Akane realised that it’s been a year already. A year since she’d last seen Kogami Shinya. Their last meeting was still in Shamballa Float, and up until now his ghost still lingers within her. His order for her to escape, to leave him behind. She knew that he noticed her torn look in her eyes, her quiet appeal to him to let her stay, to fight side by side, just like old times, before everything became a whirlwind of events.
Don’t. Let me stay.
But he was quick to mask his emotions to her personal plea, indignant that she should go. His parting words were ringing in her ears.
If we both survive this, you’re welcome to chase after me again, Inspector.
After the Shamballa Float incident, they were quickly transported back to Japan and except for reports that were filed, not a single soul in Division One talked about that mission. It was not surprising, to say the least. Confusing, maybe, for the new members of Division One, but not for the original members, so the 2 Enforcer and Inspector Mika held their breaths about it. But it was clear as day that since that episode, a line was erased and another was born. May it be conscious or unconsciously.
Akane can still remember their phone conversation. Where Kogami said that she should not be surprised if she sees his body floating in some body of water, saying it is also likely that that phone call could be their last connection to each other. She was silent. She knew that. She knew that the next day is intangible for her, much more for Kogami, but she can’t help but be disappointed the moment the truth escaped from his lips.
I don’t believe that. I know I’ll be able to meet you again, Kogami-san. Not as Enforcer or Inspector, but more of as ordinary people. As equals.
She knew Kogami was surprised by her answer, she was too. But there was no explaining it, she just knew that they would meet again. And their moments together in Shamballa were not spent of two people as equals, well, maybe they were less equal at that time, being a terrorist and an Inspector, but they were her most recent memories of him, memories that were not clouded by time itself, thus she will treasure them.
Meet, huh? Heh… I give up. You’re really positive, no? I understand. I’ll also be looking forward to the day we meet again. See you.
She jabbed the assailant using her elbow, caught his arm in an iron-grip and using his momentum, threw him off-balance, at the same time, she rolled away from the man who attacked her. She quickly released her gun from her belt and, hearing the resounding click of another gun being unholstered, pointed the gun to her assailant. Her finger ghosting in the gun’s trigger, she drew a shaky breath and greeted the man.
“It’s been a while, Kogami-san.”
Kogami did not know what to feel at that moment. When Akane (forgiving and pure Akane) pointed the barrel of a gun in him. It was mixed feelings, to say the least. Maybe that is what teachers feel when they saw one of their students becoming a doctor, surpassing them beyond their beliefs. Yes, it was probably that, decided Kogami as he smoked one of his Spinel cigarettes. A moment filled with sadness and pride at the same time. He was proud, that was for sure, even though it was selfish for him to feel so, leaving her behind and everything else. Yet, he was proud. Proud that even though he was a hunting dog, he contributed to her maturity to be a full-grown detective.
She really has grown. Heck, she’s even faster than him in unholstering a gun.
Remembering her, past regrets bubbled up inside him. He knew that the path that he took was wrong, but it was the only path for him. No, that’s wrong, he silently mused as he bowed his head in self-mockery, he knew that Akane would always open up a path for him, if he should choose. Killing Makishima was a choice to regain his freedom back, it was a choice he regretted sometimes, more so when kind eyes and mushroom-shaped hair permeates his dreams. It would be good if he can see the Inspector for the last time before he moves out of this country and be a ghost once again. But even he knows that that’s not possible.
Kogami crushed the remainders of his cigarettes and decided to retire to his quarters when his attention was caught in something else.
It’s already been one year, huh?, he thought. And as if an afterthought, It’s gonna be cold tonight.
Before those two people fall into slumber, what were they thinking? Maybe along the lines of,
We’re not equals yet. So this is not the end.