that fucked things up, Ray thought, tossing and turning in
bed after the crew dropped him off.
off the handle… what the fuck was all that about? About
Fraser, about the Ice Queen, about a stupid kiss… four
could practically hear Dewey mocking him for being such a
total fucking pussy.
he could hear the spray of gravel, the sudden silence as
he'd killed the engine, feeling the tacky pull of the
steering wheel in his hands.
is what it’s about,” he'd said, leaning forward to
kiss Fraser. He'd kissed Fraser! Shit!
since the detachment, all he’d been able to think about
were the Ice Queen’s refined, glossy lips. And Fraser
kissing them. And he’d wanted to get that image out of
him, to kill it dead, erase it, just—
was all, that was all, he didn’t want anything to
change. Or he hadn’t wanted that and now it all had
had gripped Fraser’s shoulder and pushed him backwards,
driving forward into his space, ambushing him, and it
wasn’t even really a kiss, it was more like the punch by
the lake, revenge for the pounding thought of Fraser doing
this with Thatcher, but more and sexier and all
then Ray'd felt Fraser brace himself, heard the creak of
Fraser’s hand gripping the leather seat, and an
answering force pushed forward into his space.
had brought him to his senses.
Fraser had said intensely, and Ray had—
heard a slam outside and tensed, realising Fraser was
home. His ears and the back of his neck felt hot, all of a
sudden. Shit shit shit.
heard footsteps crunching across the snow, a key in the
lock, and then Fraser stepped into the hallway. Ray heard
Dief’s nails clatter on the wooden floor and Fraser's
footsteps moving straight down the corridor, towards Ray's
room, stopping outside Ray's door.
knocked tentatively. Ray didn’t answer.
Fraser said quietly.
asleep, Fraser,” Ray said eventually.
was a long pause. Neither of them moved.
Fraser said finally, and Ray could hear him moving across
the hall, into his own room.
Ray heard the door close.
ain’t just a river in Tuktoyaktuk, Ray thought, standing
in front of the mirror smoothing his hair forward.
woken at seven with his stomach in knots and a certainty
ringing in his head: today was going to be hell. For today
was Interview Day. The camera, the questions, Fraser... a
vivid picture flashed into his head – Fraser’s face,
out of focus in the darkness, too close, breath shifting
momentarily over Ray’s cheekbone. He rubbed his brow
furiously, desperately trying to scrub out the image,
feeling his stomach clench even further.
he thought, leaning forward with both hands on the sink,
staring into his reflection. You can do this. Denial.
That’s the way to go. Denial is great. Denial is
greatness. He breathed deeply for a moment, then stood up,
straightened his shoulders, and furiously spiked up his
the time they were finally ready for the interview the sun
had started to set. Their living room had been turned into
a movie-set and the crew had already broken one lamp,
spilled a cup of coffee and eaten every cookie in the
also somehow managed to offend Diefenbaker, who had
growled and barked ferociously at Pete the soundman until
a deeply apologetic Fraser had been forced to put him
outside with the rest of the sled dogs.
Ray? Fraser? If you want to come over here and sit
yourselves down,” Carla directed them to their seats as
all around them people hefted lights into position,
unfurled big reflecting screens and unravelled what seemed
like hundreds of miles of cable. “We’ll finally be
ready in about ten minutes. Pete will come over and mic
you up, check the sound, generally make sure we’re good
to go, and then Susan will start with the firing squad.”
She grinned. “I mean interview, of course.”
sat awkwardly next to Fraser, extremely aware of the inch
or so separating them. His only consolation was that
Fraser looked just as uncomfortable, sitting rigidly,
staring straight ahead. Of course, he could just be
playing Mr. Good Mountie again.
head twitched towards him slightly, then turned properly.
Ray instantly looked away, out the window. He could see
Carla walking from the people carrier, carting a huge
canvas bag over one shoulder.
Fraser said softly.
Fraser,” Ray said instantly. He didn’t want to have
this conversation. Especially not in the same room as two
cameras, three spotlights and five total strangers.
turned his torso towards Ray, his movements precise and
well executed. He looked intently at Ray. “Really, Ray.
