This is a Pearlra/Nif-O Joint. (Translation: it's by me and pearl_o)
Summary: Words fail.
Rating: Very NC-17. (Pearl-O and I shouldn't be unsupervised. It just ends up too slutty.)
A/N: Thanks to lyra_sena for being an amazing beta and putting up with more nonsense than usual. Also, I want to just say that pearl_o is a rock star, y'all. This girl is fuckin' amazing. She's patient with even the most crazy of co-writers, and funny and great and I'm getting ferclempt, I really am. Talk amongst yourselves.
Or, better yet, read the fic either here or
They fucked right against Ray's door as soon as they got back from the airport. Ray fiddled with his keys in the hallway, opened the door and let Fraser go inside first with his big bag, followed him in and locked everything back up. When he turned around Fraser had set his luggage on the floor and was just standing there.
Ray said "Fraser" and that was it. Fraser took those couple of steps toward him, and then he was right there and his arm was right on Ray's, gripping him tightly.
Fraser said, in almost a whisper, "Ray, can I--"
So then Ray had to kiss him.
Fraser pushed him back against the door, his hands burrowing under Ray's jacket, his sweater, his t-shirt, down to the skin of Ray's sides and back. Ray slung his arm around Fraser's neck, holding his head close so Ray could keep kissing him, just like that, just exactly like that. Fraser kept pressing him back into the door, and Ray had nowhere to move but forward toward Fraser, slamming them up against each other, moving them together. Everything was building up between them, boiling over, and Ray closed his eyes and jerked his head away from Fraser's as he felt his orgasm shake all the way through him.
"Oh, Ray," Fraser said, so quiet Ray almost didn't hear. Ray shook his head, keeping his eyes closed, keeping Fraser close as he slipped his hand between them. Fraser's cock was hard in his jeans, and Ray kissed Fraser's neck as he rubbed against him, and Fraser sighed and said "Oh" in a completely different voice.
Afterwards Fraser collapsed for a nap, and Ray took a shower and made spaghetti in case Fraser was hungry from all the crappy airport food when he woke up.
The first time had been up in Canada, out on their adventure. It hadn't felt real then, even when it was happening. It was more like a story than anything else, the two of them up there in the pitch black of the night, with just the ice and the noises of the dogs outside the tent and the dead silence everywhere else. It wasn't the real world.
Even in the morning it didn't feel real. Ray had figured it was maybe just another one of the ways everything was crazy up north.
Except that theory didn't explain anything about what was going on *now*.
Ray ate the leftover spaghetti by himself after work, had a beer and lay on the couch watching TV. It was pretty dark by the time Fraser got back.
"Hey," Ray said, sitting up. "You have a good time at the Vecchios'?"
Fraser was taking his coat off and hanging it on the coat rack. Ray leaned against the back of the couch and stared at him as he moved.
"It was very ... festive."
"Yeah," Ray said, nodding. He could imagine festive -- probably translated into "loud" and "crowded" and "kind of suffocating," if Ray knew any of them.
He rubbed the back of his neck with one hand, still staring at the movements of Fraser's muscles through his sweater, and then Fraser turned around too quick and caught him.
"Sorry," Ray said quickly, looking away and standing up. "Um, I'll just--" he said, gesturing a little, and he walked to the bathroom.
When he came back out again his apartment smelled like cider. Fraser was sitting at his table with a mug.
Ray sat down next to him, and took a sip when Fraser passed him the mug.
"That's good," Ray said, and then in the same breath, "Do you want to go to bed with me?"
Fraser looked up from the table and said, "Yes."
Fraser pinned Ray's arms down as he fucked him in his bed. Fraser was strong, and Fraser was heavy, and Fraser's cock was thick and hard and deep in his ass. Ray tried to take deep breaths, trying to just take this, take it all. Instead he found himself unable to shut up, telling Fraser more and harder and now, making all these embarrassing noises, struggling up against Fraser over and over as Fraser held him down.
When Fraser came he made a small noise, almost surprised-sounding. Ray was still catching his breath as Fraser pulled out of him and rolled over onto his side next to Ray. Ray got his hand on his cock and began to jerk himself off just as Fraser pushed his fingers back into Ray's slick ass. Fraser's fingers moved in and out, pressing up against that spot every time they stroked in. Ray moved his fist faster and faster over his erection, and when Fraser leaned over and licked the sweat off Ray's temple, Ray came, spilling onto his belly.
"I can sleep on the couch if you're more comfortable," Fraser said a couple minutes later.
Ray was almost asleep, but he opened his eyes. "Nah, Fraser, you don't-- you can stay here."
Fraser nodded, but he looked uncertain. Ray reached over and patted his arm gently, and Fraser smiled but it didn't look very happy.
