The case was a bad one. Young women had been abducted, raped, and killed. But this time they had almost been on time. Only almost didn’t cut it – they were too late.
And the girl died. She was 16, still a child. She died in Ray’s arms. They caught the guy – Ray made damn sure they did. But that wouldn’t bring Janey back to life again.
Fraser drives them back to Ray’s apartment as soon as the Lieutenant gives the ‘all clear’ and tells them not to show their faces at the station for the next week, to ‘take a bit of rest to deal with everything in their own time’.
Ray is so quiet on the car drive, withdrawn and motionless. Once they arrive at their destination Ray’s body seems to function on autopilot. He turns the key in the front door, he takes the steps one at a time but they are the movements of an old man, weary and exhausted. The moment they are inside, Ray goes straight to the cupboard in the corner and takes a bottle of scotch out. He doesn’t even wait to sit down. He takes the first one standing up.
Fraser notices that Ray has still blood on his hands but Ray doesn’t seem to notice. He sits down on the couch with his glass and the bottle and Fraser sits down next to him – what else could he have offered his friend?
Ray’s quiet for a very long time, nursing his scotch. One drink moves seamlessly into the next, the pouring an almost unconscious action.
He can still feel her lithe body in his arms. Her body had still been warm when he found her. Ray looks at his hands that close uselessly around thin air.
So much blood. He starts rubbing at his hands, trying to get the dried blood of. He begins to panic when it doesn’t vanish, the skin already an angry red.
“Ray,” Fraser says softly and Ray stands up abruptly. He doesn’t want to hear it. The water from the kitchen sink is almost too hot to bear but Ray doesn’t care, he scrubs furiously at his hands until they are red and hurting – but clean.
Clean… as if his hands could ever be clean. “The stink just the same… bad people,” he mutters before he takes his spot in front of the scotch bottle again. The next drink numbs his throat. Numbness is welcome.
He’s not saying much safe for the occasional mumble, “fucking sixteen” he spits. There’s nothing special about this case, Ray has seen as much before. Maybe it’s just one time too often?
And nothing Fraser says makes any difference. Fraser reassures him that they cannot expect to save everyone. That they are doing their best. It’s no one’s fault.
It falls on deaf ears. Because it isn’t something Ray doesn’t know. But it sure as hell isn’t Janey’s fault. Ray can still feel the blood on his hands.
He needs something else to occupy his mind, get it out of his system. He needs to stop thinking. He needs for this sick feeling in his gut to stop.
Fraser has fallen silent next to him. Good.
He takes another sip of scotch. The burn of the alcohol down his throat is the only thing keeping him warm.
“Alcohol is not the answer,” Fraser says softly and Ray gives a bitter laugh, turning around to look at Fraser.
The gentleness, the sympathy in his eyes is overwhelming – too much to cope with and Ray can’t bear those kinds of feelings now, can’t stand the hope in them, the unshaken belief.
With a bitter twist to his lips Ray fists his hand into Fraser’s tunic, pulling him toward him and taking his lips in a hurtful kiss.
It tastes of despair, of anger and fear but there’s something underneath it all, something like calm. So Ray attacks Fraser’s mouth with a vengeance, trying to get more of that taste.
From somewhere far away Ray hears a muffled noise of surprise but he pays it no heed. All he can focus on is the sound of his own rushing blood. He pushes forward, pressing Fraser back and the Mountie goes without resistance. He attacks the buckles and snaps on Fraser’s serge with a ferocity that’s bordering on violence.
Fraser tries to say something but Ray smothers every sound with another biting kiss until Fraser gives up on speech. Ray’s fingers open every snap and every button they can find until he has Fraser out of his clothes.
The feel of skin underneath his hands and lips keeps the whispers in his head down to a low buzz and Ray tries to drown himself in the sensations. Fraser’s skin is soft… innocently white… unblemished. And he bites at the tender flesh, leaving red teeth marks on it, tainting him.
But it’s never enough. He can feel the taste of despair at the back of his throat so he shoves his tongue back into Fraser’s mouth, running away from himself, searching Fraser’s taste out again –and Fraser moans—or maybe it’s a sound of protest. Ray doesn’t know for sure but he doesn’t care much either way.
