Characters: Dee, Ryo, OCs.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: On vacation on the south coast of England, Dee and Ryo are lodging at a farm for a few days.
Word Count: 1260
Written For: Jae's Monthly Drabble Challenge - 173 - Hearty, Hide, Hope, Hot, Husk.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
There were unexpected benefits to spending a few days on a farm. The accommodations were cheaper than a hotel, their rented room in the attic of the old stone farmhouse, although small, was cosy and private with a modern en suite bathroom, and the big bed was almost as comfortable as Ryo’s own, back home in New York.
The attic windows were wide, letting in plenty of sunshine and clean country air, and affording spectacular views across the farmlands to the chalk downs, made picturesquely hazy by a light, early morning mist that would soon burn off in the bright summer sunshine. It looked like it would be another gloriously hot day.
In Dee’s opinion the one minor downside to the situation was that farming folk everywhere got an early start in the mornings. Being on vacation, he might have liked to sleep later, but the sounds of rattling buckets, clucking chickens, and farm boots clomping about outside had roused him from a deep sleep just after six in the morning.
Ryo was already out of bed, his hair still damp from the shower. Dressed only in t-shirt and boxers, he was standing with his forearms resting on the high windowsill, gazing out across the farmyard to the hills beyond. He turned as Dee stirred, smiling brightly.
“Morning! Isn’t this great?”
Dee looked his lover up and down appreciatively. “I’ve got no complaints, ‘cept maybe gettin’ woken up so early.”
“It’s a working farm, Dee, not a hotel. They have chores to do; we can’t expect them to tiptoe around just so we can get another couple hours’ sleep.” Ryo drew in a deep breath. “Smell that? Breakfast’s cooking; you’d better go take a shower and get dressed if you want to eat.”
Now that Ryo mentioned it, Dee could detect delicious aromas wafting in through the open windows; bacon and eggs frying, and freshly baked bread. His mouth watered and he threw back the covers, stretching luxuriously, letting Ryo get a good eyeful. He half hoped he might tempt his baby back into bed, but as he swung his legs off the soft mattress he saw Ryo was already pulling his jeans on. He shrugged, not too deeply disappointed; he was hungry and the prospect of a cooked breakfast was enough to make him willing to forego an early morning romp between the sheets. Ryo could make it up to him tonight.
Fifteen minutes later, dressed and ready for the day after a quick shower and shave, Dee was following Ryo down the steep staircase to the big kitchen where they’d eaten dinner with the family after they’d arrived the previous evening.
“Sit yourselves down, boys,” Martha, the lady of the house, urged them. “Hope you brought your appetites!”
They’d barely settled into their seats before plates piled high with home-cured bacon, plump, juicy sausages, and fresh farm eggs were placed in front of them. Martha obviously believed in making sure her guests got a hearty breakfast under their belts before venturing out for the day. Thick slices of bread were cut, still warm from the oven, and they helped themselves to creamy homemade butter, and honey from the farm’s hives, washed down with cups of hot, strong tea. What a start to the day!
Once breakfast over, Ryo volunteered to help with the dishes while Dee stepped outside with Frank, the farmer, and his two sons, Eddie and Tom, having heard there was a litter of kittens in the barn just a few days old. He’d already made friends the previous evening with Clyde, the farm’s housecat, a big, battle scarred black tomcat with eyes as green as Dee’s own. Ryo had teased his lover that maybe he and the cat were related.
Once the dishes were done, Ryo meandered outside to find his lover, who was still in the barn, sprawled in the straw, watching the five tiny bundles of fluff feeding from their mother. Their eyes were tightly closed, what would eventually be their ears all scrunched up, and they hardly looked like cats at all. Dee glanced up with a smile as Ryo settled down beside him.
“Aren’t they amazing? Did you know they won’t open their eyes until they’re a week old at least, and their ears will stay all crumpled up like that until around three weeks? They can’t really hear until then. They’re so helpless at this age, and they’ll have to stay with their mom until they’re ten or twelve weeks old, learnin’ how to be cats. I had no idea.”
Ryo chuckled softly, picking grain husks out of Dee’s hair from where he’d been resting against a hay bale. “Does this mean you’ll be getting yourself a kitten once we’re back home?”
“I dunno. It’s tempting, but I don’t think it would be fair. I spend so much time at work a kitten would just get lonely, all by itself for hours on end. Cats are independent, but they still like company, and it’s not like it could go outside while I’m not home. New York’s way too dangerous. Clyde could handle it, he’d be a match for any feral cat or rat, but a kitten…” He shook his head. “No. I’d love to have a cat someday, maybe when I retire from the force, but not right now, it’s not the right time.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. Having a living creature that’s depending on you for food and companionship probably isn’t the best idea, not in our line of work.”
“And yet you got the house ape.”
“Dee! That’s not the same; Bikky’s a boy, not an animal!”
“Could’a fooled me sometimes. He bites like an animal.”
“Don’t exaggerate, he only acts out because you provoke him. The two of you are way too good at pushing each other’s buttons. I wish you’d try to get along better.”
“That’s how we get along, babe; works for us.”
“Doesn’t exactly make for a quiet life though.”
Dee snorted softly. “You’d worry if we were too quiet.”
“You’re probably right. I’m so used to the two of you squabbling it would seem weird if you stopped. Not unwelcome, but definitely weird.”
“See? At least we’re consistent.” Dee grinned as if he’d made some kind of point. Maybe he had.
“Are you planning to hide away in here all day watching the kittens? Only I told Martha we were going to explore the area, maybe do some hiking. She said she’d fix us a packed lunch so we wouldn’t go hungry.”
“Man, it’s probably a good thing we’re only gonna be here a few days. If we stayed much longer than that we’d not be able to fasten our belts.”
“All the more reason to get some exercise, work off what we’ve already eaten and work up an appetite for lunch.”
“If it’s anywhere near as good as breakfast…” There was a blissful smile on Dee’s face and a faraway look in his eyes. “Think I’m in food heaven!” He dragged himself back to the present. “You’re right, we need exercise.” Scrambling to his feet, careful not to disturb cat and kittens, Dee held his hand out to Ryo, pulling his partner to his feet and into his arms for a quick kiss before they headed back across the farmyard to the kitchen.
It wasn’t even eight in the morning yet and they had the whole gloriously sunny day ahead of them, with plenty of time to do whatever they wanted. Maybe getting up early wasn’t such a bad thing.