Characters: Ryo, Dee, Bikky, Carol, Aunt Elena, Others.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: All of Ryo’s loved ones are in New York for the holiday and he couldn’t be happier.
Word Count: 1005
Written For: Theme Prompt: #033 – Family Gatherings at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Sliding the turkey into the oven, Ryo straightened up. What needed doing next? Thanksgiving was his favourite holiday, better even than Christmas because it didn’t come with any bad memories attached, only good ones of celebrating it with family and friends. That was what it was all about, being thankful for all the blessings in your life, which in his case meant the people he loved, the roof over his head, and a good job that gave him a purpose. He’d known from the moment he entered the academy that being a cop was what he was meant to do.
Now here he was, preparing for his first Thanksgiving since moving in with Dee, and he intended to make sure it was the best one yet.
His aunt and uncle had flown in yesterday from San Francisco, so Bikky had volunteered his bedroom, saying he could stay with Carol and her aunt for a few days. Ryo was a little disappointed about that, he’d barely seen his son since he’d arrived home from college for a short break, but it meant Elena and Rick didn’t have to check into a hotel, and anyway, Bikky, Carol, and Carol’s aunt would be coming over shortly to spend the day. All Ryo’s loved ones together in one place; it would be perfect.
“Need any help?”
Ryo turned to smile at his aunt. “That’s really not necessary; I can manage.”
“I’m sure you can, but it’ll give us a chance to catch up. Besides, Rick and Dee are out there talking sport and you know how much that enthrals me.”
“Well, when you put it that way… Could you start on the veg? I meant to get that done last night, but what with picking you and Uncle Rick up at the airport last night and your flight being delayed it completely slipped my mind.”
“Say no more; you’re not the only one who enjoys cooking.”
Elena set to work, and by the time the other guests arrived, bringing with them dessert in the form of pumpkin pies made by Carol and her aunt, everything was well in hand, the turkey roasting in the oven and the side dishes prepared, only needing to be put on to cook at the appropriate times.
Dee poured drinks, and thanks to his aunt’s help with preparations, for once Ryo actually got to sit down for a bit and join in the conversation, something practically unheard of in previous years. He couldn’t help hoping that this would be the shape of Thanksgivings to come. Sometime in the future, maybe he and Dee might even be flying to L.A. for the holiday, where Ryo could be the one helping Carol prepare the meal, or even just be one of the guests, not having to lift a finger. Not that he’d ever leave everything to Carol and Bikky; he couldn’t be that kind of guest if he tried.
Dinner was a triumph, mostly; a couple of things were a little overdone, but nobody seemed to mind, and everything was going great until Bikky and Dee got into a fight over the caramelised onions. They both liked the crispy bits, and Dee was incensed that Bikky would dare take more than his share.
“I’m a guest! I should get dibs on the best bits!” Bikky glared at Dee.
“Guest? Like Hell you are; you’re family. I’m the host: my apartment, my rules, and my crispy bits! Got that?”
“In your dreams! I’m bigger than you now; you don’t get to push me around!”
“You’re not so big I can’t put you over my knee!”
“Oh yeah? I’d like to see you try!”
Ryo leant one elbow on the table, chin on his hand, watching them, a smile on his lips and a faraway look in his eyes.
“Aren’t you going to do anything?” Elena asked.
Chuckling, Ryo shook his head. “It wouldn’t do any good. Besides, it wouldn’t be a proper Thanksgiving if those two didn’t get into a fight over the food; it happens every year without fail, I guess you could call it our family tradition.”
“If they behaved like that at my dinner table I’d knock their heads together,” Rick commented as the argument continued.
Carol shrugged, unconcerned. “You get used to it. At least these days Bikky doesn’t resort to kicking Dee under the table, or throwing mashed potatoes at him.”
“It’s why Ryo always puts the potatoes as far away from Bikky as he can.” While Dee and Bikky were otherwise occupied, Carol reached for the caramelised onions and took all the crispy bits herself. She winked at Rick. “They have yet to learn that fighting over them means they both wind up losing out. I love onions, and Ryo makes the best.”
“Hey! Where’d the onions go?” Bikky looked around, confused, realising the dish wasn’t where it had been a few moments before.
“They’re right here, silly,” Carol said, passing the dish to him.
“But…” Bikky stared at the half empty dish in dismay.
Dee stared too. “Hey! Who swiped all the best bits?”
Ryo couldn’t help himself; he burst out laughing. “It’s always the same with you two.” Getting up, he went to the kitchen to get the onions he’d left cooking; extra crispy, just the way his boys liked them. “It’s a good thing I know to make extra.”
Dee’s face lit up. “You’re awesome! I know what I’m thankful for.”
“Crispy onions?” Ryo asked teasingly.
“No, dumbass; you!” Dee helped himself to the crispy onions.
“Same here,” Bikky agreed, taking his share.
“You know us so well, although I sometimes wonder how you put up with us.” Dee crunched a bit of onion.
“You’re my family; all of you are. I don’t have to put up with you because I love you just the way you are.”
That was the simple truth; they might get on his nerves at times, but at the end of the day, he wouldn’t change them if he could.