My dad just had a birthday and he wants me to do a party for him, so it's set for next weekend. That means I'll be quite busy shopping, cleaning, cooking and entertaining. Jeez, we're a partying household!
I had a little party by myself earlier and devoured an entire Asian mushroom and spinach pizza, which is the best pizza in the history of mankind, in my opinion anyway!
Okay, I'll quit with the rambling and get on with the chapter.
FAKE First Year Together: A New Day (May)
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 trying to find enough evidence to expose a crooked cop. 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: Please read and review. . There are more author's notes at the end.
A big thank you to BlueSimplicity and Mtemplar!
A New Day Chapter 22
Dee strode toward where his partner was standing his ground, attempting to remonstrate with a gang of skinheads who were not looking like they gave a shit one way or another about anything he had to say. They clustered around him like a pack of wolves, slowly closing in. The names they were calling Ryo pierced Dee to the very soul. How many times had he been called those names and shrugged them off? But not Ryo. No one was going to talk like that to his lover while he still had breath in his body.
One of them was holding Ryo's badge and sneering at it. Before he even realized that Dee was there, Dee had punched him in the head and snatched the badge from his hand. He thrust it toward Ryo without taking his eyes from the boys, whom he now realized were a little older than he had thought, early twenties at least.
"You four shitheads wanna spend the weekend in jail? I can make sure you get sent to a place where you can meet all the fags your little hearts desire. Well, do ya?"
There was a moment of testosterone-charged stillness where they all sized each other up, and then with a yell, two of the gang fell upon Dee. Ryo had no choice but to take on the other two.
Of course he made one last effort to defuse the situation. Before Dee had come along and hit one of them, he had actually thought that there was a chance he could talk them down. But now that chance had dwindled to almost nothing. Oh well, he still had to try.
"Come on, guys, you know it's gonna end badly for you if you get into a fight with the police," he said, raising his hands in a conciliatory way. "So far, you haven't broken any laws, but that changes the instant you assault a police officer."
"Yeah, but sometimes it ends badly for the police, don't forget," said one of them as he circled around Ryo with his fists up. "Right Mel?"
"I ain't convinced he's a cop," replied the other one. "That badge looked pretty damn cheesy to me. Hey homo! We're gonna mess you up, yes we are." He laughed nastily.
Ryo stopped trying to talk and his eyes swung from one to the other with an assessing look. Okay, reason wasn't going to work in this case.
He didn't wait for either one to hit first. His primary motivation was now to dispatch these two as quickly as possible and then help Dee if necessary. Accordingly, he went on the offensive, instinctively adopting a martial arts fighting stance and delivering a punishing roundhouse kick to the thigh of his nearest opponent, followed almost immediately by several punches and another kick. Appearing too hopped up on adrenaline to be deterred by pain, the young man stumbled back, then shouted and lunged forward, aiming two rather wild punches at Ryo's face, which were easily dodged. Ryo grabbed his opponent by the upper arm, crushing the leather of the guy's jacket into his fist, before yanking him forward sharply, just enough to pull him off balance. A split second later, he had swung his opponent's body into the other assailant, sending that one staggering. Without loosening his hold on the arm, Ryo sent his knee thudding into the man's midsection, then rapidly drew back the same leg and kicked him in the face. Only then did he let him go. Not even bothering to watch his first attacker folding to the ground, Ryo transferred his attention to the other one, who hovered just out of his reach, glaring at him with eyes that burned with fear and hatred.
"Fucking dirty fag, I'm gonna kill ya! Get over here!" He snarled breathlessly, but when Ryo took a step forward, he flinched and jumped back. He didn't seem to be done talking, however. "Come on, bitch, let’s go!"
Ryo gave him a withering look that conveyed all the contempt he didn't care to voice, and turned toward Dee, who was exchanging punches with the larger of his two fighters. The other one struggled to get to his knees on the ground a few feet away. Ryo recognized him as the one Dee had initially punched in the head. He now had blood dripping down the side of his face; it looked as though he were dazed.
