Title: Running Current

Author: hexicode aka illman

Fandom/pairing (if appropriate): FAKE, friendship/gen

Summary: Ryo would bring this man to justice, the right way, no matter the cost and no matter who would try to stop him.

Rating: all ages

Warnings violence, occasionally graphic; (temporary) character death

Disclaimer: The characters and settings aren't mine. No profit is being made, this is for entertainment only.

oOo

Ryo couldn't stand to watch, not when it was Dee who was...

He refused to think the word consciously, yet at the same time he couldn't look away either, even when the piercing wail of the flat-lining cardiac monitor cut through the barrage of hospital background noise, making denial impossible. Ryo could do nothing more than to stand and watch as Dee was dying.

oOo

Forty-Five Minutes Earlier

Ryo could tell that Dee was nervous, but he certainly hid it better than most. Ryo himself felt a twinge of anxiety, a not-unwelcome reminder of the dangers of his job and the need to remain focussed. Too little fear could get you killed just as quickly as too much, he thought as he put on the bulky protective vest.

"Ready?" Berkeley Rose barked, poking his head into the office. He too was wearing body-armour.

"Are you coming too, sir?" Ryo asked. This type of high-risk operation was normally reserved for the lower ranks, or specialist teams, but certainly not the top brass.

"I won't let you have all the fun by yourselves. I want a piece of this guy," Rose said grimly.

They all shared the sentiment. This was a nasty one, who seemed to stop at nothing. Not at kids, civilians or cops. One of their own had already paid the price. A detective from the 27th precinct, Robert Simmons, who had been only two short months away from retirement, had been gunned down at a crime scene three days ago. This had been their first clue that they weren't dealing with a run-of-the-mill rapist. Not that a rapist on their patch wasn't already bad news, but this had been the first time he'd killed. Since then, there had been a victim every day - all his preferred type, brown-haired women in their early twenties, all of them raped and murdered, their hands tied behind their backs with yellow electrical cord - the killer's signature.

"We're going to get him," Dee said, seemingly to no one in particular. It was another sign that he was nervous.

"We better do," Rose said. "I trust you two double checked everything. I do not want to see a repeat of yesterday's performance. This time, you won't get off with a warning. I do not need another lawsuit from some scared citizen who had half a dozen armed officers storm his bedroom in the middle of the night," Rose stabbed a finger at Dee. Dee only grinned, not even acknowledging the accusation. He didn't need to. They all knew that he and Ryo had messed up the other day. It was just because of Rose's soft spot for Ryo that Dee was getting all the flack for their blunder. It wasn't fair, but for the moment, they had other concerns. They had a rapist-murderer to catch. Ryo was however planning on talking to Rose once everything was over. If there was blame to be dished out, it wasn't fair for Dee to take the fall alone.

"Yes, sir. This is definitely it. We traced the stolen credit cards he used to rent the room to the husband of his second victim and we have several witnesses who've seen a man matching the women's description shop at the deli across the street," Ryo summed up what they had to show for almost two days of hard work.

"We've as good as got him," Dee concluded, slightly premature as Ryo thought..

"Yeah, even, on the off-chance that you might have managed to come up with the address of the creep's actual hide-out, that still doesn't guarantee that he'll be in there," Rose grumbled. It wasn't like they had expected praise, but Rose was in a particularily bad mood today.

Ryo was about the mention that, as Rose very well knew, JJ and Drake had been watching the place from an abandoned building across the street and had definitely seen activity in the third floor apartment in question, but Rose was already out the door.

"I guess we better hurry," Ryo said, grabbing his coat and making for the door as well. "You better put that on." Ryo indicated the protective vest still slung over Dee's chair.

"I can put it on once we're in the car, but if we don't hurry we won't go anywhere today, except Rose's bad books. Well, I do at least. You don't stand a chance of getting there," Dee murmured as he followed Ryo out of the office.

oOo

The sharp smell of ozone brought Ryo's attention back to reality, just in time to see Dee's body arching off the bed, moving only under the force of the defibrillator's current. Ryo willed his partner to react, but his body remained motionless, his face slack, much stiller than even in sleep.

He looked dead, Ryo thought, the idea still un real to him. He immediately pushed away the thought. Dee wasn't going to die. He repeated the phrase like a mantra in his head, his gaze still fixed on Dee's face, blocking out everything else.

oOo

Twenty Minutes Ealier

It figured that Dee would volunteer to break down the door to apartment 34. He liked all the action, sometimes a bit too much for his own good. The door barring their way to the suspect's apartment was made from thick steel, impossible to simply kick in. They had come prepared though; a heavy metal cylinder with grips would serve as a miniature battering ram. It was part of the standard gear for this type of entry operation and they'd all used it at some point in the past.

Tension and adrenaline were thick in the air as Dee motioned for the other four men, Ryo, Berkeley and two members of the specialist intervention unit, to step back and get ready for entry. Holding their weapons close to their bodies, they backed against the walls of the corridor. Dee swung the ram forwards, but something went wrong, horribly wrong. The moment the ram made contact with the door, Dee stopped in his tracks. He collapsed to the floor the ram crashing down onto his chest even while his was body jerking wildly.

Ryo was the first to react. In the back of his mind, he was certain that this was some sort of trap laid by their suspect. However, all he cared about right then was getting Dee to safety, whatever the danger was. But the moment he lunged forwards, he too was caught in the deadly trap the killer had laid for them.

oOo

It was only Rose's quick thinking that had saved him. The commissioner had realized what was happening just in time. Right now, as he watched the medics desperate attempts to resuscitate Dee, his own survival seemed like a cruelty of fate. Why had it been Dee? It could have been any one of them who stepped onto the metal plate hidden in the floor just in front of the door. Anyone standing there who made contact with the door, be a it through direct touch or through another conducting object, such as the small battering ram, would have completed the circuit and have been instantly electrocuted. That had been clearly the killer's plan and it had worked perfectly.

In front of Ryo, the medics had ceased in their efforts. One of them turned off the wailing alarm, another started packing away their equipment.

"Time of death - 3.24 a.m," one of the doctors announced, formally declaring Dee dead.

Ryo's mind screamed in protest. They couldn't simply give up, not yet...But deep down he knew. He knew that Dee was gone. He had seen plenty of dead and dying people in his life, it came with the job, but it would never become ordinary or commonplace to him. He didn't need the now silent cardiac monitor to tell him that Dee was dead.

Ryo turned on his heel and started walking. He needed to get away, anywhere but here. A woman's voice called after him, but he didn't care, he kept on walking, without knowing where he was going.

TBC