Author's note: Don't worry. This story's title is what it is for a reason.

Happiness is...
YnM Fanfiction by Yen

A slice of cake, thought Tsuzuki dreamily. He had his nose pressed to the front window of a bakeshop, and his breath was fogging up the glass. Inside the shop, a chef and his assistant were putting the finishing touches on a large chocolate cake, seven layers high. Tsuzuki knew how many layers there was since he had been watching the layering and filling from the start.

Baka, thought Hisoka as he watch his partner watch the cake. He and the others were sitting in an outdoor cafe, waiting for their orders to arrive. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on which person), the cafe was right beside a big and well-known bakeshop. Hisoka was quite certain they would have cake for desert. His partner was now positively drooling.

"Tsuzuki-san!" Wakaba called out cheerfully, waving when Tsuzuki glanced at them. "Come back and sit down, our orders are almost ready." Tsuzuki smiled and walked towards them but not before casting a regretful look at the chocolate cake in the bakery's window. ... Poor Tsuzuki-san, thought Wakaba, I guess he doesn't have enough money to buy a slice.

Sitting beside her, Terazuma yawned and stretched long to ease the kinks in his back. "Is the food ready yet?" He muttered. Terazuma wasn't a conversationalist. He wasn't a cafe person either. It was only due to his partner's insistence that he went along with them. I can't believe I let Kannuki talk me into this, he thought, wondering if he could sneak out.

"This is a waste of money," grumbled Tatsumi, sitting across the table from Wakaba. He didn't like eating out and preferred to cook his own meals. I can make much better dishes than this place, thought Tatsumi, scowling and folding his arms. Why did I let I let them talk me into this... He was referring to Tsuzuki and Watari, who were responsible for him being there.

"Now. Now, Tatsumi," reproached Watari patiently. He was sitting in between Tatsumi and Terazuma. "It's good to eat out with friends once in a while." He paused to pick 003, who had been eating peanuts from the appetizer dish. "You ate enough already," he said to the little bird, then he grinned at Tsuzuki who had arrived at his seat. "Eating out is fun too, right Tsuzuki?"

"Definitely!" Tsuzuki agreed enthusiastically, taking his place between Hisoka and Tatsumi. "Plus," he added, "this place makes really good pasta." Of course, Tsuzuki was the food connoisseur.

"Pasta?" Repeated Hisoka, who had never eaten Italian before. But then, his past life had not allowed him to have the pleasant experience of eating foreign dishes. He was catching up in his afterlife thanks to Tsuzuki.

"It's like noodles," said Wakaba, giving Hisoka a warm smile. Like Tsuzuki, Wakaba was determined to help Hisoka, who she considered as a younger brother. Both of them had died at young ages.

"Just try it," said Terazuma, uncharacteristically helpful. Then he pointed a thumb at Tsuzuki. "Don't worry. If you don't like it, he'll finish it for you. He's always hungry."

Tatsumi shifted restlessly in his seat, saying, "If you people wanted to eat at a restaurant, we could have gone to my house." Tsuzuki went starry-eyed at the thought of eating Tatsumi's cooking.

"I suppose you're going to make us pay you for cooking for us, eh Tatsumi-san?" Said Watari guilelessly. He knew there was no way Tatsumi would ever do anything for anyone for free.

"Of course," Tatsumi answered, his hand reaching up to adjust his glasses. "And my cooking is worth every yen." He sounded so certain that Watari became a little bit irritated. A peanut suddenly hit Tatsumi's forehead.

"... Watari..." Tatsumi stood up to throttle Watari who whisked out a strange looking thing from his coat pocket.

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Introducing the Mini Shooter!" The strange looking object turned out to be slender steel tube with a rubber piece on one end. Watari loading peanuts into it. "The Mini Shooter is your best ally for sneak attacks during dinner or any meal time! Any small hard food can be used for ammunition." Loaded, he held out the Mini Shooter for his stunned audience to see clearly. Suddenly he announced, "A demonstration!" And he began firing peanuts at Tatsumi.

