FAKE First Year Together: Justice (June)
by Brit Columbia
Pairing : Dee Laytner and Ryo MacLean
Spoilers: set after book 7, so please don't read this story if you haven't finished the original manga and don't want to be spoiled.
Timing: this story is the sequel to FAKE First Year Together: A New Day (May), which I wrote to be set directly after Book 7. However, you don't have to read A New Day to appreciate this story. I think you'll be able to figure it out on your own.
Disclaimer: Dee and Ryo are characters that Sanami Matoh created for her FAKE series. Norman Gray is mine. I make no money from writing these works of fanfiction.
Rating: NOT Worksafe! (Whoo-hoo, finally!) Red hot X-rated explicit scene of sex between two men who love each other. I personally think that explicitly sexual expressions of love are beautiful and not obscene, but I would still die if my dad ever read this!
Author's notes: Two things: First, please read my short story, sweet frustration, before you read this chapter. Chronologically speaking, Sweet Frustration was the last time they had sex. It was a significant sexcapade in that Ryo found the courage to mildly dominate Dee. He even put handcuffs on him. This is referred to in the last couple of pages of Justice, chapter 13. It was a major step forward for Ryo, but we don't yet know what Dee is thinking about it because we haven't been in his POV for a while. Nor will we in this chapter. Second, I have written about the layout of Ryo's apartment in the extra author's notes at the end of this chapter. The only thing I will say right now is that the main entrance door to Ryo's apartment is through the kitchen. That part is canon. I've made other changes to Sanami Matoh's original layout of Ryo's apartment, though, which are detailed in the author's notes at the end of this chapter.
I hope this chapter arouses strong feelings in you and makes you want to comment! I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Thank you to the_ladyfeather, tripple_p and shelley6441 for your hard work as my much-valued betas, and also for your ongoing patience with me! So far in Justice: Ryo is trying to become friends with Norman Gray, a gay parole officer. But what he doesn't know is that Norm is interested in more than friendship with him.
Justice, Chapter 16: Green-Eyed Monster
Norm picked up his cup of tea and moved to take a seat next to Ryo on the sofa. Ryo wondered why Norm had moved from the easy chair, which was, in his opinion, much more comfortable than the sofa. The other man's new proximity brought the scent of his cologne into Ryo's personal space. Ryo couldn't identify it, but it made him think of forests and sunlight.
Norm took a sip of his tea while looking at Ryo over the rim of his cup. "Sorry," he said. "I couldn't see you properly over there. I'm nearsighted and I'm often too vain to leave my apartment with my glasses on." He grinned self-deprecatingly.
"Can't you wear contacts?"
Norm shook his head. "Never could get used to them. Too much burning and itching. I always felt like someone threw a handful of sand into my eyes."
"Well, contact lenses aren't for everybody." Ryo smiled in understanding. "I wear glasses myself. For reading," he added.
"I thought you sharpshooters all had eagle eyesight."
"Um, we do, I guess, for distance." Ryo gave him a guarded look, amazed that his police sniper status had even come up. Had Norm been doing some checking up? "I don't recall mentioning that I was a sharpshooter."
Norm shook his head, laughing a little, and put his cup down. "No, no you didn't; sorry! See, I was at the 27th on Tuesday afternoon, looking for you. I didn't realize you'd moved to One Police Plaza. Anyhow, I ran into a few of your workmates there. A guy on your team took me under his wing. O'Neill. He told me about your record as a marksman." He took another sip of his tea, and then set the mug down carefully on the glass coffee table. "I met your partner too. Detective Laytner."
"You met Dee? He didn't mention it to me."
"Well, we didn't really talk long. There was this short, heavy guy who started yelling at him. I think he may have been the lieutenant or the sergeant for your squad."
Ryo smiled. "About forty-five? Mustache? Real pissed?"
"Yeah, that's the guy."
"I can guess who that was. Dee sorta gets yelled at by him a lot." Ryo's smile faded a little, as he thought about how often it was that he shared the spotlight of the Chief's displeasure with Dee. "And me, too, by dint of being his partner."
"Oh, well, sorry to hear that." Norm reached out and gave Ryo's shoulder a hesitant pat that Ryo thought was doubtlessly intended to be supportive. "Your partner didn't seem to be too bothered by it."
