Ray was dreaming. He knew he was dreaming, because he was a woman.
Okay, well, he was still Ray—and Ray was a man, no question about it—but in the dream, he had a woman's body. So that's how he knew, when he thought he woke up, that he wasn't really awake yet.
Besides which, he'd had this dream before.
Well, no, there was something different. He'd never dreamed before that he woke up next to Fraser.
Which, dreaming that in itself wouldn't have been so odd, because they did stakeouts together and pulled all-nighters sometimes, and did witness-protection gigs, and a lot of those times they ended up napping or sleeping side by side on floors or in the car or even on the ground.
But they'd never actually slept next to each other in a bed.
And that's where Ray was now. He was in a big bed, maybe king size, even, in a blue room that he didn't recognize—it wasn't his apartment and it wasn't a hotel, and it wasn't any part of the Consulate—it was early morning and he was waking up, and there was Fraser, in the bed with him...
Okay, there was another thing that was different from his other dreams. Fraser had never been naked in any of Ray's other dreams.
In Ray's dreams, Fraser almost always had the fancy red uniform on, complete with pumpkin pants, Stetson, and Sam Browne belt, and that lanyard thing around his neck that Ray sometimes felt like strangling him with.
Once in a while Fraser had on jeans and a plaid shirt and his leather jacket, and once in a while he had on his brown uniform. But he'd never been naked, like he was now, or at least Ray was pretty sure he was. They were both naked—which, Ray was naked in his dreams a lot, but other people in his dreams usually had clothes on. So that was another weird thing.
Also, Ray had definitely, definitely never dreamed he woke up with naked Fraser half on top of him, with his usually perfect mink-brown hair kind of messed up, and his eyes bright.
And his mouth on Ray, licking Ray's nipples.
But that's what was happening when Ray dreamed he woke up.
Fraser was licking Ray's girl nipples. On Ray's breasts.
That kind of freaked him out right there. Ray had dreamed of being a girl before, but it had been sort of hazy and disconnected, and it didn't happen that often.
And until now, he'd never actually dreamed he woke up with real, firm, perky girl breasts on his chest.
With his best friend naked on top of him, licking them.
Wow. That was a trip. Because, and this was another thing, he'd never felt anything this intense before in a dream. His real nipples, his flat, tan, boy nipples, they liked being licked, too—Stella had done that once in a while—but they didn't feel this good. This was wild. The entire peak of each of his dream breasts was incredibly sensitive, and Fraser's mouth on him there made him want to jump out of his fucking skin.
God, it was the kind of dream that was going to make Ray wake up hard and wet and shoving his dick into his fist like a maniac. His dick had to be so hard right now...
Oh. That was weird.
It made sense, but it was weird. He was a girl in this dream, really a girl; therefore, of course he had a complete girl-type body, which meant he did not have a dick. Since this was only a dream, it didn't bother him that much to not have a dick, but it sure was weird.
And interesting. Ray flicked the sheet aside and tried to look down between his legs. He squirmed around so he could see past Fraser's dark, messy head and big broad shoulders, and yeah, wow—Ray was definitely in a girl's body. No dick. Freaky. He'd never had a dream before that was both this weird and felt so real.
He reached his hand down to feel between his legs. Yeah, soft hair there over the mound where his dick should be, and—he reached farther—yup. A pussy. Soft folds of skin—lips—ooh, that sort of tickled in a good way. And, wow, he was getting wet there, really wet and slippery, like a girl...well, yeah, girl parts would be getting wet like girl parts, that made sense.
Fraser chose that moment to come up for air. He lifted his head, smiled a smile that took Ray's breath away, and grasped Ray's hand, pulling it gently away from his girl parts and kissing it. "Let me do that, Ray," he breathed.
Ray's mouth went dry, because, God, it was so real, and to see that look on Fraser's face...it was almost enough to make Ray come without even being touched. Fraser's smile was like being about to burst out laughing, or starting to yell like a maniac because your team just hit a walk-off homer, or wanting to jump out of your skin because what you were staring at was the best damn thing you'd ever seen. And that look, directed at Ray, took his breath clean away.
