Fake Fan Fiction ❯ The Unexpected II ❯ Recovery ( Chapter 9 )
[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
Title: The Unexpected II
Pairings: Ryo/Dee (mostly), some Dee/Ryo
Warnings: Yaoi, Male/male, MPREG, AU If you don't like, don't read!
Disclaimer: FAKE is not mine. We have Sanami Matoh for giving us Dee, Ryo and the rest of the 27th precinct characters. Any OCs appearing in this fic are mine.
Pairings: Ryo/Dee (mostly), some Dee/Ryo
Warnings: Yaoi, Male/male, MPREG, AU If you don't like, don't read!
Disclaimer: FAKE is not mine. We have Sanami Matoh for giving us Dee, Ryo and the rest of the 27th precinct characters. Any OCs appearing in this fic are mine.
February 12, 2006
Ryo walked into the apartment, glad for the warmth that greeted him. He had already shaken his coat off in the lobby, then in the elevator and again in the entry hallway to their apartment.
The TV was playing and Dee looked up from the couch. “It took you that long to get home?” Dee asked, as Ryo removed his coat to hang up, along with his scarf. Ryo had called Dee earlier when he was leaving to head home.
“There's a blizzard out there, Dee,” Ryo replied. He walked across the living room toward the couch Dee sat on in his stocking feet.
“So I've been told. I've been getting calls all day long from well wishers who decided it's best to stay home.”
“As your wise mother would say, there's a blessing in everything,” Ryo remarked, smiling at Dee. “You're better off resting another day without having to entertain.”
“Exactly what I said,” Mother said, coming into the living room from the dining room. She grinned and winked at Ryo. “Ryo, you look like you're still thawing out. Let me get you a nice cup of hot cocoa.”
“That sounds great, Mother. Thank you.”
“Me too, Mom. Please?” Dee remarked.
“Heaven forbid I should serve anything chocolate without giving you any,” Mother stated, amused. “Of course, Dee. You too.”
Dee patted the space next to him on the couch, looking at Ryo.
“Soon the chicken and dumplings will be ready. Then you can have a nice hot meal,” Mother stated.
Ryo and Dee grinned at each other. Quickly Ryo sat on the couch, putting an arm around Dee. They kissed, then chuckled. Ryo bent over to kiss Dee's tummy. “Hello to you too, chibi.”
Dee giggled as Ryo looked up at Dee from that position.
“What are you two imps up to now?” Mother asked, staring lovingly at the couple.
It was Ryo who replied. “Dee made chicken and dumplings for dinner the night he told me about the baby.” He kissed Dee's tummy again, realizing the swell was definitely no longer a gentle swell. “Wow, that was like two and a half months ago.” He sat up to kiss Dee once more.
Mother chuckled and went on her way into the kitchen.
Dee and Ryo remained cuddling on the couch, kissing softly. Ryo's hand rested on the swell, gently rubbing. Ryo was amused as Dee practically started to purr with contentment.
“How were you feeling today?” Ryo asked between kisses.
“Better. Much better.”
Ryo studied Dee. His lover still looked pale, but overall seemed to be improving from the day before when he brought Dee home from the hospital. “I'm sorry I took almost the whole day,” he apologized, pushing Dee's bangs from his eyes.
“It's okay. You needed to get your report on Jenson in. And there is a blizzard.”
“I love you, Dee.”
“Love you, too.”
They looked up at the sound of a throat clearing to find Mother standing before them, holding a tray. With a smile, she placed the tray on the coffee table.
Dee's eyes lit up. Ryo laughed.
Mother handed Ryo, then Dee a mug of hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream. Still on the tray was a third mug, along with three bowls of bread pudding. “I thought Ryo might like a warm snack as well after dealing with traveling home in the blizzard.”
“I didn't realize it until now, but yes, I do,” Ryo stated with a soft smile. “Thank you, Mother.”
Mother picked up her mug and dish and sat down in the easy chair near the couch.
“Where's Bikky?” Ryo asked as they had their snack.
“He went with Carol to the park with some of the other kids in the building,” Dee replied. “I called Elina, by the way. Carol's going to stay with us for another night.”
“We don't need you going out there again later in this to take her home,” Mother said to Ryo.
