Characters: Ryo, Dee, OFC.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo and Dee talk to a young woman whose parents have been killed.
Word Count: 1031
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee/Ryo, Ryo is good with the families of victims because he understands that kind of loss,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“I’m sorry for your loss.” The words were so often spoken as a kind of formality when police officers had to inform the family of a victim of their death, but not this time. Dee could clearly hear the ring of truth in Ryo’s voice, and so could the victim’s grieving daughter.
She wiped her eyes awkwardly with the back of her hand and when Ryo offered her tissues, she smiled wanly. “Thank you.” Whether she meant for the tissues or for Ryo’s genuine empathy was immaterial. “I only spoke to them last night on the phone. Mum and I were supposed to be going shopping today for dad’s birthday present and I wanted to ask what time I should pick her up.” She screwed the tissues up in her hand before trying to unravel them enough to mop at fresh tears. “How can something like this just happen?”
“We don’t know yet. We were hoping you might be able to tell us something that will help us catch whoever’s responsible.”
‘We’, by which Ryo meant himself and Dee, but Dee was keeping back and staying out of the way for now. He knew he was great at questioning victims and witnesses, and at interrogating suspects, but Ryo was a whole lot better with distraught families. Ryo knew what it was like to have parents, to be part of a traditional family unit, and he knew how it felt to lose all that. People could tell he understood their pain, and because of that they opened up to him more readily.
“What do you want to know?”
“Were your parents having problems with anyone? Maybe someone who works for your father or used to, perhaps a neighbour?”
“No, not as far as I know; they’ve never said anything to me. Everyone likes them. Dad treats his employees like family, and he’s never had to fire anyone. The only person in the last five years who left did so because her husband got a transfer that meant them moving across the country.”
“Do you know if they’d perhaps noticed any strangers hanging around, unfamiliar vehicles in the neighbourhood, or anything like that?”
“No, I don’t think…” She paused, frowning. “Wait a minute; Brandy! My parents had a dog, a golden retriever. She was getting on a bit, but she was still a good guard dog. Mum called me last weekend, said she and dad had been woken up in the middle of the night by Brandy barking at the back door, but when they got up to check, they couldn’t find anything wrong. She thought there was probably a stray dog, or maybe a raccoon nosing around the yard. Anyway, on Wednesday Brandy was run over in the street. That was weird, because the gate is always kept shut and she never wandered anyway. But a man came to the door, a stranger, and said a dog had run out in front of his car, and was it theirs. Mum said she’d never seen him before, but he was very apologetic… You don’t think he…?”
“It’s possible. Did your parents keep anything valuable in the house that other people might have known about?”
“You think it was a robbery?”
“There’s a good chance that someone tried to break in last weekend but got scared off by the dog,” Dee put in from where he stood leaning against the wall. “Might have come back during the week to get rid of it in preparation for another try.”
“Oh God!” The young woman buried her head in her hands.
Ryo rested one hand comfortingly on her arm, waiting patiently until she could carry on. She drew a shuddering breath and lowered her hands, giving him a sad but grateful little smile. “Dad’s been collecting coins for as long as I can remember, I know he has quite a few valuable ones. Mum’s been telling him for years that he should keep them in their safety deposit box at the bank, but he’s always saying… used to say… what’s the point of collecting something if you can’t look at them whenever you want to? Anyway, about a month ago he took the collection to be valued, for insurance purposes. He does that every few years, but the place he used to go to closed recently when the man who ran it passed away, so he had to go somewhere else.”
“Do you know where?”
“A place called Morgan something or other, in the Village. Morganstern’s, I think that was it. Why?”
“There’s a good chance someone found out about your father’s collection and went after it; knowing where he had it valued gives us somewhere to start. Thank you, you’ve been very helpful, and again, I’m very sorry for your loss. If you think of anything else, call us, any time.” Ryo handed the woman a card.
“I will, and thank you.” As Ryo stood to leave, she called after him, “Detective Maclean?”
He turned back. “Yes?”
“You lost someone too, didn’t you?”
“I did. My parents; they were murdered when I was eighteen. That’s why I became a cop.” Ryo smiled sadly.
“So you know what it’s like.” It wasn’t a question. “I’m sorry.”
Ryo gave a slight nod of acknowledgement. “Thank you. We’ll be in touch as soon as we know anything,” and he led the way out, leaving the grieving young woman sitting alone on the sofa in her living room.
“Can’t be easy for ya, doin’ stuff like this. Must bring back a lot of painful memories,” Dee said as they made their way across the street to their car.
“It’s okay; I never really forget,” Ryo admitted. “The memory’s there all the time. But if their deaths help me to understand and empathise with other people’s loss, then maybe they didn’t die for nothing.” He climbed into the passenger seat while Dee got behind the wheel and started the engine.
“Y’know what? I think they’d be proud of you.”
Ryo smiled a little. “I hope so,” he said softly. Even though he’d never know for certain, there was some comfort to be found in the thought of his parents’ approval.