"No, he probably wasn't. It seems like nothing ever knocks him off his perch for long." Ryo snorted and shook his head. "You wouldn't believe the stuff he gets away with."
"I wouldn't know, of course," said Norm. "I only talked to him for about two minutes. But even in that short time, I picked up on something about him."
"What's that?" Ryo asked, turning toward Norm with interest.
"Your partner gives out crazy-strong alpha male vibes," Norm stated, his eyes on Ryo.
Ryo scowled, and belatedly cast about for a coaster for his tea. "Yes. Well."
"He's your 'partner'-partner, isn't he?" Norm's voice was soft. He blew on his tea and refrained from making eye contact, a fact for which Ryo was grateful.
"Um... yeah." Ryo located a coaster underneath a copy of the Village Voice. "But, uh, please don't tell anyone, okay? Because it's all pretty new, and we don't want to find ourselves reassigned."
"Don't worry, I never would," said Norm. There was a pause that went on a little too long. Ryo knew that Norm was waiting for him to say something, but he didn't know what he was expected to say.
Finally Norm broke the silence. "Well, I guess it's easy to understand," he said. "Dee is a pretty good-looking guy. I can totally see why you'd be attracted to him." He ran his finger over the pattern on his tea mug, while keeping his eyes mostly averted.
"Um, thanks," said Ryo. He picked up his spoon and stirred his tea unnecessarily.
"He treating you right?"
"Of course!" said Ryo, startled. "I really... I really can't complain."
"Oh, well, I didn't mean anything by that! I hope you didn't-- Aw man, I'm doing it again." Norm put a hand to his forehead. "Sorry, Randy. I hope you don't think I'm as much of an idiot as I sound like."
"No, Norm, it's okay," said Ryo quickly, turning a sympathetic gaze in his friend's direction. Norm's face was flushing and Ryo had a special place in his heart for those with the same problem he had. He opened his mouth to change the subject, but before he had decided on a suitable topic-- the weather? sports? the economy?-- Norm spoke again.
"It's just that... I have some experience with these super-alpha-male types," he said. "They need patience and careful handling-- I mean, managing."
"Well, um, I... er, I think all relationships require patience," Ryo said.
"Sure!" Norm was nodding his head. "But alpha-males doubly so, because they always want everything to be their way. They feel like they have to take charge, be on top all the time... You know what I mean?"
"Uh-huh." Ryo nodded in the direction of his cup.
"One of my exes was like that. He was a cop. A sheriff, actually." Norm grinned at Ryo. "Muscles and attitude, but a sweet streak underneath."
"Sounds familiar," Ryo murmured. He was fascinated with the turn this conversation had taken. He had never had a conversation about men with a fellow gay man before. Well, except Dee, of course, but Dee had categorically refused to talk about his exes in any kind of detail.
Norm sighed. "It was great while it lasted," he said. "But we broke up eventually."
"How come?" asked Ryo, who really wanted to know why.
Norm shrugged. "More than one reason. I wanted to come live in the city, specifically New York. He didn't." He took a thoughtful swallow of his tea and set the mug down. "Also, I wanted more give and take in our sex life, and he wasn't up for that, either."
"Ah," said Ryo, nodding as though he understood, when actually he wasn't sure what Norm meant at all. He also wasn't one hundred per cent sure he ought to express any curiosity or encourage Norm to go any further. It was all very interesting, but if Norm started talking about his sex life, he might expect Ryo to do the same.
Obviously taking Ryo's "Ah" as a sign of interest, Norm offered some elaboration. "There were things I wanted to experience. I was twenty-four years old before I felt what it was like to be the pitcher instead of the catcher."
Ryo looked at him blankly for a moment, wondering how they had suddenly gotten on to baseball, when it suddenly dawned on him what Norm was talking about. "Oh!" he said, thinking don't blush, don't blush, but as usual, thinking that didn't do any good. It never did. Now, of course, when he desperately wanted Norm to say more, the man, annoyingly, fell silent. He wondered if Norm was regretting saying so much, and was now feeling embarrassed. Or perhaps he wanted to go on, but was waiting for a little encouragement. "I'm, um, sorry you guys had to break up," Ryo said awkwardly.
