i let you have it, i let you have it
by alejandra

I have never seen Fraser look at a woman the way he looked at this waitress. He only looked at her once -- only once, but once was enough.

Her nametag says she's Daisy, but the other waitresses call her Dot. I'm a detective, I notice things. Maybe I'm a little interested in her too -- she's real pretty, long dark hair, curvy body, not too skinny -- but she's turned on for Fraser.

They all get wet for him. It's sickening -- you'd think women would have more than one type. You'd think maybe there's a woman out there -- besides Stella, anyway -- who doesn't get her panties in a twist about broad shoulders and dark hair and blue eyes.

Yeah, what about me? I got everything a woman could want, plus I'm not afraid of commitment like all the other yahoos in bars here in the wilds of Chicago, plus I can dance. Plus I ain't fucking celibate.

But they always go right for Fraser, like he's got a homing device on him or something. Calling all birds home.

This bird, Dot, she wants to nest in Fraser, I can tell. His side of fries was real big, bigger than normal, and his slice of pie was big, and she smiled at him, and flirted with him, whereas me? I had to ask twice for a glass of water. Okay, on the other hand, she did keep my coffee cup filled up, and she touched my shoulder twice when I was ordering, and my burger was done perfect (but I didn't want fries, so maybe she just gave mine to Fraser?) --

Maybe I'm over-reacting a little.

But only a little.

Fraser is staring at her as she walks away. She's got a real nice ass, all round and perfect, and not too high. She's not a model or something, she's a real girl -- woman.

Girl. She can't be more than twenty-five. She's young, she don't know yet not to flirt with customers, because one of them might stay until closing, follow her home, rape her in every way he can, and strangle her with the drawstring from her sweatpants.

We worked that case three weeks ago, and it's still in my head, because the vic looked like Stella did twenty years ago, and the perp looked kinda like me. And I keep thinking: if the world was a different place and I was a different guy, maybe that woulda been me. It could have been me, maybe it should have been. Would I be lonely and alone and thinking about fucking baby waitresses if I was doing twenty-five to life for raping and killing Stella when we were kids?

No, I'd have a boyfriend named Bruno and probably a swastika tattooed somewhere, and I'd be a hell of a lot better at playing Spades.

"You wanna talk about it?" I ask him. We've been sitting here for a while with no food in front of us. I got my coffee -- which, if I drink any more of it, I'm gonna get jittery -- but Fraser is still on the same cup of tea he's been drinking for -- I check my watch -- two hours.

Two hours. Shit.

"No, thank you, Ray."

Every couple of minutes I say, "Do you wanna talk about it?" and he says, "No, thank you, Ray." He doesn't even look at me. It's getting annoying, more annoying than usual.

So next time it's time for me to ask if he wants to talk about it, instead, I say, "I'm not sorry I shot that kid." He still don't look up at me. "I never killed someone before," I say. "I never wanted to. Not once when I was dreaming about being a cop was I dreaming about killing someone."

"I'd be worried if you had been, Ray," he says. Okay, that's progress. I look up to see where Dot is with my next cup of coffee, and when I catch her eye, I shake my head and spread my fingers -- five minutes, Dot, just give me five minutes to get him to talk about it.

"Okay, then, alrighty, so what now? You think I did this on purpose just to be a prick?" Fraser looks at me, yeah, I got him with the bad language. He wants to tell me to watch my mouth. He'd make a good dad. Probably he wouldn't go for his kids' mouths with the bar of soap -- he'd just make them eat pemmican, or tell them he was real disappointed in their choice of words. That'd do it, I think, depending on the kids.

"Of course not," he finally says.

I lean forward. I want to -- I don't know what I want to do. Put my hand over his or something, comfort him. Me comfort him. I'm the one who's gonna have to testify in front of a discretionary board, and I am the one on suspension for two days while they do the examining and run the ballistics, and whatever the fuck.

There wasn't anything else I could have done, and I know it, and I'm not too worried. I always thought that if I killed someone, I'd be all burnt up about it, maybe lock myself in my apartment and get drunk for a week, maybe even go to church -- but I'm not. I know I did the right thing, I know it -- can't always say that about stuff, can you?

But it would be nice to hear Fraser tell me everything's okay, you know? It would be nice if he bumped my shoulder with his and said, "Ray, my friend, this will all be fine. You did what you had to do, what any officer of the law would have done in your place."

But he's not gonna do that, and that is because I shot that kid trying to keep him from cutting Fraser. I shot that kid to keep Fraser alive, and maybe that's not how Fraser wanted it. And that is scary. What the fuck is wrong with Fraser?

There is no way some scumbag is gonna be living while Fraser is dead, though, and that's all I got to say about that. And the committee and the commissioner and IAB and whoever else is investigating this -- that is what they are going to say too. They're gonna say I used justifiable force, not excessive force, and they are gonna clear me and give me back my gun and we're gonna be golden.

If Fraser ever looks at me again.

Which he will, I'm just being stupid because I'm feeling bad for myself tonight. I'd be okay if Dot was looking at me the same way she's looking at Fraser -- but she's not, because I'm not Fraser. Who is? Nobody can be a super Mountie except for Fraser, and he's not even good at it most of the time, he's just faking.

