Characters: Ryo, Dee
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Ryo’s been nervous about moving in with Dee, it seems like such a huge step, but when the day finally arrives, is it really as big a deal as he thought?
Word Count: 1372
Written For: Challenge 167: Step at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: A sort of companion piece to another of my fics, ‘Feels Like Home’, but it makes perfect sense on its own. Written at the request of fuji_san on AO3. Hope this is what you wanted!
Dee had shown up at Ryo’s apartment in the van he’d rented bright and early that morning, just after first light. Ryo had already been up, showered, dressed and breakfasted, ready to get started; he hadn’t slept much the night before, too nervous and excited about what the following day would bring.
After drinking the coffee Dee had thoughtfully picked up on the way over, they’d carted the few pieces of furniture Ryo was taking with him down to the van, and then packed all the boxes containing his other belongings around them. Ryo had made one final check of his old apartment to make sure he hadn’t left anything he wanted, before getting in his car and following the van across town to Dee’s place, where they’d set about unloading it all again and lugging it up to the fourth floor.
It had been exhausting. After the first load, Ryo had taken to counting stairs; five up the stoop, then four flights, each divided into two sets of twelve steps with a hairpin bend between them to negotiate, no easy feat with some of the furniture. Ryo belatedly realised they probably should’ve asked some of the guys at work to lend a hand; he was sure his arms must be several inches longer than they had been when he got out of bed that morning.
Even now, he could still hardly believe he was actually moving in with Dee. They’d been together as a couple for four years, work partners for almost three years before that; Dee must have thought this day would never come, and if he was being completely honest with himself, Ryo had never expected to take this particular plunge. It was kind of scary, but in a good way.
Looking back, Ryo decided it was a good thing Dee had been so patient with him, letting him set the pace most of the time, although he knew his partner had found it endlessly frustrating the way Ryo would take two steps forward then immediately have second thoughts, panic, and take a step or two back again.
Sill, despite all of Ryo’s worries and doubts, their relationship had gradually moved forward, albeit in fits and starts, pausing at each stage to let Ryo get comfortable with things before taking the next step. It had paid off; over time they’d developed a bond of friendship and trust that now formed the solid foundation they were building their future on. Although they were lovers now, they were still best friends too.
Unfortunately, that didn’t make today any less nerve-wracking.
Moving in together was the biggest step they’d taken by far, more like a giant leap of faith. Would they get on each other’s nerves living under the same roof as well as working together every day? Sleeping over at each other’s place once or twice a week was one thing, but now there would be no escape from each other, and no real privacy either. As he carried the last couple of boxes into Dee’s apartment, Ryo found himself fervently hoping it wouldn’t turn out to be a step too far.
“That’s all of them,” he sighed, setting the boxes down with a thud. Pushing sweaty hair off his forehead, he rolled his shoulders back to ease some of the kinks out of them, and groaned. “Unpacking them will have to wait until tomorrow; I’m beat.”
“Me too, but there’s still a couple of things we need to get done before we can collapse,” Dee replied. “C’mon.” Grabbing Ryo by the wrist, he all but dragged his lover into the bedroom.
Ryo blinked at the empty space in front of him. “Dee, what happened to your bed?”
“I shifted it into the guest room yesterday after work. Slept in there last night. That’s why I couldn’t come over to help with the last of your packin’, I had things to do here to make way for all your stuff.”
Ryo frowned at Dee. “I thought we were going to share a room. Isn’t that why you wanted me to move in?”
“One reason among many,” Dee agreed, “and of course we’re gonna share this room, doofus, but your bed’s bigger and a lot more comfortable than mine. Be honest, you wouldn’t really wanna relegate it to guest bed status, would ya? I know how special it is to ya, what with it bein’ your parents’ bed.”
“I hadn’t really thought about it, I guess I just assumed because I was moving in with you, we’d be sleeping in your bed. You’re right though, I’d rather sleep in my own.”
“Me too,” Dee admitted, “your bed that is, not mine. So that works out perfectly.”
“Ah,” Ryo grinned, “now everything’s becoming clear. You only asked me to move in with you for my bed.”
“Can you blame me?” Dee teased. “I get you and a really comfortable bed, what more could any man ask for? I think I fell in love with you and your bed at about the same time.”
Ryo smiled and shook his head. “Well, unless we’re spending the night in your bed in the guest room, I suppose we’d better put mine back together and get it made up. Then we can sit down and leave everything else until tomorrow.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Dee said with a wide, happy grin. “Just tell me what to do!”
This time, putting his bed back together was so much easier than it had been when he’d moved to the apartment that had been his home for the past seven or so years. Having an extra pair of hands helping him made a huge difference, and hardly more than forty-five minutes later, the old bed was in place and freshly made, with big, soft pillows piled against the headboard. It looked awfully tempting.
Dee obviously thought so too, judging by the way he took one look at it and sprawled bonelessly across the mattress, face down. “Oooh, this is heaven!” he mumbled, voice muffled from having his face buried in the duvet.
Ryo laughed. “Dee, get up! We just put clean covers on the bed and you’re all sweaty! We both need a shower.”
Dee turned his head to the side, peering up at Ryo with one eye. “Is that an offer?”
“I don’t know. Maybe?”
“You scrub my back and I’ll scrub yours? And maybe we could do some other stuff too?”
“Don’t you ever give up?”
“Nope! Can’t get enough of you, baby!” Dee scrambled to his feet, looking down at himself and wrinkling his nose. “You’re right, I need a shower as much as you do.” Playfully, despite feeling exhausted, he swept a courtly bow, gesturing towards their now en suite bathroom. “Step this way and enjoy a shower with your own very personal assistant,” he leered, winking.
“You’re an idiot,” Ryo snorted, but he headed into the bathroom nevertheless, stripping out of his dusty, sweat-stained clothes and dropping them in the laundry hamper. Dee followed him, turning the shower on before stripping and joining Ryo under the spray. It felt almost as heavenly as the bed, and a lot more refreshing.
Much later, after a long shower, cold beer, and hot pizza, they undressed again and tumbled into Ryo’s bed, burrowing under the covers and snuggling together, too tired to do anything else. Just like the first time they’d shared this bed, so long ago, Dee fell asleep first and Ryo lay on his back, propped against the pillows, thinking.
Ever since he’d agreed to move in with Dee, he’d been nervous, wondering if it was too soon, or if it was such a good idea at all. But now, lying here in the familiar comfort of his own bed, he realised he wasn’t nervous anymore. It really didn’t matter where he lived because home was anywhere his bed was, and besides, there was nowhere he’d rather be than right here, with Dee sleeping beside him. Maybe living together really wasn’t such a huge step as he’d thought, because now he was actually here, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. Smiling to himself, he closed his eyes and drifted off into well-earned sleep.