Characters: Dee, Ryo, OCs.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: After retiring from active duty, Dee and Ryo are still in the employ of the NYPD, as instructors at the police academy.
Written Using: The tw100 prompt ‘Recruit’.
Word Count: 1543
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
The police academy’s latest batch of new recruits weren’t an especially encouraging sight, not to Dee’s eyes at least, and the group he and Ryo had been lumbered with were the worst of the lot.
“Sorry looking bunch aren’t they? I doubt a single one of them could complete the assault course in under half an hour and most of ’em will probably collapse before they make it halfway.” He scowled sourly at them. “How come we always get handed the dregs from the bottom of the barrel? Why’re we even wastin’ our time on ‘em? I can think of plenty of things I’d rather do.”
Ryo chuckled. “They’re raw recruits, Dee; they haven’t even started their basic training yet. Don’t you think it’s a little unfair to dismiss them before we even have a chance to see what they’re made of?”
Dee huffed. “I know what they’re made of and it’s a pile of crap; I can tell just by lookin’ at ‘em none of ‘em have what it takes to be a cop.”
“You say that now, but just you wait until we get to work on them. Maybe they’ll surprise you.”
Dee gave his other half a suspicious look. “You high on somethin’? ‘Cause if you’re not I’ve got no idea where all that optimism’s comin’ from.”
“You’re just being pessimistic for the sake of it.”
“It’s not pessimism, it’s called bein’ realistic; maybe you should try it. Y’know, back when I joined the academy potential recruits had to show they had a reasonable level of fitness as well as pass the psych evaluations. This lot look more like the rejects from one of the Police Academy movies! Have you taken a good look at ‘em?”
“Of course I have. I’ll admit they’re a little rough around the edges, but so are all cadets.”
“I think you need your eyesight checkin’. Three of ‘em are a good fifteen pounds overweight for their height, most likely more, it’s kinda hard to tell in what they’re wearin’. The two at the front must’ve barely met the height requirement. Probably stood on tiptoe when they were measured. That one at the back’s so skinny he looks like a stiff breeze will blow him over, and the guy on the left is a heavy smoker; see the nicotine stains on his fingers and the way he’s twitchin’? He’s cravin’ a cig right now. You can bet he’s gonna be forever sneakin’ off for a quick smoke.” As an ex-smoker himself, Dee strongly disapproved of anyone who indulged in the habit.
“How about the girl on the right? I don’t think you’ve disparaged her yet.” Ryo threw an amused look his partner’s way.
Dee’s eyebrows shot up. “Disparaged? You been readin’ the dictionary again?” It was an old joke between them.
“Don’t change the subject. You haven’t held back with your opinion on the rest of our group so let’s hear it.”
“Fine.” Dee turned his gaze on the young woman in question. “She could be the biggest problem of the lot; she’s done up like a fashion model. The perfect make-up and immaculate manicure are gonna have to go; she won’t have time to touch up her face in the middle of a chase and she’ll soon find those nails gettin’ in the way.” Dee gave a long-suffering sigh and shook his head in despair. “We’ve got our work cut out for us this go round and no mistake.”
“You say that every single time, but I know you love a challenge; that’s why we always get assigned the ones that’ll take a bit of extra work.”
Dee’s only reply to that was a disgusted snort but Ryo knew it was all an act; Dee was champing at the bit to get started whipping their little band of misfits into shape. Ryo knew his partner got a kick out of playing the drill sergeant. He’d push the recruits to their limits and beyond. They’d hate him for it to start with but they’d thank him in the end because Dee wouldn’t give up on a single one of them, and he wouldn’t let them give up on themselves either. The same was true of Ryo; it would be a team effort.
As was so often the case, all their hard work and determination paid off. At the end of the gruelling nineteen-week course, Dee and Ryo were the only training officers whose entire class graduated and stood up to receive their badges; eight brand new rookie cops. The three overweight cadets had trimmed down, the skinny one had bulked up through a combination of good diet and exercise, the two short kids were still short since they’d finished growing but they stood up straighter, radiating confidence; their lack of height wouldn’t interfere with their ability to do their jobs. The smoker was now an ex-smoker while the ‘model’ had taken to wearing minimal make-up and cutting her nails short. She was quite the markswoman and Ryo had been giving her additional sniper training. The police always needed good snipers; there were never enough to go around.
Dee, who had pushed the recruits mercilessly throughout their training, smiled at them, well satisfied. “Always knew you kids had what it took to make the grade. You worked your asses off and I’m proud of every one of you; you’re all a credit to this academy, and to the uniform. Wear your badges with pride; you’ve earned them.”
As the newly graduated police officers saluted smartly and headed out to celebrate, Ryo nudged his partner with his shoulder. “Weren’t you the one a few months back saying they’d never make it?”
Dee turned to his lover with a smug grin. “Well yeah, it’s no good coddling a bunch of misfits like the ones we always get stuck with. If we did that they’d never stand a chance of fulfillin’ their dreams; they’d crash out before the halfway point. Gotta push ‘em to their limits to get the best outta them, prove to them they’re capable of a whole lot more than they believe.”
“Tough love?” Ryo’s tone was teasing.
“Damn straight. Worked with the house ape, didn’t it? Now he’s a big shot basketball star, makin’ more money than he knows what to do with, and that’s down to you. Our kids this time around are gonna do amazin’ things too, you’ll see. Bet there’ll be a few commendations for bravery over the course of their careers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them make detective somewhere down the line.”
“Neither would I.” Ryo studied the man he loved more than anything. “So, you don’t regret becoming an academy instructor?”
“Why would I? Not only do I get to shape the kids who’re gonna be upholdin’ law and order on the streets of our great city, but I get to do it all alongside my gorgeous husband. We did our share of protectin’ and servin’, put our lives on the line for years and we got the scars to prove it. We’re still doin’ our part, and the kids we train are gonna have a better chance of survivin’ long enough to reach retirement age thanks to our experience. Way I see it, we’re right where we should be.”
“I guess we are…” Ryo trailed off, gazing into the distance at nothing in particular.
“I’m sensin’ a ‘but’ there.”
Ryo huffed a soft laugh; Dee knew him so well, which was hardly surprising after living together for almost twenty years.
“Sometimes I miss it, solving crimes, you know? Gathering evidence, following leads, interviewing victims, questioning suspects, catching the bad guys--”
Dee cut him off. “Gettin’ shot at, assaulted, workin’ unpaid overtime, poundin’ the streets in all weathers wearin’ out our shoes, sittin’ around in court for hours waitin’ to testify when we could’ve been workin’ our other cases… As I recall it wasn’t all fun and games.”
“I know it wasn’t, but there were plenty of good times to balance out the bad. We put a lot of dangerous criminals behind bars.”
“We were younger then, fewer battle scars. This is where we can make the biggest difference these days, babe. We take the dregs of the raw recruits and we turn ‘em into the best police officers we can make ‘em. That’s how we’re protectin’ the people on New York now; through the kids we’ve trained. Between them they’ll catch more criminals than the two of us could hope to. Now c’mon, we got some celebratin’ of our own to do. Pretty soon we’re gonna have another bunch of losers to turn into cops so let’s make the most of our downtime while we’ve got it.”
“Wise words.” Ryo took Dee’s hand, lacing their fingers together as they left the hall; working as instructors meant they no longer had to hide their relationship and no one batted an eye at them holding hands. Dee was right; this was where they belonged now, passing on their knowledge and experience. If it was a little less exciting than being a detective in major crimes, not to mention less dangerous, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. They still had a lot of living left to do.