Time... What was time exactly to a Shinigami? What was time to someone who lived forever?
In the beginning, time was how it always was. The days going by in the week. They changed into months. Then came the change in seasons and soon, a year had gone by.
When did it start to blend together? Was it when he knew that the seasons in the land of the dead weren't 'real' seasons, was it the cherry blossoms that were always in bloom outside the office windows? Or was it knowing that no matter how many years passed by, the body you were in would never age? Never grow up...
The day was like any other day for Hisoka Kurosaki. Go into work, get a cup of tea from the room, get down to paperwork with an occasional yell at his childish partner for not doing the work. Then lunchtime would approach and pass. Then it was back to work with the occasional scowl, perhaps a sporadic visit from Tatsumi or Watari. Dinner plans would be discussed and done. Then it was time to head home.
Just as he was getting through the door, realization dawned on him. He looked at the clock. Eight o'clock, it read.
In four hours, he'd turn twenty-three.
But he'd still look the same as he always did. Eternally sixteen. The cusp of being a child and being an adult. Destined to be trapped physically between two different worlds. While his mind would continue to grow as the years go by, his body would always look the same.
Wanting to be looked at as an adult, but always looking like a child...
Keeping his birthday a secret to everyone, including his partner, was hard work. The GuShoShin knew though. After all, they did have to keep track of records. And Konoe knew too. But everyone else was blissfully ignorant of the fact.
And Hisoka wanted to keep it that way.
His reason for keeping it a secret?
He didn't want people to make a big fuss out of his birthday; it was just another day, after all. And his feelings toward that day were indifference. Not to mention bad memories seeping to the surface.
Why should people celebrate the birth of a demon child?
No, it was best not to think about that...
And people would go out of their way for other's birthdays. People already went out of their way for him daily, so why should they do so again on a day he could care less about? It wasn't fair to keep putting people out like that.
He could just imagine what Tsuzuki would do if he knew.
So he kept it a secret. He asked both the GuShoShin brothers and Konoe to keep it a secret. They seemed rather shocked about it at first, but they did honor the request.
There were times when people did ask, but it was easy to brush them off. Tsuzuki however, was much harder to brush off, and sometimes, the look that he would give him would be just almost enough for him to say. Almost being the key word. Then he remembered how Tsuzuki went out of his way for him all the time, from checking up on him, making sure he had enough to eat, constantly worry about him, getting him out of sticky situations.
That one thought gave him the courage to hold his tongue.
Deciding that thinking back was just wasting time; he took off his jacket and shoes and decided to go right to bed. Changing into a pair of pajamas didn't take long and in less than ten minutes, he was pulling the covers over himself, staring at the ceiling.
Unfortunately for him, sleep would just not come to him right now. But there was nothing else to do, so his stubbornness kept him in his bed. Yet, he was wide-awake, and no matter how hard he tried, he could not fall into slumber's embrace.
He looked at the small clock radio on his nightstand. A quarter past nine. To others, it might have still been early, but right now, all Hisoka wanted was some rest. He tried counting forward and backward, as when he was younger, that usually lured him to sleep. But tonight, everything seemed to be against him and after counting to one hundred forward and backward three times, he gave up.
His eyes glanced over back to the nightstand again. Ten twenty, the clock read. His eyes gazed over to the left of the clock and locked onto a small picture frame. It was hard to see in the dark, but the moonlight illuminated just enough light for him to see the picture.
He remembered that picture. Two months ago, Tsuzuki insisted (more like dragged) that they attend a festival down on earth. He was going to say no to him (he wasn't a party person after all), but after seeing the gleam in Tsuzuki's eyes and feeling the happiness and chirpy feelings from the older man, the words, 'yes, we can go' were off his lips before his mind could form any complaints.
It suddenly dawned on him at how different his attitude towards Tsuzuki was now than when he first met him. When they first met, he could honestly say that he would've easily had said no. It was easy, back then, to put on the mask of indifference and uncaring.