"You don't have to," Ray added.
"It's fine," Fraser said. He scooted a little farther away and folded his hands over his chest.
Ray woke up in the middle of the night. Fraser was already awake, climbing back into bed. When Ray kissed his hands, they smelled like the soap from the bathroom. Fraser made a small sound when he did, and then pushed Ray down onto his back. His mouth was warm and sweet and gentle on Ray's dick, and Ray brushed his fingers through Fraser's soft, mussed hair and came with a sigh.
Fraser moved up the bed and kissed his jaw. Ray reached out for him, but Fraser shook his head.
"It's all right. I already--" Fraser said, turning his head away.
Ray blinked and said, "Oh. Okay." He curled over to kiss Fraser on the mouth again, and then Fraser lay back down with him. Ray wasn't sure when he fell back asleep, but when he woke up their legs were still twisted together and his head was resting on Fraser's arm.
The next day Fraser came to the station, and everybody fawned over him and he told lots of Canada stories and gave out more weird presents. After work Ray made him help wrap Ray's Christmas gifts, because when Ray did it himself they always turned out looking like a tape dispenser had committed suicide over them. After that they sat on the couch and watched *It's a Wonderful Life*, which Fraser said he'd only seen once before, a couple of years ago, and then *A Christmas Story*, which Fraser said he'd never seen.
After the movies Ray stood up and stretched his arms wide behind him. He looked back down at Fraser, who was still curled up with the blanket, blinking at the TV. Fraser's face was curled up into a weird expression, one Ray couldn't tell was happy or sad.
For a second Ray thought of kissing him, but instead he said, "I'm gonna head to bed. You need anything?"
For another second Ray thought Fraser wanted to say something else but all he did say was, "No, I'm fine, Ray. Good night."
Fraser was already waiting in the passenger's seat, his bag thrown into the back. Ray sat down and shut the door and stuck the key in and hesitated. He leaned over the seat and pulled Fraser's head down to kiss him hard, once. Fraser kissed him back, just as eager, one hand gripping Ray's shoulder so tight it almost hurt.
When Ray finally pulled away, he said, "Okay. Okay," half to himself and half to Fraser. He turned back to the wheel and started the car. He and Fraser didn't say anything else on the way to the airport.
It was Fraser who was going and not Ray, and it was O'Hare and not some tiny airport in the middle of Canada, but otherwise it felt weirdly exactly the same as last time.
"Tell Maggie and Dief I said merry Christmas, all right?" Ray said, pulling back from the short hug.
Fraser smiled and said, "I'll be sure to do that, Ray," and then Fraser joined the line for boarding and then he stepped through the door and he was gone.
Ray went back to his apartment, but he drove around for a long time first.
From the plane, all Ray could see was a lot of white beneath him, with a few handfuls of green trees every now and then. The pilot set them down on a strip of tarmac surrounded by ice.
Fraser was waiting by the hangar, hat in hand, and Dief was sitting next to him. As the plane bumped its way across the rough runway, Ray just stared at Fraser, and he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing back up here.
Except, Fraser was Fraser, and it was Ray’s turn to visit seeing as how Fraser’d come to him last time, and besides, where the hell else was he going to go on his vacation? Who else would he have gone to?
Fraser tucked his face into Ray’s neck and clapped Ray’s shoulder hard as he hugged hello, and his breath came out in a warm puff against Ray’s skin. Dief licked his fingers.
"This what you call spring?" Ray asked, instead of saying anything else because what the hell else could he say?
Fraser’s eyes creased in the corners, and he picked up Ray’s bag. "I’m glad you came," he said, and Ray made himself smile back.
Fraser drove and talked and Ray sat there next to him, and didn’t speak; there wasn’t much to say Fraser didn’t already know. Ray wrote him letters all the time, filled with all kinds of stupid things like the fact that he was pissed at whoever the hell stole his favorite pen or that he’d spilled coffee all over his sweatshirt and that he was out of cereal, or that he was lonely and work was going well but it went better when Ray was with Fraser.
Fraser’s letters were longer, but he didn’t really say much. He told Ray about sunsets and ice on the roof and hunting out of season. He told Ray that he was one of three RCMP officers working out of Inuvik, and even if Fraser didn’t say, Ray could pretty much tell Fraser didn’t get along with the other two.
"Are you tired?" Fraser asked, and Ray shook his head.
"Nah, I'm fine," Ray said, his eyes straying back to Fraser's big white hands on the steering wheel, then up toward Fraser’s eyes, and Fraser sucked in a quick breath.
Ray looked back out the window, and the glass fogged against his mouth. "So much ice out there," he muttered, and Fraser was silent.
