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FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June), Chapter 8, Part TWO
Dee: What the f*ck are you looking at?
brit_columbia
 My LJ post for this chapter was deemed too large, so I had to break it up into two parts. I didn't think it was that large! I'm sure I've written and successfully posted longer chapters than this. Anyway, here is Part Two of Justice Chapter 8. Part two is totally worksafe except for some swearing.


    "Leona, where's the Chief? I want to talk to him before the meeting."

     "Randy. Well, hello there. I'm fine thank you. And you?" Leona spoke these words with a small smile, but the annoyed sarcasm in her voice effectively canceled it out.

     "Pardon me, Leona," Ryo said in more chivalrous tones. "That wasn't much of a greeting, was it? I'm glad to hear you're doing fine. I am too, except for the fact that it's my day off today, and I'd naturally rather be taking care of my own personal business than attending staff meetings." Leona could be annoying, but he was always nice to her on principle. First of all, if possible, he tried to be nice to everybody. Secondly, she reminded him of a more persnickety version of Mrs. Fontayne, his grade five teacher. Mrs. Fontayne had been a very kind person.

     "Well, the NYPD asks a lot of us sometimes, doesn't it?" she said tersely, and then  a moment later, relented and gave him a real smile. "I forgive you of course for that momentary lapse. I shouldn't be so picky. You're by far the best of a mannerless bunch."

     "What the hell's that supposed to mean?" asked Dee, appearing at the entrance to Leona's little cubicle outside the Chief's door. As he was wiping his mouth, Ryo assumed that his partner's doughnut-seeking foray into the break room had been successful.

     "You know exactly what it means, Dee." Leona lifted her chin and shuffled some papers around. "Anyway, I don't want to keep you. The meeting's been moved for the Commissioner's convenience."

     "What? How come no one told us?"

     "I guess because you weren't here to tell. It was kind of a last minute decision anyway."

     "Well, where should we go?" Ryo asked.

     "One Police Plaza, of course. You should check with the desk over there. No one told me which room."

     "Hell, this just stinks." Dee turned on his heel and stomped away.

     "Good-bye to you, too!" Leona called after him with a certain amount of sarcasm. "Have a nice day, now."

     "See you, Leona," Ryo said and hurried after Dee, who was muttering imprecations about the brass and their highhandedness.

     "Did you find any doughnuts or muffins in the break room?" Ryo asked him.

     "Nope, only crumbs. But I found something else that was almost as good."

     They were almost at Dee's car when they heard a shout behind them. "Hey guys, wait up!" It was Ted's voice. "Going to the Palace?"

     "Yeah," said Dee. "Didn't they tell you either?"

     "Tell me what?"

     "Ah, nothin' but the usual shit. What are you looking so pissed off about?"

     "My fucking chocolate milk, man. Some asshole keeps drinking it. Got my name on it and everything. What more do I have to do? Put a lock on the goddamn carton?"

     "That sucks, man." Sounding bored, Dee gazed up at the sky as if assessing how likely it was to rain. "Who would do a shitty thing like that?"

     "Who indeed?" muttered Ryo, but neither man heard him.

     "I don't know, but when I catch him--" Ted smacked one fist meaningfully into the palm of his other hand-- "Pow! I can't wait."

     "Maybe it's not a dude. It could be a chick. Did you ever think about that?"

     "Huh?" Ted looked at him in genuine surprise. "Uh, no, I just assumed it was a guy."

     "Well, I'm not saying I know who's doing it or anything, but a couple of times I saw Janet putting chocolate milk in her coffee..." Dee paused to give that piece of calumnious information a chance to sink in. "I don't know if it was yours, of course, because I wasn't really paying attention, but...."

     "Janet?" Ted's mouth dropped open. "I can't-- I can't believe it!"

     "Well, don't believe it, Ted," said Ryo impatiently as he opened the passenger door of Dee's car and got in. "There's no proof at all that Janet is the guilty party." He glanced disapprovingly at his partner. "Dee, quit starting rumors."

     "I am not! I'm just reporting what I saw."

     "Thanks Dee, I appreciate it." Ted was plainly ready to disregard Ryo's sensible suggestion that Janet not be tried and convicted on flimsy evidence. "I'll watch her coffee-drinking habits more closely from now on." He hopped into the back seat and pulled the door closed behind him. "Come on, let's go. We've got ten minutes to get there and find parking."

&^&^&^&^&^&

     They walked into the designated meeting room and found a larger than usual crowd awaiting them. Dee's brow lowered at the sight of Detective Tina Greenspan of Queens' 99th Precinct. He and Ryo had some history with her, none of it pleasant. In all honesty, he was not exactly surprised to see her here today, but he didn't feel he had to pretend to be happy about it.

     There was a woman sitting next to her that he didn't know. She was African-American, about forty or so, spare build, no make-up or jewelry except for a wedding ring. She was wearing a sensible navy-blue pantsuit, in marked contrast to Detective Greenspan, whose short pink skirt required her to sit very carefully indeed.

