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FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June), ch 14, PART TWO
Dee: What the f*ck are you looking at?
brit_columbia
Attention readers, this is part 2 of the chapter, so don't start here. Go to the post immediately before this one and read part one first. http://brit-columbia.livejournal.com/86483.html

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"We did not know this was an NYPD sting!" insisted the smaller cop, who had identified himself as Officer Gordon Cooper of the Seventh Precinct. "We got a tip. Right, Cam?" He looked to his big, beetle-browed partner for support. "A convicted felon by the name of John Hambler called a cop he thought might be dirty, and offered him a stolen car with dope under the spare."

"But he was wrong about the dirty part," asserted Officer Cameron Bell with a challenging look at Ryo and the Chief.

"And now he's conveniently dead, so he can't be questioned about exactly why he believed the cop was dirty," said Ryo coldly.

"Yeah, too bad. But he made a run for it, so I had to do something." Cam shrugged and looked away. "I tried to go for a leg shot, but it didn't work out."

"We got a statement from Detective O'Neill that he heard you urging John Hambler to run," said the Chief.

"Bullshit!" Cam glared at both of them and his face flushed. "That's complete bullshit."

"Our guy was wearing a wire," said Ryo.

"You just listen to your goddamn tape. You won't hear anything like that."

"Calm down, Officer Bell," said Ryo. "That's not what I meant. I was the guy on the other end of the wire, after all. I'm alluding to the fact that you were the one who frisked Detective O'Neill, and you failed to report the fact that he was wearing a microphone and a transmitter to your partner."

"The presence of the wire should have alerted you to the fact that you had stumbled upon a police operation," added the Chief.

"Especially since Detective O'Neill had immediately identified himself as NYPD when he got out of the car, and we have that clearly on tape." Ryo looked from Cam to Gordon. "The fact that one member of an undercover operation was shot dead after the other member identified himself as NYPD, and after a pat-down which should have revealed the presence of recording equipment, speaks of gross negligence. At the very least."

"Hey, we didn't know about no wire!" protested Gordon. "And I never heard no one say NYPD! Did you, Cam?"

Cam shook his head. "Nope," he said firmly.

"What about the wire?" asked Ryo. "I can see you maybe missing the mike, but the transmitter was big enough to be noticed in any standard weapons search."

"I didn't notice any goddamn wire or transmitter."

"And yet you took the trouble to disable it, son," said the Chief. "It stopped transmitting when you put the cuffs on him."

"A transmitter is a delicate piece of equipment." Cam shrugged. "If it got damaged, it was an accident. If I'd known it was there, it wouldn't have gotten damaged."

"This is crazy!" protested Gordon. "We're really sorry we broke up your op, but we had solid intel!" 

Ryo noticed that Gordon was more jumpy than Cam, and wondered how much he knew. He hoped he might get an opportunity to question the officer alone, although he doubted it would happen. This matter would go straight to Internal Affairs.

"And at least the guy who got shot wasn't a cop, right?" Gordon looked anxiously from Ryo to the Chief, to Cam and back. "I mean, we ran him for priors when the tip came in and we found quite a list. You guys know what I'm talkin' about. Guy was a bottom feeder, so no great loss, right? The important thing is that the detective's gonna be okay, right?" 

Cam turned his head and spoke to Gordon. "Time to shut up, Gordo. IA's gonna be all over us soon, and we might even need lawyers. No more talking until we have fair representation, got it?"

These words caused Gordon to look even more scared, but he did as Cam said. Neither Ryo nor the Chief could get another word out of either of them.

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"Dude, it's three fucking a.m.!" Dee stood in the middle of their spacious office at One Police Plaza. "I'm just about asleep on my feet. Tell me again why we're still at work when we started three hours early, and we're running four hours late?"

"Look, Dee, you don't have to stay if you don't want to. But tomorrow is going to be a hellacious day, and I want to get a head start on the paperwork."

"Ryo, you don't get ahead in life by never going to bed," Dee insisted. "So what? Let it be a hellacious day tomorrow. We can handle it, as long as we're not hallucinating from lack of sleep."

"Dee, I don't think you realize that IA is going to be here looking for us first thing in the morning." Ryo opened a desk drawer with rather more force than was necessary, and pulled out a pad of paper. "We're almost certainly going to hear from Officers Bell and Cooper's legal counsel as well. If the press don't show up by breakfast time, I'll be very surprised."

Dee shrugged, his expression unsympathetic. "Who gives a flying fuck? We're on second shift. If they really wanna talk to us that bad, they can come back in the afternoon."

Ryo gritted his teeth and glared at his partner. "Do you want someone like Ross giving a statement on our behalf? What do you think he'll say, huh? 'An otherwise routine sting was seriously bungled by Detectives MacLean and Laytner of the 27th precinct....'"

