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Paying Down Debts

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The phone rings six times before Fraser makes it from his office to the front desk. He's tempted to let it ring twice more and send the call to voice mail, but it's two in the morning. There's really only one person this can be.

He picks up the phone, but he doesn't say anything. On the other end of the line, there's heavy breathing, and even that's enough to make Fraser lean down, rest his hand against the desk, and close his eyes. He's glad he's alone here; the long underwear doesn't hide anything, and he's already getting hard.

"You son of a bitch," Ray says, finally.

"Good evening, Detective Kowalski; what can I do for you?" Fraser answers; you son of a bitch is mostly how Ray says hello these days, anyway, so why not pretend it's what he actually said?

"You can get your ass over here right the fuck now," Ray snaps. "Right now. You walk out that door and get here."

Fraser keeps his eyes closed. "No, I don't think I'm going to do that," he murmurs. "Good night, Ray."

"Fuck you, you motherfucking son of a--"

Fraser hangs up the phone and goes back to his office. It won't really take him twenty minutes to dress, but he might as well do it now so he'll be ready to go when Ray arrives.

Fraser's watching out the front windows, and he sees Ray pull up. He wonders if Ray's going to stay in the car and just honk to get Fraser's attention, but no; Ray slams out of the car and walks up to the front door. He's not wearing the button-down shirt and jeans he was wearing to the club; he's in sweatpants and a t-shirt and a sweatshirt with a hood. His hands are taped. He's been at the gym. Until two in the morning? Fraser wonders. He supposes it's possible; Ray has good relationships with several gyms around town, and it's Thursday--perhaps not such a busy day, apart from Ray.

He pounds on the front door, and Fraser walks down the stairs--not running, no hurry--and opens it. Ray stares at him for a minute and looks him over, head-to-foot. "You going somewhere?" Ray spits.

"Well, you tell me, Ray."

"Get in the goddamned car."

"Language," Fraser says mildly, but he comes out of the Consulate, locks the front door, and gets into the passenger side of Ray's car. Ray stomps around to the driver's side and gets in, too.

"Seat belt," Fraser says; his is already fastened.

"Fuck you," Ray answers, but he does buckle up. He puts the car in drive and pulls away from the curb.

For a few minutes, Ray doesn't say anything. Fraser's surprised, but he decides there's no point in being coy or pretending to be indifferent. He glances over at Ray, looks at Ray's hands--even with the tape, he can see the bruising--and then looks at the rest of him.

Ray's jaw is tense with anger; his bracelet, the one he customarily wears that's made of ball chain, is gone, and he's looking straight at the road, not turning to look at Fraser for an instant.


"I don't want to hear a goddamned word," Ray says. "Not a single fucking--you got no idea what you did to me tonight," he says, slamming the heel of his hand into his steering wheel. "You have no fucking clue." He pauses, and this time he does look over at Fraser--and Fraser has no idea what he sees. He can't even imagine. "Or you know what, maybe you do, maybe you do and that's why and--"

"You're going to miss your turn," Fraser says quietly; Ray whips the car around to the left and shakes his head back and forth, blinking hard. It's another few turns before they're at Ray's apartment, and when they get there, Ray takes a parking space out front and gets out of the car immediately. Fraser sits there for half a second, chest tight, but then he gets out, too, locking the car door before he goes, and he follows Ray up the stairs, down the hall, and into his apartment.

Ray paces back and forth, hands clenching and unclenching, and Fraser stands by the door and watches him. He doesn't come forward, barely even steps off the doormat; he wasn't exactly, precisely, invited inside, and he doesn't think Ray's in any condition to make what he wants any clearer than he already has.

"I was--first time in three months I could even look at somebody else, and it lasts, what, four weeks, and then you--" Ray stops pacing and shoves his hands through his hair, clenching fistfuls of it and staring down at the ground. "You hate me that goddamned much, Fraser? Is that it?"

Fraser just stares at him--it's like every fight they ever had; Ray has never known him at all. He finally shakes his head. "No," he whispers. "No. I don't hate you."

Ray turns on him, grabbing him by the front of the shirt, both fists clenched in the material. "You walked out, not me, you remember that? You left."

"Yes," Fraser whispers, reaching up to take Ray's wrists in his hands. "I know."

Ray shakes him again, slams his fists against Fraser's chest, but Fraser locks his grip tight so Ray can't push him off-balance. "Why, damn it? Just answer me that--just tell me why--"

Fraser takes one hand off Ray's wrist, grabs him by the back of the neck, and pulls him forward--and Ray moans as Fraser kisses him. The death grip Ray's got on Fraser's shirt changes in an instant, going from tense with anger to tense with--Fraser supposes he can call it passion; it's still that, if nothing else.