     The chairs were arranged in a semi-circle around a meeting room easel with flip pages on it. Several members of their team looked over their shoulders and greeted the newest arrivals with the usual friendly cracks and putdowns. Dee took care of delivering appropriately insulting rejoinders, while Ryo glanced covertly at his watch. They were two minutes late, but it didn't seem to matter because the Chief was nowhere in sight.

     Sheldon gave them a sympathetic look. "Here on your day off? Hope you clocked in." 

     "You bet we did, damn it," Dee replied. Sheldon was the oldest detective on Lieutenant Smith's crew, and for reasons that no one seemed clear on, had passed up the chance to retire with a full pension several years running. An injury many years ago had pretty much confined him to desk work. Sheldon was famous for being able to quote the procedures manual, chapter and verse.

     "Boys!" It was Eliza, her hair slowly escaping from a half-hearted updo as usual. "How are you doing? Dee, there are pastries over there, but I think Drake's eating all the good ones." She nudged Allison, and they giggled together.

     "Oh, is that so? Well, I think Drake needs to be saved from himself." Dee winked at both women and, accompanied by Ted, made straight for the side table, leaving Ryo behind to chat.

     At the coffee and doughnut station, Dee hip-checked Drake out of his way and surveyed the remaining treasures in the Krispy Kreme boxes. He saw there was one maple glaze left, a doughnut Ryo had occasionally been known to be partial to. He glanced over at his partner just in time to see him receive some information from Eliza and then hustle his sexy butt out of the room. When Dee looked back at the box, the maple glaze had been whisked away by Drake. Oh well. Ryo probably didn't care, anyway.

      "Say, wasn't that hot number in the mini a guest at the 27th a little while back?" Ted whispered to Dee. "Who is she again?" 

     "An airhead who got lost on the way to beauty school and accidentally became a cop," Dee replied loudly.

     Ted elbowed him and blushed for Dee as well as for himself. "Man, do you have to be such a dick?" he hissed. "I suppose there's no point asking YOU to introduce me."

     "Not unless you want her to hate you, too." Dee snatched an apple fritter right out from under Drake's hovering fingers and took a quick bite of its sugary softness. "She probably thinks you've got gay cooties anyway, just from standing next to me."

     "Go get her, Ted," said Drake encouragingly, and he and Dee shared a look of amusement behind Ted's back.

     Further prompted by a shove from Dee, Ted cleared his throat noisily. "Excuse me, but have any of you peons thought to welcome our two guests?" He indicated Detective Greenspan and the woman sitting next to her.
 
     "Of course we have Ted, while you were busy being late," said Eliza.
 
     "Oh, well in that case, would you mind introducing me, then?" Ted was miraculously able to produce a big smile despite the snickering that was going on behind him.
 
     "Sure! Detectives Massey and Greenspam, this carrot-top guy here is Detective Ted O'Neill. He may not look it, but he's plenty smart. We often have to share him with the Cybercrimes unit."

     Detective Greenspan held up one finger. "Um, excuse me, Eliza, but that's Greenspan."

     "Oh, wasn't that what I--"

     Before Eliza could finish speaking, the Chief strode in with the Commissioner at his side and a subdued-looking Ryo a couple of paces behind them both.
 
     "Quiet everybody! Let's get this party started. Ted, sit down. You too, Dee. I personally wanna be out of here in under an hour, and I bet you buncha losers do too, on account of how you all got work waiting for you back at the two-seven." The Chief threaded a path through the rows of chairs, effortlessly managing to make quelling eye contact with just about everyone present. When he reached the front of the room, he invited the Commissioner to take a comfortable leather chair that had obviously been reserved for him.
 
     Detective Greenspan dimpled shyly at the sight of the tall, blond police commissioner, and in turn, he graced her with one of his regal nods. Dee felt his apple fritter trying to rise in his throat at the sight. What a pair they were. They totally deserved each other.
 
     JJ waved at Dee and pointed hopefully to the chair he had saved for him, but Dee ignored him, instead opting to pick his way over to Ryo, who had taken a seat between Eliza and James. One fierce look from Dee's hard green eyes had James practically scrambling out of his chair, whereupon Dee dropped into it, flashing a look of smug triumph in Ryo's direction. Ryo pretended not to notice.

     "All right," said the Chief. "First up, I'd like to introduce our two guests from the 99th. Please say hello to Detectives Ruth Massey and Tina Greenspan."

     Detective Greenspan flashed the Chief a brilliant and grateful smile, possibly for not mangling her name, while her partner, Detective Massey, lifted her hand in an amiable wave to the room.

     "Lieutenant Smith, sir, we already met," she said. "Excellent squad you got here. Thanks for inviting us to your meeting." Detective Massey nodded respectfully at the Chief. "My partner has been bringin' me up to speed since I got back from vacation, but there's a lot we still don't know about how our murder case interfaces with one of your investigations."

