Fake Fan Fiction ❯ The Unexpected II ❯ Issues With School ( Chapter 3 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
Title: The Unexpected II
Chapter 3 - Issues With School
Rating: R
Fandom: FAKE
Pairings: Ryo/Dee (mostly), some Dee/Ryo
Warnings: Yaoi, Male/male, MPREG, AU If you don’t like, don’t read!
Disclaimer: FAKE is not mine. We have Sanami Matoh for giving us Dee, Ryo and the rest of the 27th precinct characters. Any OCs appearing in this fic are mine.

~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~

January 25, 2006

When Ryo returned to the office, he found JJ was back and conferring with Dee and Drake. The three men looked up from their conversation as Ryo entered.

“Everything okay?” Dee asked, noting the tight look on Ryo’s face.

Ryo shook his head and walked across the office to join the other men. “Yeah. I just need to talk to you later.” His eyes indicated Drake and JJ, letting Dee know Ryo meant alone and not with the other two present.

“Oh.” Dee nodded. “Okay.”

Ryo pulled up a chair and straddled it. “So what do you guys have?”

Dee lifted a paper. “A name. Lester Hardcordt. A husband, William Hardcordt. Who had filed a missing person on our victim three days ago.”

Ryo placed his chin on his hands, which rested on the top of the chair. “Damn.”

“Initial on scene ME* report says the vic was dead for two days,” Drake added. “We’ll know more after the autopsy.”

Dee snorted, sharing a glance with Drake and JJ.

Ryo gritted his teeth. “So the poor man… and… that… child was left with the rest of the trash until pick up day. Which was yesterday.”

“That’s usually how it works,” Dee remarked. His tone was cold and distant. “Anyway between what Jim has for us, and the missing person report, we have enough to start an investigation.”

Ryo nodded, his mouth a tight line. “And to inform the next of kin,” he added.

“Yeah,” Dee agreed. “Now here’s the kicker. The ME scheduled an in depth for tomorrow evening.”

Ryo’s head lifted as he looked at Dee. “Tomorrow evening? We found the body yesterday afternoon. That poor man’s been dead for two freakin’ days!” Ryo’s voice rose with his temper.

Dee held his hands up. “Whoa there, partner. Don’t yell at me. I didn’t schedule it.”

“Backlog at the county morgue,” Drake explained. “Or so they say.”

When Ryo glared at Drake, JJ added, “Quite a few DOA assists in the last couple of days, they say. They need to rule out foul play to release the bodies for burial.”

“They need to release this poor man too!” Ryo snapped.

“He ain’t going any where for a while, unfortunately,” Dee said, his voice still with a distant edge to it. “Even after the autopsy.”

Ryo growled. “A lot of freakin’ people decided to bite it in the last few days,” he grumped.

Three heads nodded in silent agreement. They knew where Ryo’s thoughts were going. Their thoughts were already there. Something was not right.

Ryo looked at Dee again, studying the man who was carrying his baby.

Dee gave Ryo a tight, understanding smile. “Oh, autopsy on the fetus is scheduled for just before lunch today.” Dee’s look hardened. “I guess since he’s so tiny, they were able to squeeze the little guy in, huh?”

Ryo saw the sadness in Dee’s eyes for the fetus. Dee’s hands were resting on his abdomen, lightly rubbing small circles. Ever since Dee noted the sex of the fetus on the report, he insisted to give it an identity, rather than referring to it as ‘it’.

“Let’s be thankful the ME is not holding anything against that innocent child,” JJ stated gloomily.

The three men jumped when Ryo suddenly slammed his hand on the desk surface. “He shouldn’t be dead, dammit!” he exploded. “Both of them should be alive.”

Dee was standing and went around his desk to place his arms around Ryo. “Baby, easy. Look, I don’t know what other prejudice we’re going to deal with on this case, but I’m not going to let it stop us from finding this bastard.”

“But Dee,” Ryo protested, “they died only because….”

Dee lifted a finger. “Technically we can’t say that yet. Not until we have solid evidence that this was a hate crime. And we’ll get it. Don’t worry.” He lightly kissed Ryo. “Now, I’m going to go and take this matter about the ME up with Rose. In the meantime, Drake and JJ will fill you in with what else we have.”

Ryo nodded, reigning in his temper noticeably. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Dee.”

Dee grinned and winked at Ryo. “Don’t be. I blew up like that too while you were talking to Chief and the Commissioner.” He kissed Ryo again. “Guys, fill him in, please.” He picked up a file and made for the door.

“Sure, Dee,” JJ replied, watching Dee.

Drake and JJ waited until Dee closed the door behind him. Drake moved Ryo to sit in the chair Dee recently vacated. “Look, Ryo, I know this isn’t an easy case,” he stated, “but you need to pull it together before Chief….”

“Chief already took me off the case,” Ryo stated gruffly. “Dee too. At least officially. After I speak to the victim’s next of kin, that is.”

“That’s what went on?” JJ asked.

“Yeah. I didn’t want to tell Dee in front of you guys. I’d rather he find out when we’re alone. I also have to tell him that he’s under direct order not to leave the station house alone.”

JJ rolled his eyes. “Oh, he’ll have a fit at first,” JJ stated. “Because he’s empathizing with the vic. But then all the implications that haven’t sunk in yet will eventually.”

“Well, I’m hoping that if explained the right way, Dee’s self protection will kick in before his pride does,” Ryo sighed.

“I think it’s starting anyway,” Drake said thoughtfully. “I’ve noticed the entire time since you left, Dee maintained one arm across his bump.”

Ryo smiled tenderly. “He does that without realizing it. It’s his subconscious, ‘I need to protect my baby’ gesture. So what else do we have?”

“Dee didn’t want to be around and hear it twice,” JJ explained, “which is why he picked now to go talk to Rose. Lester was 23, married, second pregnancy,” he filled Ryo in.

Ryo listened as Drake talked, while leafing through a file.

