Ray, Ray and Dief were all waiting at the airfield when Fraser's plane landed. Fraser was surprised -- he'd only been on official business in Chicago for a week. Including travel, that meant he'd been away from Tuk for approximately eight and a half days. Surely such a brief absence didn't warrant Ray taking time out from his work as the town's sole private investigator, nor Ray deserting his pizzeria. Nonetheless, he was glad to see them and hugged each of them tightly as soon as his feet touched the tarmac.
In the car, on the short drive home, Ray described the difficulties of his latest case and, as always, unfavorably compared Tuk with the city of Chicago while still making it plain that he was perfectly content to have settled here with Fraser and Ray. Fraser couldn't help but interrupt him. "Is there something I should know?"
"What do you mean?" asked Ray Kowalski, turning right without indicating.
"Well, I notice that you are wearing your best boots, freshly polished, and new jeans, and Ray seems to have had his coat dry-cleaned. Both of you have shaved and--" Fraser inhaled deeply. "--even Dief is wearing cologne."
Ray laughed and poked Ray's shoulder. "I told you Benny would figure it out before we got home."
"Hey, you were the one who gave in to Dief about the cologne," said Ray, good-humoredly. "Yeah, Frase, it's our anniversary."
Fraser frowned. "But Ray has only been with us for five and a half months." There was no sense in which five and a half months qualified as an anniversary, a fact that anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin could deduce for himself from the word.
"Yeah, but you and Ray got together two years ago last Wednesday," said Ray. "And we figured, why cheat ourselves of a chance to celebrate? You let me into your relationship, right? So you can let me into your anniversary, too." He twisted around so he could face Fraser from the front seat. "Okay, Benny?"
"I already said it's okay." Ray pulled into their driveway. "Hurry up, or dinner will be ruined."
Fraser half expected dinner to be a pizza, as it often was when it was Ray's turn to cook, but in fact it was a beautifully prepared lasagna, with a side salad and fresh apple juice. There were candles on the table and even a table cloth. They left Fraser's rucksack in the living room, fed Dief and sat straight down to eat.
Ray Vecchio's knee pressed against Fraser's under the table, and Ray Kowalski's boot nudged up against Fraser's own, but they were all a model of restraint, and Fraser enjoyed both the meal and the anticipation of what would surely follow.
"So, any news from Chicago, Benny?" Ray brought his wine glass to his lips and paused before he drank, to add, "Did Ma treat you right?"
"She was extremely welcoming," said Fraser truthfully. Mrs. Vecchio had seemed vague about the nature of Fraser and Ray's relationship with her son, and Fraser had had no interest in clarifying. "And Francesca gave me a very sisterly hug."
"I bet," said Ray Kowalski, with a grin. "Any news from the 2-7?"
"Ah," said Fraser and put down his fork. He wasn't sure how Ray and Ray would take the latest news of their former CO. "I did drop by the stationhouse one evening, after my meeting had ended, and--" He hesitated.
"What?" prompted Ray Vecchio. "Did you see Welsh?"
The corner of Fraser's mouth twitched involuntarily. "I did."
"And?" Ray Kowalski nudged Fraser's boot. "How is he? What did he say?"
"I didn't actually speak to him," Fraser admitted. "He was, ah, otherwise occupied."
Both Rays' eyes narrowed.
"Would you spill?" Ray ran his hand through his hair, leaving it in characteristic disarray. "The old coot's okay, isn't he?"
"Rather more than okay," said Fraser, solemnly. "He appears to have found romance. That is, he and Detective Huey were engaged in an embr--"
"What?!" said Ray Kowalski, scraping his chair back in surprise. "You have got to be kidding me."
"From what I saw -- which, admittedly, wasn't a great deal, as I had no intention of intruding on them and left as soon as I realized." Fraser picked up his fork and cut another bite of lasagna. "Not to mention, it was late, the squad room was otherwise empty and they were both, ah, distracted or I'm sure they would have noticed me. Regardless, from what I saw, they seemed very taken with each other."
"Wait," said Ray Vecchio, sitting up very straight. "Huey and Welsh?" His eyes, far from narrowed now, were bugging out.
"Taken?!" chimed in Ray Kowalski. "Welsh? And Huey? I don't believe it!"
"I doubt anyone else knows," said Fraser. "We must respect their privacy."
"Screw privacy." Ray Vecchio rubbed his hand over his face. "I'm going to Chicago."
"You're not going anywhere, Vecchio," said Ray, firmly. "Anniversary, remember?"
"After that," said Ray. "Tomorrow. Because you know what this means? You, Fraser, me, Huey, Welsh!?"
"Oh." Ray looked startled. "Uh, yeah. That's gotta be it."
"What?" said Fraser, looking from one to the other and back again. "What are you talking about?"
"There has got to be something in the water supply at the station," said Ray. "And I'm going to find out what it is."
Fraser shook his head. "That's ridiculous. Water cannot influence your sexual desires."
Dief whined and covered his nose with his paws, and Ray Vecchio winced too. "Could you not use words like 'sexual' when you're talking about Huey and Welsh? Please?"
"It's gotta be something environmental." Ray Kowalski touched Fraser's arm. "Occult's razorblade."
"Occam's razor," Fraser corrected him absently.
"That's what I said." He pursed his lips. "It's the simplest explanation."
There was a silence as they all contemplated the statistical odds of four previously heterosexual police officers working for the same previously heterosexual lieutenant, all finding love with other men. "Perhaps you're right," said Fraser, reluctantly. "But what if you do find something?"
Ray got up and pulled Fraser to his feet so they could kiss. "I'm not looking for a cure, Benny, don't you worry about that. I just gotta know."
"Later," said Ray Kowalski from directly behind Fraser, and Fraser could feel heat radiating from him. "Right now, we got more important things to do."
Fraser's breath caught. "Yes," he said, and reached for him.
"Yeah," said Ray, putting his hand on Fraser's hip. "Later."