Fake Fan Fiction ❯ FAKE in Love: Act I, Stalkers and Protectors ❯ Chapter 3
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Warnings and Disclaimers: Hey there friends and lovers. Nope, still don't own FAKE. Poor me. So sad. Love you much.
Dee hesitated outside the apartment door, his hand resting lightly on the doorknob as Diana waited behind him.
“Well?” she said finally.
“J.J. might still be here,” Dee said finally. “You go first.”
“You are so paranoid.”
Dee couldn't help but notice that Diana opened the door cautiously herself, and peered inside a little before she entered.
“Hello! I'm back, and I brought company!” Dee called.
Ryo's head poked out from the kitchen and he smiled at them both. “Perfect timing. Dinner'll be ready in just a few minutes, care to stay for a meal Diana?”
“Oh Ryo that would be great. I am so sick of take out.”
Dee pulled his jacket off and walked into the living room, glancing over at Bikky and Carol who were looking a little too comfortable on the couch.
“You know he was throwing up all night,” Dee said as he passed through.
“Get bent knuckle dragger,” Bikky snapped back.
“Oh Bikky,” Carol said. “Hurry up and finish this problem so we'll be done with this stupid homework.”
Bikky grunted and turned back to the book that Carol held.
“Hi Bikky,” Diana said. “How are you feeling?”
“Hi Diana!” Bikky said a little too enthusiastically.
Carol scowled and Diana smiled back. She quickly returned to the dining room and helped as Ryo set the table.
“How'd it go today?” Dee said as he came in.
“Alright,” Ryo said. “One of the girls we picked up this afternoon was very cooperative. We think we got the head, um, well, the head…”
“Pimp,” Dee said helpfully.
“Yes,” Ryo said with an eye roll. “So it looks like I'll be spending tomorrow writing up the final report and tying up the loose ends. How'd things go on your end?”
Dee grunted with frustration and began to pick up the lids of the different pots on the stove, sniffing and stirring a little as Ryo tried to push him out of the way. Diana watched with a small smile and then sat down at the table.
“We got nothing from the lab end and the coroner is a pouty little man with too much power,” she said as she straightened her silverware.
“Tomorrow we'll start checking local stores for someone who bought a big supply of cat litter,” Dee said as he carried in some of the steaming dishes.
“I still think that's a waste of time,” Diana said shaking her head. “He could have bought that stuff anywhere.”
“It makes sense that he would buy it nearby,” Dee said forcefully.
“No, this guy's smart. For all we know, he bought it a bag at a time from half a dozen different stores.”
“You don't know that.”
“No, I don't, and since we don't have any other leads, we'll try it your way.”
“Bikky, Carol, supper's on!” Ryo wiped his hands clean and sat down at the table.
“Carol,” Diana said with a smile. “Wow!”
“What?” Carol said with a little suspicion.
“Your outfit, it's fantastic.”
“Thanks,” Carol beamed. “I made it myself.”
“That is impressive.”
“Not for our Carol,” Ryo said with a smile. “You're having dinner tonight with the world's next great fashion designer.”
“Oh Ryo,” Carol said with obvious pleasure.
Dee and Bikky exchanged a glance and busied themselves with dishing up food, Carol, however, noticed and sat down with a small frown.
“You know, Bikky, it wouldn't kill you to pay me a compliment here and there.”
“I compliment you,” Bikky said. “I told you this afternoon that you looked fine.”
“No, you told me that I didn't spill any juice on myself when you bumped into my hand, that's not the same as a compliment.”
Ryo quickly took a bite to hide the grin that wanted to break out across his face.
“Fine,” Bikky said. “You look very pretty.”
“Oh that was sincere.”
“Careful Bikky,” Dee said with a laugh. “Pretty girl like Carol, she has her pick of men.”
“Stay out of my business moron!”
“I think you look hot, Carol,” Dee said leaning towards her.
Bikky roared with anger.
“Get off her you pedophile bitch!”
“Are your meals always like this?” Diana asked Ryo quietly.
“No,” Ryo answered honestly. “They're actually being pretty well behaved this time.”
Ryo refilled Diana's wine glass then handed the bottle to Dee. Dee filled his own cup and leaned back, one arm sliding behind Ryo's shoulders as they continued to talk.
