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FAKE First Year Together: Justice, ch. 1
Dee: What the f*ck are you looking at?
brit_columbia
Hello again Fake readers,

I had originally planned to have a break between A New Day and Justice, but ultimately I decided not to, mainly because of the fact that the plot of A New Day was quite  convoluted and many of the threads from it weave right into Justice. I thought people would be less confused if I just kept going. It's easier to forget plot details when you have to wait a really long time.  At least that's true for me. I also didn't want to lose my momentum, so here we are again!

FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June)
by Brit Columbia 

Chapter 1 : Sleeping Dogs

Fandom: Fake 
Pairing: Dee/Ryo
Rating: Mature. WORKSAFE. No one is a bad boy. Dee tries, but Ryo shoots him down.
Spoilers: To Volume 7. Also, there are spoiler alerts for  FAKE First Year Together: a new day(May), the fanfic I wrote that is set before this one. 
Timing:  Set in June of Dee and Ryo's first year together.  They have just recently become a couple in May. A New Day left off on Sunday night.  This story begins a couple of days later on Tuesday afternoon. Also, my short story  legal briefs took place earlier in the same day that Justice opens on.
Summary: Ryo is coming to terms with what it means to be a gay man in a straight world. He and Dee are also hunting the dangerous Lieutenant Abernathy...but who is hunting whom? 
Disclaimer:  I am not making any money for the writing of this work of fanfiction, nor do I own Fake or any of the characters created by Sanami Matoh.  The Abernathy family is mine, however, and so are Detectives James Chang of the 27th and Bill Mitchell of the 62nd Precincts. Detective Marty Danes is the 'Marty' who never even got a speaking role way back in Fake, Volume 1.
Author's notes: If you haven't read A New Day, it may be a little harder for you to figure out what's going on, but not impossible. Also, the Irish language is apparently called 'Gaelige' not Gaelic, but I had Thomas refer to it as Gaelic because most people have heard that word before, whereas Gaeilge is likely to be a new one on most people, who might even mistake it for a place.
Thank you to mtemplar and the_ladyfeather.

FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June)
by Brit Columbia 

Chapter 1 : Sleeping Dogs

In their office on the fourth floor of the NYPD's 27th precinct, Detectives Dee Laytner and Ryo MacLean appeared to be hard at work. However, closer observation would have revealed that neither one was giving the papers and files in front of him his full attention.

Unlike Ryo, however, Dee wasn't even trying. First, he played drums for a while with a couple of pencils, earning him a glare from his partner that caused him to stop. Then he stared out of the window while calculating his odds of winning the NBA office pool. Then he wrote out a to-do list that had very little to do with work. When he wasn't doing those and other things, he was watching his partner. He loved watching Ryo. His whole life had changed the day Ryo had started working at the 27th Precinct.


They had been police partners for almost three years, and recently they had become lovers. That last fact, however, was something that they were still keeping a secret, particularly from their co-workers. Dee had had the honor of being Ryo's first-ever male sexual partner, and he hoped he would be the last one, too. Bisexual since his teens, and out of the closet for almost that long, Dee was a man who was confident in his sexuality. Ryo, on the other hand, was much more conservative by nature, and not the kind of person who took well to change. He had made it clear to Dee that he needed time to adjust to what he had learned about himself, and that he didn't want the world to know just yet. Dee accepted that. What else could he do? He understood that Ryo had a process to go through and that he couldn't be rushed. Besides, he was just  grateful that Ryo had finally said yes to him, had finally admitted the depths of his feelings. Hell, if Ryo had told him that the only time they could have sex together was on Tuesdays between five and seven AM, Dee would have agreed. Any terms were worth it to love and be loved by Ryo.

But now, his covert observation of his partner was telling him two things. One, Ryo was on edge about something time-oriented and two, he was either sore or horny, judging by the way he shifted about in his chair every so often.

"Ryo, dude, what's up? It's not like you to watch the clock."

"I wasn't watching the clock."

"Oh no, of course not! And Drake doesn't have lousy taste in women, either. And the Sea Hag never bought a push-up bra or a micro-mini in her life."

"Dee, have you finished transcribing your notes?"

"Not exactly."

"Why the hell not?"

"Tell me again why I had to take the notes this time?" Dee scowled resentfully at his partner.

"Perhaps because it was your turn?" There was a hard edge to Ryo's voice. "Perhaps because I'm your partner and not your personal assistant?"

"Aw Ryo, you know I didn't mean it like that," said Dee placatingly. "It's just that when you take the notes, we can actually read 'em." He turned his pocket notebook sideways and squinted at it. "There are whole sentences here that I can't read, even though I'm the one who wrote them."

"I'm not falling for that bullshit line, so don't even go there." Ryo glanced at the clock for a second while he was talking. 

"What bullshit line would that be?" Dee asked innocently.

"The one where you pretend you can't read your own writing and dump the transcribing job on me." Ryo's attention seemed to be wholly on a comparison he was doing between two case files. He didn't even look at Dee as he spoke. "Your memory for case details has always been good. Reconstruct the interview from memory if you have to."

Dee sighed at this demonstration of heartlessness, but he didn't miss the way Ryo's eyes jumped once more to the clock and back. What could it be? Dee thought hard, and suddenly he realized what was probably on Ryo's mind.

"Hey, Ryo, what time was Abernathy's flight supposed to be leaving?"

Michael Abernathy, a lieutenant with Internal Affairs, was an adversary of Dee and Ryo's. They had spent most of the month of May trying to obtain hard evidence that the man was using his badge and his status as an IA agent as a means of engaging in several illegal activities, from drug running to the sale of stolen property. They also suspected that lieutenant Abernathy had been involved in at least two murders. Every time they got close to being able to catch him or get their hands on some proof of his activities, he had managed to turn the tables on them. Scant days before their Commissioner-approved surveillance of Abernathy was to commence, they had learned that the man had obtained medical leave and was actually flying to Florida, which was a little out of their jurisdiction, to put it mildly.

"Four twenty-five." With great difficulty, Ryo kept his eyes from darting to the clock. He knew what time it was.

"Hmph. So in fifteen minutes that plane will be in the air and he won't be our problem for a few weeks."

"Yep. Unless this is just another part of his game and he has no intention of getting on the plane."

"You could call and ask if he's checked in."

"I did. He has."

"So you think he'd go all the way to the airport and then not get on the plane?" Dee looked skeptical. "That would mean throwing away a five-thousand-dollar air and hotel package. I don't think he'd lightly do that."

"He would if he had a lot more money than that at stake in a deal with one of the gangs. We know he was recently involved with the Dyre Steet Devils, and you can bet that was all about money."

"Yeah, but they took a real bad hit in that warehouse explosion. If they don't get their leadership issues straightened out ASAP, I give 'em a week, tops, before they get overrun. The Devils would be a bad horse for Abernathy to back right now." Dee shook his head. "Nope. If I were him, I'd wait out all the mayhem in a swank hotel in Florida and then come back when the worst was over to pick up all the fruit lying on the ground."