“He lived on West 99th, off Broadway, with his husband. He was last seen 4 days ago when he took his evening walk,” Drake concluded.

Ryo nodded. “Look guys, this case is going to you two once I speak to the vic’s husband. But both the Commissioner and Chief explained that we can still do research on it. We just can’t do anything with any evidence we come up with.”

“We’ll take care of it,” JJ said. “I want that sicko put away as soon as possible.”

“One more thing, guys,” Ryo added. “Rose will be watching you, too. If he feels it’s too risky to have you both heading the investigation, he’ll take the case away from CI.”

“We won’t give them reason to, Ryo. Don’t worry,” Drake assured him. “Ted and Marty already assured us they’ll help anyway they can. Unfortunately they got called out to check out a theft. Or they’d be here with us too.”

“Thanks,” Ryo sighed. “All of you. I know we need to get him off the street for the safety of other Carriers, but….” He paused, running his hands through his hair. “This freak scares the crap out of me. Thankfully Dee isn’t showing too much, but he’s getting there. And God, I don’t want to think that he’s noticed Dee.”

JJ put a comforting arm around Ryo. “You know we’ll all do what we can to keep Dee safe.”

“That’s right, Ryo,” Drake agreed. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to head out where our vic was last seen and start our canvas.”

“Okay. I’ll probably be gone with the Commissioner soon to speak to the husband.” Ryo shook his head sadly. “God, this is going to be harder than usual. Anyway, I’m hoping to make it to the baby’s autopsy.”

“Will you be allowed to go?” JJ asked.

“If I can get Rose to go, I’m sure. Meet us there?” Ryo asked his friends.

“Yeah. We’ll see you there then,” Drake sighed, shaking his head.

*** *** ***

Dee entered the office in a subdued mood. He closed the door, noting that it was just Ryo waiting for him.

“How did it go with the Commissioner?” Ryo asked.

Dee shrugged. “He agrees with us that it’s not fair, but we have nothing to scream dirty play to them. So the autopsy stands for tomorrow night. Rose said if they push it back further, he wants to know.” Dee shrugged. “I told him we had a next of kin.” He sat down at his desk and glanced briefly at Ryo. “Apparently you’re going with him.”

“Dee, it’s not like it used to be with Rose. Baby, I know you hate it at times when I want to protect you, but I’m not going to bullshit you either. I don’t want you there for your own protection. Rose doesn’t want you there for the same reason. Next to you, we’re the only two who can have an understanding of that man is going through.”

“That’s what he said.” Dee shrugged, picking up a folder and opening it. “I asked to just ride along. That’s when he said that would leave me alone in the car for the time.” Dee drew a deep ragged breath.

Ryo stood up, cursing under his breath. He knew what was coming. If things weren’t crazy in the office and Dee didn’t make a quick getaway so he wouldn’t have to listen while Ryo got filled in with facts, he would have told Dee himself. He understood why Rose was the one to tell Dee, but Ryo still did not like it.


“You were already told I’m under orders to have a babysitter with me when I’m out and about in this area,” Dee stated, looking up at Ryo.

“I was waiting so I could tell you without Drake and JJ around. Then you up and ran to the Commissioner’s office. At the time it seemed like a good idea to let you go, hoping something could have been done about the autopsy. But I forgot it might have to come up while you were speaking with the Commissioner.”

“Well, yeah I’m sorta pissed about it.” Dee sighed heavily. “But I understand. I’ll stay here and see what I can dig up. But that doesn’t mean I like it,” he warned.

He smiled as Ryo leaned over and kissed him gently. “I love you, Dee, and I just want the two of you to stay safe,” Ryo said.

“Just remember to check in when you can, so I don’t worry about you.”

“As always. I’ll see you after lunch.”

Dee watched Ryo walk out of the office, then leaned forward to rest his elbows on his desk. He held his head between his hands, willing himself to deal with the files before him. There really was not much more to do for the case at the moment. Not until Ryo and Rose returned after interviewing family, Drake and JJ came back from their canvas, and the damn ME finally released autopsy results – assuming the autopsy ever gets done.

Meanwhile he was not only once again useless, Dee felt as if he had become a burden to his co-workers. Along with catching their perp, his friends now had to also look after him.

It was that thought that pushed his determination to find something somewhere that would help them. While everyone was out, he went through everything they had so far. He even made himself study the photos from the scene.

His lunch ended up being crackers and chamomile tea to settle his stomach and he hoped his nerves.

~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~

Ryo came back mid-afternoon, along with Drake and JJ. There were more notes, names and phone numbers for them to inquire and hopefully get a description of a suspect. Dee managed to point out some itmes of interest on the crime scene photos. They sat down and compiled notes and split up tasks. Dee was to make all the phone calls and research, staying indoors. Ryo would do legwork on any research on the outside, while JJ and Drake took whatever they came up with and went out in hopes of getting a collar*.

Ryo announced that according to their victim’s husband, he was 6 ½ months pregnant. The ME who examined the fetus agreed with it. They were hoping the full autopsy results on the fetus would be released by the next day.

Rose called a meeting for CI. Everyone reported whatever they found that day to the Commissioner and Chief. Chief Smith went on to say that Dee and Ryo were off the case officially and he named Drake and JJ as the lead investigators for the case. Marty and Ted were to help between their caseloads.

Ryo and Dee were to take other cases and they would get another detective in when necessary to go out with Ryo. It was obvious Dee was not happy with that decision, not trusting just anyone with Ryo. He hated that he had to agree with the terms.

Rose then announced that he had a press conference that evening. He had prepared a statement, warning any pregnant Carriers, especially those in the precinct area, to take the same precautions they were all taking with Dee.

~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~

January 27, 2006

Despite the enthusiasm to forge ahead with the Carrier case, it almost came to a screeching halt by Friday.

Dee had gone back to working his case for Diana on Thursday. He still made some calls pertaining to the Carrier case during the day, hoping to gather more information for them to go on. Drake and JJ spent all Thursday hoping to get even a vague description of someone suspicious, with no luck.

