Of Meat and Men
By Brit Columbia
Pairing: Dee/ Ryo
Rating: Basically worksafe, but suggestive.
Spoilers: To Volume 4
Timing: Set in June, around the time of Volume 4 of Sanami Matoh's FAKE series. This is shortly before Bikky's school and the 27th precinct building got blown up.
Summary: It's the company picnic for the members of the 27th precinct and their families. Dee is trying to show Ryo the correct way to eat a hot dog.
Disclaimer: I am not making any money for the writing of this work of fanfiction, nor do I own Fake or any of the characters created by Sanami Matoh. Officer Rob Pettigrew is mine, however, and so is his girlfriend Rebecca and her best friend, Tanya.
Author's notes: This is a Happy Birthday fanfic to my wonderful friend meng_horde! Sorry to be late with it, but it wanted to be longer than I had originally planned. BTW, this story was banged off in a hurry and has not been beta-read by anyone, so if anyone notices any mistakes, please point them out.
Of Meat and Men
The sun beat down at the 27th precinct's annual company picnic. Ryo stood shyly a little apart from a group of patrol cops and their wives, waiting for Dee to come back. Bikky and Carol had already run off with a pack of kids and were playing some sort of noisy game beyond the picnic tables. He looked at his watch and sighed. They had only been here fifteen minutes. He knew he would have to make an effort to stay at least two hours for Bikky's sake.
"Hey Ryo, here ya go." Dee came up behind him holding a pair of footlong hot dogs encased in soft white buns. Each had been liberally adorned with onions, tomato wedges, hot peppers and pickle spears, as well as relish, ketchup and mustard.
"Thanks, Dee." Ryo took his hot dog from Dee, marveling at how heavy it was. He looked about for a picnic table with seating room for both of them. There was no way he wanted to tackle this monster standing up, especially not when he was wearing his pale blue Adidas golf shirt. It had been a father's day present from Bikky-- his first-ever father's day present, as a matter of fact, and he treasured it.
"I know you would have rather had a hamburger, but they weren't ready yet and the smokies were," said Dee. "We can have a hamburger later."
Ryo shook his head. "No Dee, YOU can have a hamburger later. This hot dog is more than enough for me." He spotted a woman and her teenage son leaving one of the tables and said, "Oh hey, let's go sit there."
Dee followed him saying, "Did you notice I put mayo on yours? I still think it's a sacrilege, but if that's what you like, that's what you like..."
Ryo glanced at his hot dog again and saw that several globs of mayonnaise decorated its length, along with everything else that was loading it down. "Oh, hey, yeah. Thanks for remembering." It had been at least a year since he had eaten a hot dog in Dee's company. He couldn't believe his partner had actually remembered his little mayonnaise quirk.
Meanwhile over at the big barbecue station, Bikky was standing in line with the other kids. The smell of food had finally managed to distract them from the wild game of tag in which they had all gotten to know each other, and now their stomachs were growling as the smell of smoky meat wafted around them.
"Ooh, Bikky, what are you going to have?" Carol was standing on her toes trying to see the barbecue. "I hope they have chicken."
"I'm gonna eat at least four burgers," said Bikky. "Or maybe two burgers and two hot dogs. But it depends on the size of the hot dogs."
He glanced over at the picnic tables and saw Ryo taking a seat at one of them with Dorkhead beside him. Man, he wished he could get rid of that idiot. That asshole spent his days and his nights trying to think of ways to turn Ryo gay. Talk about a one-track mind. "It ain't gonna happen on my watch, Loser," he muttered to himself.
"What was that, Bikky?" Carol followed his gaze to where Dee and Ryo sat with a few others at one of the picnic tables in the shade. "Aww," she said, her face softening. "Look at them. They're sooooo sweet together."
"Cal! Don't say stuff like that when I'm about to eat. Jeez."
Carol giggled and gave him a gentle shove. "I'm just messing with you," she said. "Can you TRY to be a little less predictable?"
Ryo helped himself to several napkins from the stack on the picnic table and considered how best to approach his monster of a hot dog. It was just so...big. He wasn't sure if he would be able to open his mouth wide enough. He glanced at Dee to see how his partner was handling his hot dog and surprised a singularly avid look on the other man's face.
"Dee, are you okay?"
