Second: the apology. Sorry, peacewish, I know I said three weeks at the most and it's been four. Looks like those tenterhooks probably fell off by themselves.
Third: A bit about what's going on with me nowadays. As you guys may or may not know, I'm a Taurus, and Taureans are famous for being interested in food, wine, sex and money. Actually, I'm not all that interested in money, but the other three...Ai yai yai. However, just to save me from a lifetime of rollicking excess, my rising sign happens to be Virgo, which means that I'm analytical, detail-oriented and interested in health matters. Oh, and apparently, I love making lists. (it's true) Anyway, the reason I mention all this is that I have temporarily put my gluttonous pizza and chocolate-gobbling habits aside because my TCM practitioner has put me on a no-wheat, no-dairy, no-sugar diet. That basically KO's the pizza and chocolate diet right there. I can't have sandwiches, either. Or cookies. Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking. How could life possibly be worth living? Well, let's just say that I'm discovering all kinds of delicious things that I normally wouldn't bother with because my mind would be too busy channeling bread and cheese. I've become very interested in raw and vegan foods, for instance. I learned how to make an absolutely fabulous vegan chocolate fudge. It has no sugar or flour in it, but don't get your hopes up--it's not low in calories. However, it's super healthy and full of enzymes. I ate it in a vegan restaurant, analyzed the ingredients I was tasting, and then went home and made it myself. I'm going to give you guys the recipe in part two of this chapter, which you'll find right after this one. This chapter was too big for one post.
Fake First Year Together: A New Day (May)
By Brit Columbia
Pairing: Dee/ Ryo
Rating: Not worksafe! Part one only has some kissing and groping, but male parts are referred to in vulgar terms that would shock your employer. Incidentally, part two is even less worksafe than part one.
Spoilers: To Volume 7
Timing: Set in May, directly after book 7 ended
Summary: Ryo is coming to terms with his new sexual identity, as well as the changes in his relationship with Dee. 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 Fake or any of the characters created by Sanami Matoh. Lieutenant Abernathy is mine however, along with Detective Greenspan, Helen, Frank Marchall, and Sergeant Ross Pekoe. I have not based these characters on any living person.
Author's notes: An LOA is a leave of absence.
Thank you to mtemplar and the_ladyfeather for so kindly and patiently being my betas and putting up with my incredibly long chapters.
A New Day
Dee and Ryo strode over to the limousine Helen had directed them to, and a member of the funeral honor guard opened the limo door for for them, revealing quite a full house.
"Hello, everybody. How ya doin', Chief?" Dee slid across the smooth leather seats and Ryo followed him. Commissioner Rose was there, naturally, accompanied not only by Lieutenant Warren Smith, but also by Helen, his efficient secretary from the 27th Precinct. The other occupant of the limousine was Sergeant Ross Pekoe, the Commissioner's Supervisor of Staff at One Police Plaza. Dee was just relieved not to see the mayor sitting there as well.
Sergeant Pekoe, a slender, well-coiffed man of about thirty-four with the cheekbones of a model, looked cold and unaccountably hostile at the sight of Ryo, whereas Dee instinctively bristled at the sight of the Commissioner. None of this escaped Rose's attention, naturally. Dee could have sworn that the bastard was positively enjoying the tension.
"Detectives," he said smoothly, inclining his head in welcome. "Thank you for joining us for this brief meeting. I assume you've met Ross?"
"Who hasn't met Ross?" Dee said with a smirk.
"Yes, sir," said Ryo feeling vaguely unsettled by the company he had suddenly found himself in. He was never comfortable in the presence of the Commissioner. Rose had always been fairly open about his attraction to Ryo, and seemed to be unaware that his behavior bordered upon harassment more often than not. Actually, 'unaware' was probably not the right word. Ryo suspected that the Commissioner knew full well what he was doing, and enjoyed it more than he ought to. For a moment, Ryo felt the compact space of the limousine's interior closing in on him. He was very glad that he wasn't alone with Rose. In any case, the Commissioner usually behaved himself in the presence of the Chief, so he probably didn't have to worry.
