Fake Fan Fiction ❯ The Unexpected II ❯ Welcome To the Jungle ( Chapter 12 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

The Unexpected II
Chapter 11
Welcome To the Jungle
February 17, 2005
Ryo yawned as he picked up his coffee to take a sip. He was doing Bikky's breakfast dishes after the boy had dashed off to school for before homeroom basketball practice. Once Ryo finished, he planned to set out his and Dee's breakfast.
Ryo was already dressed, although, he was in no hurry to get to work. Being as it was Dee's first day back after his collapse, Chief had told him it would be okay to come in at 9 o'clock, so Dee's day would be shorter. Ryo was allowed to arrive at the same time since Dee was not to travel alone, especially in the precinct area. They were to call in ahead to assure someone would be waiting to meet them at the subway station for the walk to the precinct house. Dee was in the bedroom dressing. Ryo realized that a part of him would not want to be late, especially since it was Dee's first day back and they were already being given slack. He was not in the mood to rush Dee. He was not looking forward to that day. Going out around the area they lived in didn't seem so bad to Ryo, even if his guard was constantly up, and if he did not have his gun he had his sting gun. Something about allowing Dee up near where they worked, and looking at the possibility that they might have to go out together at some point to canvas an area because there was no one else made Ryo nervous. Once again, he found himself fighting the urge to lock Dee away in their apartment and not let him out until the baby was born. Ryo knew it was unreasonable, and Dee was already miserable most of the time from being shut away from the world. He felt guilty to think he actually felt a little glad that Dee had not been feeling well enough the last few days to want to leave the apartment.
In hopes of keeping himself from dwelling too much on things, he busied himself with dishes, breakfast and drinking coffee - perhaps a bit too much coffee, but at the moment Ryo did not care.
Meanwhile, Dee sat on the bed, wearing only a pair of his new boxers. As anxious as he was to be able to get back to work, he still found it difficult to get into gear and finish getting dressed. He knew once he got to work, he'd still feel imprisoned with the restrictions and limitations currently in place. He was still somewhat uncertain about his new clothes, despite Ryo's most positive reaction to them. Of course Ryo would love his new clothes with the meaning behind them. It was everyone else he would encounter on the streets and at work that made him hesitate. There was no hiding in those clothes. It hadn't happen overnight, but to Dee it felt as if it had, as he finally came to the realization that he looked pregnant now. Especially in his new clothes, which were the only clothes, other than some old sweatpants and baggy t-shirts, that still fit him. He knew for the next few months he would continue to look more and more pregnant. With a sigh, he leaned over to put his socks on, finding some small comfort in that he was still able to do it with no difficulty. He knew there would come a time when it would not be so easy. He relished the ability while he still had it. As he sat up, after putting them on, he took a deep breath shaking his head ruefully. He grabbed the new undershirt next to him and placed his free hand on his swell.
“Aw Chibi, Daddy doesn't mean to act like this. I love you and can't wait for when you're here with us. It can't be so great for you to be stuck in there now, huh?”
Dee stood up and smiled at his reflection. “Okay, little one. Daddy's going to try harder to be more positive about his looks, for you.” Dee started to put on his undershirt.
Ryo stood on the other side of the partially open door, feeling warm tingles course through his body. He was just about to poke his head in when he had caught Dee speaking to their unborn child. He decided to wait and give Dee the moment, but could not resist listening in.
He waited until Dee was taking his suit pants off the hanger before he opened the door more to stand in the doorway. “Dee, do you want pancakes or eggs?” he asked, smiling lovingly at his husband to be.
Dee looked over to Ryo while holding his pants. Ryo was already dressed, and wearing an apron to protect his work clothes. “I want eggs, but Chibi insists on pancakes, so Chibi wins,” he chuckled.
“How about one pancake for Chibi and a little scrambled eggs for you?” Ryo countered.
“Do you want eggs, baby?” Dee questioned Ryo.
“Yeah,” Ryo replied, watching Dee put on his pants. “And Biks asked for pancakes, so I have some leftover from his breakfast.”
Dee removed the shirt from the hanger. Putting it on, he went over to Ryo, following his lover through the living room to the kitchen. He left his shirt open. “I just don't want you cooking more than needed,” he said as they walked toward the kitchen. “But if that's the case, that'll work.”
He moved behind Ryo, putting his arms around the other man's waist. He pulled him back and kissed his neck.
Ryo smiled and turned his head, seeking out a kiss. “Mmm, morning gorgeous.” He twisted in Dee's hold to bend down and kiss his partner's swollen abdomen. “Morning Chibi.”
Dee smiled softly, running his fingers through Ryo's brown hair. Ryo no longer greeted just Dee these days. He would also greet their unborn baby and seemed to derive great pleasure from the action. So much so that Dee decided not to point out that the other man had already said morning to him and the baby when they first woke up before Ryo ushered Dee into the shower for a little fun while they washed up.
Ryo stood up, gazing at Dee. “You need your protein anyway. You lost quite a bit of it between last night and this morning.”
Dee laughed. “Well then, bring the eggs on so I can be ready for later tonight.”, he winked at Ryo. He hugged Ryo again, then walked into the kitchen. “I'm going to grab some apple juice. Want anything while I'm in there?” he asked, going over to the fridge.
Ryo was already at the stove, and putting on their eggs. “No thanks love.”
“Smells good,” Dee remarked, pouring juice into a glass. “Can I have a little bit of that bacon too?”
“Of course.” Ryo finished cooking the eggs while Dee sat at the breakfast bar. He smirked because he knew Dee thought he was being sneaky with the cookie he snatched from the cookie jar. “Honestly, Dee. If I thought you'd ruin your appetite for the good stuff,” he chuckled.
Dee froze in mid-chew, his eyes wide, realizing he was caught. He swallowed the cookie and quickly drank some juice. “This is the good stuff,” he defended.
“I mean good, as in healthy and keeping you out of the hospital.”
“I know, I know. I do eat healthy stuff. But that cookie was calling for me. In fact, I got it for the chibi. She wanted it. And who am I to deny my baby girl?”
Ryo snorted. “Nice try, Dee. Don't go blaming your bad habits on the baby. And I'll laugh really hard if the next sonogram says it's a boy.”
“Aha! So you do want a boy!”
“It doesn't matter, Dee. But as much as I look, I just don't see how you can be so sure that she's a girl. Gah!” Ryo exclaimed at the same time Dee crowed with triumph.
“Yes! You see. You just said she.”
“It's your fault, you crazy man.”
Dee started to laugh as Ryo shook his head.
Ryo made Dee's plate up with two strips of bacon, a pancake and half of the scrambled eggs from a grill. He did the same to his own plate. As he turned back to Dee, he caught Dee tugging at the bottom of his undershirt. He smirked. The shirt fit Dee fine, but his fiancé was attempting to cover the tiny bit of elastic showing on the front of his pants.
