Characters: Ryo, Dee, Bikky, OCs.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo goes missing on his way home from work.
Word Count: 1835
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, any, Where have you been?’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo was beyond exhausted; his whole body felt weighed down by a bone-deep weariness. Working double shifts was fine for a day or two, but after a week of them they started to take their toll. All he wanted right now was to be at home, in bed, catching up on his sleep. He smiled wryly to himself as he clocked off for the night and headed down the stairs with Dee, both of them too tired to talk. He must be getting old. Back when he was in the Police Academy, he could have worked a week’s worth of sixteen hour days and then gone out on the town with his friends for a few drinks. Now look at him; he was practically out on his feet.
On the plus side, the gang they’d been after were now safely behind bars, and most of those who’d been working so much overtime, including both Ryo and Dee, now had the next two days off. With any luck, Ryo would be able to catch up on his sleep before he had to be back at work on Friday.
“Goodnight, Dee. See you Friday,” Ryo said as they crossed the parking lot.
“Yeah, ‘night,” Dee replied, sounding as tired as Ryo felt. “You gonna be okay gettin’ home?”
Ryo nodded. “I’ll be fine.” They’d both been getting to work by subway or bus for the last few days, not wanting to risk driving home after a long day when keeping their eyes open might be a problem. For a moment, Ryo considered inviting Dee back to his place, it would be nice to sleep snuggled up together, but he decided against it. He’d barely seen Bikky for the past week and the boy deserved to have his undivided attention for a couple of days. Once he’d had a good night’s sleep, anyway.
Reaching the sidewalk, he and Dee headed off in opposite directions; Dee to the nearest subway station a couple of blocks away, and Ryo to the bus stop. He’d have to change busses halfway, but it meant he’d have a shorter walk at the other end than if he took the subway.
Dee felt as if he’d only just fallen asleep when the insistent and far too cheery ringtone of his phone pulled him back to wakefulness. Fumbling for it on the nightstand, he clicked on the bedside lamp and covered his eyes against the sudden brightness as he slapped the phone to his ear.
“H’lo?” he mumbled.
“Dee?” The hesitant voice on the other end of the phone brought Dee to full wakefulness and he sat bolt upright in bed.
“Bikky? Is everything okay?”
“I don’t know. Is Ryo with you?” The kid sounded worried.
“No, we left work together but he was gonna take the bus.” Dee looked at his watch; they’d got off work just after eight and now it was gone midnight. It didn’t take four hours to get from the precinct to Ryo’s place. Hell, he could do it on foot in less than an hour. “Did you try callin’ his phone?”
“Yeah, but he’s not answering. I didn’t know what else to do, so I called you.”
“You did the right thing, kid. I’ll be right over so hang tight. We’ll find Ryo. Try not to worry.”
Hanging up, Dee threw some clothes on and was out the door in less than ten minutes. He tried calling Ryo’s number on his way downstairs, but there was no answer. Climbing into his car, feeling more awake than he had in days, Dee fired up the engine and set off towards Ryo’s place before having second thoughts. Instead, he drove back to the precinct, parking his car in the lot and nipping inside to let the guys on late shit know that Ryo was missing. Then he called Bikky.
“Hey Biks, change of plan; I’m gonna start retracin’ the route Ryo woulda taken to get home. You okay on your own or do ya want me to send someone over to keep ya company?”
“No, I’m okay; I’m fifteen, not a little kid. Just, keep in touch, okay?”
“Will do. I’m on my way to the bus stop.” Dee hung up again and picking up a powerful flashlight, set off. He checked the alleys and doorways he passed, but there was nothing, no sign of a struggle, and no Ryo. Arriving at the stop, he waited impatiently for the right bus, boarded it, and spoke to the driver; he didn’t remember seeing Ryo, but he wasn’t really paying attention to his passengers. The bus was almost empty, but Dee took a seat and rode it to the stop where his partner would have got off, then walked across the street to another stop where Ryo would have caught a second bus for the final leg of his journey. He tried Ryo’s phone again, but there was still no answer.
After a ten-minute wait, which he spent talking to Bikky and checking nearby alleys, a bus pulled in and Dee climbed aboard. There was only one other person on it apart from the driver, a young woman in the front seat, listening to music on her phone. Dee flashed his shield and asked the driver about Ryo.
“Sorry, I only came on shift at ten; would’ve been someone else drivin’ the eight thirty-five bus.”
Dee flopped into a seat, pulled out his phone, and pressed speed dial once again as the bus pulled away from the stop. Still no answer. He was just about to end the call when he thought he head a faint buzzing sound.
“D’you hear that?” he asked the driver. “Sort of a buzz?”
