Author's note: Second fic in the Crash and Burn Arc. This is edited version.
Summary:As an act of revenge for a job foiled, a kidnapper snatches Dee, plunging Ryo into a nightmare made worse by unwanted media attention. Even if Dee is found, will the ordeal have changed him forever?
Warnings: Bad language, angst and male/male romance
Crash and Burn
Chapter 1 – Just Like the Movies
"Dee! We're really going to be late now!" Ryo called from the living room as he gathered up his overcoat and briefcase and frowned at the lack of movement coming from the direction of their bedroom. He was just about to threaten to leave without him when the door flew open and Dee emerged, simultaneously trying to tie his tie and slip his foot into his shoe. Ryo shook his head and smiled, unable to stay angry at his handsome partner, despite the chaos he brought into his ordered existence.
"Let me help," he scolded, reaching up and slapping Dee's hands away from the charcoal coloured tie, which he fastened with expert hands. As Dee bent to tie his shoelace, Ryo picked up the other man's coat and case and waited patiently until he could hand them over. "Right lets go," he said turning to leave after Dee had relieved him of his belongings, "We might just make it to the station before lunch."
"Ha, ha," Dee replied as he closed the front door and hurried after his lover who was now waiting at the end of the hallway. As he reached the elevator, still struggling into his coat, he was greeted by the sight of Ryo frowning at him. "Dee, are you limping again?" the blond man asked in concern.
Dee shrugged as he rummaged in his overcoat pockets for a cigarette. "A bit maybe," he replied vaguely, his eyes fixed firmly on the elevator as the numbers glowed one after another as the car neared their floor.
"Maybe you should go back the physical therapist," Ryo suggested gently as the doors slid open and they stepped in together. "Or start wearing that brace he recommended."
Dee's response was his best 'I don't want to talk about it' look, realised in his hard green stare, which he directed at Ryo before he went back to gazing into space. Knowing that that was Dee's way of ending a maligned topic of conversation, Ryo decided not to push the issue. Shortly before Christmas the previous year, Dee had broken his leg chasing a suspect resulting in metal pins being inserted in the bone to mend the break and several long weeks in plaster. The limb had mended nicely but Dee was still plagued by twinges and aches, few of which he actually admitted to, even to Ryo. Only when it was particularly bad and the ebony haired man was forced to limp did Ryo realise that all was not well with his lover. Ryo sensed that Dee's main concern was that his colleagues at the precinct or even Ryo himself would think that he was no longer capable of doing his job, hence his reluctance to voice any discomfort.
He was still scowling as the elevator reached the ground floor and let them out into the lobby of the apartment complex. He deliberately allowed Ryo to go first so the blond man was unable to watch him walk, wincing at each step as a flash of pain shot up his leg and into his hip. However Ryo was quickly clued into just how bad Dee's pain was when the ebony haired man tossed him his car keys and said, "You can drive."
Ryo thought of saying something as his concern rose once more but he managed to contain his thoughts, not wanting to antagonise Dee when he already looked so irritated. He climbed into the driver's seat of Dee's old sedan glancing across as the other man lowered himself somewhat gingerly into the passenger seat before he fired the engine and pulled out of the parking space. The fact that he was driving worried Ryo immensely. Dee never suggested that he drive without good reason. The two men had very different ideas as to what constituted good driving and after numerous arguments on the subject, they had agreed to disagree. Dee always complained that Ryo drove too slowly and was far too hesitant at junctions, his annoyance culminating in his insistence that he always drove.
Twenty minutes and two cigarettes into their journey, Dee found his discomfort easing slightly as the painkillers he had taken earlier started to kick in. With his lessening pain however came remorse that he had gotten so angry at Ryo for being worried about him.
"I'm sorry," Dee said quietly, "I didn't mean to be so shitty with you."
Ryo smiled as his eyes left the road momentarily to glance across at Dee. "That's okay," he replied, "I guess I shouldn't nag you about stuff."
Dee returned the smile. "Friends?"
With the tension gone from the air, the two men began to discuss the current cases they were working on, deciding what to prioritise when they reached the station. Since the internet stalker case the previous year, the partners had been on much more low-key investigations, although any action, no matter how small, was a relief to Dee, who had been confined to desk duties for almost a month after he had returned to work. Ryo was also pleased when Dee had been returned to normal duties despite his constant worrying that Dee wasn't up to it yet. As the weeks had rolled into months however, Ryo had presumed that life had returned to normal until he had noticed Dee still favouring one leg when he walked but every time he mentioned it Dee abruptly changed the subject.
