Author's website: http://www.geocities.com/Caffre_19/South.html
Disclaimer: Not mine. Anyone who tries to sue will have to get in line for their money. Not that I have any.
Author's Notes: Inspired by Ricky Martin.
Story Notes: Slight spoiler for Mountie on the Bounty. A couple of naughty words in here, plus this is only mildly slashy.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Anyone who tries to sue will have to get in line for their money. Not that I have any. And this is only mildly slashy. Inspired by Ricky Martin. NOTES: Slight spoiler for Mountie on the Bounty. Feedback: Umm, ok, sure I guess... :) email@example.com
"Some day huh?"
Ray has his back to me as he says this, opening his front door, and I indulge in a smile as I look at him. I sometimes think I smile too much in secret when I'm around Ray.
He steps inside and I follow, and I can feel my smile growing as he takes off his jacket and tie and drops them on the floor. I can't help myself. He looks so good in them that picking them up off the floor and setting them on the back of one of his chairs seems a small enough thank you.
He turns, catching me 'in the act' as it were and he offers me a tired smile all of his own.
"You never answered my question."
I hide my smile, although I'm sure he can still see it in my eyes. If he didn't then I don't think I could love him half as much as I do. He knows me so well. Which I've told myself a hundred times is only because he's my partner and my friend. Nothing else.
I can't help it, I turn my head and a resounding 'crack' reverberates around the room.
"Yeah, that's what I thought." He turns and heads into the kitchen, and as of yet, he still hasn't turned the lights on. I guess there's enough light coming in from the street for him to see what he needs to.
"Want something to drink?"
I settle on the love seat, looking at the apartment. It's so like Ray. All organised chaos. "Thanks Ray. Tea if you have it please." I know it's late, but today has seen me imbibe more alcohol than I would normally indulge in, and I feel the tea might wake me up a little.
"Ahh. Got none of that tree tea of yours left. Just ordinary tea?"
"That'll do fine, thank you."
I can hear the kettle boiling, and the usual noises of someone making tea coming from the kitchen. I'm suddenly glad the apartment is in darkness. After all the noise and bustle of today, it's...nice. Settling.
"Here you go. One ordinary cup of tea."
The cup is nice and hot to the touch, and I watch as Ray sits across from me, sighing as he settles into the right position.
We sit in silence for a moment or two, each of us just sipping at the too hot beverage.
I watch, this time letting him see me smile as he toes off his shoes.
"You know Ray, if you'd like me to darn those for you..."
He smiles. God I love it when he smiles, especially when he turns it on me. I don't think I could ever get enough of that smile. It's pure, saying everything he feels without the need for words.
"That's ok. I kinda like them like this."
"You do? You like your socks with holes in them?"
He lifts his leg up, settling his right foot on his left knee, looking closely at the hole exposing his big toe.
"Well, yeah, I suppose. I've never been one for perfection Fraser. You've seen my hair right? I guess I just don't like being, I dunno, obvious I suppose. That make any sense?"
I allowed myself a longer drink, feeling the heat travel through me. It felt nice sitting here. Comfortable. I don't often indulge in comfort, and it felt nice just sitting here with him.
"It makes perfect sense. Especially to those that know you."
"You think you know me Frase?"
I think my heart almost stopped then, but there was only genuine curiosity looking out at me from those eyes.
"I suppose I know you as well as anyone Ray." He seemed a little hurt at that, so I quickly added, "Maybe a little better." It was said with a smile, and it earned me the return of his.
"Well. Good. That's good Frase."
We were silent again. Have you ever just felt...comfortable with someone? Like there's no real need to fill up the silence with meaningless words? It was like that. Homely and settled. Comfortable.
"Today was...nice huh?"
Today had been wonderful. The whole day by Ray's side with no work to distract us. It was a day I'd remember for the rest of my life with fondness.
"I think Francesca enjoyed herself."
"Yeah, well I'd like to think so. I mean, what with it being her wedding an' all. Here," He picked the flower from his lapel and threw it towards me, "Catch."
The small carnation and spray fell neatly into my hands. I couldn't help but look at it in closer detail, holding it close to my face in the semi-darkness. "She looked beautiful."
Ray was smiling again. He did it so easily, something I wish I could learn to do around him, but my heart is too afraid to let something like the happiness he makes me feel show too often. To lose Ray would not only break it, I think it would shatter.
"Yeah, she was, wasn't she?"
He had enjoyed playing father of the bride, giving Frannie away. When he'd first been asked, he had certainly been pleased, but I knew there had been something bothering him about it. In the end I had told Francesca and she had spotted it immediately.
She had dragged him into the ladies' at the station house and had told him firmly that she hadn't just asked him because he was pretending to be her brother. She had asked him because he was loved like a brother. His expression when he came out was priceless.
"Would you want me to be best man at your wedding Fraser?"
I answered without really thinking, still looking at the carnation, still thinking of Ray, the pride on his face as he had given her away. "I don't think I'll ever marry." I looked up at him as I realised I'd just been a bit too honest.
He set his mug down on the floor, looking at me. "Is that cause you don't think you'll ever find anyone to love?"
Oh dear. "I...don't think..." God, I couldn't think of anything to say. And then I thought I didn't have to. I think it was written all over my face.
"I... I'd better go now Ray. Thank you for the tea."
Before he could stop me, I was up and at the door, my hand grasping the cool handle, my escape just seconds away.
I couldn't seem to help myself though. The sound of my own heart pounding in my chest seemed enough to wake the whole floor up. I had to turn to look at him.
He hadn't risen from his chair, and in the dark it was hard to make him out. I couldn't see his eyes all that well, but I was sure now they held more understanding than I would have cared for. After all, I had just confessed to knowing him better than anyone. Could he say any less?
