In the fantasies Ray used to have, everything changed with a big dramatic confession. Sometimes he was the one who leaned across the Goat during a stakeout to kiss Fraser, a big ole open-mouthed kiss with tongue and everything. Fraser would be stiff with shock at first, and then just stiff. Sometimes Ray would suck him off right there and sometimes they'd scramble to the backseat and really get down. Not that they would actually do that during a stakeout, because that'd be something to report – suspect got away when officers were distracted by outstanding ass fucking - but hey. That's why it's a fantasy, right?
Other times he imagined Fraser taking the lead. That one worked best when he had a lot of time on his hands, because even fantasy-Fraser took forever to get to the point. Here's how it would go: at first, Ray would notice Fraser acting kind of strange, stranger than normal that is. He'd start out kind of quiet, thoughtful-like, and after a couple of days of that, he'd go all nervous and stammery for a day or two. Then it was wall-to-wall caribou for a week at least. Ray would imagine story after endless fucking story, and how bored he'd be, and then frustrated as he finally realized that Frase was trying to tell him something but it was all in some kind of fucked up Canadian code. Ray could comprende Fraser's body language no problem, totally fluent, but Ray did not speak Canadian. Lucky for Ray, Fraser was a little clueless sometimes but not stupid. If Ray just waited out the caribou phase, eventually Fraser would get with the direct approach. Ray liked to imagine inviting Frase over for a hockey game, Fraser in the hall in civvies but still carrying his big-ass hat, wringing the brim a little as he waits for Ray to unlock the door. As soon as Ray gets the door open – bam! Fraser's all over him. He's got him pushed against the inside of the door with his tongue down his throat and it's so good after so much anticipation that a lot of times Ray didn't get any farther than that before he'd made a huge mess of himself. He always made sure to have a towel handy for that one.
As usual, though, Ray's fantasies were nothing like reality. In reality, there was no big dramatic confession at all. They'd always flirted, from the first day they met, and it started out just like that, just buddies with a hint of something else that everyone silently agreed to overlook. Slowly, the flirting got more blatant, only when they were alone but he and Frase spent a lot of time alone. Eventually, it stopped being flirting and just became, like, knowledge. Ray would look at Fraser over a table full of food at Li Ming's and he would see it in Fraser's eyes, big as the fucking Canadian tundra. Fraser wanted him. Not just "I wanna slide under the table and get friendly with your eggroll" wanted, but "I am so in love with you I'm going to eat at Li Ming's for the second time this week even though I like the Dragon place better" wanted. Like major love affair happening here wanted. And Fraser's eyes also said that Fraser saw the same thing in Ray, although for Ray it was more a "I am so in love with you I'm going to let you rattle on for hours about the history of typesetting and not interrupt" kind of wanted. Whatever, they knew, and not only did they know, but they had known for a while. There was a knowing that they knew that they knew and the knowledge and everything was okay. It was greatness.
But nothing else happened. Seriously. For weeks. It was the weirdest thing in a long line of Fraser-related weirdness. They touched each other exactly the same way they had before. And you know, Ray had to admit that they'd always sort of been up in each other's personal space, so maybe that was why it wasn't any different. Sometimes Fraser would lean over Ray to look at a report and breathe a warm breath right across the skin behind Ray's ear. Then Ray would have to go to the can and jerk himself off with one hand over his mouth to keep from yelling, but the thing was – that had always happened. Every now and then, there seemed to be a little bit of extra weight to Fraser's hand on Ray's shoulder, but that was it. They just kept keeping on in that freaky way of theirs, and Ray wasn't sure what to do about it.
At night, after Fraser had left yet again as soon as the hockey game was over, Ray would toss and turn in his bed and wonder why he hadn't made a move himself, since obviously Fraser wasn't going to. But when they were together, Ray just felt so comfortable. It wasn't like with Stella, where he was always trying to figure out what she wanted and how she felt and did she really like him and had he done something to piss her off. He was just himself, there with Fraser, and there was the knowledge all around them, like the soft, humid air of the first really warm day of spring, full of hope and sunshine and everything good. When they were there together, it just seemed like there wasn't any rush, because that spring day feels like it lasts forever and you've got all the time in the world. It was only after Frase was gone and Ray was alone with his right hand yet again - thinking about how he ought to start buying lube in economy sizes because with all this whacking off, chafing had become a major factor in his life - that Ray wondered what the fuck was wrong with the two of them.
Then he started wondering what it would take for Fraser to say something. What if Ray didn't make a move? What would it take for Fraser to actually open up, admit what was going on and talk about it in words? 'Cause jumping out of a fourth floor window or leaping onto a speeding car or hurling himself into the line of fire unarmed was all in a day's work for Fraser but when it came to personal stuff, jumping wasn't his strong suit. Was this really important enough to him to put it all on the line? Was Ray important enough?
