"Oh hey, Frase. Didn't expect you yet," Ray said, bouncing a bit as he opened the door. "Ice Queen let you off early, which would mean she actually let you out on time for once? What am I saying? 'Course she did. You'd never abandon your post."
"It's not a problem, is it, Ray?"
"Nah, you're not too early. Not like I have anything going on in here that you're interrupting. Wait, that didn't sound like what I wanted to say. Sorry. I mean you're always welcome. C'mon in."
A Crowbar song Fraser was familiar with from Ray's birthday party was replaced by something that sounded like a record warping as it played while... crickets chirped and something moaned in the background? What was Ray listening to? Fraser was relieved when the electric guitar started.
Dienbaker whimpered. "No, I don't know what it is either," Fraser said.
"What was that, Frase?"
"Nothing, Ray. I was talking to Diefenbaker."
"That's fine." Ray swayed to the music as he stood in the kitchen. "You want a sandwich? I'm too tapped out for take-out. Or real groceries, actually."
Distracted, Fraser answered, "I could pay."
"Nah, you pay for me too much. Unless ya really don't want a sandwich, which I can understand. Then I could scrape up some money out of the couch maybe. I gotta feeling some's hiding in there."
"A sandwich would be fine."
"Peanut butter and jelly coming up. Got tea for ya too. Is Dief hungry?"
"Is there ever a time when he is not hungry?"
"True, true. I have a bowl of chow for him too." Dienfenbaker whined. "Sorry, guy, I'd give ya donuts, but you know how pissy he can get."
Ray grinned and put the water on to boil. "I appreciate you coming by to help me stay up. Hate these weird shifts. Then going back to my own schedule. Sucks. Least you got regular hours."
"Yes, well--" The lyrics purred from Ray's CD player distracted Fraser from his train of thought. "I wait all night for you / The priceless coat you wear / Fox or chinchilla, beaver/ It doesn't matter / To me it's hair." Fraser shook his head and asked, "What are you listening to?"
Ray stopped swaying to the music. "Y'know, just some music to keep me pumped up. If it bothers you, I can change CDs or turn it off."
"No, it's fine. Just not what I expected."
"Cool. I have a broad range of tastes. Routine is the--"
"Yup. Best to always leave 'em guessing." Then the drum started, and Ray began to move. Bouncing, swaying, grinning, singing along under his breath: "I can't get anything done / With you walkin' around like that/ I can't take a poke at fun / With that animal on your back...." And making sandwiches.
Fascinated, aroused, Fraser couldn't look away and walked into the kitchen for a better look. Fortunately, Ray was too far in his own space to feel self-conscious.
"I wake up wanting you / But you are barely there / I howl a song, and I prowl and long / I growl, but you don't care / I can't get anything done / With you shaking around like that...." And Ray did a stylized shake shake shake and spun the butter knife in his hand.
Ray opened his eyes, noticed the stare, and stopped moving. "Ah, sorry." He ran a hand through his hair and looked down.
Fraser couldn't help feeling disappointed. And frustrated. "Not at all--"
"Yeah, it's fun watching me make an ass of myself. Nah, that's not you."
"What is this?"
"Y'know, ya live alone, ya start getting too comfortable doing things you might not want other people to see, and--"
"I meant the music, Ray."
"Ah. Right. Well, I'm into industrial music a bit. Went to see Bowie a while back, and the opening acts were Nine Inch Nails and uhm." Ray coughed. "Can't tell you the other band name, not you. Can't say it, I mean. But I decided I liked the both of them too, so I bought some albums, y'know?" Then Ray got a look on his face Fraser didn't understand. "I liked '80s Bowie, not '70s Bowie, okay?" The look changed. "That meant absolutely nothin' to ya, did it?"
"Nothing at all."
"Oh. Then it don't matter. Forget I said anything about that." Ray smiled as the song went into an interlude full of sounds Fraser couldn't identify at all. "Din-din's ready."
Fraser accepted the teacup and a sandwich. "I didn't think you looked silly. Not at all."
"You're just saying that."
"Not at all. Actually...."
Ray lost patience with waiting for Fraser to break the pause. "Yeah?"
"I liked it."
"Liked it how?" Ray shook his head at Fraser's blush. "'Sokay. Ya don't have to answer that." He did a little spin before sitting down on the couch and purred along with the vocalist, "You really don't know, do ya?"
Fraser sat beside Ray and listened to the next few lines. "Consent is all I need / To bring out the savage in me / Your scent is all I need / To bring out the animal in me / I can't get anything done / With you shaking around like that...."
"Ray, are you trying to tell me something?"
"If the music's bothering you, I could turn it off." Ray, all slightly restrained manic energy and peanut butter scent, leaned into him.
Fraser leaned back in an almost-snuggle. "I think I'm starting to like it."
"That's great." Ray's eyes gleamed. "The next song is 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails."
NOTES: The song Ray's playing is "Animal" by Prick, which is the name he can't say to Fraser.