Title: Shoes By The Door
Characters: Ryo, Bikky, Dee, Carol
Setting: From Vol. 1, Act 1 right through Like Like Love.
Summary: Ryo contemplates the significance of the shoes waiting by the door.
Word Count: 802
Written For: My genprompt_bingo square Shoes.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Arriving back at his new apartment after running a few errands, Ryo pushed the door shut behind him, kicked off his shoes, and carried the bags of groceries he’d bought into the kitchen. There wasn’t much so it didn’t take him long to put everything away.
Returning to the front door, he arranged his shoes neatly beside it, ready for work in the morning, then sank onto the sofa to eat dinner, Chinese takeaway because after spending most of the day finishing unpacking and arranging everything, he wasn’t in the mood to cook.
He was used to living alone, but it got a little lonely at times. Sometimes he wondered if he’d ever find a special someone to spend his life with. It seemed unlikely; he was nearly twenty-eight and still single, wasn’t even seeing anyone at the moment. Looking across the room at that one pair of shoes sitting by the door sent a pang of loneliness through him, but he shook it off and got up to throw the empty cartons away before heading for the bedroom to get his clothes ready for morning. It would be his first day as a detective at the 27th Precinct, and he wanted to make a good impression.
The following night as he left the kitchen after washing the dishes, he glanced towards the front door where a pair of child’s sneakers and a pair of stylish men’s boots sat beside his own shoes. What a difference twenty-four hours had made in his life.
Bikky and Dee were watching TV, the man sprawled untidily on the sofa and the boy sitting on the floor, both intent on the ball game. It felt good to have company, and if things worked out the way Ryo was hoping, Bikky might become a permanent fixture.
The night before, Ryo had been gloomily contemplating his lack of a relationship, and now here he was seriously considering become a single parent to the troubled young orphan boy. It was a massive step to take, and he wasn’t normally an impulsive person, but he couldn’t stand the thought of this vulnerable boy getting lost in the system. Bikky needed a family, and so in a way did Ryo. Dee, on the other hand…
Eyes straying irresistibly to the tall, black haired man he’d be working with for the foreseeable future, Ryo tried to figure out why he’d invited someone he’d only known a few hours to spend the night, especially since there was only one bed and they’d all have to share. Dee was confusing; it was probably best not to think too much about the feelings he stirred up, feelings Ryo had been keeping buried for so long he’d almost managed to forget they existed, until now. Still, those three pairs of shoes by the door were a welcome sight. Somehow they made the apartment seem more homely than it had.
Before long, Bikky had moved in permanently, and most nights saw his sneakers sitting neatly beside Ryo’s work shoes. Whenever Dee came over for dinner, another pair of boots, shoes, or sneakers joined them for the evening, and every so often they stayed there all night. Ryo liked spending time with Dee outside work, they were friends as well as partners after all, but as time passed it became clear that Dee wanted more from Ryo than simple friendship. The problem was, Ryo had no idea what he himself wanted.
So he resisted, rebuffing all of Dee’s attempts to move things forward between them, but alone at night he sometimes found himself wondering what he was so afraid of. As much as he might try, he couldn’t completely deny the attraction he felt towards his fellow detective. It was getting more and more difficult to push Dee away because his heart just wasn’t in it. Each time Dee kissed him, Ryo felt more alive than he ever had. Deep down he knew it wouldn’t be long before he stopped saying ‘no’ and started saying ‘yes’. If only he could be sure that he wouldn’t lose himself by giving in to Dee.
Nowadays, there are two pairs of shoes sitting by a different apartment door; Ryo’s shoes and the short boots Dee tends to favour for work. Sometimes, when Bikky’s home from college, a pair of sneakers join them, and sometimes too, Ryo will get up in the morning and find a pair of strappy sandals or high heels there as well. It’s usually the first indication he has that Carol spent the night, and he sets the breakfast table for four on the strength of it. He likes days like that, when all his family are there.
Smiling to himself, Ryo decides that nothing says ‘home’ more clearly than a row of shoes waiting by the door.