I thought I had my answer when he didn't try to stop me leaving.
The door closed perhaps a little to hard behind me, and I couldn't help the gasp as my lungs forced me to breathe again. I really had to get out of here.
Fight or flight. It was an easy option right now.
"God damn it!"
Fraser was gay. Well, all right, bisexual more likely. Well, that was my opinion from what he had and hadn't just said. And if that was the case, then maybe I was in with a shot.
But, the big Canadian lug was up and out just as my brain was processing the information. He hadn't actually said anything that would give the game away. It's just, you had to be able to get under his skin to really know him that well.
Still, I couldn't be completely certain and it was that uncertainty that kept me seated.
And then he was gone.
And it was that that scared me the most. I'd lost him before, when I hit him that time down by the docks. That time I'd just been lucky enough to have a dead pirate dent the hood of my car. And you can hardly rely on some scourge of the seven sea's falling into your lap every day to fix your problems.
And I'd known I'd lost him, 'cause even though he was right beside me, there was a distance between us, and me being me, well, I have too much of the Kowalski stubbornness to close the gap all by myself. It had taken the teamwork, our duet to hold us together long enough to work it out. Of course, the whole Henry Allen thing helped too. But that was just the Fraser magic; he's like a magnet for weirdness. Plus, you add the normal weirdness any Chicago cop attracts and it gets even weirder. Maybe it multiplies or something. Thank God.
The thought of losing him again, well, it scared the shit outta me. Once my feet realised that my brain was screaming at them to move, I had my shoes back on and was out the door after him.
I flew out onto the street; a soft rain falling that hadn't been there twenty minutes ago.
I ran down by the garages, knowing he'd be taking the less obvious route home in case I tried to follow him. See, I knew that about him. Maybe this wouldn't be too much of a leap in the dark after all.
He stopped dead, and I knew he was waiting for some kind of inevitable. God, had I put that slump to his shoulders?
I jogged the short distance, turning him around. "Where the hell do you think you're going huh?"
Fuck, he looked so desolate. He hadn't even put his Stetson on against the rain.
"I believe I told you I was going home."
Oh, snarky Mountie. Nice one Kowalski.
I could feel the water running down my face, my shirt sticking to my skin.
"Yeah, well, it's not polite to just walk out like that you know." I felt my tone soften. Could I blame him really?
I just stopped. I couldn't help it. Looking at him, his face unreadable. Blank. Yet I knew, I knew what he was thinking. And that told me everything. You don't get to know somebody like Fraser that well unless he lets you. And I knew him better than anyone.
The rain was growing harder, the water soaking us both. God but I wanted him. Heart, body and soul. I wanted it all. I've always been a greedy bastard.
I took a step closer, and he looked a little freaked out by it, but I couldn't seem to think. This was pure instinct and before I knew it we were toe to toe.
He looked frightened, and my heart was going double time. Yet, any time Frasers' been frightened, he's always faced it and he was doing that now, facing me down. I guess if he can, I can, right?
"Scared?" I asked him.
He nodded slightly. "You?"
We stood there for a second or two more, the rain somehow feeling good as it hit. Almost as one, we closed the gap between us, lips gently brushing together for a chaste kinda kiss. Suddenly I could feel his lips curving against me in a smile and I opened eyes I hadn't realised were closed.
The smile hadn't gone, and I realised I didn't get to see it often enough. Maybe that was all about to change, I thought in wonder.
"You know I love you, don't you?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I know. Just like you do, right?"
The smile grew. "Symbolically Ray?"
Oh. Yeah. The other biggest mistake of my life. "Everyway it's possible to love someone, you've got it."
That did it. The tension was suddenly gone.
"Come back home with me Benton?"
I wanted nothing more than to hold him all night. To feel him next to me as we slept. To wake up and know I was no longer alone.
He looked a little apprehensive, but he nodded a yes. He was still a little frightened. Hell, I was terrified.
"We take this slow ok? I don't know about you, but I'm kinda new to playing by these rules."
He let out a sigh of relief, but whatever he was feeling didn't stop him from placing his hand on my chest. "Ray, it's hurt so much knowing I could never have you. Even my," He blushed a little, "Even my fantasies never had you telling me you loved me. I've waited so long for something I thought would never happen again. I don't want to get it wrong."
I took his hand, and squeezed it. "I know. That's why we do this slow. Get it right the first time." I laughed a little. "Be a first for us huh?"
"Anything doing well is worth taking time over." He leaned in, kissing me, this time with a little more passion. I couldn't help but respond, the taste of him familiar and strange all at the same time.
After a moment or two, we pulled away from each other, turning a kiss into a hug. I buried my face into his neck, breathing him in deep. "Never leave me, ok? I don't think I know who I am without you sometimes, you know that?"
He held me tight. "I can't leave you. I've been waiting for you all of my life. I just didn't know it until now. I need you in my life to just be myself."
I pulled myself out of his embrace. Could he really need me as much as I needed him? "You mean that?"
He nodded. "Completely."
That earned me another smile, and he came up and linked arms with me. Was it really so easy?
"Come on Ray, it's late and we've both got work in the morning." He looked at me, his eyes telling me everything; that it was going to be all right; that it was going to work; that it was going to be good.
"Did I do something right lately?"
Another smile. "Not that I'm aware of Ray."
"Smart guy. Come on. Lets get on inside, I'm getting kinda wet here."
He nodded, squeezing my arm briefly, letting me know that he was by my side. I couldn't help the grin from spreading over my face at the thought that this time, this time it was going to be forever despite the fact of who and what we were.
I looked at him as he answered, the same damn grin plastered all over his face. Like he knew what I was thinking and totally agreed with me.
"Right you are Ray. Right you are."
End Repose by Caffre: firstname.lastname@example.org
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