When Ryo first met Dee, he thought there was nothing his partner would be shy about. As time went on and their relationship deepened, Ryo discovered a couple of things, that the only other person who knew was Mother. He also had noticed at times during Dee's chase, that sometimes the otherwise self assured dark haired detective would be so overwhelmed with his feelings for Ryo, he would actually start to blush. Bikky was great in the early days for noticing and bringing his attention to it.
Dee's latest bout of shyness concerned his clothes. Ryo found it adorable. With a loving smile, he set Dee's plate down in front of the other man. “Here you go, beautiful. Best meal of the day and you're eating for two.”
Dee looked up and latched onto Ryo for a brief kiss. “Love you, Ryo.”
“Love you too, Penguin baby.” Ryo sat down next to Dee with his plate, chuckling at Dee's sudden flush.
“Stop it,” Dee warned. “We need to go to work soon.”
Ryo laughed as he put a hand on Dee's stomach. He leaned over to say, “I love you too, Chibi.”
Dee sat back, sighing. “Well, I feel like I'm at the start of a new phase now.”
“Hmm?” Ryo kissed Dee's temple before he turned to start eating his breakfast.
Dee indicated his clothes as Ryo glanced at him. “This is it. No more normal clothes until our chibi is born.”
“Aw sweetheart, you can still fit into your sweats.”
Dee smiled at Ryo. “For now, but not much longer. Then that will be it. Besides, I can't wear sweats to work, no matter how casual I've gotten away with in the past.”
Ryo laughed softly. “I'm sure Rose will let it slide. Especially if that's what you're most comfortable in.” He couldn't resist lightly kissing Dee's pouting lips. “I'm teasing you. I know the only time you wear sweats at work is like the rest of us for PT.”
“You know, speaking of casual, too bad we didn't get a chance to look at jeans before we had to get out of there yesterday.”
“You'd probably see a pair of jeans with elastic and go ballistic,” Ryo joked. “Like JJ's `friend' in there.”
Dee broke out in laughter, remembering the scene, then snorted. “Please. I wouldn't come close. But ya know, we never really did just look around in there and see what they really have.”
Smiling affectionately, Ryo remarked, “That's because someone was playing shy boy, and wanted to get what he needed for a couple of days of work, then dodge the hell out.”
“Was I that bad?”
Ryo laughed more. “Maybe we can try again this weekend and get you some casual wear?” Once again Ryo laughed as Dee ducked his head to pour apricot syrup on his pancake. “Shy boy,” he teased Dee.
“Shut up.”
Ryo laughed harder, hugging Dee. “God, you're too adorable sometimes,” he gushed. He kissed Dee's nose and managed to look somewhat serious. “Look Dee, I know this is killing you, and I know that Carrier clothing don't seem stylish, but love, you're going to have to get used to it.”
“Well, like I said, if I looked around some, I guess there's some style out there. But I'm afraid it'll also be more expensive than the already expensive boring clothing.” Dee shrugged. “I'm just afraid of….” He dropped his head, leaving his sentence hanging.
“Afraid of?” Ryo started to play with Dee's hair, careful not to mess it up. He realized as he encountered hair with mousse styled into place that he had grown used to Dee's hair without any mousse or gel in it.
“Looking like some frumpy housewife or something,” Dee mumbled.
Ryo could not help laughing. “Oh Dee, no one is ever going to mistake you for a housewife,” he assured Dee.
Dee chuckled a little despite himself. “You know what I mean. I've always liked to look good, even when not dressing up. But now….” He sighed heavily. “I'll get used to it. I have to.” He gave Ryo a smile. “I am much more comfortable than I was last Friday when we left for work.”
“Baby, you look wonderful.” He kissed Dee's forehead, then took Dee's hand to kiss it also, sparkling dark eyes full of love gazing at Dee.
Dee smiled warmly. “Yeah, that's what I keep telling myself.” He leaned closer to Ryo to kiss his husband-to-be softly. “It doesn't matter what others think, as long as you still think I'm good looking.
“I'll think you look good when you're old, wrinkly and gray.” He winked at Dee, “Of course, I'll be older more wrinkly and grayer.”
Dee snorted, amusement lighting his face. “Aw, you'll always be beautiful to me, baby,” he chuckled. “Even if between Bikky and the chibi, we'll probably be gray and/or bald sooner than we should.” He rubbed his nose against Ryo's.
Ryo giggled, still amazed he actually found someone to talk about growing old with, and ecstatic that it was Dee. He kissed Dee softly, yet full of the love he felt for the other man. “Well, my beautiful love, you should finish eating.”
Dee was still smiling as he nodded. “Yeah. Just let me go grab some tea.”
He started to get up, but Ryo was already on his feet, gently pushing Dee back in his seat.
“Let me get it for you,” Ryo offered.
“Aw Ryo.” Dee settled in his seat, looking up at Ryo. Slyly he said, “You need your breakfast too, to put up with my mood swings and stuff. Besides, you lost plenty of protein yourself lately.”
Ryo smiled down at Dee and quickly kissed him. “And I am eating too. Now stay put.” Ryo went over to the counter where he had a teapot sitting with Dee's peppermint tea and poured some into a mug, adding sugar.
“The way you've been since yesterday afternoon, you probably need two plates,” Dee stated with a wink. He went back to eating his breakfast as Ryo laughed.
Ryo placed the tea next to Dee, sitting down to finish his breakfast. “Any good?” he asked of the breakfast.
“Oh definitely. As usual. Thank you, love.”
Ryo smiled as he started to rub Dee's back. “Do you feel sick at all?” he asked.
Dee shook his head as he picked up his tea. “Just a little when I first woke up, but it went away for better things.” He grinned as he remembered the shower he had with Ryo. “I'm hoping these breaks mean I'll be past this phase soon.” He looked down, placing his hand on his tummy. “No more sickness, just more of this here for a while. Right Chibi?”
Ryo smiled sweetly as he went back to his breakfast. Dee followed Ryo's lead and for a few minutes, they ate in comfortable silence.
Suddenly Dee looked at Ryo, an alarmed look on his face. “Ryo, I just thought of something.”
“That one suit you made me get, the really expensive one? It's really nice and quality and all, but it's hardly something to wear for a wedding like we're planning. What if there's nothing for me to wear on our wedding day?”
“Calm down, Dee.” Ryo leaned over to kiss his distraught fiancé. He grinned impishly. “You know, maybe you can wear a kimono or something?” He winked, looking impish. “It'll cover your bump too.”
Dee looked thoughtful for a few seconds as if he was considering it. “Not too sure,” he replied. “While your family from Japan might find it amusing, not sure what everyone else would think. I mean, we're going all out for a formal wedding, after all.” He started to smirk.
