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FAKE: Lonely Boy in the Rain - Not a rock, I'm just Ruth
All Me, no apologies
just_ruth
just_ruth
FAKE: Lonely Boy in the Rain
Just in case anyone wondered whatever became of that "rainy snippet".

Disclaimers: FAKE and it's characters are owned by the artist Sanami Matoh and whoever else holds license and are being used for entertainment purposes only. "I am, I said" by Neil Diamond.
Title: Fake: Lonely Boy in the Rain
Author: Ruth
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Warnings: angst, Act 15 references.
Archive: Found Treasures
Feedback: Anglofans@aol.com
Summary: Ryo stops to give a friend a ride.
Thanks to: Sorcha and Bast for their input
Symbols: /-italics
**********

The rain had been beating down steadily all day. Detective Ryo McLean flashed his lights at his replacement and pulled the car from his stake-out position. He swung past Shepherd's hospital on his way back to the Twenty-Seventh Precinct. A forlorn looking figure in a trench coat was walking down the deserted sidewalk, head bowed against the rain. There was something familiar about the way he moved.

A crackle of lightning brought the figure into clearer view.

Ryo pulled up as close to the parked cars as he could and rolled down his window. "JJ! JJ Adams!" He waved. "Over here! What are you doing walking in the rain?"

JJ Adams, his silvery blond hair pasted to his head, came to the window. "I was visiting Drake in the hospital and missed the bus." His normally sparkling blue eyes looked dull and sunken with heavy black circles under them. Ryo nodded. Drake Parker had been shot by a rogue cop trying to steal drug evidence. The perp had been JJ's friend.

"You're getting soaked," Ryo leaned over and popped the lock. "Come on in."

"Dee won't like it," JJ didn't touch the door.

"Dee Laytner does not own me, come in."

JJ still hesitated. The car behind Ryo blew it's horn. Two more cars echoed it. Shaking his head, JJ climbed in. Ryo pulled out into traffic, casting quick glances at his passenger. After fastening the seat belt, JJ leaned against the headrest and gave a deep sigh. He crossed his arms and shivered a bit.

"How's Drake?" Ryo paused at the red light another fifty feet down.

"He's doing good. The doctor's are talking about starting physical therapy on Monday." JJ smiled faintly. His expression saddened. "Caroline won't come."

"Caroline? Oh, Drake's girlfriend?"

"She hasn't visited him once. She only sent a card. I just don't understand it." JJ shook his head. "He says it doesn't matter. I thought people who ‘loved' each other were supposed to be there for each other. I don't understand."

Ryo shook his head as he pulled through the intersection. Drake Parker was the Twenty-Seventh Precinct's tomcat. He was forever dating someone new. "I'm sure Drake will find someone else."

"You're right." JJ shrugged. "He probably will."

"Are you all right?" Ryo asked. "You look tired." Privately, he thought JJ looked like death warmed over.

"I haven't been sleeping well," JJ hunched his shoulders and shivered again. "Ugh! I didn't feel this cold walking."

"You're soaking wet, that's why you're cold." Ryo wet his lips, trying to find the words. "The inquest isn't going well?"

JJ sighed again. "I guess I was supposed to be reading Max's mind from the last postcard he sent me, saying he was engaged, to the day he walked into the station and called my name."

"It wasn't your fault," Ryo said quickly.

"Tell them that," was the sour retort.

There was silence as Ryo negotiated the narrow streets. He passed in front of his apartment. "Damn," he breathed, seeing no parking space.

JJ began to sing softly with the radio as they circled the block. "I am, I said/ To no one there/ And no one heard at all/ Not even the chair/"

"Well, I'm stuck until something opens up," Ryo grumbled. "Bikky called and said he was at his tutor's until eight, why don't I take you home?"

"Thanks."

There was silence until they reached JJ's neighborhood. "You'll have to tell me which building you're in. " Ryo glanced over.

JJ nodded. "Turn left down the alley next to the deli. There's a dirt lot in back of the pawn brokers. Drake usually parks next to the dumpster. I'm over the deli."

Ryo nodded and followed the directions. The car tires crunched on gravel as he slid in next to the large metal hulk that serviced most of the block. JJ fiddled with the seat belt a moment.

"Thanks for the ride," he finally said. "Look. It's just a studio but it's only one flight up and. . ." he hesitated, then bit his lip and continued. "Would you like to come and have a cup of tea. I. . . . I just don't want to be alone right now."

"I'll be glad to," Ryo smiled. JJ's demeanor brightened. The rain was still pelting down as they scrambled and splashed to the back door. The deli's refrigerators hummed and the stairway smelled of smoked meats and vinegar. There was only one apartment on what seemed to be a mezzanine where the stairs turned. JJ opened the door and gave a horrified squawk.

