Characters: Dee, Ryo
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Dee drives his exhausted partner home and takes care of him.
Word Count: 1815
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee, Taking care of Ryo,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee looked at his slumbering partner, propped against the side of the car, and shook his head; Ryo must have used up the last of his energy trying to get free. Which might not be such a bad thing under the circumstances, at least it would make getting him home and into bed a bit less of a problem. Sure, he’d be a dead weight, but that would still be easier to deal with than if he was awake and protesting all the way. Ryo could be extremely uncooperative when he set his mind to it. People tended to think of him as laid back and easygoing, but he was only that way when no one was trying to keep him from doing something he was bound and determined to do, like working until he dropped. Damned stubborn sonofabitch!
Which meant Dee had better get him into the car before the chill winter air could wake him up. Unlocking the door, he manoeuvred Ryo into the passenger seat and buckled the seatbelt around him, closing the door firmly before dashing around to get in the driver’s side. Homeward bound! His spur-of-the-moment plan was working even better than he’d hoped.
The drive to Ryo’s apartment was uneventful; the other man didn’t so much as stir the entire way, not even when a fire truck tore past in the opposite direction, sirens wailing like a horde of banshees, loud enough to wake the dead. That thought was disturbing enough for Dee to reach across and check that Ryo was still breathing. Yep, the slow rise and fall of his chest beneath Dee’s hand was instantly reassuring; that was okay then.
Pulling up outside Ryo’s building, Dee once more slung his partner over his shoulder, having first dug out his key to the man’s apartment. Carrying his partner up two flights was a far greater strain than carrying him downstairs had been, and by the time Dee propped Ryo’s limp body against the wall beside his apartment door, he was hot and breathing hard.
“The things I do for you! I hope you appreciate this. Man, you’re heavier than you look. Either that or I’m seriously out of shape.”
Ryo made no response so Dee pinned him against the wall with one arm to keep him from sliding bonelessly to the floor while he unlocked the door with the other hand.
Pushing the door wide, this time Dee scooped sleeping beauty up bridal style, smirking as he carried him over the threshold. Maybe one day, if there ever came a time when they didn’t have to hide their relationship from the people around them, he’d be doing this for real. It was a nice thought.
Fifteen minutes later, Ryo was in his pyjamas and tucked up in bed, all accomplished without waking him, testimony to just how exhausted he must be. Dee could understand Ryo wanting to keep working on the case; two children had been left orphans during a home invasion, a third had been pronounced DOA along with his parents. By all accounts, they’d been a nice, ordinary, hard-working family. They didn’t deserve what had happened to them, those responsible needed to be caught before they struck again, but that wouldn’t happen if the detectives in charge of the investigation were too tired to do their jobs properly and missed vital evidence.
Fetching a couple of bottles of water from the fridge, Dee drained one and set the other where Ryo would see it if he woke up, then shed his clothes and crawled into bed beside his lover. Ryo wasn’t the only one who needed some rest. It was a good thing Melinda next door was looking after Bikky while Ryo was pulling double and triple shifts; that was one less thing he needed to worry about. Throwing one arm over the man beside him, Dee closed his eyes and let himself drift off into well-earned sleep. There’d be time enough to worry about the case and everything else in the morning.
Ryo stirred, rubbed his eyes and stretched, dragging himself slowly back to wakefulness. Grey winter light was coming through the window beside him, providing no incentive whatsoever to get out of his warm, comfortable bed.
He blinked, frowning; something wasn’t right here… Wait a minute, how was he in bed? And in his own apartment no less! His last clear memory was of being at work, arguing with Dee… Oh yeah, Dee had said he was taking him home; he had a vague recollection of his partner throwing him over his shoulder and carrying him towards the stairs, and then… nothing. Everything just went blank.
‘Must’ve been more tired than I thought if I don’t even remember the trip home,’ he mused drowsily. ‘Maybe Dee was right and I really was pushing myself too hard.’
“Morning, sleeping beauty! I was starting to think I’d have to wake you up!”
Still feeling a bit sleep-befuddled, Ryo turned his head to see Dee, already dressed for work, entering the bedroom carrying a tray. “Morning. What time is it?”
“Just before eight, you’ve been out for the count for over twelve hours, you barely moved all night.”
“Oh. That must be why I feel so stiff.”
“Probably. C’mon, sit up, I made breakfast.”
