„Ray!“ Fraser exclaimed aghast. „How can you work like this?“
Ray chewed on his toothpick and considered Fraser with a confused frown on his face.
“Like what?” He asked – he really didn’t know. Fraser was always ticked off because of something or other. Big miracle if Ray knew what it was this time. The day before yesterday it had been Ray’s inability to find his car keys (it was perfectly natural, thank you very much. Everyone misplaced those now and again) and the day before that he had had a problem with Ray’s indecision about what to order for dinner (how was he supposed to decide if it was a ham and pineapple or a ham and champignons day?).
“Like this, with your unorganized paperwork. Not only is it impossible to locate the corresponding file, it is also highly unlikely that you are able to monitor any kind of progress that you’re making with your cases.”
“Fraser you don’t harass a guy about his knack for organizing stuff, alright? This is, like, sacred. I can find everything just fine. It’s a matter of,” Ray waved his hand around in an all encompassing manner, “perception. You know what they say? Genius controls the chaos.”
Fraser looked as if he doubted that very much but was just too polite to say so.
“Ah. Why don’t you hand me the Handerson case then?” He said with a tight smile.
“Sure, sure. Just a second,” Ray rooted around on his desk. Handerson… he had seen the file… it had been somewhere in the vicinity of his telephone. Only that might have been before it had ended up next to his stack of takeout leaflets, he wasn’t entirely sure about that.
“Uhm,” he lifted some more papers only to realize that the folder wasn’t underneath the pile of old reports which he should have filled out, like, yesterday either.
Fraser looked just the tiniest bit smug. “It appears as if you cannot locate the folder in question, Ray.”
“Smugness does not become a Mountie, Fraser. And I can find it… I just seem…,” he shifted another stack of brochures aside, “unable to spot its current location…” he opened a drawer at random but the folder didn’t jump out at him then either, “at the moment. Though it’s just a matter of time,” he said with some confidence (hey, sooner or later he always managed to find his paperwork).
“I am not smug, Ray. I am simply pointing out that your method of organization leaves a lot to be desired. It might be advantageous to think of some technique that is a little more rewarding,” and trust Fraser to spot the damn folder on top of the filing cabinet right next to the withered cactus.
Ray grabbed the file out of his hands and muttered, “Thanks.” He would have found it himself if Fraser had only given him another minute.
“Ray, wouldn’t it be—“
“No, Fraser. No way! What’s it now? Is this another thing like ‘it only takes an extra second to be organized’? I don’t wanna hear it, okay? My system works just fine.”
Fraser opened his mouth to contradict him but when he saw the dark expression on Ray’s face he closed it again.
“Ah, this is another case in which we’re dealing with logic, is that correct?” He said with a sardonic twist to his mouth.
“Correctamundo.” Ray answered with feeling.
1 year later
“Damn,” Ray cursed viciously, trying to find the much needed matches in his pack.
Fraser entered the tent a few minutes later as soon as he was finished with tending to the dogs.
“Ray, what are you looking for?” He asked exasperated and tired once he perceived Ray flinging around various items from his backpack in an advanced state of frustration.
“Matches, okay? I’m looking for damn matches which I cannot seem to find and I thank you very much to stay out of this because I’m gonna freeze to death anyway and I prefer to do it without your niggling!”
Fraser suppressed a sigh, went to his own backpack, opened a zipper at the left-hand side and fished out a matchbook. He held it out to Ray in silence.
Ray ignored him for a few seconds more before he hung his head and accepted the offered matches.
He tried to hide his shame by lighting the lantern in their tent and appearing as busy as possible by doing this.
Fraser actually sighed out loud this time.
“Don’t!” Ray interrupted sharply.
Fraser came up behind him and took the matches from Ray’s dry and cold fingers.
His chest almost touched Ray’s back when he said: “Orderly Organization Obviates Onerous Obstacles.”
“Huh,” Ray said surprised.
“The five O’s help you to remember how important clear organization can be,” Fraser answered calmly.
“Five O’s, huh?”
“Yes, Ray. Neatly organizing everything really does prevent unnecessary difficulties.”
“So you never lose anything, right?” Ray said and Fraser suddenly felt as if they were talking about something else, something completely different and he didn’t know if he was prepared for it.
“Well, it might still happen that I misplace something but—“
“Fraser!” Ray interrupted warningly.
“Ah, no. Not so much.”
“Good.” Ray said simply and relaxed against Fraser’s chest.
“Good?” Now it was Fraser’s part to be confused.
“Yeah…” Ray was quiet for a while. Fraser felt Ray’s body distinctly through his many layers of clothing.
