It was a testament to how weird Ray's life had become that he didn't bat an eye when he went back to Fraser's room at the consulate and heard Fraser talking aloud from behind the door. He couldn't even say he was surprised that it sounded like Fraser was the only one in the room—though the topic of, er, conversation was one that had him perking his ears.
"Not that it's any of your business, but my desires are perfectly under control."
A pause, and then, "I don't see how those situations are comparable."
Ray shook his head—he wasn't about to guess what crazy things went through his partner's head on a daily basis—and opened the door.
...to be met by the sight of Fraser, seated naked and cross-legged on the floor.
For a moment, Ray's brain derailed. Took a left at reality, ended up smack-dab in fantasyland. Only, Ray's dreams were far more likely to feature mutual nakedness. And touching, and sucking, and—okay, getting this train back on the right track. Reality: Fraser, naked, sitting on the floor of his room. And strange though that was, even stranger was he hadn't noticed Ray yet. Guy was usually a poster boy for situational awareness.
Fraser stared at a space several feet to his right. "And furthermore," he said, "I thought you had said we weren't to bring up Uncle Tiberius."
Ray cleared his throat. Not that he wasn't enjoying the view—his gaze had stalled at Fraser's lap—but this was taking a turn into weirdsville. Par for the course when working with a Mountie, but it was better to head this off before the mothership decided to beam his partner up.
Fraser's head jerked in surprise. "Ray! What are you—?" He looked down. "Oh...dear."
He rose awkwardly to his feet, keeping his hands crossed in front of him. He looked around him, face falling in dismay when he saw there was no clothing to be had. That baffled Ray even more. How did the guy get naked without realizing it, and without his clothes nearby?
Ray knew the polite thing to do would be to turn around, stumble out an apology—that's what Fraser would do, at least. And really, maybe it was the fact that Fraser seemed just as shocked to find himself naked as Ray had been on finding him in that state, but he couldn't bring himself to turn around or leave the room. Besides, he'd always failed at that whole Canadian politeness thing. He tried not to stare, though, instead fixing his eyes on Fraser's face.
"So, ah, what's with the birthday suit, Frase?" Ray asked, voice catching somewhat.
And okay, maybe he wasn't as outwardly cool as he wanted to appear. But Fraser...under normal circumstances the guy didn't feel shame. He marched to his own beat, oblivious to situations others might consider embarrassing. He didn't care if he appeared foolish in others' eyes. So the fact that he was nervous, anxious even—Ray wasn’t sure what to make of that. He thought it was something more than just Canadian prudishness.
"It...wasn't my intention to be nude in my office, Ray. I was in a sweat lodge only a moment ago."
That was not the explanation Ray was expecting. Not that there was usually a good reason for finding your partner naked. Still, Fraser looked like he wanted to disappear into the floor, and that was no good. Ray didn't want Fraser to feel uncomfortable around him. His instinct was telling him to act casual, so he went with it. "Sweat lodge, huh?"
"Yes, Ray," Fraser said, reaching a hand up to scratch his eyebrow. Then, realizing he might be leaving himself exposed, he folded his hands in front of himself again. "The sweat lodge is an important aspect to many First Nations cultures. It serves as a ceremonial place of purification." He sounded less nervous than he had a moment ago, as if storytelling mode had some kinda calming effect. Ray wasn't complaining, anything that made Fraser more at ease.
"That makes a certain kinda sense..." Except for the part where there was no sweat lodge.
Fraser continued, "My father's friend Joe owned one, and...well, I supposed he asked if he could use it."
Ray decided he wasn't touching that one with a ten-foot pole. Especially considering he was certain Fraser's dad was no longer among the living. "One problem though, Fraser...you're in your room."
Fraser gave Ray an odd look, then. Like Ray was the one not making any sense, which was ironical considering Fraser was naked. Ray hadn't forgotten that detail, nosiree, even though he was trying not to be distracted by the slope of Fraser's shoulders. Or anything lower.
"Well, the sweat lodge would hardly have fit in the closet, now would it? Not with the way that cabin takes up space," Fraser said, matter-of-fact.
Ray grinned, couldn't help it, even if he wasn't entirely sure what Fraser was talking about. He took a careful step forward, charting Fraser's reaction. Fraser's eyes widened, but he remained still, not unlike a deer in the headlights. There wasn't fear in those eyes, however, and Ray took that as a good sign.
"So, purification, huh? You been impure or something?" Oh, that was a bad line, Ray knew it was bad the moment the words left him. He grimaced to himself as a flush rose in Fraser's cheeks.
"No! That is, the lodge can serve several purposes. I didn't see the point of the exercise either, it's just that—Oh, would you please leave?"