Dee nodded in agreement. “I told them they could stay out until dinner, then no more outside for the night.”
“That boy of yours told me earlier the snow reminded him to make sure his sled doesn't get rusty, so he can take the baby sledding when it's old enough,” Mother informed them.
Dee looked amazed. Not so much by what Mother told him, because lately it sounded like what Bikky would say. “Was Bikky around that long that he was once young enough to pull around on a sled?” he asked Ryo, reminded of the passage of time.
“Yup. We had Bikky that long.”
“You did,” Dee corrected Ryo. “He lived with you.”
“He may have lived with me, and you may have denied it back then, but he was our kid from day one. I never felt like I was raising him alone, Dee. When he needed you the most, you never let him down. You risked your life twice saving his. I'm just thankful you're both still with me.”
“Hmm.” Dee leaned against Ryo, finishing his bread pudding.
“Hey, who's digging out the kids at Mother's?” Ryo asked.
“Oh,” Dee chuckled.
Mother rolled her eyes, shaking her head amused.
“What?” Ryo asked.
“JJ and Drake,” Dee replied. “They called this morning asking if I needed anything. So I told them instead of making their way here, I'd rest easier knowing the kids could get out without breaking their necks and Mother won't have any lawsuits should someone slip on the sidewalk. So they went to shovel. Hey! Don't look at me that way. They asked what they could do to help, and that does help me best. Mother's mind is at ease. That means mine is.”
Ryo laughed. “I have to admit I'd have done the same thing if I answered the phone.”
Dee and Mother laughed with Ryo.
“We do owe them a meal or something now,” Ryo said thoughtfully.
“Yeah, we do,” Dee agreed with a wink.
*** *** ***
After they finished their snack, and talked for a few minutes, Mother got up to wash their dishes. She insisted Ryo stay where he was and assured him that she was quite capable of handling dishes for three adults. As she bustled into the kitchen, Ryo grinned at Dee. “How are you feeling?”
“You still look pale. That's not a good shade on you.”
“Yeah, well, Vince said it will take a few more days. But if you're hinting I need to take a nap, I should tell you I'm all slept out right now.”
Ryo chuckled. “I take it that means you slept earlier?”
“Yes. I even fell asleep right here on the couch.”
“Good.” Ryo started to get up.
Dee watched Ryo go into the coat closet. “What are you up to? Remember, Mother's in the next room.”
Ryo snorted. “Unfortunately none of that for at least a few more days, baby.”
Dee pouted, realizing the truth in Ryo's statement.
“So what I think we should do is this,” Ryo said. He took out three thick books from the upper shelf that looked like oversized photo albums. He grinned at Dee's confused look. “Remember the errand I needed to run from the hospital yesterday morning?”
“Remember the night before I said we'd work things out for the wedding?”
“Yeah.” Dee's tone was a bit excited. “So?”
Ryo dropped the books on the coffee table and sat down next to Dee again. “So I selected three printers in the city that had the widest range of invitation styles. Today we can look through them and hopefully find our stationery.”
The smile on Dee's face made Ryo unable to resist kissing him. He made sure they were both comfortable, then they started to look through the books together.
Meanwhile Mother went into the den, sitting in an old, sturdy but comfortable chair to continue knitting the baby blanket she was making in green and yellow.
Bikky and Carol found the adults in the same places when they came in.
Mother paused from her knitting when she heard Carol's squeals of excitement as the two teens joined Dee and Ryo in making a final selection of invitations.
“Mother,” Dee's voice called out through the apartment. “We need your opinion.”
Mother smiled, putting her knitting in an old tapestry bag and stood up to join her family. From the glee in Dee's voice, it seemed they were close to having the stationery chosen.
*** *** ***
After dinner, Bikky and Carol were in Bikky's room, while Dee admitted to needing to take a nap. Mother had just put away the dinner dishes, making Ryo sit on the couch and relax.
She entered the living room to find him with a book open on his lap, but his mind appeared to be elsewhere.
Mother placed the hot drink she held before Ryo's face. “Here.”
Ryo blinked, his eyes focusing on it. “What's this?”
“A hot toddy. I figured you could use one.”
“Mother,” Ryo sighed fondly, taking the offered drink.
Mother sat next to Ryo. “He's going to be fine, darling one. Stop worrying.”