Getting underneath Fraser’s skin is the only way to get out of his own and Fraser’s body is there; stretched out and open before him.
He wets down two fingers and opens him up. The sound of his own breathing is so very loud, it drowns out everything else. The memories can’t reach him where he is buried in Fraser’s hot, hot body.
There’s no thought left, just his need and Fraser’s pliant body. Ray gropes around on the couch table and finds a bottle of hand lotion from one of his feel good Sunday afternoon wanks that seems a million years ago now.
His hands are shaking when he undoes his pants and slicks himself up. He withdraws his fingers and Fraser gasps, the eyes dark and glassy. Ray gives his own cock one more stroke and Fraser licks his lips and turns around.
Ray’s eyes go hot. He moves behind Fraser, leaning over his back and sinking his teeth into Fraser’s nape. He bites tightly around the skin and Fraser gasps brokenly when Ray enters him in one slow stroke.
Ray’s thrusts are harsh, punishing. It’s hate-fucking –only it’s not Fraser he hates. But it’s still Fraser who takes the fall for it. Shuddering underneath him, making those low moans in his chest, grunting with every forceful slam of Ray’s hips.
And Ray feels his climax building, he’s pushing in again and again, as deep as he can and when his orgasm finally hits it almost shatters him. He collapses on top of Fraser.
Fraser must have come, too, there’s a wet spot underneath them. Ray rolls to the side, panting hard. A few moments later he’s dropped into an exhausted sleep.
When he wakes up the next day around noon Fraser is gone and Ray’s mouth tastes like shit. He’s still lying on the couch half-dressed. The moment he raises his head the world tilts on its axis. Ray starts to retch – he makes it to the bathroom but only barely.
When he comes back, ashen-faced and shivering he concludes that drinking himself to death might not be the worst fate.
It beat facing this shitty life hands down on some occasions.
Oh God… Fraser…
Ray can’t face this; he’s not ready to face the ugliest part of himself. Pictures come unbidden to Ray’s mind. He does another hurried trip to the bathroom where he starts to hurl.
Trying to numb his mind Ray spends the rest of the afternoon alternating between drinking, sleeping and retching.
But it’s not working. Once it gets dark the walls are closing in. And he needs space—he needs room to dodge the questions and the ugly truths. He has no answer for the ‘why’ – why Janey? Why one so young? Why weren’t they on time? Why couldn’t they save her? And he can’t stand looking in the mirror where all he can see is Fraser’s beautiful white skin bitten raw and streaked with scratch marks – a relief of blood on snow.
He grabs a shower – more in the hope of washing every trace off of himself than for any belief that he could get clean so easily.
He needs people around. Maybe –between all of their whispering and mindless talking—he will not be able to hear his own thoughts.
The pub is crowded and at first it helps. Ray drinks a scotch and another and one more but the itching feeling doesn’t go away – it only intensifies. Until Ray is bristling. People are so fucking retarded… they complain about nothing, bemoaning their own insignificant shitty little excuse for a living, where loyalty is only something you could achieve with money or force and cracking dumb jokes to take the last bit of meaning away.
Ray doesn’t know who started it; all he knows is the feeling of relief when the fist connects with the pit of his stomach. He puts up a good fight though, he manages a lucky punch to the eye of a beefy guy, cracking his knuckles open in the process but the pain is sharp and clear. It doesn’t last long. Three guys keep a grip on Ray until the door to the pub swings open and the crowd shoves him at the newcomer with a collective sigh of relief.
Ray connects firmly with a flannel clad chest, the smell of neat’s-foot oil from the belt wafting up.
“I’m terribly sorry,” Fraser pacifies everyone, “thank you kindly for calling me.”
Strong hands are gripping Ray’s shoulder and they pull him out of the bar. Ray doesn’t care anymore, all the fight has left him.
“Are you all right?” Fraser asks gently, looking worried. Ray laughs—he’s so far from okay it’s a fucking joke.
Fraser’s touch turns soft, steadying Ray and they start on the short walk to Ray’s flat. Fraser helps Ray up the stairs and deposits him on the corner of the bed. He leaves for a second, coming back a moment later with bandages and wipes for Ray’s cut knuckles.
“I was looking for you earlier. It was an advantage that you are quite the well-known figure in your neighborhood.” Fraser explains quietly while he treats Ray’s wound.