Fraser's face was flushed and even a little sweaty, and Fraser's lips were red and glistening from licking Ray's tits, and Fraser's big square hand was—oh, my God—sliding down Ray's curved girl belly and touching him between the legs, and that made Ray thrash like a bull in a rodeo.
Yeah, this was a freaky dream, because Ray was a woman and Fraser was kissing his tits and pushing his hand away from his pussy and saying, "Oh, Ray, let me...I want to...you taste so good, you're delightful, let me taste you, let me..."
Wasn't like Ray was going to object to that.
Fraser slid his pretty, downturned mouth over one breast and then the other and his tongue was snaking out to lick circles around the edges of Ray's nipples, and now one of Fraser's blunt fingers was making the girly bits between Ray's legs really happy, and Ray knew what Fraser was doing. He was doing pretty much the same things Ray used to do to Stella and that Ray thought about doing to other girls, too, and when Ray did those things, he had a goal, he had intent, he wanted to, he was going to....
Ray was pretty sure Fraser intended to do him in this dream.
Ray's reaction to that was kind of complicated: part of Ray was cheering, Go, Fraser! and part of him, the louder part, was shouting, What the fuck?
Fraser was great, Fraser was strong and smart and brave and a lot of things Ray admired, but he was also polite and uptight and pissy and straight, and while Ray wasn't sure about much in this dream, he was pretty sure he didn't have Fraser confused with Steve McQueen in his head.
But Ray's body, Ray's girl body, was reacting like it thought Fraser was damn hot, and in Ray's head, What the fuck? was definitely starting to take a back seat to Go, Fraser!
Ray wondered if he'd accidentally eaten something poisonous. He had to be having hallucinations, because Fraser doing Ray's imaginary girl body? Where did Ray get that one from?
Because, yeah, Ray's boy body thought Fraser was pretty damn hot, too—not that Ray had ever admitted it to anyone but himself—but Ray'd never, not once, thought about being a girl with Fraser giving it to him. He'd maybe wondered once or twice what it would feel like to touch Fraser somewhere under the Mountie uniform or what Fraser's hand would feel like on his dick, but he'd never wondered what Fraser's mouth would feel like on his girl breasts.
"Ray," Fraser breathed across his breasts, and both Ray's nipples perked up into really hard points, like Fraser's voice was the hottest thing he'd ever heard (which maybe it was, Ray's brain was thinking).
Ray had never exactly thought about that before, but he really liked Fraser's voice.
Apparently his subconscious had been keeping a few things from him lately.
He thought about it for a minute, while Fraser left off the sweet torture of Ray's breasts and slid his pouty mouth down Ray's belly instead, and after that Ray couldn't think any more, because Fraser's mouth was going even lower, and lower, and oh my God, Fraser was going to...
...yeah, he was putting his red lips and his talented tongue right there; he went right for it, his warm, soft, wet tongue finding that place that Ray suddenly realized he'd been dying for Fraser to touch.
Fraser's tongue there made Ray tingle and gush more wetness and want more. Fraser licked him right over that spot that Ray would bet was his clit, and, wow, no wonder Stella had liked Ray's tongue there so much. It reminded him of having the head of his cock licked, only it was even more intense.
He didn't have a cock at the moment, but he had something that felt just as good—and oh God oh God, Fraser's tongue was on it and under it and around it, and Fraser was murmuring Ray, Ray, and one of his fingers was finding its way into the opening of Ray's pussy, pushing inside him and thrusting, touching him everywhere in there, and he was so wet, so wet, and he was so open to Fraser....
Ray couldn't help himself. He dug his heels into the mattress, and moaned, and arched his crotch up into Fraser's mouth. No point in arguing with this dream, he figured. Sex was sex even if it was imaginary and in the wrong body, and Ray would be an idiot if he didn't just go with it.
Fraser looked up at him, his eyes so bright, and smiled that smile again, and brushed the pad of his thumb up over Ray's clit and sank his tongue deep in Ray, so hot and so dirty it made Ray's heart thump. And that was it: Ray was spilling over, he was shouting, he was sobbing, his voice high and strange in his ears, but he didn't care. He tingled all over, and warmth swept over him in waves. He was contracting around Fraser's finger and throbbing against Fraser's lips.
It was weird to feel it like this, from inside out, but also cool. He'd always wondered what it felt like to Stella, and now he probably had sort of an idea.
