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Kusanagi closed the trunk of his car once he managed to put in Utsumi's luggage bag in. He sighed, before turning towards his friends. "Now, where do you plan for us to go tonight?"

Yukawa shrugged. "You know that cafe near my place? We'll have dinner there. The food's good enough and the place's not too crowded at night."

"Oh... that cafe," Kusanagi nodded to himself, before cocking his head towards Utsumi. "You sure you're fine with that, Utsumi? It's a bit far from your place, so we might need to make it short in order for me to send you home later,"

Utsumi just waved his concerns back at him. "You don't need to worry about that, Kusanagi-san. 'Genius' over there insist that I have to stay over and not allowing me go home alone today..."

Kusanagi snorted at her before glancing over to see his friend taking his spot at the front passenger seat. Both of them proceeded towards the other side of the car before he turned towards Utsumi again. "So... I take it that both of you already settled all mattered between the  both of you?" he asked before peeking inside his car to check on Yukawa. "No more problems after that last call?"

"Don't even talk about that!" Utsumi hissed at him. "I'm not even sure how he talked me into this. One moment he's weird and another he's back his normal self and then, gets all cheeky.." she added before getting into the car. Kusanagi laughed as he got into the driver's seat and closed the door behind him.

"Well, you'd still love him regardless... wouldn't you?"

Utsumi gave him an annoyed look before turning towards Yukawa.

"Now, if you could please give that gift now? That was supposed to be for Kusanagi," she intoned towards him as Kusanagi started the engine.

He turned towards Yukawa. "Hmm, present? What's this about?" Kusanagi asked as Yukawa reluctantly fished out a small box from his pocket and gave it to him.

"It's something I got for you from Oklahoma. Jealous butt here took it hostage to get me to agree with his plans for the night..." Utsumi explained as Kusanagi ripped open his gift. He grinned.

"Heh... a skull comb! Neat..."

Utsumi shrugged. "I can't think what to get for you... but then I remembered that time you came over to the department, looking dishevelled. So a comb came to mind—"

"Thanks..." he said as Kusanagi started driving the car out of the parking lot.


Kusanagi laughed again. "This is pretty amusing, to be honest. Never thought I'd see the day the two of you would actually get together. I almost thought that Yukawa would end up being alone for the rest of his life!"

Utsumi barely spat her hot cocoa out of her mouth. "You'd think?", she turned to look at Yukawa before making a face at him. "Seeing this guy up close, I don't think it mattered much. Even if he remains single until the end, there would still plenty of women who'd want to offer themselves to him. He won't be lonely..."

Yukawa was about to say something as Kusanagi cut in, "Yeah, you're probably right. You can't really be lonely... eh, Yukawa?"

"Worry about yourself, Kusanagi! As if you already got yourself a decent girlfriend!" quipped Yukawa as Kusanagi stuffed his face with pasta, grinning.

"Oh," Utsumi suddenly chimed, "That reminds me, I always get that..."

Yukawa turned his head towards her. "Get what?"

Utsumi shrugged, more to herself. "The whole 'gets lonely' thing. I remember now... Sakurako-san once said that to me. 'Yukawa-kun would be lonely,' she said... hehehe. Yeah, right, lonely..." she giggled as Yukawa and Kusanagi stared at her, bewildered.

She looked up suddenly. "Chief Mamiya also once said that too. When I told him that I was going to accept that training programme to Oklahoma. He kept repeating... 'Yukawa-kun gonna be lonely' over and over at me.  Even when he was the one who kept trying to convince me to take it before, it's like he thinks telling me that would change my mind," Utsumi squinted her eyes at Yukawa before turning towards Kusanagi, who was sitting opposite her.

"Everyone kept telling me Yukawa would be lonely without me, I wonder why? Did everyone already decided to marry me off to Yukawa or something?"