“Well, you are the woman now,” Ryo remarked with a chuckle, the look on his face saying he was teasing Dee again. He laughed as Dee's jaw dropped and he had to kiss him again.
“You're been waiting for a chance to say that, huh, you fink. Well, I'd be in denial if I can't say the balance tipped somewhat.” Dee finally chuckled at Ryo's comment.
Ryo nodded. “You're my beautiful, gorgeous, handsome, sexy, pregnant husband-to-be. Oh! And you're so adorable too, cutie.” Ryo's grin grew wider.
Ryo started to laugh. “Cute and adorable.” Once again he kissed Dee, allowing the kiss to linger a few seconds longer than the previous ones. “We'll take care of something to wear. In fact, I already know you'll be the most handsome groom ever.”
“Nah. Close, but you'll be more.”
Ryo laughed. “We could keep this up all morning, huh?”
“Agreed,” Dee stated with a laugh. “Now, I was about to say that I was thinking of what JJ would say if I told him I'm considering wearing a kimono for my wedding. Could be lots of laughs, ya know.”
Ryo chuckled. “I swear you come up with your more outrageous ideas just for the entertainment of watching JJ's face turn different colors.”
“Don't forget the twitching eye,” Dee laughed.
“Well, you should be glad to know that the chibi had done nothing to your usual sardonic ways,” Ryo remarked.
“Hey, got to keep myself amused somehow.”
Dee and Ryo looked at each other and laughed.
Ryo started to rub Dee's back again. “Why don't we look into having your suit tailor made?” Ryo suggested.
“In three weeks?!? Baby, last I checked, we're not in Korea. We can't have a custom made suit made within 2 days here.”
Ryo made a face. “Hm, there's an idea. We'll take four days off and go to Korea for your suit.”
“Ha ha! I'm still debating whether to deal with the two hours to Bermuda or not for our honeymoon. No way I'll survive eleven hours on a plane.”
“You did before,” Ryo pointed out.
“I wasn't pregnant either,” Dee countered.
“Aw, come on, baby. We'll even get you a cumberbund.” Ryo winked devilishly.
“Oh? Something to hide the bump? Or knowing you, bring it out more.” He hugged Ryo laughing.
“Seriously, Dee, money talks. We talk enough money, you'll have something custom made right here in New York in time to get married.”
“Well….” Dee seemed hesitant. “I suppose it would cost a lot.”
“As long as you feel comfortable on our wedding day, I don't care what the price is.”
“So you keep saying.” Dee rolled his eyes.
“It's true.”
“I guess. I suppose if I saw the tab for what we already planned, I'd faint.”
Ryo kissed his cheek. “You pick what you want and I'll handle the budget. So far we still have lots left. And it is my family's money, not ours. So don't start worrying about it now. If we start going over the budget, I'll let you know.”
Dee sighed. “Okay. And no, I'm still not interesting in knowing just how much we have to spend.”
“We're not even halfway. Somehow we're not spending as much as some of my cousins have, but according to both Elena and Grandma, this will be the most beautiful wedding in a very long time.”
“Yeah? Really? Even your grandmother said that?”
Ryo nodded solemnly, looking slightly proud. “She really hasn't seen much, but she hears from Elena and me how the planning is coming along.”
Dee started to grin. “Well, how about that?”
Ryo laughed. “Yeah huh? The most beautiful MacLean wedding is being planned out by Mr. Street Rat Extraordinaire.”
Dee joined Ryo in laughter.
Ryo's eyes caught the time on the clock. “Oh! Eat up. We're going to be late!”
“I'm almost done. You finish yours too.”
The two men quickly finished their breakfast. Dee was standing while drinking the last of his tea, while Ryo grabbed their plates to set in the sink for later as he realized he did not have the time to do them. He grabbed their travel mugs, filling Dee's with more peppermint tea and his with the last of the coffee in the pot.
Dee had gone into the bedroom to grab his tie and jacket. He came out of the bedroom, noticing Ryo putting on his suit jacket. His hands fumbled with his tie. Ryo shook his head and went over to do the knot for Dee. After a quick kiss, he buttoned Dee's suit jacket. “Yum! You look wonderful Dee. So sexy. And I need to stop because we need to leave right now.” Ryo moved away from Dee to get their coats, his shoes already on. Once Dee got his on, he allowed Ryo to help him into his coat, then took the insulated bag that was set near the door. Ryo grabbed the bag with their thermoses and they left the house, hoping the trains were running on time.
*** *** ***
“Hey, look who's back!” Marty exclaimed as Ryo and Dee walked into the CI space.
The others looked up as Ryo took Dee's coat and dropped their coats in a nearby empty chair for the moment.
“Yo Dee!” Drake greeted with a smile.
“Hey Dee,” Ted said.
“Oh geez, there goes the neighborhood,” Marty remarked.
JJ glanced at Dee and smiled. “Welcome back, handsome. And you really are in those new clothes.”
Ryo smiled at Dee. “You see?”
Drake smacked JJ in the back of his head. “You would be the one to notice new clothes.”
JJ peered up at Drake and smirked. Drake frowned at him.
Everyone's attention was on Dee and missed the exchange. Except for Dee. He took Ryo's hand and squeezed it. To the others, it appeared just as that, but Ryo felt the movement of Dee's fingers and the message it conveyed. Dee warned him to play along.
“So, you really think I'm all that in these clothes, huh?” Dee asked JJ.
“Oh definitely!” JJ exclaimed. “You look handsome and sweet at the same time.”
Dee caught what JJ really meant for sweet and actually blushed a little.
“Hey Dee, nice to see some color back in your face,” Ted laughed.
Marty laughed. “Oh, JJ made Dee blush.”
Ryo chuckled with Ted and Marty. He leaned over to kiss Dee's cheek. “But you do look sweet. Sweet and beautiful and handsome. But I already told you that you'd look good in a potato sack. Isn't that right, JJ?”
JJ nodded his head. “Oh definitely,” he answered enthusiastically.
Ted and Marty exchanged confused looks, wondering why Ryo was encouraging JJ, instead of threatening to mess up JJ's pretty face. They turned to Drake in hope of an explanation that would make sense.
Drake was standing up. “I'm going to the roof for a smoke,” he announced and left the office.
Ted looked back to Marty, more confused.
“I think I'm going to join him,” Marty said. He got up too and started to leave the office. He patted Dee on his shoulder on the way out. “Great to see you back, dude. Later.”
Ryo chuckled. “Well, we need to get into our office so I can start setting Dee up with some files to work on,” he said to Ted and JJ. “Oh, you have a court date next week, Dee. I have everything you need on your desk.”
“Great,” Dee sighed. “More long days of paperwork and court hearings. I wanted to come back to work why?”
