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Author: Tatau (kaffeewespe_la@yahoo.de)
Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Fraser/RayK
Rating: NC-17
Words: ~14.000
Disclaimer: Due South is the property of Alliance Atlantis. Written for fun not for profit
Summary: Being in love isn’t enough. You have to build a relationship to make it work. It’s a good thing that Ray’s and Fraser’s insecurities are so very compatible. Between Ray’s head-against-the-wall attitude and Fraser sexually insatiable appetite things should work out well… okay, maybe a few life threatening situations might also help things along…
Part 11/11
 

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Kissing Fraser wasn’t like anything Ray had ever done so far; it just didn’t compare. Fraser was intense like that. Ray was pretty sure that, if Fraser continued with his kisses, he probably wouldn’t be able to remember his own name for much longer.

Fraser had almost wrestled Ray out of his shirt and even his fly was already open – and when had that happened? It seemed that once started there was no stopping him. And maybe that was what Fraser had been afraid of.

Definitely time to get even.

Ray managed to get his hands on Fraser’s shirt which wasn’t exactly easy the way Fraser’s hands where everywhere and therefore always in the way. With quick moves Ray snuck his fingers underneath the hem of Fraser’s shirt to stroke over soft skin.

Ray…” Fraser growled dangerously and Ray jumped when his dick twitched at the sound of that voice.

“Yeah… hell, anything… come on, come on…” Ray murmured, trying to pull Fraser’s shirt off when strong hands gripped his own.

“Ray we shouldn’t,” it sounded forced out of Fraser’s throat as if he was producing the sound directly in his chest. The shiver that caused distracted Ray for a second so that it took a moment to make sense of what Fraser had said.

“Oh yes, we should,” Ray said with his lips already back at the corner of Fraser’s mouth. The moan this drew only added fuel to Ray’s hunger.

“We definitely should. Now, now, now,” and Ray dropped his hands in apparent surrender until Fraser’s grip relaxed so that Ray’s nimble fingers were free again and could start to work on Fraser’s pants.

Fraser snarled and pulled Ray’s hands away, leaning over him so that Ray was pressed backwards against the couch, his hands held above his head.

He blinked up at Fraser whose face was mere inches away from his own, an almost fierce expression on his face and Ray licked his lips, the pupils dilated before he raised his head a little to lick Fraser’s bottom lip.

Fraser groaned and lifted his face away.

“Ray,” the name was said with such longing that Ray felt another shiver running down his spine, he could get used to hearing his name that way. If his cock got any harder his erection might become a permanent fixture.

“You need to— we need to…” Fraser took a breath and focused his gaze on Ray’s eyes, “you’re still recovering, Ray.”

It seemed to take him an awful lot of effort to keep talking and if that wasn’t a turn on Ray didn’t know what was. “It would be irresponsible of me and highly selfish to put my own desires first. The proper—“

“Fuck proper,” Ray spat in abrupt exasperation, pressing his groin up against Fraser to get some friction for his unabated erection that Fraser was so good at ignoring.

“Oh.” Just that one small sound, it was beautiful. Fraser licked his lips and looked momentarily at a loss for words. So Ray hooked his foot over Fraser’s hip and pulled—he gasped when their jeans clad erections met again.

Fraser dropped his head and moaned into the curve of Ray’s shoulder. “God, Ray… this is,” and the guy actually had the willpower to pull his hip away, “this hardly seems prudent.”

Ray angled his face upwards again and sneaked his tongue into Fraser’s mouth quick and dirty, thrusting against Fraser’s tongue in a languid rhythm before he slowly pulled away. Fraser had his eyes closed, looking stunned.

If Fraser backed out now Ray would probably never get another chance. Maybe this was his one chance to convince Fraser—and Ray was very convincing in this area of expertise.

“It’s hardly prudent,” Ray pushed up against Fraser again to be rewarded with another moan, “to let your buddy die from blue balls and I swear to god this is looking extremely likely at the moment Fraser. My cock is so hard it’s painful—“ Fraser gasped and rubbed his lips against the tender skin of Ray’s throat.

Ray grinned. Man, did he like a man with a good imagination. “Hell, I probably don’t even last longer than a few strokes,” he murmured against Fraser’s ear. “Or would you like to use your mouth?” Fraser breath hitched.

And Ray nodded with a smirk. “Yeah, you like to touch everything with your tongue… God,” Ray moaned quietly, carried away by his own fantasy, “Just thinking about you licking my cock drives me crazy, I’d come the moment you take it into that proper mouth of yours, Jesus… tell me,” and Ray felt the soft tremor of Fraser’s hands where they were gripping his own, “can you smell how turned on I am?”

“…yes…” Fraser choked, “oh God, yes…” and suddenly everything was lost in a flurry of motion.

Ray’s shirt was flung to the floor and his jeans were pulled almost roughly down his legs and with almost no help from Ray he was suddenly lying naked on his couch and Fraser was licking and kissing every inch of skin he could find.

“Jesus… Jesus, Fraser…” Ray gasped and let his head fall back and now that he wasn’t looking anymore what Fraser’s wicked mouth was doing to him he could finally make out that Fraser was still speaking.

“I can’t…” and Fraser licked a stripe from his navel all the way to his hipbone, “I really can’t Ray,” before he painted a wet trail around Ray’s left nipple, “I’m sorry but I can’t…” and Ray was gasping helplessly and thrusting against thin air.

But this time he understood what Fraser was trying to say.

“It’s—oh God, it’s okay. You don’t have to stop Fraser—gnh—“ Fraser bit lightly into Ray’s right nipple, soothing the sting with the tip of his tongue before he sucked it into his mouth.

“Don’t stop-ahh, don’t stop—just don’t— Fraser,” Ray panted, arching his back to get closer to Fraser’s lips.

Jesus,” Ray cried out when that agile tongue licked around the head of his cock, lapping up pre-come like honey.

Don’tstopdon’tstopdon’tstop was running through his head or maybe he was shouting it—as  hoarse as his voice sounded it was hard to tell what he was screaming all he knew was that he had never felt anything as unbelievably hot as Fraser’s mouth on him, swallowing him again and again.

And Ray’s hips rose and fell in sync with that wicked mouth, his fingers twisted into Fraser’s hair and if Ray had had any doubts about chocking Fraser he forgot about them now.

With an eagerness that was rapidly killing him, Fraser was devouring his cock, tongue and heat everywhere and no matter how deep he went down on him it didn’t seem to satisfy Fraser who always went back for more and Ray was just along for the ride.

Riding the wave higher and higher and maybe it was just his imagination that Fraser’s mouth was almost unbearably hot or that it felt impossible that Fraser was swallowing him so far down but it didn’t matter because nothing had ever been so, so good.

“F-Frase…” Ray stuttered only half-coherent but Fraser only tightened his lips and Ray cried out in answer.

“Oh god,” he groaned, “you gotta-Fraser I’m—“ but the wave was already crashing down on him, and Fraser pressed two fingers firmly underneath his balls and a strangled sob was torn from Ray’s throat as he came, his cock pulsing in Fraser mouth who swallowed again and again and the pleasure was so acute that Ray lost all other senses for a moment, the whole world reduced to that spot where Fraser’s lips were closed around him, where that tongue kept stroking him.

When Fraser’s lips released him his legs were still shaking. A second later Fraser’s warm body was covering his own, and that talented tongue was back, begging for entrance into Ray’s mouth and Ray opened up helplessly, so lost in his need and awash with sensations.

He could taste himself when he sucked on Fraser’s tongue and Fraser’s fingers were stroking soothingly through his hair.

It might have been one minute; it might have been ten but at some point Ray’s heart rate returned to normal and the aftershocks stopped. Fraser kissed him tenderly and then he pulled him up and off the couch.

Ray let himself be pulled, drunk on his orgasm and its afterglow. They entered the bedroom and Fraser pressed him down on the bed. He joined him there a moment later to coax yet more pleasure from Ray’s body.

Ray was writhing into the touch, completely fucked out but unable to resist Fraser’s fingers. When Fraser’s fingers trailed down his hipbone to stroke the soft inside of his thigh Ray shivered and spread his legs further.

And those fingers trailed lower, until they were stroking softly over Ray’s opening and Ray gave a low moan—Jesus, who would’ve thought that Fraser the Pure would come loose in the bedroom?

“Ray…” Fraser murmured hotly against Ray’s abdomen. “I want—can I—“

“Yeah, yeah,” Ray interrupted. “Anything, Frase.” At the moment Ray would have agreed to any- and everything. Fraser’s answering moan was breathed hotly against Ray’s skin before he kicked into action.

With that damn Mountie efficiency it took him next to no time to get undressed as well and to get the lube and the rubbers from Ray’s beside drawer.

But Ray had almost no time to appreciate Fraser in all his naked glory before all that Canadian hospitality was again focused on him.

