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FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June), ch 14 PART ONE
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FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June)
Chapter 14

by Brit Columbia

Fandom: Fake
Pairing: Dee Laytner and Randy (Ryo) MacLean
Rating: Worksafe, but there's the usual swearing and a bit of violence.
Spoilers: Set after Volume 7 of the original Fake series by Sanami Matoh
Timing: This story is the sequel to FAKE First Year Together: A New Day (May), which I wrote to be set directly after Volume 7 finished. It's basically a continuation of the manga. 
Disclaimer: Dee, Ryo, Ted, JJ, Drake, and the Chief are all characters from Sanami Matoh's Fake. I make no claim on Fake or on those characters.
Author's notes: Officer Cameron Bell, from Justice chapters 6 and 7 returns with his patrol partner Officer Gordon Cooper. Both characters are mine. In fact, all characters in this chapter are mine, apart from the characters created by Sanami Matoh, which are listed above in the disclaimer. There are more author's notes at the end.  ALSO... I've started another alphabetical character list for this story, but I've been too busy with other things to re-read all the chapters of Justice and insert characters, so I'm asking for help from the readers. It's here: http://brit-columbia.livejournal.com/85227.html  Please have a look at it, and if you think of a character who needs to be on the list, drop me a comment to remind me of that person, along with which chapter you remember them from, if possible. Hopefully, we can get it done over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you to  
the_ladyfeather, tripple_p and  shelley6441 for their help.
 


So Far in Justice:

Concerned about the threat Abernathy poses toward Bikky, Ryo is getting ready to send him out of town. Bikky doesn't want to go. Dee and Ryo are about to set Abernathy up in a sting with the help of John Hambler (Jackhammer) an ex-con they picked up who is in violation of his parole.


Justice, chapter 14: Sting of the Scorpion

"Has Jackhammer already seen the car?" Detective Ruth Massey asked. She gave Ryo a friendly smile.

"Yes." Ryo remained businesslike. He and the two detectives for Queens' 99th precinct watched technicians at the Bronx Impound Yard install hidden cameras and sound equipment into the Lexus.

"When am I to have the pleasure of seeing his ugly mug again?" Detective Massey was still smiling.

"Around midnight, they say."

"We got authorization for a street set at Battery Park?"

"Yeah, but only a mobile one, which may be spot–"

"Can't we get surveillance gear and staff into one of the buildings?" Detective Tina Greenspan interrupted.

Ryo shook his head. "No."

"Well, why not?" she demanded, clearly annoyed at his curt answer.

"Your partner will explain it to you, I'm sure," said Ryo coldly, and turned away to find Ted. He had to look around twice before he realized that the total stranger who was talking to the Chief was, in fact, a heavily disguised Ted. A long, tangled wig covered Ted's bright red hair, and a chevron-style mustache completely obscured his upper lip.

 

"It's your call, O'Neill." The Chief gave Ted a level look from under his perpetually frowning brow, before jamming a half-smoked cigar between his teeth and lighting it.

"Thanks, Chief. I appreciate having a choice. But you're right. If I wear a vest, it's gonna be too noticeable."

"I wouldn't even be considering it if it weren't for the fact that I'm worried Mike might show up with some Dyre Street Devils in tow." The Chief scowled and blew out a cloud of smoke. "Those scumbags are more trigger-happy than usual nowadays, especially whenever they leave their home turf and come into Manhattan."

"You're not going for a vest?" Ryo asked Ted, hoping the answer would be no. If Ted wore one, it would seriously compromise the sting.

"Nope." Ted shook his head. "We gotta do this right. Abernathy's no rookie. If he sees Jackhammer or his buddy, a.k.a. lil' ol' me, all bulked out in a vest, he's gonna smell a rat."

Ryo nodded. "Yes, I absolutely agree. Besides, there shouldn't be any shooting tonight. This is a routine business deal of the type that Abernathy has a lot of experience with. If everything goes according to plan, he'll take the car and/or the drugs, and we'll follow him to see where he goes."