Ryo took a sip of his drink and sighed in appreciation. “I haven't had one of these in forever. And yes, I know Dee's definitely getting better. In a few days, he'll be kicking and screaming to get out of here again.”
“And?” She started to rub his back soothingly.
“Then I go back to fearing for him,” Ryo admitted. “I don't want Dee outside. I feel better knowing he's in here, behind locked doors.”
“Ryo, darling, did another…?” She left her question hanging, her eyes meeting Ryo's.
“Yeah. Ted and Marty got the call while I was there. They were still out when I left.” He ran his hands through his hair. “Now that I know Dee's okay, I'm glad for the recovery period. It means I have him safe in here. Mother, if there was a way I could keep Dee locked up in here until we catch this bastard….” He paused, wide eyes going to Mother. “Err… sorry,” he apologized for his language.
Mother put a comforting arm around Ryo's shoulders and pulled him close until her head rested against his. “My thoughts exactly, sweetie. For what he did to those poor men and for what he's putting my Dee through.”
Ryo set the drink down and hugged Mother. “Thank you,” he said. “For so many things. But for now, especially for letting me know I'm not alone with this.”
“Of course not,” she replied, hugging Ryo back. They held each other for a few minutes, both giving and receiving comfort so they could continue to be strong around Dee.
As Ryo pulled away, he stated, “I can't take away all of Dee's freedom. As we found out, that can do him harm too.”
Mother nodded as Ryo picked up his drink. “Maybe Dee will come around and make that decision himself soon,” she said.
“I hope so.” Ryo drank from the cup.
The unspoken thought hung between them. Before it's too late.
*** *** ***
February 13, 2006
Dee looked up when he heard the bedroom door open, knowing it was Mother checking in on him. He had also heard the doorbell ring, so he figured another visitor finally found their way,
“Dee?” Mother asked softly.
“I'm up and yes, I'm up to another visitor, Mother.” He smiled at Mother as she entered the room.
“If they start wearing you out, you let me know.”
“I'm fine,” Dee assured her, getting out of the bed.
He had tried to take a nap, but it was not happening. So he was going through the catalogues Diana dropped off earlier that day, getting ideas for the Groomswomen's gowns. Dee's mouth had dropped when he first saw the prices, but Ryo assured him they were okay with it.
Ryo had already contacted the printer first thing in the morning, placing a rush order on the stationery. After hanging up the phone, he emailed a copy of their engagement photo and the list he had typed up the night before of the names and addresses of everyone receiving an announcement card. The printer assured him the cards would be ready and mailed off by Wednesday. Their invitations would be ready by Friday for pick-up, along with printed envelopes for those names checked on the list to receive invitations.
Saturday night, with Dee comfortably in the bed, with his head in Ryo's lap, they had finalized the guest list. The night before, after Dee woke up from his nap, they decided on their theme colors. Elena already had a list of all the flowers they wanted, and she was going to handle the floral arrangements.
Later on Monday, Elena was coming over with Rick to see Dee, and go over some specifics. Diana would be back too so they could discuss the gown selection.
Dee could not believe how once their minds were in the same set again, how smooth making choices were. Even better, true to Ryo's promise, they were still planning their wedding, utilizing the offers to help to do much of the legwork for them. They were more or less planning their wedding from the couch, and it was coming together.
It helped put Dee in a good frame of mind. For the first time he put worries about the Carrier case aside. He was certain come March 11, they were going to have their fairy tale wedding, with every little detail in place.
Ryo's grandmother was amazed when she called just before lunch that day. Ryo relayed the phone conversation later when Dee woke up from a nap for lunch. She added if Dee was feeling up to it by then, she wanted to meet them for tea in Serendipity after work the following week. Dee decided if he was back to work, they would go, since Serendipity was a posh restaurant on East 60th Street that was most known for their ice cream sundaes. He had an appointment on Thursday with Vince and to get more blood work. They were to meet Vince at the hospital Vince was associated with and where the baby would be born.
“Who is it this time?” Dee asked, stretching a little.
“Drake and JJ,” Mother replied.
“Well good then. I can go out there in just my jammies and no robe.” He smirked playfully at Mother.
“You think you're all that,” she said, swatting the back of his head playfully, managing to make it seem nothing like the reach it was for her.