But lately, the mask was becoming harder and harder to put back on his face. Falling into the role of a cold, uncaring person was becoming more of a chore.
Ignoring his own feelings, no matter how hard he denied them, was becoming harder and harder to accomplish.
Tsuzuki tended to bring out the worst in himself at times. Playing the role of "the idiot who made more trouble than he's worth". But he brought out the best in others as well. He could make someone smile when they were upset. He could cheer even the most miserable person out. A shoulder to lean and cry on.
And it was practically his "mission" in life to do that to Hisoka as well.
But yet, what about Tsuzuki's own pain? There were times where he cried. Who supported him when he was sad?
It certainly wasn't him. And he couldn't blame Tsuzuki for it. Why would Tsuzuki go to him, when the chances of him getting brushed off and yelled at, were most probable? How could he go to a "child" for help?
How could Hisoka even help Tsuzuki when he couldn't help himself?
No, there was another person that Tsuzuki would go to. Who he trusted.
Although Tatsumi seemed to dislike Tsuzuki at some times, Hisoka knew that was far from the truth. Beneath the pay cutting and the scowling, that Tatsumi really and truthfully cared about Tsuzuki's well being. No, not just cared about that, but more importantly, he wanted Tsuzuki to be happy.
Because he loved him...
The clock read ten fifty.
Why did that one statement bother Hisoka so much?
Everyone loved Tsuzuki, it was obvious. But Tatsumi loved Tsuzuki in a different way, than say, Watari or Wakaba. It was a deeper kind of love, something that went beyond than being "just a friend".
Tatsumi and Tsuzuki were no longer partners, having split up long ago, but they were still friends. More than friends. More like...
'Don't think about it...'
Was it really that? Although Tsuzuki spent a lot of time with him, he also spent quite a bit of time with Tatsumi. There was one day where Hisoka asked about it before he even thought about the consequences of his asking.
'Tatsumi and I are just close friends, Hisoka. What happened before... is in the past now...'
But was that really the case? What really happened behind closed doors and "long walks"?
And the better question to this all: Why did he care so much about it?
He did care, he cared a lot. But why?
Because Tsuzuki deserved to be happy. Out of everyone that he ever met in his lifetime, the one person who deserved happiness above them all was Tsuzuki. The person who would sacrifice himself before others. The person who loved everyone and would take their pain onto himself. The person who cared too much.
But what could make him happy?
Tsuzuki was a complex person and even after working with him for nearly seven years along with his empathy, Hisoka could still never conclude what was really Tsuzuki and what was a lie. It was hard to tell when the man was happy or really in pain. Tsuzuki had strong psychic shields, so even if Hisoka tried his hardest to feel the emotions coming from Tsuzuki, he wouldn't be able to.
Was it because Tsuzuki didn't trust him enough to share his emotions?
That one thought brought on the tears and Hisoka berated himself for showing such weakness. What right did he have to cry? Tsuzuki didn't trust him enough because of his cruel treatment. Besides that, how could he trust a spoiled child?
Besides that, there was someone better for Tsuzuki to trust...
'No, don't think about it, don't think about it...'
Just today, Tatsumi came into their office while Hisoka was busily reading the paperwork of a previous case. At first, he came in just to scowl Tsuzuki about going over the budget for the case again. Hisoka rolled his eyes, and went back to work, ignoring the conversation all together. That is, until...
"What are we going to do with you...?"
Giggling. "You can make up for it by taking me out?"
Pause. "I suppose so, as long as it's cheap and inexpensive."
"Tatsumi! You're so stingy!"
Why was he remembering that now? And why was it making him the more upset? Was it because of the blatant flirtatious attitude that his partner displayed for the older man just then?
Or was it because Tsuzuki cared just a little more about...
'Don't think about it...'
Did they really only go out to dinner? Would Tatsumi be the gentleman and escort his friend home? Would Tsuzuki invite him in for maybe something to drink? What would they drink? Talk about? Or would they not talk and...
