Tsubaki smiled at her week-old tea set as she pulled it out to make a new pot of chamomile tea.

She'd been convinced that after their conversation about her birthday, Black Star would have forgotten all about the gift he was thinking of buying her. But true to his word, he'd gotten her a new set to make up for the cup she'd dropped a month ago.

She poured water into the pot and rest it on the stove, smiling at the thought of her meister.

She picked up one of the small cups and studied the delicate design along the side. Camellia blossoms. She then turned the cup and giggled, remembering the comment he'd made about traditions. His signature graced the bottom of the teacup.

Tsubaki set the cup down and turned to the living room, looking at her half-asleep partner. "Black Star?"

Black Star turned his head toward his weapon's voice and rose a brow. "Whut."

Tsubaki smiled at him apologetically. "I know you don't like tea, but I'm still going to offer."

Black Star grinned and shook his head. "No thanks, Tsubaki."

Tsubaki nodded and turned back to the pot. "You know, it's been awhile since we took a mission, Black Star."

Black Star sat up and scratched his head. "Yeah, I guess it has. It's only cause the missions aren't big enough for me, though."

Tsubaki tucked some hair behind her ear. "Well, maybe we can take a few easy ones. Just for the time being, until we can get a 'big' mission."

Black Star frowned. "But we need a challenge, otherwise the souls weren't well-earned."

Tsubaki sighed. "Well, we only have five souls, Black Star. Soon enough, Lord Death's going to notice our low soul collection rate and-"

"And I'm the meister, so I decide which missions we take and when we take them."

She flinched at his hard tone and averted her gaze. Her voice lowered itself to a whisper, "Right."

Tsubaki let her hair fall like a curtain over her face. She took the pot off of the stove and poured the unfinished tea into the sink, watching it swirl down the drain. She turned on the water to let it rinse through.

Tsubaki her a groan behind her and a few seconds later, arms around her torso. She gasped in surprise and her arms rose as if to pull her out of the sudden trap.

She looked down to see two, muscled, tan arms wrapped around her middle. She felt a weight press itself into her back. "I'm sorry."

Tsubaki spluttered silently and kept her wide eyes trained on his arms. Soon, though, she smiled slightly and lowered her arms over his, placing her hands over his own over her stomach. "It's alright, Black Star."

He sighed in relief, pressing his cheek into her back. He kept forgetting himself around her. He got so relaxed around her, he forgot that he needed to stay on his feet. After all, she could go from strong-willed and giggly to delicate and fragile and all the things he treasured her for.

People call him the bastard?

Try looking at all the full-grown men willing to swing a few punches at a child. People who were born to a new generation without the Star Clan and still beat up on him for it. Everyone seemed to find something wrong with him and nothing wrong with themselves.

But not Tsubaki. Not her. She listened to his whole spiel, listened to every word he said. Then, she made her opinion.

She saw nothing wrong with his goals.

She saw nothing wrong with his past.

She saw everything wrong in his assassination, but let's face it. He should have been able to get his bigness under wraps a while ago.

And, unlike everyone else, she thought little of herself. She grew up being complimented for her genes, for her namesake. But Black Star of all people knew what little a namesake meant without action to back one up.

He would never back up his namesake's previous meaning. He would surpass God, not for the Star Clan, but for himself.

That's what drew her to him. What other people called 'egocentric' about him, she called 'confident'. She was awed by his determination to free himself from the curse brought upon him by his involuntary birth.

She'd felt trapped within the Nakatsukasa name. She didn't feel she could escape, she didn't feel worth the respect she got.

Unless the respect came from Black Star. Because his compliments were sincere. He means every word he says.

And while his brutal honesty can be a bit annoying at times, to her it was wonderful. A gift. Refreshing.

"We'll take a mission tomorrow, alright?"

"We don't have to, Black Star."

"We're taking a mission." With that, he pulled away and reached over to the cabinet where her tea was. He pulled out a few bags and splayed them across the counter. "Now, let's make some tea. Only the best will do for gods like us, right, Tsu?"

She giggled and nodded. "Right."