     "And we're looking forward to finding out," added Detective Greenspan with a rapid nod that caused the heavy waves of her hair to ripple in a way that couldn't help but attract notice. "Detectives MacLean and Laytner dropped some intriguing hints about a case they were working on, but they didn't seem to be...well... at liberty to give me any real details. Unfortunately, this has been hindering my ability to make progress with the Calvetti murder."

     "Well, that's why we're here, boys and girls." The Chief folded his powerful arms and surveyed his team with confidence. "Detectives MacLean and Laytner have been working a sensitive case for the past month, but it's gotten too big for them to successfully go it alone. We've decided that it's time to bring you all on board."

     We've? Dee glanced sideways at Ryo. Despite the fact that his partner was trying to look as tranquil as possible, Dee could tell that Ryo had been caught off guard by the Chief's decision to bring the whole CI team into their case, not to mention Detective Greenspan. Maybe he had half-suspected it and that was why he had been so gung-ho to find the Chief before the meeting. 'We've decided' probably meant that it was the Chief and the Commissioner who decided.

     "I'm gonna give you guys a little bit of background, and then I'll let Randy and Dee take it from there." The Chief caught Ryo's eye and then Dee's, and they nodded at him resignedly. It wasn't like they had a choice.

     "About ten years back, in my last year as a beat cop in the projects, I worked with a fellow by the name of Mike Abernathy. Irish American. Charming, savvy, bit of a temper. Same age as me. We both made detective around the same time, but worked in different precincts. Finally, he went to IA and stayed there. We never completely lost touch, but those IA people..." The Chief paused and shook his head. "It's hard to be friendly with 'em. You guys know what I'm talking about."

     Heads nodded around the room. "Hell, yeah," said Marty. "Never met one who wasn't an ass."

     "Yeah, but they're usually not dirty, are they?" In the shocked and expectant silence that followed these words, the Chief went on to explain that Lieutenant Mike Abernathy was strongly suspected of using his status as an IA agent to coerce the NYPD members he was sent to investigate into helping him run his various rackets in exchange for exoneration.

     "No shit, even IA's dirty now?" Sheldon's eyes leapt from the Chief to Dee before he folded his arms and sat staring up at the ceiling with a 'Lord, kill me now' expression on his face. IA being dirty was definitely not covered by the manual.

     "NYPD's gotta clean house," said Marty grimly. "It's bad enough out there on the streets without our own guys after us, too."

     "And that's what this meeting is all about, Detective Danes," said the Commissioner.

     "Anyhow," the Chief continued, "a few weeks back, I get a call from Mike. His kid, Tommy, has run away, not for the first time, and could I help him out? So I send Randy and Dee out to run him down, and sure enough, they do. But when they catch up to him, the brat's in the middle of a little shoplifting job with a junkie pal of his." He looked over at Detective Greenspan. "If you guessed it was your Eddie Calvetti, you'd be right on the money."

      Detective Massey looked thoughtful. "So Abernathy's kid was chummy with Calvetti. He never mentioned that to you, did he, Tea?"

     Detective Greenspan shook her head. "No. He's been insisting from the beginning that it was Detective MacLean's son who was involved with the vic."

     "Calvetti..." murmured Ted thoughtfully. "Hey, that was the vic who was found in a freezer in Queens, right? Ryo, didn't Detective, um... Green-- um... Didn't this lovely lady from the 99th, um, come to our precinct to question your son about that murder?" Ted asked.

     Dee rolled his eyes and snickered at the frosty stare that Detective Greenspan instantly turned on Ted, AKA Captain Clueless.

     "Yes," said Ryo brusquely, his eyes flashing.

     "And a right fiasco that was," added Dee, tilting back in his chair.

     "It's certainly never going to happen again without my lawyer present," insisted Ryo, whose face was now getting quite red, presumably at the mere memory.

     "We thought she knew what she was doing," announced Dee in his best troublemaker style. When everyone turned to look at Detective Greenspan's reaction, he tossed a lightning-fast smirk at her.

      "B-but wasn't it the guy, you know, that guy she came with?" Ted was belatedly trying to make a save. "He was the one who caused the trouble, right?"

     "Now, now, Detective Laytner," the Commissioner looked sternly at Dee. "We'll have none of that, if you please. Detective Greenspan did an excellent job of questioning Bikky MacLean. It's not her fault that another detective from her precinct allowed his own cynicism to carry him away while questioning Bikky's friend, Miss Baker, in another room." He slid his eyes sideways to Detective Greenspan who gazed at him in silent gratitude. "In any case, Detective Massey, Tina's partner, is back now. She has over twelve years' experience as a detective, and will, I have no doubt, be a thousand times more helpful than Detective Saunders was." He made an encouraging gesture toward Ryo. "Go on, Ryo. Please explain the connection with your son. As I'm sure you already know, we're all friends here and we're all in your corner."

     Dee caught Drake's carefully blank gaze from across the room. He knew that Drake understood the bullshit as well as he did. Oh yeah, the Commish was a great pal.

