Word Count: 6,893
A/N: Lyra went totally over time on this one. I kept her up until daybreak, and well into the next night writing/betaing. She's amazing, and I would be nothing but a quivering pile of insecurity without her. *snugs her girl*
You can read at my site ...
Ray wakes up in the middle of the night, fucking *scared* – heart pounding, palms sweating, whole deal. He doesn’t remember what he was dreaming, not really, except maybe there were giraffes and a lot of red swirling things, and Fraser was there. But beyond that, he’s got nothing, and he can’t shake the fear and yeah, okay, there’s about ten stitches across his thigh and a lump the size of a frickin’ baseball on his forehead, but that’s to be expected.
He’s taken a bullet before, for *real*, and never ended up this freaked out after – and today was just a graze. Just a nice new scar on his already marked up body, not a damned thing to worry over. Since he got home from the hospital, he hasn’t even really thought about it beyond the occasional, “Ow, fuck that hurts.”
So he got shot at, so what? Or – correction – so he got shot at when he threw himself in front of Fraser trying out his very best human shield impression. It wasn’t something he planned; it was just something he did. The minute Ray saw the gun out, he was in the air, covering Fraser with his body, and returning fire, and like it always does it ended up fine. The bad guy got a bullet in the shoulder and Ray got a couple stitches, and that was the end of it.
Except not really, Ray thinks, flopping over forcefully and punching his pillow a couple of times. Ray’s heart is just beating and beating and beating, and either he’s having a heart attack, or he’s still scared, and there’s no good reason for it, no reason whatsoever except maybe for the look on Fraser’s face when it all went down, or the way that Fraser touched him all over trying to make sure he was okay, or maybe even the way Fraser’s voice sounded rusting and shaky when he called Ray’s name over and over and over until Ray croaked out something that was probably, “Fuck off, I’m busy bleeding here”.
To him was just an every day thing, no big deal, just the cost of doing business and yeah, okay, maybe not the best thing ever, but fine – bleeding. It happened. Fraser though – Fraser freaked *out*, and when Ray opened his eyes, Fraser looked like *he* was going to faint.
So Ray reached out, covered his hand, said, “Hey, I’m fine, okay?”
And Fraser – Fraser just practically *wilted*, all the tension going out of him as he leaned his head down toward Ray’s, so that they were forehead to forehead for a few seconds. Ray didn’t even complain about how much his head hurt, just lay there with Fraser holding his hand until the ambulance showed up.
And Ray’s just now realizing – hey, maybe that wasn’t a normal reaction, hey, maybe Fraser *freaked the fuck out* and hey, maybe there’s something going on with Fraser.
He’s thinking, hey, maybe Fraser almost goddamned *kissed* me back there, and hey, maybe Fraser kind of loves me, and his room is far too fucking *dark* for this kind of thinking. Except the lamp is too far away for Ray to turn it on without moving, and his leg hurts, and it’s been a long day, and he’s just not going to think about this now. He’s going to take really deep breaths, and go to sleep, because that’s what the doctors told him to do, and he figures that maybe once his life, he should do what he’s told. So he rolls over, and he counts sheep until his eyes droop closed.
The next morning, Ray decides the working hypothesis is that Fraser was just happy he didn’t die, and that Canadian weirdness coupled with panic made Fraser a little too intimate, that’s all.
Fraser’s a weird guy, and he does weird things, but he’s a *guy* and a straight guy at that. And Ray’s functionally bisexual, but stupid he ain’t, and there are all kinds of reasons that Fraser is strictly Not a Sex Object in Ray’s head, and that’s the way things should be.
He’s Ray’s partner. He’s a Mountie. He’s a total whack job. And he’s not in love with Ray, and that’s that, that’s the end, and even if Fraser’s a mighty fine looking man and he clung to Ray’s hand yesterday like it was some kind of *anchor* – something keeping *Fraser* in place – well, even if all those things are true, Fraser’s not in love with Ray.
Ray’s sure of it. Or, at least, he’s pretty sure.
Except, Ray’s less sure as he rides around next to Fraser all afternoon. And it’s not anything Fraser’s *saying* – because he’s just being Fraser, he’s just sitting there and talking about the case they’re working on – or anything Fraser’s *doing* really, because Fraser’s just got his hat in his lap, his elbow propped against the car window, making little passes of his thumb over his eyebrow every now and then.
