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S.S.SP by Yuuki Kazumi and illustrated by Norikazu Akira [Jun. 29th, 2011|09:17 pm]
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S.S.SP by Yuuki Kazumi and illustrated by Norikazu Akira, as I've mentioned before, is totally in my strike zone. It's about one of those detectives who is dogged, driven by instinct and impulse, and slightly dopey in the "I'm a new uke" way. He is saved from a really bad spot by a random hot guy and ends up learning the joys of ghei sex. He tries to forget that encounter when he is "volunteered" for a program to train SPs. He somehow manages to get selected to join the SPs (he totally thought he wouldn't make it, as did his co-workers and boss) and is shocked to find that his totally awesome, man-crush-worthy boss reminds him of that dude he'd been trying to forget about. He spends the rest of the novel being an SP, being in denial, helping his boss solve an old case, and being somewhat like a puppy in demeanor (eager and unintentionally adorable). While the "is he the same guy or just a doppelganger (or possibly a relative)?" trope can be tiresome if done badly (and oh have I read some done BADLY), this totally worked for me. The author did a good job of creating a character with flaws that allowed for the various tropes but did not grate on me. In fact, he was endearing.

The art is fairly nice but as I don't have a working scanner and my attempts to take photos from the book utterly failed, I won't be sharing any. Sorry!

Suga Hayataka is a young detective who has an excellent record of solving cases but is always in trouble for not following the rules and going off on his own. He has excellent instincts and follows them impulsively, often getting him into trouble and/or danger. The novel begins with Suga in pretty big trouble. He'd chanced upon some murder suspects they'd been looking for and follows them instead of just reporting that he'd seen them. He's caught and is given a drug. He manages to escape once, but is in danger of being caught again. He manages to smack down one guy, but his body isn't responding well due to the drug. Luckily, a random guy helps him get away by the time-honored method of pretending to be gay guys kissing to throw off the pursuers. He's shocked to find himself getting hard, and as he's about to complain to the guy that he's not gay he loses consciousness.

Suga wakes up to the smell of cigarettes. The guy is smoking. He looks good doing it. When he notices Suga is awake, he calls Suga by name. He'd taken a look at Suga's police ID. He tells Suga his name as well. It's Shou. Suga tries to get up but finds his body unresponsive. Shou tells Suga that it's rather sad that a detective was not only captured but drugged with an aphrodisiac. Suga is surprised, he thought he'd just been drugged with the illegal drugs used in the murder cases (some young females had been forced to take drugs, had become addicted to them, were used in underground porn videos, and had eventually died from the drugs). Shou tells Suga that the suspects must've been planning to use him in a porn video since he'd been given aphrodisiacs. Suga is a very manly guy and never thought of himself as the object of male desire, but Shou tells Suga that there are guys who like to make manly guys scream. He offers to help Suga out with this problem since he'd already helped him escape. He gives Suga a hand job, but Suga's arousal won't die down. So he decides Suga will need the full course. Suga is naturally not happy as he's not gay, but his body is all for it. Shou assures Suga that he's a gentleman and will make sure Suga doesn't come out worse for wear. He finds Suga's body quite responsive and tells him he's made for gay sex. He assures Suga that he will fuck Suga as much as Suga's body needs it...

The next day Suga gets scolded by his boss, as always. Suga had managed to call his partner to let him know the suspect's location, and the partner had gotten the boss to go after the suspects so they had gotten their guys. But the boss is not happy that Suga had once again ran off on his own and had not called back after the call he'd made to his partner. His boss then tells him he's been chosen from their station to participate in a SP training program. Twice a year they have a training program with one person from each station participating to see who can be chosen to be an SP. As it's extremely grueling no one actually wants to attend. Suga asks if he's being punished, but his boss denies it. He heartily tells Suga it'll be good for him. Sure, he won't be chosen, but it'll surely make him a better cop. He's teased by his much put-upon but understanding partner who tells him that the suspects had recently started making gay videos so he's lucky he'd escaped and avoided being filmed, and decides to think of the training as a break. He figures it's a good way to forget about his night with Shou.

Fast forward three months. He actually did much better in the SP training program than he thought he would and is chosen to join the SPs. He's shocked since he did well in some areas (like the fighting stuff) but in others he didn't (like how to be patient and how to sacrifice oneself). He doesn't have the patience to stand around and guard. He likes to pursue, to be in action. When he meets his new boss and the other members of his unit, he's intimidated. They all seem scarily professional. He nicknames the three other members the cyborg, the jock, and the cool beauty. When the cool beauty tells Suga to say something positive about himself. Suga inadvertently spills his true feeling...that he doesn't have anything appealing in particular. The other members are astonished. Suga tries to recover by saying how he's amazed he's been chosen as he doesn't think he's really suited or quite capable to be an SP. Cool beauty agrees with Suga and tells him he knows his place. Jock tells cool beauty to lay off on the new guy.

