Look Way Up To The Sky
by alejandra

"Ray. Ray. Ray. Ray."

Ray pounded his hands on the steering wheel. "God, Fraser. What? What do you want from me, huh?"

"The light is green, Ray." Fraser stared straight ahead, his chin tipped up a bit.

Ray resisted the urge to rest his head on the steering wheel. "I know the light is green, Fraser. Am I blind? Do you see that I am wearing my glasses? Can I tell the difference between colors?"

Fraser ran his thumb over his left eyebrow. "I know you aren't blind, Ray. I never meant to imply that you were. I only thought that perhaps you hadn't noticed that the light was green."

"Well the light is not fucking green anymore, is it, Fraser? Is it!"

"There is no need to yell, Ray."

In the backseat, Diefenbaker whined and scratched against the window.

"Is the wolf scratching my windows? Is he scratching the glass? Bad wolf!" Ray slammed his fist onto the horn, and bared his teeth when Fraser jumped. "Did it ever occur to you, Fraser, that maybe I was thinking? Maybe I was figuring something out?"

"We solved the case, Ray. There's nothing left to figure out." Fraser picked his hat up off his lap and tugged it onto his head. "Perhaps Dief and I ought to walk back to the Consulate."

"Yeah, perhaps you ought," said Ray. He felt his right hand go automatically to the pocket of his jacket, and aborted the movement halfway. He didn't want a Fraser lecture on smoking more than he wanted a cigarette. "It's only about fifty miles." Ray stepped on the gas.

"Ray." Fraser paused. Ray ignored him. "Ray. Ray. Ray."

"Christ, Fraser, what the fuck? What the fuck?"

"The light was red, Ray."

"So? Give me a ticket if it bothers you so much. Make a citizen's arrest." Ray stepped harder on the gas, feeling the GTO purr under his hands and ass and feet, hearing the roar of the engine throb through the car. "We've got miles to go, Fraser -- miles and miles. And there's nobody out there --" Ray swept a hand out in front of him --"so we're gonna make the most of it."

"Ray, I think --"

"This isn't about what you think, Fraser. Just settle down. I need to think."

"There isn't much to think about, Ray. It was certainly Rodney Vantage who committed this crime," said Fraser. He took his hat off and stroked the brim. Ray glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, then turned his gaze firmly back to the road. "He cried when he confessed. That was rather disconcerting, don't you agree? One doesn't expect --"

"I don't care about Rodney Vantage," said Ray. "That's not what I'm thinking about right now."

"Well, what are you thinking about? Perhaps discussing it --"

"I don't want to discuss it, Fraser. Can't you just leave it alone?" Ray reached out and turned on the radio, and drummed his fingers on the wheel to the beat. The GTO went faster and faster, the music went faster and faster, Ray's fingers went faster and faster.

Fraser turned his face and stared out the window, his mouth a grim line. Well, so he was upset. Ray couldn't be blamed for that. Fraser, however, could totally be blamed for Ray being upset, because it was all Fraser's fault. He just fucking stood there all the time, in his damn Mountie hat with his damn Mountie face on, looking like a fire hydrant in that damn Mountie uniform. He even came with his own pissing dog.

"Ray," said Fraser.

"Fraser," said Ray. "Do not say my name more than once per sentence. And each sentence has got to have other words in it."

"Of course, Ray," said Fraser, and Ray gritted his teeth. "I really do think you ought to talk about whatever is bothering you. The --"

"If you tell me an Inuit story about talking, Fraser, I swear I will pull this car over and punch you in the head." Maybe not, probably not, because Ray had already learned that punching Fraser only made him feel worse no matter what annoying Fraser-thing was being done to him. But just saying it made him feel better. Maybe there was something to the talking thing. "As far as I know, the Inuit do not have a long tradition of 'talking out' problems the way Americans do. In fact, Inuktituk does not have --"

Ray squeezed the steering wheel as hard as he could, and the car swerved a little. "Don't do that to me, Fraser. Do not do that to me. I am not that guy, okay? I am not the guy you talk to like that -- not anymore!"

"I'm sorry, Ray," said Fraser. He had turned his head to look at Ray, but then he turned back again, and faced out the window.

Ray stared out at the dark road, at the headlight beams highlighting the tar and yellow paint and white guidelines and the fields on either side of the road and scowled. Then he pulled out a cigarette and lit it, and cracked the window a little so the smoke went right outside.

"Do not even say one word, Fraser," he said, before Fraser could say anything to him. "Do not say one word."