They got to the cabin, and Fraser dropped Ray's bags and didn't say where Ray was going to sleep.
They walked out to the dogs and Ray helped feed them, and tossed a stick to the one with one blue eye and one green he’d liked so much back when he’d been out there on the sled with Fraser, and Fraser didn’t say where Ray was going to sleep.
Fraser cooked and Ray drank a beer and watched him, and Fraser smiled happily down into the stew he was stirring, and told jokes, and Ray laughed, and they ate by the big window with the crisp white curtains and Fraser didn’t say where Ray was going to sleep.
They sat outside, and Ray pulled his parka tight over his ears, and drank another beer, and his fingers got pink from the cold, and Fraser sang a little, and Ray told Fraser about the 2-7 and Frannie’s brats, and Fraser sat there and watched him and Fraser didn’t say where Ray was going to sleep. He didn’t say where Ray was going to sleep and he didn’t touch Ray and there was only one bed, and no couch because the cabin was tiny. No, fuck tiny, it was miniscule, like a damned dorm room, because the real cabin still hadn’t been built yet, and Fraser wouldn’t say why, and he wouldn’t say where Ray was going to fucking *sleep*.
So Ray drank more beer, and kept sitting there on the steps of Fraser’s substitute cabin in the cold, peeling off the labels, and letting his mouth go, talking until he was mainly talked out -- a little hoarse and a little drunk. And Fraser just kept sitting there, watching him, chuckling every now and then, but *watching* like Ray was trying to get away, and finally Ray was too tired, and too hoarse, and Fraser’s face was kind of getting hard to see in the dark.
"Let’s go inside," Ray said, voice rasping out of his throat. "Take me inside, Fraser."
Fraser almost jumped a little, his spine snapped so straight. "Ray?"
"Take me inside," he said again, and the door was maybe two feet behind him, but that wasn’t what he was saying, and it wasn’t what Fraser was asking.
Fraser kept watching Ray for another minute, and then he nodded a little, and then he was on Ray, and he had Ray pressed up against the railing, and his tongue in Ray’s mouth.
This wasn’t why Ray came up here. Or at least Ray didn’t think it was. But here Ray was, and here they were, and here was Fraser’s tongue on his ear lobe, and Fraser’s hands were pulling him inside and pulling his clothes off him and throwing them on the floor by the front door.
"Ray," Fraser said again and again, except it wasn’t a question now, not really. Ray clenched his fingers in Fraser’s short, soft hair and pulled him down and kissed him anyway.
Fraser’s hands clutched Ray tightly at his hips, and the floor was rough against the backs of his thighs, but Fraser’s mouth was wet and it trailed down Ray’s chest. Ray’s eyes rolled back in his head when Fraser’s tongue swept up and down his cock.
Fraser grunted, started moving his head up and down, and sucking hard. Just hard *enough*, just *right*, and pinning Ray in place and Ray remembered where they were, in the middle of nowhere, and no one could hear him and he wanted to scream, it was so good, and he wanted to *scream*.
Except he couldn’t get enough air, he could barely breathe, and he just kept saying, "Please," over and over and over.
And Fraser gave with his lips, and his tongue; his mouth worked Ray ruthlessly, and his hard cock pressed into Ray’s leg in shy thrusts.
Ray came shaking on the cabin floor, back arched, mouth open, eyes squeezed tight, and after, he yanked Fraser up and fit his hand to fit Fraser’s cock, and said, "Show me what you need."
Fraser did. He linked his fingers with Ray’s, the two of them squeezing and stroking, and Fraser’s face -- Fraser’s face was so right against Ray’s, right up close, and Ray could see everything. He couldn’t see *anything* but Fraser.
When Fraser came, he bit his lip, and gasped, slumping forward so that his forehead rested on Ray’s shoulder. Ray groped around on the floor and wiped his hand on his pants, then rested it on the back of Fraser’s neck shyly and Fraser’s chest heaved as he caught his breath.
"Bed?" Ray asked.
Fraser mumbled, "Yes" against his skin.
Ray woke up the next morning to the sound of Dief’s nails clicking against wood. It was light out, and Fraser’s leg was heavy and warm where it was thrown over his. Fraser snored lightly and his face was smooth.
The mattress was harder than Ray liked, but it was still difficult to get up. Fraser stirred, and rolled over into the space Ray left in the bed, burrowing into Ray’s pillows as Ray got dressed.
Dief cocked his head and stared quizzically at Ray.
"Outside," Ray mouthed at him, and opened the door and Dief bounded out into the snow. Ray followed, holding a hand over his eyes against the sun.
Fraser was waiting when they got back, sipping coffee by the window in his Henley and suspenders. Ray waved at Fraser and Dief threw himself into Ray’s knees, knocking him down. Fraser grinned into his mug.
