Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: After a really bad day at work, Dee is seriously considering quitting the force.
Word Count: 1452
Content Notes: Mentions of child murder.
Written For: Challenge 167: Quit at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“I’ve had it, I’m quittin’ the force,” Dee said, slamming the front door and stomping across the apartment to throw himself down on the sofa. Tipping his head back against the cushions, he raked his hands agitatedly through his hair, leaving it standing on end, making him look as frazzled as he felt.
In the armchair across from the sofa, Ryo looked up from the book he was reading; it had been his day off and he’d just been waiting for his partner to get home before starting dinner. He took off his reading glasses so he could see Dee more clearly.
“Are you serious?” he asked mildly.
Dee sat up straight and blinked, frowning at the man he’d been working with for almost nine years, and living with for the last year. “Whaddaya mean am I serious? Is that it? You’re not even gonna try to talk me out of it?”
Ryo closed his book, setting it and his glasses aside in order to give his lover his full attention. “It’s not my decision to make, Dee. Whether you choose to quit the force or not is entirely up to you, but whatever you decide, I’ll support you all the way. What brought this on anyway? Rough day?”
“The worst. Rose has been ridin’ my ass all day, pickin’ fault with everything I do or say, and then Ted and I caught a double murder case, young single mother and her kid…” He trailed off, his face turning grey and haggard as he thought about what he’d seen earlier at the crime scene, the lifeless bodies of the victims.
Cases involving kids always hit Dee the hardest. Ryo too, but at least this time he hadn’t needed to visit the scene or view the bodies of mother and child the way Dee had. He didn’t blame his partner for being upset, and with Commissioner Rose hounding him too, making a bad day even worse, the urge to quit was understandable. Ryo had had days like that too.
“I’m sorry. It sounds awful.”
“It was.” There wasn’t much else Dee could say; he knew his lover understood and that was enough. “Ryo…”
“If I quit… would you?”
Ryo didn’t answer right away, thinking it over for several minutes. Finally he shook his head. “No, I don’t think I would. I’ve thought about it before, what cop hasn’t when faced with investigating a really bad one, but in the end… The worse a case is, the more reason to find and punish those responsible. If I quit I wouldn’t be able to live with myself, I’d feel I was letting the victim’s family and friends down, and the victim too. The dead deserve justice as much as the living. Anyway, being a cop… It’s who I am, and I’m not ready to give it up. To be honest, I’m not sure I ever will be.”
Dee nodded. “That’s what I figured. You’re too dedicated to quit; they’ll probably have to force ya out when ya hit retirement age, and even then you’ll probably resist.” He smiled faintly. “One of the many things I love about you.”
Getting up, Ryo walked over to the sofa, sat down astride Dee’s lap and kissed him. “I could say the same about you; dedicated, determined, stubborn… If you want to quit I’ll back you up all the way, no question, but had a today’s been for you, I don’t believe you will.”
That drew a heavy sigh from Dee. “You’re right, dammit! This case, it hurts, it’s just so damn wrong, but it makes me angry too. The girl, she wasn’t much more than a kid herself and her daughter couldn’t have been more than two or three. Who murders a three-year-old? Whoever did it, I’m gonna get ‘em; they can’t be allowed to get away with it.”
“So, not quitting then?”
Dee managed a wry smile. “Not today, I guess, tempting though it might be. I’d love to see the look on Rose’s sanctimonious face if I threw my badge at him and told him to find someone else to pick on, but as satisfying as that would be, it’s not a good enough reason to throw my career away and risk a child murderer getting away with his crime.”
“I’m glad to hear it; I wouldn’t want to find myself stuck with a new partner.”
“I wouldn’t like that either, I think I’d be insanely jealous of someone else gettin’ to spend practically every day with you. You’re mine.”
Ryo leant in for another kiss, resting their foreheads together. “I am, body and soul. Want me to start dinner?”
“I’m… not really that hungry.” Even though both men were used to seeing the aftermath of violent deaths, it didn’t mean they were never affected.
“Okay, something light then. I could whip up some miso soup?”
“Yeah, that would be good. Thanks, babe.”
“Why don’t you go take a shower? Then you can relax with a cold beer until the soup’s ready.” Ryo slid off Dee’s lap and got to his feet.
“What did I ever do to deserve you?” Dee accepted the hand his lover was holding out to him and let Ryo pull him to his feet.
“I could ask you the same question.” Ryo looked Dee in the eyes, suddenly serious. “You’ll get the murderer, Dee, no matter how long it takes, and I promise I’ll help in any way I can.”
“I know you will. Love you.”
“Love you too.” Ryo pressed a quick peck to Dee’s lips. “Now go shower, wash the day away.”
“Yes dear.” Dee planted a smacker on Ryo before sauntering in the direction of the bathroom, his mood already improving. Talking with his lover always helped him get a better perspective on things; Ryo was such a good listener, and always seemed to know the right things to say. He was a lot like Mother in that respect, a thought that made Dee grin to himself. Maybe better if he didn’t mention that to Ryo.
Dee could smell the soup cooking when he emerged from the bedroom a while later, freshly showered and changed into sweatpants and t-shirt, and he realised he even felt a little hungry now. Ryo made the best traditional miso soup Dee had ever tasted, one of the recipes he’d learned from his mother, who in turn had learnt it from her mother, ad so on, back down who knew how many generations. It was one of Dee’s favourite comfort foods, soothing and warming him from the inside.
“Yeah, much. Just wish I knew why Rose had it in for me today.” The Commissioner had long since accepted that Ryo would never be his, and though he and Dee would never get along, being too similar personality wise, these days they mostly managed to tolerate each other.
Ryo gnawed on his bottom lip. “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, Diana told me in confidence, but she overheard Berkeley and the Chief talking, arguing really, over whether or not you deserved to be bumped up to detective second grade. Apparently the Chief’s put your name forward and Rose isn’t too happy. Diana’s said she’d put in a good word on your behalf though, and you know I will if I’m asked. I think you’ll get the promotion.”
“Promotion? Shit, and here I was thinkin’ of quittin’!”
“Good thing you changed your mind then, isn’t it?” Ryo teased.
“Were you even gonna tell me?”
“I don’t know. If you’d been serious about quitting, would it have changed your mind?”
Dee opened his mouth then shut it again, thinking it over. Finally he shook his head. “If I’d been that determined to quit, nothin’ would’ve changed my mind.”
“I’m sure the Chief would’ve said something if you’d gone to him to hand in your resignation, but I’m not even supposed to know, so you’d better keep quiet and act surprised when the time comes.”
“I can do that.” Dee grinned; promotion meant a pay raise, he’d have to treat his baby to dinner out somewhere classy, show him how much he was appreciated. All Dee needed now was to catch the person or persons behind the deaths of the girl and her kid and the future would be looking pretty good. Taking the beer Ryo handed him, he went back to the lounge and flopped onto the sofa again, feeling better than he had all day. Quitting was for wimps and losers, and he was neither; he’d prove to the old badger that he deserved promotion, and if Rose didn’t like it… Well, that would just be the proverbial cherry on the cake.