Characters: Ryo, Dee, JJ, OMC.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: In theory, Americans and the British speak the same language. In practice it’s not quite so straightforward.
Word Count: 500
Written For: Challenge 162: Rubber at anythingdrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“Oh flippin’ ‘eck!” a voice exclaimed from the far end of the squad room. “Any of you guys got a rubber I can use?”
Everybody in the room turned towards the speaker, except for Ryo, who made a strangled sound and started to choke on his coffee. Dee, being the helpful sort, thumped him on the back, almost knocking him over.
A deathly hush fell over the squad room until Ryo managed to get his breath back. “Eraser!” he gasped, voice coming out as a squeak. “I think he means an eraser.”
“Yes, that!” the newcomer agreed; like Ryo, his face was sporting a pink tinge of embarrassment, although Ryo hoped his own blush would be dismissed as the inevitable result of his coughing fit.
“Why didn’t ya say that then?” Dee frowned at the new guy, joining the two-seven as part of an ongoing exchange program between the NYPD and the London Metropolitan Police. “You’re supposed to be a Brit; try speakin’ English like the rest of us! You’ll avoid misunderstandings that way.”
“He WAS speaking English, Dee,” Ryo explained once he could speak normally again. “In Britain erasers are often called rubbers because they’re used for rubbing out mistakes.”
“Yeah?” Dee looked at his partner incredulously. “Weird.” He turned to the new guy, Detective Inspector Simon Lewis. “So what d’ya call a rubber where you come from?”
“Dee!” That question almost set Ryo choking again and he quickly set his mug down.
“What? I’m curious! I mean, we’re supposed to speak the same language but I don’t know what the hell he’s talkin’ about half the time!”
Dee looked so honestly baffled that Ryo couldn’t help laughing.
“Two countries separated by a common language,” he quoted. “Maybe you should give Simon lessons in American English.”
“You’re the one complaining you don’t understand him.”
“He’s not the only one,” JJ piped up. “I asked Simon earlier where he got the vest he had on yesterday and he said he never wears one.” JJ looked quite offended at having been lied to.
“Um, I think the British term is ‘waistcoat’,” Ryo said.
“Oh!” Simon brightened at the revelation. “That’s what you were askin’ about! Got that in a little shop in the East End. Can’t wear it for work back home, it’s all suits an’ ties there, and even then most folks don’t bother with a waistcoat, just jacket and trousers. Vests are what some folks wear under their shirts.”
“Huh.” Dee shook his head. “Just proves what I always thought; the British are weird.”
“Simon probably thinks the same about Americans.” Ryo smiled at the other man. “Don’t worry; by the time you leave you’ll be talking like one of us.”
“Yeah,” Dee added, “and then when ya get back home no one’s gonna have a clue what you’re talkin’ about.”
“But by then I’ll be used to it. So, anyone got a rubber, sorry, eraser I can borrow?”
“Top drawer of my desk,” Dee said, smirking.