His subconscious was pretty amazing, he thought, drifting on the good feelings and the afterglow and everything. Fraser's fingers and tongue were gentler now, but they were still on him, still touching him and stroking him until Ray really, really couldn't take any more and he put his hand on Fraser's head and stroked his messy hair and earned another of those smiles.
Fraser eased off, then, and climbed back up next to him, and Ray probably expected to maybe wake up at that point, or he expected Fraser to drop down next to him and sleep, but neither thing happened.
Instead, Fraser put his arms around Ray and pulled him close and started kissing him. On the mouth. With his mouth still wet from between Ray's legs, salty and sweet and...weird, that was how Ray tasted as a woman, huh?
Ray put his tongue out and licked his girl wetness off Fraser's lips. Wow, if there was something he never, ever would have believed he'd dream up, that was probably it right there.
Still, for a kinky dream it had felt really good, and he still wasn't awake, so this dream probably had something more to tell him.
Maybe Dream Fraser would tell him after he took his tongue out of Ray's mouth.
Except instead of winding down, Fraser seemed to be winding up.
His body was big and solid and warm against Ray's skinny form, which, being female at the moment, was even skinnier than usual, except in a few key places.
Fraser seemed to realize he was kind of heavy on Ray, and he lifted himself up and over Ray, and it wasn't till that moment that Ray realized that oh—yeah, there was a dick here, and even though it wasn't Ray's, it was very interested in the proceedings, to the point where it was butting Ray in the belly while Fraser was kissing him.
Ray couldn't help being curious; he'd seen Fraser naked, yeah, but not hard.... This was just Dream Fraser, anyway, really only a part of Ray's subconscious, right? It wasn't like he was really looking. So when Fraser finally stopped kissing him to breathe, Ray looked.
And, oh, yeah, that was a hard cock, all right, heavy and red and plump. It looked real firm at the moment, and it was even dripping a couple drops of clear precome. Ray thought of Dief salivating and he almost laughed.
Fraser apparently misunderstood Ray's smile, because he caught one of Ray's hands in his and urged it down towards his cock.
Oh. Yeah. It did kind of work that way, didn't it? Ray'd gotten his, and now Fraser wanted to...
Ray's hand was on autopilot. It went where Fraser directed it, and it closed around Fraser's erection, and yeah, wow, that was a dick. It felt good in Ray's hand. He'd been dreaming being a girl for quite a while now, and it felt good to have a dick in his hand again, even if it wasn't really his.
Oh, wait. It probably was his, right? He was probably holding his own in his sleep, what with all this vivid dreaming.
There was just one problem with that.
Ray didn't have a foreskin. But Fraser did. And Ray was definitely feeling the extra skin on Dream Fraser, noticing how it made everything a little slipperier and slidier, even though it didn't look all that different with Fraser erect.
Thing was, how did Ray know what a foreskin felt like? How did he know what Fraser's cock would feel like in his hand? He didn't even know how it looked erect, so his subconscious couldn't be translating the visuals to how it felt.
Yeah, Ray'd gotten an occasional glimpse of Fraser's body, but it wasn't like he'd really looked, 'cause you didn't do that to your buddy; you didn't stare at him and make him feel self-conscious or, God forbid, maybe even threatened.
And a glimpse wasn't enough to be able to say, yeah, this is what he'd look like hard, this is what he'd feel like. Your subconscious would make him feel like you in your own hand, wouldn't it? That would make sense.
But Fraser felt different. That was weird. Fraser's hard-on, it turned out, wasn't quite as big as Ray's, but it felt a little harder, somehow. Fraser's balls were bigger, though, and really smooth, with almost no hair on them, which Ray wouldn't have expected. Fraser's dick was redder than Ray's, too, and most of all there was the foreskin. Ray hadn't really ever seen one up this close and personal, and he hadn't realized they stretched back like that and almost seemed to disappear when an uncut guy got hard.
All in all, this was one hell of a vivid dream, the kind of dream you wouldn't forget, the kind that you might have to analyze for years to figure out what the hell it was trying to tell you.
