Chapter Twenty-Two: Sitting Target:
December 22nd, 2009. 6:00 p.m.
The shinigami and demons sat in the hospital cafeteria. Nobody spoke at first. Tatsumi lowered his tea.
"So what do we have here?" he asked.
"Tsuzuki's been missing since the fifteenth," Watari said. "He hasn't been by his apartment or to work."
"No one can reach him," Tatsumi added.
"Three days later, Anna is raped and poisoned into a catatonic state," Hisoka said.
"Then this morning we get the tape," Emiko said. The butch demon looked at everyone. "So what do we make of this?" she asked as she lowered her soda. "It sounded like him on the tape." Hisoka's hand trembled as he shook his head.
"No!" he blurted out. "That's not him! Tsuzuki's not like that!" Watari rested his hand on the boy's shoulder. Hisoka eyed him.
"We know," the scientist said in a low voice. "We know, Bon. Just calm down." Hisoka took in a bitter breath.
"Right," Emiko said. "We believe it's a possession." The shinigami looked at her.
"Possession?" they asked.
"We can't be certain," Hotaru answered. "We need more information."
"So where's the tape now?" Tatsumi asked.
"It's cool," Mike said. "I hid it here in the hospital."
"Where?" Tatsumi asked.
"With an old friend."
Tatsumi gave him an odd look. "Old friend?"
"Yeah, she's been put in this hospital since the eighties. She has mental problems." The demons noticed the crew's faces.
"It'll be okay," Mike insisted. "Her family is in America and the nurses don't ask questions." He rose to his feet. "Come on," he said. "I'll show you." Mike headed out of the cafeteria. The others looked uncertain.
"Well?" Tatsumi asked. Emiko shrugged.
"If he says so," she said. "He's yet to fail us, yet." The butch demon got up and followed behind. The boys eyed Hotaru as she gave them a little shrug.
"I follow Emiko-sama," she said. The loli demon got up and followed her housemates. One by one, the shinigami followed the demons.
They all came to their third floor by elevator. Mike led the way down the hall to room 320. Mike turned to everyone.
"I'll do all of the talking," he said. The demon turned back to the door and knocked on it.
"Who is it?" a small voice asked.
"It's me, Hana," Mike replied.
"Mikey?" the voice asked. "Mikey, come in." The demon opened the door and went inside. A middle-aged woman sat up in bed, looking at them. Her black-plum hair was pinned behind her ears. Her crow's-feet matched the smile on her face. The hospital gown swallowed her tiny frame in one gulp. She waved at the crew like a little school-child.
"Hi Mikey!" she cheered. Mike forced himself to smile back.
"You're looking great, Hana," he said. "Are you enjoying the gift I gave you in the tape player?"
"Yep!" she said.
"You still have it, right?"
"I think so."
"Let's see, okay?"
Mike looked in the tape player on the table next to her. He stuck a thumbs up to the crew. He turned back to Hana.
"Did I do good?" she asked. Mike smiled back at her.
"Yes," he said. "You did good."
"Am I a good girl?"
Mike patted her on the head. "Yes, you are a good girl." Hana only smiled as the others tried to understand this weird relationship before them.