Summary: Fraser watches Ray sleep.
Fandom: due South
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski; Fraser/Vecchio; Fraser/Victoria
Disclaimer: None of this belongs to me.
Thanks to: omphale23 and akamine_chan for last minute betas
Original story: Looking, by etben
I startle awake in a too-warm room, a naked stranger pressed against me. His scent is familiar, and I recognize the tufts of Ray's hair highlighted by the red glow of the clock. 3:43 am.
Ray tells me that he sleeps soundest while curled up with another in bed. I've yet to catch the knack of it, myself. Of course, he had years to become accustomed to sharing his bed with Stella.
I had six nights with Victoria; we spent five on the snowy ground, and one in my apartment. When I woke that dawn to find her already up and cleaning, my breath caught in sheer delight. 'Victoria,' I thought to myself, 'is a morning person.' I imagined a future of early morning runs and leisurely, intimate breakfasts while the rest of the world lay abed.
Sometimes I am astounded by the breadth and depth of my own stupidity.
I gently pull away, the air cool where Ray had covered me, and turn on my side so that I can watch him sleep. I can barely make out the faint curve of his lips in the darkened room.
During the day, Ray displays a relentless physicality. Intimidating in an interrogation, graceful while dancing, restless in the grocery line. His every movement is perfectly focused to task, whether shooting out a tire or wringing the last drop of pleasure from my body. Cliché though it may be, Ray is poetry in motion.
At night, Ray is still. I watch him carefully, as if Ray were some energetic particle captured in my orbit that, unobserved, might spin away beyond my reach.
I never slept with Ray Vecchio. I've rehearsed that statement, over and over, in my own mind. Like all the most effective lies, it's perfectly true. We performed fellatio and enjoyed frottage, we kissed like teenagers, we rutted like animals; we may even have made love. But we never slept together.
Ray's home was out of the question for such activities, and the walls of my apartment were notoriously thin. So Ray and I would visit the Channing Motel once or twice a week, paying cash for a few hours rental of a room. Once each of us had achieved orgasm, Ray would shower and dress while I drowsed in the motel bed. "Up you get, Benny," he would say, smiling warmly down at me. "We'd better get you home before you turn into a pumpkin."
He left me with a phone call, a post card, and a Pavlovian response to nylon bedspreads. I know that even that much contact was difficult. I realize that Ray did what he could, under great pressure and with the best of intentions. Still. He left me.
I reach out and rest my hand lightly on my Ray's cheek. He nuzzles against me with an indecipherable murmur, and then settles back into deeper sleep. During the day I am fearless. During the night, I am anything but. After all, our first time was nearly our last.
We were investigating a robbery at a local motel – the Channing Motel. I was perfectly fine until we stepped into the dingy lobby and I smelled it. The motel's particular mix of cleaning products was distinct and evocative. I found myself overwhelmed by a torrent of, not memory exactly, but emotion. I felt Ray's hand cover my head as he placed me in the backseat of the car, as if I were under arrest. I vaguely wondered why he hadn't cuffed me.
I'd managed to identify tenderness, loss, lust, fear, desolation, anger, and guilt in the morass of my mind by the time Ray returned. He slid into the driver's seat and turned to face me. I couldn't read his expression.
"Hospital or Consulate?" Ray asked.
"Oh, not the hospital," I replied automatically. He nodded and started the engine. I fastened my seat belt. As he pulled out of the parking lot Ray contacted dispatch to inform them that I wasn't feeling well, and that we would be 'off the grid' for a while. He cut off the resulting cacophony of female well-wishers.
"What was that about, Fraser?" he asked after a few blocks, adjusting the rear-view mirror to better see me.
I babbled something about low blood sugar.
Ray cut me off with a hand gesture and slid smoothly into a parking spot. "I know what a panic attack looks like, Fraser. I even know what one feels like. So as your partner I'm asking you, what the fuck was that all about?"
I confessed. Once begun, the story flooded out of me, unstoppable. When I finished, Ray was kneeling backwards in his seat, holding out a take-out napkin. I took it and roughly wiped my face.
