossibly shiny fruit tarts with strawberries and kiwifruit slices, sweet madelines dipped in pink and white icing, chocolate brownies so rich and dense that they make Hisoka's teeth ache to look at them. Food crumbs trail to Tsuzuki's desk and roll out of hastily-printed reports. They speckle Hisoka's clothes with buttery, vanilla-scented fragments he has to brush off every evening.
Tsuzuki hungers. Hisoka wants to ask if the gun he holds to her back upon their first meeting is mistimed rather than mistaken; if she is a vampire in everything except her unyielding compassion, if that is why she has learned to crave the taste of sweets instead of human blood.
Hisoka has learned his lesson, though, the first time he calls himself a monster. Tsuzuki is stronger than she looks: the pain of her hand smacking across his face is blunted only by the horror in her eyes moments later. He barely hears her profuse, incoherent apologies over the ringing in his ears.
So Hisoka bears Tsuzuki's hunger daily, learns to shunt off the desire for texture and flavour and smell, ignores the needy "o" of her mouth and her tongue licking fingers and lips for one last taste. It doesn't suprise him that he should find this possible, despite the fervid statements of the "health" books Gushoushin helpfully provides: Hisoka is malformed and unfinished, without the needs of an adult like Tsuzuki.
He drinks tea, instead. Green, red, black -- it matters only that the faintly bitter liquid dilutes the taste in his mouth and takes away everything that is Tsuzuki. His partner drinks hot chocolate, sickeningly thick and sugary. Hisoka drinks cup after cup of the astringent green tea at the Shokan Division office, and his kettle at home has a constant supply of hot water. He no longer tastes anything except the absence of sweetness.
Hisoka frowns, deep in the midst of paperwork, reaching out automatically for his mug and finding only air. He touches his lips, puzzled. There is liquid heat in his mouth and a wispy, familiar scent lingers in his nose. There is tea here, his mind tells him.
He looks up. Tsuzuki is watching him over the rim of her mug, steam condensing on her eyelashes. The air-conditioning blows the smell of her drink his way: black tea, the kind he knows Tsuzuki never touches. Hisoka's mouth waters.
Tsuzuki is hungry.