Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Nightmares have left Dee and Ryo feeling exhausted and in need of coffee.
Word Count: 952
Written For: Challenge 314: Nightmare at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Joining Ryo at the squad room’s coffee machine and filling his mug from the pot of sludge bubbling on the hotplate, too desperate for a caffeine boost to care what it tasted like, Dee eyed his partner blearily.
“You look exactly the way I feel; done in. Guess you didn’t sleep any better than I did last night. The brat keep ya up or somethin’?”
“No.” Ryo managed a wan smile, which turned into a grimace as he took a cautious sip of the terrible coffee. “Just, a nightmare woke me up and then I couldn’t get back to sleep.”
“Yeah, tell me about it.” Dee sighed, raking a hand through messy black hair and wincing slightly, before taking a swig of coffee, almost burning his mouth in the process. “Idiot that I am, I stayed up late watchin’ a horror movie, then spent half the night battlin’ a zombie horde. Damn, those things are strong! Bits fallin’ off all over the place and still I couldn’t break free of them! Was sure they were gonna rip me to shreds and eat my brain!” He grinned sheepishly. “Woke up tangled in the covers, thinkin’ the zombies had still got me, then fell off the bed and damn near knocked myself out on the nightstand. Not my finest moment.”
“Ouch! How’s your head now?”
“Got a bit of a lump.” Dee touched the spot, wincing again. “Tender, but not too bad; no concussion, far as I can tell. Spent the rest of the night freezin’ what brains I had left with an icepack, and wishin’ I could’ve dreamed about somethin’ harmless; marshmallows maybe.”
Ryo, who’d just been taking a mouthful of coffee, started to choke and splutter as it went down the wrong way. Dee helpfully pounded him on the back until his partner straightened up, gasping and wiping at watering eyes with the back of his hand.
“Go easy on that stuff; it’ll kill ya.”
“No kidding.” Glancing into his mug, Ryo pulled a face at the thick, tarry liquid; as much as he needed coffee, he couldn’t face another mouthful of the squad room’s vile brew. “Don’t know about you, but I’m going across the street and get something to drink that doesn’t taste like paint stripper.”
Dee studied the glutinous contents of his own mug, a pained look on his face, and shuddered. “Good idea; they should award us hazard pay for drinkin’ this stuff. It’s no wonder we’re havin’ nightmares.”
Abandoning their mugs, they headed out the door and along the corridor to the stairs.
“So,” Dee said as they started down. “I bared my soul; you wanna return the favor and tell me what your nightmare was about?”
Ryo flushed and ducked his head, embarrassed. Compared to Dee’s dream, his own just seemed stupid. “Not particularly.”
“Aw, c’mon! Maybe it’ll help. Talkin’ about nightmares breaks the hold they have on ya; it’s a known fact. Was it about me? Bikky? Findin’ yourself at work naked?” They were crossing the precinct’s lobby by now, making for the main doors. “Or were ya relivin’ what happened to your folks again?” Dee knew Ryo still had nightmares about the brutal crime that had taken his parents from him when he was eighteen.
Shaking his head, Ryo pushed the door open and stepped out into the cool morning air, Dee right behind him.
“None of the above, just a recurring nightmare I’ve been having for years.”
“So what was it? Ya know I’m just gonna bug ya until ya tell me.”
A gusty sigh escaped Ryo’s lips and he glanced sidelong at the man he loved. If he told his partner the truth Dee was bound to laugh, but if he didn’t he’d never hear the end of it; Dee just never gave up.
“Fine, if you must know, I dreamed I was being suffocated by giant marshmallows.” He darted a glare at his lover, just daring him to find it amusing, because it had been anything but; all that gooey marshmallow clinging to him, blocking his mouth and nose so he couldn’t draw breath, and resisting all his attempts to push it away, his hands sinking deep into the resilient substance and getting stuck. “They’re nowhere near as harmless as you seem to think.”
Dee grinned. “Maybe you should skip the coffee and get hot chocolate instead, with those mini marshmallows floatin’ on the top. Give the little bastards a taste of their own medicine; see how they like it. Revenge doesn’t get any sweeter than that.”
Despite himself, Ryo couldn’t help laughing. “You’re weird.”
“Me? I’m not the one bein’ scared sleepless by marshmallows.”
“I know how crazy it sounds, but they were all over me and I couldn’t breathe.”
“Yeah, guess that would be enough to freak anyone out.” Dee bumped his shoulder against Ryo’s. “How ‘bout I sleep over at yours tonight? You promise to protect me from the zombie hordes, and I’ll deal with those pesky marshmallows for ya.”
That was an offer Ryo wasn’t about to turn down; maybe if Dee was there he’d get a decent night’s sleep. “It’s a deal, but if you end up having nightmares about marshmallow zombies, or zombie marshmallows, don’t blame me.”
Laughing, both men feeling a lot better than they had in the wake of their nightmares, they crossed the street to the coffee shop to sate their caffeine cravings. They had a long day ahead of them, defending the citizens of New York from far more prosaic threats than the ones that haunted their dreams, and they were going to need all the help they could get in order to stay awake to the end of their shift.