Author's website: http://unhinged.kixxster.org
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Author's Notes: Written for the Flashfiction Courtesy Challenge.
I figured out the other day why so many relationships end up on the junk heap. Yeah, it took me 38 years to suss onto it, but I never claimed to be a genius, okay?
What's funny is that once you've figured it out, you wanna kick yourself for not having seen it sooner. Cause there's so much shit you could've avoided if you'd just known the secret.
On the other hand, maybe you aren't supposed to figure it out early. Maybe your attention span just isn't long enough to spend time thinking about it. I think that's more true for guys. Maybe women figure it out earlier than we do and try to tell us, but we're too busy wanting to fuck to pay attention to what they say.
So here it is. Ray Kowalski's epiphany (yeah, epiphany-I've been hanging 'round Fraser too long).
Love is an ongoing process.
Don't laugh. If I'd known that when I was 25, Stell and I might still be married. Course I never would've meant Fraser, and we would've never gotten involved, and maybe I never would've had the epiphany at all.
I know, I know. Makes my head hurt to think about it too. It's like that thing in psychics, where the paper's twisted so it forms a continuous loop that just goes round and round.
"A Moebius strip, Ray."
Part of the problem is that too many people think sex and love are the same thing. Which they aren't. It's nice if they occur together, but most of the time, especially when you're a teenager, it's more sex than it is love. At least it is if you're a guy. Most guys tend to view sex as having a limited shelf life. It's like a can of baked beans; you have to use it all by a certain date or it isn't any good any more.
The idea that there's no expiration date on sex doesn't sink in till you get into your 30s. You wake up one morning and realize, hell, I'm still good to go at least five nights out of seven. Which kinda takes the wind out of your sails, lemme tell ya. Here you've been going at it like there was no tomorrow, and all of a sudden BANG! You realize it's still gonna be with you into your 40s and beyond.
And just about the time you get used to that idea, you realize love's the same way. It's an ongoing process, except love requires more work than sex. Which is okay if all you're looking for is a quick fuck in the john at Dino's.
Thing is, by then you're looking for more than that. Maybe you've already been through a marriage or a long-term relationship that ended up on the rocks cause you were too stupid to realize you have to work on keeping the love alive.
I bet your thinking, well, that's nice Ray, but what the fuck does it have to do with courtesy?
Let's just say that if you're in love with Benton Fraser it has everything to do with courtesy. See, I used to think courtesy was a Mountie thing. Then I thought it was a Canadian thing (that was before I visited Toronto a few times). Now I realize that courtesy is very much a Benton Fraser thing. It's a part of him, like the pouchy pants and the Stetson and the deaf half-wolf. It's something he can no more stop doing than he could stop breathing.
And it isn't just reserved for strangers and old ladies crossing the street either. It took us a while to catch the clue bus, but once we did, hey, we made up for lost time. The difference being that afterwards, when most guys are rolling over to go to sleep, Fraser starts cuddling and thanks me for loving him. Like I'd just done him a really nice favor.
Which was weird, but it was good too. I'd never had anyone thank me for making them come before, including Stella, and we were together for 17 years and married for 15.
Which got me to thinking bout courtesy and Fraser, and how maybe he's been right all along.
It only takes that extra second to be courteous. But if you do it right, you can make it last a lifetime.
End Uncommon Courtesy by MR: firstname.lastname@example.org
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