Ryo laughed. “It'll be fine, Dee.”
“Yeah, though not the way you wanted,” Ted remarked to Dee, picking up a folder. He got up and walked over to Dee and Ryo. “Another one,” he stated to Ryo, handing him the folder.
“Where?” Ryo asked.
“In the south end of Morningside Park,” Ted replied.
JJ nodded. “Yeah, Drake and I took the scene. The four of us are going to be busy today. So you two have anything else that comes in today.”
Ryo sighed. “I hope it's a light day. I know you're feeling fine and Vince okay'd you for full duty, but….”
“I still have certain limitations,” Dee agreed. “But, I'm not useless.”
“I know you're not, baby. You're still doing your job even if it isn't the way you want.”
“I guess I really don't need to tell you Chief said that if you both need to go out for a call, Dee is not to canvas on his own,” JJ stated.
“Yeah, yeah, make sure I can grab an armed babysitter and all that,” Dee grumped.
“Chief will probably remind you again when you talk to him later,” Ted added.
“Yeah, we know. He wants to see us both in his office at 9:30,” Ryo stated. “So we better get settled in our office before then.”
“We'll all be checking in with you two throughout the day. Maybe asking for you to do some research if you're in and not caught up with something,” JJ remarked. He went to get his coat from the coat rack. He put it on, then took Drake's. “Silly boy is up on the roof without his coat,” he commented. He started for the door.
“At least Marty grabbed his on the way out. Ready to get our partners and head out?” Ted asked.
“Yeah. Drake needs his coat anyway. He gets sick so quickly,” JJ commented. He felt all eyes on him. “With this carrier killer and everything else, we can't afford to be a man down again for a while.” He shrugged.
“Good luck out there,” Ryo called out. “I hope a good lead comes up soon.”
“Yeah. Then maybe Dee can get some freedom back,” JJ said. “Oh, by the way, yesterday we managed to find out that four of our six victims were in the precinct area at least a couple of days before their time of deaths.”
“And the other two?” Dee asked, appearing in thought. He was doing the math on how many victims he knew, plus the latest and something wasn't adding up to him. From what he knew on the case, this should have been the fifth victim, not the sixth. It did not take him long to figure out that there was a new victim while he was out, and no one bothered to inform him of it.
“Still working on it. We're still waiting for an ID for yesterday's,” Ted said. “At least we have an autopsy scheduled for early afternoon.”
Dee nodded. “Our friend again?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Ted replied. “He told us to call his cell for any new cases, so we do.”
Dee frowned. “So when did the fifth happen?”
Ryo put the folder for their latest victim in Dee's hands. “It's on your desk. I just didn't want to bring it up while you were recovering.” Ryo gave Dee a guilty look. “Aw hell, Dee. By the time I got home, I didn't want to talk about it myself.”
Dee nudged Ryo. “It's okay.”
“It's not like I intended to hide it from you. I left a copy of the file on your desk - along with all the other stuff waiting for you to come back,” Ryo explained.
“Baby, relax. It's fine. Let's just get to work now.”
“Yeah, and let me get this coat to my stupid partner. So help me if he expects me to make chicken soup for him when he gets sick,” JJ stated and left with a sigh.
*** *** ***
Dee let out a sigh. Earlier that morning he had been hoping for a call or two that he would be able to get out and about. There were a few calls, but Chief Smith determined there wasn't anything Ryo couldn't handle on his own. No gory crime scenes, just a break in that was reported by a frightened neighbor, which led to an investigation of the owner as well as the perp who broke in. Dee was pulling the research while Ryo went out to respond to an attempted rape. The others checked in, relaying information to Dee on the Carrier case.
Jim had stopped by with an ID and evidence from the fifth victim, which as usual was not much for them to go on.
“This one lived in Brooklyn, Dee,” Jim informed him.
“What are the chances he was in this vicinity?” Dee asked.
“Favorable. He's a teacher's aid at P.S. 185,” Jim replied.
“Crap,” Dee muttered.
“Dammit, Jim. He has to slip one of these days. You're saying there's no fingerprints, no saliva, no….”
“Not even skin under fingernails, stray hair that does not belong to the vics. I've been trying to look at every possible thing. So is our friend the ME. Nothing,” Jim finished. “I can tell you there was a struggle until death, but while tied down. For all of the vics.”
“I have more in a pattern, but perhaps we should wait for the others?” Jim asked.
“Don't baby me, Jim,” Dee snapped. “I'm still a fuckin' detective. And I want that fucker off the streets. I can't help in seeing to that with partial facts.”
“You have all the facts in the files, Dee. No one is picking what they choose for you to see for your files,” Jim pointed out.
“I can't help but wonder sometimes.” Dee dropped his chin in his hand and glared up at Jim.
“Calm down, Dee. Look, why don't I make us some tea and we can sit down to talk. Okay?” Dee shook his head firmly. “I'm perfectly capable of making tea. So why don't I make us some tea and then we talk?”
“Fine, whatever,” Jim relented, understanding it was just Dee's frustration talking. “Knock yourself out, Dee. You don't happen to have any Earl Grey, do you.”
“I do. JJ likes it once in a while, and since we have the set up, might as well have a little of what everyone likes.” Dee shrugged.
“You're such a good host, Dee.”
“Don't push,” Dee grumbled, standing up. He went to make them tea. Once done, he sat back down at his desk and pulled out a package of oatmeal cookies. Over tea and cookies, Jim filled Dee in on the new facts.
*** *** *** ***
Dee was alone again when he heard JJ and Drake return. Dee got up to stretch before going into the next office.
“Hey dudes,” Dee greeted.
Drake sat behind his desk and waved shortly at Dee, then looked down at a file on his desk.
JJ rolled his eyes. “I guess my partner has PMS or something,” he explained to Dee.
Dee chuckled. “I never thought straight men got PMS,” he commented innocently. The teasing glint in his eyes that looked over at Drake belied the innocence.
Drake looked up and glared at Dee as JJ laughed.
Dee took a step back. “Okay, okay. Sheesh. I guess you do.”
JJ patted Dee's back. “Drakey's in a bad mood today. Please don't push it,” he warned Dee.
“Fine.” Dee let out a heavy sigh. “Is Ted and Marty due back soon?”
“We last heard from them just after we left the ME. They were looking into something and should head back after,” Drake replied, sounding coolly professional.
“Aw Dee,” JJ tsked, shaking his head, his eyes on Dee.
“What?” Dee asked, looking down at himself. He saw nothing unusual for him. Even the bump slightly billowing out his shirt had become normal for him.
“You looked so sharp in that new suit this morning,” JJ admonished. “Not that you don't look hot now, but what happened to your tie? And your jacket's open and your shirt is looking rumpled.”
Dee rolled his eyes in response. “Too bad. I'm not dressed for you,” he remarked, a bit defensively.
