Twenty years ago, Tsuzuki Asato and Kurosaki Hisoka were partners. When Muraki Kazutaka entered their lives again, Tsuzuki was forced to make the hardest decision in his life. Let tons of innocent people die? Or let Hisoka die?

"Justice has served you! Oh yeah, OWNED!" Tsuzuki Asato shouted, pumping his fist into the air.

A girl, about 18, with shoulder length red hair and green eyes, sat on a ledge a few feet away, watching. "You're a dumb dumb, Tsu-kun. That demon was really weak, I was able to take a break... Oh," She hopped from the ledge. "And you really need a new catch phrase." She patted his shoulder. "You're not gangster. At all."

"That's mean Hana-chan. You're a butt-munch!" Tsuzuki pouted, digging his toe into the ground.

"Yeah, yeah. Let's get some Z's, kay?" Hana crossed her arms behind her head and started exiting the park.

With a huff, Tsuzuki quickly followed.

...

"Are you serious?"

"Yes. He's living in Kyoto with his family. He's very much alive. He's 16 now."

"Well, we have to tell Tsuzuki."

"You think?"

"Of course we do! He still hasn't been able to get over him and his decision, and I know for a fact he thinks about him every day!"

"Okay, we'll tell him."

...

"Just... one cinnabon... left..."

Tsuzuki and Hana locked eyes, their dainty desert forks poised in their hands, ready to strike. They sat tensely at one of the small circular tables in the break room with a blue and gold box in front of them, the sugary object of their affection sitting mockingly inside. This would go on to be a battle to the death for the two sweet fanatics and neither would be willing to give up without being AT LEAST stabbed in the eye.

"You got five, Hana-chan." Tsuzuki growling, making the first move and plunging his fork towards the pastry.

Hana cut his fork off with her own. "So did you, Tsu-kun."

Just as Tsuzuki was about to make his move, Tatsumi and Watari entered the room. "Tsuzuki." Tatsumi started sternly, startling the man and causing him to waver. Hana immediately took advantage of the situation and stole the cinnabon quickly.

Tsuzuki's hands flew up and he looked at Tatsumi in disgust. "Awww, Aw, Tatsumiiii! I almost had it too! What could y-"

"Tsuzuki. We," The secretary gestured to Watari and himself. "Need to talk to you. Right now."

Tatsumi's stoic expression was no shocker, but when Tsuzuki noticed a similar expression on Watari's face, he quickly excused himself from Hana and followed his friends from the break room. Hana happily indulged herself to the last pastry.

"You're... not serious..." Tsuzuki whispered as a photo was slid across the table to him. It was a candid photo, of a young boy who looked remarkably like Hisoka. In the photo he was expressionless and pulling a book from his locker. He was wearing a high school uniform.

"This was taken a while ago. He's in high school. His name is still Hisoka. Essentially, he still is Hisoka. Just... reborn. His soul is the same. I've taken his address if you'd like to-" Tatsumi was cut off when Tsuzuki crumbled the photo in his fist.

"No." Tsuzuki stated, closing his eyes with a shaking breath.

Watari leaned in, his eyes wide. "No? But, Tsuzuki, you can see Bon again! I mean, obviously it's meant to be! Don't you... want to see him?"

The amethyst eyed shinigami stood up, his chair scraping angrily across the tiled floor. "No. I don't. I don't care if he's himself, or someone else. I'm not bringing him back into my fucked up world again! He's living. He has the chance to experience everything. I'm not gonna ruin it." The badly wrinkled photo fell to the floor, forgotten. "How'd you guys even get this information? I highly doubt that any of the higher ups gave you permission to do this."

"Tsuzuki, we did this because we thought you'd be happy! I mean, you've told Tatsumi and I that there isn't a day that passes when you don't think of him! We didn't think-"

"That's right," Tsuzuki hissed at the scientist. "You didn't think. Yes, I think about Hisoka; but there is no way I'd risk his happiness for my own. Do you realize what I let happen to him? He trusted me and I..."

"Tsuzuki-" Tatsumi started weakly.

"Look you guys, I appreciate everything you've done up until now... but next time come to me first... This.. This was too much." Tsuzuki sighed and headed for the door.

When they heard the door close, Watari and Tatsumi looked at eachother sadly.

...

"Maybe you were being too harsh on them..." Hana said after listening to Tsuzuki retell the event that happened in Tatsumi's office. The redhead knew of Hisoka, and Tsuzuki's feelings towards the long deceased boy, but never did he tell her the exact story of what had happened, nor did she ask. Yes, she was curious; extremely curious, but she didn't want to bring any terrible memories to the surface.

The two sat face to face on Tsuzuki's living room floor. At least three times a week after work, that's where they'd end up and discuss anything that was going on in their after lives. Ever since 19 years ago when Hana had showed up on his doorstep after a particularly bad argument they'd had when they'd first become partners.

"Probably... But they should understand. Besides, it's none of their business. Hisoka is... He's in the past now. I need to focus on what's important now. That's you, Hana." With a smile, Tsuzuki leaned in and chastely kissed Hana. She briefly kissed back before pulling away.

Their relationship was more of a friendship with benefits, neither felt undying romantic feelings towards eachother, but when the mood was right, they had become intimate. Hana knew it was likely Tsuzuki would never fully overcome his past, before or post Hisoka, so she never pushed. Hana frowned a bit, knowing Tsuzuki's smile was no doubt forced. "I just want you to be happy, Tsu-kun..." She mumbled.

"I am... Now how about we go out for an early dinner? I'm in the mood for something spicy." Tsuzuki announced, standing up and brushing the imaginary dirt from his behind.

Hana followed, and pulled out her cellphone. "Weeell, we can go out to dinner, but later. There's just some case stuff I need to smooth out with Tatsumi-san, kay? I'll be back around 6ish." With a wave of her hand, Hana rushed from the apartment.

Tsuzuki blinked and watched her leave. When he heard the door 'click' he let out a long awaited sigh, rubbing his forehead. He desperately needed a drink.

After a few minutes of shuffling through his cupboards, he'd poured himself a glass of scotch and headed towards his room. Once inside, he kneeled down on the floor near his bed and pulled out a decent sized lock box from underneath. He adjusted himself so his back was against his bed and settled the box on his lap. With trembling fingers, he reached inside his collar, and pulled out a key attached to a chain, and slid it into the lock.

The lockbox contained several objects, papers, and photos, each concerning Hisoka in one way or another. The largest object in the box sat on top; Hisoka's Beretta. Shortly after the boys death, Tsuzuki had come across it while cleaning out Hisoka's apartment. He didn't have a hard time deciding on whether to keep it or not, knowing it was one of his ex-partners prized possessions. The next items he pulled out, after setting the gun gingerly next to him, was a group of photos. The one standing out to him the most was the one Hisoka had framed for him on his birthday. Along with that, were others of the two together, Hisoka by himself, and even Hisoka with coworkers from the bureau.

He continued going through everything, coming across Hisoka's mitsugake, his favorite CD, a poem that he'd written, and several other precious items. At the bottom, he came across the one thing he'd dreaded to see. Hisoka's goodbye letter. Even though he hated even looking at the blood and tear stained paper, he forced himself to read it every time he'd gone through the lock box. He deemed it punishment, as it twisted his heart painfully.

As he read the final character of the letter, Tsuzuki allowed his head to fall. After reading the letter, he felt he desperately needed to see the boy.

"Hisoka..." He sobbed. "What do I do...?"

...

"Ah! Tatsumi-san! I was looking for you!" Hana exclaimed, jogging up to the secretary. She'd found him in the hallway, a few doors down from his office.

Tatsumi tucked a clipboard under his arm, allowing him to push up his glasses. "Oh? Why don't we head into my office the-"

"TATSUMI!!!"

The two turned their attention to where the shout had come from. Yuma and Saya were rushing up to them. The girls gripped onto each of Tatsumi's arms and started dragging him away. "We need your help in Hokkaido immediately! Please come! Right now!"

"Ah, but-!"

"No buts Tatsumi! It's important!" Yuma cried, as they started to disappear.

"We'll discuss this later, Hana-chan!" Tatsumi called out as he dissipated.

Hana sighed, scratching her head. "I guess that just means less questions..." She mumbled, plucking out a bobby pin from her hair as she headed for Tatsumi's office.

...

Hana grumbled. She'd been sitting on an uncomfortable cement stoop for over an hour, and she only had 45 minutes before she was supposed to go meet up with Tsuzuki. A manila file sat next to her, purposely turned over so the name on the front wasn't visible. "Where is this kid...?" She wondered out loud, her chin in her hand.

"I assume you're talking about me, then?"

The red head looked up and her face lit up. She mentally cheered in her head, no longer would she have to sit on the uncomfortable stoop! This boy was definitely him, judging from the photo in the file. A lithe build, pale skin, bright green eyes and blond hair. He was wearing the high school uniform mentioned in the file. This was definitely Hisoka. She jumped up, and bounced down the few steps, bowing when she stood in front of Hisoka. "My name is Hanami Katsuragi! And... umm..." She stood normally again, placing a finger to her lips. "I don't really know why I'm here..."

Hisoka quirked an eyebrow, heading up the steps. "That makes two of us." He sighed, but then gasped a bit when his wrist was grabbed. He quickly shook the girl off.

"Look- I'm sorry, but I... I need you to meet with my partner, please! His name is Asato Tsuzuki, I know it may sound weird... okay, yeah it's gonna sound creepy- but he knows a lot about you Kurosaki-kun!" Hana clasped her hands in front of her desperately.

With a frown, Hisoka took a step back. "Obviously..."

"Huh?"

"Kurosaki. That's my mothers maiden name. I only started using it two weeks ago. Everyone still refers to me as Sakuya-kun." The blond informed.

"Oh... I didn't... I didn't know that..." Hana inwardly cursed herself. "So... Will you meet him?" She asked, scuffing her toe on the sidewalk.

The blond pursed his lips. "Tell your stalker friend to find another under aged boy. I have homework to do."

Hana brought out her cellphone with a frown, if she wanted to go to her apartment, shower, and get ready, she'd have to go now. "Fine." She huffed, and reached up, plucking the pencil that was conveniently tucked behind Hisoka's ear. She pulled out a receipt that was in her pocket and wrote down her number. "But please reconsider. If you do, I'll buy you something, or whatever." She handed the receipt and pencil to Hisoka.

Hisoka glanced at the number, and then back to the retreating girl. He tucked the paper in his pocket, and as he was heading inside, he came across the manila file. He grabbed it as he went inside.

...

Tsuzuki was mellow, not as chipper as he usually was, Hana noted as they sat across from eachother in a small family restaurant. She knew it was to be expected though, because everytime Hisoka's name was even briefly mentioned, he seemed to fall into a pit of despair. Not only was there sadness of loss coming from him, she could see that he felt guilty. For what? She couldn't figure it out.

