Characters: Dee, Ryo, OC
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Chasing suspects is pretty routine, except when things go wrong.
Word Count: 1629
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee/Ryo, Getting a foot stuck while chasing a suspect,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
When Dee and Ryo had arrived at Benny Mason’s place of work, they’d only wanted to ask him a few questions, but Benny had taken one look at them and bolted. Just like that, he’d gone from possible witness to probable suspect; he wouldn’t be running if he didn’t have something to hide. Whether or not it was related to the case they were currently working remained to be seen. They’d find that out later, but first they had to catch him.
Benny had got a pretty good head start, but the two detectives were already hot on his heels and steadily closing the gap; they had the advantage over a distance since they were in considerably better shape than Benny was.
Dee was just a stride or two ahead of Ryo, pounding along the sidewalk. The first snows of winter had mostly melted, but there were still a few icy patches and mounds of dirty, compacted and frozen sludge here and there, just waiting to catch out the unwary. Dee needed to keep his eyes on the suspect so he couldn’t spare more than an occasional glance at the ground ahead. When his foot hit a patch of ice and skidded, he stumbled, righted himself, slipped again, and his left foot somehow went down a grating, pitching him to the hard concrete and almost knocking the wind out of him,
“Dee… You okay?” Ryo called, taking a wide detour around his fallen partner and the icy area that had been his undoing.
“I’m fine. Keep after him, I’ll catch up,” Dee shouted at Ryo’s retreating back, tugging at his foot. “Soon as I get my foot back anyway,” he added under his breath, tugging harder. It had gone through the gap easily enough, but now it was stuck somehow. “Dammit!”
Dee shifted to sit on the sidewalk, the cold of the paving slabs seeping through the seat of his jeans and making him shiver, despite the sweat he’d worked up during the chase. He twisted this way and that, peering down the hole and trying to ease his foot between the bars of the grate, but no matter what he tried, he remained firmly wedged. The only consolation was that nothing seemed to be broken; his ankle was a bit sore but that was all. He glanced down the street but Ryo and the fugitive were out of sight. “Fuck! I hope Ryo’s okay without backup!” Dee knew his partner was more than capable of looking after himself, but they didn’t even know if Mason was armed.
Mason had ducked into an alleyway with Ryo no more than a dozen paces behind. Slowing to a walk, Ryo glanced back down the street, still not seeing any sign of Dee, then poked his head cautiously around the corner, just in case there was an ambush waiting. All he could see was the suspect, attempting to scale the wall at the far end of the alley with the aid of an abandoned bed frame and a few boxes. He wasn’t doing very well; it was obvious that there was no way he was getting out. Ryo strolled up behind him, picking his way through the garbage and the patches of snow lingering in the shadows, taking the time to steady his breathing in case the other man tried to get away again.
“Going somewhere, Benny?”
Mason looked over his shoulder, gulped, and redoubled his efforts to reach the top of the wall.
Ryo sighed and shook his head. “Give it up, you’re not going anywhere. Get back down here, hands on your head. Don’t make me shoot you.” He flipped his jacket open so that his badge and the butt of his gun in its shoulder holster were visible.
Shoulders slumping in defeat, Benny scrambled down off the boxes he was standing on and hurriedly folded his hands on his head, swallowing convulsively. He looked scared but resigned.
Mason did as ordered and Ryo stepped up behind him, snapping his cuffs around one wrist, then dragging both of the man’s arms down to cuff them together behind his back, reading him his rights as he did so.
“Why’d you run, Benny? We only wanted to ask you a few questions about your late colleague, but now I have to wonder; was it you that stuck a knife in Pete Walinski and left him to bleed out?”
“No way, man! I didn’t kill nobody, that’s the God’s honest truth. I ain’t no killer. I liked Pete, he was okay.”
“He’d been flashing the cash, big wad of fifties, don’t know where he got it. Me and my old lady, we’re barely scraping by, so when I found Pete lying there, dead, I figured he didn’t need the money no more. I knew he didn’t have no family.”
“So you robbed his corpse.”
“Wasn’t like that! We were buddies; I didn’t think he’d mind. Anyway, I didn’t take it all, just half, figured nobody would miss it.”
