Inami is a bit jealous when Tamaru tells him about Hayashi, the man he convinced to turn spy in the cult, and his beautiful, tempting wife. But he’s glad, too, that he can be there to listen. The other man is so bottled up sometimes; Inami’s worried that one day, he’ll snap. And anyway, the fact that he speaks of it now means he has already resolved his feelings for that woman. At least, that’s what he tells himself.
Yet it’s hard to let him do this mission alone. It’s hard to look at his back as he leaves.
So Inami doesn’t. Everyone on the team is easy to persuade. And they are just in time to give Tamaru back-up at the cult’s compound. And they fight. They fight with all that they have, though even overpowered and outnumbered like this, they use their fists and their batons, trying to disarm and neutralize without killing. They are still cops after all. And they barely make it out.
Inami leaves Tamaru alone to sort out his feelings. He still dates around, mostly to keep people guessing, but it’s harder when he doesn’t do it for sex. It’s harder to pretend, harder to be present when his mind is a million miles away.
And then Yuki Tadashi comes back. Yuki was the reason he stayed at SDF as long as he did. He was the best soldier and fighter Inami has ever met. He was also Inami’s first boyfriend, though they never used that term.
Seeing him close to the bar is a shock, and he can’t help but throw himself in Yuki’s arms. He pulls away quickly, trying to maintain a semblance of dignity. He looks as good as before, maybe better, but when they start to talk, Inami remembers how infuriating Yuki can be. The other man likes to talk in circles. And he brings with him a memory of the past that Inami has tried to bury all this time.
When Yuki starts talking about changing this rotten system, Inami is torn. He is tempted to let the words fill him up, but all he can taste at the back of his throat is horror. So he comes out and asks, unflinchingly. “You deserted to become a terrorist?”
He gets his answer when Yuki shoots a policeman and flees.
Later, Inami calls the woman he’s dating, trying to end things gently. He’s not sure Hana-chan gets it, but he can’t spare her more than a passing thought.
He’s too busy trying to wrap his mind around Yuki’s change of heart. The man he met that night feels like a stranger wearing Yuki’s face. A stranger with Yuki’s capabilities—it’s something straight out of a nightmare.
When Kaji-san tells him he has to be ready to pull the trigger first, Inami doesn’t say a word. He’s not sure he can do it.
But when Yuki goes after his team, he panics. He shoves the bomb into the interrogation room just before it goes off. He loses time. Every part of his body aches, and his ears are still ringing, but he hears Tamaru call his name. The worry in his voice lends Inami enough energy to raise his hand.
Later, walking around the wreckage of their office, Tamaru tells him, “It’s not your fault.” Even like this, the man knows exactly what he needs to hear.
Yet he can’t help but blame himself. So he tells them everything. Well not quite everything.
Maybe he hasn’t resolved his feelings yet. When he left Yuki, it wasn’t because he had fallen out of love. Even now, he can’t help but admire the other man’s skill and single-minded drive.
“Don’t you dare seek death to punish yourself!” Tamaru growls into Inami’s face after he fails to pull the trigger on Yuki’s car and almost gets run over.
Inami flinches from those words. Later, he tries to apologize but Tamaru doesn’t let him. “I can’t let you do reckless things on my watch.” He feels warm under Tamaru’s gaze. He wants to touch him, to be touched—but the mission comes first.
On the screen, as a result of Oyama’s efforts, Inami sees Yuki’s smiling face with a woman and it hurts a little, because they had never been like that with each other.
He is torn, and he knows his face shows it. Tamaru sticks close to him.
The team accepts another mission to protect the son of the Prime Minister. Inami reads the doubt on everyone’s faces mirroring his own. Will they remain instruments to keep the powerful from justice?
But the only thing he can think about is stopping Yuki from committing more crimes.
Tamaru is the first to go down, thrown several feet away as the bomb goes off. Inami can barely spare him a glance and he leaves the rest to his team as he heads for the target. He has to trust that they’ll survive this, too.
He and Yuki go head to head by the elevator, and Inami grabs the gun and twists them around, trying to get Yuki to drop it. He pulls out a knife and Inami uses his baton. He is exhausted but he’s been in enough fights that his body follows moves that has long turned to instincts. But he’s far from his best, and Yuki stabs him between the ribs.
But the target, Daisuke steps in and Inami finds himself pointing a gun at Yuki while trying to talk him out of killing the man whose bomb killed Yuki’s fiancée. He wants to let him do it. He feels Yuki’s pain as he describes finding his fiancée in the wreckage.
“She was my first true love,” Yuki says while looking Inami in the eye. It feels like a dare. Shoot me.
Inami slams him against the wall. “I’m the same as you. I became a living corpse when I killed an innocent person by orders of the state. Since that moment, I’ve been dead inside. You’re the same, aren’t you? I will release you from that feeling,” he promises.
He rests the muzzle of the gun on Yuki’s forehead like a kiss, but shoots the wall instead. “You died, but you came back to life. You better make me envy you by enjoying your new life.”
He should have known it couldn’t be that simple.
Yuki dies in front of him from a sniper’s bullet just as they were hauling him to the car. They had been used once again. He watches with empty eyes as Kaji-san walks away.
He’s done being a pawn. They all are.
The team disbands in the aftermath. Kaji-san gives barely believable excuses but Inami doesn’t bother listening. One by one, they leave. Yoshinaga, Oyama, Kashii. Tamaru flicks a glance at Inami before turning away.
Inami walks home on autopilot. A living corpse. His mind whispers. He sits in his bare apartment, waiting.
Tamaru comes in the dead of night. But neither of them speak in words.
Inami lets Tamaru press him down, fingertips skimming over bruises and wounds. His side is still wrapped in bandages, and the stab wound aches dully. Tamaru kisses him gently, nipping at his bottom lip. He wants to beg for some kind of punishment. But Tamaru only gives him soft caresses, and the slow rasp of skin against skin.
He closes his eyes at the onslaught. It feels like being loved. It feels like goodbye.
Morning dawns and he wakes up to an empty house. There’s a watch on the bedside table. He recognizes it as one of the back-up trackers Kashii put together from his time undercover. He had returned it after the mission. It’s a message.
He touches the face of the watch, listens to the ticking of its gears. And smiles. He’ll make sure to enjoy his new life. For Yuki, for Tamaru, and for everyone else.
The team may have been dispersed. But it won’t be forever. Meanwhile, he’s not alone. Oyama will continue to watch over him.
And he knows even apart, they’re all still working together on a common goal.
To cleanse this country of its filth.