"You okay there, Dee?"
"Yeah man, I got it." Dee didn't look away from his opponent, neatly blocking a blow to his face, taking a hard one to the body, and giving two back. "Call for a paddy wagon if you got a little free time on your hands."
Ryo felt rather than heard the displacement of air behind him as the cowardly one rushed silently at him from behind. Stepping adroitly to the side, he caught him by the arm and neck as he hurtled past and used his own momentum against him to take him down. His assailant hit the ground with a thud and a startled cry in front of him. Ryo still had hold of him with one hand, and his knee descended hard on the man's side to prevent a counter-attack from the ground. With his free hand, he reached forward and grabbed his downed opponent's hand, bending it back at a painful angle.
Just like the last time, a small crowd had gathered. Unfortunately, they weren't watching quietly, and some of them were making openly scornful comments at the sight of four skinheads bested by two ordinary men. Ryo, who had already resigned himself to an hour or two of paperwork back at the station once they had run these guys through booking, decided to give this one a chance.
"If I let you go, are you going to leave off attacking me and get the hell out of here?"
The young guy on the ground turned his head as far as he could, bringing into view a swastika tattooed on the front of his partially shaven skull. The hold Ryo had him in was limiting his movement, but he managed to fix the man above him with a glare from one narrowed eye, and made an unsuccessful attempt to spit at him. Perhaps he was spurred on by the sneers of the bystanders, or perhaps he just wasn't very bright. In any case, he gave the wrong answer.
"Fuck you, faggot!" he hissed.
Ryo sighed and twisted hard on his wrist, only marginally sorry for the sharp scream of pain this produced. If his attackers had been fewer in number, he would have tried harder not to hurt them, but when one was outnumbered, it was necessary to put one or two of them out of the game if possible. He was relieved that despite not having practiced Karate or really done much of anything for the past two months, his body still instinctively remembered what to do. He rose gracefully to his feet, looking about him as he did so. His two attackers were both down and Dee's other guy was still on the ground, but his partner was still busy with the big one, who was puffing and panting now, unable to keep his guard up and therefore taking more shots to the head and face from a very pissed-off looking Dee. It looked as though it would all be over soon. Even though he thought the store employees had probably already called the police, Ryo got out his cell phone, intending to at least make sure dispatch radioed ahead to whichever units were on their way there to let them know that he and Dee were not only cops, but also had the situation under control. It was at that moment when something cold and metallic pressed firmly against the back of his neck and he heard the unmistakable click of a firearm being cocked to fire. He froze.
"Asshole!" snarled a voice, which seemed to be coming from just behind the gun. "Don't fucking move or I'll blow a hole in your head big enough to drive a hummer through. And drop the fucking phone. You're gonna pay for this. Hey Dizz! Get up off the ground, you pussy! What'd he do to you, man? It's payback time."
Dizz struggled to his feet, clutching his injured wrist, face chalk white with pain. "I think he broke my fuckin' wrist, man," Dizz said hoarsely
"No shit. Lookit what he did to my teeth!"
"Gross, Mel, don't fuckin' wiggle 'em at me like that."
"Turn around, you fucker. Slowly. Yeah, that's right, like that. So you like to mess with boys, huh? Don't give a crap whose life you destroy do ya, you gay piece of shit?"
As Ryo was now facing the one who had been addressed as Mel, he was able to see that he did in fact have two loose front teeth. He didn't seem to be feeling any pain, though. Maybe he was high on something because he was certainly talking in a very strange way. What was this about destroying lives?
"Whaddaya wanna do to him, man?" Mel's eyes darted to Dizz for a second, at which every muscle in Ryo's body gathered to spring. "Oh no you don't. I thought I fuckin' told you to stay still. Dizz, I got him covered for ya. Wanna break his wrist to get him back for yours? Maybe mess up his pretty face too?"