No, it’s the way Fraser’s looking at him – or not looking at him, actually. And yeah, okay, maybe it’s a hell of a jump for Ray to think, “Fraser won’t look me in the eye, so he’s in love with me definitely”. But Fraser *won’t* look Ray in the eye, even though every time Ray looks over at Fraser, Fraser’s watching him.
Fraser watches him a hell of a lot, Ray’s starting to notice. He wonders if Fraser has *always* watched him this much, or if it’s a new thing. If it’s a head-injury concern thing.
And another thing is the way that Fraser doesn’t touch him. Because he doesn’t, not today. And usually – usually Fraser touches Ray a lot. This is something he’s also just starting to get, but yeah, usually Fraser’s hands are pretty much at home on Ray’s arm or shoulder or neck or whatever, and now it’s like – it’s like a fucking apartheid system keeping Fraser physically away from Ray.
He’ll reach out every now and then, like maybe he wants to touch Ray’s elbow, get his attention, but then he’ll curl his fingers back in, let his hand drop into his lap or whatever.
Ray’s working hypothesis about Canada and hysteria is starting to fall apart. He isn’t sure how he feels about it.
While they’re eating lunch and Fraser’s in the men’s room, Ray replays it in his head, how the might-have-been-almost-kiss went down.
Step one was Ray getting shot at for Fraser, and falling to the ground. Step two was Fraser freaking out and trying to find a bullet wound, and step three was Fraser figuring out he was fine.
Fraser’s face had been stiff, locked tight and white white *white* and his lips had been pressed together so hard that there wasn’t any color, but when Ray told Fraser he was okay – when Fraser got it that he wasn’t shot, not really – Fraser’s mouth dropped open and there was just *relief* all over Fraser’s face. But more than relief – gratitude, yeah, gratitude.
Fraser’d practically gone *limp* with it, and Ray thinks, as he remembers it, that Fraser looked like he was maybe ten seconds away from praying or something. His hands relaxed against Ray’s skin, his eyes bright and blue, and happy – Fraser’d been so beautifully happy to see Ray okay.
So that was step four.
Then step five was Fraser kind of imploding toward Ray, and his cool forehead flush up against Ray’s, his strong fingers squeezing Ray’s, his eyelashes sweeping shut – Ray’d been able to feel that, feel them whispering across his skin, Fraser’d been so close. He’d felt every little exhalation, too – Fraser’s breath coming out in puffs against his cheeks, nose, lips.
And then the almost kiss. Fraser pulled back enough to look down at Ray (step six), then moved in a little, just this tiny little crane of his neck, and his eyes were on Ray’s and his fingers tightened in Ray’s and his eyes closed again – and this all happened in maybe five seconds, maybe less. Then Fraser pulled away and that was it.
The whole thing was over, except Ray knew – even if he wasn’t thinking about it just then, because of the “Pain! Blood! Wound!” issue, on top of his partner flipping out royally next to him – Ray *knew* it’d happened. Almost happened. *Might* have almost happened.
Probably almost happened.
“Ray?” Fraser calls softly as he slips into the booth again. Ray looks up, and Fraser’s watching like maybe he’s worried, but his eyes still slip away when Ray tries to lock gazes.
“It’s nothing,” he says after a second, turning back to his plate and eating his fries one by one until they’re all gone.
Once Ray’s paying attention, there are all kinds of little things that make it pretty hard to deny the fact that yeah, Fraser probably does want him.
Like – Fraser stands close. Not only close enough for Ray to smell his aftershave (which is something clean and sharp that Ray can’t identify and thinks of just as Fraser-smell), but close enough that their sides touch, that Ray can feel the warmth coming off Fraser. Their hands brush when they walk. And Fraser does this thing all the time where he boxes Ray in, where he puts himself all *around* Ray.
Bodies talk, and Fraser’s body keeps telling Ray that it wants him to look at it – that it wants Ray to touch it.
And sometimes it’s like Fraser catches himself – like Fraser realizes he’s gone too far, or put his hand on Ray’s shoulder too many times, or watched Ray for too long, because all of a sudden he’ll stare at the ground and turn quiet. He’ll stand off to the side, and give Ray space, until he forgets to do that, and ends up right up against Ray again.
Ray never realized before that neither of them have any kind of personal space to speak of – not with one another.
So what the hell is *Ray*’s body saying?
It’s a fucking terrifying question.
Ray has not once gotten hard thinking about Fraser. He has not even *one* time jacked off thinking about Fraser. Fraser is *not* a sexual being in Ray’s mind, and Ray has worked *hard* at that, dammit.
