Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After Vol. 7
Summary: Dee picks Ryo up one evening for a very special date.
Word Count: 1175
Written For: Jae's Monthly Drabble Challenge 183 - Beneath, Bouquet, Brilliant.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
When Ryo answered his door to find Dee standing there holding a big bouquet of flowers, he was perhaps understandably confused. He’d ben expecting his lover, they were going out on a date, but this was the kind of extravagance Dee usually reserved for special occasions.
“Hi. You bought me flowers?”
Dee grinned at him over the top of the colourful display. “Yep! D’you like them?”
“Yes, of course I do; they’re beautiful.” Ryo stepped back and ushered his lover into the apartment. “But… why?”
Valentine’s Day was long gone, his birthday wouldn’t be for several months yet, and as far as Ryo could remember, Dee hadn’t done anything he might feel he had to apologise for.
“Our anniversary, of course.” Dee was still grinning, not the least disconcerted since he already knew Ryo was terrible at remembering significant dates.
That just served to further confuse Ryo. “No it’s not. We started dating in March, I remember that much, even if I got the exact date wrong this year. Again.”
Dee laughed. “Not that anniversary, dope. It’s exactly five years since the day we first met; the way I see it, that’s pretty special, and worth commemoratin’, ‘cause I started fallin’ in love with you right then.” Dee held the flowers out. “Happy anniversary.”
“Thank you.” Ryo accepted them, breathing in their sweet scent. “But I think you’re getting ‘lust’ and ‘love’ confused again,” he teased.
“When it comes to you, babe, they amount to the same thing. So, are ya ready to go?”
“Yes, almost, but I’ll need to put these in water first. It won’t take long.”
“That’s fine, we’ve got plenty of time, there’s no rush.”
“That’s good. Where’re we going?”
Dee smirked. “Not tellin’ ya; I don’t wanna spoil the surprise.”
That was typical of Dee. “Well, okay, as long as I’m dressed appropriately.”
“You look perfect.” Dee leaned against the kitchen cabinets as Ryo quickly trimmed the flower stems and arranged the blooms in his biggest vase. There were carnations, lilies, and roses, with some ferny foliage to set the flowers off.
Popping the last one in and filling the vase with water and flower food, Ryo stepped back to admire the display.
“There, what do you think?”
Dee’s eyes were fixed on Ryo. “Gorgeous, but then, you always are.”
Ryo blushed. “I meant the flowers.”
“You’re impossible.” Setting the vase in pride of place on the sideboard in the lounge, Ryo put his shoes on and picked up his jacket, draping it over one arm. He didn’t need it right now, but he might later on. “Okay, I’m ready. Lead the way.”
Steering his lover down the stairs and out of the building, Dee opened the car door with a flourish and Ryo got in, laughing as Dee slammed it shut behind him and dashed around to the other side, sliding in behind the wheel and starting the engine.
It was a beautiful summer evening, pleasantly warm, with a three-quarter moon riding high in a cloudless sky. Dee drove them deep into the middle of Manhattan, pulling into the Drucker Lot on West 28th Street. He’d had the foresight to print out a discount coupon, so it didn’t take long to get them parked and paid up for the evening.
It was a mere three-minute walk to their destination, and soon they were standing outside the entrance to the Empire State Building.
Ryo turned to Dee in disbelief. “We’re going in there?”
All their lives it had stood on this spot, an impressive and imposing landmark, and yet neither man had ever set foot inside.
“No, I just dragged ya here to look at the outside. ‘Course we’re goin’ in!” Dee was grinning again. “Why should the tourists have all the fun? Figured it’s about time we checked out some of the sights for ourselves. We’ve got reservations for dinner at the State Bar and Grill, then it’s up to the hundred and second floor Observatory.”
“You’re serious?” Ryo looked from his partner to the building towering above them, tipping his head back to gaze upwards. “I always wanted to see the view from up there, but somehow I’ve just never gotten around to it.”
“Whelp, now’s our chance. I’ve got the tickets and everything, so what’re we waitin;’ for?” Dee headed for the entrance and Ryo hurried after him. His lover didn’t do things by halves!
Dinner was expensive but excellent, and they lingered over coffee for a while, savoring the anticipation, but eventually they had to vacate their table to make room for other diners, and then they were on their way up in the glass elevator to the top floor observation deck. Ryo was excited, but nervous too, wondering if the views would be worth the money Dee must have spent out on their tickets. He needn’t have worried; it was breath-taking.
Never in his life had Ryo been up so high when not in a plane; this was a completely different experience. Stretched out beneath him in every direction was New York as he’d never seen it before, the lights of the city brilliant against the darkness, as if the stars had fallen to earth. He could see almost the whole of Manhattan and beyond, picking out familiar landmarks, pointing them out to Dee, who was doing the same, the pair of them smiling so wide it almost made their faces hurt.
“It’s amazing! Look, there’s the Statue of Liberty!”
“I see it! Y’know, that’s somewhere else I’ve never been.”
“Next year,” Ryo said firmly, “and I’ll pay, just don’t let me forget to book everything for the right date.”
Dee chuckled. “I’ll remind ya in plenty of time, I promise.”
Ryo tipped his head back again, this time looking up at the stars, which somehow seemed closer from this height, brilliant pinpoints of light overhead, like reflections of the city lights far below. He turned to Dee again.
“Thank you, this is the best surprise ever. I might have never gotten around to doing this, never known what I was missing.”
“Same here.” Dee wrapped one arm around his baby. “I was just gonna take ya out to dinner, but while I was browsin’ restaurants, lookin’ for somewhere a bit different, I came across the one downstairs…” He pointed at the floor. “That’s what gave me the idea.” He fell silent as the two of them moved from one floor-to-ceiling window to the next, drinking in the spectacular vistas, committing them to memory.
“A happy accident, unexpected good fortune, lucky chance, something like that.”
“Yeah, that about covers it.”
The city seemed almost small from their vantage point so far above the streets. They spent so much of their time down there, seldom looking up. Now here they were, over a thousand feet up, getting a whole other perspective on the city that was their home.
Even if they never got to come up here again, this was a night, and a sight, neither one of them would ever forget.