Chapter Twenty-One: Spring Evening:

February 28th, 2010.

Tsuzuki loved nights like this: sweets and tea, lying on the balcony in the warm spring air, and the love of his life in a kimono. He closed his eyes to take in the moment. This would be perfect for the honeymoon, he thought. The shinigami made a quick mental note of this. Anna finished another dango.

"Lovely night," she said.

"Uh-hm," Tsuzuki replied.

"So how was your day?"

The shinigami frowned. "Boring, nothing but paperwork."

Anna gave him a little frown. "Aww."

Her fianc� frowned back. "Yeah." He reached out and touched her cheek. "My day's better now. Want to guess why."

"Why is that?"

Tsuzuki held her jaw. "I have you to come home to."

Anna felt her heart leap. "Oh�" Tsuzuki kissed her on the forehead.

"Let's go away somewhere tomorrow," he whispered. She gave him a puzzled look.

"Why?" she asked.

"Well, it's your birthday tomorrow," the shinigami said. Anna looked at him with big eyes.

"You remembered!" she gasped.

"Of course," he said. "You are marrying me, after all. I have to know these things."

"This is true," she replied. "Where are we going?" Tsuzuki smiled as he leaned into her ear.

"Kyoto," he whispered. The woman blinked at him.

"Why there?" she asked.

"Well, we never did finish our date there, so�" Tsuzuki said.

"Will Konoe-san and them be okay with that?" she asked. Her lover gave a nervous laugh.

"I'll work something out," he said. Anna frowned at him again.

"Please don't get in trouble," she said.

"I won't!" he declared.

�Maybe we should spend my birthday here."



"I just want to give you the best for your birthday."

"What's the point if you end up jobless?"

"I won't end up jobless." He clasped onto her dainty hands. "Everything will work out. I promise."

"But you don't have to."

"No, I want to!" he insisted. Anna drew her mouth closed. That look in his eyes said that he meant it. He just wanted to make her happy.

"Don't go crazy on me," she said. "You don't have to spend big money on me."


"Promise me that!"

Tsuzuki gave her a little smile. "Alright. I won't spend too much."

"Do you mean it?"

"Yes!" He noticed that the look on her face said she wasn't convinced. He dropped his shoulders. "Want to pinky swear on it?"

"Yes," Anna replied. They both linked their pinkies together and made the promise again in silence. They stayed like that for five seconds before letting go. Anna lifted her head at her fianc�.

"Where exactly are we going in Kyoto?" she asked. Tsuzuki grinned at her.

"It's a secret!" he cheered. The man gave her a little wink. Anna pouted at him.

"That's not fun!" she complained. Tsuzuki gave her a little shrug.

"I'm sorry, but I can't say anything," he said.

"Why not?"

"It would spoil your birthday surprise. You don't want that, do you?"

Anna stuck her tongue out at him. "Fine! At least tell me when we're leaving then!"

Tsuzuki gave her a little chuckle. "At ten."

Anna gave him one nod. "Okay." They shared a short laugh. Tsuzuki felt an excited chill run down his spine as he ran the plan over again in his brain. He ironed out the tiniest details before he could set up shop. Tsuzuki squealed in his mind as he closed his eyes. Why can't tomorrow come any faster? I need another dango. He reached over and picked up another skewer. We really have to do this on our honeymoon! He loved warm spring evenings like this.