And then there was Sergeant Pekoe. Although Ryo could count on one hand the number of times he had been face to face with the Commissioner's Supervisor of Staff over the years, and had never had any kind of confrontation with him, the man seemed to have developed a mysterious antipathy toward him. It was unnerving.
The limousine began to roll gently forward, and Dee couldn't resist checking out the interior fittings and then looking out of the window. He loved limos, but it seemed like every time he found himself inside one, he was in the company of someone insufferable like the Sea Hag or her equally annoying part-time boyfriend, that pompous asshole, Rose. Whenever he was in their vicinity, it was almost impossible for him to enjoy himself.
"I'm afraid I have good news and bad news," said the Commissioner, and then paused for effect.
Dee felt Ryo tense beside him. The Chief gave them a look that bordered on sympathetic.
"I'm sure you would like to get the bad news over with first," continued the Commissioner, "so I'll perhaps open with that." His pale blue gaze locked on them like an IR missile. "Detectives Laytner and MacLean, your investigation of Lieutenant Abernathy is officially on hold until further notice."
"What?!" cried Dee and Ryo in unison. Both began speaking at once. The Commissioner stopped them by making a cutting motion with one hand.
"Detective Greenspan mentioned to me that the lieutenant was planning to be away for a while. We've confirmed it with his commanding officer. Lieutenant Abernathy is officially on a leave of absence for... health reasons."
"Sir," Ryo began, "just because he's not going to work every day doesn't mean he's not going to be busy, er..." He couldn't stop himself from shooting a nervous glance at Sergeant Pekoe, who curled his lip slightly in response.
"It's all right, Ryo. You can speak freely here. Although Helen and Ross aren't directly involved in this case, they are one hundred percent loyal. They know all my secrets, isn't that right?" The Commissioner glanced from one to the other, smiling benignly.
"Well, if that's so, sir, you'd better hope like hell that neither of them ever gets kidnapped and questioned 'persuasively' by the mob," said Dee flatly. Then he added, "Don't worry, Helen. Ryo and I will come and rescue you." He shot Sergeant Pekoe a fuck-you look. He hadn't missed the supercilious way that asshole was looking down his nose at Ryo. However, he found himself a little disconcerted when the man actually blushed and looked away.
The lordly smile didn't leave the Commissioner's mouth, but it hardened somewhat. "Detective Laytner, if you're quite through being juvenile, I'm sure Ryo would like to finish what he was saying."
"Sir," said Ryo, "the point I wanted to make was that I think we should still go ahead with the surveillance. Abernathy has a number of irons in the fire, and medical leave or no, he's still going to want to attend to his sideline business."
"I'm sorry, Randy," the Chief put in. "I know you guys worked really hard on this, but you're gonna have to let it go for now."
"Why does it have to be shelved?" Ryo demanded. "A leave of absence just means he has the leisure to put even more time into his criminal activities. It's the gang shake up that's motivated this, I know it."
"Don't be too sure," said the Chief. "According to Chief Hennessy, Mike really is on edge. The guy's been losing it recently. He confessed to coming in here last Monday and screaming at us, and you gotta admit that was total nutjob behavior. Then there was that business of leaving his partner down during the shootout and fire at the Navy Yard. He admitted that he feels he might be 'a danger to himself or others' and he's getting set up with counseling.
Ryo was silent. "This is all part of his game," he said. "I feel it."
"Well, when a cop says he thinks he's becoming a danger to himself and others, the NYPD tends to take that kind of thing seriously. He's got a three month LOA, and will be evaluated for a possible return to duty in the fall."
"Can't we still investigate him?"
"Randy, he's not even going to be here. Apparently, he and his wife are taking a six-week-long vacation in Florida. They're leaving in a few days."
"Has that been confirmed?"
"No, but you're welcome to call the airlines and ask for passenger lists on upcoming flights to Florida. I think you'll find it's not bogus. Mike wouldn't have lied to Chief Hennessy."
"Huh." Ryo's fists clenched in frustration where they rested on his knees. He couldn't believe that Lieutenant Abernathy was slithering out of his grasp like this. "So when he comes back we can resume the investigation?" he asked doggedly.