When Dee actually blushed before mumbling that he was fine, Ryo got suspicious. What on earth was that man thinking about? He decided that Dee was probably having some silly fantasy that he didn't want to know about. He didn't know why, but he suddenly felt self-conscious about taking a bite of his hot dog in front of Dee. His partner had this disconcerting habit of watching him eat sometimes... Well, Ryo didn't really know what to make of that.
'Aren't you going to eat your hot dog, Ryo?" Dee asked him innocently.
"You first," said Ryo mistrustfully.
"Okay, dude. I'll show you how it's done." Dee grinned at him wickedly and brought his hot dog up to his mouth. A little drip of mustard looked like it was going to fall off the end, but his tongue darted out under the bun and caught it.
"It's very important not to let any of the juices escape," Dee informed the table with a wink.
"Aw, Laytner, not again," groaned Officer Rob Pettigrew. "We got ladies present." He put his arm around his doe-eyed girlfriend, Rebecca.
"I recommend that all the ladies pay attention," Dee said, totally unfazed. "They might learn something. "Now as I was saying, we don't want any dripping. Right Ryo?"
"Certainly not," said Ryo, thinking of his shirt.
"See?" Dee smirked at the interested onlookers at the table. "My partner agrees with me. No dripping. And that's why the tongue--" he flicked it out and licked the end of his hot dog-- "is so important when you're working on one of these."
Rebecca laughed, and so did the woman next to her. Ryo really didn't see what was so funny. Dee was just fooling around, as usual.
"Now watch my lips carefully in this next part, okay?" said Dee.
"Okay," said Rob, Rebecca, and Rebecca's friend simultaneously. They all leaned forward and stared.
Ryo did not understand what all the fuss was about, but he was grateful that Dee was busy because it meant that he could sneak a little bite of his own hot dog. He quickly did that while everyone's attention was otherwise occupied, and was still chewing when Dee nudged him.
"Hey! I'm doing this for you, you know. Aren't you gonna watch me?"
Ryo almost choked on his bite of food, but somehow managed to swallow it. "Okay, whatever," he said, trying to sound bored. Honestly, Dee was such a child. The man needed constant attention.
Dee opened his mouth, stuck out his tongue, and slowly slid the part of the hot dog that protruded from the bun into his mouth. His lips closed over it suggestively and he lowered his eyelids to half mast. His lips worked the hot dog salaciously for a moment before he finally took a bite.
The two women whooped, startling Ryo so that he almost dropped his hot dog. A few onions and a pepper fell from it, but luckily, they didn't splatter his shirt.
"I just love hot, fresh, meat," murmured Dee around his food, and everyone at the table burst out laughing.
Ryo suddenly understood what Dee was up to, and he felt a flash of embarrassment. He looked at his watch again, wishing he could be anywhere except where he was. Even the hot, airless CI room would be preferable to this. He knew he couldn't just jump up and run away without becoming the subject of gossip. But he didn't know what to do. And damn it, he was hungry.
Dee was poking him again. "Now you," he said. "Just like I did, okay?"
Ryo shrugged, trying to project a casual attitude that he certainly wasn't feeling. "Well, you know, I wasn't really paying attention," he said, and took another quick, furtive bite of his hot dog. To his annoyance, the two women cheered encouragingly.
"More tongue," suggested one.
"Close your lips over it," said the other.
"Come on girls, give the guy a break," said Rob. He shot Ryo a look of sympathy.
"Dee, maybe you need to show us all again," said the girl next to Rebecca.
"Tanya!" protested Rob. "Just let the guy eat."
Ryo turned away from them and raised his hot dog to his lips for another bite. Just as he opened his mouth, he caught sight of a familiar set of blue eyes watching him as keenly as Dee had been earlier. Oh no. The Commissioner. Just what he needed. He froze, his lips touching the bun. Damn it, the man was heading this way. He hastily turned his attention back to the table just in time to see three sets of eyes staring at him hopefully: Rebecca, Tanya, and of course, Dee.
"Go for it, Randy," said Rebecca.
"It's only a hot dog," said Tanya.
"Men need their meat," added Dee.
Ryo blushed bright red and put his food down on his pile of napkins. "You know, I don't think I'm very hungry," he said mildly.
Dee picked up a napkin and offered it to him. "Got a little mayo on your lip, there, dude."
At that moment, Ryo heard a smooth voice beside him. "May I join you, ladies and gentlemen?"
