Title: Squeak – Sequel to ‘Doctor’s Visit’
Characters: Dee, Ryo, Bikky.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: Ryo’s lost his voice, but fortunately he has people to look after him who understand his every squeak.
Word Count: 2070
Written For: Challenge 146: Voice at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: A sequel to my fic ‘Doctor’s Visit’, but it works equally well as a standalone.
“Hey, Ryo,” Bikky called out as his guardian entered their apartment.
“Squeak,” Ryo replied.
Bikky paused his video game and looked up from where he was sitting on the floor, frowning at Ryo.
“Did you just squeak?”
Ryo opened his mouth again, but Dee stopped him.
“He’s lost his voice, all he can do now is squeak.”
Bikky looked from Dee to Ryo, who drooped disconsolately. “Shouldn’t you see a doctor?” he asked, concerned.
Ryo held up the bag from the pharmacy.
“Way ahead of you, twerp,” Dee told him. “Just dragged his sorry ass over there, that’s why we’re so late. He wasn’t happy about it, but I kinda overruled him.”
“What did the doc say?”
“He has laryngitis. She prescribed antibiotics, so we stopped at the pharmacy on the way back.”
Ryo handed the bag to Dee, shrugged out of his coat and scarf, hanging them on the hooks by the door, then wandered through to his bedroom, reappearing a few minutes later with a bundle of clothes in his arms. He disappeared into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
“He’s okay though, right?” Bikky asked as soon as Ryo was out of earshot.
“He will be, he’s just feelin’ kinda low. He’s off work for the week; wouldn’t be much use at the precinct anyway. Even deskwork is out ‘cause he can’t answer the phone. Just go easy on him, ‘kay? Don’t keep making him squeak. I know it’s funny but it’ll just upset him and make his throat worse.”
“Okay,” Bikky agreed. “I’m gonna make him some tea.”
“Good idea. Best wait until he’s out of the shower though, so it doesn’t go cold. I’m gonna pick up some groceries. Anything you need?”
“Nah, I’m good.”
“Take care of him ‘til I get back?”
“Course I will. Like you even have to ask.”
Dee ruffled Bikky’s hair. “Knew I could count on you. I’ll try not to be too long. See ya later!”
“Whatever.” Bikky ducked away from Dee’s hand and wandered into the kitchen to put the kettle on for Ryo’s tea.
When Ryo eventually came out of the shower, he was bundled up in his comfort clothes; sweat pants, thick socks, and a big, fluffy sweater. He stopped dead in the middle of the living room, looking around, frowning. There was nobody there.
Bikky hurried out of the kitchen. “Dee said you shouldn’t try to talk,” he scolded his foster father. Then seeing Ryo’s expression, he added, “He went to fetch some groceries, he’ll be back soon. Why don’t you go sit down and relax?”
Ryo nodded, making his way over to the sofa and curling up at one end, looking forlorn and miserable.
Bikky disappeared back into the kitchen and emerged again a few minutes later with a steaming mug of tea.
“Here, I made you some tea, I even put honey in it.” Bikky remembered Ryo doing that for him when he’d had a sore throat before Christmas; it had been soothing, so maybe it would help with Ryo’s laryngitis too.
With a wan smile, Ryo reached for the mug, cradling it between his hands as if trying to warm them. “Squeak.”
“No squeaking, I mean no speaking,” Bikky replied, trying to sound stern. Ryo just looked at him helplessly. “If you want to say something, use this.” The boy held out the wipe-clean board Ryo kept in the kitchen for jotting down things they were running low on.
Setting aside the mug of tea, which was a bit too hot to drink, Ryo took the board and wrote ‘Great idea, Bikky. Thank you.’
“That’s okay.” Bikky frowned. “I better get the cloth for wiping it though. Be right back. Oh, and don’t forget your tea. You should drink it before it goes cold.”
‘I will,’ Ryo wrote, smiling at his son. He set the board to one side and picked up his mug again, breathing in the steam from it and smiling faintly.
Bikky dashed back to the kitchen for a cloth, using it to wipe the board clean then leaving both on the coffee table where Ryo could reach them easily.
Ryo took a careful sip of tea then reached for the board. ‘Did you do your homework?’
“Um, not yet.”
Ryo didn’t need to say or write anything, the expression on his face was enough.
“I suppose I’d better get on with it.” Bikky fetched his school bag and settled at the coffee table, pulling out books and his pencil case.
When Dee arrived back loaded down with several paper sacks full of groceries, he walked into an apartment that was oddly silent. Bikky was working industriously at his homework and Ryo seemed to be half dozing, curled up on the sofa. Trying not to disturb them, Dee carried the bags into the kitchen, setting them down on the counter and starting to unpack. When a hand touched his arm, he almost jumped out of his skin.
“Ryo! God, don’t sneak up on me like that, baby! You about scared the life outta me!”
Looking suitably contrite, Ryo gave an apologetic little squeak, then clapped his hand over his mouth.
Dee smiled wryly and kissed him on the forehead. “We might have to come up with some kind of sign language until you get your voice back.”
Scurrying from the kitchen, Ryo was back a moment later with his message board. He wrote on it quickly then held it up for Dee to read. ‘No need, I’ve got this, I just forgot.’
“Cool! Whose idea was that?”
“Huh. I guess the house ape is smarter than he looks.”
“I heard that, jerk!” Bikky’s voice floated through from the living room and Dee chuckled.
A hand touched his arm again and Dee looked down at the message board.
‘What do I owe you for the groceries?’