“That's what I say, too, JJ,” Drake grumped. “Why don't you just let the rest of us dress how we want, huh?”
JJ giggled at Drake. “There are some of you I lost hope when it comes to fashion. You're one of them, Drakey. So you can wear whatever you like and it's fine with me.” He grinned at Drake.
“Yeah, okay.” Drake stood up. “I got to use the men's room, then I'm grabbing a smoke. You need me, I'm on the roof.”
“I'll go with you,” JJ said, walking to go to Drake's side.
“Don't bother. I can piss and smoke without help,” Drake snapped.
Dee and JJ watched as Drake stalked out of the office in a snit.
Dee shook his head after the door slammed close behind Drake. “I think he meant to piss and moan,” Dee commented to JJ.
JJ laughed at Dee's comment. “He's been in a bad mood today for some reason.”
“You don't know why?” Dee asked, studying JJ.
“No. Why should I if he's not saying?” JJ shrugged, looking at Dee confused.
“Because he's your partner. That's why,” Dee pointed out. He opened his mouth to say more, but he never got around to the addition when he heard the phone in his office start to ring. He sighed, hoping it was something he could do that was more than just research, but doubted it.
“Let me get that,” he ended up saying instead to JJ.
He made his way into the office, and answered the phone, the caller ID already identifying his caller as the Commissioner.
“What can I do for you, Commissioner?” Dee asked. Despite the pleasant way he spoke, he inwardly gritted his teeth.
Whenever Rose called his direct line, it meant either it was time for another heart to heart talk to assure he did not repeat the mistakes Rose's partner had made in the past. Mistakes that turned out to be fatal for both Tyler and his unborn baby. Upon hearing the news of Dee's pregnancy, Rose saw a lot of his late partner in Dee, and made it his business to assure Dee found a balance to still being an active detective while keeping himself and his unborn baby safe. Rose might say Dee was still an active detective, but Dee had more than a few arguments on that.
If it was not time for another talk, then it meant it had something to do with the Carrier case. Being the one stuck in the precinct for the day, Dee was the one who ended up having to compile and research however he could all the information the others obtained while going out on canvasses and interviews. Officially, both Dee and Ryo were off the case, but Rose saw no problem with Dee working actively on it from behind a desk. With that in mind, Dee became the main point of contact for anything pertaining to the case. Mostly because he would be the one who would be there to take any calls. He did what he could with the information until Drake and JJ returned, to hand it to them, being they were the leading detectives on the case. Ryo, unofficially, would go off on his own to hopefully come back with more clues that would lead them to collaring the killer.
“Dee, I need you in my office to start prepping for a press conference,” Rose replied, confirming Dee's thoughts.
Better than being called down for another talk with the Commissioner over tea and French pastries, Dee was thankful to be able to do something away from his desk that did not include speaking to loved ones who were next of kin to Carrier victims. That was the official duty for Dee and Ryo, because both Rose and Chief Smith felt the grieving family would feel there was true compassion and understanding from the police by having a pregnant Carrier and his fiancé handle the situation.
“Now?” Dee asked.
“If you can. If not then ASAP,” came Rose's reply.
“I'll be there in a few, sir,” he replied.
*** *** ***
Dee entered the Commissioner's office upon hearing Rose call out for him to enter.
Rose looked up from a stack of paperwork and smiled. “Welcome back, Dee,” he greeted. “I trust your day so far is proving you are ready to be back?”
Dee nodded. “Yes sir. It's good to be back.”
“Is that a new suit?”
“Umm…yeah,” Dee replied, trying hard to not fidget in place. “Ryo took me shopping yesterday after seeing Vince so I could have things to wear to work.”
“Oh?” The Commissioner looked amused.
“Well… it seems while I lounged around in my jammies for a week, the baby took advantage and stretched out to take more room. Or so Vince explained when I told him I discovered yesterday morning that nothing fit anymore. I ended up going to the exam in sweatpants.”
Rose laughed. “That's one of the first ways it will spring on you. For what it's worth, you look good. I have to admit that pregnancy suits you, Dee.”
Rose's eyebrows shot up as he watched Dee blush.
Dee knew he was blushing, and cursed himself. It was the last thing he expected to hear from Rose. He knew he was not being hit on by the Commissioner, who was still attracted to Ryo, but had conceded Ryo belonged with Dee. It was just a compliment, one that Dee knew was a sincere statement of fact.
“Um… thank you, sir,” he stammered.
“Why don't you sit down, Dee?” Rose said, gesturing to the chair set by the side of his desk.
“Can I get you something to drink while we wait for our PR rep to join us?”
“Water would be good, sir,” Dee replied as he went over to sit in the offered chair.
Rose retrieved a bottle of water from a mini refrigerator he kept in his office, then sat down behind his desk with his own bottled water. He set the bottle to the side and opened a folder that was set before him. “I'm going to let you take this home with you, Dee,” he stated. “Study it, because while your statement will be written for you, when we're fielding questions, it would be best you answer as many as you can on your own. Of course, I'll be there also, to step in when needed.” He picked up the folder and handed it to Dee to peruse.
“So when is this going to happen?” Dee asked.
“Monday night. That should give you sufficient time to be familiar with the material. There will be times when you will best speak from your heart, and others when you stick to our loose script,” Rose explained. He paused as there was a knock at the door. “Come in,” he called out.
The door opened and middle aged man in a uniform entered the office, carrying a portfolio. “I'm sorry, I'm late, Commissioner. I got tied up at the copy machine getting a few more things that Detective Laytner should find useful.” He looked over at Dee. “Detective Laytner, I presume?”
Dee stood and held out his hand to shake. “Yes. That's me.”
“Sgt. Michael Carey. I head all the PR issues of an extreme sensitive nature. I've heard much about you, Detective.” He grinned at Dee. “In fact, you just might make a press release of your own when you deliver that baby of yours, being as you will be the first active duty Carrier here at the 27th to give birth. Perhaps even a few along the way. You know, just to show we're not prejudiced and you're being treated good and all that fine stuff.”
Dee groaned. He also understood where Carey was coming from. “Please, if we can keep this as low key as possible. It's enough getting in front of the press for this, but it has to be done. Otherwise, I want to give birth to a baby, not a celebrity.”
Carey chuckled. He handed Dee a folder, then gave one to the Commissioner, keeping one for himself. “Shall we start reviewing the material?” he asked Rose.
“Please do,” Rose consented.
The three men settled down to the task of preparing Dee for the press conference.
February 18, 2006
Ryo entered the living room to find Dee sitting on the couch, the TV on and his laptop on his lap. On the couch next to him was a pile of magazines and books. Their wedding planner binder laying close by on the coffee table.