See, Ray had already done the high speed pursuit of the love object thing. He'd been there, done that, and ripped the t-shirt up for rags to polish the GTO. He was over it. He wasn't going to spend the rest of his life chasing someone who wasn't attainable – not just physically attainable, 'cause that was never the issue with Stella, but emotionally attainable. He'd had Stella's body but he'd never really had her heart. He wasn't going there again. He'd been doing a lot of thinking and it was pretty scary to realize that, for all the ways that Fraser and Stella were completely different, they were also an awful lot alike. Ray refused to sign up for Stella II: Electric Bugaloo. Once was way more than enough.
So Ray decided to wait Fraser out. And he waited, all right. Waited and waited and waited. On the one hand, Ray didn't mind so much, even though he usually hated waiting. He'd gotten pretty used to the whole thing and it felt good, having those spring days with Fraser. But as weeks turned into months, he started to get a little pissed off. The problem with his plan - and yeah, way to go with the thinking ahead there, Kowalski - was that there wasn't really an end to it. There wasn't a preset time when Fraser was going to say, "Thank you very kindly for the invitation, Ray, but I am afraid I must decline." Ray had no way of knowing whether Fraser really was too chickenshit to commit or whether he was just still working up to it. Ray was stuck hanging around, waiting to see what Fraser was going to do. But the longer Fraser kept on not saying anything, the more things were looking like a remake of Chariots of Fire with Ray as the guy holding the torch. Stella II: Electric Bugaloo, coming to a theatre near you, whether you like it or not.
This put Ray in a sour mood. Not a head-kicking, drywall-demolishing, screaming kind of mood, but just kind of, well . . . depressed, really. He wasn't sure how to fix it. He kept on doing all the things that they normally did, but he got to the point where Fraser's breath on his neck only gave him the shivers and that was it. After a couple of days of that, on a Friday, Fraser was over to watch the game. Fraser had been kind of quiet that day but Ray had only half-way noticed because he'd been pretty quiet himself. They were sitting on the couch and Dief was sitting in his usual chair, curled up but watching the tv like he cared, which Fraser claimed he did because it was the Oilers playing the Leafs and evidently Dief hated the Leafs. Ray had a beer in front of him but he was mostly ignoring it and sort of lost in his own thoughts even though his eyes were looking at the game.
When the second break was almost over, Fraser looked over at him and said, "You're waiting for me, aren't you?"
Ray was startled right out of his hockey-watching slouch. He looked at Fraser. Yep, the wanting look was still there, brighter than ever, in fact. Fraser was almost glowing with it.
"Yeah, Frase," Ray said, proud of how steady he'd managed to keep his voice. "I am."
Fraser gave him a sweet, lopsided smile, nodded, and turned back to the game.
It was all Ray could do to keep from jumping up from the couch and kicking himself in his own head. He wanted to explode with frustration, destroy all the furniture, cuss and scream and seriously find out just what the fuck was wrong with Fraser that he had to be the freakiest freak in the kingdom of freakdom and couldn't just come out and say that he was in love with Ray.
But Ray had promised himself that he was going to do things differently this time. Fuck this, he could learn from his mistakes, and he had made up his mind that he wasn't going to say anything if Fraser didn't. Despite what everyone seemed to think, he did have the ability to control himself. So he took a deep breath, and the moment passed. He sighed, finished off his beer in one go, and went back to his slouch.
Maybe he needed to make a bigger change, he thought. Maybe just trading his life for Vecchio's wasn't enough. Maybe he needed, like, a mid-life career switch or something. Maybe he could get a job on one of those cruise ships, teach dancing to tourists, see the Caribbean. He could apply to one of those gay cruise lines, bring a different hot guy back to his cabin every night, lie around in the sun all day. Knowing him, he'd fall for some asshole yet again, get his heart broken and give himself skin cancer in the bargain. Fuck. Sometimes he wondered why he even kept trying.
He didn't even notice that the Oilers had won until Dief started barking and Fraser sat back on the couch with something like a little laugh, which was what he usually did instead of yelling "Yes!" unless he was watching curling, which got him all excited in a way that hockey didn't, for some reason. Dief jumped down from his chair and padded into the kitchen. Ray could hear him slurping happily from his water bowl in there. At least someone was having a good night.
Fraser picked the remote up off the coffee table and turned off the tv. Ray figured it was time for Fraser to head for the door as usual and say "Sleep well, Ray" in that low, sexy voice, the voice that seemed to promise that one of these nights Fraser was going to do his best to make sure that Ray slept very well indeed but tonight wasn't the night.
But instead, Fraser stepped in front of Ray and held out his hand. Ray's heart started pounding. He told himself not to get his hopes up, but he took Fraser's hand and allowed Fraser to pull him to his feet. There wasn't much room but Fraser didn't scoot over, so when Ray stood up his feet were between Fraser's and they were closer to kissing than they'd ever been.
