Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: There’s an escaped snake somewhere in the vicinity of Dee’s apartment, and not being fond of things that slither, Dee decides he’d rather be elsewhere.
Word Count: 1092
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, Any, Lost, large snake...,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
This, Dee decided, was his worst nightmare made reality. He’d arrived home after work only to find flyers fixed to every tree, every lamppost, every fence, every door, every car windscreen, and anywhere else they could be put, all of them saying exactly the same thing:
‘Lost, large snake.’
The notice went on to say that the snake, a ten-foot long Burmese python, named Maude, had escaped the previous evening from her tank in the building next door to the one where Dee lived. Anyone who’d seen her or knew where she might be was asked to contact the owners. Their phone and apartment numbers were listed at the bottom of the page.
If there was one thing Dee was afraid of, it was snakes, and it didn’t matter that this one was a constrictor rather than a venomous variety, hell, he was even afraid of the small, non-venomous kinds that were sold in pet shops, so this humongous monster…
He looked up at the door to his building. There could be a snake anywhere in there, even inside his own apartment! Snakes were sneaky, and even big ones had a way of squeezing through gaps that ought to be too small for them. There was no way he could sleep in his own bed, knowing the snake could creep out of hiding and strangle him at any moment.
Turning away, he got back in his car and drove over to Ryo’s.
“Hey,” his partner greeted him. “I thought you said you had things to do at home tonight.”
“I did, I do, but I can’t actually do any of them, it’s not safe there at the moment.”
Ryo frowned. “What d’you mean?”
“Someone in the building next door to mine owns a snake, a python, and it’s escaped. It could be anywhere, Ryo! I’m not goin’ back there until they catch the damn thing again. Can I stay here? Please?”
“If this is just an excuse…” Ryo started.
“It isn’t! I swear! Look.” Dee had brought one of the flyers with him, and he handed it to Ryo, who read it.
“That’s a big snake.”
“Yeah, and you know me and snakes. I can’t even stand little ones!”
“Fine, you can stay for a few days, jut until the snake’s been caught, but you’ll need to get some of your things from your apartment. You can’t wear the same clothes all the time.”
Dee shoved his hands agitatedly through his hair. “Damn, I hadn’t thought of that. I just wanted to get as far away as I could as fast as I could. Maybe I could just go buy a few things to tide me over…”
Ryo shook his head. “You’re hopeless. Would it help if I came with you?”
“You’d do that?”
“Do I really have a choice? Besides, you save me from scary spiders so the least I can do is defend you from a giant snake.”
“My hero!” Dee clasped his hands over his heart in a dramatic gesture, making Ryo hake his head in amused exasperation.
“Enough with the melodrama. Come on, I want to be there and back before Bikky gets home.” Ryo put his shoes on and grabbed his jacket. “We’ll take your car,” he said, leading the way downstairs and out the door.
Parking outside his building twenty minutes later, Dee followed Ryo up the stoop and inside, where they took the elevator up to the top floor. Ryo entered the apartment ahead of his partner and made a quick but thorough check for stray snakes, then sat on the edge of the bed while Dee packed toiletries, razor, toothbrush, and enough clothes for a few days away from home.
“That’s it; let’s get outta here,” he said, hurrying to the door and out onto the landing, not bothering with the elevator this time, just making a beeline for the stairs.
“Hey, wait up!” Ryo hurried after his partner.
“Nope, sorry! Not stayin’ here any longer than I have to.”
“Just don’t leave without me!”
By the time Ryo reached the street, Dee was already tossing his bag in the backseat of his car. He got behind the wheel as Ryo climbed into the passenger seat, and turned the ignition. Nothing happened.
“Dammit, now what?”
“Pop the hood and I’ll take a look,” Ryo said. “Probably just a loose connection.”
Dee did as instructed and Ryo went around to the front, raising the hood of the car.
“See anything?” Dee called from inside the car.
“Yeah, your battery’s come disconnected.”
“How the hell did that happen?”
Ryo didn’t answer, just left the hood raised and came around the side of the car. “Can I use your phone? I left mine at home.”
“What for? It’s not like we need a mechanic to reconnect the battery.”
“No, but I think it’s probably best if I let the snake’s owners retrieve it.”
“Snake? You mean the fuckin’ thing is…” Dee gestured wordlessly towards the front of his car.
“It most likely crawled in there after you got home last night because the engine was nice and warm.”
“You’re serious? I’ve been drivin’ around all day with a massive snake under the hood of my car?”
“Well, I suppose it might have crawled in there while we were upstairs, but…”
Dee was no longer listening, too busy scrambling out of the car and away. Ryo made his call then followed. “They’re on their way down to get it.”
“Why’d it have to pick MY car?” Dee complained a few minutes later as the owners carefully extracted their pet from its cosy spot in Dee’s engine. As far as Ryo could tell, it seemed unharmed by its adventure.
“Just be glad we found it when we did,” Ryo advised. “So, I guess you don’t need to stay at my place after all. I’d appreciate a lift home though.” He reached into the engine and reconnected the battery, then checked the snake hadn’t caused anything else to come loose.
“Would it be okay if I stayed at yours overnight anyway? I mean I’m already packed and everything, and it just seems silly to drive back here yet again after running you home.”
“What about your chores?”
“They can wait one more day.”
“Well, okay then, but just for tonight.”
“Thanks, babe,” Dee said with a relieved sigh. He’d feel a lot better being away from home tonight, just in case the snake made another bid for freedom. Its owners ought to put a lock on the tank!