Chapter Forty-Eight: Do Over:

Today is the last day. Hisoka packed up what little he had in the room. Tana cleared him this morning. Carrie watched him from the bed.

�So you�re leaving today?� the red-haired girl asked.

�Yes,� Hisoka replied as he folded up his clothes.

�And it�s definitely gone?� she asked.

�I haven�t heard it since it left,� he answered. Carrie leaned forward intently.

�Are you ready to go back?� she asked. Hisoka whipped his head around.

�What�s with all of these questions?� he asked. His little friend put up her hands.

�I�m just asking,� she said. Hisoka gave her a little smile.

�Yes, I ready,� he said. �And yes, I am sure.� Carrie drew her mouth closed before she could ask.

�Okay,� she said. Hisoka packed away the last of his clothes. Carrie leaned her back against the wall.

�So who�s coming to get you?� she asked. The shinigami drew his bag closed.

�Tatsumi,� he replied.

�I see,� Carrie said, nodding.

�What about you?� Hisoka asked. The girl lifted her head.

�Huh?� she asked. �What about me?�

�When will you leave here?� he asked. Carrie gave herself a little smile.

�I decided to stay here for a while,� she answered. Hisoka gave her an odd look.

�Why?� he asked.

�It�s more peaceful here,� she said. �It�ll help me get over my sister�s death.� The shinigami sat next to her on the bed.

�I see what you mean,� he said. Carrie drew her eyes closed. Hisoka rested his head on her shoulder.

�I hope you find the peace you need,� he said.

�Mmm,� she replied, �Thanks.�

�Kurosaki-kun!� they heard Tana call out. Hisoka lifted his head.

�I have to go,� he said.

�Go then,� Carrie told him. �There�s nothing for you here anymore.� Hisoka said nothing as he bowed his head and slid off the bed. He counted down the steps in his mind.

�Hisoka,� Carrie spoke up when he made it to the door. He glanced over his shoulder to see her sitting on his former bed, smiling.

�Don�t look back,� she told him. Hisoka gave her a little smile.

�Goodbye,� he said. The shinigami walked out of the room, never to return.

Tatsumi waited for him in the lobby. �Ready to go?� he asked. Hisoka perked up at that question.

�Yes,� he answered. The boy followed the secretary to the car. As they drove away, Hisoka remembered the five-page letter he wrote to Tsuzuki. Carrie asked about it when he finished writing.

�Are you going to send it to him?� she asked. Hisoka laid back on his bed.

�I don�t know,� he said then. Today was different. Hisoka decided not to send it yet. He patted the letter in his jacket.

I�ll tell him one day, he thought; But not yet.

�Kurosaki-kun,� Tatsumi spoke up at the wheel.

�Hm?� Hisoka asked as he looked up.

�You start work Monday,� the old shinigami informed him. Hisoka gave him a strange look.

�Why that long away?� he asked.

�The chief wanted you to have a chance to rest before getting back into things,� Tatsumi answered.

�I�m fine,� Hisoka told him. �Can�t I start tomorrow?�

�You�ll have to talk to Konoe about that,� the older shinigami answered. Hisoka slumped back in his seat.

�Fair enough,� he said. Tatsumi drove him all the way to his home. Hisoka got out of the car and bowed as a thanks. He didn�t go inside until Tatsumi drove away. The boy turned to his apartment.

I�m home, he thought. Hisoka would be alone this time, but maybe that was for the best. When he got inside, Hisoka was surprised to find his apartment nice and clean. Hisoka couldn�t help but smile.

Tsuzuki, he thought. Hisoka made it back to his room. He sat down on his bed and took off his socks. The faded bluish-purple lotus flower painted on the top of his right foot reminded him to keep rising above his train wreck and never look back.