"And either way, we got him on tape." The Chief looked grim. Old 'friend' or no, it was clear that he had had just about enough of Lieutenant Mike Abernathy.

"The worst that's likely to happen is that he gets spooked and doesn't show," added Ted.

"Hey Ted, nice hair," said Dee, who strolled up to them. "What the hell is that, cooking oil?"

"Well, yeah, actually," said Ted, and smoothed his mustache with one finger. "Got a pussy tickler to match." His eyes momentarily went toward Detective Greenspan where she stood next to the Lexus, talking with her partner.

Dee followed his eyes and smirked. "Give it up, man. You don't stand a chance. Think about it. Cooking oil." He wrinkled his nose.

Ted bristled. "If I strike out with her, that's because of YOU, asshole! A gorgeous female like that, and you have to go pissing her off every single time you--"

"Can it, boys," growled the Chief. "Get your tiny minds back on the job. Randy, which surveillance unit did they send you?"

"I wanted the U-Haul truck, but they gave me the meat van," Ryo replied. "We've arranged for new magnetic signage for it. Hopefully Abernathy won't recognize it."

"Let's hope. Where's Hambler?"

"En route. Eliza and James radioed to say they'll be here with him in twenty minutes."

The Chief looked at all three of them and then gave Ryo a decisive nod. "You're lead detective, Randy. I want you to make it happen tonight. If you guys can pull this off, your warrant is a shoe-in."

"Yes, sir."

.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.

When Sergeant Ross Pekoe heard the Commissioner's voice in the hallway behind him, he nearly dropped the computer monitor he was carrying.

"Uh, pardon me, sir?"

"I merely asked you to stop, Ross." The Commissioner's voice was speciously mild. "And now I'm asking why you appear to be absconding with Detective MacLean's monitor."

Ross felt his cheeks getting warm. Bloody hell. Caught red-handed. And by the very person he would most have preferred not to run into tonight.

"I'm replacing it with another monitor, sir," he said, and was proud of how mild he sounded himself. Two can play at that game, Berkeley, you bastard, he thought.

"Are you planning to replace it with one of identical size, vintage and quality?" Berkeley asked sardonically, watching his face as he advanced.

"Of course I'll do my best," said Ross with grave hauteur. The monitor in question suddenly felt a lot heavier than it had a minute ago. He hoped that Berkeley would just let him go.

"Ross, tell me something." Berk was right in front of him now, and the man's voice was almost tender. "Will this little late night 'exchange' of monitors result in my having to waste half the morning dealing with complaints from our guests from the 27th? Because you know, if that were to happen... I would undoubtedly find it immensely vexing." He reached out a hand and briefly caressed Ross' cheek with the backs of his knuckles.

Ross all but leaned into the touch before catching himself. He knew that Berkeley was certainly aware of the effect he had on him, but long experience with this maddening man had taught him not to show it too openly. He gathered his willpower and forced himself to take a step back.

"Sir, you need not worry that Detectives MacLean and Laytner will be upset about the monitor. I intend to speak with them directly when they come in." Ross actually had no intention of seeking them out at all, but he was confident that Berkeley was never going to find out about it either way. He would have been willing to bet a month of his pension that the 27th detectives wouldn't go tattling to the Commissioner when they figured out what he had done. Instead, Dee would come gunning for him. THAT was going to be interesting.

"As you say, my dear." Berkeley stood there gazing at him thoughtfully through slightly narrowed blue eyes. Ross longed to snatch off the other man's glasses and... and what? Dash them to the floor and stomp on them? Press kisses against his eyelids? He wasn't sure himself.

He thought that Berkeley had been about to say something else, but their conversation was brought to an abrupt halt by a raucous but familiar squeal.

"Berkieeeee!" Diana stood about four doors down the hall from them, her silky white blouse unbuttoned low to reveal her impressive décolletage. "You said you'd be back in ten seconds." She began to strut toward them in such a way as to produce maximum jiggle. Berkeley's attention was immediately captured, and Ross hated her for it. But so what? She already knew that he hated her. He only kept it a secret from Berkeley.

"Why, hello there Sergeant," she drawled when she reached them. "You're working late tonight."