Because Fraser is fucking pretty, and Ray’s got eyes. He can *see* that Fraser’s this tall, strong, cut guy. He can *see* that Fraser’s got the brightest eyes in the whole world. He can *see* that Fraser’s got a great ass and soft looking lips.
He’s not *blind*, dammit.
But he’s also *not* attracted to Fraser. He hasn’t *let* himself be attracted to Fraser. This was all on purpose, and a pretty fucking extreme act of will. A necessary one, though, because the first time Ray saw Fraser he noticed him.
Ray *really* noticed him.
And that spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e, which is actually pretty accurate because Fraser’s basically a trouble magnet but that’s beside the point.
Even if Fraser *does* want him – and Ray’s not even touching the love thing right now, because that can of worms is a can of worms that Ray would like to avoid for as long as possible – a lot of the reasons why Ray decided to not let himself be attracted to Fraser still stand.
He’s still Ray’s partner. He’s still a Mountie. He’s still a whackjob.
And the whackjob part is perhaps the most important part of this because, so what Fraser if wants him? Fraser’s a nut, a total loon, and if Ray decided to want Fraser (which he isn’t going to do) then he’d fall *hard* for Fraser, go into tailspin, the whole thing, he can already see it. And it’d be so easy to fall for Fraser – hell, at least ten people do it every day.
Falling for a loon is *not* something Ray wants to do, because what if Fraser changes his mind or something? What if Ray falls hard for Fraser, and then they start knocking boots, and then move in together, and Fraser – decides he wants something better or more Canadian or whatever?
Ray has played that game, and nobody but nobody wins it.
And besides, Fraser moving out would be more than just losing a – boyfriend, lover, husband, significant other – whatever the fuck they called it, except knowing him and Fraser, they probably wouldn’t even *talk* about it, let alone call it anything. They’d just move in together, they’d just start living the same life, and that’d be it. When that was over, though, Ray’d lose everything – again.
But this time *really* everything, not like with Stella, when he just lost everything he came home to. He’d lose his *partner* which is the very *first* reason they shouldn’t do anything.
And they *won’t* do anything, because Ray doesn’t want Fraser, and he *won’t* want Fraser. He just *won’t*.
“And you’re certain the man was in a clown suit?” Fraser asks, and the little old woman who’s just been robbed nods, eyes wide.
“Bright red hair and big shoes, sir,” she responds. Ray’s got his notebook out, and he’s writing things down, but he’s not really paying attention to her. Fraser is, and later Fraser’ll fill him in, and so when Fraser tips his hat at the lady Ray tells her they’ll be in touch, and he follows Fraser out the door.
When he gets in the car, he goes where Fraser tells him to, and he knows that Fraser knows that he’s thinking and needs a little quiet, and Fraser respects that. Because that’s how it is – they’re a partnership, they’re equals, they work together, they watch one another’s backs.
Ray is so used to thinking about Fraser as the guy he works with, the guy he trusts more than anyone else, the guy who’s essentially his best (and only) friend, that even thinking about Fraser as a guy who wants him is freaking him out. Let alone thinking about Fraser as a guy who might love him, and that’s just another reason Ray’s sure this whole thing would never work, even if he let himself feel all of the things he could *maybe* feel for Fraser.
He’s not ready for all the ways that would just fuck everything up. See, if they were sleeping together, Ray wouldn’t be able to have this time to just drive and think with Fraser sitting next to him, quiet. Ray’d feel like he’d have to talk or Fraser would think that Ray was upset with him, or upset in general, or maybe Fraser would think Ray was sad and it was his fault, and then Ray’d have to prove he wasn’t, and then Ray’d get snippy and they wouldn’t get the job done, and they wouldn’t go to bed happy either.
Who the hell needs that kind of trauma?
And besides, Ray doesn’t dig on change. Not like this, anyway. Because, see, him and Fraser now? They’ve got their ups and they’ve got their downs, and Ray doesn’t really love the way that Fraser sometimes does his Superman thing and Ray ends up being the goofy sidekick, but mainly they’re a sure bet. Anything else is a crap shoot on any given day, but Ray and Fraser are *solid* – rock fucking *solid* – if a little out there in left field.
But the thing is – the fucking *thing* is that now that Ray’s got it in his head, this thing about Fraser wanting him, maybe *more* than wanting him – it won’t go away and things are already changing.
Ray can feel it, and it’s making him feel like he’s running backwards on a treadmill, like he’s trying to turn the whole thing around, and hold them in place all by himself.