Dee stared incredulously at him for a second, and then snorted. "Get a grip, dude. Talking to the press is a job for PR, or the Commish himself. Ross may be an asshole, but he's a pro. He wouldn't overstep like that."

Ryo snorted right back. "Oh? Even after you threatened to bitch-slap him, and then called him the Commissioner's favorite K-9 member?"

"Well.... yeah." Dee blinked and then frowned at him. "Ross' loyalty is first and foremost to the NYPD and to the Commish. He'll say shit behind our backs, of course, but not to the press."

"Even if you're right– which I doubt," Ryo said doggedly, "I'm not having it said by the PR department that it was due to our incompetence that a man got killed tonight!"

Dee said, "Ryo, what the hell has gotten into you? This is part of the job. Shit happens. We're just damn lucky it wasn't our buddy Ted who got shot. Sometimes a sting goes sideways, you know that. It would have been nice if we could have gotten access to Mike before Hambler got popped, but it wasn't our night." Dee ran a hand over his stubbly jaw and eyed his desk without enthusiasm. "So he's never coming home again. Everyone else's life goes on. Besides, Hambler was a big fat zero of a human being. You saw the rap sheet. The planet is better off without him."

"Lord, you sound just like that cop from the Seventh. That's pretty cold, Dee."

"It may be cold, but at least these are my real feelings. Do you even know what the hell your real feelings are in this case? Don't go trying to convince yourself you actually gave a shit about Hambler when we both know you didn't. And still don't. Was it the girl? Is that what's rattled you?"
 
Ryo was silent for a moment, remembering. "She was just so... crazy with grief, wasn't she? Whatever he was, she loved him. And he's never coming home again." He put a hand to his temple, which was throbbing. Maria had smashed her cell phone into the side of his head, and he had a lump there. It had been a very stressful scene, indeed. She went absolutely insane when she heard the news that her boyfriend was dead, shrieking and hurling herself at them.

"You killed him! You killed him!" she screamed. "I wanted him to wear a vest but you said no! YOU forced him to do that dangerous job! You killed him, you MURDERERS!"

Dee got mad at that point and threatened to cuff her and take her in for assaulting a police officer if she didn't settle down. An older man with sad eyes and a resemblance to Maria, stepped forward and took her in hand, speaking urgently to her in Spanish. "Mendigo de usted, mi hija, no los golpeó. Le suplico..."

They left her sobbing passionately in the arms of that man, who was presumably her father, or uncle, or something. When they walked away from the apartment that the late John Hambler had shared with his new family, they did so to a long line of open doors and the stares of the neighbors. Some of the faces were resentful at the sight of police officers, others carefully blank, and still others were openly and morbidly curious. One older woman in a nightgown and a hastily thrown-on housecoat asked them, "Did something happen to Maria's man?"

"I'm sorry, ma'am. I can't tell you," Ryo had said. "But why don't you go and see if she needs anything?"

As soon as they had passed her door, she hustled off down the hall behind them.

Now, at the sight of Ryo with his hand to his head, Dee started forward, his eyes concerned. "How's your head, anyway?"

Ryo shrugged. "Aching. But whatever. It's only a headache. What happened to Hambler was worse." For a moment, he felt desolate. His mind shied away from fully imagining Maria's sense of loss. Hoping for an indication of fellow feeling, he glanced at Dee, but was met by folded arms and a skeptical expression.

"Oh, I get it," said Dee. "You wanna wallow in guilt and self-recrimination for a while and you're pissed that I won't join in."

"That's not true," Ryo protested. "I mean it's true I feel terrible about everything that happened tonight, but I think any normal person would!"

"Oh yeah? Well, lemme tell you something, partner." Dee's eyes flashed dangerously. "If Hambler had been holding a gun on a hostage, you would have plugged him through the heart just like you did all the others, and he'd be every bit as dead as he is now. He was a violent criminal and a lowlife. They lead dangerous lives. Okay, so sometimes one gets capped, just like what happens to undercover cops. Collateral damage, that's all it is to the brass. Why the hell should WE get our shorts in a twist?"

"What do you mean, 'just like all the others?'" Ryo ground out. He felt both surprised and furious.

"I mean your kill rate, dude. You're getting all worked up over the fact that 'we' got poor old sweet, pure, innocent Jerkhammer whacked, and you're forgetting that you, personally, have put a lot of bullets in a lot of guys. More than me, even though I'm the guy who's always in shit for blowing the department's bullet budget. You've killed scumbags directly, never mind indirectly, like tonight. So have I. Guys just like John Hambler. Bad guys, Ryo. Not saints. And I resent the fact that you're tryin' to make me feel guilty over a piece of shit like Hambler when it wasn't me who put a goddamn bullet in the back of his head. It wasn't you, either, even though you're acting like you want it to be."

