When Mother Nature drops Carol a gift, it's Ryo and Dee to the uncertain rescue.
Ryo stood in the kitchen wearing his white apron. Suddenly Ryo felt a pair of strong arms slide around his waist. Ryo jumped. "Dee! For God's sake, don't do that!" Ryo finally caught Dees expression.
"Sorry. But something in here smells so good and it's not the food." Dee said before kissing the side of Ryo's neck, causing the man to blush.
"Dee, seriously, knock it off will you." The half Asian half Caucasian man pushed him away. "The kids will be here any minute. I told you. Carol's Aunt is going away for the weekend and she asked me to keep an eye on her since she's friends with Bikky."
Dee plopped into a kitchen chair with a pout on his face. Dee put his head on the table, his black hair splayed over it. "First an eleven year old monkey, now a thirteen year old pickpocket. This is going to be the weekend from hell." He groaned.
"Hey Ryo, we're back!" Bikky burst through the door of the apartment followed by a spunky little strawberry blonde girl.
Carol smiled and ran to Ryo giving him big hug almost knocking the man over. "Hi Ryo! Thanks for letting me stay here this weekend."
Ryo regained his composure and smiled at the young girl. "Don't mention it."
"Yeah, please don't mention it." Dee grumbled from the table.
"What was that perv-man?" Bikky teased.
"Bikky! You damn brat!" Dee ran after Bikky into the living room.
Ryo and Carol stood there as they heard swearing and name calling. A gray cloud hung over Ryo's head. Carol shrugged her shoulders. "I'll go put my stuff in your room Ryo."
An exclamation point flashed over Ryo's head. "Uh, Carol, I think it will be fine if you slept on the sofa. I even got you a pretty new blanket."
"Really? Ok, sofa it is." She smiled at him.
"Excuse me." Ryo said as he walked into the living room. "If you guys are finished playing around, dinner's almost ready. Everyone should go wash up."
Bikky sat up, still holding Dees leg.
"Ok." The kids said in unison, then ran off to the bathroom.
Dee groaned on the floor. "I think I'm dieing."
"Oh Dee, don't be so dramatic. You're not dieing." Ryo knelt down beside the younger man. "I told you to stop rough housing with him."
Dee sat up, his hands between his legs. "Are you defending him? The brat just kicked me in the nuts!"
Ryo put his hand over Dees mouth. "Dee stop it." He whispered harshly. "Stop the swearing and rude language ok. Especially with Carol here."
After dinner Dee and Bikky played video games while Carol helped Ryo clean the kitchen. "Thank you so much for helping me."
The girl giggled, a blush running across her nose. "Anything for you Ryo."
Ryo went to check on Bikky and Dee, he stood in the doorway of the living room watching Bikky and Dee play 'Twisted Metal'. He shook his head as he heard them bickering over who was winning. "Ok Bik. Time for bed." The auburn haired man announced as he walked in.
Bikky stared at Ryo. The boy narrowed his eyes at him. They stared at one another for a good thirty seconds. But Ryo's stern Asian eyes won. "Now Bikky!" The man said firmly.
Dee laughed. "Couldn't win that one kid."
"Shut up." Bikky said before he stomped off to him room.
The next day, Ryo, Dee, Bikky and Carol went to the park. Bikky and Carol played tag, while Ryo sat on a bench reading a book. Dee went to get some hot dogs and drinks. "Ow!" Ryo raised his head to see Bikky laying in the dirt.
"Bikky? Are you alright?" He called. He saw Carol walk over to him. Ryo put down his book and jogged over and knelt beside him. Bikky sat up, his blonde hair filled with dust. "Bikky, what happened?" Carol handed him his cap.
"I'm ok. I tried show Carol how I could do a summersault, I just landed a bit harder than I thought." The boy's pride obviously wounded more than anything else.
"Come on." Ryo helped him to his feet. "Let's take a break. Dee should be back with the food by now."
Bikky nodded his head.
The four of them sat on the park bench eating and sipping on lemonade.
That evening, Carol decided she'd take a bath before bed. Ryo went into the living room and took off his apron and sat in the armchair by the potted plant. Ryo took a newspaper and was about to open it when suddenly there came loud crying from the bathroom.