I'm still leaning forward and Fraser still ain't looking at me, so I say, real low, "I think you gotta get laid, Fraser. I think you gotta forget about all this." He looks up, real sharp.

"Ray --" he says, and then he stops. Hah, stumped the Mountie. Stopped him, at least. He shakes his head and looks back down at his tea.

"Come on, Fraser," I say. "Look at Dot. She wants you."

"Oblivion in another person is never as lasting as the comfort of justice," says Fraser into his tea.

"Maybe not, but it can help for an hour or two," I snap, and then I sit back in the booth, then change my mind and put my head down on the table. He is totally hopeless. What am I gonna do? Get him drunk? He don't drink. I know he wants Dot, I can tell, he's looking at her like Dief looks at chocolate doughnuts. Which is weird, if you wanna think about it -- and I do. Like he knows it's something bad for him, and wants it anyway.

Fraser always goes for the same type -- long dark hair, olivey pale skin, big eyes, and a wide mouth. Lady Shoes. That bounty hunter gal. And I've seen those pictures of that chick he got shot for. Victoria. Yeah, I'd like to know if that was his type before he hooked up with her in the Northwest Wilderness, or if she fucked him up for good.

And I'd like him to look at me without that fucking unspoken accusation: You killed someone to save me, Ray.

Fraser of all people should understand that it's kill or be killed in the concrete jungle, just like on the goddamned tundra.

I feel a cool hand on the back of my neck and for one second I think maybe it's Fraser, but then I know it can't be, because Fraser's hands are always warm, and they are a lot bigger than this. And Dot's soft voice says, "Do you need an aspirin?"

I sit up slow, let her have her time to take her hand off the back of my neck, and twist my head to look up at her. She's real pretty. Her mouth is wide, and her nose is a little too long, and her eyes are huge, too big for her face, but at least they're not all bulging out like frogs, and her teeth have spaces between them, like maybe she didn't get braces because she thought she'd get wisdom teeth that would push her other teeth together, but it didn't happen.

I got a whole world for Dot inside my head, starting with the way she smells like a spice rack -- cinnamon, nutmeg, something fresh. Plus coffee and grease. That is the Ray Kowalski mating call right there -- or it would be if she also smelled like chocolate. And she's looking at me like she forgot Fraser was sitting there.

So I am getting laid tonight. Fuck Fraser.

"Nah, thanks." I smile at her. "Can I get some more coffee?"

She looks down at my cup, and then back at me, and instead of pouring me more, she takes the cup away. "Be right back," she says over her shoulder.

I look at Fraser.

"I am taking her home if you're not," I say. What the hell is going through his head anyway? If she's his type and he ain't been laid for years, what the fuck is the problem?

"You may do whatever you like, Ray," he says, and I know that I'm in trouble. That is Fraser-ese for, "You are a stupid prick." Sure, he's being all crazy close-mouthed, and not talking, and doing that tea-staring thing, which is like Fraser when we first met, but now I'm in trouble with him, now he's angry with me instead of being angry with himself.

Hey, newsflash, Fraser-buddy: You can't save everyone. Hell, you can't save anyone. They gotta want saving.

Oh, maybe I oughta take my own advice, huh?

Dot comes back and my coffee is steaming hot, and she's got a little pitcher of fresh milk and a couple of M&Ms on a saucer.

"I noticed you were adding these," she says, "and you ran out."

"I love you," I say to her. "Seriously, marry me." And she winks! Score!

"We're closing now," she says. "Did you want anything else?" And now she looks over at Fraser too, and she's got one hand on my arm down by my coffee and one hand on Fraser's shoulder. "Do you want some more hot water? Another teabag? Pie?"

I'm waiting for the trailing off that would mean she's putting herself on the table, but it never comes, and Fraser doesn't look up at her -- but I do, I'm staring at her, and she's looking at me the same way she's looking at Fraser, like he and I are equal in her eyes.

"No, thank you," he says woodenly. I kick his ankle, and he looks up and glares at me.

"Okay, boys," she says. "We're gonna start shutting down, but you stay as long as you like."

Laid laid laid. I am chanting in my head: laid laid laid. It has been a long fucking time, I don't even remember the last time I got laid, or what she smelled like, or what she looked like, I just lay Stella over all the memories anyway, so it don't even matter. And I guess that's not fair, but I bet she had blonde hair and smelled expensive and wore high heels.

I never did go for the girls down at the bar who could kick my ass at pool and drink me under the table. Maybe I should've. Maybe I'd've been happier. Some chick working the line at the meat factory, in tight jeans and a flannel shirt, with dark hair in a ponytail and bright eyes and a cue in her hand, leaning a hip against the table, watching me take my shot with that look in her eye that all women get when they know they've won, they're gonna take my money and then take me home -- yeah, I could see that.

"Ray," says Fraser, and I look up from where I'm stirring my coffee.

"Yeah?" I say.

