This is the second part of my "Ballpark" series. It's a sequel to "In the Ballpark" and takes place the morning after Ray K hits his home run. The setting ... Willison, Illinois: small-town America, apple pie, picket fences, the crack of the bat hitting the ball ... and one pretty dumpy motel room containing one All-Canadian Mountie and one Chicago flatfoot with experimental hair.

And whadda you know? Not a whole lot of angst here, either.

As always, this is for my sweetie, neon blue. Though come to think of it, I did once dedicate a story to Mitch, but that was all his own fault, after all.

Contains boys who wanna do other boys, Ray K getting down with his bad self, and even more baseball references. Don't like 'em, hit delete.

Rating: R, I guess, for cussin' and naughty thoughts. Not to mention one or two naughty sights.

Archive: Hexwood. Anywhere else, ask first. Or at least *tell* me. Please.

Comments etc. to


Batting 1000

by Jaime Arundel

My bladder wakes me. Well, it kinda screams at me, actually. I'm one screech away from pissing the bed an' the ole reflexes have me up an' leanin' over the john before I've even got my eyes open. Hell if I know how I do that, but I ain't missed yet, no matter how strange the joint I wake up in. I piss for so goddamn long that I finally wake up enough to crack an eyelid, just to make sure that what I'm hearin' really is the sound of a hard piss hittin' water.

Sure enough, there's a chunk of old cracked porcelain. At least it's clean an' white, which is a damn sight better than I can say for one or two of the places I've woken up in, 'specially back when I was in college and Stella was still playin' hard to get with me. She shoulda played harder, I guess; would've done us both a favour.

Finally I shake it off an' turn around, still thinkin' them morose mornin' thoughts of Stella that been plaguing me ever since the frickin' divorce and it hits me: holy shit, Fraser kissed me! Fraser kissed me an' he's right here, in bed, in the same damn motel room. Then I start feelin' all weird. I mean, I got no idea what time it is an' maybe Frase's been up since the crack of dawn like usual, whenever the hell that was, but I kinda figure some time ago, if I slept like I usually do when I've had a few too many. It scares me to think he might already be outta here, leavin' me to sleep it off, the way Stella useta, whenever I come home from tyin' one on with the boys at my old precinct.

I peek out the doorway an' breathe a sigh of relief when I see him lyin' there, belly up on that narrow twin bed. He's still spark out in this cheesy motel room Welsh went an' booked him into, when he dragged the poor lug down here. I reckon all Frase prob'ly wanted to do back then was catch a few zzz's, but he's not the kind of guy who can say 'no' when he's being asked for a favour. An' knowing how the gallant mutt thinks, I kinda guess he figured it wouldn't do me no harm if he kept the Looie sweet for when I got back. Things were kinda tense when I left, after that idiot Huey went an' let the cat outta the bag 'bout who I was headin' off to Mexico with.

Okay, so it's still dark, save for the bathroom light spilling out across the crappy green stuff that passes for carpet in Willison Illinois's one and only motel. But that don't signify, 'cause the dingy curtains are that heavy old kind that keep out even a crack of light. I'm kinda starin' at them, tryin' to see if there's even a hint of daylight, when it occurs to me that I'm wastin' my best squint on some real creepy sixties kind of paisley crap an' I could be lookin' at Frase.

I whap myself one on the head, not too hard, 'cause I'm still kinda tryin' to figure out if I've got a hangover or not. It's kind of incun ... incon ... I kinda can't really tell, could go either way from here. Fact is, I'm not awake enough to tell if that throbbin' that I can sorta feel is my head, my heart or my dick. Or maybe all three.

'Cause there he is, just lyin' there lookin' like an illustration in some old history book or somethin'. Ya know, the kind where they got them old Greek an' Roman statues with the dipsoid titles: the noble Justiwhateveritisus at rest, that sorta thing. It's pretty hot in the room an' his hair's sticking to his forehead, all curly like you don't never see it when he's awake. An' he's kicked most of his covers off at some point, 'cause the only thing covering him is one gauze thin overwashed motel sheet. Actually, it don't cover a damn thing, not if you're starin' at Frase the way I am.

