Every morning, he greets Dojima-san with a coffee and a smile; the first is extra bitter and the last is extra sweet, as he simply cannot afford to screw this up. The coffee is his insurance and his bribe, (although his superior will never realize this) because suspicion will always fall in other places if he does his best to play nice.
And the smile is fake, of course, since there's no way in hell that he's really that cheerful at the heinous hour that he gets called in to work. That Dojima-san actually believes it is kind-of stupefying; he's not sure if he should chalk it up to the earliness or just plain old oblivious stupidity.
Although it seems to be the latter, because he finds himself invited to dinner at the Dojima household within only a few months of his employment. He knows that it is just because Dojima-san (perhaps) pities him for being so poor that he has to subsist off of cabbage all the time, but there is some satisfaction in knowing that he's pulling this off well enough to be allowed right into the lion's den without raising any alarms.
The girl -- Nanako-chan? -- is cute enough, he supposes. He's not really sure at first, because he can't bring himself to pay attention to her annoying little voice or her childish little concerns. It is only after he has visited time and time again that he gets to know her.
He comes to pity her and hold Dojima-san with a bit of contempt for flat-out ignoring her in the way that he does. He fakes his own smile enough to recognise hers as false when he sees it -- the fact that she can talk about her mother not being there or how she has to do all the chores so calmly only solidifies his suspicions. For a police officer, he doesn't really know the ins and outs of the law as well as he should, but he's pretty sure that this is some sort of child abuse.
She is only six years old. She looks so little and frail when she's kneeling at the table all alone, since her father is passed out drunk on the couch and Adachi is only a stranger who cannot do very much for her.
He finds himself surprised by how much he cares, both about her and about getting Dojima-san to notice her. These are people that he is using and deluding, and yet-- and yet he finds, after spending a dinner with them and staying so late, that it's hard to feel as if what he has done is so justified. The feeling leaves him after a good long sleep of dreaming of his fingers tight around Yamano's neck as she struggles against him, but the relief from doubt is only temporary. It returns with his next visit.
This makes every day at work sometimes feel unbearable, as they work to solve a case with no leads and he sits by silently with every answer clenched up tightly in his fist. When he looks up at Dojima-san, chain smoking his way through another box as he struggles to figure this one out, he cannot help but feel that it would be only too easy to just open his hand and let all of the answers fly free. It would land him in jail and maybe even an insane asylum if he did, of course, but the temptation is there and growing stronger with each burnt out cigarette that ends up in the tray.
It's a tough place to be, caught between saving or damning yourself. He steels himself against it and works with ice in his veins, erasing evidence and tampering with witnesses as best he can. It will be an easy thing if he decides to give up the game -- but should he not, should he stick with it to the end, it will be so much more difficult to undo sloppy work, so he might as well do his best to be obfuscating. For now.
That does not lessen the worth of Dojima-san's friendship or make Nanako-chan any less dear to him, though. And with time, it comes to pass that he does not feel so awkward if he puts his hands on Nanako-chan's shoulders or pats her on the head if Dojima-san has done something stupid again. It comes to pass that he feels almost comfortable with helping a dazed Dojima-san into bed after a night of too much thinking or too much drinking or too much of both.
It comes to pass that his smile every morning is less and less forced, and it seems to him that the one that flashes up at him in return is not as gruff as it once was.