They sat in a comfortable silence, eating their dinners. A little boy a few tables down was screaming as he committed a ketchupy murder to his poor french fries. Hana was about to mimic the boy, to see if she could force a smile on her partners face, when her cellphone rang. She apologized to Tsuzuki as she looked at the unfamiliar number on the screen before answering.

"Hello?"

"Ku- Ah! I mean... Um.... Sakuya-kun?"

"...What folder? OH! OH MY GOD CRAP!!!" As everyone, including Tsuzuki, stared at her, Hana shrunk into her seat. "Um... Can I pick it up...?"

"Wha-Really?"

"Yeah, Thursday night is great! Thank you so much!" With that, Hana snapped her phone shut, beaming.

"Who was that?" Tsuzuki asked before taking a gulp of his beverage.

Hana waved her hand, laughing nervously. "Ohhh. No one. So, you free Thursday night, you stud?"

...

Wednesday rolled by fairly quickly, and soon it was Thursday evening. Tsuzuki had asked Hana several times where they were going, but the girl refused to tell him. She was a bit nervous. What if things didn't go the way she'd hoped they would? What if Tsuzuki took one glance at Kurosaki-kun, got pissed, and stormed out? What if they discovered they hated eachother. Hana was pulling at her hair as she waited for her partner to finish getting dressed. 'Formal Casual', she'd told him, which earned her an eye roll.

Tsuzuki stepped out in his normal attire of black dress slacks, a wrinkled white button up, and a loose tie. He sheepishly grinned, shoving his hands into his pockets. Hana groaned, standing up from the couch. "Wow. Really?"

The amethyst eyed Shinigami shrugged. "Yep."

"Ugh. Whatever. Come on."

"Hi, my name is Hana Katsuragi. I'd made reservations for a table for two?" Hana said, dragging Tsuzuki up to the hostess, who smiled brightly, telling them to wait a moment.

"Two? I thought some other people were coming. It's just us?" Tsuzuki wondered, leaning close to Hana's ear.

Hana grinned. "Not necessarily."

The hostess returned. "Your friend is already here. Please follow me." As she retreated, Hana gestured for Tsuzuki to go ahead of her. He followed the hostess unknowingly as Hana slipped away.

"Here you are, Sir." The hostess said politely, bringing Tsuzuki, who still hadn't realized Hana wasn't behind him, to a set of double doors leading outside. The curtains covering the doors were a sheer dark blue. Tsuzuki could vaguely see a figure sitting at the lone table out on the balcony. The girl opened one of the doors with a bow of her head, and sashayed off.

Before entering the doors, Tsuzuki looked behind him for Hana. "Where'd she... go?" He wondered out loud. After dismissing a few thoughts, he took a deep breath and stepped through the doors.

The deep breath he'd previously taken caught in his throat. The air outside was warm. The balcony was a beautiful stone marble. He could hear the sound of the fountain from the garden below along with the chirping of cicadas as the sun set. Only the faint murmurs of conversation could be heard through the now closed doors. On the small round table was a small set of appetizers and two wine glasses of sparkling waters.

Although none of that was what had made him lose his breath.

"You're Asato Tsuzuki, right?"

There he was. Tsuzuki clenched his teeth. The first and last person he'd ever want to see. Sitting there, looking just as he had 20 years ago. His hair was the same length, his eyes just as bright, skin just as pale. He was wearing a black turtle neck and khaki slacks... He stood up. Tsuzuki clenched his teeth even harder, willing tears not to spill. He could stand... He was living. He was...

"Hisoka..."

"Yeah... Um... Nice to meet you, I guess?" He awkwardly shrugged before sitting down again, staring at Tsuzuki who hadn't moved from his spot near the doorway. "You gonna sit?"

Tsuzuki still didn't move. Hisoka was in front of him. He had no recollection of anything.

"Well, suit yourself; but Katsuragi-san is paying for everything... So if you want to sit, be my guest."

After shifting his feet for a moment, Tsuzuki staggered over to the table and sat down, staring at his hands which he'd folded in his lap. Hana had arranged this... But why? He didn't know. He needed to overcome one hill at a time... And the boy in front of him was a mountain. "Do... Do you know who I am...?" Tsuzuki asked, not lifting his head.

"Not really. Katsuragi-san approached me on Tuesday and asked me to meet with you. She said you knew a lot about me. I refused at first, thinking you were a stalker," Hisoka started.

Tsuzuki's head snapped up, his eyes wide and a faint blush covered his cheeks. He watched as Hisoka leaned down and started digging through a bag he had at his side. Finally he emerged with a folder. Hisoka handed it to Tsuzuki.

"Now I know you're a stalker."

As he thumbed through the file, Tsuzuki's stomach dropped. It was the same file Tatsumi had had in his office. "Where'd you get this...?"

"I think she forgot it on my porch. It was so interesting I wasn't able to complete my homework from yesterday. What the hell is the Judgment Bureau?" Hisoka leaned closer, slanting his eyes. "Are you some sort of movie director?"

"Hisoka I-"

The double doors opened, and a waitress came in, balancing a tray of food. "Katsuragi-san took the liberty of putting in our orders early on with the reservation." Hisoka informed, clearing his spot.

Tsuzuki couldn't think of anything to say.

...

After sitting in an uncomfortable situation as they ate for 20 minutes, Hisoka finally put his fork down and looked up to the man sitting across from him. Those eyes, they were purple... And although they were so rare... they were familiar. "So... What do you do for work? Katsuragi-san is your partner, right?" He started.

"I'm... a detective. Kind of a special case unit." Tsuzuki fibbed.

Hisoka's eyes widened a bit. "Like that uh... American show? What's it called...? SCI? ICS? ...CSI!" He snapped his fingers.

Tsuzuki had to let out a small chuckle. "Yeah. Something like that... What do you want do when you're older, Hisoka-kun?" He was definitely interested, when he and Hisoka were partners they'd never discussed their dreams they'd have of the future when they were alive. He deemed it mostly because he assumed they hadn't had dreams... Only nightmares.

"Um... I haven't thought about it that much. I mean, I'm probably only gonna change my decision later on, right?" The blond took a sip of his drink. "I haven't told anyone this... but I've often dreamed of being a writer... It's such a common dream that not a lot of people can fulfill, so I'm a bit embarrassed by it."

Leaning his chin on his palm, Tsuzuki smiled. "So you have thought about it, then." He decided then and there, if and when Hisoka's books came out, he'd buy five copies each.

"I guess you're right." They sat in a comfortable silence, taking in eachothers warmth.

In those few moments, Tsuzuki thought about the file, curious what it could have said; though he was glad Hisoka hadn't brought it up again. He dismissed that thought, and started thinking of Hisoka's empathy. His emotional shields had been up tight for years... But Hisoka didn't seem to be the same person he was back then... He probably didn't have empathy anymore... Taking a chance, Tsuzuki allowed his shields to drop.

Hisoka's breath caught in his throat. His head felt like someone was taking a hammer to it repeatedly. Anger, Sorrow, some sort of bitter sweetness.... and oh, the guilt. His wide eyes met Tsuzuki's, and his forehead perspired... Were these his emotions? They must've been, because as soon as Tsuzuki noticed his agony, it all stopped.

As if was being freed from restraints, when those horrible emotions stopped, Hisoka slumped forward, breathing heavily.

"Hisoka-kun... I'm... I'm sorry! I didn't know, I-"

"How do you know... about my empathy...?" Hisoka raised his head to look at Tsuzuki. His stomach was churning. He was afraid of someone entering the balcony, afraid of feeling another emotion after that. He needed to rest for a while after those overpowering thoughts. "No one knows about it..." He added, to himself more than Tsuzuki.

"Hisoka-kun?"

"If you knew, why'd you let your guard down in the first place?"

Tsuzuki looked to his lap. "I... I wasn't sure... I thought you didn't have it..."

"I... see... Tsuzuki-san... Tell me the truth. How do you know so much about me? The file... it said there were other files on me. This file tells about my WHOLE life... What else could there be?" The emerald eyed boy laid his hands flat on the table.

The Shinigami stood up, taking out his wallet and pulling out 5,000 yen. "I didn't plan this, Hisoka-kun. I'm going to go now."

Hisoka stood up as well. "Do you... want to see me again...?" A faint blush covered his cheeks.

With a bittersweet smile, Tsuzuki ruffled Hisoka's hair. "Sorry kid." With that, he exited the double doors.

Hisoka was left with a feeling of Deja Vu. Why did the Nagasaki pier appear in his mind?

...

As he slid his key into the lock of his and his mother's shared apartment, Hisoka could swear he felt someone watching him. He paused in his actions and closed his eyes, stretching out his now under control empathy. He immediately felt some sort of sinister happiness.

He became creeped out and quickly turned the key, letting himself into the small apartment. When he locked the door behind him, he felt better, safer. Hisoka toed off his shoes and set his bag down, then padded into the living room where he found his mother playing a game of Solitaire on the coffee table.

Karin Kurosaki was a young, beautiful woman. She'd had Hisoka when she was only 16, and married his father at the age of 17. Ever since she'd split up with Hisoka's father, she'd been working two jobs and this was one of her rare days off. Hisoka had a pang of guilt, knowing he should've stayed and bonded with her.

Hisoka hopped over the arm of the couch and snuggled up to Karin, smiling when she kissed him on the forehead. He was able to keep his shields partially down around his mother, only receiving warm emotions... but on this night... there seemed to be a bit of sorrow. "What's up, mom?" He wondered.

Karin sighed slightly and placed down one of her cards. "You know Mr. Kuroda?"

"The mailman?"

"Yes, well... It's terrible Hisoka. Someone found his body brutally mutilated in the woods early this morning... I'm planning on speaking with his wife. She must be so devastated." Karin informed sadly.

"Oh my god. I'm sorry to hear that... What kind of sick person would do that? Kuroda-san was so kind to everyone..."

Karin pulled Hisoka closer. "I don't know, but I'd like you to get home before dark now for awhile, alright?"

"Okay Mom..."

...

The weeks following Hisoka's and his dinner were fairly uneventful for Tsuzuki. At first, he was mad at Hana for such a set up, but he'd finally forgiven her after a few days. He'd even thanked her. He went to Tatsumi and Watari and apologized to them, knowing he never should've blown up at them. They of course forgave him.

His dinner with Hisoka was eye opening for him. He was sad, but overjoyed that Hisoka was able to live his life. Tsuzuki had even unloaded the lock box that had been under his bed, framing most of the pictures and putting all of Hisoka's old possessions on display around the house. It was a good feeling. As if... the old Hisoka had been finally put to rest. Though, he did break down into tears at that thought.

He and Hana were currently in a briefing meeting. A college boy had been murdered and found in the middle of the street. The boy was researched, he'd had no criminal records or significant health problems. His throat had been slit, his eyes gouged out, and the letter 'S' had been sloppily hacked into his chest.

"S?" Hana asked. "Maybe that's a clue? Like the first letter of the murderers name?"

