Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo used to think stairs were good exercise, until he was faced with climbing three flights with one leg in a cast.
Written Using: The dw100 prompt ‘Stair/Stare’.
Word Count: 834
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
The lack of an elevator in the building hadn’t bothered Ryo when he’d been looking for a new apartment. Okay, so it was on the top floor, which meant climbing three flights of stairs every time he came home, but so what? He was young and fit, and stairs were good exercise, great for the leg muscles, and for the heart. Even if there had been an elevator he was sure he’d use the stairs more often than not. There was a lot of legwork involved in his job. He couldn’t afford to get winded chasing a suspect; what if a dangerous criminal got away because he couldn’t keep up? Cops needed to stay in shape.
Now he was starting to wish he’d gone for the other apartment on his short list; that one had only been two flights up, and there’d been an elevator, but the apartment had looked out on an alley, and the kitchen had been a bit cramped. This one had just been the better of the two, and he was usually perfectly happy with his choice, with the possible exception of the thin walls, but right now the stairs were causing problems.
Yes, he was still young, and he remained in excellent shape thanks to running and working out, but right now he also happened to be injured…
He’d gone through his entire time in uniform without so much as scratch, but this was his fifth serious injury since becoming a detective three and a half years ago, and thanks to his current injury walking up three flights of stairs was exhausting, not to mention painful. The cast on his foot and ankle felt like it weighed a ton, and he was having to hop up one stair at a time, clinging to the stair rail with one hand and using the crutches in his other hand to provide leverage and help him balance. One thing was for sure; once he got to his apartment he wouldn’t be going anywhere without help until the cast came off. It was a depressing thought; he hated being dependent on others.
The irony was, this wasn’t even a work-related injury, just clumsiness on his part. Well, in was a known fact that most accidents happened in the home so maybe he shouldn’t be so surprised. Pausing to catch his breath on the floor below his, Ryo looked up the last flight of stairs with a sinking feeling of dread; he’d made it two-thirds of the way up, but now all he wanted was to sit down and rest. His good leg and both arms were trembling from the strain, his mouth was dry, and he felt like he’d run a marathon. But the stairs had become his own personal Everest and he was determined to reach the top, no matter how much time or effort it took.
Maybe he should have called Dee and asked if he could get a lift home from the hospital, but he knew his lover was working today so instead he’d decided to take a taxi. He hadn’t given much thought to how he’d manage the stairs until he’d been standing in the building’s foyer.
Steeling himself, he hobbled towards the final flight and began the slow and enervating ascent once more. Hop, pause to move the crutches up a stair, hop, and move the crutches again. The gym bag slung around his shoulders bounced with every hop, upsetting his already precarious balance, and the strap was digging in painfully… There were sixteen stairs up to the half landing, another sixteen to the top. It was cold out and he’d been chilly when he’d arrived at the brownstone but he was soaked in sweat by the time he reached his apartment door and he leant wearily against the wall, panting for breath, while he dug his keys from his jacket pocket and unlocked the door. Just a little bit further and he could collapse on the sofa. Once he was sitting down he might not move again until bedtime.
Hobbling inside, he shoved the door shut with the end of one crutch, hopped over to the sofa and dropped onto the seat, wrestling the bag’s strap over his head and dropping it beside him. He would have liked a drink, hopping up three flights of stairs was thirsty work, but the kitchen was too far away and he didn’t think his good leg would support him any further; it ached worse than the injured one and his back throbbed dully, while both arms felt like they might fall off.
Turning sideways he lifted first his injured leg and then the aching one onto the sofa’s seat and lay down, using his gym bag as a pillow, closed his eyes, intending to rest just for ten minutes or so, and promptly fell asleep to dream of climbing endless flights of stairs but never reaching the top.
He was never going to look at stairs the same way again.