“Do you like being an FBI agent?” Ryo asked.
“Gets me free flights anywhere in the country,” she said with a shrug. “Yeah, I do. I am sick of hearing about how `it takes a real man to do this job, honey' but I've pretty well proven myself now. And all while wearing high heels I'd like to add.”
She raised her glass in toast to herself and Ryo and Dee clanked their glasses with her and shared her hearty laughter. She sighed and leaned back in her chair, a nice little warmth spreading through her. This was nice, it felt like visiting friends, maybe even family. It was just nice that they had opened their home to her like this. Carol and Bikky had disappeared a couple of hours ago, Bikky slinking back to bed, still a little queasy, and Carol heading happily home. Now it was just the grown-ups, and Diana realized how long it had been since she had had any time like this.
“Ryo,” Dee said suddenly. “Rose called us into his office this afternoon.”
Diana tensed, but Ryo only nodded.
“Showed you the new picture, right? Near as we can tell, he took it at about eleven o'clock this morning. One of the women we arrested is sitting next to me in the shot.”
“Eleven?” Dee said. “We were there less than an hour later. Dammit, this guy is fucking…”
He shook his head and his hand pressed more tightly against Ryo's arm. Ryo sighed and shrugged, then took a sip of wine.
“He had some kid drop it off at the front desk. We can't id the kid, and there's nothing on the envelope that tells us anything.”
Diana stirred her wine a little. “Berkeley said he told you…”
“Don't go out alone,” Ryo said, lowering his voice into a surprisingly good impression of Rose. “Take an armed officer with you everywhere, be aware of your surroundings,” he sighed and glanced between the two of them. “He's probably going to be mad that I let J.J. leave me here alone.”
“Ryo…” Dee started.
“I'm not going to do anything stupid,” Ryo said with a laugh. “Calm down, that's your department, not mine, remember?”
“Dammit,” Dee growled. “I'm trying to be serious.”
“Dee, I am taking this seriously.”
Dee stared at him a minute then looked away with a sigh of his own.
“Well,” Diana said as she quickly swallowed the last of her wine. “Now that the mood is sufficiently killed, I think I'll be leaving.”
“Are you sure?” Ryo said.
“Yes, it's pretty late. I need to get some sleep and the wine seems to be facilitating that,” she smiled widely at them and lightly pecked each on the cheek. “I'll see you boys in the morning.”
“Bye Diana,” Ryo said.
“Bye,” Dee grunted.
The door clicked shut and Ryo leaned against Dee.
“Are you ready for bed?”
Dee nodded and stood up. Ryo frowned a little, but picked up the empty glasses and bottle and carried them into the kitchen. He heard Dee's careful steps and listened as the locks on the front door clicked into place. Ryo's frown deepened a little, something about the sound of the locks jarring him. He rinsed the glasses out and jumped a little when Dee's arms suddenly wrapped around his waist, the dark haired head resting against his shoulder.
“You're really being careful?” Dee said softly.
Ryo smiled gently. “Yes.”
Dee's arms tightened and he pressed his face tightly against Ryo's neck, breathing in that wonderful smell.
“Don't let anything happen to you, okay?” he closed his eyes. “I need you.”
Ryo lightly rested his hands over Dee's and leaned his head gently down.
“I need you too,” Ryo said quietly. “I love you Dee.”
He felt Dee smile against his neck and draw in a long deep breath.
“Thanks Ryo, I love you too,” he lifted his head up and kissed lightly at Ryo's ear. “Now what were you saying about bed?”
“Well,” Ryo set the last glass in the dish drainer and sighed. “I was in the mood then, but now…”
“Why you little tease,” Dee said and nibbled at Ryo's neck.
Ryo laughed. “Stop it, that tickles.”
“Does it now?” Dee said rubbing his lips lightly against Ryo's skin.
One of Dee's hands slid up his chest and pulled Ryo back tightly against him. Dee kissed warmly at his neck and Ryo turned a little, giving Dee access to his mouth. The kiss was hot, and Ryo felt himself leaning back, pushing into the kiss with all he had.
“Still not in the mood?” Dee said throatily when they split apart.