I lean my head against the doorjamb an' just stand there, god only knows how long. All I can do is look and look and think about how his mouth felt when he kissed me. I oughtta be thinkin' how much I suck, 'cause the love of my life divorced me, some halfway criminal chick dumped me for a poncho salesman, an' the best kiss I've gotten in ages, hell maybe in ever, came from a guy, fer chrissake. But I don't. Instead, I feel jus' like I did when the bat hit the ball, like everything's just perfect, just so. I didn't have to watch the damn ball arc up and away and bounce off the scoreboard to know it was perfect, I could feel it right from the moment I swung. An' that's what I'm feeling now. I don't have to wait for Frase to wake up to know this is it, the real thing, the true blue that's-all-she-wrote-folks moment.

I feel the grin the moment it starts. Hadn't known I was goin' to do that, but hell, here I am, in the bathroom doorway of some two-bit motel in the back of beyond, an' I'm grinnin' like a fuckin' loon.

Oh yeah. It's a homer, all right.


Took me a while, but I finally dragged myself back to bed and fumbled for my watch. Not exactly the crack of dawn, but not far off. My bladder's quieted down, but now my stomach's started making noises so loud I'm half scared they'll wake Frase.

I can't seem to get back to sleep, not with all that noise goin' on down in my nether regions, so to speak. An' it don't exactly help that some of my other nether regions, the ones due south of my stomach, seem to be a damn sight more awake than the rest of me. So I'm layin' here, all sort of fuzzy an' warm, listenin' to my stomach growl an' feelin' these little twinges from down there. Some of the twinges are startin' to connect with the rest of me, too, an' I figure I ain't gonna get any more sleep this way. Not when my nipples seem to have discovered just how good that fine old cotton sheet feels when it brushes over them ... o' course, it wouldn't be brushin' over them if my hand hadn't somehow found its way up to start strokin' ever so lightly 'cross my pecs.

After a bit, I get my mind round the fact that my other hand's managed to crawl inside my boxers. Seems like the left hand don't know what the right hand's doin' ... but the right hand knows exactly what it's doing, and that's palming itself over my dick an' rubbing, not too hard. I squint over at Fraser again, but he's still lyin' there, like he's turned into a statue of himself. Make a nice statue, he would, in marble like the David or some such Renaissance kinda thing.

One thing I know, even while I'm tryin' to drag my strayin' mind back to the business at hand, is that I'm not gonna sleep, feelin' this horny and hungry and god only knows what else. The other thing is that I'm not gonna jerk off with Fraser in the next bed. It's not only that he might wake up and catch me at it, which would be godawful embarrassing, but it's kinda like that Chester-the-Molester thing, too. Wouldn't be right, pullin' the old crank while I fixate on the way that sheet has moulded itself to his groin, an' him all unknowing that I was thinking 'bout him that way.

"That way." Well, ya can't blame me for thinkin' that maybe he's not ... what's the word? ... not averse to takin' a little side trip "that way," not after the kiss he laid on me that night. Thing is, if we're gonna go down that road, I want him wide awake and walkin' down it with me, of his own choice, like.

I pull my hand away from my dick, givin' it a little pat so it knows I ain't forgotten what it wants, and start rubbing my belly. I guess that must be giving the old stomach some encouragement, 'cause it starts in again even louder than ever. I crack a yawn and decide that I'm as awake as I'm gonna be. Time to go deal with the old tummy-tum-tum ... then get back here with some stuff for Frase, some of that grassy tea crap that he likes and maybe some bagels or something. An' once he's awake and fed and runnin' on all cylinders, then maybe I'll find out if those other appetites are gonna get taken care of as well.