Kusanagi shrugged. "To be honest, Utsumi... so far you're the only one who managed to stick with Yukawa for so long. Other girls would have usually given up on him after a year or two. Not like I actually planned to hook you two up together from the very beginning,"

Utsumi giggled, as if that was the funniest thing she has heard for the day. Yukawa leant to his side to take a look at Utsumi's cup of hot cocoa.

"Is that cocoa a bit too sweet? You sounded like you had too much sugar," he said as he tried to get the mug away from her. Kusanagi snorted as he watched the two of them in amusement.

Utsumi grinned at him, before finishing off her cocoa. "That said, Yukawa! When was it you actually decided to seriously court me? Can't exactly be by the time I asked you about the case with Tadahiro-kun. You didn't look that much interested in me that time—but you did start to make a habit of buzzing in too close to my ears since then. Oh! Was it when you asked me to help Yayoi-san? That time at the rock-climbing centre! You called me there because you saw my reaction when I watched you play squash and you wanted to see it again, right—?"

Glancing at Kusanagi warily, Yukawa grabbed Utsumi to his side in an attempt to shut her up. "You already had enough cocoa for the day. You better sleep it off now,"

Utsumi dropped her head on Yukawa's shoulder. "—t's your fault for insisting I tag along... idiot,"

Yukawa sighed as Kusanagi continued to shake with laughter...


Kusanagi sipped on his latte, still amused at the sight in front of him. Utsumi's already out of commission... using Yukawa's shoulder as a cushion—but his friend barely took notice of it.

"To be honest, I still couldn't believe both of you finally got together for real. I always thought you'd continue having this vague relationship with her. Seemingly like a couple yet not really a couple,"

Yukawa put down his coffee on the table. "Honestly? I thought you really wanted this to happen. Wasn't that why you gave me that pep talk earlier? Because if Utsumi got together with me, it'd make it easier for you to get me to help with the police even more. Wasn't that why you sent Kishitani to me when Utsumi went to Oklahoma? Because I'm more likely to cooperate with the investigations if I was partnered off to a female officer?"

Kusanagi shrugged. "Well, it kinda turned out like that... isn't it? But initially, I haven't thought about that when I first told Utsumi about you."

"Then why did you?"

His friend scrunched up his nose. "Because she was the one who insisted on wanting to become my 'successor'. You know... like solving mysterious cases? Things like that? That was her motivation to join the criminal division from the traffic division. She was very determined on doing that too, if not because of that I'd have kept the truth about you helping me all these times a secret until now. Besides that... I guess it's intuition."

"Intuition?" Yukawa repeated. Kusanagi nodded.

"That she'd get along with you. She's pretty dedicated to her job... and observant as well, if you haven't noticed already. And unlike a lot of the other female officers from the traffic division, she wasn't the type to be fazed by men's appearance. You should know already by now—Utsumi's not like any other average women that you tend to meet..,"

"I have to say that I agree with that evaluation," Yukawa commented as he glanced towards the sleeping Utsumi. "That aside, Kusanagi... you're telling me you don't even have the slightest interest in Utsumi before?"

Kusanagi shook his head. "I can tell that she respected me a lot, but I didn't seem to be her type. You're more her type, actually.  Even when you used to get her so frustrated with you and so stressed, she always told me how much she wanted to 'arrest' you. It's so cute."

Yukawa coughed into his coffee. "Seriously?" he asked as Kusanagi nodded.

He smiled. "But I guess, I did grow fond of her after all these times. I wanted her to be happy. So I suppose, I did have an ulterior motive..." Kusanagi finished his drink.

"Regardless. I'm happy for the both of you. I don't have to worry much about you anymore. Utsumi can take care of you and you can take care of her. Fair game." Kusanagi glanced at his empty cup before calling for the receipt. He got up as Yukawa tried to wake Utsumi up.

"Let's get both of you home already, about time for Utsumi to rest on a proper bed..." he added, before helping his friend to carry Utsumi out of the cafe.