“If I ever lose anything you’ll know where to find it,” Ray explained, resting his full weight against Fraser now.
“Well, ah,“ Fraser interjected, “only if I keep track of it, Ray. Only if it’s part of my organization,” and Fraser still felt like he was missing something vital here.
“S’okay. You do, if it belongs to you, right?” Ray sounded oddly shy when he asked this so Fraser could only nod.
“Then it’s all good. I know where to look.” Ray said decisively.
4 months later
They had arrived at Maggie’s cabin a week ago. To Ray it felt almost as good as civilization.
“This is really nice of her… letting us crash here when she’s not even staying here herself,” he had said on their first night at Maggie’s.
“It is quite common to make a cabin available to trackers or other individuals that are coming through. And since Maggie has her own posting in Inuvik I think that she will even be relieved that we are willing to take care of her cabin for a while. If unused for an extended period of time it might fall into disrepair,” Fraser explained.
One week had been more than enough time for Ray to scatter all of his belongings around the two-room cabin.
Fraser found a pair of woolen socks, a compass, remains of what might have been tea leaves and loose pages on his way to the bathroom.
When he returned to the living room he found Ray sitting amidst even more clutter – and apparently for no other reason than that ‘out’ seemed to win every time over ‘in’ when it came to Ray Kowalski.
He had tried to be patient, he really had. But this throwing around of equipment had to stop one way or another.
And Fraser would quite prefer it if it happened before either of them died of frustration trying to find something of vital importance or before either of them broke their neck stumbling over some remnant of Ray’s pack.
“Ray,” Fraser said and there was an edge to his voice that made Ray look up instantly.
“Fraser?” Ray asked in return, a puzzled frown creasing his forehead.
Fraser tried to appear composed and in control but he feared that he mostly sounded prissy and nitpicking.
“Would you mind terribly to keep a better check on your belongings?”
Ray blinked owlishly. “Wait, you’re saying I’m too messy for you?”
Fraser opened his mouth to contradict him but found that he had nothing opposing to say.
“Ah, yes, if you don’t mind.”
Ray looked thoughtful.
“You’re telling me that it gets on your nerves when I leave my stuff lying around. That it?” he asked, looking at Fraser with narrowed eyes.
“Ah, yes, Ray. I would appreciate it if you would take more care in where you discard your things. It’ll only take us longer to put everything back together again and Maggie’s cabin does not provide ample space as it is,” Fraser tried to explain.
“Uh-hu. So what you’re basically saying is that my stuff everywhere pisses you off, right?” And there was a dangerous edge to Ray’s voice that Fraser couldn’t quite place.
“This has nothing to do with my personal feelings,” Fraser rebuked him. “It is a simple matter of practicality.”
“Yeah, right,” Ray said annoyed.
3 days later
Ray was out chopping wood for the fireplace when Fraser tripped over a pair of gloves that had the same color as the rug they were lying on.
He swallowed the expletives that rose to his lips and contemplated calling Ray to pick up after himself. Fraser cracked his neck and decided not to bother; raising a fuss about this was hardly worth it.
Instead he started to pick up Ray’s strewn around pack by himself. It was probably even easier, this way he could make sure that everything went to its proper place.
It was curious where some of Ray’s things had ended up, he found the weather journal near the kitchen sink, thermal underwear under the kitchen table, Ray’s shaving kit near the mantle and a bottle of lube— Fraser stopped dead in his tracks and looked at the offending item that he had just discovered halfway wrapped up in one of Ray’s sweaters beneath the easy chair.
Ray had probably pulled out the sweater and hadn’t noticed that it was hidden inside the folds.
Fraser supposed that it didn’t even matter how Ray hadn’t realized that he had wrapped it up in his sweater. What did matter was the question of why he even carried this around… had been for months… with no one but Fraser for company.
Fraser felt his face heat up. Long forgotten dreams rose to the surface of his mind, choking him with their vividness of golden limbs entangled in the late afternoon sun, glistening lips, wet from kissing,… hungry mouths and skin that begged to be touched… gasps and sighs and fevered words… heat, friction,… Fraser’s breathing sounded harsh to his own ears, and the bottle of lube dropped to the ground as if it had burned his hand.
He clenched his fists at his sides and thought about snow, caribou, wide open spaces, isolation… until he felt more in control again. Fraser bent down and picked the little bottle up again.
For a moment he thought about leaving it stuck inside of the sweater and acting as if he had never encountered it in the first place.
