Ray was flat on his back on his bed. The rising sun filled his bedroom with golden light. Fraser was sleeping on top of Ray and their legs were tangled together. Ray was rubbing Fraser’s back and enjoying the feeling of Fraser’s long johns against his fingers. The fabric was worn and soft.
He would never admit it, he was a Chicago hard guy after all, but there was nothing he liked more than a sleeping Fraser on top of him.
When they first slept in the same bed, he thought Fraser would sleep flat on his back like a dead guy. Instead Fraser slept on top of Ray like he was the world’s most comfortable mattress. That was greatness.
He ran his fingers through Fraser’s messy, dark hair and just grinned to himself. Most of the time, Fraser was the untouchable, clean Mountie, but now he looked like an average guy with bedhead.
Dief was laying on the other side of Ray and he was so warm and soft that it reminded him of a warm towel fresh out of the dryer.
He felt a pain in his bladder and even though he didn’t want to move from under his Fraser shaped blanket, he had to.
‘Come on, Fraser. Up and at ‘em. I gotta take a whizz.’
Fraser grumbled and buried his nose into Ray’s neck. Dief grumbled.
Now, Ray really didn’t want to move, but his bladder had other ideas.
‘Come on. I gotta get up.’
Fraser finally rolled over and spooned a pillow. Dief curled up against Fraser’s back.
Ray got up and made his way to the bathroom. There were a lot of things he’d miss about The Quest, but not having running water wouldn’t be one of them. If he never took another whizz in the forest, animals were probably watching him and laughing, he would die a happy man.
Once he was done he washed his hands, Fraser must have rubbed off on him, and stared at himself in the mirror. His hair was as experimental as ever and his skin was tan. It was strange that he looked the same as Before Fraser because After Fraser had changed his life so much.
He was no longer the guy who took an undercover gig because his regular life was crap. His life now was pretty greatness. He woke up with Fraser every morning and fell asleep with Fraser every night. In between there was laughter and dancing.
Fraser made him want to be a better person, which was part of the reason why he wanted to tell his Mom about their relationship; he no longer wanted to be a con-job and keeping this secret was the biggest con of all. He had just gotten his parents back and he hoped he didn’t lose them again.
He went back to the bedroom. Fraser was still curled around his pillow. Seeing Fraser like that soothed his nerves. Even if he lost his parents, he would still have Fraser and Dief.
‘Wakey. Wakey, Benton-Buddy.’
Fraser opened his eyes and looked at Ray. ‘Is it time to get up all ready?’
‘Yeah. You gotta get ready for work and I gotta ready for my talk with Mom.’
‘Are you certain you don’t want me here for emotional support. I could easily stay here.’
He had thought about it a lot and as much as he wanted Fraser around, knew he would have to do it by himself. Sometimes you just had to man-up.
‘Nah. You go to work. I’ll be okay.’
Dief who was laying on the bed with Fraser barked. Maybe he had been hanging around Fraser too much, but Ray knew instinctively knew what Dief was saying.
‘Sure. Sure you can stay with me,’ Ray said to Dief. He knew there would be no arguing with Dief.
He reached over and ruffled Dief’s fur. Dief licked Ray’s fingers with his long pink tongue and made a happy noise.
Ray left the room and walked to his small kitchen and started up his coffee machine. He made the coffee extra strong, if he was going to talk to his Mom today he would need the extra caffeine. He put on water for Fraser’s morning tea and went over to Speedy’s turtle tank.
Speedy’s turtle tank was an old fish tank that had some rocks and real plants in the bottom. A heating lamp sat at one end. It might not be the most expensive tank, but Speedy seemed to like it.
‘Hey, buddy. How you doing today?’ He asked Speedy as he picked him up out of his tank and held him a few inches from his face.
Speedy poked his head out of shell and bobbed his head.
‘You wanna dance?’ Ray asked.
Speedy popped his legs out and his legs wiggled.
Ray grinned. That was a yes.
He twirled Speedy around and Speedy’s wiggling legs were a blur.
Once they had had their fill of dancing, Ray put Speedy back in his tank and gave Speedy a bright red apple to munch on.
He saw that Fraser was standing in the hallway grinning.
‘What’s up? Why you grinning like that?
‘Your relationship with your terrapin is heartwarming.’
Ray walked up to Fraser and brushed his lips against Fraser cheek. ‘Yeah. I love that little guy.’
Dief barked and Ray ruffled Dief’s fur. ‘Don’t worry, I love you just as much as Speedy.’
Dief seemed pleased with that as he licked Ray’s face.
Ray stood up and wiped wolf spit off his face.
He and Fraser went to the kitchen and had breakfast. Fraser ate toast and Ray tried to eat but his stomach was tied in knots.
Much too soon, Fraser left for work. Before he left, he pulled Ray into a hug and held him tight. Ray just let himself be held. Fraser’s scent of pine trees and soap filled his nose and Fraser’s warmth soaked into Ray skin. It calmed Ray a little.
Once Fraser was gone, Ray didn’t know what to do. He danced around his apartment. He used to pretend that he was dancing with Stella, but now he could dance with Fraser. Once he got Fraser out of his uniform Fraser didn’t dance like a block of wood. Sometimes, Dief would jump up on his hind legs and dance with Ray too.
Soon, there a knock at his door and when he opened it he saw his Mom standing in front of him.
‘Hey,’ Ray said.
‘Hello, Stanley. Are you sick? You look sick,’ Barbara said with concern.
‘Nah. Nah. I just have to tell you something.’
Barbara walked into Ray’s apartment and they walked over to Ray’s couch and sat down.
Ray took his Mom’s hand in his own. ‘I gotta tell you something... I um... I like Fraser.’
‘Of course! I like him too. He is a wonderful man.’
‘That’s not what I meant. I mean I really like Fraser. As in kissing like.’
Barbara started to cry.
‘Oh crap. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please don’t be sad,’ Ray said as his worst fear came true before his eyes. He just hoped she still loved him.
‘Oh Stanley. I had prayed that you would find love again, but I never thought you would end up with someone as wonderful as Benton.’
Ray’s eyes went wide. ‘You mean you’re not sad that I’m a bicycle?’
Barbara brought her hand up and cupped Ray’s cheek. ‘I think you mean you’re bisexual and of course I’m not sad. You remember your Aunt Mary and her roommate Joeanne? They weren’t really roommates.’
‘Really?!’ Why didn’t you tell me that before.’
Barbara shrugged. ‘Back then those things weren’t talked about. I’m glad you felt you could tell me about you and Benton.’
‘Yeah. Yeah. How do you think Dad will take it?’
Barbara smiled. ‘You leave him to me. I just got you back and I’m not going to let his stubbornness get in the way again.’
‘Of course if you ever get a tattoo that might be a different story.’
‘Um...’ Ray said because he was sure that telling his Mom about Fraser would be easy compared to telling her about the Campion tattoo on his arm.