"I do NOT want it to be my fault!" Ryo was indignant. "Nor am I blaming you. I'm just feeling bad because a man lost his life due to the fact that we blew it tonight."

"The fuck we blew it," snarled Dee. "We did everything by the book. Approval, requisitions, the whole nine yards. What-- were we supposed to look in our NYPD-approved crystal ball and somehow know that two cops would come along out of the blue and fucking murder the guy? I mean, no one could have anticipated that. You're not being fair."

"Oh, yeah?" Ryo shot back. "Well, you're just trying to shift responsibility, as per fucking usual. Nothing's ever your fault is it? Always a million excuses!"

Dee picked up the plastic Knicks mug from his desk and hurled it against the wall. "My fault? Just listen to yourself!"  He stared fiercely at Ryo, obviously waiting for him to speak.

Ryo stared back, a million thoughts crashing together in his head, and nothing clear emerging. All he knew was that he felt upset, overwhelmed, fearful, and yes, angry. And Dee was not meeting him halfway, like he had hoped he would, like he needed him to.

Dee made a sound of disgust. "I'm going home. I've had it with this shit."

He stalked out of the office without looking back. Ryo watched him go, his lips pressed tightly together. The sound of Dee's striding footsteps echoed down the empty hallway and then finally disappeared.

The office was quiet now, but it still seemed full of Dee's presence, somehow. Dee's angry, resentful presence. Ryo removed his cell phone and his notebook from his jacket before hanging it up neatly on a hanger. What the hell did Dee mean by bringing up his kill rate like that? It had been a big issue around the Twenty-Seventh about a year ago when JJ had decided he wanted to make a big deal about it. Dee had been nothing but supportive at that time, defending him in public and even dropping the subject, when requested to, in private. But now Dee seemed to want to throw it in his face. What had he done to deserve that? Asshole.

Ryo sighed and sat down at his computer, determined not to waste any more time being mad at Dee when it was three a.m. and he really needed to get his work done so that he could head home for a few hours' rest. If only he wasn't so tired. It was hard to think. He decided to spend no more than thirty minutes making notes to make sure he was ready for tomorrow, just in case he ended up getting in trouble for the way the sting had flopped. Sure, Dee could say they had done everything by the book, but Ryo had been in law enforcement long enough to know that even approvals and signed requisition forms couldn't protect a cop if someone higher up felt that a scapegoat was needed for a particular situation.

It was a full ten minutes before he noticed that his monitor was older, heavier, and slightly smaller than the one he had started the day with. When the realization hit him, he stopped typing mid-word and stared at the monitor with his mouth open for several seconds before swearing softly under his breath.

Ross! It had to be. After that little scene the other day where Ross had tried to confiscate his monitor and Dee had stopped him, who else could possibly be behind this? Ryo threw his notebook down in disgust. There was no way he was going to let Ross get away with such a sneaky and underhanded act. He sat wondering whether to fire off an email right now or to go and talk to his nemesis personally the next day and maybe catch him by surprise. Hopefully by then his current desire to throw the Commissioner's Supervisor of Staff off the Brooklyn Bridge would have abated somewhat. He had just decided to send the Commissioner an email, when his cell phone rang in his pocket. If that was Dee, he had no intention of answering it, but he pulled out the phone to see who it was. Yep, it was Dee, Ryo noted with dark satisfaction. Well, his partner could go suck an egg as far as he was concerned. He didn't want to talk to him again any time soon.

A few minutes later as he was checking Officer Cooper's badge number in his notebook, the phone rang again. "Give it up already, Dee," he muttered under his breath, but lifted his phone to check the call display. This time the number was not one that he knew.

"MacLean," he said briskly.

"Why hello there, Detective. I trust I'm not calling ye at a bad time?" The voice was gleeful, Irish, and grimly familiar.

Ryo felt himself go hot all over. "Lieutenant Abernathy, I presume."

"How about that? The man presumes. It seems to me that all this presumin' you've been doing recently isn't exactly working for you. Now you go ahead and correct me if I'm wrong about that." Abernathy chuckled briefly.

"Lieutenant, I'm sure you're aware by now that a man died because of you tonight!"

"I beg to differ, my boyo. As far as I know, all that happened was that an old, old contact from my undercover days attempted to sell me a stolen vehicle with an illegal substance in it. As I am enjoyin' a leave of absence at the moment, it did seem to me as though this tip ought to be passed along to other officers on active duty. Imagine my surprise when the whole operation turned out to be some kind of inept sting attempt by that blundering pack of amateurs at the Two-Seven! There are those who may not wish to believe that I am the innocent target of a campaign of unfounded persecution, but, by God, my lawyer will have a thing or two to say about this."