"If you wish," the Commissioner replied coolly. "However, if you're busy with other things at that time, you can always choose to hand over the case to another team."
"No, we'd like to see it through, sir," Ryo said, trying to hide how suddenly dispirited he felt. He would have to cancel the surveillance schedule he had set up. Now there would be a six week delay, and it would be harder to pick up the threads when the investigation eventually started up again.
"Uh, you said there was some good news?" prompted Dee.
The Commissioner smiled that smile again. "Why, yes. I've chosen you two to accompany me when I do my press conference after the committal service. You're going to have your faces on the national news!" He beamed paternally at them as though he were offering a pair of children a high treat.
"B-but, sir!" said a red-faced Ryo, who was anything but thrilled at having a stint on national TV suddenly sprung on him with practically no time to think it through. "Shouldn't you be accompanied by members of Detective Shaver's precinct? Like his partner, perhaps?"
"Oh, she'll be there too," the Commissioner told him reassuringly, "but in the background. She's not as photogenic as you two," he added. "Nor was she directly involved in Detective Shaver's final case, as you were."
"Well, how about Marty?" said Dee sarcastically. "He's not only photogenic, but black too! Maybe, with a little extra last-minute planning, we can rustle up a Cree-Hispanic dude in a wheelchair."
"Laytner," rumbled the Chief warningly.
Helen's normally impassive face seemed to twitch and she dropped her eyes toward her lap. Sergeant Pekoe, on the other hand, glared at Dee in open-mouthed outrage.
"That's enough, Laytner," said the Commissioner firmly. "Of course Detective Danes will be there. The four of you will be quite enough for us to show the nation the multifaceted and multi-talented face of the NYPD."
"Er, will we have to speak on camera?" Ryo was torn. The ambitious, career-driven half of him knew that being on TV in the company of the Commissioner was definitely going to raise his profile in the NYPD, but on the other hand, he was a man who liked his privacy. Especially considering the fact that he had recently entered into a secret homosexual relationship with his co-worker.
"Perhaps, Ryo, but if so, not much. I have complete faith in you to say the right sort of things if any of the reporters ask you questions. YOU, on the other hand"-- he directed his attention to Dee-- "are not to speak on camera without first asking yourself whether you're about to say something that will get you demoted to a desk job in some dark basement somewhere far, far from here."
Dee scowled, but said nothing.
"Hey, we saw you on TV," said Carol excitedly. "You guys looked really cool. You should wear those uniforms more often."
Dee smiled at her and moved his shoulders this way and that. "Is the uniform doing it for you, princess? I never pegged you for that kind of girl."
"Not me," she said, "'cause I know what a smartass jerk you can be. But my friends are all, 'Ooooh, who ARE those guys?' Liz even said she wanted to lick your buttons! Gross."
Bikky screwed up his features and shuddered. "I just don't get it," he said.
"Does this mean I'm gonna have legions of teenage girls hounding me for autographs?" Dee paused in the doorway of the bedroom, trying not to be too obvious about looking at Ryo. His partner was already in there changing out of his dress uniform. There was a regular suit laid out on the bed. In another minute or so, he should be down to his shorts. Too bad they were still on shift.
"Nope," said Bikky with a smirk. "I told 'em you have hair on your back."
"WHAT? I don't have hair on my back!" Bikky once again had Dee's full, if outraged, attention.
"Who gives a shit?" Bikky shrugged. "The point is that now they think you do, so don't worry, you're safe! You can thank me either with cash or pizza."
"THANK you? I oughtta rip your--"
"Dee, quit arguing with the kids and hurry up and get changed. We've got to get back to the station."
Dee, recognizing an honorable retreat when he saw one, gave Bikky the finger and shut the door in the kid's smug face. "Okay, okay. Where are my clothes?"
"I might have also told 'em you have warts on your ass," said Bikky through the closed door. "Did I say that, Cal? I forget now."
"No, you didn't say that," Dee heard her say. "But you told them he wore a hairpiece and had false teeth."
