Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Dee/Ryo, Bikky
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Monday Flash Challenge: University
Word Count: 1,347
Date Written: 7 August 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
“You wanted to see me?” Dee asked from just inside Bikky’s open door.
“Yeah. Shut the door,” Bikky growled without looking at him.
“Look if this is going to turn into another one of those things where you try to beat me and make me leave Ryo alone, twerp, it’s not happening.”
“Just shut the door, old man.”
Dee narrowed his eyes at the young man who was still nearly as much of a thorn in his side as he had been when he had just been a child, freshly adopted by his partner, but after a moment’s consideration, he shut the door and stepped into the room. He instantly felt squashed by the small quarters. Bikky still didn’t look at him as he continued to pack. “I’m leaving tomorrow for university,” he said.
“I know,” Dee replied casually, wondering what on Earth it had to do with him. Did Bikky really think after all these years of threats and challenges that he could persuade Dee to leave Ryo alone? They both loved him, but Bikky was his son whereas Dee loved him in an altogether different manner. Plus Ryo had finally stopped fighting his advances, and now that Dee knew Ryo truly loved him in return, he wasn’t about to let Bikky or the world stop him from getting ever closer to the man he loved.
“We need to talk about my father.” Dee did a double take. Not only was this the first time he’d heard the boy refer to Ryo as his father, but Bikky was now sitting down next to his closed and locked suitcase and looking seriously up at Dee. There was a grave, troubled look upon his face. Dee felt himself sinking. If something was wrong with Ryo -- He’d love him anyway, he decided quickly, just as long as he could, but he couldn’t bear the thought of losing him.
“Don’t look at me like that. I swear you can be as stupid as he is sometimes!” Realizing that his voice was carrying, Bikky cut a look at the door and lowered his tone. “Which is what I want to talk to you about.”
Dee frowned. “I don’t understand.”
Bikky smirked up at him. “Since when is that news, oldster?”
Dee glared but sat down in the one chair in the room when Bikky made a motion for him to sit. They stared across the room into each other’s eyes again before Bikky finally spoke, “He can be too stupid and too good for his own good.” When Dee didn’t respond immediately, Bikky added, “You know what I mean.”
Dee slowly nodded. “Yeah,” he agreed, “like taking you in.”
“And giving all his money to Carol’s father.”
“He didn’t give it all to him.” Dee had been relieved when he’d found that out.
“No, but he gave most of it to him. Look.” Bikky blew out a breath. “What I’m trying to say is Ryo’s too naive sometimes.”
“And you’re worried about him,” Dee cut in, “worried about what he might do while you’re away, worried about who might try to use him.”
“Yeah. I can put up with you using him -- “
“ -- but I don’t want anybody else cutting in. I don’t want anybody hurting him.”
Dee looked at him in surprise again. “Are you saying you finally know I’m not trying to hurt him?”
“Don’t go there,” Bikky growled in warning, his eyes flashing. “I don’t approve of you two, you know, and I never will!” He folded his arms stubbornly across his chest. “Ryo could do a lot better, but,” he relented, “he could do a lot worse too.”
Dee hesitated. He partially wanted to lunge across the room and knock some sense into the little twerp. He loved Ryo, Ryo loved him, and no one could do better than equally shared love. But he stayed where he was because he could tell Bikky was genuinely concerned. He didn’t want anyone to hurt the man he loved as his father, the man whose big, kind heart had made him take the bratty kid in when he’d had nobody and nowhere else to go. At least he had admitted that he knew Dee never wanted to hurt Ryo; that was a step in the right direction, even if it was a small one.
Dee stared across the room into Bikky’s worried eyes. Finally, he asked softly, “Do you really think I’d ever let anyone hurt Ryo, twerp?”
“Not if you knew about it,” Bikky agreed readily enough. “But . . . “ He sighed. “Just watch him, okay? He has this tendency to get in over his head.”
“Don’t I know it,” Dee grumbled. Then he grinned. “But I watch him all the time. Even when neither one of you know I’m looking.”
“Oh, I know when you’re looking. I know you even have binoculars to see in here. Why do you think I painted Ryo’s window black that time?”
“You said it was an accident, that tripped with the bucket of paint -- “
Bikky sniggered. “Come on,” he said, “you know accidents were made to happen.” He grew serious after a moment, however. “Look. Neither one of us likes each other, but we both love Ryo. Don’t let him get hurt, okay? Whatever it takes. Even if you have to move in here. Take care of him for me. Don’t let him be used. Don’t let him be hurt.”
Dee pretended he didn’t see the actual tears in the kid’s eyes. “Even if I have to move in here, huh, twerp? Is that an invitation?”
“Hell, no, it isn’t!” Bikky jumped to his feet.
So did Dee, but instead of slugging at him or messing with his blonde hair of which the boy had finally grown to be proud, he reached out and snatched him into a quick, tight hug. “I’ll watch over him, Bikky, I promise ‘til my dying breath.”
Bikky was really fighting tears now. There were tears in Dee’s eyes as well, but as long as the kid wasn’t crying, he wasn’t about to let himself go either. “Make sure that’s a long time coming too, okay?” he demanded, his voice muffled by Dee’s shirt.
“I will,” Dee vowed, hugging him close again before mussing his hair.
“Hey!” Bikky protested, slapping at his hands.
A knock sounded suddenly on the door, freezing both man and boy. They looked together at the closed door. “Bikky? Dee? What are you two doing in there?”
“Nothing,” Bikky said, reaching out and opening the door to his adopted father.
Dee watched the kid but wasn’t fast enough to hide the tears welling in his eyes from his lover. “We were just saying goodbye,” he said quietly.
“No,” Ryo spoke swiftly, surprising them both. “We don’t say goodbye in this family.”
“What?” Dee asked, confused.
Bikky was equally puzzled. “Since when?”
“Not like that,” Ryo explained. He’d lost his parents long ago; he wasn’t about to add either of these people he loved to that miserable list. “You’re leaving for college, Bikky. You’re not dying. You’ll come home.”
“S-Sure I will.” Bikky was again fighting tears.
“You will,” Ryo insisted, “and we’ll be right here waiting for you. Won’t we, Dee?”
“O-Of course we will.”
Ryo reached out, wrapped his arms around Dee and Bikky, and brought them into a group hug. For one neither of the others tried to push or pull their way out of the family embrace. “It’s not goodbye,” Ryo said again, hugging them both tightly. “It’s just ‘til we meet again.”
“Yeah,” Bikky said, his face turned down so that neither man could see the tears he was already kicking himself for letting loose. “‘Til we meet again.”
“Heh.” Dee snorted. “You’ll be an old man when you come back,” he teased Bikky.
“I still won’t be as old as you, sucker!” Bikky broke free of the tender hug and slapped the back of Dee’s head.
Caught between them, Ryo sighed, grumbled, and smiled nonetheless. His boys were never going to grow up completely, but he would always love them.