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Signs of Affection

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On Tuesday Ray caught Fraser staring at a girl. And not just any girl, either, but a real looker: easy smile, legs up to here, long hair, beautiful laugh, the works. She was wrapped around some guy, completely into it, just happy to be standing there with him, glowing with it. Ray only noticed because he'd been looking at her too (he wasn't blind) and he'd glanced at Fraser after, a little chagrined, to see if Fraser had caught him looking -- and Fraser was looking. Staring at her like he was having some sort of revelation, like he'd finally been hit with the two-by-four of unattainable wanting that all the normal saps had to suffer. It was so unexpected that Ray dropped his fry -- snatched by Dief before it even hit the ground, probably -- and glanced over at Vecchio to see if he was maybe hallucinating. But no, Vecchio had noticed; a split second after Ray turned to him, he darted a look at Ray, checking for hallucinations too. Then he looked away, just as quick.

"So, Benny, the Richards case?" Vecchio said, and Fraser snapped back to attention, blinked and smiled, the wanting look gone like it'd never been. Ray tried to pay attention, but he looked back out the window first; the girl was leaving, still wrapped around the guy she'd been hanging out with in front of the café, and Ray jabbed another fry into his ketchup, trying to ignore the whole undefined roil of emotions going on in him. He started watching Fraser again, Fraser looking engaged and upbeat and not at all distracted, Vecchio leaning forward and talking the case out with him. Ray tried to let normal settle back in.

Maybe the problem was that normal wasn't; it hadn't been since the day he'd taken the undercover job as Vecchio, and it had continued to snowball into this vast boggling weirdness. He'd gone up to Canada on the edge of something and stayed there, got Fraser to agree to come back down to Chicago when all the stuff-they-weren't-talking-about wouldn't quit. Vecchio meanwhile had figured out that Ray could be with Fraser a little like Vecchio had been, but he couldn't really be with Stella the way Ray had, so he'd come back up from Florida, back to the 27 because that golden bullet might be good for retirement but Vecchio wasn't good for it, not right out from undercover when he really needed to get himself back. So he and Ray had worked some of the same cases, and then Fraser had turned up after he'd sorted through all the RCMP complications about being voluntarily in Chicago, and because there was no normal -- because Ray had been Vecchio, and Vecchio had been Ray, and Fraser was Fraser -- they'd ended up all not talking long enough that eventually they'd mostly skipped that part and gone straight to the doing.

Now normal was living in an apartment together, in a slightly nicer part of town than any of them would have been able to afford on their own (and Vecchio was paying most of it; "What am I gonna do with the money instead, Kowalski, buy another bowling alley?" he'd demanded when Ray called him on it). Normal was Vecchio bitching about the wolf hair all over the couch and Ray waking up to someone already brewing the coffee and Fraser innocently hiding the remote on the evenings he thought Ray and Vecchio might enjoy some cultural event more than the game. Normal was waking up pressed to Fraser's solid back with Vecchio snoring softly on Fraser's other side, and how Ray had finally stopped being confused that it wasn't Stella there, or maybe a sleeping bag and a sled dog. Normal was occasional dinners at the Vecchio house, and Welsh assigning them all cases together, and no one suspecting a damn thing because it was just too vastly bogglingly weird.

So this -- Fraser staring at that girl like he'd finally caught up with the normal Chicago guy program -- it was its own category of weird, its own damn species.

Ray didn't say anything, though, not then, just joined in the conversation. After lunch they took the Riv to drop Fraser off at the Consulate (Vecchio had won the coin toss that morning, and Fraser had some paperwork to clear for a new constable); the minute Vecchio had pulled back onto the street, Ray said, "So what happened?"

"At the diner?" Ray nodded. Vecchio ran a yellow light and shrugged. "I've got a couple theories. Maybe he wanted her." Vecchio frowned out at the street. "Maybe he was jealous."

"Jealous?" Ray echoed.

"Yeah, jealousy. Green-eyed monster, deadly sin." Vecchio darted a glance at Ray. "She was all over the guy she was with."

