DueSouth Seekrit Santa Story

 

Cognitive Dissonance


for cathy bites

by slidellra



Author's Notes: Many grateful thanks to omphale23 for beta.


"Okay, maybe it's just my suspicious nature, but..."

"Off! Off! Off!" Ray twisted away, slapping at Fraser's hands, trying to stay behind the shipping crate and out of the line of fire.

"I'm not Diefenbaker, Ray," Fraser pointed out, then added thoughtfully, "Although he's even less likely to respond to command."

"Dief would not be poking around my places he shouldn't be poking around," Ray hissed.

Fraser'd been peering around the edge of the crate, but at that he glanced back and raised an eyebrow. Ray hadn't known he could do that.

"Okay, maybe. But what I said, what's important is, neither of you should be touching my personal areas. Again."

"I was simply checking for injuries, Ray." Fraser was cupping his ear, frowning. Nodding once, he pointed to a spot on the other side of the warehouse.

Popping up, Ray fired three shots in the direction Fraser'd indicated, then dropped back down. "The perp's blind! Nothing came near us."

Just to prove him wrong, a bullet slammed into the crate, and they crouched lower and closer together.

"Since you're apparently fine, could we perhaps return our attention to the situation at hand?"

"Bad guy, right. But we got to talk about this."

After finally cornering and clobbering the visually challenged malfeasant, Fraser told the guy a story about a blind trapper who did something extremely nifty, and then handed him over to the uniforms. The guy seemed pretty happy to be taken into custody. These days, that was happening a lot.

That night, eating pizza and watching the game, Fraser seemed normal enough, so Ray kind of forgot about the talk they needed to have. And that was cool. Until the next time.



"...what I see here is a pattern of, uh, escalation..."

"Jesus, Fraser! When you're giving a guy a lift up to a window, your hand doesn't ever touch his balls!"

"Don't be silly. I came nowhere near..." Fraser paused and gestured vaguely, "that area."

Ray considered kicking Fraser in the head, but he decided to just hunch over a bit and glare. As a gesture it lacked pizzazz, but it was good to know the family jewels were safe.



"So everything he said was a lie and the truth at the same time."

It kept happening, and Ray was going out of his mind. Every time he tried to confront Fraser, Fraser did some grand ninja type verbal maneuver and ended up telling him about anxiety displacement or that damn caribou on the damn mountain. In a contest between having fun hanging out with Fraser and having his brain turn to solid stone from anecdote and psychocrap overload, there was no contest. So he let it go, mostly.

Anyway, it wasn't so bad the time they were locked in the trunk of the GTO and Fraser was breathing into Ray's hair. Ray thought he might have even been sucking on it. Maybe.

After a month, Ray decided that "unhinged" didn't begin to describe Fraser. The guy wasn't capable of outright lying (except maybe sometimes when duty and justice required it, and Ray didn't see how this would qualify), so Ray figured he really didn't know he was groping Ray half the time he was, and the other half he must really think he was touching in a normal buddy kind of way (even though it wasn't normal, not even a little bit).



"Knowing something and proving it are two different things."

"Damn it, Fraser! A gun doesn't go off without you getting intimate with my intimate bits!"

Fraser sounded perfectly calm and sympathetic and reasonable when he met Ray's eyes and said, "Ray, stressful situations do have unexpected consequences. I suspect you're displacing your natural anxiety for your safety onto this irrational paranoia about your person."

This from a guy who not twenty minutes before was standing right up behind Ray with a hand splayed out across his chest, fingers teasing one of Ray's (jeez, still throbbing) nipples, supposedly to hold him back from where Jerrett and Valletti might see him.

Ray didn't punch Fraser, but he might have yelled a little bit. It wasn't his fault; Fraser was asking for it.



"What about the witnesses?"

He thought for sure Fraser would believe him when Dief backed him up. But, and holy Christ, he'd really thought Fraser was nutty for thinking Dief could talk, until he saw Dief lying about it and then laughing his stupid furry ass off. Apparently, watching Ray explode from homicidal and wolficidal rage was even funnier than calling Fraser on his Mr. Grabby Hands habits.

Even Vinnie the Snake got in on the arguing action, telling Ray that he must be mistaken, that the nice Mountie wouldn't have actually licked his ear when he was supposed to just be whispering into it.

Typically, Side Pocket Sal disagreed. Ray and Fraser had to separate them when the minor disagreement over which of them had left the incriminating evidence behind turned into near bloodshed over the alleged ear-licking. Sal knew Ray from way back. He knew Ray didn't lie about this stuff.



