A/N: Shortest chapter of them all! Sorry... Anyway, this is the last chapter! I want to thank FortunateM for the review of Dee and Berkeley's personalities, or else I wouldn't have named this chapter what I did. I also want to thank Jollyolly for all the wonderful reviews on each chapter! It really made our day~ And lastly, I want to thank each and every one of you for reading Midnight at the Precinct. If you liked our portrayal of Berkeley, Ryo, and Dee, let us know! And if you don't, give us some pointers! We are always welcome to hearing what you'd like seen done differently. We have a few more fics planned, and I may even be posting the first chapter of one of them sometime soon, depending on when my editor gets to it. I warn you though, it will be a very long, very elaborate fic that may get boring at some points, BUT! It'll be M rated, so hopefully that'll keep your interests enough to keep reading.
Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed this fic as much as we enjoyed writing it. Let us know if you want more Berkeley/Ryo fics!
Midnight at the Precinct
Chapter 8: Distracting the Bull
Dee's expression was a mixture of boredom and agitation as he headed back to his desk. He swore this had to be the eighth time today that Ryo had sent him away to do something. It was either go to the copier or the coffee maker or get old files from Nick from the past couple cases they've been working on. It was like the instant he felt his butt warm up his seat, he was dragged out of it for one reason or another. And they weren't even busy with anything that day! It was all old crap that needed filing or looking over for references or some shit, and it was really starting to tick off the younger detective.
Ryo sat at his own desk, head in his hands, and all kinds of paperwork scattered before him. All day he had been forcing Dee to do this that and the other in an attempt to keep him and Berkeley from interacting. Even just seeing one another would probably be bad, so whenever he thought Berkeley was going to come into the room… Dee was sent away.
Dark eyes stared at the pile of copies he had made a few days ago, then to the new stack from today. What am I going to do with all these copies…? he thought to himself, mentally groaning at the idea of needing to use them all for something, or Dee would get suspicious… if he wasn't already.
Long fingers raked through his blonde hair, as they had done numerous times that day already. Ryo was sure he looked like a disaster. Of course, since he hadn't bothered to take a bathroom break yet today- too scared that while he was away from his desk, Dee and the commissioner would get into a fight- he didn't notice that all his nervous worrying had just disheveled his hair into somewhat of a neat mess. Almost all the girls at the precinct had been staring at him, but since his mind was completely preoccupied, he didn't notice at all. Not that he actually noticed on a good day, but still.
"Here," Dee said as he tossed the stack of forty-something papers onto his partner's desk with a scowl and plopped unceremoniously back into his seat. Ryo's desk was half-swamped with reports, books, and even a couple boxes, and the mess had long made its way over to his. He could barely see the other's face, thanks to the numerous piles.
"Geez, Ryo, do we really have do all of this right now? It's not like we have a deadline or anything and half of it is you just sending me to make copies."
Ryo started as the new stack slammed into his desk before him, and he blinked his thoughts away, worried that Dee would be able to read them from his face if he kept them there too long.
"Thanks," he said, crinkling his eyebrows together as he tried to figure out which papers were the new ones, as they seemed to have scattered across his desk when Dee returned. Donning his glasses once more, he picked up a few leafs of paper and flipped through them. Ah, okay… he thought, remembering what he had told Dee to go make copies of this time. The old report was marked for refilling and Ryo intended to get through every file that was on that list over the next couple of days. Whatever kept Dee moving…
Out of nowhere, Ryo's ear pricked with the sound of a handle being turned, regardless of the bumble of office work being done around them. In horror, he looked up and zeroed in on the knob to Berkeley's office turning. Oh no! He just walked into his office! What am I going to do now? I haven't even gotten the next file out! he worried, frantically looking around for something, anything, to shove at Dee to get him to go away.
His glasses slipped, and Ryo caught sight of his coffee. Perfect…
The younger detective was leaning back in his chair when he heard the sound of ceramic hitting the desk, followed by the almost inaudible slush of liquid. His eyes shot open and he jumped up, immediately focusing on the coffee as it spread across Ryo's desk.
And the copies he had just made.
"Damnit, Ryo! I just copied those! How do you even manage that! This is why you tell me to keep MY desk clean! Seriously!" Dee barked. He got up from his chair and started to look for something to wipe up the spill before it ruined anymore of the paperwork. "Ugh, I swear!"