Slick fingers resumed their stroking and then Fraser’s mouth returned to Ray’s. While Ray was busy mapping out every detail of Fraser’s mouth two fingers slid inside—Ray gasped and arched his back.

“Oh god…” He choked, fingers clawing at Fraser’s upper arm for support while his hip picked up the rhythm of Fraser’s strokes.

Ray moved back against Fraser’s fingers, a harsh counterpoint to the rhythm as if his hips had never done anything else. Fraser was talking again, speaking words against his skin but Ray couldn’t hear him over the pounding of his blood and his own ragged breathing.

Fraser pushed another finger in and Ray couldn’t wait any longer, “Yes—ah, come on Fraser—oh God… I…“ Ray bucked when Fraser’s tongue travelled along the underside of his cock.

“—fuck—“ Ray gasped and shuddered.

“Yes…” Fraser growled, voice like gravel, pulling his fingers out to pull Ray’s legs over his shoulders and spreading him open.

In one smooth move Fraser pressed against Ray’s opening and pushed in. Ray threw his head back, panting open mouthed in a vain attempt to get more air into his lungs while his body stretched to fit around Fraser.

“So good… oh God… Ray,” Fraser groaned and the last bit of restraint went flying out the window. He pulled back and then all pretence of carefulness was gone, hips snapping forward in fast thrusts and Ray cried out when Fraser hit his prostate again and again.

Ray’s cock came back to life again with every push and Ray was gasping along with Fraser, trying to keep his eyes open to watch Fraser—the face completely lost in pleasure and then Fraser clenched his teeth, the rhythm of his thrusts turned erratic and when Fraser opened his eyes to curl his fingers around Ray’s renewed erection Ray was suddenly right there on the edge with him.

Fraser came, moaning Ray’s name, arms shaking with the strain of holding himself up and Ray’s hand flopped down from its spot on Fraser’s arm, smearing the come that was cooling on his stomach.

Ray was so limp now he was pretty sure he would never be able to come again.

Carefully, Fraser pulled out and settled next to Ray. He drew him into an embrace, kissing his lips gently again and again, all the while murmuring “Ray… wonderful Ray…”

Ray was idly stroking Fraser’s arm, trying to ignore the drying mess on his upper body. Ray could tell the exact moment when Fraser’s brain made an appearance again.

He had expected this moment – wouldn’t have been too bad to miss out on it though.

Fraser stiffened almost imperceptibly, trying to pull away as unobtrusively as possible, looking anywhere but at Ray.

“Ah…” there was a short pause where Fraser licked his lips, “Is your head alright, Ray?”

This was so funny Ray had to swallow the laugh that rose in his throat. Benton Fraser, naked and looking extremely well fucked, with his hair all mussed – and who would have thought it was even allowed to do that? – actually had the nerve to ask such a practical question with this completely polite And-How-Are-You-Feeling-Today tone.

Ray smirked. “It’s gonna be a bit sensitive for a while… two orgasms can do that to a guy,” he reached down to check the condition of his cock and Fraser’s eyes followed the movement.

Ray trailed one finger lightly over the head of his cock.

“Yep, as I said. But give me an hour and I’m good to go.”

Fraser blushed. “I didn’t mean—I was talking about your head wound.”

Ray reached out and stroked softly over Fraser’s hand.

“I know, ’m fine. Just… don’t do this to me, okay?”

Fraser frowned. “Do what Ray?”

Ray gestured along the length of Fraser’s body. “You know, go all Mountie on me now.”

The crease between Fraser’s brows deepened. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean. I am a Mountie – as you well know.”

Ray sighed. “Yeah… but you don’t have to be with me.”

Fraser looked as if he wanted to interrupt so Ray rushed through the rest of his sentence. “You can be Fraser…” Ray shrugged, “you know… you. Hell, I’m not good at this stuff either but you can talk to me or whatever – just don’t go running around telling yourself that this is a bad idea.”

Ray squeezed his hand once, “’cause it isn’t.”

Fraser bit his lip and looked down at Ray’s hand on his. God, Ray wished there was a handbook for this kinda thing. Being married should have prepared him for this stuff but somehow he never found the right words.

But Fraser knew him.

Maybe Fraser didn’t need all the fancy words and the flowers and the expensive gifts for the right anniversaries. Fraser was a guy who lived in his office because he felt that he didn’t need more, he was all about courtesy and the simple things in life – like fresh air or clean water and all this stuff that no one really appreciated anymore nowadays so yeah, maybe Fraser didn’t need the big, elaborate style the women on TV were always raving about.

All Fraser needed was someone to take a leap with him. A reason to risk the jump— Ray grabbed Fraser’s hand with sudden urgency.

“Frase, you trust me right?” Ray’s gaze focused on Fraser’s eyes.

“Yes, of course Ray. Implicit—” Ray put one hand over Fraser’s mouth – no reason to let him start again with the big words. Then they would never get the important stuff out.

“And we’re partners?” Ray removed his hand again.

“Yes.” The conviction in Fraser’s tone made Ray feel warm all over.

“So you’re my partner. And my friend, right?”

Fraser looked shocked that Ray would have to ask.

“Of course.”

“We’re a duet Fraser and a damn good one. This thing here is about partnership—so don’t you dare and leave me in this alone Fraser.”

He stabbed two fingers at Fraser’s chest.

“And now?  You with me or not?” Inside Ray’s heart was beating a panicked say-yes, say-yes rhythm.

Fraser could be a miserable bastard, how were you supposed to prove to someone how good things could be when they didn’t even give you a chance in the first place?

Hell, Fraser had been the eye witness to his post-marriage stalking, had even called his determination ‘admirable’—what was he afraid of? That Ray would just hightail it out of there the first chance he got? Not bloody likely.

Fraser’s hand closed around Ray’s fingers that were still pointing accusingly at his chest. He closed his eyes and didn’t say a word.

And Ray waited with bated breath. Fraser’s eyebrows drew together.

Shit. Double and triple shit. Fraser couldn’t even say it.

Ray’s breath caught in his throat. Shit, shit, shit. He had said it all wrong—or maybe he hadn’t said enough or—he needed to get out of here.

He moved away, withdrawing his hands from Fraser’s loose grasp. Ray turned around to climb down from the bed—just get away—he could already feel the tightness around his eyes. No need to dump his tears on Fraser on top of everything else.

One leg was already thrown over the edge of the mattress when strong arms pulled him back. Fraser’s arms pressed him close against his warm chest.

“Ray—“ and for a second longer Ray struggled against the grip because no answer might at least be better than hearing Fraser’s excuse but Fraser didn’t relent his hold, he simply held him tighter against his own body.

“Yes Ray,” and he pressed hot kisses against the side of Ray’s throat, “please,” with sweet desperation in every touch that said want you, need you, love you, don’t go and Ray slumped back in defeat. He turned his head to receive Fraser’s kisses that told much more about all the stuff Fraser didn’t or couldn’t say anyway.

It was still two weeks before Ray was allowed to even think of showing his face at the 2-7 for work but if you could spend your days having sex it wasn’t such a bad deal.

And apparently Fraser had a sex starved beast inside of him that was finally released—Fraser and sex? You would bet that he and prudence had never met. How someone with such proper language skills and manners could be so dirty in the bedroom was mind blowing.

Not that Ray was complaining, mind you. Fraser seemed to use sex as a way of reassuring himself that he did indeed have Ray and since sex with Fraser was one of the best things that had ever happened to Ray –and the fact that he didn’t know how else to reassure Fraser—Ray initiated most of their sexual encounters, didn’t mean that Fraser didn’t take over as soon as they started to lose the clothes.

Yes, Ray’s recovery period was suddenly looking much better.

A few days later Ray even managed the long walk all the way to the waterfront, along the pier and back. Diefenbaker seemed to be just as happy about that as Ray.

After dinner Ray took a spot on the couch and started to flick through the channels. He gave up long before Fraser could complain about the speed of Ray’s channel surfing (the ongoing argument was that it was simply not humanly possible for Ray to even tell what he saw in those microseconds of glimpses between one channel and the next – Ray claimed to be gifted like that).

“God I can’t stand one more evening of this junk. All I do is walk and watch TV,” he groaned before he grinned at Fraser. “Okay, the sex is spectacular,” Fraser hid his blush by taking a sip from his water glass, “but the TV program is actually killing the last of my brain cells—I swear if I lose one more I turn into a plant.”

Fraser bit his lip to hide his smile.

“I could tell you a story if you’d like.”

Ray weighed the options on that one carefully. Fraser’s stories tended to be rather exhausting. Not to forget weird. And a helluva lot of times they didn’t make any sense either.

Oh well. Wasn’t as if he had much to lose.

“Can’t be worse than anything they bring on TV,” Ray shrugged.

