Characters: Dee, Agent Diana Spacey, Commissioner Rose, Ryo, OCs.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Ryo is missing, and Dee has to team up with FBI Agent Diana Spacey to find him.
Word Count: 2092
Written For: juliet316’s prompt ‘Author's choice, author's choice, "Go to Hell",’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee didn’t understand how a simple undercover assignment could have gone so wrong. Ryo was supposed to be under constant surveillance, but now he was missing and Dee wanted nothing more than to get out there and tear the city apart until he found his partner. He was on his way out the door when Commissioner Rose stopped him.
“Just where do you think you’re going, Laytner?”
“To find Ryo. You got a problem with that?”
“As a matter of fact, I do, and since I outrank you, if you don’t want to get fired, you’ll have to do as I say.”
“Dammit, Ryo is out there somewhere, probably in danger, and you expect me to just sit on my ass and do nothing?”
“I never said that. I’m as concerned for Detective Maclean’s safety as you are…”
“Yeah, I somehow doubt that,” Dee cut in angrily.
Rose continued as if Dee hadn’t spoken. “But I’m not about to let you run roughshod over another department’s investigation. You’re a loose cannon, and I won’t have you destroying an undercover operation that took three months to plan and put into effect just when it’s starting to pay off.”
“And what about Ryo? Don’t you dare give me any crap about him knowing the risks going in. He was supposed to have back-up!”
“They dropped the ball, and there will be an investigation into who’s to blame for that, but in the meantime I’ve called in the FBI for assistance. I’m sure you remember Agent Spacey. The two of you are going to be working together to find your partner.”
“What? No way am I working with the Sea Hag!”
“I’m hurt,” Diana smirked, fluttering her lashes at Dee. “And here I thought you’d be happy to see little ol’ me!”
“In your dreams!”
Diana’s coy smirk vanished and her tone tuned cold and hard. “Tough, because as long as Ryo’s out there in danger, you’re stuck with me. I care about him too, so get over yourself for five minutes, mister!”
Dee went quiet. He disliked the woman intensely, every time they met they struck sparks off each other, but he also knew Ryo and Diana were friends, and that she would do whatever it took to find him. Under the circumstances, teaming up with her, as irritating as it would no doubt be, was also his best chance of finding his missing lover.
“Fine. I just want it understood that I’m only doin’ this for Ryo’s sake. Soon as we find him, this temporary partnership is over, got it?”
“You’re such a charmer,” Diana drawled sarcastically. She started towards the door, glancing back over her shoulder. “Are you just going to stand there all night? I thought you were in a big hurry to find your partner. Come on, move your sorry ass!”
Muttering under his breath, Dee followed, down the stairs and out onto the forecourt of the precinct, where Diana led him over to an unmarked car. “Before we start, let’s get a couple of things clear. First off, just in case it’s slipped your mind, I outrank you, which means I’m taking the lead on this case. You’ll do what I tell you when I tell you to; are we clear?”
“Whatever. Can we get on with it?”
“In a minute. You find anything out about Ryo’s whereabouts, you tell me before you make a move, or I’ll have Berkie bust you back down to traffic duty permanently.” She tossed Dee the car keys. “You’re driving.”
“Damn straight! We’d never get anywhere with you in the drivin’ seat, you’d be checkin’ your makeup in the mirror every five minutes.” Dee unlocked the car and got in, firing up the engine and waiting impatiently for Spacey to join him. “Where to?” he snapped as she fastened her seat belt.
“We’ll start at Ryo’s last known location. I’ve already spoken to the team who were supposed to have him under surveillance. They claim he went into a store and never came out again, but they did see a grey, unmarked van pull out of the alley beside the store a few minutes after he went in. They didn’t get the make and only a partial licence number though.”
Dee grunted and put the car in gear, steering out into traffic, heading downtown.
People had been going missing off the street, mostly men and women in their teens or twenties, who were reasonably fit and healthy, on low incomes, and living alone. The theory was that they were being abducted either to be sold as slaves or as workers in an illegal factory. The only other thing they had in common was that they were all Japanese or mixed race, and spoke the language fluently, which was why Ryo had been approached to go undercover. The area where he’d been living for the last three weeks had a predominantly Asian population, including a lot of students, so Ryo had posed as a part-time student doing a post-graduate course and working as a translator on the side to make ends meet.
Despite not liking Spacey, Dee had to grudgingly admit that she was good at her job. That didn’t stop her grating on his nerves though, and they sniped at each other constantly. Anyone seeing them would have thought they were no more than a bickering couple taking part in a bizarre scavenger hunt. Diana had brought with her a checklist, on which she ticked off items, before snapping photos of them on her phone. All the time they were keeping their eyes open for a grey van, or anything that might lead them to where Ryo had been taken.
They ruled out three grey vans before finding the one they were looking for, tucked away behind a seemingly derelict building and mostly covered with a tarp. The licence plate matched the partial the surveillance team had given them, but the building seemed to be in darkness. Then again, it was gone midnight; anyone with any sense would be asleep.
“We need to get in there,” Dee hissed. They were crouched down in the shadows having left their car some distance down the street.