"So?" Ray said, and Vecchio made an impatient gesture, maybe at Ray or maybe at the taxi that'd just cut him off, so Ray used his detective skills to go back over the facts. Beautiful girl. All over that guy she was with. Happy, happy enough to be the kind of beautiful Fraser noticed, wrapped around another person who was wrapped around her. That's what had made Ray look at first too, before he'd gotten sidetracked: the way those two people had leaned into each other, at ease and a little awed at the same time, so into each other that the rest of the world went away, and Ray'd been drawn by the quiet pang of nostalgia, even though he'd hardly noticed since it came without the bitter me and Stella twenty years ago feeling.

"Oh," Ray said. "Shit. PDA."

"You got it," Vecchio said.

Not that they weren't affectionate with Fraser, and in public, too. Plenty of arm-touching, emphatic finger-jabbing, shoulder-bumps of camaraderie -- cop stuff, normal stuff, if a little more than necessary. They'd all agreed pretty quickly that the best way to make people suspicious would be to move in together and then stop touching entirely. Even Fraser had agreed, if a little resignedly, and Ray had felt like total crap for asking Fraser to bluff and mislead and prevaricate and anything else short of outright lying, even though he knew Fraser did it all the time. It was different if Ray and Vecchio were asking him to. Ray slumped down in the Riv's seat, bouncing his leg, grateful for once that Vecchio was driving. "Shit," he repeated.

*

On Wednesday Ray looked up at Vecchio and said, "Let's make it up to him."

Vecchio blinked stupidly at him. Fraser was out taking Dief on an early morning run; Ray had woken up from uneven worried sleep to find a warmish empty hollow where Fraser should be, so he'd rolled right over, pinned down Vecchio's hips, and started sucking him before the sleep-dep could collide with irrational panic. Vecchio woke up slowly; he stayed almost totally quiet, but Ray had learned that this was normal, and in the last month or so he'd figured how to tell what Vecchio's cues were: the way Vecchio's breath sped up into gasps, the way Vecchio's sleepy hand came down to card through Ray's hair, then cradle his skull and direct him a little when Vecchio reached real consciousness. Ray shuddered and sped up, squeezed his eyes tight shut, focused, here now not panicking, until Vecchio twitched and came, still cupping the back of Ray's head in his hand. Ray swallowed and swallowed, breathed through his nose, pulled off and pressed a kiss to Vecchio's hip. Vecchio made a pleased little noise, not quite "Good morning," his thumb sweeping absently across the hollow behind Ray's ear. So Ray leaned into it a little, looked up, and said, "Let's make it up to him."

"Wha?" Vecchio said.

Maybe this was a post-coffee conversation, but Ray crawled up the bed anyway to settle himself against Vecchio. He rubbed his cheek against Vecchio's shoulder; it was a mean thing to do, the rasp of stubble making Vecchio jerk slightly and wake up some more, although he didn't actually move away because he was a sap, or fucked-out, or probably both. "Fraser," Ray said. "Let's do something nice."

"Don't be stupid, Stanley," Vecchio told him, which meant he'd reached the coherent and insulting-affection part of the morning. "He doesn't mind if he's occasionally out walking the wolf instead of being a perverted Mountie voyeur."

Ray kind of hated the way Vecchio could go from incoherent to full sentences in sixty seconds. "Don't be stupid, Vecchio," he said back. "I don't mean make up for this."

"Oh," Vecchio said, considering, and moved his thigh so that it came into contact with Ray's half-hard cock. "So you don't mean we should wait."

"I'm trying to have a serious conversation here, Vecchio," Ray said, but since Vecchio only actually took him seriously when he had a gun in his hand, the bastard, the protest was pointless. Vecchio gave Ray a lazy smirk and reached down to wrap a hand around him, and Ray's hips jerked forward helplessly. "Look," he said, "I'm -- I'm talking about yesterday."

"What about yesterday?" Vecchio asked, his hand moving just this side of too soft and slow to be perfect. Ray whimpered and mashed his face against Vecchio's shoulder, trying to remember what he'd been saying, trying to breathe. He was pretty sure Vecchio was still wearing that affectionate infuriating smirk.

"The -- when Fraser --" Ray managed, and moaned a little. "Fuck, Vecchio -- we should give Fraser, uh ..."