He looks up when Ray doesn’t say anything and the moment their eyes meet Ray feels the same jolt to his gut as the night before. He’s all movement, no thought, just impulse.
He flies to Fraser with both hands stretched out, reaching toward Fraser’s face. His hands come to rest on Fraser’s cheeks and he pulls his face closer, kissing him, drinking him in.
It feels like breathing.
As long as his lips could taste him, as long as his fingers could keep touching his skin, Ray would be alright. It’s quiet. Besting despair in the most primal way possible. It’s like trying to catch the light between his fingers, as if he could draw the light out of Fraser.
He pulls Fraser up to him on the bed –touching every inch he can reach. It’s a frenzy; everything he had fought over the course of the day he writes into Fraser’s skin now with every touch, with every lick, with every bite.
Sucking underneath Fraser’s collarbone until the skin blossoms into a crimson flower, smoothing over the handprint he had left on Fraser’s upper arm the night before. Finding the small bruise where he bit Fraser’s nape and tonguing the little welts his teeth have left.
Fraser is whimpering softly underneath him. His body is moving against Ray’s in a slow dance between the sheets.
And Ray takes everything. His need is all consuming. The need to forget is rapidly disintegrating everything else –every doubt, every restraint—into ash.
There‘s a darkness inside of him, clawing at him to get out, to sink its claws into Fraser’s unmarred skin. And Fraser feeds it with every tantalizing slide of his body against Ray’s.
Ray presses him flat against the mattress, leaning over his back, lube coated fingers dipping between Fraser’s cheeks and in—deep and drawn out, again and again—until Fraser’s body is trembling underneath him.
Ray spreads the cheeks and pushes in—hot and tight and Fraser spreads his legs further. It isn’t gentler than last time but it’s less angry, there is a mind shattering need to it. A distress and helplessness in Ray’s deep thrusts, the way he stops motionless in between to leave another hickey on Fraser’s beautiful skin, pressing his hot lips against the shivering skin – a need to claim, a need for a reaction that goes so far, so deep inside that Fraser would probably not have been willing to give it had it been up to him.
Ray is biting at Fraser’s shoulders, sucking in air frantically—he’s so close, so fucking close. And Fraser pushes his leg further to the side, lifting his hip slightly off the bed to reach between the sheets and himself and Ray moans, watching transfixed as Fraser jerks himself off in time to Ray’s frantic thrusts.
Ray’s orgasm takes him when he feels Fraser shaking underneath him, biting his lip and throwing his head back.
Ray doesn’t know when he fell asleep but he’s alone when he wakes up. His head is trying to split in two and his body feels hot and cold at the same time.
It becomes a pattern. He drinks, does something stupid, and Fraser comes to take care of him. And he fucks Fraser. Getting rid of all the agony and all of his inability to change anything, running away from facing reality, hiding behind booze and sex with the best of them.
If it wasn’t for Fraser, Ray’s self-destructing race would have probably reached its ultimate goal. What did a life mean anyway in a world where people died a dime a dozen?
On the fifth day Ray’s supply of scotch is drained and his cock feels sore. He drinks beer instead but it’s not the same, not strong enough to knock him off his feet.
He considers driving but while he couldn’t care less about his own insignificant existence he can’t face risking that of others. So he walks to the liquor store.
Ray takes a few swigs directly from the bottle and his nerves finally stop shaking. The consulate isn’t far away. It has always been Fraser who came looking for him; maybe it’s time to change that.
Business hours are long over but it’s not late. He thinks about knocking but that would give Fraser a fair warning so he picks the lock with his credit card.
Dief comes trotting along to greet him and Ray ruffles his fur for a second.
“Give us some space would ya mutt?”
Dief gives an approving yip before he vanishes into one of the other rooms. Before Ray can even open the door to Fraser’s office the door opens to reveal the man himself—looking surprised and apprehensive.
Ray doesn’t wait for a greeting; he shoves him back until his back hits a stack of cardboard boxes and takes a kiss from him.
Ray’s not nearly as drunk as the last few days, the beer and the few mouthful of whiskey not enough to keep him numb. He’s making noises while his tongue flicks into Fraser’s mouth, trying to get to Fraser’s taste underneath the slightly herbal taste from his tea. Ray sounds like he’s sobbing but he can’t help it anyway. His shoulders are beginning to shake.