But Ray was carrying this around because he had bought and packed it himself, because he had thought that he might need this on their trip… across the frozen tundra with only sled dogs and Fraser for company and more insulating layers than you could count… which meant that, maybe, Ray had wanted this to be found.
Suddenly he wanted to dare Ray, defy him and push him into action. He folded the sweater and placed it inside of Ray’s backpack, challenging he placed the bottle of lube neatly on top of the garment.
He was excited for the rest of the afternoon, he felt almost breathless with anticipation that didn’t find any release.
Because Ray did go to his pack and he even took something out but he didn’t react in any way… even though he must have seen that Fraser had put the lube back.
That night when they went to bed Fraser could have chewed through his own lip in frustration.
1 day later
It was late afternoon when Ray told Fraser that he would go outside to play with Dief for a bit. Fraser thought about joining him but he couldn’t face Ray for any prolonged period of time without getting dreadfully distracted by erotic images of Ray writhing beneath him.
Or Ray moving inside of him.
Or sucking Ray’s—he flushed a deep red and decided on a shower; a cold one.
He went to his own pack to gather a fresh change of clothing when his fingers hit slightly yielding plastic. His brow creased in confusion. His hand closed around the object and for an instant he looked at it with utter incomprehension.
It was the bottle of lube again. In his own pack, where it definitely had not been yesterday,… which meant that Ray must’ve consciously put it there. You might not notice when you throw something around the room but it took conscious effort to place an object in a specific place.
The devil took hold of him and he carried the bottle back to their sleeping quarters at the back of the cabin. He placed it in plain view onto the night stand right next to the roughly hewn wooden bed in which they had slept since their arrival.
When he entered the bathroom – Maggie wasn’t as much of an essentialist as Fraser, a fact for which Ray had been more than a little grateful, since indoor plumbing had taken over the top priority of pizza with pineapple when their quest had begun – and received the next shock.
There, nestled quite snug and harmless looking next to his shaving kit was a small, silvery, square. He picked up the condom with no little measure of astonishment.
‘Subtle’ wasn’t exactly the best way to describe Ray’s method but it was undeniable that the message was quite easily conveyed this way.
He swallowed dryly. It was clearly up to him to take the next step, to accept Ray’s offer or to ignore it and they would never talk about this again.
Fraser closed his eyes and suppressed a groan that threatened to spill over his lips as the whole range of possibilities this opened up hit him with full force.
God, how often had he thought about… fucking – he thought defiantly – Ray?
He showered and shaved only to realize that he had left his change of clothing in the bedroom when he had left the lube there.
He slung a towel around his hips, took the condom and went to the bedroom.
Before he had even properly entered the bedroom he heard movement behind him.
Ray must have come back in while he had been under the shower and had already stripped out of his outer layers. He was pulling on his thermals and Fraser realized Ray was probably going to take a shower now, too – when Ray’s head snapped up to look at Fraser.
Ray eyes seemed to ravish him, trailing down his body hungrily, taking in every drop of water that still gleamed on his chest to run down and vanish inside of the towel – Ray’s eyes snapped back up to meet Fraser’s.
He looked slightly embarrassed by his display of direct interest until his eyes hit upon the condom between Fraser’s fingers.
Ray looked mortified for a second and started to open his mouth before his gaze trailed off to the left, staring anywhere but at Fraser or the condom, when his look suddenly focused on the night stand that was directly to the left, easily visible behind Fraser’s shoulder.
Ray closed his mouth again and looked at Fraser with narrowed eyes.
Fraser felt his cheeks burn but he held Ray’s gaze. Without intending to his tongue sneaked out to wet his lips – it was a nervous gesture; he was completely powerless to stop it.
Ray stared at his lips with a sudden hunger in his expression that only enforced the heat that pooled in Fraser’s groin. Ray moved closer until he was almost pressed against Fraser’s chest, he leaned forward but held himself back for another second.
“We’re on the same page here, Frase?” He murmured.
Fraser swallowed and nodded and then – because Ray had already dared so much – he added, “yes, Ray,” in a voice only shortly above a whisper.
His lips hadn’t even properly closed around the ‘y’-sound before Ray’s mouth was on his.
Ray’s tongue pushed wetly into his mouth and Fraser moaned at the sensation. And then he was kissing back, pushing into Ray’s mouth, biting at his lips and at his jaw in sudden urgency.
Ray let his head drop back when Fraser started biting his throat, offering him better access and Fraser growled and pushed at Ray’s remaining layer at clothing, pulling it over Ray’s head and pushing Ray onto the bed.
Ray moaned at the rough treatment and pushed of the bottom part of his thermals by himself. And then he was gloriously naked and Fraser’s gaze was riveted on the man in front of him.
