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A FAKE Chirstmas - Not a rock, I'm just Ruth
All Me, no apologies
A FAKE Chirstmas
Well, before I start hitting the ML's with this tomorrow, I thought I'd give you folks the first look

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. Song title from "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield. No profit is being made from this usage.
Title: A Dream of Christmas
Author: Ruth
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Dee/Ryo
Warnings: angst, sap, language, Act 9 spoilers
Archive: Shades and Echoes
Feedback: Anglofans@aol.com
Summary: Everyone assumes Dee's telling the truth, what if he isn't? Also introducing the Adams family (no, not that one)
NB: Virtual roses if you can guess the name of one of my favorite Canadian actors after reading this.
Thanks to Sorcha and Hexadecimal, my beta team.
Symbols: /-italics

Dee Laytner walked down the darkened street, boot heels crunching in the thin layer of snow, hands in the pockets of his duster, his breath puffing soft clouds until he was out of sight of the parked car. With a whoop, he broke into a run.

/I did it!/ He thought, /yes! Free at last! JJ actually bought the story I was going to check out a snitch! Ha! He is so stupid! As if anyone in his right mind would want to spend Christmas Eve with JJ Adams when there's Ryo McLean alone at home!/ His partner had been tagged by Chief Smith to work overnight on Christmas Eve, so Dee had reluctantly traded with Drake Parker, finding himself trapped on a bank robbery stake out with Drake's partner. The Chief had radioed about an hour ago, telling them his investigation was over, he was going home and wishing them Merry Christmas. Dee had been trying to think of a plausible way to get out of his assignment ever since.

His grin got bigger. /Twenty four hour liquor store up ahead. Yes, indeed, bottle of bubbly, a couple of glasses. . . hey, that's a cute little tree in the window. I'll bring it along as a prezzy.

And then. . .

I wish me a Merry Christmas,
I wish me a Merry Christmas,
I wish me a Merry Christmas,
As I nail Ryo's ass!/

/He really thinks I'm stupid,/ JJ Adams sighed. /Well, it's my own damn fault. I was too easy back at the Academy and he'll never respect me. I see so much good in him, but all I get from him is crap./ He poured himself a cup of hot cocoa from the thermos. /I should be grateful he waited as long as he did after Chief Smith radioed to say he had sent Ryo home./ As the smell of the chocolate misted around him, the slim, silver-blond man looked across the street to the apartment building. Rumor on the street said the bank robbery suspects were allegedly inside the old brick structure. The car he was using for the stake out looked like many of the other beat-up relics that hung out at the curb. He pulled his knees up to get them under the hem of his coat. He didn't dare start the car to keep warm. The windows were cracked to keep them from steaming over. The car radio whispered carols as the police two-way hummed and spit to itself. The only comfort he had was that someone would relieve him at midnight.

/I hate nights like this,/ he thought. His cell phone started vibrating. Juggling the cup from the thermos, he answered it. "Adams."

"Hello, little brother," said a cheerful voice on the other end.

"By only half an hour, Annette," he retorted. It was an old joke. His sister laughed.

"Geriant and I just got back from late services," she reported. "I had a feeling. . ."

"Don't start that, we're frats, not identicals. There's no weird psychic connection. . ."

"Touchy, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, it's Christmas Eve and I'm alone on a stake-out."

"Hmm, well, I know someone who can help cheer you up."

"Hi, Uncle JJ!" chorused a pair of little girl voices.

"Hi, Gwennie. Hi, Viv," he greeted his nieces.

"Ready, girls?" asked Annette.

An off-key chorus came through the phone.

"We wish you Merry Christmas,
We wish you Merry Christmas,
We wish you Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!"

"Thanks, girls," his eyes misted over. "Thanks. Have a Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas, Uncle JJ!"

"Jeremy," Annette's voice came back on. "Don't worry. You're exactly where you need to be right now."

"Now, what does that mean?" He sipped the cocoa.

"Like I said, I had a feeling," said Annette. "Have a good night and take care."

JJ pocketed his phone. Annette, like their mother, often had odd "feelings" that had a habit of coming true. He sipped the cocoa again, feeling warmer than he had before.

He looked over at the apartment building. /Huh? What's that in the basement?/

Dee broke from the hug Ryo had given him and moved to the edge of the bed. Unconsciously, he began to finger his left ear, the one Sister Maria had always twisted when he was in trouble. He was feeling guilty and he didn't like it. This was /not/ the way his Christmas was supposed to be.

He had come to Ryo's apartment building with his presents. Ryo hadn't thrown the dead bolt, so Dee had jimmied his way in with a credit card and reached around to unhook the chain.

"Ryo!" He yelled. "Ryo, you left your door unlocked. You've got to start remembering that dead bolt. Hey, Ryo?" He found Ryo sitting on the king size bed that filled the second room of his apartment, crying. Ryo had looked up at Dee with such a vulnerable expression, it scared him half to death.

"What is it? What's the matter? Hey, quit crying."

"You," Ryo choked out, "you don't know how happy you've made me."

Dee sat down. Ryo told him all about his parents; how they had died when he was eighteen and he ended up spending Christmas Eve alone. Dee looked down at his hands and sighed. He'd have been more comfortable handling Ryo's naked body than Ryo's naked heart. He didn't want Ryo to be /this/ open. It reminded him uneasily of the Academy, when he'd come back from a party a little drunk and a lot horny and found JJ still up.

Dee rubbed his left ear. /It wasn't my fault he'd just found out his mother died. I didn't know./ When he'd gotten the full story, he ran like hell and the next time he encountered JJ, he lied about knowing him, made it seem like JJ was some sort of stalker. His version had gotten back to JJ and Adams never lost a chance to tease him about their "unrequited love."