Spring was most definitely in the air as the two men reached the Twenty-Seventh Precinct on that early April morning. The few trees that hadn't been sacrificed for the construction of the station parking lot were looking full and green after the harsh winter months, providing a splash of colour against the drab brick building of the Precinct. As the two men climbed the steps up to the main doors Ryo was relieved to see Dee was walking normally, his handsome face showing no sign of concealed pain. Suddenly, with the sun high in the sky and his loving partner by his side, Ryo felt more care-free than he could ever remember and he smiled, his expression reflecting his happiness.
"What's with the grin?" Dee questioned, seeing his face and wondering about the sudden change. Although a handsome man, Ryo's face bore a frown of concern far too much of the time for Dee's liking.
"Oh nothing," Ryo replied, holding the door for Dee as they both stepped inside the building. "I just had one of those moments where you realise exactly what you have and why you should take a moment to feel grateful."
Dee cocked his head to one side and quirked a smile at the blond man as they started up the stairs towards their office on the fourth floor. "Uh oh," he grinned, "In the movies that's a sure-fire omen of doom."
"But this isn't the movies," Ryo reminded him as he opened the glass panelled door bearing their names.
They were barely over the threshold before the Chief appeared; his bulging eyes the centrepiece on his purple-tinted face. "McLain, Latener! In my office, now!"
As the door slammed behind the heavy-set man, Dee shot Ryo a knowing look. "Just like the movies," he muttered as he tossed his coat and case onto his chair and headed for the boss's office.
Twenty minutes later, the two men were leaving the boss's inner sanctum, fully briefed on what exactly it was that had the chief so irate. In Ryo's hands were the details of a new case; one they had been told to drop everything else for. It concerned an acquaintance of Commissioner Rose, hence it being given precedence and forcing the Chief to pull two of his detectives away from other investigations; something he rarely did willingly. Dee and Ryo weren't particularly pleased about it either; they were close to making breakthroughs on a couple of their cases and the realisation that they would have to hand them over to other detectives to complete after they had done all the leg work was irritating to say the least. As they returned to their desks, instructed to study the documents given to them in that heated meeting with their superior, Dee looked particularly unhappy as he tossed the files Ryo had handed to him onto his desk and headed straight for the coffee machine.
"That bastard Rose," he spat angrily as he watched the cup fill with steaming brown liquid, "he's just the type to pull rank on us."
Ryo looked anxiously at the door as if he suspected the commissioner to walk in at any time. Even before Rose had made his intentions towards Ryo clear, Dee had seemed to dislike the older man. Secretly Ryo agreed that Berkley Rose was an arrogant, self-righteous individual whose constant come-ons made him feel downright uncomfortable but he knew that their opinions mattered not one iota since he was their ultimate superior and so he tried his hardest to remain civil to the man. Dee on the other hand was less tactful, and Ryo had had to stop his lover on a number of occasions from landing them in a whole heap of trouble by telling Rose exactly what he thought of him, particularly when the commissioner pulled a stunt like this.
"I mean," the ebony haired man continued as he seated himself across from Ryo, his cup of coffee gripped tightly between his fingers, "We've been pulled off important cases because some friend of Rose thinks his family might be kidnapped because of a business deal? What crap!" he spat, watching Ryo's reaction carefully. "I thought we were supposed to be goddamned homicide detectives!"
"I know it might seem strange to be assigned to a case based on pure speculation but I'm sure Rose wouldn't have got involved if there wasn't at least some truth in it," Ryo replied, retrieving his pen and pad to start making notes. Over the rim of his coffee cup, Dee watched his partner; the blond's actions indicating his reluctant acceptance that they had no choice but to take on the case. Sensing any further complaining was futile, Dee set down his cup, lit a cigarette and started wading through the background information that the Chief had thrust at them minutes earlier.
Almost an hour later, Dee snapped the file shut and leaned back heavily in his chair. Only when he linked his fingers and cracked the joints noisily behind his head did Ryo finally look up, his expression disapproving at his partner's unpleasant habit. "So what d'you think?" Dee asked, ignoring Ryo's frown.
