This scene's been written a million times. This is my version - or more specifically *our* version - because I had a lot of help. Many many thanks to Aislinn and Kathleen for DS beta, Elocutus and my beloved Flood for "poker beta", and Sierra and her "advice lady" for moral support.

Disclaimer: The due South characters belong to Alliance, not to me. They wouldn't fit in my apartment anyway.

Title: Queen of Hearts

Author: Gezebel

Archive: Hexwood

Rating: PG

Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski

Spoilers: Odds

Summary: The boys decide to play for something besides air.


Queen of Hearts

The middle of the night. A darkened bullpen. One light, two men, and a deck of cards.


"I'll take that air now, Ray."

"I'm tapped out."

"I'll accept an I.O.U."

"An I.O.U. on air?"

"I want you to honor your wager."

"That's stupid." Ray rolled his eyes, then leaned back and sighed. "So she kissed you, huh?"

The corners of Fraser's mouth quirked up into a brief smile. "Yes she did."

"Lucky you," Ray said with a smirk, then turned to pick up a card that had fallen on the floor. "Lucky her," he murmured as he bent down.

Fraser was almost certain he wasn't meant to hear that. He hesitated a moment then took a deep breath. "You know Ray, if you're out of air we could play for other stakes."

"Like what?" The question came from where Ray bent under the desk, scrambling for the card which lay just out of the reach of his fingers.

"Well," Fraser replied as carelessly as he could manage, "You just mentioned kisses..."

There came an muffled *thud* followed immediately by a groan as Ray's head made contact with the underside of the desk. Gingerly he pulled back and straightened up to look at Fraser. "Kisses?" he asked incredulously.

"Well, I mean, we were just talking about it, so I thought...."

"Okay, okay," Ray cut in breathlessly. His eyes were very large as he glanced at Fraser, then looked back down at the card in his hand. A small smile began to play around his mouth. "We can do that. Sure."

Fraser had to stifle a smile of his own at the mischievous expression on the detective's face. "I believe it was my turn to deal," he said, leaning forward to take the errant card from Ray.

"Um, what's the ante?"

Fraser looked at his partner, considering. "I would think that kisses are worth more than air. Should we start with one?"

"Yeah," Ray agreed, looking down at the pile of cards Fraser had dealt him. "One's good." He picked them up and hesitated. "So, if you win, you get them and if I win I get them?"

"Correct," Fraser affirmed. "According to Hoyles it's standard procedure."

Ray looked startled. "Whatdya mean, 'according to Hoyles?' Who the hell is Hoyles? You've been playing with some other guy?" Suddenly there was a knot in Ray's stomach as he pictured Fraser, gloriously casual in his tux shirt, tie off, sleeves rolled up, aiming that Mountie smile at someone else.

"Hoyles, Ray. The rule books of most card and board games are called "Hoyles" after Edmund Hoyle, an English writer and lawyer who died in 1769. Oddly enough, Mr. Hoyle was master of a game called whist, and ..."

Ray held up a hand, nodding, "I get the idea Fraser," and turned back to his cards. A pair of jacks, ace high stared back at him. Better than the last hand. He might even win. Not that losing would be bad either. His mind suddenly filled with the image of Fraser kissing him, leaning over the desk and...


"What?" Ray jolted out of his reverie.

"Your bet." Fraser gave him a look that spoke volumes.

"Um..." the detective gave one last glance to the jacks in his hand. "I'll bet one."

"One kiss?"

Ray looked back at Fraser and smiled slyly. "Yeah." He ran his fingertips gently across his lips before dropping the imaginary kiss into the ante pile on the desk. "One."

Fraser's eyes went wide as he focused on those lips, then immediately dropped his head and began studying his cards intently. " will bet one also," he said finally. He caught Ray's eyes and deliberately brought his hand up to his mouth as his tongue flicked out across his fingertips, before depositing the kiss on the desk.

It was all Ray could do not to grab that hand as it hovered over the desk and bring it to his own lips. He had seen that tongue a thousand times, and while it always gave him a small jolt to watch Fraser lick something while they were on a case, it was nothing compared to the impact it was having on him now.

"How many do you want?"


"Cards, Ray." Fraser looked distinctly amused. "Are you discarding any cards?"