Dief barked sharply, and Fraser turned around, looked over his shoulder at him. "Of course you'd take his side," he said. "Just be quiet."

Ray looked at Fraser. "You don't need to talk to the dog like that, Fraser. He didn't do anything."

"Of course you'd say that," said Fraser. "He took your side."

"Need I remind you that I don't understand his strange dog language?" Ray rolled his eyes.

"As you know, Dief speaks Inuktitut," said Fraser.

"Yeah, but do I speak Inukuwhatever?" said Ray. He ashed out the window and added, "Besides, there are no sides. There's just me and you here, Fraser, and we're not fighting so there are no sides." And it looked like Fraser was going to say more, so Ray leaned over and turned up the radio. Dief whined, but put his head down when Ray glared at him in the mirror.

Ray listened to his music, but he could barely hear it because Fraser was breathing so loud. He watched the road, watched Dief in the mirror, watched the clock on the dash tick away minutes slow like time was standing the fuck still. He did not watch Fraser, because he didn't have to watch Fraser, and anyway Fraser was always the same.

Except for when he was different.

It was really hard to tell when Fraser was different, because Fraser on a normal day was all kinds of levels of freaky -- Fraser on a different day was a higher level of freaky that normal people never got to experience. But Fraser today... he'd been all like the world was ending, staring at Ray and rubbing his eyebrow and shifting his weight from foot to foot and telling stories about Inuvik like he hadn't just been there for three months.

Maybe the problem was that on his first day back they ended up chasing Rodney Vantage through eight million tiny Illinois towns, until Rodney finally blew a tire outside of Kirkland, and then crushed a bunch of whatever the fuck it was in that field and pissed off a big huge gang of farmers. Maybe that wasn't what Fraser had in mind for his first day back in Chicago.

But he sure had seemed to be enjoying himself when he and Ray had taken off after Rodney "Call me Rod, son" Vantage and the syringe full of morphine that he'd used to kill his mother. Mercy killing or not, dead was dead and Rodney Vantage's mother was D-E-D dead.

It wasn't fair of Ray to expect Fraser to be able to get off an airplane and jump in the GTO and go racing off across Illinois and not be cranky. So maybe this was just cranky Fraser -- which Ray had seen before, but not often, and not in the last four months. The whole month that they'd spent running alongside the dogsled and chewing pemmican and shivering in the same sleeping bag and staring at the stars, Fraser didn't try to tell Ray one single stupid Inuit story or look at Ray out of the corner of his eyes, or fiddle with his hat the way he was doing.

A whole week with no one else around, hiking and being so cold his sweat froze on his face and not shaving and chewing frozen pemmican before Ray gave up, sat down in a snowbank, froze his ass off, and asked for a cigarette and a beer. He and Fraser both knew that the Hand of Franklin thing was just an excuse, because if there was one thing Ray was sure of, it was that there was nobody's hand sticking up from the snow for him to find -- but who wanted to go back to Chicago? Not Ray, because that meant going back to being Kowalski and getting a new assignment and a new partner and figuring out what his life meant. Ray wasn't into that when he was a teenager and everyone was doing LSD to free their minds, and he wasn't into that when he was an old middle-aged man with a beard and a sweaty shirt and a Moutie.

Then three weeks of camping, helping Fraser rebuild his father's cabin, spending weekends in Inuvik's only hotel, with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in another and a hockey game on television. That was real life, and Fraser didn't seem to mind it too much either, for whatever that was worth.

But it obviously wasn't worth too much if Fraser could come back to Chicago after three more months in Inuvik or whatever town line the cabin sat on, and just slip right back into being the annoying Mountie with the hat and the glances and the stories and forget about how Ray learned how build a cabin and pack a dogsled and cook fucking vegetables.

Therefore, henceforth, forsooth, and whatever, if Fraser told one more Inuit story, Ray was going to kick his head all over the fucking car.

Fraser huffed out his breath and Dief whined -- poor dog was probably crankier than Ray'd ever been in his whole life. How Fraser got him through quarantine so fast was something Ray didn't think he wanted to know, but three days on an airplane couldn't have been fun for the dog.

Ray got distracted trying to figure out if almost a full day was really three dog days; the math was really hard. He took one last hard drag on his cigarette, and then realized that there was no way he could throw the butt out the window with Fraser in the car. He sighed and sacrificed the last inch of his coffee to the butt, the inch with all the melted chocolate and delicious sweetness, the inch that made the coffee worth drinking in the first place, the inch he...

