Title: A Loving Family
Characters: Ryo, Dee, Mother
Setting: Vol. 1, Act 1; Vol. 2, Act 6; Vol. 6, Act 18.
Summary: Dee didn’t have a conventional upbringing, but he had a loving family nonetheless.
Word Count: 794
Written For: Theme Prompt: #012 - Meet The Parents at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
There’d been a degree of pretence on both their parts when they’d first met, too unsure of each other to be completely open and honest that first night. While Ryo had freely admitted to growing up in a loving family, he hadn’t seen fit to mention to his new work partner that his parents had been brutally murdered when he was eighteen. Then when he’d scoffed at the idea that the other detective might not have been so lucky, Dee had responded somewhat cryptically that sometimes he wondered, before he’d turned everything into a joke.
Something about his partner’s words hadn’t sat right with Ryo though, and he’d had to force himself to put Dee’s words out of his mind in order to get some much-needed sleep. After that, he’d more or less forgotten the conversation until months later, when out of the blue Dee took him to meet his ‘mother’.
From the outside, the place looked a lot like an old church, but it turned out to be an orphanage. Ryo was stunned when Dee revealed that it was where he’d grown up. Up until that moment, he’d had no idea that Dee was an orphan. In retrospect, it explained a lot.
Mother Maria Lane, or Penguin, as Dee and the kids called her, much to her annoyance, was the Catholic nun who ran the place and she’d raised Dee from a baby after he was abandoned. For all intents and purposes, she was Dee’s family, the only mother he’d ever known. Despite the nickname he’d labelled her with, there was no doubt in Ryo’s mind that Dee was as devoted to her as if she were his own flesh and blood, and it was clear that Mother felt the same way about Dee.
Ryo took to Mother immediately, it was impossible not to. Small and dumpy, and getting on in years, she was nonetheless a feisty woman with an iron will and a heart big enough to lavish love and care on every child who passed through her doors. As much as she loved all her ‘children’, Dee had a special place in her heart and her face lit up as she told Ryo stories of Dee’s escapades as a boy.
Nearly losing Mother in an explosion shortly afterwards devastated Dee, and Ryo could understand his partner’s desire for revenge; he’d felt the same way when his parents were killed. Nevertheless, he’d stepped in to keep Dee from making a mistake that would have ruined his career, and his life. Thankfully despite her years, Mother was tough and she recovered from her injuries. Before long she was back taking care of her children, just in a different building in another part of the city. Ryo went with Dee to visit her as often as he could.
But Dee still had one more surprise for Ryo, and on a chilly fall day, Ryo finally got to ‘meet’ the man who had been the closest thing to a father Dee had ever known. Jess Latener had been a beat cop back when he’d found a baby boy abandoned in an alley. He’d taken the baby to Mother Lane then visited every day to check up on him. Jess had been not only Dee’s father figure, but also his friend and mentor for sixteen years. As far as Dee was concerned, he couldn’t have had a better dad, even though as a cop, Jess left a lot to be desired. He’d crossed the line after making detective, selling information to drug dealers, and when he’d become a liability they’d killed him.
In the end, the kind of cop Jess had been, though it disappointed Dee to find out about his dirty dealings, was less important than the way he’d always been there for him, and Dee cherished Jess’s memory because of that, still trying to live up to the man’s expectations, but not following his example. All Jess had ever asked of Dee was that he live his life as honestly as he could, and Dee had promised that he would. Ryo knew Dee would never willingly let Jess down; he’d long since learned that Dee was the kind of man who always kept his promises.
Sitting by Jess’s grave, Ryo hugged his partner; he felt honoured to have been introduced to the two people who had been the most important to Dee as he was growing up. Dee might not have had parents in a conventional sense, but thinking back on that long ago night just after they first met, Ryo knew for sure that Dee had grown up in a family every bit as loving as his own, because Jess and Mother had loved him not out of duty but by their own choice.