Ray wrestled with Dief, mashing snow into his fur as Dief yipped happily. When Ray stood and brushed snow off his pants, Fraser was standing in the open doorway.
"Hey," Ray said, smiling up at him.
"Hey," Fraser returned, and held out his hand. "I’ve made breakfast."
Ray took Fraser’s hand, and let his thumb run lightly over Fraser’s knuckles, and stood close enough to Fraser that their thighs brushed and he thought about kissing Fraser but he didn’t.
"Thanks," he said, and Fraser just smiled wider and let go of his hand.
"Come inside, Ray," Fraser murmured. "There’s ice in your hair."
It was a Monday, so Fraser and Dief went to work and Ray stayed at the cabin.
He sat outside until his face started to sting, staring at the trees and the ground and the muddy tire tracks Fraser’s car left in the snow. He rummaged through the fridge and ate the leftover stew, and fiddled with the little wooden animals Fraser had whittled until he got bored. Then he pulled out a couple of Fraser’s books, tried to read, and ended up falling asleep on the couch.
He woke up to Fraser’s mouth on his neck, and Fraser’s hands unbuttoning his shirt, and the sun going down outside the kitchen window.
"You ever miss Chicago?" Ray asked as they sat on the porch, all the dogs bouncing around in front of them, barking and play growling and sometimes nudging until Ray or Fraser scratched behind their ears.
Fraser was quiet for a long time. His cheeks were pink, the tip of his nose too, and it made his eyes look brighter.
"Chicago was never permanent," he finally told Ray, his eyes on the dogs, and the snow, and the ice, and the dark.
Chicago never got dark, and the snow was shoveled off to the sides of the road or salted down to nothing, and Ray’s apartment was big and still.
"Yeah," Ray said, turning away from Fraser. "I get that."
Ray left on Friday morning, while it was still dark. On his neck and chest there were marks from Fraser’s mouth, and when his eyes slipped closed in the car on the way to the airport, he could see Fraser lying on his back on that homey little bed, his hair mussed, his face red, his mouth open, a sheen of sweat over his smooth chest, and deep, so deep inside Ray as Ray rode him.
There was a bruise on Ray’s hip from Fraser’s hand and the car was silent.
When Ray left Fraser the first time, he talked the whole way to the plane. Fraser just kind of nodded and drove, but Ray kept his mouth moving until he unbuckled his seat belt. He didn’t say anything important, of course, just talked to keep the quiet away.
Ray had stared at his shoes and kicked at the concrete and told Fraser to try really hard not to do anything fatally stupid. Fraser nodded and told Ray to take care of himself, and when he tried to hug Ray, Ray got skittish. So Fraser waved again and nodded again, and stared at *his* shoes and Ray got on the plane and left Fraser behind – this tiny speck of a guy in the middle of all that snow.
It wasn’t a scene Ray was proud of. Then again, he wasn’t that proud of Chicago either, the way he’d grabbed Fraser and kissed him, though Fraser hadn’t seemed to mind. Maybe if Fraser’d done that, grabbed Ray and kissed him, when Ray left Canada before –
No. Ray wouldn’t have let him. Ray wouldn’t have let Fraser touch him where anyone could see, which was one more thing he wasn’t too proud of.
"I’ll -- call you," Ray said when Fraser parked the car in front of the rusted hangar. He stared straight ahead, and scratched the back of his neck. "I’ll call you when I get in tomorrow. To let you know I got home safe and everything, you know?"
"Thank you, Ray," Fraser replied evenly. "I’d appreciate that."
Ray’s hand tightened on the door handle. "Yeah, no problem," he said, blinking at the hangar.
He stretched his lips over his teeth, tried to smile, and turned to Fraser. "So, I guess I should go."
Fraser reached across the car, grabbed Ray’s shoulder and kissed his mouth, and it was like Chicago but in reverse. Behind his closed eyes, Ray could see his hand reaching for Fraser, and his hand cupping Fraser’s neck, except this time Fraser was reaching out and *Ray* was the one who had a bag in the back seat. Ray moaned, and Fraser licked his lips, and when Ray leaned in for more, Fraser pulled away.
"I’ll see you soon, Ray," he said, staring fixedly over Ray’s shoulder. He exhaled once audibly, and then turned back to the steering wheel.
In the dark all Ray could see was the taut line of Fraser’s jaw.
"Yeah, soon," Ray echoed quietly, and slipped out of the car on unsteady legs.
Ray still had his wedding anniversary marked on his calendar. Habit, he guessed, or maybe masochism. He had forgotten what day it was, even, until he caught the red circle out of the corner of his eye while he made his morning coffee.
