*Warning: Manga/Anime Spoilers*

Disclaimer:

I don't own Yami no Matsuei

Beta: Eria

Request fic for: general zargon

Setting: Takes place after Kyoto in the anime/manga and ignores GenSoKai Arc. I guess this could be seen as alternate universe or alternate story line.

Special Thanks to: Eva, Bethany, Vi-chan and Sara (Eria)! You girls are my rock. 3 I went through some seriously messed up shit this summer and it just got worse through the fall semester. I had some health problems, my sister was in a scarily dangerous accident and she flipped her car over, and my cousin has diabetes type 1 and my grandfather is struggling with Parkinson's disease. When everything was building up all at once and was hard for me to handle, I had you wonderful ladies to count on. 3 If it wasn't for you all, I'd have gone crazy. Thank you for your positive encouragement and for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself. Good friends are so hard to find and I'm so glad that God has blessed me with each and every one of you.

Dans l'Obscurité
By EggDropSoup

Chapitre Deux: Crépuscule

"Absolutely not."

"Come on, Hisoka. Please? We've been working so hard."

"We have," he allowed, huffing out a breath, "but not hard enough, otherwise we'd be done with this case by now."

"All the more reason to go out and have some fun! The case will still be here when we get back," Tsuzuki argued, as he leaned over the coffee table and gave him what seemed like a hopeful smile. However, it only served to make Hisoka anxious. That smile looked too sweet, too wicked.

He swallowed uncomfortably as he shifted his gaze away from Tsuzuki's face to somewhere behind the older man's shoulder. Somehow, not looking directly at him helped the blond keep his focus and his voice stern. "I told you before. We're not here on vacation, Tsuzuki. No means no."

"I know we're not, but we've been in this house for days and there haven't been any new developments. The only time we ever leave is to go to the store. Seriously, we deserve a break."

"If you don't think you can handle it, I can call Tatsumi-san and-"

"You know that's not the reason, Hisoka," Tsuzuki interrupted coolly, his warning tone quickly drawing the blond's attention back to look directly at him. He picked up one of the police reports in front of him, flipped through the pages of it without looking at it. "We've done all that we can do at this point. I've read through these papers so many times that I could recite them in my sleep. All we're doing is playing this ghost's waiting game. I'm not doing it anymore, I'm calling a time-out."

Hisoka's eyes lit stubbornly and he snapped his head away again. "If you need your break so badly, then just go. No one's stopping you."

"No," Tsuzuki agreed, voice soft and contemplative, "but I wouldn't be able to go without you."

That admission surprised him and he started. "What?"

"I said I wouldn't be able to-"

"I know what you said," the empath interjected impatiently, shaking his head. "What I meant was why?"

Tsuzuki paused, his eyes gentling as he boosted up a smile. "I just want to be with you."

He was aware of the way his heart thrilled at those words and he knew it was over. Really, it was over even before it began. His rational mind tried to tell him that the statement was too vague- that Tsuzuki could have meant it a number of different ways- but the response was already spilling out of his mouth on it's own, quick and desperate like a summer rain, "Fine, we'll go."

Tsuzuki perked up. "Really? You mean it?"

It was a lost cause, he decided when he saw those big purple eyes trained on his face -watching and waiting- and he prided himself that he was at least able to hold his ground for a few seconds before sighing in final resignation.

He gave a single nod and it was enough to prompt Tsuzuki to launch himself across the table and hug him, his face beaming and his emotions running high. A few of the papers around them fell off the table, but Hisoka didn't have time to notice. Warm arms and strong joy filled his consciousness, blocking everything else out.

Tsuzuki eventually let him go and the world started up again. "Thank you, Hisoka. I promise you won't regret it."

"Don't make promises you can't keep, Tsuzuki," Hisoka warned, more out of habit as a last attempt at being cynical, but when faced with Tsuzuki's beaming, contagious smile he couldn't help but feel his own mouth turn upward.

He really hoped he didn't regret it.


It was the last day of the Karatsu Kunichi festival and the two partners stood in the crowd watching the procession of the fourteen traditional massive festival floats.