"S-Sorry, sorry!" Ryo said quickly, honestly not remembering just how much coffee had been in the mug. Thankfully, the only thing that got the brunt of the mess was the copies, as he had planned. "I'll clean it up, just…" he quickly looked towards Berkeley's office. The door was now open, but where was the commissioner? Maybe there was still time to get Dee into the back offices…
Ryo opened one of his desk drawers and pulled out one of the washcloths he used whenever Dee had these accidents and began dabbing at the liquid. "Could you go make those copies again?" he asked quickly. "And get a new file box from storage? I think it got into this one…" he added, taking out some of the files from the cardboard box he had sitting on his desk. In all honesty, he had no idea if the coffee had gotten into the box… but whatever kept Dee gone.
"Please?" he looked up at him, not noticing the liquid that neared the edge of the desk… With a sharp intake of breath, Ryo shot backwards and leapt up, brushing frantically at his pants as the coffee soaked through. I really… really didn't think that through… he inwardly groaned, mentally cursing himself for wearing khaki trousers that day. He had an extra pair in his locker, but still…
Dee grabbed the rag out of the blonde's hand and started wiping up the coffee, keeping any more of the dark liquid from spreading toward the edge. He was irritated with running around so much, irritated at the coffee spilling, irritated that it spilled on Ryo…
"Go change your pants," he told his partner in a fairly even tone. Ire still coursed through his words, but at this moment, he was trying to concentrate on Ryo's wet pants. Luckily it had been a while since Ryo had sent him to fetch some coffee, so he didn't have to be concerned over a possible burn.
He looked up from the mess and into Ryo's pleading eyes, his gaze unwavering. "And you can go get the copies and a new box while you're at it," Dee added at the exact moment the commissioner's door shifted on its hinges and the man himself exited his office.
The lukewarm coffee had cooled almost instantly, sending a shiver up Ryo's spine. The fact that he finally found the older blonde didn't help any.
"Come on, Dee!" he pleaded, grabbing at the cloth. "This'll be the last time, I swear!" he lied, hoping his partner wouldn't see it reflected in his eyes. "By the time I get back from changing, the coffee would have soaked through even more files! Just go get the box!" he tried again, finally managing to grasp onto the towel.
"Look, Ryo, I've got this under control!" Dee said more firmly- or rather, more loudly- than last time. He jerked the cloth away from the blonde once again, his grip causing several drops of coffee to be wrung from the rag and splatter on the floor and both of their pants. Considering Dee coincidentally was wearing dark brown pants, he didn't care. "Now go!"
The commissioner watched the scene of the two men arguing, over what he wasn't certain, with as amused expression. It didn't really surprise him, especially considering the events over the past several weeks. Whatever the issue was, it couldn't have been anything major since their voices hadn't reached that pitch that he had recently grown accustomed to.
However, it was odd, the older blond noted. This was the first time he had even seen Dee ever since he had arrived several hours ago. Not that he wanted to see the childish detective, of course. Still, something seemed… off.
He shifted in his position next to the doorframe and pushed his glasses further up his nose. Luckily for Berkeley, he had another pair at home of the same prescription as his previous pair, though these glasses were a dark brown instead of the silver he usually wore. He knew it was a good idea to purchase two pairs the last time he updated his prescription and last night proved him right.
Berkeley's thoughts drifted briefly to the events of the previous evening: dinner, the time spent at the bar, walking Ryo home, the kiss… His breath stilled in his throat and his usual piercing gaze dimmed at the not-so fond memory before being pushed, or rather, kicked aside. He had yet to talk to Ryo about any of it, as not only did the detective seem overly busy, but also because he had matters of his own to tend to as well. In fact, he was about to head out for a meeting, so he shouldn't be lingering like he was, but…
Ryo fell forward slightly with the force of Dee yanking his salvation away from him. This wasn't supposed to happen! he thought frantically, dark eyes taking on a hint of hysteria as he fought against pushing Dee towards the copy room.
It was then that he looked up and his eyes met Berkeley's. His heart pounded the worry into his chest, but he couldn't tear his gaze away from the commissioner's. He felt his cheeks heat up as the memories from last night—all the memories—flooded the forefront of his mind.
Oh, no no no no…. he quickly pushed the scene aside, but still he found himself locked onto Berkeley's hazel stare. In a rush, he shifted so that Dee would be between the two of them, and therefore unable to see the older blonde if he was looking at Ryo… but unfortunately, Dee wasn't bulky enough to hide the commissioner from his own sight.
"Dee…" he groaned, his partner's name coming out more as a cough as he found his voice. "Why are you being so unreasonable…?" he tried, thinking that perhaps the guilty act would work. Not that it had in the past, but hey… right now, he was kinda desperate.
