Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: The day is turning out a lot hotter than Ryo was expecting; he and Dee need to find a way to keep cool.
Word Count: 1486
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee/Ryo, Skinny dipping,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“Man, it’s hot!” Dee groaned as he and Ryo crested the ridge they’d been trudging up for what felt like forever. The air hung around them like a damp towel, heavy and humid even beneath the trees, without a breath of a breeze to bring respite; both men were breathing hard. “What the hell are we doin’ hiking in these temperatures anyway? We should’a stayed back at the cabin. Feels like I’m about to melt.”
Ryo pushed sweat-damp hair back off his forehead and sighed; this was definitely not good weather for hiking. It was fair to say the day wasn’t going at all the way he’d planned. They’d set out early for a hike over into the next valley, but now, although it was only mid-morning, they were sweltering and the temperature was still going up. “I didn’t expect it to get this hot,” he admitted. “One of the downsides of being so far from civilisation; can’t check the weather forecast on my phone.”
“Then maybe you should’a checked it before we came out here!”
“I did, and it was supposed to remain below eighty for the next couple of weeks, but you know how quickly long-range weather forecasts can change.”
“I do now.” Dee mopped at his forehead with the shirt he’d long since taken off. “It’s gotta be well over ninety already. We’re gonna end up with heatstroke at this rate.”
“I’m sorry.” Ryo’s shoulders drooped disconsolately. Or it might have just been the heat weighing him down.
“Nah, it’s fine. Not your fault. We just need to get down into the valley where there’re more trees. Might be a bit cooler if we get outta the sun.”
Ryo nodded agreement. “Better than standing here waiting to be cooked like a couple of steaks on a barbecue.” The top of the ridge was mostly bare rock, the trees having gradually thinned out the further up they’d got, and it seemed to draw the heat in, but the far side boasted denser growth and the two men headed down towards the tree-line as quickly as they could manage, eager to get into the shade.
It wasn’t much cooler beneath the trees, but being out of direct sunlight at least saved them from getting scorched. They’d applied plenty of sunscreen before setting out, and it was supposed to be waterproof, but the way they were sweating it was probably best not to take unnecessary chances. Ryo had shoved the bottle in his backpack, in case they needed to apply more, and they’d brought plenty of water with them, so they shouldn’t get dehydrated, but it would be best to find somewhere they could sit out the worst of the heat before heading back to their rented cabin in the evening, when with luck it should be a bit cooler. Ryo had the perfect spot in mind, having vacationed in the area before, but first they had to get there, which meant continuing their hike.
They plodded wearily through the trees, their footsteps muffled by the thick layer of dead leaves covering the ground. The air was so still there was barely a sound to be heard, as if even the birds and small animals were too hot to do anything. Neither man spoke; they just concentrated on putting one aching foot in front of the other as they made their way down towards the valley floor. After about forty minutes, they came out of the trees into a small, shady clearing and Dee suddenly perked up as he spotted the pond ahead of him.
“Water! A refreshing swim is just what we need to cool off!” He dumped his backpack to the ground and started to strip out of his clothes.
“Dee, I wouldn’t if I were you…” Ryo started, but his warning fell on deaf ears.
“Are you crazy? No way am I not havin’ a swim. It’s the answer to my prayers!” Dee was out of his t-shirt, jeans, and boots in record time, shedding his shorts as he made for the water and dived in, but moments later… “Argh!” he shrieked as he surfaced, floundering back towards shore and hurriedly scrabbling his way up onto the bank, where he huddled in on himself, shivering, his teeth chattering like ice cubes in a glass of cold water. “It’s f…f…freezing! It’s g…gotta be like n…ninety-five d…degrees out! H…how can the w…water be so c…c…cold?”
Ryo doubled up with laughter. “I did try to warn you,” he said, wiping tears from his eyes. He was still chuckling as he dug a towel out of his backpack and handed it to his lover. “It’s not my fault you wouldn’t listen. This pond is really deep so the water’s always cold. Nobody in their right mind would ever try swimming in it.”
Dee started roughly towelling himself off, still shivering. “Yeah, well I guess I wasn’t in my right mind on account of the heat,” he grumbled. “On the plus side, I’m not hot anymore, but I think I may have frostbite.”
“You’ll be hot again in no time,” Ryo assured him. “Better get dressed and we’ll get moving again.”
“Why? I mean, what’s wrong with sittin’ out the heat right here? We get too hot we can stick our feet in the water; it’s guaranteed to cool us off.”
“You can stay here if you want, but I have another place in mind that should be even better; it’s only another mile or so.”
“What’s so special about this other place that makes it better than here?” Dee tugged his jeans on and shoved damp feet into his boots; his hair was already almost dry.
“You’ll see when we get there.”
“Well, I guess it won’t hurt too much to take a look,” Dee said grudgingly, not exactly eager to continue their trek. The pool might be too cold for swimming but it offered the only respite from the heat they’d come across so far and to him leaving it seemed an act of insanity. Still, Ryo was familiar with the area so… “We can always come back here again after if it’s no better in this other place.”
Ryo said nothing to that, just slung his backpack over his shoulder and set off again. Scooping up his own backpack, and with the damp towel draped around his neck, Dee followed his lover past the pond and back into the woods.
It was probably a little less than a mile, but by the time they reached Ryo’s chosen spot Dee was already sweating and too hot again, the benefits of his brief dip in the frigid pond evaporated by the still rising temperatures. He was about ready to suggest they go back and chill, literally, in the pond when the trees ended abruptly on the banks of a wide lake. There were ducks and geese floating on its surface, and on the far shore, several deer stood at the edge, drinking.
Ryo led the way through the undergrowth along the edge of the lake, just within the tree cover, to a clear patch of grassy bank where he set his backpack in the shade of a rocky outcropping and began to strip off his clothes. While naked Ryo was a sight well worth looking at, Dee hesitated, putting his backpack beside his lover’s and draping the towel over a big boulder to dry, but making no move to undress.
“What’re you waiting for?” Ryo asked, amused. “I thought you’d be all for skinny dipping.”
“I am, I just don’t want to wind up half frozen again.” Despite the heat, he shivered at the memory.
“You won’t. This lake is much shallower than the pond; the water should be a far more comfortable temperature.” Ryo was down to just his boxer shorts now.
“Want me to try it first?” Ryo teased, grinning. He stripped out of his boxers, hung them over a branch with the rest of his clothes, and dived cleanly into the water, making hardly a splash. Surfacing some distance out, he waved back at Dee, still on the bank. “Come on in, it’s just right!”
Tugging his clothes off for the second time that day, Dee hung them over the same convenient branch with Ryo’s, where hopefully they’d be safe from snakes and other undesirable intruders and dived into the water, mentally steeling himself against the anticipated chill, but… Ryo was right; the water was pleasantly cool, but far from cold and it felt good against his heated skin. He swam out to where Ryo was floating lazily in the shade cast by the overhanging trees.
“Now this is a much better way to spend a hot day,” Dee said, treading water.
“Mm hm,” Ryo agreed. “We can stay here for a few hours until it gets cooler, then make our way back to the cabin.”
That sounded just fine to Dee.