Characters: Ryo, Dee, Bikky.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: What’s going through Ryo’s head as he prepares to tie the knot with Dee?
Word Count: 1474
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Amnesty, using Challenge 9: Whole at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Before I met Dee, I was living a kind of half-life. Oh, I was good at fooling myself, and everyone around me, and I wasn’t unhappy or anything, I just wasn’t… complete, but as I didn’t know that at the time, I thought everything was fine. If I’d never met Dee, I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like. Would there have been someone else, some other man to break down all my self-delusions and force me to accept who I am, or would I have just continued as I was, half alive, never feeling the fulfilment that comes with true love?
Perhaps I would have conformed to what most people consider to be the norm, found a woman I liked well enough, maybe even loved despite not feeling any genuine physical attraction towards her. Then what? Marriage? Kids? Would it have lasted or would we have ended up divorcing because I couldn’t be what she wanted me to be? Yes, I think about things like that sometimes, and in the depths of the night those thoughts sometimes scare me because whatever kind of life I imagine for an alternate version of myself, one who never accepted his true sexuality, too often all I see is a cold, bleak, emptiness, devoid of the warmth and acceptance I’ve found in Dee’s arms.
He’s changed everything for me. I used to think I preferred my own company, that spending my evenings alone with the TV or a good book was all I wanted after a long day at work, that getting an early night in a bed I didn’t have to share was the ultimate in luxury. It wasn’t a bad life, but although I never admitted it to myself, I was often lonely. Then I took Bikky in and learned how to share my living space with a boisterous young boy, learned the pleasure of having someone to cook for, and to chat with over dinner, and I started to realised that maybe I wasn’t as much of a loner as I’d always though. Maybe it was even Bikky who opened the door to my heart just enough for Dee to get a foot in the gap, making it possible for him to gradually force it wider until he could make a place for himself in my heart as well.
As annoyed as I often got with him back then, I’m lucky that Dee proved to be so stubborn and persistent. I know I didn’t make it easy for him; too long spent in denial, I suppose, not allowing myself to think of men in terms of my attraction to certain individuals. Looking back, Dee ticked al the right boxes for me. Tall, long-legged, muscular without being muscle-bound, dark-haired… the olive skin and green eyes were kind of a bonus, the icing on the cake if you like, and his catlike grace… Thinking of him now, the way he moves, makes my mouth water, he’s so beautiful, but back then, before I accepted what I felt, and still feel, towards him, I spent an awful lot of time trying not to look too closely at him, trying not to notice what a handsome man he is.
I was such a fool. I could have lost the best thing in my life without even realising it, all because of my own stubborn refusal to accept the truth about myself, and I’m certain I would have if Dee had been a lesser man. I really made him work to win me, though that wasn’t exactly intentional. I mean, to begin with I was determined not to let myself fall for his charms; it would mean opening myself up to feelings I’d denied for so long that I wasn’t at all sure what to do with them. It just seemed easier, not to mention safer, to keep pretending I wasn’t interested, and yet every time he pounced on me, kissed me, it grew harder and harder to hide how attracted I was to him.
There’s always been something magnetic about Dee, drawing me to him even when I was trying to pull away, and I think that’s perhaps part of the reason he didn’t just give up and turn his attentions elsewhere. I’d never experienced anything like his kisses, and no matter how hard I tried, I could never completely keep myself from kissing back, even if just for a brief moment. There was no way someone as perceptive and observant as Dee could fail to notice that. I guess it helped fuel his determination.
It scared me though, the way he made me feel so out of control with just a kiss or a touch, at the mercy of my emotions and my desires. I’d start to panic, pushing him away, and I know that must have hurt him, but he never gave up, never decided he was wasting his time with me, that I wasn’t worth the effort. That has to be the definition of true love, because despite his frustrations, he was always gentle with me, and mostly patient. The tiny seed of love he’d planted in my heart that moment so long ago when he’d looked into my eyes and confidently said, “You’ll love me, won’t you?” took root and slowly grew, nourished by his kisses.
To be honest, sometimes the way he makes me feel still scares me and I worry that I’ll not be able to find my way back to solid ground, adrift on a sea of sensation. But he holds me close and anchors me when I’m being tossed on the waves of passion, and I’m learning that it’s okay to let go, because I know I can trust him to always bring me home again. There’s nowhere safer for me than in his arms; no matter how overwhelming the passion we experience together might become for me, he will never let me drown or get swept away. He rides the waves with me, and when we make love it’s like nothing I ever imagined, not just our bodies drawing pleasure from each other, but our souls. We connect on every level, fit together like puzzle pieces, and it’s incredible.
It’s strange; I never realised how incomplete I was until Dee made me whole, and he claims I complete him as much as he does me, that without me he’s like a shadow without a light to give him form. He can be amazingly romantic when he tries, just one of the many things I love about him.
Try though I do from time to time, I can’t really imagine my life without him in it, not anymore, and I don’t want to; that’s why we’re here in Las Vegas. I thought Dee was crazy when he suggested it, and I kinda still do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want this as much as he does. Anyway, he’s right; we complete each other, so why not make it official and get hitched? Even if the people we work with have to be kept in the dark, we’ll know, and isn’t that all that really matters? After all, we’re doing this for ourselves, not for anyone else, which is why we decided on a wedding chapel in Vegas as the perfect venue, with people we’ve never met before as witnesses. A simple, intimate ceremony, nothing flashy or overblown; we don’t need flowers and an orchestra and doves being released. All we’ll ever need is each other.
This is the culmination of everything that’s happened since we met eight years ago. It’s been a long road, but mostly a good one, going from work partners, to best friends, to lovers, to moving in together six months ago when Bikky left home to start college… Getting married is the logical next step, but more than that, it feels… right.
In a few moments we’ll take our vows, promising to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others for as long as we both shall live. Deep in our hearts, I know both of us are already committed to doing that even without a marriage certificate, but somehow saying the words out loud to each other, in front of witnesses, makes it more real. The next stage of our relationship starts here; we’ve got the rest of our lives in front of us, hopefully many more years of happiness together, and as the officiator calls our names and we step forward, I smile at my husband-to-be and see him smile back, as giddily happy as I feel.
This is the happiest day of my life, and I can see in Dee’s eyes that he feels the same way. We love each other, more than anything.
We’re already partners in every way; now we’re ready to become one.