It took him a while to register the sound he heard as the ringing of the doorbell of his house.
Ango got up from the couch—he barely closed the door when he arrived home last night and fell asleep almost immediately the moment he landed on his couch—before groggily ploughed towards the front door. He blinked as Ichikura's face stared back at him the moment he opened the door.
"Eh?" he gasped, not quite understanding what he's seeing. "Ichikura-san? What're you doing here?"
The older man just lifted a small bag of freshly bought groceries—Ango could see some microwaveable instant food packs as well as juice bottles peeking out of the plastic bags—as Ichikura flashed him a goofy smile.
"I thought of checking up on you, considering that today you're still off-duty." He shrugged, "Aren't you gonna let me in?"
It took him a while for Ichikura's word to register inside of his head.
"Oh... right," Ango exclaimed as he led the man inside his apartment. He cleared the table as Ichikura dropped the grocery bag on the table.
Ango scratched his neck awkwardly.
"Unh... I guess I'll go wash a bit. The kitchen's on your left by the way," he said before excusing himself.
When he got back from the bathroom, Ichikura-san already made himself at home; his small living room already wafting with the smells of freshly heated rice, fragrant yakiniku glazed with teriyaki sauce as well as the sweet smells of lightly grilled vegetables. Ango grinned sheepishly at the spread as his stomach suddenly growled loudly.
"Ichikura-san, this is too much..." Ango started to say, even as he sat down in front of the food spread laid out on the table.
"This is nothing," said the older man before pushing an open pack of freshly cooked rice towards him. Ichikura immediately stacked few pieces of yakiniku and vegetables on the rice. "Just because you've been living on your own all these while, doesn't mean that you can neglect taking care of yourself. Especially in your case, with that bullet still inside your head."
Ango nodded as he quietly accepted the chopsticks given to him. The warmth inside his chest started spreading throughout his body as he smiled.
He's always like this, Ichikura-san. Since the first day he joined the investigation team until now, Ichikura-san had always taken great care of him. Even more than his own family. While it may just be a force of habit for Ichikura-san to be mindful of his junior officers, it really felt as if the old man had been taking special care of him all these times. Even more after the incident he got himself into for the past few months. It really felt as if the older man had adopted him as his own son.
"You're really doing fine now, huh?"
Ango suddenly glanced up as he stared back at the older man in puzzlement.
"Wha—what did you mean, Ichikura-san?"
The older man just shrugged. "It was after all just yesterday since you were released from the internal investigation. And soon after you refused our offer for dinner." Ichikura-san gave him a knowing look. "Do you really think that we'll really stop worrying about you just because you said so?"
Ango gave the older man a weak smile before lowering his gaze.
"I thought so," said Ichikura-san again before sighing. "But perhaps you really ARE fine and I'm being overly concerned."
Ango looked up as Ichikura-san shrugged. The old man resumed eating as Ango did the same.
"Regardless, perhaps coming here wasn't a full waste of time."
Ango cocked his head at his team leader as the older man explained.
"We're still in the middle of wrapping Ando Chikao's case still, you know?"
"Still?" Ango asked in confusion. Now that he thought about it, he haven't seen Ando's spirit bothering him again since last night. And last night, the evil spirit had also said his goodbyes already. Shouldn't that mean that Ando's body have been cremated now? So why were the case still—
"What did you mean?" he asked without thinking.
Ichikura-san immediately raised his hands to calm him down.
"Don't be alarmed now," Chief Ichikura spoke before shrugging. "Officially, the case was already closed. The remaining thing left now would be the filing works."
Ango barely allowed himself to relax before noticing that Ichikura-san hadn't dropped his gaze on him. He sighed.
"So what is it that you want to know from me?"
The old man gave him a knowing look. "I glad that you got the hint."