“Ow! Hey!” He walked into the living room. “I must be better. She's hitting me again,” he said amused. “Hi Drake. Hi JJ.”
Drake shook his head while JJ chuckled. “Gee, Dee must be better. He's all loud again,” JJ said.
“If you came here to insult me, then go back out again.”
“Oh now, Dee. That wasn't an insult,” JJ drawled.
Drake broke out in laughter. “So how are you two doing otherwise?” he asked.
Dee rested his hand on his tummy. “We are doing quite well.”
“Good to hear that, Dee,” JJ replied. “When Drake and I got back and heard what happened….” JJ shuddered. “I'm glad Ryo thought to call and ease our minds a little.”
Dee sat in the easy chair, leaning back. “You're lucky you weren't Ted,” he remarked, looking serious.
“No kidding,” Drake agreed. “I'm glad you didn't decide to pull that stunt on us. JJ would have had a heart attack.”
JJ nodded his head vigorously. He looked over at Dee. “So now you're going to be taking your vitamins and eating what's good for you and the little one?” JJ asked.
Dee glared at JJ. “I had been taking my vitamins and eating what I should be. Ryo made sure to that. They realized that I need different vitamins and I need to eat more iron enriched stuff. Sucks because it's better when you drink orange juice beforehand, but I can barely stomach the stuff.” Dee smirked. “It's all good. I like food, doesn't matter if it's healthy or junk.”
Drake laughed. “Tell me about it. So you got the okay to eat more? Geez! So long as you understand that doesn't include your cookie and ice cream intake.”
“I know that,” Dee grumped. He looked up when he heard the locks opening at the front door.
“Mother, Dee, it's me,” Ryo called out as he opened the door, then smiled as he noticed the gathering in the living room. “Hey you two. What's up?” he greeted their guests.
Mother brought out drinks and snacks as Ryo took his shoes and coat off. “Oh Ryo. Welcome home. Let me get you something too.” She bustled back into the kitchen.
“What are you doing home early?” Dee asked.
“I got there in time to get a signed confession from Jensen. So we did the wrap up and Chief told me to go home and take care of you.” Ryo sat down next to Dee and kissed him. “How are you doing this afternoon?”
“I was resting up in bed, going through the catalogues Diana dropped off until Drake and JJ got here. And yes, I did sleep a little right after you left.”
“Good.” Ryo bent to kiss Dee's belly. “And how's my chibi doing today?”
“We're both doing fine, Papa,” Dee replied softly, running his fingers through Ryo's hair.
Ryo sat up, pulling Dee into his arms, hugging him from behind.
“Aw look, how cute they are,” JJ commented. “Ryo, I didn't think you could, but this suits you.”
“Hell, once I made up my mind that I can and want to display affection to Dee in public, it was easier than I thought.” He smiled tenderly, rubbing his cheek against Dee's hair. “But it's Dee. I can't seem to stop myself now.”
“Well, I can imagine it might be difficult to hug another man in front of others at first,” Drake said. “I mean, you did consider yourself straight until then.”
Ryo shrugged. “You mean that I had convinced myself I was,” he admitted. “When I had proof otherwise that I ignored. But that's all behind me now. I'm getting married to the most wonderful man in the world, and I want everyone to know that I'm with Dee and we're having a baby together.”
Dee seemed to further melt into Ryo's hold, looking happy and content. He turned his head a little to look back at Ryo. “Baby, I was waiting until we were together to show them.”
“Oh?” Ryo asked, amused. “I'll bet now you can't wait.”
“Too bad, because I'm too comfortable to let you go right now.”
Dee giggled. Drake and JJ traded amused looks. This was what they were privy to see that was not on display at work, even if Dee and Ryo were obviously lovers from the way they looked at each other, or a slight touch. Yet what Drake and JJ saw at that moment was something different. Even pregnant, Dee still had a reputation at work, and the man cuddled so securely in Ryo's arms was far from that reputation.
Ryo kissed Dee's hair, as Mother set down Ryo's hot drink to go with the shortbread she set out.
Before she had a chance to sit down, Dee asked, “Mother, can we bother you? It's in the frame over on the shelf there.”
Mother smiled at Dee. “Of course, darling. I most certain don't mind. It means I get to see it again.”
