Characters: Dee, Macey (OFC), Ryo, Bikky.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: It’s time for the boys to visit Macey for a haircut again.
Word Count: 2267
Written For: Jae’s Monthly Drabble Challenge 148 – Settle Down.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: Happy Birthday enchanted_jae! Sorry it’s a day late!
“Never thought I’d see the day when you’d settle down,” Macey told Dee as she snipped away at his hair. “You were always playing the field when we were younger, a new girl or guy practically every week, and yet here you are, going steady for almost a whole year and still totally smitten.”
“With good reason. Ryo’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. After everything I went through to win him, almost three years of complete celibacy, I’m not about to screw it up now I’ve got him.”
“You? Celibate? You expect me to believe that?”
“Yep! You’d better, ‘cause it’s the truth.”
“C’mon, Dee, don’t try to kid me. I know you, celibacy’s not in your vocabulary, didn’t think ya even knew the meaning of the word!”
“Hah! Very funny.” Dee glared at Macey’s reflection in the big mirror. “You make me sound like some kinda sex fiend!”
“If the shoe fits…”
“Okay, so I played the field when I was younger, who doesn’t? But I grew up. If something’s worth havin’ it’s worth waitin’ for. It was rough, but I’d do it all over again for Ryo.”
“You really must love him.”
Dee rolled his eyes. “What’ve I been tellin’ ya every time you’ve cut my hair for the past few years?”
“I know, I know, but ya can’t blame me for taking what ya say with a pinch of salt. Too many times you’ve lost interest once you’ve got whoever you were after, like the chase was what you really enjoyed and everything that came after was a disappointment.”
“It often was. All those times I thought I’d found the one for me and it turned out I was wrong… Honestly, there were times I began to wonder if I’d ever find the one I was destined to share my life with, but then along came Ryo and…” Dee gave an extravagant shrug. “The rest is history.”
Macey slapped Dee sharply on the shoulder. “Keep still, dummy! You almost ended up minus an ear! These scissors are sharp!”
“You would’ve been if you’d wound up with nowhere for those cool shades you wear to sit. So where’s your other half anyway? I thought you’d be coming here together every time now I do you both.”
“He’ll be along soon; he’s pickin’ the brat up from school, bringin’ him in for a haircut too.”
“Good; it’s been a slow day, I can always use more customers. What?” she asked at Dee’s huff. “Don’t like sharing me with your arch nemesis?” Macey was used to Dee complaining about Bikky whenever he wasn’t raving about his partner.
“Somethin’ like that,” Dee grumbled.
“You’re the one brought him here in the first place so you’ve only got yourself to blame,” Macey smirked.
“That was an emergency, what else was I supposed to do? Ryo would’ve hit the roof if he’d seen what the house ape had done tryin’ to cut the glue outta his hair.”
“Like I’m gonna believe that was the only reason! It’s no use trying to fool me, Dee Laytner; you just didn’t want Bikky to get in trouble. I know you like that kid, even if you won’t admit it; he’s a lot like you used to be when we were growing up. Stubborn, independent, always jumping in without a second thought to defend the people he cares about.”
“Yeah, okay, I guess he’s not so bad. Y’know, I thought Ryo was makin’ a huge mistake takin’ him in, but he’s turnin’ out okay, at least now he’s stopped beatin’ on me every time I try to get close to Ryo. Just don’t tell him I said that.”
Macey laughed. “My lips are sealed. He likes you too, in case you haven’t realised that yet; just don’t expect him to ever say so to your face. The two of you are alike in that as well; too proud to admit you were wrong about each other.”
Dee shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “Whatever.”
“What did I tell you about keeping still? You’re worse than half the kids at the orphanage, fidgeting about!”
“Am not!” Dee protested indignantly.
“Are too, and about as mature. How does Ryo put up with you?”
“I have my moments.” Dee winked, knowing Macey could see him in the long mirror, before breaking into a broad grin.
Now it was Macey’s turn to roll her eyes. “I’ll bet. So, now you two are all loved up, when are you gonna make an honest man of him?”
“You’re jokin’, right?”
“Why would I do that? You love him, he loves you, so why not make it official? You scared of commitment or something?”
“No! It’s not that.” Dee dropped his gaze, long black lashes concealing his eyes.
“Then what is it?”
“The kid,” Dee said bluntly. “Look, Ryo’s never gonna agree to us even livin’ together as long as Bikky’s around, never mind gettin’ married. If I thought for one minute he’d say yes… But I know he wouldn’t, Bikky has to come first with him and I get that, I do; the kid’s been through so much, losin’ first his mom and the his dad at such a young age. I know he needs stability, he’s only just turned fifteen, but it still sucks. Maybe when he goes off to college, if he ever does, or when he moves into a place of his own… but until then I’ll just have to be satisfied with sleepin’ over at Ryo’s place now and then, and havin’ him stay over at mine.”
“Poor Dee,” Macey sympathised. “You finally win the man of your dreams and you still don’t get him all to yourself.”
“Yeah, well don’t feel too sorry for me; maybe I don’t have quite everything I’d like from him, maybe I don’t get to spend every night in his arms, but what I do get is more than worth what I have to go without, and one day when the kid’s all grown up, Ryo’s gonna be mine completely. I waited three years to win his heart; I can wait a few more to have all the rest of him. I’m a patient man.”
“Patient? You? That’s so not how I’d describe you!”
“Maybe you don’t know me as well as you think ya do.”
“Hm, maybe.” Macey dusted Dee off. “Okay, you’re done.”
Dee was busy admiring himself it the mirror when the bell on the door jingled. “Hello, Macey. Sorry we’re late; I thought we’d be here sooner but traffic was murder.”