     Ryo summed up the relevant background details for everyone, from how Bikky and Thomas had both been friends with Eddie Calvetti for years, but without ever getting to know each other until recently, to Thomas' reasons for running away from home, and finally, to what Thomas had told them about his father's involvement with Eddie.

     "I don't think Thomas had or has any idea that Eddie sold drugs for his dad," Ryo said. "He just thinks that Eddie was some kind of informant or helper."

     "Well, how did Eddie end up on ice?" Allison asked.

     Dee took over at that point and explained what Eddie had done to upset Lieutenant Abernathy. According to information from both Thomas and Eddie, there had first been the phone video of Mike beating the crap out of his son Thomas and then, more incriminatingly, the multiple episodes where Eddie had taped his phone calls with Mike and uploaded them to his laptop for safekeeping.

     "Mike didn't realize this was going on at first, but when he found out, and we believe he found out from his son, he was about ready to shit himself. That's probably when he decided Eddie had to go."

     "What do you have for proof?" asked James. "Anything?"

     "How about witnesses?" added Drake.

     Ryo looked at Dee and then shook his head. "Nada. One dead junkie and one dead cop."

&^&^&^&^&^&^&^

     Bikky sat on the steps of Wilson Lloyd Junior High School with his friends Kenny and Dave. Despite its name, Wilson Lloyd was essentially a middle school, and had been since Carol's high school, Delancey Manhattan, had been built pretty much just behind it, but facing onto another street. The two schools shared a state of the art gym, a large outdoor track and a cafeteria. He wondered where Carol was and what she was doing. He hadn't seen her in the cafeteria or the computer lab. But it wasn't like he had been wandering around looking for her, or anything. He just liked to keep an eye out whenever he was walking through the common buildings.

     "Yo, what's goin' on over there?" Dave waved his juice box in the direction of a scuffle that had broken out near the front gate.

     "Hey, that's Tom," said Bikky, starting to rise to his feet. "And that asshole Brody." His voice rose in surprise on Brody's name. He thought he had put that dickwad in his place already. Obviously he hadn't put him there hard enough.

     "What's Tom doing here?" asked Kenny. "Doesn't he go to some Catholic school in Little Italy?"

     "Yeah. Maybe he's ditching school today. Let's go check it out." Bikky headed over to the gate with Kenny and Dave in tow.

     "Screw you, Brody," Thomas was saying with desperate bravado. "It's not for you to say whether I can come in here or not. You're not a student here, either! Shouldn't you be over on your own side at 'D'ancy'?"

     "Who the fuck are you, you fucked up little turd, to tell ME where I should or shouldn't be?" Brody bellowed, giving Thomas another shake. He had Thomas' private school tie twisted tightly in one fist. "Go the fuck back to your own neighborhood. You ain't welcome here, fucking queer. Get lost before I kick your skinny punk ass."

     A weaselly-looking kid, whom Bikky recognized as Brody's newest sidekick, laughed unpleasantly, and echoed, "Punk ass!"

     "Lay off, Brody," said Bikky behind him, "'cause you're cruisin' for another ass-kicking yourself. Or wasn't one time enough for ya?" He wished he could crack his neck in that tough way he had seen Dee do sometimes, but he didn't bother to try. He had practiced in the mirror a hundred times and had never succeeded in getting one little cracking sound to come out of his neck. He settled for standing with his shoulders back and his arms folded, looking at Aaron Brody like he was some kind of insect who could be stomped into the dirt without too much effort. He noticed that Weasel-guy was pretty much melting himself into the background scenery.

     Brody jerked around and looked at Bikky with dislike and a kind of wary respect. "Fuck you, MacLean," he said sullenly, "I'm just kicking out some St. Patrick's trash."

     Bikky's lip curled in response. "You're a big talker, Brody. Everyone's noticed how you're always goin' after the little guys. Why don't YOU get the fuck back across the way to your own school? Or are there too many guys your own size there?"

     Brody sneered and said, "Nah, there are just more slutty girls over here at Wilson." But he let go of Thomas and gave him a shove toward Bikky. "Fun's over, fag-face. Your boyfriend's here."

     "Watch it, Brody," said Bikky, laying a protective hand on Tom's shoulder. "I mean it. If you don't shut the fuck up with that homophobe shit, everyone's gonna start wondering if you're a closet case."

     "Everyone's already starting to wonder about that," Dave said loyally, looking from Bikky to Brody.

     "Fuck you, losers." Aaron Brody strolled off with his buddy.

     "Brody sucks cock!" yelled Kenny after him.

     "Brody bends over!" added Dave. He and Kenny shoved each other and snickered, confident that their status as Bikky's pals would protect them from retaliation.

     "Thanks, Bikky," said Thomas breathlessly. He lifted a shaky hand to his brow and tried to straighten his hair.

     "Tom, how come you're not at school?" asked Bikky. He slowly started walking back to the shade by the front steps, and the others followed him. "Are you cutting classes?"

