On Wednesday, Ray and Fraser arrest Malo Lechuza and all three of his lieutenants. It's a huge relief--the case has been getting passed around like a hot potato for weeks and it seemed like nobody was going to be able to close it. As soon as they'd start getting close, there'd be a stroke of freaky bad luck--lost paperwork, a missing witness...that last guy from capitol theft all of a sudden coming down with shingles.
So Ray figures it's downright outstanding that him and Fraser wrapped this baby up in less than two days--which he does not hesitate to point out to Lieutenant Welsh. This is in Welsh's office right after their four perps are booked. Fraser is standing there doing his thing where he doesn't smile but you can see how much he wants to smile, and Ray is just straight up grinning. Welsh is somewhat less excited, which probably is because of the way Ray and Fraser are covered in the juice from the bottom of that last trash bin, but he pinches his forehead and comes up with a tight smile. "Good work detective, Constable," he says. "Go ahead and take the rest of the day off."
Ray takes Fraser back to his place so they can shower, after which they spend the rest of the afternoon in bed--no better way to celebrate, Ray figures, than with your pants off. That night, they get a pizza and watch a bit of TV. Then Fraser has to go home because him and the Ice Queen got an early flight to Ottawa the next morning--some kind of Mountie conference or something. Ray kisses him goodbye on the couch for a while, then he gets up and kisses him by the door for a while, then things happen that lead to one more quickie in the bedroom, after which Ray falls asleep so fast he doesn't even hear Fraser get up and leave.
On Thursday, Ray wakes up thinking about lipstick. Not the concept of lipstick--he's thinking about a particular shade of plum rose lipstick he saw Frannie putting on yesterday. He's imagining--in technicolour detail--what that stuff would feel like on your lips, how it would taste, whether it would be sticky or slick. He thinks about it as he stumbles into the bathroom to piss, and while he's splashing his face awake. He thinks about it while he picks two grey feathers out of his hair, and while he's making the coffee, and while he's drinking it, standing in his shorts in his kitchen, next to the dirty sink.
In the shower a couple of minutes later, he tries to stop thinking about it, because imagining all that plum-coloured smoothness is for some reason getting him hard. He thinks about ice instead, and then about his mom's menthol-smoking sister, and then, desperately, about Dewey's particular brand of eau-de-feet-and-onions. But nothing works. Eventually, he ends up jerking himself off, just to get rid of the hard-on.
And even that doesn't take care of the problem for long--on his way in to the station, he just keeps staring at different girls as they walk past, trying to think what all those shades of lipstick could be called. Peach Kiss. Pretty Pink. Strawberry Flush. Desire. By the time he gets to the station, he's hard all over again. It's fucking weird--he hasn't been this horny since he was a teenager.
But there's a stack of M4's on his desk which the Lieutenant has threatened to beat him with if he doesn't finish them today, so he starts in scribbling, tries to keep his head out of the lipstick gutter. It works for a little while--he gets through four of the forms without too much trouble. But then Dewey comes sauntering in and leans his hip on Ray's desk and makes fun of Ray's handwriting for a while, and normally he would have just told Dewey to fuck himself, but today he looks up and just...can't. Because Dewey's wearing this dark rose shade of sheer lipstick, and even though he's got way too much of it on and it's coming off onto his teeth, Ray is fucking mesmerized. "You got lipstick on," he says breathlessly, after a while.
Dewey looks uncomfortable. "Yeah," he says, plucking a fluffy grey something off his sleeve. "I couldn't...stop thinking about it. So I just went out and bought some."
They stare at each other for a minute. Ray swallows. "Where?" he says finally.
"The MAC Counter at Marshall's," Dewey says, sounding startled. "They were, uh...real nice. Helpful. You know."
Marshall's is crowded but Ray doesn't care. He makes his way across the main floor to the make-up section, finds the one Dewey was talking about. There's a tall person who is maybe a guy back there, except wearing a long black skirt and a blouse with cherries on it. The tall person doesn't even blink when Ray asks to look at lipsticks. S/he just brings out a card with a bunch of different colours on it and looks consideringly at Ray's face.
Ray's mouth waters. He can't stop looking at those colours. God, even the smell of this place is getting to him, heady-like, almost like a drug. "This one, I think," the tall person says, tapping a long, manicured fingernail on the pallet. It's called Lovelorn, which is kind of gay, but Ray figures to each their own and all that. And besides, it's a fabulous shade. He jerks his head in a nod.