“I'm beginning to come around,” Ryo said as he turned completely and pulled Dee in for another kiss.
Dee slipped his mouth open, tongue darting out with heavy passion. It was one of those kisses, one of the ones that made Ryo's legs weak and his chest tight. Dee held it for as long as he could before he finally pulled back, Ryo leaning heavily against him, panting slightly for breath. Dee gently raised one hand and brushed back Ryo's hair, the warm blush again in place on the shorter man's face.
“I love you Ryo,” he said again, more softly.
“I love you Dee.”
Dee tugged at Ryo's hand and started to pull him towards the bedroom, Ryo's shaky legs barely supporting him as he willingly followed.
“Goddammit,” Dee hissed. “I'm going to kill that kid.”
“Just go to bed,” Ryo whispered, his lips grazing across Dee's. “Don't fall asleep.”
“Like that would happen,” Dee said with a grin.
Ryo chuckled and opened Bikky's door, the smile still in place.
“What do you…”
Ryo's voice cut off and he stared down at Bikky with growing terror. The boy was slumped in his bed, vomit streaming down from his mouth and pooling in his cupped hands. He was crying and shaking, his skin pale and clammy.
“Dee! Get the car!”
Ryo flew forward and grabbed a stray shirt from the floor. He wiped the vomit from Bikky's mouth and hands, gently pushing back the mussed hair. He felt the heat of Bikky's skin and the sick scent of vomit that covered everything.
“We're just going to go to the hospital,” Ryo said quietly. “It's okay, you'll be fine, it's okay.”
His hands raced over Bikky's face, his voice still calm and gentle despite the pounding of his heart. Bikky really looked bad, and he all but toppled into Ryo's arms, crying quietly as Ryo held him.
“Come on, Bikky, let's go.”
Ryo was surprised that he could so easily support Bikky, but the surprise disappeared instantly as he wrapped a blanket around his foster son and raced out the door, hoping that everything really would be okay.
Ryo yawned widely and rested his head against his palm for a moment before he rubbed at the bridge of his nose. He really should have stayed home today, he wasn't getting anything done. With that in mind he lifted his glasses and passed a hand over his eyes before turning back to his computer. He went back to typing up his report, distantly noting that he wasn't even thinking about what he was writing and hoping that it would make some kind of sense. He yawned again and leaned back, deciding that he should just tell Rose that he was going home early.
Bikky's trip to the hospital had revealed an especially nasty stomach flu that would have him laid up for another day. The doctor had prescribed little, other than fluids and bed rest, and suggested to Ryo that he send Bikky back to school after that, so long as the boy was feeling healthy. The boy had scowled irritably at that and made some comment about `quacks.' Bikky was holed up at home again, Mrs. Thompson happily staying with him while Ryo worked, the old woman just glad to be of some use.
I should bring her something, Ryo thought and read the report he had been blankly working on for most of the morning. Well, it mostly makes sense.
Ryo hit print and dumbly stared at the printer, a full minute passing before he began to wonder why nothing was coming out.
“It needs paper,” Diana said leaning over his shoulder. “God you're a wreck.”
“I haven't had a good night's sleep in almost two weeks,” Ryo said and rubbed at his eyes again. “It's starting to wear.”
“Men are such babies,” Diana said as she handed him a cup of coffee. “You and your partner, you act like you're the only ones who ever had to take a sick kid to the hospital. Suck it up and do your job.”
“Yes, you're right,” Ryo said with a smile, and Diana suddenly felt bad, though she wasn't sure why.
“So how is Bikky?” she said, hoping to change the subject.
“Sleeping,” Ryo said, the smile still there. “I guess it's some Chinese flu, it's making the rounds at all the schools. He's just mad that it hit him this close to his next basketball game.”
Diana laughed and handed Ryo some blank paper.
“Thanks,” Ryo loaded the printer and nodded as the report started to slide smoothly out. “So how's everything going with you?”
Diana rolled her eyes.
“I'm lugging your partner around like a dead weight chained to my ass,” she said irritably. “We printed up a list of stores that sell cat litter in a ten block radius to the crime scene. We drive to one, he falls asleep on the way, and I spend ten minutes waking him up. We interview, get in the car, and he falls asleep again.”
Ryo chuckled. “Yup, that's Dee.”