Mother got the frame Ryo gave Dee, with the photo of them in LA, along with one from New Year's Eve and one taken of them in mid-January. Recently added to the collection was the sonogram photo. She gazed lovingly at it.
“Dee, every time I look at all the photos here, I'm filled with so much joy,” she said. She handed it to Dee, who had not moved from his comfy place in Ryo's arms.
Ryo smiled over Dee's shoulders, also looking at the frame. “Sweet. I can't wait when it's all filled.”
“Neither can I,” Dee replied. “Because the final photo to fill all the spaces will be of us holding the baby.”
Mother clasped her hands together, smiling. “I cannot wait to see that photo too.”
Dee smiled up at his mother. “I know, grandma.” He winked at her.
Drake and especially JJ were straining their necks in curiosity. They knew of the frame and had seen it with the photos of Ryo and Dee.
“Let me see the new picture already, Dee,” JJ insisted. “We want to see.”
Dee handed the frame out toward JJ, who leaned forward to grab it. Both his and Drake's eyes widened.
“What the?” Drake asked.
“Chibi's first picture,” Dee replied tenderly.
Ryo had his arms around Dee and his hands now rested on the baby swell. “On Friday, they decided to do an ultrasound on Dee Friday to make sure everything was really all right with the baby. And we got that photo while they were at it.”
“That's the baby?” JJ asked.
“No wonder why they wait usually. When you said they warned you if the ultrasound was done too soon, that not much might be made out, you weren't kidding,” Drake said. “It looks like a dark splotch.”
“That dark spot is the baby,” JJ remarked, excitedly. He looked intensely at the photo.
Dee and Ryo laughed. “Vince says we should make out more when we do the second ultrasound around the time he originally planned. That's when I'll be able to win my bet with Ryo,” Dee explained.
Ryo rubbed his head against Dee's. “Dee swears we're having a girl.”
Drake and JJ looked at the picture again. Dee looked back to smirk at Ryo. Ryo buried his face in Dee's hair, attempting not to laugh at their friends.
“You know, Dee,” Drake started. “Looking at this… Ow! JJ, kindly remove your elbow from my ribs please…. Well looking at this,” he said, circling the dark area with a finger, “how are you to know which end is which to even pick out which darker area could be hiding some equipment to indicate a boy?
Ryo did laugh then. “Oh, we know which end is up,” he replied with a smirk.
Even JJ looked confused. Mother, already fallen for the joke, chuckled fondly. “My boys know their baby very well,” she added.
Dee finally sat up to move away from Ryo enough to point at the photo. “Look here, that's her head. Little legs are curled up here. We have a little arm over here and one arm is hiding. And yes, she turned during the ultrasound, so we know she has two arms. They made out enough to know it was another appendage.”
“Hmm….” Drake remarked, still trying to make sense of what Dee explained. “Another appendage could mean boy.”
Dee snorted. “Well, if what we saw was not an arm, then all I can say to Ryo is, way to go, big man!”
Ryo broke out in laughter. “Aw, now I do wish I was there. But we have another coming up and while Dee insists we're having a girl, we'll find out for certain if that area there,” he vaguely indicated with his finger, then laughed as Dee's finger circled it above the photo. “…isn't hiding anything extra.”
“I knew it!” Drake crowed. “You owe me, JJ.”
“Not yet,” JJ stated.
“It's obvious. Dee wants a girl and Ryo wants a boy,” Drake said.
“You're half right, Drake,” Mother spoke up. “Dee does want a girl, but if that's what Dee wants, then Ryo wants it, too.”
Ryo nodded his head. “Yup. I honestly don't care. We're having a baby - our child. That's good enough for me. And if this one turns out to be a boy, well then we'll both still love him. Then in two years or so, I'll see what I can do about giving Dee a daughter.”
JJ grinned at Drake. “We're even then.”
“Guess so,” Drake agreed.
Ryo lightly nudged Dee in his back. Dee leaned back into Ryo's hold, laughing softly.
“I win!” Mother laughed delightedly. “Just wait when I tell Father Patrick that he has dish duty for a month!”
Dee and Ryo exchanged half stunned, half amused looks.
“You're all nuts,” Dee exclaimed, laughing. “And I know what you're all thinking. Ryo included.”
