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An X-File

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Somewhere in Maryland


Ray has a dead grip on the steering wheel, his glasses for once on his nose and not in his jacket pocket.

Usually he doesn't wear his glasses except for the times when he has to shoot at someone or something because he's rather blind without them. But under these circumstances he thinks it would be better to see something than get him and Fraser killed in that mess outside.

It had started snowing the day before yesterday and the roads are slippery and the darkness doesn't make it any easier to drive.

"Ray, I really think you should turn around," Fraser says beside Ray, looking concerned. "I'm certain …"

"We're not lost, Fraser!" Ray states and glares at his friend.

"Of course not, Ray," Fraser says, knowing very well that they should have turned right at the last cross-way. But Ray had insisted to know his way and now they were lost but it wouldn't do him any good to say so out loud. "Perhaps I could take over the wheel," he suggests.

"Perhaps you could not."

"But Ray, I'm more than qualified to drive under such circumstances."

"This is not a dogsled, Fraser," Ray grabs the wheel even tighter when suddenly the engine stutters and dies.

Darkness all around them - outside and inside the car.

Ray looks at the dashboard first, then at Fraser, his face an image of anger.

"You spooked the car," he accuses his friend while he tries to turn the engine on again.


"I most certainly did not."

"Damn," Ray curses, punching the steering wheel with both his hands.

"Perhaps we should take a look ..."

"Take a look how, Fraser? We can't see a thing out there," Ray closes his eyes for a second.

"Very well then," Fraser tries to light up the mood in the car. "We shall look for shelter," and he opens the passenger door, letting in the cold and Ray shudders.


While Fraser stands outside, looking around, Ray grabs his cell phone and - like he wouldn't have guessed already - it's dead too.

Great! Fucking greatness.


Slowly he gets out of the car, wrapping his arms around his body for warmth but in this cold it doesn't do much good.

"Perhaps you should put on my coat, Ray," Fraser says, looking at him with worry in his eyes.

"The Queen's coat, Fraser?" Ray teases, shivering.

"Ray," Fraser starts to argue that it can't possibly be the Queen's coat. For one thing she's much smaller than himself and secondly ... never mind. "I'm certain she wouldn't mind." He smiles now, reaching inside the car for his coat.

"What about you?" Ray asks, putting on Fraser's RCMP coat and getting surrounded by his friend's scent.

"I'm far more accustomed to the cold than you. My layers of body fat ..."

"Don't, Frase," Ray holds up his hands to stop Fraser's words. "Just don't!"


"So, what're we doin' now?" Ray shifts from one foot to the other to keep his blood circulation going.

"Surely there must be a resident around here who's willing to provide us with help."

"Yeah?" Ray turns around and around but there is nothing but darkness. "Where?"

Fraser mimics him, searching the area.

"I wish Dief would be here. He could sniff us a way or something."

"Ray," Fraser shakes his head. "Diefenbaker won't even be able to provide us with food the state he is in and you know very well he wasn't allowed to accompany us to the conference in Washington."


"Oh look," Fraser points out something with his right hand and Ray can see a small light in the distance.




They walk towards the light for what seems like hours, just the noise of crushing snow underneath their feet and their heavy breathing. But finally they make it to a gate to an old mansion which seems only to be lit by a fireplace.

"Ah," Fraser says, stepping through the gate when Ray grabs his arm, holding him back.

"Stop, Frase."

"Is something amiss, Ray?" Fraser turns to look at his friend whose face is white, and not just from the cold.

"Something's hinky."

"Have you been here before?"

"Dunno," Ray shrugs his shoulders, uneasy. "It looks kinda familiar ..."

"It's an old building like you would find ..."

"That's it," Ray blurts out. "Last week's "X-Files"."

"X-files, Ray?"

"Yeah, the TV show, y'know."

"No, I'm afraid not, Ray." He looks at the house, stepping closer to the door. "It might be possible that the creators used the house in question as a location."

"Funny thing is, Frase, they shot the show up in Canada."

"Ah, I see."

"No, you don't, Frase." Ray shakes his head. "I won't go in there. Something terrible will happen."

Fraser cocks his head, looking at Ray questioningly.

"And you know that because you saw it on TV last week?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I do."


"Don't 'hmmm' me, Frase. It's giving me the creeps and I won't go in there."

"Alright then. Perhaps you could provide me with the information what possibly could happen, Ray."


