by Speranza

Author's Notes:  A little nothing of a story, written on a goof and finished because I finish and post everything.  Thanks to Julad and Mia and resonant, without whom this would really suck.

Aw, hell.  Fraser just went ping.

Fraser almost never goes ping, which doesn't mean he never does.   Just almost never.  Figure one in a thousand.

Though it's really hard to tell because practically everybody pings on Fraser—even chicks who I personally know to be lesbians ping on Fraser, which is really saying something.  Nine hundred and ninety-nine women out of a thousand ping on Fraser, with the exception of Stella—and hey, I always said Stella was something special, off the curve. Stella's special, Fraser's special—so, like, they're totally immune to each other.  Matter and anti-matter, which only goes to prove something, though I really don't know what.

A lot of guys ping on Fraser, too—a helluva lot more than the one-in-ten percentage it's supposed to be—which means either the statistics are wrong or Fraser's charm works on straight guys as well as lesbians.

Or both.  Both, probably.

So with all those people pinging it gets a bit noisy walking around with Fraser—like the inside of a casino: ping, ding, boom, bang, tilt! With all that racket it's sometimes hard to hear that one-in-a-thousand time when Fraser pings back, because, like I say, he almost never does and besides his own ping is real soft, plus it's not likely to be repeated if there isn't any uptake—or the right kind of uptake.

In two years, I've heard Fraser ping exactly four times, and all four times the uptake was wrong.  Ping Number Two had a deadbeat husband to go with her kids, so game over, thanks for playing.  Ping Number Three was Lady Shoes, except Fraser might have been bluffing that one, so I'm not even sure.  Ping Number Four was this guy Alex Sharpe who worked down at the garage, and he had me really worried, because Fraser's ping got the uptake of an answering ping, and then Alex braced his work-gloved hand on the pole of the lift and brushed his hair off his forehead and Fraser went ping again.  Then Alex smiled and Fraser smiled and it was all moving real fast—except then Alex opened his mouth and said something about calling his bitch of a mother.

Fraser kept right on smiling.  But that low sweet chime was gone from the air, like someone'd reached out and stilled a vibrating cymbal.

Fraser don't like people who badmouth their mothers.  Bye-bye Ping Number Four.

But this guy I'm staring at has got a framed picture behind his desk of him and an elderly couple and some girl.  A wife, I'm hoping, but he's not wearing a ring and they look just the same.  So she's probably his sister.  Which means that those are his parents.  And the nice, responsible defense attorney stands up in his nice tan suit and offers his hand to Fraser over the desk—and I got ringing in my ears.

Fraser's going ping, ping, ping.

"—so grateful that you took the time out of your busy day to see me," Michael Beckett is saying, and Fraser's looking at him like he's just totally delighted to help.

"I'm delighted to help," Fraser says, just kill me now.  "I did try, even at the time of arrest, to argue for leniency," Fraser continues, apparently going for extra brownie points.  "Mr. Jackson struck me as quite remorseful."

"Leniency ain't our business, Fraser," I snap, maybe more harshly than I mean to, and Fraser's head jerks around.  "Well, it's not," I insist, because he's looking all disappointed when I am completely right about this.  "Our job stops with the arrest.  Then it's the D.A.'s problem, it goes to the justice system.  You know—judges? lawyers? juries?—we got a system for this, Fraser and sentencing's their job, not ours."

Fraser frowns at me, because I got him pretty good, there, with my whole, "Oh, how I love our justice system, God Bless America," speech.  He's got to think for a minute before he answers, because he wouldn't want to look like he's slamming justice or anything.  But finally he answers, because Fraser's got an answer for everything, really.

"Well, certainly, Ray," Fraser says after a moment, "but on the other hand, as the arresting officers, we're certainly in a position to provide information about Mr. Jackson's behavior upon his arrest."

"I am the arresting officer, Fraser," I say, jerking a thumb back at myself.  "You," I add, pointing a finger at him, "are just a liaison from Canada."

This turns out to be the wrong move, a real shoot-yourself-in-the-foot kind of move, because now Michael Beckett's smiling.  "Even better," Beckett says, and I've got a sudden sinking feeling:  loser, loser, loser.  Beckett's smiling at Fraser and saying, "The unbiased opinion of an eyewitness not officially with the police department.  Your testimony could really help my client."