Suga is in awe of his new boss, Munakata Kousuke. Munakata is pretty damned amazing. He joined the police on a career track and went into various specialized units, accumulating lots of experience and skill. The other members of the unit joined this new unit specializing in going after attackers instead of just providing bodybuard service because they also thought Munakata is amazing (in other words, the entire unit has a man crush on Munakata). Unfortunately for Suga, Munakata kind of reminds him of Shou. Even though they are completely different in demeanor, he can't get Shou out of his mind when he interacts with Munakata. Which Suga thinks is a terrible disservice to Munakata, since Munakata is beyond awesome and Shou had taken advantage of his drugged self to fuck him. This being BL, there is 0% chance Munakata is not Shou. There is a small chance that Shou is Munakata's not-so-good brother, but it's pretty obvious what's going on here. But Suga has to be in denial because that's what makes the whole thing fun, right?

Suga's first job is to help cover security for a speech by the Minister of Defense. He's told by the others that members of the ministry of defense tend to be very proud and not want extra protection, even when warranted. Even Suga, a newbie, can tell that the protection is lacking. They only have metal detectors, no bag searches or body checks. The guards and SPs are not arranged in the optimal manner. Suga thinks to himself that the Ministry of Defense should go with the model method of protection instead of being foolhardy. A man runs past Suga, yelling that the minister should die. He is waving a pipe with more pipes strapped to himself. The SPs covering the minister think he's a suicide bomber and order an evacuation. Munakata orders his men to shoot, aiming at the bomber's feet. Suga had started moving before anybody else when he smelled something like gunpowder in the air. He runs towards the bomber, sweeps him off his feet, catches the lit bomb, wraps it in a flag he'd grabbed along the way, and throws it towards the banners strung up in the back, yelling "duck!" The bomb blows up, but it turns out to be a small explosion. Suga plants his knees in the back of the struggling bomber and smoothly cuffs him, reporting that he's caught the dude. Everyone stares at Suga, dumbfounded. Even Munakata can't hide his amazement as he asks if Suga is okay.

Suga and Munakata are summoned by the section chief to get chewed out over Suga's methods. Suga's used to getting busted, but not used to being defended. Munakata defends Suga. Suga managed to prevent any injuries to bystanders or to the suspect. Suga explains why he'd gone after the suspect. When he smelled the gunpowder he immediately thought of a gun, but it'd be caught in the metal detector. He ruled out plastic explosives since they don't smell. He saw a flash of pink and thought of a modified firework and just acted immediately.The section chief questions why Suga didn't immediately report his hunch to Munakata instead of acting, and Suga can't respond because that is what he should've done. Munakata again defends Suga, saying he would've just ordered Suga to act. He wants the kind of instant decision making and action taking that Suga can do in his unit. Suga falls even harder in his man-crush for Munakata, never having been defended by a superior like this before. The section chief can't really respond to Munakata's reasoning, so he just tells them not to talk about the incident as they aren't going to announce it.

Suga apologizes to Munakata when they are alone. Munakata tells him he doesn't care about the methods nearly as much as the section chief. He just wants results, so he thinks Suga did good this time. Suga feels bad for getting Munakata chewed out and says he was only lucky. Munakata replies that being lucky is a strength. But Suga knows he's supposed to report everything and he'd failed in doing so. Munakata smiles and assures him that he's doing what he should be doing. Munakata had wanted Suga for being the way he is. The smile and the words brings Shou to mind. Munakata goes on to mention the good things written in his recommendation. Suga confesses all the bad things about himself that wasn't in the recommendation, but Munakata tells Suga he knows all that and will support him appropriately. Suga's man-crush, naturally, only gets deeper. Munakata explains his reasoning in choosing Suga for the unit. The others are very good at what they do, but are used to always following orders and not doing their own thing. Suga is the trigger to set the others off, as they aren't a normal SP unit that just guards. They are supposed to go on the offensive against threats to the people they guard. Munakata smiles and bring Shou to mind again. Suga then gets another Shou reminder when he smells cigarettes (similar to those Shou smoked) on Munakata. He just wants to ask Munakata about Shou, but just can't make himself ask. So instead he asks Munakata if he smokes. Munakata admits that he does when he's not working. He comments that Suga is sensitive...to smells, that is. Some further comments makes Munakata chuckle deep in his throat...which makes Suga flush yet again.

