Characters: Dee, Ryo, OC.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Dee and Ryo are supposed to be investigating a homicide, so how come they’re searching for a runaway instead?
Word Count: 1521
Written For: Challenge 279: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 72: Lost and Found.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
This was so not what being a police detective was all about, Dee thought to himself. He was supposed to be investigating serious crimes, saving lives, bringing the bad guys to justice… Why did he have to be such a sucker when it came to little kids? It was like they had some weird psychic power over him; they only had to look at him with their big, tear-filled eyes and he just crumbled, putty in their hands.
“Are you a policeman?” Dee and Ryo had just left a crime scene and were heading back to where they’d parked across the street to return to the precinct and begin their investigation when the kid had approached them.
Dee had smiled down at her. “Yeah, we both are. Is there somethin’ you want to tell us?” Maybe the kid had seen something suspicious. She looked to be about six or seven, not ideal as a potential witness to a crime, but if there was any chance at all that she might have useful information for them… Well, it would be dumb not to at least find out.
The kid nodded, wide-eyed. “I’ve lost Alice!” Her bottom lip trembled as she gazed pleadingly up at him, clearly expecting him to fix everything. Only a kid could have such absolute faith in an adult, and he knew it was all because of the badge on his belt.
Ryo crouched down so he was on eye-level with the little girl. Yeah, Dee smirked to himself; his partner was an even bigger sucker for kids than he was.
“I’m Detective Maclean and that’s Detective Latyner. What’s your name?”
“Alright, Lucy, why don’t you tell us, who is Alice and where did you lose her?”
“She’s my rabbit. She’s white and she’s only a baby, and I was showing her the front yard but then she got scared and jumped out of my arms and now I don’t know where she is! Mommy always said if I got lost I should find a policeman. But now Alice is lost and I don’t think she knows how to ask for help. Will you find her for me? I don’t want her getting all squished by a car!”
They should have said no, finding lost rabbits wasn’t their job, they were supposed to be investigating the suspicious death of an elderly woman across the street, whose house may or may not have been burgled, but one look in the little girl’s eyes and Dee couldn’t refuse. Even if he’d tried, he doubted Ryo would have let him.
So here he and Ryo were, crawling around on their hands and knees in the street to peer under parked cars, and searching beneath bushes in front yards, looking for a lost white rabbit. So far Dee had found twenty cents, two marbles, a battered toy car, and had spooked a sleeping tabby cat, which had spat at him and fled.
“Any luck?” he asked Ryo, who was coming out of someone’s driveway.
“Not so far. I’ve seen the most hideously ugly garden gnomes imaginable, and I think I scared a squirrel, but no sign of a white rabbit.”
“How far could it have gotten?”
“No idea; I don’t know all that much about rabbits.”
“Huh. Guess we’d better keep lookin’ for a while longer then.”
Ryo nodded. “It wouldn’t be fair to Lucy to give up too soon, she’s really worried about her pet.”
“Yeah, sure. Probably more worried about what her parents will say if they find out she let it get away. Chances are it’s already dead somewhere and if she’s this careless with the first one I don’t imagine tshe’ll be gettin’ a replacement any time soon.”
“Dee! That’s not a very nice thing to say!”
“Fine, we’ll go back to Lucy’s house and try the other direction. Maybe Alice doubled back.”
They trekked back past the front yards they’d already checked and began the search anew, and it was just as well they did. Two houses farther down the street, Dee spotted something small and white in the shrubbery and plunged in after it, emerging with a torn shirt, leaves in his hair, a scratch from a thorn down his cheek, and a struggling white rabbit clutched in his hands.
“Gotcha!” he said triumphantly.
Alice promptly bit his finger.
Manfully gritting his teeth against the pain of sharp rabbit teeth grinding into his tender flesh, Dee strode back along the sidewalk to the house where Alice’s owner lived.
As soon as Lucy saw what he was carrying her face lit up. “You found Alice!”
