NOTE: this story contains adult content.

Ray Is Not Actually Graphing The History Of His Relationship With Fraser--That Would Be Pathetic, And Ray Is Not Pathetic--But If He Was Graphing It, Even Just In His Own Stressed-Out, Messed-Up Brain, It Might Look Something Like This


(Not the greatest kiss in the world, actually.

See, they'd been hanging out like usual, sitting on Ray's couch with take-out litter on the coffee table and nothing much on TV, and Ray was telling his story about the time him and Stella accidentally ended up at a Neil Diamond concert.

And as usual, by the time he got to the part with the panties, he was laughing so hard he had to take a breather, shake his head, get a mouthful of beer. And while he was drinking, he noticed that Fraser was watching him--but not just in a polite, I'm-listening kind of way. No, Fraser was staring at him with his lips parted and his eyes all intent, and he was looking pale and serious and maybe even a little sick. So Ray lowered the bottle from his lips and lifted an eyebrow at Fraser, like, hey buddy, what the fuck?

And Fraser sucked in a huge breath and pressed his lips together, squared his shoulders like he was going into battle and slid across the couch. Ray saw Fraser's big hands coming at him, felt them kind of sweaty on his face. And then, a second later, Fraser had his mouth pressed against Ray's.

Only Ray's last mouthful of beer was still only half-way swallowed. And Fraser's hands were a little shaky, and his aim was a little off, so basically: disaster. There was choking and then eye-poking and a teeth-lip collision, and that is just about all you need to know about that. Ray had to yank his head out of Fraser's grip so he could keep from spitting beer into Fraser's mouth, and then of course Fraser started in with the oh god, Ray, I'm so sorry, I don't know what came over me--I'll file my transfer papers with the head office tomorrow.

Ray swallowed properly and gasped in a couple of desperate breaths, all the time waving away Fraser's apologies in what he was hoping was a reassuring manner, except that Fraser seemed to think Ray was trying to wave him away, and he damn near got up and left. Ray had to lunge across the couch and grab the guy's shirtfront with both hands, had to hold him there, make him sit and look and see.

Gradually, Fraser's breath came slower. The blush faded from his face. He raised both eyebrows, looked into Ray's eyes. Ray grinned at him, and shook his head, and then Fraser's chest heaved under Ray's hands, and he pulled Ray closer, put his arms around him.

The second kiss was a whole lot better.)

Which brings us to:

 

(This was maybe five minutes later, which was definitely one of the plusses of doing it with Fraser. They didn't make it further than the couch--hell, didn't even get their clothes off. It was all about finding enough skin to get their hands on, to press up against, sweaty and desperate, to thrust into while they gasped and shook and tried to keep their mouths together. Fraser came first and Ray watched him do it, wanting to suck on that bottom lip, scrape his teeth against that bared throat, get his mouth on that tight-clenched jaw--all at the same time. He closed his eyes, took a breath, opened them again. Fraser's head was tipped back. Ray got his fingers into that thick hair and pulled it up, covered Fraser's still-gasping mouth with his. Fraser slid his hands along Ray's sweaty back and into the pushed-down waistband of Ray's jeans. He pulled Ray in hard, dug his fingers into Ray's ass and closed his mouth on Ray's chin while Ray gasped and swore and came all over both of them.)

 

 

(The sex has never not been good. That is not the confusing part of Ray-and-Fraser. They are naturals at the sex; the sex is their friend. If there was some kind of sexathalon, the two of them would be All-State, trophy-winning champs. Okay.)

 

 

(See, if Fraser was a girl (lady, woman, whatever), Ray would have a) figured out they were having a Very Important Relationship Conversation, and also 2) known exactly what he was expected to say. "Fraser," he would have said, "I know we've only been seeing each other for a few weeks, but this is great, you know? We're great. I really care about you." Then he'd have taken girl-Fraser out to some dress-up restaurant, and probably dancing after that. And the next morning, he might have casually told her she could have a shelf in his bathroom cabinet so she could keep a toothbrush there and whatever other lady things she wanted to have on hand, and voila, Ray would be the Best Boyfriend Ever.