"That slimy punk," Dee said disgustedly to Ryo. "Did you hear that?"
Ryo didn't answer at first, and then Dee realized it was because he was laughing. His shoulders were shaking and his hand was over his mouth in an effort to hold it in. It was suddenly borne in on Dee that his partner was not only shirtless, but he was also apparently in a good mood. Furthermore, they were alone in the bedroom together. They couldn't get up to much with the kids on the other side of the wall, but, Dee figured he could steal a kiss and maybe cop a quick feel.
"Baby, did I forget to mention how fucking hot you looked in your uniform today?"
"Actually, no, you didn't forget," said Ryo, who turned toward Dee, still snickering softly. "You told me several times." To Dee's surprise, Ryo suddenly sobered up and reached out and touched one of the gold buttons on Dee's chest. "But you know, you look pretty good in yours..."
The next moment they were in each other's arms, kissing passionately, their hands everywhere. Dee couldn't believe it. Normally, Ryo pretty much damped down his sex drive whenever Bikky and Carol were around, but right now he seemed totally revved up. Had to be the uniform. Dee filed that interesting conclusion away for later exploitation and started nudging Ryo in the direction of the bed. He hoped he had locked the door. He wasn't sure. It was hard to think clearly, what with Ryo's tongue in his mouth and Ryo's hands undoing his buttons.
"Muh," said Ryo against his mouth. "Nuh-uh. Not a good time. Let's stop..." But then he contradicted himself by nipping at Dee's neck and collarbone before pressing his lips back over Dee's in another hot, hungry kiss.
For a while, Dee's whole world narrowed to the heady sensations of soft lips, hot wet tongue, sweet breath, and eager hands moving inside his uniform, searching for bare skin...
Surprisingly, it was Dee who eventually found the strength to disengage. By that time, Ryo was sitting on the edge of the bed, and Dee, still in uniform, although it was mostly unbuttoned and his tie was hanging askew, was kneeling in front of him. They both had erections.
"Baby, I want you," he whispered sadly, "but we can't."
Ryo closed his eyes for a moment and nodded. His hair was mussed and his cheeks were flushed. He drew in a deep, trembling breath, and said softly, "I know. Sorry."
"Don't be sorry," Dee murmured, giving Ryo's knees an affectionate squeeze before reluctantly getting to his feet. "Never be sorry for that."
He turned away and quickly stripped without looking at Ryo. He knew his dick wouldn't go down as long as his partner was in his line of sight. After a moment, Ryo joined him next to the closet and both men changed into their everyday suits. Desire still crackled in the air between them, but they carefully avoided eye contact or speech until they were fully clothed again. There was a moment of danger when Ryo, who was straightening his hair in the mirror, caught sight of Dee's reflection watching him with yearning in his eyes, but they were helped along by Bikky who kicked at the door and yelled, "Jeez, how long does it take to get changed?"
Ryo tore his eyes away from Dee's and yanked open the door. "All done," he said cheerfully.
"About time. What the hell is wrong with your lips?" Suddenly, understanding dawned on Bikky's face. "Oh! Wait a sec, do NOT tell me! Sorry I asked."
"I'll tell ya, punk-brat," said Dee coming out of the bedroom behind Ryo.
"No he won't," said Ryo quickly with a warning look at Dee. "Are you kids ready to eat?"
"Yeah, maybe. As soon as the urge to puke passes."
"Bikky!" Carol elbowed him with a sly grin. "Don't you have any sense of appreciation for love and romance?"
"Not when it's my dad, I don't," said Bikky honestly. "And especially not when it's perv-man here, either."
"So, hot dogs at the park, then?" suggested Ryo brightly as if no one had spoken. He looked at his watch. "Our break will be over in twenty minutes, but I think we can stretch it a little longer. You kids will have to come back by yourselves, though."
"Yay, hot dogs!" Bikky punched a fist in the air. "No vegetables!"
"What's wrong with vegetables?" asked Carol, hands on her hips.