"Sir, you've made too many mistakes on too many fronts," Ryo said matter-of-factly, trying to sound more confident than he actually was. "We both know it's just a matter of time before you get caught."

There was a short, mirthless bark of laughter from the other end of the line. "A matter of time, you say? Lad, you may not have as much of that as you think."

The line went dead as Ryo drew breath to answer.

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Dee locked the door of his apartment behind him, and kicked off his shoes. Man, was he ever exhausted. His plans included a quick shower and then bed, ASAP. And no way was he going in to work tomorrow. Thursday was his fucking day off, and he planned to sleep until at least noon. He walked into the bedroom to hang up his clothes, trying not to feel guilty about Ryo.

Jesus, why had he gone off on his partner like that? Yeah, Ryo was being an idiot about that fucked up little blame-game he wanted to play, but Dee sincerely regretted bringing up Ryo's rather high kill rate. Police sharpshooters naturally had higher kill rates than the general population of cops, and he knew Ryo was sensitive about it. He stripped off his suit jacket and put it on a hanger, cursing himself for being an asshole. No wonder his partner hadn't answered when he tried to call him from the car. He and Ryo had Friday off together, as well as the first half of Saturday. He had been a fool to lose his temper right before their 'weekend.' He'd be lucky if he could get Ryo speaking to him again before Monday.

After hanging up his pants and peeling off his briefs and socks, he grabbed a fresh towel from a drawer and headed for the bathroom with it wrapped around his waist. Not that he thought any of his neighbors would be awake at this hour, but why give them a free show? His footsteps slowed as he passed the phone. It was worth it to try Ryo one more time. There was about a two percent chance he would answer it. Even if he didn't, Dee resolved to leave an apologetic message this time.

To his irritation, the phone went straight to voice mail without even ringing. Obviously, Ryo was on the phone. Who the hell would he be talking to at this time of night? Dispatch, probably. He listened impatiently to Ryo's polite recorded greeting, and waited for the beep.

"Ryo," he said quickly. "Don't erase this message, okay? I'm sorry for... I'm sorry for all those things I said. I know I was a jerk. I feel like a jerk. I'm too pooped to think right now, but I'll make it up to you. I'll come see you tomorrow, okay? We'll get through the fallout together. I love you."

He sighed as he hung up. There went his much-needed day off. But he needed Ryo more.


~end of Justice, chapter 14~

Additional author's notes:

I think it's time once again to remind you of two things: 1. Brit does her research, and 2. Fictionalized and TV police stories contain higher amounts of danger, deaths, and shootings than do the lives of real-life police officers.

On the first point, I have researched police car cameras, both on cruisers and bait cars, both for the positioning of the cameras and the officers' ability to turn them on or off. Furthermore, some of you may be under the impression that all uniformed police wear cameras and microphones on their uniforms at all times. This is currently true of limited teams of police officers around the USA, specifically Cincinnati, Ohio, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and San Diego and San Jose, California, but not the NYPD, at least not at this time. I think it is probably the wave of the future, though, and would probably be a good thing.

I know that in real life, most police officers go their whole careers without ever firing their sidearms. Also, real-life police lab turnaround times are considerably longer than we think, if we regularly watch cop shows or read cop fiction. In this story, I am trying to achieve a balance between real life (in which people we know rarely get shot, even if we are police officers) and the exigencies of crime fiction, which in order to hold people's interest, has to contain more drama than is usually found in the real world.

My survey isn't ready yet, but I hope to get it put up in about a week. In the meantime, if you have anything at all to say about this chapter, either positive or negative, I would be greatly interested to hear it! Thanks for reading!
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Welcome back. Thanks for another great chapt ... nail biting and I could see it all being played out as I read the chapt. Could also sympathize with Ryo for a bust gone bad and with Dee's reaction. That's what makes the 2 so loveable, they're opposites in some things (at the core, they're more the same in terms of values) and really have to work at their realtionship.

I sympathize with both of them too. Really, everything went wrong for them tonight. Then they probably went home to find that Livejournal had crashed.

Thanks so much for commenting! I really appreciate the feedback.

whew, all going to hell in a handbasket it seems. If it's not petty pranks it's life or death struggles and horrible mishaps.

I just hope nothing truly horrible occurs.

(It's my bday after all, and I'll wish for some <3 times)

WHAAAAAT??? It's your birthday? Well, Happy Birthday, dammit! I hope it was great and you got good loot and chocolate and maybe some cash (because students always need cash, even if they're zombies)and hopefully somebody fed you.

