*****Day of Silence*****

Ryo was worried. Deeply worried. He had been working beside Dee all day and the tall, handsome brunette hadn't said a word to him once. They had paperwork to finish up, which managed to take up a lot of their time when they didn't have any immediate cases, but still, Dee was usually talking Ryo's ear off by now. Work meant very little to Dee if it didn't include kicking some low-life's ass, and paperwork was his worst enemy. If anything, Dee should at least be bitching from his chair about how under-appreciated he is to be handed such boring busywork. But no. Nothing. Not a peep. Occasionally, Dee would give a silent nod or shake of his head in reply to Ryo's attempts to get him to talk, but not a single word ever passed his lips.

It was nearly lunchtime now, and Ryo had had enough. "Are you mad at me, Dee?" he asked sharply, slamming his stack of papers down on the desk. "This silent treatment isn't like you. I just don't get it. I know we haven't had much time together the past few weeks and that I haven't been as...giving lately. But do you have to be so vindictive? You know we've had a lot of work recently, and...and you know I'm still not quite ready for...what you want from me...so...so..."

Ryo might have ranted on for another 5 minutes or more if Dee hadn't suddenly appeared next to him and placed a large palm over the blonde's mouth. Dee didn't say anything, but his eyes held no trace of anger or resentment. Instead, they sparkled, filled with humor, as if he knew some great secret Ryo wasn't allowed to hear.

At first, Ryo didn't know how to respond, merely staring up at Dee from his seat as the charismatic man hopped up on the edge of Ryo's desk, removing that hand now that he was certain Ryo was finished pattering.

Dee still didn't speak, but his smile was infectious, and Ryo found himself getting upset again, hating that he couldn't decipher what his partner was thinking.

"What, Dee? You're not mad, so what is it? Why won't you talk to me?"

A shadow crossed Dee's face, realizing he was hurting Ryo when he didn't intend to, but his lips still wouldn't move. He crossed his arms, mulling over what to do to ease Ryo's concerns, but he couldn't think of anything besides speaking, and that was something he could NOT do.

"Hey, Ryo, Dee." Drake waved as he walked in, having just returned from a false alarm that had successfully taken him and his partner J.J. out of the office for most of the morning.

J.J. walked in behind him, sulking miserably as he hung up his coat and walked to his desk without a word. Drake, on the other hand, was positively beaming.

"So, Dee..." he began, after hanging his own coat up and sidling over to Ryo's desk. "...how's the challenge THIS year? You know, I think this is my favorite day. Anything to get J. J. to shut up is a Godsend, if ya ask me."

Drake's smirk was wicked, and Dee returned the look with a withering glare, STILL not speaking. Ryo found this very odd and uncharacteristic of Dee; the amorous detective always had a comeback.

Also, Ryo had absolutely no idea what Drake was taking about.

"What do you mean, Drake? Challenge? What's wrong with J. J."

"Same thing that's wrong with Dee." Drake replied, slapping Dee on the back, and having to take a step back to avoid being hit in return. "It's a challenge cuz they both love to talk so much. It's the Day of Silence today, ya know?"

"Day of Silence?" Ryo repeated, casting a questioning glance back at J. J., and then at Dee still sitting on his desk. "What's that? Is it the reason you haven't been speaking to me all day?"

Dee nodded happily, thankful that things were finally being spelled out for his partner.

"Ya see, the Day of Silence is a student-led day of action for those who think that making LGBT rights unacceptable in schools is a load of crap. They take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment--the silencing--experienced by LGBT students and their allies. Dee and J. J. were big on gay rights back at the academy, and both still do the silence thing every year even now that they're out of school. It's cool and all, but I'm just happy for a day's peace, to tell ya the truth."

Ryo was taken aback, partly by Drake's thorough explanation, and partly by the fact Dee hadn't told him any of this. "Dee, why didn't you mention this last night?" he questioned his partner, obviously hurt by being left out of the loop.

Dee shrugged his shoulders, a gesture clearly stating he hadn't meant anything by it, but that he had most likely forgotten.

"Well, you should have told me. You've been driving me crazy all morning and I didn't even know why. Besides," he added, blushing just the tiniest bit. "I might have agreed to do it with you, had you asked. It's a good cause, even if you usually take your gay--" Ryo caught himself. "Your BISEXUAL rights a little too far."

Dee took the hint, but still wasn't about to stop exercising those rights any time soon.

Leaning forward from his perch on Ryo's desk, Dee reached out to grab his partner's chin, pulling the man's lips closer to his. He paused for the slightest moment, before gently--surprisingly gently--touching their lips together. It was...uncompromising, for its gentleness, and Ryo felt himself shudder deeply. Obviously, Dee didn't need words to express his gratitude towards Ryo's acceptance.

"Come on, guys." Drake whined suddenly, shattering the moment. "You know I don't care if you're a couple, but do ya have to do this kind of stuff in front of me?"

Dee grinned within the chaste kiss and pulled away, staring lovingly into Ryo's dark eyes. Ryo was now red from head to toe, and swallowed hard, trying to compose himself.

A moment later, Drake had retired to his desk, J. J. was trying to ignore that he had just seen his idol tenderly kissing someone else, and Dee was slipping off of Ryo's desk to return to work

Before Dee could get away, however, Ryo suddenly grabbed his hand and pulled the brunette towards him into an abrupt and much more intense kiss. Dee would have fallen over if not for the leverage of his hands braced against Ryo's chest. The kiss lasted only a moment or two this time, but when they broke apart, Dee was the one who was blushing.

"Don't get any ideas." Ryo quipped, turning back to his piled up paperwork. "Sometimes...you can be really sweet, Dee. Maybe you should be silent more often. You might be surprised how much further it'll get you."

Ryo didn't elaborate, but Dee understood, and slipped back to his desk with the widest grin he had worn all day.

The Day of Silence was something he always took very seriously--J. J., too, though the younger man had a much harder time with it, being a more vigorous talker--and finally he was beginning to understand how honestly worth it his efforts were. He may not be a struggling, school-aged bisexual anymore, but there are still many out there being persecuted. Today's silence has reminded him just how thankful he can be for what he has found, and for the acceptance his friends and loved ones offer.

Today, the precinct--tomorrow, the world.

Dee took a fleeting glance at Ryo from over the top of his papers. On second thought, the world can wait. Right now, Dee is much more focused on getting a little snogging time with his partner.

***owari***

*****A/N*****

I haven't spoken a word since nine this morning, and I won't again until five tonight. That is the Day of Silence. Drake explained it well, but if you are interested in finding out more, head to www.dayofsilence.com and read more yourself. It is a great cause to fight for and I am proud to help sponsor. If you check out the endorsements sections, my part is played by being a member of GLOW. I am proud to be silent today, but the voices must be heard. Thank you so much for reading and please review. There is so much all of us can do.

~Crimson