“I'd be even more upset except he always perks right up for the interviews. I swear to god it's the most annoying thing. Super cop then super sloth.”
Ryo laughed at that one and shook his head.
“I know what you mean, but he's always like that. You think that there's no way that anyone like him could possibly do good work as a detective, then he suddenly slips into professional mode and just blows you away.”
“Mmph,” Diana said and shrugged. “I read the questions and notes he got from you, you're not too bad yourself.”
“Thanks, do you need a compliment now?”
Ryo lightly kissed her cheek.
“You're wonderfully competent, Agent Spacey.”
Diana laughed happily.
“Well, I better go save your partner. J.J. was on the prowl and I'm sure he's caught up to Dee by now.”
“You might need to save J.J.,” Ryo said as he organized his paperwork back into its file. “Dee isn't exactly…well, he loses what little restraint he has when he's tired.”
Diana laughed and Ryo found himself feeling a little better as the door clicked shut. Maybe all he needed was some human contact. He picked up the completed report and headed for the Chief's office, hopeful that he could at least pick up an assignment doing interviews or interrogations, anything that would help him feel awake and useful.
The letter that showed up for Detective Ryo MacLean was neatly typed and carefully worded, darting in deep allusions to violence. It was coldly written, and chilled Ryo a little as he read it, but the worst part was the familiarity. It asked how Bikky was feeling, if Ryo knew what he was going to make for dinner that night, what he most wanted out of life. There was something there that made Ryo feel a little sick as he read it, his blood freezing whenever he saw Bikky or Dee's name. He fought the urge to throw it away and carefully bagged it, knowing that Jim wouldn't find anything on it, but unable to just give up.
The phone calls started that afternoon.
Dee released a long moan of contentment as he fell back into the bed, Ryo curling up tightly next to him. He watched as Ryo's head shifted and rested lightly against his chest, one long arm encircling him loosely. Dee moved a little and draped his own arm around Ryo, gently running his fingers through his partner's hair for a moment before he sighed.
“You know, on any other night…” he sighed softly again. “I don't even have the strength to get my pants off again, let alone yours.”
Ryo laughed and closed his eyes.
“I like the sound of your heartbeat.”
Dee smiled, his eye lids heavy and tugging down hard. Ryo hugged him a little bit, but both were silent, and Dee fell quickly to sleep.
Ryo remained awake for a long time.
“He screamed like a child by the end,” the voice crackled through the phone. “But you'll understand why soon enough. Did you get the pictures I sent you?”
Ryo stared down at the stack of photos on his desk. They were all pictures of the victims severed heads. He closed his eyes and set a file on top of them.
“Well, I should be going now. Remember, tell anyone I've called and I'll send your pictures to your son, excuse me, your foster son. Talk to you soon.”
Ryo rubbed a hand sharply across his face to push away the tears, the cold voice somehow cutting too deep. This had to stop soon, he had to figure this out. His jaw tightened; but not in a way that would endanger Bikky or Dee. He took a deep breath and leaned back in his chair.
Ryo sighted down the end of the gun, his eyes easily piercing to the distant target. He drew a slow breath and gently let it out, letting his finger squeeze the trigger with the same easy grace. The rifle jerked a little against his shoulder, but after years of practice he barely noticed.
“Not bad,” J.J. said with a smile.
“My turn,” J.J. grinned now. “Let me show you how it's done.”
Ryo smiled as J.J. lifted his own rifle and prepared for his shot. They had come out to the target range for a little practice and had ended up with an outright competition. Diana and Drake had gracefully folded, but Dee had stubbornly hung on, though he had lost consistently through the entire afternoon. He was sulking now, and irritably pulled a cigarette from the pack in his shirt pocket.
“Now, now,” Ryo said quietly. “Don't pout.”
“I'm not fucking pouting,” Dee snapped back.
Ryo grinned, his voice dropping even lower.
“You're cute when you're mad.”
“Dammit Ryo,” Dee said as he struggled to keep his own grin from breaking across his face. “Don't do things like that!”
Ryo smiled warmly at him.
Do you think he'd like to watch?