"I'm so glad we didn't miss the parade, it's the highlight of the festival," Tsuzuki said, having to shout for Hisoka to hear him over the chants of the crowd.

It was easy to be affected by the crowd's excitement as the calls of "En-ya!" and "Yoi-sa!" echoed throughout the square. Tourists and city-folk alike had drawn together from all over the surrounding area for the three-day holiday, watching excitedly as floats in the shape of samurai helmets, sea bream, and dragons passed by -carried through the streets of the city by teams of bearers selected from families who lived in the fourteen traditional neighborhoods of Karatsu.

Even though the floats were built from constructed wood, lacquer and other materials, they were massive -standing between five and six meters and weighing anywhere from two to five tons.

Amidst the impassioned chants from the crowd, music from the taiko drummers, and the flutists perched on the floats' bases played. The melody of their instruments set the tempo for the chant, helping the spectators keep their voices in time with the beat. It was the first time Hisoka had seen anything like this on a case and the first time he had remembered being subjected to such a large amount of people, especially when there were so many bodies pressed up against each other. It was all so overwhelming.

The thoughts and feelings of those people around him seeped into his brain, invading him like a plague of insects. His head was pounding from the overload and he searched around frantically, looking for anything to focus on so he wouldn't pass out from the force of it all.

His hand found Tsuzuki's before he realized it and when his brain finally alerted him to what he'd just done, it was already too late. He partner was looking at him closely and questionably.

"It's not what you think," Hisoka stammered as the growing blush spread across his face, the contact of their joined hands allowing him to read the other man's mind and feelings. There was surprise there, and hope. "It's just the crowd," he continued with his eyes cast away, intending to make his intentions clear. "They were getting to me."

Tsuzuki's face held no disappointment or any indication that he was upset at the blond's statement as he gave a small, gentle smile and said, "That's fine."

Hisoka looked at him, first with shock and then indignation before he demanded angrily, "You do realize what I'm doing, right? I'm using you!" He tugged at the brunet's hand sharply for emphasis. "Don't just easily accept it. Get angry, do-do something!"

Tsuzuki knew that the blond hated crowds and, because his empathy was so receptive, he would try to limit as many thoughts and feelings that flooded into his mind as possible. That meant seeking out a momentary focus to distract him from all the other people around them. It was simple as that, a means to an end.

At hearing this sudden confession the older man merely shrugged, looking unsurprised and unperturbed, as he turned his head slowly back to watch the last of the floats pass by. "That's alright. If it's you, then I don't mind being used at all."

"You…" Hisoka was trembling in shock, his mouth struggling to find words and his fingers unconsciously tightened around Tsuzuki's hand. There was no halfhearted acquiescence in those words. His partner really did mean it. He wouldn't mind if Hisoka used him all up and left him for dead.

The blond didn't know why that bothered him so much. He wanted Tsuzuki to be angry, to tell him to not be so selfish, but instead the guy was accepting it.

Hisoka turned his face down, focused on the scuff marks on his white sneakers as he finally decided on, "You're an idiot." He didn't yell this time but Tsuzuki seemed to have heard him over the crowd anyway.

The brunet's answer was softly spoken as he shifted Hisoka's hand in his own, entwining their fingers purposefully together, "So I've been told."

Silence fell between them as the last float passed by and it wasn't until they left the parade route that they let each other's hands go.


The bright, candy blue skies of the day had faded into a dark, humid autumn night. Hisoka could barely make out the stars through the purple and gray clouds, but he could see the white steam rising from the stationary and portable food stands scattered around the sides of street. The venders offered everything from rice noodles to takoyaki for tourists who would continue to celebrate late into the night.

Music could still be heard from the main square and some of the townspeople around them danced and sang along to the folk music excitedly.

As they were walking, they passed a small group of children who talked animatedly with each other about the giant floats they had seen in the parade. Hisoka vaguely paid attention as he kept in step with Tsuzuki and could hear the beginning of thunder rolling overhead, threatening a downpour at any moment.