Ray jerked back like he had been slapped, and Fraser hastened to add, "Not you, Ray."
Fraser was staring pointedly at the corner of the room. There was nobody there. Even the wolf was out of the room. Turnbull was cooking up some concoction, and Dief was probably begging for treats. There was nobody for Fraser to be looking at, though he stared intently at the space of floor. Ray glanced between the corner and Fraser, and after a drawn-out moment, Fraser let out a soft exhalation. Tension began to ease out of his body.
"That's a relief," Fraser said, more to himself. "I apologize for my outburst, Ray."
He looked down while he spoke, and that should not be endearing, but his legs were bare and his feet fidgeted nervously and Ray had never figured himself for an ankles guy. Maybe it had something to do with Fraser being covered all the time, the sight of any excess of skin was bound to make Ray flustered.
"S'fine," Ray said. He didn't actually know if it was fine, but he figured saying it was a start. "Do you, ah...want me to leave?"
Because Ray was just now starting to feel self-conscious about the whole thing. Like maybe he was the exposed one, and not Fraser. It occurred to him barging in like this, without even knocking, was not buddies. Nope, opposite of that, secret crushes aside.
Fraser's head jerked up, his eyes meeting Ray's. "You don't—I mean—you don't have to."
Here was the thing really baffling Ray—Fraser was still nervous, but not like he was embarrassed, you know? The fact that he still had his hands covering the important stuff seemed to be more of a politeness thing. Like, hey, sorry I'm naked, kindly pardon my junk. But Fraser was holding his breath from his recent admission (or was that an invitation?) and Ray knew what he hoped that meant, but he prayed he didn't fuck this up by behaving in a way Fraser wouldn't welcome.
Before he could doubt himself any further, Ray stepped closer, bringing himself within arms' reach of Fraser.
"You'd like it if I stayed?"
Fraser swallowed, nodded, as a flush crept into his cheeks and his pupils dilated. Oh, yeah, they were on similar pages here.
Ray closed the remaining distance with his arm, reaching tentatively out to touch Fraser's neck. The pulse was rapid beneath his fingertips, and Fraser's eyes fluttered shut at the contact. Ray marveled that a simple touch could elicit that response, then wondered what other responses he could get out of Fraser.
Ray's mouth felt too dry all of the sudden. "Frase?" he rasped.
Fraser opened his eyes slowly. He looked dazed. Ray needed to remind himself for a moment how to breathe.
"Would, uh, it help it I was naked too? That wouldn't break some sweat lodge rules or anything?"
Fraser gave a fond smile. "This isn't a sweat lodge, Ray, this is my room. And I would like that very much."
Ray was still registering the fact that Fraser would very much like him naked. Because, that's right, Fraser found him attractive—very much so, yes. Then Fraser was reaching for him, both hands coming up to push Ray's jacked from his shoulders, and hey, full view of naked Fraser. Ray figured he had permission to look, now, and he would only be getting in Fraser's way if their hands tangled in an effort to get naked faster. Ray allowed himself to admire freely, breathless from the perfect lines of Fraser's body, the lean musculature and the flushed length of his cock, which—huh—was uncut. And then Ray began to catalogue the imperfections of Fraser's body, memorizing them with his fingertips—the freckle here amidst an expanse of skin, the old scar there from an otter incident. Even Fraser's cock had a slight leftward tilt, though Ray resisted the impulse to touch.
Fraser, for his part, stripped Ray with a quiet determination which left Ray trembling as, piece by piece, more of his body was bared. He had to brace his hands on Fraser's shoulders to keep steady when Fraser slid to the floor to remove Ray's shoes and socks. Ray's throat went tight at the intimacy of the gesture. Pants and boxers followed next, and Ray bit back a groan because Fraser's face was right there, all it would take was for him to lean in and...
But he didn't lean in, not then. He helped Ray step out of his remaining clothes and then rose until they were once again face to face. Jesus, but Ray had never seen this look on Fraser's face before. Like he had discovered the freaking sources of the Nile and a lifetime supply of pemmican and...and this analogy was not working because Ray didn't even have the words to describe the look Fraser gave him. It made Ray feel intensely treasured and vulnerable all at once, which was more than slightly terrifying because he didn't want to screw this up. He did the only sensible thing he could, which was to lean forward and capture Fraser's mouth with his own.
