Fandom: FAKE (Manga)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Dee Laytner/Randy "Ryo" MacLean
Characters: Randy "Ryo" MacLean, Dee Laytner
Additional Tags: Romance, Erotic, Mystery, Humor, Challenge Response, Short, Canon - Manga
Series: Part 6 of SBIGTTS Project
Ryo Maclean and Dee Laytner are woking on an arson case at a construction site. They hit a snag when they discover they have more than one suspect, both with motive and opportunity but no concrete evidence. Then there's another man who seems to know more than he's claiming, but is he an accomplice or a witness? Ryo and Dee decide to follow him and are led to look at not just the case but also their partnership from a different perspective.
Notes: for fan_flashworks's prompt "hand". This short story isn't exactly canon-compliant, can be set anywhere in the timeline. Also, to be absolutely clear, there is no human or animal casualties, the arson case involves property damage for insurance fraud which Dee and Ryo discover later. I've deliberately left out the details of the investigation conducted by the fire-chief because I don't think they are relevant to this story. The title is obviously from the song "Light My Fire" by The Doors. I think it's appropriate. ;)
~ * ~
Ryo and Dee were working on a new case that wasn't as cut and dry as it first seemed. Ryo had already called Bikki to let him know he wouldn't be home for dinner. New Year's Eve was just around the corner and Ryo would feel terribly guilty for the late nights except Bikki sounded thrilled to have the place to himself. Dee was sure that Bikki was up to no good and it involved parties, girls (and one girl in particular) and booze. Ryo only hoped that Bikki would clean up all the evidence before he got home.
Dee was in the interrogation room now with the man who called in the police, Arnold Keyes, while Ryo watched them through the one-way mirror from the next room. This was the second time they were questioning Mr. Keyes because Ryo and Dee were sure he knew more than he was letting on but neither could tell if he was hiding the truth for fear of his own life or because he was an accomplice. Ryo watched Dee get up and exit the room.
Ryo took a moment to study Mr. Keyes's appearance. He was a good-looking man in his mid-twenties, tall, dressed in a worn black leather jacket, jeans and scuffed work-boots. And judging from his hands, size and tan, he didn't shy away from hard manual labour. Ryo glanced at his copy of the man's I.D. He lived alone in a small apartment. Ryo had questioned his neighbours and landlord while Dee had spoken to his supervisor and all had said the same thing: he was quiet, kept to himself, timely with rent and work, and while he was on good terms with everyone, he didn't have many friends. If he drank, it wasn't a "problem" and had no priors.
Nothing, so far, threw up any red flags. Yet, he had this look in his eyes, full of caution and mistrust, his lips tightly pinched together, his rigid posture. Ryo couldn't think of a reason why this man was so defensive, unless he had a juvie record which had been expunged which would explain his behaviour towards cops.
Dee entered the room. He walked around Ryo and leaned against the mirror. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it.
"For the record, I believe him."
"I would too, except I'm sure he's hiding something. And he lied when you questioned him about how he discovered the crime scene."
Dee nodded, "There's a small chance he saw something, which makes him a very important witness and a threat to the real culprit. But having secrets doesn't make you a criminal, Ryo."
"Having a secret when you were discovered at the scene of the crime makes you a person of interest. Do you think we can search for sealed records? He may be involved in some way but backed out in the end."
Dee shrugged as he exhaled smoke, "You can put in a request with the Chief, but it'll take time. Besides, you need to have something more than a hunch, you know that."
Dee stood up and extinguished his cigarette under the table. "If you want answers fast, we have only one option: we let him go and follow him. See who he meets, what he does."
Ryo sighed, "Fine." He moved towards the door. "Hope you didn't have dinner plans." Dee chuckled.
Ryo and Dee followed Mr. Keyes back to his apartment where he stayed for a couple of hours. They watched him exit the building again. But where they ended up next would have been the last place either Ryo or Dee would have bet.
Ryo stared at the leather-clad men milling near the entrance, which was guarded by two beefy men in dark leather jackets and jeans.
He jolted when he felt a jab from Dee. "You were right, Ryo. He has the same secret as you."
Ryo glared and punched his arm hard. Dee just chuckled as he rubbed the spot.
"Come on, we're going back," Ryo said, completely embarrassed.
But Dee pulled him back, "What do you mean, going back? We're supposed to follow him, remember?"
Ryo stared open-mouthed, "Why? We know his secret now."
"We have to confirm that it's the only secret that blipped on your radar."
"I thought you said you believed him."
"We have to follow-through. He might still know something."
"Are you joking? I'm not going inside," Ryo waved his hand at the club.
"Don't be stupid, come on, before we lose him."
Dee pulled Ryo all the way to the front of the line when he whispered, "Besides, I always wanted to take you to a gay club."
Ryo tried to pry himself away but Dee had linked their arms tight. The bouncer looked them up and down before waving them through. He winked at Ryo, who hunched more behind Dee.
