Characters: Bikky, Ryo, Dee, Carol, Bikky’s Dad.
Setting: Throughout the manga to just after Like Like Love.
Summary: Bikky is growing up fast, but he still visits his father’s grave whenever he can.
Written For: The dw100 prompt ‘Grave’.
Word Count: 904
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Everything belonging to Richard Goldman had been confiscated on his death, because it was evidence in an ongoing case. It had left Bikky penniless as well as homeless, his dad destined to be buried cheaply by the state, as if he had no family, was unloved and unwanted, when that wasn’t true at all. It hurt Bikky as much as losing his father had, like he was somehow letting down the man who’d been his only family since the death of his mother.
But then Ryo had stepped in, and as if offering Bikky a home hadn’t been enough, he’d made all the arrangements for Richard Goldman’s funeral too, asking Bikky what he thought his dad would like. That had meant a lot. Ryo had made him feel like his opinion was what mattered and had done his best to arrange everything just as Bikky wanted, right down to what was written on the headstone.
It was a nice one too, a proper one, shiny dark grey marble with his dad’s name, the dates of his birth and death, and the words ‘Beloved Father, Always Remembered’ carved into it. Bikky was sure his dad would have liked it; there was nothing too fancy about it, just real class.
It was several months after the funeral before Bikky felt he could visit his dad’s grave again and see the headstone set it its place, but after the first time he started going almost every month, sometimes taking a small bunch of flowers with him to provide a splash of colour. He’d talk to his dad, telling him everything that had been happening since he last visited, while he pulled weeds and generally tidied things up. His father may not have been important or well known, at least not by anyone except other petty criminals and the police, but Bikky didn’t want people to think Dick Goldman had been forgotten. He hoped anyone passing by would see that this was the final resting place of a man who’d been loved in life, even if only by his son.
Years had passed and Bikky had lost count of how many times he’d visited the cemetery, but now everything in his life was about to change again. Leaving New York for California and college was going to be a wrench. Bikky knew he’d miss Carol and Ryo a lot; he thought he might even miss Dee, or at the very least miss fighting with his foster father’s partner. Despite all the chaos of preparations though, he didn’t forget his dad. The day before he was due to leave, Bikky went to visit his father’s grave, knowing it was the last chance he’d have for a while.
“Hey, dad. Well, this is it; I’m not gonna be around for a bit. Bet you never thought you’d see me heading off to college, and in L.A. no less. I hope you’re proud of me. I’ll be back for Thanksgiving though, and Christmas, Spring Break, the summer holidays… Can’t stay away from Carol for too long; I don’t want her getting lonely and dumping me for someone who’s not just a voice on the other end of the phone.” Bikky placed the flowers he’d brought with him into the vase, adding water from the bottle he took from his backpack.
“I’ll miss you, but I promise I’ll visit every time I come home, and Carol’s said she’ll look after your grave while I’m gone, so it won’t get all overgrown and weedy.” Sitting down on the grass, Bikky ran his fingers over the words carved into the smooth surface of the headstone. “I can’t believe you’ve been gone eight years; so much has changed. Ryo’s moving in with the perv, so when I’m home in the holidays I’ll be living with them at Dee’s place. Not sure how I feel about that, but… I’m glad, I guess. Ryo shouldn’t have to be alone and Dee really does love him. I wish you could’ve met Ryo. I think you’d have liked him, even though he’s a cop. He’s been really good to me; I don’t think I’d have had a chance at college if it weren’t for him. He helped me get my grades up so I’d be eligible for the school basketball team, and now I’ve got a scholarship to play at college level. Who knows, maybe when I graduate I might get picked by a pro team; that would be so cool! My dream come true.”
Falling silent, Bikky sat there for a long time, remembering his dad. Richard Goldman had been far from perfect, but Bikky had always known his dad loved him.
Eventually he stirred. “I’d better go; still got last minute packing to do. I love you, Dad.” Getting to his feet, Bikky dusted bits of grass off his trousers and looked down at the grave. “I’m a little scared; California is such a long way away and I won’t know anyone there. Wish me luck?” A small puff of a breeze ruffled his hair, just the way his dad used to do all those years ago and Bikky smiled. “Thanks Dad. I’ll be back before you know it.” Feeling more confident than he had before, Bikky turned and walked back towards the cemetery gates. His adventures were just beginning, but he had a feeling he wouldn’t be entirely alone; his dad would be watching over him.