Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Ryo and Dee are both getting into the festive spirit.
Word Count: 1141
Written For: Jae’s Monthly Drabble Challenge 166 – Festive.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo looked around his apartment and smiled with satisfaction; at least it looked suitably festive now, even it was a lot later than he’d intended. Work had been crazy since the last week of November; everyone who could had been pulling overtime to cover for those out sick or injured, and days off had been cancelled. His original plan had been to get the decorations up at the beginning of December, but even on the days Ryo had gotten home at a halfway decent time he’d been too tired to do anything except eat, and fall into bed.
Things had settled down a bit over the past few days though; most of those off sick had recovered enough to return to work, and both Dee and Ryo had finally been granted a well-earned day off. Only one day, but it was better than nothing. With so much needing to be done, Ryo had turned in early the night before so he could get a good night’s sleep before getting up at six and getting on with overdue chores.
He’d put laundry on, returned to the apartment and done the cleaning, gone back downstairs to put the laundry in the driers, back up again to dig the Christmas decorations out… He’d picked up a tree on his way home from work the night before so the decorating had only taken a couple of hours, with a break in the middle to go downstairs yet again, empty the driers, and bring the basket of clean, dry, neatly folded clothes back up for ironing. That would have to wait for later though.
As they’d left work yesterday, Dee had asked him if he could lend a hand taking gifts over to the orphanage for the kids this afternoon, and he’d readily agreed. The orphans had so little; how could he possibly begrudge giving up part of his day off to bring them a little Christmas cheer? It was one of the reasons he’d gotten up so early, so he could get most of his own chores out of the way in the morning, leaving the whole afternoon free.
Having put the empty decoration boxes and the stepladder away, Ryo fixed himself coffee and a sandwich for lunch and settled on the sofa to eat, soaking up the Christmassy atmosphere so he’d be in a festive mood for the kids. Speaking of which, he still needed to get himself ready. He couldn’t go dressed like this.
Taking his empty dishes to the kitchen, he nipped into his bedroom to change out of his sweats into something more suitable. He had maybe half an hour before Dee would be here to pick him up. Pulling on jeans, warm socks, and a t-shirt, he reached for his sweater, hoping Dee wouldn’t give him a hard time over it. This was the time of year for Christmas sweaters, and his was relatively tame compared to some he’d seen, just a snowflake border at cuffs and hem, white on a dark blue background, and a large, cheerful snowman on the front.
His boots and cold weather gear were ready and waiting by the door, he’d need them as there was snow in the air, but he checked his coat pockets, making sure he had phone, wallet, and keys before putting his boots on. He glanced at his watch; Dee wasn’t due for another fifteen minutes, maybe he had time to wash his lunch dishes. Heading for the kitchen he’d barely taken two steps when the doorbell rang and he turned back; he should’ve known Dee would turn up early.
Ryo swung the door open, saying, “Just give me a minute to get my coat on and I’ll be right…” The words trailed off and his eyes widened in disbelief.
“Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!” the apparition in his doorway intoned, white teeth flashing in the snow-white beard that bushed out over a red jacket trimmed with white fur. “Have you been a good boy this year?”
Maybe laughter was the wrong response, judging by the indignant huff he received from Santa Dee, but Ryo couldn’t help it. “You’re seriously going dressed up as Santa Claus?”
“’Course I am, I do every year! Whaddaya think?” Dee held his arms out from his sides, letting Ryo get a good look at him in all his red and white glory.
Doing his best to pull himself together, Ryo studied his partner; he actually looked pretty good, as fat and jolly as a good Santa should be, but… “Won’t the kids know it’s you?”
“The older ones, sure, but they never give the game away, and the youngest lap it up. Not like Mother can take ‘em all to visit Santa in one of the big department stores, it’s a long trek, there’s mile long queues, and ya gotta pay a fortune these days for a couple of minutes on Santa’s knee and a cheap, tacky toy, so Santa comes to them instead. Makes ‘em feel special.”
Dee in a Santa suit suddenly seemed a whole lot less funny; he was doing it for the kids, to bring a little magic into their lives that they wouldn’t otherwise get.
“You’re a good man, Dee Laytner.”
“Ya think so?”
“Yeah.” Ryo leant in and pecked Santa on the lips, getting a mouthful of beard in the process. “Okay, not trying that again.”
“Not really designed for smoochin’,” Dee said with a grin.
“I noticed that. Let me just grab my coat and we can get going.” Ryo shrugged into his winter coat, grabbed hat, scarf, and gloves, and stepped out into the hallway, locking the door behind him. “Okay, I’m ready.”
“Think you’d better drive the rest of the way.” Dee offered Ryo his car keys. “I wasn’t wearin’ the hat and beard on the way here, but if I don’t have ‘em on when we reach the orphanage it’ll spoil the effect. Don’t want the kids to be disappointed.”
Ryo took the keys. “No, we can’t have that. Come on, Santa, you’ve got gifts to deliver.”
“Ho ho ho!” Dee agreed, getting into his role. “Maybe next year you could dress up as an elf.”
“Somehow I don’t think even the youngest kids would be fooled by that disguise,” Ryo laughed. “They know what I look like. It’s alright for you, the beard hides most of your face.”
“Yeah, good point, I hadn’t thought of that.”
“Besides, I don’t need to dress up to be Santa’s helper.”
Dee grinned through his beard. “True, and you’re way sexier than any elf I’ve ever seen!”
“And now I need to bleach my brain; Santa talking about sexy elves is just wrong on so many levels.”
Roaring with laughter, Dee clumped his way down the stairs ahead of his lover.
“HO HO HO! Merry Christmas, everybody!”