Fraser can feel it, too – Ray can tell. It’s in the waiting look that’s sometimes on Fraser’s face, in the way he watches Ray now, like he’s trying to figure something out, like he’s calculating.
So it could be that there’s nothing that Ray can do to stop this – this slow moving mindfuck – but he’s sure as hell not going down without a fight.
He needs Fraser too much to fall in love with him, for godsake.
Meg Thatcher’s a good looking woman. She’s got great legs, nice tits, pretty big eyes, and Ray bets that if she ever smiled for real, it’d be killer. And she’s *throwing* herself at Fraser – just *throwing* herself at him. Okay, she’s kind of weird and spiky about it, but she wants Fraser, and it’s obvious to everyone, even maybe Fraser.
Ray’s waiting for Fraser to be done being a Mountie so that he can start being Ray’s partner. He’s sitting on Fraser’s desk, chewing on the toothpicks he’s always got stashed in his pockets, and watching through a crack in the door as Thatcher tells Fraser that he’s got to clean all the toilets in the Consulate – with his tongue, probably.
Most guys? Most guys would take what Thatcher’s offering, and be delirious about it. Fraser just looks bored, like he’d rather be in Ray’s car than in the same room as a beautiful chick who wants him naked.
And it’s not that Fraser *doesn’t* like women – Ray’s seen Fraser look at them, in a discreet Fraser kind of way, and he’s even seen Fraser look at Thatcher like that.
Except, right now, Fraser keeps darting little looks at Ray, past the door where Ray’s waiting for him.
Some part of Ray thinks maybe before Ray got shot, maybe before all of that happened, Fraser didn’t ever let himself be this blatant about – whatever he feels for Ray.
It’s been two weeks, and Ray’s still got little pains in his leg from time to time, but that’s not the real issue. That’s not the real mark of that day – no, the real mark is all those little sideways anxious glances Fraser keeps giving Ray’s boots, and the way that makes Ray almost want to stand up and run the hell out of the Consulate because as soon as Thatcher *is* done with Fraser, Ray’s got to spend the whole day with him.
Just the two of them, in the car together, and this is why – this is *exactly* why Ray never let himself want Fraser. Because it gets complicated. Because it gets *weird* when things stop being the way you expect them to.
Except it looks like Fraser isn’t letting himself want people who aren’t Ray, and that’s cool, that’s flattering, but at the same time it’s not cool at all, and Ray feels like he should march out there, he should smack the back of Fraser’s head, and he should say, “Kiss the woman, already!”
Only, then he’d have to watch Fraser and Thatcher kissing, and then walk away, and leave them to their Canadian lovin’, and the idea of that makes him bite down on his toothpick so hard that he bites his tongue, too. Bites he so hard he tastes blood.
“Ray?” calls Fraser, and when Ray looks up, Fraser’s frowning at him. “Are you alright?” he asks, and his eyes are right on Ray’s and they’re so *blue* and his skin is so *white* and Ray’s legs start pounding with the urge to *run*, to just push past Fraser and *run the fuck away*.
He doesn’t, though. He stands up, says, “Yeah, we’re wasting daylight, Frase, and there’s a clown out there stealing old ladies’ purses. Literally.”
And Fraser murmurs some kind of agreement, and follows as Ray barges past him.
It won’t go away, this panic, this need to run. Ray walks next to Fraser, and they go back to the station, and then they question people, they do their thing, and the whole time Ray’s body is telling him to get gone, and to do it yesterday.
They go out to dinner, and Fraser goes to the bathroom, and Ray relaxes for the first time in a long time, but when Fraser comes back he can feel the tension come back, too. He can feel himself getting wired again, and Fraser smiles at him, and maybe he expects Ray to contribute to the conversation, but mainly Ray just grunts and pushes his lo mein around on his plate.
So, just like Fraser’s been doing for the past couple of weeks, Fraser picks up the conversation, starts telling this long and complicated story about something some guy named Buck and Fraser’s Dad did, back in their glory days up in moose country.
“…and Buck carried my father back, through the snow. Three days they were out there, with my father slung over Buck Frobisher’s shoulder,” Fraser says, drawing a breath to keep going, looking up at Ray, looking like he’ll keep talking as long as Ray needs him to. Ray has visions of Fraser talking until his throat starts to *bleed* from overuse, and he just sits there, stewing and can’t do this, he can’t *do* this.
Fraser raises a quizzical eyebrow, and shit, Ray said that out *loud*. “Can’t do what, Ray?” he asks.
