Hokkaido Story

Chapter One: Winter Break:

-January 5th, 2017-

Anna looked out the window of the Japanese-styled inn. A pair of strong arms embraced her from behind. She giggled as Tsuzuki kissed her on the neck.

“Mmm,” she murmured.

“Good morning,” Tsuzuki said. Anna turned around and looked up. Her husband smiled.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Anna said. Snow ruled the landscape. Ju-Oh-Cho began their vacation on Sunday. The boys chose Hokkaido again. It had been a hectic year too. So many deaths in 2016. Tsuzuki barely had time to go home. The shinigami shook his head.

“Let’s not think about work this trip, okay?” he said.

“Okay…” Anna said.

“Mama? Papa?” a small voice asked. The couple looked up to see a little girl of five standing in the doorway in her pajamas.

“What is it, sweetie?” Tsuzuki asked. He walked over and picked up little Kirika-chan. She cuddled up to his chest. Anna walked over to them.

“Where were you?” Kirika-chan asked.

“Shhh. We’re here now,” Tsuzuki said. He kissed her atop her head. Anna caressed her long midnight blue hair. A knock came on their door.

“Yeah?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Are you up yet?” Tatsumi asked in the hallway.

“Yeah!” the older shinigami said.

“Breakfast in ten minutes,” his former partner said.

“Okay,” Anna said. She looked at Kirika-chan.

“What would you like, sweetie?” she whispered. Her daughter turned to her, grinning.

“Hot cakes!” she cheered. Anna pretended to groan.

“You had that yesterday,” she said.

“Please?” the little girl asked. Anna looked up at Tsuzuki.

“Well, what do you think?” she asked. The shinigami shrugged.

“One more day won’t hurt,” he said. “In fact…” Tsuzuki pulled the little girl into his lap.

“I think I will join you,” he said.

“Yay!” Kirika-chan said. The shinigami nuzzled her cheek. Anna smiled and rolled her eyes.

“Fine, whatever,” she said.

“Hey,” Tsuzuki said. “Let’s have breakfast in the room.” Anna’s mood perked up.

“Sure,” she said. Tsuzuki kissed her on the lips.

“I’ll go get the food,” he said. “Be right back.” The shinigami handed her their daughter and left the room.


They visited Daisuke’s grave before they left. Kirika-chan laid the flowers onto the snow-covered grave.

“Happy birthday, grandpa,” she said. Anna patted her little girl on the head. Tsuzuki gently hugged her.

“We’ll have the cake on the way there, okay?” he whispered.

“Yes,” Anna replied. The family ate the cake en route to Sapporo. Tsuzuki and Anna stayed up and watched Kurosawa Akira movies on the first night.


A knock came on the door.

“I’m back,” Tsuzuki said.

“Coming,” Anna said. She leapt up and walked over to the door. She opened it with childlike excitement. Tsuzuki held up a tray with three plates of food. Kirika-chan raced over to the door.

“Let’s eat,” Tsuzuki said.

“Yay!” the little girl cheered. The family watched the snow as they ate.