At the last minute, the autopsy for their victim was pushed for late Friday. When Rose got JJ’s call, he was livid. Unfortunately all his power was to no avail in getting it moved back up to an earlier time. He concluded he was up against someone with more weight in terms of money and political influence. By Friday, the Commissioner had determined to start his own investigation to find out who he was up again. Meanwhile, they all feared it would be pushed back yet again.

Dee and Ryo had Friday off. Late afternoon, Dee was scheduled for his monthly appointment with Vince. Since New Year’s Eve, they had spoken to Vince about four times, finally settling down and stop worrying about every little thing about Dee. Three of the four calls were social ones. The Friday before, Bikky had offered to stay at Vince’s place to watch Jason and Hannah, allowing Vince and David to enjoy a rare night out alone. To make it more special, Vince did not have to cut the night short, his cell phone and pager remaining blissfully quiet except for a call from Bikky, because Jason did not want to go to sleep without saying goodnight to his daddies.

Ryo had managed to push the nightmare of that first night away as he watched Dee grow more restless in the last two days. Dee was more a protector and did not take well to being the protected. Ryo was glad he still endured it, putting the baby’s well being before his own pride. It did not stop Dee from grumbling or getting into moods over it now and then. Like the rest of the mood swings, Ryo allowed them to roll off him, watching for when he saw a moment to step in and alter Dee’s mood for the better.

Ryo had noticed Dee grumbled much less when he was the one protecting his partner. Dee’s problem was with everyone else protecting him. The dark haired detective did not have to say it, because Ryo could see Dee was feeling useless as a detective, despite his progress with his case, and the input he gave for the Carrier case.

They had left for work on Thursday, Ryo assuring he was armed under his coat. Drake and JJ were waiting at the subway station and walked with Dee and Ryo to the precinct. Dee was stuck indoors until the end of the day. When it was time for them to go home, JJ offered them a ride home. By the time JJ dropped them off, Dee was definitely cranky and irritable. Ryo gave Bikky money to go to the movies with Carol. With Bikky out of the apartment, there was less of a chance of Dee snapping at Bikky for no reason and start up one of their arguments the two had been doing without lately. Ryo had quickly gotten used to the peace, and enjoyed the teasing banter between his adopted son and soon-to-be husband.

Unknown to Ryo, what added to Dee’s mood was not being able to get out that day to look at other places that interested him to give him a selection of venues to choose for the wedding. He had taken Diana’s advice on not getting set on one place.

By Friday, Dee had resorted to printing up what he could find on some places from the internet whenever Ryo was busy in another part of the apartment. When Ryo left to go to the store, Dee made a few phone calls hoping to receive information packets. He emailed a few other when Ryo was around.

The two men were cuddled on the couch, an hour before they were to leave to meet Bikky at his school. They were having a snack of apple filled donuts and sharing cut fresh fruit when the phone started to ring The teen had been going to his peer meetings weekly since his first one and once went to a mid-week after school event. Bikky seemed to enjoy the meetings and got along with the other kids attending. There were a couple of new faces showing up at their place, looking for Bikky and Carol. What Dee and Ryo found touching and amusing was Carol meeting Bikky to join him at the meetings. They were not surprised because Carol was practically family. That particular day, because of Dee’s appointment, Carol was going to meet Bikky at the meeting, which was set for after the appointment.

Ryo got up to answer it and was surprised that it was Bikky’s school.

Dee looked up from his spot, curled up on the couch and reading. He was dressed comfortably in a loose tee-shirt and dark blue sweatpants. Noticing the pinched look on Ryo’s face, he asked, “Who was that?” Dee steeled himself for more bad news on the Carrier case.

“Bikky’s school. At least one of us need to be there now,” Ryo replied.

“Why? What happened to Bikky?” Dee asked, putting aside his book, ‘The Carrier’s Guide to Carrying’, and stood up, looking alarmed. He stood up a bit too quickly and Ryo reached out to steady him until the dizziness passed.

“Easy baby,” Ryo murmured, rubbing Dee’s back while still offering support. “Bikky’s not hurt. He is in trouble for fighting in the halls.”

“Fighting?” Dee asked. “I thought Biks was past all that?”

“I thought so too. I don’t know why he was fighting. Mrs. Pritney said all will be explained when one of us gets there.”

Dee started to frown. “I guess we need to get ready then?”

“I can go and you can meet us if you like?”

“Nah. Just give me a moment to throw on a sweater. I’ll be ready in five.”

Not long after, both men left the apartment to go to Bikky’s school. They found themselves in an office with Bikky and the teacher who broke up the fight.

Ryo and Dee listened as the teacher related how she saw Bikky throw the first punch and proceeded to vent about what a vicious child he was.

Dee paused the diatribe by loudly clearing his throat, his displeasure at what was being said about Bikky plain to see on his expressive face. When the teacher stopped, Dee looked over to Bikky. “Biks, I’m not going to say I condone you fighting, but I think you should get your chance to tell us why you hit this boy.”

Ryo folded his arms, waiting for an explanation.

“Because he was a jerk,” Bikky snapped out. “That’s why.”

“That’s no excuse to hit someone, Bikky,” Ryo said patiently. “Dee and I deal with jerks on a daily basis, but we don’t punch them out.”

Bikky’s eyes went to Dee and he gave a tiny knowing grin. Dee started to slump in his seat, his eyes warning Bikky to behave. “Yeah, well, I’m hoping you learn from the mistakes of my misguided youth,” he stated.

Ryo snorted and barely resisted saying that Dee’s misguided youth seemed to have recently ended, “Okay Biks, how about telling us why you think he’s a jerk?”

“Mark read an article on the Carrier that was killed,” Bikky started.

Ryo groaned at the name, while Dee muttered something that was most probably best not able to be heard while they were in the school office.

“Yeah, that same one,” Bikky added upon seeing his adopted fathers’ reactions. “Anyway he said the man deserved it and all Carriers should be killed. He said men have no right to be having babies and that’s the only way to put nature back to order.” His big blue eyes went to Dee. “That means he thinks that you….”