"We can't," Vecchio said quietly, and maybe he was a bastard but he also got with the program fast, even when Ray couldn't speak, even when he was some kind of multitasking champion because he was still stroking Ray just exactly not enough and apparently had the energy to think it was funny, even though Ray was kind of involuntarily giving his shoulder a hickey; this was the kind of behavior that Ray expected from Fraser, which meant he was living with maniacs. He shuddered and thrust into Vecchio's hand and maybe made a small begging noise, but Vecchio let up a little. "Maybe we could do something else for him."

"Like -- what?" Ray gasped, on autopilot. He could multitask too, and insanity was definitely catching.

"Take him out," Vecchio suggested. "Somewhere nice."

"Okay, fine, good," Ray rasped, "but can we please --?"

Vecchio laughed. He tipped Ray's face up with his free hand, kissing him deep and messy, and even though his hand hadn't sped up, Ray started coming, shaking through it and kissing Vecchio back hard enough to draw the small echo of a startled pleased noise from him. They kept kissing for a while after that too, even though Ray was starting to need to use the can and take a shower and drink some coffee and maybe breathe sometime today, because it was just too damn good to stop.

The front door opened and closed; Ray could hear Fraser saying something to Dief, though he couldn't catch the words. He pulled back from Vecchio slowly, and they just lay there looking at each other for a moment. "Later," Ray said finally.

Vecchio nodded and sat up with a groan. "Yeah. I call first shower."

"Buttplate," Ray said, mostly for the incredulous look Vecchio threw him, but he let Vecchio take the first shower anyway, mopped up and pulled on some already-dirty boxers and went to see if Fraser had made the coffee yet.

*

On Thursday Fraser and Vecchio caught a thief red-handed (literally; Ray wasn't entirely clear on why anyone would bother with a black market in acrylics) and then Fraser had to take off early to save the uniform before the paint dried -- not that the red paint really showed up on it -- and Ray was left helping Vecchio keep Interrogation Two from turning into some sort of arts-and-crafts warzone. Vecchio was pretty pissed, since the perp had also got some of that paint on one of his snazzy Armani suit jackets, which meant Ray was stuck playing good cop. He wasn't in the damn mood, but he did his best, for all of two seconds before Vecchio caught on quick that it wasn't working very well. They ended up doing a muted version of the crazy spaz cop/scary Mafia cop routine, which meant Ray got angry and jittery while Vecchio got cold and polite, and their thief confessed to everything in about five minutes flat. Good bust, good clean confession.

Except driving the GTO home (Ray had won the coin toss that day), he was too damn keyed up to actually pay attention to basic road safety. At some neutral halfway point between the station and their apartment, he pulled onto a deserted ill-lit side-street, slammed the GTO into park, and hauled Vecchio bodily into the back seat, because it wasn't like the suit jacket could get any more ruined. Vecchio went willingly enough, and because he was a smart guy he just slid half-folded to the floor of the car, unzipped Ray, and went at it.

Ray'd been kind of surprised about that, the first few times, because Vecchio was definitely a really-straight-but-I-have-exceptions kind of guy, a no-one-is-going-to-fuck-me (except-maybe-sometimes-Fraser) kind of guy, and it followed that he would probably be an I-don't-give-blowjobs kind of guy. But it turned out Ray was wrong wrong wrong. Vecchio was fucking good at blowjobs, like they were some point of personal pride, and Ray was never going to complain about this. He held onto Vecchio's shoulders, panting unseeingly at the ceiling of the GTO, and said unsteadily, "'s a good idea to take him out somewhere nice."

Vecchio paused for a fraction of a second, then shrugged a little under Ray's hands and kept going.

"I mean," Ray said, a little dizzily, "we kinda take it for granted -- we've ha-had oh god normal relationshipswithdates --" He broke off, gasping. Vecchio made a sort of enquiring little hum, maybe inviting him to continue, but it only succeeded in making Ray bite off a soft strangled scream and clutch convulsively at Vecchio's shoulders. Vecchio backed off a little, his hands rubbing at Ray's jean-clad thighs in gentle apology, and Ray leaned back, gulping for air. He was scared to open his mouth for a second or two, because neither Don't, Vecchio, please just make me come nor Thank you thank you you're wonderful were sentences he really wanted to say aloud. Vecchio was still sucking him, drawing it out, which would've pissed Ray off first thing in the morning but was perfect now. Ray took a deep breath. "Normal. So this is good, 's good, for us. But Fraser, he hasn't -- we gotta do something. For him. Something nice." He was starting to shake a little; Vecchio wasn't going easy anymore, and Ray had to move his hands to the seat before he bruised Vecchio's shoulders. "Relationship-with-dates things." A pause, his eyes squeezed shut, head tipping back involuntarily, and Ray's last word was just a breathed-out sound: "Yeah?"

