Terazuma was frozen to his spot. He couldn't even think straight as he stared at the man before him, holding Kannuki at gunpoint. No more than a couple of seconds later, however, the shock wore off, and was replaced by anger and his intense desire to protect Kannuki. Kuroshungei reacted to this, pushing against Terazuma to get free. The Shinigami had to hold the Shikigami back, however, as letting him lose in an area populated with the living would be disastrous.

"Let her go." Terazuma growled threateningly.

"Hah! If I let her go, you'll arrest me. I'm not stupid."

Arrest him? So this was the man that had killed Nakamura. The man must have seen him and Kannuki entering and leaving Arai's house, and, since Terazuma was in uniform, gotten paranoid that they had gotten information from Arai and was desperate to avoid capture.

"Now, keep your hands in the air, unless you want me to blow her pretty little head off."

Terazuma wanted nothing more than to strangle the man to death. Unfortunately, he had no choice but to obey. While Shinigami were far more difficult to harm than a normal living human, they weren't invincible. Increased stamina and accelerated healing were standard for any Shinigami, but that didn't mean they couldn't be severely damaged, or even killed. Terazuma didn't want to risk bringing Kannuki to any kind of harm. Unfortunately, strangling the man to death was out of the question; he'd be in huge trouble if he killed somebody who was not yet meant to die.

And now, standing in this position, seeing a gun pressed hard against Kannuki's head, Terazuma couldn't help but be reminded of the night of his death. The night that prevented him from ever getting close to another female. The night in which his mistake had cost the life of an innocent. He wouldn't make the same mistake twice. Even if Kannuki wouldn't be killed, Terazuma felt it was his duty to protect her, and he would not let anybody hurt her. He couldn't. He had to solve this once and for all.

As he watched the man with Kannuki, different possibilities raced through his mind. If he moved, the man might shoot Kannuki. If he didn't move, the man would probably take her somewhere else and shoot her anyway, then get Terazuma when he came for her. As far as the man was concerned, the both of them were a threat to him, and he would clearly go to great lengths to avoid being caught for his crime. Terazuma wondered if he'd be able to distract the man long enough for her to make an escape without being harmed herself.

"Shooting a detective isn't a wise decision, you know." Terazuma said, hoping to distract the man.

"Why not? If you two are disposed of, whatever you've found out will be gone.

"And if you kill us, the situation will only be investigated further. They will find you."

The man laughed. "There won't be enough evidence left behind for them to find me with. You'll both die here."

Without another word, the man turned his gun on Terazuma and fired. Kannuki quickly took advantage of the man's brief moment of distraction to give him a swift kick between the legs, causing him to drop his gun, doubled over in pain. As the gun clattered to the ground, Kannuki kicked that as well, sending it a good distance away from the man, then ran over to Terazuma. As much as she wanted to take the gun so that he could not use it against anyone else and gather the attention of the police, she had to refrain, as such a thing would be considered interference.

Before Kannuki got a chance to say anything, Terazuma grabbed her by the wrist. "Let's go!" He pulled an ofuda out of one of his pockets as they ran around the corner, came to an abrupt stop, activated it, and were transported back to Meifu.

"Kannuki, are you alright?" Terazuma asked, looking for any injuries on her. She didn't appear to have any. She must have escaped just in time. The man hadn't had a chance to shoot again before she had acted, and he hadn't done anything to her before that, which came as a great relief to Terazuma. That was something else he loved about Kannuki- despite her small appearance and gentle nature, she could defend herself when she needed to.

She nodded. "I'm fine. How is your shoulder?"

Terazuma glanced at his left shoulder, where the bullet had hit. The area was stained in blood, but the bleeding was already slowing to a stop. "It's nothing, it'll heal fast enough." He looked back over at Kannuki, who had a wide grin on her face. "What is it? Why are you smiling?"

"You didn't notice?" She giggled. "Hajime, you grabbed my wrist before we left. You held it and didn't even flinch."

