Please don't be put off by the fact that it's told from Thatcher's POV. Something's gotta melt her. :)

Rated NC-17 for voyeurism, implied and explicit m/m sex.

Disclaimer: Alliance owns the characters of Constable Fraser, Inspector Thatcher, Detective Kowalski, and Constable Turnbull. No copyright infringement is intended.

Need Some Refining

Perhaps those psychological tests do need some refining. For herself as well as for Constable Fraser, she reflects sleepily on the plane. But drowsiness prevents outrage at recent events... and at herself. Tests -- bah. Meaningless.


She no longer just grasps the knob, turns it, and walks in. Despite her command to him, she has decided that, although she shouldn't have to, she will always knock before entering now. It was disconcerting enough to find Constable Fraser in his closet, talking to himself. But even more so to find him pants-less. Or in the middle of changing pants. In his underwear. In his room. At the consulate. During work hours.

This is a thought that has occupied her mind far more often than it should. And far more often than she'd like, while at the consulate. While working. Even more than the runaway-train kiss haunted her, and still does on occasion, for some reason. Probably because while they were on the train, he was in full uniform, even as he was kissing her. But when she walked into his room, eyes on the file in her hand (until she saw him on the floor in a strange and awkward position), he was not in full uniform.

Retreat, retreat into official superior officer commands. That helped. But still that vision comes back to her again and again. His rapid jump to his feet and the suspenders coming up over his shoulders. It's so difficult to decide just how casual -- and just how professional -- to be with him. She knows she is not getting the balance right. However, as usual, she ruthlessly shoves it away. Constable Turnbull, by turns helpful and clumsy, has taken care of the details of her flight.

Another spa retreat. So be it. It would be nice, she reflects for the barest moment, if it weren't another spa retreat. If it were a vacation with someone else. With a man. With a certain Mountie.

She pulls herself up sharply to deny that thought. Of course, that can't happen. And on the heels of that denial, she adds more reasons why that would be a bad idea. And she herself squashed that sort of idea when she... corrected his misunderstanding of his role in her thoughts about motherhood. As she ought.

Besides, were there some kind of... committed... type of personal relationship between them, she wouldn't be able to entertain and... mutually enjoy the visits of the various mostly male ambassadors and visiting luminaries.

Not without a slightly guilty conscience, anyway. Most of them just want to enjoy Chicago, anyway. Fine. She'll enjoy them enjoying Chicago. It hardly ever goes beyond having too much wine and swapping international diplomacy horror stories. And, amusing as they might be, these ambassadors and envoys... they went home eventually and left her blessedly alone.

Oh, occasionally there was a hand too high above the knee here... a hand too far down the back there... Two or three bottles of wine where there should be only one... But nothing that would ever have to be explained. Nothing that could ever compromise her professional reputation. Of course.

But just the sort of thing she expected the very uptight, prim and proper Fraser to look askance at. In his exceptionally moral and ethical way.

"Inspector, I've just called O'Hare and it seems that traffic out to the airport is running exceptionally slowly today, sir. They advised leaving an hour and a half early," says Constable Turnbull, suddenly at attention in her doorway.

She looks up from the laptop with a frown. "Thank you, Turnbull. Perhaps next time we'll take this into account and I'll fly out of Midway Airport instead, yes?"

The young constable, flustered, stammers, "Of course, sorry, sir, I hadn't considered that--"

"That's fine. Keep it in mind for future reference. Dismissed."

He turns with relief and begins to walk away, when a thought strikes her.


"Yes, sir?" he turns back around cautiously.

"Has Constable Fraser returned yet?" She hates that she is asking about Fraser. She hates that he got off work at three o'clock and it is a quarter to five and this is his private, personal time, and she is wondering where he is. And why he's not "home", at his temporary home, at the consulate... which seems to be turning into his permanent home.

This can not go on.

"Yes, sir," Turnbull says brightly, "He returned with Detective Vecchio scarcely half an hour ago. Shall I get him for you?"

"No, Constable, I'll speak to him myself."

"Very well, sir." He turns and walks back to the front desk.

Certain things can not be left in Turnbull's hands, she tells herself as she gets up. Only Benton -- Constable Fraser -- should be responsible for certain things. Making sure that things don't fall to pieces while she's gone, for instance. Turnbull will make sure plants are watered, carpet vacuumed... Fraser is the only one to be trusted with more urgent matters.