"I disagree," said Ryo. "The devils are a long way from being down and out. While it's true they're having power struggles in their chain of command, someone there has been doing some heavy recruiting for new guys. They've done a better job of bringing their numbers up in the last few days than the Stone Bloods."

"Yeah? Did Marty confirm that?"

"Not yet. I haven't seen Marty since Sunday. I got it from one of my street contacts."

Detective Marty Danes was one of the NYPD's foremost experts on New York gangs. He was a member of a multi-precinct task force whose aim was to reduce the power and influence of the gangs over the next five years. He had been working a lot of overtime since a huge explosion at a Brooklyn warehouse had killed most of the Stone Blood Boys, one third of the Dyre Street Devils, and several of Corporate America's best men, including its leader, Frank Rizzo.

"Well, I still don't think Abernathy is stupid enough to stick around for all the shit that's going on. There have been too many hits in the last few days." Dee snapped a pencil across the room and it bounced off the cork bulletin board. "He doesn't strike me as a guy who'd let himself be caught anywhere near the crossfire."

Ryo sighed and looked at the clock again. "You may be right. I mean, it's logical. It's just that that he's always catching us with our pants down."

Dee's one-track mind zeroed in on the two most important words in Ryo's last sentence. His eyes gleamed at his partner. "Well, we both had our pants down at your lawyer's office this morning, and we didn't get c--"

"Dee!" Ryo hissed warningly. "Knock it off." He glanced nervously at the door, the clock forgotten.

"Sorry, dude." Dee stretched like a big cat and then grinned irrepressibly at the blushing man across from him. "It's just that I really enjoyed cross-examining your gorgeous habeas corpus, tearing apart your legal briefs and discharging my duty far up inside your--Oi!" He hastily dodged as a stapler came flying at his head.

"Dee, we're at work for Pete's sake!" Ryo cast about angrily for something else to throw. "Don't you have a professional bone in your whole body?" He picked up a pair of scissors and then discarded them, to Dee's intense relief. "Get your mind out of the gutter--" he scored a direct hit with his water bottle-- "and back on your notes!"

"Ow! Do you have to be so damn violent?"

"You're welcome to go downstairs and file a grievance if you can't handle working with me!"

"Oh, I can handle you, all right," Dee began with swaggering bravado, but backed away in the direction of the door when he saw the look on Ryo's face. "Well, I think I'm gonna go downstairs anyway, and grab a coffee. Want one?"

"I want a goddamn replacement coffee mug!" Ryo called after him. Dee had broken it almost six weeks ago and had been promising to replace it ever since.

Ted stuck his head out into the hall as Dee strolled past. "What the hell's all that yelling about, dude? Some of us are trying to think in here."

"What yelling?" asked Dee indignantly. "That's called 'working', Ted, you slacker. And don't tell me you 'think' more than a couple times a day."

Ted gave Dee's retreating form the finger and returned to his desk.

"Is Dee-Sempai okay? Did Ryo hurt him?" JJ asked anxiously.

"Nothin' to worry about," said Ted dismissively. "Just another one of their lovers' spats."

"Lovers? Them? No way!" JJ snorted in disbelief. "Really, Ted, don't you know anything?"

&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&

Bikky was standing near the basketball court at Dundarave park exchanging insults with the younger sister of one of the Southside boys.

"You're not a bad player," she conceded, "for such a little guy. But my brother can shoot rings around you."

"Your brother ain't that hot, Jill," was Bikky's rejoinder. "He's just the best player on a crappy team, which ain't sayin' much."

Jill took a drag of her long, skinny menthol cigarette while she thought of a suitable retort. She had fancy red nails with little diamond things sparkling on them. Bikky bounced his basketball rapidly to the left and then the right. He considered that there was no way a person could play any kind of sport with fingernails like that. But then Jill, with her cigarettes and her tough-girl attitude didn't come across as the athletic type. She was more of a groupie who never missed a chance to suck up to the better players on her brother's team. She was a year or so older than Bikky was, and always acted like she was way too cool to talk to 'a little kid' like him. Yet, every time their paths crossed, she was the one who made the first move.

"My brother could be the best player on anybody's team, including yours. You could never even come close to outshooting him with those short little arms and legs of yours." She blew smoke out sideways and her eyes flickered up and down his frame.


"Long legs don't make up for no talent." He took a step back from her so he could dribble his basketball a few times on the concrete between them, and then turned his head to glare at those Southside bastards. It looked like they were going to be late getting out of there again, even though their time was up and they knew it.

"Oh look," she said silkily. "Here comes that little homo, Tommy Abernathy. You cops' kids really stick together, don't you?"

Anger flared inside Bikky but he quickly suppressed it without showing it. "Never show pain," his old man used to say by way of fatherly advice in the old days. "Stay on your feet and give 'em the old one-two with a smile on your face."

Bikky was not in the habit of giving the old one-two to girls. He was also mostly pretty careful about insulting them, too. Girls could be vicious, and he had learned the hard way that if he was too rude to certain chicks, it could sometimes have repercussions on Carol.

"Hey Jill, go kiss your brother's ass one more time for luck. He just missed a real easy shot over there." 

Bikky smirked as she instinctively turned to look, then he nodded at Thomas.

"Yo, Tom. Whassup? Did you meet your aunt yet?"

Jill sniffed contemptuously and strolled away, leaving a cloud of menthol smoke in her wake.


"Um, no," said Thomas, sounding confused. "I don't know what's going on."

"Well, did your parents leave yet?"

"I think so."

"You think so?"

"My mom was s'posed to pick up my aunt at the airport when I was at school this morning, but neither of them came back to the apartment, according to Dad."

"So, is your dad at home then?"

"No. No one's there. It's weird."

"Is your aunt stayin' in a hotel or something?"

"No. Dad said she'd be staying in the apartment with me. She's gonna be using Mom's keys while she's away. Except she's kinda disappeared."

"Do you know if your parents caught their flight?"

"Well, I know my dad went to the airport with his suitcases because he called me at school to say good-bye. He said Mom was gonna meet him at the airport." He shrugged his shoulders and looked uncomfortable. "When she said good-bye to me this morning, she..." He hesitated, not knowing how to put it into words. "Something's wrong, I think, but I don't know what it is."

Bikky slapped the chain link fence a couple of times and yelled, "Hey, Southside! Time's up, losers!" One of the Southside players, a tall, skinny dude Bikky knew of as Fido loped near the back of the court and gave the two boys the finger in passing. Thomas, whose mind was on his own troubles, didn't notice. Kenny, Jim and Dave were already inside the court, checking their watches. They looked at Bikky a little anxiously.  Bikky swore under his breath.

"My dad had a big argument with someone on the phone in Gaelic," said Thomas. "I couldn't understand what it was about."

"Do you think he was fighting with your aunt?"

"Maybe. But you see--"

Bikky cut him off. "Sorry, Tom, but I gotta go tell these dickheads they're eating into our time. They're not gonna get off that court unless I kick 'em off."