"I'm sure it can be sorted out with an appropriate dispute resolution mechanism..."

Finally, the little light bulb above Ray's head lit up. Fraser must be interested, what with the full frontal massage and other subtle clues. He thought it over for a good one or two seconds and decided he was interested right back. So he grinned and slouched and walked Fraser to the Consulate door. Leaning in, he went for Fraser's lips and just about fell over when Fraser said, at super high speed, "It's been a satisfying day working with you, Ray. I'll see you at the precinct tomorrow," slipped inside, and had the door locked tight behind him before Ray'd even lost his pucker. Well, damn. That sucked.



"So, we're on a stakeout. That's good. Who's the target?"

Even after the big Kiss Rebuff of '97, Fraser didn't stop with the inappropriate touching, and it was making Ray crazy, jumpy and angry and turned on all the time, way worse than usual. He needed a plan. He couldn't out-talk Fraser, even if he was yelling. He couldn't make out with Fraser, damn it. But he figured two could play Fraser's whackjob game, so he'd just paw Fraser right back.

He'd never really planned this sort of thing before; any non-Stella groping he'd done was usually drunk and clumsy and definitely spontaneous. He lay in his empty bed in his crappy, empty apartment, stroking himself, and thought about touching Fraser. Would Fraser get huffy or pissy? Would he ignore him or blow him off? Would he turn to him during the chase or stakeout or whatever and just get down with him? Ray spent a lot of time imagining that last one.

Problem was, he tended to forget he was supposed to be getting frisky when they were jumping between buildings or whatever. For normal guys, that wasn't a heavy petting type moment. Once, he pressed himself even closer than normal (which, to be honest, was pretty damn close) against Fraser's back when they were surveilling out a window. Fraser didn't seem to notice. Ray noticed, all right, but he ended up feeling scummy about molesting the guy, seeing as people were all the time touching Fraser and getting in his personal space without permission, and Ray was pretty sure he wasn't okay with it.

So, groping was out, but maybe Ray could do something else. He wasn't stupid. He could figure out a way.



"What's the problem? It's a good collar."

When the right moment came, Ray almost forgot to do anything. They were crouching over a skylight, checking out the mad retirees holding the antique piggy bank collection hostage, and it took a couple of minutes for the heat and pressure of Fraser's hand to register. When it did, he did a quick calculation. The old people weren't armed. Their only weapon was threat of harm to the piggy banks. No biggie, then, if him and Fraser got a little distracted, right?

"Fraser," he whispered.

"Yes, Ray." Fraser sounded keen and alert and focused, which was pretty weird considering his hand was tracing patterns across Ray's lower back, whoops, his ass, definitely his ass.

Ray reached back and grabbed Fraser's hand, holding it still against him. "You're doing it again."

"I don't..."

When Fraser's voice died away in a strangled, perplexed gurgle, Ray glanced over. Fraser was staring at his hand, grabbed awkward tight in Ray's, his fingers still pressed against the crease between Ray's cheeks.

Fraser frowned, looking startled, then swallowed and said, "Huh."

Ray'd been all ready to go with the 'I was right and you were wrong' gloat he deserved, but instead he just felt kind of guilty. Fraser looked like one of those robots that flash 'does not compute' moments before all hell breaks loose, but he wasn't going cuckoo; he was just holding still and staring, a thoughtful wrinkle between his eyes. Ray said, apologetic and over-loud, considering where they were, "It's okay. Just, let's get the bad guys, all right? Make the world safe for nickels."

Fraser waited until they'd collared the retirees and even until they'd finished the paperwork before tugging (with eyes and gestures only, hands conspicuously off) Ray into the 2-7 bathroom. Once there, he lifted his chin and straightened his shoulders, staring over Ray's shoulder. Considering he was usually pretty damn chin-up and square-shouldered, he ended up looking like a giant was pinching his head and trying to lift him off the ground. This wasn't going to be good. "I'm sorry, Ray. My behavior was unconscionable and I perfectly understand if you wish to file a complaint or discontinue our partnership."

"Jesus. Shut up, Fraser. I just want you to put out or stop feeling me up. This halfway thing makes me nuts."

Fraser made a short, choked cough, then cleared his throat and looked directly at Ray for the first time. "You're my partner and my friend. I don't have many people I care about as I do you and I won't do anything to endanger that. You have nothing more to fear from me."

"Goody." So, no danger of Ray getting lucky any time soon.



