Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: A minor disagreement over doing the dishes after dinner gets a bit out of hand.
Word Count: 1723
Written For: My own prompt ‘Any, any, “You're being unreasonable”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo put his cutlery down on his empty plate and stood up from the dinner table. “Come on, Dee; let’s get all this cleared away and the dishes done.” He started picking up plates to take to the kitchen.
“What, right now? Where’s the rush? We’ve barely finished eatin’, and it’s not like we have to be anywhere tonight. The dishes can wait for half an hour while we digest our meal, can’t they?”
“The longer they’re left the harder everything dries on, and the longer it all takes to wash,” Ryo said briskly, the voice of reason. Dee hated it when his lover was like that.
“For pity’s sake, Ryo! I’m so stuffed I can barely move and now you want me to dash around clearin’ the table and washin’ dishes? I’ll wind up with indigestion!”
“Then you shouldn’t have eaten so much, should you?” Ryo said, returning from the kitchen for more dirty dishes.
Dee couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “What, now you’re complainin’ because I appreciate your cookin’? Don’t you think you’re bein’ a bit unreasonable here?”
“I’m being unreasonable? You’re the one who’s refusing to help with the dishes! After I did all the cooking, this is the thanks I get?”
“Hey, don’t go puttin’ words in my mouth! I never said I wouldn’t help; I just think we should relax a bit first.”
“It’s always the same with you!” Ryo snapped. “Any time there’s work to be done you put it off until someone else winds up doing it for you, and that someone is usually me! It’s not enough that I do almost all your paperwork, but now you want me to do all the household chores too while all you do is sit on your ass!”
“That’s not fair!”
“No, it isn’t, and I’ve been saying that for years, for all the good it’s done me! You know what you are, Dee Laytner? Lazy!”
“That’s a lie! You take that back!” Dee scowled across the table at his lover. “I work just as hard as you do! You know what your problem is?”
“I’m sure you’re going to tell me!”
“Damn straight I am! You’re an obsessive compulsive, can’t stand to have anything out of place, it’s all got to be just so. You spend half your time runnin’ around tidyin’ things that don’t need it and cleanin’ things that aren’t dirty!”
“Someone has to clean up around here! Lord knows you won’t do it. You’re a slob! You don’t want a boyfriend, you want a housemaid!”
“I never asked you to clean up after me! This isn’t some kind of show house; it’s my apartment!” Both men were yelling now.
“Yours, huh? And here I was thinking it was ours!”
“You’re twistin’ my words again! All I meant was a man’s home doesn’t need to be immaculate. So what if it looks lived in? That’s because it is! People live here! A little mess never hurt anyone!”
“So you think it’s okay to leave your dirty clothes all over the floor, do you?” Ryo stood by the table glaring at Dee, hands on his hips.
Dee glared right back. “I don’t! I put my dirty clothes in the hamper!”
“Then you’re saying it wasn’t a pair of your shorts I found under the sofa this morning? Because they certainly looked like yours.”
Dee’s eyebrows went up. “Huh. Which ones?”
“The black Calvin Klein… What does it matter which ones?”
“So that’s where they went. I’ve been wonderin’ about that. Figured they’d turn up eventually though.” Dee shrugged, unconcerned, then frowned. “What were you doin’ scrabblin’ around under the sofa anyway?”
“I lost my car keys! I thought maybe they might have gone under there… What?”
Dee was grinning. “Lost your keys and found my shorts instead? That must have been disappointin’ for ya.”
Ryo sagged as all the fight went out of him. “The reason I have a place for everything is because otherwise I forget where I’ve put things, and I tidy a lot because I’m forever looking for all the things I’ve lost.”
Dee actually had the nerve to laugh. “You’re such a dumbass sometimes. Y’know, if you’d just said something I’d have helped ya look.”
“I didn’t want you to know how hopeless I am,” Ryo mumbled, embarrassed.
“News flash, babe; I already knew that. Nobody’s perfect, although you come pretty damn close, when you’re not obsessin’ over every little thing.”
“I’m sorry I yelled at you.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry too. I don’t mean to leave all the chores to you. It’s just whenever I go to do anything you’ve already done it. Makes me feel a bit useless to be honest. Not everything has to be done immediately; it’s okay to leave things for a bit. Now come sit down. The dishes will keep; they’re not goin’ anywhere. We can take care of ‘em later. And next time you lose something, because there will be a next time, just tell me and I’ll help you find it. I know you’re used to doin’ everything for yourself, but you don’t have to anymore. Okay?”