“Tell us then, Dee,” Ryo said. “We want to know what we're thinking.”
“That because I want a girl, I'm imagining she's a girl.”
“Okay, he has my number,” Ryo admitted, with a smirk.
Three other heads nodded in agreement.
“But I'm not,” Dee insisted. He reached his hand out toward JJ, who was holding the frame. JJ handed it to him. Dee pointed to the photo. “To be honest, I look at the picture and I can't help feel that's a girl there.”
“But?” Mother asked, her own instincts concerning the man that was her son in all ways except blood coming to the surface.
Dee placed his free hand over Ryo's hand which rested on his tummy. “Here, I'm not that sure. It could be a boy.” He shrugged.
“Don't look at me,” Ryo remarked as amused eyes settled past Dee to Ryo. “I heard this before. Like I said, it makes no difference to me.”
“Well, whichever. Make sure you update us when you find out,” Drake remarked.
“Why? Planning another betting pool?” Dee asked.
“Ted had first dibs. So he'll be running it, with Janet's help,” Drake replied.
“Oh no. Please not Janet,” Ryo sighed. “Remember when Sue Horowitz was pregnant and someone made the mistake of putting Janet in charge of the betting pool.”
Dee laughed. “That was a fiasco. Nobody won - or at least there was no prize to give the winner.”
Mother stood up from her seat. “Dinner will be ready shortly. If Dee is feeling up to your continued company, you two are most welcome to join us for dinner,” she said to Drake and JJ.
Ryo smiled. “Say yes. I can keep you company when this one needs to rest up. And don't pout, Dee.
“Damn,” Dee muttered.
“Don't curse, Dee,” Mother called from the dining room.
Drake and JJ broke out in laughter. “I think we will stay,” Drake decided for the two guests.
Ryo lightly squeezed Dee's hand and pretending to kiss Dee's ear, whispered, “Watch them closely.”
“Mm, yeah,” Dee replied.
*** *** ***
Drake and JJ offered to help Mother in the kitchen, giving both Dee and Ryo a chance to relax in the living room. Ryo had taken the catalogues out from the bedroom and sat down next to Dee on the couch.
“So do we have any idea what we want yet?” Ryo asked.
Dee looked at the book in Ryo's hand. “Yeah. I want to tell Diana to make sure she selects something very nice and in our colors for the women.”
Ryo laughed. “Honestly?” When Dee looked at him in question, Ryo continued, “I'm with you on that.”
Dee shrugged, and leaning back against the cushions of the couch, said, “I guess we're not that gay, huh?”
“Guess not,” Ryo agreed, leaning against Dee. He dropped the catalogues on the coffee table. “If you're all for letting Diana handle the girlie things, I have no complaints.”
Dee nodded. “Yeah. I think we'd end up with nicer looking women in the wedding party that way. Well, since Elena is coming over, and JJ's here already, we should see if he's willing to stay, since he's in on the planning too.”
“Yeah.” Ryo looked over toward the dining room. He rested his head against Dee's and talking low, said, “I'm getting this feeling about JJ.”
Dee snorted. “He's just all excited over the baby and stuff. He knows he doesn't stand a chance with me, so relax, baby.” Dee moved his head to give Ryo a light kiss.
Ryo smiled as they kissed. “That was nice, but that's not what I meant. I mean, now that he knows he doesn't stand a chance, I think he found a new victim to stalk.”
Dee's eyes widened. “You're kidding? No, you're not. And someone we know?” Ryo stared at him. “Huh? Oh! Oh no, no way,” he laughed.
“Why not?” Ryo asked.
“I don't know,” Dee replied.
They both looked up when they heard JJ's voice. “Tea and dessert,” he announced carrying a tray in and setting it on the coffee table. “Drake will be joining us for a few and your mother said she'll be in her favorite chair in the den, Dee.”
“I'm glad I took it out of storage,” Ryo laughed.
“No kidding,” Dee agreed. “She really does like that chair.”
Drake entered the living room. “Aw, isn't this just adorable. Dee's mother is in the den knitting little baby booties for her grandchild.” He smiled at Dee as he sat down on the arm of the chair JJ sat in.
Ryo smirked and nudged Dee. “Not booties,” Ryo corrected. “I believe there's 4 pairs of them already. It's a blanket this time.”
