Rule Book

Author: Trans

Pairing: Tsuzuki x Hisoka

Disclaimer: Nothing really besides that it contains a lot of sap

Rating: pg 13 (cause I don't want it to be pg)

AN: So this is my present for Hisoka's birthday! (obviously it isn't about his current birthday/age since he's getting old. Teehee). Also I'm in the midst of a severe writer's block, so I'm not sure this came out exactly how I wanted it. Oh, well. And if you see any spelling errors ect. Point them out in a review please!

A rule book could be made about how to handle Hisoka and his birthdays. Tsuzuki thinks it's hard remembering at times, and actually considers writing it all down. A book might be useful.

Hisoka doesn't like birthdays. He becomes grouchy and irritable, and anyone caught within his vicinity, with gift ideas floating in their heads, will be in for a nasty glare. Hisoka doesn't like to be reminded that another year has gone by, but he is no older. Tsuzuki sometimes wishes that Hisoka didn't hate himself so much, but then, Hisoka has called him a hypocrite before. Often.

Its hard to make Hisoka happy, everyone has found, because Hisoka doesn't want to be happy half the time. Tsuzuki has seen the way he squirms uncomfortably under peoples kindness. He always finds a way to push it away. If there was a Hisoka rule book, Tsuzuki would write that Hisoka finds it hard to accept kindness simply because he had so little of it before.

Tsuzuki once worked under the idea that if Hisoka received enough affection, then perhaps he wouldn't fear it so much. Maybe he'd realize that it wouldn't be taken away the moment he accepted it. Tsuzuki isn't quite sure if this has worked as he planned, because while they've gotten closer and Hisoka allows him to briefly touch him more often now, there is still that initial flinch every time. Tsuzuki will keep at it though, because another rule with Hisoka is that he changes slowly, but almost always for the better.

Hisoka doesn't like presents. Tsuzuki knows most of all, he hates the wrapping paper. He doesn't know where this aversion could have come from, but from the disgusted look Hisoka assumes when looking at a box with the words 'Happy Birthday' merrily scrawled over every inch, and a large metallic bow on top, this is an important rule to note.

Hisoka is one of the few partners Tsuzuki has ever had who has stayed long enough to have a birthday at the division. That first year seemed very important, as if he was holding his breath. Hisoka stayed. Tatsumi is privy to all personal files, and Tsuzuki can still remember how hard it was to weasel Hisoka's birth date out of him. Bribery always works, but Tsuzuki's hand was sore by the time he finished enough reports to satisfy the secretary.

That first year no one knew the rules. Wakaba made cake, something of a sugary nature, that Tsuzuki would like. Hisoka had scowled at it, eyes lingering on the small number of candles, and turned his back. Tsuzuki had learned that rule, after seeing the look in Hisoka's eyes: don't remind him of his age. Don't expect him to eat something he doesn't like to save someone else's feelings.

The presents hadn't gone over well either. All shiny and bright colors, the boxes sat on his desk untouched. There was something on Hisoka's face, like apprehension, and Tsuzuki wondered if he were afraid to see what they had bought him. Would he be sad if it was something he liked, meaning they'd all gotten closer to him than he'd allowed anyone else before, or would he be mad if he hated the gifts, because it meant he was still safe? Tsuzuki had a hard time picking his present that year.

It wouldn't have mattered one way or another. Hisoka didn't open a single one. He didn't comment on it, and unlike usual, everyone let it slide. They knew. Hisoka's seventeenth birthday went uncelebrated. Everyone prepared for next year.

Sadly, Hisoka's eighteenth birthday came not long after the Kyoto case. It made everyone more determined than ever to please him. So much had happened that year, bringing everyone closer together, and this was the first time Tsuzuki had ever celebrated a second birthday with a partner. It was special.

Wakaba didn't make cake, but she did make a card. It was large and off-white, with stickers on the outside, and a short note on the inside. Somehow, she found a group picture from Hokkaido, and had it put in a simple silver frame. She didn't wrap it.

Terazuma got Hisoka a new bow set, more fitting for his size, and left it in the supply room next to the target range.

Tatsumi had left a new book, something Tsuzuki thought boring enough that it probably was suited to Hisoka's tastes, on his desk that morning.

Watari tried his best to follow 'the rules.' He didn't understand anything that wasn't colorful or outrageous. His version of a toned-down gift was a pair of fluffy pink earmuffs that he had invented to cut out all outside noise. He'd set them on a small white tag that said "Tsuzuki deterrent device #1: Yoji-kun".