"Tonight was so much fun!" Tsuzuki exclaimed from his right, a bright smile on his face as he looked over his spoils. He had bought a number of snacks and some souvenirs for their coworkers, stuffing them away easily in the deep pockets of his trench coat.

If Tsuzuki had had his way they would have gone to every single street stall and vender in town. Luckily, Hisoka was able to keep a strict hold of their funds and remind the brunet that they needed to get back to the house before they got rained on.

"You look happy," the empath observed, slanting him a look as they sauntered on. One of the streetlights they passed under shined down on his hair, illuminating the golden strands momentarily.

Tsuzuki grinned at him and encircled an arm around blond's shoulder. "Of course, I have a handsome date."

Hisoka flushed and looked away. "Idiot," he mumbled, his breathing becoming uneven as his heartbeat fluttered, "Who would date you?"

"Aw, you mean you wouldn't?" Tsuzuki ducked his head to look at his partner's face curiously. The joking in his voice was gone.

The blond huffed, his voice coming out more forceful than he intended, "No." Yes.

"Ouch," Tsuzuki grimaced and let his arm fall back to his side as if burned, "Rejected..."

Hisoka secretly wished he hadn't. Though the night wasn't very cool, it still felt nice to have Tsuzuki's warm arm around him and pressed at his back. But he wouldn't admit that. He'd have to resign himself to being silently disappointed.

The streets were empty and quiet around them now. Completely void of life except for the occasional street light and dark house they passed. Tsuzuki could barely make out the outline of the trees a few feet away as the thunder roared above them again. Lightning flashed nearby and it seemed like the air was becoming thicker, denser.

The tension between them was just as thick and while the blond resolutely kept his gaze forward, Tsuzuki kept sending fleeting looks at him out of the corner of his eye. He was wracking his brain, trying to think of something to say to fill the silence as they passed under another street light. When the light of the streetlamp bore down on them again, there was a gleam of something that caught his attention -something small, shiny, and pink on Hisoka's arm.

"What's that?"

"Huh?"

"On your arm." The brunet poked a finger to the partially exposed skin just below the rolled up edges of Hisoka's jean jacket. "You're still wearing the band aid?"

The blond blinked at it before his whole face turned scarlet, and he was sure Tsuzuki could see it even in the dark. "I forgot about it with everything that's going on."

"Uh, huh," Tsuzuki's gaze sharpened. "Either you really like Hello Kitty or you're not being honest with me."

Hisoka's delicate jaw locked and he went very still, wary. "What are you talking about?"

The brunet gave him a slow, assessing look and instead of answering asked, "Hisoka, just how do you feel about me?"

The nervous terror in him was rising quickly and the blond jolted, stepping back. "This isn't the time to talk about this."

"There's never a right time to talk about it, Hisoka. It seems like every chance it comes close to being brought up, you find a way to evade it completely. Stop running away from me."

The older man stepped closer until he was in front of him again and Hisoka struggled to stay where he was, to fight the panic that was telling him to move. "I'm not."

"Really now?" Tsuzuki alleged -his voice cool and deliberate. He leaned forward and reached out to curve his hand over the blond's cheek.

Hisoka had always been so good at staying in control, at distracting himself from the feelings and attraction he had for his partner. However, it was all in vain. Each time, he could feel himself slipping a little farther, a little deeper.

"I'm not ready for this," Hisoka heard himself blurt out.

"Neither am I." Still, Tsuzuki drew him closer, framing his partner's face with both his hands and stopping with their mouths a breath apart. "But here we are."

Hisoka looked into Tsuzuki's eyes transfixed, shaken, yearning and just a little scared of what was happening inside of him. It was insane, he thought, absolutely insane what they were doing. Except he couldn't stop, couldn't pull away -not when he was so close to having Tsuzuki's moving lips against his own.

Their eyes were still locked and Hisoka could feel the heat through both Tsuzuki's gaze and the feelings that seeped into his skin. Love, happiness, and desire were just a kiss away.

He didn't know who had moved; just that something soft had pressed against his lips and then suddenly, a flash of lightning lit up the sky -illuminating the street and everything around them. The rain followed quickly, pounding hard onto their faces and shoulders.

