Up to Speed
Chapter Seventeen: Up to Speed:
-July 1st, 2011-
Tsuzuki frowned at his desk. I miss my bed! He looked up to see Hisoka staring at him.
“Oh, Hisoka-kun,” Tsuzuki said. His partner folded his arms across his chest, frowning.
“Where have you been?” he asked. The older shinigami gave him a sheepish smile.
“At home,” he said.
“Why?” Hisoka asked. Tsuzuki rubbed the back of his head.
“Oh, sorry,” he said. “You see, I seemed to have developed this condition where I can’t leave my apartment during the rainy season. Funny, I think I gave it to the wife too. So weird.”
“So why didn’t you call?”
“Oh. The phones were turned off.”
Tsuzuki shrugged. “Didn’t want to be bothered.”
Hisoka groaned. “Oh never mind. We’ve got a serious problem.” Tsuzuki sat up.
“What is it?” he asked. Hisoka rubbed his forehead.
“You’ve been out of the loop, haven’t you?” he asked. “This is really bad.”
“Worse than the Eda-Kimoto?” the older shinigami asked.
“Yes!” his partner said. “We have to meet with the chief now!”
“Alright,” Tsuzuki said, confused.
Konoe frowned at Tsuzuki. The oldest shinigami nervously chuckled.
“So good to have you back,” Konoe muttered. Tsuzuki gave him a forced, cheesy grin.
“It’s good to be back,” he said. Konoe cleared his throat.
“Anyway,” he said. “Come look at this.” The shinigami walked over to the computer. Bright orange lights flashed over a map of Japan. One would grow big and fifteen would vanish. Tsuzuki turned to the manager.
“What was that?” he asked.
“My fault, I’m afraid,” a voice spoke up. The boys look up to see Aizawa-san on the other side of the room. She bowed her head.
“I am so sorry,” she said.
“Uh… Who are you?” Tsuzuki asked.
“Oh, I don’t believe we met,” Aizawa-san said. “My name is Christine Aizawa. I am one of the main shinigami for Enma-Daioh.” Tsuzuki whistled.
“Wow,” he said. But then, he looked confused. “Christine? Are you… half Japanese?”
“Yes,” she said.
“Okay,” he said.
“Please focus here,” Konoe said. Christine cleared her throat.
“This is being caused by high-risk souls,” she said. Tsuzuki and Hisoka noticed her trembling as she spoke.
“It’s okay,” the younger shinigami said. “We’re here to help.” Christine breathed as she tried to remain standing.
“I was supposed to take these high-risk souls to out king,” she said. “But… But…” Tears began to form in her eyes. Christine buried her face in her hands.
“Oh god, I’m so screwed,” she wailed. “I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault!” The female shinigami ran out of the office Hisoka turned to Tsuzuki and Konoe.
“I’ll talk to her,” he said. The younger shinigami bowed and followed after Christine. Tsuzuki turned the manager with a confused look on his face.
Hisoka found Christine sobbing in the hallway. She looked up when she heard his footsteps.
“It’s over for me,” the shinigami said. “I’m going to lose my job over this. I just know it. I’m done for!” Christine leaned against his chest and sobbed. Hisoka didn’t know whether to hold her or not.
“We’ll fix this,” he said. “Crying over it won’t help.” Christine looked at him with big eyes.
“But it took me about a year to track down those souls and capture them,” she said, whimpering. “How can we get them back before my deadline?”
“We will try,” Hisoka said. “You have all of us at Ju-Oh-Cho and me. We will get those souls back and give them to the king on time. Now, dry your eyes and let’s get back in there. Tsuzuki-san is still clueless about the current situation.” Christine nodded and wiped away her tears.
“Better?” Hisoka asked.
“A little,” she said.
“Good,” the male shinigami said. “Let’s go.” He followed back into Konoe’s office. After thirty minutes, Tsuzuki was caught up to speed.
“Okay,” he said. “So, how do we handle this?”