For the first time, Fraser touches him back. Fraser’s warm arms come up around him, cradling his head and Ray needs to break the kiss or suffocate on his own tear-choked breathing. Fraser’s hand trails down to relieve Ray’s grip on the scotch bottle. Slightly unwilling, Ray lets it go.
It feels naked, as if he had just lost his safety blanket and Ray feels his nerves getting jittery again. Stop this, stop this, stop his. No thoughts, no pictures please.
“Shh… I got you.” Fraser’s voice is quiet and warm. Is it really the first thing Fraser has said to him during the last few days? Or did he talk before but Ray had not listened?
Fraser pushes him down onto his cot, removing Ray’s clothing piece by piece and Ray is trembling—more, he needs more to shut his head up. Oblivion is his god and Ray is fervently praying, like someone condemned to death.
And Fraser notices the soft shaking and his touch turns demanding, a caress becomes a grip and a kiss leads the way to a battlefield. Ray gasps. This is what he needs a force that demands all his concentration, that requires him to surrender everything until his mind is full with the feel of Fraser’s hands pressing into his upper arms, his teeth sinking into his hip bone with a sharp sting—and then Fraser’s fingers pushing inside of him, relentless and merciless.
And then there’s Fraser above him, looking down at him but Ray can’t see a thing, he’s all feeling, lost in a sea of sensations which is when Fraser pushes in—his cock much thicker than his fingers had been and Ray gasps and moans, using every ounce of willpower to open up, to relax, to just take it.
His body the vessel to pay for everything. A prayer for absolution.
Fraser is everywhere and Ray can’t think anymore—couldn’t if his life depended on it. Fraser doesn’t let him. Ray’s clawing at Fraser’s back, frantically trying to get more or closer or inside of that white skin and Fraser grunts at the red streaks that Ray’s fingernails leave on his skin. But it’s just edging him on and Ray sees his world actually whitening out. Fraser’s blue eyes and dark hair directly above him and then everything is blasted to parts, a big white nothing and Ray shudders with the force of his climax.
There are tear tracks on his cheeks once he regains his sight and Fraser is already laying half on top and half next to him, keeping him pushed against the rickety little cot.
Ray’s breathing sounds unsteady and Fraser pulls him close.
“Oh God…” It’s a sob because the floodgates are opened now. An avalanche of thoughts and memories – some true, some imagined – that Ray had tried to keep at bay, had tried to keep smothered with alcohol but there’s no stopping it now.
As if Fraser had found the one spot where Ray had put it all and now it’s all pouring out.
Ray doesn’t know how long he’s weeping, whispering brokenly all the time, through the tears and the trembling. It’s a confession or a last prayer – Ray doesn’t know for what.
For the unfairness of this world to stop, maybe. Or for not being able to save everyone. A mourn song for every victim.
And Fraser’s simply there, holding him, rocking him ever so softly until Ray has talked himself hoarse.
The last thing Ray feels is Fraser, pressing his lips against Ray’s temple, licking the tears away that have leaked out of the corner of his eyes. Ray draws in a shuddering breath and drops off to sleep.
He wakes up at some point in the middle of the night. He’s… he doesn’t know what he’s feeling.
He feels empty. Cleansed. Maybe.
Ray gets dressed as quietly as he can and starts the long way home.
Once at home Ray slips right back under the covers. But sleep eludes him. He’s calm though. It’s a strange feeling to have it finally quiet in his mind again.
His fingers rub absently over a dark, red bruise on his throat where Fraser sucked until the blood surfaced; proof that Ray has still blood pumping through his veins, that he is still alive.
He can still feel Fraser’s lips on the mark. Fraser’s everywhere; Ray brought him back with him, engraved in his skin.
Ray spends the rest of the day with his head in his hands. He doesn’t drink a drop of alcohol.
The last day of his leave passes and Ray is okay with that. He feels okay, he can do it. Because he knows that as long as he is doing his job there might be one Janey more alive in this world than if he gave up on it and that seems like a pretty worthwhile task.
Faith. That’s what he had lost and what he had found again in Fraser… or that Fraser had been able to save and bring out in him again.