This time Vecchio hummed agreement, and Ray arched up, letting go, all the tension and the things they still weren't saying, and god, Vecchio.

"Now the whole damn suit's ruined," Vecchio muttered petulantly against Ray's thigh, and pushed off, crawling gracelessly back into the front seat. It did look like the pants were ruined too, as well as Ray could see in the half-dark. Ray grinned easily and tumbled back into the front.

"So?" he asked, turning the ignition. "What's a good date?"

Vecchio sprawled back in the seat, something that was less a slouch than what Ray thought of as his gangster lean. "For you, I'd spring for a place with good steak and a dance floor, and sex in the backseat afterwards." Ray swung back onto the main drag, and out of the corner of his eye he could see Vecchio grin. "You're a cheap date, Stanley."

Ray shrugged. "You say steak for me, I say good wine and tortellini for you."

"In which case you're still the cheaper date," Vecchio pointed out.

"Yeah, okay." Ray tapped his fingertips against the wheel. "Fraser."

Vecchio was quiet for a long time. "I don't know."

"Sure you do," Ray said. "You've, uh, you've known him forever. You must've seen him like a couple of things that didn't involve horses or shootouts or both in the romance department, right?"

Vecchio blew out a frustrated breath. "No."

"Okay," Ray said, and pulled up in front of their building. Killed the engine. Looked up at the lighted window he could see, dim: probably only the chili pepper lights were on. Probably Fraser was fixing dinner, preempting Ray's fast food habit. Ray's chest filled up with the kind of warmth that made him want to cry from the sheer magnitude. "The opera," he said, at random, his throat sticking a little. "Hockey or basketball live. Some kind of meal we cook for him, from, uh, from scratch."

Vecchio stayed quiet a long while. Ray could feel him looking up at the window too. "Flowers," he said. "Maybe a coupon: one get-out-of-being-yelled-at-for-being-Superman free, good at any time."

"With strategic reuse," Ray added.

"With strategic reuse," Vecchio agreed, looking over at Ray with the smile he got only on special occasions, the one without any mocking or wariness or anything, and Ray's chest slammed full of the hurts-enough-to-cry warmth all over again. "And dancing, Kowalski. Even if he's no good at it, he's gotta dance with you."

Ray squeezed his eyes shut and took another deep breath. "Okay," he said. "Okay, let's do this."

*

On Friday Ray spent too much of the morning and way too much money persuading a guy he knew in Narcotics to part from three NHL tickets for a game the following week. He passed the envelope on to Vecchio, who slipped in the coupon he'd typed up, then tucked it in his jacket pocket -- only just in time, because Fraser turned up a moment later, announcing happily that he'd dismissed himself early and was free to liaise for the remainder of the day.

He and Vecchio went over the report for the acrylics smuggler, while Ray pretended to consider another case and actually wrote up lists of songs he'd like to dance to with Fraser, feeling perhaps not irrationally like he was sixteen again. The report took them until lunchtime; they all went out to a café together, before Vecchio shot them both a grin and excused himself early. He even took Dief with him, since they'd learned by now that the best way to keep the wolf out of the way was to bribe him early and well.

Fraser examined his last sandwich crust. When the door had shut behind Vecchio and Dief, he looked up at Ray. "Is something going on?"

Ray gave Fraser his best innocent look. "Uh, yeah, probably lots of things are." Fraser's eyebrows went up. Ray switched the innocent look out for a normal one. "Yeah," he said. "But you'll like it. I hope."

That got him subjected to a narrow look, but eventually Fraser nodded. "As you say."

"Good," Ray said, looking at Fraser sitting there with his perfect hair and his almost-trusting eyes and his brown uniform, since both reds were at the cleaners, and for a long awful moment Ray wanted nothing more in the world than to lean across the table and kiss Fraser. Not anything that shouldn't be seen in public, just some little sign of affection, hey, we're together, and he wanted it so bad his eyes blurred up. He blinked and Fraser was still looking at him, his face softened up into empathetic understanding, and Ray stood up fast to get the bill before he could do something stupid.

