Characters: JJ, Dee, Ryo, Drake.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: The weather is beautiful, but Dee isn’t enjoying spring anywhere near a much as JJ is!
Word Count: 1199
Written For: Jae’s Monthly Drabble Challenge 170 - Perfect, Picnic, Posture, Preen, Prepare, Propose, Puffy.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“It’s such a beautiful, sunny spring day!” JJ exclaimed happily as he bounced into the Major Crimes Unit’s squad room. “Just look at that blue sky, not a cloud in sight! Doesn’t it make you feel happy? There are flowers blooming everywhere, the trees are full of blossom, and the birds are singing sweetly; it’s a wonderful day to be alive!”
“Speak for yourself,” Dee grumbled, slumped at his desk, his eyes red and puffy from all the pollen in the air. “I’m in Hell.” No matter how hard he tried to be prepared spring seemed to come earlier every year, as if it was determined to make him suffer as much as possible before his allergy meds could kick in.
“You shouldn’t slouch like that, Dee,” JJ criticised. “It’s terrible for your posture; you’ll give yourself a bad back, not to mention you’re constricting your lungs. How d’you expect to breathe properly? Sit up straight, shoulders back, and take deep breaths!”
Dee scowled at the smaller man. “Deep breaths? I can scarcely breathe at all,” he complained. “Sittin’ up straight won’t change that. Damned hay fever.”
JJ frowned. “Those antihistamines you take don’t work fast enough.”
“Yeah? Well thanks for pointin’ out the obvious, JJ; I would’ve never noticed otherwise.”
Ignoring Dee’s sarcasm, JJ informed him, “What you need is an anti-allergy nasal spray; they work much faster. Then maybe you wouldn’t be so grumpy.”
With a loud sneeze and a hollow groan, Dee slumped even further over his desk, pillowing his head on his arms. “Why can’t ya just quit your yammerin’ and let me die in peace?”
Hands on hips, JJ frowned down at his one-time crush. “Don’t be such a drama queen! You’re not dying. You know, sometimes I think you just enjoy being miserable.”
Peering up at JJ, Dee shook his head slightly, all he could manage in his current position. “That might just be the craziest thing you’ve ever said, and that’s sayin’ somethin’.”
Once again, JJ paid no attention. “Well, I’m not about to let you bring everyone else’s mood down, Dee Laytner, especially not on such a beautiful day!” Spinning on his heel, JJ made for his desk, opening the top drawer and fishing something out. He marched back to Dee’s desk and set something down on his blotter, mere inches from Dee’s bleary, bloodshot, watering eyes. “Here, you can have my spare; I can get myself another. Don’t worry; it hasn’t been opened yet. In case you can’t see well enough to read the instructions, it’s one spray in each nostril twice a day. Use it; I guarantee it’ll help.” Good deed done he bounced happily away.
For a few minutes Dee remained where he was, just staring listlessly at the nose spray. Finally, after enduring another violent sneezing fit that left him gasping for breath, he blew his nose, dropped the tissue in this bin to join all the others he’d gone through since the start of shift, broke the seal on the box, took out the spray bottle and followed the instructions. He might as well give it a try; it could hardly make him feel any worse.
Things got busy after that and the rest of the morning flew past, making and taking phone calls, looking into possible leads, checking facts, reviewing evidence… Before Dee knew it lunchtime was approaching and JJ came bounding back into the squad room from some errand or other, a smiling Drake in tow.
Dee smirked and leaned towards Ryo across their back-to-back desks, flicking his head in the direction of their friends. “Betcha they’ve been makin’ out in the stationery closet.”
Ryo blushed, reminded of the times he and Dee had done the same. “Dee! Unlike you, I’m sure Drake and JJ are far too professional to do things like that in the middle of the workday!”
“Don’t count on it.” Dee’s grin widened and he winked at his lover. “From what Drake’s told me, JJ’s like the Energizer Bunny.”
“He told you that?” Ryo managed to look simultaneously scandalised, curious, and impressed.
“Not in those exact words, but yeah. I think we can safely say they’re both gettin’ all the lovin’ they need. They’re good for each other.”
Before either man could say anything else JJ came bounding over. Dee couldn’t help wondering where the little guy got all his energy; maybe he had a secret stash of caffeine pills somewhere.
“See? Didn’t I tell you it would work?” JJ was all smiles, obviously pleased with himself over something.
Dee was just confused. “Huh?”
“The spray for your hay fever, silly!”
A surprised expression crossed Dee’s face as he realised something he probably should’ve noticed sooner. “Hey, I’ve stopped sneezin’!” He’d been so busy he couldn’t even say when the miracle had occurred.
“Your eyes look better too,” Ryo said. “They’re not as red.”
“Yeah, they’re not itchin’ at all!” Dee broke into a broad grin.
“Good!” JJ positively preened with satisfaction. “Then I propose the four of us get out of here for lunch. It’s the perfect weather for a picnic; we can go to that little park a couple of blocks away, sit at one of the picnic tables.”
“Nice idea, JJ, but what will we do for food?” Ryo asked.
JJ waved an airy hand. “That’s already taken care of. I called my favourite deli earlier and had them prepare a picnic hamper for four. Drake and I dropped by there on our way back from interviewing our assault victim at the hospital and picked it up. Of course, if you two don’t want to join us I’m sure someone else will be happy to.”
“I’m in even if Dee’s not, as long as you’re sure we wouldn’t be intruding,” Ryo said.
“Of course you won’t be; we’re all friends. It’ll be sort of like a double date; it’s been ages since we last did anything like that.”
The prospect of food was all the enticement Dee needed. “Yeah, sure, why not? We’ve been cooped up in here all mornin’, I could do with stretchin’ my legs, especially now I don’t have to worry about sneezin’ myself right off my feet.”
“So come on then, what’re you two waiting for?” JJ urged impatiently. “We don’t want the drinks getting warm! There’s ginger beer, and real lemonade. It’s important to stay well hydrated in sunny weather.”
“First picnic of the year,” Dee said, grinning, as he and Ryo got to their feet, abandoning their work to trail after Drake and JJ. “Wonder what’s in JJ’s hamper.”
Ryo laughed. “We’ll find out soon enough, but with his high standards it’s bound to be quite a spread.”
“Good, ‘cause I’m starvin’!”
“At least thanks to JJ we won’t have to worry about you sneezing all over the food.”
“There’s that. I can’t believe that spray worked so fast! Thought I was in for at least a week of sheer misery. I guess JJ does have some good points.”
“Just because he’s not obsessed with you anymore doesn’t mean he doesn’t still care about you.”
“Yeah,” Dee agreed. “Now he’s not bein’ my stalker he’s a pretty good friend to have.”