brit_columbia (brit_columbia) wrote,
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brit_columbia

FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June), ch 26

Hello Readers!

I'm adding this now because I found myself too much under the gun the other night. I had a crazy busy week at work last week -- worked until almost 11 pm two nights, and got out of there at 9:30 on Friday. I had to start my out-of-town weekend on three and a half hours of sleep. I came back Sunday evening and couldn't face laundry, so I put it off until Monday night, along with the food shopping I didn't do on the weekend. This week at work is going to be just as bad. I worked until 9:45 tonight and missed the gym. Poor Fluffy gets distressed when I'm gone so much. Apparently he finds my husband insufficiently doting. And no wonder. I come home and find little bowls of the oddest things next to the cat's dish, things that my husband mistakenly thinks Fluff is likely to eat. Cats don't LIKE chunky veggie soup, and they don't eat cake unless they're curious and it's on your plate (and therefore forbidden), and even then they don't really eat it. They just poke it and take a couple of licks.

I may (or may not) have a new cell phone by this Thursday evening! I haven't yet decided if I'm going to take the plunge. I've been spending a lot of money recently. And boot season is right around the corner.

Anyway, here's the chapter...


FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June), chapter 26
By Brit Columbia

Fandom: FAKE
Pairing: Dee and Ryo
Timeline: Set after my big story FAKE First Year Together: A New Day (May). Both Justice and A New Day are set after Volume 7 of FAKE
Summary: Dee and Ryo are hunting the dangerous and corrupt Lieutenant Abernathy, but he'll take them down first, if he can. They are slowly closing in on him, but he still has the advantage.
Rating:
   This chapter is not worksafe. (Yay, huh?)  M/M sex between two men who love each other. A big heterosexual lime, too.
Disclaimer: FAKE, featuring Dee, Ryo, Bikky, The Chief, Ted, FBI Agent Diana Spacey,  Commissioner Rose, Drake and JJ, was created by Sanami Matoh. I make no claim on FAKE or Ms. Matoh or any of her characters. I just write fanfiction about them because I love the FAKE world so much.
Author's Notes:  IA detectives Ramie and Battola are my characters, as are Jeasandra, Berkeley's housekeeper, and Lance the security guard.

Thank you to ladyfeather and tripple_p for beta-reading this chapter for me.

Previously in Justice: Back in chapter 14, Ryo and Dee and the team from the Twenty-Seventh Precinct tried to catch Lieutenant Abernathy in a sting involving an allegedly stolen car with drugs in the trunk. They pressured an ex con into helping them. His name was John Hambler, AKA 'Jackhammer', and he ended up getting shot dead by two uniformed police officers who barged in on the sting. Those two officers were Cameron Bell and Gordon Cooper of the Seventh Precinct. The Seventh Precinct seems to have a disproportionately high percentage of jerks (although not in real life, I'm sure!) Dee and Ryo already know that Officer Bell is a lackey of Abernathy's because he was previously involved in the attempt to set Bikky up with a bag of Doritos that really was full of heroin hits.

IA was called in to investigate the shooting of John Hambler and the concurrent assault on Ted, who was undercover with Hambler. Recently, Officer Cooper got nervous and called Dee and Ted to come and talk to him. He indicated that Abernathy and Bell were trying to put all the blame for Hambler's death on him, but he got too drunk to be properly questioned, and was found dead very soon after Dee and Ted left his apartment.




Justice Chapter 26

Dee and Ryo boarded the Lexington Avenue express train at Union Square together, both dressed in lightweight summer suits. Dee's was pale grey; Ryo's was light brown.There were seats available on the train, but they chose to stand. Ryo usually preferred standing on the train to keep his freshly ironed suit as fresh as possible for as long as possible, and Dee chose to stand so that he could be near Ryo.

"Dude, when we come back, let's split a taxi, okay? It's only a couple of miles. I think it's worth it."

Ryo shrugged. "Sure, if you want to." His eyes met Dee's for a moment, and then he looked away, blushing.