A week later they have a training session. Three members of the unit, including Suga, have to guard a VIP. Munakata is the terrorist who will attack the VIP. He shows up and takes everyone down pretty quickly, pointing out deficiencies in the defenders even as he does it. Everyone calls him a cheater when it turns out Munakata is ambidextrous (at least with guns). Suga had a quick hand-to-hand with Munakata, amazed at just how awesome Munakata is. He ends up on the ground with his arm twisted behind him and Munakata's knee in his back. He isn't let up while Munakata provides more guidance. Munakata is a bit mussed, which makes Suga think of Shou. Munakata's knee in his back does not help, and he finds himself becoming aroused. He prays that he won't become hard. He breathes a sigh of relief when Munakata gets off of him, so when someone offers his hand up and asks if he can stand...Suga unthinkingly responds that he won't "stand" (in Japanese you use the same verb for standing and becoming hard). Oops. He's teased by his teammates, but they all admit that they have man-crushes on Munakata.

Suga goes to Shinjuku 2-chome to try to find Shou to confirm once and for all that Shou and Munakata are total strangers who only seem eerily alike. He randomly goes into a bar, and lucky him, the manly looking bartender with the very feminine way of talking knows who Shou is! Shou is a mysterious figure rumored to be a private detective. He's been investigating the death of a reporter for quite a while. He's also famous for being awesome in bed. And lucky Suga again! Shou shows up! (The coincidences, they are many, no?) Suga wants to speak to Shou privately, so the bartender offers to let them use a room in the back. Turns out the room is tricked out for sex, and guess what? They have sex! Suga's struggles and protests are useless, naturally.

Not only was the sex supposedly not wanted, now it's causing Suga to have big problems being around Munakata. He now has even MORE memories to repress and he doesn't do a good job of it.

They are assigned to help guard a visiting Arabian prince who runs around Tokyo changing plans, causing the security great pains. Munakata and Suga are on guard duty for the prince's last night. Suga thinks they will have a quiet night, but Munakata warns that the prince may want to go out at night. Suga doesn't understand where all of his energy is coming from, but Munakata tells him he's just that way. Back home he has five consorts. Suga is surprised, as the prince is only about his age. Munakata smiles in response, causing Suga's heart rate to increase. Suga's attempts at suppressing certain memories are not helped when Munakata takes off his glasses to clean them. Suga is saved from becoming hard by room service. He checks the food and pushes the cart to the room where the prince is. He's shown in, upon which he finds that he's what the prince actually wanted. When he's grabbed and pulled by the arm, he instinctively takes the arm that grabbed him and twists it behind the prince's back. He immediately lets go and apologizes. The prince is even more fired up. He likes 'em lively. He doesn't really know how to deal with getting away from the VIP he's supposed to protect...He can't hit the dude, right? And the prince is actually quite strong. He also says the most awesome lines ("Don't worry, I'm used to fucking men. If you don't fight me, you'll see heaven."). Lucky for the hapless Suga, Munakata comes to his rescue. He calmly gets the prince to back down. He tells Suga later that the prince had tried to come on to him before as well. He'd turned him down quite severely, which made the prince like him. Suga posits that the prince is a bit masochistic since he got more aroused when Suga had twisted his arm. Munakata thinks the prince is always so defered to, being treated differently is very refreshing. When Suga can't accept the idea, Munakata smiles and says maybe the prince just likes lively ones as well. This gives Suga pause. What does Munakata mean by the prince "as well?" So...Munakata likes them lively, too? This causes Suga's body to get all hot and bothered quite quickly. When Munakata calls for his attention, Suga apologizes. When he's asked what for, Suga responds by saying he doesn't seem quite suited to be an SP. Munakata assures him that no one is perfect from the get-go. But he goes on to be very awesome mentor-like by warning him that mistakes aren't tolerated either, since a mistake can mean someone's death. But one can't fear that possibility either, to be an SP. Munakata tells him to trust his instincts. Suga wants to forget Shou so that he can focus and respond to Munakata's trust and expectations.