He turned his back and then didn't think about it all day at work.
When he picked up the mail there was a letter from Fraser. He waited until he got home, settled in, found something edible in the fridge, and then he sat down at the table and slit it open.
Fraser's letter was dated the week before. It was short, for one of Fraser's letters. Fraser talked about the equinox and the beauty of nature and the feeling of calm a man gets and the return of the sun and its effect on people and lore and by this point Ray was skimming, reading ahead.
*I look forward to seeing you again in August*, Fraser wrote at the very end. And then *I miss you dearly, as does Diefenbaker*.
Ray set the paper down on the table, rubbed his fingers over his temples, and decided to get shitfaced.
At one point he thought about calling Stella, but she'd just hang up on him, or Vecchio would, and he didn't know if he had her new number in Florida anyway. He thought about calling Fraser, too, but Fraser wouldn't even be there to hear him; his phone was only at work, and the idea of Fraser coming into work the next morning and hearing Ray's patheticness was too much to take. Both of them were long distance, too.
Later, Ray looked through one of his drawers till he found a picture of him and Fraser, framed up all nice, from back when they were partners. There was Fraser with his hat and his bright red uniform, smiling, and there was Ray in his leather jacket, looking cocky, and Ray stared at it for a long time. When he went to set it back down, though, it slipped out of his fingers and crashed to the floor, the glass shattering all over.
After that Ray mostly remembered spending a lot of time on the bathroom floor.
The door was unlocked and the lights were on, and for a moment Ray froze and his hand went slowly to his holster but then Fraser called "Ray!" from the kitchen and appeared a second later.
It took a couple of seconds for Ray's heart rate to calm back down enough so he could talk. "Fraser, you -- what are you doing here? I thought your flight was tomorrow morning. How did you--"
"I managed to get an earlier flight," Fraser said. He was smiling faintly, his arms at his sides. "I took a taxi from the airport, and your landlady let me into your apartment."
Ray stared at him in disbelief. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Well, there was no need to trouble you, Ray," Fraser said. "I thought you'd be pleased to see me."
"I am, I'm plenty pleased to see you--" Ray said, still confused, but Fraser interrupted, nodding his head toward the kitchen.
"I ordered us pizza."
"Yeah, okay," Ray said, and he set his stuff down and followed Fraser into the kitchen.
It'd been a hell of a long time since he came to anybody waiting for him. He ate his pineapple pizza and watched Fraser eat his, and Fraser told him about the trip, and about the weather in Canada, and about Maggie and Dief and the dogs and work and everything else Ray could think of to ask about. It was nice to hear Fraser talk, just hear his voice go on and on. It was soothing, in a weird way.
After a while Ray moved his dirty plate out of the way and leaned forward onto the table, spreading his arms out in front of him. Fraser reached over and took one of Ray's hands in his and held it as he went on talking.
Fraser’s hips moved steadily, pressing forward, pulling back – even and controlled, pushing Fraser’s cock into Ray’s mouth. Fraser was hard, he was so hard and hot and Ray kept sucking harder, kept trying to take more in, wanted Fraser to *fill* him.
Ray wanted to swallow Fraser, wanted Fraser to fist his hands in Ray’s hair and fuck his way down Ray’s throat. He wanted to hear Fraser screaming and wailing, wanted Fraser to thrust into him again and again. Ray was hard just looking at Fraser’s body, sweating and spread out lazily, one hand resting on his stomach. Ray could barely hear the little noises Fraser was making, the gasps and the groans.
He couldn’t see Fraser’s eyes.
All he could see was the regular lazy roll of Fraser’s hips, and Fraser’s skin, all of that skin, and Ray was humping the sheets. His body was already frenzied, frantic, his hips pistoning again and again into the hard mattress, and he tried to speed his mouth up to match – but Fraser’s hand settled gently on his head, held him back.
Ray couldn’t do slow, not now. Not in this. Fraser wanted this to be easy, sweet, but Ray was already coming apart a little, and he moaned around Fraser’s cock when his dick accidentally brushed Fraser’s calf.
Fraser still didn’t open his eyes, didn’t go any faster, just kept moving deliberate and steady into Ray’s mouth.
It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t nearly enough, so Ray pulled off, climbed up Fraser’s body, skin against skin, and he swallowed the little growl Fraser made against his lips. He pushed Fraser’s hands down to the mattress when Fraser tried to put his arms around Ray, to stroke Ray’s back.
Ray ground down against Fraser, and groaned as Fraser pushed back, cock slippery and hard against Ray’s.
“Yeah,” Ray panted, hips moving fast and urgent, and Fraser just pushed back again and again.