"You don't remember?"

"No." Ray shrugs his shoulders. "I watch a lot of TV and I think I fell asleep ... somethin' about ghosts, I guess."


"Yeah, something about a couple who killed themselves to spend eternity together."

"That's plain silly, Ray."

"It sounded logical when Mulder told the story."


"Agent Mulder, Fraser."

"But you know, Ray that he's just a fictional character."

"Could be."

Fraser lifts his eyebrows.

"You know, they could make us believe that crap, y'know … On the other hand who really knows?"

"Ray! Ray! Ray!" Fraser shakes his head and turns to knock on the door when it suddenly opens by itself.

Ray jerks back while Fraser curiously looks inside but not really seeing anything because there are no lights on.

"Hello?" He calls. "My name is Constable Benton Fraser, RCMP and …" He steps inside, Ray, in spite of his words, close behind him now.

"Hello?" Fraser calls again when there is a knocking sound above them, followed by the clock chiming in the foyer.

"Creepy," Ray kind of whispers in Fraser's back while both men look up.

Suddenly there is the sound of cold wind and the front door slams shut behind them.

"There must be a window open upstairs," Fraser says. "The weather report said that there was an 80 percent chance of snow …" but Ray isn't listening. He's turned around to the door, joggling the knob, without success.

"Fraser, help me get this damn door open," Ray asks but his friend just stands in the foyer, his head slightly cocked, listening.

"It seems there is someone walking upstairs."

More knocking.

"I can hear that, Fraser," Ray rolls his eyes. "But we won't go looking …"

"But there could be someone in need of our help, Ray."

"No!" Ray interrupts.

"Clearly, Ray," Fraser tries to reason with his friend. "If you had guests you would greet them and not …"

"What part of 'no' didn't you understand, Fraser?" But his words are lost because his partner is half way up the stairs already and if he doesn't want to be left alone in the darkness so he has no choice but to follow Fraser. Like he always does.

One of these days, Ray swears under his breath, Fraser would get them both killed.




When Ray reaches his partner, Fraser's trying a locked door to his right.

"See, no one's home. Let's go," Ray says, turning around, ready to go down again.

"Mmmh-hmm," Fraser tries another door, also locked, when the one he already tried creaks as it opens slightly by itself, revealing light from the inside.

"Hello?" Fraser calls while Ray takes a deep breath, trying to get his wildly pounding heart under control before he follows Fraser into an elegant, turn-of-the-century two-story library with a ladder leading down to the lower level.

The furniture is covered with white cloth.

There is a chandelier. Harpsichord music.

"Fraser," Ray whispers, looking around curiously.

"Perhaps the occupants are afraid of us," Fraser says, walking towards the ladder.

"Of us?"

"We invaded their home after all. It could be mistaken as an act of predation, Ray." Fraser heads directly toward the fireplace as soon as they are down the ladder. "The fireplace has just gone out," he explains. Smoke is still clouding the air.

"But where do they hide?" Ray asks when they hear the sound of a door slamming shut, followed by a thumping.

"That sound again," Ray whispers, following Fraser's gaze to the floor boards which start creaking underneath their feet.

Carefully Fraser moves the furniture out of the way and puts his ear down to the floor.

"There seems to be a hidden space under the floor boards, Ray."

"Don't care," Ray growls, reaching for his gun. But when he turns to go up the ladder and get the hell out of here, it's gone; the freaking ladder is gone.


"There may be somebody trapped under there."


"We have to get them out, Ray."


"What is it, Ray?" Fraser finally looks up and into his friend's pale face.

"We're trapped," Ray says, pointing at the place where the ladder is supposed to be.


"Don't ...," Ray is about to say as the creaking underneath their feet gets louder. "Okay." He cracks his neck and kneels down, grabbing a floor board and pulls it up, revealing a dead body. "You were half right," Ray says, making room to have Fraser have a look.

"Oh dear," the Mountie whispers while Ray pulls up more boards, giving view to just another body.

Two male, very decomposed corpses – bullet wounds in their belly and chest.

"Looks like they were shot." Ray touches his neck in discomfort.

"So it would appear." Fraser looks down at the bodies when a sharp breath alerts Ray who takes a closer look.


"Fraser," he says, pointing at one of the corpse almost accusingly. "This one is wearing my outfit and ... and ...," he starts stuttering, getting on his feet and away from the hole in the floor. "It's us!"