If I knew how to do fancy colors and sparkles in comments, I totally would.

Heh, yes, the fourth of the fourth month is my birthday. And it was alright, I was typing up a paper til 5am, then crashed for the rest of the day. But that's ok, cause Sunday I was over at a friends, where the two of them cooked me dinner, and pumpkin cake, and my package from home with my Wifi detector tshirt should come by wednesday.

And you could always give me smut? 8D (mmm, delicious smut)

BIRTHDAY SMUT FOR MY GOOD BUDDY DAUPHKANTUS!

Here ya go!
.......

Dee bit Ryo's lower lip gently before pulling back from his mouth. "Ready for your birthday blowjob, babe?" he asked as he slowly lowered himself to his knees.

"Um... well, of course." Ryo looked down at Dee through slightly glazed eyes. "But what's the difference between... um..."

"Oh, please go on," said Dee wickedly, as he undid the front of Ryo's slacks and pressed a kiss against his erection through the damp fabric of his boxers. "If you have questions you want answers to, the best time to ask me is before my mouth is too full to answer."

"It's not important," said Ryo faintly and closed his eyes. "Don't... don't stop, Dee."

Dee grinned up at him. "I won't babe. But I still wanna hear the question." He nuzzled Ryo's balls affectionately. "Go on. The difference between...?"

"Oooh!" Ryo couldn't help rubbing his hard-on against Dee's face. "Take me out of my shorts, Dee."

"In a minute. The question?"

"O-okay, what's the difference between a-- a birthday b--b... um, favor of this sort, and a regular one?"

Dee chuckled to himself and shook his head. "Blow...JOB, dude. It's only two syllables."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," said Ryo breathlessly. He gasped when Dee peeled his boxers down and licked the entire length of his penis from balls to crown.

Dee gave him a sexy smirk and tossed his dark hair out of his eyes. "The difference, you sexy thing, is that a regular blowjob is not accompanied by the Happy Birthday song."

"Oh, God," groaned Ryo as Dee closed his mouth over him and began to hum.

.....

Edited at 2011-04-05 06:37 am (UTC)

Re: BIRTHDAY SMUT FOR MY GOOD BUDDY DAUPHKANTUS!

*drooolll*


...oh great, I forgot what I studied for the midterm. I should have waited til after to read that DELICIOUSMINDBLOWINGFICLET. <33
*snerk xD*

Re: BIRTHDAY SMUT FOR MY GOOD BUDDY DAUPHKANTUS!

Uh oh, I hope those midterm memories come back when you need them.

Re: BIRTHDAY SMUT FOR MY GOOD BUDDY DAUPHKANTUS!

In a case of the traditional horrid irony, the midterm was actually for next week's Tuesday, so I needn't have gone in to class, feeling horrible like I am.
Figures.

Re: BIRTHDAY SMUT FOR MY GOOD BUDDY DAUPHKANTUS!

I'd like to think that I had something encouraging and/or insightful to say about the new chapter but braining is closed right now.

Gaaaaaaaah.


Now I'm jealous! I didn't get a birthday smut! :P oh well. :D

This chapter was very angsty! Emotions are running high and people are taking it out on those that they care about. No one has slept and people are dying. I feel really bad for Ted though, terrified to be by himself. Stupid sell-out cops. I get a bad feeling about the message that Dee left. In every other movie/story this means that something bad is going to happen to him and Ryo is going to get the message late. Nooooo!

Neegny is tired, so this is rambling! It's my own fault that I didn't sleep last night since I got my ears pierced yesterday! (There are pics up on my LJ) I can't sleep on my back and it hurt too much to lie on my side. Way to go me! :P

Anyway... When do we get the next chapter?! I'm always waiting for more because I can never get enough!

<3 Neengy!

Yes, it was rather angsty, wasn't it? I think Justice is going to end up being a little more angsty than my usual stories.

I know Neengy is tired when she starts spelling her name 'Neegny'.

Don't worry, I'll write you some belated birthday smut tomorrow!

Hello, Brit! Welcome back, and thank you for an intense, suspenseful chapter! How are you?

Hi Twiyah!

You're welcome! I thought it was pretty suspenseful, too. Maybe I should try to do suspenseful chapters more often.

How am I? Well, I'm detoxing right now, and I'm on day three, which is always a bad day for cravings. I'm doing the Wild Rose 12 day program, mainly because it allows me to have coffee. The food isn't too bad this time around. I haven't been forcing myself to eat fish every day like I did last time. I've been using my slow cooker more, and I also finally figured out how to cook quinoa without turning it into a horrible, sticky paste! I went to a party earlier tonight and drank lemon-ginger herbal tea and ate vegetable sticks while my friends drank various forms of alcohol and ate sausage rolls, cheese, deep fried chicken wings and deep fried pakora with chutney. *Sigh* That pretty much sucked, I have to be honest there! But I'm staying strong. I'm doing this detox because I've been so tired recently and I really need to get some more energy.

