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FAKE First Year Together: A New Day (May)
Rating: Chapter one is Mature. Coarse language
Spoilers: To Volume 7
Timing: Set in May directly after Book 7 ended
Summary: Ryo is coming to terms with the changes in his relationship with Dee, as well as his new sexual identity. Meanwhile, Dee and Ryo are searching for a young runaway. This story explores homophobic attitudes but is primarily a love story between two men.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They are the property of Sanami Matoh. I am not making any money from this.
Author's notes: I believe in a strong and equal Ryo and Dee. Chapter two is within a page or two of being finished. I will be posting my completed chapters on my Livejournal page at http://brit-columbia.livejourna
Thank you to my beta, Blue Simplicity. I'm grateful to you for your time, suggestions, and insight.
Ryo awoke to find Dee's handsome face looking down at him, long black bangs tickling his skin. He reached up to push some of that hair up out of the way, and the light let in by that action suddenly intensified the green of Dee's eyes. Ryo's breath caught in his throat.
"Dee," he murmured.
"So do you still love me?"
Ryo grinned. "Hmmm...Lemme check my injuries..." He moved experimentally, wincing a little. "Nope, not too bad. I guess I do still love you, after all."
"Well that's a relief," remarked Dee, who actually did look slightly relieved. "I guess in that case, I should go a little easier on you tonight, huh?"
"What do you mean, 'tonight'?" Ryo exclaimed. "Why don't we find out whether I can move without pain first, before we start planning 'tonight'?"
Dee raised his eyebrows suggestively. "Dude, there's nothing wrong with you that a good...stiff---"
"--cup of COFFEE won't cure!" Dee sat up with a wink, and threw the blankets to one side. "And I'm just the guy who can make it for you-- that is, if I'm allowed to offer you your own refreshments?"
"Any time, Dee. Sorry about that," Ryo said, a little ruefully. "Just don't make a mess!" he called after his retreating partner.
Ryo sat in the middle of the empty bed and looked around his sun-bright bedroom. Yes, everything was still the same: the prints on his wall, the book on his nightstand, the view from the bedroom window, the sounds of the city outside. Except that everything was totally different. As of today, he was officially involved in a relationship. He wasn't single anymore. He was in love. With a man. Despite the last three weeks of thinking and planning, it still took some getting used to.
He stripped the sheets from the bed. They'd been fresh yesterday, but they sure needed a wash now. He threw them in the laundry hamper on his way to the shower. In the kitchen, Dee was clattering around and singing along to the radio, a funny song that made Ryo smile. Suddenly there was a scuffling kind of sound, followed by a thud. The singing stopped abruptly. "Oops," a voice said.
"Whatever it is, I don't wanna know about it," Ryo called out as he shut the bathroom door.
"You got it, babe!" Dee's voice came back heartily.
Ryo sighed and peeled off the pajama bottoms he had inexplicably donned for the short walk to the bathroom. What on earth had he gotten himself into?
"Keys, " said Ryo, holding out his hand.
"What? No way, bro. We're not at work now."
"Makes no difference. The terms you agreed to, right before you lost the bet, were, 'Whenever we go somewhere by car, for the entire month of May, I drive, and you sit quietly in the passenger seat and refrain from making helpful suggestions or giving me any advice of any kind.' We never specified work vehicles only. "
"We didn't have to! It was clearly understood," retorted Dee. "Besides this is MY car. I should at least get to drive my own car."
The temperature around Ryo suddenly dropped by a few degrees.
"Don't you trust me to drive your car, Dee?"
Dee's eyes widened slightly. "Whoa there, let's not be getting all pissy over something I never actually said. Here you go, take 'em. I'm getting kind of used to having a chauffeur, anyway. "
The two men were outside Dee's apartment building, and they had come here specifically to fetch the car. Dee had not been home in a couple of days. In fact, he and Ryo had hardly been out at all, save for a couple of trips to the convenience store near Ryo's place. He glanced up at the bay window of his unit before he got into the car. After the last few nights of going to sleep with Ryo in his arms, he just couldn't imagine returning to his empty apartment. He knew he would have to, though. Bikky was due back this evening. He sighed.
"Aww, Ryo, you didn't have to come get me. Don't you think I can find my own way home by now?" Bikky, flanked by a group of kids of all ages, was looking distinctly embarrassed.
"Of course you can, but you know I don't like you taking short-cuts through those alleys in the dark," Ryo said. "And what about Carol, huh?"
Dee noticed that the kids with Bikky were looking from him to Ryo with great interest. His eyes narrowed a little as he smoked.
"Oh, are you here with a car?" said Carol, stepping forward from amidst a gaggle of girls and grinning winsomely up at both of them.
"Of course we are," Ryo said, putting an arm around her shoulders. "We're here to make sure you get home safely, but first we want to take you to our place for some ice cream, if that's all right with you."
"Sounds wonderful!" Carol said and turned to wave at her friends. They sighed and waved back, their eyes sweeping enviously over Dee and Ryo. Ice cream, two good-looking older men, AND Bikky Goldman. That girl didn't know how lucky she was. Except she probably did, the bitch!
"You coming Bikky?" Ryo called over his shoulder.
"Guess so," Bikky muttered, glancing apologetically at his friends, before shouldering his bag and hurrying after Ryo and Carol.
Dee fell into step beside him. "Sorry, man, but he's gotta be psychic or something," he said.
"Yeah right! Like this doesn't have YOU written all over it!" Bikky snarled.
"Hey come on, punk," Dee snapped back. "When have you ever known me to jam up any of your plans that involved you not being around, huh?"
"Shit," growled Bikky. "Well how the hell did he know?"
