MAJOR SPOILERS. Also, angst and a little gore.

Komatsu could only stare, dumbfounded and shocked into silence, at the man in front of him. Brown hair longer than before, strange black lines like cracks in his face, and a gaze oddly flat, empty…but it was absolutely Ootake.

Months had passed since his disappearance, months of Komatsu nearly mad with worry when he wasn't distracted by Toriko, biting his tongue because it felt like an intensely personal burden even his partner didn't need to share. He'd had no proof and no real idea who (or what) had taken his friend.

But Ootake was here now, and (a small voice in the back of Komatsu's mind cried out in warning, a whispered scream that this wasn't his Ootake, there was something wrong, just look at him LOOK AT HIS EYES) Komatsu was blinded by tears, a heady mixture of joy and relief flooding through him. Clearly ill, but alive. That was the only thing that mattered.

He held his ground as Ootake advanced (legs trembling with the need to retreatescaperun from this dangerous stranger, this monster, this thing) smiling with radiant happiness and swallowing the sour, guilty fear in his stomach. He did not recognize the smirk splintering across Ootake's face, but who knew where the chef had been these last months? Such an experience could change a man…

By the time Ootake called his name, his full name, it was too late to do anything but stand there and accept the knife sinking between his ribs, sharp blade tearing through skin and bone and muscle as though he were nothing more than a quality cut of meat ready to be…devoured.

Komatsu could only stare, breathless with pain and shaking apart inside, at the familiar enemy in front of him (this creature that hated him so much) and wonder where they went wrong.

A/N - I don't know what's going on with Ootake, and I don't believe he's doing this entirely of his own free will. But I absolutely can't wait to see what happens. (I may been enjoying this entirely too much. Oops?)