"Everything," said Bikky, grabbing his keys. "Oh yeah, Ryo, I forgot to tell you. Tom called me last night. He wants to run away again."
"Oh? Has his father started beating him again?" Ryo looked sharply at Bikky.
"I dunno. He didn't say anything about that. He said his parents are going on some kind of second-honeymoon vacation and they're not taking him."
"Well, who's going to look after him then?"
"Some strict old aunt from Ireland is s'posed to be coming to New York to take care of him until school's out. After that, she's gonna drag him back with her to Ireland for the summer. He doesn't wanna go."
"Oh, well, he might enjoy it," said Ryo thoughtfully as he locked the door behind them. "Ireland is a beautiful country, and he has family there who will probably be happy to see him."
"Yeah, they can't all be as bad as his dad," said Dee.
"He probably won't run away until he's at least met his aunt," said Carol practically. "Some aunts are great for stepping up when they're needed." Her own aunt Elina had taken her in when her father had died. "Right, Ryo?" She reached for his hand.
Ryo squeezed her hand and then kissed it. "You bet." Kind-hearted aunts with similar names was one of the things they had in common. Carol had just caused his aunt Elena to come to mind. If she and her husband Rick hadn't adopted him after his parents' sudden death, he didn't know what would have become of him.
"I bet Tom has lots of cousins," said Bikky, and Ryo thought he sounded a little wistful. Bikky didn't have any uncles or aunts to provide him with cousins. He had practically no family at all except Ryo.
They started down the stairs, and then Bikky said casually, "So if his dad's leavin' town, what does that mean for Eddie's murder investigation? Can me and Carol rest easy for a while?"
"Yeah, B. I think we can all rest easy for a while."
'What the hell is that stink?" asked Dee as he and Ryo walked into the 27th Precinct's break room together.
"It's JJ's pizza," Sheldon remarked from where he was sipping coffee at a nearby table. "Enter at your own risk."
"Jesus. Are you sure that's a pizza and not a dead jellyfish covered in cheese?"
"Oh, it's a pizza, all right," said Eliza. "Although, I think it could also be considered a weapon of mass police officer destruction." She, Drake and JJ were all grimly regarding the still steaming pie. It gleamed greasily in an open cardboard delivery box on the counter next to the fridge.
"JJ, are you insane?" Dee gave him a hard, interrogative stare.
"It wasn't my fault!" JJ hastily protested. "I would never order an anchovy and garlic pizza. After all, I've got my love life to think of."
"Not to mention your co-workers," said Eliza.
"Well, where did it come from?" asked Ryo, puzzled.
"It came from 'Bill'," said Drake with acid satisfaction.
"Who's Bill?" Ryo looked genuinely clueless, and Dee noted with pleasure that Bill apparently hadn't made much of an impression in that quarter.
"Would that be Detective Mitchell from the 62nd?" Dee asked, and JJ brightened.
"Yeah! Do you remember him, sempai? Tall, good-looking? Freckles?"
"I didn't think he was that good-looking," said Dee, and Drake agreed.
"Oh!" said Ryo, as his memory returned. "Bill. But why would he send you a pizza covered in anchovies and...did you say garlic?"
"I counted twenty-one cloves," said Eliza helpfully, at which Drake corrected her.
"Twenty," he said, before burying himself in a newspaper. "One of them is kind of split. It looks like two, but it's really one."
"That pizza really puts the 'ick' in garlic," said Ted, who had come in behind Ryo and Dee. He opened the fridge and scanned its contents. "Oh well, I suppose at least the 27th will be well-protected from the supernatural tonight."
"Drake actually wants to eat it," remarked JJ disapprovingly.
"What's that?" said Drake, lowering the paper at the mention of his name.
"JJ, did you do something to piss this Bill guy off?" Dee closed the pizza box and put first the cutting board and then the toaster on top of it. Unfortunately, it didn't do much to reduce the smell.
JJ looked worried. "Maybe," he said. "He asked me on a date for last night, but Captain Hunky--I mean Pete--- had already booked me for that night, so I said I'd have to take a raincheck."
"Ah, so this is a revenge pizza," said Eliza, nodding sagely.
