Disclaimer: I do not own Fake that is created by Sanami Matoh
Author's note: I thought I could try a different scenario this time. There is romance but more based on the mental conflict theme and some angst. I hope it should give an introspective look on this, this takes place during the manga, call it in between acts if you will, try imagine around volumes 3 to 5...enjoy. I'm afraid that I have to erase the song from this fic, but I made up a snippet at the end, I just hope it can tie into this plot and I edited the ending too.
Warnings: You know the drill, although it may be a clichéd plot but what the heck! Don't blame me on the yaoi theme.
"LOOK, DEE! I JUST DON'T WANT YOU TO BE NEAR ME! NOT NOW! NOT EVER!"
The resounding noise of skin being slapped echoed in the office. Dee, shocked at the impact at his cheek being slapped by the man he loved from the start, froze at the loud words that erupted from his soft-spoken partner. He tried to peck him to try to seduce him just like he always did but apparently Ryo has had enough. His dark eyes were flashing, his skin flushed from the effort of his screaming and he was angry to boot. The hurtful words cut him deep inside his tough heart, it made him feel broken and angry at the same time. He straightened himself up, his hand reaching up to the stinging spot on his cheek. When he looked up at Ryo, the other man had cooled down and had a horrific expression, cupping his hand to his mouth, fear in his eyes, finally realizing the extent of emotional damage from the little event.
"Oh my God...oh my God..." Ryo whispered over and over, reaching out for him, "Dee, I-"
But Dee's heart was crushed at the seemed cruel act. Instead of waiting for Ryo to speak another word, he turned away and strode out of the office, slamming the door, making the panels rumble. The other officers in the office were stunned. JJ immediately pointed a finger accusingly at the still stunned fellow peer, anger blazing in his eyes.
"You've done it this time, Ryo!" JJ shouted, "I'll never forgive you for what you've done to Dee-sempai! You are nothing but a lame asshole and a coward!"
Ryo could only panic in his mind and for the first time...he had really gone too far and that JJ was right.
Dee didn't bother to return to work when he left the precinct in a huff. He wanted to do something drastic to release the anguish and anger of the attack inflicted upon him. He retreated to a discreet part of Central Park where he was surrounded by trees. With a roar that nearly frightened a jogger that passed by leisurely, he punched one of the tough trees, his fingers digging deep into the splintered bark.
"I thought we had a chance, Ryo!" he shouted to no one in particular.
He slid to the grassy ground, his hands scratching in the bark. He didn't register the pain in his brain, he only felt the hurt when Ryo shouted those words at him. Reality seemed to hit him like stone thrown at a defenseless pigeon. He leaned his head against the tree trunk, his messy bangs covering his eyes.
"Tch...I almost thought that I can convince you that I love you and hope that you can reciprocate them. I thought I could make you happy. I thought that you would turn around and accept who you really are, by now...but I guess..."
A bitter smile crossed his lips.
"Almost doesn't count."
Ryo felt a familiar nagging emotion tugging his heartstrings. It's been this way ever since Dee bolted away from the office, an emotion called guilt. JJ was glaring daggers at him. Drake and Ted were looking uncomfortable around him. And the office was quiet and boring.
He shivered when he exited when he found that Dee wasn't at his usual perch to greet him to accompany back to his apartment. He sighed, knowing that Dee was hard to cool down and that...
'Oh God...what have I done...'
He didn't mean to act in this manner and lash out at Dee to vent his anger. Bikky had been falling behind his homework and his grades were failing. He wasn't pleased about it and he used Dee as a punching bag. Dee's usual seduction techniques had triggered the worst of his temper. The result ended in catastrophe, he remembered. He saw the hurt and anger in the bright green eyes and the red spot on his cheek where he had slapped him. And he felt a sting in his heart when JJ shouted at him, he was right. Why was he feeling hurt? Wasn't this what he wanted? To have Dee not to pester him? But the darkness in Dee's eyes proved his assumptions wrong.
