No Mere Inspiration
Benton Fraser met Valencia Pena at a Spanish market down the street from the 27th precinct. She had shiny dark hair and a creamy complexion and when Benton Fraser kissed her, he felt nothing whatsoever.
Lydia Grummond was pale and roundish, but she had a beautiful smile and the guts to ask Fraser if he'd like to come to a reading group in the basement of their local public library. Ben liked the group—Mrs. Danforth who taught English, Mr. Sanchez who read on the bus between jobs, Mr. Heamus who wanted to be a writer—and he liked Lydia, too. But when Lydia pulled him into the stacks and kissed him, he felt nary a stir in his nether regions.
Francesca Vecchio, of course, was an ongoing litmus test. Fraser saw heads turn at the skimpiness of her outfits, the slinkiness of her moves. Even Ray did the occasional double-take, despite having been hired to impersonate Francesca's very own brother.
But even Francesca's most outrageous undulations left him cold. The touch of Elaine's hand caused nary a twitch. Even a face-to-face encounter with Inspector Thatcher's breasts left him merely inspired, as he sometimes was when gazing upon the majesty of Double Pinnacle Peak.
His lack of— His inability to— His body's reluctance hadn't been an issue up north, where women were few and far between. Oh, he'd had the requisite number of crushes on movie stars and glamour goddesses, and he'd successfully lost his virginity, albeit in extraordinary circumstances. So he'd always assumed he was normal enough—but that was before Chicago, where there were Natalie Woods on every corner, and where he felt nothing.
"Let me tell you, Son: Bear-Baiting Barney never saw it coming. He had that shot all lined up when—"
"Dad?" Fraser looked up from cross-referencing the Consular calendar. This was probably a mistake, but if a man couldn't ask his father for advice, whom could he ask? "Can I ask you a question about...well...."
"Son," Robert Fraser said reprovingly. "That story was rapidly approaching climax—"
"Yes," Fraser said gratefully, putting down his pen. "About that."
His father looked confused. "About bears?"
"No." Fraser massaged his temples.
"No. Never mind, Dad." Fraser picked up his pen.
"You know, you could finish a sentence every now and then," his father said irritably.
Fraser sighed and put the pen down. "Climax is the Greek word for ladder; did you know that?"
Robert Fraser sat on the edge of the desk. "It's Greek to me, Son."
"Have you ever been anything less than zestfully attracted to girls?" Fraser asked, before he could think better of it. "Women. Females," he added, just to be on the safe side.
His father nodded sagely. "Ah, I see. Girl problems—"
Fraser suddenly knew that he'd made a mistake. "Never mind—"
"Which are actually boy problems, of course; don't know why we say otherwise. Impotence, libido disorder, penile difficulty—"
Fraser put his head down on the desk.
"—or as that dead senator would have it, 'erectile dysfunction.' Don't be coy, Son. These things happen—"
Fraser lifted his head. "What dead Senator?"
"—and you're no spring chicken. The American one. Ran for President."
"Men hit their peak at 18; you're twice that —"
Fraser crossed his arms. "Bob Dole isn't dead, Dad."
"Oh? I thought he was."
"Well, he's not. He's still in politics. He lives in Washington—"
"True," Fraser sighed.
"That's the spirit," Bob said, and clapped him on the shoulder. "So tell me, Son: is it premature ejaculation?"
Fraser covered his face. "This isn't happening to me."
"Come, come," his father said reassuringly. "What's the problem?"
Fraser bit his lip. "I don't desire any of the beautiful women with which I am surrounded, several of whom have made it clear that they would gladly accept me as a sexual partner."
"Well," Robert Fraser said thoughtfully. "Can't help you there."
Fraser sighed. "Right. Thanks anyway."
"I've never heard of that problem. You must be some kind of freak."
"Right," Fraser said tersely. "Thanks."
Robert Fraser put his hat on. "Anything else you want to tell me?"
"My penis leans slightly to the left."
"Well, that's something you get from your mother, Son. She was always asymmetrical, her whole family was. I'm glad we had this talk."
"Oh, me too, Dad. Me, too."
Five seconds after Francesca showed him her bellybutton (nothing, nix, niente) Fraser was in the men's room, looking for Ray. "Detective Huey said you were here."
"Yeah. Well." Ray turned the water off and dried his hands. "Good to know he's keeping tabs. What's up?"
"I—" Fraser checked the stalls—empty—and the door—shut, "wanted to ask you something."
Ray blinked. "Is it important?"
"Yes. No. Not really. I mean, this is just a casual conversation between friends. Men friends—"
Ray's eyebrows shot up. "Men friends?"
"—who can talk about many and various things, right, Ray?"
"Men friends. Men's room," Ray said slowly. "I'm sensing a theme..."
"I just wanted to ask—you know, just casually—"
"That's what we tell perps—just casually, no pressure—when we've got 'em under duress—"
"I'm not under duress, Ray."
"You're looking pretty duressed, Fraser."
"That's not a real word, Ray."
Ray pushed his fingers through his hair. "Okay, yeah. Whattya want to ask me?"
Fraser took a deep breath. "I just wondered if you ever had a problem with—" except he currently had no such problem.
"A problem with?" Ray was staring at him.
But Fraser was lost in heat, in the welcome feeling of hardness in his pants. This was no mere inspiration; these were deep stirrings. He was moved.
"No—no problem, Ray," Fraser stammered. " I just wondered if—if you—"
Ray exhaled and closed his eyes. "Fraser. Fraser. Thank God—" and few minutes later, Fraser was scaling a Greek ladder of his own.
Note: Written for the DS_Undercover challenge. Story inspired by LauraKaye. Thanks to Rami for putting this challenge together.