Title: Ryo’s Theory Of Relativity
Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After the manga, with references to Vol. 1 Act 1, Vol. 3 Act 9, and Vol. 6 Act 18.
Summary: Ryo’s having trouble sleeping and finds his mind wandering through some pretty deep thoughts.
Word Count: 1956
Written For: Challenge 138: Relative at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo sighed softly, staring through the window at the full moon that lit up his bedroom. He knew he should be sleeping, he had a busy day at work tomorrow followed by parent/teacher evening at Bikky’s school, but here he was, wide awake, his head buzzing with thoughts. It was exactly three years today since he’d started work at the 27th precinct as a single, most definitely unattached man. Now here he was, with his own somewhat unconventional little family.
Family; as a kid, and even as a young man, he’d thought he knew exactly what that word meant, but the definition had changed significantly in his eyes over the last three years. ‘Everything is relative, or maybe that should be everyone is relative. It just depends on your point of view.’ Ryo smirked to himself at the thought then sobered. In some respects it wasn’t a laughing matter at all. Sure, he’d been one of the lucky ones. He’d had a happy childhood with two parents who’d loved him, but they’d been cruelly ripped from his life, murdered by mistake, when he was only eighteen.
Of all his relatives, the only one who’d cared enough to give him a home had been his aunt Elena, his father’s youngest sister. If it hadn’t been for her and her husband, he didn’t know what he would have done. Eighteen was easily old enough to manage on his own, but he’d been so unprepared for being thrown into that situation; he’d still been in high school, had no job to help pay the bills while his parents’ will had been sorted out. He’d needed the support of his family to help him put his parents’ affairs in order, pack up their belongings, sell the house, and the million other details that the death of his closest relatives had involved. He’d been grieving and completely out of his depth, not knowing which way to turn, but Elena had stepped in and taken charge, helping him to arrange the funeral and guiding him through all the other necessary arrangements. Knowing she and his uncle were there for him had eased his pain a little; he hadn’t felt so alone
Bikky’s situation had been even worse. Ten years old, he’d been raised by his father since his mother’s death several years earlier. When his father had been murdered his future had looked pretty bleak. He’d had no one else, no distant relatives waiting to take him in. It had been either a children’s home or foster care, and both options must have seemed equally daunting to a small boy of mixed parentage.
Ryo wasn’t normally an impulsive person; he usually thought things through carefully, coming to an informed decision only after weighing all the pros and cons. But he’d looked at the young boy, trying so hard to be brave as his world crumbled around him, and he didn’t really have to decide anything; he knew what he had to do, there was only one possible course of action he could take.
Bikky needed a home with someone who would genuinely care about him, not about the money the state would pay them to look after him. Ryo understood Bikky, they were both orphans after all, and he’d seen enough young street punks to know where this one was likely headed if someone didn’t take steps to curb his budding criminal tendencies. Who better than a police officer to keep the boy out of trouble?
Just like that, he had a family of his own; he’d gone from single man to single parent in one surprisingly easy step.
Being a father turned out to be a whole lot harder than it had looked, and there were still times Ryo wondered if he was really up to the task; nevertheless, he had no regrets. He loved having Bikky around, even when the boy got into trouble or left Ryo’s previously tidy apartment in a mess. It was good after a long day at work to know that he had someone to go home to who would be glad to see him.
There was still something missing in his life though, and it took him a while to accept that what his little family needed had been right in front of him all along. Dee had wanted them to be more than just partners and best friends almost from the day they’d first met, but Ryo had resisted. After so many years spent trying to convince himself that he was straight, it wasn’t easy for him to admit that he was really gay. Fortunately, Dee was such a persistent and determined man that he’d never given up his single-minded pursuit of his partner. Ryo sometimes wondered if Dee had learned early to hold on to what was important to him, against all odds, simply because he’d never had much that he could call his own when he was growing up. It was as good an explanation as any for his lover’s somewhat possessive tendencies.
Dee had never known his biological parents. Dumped in an alley when he was just a few weeks old, he’d grown up in the Catholic orphanage run by Mother Maria Lane. Not that he’d ever shown any sign that he thought he’d got a bad deal, not to Ryo anyway. Dee loved the woman who had raised him almost single-handedly. In every way that mattered, she was his mother and he hadn’t needed any other parent, least of all the one who’d abandoned him to such an uncertain fate. He knew how lucky he was that a cop had found him and taken him to Mother in the first place. Jess had stuck around too, becoming the closest thing to a father Dee had ever known, until he’d been killed when Dee was in his mid-teens. As far as Dee was concerned, he’d grown up under the care of the two best parents any boy could have; the fact that they weren’t related to him in any way was beside the point. He understood better than most that it took more than blood to make a family.
