Chapter Forty-Four: Watari, the Sun:

Watari appeared on Hotaru’s steps. He knocked on the door. Sure, he was late. But that would be okay. The shinigami looked up at as the door opened.

“Watari!” Hotaru said. “You made it. Come in. How are you?” Watari bowed his head.

“I have been good,” he said. “And you?” Hotaru breathed out.

“Busy,” she said. “More people keep coming.” Watari tried to look inside.

“I can see that,” he said.

“Oh,” the demon said. “Please.” She moved aside.

“Thank you,” he said.  Watari bowed and went inside.


The party still clung to life. Rihoko stood in the kitchen on her phone. Only a few snacks were left.

“Wow,” Watari said. “Winding down already?”

“You can say that,” Hotaru said.

“Fine by me,” he said. “Where are the drinks?”

“Follow me,” she said. She led him to the kitchen. The blonde scientist followed behind.

“How is she?” Rihoko asked on the phone. “Good, good. Uh-huh. Uh…” She looked around for a clock. The young mom spotted Hotaru and Watari in the kitchen.

“Hey, when does the party end?” Rihoko whispered.

“Ten,” Hotaru said. The young mother looked slightly worried.

“Do you need to go?” the hostess asked.

“Not yet,” Rihoko said.

“You can leave if you need to,” Hotaru said. The young mother shook her head.

“Nah,” she said. “It’s fine. I was just asking for the baby-sitter.”

“Ah,” the loli demon said.

“Hello,” Watari said.

“Hi… Uh… are you Tsuzuki’s friend?” Rihoko said.

“Correct!” he said.

“Ah,” the loli demon said.

“Watari,” the blonde scientist said. “Nice to meet you. Again.” Both bowed. Rihoko heard someone talking from her phone.

“Excuse me,” she said. The young mother returned to her call. Watari turned to Hotaru.

“How are Bon and Tatsumi?” he asked.

“Good,” Hotaru said. She walked over to the fridge. “What would you like?”

“Chilled tea,” Watari said. Hotaru dug through the fridge. She pulled out a can.

“Here,” she said.

“Thanks,” Watari said. He opened the can and took a drink.

“Mmm,” he said. “Nice and cold.” 003 happily flapped her wings. Hotaru’s face changed.

“You think Tsuzuki and Anna will be fine?” she asked. Her tone was hushed. Rihoko finished her call and went back to the living room. Watari was just as serious.

“Yes,” he said. “I know they will.” Hotaru nodded once.

“Okay,” she said. Her tone lightened up. “Enjoy your night. There is still food left.” The loli demon turned walked out of the kitchen. Watari lifted his can.

“Thanks for the drink,” he said. The blonde scientist waited for a beat before following behind to the living room.