Actions

Work Header

Waiting

Work Text:

I can only wait for you for so long...

 

What is love? Is love one of those fleeting emotions you feel for someone that will eventually fade with time? Is it a feeling so strong, that you feel like your body will burst if you're not with that special person? Or is it a bond that can keep two people close for all eternity?

What is lust? Is it just a random burst of hormones raging through your body that want some sort of release? Is it just human instinct? Or is it an expression of love from one human being to another?

Can you love someone, but not lust after them? Can you lust after someone without loving them? How do you differentiate between the two? Or can both be intertwined with each other, like threads on a tapestry?

I never really questioned these two things before. They never really concerned me. I wasn't interested in falling in love and I definitely wasn't thinking of sex, even though I've heard other people say that boys at the age of sixteen have a lot of 'hormonal urges'. I may be technically twenty years old, but I will always be in the body of a sixteen year old. And I don't think I've ever experienced any of those 'urges' that people oh-so love to tell me about.

That is, until Tsuzuki came into my life.

I never thought of Tsuzuki as more than a coworker several years prior. He was my partner and partners stick together with each other. We watched each other's backs, we trusted in each other when things got out of hand, and... we just worked well together.

It was after the incident on the Queen Camellia that I realized... Tsuzuki wasn't just my partner. He was a friend. Tsubaki-hime's words echoed in my mind when that realization dawned on me, but back then, I was too concerned about other things happening and didn't have time to think on it.

Then the incident in Kyoto came and I again questioned what Tsuzuki meant to me. He was like a family I've never had. But everyone here at Shokan Division was my family.

But Tsuzuki was different. I could debate all my life what he was to me. A best friend. A father figure. A brother figure.

But none of them... fit. Tsuzuki was my best friend, but I was willing to die for him. Tsuzuki was like a father figure, but I sometimes feel that I can't cope when he isn't around and there are things I can say to him that a child would feel uncomfortable talking to their kin about. Tsuzuki was like a brother I never had, yet, he was always playfully flirting with me and while I did yell at him for it, I never explicitly told him to stop. All of these descriptions seemed to apply to our relationship. And yet, at the same time, these portrayals were very inaccurate when describing us.

And what was I to Tsuzuki? Did he see me as just a coworker? Did he see me as his best friend? As a son? As a brother?

No matter how much I thought about it, I couldn't come to a clear concise answer. After a while, I stopped thinking about it. Was there any need to define our relationship anyways? I didn't think so. What we were to each other was just how it was. I didn't think there was any need to put a title on the relationship we had.

Tsuzuki, however, thought differently.

"What do I mean to you, Hisoka?" He blurted out suddenly one day to me.

I had to admit, I was kinda surprised he would bring it up, after so long. He had never asked before. But I think the incident in Kyoto was a blow on him emotionally. I had caught him deep in his own thoughts lately, which worried me. Tsuzuki never struck me as someone who would think too much on things. That was more how I was.

I had to think of my words carefully here. "You're... my friend."

"And?"

"And... you're my best friend."

"And?"

"And... we're close..."

"Is that all?"

What did he want me to say? And why is he asking me now about it?

"I... don't know. What do you want me to say?"

His silence told me that he was reluctant to speak on it. When he laughed and shook his head, I knew he wasn't going to tell me what he wanted to say. "Oh, I just thought I would ask. So, about dinner tonight..."

The day went on as usual, the subject closed in his mind. But it was far from closed in my mind. What did he want to tell me?

The issue came up again, and I said the same thing. You're my friend, a close friend. And every time I asked why or what he wanted me to say, he would change the subject.

For a while, I didn't really mind. Maybe Tsuzuki was feeling insecure about our relationship. I'll admit, our relationship is hard to define. I know people around us try to logically reason what we are in their heads.

But they'll never truly understand our relationship. I don't think anyone can. Perhaps even us.

It was when he kept asking the same question everyday that I decided I had to put an end to this nonsense. Otherwise, I was going to go crazy.

After another Sunday afternoon of watching a movie on TV, I decided to suddenly ask him, "What do -I- mean to you?"

"What?"

"You're always asking me what you mean to me, but what do I mean to you?"

He looked down at his lap and whispered, "Do you want to know the truth?"

"No, I want you to lie," I answered, rolling my eyes. I thought that was a silly question. Why would I ask if I didn't want to know the truth?

I think Tsuzuki actually took my sarcastic comment seriously, because he didn't say anything. He just sat there, clasping and unclasping his hands.

What he said next took me by surprise.

"Am... am I really an idiot?"

I certainly didn't expect him to say that. There were too many times where I rarely saw Tsuzuki be so serious. So it was hard to tell when he was doing things seriously or if he was hiding behind his puppy-face mask. "Why do you ask that?"

He continued to look at his hands, as if they were the most important things in the world. Or maybe he was afraid to look at me. Or perhaps he was yet again, trying his best to hide something.

"Well, you're always berating me and saying how stupid I am, and..."

Did he take all those times I called him an idiot seriously?

"And you're always hitting me, so I thought that I was just an idiot to you. And I thought you didn't like me sometimes, but then you wouldn't stay if you thought that, but..."

I was just... stunned. Yes, there were times where I thought that he was acting very foolishly. There are some things you just don't do in public, because people talk and gossip. And there were times where Tsuzuki doesn't think about those sorts of things.

No matter how loud I would yell, though, he didn't seem to listen. Slapping him seemed to get his attention and it... just started to become normal. He sometimes pouted and sulked from being hit, so I assumed he didn't take it too seriously.

Did he think that all this time, I hit and yelled at him out of maliciousness?

I realized something; what reason would he have to think otherwise? I don't think anyone else, except me, ever physically hits Tsuzuki. Tatsumi-san sometimes yelled at him, Konoe yelled at Tsuzuki too, but they never slapped him, no matter how many times he got on their nerves. Even the GuShoShin brothers, angry as they were at him for destroying the library twice, never smacked him.

It was my turn to feel guilty. "I..."

"But you don't do it because you dislike me, do you?"

My mouth hung open. I couldn't find my voice then, so I just nodded my head.

I still didn't feel better even when he finally looked up and smiled. "That's what I thought. I guess... I can be stupid sometimes."

"Everyone can be stupid, including me," I mumbled, looking down at my feet.

The smile disappeared and I knew he was guilt tripping himself again. "I didn't mean to make it out like you were bad, Hisoka..."

"But it hurts you when I hit you." I noticed the wince and when his eyes diverted away, I knew I was right. But I also knew that he wasn't saying this to make me feel guilty. "I... I didn't know that I was hurting you. It's just you don't seem to listen to me."

"I do listen to you, Hisoka."

"Yes, but only when it's important. If I just tell you to, say, get back to work, you ignore me! Or when those two girls come in and I don't want to deal with them, you influence them or don't tell them to leave me alone!"

"But I do think you would look cute in that Pink House Dress!"

I was very tempted to whack him over the head for that comment, but I settled for crossing my arms and looking away. "And then you say stuff like that! It's embarrassing!"

