Author: Tatau (email@example.com)
Fandom: Due South
Rating: PG (I know, I am shocked as well)
Disclaimer: Due South is the property of Alliance Atlantis. Written for fun not for profit
Notes: Written for the ds_aprilfools round 2011, Prompt 10: by the book
Summary: Ray stumbles over Fraser’s journal and unerringly finds the page where Fraser confesses his love for Ray
Ray had only wanted lunch. This was something he figured even a universe that usually wasn’t all that keen on Ray would be able to provide, a simple lunch hour. But Canada had, of course, a different idea.
Inside of the consulate pandemonium reigned. It looked as if the whole kitchen had exploded, tourists were shuffling befuddled through the hallway away from the source of mayhem and Thatcher’s voice resonated loudly through the thick oak door of her office.
“I will not stand for this. Are we clear on this? If I encounter anything even remotely similar again I will not be responsible for my actions. This is unacceptable. I expect—“ The ice queen sounded about ready to blow a fuse.
Ray winced in sympathy for the person on the other end of this particular discussion. He hoped it wasn’t Fraser. He edged closer to the kitchen to have a closer look.
Inside it looked very much as if a whole pot of Ratatouille had blown up to cover every available surface. And for the first time in maybe his entire life Fraser and his uniform didn’t really stand out, not in this sea of red sauce that splattered the walls.
He leaned against the door frame and smirked at Fraser. It was a nice view, too, and he usually didn’t get much chance to observe Fraser unnoticed.
“Hey there, having fun?” He teased.
Fraser turned around with barely concealed annoyance. Ray loved the fact that Fraser allowed him to see beneath the polite mask. Well, Ray loved him. Period.
Fraser had been scrubbing furiously at the kitchen counter, an effort that appeared completely wasted in the light of the bigger picture.
“Ray, I,” he sighed. “I am terribly sorry but it appears as if I will have to delay my lunch break.”
“Nah, I wait for you. I’d help but I bet the ice queen thinks I would only make it worse.” No way was he letting Fraser suffer alone. His stomach would survive for another hour or so and then they could have lunch together.
“Yes, ah, I’d say this is rather likely. You are invited to wait in my office if you can amuse yourself for a little while longer.”
“Sure, no worries,” Ray backed away from the crime scene and spent a few minutes idly spinning around in Fraser’s office chair.
There had to be something in here that was more interesting than staring at the ceiling. He got to his feet and took a look around. Lots and lots of cardboard boxes that appeared to be filled with paperwork did not exactly spell fun time in Ray’s book.
Maybe Fraser had something to read around here, he had to be doing something when he wasn’t working, right?
He came across a small shelf filled with leather bound books. Right, his father’s journals, Ray remembered.
Oh hell, why not. It couldn’t be any more boring than doing nothing.
He picked one from the middle and thumbed it open towards the end.
“April the 27th Temptation calls to the vice in all men. A man can be righteous and honest as long as he isn’t tempted. The true nature of a character can only be esteemed—“
Ray yawned. Maybe it was a Mountie thing, duty and the Canadian way and whatnot.
Perhaps a later one would be more interesting? He took the last one of the shelf and opened it somewhere near the beginning.
“he is a courageous man. I envy his outgoing nature and his impulsiveness. I cannot imagine Chicago without him anymore; I believe his absence would be unbearable to me no matter where I am. I wished he could see himself the way I see him. His fierceness and his lithe grace are a constant source of distraction to me.”
Ray looked confused at the little brown leather book in his hands. Chicago? Fraser’s dad had never been to Chicago. This wasn’t Bob Fraser’s journal at all. It was Fraser’s.
“Desiring something as unattainable as his love is certainly foolish on my part and yet I seem powerless to stop my heart from wanting.“
On days when my longing gets to be too much I allow myself the fantasy of what I know I will never have.
I imagine it in vivid detail, a treasured fantasy, that makes loving him from afar a little easier when I have to face him the next day.”
Ray could barely contain his excitement. Of course it was wrong to read his partner’s diary but the devil himself couldn’t bring him to put the book down now, not after what he had read so far… not when Ray was so close to getting an answer to every prayer he had ever sent.
“I envision being asked to eat with him in the evening. And even though we never cook together I imagine that he would go to the effort to prepare the food himself because he knows that it would please me. When I arrive he opens the door in my favorite outfit.
He owns a pair of incredibly dark jeans that fit so well to his blonde hair and his blue eyes. He would wear them together with his almost washed out blue-gray t-shirt – even though I would never tell him how much I like it especially because it is in such an appalling state.
He would put music on and we would eat whatever he has prepared. Sometimes I like to think he would cook something Italian because it always amuses him that he of all people impersonates an Italian, at other times I imagine he would cook something he could eat with his fingers.