Instinctively, they both pulled away at the cold shock. The blond knew his face was burning, even as the rain seeped into his hair and clothes, pouring over his eyes. He tried to blink his eyes open against the downpour and could barely make out Tsuzuki's silhouette before him, even when his partner was just a step away. Hisoka was at a loss of what to say as panic punched through any lingering warmth of their embrace.

He squeezed his eyes shut, struggling to find his control -his sense- and he pressed an unsteady hand to his jittery stomach. His heart was still jumping, but he inhaled slowly, exhaled deliberately. He had to get away, he had to go.

Without a word, he concentrated on teleporting back to the house, knowing that his partner would follow soon after. He heard Tsuzuki call his name and the blond tried to squash the guilt that plagued him as he trans-located. He bit back a sob and focused on how to breathe again.

Tsuzuki was right.

All he did was run away.


Hot lightning sizzled the sky in broody bursts as Hisoka hurried all the way into the dark house. Once he set foot inside, the blond chucked off his sneakers and grabbed one of the flashlights by the door. Retreating to the study, he quickly unzipped his duffel and rifled through it for a change of clothes.

Hisoka found his night clothes easily and wasted no time in peeling off his soaked jeans and shirt. He pulled on his shorts and just barely slid his tank top on when he heard the sound of the front door swinging open. Curiously, he tilted his head, then startled when he heard the wet squish of Tsuzuki's leather shoes against the hardwood floor.

The blond held his breath anxiously as the wet sounds grew louder, but Tsuzuki never reached the room. He listened carefully, and, when he heard the closing of another door, he decided that the brunet must have chosen to use the small bathroom in the hallway to dry off instead.

Hisoka guiltily placed his clothes in the wicker basket in the far corner of the room. It probably wasn't the best place to put wet clothes, but he'd deal with them later in the morning. He was too preoccupied about what to do with Tsuzuki right now and he knew it wouldn't be long before his partner would come in.

He sighed tiredly as he laid out his sleeping bag, quickly unrolling it and spreading it out over the wooden floor.

They had been way too close and while his heart ached, another part of him was cautious. He felt like he was tiptoeing on eggshells. Only that the eggshells were as sharp as broken glass. He didn't feel in control of himself anymore. The last few days he had been acting on impulse, losing himself in his feelings, and that scared him. He knew he was giving Tsuzuki mixed signals and he had to put an end to it. The sooner he did that, the sooner they'd finish their case and go back to Meifu.

So there he was, smoothing out the wrinkles of the bag's insulation slowly with his hands. He turned his face determinedly away from the doorway as he prepared to act like their kiss encounter had never taken place. And that included not caring or noticing that Tsuzuki was now in the room, staring at him with a heavy heart.

Tsuzuki hadn't taken long in the bathroom, coming back into the study wearing a dry white button down and a baggy pair of dark pants with his flashlight held loosely in his hand. His hair was a little damp, but it wasn't plastered to his forehead as it was before.

When he entered the study, he could make out Hisoka's small hunched-over form by the flashlight the teen had beside him. He studied the blond in front of him with a pensive expression, unsure of what to say. Judging by how Hisoka was still turned away and fixated on keeping his sleeping area neat, Tsuzuki knew that his partner was avoiding him. Hell, Hisoka wouldn't even turn his head to look at him!

After another few minutes spent on pondering, he became more frustrated and eventually sighed and turned away. He walked to the other side of the coffee table and flicked off his flashlight as he flung out his sleeping bag haphazardly, not caring if it was laid out straight or not so long as there was enough room on the floor for his body to stretch out.

He unzipped it quickly and easily shimmed down inside but instead of lying on his back, he turned on his side, propped his head on his elbow and looked at his partner. Hisoka had stopped petting his sleeping bag but instead of getting in it, he was now fussing over his pillow, stalling.

Knowing that Hisoka wouldn't initiate any conversation, Tsuzuki chose something predictable to say, that way at least he could get something, some word out of his partner. But the words that were meant to come out teasingly came out imploring instead, "Ne, Hisoka, I'm cooooold. Can I sleep with you?"

