A Different Side

Sinnamon Girl

Disclaimer: Fake and all of its loveable characters belong to Sanami Matoh.

Summary: Dee makes his way to Ryo's apartment one night… and makes some interesting discoveries.

He paced the roof of his building, casting his shadow over the alleyways. The moon was high in the sky and getting into his skin, boiling his blood. He hungered for touch. Every time the breeze raked his hair, he shivered, knowing that it could be his long fingers. All he had to do was beg.

Of course, if he begged, it might mean a black eye in the morning… but it could mean a kiss. He made his way down the fire escape under moonlight, drawn through the city as though tides surged and ebbed in his blood.

Hours later, having walked himself out, he climbed a different (but identical) fire escape that led to Ryo's apartment. He paused on the balcony, peering in through the window. As high up in the building as he was, Ryo used blinds, not curtains, and they were raised to let the summer air in. Dee settled himself against the cool metal of the balcony and watched the man he loved inhale and exhale. Lost in wistful observation, he was totally shocked when a fireball of blue eyes and platinum hair hurled into him.

"Bikky!"

The kid smirked up at him, familiar red cap turned backward. "What are you up to, perv?"

Knowing himself caught, Dee didn't even bother to dissemble. "I came to watch him, awright? What are you doing up - robbing him blind?"

Bikky stuck his tongue out at him. "Protecting him from dirty pervs… and using the computer."

Dee raised an eyebrow.

"Ryo looks over my shoulder the whole time I'm talking to my friends," he said, trying to justify his behavior.

Having grown up in a "hood" himself. Dee knew what kind of pressure Bikky's friends would be putting on him, and he decided to address the issue right now. "They're probably telling you ya got a good thing here, aren't they? A lot of opps, huh?"

"Yeah," Bikky admitted quietly. Many of his friends had suggested stealing from Ryo; he was oblivious in a lot of ways and likely wouldn't notice if they used his apartment as a base of operations of sorts.

"Don't do it, Bikky," Dee said. "Don't let them make you feel guilty for a lucky break."

Usually, Bikky would have argued with him just for the sake of being contrary, but Dee wasn't sending him to bed, so Bikky decided to maintain the unusual state of peace between them. They sat together on the balcony, looking out at their city under the stars. Dee lit a cigarette and unthinkingly extended one to Bikky, who pushed it away.

"I don't do that, Dee."

"Good for you," said the dark haired cop with unfeigned admiration, sheltering the smoke with one hand so that he could light it.

"You should quit," Bikky told him. "Ryo worries about it."

Dee smiled; his partner worried about everything. "I should. I'm going to try to stop chasing him," he found himself admitting. "That should make you happy."

"But then you won't be the perv!" the young boy protested.

"Take all the fun out of your life, huh?" Dee asked, elbowing him playfully.

Bikky looked down. "Kinda."

Dee heard the subtext: Are you going away for good? Despite their frequent confrontations, the two had a lot in common, and their similarities formed an unspoken bond between them. "I'll still be his friend, his partner - I'll still be taking up space here. I'll come over, call you names, keep you on the straight and narrow."

"You won't tell Ryo about the computer thing?"

"Nah. He's a little too strict sometimes. Maybe we can drum up a computer for your room. Think you can stay out of Juvenile court until your birthday?"

"For my own cp? You bet!" He held his fist out and Dee made one of his own. They cracked them together as if saying "Cheers!" and the agreement was made.

Dee blew a smoke ring toward the moon and the light shining it through changed the grey of the smoke into a twilight-blue. "So, other than the computer thing - you doing okay with Ryo?"

"Yeah, sure. I mean, he nags me a lot, but he makes sure I have stuff I need. He even gave me money to take Carol to the movies last weekend - we had enough for snacks and everything - and afterwards we went halfsies on a CD."

Dee smiled. Considering the price of movie tickets and snacks, Ryo had handed over a substantial amount of cash; for all that the blond detective wanted Bikky to do well, he wasn't all work and no play. Dee was glad of that. He had been worried that, mature as he was, Ryo would try to treat Bikky more like an adult than a kid, and Bikky had already been in many more adult situations than he needed to be.

Half-way through his rambling about a band Dee had never heard of, Bikky stopped and looked up at him, measuring the man who'd been as much a part of his life as Ryo ever since the day his father died. "So you're gonna give up on him, huh?" he asked, trying to imagine a world in which Dee wasn't trying to get into Ryo's pants. It was like trying to picture the desert: he could sort of see it… but not enough to make it real in his mind. He scooted over closer to get a better look at Dee, as if he were sick. "Hasn't it been like two years you've been after him? What made you change your mind?"

There was some challenge in Bikky's words, an underlying notion of "man, you give up easier than I thought," but Dee just gave a sad smile. The expression ached. Two years, he thought, two years of sleepless nights and sleeping alone and a few stole kisses and being pushed away and never knowing what you wanted. But I always knew one thing… "He's too good for me, Biks."

Bikky looked up at him with wide eyes, shock touching their aquamarine depths. "Huh?"

"Even you can't argue this one, kid. Ryo's too good for me. He's uptown, raised right, inherited money. He knows about art and music and languages… I don't even know my right last name."

Bikky felt an angel fluttering its wings under one of his ears, while a devil's heated feet pranced on the opposite shoulder. He knew that if he fed into Dee's logic, he could probably keep him out of Ryo's bed for good - before he'd even gotten there. On the other hand, Ryo seemed to like Dee. There were definitely times when he'd caught them at… something… and Ryo hadn't been fighting or pushing Dee away. He sighed and steeled himself to give up his secret, deciding that Dee was supposed to be the perv. To force him out of his role would just be cruel.