They passed through a dark corridor into the club where the music was loud and everywhere were men in varying states of undress.
At first, Ryo didn't know where to look. There was so much to look at; so much skin on display, men dancing, men kissing, hands down pants, the thumping music and flashing lights that Ryo felt like an overloaded circuit.
Ryo didn't realise he had slowed down till he lost Dee in the crowd. He was searching for him when another man put his arm around his waist and said, "Hey sweetheart, first time here?"
Ryo pulled his hands back when he realised the man was naked except for a pair of very tiny briefs and the sweetest smile he'd seen on another man.
Ryo felt warm all over and he uttered the only thought he had in his head, "Uhh."
Luckily Dee chose that moment to rescue him from himself. Dee grabbed Ryo's arm and winked at the guy, "Sorry, babe, but he's with me."
Ryo let Dee pull him through the crowd to the side where Dee grabbed the front of his shirt and pushed him against the wall.
"What are you doing?"
"What? I'm following you."
Dee shook his head, "You're going to be the death of me. Close your mouth. And get rid of that deer-caught-in-headlights look."
Ryo rubbed his face and pushed his hand through his hair in frustration. "I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting... I was surprised."
"Get over it. You have to pretend like you come here all the time."
"But Dee, I don't. Wouldn't the regulars know?"
"Oh you sweet idiot, look around you. There are over two hundred men in here. Do you really think that any one person here knows everyone who comes here?"
"You're right, you're right. I'm sorry," Ryo said, feeling frazzled and out of his depth.
"It's okay. You just have to pretend. Stand up straight, take a deep breath and stay with me. If you want, you can hold my hand."
Ryo felt silly but accepted Dee's hand. Dee gave him a gentle squeeze.
"You'll be fine. You know why?"
Ryo shook his head, "Why?"
Dee grinned, "'Cause you're with me."
Ryo would never admit how much better he felt these days when Dee joked with him so instead he shook his head gravely and said, "Out of everything that has happened so far, that worries me the most."
Dee laughed as he pulled him to the middle of the crowd. He paused a few feet from the bar. "I have a visual."
Ryo looked at a shirtless couple dancing next to them. They were groin-to-groin and practically having sex on the dance floor. "Yeah," Ryo said feeling uncomfortably hot.
But Dee nudged him and said in his ear, "I meant, our quarry."
Ryo blushed furiously, "Oh. I knew that."
"Oh yeah? So where is he?"
Ryo glared at him, "Shut up."
Dee laughed. "He sat down. Let's go to the bar." When they were seated, Dee leaned in and said, "Four o'clock."
Ryo turned on his stool and spotted their guy in the booth closest to the bar, making out with another man.
"Well, we're probably going to be here for a long time." Ryo leaned on the bar counter.
"Sit up straight and don't look bored or someone else might decide to cut in and carry you away."
Ryo immediately sat up and pushed his stool closer to Dee, hoping to give a clear signal that they were together. When he looked at Dee, he was smiling widely.
"This is fun. I should bring you to gay clubs more often."
Dee had line of sight so he kept watch and Ryo relaxed when no one bothered either of them. A few minutes later, Dee tapped Ryo's knee, "He and his friend have got up and are moving towards the back."
Ryo looked up and saw them pass by. "Exit?"
"Maybe," Dee signalled the bartender. "Hi there, where is the toilet? Is it in the back?"
"Yeah, through there. Next to the exit."
Ryo and Dee exchanged a look and got up and followed the men to the back. Neither their guy nor his friend were there anymore.
Dee said, "We should check the back alley, just in case." Dee didn't look back at him as he said it.
Ryo looked at the men's room sign on the other door and knew that that's where their guy and his friend would be, but he nodded and followed Dee to the exit.
Ryo kept the door open while Dee checked outside. Dee shook his head when he came back.
Ryo sighed, "Dee, we should check inside, make sure he's not in the building."
"Maybe only one of us should go in?" Dee suggested. But Ryo looked at him with such alarm that he back-tracked. "Okay, both of us are going in."
But before he opened the door, he looked back at Ryo and said, "It'll be... I mean..."
Ryo wiped his hand over his mouth. "I'm... more prepared now."
The first thing that hit Ryo were the sounds that he had never before heard inside a public men's room. Soft moans, skin slapping on skin, slurping could be clearly picked out over the more regular sounds of a restroom.
He was glad that not much could be seen though. The men at the urinals were conducting their usual business so it was the stalls where the more amorous activities were taking place.
Still the sounds made him hot. He tried repeating to himself that nothing was happening here that he hadn't done when he was alone or with a woman.
A quick look around confirmed that their guy wasn't in here, unless he was inside one of the stalls with his friend. He turned to Dee to say so but stopped when he noticed the positioning of his body. Dee was using his own body as a shield for Ryo.
Ryo smiled, feeling touched. He shook his arm and said, "Stall."
