"Kougami, can I talk to you for a moment?"
Kougami looked up at Akane from the terminal he was working at. He bit back a reply informing her that she could order him to talk whenever she wanted. Instead he sighed, nodded and stood up. He knew by now that giving orders wasn't her way.
He followed her to one of the adjacent conference rooms and fell into a chair. She stood formally on the other side of the table, hands clasped behind her back.
"Kougami, I would like to ask a favour"
He retained his usual sullen expression except for his eyebrows which raised a fraction in surprise. He had expected to be reprimanded for one of his frequent breaches of protocol. That was usually what happened when a superior wanted a private word, but that didn't seem to be the case today
"The thing is", she faltered, "I want to be strong"
Now Kougami's brows drew together. There was a long pause, then: "Akane, anyone who has worked with you couldn't deny that you're strong. Considering what you saw as a junior officer, all while keeping a clear psychopass...that is strong-" He was about to in a bitter tone,"stronger than me" But Akane cut him off.
"No, no! That's not what I meant! I mean, thank you-" her face was reddening by the second and she bowed twice in quick succession "but what I meant is that I want to be physically strong. I want to know how to fight. Like you"
Now it was Kougami's turn to be embarrassed. Caught sharing so many of his inner thoughts his cheeks turned faint pink. "Oh", he said, taken aback, "but why?".
"Well", she began, speaking slowly "there might be a time when I don't have a Dominator... or it doesn't work or it gets broken. In that case I want to be able to protect myself and others, the way I've seen you do!" Gaining confidence she continued "I took this job to protect people and I can't do that the way I am." She gestured to her frail frame. "I want to be equally confident in my physical skill as in my skill with a Dominator."
A cloud passed over her subordinates eyes and he leaned back in his chair crossing his arms and legs. "So? Where do I come into this?"
"Obviously I want you to teach me!" She smiled imploringly.
"Why not take one of the self defence courses the CID offers for inspectors. They're very-" Akane struck the table in front of them with her palms, surprising them both a little at her abruptness.
"You know perfectly well that the courses are useless! You were one of the ones who told me to forget everything I learned at the academy when I came here!" She calmed slightly "Besides those courses are all based around the Dominators and I just told you I want to learn to fight without one." She changed tactic and tried stroking his ego a little "You're clearly the best hand to hand fighter here, so...?"
Kougami frowned again "Akane, I really don't think you should do this. Think how it would look"
"Oh! Don't worry, its not against protocol for us to train together, I've already checked. And you won't get in trouble for attacking me if I ask you to" she finished with a small smile.
"No, I meant...learning to fight like a criminal, thinking how we think...you don't want to cloud your pass."
Akane chuckled lightly "Don't worry about me, I'm miss clear pass remember?" And she smiled and innocently as if to prove her point.
Kougami didn't reply, he stared at the floor and continued to frown. Why is he so reluctant? Mused Akane, I know we aren't exactly great friends but I thought he wouldn't mind helping me out. He probably thinks I'd be a nuisance, but if I just get a chance he'll see that I'd be a good student...
Akane sighed heavily and walked slowly towards the door "Thats ok Kougami, I can just ask someone else. " She put a finger to her chin and looked up as if thinking "I guess Kagari is just as good as you, maybe even better..."
Kougami started and rose half standing from his chair. "N-no!" he stammered. Still facing the door, away from Kougami, Akane smirked to herself, working here sure has brought out a cunning streak in me.
Slightly more possessed of himself he continued "Kagari talks big, but he would teach you all wrong. You're right, I should be the one to instruct you if you insist". In reality, Kougami knew that Kagari was in fact very good at hand to hand combat, and even better than him with knives. But Kougami's head was swimming with visions of Kagari holding Akane's arms and teaching her to punch...inspecting her legs while she demonstrated kicking technique...teaching her (he shuddered) ground grappling.
"Thank you, thank you Kougami! I'll show you how good a student I can be! Let's see...I'll meet you tomorrow afternoon from 5 until 7. The gym is usually empty then so we won't be bothering anyone. Thank you!"
And with a quick but deep bow she walked quickly and happily out of the room before he could change his mind.
Kougami sank back into the chair and ran his hands through his spiky black hair. Two hours alone with Akane. What have I done?