I expected another retort thrown back at me, but when I received none, I looked back at him. His brow was scrunched up for a few seconds before a smile spread across his face. "I think... I understand now."

"What?"

"I think I understand why you do... what you do."

It's frustrating when Tsuzuki is being so vague. Did he pick up on something that I said just now?

I guess I wouldn't know unless I asked him, because he wanted to change the subject back to the original one. "So what if I said that I think of you as a close friend?"

I shrugged my shoulders. How was I supposed to answer something like that? Thinking carefully, I finally answered, "I would be okay with that."

"You said that we're pretty close, right?"

I nodded, not sure what he was implying, at the time. Thinking back on it now, I was really stupid not to know what he was implying.

"What if I said that I wanted us to be closer?"

That should have set some sort of alarm in my head. The implication was so obvious, that if I were in the same room and saw myself the way I was back then, unsure and confused, I probably would've been tempted to slap myself.

"I don't know what you mean."

"I told you that I like you, Hisoka."

"Stop saying stuff like that!" I yelled, thinking it was just another one of Tsuzuki's jokes.

"But it's the -truth-!" He countered, stomping his foot down when he uttered 'truth'. "I like you a lot!"

"And?" I wasn't getting his point then. Friends 'liked' each other, that didn't seem too unusual. I was really stupid not to realize what he was implying. When you look back on events that happened, things become so obvious and you wonder why you were so ignorant in the situation.

"I love you."

Once Tsuzuki had said those three simple words, he looked like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Which, of course, he conveniently dumped onto mine.

I haven't heard those words in a long time. When I was very young, before my power came into development, my mother used to say those three words to me. There was only one time where I remember my father saying those words to me, but it was so long ago that sometimes, I wondered if it was just one of the many fantasies I had.

And because I related those words to my parents, that's what I thought Tsuzuki was implying. But...

"Like family?"

"I thought so. That I love you... like a brother."

"Oh," Was all I could say, feeling an unusual pain in my chest. I didn't know why, but that statement bothered me more than it should. For some reason, it just hurt to know that Tsuzuki viewed me as a brother.

I was confused, why should that fact bother me? I told myself that I should be grateful or flattered that Tsuzuki cared about me that much, especially when I treated him like... well, basically crap. But for some reason, I wasn't. It felt like it just wasn't enough.

"But..." I looked up when he said that, my heart skipping a beat. "But... I realized later on... That there were... Feelings and urges that I had that and... things I wanted to do with you that brothers... just don't do."

I'll admit, I knew what he meant, but I decided to play ignorant because I wanted him to tell me rather than me jumping to conclusions. "Urges?"

He scratched the back of his head and sighed. "This is so hard to put into words without sounding like a..." He mumbled the last word to his sentence under his breath, which I didn't catch. After a second, he looked up at me. "Well, for example, when I see you upset, I get the urge to hug you and try to comfort you. Which isn't that unusual for family to do." I nodded my head. "Well, I don't just want to hug you. I would want... to do anything to make you feel better."

I had the feeling that he was playing dodge ball with his answer. "What would you do?"

He looked down. "I just... want to hold you quietly. And tell you things were okay, and..." He murmured the rest under his breath.

Talking wasn't getting us anywhere. This was one of those times where explaining something was more difficult than it actually happening in a situation.

That's when an idea came to mind. "Show me?"

"Huh?"

"Show me." I could tell he was nervous, especially the way his eyes flickered from me to the ground every second. He wasn't going to take my suggestion unless he knew I wasn't going to run away. "Tsuzuki, show me. I'm not going to get mad at you, I promise."

I could still sense that he was unsure of himself. But he took a deep breath and looked up. "All right. Can you... come here and sit on my lap, please?"

I think when he saw me look at the ground, he didn't think I was going to listen. It was sort of embarrassing to think about sitting in Tsuzuki's lap, but what reason did I have not to do as he said? And didn't I say I wanted to hear the truth? How was I going to understand when he couldn't explain it to me clearly?

Ignoring the growing amount of butterflies in my stomach, I scooted over on the couch. I felt his hand on my waist as he moved me from the cushion of the couch onto his lap, facing away from him. I turned my head up to look at him, knowing full well that my cheeks were red. The difference, though, was that I didn't feel uncomfortable.

"Now... what?" I asked when he didn't do anything. I felt a little better knowing that he was as nervous as I was.

I could feel one of his arms wrap around my waist, pulling me closer to him. I felt his cheek resting on my head as his other hand ran up and down my side. I didn't need to see his face to know that he was smiling.

It felt... different from the times Tsuzuki had held me before. Maybe it was because when we held each other, it was because one or both of us were upset. And I never really focused on this warmth that seemed to come from him, whether I was crying or him or even both of us.

When he held me that day, I realized what he meant about it being different than family love. I remember being held by my mother in a very similar fashion. But with Tsuzuki, something was just not the same as when my mother held me when she rocked me to sleep or told me a story.

The desire to protect, the desire to comfort, the desire to show affection. All those were there. But with Tsuzuki, there was something deeper. And unlike with my mother, there was a feeling of attraction. A desire, some sort of need that wanted to be fulfilled.

I understood why Tsuzuki couldn't explain it in words. There really was no way he could explain his reasons. I guess this was one of the situations where I was grateful for my empathy.

It wasn't until I heard Tsuzuki's stomach rumble that I realized that we were sitting on the couch for
over an hour, the movie we were watching long replaced by some newscast. It was one of those rare times that I saw Tsuzuki embarrassed, but unlike me, he hides it with a grin. He tried to apologize to me for wasting time, but I shook my head and told him that if he wanted to eat at a small restaurant down the street, we should go now. The subject was closed, for the time being.

I learned a lot that day. And I understood why Tsuzuki asked me the same question over again. And I understood Tsuzuki much better than before.

But I still didn't know what Tsuzuki viewed me as. He certainly didn't view me as 'just a friend'. He didn't look at me like I was his son or brother. That only left one other option.

Maybe just maybe... he viewed me as a lover. That thought both excited and frightened me. Like I said, I don't have many fond memories when it came to 'love'. The only two people who I ever felt that emotion for totally rejected me. And usually, love between couples usually led to sex, which is not something I link fond memories to either.

But on the other hand, this is Tsuzuki. Of all the people I've met in my life up till now, only Tsuzuki has treated me with real kindness. Granted, everyone at the Division treated me kindly and has looked out for me.

But Tsuzuki is different.

When I was in a bad mood, it was Tsuzuki who seemed to pick up on it and try in his own way to cheer me up (makes me wonder who the empath is here). When I was feeling under the weather physically, it was Tsuzuki who would get concerned and go the extra mile and try to take care of me. The few times I felt upset, it was Tsuzuki who held me quietly, not saying a word, but offering his support in his own way. It was Tsuzuki who was spending time with me outside of work. It was Tsuzuki who I liked spending time with. It was Tsuzuki who I ran through a fiery hell to save...

Tsuzuki is someone I trust above everyone else. Tsuzuki is someone I cherish above everyone else. Why is that?

