Chapter Two: Botamochi:

The next morning cheered right up when Tsuzuki awoke to his beloved huddled over him.

“Morning,” she whispered. A smile spread onto his face.

“Hey,” he whispered back as the shinigami gently reached up and played with her hair.

“Sleep well?” Anna asked.

“Mmm,” Tsuzuki replied, “I dreamed of you last night.” Anna eyed him closely.

“Really now?” she asked, “What did you dream about?”

“Let me show you,” Tsuzuki offered. He lured her in close for a kiss and she found herself happy to give in.

Outside, Thanatos watched with a sneer glued onto her face. They’re at it again!, she thought. She still couldn’t believe Tatsumi was talked out of that summons like that. Something or someone got to him and she was determined to find out whom. However, Thanatos wasn’t the only one not enjoying the newfound romance.

Obviously, the Ju-Oh-Cho disapproved of the relationship. Tatsumi wanted to gag at the loving glance they stole at each other. Despite the relationship being open, the couple still had to follow Japanese etiquette. Tatsumi practically kicked himself every waking hour for letting Hotaru talk him into letting the couple stay together. The secretary figured out what Hotaru pulled on him.

She used as spell on me, Tatsumi thought in shock, Why that…?!? She just…?!? What…?!? He planned on how to get revenge on her later.

Hisoka dealt with it the hardest. He had developed feelings for Tsuzuki over the years and he hoped that he would be able to tell his partner one day. Now, that moment was robbed from him because Tsuzuki loved someone else-- a woman no less. He always came to work over the moon from last night; this morning was no different.

Hisoka wanted to scream at him to stop grinning all the time. The boy couldn’t even look the older shinigami in the eye without feeling more heartbreak. Hisoka tried not to it get to him. It’s none of my business! It’s none of my business!, he would tell himself repeatedly, but that only weighted the pain down.

“Something wrong?” a voice asked him. The boy quickly looked up to find Tsuzuki’s face inches from his own. This morning’s afterglow hadn’t died down yet. Hisoka felt like screaming at him. Instead, he shook his head.

“N-Nothing,” he lied. His partner eyed him in concern.

“Hisoka,” Tsuzuki spoke up, “I will always be here if you need to talk; you do know that, right?” The boy pressed his lips together and nodded. Tsuzuki smiled as he patted him on the shoulder.

“Good,” he replied. The man went back over to his desk to pretty much slack off. Hisoka could tell that Tsuzuki was going to be lost in another fantasy with Anna soon. The boy sighed and lowered his head.

That evening, Tsuzuki, Anna, and Hisoka all ate dinner out together at a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo. The boy looked on as his partner and his girlfriend subtle way. He tried to understand the bond they built between over a month. Anna seemed to comprehend Tsuzuki really deeply and vice versa with the shinigami to the woman. Their bond might have been as strong as his with Tsuzuki’s, but it was just… Hisoka shut his eyes to search for the answer.

“Disgusting, isn’t it?” a voice questioned in his ear. Hisoka quickly opened his eyes and whipped around. Lucy sat behind his table with a lit cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Hisoka blinked at her.

“You’re not allowed to smoke here, you know?” he pointed out. Lucy rolled her eyes.

“Such a goody-goody,” she mumbled. The Goth snubbed out her cigarette.

“Anyway,” she went on, “I would rather steal him from you than her.” Hisoka gave her a funny look.

“What?” he asked. Lucy smiled and shook her head.

“Oh come on!” she said, “I have seen it in your eyes since we first met!” Hisoka went quiet. “Am I that obvious?” the look in his eyes asked. Lucy patted him on the shoulder.

“There, there,” she murmured, “You should have been bolder with Tsuzuki. Now…” Lucy looked over at the couple. They were feeding each other Shumai dumplings with their chopsticks. She turned back to a somber Hisoka.

“I don’t like it either,” she said, “But, it is what it is; get used to it.” Hisoka sat in uncomfortable silence. Anna giggled aloud as Tsuzuki spoke. Their love made everyone around them cringe and roll their eyes.