Ray’s lips were moving restlessly, helplessly over Fraser’s face. Over Fraser’s lips, his cheeks, his jaw where Ray bit a little -- hard enough to leave a red mark behind. Over Fraser’s forehead, his hairline, the bridge of his nose, the lids of his closed eyes.
Fraser tugged at Ray’s grip on his wrists, and Ray shook his head, said, “No,” loudly and licked a stripe over Fraser’s salty neck.
Fraser’s eyes snapped open, and his hips bucked up, and Ray let go of his wrists. Ray twisted his fingers in the sheets, and Fraser worked one hand between the two of them, took both of their cocks in his hand, and squeezed them together.
“Tighter,” Ray moaned, thrusting harder and faster against Fraser who was so wet and so hard against him. Who was just as wild as Ray was now, with his face buried in Ray’s neck, and his hand jacking the two of them together and the rhythm of his body was like Ray’s now – sharp, hectic thrusts, not slow, not steady, not controlled.
“Just like that,” Ray rasped, “just like that,” and Fraser sucked hard on his shoulder.
Ray could feel his body winding up, could feel the electricity starting in his toes and creeping up his back and beneath him, Fraser’s head fell back against the pillow and he whispered Ray’s name, pulsing hot and wet over Ray’s cock, Ray’s belly.
Ray watched, his hips moving of their own accord, and it was getting closer, and closer, he was going to come, and God, he needed to and Fraser’s eyes were on his face and Fraser’s hand squeezed his cock, and Fraser said, “Ray,” and that was all.
After, Ray kissed Fraser on the lips, and tossed the sheets off the bed and Fraser fell asleep. Ray lay awake beside him.
Ray could have been dancing but he wasn't. He was sitting in the corner of the room instead, in one of those uncomfortable folding chairs, ignoring the rest of the party while he let one of Frannie's kids sit on his lap and babble to him. He couldn't remember the kid's name, which made him feel kind of lousy, since he was practically her uncle in a messed-up way, but it wasn't really his fault, anyway, because the twins looked exactly alike.
He couldn't understand most of what the kid was saying, either, for that matter, but that was okay. He liked it this way.
The music changed, something nice, with a good beat, and Ray grinned at the kid and danced with her a little in his seat. He grinned at her some more when she let out a shrieky little giggle.
Ray stood up, scooping the kid up in his arms. He spotted Frannie across the room, talking to Elaine and some other women Ray didn't know. The other monster was hitched up on her hip, and her hand was resting on her stomach, where Ray could see the new one starting to come in. Getting knocked up suited her.
He glanced down at the girl in his arms, checking for any pressing needs to go after mama, but she looked like she was still having a good time. God knew why, but Ray went with it, swinging around with her some more to the music.
During one of his turns he saw Fraser come in from the door to outside, just a glimpse from the corner of his eye. He thought he could feel Fraser watching him, then, as he danced with the kid, but he was probably imagining it.
There was a tap on his shoulder, and he turned to see Fraser smile at him. "May I cut in?"
"Knock yourself out," Ray said. He held the kid out, and she made some more of those joyful high-pitched noises and spread her arms out wide for Fraser.
"I thought you might be thirsty," Fraser said as he carefully arranged the kid in his arms. He held out a styrofoam cup with one hand. "I brought you some punch."
Ray took it from him slowly. "Thanks, Fraser," he said after a couple of seconds.
The kid was squirming happily in Fraser's arms, but Fraser had a good grip on her, holding her close. His face was flushed a little, from the heat or the people or something, and he looked at Ray like he was about to say something
Ray's eyes flicked over to the kid, to Fraser's hands, to Fraser's faint smile -- the whole picture, everything perfect and shining and happy, so nice you could die -- and all of a sudden he needed some air. He didn't think he could stay in here with Fraser and the kid, not without wanting to kick something, say something, kiss somebody, punch somebody, do anything, anything at all but stand there and choke on the feeling in his chest.
"Gotta go," he said shortly, and he turned to duck outside.
On the way home from the party, Ray could feel Fraser's gaze on him the whole car trip, but Ray didn't look over at Fraser, and neither of them said anything.
Ray parked the car and he was reaching for his door when he felt Fraser's hand on his thigh. He turned his head around quickly, a little shocked, and Fraser was still staring at him, looking needy and intense and serious. Ray looked away to keep from saying anything, but when Fraser leaned over to kiss his neck gently and said, "Tonight -- I want you to--" Ray moved back into his touch and said "Yeah."
In Ray's bed, Fraser's eyes were closed, shut tight, and Ray watched him huff out each slow breath. Each one looked harsh. Each one looked like it hurt.
He leaned over and nipped Fraser's creamy belly the next time he twisted his fingers, and Fraser arched up roughly and said "Ah!" in a tight voice.
