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Getting Buried in Buffalo Jump

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Towards the end, Fraser and Kowalski and Diefenbaker head from Chicago towards Canada, not as if to go north is to escape, but just to see snow one final time before the nearing sun melts the last of it forever.

Perhaps ironically, as the end of all life becomes imminent, Fraser is increasingly cautious about his proclivity for endangering their lives in wildly bizarre ways; one part of this is his stubborn sense of duty to provide a continuing RCMP presence not only "to the ends of the earth" but to the end of the earth...and another part of this is that he doesn't want to risk dying before Ray now, doesn't want Ray -- who is ever full of fight and raw emotion -- to be alone at the end without the calm acceptance that Fraser believes to be the best course and towards which he intends to guide Ray.

Passing through Toronto, the trio stops to resupply. Ray and Dief enter a picked-over grocery store to see what of use may remain, while Fraser -- in the Red Serge -- stands guard at the GTO.

From around the corner of the block there appears a Torontonian; his name is Craig Zwiller, and he is thinking about his bucket list, a list of sexual fantasies, all the things he's never done and wants to do once before the world ends. Sex with a Mountie was not on his list...until he sees Fraser...because when Fraser sees Craig -- who looks like Ray's completely identical twin -- in just that one moment before Fraser's brain registers that Ray is still in the grocery store and also that Ray would never wear an orange shirt like the one Craig wears, in just that one moment when Fraser thinks "RAY!" before he thinks that perhaps the hole in his bag of marbles is getting bigger, he gives Craig the particular smile that he otherwise gives only to Ray. And that smile goes straight to Craig's cock, and he's thinking sex with a guy is on his end-of-the-world bucket list, but that he wouldn't have needed the nearness of the end for that if ever before this guy had smiled at him like that .

"Hey...hi there...I'm Craig. Not much time left. Do you want to come up to my apartment? I have drinks, and, you know, other stuff."

Fraser, although somewhat stunned, is still polite as always, and responds automatically with "I'm Constable Benton Fraser, RCMP".

Just then Ray emerges from the grocery store, followed by a grumbling Dief who hasn't found any doughnuts or candy bars or snack chips in some time now. Fraser, again automatically, chides "Diefenbaker, language!"

Ray and Craig look at each other. Ray mutters "What the hell...." Craig continues to stare for a moment, then shrugs and says to Ray "You want a drink? I got drinks," mentally adding a three-way with two other guys to his list, and makes the suggestion.

Fraser blushes and tugs on his collar, Dief snorts, and Ray says "There was a time I said 'I'll try anything,' but that was then and this is now, and no...we gotta be going".

Craig tries wheedling. "We'll all be going soon. My thought is if we're all going to be going, we might as well be coming."

"Nuh uh...just...no. Ben, Dief, get in the car."

Back on the road, Ray huffs out a breath and says "Well, that was a weird thing..." and Fraser murmurs "Right you are, Ray".

They get as far as Banff National Park in Alberta when Dief begins to make some sounds unlike anything Ray has heard from him before. Fraser says to his wolf "Alright, my friend". Then to Ray, "Dief is referring to the time he saw a television program about the wolves in Banff National Park. He wants to go to them, wants to be with his own kind now."

"Yeah, I get that. We can...."

"Ray, he's not saying 'we' ."

"Oh."

"He's saying good-bye. He's saying...." Fraser chokes up a bit and then continues "...that the wolves can no longer see the moon, so now they are gathering to howl at the sun."

"Aw, furface," is all Ray can manage to say, eyes getting teary, as Dief slobbers wolf spit into Ray's ear for the last time, Ray for once not objecting. Stopping the car, Ray turns to Dief and rubs behind the wolf's ears the way he knows Dief likes, and the wolf makes a pleased noise.

Fraser and Dief get out of the car, and Fraser gets down on his knees, hugs Dief, turns the wolf's muzzle towards him so Dief can read his lips, and speaks affectionately to him in Inuktitut. Dief gives Fraser a wolfy grin, snuffles into Fraser's hands with his lupine language of affection, then is off to join the wolf pack for the final howl.

When the two men lose sight of their former close companion, Fraser says to Ray "Dief has chosen his best last place; it's time for us to choose ours".

Fraser takes a map from the glove compartment, hands it to Ray. "Well, Mr. Instinct, what shall it be?" Fraser tries for a quirky grin to ease the moment, using a nickname once spoken in sarcasm on the sinking Henry Allen, but long since a term of humorous endearment.

Ray points to a place on the map; it reads "Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump". Fraser nods, and Ray says with an accustomed smirk "One last kick in the head, hey Frase?"

Driving on Highway 785, passing Fort Macleod, Ray asks "How much further?"

"About 18 kilometers."

"How much in American ?"

"Ah. About 11.18 miles."

"And how much more time before...uh...you know."

"Enough time to get there and set up camp."

"Your answer is time to set up camp? Are you doing that refracting thing with me?"

"I think you mean 'deflecting,' Ray."

"Yeah, whatever. So, we're almost there, and we're gonna set up camp, and then...."

"And then. Yes."

Arriving at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, they set up camp near the edge. Scant moments before the world ends, they stand at the very edge, embrace and kiss. Then Fraser says "My father tells me it's not up or down, it's across". Ray knows how much Fraser has always liked being the one to get the last word, and remains silent to let Fraser get this ultimate last word.

They join hands and step off the edge just before the world bursts into flame. There isn't time for gravity to drag them down. They never hit bottom. There will be no more burials in Buffalo Jump, forever.