Characters: Dee, Bikky, Ryo, Carol.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: On a hot day in Central Park, Dee joins Bikky and Carol in a game of basketball.
Word Count: 1307
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee, Bikky and Carol, Playing basketball,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee stared down at Bikky. “Two against one? Hardly seems like fair odds. Why can’t Ryo play? The two of us against the two of you.”
Ryo was shaking his head. “In this weather? Count me out; I’m pleading injury, I’ll just sit here and watch you guys exhaust yourselves.”
“Injury?” Dee threw a concerned look Ryo’s way. “You never told me you were hurt!”
Smirking, Ryo held up one finger. “Paper cut. Very nasty.”
Bikky stifled a giggle and Dee rolled his eyes. “That is SO lame! You couldn’t come up with a better excuse to get out of playing than that?”
Shrugging, Ryo said, “I’m hot. Maybe I just want to relax in the shade and enjoy the view.”
“Now THAT I can understand,” Dee said, stretching bare arms above his head, all the better to show off his physique. “Who wouldn’t want to look at this?”
Bikky pulled a disgusted face but Carol ran her eyes appreciatively up and down Dee’s body and grinned at Ryo. “It is quite an appealing view,” she agreed, laughing as Ryo’s face turned pink in a way that had nothing to do with the bright sunlight. He turned away, retreating to a shady spot beneath a nearby tree.
“So, are we on or not?” Bikky challenged the older man. “’Cause Carol and I can easily play by ourselves if you’re too chicken to go up against the both of us.”
“Are you kiddin’ me? I could take both of you little squirts with one hand tied behind my back.”
Bikky gave a disparaging snort. “You don’t stand a chance even with both hands free, old man. Let’s get this game started. I’ll even let you have the ball first. It’ll be the only chance you’ll get to score!”
“You think so? Well, I’m about to prove you wrong!” Stepping onto the hot tarmac of the court, Dee caught the ball Bikky tossed towards him one-handed and turned towards the basketball hoop, giving the ball a couple of test bounces as the two kids got into position. “Game on!”
Dee feinted right and went left, dribbling the ball, but Bikky was on him in an instant. Only a quick twist of his body and the fact that he was over a foot taller allowed him to evade the boy long enough to take the shot. The ball dropped neatly through the hoop. “Take that, twerp! One point to me!”
Now Carol had the ball, but no matter how hard he tried, Dee couldn’t get past Bikky to prevent the girl from drawing even.
“Good shot, Carol!” Bikky congratulated his girlfriend.
Dee got the ball again but lost it to a sneaky move by Bikky, who whipped it away from him in mid-bounce before Dee could shoot. Seconds later, Bikky slam-dunked it in the net. That put the kids up, two-one.
So the game continued. Bikky was wrong about one thing, Dee did get other chances to score after the first one, and nailed every shot he attempted, but that was nowhere near enough against two kids who scored every time they got the ball. Before long he was down by nine, with the kids scoring sixteen to his measly seven. They had him practically going in circles.
“What’s the matter? Feeling your age?” Bikky taunted, laughing as he scored with a perfect drop shot.
Dee scowled; the kid had springs for legs! “C’mon, Ryo! Help me out here! You gonna let these two brats beat me?”
Ryo laughed. “Didn’t you say you could beat them with one hand tied behind you?”
“Yeah, but they’re not playin’ fair! Did you see the runt trip me just then?”
“Hey! It’s not my fault you weren’t watching where ya put your big feet! Besides, you’re the one wanted to play with us. You should think yourself lucky we let ya!”
“I’m hot.” Carol wiped her sleeve across her forehead. “Think I’ll join Ryo on the sidelines and leave you two macho men to it.”
Bikky gave Dee a challenging look. “One on one, you man enough, Perv?”
Dee snorted. “Bring it on; I’ve got you beat now, squirt!”
Famous last words; if anything, Bikky had been holding back before, so that Carol would get the ball and a chance to score. Now, he dialled it up to eleven. Dee was no slouch when it came to basketball, at one time he’d even wondered whether he could make a career out of the game he loved, but a shoulder injury had put paid to his chances. But if Dee was good, Bikky was better.
Dee scored twice more, though he suspected Bikky might have let him. out of pity, and only because Ryo was watching. Bikky, on the other hand, notched up another nine baskets before Dee surrendered, leaving the boy to shoot hoops by himself, and slumping down beside Ryo in the shade.
“What’re you feedin’ that kid?” he asked breathlessly. “He’s got more energy than the Duracell bunny!”
“He’s fourteen, Dee, and you’re twice his age. Kids have more energy than adults; it’s a known fact. Probably because they don’t have to deal with the stress of holding down a paying job,” Ryo said with a wry grin. He opened a bottle of water and offered it to Dee.
“That’s true, I guess; work stress takes a lot out of us.” Dee fell silent, slowly sipping water as he watched Bikky. Finally he shook his head. “I used to think I was good, but I had to work at it. That kid though… When it comes to natural ability, he’s got me beat.”
“D’you think he could play pro?” Ryo turned to look at his partner.
“If he gets the right breaks, the right people see him play… Yeah, I really think he could. Barring injury, but I swear his bones are made of rubber so I don’t think that’s something either of you need to worry about.”
“Playing basketball’s the only thing he really wants to do. After everything he’s been through, it would be great if his lifelong dream could come true.”
Dee smiled; that was typical Ryo. Other parents would be thinking of the money their boy could earn from playing in the big leagues, but all Ryo cared about was that his foster son should have the opportunity to chase, and possibly fulfil, his dreams. Dee had never known anyone so selfless.
“You know what I’m dreamin’ of right now?”
Ryo glanced warily at his lover. “Knowing you, I could hazard a guess.”
“Not that, dumbass!” Dee laughed, before reconsidering. “Well yeah, but that goes without sayin’. Right at this moment though, I’m hot and tired, so I was thinkin’ more along the lines of ice cream.”
“Mm, that does sound good.” Ryo raised his voice. “Bikky! That’s enough now.”
“I don’t want you getting heatstroke. Come over here and cool off for a few minutes, then we’ll see about getting ice cream.”
That seemed to do the trick. Scooping the ball up, Bikky trailed over and threw himself down on the grass beside Carol. Ryo produced another bottle of water and handed it to Bikky, who poured some of it over himself, shaking his head and spraying Carol with droplets before taking a sip. Carol laughed wiping water off her face.
Smiling at the kids’ antics, Ryo turned back to his partner. “So, ice cream?”
“I’ll even pay.”
“Such generosity! That’s an offer I’m not about to refuse.” Ryo got to his feet, slinging his backpack over one shoulder and giving Dee a hand up. “Carol, Bikky…”
Dee draped one arm loosely over Ryo shoulders as they set off in search of ice cream. He may have lost the basketball game, but in Ryo he’d won the only prize that really counted.