A New Day
Rating: Chapter one is Mature. Coarse language
Spoilers: To Volume 7
Timing: Set in May directly after Book 7 ended
Summary: Ryo is coming to terms with the changes in his relationship with Dee, as well as his new sexual identity. Meanwhile, Dee and Ryo are searching for a young runaway. This story explores homophobic attitudes but is primarily a love story between two men.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They are the property of Sanami Matoh. I am not making any money from this.
Author's notes: I believe in a strong and equal Ryo and Dee. I will try to post the next chapter ASAP.
Thank you to my beta, Blue Simplicity, for all your good ideas!
Bristling with rage, Dee faced the two sneering men in the parking lot.
"Yeah, a faggot with attitude. What the fuck is the world coming to, huh?" Frank snickered.
"Shit, yeah, I got a problem," Larry said to Dee. "I just saw something so fuckin' disgusting that I can't eat this chili d-- OOF!"
He bent double and dropped to his knees as Dee's fist slammed into his stomach. The chili dog went spiraling out of his hand.
A veteran of many a street fight, Dee ducked reflexively as the other man's fist passed harmlessly over his head, and came up with a solid left hook to the jaw before the guy had time to recover. As the first one rose to his feet with a muffled curse, Dee stepped neatly between them, and seizing each man by the collar, cracked their heads together with a well-timed jerk. Both cried out and tumbled to the pavement.
Towering over the two men on the ground, who were clearly having second thoughts about getting back up to challenge him, Dee became aware that several pairs of eyes were on him. A white-faced Ryo hovered by the open car door, a few paces off to his left. Bikky and Carol stood in the open doorway of the convenience store, with several other interested patrons of the establishment. It came to Dee that he'd better finish this up and that they should all get the hell out of there ASAP. He addressed the two on the ground.
"You two dipshits got anything else to say?" Dee cracked his knuckles suggestively.
They shook their heads, mumbling, "No, man," and "Nah", respectively.
"Go on, then get the fuck outta here!"
They scrambled to their feet and shambled off without looking back. Dee was tempted to yell after them a reminder to tell all their friends they'd got the shit kicked out of them by a faggot, but one look at Ryo's face and he knew he was in trouble enough already.
"Dee, are you out of your mind? Do I have to remind you that you're a grown man and a police detective?" Ryo ground out between clenched teeth. "You can't allow yourself to be caught brawling in convenience store parking lots. What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"Way to go, Pervert! We can always count on you to lose it and liven up a dull evening." Bikky's words were dismissive, but he was grinning and his eyes sparkled at Dee.
"Lay off him, Bikky," said Carol. "I'm sure those two creeps deserved it, whatever they did. Why didn't you arrest them, Dee?"
"What, and spend an hour at the station filling out paperwork when I could be eating ice cream with you?" Dee winked and held open the car door for her. "Come on rugrats, hop in. Let's get home before it melts."
Ryo was grimly silent for the rest of the short drive home, but it was made less apparent by the lightly insulting banter that Bikky and Dee instinctively kept going between them. They continued it through the lobby of Ryo's apartment building and all the way up the stairs, before Carol finally put a stop to it.
"Enough, guys!" she complained. "If I have to listen to this for one more minute, I'm going home, ice cream or no. I'm serious!"
Bikky immediately fell silent, and Dee grabbed the opportunity to twap the kid's head from behind with his thumb and forefinger, knowing that there would be no retaliation.
"Want me to get some bowls out, Ryo?" Carol asked as she headed into the kitchen with one of the shopping bags.
"Sure, Carol, thanks." Ryo gave her a smile that was trying to be bright as he shrugged out of his jacket.
Bikky and Carol had taken their third bowls of ice cream into Bikky's room so that Carol could help him unpack. Dee sat at the kitchen table, long legs stretched out before him, licking ice cream off his spoon and watching his lover as he put the rest of the ice cream away. Instead of returning to the table, Ryo started frowning over the contents of the freezer, picking items up and checking them, then putting them back. He could feel Dee's eyes on him.