I shoot Fraser a look that says, You ain't supposed to be helping his client, because his client is my perp and— but that's a mistake too, to turn this into Beckett against me.  Because the fact is, we both of us thought that maybe Jackson deserved some leniency here, being a first-time offender with no priors whose dirt-poor condition goes a long way in explaining why he took to theft.

But that was before Mr. Michael "The Fifth Ping, I Do This Pro-Bono and Did I Mention That I Love My Parents" Beckett appeared on the scene and Fraser started chiming like a wall clock.

"Okay, forget it," I say, raising my hands, giving up, giving in, getting my head back.  "You go on ahead and help the kid.  He maybe even deserves it."

Fraser breaks into a smile.  Fraser smiles at me like I've just given him ice-cream—and for a second there, I am number one again, because once I was number one, the very first guy that Fraser pinged on.  Except—slow on the uptake.  Except I didn't know what I was hearing, that it was a special sound.  I didn't even know who I was then, and it was only because of the red serge that I knew who he was, and he didn't know me from a hole-in-the-wall what with all the nose-measuring and putty-biting, except there he was ping, ping, pinging at me like mad.

And really, in terms of the whole colossal craziness of that day, what with being set on fire and driving into the lake and very nearly getting my head blown off, my ears had plenty of reason to be ringing.

I didn't know it was him.

Fraser says, softly, "Thank you, Ray," and turns his attention back to Number Five, and Beckett's no way as slow on the uptake as me.

"Thanks so much," Beckett says warmly, all sincerity and do-gooder looks.  An honest lawyer, just my fucking luck.  "I'd like to discuss this further, but I don't think we need to waste any more of Detective Vecchio's valuable time..."

Oh, good going there, Number Five.  That's a good one, my valuable time.  Working and eating, eating and working, watching the turtle work and eat.  Nobody will be admitted during the "Ray Feeds His Turtle" sequence.  My valuable fucking time.

"Would you like to have dinner?" Fraser asks.  Ping!

"Yeah, I'd love to," Beckett replies.  Pong!

Fraser looks at his watch.  "Six o'clock?"  Ping!

"Sounds great.  You like Italian?"  Pong!

"Very much so."  Ping!

"How about Giovanni's?  It's on—"

"Giovanni's is closed Tuesday nights," I interrupt, mainly so that they remember that I'm in the fucking room.

Beckett's face falls.  "Oh yeah, that's right."

"There's Sambuca," Fraser jumps in, always prepared.  "They have very good scungilli," and the way he says it, it sounds almost dirty.

"Hey, that's perfect," Beckett says, brightening.  "I know just where that is—that's in my neighborhood, actually."

Right about then I have to forcibly grip the arms of the chair to stop from punching myself in the head with both fists, it's so fucking loud in here.  I use the leverage to hoist myself out of the chair, and Fraser and Beckett, the Politeness Twins, stand up with me.

"Very good then," Fraser says, extending his hand to Beckett across the desk, except no business handshake takes that long, not even in Canada.  "Six o'clock."

"Sambuca," Beckett repeats, and pumps Fraser's hand one more time before letting go.

We are at the door, we are nearly fucking out of there, when Fraser stops and turns back to the desk.  "Are those your parents?" he asks.

For a second, Beckett looks confused, and then he half-turns to where Fraser's looking and sees the picture.  "Oh.  Yeah.  And that's my sister Lynn—she's in med school in Oregon."

"It's a lovely photograph," Fraser says, and puts on his hat.

The car is quiet, which would be fine except the car isn't normally quiet when Fraser and me are in it.  But I got nothing to say, so I just focus on driving.


He's got something to say.  He usually does.  I glance over at him—he's looking concerned, his hat in his lap.  "Yeah?"

"You...don't mind, do you?  That I'm helping Mr. Beckett?"

Helping, huh?  Is that what he calls it?  Figures.  "No, Fraser," and god, when did I start sounding so tired?  "We already talked about this.  Jackson deserves a second chance."

"Jackson deserves a second chance, yes," Fraser agrees.

