Soul Food
by Rana Eros

Written for Stages of Love, to the theme of "the five basic tastes." Betaed by Eliza, who once more saved my bacon when it came to titles.

Soup and Sympathy

The thing about recovery is that it leaves him too much time to think. Considering what he has to think about, Tsuzuki would rather be at the office, coming up with creative ways to avoid paperwork and teasing a blush from Hisoka.

Of course, Hisoka's recovering too, which is another thing he doesn't want to think about.

There's an abrupt knock on his door. Hisoka's on the other side, holding a covered pot. "I met Tatsumi-san on my way over. He gave me soup for us to share."

They eat together in Tsuzuki's tiny kitchen, close, unspeaking. It's good soup.

Better Than Mochi

Tsuzuki buys mochi from a corner cafe in Nagasaki. Hisoka comes with him for tea. Tsuzuki offers Hisoka some mochi, is surprised to find himself disappointed when Hisoka refuses. He knows he's not good at sharing sweets. He also knows he likes it when Hisoka tells him yes.

They sit at a table by the windows so Tsuzuki can see the park across the street while Hisoka reads. It's autumn, though, and Hisoka looks up from his book as he sips his tea, his expression almost peaceful.

Watching him, Tsuzuki forgets to eat. There's a sweetness on his tongue nonetheless.

Too Few Cooks

Hisoka won't eat Tsuzuki's cooking. Tsuzuki understands; Hisoka prefers simple food, and Tsuzuki likes to experiment. It'd be nice if Hisoka would at least taste-test on occasion, but Tsuzuki picks his battles.

So he sits at Hisoka's table, obediently staying out of the kitchen. Hisoka's cooking for him, even promised him dessert, but he had to promise not to help.

Which is why he stays seated when he smells something burning, only calling out, "Hisoka?"

There's swearing and banging; Hisoka slams out of the kitchen. "Get your coat. We're going out."

Tsuzuki looks at Hisoka's dark face, gets his coat.

An Unbalanced Meal

Lunch with Hisoka in Gensoukai should be happy, given that it combines several of Tsuzuki's favorite things. Unfortunately, the reason for it mitigates the appeal. Hisoka sits impatiently beside him, anxious to find his own Shikigami, unheeding of the danger.

Tsuzuki wishes he could give one of his Shikigami to Hisoka. He doesn't think most of them would mind. If only things worked that way.

Not that Hisoka would accept if it did work that way. He's prickly and stubborn; it saved Tsuzuki, but he's afraid it will break Hisoka.

He says this, and ends up eating alone. Not eating.

Sauce for the Shinigami

Tenku insists on a feast when Hisoka returns from Kurikara's realm with Kotaro and Kojiro bound to him as Shikigami. This meal is happier than the last Tsuzuki and Hisoka shared, despite the loss of Riko; Tsuzuki was there to see Hisoka gain his Shikigami, and he can see all three are pleased with the arrangement.

Hisoka eats quietly beside him, calm, thoughtful. Rolls his eyes when Tsuzuki insists he try something, but he takes the bite Tsuzuki offers. Then surprises Tsuzuki by feeding him in his turn.

Food tastes better from Hisoka's chopsticks.

It tastes best on Hisoka's lips.


Yami no Matsuei
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