How are you doing? How is school? Are you staying fit and healthy?

I admire your strength, I couldn't do any detoxing! Although certainly I could try not to drink and eat sweets all the time. Fish and quinoa don't sound too shabby. At least if the fish is salmon, it's full enough of fat as it is ;)!

Thank you, my running is going on same like last few years. School is relatively stressful right now. I'm working as a doctor for the first time this summer, starting in June, in Internal Medicine. Before I can do that, I still have to get through three exams. Starting work feels like a dip in ice water! I hope by the end of the summer it feels okay, I must just learn! And I still have two more years of school anyway.

One of my courses now is Forensic Pathology. It feel surreal to be learning the differences of strangling and hanging someone..

How long does detoxing last? It's great that your husband is supporting and participating, and not eating pizza next to you!

That Forensic Pathology course sounds scary but interesting, especially to a fanfic writer who does crime stories. I may need to tap into your store of knowledge at some point. May I?

I think it's really exciting that you're going to be working as a doctor this summer! Will it be in a hospital or a clinic? Wow, where did the years go? You've been a med student for as long as I've known you. Pretty soon you're going to be a doctor. When will school be completely finished for you?

Good for you with the running. I had to give up running two or three years ago, but I miss it, and I've made a plan with my chiropractor to start again (slowly) in a few months. In the meantime, I still race around everywhere on my bike. The weather dictates whether or not I wear eye make-up. On rainy days, there's no point wearing eyeliner and mascara, because I'll just end up at work with twin black streaks running down my face.

My detox program will be over on Tuesday the 19th. Depending on how I'm feeling at that time, I might extend it another three days. Unless there's a party, that is! I'm glad my husband isn't eating pizza in front of me. Even if I ran out of the room, the whole house would smell like pizza and it would be torture.

This morning I made eggs, quinoa and about eight different sauteed vegetables for breakfast. I loaded it full of cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon and other spices. With my fabulous spicy green salsa on top, it was really delicious! This is one recipe that is going to survive the detox. It's breakfast and lunch all on one plate.

Hi Brit, sorry for the delay in reply, my laptop developed some issues that hopefully are about fixed now. I'm no specialist in forensic med, but I'll be glad and honoured to help you if I can!!

I'll be working in a hospital. My school goes on for another two years. Then after that I'll have to specialize in something, maybe.

Your breakfast sounds yummy! I'll take up detoxing as well if that will get me such treats! :)

I've understood that you are pretty athletic and biking quite seriously, right? Do you have some kind of a race bike?

Hi Twiyah,

Thanks for being willing to help me! I may have a forensic investigation scene coming up later in this story, but I haven't yet decided whether to write it or just refer to it. It's good to know I can count on you if I take the plunge and actually write it. I've been hesitating because I know there would be a lot of time-consuming research required.

In North America, young doctors working in hospitals are often given punishingly long shifts. Apparently it has been reduced in the past year or two to 80 hours per week, from 120 or higher. I think this is an abusive and dangerous practice. I would be scared to be treated in my hour of need by a doctor who was asleep on his or her feet! Is it like that in Finland, or are you guys more civilized?

Yes, all my meals on this particular detox have been awesome. I have eaten lots of potatoes, rather than brown rice. I've been making organic beef and chicken stews in my crockpot that are tasty, filling and satisfying. I put lentils, poblano peppers and chopped apples in them, along with garlic, ginger, yams, regular potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onions, and of course lots of different herbs and spices. My secret ingredient is ground almonds. It's so yummy and satisfying that I hardly notice I'm detoxing. Okay, I remember the detox when I go food shopping and stroll past the bakery counter. All those beautiful treats are currently forbidden to me! There's this chocolate-covered cheesecake thing I'm dying to try... But I'm going to wait until next weekend.

No, my bike is definitely not a racing bike. Racers would fall down laughing if they saw my bike and someone said the word 'racing'. MY bike is a commuter bike with baskets fore and aft. It's fairly heavy. I can get quite a lot of groceries home on it. I have often brought a pizza home on it, lashed to the rear basket with bungee cords. However, I do ride at racing speeds, mainly because I love getting high on the endorphins this produces. I know this because there was an electronic speed-detector thing that the police set up in our neighborhood for a while. It tells oncoming vehicles (and bicycles) what speed they are going and encourages them to slow down for school zones. I think people slow down mainly because they're never sure whether the machine is unmanned, or if the police are lurking somewhere nearby waiting to give them a $300 ticket. Anyway, this thing used to tell me what my speeds were. I was technically racing, for a person on a bike, but of course, not exceeding the speed limit set for cars. I'm not THAT strong!