He draws back, panting against Ray's mouth. Ray's breath is hot against his lips, too. And then he doesn't ask--he just holds onto Ray's wrist and starts drawing him back to the bedroom. Ray doesn't argue. Thank God.

He pushes Ray down onto the bed; Ray scoots into the middle of the bed and stretches out. Fraser climbs up on him, straddles him, and Ray snorts. "You can go again? The way you went at Andrew, I didn't know if you could get it up again until next week."

"Ray, don't," Fraser says gruffly, pulling one of Ray's hands up so he can work at that tape. He starts at the top, remembering how Ray likes his hands taped--the tape goes on from bottom to top, so it has to come off the opposite way. He unwinds the strip slowly, in one piece, careful of all the bruises Ray put on his hands tonight, lifting Ray's hand to his lips as he goes. He kisses the back of Ray's knuckles, and Ray shudders underneath him; when he finishes winding the tape off, he rubs his cheek against the inside of Ray's wrist and then kisses that, too, letting Ray cup Fraser's cheek in his hand.

"God, Fraser, just--" Ray shakes his head and looks away. "Okay," he whispers. "Just do it. Whatever you were gonna do--just do it."

"I believe I'm here at your insistence," Fraser murmurs. He puts Ray's hand down and takes the other one, giving it the same treatment--gentle removal of the tape, a soft kiss to the inside of Ray's wrist when he's done. "Tell me what you want."

Ray looks up at him, and Fraser almost can't bear it. It wasn't as if he didn't know fucking Andrew would hurt Ray, but this--the way Ray's looking at him, Fraser can't stand it.

He climbs off Ray, climbs off the bed itself. He's managed to turn around and get halfway to the bedroom door before Ray makes a choked sound and springs off the bed--Fraser can hear the bedsprings squeak--and he grabs Fraser by the arm, jerking him back a step.

"Oh, hell no, you're not going anywhere," Ray hisses. "If you're not gonna do this, I will."

Fraser just nods, once, and then he waits. I will. Is that a promise? No, Ray actually sounded like he meant it; can't be a promise, then. A threat, then. An ultimatum--Ray's good at those.

Ray jerks Fraser's jacket off; he grabs Fraser's shirt at the waist and pulls it up, out of his jeans, up and over his head. Undershirt, too, and then he unbuckles Fraser's belt and unzips his fly, all from behind, all without letting Fraser look at him. He shoves down Fraser's jeans and his boxers and then leaves Fraser to get out of the tangle of clothes and boots, and while Fraser's doing that, he can hear Ray undressing behind him.

He expects Ray to just push him over on the bed--he deserves that, and his breath picks up with the sudden, painful desire for it--but Ray doesn't. He yanks his nightstand open; Fraser hears the lube hit the nightstand and then hears Ray tear a condom off a strip of them and slam the nightstand shut. The bedsprings squeak again, and Fraser finally turns around.

Ray's spread-eagled, face buried in his pillow. Fraser sucks in a breath. "Ray--"

"Do it."


"C'mon. It wasn't him you were trying to fuck tonight, it was me, so just--do it direct, you goddamned bastard, just fucking do it."

Fraser swallows and nods, even though Ray can't see it, and he takes the supplies and climbs onto the bed. He isn't hard now, hasn't been since he saw that look on Ray's face, but he's kneeling between Ray's spread legs, looking at Ray's bare back; he can get hard just from looking if he needs to.

But it doesn't just have to be looking. He can touch, too; he all but has permission. He slides his hands up from Ray's ankles to the tops of his calves, and when Ray doesn't try to move away, he keeps going, sweeping his hands up Ray's thighs. Ray lets out a soft moan, and Fraser licks his lips and tries not to let himself pant; now he's getting hard again.

He crawls back a foot or so and lowers himself down, sliding his thumbs into Ray's cleft, and Ray shudders hard, hips pushing down into the bed, but he has to know--he has to know what Fraser wants, what Fraser's going to do now. Fraser wonders if Hartman did this--if Ray would have let Hartman do something this close, this intimate.

He slides his tongue between Ray's cheeks and works his way slowly, slowly up, tasting the soap from Ray's gym--the nearby boxing gym, he can tell by the taste of the soap--and a little bit of sweat, and the warmth and heat that's just Ray. He moans out loud as he licks in deeper, tongue swirling over Ray's hole. Ray groans explosively and thrusts his hips backward, and Fraser reaches up to pin his hips down. Mine.

