Breaking Cover

by Speranza

Author's Notes:  Part 1 of my two-part, Ray/Ray, Canoe Challenge response for DS_Flashfiction  Part Two is called The Sporting Life and can be found here.  Thanks to cmshaw and Mia and Terri for beta.  This story is for cmshaw, who said:  "can you put rayv and rayk hidden under a canoe?bitching about whatever fraser's done this time? trapped there long enough that they start making out because there'snothing else to do?"  Yeah, I can do that. *g*

Vecchio's palm was hot and sweaty where it was covering his mouth, covering his nose, practically stifling him. Ray twisted his face a little and managed to clear a pathway through Vecchio's fingers, get some air.

"Sorry," Vecchio whispered, and moved his hand off Ray's nose.

It sounded like there were at least ten guys out there; he could hear the clomping and stomping of boots, the yelled curses, and—worst of all—the random bursts of machine gun fire as someone ventilated one of the store's many hiding places. Each time that happened, Vecchio flinched hard and tightened his grip on Ray's chest, on Ray's face. Normally Ray would have shoved him away and maybe kicked him one, except he knew that those bullets were meant for them—him, Vecchio and Fraser.

Plus you couldn't count on Fraser just to sit things out like a normal person, no, you could not. Any second now—he knew it, Vecchio knew it—Fraser could stick his head up and say something like, "Gentlemen, if you would please surrender your weapons." Let him stay put, Ray thought, let him stay put, dear God let Fraser stay put.

Another blast of fire, and again Vecchio jerked and clutched him, like he wanted to squeeze the motherfucking life out of him, though it was probably the reverse.

Ray closed his eyes and tried to picture the store's layout. To the left, a wall full of fishing rods; near the door, a wall lined with shotguns. A display of tents, all shot up now, so Fraser wasn't there at least. Shelves of camping gear and racks of outerwear. Bikes and snowmobiles. Snowshoes and knives. Kayaks.

And a row of canoes, displayed upside down with their bottoms showing—where Vecchio had dragged him once the shooting started.

It was a pretty good hiding place, he had to give Vecchio that much. In fact, Vecchio'd been right on the money about everything today— that the place was a front, that there were too many guns just for a sporting shop, that the chainsmoking thug at the register didn't look like no outdoorsman he'd ever seen. "Italians don't like the outdoors," Vecchio had whispered when they gathered outside for a pow-wow. "That's why we're so big on architecture. These guys aren't sportsmen, believe me—so what are they doing here?"

That's when Fraser had put on his determined Mountie look. "Why don't we find out?"

Vecchio'd been carrying his Glock, and Ray at least had his ankle piece, but they were outnumbered and outarmed and out-everythinged. Ray himself had nearly bought it when his clip jammed, except that Vecchio had shoved him to the ground and the bullets had sprayed over their heads instead.

"You see 'em?!" somebody yelled. "Anybody get 'em yet?"

Ray wrenched himself away from Vecchio and turned around. They had to make a plan, had to do something, get the hell out of—

Vecchio's eyes were wide and intense. Shut up, they flashed. Shut up and stay put.

There was another burst of gunfire and they froze, paralyzed with listening for a scream or a thud or a sign of a kill. Vecchio's face was full of fear, and Ray reached out and clutched his forearm tightly, understanding suddenly that Vecchio needed the contact, to be with another human being. In a way, Vecchio's being scared was a nice change, because Fraser never seemed to be afraid of anything. And Ray thought that normal people should get scared when people were trying to kill them with guns that shot off ten fucking bullets per second.

"I don't see 'em!" somebody else yelled. "I don't know where they—" and then suddenly there was a boom from outside, and Vecchio gasped so loudly that Ray grabbed him and instinctively slapped a hand over his mouth.

"Motherfucker!" Boots were thumping madly, they were running, and one pair of black boots ran right past their canoe, making Ray's hair stand on end.

There was another explosion outside, and then another.

"What the fuck is that?!" somebody shouted, and the answer was nearly drowned out by another boom: "Hand grenades! He's got a box of hand grenades! Fuck, that's my car—!!!"

"Get out of my way." This voice cut through the chaos and sent a chill up Ray's spine. "Now! I'm going to shoot the crazy bastard—"

Something went clear and hard in Vecchio's eyes. He turned and got a foot under himself —like he was gonna break cover, dive out of their canoe—and so Ray grabbed him by the legs, and pinned him to the floor, and kissed him till he was breathless, while Fraser blew up the world outside.  

The End

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