Now that she was closer, Ross could see that her thick blonde hair was uncharacteristically tousled and her make-up was smudged. He didn't like to think what she and Berkeley had likely been doing in his office alone together at eleven-thirty at night. Probably much the same as what he and Berkeley had done in the same room on other evenings, although nothing like that had happened for at least six months.

"Ross frequently puts in very long hours," stated the Commissioner generously. "A more dedicated Supervisor of Staff I could never find."

"Ah, well, one day he'll probably get married and that'll be the end of all those long hours. Then he'll be running out of here to have dinner with his sweetie every day at six o'clock," said Diana teasingly. "Ross, honey, we have GOT to find you a sweetie." She took a step back and looked him over critically, before wagging a maternal finger at him. "One who'll feed you up a little, perhaps. Looks like those long hours have caused you to skip a few too many meals."

Ross had the perfect comeback for that, although it would only have been effective if Diana had been carrying a few excess pounds. Sadly, she wasn't, not even an ounce, so he couldn't say it. Her figure was flawless and had been for as long as he had known her.

"I appreciate the thought, Agent Spacey, but I prefer to find my own partners," was what Ross ended up saying instead. He gave her a brief, chilly little smile before turning back to Berkeley. "Sir, I really must be going. I wish you good night."

"Aw don't worry about him, Sarge," Diana called out. "He's in for such a good night that he's not going to want to get out of bed tomorrow morning!"

Ross hurried away to the dissonant sound of her laughter, hating both of them with an intensity that dismayed him.

:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.

"Hey guys, it looks like we gotta move," Ted said to the air as Jackhammer put his cell phone back in his shirt pocket. "I'm sure you heard that. That was Mike."

A moment later, his cell phone rang, just as he expected. "Don't start moving yet, Ted," said Ryo. "Let's talk about this. Mike's probably suspicious about the van. He wants to see if it moves, too."

"Hambler already told him we'd move," Ted said, glancing at the big man in the driver's seat. "But it's your call. What do you recommend?"

Ryo thought for a moment. "Well... we don't technically need the van. Its cameras give us a street view, but there are cameras inside the car and your wire should pick up any talking you guys do on the street. His voice and your presence as NYPD should be enough to nail him."

"Yeah, it's either that, or abort," said Ted. "And that would seriously suck after all this."

"Abortion of the mission is something I won't even consider," said Ryo firmly. "We've got enough support, what with personnel stationed in and around the park. James and Eliza will be doing separate drive-by's, too."

"Okay, then, we're moving further along," said Ted. "Wish us luck!" He hung up without waiting for an answer. Actually, he had a bad feeling that the set-up was going to be a washout. Mike may or may not be asking them to move as a matter of course, but if he had recognized the van or any of the park-stationed undercover people, he might just decide to give the whole deal a miss.

"Let's go, buddy," Ted said to Hambler. "Take this baby to the new location."

The big man grunted and started the engine. As they pulled out, Ted looked at his watch and made a few calculations. If the sting got called off, he might even make it to the Red Box in time to meet up with Ramona before the joint closed down. Maybe.

.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:

Bikky lay on the sofa bed in the little rec room at Carol's aunt's townhouse, blinking up at the shadows on the ceiling and wishing he could get back to sleep. He could hear Wayne's intermittent snoring in the bedroom downstairs, and that was a strangely reassuring sound, as were the voices of the neighbors complaining to each other on the other side of the paper-thin living room wall. They were night people, Carol's neighbors, and that was the main reason that Elina and Wayne didn't sleep on the same floor as Carol.

 

Morning would be here soon enough, and then school. Tomorrow was Thursday and he would probably have to go home after basketball. Ryo would be at work of course, which meant Bikky would be all by himself in the evening again. He wasn't looking forward to that. He had made such a mess of things recently, what with losing not only the laptop, but also his keys on the same damn day, as well as having to look over his shoulder for danger all the time, that he more or less dreaded being alone. Well, that last part about looking over his shoulder wasn't really his fault. He would almost be able to handle that if Ryo wasn't working second shift nowadays and therefore gone every evening. The hardest thing was pretending that nothing was wrong so that Ryo wouldn't pack him off to that fucking horse ranch in the middle of nowhere. But it looked like that was going to happen anyway, no matter how calm or cheerful he acted.