She busies herself with last minute phone calls to the spa, the hotel in Steamboat Springs, the automated skiing conditions hotline. At least the "hot tubs" in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, are nature-made... and are frequently enjoyed under a canopy of stars. The flight isn't until seven o'clock. She had all her luggage brought here, to leave straight from work. Inspector Thatcher is nothing if not prompt and punctual, and will not waste holiday time on preparing to go out of town... That's to be spent out of town.

She'll take a taxi half an hour early, that's all.

She closes the laptop. It will not be coming with. No, that's one decision she had no trouble making. There isn't enough work to require bringing it, anyway.

After standing and straightening her tailored pants suit, she goes to the front desk.

"Constable, please call me a taxi. I'll have to leave in less than half an hour to get to the airport and check in without rushing."

"Certainly, sir, right away, sir," he responds cheerfully. Too cheerfully. She wonders how empty his head must be to be so damned cheery all the time.

"I'll just go and apprise Constable Fraser of a few loose ends here."

"Very well, sir."

He suspects nothing, of course, and she must thank his empty-headedness for that. She strides down the hall to the back hallway that leads to Constable Fraser's temporary quarters. Turnbull, for all his attention to inconsequential and barely important details, has not replaced the burned out light-bulb just past the juncture of the major and minor hallways, she realizes with some irritation.

Thank goodness she can count on Constable Fraser keeping the hallways clear of objects. Thanks to the short days of winter, and American Daylight Savings Time -- an absurd concept, she mentally notes, good only for golfers -- it is just past five o'clock and already dark out. Which means it is about as light as if she were carrying a guttering candle this far into the windowless interior of the consulate. A weak ambient light comes from the main corridor, some ways behind her now.

Standing in front of the door, she is about to rap loudly on it, when she hears muffled sounds from inside and hesitates. Must be the wolf, she thinks. It's a good thing he keeps after the hair or that wolf would be on the street, she thinks. She brings her hand up again to knock on the door, when she quite clearly hears a grunt and an "Ow". What are they doing in there, wrestling?? She pauses, listening.

Of course, it wasn't her intention to eavesdrop. And she hadn't noticed that the door wasn't shut tight. That the tongue in the door hadn't actually penetrated the chamber in the door jamb, and hence, could easily have swung open...

"Fraser, Fraser..." Detective Kowalski's voice comes through clearly now, with a fuzzy edge of... almost purring to it. She feels the hair on the back of her neck stand up at the sound of it.

A glance down, to where the door meets the floor, confirms that there are no lights on in the room.

"You're gonna get in trou-bull, you're gonna get in trou-bull..." A sudden, breathy, involuntary moan from Kowalski cuts short his teasing sing-song. "Ooohmph."

Is that... can that be... some kind of wet slapping sound? Slapping or slurping?

"What's a matter, Fraser, cat got your tongue?" comes the detective's voice, throaty and darker than normal. Normally, she finds his nasal tone annoying. And his barely concealed view of her as having ice-water in her veins insulting. But at least the latter is useful in keeping him in line. "Nah, I guess your tongue's got the cat," he purrs, "and I'm the cat."

She can feel the heat rising from her collar, slowly creeping to her hairline. She is frozen at the door, hand still raised to knock.

What little vocalization there was turns into incoherent articulations of pleasure. She hears sighs, groans, even a yip from Kowalski. That must have been from teeth, a shadowy memory tells her-- it's been so very long--

And with that thought, she can now see in her mind what must be happening on the other side of the door. Her mouth drops open.

"No, no, wait, Fraser, wait..."

"What is it, Ray," Fraser's voice comes thickly, sounding almost drunk. There is a sound of fabric on fabric.

"I wanna come... the other way. But let me do you first..."

'The other way'. She unconsciously lowers the arm previously poised to knock. 'The other way'... Since when was the crass and coarse Detective Kowalski suddenly so peek-a-boo-ish? And what is that supposed to mean?

"Oh. But, Ray, we shouldn't even be doing this as it is--"

"Oh, Fraser, relax. I told you the Ice Queen was busy and by the time we got into it, everyone would be gone. Besides, did you not get off work at three?"

"Well, yes, but--"

"Then this is your own free time, your own personal space, in your room."

"But it happens to be the Canadian consulate, Ray!"

"Well, you're all way too polite. No one's gonna come in here without knocking, right?"


"See? Am I right? There are kooky things in human beings to be thankful for, and the weird Canadian total politeness act is one of them. You can't be caught doing anything if someone knocks first, and waits for you to say if it's okay to come in."


"Aw, c'mon. My pants are already halfway down. Let me get them all the way off..."


"There, how's that? Hmmmm. C'mon, Frase. I can feel how you want it. You're hard as a rock. Just, yeah, there ya go, get those down. Oh, yeah."