"Don't be silly, Eliza!" JJ glared at her and tugged his cell phone out of his pocket. "I'm gonna call him right now and clear this up."
"Hey!" exclaimed Ted, clapping his hand to his forehead. "Not again! I can't believe this!"
"What's the matter, Ted?" Ryo asked as he poured coffee for himself and Dee.
"This is like the fifth frickin' time that someone has drunk my chocolate milk," Ted complained. "I've got my name all over it, so it's not like anyone could get confused. The person who's doing this is doing it on purpose!"
"I bet it wouldn't happen if you switched to regular milk," suggested Ryo helpfully.
"Or just drank coffee like the rest of the men around here," added Dee as he stirred copious amounts of sugar into his cup.
JJ was talking softly into the phone. "Really?" he said, and then giggled. "Well, thanks. No, no, don't apologize. It was a very sweet thought. I'll be sure to ask him about that."
At that moment, Liz from the lab, accompanied by a couple of the girls from central booking, walked in. They didn't get more than three steps through the door before they stopped dead, wrinkling their noses.
"Is there a corpse in here?" one of the girls asked.
"Sort of," said Ted. "I think the stink has already permeated my clothes." He sniffed his shirt sleeve, causing Liz's eyes to widen.
"Come on," she said to her friends. "Let's go to Amici's." They turned on their heels and departed, leaving Dee shaking his head at Ted.
"What?" Ted asked defensively.
"You know what, you loser. You should write a book called 'How To Drive Away Chicks And Lead A Woman-Free Life' by 'Ted's Jealous Right Hand'."
"Dee!" Ryo protested, looking sympathetically at Ted. "Don't be so mean."
"Yeah, Dee," said JJ, shutting his phone with a snap. "Bill just explained why he sent me that pizza, and now I know that it's all your fault."
"But...it wasn't MY fault the girls left," said Ted, genuinely perplexed. "It really does reek in here, and this time it wasn't even me! I gave up my favorite hot-chili bean burritos because you all ragged on me so much."
Eliza sighed and shook her head.
"What were you saying about Bill?" Ryo asked JJ kindly. He felt a little sorry for JJ because no one had even acknowledged that he had spoken.
"Bill said that the night of the explosion-- remember that night when everyone was making a mess at my apartment?-- Dee told him that I wanted to order a garlic and anchovy pizza! Can you imagine? Me? I mean, really. It's just like Dee to play that kind of dumb practical joke," JJ informed him, speaking loudly in the hopes of getting Dee's attention.
But Dee wasn't listening. "Go!" he said to Ted. "Go after them. Buy them all coffee. Turn on the old Tedster-charm."
"And don't talk about sports, monster trucks or things that reek," added Eliza.
"Dee, have you heard a single word I've said?" JJ demanded.
"Huh? Nope, wasn't listening. Come on, Ryo, let's get upstairs." He winked at Ryo and then glanced over at Drake. "Hey, Parker, go easy on the pie there."
JJ whirled around in shock and glared at his partner. "Drake! I TOLD you not to eat that! I have to work with you--and smell you--for the rest of the evening. Put that slice down this minute! This minute!"
Drake's response was to chew faster and try to stuff the rest of the slice into his mouth.
"Told you it was revenge pizza," murmured Eliza to Dee and Ryo as she squeezed past them.
Ryo got home around midnight, after successfully fending off Dee's various suggestions. Everything that Dee had in mind would have kept him awake until at least two or three in the morning, and since he knew he had to get up at seven to get Bikky off to school, he wanted to go to bed, and more importantly, go to sleep, as soon as possible.
However, once he had lain down with the alarm clock set and the bedroom comfortably dark, he found that sleep eluded him. His mind reeled with the images of the day. So much had happened since this morning.
The day had started off well enough, with a huge, late breakfast for Bikky and his friends Jim, Dave and Kenny. Ryo had been able to go shopping on Saturday and the fridge was now stocked with food. He cooked sausages, bacon, hash browns and Bikky's favorite blueberry pancakes. He made cheesy scrambled eggs into which he sneaked a small amount of spinach and green onion. The boys washed their meal down with almost a gallon of milk between them.
