Chapter Seventeen: Question of Marriage:
As they lay resting in the futon, a soft dream filled Tsuzuki's mind. Anna lay cuddled up to his chest. It feels like we're married, Tsuzuki thought. That's where this latest scheme had been first conceived.
I want to marry her, Tsuzuki thought. They had been dating for six months. The couple had gotten so close in that amount of time. Why not take it a step further?
Tsuzuki frowned. There were a few good reasons why not. First thereï¿½s Hisoka. That boy still loved him. Ever since Kyoto, things became a little easier. They were talking again, at least. Hisoka didn't look like a hurt puppy anymore. Yet, unease still existed between them. They ignored that white elephant between them or at least they tried to. They had just gotten back on speaking terms; marriage would cause it all to unravel.
Next thereï¿½s Tatsumi. He still didn't like them together. In fact, he tried to break them up before. Hotaru intervened once; the next time might not be so lucky. If Tatsumi didn't enjoy Tsuzuki and Anna's relationship before, marriage would just be pouring lemon juice into the wounds.
Next thereï¿½s Hakushu. Tsuzuki trembled at the thought of him. No, flinched is more like it. The shinigami found him to be a creepy bastard, not as bad as Muraki, but still. Hakushu had a disturbing obsession with Tsuzuki. However, Ju-Oh-Cho weren't the only problems here.
Time became an enemy to the couple. The Hell Stone came first and now, it's the Heaven Stone. How long before the merger claimed her, days, weeks? She seemed so determined to fight it. Yet, this fight wasn't in her best interest. Too bad Anna wouldn't listen.
It's not just her. Tsuzuki wanted to stay with her forever. She'd make a good wife. Sure, the woman didn't cook, but she was a faithful mate. Marriage had its benefits. They could live together. They had a bond between them that kept growing each day. He still wanted to get to know her. There was so much more he had to ask her. The case had become irrelevant now. He needed to be with her now.
With each passing second, marriage looked more and more appealing to Tsuzuki. Anna would look beautiful in a wedding kimono, he thought. Did she want kids? Would they live in Kimoto Manor? Did she want a big wedding or a little wedding? Did she even want a wedding?
The shinigami looked at his girlfriend. Timing and planning played key roles in a marriage proposal. Tsuzuki lacked both at the moment. In fact, this notion was rather random. Some details needed to be worked out. First came the timing. The mood had to be just right. Not while she's in pain and yet before the month ended. Next, there came the ring. Where to get that one? His paycheck said he couldn't afford one right now.
Tsuzuki sighed. Looks like I'll have to go without it for now, he thought. Suddenly, he felt something stirring awake in his arms. The shinigami glanced down. Two hazel-green eyes and a smile stared back at him.
"Hey," Anna whispered. Her boyfriend smiled at her.
"You okay?" he asked. The woman smiled and kissed him on the lips.
"What were you thinking about?" she asked. Tsuzuki gave her a little shrug.
"Nothing," he said. "Just that I love you so much." Anna looked on at him.
"Really?" she asked.
"And how beautiful you are," he said. His girl gave him a little smile.
"Really?" she asked again. Tsuzuki lightly ran his finger along her cheek.
"Yeah," the man answered. Anna snuggled up against his chest.
"I love you too," she whispered. Tsuzuki only smiled. The reward outweighed the risk. I will marry her, the shinigami thought. Kimoto Anna will be my wife!