"Uh, yeah. Give me two," he said, holding the jacks and ace and tossing the other cards on the table.

Fraser took the topmost cards from the deck and lay them in front of his partner. "And I will take one." he said, dealing himself a card to replace the one he discarded. "Your bet."

Ray looked at the new cards. Another ace! "Let's see you beat that, Benton Buddy," he thought to himself. "I'll bet two." he said. Slowly he ran his tongue along one fingertip then another, looking into Fraser's eyes the entire time, before depositing the kisses on the ever growing imaginary pile on the desk.

Fraser flushed and squirmed in his chair. "I'll call." he said, looking resolutely down at his cards.

Ray laughed. //Got you that time, Mountie!// "It's bet or fold Frase. You can't call until you meet the bet."

Fraser shook his head, then looked up at his partner, his eyes shining despite his rueful grin. It was a look that took Ray's breathe away. He had a sudden urge to throw down his cards and tackle the Mountie to the ground. Suddenly who won was much less important that just finishing the hand...quickly.

"I'll match your two kisses," Fraser said, "and raise you one." He only waved the kisses onto the desk, but his eyes smoldered when he looked at Ray.

The heat from his gaze almost knocked the detective out of his seat, and he answered it with a look of his own. "I'll see your one," he agreed slowly, "and call."

"What do you have?"

"Aces and jacks!" Ray said smugly. "Can you beat that?"

The Mountie looked back down at his cards. "Actually I think I can." He lay his cards on the table one by one. "The queen of spades. The queen of clubs. The queen of diamonds."

Ray shook his head in amazement. "Hell Fraser, why don't you just pull out the other one and be done with it."

"Ah, no, I only have three. The queen of hearts seems to be otherwise occupied at this time."

"Yeah, I bet she is." He raised his head and looked at the Mountie with a gleam in his eye. "So what do I owe you?"

Fraser thought for a moment. "At this time, one hundred and fifty of air, and five kisses. Do you want to play again?"

Ray smiled ruefully. "I think I owe you as much as I can handle right now. Besides," he continued and his grin turned wicked, "I can think of better games to play. Let's get out of here."

"And about those kisses Ray?" Fraser asked innocently as he watched the detective stand.

"I don't have them here Fraser," Ray said, catching his eye and looking meaningfully around the room. "If you want we can stop at my apartment and um... pick them up."

Fraser knew what he was getting at. Even in the middle of the night the precinct was never completely empty. The flirting that they'd been indulging in was harmless enough, but they could never hope to do more in such a public place. "Your apartment would be fine Ray." he said, then winced as he stood up, stretching his sore back muscles. "And a lot more comfortable."

Ray smiled as he grabbed his jacket and Fraser's tux from where they hung across the back of his chair. "Comfortable is good." he agreed, then gave Fraser a sly grin. "Who knows, maybe I could just, y'know, pay you a little in advance for the next time you feel like whipping my butt at cards."

"Well that would depend on just what you felt like betting, wouldn't it?" Fraser asked softly.

The detective closed his eyes against the pictures conjured by those words. "I can't wait," he said, more to himself than to Fraser. He turned back, and with a single stride was at Fraser's side.

The Mountie made no protest as Ray's arms encircled him but his hands came up to clasp the other man's forearms as he leaned in to press a kiss to Fraser's lips. With a visible effort he held back from returning Ray's kiss.

"The apartment." he whispered softly, still keeping his hold on Ray's arms.

Ray closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Right," he agreed, afraid that if he even looked at the Mountie the two of them would wind up on the floor in the middle of the bullpen. He turned quickly and started for the door. "Come on Fraser, night's still young. Pitter patter..."

"You know Ray," Fraser said as he followed him out the door. "I've heard of a variation of the game called 'Strip' poker. I don't think you've taught me the particulars of that version. Do you know how to play?"

From down the hall Ray's laughter floated back to him. "Those studs from your tux do not count as clothing Fraser!"

"Understood." was the Mountie's reply as he followed Ray out into the night.




Edmund Hoyle (1672-1769), was an English writer and lawyer who actually had never heard of poker: he died sixty years before the game originated. He played whist however, and was apparently quite good at it. He wrote a book of rules for three card games: whist, piquete and quadrille but his name eventually was used to describe the rule books for all types of card games - poker included. If you'd like to know more go here:

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