Terazuma's eyes widened. He had been so caught up in what was going on, he didn't even realized he had touched her. More importantly, Kuroshungei hadn't even tried to come out. Had he finally learned to control his Shikigami?

Slowly, Terazuma lifted his hand, bringing it to Kannuki's cheek, where he let his fingertips gently brush her skin. When nothing happened, he withdrew his hand and simply stared in shock. Kannuki, however, could not contain her excitement.

"Hajime-chan!" She yelled and threw her arms around Terazuma's neck, almost knocking him over with the force of her hug. "You did it! You did it!"

"Ah! Kannuki! Don't-" Terazuma cut himself off. He had been worried that he was only able to handle very small amounts of physical contact and that Kannuki's hug would anger Kuroshungei, but still, nothing happened. "I did...I did it!" He wrapped his arms around Kannuki's waist and spun her around, eliciting the most beautiful laugh from her he had ever heard.

"Hajime, I'm so happy for you!"

Terazuma smiled. In all the time he had been a Shinigami, he didn't think he'd ever given a larger, more genuine smile. Hell, he didn't think that had ever happened since he'd been born. His smile was returned by Kannuki, which was so large it looked like it could hurt.

"Come on. Let's get back so we can file our report."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Ooooh, look who's holding hands now!" Tsuzuki said as he, Terazuma, Kannuki and Kurosaki were leaving work.

Kannuki smiled. "Isn't it great? Hajime-chan doesn't have to worry about Kuroshungei anymore!"

Terazuma smirked and turned to Kurosaki. Using his free hand, he prodded Kurosaki's chest. "That's right. Which means you can't threaten me anymore."

Kurosaki glared. "Oh, I have other ways if need be." He said with a slight smirk.

Terazuma returned the glare. "You wouldn't."

"Try me."

It wasn't until their faces were inches apart that Terazuma realized how close they had gotten. To make it worse, his finger was still jabbing Kurosaki's chest. Not a second later than he noticed had he felt the all too familiar, unwelcoming feeling of Kuroshungei. "Uh-oh..."

Before anybody could say anything, Kuroshungei had taken over, transforming Terazuma into a roaring Shikigami. Kannuki shook her head and jumped up, slapping an ofuda to Kuroshungei's head. As she landed, Terazuma began transforming back into himself.

"What were you saying again?" Kurosaki asked, raising an eyebrow.

Terazuma grumbled, "Shut up.", and quickly got himself dressed again. "Not my fault Kuroshungei still thinks you're a girl."

Kurosaki's eyes narrowed. "I'll touch you."

"Guess Wakaba is the only one Terazuma can touch without transforming." Tsuzuki said. "Or Hisoka is just really girl-OW!" He rubbed his head where Kurosaki had delivered a powerful whack. "I was just teasing! You didn't have to hit that hard!"

"That's what you get, stop whining."

Kannuki giggled. "Well, see you two tomorrow!"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Kurosaki yawned as he finished setting up the couch to sleep on. Truth be told, he was starting to miss his bed. While the couch wasn't that uncomfortable, it still wasn't as nice to sleep on every night as a bed was.

"Hey, Hisoka, did you find out from Tatsumi when your house would be ready yet?" Tsuzuki suddenly asked, standing in the doorway. Kurosaki briefly wondered whether Tsuzuki had read his mind or if the timing had just been a coincidence.

"I did talk to him about it, but he said they ran into a problem and they wouldn't be able to start reconstruction for a while."

"Oh." Tsuzuki tried to keep himself sounding indifferent, but he couldn't hide the small wave of excitement before Kurosaki picked up on it.

"Hope you don't mind me staying longer." Kurosaki said, despite knowing what Tsuzuki's response would be.

Tsuzuki smiled. "I don't mind at all. After all, it is kind of my fault. You can stay as long as you need to."