Tatsumi nodded, looking at the picture of the victim's chest. "It could very well be. A gathering of the boy's close friends is being held at this small pond just outside of town. Don't press, but see if you can get any sort of information."

Tsuzuki stood up and saluted. "Aye aye."

...

The pond was a small and quiet area. It seemed to be deep enough to swim in, and there was even some sort of rock ledge to jump of, along with a few rope swings. Tall green grass surrounded the area, it was peaceful. Tsuzuki could definitely see himself coming back and enjoying a day there.

There were about 30 people at the gathering, and not a lot of them were talking. They seemed to be allowing their emotions to settle in. A small table filled with refreshments was off to the side, and there were photos and cards for the attendee's to sign, most likely for the boy''s parents.

After mingling separately for a while, Hana and Tsuzuki had come across some basic information. The boy, whose name had been Taki, was a college junior majoring in Astrology. He was quite intelligent, and had a bright future. On weekends, for his own enjoyment and some extra pocket money, he'd tutor a few high school students one on one. The partners had gently asked a few of the more stable attendees if they knew of anyone who had malicious intent towards Taki. No one knew.

Hana had decided to take a break and let Tsuzuki handle the sit down with everyone. They were all supposed to be sharing their best memory of Taki. Earlier, they had made up an elaborate story of how if it wasn't for Taki, Tsuzuki would've never learned how to drive a car. The redhead had made her way to the other side of the pond and was making her way into the woods. She was going through the facts in her head, trying to sort anything and everything out. So far, nothing seemed out of place.

"K-Katsuragi-san?"

Spoke too soon.

"Kurosaki-kun? What are you doing here?" Hana's widened a bit, and she stepped closer the blond who'd been sitting at the base of a tree, his knees pulled to his chest.

Hisoka stood up and shrugged, looking a bit spooked. "Uh, I... I knew Taki-kun. He was my tutor..." As he spoke, he looked around the large expanse of land, his eyes wide.

Hana reached out to touch his arm, but Hisoka flinched away and she eased off. "I'm sorry for your loss... You know, uh... Tsuzuki's here... he's good to talk to in these situations... I could go get him for you." She looked over her shoulder to the other side of the pond, but when she looked back, Hisoka was already retreating quickly down the path.

"Or not..." She mumbled.

...

Tsuzuki and Hana had returned to the Bureau after going to the pond. Hana hadn't brought up seeing Hisoka as she was unsure of the reason of his being there. He seemed odd.

They'd written out a few reports, and then decided to go Hana's apartment. They'd go inspect the body and look for leads the next day. Hana smiled as she ushered Tsuzuki inside, who immediately kicked off his shoes and dove onto the couch. It was worn and had multiple holes in it, but the old leather couch was definitely a favorite of Tsuzuki's. It was where they had first...

"Want something to drink?" Hana asked, heading for the kitchen, but was halted when her wrist was grabbed and she was pulled to sit next to her partner on the couch. She laughed a bit. "Hi."

"Hi Hana!" Tsuzuki grinned and proceeded to tickle the tiny girl. Hana gasped with laughter and fell backwards. She maneuvered herself so she was able to put her feet against his chest and push him away. "Now! None of that!" Tsuzuki rolled himself off of the couch and pulled Hana to the floor. They laughed as they wrestled.

"Tsu-kun!!" Hana cackled as she struggled to get her arms free. "You're a big butt!"

Tsuzuki relented and sat lightly on the girls stomach, making sure not to put all of his weight on her. "You're one to talk." He rolled off of her and they both laid on the floor, staring at the ceiling.

After a few moments, Hana turned her head to look at her partner's stoic expression. "Tsuzuki... If you're still in love with him... Why not try it?"

With a sigh, Tsuzuki turned his head as well. "I can't. It wouldn't be right. First of all, I'm physically 10 years older than him, second of all, we're both guys. It didn't occur to me as much when he was... dead... but now that he's living? I couldn't do that... And what if he somehow gets mixed up in all of this shit again? I can't let that happen."

Hana made a small noise in acknowledgment. They stayed in silence for a few minutes before she hopped up. "I'm gonna go get some icecream!! I'll be right back!" She pranced over to the front door to slip on her shoes.

Tsuzuki called from the living room, "Want me to come?"

"Nah, I'm just gonna teleport. Gimme like 5 minutes and I'll be back!"

...

When she arrived in front of the small shop, Hana frowned. A tall light blond haired man was locking the door before he had closed it. The "Sorry, We're Closed" sign was already hanging from a small hook on the glass door. "How come you're closing so early?" She asked the man, who seemed slightly startled at her sudden appearance. "Sorry," She added. "I just thought you were open later."

The man looked over his shoulder to the back of the shop, then stepped aside. "All the ice cream and stuff is still out. Come on in, I can help a pretty girl really quick." He flashed a charming smile.

Hana blushed, but stepped inside. The man allowed the door to close behind them.

...

Exactly 11 minutes after Hana had left, Tsuzuki was overcome with a feeling of dread. He'd dismissed her lateness, assuming the shop had been business... but he just didn't feel right. Not bothering to grab his trench coat, he ran to slip on his shoes and teleported to the alleyway of Hana's and his favorite ice cream shop. He ran around to the front to find the door closed and locked. He cursed under his breath, squinting his eyes to see inside.

Tsuzuki was about to give up, when he caught sight of something on the floor near the front counter. Blood. He quickly looked around, making sure no one was watching, and teleported inside. He faltered once he was inside. The metallic scent was all he could smell. It was so strong. What could've happened? It couldn't have been Hana's... No. She was probably in the back looking around or something.

He rounded the counter and gagged at the sight. The source of the blood had been a severed arm. The object on it's middle finger shook him to the core... Hana's ring.

"H... Hana!!!!" The amethyst eyed man shouted, pushing through the door leading to the back room...

...

"Hi! I'm Hanami Katsuragi. I'll be your new partner. I hope you'll take care of me."

"Ohhhh. I swerved my car to avoid this cute little chipmunk. Clumsy, huh?"

"My one regret? ... I wasn't able to figure out who I really was."

...

The slams on his door wouldn't falter. A steady, hard knocking. Whoever was on the other side was livid, Hisoka was almost afraid to open the door. When the knocking was accompanied by the sound of a male's voice shouting his name though, he turned the knob, opening the door. He was almost hit in the jaw by the sturdy fist meaning to hit the door. "Tsuzuki-san?" He gasped out.

Tsuzuki shoved past the boy, entering the threshold. "Are you the only one here?"

Hisoka shut the door behind Tsuzuki, his back now to the door. "... Yeah... I am...?" His eyes widened as he was thrust up against the door, Tsuzuki's forearm pressed hard against the base of his neck and collarbone.

"Good." Tsuzuki hissed out. With his free hand, he reached into the pocket of his trenchcoat and pulled out a cellphone. It was splotched with blood. After pressing a few buttons, Tsuzuki held it up to the blond's face. "What the hell does this mean?!"

It was Hisoka's name, that was it. "I uh... I don't know... Whose was i- Ah!" He whimpered as the brunette pressed his arm harder into his neck.

"I found this in Hana's hand! SHE'S DEAD. Someone fucking tore her head off! Why the hell would you be involved in this?! WHY WOULD YOU BE HER LAST THOUGHT?!" When Hisoka didn't immediately answer, seemingly in shock, he grabbed his shoulders and shook him roughly. "ANSWER ME, HISOKA!!"

"Le-Let go!!" Hisoka's eyes shut tightly, and he sent a blast of energy, forcing Tsuzuki to release him and stumble backwards. Hisoka rubbed at his sore neck. "Why the hell should I know why she wrote my name on her phone?! I have other things to worry about, okay?!" He yelled at the man.

"How... How could you be so selfish?! Hana is DEAD, and you have other things to worry about?! She was nothing but kind to you!!!" Tsuzuki argued, clenching his teeth when he saw Hisoka start to stomp away, rubbing at his eyes. "Don't you DARE walk away from me, you brat!!!" He rounded the corner after the boy and grabbed his wrist as they entered the living area. "LISTEN TO-.... me..."

Tsuzuki slowly released the boys wrist. Propped up against the couch was a very dead woman. Her throat had been cut, her eyes gouged out. She couldn't have been dead for very long. With closer inspection, Tsuzuki could make out the letter 'K' etched into her forehead.

"I uh... I found her when I got home about an hour ago... S-she... This... It's..." Hisoka's eyes welled up with tears as he slid down the wall. "It's my mom... Tsuzuki-san, i-it's my my.... someone killed my mother..."

The brunette immediately fell to his knees beside his previous partner, enfolding him in his arms. As tears for Hisoka's and his own despair threatened to fall, he came to a realization.

The letters. The college boy, Taki had one. Hana had one as well, etched onto her thigh.

'S'

'O'

'K'

They didn't yet spell out a whole word... Tsuzuki's grip on Hisoka tightened. Were there more victims he didn't know about? Or were they yet to come?

...

Before calling the police, Tsuzuki had gently asked Hisoka if he had a digital camera with a USB cord he could use, which Hisoka did. With Hisoka wrapped safely in a blanket in his mother's bedroom, and without touching the body, Tsuzuki carefully took pictures of the body. He'd told Hisoka that he'd personally see to it that his mother's killer was found, which he would, just not using law enforcement. When he was done, Tsuzuki went back in to the bedroom where Hisoka was.

The blond wasn't crying. He was just laying on his side, staring into space. "I uh... Hisoka, are you able to call 911?" He received a nod, and placed the cordless phone at the end of the bed. "Make sure you do so as soon as I leave, okay?"

Hisoka turned to face the amethyst eyed man. "You're leaving?"

Tsuzuki smiled sadly. "I don't want to be questioned. I can't be questioned. Me... being here is unprofessional. I programmed my number into that phone, call me when they're done. I'll get here ASAP, okay?" He didn't wait for an answer, and turned to leave.

"... Tsuzuki?"

Said man turned around, not bothering to smile. He was tired, emotionally and physically. "Yeah?"

"I'm really sorry... about Katsuragi-san... "

Tsuzuki sighed. "Thanks..."

...

The whole bureau was quiet when Tsuzuki arrived. It was late, so not many of the workers were there. On his way to his now... half empty... office, he noticed Tatsumi's light was on, and peered in through the cracked door. His heart clenched at the sight and his bottom lip trembled. Tatsumi and Watari had fallen asleep together at the base of Tatsumi's desk. Their hands were clasped together, and they were both disheveled. Tears tracks on their cheeks were easily visible. They were hit by Hana's death just as hard as he was.

Letting his breath out shakily, Tsuzuki pulled off his trench coat and tip toed into the room. When he reached the two, he gently lay the coat across them, making sure to cover them both equally. He stood up, and on his way out, he flipped the lights off.