Then Dee had arrived, his dress uniform slung over his shoulder in a garment bag. Ryo smiled to himself as he remembered how Dee sniffed the air and demanded to know what he had missed. Bikky and his friends took great delight in giving him every detail, and in letting him know that the meal was all gone and there were no leftovers in the fridge.
While Ryo stood over the boys and made them help with the kitchen clean-up, Dee went into the bedroom to change into his dress blues, and when he came out, he looked so striking that the sight of him had taken Ryo's breath away. For a moment he just stood there staring with his mouth open and then he realized that Bikky's friend Jim was saluting Dee, and Dee was saluting him back.
Ryo had of course seen Dee in his dress blues before, but this was the first time he had permitted himself to actually explore the sense of appreciation he felt for the way his partner's physical assets filled out that uniform. Back when Ryo had been determined to remain 'straight', he simply hadn't allowed his thoughts to go in that sort of direction. Sure, Dee had a face and body that turned heads wherever he went. Ryo was cognizant of that, just like he knew that the Commissioner was also handsome, and, in fact, so was JJ, although, to his mind, not in a particularly manly way. His aunt Elena was still a beautiful woman at forty-five, Bikky was a good-looking and well-made boy, Carol was an extremely pretty young girl. Just because he was aware of people's physical attractiveness didn't mean that he had to entertain sexual notions about them.
But ever since Dee had become his lover, it was impossible not to think sexual thoughts about him. Nowadays it seemed like every little thing Dee did caused a wave of goosebumps to sweep over him. All that man had to do was look at him in a certain way and he would feel his penis start to stir in his pants. That wicked green-eyed gaze caused his wits to scatter in all directions, made his lips tingle and his face grow warm. It was all he could do to keep his mind on the clock, on the job, on his son, on whatever he was supposed to be doing at any given time. The worst part was that he suspected that he often gazed at Dee like a lovesick cow. It was probably pretty conspicuous and because it was involuntary, half the time he didn't even notice himself doing it until it was too late.
Ryo had somehow managed to tear his eyes away from his partner's tall, broad-shouldered form in time to quickly produce popsicles for the boys before they left for the basketball court at Dundarave.
When the door had shut behind Bikky & company, Dee immediately closed on Ryo's position, trapping him in place with one hand against the wall beside his head. Ryo shrank back as six feet one of grinning, insolent, uniformed masculinity asked him if he could have a popsicle, too.
"Sometimes, I just kinda need something to suck, y'know what I mean?" The low, suggestive tone of Dee's voice combined with his nearness and his scent awoke a thousand butterflies in Ryo's stomach.
In the past he would have hastily told himself that it was nothing more than shy or awkward feelings on his part that caused such a response. But now he had to admit that for several weeks running, he had been responding like this because Dee turned him on. Gay, bi, whatever the hell he was, Dee turned him on. And at that moment, if he didn't get some distance between himself and the intoxicating presence of this person, no this man--that he loved and desired more than anything, they were going to be late for Ned Shaver's big departmental funeral.
Ryo had said something appropriately dampening, although he couldn't recall what, and quickly ducked under Dee's arm. He locked himself in his bedroom so he could get changed in peace, not that there was much peace to be had, what with Dee banging disappointedly on the door, demanding to be allowed entry, and with his own suddenly erect penis making demands of its own.
He had gotten himself back under control by being distant and quiet, responding to all Dee's attempts at conversation with monosyllables and by avoiding eye contact as much as possible. He knew that once he got to work and was surrounded by his co-workers and things that needed his professional attention, he would feel better.
They had gone first to the 27th and then on to the funeral by subway at the Chief's recommendation. "You won't find parking within six blocks," he had said. "Take the train. And take those rookies Kirshenbaum and Lyndall with you. They're all worked up about their first departmental funeral ever. Lyndall is already sweating up a storm."
Ryo had agreed with alacrity. Anything to help bolster his shield against the dangerously irresistible powers of his partner. Dee had muttered imprecations against rookies and 'new children', but more or less controlled himself.