That was the way to go, because Fraser melted into him, responding and tilting and deepening the kiss—never let it be said that Ray was not an expert on body language. Except, part of him had always wondered if Fraser was more of a passive kisser, if his outward polite demeanor translated to what lay underneath. That wasn't the case; in reality, Fraser was almost bursting with passion, his mouth completely unrestrained as it worked against Ray's, raw and needy. Ray felt unexpected heat uncoiling within him at the awareness that he was rapidly losing control of the situation. Fraser's hands slid to Ray's sides, fingers splayed wide over his ribs. He moved his thumbs around to brush across Ray's nipples. Ray shuddered, breaking the kiss for a moment to let out a plaintive whimper at the scrape of a fingernail across the tightened skin there.
"Fraser," he grated out, his voice sounding way too desperate.
Fraser only hummed out an affirmative and began kissing him again, cutting off protest attempts. Not that Ray wanted Fraser to stop, but too much of this and he was in serious danger of blowing his load without anything touching his cock. He felt another sharp surge of pleasure as a fingernail traced his other nipple. Okay, time to take back a little charge. Turnabout being fair play, and all.
Ray tangled one of his hands in Fraser's hair, and hey, it was as soft as it looked. He slid his other hand down Fraser's back, reveling in the way Fraser unconsciously shivered at the touch. Fraser's ass sloped out beneath his fingertips, and he grinned into Fraser's mouth as he took hold and pulled.
Fraser broke the kiss, and this time it was him uttering a shocked, "Ray!" as their hips came together, cocks slip-sliding into junctions of muscle and satin-hard skin. Ray took the opportunity to look down at the shadowed area where their bodies were in contact. The foreskin on Fraser's cock had drawn back, revealing the head shiny with precome. Ray wanted to do so much—a mental image appeared of him dropping to his knees to breathe in Fraser's scent, the way Fraser was always sniffing everything. He would tease at first, licking around and maybe under the foreskin, all while Fraser shuddered above him. Then maybe he would relax his throat, invite Fraser to fuck his mouth...
Ray trembled in spite of himself. He would have to satisfy himself with what he had here, because he was never gonna make it that far, not with the way Fraser groaned into the skin of his neck as he twisted his fingers relentlessly against Ray's nipples. Ray groped blindly between them, until he managed to capture both of their cocks in the grip of his hand. Yes. He didn't realize he'd muttered the last aloud until Fraser echoed the sentiment.
He began moving his hand, keeping his face downturned so he could just see the motion of his palm over their cocks.
"Ray." Fraser's voice was raw. His thumbs had let up their assault on Ray's nipples, and he now used his hands to cling to Ray's torso like a lifeline.
And that was ironic, that was, because Ray felt as if he was drowning, but it was Fraser holding onto him. This was near as terrifying as being underwater on the Henry Anderson or whatever, but the difference here, aside from the lack of Lake Michigan, was he knew this dance. His hand continued to pump—bloom, close, yeah—as he watched and felt the press of their cocks in the loose curl of his fist.
Ray's hips stuttered, off-rhythm, as he groaned and shot over both of their bellies. His breath came in sharp gasps from the effort it took to keep his hand moving. He couldn't stop until he got Fraser off too. It was the polite thing to do, after all.
Fraser brought one of his hands to Ray's face, a gentle caress along cheek and jaw. It was a tender gesture from a guy who was probably ten seconds away from coming. Ray looked up. Fraser's face, aside from being blissed-out (eight seconds) held a queer expression. Like he had found everything he could ever need, short of moving north again to the frozen tundra. That thought made Ray's insides lurch unpleasantly. No, he wasn't thinking about that, just the first part. The part where he had somehow become Fraser's everything, and he was unsurprised to realize the feeling was mutual.
Ray smiled, leaning forward to press a kiss to the corner of Fraser's mouth, as Fraser keened. His cock pulsed in Ray's hand, painting them both twice over. He found he didn't mind the mess, as he gentled Fraser through the last of his aftershocks. Ray sagged where he stood, exhausted. He caught sight of the cot along the wall, and walked them over until they could both slump onto it in a sticky, sated tangle of limbs.
"Don't leave," Ray said, and placed a kiss on Fraser's eyebrow. The one he was always rubbing.
"Ray, don't be ridiculous," Fraser said fondly, "Where would I go in this state?"
"Not what I meant."
Ray buried his face into Fraser's shoulder so Fraser couldn't see the need written there. Knew that if Fraser saw his secret would be out, all his fears plain to see. Beneath it all, he was the naked one. He didn't want to be left hanging when all was said and done. Didn't want to face the inevitability of Fraser one day moving on.
"Ray," Fraser said, gently.
His hands were soft on Ray's face. Ray knew he would have to look at Fraser again eventually, whatever he might see there.
"Ray," Fraser said again, still patient.
Ray, Ray, Ray, he mentally echoed, a smile quirking the corner of his mouth in spite of himself. Time to face the music. Ray took a deep breath and opened his eyes, laying his heart bare.