He had realized that Hana's death absolutely wasn't Hisoka's fault. He'd probably already realized it before he found out Hisoka's mother was dead. It was the fact that seeing Hisoka's name clenched tightly in his partner's lifeless hand made him see red. He'd gone to the bureau, and immediately told Tatsumi to call a meeting. When he knew everyone was in the cramped room, some aggravated, some worried, he told them what he'd found. He disappeared right after, not telling anyone about finding Hisoka's name at the scene.

When he entered his office, he smiled sadly. It was a complete and utter mess. Hana had always waved it off, claiming they'd get to cleaning it eventually... They never would... He made his way to his desk and pulled out Hisoka's digital camera from his pocket. He booted up his computer and plugged the camera in, uploading the pictures.

There were about ten pictures that Tsuzuki didn't take. One of the minimized pictures immediately caught his attention. He double clicked it and it sized up. The picture had... Taki in it? He'd only seen pictures of the deceased boy, but Tsuzuki was damn near positive it was him. The older and taller boy had his arm wrapped around Hisoka's shoulder in the picture, grinning. Hisoka also had a slight smile in the picture.

Things in his head were clicking rapidly. The murderer was going after people Hisoka knew... Obviously he knew his own mother, it seemed as if Hisoka and Taki had had at least some sort of relationship, and Hana... They hadn't known eachother for that long though... Why choose her? Whoever the killer was, they were powerful. Killing a Shinigami again was no easy feat.

Tsuzuki decided to look through the rest of the pictures, maybe he'd be able to keep the next victim safe if he could figure out who they were. He was a little nervous about leaving Hisoka alone, but relaxed knowing the police were there with him. There wasn't anything that stood out as much as the picture of Taki. Some of his mother, a cat on Hisoka's couch, pictures of their home, and of Hisoka's school.

He turned his attention to the photos he'd taken of Hisoka's mother. Going through them one by one, he jotted down notes about the wounds and such for Watari and Tatsumi when they woke. After about an hour, his cellphone buzzed, and as he was writing, he answered it. "Hello?"

"Tsuzuki-san? It's m-... It's Hisoka Kurosaki... Um, you said to call when the police were done?"

"I'll be right there. Have you eaten? Are you hungry?"

"I'm not hungry."

"Alright, I'll be right there."

Tsuzuki wasted a bit more time and jotted some more notes so he wouldn't have a lot of explaining to do as to how he got there so fast. After a moment or so, he left.

...

Hisoka let Tsuzuki into the apartment, biting his lip. He felt so alone. Was this man, who he barely knew, all he had left? He just wanted to crawl into a corner and die.

"Do you have a backpack or something?" Tsuzuki asked suddenly, as they walked past the taped off living towards Hisoka's bedroom.

"Um... Yes... Why?"

Tsuzuki seated himself on Hisoka's bed, taking a short chance to observe the room. It wasn't as plain as he'd expected. The wallpaper was a light shade of blue with thin white stripes, the ceiling had some of those glow in the dark stars. Posters of movies and bands lined the walls, there was a bookshelf filled with all sorts of books. The room was even slightly messy. A stray shirt, some pants, and socks littered the floor. After observing for a quick second or two, he turned his attention back to the waiting boy. "I think it'd be better if you stayed with a friend of mine."

He'd debated having Hisoka stay with him, but that would involve telling Hisoka that Tsuzuki was dead, and that he'd be going to Meifu. Tsuzuki opted out of that option.

"I can't stay with you?" Hisoka asked his eyes wide with nervousness.

"My place is... far away. I'd have you stay here, but I don't know who it is, or if they're after you. Don't worry, I'll stay the night until I have to go to work, okay?" Tsuzuki smiled reassuringly, but there was agonizing sadness in his eyes. Hisoka nodded slowly. "We can bring your cat, if you'd like. My friend won't mind."

Hisoka blinked, confused. "I never told you I had a cat..."

"Oh, I saw him on the camera. Sorry. Is he around?"

Hisoka's fists clenched. "No... um... His name was Piyo... About a week ago... I guess it must've been some neighborhood kids..."

"... They killed him?" Tsuzuki's eyes widened.

"I-I didn't see... But I guess so... His um... they cut his throat... and took out his eyes... There was also like... this straight line on his forehead...."

"Oh god, Hisoka-kun... I'm so sorry..." Tsuzuki stood up. "You grab clothes and other stuff for a few days... I'm gonna make a call." He softly patted Hisoka on the head, and left him alone.

An hour or so later, a limo pulled up to the front of Hisoka's apartment where he and Tsuzuki waited. Hisoka was a little shocked, and he looked to Tsuzuki for reassurance. The driver got out and rounded the vehicle, opening the door for them. Tsuzuki stepped aside and allowed Hisoka to enter first.

Inside was a beautiful man waiting for them, though he seemed half asleep. He had dark chocolate hair, and sleepy emerald eyes. He smiled sympathetically when the two entered. "Hey guys... Sorry it took so long." He apologized.

Once Tsuzuki was inside and situated next to Hisoka, he shook his head. "I should be the one apologizing. Hisoka-kun, this is Minase Hijiri. He's an old acquaintance of ou-... mine..." Tsuzuki introduced, catching himself before making a mistake.

Hijiri bowed his head. "You have my deepest sympathies, Hisoka-kun. You as well, Tsuzuki... I heard what happened to your partner... Please allow me to make you as comfortable as I can."

Hisoka nodded, tears threatening to fall. "Thank you, Minase-san..."

...

"He finally fell asleep." Tsuzuki sighed, entering Hijiri's study.

Hijiri had grown into a very wealthy and beautiful middle aged man. His home was massive, but, having just gone through a rough divorce, he had no one to share it with. To get himself this far, he played the violin, but he only played for himself, and now was a producer. Tsuzuki and he had stayed close. He knew all about Hisoka's second death and Hana. Though, they hadn't talked in months.

The green eyed man frowned. "Now- Do you mind explaining what the hell is going on, Tsuzuki? I mean- I'm sorry about your partner and all, but I thought Hisoka was DEAD. Like... dead dead. Like... not living an after life...? Then you call me out of the blue, say you and HISOKA need to stay with me, and not to ask questions when he's around? What's with that?"

Tsuzuki fell into a chair, exhausted. "He was reincarnated, I guess... Hana, she-... She brought him and I together for a dinner a while back, and that was it. Then yesterday I found her dead... and his name was at the scene..."

His eyes widened, Hijiri leaned forward. "He killed Hana-san? A Shinigami?"

"No no no... But he's linked somehow. I think whoever killed Hana, and Hisoka's mother, and there was a college boy Hisoka knew as well, I think they're picking off people Hisoka is close to..." Tsuzuki informed, running a hand through his hair. There was also the cat, could it be the same person?

"Tsuzuki... Do you think... it could be... Muraki?"

Muraki.

The name was acid. The man Tsuzuki wished 10,000 deaths upon. Of course the thought had crossed his mind, he just chose to ignore it. Muraki had to be atleast 50. There was no way he could possibly... Could he?

On that fateful day 20 years earlier, after Tsuzuki had cried for hours and hours at that alter, he vowed for revenge. He searched for Muraki for months after months, but hadn't found him. It was as if the man had disappeared off of the face of the Earth. Every case for at least five years after that, Tsuzuki hoped and prayed Muraki would show his sickening face again so he could have his revenge. It never happened, and finally Tsuzuki just gave up.

"It couldn't be..." Tsuzuki stood up. "I'm gonna try and sleep the two hours before I need to see Tatsumi and Watari. If I don't see Hisoka before I leave, make sure he's comfortable, okay? Don't ask any questions."

Hijiri nodded. "Sure, okay."

...

Not even 45 minutes after Tsuzuki had attempted to go to sleep, he was laying in bed, wide awake, staring at the ceiling. He was trying to piece the murders together in his head, but his thoughts kept straying back to Hana. He was going to miss her dearly, he already was. Hana had partially filled the void Hisoka had left behind... Now he felt completely empty... cold.

Speaking of Hisoka,

"Are you awake, Tsuzuki-san?"

Tsuzuki sat up and saw Hisoka peaking his head inside the door. "Yeah- I can't sleep."

Hisoka stepped inside, shutting the door awkwardly behind him. The room was filled with a soft morning light. "Me either..."

Scooting over, Tsuzuki patted the spot next to him on the bed. Hisoka came forward and sat on the bed, but on the foot. "How are you feeling?" Tsuzuki asked after Hisoka had gotten settled.

"I um..." Hisoka paused, trembling, before he let out a wail. "I miss my mom!" He covered his face and his shoulders shook with his sobs. "I want her back!"

Tsuzuki immediately came to the boys aid, and was taken aback when Hisoka grasped at his shirt. "Please," Hisoka begged, "You have to find out who killed her! You have to punish them!" His sobs grew louder as his body grew weaker. "Please..."

As he wrapped his arms around the boy, Tsuzuki trembled as well. "I'll find them... I promise..."

...

"You have... purple eyes..."

Tsuzuki and Hisoka were laying on their sides, simply staring at eachother. Both of their faces had dried tear tracks, they had both stopped crying about an hour before hand. The room had grown quiet, and even though Tsuzuki knew he should've been getting up and ready for work, he just couldn't bring himself to. Despite his overpowering sorrow, he felt content. His eyes briefly fluttered shut as Hisoka reached over and traced a finger delicately under his bottom set of lashes.

"I do... I know, they make me seem like I'm not-" Tsuzuki started.

"You're human." Hisoka said without missing a beat. Both of their eyes widened at the comment. "I... I don't know why I said that... I felt I needed to say it... Almost as if I have before..." He whispered, turning on his back to look at the ceiling. He had that same feeling of Deja Vu again.

Tsuzuki sat up, now towering over the boy. Was he somehow remembering? Maybe somewhere deep down inside this boy, the essence of the original Hisoka lay in wait. He opted out of voicing his thoughts. "Thank you... Hisoka-kun."

Hisoka sat up after a moment, leaning back against the headboard. He drew his knees up and laid his arms on top of them. "Tsuzuki-san... Did Katsuragi-san... I'm sorry to ask this... but did she have a letter? On her body?"

Tsuzuki blinked, turning to the blond. "How'd you know?"

Ignoring the question, Hisoka continued. "Was it... Was it an 'O'?" He didn't wait for an answer before getting out of the bed. "I'll be right back."

Tsuzuki sat for a moment or so before Hisoka came back in, making sure to close the door behind him. He crawled back in the bed and handed Tsuzuki a folded piece of computer paper. "These photos were leaked onto the internet, luckily I was able to print one out before they were taken down." Hisoka informed, watching as Tsuzuki unfolded the paper.

It was of an older man. Like the other victims, his eyes were gouged out, his throat slashed. The photo wasn't the greatest, but the brunette could easily make out the large 'H' etched into the man's face.

