Title: Uncomfortable Truths
Characters: Ryo, Agent Diana Spacey, Dee.
Setting: Vol. 7, Act 19.
Summary: Ryo likes Diana, but she’s not afraid to make him face up to some uncomfortable truths.
Word Count: 1440
Written For: Challenge 6: Logic at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: Dialogue is borrowed from the manga because I wanted to take a closer look at Ryo’s thoughts during one of the story’s pivotal scenes.
Despite getting off to a bit of a shaky start, Ryo had decided he rather liked Agent Spacey, or Diana, as she insisted that he call her. In some ways, she was a lot like Dee, brash and confident, going after whatever she wanted and not caring what anyone else thought. Maybe that was why she and Dee struck sparks off each other; they couldn’t be in the same room without getting into an argument. It was like Dee and Bikky all over again, with a few differences. Diana couldn’t be bullied or bribed into backing down.
It was good to see her again; she was looking much better now, fully recovered from her injuries, but as usual, her visit wasn’t just for social purposes. She had a very important witness to protect, the wife of Leo Grant, the man who had been responsible for the deaths of Ryo’s parents. Small world.
While Dee was off fetching coffee, on Diana’s orders, Ryo found his conversation with the FBI agent quickly taking a turn for the personal. One thing he wasn’t so keen on about Diana was her perceptiveness, especially when it came to anything involving himself and Dee.
“How far have you guys gotten anyway?”
Sheesh, did she have to just dive in like that with the awkward questions? Ryo blushed to the roots of his hair.
“Well, um, we’ve only kissed, okay?”
Diana was definitely not pleased to hear that, launching into a tirade about how she would have thought they’d be at it like rabbits by now, and that abstaining couldn’t be doing either of them any good. It was a fair point, Ryo supposed. Damn her for using logic against him! It was a dirty, underhand trick!
“How does Dee do it? I thought he’d have jumped you like forever ago!”
Well, Dee had certainly tried often enough, but Ryo just kept rebuffing him.
“I… Oh shit, I guess you’re right.” He’d never met anyone who could make him feel so small, so easily. Ryo knew he was behaving badly towards Dee, keeping him hanging on with nothing more than the occasional kiss, but…
“How exactly do you feel about Dee?”
That was the million-dollar question though, wasn’t it? Ryo thought gloomily. Dee stirred up so many feelings inside him, both physical and emotional, and the intensity of them just scared him to death. Dee’s eyes seemed to look right down to his soul, threatening to swallow him whole; it made Ryo so afraid of losing himself that he couldn’t met Dee’s gaze and ended up hiding again. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!
Deep down, Ryo knew they couldn’t go on this way, but…
“I just don’t know what to do. God knows I’ve tried to figure it out…” But years of trying hadn’t gotten him any closer to a solution except that he knew by hiding he was really just avoiding having to come to any kind of decision.
Diana was as straightforward as ever, grabbing him by the ears and telling him to listen up. As if he had any choice in the matter. Then she set about hammering home all the truths that should have been self-evident, but that Ryo had somehow managed to overlook. That the only thing in the way of embarking on a gay relationship was whether or not someone was biologically inclined that way or not. That by letting Dee kiss him repeatedly Ryo had already proved that he felt a physical attraction towards his partner. That the only other possible obstacle was Ryo’s feelings towards Dee, feelings that he couldn’t completely deny having, even to himself. Naturally, Diana had something to say about that too.
“It’s not that you don’t want to be drawn to him, it’s that you’re scared you’ll fall head over heels for him and have to face up to everything you are.”
Once more, Ryo found himself blindsided by her logic. Diana was right, and if she could see it, did that mean everyone else could too? Did the whole world already know and he was just the last person to accept the truth about himself? If he was honest, he’d always known, deep down, that he was gay, he’d just always figured he could stay safely in the closet forever, never risk anything. Life was so much easier that way, for him at least. Not for Dee though.
“It’s not fair to make someone wait just because you’re scared or because you’re trying to fool yourself you can’t decide. If you honestly know you don’t want to pursue anything with him, if you’ve kept him hanging on for nothing, all you’ll end up doing is breaking his spirit and him.”
Break Dee? God, that was the last thing Ryo would ever want to do. Dee was more than just a work partner, more than Ryo’s best friend. He was everything, and it had taken this woman to make him see the truth that had been staring him in the face practically since he’d met the man who had come to mean so much to him. Ryo didn’t think he’d ever felt more ashamed of himself.
‘What have I been putting Dee through all these months? He’s been so patient, never pushing too hard, always backing off when I haven’t known what to do. Pouncing, kissing, and touching, yes, because that’s Dee’s way of letting me know he wants me, he’s even told me several times that he loves me, and how have I repaid that? I’ve just pushed him away, brushed him off, time and again. Why hasn’t he given up on me?’
Anyone else would have cut their losses and gone elsewhere, but Dee never had, he’d always been there no matter what Ryo needed, and no matter how badly Ryo treated him.
‘I’m a horrible person.’
Why did the ground never open and swallow you whole when you wanted it to? Shame and guilt warred with each other inside Ryo’s head, and for several moments, he couldn’t find his voice. When he finally did, it was a little too late.
Before Ryo could finish what he’d started to say, the door to his and Dee’s new office burst open and Dee strode in, looking as if he’d like to murder Diana for treating him like an errand boy. From Dee’s expression, Ryo could make a pretty fair guess as to the thoughts rumbling around his partner’s mind. ‘Fetching her coffee while she hangs out with Ryo like a lady of leisure. Gossiping, no doubt. Man, that woman can really talk! She’d better have been keeping her mitts off Ryo though.’
Somehow just imagining what his partner was thinking, the possessiveness Dee always showed towards him in the face of any perceived competition, real or imaginary, made Ryo feel ten times worse than he already did. He wouldn’t have believed that possible.
“Yo, Sea Hag, I brought your damn coffee…” Dee trailed off, looking at them both suspiciously. “Did I interrupt something?”
“None of your business, Neanderthal.” Even though Diana was several inches shorter than Dee, she still managed to make it seem as if she was looking down at him.
While Dee and Diana squared off, launching into yet another argument, Ryo watched them, thinking hard. He couldn’t deny anything Diana had said, and he knew that if he kept on the way he had been, Dee was eventually going to grow tired of waiting. Ryo was a grown man, not a child any more, and it was way past time he started acting his age, stopped running scared and admitted the truth; he was gay, and he loved Dee more than he’d ever loved anyone. Now all he needed to do was find the right moment to show Dee how he truly felt, before he lost the most important person in his life for good. He would have to act soon, before he tested Dee’s seemingly endless patience to its limits.
Ryo sighed; Diana had staged her intervention in the nick of time. Women’s logic and intuition were truly a force to be reckoned with; without Diana, Ryo knew he might never have come to his senses. If things worked out between him and Dee the way he was starting to hope they would, he’d have to find a way to thank her. It took a true friend to be so blunt and honest about such sensitive subjects.
But he was going to have to wait just a little while longer to make his move, because right now, it looked like they all had a job to do.