Ryo dropped his newspaper as he jumped up. Dee and Bikky fell over each other trying to run towards the bathroom. Ryo stopped running and grabbed Bikky and Dee by the backs of their shirts.
"Hold it." Ryo leaned his ear against the door. "Carol? Are you alright? What's wrong?" Ryo called through the door. he heard her crying inside.
"We have to help her!" Dee said as he was about to turn the door knob.
Ryo stood in front of the two of them. "We will. But she is a girl and we can't just bust in on her." Ryo began. "Would you like it if someone busted in on your daughter?"
Dee shrugged. "I'd kill 'em."
"Exactly." Ryo sat by the door. All he could hear was Carol crying. "Carol, did you fall?" He listened.
"Cut yourself?" He asked.
"No. Ryo, I'm scared."
"What's wrong?" he asked again.
Dee and Bikky looked at one another.
"I think I hurt myself but I don't know how." She said between cries.
Ryo listened. He heard water running. "Carol turn the water off ok?"
Ryo put a hand up. "I'll go. Stay here." He leaned against the door. "Carol? I just want to be sure you're ok, may I come in?"
There was silence for a moment. "Yes."
Ryo took a breath then slowly opened the door prepared to enter a war zone. He saw Carol standing there with a towel around herself. The floor wet from the water. And…
He saw red.
The door closed tight behind him, he surveyed the bathroom. The tub still filled with water was filled with what looked like reddish pink dye. He looked at the girl, putting gentle hand to her wet hair. "What happened?"
The girl was shivering from the cool air. Ryo suddenly noticed a small pool of red between her feet. His Asian eyes widened as it occurred to him what has happened. He wrapped another towel around her shoulders then sat her down on the toilet seat. He put a hand on top of her folded hands as he knelt down in front of her.
"Has this ever happened to you before?" He asked gently. The girl shook her head. "You're Aunt never told you about your monthly cycle?"
"What's a monthly cycle? Am I dieing?" The girl asked, eyes filled with tears.
Ryo shook his head and smiled, giving her a hug. "No dear girl, you're not dieing."
Five minutes later, Ryo came out of the bathroom. Dee and Bikky jumped up.
"Is she ok?" Dee and Bikky asked.
Ryo let out a deep breath. "She'll be fine." Ryo looked at Bikky. "Bikky, make Carols bed. Dee, I need you to go to the store."
Dee looked at him. "Oh no."
Later that night, Carol sat on her makeshift bed looking at an old sports magazine. Bikky went to sleep and Dee went home.
Ryo stood by the door watching her. "You're ok now?" Ryo sat next to her.
Carol fell into his arms. "Oh Ryo, I was so scared. But you helped me." She nuzzled her face against his chest. He petted her soft hair.
"It's ok Carol. I was glad to help."
The girl looked up at him, her eyes sparkling. "When I grow up, I want to marry you."
Ryo smiled warmly at her. He put a hand on her shoulder. "Carol, you don't want to marry me. Besides, there will be plenty of boys waiting for you. And anyway, I think there's one boy who really likes you, and tries to impress you every day."
"Really?" She looked intrigued. "Who?"
"You'll find out sooner or later." He smiled at her and gave her a gentle kiss on the head. "Good Night." Ryo turned off the living room light and left her to sleep peacefully under her new 'Hello Kitty' comforter. Ryo went to Bikky's room where he found his foster son splayed out on the bed half covered by the blanket. Ryo smiled. He bent down and straightened the boy out and covered him with the blanket. Then left the room and headed towards his own.
He sat on his bed and began unbuttoning his shirt.
"What a day. Little Carol is becoming a woman. Pretty soon Bikky's voice will start cracking and then the dreaded, date nights and waiting up for them." Ryo said to himself.
tossed himself back on his bed and jumped when he hit something.
"Hey can't a guy get any sleep around here?"
Dee clasped a hand over his mouth. "Shhh, you'll wake the brats."
"I thought you went home." Ryo whispered.
"I did. But I forgot something so I snuck back in."
"That's breaking an entering and illegal. As an officer, you should know better." Ryo told him.
"Come on. I thought we could finish where we left off earlier." Dee said as his fingers started working the buttons of Ryo's shirt and sliding inside.
"Uuuh, ok, maybe just this once. But you have to be out before morning."
"No problem." Said Dee as his hands began working their magic.