Characters: Ryo, Dee, Bikky.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Ryo’s plans for the evening got a bit derailed, and now, when he should be in bed asleep, he still has a load of chores to be done before morning.
Word Count: 1817
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee/Ryo, “Do you know what time it is?”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
It was late, or maybe early, and everywhere was quiet but for the distant hum of traffic. Ryo’s bedroom was lit only by the soft glow of the bedside lamp, and though he should have been asleep, he wasn’t. Dee, on the other hand… Thinking his lover was dead to the world, Ryo carefully extracted himself from the other man’s arms and slid off the bed, reaching for his robe and pulling it on.
“Hey, you okay, babe? Where’re you goin’? Come back to bed.”
Ryo sighed. Damn, now he’d have to explain before he could do anything else. “I’m fine, Dee, I just have a few things I need to do, that’s all. Go back to sleep.”
“Things to do? Now? Do you know what time it is?”
“Yes, Dee, I’m well aware of what time it is, but the dishes won’t wash themselves, I haven’t made Bikky’s lunch or ironed his clothes for tomorrow, and his basketball kit needs washing too. I’d planned on getting it all done after dinner, but then you surprised me with movie tickets, and don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the movie, but then I thought I could get the chores done when we got back, only you seduced me instead. So, now I have to get everything done in the middle of the night.”
Ryo knew he sounded a bit grumpy, but he couldn’t help it; he was tired, it was after two in the morning, and it would take him a good hour and a half to get everything done before he could go back to bed. The only good thing was that he and Dee didn’t have to be at work until after lunch, so he’d be able to grab a couple more hours’ sleep once he’d got Bikky off to school. Shoving his feet in his slippers, he headed for the bedroom door.
“Wait up!” Dee scrambled across the bed and got to his feet.
“Dee, I have to get started or I won’t get any sleep tonight at all!”
“I know. Look, I’m sorry, I should’ve thought.”
“Yes, you should have.”
“So let me help!” Dee grabbed his jeans and pulled them on, not bothering with underwear.
“Help?” Ryo looked confused, obviously too tired to think clearly.
“Yeah. I mean it’s my fault nothing got done earlier, so it’s the least I can do, right? Why don’t you put the laundry on while I clean up in the kitchen and do the dishes? Then while the laundry’s doing, you can fix Bikky’s lunch and iron whatever he needs. Sound fair?”
Actually it did. “Thanks, Dee.” Ryo pecked him on the cheek. “That would be a big help.”
“Okay, let’s get started then.” Dee opened the bedroom door. “After you.”
Leaving the bedroom, Ryo collected Bikky’s kit from the laundry basket, along with some other things that needed washing; there was no point just washing a couple of things. Taking the basketful down to the basement laundry room, he put it on an economy cycle; that way it would be done in half an hour and then he could put it in the drier.
Dragging himself back upstairs, he found Dee in the kitchen, busily washing the dishes. Ryo smiled at the sight as he set up the ironing board and iron, switching it on so it would be ready to use by the time he’d fixed Bikky’s lunch. Dee looked practically domesticated despite being clad only in jeans. It was an appealing view though, and for a moment he became almost hypnotised from watching the way Dee’s back and shoulder muscles flexed beneath his skin as he worked.
Shaking himself out of his near trance, Ryo got out the sandwich makings, slicing bread to make Bikky’s PBJ, then putting the sandwich, some vegetable sticks, a banana, a packet of nuts, a candy bar, and a couple of juice cartons in the boy’s lunch box. That all went in the refrigerator ready for morning, and Ryo cleared everything else away, dropping the knives he’d used into the dishwater for Dee to wash.
Ironing Bikky’s school clothes didn’t take Ryo very long, so he did a clean shirt for himself as well. As an afterthought, he found one of Dee’s shirts that had been left behind the previous week when he’d stayed over and had since been washed, and ironed that too, just in case Dee needed it, putting it on the same hanger as his own because he couldn’t be bothered to fetch another one. Without waking Bikky, who slept like the proverbial log, Ryo left the boy’s freshly ironed clothes on the chair in his bedroom, where his son would see them when he got up. He glanced at Bikky’s alarm clock before leaving the room, noting the time; the laundry would be done soon, so he figured he might as well go back down to the basement to wait.
Back in his apartment after putting the clean laundry in one of the tumble driers, he found Dee had finished the dishes, even putting everything away, and was now wiping down the work surfaces. He turned as Ryo entered the kitchen, asking, “Anything else ya need doing?”