"Sneak onto my side and I'll hit you," the blond replied automatically, his words carrying a little bite with them as he fluffed up his pillow and weapon of choice. He had purposefully not removed the coffee table from between them, using it as a make-shift barrier.

Tsuzuki's full bottom lip pouted out of habit but he didn't comment further as Hisoka zipped up his sleeping bag all the way, turning on his side to face the wall. And then the blond, just as wordless, turned off his flashlight and closed his eyes.

They both laid there in the dark, listening to the pounding rain on the tile roof above. And both men noticed in their silence, that the rain's fast pitter patter kept in time with the unsteady drumming of their hearts.


Hisoka was standing in front of the old, silver mirror in the living room. The blond didn't know how he got there or when, but he looked curiously at his reflection, studying himself –as much as he could with the moonlight- and his un-aging sixteen year old body.

It was weird in a way. Weird that he was looking at himself in the mirror when there wasn't anything he should have thought unusual about his appearance. Hisoka remembered dressing himself in his dark shorts and tank top for bed and he remembered that his body was just as lean as it always had been.

Suddenly, his reflection faded away and was replaced by the figure of a woman with a long white dress and dark, tangled hair. Her eyes were wild as she smiled at him, ashen lips stretching out and revealing chalky white teeth.

He didn't have time to react before a hand jutted out from the surface of the glass, grabbing his chin roughly. The blond tried to pull away but her cold pale hand tightened, gripping more firmly onto his jaw and holding him in place. Her dark, mad eyes burned into his and the skin where she touched him prickled as if it had been touched by a block of ice.

And then a voice was speaking, but instead of hearing it with his ears, he heard it inside his head, "My name is Naomi. Let's have some fun, shall we?"


Tsuzuki had been fast asleep and dreaming, his eyelids flickering as he lay still in the quiet night. The house was silent and calm but the longer the silence stretched, the more Tsuzuki gradually became aware of someone stroking his hair. He blinked a few times sleepily, saw the hand pull his long bangs out of his eyes, and tucked it behind his ear.

Alarmed, he sat up with a jerk and found himself looking into Hisoka's face. The blond was sitting crouched, close beside him and it was then that Tsuzuki noticed his sleeping bag had been unzipped and opened- spread out flat all around him.

"Hisoka?" he questioned tiredly, wondering why his partner was awake and why the blond was suddenly right beside him.

Hisoka smiled faintly, as he reached a hand out to smooth against his cheek and Tsuzuki shivered at both the sensation and how beautiful his partner looked even in the dark. The rain had stopped and the moonlight that shined in through the window illuminating his blond hair and making his eyes shine so brightly that they seemed to glow.

But something was wrong. Hisoka never initiated contact like this before and Tsuzuki was at a loss at how to respond as soft fingers sifted carefully into his hair and a warm set of lips pressed to the side of his face.

"Tsuzuki," Hisoka whispered huskily before he crawled fully and forcefully into the older man's lap, straddling him, and brought his face close, right inside of the brunet's personal bubble.

"Er…Hisoka, I don't remember you being this friendly before," Tsuzuki swallowed thickly, his tongue dry, as a hand slid up his thigh, the blunt finger nails dragging through the fabric of his slacks before gliding up his chest.

The blond said nothing as he straightened and angled his spine, pressing their chests together. His thin arms came up to encircle around the brunet's neck. Those green eyes locked onto his mouth with purpose and before Tsuzuki knew it, he was being pulled forward.

Tsuzuki was panicking; shaking his head as he tried to stop what his mind was telling him was going to happen. "Wait, Hisoka, I-"

The brunet was silenced by the blond pressing his mouth firmly to his, supple and firm.

Tsuzuki's eyebrows shot into his hairline as he tried to pull back-to break the joined junction of their mouths. But Hisoka's hands trailed up into his hair and held him still, tugging at the strands so that he wouldn't break the kiss.

He gave a sharp gasp at the pain caused to his tender scalp and it was the only opening the blond needed to shove his tongue into the brunet's unsuspecting mouth. Tsuzuki shivered as that warm tongue ran along his front teeth and slid into the crevices of his cheeks and gums. It took all of his willpower to not respond to those teasing touches, to not give in to those lips that rubbed against his own.

