WARNING: MANGA/ANIME SPOILERS
Parings: TsuSoka (Tsuzuki x Hisoka).
Disclaimer: I own a blender, but not Yami no Matsuei. I wouldn't mind trading, though.
Title: What If We Could
It was another one of the Count's annual parties. This year he had gone all out, furnishing the hall of candles in the finest décor. Tsuzuki glanced around the room. Most of the Shokan Division was in attendance, forming small clusters around the edge of the hall. Faces of old and new seemed to blend together in the crowd.
Tsuzuki had no idea why he was here.
Okay, that wasn't exactly true. He was here because he received an invitation from the Count, just like everyone else. At first, he hadn't wanted to go, but…
…But Tatsumi, being the money grumbler he is, wouldn't stand for free food to be wasted and insisted that Tsuzuki attend. Tsuzuki had tried to get out of it; using the excuse that he didn't want to go alone. But before he could protest further, his partner did something unexpected. Hisoka told him they could go together. What Tsuzuki didn't understand was why Hisoka wanted to go. Didn't his partner always hate social events like these?
A soft waltz began to play, that he vaguely remembered from the days when his sister first taught him to dance.
The fragment of memory tugged at his heart as he ran a hand idly through his hair, suppressing the recollection back to the locked walls of his mind. He could feel Hisoka's eyes on him as he turned to give his younger partner a wink and a goofy grin. "Looking good there, Hisoka."
Only to gain a scowl and an eye roll in return. "Idiot."
He hoped it would be enough, for now, to distract Hisoka from the melancholy feelings that stirred inside him. Maybe if he just stayed close to the refreshment stand, no one would bother him. He didn't think he could handle the perverted, Hakushaku's eccentric advances tonight.
"Tsuzuki." A light tap on his shoulder caught his attention. He turned around to face the speaker of the voice, his partner following, walking beside him.
Chidsuru greeted him with a big, bear hug. "You remember, Hisoka." Tsuzuki turned and motioned to where his partner stood, beside him. Near enough that he could have grabbed Hisoka's arm just by lifting his hand, but still far away enough that they didn't touch completely. A respectful distance, so as not to overwhelm his younger partner's empathy.
Something's different. Chidsuru thought to herself as she regarded the distance between them. Remembering their constant fights and how the two were still adjusting to being partners when she had first met them. She gave Hisoka a warm smile. "It's been a while, Kurosaki-kun."
"Yes. I'm sorry, I was unable to respond to your letters."
The girl shook her head. Her short hair swirled about her, caressing the nape of her neck. "That's alright. I understand how busy you must be. I've been keeping in touch with Tsuzuki since our last adventure in Okinawa. He talks about you all the time."
Hisoka flushed, turned his head away, and muttered something neither of them heard.
"Have you seen Sengoku? I came with him but we seem to have been separated." She glanced to the back of the room, her eyes searching through the throng.
"No. He may be speaking with some other guests or bickering with Tatsumi over the new budget regulations. I'm sure he'll turn up soon."
"Hmm…" The former policewoman turned her head back and glanced in Hisoka's direction, tilting her head to study him. Shadows darted over her tanned skin in the dim light. "I never had time to ask while you were in Okinawa. How did you two become partners, again?"
Tsuzuki looked over his shoulder at his partner. Hisoka didn't bother to answer the girl's question. Instead, the younger shinigami just shoved his hands into his pockets, looking bored.
"In Nagasaki," Tsuzuki said and turned back around, facing Chidsuru. "We met up in Nagasaki, where we were investigating a vampire case. Right, Hisoka?"
Chidsuru snickered. "Sill the same reserved and quiet Hisoka, huh?"
Tsuzuki chuckled and continued with the conversation. "He took the assignment from old Chief Konoe, who tricked him into agreeing to be my partner."
"Yeah. He told Hisoka that I was the Bureau's best and I was an Elite in the Ministry. "
"Oh, wow." She was grinning from ear to ear, imagining the explosion that must of caused when Hisoka had found out the truth. "How were you able to find each other in Nagasaki? I don't imagine that the Chief gave you a description of what your partner looked like."
"No, I had no idea what he would look like. I didn't even know his name before that. It was an accident, really. I was pursuing a suspect on foot and had somehow lost track of her in a cathedral. After not being able to locate any trace of her, I decided to go back and find Gushoshin. All of a sudden I feel something being pressed into my back and a voice telling me, 'Don't move, blood sucker.' When I turned around, I saw this guy over here," He pointed his thumb to Hisoka, standing behind him. "Pointing a gun and glaring at me. I was really surprised to find out it was Hisoka."
