BG Personal Bodyguard
He thought about it—Shimazaki Akira getting injured. He thought about it unacceptably often.
It wasn’t out of spite. At least, not fully. Ochiai Yoshiaki was not a kind man but he also wasn’t jealous (much) or petty (not very) or spiteful (at-least-not-fully).
Here was one version of the dream: a client’s request foolishly taken, proof of back alley dealings come too late. Shimazaki Akira, with those annoyingly attentive brown eyes of his, staring down the barrel of a gun—
No, not a gun. A gun was too lethal. A knife, maybe. A crowbar. The perpetrator had been smart enough to take Shimazaki out at the knees (just a bad bruise though, nothing the man wouldn’t recover from), so Shimazaki would be there on the floor, battered and helpless, at the bad guy’s mercy.
Then Ochiai would stalk calmly in, SP intel and all his police training at his disposal. Some larger political plot would be unravelling, and Ochiai would say something like, let the civilian go, I’m a police officer, it’s me you want, and take down the perpetrator in a moment of brilliance, inspiration, insight, etc. Shimazaki would be helpless but conscious throughout the arrest, just lying there and watching until Ochiai got everything sorted away, and had time to get to him.
This was nothing but fantasy, of course, and Ochiai Yoshiaki was not a fanciful man. The unrepentantly rational momentum of his mind poked at every single spot of illogic.
One, as if Shimazaki Akira had ever been helpless. Battered, maybe. Ochiai had seen the man beaten, stabbed, dislocated—had felt, in that most zealously guarded part of his heart, hurt for all of Shimazaki’s suffering. Because innocent civilians should not suffer, that was a core tenet of Ochiai’s creed as a public servant.
But as good at bleeding as Shimazaki was, Ochiai had also seen the man go all the calmer for it, burn all the hotter for it. It was absurd. A man beaten to the ground should not have had the wherewithal to distract the perp, take control of a high-risk situation, and then disarm the perp himself, after commanding a roomful of highly trained SP officers with silent gestures alone. It was absurd that a man, with his boss newly shot and arm freshly dislocated, could chase after Ochiai—who’d just threatened him and his team—with that much calm fire in his eyes.
No, it was nothing but fantasy, to think Shimazaki Akira would ever find himself at the bad guy’s mercy, just conveniently there for Ochiai to rescue.
Fault number two: that Ochiai could saunter in at all. That he wouldn’t be on a job, that he wouldn’t have any number of priorities that didn’t even begin to resemble some pedestrian bodyguard, well-trained and with a good head, but so damn unarmed, so prone to getting hurt—
It was embarrassing, how illogical this whole fantasy was, yet how persistent it remained in Ochiai’s head.
“Ochiai-kun, something on your mind?”
It was humiliating, to be thinking of this on Mura-san’s sickbed, coming to his ex-superior like some groveling child dreading to confess his sins.
“No,” Ochiai said, keeping his tone short as he stood. “It’s a relief to see you awake, Chief Murata. If you’ll excuse me.”
That tone wasn’t going to work on him, of course. In fact, Ochiai was already at the door.
The door was thrown open. Who else but the devil himself could be on the other side.
“Ochiai-san,” Shimazaki greeted, after a long look of assessment from Ochiai’s head to Ochiai’s toes. He pulled on a blatantly fake smile. “Chief Murata is asking for you. Right this way.”
Ochiai wanted to grab Shimazaki by his smug little bodyguard arm and slam him into the wall with it. He wanted— He wanted—
“Ah, Shimazaki-kun,” Mura-san said, smiling, “we were just talking about you.”
“Oh?” Shimazaki snorted as he crowded Ochiai back inside, shutting the door resolutely behind him. The look he shot Ochiai was both amused, and utterly lacking in expectation. Like he had Ochiai all figured out. “All good things, I bet.”
It made Ochiai want to do something crazy. It made Ochiai want to subvert everything Shimazaki thought he knew about him. It made Ochiai want unbecoming things.
Minister Tachihara accused him of jealousy.
Shimazaki himself accused him of pettiness.
It made Ochiai want—
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