Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: Throughout the manga, and after Vol. 7.
Summary: Ryo thinks about how completely his life has changed thanks to Dee.
Word Count: 565
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE Dee/Ryo, Dee taught Ryo to stop hiding and be who he really is,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Truth is, you’re never too old to learn about yourself. In an odd sort of way, Ryo thinks he never really knew himself until he met Dee. Right from the start, his new work partner had pushed at his boundaries, chipping away at the lies he’d been telling himself for the whole of his adult life, and gradually bringing the truth out into the open where Ryo couldn’t hide from it any longer.
It had been a scary process, and Ryo had frequently balked, so at times it had been like some ridiculous dance; one hesitant step forward had often been followed by Ryo taking several very hasty steps backwards, much to Dee’s frustration. Really, he was lucky Dee had proved to be so patient, as well as so stubborn, because otherwise Ryo would probably still be trying to insist he was straight, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Considering he was a trained detective, Ryo knew he’d been incredibly bad at seeing the truth about himself, but he supposed that had been because he simply hadn’t wanted to accept it.
Coming to terms with his sexuality hadn’t been easy for him, he’d been so afraid that admitting he was gay would somehow change him in some fundamental way, turn him into a different person, one he wouldn’t recognise, but of course it hadn’t. All it did was set him free to be the man he had been all along. It made him whole after years of living only half a life, and he can honestly say he’s a lot happier now that he isn’t trying to deny such a big part of himself.
The only person you hurt by trying to be something you’re not is yourself, because every day you spend trying to force yourself to conform to a lifestyle that doesn’t come naturally, just piles on the stress and pressure. It can lead to anxiety, depression and worse. Ryo hadn’t even realised how unhappy trying to be straight had been making him, until he finally gave in and let Dee show him who he really was.
Even then he didn’t suddenly turn around and embrace being gay, his life didn’t change overnight; he still had hang-ups, and moments when he got scared about what other people would think of him if they knew. There were still worries and doubts, but there was also Dee, who would listen, and explain, and help him to overcome his fears. Step by step, he’d shaken off years of repressed emotions and desires, gradually letting himself feel everything he’d spent years denying himself the chance to experience.
He and Dee have been together for a few years now, and it’s still not always easy, but Ryo knows he’s getting there. As far as he’s concerned, Dee has given him the greatest gift possible, the freedom to be himself, and if he didn’t already love his partner with all his heart, he thinks he probably would have fallen in love with him for that alone. When he thinks back on what his life was like before Dee, it seems like a bad dream. He knows that he’ll never take the life he has now for granted, and he blesses the day he was assigned as Dee’s new partner, because even though he didn’t know it at the time, that was the moment his life was changed forever.