"Oh...er, sure. Um, are you gonna fight?" Thomas temporarily forgot about his problems at the promise of a little excitement on the Dundarave Basketball Courts.

"Probably not," said Bikky, thinking of Ryo. "But I'm still gonna kick 'em off the court. Assholes." He turned to walk toward the gate where the rest of his friends were waiting. "Listen, if you're still alone later, gimme a call. If something has happened to your--I mean, if your aunt has gotten lost or something, chances are good Ryo can help. 'Kay?"

"Sure. Thanks, Bikky!" Relief and gratitude lit up Thomas' face. Bikky was almost a year younger than he was, but he always felt like Bikky was older and more capable than most kids he knew. Plus, Bikky had the coolest dad. Tall, handsome, kind, sympathetic, and... gay. Thomas' own father had not reacted well to the news that his son was gay. He was still deeply disgusted by it. Thomas sighed.

He stayed while Bikky got the Southsiders off the court, grinning at the sheer quality of the insults Bikky flung at the other team. One of the many things he admired about Bikky was the seeming fearlessness with which the younger boy faced up to any challenge.

When basketball practice started, however, he found his attention starting to wander. Basketball wasn't really a strong interest of his, and he had other things on his mind. He waved and called out a good-bye to Bikky on the court, but Bikky didn't hear him. The game went on behind him as he trudged away. He could hear the cheers, shouts, the slap-slap-slap of running feet, the thunk of the ball hitting the frame behind the hoop and the metallic rattle of someone rebounding off the chain link fence that surrounded the court. Those were the sounds of a world he would never understand or be admitted to. He wondered what it would be like to be part of a team, to function as one unit, to have teammates at your back, in your corner. To be an honored, valued member of a group that had a job to do. To have no fear of stripping down in the change room because someone might see... Thomas pushed those thoughts out of his head. His father was gone for a while, no loss there. Now he just had to find his aunt Margaret. He was a little worried about that, because he knew she was his father's sister. He hoped she was kind and gentle and didn't whip people just because they made mistakes or listened to loud music, or because they were gay. No matter what, he wasn't going to let her drag him off to Ireland. Here in America, in the city of New York, at least he knew where he stood according to the law. But Ireland? That would be anyone's guess.

&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&

"Oh my God, I'm gonna barf!" exclaimed Detective James Chang, turning away from the screen with a grimace. Then he caught JJ's hostile glare, and added, "No offense to present company."

Marty, unperturbed as usual, turned his head and grinned at James. "You think this is bad? Wait til you have to watch hours of kiddie-porn. That'll make you barf for days."

"Yeah," JJ put in. "What's your problem? This is just some raunchy man-on-man bedroom behavior. Looks consenting to me. Apart from the fact that Hogan is high as a kite, he seems to be really into it."

"Oooh, and there's the money shot," said Dee wickedly.

"I refuse to look," said James. "I think I've seen enough. I can't believe you guys are actually getting off on this."

"I'm getting off on what this represents," said Marty. "This is one gangbanger we're never gonna hear a peep out of ever again. I can't wait to see the look on his face when I tell him about his starring role in this little amateur art film. I wonder if he even knows about it?"

"Maybe not. He looks pretty drunk," said Detective Mitchell, shifting uncomfortably in his chair. His face looked a little flushed, and he glanced at JJ shyly.

"Okay, is it over now?" James asked, tentatively looking back at the screen. What he saw there made him recoil. "Aw, sweet Jesus, don't tell me they're starting up again! Why do we have to watch this? Don't we have enough on him already?"


"Well, you don't have to watch it," Marty conceded. "You just need to confirm in your report that this is the same video Danny B-Jack gave us yesterday. However, I still have to choose my perfect ten second clip just in case Hogan has trouble remembering his madcap past. I need something that shows him looking straight at the camera, preferably while there's some full penetration happening."

"Okay, coffee time for me!" James shot out of his chair and practically ran out of the room, to the accompaniment of Dee and Marty's raucous laughter.

"Looks like the other guy is going at him now," said JJ, indicating the monitor.

"Whoa, baby," said Marty to the screen. "There's my third and best possibility yet. Come on Hogan, look right at us...Bingo!"

Detective Mitchell cleared his throat and said in a subdued voice, "I think I need to get a little air, too," and quickly walked out of the room after James.

"Bill?" JJ called after him. "Hey Dee, do you think he's upset?"

"Nah, I think he just needs to, er, 'calm down' in the men's room."

"Huh? Do you think he's, like, turned on by this freaky movie?"

"Only if he likes hairy bears with scars and bad teeth," snorted Dee, and Marty laughed again. "But who knows? Some people do."

"Hmm," said JJ looking a little worried. "Maybe I'd better go and see if he's okay."

"You do that," said Dee knowingly. "He'll probably be real glad to see you."

Marty shook his head with a wry smile as JJ also exited the room. "They're all leaving us, brother," he said to Dee. "Where's their sense of professionalism?"

"Who knows?" said Dee with a smirk. "But if I were you, I wouldn't go near the men's room for a while."

&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&

The microwave had just dinged to let Bikky know his leftovers were ready, when his cell phone rang. "Yo," he said into the phone as he popped the door of the microwave open. The heavenly smell of cheesy meat lasagna filled his nostrils.

"Bikky? It's m-me, Thomas." The voice sounded breathless, maybe even tearful, which put Bikky instantly on red alert.

"You okay, Tom?"


"N-n-n-not r-r-eally," came the reply. "It's--Everyone's--The apartm-m-m-ment..." His teeth were chattering so badly that Bikky could barely make out what he was saying.

"Tom, is your aunt there? Did she call?"

"N-no...She didn't c-call..I ha-av-haven't s-s-seen her yet..."

"What's the matter? What's going on?"

"I d-dunno." Thomas took a tremulous breath." The ap-partment l-l-looks like a cyc-c-clone hit it. Stuff sm-mashed. I'm s-scared, Bikky!"

"Get out of there, right now, Tom! Wait for me in the lobby! I'll be there in ten minutes."

&^&^&^&^&^&

Bikky stood in the living room of the Abernathy family's once posh apartment, surveying the wreckage with a doubtful eye.

"Holy crap," he said to Thomas. "You weren't kidding when you said it was like a tornado went through here. It looks like you guys have been robbed. Maybe someone heard that your folks were going on vacation." Bikky reached out and gripped Thomas' shoulder reassuringly. "It's okay, man. Whoever did this is gone now. "

Thomas looked at him with scared eyes. "H-how do you know?"

"Well, IF they'd still been there when you called, they would have run down the back stairs when you came down to wait for me in the lobby. Burglars usually don't wanna have to deal with people. They just wanna get in, grab some stuff with street value and get out."

"Bikky, h-how can you be so c-calm?"

Bikky shrugged. What did Tom expect him to say--'Because my first dad was a drug dealer and all his friends were thieves and muggers?' He wasn't going to say that. Carol was right when she said that if you kept your mouth shut about your past, then slowly everyone would forget.