Except Fraser is not a girl--in fact, he is not even a normal guy--so his VIRCs are like stealth VIRCs. They come up out of nowhere, when Ray least expects them. They're quick, invisible, and fucking deadly.

This first one, for instance, only even registers as a VIRC in retrospect. They were in Interview Two with about two hundred surveillance photos of regular Fernelli guests spread out on the table between them, along with half-drunk cups of coffee and tea and a mostly-eaten pizza. It was one o'clock in the morning and they were supposed to be sorting out which of these ugly mugs were significant ugly mugs, so that Welsh could make sure Huey and Dewey were staking out the right warehouse tomorrow. Ray was not exactly at his best, having already chased down a purse-snatcher today, and having been hit by a car in the process. Most people, when they got hit by a car, that was a big deal. That right there would be enough for them to take a break, maybe have the afternoon off, recuperate a little. But when you were Fraser's partner? Nah. Then it was just "well, did the car hit you hard, Ray? Are you actually injured?" And those hands pawing him in the middle of the goddamn street with everybody watching until Ray'd had to jerk himself away and say he was fine.

So he was tired and sore and yeah, maybe a little cranky. So when Fraser paused with a close-up shot of one of Marco Fernelli's lady-friends in his hand and asked did Ray believe in relationships of convenience, Ray did not even catch the trigger word in the sentence (that'd be "relationship" in case there's somebody in the audience who isn't paying attention), which meant that he answered like Fraser's friend instead of like Fraser's boyfriend.

"Sure," he said. "Why not? Hell of a lot easier than trying to base anything on 'true love'. At least this way they both know what they're after, you know? Keeps it simple. Nobody gets hurt." He closed his eyes, put a hand on the back of his neck, tried to stretch the crick out of it. "Well, they might get physically hurt. Swim with the fishes and all that. Ow, ow, ow, Christ. Pass me that coffee, will ya?"

And at the time, it didn't seem especially weird that Fraser just stood there staring at him for a minute before he reached over and found Ray's cooling mug. Fraser was Fraser, after all. Ray didn't know why he did half the bizarro things he did.)

 

 

(This one was three days later and probably about three times more catastrophic, and plus, it was sneakier, faster, new and improved.

One minute they were in the hall just inside Ray's apartment, taking off their mud-covered clothes so they could stick them in a garbage bag before they headed over to Ray's shower. They were both kind of tired. Ray's head was still back at that barn with that asshole Gibson and all his asshole men, and he was daydreaming about a little police brutality.

And then the next minute, Fraser was asking him, "Ray, do you consider me to be your friend?"

And okay, so thinking first has never been Ray's particular skill. "Yeah, sure," is what he said.

Fraser looked at him for the space of one heartbeat, and then that tongue came out and licked at his bottom lip. He lowered his gaze to his mud-covered boots, started in on the fastening clasps. "Ah," he said.

And that was it. That was the whole thing. How is any normal human being supposed to get that basically, he and his partner just broke up?

Especially when all that happened next was Ray went back to the kick-'em-in-the-head daydream, and they finished stripping in silence, and then later, in the shower, Fraser pulled away and stuck his head into the spray when Ray tried to jerk him off.

"Thank you kindly, Ray," Fraser said, slicking his wet hair out of his face. "But I'm not really in the mood."

Which okay, was kind of disappointing--all that naked Fraser and no sex?--but Ray just shrugged and dealt with it. He figured maybe Fraser was tired, too--had to happen some time, after all.)

 

 

(Ray has seen Fraser stand up in the middle of a firefight in gangland and suggest in a reasonable voice that everyone stop and settle their disputes like gentlemen. He has seen the guy jump off buildings and run into house fires and, once, personally hyponotise a bear (don't ask). Fraser's hardly scared of anything--even when scared is the only reaction that makes any kind of sense.