Suga asks why Munakata had chosen to become an SP. Munakata tells him he didn't chose to become an SP from the start. His father had been a police officer, which is why he went into law enforcement. He asks Suga why he became a cop. Suga confesses that his parents and brother are all accountants and really wanted him to get a steady job. He was bad at math, so he thought working for the government would be good. He admired detectives who had to run around solving cases...a slight case of watching too many cop dramas? Suga takes the chance to ask about Munakata's family. He finds out that Munakata has an older sister who is running the family business, a traditional Japanese restaurant, but no brothers. Suga is relieved to find out that Munakata and Shou can't be brothers...But then he realizes he's once again thinking about Shou and tries to stop thinking about him at all. He then asks why Munakata didn't continue on the career track and instead became an SP. Munakata is silent for a moment, but then quotes a famous line from an old police drama ("事件は会議室で起きてるんじゃない。現場で起きてるんだ" from 踊る大捜査線, released as Bayside Shakedown internationally). Suga interprets it to mean that Munakata prefers field work. He jokes that Munakata has watched too much TV as well. But he throws out that Munakata must have another, real reason for his career choice. Turns out he is right. Munakata stops smiling and explains that he had a good friend named Uesugi. After graduating from college Uesugi had become a secretary of an MP, all fired up to work his way up in the political world. Munakata had promised Uesugi that when he became a politician he'd be his SP. But Uesugi had died, shot by a bullet meant to kill an MP but had missed. It had been ten years ago, when Munakata had just started out as an SP. Even though there had been four SPs there the assassin had gotten away. Their jobs were not to apprehend the criminal. It is to protect their charge. In the end, the case was never solved. The police figured it was some enemy of the politician whom the assassin was supposed to take out, but unluckily for the assassin and Uesugi he'd missed. Suga is upset, as a former detective, that the case should still be unsolved. But he understands why Munakata had joined the SAT (Special Assault Team) in order to gain skills in attack as well as defense to prevent another case like Uesugi. Suga thinks that Uesugi must be rejoicing in heaven now because Munakata is working the front lines as the head of this new unit. At least, that's what he'd think if he was Uesugi. At Munakata's silence, he realizes he might be a bit presumptuous. But Munakata tells him that no one's ever said something like that to him. He tells Suga he needs to adopt a bit of Suga's optimistic attitude. Suga is struck by Munakata's soft smile...He's happy that he was able to lift a bit of Munakata's cares. But he laughs off Munakata's praise, saying he's just ridiculously positive even as his heart aches.

The Arabian prince safely leaves the country, and the unit have the day off. Suga meets up with his old partner for drinks one night. The partner worries that Suga is doing okay as an SP. He'd heard rumors about the hushed up speech with the bomb, which Suga plays down. When Suga tells the partner that his boss didn't scold him, but praised him, the partner wonders about the boss's judgement. Suga launches into a full-throated defense of the awesomeness of Munakata. The partner suspects Suga has gone all ghei for Munakata, which Suga strenously denies. But when he sort of admits he's become aroused by the thought of Munakata, that's all the proof the partner needs. He assures Suga that he considers Suga his lovable kouhai and Suga turning gay would never change that, but he jokes that he can't be his "ohomodachi" (punning "otomodachi" meaning friend and "homo" for gay).

Suga is shaken awake by the bartender of the bar he last met Shou at. He has no idea how he'd gotten there. The bartender tells him that Shou doesn't always show up. Suga suddenly remembers drinking heavily with his former partner, then heading to the bar afterwards. He wanted to blame Shou for turning him gay. The bartender tells Suga that Shou sleeps with anyone and one shouldn't fall for him. Suga responds that he just wanted to tell Shou off, but the bartender tells Suga that everyone starts off that way. Shou is, after all, quite forceful. Especially in bed. He figures Suga must've been turned into jello by Shou's awesome technique that night. (BTW, I laugh every time I see "technician" referred to as a person awesome in bed. Seriously, that term is NOT SEXY to my American ears. It sounds robotic or something.) Suga remembers that night, and how he'd been unable to talk to Shou as he'd wanted that night. He hadn't even been able to fight Shou off, despite being an SP. He decides to go home, and grabs the glass of water in front of him and downs it. Except that he drinks the tequila instead of the water and falls over.