"Ray. Ray. Ray. Ray." Fraser's fingers reached out and turned down the radio. "Ray. Ray."

"What did I tell you, Fraser, huh?" said Ray, and pulled the car over to the side of the road. It should be safe enough -- not too many cars on 72 at two am. He turned off the radio and turned on the flashers and made sure the GTO was in park, and then he unbuckled his seat belt and got out of the car. He left the keys in, left the door unlocked, left the lights on.

"Ray, you don't seem to understand. I've been trying to get your attention for several moments. You missed the turn onto 90, and --" Fraser took and deep breath and sighed, and then got out of the car. "I don't understand the point of this, Ray. You said --"

"I said that if you kept saying my name like that, I was going to punch you in the face, and now I am going to punch you in the face." Ray brought up his fists. "Come on, Fraser. Let's go. I am completely and totally out of sympathy for your long journey and your time spent away from civilization and all that crap. I'm just going to punch you in the head and then we can go back to Chicago."

"We can't go back to Chicago until we turn around and get on I-90 East," replied Fraser. He stayed on the other side of the car, one hand on the door and the other holding his hat.

"Shut up, Fraser! Just come here and I'll hit you and then the world will make sense again!"

"The world makes sense now, Ray, and I think that we've learned from previous experiences together that physical violence between us is --"

Ray came up real close to Fraser and put his face right into Fraser's. "Shut up!" he yelled. He heard Dief get out of the car and run into the grass on the side of the road and he heard Fraser's breath going in and out of his mouth and he could hear his own breath too; he never realized how loud he breathed all the time.

"Understood, Ray," said Fraser, and rubbed his eyebrow.

Stupid annoying stupid Fraser and his stupid stories and his stupid fucking eyebrow rubbing.

"Stop rubbing your eyebrow!" yelled Ray, and knocked Fraser's hand away from his face and slammed the car door and pushed Fraser against it. Fraser's hat fell to the ground and when Ray stepped away from Fraser, he kicked it savagely. Stupid hat. "Damn it, Fraser!"

"Ray, this --" Fraser hesitated and then stopped altogether and didn't keep going. Ray stepped back up close to him and it was just exactly like when they stopped running alongside the dogs and stood to catch their breath for a moment or two before setting up camp -- Fraser's big body was full of heat and Ray's not-as-big-but-not-little-okay-maybe-kind-of-scrawny body was full of cold; Fraser's big breaths made him sound really in shape and cool and Ray's big breaths made it sound like he was dying of asthma instead of just a guy who spent a good twenty-five years with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth.

"What, Fraser? What? What!" yelled Ray. He leaned back and yelled up at the sky, "What the fuck!"

"I can go back to Canada," said Fraser quietly. "I can go back to Canada if this..." Ray didn't look at him, but looked at the road, at the trees. "If you..." Fraser stopped again.

On the road, a car zoomed past them, didn't even slow down to see if they needed help or anything.

"Assholes," said Ray, and spit on the ground. His mouth tasted like he'd smoked the wrong end of his cigarette or licked the ashtray or accidentally drank from his coffee cup after putting his cigarette into it. Which he would not do, so that was out. Maybe his cigarettes were stale. He put a hand over the pack in his pocket. Fraser looked at him -- stared at him really, and what was Ray supposed to say? He shoved his hands into his jacket pockets. He was crushing his pack of smokes, but it was hands in pockets or hands on Fraser, and the first option was the safest.

When he learned how to think before acting, he didn't know, but if he hit Fraser, nothing he could say would make it okay again. He knew that. And it would not be buddies, no sir, no way. Hands in pockets.

Fraser picked up his hat, and held it, one finger stroking the brim. Ray did not look at that one finger. He looked off into the trees

"Why'd you come back from Canada anyway?" he finally said. "I thought you hated it here. Don't you want the wide open spaces and waist-high cold-ass snows and bad beer?"

"Chicago..." Fraser looked away from Ray, and down. "Chicago has its own charms, Ray."

"Yeah, deep dish pizza and --"

"And friends," said Fraser, his voice so quiet now Ray could barely hear him. The lights on the side of the road were few and far between -- Ray could barely see Fraser's face. That wasn't right.

"Friends," agreed Ray, and reached out. Fraser didn't automatically move away -- that was a good sign. Ray lifted Fraser's face up. It was warm and a little sweaty. Fraser did not look Ray in the eye, but Ray studied his face anyway, because with someone like Fraser, the only way to really know what they were thinking was to pay attention to their body language.