The other man always brought the best out of him whether he would be nice the first minute and then annoying and horny in the next. Dee was the zest of the life in their line of work but no, he, he himself was indeed a coward. Too scared to throw away the conventional values of the society he grew up in and reach out for him. He didn't want to be caught with the forbidden fruit that was Dee.
"I'm so sorry..."
Ryo's remorse whisper was drowned by the hustle and bustle of New York City.
Dee was unusually civil when he arrived in the precinct on the next day and through the rest of the week that followed. He ignored JJ's glomping instead of thumping him for his constant melodramatic love confessions, he cooperated with the other fellow officers and he never once made a move on Ryo. Instead of flashing his usual grin at him, Dee's face became hard and stoic almost identical to Commissioner Berkeley, he would answer to Ryo when he needed to and worked hard on his paperwork, the thing he hated most. Dee's cold behavior made Ryo more than uncomfortable, it also intensified the guilt in his heart, making him want to cry. Just for once, he wished the day would end.
There was a phone message left on his answering machine when Ryo got home miserable and late. Recognizing Dee's phone number, he immediately pressed the button and listened to what his partner had to say.
"Randy," Dee's voice was monotonous, a quality that scared and hurt Ryo. Dee used his first name instead, a first sign of detachment, "I had time to think this whole thing over and I think for once you're right. I can see that I can no longer pursue what I can't reach out and hold securely. I don't know what feelings you have for me but I know that I can't wait and love any longer. You have too many conflicts within your thick head of yours. You can't expect me to be all buddy-buddy after this, Randy. You can't just expect me to chase you again after what you did to me."
Ryo swallowed the lump in his throat, he had hurt his partner more than he had known. It seemed to pass an eternity listening to Dee's message but apparently he was not finished.
"On the other hand, I'm sorry that I'm a bother and a parasite to you. It would be better if I were to widen my horizons and find someone else who would appreciate me and not doubt me. You are a good person, Randy but you are too insecure in your own sexuality and other people's views to accept me as a part of your life. You are everything that I hope I could achieve but...as much as I really hate to say it...but every hurtful remark and avoidance in the past made me lose faith in you each day passing. I would persevere but I can't keep on going forever. You made me question about my worth..."
"I may be dumb, I may be an asshole and bi but I have feelings too. For now, I will act civilly to you so you don't have to worry about my advances, but I am going to lose my love and faith a little bit in you each coming day. You will lose me by the time we are through with this partnership in the precinct. And then, I won't bother you ever again if it makes you happy. Until you have sorted out your feelings...or your head at least, I am waiting. But I WILL NOT be waiting forever. I need an answer, an indication to show where we stand. See you Monday."
Ryo was near tears as the messaged ended with a beep. He was stunned to the core. Everything Dee had said was true. He felt insecure whenever Dee made his moves to seduce him openly yet that were times when he really wanted to be in his arms. Every thoughtful action and gesture Dee made always touched him. Dee's past was unfathomable to digest, growing up as an orphan since he was abandoned as a baby. But that act that he did to Dee, he had thrown everything back at him without a single thought. He shivered as he recalled his partner's last words, they attacked his conscience in a jumble.
'...lose love and faith...will not be waiting...forever...need answer...indication...see you...'
Ryo felt even more terrible. He bit his lip as he felt a moisture building up in his eyes.
"I'm sorry, Dee! I really am!"
The tears fell unbidden down his face as he buried his head in his hands.
"You really are going through this, my child?"
Dee fiddled with his teacup that was half-filled with coffee as he gazed at Mother whose face was filled with concern and amazement. The young man sighed, his eyes dull.
"Mother, I can't fight it anymore...I dunno, I...I just..." Dee hissed under his breath, leaning his forehead against his arm that was recently propped up on his elbow, "I have faith in him but...I just...you know...I love him so much...but...it would be better off if I hadn't made the first move..."