"I'm sorry." He shakes his head. "I know -- I just -- I can't --" And he looks like he's about to burst into tears, which I cannot handle.

"I know, buddy," I say to him. "But you're safe, right? You're safe, Dief's safe, I'm safe -- we're all safe. And there's nothing we could have done. If not us, maybe someone else, maybe someone without a gun."

"I shudder to think of Antonio Lopez inflicted on the public at large," says Fraser, and there he is, just a little bit of the regular Fraser peeking out, but not enough. "Still..."

"Not everything always works out the way you want," I say sagely, thinking about our aborted Hand of Franklin trip and Dief's broken paw, and the wolf getting cut tonight and having to stay at the vet's, and Stella, and getting laid, and --

"Quite true," says Fraser, and drains his tea, and makes a face. Which, shock me, must be because it's been sitting there with that Earl Grey bag in it for two fucking hours while Fraser brooded.

"Fraser..." I say, and then I stop, because I don't know what I was going to say, but whatever it was ain't in my head anymore.

He looks at me, down at my coffee, and then at the table, like he can see my leg shaking underneath the table, jiggling up and down -- and who knows? Maybe he can.

"Understood, Ray," he says, and he don't look like he's going to cry anymore, but he also don't look like he's okay either.

And then I nod and then we just sit there. I don't know what he's waiting for but I think I'm either waiting for him to talk about what's bugging him -- which I know he is not going to do, because this here is Corporal Benton Fraser, RCMP, and he don't talk about what is in his head unless it's a story about the Inuit and three polar bears and seven fishing rods -- or I'm waiting for Dot to get off work and get in the GTO with me and Fraser so that I can drop Fraser off at his tiny apartment and then drive to my tiny apartment and fuck Dot until we both fall asleep from exhaustion.

If I can. Hopefully I haven't forgotten how to do something like that, hopefully my penis hasn't fallen off from not being used, hopefully I still know what to do when a woman lays down underneath me and kisses me and presses against me and is soft and warm and wet exactly the way all women always should be.

Which is not to say that I don't believe in women's lib. Stella was a women's libber. Feminist. Whatever. But I also believe in having lots of sex with women, because they smell good and they feel good and they taste good, and there's no reason not to have sex with them.

Maybe Fraser knows that. I'm jiggling away, and Dot smiles at us when she takes our cups and the little cup of milk, and I wink at her. Up at the counter, the big guy from the back is counting the money, adding it all up on a little calculator, writing everything down. In the back, someone is singing, and up here someone is sweeping, and one of the waitresses is wiping down the counter.

Fraser stands.

"Where you going?" I say, looking up at him.

"I think... I think I'd prefer to walk home tonight," he says.

"I ain't gonna argue with you, buddy," I say.

"Thank you, Ray. I'll see you tomorrow at the station." He puts on the fucking hat and nods at me, and tips the hat at Dot, who is coming back out, and then leaves.

"Where's your friend going?" she asks, and she sounds disappointed, and I'm annoyed, but I ain't gonna show it because I ain't stupid.

"He's going home," I say. "But I thought maybe I'd offer you a ride so's you wouldn't have to walk." And then I raise my eyebrows at her and damn! She blushes!

That is so hot.

"I'll just be another minute," she says, and she's back real quick with a bag over her shoulder and a leather jacket on and it looks like she washed her face.

"All righty," I say. "Let's get at 'er." I slide out of the booth and sling an arm around her shoulders, and she calls goodnight and so do I.

I can see myself doing this every night for the next ten years, but her face ain't there in my head, so I know it's not gonna happen -- I'm just gonna take her home tonight and then never see her again, probably, because we don't usually go to this diner and we ain't gonna come again.

We don't talk, just slide into my car. She does that skippy-breath thing when she sees the Goat, and runs her fingers over the paint like it's church, and that is hot too.

I open the door for her and her skirt hikes up as she gets in, and I want to say to her, "Don't you know better than to go home with strange men?" and I want to quote rape statistics to her, and I want to shake her until her head snaps back and forth because what she's doing is dangerous. Sure, dangerous for me too, but mostly violent killers are men, and sexually-based crimes are done by guys, mostly, mostly, and --

When I get in the car, she puts her hand on my thigh, but she's looking out the window. I can feel the coolness of her palm right through the denim of my jeans.

"Wait!" she says as I turn to go north. I jam the brakes and look out the window where she's pointing. "Can't we -- drive him?"

It's Fraser, shoulders hunched against the wind -- hunched! Fraser don't even slump and he's hunching. He looks sad. I look at her and those big-ass eyes are wide and blinking and so I make a big illegal U-turn and pull up beside Fraser on the wrong side the road.

"Ray, what you're doing is very illegal," he says. I drive, keeping pace with him. Dot's hand is still on my thigh.

"Come on, Fraser, get in the car," I say. "You're on our way anyway, really."

Dot leans over. "Please?" she says. "I can't stand to think of you out there in the cold walking home."

"It's very bracing," says Fraser, but he looks like he's hesitating. I stop the car and Dot gets out and before Fraser can get in, she's in the back seat.

"You have longer legs," she says to him, and then she buckles her seat belt, and that does it for Fraser, I know.

