Characters: Ryo, Bikky, Dee.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Bikky is worried about his upcoming first professional basketball game, so he calls the one person he knows he can rely on.
Word Count: 871
Written For: Challenge 267: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 14: Performance Anxiety.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
The sound of his phone’s ring tone dragged Ryo out of a deep sleep and he fumbled for the small device on the nightstand without turning on the bedside lamp, not wanting to wake Dee if he didn’t have to. His partner was a very deep sleeper, he might not hear the phone, but light in the middle of the night was one thing that usually roused him.
“Maclean,” he murmured into the phone.
“What if I’m no good?” a voice gabbled in his ear. “What if they realise they’ve made a huge mistake with me?”
“They drafted me, and now they’re paying me all this money, but what if I get out there on the court and screw up so badly they regret it and kick me off the team?”
Slipping out of bed, Ryo made his way into the living room where he could talk to his foster son without risking disturbing his lover. “Bikky, calm down; that’s not going to happen, you’re just suffering a bit of stage fright, that’s all. You’ve been doing great in training, or so you told me yesterday.”
“Well yeah, but that’s training. Tomorrow’s different; it’s our first pre-season game against a pro team!”
“Yes, and you’re playing WITH a pro team, you’re not going to be out there alone. There are a lot of experienced players on the squad with you, and you’re not the only new guy. No one’s expecting you to play a perfect game, certainly not first time out; you’re bound to be nervous. Isn’t that why the league has pre-season games? To iron out any kinks, get everybody used to the routine, and give the newest team members a chance to play a few games against other teams before they really count?”
“I suppose so, it’s just… I don’t want to let the team down, they’re investing so much in me.”
“They’re investing what your talent is worth to them. This IS what you’ve always wanted to do though, right?”
“Yeah, of course; it’s everything I’ve wanted since the first time I saw a basketball game on TV. But if I don’t play well enough, I could lose it all and I don’t think I could bear that! To come this far only to crash and burn…”
“Bikky, listen to me; you’re a natural, everybody says so. Playing basketball is what you were made to do, but nobody’s perfect; that’s part of being human and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even the most experienced players still make mistakes. If no one ever did, what would be the point of playing? It’s a game, it’s unpredictable; no one can say in advance what will happen, so all you need to do is go out there, do your best, and have fun. The world won’t end if you make a few mistakes and you won’t get thrown off the team because of them, any more than any of your teammates would. You’re still learning. Think of the pre-season games as practice sessions, warm-ups for the main event, because that’s what they are. You’ll do fine. After the game tomorrow you’ll wonder what you were so worried about.”
Bikky sighed heavily. “I guess you’re right. Thanks, Ryo. I really needed the pep talk.”
“Anytime, Biks. Now, shouldn’t you get some sleep? You’ll want to be well rested for the game and it must be gone eleven-thirty where you are.”
“You’re right, I should probably get to bed… Oh God, what time is it in New York? Did I wake you?”
“About half past two, and yes you did, but it’s okay; Dee and I are on second shift tomorrow so I can sleep in.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t even think…”
“Bikky, it’s fine, you know you can call me any time, day or night; I’m always here for you.”
“I know; you’re the best Dad ever. I wouldn’t even be here if not for you. I don’t want to let you down either.”
“You couldn’t if you tried; I’m so proud of you, Biks, and I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. Call me after the game?”
“You know I will. Love you, Ryo, and thanks.”
“Love you too, Bikky. Goodnight.”
Ryo ended the call and made his way back into the bedroom, putting his phone back on the nightstand and sliding into bed beside Dee.
“You okay, babe?” Dee asked muzzily, one eye peering sleepily at Ryo.
“Fine, Dee. Bikky called; he’s having a little performance anxiety over the game tomorrow. I think I managed to calm him down though.”
“Don’t know what he’s got to worry about,” Dee mumbled into his pillow. “Kid’s got ‘Champ’ written all over him. He’ll show ‘em all tomorrow, wipe the floor…” He trailed off into a soft snore.
Ryo bit his bottom lip to keep from laughing; tomorrow, if he said anything about this conversation, Dee would deny saying any such thing, but Ryo knew his lover was as proud of Bikky as he himself was.
Snuggling down into the warmth beneath the covers, Ryo closed his eyes and relaxed. He was sure Bikky would be fine, but win or lose he had people who would always love him regardless.