And what did I view Tsuzuki as? Did I even want that sort of relationship with him? Or was I content with what I had?

At the time, I didn't have a real chance to think on it. Or maybe I didn't want to think about it. Either way, after supper, Tsuzuki didn't bring the subject up again. And as the days went by, he said nothing about what had happened.

But it was at the very edge of my mind. Like an itch you can't ignore for too long before it drives you crazy. By the end of that week, when we were alone again (This time, at his house), I gathered up my courage and asked him about our "talk" from last week.

"I already told you how I felt, Hisoka. I need to know how you feel."

But the problem was I didn't know how I felt. Well, I know that I felt really confused when I thought deeply about it. But I still couldn't come to any sort of conclusion.

"I really don't know how I feel," I answered truthfully, turning my head away. "And I'm still not sure what you really want from me."

I felt Tsuzuki's hand on my cheek as he turned my head to look back at him. I tried to look at anything but his face, but I knew he wasn't going to speak or pull away until I looked at him. I gazed up into his piercing eyes, as if they were scanning everything about me.

"I..." He started, but suddenly paused, trying to think of the exact words. However, because he was touching me, not even thinking about hiding his feelings and thoughts from me, I knew what he wanted before he spoke. I guess I was a little selfish in standing there, waiting for him to tell me. There were times where I had to hear him say something and not pick up his thoughts through my empathy. Was it really his feelings or just my wishful fantasies?

"I..." He began again, except this time, he let out the breath he was holding and continued. "I want to love you. But... I want you to love me too."

I should have known what Tsuzuki meant by loving me. Or maybe I was afraid. Or maybe he didn't view me as a lover and meant something else entirely. But if that was the case, didn't he already show affection towards me? Or did he mean something else?

I suddenly wished that I took more of a liking to romance novels now.

I could wish forever about many things, but that wouldn't change the situation that I was in. Right now, Tsuzuki deserved some sort of answer from me. And he deserved a truthful one too.

"I do care about you, Tsuzuki. But I don't know if it's the same as you."

After I said that, I felt like I was sitting on pins and needles. I almost wished that I hadn't said anything. There are so many reactions that I knew that would come out of my words and all of them negative. He could guilt trip himself several times over and close the subject again. He could brush it off with a smile, hiding his sadness deep inside his heart.

Instead, he continued to look at me with that gaze, asking, "Do you want to find out?"

I definitely wasn't expecting him to say that. I didn't know whether to be relieved that I didn't hurt him or to just keep sitting there, staring at him with my mouth half open.

Again, he was waiting for my answer. I knew that I needed... no, I wanted to know.

I didn't realize my simple answer, "Yes, I do," would change so much between us.

I think I'm over-exaggerating now. I thought things between Tsuzuki and myself HAD to change, but in reality, things didn't change dramatically like I thought they would. We just took a different path than the one we were going down upon.

There was, perhaps, one large change in him that I noticed.

Tsuzuki stopped publicly teasing me. I was sort of surprised when he didn't say anything when Saya and Yuma came into the office one day, trying to convince me to wear this new tight blue dress they got. The bigger surprise came when he interrupted our conversation, turned to them, and said we were busy right now, and that he would chat to them later. The two girls, I think, were sort of surprised too, but they giggled it off and told Tsuzuki that they would wait and bring him 'something special' when we were done. After they left, he smiled and winked at me before going back to work.

I could never decide which event shocked me most that day.

Tsuzuki didn't totally stop teasing me. He still was 'truthful' to me when it was just the two of us. And he still would rather drool over the scent of pies in the bakery when we were out on a case while I was telling him to stand up and listen to me.

However, I didn't hit him for it. I still yelled and tried to push him to get going when he was attached to his dessert plate. I just didn't find any need to hit him like I did before.

I guess he wasn't the only one who was changing.

We started to spend a lot more time together. It was mostly spent at Tsuzuki's house, as there was more to do at his house than mine. We talked about a lot of things. Tsuzuki told me about his life in Meifu before I met him and some of his partners in the past. I did notice sometimes the tears in his eyes when he talked about some of them (Especially around the World War 2 era), but I never said anything. If I did, I knew he would make some excuse and change the subject.

He would also talk about his hobbies. I already knew about how he liked to dance, but he also liked to garden too. At the back of his house was his own personal garden, mostly consisting of fruits and flowers. There were all sorts of houseplants and flowers in vases all around his house, most of the flowers being ones he personally grew. He also pointed out that every flower had a 'hidden' definition to what it represented. When we were out in his garden one day, he had pointed to purple Hydrangea flowers in the corner of his yard.

“They suit us.” When I asked how, he just laughed and continued on, pointing out more flowers, sometimes telling me the meaning behind them.

It actually took me by surprise, mostly because I never pictured Tsuzuki as having a green thumb. When I made a comment about it, he told me he liked being surrounded by greenery.

He also liked taking pictures and having pictures taken. One day, he brought out a scrapbook he had kept over the decades he worked as a Shinigami. Sometimes, it was just a place, like Kyoto back in the 1940's (Which was interesting to compare to how it looks today). Most pictures were people he knew, people I recognized, like Tatsumi, Konoe, and even Terazuma. There were others that I didn't know (but assumed were past partners of Tsuzuki's). A few notes were scribbled on the edge of the pages, mostly dates and places where the photos were taken.

I have to admit, I was really touched that Tsuzuki would show me this. It was sort of like looking in a history book, only on a much more personal level.

Near the end of the book, I was shocked (Though I shouldn't have been) to find pictures of us. Some of them were at festivals down on earth. One of them was all of us from the Division together at last year's Christmas party. I felt my face flush when I saw pictures of just me and wondered when the hell he took those pictures. He only winked at me and said it was a secret.

Although he shared details about himself to me, he never seemed willing to talk about his life when he was alive. I could understand, Tsuzuki's past was shrouded in mystery and there's so much that I just don't know about him. But I never asked or pressured him to tell me.

Don't get me wrong, I did want to know more about him. But I didn't want to bring up painful memories. I know only too well what that's like.

However, there was one time during his ramble about waltzing that it did come up. Or more specifically, his sister.

I knew Tsuzuki had a sister, but he rarely, if ever, mentioned her. He definitely admired and cared a great deal about her from what he mentioned. And that she liked to dance (Obviously something he picked up from her) and cook (Something he definitely didn't inherit from her). So it didn't seem unusual to me at all.

He started to babble how graceful she was, even though they came from a poor family and could barely afford a loaf of bread. When he started mumbling things, like, "She was so kind... Kind to everyone... Always smiling... She deserved better...", I knew he was lost in his memories of the past. I called out his name, hoping he would snap out of it, but he didn't seem to hear me.

I don't really know if what happened next was just my eyes or the feelings I felt from Tsuzuki. I almost swore that day that the sunny kitchen room we were in darkened, as if Tsuzuki's aura sucked all the light from the room. His lips were pressed firmly together and his eyes turned a dark shade of violet, so dark, that if you were sitting far away enough, you'd mistaken them for black. I could see his fist clench and shake a little.