The cold voice suddenly echoed through his head and Ryo looked quickly away, the smile disappearing. He brushed one hand through his hair, suddenly dreading going back to his desk. Ryo flinched every time the phone rang now, certain it was him, waiting for that cold voice with its honest threats. Dee stared at him with a small frown and leaned in close.
“Are you alright?” he said softly.
“Yeah,” Ryo said and smiled again. “Just tired.”
“We better get back to work,” Drake said as he finished cleaning his gun. “Practice is great and all, but some of us still have boxes and boxes and boxes of receipts to sift through.”
“The glorious career of an NYC detective,” Dee said dramatically.
“I'm expecting your help on this Laytner,” Drake snapped irritably. “You are not going to just dump all this on us and skip off home.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know.”
Ryo began to disassemble his rifle, carefully cleaning each piece, and avoiding returning to his desk and phone. “I'll be there in a few minutes,” he said. “Try not to finish without me.”
J.J. packed up his gun and Drake frowned.
“You aren't going to clean it?”
“I'll do it later,” J.J. said as he picked up the case and threw and arm around Dee. “Come on Mr. Sexy, let's find that cat litter!”
“Dammit, J.J. get off me!”
Ryo smiled as they filed out, the range now almost painfully quiet. Ryo was careful with his gun, he really liked this new rifle, and he knew he was babying it a little. He grinned at that and then wondered how Bikky was doing at school. The boy had said he was fine and that he wanted to go, which was weird in and of itself, but Ryo supposed Bikky didn't have the personality for confinement and bed rest. He finished packing up his gun and headed out, nearly running over Detective Henderson.
“Oh, sorry,” Ryo said, steadying the huge stack of folders that Henderson was balancing.
“No, excuse me,” the young detective sighed. “I wasn't watching where I was going.”
“Well it's not like you could, not over that,” Ryo said with a laugh. “What is all this?”
“Johnson and I are staking out some hole in the wall down the street, so we thought we'd start looking at some old cases and getting our paperwork in order. It's amazing how much backlogged crap we've built up. I'm just going to run these over to him and then come back to drop off our nightly report for the chief. Then I'm going home.”
“You want some help?” Ryo said, seizing yet another opportunity to stay away from his phone.
“Really? That'd be great, are you sure?”
“Yeah, it's no problem, just let me drop this off and grab my jacket.”
Ryo followed Henderson up the rickety stairs, quietly observing the old building over the stack of folders he held.
“This really is a hole,” Ryo said softly, certain that the walls weren't really thick enough for him to say anything in a normal volume.
“Wait till you see the place we're watching down the street,” Henderson said in the same quiet tone. “It makes this dump look like a four star hotel.”
Henderson juggled his keys for a moment then held his files out to Ryo.
“Would you mind?”
Ryo shrugged slightly. “Pile them on.”
Henderson unlocked the door and held it open, a long dark hallway greeting Ryo as he carefully entered, his arms beginning to wear out under the strain of the folders. Henderson locked the door behind them and pointed to the end of the hall.
“Johnson should be down there, he'll know where to dump these things.”
Ryo nodded and started off, now hoping that Johnson wouldn't be too picky about where the files went. He entered the living room with his mouth open, ready to demand some help, but his jaw froze and he stared at the prone man on the floor. Something pricked hot and cold fire into his arm, and he spun around, the files flying from his hands as a dark man smiled at him a little. Ryo reached for his gun, but already he was feeling light headed, a few gray shadows building at the corner of his sight.
“Now, now,” the stranger said softly and easily pulled Ryo's gun from his holster and tossed it aside. “None of that.”
Ryo staggered back, desperate to warn Henderson, but his mouth didn't seem to want to work, and only a bare whisper managed to escape. The man stepped close to Ryo and gently pushed him back, causing him to topple heavily onto the couch.
“Holy shit,” Henderson said loudly and rushed to Johnson.
Draw your gun, draw your gun, draw your gun, Ryo's mind chanted again and again. Henderson rolled the man over and cringed back from the violent red line that marred his throat.
“You weren't supposed to kill him!” Henderson yelled. “You said you'd just knock him out.”
“He was uncooperative,” the dark man said, his eyes locked on Ryo.