"Is all your good stuff still here?" Bikky asked.

I don't know! H-How would I know?" Thomas looked around helplessly.

"Well, is anything valuable missing?"

"I don't know. I don't know what's valuable and what isn't!"

Bikky rolled his eyes because he just couldn't help it. "Come on, Tom. Does your mom have any good jewelery? Do your folks keep cash lying around? Is the TV here? Computers?"

"Y-yeah," whispered Thomas taking a couple of slow steps into the dining room. "The TV's still there, see? It's j-just smashed. I... I don't know about Mom's stuff. She packed a lot of it before sh-she left this morning."

Bikky got out his cell phone, and started dialing. "Whatever. Anyway, you can't stay here tonight. Your folks are gone, and who knows where the hell your aunt is. I'm gonna call Ryo."

Unfortunately, he got Ryo's voice mail. "Hey, Ryo. Don't be pissed off, okay? I'm at Tom's place. I know I'm not supposed to be here, but his parents are gone, so I thought it would be okay. Anyway, he's real upset 'cause it looks like someone has smashed up his whole apartment...Can you call me back ASAP?" He snapped the phone shut and said, "Tom, do you---"

"Oh my God!" squeaked Thomas, springing back and clutching at Bikky's arm. "Did you hear that?"

Bikky froze and listened. Then he heard it, a soft groan that issued from just beyond the overturned loveseat.

"Who's there?" he called with a bravado that he owed entirely to the fact that he and Tom were both within dashing distance of the door.

There was a mumbled answer, which he couldn't make out at all, thanks to Thomas hyperventilating hysterically right next to his ear. He wished Ryo would call him back right fucking now. He had to make a decision: get out immediately or investigate? He knew that the smart answer would be the first one, but at the same time, he was really curious. Besides, what if someone was hurt? That was what it sounded like. Maybe it was Tom's aunt!

"Let go, man." He shook Thomas off, not even consciously aware yet that he had made his decision. "Stay here."

"Bikky! You're not..."

"Yeah, I am. Shhh, okay?" Bikky moved cautiously forward in a crouch until he was directly behind the loveseat. Now he could smell something gross. It was puke. God, he'd know that smell anywhere. How many times had he had to clean up his old man's barf in the bad old days? Too many to count.

"Can you see anything?" whispered Thomas loudly from somewhere behind him.

"Shhh!" Bikky frowned back at him before peeking over the edge of the small couch. In addition to the puke, there was a smell of booze, too. Cushions and papers everywhere. Smashed glass from a coffee table or an end table. A pair of legs sticking out from under a couple of sofa cushions. The sight made Bikky recoil and jump back, his eyes wide and his heart thumping.

"What? What is it?" Tom was practically crying, and it was that more than anything that made Bikky pull himself together. Someone had to take charge here, and it sure wasn't going to be Tom. He was conscious of a feeling of relief that the legs and feet he had seen belonged to a man, not a woman. That meant it wasn't Tom's aunt lying on the floor groaning.

"There's a guy on your floor," Bikky said. "I think he's...well, drunk."

"What?"

"Come and see for yourself," Bikky said, beckoning in invitation. "Look at those bottles."

"Oh.My.God." Thomas was staring, clearly horrified. "I think that's my dad."

"What? He's not gone?"

"I guess not!" Thomas still looked scared. "I don't get it. He called me from the airport."

"Let's get these cushions off him and see if he's okay."

Together the two boys lifted the loveseat cushions off Tom's father and disentangled him from the tasseled afghan throw that normally would have been draped over the sofa. He lay on his side, unconscious, disheveled and stinking. There was a small pile of vomit on the sofa next to him, and some of it had dried on his face. There was an empty bottle of whiskey standing upright amongst the glass shards and a partially full bottle of rum resting against the wreckage of some kind of flower arrangement.

"Is he dead?" asked Thomas timidly.

"Nope," said Bikky. "His color's too good for him to be dead. Besides, his breath would knock over a buffalo, and dead people don't breathe."

"I think vampires do," said Thomas.

"No they don't," said Bikky definitively. "They don't need to, on account of being dead."

"Okay, zombies, then."

Bikky gave him an impatient look. "They don't breathe, either! They're dead, too, idiot! 'Dead' equals 'no breathing'."

"How do you know? Have you ever seen a zombie?"

"Yeah, my math teacher!" Bikky grinned at him. "I'm sure he eats the brains of the kids in detention."

"And does he look like that?" Thomas indicated the figure on the floor.

"Tom, are you calling your dad a zombie?"

Both boys collapsed in a fit of the giggles, laughing hysterically as relief set in. The lame zombie joke wouldn't have ordinarily struck Bikky as being that funny, but they had both been so scared and so on edge that now they couldn't stop themselves. Bikky thumped Thomas' back, and Thomas pounded the floor. They hooted and guffawed, tears running down their faces, until Bikky suddenly realized that all this noise might cause Tom's dad to wake up and he sure didn't want to be around for that. Accordingly he stopped laughing and anxiously checked the 'zombie'. Still asleep. Good. But that could change at any minute.

"Tom..." he gasped. "Tom, quit laughing."

"Why?" Thomas went off into a fresh riff of giggles.

"When he wakes up, he's gonna be drunk and pissed off. Let's not wake him up."

"Oh yeah," said Thomas sobering. "He's even more of an asshole than usual when he's drunk."

The two boys took another look at the snoring figure on the floor. Lieutenant Michael Abernathy wasn't a big man, but to Bikky, there was something imposing about him, even when he was passed out intoxicated with dried barf on his face. Thomas just looked kind of disgusted at the sight of his father in such an undignified state.

There was a cracked blue glass bowl nearby which had once been beautiful. Bikky saw a blackened piece of paper in it. "What's that?" he asked, pointing to it.

"I dunno." Thomas reached for it. The burned parts broke off and partially disintegrated as he picked the letter up. "It's my mom's writing." He looked at it for a moment, frowning. "It's hard to read--too much of it is burned.  What does 'annulment' mean?"

"Beats me," said Bikky whose eye had fallen on a shoe box full of photographs. About half of them had spilled out, and some of them appeared to have been torn to bits. "Hey, is this you?" He held up a picture of a young woman whom Bikky took to be Thomas' mom balancing a chubby, laughing toddler on her lap.

Thomas looked at it and smiled. "Yep, that's me. God, look how they dressed me."

"You're lucky to have baby pictures," Bikky said. "We don't have any of me." He closed his mouth quickly, instantly regretting having spoken.

"How come?"

Bikky shrugged and tried to look like he didn't give a shit. "There was a fire when I was a little kid. I don't remember it. Lots of stuff got burned, computer, photo albums, everything." Actually, he did remember it, very well, in fact. He just didn't want to talk about it.

"That's too bad, Bikky." Thomas looked at him with compassion for a moment before holding up another photo and grinning. "But at least you know that no one will ever see a picture of you looking like this!" It was another one of himself at about one and a half or two years old with wild hair and only two teeth.