"Ryo's not perfect, Dee," he surprised himself by saying. "I mean, sure, his parents taught him all that stuff, and he did real good in school." He'd seen his awards from the Academy himself. "But he's got flaws too. He's breaking the law right now."

"What?" Dee cried, curious to see what silly little offense Bikky would list.

The kid leaned close to him, conspiratorial. "He's got a gun collection hidden under the bar. It's locked up, but I saw it once when I came home early."

"So what?" asked Dee. "He's a cop - and a sniper. He's licensed to have guns."

"Not these guns," Bikky said. "They were illegal guns - the kind people collect and put on the wall."

Dee's mind spun. For some reason, the fact that Ryo owned a secret stash of illegal weapons made him giddy. So his blond angel wasn't perfect after all? In fact, didn't the guns mean that said angel had a bit of a wild side? Dee felt like crowing, knowing that Ryo would have had to sneak and hide to amass the collection. His aunt and uncle would never have tolerated it.

"Well isn't this an interesting fellowship?" a mocking voice asked from behind them.

Dee and Bikky stiffened simultaneously, but the kid was quicker on his feet than the cop. "Dee was coming over to make breakfast to surprise you!" Whoa, he thought in passing, am I defending the perv? Must be waaayy tired!

Ryo turned on his foster son. "And what are you doing up?"

Dee had recovered enough from his surprise to jump in. "I woke him up. I tripped on the fire escape, stubbed my toe."

"Cussed like a sailor," Bikky chirped helpfully.

Ryo clearly didn't buy it, but he couldn't see a way around their united front, and the mystery behind their sudden alliance had him curious. What can those two be up to at 3 AM? Do I even want to know? "Hmm, well, bedtime for both of you."

"I'll stay out on the couch," Dee said, surprising his partner.

"Bikks?"

"I left a glass of water in your office. Let me get it, then I'll go to bed." Ryo watched the boy down the hall, then turned to his partner. Dee shrugged and they made their back inside. Dee sat down on the couch gratefully; the view from the fire escape was beautiful, but it wasn't the most comfortable place. Ryo waited until he heard Bikky's door close, then sat beside Dee.

"So what's the real story?"

Dee smiled at him and Ryo felt the rhythm of his heart shudder a little. "Just a little delinquent bonding - adult to juvenile."

"Why are you here, Dee?"

"To surprise you with breakfast," he lied smoothly. "Morning's only a couple of hours off."

"Three - and that's for early risers. I don't remember that label ever applying to you."

"People have more than one side to them, Ryo," Dee said his voice full with some emotion that Ryo couldn't quite place. "Maybe I'm an early riser when I want to cook for someone I care for."

Ryo decided to overlook the "care for" comment. "With no groceries? C'mon Dee."

Dee held his hands up in surrender. "All right, all right. But don't yell at Bikky, okay? I said I'd cover for him."

Ryo wasn't sure whether he liked the sound of that or not, but he agreed. "Okay."

"I wanted to see you," Dee said quietly into the near-dark living room. "Just see you. I was… watching you… from the fire escape, and Bikky heard me. Quite a watch dog you've got there," he said with a fond smile.

"So what was he doing?" Ryo asked, thinking: here we go again…

"Using the computer. You gotta let the kid have some privacy, Ryo."

Usually, Ryo would have bristled at Dee telling him how to raise his son, but he nodded. "I know. I guess I just get lonely… not used to living alone. And I worry about him."

"Don't worry too much. He's a good kid, for all that he pretends to be otherwise."

Ryo brushed Dee's bangs back from where they were obscuring one eye. "Like you?"

"Nah." Dee shook his head, trying not to thrill at his partner's touch, no matter how small. "I'm bad news. Bad for you especially, baby." Ryo never would have admitted it, but he liked the breathy nature Dee's voice acquired when he called him "baby" or "love." "But I can't keep away," he continued. "I didn't used to walk around the city at 2 in the morning, y'know."

Ryo chuckled at the accusing tone of his voice. "And you're going to blame all of that on me?"

"Yeah, but I don't mind. You're worth it."

Knowing he shouldn't do it, but unable to resist the tenderness in Dee's words, Ryo leaned forward and kissed him once, gently, on the mouth. Surprisingly, Dee accepted the single kiss and did not push for more.

"Thank you."

Not knowing how to respond to Dee thanking him for a kiss he usually would have stolen, Ryo walked across the room to gather up a blanket. Although it was summer, the early hours of morning still carried a chill. Depositing a blanket and a pillow on the end of the couch, he asked, "You're really going to sleep out here?"

"Yeah. And I'll make breakfast, for real, in the morning. I'll just walk down to that market as soon as it opens."

Ryo stood, blinking, surprised at this other side of Dee. "O-okay," he said at last. "You should get some sleep then. Good night, Dee."

He could hear the smile in Dee's voice even in the darkness. "Good night, Ryo." As he watched his partner walk down the hall, Dee thought about calling out a teasing comment about the guns, but stopped. He'd keep the guns his secret. They gave him hope… hope that, just as he loved all the different facets of Ryo's personality (even the newly-revealed ones), Ryo could come to love him the same way. He fell asleep with a smile on his lips, dreaming of being loved by a man with hands that were capable with guns and gentle with children. He wouldn't have had it any other way.