Mother felt her heart ache with empathy as Dee struggled what he wanted to say, she had pretty much caught the main message behind his stuttering. Dee hadn't been good with expressing his emotionally-connected thoughts eloquently.
"Nobody said that the traveling on the path of love is easy, Dee."
"I know that. I only wanted him to want me...just...like me, at least."
"Dee, I'm sure that Ryo's having as much trouble as you are. Have faith that he'll get sorted out mentally," she reached out and touched his hand tenderly. Her eyes bore sadness when she saw his eyes shiny with tears, "He'll come around, Dee."
"I don't know how long I can keep this up..." Dee confessed before gripping onto the other hand, "I'm asking too much."
"But you've been acting maturely way beyond your years. You're strong, Dee, you're my pride and joy," she said, moving her hand from his arm to touch his cheek tenderly.
"It hurts..." Dee whispered, looking like a lost little boy he once was.
"I know, Dee," she nodded, "It's not good to hold back your tears when your body aches to release them."
She opened up her arms and the nun felt Dee kneeling before her, placing his head on her lap. She gently combed his hair as his shoulders shook. She felt dampness on her black uniform, but she didn't care less. She hadn't seen Dee so troubled in a long time. She remained silent, listened to his sobs and offered solace as the night wore on. She sighed sadly down at the tremblingcop before she looked out of the window, mentally whispering a pleading prayer.
'Ryo, my child, come back as soon as you can,' Dee chose the time to let out another loud sob, 'Dee needs you more than ever...'
Ryo felt restless as he glared at the clock that was stuck starkly on the wall, counting down the minutes till the end of their shifts. He hadn't had any decent sleep since he heard Dee's phone message but he had enough time to sort out what he had to do...for now. His irritated glance was replaced by nervousness and remorse. Dee had his back to him, oblivious to the time passed. After what it seemed for an eternity, he sighed with relief as he watched the other officers starting to grab their coats, heading to the exit while chatting with their mates. Dee and Ryo were the last ones in the precinct but Dee didn't budge from his area and continued with his paperwork. Worry and tension was knawing his insides like a vice but he had to apologize to his partner, the man he had grown to care for.
Ryo placed a gentle hand on the other man's shoulder. He felt it stiffen before it relaxed. Dee didn't face him but Ryo felt the tension.
"I...I want to talk with you."
For a moment, the two men were silent before Dee dropped the pen he was holding and turned to face him. Dee's face was expressionless, devoid of the zest and mischief Ryo had been accustomed to. Ryo noted there were red rings around his eyes and his green eyes were bloodshot. Ryo's heart...broke, it was as if he had killed his spirit.
"Randy..." Dee said, standing up and made his way sit on his desk, "What is it?"
Ryo took a deep breath and spoke of what he thought over to say to his partner, "I listened to the message you left me, everything you said in it is true. I won't expect that you would find it in your heart to forgive me and my atrocious act. It's just that I was angry at Bikky with his school grades that night. It was cruel of me to use you as an outlet to release my temper, your moves only triggered the worst in me and I hated myself for hurting you whether it was unintentional or not."
Ryo risked to look at his partner. Dee's expression had softened somewhat but there were still hurt and betrayal shining in his eyes.
"That doesn't give you an excuse as to why you started to treat me like garbage, Randy."
"I hurt you badly, Dee, I know I did and I know that countless apologies can't erase the hurt I inflicted upon you. I missed you, Dee...I just don't want you to be angry at me anymore."
Ryo's heart was beating madly but he persevered to keep talking.
"I'm scared, Dee. Your detachment made me see how much you mean to me. I don't know whether I really love you but I do know that..."
The shorter man took another breath, keeping back his emotions that were threatening to take over his heart.
"I want you to be with me all the time," he softly confessed, "Within a week, my world was empty without you to cheer me up or to make me annoyed."
Ryo closed his eyes as he felt tears clinging to his eye-lashes. He had said everything he thought out. He admitted that Dee was the essence of his boisterous lifestyle as a detective, he wanted the other man around.