"Get in the back, Fraser, we'll pretend like I have a real job and I'm a driver," I say, and jerk my thumb into the back. What the fuck am I doing? Dot winks at me in the rearview, and I lean over to shut the door. Never seen Fraser so compliant -- then again, it's past three in the morning, and we been up since before six.

We're going on 24 hours without sleep, except for I slept while they were sewing up Fraser's arm, and Dief's back, and Fraser didn't.

I almost run into the sidewalk because I'm looking in the rearview at Dot and Fraser. She's looking at me, but she has her hand on Fraser's arm. His head is lolling on the seat, and she puts her face right near his and starts talking to him real low, whispering almost, and petting his hair.

And he don't look uncomfortable, and I'm reminded of that look on his face when Dot first came over to the table and I thought her name was really Daisy and Fraser looked up at her so hungry, and I was so fucking pissed off, because how can he want something I can't give him? We're partners, and I don't want nothing he can't give me, but I'm not enough for him, he needs cold air and brunette women with wide mouths and a fucking wolf.

I am not a wolf.

I keep my eyes on the road, and ignore Dot's sighing and Fraser's throat-clearing, and I don't look in the rearview, not even when I stop for the red light, not even when I am parking. I just pull into the garage that I rent from Mrs. Gorzynski and turn the car off, and when I pull the keys out to pocket them, I realize that my hands are shaking. Just listening to Dot sigh is turning me on, and maybe I'm not young anymore, but I don't gotta be.

Out of the car. Get out of the car. I open the door and slide out, and push the seat forward so Dot can climb out. Her lips are wet.

Fraser looks like he's dying, looks like he's going to kill himself. "Ray," he says, in this horrified whisper, like how could he make out with a pretty girl in the backseat of a car? "Ray, I'm so sorry -- I --"

"Come on, Fraser," I say, and I hold out my hand to help him out of the backseat -- he's really too tall to be sitting there -- and his hands are hot hot hot, and a little sweaty, and the tunic is looking kind of rumpled, which is only natural, since the kid was cutting on it. Fraser didn't take it off, though, except to let them stitch up his arm, which is his left arm anyway.

Even if it was his right arm, it wouldn't matter, because he's amphibious.

Ambidexterious, I mean.

His hand on mine is tight, and gets tighter when Dot slips a finger into one of my belt loops and pulls me toward her a little, and I've gotta bend a little because she's shorter than me, and she's on her toes.

She tastes like bitter tea, and I know that can't be what she tastes like, so when I open my eyes, I look to Fraser, who looks the way I feel, kinda off balance. Because, like, I just kissed Fraser. Not him exactly, but that's his spit in her mouth.

Probably he ain't thinking of it like that, but I am thinking of it like that, and it's kind of fucked up.

I did this before. Once. Back in college, back when Stella wanted to experiment, to try everything. She was -- she was hot. She was a pistol. She was a smoking gun. That's a bad metaphor, but it's -- that's what she was.

Now I'm older, I know all college girls are like her. She's a cliche. But back then she was everything, I woulda done anything for her.

I can tell by the way Dot puts her little cold hand under Fraser's tunic that she's done this before too.

I chickened out last time, I just watched while the other guy did Stella, and she looked at me the whole time, standing across the room, but I'm not gonna chicken out this time, because if two partners can't fuck the same girl, what can they do, really? Fraser's not some anonymous guy from Dot's chem class who'd been looking down her shirt for weeks -- Fraser's Fraser.

And he's breathing hard and shaking a little, and I wonder if he's thinking of the kid I shot to protect him.

I'd do it again, I think fiercely, hoping he can read my mind. I'd blow up the entire city to keep you safe.

And I would.

"Come on," I say, when Dot leans up to kiss him again. Her finger twists in my belt loop, makes my jeans too tight, and I disengage her, move her away, more toward Fraser. He needs this more than me, he needs her more than me, I just wanted to touch someone, need Dot's cold fingers on my skin.

Fraser needs more than that.

Okay, Fraser needs therapy.

My apartment is not that small, not really, because it's actually half a house, and too big for me. But I got it thinking that maybe one day I would have more than a crazy Mountie partner and a deaf half-wolf, each of them needing their own room anyway. Three bedrooms and a living room and two bathrooms and a big fucking kitchen, and I got access to the basement, and Mrs. Gorzynski is supposed to get the garage because it comes with her half of the house, but she don't have a car anymore.

I don't turn the lights on when we get inside, just lead the way through the living room and the hallway into my bedroom, and I don't turn the lights on there either, just close the door behind us like someone's gonna walk in, and let Dot take charge. She knows what she's doing with Fraser's lanyard and the brass buttons and the hook, button, zipper parachute pants, and she's got him naked probably faster than he could do it himself. Me, I'm leaning on my dresser, watching, got my legs crossed.

It's hotter than I expected, watching someone else get laid. I mean, porn, yeah, sure, porn is hot, but this is -- this is hot. This is a porn movie that is all my own, and if I tried I could probably even be the director, make them do whatever I want.