So Ray goes to work again and Fraser comes over to liaise. Just like always. Welsh insists on a psych evaluation so they have that, too. The psychiatrist is satisfied with the way they are dealing with the recent events. This comes as no surprise to Ray.
They haven’t talked about what happened between them. But it’s under Ray’s skin now and he can’t help pinching his skin, trying to figure it out.
He’s looking for it in Fraser’s eyes but they are carefully devoid of meaning. Ray knows if he could just see this spark again he’d know…
Sooner or later the need to know drives him to another bar. The girl he picks up is a dark brunette with blue eyes. Her skin is fair, like cream… almost white. Out of the corner of his eyes Ray sees a fellow detective when they are about to leave; they nod at each other by way of a greeting.
The next morning everyone is hollering and catcalling at Ray’s good luck. He winces. This had not been his intention. When Fraser arrives it doesn’t take him more than two minutes to grasp the implications behind the good natured ribbing of Ray’s colleagues.
His reaction is… interesting.
Fraser looks about to make up an excuse to leave so Ray doesn’t let him speak.
“Can we talk?” He asks instead and Fraser nods, already looking around for a place to sit down.
“No, not here—later.” Fraser nods again but he doesn’t look happy.
After work Ray gestures towards the GTO and Fraser gets in. Ray takes them back to his apartment. They take a seat on Ray’s couch like countless times before.
Fraser places his hat on the couch table and tries not to fidget. Ray swings a leg over him and settles in Fraser’s lap. A surprised gasp escapes Fraser but it’s swallowed by Ray’s insisting lips, moving gently against his own. His tongue begs for entrance and Fraser lets him—just like that. No questions asked and Ray is back to that taste that makes him feel addicted. It tastes of security, a firm belief, an unshaken finality and it makes heat pool in Ray’s groin.
Ray pulls back and meets Fraser’s gaze head-on. There’s the spark again and a feeling of conviction washes warmly down Ray’s spine.
“Why?” he asks softly and Fraser bites his lips, looking bewildered.
“You let me hurt you,” Ray states softly but it looks as if it pains Fraser to admit as much. “I hurt you again this morning,” Ray asks questioningly, referring to his one night stand and Fraser’s nod looks painful.
“Why?” he asks again and Fraser’s face crumbles slightly. Ray kisses him again then.
“I’m sorry… I needed to know.” Ray explains.
“Know what?” Fraser asks, so very quietly Ray can barely hear him.
“That you love me.” Ray answers, as sure as if someone asked him his own name.
Fraser bites his lip again and looks away but Ray just clings tighter to Fraser’s body beneath him.
“And that… I love you, too.”
Fraser’s gaze snaps back to him and Ray smiles slightly. “I needed to know.”
And this time, when Fraser nods, he looks full of wonder.
“Make love to me?” Ray asks quietly.
“Oh, Ray…” Fraser whispers and takes his lips in a kiss.
They kiss for a long time. Sitting on the couch, pressed close, touching again and again, worshipping each other.
And this time it’s not a plea to forget but a memorial. Ray removes Fraser’s tunic and henley with his help, kissing every bruise, every mark he left on the innocent skin.
Then it’s Ray’s turn and Fraser strips him off his shirt and Ray can hear the whisper of Fraser’s ghost underneath his skin with every touch, making his blood sing. The time it takes to get rid of their pants and underwear is almost too long to bear before they can touch again.
Finally, Ray lowers himself onto Fraser, moaning softly with every inch he takes in further until he is fully sheathed. Ray’s trembling ever so softly and Fraser’s arms come around him, holding him grounded.
They kiss again when Ray starts to move his hips. It’s slow, long and drawn out and Ray is completely lost in the feeling. And Fraser is looking at him… the eyes intense… it takes Ray’s breath away.
So that when Fraser curls his fingers around Ray’s erection he bucks up, gasping helplessly and still his eyes are fixed on Fraser’s. It’s too much—he pushes up into the circle of Fraser’s fist, once, twice, grinding back onto Fraser’s cock and his orgasm is a wave that’s cresting and it’s mirrored in Fraser’s eyes.
They keep sitting like that for a while longer. Kissing and pressing against each other, sticky and sweaty but an answer all in itself to at least one of the ‘whys’: “Why not give up?”
One prayer answered.
— The End —