Dee grinned back. He knew what Ryo was thinking about. Maybe there was another reason why his lover didn't want to sit down right now. Memories of a beautiful morning washed over him. There had been sex last night, and again today, before lunch. He was really batting a thousand round about now. God, he loved second shift and its mid-afternoon start. Too bad this was the last one for a while. Tomorrow they were back on at seven a.m., which to Dee, was more like the middle of the night than first thing in the morning.

Dee pretended to study the ads above the windows, rather than continue to stare at Ryo and get himself in trouble. Staring at Ryo in his mind instead, he recalled a hundred small details of Ryo's responsiveness last night and this morning. Dee had come to Ryo's place after his shift last night to find his lover in a snarky mood. They'd had a little spat, following which Ryo had made him a sandwich and then gone to bed with him. No fucking or sucking, just kissing and then some really hard and urgent frot. It had been great-- especially considering that Ryo had come right out and asked for it. Well, not directly of course, but in his stilted, roundabout way, he had made it clear what he wanted. And to add extra spice to the proceedings, he also insisted on being on top. Dee found that very interesting. Ryo was obviously becoming more confident. Dee could still feel Ryo's strong body on top of his, grinding away and pinning one of his wrists to the mattress. He wondered if Ryo had ever fucked a woman like that. Somehow, he didn't think so.

Of course they had both needed late night showers after that, which had given Dee high hopes of a sexual sequel, until Ryo nixed shower fun on account of wanting to get up early the next day.

This morning, Ryo had been in such a good mood after talking to Bikky via Skype that he hadn't put up much of a fight when Dee maneuvered him back into bed. Dee's plan was to get Ryo all primed and quivering with one of his high quality blowjobs. After that, he felt it wouldn't be difficult at all to move Ryo into position so that Dee could attain his real goal, which was to enter his darling face to face. Dee understood that for Ryo, being penetrated required greater levels of trust than the other sexual acts they regularly did, and it consequently increased the intimacy between them. Plus, Ryo got really excited whenever Dee's cock was inside him, and was more likely to express his excitement loudly. Several weeks ago, following an embarrassing encounter with his son at the breakfast table, Ryo had made a new sex rule: no penetrative sex at his apartment whenever Bikky was at home. Dee was not thrilled about this edict, but he accepted Ryo's reasoning for it. Now, with Bikky temporarily away, Dee felt this was a good opportunity to get some sexy noise out of Ryo. The way things were looking up at work, it seemed like it wouldn't be long before they had Abernathy in custody. That meant Bikky might even be back by the end of next week! Dee was not a man to waste a beautiful opportunity.

His body heated up as he remembered Ryo's flushed face and breathless voice in bed this morning.


"Tell me again...Mmmmffh...Dee, why we're....mmmm.... oh!....Why... why-we're-back-in-bed?"

Dee lifted his mouth off Ryo's penis long enough to say, "Shhh, baby," before swallowing it again.

"But, Dee....Oooh!... I wanted to... I wanted to..." Ryo squirmed deliciously. His hands, which had been clutching at the sheets, found their way to Dee's head and tangled in his hair.

Dee knew what Ryo was trying to say. His partner wanted to go into work early. They weren't due on shift until three p.m., but he knew if he let Ryo have his way, that little workaholic would drag them both there by twelve thirty or one o'clock. He decided not to give Ryo a chance to finish his sentence. Swallowing Ryo's length into his throat and playing with the man's balls with his free hand brought Dee exactly the incoherent results he was hoping for.

It wasn't long after that that Ryo surrendered completely, in that he stopped trying to talk and he also gave up trying to inhibit his responses. He lay on his back, the muscles of his athletic thighs and torso standing out with sexual tension, and seemed willing to let Dee control the pace.

Dee prolonged it for him, taking him close, then backing him off several times, working on Ryo's balls and finally his ass, with spit-soaked fingers. When he decided it was time, he rose quickly to his knees, and snatched the lubricant out of the drawer. It had survived the trashing of Ryo's apartment by the Seventh Precinct. Dee had personally searched for it and put it back in the nightstand before anyone from their clean-up crew had spotted it.

