Okay, so apparently Fraser jerks off sometimes. Ray gets that, or at least he thinks he does. It’s simple biology. Fraser’s lack of interest isn’t because he’s sick or physically incapable, and that’s good, Ray does not want Fraser to be, or get, sick.
Ray also does not want Fraser deliberately getting himself liquored up because he feels uncomfortable talking about the subject while sober. But that went ahead and happened, for some reason. Ray’s a little mystified; he thought they were floating along just fine: the job was good, home was good, and Ray was happy enough with his dates (one night stands) and jerking off.
But Fraser is apparently not floating along just fine. Fraser apparently just now realized that maybe Ray wanted something more from life than, well, specifically, something more from life that he might actually be able to have if Fraser weren’t in the way. Fraser already knew that Ray wanted more from Fraser than he could give him, had even offered to help Ray out or however he’d phrased it ("If I could, I would…I suppose I could"; yeah, Ray knew exactly what Fraser had said and how he had said it and that weird little gesture he’d made that was, like the offer itself, more sad than crude).
Now, and that was more than a couple of years ago, Fraser’s gone a little forward in his thinking. It’s almost…panic, Ray thinks. Hence the booze. Fraser’s realizing that maybe their little set-up is a little unfair to Ray, that maybe he’s taking advantage of Ray’s love for him by parking his ass one room over because maybe what he’s doing is waiting for Ray to just give up on sex entirely. Or something else. For whatever reason, suddenly Fraser's afraid to let them just float on.
But while Ray doesn't know what brought this on, he knows a lot of other things. He knows Fraser really is giving him everything he sincerely can. He’s not climbing into Ray’s bed to lie back and think of Canada while suffering through Ray’s disgusting attentions. He’s not pretending to be anyone other than who he is. And Ray wasn’t lying when he told Fraser that he wasn’t even sure if he’d know Fraser at all if he suddenly turned into the kind of guy who wanted sex.
Apparently, the one time Fraser was a guy who wanted sex, he’d nearly been killed and also came close to destroying not just his friendship with Vecchio, but the man’s entire life. And also Whatsherbitch was a member of a very special club of nonhuman humans, and that's not exactly a club Ray wants to be in.
Anyway, now Ray’s got a drunk…friend? Roommate? Man he’s in love with? Platonic lover? Where are the words for this relationship? Anyway, now Ray’s got a drunk Fraser snoring away in the other room, having (sort of) poured his heart out to Ray. Ray puts away what’s left of the JD and carefully washes out the one shot glass that actually got used. Fraser’s not gonna want to be smelling that in the morning.
Ray does some more cleaning up, then checks the locks and the lights. He gets ready for bed, tries not to think about Fraser’s latest offer. "Double coincidence of wants" Ray’s ass. Fraser had already offered to service Ray, and Ray had been surprised by the anger and vehemence of his own rejection of that offer, and now he’s offering to let Ray service him. Ray’s first instinct was to say yes, mostly because he always wants to give Fraser as much as he can, to make every aspect of his life just a little bit better, but partly just to shut the drunk maudlin guy up before he said anything even more potentially regrettable.
But Ray wonders if he’d actually be able to go through with it, assuming even Fraser himself did. Could he stand to see that, see Fraser’s face remain composed and remote even while his body forces him to sweat and shake and flush? See that sudden moment when Fraser’s face couldn’t help but change, and then see it settle back into familiar lines while Fraser murmurs, “Thank you Ray, that was just what I needed.”
One of the (many) things Ray likes about fucking other people is seeing their faces in those moments of pure, otherworldly pleasure. It’s like watching masks fall off: the don’t-fuck-with-me mask, the listen-to-me-I-know-what-I’m-talking-about-mask, the I-pay-my-taxes-and-return-my-videos-on-time mask, the please-take-me-home mask. But Ray thinks that whatever Fraser looks like when he comes, however involuntary and primal, would be changed if Ray were watching him; he’d be performing for Ray. And Ray’s pretty sure that’s not a mask he wants to see Fraser put on for him.
Instead, Ray thinks about Lisa while he brushes his teeth. About a month after he and Stella had split, Ray, crazy with lonely boredom, picked up a few shifts moonlighting as a bouncer at a neighborhood bar that had pretensions toward being a dance club on the weekends. Lisa had been one of the bartenders, and she and Ray used to exchange tales of romantic woe while waiting for the first rush of fake IDs to stop in. Lisa was a lesbian who said she always seemed to go for the intellectual types. “They over-think everything,” she’d told Ray once. “Like, the personal is always political, and every orgasm has to be simultaneous and arrived while lying side by side, with no penetration, and you think about flowers the whole time. That’s no more what I want than the stone-colds looking for wifey, you know?”
Ray gets into bed trying to remember Lisa’s last name. He should look her up sometime. Bennett? Bentner? Butler?
Going through every last name he can think of that starts with “B” seems like a more productive, or at least less crazy-making, use of his brain and time than wondering what the fuck he’s gonna do if Fraser ever actually does knock on the wall.