"This is... was... my mailman. I used to talk to him a few times a week. He was a good man. He was the fist I found out about." Hisoka took a deep breath, and continued. "Then my cat. At first I didn't connect the two. I thought the line was just another wound, not the letter 'I'. Then there was-"

"Your friend Taki, right?" Everything was becoming way too clear for Tsuzuki. "He was 'S', and Hana, she was 'O'."

Hisoka nodded, a shudder running through his body. "And then my mother... She was 'K'."

" H.I.S.O.K... They're spelling out your name with their victims... Hisoka-kun... If they've already killed your mother, who else would they go after? We have to find them right now." Tsuzuki jumped out of the bed, grabbing his button up shirt to put over the tank top he was wearing.

Hisoka got up as well, shoving the photo of his deceased mailman into his pocket. "I- I don't know... I haven't been living here long... I don't know anyone anymore..."

"Sure ya do, Hisoka Kurosaki."

The two occupants of the guest room snapped their heads to the sound of the new voice. He was tall, maybe even taller than Tsuzuki. His hair was a ridiculously light shade of blond, his eyes a light blue. Blood stained his hands and white t shirt. He smirked, raising his hands. "Oh don't worry. Minase-san wasn't connected to you. He was just in the way."

"You killed... You killed Hijiri?! YOU KILLED ALL OF THOSE INNOCENTS!!" Tsuzuki screamed in rage. The man's attention wasn't on him though, it was on Hisoka who was on the other side of the bed. If the man wanted to, he could easily make it to Hisoka before Tsuzuki. That is, if Tsuzuki didn't use his Shinigami powers.

Without missing a beat, Tsuzuki teleported himself in front of a now terrified Hisoka. The blond didn't know whether to scream at the murderer or ask Tsuzuki what in the hell'd he'd just done. "Who are you?" Tsuzuki growled.

The man took a step forward, grinning. "I believe both of you have met my baby brother Kazutaka."

".... Saki."

Saki laughed joyously. "Bingo! You're smart. I like you." He pulled out a Japanese sword that had been strapped to his back. "Pity I have to kill you."

Tsuzuki rushed through his options in his head. He didn't have a doubt he could take on Saki with a Shikigami, but it would put Hisoka and any others in the house in danger. He reached behind him and grasped Hisoka's sweaty hand, vanishing the both of them.

Saki frowned as he watched his brother's obsession and the shell shocked boy disappear. "Noooo fun." He muttered.

...

Hisoka fell to his knees when they materialized on some sort of large lawn. There were cherry blossom trees everywhere, but... they weren't supposed to be blooming, were they? He was so confused, his head hurt. How did Tsuzuki... teleport?

The said man was pacing back and forth, fuming. "That bastard. I can't believe he... Hijiri..." He stopped pacing. "Hijiri, I'm so sorry..." He whispered. How could he have dragged him into this?

"Tsuzuki-san?"

Tsuzuki looked down to Hisoka, who looked terrified. "We're uh... We're safe here... That guy can't get us."

"How did you... How did you do that?" Hisoka asked, referring to the teleportation. He looked around again. "Where are we?"

Holding out his hand, which Hisoka timidly grabbed, Tsuzuki hoisted the blond up. "I didn't want to tell you this, but I guess I have no choice now." He sighed. "This is where I work." He gestured to the large white building about 50 meters away. "I'll explain everything inside."

...

Tatsumi, Watari, Konoe, the Gushoshin, Terazuma, and Wakaba were all sitting in silence in the conference room, unsure of how to start. They didn't know for sure that Tsuzuki was coming in or not. They wouldn't blame him if he didn't. The topic at hand was finding who had done it.

"I believe it's safe to say that we're able to connect the college students and Hana-chan's... murder together..." Watari started awkwardly. Hanging on the back of his chair was Tsuzuki's trench coat.

Before anyone could say anything, a soft knock came at the door. Soon after, Tsuzuki stepped in, shutting the door behind him.

"Tsuzuki..." Konoe said lightly.

"I uh... I've solved the case... And I've figured out the reason, but when they come in, don't let them you know anything about them, okay?" Tsuzuki instructed. "Put your shields up really tight." Everyone looked at eachother, confused when Tsuzuki had left the room again. They obliged and shot up their mental shields.

Not a moment later, the door opened. This time, an old employee of the bureau followed Tsuzuki. Hisoka Kurosaki looked no different than the last time they'd all seen him. Except for the fact that he was walking. The boy looked tired, scared, and in emotional agony. They were all shocked. Why was the reincarnation of Hisoka involved in a murder of one of their employees?

Tsuzuki gently placed a hand on Hisoka's shoulder, whose eyes hadn't left the floor. "Guys... This is Kurosaki Hisoka... I need you all to keep really good watch on him, okay?" When no one answered, he turned to Hisoka. "Do you want to know what I am?" He asked. "What we are?"

Hisoka slowly lifted his head to look into the taller mans eyes. "Yes."

"I... we... Are Guardians of Death. Shinigami. We're in the Ministry of Hades right now... I'm not alive, Hisoka-kun. None of us are." He gestured to the people behind him. "Our job is to help souls move on... Hana was my partner."

Hisoka's head had fallen down again, and Tsuzuki worried when he hadn't responded. As he was about to ask Hisoka if he was alright, emerald eyes met his own, and two soft hands cupped his cheeks. "You don't look dead..." The blond whispered.

"I'll take that as a compliment." Tsuzuki whispered back.

"Well, this is all heart warming and all, Tsuzuki; but what the HELL is going on?" Terazuma said, voicing his and the others thoughts.

...

"... So Muraki's brother, huh?" Tatsumi stated after Tsuzuki had finished telling what he knew.

They were all sitting around the large conference table except for Hisoka who was laying on the small couch in the back of the room. Tsuzuki's coat had been draped across him, but he was still awake. When this was all over, if he made it out, where would he go? His father was no longer in the picture, he had no other relatives. These unfamiliar... Guardians of Death... were all he had left. He buried his face into the scratchy pillow at that thought.

Hisoka wanted... needed to talk to Tsuzuki alone. Why did Katsuragi-san approach him? How did they know so much about him? How did Tsuzuki know about his empathy? Why was he having strange feelings of deja vu? Even as he was curled up on some random couch, he felt as if he'd been there before. Even the chicken looking Demi-Gods hadn't shocked him.

As the Guardians around the table discussed their next move, the door opened. A very short, shriveled up corpse of a man wearing a butlers outfit wandered in. Hisoka grimaced at the site of him as he sat up.

"Watson?" Konoe blinked. "What are you doing here? Did the Count send you?"

Watson took one look at Hisoka, that no one but the blond caught, and seemed to panic. "Uhhh! Wrong door! Nothing, bye!" He quickly dissapeared.

Tatsumi frowned. "That was odd." He then turned to Tsuzuki. "We have all the information we need for now. I don't want you going to the living world for a while. This man Saki, he's dangerous and he seems to be after you and Kurosaki-kun. You don't even have a," He paused, glancing at Hisoka briefly. "... partner. You both look exhausted. Why not go to the cafeteria and pick something up and take it back to your apartment?"

Tsuzuki stood up, rubbing his stomach. "Yeah, I'm pretty starved. That okay with you, Hisoka-kun?"

Hisoka nodded and stood up as well, neatly folding Tsuzuki's trench coat. Before following Tsuzuki out, how bowed to the table. "It was nice meeting you all..." He mumbled and then took off after the brunette.

...

As soon as they entered his apartment, Tsuzuki realized that he'd completely forgotten about the framed pictures of Hisoka he'd had throughout the house. He quickly turned to Hisoka and shoved the bag into his hands. "The kitchen's that way. Will you put those in the microwave for us? I'll be right back." Before the blond could say anything, Tsuzuki threw off his shoes and bolted from the threshold.

After a few moments, he heard the beeping on his microwave. Tsuzuki started in the living room, grabbing the three photos that were in there, and then rushed into his bedroom. He grabbed the other four, then shoved them and the ones from the living room into his dresser drawer. He mumbled an apology to the photos before leaving the room.

In the kitchen, Hisoka was pulling two plates from the dish drainer next to the sink when Tsuzuki entered. "I hope you don't mind..." Hisoka said, gesturing to the cups and now plates that were on the island.

"No, of course not." Tsuzuki smiled, and opened the microwave when it beeped. He brought it to the island where Hisoka was pulling himself up onto a stool and divyed the food between them. He grabbed a carton of juice from the fridge and filled the cups before taking a seat.

They ate most of their meal in silence. Thousands of thoughts running through their minds. Tsuzuki couldn't get his mind off of Hana and Hijiri. He felt horrid, and vowed he'd succeed in destroying what was left of the Muraki's.

Hisoka, on the other hand, decided to voice his thoughts. "I want to know, Tsuzuki-san. You left before telling me when we had our dinner." He placed his fork down. "How do you know about me? About my empathy? Does you being a Shinigami have something to do with it?"

Tsuzuki swallowed nervously. He hadn't thought that this would come up any time soon. He couldn't tell the truth. It would confuse Hisoka even more. "I uh... I'm... interested in mental powers. I was... looking for a mentor. Hana found you, and assumed I would like you..." He informed, lying through his teeth.

Hisoka quirked an eyebrow. "You're lying. Even with your shields I can tell. If you're not ready to tell me, that's fine I guess. Just promise you'll tell me when all of this is over?"

Sighing, Tsuzuki nodded. "Sure, Hisoka."

...

It was late at night, Tsuzuki had made a bed for Hisoka on the pullout couch where had passed out immediately. Tsuzuki was in his bedroom, sound asleep.

Open your eyes, Kurosaki.

Hisoka's eyes snapped open, though they were much paler than usual. They seemed to be almost lifeless.

Your gun is on Tsuzuki Asato's bookshelf in his bedroom. Get it.

The blond sat up mechanically. He pushed off the covers and got up from the bed. Even though it was dark, he easily made his way through the unfamiliar apartment. When he reached the slightly ajar door, he pushed it open and stepped inside. The bookshelf was directly across from where Tsuzuki slept. Hisoka walked over to it, and on the third shelf down was the Beretta. He picked it up, and even in his unconscious state, he knew it was familiar.

Load the gun, Kurosaki. Do not worry about waking him.

Hisoka grabbed the chamber that had been sitting next to the gun and loaded it. A loud 'clicking' noise ensued, signalling the gun was now loaded. The covers on the bed rustled.

"Hi... soka...?"

Take off the safety, Kurosaki. Hold the gun to your temple.

Hisoka mechanically did as he was told, and then brought the gun to his temple.

"Hisoka?! What are you doing?!" Tsuzuki shot out of the bed, but not quick enough.

Pull the trigger.

A shot was fired.

...

Darkness.

It was all that surrounded Hisoka. He couldn't even see his own hands.

Do you know why I've brought you here?

The voice was a booming, deep echo throughout the large expanse of darkness.

"No... I don't..."

A small light, the size of a firefly, appeared before Hisoka's eyes. It flew around his head, before returning to its original position in front of Hisoka's face.

You're not who you think you are, Kurosaki.