Ryo sighed and flipped shut his pad. "I think I can see why this guy is worried. After all, the way he clinched that deal at the eleventh hour put a lot of people's noses out of joint and the incidents he has reported recently certainly point towards a planned kidnapping." Ryo paused and looked up at Dee. "D'you want to go and check it out?"
Dee snorted in response. "Do we have any choice?"
"I guess not," Ryo replied, acknowledging Drake, who had just come into the room, with a nod.
Drake frowned as the two men stood up and started putting on their coats as soon as he had entered. Seeing the other man's confusion, Dee offered him a smirk as he walked past. "It's nothing personal although your aftershave is pretty horrific."
"Ha ha," Drake replied, knowing Dee was joking as usual as he lowered himself into his chair, although as the door shut behind the two departing detectives, he couldn't resist a quick sniff at the front of his shirt to be on the safe side.
As an added indication that his leg was no longer troubling him, Dee drove the two of them out to the suburbs towards the more affluent neighbourhood where Commissioner Rose's acquaintance lived. The house, when they found it, was set back off the street, protected behind an imposing red brick wall and a large pair of wrought iron gates. A meandering gravel drive led up to the three storey house, fashioned in the same brick as the outer wall. As the two men took in the impressive structure, Dee let out a low whistle. "This guy certainly has done well for himself. Trust Rose to be rubbing elbows with the rich and famous."
Ryo either ignored or missed the heavy sarcasm in Dee's voice as he gazed into the heavily fortified premises. "Seems like they've pretty good security already," he mused, almost to himself before he turned to Dee, who was more preoccupied in finding a cigarette.
"What? Huh?" the dark haired man replied as he patted his various pockets until he located his prize. "Oh yeah, great. D'you wanna go speak to them?"
"May as well."
"M'kay," Dee agreed, cigarette clamped between his lips as he resumed his searching, this time for his lighter. "Go and ring the bell."
"No need," Ryo replied catching Dee's attention as he nodded in the direction of the gates. "The welcoming committee's on the way."
Dee turned in the direction of Ryo's gaze to see two burly looking men heading towards them, each vying for control over two equally burly looking German Shepherd dogs. Ryo wound down the window as they approached his side of the car, his smile of greeting not returned by either man as they drew close.
"Good day Sir," the taller man asked, his tone by no means friendly or welcoming, "Can I ask you what your business is?"
Ryo reached in his pocket and retrieved his identity badge which he handed to the first man. "My name is Detective McLain and this is Detective Latener and we're from the Twenty-Seventh Precinct. We've been sent to investigate the claims of a potential kidnapping by Mr Henry Goldsmith and would like to speak to him if possible."
After thoroughly studying Ryo's badge, the taller man instructed his partner to call up to the house. As they waited to find out whether they would gain admittance, Dee successfully located a match and lit his cigarette, drawing on the smoke with extreme contentment as the taller man's dog continued to eye him warily. After a brief conversation into the intercom, the other man returned, delivering the news that they were to let the detectives in. As the gates began to open, Dee started up the engine before the taller man leaned into the car, preventing him from putting the vehicle into gear.
"Sir, this property is a no smoking site so if you'd kindly extinguish your cigarette?" The phrasing was polite but the way the request was delivered indicated that Dee had little choice but to comply. Muttering his displeasure as he stubbed the barely smoked cigarette out into the ashtray, Dee put the car into gear and guided the vehicle onto the property, ignoring the distasteful looks from the security guards as the battered looking motor spewed out a large cloud of foul black smoke as it passed.
As they pulled up at the front entrance of the house, the door was already open revealing a third security guard who watched their approach with suspicion. Parked outside was a large silver Bentley, which Dee eyed appreciatively as they climbed from his old wreck and headed towards the house. After another round of badge displaying and explanation as to who they were and why they were here, the two detectives finally gained admittance to the house, the guard showing them into a lavishly furnished sitting room and curtly instructing them not to move. Shortly afterwards, a man in his mid fifties entered the room followed closely by the same guard whom he excused once the detectives had introduced themselves. Henry Goldsmith Senior positively buzzed with an air of importance enhanced by the several items of chunky gold jewellery he wore about his person. His silver-grey hair was perfectly styled, its colour not dissimilar from the immaculate designer suit he wore and his teeth, when he smiled, bordered on luminous they were so well polished. He was married to Helena Schwartz, a popular and well known film and television actress, completing the image of a prominent media couple.