     "Nah, just gym class after lunch, which sucks anyway. I'll go back in time for math. I-- uh, I wanted to talk to you, that's all."

     "What's happening with your dad? Did you guys ever hear from your aunt?" Bikky didn't mention Thomas' mom. He had a feeling she wasn't coming back.

     "Well, I still haven't been sent home yet. Dad pissed off the social worker, so I think no one is rushing to do what he wants. Dad called me up at the orphanage a couple of times. He says he wants me home. He's all alone nowadays." Thomas bit his lip and looked unhappy.

     "Uh, well, I guess you gotta go home eventually. Are they treating you good at St. Julian's?"

     Thomas brightened. "Oh yeah, everyone's really nice. But there's only one TV! And we're only allowed to watch it after we've done our homework. I'm missing my favorite shows."

     Bikky shrugged. "Yeah, I know. Ryo parked me there a few times, too. No privacy and no video games. But lots of company, huh?" He gave Thomas an encouraging smile. They had arrived at the broad shadow stretching out from the side of the front steps, and his three companions immediately plopped down on the dusty concrete. Bikky lowered himself a little more slowly. His bruises were really aching today. Now that he thought about it, he was kind of relieved that Brody hadn't wanted to mix it up right then and there in the face-off at the gate.

     Three cute girls strolled by, all soft giggles, big eyes and swinging hair. "Hi, Bikky," they called out in shy voices, while Dave and Kenny grinned enviously and nudged him. He was a bit of a celebrity at school today, thanks to a number of phone videos that had popped up on Youtube showing his fight with the cops in Chinatown yesterday. One of the videos was entitled 'Kung Fu Kid" and showed a slo-mo replay of Bikky's fist popping that plainclothes detective in the mouth and blood spurting out grossly in a little arc.

     Thomas sat glumly with his arms wrapped around his knees, totally failing to notice the girls.

     "Something's wrong, ain't it?" Bikky asked him. "Is it about your aunt?"

     "Dad said she's not coming. She's still in Ireland. He said that's why he didn't go on vacation with Mom-- no one was here to take care of me." Thomas leaned back against the steps and sighed. "But I don't know if that's true. Mom hasn't called."

     "Sucks, man," said Kenny.

     "Anyway, Dad's getting weird again. He acts like I did something wrong, but he won't say what it is."

     "You think he's gonna start beating on you again?" asked Bikky.

     "Maybe. Probably. I dunno when. But I have a new problem to worry about as well."

     "What's that?"

     "Bikky, a guy has been following me. It's freaking me out!"

     "What? Really?" Dave leaned forward, more excited than concerned.

     "What does he look like?" asked Bikky.

     "He's real skinny and he's got a beard. He wears those shades that look like mirrors. He looks like he's had a hard life."

     "Maybe he's a junkie," said Kenny.

     "Maybe he's a pedo," said Dave.

     "Did you tell your dad?" asked Bikky. Tom's dad was a cop, after all. He could probably fix the situation in, like, thirty seconds.

     "Nah. He'll just make me stay home all the time if I tell him about this."

     The other boys' heads nodded in agreement. Yep, that sounded likely. Parents always seemed to want their kids to stay home as much as possible, especially whenever they remembered that the world was full of junkies and pedos.

     "What do you think this guy is after?" asked Bikky. "Did he try to talk to you?"

     "No, I haven't given him the chance. Every time he comes close to me, I run away."

     "Good thing you're faster than him," said Kenny.

     "Well, he's not very fast," admitted Thomas. "The guy's in a wheelchair."

     Kenny and Dave erupted in hoots of laughter and demanded to know why anyone should be scared of a guy in a wheelchair.

     "Well, um... He's stalking me." Red-faced, Thomas tried to explain. "What if he shoots me or something?"

     Bikky, who had been trying not to laugh along with Kenny and Dave, suddenly couldn't hold back anymore. Thomas had a wheelchair-bound stalker! Too funny.

     "Look, Tom, I think the best way to handle this is to just talk to the guy," he said when he finally managed to stop giggling. "I mean, maybe he is a junkie or a pedo, but maybe he ain't. Maybe he just wants to scrounge a buck or spread the word of God. Maybe he's totally harmless."

     "You think I should talk to him?" Thomas asked nervously. "But he's kinda scary, Bikky! What if he's not really a cripple? What if he grabs me and...and...well, you know."

     "You want us to come with you when you talk to him?" Bikky asked with a grin. Compared to his own troubles with Crazy Bo trying to set him up and the police trying to beat him up, it would be nice to help a buddy solve a simple little problem like this.

     "Uh, yeah! Could you? I'd really appreciate it, Bikky."

     "No problemo. So does this guy stalk you on any kind of regular schedule?"

     The other boys snickered. 

     "Well, I don't know," said Thomas. "What do you mean?"

     "Like, does he wait outside your school? Does he hang out by the orphanage?"

