badly_knitted (badly_knitted) wrote,

FAKE Ficlet: Survivor’s Guilt

Title: Survivor’s Guilt
Fandom: FAKE
Author: badly_knitted
Characters: Ryo, OC, Dee.
Rating: PG-13
Setting: During the manga.
Summary: Ryo and Dee investigate after a Halloween prank goes badly wrong.
Word Count: 546
Written For: alex_kade’s prompt ‘Any, Any, "It was supposed to be a prank. No one was supposed to get hurt...",’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.

"It was supposed to be a prank. No one was supposed to get hurt..." The kid is babbling, obviously in shock. How could he not be? One of his friends is dead, two others seriously injured, the fourth also injured but not as badly, and this boy thinks it’s his fault because he came through it all without so much as a scratch. Survivor’s guilt is something both Dee and Ryo understand.

Halloween is a time for pranks, and they don’t all have happy endings. Sometimes one or more of the pranksters really is at fault, just not this time, no matter what the kid believes. When you go trick or treating, playing tricks on those households that don’t come across with the candy, the worst you expect is to have some irate guy chasing after you, yelling at you for egging his car or stealing his hubcaps, which you’d probably give back in the end anyhow. It’s all part of the fun.

What you don’t expect is to start tugging at hubcaps and have the car explode in a superheated fireball. Five kids, four hubcaps; you do the math. This one kid stayed back to keep watch, and tragedy ensued. It’s a miracle that more people weren’t injured, but that’s no consolation to a fifteen-year-old kid who just wanted to have a bit of harmless fun on Halloween.

The owner of the car is in shock too, knowing the bomb was likely meant for him, even if he doesn’t have any idea who would want to kill him, or why. That’s something it’ll be up to the detectives to figure out, but their first concern is for the mostly innocent victims and their families.

“Listen to me.” Ryo crouches in front of the shaking kid; he’s not much older than Bikky, his face pale and his eyes wide, filled with the kind of horror a child should never have to experience. “What happened to your friends; it wasn’t your fault.”

“But I…”

“It was a car bomb, and there was no way you could’ve known it was there. What happened is horrible, and it shouldn’t have happened. We will find the person responsible, but that person is the one who planted the bomb, not you. It might not feel that way right now, but you’re as much of a victim in this as your friends. You just got a bit luckier than they did, so don’t go blaming yourself for something you couldn’t have prevented.”

“But it was my idea to steal the hubcaps…”

“Which you’ve probably done before, right?”

“Well, yeah.”

“And nothing like this has ever happened before, so you had no reason to think anything bad would happen this time either. It was just a Halloween prank. I’m sorry about your friends, but I promise you, when we catch whoever’s responsible they’ll pay.”

It’s all the assurance Ryo can offer, but it isn’t enough to wipe away the horror this kid has witnessed. Probably nothing ever will be, although the passage of time might fade it a bit. For the moment, the best thing he can do for the boy and his friends is get on with his job. A crime has been committed, and solving crimes is what he does best.

The End

Tags: angst, dee laytner, fake, fake fic, fic, fic: one-shot, fic: pg-13, ficlet, other character/s, ryo maclean

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