Chapter Fifteen: Game Plan:
-Same Saturday Night-
Anna lay in her futon in the darkness. Violet eyes met her own.
"So what happens now?" she asked. Tsuzuki ran his finger along her throat.
"We see the rest of the merger through," he said.
"How long has it been?" she asked.
"Three days," he said. Anna reached to touch his cheek, but winced in pain. Tsuzuki's heart nearly leapt.
"What's wrong?" he asked. His girl clutched her chest and took in deep breaths.
"Nothing," she lied. "Just a small pain."
"How long have you had this?" Tsuzuki asked.
"Since Thursday," Anna panted. "It's not that bad, really."
"Yes, it is!" Tsuzuki pressed. "It'll only get worse."
"I'll be fine," his girlfriend pressed. "I can take it! Really, I can!" Her man didn't buy it. They all say that at first, but then the pain gets worse. Pretty soon, they are left with two options: die of cardiac arrest or take the Heaven Stone out. With the latter, like the Hell Stone, once the Heaven Stone is taken out, it can't be put back in. Tsuzuki took Anna's hand.
"You're not alone on this," he whispered. "I'm here with you. You don't have to take this if you don't want to. You can still turn back if you want." Anna shook her head.
"No!" she pushed. "I can take it. I'm not leaving you!"
"The pain will only get worse," he warned her.
"I don't care!" Anna fought back. "I want to live!" Just like that, the pain slowly drew back. The woman panted as she lowered her hand from her chest. Tsuzuki relaxed; Anna had been fighting so long that she couldn't stop. She didn't want to stop. He patted her on the shoulder.
"I am here for you," he said. "I will stand by you, no matter what you choose." Anna looked him dead-on in the eye.
"Even if you don't like it?" she asked. Her boyfriend shut his eyes.
"Yes," he admitted. Anna gave him a little kiss on the lips.
"Thanks," she whispered. The shinigami held her to his chest. She could only breathe out. The woman felt him trembling.
"Listen," she said. "I'm going to be fine."
"You keep saying that," he said. "But how do you know that for sure?" Anna looked up at him and shrugged her shoulders.
"I don't know," she admitted. "But, I'm not letting that turn me away." He patted her on the head.
"I love you so much," Tsuzuki whispered. "I am so sorry for this."
"Don't be," Anna replied. She gave him a lick to the cheek. Tsuzuki trembled.
"I just don't want you to die," he said.
"I won't," she insisted. "I promise." He glanced at her.
"Want to talk about something else?" Tsuzuki asked.
"Yeah," Anna said quickly. "How was work?"
"Good," Tsuzuki said. "They aren't whispering about us as much."
"Yeah." His fingers tangled up in her hair. A sense of ease filled him up. Anna-chanï¿½
His beloved ran her finger along his throat. "Seita has improved some."
Tsuzuki glanced down at Anna. "Really?"
"Uh-huh, he's not as rude as he was when I first caught him. He can be a little shit at times, but that boy needs a little guidance at times."
"Is that right?"
Anna smiled at him. "Yeah, he's got three sisters to care for him."
"How are Rihoko and Yoko-chan?"
"Good, school's going good for them. Yoko-chan's the top of her class."
Tsuzuki looked impressed. "Really?"
Anna smiled. "Her mom's really proud."
"I can imagine."
Anna looked up at him. "I'm running out of things to say."
"Me too." Tsuzuki stroked her cheek.
"What now?" Anna asked. Tsuzuki shrugged.
"I don't know," he said. "We could just lie here and not talk."
Anna glanced at him. "We can do that?"
"If you wantï¿½"
Anna rested her cheek against his heart. "Sure."
"Whatever you like, I just want to sleep now, anyway." She slowly shut her eyes. Tsuzuki lightly chuckled.
"Okay then," he said. "Good night."
"Night," Anna murmured to his chest. Her boyfriend smiled as she caught the next bus to dreamland. The shinigami gave her a gentle kiss on the head. Somehow, she'll be alright. He didn't know how. She'll be fine by divine intervention.