A Dark Proposal
Disclaimer: Fake belongs to Sanami Matoh.
Apologies to all Berkley fans... (I like him too!) but for the purposes of this story, I had to write a devious sort of Rose instead of a sweet one. I'll try to redeem him somewhere along the way.
Summary: Berkley has information on Ryo's parents, but the rate of exchange is high. Will Dee get caught between Ryo and his past?
When he found the note that Commissioner Rose had left on his desk, Ryo couldn't help but develop an instant case of the jitters. Ever since the Commissioner had tried to kiss him (twice!) he hadn't felt exactly comfortable around him. Also, anytime he went to Rose's office, he had to endure a grueling interrogation from his partner afterward: Did Rose touch him? Did he try anything? Did he say anything? And the slightest bit of hesitation would send Dee flying into a rage, threatening the Commissioner in less than subdued tones. Then he'd push Ryo to file a sexual harassment suit -- leaving Ryo to point out the obvious: that Dee did at least one thing every day that fell under the sexual harassment label. Then Dee would go into a huff and stay in a black mood all day. Fortunately, his partner was in court at the moment, testifying in some case or another, so Ryo was pretty sure he could avoid the latter half of his Commissioner-associated problems. Of course, Dee wouldn't be around to barge in and rescue him if he was gone too long either... he hoped Rose didn't know that.
He knocked once on the Commissioner's door and heard Rose call him in. He was impeccably dressed, as usual. Ryo suspected that Rose spent as much on clothes as he spent on rent - maybe more. He knew the Commissioner would have justified it by citing his numerous "reassuring-the-public" TV appearances, his frequent visits to public officials and police conferences. Ryo knew it was plain old vanity.
"Have a seat," Rose told him, gesturing to an oversized leather chair that Ryo despised. His feet barely touched the ground in it; it made him feel like a child or a doll, posed for someone's amusement.
"I got your note," Ryo said after a moment. "What is that you needed, Sir?"
Rose gave his trademark smirk, a cold kind of smile that just barely touched his eyes. "Always right to the point with you, isn't it, detective? No small talk."
"Well, I have reports, Sir,"
Rose waved off his excuses. "They can wait." He studied the blond detective, caught, as always, by his fine features, his dark expressive eyes. "You like to keep things hidden, don't you, Ryo?"
He flinched a little at the use of his name. He didn't mind Dee calling him Ryo... but it sort of stung him when anyone else did it without getting permission first. "S-sir?"
"Your emotions, for example," Berkley offered, ticking the item off of his fingers. "Your opinions. Your past." He waved a file at him, and Ryo saw his name typed on a label at the top. "Why did you join the police force, Ryo?"
Setting his chin bravely, he confronted the Commissioner. "You're not to have that file out without cause, sir. May I ask what your 'cause' is?"
My mouse is showing his leonine bite again, Berkley thought with amusement. "I was considering you for a promotion," he offered, knowing that Ryo knew that he was lying. "At least, that's what I'd say. No one could prove different. You are one of my best. Now - why be a policeman, Ryo?"
"That's really none of your business, sir," Ryo said, feeling increasingly uncomfortable. What does he know?
"It could be any of the usual reasons that prompted you, I suppose," said Rose, toying with him. "Serve and protect, good pension. But it wasn't, was it Ryo?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, sir." He felt very much like standing up and walking away, but the damn chair would make his retreat awkward at best and he had to know just what Berkley was getting at.
"You wanted to bring your parents' killers to justice, didn't you?"
Something within Ryo shattered; he felt the splinters working their way through his brain - ice cold slivers drawing blood. A barrier of razor wire and flame erected itself around his heart. He couldn't breathe. "Yes," he whispered.
The Commissioner smiled to himself. I've got him. "I can help you do it, Ryo."
Ryo licked his lips, mouth suddenly gone dry. "How?"
"I have a lead."
"Sir, the case can't be tried. The statute of limitations has run out already."
Berkley shrugged. "Maybe they can't be tried for the death of your parents - but they are still active criminals, involved in gang dealings. And the DA assures me that they'll serve the maximum time. You'll have your justice, Ryo."
"I'd be very grateful for your help, sir."
Berkley gave him a patronizing smile. "I don't give things away for free, Ryo."
Is he really as naive as all that? "I will, however, accept a trade, detective."
"I can't imagine what you'd want from me, sir." He felt sweat beading at his brow.
"Aside from yourself, of course?" Berkley came out from behind his desk to lift Ryo's chin. "You know I want you, Ryo."
Ryo shook his head free, anger burning through him. "I won't sleep with you, sir. I thought that I made that fairly clear when I punched you."
Berkley retreated. "So you did. However, there is your partner..."
Ryo had to laugh; the sound simply burst out of him. "Dee certainly won't sleep with you!"
Berkley scowled at him. "Nor would I let him into my bed. But he would sleep with you."
"I-I don't understand what you're asking." He knew that he should get up and get out of the office, but he couldn't banish the memory of his parents' bodies - bullet-torn - from his mind.
Berkley reached into one of his desk drawers and withdrew a small black box, about the length and width of a credit card. He placed it on the desk in front of Ryo. "Even if you agreed to be with me, it would be a lie. However, I've seen you with your partner. For whatever reason, you care about him. I can imagine any performance that you'd give to him would be sincere."
Ryo felt his jaw setting; he didn't like to hear Rose speak of Dee. "My partner and I are not lovers - not that it's any of your business, sir."
"Hasn't gotten that far, has he?" Rose mused. "Well, that's for you to resolve if you want my help, detective. I doubt he'll turn you down."
Ryo indicated the black box. "And that?"
"A very small, discreet camera. I'll want to see it, Ryo. Laytner's not to my taste, but, for you, I'd put up with even him. Bring me the tape, and I'll make sure your parents' killers wind up behind bars, where they belong."
Seeing black, Ryo left the office and slammed the door.
Berkley sat back, chuckling. He might have gone angry... but he'd taken the camera.
Oh no, what has Ryo gotten himself into? (Who knew the Comish had such perverted tastes!?) And what will happen to Dee?