Characters: Ryo, Dee
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: The lights go out in New York unexpectedly thanks to a massive snowstorm.
Word Count: 1600
Written For: Prompt 25: Blackout at anythingdrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo’s first thought when he opened his eyes was, ‘OW!’ and his second thought was, ‘Why’s it so dark?’ quickly followed by, ‘Where am I?’ He was sure he should know the answer to that last question at the very least, but for some unknown reason it escaped him. He must have made a sound of some sort though, because right at that moment his attempts at thinking were interrupted by someone calling his name.
“Ryo?” Dee’s voice was comfortingly familiar and some of Ryo’s apprehension eased; if his partner was nearby and okay enough to talk then hopefully he’d soon be getting answers to a few of his questions.
“Dee? What just happened?”
“Blackout. Must be the snowstorm; the whole city’s probably lost power.”
“Oh. That’s not so bad then; for a moment I thought there must be something wrong with my eyes. I can’t see a thing.” Ryo felt around himself; he was lying on what his fumbling fingers told him was a tile floor and for a moment he couldn’t remember whether he was at work or at home. The only thing he was sure about was that his head hurt and he had no idea why. “Ow.” Slowly and carefully he pushed himself up into what he assumed was a sitting position; it was so dark it was difficult to orient himself, especially with his head hammering the way it was.
“You okay?” Dee’s voice sounded a bit closer this time, but that might have been wishful thinking on Ryo’s part.
“Not sure; my head hurts. Where are we?” he asked muzzily.
“You don’t know?” Now Dee sounded concerned.
“Everything’s a little fuzzy at the moment; I must’ve tripped on something when the lights went out, and I think I might’ve knocked myself out for a minute.”
“Okay, stay right where you are; I’ll come to you. Just so you know, we’re at the precinct. We were on our way down to the firin’ range to put it some practice since there’s not much else we can do with the blizzard raging outside.”
That rung a bell in Ryo’s throbbing head. “Right, I remember now; you’d gone on ahead while I dropped our paperwork off with the Chief. I think I’d almost reached the bottom of the stairs when the lights went out; guess I must have missed my footing and fallen down the last couple of steps.” That would explain his headache and the soreness in a few other places. Now he knew where he was the accident was hardly surprising; with the electricity out there was no light at all in the station’s basement. The last Ryo had seen of the blizzard, the snow was coming down so heavily visibility had been reduced to barely a couple of feet. That had been bad enough but this was worse, just impenetrable blackness all around. He hadn’t been scared of the dark since he was a little kid, but until now he’d never encountered such a complete and utter absence of light. It was creepy and he found himself wishing he had a flashlight.
Something nudged Ryo’s foot. “Is that you?” Dee’s voice asked from somewhere above him.
“I think so,” Ryo replied. There was movement nearby and then he felt a hand groping its way up his leg and the thought crossed his mind that it really better be Dee’s because if it wasn’t, someone was taking unwelcome liberties.
“Wish I’d thought to bring a flashlight.” Dee’s voice was so close now he sounded as if he was speaking directly into Ryo’s ear. Maybe he was.
“I was just thinking the exact same thing.” Ryo raised one hand, reaching out and groping at the darkness until he found what felt like an arm, and a flood of relief washed over him. “There you are. I guess we should probably go back upstairs; they’ll have flashlights and lanterns up there. I wonder why the backup generator hasn’t kicked in.”
“Good question, and one I wish I had an answer for. It should’ve come on right away, then maybe you wouldn’t have fallen. Everything’s goin’ to crap around here,” Dee huffed. “Goin’ back upstairs is definitely the best course of action though; it’s pointless sittin’ around down here in the dark for God knows how long if we don’t have to. Only thing is, before we can go up ‘em, first we have to find ‘em.”
“I fell down them so they’ve gotta be somewhere nearby,” Ryo said helpfully. “It’s just a case of figuring out which direction.”
“Okay then; shouldn’t be too hard. Think you can stand up?”
