Coffee Break

It was a routine by this point. Everyday, 10:15 on the dot, Takagi would go to the vending machine on the third floor and order a CC Lemon. Sometimes he wasn't quite thirsty enough for it; sometimes he had been waiting for an hour to quench his thirst. It just had to be 10:15.

Megure had come to rely on this clockwork action and would sometimes have the man get him a drink himself. It had gotten to the point that the division didn't question it anymore. Takagi didn't even seem to notice his coworkers' watch of his habits.

Today was like any other day. Megure handed the man 100 yen for an iced coffee and Takagi walked out the door and down the hall. He twisted to avoid a traffic cop, then the other way, missing another department's detective. It threw him a little off balance and he stumbled forward, jarring into the vending machine.

After buying his boss's coffee, he put in 150 yen for his drink.

"Why CC Lemon?" he heard a voice behind him. "I mean, it's popular enough, I guess, but it doesn't seem like you. You seem like a Calpis kind of guy."

"Calpis?" he returned without turning around. "Too sugary. I like melon soda more than Calpis."

"Then why CC Lemon?"

"I don't know," he answered. "I've always loved it. I got one a couple of months ago and it tasted so good that I kept having to come back."

He heard a sound of affirmation, a sort of 'hnn' that reassured him. He smiled at Yumi's noise.

"But why 10:15?" She asked again. He felt the blood rise to his face.

"Oh, no reason," he tried to brush the question off. She wasn't going to let him get away, though.

"There has to be a reason, though. You go at 10:15 everyday. Everyday. Inspector Shiratori sets his watch by you, you know." Again, he blushed.

"Yumi?" Another voice entered the conversation. He didn't have to guess who it was. "What are you doing out here? Don't you have work to do right now?"

"Oh," Yumi replied, "I just had something to tell Takagi-kun. You're right, though. I'm running a little late."

"Oh." Only Yumi could hear the slight downturn in her voice. She was suspicious. "Well, you caught me at my coffee break. Can't go much past a quarter after with out something to drink, you know."

"Aha," Yumi smiled victoriously. "I get it now." Takagi blushed to his ears; Sato just looked confused. "Well, I need to go on patrol. I'll just see you two later, kay?" She winked at Takagi and waved at Sato. "Bye."

"Bye," they both waved back to her. Sato blinked at Takagi. "Silly girl," she muttered. "So, Takagi," she began, a little louder, "how was the movie last night?" Takagi smiled.

"It was great. You really should have watched it. If they replay it, I'll tell you."

"Sounds like a plan."

"Well," he started, "I should get back." He turned to go.

"Um," her voice was quieter than normal. "What was Yumi talking to you about?" If he didn't know her better, he wouldn't have noticed a thing. Now, though, he could hear the insecurity in her voice.

"Nothing," he said to ease her suspicions. "She was just teasing me about something."

"Oh?" Sato's voice went up slightly. "Yumi does like to tease you, doesn't she?" Takagi sighed.

"Yes, she really does," he replied with a long suffering sigh that made Sato smile.

"Hey, Takagi?" She changed the subject quickly.

"Yeah?" he asked, confused.

There seemed to be an epic battle going on behind her eyes. Finally, she sighed.

"Nothing. I'll see you at karaoke tonight, right?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "See you then."


Author's Note: Well, obviously this is Pre-Matsuda case because after that they were actually... semi sorta dating. And this is so old. I actually had forgotten about it. But since I got 6 reviews today (6! I am in shock but oh so happy!), I decided to type it up as a thank you for liking my story. So ... thanks:D