Ryo's quick glance at Dee confirmed that his partner was not at all happy to see the Commissioner.
"Sure you can, handsome!" Tanya flashed him a brilliant smile. "We're just watching Dee give Randy a hot-dog eating lesson."
"Randy, I think you ought to just lick that mayonnaise off your lip," suggested Rebecca.
His face flaming, Ryo grabbed a napkin and scrubbed at his mouth.
"Rebecca, you want a Coke?" Rob jumped up. "Anyone else?"
"I'd love one," said Tanya. "In fact, why don't you bring one back for everyone?"
"I'll come with you," said Ryo, eagerly snatching his chance to escape. "You might need some hel..." His voice trailed away when he felt a heavy hand press down on his shoulder.
"Now Ryo, I'm sure he can manage just fine by himself. Or perhaps Detective Laytner can help him." The heat from the Commissioner's hand seemed to burn right through the cloth of Ryo's father's day shirt. "Why don't you stay here and tell me more about how best to eat a hot dog?"
"I, er, um, I..." Ryo found himself at a loss for words. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Rob making a break for it. He was trapped. Abandoned.
"He said he wasn't hungry, sir," Dee growled sullenly from the other side of Ryo.
"Oh, but I'm sure he is," purred the Commissioner. He reached out and gathered up Ryo's partially eaten hot dog in its little nest of napkins and proffered it to him. "Come now, Ryo, don't let me interrupt your lunch." He raised the hot dog just a little too close to Ryo's lips. Appalled, Ryo stiffened.
"Want some ketchup with that?" a youthful voice said off to stage right, and suddenly the Commissioner was gasping in dismay as a squirt of bright red liquid caught his hand and chest. He promptly dropped the hot dog he had been trying to feed to Ryo.
Rebecca and Tanya squealed in alarm and jumped back from the table. Both were wearing cute outfits that they obviously didn't want to get ketchup on.
"Whoa, good shooting, there, twerp!" Dee's voice blatantly revealed his delight.
"Oh my God-- Bikky-- Sir!" Ryo stared from the dripping mess on the Commissioner's shirt to where Bikky stood unrepentantly at one end of the picnic table holding a white paper plate with a burger on it in one hand and a ketchup squeeze bottle in the other. "Bikky! What on earth did you do that for?"
"Uh... it was an accident?" Bikky looked in faint surprise at the squeeze bottle of ketchup as though he had never seen it before and couldn't imagine what it was doing in his hand.
The Commissioner took a deep breath and removed his glasses so as to clean a glob of ketchup off them. He still hadn't looked at Ryo or Bikky. Ryo wondered if the man was counting to ten. He also wondered if he would still have a job when the day was over.
"Bikky, apologize right now!" demanded Ryo. "That was completely uncalled for."
"Sorry, man." Bikky blinked at the Commissioner and lifted one shoulder in a little shrug. His whole attitude seemed to be Hey, shit happens.
"You are going to be seriously grounded after today, young man!" Ryo was doing his best to sound stern and responsible, even though a part of him wanted to jump up and run away in search of a hiding place. He was so embarrassed he couldn't stand it. The Commissioner was a total mess, thanks to Bikky.
This thought made him surreptitiously check his own shirt to make sure that none of the ketchup had gotten onto him.
"You're fine," said Dee, who had apparently been watching him as closely as he usually did. "Kid's got awesome aim."
"Excuse me, please." The Commissioner abruptly stood up and left the table without looking at anyone. He seemed a little white around the mouth.
"Good going, punk," said Dee. "Unless that rat-bastard's got a spare shirt in his car, which I doubt, we won't see any more of him today." He raised his hand for a high five, but Bikky ignored him and turned to Ryo.
"Ryo," he said, "I'm sorry and all, but that guy was out of line." He put the burger he had been holding down on the table in front of Ryo. "I got you something a little easier to eat."
"What... really?" Ryo looked from the burger to Bikky, half confused and half touched. He knew he should try to stay angry about Bikky's surprise ketchup attack on the Commissioner, but on some level, he understood that the boy had been doing his best to look out for him. He stared at Bikky in silence for a moment before picking up the hamburger. "Thank you, Bikky. That was very thoughtful of you."
"What about 'thank you Dee?'" demanded an aggrieved voice at his side. "I got you a hot dog!"
Bikky turned a hostile gaze on Dee, and said, "Exactly, Dorkhead. You shoulda got him a hamburger. Don't pull that crap again."