"Thanks." In actuality, things had been the opposite of what Kurosaki had told Tsuzuki. When he had gone to speak with Tatsumi, he had actually been informed that reconstruction would start the next day. Kurosaki had stopped Tatsumi there and requested that, for now, he not go through with repairing his house. When Tatsumi asked why, his reply was simple: Tsuzuki was happy. Ever since moving in, Kurosaki had noticed that Tsuzuki had been more cheerful than usual. Genuinely cheerful. He wasn't depressed, he wasn't thinking back on Kyoto, and, most importantly, he wasn't trying to kill himself. Also, Kurosaki had told Tatsumi, even if Tsuzuki did get like that again, he would know right away and be able to nip it in the bud, so to speak. He could keep a much closer eye on his partner if he was living with him. Tatsumi had smiled, and agreed to hold off the reconstruction. Thus, Kurosaki was going to stay indefinitely with Tsuzuki.

Tsuzuki frowned. "We'll have to get you a bed of some kind though. You can't sleep on the couch every night. Are you sure you don't want to use mine? We can alternate."

"I'm sure, Tsuzuki. Maybe we can go pick something up this weekend."

"Alright." Tsuzuki said, his mood picking up. Getting something for Kurosaki to sleep on meant he would be staying longer, which was good news to Tsuzuki. "You look tired. I'll leave you alone so you can go to sleep now. Goodnight!"

"Goodnight."

Tsuzuki was about to leave the room when he turned back around. "Oh, and Hisoka? Um...if you have those nightmares again and want to sleep in my room, just go ahead. Don't worry about waking me up or anything, I won't mind. Sleep well!" With that, he left the room, heading for his own bed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Hey, Kannuki."

Kannuki dried her hands, having just finished washing the dishes, and turned around. "Hm?"

Terazuma stood with a slight bow, holding his hand out to his partner. "Want to dance?"

Before she had even gotten the word 'yes' out, Kannuki had already taken his hand. Terazuma smiled and walked into the living room with her, put his other hand on her waist, and began to dance.

"Is this why you were hanging around the whole time?" Kannuki giggled, "Waiting for the right song to come on?" She had put music on before doing the dishes, and the entire time Terazuma had been hanging around as if he was waiting for something.

"Er...yeah. I thought maybe you'd want to."

"What happened to dancing only being something girly?" She teased.

"Well...uh...that was..."

Kannuki laughed. "It's okay, Hajime. I'm just glad you don't have to worry about Kuroshungei so much anymore. Is it because of that story you told me last night and what happened earlier?"

"Mostly. You know all those times I went to visit Tsuzuki and Kurosaki? I was uh...actually asking them for help. Tsuzuki knows so much about Shikigami, so I figured I'd ask him to help me control Kuroshungei. It was when I was talking with him that I realized the reason he came out every time I touched a female was because of how I died. Parasitic Shikigami appear when they feel their master needs to be protected, so I guess that's what he was doing."

"Hajime...you actually went to Tsuzuki to ask him about something so personal?"

Terazuma shrugged. "I didn't tell him the story, just that I thought I had figured it out. He said it was something I'd have to work out myself. That's when I told you about it. Then, earlier today, when that man had you at gunpoint, it was so much like that night I died. I couldn't let him hurt you. I guess that's what finally did it."

The song was ending, to Terazuma's dismay. Kannuki hadn't finished the dishes until after this particular song had already started, but Terazuma hadn't wanted to wait for another one. Not only was it perfect for slow dancing to, but he knew it was Kannuki's favorite track. There was still one thing he could do, however.

Pulling Kannuki closer, Terazuma wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed his lips gently to hers. Kannuki responded almost immediately, sliding her arms around his neck and returning his kiss. It was something the both of them had been waiting for for a long time.

A minute later, when they pulled apart, Kannuki asked, "Why did you go through all of that to begin with?"

Terazuma smiled. "To dance with you."


Author's Note: And that's a wrap! I really hope you enjoyed it, as there is not enough fanfiction about Terazuma and Kannuki. Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed!