Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Vol. 7
Summary: Ryo wants to go cycling to see the fall colours. Dee’s willing, but there’s just one small problem…
Word Count: 1009
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee/Ryo, Frustration,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“If the House Ape can do this then I sure as hell can!” Dee muttered to himself for what felt like the hundredth time. “How hard can it be? I can ride a motorcycle and this is practically the same thing, just with pedals.”
He swung his leg over, perched precariously on the narrow saddle, and pushed off from the kerb. Almost immediately he started to wobble, tilting to the side, just managing to get his foot down before the bicycle could topple over. Damn it, he was never going to get the hang of this! There was less than a week to go, and work left him little time to practice. What had possessed him to agree to Ryo’s mad scheme?
“The next fine weekend we get off together, we should drive out into the countryside and go for a bike ride,” Ryo had said the week before. “It’s the best way to see the fall colours.”
“Cycling? Are you out of your mind? That’s for kids!”
Ryo had laughed at that. “Tell that to the thousands of people across the country who cycle to work every day! Come on, Dee, where’s your sense of adventure? It’ll be fun! Besides, you never forget how to ride a bike!”
That was sort of Dee’s problem; how could he forget how to do something he’d never learned to do in the first place? When he’d been growing up in the orphanage, bicycles had been a luxury Mother couldn’t afford to provide for all her kids. There’d only been one bike at the home, which had been shared by the older kids, but it had been stolen before Dee had gotten old enough and big enough to learn to ride it.
He supposed he could’ve told Ryo that, he was sure his lover would understand, but Dee had his pride, and besides, his baby had looked so excited about the idea. So Dee had dipped into his savings, bought himself a fairly decent second-hand bike, and set about learning to ride it. Much to his frustration, so far the only thing he’d learned was that he was really bad at cycling.
Standing around moping wasn’t going to help though; practice was the key, so he’d just have to keep trying while there was still enough light to see by. He straightened the bike, put one foot on a pedal, and pushed off, pedalling frantically as he wobbled along the street. Damn, it was hard! He felt like a hamster on one of those exercise wheels they had, legs going as fast as possible but not really getting anywhere. Saturday was going to be a nightmare.
Nevertheless, as frustrating as it was, Dee refused to be beaten, and he didn’t intend to disappoint Ryo either. He would learn to ride this bike if it killed him, which was starting to seem increasingly likely.
Two hours of practice later, Dee at least felt he’d made some progress. He was wobbling less, but felt like he’d run a marathon. When he got off the bike his legs almost gave way and he found himself wobbling for a different reason.
A soak in the bath helped, but by the next morning he felt as stiff as a board, and at work Ryo asked him what was wrong.
“Must’ve slept funny,” Dee replied, shrugging it off. “I’m just a bit stiff is all.”
“I told you your mattress needed replacing,” Ryo smiled.
“Yeah, I’ll do something about that soon.” There was no way he was telling Ryo he was sore from practicing on his bike.
Saturday came all too soon and Ryo picked Dee up at his place, loading Dee’s bike beside his own on the carrier he’d fixed to the back of his car.
“The weather’s perfect, and I made us a packed lunch. Ready to go?”
“Sure,” Dee smiled. “Let’s get this show on the road.”
At least the drive out of the city was pleasant. They parked at the small guesthouse where they’d be spending the night, left their bags in their room, and unloaded their bikes. Ryo slipped a backpack on and handed another to Dee, then swung his leg over his bike and set off. Dee climbed aboard his own and valiantly followed, wobbling along in his partner’s wake, wondering how Ryo could ride so smoothly while pedalling so slowly. Motorcycles were so much easier.
Glancing back, Ryo laughed. “Shouldn’t you be in a lower gear? You’ll wear yourself out before we get anywhere if you keep pedalling that fast.”
“Gear?” Dee was perplexed. “This thing has gears?”
Ryo braked to a halt, dismounting smoothly. Dee lurched to a semi-halt and almost fell off.
“How long has it been since you rode a bike?”
“Not long at all,” Dee defended himself. “I was practicing just yesterday.”
Ryo gave him an exasperated look. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
Dee deflated. “Yeah, okay, busted. Look, bikes cost money and Mother did the best she could for us, but clothes and food took priority over luxuries. I bought this one a couple of weeks ago when you suggested this trip.”
“You mean you’ve never ridden a bike before? Why didn’t you say something?”
“I didn’t want to disappoint you.”
“Dee, we don’t have to cycle, we could just drive around…”
“No way!” Dee cut Ryo off with a glare. “We came out here for a bike ride, I even bought a bike for it, and I practiced for nearly two weeks, so there’s no way I’m givin’ up now I’ve got this far! What were ya sayin’ about gears?”
“It’s this lever here,” Ryo said with a smile, showing Dee how to change gears. “We’ll take it slow, and we can get off and walk whenever you want.”
“Whaddaya take me for, a wimp? Let’s do this!” Dee pushed off and wobbled away down the road; the change of gear definitely helped. Come what may, he was determined to prove to Ryo, and to himself, that he could do this.