But after that day with the barn and then the Conversation, it was like Fraser got Ray-phobia or something. He wormed his way out of any situation where the two of them might be alone together. Like, for example, when Welsh put the two of them on surveilling the Fernellis and Fraser insisted the best way to do this was if Ray watched from the car while Fraser climbed a tree and kept a bird's eye from above (J), or when he announced that the wolf was getting fat so they had to start walking home, evenings, even though it was January by then, and cold as a sonofabitch (L). Eventually it got so even Ray (whose powers of self-delusion are, after all, pretty damn impressive) had to admit that Fraser was avoiding him.

He figured it out on the couch one night, flipping through the channels and not-sleeping with a vengeance, as he stared blankly at the flickering screen. If Fraser was here, this wouldn't suck at all. They'd be hanging out, talking, maybe, and it wouldn't matter so much that it was two a.m. and they had to be up for work the next morning. It wouldn't matter that Ray had seventy channels and there wasn't a thing to watch on any of them. Every night when Fraser was over felt like an event.

But Fraser hadn't been here in...jeeze, it had to have been a couple of days. No, almost a week. In fact, Ray hadn't seen the guy since Tuesday--he hadn't even come to the station to work.

Ray sat up. No wonder everything felt weird. Fraser'd been ditching him. Just the guy was so smooth, Ray hadn't even noticed.

Son of a bitch.)

 

 

(Which okay, was Ray's idea, and was more like the Grand-Slam Championship Knock-Down than a conversation. But Ray is not exactly a patient kind of guy, and Fraser wasn't returning his calls. In fact, he'd put Turnbull between them like a big lunatic roadblock:

"Well, sir, I'm afraid I can neither confirm nor deny the Constable's presence here. Hypothetically, I could hypothetically confirm that the Canadian Consulate in Chicago is Constable Fraser's official posting with the RCMP. Hypothetically. But I'm afraid I'm simply not permitted to take it further than that. Perhaps it would be helpful if you were to try to think of the Constable as existing in a state of quantum uncertainty, rather like Mr. Schrödinger's cat. No, sir. Ah. Well, I do apologise, sir--I had no idea you felt so strongly about the use of metaphor."

Ray slammed down the phone. That was not even close to buddies. Turnbull's a last-resort weapon, not to be deployed except under extreme duress--the kind of thing Ray'd have thought Fraser would only use against an arch-enemy. Or, you know, Frannie.

So he figured all bets were off. He didn't have to be polite about this. If Fraser was going to play dirty, he would too.

He waited until he was sure the Ice Queen would be gone for the day and then he muttered something about checking up on some leads and he hustled out of the station.

All the way to the Consulate, he drummed his fingers against the steering wheel and tried not to think about anything in particular. He flipped through all the stations on the radio, then did it all over again at the next red light. He cracked his neck. Then he cracked his shoulder. Then he recited all the names of all the guys in the Blackhawks' current defensive line-up, in his head, and he tried to figure out which ones he would use first string, if he was the head coach.

And then he gave it up and smacked his fist against the wheel because shit, shit, shit, what if Fraser decided him and Ray were breaking up? What if this was it, kaputski, the end of the line? Fraser was his best friend, for Christ's sake. Best friend he'd ever had, excepting Stella, and hell, was he talking to Stella these days either? No, he was not. (And maybe there was a lesson there, genius, maybe this was something he could take away from the class: get a best friend, sleep with the best friend, lose the best friend. Jesus.)

So by the time he got to the Consulate, he was a little worked up. Mad at himself, mostly, but he always got that kind of thing confused in his head. He parked in the street and kicked through the dirty snow at the edge of the curb, stomped up the neatly shoveled walk to the front door. And he knocked like you were supposed to, but then he got impatient and just shoved his way inside and hey, what do you know: there was Turnbull.

Ray closed the door. Turnbull stood up from his seat behind the front desk. Ray made for Fraser's office. Turnbull sidestepped into his path.

"Move," said Ray.

Turnbull swallowed hard and firmed his jaw. "I'm afraid that's impossible, sir."