Fraser is so pale that he glows in the moonlight, and I wanna close the curtains but I don't want them to think I'm embarrassed to be able to see. He's so pale, he's paler than the white bandage around his left forearm.

"Ray," says Fraser between kisses, and Dot pulls away.

"Ray," she says, and holds out her hand. But I don't take it. Instead I come up behind her and slide my hands around her, and unbutton her dress. She's wearing one of those real old fashioned waitress uniforms, like Alice, buttons all the way up the front, and pantyhose, and I pull the dress down her arms with her jacket, and I pull her pantyhose down from the back.

She has got a nice fucking ass. I bite it and she giggles and presses up against Fraser, and he steadies her as she steps out of the pantyhose, one foot at a time. Her feet are small, so much smaller than his, and her toes are painted black. Her skin is dark in the shadows, and the paint stands out.

Fraser's got pale legs and pale ankles, and scars all over, on both legs, and dark hair. I stand up when I realize that I'm looking at him more than at her. That's not fair, that's not buddies. It's like peeing -- don't look. Don't ask, don't tell, don't look.

Everyone sneaks a peek, though, everyone does. You gotta know: who's bigger? Thicker? Longer? Fraser's uncut, I know that, and smaller than I was expecting, I was surprised the first time I saw -- but he's super Mountie, right? Everything should be larger than life, so his dick should be three feet long and a foot wide, like the freak he is.

But he's normal, a little smaller than me, even.

I slide my hands up Dot's sides as I stand up, and I run into Fraser's fingers around her ribcage, and let my hands slide over his, my arms slide over his. I'm still wearing my jacket, my jeans, my shirt, everything, I'm the only one dressed.

Dot is kissing Fraser like she's gonna throw herself off a bridge tomorrow and this is her last chance to get laid. Which, to be fair, maybe that's true, I dunno what her life story is. Who goes home with two strange men and fucks them both? Maybe the same kinda person who takes a girl home and fucks her with his closest buddy the day he kills someone to keep that buddy alive?

I know all the psych crap about reaffirming life and shit, but really.... this was just about getting laid. That's it. And that is what I kept telling myself, real firm like. This is about getting laid. This is about getting laid.

I lick and suck Dot's neck -- she tastes like French fries, she really does. She presses back against me, then presses forward onto Fraser. I move my hands again, this time under Fraser's arms and onto her nipples, and she's right at Fraser's chest, which is really smooth, as smooth as her skin. Me, I'm a little hairy. Fraser's smooth.

He shivers and I can feel it against my fingers, and she shivers, and her nipples get hard, and I wonder if they're pink or brown, if they get puffy or if they get tight. Stella was pink, so pink sometimes I thought she put lipstick on them, and puffy, pouty, like her lips never were.

I kiss her neck again and step away, and she makes a noise, but then Fraser's arms are around her.

I look at them. Fraser still ain't letting go, still keeping shit inside. What the fuck is he so controlled for? I can think about it and detect and investigate, but I don't know anything for sure, not with Fraser. You never know anything for sure with Fraser.

Condoms. Which I got only because when I realized that Stella was with Vecchio, I realized I had to get on with my life. Not because I am actually using them. They're like a charm -- like a -- a -- talisman. To, you know, move on. Last time I moved on, I became a new person, and the time before that, I got a tattoo.

This time I got condoms and ain't never used one.

I open one of the packets and Dot looks up. Her mouth is all swollen, and her chin is reddish from Fraser's beard, and her eyes are shiny. She's ugly. She's fucking ugly as hell.

She's beautiful.

I hold the condom up. It's a normal color, because I don't go in for the colored and flavored shit, and she nods, and walks Fraser over to me, pushes him onto the bed. He looks up at me as she takes the condom.

"Ray," he gasps. "I don't --"

And then she's on her knees, and I never actually seen anyone put a condom on with their mouth before, and all I can think is, "That's hot," and "What if she rips it with her teeth?"

Baby Frasers running around, with his blue eyes and her dark skin. I'm not sure if that's really gross or really -- awesome. He would make a good father. Except for his sulking, and his need to be alone all the fucking time and his queer obsession with the fucking wilderness.

His legs are off the bed, his feet on the floor, and I am still fucking dressed, and she's sitting on him, and riding him, and I am watching Fraser fuck some girl, it's totally surreal. And I wonder if maybe "I don't" meant that he didn't want to, that he doesn't fuck girls, that he doesn't want to fuck this girl.

I shrug out of my jacket and I have to unzip my jeans, they're hurting, and it hurts to unzip, but once I do, I'm good, and I breathe a sigh of relief. Fraser's fingers are digging into Dot's hips, and Dot's fingers are pulling at her nipples. When I step out of my pants, I bend down to untie my shoes, and I keep my eyes away from the juncture -- juncture, heh, I will never be able to listen to Fraser talk about why he first came to Chicago and for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, never again -- of their thighs.