So here they were, three mismatched orphans who’d each lost their biological parents in different ways and at different ages. Three people who’d come together to form their own little family that was nothing like anything Ryo had ever imagined for himself, but was somehow all the better for that. His half-formed dreams of a traditional family could never compare to his reality. It might not be what a lot of people would consider a proper family, but being conventional wasn’t automatically better. He’d learned that from Dee, among many other equally important things.
Beside him, Dee stirred. “Ryo? D’you know what time it is? What’re you doin’ still awake?”
Ryo smiled, turning from the window to look at his lover. “I’m fine. I know it’s late, I was just thinking.”
“Deep thoughts by the looks of it. Penny for them?” Dee sounded drowsy but curious.
“Cheapskate,” Ryo teased, chuckling. He rolled onto his side to face Dee, expression turned serious, staring at his lover with an intensity that Dee found almost uncomfortable. “I was thinking about my family.”
“You still miss them, huh?”
“I’ll always miss my parents, but they’re not the family I meant. Life’s strange; sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it. I always figured that one day I’d probably meet a woman, get married, maybe have kids; it just never happened, and I’m glad because I don’t think that would’ve made me happy. I might have spent my whole life denying who I am, but instead I got stuck with you as my partner, then Bikky practically crashed into my life, and everything changed.” He smiled sheepishly. “I know it was hard on you, waiting for me to stop hiding from myself and figure out what I really wanted. I don’t know why you didn’t give up on me long ago; anyone else would have. But you just kept trying, pushing me to face the truth about myself. I don’t think I ever thanked you for that, for helping me to find the courage to be who I am. I’m happier than I ever imagined I could be, and it’s all because of you and Bikky. The two of you are my family now, and I can’t imagine my life without you.”
Dee was so stunned that for a few moments he simply stared at Ryo, speechless. Reaching out, he caressed his lover’s face tenderly. “Likewise, baby. I know I’m not the best catch in the world, I can be lazy and inconsiderate…” Ryo opened his mouth to protest, or possibly to agree, but Dee put a finger to his lips, shushing him. “What I’m trying to say is, I guess I’d never really thought about it enough to put the way I feel into words, I’m not a deep thinker like you, but you’re my family too, the best thing that ever happened to me. Even though I’m not always sure I deserve you, I hope you know I’ll always do everything in my power to make you happy. I love you, Ryo. Hell, sometimes I even love Bikky, but don’t you dare tell the little brat I said that, because I’ll deny it!”
“He knows, and he’ll probably never say it either, but he loves you too. You’re the one he turns to for advice.”
Dee nodded. “Not sure that’s one of his better ideas.”
“I don’t agree.”
“Whatever. The thing is, we can’t help who we’re related to; some people get lucky with that, others don’t. There’s a saying about being able to choose your friends but not your family, but it’s not true. Most people don’t get a choice when it comes to parents, but we can all build our own family from the people who matter most to us. That’s what we’ve done. We found each other, we fit together right, and yeah, that includes Biks, and even Carol. I guess for good or bad, we can count the guys we work with as our extended family; they’re the ones who’ve got our backs every day, but this, what we have right here, is what really counts. I’ll always be here for you; that’s a promise.” Deciding that was more than enough serious talk about feelings for one night, Dee nudged Ryo with his foot. “Now, quit thinkin’ and go to sleep so that I can, otherwise we’ll both be useless come morning.”
Ryo raised himself on one elbow, leant over and kissed Dee softly. “Thank you, for everything.”
“Any time, babe. C’mere.” Pulling Ryo into his arms, Dee went for a more thorough kiss, reluctantly releasing him when they came up for air. “As much as I’d like to continue this, I really am beat.” He stifled a yawn.
“Me too.” Ryo flopped back onto his own pillow and pulled the covers up around them both. “Night, Dee.”
“Sweet dreams, baby.”
But even after Dee had drifted off again, Ryo lay there for a while longer, watching the other man sleep. He was going to be dragging tomorrow anyway; a little longer wouldn’t make much difference. Silently he sent up a prayer to whatever deities might exist that these two people, the family he’d found for himself, would always stay safe and well. They were so precious to him, and he couldn’t bear the thought of losing either one of them. ‘Please let us always stay together and be happy, for the rest of our lives.’ Because as long as he had Dee and Bikky in his life, he had everything he’d ever need; nothing else mattered.