Ray straightened up again, rubbing the bite mark with his free left hand, scratching light circles with his nails over and over on Fraser's skin while he stroked against Fraser's prostate on the inside.
"Ray, that's -- I can't--" Fraser turned his head sharply back and forth on the pillow, eyes still shut tight. Ray bit his own lip until it hurt, and he moved his left hand to Fraser's cock and pulled his fingers slowly out of Fraser and pushed back inside in a hard smooth thrust.
He held perfectly still as Fraser came, making a series of soft quiet cries and convulsing all around him. When Fraser fell back on the bed, Ray moved his fingers out again, and Fraser opened his eyes. His mouth looked softer. He sat up and kissed Ray on the lips and turned to lie down on his stomach.
Ray entered Fraser slowly, inch by inch, listening to each of Fraser's different soft sounds, feeling Fraser, all of him, all around him. When he was all the way in, as far into Fraser as he could get, he stopped.
He felt so fucking *tired* all of a sudden. He rested his forehead gently on Fraser's slick back, feeling his and Fraser's breaths synching up. After a second Fraser's hand fumbled around, finding Ray's and squeezing it once.
Ray lifted his head, took another breath, and fucked Fraser.
Fraser was in the shower, and his bag loomed at the foot of the bed, big and black by Ray's feet. Ray sat up in bed, sheet around his waist. He stared at the neat piles of clothes and the steam coming out of the bathroom. Behind the thin yellow shower curtain was Fraser, and Fraser was naked, cleaning himself up enough to go back to Canada.
It was quiet in the apartment, so when the phone rang, Ray jumped a little before rolling over, picking it up and grunting into the receiver. Stella thought he was still sleeping at noon, so he told her to fuck off, and when she laughed, he laughed too even though he wasn't really in the mood.
They talked about how cute Frannie’s kids were, and then Stella bragged about how nice the weather was in Florida and Ray told her to fuck off all over again. She told him about Vecchio, which Ray only half listened to, staring at himself in the mirror instead, tracing his fingers over the marks he had from Fraser.
“So Fraser’s there,” Stella said, trying to sound casual like she did when she wanted him to know she was putting effort into being casual.
Ray didn’t take the bait, just mumbled something.
“He visits you a lot,” she observed, and Ray sighed.
“Yeah, Stell. He does,” he told her, and he could tell she was annoyed that he didn’t care that she was maybe jealous about the whole thing.
In the bathroom, Fraser turned off the water.
“So why doesn’t he just move back?" she asked.
Ray turned, stared into the bathroom as Fraser slipped out of the shower. He could see Fraser's dark wet hair, and the freckles on his shoulders and back as he toweled himself off, the way his skin moved.
"Because Canada’s where he wants to be," Ray told her.
In the rear view mirror, all Ray could see was Fraser's bag sitting in the backseat, ugly and lifeless and huge. Traffic was bad, and it was hot out, so the windows were down and the AC was up and the radio was off but that didn't matter because some kid two cars over was playing something loud enough for Ray to feel it.
At the first stoplight, Ray said, "It's been about a year since I came home." Fraser turned to look at him, surprised, and Ray waved one hand. "From the adventure, I mean."
"Ah," Fraser murmured sitting back in his seat. "A little more than that, I imagine."
"Yeah, a little more," Ray echoed, drumming his fingers against the dashboard. Fraser was just as still as his bag in the back seat, watching Ray.
"You ever - you ever think about that?" Ray asked.
Fraser blinked a little. "I do. I think about our adventure often, nearly every day."
"Yeah, me too, but what I'm asking is - " Ray broke off, rubbed his chin a little, and stared at the red light.
"Ray?" Fraser prodded, still watching him, still not moving, still just *sitting* there.
"You ever think about me leaving, I mean?" Ray asked. "The day I left. You think about that?"
Fraser nodded. He opened his mouth, like he wanted to say something, but then he closed it again and the light turned green.
"You ever think I might have stayed?" Ray watched Fraser out of the corner of his eye, and Fraser's lips tightened.
"You had obligations. Your job and --" Fraser trailed off, turning to stare out the window.
"And what?" Ray pressed, turning to stare at Fraser so long that he nearly rear-ended the minivan in front of him. "What, Fraser?"
Fraser turned to him, and Fraser's face was so calm, and his eyes were so wide. "You would have hated it."
And Fraser seemed so *sure* that he had to be right, so Ray just looked back at the road, and said, "Yeah, Frase. Maybe I would have."
Instead of dropping Fraser off at curbside check in, Ray parked the car. Fraser started gathering all of his things up, getting everything together, making sure he had his passport and his books, and saying things about how Ray should tell everyone he'll miss them, but Ray wasn't listening. Ray was just staring at his own hands, sitting there in his lap, and thinking about how big his bed had seemed already this morning when they left.