He didn't want to go for a whole lot of reasons. One of them was that he didn't like horses. Face it, he just didn't want to have anything to do with big, hostile animals with snapping teeth and bad tempers unless he was armed with a stun gun. And nature? What the hell was the big deal about everyone saying how wonderful nature was? Nature could go fuck itself. Bikky liked concrete, basketball courts, bright lights, skateboarding, rollerblading, and easy transport via subway trains. He liked being near Carol, too. If he got shipped off somewhere for the whole summer, some jerk her own age or older would probably make a move on her and put his horny hands all over her body. Bikky could feel all his muscles going tight at the very thought.

Another big reason he wanted to stay in the city was that he didn't feel safe as long as Tom's dad was not in custody. That guy was into a lot of seriously risky shit, and he seemed to be fully aware that Ryo and Dee were hard after him. Bikky was only thirteen, but even he knew that the fastest way to shut a parent down was to threaten or grab his kid. He figured old man Abernathy's next move was to kidnap him and use him to force Ryo to back off. The asshole had already tried setting him up with drugs, plus sending three goons to intercept him at the subway. Those things hadn't worked, so Abernathy would have to up his game to get Ryo to fold.

Bikky also felt that if he could stick around long enough to get the laptop back off that Tahawney guy, he could bring Ryo and Dee a hell of a lot closer to putting Abernathy behind bars. If that bastard was safely locked up, then everything could finally go back to normal, and he wouldn't have to walk around with eyes in the back of his head anymore.

He sighed and pressed the heels of his hands over his eyes, hard enough to see little starbursts in the blackness behind his closed lids. Devon was in Pennsylvania. Naturally, he had googled it. It was only a two-hour drive from here, maybe a little less, if traffic wasn't too bad getting out of the city. A little distance like that wouldn't stop a guy like Abernathy who was facing disgrace and a long stint in prison if he lost the game. Why couldn't Ryo see that? He obviously thought that Abernathy was a dad just like him and would stop short of harming a child. Bikky didn't think so for a second. He'd seen some bad things in his time, and he knew from experience that when adults went to war with each other, it wasn't like kids were granted immunity.

When he was about seven, there was this older boy, Frankie, whose dad also dealt. Frankie's dad was higher on the food chain than Dick Goldman, and Bikky recalled the envy he felt whenever Frankie got a new bike, or a new playstation, or the newest, coolest jeans that those private school kids in Manhattan used to wear. Frankie was a little dickhead too, lording his status, his clothes and his toys over the other kids in the neighborhood. That brat seemed to have everything that, to a child in that kind of world, made life worth living. That was, until the day that Frankie's dad pissed off the wrong people and they punished him by taking it out on Frankie and his mom. The mom lived through it, but Frankie died in hospital about two weeks later. Bikky's dad had been sufficiently shaken up by the experience that he made a half-hearted attempt to go straight, but ended up not being able to hold it together on his new path for more than a few days. He was too much of a junkie by that time.

A slight sound made Bikky glance toward the open doorway, but it was empty. He smiled to himself and pushed those unhappy thoughts of Frankie and horses out of his mind. "Cal, I know you're there," he called softly, and grinned when her surprised face popped out from behind the door frame, long blonde hair swinging.

"Bikky G, I swear you're psychic!" she whispered.

He grinned again at his old street name. Hardly anyone called him that anymore. "Hey, if I was psychic, I woulda won the lottery by now." He noticed that in addition to the loosely fitting pink pajama bottoms he had seen many times before, she was also wearing a dark-colored tank top with no bra underneath. Maybe her top was red. He wasn't sure.

She came into the darkened room and sat down on the edge of the mattress. "Perhaps you just have insanely good hearing then, which is a miracle considering how loud you play that metal garbage you call music."

"Maybe I just learned to sleep with one eye open."

