Title: Oh Christmas Tree… - Part 2/2
Characters: Ryo, Dee, Bikky, Carol, OMC
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Dee is determined to make his and Ryo’s first Christmas together as a couple as memorable as possible and you can’t have a proper Christmas without a tree…
Word Count: 1595
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: Not sure now exactly where this idea came from, but it quickly outgrew the little ficlet I’d intended it to be.
Fifteen minutes later, they had the tree settled in its tub, just in time to take delivery of their dinner. Ryo paid the delivery guy while Dee fetched a couple of glasses from the kitchen and opened a bottle of wine to go with their Chinese takeaway.
There was no need to rush; they had the next day off, so they relaxed and took their time over their meal, unwinding from their earlier exertions and chatting idly until the whole bottle of wine was gone. By the time they got around to decorating the tree, they were both more than a little tipsy. Still, as it didn’t seem likely to affect their ability to put up decorations, they set to the task with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Ryo felt that he was finally getting into the Christmas spirit. Everything was going swimmingly, until it was time to put the star on the top of the tree and they noticed something they’d so far managed to overlook.
After staring at the tree from every angle for several minutes, they finally came to an inescapable conclusion; their tree was bent.
“I’m sure it wasn’t like that when we bought it,” Dee said, scratching his head. “I would’ve noticed.” The top couple of feet of the tree was sticking out almost at a right angle. “How the hell did that happen?”
Ryo’s stared at it thoughtfully, until realisation suddenly dawned. “Oh!”
“What?” Dee turned to look at him.
“It must’ve stuck like that when we tied it over the top of the car.”
“Damn! And that was such a great idea at the time!” Frowning at the bent tree, Dee paced back and forth for a minute, studying the situation. “Okay, no problem. The star will be fine, as long as we turn the tree so it’s pointing towards the east,” he declared confidently.
“I thought it was the wise men who came from the east.” Ryo sounded puzzled and Dee grinned; tipsy, puzzled Ryo was cute. It looked like he was waiting for some kind of answer though; what was it they’d been talking about? Oh yeah, now he remembered.
“East, yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s right, and then they went further east following the star.” Drunk, Dee’s logic bore no resemblance to anyone else’s, but Ryo had drunk just enough himself that he couldn’t quite work out what might be off about it, so deciding to go along with it, he nodded in agreement. Dee apparently didn’t notice, because he continued speaking.
“Look, there’s definitely something about the east in there somewhere, I know that for sure. I remember Mother telling us the story when I was a kid.” He pointed at the tree. “It’s gotta point east.”
“Okay.” Ryo was perfectly willing to defer to Dee’s expertise in the matter. “So, how do we work out which way’s east?” He looked at Dee expectantly.
“Uh… You got a compass?” Dee sounded hopeful.
“I don’t think so.”
“Darn. I thought you had pretty much everything!”
“Oooh, wait a minute!” Dee snapped his fingers. “The sun rises in the east!”
“Dee! Sunrise isn’t until…” Ryo checked his watch. “Tomorrow morning sometime. Anyway, we wouldn’t be able to see it, we’re in the middle of the city, there’re probably buildings in the way.”
Dee’s shoulders sagged. “Hadn’t thought of that. Huh. Oh well.” Dee dug in a pocket and pulled out his phone. “Guess we’ll have to try something else then.”
“I just got this new app on my phone, for charting the position of the stars at different times of the year. You just enter the date, time, and where you are, and it shows you what the stars should look like.”
Ryo looked rather bemused. “Why?”
“I dunno, it just sounded cool.” Dee shrugged.
“No, I mean why bring that up now?”
“Oh! It has directions, like certain groups of stars can be seen in the north, south, west… Well, you know. If we find the ones that are in the east at this time of night, on this date, in New York, we’ll know we’re facing east!” Dee entered the information on his phone. “There!”
Ryo looked at the phone, now displaying the constellations as they should be seen over New York in mid-December. The compass directions were clearly marked.
“Great! We’ll need to go up on the roof.” Ryo snatched up his keys and headed for the door. “Come on, we should get up there before the stars in the east move somewhere else.” Dee hurried after him, smiling; the wine Ryo had drunk was clearly affecting his partner’s thinking. Stars didn’t move that fast; he was almost certain.