" - and of course by the next time I'm here, Francesca's children will be far too big for -" Fraser was saying as Ray turned to him, and latched onto Fraser's arm with one hand, fingers so tight his knuckles popped.
Fraser stared down at Ray's hand on his sleeve.
"What the fuck are we doing here?" Ray asked, shaking Fraser's arm. "What are we *doing*?"
And Fraser didn't say anything, and didn't say anything, and he kept staring at Ray's hand, which was clenched so tightly it was white against the brown sleeve of Fraser's jacket. Fraser just bit his lower lip, hard enough to turn it red.
Fraser's plane was leaving in two hours, and Ray had to be at work in less time than that, and Fraser wouldn't *speak*, not even now. Ray drew in a deep breath, and it filled his lungs like water, so he drew in another, and another, and suddenly he was sobbing them back out. He was hunched over his steering wheel, clutching Fraser's arm, and weeping, and Fraser was *silent*.
Ray had made Fraser scream when they were in the middle of the tundra. He'd made Fraser gasp when they were in his apartment, and he'd made Fraser moan in Fraser's little bed, but he couldn't make Fraser talk about this. He couldn't make Fraser talk about *them*.
He couldn't even do it himself.
"Ray," Fraser breathed, leaning toward him, looking at him now, angling his head like he was going to kiss Ray. But Ray couldn't do that, could *not* do that so he pushed Fraser's arm away, and scrabbled with the door handle until it popped open and he got out.
He wrapped his arms around himself, cold even though it was August, and he stared at the concrete, breathing deep, trying to calm down, even when Fraser came around behind him. Even when Fraser put a timid hand on his shoulder, he made himself keep breathing slow and even.
"What are we fucking doing, Fraser?" Ray asked again, so quiet he almost couldn't hear himself.
"I don't know," Fraser finally answered, and Ray whirled around to face him. Fraser had his Mountie face on. He was a blank page, and Ray wanted to punch Fraser so bad his hands hurt.
Ray wanted to kick, and scream, and tear Fraser's jacket off, and bite him so hard on his neck that the mark would be there *forever*.
Except when Ray looked down at Fraser's hands, they were white knuckled, too, and they kept almost touching Ray and then not, and all the fight went out of Ray. He slumped back against his car, and covered his eyes with his hand, and let out one long breath.
"Ray?" Fraser asked again, and he sounded lost and unsure, and it just made Ray feel mean.
"Yeah," Ray answered, looking up at him. "Yeah, I'm okay, I just - tell me this, Fraser. Tell me this, and do not bullshit me, do you understand? You bullshit me, I'll fucking kill you."
He stared at Fraser, waiting for a nod before continuing, "Is this how it's going to be? Is this the way it's going to be for us?"
Fraser’s eyes were all over Ray’s face, and his thumb swept over Ray’s wet cheek. Fraser’s face was pulled tighter than Ray had ever seen it, his lips a straight white line, his eyes almost dull and suddenly Ray didn’t want him to answer.
Ray *needed* Fraser to answer, but he didn’t want him to, and the waiting was killing him, so he shook Fraser’s hand off his cheek and moved back a little.
Fraser let his hand fall, and his face got even tighter, and he said, “I don’t know how else it can be.”
Ray sucked in a breath, jerked his head in a nod. He tried to say, “Okay” but ended up saying nothing at all, just opening and closing his mouth as he stared at Fraser.
"Ray," Fraser murmured, closing the distance between them, leaning in for a kiss. This time Ray let him.
Even though they were in public, even though there was a woman and her daughter walking by, Fraser kissed Ray sweetly and for a long time. Ray's fingers hooked themselves into Fraser's jacket, pulling him closer still. Ray was shaking, terrified, but Fraser was warm and solid against him.
Ray let go of Fraser's jacket when Fraser tugged a little and backed away, and watched as Fraser took his luggage out of the back seat, and put his hat on his head.
Fraser pressed his lips together, and then looked up. "Ray -" he began, but Ray just shook his head.
"Don't," Ray managed, voice scratching. "I'll just - I'll see you in November, okay?"
"Okay," Fraser said, staring at Ray hard for a long minute. "Okay," he repeated, and then nodded once, decisively and turned around to walk into the airport. Ray watched him go.
When Fraser disappeared and Ray was all alone, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The air was hot and stuffy and thick, but for a second he could almost taste the clean crisp air outside their tent. He could almost hear the morning noises of Fraser and Dief and the dogs, almost feel the snow beneath his feet.
Ray opened his eyes again and it was just him and the parking lot, and he got back in his car.