"Then... who am I?"

That is why I've brought you here.

The small light suddenly flew forward and plunged inside Hisoka's forehead. His eyes widened, and he fell to his knees. The emotions... The visions... "Wha-... WHAT IS THIS?!" He cried.

Go deeper.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!"

...

Tsuzuki's sobs ceased when suddenly Hisoka's emerald eyes opened and he shot up into a sitting position from where he'd been laying in Tsuzuki's arms, presumably deceased. Tsuzuki watched in amazement as the once gaping hole on the boys temple slowly started to heal itself. How could that happen? Unless Hisoka was...

Hisoka clenched at his chest, trying to calm the heaving. His head was in agony, but not only because of the bullet wound. So many thoughts and memories were rushing through his entire being. He couldn't grasp onto any of them, they were so fast, he couldn't process them. One wrong move, and he would go into an overload. He had to calm down. But oh did it hurt.

"H-Hisoka?"

The blonde snapped his head to the sound of the voice. It was him. The man who looked so frightened and shocked was his entire reason. Hisoka wasn't able to say anything as he finally calmed his breathing. Everything fell into place. He knew where he was, what had happened, why he was still here. He flinched backwards as Tsuzuki reached out to touch the wound on his temple. "Please don't touch me..." Hisoka whispered. It wasn't that he didn't want him to, he wasn't mentally able to put up his shields yet, and one touch from the ever emotional Tsuzuki would probably send him over board.

"How are you... alive?" Tsuzuki asked, watching as Hisoka shakily stood up, clutching at his almost healed head.

Hisoka stopped moving with a stumble, and eerily turned back to the brunette. "I'm not."

...

After he had calmed down, Hisoka allowed Tsuzuki to bandage his head. Hisoka had told him it was pointless, but Tsuzuki insisted.

"You wanna tell me why the hell you'd shoot yourself in the head?" Tsuzuki demanded as they sat on the couch in his dimly lit living room.

"Enma-Daioh told me to."

Tsuzuki gaped at the boy. "En... He... How?... What?!"

Hisoka plucked at the bandages on his head. They were itchy, and he would be taking them off as soon as he got the chance. "Shooting myself was a trigger. He needed me to remember who I am. He needed me to know that I wasn't some lonely 16 year old kid."

The brunette's heart was beating rapidly. "Then... you're...?"

Hisoka turned to face Tsuzuki. "I'm Hisoka Kurosaki. I was once a Guardian of Death, and your partner. Everyone but three individuals thought I was completely dead as of 20 years ago. The Count, Watson,... and Enma-sama."

"I... I didn't... kill you?" Tsuzuki's amethyst eyes filled with tears.

Frowning, Hisoka crossed his arms. "Even if I wasn't here today, my second death would still not be your fault. Muraki backed you into a corner... But that conversation's for another time. I did die, in a sense; but Enma-sama contacted me before I was completely gone, and gave me an offer. I could either move on, and be reincarnated, or... I could become one of the Higher Ups. He told me I had potential." Hisoka glanced at Tsuzuki before continuing. "I trained for five of the twenty years, and then he gave me the job of Soul Purification before they went on to be reincarnated."

"All this time... you were alive...?" Tsuzuki whispered, clenching his fists.

"I'm sorry, Tsuzuki. Enma-sama forbid me from seeing anyone until he knew I was strong enough..." Hisoka sighed, shaking his head. "I guess I really wasn't ready."

"What do you mean?"

"I was going to come and see you about a year ago. I miscalculated, and landed myself in the living world. The sudden change of the atmosphere and emotions overloaded me. I hadn't used my empathy in years, and then bam. Everything I ever knew was gone. I couldn't remember anything. Enma-sama nor the Count were able to contact me. So Enma-sama made a world for me. He gave me memories, a family, and some friends." Hisoka frowned. "They were actual living humans, and unfortunately they had to get involved."

Tsuzuki leaned in closer. "So your mother...?"

"Iwao Kurosaki's daughter. My cousin. She must've been born after I died the first time." The blond laughed bitterly. "Enma-sama sure is creative, huh?"

They sat in an uncomfortable silence, each finally taking in eachother. Their eyes locked, and Tsuzuki timidly reached out to stroke Hisoka's cheek. The blond wouldn't allow him though, and caught his hand, shaking his head.

"I'm exhausted Tsuzuki, I need to get atleast a decent five hours to be sane in the morning. We'll talk about Saki in the morning at the office, alright?" Hisoka stated, throwing himself backwards onto the pillows.

Tsuzuki cleared his throat, embarrassed at his rejection. "Uh, sure. I'll talk to you then." He mumbled and got up from the couch. He headed for the kitchen to get a bucket and some sort of cleaning solution. There was no way he'd be able to sleep, so he figured he'd might as well clean up the gore that lay on the wooden floor of his bedroom.

He took one last look at his once lover, who now had his back facing him, before exiting the room.

...

The next few days were hectic for the bureau. Hisoka had told everyone the same story he'd told Tsuzuki, and was working diligently on finding information on the Muraki family. After he'd made the announcement, he went to stay with the Count, so he wasn't seen in the offices all that often.

Tsuzuki was hurt that Hisoka hadn't wanted to spend more time with him. Sure, it really wasn't the time for intimacy, physical or emotional, but he'd assumed they'd at least work together on gathering information. The morning after Tsuzuki had found out the truth not even 45 minutes after they'd arrived at the bureau Hisoka had excused himself and went to the Hall of Candles. He'd only heard from him briefly since.

Now that Hisoka was fully aware, Tsuzuki was sort of hoping he and Hisoka could at least discuss their relationship beyond the case, or where Hisoka had been. Maybe he was being selfish, maybe it was too soon. Hisoka probably wasn't even ready to talk about how nice the weather was yet...

... So when Tsuzuki saw Hisoka and Terazuma outside in the courtyard chatting it up, needless to say, he was a little pissed. He quickly made himself invisible and snuck up behind them, where they were sitting on a stone bench.

"... good thing it's under control. I mean, you're not transforming right now, are you?" Hisoka poked at Terazuma's shoulder that made Tsuzuki's blood boil. They were being so friendly with eachother!

Terazuma grinned and playfully shoved the blond. "Naaah. You must just be getting uglier."

Fuming, Tsuzuki stomped around the bench and revealed himself. "Oh heeeell no! Hisoka is NOT ugly, you ass!"

"Tsuzuki?!" "Tsuzuki what the hell?!" Were the two replies that came in unison.

Hisoka made a small noise as his arm was grabbed and he was pulled up forcefully. "What the fuck is your problem Tsuzuki?!"

"Why are you flirting with that dumb beast?!" Tsuzuki demanded.

Terazuma stood up. "Woah, ya bastard. Don't yell at him like that."

Wrenching his arm away, Hisoka took a step backwards from Tsuzuki. "We're TALKING, Tsuzuki. I don't see that as any reason for you to barge in guns blazing. Even if we were flirting, you still wouldn't have any right."

"Hisoka, I-..."

"No, Tsuzuki. At this point, I'm not ready to discuss anything else that's personal with you. For this Saki case when we do go into the living world, Konoe-san has appointed me your partner. Therefore, I'd appreciate it if we only talked about those matters, okay?" With that, Hisoka spun on his heel and walked away. Terazuma glared at Tsuzuki briefly before following.

It had happened. Hisoka hated him. Tsuzuki bit his lip, shifting his eyes. He really did blame him for his second death. It was the only possible explanation... And once the case was over, Hisoka would want nothing to do with him.

...

The next day was Hana's funeral. Something that not everyone who was fairly new to JuOhCho knew was that there was a small graveyard deep into the rows of Cherry Blossom trees behind the main main building. There were about 100 headstones, each for fallen Shinigami. They were all a beautiful white marble spread about five feet from eachother. Hana's was right next to Hisoka's.

They didn't have a priest, but the main person who spoke was Tsuzuki. With tears in his eyes, he told of their times together, her kindness, and wished her well in her next life. In his mind, he apologized sincerely for involving her in this.

Afterwards, as they all paid their respects at her plot, Tsuzuki took a moment to scan the crowd. Everyone was there that knew Hana, even some people from other sectors had shown up... So where was Hisoka? Tsuzuki hadn't seen him at all that day. He frowned, Hisoka seemed different now that he'd returned. The brunette figured Hisoka would at least show up briefly to pay his respects. It royally pissed him off.

As the sun set and the guests thinned until it was only he, Tsuzuki kneeled at his deceased partners grave. He ran his fingers over her name beautifully etched into the stone. "Hanami... Thank you for everything... If it wasn't for you, I probably wouldn't be here today... But..." He choked out a sob. "But because of me... now you're not... here..."

The wind picked up sharply and Tsuzuki immediately got goosebumps as the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He sat in silence, his sobs quieting. As he did, he could swear he could hear Hana whispering happily...

Hisoka was ecstatic, he'd found enough information to have a solid lead on Muraki's older brother. He printed it out, and as he stapled it together, planning to present it to Konoe, the door of the office Hakushaku had allowed him to use slammed open. At first, he was shocked, but then grew angry. "Tsuzuki, why are you here?"

"You're a selfish brat, you know that Hisoka?"

The blond gaped at Tsuzuki's words. "Excuse me?"

"Why didn't you come to her funeral?!" Tsuzuki yelled, stepping closer to Hisoka.

Hisoka raised his hands in question. "I didn't know her, why would I? She helped you get close to me, that's it. She got herself involved. It's not my pro-" Suddenly, Hisoka found himself bent over backwards on the computer desk, a strong tanned hand tightly gripping his throat. Hisoka knew he deserved this, and he closed his eyes, taking in Tsuzuki's anger.

"I thought you'd be the same person, Hisoka..." Tsuzuki growled through clenched teeth, easing his grip only a little. He didn't care that Hisoka hated him, but to disrespect a girl who died because she had essentially gotten somewhat close to the boy... It was infuritating.

Emerald eyes slowly opened, seeming more lifeless than they had before, but it went unnoticed by Tsuzuki. "As your superior, I demand for you to let me go."

Tsuzuki's eyes widnened. Hisoka was going to use that card? He released the pale neck and took a step backwards, just as The Count stepped in the room. Hisoka stood up, his face flushed, and adjusted his collar.

"My dear Tsuzuki-san... Just what is going on?" The count asked, placing a hand to his lack of chest.

"I... We were..." Tsuzuki looked back and forth between the two other occupants of the room.

"Nothing, Count." Hisoka coughed into his fist, glared once more at Tsuzuki, and fled from the room.

Tsuzuki didn't raise his eyes from the plush crimson carpet. "Count... Is Hisoka my superior now?" He asked.

The white mask tilted curiously. "Huh? Oh yes, well, you could say that he is. He doesn't have the power to fire you or anything... But his position, when he chooses to take it back, is just a step down below Enma-Daioh. Right now he isn't, but when he's up there, Kurosaki is essentially a God."

