Characters: Dee, Ryo, Arnon, Jess, OCs.
Setting: After the manga, referencing Vol. 6, Act 18.
Summary: Dee used to like the color red, but by now he’s seen too much blood.
Word Count: 743
Content Notes: Blood and violence.
Written For: Challenge 279: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 64: Red.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee used to like red, it’s a good color on him, contrasting well with his black hair and green eyes, but he doesn’t wear it much anymore, barely has anything in his closet that color.
It brings back too many memories, of Arnon, slumped against the wall of an alley, body riddled with bullet-holes, clothes soaked in blood. Of Jess, the bloodstained note he left at the door of the orphanage, the trail of blood that led Dee to the man who’d been like a father to him, bleeding out in another alleyway, shot because he’d tried to do the right thing for the first time in a long while.
Jess had taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way, like so many cops before him, accepting money in exchange for information, telling himself ‘Just this once’; what can it hurt? But it wasn’t just once; that first time had given the bad guys leverage against him, enough that they owned him. Dee understood that now, knew what a slippery slope one bad decision could lead to. It had made him determined both to follow in Jess’s footsteps by becoming a cop, and to never compromise his integrity by going on the take.
He’d kept the vow he’d made over Jess’s body, entered the academy, graduated, worked his ass off to make detective, and now as often as not he spends his working days investigating murders, picking through the blood spatters trying to identify another unfortunate victim, and looking for evidence that might point him towards the killer.
The worst part is that sometimes he barely sees the blood anymore. He notices the patterns it makes on walls and floors and ceilings, reads them like a book; cast-off, arterial spray, gravitational dropets… He sees the gaps where something’s been moved or taken, but most of the time the blood itself, in all its various shades of red, scarcely registers he’s become so used to it.
This is different though; this is Ryo’s blood on his hands, seeping hot and sticky beneath his fingers and the balled-up shirt he’s using in an effort to stem the flow. It’s impossible to ignore because of what it represents, the possibility that he might lose the man he loves, all because some punk with a gun managed to get off a lucky shot.
Dee put the punk down, one bullet to the heart; he didn’t have time to mess around, wounding and restraining, not with his partner injured. He hopes the bullet’s still in Ryo’s side because he daren’t move him to see if there’s an exit wound. The punk’s pistol is only a .22, so there’s a good chance there isn’t one.
Ryo’s teeth are gritted against the pain, the fingers of one hand clenched into Dee’s thigh so hard he’s probably leaving dents, but Dee doesn’t care about that, barely even feels it; it proves his baby is not only alive but still conscious. The wail of an ambulance siren is getting steadily closer and he forces a reassuring smile.
“Hang in there, babe; everything’s gonna be okay.”
Ryo doesn’t try to speak; his chin dips slightly in a tiny nod and he makes a valiant attempt to smile back, but it comes out as more of a grimace. Then the ambulance is pulling up, paramedics jumping out, and Dee shifts back to let them work, wiping his bloody hands on the legs of his jeans. It doesn’t matter; the knees are already too soaked in blood for them to be salvageable, and this pair never fit quite right anyway. Throwing them in the trash will almost be a relief, getting rid of the evidence of another day he’d rather not remember but knows he’ll never forget, any more than he’s forgotten those long ago days when it was the sight of Arnon’s or Jess’s blood making his own run cold.
He leaves the crime scene under the watchful eyes of a couple of uniforms; the coroner should be on his way to collect the punk and Dee should probably stick around, but there’s no way he’s letting his injured lover be hauled off to hospital without him. He squeezes into a corner of the ambulance, out of the way, and watches the paramedics work on Ryo, their voices calm and reassuring, bows his head briefly in prayer, but even with his eyes closed he still sees red.
He’s really starting to hate that color.