“Okay.” Ryo looked uncertainly at the dirty dishes and chewed on his bottom lip, obviously not entirely happy about leaving them, but after a minute or so he sat down.
“So, our first big fight since movin’ in together.” Dee leaned back in his chair and laced his fingers together behind his head, as relaxed and unworried as ever. “I think that went pretty well, don’t you?”
Ryo looked at his lover for a moment, a bemused expression on his face, and then gave a wry smile. “Well, you didn’t kick me out…”
“And I’m not gonna. Couples fight, babe; happens all the time. It’s a natural part of a healthy relationship, so don’t go stressin’ over it. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect all the time; that would be unnatural.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“Sure I am. So, now we’ve got that straightened out, why don’t you relax while I make us a coffee? After we’ve had that we can think about tacklin’ the dishes.” Dee paused halfway to the kitchen. “Y’know, maybe we should think about gettin’ a dishwasher.”
“That might not be a bad idea,” Ryo admitted. “We’ve got the space for one now.”
“We can maybe go take a look at some on our next day off.” Dee continued on towards the kitchen, returning a few minutes later and setting two steaming mugs of coffee down, careful to place them on the tablemats so Ryo wouldn’t get annoyed with him again. He slumped back into his chair and grinned across at his lover. “Okay, so, post-fight recap; what did we learn?”
“What do you mean?” Confusion was written clearly across Ryo’s face
“Well, if we don’t learn from our fights we’ll be doomed to keep repeatin’ ‘em. Let’s see; my missin’ shorts were hidin’ under the sofa, but your lost keys weren’t. They ever turn up?”
Ryo nodded. “They were in the laundry hamper. I found them when I was putting your shorts in there.”
“The laundry hamper? How’d that happen?”
“They must have gotten gathered up with the clothes I put in there last night.”
“I guess my stray shorts turnin’ up when they did wasn’t such a bad thing then.”
“I suppose not. How’d they end up under there anyway?”
“You remember Sunday night, when we got a bit carried away on the sofa? I thought I’d gathered up all our clothes after, but I must’ve missed those.”
“Oh.” Ryo blushed. “Yes, that was a bit… It’s amazing more of our clothes didn’t end up in odd places.”
“Your shorts wound up hangin’ from the lamp. Made ‘em easy to find,” Dee smirked.
Ryo’s blush deepened, but he didn’t say anything.
“We’ve wandered off track a bit; where was I? Oh yeah. If you lose something, tell me so I can help look for it. I might even have seen it, but if I don’t know it’s lost I’m not gonna tell you where it is if you don’t ask, am I?”
“That’s true,” Ryo agreed. “I just feel like an idiot losing things all the time.”
“Hey, it’s no secret you can be a bit of an airhead.” Dee’s warm smile took the sting out of his words. “What else? Ah! You do too much around the apartment and I do too little, because by the time I get around to doin’ housework you’ve already done it all. It’s not a race, babe, and I don’t expect you to do everything, just leave some of the chores for me and don’t get mad if they don’t get done immediately. I get there in the end, I just don’t see the need to always rush.”
“I guess I do need to ease up a bit.”
“Yeah, you do. It also wouldn’t kill ya to tell me when you want me to do somethin’. Just don’t expect me to do the dishes right after eatin’ a big meal; that’s the time for relaxin’. Deal?”
“We’ve also established that I’m a bit of a slob at times, and you’re sometimes kinda obsessive compulsive, and that’s okay.”
“We are who we are, babe, and I doubt either of us is ever gonna change. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pull each other up if I get too slobby or you get too obsessive over somethin’, but the rest of the time maybe we can agree to live and let live?”
“That sounds fair.”
“Good.” Dee drained the last of the coffee from his mug, set it down on the table, and stretched luxuriously. “Right, now we’ve got all that settled, how about we tackle the dishes? You wanna wash or dry?”
“I’ll wash.” Ryo stood up and picked up his empty mug. “Dee?”
“What for?” A puzzled frown creased Dee’s forehead.
“For putting up with me.”
“Hell, you don’t haveta thank me for that; trust me, it’s not a chore.”
“All the same…”
“That’s what love’s all about, babe; stickin’ with each other no matter what. Get used to it, ‘cause I’m never lettin’ you go.”
The last of the tension drained out of Ryo and he smiled back at his partner. “That’s good, because I wouldn’t want you to.”