Characters: Ryo, Bikky, OC.
Setting: Early in the manga.
Summary: Bikky decides he’s missing out and asks for a pet.
Word Count: 651
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Bikky, Ryo. Bikky wants a pet,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
“Ryo?” Bikky asked one evening, as he lay on the lounge floor doing his homework. “Can I have a pet?”
“A pet?” Ryo came out of the kitchen where he was preparing their dinner, wondering if he’d misheard the boy’s question.
“Yeah. Practically all my friends have pets, and they’re always going on about how great it is. I feel like I’m missing out on an important part of being a kid.”
Ryo couldn’t help smiling at that. Bikky was only eleven, but at times he was scarily adult in his perceptions.
“What sort of pet did you have in mind? I don’t think the Super allows dogs here…”
“Dogs are cool, but they have to be walked. I was thinking of something smaller, a mouse maybe, or a hamster, something like that.”
“If you had a pet, you’d have to look after it yourself, remember to feed it and clean out its cage every day. Looking after an animal is a big responsibility.”
“I know, but I’m nearly twelve, I think I’m old enough.”
“Well, we’ll see.”
A month later, Bikky was still interested, practically pressing his nose against the window of a pet shop they happened to be passing on a shopping trip to get him some new clothes because he was growing so fast.
“Why don’t we go in and take a look at what they’ve got?” Ryo suggested.
“Really?” Bikky looked like he could barely restrain himself from bouncing with excitement.
“Just to look,” Ryo told him, “not to buy. You need to do your research first, find out what caring for the different animals involves.” He pushed open the door and followed Bikky inside.
For the next hour they looked at all the different animals and talked to the shop owner about the care each one required. Bikky listened avidly, and asked a lot of questions. Clearly he was taking the whole thing seriously. He’d pretty much decided that he’d like a rat, although he wasn’t sure how Carol would feel about that, but then he got a look at the kittens.
“Cats can live for a very long time,” the pet shop owner warned.
“That’s okay, so do people. Look at them, they’re so friendly and playful, and really cute.”
“They’re also sold,” Ryo said, pointing to the sign.
“Oh.” Bikky looked disappointed.
“You know, if you’re set on having a kitten, we should go to the animal shelter. They always have a lot of cats needing good homes,” Ryo suggested as they left the pet store to finish their shopping. “We could take a look at the weekend.”
Saturday morning found them at the shelter, looking at dozens of cats and kittens, in all colors and sizes. It was overwhelming. Bikky couldn’t imagine how he could possibly choose one cat from so many desperate for a home. In the end, as is so often the way with cats, the cat did the choosing. It wasn’t even a kitten, although that’s what Bikky had planned on getting; everyone wanted kittens. The small grey cat meowed piteously when he turned away from her pen, poking a paw out, trying to reach him, and he just couldn’t ignore her. A week later, after a thorough home check, they went back to collect Bikky’s new pet.
“So, how do you like having a pet?” Ryo asked when the cat had been with them for a couple of weeks.
“It’s awesome!” Bikky grinned enthusiastically up at his foster father from where he lay face down on the lounge floor, doing this homework, his cat curled up asleep in the middle of his back.
Boy and cat were inseparable; she followed him around the apartment and even slept in his bed at night, purring so loudly Ryo wondered how the boy could sleep through the noise. Wherever Bikky was, there was his cat. Ryo smiled; Bikky was right, Shadow was the only possible name for her.