He looked... sad. Ray had never seen Fraser look so sad, like someone told him all the caribou were dying.

"Come on, Fraser. Just tell me what's going on, huh?" Ray stepped back and reached into his pocket for his cigarettes. He could not just chew on a toothpick at this juncture. No, he needed nicotine. Like a nicotine IV that he could carry around and also a cigarette, at all times.

"Nothing is going on, Ray. Perhaps I made a mistake in returning to Chicago, but that's easily rectified. I'll just request a transfer back to Canada -- Inuvik would be happy to have me --"

Ray slammed his fist onto the hood of the Goat. "That is not what I am talking about, Fraser. Don't bullshit around with me. Just tell me the truth. Are you going to leave Chicago because of me?"

Fraser dropped his hat.

"I knew it!" yelled Ray, and stepped away before he really did hit Fraser.

"Ray, I'm afraid you're confused."

"I am not confused, Fraser. This is not partners. This is not buddies. This is not friends. This is you leaving a place you want to be because of me!"

Fraser stepped closer to Ray. "You're right, Ray. This isn't... this isn't buddies."

"We are supposed to be a duet, Fraser. A week in the Northwest Towns --"

"Territories," said Fraser.

"Whatever," said Ray. "Looking for the Hand of Franklin! Three weeks building your cabin, and then three months of space -- I gave you space, Fraser. I gave you all the space a Mountie could want, and now you just got back and you're running away cause you can't stand to be around me?"

This was exactly what Ray had been thinking of, everything he'd been afraid of when Fraser had spent their chase of Rodney Vantage talking about the Inuit, when he hadn't brought Ray back a dream catcher or a traditional Inuit football made of whaleskin or something equally sick.

Another car zoomed by and the headlights caught Fraser's face and he looked like he was dying.

"God, Fraser." Ray rubbed his hand over his face. "If you have to go back to Canada, just go back to Canada. It is not a big deal. You will not hurt my feelings or anything. I never expected you to come back to Chicago anyway."

"But, Ray, I told you that I would."

"Yeah, but I never thought you could leave Canada again. Welsh was even talking about giving me a new --" Ray's voice faltered.

"Lieutenant Welsh was going to assign you a new partner?" Fraser stooped down. Ray looked down at him; he squatted to pick up his hat and brush it off. The he stood and he was just a little too close to Ray, and their faces were too close together, but Ray wasn't going to be the guy who stepped back. "Well, then, let's get going, shall we?"

"Fraser, this is not the end of anything." Ray balled his hands into fists inside his jacket pockets, crushing his cigarettes even more.

"It has to be, Ray. I'm going to go back to Canada, and you'll get a new partner -- now that you're Kowalski again, I'm sure that you'll get someone equal to your detective skills."

"Now that's just mean, Fraser." Ray pushed his shoulder gently.

"You know I would never --"

"Yeah, Fraser." Ray sighed. "I know you'd never." And it wasn't Ray's fault at all that he meant so much more by that than Fraser would ever be able to figure out. Fraser wasn't too hip to metaphor -- he thought people should just say what they meant, speak it plainly, and then move on. Ray wasn't too much for metaphor either, because if an ocean sparkled like diamonds or whatever, then why not just say that it was pretty? But this here was not metaphor -- this was. Something else. Layers of meaning, a puzzle of words. Fraser was good with puzzles, he should figure it the fuck out before Ray just fucking collapsed from the pressure of having all the fucking words in the world stuck in his throat.

Ray walked back around to the driver's side door and got into the car. Fraser opened his door, and Dief came bounding out of the woods and jumped in.

Back to Chicago. Bright lights, big city, lots of wind, not as much snow as Canada. Ray went fast, not just because he liked to open the Goat up on empty roads, but because the faster he could get Fraser back to the Consulate, the faster he could get home and have a beer and a cigarette and figure out what the fuck he was supposed to think about every night before he fell asleep if he couldn't think about Fraser coming back to Chicago anymore.

When Ray pulled up in front of the Consulate, Fraser got out and said, "Goodnight, Ray," really quietly, and Dief didn't bark or whine or lick Ray's ear or anything -- just followed Fraser out of the car and up the stairs.

"Fraser!" called Ray. His voice hung in the air and it was weird, like an episode of The Twilight Zone or something, Ray's voice the only thing existing for a moment, just a second, but it was long enough to be strange.

