Characters: Bikky, Ryo, Dee, Dick.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Ryo tells Bikky about his and Dee’s temporary guest.
Word Count: 1134
Written For: Amnesty at beattheblackdog, using Challenge 75: Temporary.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“You’ve got a what?” Bikky’s voice exclaimed through the phone and Ryo smiled, leaning back comfortably on the sofa. It wasn’t often he managed to surprise his foster son; in fact he couldn’t remember the last time. Maybe it had been when he’d broken the news about his relationship with Dee, although that had come as more of a shock to the boy than a surprise. Anyway, that was old news and not today’s topic of conversation.
“We’ve got a dog. Don’t get too excited, it’s only a temporary arrangement while his elderly owner’s in hospital. We’re just kind of pet-sitting, but in our own home.”
“But Dee hates dogs! How’d you persuade him? Scratch that; I don’t think I want to know.”
Ryo laughed out loud. “Actually it was the other way around. You remember me telling you a few weeks ago about the lost puppy that took a liking to Dee?”
“Yeah, it followed the two of you through the park and you had to return it to its owner.”
“Well, it’s the same dog. When Dee found out the owner was in hospital, he volunteered to take care of the dog because Mrs Holloway doesn’t have any family. I didn’t find out until later,” Ryo explained.
“Were you mad at him?” Bikky asked, sounding hopeful. Although he and Dee got along better now they were living at opposite ends of the country, Bikky still seemed to relish the idea of his nemesis landing himself in hot water with Ryo.
“Of course not. To tell the truth I’d have done the same thing. Anything might have happened to the poor little dog otherwise. He’s much better off living with us for a month or two. Hold on a minute; I’ll send you a photo of him.” Ryo skimmed through the pictures of Dick he’d taken on his phone, selected one, and sent it over the miles.
“Got it. Carol would say he’s adorable,” Bikky said. “I prefer bigger dogs, but I guess he is kinda cute. Is he there with you?”
“Not right now, Dee took him out for a walk. We’ve got rain forecast for later and he said he didn’t want the dog getting wet, especially not while his paws are healing. I think it’s more about Dee not wanting to get wet though.”
“Hang on a minute, what d’you mean healing? What happened to its paw? Did that clumsy oaf tread on it?”
Ryo quickly explained about Dick being dragged along the sidewalk.
“Some people shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near animals,” Bikky said angrily. “I’d have rescued the dog too.”
“I know you would have.” Ryo was proud of how kind and caring his boy was. “We took him to the vet where we used to take Shadow.”
“Doc Blake’s good, I liked her. She really cares about the animals she treats.”
“She asked after the pair of you; I told her you’re both enjoying sunny California.”
“We are. Shadow loves sunbathing on the balcony. I was lucky I could get permission to keep her here, they don’t usually allow pets, but it’s only until everything’s settled with the house.”
Carol and Bikky would be moving into an old house just off campus with some other students early in the New Year, sharing the rent and utilities. It would work out cheaper than living in the dorms and they’d have a room to themselves. They were just waiting for the current residents to move out.
“Let us know if you need us to fly down and lend a hand.”
“Dad!” Bikky laughed. “I appreciate the offer, but we won’t have much to move anyway. Most of the furniture’s included. I’ll have two trips in the car at the most; Carol and her aunt will be driving mine down from New York, remember?”
“I remember; the guys at the motor pool did me a favour and gave it a thorough service ready for the journey. Carol’s got the keys and all the paperwork.”
“Great! Anyway, stop changing the subject; I want to hear more about your temporary pet! What breed is he, and what’s his name?”
“He’s a miniature dachshund, pedigree from what I’ve been told. Dee and I both agree he needs to be given a new name though.”
“His owner named him Dick.” Ryo could feel himself blushing.
“She what?” Bikky burst out laughing. “What was she thinking?”
“I don’t think she has any idea…” Ryo trailed off. “Anyway, he’s only been here for a couple of days so we haven’t had time to come up with something more suitable for use in public. At the moment we’re mostly just calling him the dog. As long as he’d fed, walked, and played with I don’t think he minds too much what we call him.” Ryo paused as he heard the apartment door opening. “Sounds like they’re back; I’d better go, dinner’s almost ready. Talk to you at the weekend?”
“Yeah, I’ll call you Sunday morning probably; I’ve got training most of Saturday. Bye, Ryo.”
“Bye. Call me if you need anything.”
“I will. Quit worrying.”
“Never. No matter how old or how tall you get I’ll still be your guardian, and that means it’s my job to worry about you.”
“Okay, fine, then try not to worry too much,” Bikky chuckled. “Love you, dad.”
“Love you too, Biks. Talk to you Sunday.” Ryo hung up, turning to his partner and the dog. “Hey! Enjoy your walk?”
“Yeah, it was kinda nice. Won’t be long before it starts gettin’ cold out though. What’re we gonna do when it’s rainin’ hard or snowin’?”
“He’ll still need walking.”
“He’s got some little coats for cold and wet weather. They were in with his bed when I unpacked; I forgot all about them.” Getting up and putting his phone away, Ryo went to the cupboard he’d cleared for the dog’s food and opened the drawer above it. “I put them in here out of the way,” he said, taking out a carrier bag. In it were six or seven dog coats, including a thick tartan one, a red shower-proof one, and a fleece lined yellow mackintosh with a hood and four matching boots.
Dee frowned at the mac. “I can just see the looks I’ll get if I take him out in that getup.”
“What matters is that he’ll stay warm and dry,” Ryo reminded his lover. “He’s so low to the ground if it’s raining he’ll get splashed every time anyone drives past, and as for the snow…”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. If it’s a choice between my temporary embarrassment and the dog’s welfare I guess the dog has to come first.”
Ryo grinned. “We’ll make a responsible dog owner out of you yet!”
TBC in Part 10 - Bad Manners