Characters: Ryo, Dee, Mayor of New York.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo’s sure he’s made himself look incompetent in front of someone he’d really wanted to impress.
Written Using: The dw100 prompt ‘Impression’.
Word Count: 1141
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“One little accident is hardly the end of the world, babe,” Dee said, trying to comfort Ryo as he steered his lover into their office and directed him into the chair at his desk. “Stuff like that happens to people all the time; you’re hardly unique in the tough luck department.”
“But it shouldn’t have happened, I should’ve been watching where I was going!!” Ryo snapped, frustrated and annoyed, mostly with himself. “I can’t afford to screw up like that, not in this job, and especially not when I’m trying to make a good impression.” He sighed gloomily. “I could have done a really good job of running the Mayor’s task force, but now he’ll hand the position to someone else, and all because I managed to make myself look like an incompetent idiot.”
The Mayor of New York had been looking for a detective to take charge of investigating modern slavery in the city, with particular emphasis on young people being smuggled in from Asia and sold to wealthy clients. Ryo and Dee had inadvertently become involved while working on an unrelated case, when they’d discovered almost a dozen young Chinese women locked in the back of a nondescript van parked inside a derelict warehouse.
When the Mayor had shown up at the 27th Precinct wanting to hear their views on the best way to handle the investigation, Ryo had been ready to impress him, having come up with a carefully planned strategy. He’d strode confidently into the Chief’s office, where the meeting was to take place, his notes in his hand, failed to notice the Mayor’s briefcase sticking out beside one of the chairs, tripped over it, and knocked himself out on the edge of the Chief’s desk.
Now, after a trip to the ER to be stitched up and checked for concussion, he was finally back at the Precinct, feeling sore, fed up, and embarrassed. He slumped at his desk in the cramped office he shared with Dee, aching head in his hands, knowing for sure that he’d blown his one and chance, all because he’d been so focussed on the meeting that he hadn’t been paying proper attention to his surroundings. If he had been, he would have seen the briefcase in time to avoid it.
Sunk in misery as he was, he didn’t even hear the light rapping on the open office door and was unaware they had company until a voice spoke.
“Ah, Detective Maclean, there you are; I hope I’m not intruding. I heard you were back from the hospital and wanted to make sure you were alright. How’s your head? No serious damage, I hope?”
Ryo blinked, looking up to see the Mayor standing in the doorway. “Uh, no, your honor; I’m fine, just a couple of stitches.” He made to stand. “I’m really sorry about--”
“No, no, please don’t get up. I’m the one who should be apologising, stupid place to leave my briefcase. I’m not usually so careless; put it down to take my coat off and then completely forgot about it. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve been looking over your notes; you dropped them when you fell. Very impressive, looks like you’ve given the situation a great deal of thought.”
Ryo wondered if maybe he was concussed after all, despite having been given the all clear; perhaps he was hallucinating. He was dimly aware of Dee ushering the mayor in, offering him a chair and a cup of good coffee from their personal machine.
Floundering at the Mayor’s unexpected compliment, all Ryo could think to say was, “Oh. Thank you, your honor.”
“He’s usually a lot more coherent than this,” Dee cut in. “He’ll be better once the painkillers kick in properly.”
“Yes, of course; perhaps we should reschedule this meeting for another time.”
“No, I’m okay, your honor, really.” Ryo pulled his scattered wits together and straightened in his seat. “I’m just surprised you’re still here, and that you took the time to read my notes. After the fool I made of myself I assumed you’d go looking elsewhere for someone to head up your taskforce. I know how busy you must be.”
“It’s true, I am a very busy man; there’s never a shortage of people wanting to speak with me on what they consider urgent matters, but this taskforce is important to me. I want to know that everything possible is being done to put an end to slavery in my city, and judging by what I’ve read here,” the Mayor indicated Ryo’s handwritten notes, “I’m convinced you’re the right man to take charge of dealing with the issue. Chief Smith agrees; he has a lot of good things to say about you. I’m sure you’ll do a fine job. Now, I’m already late for another appointment so I have to get going, but I want you to compile a list of personnel and resources you’ll need, submit it to my office by the end of the week and I’ll get back to you on Monday to hash out the final details.” The Mayor held out his hand. “Good to meet you, Detective Maclean; I look forward to talking with you again, when you’re feeling better.”
“Thank you, your honor.” Ryo stood to shake the Mayor’s hand. “I won’t let you down.”
“I know you won’t; a lot of vulnerable people are counting on you to do the best job you can. I’ll see myself out.” With that, he left the office, closing the door behind himself.
Ryo sat down again, legs suddenly going weak, and stared at the closed door in disbelief. “Dee, did that just happen or am I dreaming?”
“Wasn’t a dream.” Dee perched on the edge of his lover’s desk, grinning down at him. “Looks like you didn’t make such a bad first impression as ya thought. Don’t ya feel dumb now for stressin’ over it?”
“A little.” Ryo smiled sheepishly, then looked at the sheaf of notes the mayor had left on his desk, picking them up and shuffling through them. “I’m in charge of the taskforce!”
“Looks that way. I’m proud of ya, babe. I know you’re gonna do a great job. Just one thing; I am gonna be on your shortlist of personnel, right?”
“Of course you are; we’re a team! You’ll be my second in command.”
“Good. In that case…” Dee straightened up from the desk, grabbing his own chair and pulling it over to sit beside his partner. Pad and pen in hand, he flipped to a fresh page and wrote his name at the top. “Okay, who else do we want? We’re gonna need plain clothes guys and probably some uniforms.”
Ryo relaxed back into his seat. Dee was right, they should get started right away; they had a lot of work to do.