Saya and Yuma had reframed from getting Hisoka a Whitehouse ensemble, although, Tsuzuki suspected they weren't done with their plans to get him in one, and bought a silk tie. It was a dark forest green and quite manly, draped over his desk chair with a letter. Tsuzuki thought that the true sentiment of it might just make Hisoka happy.

Tsuzuki had the hardest time of all. After the year they had shared, and especially after what had been said in Kyoto, he found it difficult to find the perfect gift. He didn't want some impersonal item, but he feared if it were too personal, that Hisoka might be angry. Surely they had grown closer than that…or so Tsuzuki hoped.

No one said happy birthday that day, going about work as usual. Hisoka made no indication of noticing their efforts, not after he returned for his morning's training, or when he went to the office they shared while Tsuzuki was busy eating donuts in the break room.

But Tsuzuki knew, because when he'd finished all the chocolate glazed pastries, and hesitantly peeked into their office, the presents where gone. Hisoka was busy working on a report. Tsuzuki would have been fooled, but the small smile on his partner's face told him he'd liked the gifts.

Tsuzuki had to gather his courage throughout he entire day before he was willing to give his present. He'd waited until they'd both finished their reports, and the office was clearing out, before asking nervously if Hisoka would like to go to dinner with him.

He could still remember the way those verdant eyes darted up, widened slightly, and the thick blush that had taken over his cheeks. "Dinner?" he'd asked.

Tsuzuki had smiled then, and did every time after that when recalling the memory. He'd repeated the invitation, and Hisoka had said yes and smiled; that small smile. It was a rule Tsuzuki regretted, that Hisoka didn't like to show his emotions, but even someone as closed as Hisoka, couldn't keep from smiling all the time. For that, Tsuzuki was glad.

Hisoka wasn't one who had an easy time saying thank you for anything other than a polite gesture with no sentiment, but Hisoka found a way around this rule, and made sure in his own way to say thank you to everyone in the office. He used his new bow whenever he practiced, even joining Terazuma some times.

Tsuzuki could still remember the first time he'd seen him wearing Saya and Yuma's tie, and appreciating how the green brought out the color of his eyes--how more mature it made him.

Hisoka made sure to be seen reading Tatsumi's book, and apparently it wasn't just for show. When Tsuzuki had tried to complain about how they were missing lunch hour, Hisoka had given him a brief glare for being interrupted, and placed Watari's ridiculously pink earmuffs over his ears.

But Tsuzuki thought that the 'thank you' for his present was the best. For all the rules that would be in the Hisoka rulebook, everyone knows that Hisoka doesn't admit his feelings. Everyone knows that he doesn't like being touched. Everyone knows that he tries not to smile. But Tsuzuki knows that that isn't always true, because he can remember the first kiss they ever shared, and the faint smile Hisoka had as he said, "I love you."

Yes, sometimes Tsuzuki considers writing a rulebook of what to do and what not to do, but really he hopes that someday it won't be needed anymore. After all, Hisoka is always changing, and always in a good way. He smiles more and can say thank you with meaning. He doesn't flinch every time Tsuzuki touches him now, and sometimes touches him back.

Hisoka still doesn't like sweets or shiny wrapping paper, but he likes presents. He's learned to give them too, and not just on birthdays. Like when he brings Tsuzuki coffee in the morning, and how he taught himself how to bake cookies. Most of all, Tsuzuki feels it when Hisoka holds back from yelling at him for not working on paper work--really Tsuzuki has always been a slow typer. If he ever tried to make a rulebook it would take him so long to write, that by the time he was finished, Hisoka might have broken every single one.

That's why Tsuzuki wraps his present in brown paper this year, but allows the temptation to tie a small bow around its middle. He doesn't place it on Hisoka's desk with the other's gifts, but presses it into his palm as he steals a kiss. He waits patiently as Hisoka unwraps it, and breaks another rule--not so much a rule anymore--and says happy birthday.

"Tsuzuki is this…?" Hisoka holds up the small silver key.

"I thought you might like a key to my place so you can come over whenever you like." Tsuzuki beams at the small curve of Hisoka's lips, and the emotions in that forest gaze, because he is sure he is breaking all sorts of rules tonight.

"You're sure?" Hisoka asks, his voice sounding small.

"Never been more sure."

"Thank you," he says as he pushes into Tsuzuki's arms, pressing his face into his trench coat. Tsuzuki can feel the quivering of his shoulders, and knows he must be crying. "I love you."

Tsuzuki only pulls him in tighter and sighs, "I love you too."