"Nah, I'm good."
"Fraser, seriously. I'm good. He hardly even tapped me."
Fraser's eyes narrow a little tiny bit--hardly even visible, but Ray knows him. This is the Ray-you're-full-of-shit-but-I'm-too-polite-to-say-anything-about-it look. And sure enough, the guy finally stops hassling Ray, takes his hands off Ray's shoulders and lets him walk away.
Which is a very good thing, because all that adrenaline from the chase and the fight is still pumping through Ray's veins. He's fucking shaking with it, there's nowhere for it to go, and Ray's body seems to have decided he ought to use it to fuck Fraser through the nearest wall. Which is not exactly surprising, considering the way his body always feels about Fraser, but the timing sucks. He's got no way to hide anything from Fraser here. Or from anybody else, for that matter--the uniforms they called in to take their perp to booking are still parked at the end of the street.
He hears Fraser's big Mountie boots hurrying up the sidewalk behind him and closes his eyes for a second, just for a second, sucking in a desperate breath. God, Jesus--don't touch me, please, please don't touch me...
"Ray. Ray. Ray. Ray."
Ray takes bigger steps. The car is just ahead and if he can make it there, he can maybe put his jacket over his lap or something, say...what? That he's cold? Whatever--it doesn't matter. He can think up an excuse when he gets there.
"Ray. Although I understand that you aren't, in fact, injured in any way, it does seem as though you're bleeding rather copiously right now."
And fuck. There's that big warm hand on Ray's shoulder, gentle but insistent, pulling him to a halt. Ray sighs. His dick is so hard he can't even think straight right now, and ha ha, think straight, his brain is a goddamn comedian.
"I am not," he tells Fraser, worming his shoulder around under Fraser's hand.
Fraser just tightens his grip, those blunt fingertips digging into the flesh and muscle just beneath Ray's collarbone. "I'm afraid you are, Ray. Look--here, where your elbow hit the pavement..." and oh, fingers, gentle, brushing, "...and here, I think you have a fairly serious cut where you impacted with the edge of a broken bottle when you landed..."
Those fingers are tugging carefully at Ray's t-shirt now, trying to lift the hem so Fraser can get a look at the cut on Ray's back. Which, yeah, okay, is probably pretty bad because it hurts like a motherfucker. But Ray doesn't care. If Fraser gets his hands on Ray's bare skin, Ray is positive he'll just...come. Right here. In his pants. So if he has to bleed to death, that's fine. But Fraser is not gonna take his shirt off.
"Gah, no, fuck, Fraser!" He pulls hard, gets himself away from Fraser's restraining hands, staggers a couple of backward steps. Fraser is looking at him like he's thinking Ray maybe has a head wound, too. "I, uh," Ray says. Thinks for a second. "That's not my blood."
Fraser licks his lower lip. "It's not."
"No." Ray shakes his head. "Nuh uh. My back is fine. No cut."
"Huh." Fraser's eyes are practically slits, now. He crosses his arms over that big Mountie chest.
Ray forces himself to smile, nice and reassuring. Edges the rest of the way to the car and gets in. Leaning over to unlock the passenger door makes him swear out loud, but he's pretty sure Fraser didn't hear it. The wolf perks his head up in the back seat, though--Ray forgot he was waiting there. Fraser gets in and puts his hat on the dash and of course, Dief right away yips at him.
"Yes," Fraser says gravely, "I know."
Ray tilts the rearview mirror, gives Dief his best threatening glare. Dief ignores him and yips something else.
"Well, I don't know what you expect me to do about it, Diefenbaker. Ray is a grown man. If he doesn't want my assistance, surely he has the right to refuse it."
Ray closes his eyes and counts to ten. Or, well, six--he doesn't have the patience for more. Then he breathes out hard through his nose and slams the car into gear. He's pretty sure they leave some rubber on the pavement.
Fraser must have learned the art of guilt trips from Ray's own babka. Three stop-lights after they left the crime scene, Ray gets so damn sick of the Mountie/wolf commentary he pulls a u-ey into mid-day traffic and takes them to the fucking hospital. Where yeah, okay, they give him eight stitches and tell Fraser a bunch of stuff about dressing changes and antibiotics, so probably Fraser was right to make him come here.