"WATARI!!!" Tsuzuki barely kept an enraged Tatsumi from attacking Watari who was now showing off his invention to interested children at another table.

Hisoka sighed, his hand rising to cover his eyes; while Wakaba just smiled an embarrassed smile. Terazuma glanced around, looking for a newspaper or magazine to read.

A while later, somehow, Tsuzuki had managed to calm down Tatsumi. He had said he would cry if Tatsumi-san hurt Watari-san. Then a compromise was made. For the rest of lunch, Tsuzuki had to sit in between Tatsumi and Watari. Fortunately too for Watari, their orders had arrived.

"Oishii!" Tsuzuki's mouth was soon red from spaghetti sauce.
"Tsuzuki, eat slowly," Tatsumi said sternly, twirling his fork in the spaghetti with expert ease while most of them struggled to use fork and knife. Hisoka, especially, was having the most trouble with the utensils.

"Here, Hisoka-kun." Wakaba showed him how to hold the fork. Then she turned to Terazuma who wasn't doing justice to his shirt. She smiled, tempted to take his fork and feed him. She blushed red instead and bowed her head to concentrate on her own meal. She didn't notice Hisoka smile slightly in her direction.

"Happiness is food," Tsuzuki suddenly uttered loudly, drawing all their attention. He smiled at their curious expressions and said, "Tilon-san told me to think about what happiness is."

"Oh." Watari blinked, spaghetti loaded fork paused in mid-rise. "He told you that too?" Tilon was a psychiatrist who recently conducted interviews in their division.

"Yes," answered Tsuzuki, chomping on roll of French bread. Crumbs flew out of his mouth as he replied, "He told me to tell him what I think happiness is next time."

Tatsumi grimaced. "You have until next year to think about it then," he muttered. He utterly disliked the inspection and psychological evaluation Shoukan division recently had.

"I wonder," mused Watari, "if we passed the evaluation."
Terazuma grumbled, "I don't care. That Tilon is a quack."
"Now be nice, Hajime-chan," Wakaba reprimanded gently.

"Anyway, I'm curious." Tsuzuki was about to wipe his mouth with his shirtsleeve when Tatsumi held up his table napkin and wiped Tsuzuki's mouth for him.

"Arigatou, Tatsumi-san!" Tsuzuki smiled warmly at Tatsumi whose eyes turned gentle as he looked at Tsuzuki.

After a few silent moments, Hisoka coughed discreetly, and Watari asked, "What were you saying, Tsuzuki-san?"

Distracted, Tsuzuki blinked then turned from Tatsumi. "Oh... I mean I'm curious about what you all think happiness is." He looked back to Tatsumi. "What's happiness to you, Tatsumi-san?"

All Tatsumi did was give a small smile to Tsuzuki who turned puzzled when Tatsumi remained silent. "... Uhm... ano... Watari-san, what do you think happiness is?"

"Ah... I need a little more time to think about it, Tsuzuki-san."

"... Okay... Terazuma?"

"I'm not answering that question, idiot."

(Like I want to know what makes you happy, baka.) "Wakaba-chan?"

"That's easy. Happiness is when I am with my dearest friends." Wakaba smiled, tilting her head slightly. "Like right now."

"Wai! Thank you very much, Wakaba-chan, you're so nice!"
"Idiot! She's not only talking about you!" Yelled Terazuma at Tsuzuki who pointedly ignored him and looked instead to his partner. "How about you, Hisoka? What is happiness to you?"

Hisoka stared silently at Tsuzuki for several moments then opened his mouth to say, "Happiness is a good book."


Hmm... To each his own... Tsuzuki thought as he walked back alone to his home. ... Mhmm... Food does make me happy, but being with my friends makes me even happier. Wakaba-chan is right, and it was fun eating out with them today. I hope we do something fun together again soon.

What is happiness to you, Tsuzuki-san?

Happiness is...


Author's note: ^^ I definitely feel much better.