Title: If I'd Never Met You
Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo dreams about what his life might have been like if he’d never met Dee.
Word Count: 750
Written For: dailyprompt 2009-05-05: Suppose I never ever met you / Suppose we never fell in love
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
It was the middle of the night and Ryo couldn’t sleep. He’d been woken by… not a nightmare exactly, but it hadn’t been a pleasant dream either. Feeling wetness on his face, he awkwardly wiped away tears; he hadn’t realised he was crying. The empty feeling he’d woken up with just wouldn’t go away. He checked his bedside clock: 1.25 a.m. Maybe it wasn’t too late.
Reaching for his phone, he hit speed dial one. The phone on the other end rang four times before it was answered.
“Laytner,” a sleepy voice mumbled.
“Dee? Sorry for calling so late…”
“Ryo? Is everything okay?” Dee suddenly sounded wide-awake and concerned.
“Yeah, everything’s fine,” Ryo replied, his shaky voice giving the lie to his words. “I just needed to hear your voice.”
“Nothing. I just…” Ryo sighed heavily. “It was just a stupid dream.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Sure it does, babe. If it upset you enough to make you call me in the middle of the night, it matters. Talk to me.”
“I dreamed I’d never come back to New York, never met you. Just lived out my life somewhere else. God, Dee, I was so alone. My life was so cold and empty, I had no one.” Ryo couldn’t hold back the tears.
“You’re not alone, babe. You have me and the house ape, you never have to be alone. Listen, stay right there, I’m coming over.”
”What?” Ryo swiped at his eyes with the back of one hand. “No, Dee, you don’t need to do that, it’s the middle of the night! I’ll be fine, just go back to sleep. I’m sorry I woke you.”
“Like I’m going to be able to sleep now.” Dee’s voice was so full of warmth and tenderness that Ryo felt the cold emptiness inside him start to thaw. “No arguing, okay? I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
Despite feeling guilty, Ryo had to admit Dee’s presence would be more than welcome.
Dee was as good as his word, arriving just under twenty minutes later. Ryo was waiting for him at the door. In spite of his protests, the only thing he really wanted was to have Dee’s arms around him, holding him and chasing away the last shreds of the dream. Dee seemed to instinctively understand, wrapping his lover in a tight embrace as soon as he’d closed the door behind him. Ryo buried his face against a strong shoulder, tears flowing freely. He knew Dee hated it when he cried, but he couldn’t help it. He’d seen what his life could have been like if he’d never admitted to himself that he was gay, and it had been worse than any nightmare; a cold, bleak, lonely existence that had chilled him to the bone. He just wanted to feel warm again.
“Shhh,” Dee whispered against his hair. “It’s okay, baby; you’re never gonna be alone, I promise. I’ll always be here, whenever you need me. All you gotta do is call and I’ll come running, day or night.”
Ryo knew Dee meant every word; he’d just proved it by dragging himself out of bed in the middle of the night.
“Thank you,” he mumbled against Dee’s shoulder.
“You’re welcome. C’mon, let’s get to bed. We can sleep in tomorrow, don’t have to be at work ‘til late.”
Ryo nodded, feeling worn out. Pulling away a little, he took Dee’s hand as they made their way to the bedroom, unwilling to lose contact with the warmth that seemed to radiate from his lover, chasing the chill from his bones.
“Sounds like a good plan. I think we could both do with the rest. I’m sorry for being such a wimp.”
Dee shook his head.
“You’re not, and stop apologising, you dope. Sometimes we all need a little help to shake off the nightmares. No one wants to feel alone.”
Laying in Dee’s arms a short while later, Ryo rested his head on his lover’s chest, listening to his heartbeat in the darkness. He’d been a fool for so long, denying the truth about himself. If it hadn’t been for Dee, the life he’d dreamt about might have been all he could have looked forward to, but thanks to this wonderful man, he’d escaped that awful fate. Warm at last and knowing he was loved, he drifted off to sleep, vowing to himself that he’d never take Dee for granted, because life without him simply didn’t bear thinking about.