Norm shrugged and for a moment a wistful expression crossed his features. "He was my first," he said. "You never forget your first."
"No, I guess not." Ryo picked up his cup again and took a sip of his now lukewarm tea, only to choke on it a moment later when Norm asked him, "Is Dee your first?"
"Oh, hey, sorry, Randy!" Norm moved a little closer and offered him his napkin. "Sorry about that. I don't know why I'm getting so personal. I mean, I'm aware you hardly know me and all."
Ryo coughed a few more times, and then took another cautious swallow of his tea. "It's-- it's not your fault, Norm. I'm not really good at personal conversations. I, uh, I never had a conversation like this before." Ryo cleared his throat and glanced sheepishly at Norm.
"Really? Not even with your Dee?"
"No. He doesn't talk about his past experience much," said Ryo. "He claims I'll get jealous or something, which is totally not true."
Norm shook his head. "I can't imagine that a guy who looks like you do would have anything to be jealous about."
"All of this is new to me," Ryo said, warming to the subject. A part of him was relieved to have someone to talk to about this issue. "It's only just recently that I was able to accept that I had interest and feelings... for men, way stronger than for women. I... I know how lame that sounds. It's like, how could I not have known? But I really didn't know. I guess I didn't want to know. Dee and I have been together as a couple for about two months or so, though of course we've known each other for a lot longer than that."
Norm listened attentively while Ryo spoke, and then said, "Well, I hope you guys will be very happy together. Those macho types can be a pain to deal with sometimes, but they can be real dynamos in bed, too. Unless they refuse to do something that offends their macho sensibilities."
"Um, I'm sure you're right," said Ryo, not sure where he should look. Dee had never refused to do anything he had tentatively suggested while they were in bed, not that that happened often. But on the other hand, his partner periodically got stubborn about other things, such as driving the speed limit or turning in his paperwork on time. He wondered how Dee would react if he ever asked him to bottom for him. He couldn't imagine that such a request would be met with enthusiasm, considering the things Dee had reportedly said about what happened to Arnon. Ryo also couldn't imagine opening up his mouth and actually saying something like that to Dee.
"Macho sensibilities can be cute, of course," said Norm, "but only up to a point."
Ryo could think of nothing, absolutely nothing, to say in response to that.
"Anyway," Norm continued. "We take away something from each relationship, right? Life is about learning."
"Uh-huh." Ryo nodded.
"What I learned from my relationship with Hank is that I didn't want to be pushed into one role. Much as I loved him, I didn't want to be his 'wife'."
"Is that how you felt? Like you were his wife?"
"Yeah, a lot of the time. Somehow, I ended up doing more of the housework and cooking. He was in charge of the barbecue, naturally. That's a 'man's' job." Norm gave Ryo a quick smile. "But then we lived together. You and Dee don't live together, do you?"
Ryo shook his head. "We don't barbecue, either. Neither one of us has a balcony."
"Tell me about it. I love my big-city life, but it sure is hard to get a barbecued steak unless you feel like going out."
Ryo nodded enthusiastically. Talking about barbecue was much easier than talking about the deficiencies of macho sensibilities. "I used to eat a lot more barbecued food before I moved to Manhattan," he said. "I know a great marinade for steak, but of course I can't use it here."
Norm smiled at him. "I take it you do the cooking?"
"Well, yeah, mostly," said Ryo, suddenly feeling slightly defensive. "But Dee cooks, too. Sometimes."
"How about cleaning?"
"That would be me, mostly. Well, Dee cleans, too. But he can stand to let things go for longer than I can, so I guess that's why I do more of the cleaning." Ryo was starting to wonder if he had somehow put himself in the 'wife' role.
"Is he trainable?" asked Norm.
"Is anyone?" countered Ryo. He stood up and picked up his cup. "More tea?"
"Sure, thanks." Norm handed him his mug.
Ryo refilled their cups in the kitchen, wondering if Dee was 'trainable', as Norm put it. He wasn't sure. The very thought made him want to smile. Dee, like Bikky, had a fairly high tolerance for nagging, meaning that it usually took a lot of it for them to get the message. Both of them would be gold medalists if they ever participated in any kind of competition for procrastinators. However, he did have to admit that there had been changes. Bikky at least put his dirty dishes in the sink now, instead of leaving them all over the house. And once in a while, Dee cleaned the whole kitchen without being asked. Usually, it was when Ryo was sick, or something.