"Please, have a seat," Goldsmith said gesturing at the sumptuous cream leather couch behind the two detectives as he seated himself across from them in the matching armchair. "Thank you for coming so quickly."
"Don't mention it," Ryo replied, settling into the seat and retrieving his notepad and pen from his pocket. "We've read through the information you've given to Commissioner Rose about the suspicious persons you've seen around your property since this business deal has gone through but we were hoping you'd be able to give us a little more information about the deal itself and the repercussions this has had for you and your family."
Goldsmith signed heavily as he laced his fingers together on his lap, his gold bracelet jangling noisily at the movement. Despite his well maintained complexion he bore traces of several sleepless nights no doubt brought on by the threat against himself and his family as he began to explain how they had been drawn into this nightmare. The deal was the buy out of a successful company that was sought after by a variety of interested parties in the business world. Eventually there was only one main contender; the notorious Italian-American De Luca family. One by one the other buyers supposedly lost interest in the deal although rumours were abound through corporate America that the De Luca family had scared off the other buyers. At the last minute when the deal was all-but completed, the Goldsmith Corporation stepped in and placed an almost unmatchable offer, which the vendors were set to accept. Understandably, the De Luca family were angry that their deal had been snipered at the last moment but Goldsmith had somewhat naively underestimated their reaction; the De Luca family had been wronged and they believed in vengeance, plain and simple.
Since then, the Goldsmith family had been plagued by a series of strange occurrences at their home, presumably designed to scare them into backing away from the deal, which had culminated in the employment of the security guards that patrolled the premises twenty four hours a day. Even with the protective manpower, Goldsmith had still felt threatened enough to go to his friend Berkley Rose and request his assistance in the matter. Once they had all they needed, Ryo and Dee thanked the anxious looking millionaire for his time and left, promising that they would be keeping a watch over the house. The older man smiled, feeling reassured that the police were taking the threats seriously.
"I feel much better knowing you'll be keeping us under surveillance but I'm sure you've two very attractive wives that won't appreciate me keeping you both away from them."
Ryo flushed ever so slightly as Dee offered the older man a broad grin. "Well the job has to come first," he replied, glancing at Ryo who appeared to have found something very interesting to stare at through the window.
Back in the car Dee was still grinning. He always found comments like that highly amusing and would normally set the other person straight with a certain amount of delight but he had learnt to curb that tendency in front of Ryo, who still got embarrassed at the reactions to them being a couple. Dee loved Ryo far too much to risk hurting him for the sake of the small but satisfying feeling he got from the look on someone's face when he announced he had a male bed partner.
"Thanks for not saying anything then," Ryo said suddenly as he pulled the passenger door shut, the colour still high on his cheeks.
"No problem," Dee replied, losing the inane grin. "D'you want to go back to the station and do the report or should we just head home?"
"Station," Ryo answered firmly, never one to take liberties with his job. "Besides, we need to draw up a rota for surveillance duties."
Dee nodded, putting the car into gear and pulling away from the house. "Fine, so long as I get first shout on who I'm partnered with," he said with a wide grin.
Ryo looked at the dark haired man askance and offered him a wry smile. "Oh and who would you be choosing to spend those lonely hours with? JJ?"
Dee snorted in laughter. "Is the Pope a Satanist?"
"Then don't ask stupid questions."
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After filing their report on the information they had gained from Henry Goldsmith Senior and organising the rota of who would watch the house and when, the two detectives battled the cross town traffic to make their way home. Although they both loved life in the city, they each loathed the rush hour when the more desperate people were to get home, the longer it took. Bicky was already ensconced in one of the armchairs when the two men entered the apartment. Glancing up briefly from his videogame, the blue-eyed boy of African descent gave Ryo a quick wave before flipping the finger at Dee. As usual, the moment Ryo's back was turned, Dee offered the boy a similar greeting continuing the 'I don't like you and you don't like me' roles that they had played ever since they had first met. In truth, it was quite the contrary. Mentally, Ryo had come to realise, his lover and his adopted charge weren't all that far apart and although they still had their spats, it was clear that they liked each other much more than they let on. After living with Ryo and Bicky since the start of that year Dee had found that Bicky wasn't nearly as much of a handful as he'd first imagined and, for his part, Bicky had developed a sort of grudging respect for the man who indulged him in his passions for basketball and videogames.