Suga half wakes up, desperately thirsty. Someone asks if he wants water. Suga tries to nod, but his head hurts a lot and he can't move it. His whole body feels heavy. He can't even open his eyes. He just groans, totally out of it. Someone sighs and comments about drinking too much. His head is lifted and something is pressed against his lips. Cold water flows into his mouth. Suga greedily drinks it, but it soon runs out. He sticks out his tongue and sucks harder. Instead of more water, whatever is pressed against his lips is jerked away. Suga groans, "...more..." Another sigh, even bigger this time. Someone grumbles. This time Suga recognizes the voice. It's Shou! His lips are covered again. Now Suga realizes....Shou had given him water in that wonderful mouth-to-mouth method the Japanese seem to adore. But now he's just being kissed. When Shou sticks his tongue in Suga's mouth, Suga moans his name. Shou freezes for a second, then kisses him even deeper. Suga internally complains that he had just wanted more water even as his body heats up. He's also anxious since his body has a certain immediate reaction to Shou...Shou discovers his erection and gives him a hand job. As Suga pants, recovering, Shou smiles and asks if it'd felt good. But...It isn't Shou. It's Munakata.

Suga wakes up yelling. The headache comes crashing down immediately. He's sweating and his heart is racing. But he's alone. Had it been a dream? But he notices that he'd somehow gotten home. He also sees the stain on his underpants. At first he thinks he had a wet dream, but he wonders if it hadn't been a dream. It had seemed so real...He denies that it could've been Munakata. It must've been Shou. Totally. As Suga takes a shower, he tries to convince himself that Shou had brought him home, kissed him, and that he'd dreamt the part about Munakata. As he remembers the "dream" Munakata from last night, he becomes hard. He'd been telling himself that he was responding to Munakata because he was so similar to Shou, but now he finds himself responding to Munakata's words, his voice, his smile. OMG!! At that fabulous moment he gets a call from Munakata that they are being called in for an assignment.

With all the members of the unit gathered, a stern-looking Munakata explains the situation. They will be at a meeting held by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport to explain the suspension of the building of an airport scheduled the next day. Minister Fujiwara, who had been a former Minister of Defense, will be speaking on a controverial project that had cost a lot of money and had to overcome great local opposition to happen. But due to various circumstances the government had decided to suspend the project and it was getting a lot of media coverage. Munakata explains that in addition to the original two units assigned to the situation, two more (including them) will arrive early to the meeting site to scope things out. Suga, who'd tried to convince himself that he wasn't attracted to Munakata on the way over, had stood a bit hidden from Munakata since he couldn't look straight at Munakata. But he opens his mouth to ask a thoughtless question and gets glared at. But as Munakata finishes giving his instructions Suga senses something odd. Munakata is only giving orders, not saying all the things he typically says.

Suga gets up early in the morning to head out to the meeting site. Suga comments to Oda (the "cyborg"), who'd picked him up, that the situation is rather awful. The fight between the government and the locals had been protracted, lasting ten years, with the locals being fiercely against the airport. But as time went on the locals tired, and some were persuaded by the prospect of being well compensated for land purchases and for the noise disturbance from the airport. Others just left their hometown, and the rest ended up having to accept the project. But to be told now that the project won't be finished? It must be infuriating, especially since the airport is about 70% finished anyway.

Oda explains that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown at Minister Fujiwara's house, which is why they were so suddenly being included in the security detail. Suga can't believe they are going through with the meeting in such a situation. Oda then explains a bit hesitantly that Munakata has a history with the minister. Suga remarks that he'd noticed that Munakata wasn't his usual self. Oda hadn't noticed anything different and comments that Suga really is perceptive. Turns out the minister is the politician Munakata's best friend Uesugi had worked for and had been killed instead of. Suga already knew about Uesugi, which quite surprised Oda, but Suga also learned several things. First, Uesugi's first name was Shou. Second, that the day before Uesugi died he'd called Munakata. He wanted to discuss something very important with him. Munakata's statement wasn't followed up by the police, even if it may have had something to do with the murder. And Oda tells Suga that he knows one thing for sure, that the case isn't over for Munakata.

They show up barely on time. The traffic is horrendous. There are tons of people protesting along the street. As Suga carefully checks out scaffolding at a construction site the minister is scheduled to visit, he is distracted by thoughts of Munakata and Shou. He knows deep down that they must be the same person, they look too similar, plus with the added information that Uesugi's first name was Shou....He also thinks that Munakata might view Fujiwara with suspicion, no matter what the police had decided. That's why Munakata is still searching for the truth, ten years later. It suddenly dawns upon Suga that Munakata and Uesugi might have been more than friends. Someone speaks to him even as he tries to deny the possibility, and he loses his balance. Luckily the person who'd called to him, Munakata, catches him before he falls over 20 m to the ground. Munakata holds him tightly as he scolds him for being careless. He would've died had he fallen. Suga's intercom had been off, so he hadn't responded to any calls. Munakata had come to check on him. Suga looks up to apologize, but is surprised by how close Munakata is and pushes him away. But Munakata grabs him and holds onto him. Suga is worried that he'll get hard again. Suga apologizes and asks to be let go, looking down to avoid seeing Munakata's face. Munakata lets him go, but makes him look up. He asks what is wrong with Suga. Suga flushes, flustered. Oda had asked him to watch out for Munakata since Munakata must trust him to have told him about Uesugi. So he blurts out that he'll do anything for Munakata, even though he's not fully capable yet or very confident in his abilities. Munakata smiles, amused. Suga thinks about the various expressions he's seen on Munakata and thinks that he likes this smile the best. He realizes at that moment that he loves Munakata.

