Look at Me

Chapter four

Pairing: Dee/Ryo

Rating: Mature

Notes: Kissing between two men.

Spoilers: To Volume 6

Timing: Set in November a couple of months or so after the aborted "test drive"

Summary: Dee guesses Ryo's secrets in exchange for kisses

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They are the property of Sanami Matoh. I am not making any money from this. I do it for love alone.

This is the final chapter. Thank you to all the people who have been waiting patiently for me to finally update it. Hope you like it.

Thank you Blue Simplicity for beta-ing my work for me!

Look At Me

Chapter 4

Ryo sat on the sofa flipping channels aimlessly and waiting for Dee to come back. It took a long time. There was probably more than one cigarette being smoked out there on the fire escape at the end of the hall. He felt bad about what had happened, but didn't know how to make it right. He realized his behaviour must be frustrating for Dee. Even he had to admit that he was sending his younger partner mixed messages. He just...he just didn't know how to stop doing that. After all, it wasn't like he was doing it on purpose.

When Dee re-entered the apartment, he hung up the coat he had thrown on over his bare chest and kicked off his shoes. A glance at the sofa told him that Ryo had fallen asleep in front of the TV, the remote held loosely in one hand. Dee padded noiselessly into the bedroom to retrieve his original clothes.

Ryo started awake just as Dee was putting on his coat for the second time.

"Dee, don't go," he called out softly.

"I think it's best if I do."

"No it's not. It's better if you stay."

"Look, Ryo, you don't have to go feeling all guilty. It's not your fault."

Ryo rose from the sofa and approached him.

"It is," he said. "It's at least half my fault."

Dee paused and looked at him.

"How's that?" he asked.

"Well you do your seduction thing, and I respond. That encourages you and you do it some more. Then I freak out and throw cold water all over you."

"I'm a big boy; I can handle it."

Yeah, but for how long? thought Ryo. Aloud, he said, "Hey, I'm a guy too. That's happened to me before. I know what it feels like and it isn't fun."

Dee was silent.

Ryo reached out and tentatively touched his arm. "I'm sorry," he said simply. "I'm...confused. It's a big decision. I don't know what to do."

Dee's eyes softened. "I know baby," he whispered. "And I don't want you confused. I want you sure. And whatever you decide, I'm still here, you got that? 'Cause you ain't never getting rid of me."

Ryo stepped a little closer and said, "So you forgive me then?"

Dee sensed that he wanted a hug. "Only if you forgive me," he said and opened his arms. Ryo stepped into their comforting circle.

It wasn't a brief, macho guy-hug. It was more like an embrace between lovers. Ryo rested his head on Dee's shoulder, and Dee rested his face against Ryo's hair. He could feel Ryo's arms around his back. Time stood still for the time it took for all the tension to drain out of their bodies.

Presently Ryo stirred and stepped back a pace.

"So you'll stay then?"

"Well..." Dee pretended to be hesitant. "Can I cuddle you?"

"Umm...okay, but I don't want to wake up in the middle of a porn scene, do you hear me?"

Dee looked offended, as though he'd never even so much as thought about putting the moves on his partner before.

"I said I wanted you willing, didn't I? Don't worry. I'll behave. Cuddling's good."

"Let's hit the sack then," Ryo suggested. "You have to get up in only four hours."

As Ryo's bedroom door closed behind them Bikky's opened and the kid staggered sleepily toward the bathroom. As he went past Ryo's room, he heard Dee's voice saying,

"Hey, does the cuddling come with a good night kiss?"

Ryo's voice replied, "Not this time. Now go to sleep."

Good on ya, Ryo, Bikky thought to himself. Keep up the good fight.Damned pervert should keep his lips to himself.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

The alarm went off at seven fifteen. Ryo's first thought was that Dee was going to be late and he rolled over to shake his partner awake. Dee's side of the bed was empty. Well, not completely empty. There was a folded piece of paper there that said "RYO" on it in block letters. Curious, and perhaps with a little apprehension, Ryo picked it up. Just then he realized the alarm was still beeping and that it wasn't even in his room.

Bikky's voice was heard cursing in the room next door. Ryo quickly stuffed the unopened note under his pillow and got up to see what was happening.

