Characters: Dee, Berkeley Rose, Ryo, Mother, OCs.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Dee and Ryo did all the fundraising, but now Rose is getting all the glory.
Written Using: The tw100 prompt ‘Privilege’.
Word Count: 874
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee felt he had every right to be annoyed; as usual, Berkeley Rose was making this all about him, standing there with a cat that got the cream smile on his face, like he’d done all the hard work himself when all he’d done was make a donation. Dee and Ryo had been the ones who’d set up the fundraiser, and they’d worked their asses off for weeks, but now, sensing the perfect opportunity to put himself in the limelight, Rose was stepping in to hog all the glory.
Not that Dee cared about glory himself; that wasn’t the reason he and Ryo had wanted to raise money for the orphanage. They’d done it because Mother had been struggling to come up with enough to pay for repairs after a bad storm had damaged the orphanage roof.
Dee had done as much of the repair work as he could, and he’d called in a few favours from friends in the building trade, but even so Mother had only just managed to scrape together enough to get the most urgent work done, and it had left her with nothing in reserve.
Now there was Rose, standing beside Mother in front on the orphanage, the kids all scrubbed up and dressed in their best clothes gathered around them, and TV cameras whirring, capturing everything for the evening news. Great publicity for the Commissioner, showing him as a man who cared about the needs of those less fortunate than himself, and okay, maybe it was good to get Mother and the orphans into the public eye; that was something Dee couldn’t have done anywhere near as effectively and it might bring in more donations, but still…
“It is my great honour and privilege to present this cheque for nineteen thousand four hundred and eighty-four dollars to Mother Maria Lane, founder of the Blessed Hope Orphanage. Mother, I’m sure you’ll be able to do a lot of good work with this money.”
“Thank you, Commissioner Rose, I’m sure I shall. God works in mysterious ways; the children and I appreciate this more that we can ever express. I want to thank everyone who gave so willingly to help us in our time of need, but most especially Detectives Dee Laytner and Randy Maclean, who set up the fundraiser and worked tirelessly to raise both money and awareness after our roof was badly damaged in last month’s storm. If you could have seen them, up on the roof if the pouring rain, spreading tarps and patching holes as best they could to keep us dry… Well, that was true selflessness in action. I don’t know what I would have done without their help and support; they’re always ready and willing to lend a hand whenever I need it, never asking anything in return.”
And just like that, Mother had flipped everything around. The spotlight slid away from Rose, seeking out Dee and Ryo as the reporters fired questions at them.
Dee shrugged, hands in pockets. “I’m just doin’ what any kid would do for their family. Mother raised me from a baby, came up with the money to put me through the police academy when I told her I wanted to be a cop… I owe her everything; no matter what I do I know I can never repay all she’s done for me, that that’s not gonna keep me from tryin’.”
“And what about you, Detective Maclean?” the reporter asked.
“Dee’s my partner and my best friend, we’ve got each others backs whether we’re at work or not. If he needs an extra pair of hands for something that’s important to him, then I’m there, no questions asked. That’s what friends do, and like he said, Mother is his family.”
“Plus he’s way better at organisin’ things than I am,” Dee grinned. “The fundraiser was his idea, and he’s the one got the Commissioner on board.”
“How come you two weren’t the ones presenting the cheque then?”
“We’re cops, we’re not interested in bein’ in the spotlight. The way we see it, we’re just helpin’ family and friends. Commissioner Rose made the biggest single donation, very generous of him, and besides, him makin’ the presentation got you guys to come out here and give the orphanage some very valuable free publicity, so everybody wins.”
There was no way Rose could complain about having the spotlight snatched away from him after that; everybody had gotten what they wanted. Mother Lane got some badly needed funds, Rose got positive media attention, the news crews got a great public interest story, and as for Dee and Ryo… they not only looked good for everything they’d done, but came off as modest too.
With any luck, donations would continue to roll in. Mother could use every cent she could get; there were always bills to pay, repairs to make, hungry mouths to feed, and kids needing new shoes. She spent a lot of time and effort trying to stretch what funds she received from the government as far as they would go, but all too often still often came up short. Perhaps now the public had been made aware of the small orphanage and its residents, money might not be so tight.