Title: Caught In The Act
Characters: Bikky, Ryo, OMC
Setting: Around the middle of the manga.
Summary: Bikky gets into trouble at school.
Word Count: 923
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Challenge 132: Cheating at fan_flashworks
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo hadn’t been at all pleased at getting the call from Bikky’s school, not least because it had meant leaving work for an hour in the middle of his shift, time he’d have to make up later. Nevertheless, he’d spoken to the Chief, apologised briefly to Dee for leaving him interviewing witnesses on his own, and went to confront his foster son about his latest misdemeanour.
In the headmaster’s office, Bikky sat staring at his sneakers as Mr Montgomery, the headmaster, explained that Bikky had been caught cheating on a math test.
“What do you have to say for yourself?” Ryo finally asked the boy, arms folded over his chest and a stern expression on his face.
“I wanted to pass the test,” Bikky mumbled.
“And you decided cheating was the best option?” Ryo’s eyebrows went up in disbelief.
Bikky nodded. He looked imploringly at his guardian. “I’m useless at math, Ryo! I just don’t understand equations and stuff. I thought if I could get an A just once instead of a D, you’d be proud of me…” He trailed off, looking glum.
Ryo sighed heavily, shaking his head, and knelt in front of his son. “Bikky, look at me.”
After a moment, Bikky raised his head to meet Ryo’s eyes.
“Cheating, for any reason, is wrong. Do you understand?”
“I want you to promise me that you’ll never cheat on anything ever again.”
Bikky visibly drooped. “I promise. No more cheating, ever.”
“Good. Just remember, as long as you always try your best, I’ll be far more proud of you for getting a D honestly that for getting an A dishonestly. The only thing that matters is that you do the best you can. Okay?”
“Okay. I really am sorry.”
“I know, but you know I’ll still have to punish you for cheating, right?” Ryo had to fight not to smile at the boy’s woebegone expression. “I think you need some extra tutoring in math, so you’ll be staying after school twice a week for the next month for that. Maybe it’ll help get your grades up a bit.”
Bikky groaned, but didn’t complain. He knew he was getting off pretty easily. It was gonna be boring, but if he worked hard enough and got better grades in math, it would please Ryo, which was what he’d been trying to do in the first place.
“I have to get back to work,” Ryo told him. “You’ll have your first tutoring session tonight and I want you to go straight home afterwards and get on with your homework. I’ll have to work overtime to make up for walking out in the middle of shift, so I’ll pick up something for dinner on the way home. Now, get back to class and I’ll see you this evening.” Ryo stood up, straightening his jacket.
“Okay.” Bikky slid off the chair and started towards the door, pausing halfway there and coming back to impulsively hug Ryo. “I really am sorry for cheating, Ryo.”
“I know you are, Biks.” Ryo hugged him back and ruffled the boy’s hair. “Just please try to stay out of trouble.”
“I will. Promise.” With that, Bikky ran to the door and disappeared without another backward glance.
Ryo shoved one hand through his hair and sighed. “Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with him,” he admitted.
“Looks to me like you’re doing an excellent job, Detective. There aren’t many people who would turn their own life upside down to take in an orphaned child, especially not one with the kind of background Bikky has.”
Ryo smiled faintly. “I know what it’s like to be alone. Besides, underneath all the attitude he’s a good kid, he deserves better than to just get lost in the system. I really do have to get back to work now. Thank you for calling me.” He offered his hand to Mr Montgomery, who shook it.
“Thank you for coming in. I hope the next time you visit will be under better circumstances. Parents’ Evening is coming up in a few weeks.”
“I’ll be here for that,” Ryo assured the headmaster.
As he left the school, Ryo thought about what Mr Montgomery had said. It probably was rather unusual for a single man to become a foster parent, but despite all the problems, he didn’t regret taking Bikky in. The boy had needed a family, and so had Ryo, even if he hadn’t realised it at the time. As families went, theirs was a little unusual, but it worked surprisingly well, even if one of Bikky’s father figures acted like a kid himself most of the time.
Chuckling to himself, Ryo climbed into his car and started the engine. Time to get back to the precinct and see what kind of trouble Dee had managed to get into while he’d been gone. It was a good thing Dee hadn’t come with him; his advice to Bikky about cheating would probably have been not to get caught next time. As role models went, Dee left a lot to be desired. No doubt he’d done his fair share of cheating as a kid, and the rest of the 27th Precinct’s detectives were no better. Sometimes Ryo felt like the lone adult surrounded by juvenile delinquents, what with all the petty squabbling that went on between his fellow detectives, not to mention Drake’s habit of stealing any unattended food he happened to come across. At least Bikky had the excuse of being too young to know better.