“This!” he explodes, waving his arms between them. He’s so loud that a woman a couple tables over glares, so he lowers his voice to a hiss. “This, I can’t do *this* Fraser, where we sit here, and you talk, and I don’t, and we both know that everything’s fucked, everything is *fucked*, Fraser.”
“I’m not sure that I understand, Ray,” Fraser says slowly, his brows furrowing over his nose, and his eyes getting serious as he cocks his head to the side, tilting over the table, moving closer to Ray.
“Of course you do, of course you *understand*,” Ray retorts, leaning forward over the table and stabbing the air in front of Fraser’s face with one finger.
“You’re the super genius Mountie, so don’t play dumb with me, because I know better. This is fucked, and it has been for a while, and it’s your fault, Fraser, okay? Everything was *fine* before, back when we were just partners and neither of us had any kind of ideas about the other one, and now things are – they’re not right, and it’s messing us up, it’s messing *me* up, Fraser. So you have to stop being in love with me.”
Fraser’s jaw drops open, but Ray keeps going, keeps leaning closer and closer over the
table, his hiss getting more and more forceful. “Just fucking *stop* it because otherwise, we’re going to lose everything, do you get that? Everything. I’ve done that before, I know what it’s like, and I am *not* going to lose you Fraser. So just stop! Kaput, done, over, got it?”
Fraser’s eyes are so big, so damned big, and he looks kind of like Ray’s punched him in the stomach, and his mouth keeps opening and closing, like he’s trying to speak but he doesn’t have a voice and all of a sudden, Ray feels like all of the blood is draining from his face. He feels like if he stays here, a breath away from Fraser’s face, watching Fraser get angry and determined and ready to *argue* with him, he’ll die. A blood vessel in his brain will pop, and that’ll be the end of him.
So he pushes back from the table, pulls a twenty out of his wallet, and he gets the hell out of there, and as he walks out, he can see Fraser reflected in the glass door, watching him, and Fraser looks so *lost*.
Ray can relate.
It’s so dark, and all Ray can see in front of him is the dashes on the road, one fat yellow line after another, and the circle of asphalt visible in his headlights. He’s been driving for hours, since he left Fraser at the restaurant.
He drove past Stella’s apartment, and he could see her silhouette in the window. He thought about getting out, and going up, and just kissing Stella until she slapped him across the face or invited him in.
Except, she might actually *have* invited him in, and so he stayed in his car, and floored it when the next light turned green and he’s just been following this strip of highway ever since. It took him through the suburbs, past dads coming home from work, and swing sets, still in the dark in front of people’s houses, and minivans and all that shit.
It made him drive even faster, made whatever the hell it is that’s been squeezing Ray for the past couple of weeks feel like it’s wound even tighter around his chest.
Lately, Ray’s apartment is empty, except for the way it’s filled with Fraser. It’s filled with worry *about* Fraser, because most nights now when Ray comes home he opens a beer and he paces and he mutters all kinds of things about Fraser this, and Fraser that, and he feels weird and twisted up inside and but he’s pretty sure he’s doing the right thing here, he’s pretty sure that he’s on the right side of this whole equation. Because caution’s a good thing, and hey, Ray Kowalski *can* be taught, because he can almost name on one hand the number of times he’s really been cautious.
So at night Ray paces, and he worries, and he looks around and over his dusty apartment. He can see two other apartments – he can see Stella’s stuff, and all the furniture he left with her, the white carpets and the nice paintings and the dining room table, and he can see an apartment where there’s little wooden carvings all over the place, and flannel blankets and outdoorsy charm. The kind of things Fraser would bring with him, and then Ray will blink, and he sees his own apartment again.
And it’s so damned bare, like it’s a hotel that he’s spruced up a little. Like it’s not a place where anyone really lives – the way his old place looked after Stella moved out, and the way it would look after Fraser moved out if he ever did move in.
But – these are not thoughts he’s having. Ray is not *having* these thoughts, he’s not thinking about Fraser moving in for real, that ruins things, it *ruins* things. Before Ray and Stella moved in together, things between them were good. Things between them were easy. They got along, and the longer they lived together, the less they were able to do that. The less they liked each other, let alone loved each other.
The less they were the people they’d been to start out with, the people who could look at one another and see who they wanted to grow old with.
Fraser can just be Ray’s partner forever. They’ve got a groove, they’ve got a system, and it works, it *works*. It doesn’t make it harder to look at each other, it doesn’t make it harder to be around one another, it doesn’t tear them down the way living together sure did for Ray and Stella.