When Ryo returned to the living room, Norm seemed to want to continue the conversation where they had left off. "I think people are trainable," he said, "but only up to a point."
"You're probably right."
"But sometimes we want them to do something without us having to tell them."
Ryo thought about that, and found he had to agree. "Yes," he said with a sigh. "It would be so much easier if the people we love would just automatically know what we want or need and then be willing to give it to us. But life doesn't seem to work that way."
There was a brief silence. Norm seemed to be waiting to see if Ryo would add anything else, but he didn't.
"Well, it seems to me that if you want Dee to do something for you that he hasn't been doing..." Norm leaned back a little on the sofa, still watching Ryo carefully, "you're going to have to find a way to tell him. Or show him."
Ryo looked at Norm for a moment, wondering if they were still talking about cleaning. What did one talk about with a gay friend, anyway? He lacked experience there, never having had one before. He was beginning to suspect that the subject of men might be fairly high up on the list of gay conversation topics. Perhaps Norm would be up for talking about art or antiques next. Or even soccer.
"I wish I could, but some things are easier to talk about than others."
"If you can't tell him what you want, you're going to have to stay on the bottom for a while."
Ryo looked sharply at Norm, his mouth dropping open. How had he guessed?
"Pretty good, huh? Maybe I should be a detective, like you."
"I'll be sure to put in a good word for you at the station," said Ryo in what he hoped was a wry tone of voice, but inside he was feeling shaken by Norm's apparent clairvoyance.
"Don't worry, I'm not reading your mind," Norm said apologetically. "It's just that I've been where you are."
"Ah," was all Ryo could think to say.
"You know," Norm went on, "in the two relationships I've been in since Hank and I broke up, my boyfriends and I switched. I think most gay couples don't really do that whole 'set role' thing. Of course there are some couples where one guy always tops and the other guy always bottoms. Not everyone enjoys or feels comfortable with certain acts. But if that's the case, it would be good if they could talk about it."
Ryo looked down, his cheeks warming at this frank conversation. "Sometimes talking about it is the hardest thing."
"Well, if your guy won't bottom for you and you want to stay with him, then you're just going to have to find a way to accept it."
Ryo was silent. He didn't know what to say to that. Norm was right. He took a deep breath and sat up a little straighter. Okay, this had been helpful. He needed to give Norm's words some thought. Later, of course. Now it was definitely time for a change of subject. He recalled that Norm had mentioned his mother once or twice. But before he could ask about her, Norm spoke again.
"And just so you know, Randy..." Norm took a deep breath and then pushed on in a somewhat shaky voice. "If things ever changed for you and you wanted to... you know, see what it was like to be on top, I'd love to be the one to share that experience with you."
"Huh?" Ryo blinked at him, confused. Was Norm saying what it sounded like he was saying? "On top?"
"On top of me, Randy." Norm was blushing, too. "With me. No strings, if that's what would work for you." He paused for a moment, looking horribly self-conscious. "But only if you want to, of course."
"Norm, I, er..." Ryo found himself staring speechlessly at Norm for a moment while all the remaining blood in his body rushed toward his face, turning it from a rosy pink to a deep red. He couldn't believe the last couple of turns this conversation had taken. Not only had Norm somehow guessed that Ryo was chafing at his permanent assignment to the 'catcher' role with Dee, but now the guy had just come right out and straight up offered him his body! At that moment, Ryo could only feel relieved that at least Norm wasn't grabbing or touching or making sly insinuations like certain other men he could think of. Somehow, he found breath to speak. Nice though it was to feel wanted by this gentle and attractive man, the whole situation had to be nipped in the bud, and fast. "I'm sorry, but ... I can't have sex with you."
"I don't mean now," said Norm, leaning a little closer, but still not touching. He set his tea down on the coffee table. "I mean in the future... IF your circumstances were different. Or even if you just wanted to see what it was like."
Rapid, heavy footsteps could be heard stomping through the kitchen, and before either of them could think of what to do, Dee was suddenly in the room with them, his face livid. An aura of violence swept in with him and his menacing presence seemed to fill the space between him and the two men on the sofa.
....end of part one. Please go to part two!