He was tall and well built, a thick muscular frame apparent beneath the dark clothing he wore. His hair was a light reddish brown that nicely complimented his blue green eyes. In any other situation Ryo wouldn't have noticed him, he looked normal. He was moderately attractive, but indistinct. He smiled warmly at Ryo and then turned back to Henderson.
“Just take your money and get out. No one knows you brought him here, right?”
“No,” Henderson said and got up. “But how the hell am I supposed to explain this?”
“Stupid boy, let people think that your partner sold him out, make a few comments about how strange he'd been acting. Maybe that he was asking about Detective MacLean a lot,” the stranger had pulled a long knife from his jeans pocket and was gesturing with it a little as he spoke, casually watching as it sliced through the air.
Ryo shook his head and struggled to get to his feet, his entire body rebelling against him. The stranger stepped forward and pushed him gently back again.
“You'll have to wait a few more minutes,” he said quietly. “Just stay put and let the drug take effect. Fighting against it really won't do you any good.”
“Goddammit, Johnson had kids! He was a good cop!”
“Fine,” the low voice said, and all traces of warmth were gone.
He moved across the room quickly, easily planting a rough hand on Henderson's shoulder. The man squeaked with surprise, but then the knife went back to work, and sliced his throat cleanly open. Ryo heard the dead weight fall to the floor, and he struggled again to get to his feet. This time he fell onto the carpet, now trying to pull himself towards the door.
“Well you do have spirit, don't you?”
The figure straddled Ryo and rolled him onto his back, gently touching Ryo's face as the detective tried to understand what was happening. The grey shadows were growing darker now, and spreading out into blotchy patches that covered his vision completely.
“You're really quite beautiful too,” Ryo felt hot breath run across his cheek as the man knelt closer.
“No,” Ryo grunted and flung an arm at him.
The man leaned back with a laugh and easily pushed Ryo's weak arm back. He slowly began to pull at Ryo's buttons, ripping the tie free and tossing it aside. He sighed now and pressed the cold side of the knife against Ryo's skin, enjoying the little hiss that Ryo made.
“Very beautiful,” he said and rubbed his hand across Ryo's smooth chest.
Ryo looked towards the door, one hand feebly reaching towards it, the dark curtain sliding quickly into place.
“Dee,” he whispered, his fingers tangling in the carpet.
Ryo stumbled out of the darkness, his body aching dully as he woke up. He was sitting on the couch again, his hands folded in his lap. His shirt was still open, and he felt a deep chill at the memory of the knife against him. Someone had draped his tie over his leg and he stared at it a moment, confused, everything a foggy blur in his mind. Someone was yelling, someone was mad.
“He's unconscious, you sick fuck!” Dee roared.
“Maybe that's how he likes it,” came the silky reply. “It does show a lot of trust, doesn't it?”
“You son of a bitch!”
Ryo struggled to turn his head, his neck rebelling for a moment before Dee loomed into view. Rose and J.J. were holding him back, barely restraining him from attacking the cold voiced man. Ryo struggled to his feet, his legs feeling like water beneath him as he took one shaky step.
“I'm going to fucking--”
“Dee,” Ryo said softly.
Dee jerked sharply at the sound and loosened immediately in the arms of the men holding him back. Ryo reached out one hand towards him and then started to fall. Dee sprang easily away, nothing could have held him back now, and caught Ryo. The brown haired man leaned heavily against him, his eyes glassy and half-lidded as he panted.
“I'm sorry Dee,” Ryo said softly. “I'm sorry.”
“Shh, no, you didn't do anything wrong.”
“What happened?” Ryo whispered.
“Nothing,” Dee whispered back, one hand running through Ryo's hair. “You're safe.”
Ryo's head slumped against his shoulder and Dee's eyes narrowed a little. He started to turn back to the suspect they now had in custody, but Ryo's hold tightened.
“No Dee, don't go, please, promise.”
“Alright,” Dee said softly. “Alright, I'm not going anywhere, I won't do anything.”
He held onto Ryo as they led the man out, the cold eyes pinned to Ryo and causing him to shiver a little as he passed. Dee's hold tightened protectively and he bit back on a growl, his eyes daring the man to try something.
“I'll see him soon,” he said with a pleasant smile and allowed J.J. and Drake to lead him out of the dingy apartment.
