Notes: Kissing between two men.
Spoilers: To Volume 7
Timing: In my vision of Fake, Dee and Ryo become a couple in May. That's when the wonderful RPG Fake 2nd Chances had their relationship begin, so I went along with that start time, even though it looks like dead winter in the manga. (But Bikky and Carol had gone off to 'summer' camp! Go figure.) Negotiations takes place in July of that same year, so Dee and Ryo have been together for a couple of months at this point.
Summary: Rose extracts concessions from Ryo in exchange for canceling Dee's suspension from duty.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They are the property of Sanami Matoh. I am not making any money from this.
This is the first chapter of three. I'll post the rest in the next few days. Go to my Livejournal page if you want to read chapter two sooner, because I'll be posting there tomorrow night. I can't give you the address of that page because FFdotnet doesn't permit links. Try brit-columbia on a search at Livejournal, or email me and I'll send you the address.
A big kiss for my beta, Blue Simplicity, who never fails to forgive me for trying to drown her in commas!
It was a hot summer's day in the city of New York. Yet Detective Ryo McLean was shivering. The battered old air-con unit that was installed in their office had exactly two settings: freezing cold and totally useless. Ryo sipped hot coffee and tried not to let his teeth chatter on the rim of the mug.
It started innocently enough. His partner, Dee Laytner, offered to warm him up. One thing led to another and now the two men were heavily engaged in a compromising act.
All Ryo could think about was the taste and feel of Dee's tongue moving inside his mouth. Dee had backed him up against his desk and had a firm grip on the front of his tie. Although Ryo knew that someone could come into their office at any moment and that he really should push Dee away, the heat that was coming from Dee's whole body seemed to paralyze his sense of reason.
He pulled his mouth back from his partner's long enough to utter a half-hearted protest, but this only caused Dee to press even closer and grind his crotch against Ryo's. Ryo was finally warm. More than warm, in fact.
At that moment, they heard the sound of someone politely clearing his throat. Ryo turned his head quickly and saw to his profound dismay that it was Commissioner Rose standing at the door, a file in his hand. There was no saying how long the man had been waiting there. Dee immediately let go of Ryo's tie and moved back from him. Rose fixed the guilty pair with a cold and predatory look.
"Gentlemen, may I ask if this is the reason why we are behind in our investigation of the Hartford shooting? And is this what comes of my generosity in allowing you two to have a private office?"
Dee swore under his breath and Ryo stammered, "N-no sir, not at all. And we have a strong lead on the shooting. We're due to interview a witness this afternoon."
Rose gave them another hard look and said softly, "I should suspend you both."
"Then just do it, you son of a bitch." Even when caught red-handed, Dee couldn't help being belligerent. The commissioner always seemed to set his teeth on edge.
"And yet..." Rose looked thoughtful. "I want this murder solved and I don't want the whole department to fall behind because of the necessity of suspending TWO of its detectives."
Ryo and Dee exchanged glances, each having a fair idea of where Rose was going with this.
"No," continued the Commissioner. "I don't believe it's necessary for me to suspend both of you. One will do." His eyes moved back and forth between them speculatively. It was evident that he was taking a certain amount of pleasure in exercising his authority like this. It was also not hard to guess which detective was about to get sent home.
"Laytner, since you were clearly the aggressor in the little scene I just witnessed, and since your contribution to the success of the CI Division is negligible at best, I am hereby suspending you for a week without pay, effective immediately. I don't want to see you back here again until the 14th."
"Sir!" Ryo protested. "Dee's contribution is far from negligible. Do you think I solved all these cases by myself?" He gestured angrily to a pair of bursting filing cabinets next to Dee's desk.
Dee held up a hand. "Save it, Ryo. He made up his mind about me a long time ago."
However, Ryo wasn't finished. "We have a difficult witness to interview this afternoon, and I'm half expecting trouble. I need Dee to back me up. Ted's on vacation, Marty's out sick today, and JJ and Drake are in court."
"Well, you're in luck there Ryo, because my schedule just happens to be free this afternoon. We'll do this one together."
Dee exploded. "You lousy shit-eating weasel! You just want me out of the way so you can pursue your own private agenda with Ryo."
"TWO weeks, Detective Laytner," Rose murmured calmly.
"Sir, won't you reconsider? We've got a lot of balls up in the air right now. If I have to handle everything by myself for two weeks, I'm sure I'll drop some of them." Ryo struggled to bury his anger and to inject a placating note into his voice. It seemed to work, because the Commissioner's eyes, when they swung to him, were softer.
