There was something soothing about relaxing in the comfort of his own home but not actually being alone save for his dog. It had gotten oh so easy to forget what real human contact was like and it had served his purposes to attempt to stifle those memories. It was harder to miss something that he didn't fully remember happening. But the comfort of the conversation despite the implications of the topic was something he had forgotten years ago. The idle and relaxed contact of skin on skin came as a sort of afterthought that for the most part went unnoticed by Taishu.
He was aware of the touch and the warmth that only another human could provide and while it was perhaps crossing some sort of boundary, he was under no inclination to point it out. If he did, it would likely be met with a jovial apology and the touch would recoil from him and the walls that Taishu so carefully cultivated would go rising up between the two of them once more. Combined with the strange friendly intimacy of the moment, it would do nothing less than to ruin whatever was happening at the current moment. The relaxation would be shattered, as would the illusion of normalcy. While it wasn't necessarily true to his real life, he wasn't ready for it to end just yet.
For the time being, he was relatively content to lay with his head back and his eyes closed in imitation of a nap of sorts. But he was comfortable. How long had it been since he had truly relaxed in such a way around someone else? A rhetorical question. He knew exactly when it was. He could practically remember the very moment he had last experienced it. With his eyes closed and his mind wandering absently, it was almost possible to feel slender fingers running through his hair, stroking over his cheek and jaw. A loving touch. And the last thing that he remembered of her. A memory that he was happy to leave in its peacefulness. To speculate on it further would only end in tragedy. He could hope against hope that she had remained unscathed and unpunished and had fled as successfully as he had, but those odds? Never in their favor. The truth of the matter was likely that she was as maimed and disgraced as he was, if not dead.
There was a reason he attempted remembering too much.
In the brief but easy silence between them, Bok Choy scampered over to the couch from his previous alert state near (one of) his beds. Tiny white forepaws bapped against the couch and Jean's legs alike while he danced about on his hindlegs and then in a motion as precise as a loaded spring, he leapt up onto the cushion and wedged himself between Taishu's legs and Jean's chest, taking up the remaining fraction of lap. It hadn't appeared as though he would have fit, but when he snuggled down into his chosen position, exactly how much of him was nothing more than an explosive amount of fur was revealed. A quarter dog at most, with the remaining fraction pure fluff.
"My body is getting old, there's no doubt. In fact, I think I'm nearing my midlife crisis." While his words had a comical lilt to them, his eyes were practically more empty than they had ever been. If it were factual, what he was asserting, he was under the impression that he would live only to 60. Under his original line of work, it wasn't necessarily an improper guess. Combined with having aligned himself Nekros along with the criminal underworld of his new home, it wasn't unlikely that his lifespan wouldn't be the longest. But the way he didn't elaborate further made it clear that it was a likely fact that he had long since come to accept. There was very little that he would be leaving behind if he died at that age.
While they had been talking, his hand had unconsciously moved to pet Bok Choy's head, thumb and forefinger rubbing against one of his small perky ears. "Oh, the usual things...sit, stay, dance, give kisses, sing...walk on your hind legs like a tiny person." The Pomeranian had lifted his head upon hearing the familiar words, curled tail wagging enthusiastically even though he made no move to demonstrate any of his tricks. They hadn't been commanded of him, after all. Not to mention, his current position was entirely too comfortable for him to want to get up after finally having situated himself.
Thankfully distracted by the dog, Taishu didn't go pulling his hand back from the touch. His fingers curled naturally against Jean's hand before he even realized that his hand had been grasped. The scar tissue of his missing finger was far from the most sensitive and it was the sight of Jean's fingers against the old injury that had him finally realizing what was going on. "I displeased my family and in order to offer my apologies, I did that." Maybe it wasn't what his friend expected to hear: that Taishu had been the one to remove his own finger, and willingly at that. To cut through flesh and bone alike in order to sever the digit as a peace offering of his own volition.
It was a subject he was readily moving on from the moment he was offered another topic. Even if it was something so personal as his tattoos.
"Almost every single one carries a heavy meaning. I'm sure you're familiar with the style of waves and koi fish." His left hand remained within Jean's grasp and with his other hand, he moved to roll of the sleeve of his left arm, revealing splash of color after color until he stopped once the fabric reached his elbow, the aforementioned waves and fish exposed on the skin of his forearm. "The water is fluidity, strength...but also ebb and flow, its own strength and ferocity changing depending on what's necessary. The koi is meant for fortune, but beyond that, it's believed that should a koi climb against the current to the top of a waterfall, it becomes a dragon. Perseverance through hardship."
Even with his explanation done for the time being, he left his sleeve as it was with his skin and the corresponding tattoos on display. A true testament to his current level of comfort with the situation.