Ray made a face. "Move or I'll hit you," he said.

"Well, sir, regrettable as that would be, I still cannot oblige. This is my duty. I will not be swayed." Turnbull squared his shoulders, lifted his chin, and then ruined the whole effect by giving Ray a nervous glance out of the corner of his eye.

Ray bared his teeth at the guy. "Hey, fine with me," he said. "I'm just gonna have to sway you myself, then." He cracked his neck, got up on his toes and did a couple of shuffling steps. "You got a preference for jaw or eye?"

Turnbull's throat worked. He took a deep breath. "Jaw, sir, if you please."

So Ray got his fist cocked and ready, but then of course Fraser had to come out of his office and ruin all the fun. "Oh, for Heaven's sake," Fraser said. "Ray."

Ray glared at him. Fraser pressed his lips together and lifted his eyebrows. Ray sighed and lowered his fist.

Fraser shook his head, then turned to Turnbull. "Constable, I thank you for your assistance. You're dismissed."

"Are you quite sure, sir?" Turnbull said. He narrowed his eyes at Ray and didn't move.

Fraser sighed. "Constable. If you please." He inclined his head toward the front door. Turnbull gave Ray one last dirty look, collected his Mountie hat and left.

The silence in the wake of Turnbull's exit was not exactly comfortable. Fraser brought a hand up to rub at the back of his neck. He opened his mouth, paused, let out a breath. "Was there something you wanted, Ray?" he said finally.

Ray glared at him. "No, Fraser, I just been trying to get ahold of you for a week for no reason at all. Jeeze. Was there something I wanted." He shook his head, took a breath. "Do not mess with me right now, okay? You know why I'm here. We need to, to talk about this thing, whatever this thing is. We need to figure this out."

Fraser sighed. "I'm not sure I know what you're talking about, Ray. I do apologise if I've missed your calls this week--I've been occupied with Consular duties. It's a very busy time of year." He walked over to Turnbull's desk, started flipping through the daybook that lay open there.

Ray reached over and slammed it closed. "Cut it out," he said

Fraser's shoulders moved as he huffed out a breath. His face went the deep red it turned when he was really angry. "What is it you find objectionable, Ray? The schedule? My commissioned duties? Because I'm afraid that neither of those things is negotiable."

Ray shook his head. "Cut it out. I mean it. We are talking about this thing, and we are doing it right now, so you better get your head out of your ass and start, uh, communicating."

"Why?" Fraser said. That angry flush had crept all the way down his neck, now. "What would be the point of communicating about this particular issue? Things are as they are. It was simply a misunderstanding. I apologise if my absence has been an inconvenience, but I'm afraid I'm not willing to humiliate myself more than I already have." He stopped, took a breath. "Now, if you'll excuse me, Ray, I really do have to get back to work." And he turned like he was going to go back to his office.

Ray opened his mouth. Nothing came out of it, though, so he reached out and grabbed Fraser's arm instead, hauled him to a stop. "Uh uh," he managed. "No way, pal. We are not done." And he had to think, here, because all of a sudden it seemed like maybe they were. Fraser was pissed, he was trying to pull away; I don't want to humiliate myself, he'd said. And if that meant what Ray thought it meant, Ray was going to have to put his fist through something, because a) ouch and b) Fraser was the one who started this whole thing so come on, can we at least try to be fair?

But maybe that could wait. Maybe it would have to. Maybe right now the two of them had bigger fish to fry. Ray gave himself a shake, tightened his grip on Fraser's arm. "Okay," he said. "Listen. You gotta forgive my language, here, and the fact that I'm maybe not keeping up. But what the fuck are you talking about?"

Fraser gave him a disbelieving look. "Us," he said, impatiently. "You and I. Our...relationship, I suppose."

Ray took a step back, brought his hand up between them like a stop sign. "Hey," he said. "Whoa. You kissed me, remember? You trying to tell me I should have understood that to mean something other than you had the hots for me?"

Fraser blinked. "Of course not," he said.