"What?" Dee startled.
Ryo was suprised by the look on his face. Dee was more affected in here than he was in the club. Ryo smiled at this turn of events and feeling very bold, he did something he had never done before.
He moved closer, right into Dee's space, and spoke into his ear, "I said he's probably inside one of the stalls with his lover."
Ryo heard Dee exhale noisily, heard him swallow, saw sweat gathering at his temple. Ryo felt a wild urge to lick it up. Instead, he pressed a lingering kiss to the corner of his mouth.
Dee gasped. "Ryo." Dee turned his face and kissed him on his mouth.
Ryo wrapped his arms around his waist but Dee gripped his arms and pushed him back.
"If you are joking with me, if you want me to stop, say it now. Because I can't..."
Ryo looked into his eyes and decided that they had danced around each other for far too long. Ryo kissed him. "Hands, for now," he said against his lips and kissed him again.
Dee broke their kiss a second time and pulled Ryo into an unoccupied stall at the other end. He shut the door and pushed Ryo face-first against it.
He kissed Ryo on his neck as he undid Ryo's fly. "Spread your legs." But he impatiently pushed Ryo's feet apart with his own.
Ryo pressed his forehead against the door as he panted and looked down when Dee spat on his hand and slipped it inside his underwear.
Ryo tried to watch but Dee peppered his neck and jaw with kisses.
"Look at me, Ryo."
When he turned, Dee kissed him. Ryo kept bumping against the door and realised there were other men inside the restroom probably hearing them, that he had never shared PDAs with a woman let alone public sex, that his first time with Dee was also his first public sexual encounter.
Dee had started humping Ryo so he reached around behind and gripped Dee's hard-on.
Dee stilled. He pulled away from Ryo making him exclaim. Dee shushed him as he undid his own fly.
Ryo turned around, and Dee let him. He spat on his hand again and gripped both their cocks. This time, Ryo helped him as they masturbated together.
Ryo grabbed Dee's hair and kissed him hard as he came. He groaned against his mouth and slumped against the door. Dee reached his climax too. Ryo petted his hair and kissed his face and neck.
Soon, they straightened up their clothes and exited the stall. But this evening of wonders wasn't over yet because Arnold Keyes exited from the opposite stall. The three men were rooted to the spot and Mr. Keyes's friend realised something was up and made a quick getaway.
Ryo, with his face still burning from embarrassment, decided to end the awful silence. He coughed delicately and said, "So Mr. Keyes, my partner and I were wondering if you would be willing to be more candid with us."
The next afternoon, Ryo and Dee made their report to the Chief.
"I'm impressed. You discovered Mr. Keyes was a witness, persuaded him to step forward as such and with his assistance tracked down and apprehended the real arsonist. Good work."
"Thank you, sir," Ryo said.
"Laytner, I'm glad to see you shaping up to be a good detective. And we can thank Ryo for that, it looks like his best qualities have rubbed off on you."
"I wholeheartedly agree, sir. Ryo is the most dedicated detective I've worked with. His performance is... ah, very inspiring."
Ryo gave him a dirty look but the idiot had the audacity to grin back. That was it. He was going to kill Dee and hide the body. He knew how!
"Good. Now get out of my office and get back to work."
Outside, Ryo stalked away from Dee but he caught up.
"Hey, Ryo, everything okay? Why in such a hurry?" Dee asked but he was grinning.
"My performance, Dee? Really?"
"Oh come on, don't be mad. I was only teasing."
Ryo pushed Dee into a supply closet and shut the door behind them. "Teasing?"
"Yeah. You know how I like to tease you. It's fun."
Ryo was so mad but this time he would have the last laugh. So he smiled. "You like to tease me?"
"Yeah." Dee looked pleasantly surprised when Ryo stepped closer.
"You probably don't know this about me but I like to tease too."
"Well, I'd say there was another kind of teasing you were very fond of doing in the beginning of our partnership."
Ryo pretended to be shocked, "Dee Laytner, are you calling me a cock-tease?"
"If the shoe fits."
"Well, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the chase."
"Yeah. But Dee, I must address your behaviour towards me in the workplace and I have decided I have to punish you. You understand, don't you?" Ryo slowly reached behind.
Dee snorted, "I don't know what kinky games you're thinking up now but you know you're welcome to my apartment anytime. Come over tonight and we'll figure something out."
"Oh, I already have a punishment in mind." Ryo snapped the cuff on Dee's wrist and the other end on the closet shelf behind him.
"Ryo." Dee stared at his cuffed wrist.
"Don't worry, Dee. This isn't your punishment, this is just to give me a headstart. Your real punishment is starts tonight. Re-acquaint yourself with your right hand 'cause that's all the sex you'll be having in the foreseeable future. Bye."
Ryo dropped the keys to the cuffs on the floor in front of Dee and left.
Dee's voiced called out, "Ryo, wait, come back. I'm sorry!"
~ * ~