"This is either empty, broken, or not working."

But, once Fraser finally admitted he'd been groping Ray ("Just the once for certain, Ray." "Believe me, Fraser, it was more than once. I've got the hickeys to prove it.") things didn't go back to whatever passed for normal in their world. The man would truly suck at undercover work; the way he watched Ray when he thought nobody was looking and then glanced away when Ray caught him was completely stealth-free. Plus, he kept a personal space moat around himself, with his hands behind his back if possible.

After letting him get away with lame excuses a couple of times, Ray practically forced Fraser to come over to the apartment one night when they were both beat and still kind of wired from a big bust. They did all the things they usually did, arguing over what to order for dinner, Fraser going on and on about the theoretical possibility that one day his kitchen could be used for the preparation of food, then settling down in front of a hockey game. Fraser got so into the game that he forgot he'd stopped touching Ray, and Ray thought things were finally getting better when Fraser let their hands touch as they fought over the last of the delivery Chinese, when Fraser poked him in the shoulder to point out a particularly cool play.

By the end of the game they were both slumped kind of in the middle of the couch, their heads close together and their bodies splayed in opposite directions. When they spoke they didn't take their eyes off the TV or lift their heads off the back of the couch, just tilted them a little closer to each other. Ray'd missed this.

The post-game wrap-up went to commercial, and Fraser turned to look at Ray, seemingly startled to find him so close. They looked at each other for a moment, Ray holding his breath, before Fraser jumped up and grabbed his jacket, babbling about the walk and the next day and whatever. Ray didn't say anything, just watched him go.



"I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better."

As it turned out, a personal space moat was a really dangerous thing for a cop to have. It was both funny and totally screwed up, especially when the two of them were crammed onto a tiny, rusty fire escape a couple of weeks later and somebody up above was throwing stolen kitchen paraphernalia down at them. Ray squeezed into the only decent cover, an alcove type thing in the wall of the building, but Fraser was as far away as he could get, totally exposed.

"Fraser, you got to stop worrying about it. It's putting you off your game."

"I'm perfectly fine, Ray." Fraser called, weaving to avoid falling cutlery then glancing up and suddenly hurling himself towards Ray a split second before a microwave exploded on impact with the grating.

Fraser was plastered the full length of Ray's body, pressing him into the brick wall. Craning his head back, Fraser scoped around, presumably for other falling appliances. When he looked back at Ray, Ray raised his eyebrows at him (he'd practiced, but he couldn't do just one yet). Even a loon like Fraser couldn't deny that one hand had a good firm grip on Ray's ass, pulling their hips together, and the other was curled around his neck, thumb stroking Ray's cheek and the line of his jaw. Before Fraser could pull away, Ray grabbed him and held on tight.

"Damn it, Fraser, it's okay." Desperate, Ray kissed him, trying to keep him there with the pressure of his lips. "Stay here, feel me up, and don't get killed by a toaster. Sounds like a plan to me."

Fraser relaxed in his arms and said, huskily, "An excellent plan."

"Hmpth?" Ray's words were pushed back into his mouth as Fraser kissed him, ran his tongue over Ray's lower lip, and then slipped inside his mouth.

Well, that was a change. Ray rolled with it, suddenly grateful for the bad lighting and general darkness as he and Fraser kissed like horny kids. Fraser's mouth was hot and soft and pushy and Ray wanted to move in and set up shop. He moaned when Fraser pulled away and pressed kisses along Ray's jaw.

"You see," Fraser murmured into Ray's neck, ignoring the continuing clatter behind him, "I've given this a great deal of thought and I've realized that I'm extraordinarily attracted to you."

"Uh-huh?" Ray was having some trouble finding a good place to touch that wasn't all uniform.

"I was hoping you might be similarly attracted to me." Fraser's voice went all breathy as Ray shifted his legs apart and pulled Fraser's hips forward, grinding them together through their clothes.

"You could say that, Frase."

Fraser returned to Ray's mouth with a hard, wet kiss, slipping his fingers under Ray's shirt, pushing Ray into the wall until his shoulder blades hurt. They'd just started working on the clothing problem when the window next to them slid open and an old guy stuck his head out. "What's the racket out here? People are trying to watch television, you know."

Shielded by Fraser's body, Ray zipped up as quickly and carefully he could with shaky fingers, left Fraser to handle the "Our apologies, sir, may we use your window to gain access to the building?" bit, and just shoved past the guy and headed for the stairs, wincing as he raced up to the roof.



"...perhaps a refresher course in some of the fundamentals might be a good idea."

