Characters: Dee, Ryo, OCs.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Chasing suspects is always dangerous, you never know what they’ll do, but this time was too close for comfort.
Word Count: 1920
Written For: Jae’s Monthly Drabble Challenge 147 - Hang/Hold On.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Why people so often ran up fire escapes or inside a building and straight up the stairs to the roof when being pursued by the police was a mystery to Dee. It made no logical sense if you were trying to escape to head in the one direction that would inevitably leave you with the fewest options. Then again, in his experience the majority of criminals weren’t exactly blessed with an abundance of common sense. If they were, they wouldn’t have embarked on a life of crime in the first place. Nevertheless, here he and Ryo were, chasing a suspect, and once again the guy they were after had hotfooted it straight up the first fire escape he came to, with Ryo hard on his heels shouting to Dee to take the stairs.
That took Dee longer than it should have, because the building’s outer door was locked and he had to ring several bells before a resident buzzed him in. Then the roof access door turned out to be locked, although a bullet took care of that problem easily enough. He didn’t care if he wound up having to pay for a new lock out of his own pocket, he wasn’t about to trek all the way back down to beg the key from the building’s super, not when Ryo was probably on the roof by now trying to apprehend their suspect single handed. It was only four floors, but that still meant wasting several precious minutes, which was not an option. What if that guy was armed? He hadn’t pulled a gun or a knife that they’d seen, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have one or the other in a pocket or tucked in his waistband. Dee needed to be out there providing backup for his partner. That was the reason cops worked in pairs, so they always had someone they could trust watching their back.
Getting the door ‘unlocked’ turned out to only be the first hurdle; just to complicate matters there was a tangle of junk piled against the outside of the door. When this was over and the fugitive was secured, Dee was going to cite the building’s super for the fire safety infringement. In the meantime he had to put his shoulder against the door, get all his weight behind it, and shove as hard as he could in order to get it open wide enough for him to squeeze through, and he was just scrambling over a broken, rusted metal bed frame when something happened that froze the blood in his veins and almost stopped his heart.
As he’d anticipated, the suspect had arrived on the rooftop first, with Ryo just far enough behind that when he came over the low retaining wall his quarry was waiting for him. Ryo had holstered his gun, probably because he’d needed both hands for climbing the final rickety ladder, and the moment he’d reached the top, the suspect had swung at his head with an iron bar. He’d managed to duck that and get over the wall, but his attacker had then thrown the bar at him instead, catching him a glancing blow on the hip, which had temporarily numbed his leg and knocked him off balance. Before he could steady himself and draw his gun, the suspect was on him, grappling with him, and then Ryo was toppling back over the wall, hands scrabbling to get a hold of something and keep from falling…
Seeing Ryo vanish from sight over the edge, Dee stopped breathing, stopped even thinking; he just threw himself bodily at the man they’d been chasing and knocked him out cold with a single blow from the butt of his gun. Perhaps that wasn’t exactly standard procedure for dealing with a would-be fugitive from justice, but Dee didn’t have time to mess around cuffing him; the only thing that mattered right at that moment was Ryo.
Reaching the parapet and leaning over, expecting to see the worst, Ryo lying crumpled and still in the alley below, it was almost more of a shock to see his partner clinging by his fingertips to a narrow ledge a couple of feet down, face pale, teeth gritted, and dark eyes wide with fear.
“Hang on, babe!” Dee gasped. “Don’t you dare let go!”
“Trying not to,” Ryo ground out as Dee anchored himself as best he could, hooking one foot around a convenient pipe, and leant over the low wall. In the distance he could hear sirens approaching, and from the corner of his eye he could see a crowd of onlookers gathering on the street, staring upwards at the drama playing out far above, but he focused on the matter at hand, blocking out everything that didn’t pertain to rescuing his partner, and stretched his arm down as far as he could.
“Dammit!” Dee couldn’t quite reach, the tips of his fingers just brushing the back of Ryo’s right hand. “This isn’t workin’! Keep holdin’ on, ya hear me?” He pulled himself back up, adjusted his position, and reached down again, leaning perilously far over the edge, the blood rushing to his head.
“Be careful,” Ryo gasped.
“Save your breath, dumbass. Not lettin’ you fall, no way!” Straining every muscle, this time Dee was able to close his hand around Ryo’s right wrist, gripping it painfully tight. “Gotcha!” He started to pull as hard as he could, but because of the position he was in he had precious little leverage. It was a battle between gravity and determination, but Dee wasn’t about to give up; at the very least he was going to hold on to Ryo until help arrived, but until it did he intended to keep trying to pull his partner back up.