I'm still apologizin' to Dief as I try to balance the tea an' the egg salad sandwich and the apple danish and still get the key into the door. Geez, I can't believe we went an' forgot the damn wolf outside the door. Guess he knows he's onto a good thing, seein' as how he'll be guilt trippin' Fraser about it for like months, maybe. Hell, he's already got those doggy claws into me good an' fast; I had to buy him a whole sixer of day old donuts to get him to stop givin' me that look, the one that says "I'm-such-a-poor-neglected-wolf" and "I-had-to-sleep-on-the-cold-hard-pavement-while-you-snored-on-the-soft-warm-bed." I jiggle the key again and try not to drop my parcels, while Dief gives me yet another mournful look. I'm startin' to understand what Frase means with that "pay and pay and pay" thing.

Finally, we're inside the room and I'm trying to push the door shut quietly, while slipping the whole mess onto the dresser top before I drop anything. Wouldn't want to spill the tea on Dief, 'though I don't suppose he'd mind if I dropped the danish.

Dief gives Fraser an old-fashioned look and immediately hops up on the other bed. My bed. Well, I'm not about to argue with him, not after having to listen to him nag me for the better part of an hour. 'Sides, I'm kinda hopin' I won't be needin' that bed again. Dief grumbles a bit, turns round three times, and settles down, head on his paws, staring at Fraser in a discontented fashion.

Thing is, I coulda swore he wasn't anywhere in sight when I dragged Frase in here at 2am. It dawns on me that maybe the whole thing's an act and the damn wolf actually spent the night snuggled up tight and comfy with one of those little blonde chicks that were so taken with him out at the field. I give him a suspicious look, figurin' I wouldn't put it past him. I could swear sometimes that animal has more luck with the girls than both Frase an' me put together. Maybe he don't actually know he's a wolf ...


I swing 'round at the sound of my name and can't stop the grin that I knows prob'ly makin' me look goofy as hell. I try to sound casual. "G'mornin', Frase. I brought you some breakfast."

He props himself up on his elbows, blinking even in the dimness. It's full light out now, but the curtains are still drawn and the only real light in the room's the spillover from the bathroom doorway. "What's the ..." A yawn interrupts him, a real throat-cracker, just like the one last night. "Sorry. What's the time, Ray?"

"Bit past eight," I say.

"Oh." He fumbles one hand over his jaw, workin' cheeks that I expect are still pretty stiff from sleep. He's got a bit of stubble now, but nowhere near as much as me. It's like he's so fuckin' perfect or something even the hairs know better than to mess things up for him. "That's early," he says, squinting a little as he tries to focus on me. "What are you doing up at this hour?"

"Couldn't sleep," I say. "My stomach was grumblin' an' I figured I might as well go get us some chow. 'Sides, it's not that early. I mean, I may not be up with the sun like some folks I could mention, but I usually am up by now. Gotta get to work, after all."

I don't quite get the look that passes across his face, almost like he thinks I've reper ... repri ... told him off somehow.

"Yes, of course, Ray." He pushes himself into a sitting position and reaches for the watch that I put on the nightstand for him when I was undressin' him last night. "Give me a moment to get dressed and we can be on the road immediately. If you don't mind driving, I can eat in the car."

I'm across the room with my hand flat against that solid chest before he can heave himself upright. "Whoa there, Red," I say, even as my mind is starting to focus down on just how warm and lovely his skin feels under my palm. "Hold the horses. There's no hurry. I ran into Welsh and his bro in the diner and he said to take our time. We're not due back until tomorrow, 'cause he's taking a day to spend with whatsisname ..."


"Yeah, Wilson. An' tomorrow Wilson's gonna drive up to Chicago with him. Something 'bout it being their old man's birthday, I think."

"Oh. Well, that's good, Ray. I wouldn't want you driving if you're not well rested. And you can't have had more than a few hours of sleep."

"I'm okay," I say. And I really am. Only thing is, I can't seem to move. I know I oughtta go one way or the other ... either step outta his space or finish the thing and give him a good mornin' kiss to match the good night one he gave me.

We just stay like that for a while, me standin' over him, and him sitting upright on the side of the bed with my hand pressed against his sternum. Finally it seems to dawn on him that I'm still touching him. I see his eyes go wide and then track down and come to rest on my hand. Well, they didn't do that literally, it's just where he was lookin' ... ya know what I mean.