Maybe in this dream Ray didn't have a cock, but Fraser sure did, and Ray's hand was making intimate with it, Ray's hand was stroking it up and down, slow, and then a little faster, and Fraser was loving that, to judge by the way his breaths were puffing out, really short and quick, and his eyelids were fluttering closed on the downstrokes.
Ray was really getting into it when Fraser's hand closed over his again and tugged it gently away.
"Ray, please, I'd like to make love to you," Fraser murmured in his ear. "Are you...would you like that now?"
God, he was so polite, even in bed. "Well, jeez, I think that's what you're doing, Frase," Ray said. That was a little weird, too, that they'd spent all this time doing stuff and not talking, and then all of a sudden they both came out with full sentences.
Only Ray's voice still sounded funny. Too high and...
Oh, yeah. Girl. Right.
Funny, he'd have thought he'd probably have forgotten about the voice.
Fraser's eyes snapped open, then. "Frase?" he said. "Ray, you haven't called me that at home in years."
Home? Years? They'd only known each other about a year and a half, so what the hell did Fraser mean? And home, what was that? Ray had a home, if you could call it that, but Fraser didn't; Fraser lived in his damn office on the other side of town. So it was Ray's turn to raise an eyebrow. But he figured he could let that stuff go, because since when did things make sense in dreams?
"Um. So what are you asking?" he said, figuring he didn't need to call Fraser by his name at this point anyway. Considering what they were doing.
"I'm asking if I may, er, penetrate you now," Fraser said.
Okay, Ray's other eyebrow went up, because, penetrate? Fraser actually talked like that in bed?
"You're saying you want to fuck me?" Ray said, feeling on the verge of laughing, because this was seriously, seriously too weird.
Fraser's eyes closed again and he actually blushed. Not like he was embarrassed, either. Like he got off on hearing Ray say that. He opened his big blue eyes and, wow, they'd gone hot. "Ray..." he breathed. "Yes. I would like that very much."
Ray couldn't hold in the laugh that had been threatening. Because Dream Fraser was going to fuck Ray in Ray's pussy? Jeez.
"Is there...something humorous about that, Ray?" Fraser whispered to him, with his mouth against Ray's ear and his breath tickling Ray there and making him sort of shiver.
"Well, yeah, Fr...uh...yeah. 'Course it is. You, me...like this." Of course, since this Fraser came straight—uh, so to speak—from Ray's subconscious, he might not actually get the joke.
"I'm sorry, I must have missed something," Fraser said, but he sounded slow-motion and only half like he was listening, which, Ray got that, because Fraser's cock was poking at him again, and it felt really goddamned hard at this point. Fraser might be a Super Mountie, but Fraser was also a guy, and half his brains had to be in his dick right now. He probably wasn't thinking much beyond: Fuck. Ray. Now.
Well, why not, Ray thought. He'd liked feeling Fraser's finger in there. It would be kind of cool to know what his cock felt like inside Ray, right? And it wasn't like Fraser could hurt him, because it still was just a dream, after all.
"Might be interesting," Ray heard himself saying aloud.
"If you don't want me to, just say so," Fraser said, sounding just a touch snappish.
Ray got that, too. He'd feel that way in Fraser's place, if he was about to fuck a girl and she started this confusing discussion instead. Hell, it had happened. With Stella it had happened more than a few times.
If this was real, Ray'd probably take pity on Fraser and fuck first, talk later, if at all. But this wasn't real, and Ray had to say something.
"Okay, look," he told Fraser. "I'd like to know what it feels like. If it's half as good as what you already did, it'll be totally worth it. And I'm game; you know me, I'll try anything. But...see..." He gestured with one hand. "This has been going on a really long time now. Which, that is weird. Maybe I should hold off. 'Cause, I don't know, maybe there's some kind of psychological damage or something you can get from this much dreaming. It feels too real to be normal."
That stopped Fraser. His eyes snapped open, he raised himself a little, and he peered at Ray with eyes gone narrower. "Ray, that made no sense," he said in a wary voice.
"Yeah, I know." Because how could it make sense to a dream partner who was himself part of the dream? Ray realized he had to take it slower. He reached up around Fraser's shoulders and gave them a gentle squeeze. "Sorry. Listen, uh, pretend I don't know the answers, okay? Let me ask you...why do you want to fuck me?"