Bikky opened his mouth to say something suitably smart-ass, when suddenly his attention was caught by the other person in the picture. This time, instead of Mrs. Abernathy, baby Thomas was held in the arms of a man. A very familiar looking man.

"Hey, Tom, who's that guy?"

"I don't know." Thomas flipped the photo over. "There's nothing on the back."

"Let me see it." Bikky took the photo and stared at it. "Jeez!" he exclaimed. "Who does he remind you of, Tom?"

Thomas frowned at the photo. "He looks like...your dad." He raised his head and met Bikky's eyes wonderingly. "That's so freaky!"

"Yeah, it sure is. Hey, are there any more of him?" Bikky started sifting through the pictures, discarding one after the other. "Here he is again," said Thomas handing Bikky another picture, this time one with three men who all stood squinting into the sunlight with a cathedral behind them. "That guy in the middle is my uncle Marcus. He died a long time ago. That's my dad on the right, back when he had more hair. But the guy on the left--Gee, he sure does look like Ryo, huh?"

"Yeah, said Bikky. "I thought the first picture might be a fluke, but now I know it wasn't." He turned it over and read the single sentence on the back. Me, Marcus and the bastard. Still no clue as to the guy's identity. But clearly Tom's dad didn't like him very much.

"Hey," said Thomas thoughtfully. "Has your dad ever been to Ireland? Maybe our dads knew each other when they were young and something happened there and that's why they hate each other now."

Bikky shook his head. "Nah. Ryo and I went to England, but not Ireland. He would have told me if he ever went there. Besides, these pictures were taken more than ten years ago when your family still lived in Ireland. Ryo would have been a teenager then." He tapped the picture with the back of one finger. "This guy in the picture doesn't look like a teenager. He looks like Ryo does now."

"Yeah, you're right. It couldn't be him." Thomas shook his head slowly, but then an idea struck him and he looked quickly at Bikky. "Does he have an older brother, though? Or a cousin?"

Bikky couldn't stop staring at the picture. This whole evening was getting more surreal by the minute. "He doesn't have any brothers, but he does have a few cousins. I could ask him. Hey, do you mind if I borrow this picture for a couple of days? I wanna show it to him."

"I don't mind," Thomas replied. "Why not? This place is such a mess, I'm sure my dad won't notice."

Bikky nodded and as they stood up, and looked once more at the ruined apartment, a small silence fell between them. Bikky wondered why Ryo hadn't called him. It had been at least fifteen minutes. He pulled out his phone to call Ryo again, and at that moment, the phone rang in his hands, making him jump and swear.

"Jeez, Ryo, I coulda been dead by now!" he said as soon as he had flipped his phone open. "Way to take your time!"

"Bikky, where are you?" Ryo sounded really intense. "Are you still at Thomas' apartment? If so, get out of there now! Now, do you hear me?"

"Okay, okay, we're goin'. Come on Thomas."

"Are you out of there yet?"

"Almost. Tom's just grabbing his book bag. Okay, we're walking through the door...Heading for the elevator...Pressing the button..."

"Bikky, what happened? Why did you go there?"

"Thomas called me 'cause his aunt who was s'posed to take care of him never showed up, and then when he got home, he found his whole apartment had been trashed. He was freaked out, Ryo. He didn't know what to do."

"Why didn't you call 911?"

"Cause I called you, fat lot of good that did me." Bikky was back on the offensive.

"I'm sorry, Bikky, I was in the middle of questioning a witness. I called you as soon as I could."

"Well, it's just a damn good thing I wasn't actually in trouble, wasn't it?"

Ryo ignored that and said, "Look, I'm on my way. I'll call you from the road, okay? But do NOT go back inside that apartment for any reason, do you hear me? I'm serious, Bikky. Whoever broke into that apartment may still be hanging around. Go wait downstairs with the doorman."

"Yeah, yeah, jeez. Bye."

&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&

Dee faced the sullen youth at the table in Questioning Room Two. "You know we've got your DNA on file from that incident with the cabbie two years back," he remarked.

The kid snorted contemptuously. "I was a minor," he said. "You cain't use it."

"Maybe not. But it's one more step in the case we're building on you. Battista's girlfriend picked you out of the lineup, don't forget."

"Bitch hates me. 'M not surprised."

"If she hates you, it's 'cause you and your homeys shot her man and tried to shoot her."

"You got the wrong guy! Wuzn't me. How many times I got to tell ya?"

"Everyone from here to Brooklyn knows it was you, CC."

"'Cept all those people at the party I was at! They signed them 'Daf... them 'David things for ya. Ya think they all lyin'?"

"I think that if we start looking closely at where your friends really were and what they were really doing, some of those stories are gonna crack under the pressure," said Dee, who was quite enjoying himself. Too bad Ryo was missing this part. "We got enough to hold you. Bail is gonna be more than Reggie's gonna want to pay in these troubled times, no matter how grateful he is. If I were you..." He trailed off as the door suddenly opened and Ryo jerked his head at him in a 'come here' motion. He looked so serious that Dee got to his feet immediately.

"CC, my man, you got some thinking to do," he said. "Take your time! We've got all night."

When he got outside the room, Ryo was waiting for him in the hall, practically vibrating with excitement. "Dee, come on, grab your jacket because we're leaving right now."

"Huh? What about CC? I got him worried. In another hour, we might be able to--"

"Never mind about him! Let Sheldon have a crack at him next. We've got something bigger to go after."

"Well, fill me in, partner." Dee found he had to hurry just to keep up with Ryo who was bounding up the stairs ahead of him.

"I just got a call from Bikky," Ryo called back over his shoulder. "He's with Thomas. At Thomas' apartment. There's been a break-in and the place is apparently trashed. Sounds like a robbery."

Dee stopped dead. "What? You're shittin' me."

"Come ON! Don't stop moving. You know what this means. This is the chance we've been waiting for. We can't get a warrant to search Abernathy's apartment because we don't have enough evidence to apply for one. But if a crime has been committed, that's our ticket in! Get your butt in gear, or I'm going without you."

&^&^&^&^&

About five minutes later, Bikky's cell phone rang again. It was Ryo.

"Okay, we're on our way," he said. "Where are you and Thomas now?"

"Waiting in the lobby."

"Good. Stay there. Dee and I will be with you in a few minutes. There's a patrol car right behind us."

Bikky cast an uneasy look over his shoulder at the elevators. They remained still and closed. No little lights came on. He couldn't imagine why he was looking at them. He had only just managed to tear his eyes away from them when he became aware that Ryo was speaking again. "'Scuse me, what was that, Ryo?"

Ryo had returned to his questioning. "I asked what exactly Thomas' apartment looks like right now. You said in your message that there were signs of vandalism. Do you think it was a robbery?"

"Probably," said Bikky, "but Tom wasn't sure if anything had been taken. It's a real mess, Ryo. Broken stuff everywhere."