I keep my eyes glued to the road ahead of me.  "Jackson deserves a second chance, Beckett's his lawyer, and anything else is up to you."

I sense, rather than see, the slow nod of his head, but what Fraser says doesn't go with the nodding.  "I actually find that remarkably little is up to me, Ray."

"Well, it sure ain't up to me."  I stop short, double-parking in front of the Consulate, to let Fraser get out.  But Fraser doesn't get out.  He just sits there with his hat in his hand, halfway to his head but not on his head, looking like he wants to say one of those things he's always wanting to say.

But he doesn't say anything, and then on goes the hat.

"Well. Goodnight, then," Fraser says, and gets out of the car.

I go home and have a sandwich and feed the turtle—and I'm sitting there watching the turtle eat when I get struck with one of those compulsions that I sometimes get struck by, where no amount of rational sense has any impact on me.  I used to get 'em a lot with Stella, and I'd end up bringing flowers to her office on nights when she had to work late, except she was almost always ticked off at me because she'd called, hadn't she? and she'd said she had to work late, and yeah, yeah, Ray, the flowers are great but I told you, I gotta be in court in the morning and...

It never stopped me.  Never, not once the compulsion hit, because I am slow on the uptake.  She had to roll up the divorce papers and smack me on the head with them three or four times before I really got it, and sometimes I still forget when I'm passing by flower shops.

So I get into the car—my cop car, which is also my stalking car—and head over to Sambuca's, and what I'm telling myself doesn't even make sense.  I'm telling myself that I'm just gonna look—look at what, I don't know.  Look why aside from torturing myself, I don't know.  But it's all really reasonable in my head—oh yeah, I'm just gonna park my car and take a look.

The world is my fishbowl.  The world is my turtle-tank.  It's better than television, really—next time I'll bring popcorn.

And so there I am, sitting in my car down the street from a restaurant that I don't even know Fraser's in.  Six o'clock, they said, and it's already seven, plus maybe the scungilli wasn't good today and they went somewhere else.  But I sit in my car as the gray turns black and suddenly there's only pools of yellow streetlights to see by.  I watch the people come and go—an old couple comes out of the restaurant, the guy holding the door for his wife, who is built like a house.  Another couple goes in, and this woman looks like Stella, except my days of searching the streets for Stella are well and truly over.  Three guys come out, laughing and knocking shoulders.  They look like college buddies, and the middle one reminds me of Mitch, who dumped me for that snooty chick—whassername—Julia—who I'm pretty sure he married. I brace my arms on the wheel and rest my chin on my wrist as I watch the guys shove each other up the street.  That was totally his loss.  I suck in a strand of my bracelet, savor the taste of metal, click the beads against my teeth.  Bet she never gave him head.  At least Stella gave me head.

Finally I convince myself that they're not in there, if they ever were—either they went for something else, or they ate fast and split to go somewhere private.  I'm trying to decide what to do with myself for the rest of the evening, and I end up thinking that a bar might be good—a bar with a band that's real loud so that I don't have to talk to anybody.  And I've pretty much decided just to head to the strip and see if anywhere's hopping when I see them—or him, I see him, Fraser for certain.  He's holding the door and letting Beckett out first, and Beckett's wearing a long, tan, flappy raincoat and smoking a cigarette and he's got a leather satchel slung over his shoulder.  Fraser's dressed in jeans and a blue button-down shirt and his leather jacket—and fuck, that sounds like nothing, but the effect is everything, because it all fits him to a T and plus he's slouching a little, yeah, licking his lip, totally playing it.

I grip the wheel hard and lean over it to see better, practically pressing my face against the windshield.  The body language here tells me we're at the "So?"  "So."  "What are we doing now?" part of the evening.  Beckett's gesturing down the street—right, yeah, this is his neighborhood, and it totally would be, with all the ritzy townhouses and treelined streets and brass fixtures around here.  Fraser's tilting his head in the same direction, and god, I know that bastard so well, that's his "Well, I'd be happy to see you home," move—which is perfectly polite, perfectly non-committal, and sure to drive Beckett bugfuck because he won't know if he's in or what.