“I understand, Bikky,” Dee cut him off, his voice level, but the eyes focused on Bikky betrayed the calm. Those eyes fixed on the teacher. “You know what? I’m perfectly willing to deal with Mark’s parents on why my son felt he had to throw a punch. And then they had better be ready to deal with me and explain where did their son get the idea that people deserve to die. And why their son felt he had to upset mine, of course.”

“Mr. Laytner,” the teacher stated. “I understand and can appreciate your being open to unusual situations without prejudice, given your non-traditional family, but that does not change the fact that Bikky….”

“Where’s Mark?” Ryo abruptly broke in.

“Excuse me, Mr. MacLean?”

“The other boy in the fight. There were two – Bikky and Mark. So where is Mark?” Ryo asked.

“He was the victim. I saw no reason to discipline him. I sent him to the nurse’s office and then he will be sent home.”

Dee snorted. Leaning forward, resting his elbows on his knees, he said, “Even victims need to be questioned, Mrs. Laidlaw. And sometimes through the questioning we discover the victim wasn’t exactly a victim. Or at the least, not totally innocent. So you’re saying you let this Mark off free, while you punish Bikky?”

“Mark will be dealt with,” Mrs. Laidlaw stated crisply. “He should know better than to fight back, even if your son is bigger and the better fighter. As he had proved in the past.”

“I’m with Dee, Mrs. Laidlaw,” Ryo stated. “I seem to recall when there’s two kids involved in a fight on school grounds, both are summoned to the office and parents of both kids are called in.”

“I understand you have a unique position being Bikky has two fathers, and you would feel he was done wrong by Mark’s statement.”

Ryo glared at the woman. “Excuse me?” he asked, dark eyes flashing. “Some kid made a statement claiming people deserve to be killed. Where is this right?”

“He’s just a child,” came the reply.

“A child who got that idea from somewhere,” Dee remarked. “And I want to knew where. Not to mention, you do realize that when Mark said what he had, he basically told our son that one of his dads deserves to be killed.”

The teacher’s jaw dropped at Dee’s statement.

Ryo rested his hand on Dee’s shoulder. “Bikky, did you tell Mark about Dee?”

Bikky nodded. “Yeah. At least he overheard me talking to some of the other kids. He made some rude comments back then. But I didn’t hit him. I even ignored him. But when he said that today…” Bikky’s eyes filled with unshed tears. He looked at Mrs. Laidlaw. “I don’t ever want anything to happen to either of my dads. It’s bad enough because they’re cops. But I got used to that. But if someone wants to kill my dad just because he’s having a baby….”

Dee stood up and crotched before the chair Bikky sat in. “It’s okay, Biks,” he said gently. “I’m fine. So is Ryo.”

Bikky grabbed onto Dee and hugged him. “I already lost a mom and dad. I don’t want to lose you too.”

Dee hugged Bikky back. “I know, kiddo. I know.”

Ryo got up to stand next to Bikky and Dee, placing his arm around Bikky and glared at the teacher. His mind was on a young child who was too afraid to cry after losing his father. The child eventually cried in his arms over his loss. In the years that followed, Bikky still liked to play tough and keep certain emotions locked away, which made Ryo think he was so much like Dee. At least as time went by, when something truly did upset Bikky, he was not afraid to let Ryo, and eventually Dee, know. That Bikky was near tears and hugging onto Dee for dear life in his school’s admin office told Ryo enough about how distraught Bikky was over the incident.

“I’d like to request a conference with Mark’s parents,” Ryo demanded. “And if I don’t hear from you by tomorrow morning that such a meeting has been scheduled, then I’ll take it upon myself to get their address from the PTA roster and we’ll go visit them on our own.”

Mrs. Laidlaw looked scandalized and dismayed. She was still processing that there was most likely one of those pregnant male freaks right there in the office with her. She studied Ryo, who exuded the concern of a distraught father and the authority of an officer of the law. She nodded, knowing when to back down. “Very well, Mr. MacLean. I’ll set up something for Monday afternoon.”

“Thank you,” Ryo stated. “Now if we’re finished here, my fiancé has an appointment with his MOP that the three of us would like to make.”

“Oh… of c-course.” She was obviously shaken upon the undeniable confirmation.

“C’mon bud,” Dee said to Bikky, standing up. “Let’s get going now. If we’re lucky, you’ll get to hear your baby brother or sister’s heartbeat today.”

“Yeah, I remember,” Bikky said, getting up to walk beside Dee to the door. “That’ll be so cool.”

Dee had an arm around Bikky’s shoulder. “Yeah, huh? That would be.”

The two were smiling at each other as they talked.

Ryo walked behind Dee and Bikky. At the door, he held them up with a hand on each shoulder. He looked back at the chagrined teacher. “Mrs. Laidlaw, I intend to speak to the principal too. I trust this school teaches that killing is wrong and even ‘wanting’ someone dead is just as wrong. And I intend to get that confirmation from Mrs. Pritney. Have a good day.”

Bikky and Dee merely raised their hands in parting and the family left the teacher alone in the office.

*** *** ***

“You guys are mad, huh?” Bikky asked as they rode the bus to the medical center.

“Concerned,” Ryo replied. “But we understand why you did it.”

“It still doesn’t make it right, Biks,” Dee added.

Bikky realized he was not going to be punished and his dads were not going to yell. He looked at Dee and grinned. “I’ll bet you were glad anyway.”

“I’d have knocked the bastard out,” came Dee’s automatic reply. His eyes opened wide for a moment as he realized what he had said, then they narrowed in warning. “But I would have been wrong too.”

Bikky laughed at Dee’s slip. Ryo tried to glare at Dee, but knew he did not succeed.

“Ryo would have cracked his face in,” Bikky added, still grinning. “Maybe even put a hole in it.”

