Chapter Eleven: Distractions:

Kyoto, Japan.

The crew all stared at Tsuzuki. “What?!?” they shouted.

“Yes,” the shinigami said with a nod. “Nakata Masayuki is Rieko’s brother.”

“So she’s…” Anna began to ask as she stood there in shock. Watari opened the school’s database and typed in Masayuki’s name. His record came up instantly.

"Nakata Masayuki," the scientist read aloud. "Age eighteen and freshman at Kyoto University, son of Nakata Haru." Anna jerked her head upwards.

"Nakata Haru?” she asked. “You mean the famous sake brewer?"

"That's right," Watari said.

"Wow…" the woman mouthed. Rieko came from a wealthy family? Did Dr. Yamashita know that? she wondered.

"I'll have to talk to Masayuki again," Tsuzuki said.

"I'm coming with you," Hisoka said.

"Yes, because we have to work in pairs," the older shinigami said as if to reassured himself.

"I'm coming too," Anna spoke up.

"Nah," Tsuzuki said, shaking his head, "Stay here with Watari. Hisoka and I will deal with Masayuki." Anna didn't ask why; she already understood.

"Alright," the woman replied. Hisoka felt a little drop of relief, but his stoic face did a good job of hiding it.

"Ready to go?" his partner asked. The boy looked him straight in the eye.

"Sure," he said. The boys vanished, leaving Anna and Watari alone. The scientist smiled at his computer screen.

"That was a nice thing you did," he said without turning around. Anna looked up at him with a confused look on her face.

"Hm?" she asked. "Oh that?” She brushed it with a little shrug. “It's nothing."

"No," Watari countered. "It means so much to Bon."

"Well," she said. "I just want to keep the peace."

"Hm," he said. The scientist kept working on the research. Anna looked around the library for any books to catch her interest. Maybe Watari was right; Hisoka had been left out lately. Probably best to let the boys go together today.

Suddenly, something caught Anna's attention. Outside the library, a boy with a younger girl was leaving a café. The boy, or man rather, looked about twenty-five. A graduate student, maybe?; the woman thought. Anna kept looking to see. The girl caught her interest as well.

This was merely a child of thirteen or fourteen and a pretty one at that. Perhaps she was his younger sister? Yet, that wasn't all.

Anna noticed the way this man was holding the girl-child. His arm was around her shoulder and not in an innocent way. The man grabbed the girl tightly as she seemed to struggle to get away. Anna felt her pain as she watched, but studied the pair closely. Something didn't sit right in this picture.

"Something wrong?" a voice asked. The woman jerked back to reality.

"Hm?" she asked. Watari kept his eyes on her.

"Something on your mind?" he asked as his tone matched his curiosity. Anna hesitated before she shook her head.

"Nah, I'm good," she said, putting her mask back on.

"You sure?" Watari asked, unconvinced.

"Yeah," the woman said, nodding. Anna looked out the window again. The man and the girl were gone, but they had tattooed themselves in her brain.

Anna wasn't the only one with the distraction. Tsuzuki and Hisoka were about to hit a small problem. Tsuzuki felt uncomfortable with nothing to say. This wasn't helping the situation any better, but the man still had to try and save his friendship first and then build a balance in all of his relationships.

"Oh Tsuzuki!" a woman yelled out. He nearly jumped up in the air. That voice! he thought trembling. The man and his partner turned and looked up. Lucy and Stella were standing before them grinning.