“Let us know if we're over extending our visit,” Drake said, looking down at JJ in warning. JJ merely nodded in silent agreement.
“I'm fine,” Dee replied. “As you can see, I'm comfortable and resting up, and relaxed. Besides, Diana and Elena will be dropping by for a little bit soon, so JJ might as well hang around, since he's helping with pulling this wedding together in time.”
“Oh, I didn't realize we'd be working on planning tonight,” JJ exclaimed. “How exciting. Yes, I'll stay.”
“Of course, I'll help anyway I can,” Drake said. “But this planning stuff… I'm afraid I'm not good at that.”
“That's okay, Drake,” Ryo assured him. “We have enough people helping us get ideas for planning this thing. And with you doing some running, that would be great.”
“It might get a little boring for you, but you're still welcome to stick around anyway,” Dee said to Drake.
“Yeah. I'll stick around. Then I can make sure JJ gets home okay.”
JJ playfully slapped Drake's arm. “I can get home on my own just fine, thank you.”
Drake laughed. “I know, I know. Anyway how bad can it be planning for a low key wedding?”
JJ rolled his eyes.
“You know, Drake, the chair is much more comfortable than the arm and it does fit two,” Dee stated.
Ryo pinched his side and Dee let out a little yelp. Drake and JJ looked over to them.
“What happened?” JJ asked.
“Ryo's getting frisky,” Dee replied, glaring at Ryo.
“And you glare at him in response?” Drake asked. “Try again, buddy.”
Dee was saved by further reply when the doorbell rang. Ryo stood up to get the door. “Excuse me.”
Elena and Rick arrived, the older woman hugging Ryo at the door, then rushing onward into the apartment. Rick entered, shaking his head giving Ryo a quick hug. “Your aunt's crazy, Ryo,” he said in greeting.
Ryo laughed. “She wouldn't be her if she wasn't.”
Rick rolled his eyes. “Tell me about it.” He chuckled along with Ryo. “How's Dee doing?”
“Much better. He'll probably be back to work by Friday.”
“Oh sweetness,” they heard Elena exclaimed. “Don't go giving us all a scare like that again.”
“Poor Dee,” Rick sighed.
Ryo laughed. “Come on in. Where's the kids?”
“At a friend's for the night. We figured Dee didn't need a full house. Even if it looks as if there is one.”
Elena was sitting next to Dee, hugging his arm and asking how he was doing, while Drake and JJ looked on amused.
“Rick, you remember Drake and JJ,” Ryo said as they came over to the others.
“Yes I do. Nice to see you again,” Rick replied.
Drake and JJ stood up to shake hands with Rick. “Same here, sir,” JJ replied.
“Rick, please. All that sir stuff makes me feel old.”
Rick looked over to Dee and Elena. “How's it going, Dee? You could have tried something less dramatic to take some time off to plan this wedding, you know.”
Dee laughed. “I'll try to remember that, Rick. And yes, I'm totally fine.”
“He still tires easily, but he's been up more today than the other days,” Ryo replied, offering his uncle a chair. He sat down on the other side of Dee. He smirked as he said, “Let me know when my aunt starts wearing you out, Dee. We have an excuse this time.”
“Oh you…” Elena remarked, batting a hand across Dee to lightly hit Ryo. “So do you boys have any ideas to show me?”
Dee and Ryo nodded. “Yeah, we do,” Dee replied.
Ryo leaned over to pick up the binder they were using to plan their wedding. He opened it up and took some pictures out. “Row bows and special floral arrangements we want for the ceremony,” he said, handing Elena the pictures.
JJ leaned over to look. His mouth hung open. “Oh… wow….”
Elena smiled brightly. “Now which one of you saw this first?” she asked.
Ryo laughed. “Dee.”
“You see, sweetness, it's not so bad now, is it?”
Dee shook his head. “No ma'am. I'm enjoying myself.”
“This is lovely, Dee. And of course, you agree with it, Ryo?”
“We wouldn't be showing you if I didn't,” Ryo replied with a smile. “When Dee showed me that for the center aisle I knew he was onto something.”
“Do you want the flowers you picked out, or should we add a little something special. Like maybe something that would cascade down a little?”
“Show us what you can get based on this, and we'll let you know,” Ryo replied, taking Dee's hand.
