Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Dee and Ryo have been working overtime to keep the precinct running during a flu epidemic. Overtime pay is all very well but what they really need is a day off.
Word Count: 1126
Written For: Theme Prompt: #044 – Day Off at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“Screw this,” Dee muttered, collapsing into his desk chair as if his bones had turned to rubber and his legs would no longer support him, which was pretty close to the truth. “I’m all for the overtime pay, never gonna complain about gettin’ more money in my pay-packet, but workin’ weeks didn’t oughta be this long. It’s inhuman, not to mention flat out insane!”
Ryo knew how his partner felt, since he felt exactly the same way. Having to work twelve days in a row, with overtime on top, was just plain cruel and should be against the law. For all he knew it might be, but that changed nothing because a lot of far worse things were unlawful, like homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery, and the police had to be available to investigate all such serious crimes even when, like now, they were seriously shorthanded. It was their sworn duty.
“Things will settle down soon.” Ryo tried his best to sound more confident than he felt, but he was pretty sure he failed.
“Y’know what we need?” Dee slumped forward, one elbow resting on his desk, chin propped on the heel of his hand, his normally bright green eyes shadowed with exhaustion. “A week off.”
“A week?” Ryo gave a wan smile. “At this point I’d settle for a day off. I’m so tired I can’t think straight, feels like my head’s full of wet sawdust.”
“Sounds about right.” Dee sighed heavily. “Flu shots should be mandatory for every cop in the city, then maybe those of us who have the sense to get one wouldn’t be left to do all the work while everyone else is off sick.”
“Mm,” Ryo agreed, choosing not to mention the fact that he’d had to nag Dee for three weeks before he’d finally given in and gotten himself vaccinated.
“Think I might just call in sick tomorrow anyway,” Dee continued, head now pillowed on his arms, which were in turn resting on a stack of overdue paperwork. “Not like I’m much use to anyone in this condition; I’m about ready to collapse.”
Studying his partner from where he sat limply at his own desk, Ryo pointed out, “Looks like you already have.”
“Would serve the old badger right if I did.”
“Be fair, Dee; the Chief’s working just as hard as we are, and he’s still getting over the flu.”
Dee reluctantly shoved himself more or less upright. “I guess. Speakin’ of which, we should probably at least make it look like we’re doin’ somethin’ work related before he comes out here and gives us an earful for slackin’ off.”
Ryo didn’t reply, already trying to force his aching eyes to focus on the screen of his laptop.
By sheer dogged determination the two detectives made it through the rest of the workday, and struggled manfully through the day after, feeling like they were running on fumes. Then halfway through their shift, Chief Smith came out of his office and stomped over to their desks.
“Everything okay, Chief?” Ryo asked, and winced, silently cursing himself for giving voice to what was probably the most idiotic question possible under the current circumstances. Fortunately Chief Smith didn’t appear to have heard.
“Parker and O’Neill will be back in tomorrow, so you two get to take the day off, but I expect you both back here at eight sharp on Thursday, got it?” he barked, at a much lower volume than usual; he still hadn’t completely gotten his voice back.
Ryo stared blankly at his boss, wondering if he’d heard correctly or if he’d slipped into a daydream without noticing. Maybe he’d actually fallen asleep. “Day off?”
“That’s what I said! Are you hard of hearing?”
“No, Sir, it just…”
“Doesn’t seem real,” Dee finished for his partner. “Like maybe our ears are playin’ tricks on us or somethin’.”
“Tell me about it.” Chief Smith’s shoulders sagged. “Worst flu epidemic in years; every precinct in the city’s struggling. One day, that’s all you’re getting so make the best of it, and you still have to finish out your shift.”
“We can do that.” Ryo tried to sit up straighter and at least give the impression of being alert, even if he wasn’t entirely sure he was awake. He didn’t think he could stand the disappointment if the promised day off turned out to be nothing more than a dream. “Thank you, Sir.”
“Hmpf.” The Chief stomped away.
“You’d better not be thinkin’ about spendin’ your day off doin’ chores,” Dee said, taking in the determined expression on his lover’s face.
Ryo shook his head. “When we finish up here, I’ll have to pick up groceries because if I don’t there’ll be nothing to eat, but after that everything else will have to wait for another day. Right now rest is way more important than chores.”
“Glad you’re seein’ sense for once.”
When Ryo’s alarm clock went off at six-thirty the following morning, dragging him out of a deep, dreamless sleep, he groaned and rolled over, fumbling to switch it off, dreading the thought of having to struggle through another day at work.
“Idiot,” a voice mumbled beside him. “Why’d ya set your frickin’ alarm? Day off, remember?”
“Habit,” Ryo replied, flopping back against his pillows, yawning.
A heavy arm draped across his chest, making sure he didn’t try to get out of bed.
“No work today, and no chores either; you promised.”
It hadn’t really been a promise, but Ryo let that slide; he didn’t have the energy for chores anyway. “Okay.”
“Go back t’ sleep.”
Turning onto his side again, Ryo pulled the covers up higher and closed his eyes. He hadn’t cleaned the apartment in well over a week, there was laundry piling up in the hamper again and the stack of ironing waiting to be done was so tall by now it was in danger of toppling out of the basket. Recently he’d taken to only ironing what was needed each day and leaving the rest, and he really should deal with it while he had the time, but it was still dark out, the bed was warm, Dee was a comforting presence beside him, although Ryo couldn’t quite remember his lover coming home with him the night before… Didn’t matter. The ironing wasn’t that urgent and anyway, right now sleep was a whole lot more appealing.
Ryo listened to Dee breathing peacefully beside him in the darkness and before he knew it he was fast asleep again. Tomorrow they’d need all the energy and focus they could muster for work so who cared if he and Dee slept the whole day away? He couldn’t think of a better way of spending their day off.