Munakata tells Suga that he needs to be more professional before he can do anything. Having your intercom on is pretty basic stuff. He then goes on to tell Suga that it's actually good that he's not that confident. The scariest thing for an SP is to become too used to things. It's best to think you've missed something so that you are always vigilant and careful. Suga is filled with man-crush joy. Munakata is called back and leaves Suga to continue with is work. Munakata is so awesome! Suga accepts his having fallen in love with Munakata. He silently tells his former detective partner that he is indeed in love with his boss. He suddenly feels like a burden has been taken off his shoulders...But then he remembers that Munakata still has lingering feelings for Uesugi. He then feels a bit down since he has no chance but is determined to do his very best to support Munakata.

Fujiwara turns out to be an asshole who treats his secretary pretty badly. He bitches about the transportation, the food, the people he has to meet, etc. He even says that these people with their petty concerns should give him money if they want to be heard. He refused to change his schedule after the attack at his home, so they go around to construction sites in the area before ending up at an elementary school for the main meeting. Suga can't help but think that if something should happen an SP could die protecting such an asshole. He also remembers that Uesugi had died by mistake instead of the jerk. It must be doubly hard for Munakata to guard this guy.

The meeting is as contentious as expected. The locals are mad mad mad. Fujiwara won't back down. As the meeting continues, Suga sees a glint in the corner of his eye. He looks out the window to a building that had been checked out and locked up the day before. He reports that he's going to check out the flash. As he's walking to the building, thinking about what an asshole Fujiwara is, a shot is fired. Over the intercom Suga learns that Fujiwara is safe. His secretary was hit. Suga reports that the shot was definitely from the place he saw the flash and rushes over. Munakata tells him that the rest of them are heading over as well and tells him to be careful. Then another shot rings out. A member of their unit goes down. Two others head to their fallen comrade, but are ordered to go after the shooter. Suga is angry. He is so going to catch the guy. He figures the assassin hadn't seen him. He also figures that the assassin hadn't missed. He'd been aiming for the secretary, not Fujiwara. Suga notices a motorcycle parked behind the building. Suga realizes the assassin is planning to use the motorcycle to get away on a mountain path that wasn't part of the security plan. As he dashes toward the motorcycle a man jumps out of the building. The man's backpack could easily fit a fold-up rifle. Suga yells at the man. What is he doing there? Their eyes meet. Suga reaches for his gun at the same time the man sticks his hand into his jacket. They both pull out guns and fire. Suga's gun is shot away, but his hand hasn't been hit. The man, however, has been hit in the leg. Munakata calls over the intercom asking for a report as he'd heard gunshots. Suga reports the situation and runs towards the assassin. The assassin manages to make it to the bike and gets on. Instead of speeding off, he heads towards Suga. Instead of trying to get out of the way, Suga jumps at the assassin and manages to get him off the bike. They roll on the ground, fighting each other. The other members of his unit show up, but they can't get a clear shot. The assassin whips out a knife. Suga dodges the knife and continues to fight. He calls out for Munakata in his mind. As if in response, Munakata gives the assassin a roundhouse kick. The others secure the knife and point their guns at him. Suga jumps on the assassin and puts cuffs on him. Munakata walks up, smiling. He comments that it's unreasonable to tell Suga to be careful. Suga's heart beats fast, seeing the smile he loves the most.

