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Chacun a Son Gout

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Ray's never really been the breakfast type before.

Well. Diners, yeah, sure. Fine. Okay. Because cops and diners are like... like... like baseball and apple pie. Like Reeses and chocolate. Like M&Ms and that crap they're covered in, puts a chemical oil-slick on your coffee and comes off on your hands if you have even the slightest tendency towards sweaty palms.

(Dewey comes to mind. Unfortunately. Being antsy around Fraser because it makes Ray's palms and the pads of his fingers hurt not to be touching the guy does not come to mind whatsoever. Because Ray is too strong for that, thank you fucking kindly.)

Point is, cops have to love diners. It's a law. A rule. Something Ray has to obey or Someone will be asking him What Was He Thinking, which he's hated ever since third-grade catechism with Sister Louise, trapped in the Mary chapel with her scary-ass ruler and her stinky mint breath.

So diners are forcibly okay. They have French fries, which Ray is down with. And coffee, which very much ditto. And ketchup and mustard and mayonnaise--but not together, are you nuts?--which Ray is also down with, at least where French fries are concerned.

Thing is, they also have breakfast. Hot cereal (which if Ray wanted this, really? he would just microwave the Frosted Flakes and call it a day). Stuff made with eggs. Whole wheat toast.

Worse yet--at least when Fraser's there--they have weird shit no American cop would admit to even looking at, like fresh fruit and plain yogurt and fucking granola. (In his darker moments, Ray suspects Fraser of paying off the diners near the 2-7, slipping them funny money to bring out the super-healthy crap when Ray's around just to piss him off. Fraser's no dummy where Ray's concerned, even if he does have this bizarro fixation on 'eating right'.)

What it is? It's good for you. And that Ray just doesn't do.

Given all this, Ray thinks it's understandable that--especially since him and Fraser and the ducks and the crypt, since his own personal what-the-hell index went soaring off the fucking charts--he's even less of a breakfast guy that he was in the Pre-Fraser Years. (Ray thinks of them like that, with the stupid, whatsit, initial capitals. How can he not, given Fraser's...Fraserness?) Let Fraser hold down the super-nutritional, balanced-meals, fast-food-the-silent-killer end of the bargain. Let him give Ray that eye, that worried eye, that 'Ray, really, you don't eat enough to keep a bird alive' eye. Ray's skinny ass is headed for the doughnuts and the Danishes, the food that travels easy and keeps him going for as long as he has to go.

If he crashes after, sensitive stomach, can't hold anything down? That's his own damn problem.

Until Fraser shows up to a stakeout one morning--oh dark thirty, too-fucking-early o'clock, whatever Godforsaken time you want to call it--with breakfast.

A real breakfast.

A whole cold pizza. Uncut. Nothing missing. Not even remotely leftovers. Mozzarella, roasted garlic, extra tomato sauce. Real plain deep-dish crust, not a whole wheat in sight. Pineapple included; mushrooms and anchovies somewhere else where they belong.

Love in a fucking cardboard box.

Ray doesn't know what to say. Thanks for breakfast? Hope you got it at that place on Archer and not at that shitty Uno's that pretends it's not a chain? I need your hands on me like I need my next breath?

Fuck me, please, now, now, now?

He takes a piece, folds it over on itself like he always does, looking away towards the warehouse as he fills his mouth. He can hear Fraser chewing like 'granola' was a foreign word. The Goat smells like home, like Fraser and him and the things that keep them going.

Maybe Ray's been underrating breakfast.