Fraser seemed startled, but he sighed, and answered, "Many reasons, Ray." He was still peering at Ray with that narrow-eyed look, like Ray was asking trick questions.
"I love to be inside you," Fraser said. "I feel...complete. At home. Wanted."
Okay, that knocked Ray for one. "We've done this before?" Ray didn't remember it, but he knew recurring dreams happened. Maybe he just had blanked on them, or something.
"Well, of course, Ray. Regularly. Since we fell in love."
"Love? Well, yeah, you know I love you, Frase, but..."
"And I you, Ray. Are you feeling...have you had some memory loss you haven't told me about? Did you experience any blows to the head you neglected to mention? I should think Lieutenant Welsh would have told me if you'd been injured on the job."
"Well, yeah, I've had blows to the head; you know that, but nothing recent." Not that Ray knew of, anyway. He swallowed nervously. "I'm not, like, hallucinating you, am I, Frase?"
"I don't think so," Fraser said. "I'm definitely here. But you are saying some rather strange things."
"No, I mean, I'm not really in the hospital and, uh, in some kind of coma, am I? You'd know." Of course his subconscious would know.
"You're not in hospital. You're in our home. In our bed."
"Our bed?" See, this was just a few shades too weird to be a normal dream.
"Well, yes, and if there had been an injury that serious, Lieutenant Welsh would certainly have notified me. In fact, I'm certain he'd have had you taken to hospital."
Ray made a circle in the air with his forefinger, counterclockwise, rewinding. "Back to the our home, our bed thing," he said. "What's that?"
"Our home. Our bed. Ray, I don't understand—"
"We're like that, huh?"
"Like what, Ray?"
"Like, you know. Partners. Partners. We live together?"
"Of course we live together. Ray, you're clearly having a memory lapse of some kind. It could indicate a serious injury or illness."
"Nah, I'm fine," Ray said. All he needed was Dream Fraser panicking, right? The dream would quickly become a nightmare, and Ray did not need that. "Did you forget I told you to pretend I didn't know the answers?"
Fraser swallowed hard. "Oh. Yes, I suppose I did. Forgive me, I'm afraid my attention was somewhat..."
"Yeah, I get that. I know what that's like," Ray said, sliding his hand back down between their bodies to get a grip on Fraser's cock again. It was still pretty hard; Ray was impressed. "So okay, why do we live together?"
"Ray, I don't understand why you'd interrupt...er, what we were doing...to ask a series of very confusing philosophical questions." Fraser sounded a little peeved, which Ray could understand. He took pity on Fraser and stroked him a little more firmly, feeling Fraser's cock get really hard again in his hand, really fast.
" 'Cause I'm a philosophical kind of guy—uh, person," he said. "My subconscious must have a reason for all this, so I figure I'll ask it."
"We live together because we want to," Fraser said on a long sigh. "Because we love each other and want to be together."
"So you, I mean, the real you, wants to live with me?"
"The real me." Fraser cleared his throat. "Well, as far as I know, I am the real me, so I think I can confidently say, yes, I do want to live with you, and I do live with you, and I love you, and I feel fortunate beyond the telling that you consented to become my wife."
"Well, you are my wife, Ray."
Okay, so there was a line after all, even for the guy who would try anything between consenting adults that didn't hurt too much. This here, this was officially too fucking weird, even for Ray. He had to wake up now. Because he ran around like Fraser's sidekick half the time, he put up with Fraser correcting him and being perfect at everything, he let Fraser risk his life in wildly bizarre ways—and he kept coming back for more.
All Fraser had to do was give Ray those big, innocent eyes and that hopeful, trusting look, and Ray'd follow him into hell and thank him for the privilege. Sometimes he wondered why he didn't just ask Fraser to push him up against the nearest wall and fuck him up the ass instead—it'd be safer.
Maybe that thought had seeped into his subconscious somehow, and now he was dreaming that Fraser wanted to fuck him. Which, by itself, that was not such a bad idea. Ray could go for that. It would sure beat throwing him into Lake Michigan regularly; Ray could vouch for that.
But his wife? His fucking wife? The little woman? Mrs. Fraser? Christ, it was worse than Ray'd thought. His subconscious was talking loud and clear now, and what it was saying was scaring the hell out of him.