He figured Ryo had been stretched enough, so he just applied lube to his cock and held it firmly at the entrance to Ryo's ass. "Legs higher, baby," he murmured. "I'm comin' in."

Ryo obeyed, and then made a strangled sound when Dee breached his still-tight ring of muscle. Dee knew he ought to have taken it a little slower than that, but on the other hand they were both so close that there was no time to lose. "Open for me, sweetheart, come on, let me in."

Ryo made a short hissing sound and then instinctively held his breath. Dee could tell he was having difficulty.

"Breathe, Ryo, you sexy thing. Come on lover, take a breath.... Yeah, like that. Now out. Good." He looked down at Ryo with tenderness and apology. "I'm sorry, babe. I know I pushed in too fast. Is it hurting?"

Ryo nodded once, tightly. "A- a little," he managed in a strained voice. "But... keep going." His cock remained hard between them.

Dee gave another little push. "You keep on breathing."

Ryo did, and clutched at Dee's shoulders, groaning, as Dee pushed in the rest of the way. At that point, Dee experienced a crisis of pressure in his balls. It almost overcame him; the feeling of Ryo's strong, excited body under his, the tight grasp of his lover's insides, the little sounds of mingled distress and desire that were coming out of his mouth. Various scents rose maddeningly to Dee's nostrils, Ryo's sweet breath, the pheromones in his sweat, his designer deodorant, the underlying musk of his arousal...

"Jesus!" Dee exclaimed. "Jesus, Lord, a little help here!" By gritting his teeth and forcing himself to recall certain highly unpleasant crime scenes, he was able to pull himself back slightly from the brink. He lay stiffly on top of Ryo, still sheathed within him, quivering with tension and fighting not to unload inside that tight, tight, insanely hot ass.

Ryo shifted uncertainly, as if to reassure himself that the length inside him still had its hardness. "Um... Did Jesus listen to you?"

"Yeah, but don't tell Penguin." Dee's voice was trembling, but he managed a shaky grin.

Ryo's eyes widened. "Don't talk about Peng-- I mean 'Mother', now!"

"Sorry, love." Dee kissed Ryo's cheek and didn't admit that thinking of Penguin had probably helped his self-control just as much as calling upon Jesus had. He knew that Ryo would be annoyed with him for the rest of the day if he blew his load two seconds after getting inside. Ryo liked the fucking part, the in-and-out. This was understood between them, although Ryo seemed to show no inclination ever to come right out and say so. Ryo liked coming with Dee's cock inside him, and would complain if Dee shot first. Dee had learned that little detail, among others, that first glorious, explorative weekend back in May after Ryo had finally made his confession of love on the Brooklyn Bridge.

"Dee, are you just gonna lie there?" Ryo moved impatiently under him, and Dee felt Ryo's internal muscles squeezing him hard.

"Aarghh! Don't do that yet, you bastard. I'm still really close. Just gimme a minute."

Ryo breathed in deeply through his nose, obviously trying not to move. "Dee, hurry up and-- and calm down."

"You little..." Dee got a good grip on the bedsheets and ground in further, making Ryo gasp. "It would serve you right if I lost it."

Ryo gazed up at him through bedroom eyes, his soft, sun-streaked hair falling back on the pillow. "You're not gonna lose it, Dee," he murmured. "I'm counting on you..."


Dee smiled at Ryo again as the train slowed down at their stop. He hadn't lost it, as it had turned out. His control had held long enough for Ryo to get really, really, satisfyingly noisy. And now Ryo was back to being shy, which Dee found endearing. It was hard for him to take his eyes off his lover. Ryo was such a handsome man, a real head-turner. He dressed well, he carried himself well, and he had a masculine beauty to his face that was vaguely exotic. Dee wished he could put an arm around him, or hold his hand, or otherwise lay public claim to him, but he didn't dare. Although a select few knew about their relationship, Ryo was in no way out of the closet.