By the time they arrived in the Bronx, Ryo was feeling much better, but that turned out to be short lived. The funeral had been large, crowded and intense, his second funeral in less than a week. It only served to remind him that there had been too many funerals in his life, too much loss. Whenever he was attending an NYPD funeral, he always felt nervous and edgy. He couldn't help thinking, what if this were the Chief's funeral? Or Drake's or Ted's or someone else he knew and worked with regularly? What if it were... No he couldn't even finish that thought.
And just like that, he wanted to be close to Dee again. However, the presence of thousands of fellow police officers made anything he would have liked to say to or do with Dee a total no-go.
Then on top of all of the other frustrations of the day had come the news that Lieutenant Abernathy was once again sliding out of his grasp. He felt like every time he got a lead or started to get close to bringing that corrupt son of a bitch down, something happened that worked in the IA agent's favor. Some of those events had been engineered by Abernathy himself, but others had just been dumb luck.
He and Dee had commiserated about it during their long evening of paperwork at the 27th.
"You know as well as I do, babe," Dee said. "You win some, you lose some. We lost this round. Bastard was way ahead of us. He must have been planning his exit strategy for weeks, maybe even a long time before we came along."
Ryo, who always took it hard when a case was taken away from him or one of his busts somehow managed to beat the rap, could not understand this easy-come easy-go attitude of Dee's.
"How can you just accept it?" he demanded. "Aren't you pissed off? Don't you want to...to just throw that bastard up against a wall and cuff him really--" he ground his teeth-- "tight and painful?"
"Oooh baby, you're turning me on!"
"Like that's saying much!" Ryo made a dismissive motion with his hand. "Washing your car turns you on. But, seriously, haven't you fantasized about the look he'll have on his face as we Mirandize him? When he knows it's all over, that he lost, that he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison for his crimes?"
"You're STILL turning me on."
"Shut up." Ryo slammed a drawer shut. "I can't believe this doesn't bother you."
"Ryo," said Dee patiently. "Don't be a dork. Of course it bothers me. But I know, even if you're forgetting, that we can't do this alone. When the brass say no, there goes the funding and there go Dee and Ryo to juvie or traffic if they're dumb enough to ignore directives and embarrass the Chief. We kinda have a history there, you gotta admit."
"Dee, I'm not suggesting that we act against orders and go watch his empty apartment in our spare time--"
"Good, because we've done that shit before and both got written up, although the worst part was no fuckin' overtime pay."
"It just sucks, that's all. I wanted to nail him."
"He'll get nailed, bro, don't worry."
"Yeah, but I wanted it to be us."
Dee shrugged. "Look at it this way. He's got six weeks away from the job to get lazy and let his guard down."
"Or six weeks to get all rested up before he starts controlling half the gangs in Brooklyn!"
"I can't believe this is ME saying this to YOU, but chill, dude. Grow a little patience. We've got other fish to fry for the next month."
"I should grow a little patience? I should? God, that's rich coming from you!"
They had bickered back and forth a little after that, until Ryo had finally let Dee have the last word so that he could get some work done. But Abernathy had not been far from his thoughts all evening. Even now, he gritted his teeth in the dark as he pictured the little man's red face and hostile eyes.
In his mind, he superimposed prison bars in front of that face. Ryo was the tenacious type. He had been an LEO for only six years, but he had already accumulated half a dozen previous busts whose parole hearings he marked on the calendar and went to. If there was anything he could do to make sure that these criminals did not get let back out on the streets any sooner than they absolutely had to, he would do it. He would apply the same dogged persistence to Michael Abernathy, and he envisioned the man's eventual undoing with a certain dark satisfaction. He agreed with Dee that it would come about. Of that he was certain. It was more a matter of when, not if. And Ryo was fully prepared to admit, even if only to Dee, that the matter had become personal. He had it in for that bastard Abernathy. He wanted to be the guy who arrested him. Whether it took weeks, months or years, he was going to get him.
~End of part one of this chapter. Go to the next post for part two~