Chapter Six: Letting it Die:

That evening, Tsuzuki lied in his futon lost in thought. Anna was in the bathroom getting ready for bed. The shinigami lifted his head to the bathroom door. His girlfriend had just put her black and pink camisole top over her scarred back. He only saw a glimpse of them again, but the man had other things on his mind.

“Anna-chan,” he spoke up. The woman glanced at him from the mirror.

“Uh-hm?” she asked. Tsuzuki sat up in their futon.

“I have a problem,” he admitted.

“What is it?” Anna asked. Tsuzuki bit his lip as he lowered his eyes.

“It’s with Hisoka,” the shinigami said rather uneasily. Anna washed her face with the warm in the sink.

“Is he still struggling?” she asked surprised.

“Yes,” Tsuzuki said with a hint of pity in his voice.

“Have you talked to him?” his girlfriend asked. Tsuzuki’s facial expression changed to a rather sheepish one.

"Sort of," he said with guilt in his voice. Anna raised an eyebrow at him.

"What do you mean?" she asked with a puzzled tone.

"He blocks me off,” her boyfriend explained with a sigh. “I can never get through. It's like when we first met.

"Hahw ew yoo me?" Anna asked as she brushed her teeth.

"What?" Tsuzuki asked, blinking.

"Hahw ew yoo me?" Anna asked him again with the toothpaste and toothbrush in her mouth.

"Finish brushing your teeth first and then ask me," the shinigami told her. Anna finished up and rinsed out the sink.

"How do you mean is what I said,” she repeated. Tsuzuki shook his head.

"It's a long story," he brushed off.

"Ah," his girlfriend said with a nod.

"He'll have to tell you himself," the man said with a shrug. Anna's face went grim in the mirror.

"Ooo, I don't think he's a fan of me at the moment," she said.

"Yeah," Tsuzuki said. "I'm stuck here. I love you, but I'm hurting him because of it." Anna flossed her teeth now as she listened. She took a minute to think about it. Suddenly, an idea hit her.

"Take him out tomorrow," the woman suggested. Tsuzuki gave her an odd look.

"What?" he asked. Anna turned to face him.

"You know, like out on a date," she explained. The man still didn’t get it

"What are… you sure?" he asked, blinking.

"Don't worry; I trust you," his girl told him. Tsuzuki leaned in with a blank stare on his face.

"But what would I say to him?" he asked. Anna shrugged her shoulders as she shook her head.

"I don't know, just anything. It’s better than nothing, right?" she said. Tsuzuki pondered this whole idea. True, it couldn't hurt, he thought.

"Alright,” he said at last. “I just want to make everyone happy." Anna smiled as she shook her head.

"You can't do that," she pointed out.

"I know," he said with sorrowful distaste in his mouth. Tsuzuki looked up at his girlfriend as she turned back to the mirror.

"Anna," he spoke up. She glanced over at him while brushing her hair.

"Um-hm?" his girl asked. Tsuzuki shifted in place on their futon.

"How was it with Dr. Yamashita today?" he asked. Anna gripped the edge of the counter.

"Hard to say, really,” she admitted. He's definitely hiding something."

"What do you mean?" her boyfriend asked.

"He won't say,” Anna answered. “He told me to wait three days."

"Three days?" Tsuzuki asked in a puzzled voice.

"Yeah," his woman said with a nervous nod.

"Why then?" the shinigami asked, leaning in towards the door.

"Don't know," Anna replied. The way she said that told him that this sounded like a serious case.

"Think he's working with your family?" Tsuzuki asked.

"No! He's not like that! I just know it!" the woman cried.

"Are you sure about that?" he asked.

"YES!" Anna cried with her fists clenched at her sides. Tsuzuki held up his hands.

"Okay, okay; just relax," he said. Anna sighed and turned to him.

"I'm sorry. It's just… I've known him for years,” she said. “He helped me in America. I can't see him capable of that."

"I understand," her boyfriend said. Tsuzuki patted on the futon. "Just come to bed now, please,” he told her. His girl cut off the light and left the bathroom. She lied down next to him in silence. Tsuzuki put his arm around her as he gave her a gentle smile.

"Good girl," he whispered. The shinigami kissed her on the head. Anna slowly shut her eyes. Tsuzuki calmed her right down in a burning sea. She had a passion to protect the innocent; just like he did.

The next day, Tsuzuki took Hisoka out to lunch. Neither spoke on the way to the Chinese restaurant the older shinigami found this morning. Hisoka didn't even look at him. Tsuzuki bit his lip; he had to try and get through at all costs.

"So," Tsuzuki spoke up. "How are you?" Hisoka turned and gave him a cold look. His partner closed his mouth.

"Okay then," he mumbled. They kept walking in discomfort. The boys sat near the window in the restaurant at lunch. Tsuzuki ate in discomfort while Hisoka didn't even look at him.

"She put you to this, didn't she?" the boy asked. Tsuzuki looked up at him from his fried rice.

"Hm?" he asked. "Why?" Hisoka didn't answer. Tsuzuki felt a little sheepish as he slowed his eating.

"Sort of…" he mumbled. Hisoka snorted as Tsuzuki breathed out in distress.

"Want to talk about it?" he asked.

"No!" his partner shouted. Tsuzuki looked at him with a big pout.

"But…" he murmured.

"Look, can we just not talk at all today?" Hisoka asked. Tsuzuki poured himself more tea.

"Okay," he muttered in a small voice. Tsuzuki glanced at his partner. "I'm still here if you need me, you know," he added.

"Just shut up," Hisoka murmured. The older shinigami looked down at his tea.

"Alright," he said quietly. They didn't speak for the rest of lunch. This was harder than Tsuzuki expected, but then again this was Hisoka he was dealing with.