Fraser has to agree that it's kind of eerie to look at two dead men who are dressed as them, at least regarding Ray because as authentic as the uniform might appear he wasn't wearing his.

"As you can see clearly, Ray, I'm wearing my uniform in this scenario." But Ray won't listen to his reasoning; he's pacing up and down instead, gesturing wildly with his hands.

"Which you would do if that waitress hadn't spilled her coffee all over it," which was right, of course but not important right now.

"I don't see the point, Ray."

"Maybe they are kinda slow at the uptake or somethin'."

"That's just silly, Ray."

"Fraser! That's us down there." Ray is yelling now. "No matter if you wear your uniform or not. It's us. Dead!"

"Ray! Ray! Ray!"

"I'm outa here," he declares and runs off through the nearest door, Fraser right on his heels. But instead of entering another room or getting back to the foyer they step into the library again - same fireplace, same bookshelves, even their dead bodies are there.

"Fraser," Ray whispers insecurely.

"It's the same room," Fraser confirms, pointing at just another door but that also one brings them back to the library.

"Alright." Fraser takes a deep breath, trying to find a solution for their problem. Soon, if possible, because Ray by his side starts to really freak out, cursing under his breath and holding on a bit too tight o his forearm.

"I start to …," he says, looking at the doors, "If I go through that door," he points at the one opposite the room, "you should come out this one," Ray jumps in, looking at the door they just came through.


Ray lets go of Fraser arm and Fraser crosses the room to the opposite and exists into the library again while Ray waits for him to appear at the door next to him but Fraser doesn't.

Instead both men stand in empty rooms, separated from one another when the doors between them slam shut.

Ray's banging against the door, calling Fraser's name but doesn't get an answer from his friend. He grabs his gun then, shooting the lock off the door just to find the doorway suddenly bricked up.

"Dammit," he curses, turning to find himself face to face with an old man who's standing right behind him. "What…," he jumps back, his heart trying to escape his body. "Who are you?"

"That's a question I should be asking, after all this is my house you're standing in. This isn't one of those home invasions, is it?" the older man asks curiously.

"Good. Would you like me to show you the door?"

"That's very funny," Ray starts to get impatient because the freaking door is bricked and Fraser has to be somewhere behind it.

"I wasn't making a joke."

"Have you looked at the door?"

"Uh-huh, I'm looking at it now."

"Tell me what you see, funny-guy."

"I see a door with the lock shot off it. You are going to pay for that, aren't you?"

"That's a door with a brick wall behind it."

"Okay, sure," the old man laughs and Ray turns to see the door not just open but passable, no wall at all.

"You're playing tricks on me." Anger rises inside him while Ray steps through the door into guess-what … another library - with no Fraser in it.

"If I am, I'm sorry but I don't know any tricks." The old man follows, looking not the tiniest bit concerned about entering just the same room again.

"Where is he?" Ray demands, pointing his gun at the man.

"Am I to take it we're not alone?"

"Ah, that's very funny coming from ... a ghost." Ray falters just a second but he's sure now, they are in a cursed house and this man has to be a ghost.

The man laughs heartily now, pointing at Ray's gun. "Yeah, oh ... the gun fooled me a little at first. You're a ghost hunter, huh? And you think I'm a ghost, huh? I've seen a lot of strange folks coming around here with a lot of strange equipment but I think you must be the first I've seen come armed."

"Strange folks?"


"Like those folks under the floorboard?" Ray turns to the hole in the floor but the corpses just aren't missing, there is no hole at all. "How did you do that?"

"I didn't do anything."

Ray goes to the spot where Fraser and he had pulled up the floor boards and discovered their dead bodies. "There were corpses here - bodies buried under the floorboards." His voice dies; he's losing his mind, that much is clear.

"Why don't you have a seat, son." He's gently being pushed down into an old, comfortable looking arm chair.

"You drink? Take drugs?"


"Get high?"


"He's driving you nuts, isn't he?" The old man is close to Ray now, their head just inches apart and Ray suddenly feels relaxed which under these circumstances is really weird but ... "Yeah," he smiles, "he's driving me barefoot up the wall."

"I see," the man says friendly, understandingly, still getting closer to Ray. "With his correcting. Niggling. You say 'A' and he says 'B'. His reasoning. Never hearing what you have to say. Always expecting you to follow his lead ..."

"Hey, wait," Ray is out of his seat, looking down at the man.

