Title: The Best Gift Of All
Characters: Ryo, Dee, Bikky
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: It’s Ryo and Dee’s first Christmas together as a couple.
Word Count: 1901
Content Notes: None needed
Written For: Challenge 140: Gift at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo woke slowly as grey winter light filtered through his bedroom window. It was Christmas morning and he had a lot to do if he wanted to serve dinner at a reasonable time. He cast a glance at the mound under the covers beside him, smiling; Dee had come over on Christmas Eve and spent the night.
It was their first Christmas together as a couple and they’d both been determined to make it a memorable one. Despite being a bit bent when they’d bought it home, the tree Dee had insisted on getting was now standing straight and tall in the living room, decorated from top to bottom with a colourful array of baubles, fairy lights, and popcorn that Bikky and Carol had painstakingly threaded into strings. There were paper chains hanging across the ceiling, cards standing on every available surface, and even a fake snowman on the windowsill.
Even Ryo’s bedroom hadn’t escaped decoration, with fairy lights strung around the windows and mistletoe over the bed. That had kept them up quite late the night before and Ryo blushed faintly at the memories.
“Where’re ya goin’?” a sleepy voice asked as he slipped quietly out of bed. “It’s way too early to be getting’ up.”
“There’s still a lot I need to get ready for dinner. That turkey’s going to take several hours to cook. Besides, Bikky will be up soon and I want to be there when he opens his presents. Merry Christmas, Dee.” Ryo leant over to give Dee a quick kiss, which Dee inevitably turned into something much deeper.
“Merry Christmas, babe. You sure I can’t persuade you to come back to bed?”
“Not if you want to have dinner before the game. You can stay put a while longer if you want though.”
Dee looked tempted, but then he shook his head. “Nah, if you’re gettin’ up I’d better do the same. I can help with preparations. But tomorrow morning we’re sleeping in, okay?”
“Okay, it’s a deal.” Ryo pulled on his robe, slid his feet into his slippers, and headed to the bathroom for a quick shower, a little surprised that Bikky hadn’t surfaced yet.
Leaving the bathroom fifteen minutes later, showered and shaved, Ryo found Bikky was now up and about in the living room, peering under the tree, looking at labels to see which gifts were his. “Merry Christmas, Bikky! Give me a few minutes to get some clothes on before you start opening your presents, will you?”
“Sure, Ryo. Can we have the tree lights on?”
Ryo nodded and Bikky disappeared behind the tree to plug them in.
Back in the bedroom, Dee was up and sorting through the bag he’d brought with him, getting out clothes. “Bathroom free?”
“Unless Bikky beats you to it.”
Dee grabbed his shaving kit and bolted for the door, leaving Ryo chuckling as he dressed in jeans and a warm brown sweater. It felt good having Dee here. He wished his partner could stay over more often, but it wasn’t always practical. Three people trying to get through the bathroom in the morning and off to work or school on time was complete chaos. It was much easier on days when none of them had to go anywhere and they could all just take their time instead of rushing around.
Putting the coffee on, Ryo got out all the veg he’d prepared the day before and turned the oven on to bring it up to heat before putting the turkey in. “Pancakes for breakfast?”
“Yeah!” Bikky shouted. “Can I open something yet?”
“Alright, but just what’s in your stocking.” Ryo had filled the stocking with small gifts and novelties, some bits for school, and a couple of puzzles that should keep the boy occupied until breakfast was ready. By the time the coffee was brewed, Dee had joined him in the kitchen, pouring out two mugs and then getting a glass of milk for Bikky, before setting out plates and cutlery for breakfast. The pancakes didn’t take long and Ryo soon had a good stack of them being kept warm under the grill.
“Huh?” Bikky looked up from where he was sitting on the living room floor, trying to figure out one of the puzzles from his stocking.
“Breakfast’s ready, come and eat, then you can open the rest of your presents.”
Ryo noticed that the puzzle came to the table with Bikky, and the boy frowned over it as he dug into his pancakes.
“Not figured it out yet?” Dee asked, a broad grin on his face.
“Nope, not yet, but I will so keep your hands to yourself.”
“Come on, you two, try to be nice to each other. It’s Christmas, I don’t want any fighting today.” Ryo put the turkey in the oven and joined the other two at the table.
“I’ll be nice if he will,” Dee promised, looking over at Bikky. “Truce?”
“Just for today, but you’re still not having my puzzle!”
“I think I can live with that.”
After breakfast, Dee helped Ryo clear away the dishes, then the three of them trooped through to the living room, sitting on the floor beside the tree, sorting out the gifts into thee piles. Bikky’s pile was by far the largest, but Ryo found several parcels with his own name on that hadn’t been there before he went to bed last night. Dee must have got up some time in the early hours to put them under the tree; no wonder he hadn’t wanted to get up this morning.