We need to — there has to be— I think—”
not now, okay. Later or something. Just… not now.” He
looked up for a second and met Fraser’s eyes, before
looking away again. “Please.”
well,” said Fraser with a solemn nod. He took a deep
breath and seemed to pull himself together. “The results
of the fingerprint test on the gun we found in Shingal’s
cave are due to come back today,” he said steadily.
“Today, or possibly tomorrow.”
said Ray, wincing as the big camera emitted a steady
high-pitched tone. “So then you’ll know. About
said Fraser, arranging the potted plant on the coffee
table more neatly. “And an officer from the nearest post
to Carcross is sending across some footage they have of
Donen in the local store – luckily they’d recently
installed a security camera on the premises.”
guess they get a lot of shoplifting beavers around
there,” Ray muttered.
Fraser said. At the same time, Pete walked towards them,
unwrapping the long microphone wires carefully.
guys?” he asked, beaming merrily.
started with the easy questions. Ray could’ve kicked
himself for not expecting it – he’d been a detective
for thirteen years, didn’t he remember anything? – but
he’d gotten into the swing of the easy questions and
then Susan had sucker-punched him with a real toughie. Or
effectively kicked him in the head.
you never uncomfortable living in such close
looked carefully at the carpet, hoping Fraser would field
Fraser said. A good start, but then he coughed slightly.
“Ray and I have always been very good friends.
Comfortable with each other. It wasn’t really an
you guys live together now. Weren’t you ready for a
break after – what was it, six months? – in each
couldn’t resist looking at Fraser for this one. He
wanted to hear the answer. “Living together… it just
seemed natural.” Fraser said eventually. “Organic. We
lived apart, then we lived together. It didn’t seem that
different.” He looked helplessly directly at the camera,
and Ray glanced over as well, seeing his and Fraser’s
reflection, small and upside down. It was how he felt.
“I can’t describe it,” he eventually said, quietly.
scribbled briefly on her notes, and then said mildly,
“So, do you two date?”
Ray growled, “No!”
at all?” Susan seemed shocked. “There aren’t any
local girls you’ve been seeing?”
said Ray, shifting slightly, “No, not really. I mean the
population’s quite small and there aren’t that many
women that aren’t already married...” he trailed off.
you miss it?” Susan asked gently. “You used to be
married, didn’t you?”
yeah sure, you miss someone to be with—” Ray felt
Fraser stiffen next to him. “But, uh, Fraser and I—”
He had no idea how to finish that, so just fell silent.
one broke it. In fact, Ray was pretty sure this was the
longest silence he’d ever, uh, heard.
hours later, Ray paced around the kitchen opening
cupboards at random.
really think we should talk, Ray.” Fraser persisted,
following him from cupboard to cupboard.
really think there’s nothing to talk about,” Ray said,
pulling out a giant bag of potato chips and tucking it
under his arm.
don’t know how you can say that after last night.”
knelt in front of the refrigerator and began pulling out
vegetables, Fraser kneeling beside him and aggravatingly
picking them up after him and placing them carefully on
the table. One potato escaped and rolled away under the
happened, Frase,” Ray said from inside the refrigerator.
“It was just a fight. I apologise – I was, whatever,
insensitive. I’m sorry.” He finally got to the
six-pack hidden at the back and pulled it out
determinedly, standing up.
stood up as well and crossed his arms. “That’s not
what I’m referring to, Ray, as you know full well.”
moved to the drawers and started noisily rifling through
cutlery, Fraser still on his heels. “Whatever, Frase.
I’m tired, ok? I’m taking my beer and I’m taking my
chips and I’m going to bed.” He waved the chips in
front of him aggressively.
started emptying the contents of the drawer onto the
counter. “Yeah well, I didn’t sleep— I mean, I’m
tired, is that ok with you? And where the hell is the
said we could talk.”
slammed the drawer shut. “What do you think we’re
doing here, Fraser, cooking eggs?” He spotted the bottle
opener by the knife-block and snatched it up.
made it to the hallway before Fraser gripped his elbow and
pulled him to a halt. He stepped in close and paused.