Fraser turned around at the door. Dief stood just inside the Consulate, wagging his tail. "Yes, Ray?" he called back.

"Come on back here and get some dinner with me. You can suffer through that, can't you?"

Fraser held up a finger, then crouched down and put his face near Dief's. Ray couldn't tell what Fraser was saying -- but then again, Ray didn't read lips or speak Inukifuckit like the goddamn wolf did. He pulled out a cigarette and rolled it between his fingers, tried to remember where his Zippo was, or a pack of matches.

Finally Fraser stood up, opened the door to the Consulate, and Ray's stomach sunk. Then Fraser closed the door to the Consulate behind Dief, and turned back to Ray.

"Surely, Ray," he said, and walked briskly to the GTO. There was happiness and then there was happiness and then there was gladness, and Ray felt all three. And in the spirit of international cooperation, he put the cigarette back into the pack and put the pack back in his pocket, and even stopped thinking about his lighter.

"Everything is closed," said Ray, "so we'll have to eat at the diner."

"I could cook," offered Fraser, just like Ray knew he would to avoid having to talk to the waitress at the diner. Ray wasn't going to tell him that she went with Vecchio and Stella to work in their bowling alley. Just to be mean. Just to get one more home cooked Fraser meal before Fraser went back to Canada and pemmican.

"Surely, Fraser," said Ray, and he didn't mean for it to come out sounding so mean, but it did. Fraser turned his head and looked out the window instead of looking at Ray, and Ray gunned the GTO. What did he have in his apartment that Fraser could cook? Probably nothing, but Fraser was good at making lots of stuff from nothing.

When they finally got to Ray's apartment -- and it seemed like fucking forever -- Fraser didn't come in, just hung around by the door, looking at things. Maybe it was a little dusty, but that was no reason for Fraser to look so annoyed.

"Well?" said Ray rudely. "You could at least take off your hat." He stripped off his jacket and pulled his shirt over his head. Fraser took off his hat and held it, stayed at the door.

Ray flung his shirt onto the counter and went into the bedroom to get a shirt that was less sweaty. "You can see if you can find anything in the fridge or whatever. I've been mostly eating out or getting pizza."

Ray heard the fridge open. "So I see," said Fraser. He was bent over and peering into the fridge when Ray came back into the kitchen. Ray wondered what Fraser would do if Ray pinched his ass, or slapped it like they were baseball players, or something. Probably blush and stammer and leave as soon as he could. Then Ray wouldn't get any food.

Fraser straightened up. "You have," he said to the freezer door, "nothing to eat. One carton of milk, sour. One egg, cracked. Four takeout containers, each containing the same Chinese dish covered in various colors of mold. And --"

"Thank you, Fraser, that's enough. I think I have some oatmeal." Ray opened one of his cabinets and peered into it. There was a spider web over the oatmeal. No go.

"I have some pemmican in my Sam Browne," said Fraser.

"Sure, it'll be like old times," said Ray. He leaned against the counter and took the piece of pemmican Fraser handed him. "Yum."

"Sarcasm is the bastion of the slow-witted," said Fraser, and took a bite of pemmican. Ray glared at him, but smiled anyway -- that was way better than polite Mountie-hatted Fraser.

"Whatever, Fraser," said Ray, and concentrated on chewing his strip of dried meat. Fraser was concentrating, too. Ray wished he'd unbutton his tunic, or even take it off all together. What's a little long underwear between friends? Besides, it was warm in Ray's apartment and all that red wool couldn't be good for staying cool.

"Hey," said Ray, after swallowing the pemmican. It didn't taste too bad, but it was too salty. That was always Ray's problem with it. Give him some good teriyaki beef jerky any day.

"Yes, Ray?" said Fraser around a mouthful.

Ray was going to say something like, "Why don't you take off the tunic and sit down?" or "Wanna watch some hockey?" or "Let's see what's on ESPN at three am," or even "Do you think Kate Vantage is the one who killed Rodney Vantage's mother because she hated her mother-in-law, and Rodney is covering for her?"

But what came out of his mouth was, "Why didn't you ask me to stay in Canada? Did you think I couldn't hack it? Because I was hacking it, Fraser, I hacked it for a whole month. I even learned how to hook up the dogsled --"

"Hitch up, Ray," said Fraser, and swallowed, and Ray scowled at him.

"Fuck off, okay?" said Ray. "Just fuck off. Forget I even said anything. Nevermind. You wanna watch ESPN?"