     "Hmm. It's more like I sorta see him pretty much everywhere I go. Or if I don't, I'm expecting to see him. He's been riding the same train as me."

     "Ya think he'll be on the train today after school?"

     Thomas nodded. "Maybe."

     "Okay, that's the plan, then," said Bikky. "We'll come to St. Pat's today after school. You wait for us, and then we'll take the train together. Let's get to the bottom of this. Are you in, guys?"

     "Not me, sorry," said Kenny glumly. "My mom's picking me up from school today."

     "I'm in," said Dave. "Whatever this is about, it's gotta be cooler than doing homework."

&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^&

~end of chapter 8~

Additional author's notes: My dear readers, I don't know exactly when I'll be able to get the next chapter out. I've been working on it and I have a little time this coming week to work on it some more. I'll keep you posted with regards to my progress. Did you notice any improvement in my use of POV?

I know my posting has been really slow recently, but I hope you won't give up on me. I'm having a difficult year, what with the online course and the job, but I will plug away on this story and finish it, just like I finished all the others. If you've gotten this far, thanks very much for for reading!
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Brilliant, as always. I didn't leave a comment on Part One, so I'll just leave my thoughts about it here.

Part One:
Poor full-bladder boy, I feel your urinary pain. I think our boys in blue managed the situation fairly well, all things considered. Yes, Romeo got away, but now he's going to be spooked and more likely to make some sort of mistake that will land him in the station. Leaving him ripe for the picking. Also, having Dee come in contact with Alan will help them along, as far as clearing up that Ryo is not Abernathy (which, I cannot wait to see how you have that play out).

Curse you, Commissioner! With your smooth talk and chicken. But really, the persistence is even starting to tick me off, and he's just a fictional character! I do like that the boys get to work in a new office though. Far less chance at being bugged or having the 27th spy tell tale of their activities. That'll really help to hinder Abernathy's interference. And, go Ryo! Getting some surprise lovin'. ^^

Part Two:

I'm a little apprehensive about the Chief and Commissioner bringing so many other people in on the case. I mean, it's a very sensitive situation they're in and having too many people know too much about what's going on might jeopardize the whole case. No wonder Ryo was a bit miffed. Dee's banter for Greenspan was wonderful, just the sort of thing I'd expect from him.

I do have this terrible feeling of foreboding in regards to Thomas' stalker. Wheelchair or no, Thomas is a very important witness to Abernathy's violent tendencies, even if he doesn't realize that himself. It makes me a bit worried. Bikki's reaction was typical for a normal kid, but he's anything but normal. He should know better than to just assume based on what he sees on the surface. I really don't get a good feeling from that.

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this (even though you had to separate it due to length). I always enjoy reading your writing and I wait in anticipation for the next installment.

Thanks so much for this terrific, detailed review! I just realized that I hadn't thanked you yet.

Dee is even more annoyed about the Commissioner's persistence than you are. But you see, at this point, the Commissioner thinks that Dee and Ryo are only sexually involved on a casual basis. That's how his mind works because most of his own sexual relations are casual, even though he tends to keep the same lovers around for years and is good to them in his way. He's quite sure that even though Dee got the honor of being Ryo's first man, Ryo will be ready to move on after a while. He's getting his 'dibs' in, so to speak. It wasn't until Negotiations that he realized that Dee and Ryo were actually deeply in love and that he may have to wait much, much longer to get a shot at Ryo than he had previously thought.

It's okay. ^^ I knew you'd get to me eventually. It was a pretty big comment (I swear, I had no idea until I sent it. lol)

I can understand the logic behind it, but it doesn't make me any less irritated with Rose. *waggles finger* He knows Ryo's taken now, this is the time to back off. Silly boy. hahaha

Oh Brit, my monday just got a lot better!

I love how Dees love for Ryo shines through in small gestures. It was so sweet when he put back the beer, just as well as the sex scene afterwards.

Watch out, Bikky and Thomas, for the mysterious wheelchair-man! He's kind of frightening.

Dee's love for Ryo has had a very transforming and reforming effect on him. What really sealed it was having to work so hard and wait so long to finally get Ryo for his partner. He thinks about Ryo all the time and is determined to keep him. At the end of Volume 7, in the English language Tokyopop version, he said, "I may be dumb, but I'll never lose you to another guy." (Actually, I've heard that in the German translation, he said something a little different. Would you be able to comment on that?) So now he's determined to keep Ryo by being as clever and thoughtful as possible!


Well, I'm not sure which part exactly do you mean, because Dee doesn't say anything even close to this in the German translation.
In the scene shortly before Dee takes Ryo, he says: "Are you ready? Now that I know about your feelings for me...I can't hold back anymore!" And in the next frame: "I love you...And I'm going to prove this to you!"
Is this scene you meant? Because this is the last time, Dee says something serious to Ryo.