I can't, though, I can't not look, because she has got a really nice ass, and Fraser's thrusting into her, and usually condoms look pretty stupid because -- well, let's face it, men look stupid, but Fraser just looks like Fraser, even from this angle. Probably if I didn't know it was Fraser and wasn't totally mentally blocked to the idea that maybe Fraser could untie his lanyard long enough to make it with a chick not trying to kill him, maybe, probably, yeah, I'd know those thighs anywhere.

That is queer.

But I don't care, I just want my pants off, so I stand back up and kick them off, and pull my shirt over my head, and there I am, scrawny Stanley Kowalski. I don't ever feel like Ray when I'm naked, maybe that's part of my problem. Ray is a guy with gel in his hair and a leather jacket and tight black jeans. Stanley is this guy with a little pot belly starting, a fading, spreading tattoo, and a hairy stomach.

I'm not sure what to do. I'm feeling real awkward, because they are real intense, making groans and moans and Fraser making noises that I did not think he could make, really, where inside him do they come from? And she's moving her hips in tiny little sharp motions, not even coming up off him.

I watch. What else can I do? I watch, and I jack myself as they fuck, because, yeah, this is my porn movie. Fraser's bandage is bright against her dark skin. Her back is perfect, smooth, with a deep groove down the center, right into a perfect ass that shakes, and she's got a little potbelly like Madonna used to have, and her thighs dimple the way thighs are supposed to. When Stella lost all her baby fat weight after we got married -- I guess cause all the women's magazines said that if she wanted to keep my interest, she had to be skinny and hard -- how could I tell her to gain it all back? "Eat a pierogi," I'd say, and she'd shake her head like I was an idiot and say, "Ray, please," like I'd care if it went right to her hips or whatever the fuck she was worried about.

Dot shrieks a little and falls onto Fraser, but I am skeptical -- what woman comes from fucking? None of them. So I slide my hands into her armpits and lift her up. She's sweating and her skin is slippery. Fraser is still hard, but I only notice that because I'm moving Dot around and he's right there.

I lay her down on the bed on her back. She's not as heavy as she looks like she would be, maybe she's got hollow bones like a bird. I spread her legs, and I'm glad I got carpeting for my bedroom even though Fraser told me that I'd have to be vacuuming Dief's hair out of it all the time. The old knees ain't what they used to be, that's for sure.

She smells like a condom, like sweat, and like girl, that girly smell, that girly salty oceany smell, that girly sweaty smell, and I gnaw at her thighs with my teeth, not hard enough to hurt, but hard enough that her hands come into my hair.

Fraser is not with the program, he just looks lost, so I lift up my head and I say, "Kiss her, Fraser, get her distracted." And I wait until he stops looking at me, until he puts his face to hers and kisses her, moves down and licks her neck and chest and breasts and nipples. Really Fraser should be down here, Fraser should be between her legs, what with that licking thing he has --

I go to it. She's hairy; Stella was always shaved. But I like it, it's different, I can't forget what I'm doing and who I'm with. Not that I was afraid I would, not with Fraser's leg pressed to my arm where it's threaded under her leg. We're like one of them puzzles, all interlocking pieces.

She tastes like condom, rubbery, but only for a moment, and then she tastes like girl, and then she tastes good, and I gotta wonder why I didn't just go to a bar and find some girl and say, "Can I lick you for an hour?" All women gotta like that, who wouldn't like that?

If some woman came up to me and said, "Could I blow you for an hour?" probably I'd like that.

Definitely I'd like that, I mean.

Two fingers inside her, three, and she's thrusting against my tongue. I find a rhythm really quickly and go for it -- women can come for hours, right, it doesn't matter how fast she gets off the first time, the second time, it's like waves, right? That's what Stella used to say, but I never believed her. That's too weird, it's queer -- with guys, with me, anyway, it's once, maybe twice, and that's it. No waves. No lapping ocean crap. Boom.

Dot didn't shave her legs, maybe for a while, the hair is all prickly. She's moaning, muffled, and when I look up, I can't see anything because Fraser is all over her chest and stomach.

She convulses a little, squeezes my fingertips. I love it, I love it, she's all rough inside on one part and smooth on the other, and then it comes together and practically pushes my fingers out of her.

"Don't stop," she hisses, "don't stop, don't -- oh god, oh god, oh g --" And when she breaks off it's gotta be because Fraser is kissing her, and I don't stop, and I'm rubbing my dick against the bedspread, because this is hot, this is so so so hot.

"Stop stop stop!" she shrieks, and I pull back right away, cause probably she's ticklish or something, and Fraser pulls back too.

She lets out a long sigh. "Oh, nice," she says.

"Yeah," I say, and rub at my face. I'm all wet, and my fingers are wet. I wipe them against my stomach and then the side of my leg, rub until the wet gets sticky and then peels off.

This is where I backed off Stella and the chem class guy. I don't even remember his name now, all I knew was that I didn't want him looking at me while I fucked Stella, or let her suck me off, or whatever it was, I just didn't want him there.

But this ain't Stella and the chem class guy, this is Dot the waitress from the greasy diner with the good burgers and Fraser, and Fraser's seen me in a lot worse situations than this.

So I pull out a condom and hold it in front of her and she nods. "You sure?" I say.