"Ray... Ray, I--"

Inarticulate Kowalski noise. As from someone trying to speak around a hose in his mouth. Meg's throat catches. Her heart is beating faster.

"Oh, Ray," the Constable says, with such a sudden heat, and urgency, and feeling in his voice, that she feels her stomach jump into her throat. Slowly it slides back down, to the beat of her throbbing heart.

She shifts the weight on her feet from her right to her left... and the floor creaks. There is a brief light smacking sound, and then suddenly, there is no sound from the other room.

"What was that, Ray?"

"How should I know? It's an old building, Fraser. They creak."

"I've lived here for a year, Ray, and I've never heard that creak unless there was a foot upon it."

"Yer dreaming. Yer paranoid. Gimme back your cock, and let go of my wrists."

"No... what if Inspector Thatcher was looking for me?"

She dares not even breathe.

"She's not. And besides, like I said, she of all people, Miss Formality, is gonna knock first," he sighs exasperatedly.

"Ray --"

"Fraser, don't do this! Goddammit, you're drivin' me nuts with your freakin' out about this stupid creak in the floor. C'mon, I told you part of the thrill would be the risk of getting caught. You're supposed to freak-- you're supposed to freak, but not so much that you can't do it."

"But --"

"Well. I notice you're as hard as ever. Maybe more. Hmmm, what's that about, huh, Frase?"


"Uh-huh. Right. Well... Gimme yer hand..." She hears one of them spit. "There. Ohhhhhkay. Now yer talkin'."

"Ray, really, I--"

"Alright, Fraser, that is it. Either you get behind me now, or I throw you to the floor and have my way with you. Enough of this paranoia. Jeeze. It's not like we're doing this in an alley. We're not out in public, ya know."

"Well, that's true, I guess..."

"See? See? Alright... Ah. Ah. Go like... Oh, man...."

"Turn around, Ray."

"You bet."

She hears nothing for a moment, and then two throats burst forth with strangled moan-grunts.

"Ray! we have to be quiet!"

"Oh, God. Oh, yeah. Fraser. Oh my God." He is trying, unsuccessfully, to whisper.

"Ray." Heavy breathing. "Ray." Panting. The sound of bodies slapping together. "Ray."

"That's it, that's it. Oh God, Fraser, reach around-- Oh, yeah!" The talk-whisper jumps in decibels to a bark.

"Unnnnhhhhh..." The Mountie is much quieter.

"Ooh, oooh, ah, ah, don't stop, puh-LEEZE don't stop--" Hysterical whispering from the detective.

A hoarse call. "Ray, I'm--"

"Oooh, come on, come on--" croons Kowalski.

At that moment, thinking they are at the crescendo of their noise, Inspector Thatcher takes a step backward. To get away. Before they even know she's there. As bad as it is that they are doing this -- well, alright, it is Fraser's room. And it is after five. But obviously they started before five. Which means it was during working hours---

As bad as that is, it would be even worse if she were caught outside the door at this point. They are stifling howls and moans: this is a good time to get out of here.

But with that one hesitant step backward, the floor creaks. The weight-shift on the floor minutely unbalances the already unbalanced door. The door, not completely closed, whispers open.

Oh, not very much. Just a couple feet. Maybe two and a half, three feet. A dim but somewhat wide wedge of ambient light falls onto Constable Fraser's desk. Or, rather, onto the two men behind the Constable's desk.

It takes only that split second to engrave on her mind forever the image that she sees. They both at least have their shirts on, she mentally notes. Like a nightmare, everything is happening in slow motion now.

Kowalski, who had had his forehead on his forearm, slowly looks up, eyes unfocused. His hair, normally spiky, is tousled and damp with sweat. Even if she were spared the sight of them from the waist down, she would know from the veins standing out at his temple and on his neck as he looks up at her (eyes too bright, sweat trickling down his templ)... that he was in the middle of a tremendous climax.

The Constable's ride on the Detective's narrow buttocks slows. So does the rhythm of his hand on Kowalski's shivering cock. The look on his face is pure, pale fright, like a deer in headlights. That "Oh, no!" look right before someone dies. His unbuttoned, open white shirt and tails flap breezily with his motion. And Fraser's normally plastered down -- almost plastic-looking -- hair is entirely mussed. Rather endearingly.

Kowalski just blinks once at her, focuses his eyes, which narrow with recognition, and puts his head back down on his forearm, groaning. If it weren't so shocking, so utterly the last thing she would expect of Constable Fraser, it would be entirely comical.