Even though it was too dark for them to see each other, Ryo smiled wryly in the direction of his partner’s voice. “Not gonna know unless I try.”
“Right. Okay, maybe you’d better hang on to me. Don’t want you fallin’ over again.”
With Dee’s help and support Ryo made it to his feet, a bit unsteady but otherwise reasonably okay. So far so good. He cautiously tested his legs and arms, relieved to discover that as far as he could tell he hadn’t broken anything, but then he hadn’t fallen far.
“So, you got any idea where the stairs might be?”
“Um, maybe behind me?” Ryo suggested.
Dee huffed a laugh. “Makes sense; I should’a thought of that. Okay, let’s turn around slowly and see if we can… Ah! Got it!” Dee exclaimed triumphantly as his fingertips located the handrail. He took a half step in that direction and closed his hand firmly around the smooth wood, letting his breath out in a sigh of relief. “At least now we won’t have to go wanderin’ about bumpin’ into things tryin’ to find our way out of the basement. C’mon, let’s get outta here.”
With one arm looped around Ryo’s waist and Ryo’s arm over his shoulders, Dee guided his partner forward and they slowly started up the two flights of stairs, feeling their way step by step, Dee keeping a firm grip on the handrail. They both stumbled a few times, but managed to stay on their feet, and after several seemingly endless minutes they reached the door at the top that led into the foyer. Dee pushed it open and they stepped through together, only to be almost dazzled by the light from the storms lanterns scattered about. After being in complete darkness even the low levels of light they were emitting seemed painfully bright. The foyer was empty of people aside from one bored-looking desk officer; everyone else was probably in the various offices or on one of the upper floors, away from the icy draught coming through a gap beneath the main doors.
“We made it! Back to civilisation!” Dee turned to Ryo, a triumphant grin on his face, but it vanished almost immediately as he got his first look at his partner. “Shit! You’re bleedin’!”
Ryo blinked, trying to focus his eyes on Dee; they were watering from the light, making everything a bit blurry, but after being lost in the dark it was a relief being able to see at all. “I am?”
“Yeah, you must’ve cut your head when you fell and you know how much scalp wounds bleed. It’s no wonder you’ve got a headache; wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve got a concussion too.” Dee helped Ryo across the foyer to the first floor’s break room just past the reception desk, where he could sit down in a chair that was a bit more comfortable than the hard plastic ones provided for members of the public. “Wait there while I get the first aid kit. Wish I could boil up some water to clean that cut, but there’s no chance of that so you’ll have to put up with cold water and antiseptic.”
“Don’t worry about it, Dee; a bit of cold water won’t kill me.”
Returning with everything he needed, Dee set it all down on the low table alongside Ryo’s chair. “Okay, this’ll probably sting like blazes…”
“Just do it.”
“Fine; don’t say I didn’t warn ya.” Dee set to work patching his partner up and Ryo hissed sharply as the wad of cotton soaked in diluted antiseptic made contact with the wound. It was hard to say which was worse; the icy cold of the water, the burn of the disinfectant, or the soreness of the cut itself, but he held still, gritting his teeth, determined not to finch, as Dee cleaned away the blood, applied a soothing salve, and stuck a dressing over the wound to keep it clean until it could be looked at by a doctor.
“Looks like you’ll live. Don’t think it’s deep enough to need stitches, but you should still get checked out first chance we get, just to be safe.” Dee rummaged about in the kit and came up with some painkillers, checking to see they hadn’t passed their use-by date. Looked like an almost new pack. He handed a couple to Ryo along with a cup of water from the cooler. “Here.”
“Thanks.” Ryo gulped the pills down and shivered at the chill of the water. What he really wanted was a hot and soothing cup of tea, but until power was restored he’d have to go without. Leaning back in his seat he closed his eyes, trying to relax and let the painkillers do their job. What a day!
Dee smiled wryly. “Only you could get yourself KO’d by a staircase.”
Opening his eyes again briefly, Ryo grinned sheepishly at his partner. “Guess I’m just lucky that way.”