But Beckett just smiles and nods, and his body language is all, hello, I'm available.  Then they're walking down the street, in no hurry at all.  For a moment, I'm relieved they're not hustling off to fuck, but then the slow pace makes me sad, cause that's a date walk, all sexual tension and inane conversation.   Aren't These Cobblestones Nice? and I Think There'll Be Rain Soon, and Yeah, It's A Beautiful Moon, Isn't It? and you sound like an idiot but who cares?   Cause you've got all the time in the world with the sex buzz between you—it's going to happen, and you know it, and all you want is for it to be slow and last forever.

Fraser and Beckett hit the end of the block and cross the street, and for a minute I can kid myself that I'm not going to follow them, except that lasts about half a second as I turn the engine on.  In for a penny, in for a pound, I tell myself, and really, anybody normal would want to see how this movie turns out, right?  The pace they're going, I've got plenty of time to start the car, pull out, cruise down the street at the perfectly legal speed limit of 30 miles per hour.

Two blocks up, they take a left, and I take my time at the light before turning myself, to let them get good and ahead of me.  They go five blocks down, then cross the street and head up a one way where I can't go.  Smacking the wheel, I gun the engine, barely making a red light, and make a right and a right and a right before slowing up again.

This block is narrow, residential, covered by a canopy of tree branches.  I slow to a crawl, cause I don't see them, though I don't see how they got to the end of the block before me.  There's a space by a hydrant and I pull into it and turn my lights off—and suddenly I see them, across the street from me and walking up the block.  Then they stop.

I turn the engine off and go really quiet.

They're on the sidewalk in front of this really schmantzy brownstone—bay window,  stone steps leading up to the stoop, and a big-ass front door.  I have learned to be suspicious of a big-ass front door.  Stella's folks had a big-ass front door.  The Consulate has a big-ass front door.  I've decided I'm pretty much a little-ass door kind of person;  it's just a door, it doesn't need to be a statement or anything.

But Mr. Fifth Ping has got a big-ass front door that makes a statement.  Him and Fraser are still on the sidewalk, standing in a pool of yellow light from the streetlamps.  They're still talking—except wait, yeah, Beckett's drifting up the stairs and I know that move, too.  That's a "lead and he shall follow" move:  talk and drift, drift and talk, like herding cats.  "Yeah, come on in, have a cup of coffee..." like it's really coffee that's at issue, here.

Except it works.  Except Fraser's on the first step, then on the second.  I realize suddenly that my heart's pounding like a motherfucker.  If Fraser goes in there, I'm gonna flip out.  And then Fraser's on the landing, and Beckett's looking for his keys.  They're still talking—the body language says negotiations—and then they stop talking, which is worse, oh my God.

Beckett's kissing him.  Beckett's got his hands on Fraser's hips and he is kissing him.  And as I watch, my heart pounding like a motherfucker, Fraser leans into it and kisses him back, and they move closer together, and I can't see Fraser's hands, where the hell are Fraser's hands?  I can't see Fraser's hands because Beckett's got him wedged into the corner between that big-ass door and the jamb, so now they're in shadow, away from the lights on the street.

If you didn't know they were there, you wouldn't know they were there.   But I know they're there.  I can see them.

I can even see Fraser's hands:  they're around Beckett's waist, fisting the folds of his tan raincoat.  I can see the dark gloss of Fraser's hair as he presses his mouth to Beckett's.  I can see the shaking, jerking motion that means bump and grind, and God, Beckett's got him, Beckett's totally got him, fifth time's the charm and—

And they're breaking apart.  And Fraser lifts his arm, rests his hand on Beckett's bicep, and leans in to—yes! yes! that's the blowoff move! that's the "I'm really interested but I've gotta walk the dog, feed the cat, wash my sweaters, be at work at 4:30 in the morning," move!  Which everybody knows is bullshit, because when push comes to shove and you're horny, fuck the dog and the cat and the sweaters.   But Fraser's selling it real, real well, so maybe he means it—if anyone could mean that shit sincerely, Fraser could.  He's real close to Beckett now and talking quietly, his whole body projecting intimacy, so maybe Fraser really needs to wash his sweaters.

But I don't think so.