Wow, the differences in translation can be pretty big. In the English language Tokyopop version, on the page with 4 art panels where Dee is just about to take Ryo, here is what he says:

Top panel: (Dee looks down at Ryo while licking his upper lip) "So ready or not, here I come. Because now I know how you feel...Because you finally told me...I've got no more reservations...and nothing to hold back. Ever."
Middle panel: "I love you and I promise you one thing: I may be dumb, but I'll never lose you to another guy."

Last two panels: (The dialogue is spread over both panels. This is the one where Dee actually enters Ryo) "See? I'm not...holding back...Am I? NNNN...AHHHH...HHHH"
(Ryo says "HAHH...")

Now, I personally thought that this dialogue was not especially helpful. It was all unnecessary and rather repetitious. The most interesting part for me was when he said "I may be dumb but I'll never lose you to another guy." This told me that Dee didn't think of himself as being all that smart, or at least recognized that he had screwed up frequently in his life, but that he was determined to do whatever it took to keep Ryo interested in him. This was one of the many small canon details I used to shape my understanding of Dee's character when I started writing about him.

I wonder how many languages FAKE has been translated into and I wonder what other small details were changed?

I'm confused. In my translation it's Ryo who speaks in the last to panels. He says: "UHH... Gnn...There can really be no question of...holding back! UNGH...AAH...AHH!"
And on the next page Dee answers with: "...That's right."
On the one hand there is a question mark at the end of the sentence in the Japanese version. Then again there were a lot of those sound words in the speech balloon and I think it would be more logical if Ryo was the noisier one.
I guess the "I may be dumb..."-part exists in the original version, because it says something about "to lose someone". Now I wonder what else got lost in translation.
I once saw a French version, but I think that was all. The OVA got published in Italy, too.

Well, I can see Ryo being noisier, but I can't see him speaking whole, grammatically correct sentences at the moment of penetration! LOL! I think they should both know when to stop talking. Or at least, talk less.

No Ryo, there can really be no question of 'holding back' when Dee is busy driving into you.

I really wonder about all the translations in the world. At least the pictures and facial expressions are clear in any language.

I hadn't realized how much I've missed /A New Day/ until I started reading this. Welcome back!

My two favorite scenes here were Dee's kitchen musings (which made me REALLY HUNGRY for a mushroom omlette with extra cheese, thankyouverymuch) and the scene at the Palace where everybody is brough up to speed. We got to see everybody, inclduind Tina, who I love to hate, there was a covert dounghnut war, and I kinda forgot what had been going on, so a recap was nice. XD

Thanks for taking time out of your crazy busy schedule to feed the beast!

Oops. I mean /Justice/, not /A New Day/, in the above comment. *headdesk*

Hey, don't worry about it. I left so many loose ends hanging from A New Day that this story still feels like A New Day to me, too. I think Justice is a cooler title, though!

I'm glad you found the recap helpful. I was torn about including one. I had originally put in a really long unwieldy one, which the betas didn't like. I didn't like it either and it had been damn hard to write. Whenever the words just won't come (which almost never happens to me) it's always a sign that I'm on the wrong track. Finally I decided to put in a minor recap and cut out about 75% of the meeting scene. Yes, it was once that long.

Have you satisfied your craving for a mushroom omelette yet?

Unfortunately not. Although I consider myself a kickass baker, I can't cook regular food to save my life, and my omlettes always turn out to be disasters. A girl can dream, though, can't she?

Well, omelets are really tough. I screwed one up this morning due to not paying enough attention. It's all about controlling the heat under the pan, and you can't let your mind wander even for a second.

However, I have great confidence in your future ability to cook dinner-food! Baking is the first step. It was for me.

Nowadays it gives me great pleasure to cook for people and watch them enjoying my creations. But ten years ago, I couldn't even conceive of this feeling!

W00t! An update of one of my fave fics!!

Rose, leave Ryo alone, okay? He's fine with Dee by his side, don't complicate matters...and besides, there's one awesome chick you should be focusing on!

Good on Bikky for stopping Brody from hurting Thomas!

Rose can't leave Ryo alone, even though he has lots of other options. Whenever he's around Ryo, he gets a whiff of those special Ryo-pheromones, and transforms into a hungry wolf looking at a succulent lamb.

Bikky's actually a great guy when he's not being a brat.

Thank you for reading and commenting!

I had to start at the beginning of Justice, lol I was so far behind, whaaaaa! I loved it and I'm looking forward to finding out who is in the wheelchair!

I see Sheldon is hanging in there so I'm happy, you found something for him to be an expert in, lol But seriously the story is great and my heart is racing and now I have to wait to see how that meeting is going to end.

What is going to happen with Ryo and Dee working under Rose's nose. This story just keep getting better and better! Good job, Brit!

Thanks for reading it all over again! Wow, that must have taken a lot of time, and I appreciate it.

Yes, I always think of you whenever I give Sheldon any screen time. I think you're quite possibly his only fan. Maybe I should have him do something heroic at some point. When I originally introduced him, I had an idea in mind to kill him off later, but don't worry, I have since changed my mind. I wouldn't do that to you!