Dee followed Ryo up the steps of the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station entrance, thinking again about Ted's pointed comment the night before. Had Ted managed to figure out that things were different now between him and Ryo? Ted was the last member of their team Dee would have credited for that kind of observation. But on the other hand, maybe it made sense. Marty wasn't around enough. Sheldon didn't care. Eliza didn't have gaydar. James was too innocent. JJ's focus was solidly on himself at all times, Drake's thoughts went between sports, food, and women, in that order. The Chief knew, but they could count on him not to blab. The Commissioner knew, and although he was kind of unpredictable, he would probably keep his mouth shut because he had his own secrets.

Dee frowned thoughtfully as he remembered that day when the Commish had dropped Detective Greenspan off to see them with her envelope full of photos she thought were incriminating. She had caught Ryo kissing Dee in the booth of a diner and then had gotten all weird about it. Hmmm, that could be it. Maybe Tina was the culprit here! Had she been talking to Ted? It was entirely possible. Dee wondered how he could find out without having to endure actually speaking to Tinkerbell herself.

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

Diana had been more or less ignoring Detective Greenspan's messages, but after receiving a testy call from Berkeley at 12:20 pm on Sunday, she decided it was about time to get back to Tina regarding the puppy. Maybe not for a couple of hours though, as she certainly didn't want to get roped into having to assist Tina in person in any way. Diana smirked to herself as she contemplated the situation. She considered Detective Greenspan to be neutralized for now. Berkeley wouldn't want to see her again for a while. Now for the others. Of course, Diana had her plans for Marianne, but that could wait a day or two, since Marianne was currently not in favor. Ross had apparently been thrown a Berkie-bone lately, judging by the new spring in his step and the way the tension had been magically smoothed from his brow. He'd just better not get any ideas that he was entitled to more than the occasional bone. Berkeley was hers, and no one else was going to get into his heart. His bed maybe, but no further than that.

When she rang the bell at Berk's fashionable brownstone townhouse, Berkeley's squat little housekeeper, Jeasandra, let her in with a worried expression. "His feeling is very bad, Miss Spacey," she warned Diana, waving a dustpan around in one hand. "I do not know what happened today, but watch out." Shaking her head and making clucking noises, she started sweeping up shards of broken pottery from the floor of the foyer.

"Don't worry about me." Diana blew a pink bubble out of her mouth and popped it. "I've seen him in plenty of bad moods over the years." She paused at the bottom of the stairs and listened. Yes, that was the sound of the shower. She would find Berkie in the master bathroom. Turning back to the housekeeper, she said, "Say, don't you have some supply-shopping to do today?"

"Oh no, Miss Spacey, I do that yesterday." Jeasandra looked at her quizzically, taking in the details of Diana's cleavage and clingy red skirt. "Are you wanting to be alone with Mr. Rose?"

"You always were a smart cookie, Jessie," Diana said with a grin. She pulled out her notebook and scribbled on it. "Here, I need you to pick up a few things for a romantic late lunch. Fetch the wine first, and tell Teatro's you'll wait while they prepare the canapes. Don't come back for at least an hour, okay?" Opening her purse, she handed the other woman a one-hundred dollar bill. "Keep whatever's left over from this."

Jeasandra smiled, revealing gold dental work on two of her teeth. She was an old retainer of Berkie's and he paid her very well, enough for her to impress her relatives in the Philippines with her dental plan. "Sure thing, Miss Spacey. Thank you. See you later." She untied her apron and went to fetch her shopping bag.


When Berkeley stepped out of the shower, Diana walked in through the open door holding a large fluffy, white towel. She didn't exclaim in delight at the sight of him or rush forward to offer sympathy. She kept it low key until she knew the lay of the land. He had blasted her but good over the phone, blaming her for the out-of-control puppy incident at dear Tina's apartment. Like she had ever so much as set foot in the place.

"What are you doing here?" he demanded rudely.

"Aw, sweetie, that's no way to talk to your only true friend in this world." She handed him the towel at arm's length; he snatched it sulkily.

"Deny it as you will, but I know damn well you are the hidden force behind Detective Greenspan's having been stuck with a noisy, hyperactive animal she has no idea how to control."

