Characters: Ryo, Dee, JJ, Drake, Bikky.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo faces having to tell Bikky about Dee’s death.
Word Count: 1241
Written For: Challenge 10: Reverse Fandom Twilight Zone at ficlet_zone, using ‘The After Hours’.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
The drive back to his apartment was nothing but a blur; Ryo had no recollection of getting into the car, and although he knew he’d stared out the window all the way home, he’d done so without registering anything he saw. All he kept seeing in his mind was Dee, lying there on the damp, dirty ground, so cold and still… He found himself wishing he could scrub that image from his mind, then immediately felt guilty at wanting to erase his last sight of the man he loved.
He’d trudged blindly up the three flights to his apartment, Drake and JJ trailing silently, sorrowfully, behind him, then left them to their own devices while he took a shower. He’d needed to scrub away the last traces of Dee’s blood, and the hot spray had washed them away along with his tears…
When he’d emerged, still feeling cold and hollow inside despite the warmth of the water, he’d found JJ had made tea and the three of them had sat together in an awkward silence, not knowing what to say to each other, until Ryo had finally insisted that they didn’t need to stay, that he’d be fine on his own.
Grieving himself, JJ had been reluctant to leave, telling Ryo he shouldn’t be alone, but Ryo had managed a wintry smile. “Bikky will be home soon and I’d rather break the news to him in private.”
“Well, if you think that’s best…” JJ had still hesitated. “You know we’re here for you though, right? Any time you need us, for anything at all.”
“I know. Thank you, JJ. Drake. I really appreciate… everything.”
JJ had hugged him again before leaving, clinging desperately for a moment, whispering so only Ryo could hear, “Dee wouldn’t want you to blame yourself, he’d tell you it wasn’t your fault. He loved you. Remember that.” Then he’d pulled away and headed out the door without looking back. Drake had smiled sadly, patted Ryo on the shoulder, and followed his partner.
Closing the door behind them had been a relief, but now they were gone Ryo didn’t know what to do with himself. The apartment that had always felt cosy and safe suddenly felt too big, too quiet, too empty. Dee should have been there with him, filling the place with his presence, comforting Ryo over his loss, only Dee was the one he’d lost and would never be able to comfort him again.
The time seemed to drag, minutes passing like hours as Ryo alternately paced restlessly and sat stiffly on the sofa, waiting, and then, as if Ryo had blinked for a moment and somehow missed his foster son’s return, Bikky was there, the boy’s face streaked with tears as Ryo told him what had happened.
‘But did I tell him, or did someone else? Did he already know when he came in?’
Ryo wondered vaguely if he was cracking up; ever since that moment in the alley, events seemed to keep escaping him, everything was fragmented, like he had short-term memory loss, but he didn’t remember hitting his head either. Of course, if he had collapsed and knocked himself out he probably wouldn’t remember it, and he did have a headache so maybe that was why he kept forgetting things. The only clear image he could call to mind from the past few hours was the one of Dee in the alley, and his mind kept shying away from that.
Bikky huddled beside him on the sofa, looking so small, just like the day they’d met, the day Ryo had started work at the 27th Precinct and met the man who’d come to mean everything to him. Ryo forced his attention back to the boy, trying to comfort him even though he so badly needed comforting himself. Maybe he shouldn’t have sent JJ and Drake away after all.
“I wish I hadn’t been so mean to him all the time,” Bikky whispered, sounding lost. “He must have thought I hated him, and I didn’t, not really.”
“He knew that,” Ryo reassured the boy in a choked voice. “He didn’t hate you either, he cared about you a lot, even if he wasn’t good at showing it. You two were just too much alike. Sometimes I think Dee understood you better than I ever will.”
“I’ll miss him, it won’t be the same around here.”
“No, it won’t.” Nothing would ever be the same now. It would be too quiet without his son and his lover trading insults, pushing each other’s buttons, and getting into fights. Ryo had grown used to having to separate them; he’d always wished they would get along better so he could have a bit of peace and quiet in his own home, but right at that moment he would have given anything to hear them squabbling.
“D’you think it was quick?”
“I think so, yes. He wouldn’t have suffered.” Ryo was barely able to get the words out as fresh tears spilled from his eyes and dripped to dampen Bikky’s hair.
“That’s good I guess. And the guy who ki… who shot him?”
“He got away. I wasn’t fast enough, Bikky. I should’ve been there…” No matter how hard Ryo tried, he always came back to that; Dee had needed him and he’d been too late to help. “There’s an APB out on him though.”
Every cop in the city would be looking for him now; he wasn’t just a murder, suspect now, he was a cop killer. It was wrong and he knew it, but Ryo hoped whoever caught up to the man responsible for taking Dee’s life would return the favor and gun him down.
‘If I see him, I won’t hesitate, not like I did with Leo Grant. I’ll shoot out his kneecaps first so he can’t escape, then put a couple of bullets in his gut…’ Ryo brought that train of thought to a grinding halt, feeling vaguely ill. Stopping a killer was one thing; taking vindictive delight in making him suffer in agony was another matter entirely. It was wrong of him to think like that, and he felt disgusted with himself; even considering that kind of retribution tarnished Dee’s memory.
“I hope he’s caught soon.” Bikky’s voice was muffled against Ryo’s chest. “I hope someone kills him.”
“Don’t talk like that, Biks. Killing him won’t bring Dee back, and it won’t make those of us who love him feel any better. Besides, he’s a murder suspect; he needs to stand trial for all his crimes. There’s another family out there who deserve justice for the death of their loved one.”
“I suppose.” Bikky sat up a little to look at his foster father, his face blotchy and his big blue eyes rimmed with red. “What do we do now?”
Ryo sighed tiredly and used his shirtsleeve in lieu of a handkerchief to scrub at the tears drying on his own face. There were other people to be told, Carol and her aunt, Ryo’s aunt and uncle, Dee’s landlord and some friends who weren’t on the force, Terry McGinty at the bar, although he’d probably already heard the news from some of his regulars. Then there was the funeral to arrange, but he couldn’t think about that, not right now. It was too much for him to deal with. Everything was too much.
Sighing, he hugged the boy tighter. “I wish I knew, Biks.”
TBC in Chapter 5