That afternoon Ray made Fraser help him with a few talking points for an upcoming testimonial on a bust he'd done a few weeks back, but the station was surprisingly quiet for a Friday afternoon, and they finished almost an hour before official done-time. Ray considered trying to stall, but he already knew Fraser was on to something, so he just drove them the leisurely way home to give Vecchio a few extra minutes.

They were still early, but it didn't really matter: Vecchio had some music on, Ray's favorite dancing CDs in five-player shuffle, and the whole apartment smelled amazing. Fraser stopped in the doorway for a second, surprised, and Ray gently pried the Stetson out of his hands, nudged him inside. Fraser turned. "Change," Ray told him, poking the fabric of his uniform lightly. "It's the weekend."

Fraser still looked surprised, but he smiled through it. "Of course," he said, and headed for the bedroom.

Ray shrugged out of his shoulder holster, dropping it on an end table next to the Stetson, and sidled into the kitchen. Vecchio was apparently cooking at least five courses, totally nuts, but the delicious-smelling chaos reminded Ray of dinner at the Vecchio house, and he got that, why it was a smart idea. Vecchio hadn't changed out of his work clothes, still in a nice button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled halfway up, and it probably wasn't a smart outfit to cook in but it was still a smart idea too. Ray leaned on the doorjamb and gave Vecchio a slow grin. "Hi."

Vecchio looked up. "You're early."

"Yeah," Ray agreed. "And Fraser's ..." A lot of things. "I think it's good."

"Good," Vecchio echoed. "Get in here and slice the zucchini."

Ray got in there and did what Vecchio told him to. Fraser turned up a few minutes later in jeans and one of his white undershirts, which made Ray almost slice through his own fingers and also suspect that Fraser knew what they were up to. "Can I help?" he asked.

"Nah, nah, this is --" Vecchio started, and then seemed to remember who they were dealing with here, and got that soft smile again. Ray put the knife down, because he probably was in danger of cutting fingertips off. "Yeah, Benny, you can make the salad. Or grate some cheese."

Fraser smiled back, stepping up to Vecchio. "Ray," he murmured, "you seem to have some sauce ..." And he leaned over and licked it off Vecchio's chin. Of course. Vecchio sighed and tilted his face for a kiss, but Fraser backed away, adding, "You really have been very careless," this time taking hold of Vecchio's arm and lifting it to lick the inside of Vecchio's wrist, taking his sweet time about it. Vecchio's breathing was starting to visibly speed up, and Ray was really damn glad he'd set down the knife, because he was dying a little over here and definitely not able to operate heavy machinery.

"Benny," Vecchio said, kind of helplessly. "I'll burn the pasta."

"Ah, yes, of course, Ray," Fraser said, letting go of Vecchio's wrist. "I'll start the salad."

A couple of certifiable freaks, Ray thought, and beamed down stupidly at the half-sliced zucchini.

About an hour later they were sitting down together and working their way through Vecchio's meal, Ray's low-key dancing music playing on in the background. Fraser ate, and smiled, and didn't quite relax, but he unfolded into the Fraser Ray recognized from the months of the quest, and that Vecchio definitely recognized from somewhere too. Ray let himself sink into the feeling of astonished gratitude he'd mostly stopped trying to fight. He used to get it with Stella, way back when things were good, and part of him was worried about feeling it again, but most of him -- most of him was here, at this table, with these two guys and a wolf in the living room, and he wasn't scared.

"So," Vecchio said, when the meal was winding down, "we've got a few things for you, Benny." He got up and went to one of the end table near the kitchen, came back with Ray's envelope, and handed it over.

Fraser didn't open it. He held it between thumb and forefinger, and asked, carefully, "What's the occasion?"

"It's Be Nice to Fraser Day," Ray volunteered.

"Ah," said Fraser, but he did open the envelope, carefully. One of the NHL tickets fluttered out first, and Fraser's careful look transformed into surprise and -- yes, score one for Ray, delight. "Three?" Fraser said. "Ray, Ray, this is wonderful."

"Figured it was time to see it live instead of TV," Ray said.