And if Fraser and Ray were together, Ray’d want Fraser with him every minute. He’d want to wake up to Fraser, and go to sleep with Fraser, and do everything in between with him, too. So Ray would bully Fraser into his apartment, and out of that stupid office at the Consulate, so Thatcher can’t ogle him whenever she damn well pleases.
But they’re not together, and they’re not *going* to be together, and Fraser’s going to get over it, this love thing, and Ray’s going to keep not being in love with Fraser, and they’ll go on the way they have up until Ray threw himself in front of Fraser – totally platonic. Buddies.
Sometimes Ray wishes that he hadn’t done that; that he’d just pushed Fraser out of the way without stepping in front of him, and then this wouldn’t have happened. None of it.
Except then Fraser might have gotten hurt, Fraser might have gotten shot, and Ray’s fingers clench around the steering wheel, and his teeth grind together, and…no. Just, no.
Ray won’t ever let anything happen to Fraser. It’s – he’s just not built that way. He can’t stand to see anything happen to Fraser, because when it does, it’s like Ray can feel it, too. It’s like the two of them are connected in some freako partner/buddies way. And yeah, part of the reason he feels like there’s a hole right underneath his ribcage that’s starting to spread out over his whole body and turn him into some kind of empty thing – a shell, a husk – is because of how he’s worried about Fraser, how he keeps thinking maybe Fraser’s hurting somewhere. How it’s his fault for what he said at dinner.
What he *had* to say, to keep both of them from getting hurt worse.
Ray doesn’t go home until the sun’s already up, and he’s so tired that it’s almost like being drunk. His mind is slower, his hands are slower, and his whole world is fragmented into these tiny slivers of sight/smell/taste/sound, which he can only process a little at a time.
The climb up the stairs to his door is painful, and he has to *convince* his limbs to move, one at a time, up and down. His eyes keep drooping closed as he fishes in his pocket for his keys, and he doesn’t realize that Fraser’s sitting next to his door until his toe bumps into Fraser’s knee.
He drops his keys, fingers going lax with shock, and Fraser catches them, stands. He’s wearing jeans, his black leather jacket – his civvies, because this isn’t the Queen’s business, Ray thinks with more than a touch of hysteria. Fraser’s hair stands on end and there are dark circles under his eyes, and he’s probably been here all night.
“Wha – ? “ Ray begins, but Fraser ignores him, pushes in front of him and opens the door efficiently.
“Ask me in,” Fraser says, voice tight and controlled, eyes intent on Ray’s. Ray fidgets with the hem of his coat, and Fraser’s jaw tenses.
“Ask me in, or we’ll have this conversation in the hallway.”
“You can put your coat on the chair,” Ray says quickly, waving Fraser in and nervously brushing past him.
Or, trying to, because Fraser’s fingers curl around his hip as Fraser kicks the door shut behind him, and Fraser pulls him close, and presses him against the wall so that Ray’s tight up against Fraser’s chest with nowhere to go.
Ray opens his mouth to talk, and Fraser shakes his head. “No, Ray, you’ve had your turn,” he says, in that same controlled voice, like if he doesn’t pay really close attention to what he’s saying and how he’s saying it, he’ll end up yelling.
So Ray shuts up. Tries to make a little, “Go ahead” gesture, but can’t quite get enough room to do it, so he just ends up brushing his fingertips against Fraser’s neck accidentally and Fraser’s eyes flicker shut for a half a second before they open again.
“You threw yourself in front of a bullet for me,” Fraser says, and one of his hands moves down, flutters against Ray’s thigh, and under Ray’s jeans the scar there suddenly *throbs* but it doesn’t hurt.
“I’ve done it before,” Ray murmurs, and he sounds breathless, and Fraser’s body is warm against his. Fraser’s face is so full of emotion and his hands are like two burning things where they touch Ray and everything, *everything* is starting to fall apart, so Ray clenches his eyes shut.
Fraser breathes out raggedly, and his breath hits Ray’s ear, makes Ray shiver. “Yes, you have. You try to take bullets for me, and you jump off buildings for me, and you follow me wherever I go, Ray. You protect me.”