Ryo asked about the case and once more, Dee lied. "Oh, that thing?" He said with a forced lightness, "well, turns out the perp was a cowardly piece of garbage. He pretty much gave up right away, so I got to come home early." He rubbed his left ear again.

Ryo nodded and went to the window. "Listen! You can hear the church bells."

"Must be midnight," Dee remarked.

"It's Christmas, Dee. Merry Christmas." Ryo hugged him. Any other time, Dee would have loved it and wrestled him to the mattress, but not now, not when Ryo was still so unprotected. He pulled away and walked out to the living room.

"They're probably doing a caroling mass at Saint Patrick's," Dee turned on the television.

A live news feed was on. "We're at the Garrison Apartments, where fire crews are still attempting to put out the Christmas Eve blaze," said the reporter.

/Garrison Apartments?/ Dee felt a cold chill go down his spine. /Oh, hell, that's where I left JJ./

"What's the word on the residents, Brian?" asked the news anchor at the studio.

"The department spokesperson reports all fifty-eight residents of the building made it out before the building was fully involved," said Brian. "They're being sheltered by the Red Cross at this time. Credit is being given to a police detective from the Twenty-Seventh Precinct who was on a bank robbery stake out for spotting the blaze and alerting the residents, making sure they got to safety. Unfortunately, while rescuing others, he was overcome by smoke and was taken to the hospital. His condition is unknown at this time."

/Oh, shit./ Dee thought.

"Has the police spokesman released his name, Brian?"

"No, not yet," Brian shook his head. "This is Brian McGee on scene at the Garrison Apartment fire. Back to you, Lorraine."

"Thank you. Once more, New York's finest are on the job this holiday season."

"I didn't know there was anyone else on stake out tonight," Ryo frowned.

"There wasn't,." Dee's voice was tight. "It was just me and JJ."

Ryo's frown deepened. "Dee! That was JJ?"


"You /lied/ to me!"

"Yeah."/Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Oh, shit./


Dee came in the next morning. Ryo was already at his desk, deep in paperwork. Between his desk and Dee's, there was a pile of books and the little Christmas tree. It wasn't a festive decoration; it was a barricade.

/Yeah,/ thought Dee miserably. /He's still pissed./

"Good morning," he said in an attempt to thaw the atmosphere.

"A pair of uniforms picked up the robbery suspects three blocks from the fire. They're going to be facing felony arson charges as well as armed robbery," Ryo reported in a voice as matter-of-fact as last night's news anchor.

"Oh, good," Dee hung up his jacket. "Listen, Ryo. I, er, I'm sorry about last night. . ."

"I'm not the one you should apologize to," Ryo looked at him over the top of his glasses. "He's been upgraded from serious to stable condition at Saint Vincent's."

"Uh, yeah," Dee rubbed his left ear. "I'll stop over later."

Ryo looked at him over his glasses again.

"I will! Honest!"

Dee had slipped up the back stairs of Saint Vincent's hospital, hoping to avoid the nurse's station. He had a bouquet of flowers he'd snagged off a pushcart front of the building.

/In and out/ he thought. /JJ, I'm sorry. These are for you. ‘Bye. That should be easy enough, right?/

He paused at the door of the room, hearing voices inside.

"Annette! How did you get here so fast?" JJ's voice sounded odd, it was so hoarse from the smoke.

"Drove as fast as we could," said a woman's voice. "Geriant's in your apartment, out cold on the sofa."

"Annie, you shouldn't have."

"We wanted to see you, Uncle JJ!" cried a little girl's voice.

"Are you going to be okay?" asked another.

Dee peeked around the corner of the door frame. The silvery blonde woman looked enough like JJ to be his twin. There were two golden haired children with her, one looked about seven, the other five. The five year old scrambled up on the bed and hugged JJ. He managed a one-arm squeeze because of the IV in his other arm. The seven year old was at his knee.

"The guy on the radio said you're a hero," she said admiringly.

"You're kidding, Gwennie," he chuckled.

"It's true, I heard it too!" insisted the five year old.

"Did you, Vivvy?"

"That's what they were saying on the radio, little brother," the woman's voice glowed with pride. "Everyone from that building got out safely and that makes you a hero."

"It's just my job, Annette," JJ started blushing. "Really."

Dee didn't stick around to hear more. /He doesn't need me here,/ he thought. He stopped at the nurse's desk and left the flowers to be taken in by the staff.

/I didn't know he had a sister,/ Dee thought as he headed back to the station. /I never asked. I never cared. Those were two cute little kids. Gwennie and Vivvy, and they obviously like their Uncle JJ. . . /

/Lucky shit./

He came back to the bull pen. Ryo was still sorting through paperwork.

"How was the visit?" Ryo asked.

"Didn't stay, his sister showed up with her kids." Dee sat down and looked at one of the files.

"I didn't know he had a sister," Ryo put down the papers he was looking at.

"Yeah, I didn't either," Dee looked up at Ryo. "I never asked. Look, I'm sorry I lied last night. I. . . well. . . I wanted to spend Christmas with you, not him."

"You should have said something before the Chief spoke up," Ryo smiled. "We never opened that champagne you brought last night. Are you busy for dinner?"

/I'll do anything if you keep looking at me like that./ "I'll beg, grovel and whine to get out on time."

"Maybe we should stop in after work and see JJ."

"No, that's okay." Dee rubbed at his left ear, uncomfortably. "I'll talk to him later. I promise.

But he never did



-see you later!-

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: the West Wing Marathon on Bravo

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