"Me? All I did was make a suggestion. I guess she had a guilty conscience, so she took me up on it." Diana grinned at him and popped another bubble, knowing it would annoy him. "Swear to God, Berk."

Berkeley gave her a dark look and he turned away to towel dry his hair. "Diana, I've no patience for your foolishness. I'm in rather a foul mood, in case you hadn't noticed. You can swear to God all you like, but you and I both know that you engineered this day's debacle at Detective Greenspan's apartment."

Diana leaned against the white quartz counter top and examined her nails. "Well, as always, I'm simply thrilled that you think I've got all these magical powers, but..."

Berkeley wrapped the towel around his waist. "But what?"

"But one of these days you're gonna find out I'm only human, and then you won't love me anymore." She said it in a breezy tone, not giving away how those words made her feel.

"You're not human-- you're a witch!" Berkeley closed the distance between them in two strides and gripped her by the upper arms. "A sneaky, conniving, devious little witch." His eyes blazed down into hers before flickering to her mouth.

"You've got it wrong, Berkie. I'm not a witch, I'm a bitch. Everyone says so. But not to my face, of course." Eyes dancing, she gazed up at him. "How do you think I rose so high in the FBI?"

"You're too cocky for your own good, Dee-Dee. One of these days you're going to bite off a bit too much."

"I don't bite, sweetie. I either beat the crap outta people or I shoot 'em." She shook her hair back off her shoulders and traced a line down the front of his chest with one glossy fuchsia-colored nail. "Besides, I've never bitten you, now, have I?"

Berkeley ignored the question and yanked her close to his body. "Do you know what happens to girls who are foolish enough to invade the privacy of a man's bathroom?"

"They get ravished by big, wet, naked brutes?" she asked hopefully. That got a reluctant grin out of him.

Berkeley began unbuttoning her blouse. "I'm going to fuck you right on this counter top, Dee-Dee. And I don't feel like being gentle."

"Oh Berkie, you bossy beast, you. At least you're never dull." She took her gum out of her mouth with a smirk and reached over to stick it to the faucet. "Sock it to me, sweetie."

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

When the little bitch answered the phone, Lieutenant Abernathy snarled, "It's me, and I'm not pleased with you, lass."

"Oh!" she exclaimed and he knew she was frightened. He knew it was a sin to enjoy frightening her, but for some reason he couldn't help it.

"Why have you not done as I told you?"

"I couldn't get in," she said. "He hasn't been using his office here much, and the door's been locked. Otherwise I would have done it, you know I would."

"Look, I don't want to hear any more excuses," he told her, his voice harsh. "You stay there until midnight if ye have to, and you sweet-talk one of the cleaning staff into letting you in. Those batteries have needed changing for weeks. I'm counting on you to do it for me."

"Sir... I-- I don't want to." She took a deep breath that Lieutenant Abernathy could hear all the way down the phone line. "I think it's too risky. I don't want to get caught."

"I think what you don't want is to be exposed as a light-fingered little shoplifter! I made that file of yours disappear and I can make it reappear faster than lightning. What will your friends and family think? How long do you expect you'll retain your job at the NYPD with a criminal record?

"But sir, if they catch me, what will I say?"

"They're not going to catch you, but even if they do, you just pull out your acting skills and lie your sweet little head off. I'm sure you'll think of something. Now get it done, girl, or you are going to find yourself in a world of trouble."

"Yes, sir," she whispered, her voice dispirited.

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

 When Dee and Ryo walked into the ground floor lobby of One Police Plaza, they saw that Lance, the big security guard, was on duty. He detached himself from the security desk and strode forward to intercept them.

Don't look at his hands, don't look at his hands, Ryo told himself, hoping that someday he would manage to get over his strange fascination with Lance's enormous fingers.

"You guys just missed Internal Affairs!" Lance exclaimed with a grin. "They've been hanging around here for the last half hour waiting for you."

"Bastards," said Dee darkly. He looked at Ryo. "I suppose they want to blame me for what happened to Cooper."