“Bikky!” Ryo exclaimed, appalled. “I would not have!” He noticed the veiled look Dee gave him. It said Dee knew Bikky was teasing Ryo to get a rise, but his lover was more concerned of it being too close to the truth.

Ryo realized that when he felt his family was threatened, he would become a force to be reckoned with. At times even a loose cannon, he thought as he remembered what Mickey had looked like for attempting to attack Dee and threaten their baby.

“All I’m saying, Bikky,” Ryo started, in hopes to get back to the main point, “is we told you to come to us if anyone gave you trouble. So from now on, do that. If it’s something that upsets you that much, you have a cell phone now, so use it. Call us as soon as you can.”

Dee ruffled Bikky’s blond hair affectionately. “Why do you think we got it for you, brat? It wasn’t to talk to your friends all the time.”

“It’s not?” Bikky replied.

“Biks, please,” Ryo said. “Look, we’re not going to punish you for this, but at least let us know you understand the gravity of the situation.”

“I do,” Bikky replied. “I did when I punched him, but I couldn’t stop myself.”

Dee shared a look with Ryo, then said to Bikky, “Just promise us you’ll try to do the right thing next time.”

Bikky nodded. “I will, Dee. I promise.”

“Good enough, Bikky,” Ryo said.

“Dee?” Bikky asked.


“Um, can I….” He held his hand toward Dee. “You know.”

Dee smiled softly. “Of course you can, Biks.” Dee moved the sides of his coat apart more. When they sat down on the bus, Dee had unbuttoned the coat, suddenly feeling warm.

Bikky rested his hand against the swell underneath Dee’s cable knit sweater. “Wow,” he uttered.

“Yeah, huh? I agree,” Dee said with a tender smile.

Ryo smiled at the touching scene, before noticing the landmarks going past outside the bus windows. “Hey, our stop is coming up,” he stated. “Make sure you have your books, Bikky.”

“Right here,” Bikky replied, holding up the strap to his bookbag. He smirked up at Ryo.

“Behave, monkeybrat,” Dee chuckled. “How about when you guys get out of your meeting, we go out for dinner? And maybe later I get to laugh at you and Ryo try to ice skate and keep up with Carol.”

“Cool!” Bikky said as they stood up to make their way past others to get to the door.

Ryo reached out to pull the cord indicating someone wanting to get off at the next stop.

As the bus came to a stop, Bikky looked at Ryo. “What do you say?”

“I say Dee won’t laugh at me,” he stated as the bus came to a stop and Ryo pushed the door open. He held the door for Bikky and Dee as he continued to answer. “Because I’m not the one who sits on his ass more than he skates.”

Dee stuck his tongue out at Ryo as he got off the bus.

“Do that again and I’ll pull it out,” Ryo threatened with a grin. He put his arm around Dee’s waist as they started to walk to the corner.

“I’d love to see you try,” Dee remarked, a teasing glint in his eyes.

“Wanna bet?” Ryo retorted.

Dee stuck his tongue out again. Ryo reeled Dee in close for a kiss.

“Ew pervs!” Bikky remarked. “Keep it in the bedroom, please.”

Bikky had two fists lightly rapping him on the head. Both men started to laugh as they turned at the corner to walk down the block toward the medical center.

~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~

Ryo smiled as he entered the examination room with Bikky. When they arrived, an aide had met them in the waiting room and took Dee in first to take his vitals and get him prepared for the exam. A short while later, the aide told Ryo they could join Dee. They found Dee sitting up on an examination table, wearing a hospital gown.

“You look so funny, Dee,” Bikky exclaimed giggling.

“Quiet, kid,” Dee remarked, kicking his feet back and forth and obviously wanting more clothes. He looked at Ryo. “And not a word from you either.”

“I was only going to say you look adorable, and I love you.”

“Oh? Okay, I can accept that, I guess.” Dee winked at Ryo.

There was a knock on the door and Vince poked his head in. “Can I come in?” he asked.

Dee lifted his hand to wave to Vince. “I’m not sure. Just because you’re my doctor, it won’t stop you from teasing me, too.”

Vince let out a hearty laugh as he entered the room, holding onto a clipboard. “You’re damned right,” he said to Dee. “Hi Ryo.”

“How’s it going, Vince?”

“Great. Notice I don’t ask you that question. Because your most likely reply would be dealing with this one’s mood swings.” He jerked his thumb in Dee’s direction.

“Hey!” Dee protested.

Ryo laughed. “I still love him anyway.”

Vince winked then turned. “Hiya Bikky. Thanks again for your wonderful gift of allowing David and me a night out. It’s been so long since we were able to.”

“Hi Doc Vince. Yeah, I heard my dads mention that. I had fun with the rugrats, so as long as it’s okay with my dads, I wouldn’t mind doing it again sometime.”

Vince ruffled Bikky’s hair. “You both should be proud. You’ve got a great kid here.”

“Yeah, we do,” Ryo agreed. “At least his heart’s in the right place.” He smiled affectionately at Bikky.

“Nope. We’re not trading him in, Vince, no matter how cute your kids are,” Dee said with a grin.

Vince looked at Dee. “Don’t think I’m ignoring you. Because I have plenty to say to you.”

“Oh?” Suddenly Dee looked nervous, his eyes on the chart.

“You feeling good, Dee?” Vince asked, standing before Dee.

Dee nodded. “Yeah. More than the last time we met, at least.”

“Still get dizzy going into motion too soon?”

“Yeah. Sometimes I still forget to take it slow at first.”

“Apprehend anymore criminals since the last time?” Vince smirked.

Dee snorted. “You think you’re so funny.”

Vince raised an eyebrow. “Just checking.”

“Well, if I did, you’d know about it,” Dee chuckled.

“Let’s see here,” Vince mused, looking over the chart. “Morning sickness decreasing. That’s good.” He silently read the chart. “Everything looks good, Dee, including your weight.”

“Are you sure?” Dee asked, with a hand on his tummy and rubbing it. “I gained almost 10 pounds since the last exam.” He looked a little perturbed.