“I could do with a cup of tea, if you’re offering.” Ryo smiled wryly. “Got to wait for the laundry to get dry so I can iron Bikky’s kit and put it in his bag.”
“Tea’s no problem. In fact, I think I’ll join ya.” Dee turned away to fill the kettle, calling back over his shoulder, “Wouldn’t it make more sense for Bikky to have two sets of kit? Then maybe you wouldn’t need to do laundry in the early hours.”
“He has, or at least did have, but the other shirt got torn last week in practice and I haven’t had a chance to replace it yet. He’s growing so fast there’s no point having more that two sets at a time because I have to buy a larger size every few months.”
“That’s gotta cost!”
“It does, but it can’t be helped, and it’s worth the expense. Bikky loves playing basketball more than anything, and the coach says he has real talent, not to mention a shot at a scholarship. I want to give him every possible chance at making his dream of playing professionally come true,” Ryo said, sinking into a chair at the kitchen table and propping his chin on one hand.
“You’re doin’ a great job with him, y’know,” Dee told him, carrying two mugs of tea over and setting one down in front of his partner. “Here, get this down ya.”
“Thanks, Dee.” Ryo straightened in his chair and picked up the mug, cradling it in both hands as Dee pulled out the chair across from him and sat down.
“Careful, it’s hot,” Dee warned. “I hope the House Ape appreciates all you do for him, workin’ your ass off in the middle of the night to make sure he has everything he needs for school.”
“I hope so too. I’m doing my best for him.”
“And it’s a hell of a lot more than he would’a got in foster care. Kid really fell on his feet when you took him in.”
“Despite everything, I can’t imagine my life without him. It hasn’t always been easy raising him, I was so unprepared for looking after a child, but I love having him around, and I’m so proud of him.”
“You should be. Don’t tell him I said so, but thanks to you, he’s turnin’ out pretty well. I had my doubts at the start, but for once I’m happy to be proved wrong.”
“Your secret’s safe with me.” Ryo smiled over the lip of his mug, and for the next few minutes the two men just sat in companionable silence, sipping their tea, until Ryo glanced up at the wall clock to check the time. “The drier should be done in a few minutes.” Draining the rest of his tea, he put his mug down and made to get up.
“You stay put, I’ve got this,” Dee told him. “You’ve already been up and down the stairs twice; I can go get the stuff out of the drier, then you can iron what Bikky needs while I fold the rest.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yep! You take it easy for a bit.” Standing up, Dee took their empty mugs to the sink, filling them with water and setting them aside before leaving the apartment. Ryo flicked the iron on again, and rubbed his eyes tiredly with the heel of one hand before shoving his hair back off his forehead. He’d really be glad to get to bed after all this, but it would’ve been a lot harder without Dee’s help. Some people thought Dee was lazy, but that wasn’t true at all. He just needed the right motivation.
Dee was back almost before Ryo knew it and he wondered if he’d dozed off in his seat for a few minutes. “Here ya go.” He plunked the laundry basket on the table and Ryo rose to his feet, digging through it to pull out Bikky’s kit of shorts, shirt, and socks, leaving the rest for Dee to fold.
Five minutes later, it was all done. Ryo packed the clean kit in Bikky’s bag, made sure the boy had everything else he needed for school, and returned to the kitchen to find Dee putting the ironing board away.
“You didn’t have to do that!”
“I know, just figured I might as well save you one more job. C’mon, anything else can wait for another day; it’s way past your bedtime.”
“Don’t I know it!” Ryo stretched and yawned, shambling back to his bedroom with Dee following. Shedding his robe, Ryo belatedly realised he’d been traipsing up and down the stairs of his building in nothing but slippers and a robe; he hadn’t even pulled his pyjamas on! He could feel the blush heating his cheeks.
“Hey,” Dee grinned, correctly interpreting his partner’s horrified expression, “don’t sweat it. Nobody saw ya, right?”
“That’s not the point; they could have!”
“But they didn’t. Too late to worry now anyway; just forget it and get into bed.”
“Easy for you to say,” Ryo grumbled, “you have no sense of shame. Nothing embarrasses you!” But he did as he was told, sliding beneath the covers and flopping back against the soft pillows with a weary sigh. It was a relief to be off his feet.
Dee shucked out of his jeans, scrambled over the end of the bed, and settled himself beside his lover, leaning over Ryo and smiling down at him before dipping down for a quick kiss.
“Say ‘Goodnight, Dee’.”
“Goodnight, Dee,” Ryo replied obediently, smiling slightly. He was almost asleep already.
“’Night, babe, sweet dreams.”
Reaching for the nightstand, Dee turned out the light.