"Ryo," Dee said.
"Are you sure there's something wrong with my freezer?" Ryo asked.
"Because everything seems to be frozen normally."
Dee sighed and got to his feet. "That's because I reset it colder after I cleaned up the ice cream mess," he said. He took the freezer door from Ryo's hand and closed it firmly. "Talk to me."
Ryo shifted his feet. "It does feel a little sticky on the floor down there..." He looked down.
"Look, Ryo, I understand that you're pissed. I shouldn't have mixed it up with those two guys in the parking lot like that. I lost my temper, all right? That has occasionally been known to happen in the history of Dee. I'm sorry, OK? Why don't you just yell at me and get it over with, already?"
Ryo's eyes fastened on Dee's chest. "You have ketchup on your shirt," he murmured.
"Well, that's what happens when you punch out a guy armed with a chili dog," Dee said carefully, not taking his eyes from Ryo.
Ryo's mouth hardened a little, and he looked away. "I think I should mention the freezer to the superintendent," he said.
Dee sighed, deflated. "Translation: 'go home, Dee, and throw your shirt in the laundry. Don't come back tonight. See you at work tomorrow.' Okay, all right. Not a problem. I'll drop Carol off at home on my way." He started to turn away, but Ryo's hand came up and took hold of the collar of his shirt. Dee looked at him questioningly.
"Yes, by the way," Ryo said, finally raising his eyes to Dee's. There was the barest hint of mischief and warmth in them, which had an instant heartening effect on the other man.
"Yes, I'm pissed. Yes, I'll probably forgive you. And, yes, I still love you." Ryo pulled him closer and kissed the tip of his nose. "Now, go. I'll see you at work tomorrow."
After saying goodbye to Dee and Carol, Bikky headed back into his room. Ryo followed him to the door, and hesitated. Should he talk to the boy now? Ryo had so far not voiced his concerns about his suspicions concerning Bikky's latest activity, because he was still hoping he was wrong.
"You must be pretty beat, huh?" Urgh. That was not exactly what he had intended to say.
"Yeah, but it's a good kind of beat. Besides, I'm young and strong, so no problem."
"Bikky, I --"
"So, is everything okay between you and the moron?"
Ryo blinked in surprise. "Uh...yeah."
"You guys talked and all while I was gone?"
"Yeah, we did." Ryo was a bit nonplussed because this was not at all the conversation he'd been planning on having. However, this particular conversation was important, too. Bikky was opening drawers with apparent casualness and pulling out clothes for school tomorrow, but Ryo could sense that his mood was anything but casual.
"How did he react when you told him that for some strange reason you love him?"
Ryo snorted in amusement. "I'm sure you don't really want to know the answer to that one. You know him."
"Ick, yeah, you're right. Sorry I asked. So, uh...he's not showing any signs of heading for the hills, now that he finally got what he wanted?"
Ryo's eyes met Bikky's. "Of course not," he said. "Don't you understand, yet? We love each other. We're both in it for the long haul."
"Well, good then," Bikky said, inspecting one of his T-shirts. "'Cause I thought about it a lot while I was at camp, about what you said before I left. And I thought, either way, whether he stays or leaves, it's good for me. But...I want you to be happy."
"I am happy, B. Thank you," Ryo said softly. He pulled the boy into a hug, and was pleased when Bikky briefly hugged him back. In the last 6 months or so, as he had been approaching teenhood, Bikky had become less touchy-feely than he had been when he was younger, and Ryo missed the hugs.
"Is it OK if I watch TV for half an hour or so before bed?" Bikky asked.
"Yeah, sure, as long as there aren't any pressing homework assignments that I don't know about."
"No, because they made us do it at camp! Can you believe it? We had to bring our textbooks and everything! Like we didn't have enough to carry, already."