Ryo smiled as Dee looked up from more wedding planning. “That was JJ on the phone,” he explained to Dee. “He said he's not feeling very well and has to cancel tonight.”
Dee frowned a little. “That's too bad. I hope it's nothing serious.”
Ryo settled on the couch next to Dee. “Well, he also said Drake canceled too - something about Drake being damned if he's dragged into a wedding planning party alone.”
“In other words, if JJ won't be here, don't expect to find Drake showing up on his own,” Dee laughed. His look turned thoughtful. “Come to think of it, things seemed strained between them yesterday.”
Ryo had the grace to blush marginally. “Yeah, they did. Well, what makes me laugh is no one bothered to ask why was I pushing how sexy you are so heavily on JJ.”
“'Cause JJ fell for it so quickly, no one would suspect Drake getting pissed off over what seems normal for JJ,” Dee answered.
Ryo chuckled, shaking his head. “I wonder how far did they've gotten yet?” He gave Dee a meaningful look.
Dee looked up at Ryo amused. “Now, now. You'd be hating it if they asked you that about us,” he pointed out.
Ryo laughed as he dropped down on the couch next to Dee. As he put an arm around Dee's shoulders, he said, “Well geez, Dee, all it takes these days is one look at you to get at least half the answer.” He laughed more, looking at the shocked look on Dee's face. He leaned over to kiss Dee's nose, smiling. “Anyway, we need to get dinner out of the way before Diana shows up.”
“Isn't Elena and Rick coming also?” Dee asked. He set aside the laptop and leaned in for a quick kiss. He stood up from the couch and stretched, his hands on his lower back.
Ryo smiled while looking up at Dee with dark shining eyes.
“What?” Dee asked.
“Despite all the protests of doing more shopping for Carrier clothing, yesterday's spree was worth it. You looked very comfortable today while being dressed in something other than jammies.”
Dee shrugged, but as he ducked his head, Ryo caught the start of a smirk.
“And not only are you looking comfortable, you look damn gorgeous, sexy,” Ryo added.
“Oh?” Dee asked. The smirk became a knowing smile. “So when do we kick everyone out tonight?”
Ryo laughed. Despite their rather amorous afternoon on Thursday, Dee had gotten them in the mood for more later that night just before they went to sleep for the night. The night before, on Friday, Bikky had gone to Carol's, leaving Ryo to take Dee out for dinner, while they shopped for more new clothing for Dee. When they returned home, they had made love twice, took a nap, then after watching a movie, had yet another round before falling asleep.
Earlier that morning, Ryo woke them up with time for some shower fun before going into work. Since it was a Saturday, both Dee and Ryo had become accustomed to dressing more relaxed when they went into work. Ryo had worn a green cable knit sweater and brown jeans, which he still wore. Dee had put on new olive green cargo pants and a tee shirt under a brown turtleneck sweater. Dressing in layers worked best for Dee, since he had no idea if he'd be sweating in the middle of winter until he was. Like Ryo, he decided to stay in his pants. He was able to roll them down below the swell. The pants had sash belt tied rather than buckled. He took off the sweater when they had arrived home, leaving on his tee-shirt. It was his favorite tee-shirt so far, believing it fit his current situation. It was black and had pictures of a martini glass, a cigarette and sushi, with the “No” slashes across each picture, denoting the 3 NOs of pregnancy - no booze, no smoking and no sushi until the baby was born.
Ryo looked at Dee again. His handsome fiancé did look pregnant in his new clothes. Ryo determined that as far as he was concerned, that made Dee even sexier to him. Once their guests were gone, and teenagers sent to sleep, Ryo planned to once again show Dee just how sexy his pregnant lover was and how he felt about it.
“Well, considering they are having dinner with no kids, no nephews and just the two of them, I'd guess Elena and Rick will be here at some point after Diana arrives,” Ryo stated to Dee.
“You know, now that we're going full speed ahead with wedding planning, I can't wait until it's over,” Dee said with a smile and chuckle.
Ryo rolled his yes. “Please. We have a ceremony and reception site, we can always go for simple with 300 guests.”
Dee gazed at Ryo and their eyes met. “Nah!” they both said at the same time, then laughed.
“At least we know have a wedding coordinator who will just carry out tasks, and not overwhelm us with too many ideas all at once,” Dee commented.
Ryo rolled his eyes, looking at the magazines and books, knowing full well there were also bookmarks to other options on Dee's laptop. “We're almost completely set with what we want for the ceremony,” Ryo said, sitting back more. “Once you decide on covers for the chairs and we pick an officiate, we're set.”
“Oh…right,” Dee remarked, smacking his forehead. “We can't get married without an officiate.”
“We have a list,” Ryo supplied helpfully, going through the assorted papers set next to the binder.
“Yeah. We'll work on that tomorrow. Okay? Now let me go get dinner started.” Dee started toward the kitchen. As he reached the threshold to the dining area, he stopped. Looking back to Ryo, he said, “For chair covers, as long as they're mostly blue, it doesn't matter to me what they look like. In fact, I'm all for renting white chairs and adding some ribbons to them as an option.”
Ryo smiled as he watched Dee walk into the dining room and out of his sight. “In that case, yell if you need help,” he called out. “If not, I'm picking out chair covers.” He picked up the laptop Dee left on the couch and found the directory Dee made for rental items. He groaned as he was reminded they still had much to work out for the reception, including the table settings. “Did we really think we'd have everything done by then?” he muttered, fazed by the tasks ahead of them, all of them having to be done soon.
*** *** ***
“That must be Diana,” Ryo said, standing up as he checked the clock on the DVD player when the doorbell rang.
“Aw, does that mean we have to turn off the movie now?” Bikky asked. “It's getting to the good part and we never saw this one before.”
“It's always getting to the good part for you when we have to turn off the TV,” Ryo laughed as he crossed the living room to the door.
Dee chuckled as he picked up the remote. “We can go back to it when everyone leaves.” He watched as Ryo went to answer the door.
“If you insist,” Bikky remarked, slumping back into the couch with a pout.
On the other side of Dee, Carol laughed at Bikky. “I can't wait to see what Diana has for us to wear,” she said excitedly.
“Eww… too much, girly stuff. Dee, do I really need to stick around? Can't I go to my room? Carol can stay out here.
Dee opened his mouth to reply, but paused as he heard Ryo and Diana exchange pleasantries, noticing the stunned look on his fiancé's face. As the other man stepped backward to allow their guest in, not just Diana entered. There were other people. Lots of other people. There was a refined looking older woman, who was greeting Ryo. There were three men loaded down with garments bags. There was another man who was as well dressed as the strange woman who was currently greeting Ryo, while the men passed right through to follow Diana and the woman. The man with Ryo looked obviously rich and very gay to Dee. Last to enter were four extremely beautiful women, of the classic beauty that reminded Dee of some of the models he had dated in the past.