"Like I said, psychic. Just don't get caught, you little dork. Whatever it is, you're probably too young for it to be legal."
"You mean YOU don't know what I was planning?"
"Oh, I've got one or two ideas, but no, Ryo didn't fill me in on the details."
"Give it up, twerp. Looks like we're doing ice cream."
Leaving Bikky to slouch along in his wake, Dee caught up with Ryo and Carol.
"Hey, Dude, gotta make a stop at the corner store," he said. "I think we need ice cream."
"Oh no, don't worry. We've got lots of ice cream," Ryo said reassuringly, including Carol in his glance.
Ryo was unlocking Dee's car and popping open the trunk for Carol and Bikky's bags. He gave Dee a suspicious look. "Well, how much do we have left?"
"That would be exactly none."
"Dee! It was untouched as of two days ago. Are you saying you managed to eat an entire carton of ice cream --without my noticing-- in the last, uh, 24 hours?"
"I wish," grumbled Dee, getting into the passenger seat.
"Oh man, the Perv has been there for 24 hours," Bikky's voice complained from the vicinity of the back seat. "That means we'll be damn lucky if there's any food left in the fridge at all."
"Can it, Monkey Brat. I left you lots of spinach and broccoli, no need to thank me."
Ryo started the car. "Dee, don't change the subject," he warned. "Why don't we have any ice cream?"
"Well, it's your fault, actually, Ryo."
"What? How the hell can it be MY fault? I haven't even so much as cracked the lid."
"Yeah, but you're the one who insists on keeping the coffee in the freezer so it'll be 'fresher', instead of in the cabinet, like a normal person."
"Yes, and what's so strange about that? Just because years of smoking have left your taste buds incapable of appreciating a really fresh cup of coffee doesn't mean the rest of us should suffer."
"Ryo, I bet if you took a poll, you'd find that you're the only person you know who keeps the coffee in the--"
"Dee," Ryo interrupted him, "What does this have to do with the...fate of my ice cream?"
"Well, when I was getting the coffee out of the freezer, the ice cream kinda leapt to its death."
"What? You expect me to believe that?"
"Yeah, Moron, can't you come up with a better one than that?"
"You! Keep out of this!" snapped Dee, glaring over his shoulder. "And, you!" --turning to Ryo --" A little trust would be nice. I did not eat the goddamn ice cream, all right?"
"Well, why couldn't you just pick it up and put it back in the fridge, then?" asked Ryo in a slightly exasperated tone.
"Something's wrong with your freezer, Ryo. The ice cream was a little soft. Carton split open, and when I tried to pick it up, it just slid out of the box and onto the floor. I HAD to throw it out. And clean it up!"
"And why am I just learning about this now?"
"You said you didn't wanna know!" Dee was indignant.
"Well you should have at least told me about the freezer," said Ryo. "There could be food spoiling in --"
"Whoa, Freddie's Market!" Carol sang out from the back seat. "I bet we could buy ice cream there!"
Ryo took the hint and pulled into the parking lot. Dee handed Carol some money and told her to go and choose two tubs of whatever she wanted, and to be sure and take Bikky with her.
"As if I'm gonna sit here listening to your bullshit stories," muttered Bikky, slamming the car door and hurrying after Carol.
Dee turned to Ryo with a grin. "Come on, baby, say you believe me."
"Dee Laytner, it's not like you've never been untruthful before," Ryo said sternly, but with affection dancing in his eyes. "What about the time you broke my cup and said the janitor had done it? And the time --"
"Just shut up and kiss me before the house apes get back," said Dee, leaning forward and cupping Ryo's jaw.
Ryo looked around nervously, and shrank back a little. "Dee! This is a well-lit parking lot."
"Aah, who cares? Just give me a ten second kiss. The brats will take longer than that to choose their ice cream."
Dee abruptly closed the distance between them, and then his lips were pressing gently up against Ryo's. Ryo tried to pull back, but suddenly his senses were spinning, and his hand found its way into Dee's hair. It was a heated kiss, awakening all the memories of what they had done the last few nights, and again this afternoon. Ten seconds came and went. Ryo responded helplessly, unable, as usual, to deny the power of Dee's kiss, or to even be the one who broke it first.
Unfortunately, it was broken for them by a loud rapping on the driver's side window. They sprang apart guiltily, a blush spreading over Ryo's face. Expecting Bikky, Dee looked up, and saw two hostile and hate-twisted faces leering back at them. A pair of men stood next to the car, glaring at them and hurling insults.
"Hey, ya fuckin' faggots, get a fuckin' room. No, better yet, get the fuck off this planet."
"Yeah, you sick disgusting creeps, d'ya have to try and do each other right out here where people have to see it?"
One look at Ryo's shocked and frozen face, and Dee instantly felt enraged. He jumped out of the car, slamming the door, and stalked toward the two men.
"You got some kind of problem, dickheads?" he snarled.
They glanced at each other and looked Dee over, sizing him up. He was big, but so were they. And there were two of them and only one of him, not counting that nervous looking guy inside the car. The greasier of the two snorted with crude laughter.
"Looks like we got a knight in shining armor here, Frank," he sneered, gesturing at Dee with what appeared to be some kind of hot dog laden with condiments. "Yo, Sir Fag! I hate your fuckin' city, mainly because it's full of disease-carrying homos like you. You better lose the attitude or you're gonna lose a couple teeth."
Dee was glad he'd left his new jacket in the car. Wouldn't do to get blood on it before he'd worn it even three times. He'd do this in his shirt sleeves if he had to. Adrenaline coursed through his body and he glared at the abusive pair in front of him with eyes as hard as diamonds.
~~~end of Chapter One~~~