"May I ask you a question, Ray?" Fraser murmured.
Ray's body didn't seem to have gotten the memo about raised hopes. His pulse was racing, he was hard as a rock, and that bit of skin behind his ear had suddenly regained its sensitivity where Fraser was breathing across it. Ray swallowed and licked his dry lips. "Shoot."
"I was wondering if you might be amenable to my staying the night here."
"Just to sleep?" Ray asked, because he wasn't about to let himself get bamboozled.
"Well, I assume there would be sleeping eventually, but I was hoping that we might engage in a few other activities beforehand." Again, breath right behind Ray's ear. God. And that deep, velvety, sin-in-red-serge voice. But Ray noticed that Fraser's actual words left a lot of room for interpretation.
"Like checkers, maybe?"
Fraser chuckled, but he sounded like he was getting a little frustrated. That was almost as much of a turn on as the breath on the neck thing. Almost.
"Not checkers, Ray," Fraser said. Then he licked that spot behind Ray's ear and Ray nearly came in his shorts. "I thought I'd start by taking off all your clothes and spreading you out on your bed, if you wouldn't mind."
"Yeah, that'd be okay," Ray heard himself saying.
"Then I thought it might be nice to suck you off for quite a long time. As you know, Ray, I have excellent breath control."
Ray nodded. He did, in fact, know that.
"I've often wondered, Ray, if you enjoy the judicious and careful application of teeth during a blow job. Perhaps we can discover the answer to that mystery."
Ray loved teeth but Fraser would figure that out on his own soon enough, and Ray was having trouble putting words together, so he just nodded again.
"While I'm sucking you off, Ray - with or without teeth as you prefer – I was hoping that I might use some of the lubricant I brought along specifically for this purpose and begin fucking you with my fingers. As you feel comfortable with it, of course."
Ray made a wordless sound and began rubbing his jeans-clad erection helplessly against Fraser's thigh.
"I thought I'd wait until you were on the verge of coming, and then begin with a single digit. Hopefully, you'll be fucking my mouth and possibly swearing by that point – I'm afraid I find your swearing terribly arousing, Ray – and I'll continue to stroke you from the inside and open you up until you come in my mouth. I'm quite looking forward to that part."
Ray thought it was possible that every drop of blood in his body had headed south and that he might actually pass out before he could shoot off if Fraser kept talking like that. But because his brain had no oxygen, he couldn't figure out how to explain this to Fraser. So Fraser, true to form as always, kept on talking.
"Once you've completed your orgasm, I'll let you rest for a moment while I take off my own clothes. I imagine that you'll look astonishingly beautiful lying there, Ray, debauched and gasping. I've imagined it frequently, how whatever control I've held onto by my fingernails will disintegrate when I see what I've done to you. How I'll slick myself up and enter you slowly, watching your face and knowing that we'll keep each other safe for as long as we can. And it will be so hard to wait but I'll take deep breaths until you're ready. Then I'll start to thrust faster and eventually I won't be able to hold back any more, and you'll be begging me to fuck you harder, faster, so I will, until finally I begin to come. It's going to be so good, Ray, that we'll be tempted to quit our jobs and spend all our time lying in your bed fucking each other senseless."
Ray groaned. Fraser nibbled on that one spot and Ray humped Fraser's leg a bit harder.
"Unless, of course, Ray, you'd prefer to fuck me first, which, naturally, would be equally compelling."
And that did it. Just enough synapses starting working in Ray's brain to get him moving. He kicked the coffee table out of the way and pulled Fraser into the bedroom, kicking the door closed as they went.
* * * * * * *
Later that night, after Fraser's predictions had come true and then some, the two of them laid tangled together in bed, catching their breath. Ray thought that they might take a nap, and then maybe go stand in the kitchen naked and eat a snack directly out of the fridge. Then they could go back to bed and see if any of the other things Fraser imagined were as good as what he'd come up with so far. Fraser, as far as Ray could tell, was a goddammed genius.
But Ray still had one question. He leaned up on an elbow and looked at Frase. God, he was beautiful all fucked out like that, sweaty and dishevelled and smiling softly and prettier than any human had a right to be. "Frase," he said, "why did you wait so long? I was beginning to think you weren't sure."
Fraser opened his eyes and looked a bit startled. "I was sure, Ray. I thought you knew. It was just, I don't know, I suppose it just felt like a fait accompli. Like we were already lovers on some level. I just . . . well, I suppose I was enjoying the anticipation."
Ray started laughing. "Benton Fraser, you are a sadistic motherfucker. You just wait." Ray snuggled into Fraser's neck and pulled the sheet closer around them. "When I get my strength back, I'll show you anticipation."
Fraser smiled against Ray's cheek. "I look forward to it," he answered.