"Why aren't you?"

"Why aren't I what?"

"Asleep, silly."

"Well, why aren't you?"

"Oh, I dunno..." She shrugged and flipped a lock of hair off her shoulder. "Got a lot to think about, I guess."

Bikky sighed. "Me, too."

"But you know, there's nothing we can really do to solve our problems at one a.m.," she said. "We might as well get some sleep."

Bikky grunted.

"You're safe here, Bikky. You're not alone, and all the doors and windows are locked."

Bikky didn't bother to deny that he had been worrying about his safety. Carol knew him too well. "Yeah, yeah," he said.

"And... I was thinking... Maybe I could stay here with you just for two or three hours, you know?"

Bikky stared at her, his mouth open. "Won't your aunt be mad? She said a while back we were getting too old for same-bed sleepovers."

Carol smiled at him. "What she doesn't know about can't make her mad. Besides I'll go back to my room before she wakes up."

"Okay, that would be great," Bikky said. Wow. Carol was going to be sleeping in the same bed with him. That hadn't happened in quite a while.

"Move over to this side," Carol ordered him. "I want the side you're on."

Bikky obeyed without hesitation, and obediently traded pillows with her when she complained that the one on her side was lumpier than his. Finally she settled down, and they lay in the darkness side by side listening to the woman next door scolding her husband.

"Just like old times, isn't it?" whispered Carol.

"Yeah," he said, although he felt there were a couple of pretty big differences. When they were kids, they used to sleep curled up together like baby mice, but then she developed breasts and other curves and he developed stirrings down in his shorts if he thought too much about those new and fascinating changes in her body. And then there was her scent. He had always liked the way she smelled, but now that they were older, she smelled even better. He wasn't sure what it was, exactly. It wasn't only her vanilla-scented perfume or that peach shampoo she used. It was something else. It was just her. But he was absolutely going to stay on his side of the bed, and he was pretty sure she would stay on hers. Nothing embarrassing was going to happen. He was happy she was here. He breathed in deeply through his nose and felt himself starting to relax.

When her hand crept across the space that separated them, he captured it with his own and held it against his heart. The shadows continued to move and the neighbors continued to fuss, but Bikky stopped caring as sleep finally took him.

.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:

"Fuck, he's late," growled Hambler, looking for the twentieth time at the dashboard clock.

"Yeah," said Ted. It had been almost half an hour since Abernathy had told them to move to another block, and he still hadn't showed. Ted was pretty sure that meant Abernathy wasn't planning to come at all. He felt bad for Dee and Ryo, especially Ryo. They had been after this guy for a while, and if it was true that Abernathy had set up Ryo's kid with a Doritos bag full of heroin, then Ryo sure had extra motivation for taking the bastard down. However, he was momentarily expecting to receive a call informing him that the sting had been called off.

His cell phone rang at that moment. Bingo. "Yo, Ryo," he said. "We goin' home?"

"Not yet," said Ryo. "We think you're about to have company. James reported that a police cruiser just made a U-turn on Little W and is headed your way, moving slowly. Make sure your badge is handy. Dee's trying to contact central dispatch to let them know to back off, but we don't want our top secret sting broadcast over the air, so it may take a few minutes to get in touch with the officers in the car. Be ready for anything."

"Got it. Thanks." Ted hung up and glanced at the rear-view mirror. "Police coming. That looks like them now. Let me do the talking, okay?"

"Shit!" Hambler looked nervously at his side mirror. "Don't you guys send each other a memo when you're on a job like this?"

"Not when we're after a dirty cop, we don't."

The cruiser rolled slowly past them, and the cop in the passenger seat shone a bright flashlight into their faces. Hambler sat stiffly, staring straight ahead, his jaw bunching apprehensively. Ted faced the police and smiled as he held up his badge for them to see.

Suddenly the tires squealed as the cruiser was flung into reverse and accelerated away from them. It screeched to a stop about a car length behind them, skewed on an angle so as to block the road. Both doors erupted open and two uniforms emerged, taking cover behind the outflung doors.

"NYPD!" yelled one. "Get out of the car with your hands up!"