“You probably would’ve gotten away with it if you hadn’t run,” Ryo admitted wryly. “Okay, move. I’d better find out where my partner got to.”
Dee was right where Ryo had left him, sitting on the sidewalk, one sneaker and a sock in his hand and his foot, now bare, still down the grating.
Ryo was instantly concerned. “I thought you said you were okay!”
“Relax, dude, I’m fine, but my foot’s stuck.” He gestured towards the grating. “I’ve tried everything I can think of, and nothing works, not even taking my sneaker off, which took some doing. Almost lost it down the drain.”
“You, sit,” Ryo ordered Benny, pushing him down beside Dee. “Hang on to him, Dee, I don’t think he’ll try to get away but I don’t want to have to chase after him again.”
Kneeling down, Ryo bent over, reaching through the grating and feeling around Dee’s foot, which set his partner laughing.
“Cut it out, Ryo, that tickles!”
Straightening up, Ryo gave Dee an apologetic look. “Sorry, but there’s no way either of us is going to get your foot out of there. We’re going to need some expert help.” Pulling out his radio, Ryo called dispatch, identifying himself and reeling off his location. “I need a patrol car for a pick up, and the fire service with cutting tools. My partner’s foot is stuck in a grate.”
Dee scowled; he could hear the dispatch officer sniggering over the crackle of the radio. “This isn’t funny,” he muttered. “I’m freezing my ass off!”
“Help should be here in about fifteen minutes. Wait here.” Ryo got to his feet and disappeared into a nearby shop.
“As if I could go anywhere like this,” Dee grumbled, glaring in the direction Ryo had gone.
After a couple of minutes, Ryo reappeared carrying a sturdy wooden crate. He set it beside the grate and helped Dee onto it. “Better?”
The wood felt warm compared to the cold of the sidewalk. “Much better. Thanks, bud.”
“Think you can keep an eye on our prisoner a bit longer?” Benny was standing now, with Dee gripping the chain of the handcuffs.
“I guess so. Where’re ya goin’ now?”
“Just across the street. I’ll be right back.”
He returned a short while later with three steaming coffees and some packs of sugar, setting his burden down on the end of Dee’s crate and re-cuffing Benny’s hands in front of him so he could drink unaided. “There you go.”
“You’re awfully chummy with a suspected murderer,” Dee commented, sipping from his cup. “Ahhh, that’s just what I needed. You’re a lifesaver!”
“Benny’s not our killer, just helped himself to some of Pete’s money.”
“Only some? How come he didn’t take it all?”
“Guess he didn’t want to appear greedy. Right, Benny?”
“Something like that.” Benny looked sheepish.
By the time they’d finished their coffee the fire truck had arrived. One of the firemen looked down at Dee’s foot, still wedged in the grating.
“How’d you manage that?”
“I slipped chasing a suspect.”
An older man came around, carrying the cutting equipment. “Seen this kind of thing before. If there’s enough force behind it, a foot can slip through these gaps pretty easily, but then the heel makes it impossible to pull it out again. Guess it just wasn’t your lucky day, son. Hold still and I’ll have you out in no time.”
In reality, it took about ten minutes of careful cutting to free Dee. By then, Benny was on his way to the precinct in a patrol car to give a statement. Ryo decided to wait with his partner; after all, Dee had been driving and had the keys to their car.
As the firemen boarded over the damaged grate for safety, Dee rubbed some feeling back into his cold toes and put his sock and sneaker back on. “Wish I’d worn my boots today,” he sighed. “Then I wouldn’t have got stuck in the first place.”
“It was just bad luck, Dee, it could just as easily have been me,” Ryo pointed out. “How’s your ankle?”
“A little sore, must’ve twisted it when I slipped.”
“Give me the car keys then, I’ll drive.”
Dee handed them over as they started back the couple of blocks to where they’d parked. “Thanks, babe. Where to next?”
Ryo checked his watch. “How about we pick up some lunch and head back to the precinct? I still have a few questions for Benny; he knew the vic pretty well, might be able to tell us something useful.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Dee grinned. Getting back to base and in the warm would be welcome. Hopefully they wouldn’t have to chase anyone else for a while.