He was out of here, right fucking now.
He tried to kick Fraser off him—lucky for Dream Fraser he remembered to let go of his dick first—and, ow, his foot connected with Fraser's shin, but Fraser was solid, like a boulder, and Ray hardly budged him.
"Ray!" Fraser yelped. "That hurt!"
"Well, get off me," Ray practically shouted in his face. "Get the fuck off me right now!"
Fraser obediently rolled off Ray and lay there on his side, his face gone white. But Ray was ripping mad; he was yelling right in Fraser's face. "I'm nobody's fucking wife! Say that again, I'm gonna knock your fucking teeth out, you hear me?"
"Ray, what's the matter?" It was almost a sob. Fraser looked stricken. He looked like he'd lost his best friend.
Or like he'd said he loved his best friend and wanted to be with him, and his best friend responded by kicking him and threatening to knock his teeth out.
Guilt flooded Ray. "Oh, God, look—I didn't mean that."
"I certainly hope not," Fraser said in a shaky voice.
Ray felt like a total asshole. He sucked—how could he hurt Fraser like this? He hated feeling this way.
But why did Fraser get to guilt-trip him even in a dream?
"God, I'm, sorry, Fraser. I just...jeez you're not even real, and you give the same guilt trips the real you does. Look, I'd love to stay and discuss this, but I think something weird is going on in my brain. Maybe I'll have this dream again and we can finish, but meanwhile, look...I love you, too, and...and we'll talk about it, okay? In real life. I'm out of here, I'm going to wake up now." He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. "Wake up. Wake up, Ray. Now's a good time. Wake up."
Somebody was shaking his shoulder. Which, that would maybe be a good sign, except Ray had gone to sleep alone in his apartment, so if somebody was waking him up, he either wasn't in his apartment, or somebody who wasn't supposed to be here was. Either way, it couldn't be good.
He opened his eyes. It was Fraser, shaking his shoulder. Fraser, naked and in bed with him, and—Ray looked down at himself cautiously—oh, shit. He still had a woman's body. This couldn't be happening. Ray was stuck in the weirdest dream he'd ever had and he couldn't wake up. It was like fucking Groundhog Day.
Except it wasn't even that normal.
Not once did Bill Murray ever wake up as a woman on that day.
"Ray, you're ill," Fraser said. "Something's really wrong. You just told me I wasn't real and that you had to wake up."
"Yeah, well, obviously I didn't wake up," Ray said sharply, pulling back a little when Fraser winced. "Okay, look, I'm sorry, I don't mean to yell at you. But every time I open my eyes I'm still in this body and you're here, all...naked like that, and we were...um, the stuff we were doing, it isn't stuff you and me would be doing, you know? In real life."
"Where would you be if not in your body, Ray?" Fraser said, still sounding like he was trying to puzzle it out.
"Not in this body," Ray said. "In my own body, my male body. You know."
"I'm afraid I don't," Fraser said. He sighed deeply. "It does sound as though you've been dreaming. But you appear to be awake now."
"Can't be." Ray shook his head. "Frase, look at me. I'm a girl."
"Well, yes, I see that, Ray. Although you usually refer to yourself as a woman."
"Now that—that is not true. I have never referred to myself as a woman, Fraser, because I have never been a woman. I'm a guy. Was born a guy. Grew up a guy. I still am a guy...except in this particular dream. Which has stopped being funny, so if you're a part of my subconscious, please tell it to wake me the fuck up, now. I'm getting kind of impatient here."
"You're already awake, Ray." Fraser put his hand down and pinched Ray's thigh, hard.
"Ow! Hey, stop that."
"You're awake," Fraser said, sounding sure. He even sounded calm. But the deep crease above the bridge of his nose betrayed him.
"I can't be."
"Ray, why don't you try sitting up? That is, if you feel you can. If not, I can take you to hospital. Or perhaps call an ambulance..."
"No." Ray lifted a hand. "No. I'm okay. I'm okay, let me...sit up." He did, pulling himself up easily, obviously not sick, just...weird. Fraser's hand was on his back, supporting him, but he didn't need it. He was fine.