On Friday, it's shoes. He wakes up with one hand already wrapped around his dick, his brain full of lurid images: sleek black pumps, strappy red heels, sandals, mules, boots. He comes once right there, still only half-awake, and then again while he's in the shower. That takes a bit of the pressure off--enough that he remembers to put some of his new lipstick on before he leaves the apartment. But when he gets to the station, Dewey and the new guy from Vice and a couple of uniforms from downstairs are all gathered around Huey's desk, where Huey's got a glossy catalogue full of ladies footwear. Every once in a while, the whole group goes "oooh," in unison. Ray can't concentrate on his paperwork at all.
But that doesn't matter anyway--after about twenty minutes Welsh comes teetering out of his office wearing a divine pair of spike-heeled sandals. "Whoa, Lieu," Dewey says, "Those are some nice shoes you got there!"
And Welsh just hikes up the cuffs of his slacks so everybody can get a better view. "Straps up to here, gentlemen," he says, and all the guys crowd around to admire. So Ray figures it's probably safe to leave the M4's for later. He pushes in next to Huey, gives an appreciative whistle. "Gold lamÃˆ," he says, and Welsh grins and nods. They spend another couple of minutes talking about those sandals, then Welsh offers to show everybody where he found them. So they all crowd into a couple of cars and Ray never would've figured? But Dewey is actually great to shop with.
Saturday he wakes up with a hangover. He doesn't remember much about the night before except his credit card at one point coming up "Maxed" on the little cashier screen, followed by a long night of the other guys taking turns buying him appletinis. This was at some place Huey knew, where there were all kinds of really tall people wearing dresses; it was a little weird to hang out with drag queens...but then, at least nobody looked twice at the huge pile of shoe-boxes next to their table.
He groans, pressing a hand to his forehead. It takes two tries to lever himself upright, and then a tall glass of water and three cups of coffee before he feels anything like a human. After that, he staggers into the shower and stands under the spray for a while, smiling dreamily to himself and thinking about all his new pairs of shoes. Right before he gets out, he decides to shave his legs. Because, you know--sandals and leg hair? Not so freakin' attractive.
On Sunday, he calls the credit card company and talks some guy named Francois into extending his limit. Then he meets up with Dewey at the mall and they don't even have to talk about it--they just take one look at each other, then turn and head toward the ladies underwear section. Ray picks out about a dozen new pairs of panties, all different fabrics and patterns and designs. It's the best rush he's ever felt; he feels like a fucking god or something. And Dewey, that enabler, just keeps going, "yeah, oooh, you have to get those."
They keep going until the blister between Ray's toes actually starts to bleed (and who'd have thought such a cute little strap could do that much damage?). Then they stop and have a smoothie at the yogurt place and Ray drops Dewey at home.
Monday Ray doesn't even go straight to work--he stops at Marshall's again first, gets his new pal Edie at the MAC counter to hook him up with some eyeliner. "You lookin' goood, sweetie," s/he murmurs, stroking the dark pencil on Ray's lids. "You going to start going all out pretty soon? You'd look real nice in something slinky and sheer--got the build for it, that's for sure. And I could do your boobs for you--I know just the thing."
Ray feels a shiver run up his spine. He shifts around on the high stool at the counter, liking the feel of those new silk panties against his skin. "You figure?"
Edie grins, turning Ray's head with two long fingers. "Oh sugar," s/he says, with breath that smells like cinnamon, "You're gonna knock their socks off."
So Ray makes a date for a make-over with Edie. When he gets to the station, Frannie swaggers over with her arms full of paperwork and drops a stack of it on Ray's desk. "You did these all wrong," she says. "Like, this is supposed to be your perp's name up here? But instead you just put in the brand names of different shoes."
Ray nods distractedly. "You uh...you get your hair cut or something? You look different."
Frannie smirks. "Well duh, Ray. I didn't used to have hair this short. What do you think? Ma says I look just like my brother, ten years ago." She strikes a pose, legs braced and chest stuck out, hands on her hips.
Ray frowns. "What happened to your uh...you know. Your bosoms."
She shrugs uncomfortably. "I wrapped 'em up. Wanted to see what it was like."
He nods and she heads to the next desk. Ray bends his head to the paperwork. It's hard to concentrate--he keeps having to remind himself not to touch his eyes, and those panties are turning him on something fierce. He's only finished a couple of the forms when a shadow falls across his desk. "Hello...Ray," Fraser says, slowly.
Ray's head jerks up. "Fraser!" He grins, trying to make it mean all the stuff he wants to say and can't, for obvious reasons. They don't talk about their relationship around here--gay cops and all that. Ray just doesn't want to push it.
Fraser doesn't smile back, though. He's looking at Ray with this weirdly intense concentration, his head slightly tilted in the way that means he's worried. He's still wearing the green uniform he has to put on for official functions, which means he probably came straight from the airport. As Ray watches, he twists the brim of his Stetson in his hands and licks his lower lip.
