Characters: Ryo, Dee, Others.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Ryo’s on second shift so decides to make the most of his morning off…
Word Count: 1119
Written For: caz251’s prompt ‘Any, Any, Time flies when your having fun,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
There was plenty of time, no need to rush, Ryo decided. It wasn’t even ten in the morning, but the chores were done, and he didn’t have to be at the precinct until three. The sun was shining, the sky a cloudless blue, but the full heat of summer hadn’t set in yet. Working second shift on a day like today was almost a pleasure; he had the best part of five hours to do whatever he wanted before he’d have to return to the role of responsible adult, so he fixed himself a packed lunch and decided to make the most of this brief spell of freedom by going for a walk in Central Park.
Unsurprisingly, the park was quite busy, but not overcrowded. It was a weekday so most kids were in school, but pre-school-age toddlers were everywhere he looked, with their mums or dads or nannies, watching the ducks on the lake, or romping in the playground.
A few groups of older boys, skipping classes, played football or soccer, or smoked illicit cigarettes and flirted with similar groups of girls. Ryo chose to ignore them; they weren’t his responsibility today and they weren’t causing trouble anyway. Rousting them for playing truant would spoil his time off, so for once he was going to be a little bit selfish. His own kid was in school, where he should be. Just because Ryo was a cop and these kids were technically breaking the law, that didn’t make it his job to chase them for non-attendance; that was up to their parents. Ryo vaguely wondered if maybe Dee’s attitude was starting to rub off on him; that should probably bother him more than it did.
Strolling along in the sunshine, he came across a group of artists and paused to watch them as they captured the scene before them in pencil or pastels, watercolours or oils, each of them focussing on different views. At times like these he wished he had some kind of talent for art, but stick figures were about his limit. Dee could draw, and was pretty good at cartoon caricatures of the people they worked with, although if the chief saw some of them he’d probably blow a fuse. They weren’t terribly flattering.
Ryo firmly pushed thoughts of work out of his head again, not wanting such matters intruding on the pleasure of his walk. He did wonder if he should have invited Dee along, but he seemed to recall his lover saying something yesterday about doing some repairs for Mother Lane at the orphanage this morning, and besides, he’d see Dee later. Just because they were in a relationship didn’t mean they had to spend every waking moment together; they had their own lives outside of work.
Continuing along the path, Ryo discovered a small craft fair taking place in an open area, raising money for charity, and spent almost an hour browsing the stalls and buying a few things as gifts. It would be Carol’s birthday in a few weeks and he was sure she’d appreciate the delicate butterfly earrings, the colourful patchwork cushion cover, and the little jewellery box. The chunky wooden key fob should make it harder for Bikky to lose his keys. Tucking his purchases in his backpack, Ryo wended his way to a broad, spreading tree where he settled in the shade to eat his lunch and read a couple of chapters of a new crime novel by Richard Castle, his favourite author. He still had plenty of time before he had to be at work.
Soon he was deep in his book, trying to figure out the killer before the detective in the novel could. It was funny really; he spent his workdays solving serious crimes, and yet he loved reading murder mysteries to relax. Dee was more into sci-fi, saying he got enough dead bodies in real life and didn’t want to read about more of them. Ryo had pointed out that at least as many people, not to mention aliens, got killed in Dee’s books as in the ones he read, but Dee had just replied, “Yeah, but it’s sci-fi; it’s not real.” There was no point trying to argue with him.
Ryo’s lunch was long finished and his nose still buried in his book when his phone rang. He pulled it from his pocket and smiled as he checked caller id.
“Hey, Dee. What’s up?”
“Where are you?”
“It’s such a nice day I decided to have lunch in the park. Why?”
“You were supposed to be at the precinct half an hour ago! I was startin’ to get worried!”
“What!?” Ryo sat up straight and fumbled under his shirt cuff for his wristwatch. It showed the time as just after three-thirty; that was impossible, where had the time gone? He was never late for work! “Oh God! I must have completely lost track of the time! I’m on my way!” Scrambling to his feet, Ryo crammed everything back into his backpack and set off at a jog, phone still clamped to his ear. “I’m so sorry, I have no idea how that happened! Is the Chief angry?”
“Nah, don’t worry; I covered for you, told the old badger you were meetin’ with an informant on your way in.”
“But that’s not true! You know how I feel about lying, Dee!”
“So swing by and have a word with Benny; then it won’t be a lie. He likes to hang out near the park in good weather so he should be easy to find, and besides, he called me earlier saying he might have somethin’ for us. I was goin’ to wait until you got here and suggest we paid him a visit anyway. Want me to meet ya there?”
“Okay, yeah, then even if he doesn’t have anything useful we can go by the scene of the Miller homicide. I want to take another look at how the perp accessed the apartment. Something’s been nagging me about that.”
“You got it. See you in a few.”
Dee hung up and Ryo followed suit, shoving his phone into his pocket and upping his pace from a jog to a flat-out run. So much for having a relaxing few hours; now he was way behind and in a mad rush. Late for work, for the first time ever, if you didn’t count the time he got stuck under his own bed; that could be considered extenuating circumstances, but this time he’d just completely forgotten about where he was supposed to be. He was doomed. Dee might cover for him with the Chief, but Ryo knew his partner was never going to let him live this down!