“Thank you for your confidence in my entertainment abilities.” Fraser answered drily. “What kind of story would you like to hear?”

Ray thought for a moment. Something where it would be terribly difficult to fit a Caribou into would be nice.

“How about… something about beginnings?” Ray asked meaningfully, stretching on the couch to put his feet in Fraser’s lap.

“All right.” And trust Fraser not even having to think about it for a second. Just throw him a key word and Fraser could talk about that for three hours straight without needing one second of thought.

“There is an Inuit myth about the origin of the marine animals.” Fraser cleared his throat.

“In a small village, far away on the ice was a beautiful woman named Sedna and all the men from her tribe wanted to marry her but she rejected each and every one of them for one reason or another. One of the sled dogs, that her father was breeding, the strongest and fastest of them all, was deeply in love with her though—“

“A dog?” Ray interrupted confused.

“Yes Ray. And one cold and starlit night, with the Aurora Borealis above them, he turned into a man to be with her for one night, just before she came of age—“

“How?”

Fraser smoothed his thumb over his eyebrow. “I suppose with the help of another spirit. But that’s not important right now. What is important is that Sedna fell in love with him too. She found courage, a kind heart and a good character in him. The next morning, however, her father found his daughter lying next to his best dog. They cast the dog out and decided to drown Sedna in the ocean.”

“Whoa—because the man had been a dog?”

“They saw it as an omen of bad luck. So they rowed out to sea and threw her over board. But she gripped the rail with strong, cold fingers to prevent her death. So they cut off her fingers and when her fingers fell into the ocean they turned into the first seals. And Sedna sank down to the bottom of the ocean and became the ruler of the underworld and of all the animals.”

“Fraser… that is one dark story.”

“Ah, yes. I’m afraid so.”

“What’s the point of it?”

“The point?”

“Yeah… is it ‘don’t fall in love with dogs’ or ‘take care of your fingers’ or what?”

“There is no point Ray. It’s a myth.”

“That’s stupid. Don’t you know any stories that have a happy end?”

“Well, there is the story about the Inuit who try to find out how big the world is,” Fraser paused for a second. “But I’m afraid they all die in the end.”

Ray groaned.

It turned out that Fraser really didn’t know any stories about the guy getting the girl. Countless folk tales in which the girl drowned, was poisoned, stabbed, hanged, or died from mourning and sea shanties in which the hero never came back, married someone else, killed somebody or was killed himself –mostly a really grisly death, too – and it all ended in tears.

It was depressing.

“Fraser! Enough with the dead guys! You’re worse than a slasher movie.”

“Well, what about the story of Barrett’s privateers? The shanty I sang on the Henry Allen?”

“What about it?”

“The protagonist returns back home in the end.”

Ray looked at Fraser as if he had lost his mind.

“Fraser! He loses both his legs and it takes him six years before he returns home.”

“All right, what about the story of Lou Scagnetti that I told you when we were trying to find Mr. Tucci’s killer?”

“The one with the princess and the choke cherries?”

“Mh-hm.”

“That’s not a happy end.”

Fraser looked surprised. “Why not? He refrains from eating her.”

“That’s not the same as a happy end. A happy end would be where she falls madly in love with him and they live happily ever after – and not only until she’s sprinkled with lichen.”

Fraser was a world class freak. Any story where no one got maimed or eaten and he considered it a love story. Ray wasn’t the biggest fan of this world but at least he knew some nice stories about it. With stories like Fraser’s Ray would have hung himself a long time ago.

Maybe it was a Canadian thing? Instead of looking where the grass was greener you looked for a desert and figured that your own patch of yellow-brown grass wasn’t so bad?

Convincing Fraser that this thing between them might just work might take a bit more work than he had thought. But Ray was willing to tear the walls done one after another – Stella had often accused him of ruining everything with his head-against-the-wall attitude but in this case it might just work in his favor.

And Fraser wanted to give it a try—give Ray a try, so Ray knew that it would be alright in the end. Things were looking good.

Even more so when he felt the first fuzz of hair covering his head wound by the end of the week.

“Fraser, it’s growing back!” Ray exclaimed triumphantly on Sunday when he came out of the bathroom.

Fraser smiled at him.

“I told you it would. I’m glad.” And even after almost a full week since they had tumbled into Ray’s bed for the first time Fraser hesitated before he reached out to kiss him.

Ray had noticed it before. But in the beginning he had though it was because Fraser just couldn’t really believe it. After a week he wasn’t so sure if it wasn’t holding himself back on Fraser’s part.

It was such a deliberate touch every time… it just seemed strange. Touch had always been something intuitive for Ray; it was never connected to a deliberate thought.

But Fraser didn’t talk about it either and wasn’t it ironic that Ray, of all people, should feel the need to be reassured with words?

“It’s refreshing to get back to work tomorrow.” Fraser said quietly, pulling Ray out of his thoughts.

“Oh, right,” Ray said slightly disappointed. “…you’re not really happy to waste your skills on consulate work, right?”

“I’m sure my work there is highly valuable and in dire need of—“

“Fraser,” Ray said warningly.

Fraser rubbed a knuckle over his eyebrow.

“Ah no, not as such.”

“Thanks.” Ray grinned. “Just one week and then we can get back to liaise.”

“I’m glad.”

But no one was happier than Ray to have his house arrest over and done with.

Monday evening found Fraser in front of Ray’s apartment at the end of his shift unsure of what to do now.

They hadn’t talked about this. What if Ray didn’t expect him back here now that the agreed two weeks were over?

Maybe Ray was glad to have an evening to himself again?

Dief whined softly next to him and pawed at the front door.

“You think we should visit Ray?”

The wolf snorted and sat down in front of the row of doorbells.

“Very well. If you insist.”

Fraser hesitantly pressed the buzzer. A second later the intercom crackled to life.

“Yeah?”

“It’s me,” Fraser started to say feeling foolish. “I mean it’s—“

“Fraser!” The voice exclaimed delighted. “Come on up,” and the door clicked open.

When Fraser reached Ray’s apartment he hesitated again. One day had seemed an incredibly long time and during the dull hours at the consulate the last week had felt like a fever dream.

What should he expect now?

Dief made the decision for him and pushed against the door that was already ajar. Fraser followed suit, spinning his Stetson between his fingers.

Ray appeared out of the bedroom, smoothing over his shirt.

“Hey,” Ray said with a slightly embarrassed smile. “I was just—I thought I’d—nevermind.” He rubbed his neck.

Fraser could smell washing detergent and fabric softener. The thought that Ray had changed into a fresh shirt specifically because he had dropped by made him smile.

“Hello Ray, it’s… it’s good to see you.” Fraser winced inwardly at his formal greeting. There was an awkward moment in which Fraser wasn’t sure what to do now.

Could he simply reach out and kiss him? Or would that make him presumptuous? Why couldn’t there be a book for these kinds of situations? In all the books he had read the protagonist never doubted his conduct in romantic relationships.

Slowly, Ray stepped closer and put his hand across Fraser’s cheek to press a single, sweet kiss to his lips. Fraser sighed in relief.

“Good to see you, too,” Ray murmured, his eyes soft.

“Are you hungry? I’ve just thought about preparing something.”

“That would be very much appreciated Ray.”

“Dinner it is then.”

Only when they reached Ray’s kitchen counter did Fraser realize that Ray had been as unsure whether he would show or not as he himself had been about Ray’s reaction.

There was food laid out for two people but nothing had been touched or prepared even though it was already quite late and there was an open packet of crackers on the couch table, indicating that Ray had already been hungry earlier.

Maybe he hadn’t wanted to start with the dinner preparations, afraid that Fraser wouldn’t come and then he would have had to face a table set for two on his own.

It relaxed Fraser immeasurably to recognize Ray’s own nervousness in this new situation.

They sat down for dinner a little while later and Fraser entertained Ray with some rather uncharitable stories of bewildered tourists that seemed to amuse him.

At the end of his tale about the Russian horn player and his surreal conversation with Turnbull about the probability to form a country music band Ray remembered something.

“Oh hey, I got the last of the washing done. So there’s fresh stuff for you tomorrow morning. No uniform, of course, but you could bring one next time, right? That way you could take an extra 5 minutes to snooze in the morning,” Ray winked at him.

Fraser was speechless for a second. Ray wanted him to stay. Overnight. Repeatedly. For an indefinite amount of time. And apparently it was also the most natural thing in the world.

Ray winced slightly at Fraser’s silence and waved his offer away. “Unless you’d rather go back that’s—“

“No, Ray. I—that’s very generous of you. I’d like that very much.” Fraser’s smile lit up his eyes and Ray had to smile in return at the earnest happiness in that expression.