He raised his right hand and looked at it, both sides. It looked a lot like his real hand, except it was much smaller. It had long fingers like his; they were just skinnier. He looked at his arm. Skinnier! Fuck...how could his arms be any skinnier than they were already? He made a fist. He had pretty good muscles—for a girl. But that wasn't saying much, was it?
He looked down at his body. Yeah, the same equipment he'd taken inventory of earlier. Breasts. Pussy. No dick.
The evidence sure was suggesting he was a girl.
And he felt really, truly, wide awake. Even without coffee.
"This can't be happening." He got out of the bed and stood up. He was in a blue bedroom he didn't recognize. He looked around. "Um. Where are we, Frase? This don't look like a hotel." He peered out the window—it looked like Chicago out there, though he didn't immediately recognize the street. It could've been his neighborhood, though. "Bed and breakfast?"
Fraser shook his head. "We're in our home, Ray. We live in a house several blocks from the 27th District..."
"When did we move in?"
"Before we, er...before the event that so upsets you. The one that I mustn't mention on threat of damage to my teeth."
Ray waved a hand. "I'm sorry. I'm not gonna hit you, Fraser. I was just...kind of freaking out. You can give me the straight answer."
"All right." Fraser was watching him very carefully, like Ray would watch a nutjob perp while they were waiting for the mental hospital to admit him. "All right. We moved here shortly before we were married."
"So we're married," Ray said.
"That's right. Since last September."
"Huh. I been a woman all that time?"
"You were born female and have been all your life, Ray."
"You're sure about that?"
"Reasonably certain. Your mother does show off those photographs taken when you were a week old."
"Oh, God, the naked baby pictures." Ray closed his eyes and shuddered for a second. "I hate those things."
"So you've often said. But the photos clearly show the external characteristics of a female. You do menstruate, and we've had no cause to suspect fertility problems. Do you have some reason to question your gender?"
Ray opened his eyes. "I got no idea what you're talking about. You're saying my mom's baby pictures of me, they show a baby girl?"
"See," Ray said, pointing a finger at him. "There's something wrong with that. Because I do not remember ever being a woman until I woke up this morning. Those baby pictures I hate? I've seen them a thousand times. She's shown them to all my relatives and friends at least once. And in those pictures? I have a cute little dick. Actually not so little. And cute little baby balls, Fraser. I. Am. A. Guy."
It probably would have been more convincing in a deeper voice. He looked down at his body again, which totally gave him the lie, and his throat felt kind of choked up, like he wanted to cry.
He wanted to punch something, but it was either Fraser or the wall. He wouldn't do that to Fraser, and the wall might break Ray's little girly knuckles. Fuck. Crying was beginning to look like not such an impossible option.
"Perhaps some sort of amnesia might account for it," Fraser said quietly. He sounded kind of choked up, too.
"Fraser, there is no amnesia that can make you believe you were one sex all your life when you were really the other."
"Well, there might be mental...conditions...that could have that effect."
"You're saying I might be crazy?"
"I'm thinking more along the lines of some unusual injury, Ray. You've taken some hard blows to the head in the course of your police career. Sometimes symptoms can show up years later."
"It ain't that, Frase. My head's fine." He thought for a minute. "Wait. Wait a second. I don't even know what else is different. One, there's being in a woman's body, which is not mine, Fraser. I don't know this body; I never saw it before this morning. B, there's being married to my partner, who is a guy and a Canadian, and that's a trip, I'll tell you. But we'll get to that later.
"Three, there is this room, which I don't recognize, and—surprise, you say it's our place? Well, guess what? I'm going to have to ask you where the bathroom is, Fraser, because I don't know. I don't know what the kitchen looks like, I don't know the address. I'm not even sure which neighborhood this is. I've never seen the rest of this house."
He glanced at Fraser, but Fraser just looked worried and confused and really, really sad. Ray didn't like putting that look on Fraser's face, but at the moment he had bigger problems. He sighed. "Is there a mirror in here somewhere?"
Fraser pointed across the room. "Open that closet door."
Ray found a mirror fastened to the back of the door. He swung it wide, and it caught the light from the window, and he found himself staring into a pair of gray-blue eyes he recognized—in a face that he didn't recognize.
Ray didn't have a sister, but if he had one, she'd probably look a lot like the naked woman he now saw in the mirror.