His oral fixation is a terribly distracting habit and I am very thankful that he never noticed my stare whenever he licked his fingers clean after a meal. But this time he would notice and he would wink at me, another one of his very appealing gestures.
I know that I would be terribly nervous, not knowing if what I read is correct or if I am only willing it into being. After dinner he would ask me to dance with him. In his quiet and serious voice that he only uses when he is perfectly focused on something.
I would tell him that I cannot dance, as he very well knows, but he would only smile and take my hand. He would pull me close and brush his lips against my ear to whisper in it that he will show me how.
We would sway to the music, his body warm against mine and he would smile at me and I want the song to continue forever. But it would come to an end and I would try to pull away, only he won’t let me, he would pull me back and murmur ‘stay’ and he would lift his hand to trace my lower lip with his thumb.
And before I could say anything he would tell me that he had thought a lot about kissing me and then he would close the distance between us and press his mouth to mine.
I am well aware that this fantasy is nothing more than that, a nice dream. But loneliness can’t be picky about its forms of relief. Tomorrow I will stand next to him again but for tonight at least I can imagine this much. “
Well… Ray thought. That was unexpected. So it was true, you really could find the answer to everything in a book. Here it was; the one thing he thought he could never have, written in black ink.
Okay, lunch could wait. He had some serious planning to do. Sometimes you should quite literally do things by the book. Ray grinned. A lot of people would have been very happy had Ray learned that particular rule a little earlier in life.
He sauntered back into the kitchen where Fraser was halfway finished with cleaning.
“Hey, Fraser,” Ray interrupted. “I got a call; I have to get back to the station. Sorry to let you down like this.”
But Fraser was already waving his apology aside. “No need to apology, Ray. I am fairly certain that I will be finished here before long. You just go ahead and we can have lunch together tomorrow.”
Ray started to turn around to leave and then turned back as if he had forgotten something.
“Hey, would you like to come over for dinner tonight?”
“I’d like that very much, Ray.”
Ray grinned at Fraser.
“Okay, that’s settled then. Let’s say 7 alright? See you later.”
“That will be fine. I’ll see you tonight then, Ray.”
Ray waited till he was outside to do a little victory dance in honor of the occasion. The universe loved him.
He was grinning like an idiot but he didn’t care. He was the luckiest man on this planet, hell, probably on every other planet as well. Benton Fraser was in love with him. It didn’t get any better than this.
He skipped his lunch break to get off his shift a little earlier. He was a man with a plan and he had preparations to do.
Good thing Fraser had only imagined him cooking Italian. Even Ray could master some kind of pasta. Now, Indian or moose stew or something, that would have been a challenge since he had no idea where could find a moose in Chicago.
After he had bought all the necessary ingredients he went back to his apartment to hunt Fraser’s favorite outfit down which wasn’t exactly as easy as it sounded. But after twenty minutes of searching he found both, his abused looking shirt and the dark jeans. Greatness.
He prepared the Ricotta Ravioli with spinach and tomato sauce and hit the shower. He was humming with energy once he was dressed. He couldn’t wait for Fraser to get here.
Right, he still needed to find some suitable music. In the end he settled for a classical album to which he had danced more times than he cared to remember but it would fit perfectly to the mood he was trying to set.
Dinner was almost ready and the table was also already set when it knocked on his door. He felt a little flutter of nervousness but pushed it away.
He opened the door and smiled at Fraser.
“Hey Fraser, glad you could make it. Dinner is almost ready.” Ray had to fight the grin that was trying to spread over his whole face when he saw Fraser’s shocked expression.
Fraser tried to mask it but the way he scanned Ray’s body up and down wasn’t entirely helping his case.
“Ah, Ray. You look, ah,” Fraser obviously wasn’t sure how to put his thoughts into words and wasn’t that just one more high to an already unbelievable day? “Very handsome,” Fraser finished.
“Thank you,” Ray smiled little crookedly. “Come on in.”
Fraser drew in a deep breath and another wave of disbelief rolled over his face.
“Ray, did you cook?” Shock didn’t even begin to cover Fraser’s level of surprise.
“Mhm. I hope you like Italian.” Ray couldn’t help it; he had way too much fun. He waited for Fraser’s next exclamation but he only mouthed “Italian” as if he couldn’t quite believe that he wasn’t dreaming all this.
Ray served the food and hit the play button on his stereo. He concentrated especially hard not to look at Fraser’s reaction; it was too early to give the game away.
Ray sat down and started a harmless conversation. Right in the middle of his talk Fraser suddenly interrupted him.
“Ray! This is real, am I correct? I did not fall asleep cleaning the consulate kitchen, did I?” Fraser looked actually freaked out so Ray hastened to reassure him.
