Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Unpacking after moving in with Dee is taking Ryo longer than he expected because he has no idea where to put some of this things.
Word Count: 974
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Challenge 108: Badge at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Packing for the move had taken Ryo several weeks, sorting out what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away. He was sure he must have got rid of almost half the contents of his apartment, so he’d naturally believed the unpacking would go faster, if only because there was a lot less stuff, but it didn’t seem to be working out that way.
Some things were easy; clothes went in the closets and dresser drawers, books, CDs and DVDs found a home on the purpose-built shelves, pots and pans were stowed in the kitchen cupboards… But even after all that was done, there were all the little things, the random personal items, keepsakes and mementos he probably shouldn’t hang on to but couldn’t bear to part with. He sat looking at the last two boxes; where was he supposed to stow all the things he’d packed in them?
“Problems?” Dee asked, sitting down on the floor beside him and handing him a mug of coffee.
Ryo accepted it with a grateful smile, took a careful sip, then set it on one of the coasters on the coffee table. “Not really, I’m just not sure where I should put the rest of my junk.” He gestured at the boxes.
“What’s in them?”
“Odds and ends, mostly.”
“Such as?” Dee leaned forward and looked in the nearest box, noting the bundle of letters and postcards, a couple of photo albums, several concert programmes, and a number of small boxes.
“Silly stuff, sentimental items I guess. Letters and postcards from my parents, souvenirs from trips we went on as a family…” Ryo picked out a box, opening it. “Fossils dad and I found on vacation in the Rockies when I was ten.” Setting it to one side, he selected another, smaller box. “The decorations off the cake mom made me for my eighteenth birthday…”
“Lots of good memories.” Dee set his coffee mug aside and picked out a small wooden box. “What’s in this one?”
Ryo blushed faintly. “Oh, um, that’s my Scout merit badges. They used to be stitched on my uniform shirt, but I took them off and kept them when I got rid of it.”
“You were a Boy Scout?” Dee grinned. “That’s so cool!”
“No. I wanted to join, but… Well, Mother couldn’t afford the uniform and everything, and anyway, there wasn’t a troop anywhere near the orphanage. The closest was too far away for me to travel by myself so someone would’a had to take me to meetings by bus or on the subway, and…” He shrugged. “It wouldn’t have worked.” Holding up the box, he looked enquiringly at his lover. “Can I take a look?”
“Sure, if you want to.”
Dee lifted the lid and rifled through the badges inside, recognising many of Ryo’s hobbies in them. Reading, Swimming, Camping, Gardening, Hiking, Snow Sports… “Y’know, if someone had just handed me this box, I would’a know they were yours.” He plucked out three: Canoeing, Kayaking, and Whitewater. “You really were the outdoorsy type, even as a kid. No wonder you knew so much when you took us kayaking down the rapids! We should totally do that again, but just the two of us this time.”
“I used to do a lot of that kind of thing with my parents, so it made sense to go for those badges,” Ryo admitted. “The Cycling, Camping, and Hiking ones too.”
“How many did you get?” Dee was quickly counting them up, but Ryo beat him to it.
“Twenty-three. I was still a couple short on the required badges to make Eagle Scout though, and then I ran out of time. It took a lot of work to earn each badge, but it was fun and I learned a lot.”
“I can tell; you have the badges to prove it, and now you get to share what you learned with Bikky and me.”
“That’s true,” Ryo said with a smile.
“Only badge I ever earned is this one.” Dee pulled out his detective’s shield and studied it.
“Does it matter? After all, isn’t that the most important badge for both of us these days? My merit badges are good; they hold a lot of memories, and I enjoyed my time as a Boy Scout, but they don’t define who I am now, not the way my shield does.”
Dee pulled up the edge of his t-shirt to polish his badge, making it gleam. “You’re right; other badges might have been nice to have, but this is the one that matters.” Reaching for his mug, he downed the rest of his coffee, then gathered up Ryo’s merit badges and put them back in their box, handing it to his lover.
Ryo sighed. “I still don’t know what to do with all this stuff. Am I silly to want to keep it all?”
“No way! You think I don’t have a load of keepsakes too? I’ve still got all my school report cards, postcards from friends, and a bunch of stuff Jess gave me,” Dee chuckled. “Anyone who doesn’t keep things like that has no soul. Put your boxes in one of the bedroom closets; there’s plenty of space at the back, and you’ll be able to get them out whenever you want to.”
“Okay, thanks, I will in a bit. First though, I think I’d like to have a look at what else is in them.”
“Want me to leave you to it?”
“No, stay. Memories are meant to be shared; it’s what keeps them alive.”
“What keeps them alive,” Dee repeated. “I like that. So, what else you got in there?”
Laughing, Ryo began to unpack the rest of the items from the first box. There was no one he’d rather share his memories with than the man he loved.