"Was anyone in the apartment?"

"Well, at first we thought no one was there, but then we found Tom's dad passed out drunk under some sofa cushions--"

"WHAT? Lieutenant Abernathy? Are you sure?"

"Yeah, Ryo, I think Tom knows his own dad," said Bikky a shade more sarcastically than he'd intended. "Hey, can Tom stay with us tonight? His apartment is really scary and his dad's in no shape to look after him."

"Yes, of course," Ryo said quickly and then Bikky heard him say to Dee, "I was right! He didn't get on the plane!"

Ryo returned his attention to Bikky. "This changes everything--don't wait in the lobby--get out of the building right now."

"Okay, said Bikky. "Come on, Tom."

The liveried doorman opened the door for the boys with a smile and as they stepped out into the warm night air, Bikky looked nervously over his shoulder again at the two elevators in the lobby. Crap, Ryo was making him get all jumpy.

"Where are you now, Ryo?"

"Close. Moving fast. Can you hear us?"

Bikky cocked his head and listened. A pair of sirens howled not far away, winding their urgent cries around each other in the waning light of the evening.

"I hear sirens. Is that you guys?"

"Yeah," said Ryo. "One more block...Here we are!" 

And just like that, two cars jerked to a halt in front of the building, and double parked. One was a cruiser, lights flashing all over it, and the other was one of the unmarked sedans that Bikky knew Dee and Ryo used for their work. It had the magnetic cherry lights on top. Bikky felt a great sense of relief wash over him when he saw Ryo get out of the car and run toward him with dorkhead hot on his heels. He hadn't realized until that moment that he had been half afraid that Tom's spooky dad would come staggering after them like some kind of ravening zombie and drag them back into that nightmare of an apartment. Now that Ryo was here, he felt completely safe.

"Are you boys okay?" Ryo asked. "Are you hurt?"

"No! I mean, yes. I mean, we're fine," said Bikky. "We're not little kids, you know." He rolled his eyes at Thomas, as if to say 'Parents!'

The two patrol cops came puffing up at that moment, both big boys, neither as fast on his feet as Ryo and Dee.

"Which apartment?" One of them asked.

"1214B," Ryo said. "The owner is there, but he's unconscious."

"He's drunk," corrected Thomas.

"Well, we don't want him to die from alcohol poisoning, now, do we?" said Dee. "Let's get him an ambulance." He spoke into his radio. "Laytner to dispatch, over."

"Dispatch."

"Update on the 10-21 on West 59th at Madison. We got a 10-54, code U, over."

"Is my dad going to hospital?" Thomas asked, alarmed.

"Hopefully," muttered Dee.

"You know, Thomas, people can die if they throw up when they're passed out," Ryo said. "He should probably get checked out."

"Oh no," said Thomas, thinking guiltily about all the times he had wished his controlling and abusive father dead. His dad was an asshole, but he wasn't all bad. Besides, he was the only dad Thomas had.

Ryo took Dee aside and spoke to him rapidly in a low voice. "Dee, you go up with the uniforms, quick, before that bastard wakes up and denies us entry. I'm gonna take the kids back to the station and get statements from them. We need to know what the hell happened and why Abernathy's not in Florida. Meet us at home later, okay?"

"You got it, man."

"Call me right away if you find anything," Ryo called after him.

Dee nodded at him and got into the elevator that one of the uniformed officers was holding open for him.

Ryo escorted Bikky and Thomas to the unmarked car, praying that nothing would happen to prevent Dee from getting inside that apartment. The alleged burglary was almost as good as the warrant they knew they didn't have enough evidence to even apply for. If Dee was able to find something incriminating, that would be all the grounds they needed to apply for warrants for Abernathy's home, car, office, telephone content records, income tax records, the whole enchilada. Bikky's call had been the opportunity, the break Ryo had been waiting for. When he started the engine and pulled out, he was so excited that it was hard to keep his mind on the road.


"Hey, Ryo, I'm like totally starving," Bikky said. "I didn't get time to eat dinner tonight. How about you, Tom? Did you eat dinner?"

Thomas shook his head, and looked out of the window as an ambulance screamed past them heading in the opposite direction.

"Ryo," Bikky said hopefully, 'there's a drive-thru burger joint coming up on the right. Can we get take out? Just this once?"

Ryo sighed. "Sure, but no eating in the car. This is a police vehicle and I don't want to return it with ketchup all over the back seats."

"Where are we going?" asked Thomas in a small voice.

Ryo met his eyes in the rear-view mirror. "We're going to the 27th precinct," he said. "You guys can eat your burgers there."

"Well, okay," said Bikky. "But if it takes too long and I can't get to my homework, then I'm gonna need a note for tomorrow."

"Me, too!" piped up Thomas. Then he added, "Why are we going to the police station?"

"Because I need to get statements from you guys," Ryo said. "You guys are witnesses that the apartment was either robbed or vandalized. We'll have to put together a police report, and I'm gonna need your help."

"Cool," said Thomas, his excitement about being a witness temporarily overcoming his worries about why his dad wasn't on vacation and where his mom might be. At least he'd have an interesting story to tell at school tomorrow.

Ryo glanced at the clock on the dash. Dee must surely be inside Abernathy's apartment by now. What he would give to be in there with him!

end of Chapter One of Justice: Sleeping Dogs

&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^


Additional author's notes: Extra thanks to the_ladyfeather for her suggestions that improved the end part of this chapter! I got the NYPD radio codes from Wikipedia. Apparently, ten-codes vary around the US.
I hope to have the next chapter ready in three weeks. Thank you for reading.
 


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  • 1
As usual, excellent work Brit. You've successfully tied two loose ends together to make about 6 more! And Bikky is maturing nicely, even with threats of undead. Keep up the good work, you know that I'm hooked on this story.

Thank you! I fear you're right about the loose ends. But I have complete confidence that I'll tie them all up by the end of Justice. I've just remembered that I need to add your list of loose ends!

(Deleted comment)
It's about damn time on the mug, Dee, you procrastinator, you!

Poor James may be scarred for life as a result of the bear porn.

Thanks for commenting, Erin. I've been trying to rock in the kitchen today. (I invented two new desserts made without sugar or flour) *Waves wooden spoon triumphantly!*

Yay, updates! Except now I'm even more excited to see what else will happen! Hehe, oh well, it was an awesome update anyways lots of interesting things going on. I had to reread the manga this week because your last update hyped me up so much. That and I was kind of looking for an excuse to do that anyways. Can't wait to see more! <3

Hi jaolynn! I think we should ALL reread the manga from time to time. I always seem to get something new out of it when I do. I'm glad you liked the new chapter. Thanks for commenting!