After dinner Ray dropped into Fraser’s lap and set on driving him out of his mind. In between feverish kisses Fraser pushed Ray off his lap and directed them towards Ray’s bedroom.

Again it was Fraser who was in charge, who took control and who left Ray almost no chance to do some touching himself. Watching Fraser sleep afterwards, Ray thought he might have found another wall to crack.

When Fraser got up the next morning Ray was still fast asleep. However, by the time he was about to leave Ray stumbled drowsily out of the bedroom.

“Good morning Ray. I’m sorry if I woke you.”

“’morning,” Ray yawned, “…didn’t wake me… just thought of something,” Ray scratched his wildly experimental hair. “Where did I put the damn thing?”

Ray rifled through the contents on his side table until he made a happy sound when he found something in the clutter.

“Here,” Ray pressed something flat and cold into Fraser’s hands before yawning again. He pressed a quick kiss onto Fraser’s lips and ambled in the direction of the kitchen, probably to get the coffee machine working.

Fraser looked down at the little metal object in his hands with utter fascination. It was a key.

Ray came back into the hallway a second later. “Hey I almost forgot: you know when you’ll be done tonight?”

“I—,” Fraser’s throat felt tight. His fingers closed tightly around the spare key to Ray’s apartment.  “We have a visitor from Ottawa but I don’t expect it to last longer than 6 o’ clock,” he replied automatically.

“Greatness.” Ray answered, already moving back towards the kitchen. Fraser closed the space between them in two quick steps and pulled Ray back against his chest in a tight hug.

Ray turned around surprised and found Fraser’s lips searching his own, hot tongue plundering his mouth until he felt weak in the knees.

Jesus,” Ray gasped when Fraser finally released him. “Waking up’s gonna be a whole lot nicer when you do this every time.”

Fraser just smiled, unable to put his gratitude into words.

“I’ll see you tonight.”

Fraser spent his work day palming the little key in his pocket. Now and then he pulled it out and placed it in front of him on his desk.

In moments like this Fraser could appreciate that his job at the consulate wasn’t very challenging.

Dief butted his head against Fraser’s knee after he had taken the key out for the 36th time.

Fraser looked at his canine companion.

“No… neither do I think that he sees how much this gesture means to me.”

He ruffled Dief’s fur before he turned the key around between his fingers again.

“That’s the wonderful thing about Ray… he gives so much of himself without even noticing how very generous and kind he is being.”

That evening Fraser could almost feel his heart beating on his tongue when he entered the key into the lock of Ray’s front door, reasoning that Ray wouldn’t have given it to him had he not wanted him to use it.

He had even brought a clean pairs of breeches and another serge in the hope that Ray had meant what he had said.

He entered Ray’s flat and found him busy in the kitchen, singing along to some pop song Fraser wasn’t familiar with “steal my heart and hold my tongue, I feel my time, my time has come”.

For a second Fraser simply watched him working. Apparently Ray had put some effort into tonight’s dinner. There were candles on the table and a salad was already waiting to be served while Ray seemed to be stirring something on the stove.

I don’t know which way I’m going, I don’t know which way I’ve come” Ray continued to sing in quiet tones, a mere background noise to all the clatter in the kitchen, “for you I’d wait…” humming along with the guitar of the song.

When Ray had deposited the spoon in the sink he turned around and finally noticed Fraser.

“Hey there,” he sauntered around the kitchen counter, still singing “’til kingdom come, until my days, my days are done”.

Ray’s eyes lit up when he saw that Fraser had indeed brought fresh clothes with him. “There’s space in the closet in the bedroom.” He smiled and kissed Fraser gently.

Fraser stood in front of the closet and wondered if Ray had space left in there before or if he had made room for Fraser. It didn’t really matter; it was obvious that Ray had space for him in his life one way or another.

When he came back out of the bedroom Ray was already serving dinner.

“Sit down.”

Fraser surveyed the table. “You really took great care in preparing all this,” he said softly and a little awed.

Ray grinned at him. “I bet you thought I couldn’t cook to save my life ‘cause I always let you do it. This is just to prove that I can when I want to. Consider it a form of showing off,” Ray winked cheekily. “And don’t expect it in the future.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” Fraser assured Ray earnestly, although there were laugh lines showing around his eyes.

Fraser chewed thoughtfully on his food and tried to come to grips with the situation. This was a date, a full out date. And it was flattering that Ray would go to such lengths even though he didn’t need to win him over anymore.

When was the last time he had a date? The date with Mackenzie King had turned out to be no social meeting, let alone a romantic one, and it had been years ago so before that… sometime… probably… surely…

Ray’s feet touched his underneath the table and pulled him out of his thoughts. Ray smiled at him.

“Are you alright?” He asked quietly.

“I’m fine.” Fraser answered, but his voice sounded slightly hoarse.

Ray’s feet continued stroking up and down his leg. Fraser swallowed quietly, reining his emotions back in a little.

“You’re so full of shit Fraser.” Ray whispered with a small smile and stood up in one smooth movement until he stood right in front of Fraser’s chair.

He leaned down and pulled Fraser’s face slightly toward him. “’s okay,” he murmured against Fraser’s lips before claiming them for a kiss. Fraser’s quiet whimper was lost in the movement of lips against lips.

Ray was everywhere, he could see him, touch him, smell him…  god, he needed this. Fraser pushed the chair back and stood up while he wrapped his strong arms around Ray’s body.

He pushed his tongue against Ray’s lips, begging for entrance and with a low moan Ray welcomed him in, meeting him with his own tongue.

And Fraser pulled him closer, trying to get more of Ray. A demanding kiss as Fraser’s tongue came hungrily back for more again and again until Ray’s hands were clutching at his shirt front and his breathing sounded ragged.

It was a need Fraser couldn’t really put into words. It was a need for possession, for surrender but… pushing Ray into something he didn’t want was the last Fraser wanted.

He needed just… so much. He growled and deepened the kiss and Ray’s lips under his were pliant and willing.

What he wanted was Ray naked beneath him; to memorize every inch of skin because life wasn’t fair and should he ever wake up from this dream he wanted to have at least that much.

He wanted to burn his touch onto Ray’s body, make him writhe and gasp; to see him shatter into a million pieces from sheer pleasure and then made whole again by his touch and soothing words alone.

He wanted to make Ray happy. He needed Ray to be happy… and if he took a small crumb of that happiness for himself maybe it would be alright, maybe no one would notice how happy he was and he wouldn’t have to give it up.

God… Fraser,” Ray moaned, breaking the kiss and pulling away. He was breathing hard and his lips were red and glistening, Fraser bit his lips.

Looking into Ray’s eyes that had darkened impossibly so that it wasn’t even possible anymore to tell the color of his eyes Fraser couldn’t wait anymore.

Fraser took his hand and pulled him to the couch.

“No, bed. Come on,” and Ray pushed him between the shoulder blades to change direction. The couch would’ve been only another foot away he thought longingly.

Once in the bedroom though Fraser realized that Ray had obviously thought ahead. The bed was made with fresh linen, there were two small but thick candles on the bedside drawer and a bottle of lube and some condoms were also already at hand.

While Fraser surveyed the room, Ray quickly lighted the candles, casting the room in a flickering, warm glow.

The thought that Ray had prepared everything while he had been at work, had obviously thought about sex with him while he wasn’t there made something in Fraser’s chest growl with lust.

He lunged at Ray and pulled him in for a deep kiss, his hands moved along Ray’s upper body until they found the hem of the shirt to pull it up. Before Ray had even managed to get the shirt over his head Fraser had already opened Ray’s jeans and started to push them down.

Ray more or less stumbled backwards onto the bed and Fraser wasted no time to finally divest him of the rest of his clothes and his socks.

Fraser’s eyes roved hungrily over Ray’s stretched out body. He never knew what he was going to do, he didn’t plan where to touch or how—missing the practice, especially with a man. But Ray’s body always did the talking beautifully.

Some part of Ray always called to him, the whole body begging to be touched, and he would move from that spot to the next, worshipping it with his mouth, lips and tongue, with his fingers, sucking and licking, smoothing, stroking, gripping, whatever felt right, drawing the most delicious sounds from Ray.

He was mesmerized by the soft trail of golden hairs leading down from Ray’s navel and he leaned down to taste them when Ray put a hand out. “Wait,” his voice sounded thick.

Ray licked his lips and pushed into a sitting position.

“Let’s get you undressed,” and immediately his nimble fingers followed his words, pushing Fraser’s shirt up and over his head, smoothing down over his naked chest, making Fraser shiver. “Want to feel you,” Ray murmured and went to work on Fraser’s jeans.

Once completely naked Ray pulled him onto the bed with him; gasping when skin met skin.

The need to touch Ray, to make him moan in pleasure was overwhelming and Fraser reached out to wrap his arms around him but Ray was faster—with the agility of a dancer Ray rolled on top of Fraser and successfully pinned him to the bed.

