Chapter Three: Frotteurism:
March 1st, 2010.
It was love at first sight and she just had to have it.
Tsuzuki and Anna wandered around an old-time shopping district after lunch. She took in the sights and sounds as he plotted out the right stores to come back to. They had just left the bakery after picking up her birthday cake. Tsuzuki turned to his girl.
"Where to next, birthday girl?" he asked.
"Hm, let's see," she said. Anna looked around at the various shops. She stopped short at one in particular.
"Oh!" she gasped. Anna wandered across the street.
"Anna-chan?" Tsuzuki asked as he followed her.
"What is it?" he asked. She pointed to the glass in front of her. Tsuzuki looked up and saw a mannequin standing in the window wearing a bridal kimono. The garment looked like a standard wedding kimono at the shoulders, but as the eyes went downwards, the pristine white blended into a hazy cherry blossom pink. The design had a flowery appearance all the way down to the very pink hem. The obi mirrored the blending color of the kimono. Anna's eyes lit up at such beauty.
"Wow!" she murmured. "I wish I could wear it." Tsuzuki had already incorporated the kimono in his plans. He embraced Anna in his arms from behind.
"It would look beautiful on you," he said. His girl frowned.
"Probably can't afford it anyway," she complained. Tsuzuki happened to look up at the store door when he noticed the going out of business sign. He nuzzled her ear.
"Hold that thought," the shinigami said. He grabbed her by the hand and led her into the store. The store owner looked up when he heard the bell ring. Tsuzuki and Anna stood in the doorway. The man turned to the birthday girl.
"Let me deal with him, okay?" he said. Anna gave him a blank stare.
"What?" she asked. Tsuzuki walked up to the counter. The old man eyed him.
"Welcome sir," he said. "How may I help you today?" Tsuzuki gave him a big smile.
"I noticed your sign at the door," he said. "Thought I would take a look around." The old man smiled back at him.
"Ah yes, my health hasn't been in the best shape lately. So, I'm moving to the countryside for some rest. What can I do for you today?"
"You see, it's that young lady's birthday today and I want to get her something special."
The old man's eyes lit up. "Anything in particular you want?" he asked.
Tsuzuki looked around. "Well, I'd like that kimono in the shop window." The old man's face dimmed.
"You sure you don't want anything else?" he asked.
"No," Tsuzuki replied. "Just the kimono." The old man lowered his head.
The store owner fidgeted as he looked at his hands. "Alright, but, I have to tell you one thing."
"What?" the shinigami asked. The old man leaned in close.
"This was a gift to my daughter before she died," he said.
"A gift?" Tsuzuki asked.
The store owner nodded. "She was to get married after college, but then, she died in a car accident. Her fiancé's mother made it just for her. I hadn't had the heart to keep it or sell it."
"We'll treat it well," Tsuzuki assured him.
"Do I have your word?"
"We'll take care of it like your daughter would. It'll stay in good condition for years to come."
The old man's eyes filled with tears with a bow. "I thank you!" Anna watched, curious. Tsuzuki switched to whispering and straining to listen proved useless. However in a few moments, she got to try on the kimono. The store owner smiled after she modeled it for him.
"You're lovely just like my daughter was," he said. Anna just bowed her head with grace.
"Thank you, sir," she said. Tsuzuki bought the kimono at a thirty percent discount.
April 1st, 2010.
Tsuzuki blinked at Tana with his jaw dropped.
"What?" he asked. Tatsumi had his therapist friend go back to Tsuzuki's apartment to begin therapy. Tana gave him a serious face in the living room.
"No sex for a month," she repeated.
"Why?" Anna asked. Tana straightened up her glasses.
"You need to be away from each other for a bit," she said. "The mother being free can put a detrimental strain on you both. You rushed into marriage a month ago, right?"
"Yes," Tsuzuki replied.
"That kind of behavior is reckless in this situation," Tana said. "Take a month off from each other. Sleep in separate places if you have to. Don't have sex, period." Tsuzuki opened his mouth to speak, but she cut him off.
"No sex!" Tana said. "Do you understand me?" The couple frowned.
"Alright," Anna said in defeat. The therapist turned her attention to the husband.
"Understand, Tsuzuki-san?" she said. He puffed up his cheeks and pouted.
"Fine," he grumbled. Tana finished her notes.
"Very well," she said. "I will check on your progress every week. Any questions?"
"No," the shinigami grumbled.
"Excellent," the therapist said. "I will check back on you both in three days. Call if you have questions."
"Okay," the couple said.
"I will see myself out," Tana said. "Excuse me." She bowed her head and stood up. Tsuzuki and Anna listened as the doc walked out the door. They turned to each other, frowning.
"No sex for a month, huh?" Anna asked. Tsuzuki bit his lower lip as his stomach turned.
April 2nd, 2010.
"Tsuzuki-san! Hisoka-kun!" Younger Gushoshin called in the office. "Konoe-san wants to see you!" The older shinigami sighed.
"Fine," he mumbled. Tsuzuki rose to his feet. Everyone noticed her looked drained and miserable. Many tried to guess to what happened.
"Did he and Kimoto-san have a fight?"
"He won't talk about it."
"Think it's trouble in paradise?"
Hearing all of this, made Tsuzuki want to disappear so badly. Konoe just had to add the final punch.
"There have been couples found dead in strange positions near Shinto shrines in Tokyo," he began. "Their bodies have been drained of all their blood."
"There have been no markings on the bodies at all," Tatsumi added. "We need you to find the cause." Tsuzuki put on a brave face. Maybe work would make him forget the predicament Tana put him in.
"So where is this taking place?" he asked.
"Kabukicho," Konoe replied. The color drained from Tsuzuki's face.
"Kabukicho?!" he complained. "The red light district?!"
"Yes," Konoe said. "Is there a problem?" His tone made the shinigami quickly shake his head.
"Uh…, no, no!" he lied. "It's just fine!" Konoe sat back at his desk.
"Get on it right now," he said. "We can't afford to have any more victims!"
"Yes sir!" Tsuzuki and Hisoka replied. The former groaned in his head.