Characters: Ryo, Bikky, Dee, Others.
Setting: Throughout the manga, and after Vol. 7.
Summary: Ryo’s home life is much more appealing than it used to be.
Word Count: 651
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Ryo, he used to enjoy working night shift, but these days he'd rather be home,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Years ago, when Ryo first became a cop, he used to enjoy working night shift. After dark, the streets came alive even more than during the day, and he’d be kept busy, breaking up fights, dealing with convenience store hold-ups, running in drug dealers and prostitutes, chasing muggers… it meant he didn’t have to spend the long night alone in his small, empty apartment, or go out on dates with girls he just didn’t seem able to connect with.
After a busy night’s work, sleeping during the day was never a problem, and the background sounds of other people’s lives somehow soothed him rather than keeping him awake. There were a lot of families in his building, so daytime was never too quiet.
Then he was promoted to detective, got transferred to a different precinct, and moved into a new apartment, but though he still had to work his share of night shifts, he found they no longer held the same appeal they once had.
For one thing, he no longer lived alone, he had a young boy to care for and it was important that he could be there for Bikky as much as possible, especially during the evenings and nights. When he had to work late shift, it meant he had to either find a sitter for Bikky or send him to spend the night with one of his friends. Bikky preferred sleepovers to the alternative, but there was a limit to how often Ryo could expect other people to let a child that wasn’t theirs spend the night, so sometimes he had to ask Melinda next door to step in.
In the spirit of fairness, Ryo hosted his share of sleepovers, and he even enjoyed having Bikky’s friends to stay. Those nights were anything but quiet; sometimes it was hard to remember back to when he’d lived alone and had dreaded the silence and loneliness that surrounded him late at night.
Taking in Bikky wasn’t the only change Ryo had made to his life. His new job meant that there were even occasions when it was him and not Bikky who had a friend sleeping over, most often when he and Dee had been working late, brainstorming a case, and there’d seemed no point in Dee traipsing home in the early hours when they both could be sleeping.
After years of being a single man in a small apartment, having so much company had taken a bit of getting used to. Privacy was a thing of the past, but he found he didn’t really mind all that much. Being alone, even though he’d grown accustomed to it, didn’t really suit him, which was probably why he’d been willing to work nights so often in the past.
These days, even though Bikky is now a teenager and doesn’t need him as much, Ryo still prefers to be home at night. Then again, as often as not, when he is at home he’s not alone, even when Bikky’s out somewhere with his friends. Dee spends as many nights at Ryo’s apartment as Ryo spends at Dee’s, and the number of nights they spend apart gets fewer with every passing month.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re just sitting around watching TV or indulging in more private activities, it’s just good to be together and there’s no doubt that Ryo sleeps better when Dee spends the night. There’s something about having another warm, living person breathing quietly beside him that is infinitely comforting, and he relishes the knowledge that he never has to be alone unless he wants to be.
Ryo’s days and nights of loneliness are far behind him now, and fast becoming a fading memory. He still works night shifts, when they’re assigned to him, without complaint, but he’d far rather be home with his son and his partner, the two people he loves more than anything in the world.