Characters: Ryo, Dee.
Setting: The morning after Vol. 7 Act 20.
Summary: It’s the morning after their second night together, and Ryo’s wondering what he and Dee being a couple is going to mean.
Word Count: 1535
Written For: Challenge 14: Couple at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Bustling around the kitchen, moving a little stiffly, Ryo smiled happily as he fixed a hearty breakfast for himself and Dee; they both needed it after last night. He could hear Dee singing loudly in the shower and his smile grew wider. Yesterday, they’d been friends and workmates; today they were lovers, a couple, in a relationship, with all that entailed.
He paused, frowning slightly. Just what did being a couple entail when the two people involved were both men? Was it the same as with a man and a woman? Granted, he didn’t have all that much experience of heterosexual coupledom, couplehood, whatever, he hadn’t had many girlfriends compared to most guys he knew, but…
Did gay couples do anniversaries? Date nights? Dinner and a movie? Did they hold hands walking down the street and make out in the back row of the cinema? Dee had dated guys before so he’d probably know. Deciding to ask his partner – in every sense of the word - over breakfast, Ryo got back to the business of preparing the most important meal of the day. Bikky wouldn’t be home for a few more days, and considering the way Dee had been the night before, fuelled by Ryo’s admission of love for him… Well, it would probably be a good idea to keep his strength up. The phrase ‘ardent lover’ came to mind, along with other words like‘passionate’, and ‘insatiable’, and ‘are you going to let me get any sleep tonight at all?’ to which Dee had simply answered, “Later.” It was a very good thing that they weren’t on early shift today since Dee hadn’t let up until nearly four in the morning, and then they’d slept until noon.
Breakfast was almost ready by the time Dee came out of the bathroom, showered, shaved, his hair still damp, and a towel draped around his neck. All he had on were the jeans he’d been wearing the night before. Ryo caught himself staring at Dee’s bare chest and flushed slightly as Dee laughed. “Like what you see?” He didn’t give Ryo a chance to reply. “Mmm that sure smells good!”
“Thanks. I hope you’re hungry. It’ll be ready in a minute.” Ryo turned back to the pans on the stovetop, checking the bacon was crisping up nicely and giving the eggs a final stir before turning everything off.
“Ravenous.” Dee stepped up behind him, sliding his arms around Ryo’s waist and nuzzling his neck. “How’re you feelin’?”
“Good, just a bit sore.”
“That’ll pass. Your body just needs to adjust.” Dee continued nibbling along Ryo’s neck.
“Dee, I can’t dish up while you’re doing that. I need to get the plates.”
“Too bad. I don’t wanna let you go.”
“Well you’ll have to, otherwise our breakfast will go cold and we’ll end up being late for our shift.”
“There’s plenty of time, we don’t have to be at the precinct until four.”
“Which means leaving here at three-twenty, and it’s almost two already.”
After their night’s activities, Ryo had insisted that Dee help him change the stained and sticky bed sheets as soon as they got up, which had taken longer than it should have because they were both still naked and Dee’s hands had been wandering, distracting Ryo more than helping him. Because of that, Ryo had refused to shower with Dee, pointing out that it would take forever and they’d probably run out of hot water before they got around to the task of freshening up for the day ahead. Although Dee had grudgingly accepted Ryo’s logic, that didn’t mean he’d given up on trying to seduce him into another round.
“Besides, I’m hungry,” Ryo continued, “and I’m not going to cook another breakfast.” He wriggled out of Dee’s grasp, plucking two plates out from under the grill where they’d been warming, and dishing up generous amounts of bacon, sausages, and scrambled eggs before filling the empty pans with water and setting them aside to soak.
If Dee was disappointed at being pushed away, he didn’t show it, grabbing one of the loaded plates and plonking himself down at the kitchen table to eat. Ryo set two mugs of coffee on the table before joining him with his own breakfast, and for a few minutes there was silence apart from the sound of cutlery against chinaware, and the scrunching of crispy bacon.