“I’ve got to,” Ray says, eyes still shut, and his hands are on Fraser’s shoulders, and Fraser’s somehow even closer, and there’s practically no air between them – there isn’t, there’s nothing, except Fraser’s body and Ray’s body, and the wall behind Ray, and Ray’s heart won’t stop pounding. “You do these things, these idiot things, and almost get yourself killed and – ”
Fraser’s lips touch Ray’s neck, wet and soft and oh *God* everything is cracking wide open, here. Fraser’s fucking swinging a wrecking ball at Ray’s world, and Fraser’s talking again, whispering against Ray’s ear and his breath is so fucking *hot* against Ray’s ear.
“I see you, Ray. I see you watch me,” Fraser whispers. His hand clutches at Ray’s hip, fingers so tight that there’ll be bruises tomorrow, and Ray can’t breathe, he can’t breathe, he can’t *breathe*.
He pushes at Fraser’s chest, pushes him away, knots his fingers in Fraser’s shirt and pushes and pushes and pushes until he’s somehow pulling, and Fraser’s lips are moving all over his face. Kissing his cheeks, his forehead, his chin, his nose, his temples, his eyelids, frantically. Just kissing him everywhere, and Ray’s saying, “I don’t watch you, I don’t, I don’t, I *don’t*!”
Fraser kisses his earlobe, licks along the curve of his ear. “You do,” Fraser says.
And then Fraser’s hands start pulling off Ray’s shirt, pull it over Ray’s head and Ray lets him, Ray *helps*. Fraser’s lips move down his neck and Ray starts to shake, he’s shaking and he’s banging his head against the wall a little, and yeah, he’s hard, he’s so *fucking* hard. He’s never been this hard in his *life*, and Fraser’s hard, Fraser’s hard right against Ray’s thigh. He can feel it, through his jeans, through Fraser’s.
Ray’s fingers keep kneading the material of Fraser’s shirt, and then his hands are flat against Fraser’s chest and through the thin cotton Ray can feel Fraser’s nipple, and Fraser’s lips are on Ray’s collarbone. He’s licking a line over Ray’s skin, and Ray can’t stop shaking.
“I make you smile,” Fraser says, and Ray still won’t open his eyes, not even when Fraser bites him a little. “I make you laugh.”
Ray whimpers, and pinches Fraser’s nipple, pants out, “You make me – fuck! – you make me crazy, Fraser.”
“I know.” He can feel Fraser’s smile against his skin, and he can feel Fraser’s fingers mapping out his back, slipping under the waistband of his jeans, squeezing his ass.
“Ray, Ray, Ray, Ray,” Fraser says, biting down Ray’s chest with each word – sharp little nips that make Ray’s back arch and he scrabbles at Fraser’s shirt until it’s gone, along with the jacket. “You need me. You said so, yourself.”
Fraser’s skin is so smooth, so smooth against Ray’s, and Ray can’t think, can’t say anything, can’t argue, all he can do is moan and gasp when Fraser pushes against him, when Fraser’s thigh wedges itself between Ray’s until Ray’s got his legs spread wide, shameless.
Ray’s mouth feels swollen, and Fraser hasn’t even touched it yet. Ray’s skin feels too tight, like every nerve ending is suddenly on fucking *fire*, like Fraser’s a sheet of flames that’s all over Ray, that’s licking at his nipples until Ray can’t help but thrust his hips a little against Fraser.
“You need me,” Fraser says again, kissing his way back up Ray’s neck. “You like me. You want me.”
He licks up Ray’s neck, and his lips are against Ray’s, but he’s not kissing Ray. He says, “Open your eyes, Ray. Look at me.”
And Ray can’t *not*, so he does, he opens his eyes, and Fraser’s face – God, Fraser’s face. It’s open, it’s completely open, and oh, *Christ* Fraser loves him *so much* and Ray thrusts his hips against Fraser again, can’t help it.
“Ray,” Fraser says, his hands coming back up to cradle Ray’s face, “you love me.” Then he kisses Ray, he kisses him soft, and sweet, and so fucking sexy. Fraser’s tongue is this thing, this amazing amazing gift from God to Fraser and now to Ray, and Ray can’t even comprehend anything but this: the taste of Fraser in his mouth, the burn of Fraser’s body against him, and Fraser’s hands teasing over his body.
“Fraser,” he tries to say when they pull apart, but Fraser says over him, “You love me.”
Ray shakes his head, and Fraser unbuttons his jeans, says, “You love me,” again, this time louder. Ray’s hands are moving restlessly all over Fraser’s body, feeling all that he can, shaping to Fraser, learning his curves and his planes, and then Fraser cups his cock, and Ray just throws his head back and moans.