"No -- Ray. I'm sorry." Fraser paused and took a deep breath. His posture was ramrod straight, whatever that meant. It sounded perverted. If it was perverted and pleasureful, Ray was all for it. Probably they didn't even have perversion in Canada. Poor Fraser and all Canadians everywhere. Unless they had lots of perversion and that was why they were all so polite all the time, because they knew they could go home and do something with ramrods.

"Yeah? Well, it's fine." Ray took a deep breath himself, turned around, turned on the sink. Glass, water, drink.

"It's not fine. Ray, have you been -- have you been thinking that I... that..." Fraser stopped talking, and Ray kept drinking, his back to Fraser. He spilled a whole lot of water on his chest when he felt Fraser's hand on his shoulder.

He turned around, glass between them, water dripping from his chin.

"What's that, Fraser?"

Fraser's eyes were serious and his lips were pressed together and he was looking at Ray like they'd never seen each other before. And maybe they hadn't, because Ray had a pretty good idea of what Fraser was going to say. He was going to say, "Golly gosh, Ray, I had no idea that you wanted to stay in Canada. It seemed to me like you hated my home country, what with all the frigging bitching about everything that you did the whole time." Except Fraser would Mountie it all up with the wherefores and whosoevers.

Which just went to show that you could know someone without really knowing them, because if there was one thing that Fraser should have learned about Ray in the however long three years or whatever that they'd known each other, it was that Ray bitched about everything.

Not that Ray was a complainer. Just that he liked everyone to know his opinions on things.

"Ray..." Fraser leaned closer. "I didn't ask you to stay in Canada, because I didn't think that you would want to. I thought it was understood that you would go back to Chicago, back to being a real police officer."

Ray leaned closed to Fraser -- their foreheads were almost touching. Ray hoped his breath didn't smell as bad as Fraser's, because Fraser's breath smelled like he'd been in a car for eight million hours and then chewed on dead animal flesh.

"Fraser, if I may say so, you are an idiot."

"You may say so, Ray." Fraser leaned closer, until their foreheads really were touching, and if Ray was so inclined, he could count every single eyelash on Fraser's eyelids plus the one on his left cheek.

"You are an idiot, Fraser."

Fraser took a long, quavery breath, and let it out slowly, and Ray definitely hoped his breath smelled better than Fraser's, because. Gross.

"Greatness," said Ray. "Now that we have that settled... Uh. Wanna watch ESPN?"

"No," said Fraser. His forehead was kind of warm and sweaty, and Ray wasn't sure what to do with his hands -- probably he should put down the glass before he dropped it on his foot or something, and got glass and water everywhere. And change his shirt, again, because now he was wet instead of sweaty, and it was gross. Fraser still had one hand on Ray's shoulder, and that was weird, and kind of gay, but it was okay, because Ray was feeling kind of gay himself. That totally rhymed.

Ray the gay good lay. Ray ray ray gay gay gay. Gay didn't rhyme with Fraser or Benton or Ben or Benny, and that wasn't fair. Benny the -- no. Fraser the glazer? No. Not perverted enough.

"Ray. Ray. Ray. Ray."

Ray opened his eyes and looked into Fraser's. "What did I tell you about saying my name like that?" said Ray.

"Actually, Ray, nothing," said Fraser. Ray would have stuck out his tongue, but they were too close together for that to not be a definitely pro-gay move. But moving away from Fraser would be, like, denying Fraser -- something. Denying him something and Ray didn't want to deny Fraser anything, and if letting Fraser think he was gay was what he needed to do in order to get Fraser to let Ray back into the windowless cabin in that snowy and cold and horrible little town in Canada, then that's what he'd do.

Plus he was feeling gay at the moment, so it was working. He was working it.

"Did you need something?" said Ray.

"Would you come back to Canada?" said Fraser. "Even though we have no deep dish pizza?"

"Fuck yeah," said Ray, and then Fraser was kissing him, which was definitely very very gay and full of mouth and tongue and stubble and lips -- but ultimately it wasn't so much different from kissing Stella or any girl, because Ray knew what to do with his mouth and everyone else's mouths, if they were so inclined to put their mouths on him, and anyway this was Fraser. Who didn't want to figure out what to do with Fraser's mouth? It was definitely a gay kiss, but Ray figured that at the moment he was the envy of every woman and at least half the men in the entire world, and that meant that kissing Fraser was really something he was doing for everyone else. The normal guy living the dream.

Also, Fraser was a really good kisser.


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