This is it, guys, the end. Don't own anyone but Tony (and seriously, I don't want him).

Ryo wracked his brain. They had to get out of this, and fast, and they had o i it with virtually no verbal communication. Tony was a few feet behind them and coming forward, laughing at them and enjoying his feeling of power.

Dee tapped him to get his attention. He held up a small handgun, pulled from somewhere beneath the couch cushions. Ryo wasn't comfortable thinking he'd sat on that so many times. At least it had a safety. Dee pressed it into his hand, kissed his forehead, and raised his hands before standing slowly. He had faith that Ryo would know what to do. He did.

"You killed him." Dee's voice was low, dead of emotion. He clenched his fists. "You-"

"You didn't love him," Tony said. Ryo couldn't see him, but he didn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to shoot Dee. He had a suspicion that he wouldn't, or at least that he didn't really want to. What Tony felt fro Dee wasn't love, but it was powerful, powerful enough to make him wait for this moment.

Dee fumed silently.

"I got him out of the way for you," Tony laughed. "Now if you don't want me to kill you, and if you want your precious JJ to stay safe, maybe we something out." His voice dripped with slime.

Now or never.

Ryo ignored the sharp pain in his shoulder as he slid around the couch far enough to get a clear shot. Tony's eyes went wide.

"I think I'd have to object to any deals."

Both guns went off at the same time. Dee landed on top of Ryo. He didn't know if it was in time.

Across the room he heard Tony his the ground. and he opened his eyes. Ryo's smiling, tear-filled face greeted him.

"Hey," he said.

"Hey," Ryo replied. he shifted a little and his face paled. "Shit."

Dee got to his knees. His carpet was soaked with blood.

Ryo laughed weakly. "I'm sorry Dee." There was always so much to apologize for at times like this.

"No. Don't be sorry. Just hold on." He leaned to kiss him. "I love you, Ryo."

"Ryo nodded, closing his eyes. "I know. I love..." But he didn't finish.

Dee crouched just outside of the globe of flashing light from the roof of the ambulance. An EMT was headed for him, shaking his head and wiping his hands on his pants.

"It was the second shot," he said. "It glanced off a bone and came out at an angle- we couldn't find it at first. But sheesh, twice in the shoulder. He's not going to be doing any heavy lifting for a while, but otherwise he'll be fine. You can go see him."

Dee stood up, shook the man's hand, and ran over to the open doors.

"Hey," Ryo smiled. He winced when the bandages over his shoulder tightened.

"Hey." Dee climbed in beside him and took his hand, squeezing it.

"Ah, not so hard. I don' need to be called back from the dead, you know." They laughed and he loosened his grip.

Dee hadn't asked about Tony. Ryo was a top marksman, and with the detectives head leaking all over his floor, it looked like he wasn't going to be standing trial for attempted murder. He didn't even care.

"You riding to the hospital, officer?"

"Yeah. Let's-"

"Ryo!" Bikky and Carol ran up to the ambulance, panting.

"What are you two brats doing here?" Dee asked, annoyed.

"We came to keep you company," Bikky said. Or at least they'd come to make sure Ryo didn't need them as company.

"I thought I said you could buy another movie." Ryo said.

Bikky eyed Carol distrustfully. "No thanks. One was enough." he must have finally figured out it was really a romance.

"What happened, Ryo?" Carol asked.

"We gotta go, folks, all aboard."

"Dee'll explain," Ryo said, closing his eyes again. Maybe after all the excitement, he'd be able to sleep now.

The sun streaming through the window woke him up. Dee was leaning over him as he'd been every morning when he woke up since the night he'd been shot. He was watching over him.

"Morning. Sleep well?"

"Yeah," Ryo sighed, not quite awake.

"Any bad dreams?"

"Not a one."

"Good." He kissed his forehead. "Because the next time you're dreaming about me and some other man, you can get him to take care of you." Dee slid a breakfast tray between them. Ryo laughed. He'd been staying at Ryo's place for almost a week, and they both had to admit it was as nice arrangement. Sharing breakfast in bed was not a daily ritual.

"Oh, and to make your morning even better, they cracked your case last night."


"Double homicide? They matched the gun to one Tony had in his apartment. One less jail cell to bother filling." Ryo nodded. He'd been trying not to think about Tony, and being out of work meant he really didn't have to think about JJ, either. He brushed over something in the back of his mind, then returned to it, knowing what damage it could do it he didn't mention this last thing.

"Hey, Dee?"


"Do you remember that night I- when I locked myself in the bathroom?" It sounded completely idiotic when he said it. He had no idea what he'd been thinking.

"Vividly." His partner smiled.

"Who was it calling you?"

Dee laughed. "Okay, you're going to take this wrong. It was JJ. But- Hey listen, don't give me that look. It was totally innocent." Dee reached into this pocket and pulled out a small velvet box, which he set on Ryo's tray.

"I had him pick something up for me since he was going to the other side of town. he wasn't happy, but he did it."

Ryo picked up the box and opened it. Inside were two gold bands that winked in the morning sun.

"Read the insides." Each was inscribed with one of their names.

"You can take either one you want, not pressure or anything. They'll both fit." Remarkably enough, they had the same ring size.

Ryo slid the band with Dee's name on it around his ring finger. Dee smiled and did the same with Ryo's.

"I know you're the person I belong to," he whispered. He kissed the ring on Ryo's finger. "And now you'll never forget that."

Ryo could never forget it. But now he knew that he'd never lose it, either.

Possibly a corny ending, but it did explain that phone call. Did you guys think Dee was cheating with JJ? Come on. So, I guess this is it for us. Thanks for sticking around, reading, and reviewing. You've been great!