Beckett's playing his half of the game, though, nodding all understandingly and stuff.  Then Fraser moves his hand and cups the side of Beckett's head and kisses him—and man, I am so ripped up inside, I can't even stand it.  Even if it's goodbye, I can't stand it.  Fraser's hand in Beckett's hair.  I can't.  I can't stand—

Just when I think I can't stand another second of it, it's over, and Fraser's jogging down the steps, hands jammed into the pockets of his jacket.  Beckett's watching him go, and if I didn't want to kill him right now, I could almost feel sorry for him—he got this close, and to have gotten that close and still....

Well, I know all about that, don't I?

I watch Fraser head up the cobblestoned sidewalk, watch Beckett disappear through his big-ass front door.  Then I fold my arms on the wheel and rest my head on my wrists.  God, that was close.  God, that was so close.  Thank God for those sweaters, for the dog, for—

I hear a tap at the window and my blood goes cold.

I lift my head, and yeah, Fraser's bent over, one hand braced on the car door, watching me.  I blink at him and he raises his eyebrow.

Busted.  I am so fucking busted.  For a moment I'm tempted to pretend like I don't even know him, wave my hands, "No habla your language!"  But I'm too stymied even to do that much, so I just stare through the glass.  He stares back, and after a moment, he raises his hand and pats the air.  Roll the window down.  Right.  Yeah.

I hit the button and the window whirrs down.  I'm mentally running through my answers for when he asks, "What are you doing here?"—except I haven't got any answers, no answers at all.  Flat tire—no. I meant to tell you—no.  I got a friend lives just up the—forget it.  No habla your language.  Ray who?  Do I know you?

But Fraser doesn't ask me what I'm doing here.

No, Fraser just looks at me through the car window and pings.  And he is looking at my mouth.  And it's only for a second, but it's a long goddamned second.  And then he's licking at his lips, leaving them shiny, wet—almost glossy.

Holy shit.  Holy fucking—

And then Fraser meets my eyes, and says, just calm as you please:  "Do you want me to get in the car, Ray?"

I feel my mouth fall open, which is really a good thing, cause I can barely breathe.  Because this is not, "Will you give me a ride home, Ray?"  This is—this is something entirely, totally—

"Ray."  The command in his voice kicks my pulse up another notch.  "Do you want me to—"

"Yeah," I stammer.  "Get in the car, Fraser."

Fraser tips his head as if to say, "At your service, Ray."  And then he walks around the front of the car and opens the passenger-side door.

I cannot look at him while I'm driving;  I have got to keep my eyes straight on the road or I will kill us both.  I've been in the car with him a million times, so I know what he looks like from this angle.   In theory I do not need to look.

Except it's never been like this.  Not since the first day, when Fraser was ringing at me like a goddamned bell, except I thought it was the fire alarm.  And even then, I was so slow on the uptake that all I got was a headache, plus with the nose-measuring, and the putty sandwich, and the dog—well, what was I supposed to think?   I just figured him for being a certifiable, class-A weirdo—which yes he is but it is more than that.  I also figured he was testing me, measuring me for all the places where I wasn't, couldn't, didn't—

But it's more than that.  It is so much more than that.

I'm more than that.

Because Fraser's staring at me across the car like he's never even seen me before, and that feels like our first day together, too.  I feel him studying my face and my heart's pounding.  I am not who he was expecting, and I don't think I ever was.

And it is not just that I am not Ray Vecchio—because face it, that had to have been pretty obvious from the get-go.  I'm blond and skinny and not the slightest bit Italian, and no amount of staring was gonna make me a snazzy dresser with a big schnozz.  Stare all you want and I stay skinny and blond and Polish.  Which was maybe what Fraser was looking at the whole time.

So maybe it's bad idea to have sex with your partner, especially when you're filling in for a straight Italian guy who doesn't do guys.  And believe me, I checked—not a one.  And yeah, if this goes bad it will be real bad, tank my career bad, maybe even run-me-out-of-town bad, but—

But I am not Italian either if you know what I'm saying.  And if the Mountie turns out to like skinny Polish detectives, than that is just my good luck.  Which I am thinking he does, because I can hear some serious chiming coming from his side of the car.  I'm thinking he wants himself a little glamour boy, a little cha-cha.  I'm thinking he was measuring me for something else entirely.