"What the fuck?" muttered Ted. "Didn't they see the badge?" He could see that one of the officers was speaking rapidly into his collar radio. Come on Dee and Ryo, he thought. Get these dogs off of us.

Hambler let loose with a string of obscenities. Beads of sweat had sprouted on his forehead. "What the fuck do we do?" he hissed.

"I think we should do as they say," said Ted. "Dispatch obviously hasn't passed the message through to them yet." He reached for the passenger door, intending to get out with his badge held high, but at that moment, a gunshot shattered the rear window, and a slug buried itself in the dash. "Holy fuck!" He and Hambler nearly cracked heads as they reflexively ducked down sideways.

"Get out of the car, motherfuckers! Get out of the car! Hands up, right now!"

"Are you gonna fucking shoot us if we do?" yelled Hambler.

"We're gonna shoot up this car if you don't get out now!"

"Jesus!" Ted felt around desperately in the darkness of the interior for his badge. He had dropped it when they shot out the window. There was no time to find it now. He pushed the door open and exited slowly, his hands in the air. "NYPD undercover!" he yelled. "Twenty-sev--"

"Shut the fuck up!" bellowed the nearest cop, a massive brown-haired gorilla with small, sharp eyes. "One more word and I will blow your fucking head off! Turn around and get your hands against the hood."

Ted shut up and put his hands on the car. This guy was really on edge, and he didn't want to get shot. Backup would arrive any minute now. Hambler was beside him, doing the same thing. The smaller of the two officers kept his gun trained on them while the big one patted them down for weapons. He grunted in satisfaction when he discovered Ted's gun.

"Bastard has a gun," he informed his partner, then turned his attention back to Ted. "What the fuck is this, asshole?"

"NYP-–" Ted tried to say and then cried out in pain as the cop smashed the gun against the transmitter that was clipped to the back of his pants.

"You shut the fuck up, you piece of shit car thief!" snarled the big man. "You can talk later at the station. Right now, I don't wanna hear a word outta you. Understand?"

Ted nodded tightly, his teeth clenched in pain. He glanced at Hambler, whose eyes were so wide that the whites showed all around his irises. He wanted to reassure him that even though it looked bad, help would be there at any minute, but he didn't try because he was sure the big crazy cop wouldn't let him get even a word out.

The ape cuffed Ted and ordered him to lie face down on the ground. The other cop tossed him his cuffs and the big guy turned toward Hambler. Ted could hear a vehicle approaching fast. It was either support for these two bozos or the cavalry was riding in from the twenty-seventh. Either way, it was good. The presence of witnesses would dramatically reduce their chances of getting shot or beaten up. At least the crazy gorilla had holstered his gun for the time being. Ted was beginning to regret his earlier decision not to wear a vest.

He realized that the big uniform was muttering under his breath to Hambler while patting him down. Ted caught the word 'Mike', and after a few more indistinct mumbles and an expression of surprise from Hambler, Ted heard the cop say, "... run. Our orders are to let you go." Ted heard Hambler say, "Warrant?" and the cop made an affirmative sound and repeated. "Run! Now!"

Ted heaved up on his knees and yelled, "No, don't do it! Don't ru--Oooff!" A sharp kick to his ribs effectively knocked the wind out of him.

Writhing on the ground, Ted tried to draw in breath and make eye contact with Hambler at the same time. He shook his head frantically at the ex-con, but it was too late. Hopped up on nerves, adrenaline, and probably a good amount of terror, Hambler whirled and streaked across the road toward the park.

The gorilla calmly drew his piece and pointed it at Hambler. "Stop!" he yelled. "Police!" Before the second word had even left his mouth, they heard the report of the gun. Ted didn't know what happened after that because the back of his head exploded.

.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.

Ted returned to his senses rather abruptly as he was being strapped into a stretcher. The sensation of being restrained caused him to panic and kick one of the paramedics in the chest. He shouted and struggled mightily until he caught sight of a familiar face. "Dee, buddy! Are we secure? Are they down?"

"Who, Ted?"

