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Saturday

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Ray Kowalski has always really loved Saturdays.

When he was a kid, Saturday was the day he could pretend the pile of homework didn't exist, go out and practice batting with his dad in the community lot. Saturday night was the night he had dancing lessons with Stella. When he was a little older, Saturday was still the day homework didn't exist, only instead of baseball with his dad it was crawling into the hot space between concrete and engine, fixing up the GTO, and at night it was still dancing with Stella, clubs instead of ballroom.

When he was older still and had his first apartment with Stella and his job as a rookie beat cop, Ray always requested Saturdays off because he could convince even his law-school wife that homework didn't exist for whole lazy mornings. After the divorce went through (finalized on a Monday, which probably meant Garfield was fucking right) Ray took up the boxing he'd stopped when he'd married Stella, and Saturdays became days at the gym coaching Levon, a single bright spot amid the gray welter of the working week.

After Fraser turned up, Ray still took his Saturdays off, and even if he couldn't always coax the Mountie from the paperwork, sometimes he could convince Fraser to walk Dief with him and come home afterwards for TV and takeout.

Up on the tundra Ray lost track of calendars. He liked that.

But none of that, none of it -- not dancing, not boxing, not fixing up cars, not days on a sled and nights with the aurora rippling overhead -- compares to the Saturdays he has now.

The weekend starts at about 7 AM, because it's just Ray's luck that he has to be living with a chronic early riser and another guy who is understandably kind of an insomniac after spending a year as a mob boss. Anyway, it's usually at least kind of light out, and Vecchio and Fraser both know that if Ray had his way he'd sleep another fucking hour, thanks, so they make sure to have the blinds drawn and wake Ray up as nice as possible -- which is pretty damn nice.

Ray usually sleeps on the side furthest from the window -- and isn't that still a trip, three guys in one bed and somehow they all fit because Ray's a skinny bastard and Fraser takes up about one polite inch of space and Vecchio was married long enough that he knows not to steal all the covers. Vecchio gets the side by the window, so he can keep an eye on the bedside clock, and Fraser gets the middle because he ... has to. Ray and Vecchio didn't even have to discuss it, just knew that's how it had to be, because not-so-deep-down Fraser was just a guy who'd slept on a solitary cot most of his life, and it had only taken him about two nights lying there radiating an anxiousness for solitude before he'd snapped and become a touch junkie. It was apparently a surprise to him but not any kind of surprise to Vecchio or Ray. He still manages to disentangle during the night and lie there politely, giving Ray and Vecchio their space, but that's okay too; Ray doesn't mind sleeping next to the solid heat Fraser gives off rather than half-smothered in it.

It works out well, the sleeping-arrangement thing, because in the morning insomniac Vecchio rolls out of bed to be some kind of crazy Italian mother hen and make a pot of coffee (cream for him and Fraser, handful of M&M's for Ray) and Fraser rolls over, wide-awake already, the freak, to do something fucking amazing like wake Ray up with a Fraser-caliber blowjob. This basically means Ray cannot remember his own name let alone what godawful early hour of the morning it is.

Fraser and Vecchio have the timing almost down to an art, too; it's usually about thirty seconds after Ray's come his brains out and is lying there, making inarticulate noises of sleepy goodwill to the entire universe, that Vecchio saunters in with the mugs of coffee and calls Ray back from the land of the blissfully fucked with lots of caffeine and sugar. Sometimes Fraser remembers the state of the coffee and insists that he and Vecchio drink theirs before it gets cold, but more often Ray gets to contentedly drink his coffee and watch the free Fraser and Vecchio porn show, and seriously, there is no better way he can think of to start the day. It's usually up to him to shuffle out with the cold coffee and fix everyone new rounds while Fraser and Vecchio are lying around trying to recover the use of their limbs, but Ray doesn't mind.

Afterwards they drink their coffee for real around the kitchen table, and there's the usual debate about who gets to take Dief out for his morning walk. Fraser always offers to go, then worries that if he's gone his Rays will be irresponsible and forget to have a decent real breakfast; sometimes they solve this by Vecchio volunteering to make omelets, sometimes by Ray rolling his eyes and taking Diefenbaker out before Fraser can even finish going over the relative merits of his options, sometimes by Dief becoming tired of the whole thing and just sneaking out a window onto the fire escape. Breakfast (and Ray's even keeping on a little weight now that Fraser and Vecchio between them have finally convinced his stomach it might be a morning person), then showers (sometimes together, but usually not; Fraser disapproves of the waste of water and also takes the shortest showers ever, but that doesn't mean Ray and Vecchio don't sometimes wait until he's gone out and then take really nice groping half-hour ones), and then Fraser leaves for the Consulate.

It's when Fraser goes, at 10 AM or so, that the day stops being fucking magical and becomes just a day. Vecchio bosses Ray around a bit and they get the apartment cleaned up. Sometimes they talk shop, running over cases; sometimes they talk Fraser stories, because Ray doesn't think they'll ever run out; once in a while they'll even talk undercover stories, although Ray likes to wait until Fraser's around for those, because he might understand them better but Fraser's a better listener and when Vecchio needs to tell them something about Vegas it's usually a good idea to have takeout menus on hand and four arms for hugging.

Mostly, though, it's good, a weird kind of normal Ray's a little surprised they got used to without it all going wrong. But it doesn't: Vecchio looks over Ray's case notes and bitches about his handwriting, Ray bounces a couple of ideas off him about their next lead, they toss a coin for which car they're gonna take today and bicker about it anyway, and they go in the Riv to pick up Fraser at the end of the day.