Characters: Ryo, Dee, OMC.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Dee and Ryo have a special assignment to pick up a fugitive and bring him back to New York, but it means driving both ways...
Word Count: 1132
Written For: My genprompt_bingo square Journeys and Quests.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“Road Trip!” Dee whooped, punching the air as the door to the Chief’s office closed behind them.
“Dee, we’re going to Cleveland to pick up a fugitive! This isn’t some fun jaunt. We’ll be on the road for the best part of two days because this guy’s scared to fly!”
“I know, which means we’re drivin’ both ways, therefore Road Trip!”
Ryo gave up. “Have it your own way. You’re impossible! We’d best head home and pack our overnight bags. There’ll be a ton of paperwork to fill out so we’ll have to spend a night in a motel before collecting our prisoner and heading home.”
The next morning, with Dee driving, they set out early to beat the rush hour traffic, leaving Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel, heading for Interstate 280 W and then onto I-80, still heading west. Dee was in high spirits, singing along to the radio while Ryo sat silently in the passenger seat, watching the passing cars.
Ryo didn’t hate driving, but seven and a half hours on the road with the prospect of doing the same thing the following day in the opposite direction wasn’t his idea of fun, especially with most of the trip being on one Interstate or another. To Ryo, road trips meant taking the backroads, seeing the scenery, stopping in small town America. This was just a long, boring journey.
At a truckstop somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania, where they stopped to eat, they traded places for the second half of the drive. At least being behind the wheel gave Ryo something to do besides staring through the window at traffic and being occasional navigator.
They’d started out so early that they crossed the Ohio state line shortly after noon. They weren’t due to collect their passenger, Sean Donnelly, until eight the following morning, so Ryo steered them off the interstate, deciding to take a more scenic route the rest of the way, and before long had managed to get lost. Dee, who’d been snoozing in the passenger seat since before Ryo’s impulsive route change, woke suddenly.
“Where are we?” he asked, looking out the window and seeing fields.
“Not sure. The last signpost we passed said Roaming Shores. I think I got a bit turned around trying to navigate around Warren.”
“What happened to the Interstate?”
“We were way ahead of schedule, you were asleep, and I was tired of seeing nothing but cars, so I left it a couple of hours ago at Churchill.”
“We are so screwed!” Dee groaned.
Ryo just laughed at him. “No we’re not, Dee. Where’s your sense of adventure? We have a map, and we can stop in the next town and get directions to Cleveland if we have to. It’s no big deal. Besides, isn’t this better than the Interstate?”
Pulling to the side of the road, Ryo dug out the map, and after turning it around a few times, tracing the roads with their fingers, they managed to figure out more or less where they were. Ryo decided to drive right up to the lake before turning west and following the sun as it started its downwards journey. With plenty of daylight left, he figured losing their way a bit didn’t matter. This was the kind of road trip he could really enjoy and he relaxed as he drove, taking in the scenery as the miles passed beneath their wheels.
“Now this is what I call a real road trip!” He smiled across at Dee. “No rush, not much traffic, the sun shining overhead… Can you honestly say you prefer fumes and trying to cut across several lanes to get in the you want?”
Dee couldn’t disagree. It was pleasant and relaxing, and even if it hadn’t been, seeing Ryo enjoying himself would have been worth it. “Well, when you put it like that, I guess this does make for a pleasant change of pace, even if we do have to go slower.”
“Speed isn’t everything, Dee. Go too fast and you miss all the best things in life.”
Now that statement Dee could agree with wholeheartedly.
They finally pulled into Cleveland just after six, and made their way to the Precinct house where they’d be picking up the prisoner the following morning, checking in there with the arresting officer.
“How was your trip?” he asked after they’d all introduced themselves.
“Ryo decided to take the scenic route and we would up driving the last leg along the shore of Lake Erie after he got us lost,” Dee grinned.
“Nice views along there,” Detective Mason agreed. “I don’t blame you a bit. Interstate travel is fine if you need to get somewhere fast, but there’s nothin’ better than taking the backroads if you have the time to spare.”
Ryo couldn’t have agreed more.
“I booked a double room for you at a boardin’ house a couple of blocks down. Figured you’d want to recharge before headin’ back to the Big Apple. Mrs Watkins sets a fine table, you’ll be well looked after. Dinner’s served at seven-thirty, so I’ll take you over there now. Maybe after you eat you’ll join me for a drink?”
“Sounds good to me,” Dee agreed, and Ryo nodded.
The food was every bit as good as they’d been told, and after dinner they strolled down the street to the bar Mason had mentioned. The detective was already there, waiting for them.
Dee slumped into a seat. “I’m stuffed.”
“Didn’t I tell you the food was good?”
“Oh yeah! You were right.”
With drinks in front of them, they kicked back and talked.
“So, back home tomorrow with your guy Donnelly. I’m tellin’ ya, we’ll be glad to see the back of that one.”
“Why? Is he difficult?” Ryo asked, frowning.
“Not as such, he’s a friendly enough guy considerin’ his profession, he just has a few bad habits. You plannin’ on goin’ the long way round again?”
Ryo laughed. “Not this time. The sooner we get Mr Donnelly back to New York the better. Road trips are fun, but sometimes work has to take precedence.”
“I hear ya. A word of warnin’ though; you might want to invest in earplugs for the trip. Your passenger, well, he likes to sing, but he’s tone deaf. Sounds like somebody stranglin’ a whole sackful of cats, and he never lets up unless he’s eatin’ or sleepin’.”
“Oh joy,” said Dee. “Seven and a half hours of that… I’m gonna need a vacation.”
“I feel for ya, son.” The words were supportive but Mason’s broad smile didn’t look very sympathetic to Dee.
Tomorrow was going to be torture. He shared a glance with Ryo, who looked as resigned as Dee felt; that kind of road trip they could both well do without!