They stared at each other. Ray shook his head. This whole conversation was starting to seem like it was happening in code, but at least his stomach had stopped trying to tie itself in a knot. He took a breath. "Okay. So. What, then?"

Fraser put a hand over his face and scrubbed at it tiredly. "I...well." He paused, pressed his lips together, exhaled through his nose. "You're right, of course. I was the one who initiated things--I suppose I ought to have taken the time to clarify matters before I went ahead. But Ray, I really would have appreciated knowing the parameters of our relationship before we carried it forward."

Ray narrowed his eyes.

"I mean, I can't say that I would have proceeded any differently than I did," Fraser added, giving a rueful laugh. "But I might have been better prepared for the emotional ramifications."

And okay, okay: if "parameters" equaled "borders" and "ramifications" equaled "impact", then basically, Fraser was saying something about...uh. Ray had no freaking idea.

He pushed a hand through his hair, paced a couple of steps forward, turned around and looked at Fraser again. "Look," he said. "I don't know what you're talking about more than half of the time, but you are my best friend, okay? Me and you, we're like, uh, peanut butter and jelly--or Leopold and Loeb, whatever butters your muffin." He waved a hand and Fraser nodded, seriously, watching him.

Ray nodded, too. "Right," he said. "So what I mean is, we are good together, Fraser. The best. So whatever we gotta change to make this thing work, let's do it, okay? Whatever it is we have to give up."

Fraser put his head on one side. "Ray, to be clear, we're talking about the, ah, physical aspects of our relationship now. Is that right?"

Ray winced. "Yeah, yeah," he said. "I mean, don't get me wrong, Fraser, because I will really, really miss those particular aspects. It's just, I am willing to do without them if that's what it's going to take."

There was a pause. Fraser's face was wearing an expression Ray could not look at, so he lowered his gaze to the fancy carpet instead. There were designs down there, woven right in: some kind of antelopes or something all lined up around the border. He kicked one of them in the head with the toe of his boot. Just gently, though.

Fraser sighed again. "That does seem like a sensible solution," he said.

Ray lifted his head. Fraser looked about as miserable as Ray felt, but at least they were talking, now.

He nodded. Felt himself flush. "So."

Fraser coughed. "We appear to have arrived back where we began," he said.

Ray swallowed. "Okay. So we're good, we're buddies, we're through this?" He met Fraser's eyes, lifted his eyebrows. Fraser nodded, too.

"Good," said Ray. "That is good." And it was--he felt like somebody just took an anvil off his chest. He closed his eyes for a second, took a breath. "So. But. No more sex, though, huh?"

Fraser's ears turned pink again. But he drew a breath, held Ray's gaze. "Right. I agree."

"Shake on it," said Ray, a little breathlessly, and stuck out his hand.

Fraser's fingers curled around his, warm and rough and familiar. They shook. Fraser licked his lips. And then somehow, without Ray ever having decided to do anything in particular--without Fraser having even seemed to move--they were pressed up against the oak-paneled wall with their hands all over each other, making out like they'd been starving for it.

So. So much for good intentions.)

 

 

(See, the thing with graphs is that what you put on them has to be either one thing or another. It has to be fixed, yes or no, good or bad, definable. And at this particular juncture, things were good and awful at the same time. You couldn't pin them down, no matter how hard you tried. Uncertain was kind of an understatement.

The sex, okay, the sex was off the scale phenomenal. They did it all the time, got creative--held each other down sometimes, or played insane, mind-blowing games of chicken, in which Fraser would get him shuddering and gasping and begging to come and then leave him like that, let him cool down, before he started in all over again. They fucked at the station, in the wheelchair stall in the public bathroom, and they fucked on the job, in the car.

But all this time, it felt like the last bang at the end of everything, like they were getting while the getting was good. They never talked about anything, anymore. Ray never knew where they stood. It was like that conversation at the Consulate had sucked them straight down the freaking rabbit hole. Like Ray had been trying to solve an equation for the past four months, and all of a sudden he had an answer, only the answer wasn't even math. It was, like, food or something. 5x + πr² = cake.