“You love me,” Fraser says again, just staring at Ray, and that’s like a touch too. That’s as hot as Fraser’s hands and the way one of them is twisting Ray’s nipple, the other pulling his cock out of his boxers.
“You – ” Ray starts, and Fraser just kisses him hard, no-nonsense. Fraser kisses Ray until Ray can’t remember what he was going to say. And he’s suddenly trying to climb Fraser, he’s got both his legs tight around Fraser’s hips, and he’s sucking kisses frantically all over Fraser’s neck and Fraser’s calling his name, and that’s making him move faster, making his hands more insistent at Fraser’s waistband.
And Fraser’s hands – Fraser’s fingers, they’re rubbing up and down Ray’s cock, they’re flicking over the head of his dick, nice and fast and firm, and then Fraser’s cock is there, too, pressed up against his. Big, and leaking and so hard, so *hard* they’re both so hard, and Ray’s hips start moving double time, desperately thrusting, pumping against Fraser. Fraser takes both of their cocks in his hand, and his mouth is right against Ray’s ear, and Ray’s just riding him, and Jesus – yes, God, Fraser’s good, Fraser’s jacking them both off, squeezing them together, and doing it fast, doing it just fucking *right*.
“You love me, you love me, you love me, you love me,” he chants into Ray’s ear, and they’re fucking, up against this wall, their cocks so tight together, so *good*, so *good* together, and Fraser’s so beautiful. Fraser’s so perfect, Fraser’s – God, Fraser’s *everything*.
“You love me, you love me, you love me, you *love* me – ”
Fraser sucks his ear more, Fraser’s voice breaks, and he braces one hand over Ray’s head, and they’re going faster and *faster* and yeah, Ray needs this, needs Fraser –
“ – you love me, you love me, you love me, you love me – ”
So good together, so hard, so wet and messy, and Ray can’t stop scratching at Fraser’s shoulders, and nothing has ever felt like this before, nothing with Stella, nothing this *necessary*, and Fraser, Fraser knows what Ray needs. Fraser’s hands are squeezing him tighter, squeezing the two of them closer together with that big, *good* hand.
“ – you love me, Ray, you *love* – ”
“Yes!” Ray yells, eyes open, body moving so fast. “Yes, yes, Fraser, yes!”
Fraser’s head jerks back, his eyes locking with Ray’s, and Ray says it again, can’t stop saying it, “Yes, yes, I do, I do – Fraser – God – ”
And it’s like Fraser fills him up, like he can feel a tingle across his skin from the joy on Fraser’s face – fierce and so goddamned beautiful, Fraser’s so beautiful.
Ray lifts one hand to the back of Fraser’s neck, and holds on tight, and buries his mouth in Fraser’s hair, and says, “I love you, I do,” says it so loud it echoes.
Fraser gives a strangled half scream, and braces his forehead against the wall and he comes all over Ray.
He doesn’t even take a breath before pushing Ray’s legs off his hips and dropping to his knees, and Ray’s hips don’t even stop moving, they can’t. But that’s okay, Fraser’s ready for it, Fraser steadies him, holds him in place and then swallows him down – and his mouth – Fraser’s *mouth* is so tight, and wet, and he sucks Ray. He sucks Ray hard, and rubs his tongue against the underside of Ray’s shaft.
Fraser fucks his mouth on Ray’s cock, and his eyes never look away from Ray’s face, and when Ray comes it’s like the whole world *explodes*, like everything he’s ever known, or thought he knew, collapses in this fucking *supernova* of an orgasm.
His whole body is limp afterward, and Fraser pulls Ray down to the floor, and cradles Ray’s head against his chest, his hands soothing down Ray’s back. Underneath Ray, Fraser is solid, and steady. It’s good. It’s better than good.
And Ray loves Fraser – he *does*. He says, “I’m in love with you, Fraser,” and the world doesn’t end.
Fraser chuckles and kisses the top of his head and says, “And I am in love with you, Ray.”
Ray closes his eyes, and Fraser holds him tight. Ray listens to Fraser’s breathing, as it evens out, and rubs his fingers over Fraser’s ribs.
“Are you still scared?” Fraser asks after a while.
Ray laughs, a little hysterically. “Shitless.”
“Good,” Fraser says, “me too.”
They lie there together and Ray dozes off. He wakes up when Fraser moves out from under him, peels off his pants finally and urges him up, toward the bedroom. Fraser tucks himself around Ray underneath the covers, and Ray falls asleep with his face against Fraser’s collarbone, and Fraser’s nose buried in his hair.