Ryo did what little he could to help, pulling against the narrow ledge with his other hand and scrabbling with the toes of his sneakers against the weathered brick, trying to find a foothold from which to push upwards. It took a good five minutes of strenuous effort on both their parts before Ryo was finally able to let go of the ledge and throw his left arm over the retaining wall as Dee grabbed the back of his belt and hauled him bodily up and over. They collapsed together onto the gritty surface of the roof, Ryo sprawled on top of Dee, both of them panting harshly as they struggled to get their breath back, light-headed from exertion. Dee wrapped his arms around Ryo’s body, not caring that his partner’s weight on his chest was restricting his breathing. There was reassurance in his solidity; Ryo was right there, safe and alive in his arms, not splattered on the floor of the alley, dead or dying.
Several minutes passed before Dee carefully extracted himself from beneath his partner, leaving him lying on the roof, recovering from his ordeal, and half crawled over to the suspect, cuffing his hands behind his back and propping him against the parapet before returning to Ryo, who was struggling to sit up. Dee helped him and knelt before him, studying his face, sweat-soaked hair plastered to his forehead. Somewhere below, he could hear vehicles screeching to a halt, and a lot of shouting. Help had finally arrived; he could have done with it a few minutes ago, but better late than never.
“You okay, babe?”
Ryo nodded. “I think so. Just about. Feels like both my arms have been wrenched out of their sockets, but other than that…” He trailed off with a wan smile. “Thanks, Dee. What you just did was crazy, I was scared I’d pull you over too, but… I’m pretty sure you just saved my life.” He looked down at his cramped and bloody fingers. “I couldn’t have held on much longer.”
“It might’ve been crazy, probably was, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m not gonna lose you, not like that. Not ever, if I can help it.”
Footsteps sounded on the stairs and on the fire escape as uniformed cops and paramedics arrived, some of them immediately dragging the bed frame and other detritus away from the access door. Dee flashed his shield and identified himself and Ryo, not that he really needed to since both of them had on their NYPD bulletproof vests, but it was automatic. He sent one of the medics and a couple of uniforms to check on the suspect, who was regaining consciousness, a bit dazed but not seriously injured. Two other medics came to check on Ryo, who they decided should be taken to the ER for x-rays, just to be sure there were no broken bones or dislocated joints. Dee was fine with that, although Ryo protested a bit.
“Do as you’re told, idiot. At the very least you’re gonna need something stronger than Tylenol. You can’t tell me your shoulders and hands don’t hurt.”
“What about you?”
“What about me? I wasn’t the one danglin’ by my fingertips. I’ll get the car and meet ya at the hospital. You’ll need a ride home after.”
“But the suspect…”
“Uniforms can take him in. We’ll question him in the morning; he can spend the night coolin’ his heels in lock-up, maybe it’ll make him more cooperative.”
“Fine, but I don’t need a stretcher; I can walk. There’s nothing wrong with my legs.” Ryo kept up a measure of defiance until he tried to stand up; his legs were shaky, his hip ached, and waking down one flight of stairs never mind four suddenly seemed like an impossible feat, so five minutes later he was on his way down strapped to the stretcher after all. “Everyone’s going to think I’m a wimp,” he grumbled.
Dee snorted. “Hardly, not after what you just went through. Hell, if they had another one of those, I’d ride down too. You’re not the only one feelin’ a bit shaky.”
“Now you’re really bein’ an idiot. Wasn’t your fault that moron ambushed ya. On top of everything else, now he’ll be facin’ charges of reckless endangerment, resistin’ arrest, and assaultin’ a police officer. He’s just lucky not to be facin’ a murder charge as well.”
Ryo winced slightly at the reminder of what might have happened. That had been a close call and no mistake.
Seeing Ryo off in the ambulance, Dee hitched a ride in a patrol car to where he’d left the unmarked sedan he and Ryo had checked out of the motor pool earlier. With a wave to the departing uniforms, he sank into the driver’s seat with a sigh of relief and just sat for a few minutes, head resting against his arms folded on the steering wheel. He’d been involved in some scary stuff since he’d joined the force, been shot, stabbed, attacked with a baseball bat, and chased by dogs, but nothing had ever scared him as much as seeing Ryo go over the edge of that roof. If they ever had to chase someone onto a rooftop again, next time he was gonna take the fire escape and Ryo could take the safer indoor route. Dee didn’t think his heart could take another day like this one.
Pulling himself together, he started the car and set off for the hospital. Soon as Ryo was checked over Dee planned on taking him home and pampering him. He had a feeling Ryo was going to need some serious TLC and Dee was just the person to provide it.