"Dee, please say something!" Ryo cried out when the silence wore on, "I said everything to you! Tell me whether we can still be friends or something! Don't leave me suspended like this!"
The taller man merely stacked the rest of the paperwork, reached for his jacket and turned to Ryo. Ryo saw a vibrant glow in his green eyes and he looked relaxed instead of stoic although he still hadn't returned to his old self.
"I wanna think this over first."
But just as he was about to leave, a flame of hope sparked in Ryo's heart when he heard Dee utter the last word in his sentence...
"Can you come to the Penguin's chapel after work tomorrow? I don't want you to come looking for me in the morning. I'll tell you my answer then, Ryo..."
And as the door creaked close, Ryo was left standing alone in the darkened office but there was a serene little smile on his tired face.
'He said my name...'
Ryo just couldn't wait for his shift to end. The older man had noticed that Dee hadn't entered the precinct since that morning and according to Drake, Dee had requested a day off.
As soon as the shift ended, Ryo had grabbed his light jacket and raced to his car. He drove and parked along the first pavement he thought was the closest to the chapel and ran up to the entrance of the building.
He spotted a dark head sitting at the frontmost bench, near the altar where a large cross with a crucified Jesus stood proudly carved in white marble. Ryo's heart elated as he ran to where the head was. He found Dee in deep contemplation, his chin resting on his hands, his knees supporting his bony elbows.
"Dee..." Ryo panted as he came up to the younger man and knelt in front of him. Dee snapped from his reverie, his green eyes widening with a small twinkle when he saw the other man in front of him, "Please...what I spoke yesterday, all of it is true. Don't keep me in suspense. I want your answer. Say anything but don't say goodbye."
"You idiot..." Dee's voice was soft, "Would you really think I would give up chasing you by just one stupid little slap?"
Ryo's dread ebbed away at the underlying humour underneath his voice. Dee's eyes were shining once again as he reached to link Ryo's hands with his. There was something else shining in his eyes; there was patience and understanding."I thought over what you've said. I would've followed my guts and forget about you. I would've almost walked away from this and remember how I got hurt badly. But I didn't. My heart told me to stay. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me since you arrived in the precinct. I'm glad that you told me the truth on how you feel about me," Ryo felt his eyes water and he couldn't help a smile to tug on his lips as he heard the final words, "I forgive you, Ryo. I'm sorry too about the way I acted in the last week. I want to give you another chance."
With a cry of happiness, Ryo flung his arms around his partner, laughing and crying at the same time. Dee held him tightly as Ryo shook in his arms, crying and babbling his apologies. They echoed through the church, but they didn't care if they were heard.
"I'm really sorry, Dee!" Ryo sobbed, "I don't want to lose you! I don't want to hurt you again!"
"Just remember to tell me how you really feel about me when you need to. Your head may be sorted but your heart isn't. Remember this," Dee kissed him softly on his forehead, "I'm gonna chase you to the ends of the earth until your heart is ready to come out. I'm gonna be stuck here in your life whether you like it or not."
Ryo's tears were instantly forgotten as he traced a hint of mischief in the other man's voice and chuckled weakly. Inside, he breathed a sigh of relief that he didn't lose the man who became a big part of his life, the man he could grow to love...given time...
He buried his head on Dee's chest, relishing the warmth he missed so much. All it mattered was that Dee was cradling him, rocking him back and forth. He sighed deeply, replaying the past events with a fearful shudder down his spine, never wanting it to ever happen again.
'I almost lost you...all because of my temper...almost...'
We all hurt the ones we love
Tis our nature
No matter how cruel it seems
Staying away is hard
But saying sorry is the hardest thing to do
We can never forget
The looks of sorrow
When one wrong is not corrected
Saying sorry soothes the heartache
Let remorse wash over
And remember your lesson in life
Author's note: Whew! Hope the ending wasn't too abrupt. I hope that you guys really like this fic. Please read and review.