“Ray,” he said, “You… kissed me.”
shifted his feet and looked away. “I— It
wasn’t—” Ray felt the bottle opener digging into his
hand, clutching it too tightly. “Look, Fraser, we should
just forget about last night. It was, I don’t know what
it was. But it wasn’t us. We need to just… draw a line
under it or something.”
hand gripping his elbow twitched. “I don’t know if I
can do that, Ray.”
gathered his courage and met Fraser’s eyes. “Well, you
pulled firmly away and walked to his room, closing the
door behind him. He thought he heard Fraser sigh.
was two-thirty in the morning, and Ray was still awake.
He’d wanted to drink himself into oblivion, but he’d
stopped after the first beer did nothing but give him a
splitting headache. He’d then tried counting sheep. Then
caribou. And when that hadn’t worked, he’d resorted to
actually thinking about the goddamn problem.
time he thought of the kiss, everything inside him
clenched. He went over and over every second of it -- the
brief press of lips, the slight softening of Fraser’s
mouth, the push back into it. He swung between thinking
Fraser wanted it, Fraser wanted him, and knowing that was
stupid, Fraser didn’t swing that way, Fraser was
straight as an arrow, Fraser blushed when Molly
came on to him. Fraser didn’t want him.
after a while he realised that there was only one thing
that started to unravel the knot in his stomach. Leaving.
Getting out. So long, Dawson, I’m outta here –
Chicago, here I come. Say ‘welcome home’ to one
Stanley Raymond Kowalski.
it, he thought, you can’t cope with this. With the
consequences of… what had happened. Can’t face Fraser
saying ‘no’, and can’t imagine him ever saying
he should just go, Ray decided. Leave. Pack up – he
could start right now; he certainly wasn’t sleeping –
say goodbye to Frase in the morning, catch the first bus
out of this one-horse town.
rolled over onto his side and looked into the darkness
beside his bed. Ok, that’s a plan, he thought. A
definite, no-going-back plan. So, time to pack, then.
up, he looked around the room, trying to decide where to
so he’d decided to start in Fraser’s room.
eyes opened blearily and he lifted his head, blinking.
“Ray?” He leant up on his elbow, reaching for the
bedside lamp. “Is everything okay?”
stopped him from turning on the light by sitting down
abruptly on the edge of the bed, the force of his
movements causing its frame to shake. Fraser clutched at
the mattress and sat up slightly.
ran his fingers through his hair fleetingly. “I should
go,” he said quietly.
was a pause. “Well, you do have your own room, Ray.”
Ray said slowly. He reached up and pulled his t-shirt over
frowned slightly and sat up properly, the quilt falling to
his waist. “Ray—” he sounded more awake suddenly.
dropped his t-shirt onto the floor and shifted closer to
Fraser, reaching out for the small buttons of Fraser’s
long johns. He felt calm, completely and utterly serene.
he unbuttoned the top button, pulling it free from the
soft fabric and tucking his fingers inside, where it was
hot. His hands slid down to the next button on their own,
then the next, and the one after that.
marvelled at how this actually felt. To actually be doing
this. To have Fraser looking at him guardedly, hair
rumpled with sleep, arms by his side, the feel of his
skin, the sleepy warm smell of Fraser, just like they’d
been on the adventure—
I really think you should—” Ray leant forward and
pressed his lips to Fraser’s. Soft, was his first
thought. Something he hadn’t been able to savour in the
car, soft and waxy-tasting, like balm. Fraser didn’t
react, and at first Ray thought that was good; he wasn’t
saying no. And then he realised that Fraser wasn’t
reacting at all. Was completely, blankly passive.
felt his throat tighten, and not wanting to give into the
reality of Fraser not wanting him, he kissed Fraser again,
putting everything he had into it, teasing with the tip of
his tongue until, at last, Fraser’s mouth opened
licked his way inside, breathing heavily, palms on
Fraser’s cheeks feeling warm as his skin began to flush.
Ray pulled at the shoulders of Fraser’s long johns,
pulling them down over his body, kissing him deeply,
intensely. Fraser’s breathing was starting to shorten,
Ray was sure he could feel Fraser fighting his response.