"Those two goddamned trigger-happy uniforms! Did you get that? Did you hear that?"

"Ted, my man, relax. We got it all on tape. There's a lot of Twenty-Seventh help here, so chill, okay?"

"They're killers, Dee!" Ted clutched at his friend's arm. "I'm tellin' ya, this was a hit, no doubt about it!"

"I agree with you, man." Dee's voice dropped. "They did practically nothing by the book. The Chief's on his way. Those bastards have some explainin' to do."

"Hambler!" hissed Ted, following Dee's lead and dropping his voice. "Is he..."

Dee closed his eyes for a second and shook his head.

"Jesus Christ!"

One of the paramedics tried to come close again and Ted screamed at him to get back before turning scared eyes back to Dee. "Dee, buddy, get me off this thing. They fucking strapped me in-- I can't use my fucking arms-- Get me out of here!"

Dee looked around nervously and motioned for the paramedics to stay back for the time being. "Twenty-Seventh!" he yelled. "A little help!"

When Drake jogged up to them, Dee looked surprised. "Parker, what the fuck? You're off duty, ain't you?"

"Yeah, but this is all over the radio," said Drake, who looked as disheveled and unshaven as Dee had ever seen him. "It's all 'Shots fired in Battery Park. A Two-Seven cop down.' JJ called me. We got here as soon as we could."

"Thanks, man, we appreciate the support," said Dee warmly, gripping his arm.

"Drake, are you armed?" gasped Ted.

"Of course." Drake patted the shoulder holster he wore over a thin, coffee-stained white tee-shirt. "I got Lulu here. JJ brought his rifle."

"Good," Ted sighed and subsided a little. "Don't leave me alone, you guys. I'm fucked up and unarmed. Don't leave me."

Drake's concerned brown eyes narrowed and became as hard as stone. "What the hell happened, Ted?"

"Dee will tell you. It was a hit, dammit. A hit by the NYPD! Jesus fucking Christ. I'm the only witness left. I don't wanna go to the goddamn hospital!" He grabbed at Drake. "No protection there." Ted could feel his eyelids becoming heavier, starting to fall down over his view of Drake and Dee. He fought against that with everything he had. He had to make them understand. His eyelids fluttered with the effort.

"Hey! Ted, open your eyes!" Drake gripped Ted's shoulder and gave him a shake before looking frantically at Dee.

"He's concussed, Drake," Dee explained. "I've been there myself. Don't go shaking him, man. This is a job for the pro's." He gestured for the paramedics to come back.

"Guys!" moaned Ted weakly.

Drake didn't let go of Ted's shoulder. "I'll ride with you, buddy. I'll guard your door. All night, if need be. It's gonna be okay. Hey, JJ! Get over here!"

.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:
End of Justice chapter 14, Part one. Please go to Justice, chapter 14 PART TWO, which is in the post after this one.

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  • 1
Wow... that's scary.

Oh, and I see all the chapter, so they must have fixed it now.

I see it too, but a day later than you. I couldn't see this comment yesterday, either.

I know you've been waiting for me; I'm sorry to leave you hanging! April is always a hellish busy month for me, because it's the one month after winter that Texas isn't boiling hot. Everything is crammed into those four weeks.

But I didn't forget. I just had to wait until I had the time and the quiet to properly savor your chapter, because I knew it was going to be a big one. You've been building for a while, so I knew shit would hit the street tonight. I just didn't know how much! That slime Mike, did he actually set Hambler up to get shot by his two horrible minions? And Ted flashed his badge, too! Will they tell Abernathy? Is everything blown? (frets) God, poor Ted. He's clearly terrified. He knows exactly what he saw and how dangerous his position is right now, so his buds better not walk away from his side for more than a second. Bromance time, guys! No pal gets left behind.

Actually, I assumed you were busy, although I had no idea about April in Texas. I was confident that you would get to me eventually. Naturally, I'm very glad to hear from you!

Yes, unfortunately, everything's blown for now. No warrant will be forthcoming for Dee and Ryo, and the NYPD Public Relations Department will have its work cut out for it.

  • 1
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