“Yeah, Fraser. I’m real and you’re real, too. Why do you ask?” He tried to sound casual but as always with a guilty conscience he could never tell for sure if he sounded convincing.
“Ah, no reason. This all… it isn’t important. This situation has a familiar ring to it, that’s all.” Fraser cleared his throat and Ray was pretty impressed. That was rather smooth coming from a guy who must be feeling like a character from the Twilight Zone.
Ray waited for Fraser to start one of his long, obscure anecdotes before he dabbed his finger into the remaining sauce on his plate. He lifted his sauce stained finger back to his lips and licked the sauce off.
The moment his tongue touched his finger he looked up to find Fraser staring at him, frozen in mid sentence.
Ray winked at him, his heart rate accelerating from sheer anticipation. He pulled his finger out of his mouth again.
“Sorry Frase. I’m listening. What did you say?”
And just like that the spell was broken. Fraser stuttered for a moment before he tried to pick up his story where he had left off. He repeated at least half of his story in distraction but he didn’t appear to notice. Ray tried to hide a grin and took a sip of water.
When Fraser had finished his last bite Ray pushed his own plate away from him. The song playing was a slow one and so perfect for what Ray had in mind that he was beginning to feel slightly paranoid. Was the universe trying to make up for all of Ray’s shitty post-marriage experiences or what was going on here?
Fraser looked deep in thought when Ray stood up and extended his hand towards Fraser. The Mountie stared at Ray’s hand as if he had never seen anything quite like it before.
“Would you dance with me, Fraser?” Ray said quietly, looking directly into Fraser’s eyes.
Fraser’s eyes were wide and Ray could see hope… and fear mingled there with breathtaking intensity.
“I can’t dance, Ray.” Fraser almost whispered. He didn’t seem to be quite there and Ray suspected that Fraser was really beginning to think that none of this was real.
He reached out and touched Fraser’s hand. Fraser looked fascinated at his own hand. Ray gave a tug and pulled Fraser to his feet. He wandered a few steps away from the table so that they could use what little space Ray’s living room provided.
Fraser looked totally lost so Ray stepped close and enveloped him in an embrace. He smiled softly and whispered in Fraser’s ear “I got you, Frase.”
Playing by the rules was overrated, Ray decided. Reality was so much better than books.
Fraser made a noise that sounded close to a sob so Ray hugged him tighter and began moving in time to the music, just a little slow dance. His fingers stroked Fraser’s back up and down and up again till he could run his fingertips through the soft hair at Fraser’s neck.
One hand came to rest on Fraser’s hip while his other hand continued to touch every bit of skin it could find, the skin of Fraser’s neck, his throat, Fraser’s own hand which was still hanging more or less uselessly at his side.
Ray took Fraser’s hand and placed it firmly on his own hip and it seemed that this was all the prompting Fraser needed. His hand gripped Ray tightly and Fraser started to nuzzle Ray’s hair, pressing his body even closer to Ray.
“Just like that,” Ray said quietly and felt a short tightening of Fraser’s hand. He had understood.
They swayed like that for a long time, one song moved into the next and Ray thought he could do this forever and never stop.
He pulled away slightly to share this piece of information with Fraser but the moment his head was far enough away to look at Fraser’s face all conscious thought fled his mind.
Fraser’s eyes were so blue and they were shining with warmth and happiness and even though Ray believed that Fraser probably still thought he was imagining it all it was the best thing Ray had ever seen.
Unconsciously, Ray reached out and put his hand on the back of Fraser’s head. And then he pulled him closer until only an inch separated their lips.
“Ray,” Fraser whispered and the breath of his name ghosted softly over Ray’s lips before he closed the gap between them.
Kissing Fraser was like coming home. The soft lips yielded to his mouth and Fraser made a little happy noise and Ray wanted more of that, much more.
His tongue sneaked out and with a small gasp Fraser’s mouth opened to him until finally, finally Ray felt Fraser’s tongue against his own. He couldn’t even count the times he had imagined this moment.
But nothing could have prepared him for it. Fraser’s mouth felt like hot silk and when Ray pulled away he could see that Fraser’s lips were red and wet from kissing and he had to touch his lips to Fraser’s once more.
When they broke away again Ray put his forehead against Fraser’s, breathing the same air, as closely connected as possible because he couldn’t bear to separate any further from Fraser.
“I dreamed of this,” Fraser said quietly, his voice colored with wonder.
“I know,” Ray answered – and froze in the same instant. Uh-oh.
“Ray?” Fraser pulled away slightly so that he could look at Ray’s face, a small frown on his face.
He was in deep shit alright. No wonder had the universe been so damn accommodating; it had just been building up for the big hit. It had probably already ordered popcorn for the big moment of Ray’s imminent demise.
Because how was he supposed to tell Fraser that he had read his diary?