"You satisfied now, Fraser? Fucking sick leave. What am I supposed to do for three whole days off work?" Ray tugs at the door to the parking lot, winces when it pulls at his new stitches, stomps through to the outside when Fraser holds it open for him. "And needles. I hate needles, Fraser. I can't believe you let that asshole sneak up on me."
Fraser puts his hand on Ray's shoulder and tugs him to a halt. An ambulance barrels past in front of them. "Well, Ray, it did seem wise to take the precaution of a tetanus injection. One never knows what bacteria might be massed on a discarded bottle." He opens the passenger door and helps Ray inside. Another thing the doctor said was that Ray isn't allowed to drive home. Blood loss or painkillers or something. The guy was obviously wacky on his own prescriptions, but fucking Fraser of course has to take everything literally.
He leans his head back against the seat and closes his eyes. Being in a car when he's not the one driving always makes him motion sick--even when the ride's as smooth as Fraser's being careful to make it right now. At least the window seems to be open a little. Fraser must have done that, too. The fresh air on his face keeps things bearable. He even manages to doze off for a while, wakes in front of his own building with Fraser's hand on his shoulder and Dief's tongue in his fucking ear.
"Gah!" he says, sitting up. But fuck, ow, stitches--so he has to sink back again.
Fraser squeezes his shoulder. "You're home, Ray. Do you think you can wake up long enough to get up to your bed?"
"Sure. Of course." Ray's voice sounds weird and gravelly, and somebody seems to have made the world a whole lot happier while he was asleep. He smiles at Fraser. Fraser looks concerned. Why is Fraser so concerned all the time?
"Well someone has to be," Fraser mutters. He's got his hand under Ray's arm and is fumbling in Ray's jacket pocket for Ray's keys. And isn't it interesting how they're already at Ray's front door? Or no, wait--now they're climbing Ray's stairs. And now they're all the way inside Ray's bedroom. Ray fucking loves percocet. He loves it almost as much as he loves Fraser.
He might have said that out loud.
"And I you, Ray," Fraser says. He looks kind of flushed. "Why don't you take off your boots and get into bed, now. That's it."
Ray does his best. But the process of getting his boots off seems way more complicated than it usually does. In the end, he has to sit on the edge of the bed while Fraser crouches down and does it for him.
"You are a pal, Fraser."
"So you've been saying, Ray." Fraser sets Ray's last boot on the floor and looks up from where he's crouched at Ray's feet.
"A real pal," Ray clarifies.
Ray smiles. Then he pulls his t-shirt up over his head.
"Oh...dear," Fraser says.
Ray gets stuck in the t-shirt and there's a couple of bad moments where he thinks maybe the jaws of life might be necessary but Fraser helps him and eventually he gets free. "Whoa," Ray says, swaying a little.
Fraser licks his lower lip. "Indeed."
But the bed is kind of pulling at Ray like it's got its own gravity or something, or maybe like it's a big magnet and Ray's an iron shaving, and the last thing Ray sees is Fraser watching him, looking flushed and weird, standing beside the door.
"Well...sleep tight, Ray. I'll be in the living room if you need anything."
Greatness, Fraser. Fraser's greatness. Great Frasery greatness. Or something.
When Ray wakes up his back is going stab stab STAB stab and his mouth is dry and that golden happy feeling is so gone. Tragically gone. Ray moans out loud and rolls to his feet. Because even more tragic than not being stoned anymore--he has to fucking pee.
He washes his face and drinks a bunch of water after, so he feels a little closer to human when he pads out of the bathroom, pulling a clean t-shirt awkwardly into place. It's maybe early evening, judging by the blue tinge to the light that's coming in through the open blinds. Fraser is playing solitaire at the dining room table. Dief is asleep at Fraser's feet.
"Fucking ouch," Ray says.
Fraser gives him a sympathetic look. "Are you hungry, Ray? I fixed some dinner--there's a plate in the microwave for you." He makes like he's going to get up but Ray waves him down, limps into the kitchen himself.
"You cooked? In my kitchen? That's...wow. Hey. That looks good." It's some kind of pasta thing. He starts the microwave, considers taking more of the good dope. Decides on plain old advil instead. He swallows a couple and brings the food out to the table. It tastes pretty good, too. Fraser even found cheese somewhere.
After a while, Ray leans carefully back in his chair. He managed to eat most of the food on his plate, so Fraser pretends not to see when Ray puts the rest of it down for Dief to finish.
