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Tatsumi watched with a slightly raised brow as Tsuzuki devoured the Cinnabon roll in what was surely record time. He felt a faint but all too familiar tug on his heart as the Shinigami inhaled the treat, and he clenched his teeth against the flood of memories that threatened to overcome him. It was far easier to focus on the disadvantages he had faced while partnering with Tsuzuki; there were many, that was for sure. But hadn’t that time also been the happiest he had been in his entire afterlife?

Not that such things even mattered anymore.


Tsuzuki looked up from his dish and blinked at him with wide, purple eyes. Tatsumi was amazed, even now, that the man sitting across from him was so frighteningly powerful and yet so incredibly fragile… and infinitely adorable. He reached into his breast pocket and produced a handkerchief. Then, as he had done so often in the past, he reached across the table and swiped at the corner of Tsuzuki’s mouth, softly, gently, letting his thumb trail across that surprisingly smooth skin as he moved his hand away.

“I don’t know how Kurosaki puts up with your slovenliness,” Tatsumi said, curling the handkerchief into his fist. “Speaking of which, aren’t you supposed to meet him soon?”

“Oh!” Tsuzuki bolted to his feet and pushed in his chair, fearful of the boy’s wrath, and rightfully so. “Thank you, Tatsumi,” he said, rushing over to the door. He paused and turned around, offering Tatsumi the sweetest smile he ever saw. “For everything.”

Tatsumi waited until he was certain Tsuzuki was gone before closing his eyes and pressing the handkerchief to his mouth. He remained that way for some time, ignoring the bothersome stinging in his eyes and lamenting all of the things that would never come to pass, things that were too far gone to consider. He then shoved the handkerchief back into his pocket and stood up, grabbing Tsuzuki’s plate and fork. After a moment of careful consideration, he decided that he would not deduct the Cinnabon from Tsuzuki’s meal allowance for today.

He would wait until tomorrow.