Then, like magic, he reverted back to normal. His face paled as he turned to me, asking me if he had said anything odd. I told him that he started mumbling and I didn't hear what he had said. He let out a breath before changing the subject.

I never did ask him about it, and I don't think I will. After all, the English saying is 'curiosity killed the cat'...

Although we spent a lot of time together, I was used to Tsuzuki, even before this came up, so it really didn't seem to have any overall effect on me. After three months, I still was no closer to knowing if I felt the same about Tsuzuki as he did to me.

However, something would change all that.

One day, while at work, Tsuzuki suddenly came in one morning and announced to me that he had to leave for a few days. This seemed a little odd and me, being oblivious, asked him if a case had come in.

"This... isn't a case, Hisoka. I'll be gone for a few days. I have to go by myself."

I couldn't believe my ears when he said that. I don't think Tsuzuki and I have been apart for the past year. If this was around the time I first met him, I'd most likely wave my hand and tell him I'd see him in a few days.

Today, however, I found myself asking him why he had to go by himself.

"It's... well...” He bit his lower lip, as if he was considering his next words carefully. “I can't really explain right now. You'll have to trust me."

"But what if you're in danger!?" I retorted a bit too quickly and loudly. I felt my cheeks burning as Tsuzuki's eyes widened, obviously caught off-guard.

However, he seemed to recover all too quickly and smiled. "Hisoka, I'll be fine. It's just a concern with one of my Shikigami. I would take you with me if I could, but I have to go alone on this one."

I think he knew I wasn't completely convinced, especially when I crossed my arms and frowned. I was almost tempted to point out the fact that I have gone with him to visit some of his Shikigami before, but I bit my tongue in that regard. He ruffled my hair, to my annoyance, and threw his patent grin in my direction. "Hey, I'll be back in a few days, don't worry."

"Fine," I sulked and looked away. "Just don't expect me to do your paperwork for you."

My words had the desired effect as he laughed and walked to the door. "Well, I guess I'll see you later, Hisoka."

"Yeah..."

He turned around, looking at me. For a minute, it seemed like he wanted to say something. But he just smiled one last time and walked out the door.

People say that you don't realize how important somebody is until they're gone and those words would prove true. For the entire day, I filled out paperwork, trying to keep my mind busy. But what I was really doing was trying to avoid thinking about Tsuzuki, why he left so suddenly.

'Don't think about it,' I told myself as I filled out the paperwork. We were behind on it and I expected that it would take me the entire day to finish. When I was finally done, I looked at the clock...

Only three hours had passed since Tsuzuki left.

I decided I needed a break and went to read a book I had checked out a few weeks ago, but never got around to reading. The book was over five hundred pages long, and in English. I always found the more interesting books were in English.

But I just couldn't focus on the book in front of me. Every time I picked up on a paragraph, my mind just seemed to wander off. It's not easy to translate English in my head with my mind drifting off, so after this happened five times, I closed the book and looked up at the clock.

A half hour passed since the last time I looked...

Annoyed, I went to Tatsumi-san's office to see if anything had come in at all. Tatsumi-san seemed sort of surprised; not many people came to him for work, usually, he had to track one of us down to do it. Well, apparently, out of all the weeks this year, whatever higher deity decided that this week's workload would be the lightest workload ever to grace our division. Or so what I was told. Tatsumi-san told me if that I had finished all my work for the day, I was free to go home. I was tempted to beg for some work, just so I could distract myself, but I think that would freak Tatsumi-san out. Heck, the thought of begging for work freaked me out as well.

I had no real choice but to go back home.

I thought I would take a longer route home to enjoy the scenery. It was a clear fall day, not too warm, not too cold. The kind of day that some people would enjoy walking in the park, looking at the red, yellow, and orange leaves, enjoying the fresh air.

So why did I feel so miserable inside? Normally, I like taking walks on days like this, especially in the fall time. But today...

Again, I was stuck with going home. I opened the door, hung my coat up and checked the clock in the living room. Five hours since Tsuzuki left...

I decided that doing chores would keep me busy. However, that option was again void. I had spent so much time over Tsuzuki's house lately, that my house didn't exactly need a thorough cleaning. Sure, a few things needed to be dusted since I hadn't really spent much time at home. But that was about it. I always do the laundry often, and there was only a few pairs of socks and a t-shirt that were currently in the basket, hardly enough to do a load. All the dishes were put away and in their place. The carpets didn't have a speck of dirt on them. I had changed my bed sheets the other day...

I thought about going food shopping. But just yesterday, Tsuzuki had come over my house and we had gone to the market and ate at his place. I had bought food for the week then and he helped me put them away before we went back to his house for dinner...

Whatever deity that was watching over me, I had a feeling that he was laughing at my expense now. Laughing very hard.

I sat down on my couch, feeling frustrated and angry all at once. I started to feel angry towards Tsuzuki. I mean, he could have told me he was leaving a few days ago! Then maybe I could have planned something out to keep me occupied.

I then started to feel guilty after that. It wasn't Tsuzuki's fault that I was bored out of my mind. For all I know, Tsuzuki's trip could have been something he didn't plan at all. I stopped that train of thought before it could derail into the tunnel of worry.

I counted the soft ticks I could hear from my clock, trying to think of how I could spend my time or what I could get accomplished. One, two, three, four...

After counting up to one hundred, I decided that maybe I could just go to sleep. But the sun was still out, and because I was such a light sleeper, I'd only end up staring at the ceiling, counting the seconds pass by again. My total frustration with every other failure forced me to do this anyway and my prediction came to reality. I only got up once to fix myself dinner, which took me less than thirty minutes to produce and consume, before I went back to the 'Let's stare at the ceiling!' game before I eventually fell asleep.

At that time, I really didn't understand what the hell was wrong with me. Why couldn't I find anything to do? I could always find something to do before. I've always had something to occupy me and there were times where I thought there weren't enough hours in a day to do everything I needed to do. Yet, now, I felt so... restless, more so than I ever felt before...

To my utter disappointment, Tsuzuki wasn't in work the next day, and again, we had a light workload. Watari-san came in once while I was working, looking for guinea pigs, and I was tempted to volunteer, just so I could have something to do, when common sense came to whack me over the head. Again, I went to Tatsumi-san's office. Again, I was dismissed for the day. Again, I had found myself staring at the ceiling, with a dinner break in between, before sleep came.

The next day was a repeat of the day before, no word from Tsuzuki. He did say he was going to be gone for a few days, right? Maybe I should have asked him to call me while he was away... No. Why did I even think that?

The next day was a Sunday, our one day off. I decided that maybe Tsuzuki had come back, and went to his house. Of course, common sense told me that if he did come back that day, he would've called me or came right over to my house. So it really shouldn't have been too much of a surprise when I found his house empty.

