Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: After a bad day at work, both Ryo and Dee need cheering up.
Word Count: 1007
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee/Ryo, The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
It had been a particularly bad day; Dee and Ryo had landed a new homicide case in which the victims had been the parents of a three-month-old baby. The only positive note in the whole affair was that the baby would be fine, except for having been orphaned; she’d never know her parents though. That hit both men hard for different reasons; Ryo because he knew how much the child would lose out on, and Dee because he too had grown up never knowing the people who’d given him life.
They were both subdued as they completed their preliminary reports on the case and shut down their computers. Over the years they’d learned to be objective when dealing with homicides, but every so often one would get through their defences, affecting them in unexpected ways. As they pulled their coats on in uncharacteristic silence, Ryo laid a hand on Dee’s arm.
“Hey, you want to come over to my place for dinner?”
“I’m not really that hungry.”
“Me neither, but… there’s home made apple pie, and ice cream in the freezer.”
Dee chewed his bottom lip for a moment, then he glanced Ryo’s way with a weak smile. “Well, okay. You know me; never could say no to pie.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Come on, maybe I’ll make us some hot chocolate to go with it.”
“You really know how to make me an offer I can’t refuse. Lead the way.”
“Fine, but you’re driving, I took the subway this morning.”
“Just wanted a ride home, huh?”
It was a weak attempt at a joke, but Ryo managed a smile anyway. “Why else would I invite you over?”
They barely spoke on the drive to Ryo’s apartment, both lost in their own thoughts, brooding about the case and wishing there’d been some way they could have prevented the murders. People died as a result of violent crime every day, but it was always worse when children were involved. In reality there was nothing they could have done, and they both knew it, but that didn’t make them feel any better.
Parking outside Ryo’s building, they trudged wearily up the stairs to the third floor, letting themselves in, hanging up their coats and kicking their boots off.
“Mind if I use your shower?” Dee asked. “I just really want to wash today away.”
“You don’t need to ask, Dee, you know where everything is. I’ll get us some clean clothes and join you in a minute.”
“What about Bikky?” It was testimony to Dee’s state of mind that he referred to Ryo’s foster son by name instead of using one of the many insulting nicknames he had for the boy.
“He’s at Carol’s; sometimes it seems he spends more time there than he does at home. She’s helping him cram for finals, or at least that’s what they’re supposed to be doing.”
“Carol’s a sensible girl; if anyone can get Bikky to study it’s her. I’ll go get the water running.” Dee disappeared into the bathroom, already pulling off his clothes.
By the time Ryo had dug out sweats and long-sleeved t-shirts for them both, Dee was already in the shower, steam rising around him. Ryo quickly shed his clothes and joined his lover under the spray, where they washed each other’s backs, each doing their best to massage away knots of tension. It helped a bit, and they dried each other off afterwards, drawing comfort from that simple act. When they were thoroughly dry and dressed, they made their way into the kitchen, where Ryo put generous slices of pie into the oven to heat and then started to make the hot chocolate.
Dee got out mugs, dishes, and spoons, laying everything out on the counter, then leaned against it beside the stove and watched Ryo work, captivated as always by his lover’s strong hands, moving confidently and precisely as he prepared their drinks. Sometimes Dee envied him; he made everything he did look effortless.
As soon as it was ready, Ryo poured the hot chocolate into both mugs, covering the pan and setting it aside. There was enough left for a second mug each and it should stay fairly hot if they didn’t leave it for too long. The oven timer buzzed, and he got the pie out, sliding a slice into each dish. It was steaming gently, its spicy aroma making Dee’s mouth water.
“With or without ice cream?” Ryo asked.
“With,” Dee decided after a moment’s thought, going to the freezer and pulling out a tub of plain vanilla, the perfect accompaniment for any flavour pie. “You want some?”
Fetching a serving spoon from the kitchen drawer, Dee scooped a generous amount of ice cream into each dish, and they took their comfort food through to the lounge, sinking onto the sofa to eat.
“Mmmm, you make the best pie!” Dee sighed after taking a mouthful. “This was a good idea. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” Ryo licked ice cream off his spoon where it was running down the handle, and followed it with a sip of hot chocolate, relaxing back into the cushions. “To be honest, I didn’t want to be alone tonight.”
“Me neither.” They ate in silence for a few minutes, before Dee spoke again. “You wanna watch TV?”
“Okay, as long as it’s not the news or a cop show; I’ve had enough of anything work-related for the day.”
“I know what you mean.” Picking up the remote, Dee flicked through the channels. “How’s this?”
Ryo chuckled at the silly comedy Dee had found. “Perfect.” Shifting closer to his lover, he settled comfortably against him, losing himself in the movie.
The homicide case would still be there in the morning, but hopefully they could put it out of their minds tonight. Ryo glanced sidelong at Dee and smiled to himself. Mark Twain was right; sometimes the best way to cheer yourself up was to try to cheer somebody else up. Looked like it was working for both of them.