Characters: Dee, Ryo, Bikky.
Setting: Vol. 4, Act 11.
Summary: Dee is trapped, the building he’s in wired with explosives, and the timer counting down from five minutes. Is this the end?
Word Count: 1269
Written For: Challenge 174: Zero at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: Some dialogue borrowed from the manga.
A sense of calm fatalism settled over Dee as John Hale left the room, locking the door behind him to prevent their escape. Fifteen bombs, scattered throughout the school, and the timer set for five minutes; even if Hale hadn’t shot him in the leg, Dee knew there was no way he could get himself and Bikky out of the building before it was blown to kingdom come. He could make an educated guess as to the location of one of the bombs, however; the flowers in the vase by the wall looked a lot like the bunch Hale had sent home with Bikky as a ‘gift’ for Ryo. If he could get his hands on that he might have a slim chance… One bomb out of fifteen wouldn’t make much of a difference to the school, but it could save his life.
The radio in his pocket beeped and he answered it, already knowing who it would be; Ryo, of course, with the news that the school was wired with explosives. Well duh! Like he didn’t already know that. He quickly filled his partner in on the situation, warned Ryo to stay back and keep everyone out, checked his watch.
“You’ve got three minutes before the whole place goes sky high.” Which also meant he only had three minutes to do what had to be done. It wasn’t much time. “Stay the hell put, got it?”
“But Dee…” Ryo definitely wasn’t happy, Dee could hear the desperation and despair in his partner’s voice and took some comfort from that. Ryo might not reciprocate his feelings, but he did care, and that was better than nothing.
“Trust me, okay? Don’t worry.”
Dee knew he should probably be panicking at this point; the seconds were ticking by way too fast, he might only have a couple of minutes left to live, but for some reason he wasn’t afraid. Maybe it was because there was so little he could do about his situation. He felt a pang of regret at the thought that if the worst happened, if he couldn’t defuse the bomb in the room with him, or if the school collapsed on top of him, he’d never see Ryo again, but at least he’d heard his partner’s voice one last time. Perhaps more importantly he knew whatever happened in the next few minutes Ryo would be okay, well clear of the danger zone. That just left Dee with two concerns: how to get Bikky to safety, and whether he could dismantle a bomb in under two minutes.
He had the boy fetch the vase of flowers and set it carefully on the floor beside him, then bring him the penholder from a nearby desk. Its contents were the only tools he had to hand so they’d have to be good enough.
Painfully dragging himself upright to stand on one foot, Dee slammed the window open, knowing it was the only way out, scooped Bikky up one-handed and…
“When you hit the ground, run like hell, okay?”
…tossed him out, hoping against hope that he wouldn’t break anything when he hit the concrete walkway two floors below. The kid was like rubber though; he’d probably bounce.
Dee breathed a sigh of relief at seeing Bikky jump straight to his feet, unhurt, but he didn’t run; dumb kid was actually worried about him, which was touching but a bit inconvenient. It took some yelling and threats, wasting precious seconds he couldn’t spare, but…
“IF YOU DIE, I’LL SMACK THE SHIT OUT OF YOU TOO!” Bikky yelled back before taking off as fast as he could.
Damn, the brat was going soft on him, Dee though, smirking slightly.
Sliding back to floor with a grunt of pain, he turned his attention to the flower vase, smashed it to pieces, and bingo, there was the bomb, with one minute sixteen left on the timer. Huh, that was longer than he’d been expecting, practically all the time in the world, so no need to rush. He lifted the bomb from the wreckage, plucked scissors from the pot of pens, and pulled a face; they were the child-safe kind, be damned hard to cut with them but they were all he had so he’d have to make do. If nothing else, they worked well enough for removing screws, and he lifted the cover off to get a look at the bomb’s inner workings.
It was the simplest kind of explosive device imaginable, probably because Hale had fifteen to make and place and hadn’t been concerned about them being found before he was ready. Why do anything fancy if he didn’t need to? Would’ve been a waste of time and effort.
Focusing, Dee studied the set-up; thirty seconds left on the timer, and two wires to choose between, one that would blow him sky high in an instant if he messed with it, the other connected to the timer. All Dee needed to do was cut that one to keep the bomb from blowing up when the others did; damned thing didn’t seem to have any additional booby-traps that he could see.
Still, he hesitated, watching the flashing numbers count down towards zero; he could be wrong, and if he was, when he cut the wire the bomb would go off prematurely. Would that make any difference to him? Not really; either way he’d be just as dead.
“Here goes nothin’.” Wielding the scissors, he picked a wire, snipped, watched the timer go blank… Hah! Right first time! He couldn’t afford to breathe easy yet though; he still wasn’t out of the woods. Anything could happen when the other bombs went off.
He kept counting down in his head.
‘Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero…’ For the space of two heartbeats there was only complete and utter silence as he held his breath, and then…
The explosion was so loud Dee gritted his teeth, covering his ears and ducking his head, half expecting the ceiling to cave in and bury him alive. The whole building shook violently, rocking on its foundations, but it didn’t collapse, or at any rate the part he was in didn’t. He couldn’t speak for the rest of the school; for all he knew it might be nothing more than a pile of rubble by now, folded in on itself the way the precinct house had.
Smoke billowed, fire alarms started going off, but the shaking gradually settled down; aside from the occasional ominous creak and the sound of bits of masonry falling, when Dee could finally see through the clouds of dust things didn’t look too bad. Sure, there was a gaping hole in the wall between the room he was in and the one next door, plus cracks in the other walls and ceiling, but nothing was showing any sign of falling on him. Somebody up there must be looking out for him.
He checked the torn strip of his shirt he’d tied around his leg as a makeshift bandage; looked like the wound had stopped bleeding, which was good news. So here he was, not blown up, crushed to death beneath rubble, or in danger of bleeding out; all in all, things could be a lot worse. Settling back as comfortably as he could against the wall, Dee let his breath out in a long sigh, tension he hadn’t been aware of until now draining away as he relaxed.
The worst was over; all that was left was to sit here and wait to be rescued. He had a feeling he wouldn’t be waiting for long.