“Yep, ‘course we did, and I think we’d best put her right back in her house where she’ll be safe. You don’t want her runnin’ off and gettin’ lost again, do ya?”
“Nuh uh.” Lucy shook her head.
They followed the little girl down the driveway, past the house and into the backyard, where there was a large split-level rabbit hutch with a spacious run. Dee quickly shoved the rabbit inside, breathing a sigh of relief when she let go of his finger; ten he made sure the door was securely fastened so she couldn’t make another break for freedom. Moments later Alice hopped out into her run. She looked none the worse for her adventure, settling down to nibble at the grass. Anyone would have thought she’d been there all along.
“Thank you!” Lucy told her heroes, hugging first Dee and then Ryo. “You saved Alice!”
“Best not to take her out of her run in future unless your parents are around,” Ryo told her firmly.
“I won’t, I promise.”
“That’s good; you’ve leaned a very important lesson.” With a last look at the adventurous rabbit the two detectives trooped back down the driveway.
“Whelp, that’s our good deed done for the day, and I hope it’s the last time I ever have to handle a rabbit.”
“How’s your hand?” Ryo asked as they made their way along the street to their car. There were still a few other police vehicles about but the coroner’s wagon had gone.
“Damn thing almost took my finger off; I swear it bit clear to the bone!” Dee studied his bleeding finger. “Rabbits may look cute and cuddly but truth is they’re vicious monsters in disguise.”
Ryo laughed. “It was probably just scared, Dee. How would you like it if a stranger grabbed you?”
“Depends on the stranger.” Dee smirked at his partner then turned his attention back to his finger. “Don’t know about scared; more likely the damned rabbit was enjoyin’ its freedom and didn’t want to be caught.” He frowned. “Think I should get tested for rabies?”
It took a considerable effort for Ryo to keep a straight face, but he just about managed. “Alice wasn’t foaming at the mouth so you’re probably fine, as long as you’re up to date with your tetanus shots.”
“Okay then. I guess we should get back to the business of investigatin’ a possible homicide now we’ve solved the case of the missin’ rabbit.”
“Mm,” Ryo agreed. He grinned sheepishly. “I was half hoping we might find some kind of clue, maybe even the murder weapon, while we were combing the area for Alice.”
Dee barked out a laugh. “Can you imagine how that would play out in court? Prosecution would ask where you found the evidence, then defence would want to know why you were searchin’ the front yard of a property halfway down the opposite side of the street from the crime scene, and without the permission of the owner, and you’d have to admit you were looking for a little kid’s missin’ pet rabbit. Then when the judge wanted to know why you were lookin’ for a rabbit in the middle of a murder investigation… ‘Well, your honour, the little girl asked me to and I couldn’t say no.’ Besides, any evidence we found that way would likely get thrown out of court knowin’ our luck. Improper procedure or somethin’.”
“You’re probably right.” Ryo waited for Dee to unlock the car then slid into the passenger seat and fastened his seatbelt.
Dee slid in behind the wheel. “On the other hand, if we ever get kicked off the force we could always invest in some heavy-duty leather gauntlets and go into the pet-findin’ business.”
“Sure you’re alright to drive after being savaged by the vicious bunny?” Ryo teased, catching the way Dee was studying his injured finger again.
“Funny. I was just wonderin’ if it stopped bleeding yet. Don’t want the old badger gettin’ on my case for leavin’ bloodstains on the steerin’ wheel.”
Rummaging in the glovebox, Ryo pulled out a small first-aid kit and dug out a Band-Aid. “Here, just to be on the safe side. Wouldn’t want you getting in trouble with the Chief again.”
“Thanks, babe. Knew I could count on you in my time of need.” Wrapping the dressing around his finger, Dee decided if anyone asked he’d say he cut it on broken glass. Admitting to being savaged by a six-year-old kid’s pet rabbit was just too humiliating.