Just the thought of Berkeley and Dee getting into an argument sent Ryo's blood pressure skyrocketing, and add in the fact that they were at the office… That would just be even worse!
But even so, Ryo pursed his lips together in an attempt to get them to stop tingling as they were now… from which kiss, he wasn't sure, but there was no doubt it was from one of them. He had confirmed it last night, that Dee's kiss was sweeter… but Berkeley…
A dusting of pink trickled into his cheeks as he thought about the shear intensity of the kiss they had shared outside his apartment. Even though he had been intoxicated at the time, Ryo remembered it clearly. It felt almost as if Berkeley thought he would disappear if he were to stop touching him, kissing him…
And for some reason, Ryo couldn't get that power to rid itself from his memory.
"I'm being unreasonable?" Dee countered. "I'm not the one treating my partner like a lackey and I'm not the one standing there, looking like I pissed myself! Go change and-"
The brunette continued his rant, unaware that Ryo wasn't even looking at him anymore; however, the person who Ryo was looking at was fully aware of the frantic gaze. And the flush across his face, Berkeley noted, his golden eyebrows arching slightly.
It was at that point that the commissioner realized exactly why he hadn't seen the annoying younger detective all day. Never had he seen Ryo in such a fuss with both himself and Dee in the same room together. Sometimes Ryo was a bit fidgety or entreating or sometimes even stepped out of the picture entirely, but he never actually tried to remove Dee from the room. In fact, usually it was the other way around.
So… Ryo was trying to prevent his partner from seeing him or starting an argument with him? The thought struck the commissioner with a touch of tenderness that sent the tiniest of smiles to his lips, but the smile was immediately lost to an entirely different thought as well as a completely different look. The right corner of Berkeley's mouth quirked upward into a grin only to be immediately followed by the other corner, his expression secretive and even a bit wicked as he continued to stare at the younger blonde.
Thanks for last night, his gaze seemed to almost shout across the room. He was certainly thinking it as he continued to grin at the detective for a second longer before tearing his gaze away. Following his original intent, he continued on toward the meeting that was surely waiting on his arrival to begin, thoughts of Ryo and the kiss they shared lingering in the forefront of his mind.
Ryo felt his face heat up like he was in a sauna at the look Berkeley gave him and it took everything he had to plant his hands firmly on Dee's chest and shove him back towards the storeroom. He didn't even think enough to throw some files at him to copy.
"Just do it, Dee!" he cut his partner off mid-complaint, shooting him the angriest glare he could possibly come up with at that second before storming off towards the locker room.
Berkeley was in the middle of the room! Of course someone else saw him! Ryo's mind screeched at him as he walked away, but even as he looked around for the accusing stares he so expected from his coworkers, he only found the usual sympathy of being paired with Dee. Surely someone else had seen the completely obvious look on the commissioner's face… right?
"Oomph!" was all Dee could manage to say as he was propelled backward, almost stumbling to keep from falling over. "Hey, wait! RYO!" But the blonde was already gone, storming off toward what Dee presumed was the locker room. "You're going to get the copies and box, right? RIGHT?"
He was answered by silence and the expanse of his partner's back and stiff shoulders. Dee scowled for a moment, but the peeved expression melted away into exasperation. Damnit, he thought to himself with a sigh, a sour frown on the younger detective's face as he headed toward the storeroom to grab another filing box.
Why is it, in the end, I always do what he wants? Dee thought as he trudged along, but then disregarded the thought.
He knew the answer to that. It was obvious, after all…
By the time he got to the locker room, Ryo wagered he would need to spend some time in here to cool his head. He had resisted pulling his hair out trying to convince himself that he was the only one who saw the noticeably predatory smirk the blonde had given him. Hopefully when Berkeley turned away from him, it meant that he was going somewhere Dee couldn't attack him…
It took Ryo less than three minutes to change, opting not only for a new pair of pants but a completely different outfit. Somewhere along the way, he hoped the change of clothes would help him stop feverishly thinking of the two men he worked with.
But alas, Dee and Berkeley battled furiously for his mind's attention. Berkeley on one side, his powerful gaze piercing his resolve, and Dee on the other… his caring, albeit forceful, feelings overwhelming whatever he had once deemed a reality.
Without thinking, he found his fist connecting with the metal of the locker in front of him, his forehead soon following as he sought to calm the war that threatened him.
"What do I do…?" he whispered, but the cold steel offered nothing but silence and the promise of headaches to come...