Resentfully, Bikky thrust the alarm clock into Ryo's hands.

"Tryin' to tell me something?" he snarled.

Ryo looked perplexedly from Bikky to the alarm clock and back again. It dawned on both of them at the same time what Dee had done. Ryo's reaction was to throw back his head and laugh, much to the indignation of Bikky, who just cursed harder.

"Are you on the dorkhead's side, or what?" he demanded.

"Well, B, he does have a point. You're gonna be a teenager in the next few months. Maybe it's time you started getting yourself up for school."

"What the hell?"

"When I was only a little bit older than you, I had to get myself up in the mornings and do a lot of things for myself. My parents were away on business a lot. I learned to be self-sufficient."

"Jesus, here we go again," muttered Bikky, rolling his eyes. "Tell me later, Ryo. I'm gonna take a friggin' shower. Gotta get ready for friggin' school."

When he heard the water running, Ryo hurried back into his bedroom to read the note.

Dear Ryo,

I wrote this down because when I try to talk it often comes out all wrong and ends up not being what I wanted to say. So I'm writing this while freezing my ass off on the fire escape. When I described the Boy Scout in you, I left a couple of things out. Here they are with details. This is how I see you.

Yeah, you're a team player, but underneath you're competing with all of us. But you'll never leave me in the dust because I plan to be your partner for as long as possible, and wherever you transfer, I'll follow.

Clean cut, punctual, and dutiful, that's true. Can't argue there. Respectful...only up to a point and only because you think it's good career politics. Deep down you don't have as much respect as you pretend, either for the people or even the law itself.

Obedient: now there's an interesting one. I'd like to find out someday.

Honest? Mostly yeah. But not with me and more importantly, not with yourself.

The biggest secret: when I said you're going for a 'butter wouldn't melt' image? Well you're not fooling me, Ryo McLean. Don't ever eat any butter in public because it will instantly turn molten from the heat of your mouth and will spill down your chin and run down your chest and then someone will have to lick it off you.

I got a few more to add and then I'm done. Kind, helpful, handsome, absolutely one hundred per cent beautiful inside and out. Passionate, devoted, funny, smart, brave, loyal. I'm so proud to be your partner. And your friend. Whether or not we ever become more than friends, I just want to be near you, be a part of your life. I know you don't want to believe me, but I'm in love with you, body and soul.

I hope that someday you will look at me and see that it's true.

The note was unsigned, but Ryo would know Dee's scrawl anywhere. It was a love letter, he realized. A bit abrasive, like Dee himself, but a declaration of feelings nonetheless. He read it through again and then folded it up and tucked it thoughtfully inside his diary in the nightstand drawer. This would bear thinking about.

When Bikky stalked out of the bathroom, leaving a trail of wet footprints behind him, Ryo was waiting.

"There's oatmeal on the stove," he said, "and sandwiches in your book bag."

Bikky called out a thank-you just before slamming the door to his room.

Ryo took his turn in the shower, moving and thinking in slow motion. He had several errands to run before his shift later at 3:00 p.m., and he wanted to get out the door and get on with them. But he found his thoughts kept turning toward work.

I hope Dee managed to get us an appointment with the Newton assault case witness, he thought. And I wonder if he remembered to get those photos back down to evidence. I don't think he ate any breakfast. I bet he's not making any progress on those files. He couldn't help fretting about the details of the various cases they were working on.

By the time he finished his shower, though, he had come to a decision. He was going to head into work a little early. Maybe if he got there by one p.m., Dee wouldn't have eaten lunch yet. Cheered, he returned to the bedroom to dress.

"Bye, Ryo! " The door banged behind Bikky and Ryo heard his feet thundering down the stairs outside his apartment door. He shook his head slightly. That boy was always rushing, always late for something. The only thing he was never late for was basketball.

Ryo checked his appearance one more time in the mirror over the dresser. Not bad at all. His eyes fell on the nightstand beside his bed. He opened the drawer, withdrew the letter from Dee and tucked it into his wallet.

Chuckling to himself a little, he left his apartment and walked toward the subway stop.

He thinks I'm funny? He thought to himself. I guess he doesn't know me as well as all that.

But he was smiling to himself all through the train ride downtown.

end