Dee's and Ryo's opening scene was so cute! I loved their office supplies-fueled mini-battle and JJ's last line. What he doesn't know can't hurt him...yet. Speaking of which, are you planning to have our boys go public, at least among their friends? I know that would be breaking fraternization laws, and in the real world they would be reassigned, but all the same, the look on Rose's and JJ's faces would be pricless. *daydreams, giggling quietly*

Apologies for rambling! Anyway, thanks for starting out with a bang! Knowing Abernathy, he'll find some way to weasel out of this situation, but seeing how excited everyone is at maybe finally nailing him, and how this is all developing, I see another brit_columbia masterpiece shaping up!

Wasn't it nice of Ryo not to throw the scissors? That proves he was only a little bit pissed off, not seriously mad.

With regards to whether they go public or not, that will be a gradually unfolding sort of thing. The Commissioner and the Chief already know; the Commissioner because he watches Ryo closely and he guessed (AND, ch 20), and the Chief because Abernathy came into his office shouting about it (AND, ch 28). However, the Chief is treating Abernathy's info like gossip and has told them he's not going to act on hearsay. The Commissioner doesn't actually care that much about fraternization rules, since he's already fraternizing with certain attractive staff members, and wouldn't hesitate to fraternize with Ryo if he ever got the opportunity! Ted has already guessed (AND, ch 33), but the other members of the team remain ignorant of the passion that is blossoming in their very midst.

Thanks very much for your kind compliments!

I had to read this twice! My heart was racing so fast I thought I was in the living room with them. This was exciting. Great Job Brit. Like Loki said you so ROCK!

Thanks Akasha! I loved this review. It tells me I'm doing my job. *Hugs you!*

A cute opening, and the entire chapter was well designed, a suitable first chapter. You don't just write scene after scene, but you plan and organize the scenes with good taste :=).

Thank you, Twiyah. That WAS one of my better designed chapters. I'm not quite sure how I did it, but I hope I can do it again. Not all my chapters have balance, I know. Some of them ramble a bit and the plot doesn't get advanced much. But sometimes it all comes together and at the end of the chapter I feel pleased at what I revealed and what I didn't and how the scenes fell into place.

Thanks for always making the time to read and comment. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you until now. I was under the impression I had responded to everybody, but somehow I missed you--probably because I didn't post at three AM like I usually do!

woo! I'm always so deeply sucked into (hehe ;D) the story you write, so that once I'm finished reading the latest installment and look around, I feel I just woke up from a very lovely dream!

Kudos to you! (are those made without flour or sugar? cause I love those...)

What a nice thing to say! Thank you very much. Yes, the desserts I'm busy inventing are made without flour or sugar. The base ingredient is cooked (and cooled) cream of brown rice, which, despite the presence of the word 'cream' in its name, is really just rice. Then I add mashed dates and chopped dried mangoes for sweetness. After that, I can add cocoa, or not. Coconut, or not. Nuts and dried cranberries, or not. Cinnamon, or not. It's fun inventing healthy desserts! I made one into balls and the other one into squares.

As possibly delicious as those sound, you'd still have to work on convincing finicky lil' ol' me.

And I was asking how Kudos are made, cause I don't know, but they're yummy, like a egg roll dessert.


Your icon is SO Dee Laytner! Whoo!

*giggles*

Isn't he fabulous? I love Giane. He's so beautiful. And so Dee, as you say. I owe a debt of gratitude to westwardlee for turning me on to him.


Oh, this opening chapter was so exciting! I had a feeling that Abernathy would not make it to Florida, but I was SO SURPRISED that he was in the trashed apartment. I wonder if he could be responsible, given that letter fragment written by his wife?

And where the heck is Aunt Margaret? And poor Thomas! I'm glad he can rely on Bikky for friendship, and help in a pinch.

Wonderful work, Brit. Thank you!

*hugs*

Yay! I surprised someone. The mystery of where the heck Aunt Margaret is will be solved in due time. But maybe not the next chapter, though. Yeah, poor Thomas. With a father like Mike Abernathy, it would be hard for his life not to suck.

Thanks for the hugs and the reads!

Looking good, Dee!

Great start of the sequel. I'm glad we have more of bastardy Abernathy - I want to see then end of his schemes.

As you can see, I'm getting a lot of mileage out of all your old icons. Oh yes, Abernathy does all kinds of rotten things in this story. He's a bad, bad man.

Thanks for reading, Lee!

I'm glad you are! Giane was one of the reasons I kept RP'ing - I kept finding lovely pics of his and kept making icons.

That's happening to me too. It's like an addiction! I just made a new one this morning. I never used to be able to make my own avatars until I found a great site that does it all for me. Look at my newest one!

I can't believe I missed it!!! OMG!

Wonderful beginning with a lovely touch of mystery! Who is the man that looks like Ryo... I have some suspicions, but I'll save them for later.

This obviously co insides with Legal Brief.. lol

Yea! I can't wait for more... when do we get it? *hopeful puppy look*

-Neengy

Thanks, Neengy! I'm pleased with the way the chapter turned out, although mystery's not that hard to do when one is starting a sequel to a story that had a lot of loose ends. Anyway, this sequel has been planned for a long time. Years, in fact. I'm glad you like it. Should be three weeks or so from now before I'm able to get the next chapter up.

hey

(Anonymous)
wonderful!!! I hoped Ryo got the chance to be with Dee again after that wonderful night in the last story! *snigger* UPDATE SOON!!! Err... Tis is RandyLaytnerMacLean btw. Teehee... From Ff.net, y'know? UPDATE SOON!!!

Hi, RLMac. Welcome to my LJ. If you want to read about more hotness between R & D that happened after that wonderful night in the story, then you should read Legal Briefs. It tells of an incident that happened earlier in the same day as the day that Justice opens.
I'm hoping I can update in three weeks. My chapters are kind of long and I have to allow the betas time to do their beta-ing. Thanks for being interested.

Oh, that was fantastic! You had me on he edge of my seat by the end. I am beyond elated that you've managed to start up the sequel so quickly and I look forward to every single chapter of it. ^^

Thanks, inu-spike. I'm very pleased to hear that you were on the edge of your seat. I can't always achieve that, but this time I apparently did. I've been trying to work on the sequel, but I've been crazy busy since Sunday. I can't wait for Friday. I'm expecting things to slow down somewhat on Friday.

I just wish I had been able to read this chapter sooner. I had been out of town since last Thursday and didn't have a computer to check up on anything. It was terrible. The only consolation I had was that I was at Anime Expo and I didn't want to pay the extra fee at the hotel. ^^

You take all the time you need on this sequel! There is no rushing genius, and I want you to rest assured that all of your loyal followers are probably more than happy to wait to see what you come up with next. ^^

Great first chapter! Is that Ryo's dad in the photo? Given what we already know from the last story it's obvious what happened to everyone but the aunt, and since I haven't met her yet I'm not too worried about her, but I really, really, want to know the story behind that photo.

Poor JJ.

The porn scene was totally hilarious!

One tiny nitpick:

"Is my dad going to hospital?" Thomas asked, alarmed.

Should be "going to the hospital". We Americans iz weird that way.