Vince placed the chart on a table and looked steadily at Dee, meeting his eyes. “Which is expected. Are you reading those books, Dee? Or are you suffering from the ‘it-won’t-happen-to-me’ syndrome?” Vince shook his head in amusement as Dee dropped his. “Face it, Dee. You’re gaining weight. It’s going to seem rapid for another 2 – 4 weeks until you level off, but you still will continue to gain as the baby grows. Expect to be 30 – 45 pounds more than what you were by the time we’re about to place that baby in your arms. Of course, by the time you’re holding the baby, you’ll be about 20 pounds or so lighter than when you woke up that morning.”

Dee sighed. “I know. I know all that. It’s just hard, you know. All my life, I never had to worry about weight.”

Ryo snorted. “Which is amazing when you see what he eats. And that was before he got pregnant.”

“Hopefully most of the snacks you have are healthy or at the least contribute to the well being of the pregnancy?” Vince asked Dee.

“I do like yogurt and fruit and have lots of it. But….” He shrugged. “Like I said, it’s not easy.”

“I’m not going to lie and say it is easy. But you gotta accept the fact.” Vince placed his hand on Dee’s abdomen. “There’s a nicely growing baby, plus the uterine sac. So don’t let some woman upset you when she says you’re bigger than she was at any given point of this pregnancy. Because you will be. Since the baby housing here,” Vince firmly prodded Dee’s abdomen, “is subletting space in your body, it needs to compensate for being a temporary tenant. That means thicker lining, more water and chances are, because of the Carrier gene, a bigger baby. The average birth weight for a Carrier is 8 – 12 pounds. So get used to it, Dee. Instead of crying over losing your slim waistline, rejoice that your baby is happily growing inside you. We depend on things like that to monitor the pregnancy. Notice I am not going to hitch your legs in stirrups and stick cold metal instruments up you for an internal. Because you don’t have the parts where an internal would do the most good. I can only monitor your vitals, blood count and a few other tricks, but I can’t dig up there like an Ob/Gyn can do with a female pregnancy. So we’re going to go by sound waves and vibrations. By you listening and paying attention to your body and what’s going on with it. When we get to the point that you detect definitely movement, we’ll pay more attention to that too. Read the books Dee, so you know what’s expected from you in upcoming examines and how to answer my questions. And most important, what’s normal and no reason to panic. Hopefully your uterine lining is one of those that will allow us at least one ultrasound at some point. We’ll find out soon enough. If we can’t get to hear the actual heartbeat through the lining, we’ll go by vibration detection.”

Ryo stood with a hand on Bikky’s shoulder, looking amused at Vince’s speech. When the doctor paused, Bikky took a deep breath, as if he was catching his breath. Ryo started to laugh. Dee just stared silently and seemed to catch his breath too.

Once Dee realized Vince was finished, he held up his hands in defeat. “Okay! I surrender. Please, just shut up.”

Ryo smirked. “Maybe we should see what Vince has to say about Carrier clothing.”

Vince looked from Ryo to Dee. “Are we having issues with wearing comfortable clothing made for your growing needs, Dee?”

“No,” Dee snapped out too quickly. He glared at Ryo.

Vince stared at him. “We’ll cover that later. Right now, I want to start getting to the main attraction, so Biks can make his meeting.”

“Yes!” Bikky exclaimed.

Dee and Ryo laughed with Vince.

“But I just want to add one more thing about our previous topic. You want to go on eating junk food, that will only be that much more to take off after the baby is born. And take a chance at becoming soft. If that happens, you might never get that muscle tone you had back.”

Dee paled. Ryo patted Dee’s shoulder and Vince smirked.

Bikky laughed. “And that’s when Dee will start getting fat. Maybe you might make Chief one day, Dee.”

Dee groaned, covering his face with his hand. “Make him stop, please,” he muttered.

“Just think about that next time you want to plow through a quart of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk,” Vince said. “And yes, I know it’s not easy. I went through several quarts of the stuff myself,” he chuckled. “Now to move it on. As I said, we might not hear the actual heartbeat. If we don’t, we’ll still hear something that will signify the heartbeat coming from the baby. Which may not sound so exciting right now, until you all actually hear it.”

Vince looked down and smiled at Dee. “Do you even realize you do that?” he asked amused.

Ryo snorted. “Half the time he does.”

“Aw hell,” Dee said, “I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. But realize it or not, I want to.”

“Well, you’re going to have to remove your hands from the belly, but you can keep the sappy smile,” Vince said to Dee. “Deal?”

Ryo put his arm around Dee’s shoulder and kissed his fiancé’s cheek. “You just so gosh darned cute sometimes, cutie pie.”

“Yeah, but you know what?” Dee asked, smiling up at Ryo. “I also know what I get for being that cute.” He winked at Ryo.

Vince laughed, while Bikky looked as if he was trying to figure out what he missed.

“Don’t bother, bud,” Ryo said to Bikky, chuckling. “’Cause you’ll only go, ‘EW!’ and wish you didn’t.”

“Oh…” Bikky’s eyes went wide, staring up at Ryo in amazement. “EW! Both of you!” Bikky covered his ears with his hands. “LALALALALA….”

Vince pulled a hand away and said, “Keep doing that, you won’t hear other things.” He walked over to the familiar looking machine he used for Dee’s last check up. “Dee, lay back, please.”

With a loving smile, Ryo helped Dee lay on his back. Vince took that time to start prodding around Dee’s abdomen. “It definitely feels fine, Dee. Very good. Unless you go and do something you shouldn’t, I see no risk of separation or rupture.”

“Thank goodness,” Dee sighed.

Ryo ran his fingers through Dee’s hair, noting he felt warm. “And you know those things you shouldn’t, right love?” he asked gently.

“Yeah. I know. It’s not easy, but I’m being good.”

“By the way,” Vince said, “did you get the hang of the exercise ball, or get rid of it?”

“I got the hang,” Dee said, “and only use it when Ryo can spot me.”

“That’s a good idea.”