It was cold up on the roof, and they’d both forgotten their coats, but they snuggled together in the lee of the stairwell and Dee lit up the display on his phone, pointing to the area labelled ‘East’. “That’s what we have to look for.”
Ryo nodded and peered up into the sky. “Dee, there aren’t any stars!”
“What?” Dee looked up too and then glared accusingly at his phone. “Useless thing. You’d think it would say there’re clouds in the way so people wouldn’t go out on their roofs in the freezing cold for no reason!”
“Dee!” Ryo tugged at his partner’s arm.
Big, fat flakes seemed to have suddenly filled the sky above them, slowly drifting down.
Dee’s face lit up with excitement. “How about that?”
“It’s beautiful!” Ryo agreed.
It really was. Just like that, the cold, bare roof was being turned into a magical wonderland. They watched for a few moments as the snow drifted down around them, muting the sound of traffic, then it was Dee’s turn to tug at Ryo.
“C’mon, babe, better get back inside before we freeze our asses off. We can watch the snow through the window.”
A little reluctantly, they made their way back around to the stairwell door and headed back down to Ryo’s apartment.
“We still don’t know which way’s east,” Ryo commented as they closed the apartment door and brushed melting snow out of each other’s hair.
“Lets just stick the star on the top of the tree and go take a hot shower. We can figure it out tomorrow. Tree’s not goin’ anywhere tonight.”
“Sounds good to me,” Ryo agreed.
Dragging a chair over to the tree, Dee climbed up on it, balancing precariously while Ryo clung to him, trying to keep him from falling off. After a bit of fumbling, he got the star firmly attached and tried to take a step back to look at it, practically falling into Ryo’s arms.
“Oops! Thanks, babe. So, how does it look?”
“Hmmm?” Ryo was staring dreamily at Dee.
“The star, dumbass!”
Ryo blinked. “Oh.” He turned his attention to the tree, tilting his head to one side. Dee copied him.
“Yep!” Dee congratulated himself. “That’ll do. So, shower and bed?” Ryo hesitated. “C’mon, babe, we can clear up in the morning. It won’t kill you to leave it just this once. I’ll help you tomorrow, I promise, but you’re shivering. I don’t want you catchin’ a cold.”
“Well, alright, if you promise…”
“I do.” Dee held out his hand.
“Okay.” Turning off the lights, Ryo allowed his lover to pull him into the bathroom.
The next morning, Bikky stood in the lounge and stared in astonishment at the wonky tree. “What the hell? Were they drunk?”
Carole picked up the empty wine bottle from the coffee table. “By the looks of this, probably. Does it matter? I mean, at least they made the effort, and it’s the thought that counts.”
“Besides, I kinda like it, it’s different. And it’s only the top that’s crooked; the rest of it looks great.”
“That’s true. It’s a pretty impressive tree, they must’ve had a job getting it up here.”
“Exactly! We shouldn’t criticise. It looks really heavy.”
The bedroom door opened and Ryo stumbled out, looking groggy and half asleep. “Oh, hi Bikky, Carol.” He headed for the kitchen, but paused to look back at them. “Umm, do either of you happen to know which way’s east?”
“Are you okay? I mean that’s kind of a weird question…” Bikky looked a bit wary.
“I’m fine, it’s just something we were trying to figure out last night, but I can’t remember why. Doesn’t matter. I need coffee.” Ryo made his way into the kitchen.
Bikky and Carol just looked at each other and shrugged. If there was one thing they were sure of, it was that they could count on adults not to make sense. It was reassuring, in an odd kind of way.
“The day we understand what they’re talking about is the day we’ll know we’re adults, but I think that’s still some way off,” Carol grinned. “It might be best if we stay out of their way while they’re hung over though.”
“For sure. C’mon, we’ll just stay in my room.”
“’Kay.” Just before following Bikky, Carol called out, “Ryo?”
“Hmmm?” He turned to look blearily in her direction.
“East’s that way.” She pointed out the window.
“Oh. Thanks. That’s a big help.” He paused to consider that. “At least I think it is. Or it would be if I could remember why I needed to know. I’ll ask Dee when he wakes up.” That decided, he turned back to making coffee.
Chuckling, Carol followed Bikky into his room and shut the door. Looked like this was going to be an interesting Christmas!