I was about to go back home, but something stopped me. I just stood outside Tsuzuki's house, looking at the small garden he has to the left and thinking of all the plants he has inside his house. Tsuzuki wasn't home, so how were the plants being watered and cared? I didn't know much about gardening as Tsuzuki, but from the little he told me through conversation, I knew that plants had to be cared for at least every other day, and Tsuzuki hadn't been home for at least two days.

Digging the spare key out of my pocket that Tsuzuki had given me, I entered the empty house. Although it was empty and nothing had been used in the last few days, Tsuzuki's house never seemed dreary or lonely. That may be because of the layout and design of the rooms, colors, plants and all sorts of pictures and paintings decorated nearly every corner of the rooms. The windows weren't overly large, but they let enough sunlight in to brighten up the room.

I found his small plastic watering can for the indoor plants and proceeded to fill it up at the kitchen sink. I started with the plants in the living room and made my way towards the bedroom before pausing. Was it really okay for me to walk into Tsuzuki's bedroom while he wasn't home? Then again, was it really right for me to be in Tsuzuki's house when he's not home? Pushing my doubt down, I entered the room for the first time.

I was a little surprised at how orderly Tsuzuki's room was. I originally thought that given the way Tsuzuki acts and dresses, that his room and house, in general, would be a bit messy. But everything was put away and in order, the bed was made, the curtains were drawn back, even in the small bathroom, nothing was out of place save for the razor on the sink.

There were only two plants in the bedroom, a rather large tree-like plant that I didn't remember the name of near the dresser. And a small vase of white Gardenia flowers on his nightstand. I pondered why this flower before shaking my head, almost wishing I had checked out a flower book at the library.

After I had watered the flowers, I looked at the clock on the nightstand. It was only early afternoon. I thought that maybe Tsuzuki would come back, so I went back out to the living room and sat down, waiting patiently.

Then along comes Mr. Common Sense to whack me upside the head.

What was I doing here? For a few houseplants that aren't mine to take care of? No, that was just my excuse to come inside. But why did I want to come here? Why was I so restless these past few days, where I could barely focus on anything?

What had gotten into me?

I must have dozed off while my brain was trying to figure out an answer, because when I opened my eyes, the sun was down. I sat up quickly, mumbling about Tsuzuki's couch being way too comfortable when I noticed the blanket on my lap. Strange, I didn't remember putting a blanket over me...

There was nothing left to do. Tsuzuki wasn't home still and it was unlikely that he'd come back today, so I took one last look at the darkened house before getting my coat and locking the front door. Back to the white wall again...

When I opened the door to our office the next morning, and found it empty again, I think that's when I felt my sanity start to slip. It had been a 'few days', he should have been back by now. What could possibly keep him away from work for several days? Was he delayed at coming back? Was one of his Shikigami sick (Do Shikigami even get sick?)? Why didn't he at least send a message or call if that was the case? Didn't he trust me?

My vision blurred as I felt warm dampness making its way down my cheek. Why was I crying? I wiped the fallen tears from my cheek with my fingers, only for them to be replaced a few seconds later. Why couldn't I stop crying?

I didn't have time to think on the answer, because at that exact moment, Tatsumi-san decided to enter our office. I quickly turned away, attempting to dry my cheeks with the sleeve of my jacket before turning around. Tatsumi-san took one look at me before he adjusted his glasses and told me if I wasn't feeling well, that I should go home. I opened my mouth to argue, but he shook his head and said that it was going to be another slow week regardless and that even if a case did come in, he would have to assign it to someone else.

I really didn't have much of a choice. If there was no work to be done, there was no point in being there. Moreso with Tsuzuki not being there...

And there went the waterworks again.

I felt a hand on my shoulder as I looked up to Tatsumi-san, a small smile on his face. He told me that he would see me in a few days and wished me well before he walked out of the office. Taking a tissue from the box on my desk, I dried my tears and instead of walking home, I instantly teleported myself to the entrance of my house.

As soon as I entered, I felt my knees give away from me, like all the energy had left my body, the tears running down my cheeks as it suddenly became hard to breathe. I wrapped my arms around myself, my body shivering as I gasped desperately for air.

Maybe I was really sick. Yeah, sick with worry. Not to mention, I would definitely have to apologize to Tatsumi-san the next time I saw him. Even though he said little, I could tell he was genuinely concerned about me.

I took a deep, steady breath, chanting to myself to calm down as I closed my eyes. That seemed to have the desired effect on me. I slowly rose to my feet, taking off my jacket and shoes and made my way to my bedroom. I collapsed face first into the bed.

This wasn't like me at all. Why was Tsuzuki's departure having this sort of effect on me? Was it because I was worried about him? I worried about Tsuzuki in the past.

But not to the point where I could barely function by myself. Never to the point where I was counting down every agonizing second. It's not like Tsuzuki and I spent every single minute together, both in the past and up till this point. And yet, his missing presence continued to press down on me. I sighed as I closed my eyes, clearing my mind and let myself drift away into the darkness.

The next time I opened my eyes, the sky outside my window was a dark orange. I pushed myself up, wincing a little, not used to sleeping on my stomach. According to my clock, it was only a little before six in the evening. I shook my head, wondering how the hell I could sleep for almost 10 hours straight as I headed toward the bathroom.

When I looked at myself in the mirror, I knew why Tatsumi-san sent me home. 'I looked awful' would be an understatement. Even though I rested for almost half a day, if not more, my eyes still looked bloodshot, dried rheum built up in both corners. And was it just me, or did I look more pale than usual? I took a nearby washcloth to wash the sleep and tear stains off of my face.

I thought to make dinner as I left the bathroom, but decided against it. The thought of food right now was making me nauseous. I shook my head as I moved to look out the window in the living room, the sky taking on a darker glow, almost purple...

Maybe Tsuzuki would be back by now?

I didn't even think about it this time as I went to grab my discarded jacket and my shoes. Again, common sense, but at the time, I wasn't thinking clearly at all before I teleported right outside of Tsuzuki's house again.

The windows were dark, but that didn't stop me from pulling the key out of my pocket and opening the door. I fumbled for the light switch in the hall as I made my way inside.

Nothing had changed from when I was here yesterday. I knew that, and yet, I felt myself drawn deeper into the house. I took off my shoes and jacket, slowly making my way to the living room. The blanket that I had used was still on the couch, the water can on the floor where I had left it.

I unconsciously reached out for the blanket. Again, I didn't remember a blanket being here when I originally entered Tsuzuki's house yesterday. I closed my eyes as my fingertips touched the blanket. For a moment, I saw myself lying on the couch in the late afternoon light before a blanket was draped over my body, a familiar soft chuckle echoing in my ears.

My eyes immediately shot open as the blanket fell to the floor, but of course, the room was empty save for myself. But what was that image just now? Did I pick up something with my empathy just now? Or was I deluding myself?

I swear, I call Tsuzuki an idiot a lot. But sometimes, I wonder if Tsuzuki's fatuous behaviors were finally rubbing off on me, because I should have known the answer. Then again, I wasn't in the right state of mind at the time. And yet again, I was using that excuse to justify my actions.

I then looked to Tsuzuki's bedroom and before I knew it, I found myself making my way towards the door. Biting my lower lip, I turned the doorknob...