“I tell you, if I wasn’t so scared, I’d have hurt myself laughing,” Ryo said with a chuckle. He could laugh now, being Dee was all right, despite the tumble he took when the exercise ball shot out from under him a few weeks ago. He remembered the look on Dee’s face then, and could not help but laugh.

“Yeah, I noticed. But I swear, no more entertainment like that for you,” Dee sighed. “I scared the crap out of myself, badly.”

“I know you had,” Ryo agreed, stifling his laugher as he played with strands of Dee’s hair. “Anyway, we have it under control now,” he stated to Vince.

“Good. Dee, you’ll have another appointment with your trainer in about 3 weeks to learn some 2nd trimester exercises that are good for you. Then after that, you’ll make appointments whenever you feel a need to alter something because of…” Vince smirked at Dee and patted his tummy, “this getting in the way.”

Dee rolled his eyes, but managed a small grin. He watched on as Vince poked, rubbed and felt the bump. At last, Vince straightened up and smiled at Dee. “Very very good. Now let’s take another look on the uterine sac like the last time and then we’ll do something new.”

“Want to see again?” Ryo asked Dee. He smiled when Dee nodded.

“Yeah. It’s not the baby, but then again, it is, if you know what I mean,” Dee said.

“I know exactly what you mean. Here, I’ll support your neck again so we can watch together.”

Vince was smiling as he set up the machine. He winked at Bikky. “Are they always that mushy?”

Bikky nodded. “And it gets worse now that Dee’s having a baby.”

Vince laughed. “Okay, it’s showtime.”

When Vince was done and Ryo gently rested Dee’s head down, caressing Dee’s cheek, Vince cleared his throat. “You’re doing fine, Dee. I can tell already we have a very healthy little girl or boy in there.”

Dee nodded. “I know. It feels that way.”

Vince broke out in a wide smile. “Well, there we go! Keep that up, Dee. It will help us more than you think.”

“Dee seems to be getting more sensitive to what’s going on inside than he realizes,” Ryo stated.

“It happens. And the best way for it to happen. I’d rather like this, than forced, because what Dee will feel and detect will be natural. Now, I know you may not want to be keeping a journal on your thoughts, dreams and fears, Dee. But I want you to start using that part of the journal we gave you to keep track of what you’re eating, and list everything. If you cheat by leaving out the cookie dough, you’re only cheating yourself and the baby. Got it?”

“Yeah, doc,” Dee sighed.

“And anything you think might be worth a mention, get it down. A light flutter, even if we have a few more weeks for that. Breathlessness, dizziness. Every time you feel warmer than you know you should be. All that. It will help us. I’ll get a better idea of what we might need to concentrate more on. As I keep saying, every Carrier pregnancy is unique. We’re going by standard guidelines, but only your body is going to tell us where we need to increase or decrease anything, including different nutritional values. If you’re the type who will flash often, but everything else points to it being normal for you, and not a caution sign, then that cookie dough and fudge might actually be what you need. You’re metabolism will need to work something off, and we most certainly don’t want it to work off any of the actual pregnancy gain. Now did I make myself clear how important doing this is?”

“Dude, you just told me I might be able to get away with sweet binges. Hell yeah, I’ll start keeping track of things,” Dee remarked, grinning.

Vince chuckled. “So now that we have that out of the way….” He moved the machine back to it’s place and pulled out a second and placed it next to Dee.

Vince held what looked like a shimmery piece of fabric that was connected by a thin tubing of fiber optics to the machine.

“This will definitely tickle, Dee. It’s all right to laugh, except you might not hear whatever we’ll manage to hear.”

“Must you torture me every month with something like this?” Dee grumbled.

“Hey, I gotta have my fun with my work, you know,” Vince replied with a grin. “Here, let me put you on a bit of a tilt this time.”

Ryo watched fondly as Vince made the top half of the table go up so Dee’s upper half was at an angle.

“Comfortable, Dee?”

Dee nodded. “All I need now is a pillow, popcorn, a movie and my snuggle bunny.”

Ryo leaned down to kiss Dee. “Later, I’ll snuggle you all you want. Hell, after this, try to stop me.”

“EW!” Bikky exclaimed again, then laughed when all eyes went on him. “I gotta tease ‘em, or else they’ll start thinking I don’t care anymore.” He winked at Vince.

Vince bellowed out his laughter. “Damn fine kid there.”

Dee and Ryo shared a loving glance before they gazed at Bikky.

“Scoot a little closer to your dads, Bikky,” Vince instructed.

Bikky did as instructed, standing before Ryo, next to Dee. Dee reached out to rub Bikky’s arm reassuringly. “Now this is exciting, isn’t it?” he asked Bikky.

Bikky nodded.

“I trust you put on the shorts, right Dee?” Vince asked, “because I’m going to lift the gown. We want your naked abdomen now.”

“Yeah, they’re on. And I still feel naked in this get up.”

“Almost done, Dee. Once we’re finished with this, I’m going to ask Ryo and Bikky to leave to do some of the boring parts of this exam.”

“Bikky will probably have to leave anyway,” Ryo stated, ruffling Bikky’s hair.

“True, true,” Vince stated, covering Dee’s bump with the fabric. Dee bristled a little. “I know, it feels like sandpaper at first. Just lay there a moment while I turn this on and….” He walked to the other side of the exam table and turned on some switches. “Would you gentlemen like a recording to take with you?”

“Yes!” Dee exclaimed.

“Cool!” Bikky crowed.

Ryo laughed. “I’m glad I’m not the only one.”

Vince smiled and lifted a finger for silence. “Testing… first heartbeat recording of Chibi Laytner-MacLean, January 27, 2006.” He flipped another switch.

Ryo ran his fingers lovingly though Dee’s hair. He had a sweet smile on his face, his eyes glistening at the identification Vince used for their baby. It seemed more real than ever at that moment for Ryo. His eyes went down to the fabric and the swelled flesh under it. He felt the weight of Dee’s gaze on him and he looked up to find Dee smiling at him.