A huge scandal erupts because it turns out that the assassin was indeed aiming for the secretary, not the minister. Then the secretary wakes up and explains that the person who hired the assassin is probably the minister. He'd been the minister's secretary for twenty years, doing the minister's dirty work in return for a promise that he'd be the minister's successor. Ten years ago, a young secretary named Uesugi had found out about the bad stuff and had tried to get the secretary and minister to come clean. Instead, the minister ordered the secretary to shut Uesugi up in whatever manner necessary. When the secretary realized Uesugi wasn't going to be bribed in any way, they had hired a yakuza group they knew to kill Uesugi. They later learned that a reporter was checking around the minster and secretary. Turns out he'd met with Uesugi. The secretary had the reporter killed in a way that looked like an accident. Despite all that the secretary had done, the minister reneged on his promise. In his old age he wanted to make his own son his successor instead of the secretary as he'd promised. The secretary had threatened the minister with all the bad stuff that'd they'd done, and the minister offered to give him money and support so that the secretary could go off on his own. The secretary wasn't satisfied but had no choice but to take the deal, since to reveal the minister's dirty laundry would be to reveal his own as well. The secretary tells the police that he'd been a fool. He should've known the minister wouldn't have left him alone. He remembers Uesugi telling him to turn his life around, that it wasn't too late. He expresses his regret for not having listened to Uesugi back then.

The police find evidence that Fujiwara himself had contacted the assassin. He won't be able to blame someone else. As the unit drink together at a bar they celebrate that Fujiwara will be harshly punished. When Oda comments that Uesugi will be able to rest in peace, Munakata nods but looks a bit distant. Suga thinks that it's hard for Munakata since although the case has been solved, it's not like Uesugi will come back. Suga suggests they go to another place, but one by one everyone abandons him until he's left with Munakata. Munakata taps Suga on the shoulder and suggests they go to karaoke together, smiling. Suga shakes his head, on the verge of panic. He'd worked so hard to avoid being alone with Munakata and now here he was alone with Munakata! Munakata smiles even wider and suggests they drink some more...at the gay bar Suga had met up with Shou before.

Suga had been avoiding Munakata since he knew he'd start grilling Munakata as to why he'd deceived Suga, but now he's taken to Munakata's apartment. While it is pretty obvious by now that Munakata is Shou and had fucked Suga repeatedly and hadn't mentioned the fact to Suga, Suga was thrown into turmoil when Munakata had mentioned the gay bar. Suga has no idea what to say when Munakata tells Suga to speak his mind. So he says that isn't it good that Munakata was able to avenge his lover and tries to leave. Munakata grabs him and kisses him into silence. He explains that Uesugi was his best friend and not his lover. He asks if Suga is relieved. Suga denies it, but Munakata embraces him tightly and tells Suga it's rather obvious he's jealous. Munakata thanks Suga for calming him down that day they were part of Fujiwara's security detail by saying he'd do anything for Munakata. And for working so hard and catching the would-be assassin. He wishes he'd had Suga's reckless drive. Maybe if he'd met Uesugi immediately Uesugi wouldn't have died. But Suga says he's just doing his job with pride, and probably so had Uesugi. Surely Uesugi wouldn't want Munakata to feel so much regret. In any case, it was Munakata who'd hired him to be an SP so it's all thanks to Munakata in the end. Munakata widens his eyes at Suga's words, but then smiles happily. He tells Suga that he'd fallen for Suga because he has a sound core despite the crazy things he does. That's why he'd wanted Suga for a subordinate...And for a lover. He draws Suga closer, saying "I love you." Suga, though, pushes Munakata away. He won't be deceived again! After all, Munakata had been deceiving Suga the whole time. But Munakata defends himself. He hadn't actively deceived Suga. He'd been known as Shou in that area for a long time. Plus, he'd done things to help Suga figure things out. It's Suga's fault for not realizing it. Suga asks about the little things Munakata had done that had reminded him of Shou, like smiling meaningfully, or smelling like cigarettes, or taking off his glasses and wiping them. They were in fact things Munakata had done on purpose. He asks why Suga hadn't said something. Suga retorts that he couldn't have. He reproaches Munakata for teasing him. Munakata asks him to let it go. Suga was so cute being so flustered. When Suga responds to the word "cute," Munakata reminds Suga that he likes 'em lively, like the Arabian prince. Munakata goes on to confess all kinds of things, such as having been jealous of himself when Suga showed up at the bar looking for him. He asks if Suga still doubts his feelings. Suga replies that his doubts have been thoroughly cleared up. But he stops Munakata from kissing him again, to ask...if Munakata is gay, too. Suga actually meant to have Munakata state that he is incontrovertibly Shou, but it came out funny. Munakata sighs, takes off his glasses, musses up his hair, and glares at Suga. He then smirks and asks if Suga is satisfied. Suga flushes bright red because before him is Shou.