Wasn't it Tsuzuki who told him what happened in the past was the past? Yet, sometimes, old things never seemed to die.
Tsuzuki never protested with Tatsumi. In fact, he would initiate a lot of the contact with the other. And Tsuzuki always said what was on his mind, even if it was embarrassing or declaring things in public that weren't proper.
But what if he really meant it this time?
Eleven twenty, said the clock.
The urge to call up Tatsumi's place was rather strong. To know that Tsuzuki was at home sleeping and not with...
'I really am a child...'
What right did he have to check up on Tsuzuki? Tsuzuki was an adult. He could do what he wanted to do. And if that meant being with Tatsumi...
Was Hisoka not enough to keep Tsuzuki happy?
That thought came unexpected as more tears made their way down pale cheeks to only hit a pillow. Of course not.
But how he wished he could.
Maybe the reason why Tsuzuki went to Tatsumi was because Tsuzuki really did view him as a child. That he needed love in "different" ways that only an adult could fulfill.
But wasn't he an adult? In mind, yes. But in body...
Were there certain things that adults could fulfill that "children" could not?
The answer was of course, yes. There was the painfully obvious, like working and living on one's own. Then there was the not so obvious, like dealing with certain situations with calm maturity.
Then there was the "darker" side of an adult. Like drinking together and sex.
Sex, to Hisoka, was unknown territory, yet painfully familiar. His own experiences with sex were like blots on his memory. What he heard from others about it was unlike his own experiences. There were times where conversation roamed in that direction when he spoke to Tsuzuki. When it did manage to come up, he would explicitly deny wanting anything to do with sex on the outside.
But trying to convince himself that was just denial. Fear was apparent when he thought about it, but totally not wanting it all together?
To deny that would be like denying that he needs to draw air to breath. Everyone, including him, had not only a desire to be loved emotionally, but physically as well.
Did Tsuzuki feel that desire as well? If he did, he never showed it around him at all. Sure, there was the playful flirting, but that's all it was. Playful.
Were there really times where he wanted it to be more than "playful"?
And why wouldn't Tsuzuki just tell him that straight out? Was it because he feared the reaction that Hisoka would give? That he would cross a line that shouldn't be crossed? Or because he didn't want to hurt Hisoka, because of his past?
Didn't Tsuzuki know that he had gotten over that by now?
He rolled over in frustration, not wanting to look at neither the glaring red numbers on the radio clock, nor the picture frame on the nightstand. The entire situation was complicated and him thinking on it was just making it worse, forming more questions and no answers.
His mind backtracked about something. Something about birthdays and wishes that Tsuzuki told him...
'If you make a wish on your birthday, Hisoka, it's sure to come true.'
Wishes? Wishes were for dreamers and fools. People who were all talk and no action. Making wishes didn't make things happen, doing what you wished did.
His thoughts suddenly went back to love. Up till he came to the division, Hisoka had no idea on what love was. To him, love was just an illusion or another concept of pain.
Tsuzuki showed him otherwise, though. What love really was, how it could bring happiness into one's life...
Hisoka knew that Tsuzuki cared about him. Perhaps even loved him. But what sort of love was it? Friendship, family or...?
The concept of pain was still there when it came down to it though. When Hisoka said that love still brought pain to others, Tsuzuki would argue that there's nothing better than being in love, being held by the one you care about and who cares about you most. And being intimate with your loved one, where Hisoka promptly decided to change the subject at hand.
What would it be like if someone cared about him that deeply? Would it be like what Tsuzuki said? He closed his eyes and pictured being held, their warm arms wrapped around his waist, holding him close to their body...
When he was younger, he remembered how he felt. Being held by his mother. The bliss that it would bring to his younger self...
That was before his parents saw him for what he really was.
The person holding him in his dream, however, was neither his father nor his mother. That person's amethyst eyes gazing down at him with a genuine smile, chocolate brown hair to match his obsession with certain foods...