I'm his type.  Maybe even the prototype.

Because I was Fraser's number one, and he just blew off a perfectly good lay with a perfectly nice lawyer to get into this here Ford with me.  Which has got to mean something.  Which has got to mean everything.  And Fraser's pinging like a motherfucker and I can feel his eyes all over my—


I whip my head around to stare at him.

"We've just passed your building.  You can park now."

So I park, and I've barely got the engine turned off when Fraser gets out of the car.  He's waiting for me on the sidewalk, standing there, eyes following me as I get out, push the button down, lock the door.

I am not the only person here who wants a do-over.

Fraser doesn't even wait for me to get to him.  The moment my boots hit the sidewalk, he starts drifting backwards, moving toward the door of my building.  Talk and drift, drift and talk—he is coaxing me into my apartment, which really blows my mind.

"Come on, Ray," Fraser says gently, like I might suddenly bolt on him.

"Yeah," I say, feeling dazed.  "Coming," and part of me wonders if he's actually going to go so far as to offer me coffee.

Fraser reaches my little-ass glass door and holds it open for me, ushering me into the lobby with one hand on my back.   The building looks suddenly dingy and depressing to me, and I'm not sure I'm liking the statement  it makes.  But Fraser's hand is scorching hot on my shoulder and he's nudging me past the mailboxes, toward the stairs, up the stairs.  His lust and mine, the noise of it is bouncing off the walls, echoing in the narrow stairwell.

Finally we reach the door to my apartment and I'm fumbling in my pocket for my keys.  And my damn door needs repainting, it's peeling so bad, and the lock's all scratched up and—  The keys fall out of my hands and crash to the floor, and Fraser is instantly after them, bending down and snatching them up.  The keys are dangling from his fingers—dangling and jangling, ping, ping, ping—because his hands are shaking.  I know exactly what he's feeling cause my hands are shaking, too.

I reach out for the keys, but Fraser doesn't give them to me.  Instead he turns to my door and unlocks it, concentrating fiercely on putting the right keys into my three different locks.  Finally he pushes the door open and tilts his head at me—"After you, Ray,"—and so in I go.

And I don't got a big door, or a fancy jamb, or a wrought-iron anything—but hey, I got a wall and so I push Fraser against it, because all I want right now is to kiss Michael Beckett off his mouth.  Fraser's mouth is shockingly wet, obscenely wet, and I just want to kiss that lawyer out of his mind, out of all recent memory.

"Ray," Fraser murmurs. "Ray, Ray..." and it's several times before I can bear to let go of him, to see what he wants besides this.

"What?" I gasp, with a last, wet lick at his mouth—and Fraser's face has gone serious.

"I have to know something," Fraser says, and he's flushed and panting and gorgeous and serious. "There's something I need to—"

"Anything," I interrupt.  "Just ask me.  What?"

"Just... I've seen you do this before."  Fraser's voice is low and urgent, and his face is suddenly tense.  "With Stella.  You get interested only when she's..."  He doesn't finish the thought, but then again, he doesn't have to;  I forget that Fraser knows the best and worst of me.  "And I have to know that you're not just doing this because of—"

Beckett.  He's still thinking of Beckett—which is only fair, I guess, because I was thinking of him, too.

He did a pretty good job of measuring me.  Fraser knows me really, really well,  I think.

I bite my lip and blurt, "It's not about Beckett.   Just—not entirely," and Fraser almost pulls away but I grab him tight and lock him to me.   I gotta make him understand.  "I want to go back to before him, back to when you wanted me, Fraser.  Because you did want me, you used to want me and then you didn't anymore—"

Fraser's eyes are widening;  he's looking shocked.  "Ray..."

"—and I couldn't get back there.  And it is not like with Stella, because Stella and me were over, where you and me never started, because I was slow, I was stupid, missed my chance and—"

"Ray.  Shut up," and then he kisses me again and I am so fucking relieved I feel faint.  I kiss him back, suck the soft, thick tongue that he's given me to suck.   I feel his hands on me, grabbing my jacket and shoving it down my arms.  It drops to the floor at my heels and then Fraser's skimming my chest, tweaking my nipples through my t-shirt.  I'm breathing hard into his mouth, and I just grab onto his hips and hang on.

