Characters: Ryo, Bikky.
Setting: Early in Vol. 1.
Summary: Ryo knows exactly how to motivate his foster son to eat his veggies.
Word Count: 600
Written For: Yahtzee prompt ‘Peppery’ at getyourwordsout.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“Don’t forget to eat all your greens, Bikky,” Ryo reminded his young foster son, noticing the way the boy was carefully eating around the greenery on his plate.
“Do I have to?” Bikky whined, poking disgustedly at the green leaves and stalks with his fork.
“Yes, you do.” Ryo couldn’t understand why the boy made such a fuss about eating vegetables. He didn’t remember being such a picky eater at Bikky’s age.
“Because they’re good for you. They’re packed with all the vitamins and minerals you need to grow a strong, healthy body.”
“Why can’t I get all that stuff from something that tastes nice? Cookies, or pizza, stuff like that…”
“It doesn’t work that way. Now eat your greens or you won’t get any dessert.”
Slumping in his seat and sighing heavily, as if he had the whole world pressing down on his shoulders, Bikky poked a small sprig of the green stuff into his mouth and chewed it, wrinkling his nose in distaste at the hot, strong, peppery flavour. “What is this anyway?”
“Watercress. It’s full of iron.”
“It tastes yukky.”
“If you’d eaten it with the rest of your dinner you wouldn’t taste it so much. You’ve only got yourself to blame.” Ryo kept his tone mild, and focused on his own plate, determined not to turn meal times into a battleground.
“And you for making me eat it,” Bikky grumbled, trying to use his mashed potatoes to mask the taste. From the expression on his face it didn’t help much. “What’s for dessert?” He was presumably trying to find out whether or not dessert would be worth the chore of eating the watercress.
“Home-made apple pie and ice cream.”
Bikky shoved another bit of watercress in his mouth; he hadn’t been living with Ryo for long, but he already knew his foster father’s pies were a prize worth doing just about anything for, even eating the horrid greens.
“You’re as bad as Dee,” Ryo sighed.
That had Bikky sitting up straighter in his chair. “What d’you mean?” Dee had been Bikky’s nemesis from the moment they’d met, and the boy clearly didn’t like the thought of being compared to his new guardian’s work partner.
“You’re exactly the same as him; he won’t eat watercress either, says he can’t stand it.”
“I’m nothing like that perv! I’m eating it see? Just took me a bit to get used to the taste, that’s all; I’ve never had it before. It’s great!” Bikky shovelled a big forkful into his mouth, chewing fast, his eyes tearing up a bit. He washed it down with a gulp of milk and kept going until his plate was clean.
“I stand corrected.” Ryo finished his own meal at a leisurely pace, finally getting to his feet and clearing the table. “Ready for dessert?”
“You bet! And Ryo? Can we have that watercress stuff again soon? Like maybe next week?”
“If you like.”
Back turned to the boy, Ryo cut two generous slices of pie, smiling to himself; Bikky was so predictable, hating the idea of being like Dee in any way. It made it easy for Ryo to convince him to eat things he would otherwise turn his nose up at. Hopefully by the time he realised he’d been tricked Bikky would have developed a taste for all the things he thought Dee hated. Surely there was no harm in the occasional little white lie if it meant his foster son could be persuaded to eat a nutritious and well balanced diet. Bikky would thank him for it in the end.