He gives his head a little shake and I can actually see him wake up a little more. It's kinda nice to know that he's capable of being as much of a doofus about wakin' up as I am. One tiny little crack in the old superman facade. I know exactly how he's feeling, 'cause it's exactly how I woke up an hour or so ago ... one little bit at a time.

Now I could take my hand away, but I don't want to. I want to know what he's gonna make of it, whether he remembers last night ... and whether he *wants* to remember it, which is, like, a whole different ballgame.

He shifts and I wonder if he's gonna pull away, but all he does is put one of those large mitts of his over mine. His palm's pressed against the back of my hand, and his fingers are rubbing slowly against mine, then twining between them until we're holding hands against his chest. It feels so sweet that if I read it in one of them 'Sword o' Desire' novels of Frannie's I'd be going yecch an' making pukin' motions, but in real life, well I gotta say it's got a lot more going for it in real life than it sounds like in some damn harlequin.

"I'm glad you got your home run," he says, which is so off-the-wall typical Fraser that I start to laugh, even though the moment ought to be - what is it - fraught. We ought to be tense as hell, wonderin' what the fuck we're doing, two guys, two cops fer chrissake, making like sixteen year olds in some saccharine teen-love movie of the week. Wonderin' if the other guy's gonna back away, take offense, take a swing, who the hell knows what happens when the average cop comes on to his partner. I guess that's 'cause the average cop don't come on to his partner. Never wanted to be average, anyway.

"Not all I got," I say. His eyes shift up to meet mine an' I know he's got my meaning. 'Cause we're a duet, a team. No ship like partnership. He throws 'em, I catch 'em. An' vice versa.

"No, Ray."

His tongue comes out, flicks across his lower lip and I have to bite my own lip to keep from moanin'. Always did think that was sexy as hell.

"It's not all you got."


It doesn't take me long to find out that last night's kiss wasn't any kind of fluke. His lips are sweet and active on mine an' I'm not even minding the occasional rasp of stubble against my upper lip. Anyway, beard burn's a two-way street here, not like with kissin' a woman. He kisses sweet and lovely, but at the same time there's nothin' soft about it. His tongue lures mine into his mouth and his hands come up to hold my cheeks as I start to explore a whole brave new world here. When he starts to suck on my tongue, he sucks strong; I can feel it pullin' all the way down to the root.

I always figured kissing was kissing an' that if you closed your eyes an' pretended, you wouldn't really know you weren't kissin' a woman. But it's not like that at all. Even after just a few minutes, I figure I'd know his kiss anywhere, any time. And it ain't nothing like kissing a woman. It's stronger and harder an' he's ... I dunno, maybe he's just more sure of himself.

Okay, I know I don't got a real big sample size. No other guys an' only a handful of women besides Stella. Women that you kiss, at any rate, 'cause I've like been with the kind you don't kiss too. Not something I'm proud of, 'specially since it happened while we was still married. Well, sort of married, 'cause she hadn't kicked me outta the house yet, just outta her ... our ... bed.

After a while, I feel him start to pull back. I force my eyes open and blink a coupla times to get them focussed. He leans in and gives me one more kiss, hard but not open-mouthed. As chaste and as promising as the kiss that started all this.

I start to reach for him to do it again, but he puts a hand on my shoulder and holds me away. I can't help noticing how strong he is. How ... different ... this whole thing feels to what I'm used to.

"I have to tell you something, Ray," he says. He runs his tongue across his lips, wetting them. They're a little swollen, as if to prove he's suffering from beard burn as bad as I am. "I have to tell you now, before we go any further, because I don't want to ... I don't want you to think that I'm leading you on."

'Leading me on?' What the hell does he think ... what was all that kissing about then, if it wasn't leading us down that road I was talkin' about earlier, the one I want us to go down together. I feel the adrenaline hit, my heart rate crankin' right up, just like that, an' I start to jump up so's I can pace up and down. Before I can get myself up off the bed, though, he's got both hands clamped around my upper arms, holdin' me in place.

"What the fuck ..." I start to say, but he interrupts me. That's enough of a shocker to quiet me for a moment, Mr. Polite just buttin' in.