Looking at the door Hisoka had previously gone through, Tsuzuki ran a hand through his hair. "A God...?"

...

The next morning Tsuzuki and Hisoka met in Konoe's office where the old man waited for them. Konoe immediately could sense the tension between the two. They refused to make eye contact and were standing on opposite ends of the room. Konoe was a little confused as he had figured the two would reconcile their relationship immediately.

"Are you both sure you can handle this?" Konoe asked, referring to the both of them. Hisoka hadn't been on a field case in over 20 years and Tsuzuki had just lost his partner, he had every reason to ask.

Hisoka scoffed. "Konoe, I could this by myself."

Tsuzuki frowned, shooting Hisoka a glare. The blonde was definitetly implying something.

With a groan, Konoe pushed himself out of his chair and pointed at both males. "I don't know what the hell you to have got going on, but you'd better get past it and not screw this, or yourselves up."

Hisoka averted his eyes and Tsuzuki stuffed his hands into his pockets. "Yessir.." They mumbled in unison.

"Good. Now Tsuzuki, Kurosaki has found decent leads on this Saki guy. About ten years ago Oriya Mibu was murdered, his head severed from his body. The murderer was never found. Shortly after, Kazutaka Muraki was crippled in some sort of accident. He's been in a wheelchair ever since. Reports say a family member is taking care of him in some mansion just outside of Nagasaki. Kurosaki, you have the address, correct?" Konoe looked to Hisoka who pulled a sticky note out of his pocket. He nodded. "Good, you two are free to go. Just remember, overcome your differences for now, alright?"

Tsuzuki sighed and turned for the door. "Let's go then."

...

The house Hisoka had the address to was definitely a mansion. It seemed old and shabby, the grounds looked to have not been cared for in years. It was covered in ivy, and the air around it was thick. A decent word to describe it would be 'ominous.'

Not skipping a beat, Hisoka went ahead of Tsuzuki to the peeling door. He slammed the brass knocker on it twice and waited for a response as Tsuzuki cam up behind him. After waiting for a moment, Hisoka raised his hand to knock again but the door creaked open with a high pitched sound.

"How cliche..." Tsuzuki mumbled, watching as the younger Shinigami poked his head into the door way.

Hisoka turned back to look at Tsuzuki as he pushed the door open further, his free hand covering his nose and mouth. "It smells terrible in there."

When he stepped inside after Hisoka, Tsuzuki immediately agreed. It was strong, whatever the smell was. A mix between chemicals and something putrid and rotting. It didn't seem normal. The air was too thick.

Hisoka took a step back so he was at the brunettes side. He seemed a bit wobbly. "Tsuzuki... This isn't right... We should..." He suddenly grabbed his head as Tsuzuki flinched. "We gotta... get out of here..."

When Hisoka slumped against him, unable to hold his weight, Tsuzuki stumbled to the dusty marbled floor. There had to be some sort of chemical or drug in the air that was affecting them. He could feel his energy draining. No doubt someone had been expecting them, and had planned this. His head lulled to the side, and he tried to make his eyesight focus on Hisoka. "Wake up... Hi..soka..." It was too late though, as Hisoka had already slipped into unconsciousness.

Before he would allow himself to slip into the same state, Tsuzuki shut his mouth and refrained from breathing through his nose. With shaking hands, he used all of his strength to grab his cellphone from the inside pocket of his trench coat. He flipped it open and punched in a single number.

"Ah ah ah."

Tsuzuki hadn't noticed the presence in the room until it had been too late, and the cell phone was kicked from his grasp. "Saki..." Tsuzuki growled, his mouth opening unconsciously.

The man lifted Hisoka's seemingly lifeless body up by his arm. The physically young Shinigami dangled helplessly similar to a rag doll. "Thanks for the take out. I appreciate it, Tsuzuki."

"Let him... go...." Tsuzuki's eyelids drooped dangerously. He was hanging by a thread.

Saki hefted Hisoka into a more suitable position, draped across his arm and quirked an eyebrow. "Now why would I do that? Ohhhh! You want all of my attention, is that it? Don't worry. I'm just gonna go put Hisoka into a nice spot, and I'll come right back for you. Kay? Kay."

Tsuzuki wasn't able to protest, and his eyes rolled to the back of his head.

...

"-zuki... Tsuzuki..."

"Hisoka? Am I dreaming?"

"... Sort of... Listen, I'm talking to you telepathically. I'm concieous, but you're not. I'm gonna yell to wake your body up, but DO NOT jump up. You'll thank me."

"Wait, what? Hiso-"

...

"WAKE UP!!!!!!"

Amethyst eyes snapped open, and his body jerked, but he forced himself to calm before he moved his head up. He was glad to see he hadn't, as some sort of blade collar was suspended above his neck. If he had jumped up, Tsuzuki definitely would have done some damage. The next main thing he noticed was the agonizing pounding of his head and the nauseousness he felt. His wrists and ankles were strapped down to the metal gurney he was on, the rough leather dug harshly into his skin.

By moving his head only slightly, he could make out that he was in a lab of some sort. There were several computers lining the walls, and tubes of different liquids adorned the large desk near a steel door. Over the whir of the computers he could barely make out the squeaks of what were either lab rats or mice. With taking a deep breath, he came to the conclusion that whatever had made him pass out earlier was still in the air. Though, it wasn't as strong.

"I tried teleporting." A voice to his right said. Tsuzuki turned his head and saw Hisoka strapped down in a similar way, though he had a steel neck brace holding his head down. "Whatever's in the air here," Hisoka continued. "It's supressing our powers."

Tsuzuki groaned in frustration, jerking his wrists around uselessly. "Hisoka- Are you alright? You're not hurt are you?"

"I'm not hurt." Hisoka sighed. "Tsuzuki, I'm sorry. This is my fault. I should've realized-"

"Don't you apologize. None of this is your fault, it's that sick bastards fault. We're gonna get out of this, and when we do, you're gonna rest finally, alright? I promise." Tsuzuki face was sincere, his mouth set in a thin line.

Before Hisoka was able to open his mouth to reply, the door Tsuzuki had been looking at earlier opened with a loud creak. Along with the light that flooded in came Saki. The two other males said nothing as they watched Saki seem to ignore them. He fiddled with some things on his desk, flipped through a clipboard of papers briefly. He was even humming. While Saki's back was turned, Tsuzuki took notice of the lack of sword.

"What's the chemical in the air, Saki?" Hisoka demanded, catching the mans attention.

Saki turned around and grinned. "I'm glad you took notice! Why," He placed a hand at his chest. "It's my own little mix of chlorine, cyclosarin, and hydrogen cyanide. Don't worry, it won't kill you two Shinigami, but it sure weakens the shit out of you, huh? I'm not into magic or spells, but this does the job nicely, wouldn't you say? The dosage in this room is lower than the main hall, so you won't pass out."

"Wh.. Cya... How the fuck are you alive?" Tsuzuki growled.

Pursing his lips, Saki leaned back against the desk, seemingly in thought. "Well, I haven't been doing nothing these past ten years since I got a body."

"Ten years..." Hisoka's body jerked in his restraints as he came to a realization. "Your body... It's Oriya Mibu's!!"

Saki pointed at Hisoka with a wink. "Bingo! You're smart. But anyway, as my baby brother had, I built up an immunity for poisons and chemicals. It wasn't fun, lemme tell ya. Oh! And your dead girl partner? Hana-chan, was it? She helped a great deal. See, there's this spell you can use to absorb a Shinigami's essence, it's brilliant! Made me even more powerful."

"You monster!!!" The brunette cried, tugging at his restraints. He paid extra mind not to move his head to much.

"I thought you said you didn't like spells?" Hisoka probed.

"I don't. Don't doesn't mean I won't, though." Saki pushed himself from the desk and started making his way to the gurneys. "Anyway, I bet you two are wondering why I targeted you there, blondie."

Tsuzuki quirked an eyebrow. "Not for your brother?"

"Ha! No. You're funny. You see, Oriya's body was great for the time being, but it's getting old and I'm getting... bleh. You have the body of a Shinigami, Tsuzuki. It's perfect. That idea of my brothers, I have to say, was brilliant. I'd be immortal."

"Then why target Hisoka?" Tsuzuki asked.

"Good question. He was here on Earth when I needed him, easy access, ya know? I figured if I went after him, you would no doubt intervene. Hisoka; You're an added bonus. You've got empathy and powers. I can use you until I'm satisfied." By the look on Saki's face, both Shinigami could tell that the word 'use' held much deeper meaning than draining the blonde.

As he tried harder to release himself, Tsuzuki could feel the blade pressing into the skin of his neck. "If you even THINK about touching him, I swear-"

Saki stepped up to Hisoka, who flinched as he trailed a finger down his perspiring cheek. "You swear what?" His finger ran down Hisoka's collar bone. "What can you do that is so intimidating? You're chained down like a dog."

"DON'T TOUCH ME!!!" Hisoka screamed, trying as hard as he could to get away from his cold hands. A few feet away, Tsuzuki was trying even harder. He couldn't let this happen.

"Ya know, Hisoka.." Saki laid a hand flat on the exposed skin where Hisoka's shirt had ridden up. "You're quite pathetic. I mean, once I'm done with Tsuzuki and satisfying myself, if Enma hadn't saved you, this would be the third time you die." He flashed a look at Tsuzuki. "Talk about a rerun, right?" He laughed at his own joke, then turned back to Hisoka.

Suddenly, the lights in the room dimmed, catching the three ocupants attention. "What the hell...?" Saki mumbled, standing up straight. They went back to their normal brightness, then flickered on and off again.

Tsuzuki breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the shadows creep along the walls and behind Saki. He thanked goodness he'd had Tatsumi on speed dial.

With a grunt, Saki was enveloped in the shadows, he kicked and thrashed, but couldn't break free. Four figures made themselves visible, all wearing gas masks. Tatsumi, Watari, Wakaba, and Terazuma stood there, with enraged eyes. With a simple movement of his hand, Tatsumi forced the shadows to pull and hold Saki to the ground. The other three Shinigami took that opportunity to rush to Tsuzuki's and Hisoka's aid.

"You guys are awesome..." Tsuzuki breathed unsteadily as Wakaba and Terazuma worked to free him from his restraints. "Terazuma, you can have my share of donuts for a week." He whispered as the blade was removed from around his neck. He didn't hear anything from Hisoka, and as soon as he was freed, he shot up into a sitting position to see Watari just finishing with his restraints. The boy was limp as Watari lifted him into his arms. "Is he okay...?!" Tsuzuki demanded, jumping from the gurney. He wobbled at his sudden movement, the gas still taking it's toll on him.

"He's fine." Watari assured, his voice muffled from the gas mask. "I'm going to take him back to the infirmary. You guys can handle this, right?" Without waiting for an answer, he teleported out with Hisoka.