Involuntarily, Fraser’s hips snapped up, moving against Ray and drawing a delicious moan from the other man. Completely focused on Ray’s expression, the eyes closed in bliss, the jaw slack, lost in feeling, Fraser did it again eliciting another deep moan in response.

Ray’s fingers suddenly dug into his shoulder, pressing him against the mattress and Ray’s lips were on him, devouring him until Fraser was panting, his fingers gripping Ray’s hip, pulling him down against him.

Ray broke the kiss and looked at Fraser with lust fogged eyes, a smile – on the knife-edge of being dangerous – played around the corners of his mouth.

“Can you do something for me?”

Ray’s body was still pressed deliciously against him, the long legs sprawled to either side of him and he could feel Ray’s erection pressed against his hip bone.

Fraser’s hands were shaking with the effort not to push Ray onto his back and to make him come in ten different ways.

Ray’s dirty chuckle called Fraser back. Right, Ray had asked him something.

“Yes,” Fraser moaned, looking at Ray through hooded eyes.

“Hold still. Let me—let me touch you,” and Ray’s face came closer until Fraser felt teeth close around the vein at his throat, sharp teeth sank into his skin and Fraser felt his pulse jump, he groaned.

“Yes, I—yes,” Fraser gasped.

Ray smirked against his skin before his lips moved lower, his hands roamed freely over Fraser’s chest and lower, past his navel, and still lower and Fraser bit his lips in anticipation.

But Ray’s hand didn’t touch his cock, instead it moved over his hipbone, stroking his sides up to pinch his right nipple and Fraser’s back arched off the bed with a shocked moan.

It turned into a whimper when Ray’s hot lips closed around the little nub, sucking wetly, followed by a sharp sting when Ray’s fingers twisted his other nipple at the same time and Fraser cried out but Ray’s tongue was already licking around it, soothing the sting.

And Ray’s fingers were stroking tantalizing over his heated skin, whispering promises and spiralling Fraser’s lust yet higher.

Fraser felt completely powerless under Ray’s onslaught; it was terrifying. He felt exposed, unprotected, bared.

Ray moved lower, hot breath ghosting over Fraser’s erection and Fraser’s breath caught in his throat. He could feel Ray’s lips agonizingly close to his heated flesh and when he couldn’t bear it anymore he opened his eyes to look.

A moan left his lips at the sight of Ray, lips hovering over his cock but the eyes fixed on him. Suddenly he couldn’t look away anymore and Ray extended his tongue to lick a leisurely stripe up all the way to the tip.

A fine drop of pre-come welled up and Fraser flushed, turned on and helpless about it, loving this attention and wanting Ray to stop looking at him like that at the same time.

But Ray only moaned appreciatively and lapped it up; Fraser groaned, his eyes dropping closed, as he fisted his hands in the sheets.

With a strangled moan Fraser’s eyes flew open again—Ray had engulfed his cock in the tight heat of his mouth, covering the base with his fist, his tongue fluttering against the vein on the underside and lips sucking tightly and Fraser spread his legs wider in an effort not to rock up into the delicious friction.

Slowly, Fraser felt a single finger smoothing down his perineum, moving lower until—he gasped when Ray’s finger circled gently but firmly around his hole.

He tensed. He didn’t mean to it was… he had tried it once or twice but… he hadn’t been able to let himself go, too self-conscious and thinking too much and, well, it hadn’t been very pleasurable.

He knew all the theory and he had been able to tell that Ray had been ready for it. It was just that—maybe he was some kind of freak. All the books said it was extremely stimulating once you’ve managed to relax your sphincter. Apparently he wasn’t very good at it.

But Ray wasn’t deterred. He kept on stroking over the tight opening, sucking Fraser’s cock until Fraser’s thigh muscles relaxed again. A second finger joined the first, just moving in slow circles, never once pressing in and after a bit Fraser lost his fear that Ray might do something he wouldn’t enjoy.

With one final lick Ray released Fraser’s cock; his fingers kept continuing their movement and Ray’s slightly swollen lips stretched into a small smile. “Been a while?”

“You could—yes, you could say that.” Fraser said slightly breathless. Ray was watching him like a hawk and Fraser blushed again, feeling caught and not even sure why. Ray’s look turned knowing and his fingers vanished.

Warm lips pressed a soft kiss to Fraser’s thigh.

“Turn around.” Ray said quietly and Fraser hesitated for a second. Reasoning that Ray would never do anything that he didn’t want—let alone hurt him, but…

Ray waited uncharacteristically patient, unwilling to give Fraser further reassurance. He had to decide for himself if he was willing to trust Ray so far.

After a second longer, Fraser moved onto his stomach, unable to see Ray’s relieved smile.

Fraser tried to keep his shoulders relaxed while he felt Ray move behind him. Warm lips trailed kisses down his spine, here and there Ray’s tongue painted a wet trail over the skin of his back.

Ray’s strong fingers gripped his ass cheeks, kneading them slightly and Fraser couldn’t quite keep from tensing up.

And still Ray was exploring his back with his lips and his tongue, moving slowly lower until Fraser felt hot breath ghosting over his opening—he gasped, surprised at the feeling.

Suddenly a wet tongue licked a broad stripe directly over his hole and for a second every muscle in Fraser’s body pulled tight and just as suddenly he buried his face into the pillow to smother the guttural moan that was ripped from his throat.

Ray’s fingers pried his ass cheeks further apart and the tongue licked again at his entrance, softly right from the beginning of his crack all the way down to his balls and Fraser hid his face in mortification, unable to keep his panting quiet.

This was embarrassing, it was—oh god—it was so good and he was shaking with the intensity of his emotions. Being laid bare for someone like that… feeling pleasure of a kind he hadn’t even known existed.

Ray’s tongue circled his opening and Fraser moaned helplessly into the pillow. When the tongue actually breached him Fraser was crying out—and Ray was showing no mercy.

He pushed his tongue in again and again, short stabs, just breaching him over and over and Fraser was almost sobbing with pleasure, writhing helplessly against the sheets, trying to force more of that tongue into him.

It was too much, or too little, and there was nothing keeping him together anymore. His hip was humping the bed underneath him without any conscious thought—it was just too intense.

He wanted—“ahhh—god,” he needed… “Ray…” It felt like coming, thousand little sparks only just short of being enough and it was driving him insane.

Fraser pushed onto his knees, shamelessly spreading his legs further to get more of that tongue and when Ray moaned in delight the vibrations went straight to Fraser’s cock.

His face must have been burning but he couldn’t bring himself to care and Ray’s tongue was spearing him, as deep as it could reach and his moans were probably keeping the whole neighbourhood awake.

“Please,” Fraser was begging and he didn’t even know for what, more, less, anything, everything just “please,” again in that broken voice.

“Ahh—Ray, more, please…”

And when he felt the first finger enter him Fraser was groaning in relief. It went in easily, reaching further than Ray’s tongue had been able to and still that maddening tongue kept pushing in next to it and Fraser bit the pillow to keep from screaming.

Ray added a second finger, inserting both of them as deep as they could go and then he scissored them, pushing his tongue in between them and Fraser did shout. “Oh…Ray I…” he clenched his teeth, “—fuck—“ the expletive was flung from his lips causing Ray to groan.

“Ah god—please, please, I—“

And Ray would have laughed at Fraser’s incoherence but he was far too turned on by it to find it amusing.

Carefully he pulled his fingers back and reached for the condoms and the lube.

He nudged Fraser until he rolled over onto his back. Ray moved in between his legs and looked at him. Fraser’s face was flushed, the lips glistening and he had a faraway look in his eyes. Ray gulped, Fraser was sex personified.

He positioned his cock at Fraser’s glistening hole and pressed in, as slowly as he could stand but Fraser wasn’t resisting. He opened right up, taking him in to the hilt and when Ray was fully sheathed he leaned down to kiss Fraser.

He moved his face back a little. “Love you.”

His hips began to move, slow, deep strokes that rocked Fraser to the core.

Fraser legs came up to wrap around his hips and his arms closed around his neck to pull him down for another deep kiss.

Fraser had never felt anything like it. It was intense… letting someone in like that… being joined this intimately. It was almost too much to look at Ray and yet he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Ray moved his left arm next to Fraser’s shoulder to support himself, changing the angle in the process. And with the next thrust of his hips Fraser cried out.

“Oh god—more—“

And Ray grinned and slammed in, hitting Fraser’s sweet spot again and Fraser let go completely.

Ray had never seen a wild thing like him. Fraser was writhing on the bed; shoving back against him, his legs behind Ray’s back drawing him in again and again until Fraser’s whole body was sweat soaked.

“Ray, oh—Ray—harder—oh god—harder,” Fraser whispered hoarsely.

