I really do feel bad that I succumbed to the temptation to tease, especially since it meant I had to forfeit my judicial role in Rusty and Meg's trial. I offer the tidbit below as apology. It was inspired by a conversation I had with Kasha, Viridian and Zoe wherein we wondered why it is exactly that only Canada has a liaison to the Chicago PD, and why the reason that the Chicago PD *needs* a foreign liaison in the first place is never explained. Kasha and Viridian helped with Ray's intro, and while this is an apology to Sergers everywhere, it's dedicated to Kasha, Zoe and V.

by LaT

Ray opened his eyes and was instantly awake. Turning his head, he read the time.

//5:00. A.M. Ante Meridiem. Before anyone with sense even rolls *over*. I've spent too much time with Fraser that I'm wide awake at this hour.//

That last thought focused his attention directly on the man whose head was pillowed on Ray's stomach. Fraser was sound asleep and would stay that way for about thirty more minutes. This fact slightly appalled Ray.

//Okay, I've *definitely* spent too much time with Fraser when I'm wide awake *before* he is.//

Ray ran his left hand through Fraser's hair. It seemed to him that the silver-greyish whale-bone ring on the fourth finger -- which matched the one on Fraser's right hand -- glowed against his skin in the slowly creeping morning light.

Kowalski had a reason for being awake so early. The first day at a new precinct always made him nervous. His usual jitters were compounded by the fact that his new precinct was in Ottawa. Ray still wasn't entirely sure what strings were pulled although he just *knew* that Buck Frobisher and Lt. Welsh were somehow involved.

Neither he nor Fraser had wanted to go back to Chicago, but the Canadian outback wasn't exactly Ray's cup of bark tea, either. For someone so inexperienced, he'd handled it fairly well the first two months. But the sheer stillness and *quiet* of the place eventually got to him, and not in a good way.

Like most people who love one another deeply, they compromised. It turned out that the RCMP finally saw fit -- in light of Muldoon's capture -- to hold Fraser in its good graces. He was given his choice of duty assignments, and he opted for the one he would have taken had he and Ray parted company after the Henry Allen/Whaling Yankee/gold smuggling eco-terrorists case. Ray's transfer fell into place with suspicious ease after that. It worked for both of them. Ray still got the benefits of city living, and Fraser didn't have to travel nearly as far when he got homesick.

Ray continued stroking Fraser's hair as he watched the other man sleep. He thought about what the day held in store. No doubt his new colleagues would have questions centering around why a Chicago flatfoot with experimental hair was hanging out in their station house. At that thought, an introduction shaped itself almost instantaneously in his mind, and it was so perfect, he had to try it out loud to see how it sounded.

"I'm Stanley Raymond Kowalski. You heard me right. My father had a thing for Brando and I don't wanna hear another word about it. I first came to Canada on the trail of the killer of my best friend's mother, and for reasons that are none of your damn business, I've decided to stick around, attached as a lesion with the American Consulate."

The purring murmur of Fraser's voice against his skin only made Ray giggle harder.

"It sounds good to me, although calling yourself a lesion might not be the best way to create a good first impression."

"I just wanted to see if you were paying attention to me."

Although he didn't open his eyes, Fraser smiled.

"I always am, Ray. I always am."


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