Title: The Next Step
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: It took a lot of work, but all of Ryo’s stuff is finally moved into Dee’s place.
Word Count: 789
Written For: For Amnesty #001, using Theme Prompt: #001 – New Beginnings at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
It had taken most of the weekend, but all of Ryo’s things had been moved from his old apartment into Dee’s place, now twice its former size since he’d taken over the adjoining apartment and knocked through the dividing wall. The move itself had been fairly straightforward, just a case of piling all the packed boxes and the few pieces of furniture Ryo wanted to keep into the van Dee had rented for the occasion, driving across town, and unloading everything again. It had been unpacking the boxes and putting everything where it belonged that had proved the most time consuming part.
Still, the job was finally finished; Ryo’s clothes were hanging in the new closets or folded neatly in previously empty drawers, books and DVDs were arranged on shelves, all Ryo’s cooking paraphernalia was stowed in the kitchen cupboards, and the huge bed that had once belonged to Ryo’s parents now had pride of place in the bedroom he and Dee would be sharing.
“Man!” Dee sighed, stretching until his spine cracked. “Thought we’d never get finished! Where’d all that stuff come from anyway?”
Ryo chuckled as he flattened out the last of the empty cardboard boxes to take them downstairs for recycling. “Search me; I couldn’t believe how much there was when I was packing for the move, and I took a lot of stuff I was never going to use to the Goodwill store. Some of it I don’t even remember buying.”
“I always suspected that nameless junk breeds in the back of closets.” Dee threw a suspicious look at one particular closet and Ryo followed his gaze, laughing again as he remembered the day he’d foolishly opened the door while helping Dee with his spring cleaning only to be met with an avalanche of basketballs, among other things.
“Or maybe it’s just human nature to stuff anything we don’t currently have a use for to the back of any available cupboard, just in case it might come in useful later.”
Dee gave him a withering look. “You just suck all the mystery out of life,” he grumbled good-naturedly. “Don’t you believe in anything the least bit supernatural?”
“I used to, when I was a kid, before my parents were killed. That kinda forced me to face reality head-on.” Ryo smiled wryly and shrugged.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to…”
“It’s fine, Dee, it was a long time ago. A lot has happened since then and I’ve made my peace with the past, just as you have. Our experiences shape us, good and bad, they’re a part of what makes us the people we are now.”
“Would you change things? I mean, if you could?”
Ryo looked thoughtful. “I honestly don’t know. I think, if I could prevent my parents’ murder I’d be tempted, but who knows what else would be changed in the process? Maybe if they hadn’t died I would never have become a cop, would never have met you or Bikky, and wouldn’t have the life I have now. That’s something I don’t even want to think about.”
“Yeah, me neither.” Dee walked over, took the box from Ryo’s hand, and dropped it on the pile. “Enough talk of the past; we should be thinking about the future and celebrating!”
“I should really clear up first…”
“Why? Those boxes aren’t goin’ anywhere, we can take them down to the dumpster in the mornin’ on the way to work. I’m parched; I need a beer. You want one?”
Casting one last look at the messy pile of cardboard, Ryo followed Dee over to the kitchen. “Okay, a cold drink sounds good after all that unpacking. So, what are we celebrating?” he asked as Dee twisted the tops off two bottles of beer from the refrigerator.
“This!” Dee gestured around himself with one bottle as he passed the second to Ryo. “The start of our life together.”
“We’ve been together for several years already, and technically, I moved in yesterday.” Ryo sounded amused.
“Doesn’t count until the unpacking is done,” Dee insisted. Holding out his beer bottle, he clinked it against Ryo’s. “To us, and to new beginnings!”
“To us,” Ryo agreed, raising his beer and taking a drink. Dee was right, this next step in their relationship was a new beginning for both of them; no more going their separate ways after work, no more staying over occasionally at each other’s place, now they’d be going home together every night, sleeping in the same bed, and waking up together every morning. It was a little scary, but in a good way, and looking at Dee leaning against the counter in their kitchen, looking as sweaty and dishevelled as Ryo felt, he knew he couldn’t be happier.