Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo is so used to taking care of himself, it’s sometimes hard for him to admit he needs help.
Word Count: 1284
Written For: Theme Prompt: 027 – Double Trouble at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo liked to believe that at his age he didn’t really need anyone to look after him. He was thirty, not a kid anymore but a mature adult, and anyway he’d pretty much taken care of himself since he’d lost both of his parents in a tragic case of mistaken identity when he was eighteen. Over the last ten or eleven years, since he’d moved out of his aunt’s place, he’d lived alone, and he’d managed perfectly well, even going so far as to become a single father when he’d impulsively decided to foster an orphaned ten-year-old boy a few years back.
Of course Bikky wasn’t home right now, it was a weekday so he was at school, and as it also happened to be one of the basketball team’s training days he wouldn’t be home until evening, which left Ryo in a bit of an awkward predicament. He couldn’t even phone anyone for help because his phone was out of reach in his bedroom; he hadn’t thought he’d need it in the bathroom of all places, but then he’d never imagined his attempt at taking a shower could go so disastrously wrong. What on earth was he going to do now? So far all of his attempts at rescuing himself hadn’t helped in the slightest. He was cold, in pain, and quite definitely stuck.
He was still trying to figure out what to try next when he heard a familiar sound. Wasn’t that his front door opening?
“Ryo? Hey, where are ya, babe?”
He would have known that voice anywhere, but what was Dee doing here? The thought flashed through Ryo’s mind: Shouldn’t Dee be at work? On second thoughts, it didn’t matter why his partner had chosen to show up at this moment, the important thing was that after floundering about for what had to be at least half an hour, salvation was at hand.
“HELP! I’M STUCK!” Ryo didn’t even care how pathetic he must sound.
It was a good thing he’d left the bathroom door ajar, otherwise knowing Dee he probably would’ve kicked it clear off its hinges coming to the rescue.
The expression of frantic worry on Dee’s face as he burst into the bathroom would have almost been funny if not for Ryo’s predicament. From his point of view the only good thing about his present situation was that he hadn’t gotten around to turning the shower on before suffering his little mishap, otherwise he might have accidentally drowned himself in the tub, which would’ve been an ignominious end for a police detective.
Dee stared down at him, worry warring with disbelief on his face. “What the hell happened to you?”
Ryo peered up at his partner from the bottom of the bathtub where he lay, stark naked, hopelessly tangled in the shower curtain, one leg twisted painfully beneath him, the other sticking up in the air.
“I wanted to take a shower,” he said in a defeated voice. That should have been obvious to anyone.
“I thought the doc told ya to keep your cast dry!”
“He did, but I thought if I stood on my good leg with the other one over the side of the bath I could manage well enough and still keep my cast from getting wet, only…” Ryo trailed off, looking everywhere but at his lover. As glad as he was that Dee was here, he knew he was never going to live this down.
“The bath was still wet from Bikky’s shower this morning and when I stepped in my foot slipped. I grabbed for something to keep from falling but I pulled the shower curtain down as well, and now… I can’t get up and I think I might have sprained my ankle…” Ryo could feel his face heating up with embarrassment. Dee already thought he was an airhead and a bit of a klutz; what would he think now?
“Y’know, this just proves I was right when I said you should stay at my place until you’re outta the cast. Then I’d be right there to give ya a hand whenever ya needed it.” Dee leaned over and started untangling the shower curtain. The rail had come down as well, looked like it might have conked Ryo on the head in the process, judging by the darkening bruise on his forehead.
“I appreciate the offer but I can’t stay at your place,” Ryo protested. “What about Bikky? It’s the middle of term!” Dee’s apartment was too far from Bikky’s school.
Dee tossed the shower curtain aside, put one foot in the bathtub, and got Ryo’s arm around his shoulders, hoisting his lover up to sit on the side of the bath, one foot and lower leg in plaster, the other ankle bruised and visibly swollen.
“Fine, so I’ll stay here ‘cause someone’s gotta keep ya from causin’ even more damage to yourself. Looks like you were right about that ankle; it needs ice to bring the swellin’ down, and then a bandage; you’re not gonna have an easy time gettin’ around, even with the crutches the hospital gave ya.”
“I’m sorry; you must think I’m such a nuisance.” Ryo still couldn’t look his partner in the eye.
“Don’t be a dope! I like takin’ care of ya, don’t get to do it nearly enough. Not that I want ya to get injured or anything, but sometimes I think you don’t need me at all; you’re always so organised, everything under control.”
“Not today I’m not.”
“You’re just havin’ a bad day. Takes a while to get used to bein’ in a cast; I should know.” Dee had done the leg in a cast thing himself and was well aware of how awkward it made the simplest things. “Now, why don’t I run ya a bath so ya can get cleaned up, just a shallow one, then ya can get dressed and put both feet up while I fix the shower rail.” There wasn’t much Dee couldn’t fix when he set his mind to it.
“Thanks, Dee. And for the record, I do need you; not just as my work partner, and not just to sort me out when I get myself into a mess. Maybe I can take care of myself most of the time, I’ve been on my own so long I’ve gotten used to having to do things for myself, but that doesn’t mean I always want to. I’m always going to need you. Everything’s better when you have someone special to share it with.”
“Does that mean I get to share the bath with ya?” Dee grinned.
Ryo gave him a shocked look. “You’re unbelievable, I’m injured!”
“It’s your foot that’s broken, not your…” Ryo’s glare silenced Dee, but the grin remained, completely unrepentant. “Just sayin’, I could make ya forget all about your injuries. You know it’s true.”
Ryo didn’t deny it, but still… “And exactly how would I keep my cast dry?”
“Okay, point taken. Want me to wash your back?”
“Yes, please.” Because why not? Dee was here and it would be a lot easier than trying to contort himself to reach his back with one leg hanging over the side of the bath. With his luck at the moment he’d probably manage to give himself a concussion in the process.
Maybe at his age Ryo was perfectly capable of taking care of himself and his foster son, but now he had Dee in his life was it so wrong to sit back and let his lover take care of him every once in a while? Ryo didn’t think so; in fact, he was pretty sure he might even enjoy it.