Dee ran a hand through Ryo's hair, trying more to reassure himself that Ryo was okay than to wake the man. Ryo's eyes fluttered a little, but he didn't lift his head and just hung onto Dee.
“They'll be a black and white outside his place tonight,” Rose said lowly. “Diana thinks this Derrick Marsh is a loner, but we can't be sure.”
Rose's face twitched slightly as the bodies of the two officers were wheeled past, the sheets that covered them brilliantly white in the dark room. Berkeley Rose wasn't exactly sure how this bust had gone down, or why Derrick Marsh had given up so easily. He had actually stepped away from Ryo with a little smile, tossing the knife away without even attempting to harm the unconscious detective. At the time Rose had felt almost grateful for that, but now he couldn't help but be suspicious.
“Yeah,” Dee said flatly, his hands still gently running over Ryo's face.
Rose rested a hand on his shoulder, drawing the dark green eyes to him.
Ryo woke slowly, feeling almost like a swimmer that had somehow managed to escape water that was too deep for him. His body felt heavy and distant, and his eyes hurt a little. He was laying in bed, his bed, he realized, the warm familiarity of the room flooding over him. Someone stirred to his right and Ryo looked down to see Bikky curled up next to him, his small hand resting on Ryo's chest next to another very familiar arm. Dee slept on Ryo's left, his breathing soft and gentle against Ryo's neck as the dark night passed around them.
Ryo smiled slightly, and lightly kissed the top of Dee's head. He ran his hand through Bikky's hair and relaxed back into his pillow. The smile remained as he allowed himself to drift off back to sleep.
“Cereal? What the hell?”
Ryo awoke again, his bed empty now, warm sunlight filling the room, and Bikky's voice drifting in through the open door.
“Ryo always cooks me something. You know breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
“Trust me brat, be happy with the cereal.”
“You're such a loser!”
“Keep it down.”
Ryo listened as Dee's footsteps quietly came to the door and he quickly closed his eyes again. Dee peered in for a moment then retreated back to the dining room.
“Is he still asleep?” Bikky asked, his voice suddenly softer.
A moment of silence stretched out and then Ryo heard Bikky's voice, now strangely tentative.
“Maybe I should stay home today, you know, just in case.”
“He's just going to sleep all day,” Dee said gently. “There's really nothing you can do here right now. You need to go to school and be with Carol, she'll need to know what happened, and if you're there she'll know everything's alright, right?”
“Look,” Dee said with a sigh. “If anything happens, you know I'd call you.”
“Just go to school monkey boy. Ryo needs to sleep, not baby-sit you all day.”
“Shut up pervert, you probably just want to take advantage of him while he's passed out.”
They were silent another moment, then Ryo listened as Bikky's skates glided across the floor. He closed his eyes again as Bikky watched over him and then turned and skated away.
“See you later old man,” Bikky said.
“Yeah whatever, you little freak. Have a good day.”
The apartment was silent after the door clicked shut, then Dee padded quietly into the room and sat down on the bed next to Ryo.
“He's gone now, you can quit faking.”
“How could you tell?”
Dee shrugged. They sat in silence again and Ryo sighed.
“What about work?”
“We're on paid leave.”
Ryo scowled irritably.
“I don't need…”
“Yes you do,” Dee said, his voice so soft that Ryo stopped. “I know about the letters, and the other pictures…and the phone calls.”
Dee sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He suddenly wished he had a cigarette, but knew that would only make him feel more comfortable, not Ryo. Dee had more stumbled across the other evidence than anything else. He knew that Ryo had been patiently sending everything that showed up downstairs to Jim, but the phone calls had been a surprise. You're not Detective MacLean, the cold voice stated angrily. No, I'm the guy that's going to kick your ass. Dee flinched a little as he heard that threat echo in his mind, had that been what caused Marsh to strike so soon? Had he been angry, not with Ryo, but with Dee? Say goodbye to your pretty little partner. Dee's mouth thinned and he remembered how useless he had been when they went for Marsh. If only he had known more, but Ryo hadn't said anything about the conversations, not because he didn't trust Dee, but because that was the kind of man he was. He was looking out for them again, taking on the weight of the world alone to protect them. Dee stretched out on the bed and gently rested his head on Ryo's chest, hoping that the soft rise and fall of Ryo's measured breathing would help to calm the flurry of emotions in his heart.