Dee knew his mouth was hanging as Diana and the woman stopped before him. Bikky had quickly made a hasty retreat to his room during the sudden flurry of activity, leaving a giggling, suddenly excited Carol still sitting on his other side.
“Madam Chantrel, this is our other darling groom,” Diana started to introduce the woman to Dee, “Dee Laytner.”
Dee found enough mind to stand up as Mother had taught him long ago, once again too fast, as he found himself fighting off another wave of the usual dizziness. It was over quickly and Dee was thankful as he saw the woman extend a bony hand bedazzled with jewels and gold.
“Dee, this is Madam Chantrel, owner of the most exquisite boutique and will be handling all the outfits for your groomswomen.”
Dee took the offered hand and bent slightly to kiss her hand, amazed at all the expensive jewelry on just one hand alone. Dee determined her one arm alone cost more than what they paid for renovating the entire apartment. It boggled his mind. It was not the first time he was met with such riches, but it still had the same effect on him every time. “Pleased to meet you, Madam Chantrel,” he greeted politely.
The older woman giggled. “Oh my! But he is a darling one,” she exclaimed. “But you sit down, and be comfortable in your condition,” she said to Dee.
Ryo came over to them, looking amused, but not surprised at his fiancé. Dee still liked to act the tough street kid, but beneath all the bravado, Ryo knew there was a very well bred boy full of manners that Mother had taught him. When Dee allowed them to show, he could out charm Ryo at his most charming.
“Madam Chantrel,” Ryo remarked. “I sent your people to the guest room since they requested a… dressing room?” Ryo said, looking confused.
“I had such a dreadful time narrowing down the selections, because Madam Chantrel has so many delightful things to choose from, “ Diana explained as Ryo offered the women a seat after taking off their coats. “So Madam Chantrel was most generous enough to offer you boys a fashion show to help narrow down the choice from twenty-five.”
“Twenty-five?!?” Dee gasped. He looked as shocked as he felt.
“Oh my God, a private fashion show!” Carol crowed. “How exciting!”
“And who is this elegant young lady?” Madam Chantrel asked. “You did not mention they had a daughter, Diana.”
Dee laughed. “Close. We feel like she is most time, but while she lives with her aunt, we do look out for her. This is Carol, who is part little sister, part daughter and our son's best friend. She's also in our wedding party.”
Ryo smiled fondly. “We're hoping one day she'll be our daughter-in-law.”
“A betrothal. How charming,” Madam Chantrel exclaimed delightedly.
Dee chuckled. “Something like that. May I offer you some coffee or tea? I should warn you that our tea is only decaf, but we have a selection.”
“Tea would be wonderful and you can surprise me on what type. Of course, it's decaf, dearie. With you going through the marvelous miracle of giving your intended a baby.” She smiled warmly at Dee.
Ryo, Diana and Carol laughed at Dee's sudden inflamed face.
“Um yeah. Let me get your tea on. I could use some too. Diana, want anything?”
“Tea for me, please,” Diana replied. “Whatever type you're having, Dee.”
“Me too!” Carol added.
“I'll be in there in a moment to give you a hand, Dee,” Ryo added.
“Sure.” Dee smiled and only Ryo noticed Dee's departure was a retreat.
“He is a charming one,” Madam Chantrel stated. “And so are you, Randy. That child will be the most adorable one. You make a very handsome couple.”
“Thank you,” Ryo remarked, knowing that while it was his turn to blush slightly, the smile on his face was a very proud one.”
“I must say, when Diana asked me to provide the gowns for Estelle MacLean's grandson, I could not pass up the chance. Your grandmother and I used to get together for tea back in the day.”
Ryo smiled. “Then Grandma should be very pleased to hear you are taking such good care of our groomswomen when we have tea with her next week.”
“Do tell her I said hello. It has been a while. Before I continue being so rude, this is my grandson, Marcel.” She indicated the young man still in the living room with them. “He has some ideas for suits you might be interested in wearing. Diana told me you boys do not have your wedding outfits picked out yet. Time moves fast when you're planning a wedding and we're already on a bit of a rush while doing things properly. The sooner you and your fiancé are fitted for your garments, the more likely you will not be wearing a suit out of your closet. Especially with Dee. Having his suit custom made perfectly for him will be your best option. And I think you both will be quite pleased with Marcel's selections. If you pick something from him, of course, we will have the suits ready for you for a final fitting the Thursday before your wedding.”
“We would be grateful for suggestions and if we do find something we like, with an assurance like yours, of course we would have Marcel handle them,” Ryo replied smoothly.
“I should go back there, if you don't mind, to see how everything is coming along,” Madam Chantrel said. “I imagine you have other planning to do tonight and do not want to spend the rest of the night looking over gowns.”
“Of course, I'll show you to the guest room,” Ryo offered as he stood up, holding out a hand to help the older woman to her feet. To Diana, he added, “Then I'll go help Dee out.” He managed to give her a “I'll kill you later,” look when the older woman was not looking.
“I'll be here, talking to Carol,” Diana stated, ignoring Ryo's glare. “I'm sure she will also be helpful with input on what type of gown she would want to wear. Isn't that right, Carol?”
“This is so exciting. I'll bet the gowns are sooo beautiful too. And I'll be wearing one of them,” Carol exclaimed.
Ryo escorted the boutique owner out of the living room, unable to not smile at Carol's excitement.
*** *** ***
Ryo entered the kitchen, preparing himself. He knew despite Dee's polite and even pleasant demeanor in the living room, there was one hell of a mood swing lurking, most definitely not on the upside.
He noticed Dee at the counter, setting the seldom used fine tea set from Japan onto an equally good quality Japanese lacquer serving tray. He smirked, liking how Dee could bend to a situation, yet keep his own ground. He came behind the tense back of his lover. He gently rubbed Dee's back in a way he knew Dee found soothing. He leaned over to kiss Dee's neck. “You did well in there, baby,” Ryo complimented. “Even if I could tell you were just wanting to yell for everyone to get the fuck out of your home.”
Dee chuckled. “You know me too well then.”
“I feel the same. Diana should have at least warned us.”
“She knows if she did, we'd have said no. If she really couldn't narrow down the choices to five, then she could have just bought along photos. Instead…” Dee gestured helplessly. “It's all turning into a fuckin' circus again.”
Ryo nodded in agreement. “Unfortunately everyone is here already. So we best just deal with it. I say we go for viewing and look over the pictures tomorrow, cutting it down.”
“Photos too? Don't tell me one of those men is a photographer too?” Dee gasped.
Ryo slipped his other arm around Dee's waist, now rubbing his lover's belly. “Elena will be here shortly and she never goes anywhere without a camera. So we ask her to take photos. That way we can get everyone packed up and out sooner.
