Characters: Ryo, Dee, OCs.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Waking to find himself a bit tied up, Ryo’s only option is to escape.
Word Count: 1981
Written For: Challenge 310: Tape at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
His head pounding, Ryo regained consciousness to find himself tied up. His wrists were bound together behind his back with what felt suspiciously like duct tape and there was a strip of the same stuff across his mouth as a gag, presumably to keep him from shouting for help. From the feel of it, his legs were taped together too. He lay as still as possible, straining his ears for the smallest sound, assessing his surroundings, and trying to tell if anyone else was nearby.
Wherever he was, it was dark but not completely lightless. What seemed to be faint daylight was filtering in from somewhere above and behind him, perhaps through a dirty window or a grille high up in the wall. He thought he might be in a basement.
As far as he could tell, no one else was present. There were no sounds of movement, or of someone other than himself breathing, just the distant hum of traffic. Whoever had brought him to this place must have gone. Perhaps they were still in the building somewhere, or perhaps he’d simply been left here to die; right now there was no way of knowing, but either way, Ryo had no intention of waiting to find out. Now he was conscious he should see about escaping, if that was at all possible.
Moving carefully, he rolled onto his back, immediately seeing that he’d been correct; there was a grimy, cobwebby window in the wall beside him, the top of it perhaps a foot below the ceiling of the room he was in. If he could reach it, he might be able to break the glass and get out that way, but first he’d have to free his hands and feet. Squirming around on the damp, filthy floor, he managed to sit up, propping his back against the wall, breathing hard through his nose, his head spinning a little.
Okay, first things first; he needed to get the tape off his mouth so he could breathe more easily. Turning and tilting his head, he scraped his cheek repeatedly against the shoulder of his jacket until the edge of the tape caught on the fabric and peeled painfully back a few inches. Turning his head the other way, he scraped that side of the tape off as far as he could manage, then back to the first side, working at it until at last the gag was gone. He slumped back against the wall, catching his breath, and willing the world to stop spinning. So far, so good.
For the next few minutes he alternated between flexing his wrists behind him, trying to loosen the tape binding them, and working his legs back and forth, raising one knee as far as he could while keeping his other leg straight, then switching legs, hoping to stretch his bonds enough that he could free himself. His anger at letting himself get captured kept him going in spite of the pain in his head, and other places; he had to get out of here, he wasn’t going to just lie around and die all alone among the spiders, roaches, and rats. Dee and Bikky would never forgive him!
It seemed to take forever, but at last he felt the tape around his wrists starting to give and he doubled his efforts, finally managing to extract one hand, stripping off hairs from his arm and the back of his hand in the process. Having his arms free was a tremendous relief, despite agonising pins and needles tingling through them right down to his fingertips. Fumbling clumsily, he ripped the tape the rest of the way off and rolled his shoulders, easing out the kinks from being immobilised in such an awkward position for so long. There was no time to waste though, and with fingers still half numb he set about tugging the loosened tape from around his ankles, pleased to see that all his earlier efforts had indeed stretched it, making it easier to remove.
As soon as he felt able, he stood up on shaky legs, waiting impatiently for the dank little room to stop spinning around him before moving to investigate his makeshift prison. There was very little to see, just a couple of mouldering cardboard boxes, packed with what appeared to be old magazines, and the rusting frame of a bicycle that was missing its wheels. The chain was still there though, hanging loose, and he picked it up; it might serve as a weapon if he needed to defend himself.
Turning his attention to the window, which was just above his head now that he was standing, he studied it carefully. It opened inwards and the glass was already cracked, but there were metal bars beyond it, no doubt to keep anyone from breaking in that way. Looked like he could forget about using it as an escape route; that only left the door, which was locked from the outside. It was made of wood though, and the damp was gradually eating away at it. Maybe if it was rotten enough he could break through it.
The front fork of the bike, although rusty, remained quite sturdy and served well enough as a crowbar, but it was still slow work, levering out fragments of rotten wood from the bottom of the door, and once he’d created a big enough gap, he tossed it aside and started using his hands instead. Who cared if he got a few splinters? Under the circumstances it would be a small price to pay.
He kept working steadily until he’d made a hole that looked just big enough for him to squeeze through; he wasn’t out of the woods yet, but it was an encouraging start. Slipping his jacket off, and taking the bicycle chain with him just in case, Ryo squirmed his way through the gap, scraping one shoulder painfully on a sharp splinter. It was a tight squeeze, but he made it without getting stuck and stood up, looking around as he pulled his jacket back on.