And just like the rest of the house, it was empty. But what was I expecting? I just stood there for a moment, gazing at the bed as the moonlight shone through the window. Biting my lower lip, I sat at the edge of the bed, my fingers running over the comforter. I closed my eyes as I felt myself fall back, hitting the pillow in the process, curling up into a fetal position. It was like... I could feel Tsuzuki's presence near me. Or maybe it's because his pillow smelt of the familiar mint cocoa along with a faint floral scent that I associated Tsuzuki with. Or maybe it's because I so desperately wanted to feel his presence that I was forcing my empathy to pick up on what really wasn't there.

“I miss you...” I found myself whispering, and that's when I finally figured out what a child would have figured out in a tenth of the time it took me. I started to chuckle as I grabbed the pillow, hugging it close to me. “I miss you.” I let out another laugh, noting that it sounded less like a laugh and more like a hiccup. “I...” I pressed my face into the pillow, hoping to hide my sobbing.

“Don't cry...”

My stomach started to shake as I buried my face further into the pillow. “Now I'm hearing your voice...”

“Hisoka, look at me.”

I lifted my head up. Even though it was still dark, it was obvious that I wasn't alone in the room anymore. I blinked my eyes, thinking I was just seeing an illusion sitting at the edge of the bed. Trembling slightly, I reached out my hand to Tsuzuki's form. When I felt his fingers gently brushing over mine before clasping it in both of his hands, the familiar warm emotions with a pinch of worry, I knew I wasn't imagining what I was seeing.

“You...” I could only manage to let out before I felt myself being pulled close to him, the pillow dropping from my hands as I let my emotions I've been bottling up for the last few days out. I felt a hand run through my hair as I buried my face into the familiar dress shirt, clutching it like a life line. I was vaguely reminded of a similar situation that seemed like long ago as I let my tears flow freely.

Even after my shaking ceased and my tears were all dried up, I didn't let go of Tsuzuki. I could still feel his hand stroking my hair, his other hand gently running up and down my side. I didn't want him to let me go, and I knew that was my own feelings, even though I surmised that Tsuzuki felt the same way.

“I'm sorry, Hisoka...” I heard him whisper in my ear. “I didn't know that... I shouldn't have... If I had known... I wouldn't have let them...”

“You're babbling.” I stated the obvious as I lifted my head along with one of my hands, my fingers splaying across his cheek. “Idiot...”

“But I made you upset!”

“It's not your fault. You didn't have a choice.” He shook his head as his eyes darted away from mine. I felt my insides turn to ice as I felt a wave of guilt roll over me. “Tsuzuki?”

“I did have a choice. But they said... they told me that time away could be a good thing. And it was so hard... I couldn't stay away for long... And... And!”

I almost pulled away from him when his thoughts and feelings started to overwhelm me. I settled at shaking him slightly. “Tsuzuki, calm down!” I breathed a sigh of relief when he closed his mouth, taking deep breaths. When his thoughts became more of a buzzing in the back of my head, I nodded my head. “You left that blanket out for me, didn't you?”

“Yeah...”

“You... had a reason not to wake me up and explain what you were doing?” A nod. “You said 'they'? Did you mean, your Shikigami?” Another nod. “So you weren't lying about seeing them at least?” Again, another nod, but I could faintly feel guilt and fear in the back of my mind. “Tsuzuki, stop assuming I'm upset when you barely explained anything to me yet. Why did you go see your Shikigami by yourself?”

“It was their idea...”

“Idea?” I was confused. I'll admit, I didn't converse with Tsuzuki's Shikigami too often. I briefly spoke to Suzaku and Byakko in the past, both in their animal and human form. And I've had intellectual conversations with Genbu in his human form a few times. Of course, there was Touda but I never really spoke to him. And Tsuzuki's mentioned others I've never met like Seiryu, but beyond that, his Shikigami were a mystery to me.

But I knew they cared about Tsuzuki. Even Touda, being more stand-offish than me, cared deeply for Tsuzuki. I decided to wait for him to explain to me before I would jump to any conclusions.

“Yeah. They... know how I feel about you.” I felt my face flush as he shook his head. “I didn't tell them though! Suzaku told me she figured it out by 'keen observation'. And Byakko pestered her until she told him, and he went around and told everyone else, and then they all decided to hold a meeting and...”

“You're babbling again.” I sighed as I clasped one of his hands in my own. “So your Shikigami found out about... your feelings toward me. And they decided to butt into your business. Am I correct?”

“Well, kind of.” His eyes shot down to our clasped hands before he looked back to me. “They said that... well, they convinced me to take some vacation time...”

“It's a wonder you have any vacation time...” I found myself mumbling. I almost laughed at the pout on Tsuzuki's lips.

“Hey, even I need a vacation once in a while! Although it took me a while to convince Tatsumi for me to use my time...”

I rolled my eyes as I brought us back to the subject at hand. “So they wanted you to take vacation time. Were they feeling lonely or...?”

“No. They thought... well, that I might be smothering you. Or that you might get bored with me if I hung around you too much. So they told me it might be better if we spent a little bit of time away from each other. I didn't really agree with them, because you would tell me, but then they said if I hung out with you too much, my feelings would mess around with your empathy and you would get confused, and I got confused, but I realized I really don't know much about your empathy works but neither do they, but...”

“Slow down, Tsuzuki!” My free hand rose to rub my head, trying to banish away my incoming headache. I swear, I don't even need my empathy to tell me how nervous Tsuzuki was. His mouth runs a mile a minute every time it happens. “So what you're telling me is your Shikigami convinced you of a problem between us that wasn't there to begin with. And you went along with it?”

“Yeah, but...”

I put a finger to his lips to silence him. “Let me do most of the talking for now or we'll be here all night.” When he didn't argue further, I continued. “So you agreed to go through with their plan, even though you had misgivings about it?”

“Yeah.”

“So you stayed with them since... Sunday? Why did you leave?”

“I actually came to water my plants. I couldn't leave them unattended for too long or they'd die.” Here, he smiled at me. “But I guess you beat me to the punch.” He chuckled when I turned my head away. “I'll be honest, I didn't expect to find you on my couch. I was going to wake you up, but...”

“That would have gone against their plan, right?”

“That's right. And I came back again today, because I needed a change of clothes. And I saw the lights in the living room on and your shoes in the doorway. And then I heard noise from my bedroom, so I went to see...”

“And you found me...”

He was silent for a few seconds before he grinned sheepishly. “I messed up, didn't I?”

I sighed as I reluctantly pushed myself away from him, looking into his eyes. “You didn't do anything wrong, Tsuzuki. I wished you talked to me about this before you went with their plan, but I know how much you care about them and they for you.” I wiped the half formed tear from his eye. “I don't know whether I want to strangle them or thank them.”

“Thank them?”