"Your own partner held you up?"
"Yes. Talk about first impressions." He rolled his eyes at the ceiling. "If Gushoshin hadn't have dropped in just in time, I don't know what I would have done. There were a lot of people around and if something had happened…it would have been a messy situation for the Ministry. But later after that, we solved the case and returned triumphantly, back to the Shokan Division. Another case in the bag." He could feel Hisoka draw closer to his left side. Tsuzuki smiled.
"Hisoka's been my partner ever since."
"Chief Konoe begged me to stay on as his partner, at least until he can find Tsuzuki a new one. I'm not counting on it being anytime soon. Nobody wants to work Kyushu. Especially with Tsuzuki," Hisoka glanced up at Tsuzuki out of the corner of his eye.
"He's never serious on a case."
"I'm always serious."
He held Tsuzuki's gaze, not backing down. His eyes glinting with feint amusement. "You're more interested in stuffing your face with cinnapon buns."
"I am not."
"And meddling in the affairs of others."
Tsuzuki huffed and looked away, crossing his arms as his face contorted into his infamous puppy-pout. "Mou…Hisoka, you're always so mean to me."
"Wait. Don't tell me." Chidsuru placed her hands over her mouth, trying to suppress the giggles. "This is some kind of lover's quarrel, huh? Tsuzuki, how could you be holding out on me? I knew something was different, but I had no idea you two were so serious!"
"W-Wha-what?!" Tsuzuki gaped like a fish. "No. It's not like that. Hisoka and I are just partners."
"No, really!" Tsuzuki felt his stomach flip over. "We've never even thought about that…Right, Hisoka?" He turned around, only to find that his partner had abandoned him and was heading towards the refreshment tables.
"Mm." Chidsuru looked at her friend closely. "So, if you're not, then why come here together at all?"
"Oh. Well, the Count invited both of us. I didn't want to go alone. I didn't want to go at all, actually. But you know how Tatsumi is about these things. And it's not like Hisoka has someone… So, we decided to go together- just as partners."
Chidsuru regarded him, seriously. "I see. I'm sure it must be uncomfortable to be around some of your coworkers right now. After the thing that happened in Kyoto. But all they seem to be talking about is how they can't believe you've managed to keep Kurosaki-kun as a partner for this long. It's a new record for you."
"Yeah." Tsuzuki gave her a wane smile and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "It's hard to get used to. None of my past partners were able to take me seriously. Not that I can blame them. I'm not exactly the hardest worker in Ministry."
"Is that the same reason your partnerships didn't last with Kobayashi and Asuka-kun? I remember, you were even partnered up with Tatsumi-san for a while."
Tsuzuki's eyebrows narrowed together. "No. Kobayashi, I stopped being his partner because I couldn't take him seriously. I swear; that guy was out to get me killed."
"Tsuzuki, listen to me." She grabbed at his arm. "Do you think there could be something between you and Kurosaki-kun and you just not know it?"
Tsuzuki was having trouble following. "I don't think so…but…" His eyes searched through the dancing couples to the small crowd, finding Hisoka standing in the back at one of the refreshment tables. The lighting of the room seemed to glow around his partner in a way that was… "Hisoka is very special to me and I can't see myself working with anyone else." Tsuzuki looked back at Chidsuru. "It doesn't matter though, he's always calling me a moron and an idiot. Always hitting me with some god forsaken object… He clearly doesn't think of me that way." The smile on his face turned sad. "Besides, why would he love someone like me?"
"We're just too different."
To be continued.
Author's Note: Anyone good at beta reading or characterization? :3
(1) Chidsuru: She was a supporting character who appeared in Volume 6. She was one of the shinigami in charge of Okinawa (Shinkocho). I decided to use her because I've never seen her appear in any other fan fiction, so I decided to bring her in the story.
(2) Sengoku: Discussed in Volume 6. He doesn't make an appearance, but he's one of the other shinigami in charge of Okinawa (Shinkocho).
(3) Kobayashi: Discussed in Volume 1. He was one of Tsuzuki's former partners. Though he doesn't make an appearance, we find out he was transferred to another department. Though the reason and circumstances are not listed.
(4) Asuka: Appears in Volume 1. He was the last partner Tsuzuki had before Hisoka.