Chapter Nine: Dippoldism:

March 1st, 2010.

6:00 p.m.

Tsuzuki did a little shopping on his own. He had her ring and now to get his. Come to find out, the same jewelry store where he bought Anna's ring had a chain of stores in Kyoto as well. Tsuzuki smiled at the door and went inside. Lucky!

"Welcome!" the clerk perked up. "How can I help today?" Tsuzuki walked up to the counter.

"How are you this evening?" he asked.

"Good," the clerk said. "What can I do for you tonight?"

"Here." Tsuzuki reached into his jacket and pulled out Anna's ring. "I want mine to compliment this one."

"You mean… Oh!"


The clerk felt like singing. "Well okay, let me see your hand." Tsuzuki held out his left hand.

"Ooo! You have such strong hands!" the clerk cooed with bright pink cheeks.

"Thanks," Tsuzuki said. The woman measured his ring finger and took down the numbers she needed.

"Do you want any engravings in it?" she asked.

"How long will that take?"

"About a week."

"A week? No, I don't want an engraving."

"Okay, I have just the ring." She reached into the glass counter, pulled out a display of male wedding bands, and picked up the one in the middle. Tsuzuki examined and compared it to Anna's ring.

"Hm," he said. "This is the only one?"

"We do have others. Take your time if you need to," she said. Tsuzuki looked through each ring. He settled on a platinum band that spoke to him.

"I'll take this one," he said.

"Would you like that gift-wrapped?" the clerk asked.

"Sure," the shinigami replied. The clerk boxed up the ring after Tsuzuki made the purchase.

"Have a nice night," she said.

"You too!" he said back. Tsuzuki was almost done with the preparations. He just needed one more thing…

April 3rd, 2010.

10:30 p.m.

"Hisoka-kun, why do these women keep hitting on me?" Tsuzuki complained with his face buried in the pillow. Hisoka sat at the hotel room desk.

"Look at you," he said.

"But I'm married!"

"So?" Hisoka didn't even turn around, but he smiled in his head. Somehow, he enjoyed this. At least, his partner couldn't enjoy his new wife carnally. Tsuzuki lifted his head.

"You don't care, do you?" he asked. Hisoka resisted speaking his mind.

"Why do you say that?" he asked. Tsuzuki sighed.

"I mean," he said. "Don't they see this ring?" The older shinigami held up his hand. His wedding band caught the moonlight from the window.

"It's like they only see it as a challenge!" Tsuzuki complained. He groaned and buried his face back into the pillow. Hisoka lowered his shoulders.

"What can I tell you?" he asked. His partner lifted his head, frowning.

"You really don't care, do you?" he whimpered. Hisoka sighed and rolled his eyes.

"I'm going to go take a shower," he mumbled. He stood up and walked to the bathroom. Tsuzuki looked desperate as he watched him do so.

"Hisoka-kun?" he asked. The bathroom swung closed.

Pathetic. It was fun for that short while though. Hisoka let the warm water caress his skin. Tsuzuki might snap if this kept up, snap or give into temptation, whichever came first. Hisoka looked down at the drain. What good was it to gloat? It just made him feel emptier than before. He should just give up and accept how things are now. He closed his eyes as he clenched his fists. His heart suddenly jumped at a slight breeze in the shower. The shinigami ripped open his eyes and looked up in the shower.

"Who's there?" he asked. The shadow ate into his brain.

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