But this wasn't right. This wasn't Hisoka who was touching him right now and as much as he liked it, he needed to stop this.

When the hands in his hair loosened, he used the opportunity to turn his head away, disconnecting their mouths altogether. Hisoka seemed momentarily confused at the sudden halt to the kissing as he blinked dazedly at Tsuzuki with a flushed face and dark green eyes. His brief puzzlement allowed Tsuzuki to sit up -and push him partially away- so that there was now a space separating their upper bodies.

When the blond looked like was ready to swoop right back in and resume kissing, Tsuzuki placed his hands firmly on Hisoka's upper arms to stop him. "You aren't Hisoka," he alleged, panting slightly as the blond tried to forcibly jerk his arms out of his hold.

Each time Hisoka moved, he ground their hips together, eliciting an agonizing hiss from Tsuzuki as he fought to keep his body under control. To halt the heat that pooled in his stomach as he fought with the lithe body that straddled him.

He was mindful of the way Hisoka's shorts rode up as they struggled, bunching up to reveal creamy, pale thighs that gripped tightly on ether side of his waist. So close that all he had to do was let go of Hisoka's shoulders and allow himself to feel.

Tsuzuki growled in frustration as he tried to buck the blond off, to try and stop the younger from rubbing against him, but it only served to bring them closer. The friction felt so good, and Tsuzuki found it easy to want to push back into it but he quickly sobered when he caught sight of the wanton, desirable expression on Hisoka's face.

Those eyes stared at him beseechingly as the blond tried to reach out and touch with his suppressed arms, looking helpless with want as those swollen lips begged, "Please, Tsuzuki…"

Tsuzuki laughed, shook his head sadly- because there was no way Hisoka would ever beg at him like that. Or even want him. No, this wasn't Hisoka at all.

He slid his hands down the blond's arms and stopped at the wrists, quickly and expertly moving them so that he held both in one hand as he used his other to fish out the fuda in his dress shirt pocket.

Hisoka squirmed, tried to pry his wrists out of the long fingered hand that held him in place but Tsuzuki's grip on him only seemed to tighten, making the blond wince. But he didn't say anything about the harsh treatment or the rejection the older man was giving to his advances. Instead, he asked with a small sulky frown and voice to match, "Tsuzuki, don't you love me?"

Tsuzuki looked up, saw the expression on his favorite blond's face and he had to bite the inside of his cheek to stop his mouth from curving and to prevent himself from tugging on the boy's wrists and pulling him down- overcome by the sudden urge to make that expression into something much more desirable. Something more heated and sexy.

It was dangerous for him to want someone so much and it was all the more reason to end this. Now.

"No," Tsuzuki said, surprised that he was able to sound like he meant it, "No, I don't love you."

The blond's face fell and his eyes and mouth widened, but before he could say anything in response Tsuzuki had slapped the fuda to his forehead.

The reaction to the paper spell was instant. Light shined out from Hisoka's brow and surrounded his entire body. And that's when he saw her, the full force of the spell had thrown her out of his partner's body and the translucent woman with long dark hair had staggered several feet away, in an attempt to recover.

She spared a glare at him, her eyes dark and angry, before she was forced to retreat through the wall at her back. The spell must have significantly wounded her, and she probably couldn't take the chance of losing more spiritual energy if she was hit by the light again.

Light continued to shine around Hisoka, cleansing him from any remaining ties of the possession. It was so bright that Tsuzuki was forced to close his eyes until he could no longer see the red and orange flickering behind his eye-lids.

He could feel the house and the objects around them rattling and the way Hisoka's leg muscles clenched tight and shook around his thighs, in an attempt to brace himself as the commotion died down.

When it was over, Hisoka sagged against him -sweating and panting heavily. Tsuzuki immediately raised his hands up to the blond's shoulders in an attempt to help support him but the minute he touched Hisoka, the blond flinched with a jerk and was quickly pulling away. Hisoka's face was flushed and his eyes were downcast as he quickly withdrew from the brunet's lap- scooting back with his legs until there was a good two feet of distance between them.