“You don’t. Hell, I eat here so often I probably owe you for feedin’ me all the time. Call this partial repayment. Why don’t you go sit down while I put this stuff away?”
‘I can help.’
Dee read the words on the board. “I know you can, but you’re sick, you should be resting.”
‘Resting is boring! I was going to make dinner for us as soon as you got back.’
“If your throat feels as bad as it sounds, swallowing is gonna be painful.”
Ryo frowned and scribbled on his board. ‘Hadn’t thought of that.’
“Good thing I’m here then. You should stick to soft foods for now. I bought plenty of ice cream, yoghurt, canned soups and stews. I can heat something up for ya if you’re hungry. Bikky and I can order pizza.”
“Yay!” That was from Bikky.
“Only if you get your homework finished,” Dee shouted back. “Otherwise I’m eatin’ it all myself.”
“It’s nearly done, I’m on the last subject.”
While Dee and Bikky had been talking, Ryo had been busily putting all the groceries away, leaving out one of the cans of chicken noodle soup and a couple of the soft bread rolls Dee had bought, which he put on a plate. When Ryo reached for the can-opener, Dee stopped him.
“I can do that, you’ve done enough already.” When Ryo looked like he’d squeak a protest, Dee put his fingers to his partner’s lips. “Rest. Doctor’s orders, remember? The more you rest, the sooner you’ll get better.”
Ryo drooped. He really was good at looking pathetic and Dee didn’t even think it was intentional.
“Here, maybe this will make resting less boring.” Opening his coat, Dee pulled a flat package from his inside pocket and handed it to his lover.
Ryo took it, opened the bag and peeped in warily, before breaking into a smile and pulling out what was inside; two books he’d been wanting to read since they’d been published a few months earlier. He hugged Dee, kissing him on the cheek. For once, words weren’t required.
“You’re welcome. I was walking past a bookstore and there they were in the window, part of a big display of the latest paperback releases. Thought you’d like them better than a bunch of flowers as a get well soon present.”
Nodding, Ryo smiled, the first truly happy smile Dee had seen from him since he’d lost his voice. “Squeak!”
Hands on hips, Dee mock-glared at his lover. “If you don’t stop squeaking I’ll be forced to gag you!”
Sheepishly, Ryo mimed zipping his mouth shut and left the kitchen, carrying his new books, before Dee could make good on his threat.
Chuckling and shaking his head, Dee turned his attention to fixing Ryo’s dinner, pulling out is phone and calling the pizza place as soon as he’d put the soup on to heat.
Ryo had finished eating by the time the pizza arrived, and was curled up at the end of the sofa with his nose buried in one of his new books. Dee and Bikky dug in to their rather late dinner hungrily while watching TV. It was an oddly domestic scene, but Dee felt a warm glow of contentment as he finished the last slice and stretched his legs out, comfortably stuffed.
There was only one downside to the evening. Well, two if he included the fact that Ryo was sick and therefore wouldn’t be up to their usual strenuous night time activities, but Dee wasn’t such a horn dog that he couldn’t control his urges until his lover was fully recovered. What was really bothering him was that he wanted an after-dinner cigarette, but he was supposed to be quitting so that his second-hand smoke wouldn’t aggravate Ryo’s illness. It wasn’t that he really needed a smoke, the nicotine patch he was wearing was taking care of that craving, but he was used to lighting one up after meals and now he didn’t know what to do with his hands.
Looking up from his book, Ryo saw the frown on Dee’s face and opened his mouth to speak, or more likely squeak, but remembered in time and shut it again without trying. He picked up the message board. ‘Are you okay?’
Dee read the message and smiled. “I’m fine, babe, it’s just… not smoking is gonna take some getting used to.”
Ryo understood; he was accustomed to his partner getting out his pack of cigarettes after dinner. Sliding across, he squeezed Dee’s hand, offering a faint squeak of encouragement before rolling his eyes at himself for forgetting once again that he couldn’t talk. ‘I know it must be difficult for you, but it will get easier, I promise,’ he wrote quickly.
“I know it will, and I’m not changing my mind about quittin’, it just feels weird not having a cig in my hands, I keep thinking I’ve lost something.” He looked at Ryo with a wry smile. “I’m still better off than you though; at least I can talk.”
Ryo shrugged and wrote, ‘Could be worse, it’s just frustrating having to write everything. I’ve never lost my voice before. What if it doesn’t come back?’
Dee wrapped an arm around Ryo, pulling him close and kissing the top of his head. “It will, don’t worry, you just have to take your meds, keep warm and get plenty of rest. You’ll be good as new, yelling at Bikky again in no time.”
‘Only at Bikky?’
“Well, I don’t plan on doin’ anything to make you yell at me. I’m gonna be on my best behaviour.”
Ryo looked sceptical.
“Hey! I can be good!”
‘I’ll believe that when I see it.’
Ryo settled himself comfortably against Dee’s shoulder and Dee began to idly run his fingers up and down his lover’s arm in a light caress, relaxing and letting his mind drift. Why would he want cigarettes when he could snuggle with his baby? He rested his cheek against Ryo’s hair, only half watching the movie on TV. Soon he knew he’d have to order Bikky to bed on Ryo’s behalf; Ryo should probably get an early night too, sleep would do him good. But for the moment Dee was content to be right where he was, with Ryo dozing beside him, giving out an occasional squeaky little snore courtesy of his laryngitis. It was kinda cute.
Dee smiled. If this was what was meant by the term ‘domestic bliss’, then he wanted as much of it as he could get.
Sequel 'New, Improved Flavour'