"I don't know about that, man." Lance spared a quick glance for Dee before giving his full attention to Ryo.They were asking for you, Randy. You missed 'em by about five minutes." He hooked his thumbs in his belt and the wedding ring on his left hand glinted in the late afternoon sun.

"Oh," Ryo said, feeling confused, and hoping it didn't show. "Me? I wonder why they didn't call?" He got out his cell phone and squinted at it. Just then his phone chirped to indicate a text had come in. It was Ted.

"They probably wanted to catch both of us by surprise," said Dee, looking nervously at the door. "I say we don't hang around too long, bro. Let's punch in, pick up our messages, and get the hell out of here in case they come back. Once they get their hooks into you, you'll be lucky if they let you go by six o'clock. And then they'll start in on me."

"Well, I don't mind talking to them if it will help nail Officer Bell for what he did to Hambler," Ryo said.

"I told you, dude, that's not the way the wind's blowing. Cooper said that Bell and Abernathy had out-and-out told him that he was gonna be taking the fall for it, but he didn't wanna play ball, so he called me. Then whaddaya know, someone goes and offs him on the very same night."

"It wasn't alcohol poisoning? Or suicide?"

"Officially, it's gonna be alcohol poisoning, I betcha. But I think someone shut him up."

Lance stared at them. "Man, I'm glad all I have to do is work the security desk," he remarked.

Dee handed him his card. "Hey, do me a favor, man. If those assholes come back, call me on my cell and gimme a heads up."

"You bet, Dee." Lance turned to Ryo with a smile. "Better let me have your card too, Randy."

"Oh, er... I think I have some right here." Ryo put his phone away and patted his shirt pocket.

"Give it to him later, Ryo," said Dee, giving Ryo a not-so-subtle push toward the elevators. "We gotta haul ass, or Internal Affairs is gonna fuck up our schedule for us, big time."

"Okay, okay, stop shoving." Ryo shot an annoyed look at Dee. "See you later, Lance."

"Later."

But they were not to be so fortunate as to evade Internal Affairs. As they were walking out the front door of the building less than fifteen minutes later, they practically collided with the two IA detectives Dee had been grilled by on Friday. He swore out loud at the sight of them.

Both agents wore nasty smiles, but the short, muscular one spoke first. "Going somewhere, gentlemen?"

"Partner, I'm sure you remember Detectives Ramie and Butt-ola?" Dee reached for his cigarettes.

"That's Battola, asshole," the short guy rapped out.

Dee raised his eyebrows and met Battola's eyes coolly. "Really? My mistake. Bet you get that a lot." He stuck a smoke in his mouth.

Detective Ramie looked down his nose at Ryo. "MacLean, how come you guys don't return calls? We've been leaving messages for you all damn weekend."

"Well, I'm sorry you missed us," Ryo said in his quiet voice, "but I was off yesterday, and we're on second shift today. Is there something we can help you with?"

Ramie flashed a mirthless grin at his partner. "Listen to this Joey-- is there something he can help us with? Christ."

Ryo felt his temper stir. "Look, I offered to meet with you on Friday night, even though I was off shift at the time. You said, and I quote, "It's not convenient."

Battola's little eyes glittered with malice. "I would think, Detective, especially given your 'special' history with the department of Internal Affairs that you would want to be a bit more cooperative."

Dee blew smoke out in an angry rush of air. "For fuck's sake, quit with the obligatory ball-breaking already! I suppose you guys are here to ask us some questions? Then let's get it the hell over with. You guys may have all day, but we sure as hell don't."

Ramie jerked his head toward the curb. "Come on, then. We got a car here to take you to headquarters."

"No, we don't have time for that." Ryo said firmly, which caused Dee to cough in surprise.

Battola's normally ugly expression got even uglier. "MacLean, I'm fucking sick of--"

Ryo interrupted him. "We're here at One Police Plaza. Meeting rooms, electronics, everything state of the art. What have you got down at IA that's better than this?"

Both IA guys stared at him, unable to answer. Dee grinned and ground the butt of his cigarette under his heel.