Years of teasing Stella into responding had taught him
that. But he was still taking what Ray had to give and
giving nothing in return.
kissed and licked his way across Fraser’s cheek, jaw,
neck, shoulder, collarbone, nibbling, teasing, rubbing his
stubble against the soft skin of Fraser’s throat. C’mon
c’mon c’mon, he thought angrily, just
give it up. In his peripheral vision he saw Fraser’s
hands clench on the sheets and felt a spark of triumph.
really,” Fraser’s voice was strained, “You should—
I think that you might be the worse for the alcohol
ignored him and bit at Fraser’s lower lip gently –
something he’d been wanting to do for months now – and
Fraser kept talking, or trying to talk until Ray’s
tongue pushed back into his mouth, hands sliding down
shivered, and goosebumps spread on his skin, and Ray was
aware of his hands lifting and then stopping in mid-air,
as if there was a gun levelled at him - put
your hands in the air, Ray thought, irrationally
reminded of all the times he’d said those words. He
pulled back and stood up, standing beside the bed to
quickly pull off his joggers.
say that it lowers your inhibitions…” Fraser was
saying roughly as Ray pulled back the covers and
resolutely tugged Fraser’s long johns down over his
hips. “I think that perhaps…” Ray lay beside him and
pulled the sheets over them both, then gripped Fraser’s
shoulder and pulled Fraser’s body over him, hand pulling
Fraser’s still-talking mouth towards his.
it can severely affect your judgement—” They kissed
again, and this time – yes!
– Fraser took control with a groan, kissing him messily,
deeply, tongue pushing into Ray, at the same time as
Fraser pushed his body down into him.
lifted his head, panting. “Although, of course, it would
be difficult to prove that alcohol could affect your
judgement to that extent—” Ray made a vague sound of
agreement, and gently bit his earlobe and ran his tongue
around the shell of his ear. Fraser twisted into him in
response, his voice trailing off, and they both shivered
as their erections brushed.
of course, one must look at— extenuating— circum…
circumstances…” Fraser suddenly buried his face in the
crook of Ray’s neck and held onto the headboard with one
hand, pushing Ray’s hips down with the other as he
thrust against him. Ray’s head fell backwards and he
moaned, pushing up into Fraser’s thrusts.
hands skimmed down Fraser’s back, using his nails, and
Fraser writhed, any rhythm he’d created stuttering. Ray
could feel the heat trapped between them, could feel his
skin starting to sheen with sweat, could feel Fraser’s
thigh pushing between his own, thrusts pushing them up the
bed until Ray could feel the headboard brushing against
his hair. His cock was leaking onto his belly, slicking
their way, and Ray closed his eyes.
distractedly mouthed Ray’s neck, hot breath fanning
Ray’s skin as his thrusts gained pace and the bed
creaked and groaned.
he gasped, lifting his head and kissing him deeply,
burying his hand in Ray’s hair.
Ray wanted to say, but his voice had gone, and then he
felt Fraser groan over him, around the tongue deep in his
mouth. The rhythm faltered and Fraser came, and Ray
couldn’t control himself any longer, couldn’t hold
anything in, and he came with a cry, hands clutching
Fraser’s back and sides, hips lifting off the bed.
panted, coming down, and wrapped his arms around Fraser,
feeling a rush of tenderness as Fraser’s soft hair
brushed against Ray’s chin.
stroked Fraser’s back, smoothing through the sweat and
feeling Fraser’s breath start to lengthen, deepen.
Eventually, Fraser pulled himself up and rolled to the
side, Ray’s eyes following him warily.
cheeks were a deep pink, and he looked down the length of
their bodies rather than into Ray’s eyes. Ray shivered,
feeling cold; he suddenly couldn’t stand the thought of
post-coital discussions. He ran his hand through his hair,
wiping the sweat away from his forehead and in his
peripheral vision watched Fraser settle on his side.
rolled over and they lay on their sides facing each other.
Fraser’s hand settled almost tentatively onto Ray’s
hip, and Ray closed his eyes in exhaustion. He waited for
Fraser’s thoughts on the subject, but it seemed that
Fraser finally didn’t want to talk.
Ray closed his eyes, feeling the warmth of Fraser’s
hands, Fraser’s taste in his mouth. If this was all
going to blow up tomorrow, he thought, he might as well
enjoy it now.