Characters: Dee, Ryo, Bikky, OCs.
Setting: A few months after Vol. 7.
Summary: Dee and Ryo have a day off, but Ryo isn’t answering his phone. Dee can’t help being worried.
Word Count: 1737
Written For: Challenge 50: Message at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
At a loose end on a sunny day off, Dee decided to call his partner to see if he felt like doing something. Even shopping or a walk in the park would be preferable to sitting at home, alone. Dialling Ryo’s number, he waited, but almost immediately it clicked over to voicemail, a bland voice telling him, ‘The person you are calling is unavailable. Please leave a message after the tone.’
“Huh.” Maybe Ryo had got up late and was taking a shower. Hearing the beep, Dee left a message, sure that Ryo would check his phone shortly. “Hey, babe. I was just wonderin’ if you fancied goin’ out somewhere. Give me a call as soon as you get this message, okay? Love ya!”
Dee set his phone on the kitchen counter and poured the last of the coffee into his mug, sipping slowly. When he finished his drink, he washed the few dishes left from breakfast, then glanced at the wall clock. It had been fifteen minutes since he’d called Ryo, and there was still no reply. That was odd; Ryo was usually pretty quick about showering, at least when Dee wasn’t there to distract him. Maybe his phone was out of juice and he just hadn’t noticed. That would be typical; sometimes Ryo overlooked the most obvious things.
Picking up his mobile again, Dee dialled Ryo’s home phone and listened to it ringing, over and over, until at last the answering machine kicked in and he heard Ryo’s recorded voice. ‘Hi, sorry, but I can’t come to phone right now. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.’
“Hey, Ryo, it’s me. Is everything okay? I tried callin’ your mobile but it went straight to voicemail. You might wanna check if it needs recharging. Call me as soon as you get this.” Hanging up, Dee mooched about his apartment, tidying a few things while he waited. Then he turned his attention to the kitchen and cleared out the fridge, which had been needing done for a while now. He hauled the out-of-date food down to the trash bins, and when he got back to his apartment, checked his answering machine. No new messages, and when he checked his mobile, just in case he’d somehow missed a call, or a text, nothing had come through on that either. It had been over half an hour since he’d left his message on Ryo’s machine. That just wasn’t normal, Ryo should’ve called back by now. Dee went over to his sofa, dropped his phone onto the cushions and slumped down next to it, elbows on knees, chin in hands, thinking.
Maybe Ryo was out, grocery shopping or something. But it he’d left the apartment, he would’ve taken his mobile. Then again, if his phone battery was dead, having the phone with him wouldn’t make any difference, he wouldn’t have got the message Dee left anyway, and texting him would be just as useless. Dee reached for his phone, picking it up and looking at it. Could Ryo be ignoring his messages for some reason? Had he done something to annoy his lover? It wouldn’t be the first time, but no, if Ryo was mad at him, he would have answered his phone and Dee would’ve got an earful, not the silent treatment. Ryo reserved that for when they were in the same room.
Worry started to gnaw at Dee; it was almost an hour and a half now since he’d left the message on Ryo’s mobile, something must be wrong. Maybe his partner couldn’t answer, he might be sick or injured… Jumping to his feet, Dee snatched up his jacket and headed out the door. It was all he could do to keep inside the speed limit as he drove across town to Ryo’s apartment.
There was no answer when he knocked at the door, and when he tried the handle it was locked. All those times Ryo had left it unlocked, and now the one time Dee wanted in fast, he was being held up. He dug in his pocket, pulling out his keys and flipping through the bunch until he came to the one Ryo had given him a few months earlier. He’d never needed to use it until now. Jabbing it impatiently at the lock, he let himself in, calling Ryo’s name but not getting any reply. It wasn’t a big apartment, and checking all the rooms, including closets and under the beds, didn’t take long, just a couple of minutes, but nobody was home. It was a school day, so it was no surprise that Bikky wasn’t there, but that didn’t solve the mystery of Ryo’s whereabouts.
Dee slumped onto the edge of Ryo’s bed, stressed and worried. Now he was certain that something must be wrong. A quick check of all the places Ryo might have put his mobile phone told Dee that wherever Ryo was, he most likely had it with him. He checked the answering machine, but the only message on it was the one he’d left more than two hours ago. Looking up the number of Bikky’s school in Ryo’s book, Dee dialled it; if Ryo had been injured, someone might have called there so Bikky could be told. He ruthlessly pushed aside the fact that he and Ryo were each other’s emergency contact number. If Ryo was hurt or worse, and somebody knew about it, then Dee should’ve been the first person to be called.
