Characters: Ryo, Dee, JJ, others.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo isn’t ashamed of who he is, but he lacks Dee’s confidence.
Word Count: 500
Written For: Prompt 531: Shame/No Shame at slashthedrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee was shameless, nothing ever seemed to bother him; Ryo could only wish he could be as comfortable with his sexuality. It was one thing admitting to himself, and to Dee of course, that he was gay; a different matter entirely coming out publicly, so he just… didn’t.
He and Dee were trying to keep their relationship discreet anyway, because being in a relationship with your work partner wasn’t exactly encouraged by the NYPD, although the regs specifically referred to male/female partners. There was no mention of same sex relationships, which Dee said was a convenient oversight since it meant that strictly speaking, they weren’t breaking any rules. If the rulebook ever got updated to take into account same sex couples, then they could be in trouble for not telling anyone and accepting reassignment, but until then…
That being the case, Ryo didn’t feel any pressing need to tell the whole world he was gay and in a relationship with the man who was also his work partner and best friend. A few other people knew about them, Bikky and Carol, Carol’s Aunt Elina, Ryo’s neighbour Melinda, Mother Lane, and the other detectives of the SCIU, but that was about it unless you counted casual acquaintances at the gay clubs and bars they sometimes visited, or a few waiters who served them in restaurants.
Although he’d spent a lot of years in denial, Ryo wasn’t ashamed of being gay, but neither did he want to open himself up to all the prejudice, intolerance, and outright discrimination that anyone who wasn’t one hundred percent straight got thrown at them. He was a cop; he’d seen firsthand the kinds of abuse many members of the LBGTQ community were subjected to, anything from verbal abuse and refusal of service up to violent physical attacks and even murder. How could he not be concerned for his own safety if his sexuality became public knowledge?
If he was ashamed of anything, it was that he wasn’t brave enough to openly declare himself gay, unlike JJ, who’d never hidden his sexual orientation, and Dee, who readily admitted to being bi and proud of it.
Was it so terrible that he wanted to keep his private life to himself and those closest to him? Was it really anyone else’s business whether he was gay, straight, bi, or whatever? He didn’t think so; sexuality didn’t affect anyone’s ability to do their job, and it shouldn’t be an issue, but it still was. Being gay might not be a criminal offence in the States, as it still was in some other countries, but that didn’t mean all of society would be as accepting of his and Dee’s relationship as their friends were, and laws against discrimination were forever being eroded, protections stripped away…
Ryo would have liked to tell everyone that the amazing man by his side was his partner, yet he couldn’t, not out of shame but out of fear.
He prayed it wouldn’t always be that way.