"Hisoka?" Tsuzuki asked -careful and concerned- and a little fearful of what Hisoka could have seen while being possessed by the ghost. "Are you alright?"

Hisoka's eyes shot up, wide and terrified before he directed them back down again, choosing to focus on the floor in front of him. His face was still red and his body tingled with unexplained arousal. He didn't need to answer, it was already apparent to Tsuzuki that he was definitely not alright.

He felt stupid for having asked a question with such an obvious answer.

"Do you remember anything?" He asked instead, mindful that his partner had just been through a traumatic experience. If there was an off chance that Hisoka did remember something and he didn't want to give an answer, then Tsuzuki wouldn't press.

Hisoka surprised him by shaking his head though his eyes were still aimed down. He brought his knees to his chin and wrapped his arms around them, cutting off any further conversation.

"Okay."

Tsuzuki flickered him a look before he stood up, and resignedly put his hands in his pockets. He tried to ignore the ache in his stomach and how the excitement in his lower body wouldn't go way. He didn't know what Hisoka made of the position they had been in, but he could tell the blond was uncomfortable. Maybe he should leave the room, let his partner breathe. "I'll go through the house and put up some more protection barriers."

"Will that even help at all?" Hisoka's quiet voice criticized him, addressing the evening's events for this first time. "She was able to get in here, Tsuzuki. The fuda spells we put up on the first day did nothing to stop her from getting to me in my sleep. She controls everything in this house. What if she goes after you too?"

"I'll be fine. I saw her when she came out of you. She can't get to me now that I've seen her for what she is."

The empath shook his head, shivering a little in the now cold room. "I don't think either one of us have seen her for what she is. Not yet."


Since the possession had happened, Hisoka had refused to talk about it or acknowledge how close his body had been pressed into Tsuzuki's. He didn't remember what had happened or what he did while he was out of it. His control of his body had shut down the moment the ghost had taken over. Leaving him vulnerable to whatever sick plans she had for him.

As a result of that night, the awkward tension between him and Tsuzuki had gotten worse. They didn't know how to talk to each other anymore and if they weren't speaking about the case then they weren't speaking at all. It was like all those moments they had shared before and on the case were irrelevant. Hisoka didn't know how he felt about that.

Ever the avoider of uncomfortable atmospheres, Hisoka had taken refuge in the kitchen after Tsuzuki had fallen asleep, and buried himself in the exorcism books he had brought with him. For the last few days, he hadn't been able to even close his eyes -fearful that if he let his guard down, the ghost would take over his body again.

Though his body was exhausted, he never shifted his focus. He was tired of this house; tired of the strain being here had put on his and Tsuzuki's partnership. He was just so tired of everything, but his desire to want to leave as soon as possible overruled his weariness. He didn't want anything else to happen to him.

"Hisoka?" Tsuzuki poked his head in the doorway, his hair slightly mussed and his white night shirt wrinkled from sleep. "What are you doing up so early?"

"Working," Hisoka gritted out, not looking up from his book. "The sooner we get rid of that ghost bitch, the sooner we can get out of this crazy house." But his answer didn't seem to satisfy Tsuzuki's curiosity.

"You didn't go to sleep at all last night did you?" the brunet continued to press, his voice eerily calm. But the look on his face told Hisoka that he seemed to know anyway, "or the night before that."

Irritated, Hisoka shut his book and slammed it down on the tile counter, half-turning in his seat to glare at his partner. "What do you care? It's none of your business."

Hisoka expected Tsuzuki to react, but he didn't expect his partner to plow straight for him and physically grab him. He tried to swat at him, when the older man's hand clamped onto his arm, but Tsuzuki just kept pulling him until he was out of the chair and through the kitchen door.

"Let go. What do you think you're doing?" Hisoka demanded as he was whisked away, his voice coming out unsteady from trying to keep up with Tsuzuki's quick pace.