Fraser licked his lips again in anticipation and Ray gave a helpless moan.
“Would you stop the damn tongue thing? It’s been driving me nuts for ages! Just thinking about your tongue… God…” And Ray’s dick gave a little twitch at the words.
Fraser loosened the towel around his waist and bit his lips.
“What did you imagine, Ray?” He said quietly, kneeling over Ray to claim his lips again.
Ray strained up, into the kiss, and tried to pull Fraser closer to his own body for some much needed friction but Fraser resisted. He broke away and whispered in Ray’s ear, “tell me what you want me to do,” quietly, an order.
A needy sound escaped Ray’s throat and his hips thrust upwards on their own accord.
“God… Fraser… lick me… suck me, touch me… fuck me, I don’t care… just, please,” Ray begged.
Fraser closed his eyes and gripped the base of his cock tightly to keep from coming.
A wicked gleam entered Ray’s eyes.
“This turns you crank so much? I’m good with that, Fraser. Real good,” he drawled the last part and pushed up again to put his mouth right next to Fraser’s ear.
“I fucking love that tongue of yours, Frase. You have no idea how often I’ve imagined that you breach me with it, as deep as you can go…” Ray shuddered when he said it and Fraser moaned softly.
“And it would feel so damn hot… that proper mouth of yours licking me inside out…” Ray hips surged upwards again and this time Fraser didn’t have the power to resist. He pressed down against Ray and Ray arched his back and groaned.
“God… I bet you can even make me come from it. Just from tongue-fucking me… but I’d want your fingers… god, I love your fingers, I want it rough, as many as you can manage to fit inside of me… the burn around the slippery lube and the wetness from your dirty mouth…”
Fraser groaned and pressed closer against Ray, he needed friction… he needed so much more…
Ray reached out for the bottle of lube and slathered his hand with it. He stroked it over his dick and Fraser had to concentrate not to cry out at the image of Ray touching himself.
He hadn’t even noticed that he was worrying his bottom lip until Ray licked at it.
“And your taste,” Ray panted, “God, I bet you taste great. I dreamed of sucking your cock… of wrapping my lips around you and feeling the weight of your cock on my tongue… would you like that, Fraser?” he chuckled breathlessly and Fraser groaned and thrust forcefully against Ray and the slide was even better now with the lube and Ray reached around them both, keeping them aligned and this time Fraser did shout out at the sensation.
“Ray… oh God, Ray…” Fraser whimpered when Ray traced the shell of his ear with his tongue.
“And I came so hard, touching myself just thinking about you fucking me, Fraser.” A moan was wrung from Ray’s throat and Fraser shivered at the sudden heat against his ear.
“I want to be stretched, feel you inside of me… want that so fucking much… “ Ray gasped and started to shake, he cried out and Fraser felt Ray’s come splatter against his skin.
And he pushed against Ray again, into the mess that made everything even more slippery and Ray bit at his throat and moaned, “And I want to fuck you, Benton Fraser, like there’s no tomorrow, hard and deep until you can’t even remember your own fucking name.” And Fraser came with a shout.
“God… Ray,” Fraser whispered weakly. His arms were tingling from the strain of holding himself up.
He snuggled close to Ray and Ray wrapped his arms around him.
“Let’s just stay here for a while, kay?” Ray murmured soothingly, completely blissed out.
Half an hour later
“How long, Ray?” Fraser asked quietly.
Ray was silent for a moment and Fraser was wondering if Ray was deciding how truthful he should answer.
“Feels like forever,” he said finally. He looked at Fraser and smiled mischievously.
“Glad you finally bought a clue, though.” He waggled his eyebrows in a terribly outrageous manner.
“Ah… you weren’t exactly unobtrusive about it.”
Ray huffed out a bout of laughter.
“Guess I’m not a low-key guy, sue me. Still a good thing that you got my drift… I was thinking about faking a love letter or something to leave lying around next. Good thing it didn’t come to that. Trust me that would not have been pretty. You do not wanna read my writing.”
“I’d say your ability to express yourself verbally was a much more enjoyable activity,” Fraser answered a bit tongue-in-cheek, trying his utmost to look serious.
Ray whacked him softly upside the head. “Dirty talk got nothing to do with verbally expressing anything. It’s a mind fuck.”
“Ah. Maybe we can… continue this exploration further, I’m not sure I fully understand the finer, ah, differences yet.”
Ray grinned at him.
“Oh I will; no worries. Can’t have you running around not knowing the difference between talking and talking, can we?”