*sigh*… It was a rough day for Heiwajima Shizuo… wait… scratch that… everyday is a rough day for Heiwajima Shuzuo. He met up with Tom-san as usual and they started their rounds for the day. It wasn't hard making those idiots talk (all he had to do was look at them and they'd pee their pants) but dealing with them every single day makes it monotonous and very boring. 'I'm just thankful I have a job.' Shizuo thought blandly taking another drag from his cigarette as he casually walked the streets of Ikebukuro.

Rounding another corner, Shizuo entered the Ikebukuro Arts Museum nodding his head as the afternoon security guard, Takeda-san, greeted him. Shizuo has been visiting the museum at least twice a week for three years and counting. The employees were a little apprehensive at first, knowing his rowdy reputation around Ikebukuro, but after lots of convincing, behavioral contracts and time, the staff around the museum, although still wary of him, slowly got used to his presence and now greet him whenever he visits.

Putting out his cigarette on a nearby ashtray (which the staff purposely put by the entrance for him), Shizuo passed the familiar hallways and rooms as he walked up the stairs towards the Director's office. Knocking twice, a muffled "Come in." was heard form the other side. At this, Shizuo's mood lightened considerably. As he opened the door, there sat, by the secretary's desk, his favorite brunette, Akai Rika, diligently typing away on the computer.

"Hey." Shizup sat across the table.

"Hey." Sitting back, Rika rested her glasses on the top of her head and smiled "Rough day?"

"Mmm…guess you could say that." Shizuo eyed her carefully. 'She has bloodshot eyes again' He mused. On top of having bad eyesight, she also got sick easily.

He sighed "You should really stop stressing yourself out like this. We don't want last month to happen again." 'You almost gave a heart attack.' Shizuo added mentally.

She had a high fever for days because of her stressing on one of the important exhibits that were due the week after. She had to be hospitalized with a raging Shizuo in tow. Shinra sprained his wrist trying to stop him. You should be thankful it was just a sprain. He had said when Shinra complained.

"I know, Shizuo, I know." Rika, with her gentle smile still in place, reached over and rested her hand over Shizuo's "But it's my job to stress out for the boss. And you, of all people, should know how much I love my job." She smiled running her thumb over Shizuo's knuckles. The man grunted.

He's known Rika since high school and even then she had that unhealthy obsession over art. She was a terrible artist, really. She could barely hold her hand steady long enough for her to draw a line, her interpretation of a dog looked like something it spit out and so on. But even so, she still remained strong ad never lost sight of what she loved. She took up a business course for college and landed a secretarial job here in the museum three years ago.

"Just don't over exert yourself, Rika." Shizuo stood, leaned over and placed a chaste kiss on the top of her head. "I'll be home early today, all right? I'll order take out." He mumbled that last part gruffly.

Rika giggled "See you at home, then, Shizuo. Thanks for stopping by." With a lazy wave, Shizuo exited the office and out of the museum. Taking out his phone, he dutifully ordered take-out.

He didn't deserve someone like Rika. He knew that. But it was too difficult… too painful to let go. She was one of the few people that didn't give up on him. She smiled at him, worried for him and loved him as if he was just like everyone else. A monster like him never deserved such a beautiful person. But he did. He had her with him. And he was always thankful for that.

She has always been a timid woman, Akai Rika. Not shy, per se, but naturally quiet. Her movements were always careful and her voice only a squeak. A blush found its way on the young man's face as memories of the times Rika did "raise" her voice for him. 'Stupid perverted mind.' With a red face, his trusty cigarette and a slouch, Shizuo stomped away towards the small studio apartment he and Rika shared.