Fraser is driving a dogsled over the pass, with Dief leading the way. Fraser looks as happy as Ray has ever seen him, completely at ease. As he watches, the sled slips into the swirling snow and fades slowly away.
When Ray wakes up, it is with a feeling of sadness, though he can’t quite remember the dream. He rolls over slowly, quietly, not wanting to wake Fraser, here in the tent next to him. It’s not as altruistic as it sounds – he wants to watch Fraser sleep, see the look of peace on his face. It’s the only way to steel his resolve to let his friend go, once this thing with Muldoon is done.
Ray watches Fraser for a long time, then turns over and makes himself go back to sleep.
Ray is in the precinct. Both Rays are, actually, as are Detectives Huey and Dewey, Francesca, and Lieutenant Welsh. Despite the fact that Fraser is there, watching, no one seems to notice him.
“Let’s celebrate.” Welsh says. “Dinner tonight, everybody.”
“On you?” Ray Vecchio responds incredulously.
“On me,” Welsh confirms.
They all prepare to leave, and as he is left there alone, the dream fades. When Fraser awakens, the tension he’s felt since this case began is overlaid with a melancholy he cannot explain.
He sighs quietly and opens his eyes, coming face-to-face with a sleeping Ray Kowalski. Though he looks much better than he did on their trek here, Ray is obviously cold, and out of place. Fraser makes himself watch Ray, trying his best to burn that thought into his mind, to keep it with him.
If he doesn’t, he’s liable to do something foolish.
The images are fleeting, and he can hear Fraser’s voice as they go by, describing each one. Welsh staying put made sense, but the rest… Huey and Dewey probably were lame enough to try to open a comedy club. Frannie did seem like a mom type, he guessed. And since Ray had taken Vecchio’s partner in a way, he supposed it made sense to see the guy with Stella, though the whole bowling alley thing was just bizarre. The moment he was sure he was dreaming was when Fraser said Turnbull ran for public office.
He could totally see the Ice Queen overthrowing dictators, though.
Ray wakes up with a grin, his heart lighter than it has been since the day the hotel room door opened to reveal Ray Vecchio’s presence in Chicago. He remembers enough of the dream to be tickled by it, by the fates of his friends as told by a Mountie.
Only two people had been left out of the whole scenario, interestingly enough. He wonders why that is, what it was that left their fate unwritten. Wonders if maybe it’s time he took his life into his own hands again. Ray has been undercover so long he almost forgot that he could do that – make his own choices. Play by his own rules. Maybe see if anyone wanted to play by them with him. Or better yet, make new ones. He could do this. He’s energized.
Fraser watches his father walk off again, hand in hand with his mother. Tears fall, sharp and cold against his cheeks, as they had in the waking world. The reasons for them are as mixed now as they had been in real life: joy and wonder at seeing his mother, even briefly; sorrow at his father’s leaving; sadness that he’d once again be alone.
When he wakes, his face is still damp.
If Ray dreams, he doesn’t remember it. He wakes up warmer than he’s been in days. Maybe warmer than he’s ever been. Layers of blankets are nice and all, but cocooning himself in Benton Fraser has the softest, fluffiest quilts beat, hands down. Ray snuggles in a bit, and Fraser’s arm tightens around his waist. He smiles, content, and drifts back to sleep.
Fraser awakens on his back, Ray curled in tight next to him. It startles him for a moment, and he wonders if he’s still asleep, still dreaming. Then memory kicks back in, and he relaxes, taking the time to look at the man wrapped around him. Fraser has seen Ray sleep before, but never like this. Well, obviously, never like this, but it’s more than that. Ray is still, calm, more relaxed than he’s ever seen. Though obviously Ray has been restless at some point, or Fraser has; he’s sure this isn’t how they’d fallen asleep. But neither of them strayed far. The thought brings a smile to his face, and he pulls Ray closer, kissing the top of his head softly as he goes back to sleep.