I was briefly tempted to try to post an image of my bike in this comment, but it requires html and I just KNOW something would go wrong.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening, Twiyah. Thanks for thinking of me.

I'll help the best I can :) Can't say that I'd know a whole lot, though. I'm having an exam on forensic med in two weeks, so I hope I'll be learning a lot in the next few days, though!

I think we are way more human here :D I've got 40 hours (part of the time in different Internal med wards, part in the Internal med ER) a week plus some 10 hours a week of emergency duty. Depending on where you work, emergency duty can last from 12 to 72 (in health care centres) hours - then your doctor might literally be asleep on their feet..!!

Hey, your bike is even better! More exercise with less speed ;). I do my commuting with a hybrid bike - it hasn't got any baskets or even a carrier, though. I usually just balance two plastic bags on the handles. By the way, I was in Helsinki visiting a friend this weekend, and I even biked to the airport in my home town Oulu.

We had a definitely not-detoxing weekend with brunch, wine, beef dinners and stuff. Maybe I'll try and detox a bit, too!

*sidles in, late as usual* Life, I defy you!

I had a feeling that the sting wasn't going to work, but it made me re-start thinking of who the mole might be. Somebody in Dispatch, perhaps, since there seemed to be so much miscommunication? Or have we already found out who she is?

For some reason, I found the two bad cops hilarious! Maybe it's because I imagine the shorter one looking like a chimp and the bigger one actually looking like a gorilla, but their dialogue made me lol.

When Abernathy came on the phone, I actually got chills! He's so creepy and...self-possessed, I guess. When he was just stomping around and and yelling at people, he was bad, sure, but now that he's so creepily calm, it makes him all the more menacing.

Earlier on, I loled again at the little Ross vs. Diana almost-catfight! Does she know what his relationship with the Commish used to be? I'd love to think of her just teasing the hell out of him by hanging all over Berkie while he fumes. OK, maybe I just want to get back at him for stealing Ryo's monitor and generally being a dick, but it's a nice thought!

Dee's phone message at the end was so sweet! It was also a bit goofy, and more than a bit awkward, but that just adds to it's Dee-ish charm. I have a horrible presentiment (sp?) that that something relating to that message will go very, very wrong. Either Abernathy will get ahold of it somehow and use it against the two of them, or, as neengy said, something bad might happen to one of them before Ryo gets a chance to hear and/or respond to it.

All in all, a great chapter, as usual. I hope you're doing well and cooking lots of nice, warm food for spring!

Wow, thank you for such a long and comprehensive review! I think I heard a little scream as Life popped round a corner and said "Aha!" before dragging you back.

The spy is still a mystery, but Diana's in town to sniff her out, so as soon as she gets out of Berkeley's bed, she'll get get busy on that. And yes, she's well aware that Ross and Berkeley are occasional lovers. She keeps tabs on all her rivals, and outmaneuvers every one of them whenever she can.

I'm glad you liked the two bad cops' dialogue. I didn't give a description of Gordon, apart from the fact that he was smaller than the gorilla, so I created a presence for him with his speech patterns and body language. That way, the readers will hopefully create their own mental picture of him, just like you did. A chimp! Lol!

Yes, I agree that calm confident, string-pulling villains are creepier than raging, blustering ones. But Abernathy has just had a win, so maybe he'll get overconfident...

You're the second person to worry that Dee's phone message portends danger or disaster. Don't worry, it doesn't! There will be no overt danger for Dee and Ryo in the next chapter at least, because Norm's coming back in a big way and I need them both to be present for that.

Yes, I'm cooking all kinds of fabulous, healthy things nowadays. My husband and I are both doing a detox plan, so I'm making stews with organic meats and vegetables in the slow cooker, and today I made The Most Awesome Green Salsa I have ever tasted in my life!! As you can tell, its awesomeness chased the last shreds of my culinary modesty into a dark closet and locked them in.

I can't wait for dinnertime so I can eat it again.

Thank you again for your lovely review!


I think congrats are in order. This chapter has blown us all out of the water, and more importantly, we're speaking up to say it! Looks like your poll helped to do the trick. I'm sorry that I couldn't weigh in on it like you wanted me to. I just didn't have the time, and before I knew what was happening it was already on your journal. I think you picked just the right questions, though; I wouldn't have changed a thing.