As Ryo went into the kitchen to start dinner, he smiled as Bicky handed Dee the second controller and the two began to play harmoniously together, irrespective of the fact that the object of the game was to smash each other's faces in. After a couple of minutes, Ryo heard movement and Dee appeared at the door looking slightly guilty.
"Sorry Ryo," he apologised as he came to stand in front of his slightly shorter lover, "I shouldn't leave it up to you to make the dinner."
Ryo smiled, appreciating the offer of help but well aware that Dee was little use in the kitchen. "Don't apologise," he said, putting his arms around the other man, "But if you want to help you can go and get Bicky to do his homework."
"Anything for you," Dee breathed before he drew Ryo in for a slow, lingering kiss, broken only when Bicky's voice floated in from the living room. "I know you're kissing in there," he complained, amazing Dee yet again with his almost telepathic ability to spoil things when he and Ryo were getting intimate. "More cooking and less fuc…"
"Bicky!" the two men roared almost simultaneously before he could complete the sentence. The blond boy looked up from his game to see his 'parents' sporting matching glares as they eyeballed him dangerously from the kitchen.
"What?" he asked, oblivious to the fact that Ryo looked as if he'd just been immersed in a very hot bath and Dee was having to hold him upright to prevent him from keeling over.
"Jeez Bicky, you certainly have a way with words," Dee replied, sweeping a hand across his hair as Ryo went back into the kitchen shaking his head in disbelief.
Later on that evening, the two men lay in bed together, sated after a long and passionate session of lovemaking. Sat up against the headboard, Dee lazily smoked a cigarette as Ryo lay sleepily across his chest, basking contently in his lover's warmth. Gazing down at the handsome man before him, Dee said a silent prayer of thanks to God for bringing Ryo into his life. He had waited over two years to achieve the level of happiness he experienced with Ryo and because of his prolonged pursuit he was determined to never take his new life for granted. The other man stirred slightly as Dee stroked his honey blond hair and Dee smiled, glad that Ryo was so relaxed when they were together. Just before Christmas the previous year Ryo had promised to try and overcome his hang-ups about being in love with another man and although he still got a little embarrassed when dealing with the reactions from other people, he was now totally at ease with the intimate side of their relationship.
"Mmmmm, this is so nice," Ryo murmured into Dee's chest, as if he had read the other man's thoughts and agreed wholeheartedly.
Dee smiled as he stubbed out his cigarette and ran his now free hand up and down Ryo's bare back. "Yeah, so we better make the most of it."
Ryo frowned in response and pulled himself into a sitting position so he could see Dee better. "What d'you mean?"
"Because from tomorrow night we'll be sat in my car eating doughnuts and drinking coffee and generally doing what cops do when they're on surveillance."
Realising that a mere twenty four hours from now they would be spending the evening in far less enjoyable circumstances than this, Ryo flopped back down onto Dee's chest and sighed wistfully. "Would you disagree if I said life should stay like this forever?"
"Not likely," Dee replied, giving the other man's buttock a playful squeeze. "Wouldn't bother me at all."
"That's good," Ryo said, sounding sleepy again. "I'll make sure I wish extra hard."
"You do that," Dee replied as he turned off the bedside lamp and settled down to sleep with Ryo still wrapped tightly in his embrace.
Despite Ryo's wishing, the following day did come, its arrival heralded by the shrill ringing of the alarm clock. Never a morning person, Dee groped around on the bedside table for the offending device, eventually locating it and slamming down on the button that would stop the noise, at least for the next nine minutes. He had no intention of getting up straight away but Ryo, having realised the time, was already stretching in preparation to leave their bed.
"Aww, stay here," Dee complained, patting the space that Ryo had just occupied, his eyes still closed as he clung desperately to sleep.
"I can't," Ryo replied, pulling a robe on over his pyjama bottoms, "I need to make sure Bicky's got his stuff together since he's staying with Cal and her aunt tonight."
"Oh yeah, surveillance duty," Dee muttered into the pillow as he recalled exactly why Bicky was going to stay somewhere else that evening.
"Exactly, so maybe you should get up too," Ryo replied and before Dee could argue for him to come back to bed and enjoy a repeat of last night the blond man had left the room.
"Spoilsport," Dee called after him, reluctant to get up and start what would undoubtedly be a very long day.