He thinks he can do the rest of this without the lube--the saliva really would be enough, if he wanted--but instead, once he's gotten Ray good and wet, he comes back up and gets his fingers slick with lube anyway. He presses them inside Ray, and Ray moans again and starts moving back. Ray might be angry with him, but his body remembers. Fraser's body remembers, too, and once he's given Ray some prep, he slicks the condom on and climbs on top of Ray, pressing Ray's legs apart with his own.

"Ray," Fraser whispers; he has his face pressed to the back of Ray's neck now, his cock just at Ray's hole. "Ray... Ray..."

"Okay," Ray whispers back. "Okay, okay, okay--"

Fraser starts pressing in, and Ray tenses up hard at first. He blows out some hard breaths, and he relaxes again, and Fraser starts to move--slow and easy at first, just wanting to get all the way inside Ray.

Ray reaches back and puts a hand on Fraser's hip, and Fraser covers that hand with his own--carefully, so as not to aggravate the bruises. Ray nods and keeps nodding, and Fraser pushes in--and then that's everything, Ray has everything, and Fraser rubs his face back and forth against Ray's shoulder, breathing hard.

"Come on," Ray whispers. He pushes back; Fraser groans and grabs him by the arms, pins him down.

"Just--let me do this," Fraser groans. "Let me go slow."

"What the hell for? It's not like this is gonna be the last time," Ray says, and Fraser hugs him hard, gasping brokenly against his shoulder. "You know it, I know it--"

Not a promise. Not a promise. Fraser forces himself to breathe deeply, to try and stay steady. "Ray--"

"So come on," Ray growls, and he tries to push back again. Fraser gasps again, just as broken as the last time, and starts moving.

It's like flying. It's like flying so far into the atmosphere that Fraser's out of air, and his chest starts to twist in on itself. He holds onto Ray tighter and tighter, moves inside him faster and deeper, and then the dam bursts--Fraser's pushing in hard, rough, his hips pumping, his cock slamming into Ray's ass, and he's gasping and sobbing against Ray's shoulder, knowing this is good, knowing it's good but it's almost over--it's like that last night, when he knew he was going to have to walk out of here forever and never have Ray like this again, never touch him, never feel him--

Never didn't last long, and Fraser pulls himself violently back to the present, sinking his teeth into Ray's shoulder and driving in as hard as he can. Ray yells out, but what he says is "More, goddamnit, do it harder, do it now--"

Fine. He wants harder, he'll get harder. Fraser licks over the bite mark he left on Ray's shoulder and finds another spot, another concealed spot. He starts giving Ray those sharp, brutal strokes Ray used to love, the kind Ray used to beg for until he reached the point of incoherence. Ray growls and grunts and strains underneath him, but when the time comes and Ray needs a hand underneath him, Fraser shoves Ray's hand aside and uses his own--it should be his, it has to be his, and he gets his hand around Ray and starts jerking him, harder and harder and faster and faster in time with his own thrusts. He's nearly there, God, he's nearly there, together, they can go together, they can do this together, they can have this, as long as Fraser doesn't say what he's feeling right now, as long as he doesn't tell Ray--it would be against the rules, he can't, he can't, he can't not--

He bites down on Ray's shoulder and growls through his orgasm, and Ray gasps and starts coming, too, arching as best he can with Fraser flattened on top of him. Fraser groans as Ray collapses, and he goes with him, wrapping both arms around him and holding on as tightly as he can.

Say it, Fraser thinks. Say it, please, please, now--say it now--just tell me--

Ray groans and nudges Fraser in the ribs, and Fraser slides off him. He allows himself ten long, deep breaths for recovery before he turns around and sits up at the side of the bed.

"You going somewhere?"

"I--" Fraser rubs his face, his eyes, his eyebrow. "I thought--"

"Well, stop that shit, it just fucking wrecks both of us," Ray mumbles. He sits up, too, a little, but it's only to get the covers pushed down so he can climb into them. "Cold in here. Come on."

Fraser looks at Ray, curled on his right side with his hair sticking up wildly in all directions, and for a few seconds he's so desperate to have that back--to have all of this back--that he almost says it.

Please, Ray, please let me come home, I won't leave again, I won't, I love you, let me stay--

He does curl up with Ray, but he doesn't say a word. He doesn't think either one of them will get a lot of sleep, but Ray doesn't tell him to go. Ray just lets Fraser hold him, and he breathes out long, shaking breaths, like he wants to say something, too--but he doesn't. Neither one of them says another word.