“Ack!” Dee yelped, leaping to his feet. “Dammit!” He’d gone to pick up his coffee, had it halfway to his lips, when the handle had come off the mug, or more accurately, the mug had dropped off the handle, landing in his lap and soaking his pants with hot coffee. It hurt! Dropping the mug handle onto the sofa, he fumbled his belt undone and stripped out of his sodden pants as fast as he could, immediately followed by his shorts, which he balled up and used to wipe away the coffee that was running down his legs, drying himself off as best he could.
Ryo had invited Dee over for dinner after work; they’d not long arrived back at his apartment, and Ryo had made them both a much-needed coffee before taking his into his bedroom, wanting to get out of the suit he’d been wearing for work and into something more comfortable right away. Hearing Dee’s yell, he came running into the living room, wearing only his jeans, zipped but not yet fastened. “Dee? What happened? Are you okay?”
Bent nearly double as he wiped his legs with his shorts, Dee peered up at his partner with a slightly pained smile. “Aside from gettin’ a lapful of hot coffee, I’m just peachy.” He straightened up and looked at the reddened skin of his thighs. “Doesn’t look too bad; a bit higher and I might’ve been singin’ soprano.”
“Still, you should get some cold water on those scalds right away, it’ll help ease the pain,” Ryo said firmly. “You do that while I clean up here.” There was coffee splashed across the floorboards. “Did you drop your mug?”
“Not exactly; handle and mug parted company at the worst possible moment.” Dee gave a wry smile. “Accidents happen, but I could’a done without this one.” Naked from the waist down, he was halfway to the bathroom, when the apartment door burst open.
“I’m ho…” Bikky’s voice trailed off as he took in the scene, Ryo naked from the waist up, Dee naked from the waist down, dignity preserved more or less by his shirttails. “ARGH! I’M SCARRED FOR LIFE!” he shrieked at the top of his voice, covering his eyes.
“Don’t be such a drama queen, it’s not what it looks like,” Dee threw back over his shoulder as he continued on his way to the bathroom. “If anyone’s almost scarred for life it’s me. You try havin’ a mug of red-hot coffee dumped in your lap. I’d lay odds you wouldn’t keep your pants on for long either.”
“Dee’s coffee mug broke,” Ryo explained. “He could have been very badly burned if he hadn’t immediately stripped off. As it is, he’s got some nasty scalds from the hot liquid. Instead of just standing there you could help by fetching some rags so I can clean up the mess.” He lifted the coffee table and moved it out of the way before picking up the broken mug, dropping the handle inside it, and setting it on a coaster on the end table, out of the way. He’d drop it in the trash when he was done. Luckily Dee had leapt up so fast that it didn’t look like any coffee had gotten on the seat of the sofa. It felt dry.
Dropping his book bag to the floor, Bikky did as he was told, fetching the rags and handing them to his foster father. “So if nothing funny was going on, where’re the rest of your clothes?”
Ryo looked down at himself, belatedly realising he was only half dressed. “Oh. I was getting changed when I heard Dee yell and I just dropped everything. I’ll finish dressing when I’ve cleaned this mess up. I’ll have to find something for Dee to wear too.” He picked up Dee’s soaked and coffee-stained chinos from the floor and shook them out. “He can’t put these back on; they’re too wet and I don’t even know if the stain will come out.”
Bikky winced, thinking of how it would feel to get drenched in hot coffee; that had to hurt. Maybe he’d forgive Dee this time. “I’ll clean this up, you’d better get some clothes on and check on Dee. D’you think that cream you used when you got sunburn might help?”
Ryo smiled at his foster son. “It might; that’s a good idea, Biks. Thank you.”
“Whatever,” Bikky said with a shrug.
Leaving Bikky mopping up the spilled coffee, Ryo disappeared into his bedroom to finish dressing, then grabbed a new pair of boxers and some sweatpants from his dresser drawers and went to the bathroom to see how Dee was doing. Completely naked now, his partner was standing in the bathtub, showerhead in hand, playing cold water over his scalded thighs. “Okay?”
“I’ll live.” Dee smiled. “Got off lightly all things considered. Thank god for the added protection of shirttails.” He gestured to his shirt, draped over the end of the bath; the tails at the front were stained with coffee as well.
“Brought you some clean clothes.” Ryo set the bundle on the bathroom stool then went to the medicine cabinet and got out a tube of cream. “When you’re done, put some of this on the sore patches, it should help. I’ll find you a clean shirt.”
“Sorry about all this.”
“It’s not your fault, Dee. If anyone should apologise it’s me; I had no idea I’d given you a faulty mug.”
“Then it’s not your fault either, is it? Could’ve just as easily been you.”
“I suppose you’re right.”
“Like I said before; accidents happen.”
“I think I’ll still check the other mug handles, just in case.” Ryo turned towards the bathroom door and stopped, glancing back. “Dee?”
“I know I invited you over for a home-cooked meal, but would you mind it I just ordered Chinese instead? I’m not sure I’m in the mood for cooking now.”
Dee laughed. “Fine with me. Now scoot before the house ape thinks we’re gettin’ up to somethin’ in here. I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
“Okay.” Ryo left Dee to it. First he’d see if there was any more cleaning up to do, then he’d phone for takeout, and then he’d check the rest of the mugs and cups for loose handles. No sense taking any unnecessary chances.