It was snowing the night Fraser went over to Ray's. Fraser stood in the middle of the sidewalk and took a deep breath of cold air; instead of a clean crisp scent, the air smelled of gasoline. Even though the snow covered the city in white, it was a poor substitute for the snow in Canada. As Fraser heard the snow crunch under his feet he longed for the ice and snow of Canada.
Later that night, he was standing in Ray's apartment looking down at Dief. Dief was laying on the floor groaning and Fraser's longing was momentarily forgotten.
Fraser knelt down and rubbed Dief's head. Dief's tail weakly wagged.
'I know you feel uncomfortable, but perhaps now we will learn not to eat half a pineapple pizza,' Fraser said.
Dief grumbled and Fraser was taken aback. That kind of profanity was uncalled for. He must have learned it from Ray, Fraser certainly didn't use that kind of language.
'How's Dief?' Ray asked as he came up next to Fraser.
'Still sick I'm afraid.'
'Oh. I gotta idea.'
Ray went over to his turtle tank and picked up Sparky the turtle. He went over to Dief and sat Sparky next to him. Sparky poked his head out of his shell and nuzzled into Dief's side. Dief made a happy noise.
Fraser stood up and looked at Ray. He was grinning. His eyes were sparkling and the line around his mouth stood out. Fraser enjoyed Ray's smile as much as he had enjoyed Ray Vecchio's brightly colored shirts, those shirt really suited Ray.
'How did you know that would work. I thought you thought wolves and turtles were enemies?'
'Yeah I was, but Sparky kept telling me that he was part of Dief's pack and I got to thinking that if I was sick I'd want my buddy with me.'
'That very thoughtful. I'm sure Sandor would be happy to hear that.'
'Thanks, but I was talking about you,' Ray said as he put his arm around Fraser's shoulder and lead him to the couch.
'You wanna watch t.v.? I think there's a hockey game on.'
They sat down on the couch and Ray sat so close that their knees brushed. Fraser used to be uncomfortable with such closeness, but now he was comfortable with Ray. If he thought about it he would say Ray not being close would be uncomfortable. It had certainly been uncomfortable when they had almost took transfers.
As Fraser watched the television his thoughts went to Canada. It was more than just a place, but a place full of people and memories; even the sad memories made him smile. The memories made him who he was and for that he was grateful.
'You okay?' Ray asked startling Fraser out of his memories.
'I'm fine... It's just... I was thinking about Canada.'
Ray looked at Fraser with concern in his eyes. 'Ah. Feeling homesick huh?'
'I guess you could say that.'
'Gotcha. When Stella divorced me I couldn't sleep in my bed for about a week. It was so quiet without her snoring,' Ray said with sadness in his voice.
'I see. I'm sorry,' Fraser said because even though he was feeling melancholy he didn't want Ray to be sad.
'Yeah. Her snoring used to drive me crazy. You want some tea?'
'Thank you, kindly. I would love some tea.'
'Greatness. Be right back.'
Fraser sat back as he heard Ray move around his kitchen.
Once Ray came back Fraser took the coffee cup filled with tea and held the warm ceramic in his hands. He let the heat warm up his fingers. He suddenly had a question on his mind.
'How did you deal with missing Stella?'
Ray shrugged. 'I went undercover. I thought my life was sucky and a new life would be better.'
'Was it?' Fraser asked wishing he could have a new life too.
Ray grinned. 'Yeah. You might be nutty, but I'm never bored. It must be easier to miss Canada, you can always go back. Maybe we could go on a big adventure!' Ray said excitedly.
'Would you like that?'
'Oh yeah! Me and nature don't get along, but I'll do it for you. Maybe we could have a dogsled and a tent and...'
As Fraser watched Ray's hands move in excitement he didn't feel quite so homesick. Ray's excitement was contagious.
Perhaps once Ray Vecchio came back they could all go on an adventure; he just knew that both Rays would get along great. That would be greatness.