Pre-come was dripping freely from Fraser’s cock and Ray curled one hand around it, timing his strokes with his thrusts and Fraser gave a strangled moan and came—almost the moment Ray’s fingers closed around him.

“Ahhh—Ray!” and Ray felt Fraser spasm around him, and pushed in frantically, two times, three times and buried himself deep inside, his orgasm shooting through him with mind shattering intensity.

“Oh god,” he groaned, collapsing almost completely on top of Fraser but since Fraser didn’t appear to care much that was all right.

A little while later Ray finally rolled next to Fraser, throwing the condom in the trash—or at least aiming in the vague direction of it.

Fraser didn’t even bother with cleaning himself. He simply pulled Ray closed to him and wrapped his arms around him.

Ray’s eyes started to feel like lead.

“Frase… you alright?” He murmured, almost too tired but this was too important to fuck it up.

“Mhh…” Was at first all Fraser said. But strong arms stroked lovingly down his back. “More than alright Ray,” Fraser mumbled sleepily.

Ray grinned and whispered “Partners, Fraser, partners,” into Fraser’s hair before he followed him into sleep.

And this was how things began. Every time Fraser brought a fresh change of clothes or a book or some other thing with him it sooner or later simply ended up in one of Ray’s drawers or on one of his shelves.

It wasn’t even something Ray talked about or did with conscious thought—it just happened. Ray would find a shirt of Fraser under the bed, thrown there during last night’s frantic activities, and would throw it to the rest of his stuff in the laundry basket.

And when things came back from the wash he folded them and made some space in the closet for the additional stuff.

Ray couldn’t deny though that he breathed easier with every personal item of Fraser more on his shelves. The more Fraser had at his apartment the less likely it seemed that he would simply surprise Ray one day and say: “Oh Ray, my very good friend, it seemed germane to let you know that I will be moving back to the frozen North to commune with the Caribou.”

It was even better when Ray was finally allowed to get back to work. Kicking some heads was definitely better for his self-esteem than sitting around at home playing housewife.

The satisfaction of seeing McKinnley go to jail for attempted murder just sweetened the whole deal.

And when they got into a tight spot again – because with Fraser this always happened sooner or later – and they managed to get the bad boys without having their heads blown off it was just another ordinary day in the works.

And when Fraser attacked him as soon as they got home, clinging to him and demanding with lips and tongue and desperate fingers – and sometimes even innocent words, whispered hotly and with needy urgency against Ray’s lips – that Ray made love to him, hard and fast until he couldn’t think anymore about all the ‘what if’s’ and ‘could have’s’, Ray could do that, too.

A fucking duet.

Even though Fraser had the worst timing ever. Being locked in a shipping container might not be fun under the best circumstances what with the dark and the confined space and everything.

Being locked inside one in fucking September long after the sun had gone down definitely wasn’t fun.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” Ray raged, kicking against the metal walls.

“Ray.”

“How could we be so fucking stupid? It reeked of an ambush!”

“Ray.”

“Why did we fall for it? We’re so… Argh!” Ray pulled at his hair and kicked the wall again.

“Ray please!”

“Stupid, is what we are.” Ray aimed another kick at the metal keeping them locked inside. “Shit,” he swore when he hurt his foot in the process.

“Ray, exertion leads to perspiration and perspiration is the body’s way of cooling you down. Calm down, you’re going to be freezing.”

“I am already freezing my ass of Fraser,” Ray shouted and Fraser winced at the slight hysteria in Ray’s voice.

“I kept the bug the Capote brother’s placed in your car.”

“Great Fraser, that’s really great. Don’t you think they know where we are? After all IT’S THEIR FUCKING FAULT WE’RE STUCK HERE.”

“Ray, remember when we discovered the bug? I called the precinct to let them know about the model so that they could pick up the signal?”

“Oh. Right.”

Fraser heard Ray shifting and even though it was too dark to see he could picture Ray’s embarrassed pose in his mind.

“So they’ll be here any second?” Ray asked hopefully.

“Well,” Fraser rubbed his eyebrow.

“Fraser—?” Ray knew that tone and it wasn’t the one that said ‘immediate rescue’.

“Ah, the metal container is blocking every transmission.”

“It—WHAT?”

“However,” Fraser tried to sound reasonable, “the signal stopped right at the moment when we were locked in here. Someone should have picked up on that anomaly. It is most likely that they will notice this peculiarity as soon as they finish picking the Capote brothers up.”

Ray was quiet for a moment until he sighed in defeat.

“That means it might be tomorrow morning before they find us.”

“Ah…yes.” Fraser admitted.

“Which means we might still freeze to death.” Ray sounded resigned.

“Well, seeing that our current temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius— we were lucky that it was a sunny day, the metal will have soaked up some of the warmth— and that the temperature is going to drop approximately—“

“Fraser!”

“Essentially, yes,” Fraser said quietly. “However, it is unlikely—“

“But not impossible.”

“No, not impossible.” Fraser conceded.

“So what’s the plan?”

“We are dressed appropriately for the weather. That should work in our favour. Come here, let’s try to keep warm. It all depends on how far temperatures are going to drop.”

Ray sighed and groped his way over to where Fraser was sitting. He sat down in the v of Fraser’s legs and Fraser settled his blue overcoat over them both.

Ray could feel his breath turning to white mist in the cold air.

“This reminds me of the time where my father and Buck Frobisher were stuck in a blizzard in 19—“ And Fraser started to talk, whatever he could remember from his father’s diaries or anecdotes of his work adventures.

Ray didn’t know how much time had passed but if Fraser told one more anecdote he would fall asleep. He yawned and snuggled back against Fraser’s chest.

“Ray, you mustn’t fall asleep,” Fraser said urgently.

“I know but honestly… one more story of Beaver Joe and I can’t help it.”

“Oh,” Fraser sounded surprised. No one had probably told him so far that Beaver Joe wasn’t the most exciting story.

“Tell me something about you, Fraser. Something I don’t know.”

Fraser was quiet for so long that Ray’s eyes had already started to droop.

“I was seventeen when I lost my virginity.” Fraser quiet voice cut through Ray’s sleep fogged mind and he gasped quietly. He hadn’t expected Fraser to tell something quite so personal. He was usually quite good at distracting you when talking about himself.

“Her name was Mary Drayton, she was a slightly older than me, roughly one year and she was visiting her grandparents for a while. I hadn’t known her for a very long time but I was instantly infatuated with her. I was training at the Depot at that time and one evening, it was a warm April day I remember that very clearly, she took me home to the house where her grandparents lived. We had to be quiet so as not to wake them and I was painfully nervous and terribly inapt—I didn’t know what I was doing. All I had known about the human body I had learned from biology books.”

And Ray could see the picture so vividly in front of him: Fraser, earnest and so very young, fresh faced and idealistic. He smiled.

“But she was very sweet about it, showing me where to touch and… I was terribly in love with her. Of course, I was very young then so I’m probably exaggerating.. She woke me early the next morning so that I could leave before her grandparents noticed. I asked her when we would see each other again…” Fraser paused and Ray could hear him lick his lips before he continued.

“She smiled at me; it was obvious that she thought me very naive or at least very amusing. She told me that she was leaving the same day. She was getting married next week; surely I had known that this was a onetime thing, just fun…” Fraser swallowed drily behind Ray. “I hadn’t.”

“Oh Frase…” Ray said quietly, squeezing Fraser’s hand firmly and Fraser squeezed back.

It was as if Ray had opened a flood gate of bad memories with his request. It wasn’t a very long list of failed relationships, or maybe Fraser was only telling him the high points, but it was painful to hear.

Ray listened carefully when Fraser told the story of the first boy he had kissed when he had been 12 years old. The boy’s name had been David Shaw and they had been best friends for the time that Fraser’s grandparents had stayed in Tuktoyaktuk.

“One evening I was at his house to help him with his homework. His parents would be back later but I know that we actually did school work even though no one was supervising us. I leaned over to point out a mistake he had made and when I looked at him his face was so very close to mine.

His eyes dropped to my mouth and back up again and I remember I was very afraid but I closed the distance between us despite my rapidly beating heart. And he kissed me back… we kissed for a long time. I was so embarrassed afterwards and suddenly there were noises coming from the entrance door and I gathered my books, blushing horribly and I left.”

Ray grinned. Some things apparently hadn’t changed.

“The next morning when I came to school every one was laughing and pointing at me. David had told everyone that I had kissed him; using words no 12 year old should be called. And David was watching the other kids make fun of me, he didn’t join in but he didn’t talk to me either. My grandparents stayed for another month in Tuktokyaktuk. I can’t remember a time where I had been lonelier… and the rude jokes never stopped.”

Fraser took a shaking breath and buried his face in Ray’s neck.

Ray reached back and stroked through Fraser’s hair.

