Title: Love Is Love
Characters: Mother, Dee
Setting: Before the manga.
Summary: Mother knows that something is bothering Dee, but she has the answers he needs to hear.
Word Count: 928
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee and Mother, Love comes in many forms,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Mother is growing a little worried about her boy. Dee’s fourteen, a teenager, and she’s had enough experience with teens to know how moody and uncommunicative they can get. She may be a nun but she’s well aware of the many effects hormones have on youngsters as they approach adulthood.
This is different though. Dee’s not exactly moody, or trying to assert himself, but he’s become withdrawn, distant and worried, frowning a lot. There’s something on his mind, and whatever it is, it’s bothering him enough to even put him off his food, which is practically unheard of. He’s always had a healthy appetite.
She doesn’t think he’s sick or anything, he’s just troubled, and it’s so rare to see her lively young mischief-maker in such a pensive mood that Mother’s unsure of what to do. Usually, Dee comes to her when if he’s worried about something, but this time he hasn’t. Should she go to him and ask what’s wrong or let him have the time and space he needs to figure things out for himself?
That night, when she checks all her charges before going to bed, she finds Dee’s bed empty; that’s what finally makes her settle on a course of action. She knows where he’ll be, in the secret place he’s made for himself in the attic. She climbs the ladder and sure enough, there he is, sitting silent and alone in the faint light coming through the window.
Settling herself beside him, Mother lays a gentle hand on his arm. “What’s troubling you, my boy? You know you can talk to me about anything.”
Dee glances sidelong at her, and she sees dark circles under his eyes. “I know, Mother; it’s just… embarrassing.”
“You’re growing up, Dee. I know at your age you’re starting to have feelings and urges, but that’s normal; it’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. All the other boys and girls your age are going through the same changes; it’s part of becoming an adult.”
“I know, and it’s not that, or not entirely. I like girls, they’re… interesting.”
Mother laughs softly, remembering Dee’s disgusted expression a few years ago when one of the younger girls had planted a kiss on him for rescuing her from bullies. “I told you you’d change your mind about girls one day.” It pleases her to see Dee’s lopsided grin.
“Yeah, you were right. You always are.” His smile fades. “The thing is, I think I like boys that way too.” He looks up at her, stricken. “In church, I’ve heard Father Morrissey saying feelings like that are bad and wrong, sinful, and I don’t want my soul to be damned, but I can’t make the feelings go away. I’ve tried.” He hangs his head in shame. “I’m weak.”
Reaching out, Mother takes Dee’s face in her hands and makes him look at her. “You’re not weak, Dee, and you’re not bad. A troublemaker, yes, but there’s no evil in you. You’re a good boy.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because I raised you from a baby. You’re like my own son, and I know you better than anyone, better even than Jess.”
“But Father Morrissey…”
Mother shakes her head firmly. “You listen to me, my boy; Father Morrissey is a wise man and knows a great deal, but in this he’s wrong. The church is right about a lot of things, but there are some notions that are badly outdated and should have been discarded decades ago. I don’t hold with such nonsense. Love is love, and it comes in many forms. There’s the love between parents and children, between siblings, between friends, and between lovers. I know it’s that last kind that worries you so let me tell you this; as long as it’s between two people who are old enough to know what they want and who both feel the same way, then it can never be wrong. It makes no difference whether it’s two men, two women, one of each, or even a group of people; love is a good thing, and this world needs as much love as it can get. Everyone would be happier if people just loved each other more.”
“You really believe that?”
“Yes, Dee, I do. I know it here, in my heart.” She places her hand on her chest. “Never be afraid or ashamed to love. Lovers will come and go until you find the right one, but whomever you love along the way, man or woman, the most important thing is to be good to them. Never forget that.”
“I won’t, Mother. Thank you.” Impulsively, Dee hugs her, and she wraps her arms around him. “I love you,” he mumbles, voice muffled by her wimple.
“I love you too, Dee, and I’m proud of you. Now, it’s time you were in bed. You’re a growing boy; you need your sleep.”
“Okay; I am kinda tired.” Dee disentangles himself, helps Mother to her feet, and leads the way down the ladder.
Mother smiles as she walks him to his room; he looks as though a heavy burden has been lifted from his heart. His eyes are brighter and the worried frown that had creased his forehead is gone as if it had never existed. She knows the road ahead of him won’t be easy, so many prejudices still exist and he may well get picked on because of his sexuality, but Dee is strong and brave, and as long as he stays true to himself she’s positive he’ll be just fine.