Characters: Dee, Ryo, OC.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: On vacation in England, Dee and Ryo get caught out in a storm, miles from shelter.
Word Count: 1178
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee/Ryo, warm and dry,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Vacations were supposed to be blessed by perfect weather, but apparently nobody had bothered to clue England in on that fact. Dee grimaced and tugged at the sodden t-shirt clinging to his body. His hair was plastered to his head by the unrelenting downpour and he shivered as the wind cut through him like a knife. Ryo wasn’t faring any better, arms folded across his chest and hands tucked into his armpits, head bowed as he forged his way through the storm, heading back to where they’d left their rental car a couple of hours ago.
When they’d parked off the road near the start of the footpath, the sun had been shining brightly and a soft breeze had been ruffling through the hedgerows, taking the edge off the sultry summer heat. With food and drink in their backpacks, they’d left their jackets in the trunk of the car, sure they wouldn’t be needed on such a glorious day, and set out to follow the footpath that would take them along the cliffs. Ryo’s camera had been hung around his neck, while Dee had their binoculars around his, so they could look for wildlife and seabirds. They’d envisioned a leisurely stroll as far as the next village, which lay nestled around a picturesque bay, followed by an equally leisurely stroll back through the woods, an easily manageable round trip of about ten miles.
They’d been about an hour and a half into their walk, less than halfway to the village because Ryo had been taking a lot of photos and anyway, there hadn’t been any reason for them to rush, so it had come as a bit of a shock when a chilly wind had started to get up, and moments later heavy clouds had blotted out the sun. They’d been so busy watching a group of grey seals playing in the water below that they hadn’t been paying attention to what was going on over their heads, hadn’t noticed the blackening sky. Then, when they’d finally become aware of the rapidly deteriorating weather, they’d wasted several precious minutes debating whether they should keep going towards the village or turn back and head for their car. The first rumble of thunder had made up their minds for them, but they hadn’t been walking back the way they’d come for more than five minutes before the heavens had opened. Ryo had paused just long enough to stow his camera in his backpack, wrapping it first in a plastic bag so it wouldn’t be damaged by the rain, and then they’d started to run.
Thunder rolled, lightning flashed, and all they could do was keep going through a veritable deluge; there was no shelter in sight. They’d been soaked to the skin in moments, and far from being a pleasantly warm summer rain, what was pouring down on them was icy cold and mixed with sharp, stinging hailstones. To make matters worse, it was coming down so hard that pretty soon they could barely see where they were going, and for the sake of safety they’d been forced to slow to a walk.
They battled their way onwards, struggling to see landmarks through the gloom and the driving rain; it showed no sign of letting up anytime soon, so it was a huge relief when they realised they were nearing the place where they’d left their car. Both of them were drenched, half frozen, and shivering so hard their teeth were chattering, but they picked up the pace as much as they dared in the poor visibility, with grass and mud slippery beneath their feet. Thankfully their hiking boots gave them better traction than the sneakers they’d left in the car.
Climbing the stile at the bottom of the path, they made a beeline for the car, unlocking it and dropping onto the seats with a squelch that brought them to their feet again. As much as they wanted to be out of the rain, the car seats were fabric and would be difficult to get dry. Neither of them relished the idea of spending the rest of their vacation driving around in a car with damp seats.
Rummaging in the glovebox, Ryo pulled out a roll of black trash bags, tearing some off to cover the car seats, and a couple more to put their muddy boots in. “Told you they’d come in useful.” A few days ago Dee had laughed at him for buying them, but he wasn’t laughing now.
A couple of minutes later and they were in the car, slamming the doors against the weather. The thunder and lightning were receding into the distance, although the rain was still falling heavily. Looked like it was set in for the rest of the day.
“What now, back to the guest house?” Dee asked.
“It’s the only thing we can do. I don’t think either of us want to sit around in wet clothes any longer than we have to.”
“That’s for sure.” Firing up the engine, Dee turned the car heater on full, which immediately steamed up the inside of the car, meaning they had to open their windows a bit, which let more rain in on the gusting wind. “We just can’t win! We’re never gonna get dry at this rate,” Dee grumbled.
“Just drive. We can take a hot shower and dry off in our room, but first we have to get there.”
It was still raining when they pulled up outside the farmhouse where they were staying, and their landlady stared at them wide-eyed when they trudged in, looking like a pair of drowned rats. They hadn’t dried off much on the drive back, despite the car’s heather, although they weren’t quite as cold as they had been.
“Oh my goodness, look at you two, you’re soaked to the skin! Now you just go right on up and take a hot shower before you both catch your deaths! I’ll light the fire. What you need is a nice cup of tea.”
Because, Dee reflected, tea was the British answer to everything. Still, a hot drink would be more than welcome to warm them from the inside.
The shower helped a lot, chasing away most of the chills running through their bodies, and getting into dry clothes felt like heaven. Even though Dee wasn’t much of a tea drinker he decided the best thing of all was sitting by the farmhouse kitchen fire, wrapped in cosy blankets and drinking hot tea, with a cat purring in his lap while the rain continued to pour down outside. They were warm, dry, and snug at last. It was almost worth getting drenched and half frozen just to enjoy getting warm again.
He closed his eyes and relaxed as he took another sip from his steaming mug; you didn’t get this kind of service in a hotel. “Next time we decide to go for a long hike we should probably check the weather forecast first,” he said with a wry smile.
Ryo smiled back. “I think you’re right.”