“It was a long time ago…” Ray whispered.

But Ray knew that this hadn’t been the last disappointment. The bullet wound in Fraser’s back was talking way too loudly for Ray’s liking.

So Ray shared some of his worst experiences. Although they weren’t as hurtful for him as they had been for Fraser.

Stella who had dated countless other, popular, boys at school to make him jealous, bad one night stands after his marriage had fallen to shambles, guys who never bothered to call him after a night of bumping uglies… the list ran on and on.

The difference was that Ray didn’t expect people to be any different. He didn’t have all of Fraser’s high expectations; he didn’t belief in the inherent goodness of others.

Mostly he just thought that everyone was just trying to get laid, doing anything for a fuck and if that meant screwing you over in the process then so be it.

Basically, Ray was always expecting people to be disappointed in him. First it had been Stellas’s parents, then his dad when he had dropped out of college and later on Stella herself.

So he gave up having high expectations of himself, mostly he prepared himself for the coming let down in advance. He met someone who was interest in him and – bam – he was looking for faults in them.

No one got the hots for simple, plain Ray Kowalski. At least not for an unlimited amount of time. It just didn’t happen.

When their relief came sometime in the early morning and Welsh sent them both home to get some sleep and warmed up Ray let Fraser take control, let him take anything he wanted from him, giving everything as freely as he could.

Fraser deserved everything he wanted and if Ray could give it he would do his damndest to make sure he got it.

And if it took the rest of his life to convince Fraser that he was here to stay, well, that was Ray’s plan anyway. How very convenient.

They were an unlikely pair, Ray thought. Burnt children like every person with a past history but disillusioned in different ways.

The scraggy street alley cat that fell in love with the fledgling that fell out of its nest too early.

Oh well, at least the fledgling had turned out to grow up into an eagle or a falcon or something equally impressive whereas Ray had mostly stayed the same old stray cat – just maybe less scrawny than when he had been younger.

It was good while it lasted.

At least that’s what Ray tried to tell himself almost a year later, sitting in an abandoned school building during the summer holidays with a bullet in his leg and a bomb next to him.

Fuck. How did he always end up in these situations?

Especially since he had mostly been worried about Fraser—after all he had been the one trying to track down the insane bomber with the help of Willie’s description, when the anonymous call came in, saying that one of the schools in their districts was about to blow up.

Ray had just tried to figure out which school it was. Who would’ve thought he would get lucky on both instances?

Willie, a kid Fraser apparently knew from way back, had come up to Fraser a week ago saying a strange guy living in his neighbourhood was going around talking to people and buying stuff and that at first he had thought it was just another psycho but then he got scared so he thought he’d better let Fraser check it out.

But, of course, the moment Fraser appeared the guy had vanished from the face of the earth and no one had seen or heard anything. And then the call came in and they split up.

Fraser following the address the call had been traced to and Ray following a hunch.

He remembered a school not too far away in which a teacher had killed a student and wounded another roughly a year ago before aiming the gun at himself. It seemed worth a try and time was running out.

So he picked that one and Huey and Dewey and the rest covered the remaining schools and off he went.

Fuck. Why did his hunches always have to be right?

At the school Ray realized that the homicide had happened exactly a year to the day ago. There was a memorial shrine in front of the building but most of the people had already left after the memorial service in the morning.

And at first Ray thought he had been wrong. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to attack the building during the memorial service?

But once he rounded the corner to the first floor he found the director of the school lying on the ground, a huge bump on his forehead.

Ray helped him up.

“Hey man, come on…” The man groaned and as soon as his eyes focused he started to claw at Ray’s arm.

“He’s got her! Oh my god, he’s got her. You’ve got to help her!”

“Easy, easy. Who’s got who?”

“Gordon Wilson! He’s got my daughter, he’s got Elizabeth. He’s going to kill her, please, you—“

Wilson was the dead boy’s father. Ray remembered from a newspaper article last year. So this was revenge… Ray remembered, the article had said that Wilson blamed the director of the school for missing the signs that one of his teachers was about to run amok.

Police had investigated the thing but nothing had come of it, apparently the director had been as clueless as the rest. Everyone had said that their colleague had been a well-adjusted, very polite, perfectly fine individual. Unremarkable, had been the word they had all agreed on.

“Alright, alright. Calm down. Do you know which direction they left?”

“He said- oh god- he said something about the song ending-no, no— ending this with a song. That’s what he said. I-I don’t know what that means!! You have to help her!!” The man was beside himself.

Ray smacked himself.

“The music room. Where’s the music room?” His hunch had led him so far, it wouldn’t let him down now.

“On the second floor. Oh please—“

“I want you to go outside, okay? Fast. There’s a bomb in here. You’re not helping her like this. I promise I’ll get your daughter out of here. RUN!”

Ray shoved at the father who stumbled and hesitated. Ray snarled at him: “GO!” And then on sudden inspiration to give the man something to do he shouted “Get the people in front of the building away!!”

And the director finally kicked into action.

Ray pulled his mobile out of his pocket and called dispatch.

“Here’s detective Ray Kowalski. It’s the West Chicago Community High School; I repeat it’s the West Chicago Community High School. We need someone to close off the area, quickly. We might have a hostage situation in here so stay clear, I repeat: Do NOT enter. Over.”

Ray took the stairs two at a time. When he reached the second floor he saw a man pulling a young girl along with him into another room.

Ray crept up behind them. He needed the element of surprise if he wanted to enable the kid to escape.

He sneaked a glance through the window and saw that the man had let go of the girl—reaching for something on the desk, probably something to bind her. Now.

Ray pushed the door open and before the man had fully turned around Ray had tackled him to the ground.

“RUN!” he shouted at Elizabeth who stood there frozen to the spot. “You’re father’s outside, take the quickest route. RUN dammit!” And Elizabeth nodded and sprinted out of the door.

Ray only managed to keep Wilson pinned down for a moment longer before he elbowed Ray in the ribs and broke free.

“You’re not the one I wanted for this scenario,” Wilson panted before he took a look at his watch.

“But we don’t have the time to change this now, pity.” He raised his arm and fired a bullet straight into Ray’s leg. Ray howled in pain and Wilson smiled in satisfaction.

“Just to make sure that at least one person is going to be here for the big finale. You probably won’t live long enough to listen to the full symphony though.”

Wilson backed out of the door, running toward the exit while Ray cradled his shot leg.

“Shit!”

Okay, okay. The bomb. Think about the pain in the leg later; get rid of the bomb first.

And then Ray saw it and turned pale. It wasn’t a bomb, as in ‘one’. The bomb was inside of the paper lantern sitting on the desk…. the same paper lantern Ray had seen at various intervals around the school for the memorial. If that was a bomb, there were probably countless others…

Bastard, that was what he had meant with the ‘full symphony’. Ray hobbled over to the desk ripped the paper part away, and there, right at the base of the lantern was a small plastic case with a red digital number counting downward.

4 minutes 36 seconds left.

He was going to die. Yes, it was nice while it lasted. Happiness probably couldn’t go on forever, the simple truths in life.

Ray sank down against the wall with the bomb in his hands and pulled out his mobile again.

“Here’s detective Kowalski. Put me through to Welsh.”

Outside of the building, police had managed to get the civilians away. An ambulance was taking care of Mr. Tanner, the director of the school, and his daughter. Another blue and white held Mr. Wilson in custody.

The radio in one of the patrol cars crackled to life.

“This is Kowalski.” Welsh picked up the mouthpiece with a tense gesture. Fraser leaned closer, his brows drawn together.

“Kowalski what’s going on in there?”

Ray laughed bitterly. “It’s going to be a real blast I assure you. It’s not one bomb, there’s one in almost every other room here. In fact, I’m sitting right next to one.”

“You get out of there Kowalski, I mean it.” Welsh clenched his fist.

“I can’t… I’m shot.” Ray admitted.

“We’re going in—“

“YOU’RE NOT! There’s no way that you can disarm all of the bombs in here in…” there was a short pause as Ray checked the timer on the bomb, “3 minutes and 56 seconds. You’ll get everyone killed.”

Welsh fist connected with the hood of the patrol car so hard it left a dent.

“Lieutenant, you have to give the command for all of them to stay outside.” Ray said in a reasonable tone, betraying his own anxiety.

“…fine. You better survive Kowalski.” He handed the walkie-talkie to Fraser and approached the guy with the megaphone to have everyone stay put.

“Ray!”

“Hey Fraser… I’m sorry, you hear me?”

“Where are you?”

“Isn’t it ironic? I never went to a classic concert but I’m dying right next to a grand piano.”

“I’ll be right there!”

“STAY! You won’t get your stupid Canadian head blown off, do you understand me? Not on my watch. I worked too hard to keep you alive over the years. Now let me get to work on this stupid bomb… I love you.”