It was darker here since there was no window, but he could just make out a flight of stone steps ahead of him and he crept quietly up them to the door at the top. This one, thankfully, wasn’t locked and he eased it open an inch or so. The hallway beyond appeared to be empty, but he could near voices coming from somewhere towards the rear of the building. It sounded like three people arguing; perhaps they were trying to decide what to do with him. Well, he could solve that problem for them.
Slipping out of the basement and closing the door gently behind him, Ryo made for the front door, hoping there wouldn’t be a guard. His luck held, he didn’t see anyone, and although the door was locked from the inside, the key was still in the lock. Amateurs! Not that he was complaining; in moments he was outside without having to fight anyone. This wasn’t where he’d been captured though, and he had no idea what part of the city he was in.
He blinked in the early morning sunlight, realising he must have been unconscious for quite a while. It had been late at night when he’d been spotted and presumably made as a cop while on a stakeout. Dee had remained in the car, watching the front of the building they’d had under surveillance, while Ryo had stationed himself in a doorway further along the street, where he had a clear view of the rear exit. He wondered if his partner had seen what happened to him; it was all a bit of a blur to Ryo, but he vaguely recalled hearing the door behind him opening. He’d started to turn around, but then something had hit him over the head and that was the last thing he remembered before waking up in the basement.
It was no good just standing there like an idiot; sooner or later his captors were bound to check on him and discover he’d escaped, at which point they’d no doubt come looking for him. Best to get as far away as possible while he could. Dee was probably worried about him, unless he’d been captured too, and was tied up somewhere himself… Ryo gave his head a brief shake, forcing himself not to think about that possibility. Dee would be fine, and if he happened to still be a captive somewhere in the building Ryo had just escaped from, that was all the more reason to head for somewhere he could get help.
Ryo made a mental note of the street name and the building number, hoping he’d remember it in spite of there being a good chance he had a concussion, then set off at a fast walk, not breathing easily until he was around the corner and out of sight of the rundown tenement he’d just left. A couple of streets over, he hailed a passing cab and told the driver to take him to the nearest police station.
“Rough night?” the driver asked.
“You could say that.”
“Get mugged, did ya? Looks like someone clobbered ya pretty hard.”
Shifting to the middle of the backseat, Ryo positioned himself so he could see his reflection in the rear-view mirror and decided it was a miracle the cabbie had stopped for him. His jacket was stained and filthy, and his hair was matted with blood which, although now dried, had left trails down his face.
“All I know is, someone knocked me out and tied me up with duct tape.”
“Yeah?” The cabbie gave a low whistle. “Okay, cop shop it is then. Good thing I spotted ya; I was just goin’ off shift an’ about ta head home. Almost drove right past ya, but I figured one last fare wouldn’t hurt. Don’t guess ya got the money ta pay though.”
“Uh, I don’t know.” Ryo hadn’t even considered how he was going to pay, but digging in his pocket he pulled put his wallet, flipped it open and breathed a sigh of relief. “I guess they didn’t think I was worth robbing.” Leaning back in the seat, he relaxed; things were looking up.
Arriving at his destination, Ryo paid the cabbie, including a big tip, and stumbled into the station house of the 21st Precinct. Making his way to the desk he identified himself, instructed the duty officer to despatch some uniforms to the address where he’d been held prisoner, and asked to use the phone, putting a call through to Dee’s cell phone.
To say Dee was relieved to hear his voice was the understatement of the decade.
“Ryo! Thank God! Everyone’s been out searchin’ for ya since you were snatched. You okay?”
“More or less. The Captain here wants to ship me off to the hospital to get checked out, but I wanted to call you first. I was worried you might’ve been snatched too.”
“I’m fine; didn’t even know you were gone until I tried to contact ya to report our target enterin’ the building. When I didn’t get an answer, I left the car and went to check on ya. All I found was your radio, your cell phone, and traces of blood, so I called the precinct. What the hell happened to ya?”
“Wish I knew. I was hit from behind, woke up in a basement in Brooklyn, trussed up with duct tape. Whoever it was tied me up didn’t do a very good job of it though; I escaped.”
“Incompetent idiots; that’s my kinda criminal. Go get yourself checked out and I’ll meet ya at the hospital, give ya a ride home.”
“Thanks, Dee.” Ryo hung up. Now the adrenaline was wearing off he felt sore and exhausted; hospital suddenly sounded like a very good idea.