I am just sick sick sick to my stomach about what happened on that sting. Ryo's right to feel guilty - not in the sense that he was personally responsible for a mistake, but the police culpability for something like this can't be dismissed. They screw up keeping one of their own in line, have to call in a civilian to help collar him, then can't even trust their own men not to shoot the civilian for playing the very role they told him to play. It doesn't matter what he did in the past. For this, he did not deserve to die. Your Author's Note made me wonder if people have made complaints about the gunplay in your stories. I don't think it's over the top at all. I'm on the libertarian wire about cop screw-ups like this, and they happen all - the - time. Between mishandled stings and copes busting down the doors of wrong houses based on skeezy informants, innocent bystanders are often gunned down. And what happens after? The cop gets off because the circumstances were 'confusing', never mind how confusing things must have been for the surprised homeowner.

I'm not an all-out cop hater or anything, but I don't just assume they're always in the right, either. And though I think Dee and Ryo were just being generally awful to one another, overall Ryo's the one in the right. It was such a horrible day, and then the Great Monitor Swap made it that much worse. You're right, Ryo probably went home and tried to log on to Livejournal too. Damn DDOS! (shakes fist)

Abernathy's a fucking creep. He's that sick guy who could wind up in prison and still manage to control and manipulate half the population into doing his bidding. He's just that good at warping other's minds. The true ultimate weapon, and the one thing you can't take off a guy with a simple frisk. How Ryo must be feeling the chill...

Thanks! Posting the poll was much easier than I expected it to be. In fact, I found posting the fan art image from photobucket to be much harder.

I decided to streamline my poll and not mix too many things together in it. My next poll will be about the Fake fandom in general.

John Hambler was indisputedly a victim of police corruption tonight, despite the fact that he was a dangerous criminal who had done some really rotten things in his life. Dee and Ryo used him. They caught him fair and square in several parole violations, but instead of running him through the system, they basically forced him to participate in their undercover operation. To be fair, they did give him a choice. Since his other choice was jail, he opted to go along with their plans. No one was expecting him to get shot, though! Abernathy used his own corrupt police contacts to get rid of a man who had become a danger to him.

I will say that I don't think we can blame the police force itself for the existence of corrupt cops. Every organization has its bad apples, and this problem is much more pronounced when an organization is huge, and spread over a large area, and its members have been armed and granted power over the regular population. You see this in police forces, the military, and border services. It is currently impossible for commanders to know exactly what each individual member is doing at all times. As more cameras and microphones find their way into public life, this will probably change.

Some commanders are bad apples, too!

Sometimes civilians or undercover cops die because other cops think they're criminals and shoot them, or soldiers die because of friendly fire. Dee was nervous about this back in chapter 6 when he had just punched Lonnie in the nose and back up from the 7th precinct arrived. He knew he wasn't in uniform, so he got his badge out and identified himself PDQ.

You're right that ultimately the NYPD is responsible for what happened to Hambler. The NYPD must also ultimately take responsibility for Abernathy's actions, although they are doing their best, within the legal means they are constrained by, to catch and stop him.

You're also correct to point out that the police get away with a lot of things they shouldn't. These range from incidents of bad judgment to arguably criminal behavior. But a lot of criminals get off in court, too. No system seems to be perfect.

No, nobody has complained about the gun play, but I think it's possible that people might be under certain misapprehensions about police equipment and police work. I have a lot of readers from different countries who may assume that some practices are the same everywhere. Sometimes we see things in a movie or a documentary about one police force and assume that those things are the norm for every police force, when in fact they aren't, even in the same country. Also, I think it's good to periodically remind people that I'm writing crime fiction, not true crime. Crime fiction, like TV shows, is naturally going to be less realistic than real life. I'm doing a mix of real life and entertainment here, but the foundation of the entertainment is built on real research. Thank God for Google, or I never would have written any of these stories!

Dee usually controls himself around Ryo and has more patience with him than he does with everyone else, but this time he was too tired and too stressed, and he let his mouth run away with him.

Abernathy has succeeded in rattling Ryo, although Ryo did a pretty good job of not showing it. He and Dee are back to square one. The bad cops have all the advantages because they don't have to stay within the law to achieve the results they want, whereas the more honest cops do.

Thank you very much for both your comments! You know how much I appreciate your interest and support.

I really enjoyed the new stuff you added to the end and the birthday fun. Shy Ryo is so adorable. Dee leaving an 'I'm sorry' message is so sweet. I refuse to think about Abernathy's message. He's so freaking scary.

Thanks tripple_p! I added that extra stuff because of you, you know. It meant the chapter could end on a (slightly) lighter note, which I think was necessary after all the stress, fear, death and fighting all the characters went through. I had initially been too lazy to write the part where Abernathy called and gloated. I was going to leave it to the next chapter. But it really belonged in this one.

I think I could really get into writing these little birthday ficlets. They were fast and fun and didn't require research or beta-reading because they were so short and simple. And boy do the hits go up!

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