So he stopped thinking and threw himself into the Fernelli case instead. And by the time the end of the month rolled around, they got that sucker wrapped up and in the can.

Welsh took everybody out to O'Malley's for a round, the night after the big bust. It had ended up being a collaborative effort, so they were all in a celebrating mood. Huey and Dewey seemed to be making up a set of Commandments for some new religion they'd invented, scribbling them on a series of napkins: stuff like Thou Shalt Not Eat The Chili-Cheese Fries and Thou Shalt Invest In A Pair Of Odour-Eaters, Pronto. (Huey's contribution, ha ha.) Frannie had brought Elaine along, and they were leaning in the corner of the booth, laughing over something with their heads together and their girly drinks in their hands, and if Ray wasn't totally messed up over sex already, he'd be speculating a lot of happy dirty thoughts about what the two of them might get up to in the cab on their way home.

But he was pretty messed up, so he hardly thought about that at all. Instead, him and Welsh got their elbows on the table and some serious liquor between them, and they talked shop and got drunk, because Welsh is a man after Ray's own heart.

Fraser sat next to Ray, close enough Ray could feel him there, the heat of him, that solid presence. He was listening, watching, adding his own comments when he had them. Every once in a while, he let his hand brush Ray's shoulder, or his knee underneath the table, making Ray shiver, making him have to suck in a breath and drink some more, until his head was spinning.

Afterward, when things were wrapping up and everybody was back-slapping and good-nighting, Fraser made Ray give up his keys. And then he insisted on driving him home at speeds so prudent Ray's teeth ached with the frustration of it. He escorted Ray into his apartment, forced him to drink an ungodly amount of water and got him ready for bed. And okay, so Ray kind of liked all the attention, especially the look on Fraser's face, which was softer than Ray'd seen it in a while, all exasperated and affectionate. Fraser's hands felt good, stripping Ray out of his clothes, and Fraser was warm and solid when Ray got dizzy and stumbled up against him.

So Ray burrowed in closer and put his head on Fraser's shoulder. After a moment, he felt Fraser's hands on his back, tentative at first and then pressing in harder, pulling Ray close, catching rough in the cotton of Ray's t-shirt. Ray slung his noodly arms around Fraser's waist and yawned against Fraser's cheek, and Fraser grimaced and complained about the beery stench of Ray's breath, one of those big warm hands sliding up to rub at the back of Ray's head.

It all felt so great that Ray had to close his eyes for a moment, had to bury his nose in Fraser's neck. "Stay over," he said.

Fraser was rubbing circles on Ray's back, his chin propped on Ray's shoulder. "Hmm?"

"Stay over. Sleep over. Come on."

Fraser huffed a laugh against Ray's neck. "Ray, I believe you may be over-estimating your current...ah...capacity."

Ray snorted. "Yeah, no. Not for sex. Just stay here--that's all I meant."

And Fraser went completely still in Ray's arms, held himself like that for a couple of breaths. Then he turned his head and pressed his mouth to Ray's hair, kissed him there, his breath warm against Ray's scalp. "All right," he said. "Go on, then. I'll follow you."

And okay, even through the drunkness and the sleepiness, Ray could tell there was something else going on in those words. But for the life of him he could not figure out what the hell it was. Was he a mindreader? No, he was not. Did he want to start another confusing blow-up of a fight at two in the morning, when he was too plastered to stand up?

Right.

So he just crawled underneath the covers and made room for Fraser to crawl in, too. And then he shut his eyes and thought about nothing, and eventually, he fell asleep.)

 

 

Scratch all that, start over

 

(In the middle of the night, some dream thing wakes him. He lies there for a moment, frowning, trying to keep whatever it was from leaking out of his waking mind. But it's useless. Something about a chicken, somebody writing something with an inkless pen. That's all he's got.

