Bittersweet

Welcome Home

Chapter Twenty: Welcome Home:

"Anna-chan," someone whispered. "Anna-chan, wake up." Greenish brown eyes opened to meet warm, violet ones.

"Asato-kun?" the woman asked.

"Sleep well?" her fiancé asked. Anna didn't speak at first. Her hands trembled against her green sheets.

"Is something wrong?" Tsuzuki asked. Anna shook her head.

"It's nothing," she lied.

"Bad dream?" he asked.

"Sort of," his fiancée said. Tsuzuki rubbed her hand.

"Let's go out tonight," he said. Anna blinked at him.

"Why?" she asked. Her man shrugged.

"Feel like it," he said. Tsuzuki kissed her on the forehead. "Now come on," he said. "Get up and get dressed." The shinigami rose to his feet.

"I'll be in the living room," he said. Tsuzuki turned and left the room. Anna sat in her futon, blinking. Okay… What's going on? Am I… home now?

"Come on!" Tsuzuki called again. "It'll be too late at this rate!"

"Alright," Anna said. She climbed out of bed and got dressed. She met up with Tsuzuki in five minutes. He gave her a gentle smile.

"Ready to go?" he asked. Anna smiled back.

"Yeah," she answered. Her man took her hand and led her out the door.

Snow floated down around them. Christmastime came to life this evening. Little children laughed outside. Anna stayed close to Tsuzuki. So many questions filled her brain.

"Asato-kun," she said. Her fiancé didn't turn around.

"Hm?" he asked. Anna swallowed a bit.

"Where did you go six days ago?" she asked. "You didn't call and no once had seen you. Did something happen?" He didn't answer. Anna looked on at him.

"Is something wrong?"

"I'm here now."

"Asato-kun?"

He turned to her smiling. "Never mind. Let's get something to eat."

Anna blinked. "Asato-kun…" Tsuzuki grabbed her by the hand and led her further into the city. Anna forced herself to smile. Something kept nagging at her. I think it's him… She held his hand tighter. Tsuzuki glanced over at her.

"Something wrong?" he asked. Anna shook her head.

"Nothing," she lied. "It's nothing." He didn't press harder. The man only smiled.

The couple came to a small Thai restaurant. Tsuzuki opened the door. Only four or five people inside tonight. Anna took in slow breathes. Maybe this won't be so bad. We're in a public place with people.Tsuzuki got them a table near the window. He pulled out a chair for Anna and she took it. He sat opposite of her. They both ordered Thai tea. Anna didn't drink hers right away.

"Asato-kun?"

"Hm?"

She lowered her glass. "About four nights ago…"

"Yes?"

"That night… really scared me."

He lowered his head. "I am so sorry."

"What happened there?"

Tsuzuki's hands trembled. "I'm so sorry!" Tears ran down his face. Anna gently held his hand. Tsuzuki quickly looked up. His lady gave him a calm smile.

"Take your time if you have to," she said. Her man nodded.

"There," she whispered. A waitress came by their table. She blinked at them with a face of puzzlement as she tried to figure out what was going on in this picture. The couple looked up and saw her.

"Uh… are you ready to order?" she asked.

"Yes we are," Anna replied. "I'll have the Pad Thai."

"Same here," Tsuzuki replied. The waitress wrote down their orders.

"Alright, your food will be out shortly," she said. The waitress disappeared to the back. Anna's eyes trailed back to her man. She could tell Tsuzuki burned to say something, but he couldn't. His woman held his hand. His eyes met hers. Anna gave him a little smile.

"It's okay," she whispered. "I'm here for you." Tsuzuki forced himself to smile. The waitress returned with their food and dinner was silent. The couple cut through the park on the way home. They saw couples ice staking down the hill.

"Look!" Anna cheered. "That looks fun." She turned to her man. "Can we go ice skating some time?"

Tsuzuki smiled. "Sure." Anna nuzzled his ear. Her love turned to her with his own smile.

"Let's take a bath together," he whispered. Anna blushed at the suggestion.

"S-Sure!" she said. Her man laughed. So cute! The shinigami walked her home. Everything seemed normal from there. No more questions followed. Tsuzuki ran her bath as Anna got undressed in her room. Feels nice to have something normal for a change, she thought. So good to be home.

"Bath's ready!" Tsuzuki called.

"Okay," his fiancée replied. She headed into the bathroom. Anna sat on Tsuzuki's lap in the bathtub as they soaked in the heated water. He held her close to his body. Neither one spoke, but they relished in the tender moment they shared together. Anna rested her head on his chest.

It really feels like I am home, she thought.

"I love you, Asato-kun," she said in a low voice. Her fiancé glanced down at her.

"Did you say something?" he asked. Anna only smiled as she shook her head. After a bath together, the couple went to bed. They slept peacefully in each other's arms.

But by morning, Anna woke up alone.

"Asato-kun?" she asked as she looked around in her futon. She wandered all the way to the backyard deck. Tsuzuki stood alone in the snow, looking out. Anna slowly approached him.

"Asato-kun?" she asked. He kept his back to her, not responding.

"Asato-kun?" the woman asked again as she walked closer. He turned around. She froze in place. The violet eyes went cold again. He grabbed her by the waist and held her still.

"I will end you," he whispered. Her spine went frozen with fear.

And then, fade into nothing.

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