Birthday Stitches

by Brit Columbia

Fandom: FAKE

Pairing: Dee/Ryo

Rating: Totally worksafe. You can read this with children in the room.

Timing: Set on December 11th of Dee and Ryo's second year together.

Summary: Dee is in hospital getting stitches and being difficult, as usual.

Disclaimer: I make no claim on Sanami Matoh's creation of FAKE and its characters; nor do I make any money from writing fanfiction about them.

Author's notes: This story was written as a birthday fic for twiyah. Best wishes for a happy birthday over there in Finland. Thanks for reading my stories all these years. Doctors twiyah and mtemplar_fic feel free to let me know if I goofed anything up. I watched a youtube video on suturing so that I could get a sense of what the doctor was doing, but that was pretty much my only research. Also, no one beta-read this, so if any grammarians notice any mistakes, please point them out to me and I'll fix them! Right now I have to go to bed.

Birthday Stitches

"Dee, of course she washed her hands. Don't be rude to the doctor."

"Dude, I am not. I'm just being direct. Is it wrong to ask questions?"

Ryo shot the doctor an apologetic look. "Sorry about him. He doesn't do well in hospitals."

"Damn right I don't! Hospitals are goddamn virus-factories! You go into one with some small health problem, and next thing you know you've got full-on tuberculosis or- or ebola! Or they sedate you and then you wake up to find that they amputated your leg or some- Ow!" Dee glared at Ryo. "Bro, don't go prodding the bruises."

"Detective Laytner," said the doctor patiently. "No one is going to amputate your leg. In fact, I can't even, in good conscience, sedate you, much as I would like to. Now, if you can just manage to stay still, I'll finish sterilizing your cut and then I'll close it with some stitches." She swabbed away at his arm and then added, "I've never seen a wound with frosting in it before. What happened?"

"It was a birthday party gone wrong," said Dee grimly.

"But don't worry, the perpetrator is not at large. We have him in custody," said Ryo.

"I don't understand," said the doctor. "Did one of your friends do this?"

"No, it was the ex-boyfriend of the chick who was cutting the cake. He wasn't invited but he crashed the party." Dee clenched his other fist, looking pissed off at the memory.

"I guess it was lucky he didn't crash the party with a gun," remarked the doctor. "It seems to me that rather a lot of you Americans carry guns."

"Yeah, what of it?" snapped Dee. "You got something against guns? Guns save lives."

"Not when the bad guys have them," Ryo reminded him. "Don't start that ridiculous argument again, Dee."

"OW!" exclaimed Dee suddenly and then glared at the doctor with resentment. "Warn a guy before you go jabbing needles into him!"

"I apologize, Detective. I didn't think the local would hurt so much."

"Don't apologize," said Ryo quickly. "He's just a big baby, that's all."

"Ryo, you are one heartless bastard."

"Detective Laytner, please hold still. I need to start closing the wound now, but when that's done, we can see about discharging you, if you like. I don't think we'll need to keep you for observation."

"What- really? You're not shitting me, are you? You're gonna let me outta here?" Hope flared in Dee's eyes, but he still sounded cautious.

"I don't see why not, unless you get agitated, or have a reaction to the local anesthetic."

"That means 'Calm down', Dee," Ryo said. "Try to stop complaining for five minutes."

"Complaining? Dude, I got stabbed in the arm! By a really sharp knife!"

"Yes, but it's not the hospital staff's fault, now, is it? They're just trying to help you." Ryo reached out and squeezed Dee's free hand. "And... at least it was only your arm."

"Only my arm?" Dee seemed to think he had to keep protesting, although the look on his face had changed the moment Ryo had taken his hand.

"Better your arm than your heart. Or your liver, or eye, or something."

"Or your voicebox," murmured the doctor, plying her needle and suture scissors. "That would be tragic."

For the first time, Dee cracked a grin at her. "You bet it would, Doc. My voice is a big part of my charm." He entwined his fingers with Ryo's so tightly that Ryo could not withdraw his hand. "Right, partner?"

"Oh, huge," said Ryo. "No one would disagree. Except maybe the guy with the knife. I think you maybe overdid the charm with him."

"Oh, look who's the funny guy now," grumbled Dee, although his eyes were bright and alert, and promising retaliation. "Go ahead, make fun of my injury if it makes you happy. Hey Doc, am I gonna get some time off work for this?"

"Yes," she said. "At least four days."