His mind was protesting that this was wrong, that he shouldn't engage in such fantasies. That they only lead to pain. That he didn't care about Tsuzuki in that way, it was impossible for them to even be together like that.
But it was just a dream, a fantasy, right? No one would know about it...
So for now, he could just be with his dreams.
Didn't he just say that dreams and wishes were for fools? Such a contradiction...
Now he was no longer being held in his dream. Amethyst eyes stared down at emerald. A simple caress of a cheek. A lowering of a head. And lips against each other...
A simple shy kiss was all it was at first before it turned into something more. Lips against each other, hands roaming, bodies melting into each other. Two tongues battling for dominance, hands searching for exposed skin...
Suddenly, it felt very hot in his room. Throwing back the covers didn't help much either. With shaking fingers, he started to unbutton his nightshirt. As he was unbuttoning the shirt, his fingers lightly brushed across exposed skin. Closing his eyes, he imagined that the fingers were not his own, but fingers of another.
His mind screamed at him, that this was so totally wrong, but at this point, he didn't care. Damn reality and truth right now. What was so wrong at indulging in a dream?
Fingers lightly roamed across his chest. He imagined a mouth on his own, trailing down his neck to other unexplored regions. His breathing started to pick up and he had to bite his lips from letting out a moan.
Those fingers decided to take a bold route by running the thumb over a nipple. A gasp escaped his throat and he heard a chuckle, which caused green eyes to blink in confusion.
Maybe... just maybe, he wasn't dreaming. Tsuzuki was here, with him. He had said that one day, he would give Hisoka a birthday present when he discovered his birthday and he would be in for a big surprise. Maybe today was that day.
There was no time to think about that in depth as fingers found their way to the elastic waistband and started pulling the pair of night pants down. Those fingers pulled down till they were near his ankles and roamed back up, lightly brushing across the most sensitive part of his body.
He thought that one simple action would flood back horrible memories of the past. But knowing who those fingers belonged to, knowing that he was here with him... Sharing their mutual love for each other...
Those fingers kept at it. Running up and down in slow, ticklish movements. However, there was another set of fingers that kept themselves blissfully occupied with the upper half of the body. And those fingers took great joy at playing with pert nipples.
Tsuzuki knew exactly where and how he wanted to be touched. He knew just exactly what Hisoka wanted and was not shy at bringing about the body in such a state of pleasure, that it left Hisoka panting and desiring more, but not wanting to bring it just over the edge too soon. Hisoka felt like a pile of jelly, and at this point, he would almost do anything Tsuzuki would ask him to. Almost...
Those fingers decided to stop teasing. They reverted from ghost-like touches to rhythmic strokes. Tsuzuki didn't want him to hold back. He didn't say that in words, but he could feel it, asking him to stop biting down on his lips, stop being ashamed and let everything out. How could he say no when they were together like this?
And he didn't hold back. He could hear his moans echoing across the room. The feeling to totally submit himself to this man before him was overwhelming his thoughts, along with feelings of lust and pleasure. And of course, the hand on his erection, stroking faster and faster...
And everything seemed to explode in a white light. Yelling his partner's name, he reached his peak and felt himself collapse to the bed, panting, his eyes half open. There was something he wanted to tell Tsuzuki right now. He wanted to make sure that he would hear it too and looked around for him. He couldn't find him. It was dark, but surely Tsuzuki didn't move away from him that fast. He still felt the hand on his erection...
That's when reality decided to hit Hisoka very hard.
The hand didn't belong to Tsuzuki, but to him. He looked up and saw the radio clock glaring at him along with the picture frame.
Amethyst eyes gleaming at him from the picture, watching the entire time...
Using his clean hand, he slammed the picture face down. Wobbly, he rose from the bed to get a washcloth to wipe himself up along with the bed sheets.
The clock mocked him with its red numbers, twelve twenty-three...