"Yeah," she says. "Do you have lube?" And she's pretty wet, so I am wondering what the fuck she's talking about, when she looks at Fraser. "You okay with that?" she asks him.

"Pardon?" he says. Yeah, pardon, what the fuck?

"Lube," she says impatiently, and points down, and I get it.

"Nah," I say. "I'll do that -- Fraser, you --"

"No, thank you, Ray. I believe I would like --"

Fraser and me are talking about fucking some girl in the ass like the way we talk about jumping off buildings -- which, after more than three years of being partners, is like how other people talk about going for doughnuts.

Dot is not a doughnut.

If she was, maybe I'd be feeling overwhelmed with lust, because I am not, I am just not. I'm into this, I am totally into this, I am so into this -- but it's not that overwhelming pressure it always was with Stella to get as far into her as I could. This is sex for fun, not for love, not for even lust, because Dot is hot, but she's not -- I'm not --

I put a stop to those thoughts real firm, and reach into the drawer for the lube. That I got a lot of and that I use -- Vaseline is too greasy, hand lotion makes me itch, and I am a man with needs, ya dig?

"Allow me," says Fraser, and takes the lube from me. I move aside so he can squat in front of her, and he starts with the licking, and licks her all over and, okay, that is hot, that makes me feel all lusty and wanting it, because Fraser licking this girl and sticking his tongue up inside her and making her cry out just with his tongue in her ass? That is hot. As usual, he can do everything, he can do anything. He's super Mountie, I bet he could even fly.

But I know it's a fucking lie, he is a liar -- I know that he's not super at all, he's just Fraser, and something eating at him, and this is exactly what I thought he needed but it turns out that it's not what he needs at all, because he's not looking more relaxed, he's looking more tense.

He pulls back, and lubes up his fingers, and I grab my dick right in front of my balls and push really hard until it makes me dizzy a little -- and then I start breathing again.

"You --" she stops, then starts again. "Fraser? Fraser, you get on the bed. On your back." She directs him. I have to watch, I can't not watch. She snaps her fingers at me, and I realize she wants a condom, and she rolls it onto him. I can't see his face, just his thighs, and it's exactly like they were before, but now she's facing me and his toes are curled under, pressing into the carpet, and she's wriggling around on him and her face is all screwed up and her hair is falling out of its ponytail in wisps around her face, curling up.

Maybe she's Italian, I think, and get a picture of Vecchio, so I don't gotta hold my dick anymore.

"Ooooooooohhhhh. Okay," she says. She looks at me and grins. "Let's go."

And I'm thinking: wouldn't blowing me while you fuck him be easier than doing us both like this?

But I guess I'm thinking that because I'm scared, because I never done this before, because what if I do it wrong? Just like I am sixteen again and Stella's trying to convince me to fuck her before her parents get home from church -- which, aside from being a lot of pressure for me, is also kind of sacrilegious, but she don't care, she wants it now, just like Dot.

Fraser is groaning.

"You okay, Fraser?" I say as I roll the condom on. Dot is practically licking her lips. I kiss her, I taste everything that's in her mouth. Her lips are puffy. Her tongue searches out mine, and duels with it and she bites my lip too hard.

"I'm fine, thank you, Ray," he says, but his voice is strained and tight.

I push Dot back until her head is on his shoulder and she's tilted. Fraser's face is red. This is so fucked up, and so weird, and all I can think as I slide into Dot is that I am watching Fraser, I am watching Fraser, and I can feel him through her, feel him pressing against me, and his dick is just as hot as his hands.

And it's like I'm fucking Fraser, because even though we're both inside her, we're still -- we're touching, we're rubbing up against each other, and it's fucking weird, it's -- it's queer.

"Okay, Ray, okay," she says, gasping, moaning, and kind of flopping around. It wasn't too attractive, but it was, there is just something about sex that always makes the fucked up things seem like a good idea. "Fuck me," she says, so I do, real steady, in and out and grind a little to shake things up. She's already come twice, maybe three times if she came while Fraser was licking her, and it's starting to really hit me that I want to come, I want to come while fucking her, and she's so hot inside, and Fraser's legs are each on one side of mine, so as I fuck her I'm pushing against his legs, and her legs are on top of his, and now we really are like some kind of interlocked puzzle, and when I lean down to kiss her, I can feel Fraser's breath against my face. When I twist my head, I can see his arm, the bandage, every hair, every scar.

I speed up my thrusts as much as I can, pushing into her hard, pushing against him hard, my feet sweating and slipping on the rug, and now I hate the fucking carpet because I need leverage. Then Fraser starts to move and it feels like I'm gonna die, all the pressure.

Fraser's fingers are on her breasts, holding her to him, and her face is red, and she's crying, there are tears on her face, I taste them when I kiss her, and she's whining in sharp cries, and Fraser is grunting, and his fingers keep hitting my nipples, playing with hers, and then he says, "Come, Ray, now, now, Ray," and I just let it the fuck go, all of it, everything I got, pounding into her, and then I collapse, it's totally fucked up, and Fraser relaxes, I can feel it, because we all get lower, closer together.

