Characters: Dee, Mother, Jess, Arnon, Ryo, Carol, Bikky.
Setting: A few years after Like Like Love, with reference to events throughout Dee’s life.
Summary: Dee used to dream about becoming a professional basketball player, among other things.
Word Count: 858
Written For: Challenge 83: Professional at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
There’d been a time, growing up, when Dee had harboured dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. He’d thought maybe he’d even get drafted by his beloved Knicks and turn their fortunes around, be the player that turned them from losers into a championship team. How awesome would that be?
It had been a nice dream, but ultimately just a dream, because the truth was, no matter how much he practiced he would never have been good enough. That’s not to say he wasn’t a good player, but there’s good and then there’s good enough to play pro, and Dee was smart enough to realise that he didn’t quite have what it would take to make the grade. At least he’d got to play on his high school team, and they’d almost made it to the inter-school championships one year. Almost, just not quite.
With one dream beyond his reach, he’d looked at other possibilities. Racing? Maybe not formula one, but there was the NASCAR circuit; a man could do well for himself there with sponsorships, prize money, trophies… That would have been cool. Then he’d nearly flunked driver’s ed by treating the course he was supposed to follow more like a race track. Mother had not been pleased with him over that stunt. Thinking back on that made him smile; he’d quickly shelved his racing dreams after that.
He remembered sitting in his bedroom at Mother’s orphanage, which he’d shared with another boy a couple of years older than him, teaching himself to play a battered old acoustic guitar Jess had given him and imagining himself as lead singer in a chart-topping band. That would be the life, record deals, sell-out tours, travelling the world, adored by fans, groupies throwing themselves at him after every show. Yeah, professional musician, why not?
He even went as far as to start a band with some of the kids at school, and they played at a few parties, but damn, it was hard work! Getting to the venue ahead of time, setting up all the equipment, playing for hours until his fingers bled and he was going hoarse from singing while everyone around him was drinking, dancing, enjoying the party and kissing all the girls. To the partygoers, he and the band were just so much background noise; a record player would have served them just as well. Scratch that for a potential profession then. Dee just wanted an easy life, preferably one that brought him recognition, admirers, and a ton of money.
Then Arnon and Jess had been killed, and all Dee’s dreams of fame and fortune died with them, replaced by a burning need to somehow bring their killers to justice. He realised he wanted more than anything to make a difference in the world and keep other kids from sharing Arnon’s tragic, senseless fate. There was only one way he could think of to do that, or only one way that wouldn’t make Jess turn in his grave, so Dee had gone to Mother and told her of his intention of becoming a cop.
So much for the easy life, the wealth, and the admirers. Being a cop was hard work, he was never going to get rich even on a detective’s salary, and people were more likely to spit at him than pat him on the back, but he found he didn’t care. Maybe that just meant he’d grown up.
Nowadays he has a job he’s pretty good at and which gives him a great deal of satisfaction, an amazing partner who’d become first his lover and now his husband, a really cool apartment… What more could he possibly wish for?
It’s funny how life turns out.
He takes his place beside Ryo and Carol in the stands as they wait for the game to begin. The LA Clippers are playing San Diego in the opening game of the season, and here they are in really great seats they probably couldn’t have afforded themselves. Not that they’ve had to pay for them, or for the return flight, or their plush hotel room.
Years ago, Dee had dreamed of playing pro basketball; it hadn’t been in the cards for him, but Bikky was another matter entirely. Right from the start his talent had shone so much brighter than Dee’s ever had, and at times he’d envied the kid so much it had made him ache inside, but these days he knows his life took the path it was always meant to. So did Bikky’s, because if anyone was born to play professional basketball it’s Victor Goldman Maclean. Bikky has all the talent Dee lacked, and more; one day he might well play in the All-Star games at Madison Square Garden, and when that happens, Dee intends to be there, sitting with Ryo and Carol, watching the house ape do what he does best.
That’s somewhere in the future though; tonight is just the beginning for Bikky, his debut with the team, but Dee knows without a doubt that whether or not the Clippers win, the kid is gonna make all three of them proud. He already has.