Title: BOOM And After
Characters: Ryo, Dee, JJ
Setting: Vol. 4 Act 11
Summary: There are bombs in the school, they’re about to go off, and Dee is trapped inside, while Ryo is outside and helpless to save his partner.
Word Count: 805
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
The sound of the bombs going off was almost deafening, even from where he was standing, an echoing BOOM that made Ryo’s ears ring even as it filled him with a hollow, numb feeling of dread. He was running flat out towards the shattered ruins of the school before he was even aware he’d moved, a single thought in his mind: ‘Gotta find Dee!’ He paid no heed to JJ calling his name, truthfully he never even heard him, still half deaf from the blast.
He reached the entrance doors in what seemed like no time at all. They hung twisted on their hinges, gaping open from the force of the explosions that had shaken the building to its foundations. It hardly seemed possible that it was still standing, but it was, and Ryo clung to the glimmer of hope that simple fact instilled in him as he plunged through the ragged opening.
The interior of the school was thick with stinking, acrid smoke that burned his nose and throat, making him cough. Covering his mouth and nose with one arm, he pushed on through the worst of the smoke into slightly less choking air, moving ever deeper into the building towards where he remembered the staircase being from when he’d visited last parents’ day. Negotiating the stairs, still half blinded by smoke, was a challenge; Ryo’s eyes were watering from the fumes and everything looked blurry, like trying to see through a rain-drenched window. His questing fingers found the banister and gripped it tightly, feeling the grittiness of dust and ash beneath his fingertips. He stumbled upwards, tripping on unseen obstacles even as he tried to wipe away the stinging tears that were clouding his vision. Twice he was pitched to his knees on the hard stone steps by something rolling beneath his foot, but each time he regained his footing and continued, ignoring the ache in his knees, until he finally made it to the top.
Up on the second floor, it was easier to breathe, wind from outside gusting through the shattered windows and helping to disperse the smoke and fumes. Visibility was improved too, the breeze drying Ryo’s eyes and making it easier for him to find the room he wanted. Easier, but by no means straightforward. Empty of people, the doors no longer bearing handmade signs, the place looked eerily unfamiliar despite the daylight streaming through every opening.
The music room door was locked, something Ryo should probably have been expecting, but his head was in too much of a whirl for such seemingly minor details to even cross his mind. All he could think about was Dee; he just had to be okay. Glancing down the corridor, Ryo noticed that the door to the next room was ajar. Maybe there was a way into the music room through there.
Rubble littered the floor of the classroom he entered. Parts of the ceiling had collapsed and the bombs had taken out half of the wall. As he picked his way through the debris, hearing the crunch of brick fragments beneath his feet, a far more welcome sound reached his ears.
“Someone out there?”
Ryo’s heart leapt in his chest. The words were unimportant, the voice was unmistakeable; by some miracle, Dee was alive! Scrambling over the lumps of masonry that had once been a solid wall, Ryo made his way carefully into the adjoining room, pausing just inside to simply stare at his partner. Dee was sitting against the wall, a makeshift tourniquet tied firmly around his left thigh. There was a smear of red blood down the wall behind him and a dismantled bomb by his side, but the cocky smirk on his lips was the same as ever.
Even though he could hear Dee speaking, Ryo couldn’t seem to make sense of the words; they were just noise and they seemed to pin him to the spot, unable to move. Ryo was almost afraid that Dee might be some kind of intangible illusion that would vanish if he went any closer, but then Dee’s voice trailed off into silence. That was all it took; the paralysis that had held him frozen in mid-step seemed to snap like an over-stretched rubber band and Ryo was moving again.
All but throwing himself into his partner’s arms, Ryo clung to Dee with all his strength, kissing him feverishly, the taste that was purely Dee eclipsing the bitterness of the smoke that still coated his tongue. He never wanted to let go again, never wanted to feel so lost and helpless. Dee’s body was reassuringly solid against his own, the strong, muscular arms around him more comforting than anything he’d ever felt. Tears of relief squeezed from his eyes; Dee was safe, heart beating strongly against Ryo’s own, and nothing else mattered.