On the way to the station Fraser had a long talk with their appliance thief, a pimply college kid passionately committed to the emancipation of women. Fraser explained some of the elements of feminist history and theory that the kid had overlooked, and made him promise to investigate "more constructive and less destructive ways to effect change."

When Fraser'd finished promising to drop suitable reading material by the jail and the kid was taken away for booking, Ray drove the two of them to his apartment. On the way there neither of them said anything, didn't even look at each other.

Inside, Ray locked the door behind them, and crossed his arms over his chest. Taking a deep breath, he said, "So, Frase. Nobody's shooting at us, throwing stuff at us, trying to burn us up, or in some other way imperiling us."

"Not that I'm aware of, no." Fraser sounded suspiciously bland.

Sticking his chin out, Ray asked, "You still want what you wanted before?"

"Whatever do you mean, Ray?"

Ray was opening his mouth to yell the house down when Fraser put a hand on the back of his neck, pulled him in and kissed him.

When his mouth was free again, Ray growled, "Not funny, Fraser."

"It was, just a little."

"Nah. You've been driving me crazy. Sucking my hair..."

"I'm sure I did no such thing." He was doing it now, though. At least nuzzling.

Ray slowly walked Fraser backwards, still kissing, both of them working on Fraser's tunic and string and belt, managing to get Fraser out of it just in time for Ray to push him down on the couch and sprawl on top of him.

Oh man, Fraser was hard, so hard in those stupid pants, both his hands holding Ray's head, tilting it for better access to his mouth. Pulling away so their lips just touched, Ray said, "And you licked my ear."

Fraser took the hint, turning Ray's head and teasing him with a long, slow sweep of his tongue. Sitting up, his knees on either side of Fraser's body, Ray shifted so their hard-ons could get friendly.

Stripping off his shirt, he brought Fraser's hand up to one of his nipples. "And you touched me here."

Fraser'd only used his fingers before, but this time he traced Ray's chest with his fingertips before reaching up with his mouth to lick first one nipple and then the other. Ray moaned at that, his cock throbbing sympathetically.

"Where else?"

"Everywhere."

Running a hand down Ray's ass, Fraser pushed down so they were pressed tighter together.

"Yeah," Ray gasped. "There." He leaned forward again, kissing Fraser's wet, hungry lips. Balancing on one arm, he reached down with the other to unzip his pants, moaning when the pressure on his cock eased.

He was reaching for Fraser's pants when Fraser used the hand on Ray's ass to urge him back up on his knees and forward until his hands were braced on the arm of the couch and he was kneeling over Fraser's face.

"Jesus, Fraser."

Fraser pulled Ray's jeans down to his thighs, and Ray said, "Oh, Jesus, Fraser. I can't," his words cut off with a gasp when Fraser reached up and carefully licked Ray's cock, savoring it, tasting it like evidence. Ray shuddered. The only thing Fraser was going to learn there was that Ray was about three seconds from coming all over his beautiful face.

Fraser slid his lips over the head of Ray's cock, sucking gently. Ray swore and tried to keep his arms from collapsing. This was so fucking awkward, his thighs trapped both by his jeans and Fraser's body. He glanced down, saw his cock disappearing into Fraser's mouth, and completely forgot any awkwardness.

Fraser's mouth was clumsy and wet and there were teeth and drool running down Fraser's cheek and he choked a little when Ray accidentally thrust in, and Ray'd never been blown so good before. His arms and back ached with holding himself up, holding himself back, and he said, "Fuck, Fraser, I'm gonna...," and Fraser moaned and his hands tightened on Ray's ass, his fingers slipping between his cheeks. Ray said, "Oh shit," and came, Fraser coughing and choking and Ray's cock falling from his mouth, spitting come across his cheek.

Ray fumbled upright, his jeans strangling Fraser for a second before he squirmed around to sit by Fraser's head, his cock hanging out and his head back against the couch while he tried to catch his breath.

When he could, he glanced down at Fraser's blotchy, messy, upside down face and ran a hand over his cheek, Fraser breathing only a little fast and looking at him with sex-dark eyes. "Jesus Christ, Frase, this is a mess. You do everything backwards, you know? Seduce a guy before you're ready to put out, put out before he takes off his pants. That's gonna change, I'm telling you that right now. You and me are going to neck and get naked and have sex like normal people."

"We can only try, Ray."

"Yeah." Ray dropped his head back again and shut his eyes. "Give me a second here and I'll show you how it's done."


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