My nipples are rock hard when Fraser finally moves his hands and clutches my head.  He's making rhythmic fists in my hair and moaning into my mouth—man, Fraser likes my hair, I can feel him liking it.  He's rubbing it with his fingers, making love to it with his hands.   My hair's weird and experimental and right now kind of fried, if you ask me—but Fraser's totally grooving on it, like he's never touched hair like mine before.  He's got me backed up against the wall and he's kissing my mouth and touching my hair and I am totally weak at the knees.

Then Fraser's hands drift down my bare arms, making my hair stand on end.  Then he takes his tongue out of my mouth and pulls his head away, and I lean forward helplessly, wanting his mouth back on mine.  But Fraser's got my arm, he's lifting my right hand to his mouth.  Oh, God, he's sucking my bracelet, he must smell it, he must smell the spit on it and know that I—

God, Fraser knows everything.  Fraser knows everything about me.

I am leaning against the wall with my eyes closed, gasping and panting, feeling Fraser's hot tongue trace the veins of my wrist.  He's got my bracelet in his mouth, he's got his tongue between the beads and my skin.  Hot, wet tongue on my wrist, heating my blood up—and when I was a kid,  my mother made me run my wrists under the tap to cool down—but this is the opposite, this is making me so fucking hot for him.

"I never stopped wanting you," Fraser murmurs against my wrist. "I just didn't think I could get you."

I have to struggle to form sentences;  I can feel his hot breath against the thin skin of my wrist.  "Y-you can get me, Fraser."

He gives the inside of my wrist a final kiss, and my hand drops back to my side.  "And you're my partner," Fraser says, and his blue eyes are so, so serious—even as he's undoing my buckle, undoing the button, undoing my pants.  "I didn't want to push it."

He pulls my zipper down, and my dick practically leaps at him.  "Push it, Fraser," I gasp.

He puts his tongue back into my mouth and I suck it hungrily, loving the new, hot buzz between us.  Fraser puts his hand into my shorts and gropes the length of me, feeling out my dimensions, literally sizing me up.   I'm praying he likes the measurements down there, because I don't want to come up short seven millimeters or whatnot.  But apparently I'm up to snuff, because Fraser's breathing hard and half down my throat.  Then he slides his hand deeper and fondles my balls, which are tightening, loving the heat of his hand—and suddenly I can't breathe and I have to twist my mouth away from his and gasp for air.  I press my cheek to his and God, his skin is so soft and so hot.

He holds me hard against the wall and jerks me off, hand squeezing me first in long, slow strokes, then in tighter, faster ones as I start to shake.  A gentle whisper in my ear, "Easy, Ray...easy..." but I can't take this easy—I start knocking my head against the wall as my hips thrust into his hand, fuck me, fuck me, do me, do me.  And Fraser's voice is not so gentle-sounding any more—he's low and hoarse and muttering oh God oh God and his forearm is blurring with speed, Fraser wants me so much.

He's got me nearly—nearly—oh, God, I'm there, coming all over him in messy, hard spurts.  Fraser gasps right along with me and presses his mouth to my face, sucking hard at my skin as I jerk through the aftershocks.  The air around us suddenly damp and smelling of sex, and Fraser's pressed me entirely to the wall, holding me up with his whole body.  He's hard and warm and rubbing my spunk between us, ruining that nice blue shirt of his, not that I care.

Tongue in my ear, erection hard at my hip.  "Ray...Ray..." and his voice is rough around the edges, like he's begging me for something.

He doesn't need to beg for it;  I turn my head, and give him the sexiest, sloppiest thank-you kiss I can manage.  And then I let my knees, which have been threatening to collapse for the last fifteen minutes, give way, and I slide straight down the wall, holding on to his body and feeling him up all the way down.  Fraser shudders in surprise, but I've got him hard by the hips so that he's got to brace himself or fall over.  I kneel in front of him and press my face to his come-stained crotch before pulling back and undoing his pants with my still shaking fingers.

"Ray," Fraser says, and now he sounds ripped up inside—he wants this, but he's nervous about getting it, I think.

