Chapter Nine: Haunting:
Tsuzuki awoke to the sound of crying the next morning. He looked and saw Anna by the window in tears. Her boyfriend lifted his head.
"Anna-chan?" he asked. "What's the matter?" Anna turned to him and sobbed.
"Papa!" she wailed. Tsuzuki crawled over to her.
"What about him?" he whispered. "Did you have a dream about your dad?" Anna nodded as she wiped away her tears. Tsuzuki held her in his arms. She cried against his chest. He kissed her on the forehead.
"I can't see him in my dreams anymore!" Anna wailed. "He's there and then he disappears." She looked up at him. "I don't want to forget him!" she whimpered. "I don't want him to disappear from memories."
"Shhh," Tsuzuki whispered. "You won't forget him. I won't let you." Anna cried on his chest. A peculiar sense ease filled Tsuzuki. Good, he thought. Good, she's still here. They still had some time before the shield broke down. Suddenly, his cell phone buzzed. Tsuzuki jerked his head upwards.
"Answer it," Anna whispered. Her boyfriend gave her a puzzled look.
"You sure?" he asked.
"Answer it," she insisted. The shinigami looked over at his phone sitting on the nightstand. He dropped his shoulders.
"Alright," he said. Tsuzuki let go of his beloved and picked up his phone.
"Hello?" Tsuzuki asked.
"Where are you?" Hisoka asked. "We have a meeting right now!" The older shinigami blinked.
"Huh?" he asked. Hisoka sighed on the other line.
"We have a meeting right now!" he repeated. "Over here right away!"
"Oh," Tsuzuki replied.
"Oh?" his partner asked. "Don't say 'Oh.' Get here now!" Tsuzuki nodded.
"Okay, okay," he said. "I'll be right there."
"Hurry up, you idiot!" Hisoka snapped. He hung up the phone. Tsuzuki lowered his phone and turned to his fiancée.
"I've got to go to work," he said. "You think you'll be okay without me?" Anna nodded and wiped away her tears.
"Yeah," she said. "I'll be fine. Just go to work." Tsuzuki slowly stood up.
"I have my phone on me if you want to talk, okay?" he informed her.
"Alright," Anna replied.
"Okay…" he mumbled. The shinigami turned and walked out the bedroom door.
At Ju-Oh-Cho, Tatsumi started up the slide show for the latest case.
"Corpses have been vanishing all over Japan's funeral homes," he said. "There have been reports of the bodies walking around the city."
"It is suspected that this is the work of a summoner," he went on. Konoe turned to Tsuzuki and Hisoka.
"We need you to find the cause and put an end to it," he said.
"Yes sir," the boys said. Tatsumi changed the slide.
"We'll need you to start at this funeral home here in Tokyo," he said. Tsuzuki's face went pale.
"Oh shit…" he mumbled. Hisoka glanced at him.
"What's wrong?" he asked. His partner didn't speak. Tsuzuki got up and quickly exited the room.
"Tsuzuki!" Hisoka called out. His partner didn't listen. Once in the hall, Tsuzuki drew out his cell phone and made the call.
"Come on, pick up! Pick up!" he murmured.
"Hello?" his girlfriend asked. The shinigami drew in a deep breath before speaking.
"Anna-chan, we have a problem," he said.
"What do you mean?" she asked. Her fiancé tried to settle his nerves.
"There's a case of moving corpses in Tokyo," he whimpered.
"So?" Anna asked. Tsuzuki drew in another breath.
"We have to start with Ryo's Funeral Home," he said.
"I was there…" Anna said in a quiet voice.
"Yes, and you know the clause of the Hell Stone, right?" he asked in a small voice.
"Yes, if the Stone stays in a body over thirty minutes, someone else has to die in their place, right?" his fiancée answered.
"Exactly," Tsuzuki answered.
"So… who died in my place?" she asked. He bit his lower lip.
"The funeral director…" his voice trailed off in the phone.