“I know, but we don’t have a warrant and it’ll take time to get one.”
“The building’s abandoned.”
“Someone probably still owns it.”
“Don’t need a warrant if we suspect someone inside is in danger.”
“Shut up! I can't hear myself think!” Diana glared daggers as him and Dee glared back, refusing to back down.
“My partner is probably in there.”
“You mean your lover, don’t you?”
“I mean partner in every definition of the word.”
“Took you long enough to snare him.”
Diana’s smirk silenced him. “Alright, here’s what we’re going to do. You’ll wait here while I go back to the car and limp it up the street like I’m having engine trouble. I’ll go to the door and see if I can get an answer. If people are being held here, there’ll most likely be someone on guard, and who can resist a damsel in distress? Once I’m inside, you’ll have to come rescue me, right?”
It wasn’t the best plan in the world, and it might not work if there was no guard posted, but it would have to do for now. No matter what happened, Dee was getting in there somehow. At worst, Diana would be a convenient distraction.
“Do it,” he said shortly.
“See you inside!” Diana slipped away through the shadows and as soon as she was out of sight, Dee crept to the rear of the building to find his own way in.
The plan worked, after a fashion. Diana was let in by the guard, though it was clear from the moment she stepped through the door that he had no intention of letting her leave again.
“What’s a pretty thing like you doin’ in a neighbourhood like this?” the man leered, slamming the door and backing her up against the nearest wall, getting much too close for comfort.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” she replied, smiling sweetly as she kneed him in the balls then smacked him hard over the back of his head with the butt of her gun. She left him gagged and tied up, out of sight under the staircase.
Dee, having failed to find a way in through the barred windows and a door with a new deadbolt at the rear of the building, slipped round to the front and found the door open.
Diana was waiting. “What kept you?”
“Everything’s sealed up tight at the back. Looks like this is the only way in unless the back door is unlocked from the inside.”
“Figures. They wouldn’t want anyone sneaking in.”
“Can we get on with this?” Dee asked impatiently.
“You need to learn a little patience. So, up or down?” Spacey indicated the stairs, and Dee only had to glance at them to decide.
“Stairs up are covered in dust, nobody’s been up there in forever. The slavers, or whatever they are, probably use this floor for business, basement for the merchandise.”
“Hm, you’re smarter than you look. Okay, I’ll take the basement, you snoop around up here, make sure my friend there doesn’t have company.”
Dee shook his head. “I’ve got a better idea; you check this floor, see if there’s anyone here other than the guard, and I’ll take the basement.”
“I thought we already agreed I’m in charge and you do what I say.” Diana put her hands on her hips and pulled herself up to her full five feet seven inches. Dee still looked down on her.
“You speak Japanese at all?”
“Most of the people who were abducted do, and Ryo’s been teaching me. I know enough to tell them I’m a cop and they’re safe.”
“Assuming they’re actually here.” Diana sighed. “Fine. You go down, I’ll check up here then call in reinforcements.” Dee was gone before she even finished speaking. “No patience whatsoever,” she muttered, shaking her head.
The basement was divided into cells, each one containing a single person, lying on a bare mattress, and chained to the wall. Dee peeped into each one as he passed, not disturbing the sleeping captives. Best let them sleep until they could be freed, that would avoid panic. There were twenty cells, twelve of them occupied. Ryo was in the fifth one, and he was awake, sitting up with his back against the wall, trying to pick the lock on the shackle around his ankle with a bit of wire.
He looked up, then moved towards the door, although the chain he was attached to was too short for him to reach it. “Dee?” he whispered.
“Yeah, you okay?”
“I’m fine, just a few bruises. They don’t like to damage the merchandise, it lowers our value to potential buyers.”
That was about what Dee had thought. “Hang tight; we’re gonna get you out.”
“The Sea Hag’s upstairs, callin’ for backup.” He checked the lock on the cell door. “You’ll be outta there in no time, I just need to find the keys.”
“When they bought me in, I remember they got a bunch of keys from a hook on the wall just inside the door and to the left.”
Dee’s smile flashed in the darkness. “Be right back.”
The keys were right where Ryo said they would be, and as soon as Ryo was free, he took them and went from cell to cell, freeing the others. Dee started back up the stairs to report to Diana.
“Help’s on the way. What did you find?” she asked, turning off her phone.
“Twelve, including Ryo. He’s freeing the others. You?”
“Two more guards, but they’re a bit tied up right now.” She looked past Dee at where Ryo was leading the other captives up from the basement. “Not a bad night’s work. You know, we make a pretty good team. Maybe we should work together more often. I’m sure I could get you assigned to my team in D.C.”
Dee gave her a flat, unfriendly stare. “Not that I don’t appreciate you helpin’ to find Ryo, but for the record, there’s nothin’ you could say or do that would make me spend a second more in your company than I have to.”
“Aww, don’t be like that. Don’t I even get a thank you kiss?” Diana pouted.
Wrapping his arm around Ryo’s shoulders, Dee turned his back on her. “Agent Spacey? Go to Hell.”