“Yeah, been hearin’ that on and off for the past hour or so. Shouldn’t worry about it none; I’ll mention it when I go off shift for the night, the mechanics will check it out before mornin’.”
Dee pressed the end call button and the buzzing stopped. He frowned and dialled Ryo’s number again, but this time didn’t put the phone to his ear. The buzzing started up again. Getting to his feet, Dee made his way down the bus, looking from side to side for the source of the buzzing. He was almost at the back when he found what he was looking for; there was Ryo, curled up on the floor, squashed into the leg space between seats, fast asleep. He must have nodded off, then slid off the seat onto the floor, perhaps when the bus braked, without waking up. Nobody would have noticed him down there.
Shaking his head, Dee took a quick photo and sent it to Bikky’s phone, with the message, ‘Found him. He’s fine’.
Leaning down, he shook Ryo. “Hey, c’mon sleeping beauty, wake up.”
“Nnnn,” Ryo protested.
“Wakey wakey.” Dee shook him again, harder, and kept at it until eventually one eye cracked open.
“Whaddaya want, Dee?”
“Hello to you too. Bikky’s been worried sick. You didn’t come home.”
Ryo’s forehead creased into a frown and he blinked owlishly up at Dee. “I didn’t?” Then he registered where he was and Dee couldn’t keep from laughing at the look of consternation on his partner’s face. “What am I doing here? And what are you doing here?”
“Takin’ a nap, looks like. As for me, I’ve been searchin’ for ya since Bikky called me to ask if you were with me.” Offering a hand, he pulled Ryo out of the cramped space he was wedged in.
“Why didn’t someone just call me?”
“We did, but you must’ve put your phone on vibrate and I guess that wasn’t enough to wake ya.” Dee looked out the window at the streets passing by. “Looks like we’re not too far from your stop. Wonder how many times you’ve gone past it tonight.”
Ryo flushed, embarrassed. “You’ll never let me forget this, will you?”
“Nope! You’ve done some crazy things in the past, but you’ve really outdone yourself this time!” Laughing, Dee dropped into the seat across the aisle and called the precinct to let everyone know Ryo was okay.
Perched on the edge of his seat, legs in the aisle, Ryo checked his phone, biting his lip when he saw how many missed calls there were. “Bikky must have been so worried.”
“We both were,” Dee told him, putting his phone away. “I already let him know you’re safe though. C’mon, don’t want to miss your stop again.” He winked at Ryo and pulled himself to his feet, leading the way to the front of the bus. A guilty look on his face, Ryo obediently followed him.
“Oh, hey!” said the bus driver. “He the one you were lookin’ for? Where’d you find him?”
“Wedged between the seats, asleep,” Dee smirked, and the driver barked a laugh.
“Good thing you found him; might’ve scared the cleaners half to death otherwise.”
Groaning, Ryo buried his face in his hands. “I’ll never live this down,” he mumbled as the bus pulled up.
Back at Ryo’s apartment twenty minutes later, Dee used his key to let them in. The moment the door opened, before Ryo could even get inside, Bikky came charging up to him, throwing his arms around his foster father and hugging him fiercely. “Where have you been? I was so worried!”
“He’s been goin’ round and round the city by bus,” Dee snickered, shooing everyone inside so he could shut and lock the door.
“I’m sorry, Bikky. I didn’t mean to scare you, I just fell asleep and missed my stop.”
“Yeah,” Dee put in. “Must’ve missed it at least four times!”
Ryo ignored him and focussed on Bikky. “You should be in bed; it’s a school night,” he told his son.
“I know, but I couldn’t have slept anyway; not until I knew you were safe.”
“Well I am, so you’d best get to bed or you’ll be falling asleep in class.”
“Okay. You should get to bed too.”
“I plan to.”
“We both do,” Dee added. “I’m stayin’ over now I’m here. Too beat to go all the way home again. Any objections?” Dee looked from Bikky to Ryo and back again.
“Not from me,” Ryo said through a yawn.
“Yeah, I guess you can stay as long as you let Ryo get some sleep.”
“Sleepin’ is all I want to do right now anyway,” Dee replied. Now he was yawning too, which set Bikky off.
“Right, bed, all of us.” Ryo hung up his coat, kicked off his shoes, and padded towards his bedroom in socked feet. “Goodnight, Biks.”
“’Night, dad.” Bikky disappeared into his bedroom and shut the door.
Dee turned off the TV and the lights before following Ryo into his room.
Ryo smiled as Dee climbed into bed with him, snuggling down beside his lover, pulling the covers up over them both.
“Sure beats sleepin’ on a bus, right, babe?” Dee murmured, draping one arm over Ryo.
The only reply was a soft snore.