Characters: Dee, Ryo, Bikky.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: New York is sweltering in a heat wave and the power’s out.
Word Count: 929
Written For: Challenge 31: Electric at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“I’m melting!” Dee groaned, sprawled on the sofa. He’d already shed his t-shirt and was now dressed only in jeans. He would’ve liked to roll the legs up, but they were a fraction too tight to allow that.
“I know, me too,” Ryo sighed, fanning himself with the morning paper and getting newsprint all over his sweat-damp hand.
“Hell of a time for the air conditioning to go out. It’s the hottest day of the year!”
“Which is why there’s no power,” Ryo reminded him. “Everyone’s turning up their air-conditioning, and it’ll only get worse when the sun sets and they start turning on lights too. But we still complain when there’s a brownout.” He was dressed in shorts and an unbuttoned, short-sleeved, cotton shirt, since this was his apartment and he’d been able to change when he’d got home from work. Dee had tagged along with him after their shift ended, probably in the hope of being fed while getting to enjoy the benefits of Ryo’s new electric fan. Fat chance of that with the power cut.
“Damn straight we do! We pay our taxes, we pay our electricity bills, we expect to have power when we need it! This is a civilised country!”
“And we’re all spoiled. There are still places in the world where people don’t have the luxury of air conditioning.”
“In case it’s slipped your mind, we don’t have that luxury right now either,” Dee griped.
“I had noticed that,” Ryo replied mildly. He knew Dee was only cranky because of the heat, and he wasn’t about to be drawn into an argument because of it.
“How can you stay so calm?”
“Getting mad just makes me feel hotter.” Ryo slid down the wall he was leaning against to sit on the bare floorboards. They felt tacky against his bare legs from the heat and humidity, but still cooler than the sofa cushions. “Why don’t you borrow a pair of my shorts? Might help you feel a little cooler.”
“Sure you don’t mind?”
“Anything to stop you complaining. You know which closet they’re in, don’t you?”
“Yeah. Thanks, babe.” Dee dragged himself off the sofa and shambled into Ryo’s bedroom, leaving the door open as he rummaged in the closet for a pair of shorts he knew were a bit loose on Ryo, but which should fit him comfortably enough. When he returned, he slid down the wall to sit beside Ryo. “Any cooler down here?”
“Maybe a little.”
Dee shifted uncomfortably. “Ugh. I hate sticking to things.” He glared across the apartment at the big electric fan that sat on an end table. “Typical. You splash out on that state-of-the-art, energy efficient, remote controlled fan so you can keep cool in the hot weather, and the power goes out so you can’t even use it!”
Ryo opened his eyes, looked over at the new fan, blinked, and facepalmed so hard Dee worried his partner might knock himself out. “I am such an idiot! My only defence is that the heat today must’ve fried my brain.”
“It must have; you’re not makin’ any sense.” Dee frowned at Ryo, wondering if he had heatstroke.
“The fan, Dee!”
“What about it?”
“I bought it to replace the one I already had, which I shoved in the closet.”
“The old one isn’t electric, it runs on batteries.” Ryo was scrambling to his feet, peeling his legs off the floorboards.
“Wait a minute; you’re sayin’ you’ve got a fan that doesn’t need electricity?”
“Not the mains kind,” Ryo threw over his shoulder as he disappeared into the bedroom.
Floundering to his feet, Dee followed, and found Ryo standing on a chair, reaching into one of the top bedroom cupboards.
“Aha!” he cried triumphantly. “Got it!” Pulling the boxed up fan out, he passed it down to Dee, who clutched it to him as though it was a lifebelt and he was a drowning man.
“Please tell me you’ve got batteries for this!”
“Of course I have!” Ryo sounded indignant. “I always keep a stash of them in various sizes. Never know when they might be needed.” Stepping down onto the floor again, Ryo put the chair back where it belonged and opened a drawer containing unopened packs of batteries. “How many does it take? Four or six?”
Dee checked. “Four.”
“Good.” Ryo grabbed a couple of packs out and closed the drawer. “I’ve got a dozen batteries in this size, should be more than enough until the power comes back on. I’ll stock up again tomorrow though, just in case.”
When Bikky arrived home from Carol’s, feeling hot and grumpy, he found Dee and Ryo dressed only in shorts and sprawled on a sheet spread out over the floor, basking in cool air from Ryo’s faithful old battery fan.
“Shove over and make room for me!” he said, tugging off his sneakers and shedding his t-shirt to flake out between the two older men in the artificial breeze. “Oh, that’s sheer bliss.”
“Yeah,” Dee agreed. “Who needs electricity when we have a battery operated fan? We should get one of these for work too. I’m sure the guys would be willin’ to chip in for batteries if it meant not cookin’ at their desks.”
“Mmmm,” Ryo agreed. “If we do that, we’d better buy a padlock and chain too, so nobody can run off with it.”
“Good thinking. You know, I pity the people who rely on electricity. As long as we don’t run out of batteries, there’s a chance we might even survive this heat wave!”