Title: Secret Place
Characters: Dee, Mother, mentions Jess.
Setting: Pre-canon and during Vol. 6, Act 18.
Summary Dee has a secret place where he retreats to be alone.
Word Count: 600
Written For: My own prompt ‘FAKE, Dee, There's a secret place Dee goes when he needs to think. Only Mother knows where it is,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
The trouble with growing up in an orphanage was that you could never truly be alone. Dee was used to that, he’d never known anything different, had shared a room with several other boys since he was a baby, and most of the time he didn’t mind. But sometimes he just wanted to be alone, to get away from the endless chatter, shouting and fighting, and have some peace and quiet so he could think.
He’d found his secret place when he was still only little. Back then, getting up to the trapdoor had been difficult, but heights had never bothered him so he’d managed. He could still remember how frantic Mother had been the first time she couldn’t find him; thinking back he’d probably been about five at the time. One of the older kids had taken the candy bar Jess had bought for him and he’d come up here to cry, then fallen asleep. She’d been both relieved and angry when he reappeared, unharmed, after she’d been searching for several hours. He hadn’t told her about his hiding place then, but she’d found out eventually.
Funny thing was, none of the other kids seemed to know about it. He’d never told any of them, wanting to keep this one refuge, the only place he could get any privacy, to himself. But it wasn’t as if the attic was actually hidden or anything, there was a ladder right up to the trapdoor, after all. Okay, sure, the top floor didn’t see much use these days, there was enough space on the lower floors for all the kids and for Mother’s room, and Dee knew that some of the kids thought it was haunted, but still…
Not that he was complaining. This was his place; he’d done it up nice, moving the boxes around to create an open space by one of the attic windows and spreading a worn rug on the floor. He had a box of books that no one could take without asking, a stash of candy bars, cookies, and cans of soda which he replenished whenever the old guy in the corner store wasn’t looking, and even a lamp so he could read if he came up here after dark. Sometimes, he just sat in the dark, staring out the window at the lights of the city, thinking, making plans for the future, daydreaming, even wondering whether he had a family out there somewhere.
Tonight though, he was thinking about Jess. What was he into? Why had he gotten himself mixed up with drug dealers? Surely not just for the money, Jess was better than that, wasn’t he? Or did Dee just want him to be a better person than he really was? He’d looked up to Jess all his life, the guy was the closest thing he had to a father, and it turned out he was a dirty cop. Even so, Dee felt bad for yelling that he never wanted to see him again. It wasn’t true; he loved Jess, he just felt… betrayed. Jess had always told him to be honest.
Mother found him sitting there; that was okay. She was the only person he didn’t mind sharing his secret place with, and she was the wisest person he knew. Just having her there was comforting, even though he couldn’t tell her everything, no matter how much he wanted to.
And she gave him the best advice he could have been given.
“Believe in yourself, Dee.”
It didn’t solve anything, but it helped. Mother had faith in him. He wouldn’t let her down.