"Yes," Fraser agreed, pulling the other two tickets out happily, and paused. He tugged the get-out-of-being-yelled-at-for-being-Superman free (with strategic reuse) coupon out from the tickets, read it once, read it twice, and set it down carefully. He looked up, from Vecchio to Ray and back again, his eyes too bright. "I --"

"Don't," Vecchio said softly. "I owe you about a thousand of those."

"Yes, but --" Fraser stopped and licked his lip. "Why? Why -- any of this?"

"Because we get it's hard for you," Vecchio told him, still with the kind of gentleness he reserved for the really important things. "Knowing we can't be really honest about this -- we know that's hard. Because we know you haven't had this sort of thing before, and we wanna do right by you. Because --"

He didn't say it. They just didn't, like if the words got said they'd be admitting too much. Fraser was nodding anyway, because even if the words didn't get said, they still heard them. "Understood, Ray."

"Hey," Ray said, quiet too, all of them only just audible over the music, "Fraser, dance with me."

Fraser looked over at him, and he didn't say no. He nodded, a little hesitantly, so Ray stood up and went to Fraser, pulling him to his feet, turned, walking backwards into the living room (everything Fred Astaire did; wow, he hoped he wouldn't trip over Dief) and started dancing. Over Fraser's shoulder he caught a glimpse of Vecchio standing and starting to clear the dishes, which Fraser would help with given half a chance, so he pulled Fraser closer, swayed to the beat. Fraser moved with him, but a little too careful, too conscious of the music without understanding it. Ray slid his hands low on Fraser's waist, leaned in, murmured, "Just move with me, Frase. You know how to do that."

So Fraser did, and if he couldn't follow the music, he could follow Ray's body, which started blending into the same thing. Ray sighed and rocked with him, one song sliding into another, the space between them pulling smaller, until they were standing there kissing, Ray swaying a little to the beat. Fraser tasted like Vecchio's cooking and like himself, and he started kissing Ray affectionate but it slowly became kissing him scary instead; it was the good frightening, the quiet intense overflow of emotion that turned Ray's knees and brain to mush, and Ray pressed himself to Fraser, reveling in it.

A small surprised noise; Ray pulled back and saw that Vecchio had come in without them noticing, pressing himself up against Fraser's back. A Fraser sandwich, Ray thought, and smiled foolishly. Vecchio returned it, and said against Fraser's hair, "Hey. Your date. What would you like?"

"I don't know," Fraser confessed. "I think -- your improvisation has been excellent so far."

Ray was a little too addled already to do all of the necessary translation, but he got with the program fairly quickly when Vecchio started herding both of them towards the bedroom. They got Fraser stripped down, still kind of sandwiching him, and Fraser helped Ray with his clothes while Vecchio took care of his own (they'd learned the hard way that Ray and even Fraser could get careless about buttons when they were revved enough). Ray kept kissing Fraser, tumbled down on the bed with Fraser naked and half on top of him; Fraser made this little delighted sound and squirmed.

That was another thing Ray had discovered, about as surprising as the way Vecchio always stayed nearly silent and gave fantastic blowjobs: Fraser seemed to think that sex was a game. Maybe a sport. Something fun, anyway, not just enjoyable but fun, like snowball fights and the stupid dorky jokes he liked to tell. Ray and Vecchio had, Ray figured, pretty normal ideas about sex, but Fraser kissed like it was a conversation, broke off and kept Ray half-pinned to the bed with his warm weight while his head tipped back and he said, "Oh Ray," meaning Vecchio, who'd crawled up on the bed behind Fraser and was -- With some effort Ray propped himself up on an elbow and grinned. He'd also discovered that, if fucking Fraser was one of his top ten things to do, watching Vecchio fuck him was in the top five. He eased back down, winding a hand into Fraser's wonderful soft hair and pulling Fraser into another kiss. He kept holding on, too, kissing Fraser slow and deep while Fraser twitched and moaned helplessly into Ray's mouth, a hand closing convulsively on Ray's shoulder. Vecchio, crazy multitasker that he was, slid his free arm over Fraser, hand settling on Ray's ribs, connecting them. Ray got the hand that wasn't in Fraser's hair to come around too, resting on Vecchio's sweat-slick back, both of them holding Fraser between them.

After a few moments it evened out, and hell if Fraser didn't understand rhythm; through Fraser's body and against Ray's palm he could feel Vecchio fucking Fraser slow and steady, and when Ray slowed their kiss down, matching it, Fraser melted, made this soft noise and just went with it, moved with it like he was hypnotized.

