Characters: Ryo, Ryo’s parents, Dee.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Fall is drawing to a close and winter couldn’t have picked a worse moment to start making its presence felt.
Word Count: 1207
Written For: Theme Prompt: 022 – Changing Seasons at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo sighed gloomily; where had the year gone? It seemed like only yesterday he’d been happily watching as springtime had spread throughout the city, chasing away the last hard, grey clumps of old snow and bringing delicate new leaves and cheerful blossom to the trees. Now here he was, with fall coming to a close, and the icy jaws of winter already nipping at its heels.
It was nipping at other things too. He curled his bare fingers against his palms for whatever small amount of warmth that might provide, and ducked his head down, shoulders hunching against the bitter north wind howling around him. His ears were freezing despite his hair being a little longer than he usually wore it. There’d been no time recently to get it cut; he’d never imagined he’d be glad about that but without the meagre protection his hair provided he had a feeling his ears might freeze solid and fall off.
Exposed rooftops weren’t the best places to be in weather like this, but as a homicide detective he had to go where the bodies were, and it was just his luck this crime scene happened to be at the top of one of New York’s taller skyscrapers. What the victim had been doing way up here in a building he neither lived nor worked in was anybody’s guess. No doubt he and Dee would figure that out, among other things, during the course of their investigation into his death. Right now, the only thing they were sure of was that the deceased hadn’t met his untimely end by accident; there was no way he could have shot himself in the chest with his hands tied behind his back. Unfortunately, under current circumstances, knowing that wasn’t much help.
“If there was any evidence left lyin’ around up here it probably already blew away,” Dee grumbled, pulling the collar of his sheepskin coat further up around his ears as he sauntered over to join his partner. “Must be halfway to Mexico by now.”
“I wish I was,” Ryo muttered to himself. He really envied Dee that fur-lined collar; his own wasn’t anywhere near as cosy, and it didn’t come up as far, barely protecting his neck. If he’d known where he’d wind up today he’d have worn a scarf. “Fingerprints don’t blow away,” he pointed out in a louder voice, trying to ignore the bitter cold eating into his bones.
“Yeah, but if the killer was wearin’ gloves, which anyone with any sense would be in this weather…” Dee trailed off, his gaze flicking between Ryo’s bare fingers and his own, lips twisting into a wry smile. “Guess that means neither of us has any sense.”
“We didn’t know we’d be stuck up here in an arctic gale. If we had, we might’ve come better prepared.” Such was the life of an NYPD detective; the job always seemed to find new and interesting ways of making their job more difficult.
Ten minutes ago their lack of cold weather gear might not have been such a huge problem, but when the coroner had left with the body the gurney must have caught the concrete block being used to wedge the stairwell door open, and with the gusting wind constantly pushing and tugging at it, the door had abruptly slammed shut just as Dee and Ryo had been getting ready to leave. To make matters worse, in contravention of the laws governing health and safety, there was no handle on the outside, meaning that now they were stuck up here, exposed to the elements, with little available in the way of shelter.
“We’ll be fine,” Dee said, trying to sound confident. “The crime scene guys will be along soon.”
“Easy for you to say,” Ryo muttered gloomily, thinking of Dee’s cosy coat. “A week ago it was sunny and mild, but the day we end up stuck on a roof, we get this!” He glared up at the sky just in time to get hit in the face by a large raindrop.
Dee burst out laughing at the shocked expression on Ryo’s face, but he wasn’t laughing for long; within a few minutes the rain was coming down in torrents. They had nothing with which to protect whatever evidence might remain at the crime scene, never mind themselves; all they could do was pull their coats more tightly around them, hunker down against the side of the padlocked shed housing the elevator machinery, shielded from the worst of the wind, and hope they didn’t have to wait much longer.
Fifteen minutes in the ice-cold, pouring rain felt like an eternity, and when the stairwell door finally opened the two detectives floundered to feet almost numb from the cold and the wet, splashing heedlessly through puddles in a mad scramble to make sure it didn’t blow shut again with everyone on the wrong side. They wedged it open with the same concrete block as before, then shoved a large, rusting hunk of metal against it as well, just to be sure.
Using his coat sleeve, Ryo wiped dripping hair out of his eyes, then sneezed. He hoped he wasn’t catching a cold from this.
“Not sure there’s much of a crime scene left for ya to investigate,” Dee told the crime scene people as the rain redoubled its efforts to wash away any evidence that might have been left behind.
“You didn’t think to cover it?” someone asked.
“With what?” Ryo demanded, incredulous. Did they think he could conjure plastic sheeting out of thin air? “All we’ve got are our coats, and they’d have contaminated any evidence.”
“Not to mention we needed ‘em ourselves,” Dee added.
“What were you two doing standing out here in the rain anyway?” Jim Campbell’s face was just about recognisable beneath the hood of his white coveralls.
“Believe me, it wasn’t by choice; the wind blew the door shut and there’s no way of openin’ it from this side.”
Jim had the nerve to laugh.
“Keep that up and I’ll personally see to it that you suffer the same fate,” Dee threatened, glaring at his friend. “You’d still be better off than we were.” The crime scene team’s coveralls were waterproof, and worn over their own clothes.
“Come on, Dee, let’s just get back to the precinct and into dry clothes.” Ryo tugged at his partner’s wet sleeve. “We’ve done all we can here.”
“Yeah, we’ll leave these bozos to enjoy the weather, see how they like it.” Dee turned on his heel and stalked towards the stairs. “Have fun!” he called back over his shoulder.
Shivering, his shoes squelching disgustingly with every step, Ryo followed his partner down the stairs from the roof and into the elevator, sneezing again.
“You okay?” Dee asked as the car started down.
“I will be once I’m dry.”
By the time they stepped out onto the street, making their way along the sidewalk to where they’d parked, the rain was turning to sleet.
Ryo sighed again, risking a brief glance skywards at the heavy clouds looming over the city. If current conditions were anything to go by, it looked like it would be a long, hard winter. It wasn’t an appealing prospect.