Rose now has Ryo much closer to him, but there's going to be a little bit of friction with other people in the building who are not as thrilled about Ryo's presence as the Commissioner is. Remember Ross from the limousine at Shaver's funeral? Well, he certainly does not approve of Ryo and Dee.

AH! Who is the creepy stalker?!?!?!! I apologize for the excessive punctuation tonight. I'm on caffeine and I'm trying to do repetitive homework. Not a good combination! Anyway... Yea for Justice! I'm so happy that this chapter is up now! I've been looking forward to it since the last chapter was posted! It's nice to have something to look forward to when reading!

Dee and Rose are so funny when they interact! It's like having and argument with yourself! :P I love how they both showed up with food right when Ryo got hungry. :D

meeeeh... I need someone to glomp... *Looks around the empty room* moo... @CYBER-GLOMPS Brit@ :D

-Neengy

*Braves the caffeine vibrations and cyber-glomps Neengy!*

Dee and Rose are two big stags locking antlers in Ryo-territory. They each bring him tasty snacks of tender tree-bark in the hope of gaining favor. But Ryo knows who really loves him.

I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter. I've got some homework to do right now, but I'm going to work on Justice 9 later tonight and see if I can make some more progress.

You are amazing!

(Anonymous)
Hi Brit,

I recently finished reading Fake and found out about your fan-fiction on a forum discussion on mangafox. I promptly finished reading 'A New Day' and 'Justice' within last week - couldn't resist :D You have done a terrific job of capturing the spirit of the characters. The plot is simply great!! Lot of interesting twists and turns. I am new to this genre (yaoi) but you have beautifully captured how Ryo is coming to terms with his homosexuality. Ryo and Dee are my favourite couple now - after reading your story that is. It is lovely to read little snippets about your day to day life at the beginning of the chapters and your replies to readers' comments are quite adorable. Hope you are doing well with the online course and job. Keep up the spirit!! Good luck with all your endeavors :)

-ST

ST, thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a complimentary and encouraging comment! It came on a day that has been diffisult, so it's doubly welcome.

I'm glad you're enjoying my interpretation of Sanami Matoh's characters, as well as my incredibly convoluted plot!

The online course is making me a tad insane this week. And the job, too! Too many stressy deadlines at once. I want to crawl into bed and stay there, but of course no one is going to let me get away with that. Next week will be different. Thanks for the well-wishes, btw. Luck is exactly what I need nowadays.

Anyway, I think I can give you some good news. Justice chapter 9 is with the betas! That means I'll be able to publish it in about a week or so. I've also been working on Justice 10.

Thanks again, and come back anytime!

Re: You are amazing!

(Anonymous)
Ah the evil deadlines! I Hope your days have gotten better now and hope you get a nice, relaxing break when the deadlines are over.
Yay for chapter 9! :D I am totally hooked to the story and may I say you have a flair for writing really hot 'lemons' (I learnt this term from you by the way). So I will keep visiting regulary :)

Thank you for your reply,
ST

For all the plot that's involved here, I think I'm going to have to focus and say that my favorite scene was actually right back at the beginning, when Rose ambushes Ryo with his Evil Chicken Teriyaki of Doom. The look on Dee's face when he came in with dinner... oh, it would have been heartbreaking, except that this Dee we're talking about, and he rolled with the punch and spun around swinging a left hook. 'For breakfast' indeed. I cracked up like crazy. Rose and his Evil Teriyaki had no chance at all.

Lots of plot twists but my favorite bits are both character ones. Dee's relationship with food is funny and touching. He uses dirty tricks to swipe food from others but then tries to feed Ryo (the Mexican food, the omelet) to show love. It's a really subtle way to show how growing up in an orphanage may have shaped him.

Bicky is awesome. I really like how some of the the person he becomes that we see in the canon stories set when he is older is being shown developing here.

Wow, thanks for noticing the food! When people grow up poor, food has special significance, and those feelings continue long after the person has overcome poverty. In the manga, Dee was always trying to get Ryo to feed him.

I always found Bikky incredibly annoying as a child bent on keeping Dee away from Ryo, but as an older boy, he had a lot of admirable qualities. It's an interesting challenge for me to try to depict his slow transition from brattiness into responsibility. I have to keep his actions and feelings age-appropriate as I go.

Thanks for coming back to read!

I went to a school called St. Patrick's! Although mine was in FL so no similarities except for it being Catholic and we had to wear uniforms.
I thought Tom was supposed to go to the special gay school in the bargain he worked out with his dad? That part confused me a little. Anyway perhaps its cleared up later since I've still got 9 more chapters left.
This was awesome by the way! I don't comment on most chapters since I'm WAY behind but I do love them all!

Hello again! Thanks for commenting.

If you'll remember, A New Day took place in May, which was close to the end of the school year. Justice is taking place in June. Thomas is not allowed to switch in the last four weeks of the school year, plus he has to show his father some honest progress with his grades. He'll start at Harvey Milk in the new school year.


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