"Getting you into bed." Those words stirred a little flustered fight in Hisoka, but Tsuzuki only tightened his grip on the blond's arm as he propelled him down the hall, into the room, and forcibly pushed him down on his sleeping bag.

Tsuzuki was still standing over him, glancing down at him expectantly with his arms crossed. "Don't just sit there. Lie down and get some rest."

"I don't like you like this."

"Right back at you," the brunet said in return. "Now hurry up and go to sleep."

As an act of defiance, Hisoka sat up straighter and gestured at himself with both hands. "I'm fine."

"Judging by those black circles under your eyes, you're not," Tsuzuki remarked, holding up a hand up to prevent Hisoka from interrupting him. "I'm your partner, Hisoka. If something's bothering you, you should trust me enough to tell me about it. Not suffer through it on your own."

"How was I supposed to do that? And if you'd listen to me for once, you'd hear me when I say, 'I'm fine.'"

"But you're not fine."

"What gives you the right to say that?"

"I have the right to say that because I care about you."

Then Hisoka was standing too, nowhere near as tall as Tsuzuki, but the sudden change of position gave him a sense of bravado. "I'm not some rookie kid partner anymore. So you can stop the big brother routine."

"It's more than that."

"What?"

"It's more than that," Tsuzuki repeated, slowly this time -almost like he was trying to cement the thought, the memory, in his head. "You're more than just my partner, Hisoka"

More. And that single word had his heart trembling. Made him happier than he'd ever been, but he couldn't deal with this right now. "It isn't and I don't want it to be."

He tried to brush past Tsuzuki, but the brunet's arm reached out to stop him, grabbing onto his bicep. "Hisoka, please, I'm worried about you. I lov-"

"Stop it, Tsuzuki." He jerked his arm away, the exhaustion settling in and making him suddenly frustrated and angry that Tsuzuki just wouldn't let this go. His vision wavered, so he seemed to be looking at the other man through a rippling wave of heat. "I don't need your help or worry. All you're doing is getting in the way. Why can't you just go away and leave me alone?!"

The minute he finished speaking and saw the shocked expression on Tsuzuki's face he regretted it. He was just so tired and irritated that he had snapped without thinking. But the damage had been done and he couldn't undo it.

"Tsuzuki, I-" he started carefully, but now it was Tsuzuki's turn to interrupt him.

"No, Hisoka. You're right. You're a capable young adult and you don't need me at all." The tone his partner spoke in was neutral and to anyone else it would seem like Tsuzuki hadn't been fazed at all. But the underlying hurt and disappointment that his partner was feeling was strong enough to project onto Hisoka, causing his heart to sting with guilt.

How I can fix this, he wondered as he saw Tsuzuki pick up his trench coat from the floor and put it on. Everything had gone so wrong.

"Wait, Tsuzuki!" he called out in a panic as Tsuzuki walked out of the room and down the hallway. Hisoka had to jog to catch up to him -adrenaline and fear driving him on- and before he knew it, they were already at the front door.

"Where are you going?" he asked, stopping just a few feet away as Tsuzuki turned to look at him-his hand resting on the door knob.

For a second, Hisoka thought that Tsuzuki wasn't really looking at him. His stare seemed vacant and unfocused and when he spoke, his voice came out hoarser than Hisoka had ever remembered, "I'm going to get some air."

He said nothing else as he opened the door quickly and let himself out. The late evening air blew into the entry way of the house, bringing with it some scattered leaves and light dust. It was quickly cut off as the door swung shut behind him.

A thousand thoughts ran through Hisoka's head like a ticking time-bomb. All telling him to move. To do something.

He wanted to run after Tsuzuki, tell him he was sorry and ask -no, beg- him to come back. But the more he thought about it, the more disgusted and ashamed he became with himself.

They had been growing father apart and Hisoka wondered if this case would be the one to break them.

Just how much more could they take before nothing else tied them together?

A suivre.

AN:
Dans l'Obscurité is French In Darkness/Into the Dark.
Chapitre Deux: Crépuscule is French for Chapter Two: Twilight.
A suivre is French for To be continued/To Follow.

Special thanks to Retired Kitkat for help with these translations. :)