Disclaimer: I do not own FAKE. That right belongs to Sanomi Matoh. I do not profit financially from writing this story.

Title: Above and Beyond
Rating: PG13 (to be on the safe side - I never truly know what to rate things)
Pairing: canon Dee x Ryo
Warnings: death, shooting, violence, language
Author's Note: This is just a five-part series. Nothing more, nothing less.

Dee grunted as he took cover behind a dumpster. Shots bounced off of the metal and flew past him as the thieves tried to make their escape. Unfortunately for them, they'd chosen an alley with a large, brick fence blocking their path and with nothing for them to use for purchase. They were cornered, and they were desperate to get away. Unfortunately for Dee, some of the shots had hit their mark. Blood poured from two different wounds, one on his arm and one on his leg. While he'd called for back-up the moment the chase started, any responders were still some distance away, unable to get to him and to apprehend the criminals he pursued. It seemed as if they knew it, and they were doing everything they could to keep him pinned behind his current hiding spot.

'They'll have to run out of bullets soon,' Dee thought, gritting his teeth. 'They'll need to reload eventually.'

He peered around the dumpster with as much caution as he could – the last thing he wanted was for a bullet or shrapnel to hit him in the eye – to see what the perps were doing. The moment they saw him, they raised their weapons and started firing once again, and Dee jerked back as the bullets sped past him. They sent small sparks and pieces of metal flying, and then he heard the two cursing. With the exception of the sirens drawing ever closer, silence blanketed the alley, and Dee decided to take a chance.

"I'd give up already if I were you," he said, his voice loud.

"And why's that, you filthy pig of a cop?"

"Because you're running low on ammo, I have back-up coming, and there's only one way out of this alley," Dee replied. A quick check of his gun told him he needed to reload, and he did.

"Ah, but there's only one of you and two of us," the same perp replied. Dee thought he heard the bastard smiling at the knowledge. "And I believe we've landed a couple of hits on you, too."

"Doesn't mean I'll make it easy for you," he shot back. He inched closer to the side of the dumpster.

"We ain't going down without a fight!"

"Somehow, I knew you'd say that. Morons," Dee muttered. Exhaustion was settling over him, and his thoughts were becoming muddled and fuzzy. He found himself wishing the back-up would arrive already so it could end, and the idiots at the end of the alley could be arrested and taken to jail. It wasn't often they were able to catch criminals in the act of an offense. When they were able to apprehend them with a crime in progress, it made the prosecutors' jobs that much easier. And Dee wanted for something to be easy . . . at least in terms of a conviction. In his mind, it would make up for the crappiness of the last twenty-four hours.

With his Glock reloaded, Dee stepped out from behind the dumpsters. His intentions were to wound the two thieves and make it as difficult as possible for them to escape. He didn't know if they wore body armor. He didn't even know the precise weapons they were carrying. Dee just knew he had to do something, to keep them there as long as he possibly could for his fellow officers to arrive and arrest them. He'd have very little time to duck behind the dumpsters once they started shooting at him again, wounding him even more. All of this, he knew and expected.

He just didn't expect to feel pain erupting in his back as three bullets tore through his back, causing him to stagger forward and drop to his knees. The loss of blood from his previous wounds finally caught up with him. Dee's world spun at an alarming rate before darkness claimed him, but his only thoughts were on Ryo.

'He won't miss me . . .'


Twenty-four hours earlier . . .

"Honey, I'm home!"

Ryo shook his head as he heard his partner enter his apartment. He half-imagined the goofy grin on Dee's face at saying those words upon stepping through the door. Some things vastly amused Dee for no reason that Ryo could see or think of, at least nothing obvious. Dee was . . . well, he was Dee. Most often, there was no instant explanation for the things he said or did or the things and expressions that had his partner laughing like a giddy schoolboy, and it seemed like every day was a good day for his partner.

Generally, Ryo didn't mind his partner's cheerfulness or the quirky things he did or said. Dee's upbeat attitude pulled him through many dark hours and moments in his life, and it was something Ryo could appreciate. Some days, though, the cheerfulness, the quirkiness, wore away at Ryo. There were times when he felt the need to be serious, to be an adult and not pretend like they were some perfect, fictional family. When those times struck him, he felt as if Dee remained completely clueless as to what he needed and wanted, and he wanted to strangle the younger man. It lowered his spirits, his confidence in himself, and left him wanting, aching, yearning for someone a little more mature, someone who would be the somber companion when he needed it. Ryo fought back a sigh and resumed his current task, that of wiping off the rest of the dishes and putting them away. He didn't even look at Dee as the other man entered the kitchen.

"Hey," Dee murmured. He slid his arms around Ryo's waist and hugged. It was a gentle gesture, and he braced himself for the sexual advances that were bound to come his way.

"Hey," Ryo said, nodding.

"Missed you," his partner said, his breath hot against Ryo's cheek, neck, and ear.

"You always say that."

"Because it's true," Dee replied. "I know we can't always be together . . . there are things that we're gonna have to do without each other . . . but it doesn't mean that I like it . . . I just . . . I really did miss you today."

"I didn't miss you, though," Ryo said. He refused to turn to face Dee. His muscles ached, his arms were like lead, and a heavy, leaden sensation threatened to crush his soul.

"You don't mean that . . ." Hurt, uncertainty, disbelief . . . all were in Dee's voice. "Do you?"

"Dee, it's kind of hard for me to miss you when you're always hanging on to me every chance you get, always pretending like there's nothing wrong!" Ryo snapped. Dee's grip on him went slack, and Ryo closed his eyes. He didn't want to see the hurt in his partner's eyes, didn't want to feel guilty for the words he'd just spoken, even though he knew he had every right to speak what was on his mind and how he was feeling. He hadn't missed Dee at all that day. In fact, he'd enjoyed the quiet hours to himself, doing what he wanted without interruption. It'd been nice. No Dee to latch onto him at every available opportunity. No Dee to fill the apartment with his (currently) annoying cheerfulness. No Dee to demand attention or to shower it upon. It was a chance to breathe, both in a literal and metaphoric sense. "I've had enough of it!"

He didn't know the thoughts running through Dee's mind. He didn't turn around to look at his partner. If he had, the guilt for his words would have outweighed the stress and the anger that bubbled underneath the surface. He expected his partner to raise his voice, to start arguing with him, to say that he was being an inconsiderate jerk or some other such thing. He itched for that fight. Ryo wanted the opportunity to say everything he'd been feeling, to let the anger loosen his tongue like a good, strong whiskey.

Instead of raising his voice, instead of trying to argue back, Dee took a step away from him. Ryo knew this when he felt the pressure of his partner's arms around his waist disappear. No questions, no accusations, nothing came Ryo's way, and he finally turned in time to see Dee exit the kitchen. The other man paused once.

"I'll see you at work tomorrow," was all Dee said before he continued on, leaving the apartment in more silence than when he'd arrived.