Dee’s mouth moved, but no sound came out. Ryo did not need sound. He read the words loud and clear. “I love you so much,” Dee had mouthed to him.

At that moment, they heard a faint thump. Vince toggled a button and it came a little louder, faster. Vince grinned, looking first at Dee and Ryo, then at Bikky.

Bikky’s mouth was hanging as his eyes went from the speaker on the machine to Dee’s stomach and back repeatedly. Dee squirmed a little, stifling a laugh, not wanting it to cut in on the beautiful music that was the heartbeat of their child. Ryo was still playing with his hair, but his other hand took Dee’s and entwined their fingers.

Ryo’s mouth moved as he silently uttered, “Beautiful.”

Dee nodded, tears in his eyes. He squirmed again, still being tickled by the fabric.

For a minute, their world was filled with the sound of the baby’s heart beating.

Dee let out a gasp at one point, wide dark green eyes staring down at his tummy and his own mouth dropped.

As Vince turned off the machine, the momentary silence was broken by Dee. “Wow!” he said. The moment Vince removed the cloth, the hand that was not still in Ryo’s hand went to his swell. “I swear I was aware of it. Like a flutter or flicker or something with each beat.” He sounded awed.

“You’re very in tune with this pregnancy, Dee. And that’s a wonderful thing. Despite some of your boneheaded protests, where it really matters the most, you’re in tune with it,” Vince stated. “Now speaking of boneheaded, believe it or not, that was not the actual heartbeat, but the vibrations cause by the motion of the baby’s heartbeat. Which is why it sounded a little murky at times. Because like the rest of him, Dee’s uterine sac is rather thick-skinned.”

Bikky laughed.

“Still a sweet sound,” Ryo sighed happily.

“Didn’t I tell you?” Vince said with a smile.

“That still came from my little one,” Dee said, rubbing his swell.

“Definitely, Dee. And a good strong heartbeat too. Congratulations, Dee. You’re got a very healthy pregnancy. Congratulations to you too, Ryo.” He looked at Bikky. “So what do you think, Biks? Enjoy hearing your baby sibling?”

Bikky nodded. “Hell yeah! I don’t care what some of the other kids say. I’m so lucky.”

“Yeah, you are,” Ryo laughed. “And you’re going to be so late for your meeting too.”

“They’ll understand, believe me,” Vince said. “But you best say goodbye to your dads and get on your way.”

“Yeah.” He smiled, turning to hug Ryo. “Isn’t this the coolest?”

“Definitely the coolest,” Ryo laughed, hugging Bikky back.

Bikky faced Dee who was sitting up. “Thanks, Dee. For letting me in on all this neat stuff.” He hugged Dee.

“Hey little man, this is your brother or sister,” Dee chuckled, hugging Bikky. “You need to get to know him or her, and now’s the best time.”

Bikky nodded. Quickly he placed his hand on Dee’s tummy and leaned his head. “Later chibi.” He smiled up at Dee, then sprinted excitedly from the room.

Vince shook his head. “That kid has energy,” he remarked.

“Tell me about it,” Ryo sighed, then laughed. “I guess I need to find something to do about now too, huh?”

“Well, Ryo. I wouldn’t want you to walk around by yourself, not knowing what to do. So I’m providing you some entertainment. I need to you go to the main desk and tell them who you are and that you’re ready for your appointment.”

“Appointment? For what?” Ryo asked.

“Didn’t you read that part in your non-Carrier father’s packet?” Vince asked amused. “This is where you go talk to one of our aides and answer a whole bunch of questions, some embarrassing, like your sex life, I need to warn you. You’re feelings, any frustrations. This is where we keep you sane and prepared to continue being the rock of support you’ve been so far for Dee. And each time you accompany him to an exam, during the time I get to do a bunch of embarrassing tests and ask Dee equally embarrassing questions, you get to talk. If you can’t make an exam, you’ll be scheduled for an appointment at another time.”


Dee chuckled. “I knew that.”

Ryo glared at Dee.

“I read your packet too. Like you want to know what I’m going through with this pregnancy, I wanted to get an idea of what it will be like for you,” Dee explained. “Like everything else in our relationship, it’s a two way street, baby. No exceptions.”

Ryo’s glare turned into a soft tender smile. “I love you. More than I did yesterday. And that’s going to be the way until forever.” He leaned over to sweetly kiss Dee’s lips. Lightly he licked the lower lip. “And tonight when we finally get home, I’m going to be your snuggle bunny and then some,” he whispered.

Vince was making himself busy putting away the monitoring machine, smiling to himself.

Dee’s eyes widened delightfully. “OH! I should warn you. I’m feeling really good tonight. Not sick or tired, and I’m feeling incredibly loved.”

“Let’s see what we can do to make you feel even more loved.”

“You’re doing that already, baby. I love you.”

“I love you too, Dee. I’ll see you in a little bit.”

Dee nodded, then watched as Ryo left the room, looking back and smiling at Dee before closing the door.

“Okay doc. Let’s get this part over with. Fire away with your questions. I’m ready for you,” Dee said as Vince came over to him, holding a tape measure.

“For starters,” Vince said with a smirk, “sit up on the edge of the table again. Then while I measure your ankles and calves, you can tell me how often you had gas, felt bloated and anything else of that nature.”

Dee groaned, slapping his forehead. Vince laughed.

~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~ ~/~

A/N: Hey all! Things are really kinda busy for me, so while I’ll try to update sooner, expect new chapters about once a month until further notice. Other than getting home from work way late at night and having to wake up before dawn, the little time I have, there’s a lot going on.

Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I’m so glad you’re all enjoying this so far. And once again, in an effort to get this out to you tonight, before another weekend slips away from me, I’m going to hold off on individual replies again.

Now for some of those asterisks you see now and then in this chapter – Police terms. I’m trying to make them sound like NY cops, so just in case, I’m going to add a few footnotes here:

ME – Medical Examiner, Country Coroner.
Collar – an arrest.