Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Like Like Love
Summary: With a storm raging, all Dee and Ryo want is to get home where it’s warm.
Word Count: 960
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Challenge 2: Warmth at slashficlets.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
It’s midwinter and there’s a storm battering New York with gale force winds and heavy squalls of rain. It’s not the kind of weather any sane person would want to be out in, but then it’s New York, the city that never sleeps, so people are out anyway, most of them because they have little choice. They have to get to work come rain or shine if they want to get paid, then get home after. Schools are closed though; with winds gusting up to seventy-five miles an hour, it’s the general opinion that kids are safer staying home. Even so, there are plenty on the streets enjoying their unexpected day of freedom, oblivious to the dangers.
Emerging from the subway station, Dee and Ryo pull their collars as high as they can around their necks and step out into the teeth of the gale, their coats whipping around their legs. They duck their heads, forcing their way through what feels like a solid wall of air that keeps trying to push them backwards, and they curse their luck that the wind is against them. It’s cold, and the rain hitting them in their faces is icy, bordering on sleet.
Ryo grits his teeth as an even stronger gust rocks him back on his heels. Dee isn’t faring much better; he might weigh a few pounds more, but he’s also taller, so there’s more of him for the wind to act against.
The only upside to any of this is that they’re on their way home after their shift and by the time they’re due back at work the storm should have blown itself out. They only have a walk of about two and half blocks ahead of them, which would be nothing under normal circumstances, but battling the gale is hard work; they have to make what progress they can between gusts, then grab onto each other and ride it out each time the wind slams into them, trying not to get blown away.
“This is insane!” Dee yells, barely able to make himself heard over the howling of the wind. It screeches and wails between buildings sounding like the souls of the damned. “We should’a stayed at the precinct!”
“You really want to spend our day off stuck at work? Winds could be up to eighty by morning, maybe higher!” Ryo yells back. “Better to leave when we did, before it gets any worse.”
Dee opens his mouth to reply only to have his breath snatched away by another ferocious gust. Giving up on talking, he lowers his head, hunches his shoulders, tightens his grip on his lover’s arm and ploughs onwards. The sooner they get indoors the better.
It’s a relief to finally reach the old brownstone that houses their apartment. Their legs are trembling like they’ve just done a fifteen mile run, and they feel chilled to the bone. Staggering up the stoop, Dee does his best to shield his lover from the worst of the wind and rain while Ryo unlocks the outer door, letting them into the downstairs hallway. They stop just inside to catch their breath, grinning at each other in triumph, like they’ve just conquered Everest.
“Damn! Was startin’ to wonder if we were gonna make it!”
“Let’s get upstairs and dry off. Dinner should be almost done.” The beef stew Ryo set to simmer in the slow cooker earlier is the main reason he’d been so determined to get home come hell or high water.
Even riding up in the elevator, they can still hear the wind moaning outside. Ryo shivers; it’s warmer indoors than out but the building’s old and draughty, cold air sneaking in through a gap under the front door.
They shed their shoes and wet coats as soon as they step inside their apartment. Dee turns the heating up while Ryo checks on dinner, the aroma of hot stew making both their mouths water.
“I’m starving,” Dee says, wandering into the kitchen.
“You’re not the only one.” Ryo grins at his partner as his stomach rumbles hungrily. “I was going to shower first, but…”
“That’ll wait.” Dee hands Ryo a towel still warm from the heated rail in their bathroom. “Let’s just get outta these wet things and dry off, then we can eat.”
Ryo isn’t about to argue, taking the towel and rubbing at his hair as he makes his way to the bedroom. Ten minutes later, changed into track pants and thick sweaters, they’re settled on the sofa, snuggled under a quilt, digging in to deep dishes of stew and feeling warmth gradually spreading through their insides, chasing away the chill from their bones.
Now they aren’t out in it, the howling wind and driving rain outside make the apartment feel even cosier.
“There’s no better way to spend an evening like this,” Dee sighs, relaxed and content as the TV news drones quietly in the background.
“Still think we should’ve stayed at the precinct?”
“And let this go to waste?” Dee gestures at his bowl of stew with his spoon. “No way! This is worth bravin’ the weather for.”
Hail batters against the windows and Ryo slides deeper under the quilt. “Best of all, we don’t have to go out again until Monday; we’ve got everything we need right here.”
“We can stay in bed all day if we want,” Dee agrees.
“What about chores?”
“What about ‘em? We’re only gettin’ one day off this week; we should conserve our strength.”
“You’ve got an answer for everything, don’t you?”
“Yep! So whaddaya think, a day of loungin’ around in bed or a day of doin’ chores.”
“We can think about that in the morning,” Ryo decides, but he already knows that Dee will win.