Ryo grinned. "Camp seems to have changed a lot since I was a kid. Go watch TV, but don't get stuck into any movies or anything. Just half an hour, okay?"
"Promise!" said Bikky, heading toward the living room.
Alone in his bedroom, Ryo got undressed for bed. It felt strange not to have Dee there, especially now that everything had changed between them. He looked over at his parents' bed. It had certainly seen a lot of action in the last few days. He wondered what they thought about this, up there wherever they were, and if they were surprised that their son had turned out to be gay. He got some clean pajamas out of his dresser, frowning a little in thought.
Was he truly gay? He was still wondering about that. Apart from a couple of flings, there had only been three real girlfriends in his life, but none of them had captured his heart the way Dee had. He walked to the mirror and looked at himself. There were...marks on his neck and chest, put there in passion by his male lover. That man had done other things, too, had taken him to heights of pleasure and abandon that he had never thought possible, not with anyone, male or female.
Ryo was far from sexually inexperienced. He had enjoyed having sex with women. He liked their curves, their high, breathy voices and the way they got wet when they got excited. Most of them were smaller than him, and he enjoyed being gentle with their soft, female bodies. He had always been a man who appreciated femininity.
But, Dee. No femininity there. Dee was tall, taller than him, and he outweighed him, too. His body was all hard muscle, angles and planes. He also had curves, but they were masculine curves. Ryo still remembered his shock the very first time Dee had ever kissed him in the park outside Richard Feldman's house. Although covered in multiple bruises and suffering from a broken arm, his partner had used his strength to yank Ryo toward him and take his lips in a brief, searing kiss. Every detail of that moment was permanently etched in Ryo's memory: the distant sounds of the sirens coming toward the house, the oxygen-rich night smell of the trees and grass, the scratchy feel of Dee's stubble brushing against the corner of his mouth as he moved his face away. But mostly the look of naked and intense desire that his partner had fixed him with in those heart-stopping moments after the kiss had ended. Ryo had been struck speechless. He had never felt a man's mouth on his before. And the most appalling thing was that for a second or two, he had actually wanted to kiss Dee back.
And now, he freely admitted to himself that he loved kissing Dee, and in fact, loved the fact that his partner's body was male, and even loved what was between his legs! Dee's body was beautiful to Ryo, and so was his face, especially his eyes, because they held all the feeling that that smart mouth often denied.
How could this happen? Ryo asked himself. How could he suddenly go from being straight to being gay like that? Except that it hadn't been sudden. His mind went back over various times in the past two and a half years when he had been conscious of Dee's attractiveness. There had been a hundred such moments, all ruthlessly fought down. I do not like him like that, I am not gay, had been his oft-repeated mantra to himself. But his body and his feelings had finally betrayed him for the fraud that he was.
He wondered, and not for the first time, if he might actually be bisexual, like Dee. He made a mental note to ask Dee about that at some opportune future time.
His pajamas securely buttoned, he lay down in bed and pulled the covers up over himself.
Dee. Best not think about him right now. He was still annoyed with him, he reminded himself. How dare he go brawling in a public place like that, in front of the kids? And how dare he do it on MY behalf? Ryo asked himself indignantly. What am I, some fragile creature to be protected? Is that how he sees me? He turned over angrily onto his side and burrowed his face into the pillow, which smelled like...
"No, that's not possible. I changed the sheets." He said aloud, blinking into the darkness. For a moment he had thought the pillow smelled like Dee. Yeah, sure, he thought, smiling slightly at his own foolishness, but hugging the pillow nonetheless. As his mind and body relaxed, a flurry of images swirled around him and chased his mind into oblivion: Dee's tongue licking ice cream off his spoon, Dee throwing his head back as climax broke over him, Dee's confident hands inserting a magazine of bullets into his gun, those same hands clenched into white-knuckled fists, a red stain, like blood, blossoming on a white shirt. Ryo's dreams, like his heart, were impassioned and unquiet.
~~End of chapter two~~