Tatsumi forced Saki up into a standing position, the mans arms restrained behind his back. "Terazuma-san, Wakaba-chan, why not give Tsuzuki that extra mask and show him to that room we found earlier? There are some matters I'd like to discuss with Muraki-san, here." He stated very proffessionally.

Before he could say anything, Tsuzuki was handed a gas mask that had been strapped to Wakaba's belt, and he was ushed from the room. When the door shut behind him, he could hear muffled talking, and then screams. Tsuzuki sighed. Tatsumi was scary sometimes.

"How'd you guys know to wear masks?" Tsuzuki wondered as Terazuma and Wakaba led him through the house. He'd put his own mask on, but wasn't enjoying it as it smelled like sweat. He'd rather wear it than pass out though, so he kept it on.

"Well, when Tatsumi answered his phone, and heard rucus through the speaker, he immediately teleported here to see what was up. He sensed the gas really quick and came back to get us and some masks. That's why it took so long, sorry." Wakaba looked over her shoulder with shining eyes. "How's your head? It must be in agony. This gas is thick. My head hurts even with the mask."

"It's alright... But where are we going? I wanna go check on Hisoka."

They stopped in front of a bedroom door. "I think you're going to want to see this. We'll wait out here." Terazuma stated, and opened the door for Tsuzuki.

...

He sat in a wheelchair near the window. The window was open, and a fresh breeze blew in along with the orange and pink light of the setting sun. His hair was thinned, there were even several missing patches. He wasn't wearing his glasses, and at the angle Tsuzuki was at, he couldn't tell if his false eye was still there or not. He was wearing a pair of plain flannel pajamas, a white sheet draped around his shoulders. He didn't move to see who had entered the room; he most likely knew.

"Muraki..." Tsuzuki whispered in shock.

The man's chest heaved with hacks, and Tsuzuki could hear the grotesque sound of phlegm coming up his throat and into his mouth. Muraki must have swallowed it, because he sure didn't spit it out. "You've finally," Muraki wheezed. "found me Tsuzuki-san..."

Here he was, the man whom had ruined Hisoka's life. Hell, he'd ruined Tsuzuki's life as well. He and Hisoka could have had a future together 20 years ago. Muraki took that away from them in a sick act of manipulation. He'd forced Tsuzuki to make a wretched descision he'd regretted every god damned day. He'd almost driven Tsuzuki to suicide twice. He'd cursed and raped Hisoka who'd only been 13 at the time. This man was pure evil.

Muraki looked so sickly, though. Was this the result of the accident Hisoka had researched? Or was it old age?

The reason his friends had wanted him to go into this room and see Muraki.... Was it to kill him? To talk to him? Tsuzuki was at a loss. He couldn't possibly kill and receive his revenge on this man who was so ill... Could he?

As Tsuzuki came to his descision, Muraki once again broke into a fit of heaving coughs.

...

Tsuzuki had decided that he wouldn't go to Hisoka at the infirmary. He was exhausted, and with seeing Muraki one last time, he wasn't really up to seeing anyone. He was planning on just going inside, taking some asprin and passing out. He figured Hisoka wouldn't care whether he showed up or not. The boy was probably either sleeping or discussing things with Enma-Daioh at this point.

So when he arrived at his apartment and saw Hisoka sitting on his stoop, he was a little confused. "I'm glad I assumed that you wouldn't be coming to see me." Hisoka stated, standing up and wiping off his behind. He watched as Tsuzuki pulled out his keys somberly. "Can I come inside? I need to talk to you."

"That's fine." Tsuzuki nodded, stepping past the blond and to his front door. He unlocked it, and stepped inside, allowing Hisoka to follow. After toeing off his shoes, he headed for the kitchen. "Do you want anything to eat? Drink?" On the counter was a small perscription bottle of migraine pills he'd been receiving. He plucked two out and downed them without water.

"I'll have some of those." Hisoka said, gesturing to the bottle as he stepped into the kitchen. He juggled the bottle briefly as it was promptly tossed to him. Tsuzuki went into the fridge and grabbed a water bottle for the boy. As he swallowed the pills and water, Hisoka read into his ex-partners leaking emotions. Tsuzuki wasn't angry, just tired and depressed. "Watari-san said that they found Muraki in that house... Did you... see him?" Hisoka had been a bit peeved that he hadn't been informed, but had quickly dropped his argument at the sharp look Watari had given him. It wasn't his fight anymore, it was Tsuzuki's.

With a sigh, Tsuzuki fell into a chair. "Yeah- I saw him."

"Is he... Is he dead?"

"He's going to be around anymore."

Muraki was gone. Hisoka eyes widened and he took a shuddering breath as realization set in. "What... did you do to him?" He asked.

Tsuzuki's leg bounced nervously. "As of this moment, Hisoka... I never ever want you to think of Muraki Kazutaka again. You'll never have anything to be afraid of anymore... Not even me..."

Hisoka blinked, taking a step closer to the brunette. "You? I'm not afraid of you, Tsuzuki."

"Well, it's either that or you hate me. Or both. I mean, what I let happen... what I did to you..." Tsuzuki rubbed his forehead. This conversation was bound to surface at some point. "It's better that you hate me... I hate myself for it."

"You're an idiot, Tsuzuki. There's no fucking way I'd ever hate you. I told you the first night I got my memories back. Did you even listen?" Hisoka glared as he kneeled on the floor next to Tsuzuki's chair. "And I don't want you hating yourself for it. I'm glad you did it."

"But... you were avoiding me...?"

Hisoka sighed. "The death of Katsuragi-san and the others is my fault. I feel terrible, and you've been grieving over her. I just couldn't face you. Even if I acted like an asshole, I just needed you to stay away.... I can't do that anymore. I want to be around you. I watched you from afar for almost 20 years..."

"Hisoka..." Tsuzuki scooted out from his chair to sit on the floor as well. He tentatively touched the young man's knee.

Wasting no time, Hisoka placed his hands on Tsuzuki's neck and gently pushed their lips together. After only a split second, Tsuzuki was kissing back. It was sloppy and rushed, their teeth clacked together unessecarily, but it was addicting. The chair Tsuzuki had been previously sitting on scraped across the tiled floor when he backed into it to better incorporate Hisoka's straddling his lap. They stopped their kissing only for a moment to tear off their shirts. Tsuzuki only vaguely acknowladged the poor little white buttons scattering across the floor.

Hisoka made a startled sound as he was picked up and thrown onto the island. In the position he was in, he was almost certain there was a spoon digging into his back, so he scooted backwards and found himself in a more accomodating spot for Tsuzuki's easy access.

Hands roamed, their pants and undergarmets were lost, echoes of sighs and gasps filled the small kitchen. As they made love, they were one. It was rushed and harsh, but they needed it oh so desperately. As if it was all they had.

"Tsuzuki..." Hisoka had cried out.

"You're my everything..." Tsuzuki whispered back as he was enveloped by a searing heat.

...

The next day, Hisoka came limping (a fact Tsuzuki was proud to say he had taken part in) into Tsuzuki's half empty office, a stack of papers in his hands.

"Hey." Tsuzuki greeted with a smile, tapping his pen against the surface of the desk. "So, how'd it go?" He wondered.

That morning, Hisoka had gotten up fairly early, claiming he had a meeting with Enma-Daioh. Tsuzuki figured it would be about Hisoka's future. He would either go back to his extremely high ranked position purifying souls, he'd return to field cases (that was Tsuzuki's favorite option), or he'd... move on. For good this time. Tsuzuki was actually quite worried that Enma would strip Hisoka of all of his statuses and force him to move on. It was very well possible. Enma could very easily get angry over something so trivial.

"That man's a slave driver." Hisoka groaned, slamming his papers onto the empty desk.

Tsuzuki blinked. "Who?"

"Tatsumi-san! He knew before me that I'd be on field duty!" Hisoka's fists clenched. Tsuzuki's heart fluttered, Hisoka and he would finally be together again! "He prepared all of this for me! I even have a new partner!"

"What?!" Tsuzuki was extremely dissapointed. He'd obviously assumed that if Hisoka were to return to his original position they'd immediately become partners again. After all, Tsuzuki was partnerless as well. "Who is it?!"

Hisoka sighed dramatically. "He's this huge idiot. He talks WAY too much, he's pushy, his metabolism is insane..." He crossed his arms. "I guess he's got his good qualities as well." With a smirk, he sat down at the empty desk.

Blink. Blink. "Wait... We ARE partners?!" The brunette flew from his chair over to Hisoka. "Really?! Really really?!"

Hisoka nodded. "We're partners. Enma-sama decided it was for the best."

"That's amazing..."

"It is. But get back to work, Tatsumi-san wants to see you I think first." Hisoka looked up at his new partner.

With a pout, Tsuzuki started shuffling away.

"Oh. And Tsuzuki?"

Tsuzuki turned back to see the blonde with a bright smile, Tsuzuki couldn't help but let his own show. "I love you." Hisoka said.

"I love you too, Hisoka."

As he walked out of the office, Tsuzuki was filled with mirth. He silently thanked the Gods... and even Hana for giving Hisoka and himself another chance at an afterlife together.

Fin.

AHHHH. It's done! I'm so happy I actually FINISHED it. Now I'm dreading going back and re-reading it to make sure it's decent. (I'm writing this AN before doing so. XD) I failed to do so for this ones prequel, Sincerly, Hisoka, and now it's all crappy.

I feel I need to explain myself for a few things. I'll do it in a FAQ format. (Even though I haven't gotten questions. XD)

Q. Why was Muraki in a wheelchair? Was it old age?

A. Well, old age did play a minor part. But soon after Saki was brought back to life, Saki managed to get the upper hand on his brother. Thus, the accident Hisoka had read about.

Q. So who was the 'A'?

A. Saki wanted to lead Tsuzuki and Hisoka to believe that Tsuzuki was. In all actuality, Saki wasn't really planning on carving a letter into Tsuzuki's body because he wanted to use the body as his own.

Q. Why Hisoka? Where was the other "Soul Purifier"?

A. The whole "Hisoka= Soul Purification God" came up when I wanted Hisoka to remember everything. At first, in my mind, Hisoka was really reincarnated and what not. I changed that, because I liked the idea of him working directly under Enma Daioh better. My reasoning is this: Enma did the soul purification himself, and he was getting overwhelmed with everything. When Hisoka was close to death a second time, he used that chance to train him; he felt Hisoka had the potential.

Q. The BIG question. You never DIRECTLY said Tsuzuki killed Muraki. Did he? Or didn't he?

A. :3 That's for my readers to think about for themselves. I have my own opinion. Tsuzuki has a heart of gold. Muraki was a useless and crippled man. Would he go that far for revenge? You tell me.

So that's it! I'll answer any other questions anyone may have as well, so make sure to leave 'em. Make sure to review! It'll make my life! I'd absolutely love it if you left a review stating your opinion on if Tsuzuki killed Muraki or not and WHY.

Thank you SOOOO much for reading this.