“No prob, I only just finished up with Dee anyway, so you’d just have been sitting around waiting.”
“Oh, well that’s a relief.”
“Hey, babe. How do I look?” Dee turned to grin at his lover.
“Very smart; Judge Warner won’t have anything to complain about when you take the stand tomorrow.”
“Why d’ya think I wanted to get my hair cut today? She scares me; I don’t want to get in her bad books. It’s alright for you; she likes you.”
“If I showed up looking like this she wouldn’t.” Ryo pushed hair out of his eyes, something he’d been doing frequently over the last few days.
“You are lookin’ a bit fluffy,” Dee agreed solemnly. “Don’t know whether to kiss you or pet you. Maybe I should do both.”
“Idiot,” Ryo snorted, accepting a quick kiss and a pat on the head from his lover. “It’s not that bad.”
“That’s what you think. Mace better do you next so you can see where you’re goin’; won’t hurt the brat to wait a bit.”
Bikky drew himself up to his full five feet six inches and glared at Dee. “Who’re you callin’ a…”
Ryo cut him off before he could say anything else. “Settle down, Bikky; why don’t you make a start on your homework while you’re waiting? That way there’ll be less to do when we get home. Macey will be done with me before you know it.”
“I guess I could do that.” Despite not sounding particularly enthusiastic about it, Bikky slumped into one of the chairs in the waiting area and opened his schoolbag, pulling out books and pencil case while Ryo shrugged out of his jacket, handing it to Dee and taking a seat in front of the mirror. Macey draped the familiar cape around him to keep hair clippings off his clothes and set to work.
“I feel like I oughta congratulate you,” she told him with a grin.
“You do? Why?” Ryo wondered if he’d zoned out and missed something. He found having Macey cut his hair so relaxing that it wouldn’t have surprised him if he had. She was that good.
“You may no know this, but Dee’s longest relationship before you came along was maybe three months…”
“Four,” Dee corrected from where he was lounging about in the next seat, watching his friend snipping away at his lover’s hair.
“You sure about that?” Macey shot him a dubious look.
“I do know how to count.”
“Hm, okay then, four. Still not all that long.” She turned her full attention back to Ryo, “But you’ve had him under your thumb for years, practically since the day the two of you met.”
Ryo laughed softly. “That’s not the way it seemed to me. It’s not like I have any control over him even now, and I certainly didn’t before we started dating. He used to jump on me every chance he got; didn’t matter how many times I told him no, he never gave up.”
“And aren’t you glad about that now?” Dee teased.
“Now? Definitely. At the time, I didn’t know what to do with you.”
“You should’ve asked me; I had plenty of ideas I’d have been happy to share with ya.”
“I bet you did.” Ryo flicked his eyes towards his partner without turning his head, all too aware of the flash of silver in the corner of his vision as Macey wielded her scissors with the speed and skill of long practice, sending bits of honey coloured hair fluttering to the ground. “I just wasn’t ready to hear them.”
Dee shrugged. “You just needed time and a bit of encouragement. I always knew you’d be mine in the end.”
“What made you so sure when even I didn’t know?”
Dee’s smirk was so self-satisfied it bordered on smug. “You already know the answer to that, babe. It’s what that fortuneteller told me years ago, that I’d meet a man with dark eyes who’d complete my life. I may not have consciously remembered what she said, but I guess it was still there at the back of my mind all along, and I knew the first time I looked into your eyes that I wanted you. She was right; it took me a long time to win ya, but you’re totally worth every second, and that’s no lie.”
Ryo smiled to himself, relaxing under Macey’s ministrations. In Dee he’d found the other half of his soul. “You know what? So were you.”
In the mirror, Ryo could see Bikky pulling disgusted faces behind his back, but he didn’t care; maybe when the boy was older he’d understand that telling someone you loved them was nothing to be embarrassed about, as long as it was the truth.
Macey was grinning now. “You two are so adorable I can hardly stand it!”
“Shut up!” Dee muttered, face flushing. “We’re havin’ a moment.”
After Ryo and Bikky had both been trimmed and were getting ready to leave, piling everything back into Bikky’s schoolbag, Macey drew Dee to one side.
“What now?” he grumbled. “We already paid up!”
“Don’t I even get a hug, little bro?” she teased, grinning mischievously up at him.
“Well, you did make me look presentable and saved me from bein’ cited for contempt by the strictest judge in New York, so…” Dee wrapped his arms around his friend in a bear hug. “Thanks, Mace. I owe ya one.”
“Only one? In that case,” she whispered in his ear, “When you two do finally get hitched and settle down, don’t forget to send me an invite.”
“How d’ya know we won’t just elope?” he murmured back, releasing her with a wink.
“Knowing you, that would be just your style! Now get outta here so I can close up. D’you know how late it is?”
“You’re right, we’d best not keep ya from your beauty sleep any longer, you need all ya can get.”
“Cheeky bastard.” She reached up and clipped his ear.
“Ow! Ryo, save me from the madwoman!”
“Fight your own battles,” Ryo laughed. “Thanks, Macey.”
“You’re welcome, Ryo. It’s always good to see you. Biks, good luck in your next game.”
“Thanks. See ya next time!”
“Count on it!”
Much to Bikky’s disgust, Dee draped one arm around Ryo’s shoulders as they left the salon, feeling content. Macey was right, he felt settled and it was a good feeling. No more chasing after this one or that one, wondering if maybe this time things would work out. No more going home after a date with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction… One day, hopefully not too far into the future, he and Ryo might be going home together every night to the apartment the shared, sleeping in the same bed every night, preferably Ryo’s comfy king-size. When that day eventually came, then he’d know it was time to propose because if he had his way, the two of them would be together for the rest of their lives.