"So...you couldn't find anything on TV?"
Fraser glances up, then back down at his cards. Slap, slap, he puts down a three of clubs and covers the ace of spades with its two. "I quite enjoy solitaire, actually. I find it..." slap, slap "...soothing."
Ray wipes his mouth. "Huh. I hate it. Always end up cheating." He watches Fraser deliberate over the cards he's drawn, that pink tongue poised on the wet lower lip. It feels pretty cool to know that Fraser needed soothing.
"Thanks for..." He waves a hand.
Fraser does that little glance up again, then smiles down at his cards--just a small one, but Ray sees it. "Certainly, Ray."
"And I'm sorry I was..."
"Don't mention it."
There's another comfortable silence. Dief whuffles and rolls halfway onto his back, one leg waving in the air. It's pretty dark now, except for the light over the table. Ray stretches carefully, makes a face when the stitches pull. "I think maybe I should go lay down again."
Fraser glances up. "Lie down, Ray." Slap, slap.
"Lay, lie, whatever." Ray gets to his feet. "Never could figure out what the difference is." And oh, oops--for a minute there Ray must have forgotten who he was talking to, because normally he'd know better than to invite a lecture that way. Too late now, though. Fraser's putting his cards on the table, looking up at Ray all pleased. Ray sighs.
"Well, Ray, it's actually a fairly common error. But it only takes a moment to learn the proper usage. You see, in the present tense, if the subject is recumbent, the verb that should be used is 'lie.' However, if the subject is acting on some other object, the correct verb would be 'lay.' So, in this case, because you are the subject and you are yourself doing the reclining, you would say 'I think I should lie down.' If, on the other hand, you required a great deal of assistance with getting into bed, I might say that I am laying you down."
And come on--even though he knows it's going to make Fraser all pissy and disapproving, Ray can't resist an opening like that. He waggles his eyebrows. "Woo-hoo," he says, "That where 'getting laid' comes from?"
But the weird thing is, Fraser doesn't get pissy. Doesn't say a word about Ray being juvenile or what have you. He just flushes all the way to the roots of his hair and takes a breath before he goes on. "Hm. If we can, ah...return to my example: I, the subject, would be acting on the object, that is, on you, Ray. So..." He trails off, ducks his head and clears his throat. "Well. I'm sure you can make the distinction."
Ray swallows. "Uh, yeah. I think I got it." And he does, too, even though that whole grammar thing went over his head. But he's got something.
His knuckles are braced on the table, for balance. His head feels strange and it's hard to breathe. He takes a step toward Fraser, watches with interest as Fraser's chin lifts, his eyes wide and blue and on Ray's face, watching him right back, following him. He looks almost panicked, now, his chest moving up and down with his too-quick breath. If this wasn't so holy-god-huge, it might be kind of funny. Ray takes another breath. "So, uh..." He licks his lips. "You want to maybe do that, Fraser? I mean...act on me?"
Fraser blinks. "You...require my assistance with getting into bed?"
Ray smiles. Somehow he's standing right over Fraser now, the outside of his knee just brushing the inside of Fraser's. He clears his throat. "Not exactly," he says.
"Ah." Fraser looks so confused, and his cheeks are so red, and his mouth looks wet, and Ray can't help it, he has to put his hand on Fraser's face.
Fraser's eyes close. He draws a sharp breath. "Oh," he says, soft and hoarse, and then he says "mmmph," because Ray's kissing him.
It's warm, and Fraser's lips are as soft as they looked, even though the tiny hairs above his lip are kind of prickly. Ray kisses him again, and then oh god, again, and then he licks at Fraser's mouth, slides his tongue inside, gets his other hand in Fraser's thick hair. Fraser's hands are warm on Ray's waist, careful and rough, those thumbs sliding down over Ray's hipbones. And his chest is just heaving, and he's gasping for breath--or maybe that's Ray, or maybe that's both of them.
Either way, they have to stop eventually. Ray lifts his mouth a little but he doesn't pull away. Keeps his forehead pressed to Fraser's, lets himself get lost in the shadowed blur of Fraser's face.
"Think you can be careful?" he murmurs.
Fraser's eyelids blink open, then close again. He takes a breath. "I think so."
"Then come on. You can teach me some more of that proper usage in the bedroom." And he leans back in for another kiss, and Fraser moans, and lets him.