Fraser's warm and heavy, draped halfway across his chest and over his legs, dark hair tickling Ray's nose. He stirs a little, though, and lifts his head. Probably felt Ray startle awake. "Everything all right?" he says. He has flushed cheeks and bleary eyes. Hair all squashed on one side.

Ray smiles and lifts a hand to muss the flattened side up like the rest. "Just dreaming something," he says. "Go back to sleep."

But Fraser leans close instead, kisses Ray sleepy and soft. "Dreaming what?" he murmurs against Ray's chin. Fraser's mouth is just as sexy as it always looked; it moves down the line of his jaw, licks his ear.

Ray gasps and buries his fingers in the hair at the back of Fraser's head. "Something about a chicken," he says breathlessly.

Fraser's laugh huffs over his ear, warm and shivery, cool where his skin is wet. "Ah. Well. Chickens are inherently disturbing, aren't they? I can see why you might waken." He has his hand on the other side of Ray's head, now, holding him still, those blunt fingertips kneading Ray's scalp. His tongue flicks out to taste Ray's earlobe before his teeth close on it, worrying gently.

Ray moans and pulls him over, on top, their bodies pressed together. He wraps his arms around Fraser's ribs, gets one hand up Fraser's t-shirt to rub the smooth skin underneath. Fraser moves against him, still sleepy and slow, his mouth pressing heavy kisses across Ray's face, onto his lips. Ray opens his mouth under Fraser's, meets Fraser's tongue with his own. His legs part and Fraser's body presses down between them, and even through their bunched boxers, that feels incredible, hot and solid and breathlessly good. Ray moans again, tipping his head back into Fraser's bracing hand, feeling Fraser's teeth on his bottom lip.

Fraser's hips are moving, steady and insistent. He lifts his other hand up to the side of Ray's head, thumbs stroking Ray's hot cheeks, fingers pushing through his sweaty hair, scraping against his scalp. Fraser's mouth is huge and hot on Ray's chin, and then kissing his mouth, deep and slow. He's still moving, still so hard against Ray's hip. "God," Ray says when Fraser finally frees his mouth again. Fraser's lips slide down to kiss Ray's throat instead, light and wet, almost all the way to Ray's collarbone. They stay there, kiss him harder, hotter, and then start sucking. "Jesus, Fraser," Ray says, "You trying to give me a hickey or something?" He tries to peer down at Fraser's face, glimpses a curve of flushed cheek and a dark spray of eyelashes before Fraser's hands tip his head back again.

"Yes," Fraser says, muffledly. And then he just goes right on sucking, those big hands holding Ray still, that mouth all wet on his neck. And it's the stupidest thing, such a kid thing, hickeys, but Ray feels like he can't even talk anymore, all of a sudden--like it's gonna take every brain cell he's got just to remember to breathe. He pants up at the ceiling in the dark and Fraser moves against him. After a while he lifts his mouth from Ray's stinging skin and kisses Ray's lips instead, and Ray hooks an arm around Fraser's neck to keep him close, moans, kisses him back. It's so quiet in the dark, no sounds but the small wet noises of their lips together, their breath, the bed-springs. Ray feels like he's half asleep or underwater, surrounded, engulfed, Fraser Fraser everywhere. He loses track of time, goes senseless with kissing and thrusting and heat, stays gone until eventually, he feels Fraser's hands on him, peeling his t-shirt away.

He tries to help, then, but Fraser bats his hands away and yeah, that's smarter, less confusing to just let Fraser do it. And anyway, somehow they're both naked already. Fraser goes tense above him, reaching for something, and then there's a pop and that's the lube getting opened, and Ray moans and pushes up with his hips, helplessly seeking. "Can I, uh. Can I fuck you?" Fraser says it quiet, his mouth against Ray's hair, and Jesus, Fraser, Jesus: what do you think?