She backs completely away and runs. Runs down the hallway to the major corridor, to her office, slams the door behind her, and leans back against it, panting. Not only from the running. Not from the exertion of running.

No, because for the last few minutes she'd been holding her breath. And her heart was pounding. And her blood was racing. And then she'd tried to tear herself away and been hopelessly caught listening. And looking. By both of them. And she is so humiliated and excited and confused and embarrassed and

can't get that image out of my head

As her breathing slows, she very faintly hears a door slam somewhere in the consulate. Very muffled and unintelligible voices rise in argument. Turnbull, bless his empty head, apparently hears nothing and does not come to her office.

How can I look at Fraser ever again?? She thinks desperately. She looks around her office but all she can see is the two men. Everywhere she looks it's the two of them in that moment. An afterimage burned onto her retina. Onto her brain.

I should have left the minute I heard questionable things from that room. I should never have stayed and listened. If I hadn't stayed and listened... I'd never have seen that.

She wrings her hands. The faint sound of argument has faded, or so it seems. Oh, God, he'll think me the most horrible snoop. For some reason, this bothers her more than anything else -- though there is plenty to bother her. I've violated his privacy so entirely and completely. This is well beyond the boundaries of professional behavior -- obviously his, but mine too--

And then, Fraser-- Though certain things now make sense, yes, but... Who would have thought-- And him so formal and chivalrous... and that "Call me Ray" thing with Kowalski in the very beginning... Yet he's... he's... they...

But deep inside, a secret dark part of herself quivers deliciously.

She nearly hits the ceiling when someone knocks on the door she's leaning on.

"Who is it?" She demands, too loudly.

"Ah, sir--"

Fraser. His voice quavering and very, very quiet. She feels the heat rush to her face.

"--m-might I h-have a word with y-you--"

He is stuttering.

"Fraser, I--" What are you going to say? Just what can you say at this point?

"Yes, s-sir...?"

Deep breath. One more. Another. And another.


"A moment, please, Constable." That was too shrill. Oh, well. A couple more breaths. Yes. Heart rate is lowered. Not hammering.

She stands resolutely, and straightens her suit. Patting her hair, she brushes the light sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand. And she turns and opens the door. But she stands in the open doorway and does not motion him into her office.

The Mountie now stands before her (absurdly in full uniform, Serge and all, entirely buttoned up, and stiff as ever, she thinks).  Stands at attention as tight as a bow string.

Neither can look at the other.

"Sir, I--"

"Constable," she interrupts, then pauses. What am I going to say?

She steals a glance at his face. He is focusing on her shoes. Sensible burgundy flats. As she watches, his face shadows guiltily and he refocuses his eyes on something behind her.

"Constable, I-- was going to apprise you of some last minute details. I-- went to your room. I meant to knock. I--"

How to say it?

I heard something and before I could knock, it drew me in. And before I knew it, I was frozen. And some perverse part of me couldn't tear away, had to stay through to the end. And then I stupidly moved to get away, and this damn old building has settled on it's foundation and consequently the doors aren't completely level and--

Oh, what a vision.

But what actually comes out, stridently, is:

"Constable Fraser, I will pretend I have no knowledge of what I heard and saw if you will pretend I was never there. Understand that invading your privacy was the last of my intentions, and I swear to never loiter near your door again, no matter what manner of bizarre sounds I hear coming from it. However, the next time anything like this happens during business hours, if there is one, I will bring official charges of misconduct against you. For now, we will never speak of this again. And neither will the detective."

Delivered with her eyes front and center... at a point in the middle distance behind the Constable's left shoulder.

He inhales sharply and deeply, but all that comes out after a moment is:

"Understood." He hesitates. "Those last minute details, sir?"

"Check with Turnbull. He'll have them."

"Yes, sir."


She shuts the door in his face, avoiding his eyes. Going to the chair behind her desk, she is very surprised to find that it is only ten minutes after five. She picks up the phone, determined to stay in her office... until the time comes to leave the building.

Oh, thank God she is going out of town today. The idea of having to face him again tomorrow... She shudders. Dialing the internal extension for the front desk, she nearly melts with relief when Turnbull's innocent, cheery voice comes on the line.

"Is my taxi here?"

He replies that he does not know, but will check. It is rush hour, after all.

"Call me when it arrives, Constable. That will be all."


Turbulence on the flight jogs her from a cozy nap and warm, humming dream. She realizes her thighs are clenched too tightly together. It's so hot and syrupy-soft where her legs join. In the dream, nothing much of that indelible vision had changed.

Except... Kowalski smiled and held out his hand to her.

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