"And no paperwork, right? I mean, I don't think I should try to write or type with this arm, right?"

Ryo snorted to himself. Dee's injury was to his right arm, but his partner was actually a southpaw.

"No, not for a few days. You should rest it and allow it to heal. "The doctor put another suture in place.

"Thanks, Doc." Dee's eyes sparked triumph at Ryo. "I guess my partner here will be more than willing to take up the slack."

"Slack! What slack? Which of us usually gets stuck with the paperwork while the other person is busy 'slacking'?" Ryo rolled his eyes.

"Dude, you act like I never do paperwork, when, in fact, you make me do it all the time!"

"Detective Laytner," said the doctor mildly. "Would you mind not waving your arm around while I'm trying to stitch it?"

"Sorry, Doc. Ryo, look what you made me do."

"Dee." Ryo gazed sternly at Dee and made a concerted effort to disengage his hand from his partner's. It didn't work because Dee hung on determinedly and even employed his ultimate weapon- puppy-dog eyes.

The doctor kept her eyes on her work. She looked as though she were trying not to smile. After she finished her neat row of sutures, she put a bandage on Dee's arm, and took out her notepad. She scribbled out a prescription as well as a note for Dee to take to work. "There you are," she said. "Don't go in to work for four days."

"Could you make it five?" Dee asked. "Tomorrow is the first day of my work week."

Ryo clucked disapprovingly at him, while the doctor shook her head. "No, I think four is more than sufficient. Now remember not to use that arm too much."

"That means no video games, Dee," said Ryo. "And no driving."

"Dude, I swear you're enjoying this."

Ryo ignored him. "Is there anything else he should or shouldn't do, Doctor?" he asked.

"Yes, he should avoid alcohol because it could interact negatively with the medication." She paused and then looked gravely from one man to the other. "And I would recommend that he go to bed early."

"Hear that, Ryo?"

"Yes, Dee." Ryo shifted uncomfortably in his chair, hoping Dee wasn't about to say anything outrageous.

"She said I should go to bed. Early. Sounds like an awesome plan to me."

Ryo, whose face was going pinker by the second, glowered at Dee. "Sure, no problem. I'll drop you off at your place and you can go to bed as early as you like."

"Now wait a minute!" Dee turned to the doctor in appeal. "What if I have a reaction to the medication? What if I belatedly... go into shock or something? I shouldn't be alone tonight, should I, Doc?"

Ryo could not help noticing that it was now the doctor who was getting the full effect of Dee's patented puppy dog eyes. He could almost write the script for what was going to happen next.

She looked at Dee thoughtfully and then turned to Ryo. "Detective MacLean, I'm afraid he does have a point. Sometimes, after a violent incident like this, there can be a reaction, especially if a foreign agent like a medication has been introduced... I think I would feel more comfortable knowing I'm releasing him into the care of someone responsible... just overnight."

Ryo bowed his head briefly. "I understand, Doctor. Don't worry, he can stay with me. I'll take care of him." Ryo thought as he said this that if Dee was stupid enough to laugh, or, God forbid, let out a crow of triumph, he'd take care of him, all right. However, he didn't hear a thing. When he looked up he could have sworn that Dee and the doctor had just finished exchanging a significant glance, although he couldn't be sure.

"So, am I released, then?" Dee asked the doctor.

"Yes. I'll direct the nurses at the station down the hall to prepare the paperwork. You can sign off there in about ten minutes." She stood up to go.

"Doc, wait." Dee reached out with his injured right arm. "I wanna shake your hand."

The doctor hesitated, and then offered him her hand.

"Thanks for being such a great doctor," Dee said. "I know I'm nobody's favorite patient, but you made this whole experience a whole lot better than it could have been. Best of the season to ya!"

"And you too, Detective." That little smile was back on her lips again. "Try to go on being a good patient for the next few hours at least." Her eyes darted toward Ryo, who was still subtly trying to extricate his trapped fingers from Dee's death grip.

"Aw, don't worry about that," scoffed Dee. "My partner seems like a real sweetheart-pushover type, but he's way more of a hardass than you could ever imagine. He'll keep me in b- er, in line."

After the doctor left the room, Dee tossed a smirk at Ryo. "Before you say or do anything hardass, babe, let me just remind you that I am an injured man. And I have been trusted to your care."

"So?" Ryo narrowed his eyes.

"So... take care of me," whispered Dee, pulling him down for a kiss.

~end of Birthday Stitches~