Puzzles and Priorities


It's only eight o'clock at night, but it's raining hard and there's nothing on TV, so Ray has decided him and Fraser ought to go to bed early and fuck. Except Fraser being Fraser, you can't just come right out and say it like that--or you can, but not until you get the guy worked up a little first.

And right now, Fraser doesn't seem to be in worked-up mode at all. He's got his reading glasses on, in fact, and he's sitting at the kitchen table with a book of acrostics open in front of him. Has the end of his pen between his front teeth, the fingers of his other hand pushing into that thick, dark hair of his, messing it up. His cheeks are flushed because Ray's got the heat turned up--he likes to keep the apartment warmer than Fraser's used to.

Ray shoves his hands into the pockets of his jeans and leans in the kitchen doorway. Fraser shifts a little, takes the pen out of his mouth like he's going to write something down but then stops, hesitates, presses his lips together and taps his pen against the page.

"Six-letter word for mysterious or inexplicable," he says, and lifts his gaze to Ray.

Ray frowns like he's thinking about it. He pushes himself upright and pads barefoot across the kitchen tile so he can look over Fraser's shoulder at the puzzle. He puts one hand on the back of Fraser's chair and the other on the table next to Fraser's cooling mug of tea, and he leans in, makes sure his chest presses into Fraser's back. "Hmm," he says. Thoughtfully. Taps a finger against the page. "Cryptic, maybe?"

The corner of Fraser's mouth curves upward a little and Christ, disappears into one of those killer creases he's got there. Ray swallows hard and tightens his fingers around the back of Fraser's chair.

"That's seven letters, though," Fraser says, still looking at the page.

Ray swallows again, tears his gaze away from Fraser's mouth and blinks down at the book in front of him. "Oh, yeah," he says. "Huh. Well, how about mystic?"

Fraser nods. "That would seem to fit. But unfortunately, it makes nonsense of the second part of the puzzle." He leans back in his chair and brings the pen to his mouth again, sliding the very end of it thoughtfully over his lower lip. There's a vertical crease between his eyebrows and some smaller, feathery ones at the corner of his eye. He smells like mint, from that tea he was drinking.

Ray takes a deep breath. His face is maybe two inches from Fraser's, now, and he can't stop watching the movement of that pen. "Too bad," he says, kind of breathlessly.

Fraser lifts his eyebrows. "Indeed." He taps the pen against his lip, gently, and then goes still. "Hm," he says, and turns his head to look at Ray. "I think I have it."

Ray licks his lips. "Yeah?" He pulls his eyes away from Fraser's pen, meets that blue gaze through the lenses of Fraser's glasses.

Fraser blinks. He licks his lip where the pen was stroking it a couple of seconds ago, smiles when Ray's gaze drops to follow the movement of his tongue.

Ray narrows his eyes and meets Fraser's again. And okay, he's not real surprised to see the heat there, the heaviness of Fraser's eyelids. When it comes to seducing people, Fraser can be quite the devious bastard.

Not that Ray really minds getting played. He grins and shakes his head, slow, and Fraser's cheeks get even redder. Ray brushes one of them with his knuckles, lifts Fraser's glasses off his face and sets them on the table.

"So what's the answer?" he says, pushing his fingers into that messed-up dark hair, stroking the coarser silvered bits above Fraser's ear with his thumb.

Fraser clears his throat. His hand has somehow found its way to one of Ray's hips and it tightens there, now, tugs Ray closer. So Ray leans in and kisses him--just lightly, but god. Fraser's lips are soft and seem to cling to his, and Ray moans a little when Fraser pulls his mouth away.

Fraser licks his lips, brings his other hand up to cup Ray's hot cheek, keeping him close. "Arcane," he murmurs, into Ray's mouth. And then he pulls Ray down into his lap and Ray groans and gets his arms around Fraser's neck and he presses his lips to Fraser's. And see, this is the thing Ray has learned from fourteen years of marriage plus two years of living-in-sin: if you want to make a partnership work, you gotta be adaptable. If Fraser wants to make out in the kitchen instead of fucking in the bedroom, well hey, Ray can go with that. It's all about compromise, he thinks as he licks his way into Fraser's wet mouth. You just have to get your priorities straight.

Fraser pushes his hands up Ray's back and buries his fingers in Ray's hair, holding Ray's head so he can kiss him deeper. Ray squirms in close and sucks on Fraser's tongue until he groans, low and helpless, into Ray's mouth.

"Ray," Fraser says, breathless, and hearing his voice like that sends shivers up Ray's spine, so he ducks back in and kisses Fraser again.

Fraser pulls his head back, presses his lips to Ray's ear instead. "Ray," he says. "Let's, ah. That is. Can we move this to the bedroom?"

Ray grins and moves a hand up into the hair at the back of Fraser's head. The other thing all that experience has taught him is that when you got the right guy, sometimes (okay, occasionally), you get to have your pie and eat it, too.

Or cake. Whatever.

"Yeah," he says against Fraser's stubbled skin. "Good idea. Let's do that."