Characters: Ryo, Bikky.
Setting: Around Vol. 6, I think.
Summary: Ryo hadn’t planned on becoming a parent to a half-grown boy, but he doesn’t regret his impulsive decision.
Word Count: 900
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Challenge 91: Parent at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Becoming a parent hadn’t been something Ryo had planned on, much less becoming a single father. It was just that with the sudden and unexpected death of his father, the small boy sitting hunched up in the folding chair in the precinct’s break room had been completely alone in the world. It had been impossible for Ryo not to empathise with him, but still, deciding to become the kid’s legal guardian had been uncharacteristically impulsive.
Taking care of the child hadn’t been easy either; he’d been completely unprepared for the reality of having a small human depending on him for care and guidance.
Ryo supposed all new parents had to learn on the job, so to speak, although most started with a baby, which was sensible because that way, child and parents could learn together. Bikky had already been half grown when Ryo had taken him in, and he’d come complete with a host of bad habits that had needed to be addressed. That had been a difficult time for both of them and they’d butted heads more than a few times before Ryo had finally realised that being half grown, Bikky was old enough to understand the reasons behind his foster father’s rules. Things had gotten a bit easier after that. Bikky had still dug his heels in at times, but his behaviour had improved and he’d stopped cutting classes. That wasn’t to say that he hadn’t still acted up, because he had, frequently, but Ryo thought that had been more about testing to see what he could get away with than anything else.
Bikky had grown like a weed, quickly changing from a small, vulnerable boy who loved to be tucked into bed at night, to a sometimes stroppy teenager with a habit of slamming doors when he was angry. Ryo could hardly criticise him for that, since he tended to do the same thing himself. What bothered him was that he had no idea whether the door slamming was down to ordinary teenage behaviour, or if it was a new bad habit Bikky had picked up from Ryo himself.
Somewhere along the line, Ryo had also managed to accidentally teach his son to swear in Japanese, something he constantly berated himself for. His effort to avoid using bad language in front of his son had backfired spectacularly; Bikky might not know what the Japanese words meant, but he was well aware that they were rude. Worse, he’d still picked up plenty of American swearwords both at school and hanging out with his friends. Enabling his kid to swear in two languages wasn’t exactly a demonstration of good parenting.
Thankfully, whenever child services came around to make one of their periodic checks, Bikky was always on his best behaviour and Ryo was invariably told he was doing an excellent job, raising a polite and well-adjusted child. It made him feel like a bit of a fraud, and yet he could hardly tell them they were wrong. They might decide he wasn’t a suitable parent after all.
“Shovelling it on a bit thick, weren’t you?” Ryo asked, amused, after seeing the latest pair of inspectors off.
Bikky shrugged. “Don’t want to give them any excuse to take me away from here is all. Besides, they’re right; you’re doing a great job. There’s a couple of other kids at school who live with foster families and some of the stories I’ve heard… I don’t want to have to live with people who only do it for the money. You’re strict, but I know you only want what’s best for me.” At fifteen, Bikky was becoming quite wise.
“You’re right, I do,” Ryo agreed. “I want you to get a good education, maybe even go to college, and I want to give you every possible chance to fulfil your dreams. You have the talent, but that will only take you so far; you need to get the right opportunities and be in a position to take full advantage of them. I’ll do whatever I can to help you get those opportunities, but you’ll still have to do most of the work yourself.”
“I know, and I will work hard, I promise. I just want you to be proud of me.”
Ryo smiled at that. “I’m already proud of you, Bikky. I always have been and I always will be.”
“Even when I screw up?”
“Even then. Everybody screws up from time to time, Biks. It’s all part of growing up. As long as you always try your best, you’ll be on the right track. The important thing is not to avoid making mistakes, but to learn from the ones you make, and to never stop learning. There’s one thing even more important than any of that though.”
“I am happy, so I guess that means I must be doing okay. Can I go over to Carol’s now?”
Ryo laughed. “Yes, you can go; just don’t be too late back.”
“Thanks, I won’t.” Bikky shoved his feet in his sneakers, grabbed his jacket, and headed for the door pausing as he opened it. “See you later. Love you, Ryo.”
“I love you too, Biks.” The door closed and the boy was gone. Ryo shook his head. Being a parent was the hardest job he’d ever had, but also the most rewarding. He knew he wouldn’t trade with anyone.