My lips are sealed on the subject of the photo! *Tosses key into big yellow tote bag from which it will not easily be extracted again.* You will find out in due time ... *Assumes poker face*

Now, about the versus no article in the above mentioned sentence...Oh, you Americans! Here in Canada, we say both the British 'in hospital' and 'in the hospital' for patients, while 'in' or 'at' the hospital is for visitors or hospital workers. You know, just like 'in church' or 'in prison' implies that the person in question is worshiping or incarcerated respectively, while adding 'the' is for workers, visitors, or for making the church or prison highly specific for other reasons, i.e. "I saw her in the church on Elm Street', or "That's the prison that was in the news."

BUT I accept that for some reason, American English makes an exception for two institutional nouns: hospital and university, both of which always require a definite article no matter what. I don't know why these two should be singled out, but I guess it's just part of the ongoing evolution of the language.

Perhaps I could offer up the reason that Thomas is the child of Irish parents and therefore will be a bit more likely to have elements of British English in his speech than Bikky? But actually the truth is that I'm a Brit who grew up in Canada where Britishisms are likely to be found alongside French spellings, as well as all that metric stuff.

I'm thrilled that you pointed this out because I love details and I love grammar and I especially love it when people care about that stuff! Never fear to nitpick anything I write--I have the nitpicky gene in spades, myself, and I totally relate to where you're coming from.

Thanks for reading and don't feel sorry for JJ. He's giving off pheromones or something nowadays and is not exactly in a dating desert. Drake is watching sulkily from the sidelines, of course.

I feel so sorry for people who have to learn English as a foreign language, especially American English.

As such things go, having an American character use a Canadian/British turn of phrase is nothing compared to a couple of Fake fics I saw recently that contained much fangirl Japanese, some of it spoken by Dee.

I personally don't enjoy FAKE fanfics that employ fangirl Japanese for no good reason. ANY story is annoying when characters suddenly lapse into a different language, but it can be forgiven if there's a valid reason for it, and if it's used sparingly. But to each their own. Sanami Matoh gave the New York City of her Fake world quite a Japanese feel, so I guess some fanfic writers are just grabbing that particular ball and running with it.

I agree that English is a difficult language to learn. Thank God I don't have to learn it! At least we don't have to conjugate adjectives, though. But there are a lot of nuances that aren't covered by rules, and even when learners try to take refuge in the rules just to get the basics down, they find out that the rules are regularly being spanked by all those exceptions!

I LOVE your icon! May I steal it?

Thank you. I stole your sheep too (SO cute!), but I'll use it sparingly, I promise! I LOVE sheep, although not to eat.

Reeeeely? So, how DO you love them, you baaad girl?

You should ask my husband! He has lots of curly brown hair so I accuse him of being part sheep. He doesn't have their docile nature, though. I just love all sheep in a foolish 'Aw-you're-so-cute' kind of way. I think they're adorable and I'd love to hug one. I once got within ten paces of a sheep when I was out buying vegetables in the country, but, sadly, it was terrified of me. Then there was a tough old ram by the name of King Edward who regarded me balefully through a fence at a B & B, but frankly, I was glad of the fence. He looked like he was thinking of butting me!

So you see, I'm not really a baaaad girl except when I'm writing lemony fanfics! All sheep are safe from me.

What a great start for the fic!. I was going to comment on the great flow, how much I like poor little Thomas that and surprising twist with Abernathy (I just knew he wouldn't be flying to Florida!) but I got distracted by those wonderful pics of Giane on your icons, so doing a little search I stumbled upon this and now I'm understandably a little speechless *ogles Giane's naked bum*. Is that the same Giane you're talking about...?.

Oooh, I'm dying to know more about Ryo-lookalike's picture!.

Yes, that's Giane! And I hadn't seen that picture, either, so thank you! There are hundreds of pictures of him all over the internet and I still haven't seen them all. To me, he's just so Dee-like, although I think Dee has more fire and aggression. Look at him in this little video. http://www.gianecchini.us/?p=1059 He's speaking Portuguese, but in every way he looks like Dee.

Thanks for your kind words about my new fic! You'll find out more about the Ryo-lookalike's picture as the story wears on. For now I want to be able to enjoy being in sole possession of the answer to a mystery. I'm looking forward to slowly revealing its parts.

Oh My God!
I started reading on Fanfiction.net and I loved it. I kept dieing from impatients and When I found out you have this I wanted to commented and tell you how much I love the Fanfictions.
I totally think that its Ryos Father in the picture. From other fanfictions I've read about him and the manga. They traveled a lot so I thought that it coulld be his dad. I don't know but I hope i'm right!

Hi hinatazaraki,
So sorry for the late reply. I thought I had replied to this but apparently I didn't! Anyway, thank you very much for your comment. I'm really glad to hear that you're impatient to read more.

As for the identity of the man in the picture...I'm keeping my lip zipped! I want to keep everyone guessing for now. I'm already plotting a few evil cliffies.

I'm so very ashamed!

(Anonymous)
Oh my goodness......I feel so utterly terrible! I've been keeping up with A New Day forever yet I havent left a reply >.< Shame....

Well that all changes now. Brit, you are awesome. I love your work (especially Legal Briefs!!! ^-^ )I've never seen a story so complex and detailed in the FAKE fandom. And hot damn I love your Dee!!! So please forgive me as I go get an account to leave a comment for every chapter of Justice which, btw, was great! >.<

Again, so sorry!!!!!

Soon to be - 'NejiNara25'

Re: I'm so very ashamed!

Now just check that load o'shame at the door. I always said lurkers were welcome. We've all of us lurked at one time or another. But I'm still very happy that you delurked and told me you've been reading A New Day forever! (It really feels like it took forever to get it done) I think that Legal Briefs is my favorite lemon scene out of all the Dee/Ryo smut I've written. Thank you for letting me know that you've been reading all along. Come back anytime!

Again, don't know what happened. Or maybe I do - that particular weekend you chose to post happens to be a big weekend for us Americans, you know. Somehow, I missed this post and had no idea you'd already started until I saw chapter two posted. What a great beginning! A little info-dumping at the beginning, but no different than any of us ever saw in the beginning chapters of a sequel book, a little cover-your-ass for the few new readers. It's obviously over and done with now, so all's well. I didn't read the post in which you listed what plotlines will be carried over, because I'd rather just be surprised, but now that you've started a new story now is an EXCELLENT time to begin that 'previously on...' segment we discussed earlier. If this story has a plot even half as complex as the first one, we readers will appreciate it.

Thanks for the reminder. I completely forgot about doing the recap thing when I posted Chapter Two, and it'll be for the best if I start now and get the readers in the habit of it. I'm wondering whether I should put it under a cut so I don't spoil it for anyone who is a couple of chapters behind.

This story also has a complex plot, but I hope to be able to avoid bringing in a new cast of thousands like I did in the last story! I think I can. There are a lot of things I want to do differently this time. My goal is to take everything I learned from writing a A New Day and apply it toward making this new story tighter, leaner and faster-paced.

I'm glad you liked the beginning! Thanks for letting me know.

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