Chapter Fifty: Support:

�Support system,� Watari whispered. Tsuzuki gave him a strange look.

�What?� he asked. The scientist gave him a tiny smile.

�Why do you think the previous two tsukai of the Mother got absorbed into her?� he asked. Tsuzuki shook his head puzzled.

�I don�t know?� he asked.

�Simple,� his friend said. �They didn�t have you.� He placed the necklace in Tsuzuki�s hand. �These women need a stable partner,� Watari explained. �Sen didn�t notice that his wife�s soul disappeared into the Mother once she healed for good.�

�And the other woman?� Tsuzuki asked.

�Too warped up in the Mother to care about his own wife,� the scientist answered. �But you, you really want Anna back, don�t you?� His friend nodded eagerly.

�With that charm,� Watari said. �You can convince Anna-tan to come home.� His face turned serious. �You have ten minutes to bring her back once the necklace goes on,� he explained. �The Mother can�t touch you in that time period. However, you�ll have to persuade Anna-tan�s soul to come back.�

�Why is that?� Tsuzuki asked.

�The soul is in a docile state before they are absorbed into the Mother,� Watari answered. �Anna-tan might not recognize you or notice anything wrong. Tell her the truth and get her back before you run out of time.� He put his arm around Tsuzuki�s shoulders. �Good luck, buddy,� he said. Tsuzuki gave him a confused look.

�I don�t get it,� he said.

�Get what?� the scientist asked.

�Why are you telling me this?� his friend asked. �Weren�t you ordered not to?�

�You�re right,� Watari said. �I�m not supposed to tell you. However, I can�t lose a valuable test subject, can I?� He winked after saying that.


July 31st, 2010.

8:45 a.m.

Tsuzuki and Anna sat in the bathtub facing each other. The husband gave her a little smile.

�How are you?� he asked.

�I�m good,� Anna answered.

�Are you sure?� Tsuzuki asked.

�Yes,� she insisted.

�Okay, okay,� he said. �Is she still there?� Anna let the warmth of the water rest on her skin.

�Oh yes,� she said, �And she�s really mad at you.�

�I can see why,� Tsuzuki replied. He bit on his lower lip. Anna gave him a sympathetic look.

�Hey, but I�m not,� she said. �You did what you had to do.� Her husband perked up.

�Thanks,� he said. Anna gave him a sweet little smile.

�Were you aware of the things that she was doing with your body?� Tsuzuki asked. Anna�s face went rather grim.

�I wish I could say I didn�t,� she answered. The woman pressed her lips together. �It was like the brakes had been cut on a speeding car heading for a brick wall, you know?� she added.

�Ah,� he said. Both knew this wasn�t over.

�What happens now?� Anna asked. Tsuzuki shrugged his shoulders.

�Keep monitoring you, I guess,� he said.

�And if she tries to take over again?� she asked.

�She won�t,� her husband insisted.

�But what if�� Anna began.

�She won�t take over again,� he insisted again. She opened her mouth to speak, but he cut her off.

�She won�t,� Tsuzuki repeated. Anna drew her mouth closed.

�Okay,� she said.

�Thank you,� her husband answered. Anna rolled her shoulders in the water.

�Thanks for fixing my necklace,� she said. Tsuzuki gave her a kind smile.

�Watari had someone fix it,� he answered. His wife gave him a puzzled look.

�Watari did?� Anna asked.

�Yeah,� the shinigami answered. The gentle heat of the water in the tub bought another question into his mind. �Anna-chan,� he spoke up. His wife glanced over at him.

�Yes,� she asked. Tsuzuki shifted a bit in place.

�What was it like in that place?� he asked.

�That place?� Anna asked. It took a second for her to understand. �Oh, that place,� she said.

�Yes,� Tsuzuki said. Anna thought as if to make herself remember.

�Quiet,� she answered. �It was quiet. I saw nothing there. It was just� empty.� Anna trembled as she spoke. �She kept singing to me,� she said. Tsuzuki blinked at her confused.

�Sang to you?� he asked.

�Almost like a lullaby pulling me away deeper within myself,� Anna added. Her expression changed into a happy one.

�I�m home now,� she said with a smile.

�What about your mother?� Tsuzuki asked. �What are you going to do about her?� His wife shrugged her shoulders.

�I don�t know,� she admitted. �I really don�t know.� Tsuzuki smiled and chuckled.

�I�m glad to have only you in my bathtub,� he said. Anna leaned back at her end.

�So am I,� she replied. �So am I.