"Tell him to get on the ground," Dizz growled. "Gonna put the boots to him. Can't use my hands, but I got my steel-toes on. You're gonna pay ten times over for what you did to me, you bastard." This last was addressed to Ryo, who didn't spare him a glance, his attention being wholly concentrated on the man with the gun.
"Ryo!" Dee hollered.
"Stay back, or I'll blow your boyfriend away!"
"For what, you fucking crybaby? For winning an unfair fight against superior odds? Little boys who wanna brawl but don't know how should go take lessons instead of bringing guns to make sure ALL their friends get sent up as accessories."
"I mean it, I'll blow his brains out!" Mel yelled angrily and it was evident that Dee's words had stung.
"You didn't even get one hit in, you fucking wimp. I saw you; you fight like a girl and you know it."
"Shut the fuck up or it'll be you who gets shot!"
Dee pulled out his badge and yelled. "We're NYPD, you moron. You gonna shoot a cop? Got any idea how long you'll get put away for that?"
"Hey come on, Mel," puffed the big guy who had been fighting with Dee. "This ain't just one guy with a fake badge. There's two of them. And they fight like cops. Come on, let's get outta here."
"Fuck you, Bear, you asshole! Look at my fuckin' teeth! And Dizz got a broken wrist! You think he should get away with that?"
Bear cocked his head, and for a moment everyone fell quiet. Above the ever-present sound of traffic, they could hear the wail of sirens in the distance.
"Hear that?" said Ryo softly. "Back-up's on its way. If you run now, you might even get away. Then you won't have to spend the summer and a good chunk of next year in jail."
"He's right, man," said Dizz. "Let's blow."
"Yeah," added Dee pointedly to him. "You're gonna have real problems fighting off the fags in the slammer with one arm in a cast."
Dizz gave him a look of pure loathing, yelled an incoherent insult, and started running. Bear joined him. That left two: Mel and the one with the bloody head, who had clambered to his feet and was looking slightly dazed.
"Mel," he called out. "What's up with the gun? C'mon, let's go. I hear sirens, man."
"Boydie, don't you run off on me too. What a bunch of pussies you guys are. Just watch me plug this fuckin' child-molesting fag, then we'll go. How often do ya get a chance to plug a fag?" He laughed breathlessly, and his eyes glittered in a crazed kind of way. That light-haired bastard was freaking him out, staring at him for so long without blinking or changing that strange, blank expression on his face.
"Actually, I don't really care if he's a fag," said Boydie miserably. "I just wanted to kick the shit outta someone, that’s all. Guns kinda take the fun out of it. Not that it's exactly been fun tonight…"
"Come on kid, drop your piece and hit the road. Take your brain-dead pal here with you." Dee sounded confident and even slightly bored. "This has been a HUGE waste of time and I fucking need a cigarette." But he was anything but confident. A whacked out skinhead was threatening to shoot Ryo at point blank range, and here he was, unarmed for what was likely the first time in his adult life. He cursed himself for rushing out of his apartment without bothering to bring his gun. This was something he had criticized Ryo for in the past, and now he had gone and done it himself. If anything happened to Ryo...
"Dee, stop talking for a sec," Ryo called, startling Mel so that the gun jumped in his hands. "Mel," he said, "I can see you're real angry."
"You fucking bet I'm angry."
"Well, see, I don't think it's me you're really angry at. I'm getting the sense that someone hurt you...in the past--"
"Shut the fuck up, you queer! What the hell do you know about it?"
"I know that in my job I see people like you every day. People who've been abused, sometimes sexually..."
"Just shut your fuckin' mouth! Shut UP already!"
"Mel, there's help available for people like you." Ryo didn't think that was strictly true unless Mel had one hell of a good medical insurance program, which was probably not the case, but he said it anyway. "Come on, drop the gun before you do something that will shadow you for the rest of your life."
Mel took a deep breath and his resolve seemed to waver momentarily. For an instant, Ryo thought he was going to listen to reason, but then his eyes narrowed and glinted in an unnerving way and his lips twisted back from his teeth in a snarl. Mel raised the gun higher so it was pointing right at Ryo's face. "One more word and your head is Swiss cheese! I mean it! Shut the fuck up! I don't need nobody's fuckin' help. Nobody touched me, you hear? I ain't been abused! You got that?"