"Pull what crap?" Dee glared at him. "What the hell are you talking about?"
Just then Carol strolled up, her arms full of cans of soda. "Hi Dee, hi Ryo!" she sang cheerfully. "A guy over there told me to bring you guys some Coke."
"Oh, thanks, Carol." Ryo reached out and took one, and Carol put the rest of them down on the table.
Ryo, did you try your burger yet?" she asked. "We picked out the nicest one for you."
"What about me?" Dee looked at them sulkily, but was immediately distracted by the sight of Ryo biting into his burger.
"We got you a coke," said Bikky slapping a can down in front of Dee.
"He was going to bring you a burger full of grass," Carol whispered into Dee's ear, "but I stopped him."
Dee grinned at her. "Thanks Princess."
"Mr. Perfect! There you are! I've been looking for you everywhere!" JJ came running up to their table holding a hot dog in either hand.
"Hi JJ," said Dee, regarding him warily. "Not gonna jump me, are you?"
"No, silly. I'm bringing you something juicy and tasty! We can enjoy lunch together, for once." He turned to Ryo and said, "Oh, hi, Ryo. Sorry I didn't get one for you. Sadly, I only have two hands." He gave that short tittering laugh which Ryo always found so irritating, and transferred his attention back to Dee. "A little bird told me that you were giving 'hot dog eating lessons'!"
Ryo suddenly spoke. "Yes, he was. And I'm sure if you ask him nicely, he'll show you how it's done." From the spluttering noises beside him, he deduced that Dee was staring at him in indignation, but he didn't care.
"Oh pleeeeease show me, Dee! Pretty please with cream and sugar, and chocolate syrup and also whipped cream on top, please?" JJ fixed his large blue eyes pleadingly on Dee, who shrank back.
"Of course Dee will show you, JJ. Please have a seat." Ryo gestured magnanimously to the table.
"The hell I will!" Dee had apparently recovered his powers of speech. "Ryo!"
"What?" Ryo glanced at him innocently while taking another nibble of his burger. "I don't think it's fair that JJ has to miss out."
"Ryo," Dee insisted again, looking at him in exasperation. He seemed to be trying to communicate something with his eyes. Ryo was pretty sure he didn't want to know what it was.
"Ryo, come and meet my new friend Lissy," said Carol. "Bring your burger; it's okay." She and Bikky practically manhandled Ryo to his feet.
"Now wait a second here," said Dee, but before he could get up, JJ dropped into Ryo's newly vacated seat and gazed at him happily.
"What should I do first, Mr. Sexy?" JJ pulled the hot dog a short distance out of its bun and ran his tongue up the length of it with risque enthusiasm. Dee stared at him in mounting horror. Ryo almost-- almost-- felt sorry for him.
Numbly Dee reached for his coke.
"Come on Ryo, Lissy's waiting," Carol said, which effectively stopped Ryo from looking over his shoulder at Dee.
A moment later he heard a gushing hiss and a shout of outrage, and he turned back in time to see Coca Cola erupting from the can that Dee held in his hand. Both he and JJ were drenched.
Bikky and Carol giggled madly and towed Ryo faster.
"Bikky, you little shit!" roared Dee behind them.
"Oh my God, that was so fucking hot," said JJ huskily, and something in his voice made Ryo want to stop and return to the table for reasons he didn't entirely understand.
"Come on, Ryo," Bikky insisted, and Ryo found he had no choice but to give in. Dee deserved it, after all. Where did he get off, pulling that stunt with the 'hot dog eating lesson' anyway? That had been beyond mortifying! Ryo knew one thing for sure: he was never eating a hot dog in Dee's presence again. Or the Commissioner's. From now on he was sticking to food that didn't give people... weird ideas.
"I told Lissy you would play badminton with us," said Carol, and Ryo smiled at her. He loved kids. He was always comfortable with them. They never looked at him like they wanted something private and personal from him, or tried to touch him in inappropriate ways. They were so much easier to deal with than adults sometimes were.
"Sure I will," he said. "Badminton sounds like fun."
Additional author's notes: This story was inspired by an email conversation I had with the birthday girl about barbecued meat, and also by a story I'm beta-reading for tripple_p in which a character has to turn away while his boyfriend eats a footlong hot dog-- for exactly the reasons you might expect!.