Chapter Thirty-Six: Pleading:

Tsuzuki came home worn out. The paperwork weighed down his soul. He just wanted his bed and to forget the whole day.

“I’m home,” the shinigami whispered in the dark. Tsuzuki took off his shoes and walked into the apartment. After dinner and a bath, he went to bed.

“Anna,” he whispered. “You still awake?”

“Yeah,” Anna said. Her husband breathed a sigh of relief.

“Oh, good,” he said. Tsuzuki climbed into the futon with her. Anna turned her head.

“What’s the matter?” she asked. Tsuzuki shook his head.

“Crappy day,” he said.

Anna tilted her head. “What happened?”

“I had to kill again.”

“Aw, dear…”

Tsuzuki put up his hand. “Please.” He shut his eyes. “He wanted to die.” The shinigami trembled. It hurt to repeat it. “He… just wanted…”

She pulled him into her arms. “Shhh. Shhh. Shhh.”

Tsuzuki drew his mouth closed. Anna rested her cheek to his back. She could feel his body, trembling.

“I’m sure you had to do it.”

“But it still hurts.”


Tsuzuki turned his head. “Please love and accept Kirika-chan.”

Anna lifted her head. “Asato…”

“Just hear me out.” Tsuzuki turned in her arms. “I heard you playing one of Daisuke’s tapes.”


“You and him are not his family. I’m sure you will be a great mother.” He caught the doubtful look in her eyes. Tsuzuki pulled her to his chest, nearly smothering her.

“I’ve seen how you interact with Kirika-chan. Despite looking so cold, I think you do care about her.”

Anna lowered her eyes. “But the Mother…”

“Look how long it took her to come around to me.” Tsuzuki ran his fingers through her hair. “I’m sure she’ll accept the baby too.” He noticed her smiling and shaking her head. “What is it?”

“You sound so selfish,” Anna said. “If you heard Papa’s tape, you would understand why I can’t do this.” Tsuzuki opened his mouth, but closed it. He patted her on the head.

“Please,” he said.

“What about her family? Are you going to take her away from them?”

“We’ll work something out.”

“You can’t…”

“Shhh. It’ll work out.” Nothing would change his mind at this point. Ever since he first laid eyes on Kirika-chan’s little face, the shinigami fell in love. He couldn’t part with the little baby. Tsuzuki worked so hard to get Anna to love their “daughter” just like he did.

“You can’t make her love that child right away,” Tana told him after her session with Anna. “She has to come to that decision herself. Forcing it will only make it worse.” In present day, Anna rested her head on his chest.

“Why do you do this?” she asked. Tsuzuki kissed her on top of her head.

“It’s just as you said,” he whispered. “I guess I am selfish and I love you both.”

“And you are sure about this?”

“Yes. Hundred percent.”

“I do not understand you sometimes.”

“I could say the same thing about you.” Tsuzuki looked out the window. Morning wouldn’t be coming four hours. He lowered his shoulders. Something will work out, Tsuzuki thought. However, the voice in his head began to sound so doubtful.