"I do want to make love with you, Ray," he says. His eyes are meetin' mine, level and clear, an' my heart starts to slow back to normal as his words sink in. Thank god, 'cause for a moment I was afraid we weren't in the same ballpark after all. Hell, he had me scared we weren't even in the same league, just for a second.

"I want very much to make love with you," he repeats and I can feel myself going all gooey. It's an odd feeling, some parts turnin' to mush while other parts are still right hard an' standing to attention. "But not in a cheap motel room, Ray. This isn't some transient liaison. It's..."

Okay, I been patient. Now I gotta jump in. A duet, right? "Yeah, I know. It's the real thing."

"Exactly. And since it is, as you say, the real thing, there's a time and a place for making love. And it's not here and it's not now."

Amazin' how firm the man can sound when I can damn well see that he's got a hard-on every bit as ... firm ... as mine. I mean, it's not like I could mistake what's bulgin' outta those boxers of his, even if I couldn't see the head of it pullin' his waistband away from his stomach. I lick my lips and swallow hard, which makes it kinda hard to nod my head, like I'm tryin' to do. I mean, I get his point, I really do. It's just ... kinda tough to have to stop, even if we ain't done more'n kiss. An' it don't help that I'm starin' down his amazingly flat stomach to where his dick's playing peekaboo, all slick an' moist an' luscious looking. I'm licking my lips again an' trying not to drool and he's still speaking.

"Thank you, Ray." His voice is as soft as it was last night. He sounds real sure of himself, like there was never any doubt of this, an' I try to wrench my mind out of the gutter long enough to wonder how long he's been thinkin' about doing this with me. But then I ain't exactly sure how long I been thinking 'bout doing this with him. Maybe as far back as when we were in the crypt an' I asked if he found me attractive. Maybe even the first time he measured my goddamn nose and called me by my name.

It's hard, but I find my voice an' it don't even croak too much. "Yeah, well," I say. "We gotta be crazy. I mean look at us ..." I swing a hand round in a gesture that takes in both our dicks. "But yeah, when you're right, you're right."

What I see in his eyes is the rightness of it, the feeling that we're working together, smooth as smooth. An' something else, too. Something that I kinda figure is love, even if he ain't said it out loud. Well, I haven't said it either. Maybe we don't need to. 'Cause when you're a duet, what you make is harmony.

"So what now?" I shift a little bit, tryin' to ease up some of the pressure down there. It's kinda hot an' gritty and I'd really like to just finish things off, even if I'm not doin' anything with him. At the same time, the promise of doin' it special ... special time, special place ... Okay, okay, I confess: I guess I can be as romantic as the next guy. Was with Stella, that's for sure. Way more romantic than she ever was. Me, I was all roses and candy and dancin' under the stars and Stella ... well, Stella was joint back accounts and pre-nuptial agreements and could we afford a washing machine. Fraser's practical, too. I know he is. But I also know, right down in my gut, that there won't be any pre-nuptial anything with him. I figure deep down he's just like the wolf ... an' one thing I know about wolves is that they mate for life.

Me? I can do that.

I lean back against the head board, stretch my legs out alongside his. He puts one of those big hot hands of his on my waist, just above the waistband of my boxers, an' even that's enough to make me shiver.

He leans down and gives me another little kiss, just like he's been doin' it for years. Nothing new, nothing special, just a confirmation that we're doin' what we wanna do.

"I eat what you brought me for breakfast. We both shower ..." He gives a not too delicate sniff and raises one eyebrow at me. I've been around him long enough to know that passes for what in another guy would be an out an' out grin. "And then, well, perhaps we could practice some more."

"Practice what, Frase?" I ask, just to tease him a little. Things are subsiding a bit an' I figure I can get with the program, whatever it is Fraser's got planned.

"Oh, perhaps your batting stance," he says, all casual and dead-pan. Now that we're ... whatever the hell it is we are, *now* I find out that the guy's a goddamn comedian. "Perhaps you could really learn how to hit .390."

"No need," I say and put my hands over his. "I'm already battin' .1000."