“I love you too.” Fraser whispered before the radio went dead.

Ray cursed and went to work on the bomb. Even if he did manage to dismantle this one chances were good that he would die anyway. And escaping out of the second floor with a shot leg wasn’t something Ray even needed to consider.

Ray looked at the different colors of the wires.

Blue is hope, black means we won’t cope… hm… Red is dead, blue is through, black is…

The countdown read 2 minutes 43 seconds. Ray’s hands were sweaty.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.” Ray murmured fingering the wires again.

Black was the color of coffee, blue was the color of the police and red… red was the color of…

2 minutes 03 seconds remaining.

Better to wait or better get it over and done quickly?

Swallowing Ray plucked the wire—and the countdown stopped.

“Ray!”

Ray’s eyes widened— that stubborn Canadian…

“Get out of here!” Ray shouted hoarsely in the direction of the window.

A few breaths later Fraser’s head appeared over the window sill before he heaved himself inside.

He smiled relieved when his eyes found Ray’s.

“I’m glad I found you.”

“Fraser! The rest of the bombs go off in about one and a half minutes. I told you to stay outside! Dammit!! How did you even manage to—nevermind, I don’t even wanna know.”

“You said you wouldn’t leave me if you didn’t have to.” Fraser stated matter-of-factly.

Ray gaped at him.

“And you chose to believe me NOW?? Fraser if I bite the dust now you’re going to die as well!”

“I’m not going to let you die alone.”

“You stubborn son of a—“

“Partners, Ray.”

Ray looked sharply at Fraser but Fraser wasn’t backing down on this.

“…alright,” Ray sighed in defeat.

“Thank you. Now we have to hurry, I can’t carry you down and we don’t have the time to leave the building. Do you know where the next bomb is?”

“Yeah… the room next to this should be a broom cupboard or something so that’s out. I’d say the class room next to us because it’s the art room. This is the top floor so…”

“Right.” Fraser took a look around and seemed to be calculating. “Okay, let me help you up.”

He reached down and slung his arm underneath Ray’s arms to heave him up. Ray groaned in pain but let himself be pulled. Fraser rather carried than supported him but together they made it to the farthest corner of the room.

He let Ray sink down again and had just opened his mouth when a deafening explosion set in. Fraser flung himself down to cover Ray and a second later a fine, white dust was hovering in the air, bits and pieces of furniture lay scattered around the room.

Fraser lifted his head and coughed.

“Are you hurt?”

Ray wiped at his eyes to protect them from the debris.

“No, you?”

“I’m fine.”

Fraser stood up and helped Ray to his feet.

“How did you manage to defuse the bomb?”

Ray grinned.

“I guessed. You Canadians are hopelessly unoriginal in your color choice.”

Fraser’s eyebrows climbed up into his hairline.

“Excuse me?”

“I picked the red one, reminded me of your serge and all the stuff about it representing the Queen.”

“And how does our bomber figure into all this?”

“Don’t you think Gordon Wilson sounds awfully Canadian?”

Fraser was speechless. Ray used that moment to wrap his arms around him and pull him close for a kiss. The sound of crumbling stone brought them back to the present.

The whole wall where Ray had been sitting before had collapsed, even the doorway was blocked.

This whole thing was going to come down in a matter of minutes.

Ray pulled his mobile out again.

When the radio beeped Welsh couldn’t believe his ears.

“We might need some assistance getting out,” came Ray’s cheerful voice slightly distorted through the tinny speakers.

“You better be more dead than alive. I swear the Constable better be unconscious, otherwise he has some discussion about following protocol coming that he won’t know what hit him.”

“I’m terribly sorry Lieutenant Welsh. I’m well aware that my misconduct will have consequences and I am well prepared to take responsibility for my actions.”

Welsh’s sigh was long suffering.

“Where are you?”

Ray and Fraser smiled at each other.

Ray had to admit it had been a long and bumpy ride but he wouldn’t give it up for the world.

 ~ Epilogue ~

When the door to the small cabin opened, bringing a gust of cold air with it, Ray was immediately on his feet.

Dief bounded in to greet him but Ray had only a second to ruffle his fur to spare before his attention was drawn to Fraser.

His cheeks were red from the biting wind and his cheeks were covered in stubble.

Ray stalked in his direction and Fraser’s look turned apprehensive when he saw Ray’s determined expression.

Ray didn’t even wait for Fraser to finish taking his coat off before he wrapped his arms around him to pull his lips closer.

Fraser’s lips were cold and chapped against Ray’s heated tongue and Fraser moaned softly when Ray slipped his tongue inside.

Strong hands pulled Ray closer against Fraser’s cold body, leaving snowflakes melting on Ray’s sweater.

The kiss turned demanding, Ray’s tongue was probing deeper with an urgency that made Fraser’s head spin.

He broke the kiss with a gasp.

Ray,” he growled—a warning and a question.

Ray did a quick box step back before he jumped forward again, all restless energy, two fingers stabbing accusingly in Fraser’s direction.

You,” he stressed the syllable with a hard look in Fraser’s eyes. Fraser blinked surprised; it had been a while since he had seen Ray angry.

“Didn’t you want to be back two days ago? Two fucking days Fraser? I mean, what the hell? Or didn’t you tell me you’d be finished by Wednesday, huh?”

“I—no, yes I said that.” Fraser smoothed a knuckle over his eyebrow.

“And is it Wednesday now? No it fucking is not. It’s Friday Fraser… you know what Friday is? Friday is two days later then fucking Wednesday!” Ray raged, throwing his hands in the air in exasperation.

Fraser licked his lips and ducked his head slightly. He watched Ray’s expression carefully for a moment.

“Have you been worried?” he asked softly.

That seemed to take the wind out of Ray’s sails. He sputtered for a second before jabbing his fingers again towards Fraser’s chest.

“Damn right I was—“

But Fraser didn’t let him continue. He pulled Ray in a tight embrace and cut his rant off with a deep kiss. When he finally released Ray, Ray was breathing hard. But he seemed considerably calmer.

“I’m sorry Ray. We apprehended the miscreant a little later than I had expected. We had to cross the pass up ahead of Nelson Forks—you know the area,” Fraser looked questioningly at Ray.

“Yeah, we flew past it when Matty and I flew up those crates. Damn rough territory,” Ray admitted while he finally helped Fraser out of his coat.

“Yes exactly, and difficult to navigate. Well, we caught up with him in the end but it was easier to go further and leave him at the next outpost than carry him back with us. However,” Fraser let himself drop down on the couch and started to unlace his boots, “a recent storm had damaged the phone lines so I couldn’t let you know that our trip went 20 kilometers further than I had anticipated—“

“What’s 20 kilometers?”

Fraser looked amused.

“You’ve been living in Canada for almost a year and you still haven’t figured out the metric system?”

Ray looked annoyed. “I have better things to do in my spare time.”

Fraser smiled. “20 kilometers are 12.4 miles.” Fraser sighed with relief when he pushed his heavy boots off. “I would have let you know if I could have.”

Ray knocked his shoulder against Fraser’s and smiled. “I know.”

He smiled ruefully. “I knew you had a reason for kidnapping me to Canada. So that I’d be the one constantly worrying if you’d come back to me because I can’t always be there to watch your back.”

Fraser’s eyebrows shot up.

“Don’t be ridiculous.” There was a pause and Fraser licked his lips before he continued with a smirk. “I just wanted to make sure that you wouldn’t meet anyone you found more interesting than me.”

Ray grinned back.

“And I can’t meet anyone here?”

“You mean in Canada?”

Ray grimaced.

“Uhm… right.” Ray’s grin turned sly. “See, I knew you had a devious plot when you asked me to come and live with you in the middle of nowhere.”

Fraser leaned over to kiss Ray. When he pulled back he whispered against Ray’s lips, “then why did you say yes?”

Ray smiled gently at Fraser, blue eyes dancing. “Because I knew that you finally trusted me to stick around.”

Fraser pulled Ray into a hug and breathed in deeply.

“…that and I couldn’t risk that you settled for some hideous Canadian logger instead of my handsome self.”

Fraser couldn’t quite hide the chuckle. “You know very well that I could never replace you, Ray.” Fraser chided gently.

Yeah… and wasn’t that the biggest fucking mystery of Ray’s life? –Just plain Ray Kowalski. But for Fraser that was more than enough.

It blew his mind. It made even Canada a pretty great place to live.

– THE END –

P.S.
Can anyone think of a fitting summary to the story as a whole? When I wrote the story I was just thinking of a little snippet of a few thousand words about the boys suffering from cabin fever which leads to hot sex in the end.
Uhm…yeah… that was roughly 40.000 words ago so… I don’t think the present summary is a very accurate one. So any ideas would be welcome. What do you think the story is about?
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