Obviously they have sex after that. It goes on for a while, and while fun to read because of the interaction between Munakata and Suga not something I feel like writing in great detail. In any case, Munakata has amazing stamina and Suga is powerless in the face of it. XD;

After proofing the summary I think I've pinned down the biggest reason I like this book: Dopey sweetness between seme and uke! No meanness! Reminds me of how I felt reading Niizuma Deka. It's nice getting silly happy fun with a huge dollop of sweetness. The police case was actually interesting in this book, too. Half the time with police BL the case is stupid or totally incidental.

I'm a bit dissatisfied with this summary. First off, no pics. Second, I don't think I gushed enough. I really, really liked this book. But I'm so tired of working on this (I've been hampered by internet connection and computer problems as well as problems focusing for long enough to finish it up), I just want to post it and not hold onto it and rework it some more. Just imagine a ♥ (or two!) after every sentence because I do love it so. ♥♥

[User Picture]From: hpstrangelove
2011-06-30 11:28 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this - even without any pictures, I enjoyed reading your summary. Makes me wish I could read the actual novel.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2011-07-04 06:34 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
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[User Picture]From: sara_tanaquil
2011-06-30 12:58 pm (UTC)

LOL, as soon as you said he gets results but is always in trouble for breaking the rules, I thought of Aoshima!

Thanks so much for the review. I meant to add it to my shopping list when you first mentioned it, but now it's officially on there. Dopey sweetness and echoes of Odoru, can't wait!
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2011-07-04 06:35 pm (UTC)
I've got to ask...who is Aoshima and what is Odoru? I'm thinking it's a manga?

In any case, I hope you like this book half as much as I do (which would be quite a lot). XD;
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[User Picture]From: sara_tanaquil
2011-07-04 07:13 pm (UTC)
Remember this post? ^_^

Aoshima (the character in my icon) is the lead character of the police drama you mention (踊る大捜査線 [Odoru Daisousasen]; I've never learned to call it Bayside Shakedown, it's always been Odoru to me), and I think he's the one that speaks the line that you quote. He routinely gets into trouble with his superiors for defying protocol.

You really should watch the drama, it's awesome.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2011-07-04 07:23 pm (UTC)
Doh! *smacks head* My head is like a sieve, everything goes in and flows right back out. I need to make a list of shows to watch so I don't forget. :P
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[User Picture]From: wednesday_10_00
2011-06-30 06:14 pm (UTC)
OK, I'm avoiding the summary, because I'm planning on picking up the book myself, but I just wanted to thank you for saying how much you enjoyed the book, because I honestly don't think I would have tried it otherwise. It just sounded like a concept that could go terribly wrong so easily. But I'm glad to hear it's great as its epic title. XD
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2011-07-04 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning it in your LJ, actually. I think I got an email rec from Amazon but didn't pay much attention to the book until you pointed it out. I made it a point to pick it up as soon as I got to Japan and it gave me much joy throughout my trip.
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[User Picture]From: madamada_chan
2011-07-01 02:32 am (UTC)
Amazing summary as always, thank you so much!!

I don't buy a lot of novels because I can barely read manga XD My Japanese isn't even close to "basic" level yet. But the novels I did buy for future reading when I can was all books that you've recommended ^_^

Adding this one too!! ♥
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[User Picture]From: madamada_chan
2011-07-01 02:39 am (UTC)

I wonder if you've read Romance no Mokuhiken before (Ueda Mayu, illust Asato Eiri). If not, give it a thought? ^^ After reading some of your summaries, I think it might just fall into your strike zone. :D

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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2011-07-04 06:45 pm (UTC)
No, I haven't read it. I'll put it on my wishlist and give it a try. I do own another book by the same author and had mixed reactions to it, but it can't hurt to give the author another try. Asato Eiri art always helps. XD;
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[User Picture]From: madamada_chan
2011-07-05 03:55 am (UTC)
I know right!! Asato Eiri's art is always eye candy ♥

Well, to be honest I haven't read the novel actually ^w^ I just got interested in it because... you guessed it. Drama CD XDD With my favorite voice actor too ♥ (same voice actor as Ritsu)

The drama CD for it was really, reeeally good though, but it only covered half the novel. I ended up buying the first 2 official novels + 2 doujinshi novels for it ^^;; I'm trying to read it little by little but... I'm still stuck on vol 1 XD
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2011-07-04 06:40 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! I hope you're able to read it someday. XD;
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[User Picture]From: xinxie
2012-05-30 09:31 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading this one and felt as if I am reading the novel. Your summary here made that. Thanks for adding the details. This is pure awesomeness novel. I wish I can read this in english. One of the best novel and summary I read so far.

BTW, your summary is awesome. It's fun reading this more. :)
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