Bikky threw himself eagerly into the task of opening his presents, among them a new book bag for school, computer games, DVDs, an official Bulls basketball jersey, new roller-blades because his old ones were getting too small, sneakers for the same reason, a CD player for his room, a wristwatch, and a warm but trendy winter coat.
The adults were slower at opening their gifts, but equally appreciative of their contents. Bikky gave Ryo a book he’d wanted and a plant for his windowsill. Dee and Ryo had given each other mostly clothes, but Ryo had a really good digital camera from Dee and had given his lover a fancy new phone like the one he’d bought for himself a couple of months earlier, but a in different colour so they wouldn’t get them mixed up.
In between presents, Ryo made frequent visits to the kitchen, checking the turkey and putting the various side dishes on to cook, consulting the list he’d made of what needed to be done and at what time to ensure that everything would be ready at the same time. Dee had never known anyone so organised, not even Mother.
Shortly before dinner, Dee peeled himself off the sofa to lay the table. It should have been Bikky’s job, but the boy was on the phone to Carol, wishing her a happy Christmas and thanking her for the gift she’d given him the day before. Dee also opened a bottle of wine, pouring a glass each for himself and Ryo.
“Can I have wine too?” Bikky asked.
“You’re underage,” Ryo called from the kitchen where he was putting everything in serving dishes for Dee to carry to the table. “You can have a soda.”
With a put upon sigh, Bikky mooched into the kitchen and grabbed a soda from the refrigerator. “I wish I was grown up already.”
“If you were, you wouldn’t have got all that cool stuff for Christmas,” Dee pointed out. “You’ll be an adult before you know it; enjoy being a kid while you can.” That made Bikky think.
“Okay, maybe I don’t wanna grow up too fast then,” he decided, sliding into his seat.
While Ryo carved the turkey, the other two helped themselves from the various dishes arranged in the middle of the table. The meal was excellent, even though Ryo had forgotten the stuffing, thanks to Dee distracting him. They all ended up eating far more than they probably should have, finally leaving the table and collapsing on the sofa, too stuffed to move. Ryo half dozed while Dee and Bikky watched the football on TV, but eventually he had to make a move to clear away the dishes and leftovers, with a little help from Dee and Bikky during the commercials and at half time.
The rest of the day passed lazily, watching movies and playing Bikky’s new games. No one bothered much about eating, as they were still too full from dinner to really be hungry.
Just before midnight, Bikky finally decided he was too tired to stay up any longer and dragged himself off to bed, leaving Dee and Ryo alone in the living room with just the TV and the lights from the tree for illumination.
Dee got up and turned the TV off, making his way over to the tree and plucking a small, gaily wrapped parcel from among the branches, too high up for Bikky to have spotted it. “I have one more gift for you, didn’t want the house ape to see it.” He came back over to the sofa, sitting down and handing the little box to his lover. “Go ahead, open it.”
Ryo did as he was told, carefully peeling away the wrapping paper, expecting to find some sort of sex toy. Instead, when he opened the box inside, he found a silver St. Christopher medallion.
“Dee, it’s beautiful!”
“It’s to keep you safe when I can’t be with you,” Dee told him softly.
“I’ll wear it all the time,” Ryo promised, fastening the chain around his neck and slipping the medallion inside his sweater to rest against his skin. “Thank you. Um, I have one last gift for you as well, but yours kind of puts it in the shade.” Going over to the tree, he knelt down and reached behind it, pulling out a flat, rectangular parcel, about twenty centimetres by fifteen. Dee followed, kneeling beside him, accepting the present as it was handed to him and quickly unwrapping it. Inside, set in a simple but elegant frame, was a photograph of the two of them together, taken back in the fall. They were both smiling into the camera, looking completely happy.
“This is perfect, Ryo, I’ll keep it beside my bed so you’ll always be the last thing I see before I go to sleep and the first thing I see in the morning.” He leant in for a slow, tender kiss, finally pulling back to smile softly at Ryo. “Thank you. But you know what? The best gift I could ever find under the Christmas tree is you. You make my life complete.”
It should have sounded cheesy, but the simple honesty with which the words were spoken touched Ryo’s heart. “The feeling’s mutual,” he whispered. Taking Dee’s hand, he pulled his lover to his feet. “Come on, let’s go to bed.” He reached behind the tree to turn off and unplug the lights, plunging the room into near darkness aside from the faint glow of streetlights filtering in from outside. There was just light enough for them to find their way to the bedroom, where they closed and locked the door behind them, and as bells rang out for midnight, they slowly undressed each other, unwrapping the one they loved; the best gift of all.