“I guess.” He sighed heavily. “I suppose we should dig around to see if we have anymore scones or some tea biscuits somewhere in a cupboard,” he stated in resignation, a little sarcasm in his tone.
Ryo laughed. “We have muffins left over from this morning. They'll be fine, Dee.”
“Holy God, I can't believe we're having a private fashion show in this apartment.” Dee slapped his forehead.
“Well, there will be one more little thing after that, “ Ryo stated.
“Now what?”
“Madam Chantrel has her grandson along to show us some pictures of suits for us. He promises to have them custom tailored for you by the wedding. We might as well take up the offer while we have it. That might save us some running around this week and our time is running short.”
“Yeah.” Dee sighed again. “This is getting crazy. Jesus, I don't know if I want to rage right now, or laugh myself stupid over the insanity.”
“We should have made some things clear to Diana. She acts like one of us so much, I forget she comes from a very high society family. This is how the rich does it for weddings. So, my darling streetrat, welcome to the world of the rich.”
Dee rolled his eyes. “Too bad JJ canceled.” He chuckled.
“I'm glad he did. He'd have been beside himself with excitement. We already have Carol out there with enough. Then he'd probably have lots of fashion advice to make things go longer. Still….” Ryo grinned. “That would have been amusing too. I can't wait until he finds out what he missed out.”
Dee winked. “Nah. Hopefully Drake is worth missing out on a private fashion show in our place.”
Ryo laughed. “I hope so too. Hey, the kettle is whistling. You make the tea and I'll get the muffins.”
*** *** ***
“Right on time,” Ryo greeted his aunt and uncle as he opened the door. In a lower tone, he said, “Now settle down quick so we can get this over and done with. However, we need you to take pictures on your digital, Elena.”
“Hmm?” Elena asked, reaching up to hug Ryo as if she did not see him earlier for lunch.
“What is all this?” Rick asked, taking off his coat, then helping Elena with hers. His attention was in the living room.
Ryo rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath. To his aunt and uncle he stated, “A fashion show to select the women's outfits for the wedding.”
“Oh?” Rick asked neutrally. He looked as if he was not sure to bolt while he had the chance, or start laughing at his nephew's predicament. He also knew Ryo was venting while he had the chance, before he went back to playing the good little host. If Ryo was annoyed, Rick surmised, then he had to wonder about Dee. His eyes scanned the room, seeking out Dee. He noticed his almost nephew-in-law sitting on the couch and looking through a leather bound portfolio with some young man Rick would swear he had never seen before, but seemed vaguely familiar to him.
Ryo noticed what his uncle was looking at. “Dee's going through options for his wedding suit with Marcel. We figured to get that over with while we held things up with the gowns,” Ryo explained. “And we were holding things up because I decided I was not going to deal with her pouting because she walked in halfway through a private fashion show.” Ryo indicated his aunt, mischief twinkling in his dark eyes. “I have enough irritation already tonight, thank you.”
“Anymore sass like that, young man, and you could take your own photos,” Elena pouted, but both men were able to tell she was teasing. “A private fashion show? Right here in your place? Do tell me how this has come about?' Elena was grinning, obviously enjoying Ryo's discomfort, along with the prospect of looking at a fashion show to determine which gowns will be worn at her nephew's wedding. Everything was starting to go along as she had planned, despite Dee's protests for anything beyond a simple wedding at the beginning.
“Diana,” Ryo groaned. “She managed to weed the choices down to only twenty-five and can't seem to weed anything else out. So we're having a fashion show so hopefully Dee and I could decide. Of course any input you might have would be a huge help, I'm certain. This was totally unannounced too. Diana should be lucky this place is clean, bringing all these upscale people here.”
Rick laughed. “Diana knows you, son. Of course this place is clean.” He lightly touched Elena's arm. “Dearest, isn't that woman one of the biddies your mom used to hang with?”
Elena snorted. “Really Rick. Mother would never `hang' with anyone. But yes, Claire Chantrel was one of Mother's social acquaintances.” She looked to Ryo. “In fact, she had your mom's wedding gown customized by the designer of the original design.”
“Oh,” Ryo remarked. He had seen enough of his parents' wedding photos. His mother's wedding gown was beaded with pearls and crystals on the bodice with fine thin veins of beading down her skirt. Her glittering train trailing far behind her. He remembered what his grandfather had said about his mother accepting the MacLean wedding fund and was glad of it. He understood then. His mother truly had a fairy princess wedding in her gown, in the garden of an estate manor used for weddings. The garden was decorated in the fashion of a Japanese garden, complete with a bridge going over the small stream that ran through the grounds. The reception was held in the manor itself. His mother had told him about his parents wedding several times, and he knew if she had the chance to do it all over again differently, she wouldn't change a thing. Most important, his parents wedding was a grandiose and elegant wedding without it being too over the top. Ryo realized that was what he wanted for himself, along with giving Dee, who still thought of himself as a street rat, his fairy prince wedding. Thankfully, Dee was open to ideas and what they had planned so far felt like it had the same qualities as his parents' wedding.
“How's Bikky holding up?” Rick asked, bringing Ryo out of his thoughts.
“He locked himself in his room, the first chance he had to escape,” Ryo replied and had to smile despite himself.
Elena nodded, then smiled. “Fine. Rick, why don't you get Bikky and take him to an arcade or something for a while? We'll call when it's safe for you to come back.”
“I say, yes dear, and I'm on my way. Pronto!” Rick remarked, kissing his wife's cheek. Ryo lead them into the living room. After greetings were made, Rick slipped into Bikky's room and soon after, the two departed from the apartment.
Dee stared wistfully as he waved to his son and watched them go.
“Now that we're all here and settled, shall we start the show?” Diana asked.
“Please,” Ryo sighed.
“Very well,” Madam Chantrel exclaimed. “I'll get the first gown out for your viewing. Marcel, get the music cued up please. Now just sit back and enjoy everyone.”
Ryo sat down next to Dee, who put his arm around him. His dark haired fiancé buried his face in his neck and sighed. “Oh well,” he muttered.
“I know, Dee, I know. Diana will pay dearly for this,” Ryo whispered in Dee's ear.
“Aw, look at the lovebirds whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears,” Elena cooed, smiling at the two men.
Ryo wanted snap out a comeback, but any sound that came out of his mouth was drowned out by the sudden blast of music, as the first model entered the living room.
### ### ### ### ###
A/N: Time for thanks to those who helped getting this chapter out. Many thanks to my beta, Dawn, for doing another awesome. And the first scene of this chapter, I got lots of help from Gracie Musica and her Ryo muse. Thanks for putting up with me once again and helping me get through a part I got stuck on.
Big thanks to MangaChild420. Here's your next chapter. And chapter 12 just might be out sooner than usual. ^__^