Dee felt an urgent need to get that gun pointing away from Ryo. His heart was thudding sickeningly in his chest, but his voice when he spoke did not betray his fear. "Fuck, they don't make skinheads like they used to," he sneered. "You're the most pathetic excuse for one I ever saw. Go home to the 'burbs, loser."
Mel actually flinched and then, gritting his teeth, aimed his weapon to the right of Ryo.
"Maybe I should shoot your boyfriend, not you," he said to Ryo. "How'd ya like that, huh?" His eyes darted from their new target, which was Dee, and back to Ryo's face for a moment. He was pleased to see that impassive face finally looking worried. "Jump me, and I swear to God I'll shoot him," he added maliciously.
"Ryo, deck the fucking bastard. I've seen this type before. I doubt he could hit the Chrysler Building if he aimed at it from across the street."
The sirens were almost upon them and the gun barrel shook wildly as Mel became increasingly indecisive and desperate. Boydie turned and ran, and none too steadily at that.
"Hey, dickhead." Dee pulled his cigarettes out from his shirt pocket and stuck one in his mouth, for all the world as though he didn't have a gun pointed right at him. "You oughta stay home and get your tough-guy kicks from video games 'cause you ain't man enough to make it out here, you little freak."
"Dee, shut up!" called Ryo warningly.
Dee raised his lighter to his smoke but kept his eyes on Mel. "And if you pull that trigger you'll soon find you ain't man enough to make it in the joint either."
"Fucking fag PIGS!" screamed Mel and Ryo launched himself at him, throwing all his weight on the place where Mel's clasped hands met the handle of the gun. It went off, the report deafening in both of their ears. They crashed to the ground and Mel lost his grip on the gun. Ryo raised one hand and smacked it away, and as he did so, Mel's fist came up and connected with his right cheek. A second later, Mel's nose was just as bloody as Boydie's head, thanks to the heel of Ryo's hand. His first combat instructor back in the police academy had taught him that. "Try not to hurt the collar too much when you're making an arrest, boys," old Vickers had said. "But if you're in a tight hand-to-hand situation and you want to extricate yourself quickly, go for the nose. Their eyes fill with tears and they can't see, then blood drips down their throat and they become more focused on breathing than fighting."
Ryo got off Mel, satisfied that he wasn't going to be up to anything for a while, and turned his head, calling "Dee, get..." He wanted Dee to secure the gun, but his ears were ringing, or was that the sirens? That shot had been LOUD. His own voice sounded like he was calling from far away. Could Dee hear him?
The words died on his lips as his eyes registered the unbelievable sight of Dee lying motionless on the ground, a red stain blossoming wetly on the whiteness of his shirt. For a moment Ryo froze as the horror of what had just happened washed over him. At that moment two police cruisers, lights flashing, pulled into opposite ends of the parking lot of Freddie's Market. He didn't even look at them. Springing to his feet, he ran to his fallen partner, thinking no, no, Dee, no! He fell to his knees beside the unmoving man, reaching for him, and suddenly there were uniforms all around him and guns pointed at him.
End of chapter 22
Sorry for the cliffhanger, people! This chapter was originally supposed to be longer, but the next part has a couple of unresolved issues, which I need time to fix, and I'm kind of short of time nowadays. However, I wanted to post something for you, because I am trying my best to keep to a regular posting schedule.
Regarding the fight scene, I just want to let you know that the techniques I described are real and I have done them myself in my Karate classes, so I know they work. (Well, not the heel of the hand to the nose, but the other ones.) There are a lot of different types of Karate, and whereas some don’t permit grabbing or grappling, many do. When I chose a martial art for Ryo to be proficient in, I naturally chose the only one I know something about.
The next chapter should be ready in two weeks, three at the most. Thank you for reading and never hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.