The school secretary answered, and for a moment Dee’s mind went blank; he couldn’t think what to say. Then he pulled himself together. “Detective Laytner,” he introduced himself, “I’ve been tryin’ to get in touch with my partner, Detective Randy Maclean, but I can’t reach him. I was wonderin’ if you’d heard from him, his foster son goes to your school. Bikky, uh, Victor Goldman.” It sounded kinda lame, but it was the best Dee could manage.
“Oh, yes, I spoke to him earlier, I believe he went straight to the hospital.”
Oh God, he’d been right, something had happened to Ryo. “Do you know which hospital?”
“Lower Manhattan I think.”
“Thanks, bye.” Dee hung up and rushed out the door, locking up behind him and heading straight to William Street.
Finding a parking spot was a pain, but eventually he was inside the hospital, where he made a beeline for the reception desk, flashing his badge and asking about his partner. It took the receptionist some time to track Ryo down, while Dee waited impatiently, shifting from foot to foot, but at last…
“Ah, here we are. You should have said he was here with his son, then I wouldn’t have wasted time looking under patients.”
“He’s not the patient?” Dee wondered if he’d heard wrong.
“No, according to this his son was rushed in this morning, so he’ll be up on the children’s ward.”
“What happened? Is Bikky okay?” Now Dee had something else to worry about.
“I’m sorry, I can’t give out patient details to anyone other than immediate family, but you can go up to the ward and find your partner.” She gave Dee directions and he thanked her before making his way to the nearest elevators.
When Dee reached the ward, he found Ryo sitting beside a bed where Bikky lay, apparently sleeping, looking small and oddly pale. He looked up when Dee touched his shoulder.
“Dee! What are you doing here?” Ryo jumped to his feet and Dee didn’t even think, just wrapped his arms around his lover in a comforting hug, holding him close and feeling Ryo’s arms slide around him.
“I’ve been tryin’ to find ya all morning,” he said into Ryo’s hair. “What happened?”
“I’m a terrible parent, Dee! I shouldn’t have sent Bikky to school this morning, he said he had a stomachache but I thought he was just trying to get out of taking his math test. Then the school called and told me he’d gone to the nurse and been rushed here with suspected appendicitis. He’s only been out of surgery a little while, the surgeon said they were just in time, if they hadn’t operated when they did…” Ryo buried his face against Dee’s shoulder.
“He’s okay now though, right? I mean, the operation’s over so he’s on the mend.”
Ryo nodded. “He’ll be fine, but I should’ve listened to him.”
“Hey, don’t blame yourself. Wouldn’t be the first time he pulled that trick to get out of goin’ to school.”
“I know, but…”
“But nothin’. This isn’t your fault, it’s just one of those things that sometimes happens. He’s goin’ to be here for a while, so why don’t ya make a list of things he’ll want from home, and anything you need, and I’ll go get everything so you can stay here? Then I’ll check in with the chief, let him know what’s goin’ on.”
“Thanks, Dee.” Ryo straightened up, wiping away a few tears. “Don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“Yeah, well you’ll never have to find out. Just wish you’d called me to let me know. I could’a been here sooner instead of leavin’ a bunch of messages on your phone.”
“I should have, but I was in such a rush to get here, and then when I did, I had to turn my phone off. Sorry.” Ryo lowered his eyes, looking ashamed.
“Don’t be, you dope. I get why you didn’t; probably never crossed your mind, you had other things to think about. Just wish I’d been here for ya, that’s all. I’ll go get us both a coffee while you write that list. Want me to grab you a sandwich too?”
“I’m not really hungry.”
“You gotta keep your strength up, won’t do for you to get sick too. I’ll get ya something anyway; whether you eat it or not is up to you. Be right back.” Dee pressed a kiss to Ryo’s hair and left, in search of coffee and snack machines. This wasn’t the day off he’d been hoping for, and he knew Ryo and Bikky were both having an even worse time of it than he was, but he felt confident he could at least improve things for them a little, take some of the weight off Ryo’s shoulders. Spending his day off helping the man he loved could never be a waste of time.