Pull out, I tell myself. Condoms off. Pull out. My knees ain't working, nothing is working, and I'm shaking, I can't stop shaking. I feel like my brains are in the fucking condom, and everything that made my muscles work.

I pull out slow. She winces. I pull the condom off and tie it up as fast as I can and look around my room, because I cannot fucking remember to save my life if there's a garbage pail. I can't see one, so I throw it toward the bathroom door and hear a wet plop.

Then I sit her up and she rolls against me, her arms flopping, and I pull her off Fraser, who also winces. He's gotta be chafed.

I lay her down, and it looks like the condom leaked all over him.

"Hey," I say to him. "Bathroom?"

He's got an arm over his face, and his face is turned away, toward the door.

"Fraser," I say louder. Ain't this a switch? Today, the role of the mature grownup will be played by Ray Kowalski. Oh yeah, I feel like myself, even though I don't got fuck all idea of what the hell I'm doing.

Fraser takes his arm off his face and looks at me like I just betrayed him or maybe like I just made him take a long look at the world outside of Tuktoyuktuk and Inuvik and Fort Good Hope, like maybe he don't like what he sees, maybe he ain't who he thought he was.

Not time for extraterrestrial crises, though, not with a pretty girl in the bed, which is big enough for all three of us. And you'd better believe it, that with a look like that on Fraser's face, he ain't sleeping in the room with his bed.

"Up," I say, and grab his arm, and he winces even though I grabbed his bicep. I glare at him. "Come on."

"I --" Fraser moves, forces himself up.

Dot is already in the center of the bed, and her breathing is deep and even. I guess if I came that many times, I'd knock out too. She's not quite asleep, but not quite awake; her eyes are blinking.

At least she doesn't want to cuddle.

I watch Fraser walk to the bathroom. He's got a nice ass too. Bright. Ghostly pale. I can't decide whether I am going to laugh or cry or wake Dot up to fuck her again. I crawl onto the bed and lay down next to her, pull the covers down. The bedspread is shot, it's got wet all over it, sticky, so I push it off, but there are two more layers, we'll be fine. Plus Fraser is like a fucking furnace at night, which I learned when we shared a sleeping bag on the Hand of Franklin trip.

This shit never happened on that trip.

Fraser comes out of the bathroom and for a moment the light is in my eyes and I wonder how he must be seeing us -- her dark and me pale, but not as pale as him, her brunette and me blonde. I wonder if he's thinking about Victoria the way I was thinking about Stella, or Lady Shoes, or the bounty hunter lady, or even Maggie. He liked her, before he knew they were related. That would be a fucked up relationship; at least they never did anything.

Maybe they did.

So gross.

Fraser turns off the light a split second later and makes for the door.

"Fraser. Come here," I say, annoyed. Fucking thick headed idiot.

"Ray, I --"

"Come here," mumbles Dot into my chest.

He comes. Guess you gotta be brown-haired and big-titted for him to listen to your orders. I'll pass that on to Welsh -- except not, hardee har har.

Fraser settles down, still. Dot is on my arm, head on my shoulder. She pushes back against him. "Come on," she mutters. She's drooling a little onto my skin. "Cold."

He moves closer, turns onto his side so that he's against her, flush up against her back, and his left arm is underneath him. I shoulda figured that, shoulda taken the other side of him. Fuck.

I think: Next time -- and then I feel stupid, because there ain't gonna be a next time, this was awkward enough, fucked up enough, weird enough. At least we weren't fucking Frannie, or someone we knew, at least we weren't drunk or something, at least we didn't -- do anything that would -- you know, fuck us up.

My brain is a scary place, that much I know, but I don't feel too bad, I really don't. I feel kinda good, actually, I needed to get laid, I needed to kiss a pretty girl, a girl who looked at me the same way she looked at Fraser. Dot's still not quite asleep, she's running one of her feet up and down my leg, pushing her little toes into my ankles.

I look up from Dot's face to Fraser's face.

"You shouldn't have had to do that," says Fraser. He's talking into the darkness, not looking at me. Fraser is petting her hair. We're all tangled up.

The sun is coming up, so it's not real darkness anymore, just the blue shadow of the night leaving.

There is no way he is talking about fucking Dot.

"I didn't do it because I had to," I say. I'm looking at him, and I reach my arm over Dot to touch him, and he turns onto his side. Now he's looking at me, and it's like looking into a black hole. His eyes are black and his mouth is black -- everything is black because there's no light touching him.

"Ray, that's not who you are," he says. I've still got an arm on his shoulder, and he is moving under the blanket, and I feel his feet, toes, against mine, Dot's little feet on top of his shins.

"Fraser," I say sleepily, "I would blow up the city of Chicago to keep you safe."

And that was the exact right thing to say, I guess, because Fraser smiles a little bit -- not a lot, just a little, maybe not even a smile, but the blackness gets deeper at the corners of his mouth.

Dot goes still, though. But I don't care, because Fraser says, "Understood, Ray," and holds my eyes. He's looking at me the way he didn't look at me all night, like we're okay.

I don't remember falling asleep.


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