Characters: Bikky, Carol, Ryo, Dee.
Setting: Years after Like Like Love.
Summary: All Bikky’s dreams have come true.
Word Count: 784
Written For: Jae’s Monthly Drabble Challenge 168 - Distance, Euphoria, Rich.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Bikky’s new life isn’t completely perfect, but it’s as close to perfection as makes no difference. He’s got everything he ever dreamed of; a career playing basketball with a pro team, his gorgeous wife Carol, a beautiful home in sunny California, complete with its own swimming pool and patch of private beach… He can afford it; he’s making more money that he would ever have dreamed possible, but he doesn’t take his riches for granted. He knows well enough that at any moment injury could spell the end of his career, and he has no intention of getting so used to living the high life that he’d be left floundering in debt if it all ended tomorrow. That’s not the way he was raised.
Growing up, Ryo taught him to be careful with his money, explained about budgeting, and why it’s important to save for the future, so Bikky saves; a good percentage of his wages, plus most of Carol’s, goes into savings accounts with good interest rates. An additional sum goes into a trust fund that will hopefully pay for their kids’ education, when they eventually have kids. They haven’t started trying for a baby yet, but they’re planning to in the not too distant future, perhaps once the current basketball season is over. There’s no mad rush; they’re both still young and healthy. They’ll know when the time is right.
Although Bikky and Carol are trying to be sensible with their money that doesn’t mean they’re not enjoying being rich, because who wouldn’t? They’ve treated themselves to some nice things, bought expensive gifts for their loved ones, and they’ve donated to charity. They’ve bought this house on the beach as well, although it’s nowhere near as lavish as some of Bikky’s teammates’ homes. They don’t need a massive mansion with a dozen bedrooms and a four-car garage; they have covered parking for two vehicles, Carol’s compact and the family SUV, which Bikky usually drives, and there’s room for a couple more cars to park off the street when they have visitors. They’ve got four big bedrooms, and a guest suite over the garage, where Ryo and Dee can have some privacy when they visit. Along with the big back yard and the swimming pool, that’s all the space they need for the time being.
Neither of them are the kind to throw wild parties, or attend them for that matter, although they do occasionally when invited by members of the team; it would be rude not to. When they’re not working they prefer eating out at good restaurants, visiting theme parks, going for long walks on the beach, or lounging by their pool. They’re not unsociable, they have small dinner parties, and the occasional beach barbecue, but compared to most people their age their lives probably seem rather sedate. What does it matter? They’re more than happy.
If anything dents their giddy euphoria, it’s that they live so far from their families and the people they grew up with. It’s a big country and they’re down towards one end while New York, the city they grew up in, the place that moulded and shaped the people they’ve become, is way up near the other end, and on the opposite coast. More than two thousand seven hundred miles separates Bikky from the man who raised him, but despite the physical distance he knows Ryo is only ever a phone call away when he needs advice, or just to touch base with his roots. The time difference occasionally gets in the way, but ever since Bikky left home for college five years ago not a week has gone by that he hasn’t spoken to his dad at least once. He’s even called Dee a few times. As for Carol, she still talks to her aunt almost every day, and texts fly back and forth between her and her closest friends.
They both miss New York, but they don’t miss the long, cold winters. L.A. has its downsides, what with the smog and occasional earthquakes, the traffic, and the city being so spread out it sometimes takes forever to get where they’re going, but they’re mostly outweighed by the milder weather and the beach right on their doorstep. Bikky and Carol are living the dream and loving every minute of it; they know how lucky they are and they’re not taking their good fortune for granted. In a year or two Bikky could get traded to another team, he and Carol might have to leave their little piece of paradise, perhaps for a Northern city, to endure cold winters again, but while they’re here on the beautiful California coast, they’re determined to enjoy every minute.