"Shh."  This is my do-over—and if I'd had the sense to do this earlier, everything might have been different.

I pull his jeans open and tug his briefs down and then I've got him:  thick and hot and already drooling for me.  I take his cock in my fist and pull it toward my mouth, watching the muscles of his abdomen twitch, already contracting in anticipation.  I lick precome off the shiny, leaking head, ignoring the gasp from above me, then put him into my mouth until my lips kiss my fist.  That gives me a good three or so inches to work with, and so I work them, closing my eyes and hollowing my cheeks, sucking him and loving him with soft swipes of my tongue.

Above me, Fraser's breathing raggedly, palms braced on the wall where my head used to be.  He's leaking steadily into my mouth and trying not to thrust—except he wants to and he should and I can take it if he does.  So I give his cock a final, hard suck, kiss it with my tongue and pull my mouth slowly off it.  Then I tilt my face up to his so he can see me—and Fraser sees me.

Fraser sees me, Fraser saw me from the first and I am going to go deaf, he is pinging so loud.  Fraser knows everything about me and he's reaching out for me, cupping my face so tenderly that I have to close my eyes tight.

I lean forward blindly and take his cock between my lips.   And then I hear Fraser moan softly—a heartbreaking sound, like something breaking loose.  Do it, I'm thinking wildly, for God's sake, and then he does—he takes my face in his hands and slowly fucks my mouth.  I can feel his eyes on me, burning into my skin, and I wonder—did he dream of this when he looked at me?  Was he measuring me for this?

Soft steady ringing, low and constant, as he uses me so carefully, gasping and trembling with restraint.  I decide to try something fancy, so I flick and twist my tongue—but he stills my head with his warm hands and thrusts in deeply, forcing me just to open my mouth and let him.  He's got total control of the pace, which is slow and deep and sweet, and so I just let him fuck me, let myself get hypnotized by the rhythm.  But I want to see him when he comes, and so I open my eyes and stare mutely up at him around his cock—and I see his smoke blue eyes only for a second, because suddenly he's twitching and jerking, and his face is contorting and he is coming in my mouth.

I swallow, and swallow, but suddenly I'm choking and so I pull off and away from him, and his third pulse hits below my ear.  A rush of sound, a blur of motion and Fraser is on the floor beside me, reaching out for me, holding me close and licking his come off my jaw.

"Ray," Fraser murmurs into my mouth.  "You are so..." but I never find out what I am, because he's kissing me.  When he stops, he's on another thought entirely.  "You don't understand," he says suddenly, fervently and with such total sincerity that I want to laugh.

I stifle a smile, and raise a hand to cup his cheek.  "What don't I understand?"

"I've been here for three years," Fraser explains earnestly, "and ever since I got here—Ray, I know this might sound crazy," he cautions, though I really can't imagine anything crazier than this.  "But I—well, I often get the sense that people are interested in me.  It's been pervasive, really, ever since I got off the plane.  Like a hum in the air, a kind of—"

"Pinging," I say, feeling the smile crack my face.  "I call it pinging—and yeah, people ping for you, Fraser—"

But Fraser's looking oddly upset now.  "Not you," he says quietly.  "Everyone but you," and I can not believe I'm hearing this—I've been banging a gong for sixteen solid months over here. "You didn't—there was just nothing from you, no uptake at all—and it seemed so unfair, because you were the only one I wanted."  I'm trying to come up with any kind of response to this, I'm so fucking staggered, but Fraser just drops his head onto my shoulder and mouths my t-shirt thoughtfully.  "I figured it was my bad luck," he muses, then tilts his head to lick my neck.  "But apparently all things come to those who wait..."

"Fraser, you are just as deaf as Diefenbaker," I sigh, and Fraser lifts his head.  "Stone cold deaf," I say, enunciating the words clearly, like I'm talking to the wolf.  And Fraser just looks totally confused, and then opens his mouth to say—I don't know what, because I raise a finger to my lips and hush him shut.  "Shhh!" I hiss behind my finger. "Listen."

Fraser frowns, but he shuts up and listens intently.  And then he smiles at me, and his smile is glorious.  

The End

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