"Oh, God, I forgot. The place is a mess!" he yelped.

Ryo blinked in surprise as JJ unhooked a boxing bag from the ceiling and took it over to the single closet where he hung it up next to his wardrobe. "Come in! The sofa's there. I'll get your coat in a minute. I'm sorry. . ." JJ snatched a pile of magazines, mail and papers off a small coffee table and crammed them on a shelf under the miniature television.

"Don't worry." Ryo dropped his coat on the couch. The sleeper couch divided the room from the tiny kitchen which was right beside the hall door. The galley had a sink, a two-burner stove, a pencil thin refrigerator and a few cupboards. There were dishes in the sink. Ryo rolled up his sleeves and filled the kettle that was sitting on the stove. He left the water run while he hunted out some soap and started the dishes.

"Oh, thanks, but you don't have to do that." JJ said as he stuffed his laundry into a woven bamboo hamper that sat under the only window. He ducked into the half-bathroom to grab the towels off the floor, put down the toilet seat and light a candle before he shut the door.

"It's all right," Ryo wasn't about to tell him he had figured it was the only way they could have cups for the tea. "I'm used to it."

"Thank you. I'm sorry." JJ hung up Ryo's coat next to the boxing bag. He came over and dried as Ryo finished up.

"You shouldn't worry so much. Dee's apartment is worse." A single lamp off the arm of the couch lit the entire room with the help of the deli's neon sign just below the window. Ryo adjusted the blinds so not quite so much of the strident pink color was coming in. JJ turned on a radio that was in a cupboard without a door, bringing in some smooth jazz for atmosphere. He put the tea tray on the coffee table and they both sat down.

"Stop saying thank you," Ryo cut off JJ in mid-word.

JJ looked startled, then gave a brief, brittle laugh. "All right, it's just. . ." he trailed off. "You have no idea how much I appreciate this."

There was a moment of awkward silence. "It's been hard on you." Ryo observed.

"You have no idea," JJ repeated. His hands started shaking and he put his cup down. "God, he was my /friend/ Ryo. We went through sniper training together." He gave a half-smile. "We were the wimps, he and I, the ones they thought couldn't keep up with "the real SWAT members." More than two thirds of the class washed out but we made it. We made it. . ." JJ looked down at the floor. "He was the first straight guy who wanted to be my friend."

"Well, you've got others," Ryo reached out to touch JJ's shoulder.

JJ flinched a little and shook his head. "Drake's my partner. We've followed cases together and been on stake outs; that's all it's been until now." He shrugged off Ryo's hand. "And Dee's staked his claim on you."

"I'm not gay." Ryo stated.

JJ coughed. "If you say so."

"I'm not!" Ryo sputtered.

"Good, don't be. Being gay just means you end up alone and pathetic." JJ slumped against the back of the couch. Ryo set down his cup and moved closer.

"What are you doing?" JJ squirmed back against the arm of the sofa. Ryo advanced and put his arms around him. "Ryo, don't. . ." JJ tried to push him away. "/Don't./"

"I'm just hugging a friend," said Ryo, tightening his grip. "You need it."

"Oh, God," JJ was shaking. "Oh, God, /yes/!" He wrapped his arms around Ryo's chest and held tight. "I. . ." he choked. "I'm so tired of being alone."

It was hard to say how long they sat there, holding on to each other. JJ finally pulled away and took a gulp of his now-cold tea. "You'd better go. I'm sure Bikky's back from the tutor's and Dee will probably be looking for you."

"You're probably right," Ryo stood up. "Thank you for the tea. JJ. . . "

"Ryo, don't. Just go." JJ brought him his coat. "Just go. I'll be all right now."

"Are you sure?" Ryo paused at the door. "If you need anything. . ."

"I'll let you know. Have a good night." JJ shut the door and rested his head against it. "And may you never find out how close I came to asking you to stay."

-fin-

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Comments
From: mirichan Date: June 13th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
^__^

I don't like JJ in the manga... too annoying, cloying, gripping, etc.

Here? I liked... Here, he had depth!

Well done!
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: June 13th, 2004 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
JJ in the manga was there to hate and beat up on - the way GW fans think all the female characters are. Of course, this annoyed me, so I set out to "fix" it.

The author had a great idea, is capable of good art, but her storytelling is mediocre.
From: haydenthorne Date: June 14th, 2004 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yay! FAKE fic from Ruth! ^_^ I love JJ. I do--in spite of the manga and its canonical semi-bashing of his character in favor of the OTP. (of course, I speak as one who's just completed her FAKE series but hasn't read beyond volume two yet... urk!)
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