The girl was dead; it was that simple. Except that he'd been there, again, and there was Hisoka to account for, again, and it was never that simple, was it?
It took him half an hour to find Hisoka, sitting out on the beach, watching the stars as they passed.
Tsuzuki took his shoes and socks off to walk out onto the sand. The tide was starting to come in. Hisoka's feet would already be soaked; not that he would care. Not that he was likely to have noticed.
Hisoka spoke before Tsuzuki could say anything. "It doesn't matter. It never changes. Like him. How can we keep doing this? Why is it the same thing, over and over and over?"
"I don't know," Tsuzuki said. "I don't know."
Hisoka found a rock at his side and threw it, hard. They both watched as it sank slowly into the ocean. "I can't," he said. "I can't. If I could just end this--"
It was easier when Hisoka was angry. This despair felt too familiar; how could Tsuzuki stand in its way, when he'd let it consume him so many times, so easily?
"Next time," Hisoka said into his chest. "Next time I don't care about the rules, Tsuzuki, I don't--"
There was the anger. Tsuzuki welcomed its familiar presence. "All right," he said. "All right."
Tomorrow he wouldn't mean that. Hisoka still would. But Tsuzuki would be there. He could live for Hisoka, like he'd asked.
He put a hand on Hisoka's. It was easy, in the face of Hisoka's strength, Hisoka's anger, to forget how much bigger Tsuzuki was, how fragile Hisoka's bones felt under his fingers.
"Watari said there's a new rare bookshop," he said. "Right next to Myoshinji. Maybe there'd be something there."
"There never is," Hisoka said, but his voice lightened a little, as Tsuzuki knew it would with the magic words rare bookshop.
He squeezed Hisoka's hand. "We'll keep trying. We'll get it right. I promise."
Hisoka sighed, but he leaned back a little toward Tsuzuki's chest. Tsuzuki closed his eyes as he felt Hisoka's weight.
I'll be strong for you, Hisoka, he thought. I promise.