Characters: Dee, Ryo, Drake, JJ
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Dee sets a trap to catch a sneaky thief.
Word Count: 850
Written For: peaceful_sands’s prompt ‘Author's Choice, Any, caught red-handed,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
There’d been a spate of petty thefts recently and Dee, being a detective, was determined to get to the bottom of the crime spree. With that in mind, he laid a trap.
Ryo was conveniently down in the file room, so leaving a candy bar in full view on his desk, Dee got his wallet out of the drawer and said he was going to the corner deli to get lunch. “Anyone want me to get them anything?”
“Are you buying?” Drake sounded hopeful.
“As if! You want food you pay for it. I don’t mind doing the fetching, but I draw the line at providing free lunches for everyone.”
“Oh. In that case, I don’t want anything.”
“Suit yourself. Anyone else?”
As there were no takers, Dee picked up his jacket and headed out of the squad room towards the stairs, shrugging it on as he went. As soon as he was out of sight of his colleagues, he stopped and crept back, using a small mirror he’d picked up on his way to work that morning to see around the corner.
Ted and Marty were still over by the coffee machine, discussing the previous night’s football game and paying no attention to anyone else. As Dee watched, JJ closed the file he was working on, picked it up and walked over to the Chief’s office, knocking on the door before entering.
Dee waited silently. After a couple of minutes, Drake looked around, got up from his desk and stretched casually. He strolled over to Dee’s desk, reaching out to pick up a bottle of correction fluid with one hand while the other scooped up the candy bar.
Aha! It was just as Dee had thought. He crossed the squad room in a few long strides and clamped his hand down on Drake’s shoulder. “Gotcha!”
Drake nearly leapt out of his skin. “Dee! You scared the life out of me! I was just borrowing this.” He held up the small, white bottle. “I thought you went out to get lunch!”
“I lied. I wanted to find out who’d been stealing food from mine and Ryo’s desks. Looks like I caught the sticky-fingered thief red-handed; what’ve you got to say for yourself, huh?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Drake looked shifty.
“Give it up, Drake, you have the evidence right there in your hand, it’s probably half-melted by now, the way you’re clinging to it.”
Drake’s shoulders sagged. “I’m sorry, Dee, it’s just, I’m hungry but I’m flat broke and there’s still a week until payday.”
“How can ya be broke? We all get paid the same amount on the same day, and I know for a fact the rent on your apartment is a lot less than I’m paying out.”
“It used to be. The building where I live got sold and the first thing the new owner did was raise the rents to pay for essential repairs. I was already short of money because my car needed a new clutch and after I paid the extra rent on my place last week I was left with just sixteen bucks and change to last me for the rest of the month. I need that for fares so I can get to work while my car’s being fixed, but that leaves nothing to buy food with and now the cupboards are bare.”
“Why didn’t you just tell us instead of stealing from us?” Ryo had returned from the file room while Drake was talking. “We would all have helped you out, it’s what friends do.”
“For once I agree with Ryo. Don’t worry, Drakey!” JJ threw his arms around his partner. “We won’t let you starve, will we, Dee?”
Dee smirked at Drake’s discomfited expression. It made a pleasant change to not be the one on the receiving end of JJ’s over-enthusiastic affection for once. “I’ll spot you lunch today, we’ll take turns until payday, and we’ll make a collection so you can stock up on groceries to tide you over. Just, no more stealing, okay? Otherwise I’ll have to arrest you. You’re supposed to uphold the law, not break it.”
Drake nodded sheepishly. “Okay, I promise. D’you want your candy bar back?” He held it up, half melted, squashed and misshapen.
“Ah, no, you need it more than I do. Roast beef club do you for lunch?”
“That would be great. Thanks, Dee, and the rest of you too. I really appreciate your help. I’ll try to pay you back.”
“Nah, no need. Ryo’s right; friends should always be there for each other. You might want to look for somewhere else to live though, before the rent gets put up again.”
”Oooh, there’s a vacancy in my building!” JJ bounced up and down. “I could vouch for you with my landlady. She likes me. I’ll call her right away!” JJ pulled out his phone and started dialling.
Drake wandered back to his desk and sat down to eat his purloined chocolate. He couldn’t believe how quickly his fortunes had changed
It seemed that sometimes, crime did pay.