"Ryo, I have faith that you'll handle everything just fine. And you know you can always come to me if you need help."
"It's not that simple," Ryo said. "Over half the contacts we need to communicate with on our current set of cases are Dee's. They're not going to talk to me without him there. You know how these things work. Sir, please reconsider, just this once. I give you my word that this...that what you saw will never happen again."
Although he didn't show it openly, Rose was enjoying himself immensely. Now THIS was a side of Ryo he so rarely got to see. The beautiful dark-eyed detective, normally so reserved and reticent, was trying to please him and was actually imploring him not to use his power to punish Detective Laytner. Rose wondered how far Ryo would be willing to go to protect his partner.
"'Never' again, Ryo? Not anywhere? Nor with anyone else?" Rose closed the door and faced the two men with his arms folded across his chest.
Ryo flushed and took a breath as though to say something. But then his mouth closed again and he fell silent.
"You're out of line, Rose," Dee said.
"That's 'Commissioner', Laytner, " Rose shot back, with only the briefest of glances in Dee's direction. His full attention was on Detective McLean. The man stood there facing him nervously with an adorable blush on his handsome face and his tie hanging askew. The commissioner recognized that if this conversation were to continue, the next move would have to come from him.
"Ryo," he said gently. "It's not that I don't understand how these things can sometimes just 'happen'. We're all human, after all, aren't we?"
"But I expect professionalism at all times from the men and women of the NYPD, and especially from those of the 27th precinct, for whom I have always had a special feeling. Do you understand me?"
"And of course, I cannot hold myself completely blameless in this regard, either," said Rose. "You will perhaps remember that there was also a time when I myself was guilty of attempting to kiss a colleague."
Dee's head was nodding grimly. He had been going to mention that himself, but the commissioner had beaten him to it.
"However, although I try my best to be tolerant and understanding, certain people persist in refusing to recognize that I should be accorded the respect that my position deserves and they feel inexplicably justified in breaking the rules and insulting me to my face."
Dee and Ryo were both silent. Neither was in any doubt of whom he meant, and there wasn't really anything that either of them could say. They waited warily.
Satisfied that he had their full attention, Rose dared to go one step further.
"And certain other people who, while always respectful and courteous to my face, resolutely persist in rebuffing all of my overtures of friendship as well as my offers of professional assistance, leading me to conclude that in their hearts they hold me in the same contempt as do their counterparts."
"S-sir?" Ryo was staring at him in confusion and disbelief that he was hearing such a thing from the commissioner's own lips. "What are you saying?"
"That I have been disappointed in you, Ryo. While I certainly don't expect you to willingly make time in your busy schedule for me, I have been surprised by the degree to which you seem repelled by my company."
"Sir! That's...That's not true. I don't feel that way at all."
"Oh? Is that perhaps why your face always falls at the sight of me? Why you make any excuse you can to leave my presence as quickly as possible? Why I am the only person in this entire building excluded from the pleasure of ever receiving so much as a smile from you?"
Ryo could only gape at him, but where he had been rendered speechless, Dee was full of angry words that were fighting to get out of him.
"You manipulative bastard! You're not only his superior officer; you're the goddamn COMMISSIONER of the NYPD! What the hell do you expect from him? Thursday nights at the opera? Weekend jaunts to Long Island? Breakfast in bed, more like!"
"Quiet, Laytner. Even if YOU haven't figured it out, Ryo understands that he and I are in negotiations concerning the length and severity of your suspension from duty."
"Fuck that. I'll take the two weeks."
"Dee," Ryo said. "Let him finish." His eyes returned to the commissioner. "What DO you expect from me sir?"
"Yeah, asshole," added Dee, who also folded his arms. "This I've got to hear. Maybe I should take notes."
"THREE weeks, Detective Laytner."
"What? What the hell for?"
"If I hear one more piece of insubordination from you, I'll make it four. Now stop interrupting, or Ryo and I will continue this discussion in my office without you."
Dee's whole body tensed and he clenched his fists. He actually growled. Ryo quickly stepped forward and laid a warning hand on one of his partner's wrists.
Rose observed with amusement how Ryo calmed the savage beast with just a look and a touch. A jewel like Ryo was completely wasted on this man. He would never reach his true potential, would never rise to the heights he was capable of as long as he was chained to dross like this. One of these days I'll rescue you, Ryo McLean, Rose thought to himself.
End of chapter one