Title: An Unconventional Family
Characters: Dee, Ryo, Bikky & Carol, mentions Jess Latener and Mother Maria Lane
Setting: After the manga, but refers to events chronicled in Vol. 6, Act 18.
Summary: Dee thinks about what makes a family.
Word Count: 855
Written For: Challenge #89: Family at fan_flashworks
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee lay on the sofa, pretending to read the sports pages, but in reality he was deep in thought. The case he and Ryo had been working recently had started him wondering; what really constituted a family?
Even though he had no memory of them and no idea who they were, he knew he must have had parents, if only briefly, a man and a woman whose genes had combined to create him. Who were they? Were they still alive? Did either of them have other children now, his half-brothers or half-sisters? He sighed; it was useless to think like that. They’d abandoned him, for some unknown reason. Left him in an alley to be raised by others. Maybe they’d thought someone else could give him a better home, a better life. Maybe they just hadn’t wanted to be burdened with a kid.
It hadn’t been the best start to life, but Mother had taken him in, had raised him as if he were her own son. No one had ever stepped forward to claim him, and there’d never been anyone eager to offer him a place in their family. He knew Mother had worried about that, thought he was missing out on a proper family life, but he’d never known what that meant so he’d never missed it. The orphanage had been his home; the other kids and Mother his only family.
Kids came and went at the orphanage, chosen by people to complete their families, but Dee had stayed, through childhood and adolescence, until he’d entered the police academy. He knew he’d been a handful growing up, a constant source of stress to Mother, but she’d never complained, just loved him unconditionally. Could any other mother have done more? Dee doubted it. When it came right down to it, Mother Lane was all anyone could want a mother to be, and more. He couldn’t have been raised by anyone better.
Then there was Jess. He’d done his best to keep Dee on the straight and narrow over the years, with varying degrees of success. The neighbourhood Dee lived in and the kids he hung out with made that difficult, but Jess had never given up, not even when he’d been on the take himself. He’d wanted Dee to live his life as honestly as he could, as honestly as Jess himself had failed to, and Dee had vowed he would make Jess proud by becoming a better cop than his surrogate father had ever been. Jess may have been a bad cop but he’d been a good father and surely that was what counted.
Okay, so unconventional as it might appear to outsiders, Dee had grown up with both a mother and a father, although the latter was sadly now deceased. He hadn’t been left wanting in that respect. He’d had siblings too, by the dozen; he’d even stayed in touch with a few of them.
But now he was an adult, of an age to have a family of his own.
Turning the paper over, Dee skimmed the football results. Giants beat the Eagles. Good. Jets lost 49-9 to the Bengals? What was the world coming to? He would’ve watched the game, but he’d been… busy. Otherwise occupied with Ryo. That thought made him smile. Now he was glad he’d missed the game, witnessing a debacle like that would’ve ruined a very enjoyable day.
Dee glanced surreptitiously across the room. Bikky and Carol were busy with homework, heads buried in their books as Carol tried to explain something math-related to the house ape. Ryo was in the kitchen, cooking dinner. Dee would have been helping, but Ryo had kicked him out a while back for almost causing him to burn something. Delicious aromas floated on the air, making Dee’s mouth water and his stomach rumble hungrily.
“Kids, go get washed up, dinner’s almost ready,” Ryo called out. “Dee, didn’t I ask you to set the table?”
“Oops! Sorry, babe, I forgot. My bad; I’ll get right on it.”
Dee set the paper aside and bounced to his feet, grabbing Ryo and planting a big kiss on his lips as he passed.
Ryo looked at his partner, bemused.
“What was that for?”
“No reason. Just because I can,” Dee grinned, heading for the kitchen sink to wash up before getting the cutlery from the drawer, whistling cheerfully to himself.
Family? Hell, he had one of those; as unconventional as the one he’d grown up with, sure, but they were his family just the same. So what if both kids were someone else’s to start with? They were near enough his and Ryo’s now; even Carol spent more time here than with her aunt these days. They were good kids, though he’d never say that to their faces.
And then there was Ryo. Partner, best friend, lover; he was all that and more. Dee smiled to himself as a thought came to him. Other people had to put up with the families they were born into, but he’d made his own from the people he loved the most.
He sure was one lucky SOB!