Ray scratches his head. "Your trip go okay?" he asks. "No problems with the flight or nothing like that?"
Fraser shakes his head. He's still staring at Ray, still has that same weird look.
"The Ice Queen pissed off about something?"
Fraser takes a breath, then abruptly closes his mouth and lets the breath out again. "I beg your pardon, Ray. I know we agreed to work together this afternoon, but I find I have an...errand I need to run right now. Would you mind waiting an hour or two?"
Ray lifts his eyebrows. "No, sure. Go ahead. I'm stuck here with this paperwork anyway." He shifts again, reaches under the desk to do a little arranging. "Sorry," he tells Fraser. "It's these new panties I got--they're driving me crazy."
Fraser swallows hard. "Ah." He looks at his hat, then back at Ray. His face seems dangerously flushed. "Right you are, then," he says finally, and then he turns abruptly on his heel and disappears back the way he came.
Ray watches him go, frowning, and then he shrugs and bends back to the form on his desk again. Whatever's bugging Fraser will come out eventually. The guy just likes to take his time, is all.
An hour later, Ray looks up and Fraser's back. It looks like he brought a friend with him, though--this older lady in a flowered blouse and a bad perm. They don't come right over to Ray, either. They just stand there by the door, looking serious, talking so low Ray can't hear what they're saying. After a minute, they seem to notice him staring; Fraser gives Ray a nod, rubs at his eyebrow. The lady says something else and starts fishing in her giant purse. She comes up with a fat yellow candle and an aerosol can, along with what looks like a rosary. Ray frowns. Fraser lights the lady's candle with a match from the inside of his hat, then finally comes over to Ray.
"Who's your friend?" Ray asks.
Fraser looks uncomfortable. "That's ah...not important." He sticks his hands behind his back and rocks on his heels. Guy lies worse than he dances. Ray shakes his head, then does it again, harder, because Fraser's lady friend is chanting something in what sounds like Spanish, except he can't make out the words, and she's spraying that can all over the place, and the weird, heavy perfume is getting into his head somehow, making it spin.
"What the fuck," he says, uncertainly. There's something strange going on with his lips. He touches them, frowns down at the smear of lipstick on his fingers.
Fraser rubs his eyebrow again.
"Fraser," Ray says, in what he thinks is a pretty calm voice, considering. "Why the fuck am I wearing lipstick?"
Fraser clears his throat. "Ah," he says, and stops. His eyes seems to be stuck on Ray's lipstick-smeared mouth.
The lady with the spray can is doing a slow shuffle around the room now, singing something about owls and mischief and spirits of confusion. Ray stands up and then just about falls over again, except Fraser is there to catch him. He looks down. There seems to be a pair of six-inch heels strapped onto his feet. "Huh," he says.
Fraser helps him back into his chair, kneels down to unfasten the shoes. He sets them neatly under Ray's desk and produces a pair of Ray's sneakers instead. "I brought them from your apartment, Ray," he says, at Ray's questioning look. "I...had a feeling you might want them."
Ray nods as if that makes sense, which obviously it doesn't, not by a long shot, but really, Ray's not even sure where to start. So instead of asking any more questions, he gets a napkin out of the drawer of his desk and wipes the lipstick off his mouth. Shoves his bare feet into the sneakers. There's a tickly smoothness going on inside his jeans that he just does not want to think about, and something tells him the silk creeping up his ass is not going to turn out to be boxer shorts. Which is not as unpleasant an idea as he thinks it maybe should be. Which is definitely...strange. "Can we get out of here?" he says.
Fraser stands up and looks for his lady friend. She pauses in the middle of shaking some kind of fern at a protesting Dewey and gives Fraser a brisk nod. Fraser turns to smile at Ray. "Certainly we can," he says. "I very much doubt there will be any work to do around here until tomorrow."
Ray nods and moves the napkin toward his eyes, which are feeling suspiciously sticky. But Fraser's hand closes around his wrist, instead, stopping him. He lifts an eyebrow. Fraser turns bright red. "Ah. If you wouldn't mind, Ray...I wish you would leave the eyeliner."
And all of a sudden Ray doesn't care what kind of underwear he's got on, he just wants to get rid of it as soon as possible. He stands up, closes a hand on Fraser's shoulder. "Hey, Frase, my man," he says, steering them through the confusion in the bullpen. "Whatever floats your boat." And he pulls open the door and pushes Fraser through, just as a pair of size thirteen gold lamÃˆ sandals hits the wall beside his head.