The aroma of bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs and toast filled the room and Ryo’s mouth watered, his stomach rumbling hungrily. He couldn’t remember when he last ate, but he was starving now. Sitting up, he propped himself against the pillows as Dee set the tray table over his legs.
“Dig in while I get you a cup of coffee.”
There was no need to tell Ryo twice, he tucked in eagerly. Dee was a pretty good cook, at least when it came to breakfast, and he was soon back, bearing a steaming cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice, still cold from the fridge. Ryo swallowed his mouthful and looked at his partner curiously.
“Aren’t you going to have anything?”
“Had my breakfast an hour ago while you were still sleeping. I’ll make a start on the dishes while you eat, then you should grab a shower and get dressed. I called the chief, said we’d be in around nine.” Dee turned to leave, but Ryo stopped him.
“Dee? Thank you. Not just for breakfast, but for… Well, for making me get some rest. I don’t even remember leaving work.”
“That’s because you were asleep before I’d even gotten you out to the car, and you didn’t wake up the whole way home. I had to carry you up two flights of stairs; it wasn’t easy.”
“Oh. Sorry.” Ryo blushed sheepishly.
“Ah, forget it. I’d do it again if I had to, but I hope it won’t come to that.” Dee returned to the bed and sat down in the edge. “Let’s get a couple of things straight. You’re my partner and my lover, so it’s up to me to make sure you don’t run yourself into the ground. That doesn’t do anyone any good; ya can’t be effective at your job if you’re so tired that you overlook things. You want justice for those kids and to catch the bastards who killed the rest of their family, I get that, I want the same things. But to do that, you’ve gotta take care of yourself. You don’t get enough rest and try to live off caffeine, you’ll burn yourself out and that’s when mistakes get made. So, if I see you’re doin’ too much, I’ll say so, and if ya don’t listen, I’ll step in and make ya take a break. You got that?”
Ryo nodded. “Yeah. You shouldn’t have had to do that.”
“No, I shouldn’t. You’re supposed to be smart enough to look after yourself, but I know you. Sometimes ya get so caught up, so focussed on the job that you don’t see what you’re doin’ to yourself. When that happens, I’ve got your back, just like always; I know you’d do the same for me.”
“I don’t think anyone’s ever had to tell you to rest.”
“’Course not, I pace myself, take naps, keeps me refreshed and ready for anything. You should try it. Now finish eating, gotta be at work in less than an hour.” Dee patted Ryo’s foot beneath the covers and left the room.
Turning his attention back to his food, Ryo thought about what Dee had said, knowing his partner was right. Sometimes he let the job consume him, and that kind of obsession could easily become self-destructive if he let it. That would be bad, not to mention selfish; he had Bikky and Dee to think of now, they loved him as much as he loved them, and if anything happened to him because of his own stupidity it would hurt them. There’d always be more bad guys, but they weren’t worth killing himself over. They’d catch the home invaders because criminals always made mistakes; they were never as smart as they thought they were. He just needed to make sure he was clear-headed and in good enough shape physically to capitalise on those mistakes when they happened and take the bastards down.
Ryo drained the last of his coffee, set the tray aside and threw back the covers. A hot shower would ease the stiffness and set him up for the day ahead. Picking out some clothes, he made a silent promise to himself that the next time Dee told him he was overdoing things, he’d listen and not argue. Well, not too much anyway, a few token protests, just enough to let Dee know that he still had a mind of his own. It wouldn’t do for Dee think he’d let himself be ordered around, but listening to good advice was a different matter.
Smiling, Ryo took his dishes to the kitchen, setting them beside the sink and kissing Dee.
“What was that for? Not that I’m complaining.”
“I was just thinking about how lucky I am to have you in my life.”
“That goes both ways, babe.” Dee pulled him close for another, deeper kiss, then broke away. “Go shower, before I forget we have to get to work and drag you back to bed.”
“Yeah, we have bad guys to catch.”
“We’ll get ‘em.”
“I know; we always do.”
“Damn straight! They won’t know what him ‘em!”
“I almost hope they resist arrest when we catch up to them.”
“An excuse to pound on them a bit before taking them in?”
“Something like that.”
“Maybe we’ll get lucky.”
Ryo turned away, heading for the bathroom as Dee went back to washing the dishes. He really was lucky to have Dee in his life. Nobody understood him better, and there was no one he’d rather have backing him up. At work or at home, they were a team.