Ryo kept his eyes on his plate, concentrating on his food, until Dee’s bare foot nudged against his ankle beneath the table. “Penny for your thoughts?”
“Cheapskate.” Ryo smiled across the table at the man who had gone from work colleague, to best friend, to lover over the past few years. “I was just thinking…”
“I know; I could hear the gears grinding.”
“Dee, be serious for a minute.”
“Sorry, babe. I’m just high on life right now.”
Dee’s dazzling smile made Ryo’s heart skip a beat or two. ‘I’m the reason he looks so happy,’ he realised.
“So, what’s on your mind?”
“We’re a couple now, right?”
“So how does that work?”
“I’m new to the whole being gay thing, I’ve only ever dated girls before. Are there differences?”
“You mean besides the obvious?” Dee smirked, turning instantly contrite when Ryo glared at him.“Okay, serious now. Dating guys and dating girls is pretty similar, but there’re no hard and fast rules; gay, straight, or bi, every couple is different, what works for one won’t necessarily work for the next. Everybody just figures things out as they go. Nothing really has to change for us if you don’t want it to, except that I hope there’ll be a lot more nights like last night.” Dee put down his knife and reached across the table to take Ryo’s hand.“We still work together, and we can still hang out after work like we’ve been doing, go out for dinner whenever we feel like it; whatever you want, I’m easy.”
“Um, what about dating, anniversaries, stuff like that?”
“Hell, yes! Anniversaries are important, and we should absolutely make time in our busy schedules for date nights; gotta have some time for ourselves away the brat.”
“I wish you wouldn’t call Bikky that.”
“Aw, c’mon, y’know I don’t really mean anything by it. It’s just, callin’ each other names is how we communicate.”
“It’s not exactly the best example to set; he’s still an impressionable child.”
“He started it!” Dee protested, sounding a bit like a child himself. “Anyway, aren’t we supposed to be talkin’ about us?”
“You’re right, we are.”
“If you think about it, we’ve been workin’ towards this, being together as a couple, since we met. At least, I have.”
“So getting me into bed wasn’t your ultimate goal?”
“Maybe at first, before I really got to know you,” Dee admitted. “But after a while, I realised I just didn’t want to live without you in my life. I’d have settled for friends if I’d had to, I guess, just so I could go on spendin’ as much time with you as I could, but this is what I really wanted, to be yours, body and soul.”
“Dee…” The honestly in Dee’s face and voice brought a lump to Ryo’s throat and his eyes went a little misty.
“I know, I sound like a sap, but it’s true.”
“I love you.” Ryo squeezed Dee’s hand, breakfast temporarily forgotten. “There’s no one else I’d want to be with, not ever.”
“You really mean that?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Good, ‘cause I feel the same way. Now we’ve got that settled, stop worryin’. There’s no right or wrong way to be a couple, just do what feels right for you, what you’re comfortable with. Just so you know, guys can be every bit as sappy and romantic as girls; it’s not exclusively a chick thing.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Now finish your breakfast before it goes completely cold.” Ryo retrieved his hand from Dee’s grasp and went back to eating the last few mouthfuls from his plate.
Dee scraped his plate clean and drained the last of his coffee. “I suppose you’re gonna want to clear away the dishes before we leave for work.”
“Of course! We won’t be clocking off until at least midnight; I don’t want to come home to a pile of dirty dishes.”
“Fine; you wash and I’ll dry.”
Ryo stared at him, eyebrows raised. “You’re actually volunteering to help?”
Dee shrugged. “It’s what couples do, isn’t it?” He winked and grinned at Ryo as he stood up, taking his plate and mug over to the sink.
Ryo gathered his own dishes and followed, smiling. He’d been worrying about the whole ‘couple’ thing for nothing; they’d figure things out as they went along, together, just like they always had. Dee was right; nothing had really changed, and yet somehow, in some indefinable way, being a couple made everything seem so much better. ‘It’s because I’m happy,’ he realised. ‘For the first time in my life, I’m not fighting against who and what I am, I’m embracing it fully, with a man I love and who loves me for everything that I am.’
Surely life could only get better.