Title: The Start Of Something Wonderful
Setting: After Like Like Love and FAKE Second.
Summary: Drake can’t afford lunch, but maybe he doesn’t need to.
Word Count: 758
Written For: Prompt #395: Down To My Last… at slashthedrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
A/N: This is the extended version of the 500-word ficlet I posted at the community. Written for and inspired by lil_1337.
Drake sighed heavily, looking the perfect picture of gloom. The rest of the SCUI squad were heading out for lunch together, but it looked like he wouldn’t be joining them.
Stopping by Drake’s desk, JJ cocked his head to one side, studying his colleague, a concerned expression on his face. “Why so blue, Drakey?”
Looking up at his friend and former work partner, Drake sighed again. “I’m down to my last ten bucks and there are still two days until payday,” he admitted. “Can’t even afford a decent lunch today, I guess I’ll have to make do with some crackers from the vending machine to stave off the hunger pangs.”
JJ looked horrified. “Dry crackers for lunch? You’ll wither away to nothing; you’re already far too skinny! What on earth do you do with your money?”
“The same as anyone else; rent, utilities, car payments, food…” Drake trailed off, shrugging. “I was doing okay, I had enough to see me through the month, until last week when I lost a shoe down the sewer. Do you have any idea how much a good pair of shoes costs these days?” He shook his head. “What am I saying? Of course you do, you probably have more shoes than the rest of the squad put together.”
“Well, good shoes are important in our job.”
“Don’t I know it! Anyway, buying a new pair practically wiped out my reserves, so it’s crackers or nothing.”
“Nonsense,” JJ told him firmly. “I’m not going off to lunch with the others and leaving you here to starve. Come on, get your coat, lunch is on me today.”
“I can’t ask you to pay, JJ! I scrounged off you too many times back at the 27th, I don’t do that anymore.”
“You didn’t ask, I’m offering, and I won’t take no for an answer. Now hurry up or the others will start without us.”
“No buts, Drakey. I’d feel bad enjoying a nice lunch knowing you’re back here eating crackers. Don’t you know how much I care about you?”
“Of course, silly. You’re my friend.” JJ looked away, biting his bottom lip. “There was a time, before you got reassigned here without me, when I thought maybe we might become more than friends, but then you left and everything changed. I guess it was just wishful thinking on my part. I always seem to want the people I can’t have.”
“No you don’t.” Drake suddenly felt nervous and hopeful all at once. “I thought, when you kissed me…I liked it, it felt nice, but then I got scared, figured I was probably reading too much into it because why would a guy like you want a loser like me?”
“You’re not a loser, Drake! Why would you even think that? You’re kind and sweet and caring, and you were always there for me when we worked together. I was just too blinded by my infatuation with Dee to notice what was right under my nose.”
“You really mean that?”
JJ nodded, looking at Drake almost shyly, which was cute but a little strange considering how long they’d known each other. JJ had no reason to be nervous. “I wouldn’t have said so if I didn’t.”
“So, d’you think you might like to go out with me sometime… like on a date?”
JJ broke into one of his brightest smiles. “I would, very much.” The momentary shyness and uncertainty seemed to have evaporated like mist on a sunny morning. “How about now? We can call this lunch our first date.”
“That sounds fair. And then after we get paid on Friday, maybe I could buy you dinner?”
“I’d like that.”
They grinned goofily at each other for a moment until Drake got his brain back on track and finally spoke. “Okay, what are we waiting for? Let me get my coat.” Drake couldn’t go anywhere unless JJ moved out of the way.
“In a minute; there’s just one thing I want to do first.” JJ moved closer, pushing Drake back into his seat, and leaned in, kissing him softly and lingeringly on the lips. It was even better than their first kiss all those months ago and it made Drake tingle all over.
When JJ finally drew back after several minutes, he was flushed and smiling, eyes sparkling with happiness. Drake vaguely wondered if he looked the same.
“You know what, Drakey? I think this could be the start of something wonderful.”
Drake smiled back. “I think you could well be right!”