“Look Ryo, me and Bikky, you take care of us all the time. Hell, you take care of everyone. You're always looking after us, after everything, making sure we're all alright. Me, Bikky, Drake, Ted, Diana, J.J., hell even Rose, you're always putting us first. So just this one time, please, just let us take care of you, alright?”
He closed his eyes and just let that soft breathing flow beneath him. Ryo ran a hand through his hair, his face sad as he nodded a little.
“Alright,” he said quietly. “Alright.”
They were silent and Dee smiled.
“I don't like cereal,” Ryo said with a yawn.
“Then how about a nap?”
Ryo chuckled and nodded before he yawned again. “That does sound good.”
Dee climbed under the covers next to him and held loosely to Ryo, listening quietly as Ryo's breath slowed. He closed his own eyes then, doubting he would sleep, but enjoying being with Ryo too much to want to get up and leave him. After only a few more minutes, Dee was dreaming quietly next to his partner.
Dee awoke to the feel of light kisses running up and down his neck. He smiled and moaned a little.
“I could get used to being woken up like that.”
“Oh yeah?” Ryo's mouth pressed hot fire against his adam's apple and Dee's smile widened.
Ryo was lying on top of him, his weight pleasant and strangely erotic as he kissed lightly at Dee's neck. Dee lifted his chin gently and leaned forward into a long kiss, his hands running down Ryo's bare shoulders, down his bare back, down to his bare…
The kiss broke apart and Dee grinned at Ryo.
“Why Ryo MacLean, I do believe you're naked.”
“That's some good detective work Dee Laytner,” Ryo said, his head cocked to one side. “It's a condition you'll soon be sharing.”
Dee pressed another kiss and rolled over sharply, causing Ryo to laugh with surprise. Ryo smiled up at him, his face flushed warmly, and Dee felt his heart speed up a little bit. Even now he still felt lucky, still felt gifted to be with Ryo, still felt so in love. Ryo leaned forward for a gentle kiss, a kiss that was just tender and soft.
“I love you,” Ryo said finally, his voice quiet. “I love you so much.”
Dee smiled that safe contented smile that only Ryo knew how to draw out.
“I love you Ryo.”
He leaned down, gently exploring Ryo's throat with his mouth, his hands soft and kind as he slowly ran them over Ryo's beautiful body. Ryo moaned with pleasure and closed his eyes. He wanted this, he wanted it so badly. He wanted to feel Dee's smooth hands and his gentle touch, he wanted to drown in Dee. But more than that he wanted to replace the cold feel of that knife with warmth, Dee's warmth.
A well practiced tongue darted over his nipple and Ryo shivered as Dee's hands rubbed deeply against his waist. Dee was going slow, so very agonizingly slow. In the beginning, he had all but ripped Ryo's clothes off, even popping off every button on Ryo's favorite dress shirt on one memorable occasion. Then, it was almost like he realized that Ryo wasn't going anywhere, that Ryo wasn't going to leave him. And then that slow taunting seduction had begun. Deep down Ryo suspected that Dee knew exactly what that evil little tongue and those caring hands did to him and that the dark haired man was enjoying drawing it out as long as he could. Not that Ryo minded.
He felt his back arch a little as Dee's mouth finally arrived at his stomach, softly kissing and licking at the smooth skin. His hands had sunk lower, and rubbed lightly against Ryo's thighs, causing Ryo to release a long shaking breath.
Dee's cell phone blared loudly.
Ryo slumped back against the bed as he felt Dee sit up, a loud growl escaping the man.
“I swear to god I'm going to kill whoever that is!” he grabbed the phone. “Hello! Just a minute.” Dee pressed one hand over the mouth piece and looked at Ryo. “Rose is downstairs, probably to check on you.”
“Tell him to come back later.”
Dee moved his hand and held the phone out.
“Come back later,” Ryo said again.
“Did you hear that?” Dee snapped as he pressed the phone back to his ear. Suddenly Dee's face shifted and his voice became quiet. “What? When? Yeah.”
He pressed the end button and looked quietly down at Ryo.
“Marsh is gone, he escaped this afternoon.”