Fraser laughs, breathy and brief, and kisses Ray's cheek. "Is that a yes?" he says, but he's just teasing, thank god, because his arm is taut between them, reaching again, and Ray feels that slicked hand stroking his cock, moving lower, one thick finger pushing in. Ray hisses and thrusts against nothing, against Fraser's forearm, against whatever he can reach. Fraser kisses him, pushes his finger deeper, searching until he finds the spot that makes Ray's mouth fall open, makes him pant out loud into the quiet room. "There?" Fraser murmurs. His lips on Ray's neck, now. Sliding the finger out so he can push a second in beside it.

Ray clutches Fraser's head close and nods, or tries to, and Fraser finds the spot again. He strokes it ruthlessly, braces himself on his shoulder so he can get the other hand around Ray's cock and that is the end of it, right there: Ray pushes into Fraser's hand and then back, onto Fraser's fingers, and then he comes, hard, wordless and gasping, Fraser's breath on his cheek.

He's aware of Fraser moving him, arranging things, wiping his belly with a corner of the sheet. Then there's pressure against him and god, Fraser pushing into him, sliding in easy and deep. Ray lets his eyes slit open and meets Fraser's gaze, holds it while Fraser thrusts all the way inside. Fraser's hands are on his head again. His big thumbs stroke Ray's cheeks. His eyes are dark and then falling closed, and he drops his head when he moans. Kisses Ray, rests his mouth on Ray's cheek. Fucks him hard and slow. Ray slicks his hands up Fraser's sweaty back, pushes his fingers into Fraser's hair. Can't think, not like this, not really, but all of a sudden he knows some things, like they just fell out of the air and into his mind. He wants to say them all because they're important, but he doesn't have much in the way of language, either; it got lost in that rhythmic thrusting, in the slow slide of their bodies together. So he pushes back into the pillows and up into Fraser's cock, digs his heels into Fraser's back, pulls hard at Fraser's thick hair. "Fucking...do it," he says. "Come on. Come on, Fraser. Give it to me."

And Fraser makes a sound, deep in his throat. His hands tighten on Ray, in his hair, around his shoulder, and his hips lose their rhythm, thrust in hard and fast. Ray closes his eyes, holds Fraser's head against his chest, murmurs "yeah, yeah," into Fraser's hair and feels him finally let go.

*

Ray gets things cleaned up. He straightens the blankets and gets them spread out again, and then he lies down next to Fraser, settles his head onto the other side of Fraser's pillow. Says, "hey," softly and reaches out to touch Fraser's hair. Fraser opens his eyes and smiles at Ray.

"So," Ray says. "So." His voice sounds rough, ruined, so he swallows, tries again. "So, I'm an idiot."

Fraser blinks. He gets those three vertical creases between his eyebrows which in Fraser-speak means he disapproves. "You are not."

Ray slides his hand down, strokes Fraser's cheekbone with his thumb. "Yeah, I am," he says. "Huge, big, giant idiot. No, shut up. You know."

And Fraser's eyes narrow, staring into his. Slowly, Ray sees them light up with understanding, watches them widen, watches Fraser squeeze them closed.

He leans forward, presses his lips to Fraser's forehead. "I'm sorry," he says, moving back again.

Fraser swallows, opens his eyes. "No," he says. "Ray. I'm sorry. I thought." He stops and huffs a weird, unfunny laugh. "I thought I was obvious. I thought you knew."

Ray smiles. If Fraser's obvious, the Pope is a pimp--but he doesn't say anything about that. He just moves his thumb on Fraser's cheek. "Okay, then," he says. "Two big idiots."

Fraser smiles, too. They stare at each other for a moment. Ray takes a breath. "Listen. Can I, uh. Can we." He clears his throat. "Move in with me. Okay? Want to?"

Fraser's grin is slow-moving, but it's a killer. He grabs Ray's wrist, turns his head so he can press a kiss against Ray's palm. "Well, I don't know," he says, his lips tickling Ray's skin. "Would we have to stop having sex in your car?"

Ray snorts. He uses his hand to turn Fraser's head and kisses him on the mouth.

"Yes," Fraser says, when they break apart. Serious this time. "I want to.")

 

 

* Many thanks to China Shop, Gurrier and Pearl_O for beta!