The joints of his fingers were heavy. When you ran a touch along the side of his hand, starting at the webbing of the thumb and going down to his index fingertip, the second and third knuckles sat below the skin like oak galls, like two beans beneath the dry rough skin of an edamame pod. He sometimes thought about pressing at them, pushing them through the seam in the flesh so that he'd have something to consume.
They're good hands, is what he wanted to say.
He sat, musing on this, trying to block out the third party that had intruded. Unfortunately, that third party was fucking persistent, so that was no goddamn good.
"Got something to say to me, don't you, Shorttime," Paul said.
Hisoka tore his eyes away from Tsuzuki's placid gaze to look at Paul for no more than a moment before looking back again.
"Shorttime..." Paul crooned.
Hisoka looked over again. Here was the thing: Paul didn't matter worth a fuck. He was just a voice and a force. The only thing that mattered was the fingers that crisscrossed with his.
Still. He usually didn't give a crap about politeness - it was just a goddamn waste of time, and it wasn't like he was good at it anyway - but even so. He supposed he did have something to say. He'd never known that Tsuzuki's hands would feel like this, because he'd never been able to touch them like this. He'd never been able to sit, holding them for hours, running his thumb over the dry callus of his skin. Always before, there'd been that undercurrent of pain that had left Hisoka uneasy at best, retching at worst, but now...
He tore his eyes away from the blankness and the sweetness of Tsuzuki's eyes, pulled his hand away from the peaceful feeling welling up from him. And he turned to look at Paul.
"Thank you," Hisoka said, his expression twisted deliberately into something contemptuous and ironic even though he really - he really did feel grateful. After all, that asshole Paul and his completely contemptible medical expertise had been what had made this possible. He'd made it so Hisoka could sit in silence and hold Tsuzuki's hand and enjoy his smile and the vague, uncomplicated, pleasant hum of his feelings. And Hisoka was so, so grateful.