Characters: Dee, Ryo
Setting: A few months after Vol. 7.
Summary: Dee and Ryo have two days off in the middle of a heat wave and they plan to make the most of them.
Word Count: 952
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee, fear of creepy crawlies,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh
Spiders had never bothered Dee. He knew they freaked Ryo out, though his partner never let it show, but Dee had always been able to handle the pesky little critters with ease. They were a fact of life around the old brownstones he and Ryo made their homes in, and they killed flies, which could only be a good thing, as far as Dee was concerned.
Cockroaches were another all-too-common fact of life, and like Ryo, Dee hated them with a vengeance, happily flattening any he happened to encounter at crime scenes. He even kept a running total of his kills, which had long since reached four figures.
The occasional earwig or silverfish was bearable, flies were swatted whenever possible, butterflies were things of beauty and moths were no problem at all, except when they chose to drown themselves in his drink. As for bees and wasps, if they didn’t bother him, he didn’t bother them. All in all, Dee thought himself fairly tolerant of creepy crawlies. He was a grown man after all, a police officer, not some weedy wimp.
The picnic had been Ryo’s idea, and Dee had willingly agreed to it. Getting out of the city for a day, breathing air that wasn’t perfumed with traffic fumes and the stench of ripe garbage, would be a treat. New York was in the middle of a heat wave, they’d been roasting all week, but they had the next two days off and after some spirited discussion had decided to spend one day at the beach and one out in the country.
With that in mind, they’d got up early, packed up the picnic lunch that Ryo had prepared the night before, and set out early enough to miss the rush hour traffic. They’d got off the highway once they were well away from the city and had driven the back roads until they found what looked like the perfect spot, high on a hill at the edge of a patch of woodland, with breathtaking views across open fields. There was a cooling breeze blowing across the land and shade from the trees, and even Dee, city boy though he was, had to agree that it was like a little piece of heaven.
At least, it had been at first.
They’d kicked off their shoes and socks, relaxed in the shade, eaten some of the food while Ryo had pointed out various kinds of birds and taken photographs of the view. Who would have known he was such a nature lover? After lunch, they’d stretched out for a nap, dozing contentedly until Dee felt something tickling his leg. He snapped awake, sat up, and yelled.
Ryo shot upright, blinking blearily, still half asleep. “Whassamatter?”
“ANTS!” Dee yelped, stumbling to his feet and tearing at his clothes, pulling then off and tossing them away. He must have been lying on a nest and now they were all over him, and they were biting. “OWOWOW GET ‘EM OFF ME!”
Ryo scrambled up, brushing a few stray ants off his own pants then helping Dee, who by now was stripped right down to his boxers, hopping about, trying to escape. If there was one kind of creepy crawly he couldn’t bear, it was ants! As soon as he was sure he was ant-free, Dee retreated to the car where they couldn’t get him. So much for his masculine pride!
Left on his own, Ryo gathered Dee’s clothes, picking all the ants off and depositing t-shirt, jeans, their socks and shoes, and the picnic blanket in the back seat as soon as they were free of the insects. Thankfully the cooler containing their food was sealed so no ants could get in. Done with that, he went to the rear of the car and dug around in the trunk for the first aid kit. Coming back to the passenger side, he reached in through the open window.
“Here.” He handed a tube of cream to Dee. “Put some of this on your bites.”
“Thanks.” Dee sounded subdued.
“You’re lucky they weren’t fire ants. Are you okay?”
“Sore and feeling like an idiot mostly. Ants freak me out. They’re so small they can get anywhere, they swarm and they bite and I just…” He shuddered. “I hate ‘em.”
“What’re you apologisin’ for? It wasn’t your fault.”
“It was my idea to come out here. I should’ve checked for ants, I just didn’t think.”
“You had no reason to, Ryo,” Dee sighed. “You didn’t know. I can handle pretty much any kind of creepy crawly; it’s just ants I have a problem with.” Dee rubbed cream into another bite. “You must think I’m a total wimp.”
“No I don’t. If I’d had ants in my pants, I would’ve reacted just the same,” Ryo admitted.
“Yeah? I’d pay to see you tearing your clothes off.”
Ryo snorted. “Tell me something I don’t know. So what now? Do we head back to the city?”
“No way! I’m not lettin’ a few ants spoil our day. It’s barely past noon; we still have all afternoon. Let’s find ourselves another picnic spot, preferably without ants.” Dee eyed Ryo with a sly grin. “Maybe if I’m really lucky I can get you out of some of your clothes.” He winked teasingly.
“Dee!” Ryo sounded shocked. “There are laws against public indecency!”
“It’s hardly public when there’s no one else around to see, babe. Besides, if anyone caught us, we could just blame the ants.”
Eying Dee speculatively, Ryo smiled slightly. “No promises.” He slipped behind the wheel and turned the key in the ignition. Time to find a better picnic spot. After that? Well, who knew what might happen.