Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: After Like Like Love.
Summary: Is being married any different to just living together?
Word Count: 1020
Written For: Challenge 74: Marriage at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Ryo had found himself wondering, on the flight home from his and Dee’s combined wedding and honeymoon in Vegas, whether being married would feel any different from living together, because honestly, what exactly did it change? It wasn’t as if they could wear their wedding rings to work since few people even knew they were in a relationship, and since they already shared both an apartment and a bed, marriage wasn’t altering anything about their living situation either. As far as he could tell, everything was business as usual, and yet he couldn’t deny that he felt different.
Was it that he felt more secure in his relationship with Dee? He didn’t think so; the two of them had been a couple for seven years now and living together for two. They might have a legal right now to make decisions for each other in the event of one of them becoming incapacitated if, God forbid, anything like that should ever happen, and all they owned now belonged to both of them, but… Ryo shook his head; he already trusted Dee completely anyway so being married didn’t mean he trusted his lover, now his husband, any more or less than he had before.
Being married also wouldn’t stop Dee cheating on him if he wanted to; both women and men still flirted with him, with both of them if he was completely honest, but Ryo didn’t believe for a second that Dee would ever take any of them up on their offers. Dee was kind of old-fashioned in that way; he would never cheat on his partner when he was in a committed relationship. Besides, ever since they’d met Dee had shown no interest whatsoever in anyone other than Ryo, and that had been just as true before they got together as it had been since.
After they’d got back home, Dee had surprised him with the perfect solution to the wedding ring problem, a pair of not quite matching signet rings they could wear when they were at work, and both men quickly adjusted to switching rings before work, even reminding each other when necessary.
They broke the news of their wedding to Bikky and Carol, Mother, and Ryo’s aunt and uncle, but nobody else, still managing to fly under the radar at work. They considered telling those among their colleagues who knew about their relationship, but after talking it over decided against it. They knew their friends well enough to be sure they’d wind up being dragged out to celebrate, and probably showered with unnecessary wedding presents, and how many toasters did two people need?
Back to the everyday grind of work, their lives continued on pretty much as normal for the most part. Nevertheless, they made sure to book their anniversary week off well in advance, so they could return to their honeymoon hotel, and the very same room they’d used the year before.
Relaxing in the hot tub their first evening there, sipping complimentary champagne because the manager had of course known it was their anniversary, it hit Ryo that yes, marriage really was different from merely living together, even though he still couldn’t put his finger on exactly why.
Over the past year, he and Dee seemed to have grown closer than ever. They still had their share of arguments, and even outright fights, they probably always would, but making up somehow seemed easier than it used to be. Perhaps that was because they understood each other better and knew where the anger was really coming from, which was mostly frustration over the cases they were working. The Serious Crimes Unit saw the worst that people could do to each other, and when they failed for whatever reason to bring the perpetrators of those crimes to justice… Well, it was hardly surprising if they were affected. At the end of the day though, they had each other to lean on, and as long as that remained true, they knew they’d be fine.
“Whatcha thinkin’ about?” Dee asked, nudging him with a bare, wet shoulder.
“Our first year of marriage,” Ryo replied with a warm smile.
Dee grinned back at him. “Been pretty good, hasn’t it?”
“Better than just pretty good, Dee; it’s been amazing. I wondered at first if being married would feel any different; didn’t really think it would, but it does.”
“I know what you mean.” Shifting his glass to his other hand, Dee draped his arm around Ryo, leaning in to kiss him. “Thank you.”
Ryo looked at his husband, confused. “What for?”
“For marrying me, for this past year, for being an amazing husband and partner. I can’t imagine my life without you in it.”
“Neither can I,” Ryo admitted. “Thank you for never giving up on me.”
“I can honestly say that despite the frustration, I don’t regret any of it. You’re worth the wait.” Dee raised his glass. “To our next year of married life!”
Ryo raised his glass, clinking it against Dee’s. “And to many more to come.”
“I’ll drink to that.”
They sipped champagne, then set their glasses aside and kissed, which led, quite naturally, to other things.
Some time later, lying tangled together on the big hotel bed, Ryo asked idly, “Are we coming back here for our anniversary next year, or should we try somewhere else?”
“Hm, good question. This is nice; I like the hotel, the food’s great, and…” He waved one arm vaguely at the far side of the room. “Gotta love that hot tub. But it might get a bit boring if we come back every year. How about we try other places for the next three, then come back here for our fifth?”
“That makes sense. We could come here every fifth year.”
Dee grinned broadly and rolled on top of his husband, pinning Ryo to the bed. “I like the way you think, babe!”
The rest of their lives stretched out before them, full of promise, and they intended to make the most of every moment they had. There was no doubt about it; marriage suited them both just fine.