"Our files are there," Detective Ramie said, a faint hint of disconcertion underpinning his annoyed tone. "And we don't have to go through channels to get access to our equipment."

"What equipment?" asked Dee. "Thumbscrews and a portable rack?"

"Oh, you're a funny guy, Laytner," Ramie snapped. "If you don't put a lid on the comedy--"

"Dee, cut it out," Ryo said. "I want to get this interview over with as soon as possible." He turned to Ramie and Battola. "Look, we can spare you one hour and no more. We're not desk cops, and we've got people to see today."

Ramie took a step closer to Ryo, using his height and bulk to loom over him, a bully's trick. "You think you're calling the shots here, MacLean? You want to give some urgent thought to what my partner and I can do to your career."

Ryo saw an expression of unease flash onto Dee's face before it was replaced a split second later by anger. As his partner started forward, Ryo flung out an arm to block him, and muttered "I'll handle this!" under his breath. Then he turned his attention back to the Internal Affairs detectives. "Here, at One Police Plaza. One hour. Take it or leave it."

Detective Ramie exchanged a disgusted look with his partner, and then shook his head. "You sure you wanna knock heads with me, MacLean? 'Cause I got no hesitation about going way over your boss's head and bringing a shower of shit down on the Two Seven's whole chain of command."

Ryo held the man's gaze. "You do whatever you think is best, Detective," he said.

He knew, without turning his head to look, that Dee was beside him, facing down Detective Battola. Dee was probably baffled by Ryo's uncharacteristically combative attitude, but he was always unfailingly supportive, a fact Ryo appreciated.

The meeting clearly hadn't gone the way Detective Ramie had expected it to. He nodded curtly at his partner and said, "Come on Joey. We're wasting our time. You two idiots are gonna hear from your station commander today, you hear me? When he calls to rip you a new one and order you to report to Internal Affairs on pain of suspension."

"Have a nice day, ladies," Dee called after them in a jeering tone, but the minute they were out of earshot he swung incredulous eyes onto Ryo. "Partner-- IA! Do I need to remind you they have the power of life and death over our jobs. What the fuck?"

"We were in such a hurry to punch in and get our messages that I didn't have a chance to show you this." Ryo handed Dee his cell phone. "I got a text from Ted right when we entered the building. He said on no account were we to go to IA headquarters with Ramie and Battola."

"Whoa," said Dee his eyes skimming over the text. "Look at all those caps and exclamation marks. Seems like Teddy's got his shorts in a twist. Says the Badger's on board, too. And he's coming here to show us something?"

"Yeah, but he didn't say when, so we might as well get some work done until we hear from him. We could go--"

"Psst! I'm already here," came Ted's voice from behind them, which made Dee jump.

"Teddy! What the hell?" Dee looked around. "Did you bring the Chief?"

"Quit hollering, Dee. You want those guys to come back? Hurry up and let's get inside. No, I did not bring the Badger, but he wants me to bring you up to speed. I got some radical shit to show you in the computer lab."

"Is it about Ramie and Battola?" asked Ryo, prying his cell phone out of Dee's hand.

"You bet it is. And your buddy Abernathy, too."

"What, you have evidence?" For a moment, Ryo felt wildly hopeful. Maybe Bikky could come home soon.

Ted made a dismissive gesture. "No, not evidence. Information. It's probably inadmissible unless we can get the Chief to say he approved it last night, which he's being non-committal about, due to his upcoming promotion."

"Ted, my friend, you are not making sense." Dee nodded to the security desk as they re-entered the building. "Can you just get to the point here?"

Ted took a furtive glance around and then lowered his voice. "I hacked into IA's network last night, which was not easy, let me tell you. But I found some stuff that's gonna make your hair stand on end."

end of chapter 26

Thanks for reading! I'll add a bit more to may author's notes tomorrow. Hopefully, I will also be able to think od a chapter title, too. Right now, though, it's almost 1:00 a.m. on a work night! Gotta go to bed.


Tags: berkeley and diana, fake, justice
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