Ray hasn’t been listening for the knock. Ray’s not even sure how to tell Fraser how goddamned terrified he is. He’s okay with his life as it is; he gets his best friend and work partner and roommate in his life all the time. He gets so much more of Fraser than anyone ever has or ever will. Fraser could, at any time, easily manipulate him into celibate monogamy (unless masturbating is cheating, which Ray is pretty sure it is not).
But Fraser’s also running scared. Hence The Offer. For Ray, when Fraser first offered him…whatever the hell it was he offered him, some kind of disinterested sexual service, friction, Fraser’s words and gestures were so vague that Ray’s pretty sure Fraser himself didn’t really know what kind of specifics he was offering. Was relying on Ray to show Fraser what he needed from him. That had been The Offer, in Ray’s mind, until the real capital letter Offer came along, courtesy of Ray’s emergency JD stash. Fraser volunteering to let Ray participate in what little sexuality he has…that was one big fucking Offer.
It was such a big fucking Offer that Ray, more than two weeks later, is only now pulling his head out of his ass enough to realize that it was more than Fraser being pityingly generous. Or condescending. Or just plain drunk. Fraser had Offered to let Ray see something only one other (nonhuman) person had seen. Maybe the act itself was no more significant to Fraser than a yawn or a sneeze, but even Fraser, as much as he isolates himself from humanity, knows the kind of emotional freight an Offer like that carries.
Ray tries to be less cynical, more like Fraser, but he dropped the ball on The Offer, suspecting its nature, its underlying motives. At least, this time, he hadn’t harshly rejected Fraser. Somehow, he’d instinctively given Fraser something to hang his hat on. Later, he’d panicked, of course. Hell, he’s still panicking.
Because this could so easily destroy everything they’ve built together. Their friendship, their partnership, their domestic life. If Ray includes himself into what little sexual life Fraser has, or lets Fraser into his own, Ray’s pretty sure he’ll have manipulated his own damn self into a life of celibate monogamy (plus masturbation, which in that case would definitely not be cheating). He knows he won’t be able to go back to the bars. He knows he won’t be able to go on dates at all, so no possibility of fun, uncomplicated sex with someone who knows the score.
But Fraser made The goddamned Offer. Fraser manned the fuck up, ready to give Ray beyond the limits of what he was comfortable with. Because Ray’s pretty sure, as much as his cynical side told him that Fraser was panicking and trying to tell Ray what Fraser thought he wanted to hear, make him an Offer he could readily refuse, that deep down, Fraser actually meant it. Wanted to include Ray. Wanted Ray to include him.
And maybe Fraser doesn’t need to hear how goddamned terrified Ray is, because maybe he knows already, or maybe this is Ray’s shit to deal with. So finally, Ray’s ready to listen for the knock.