“All right then. What else do you have?” Elena asked.
Dee and Ryo showed Elena what they had ideas for in floral arrangements, while JJ and Elena made some additional suggestions. While the four discussed flowers, Rick took Drake into the kitchen, where they sat down and talked about things more familiar and comfortable for them.
Bikky had come out of his room and sat in the den with Mother, talking to her.
Before those in the kitchen were finished with discussions and planning on floral arrangements the door bell rang again. Ryo let Diana in. Once the topic moved onto clothes, Ryo and Dee told Diana what they had agreed on. It was arranged that Diana would come to Dee and Ryo with narrowed down selections to give them an idea of what she was doing, and perhaps even for them to make a final choice. Talks went on to ideas for guest gifts. The engaged couple promised to have some choices by the end of the week, and planned another get together Saturday evening.
Their guests decided to call it a night when Dee started to look tired. Drake, JJ and Diana said their good nights. Rick and Elena stayed a little longer.
As everyone settled down in the living room after the others left, Elena smiled sweetly at Dee and Ryo, picking up her large designer bag.
“What?” Ryo asked, warily.
His aunt removed a folder from her bag, smiling wider. “Look, I didn't sign you up for anything and you don't have to do this. However, I would appreciate it if you both read what's in here, check out the website and perhaps even give her a call tomorrow. I think once you see and hear for yourselves, you're going to go for this.”
“What now, Elena?” Ryo sighed, taking the folder that he bold designs along with equally bold colors.
“Dreams To Reality Inc,” Dee read, looking on. “Sharon E. Steinberg, wedding coordinator.” He looked at Elena with a small frown. “You're suggesting we hand over our wedding to someone else? Elena, we just recently got control back.” Dee had a stubborn look on his face.
Ryo started to skim through the inside during Dee's rant. “Hold on, Dee. I say let's see what this woman has to say first before dismissing the idea.”
“Ryo….” Dee warned, remembering the last time Ryo went for one of Elena's more elaborate ideas.
“No, Dee. Listen first. According to this, we tell her what we want, and she makes it happen. Meaning we don't have to waste time looking for vendors who will do what we want. She'll suggest, but we can deny it, all of it, if we want. I say let's check out what is on the website and call her first.” He leaned over to kiss the side of Dee's mouth. “I'll even let you make the final decision about this once we get all the facts. So quit that frowning, gorgeous.”
Dee sighed heavily. “Okay. I'll listen, but that's all I'm promising right now.”
“That's good enough.” Ryo smiled at his aunt. “Thanks for the suggestion, Elena. I have a good feeling about this.”
“We'll see tomorrow,” Dee grumped, nervous of once again losing control of what they really wanted for their wedding.
Shortly after, Elena and Rick sat in the kitchen with Mother, while Ryo went to tuck Dee in for bed. When Ryo joined them, in his pajamas and robe, he announced Dee was already asleep. They sat at the dining room table, discussing a variety of topics that ranged from excitement over the wedding and baby, to the Carrier case, to Dee's health, along with some concern over Ryo pushing himself too much. The last topic before Elena and Rick left, so Ryo and Mother could get to sleep was plans for Valentine's Day.
Mother, who was planning on returning to the orphanage the next morning, made Ryo promise she would find out how much Dee enjoyed Ryo's plans before kissing him on his cheek and going into the guest room.
########## ########## ########## ########## ##########
A/N: Sorry sorry sorry…. But I did want to catch up with myself again. With a epic of this size, I wanted to stay at least 10 chapters ahead of myself. Not only does that mean there is something to post, but that gives me leeway to go back and change some things before posting them here. This chapter is an example - an idea came up while writing one of the later chapters, but I realized it was way too late for them to use by then. So, it got incorporated into this chapter, and I'll have to fix a couple of more chapters accordingly to keep it consistent.
For those of you with LiveJournals, there are future chapters up there. But I have to friend you for you to see it. However, they are only drafts, not even edited in most cases, and are subject to change by the time they end up being posted here and a couple of other places. I'm also working on something else on LiveJournal that I hope to catch up on, and make available, if anyone is interested. It is TU related.
To those who “reviewed” by demanding a new chapter - THANK YOU! It made my day! I didn't plan for things to take too long (I'm still about 1