I took a deep breath, feeling my cheeks flush as I wrapped my arms around his neck, looking straight at him. “Yeah. Because their plan did work, but not in the way they expected. It's because you weren't around that I realized... how much I missed you.” I scowled at Tsuzuki's dazed expression. “I swear, I think your idiosyncrasy is rubbing off on me now.” And before I could let him respond, I placed my mouth over his, so that maybe he would, to put it bluntly, get a clue.

I had no experience in kissing anyone before. Let alone having this close contact with someone. Yeah, Tsuzuki and I touched each other from time to time. But this... was different. This was touch on a personal and intimate level. This was a level that I never allowed anyone to go to. That is, until now.

At first, I stayed perfectly still. And when I received no response, I thought I did something wrong. I pulled back a few centimeters, about to mumble an apology before he breached the small distance between us.

We just pressed our lips to each other chastely, a lukewarm pleasant feeling tickling in my abdomen. I felt a little dizzy, and my empathy certainly wasn't helping either. I could barely distinguish my feelings and thoughts from Tsuzuki's. But I didn't want to let go, if anything, I wanted... more. My tongue brushed his lips briefly, and I was surprised when his lips parted. I was unsure what to do, but luckily, Tsuzuki caught on and met me halfway as our tongues twined with each other.

It took all my willpower to part from his lips, but I needed air, and I think I would die of embarrassment if I passed out due to a kiss. I panted desperately for air as I opened my eyes to stare at him, my heart painfully hammering in my chest. I also wondered when and how I crawled into his lap.

“Hisoka...” I shivered at the whisper of my name as I felt his hand tangle in my hair. “You do know you can breath through your nose, right?”

I felt the blood rise to my cheeks. “I...idiot! How am I supposed to know!?” A smug look crossed his face and I was almost tempted to fall back into the 'stop embarrassing me' game. I settled for burying my face in the crook of his neck. “I guess... it's my turn to say 'I'm sorry'.”

“Huh??” I was almost tempted to look up to see Tsuzuki's shocked expression, but my body was content where it was. “What do you have to apologize over?”

“For taking so long to figure things out? For putting you in an uncomfortable situation? For being... ignorant and...” I didn't want to admit the last word, but I had to say it anyways. “And childish...”

Now it was Tsuzuki's turn to sigh. “It's okay, you know. To take time out and think. I don't want to rush things between us. I... care about you too much to do that to you, you know? And not knowing what to do... that doesn't make you childish at all. In fact, Hisoka, you're probably one of the most mature and smartest person I've met.”

“Now you're just sucking up.”

“But it's true!”

“I didn't deny that.”

“Hey!”

I laughed as I pressed myself closer to Tsuzuki, drowning myself in the warm hazy feelings that seemed to overtake my mind, pressing my mouth to his neck as my hands started to unbutton his dress shirt. Though when I sensed a tinge of hesitation coming from him, I pulled away slightly and looked up at him. “Tsuzuki?”

“Is... this okay? Are you okay? Your empathy...”

“It's fine. I'm okay.” Well, my empathy wasn't exactly 'okay' with a situation like this. Especially when I'm directly touching skin. I could easily mistake my feelings for Tsuzuki's and vice versa.

I pulled away, biting my lower lip as I could see the indecision in his eyes. “What about you?” Maybe I was the one making assumptions. Maybe those feelings I thought that were coming from him were just my own feelings. “Did I guess wrong?”

“It's only what I've been dreaming of.”

Now I was confused. If this was what he wanted, why was he holding himself back? “Then?”

“I... don't want to mess up.” His hand settled to my lower back as he closed his eyes. “Not in this. Not with you. I'm afraid...”

I almost wanted to laugh at the irony of Tsuzuki's words. I settled for shaking my head, as I finished unbuttoning his shirt. “You're not going to mess this up. Can you honestly say that if I told you to stop, that you wouldn't stop?” After popping the last button, I pushed the shirt off his shoulders, letting it fall to the bed as I looked back up at him. I sighed again as I put my finger to his lips to silence what I already knew what he was going to say. “And don't you dare compare yourself to him. What you feel to me, what you want to do with me, it's completely different.”

I had already accepted long ago what happened to me, I realized. Granted, I still had an occasional nightmare from time to time about that night. And I hate to admit it but sometimes, I would pull back from other people, mostly because I was scared of being hurt. And even right now, I have my doubts, though that's mostly from inexperience more than anything.

But I realized that I can't let what happened to me run and control my life. Because that's exactly what he would want. And I can't... no, I won't let him have that kind of control over me.

I can't let him stop what would or could happen to me in the future. Not when it involves Tsuzuki. Especially not with Tsuzuki.

When he smiled at me, I knew I had gotten the message across, my index finger caressing the lower part of his mouth. I whimpered as I watched his lips wrap around my finger, slowly sucking the digit in his mouth. A shiver ran up my spine as I felt his tongue gently caressing the tip and it took all my willpower to suppress the moan that wanted to make it's way out of me. His eyes then looked up at me, like a puppy waiting for approval from his master.

That one simple action opened the floodgates of my self control.

Pulling my finger back, I put the flat of my hand against his chest, pushing him down to the bed. He fell with no resistance as I straddled his hips, our mouths pressed together as I ran my hands up and down his chest. That fuzzy warm feeling that I sensed before has morphed into a wildfire, burning deep into my skin.

I gasped into our shared kiss as I felt Tsuzuki's hands slip under the back of my shirt, tracing slowly up my spine, my body quivering under his touch. A chuckle entered my head as he slipped his tongue in, probing and exploring. I decided two could play at this game as I pressed my hips against his, this time my own laugh echoing in my mind as his moan was lost in our kiss.

I parted from him briefly, lifting my arms up as he pulled my shirt over my head, throwing it to the floor. I felt my body tremble, whether it was from the cold, the obvious lustful thoughts coming from Tsuzuki, or even my own heightened emotions, I couldn't really tell. Did it even matter?

I stared down at him, my confidence starting to wane. What if I do something that he's not comfortable with? Or what if I do something embarrassing? Suddenly, I almost wanted him to take control of this.

“Tsuzuki, I... Shouldn't you...”

He grabbed my hand and placed it over his heart. “Hisoka, stop over-thinking. Just do what you feel is right.”

“What do you...”

“You're the Empath here. Use that to your advantage. Don't think, just feel.”

And he was right. I had an edge that most people wouldn't have in this situation. I would know if I did something he did like or dislike. I also knew he wouldn't care if I did something embarrassing either, that he would still feel the same way. And I also knew he wanted me to have full and total control right now, he was perfectly happy to let me go at my own pace, perfectly content to simply follow me.

I needed to stop looking at this from a logical view point and instead let his and even my own feelings be my guide. And right now, his sweat covered neck was calling out for my attention.

I pressed my mouth to his neck, my tongue darting out to lap at the skin as I felt his hand run through my hair. My hands roamed across his chest before brushing lightly over a nipple. His gasps drove me to grow bolder as I rolled the pert nub between my index finger and thumb.

“You like that?” I whispered, scarcely believing the huskiness of my own voice. I didn't wait for an answer as I continued downward before I met his other nipple. I gave it one long lick before engulfing it completely between my lips, suckling on it gently.