"Vecchio's an asshole," Ray snarled.
"No, he – "
"Don't even try defending him," Ray warned, stabbing two fingers at me. "This is … this is big. You could've told me," he said with a sideways nod.
"Well, at first I didn't know you very well, and then …"
"Yeah, then." Ray said, looking at me intently. "Look, maybe my timing sucks, I know it does, but we've got this, this sizzle between us. I've been ignoring it, because I'm undercover, and Vecchio's got this lady's man rep I didn't want to mess with. But now I find out you two were doing it." His eyes had a fiercely competitive glint I'd seen a few times before. "So unless you're, you know, saving yourself for him or something, maybe we could …"
I clutched the seat belt to prevent myself from reaching for him. I wanted so much, so desperately. "I'm not … I don't do such things casually, Ray," I managed.
Ray showed his teeth in a grin. "Yeah? Well that's great, Benton buddy, 'cause neither do I." He flipped around into the correct driving position and said over his shoulder, "We're going to my place."
I lay watching Ray as golden morning light stole over his face the next morning. It was an unlooked-for miracle. After a year of stolen glances, cold showers, and lucid dreams, I'd finally been allowed to see him exposed, hear Ray moan, feel the burn of his stubble on my thighs, and taste myself on his skin. I hadn't slept. I didn't dare.
That morning, Ray scrubbed at his mouth and sleepily opened his eyes. They focused on me, and the look in them froze my smile. He recoiled, just the tiniest bit.
I couldn't allow it, couldn't be left alone again, with just a single night's memory. And so I reached out, before Ray could say a word or move away from me. I grabbed Ray, flipped him over, and pinned him against me with one arm while my other hand found his morning erection. His gasp encouraged me. I nibbled the sensitive nape of his neck and stroked his penis, using every trick I knew to rush him towards orgasm, to make him as desperate as I felt.
Ray's body surrendered, pressing back against me as his hips pushed forwards into my grasp. I slowed and began to speak, begging Ray to let me, let me watch him, let me touch him, let me keep him. It was despicable, manipulation of the basest sort. And yet as he twisted and sweated in my grip, my penis pressed between his thighs, as he groaned, "Yes, yes, fuck, god, yes, god, Fraser," as I felt his penis jerk as he climaxed in my hand, I could not regret it.
My tactic must have been painfully obvious. I lay in that bed, redolent with the scent of his semen, waiting for Ray to leave. He finally turned to me, a question in his eyes. But whatever answer he found in my face must have satisfied him.
Ray said, "Yeah, Fraser. Watch this." He reciprocated by sliding down my body, sucking my penis into his mouth, and rapidly bringing me to a mind-shattering orgasm.
Ray's eyes move under his eyelids, showing that he's dreaming. I'm prepared to wake him, if it's a nightmare. But judging by the pleased little sigh, I believe Ray's having an enjoyable, sensual, dream.
Ray is a devoted lover. From his history with Stella, I know that he will not easily give up on a committed relationship. Of course, were Stella to ask him back, he might … no. Ray has said he will not leave me, and I believe him.
He might be taken from me. Ours is a dangerous profession, and my tendency to take risks only makes it worse. Last week, I suggested that we wait for backup before pursuing a suspect. Ray stopped, flipped up the sunshades on his glasses, and stared at me for a few seconds, baffled. Then he grinned.
"Frase, just 'cause we're fucking, doesn't make me a chick, okay?" Ray ran after the suspect, and I followed. Our brief delay allowed the suspect to escape.
Ray was right.
Well, obviously he was right about not being a woman. He was also correct that we are in no more danger now than a month ago, just because we've become romantically involved. Just because now I have something to lose.
Its irrational to feel that such a bounty of happiness will find it's natural balance in an equal quantity of loss.
Yet I do feel it. Feel it and fear it. My hand brushes through Ray's hair, over and over.
Ray sighs and stretches. I hold my breath. His eyes flutter open. A smile breaks over his face as he sees me watching him.
My fears retreat like nocturnal beasts before the warmth of that bright sun. Until night comes again.
I smile back at him. "Good morning, Ray. Would you like some breakfast?"