"He's the man who's never wrong, always right. Knowing everything. Perfect."

"All right, now just, uh ... just back off for a second." Ray's hands are raised in defense.

"You remain by his side because you would be alone without him."

"No!" Ray shakes his head violently. "He's my partner, my friend."

"More self-delusion, Ray Kowalski."

Ray cocks his head, getting up his gun again.

"Where is he?"

"You know why you do it - listen endlessly to his droning rationalizations. 'Cause you're afraid. Afraid of the loneliness. Am I right?"

"Where is Fraser?" Ray asks again, his gun pointing at the man's chest now.

"Your friend, you mean," and Ray nods his head.

"Right behind that door," and the man stands up, walks through the former bricked-up door. But as soon as Ray tries to follow the wall is up again and he crashes right into it.






Fraser stands in front of the locked door, calling out for his friend when he hears someone appearing behind him. He turns slowly, sensing that it couldn't be his friend, the hair on his back standing on edge.

An older woman dressed in a long white dressing gown is looking at him curiously and Fraser tips his hat to greet her.

"Good afternoon, Ma'am," he says which brings a smile on her pale face.

"Good afternoon. I'm Lydia."

"My name is Constable Benton Fraser," he explains, standing with his hands behind his back. "I'm a member of the Royal Canadian Police and am truly sorry to disturb your peace …"

"My goodness, I ... I thought you were a ghost," the woman interrupts, relieve rushing over her face.

"I can assure you, I am not. Although I have to admit to seeing ghosts occasionally - a particular ghost - but that's not important. The important thing is ..."

"You're really seeing a ghost?" Lydia sits down in an arm chair, looking at her visitor with more interest now.

"Occasionally, yes," Fraser nods his head in earnest. "It could also be a trick of mind, regarding my ..."


"Pardon me?"

"I'm in the field of mental health," Lydia explains. "I specialize in disorders and manias related to pathological behavior as it pertains to the paranormal."

"Ah," Fraser rubs his eyebrow, getting slightly uncomfortable with the turn of events. "I didn't know such a thing existed."

"My specialty is what I call soul prospectors - a cross axial classification I've codified by extensive interaction with visitors like yourself. I've found you all tend to fall into pretty much the same category."

"What category would that be?" Fraser asks, sitting down beside her. A good, professional analysis could always be useful to have, he thinks.

"Narcissistic, overzealous, self-righteous egomaniac."

"That's a category?"

"You kindly think of yourself as single-minded but you're prone to obsessive compulsiveness workaholism, antisocialism ... Fertile fields for the descent into total wacko breakdown."

Fraser tugs at his collar.

"I don't think that pegs me exactly."

Lydia shakes her head understandingly, covering Fraser's hand with one of her own.

"Poor boy, you've probably convinced yourself you've seen ghosts. You know why you think you see the things you do?"

There a huge lump in Fraser's throat when he answers. "Because I have seen one?"

"'Cause you're a lonely man," her voice his real gentle now, like a mother talking to her child. "A lonely man ... I can see it in your face ... the fear ... the conflicted yearnings ... a subconscious desire to find fulfillment through another. Intimacy through co-dependency."

"What?" The woman's words almost make him speechless.

"Maybe you repress the truth about why you're really here, pretending it's out of duty or loyalty - unable to admit your dirty little secret," she gets closer to Fraser again like she wants to tell him a secret. "Your only joy in life is drowning in his energy, in his passion for life."

Fraser gets out off his seat, stepping away from her, his face covered in pain like she has hit a nerve.

"You don't know me," he whispers. "You don't know us!"

"Hello, Maurice," Lydia stands up, greeting an old man who just comes through the door behind Fraser and Fraser takes a run for the door just to crash into a brick wall.


"You see what we've resorted to? Gimmicks and cheap tricks. "Maurice shakes his head in sadness. "We used to be so good at this."

"This pop psychology approach is crap. All it does is annoy them," Lydia takes her husband's hand. "When's the last time we actually haunted anyone?"

"When was the last time we had a good double murder?" Maurice asks. "… not since the house was condemned."

"This is embarrassing - amateur kid stuff."

"These two do seem pretty miserable," Maurice points at the unconscious Fraser on the floor. "We need to show them just how lonely life can be."

"Now that's the spirit." Lydia kisses her husband and both start laughing.




