Characters: Dee, Ryo, Ted
Setting: Somewhere in the middle of the manga.
Summary: Ryo’s done something stupid, so Dee lends a hand or two.
Word Count: 620
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Back at work after the Fourth of July weekend, Ryo winced noticeably as he sank into his desk chair. Dee raised an eyebrow, looking at his partner in concern.
“What’s up with you?”
“It’s nothing,” Ryo replied, a faint blush staining his cheeks, but Dee noticed he didn’t lean back in his chair the way he usually did, instead remaining perched tensely on the edge of the seat.
Before Dee could question Ryo further, Ted arrived, loud and cheerful, shouting out greetings and clapping Ryo on the shoulder in passing, nearly sending him through the ceiling with a strangled yelp. That was enough for Dee.
“Okay, now I know for sure something’s wrong. Spit it out. You were fine yesterday, so what is it?”
“Nothing, just a touch of sunburn.”
“Idiot! You knew we were gonna be out in the sun all day, why didn’t you use sunscreen?”
Dee looked sceptical. “Really? So how come you’re burned?”
“I didn’t put any on under my clothes. It’s hard to apply to your own back.” Ryo sounded defensive, as well he might considering the glare Dee was giving him.
“And then you had the brilliant idea to wear a dark t-shirt,” Dee sighed, exasperated. That shirt had looked really good on Ryo, but if Dee had known… Man, it would’ve soaked up all the heat; Ryo must’ve practically been cooked. Rising from his seat, Dee grabbed something out of his desk drawer with one hand, grabbed Ryo by the wrist and tugged. “Come with me.”
“Never mind where, just do it.” The expression on Dee’s face brooked no argument. Bewildered, Ryo allowed himself to be dragged to the locker room. Dee shut the door behind them and turned to Ryo, folding his arms over his chest. “Okay, shirt off.”
“What?” Ryo squeaked. “No way!”
“Ryo, so help me… You can’t spend all day in agony from sunburn. Take your shirt off so I can put lotion on your back. It’ll take away some of the sting, I promise.” Dee held up the bottle he’d taken from his desk.
Ryo hesitated a moment longer, then sighed in resignation. “Okay, but no groping.” He started to unbutton his shirt.
“What d’you take me for?”
“I know what you’re like. Give you an inch and you don’t know when to stop.”
“You’re in pain. Even I have some restraint.”
“Not that I’ve noticed,” Ryo muttered, shrugging carefully out of his shirt and turning so his back was towards Dee.
Now it was Dee’s turn to wince. “Jesus, you look like a cooked lobster! Okay, just try to hold still, this is gonna be cold and it might hurt a bit at first.”
The first touch drew another yelp from Ryo, but he held his ground and endured the discomfort as Dee spread the lotion over every bit of red skin he could see, which meant Ryo’s entire back, neck, shoulders, and the tops of both arms, before turning him to tackle the front. Ryo’s chest wasn’t as bad, but was still pink enough to need a bit of attention. When Dee was done, he stepped back.
“There, just let that soak in for a few minutes before you put your shirt back on. I think you’ll live.”
Ryo sighed. “Thanks, Dee. Feels better already.”
“Next time, do me a favour? If we’re gonna be out in the sun, have someone put sunscreen on your back first, okay? And wear something light. Dark colours just attract the heat. Promise?”
“Alright, yeah, I promise.”
“Just remember, I’ve always got your back,” Dee winked, wiping his hands clean and heading for the door.
“Yeah,” Ryo whispered to himself as the door closed. “I know.”