Daily reminder that Kaneki is loved - has always been loved since the first chapter of Tokyo Ghoul - by a boy named Hideyoshi Nagachika. This - probably lonely boy - gave up everything to search for Kaneki and probably sacrificed a part of himself to save his best friend. Please acknowledge Hide’s love for Kaneki and the special bond they shared. Kaneki didn’t SUDDENLY feel loved because of his intercourse with Touka. Sure, he may have gotten her feelings like that but let us not forget that he’s been loved since he was a kid.
Hide has been saving Kaneki since they were children.
29. “It must be hard with your sense of direction, never being able to find your way to a decent pickup line.”
In which Kaneki unleashes his inner Sasaki Haise.
The sternness in his voice made her jump a little and she shuts her manga to look up at him. Kaneki watches her from the doorway to her room, before clearing his throat.
“This is my new shirt,” he says. Touka raises her eyebrow at this. His shirt might be new or it might be old but it’s impossible for her to tell the difference because almost everything he’s been wearing lately looks the same— long-sleeved black t-shirts that look like they came out of her brother’s closet. Kaneki walks over to her and holds his arm out.
“What?” she asks, completely confused.
“Feel my shirt,” he says. Touka frowns but she does so anyway, reaching over to run her finger along the stretch of fabric. It feels like any typical t-shirt does. She looks up again at Kaneki with a raised eyebrow, who takes a deep breath. “Know what it’s made of? Boy— Husband material.”
“… It’s cotton…” she says flatly, completely unimpressed. “Is almost every other t-shirt made of husband material now?”
Kaneki stares at her for a moment before he shakes his head. “Okay, wait! I have another one!”
“No… it’s okay, I—”
“Touka-chan!” he cries out, jumping forward and grabbing her shoulders. “Listen, life without you is like a broken pencil… Pointless.”
He punctuates the statement with dramatic flair, yet Touka shudders and shoves him away. “Kaneki, what the fuck?”
Kaneki shakes his head again. “No, listen… Listen, Touka-chan! There is… There is something wrong with my eyes!”
Another joke? Touka narrows her eyes at him as he takes on a completely stoic face. She did remember Nishiki mentioning something about Kaneki’s eyes though so maybe his jokes are over and he’s being serious. He sure does look serious.
“Did you manage to figure out what’s wrong with—”
“I can’t take them off you— Ouff!” His words are cut off as a pillow comes flying right into his face, making him stumble back a little. He takes the pillow and peeks out from behind it, timidly looking at his now-fuming wife.
“Listen you shitty Kaneki, if you piss me off one more time—”
“Touka-chan, are you hungry?”
“No,” she spits, crossing her arms as she glares at him.
“O-oh…” he says a little dejectedly, dropping the pillow and bringing his hand to the back of his neck. “I thought you’d like to know what’s on the menu…”
“For real?” Touka mutters. “What is it? Go ahead, enlighten me.”
Kaneki makes a face and shrugs a little, before smiling slightly at her. “You know… Me-N-U.”
Touka stares at him and he stares back, the awkward silence hanging so heavily between them that Touka can imagine crickets chirping in the distance for dramatic effect. After a while, Kaneki sighs.
“It was terrible.”
“I happened to pick up a book of pick-up lines…” he said frankly.
“Why would you try pick up lines on your own wife?”
Kaneki shrugs. “Who else will I try them on? Tsukiyama-san?”
Yeaaahhhh… Touka doubts that is a good idea either so she simply shakes her head at him and goes back to her manga.
“Don’t say those stupid kinds of things over here. The baby might get infected by your dumbness,” she murmurs.
“Touka-chan, you’re so mean…” Kaneki sighs, though he still chuckles a little at her words.
“But you still love me anyway.”
Kaneki coughs at her words and Touka smiles a little, looking up at him again. They exchange smiles and share a moment of eye contact, before Kaneki turns and starts walking towards the door.
“I’ve a meeting with Tsukiyama-san and Nishio-senpai. I better go now or I might get lost in this maze,” he sighs.
“Mm… See you,” Touka says, returning to her manga again and musing over Kaneki’s words.
Hm? Maze? Directions.
“Oh, Kaneki!” Touka calls out, getting to her feet. Kaneki turns around and looks at her, tilting his head a little in curiosity. “Please be alert. It must be hard with your sense of direction, never being able to find your way to a decent pick-up line.”
Kaneki playing memories of Hide in his head over and over again. With nothing physical to remember him by- not a single keepsake or photograph- he tries to hang on to every moment he can recall.
He still remembers how it felt to be Haise, still has dreams where he is Haise. He remembers the feeling of being achingly empty and the panic of not knowing what had gone missing in the first place. He’s not entirely certain that he has recovered every memory he lost.
Hide reuniting with Kaneki and being shocked at how different he is. He expected to have to relearn Kaneki, to remap all of his habits and quirks. He wasn’t prepared for Kaneki to grab his wrist the first time Hide tried to talk his way out of answering a question.
Because of all the time spent trying to remember Hide, Kaneki had finally learned to read him. He knew that a smile too wide meant that there was something Hide wasn’t saying. He learned to take notice of his left hand reaching for his chin (a habit he would be surprised to find that they shared). But more importantly, he would come to know when Hide needed reassurance and a hand to hold in his own.