Ray is standing on an arm chair, straining to pull himself up to the upper level of the library, not realizing that Lydia is watching him. He just made it to the upper level when Lydia appears in front of him and Ray sighs.

"Who're you now?"

"What are you doing using my chair for a ladder?"

"Look, lady." Ray gets impatient, he has to find Fraser and get the hell out of here and that woman is standing in his way. No time for pleasantries. "I'm trying to get outa here." He waves his hand to make her move out of the way.

"No, no. You can't get out this way."

Ray hesitates for a second before he pokes her in the chest, pushing her against the wall.


"Frump," Ray calls back and opens the door, just to be confronted with another brick wall.

"I don't know who you're calling a frump but I don't appreciate that - being manhandled, or called names. Certainly not at this hour," Lydia complains.

"You are a ghost," Ray accuses her, going down the suddenly reappeared ladder to the chairs on the lower level.

"Oh, more names," Lydia calls, following him. "I hope your partner finds you a lot more charming than I do."

"Fraser?" Ray asks, dumbfounded.

"I hope you're not expecting any great advantages to all this."

"To all what?" Ray gets confused by this lady talking about 'charming' and 'partner' in the same sentence.

"I'm assuming you came here with similar misconceptions." She looks up and down his body.

"Look." Ray cracks his neck. "We came here for help, ok? Our car broke down and ... and ..."

"You didn't come here to be together for eternity?"

Ray almost falls down on his knees in shock.


"Because you're filled with despair and loneliness?"

"Huh?" He's totally confused now. What is she talking about?

"It was your partner then." Lydia frowns and starts to pace.

"What about Fraser?"

"You knew this house was haunted?"

"No," Ray calls out, getting as far away from her as possible. "I … I ..." he stutters. "TV ... I had a hunch, I ..."

"We're on television now?" Lydia asks furiously. "First tourist literature and now television ..."

"Look …" Ray starts but Lydia interrupts. "Maybe you two should have discussed your real feelings before you came out here. I'm speaking from experience."

"What experience?" All this starts to freak him out, really.

"I'm not going to get into semantics. A murder-suicide is all about trust,"and she lifts her grown, revealing a bullet hole through her abdomen.


"I don't show my hole to just anyone."

"No kiddin', why are you showing it to me?"

"He's unhinged, you know," Lydia whispers and Ray looks around.


"Your partner. Fraser." She nods her head. "He could try something."


"What?" Ray looks at her in disbelieve. "Are you trying to tell me that Fraser's going to shoot me? Fraser is not going to shoot me. Even if he wanted to, he can't. He has no gun."

"Suit yourself." Her face expresses mild pity for his obvious simplicity regarding his partner. "But if you shoot first, for him, the rest is an act of faith."

"I wouldn't shoot him."

"Maybe he shoots himself."

"I wouldn't let him."

Lydia walks over to the hole in floor, pointing at the dead bodies. "The bodies - maybe that was just some kind of Jungian symbolism. Or maybe ... there's a secret lovers' pact."

Ray avoids looking at the bodies, a cold shiver running down his spine. This couldn't be happening, it just couldn't.

"We're not lovers, "he says weakly.

"And this isn't a pure science. But you're both so attractive," she purrs, "and there'll be a lot of time to work that out." She holds a gun out to him. "Go ahead, take it."

Ray quickly checks his holster to find that his gun is missing, dammit.

"Take it," Lydia says again. "Think of it as the last day you'll ever spend alone," and she disappears, letting the gun fall into a surprised Ray's hand.




Fraser wakes from his crash into the wall and tries to open the locked door.

"I locked it." Maurice sits in a chair behind him. "For your protection."

"I don't need your protection." Fraser faces him. "I'm capable of defending myself."

"I'm glad to hear it," the man sighs, relieved. "You may very well have to defend yourself against that crazy partner of yours."

"What have you done with him?!"

"Kept him safe from his own mad devices - at least for now. Do you have any idea why he brought you here to this house?"

"Ray didn't bring us here, technically speaking." Fraser rubs his right eyebrow nervously. "Although if he had followed my instructions we ..."


There is a pounding at the door, followed by Ray calling his name.


"Do you realize how seriously disturbed that man is?" Maurice asks, still sitting in his chair calmly. "How dark and lonely? What he's capable of?"


"Ray," Fraser calls and runs towards the door, just to be stopped by Maurice in front of him, keys dangling on his finger.