I definitely knew I was doing something right when I felt his fingers grip the back of my head. Why didn't I use my empathy right from the start? When I looked up, I saw Tsuzuki staring down at me, his eyes half lidded, his lips slightly parted. I stared at him for a while, wanting to burn that image in my memory.

“I want you.” I couldn't believe three simple words could have such an effect on me. My body shook as the blood rushed to my lower region, my pants suddenly feeling too tight. “Please...”

“Tsuzuki...” I murmured as I nuzzled my cheek against his stomach, my hands making their way further down. I noticed my hands were trembling, but I knew it definitely wasn't from nervousness anymore. My fingers only brushed the front of his pants for the briefest of moments before I had to pull away, the feelings my empathy was picking up from both Tsuzuki and myself being too much for me. I closed my eyes as I panted against his stomach.

“Hisoka?”

“'m fine,” I mumbled, my hand gently caressing the skin, hopefully reassuring him, trying to vanquish the fog that has settled in my mind. “Empathy, is all. Too much at once.” I glanced up at him. “Not your fault. Just need time. Don't want to pass out. Don't think stupid thoughts or I will hit you.” He smiled at me, his fingers stroking my forehead. My eyes started to flutter close as I felt myself lean into his touch.

When I finally felt comfortable enough to continue, I placed my hands at the edge of his pants. “Is this...?” I didn't even need to finish the question before he nodded to me. I popped the button as I proceeded to pull both his pants and underwear down, trying very hard to avoid looking at him. It's not that I didn't want to look at him. It's more that I was afraid that if I did, my self control would run away from me again, and I wanted this to last as long as I could let it.

When I finally removed them, along with his socks, I heard a whimper before I felt a hand at the edge of my jeans. “You too. Now.”

I nodded my head as I climbed back onto him. I almost laughed at the confused look in his eyes, trying to keep my eyes on the upper part of his body. “Well? What are you waiting for?”

Tsuzuki laughed for me instead as he brought our mouths together. I nibbled the lower part of his lip as I heard the sound of a zipper being pulled down, trying to distract myself from the realization that yes, this was really happening. Running my fingers through his hair, I nod my head as he slowly pulled down my remaining clothes. I broke away from him so he could slide my jeans and boxers off along with my socks.

I closed my eyes, biting my lower lip as he slowly started licking his way up my leg. The mere thought of that mouth slowly wrapping around me was driving me to the edge alone, and it hasn't even happened yet! I shuddered as that tongue made its way up my inner thigh, closer and closer...

And like a tease, he completely avoided the area, sliding back up to my face, lightly licking my cheek instead. Groaning in frustration, I crushed his mouth to mine, my tongue slipping inside his mouth, lacking any sort of gentleness. I felt his arms wrap around my shoulders, pulling me close to him. In revenge from before, I sneaked my hand down past his navel, my fingertips brushing by his obvious hardness. His eyes widened and I felt his teeth clamp down on my lips intensely enough to draw blood. I winced at the sudden pain as I drew back, licking at the fast healing cut.

I shook my head as I pressed his forehead to mine before he could open his mouth. “Idiot, don't apologize.” I felt myself smirk. “I didn't think that simple action would draw that kind of reaction out of you.”

“I can't help it, you have that effect on me.”

“Oh? Then what if I do this?” I wrapped my fingers around him this time. I didn't wait for a response as I started to slowly stroke up and down his length, his gasp echoing in my ears. Or maybe it was me gasping, it was almost like I was touching myself.

So much for control over my empathy, I was yet again getting our thoughts and feelings mixed together. But was that really a bad thing? Tsuzuki did tell me to 'just feel'. It made it easier on me, as I knew exactly where Tsuzuki wanted me to touch, and how slow or fast he wanted me to go.

When I felt him shudder under me, knowing he was almost at his peak, I pulled my hand away on purpose. I laughed as he whimpered like a puppy would as I leaned down towards his ear and whispered, “What do you want?”

“Want?”

“Yes.” I hissed as I licked his earlobe, suckling slowly between my lips. He wiggled under me, letting out a shaky breath.

“Want. More.” I gasped as he thrust our hips together. “Now.”

“Someone is losing control...” I mumbled, wondering if I was talking about him or me.

I started to rock my hips to Tsuzuki's in a slow rhythm, wanting to prolong this sweet torture for as long as I could. I found myself nipping at his skin. Or maybe I felt him licking at my skin. I couldn't tell anymore, my control slipping through my fingers once again. But at this point, I could care less.

The tempo picked up quickly enough between us, my want to savor slowly morphing into wanting release right now. I could feel the blood rushing to my ears, the wildfire that seemingly consumed me (Both of us now) wanting to finally burn itself out.

“Hisoka...” Tsuzuki panted near my ear as he jerked his hips up to meet mine, his fingers digging desperately into my shoulders. “I can't... Please!”

I knew he was close again. I could feel it in the pit of my stomach. Or maybe that was my own feelings. Either way, I didn't want him to hold back on my account any longer. “Let go then, Tsuzuki...” I cooed as I bit into his collarbone.

I shuddered as the blaze finally consumed me as Tsuzuki's orgasm rushed though me, my own shortly following after. My vision blackened as I collapsed into the darkness, two orgasms at once being way too much for me to handle. I felt something warm stroking my cheek, my sense of self starting to come back to me. The first thing I saw when my vision finally came back to me was a pair of violet eyes.

“You okay?”

I nodded my head, wiping the bead of sweat from Tsuzuki's forehead. “I'm... okay. More than okay, really. Tired, that's for sure. And a bit sticky, but... It's just going to take some time for me to adjust my control on my empathy when we're like this again, that's all.” I smiled as I caressed his cheek. “And yes, I want to do this again, you idiot.” I felt myself pulled up as I watch Tsuzuki kick the now stained comforter off the bed, sliding both of us between the sheets. “Wait, we should clean up. The sheets...”

“Don't care.” He mumbled as he wrapped his arm around me, pulling me close, his face nuzzling into my neck. “I'll do laundry tomorrow. Right now, I just want to stay here... with you.”

“But what about work...?”

“I still have a few days off left.” The hold he had on my waist tightened a little. “But you can go in if...”

“Tatsumi-san sent me home on sick leave earlier today. He told me he'd see me in a few days, so it should be okay.”

“That's good... We're... good, right?”

“Idiot, why are you even asking that question?” I shook my head as I stroked his cheek. “Just go to sleep. First thing tomorrow will be a bath. You can wash the comforter and sheets. And then we can talk.”

“Bath sounds nice. Bath together sounds even better...” He mumbled as he closed his eyes, his breathing evening out.

Yeah, we had a lot of things to talk about. Or actually, we really didn't. I already knew how Tsuzuki felt about me. And I now knew what I felt about him.

Love can exist in its own space by itself. So can lust. But both love and lust can co-exist together, entangling themselves between two people .

Just like they twine myself and Tsuzuki together...

“I love you, too.” I whispered as I drifted off into slumber's embrace.