Ray wanted to keep on, relax into it completely like Fraser did, but when he got like this it was too intense, too much way sooner than Ray liked, so he broke the kiss gently, panting. Fraser made another soft noise and blinked his eyes open, focusing after a moment on Ray, dazed. Ray wanted to kiss him again, tightened his hand a little in Fraser's hair, too turned on to really move. Vecchio sped up, the hand on Ray's side skating lightly along his ribcage. Fraser's face went momentarily slack with pleasure, and then he focused again, looked straight at Ray and beamed like they really were giving him the best gift in the world; Ray sucked in a sharp surprised little breath and came all over himself without anyone even touching him.

Dimly he heard Vecchio say "Jesus, Stanley," and Fraser whispered, "Ray," and kissed him again. Ray squeezed his eyes shut and kissed Fraser back, still shuddering through the aftershocks, Vecchio's hand going bruisingly tight against his side without hurting at all, and god, maybe this was the best gift in the world.

He felt Fraser start to shake, and by the time he came down, pulled away from the kiss and focused, he saw that Fraser was a limp satiated mess and -- laughing? Vecchio was too. They were both sprawled there laughing like total loons, and Ray's face twitched into a bewildered smile. "What --?"

"Like fucking dominoes," Vecchio explained, or at least that's what it sounded like through the laughter, and Fraser made a noise that might've been agreement or might've just been a very undignified, un-Mountie-like "Hee!" Ray started grinning wider, still running on satisfied endorphins, starting to feel kind of smug and not a little amused. Vecchio apparently caught this, and pretended to glare at him over Fraser's shoulder. "It's not like you were an impressive act to follow," he said, and sent Fraser into a fresh gale of laughter.

Ray flopped down on the bed. "You're both freaks," he told the ceiling. "Freaks."

"Mm," Fraser said, finally calming down a little, "Yes, Ray," and snuck an arm over him, fingers tangling with Vecchio's against Ray's side. Ray beamed at the ceiling, wanting to laugh or come again and loving them both so much he couldn't speak, and it was too damn much so he fell asleep.

*

On Saturday, Vecchio made some bid to be nominated Best Boyfriend Ever (like he even needed to) by getting up early and taking Dief for a walk and waking up Fraser and Ray by bring them coffee in bed, cream for Fraser and M&M's for Ray. Ray leaned against the headboard and gulped his coffee until he felt sufficiently awake, then said, "Vecchio, do you like the opera?"

"Sure," Vecchio said, a little surprised, turning from his hunt through the chest of drawers for a tie. He met Ray's eyes for a second and looked less puzzled. "You don't."

"Not really," Ray acknowledged.

"But Ray," Fraser said, resurfacing from his own coffee and obviously winding up for a big lecture about art and culture and maybe the history of singing fat ladies before the curtain.

"Nuh-uh," Ray told him. "See, Fraser, that's why there's two of us. You got Vecchio to go out and be cultured with, and me to remind you when you forget that the Hawks are better than everybody. See how this works?"

"Yes, I think so," Fraser said, beginning to smile. "The green tie, I think, Ray. It'll bring out your eyes." He turned back to Ray while Vecchio skeptically held up the tie in question. "Perhaps on our next free weekend we could take a trip to the countryside. Dief would like the open air."

"That's your idea of a date?" Vecchio wanted to know. He was putting on the green tie as he asked, though.

"Both of you did enjoy being out-of-doors once, ah, planes and criminals were removed from the equation," Fraser pointed out. "So yes, it is. And if a good slow dance is really a necessity, I could always bring my guitar --"

"Fraser," Ray said, wanting to point out that no one but no one could waltz to a guitar and no way was he about to do a folkdance, but he caught the look on Fraser's face, halfway between teasing and real hope, and what came out instead was, "That'd be good."

He glanced over at Vecchio, who did look damn good in the green tie, and when Vecchio caught his eye he saw they'd had the same thought: if the middle of nowhere was really middle-of-nowhereish enough, they wouldn't have to bluff or mislead or prevaricate or anything; they could be all wrapped up in each other in broad daylight with no one the wiser. Vecchio smiled, a slow crooked smile. "Yeah," he said. "Yeah, it really would."