"The man is acting on an unconscious yearning. The deep-seated terror of being alone," Maurice whispers conspiratorially.

"The keys, please." Fraser stretches out his hand.

"Did he tell you about this house? What used to happen here? Lovers' pact? Murder-suicide to spend eternity together?"

More pounding at the door.

"Fraser, are you there?"

"I'm here, Ray, " Fraser responds. "The key," he says, directed at Maurice.

"I have seen this happening too many times," Maurice sighs defeatedly but instead of a key a gun is in Fraser's hand when the door opens, revealing Ray with his gun pointed at him.

Ray fires, shattering a mirror behind Fraser.

"Ray, what are you doing?" Fraser asks confusedly when his friend fires again. "Ray!"

Ray's in panic. "There's no getting out of here, Frase. There's no way out," and he fires again.

"Ray," Fraser tries to remain calm. "Put the gun down! Please!"

"You going to shoot me?!"

"Of course not, Ray." Fraser lowers his own weapon, not even aware that he was pointing it at his friend.

"It's me or you ... You or me. One of us has to do it."

"Ray, look ... We don't have to do this."

"Oh, yes, we do."

"We can get out of here."

"Even if we could what's waiting for us? More loneliness!"

"Ray, please," Fraser is about to say when Ray lowers the angle of the gun and fires.

Fraser stares down in shock at the bullet wound in his abdomen, just to look up at Ray who's biting his lower lip like he's in pain himself.

Slowly Fraser falls down to the floor, his eyes never leaving Ray's.

"I'm sorry, Fraser," Ray whispers, raising the gun to his own temple and when he's about to shoot he changes into Lydia.

Maurice walks over to his wife, taking the gun out of her hand.




"Fraser!" Ray enters the library, seeing his friend on the floor, bleeding and he's by his side in a second.


"Ray?" Fraser asks weakly. "Is that you?"

"What? Frase, what did you do?" Ray can't believe Fraser's blood on his hands and even less Fraser's gun pointing at his chest.

"I didn't believe that you'd do it ... That I would ... I'm sorry," and Fraser pulls the trigger, hitting Ray right in his chest. Ray falls back in shock, never seeing how Fraser turns into Lydia again.




Ray rolls over, his gaze directed at the door, pulling himself out of the room and into the foyer while Fraser stumbles down the stairs, bleeding heavily. He reaches the foyer which has a trail of blood across it and he sees Ray a few feet away also crawling to the open front door.

"Ray," Fraser calls out and hears Ray gasp before he rolls over in pain, pointing his gun at him.

"You shot me," Ray accuses Fraser, fire of rage in his eyes.

"I did no such thing, Ray," Fraser whispers, holding up his empty hands. "You know very well that I'm not permitted to have a gun."

"There is blood all over me!" Ray's not convinced when realization dawns on Fraser and he stands up, easily.

"Ray ..."

"What?" he coughs in pain.

"Get up!"

"I can't," he gasps in his best are-you-nuts-voice.

"Get up, you are not shot," and to prove his point he lifts up the bloody shirt from his stomach.


"It's a trick. It's all in your head," and he grabs Ray's hand to pull him to his feet.

Together, their hands still tangled, they run for the door and outside.

"What was that?" Ray's gasping beside Fraser while they run through the snow, leaving the house behind. "What was that about?"

"I haven't got the slightest idea, Ray."

They come to a halt in front of the car and both men turn to look back at the old mansion which is lit by a fireplace again.

"Shit!" Ray curses.

"Indeed, Ray," and Ray starts laughing hysterically.

"Ray! Ray! Ray!"

"They wanted us to kill each other!" Ray's breath is ragged and he's trying not to look at Fraser.

"It was all a trick of mind, Ray," Fraser tries to calm down his friend, showing him his blood-free flannel shirt and Ray reaches for the shirt, touching it, feeling Fraser's heat underneath it.


"I could never kill you, Fraser," Ray whispers, making a knot in Fraser's shirt with his hand, his heart beating loudly in his own ears.

"I know, Ray." Fraser takes Ray's hand, the one wrinkling his shirt, and squeezes it gently. "Neither could I."

Ray relaxes with Fraser's words and brings him in for tight hug.

"Let's go home," he whispers in Fraser's ear before he places a soft kiss behind it, feeling Fraser's life pumping through the vein beneath his lips.

"Home," Fraser gasps happily and both men realize that it doesn't take eternity to figure things out.


The End