Disclaimers: As much as I wish otherwise, Benton Fraser & Ray Kowalski belong to Alliance. *sigh*
Rated NC17 for boys with boys and boys with toys, and some unsafe sex practices. This is a sequel to "Snoop" and "Yes." As with "Yes" I am putting a warning on this story for the more sensitive souls among us. Some people might consider this to be mildly "kinky." I don't.

Soundtrack: Orbital: "Diversions."

HUGE chick-like hugs, hearts and flowers to AuKestrel and Betty for wonderful beta and assistance on this. *airkisses* --Kellie

© 2000, Kellie Matthews

        Ray puts his head down on his desk, stifles a little moan, thanking heaven that Fraser's gone off to the lunchroom for a minute. Ray needs the time to try and get himself together. It's his punishment, Ray knows it. He's being punished for what he does, for . . . using . . . Fraser, that way. He's doomed to spend the rest of his life, or this assignment, whichever comes first, with a man who torments him in complete and total innocence. He's there, so close, too close, all the time, in his space. For God's sake, he's starting to know what Fraser smells like.
        And thinking that, his brain conjures the scent. Warm, and clean and woolly and just a little sweaty because that uniform is sometimes too hot, and a little hint of leather, and something like autumn. How someone can smell like autumn he doesn't know, but Fraser does. Makes him think of piles of leaves, and bonfires, and a chill in the air that makes you long for a warm body next to you in bed. Okay, so he wants that no matter what. One specific warm body. One . . . oh, God. Fraser's back, he wasn't gone nearly long enough.
        "Here you are, Ray, your coffee."
        He leans over Ray's shoulder, so close Ray can feel the warmth of his body through his shirt, puts a cup down beside his hand. Fingers brush his as Fraser withdraws, some part of him, thigh, hip maybe, brushes Ray's shoulder, then he's moved back, a little, not enough. Ray swallows twice, hard. Runs his hand through his hair to get rid of the lingering sensation of Fraser's skin against his. "Thanks, Frase." He picks up the cup, sips, looks up, startled, to see a warm gleam of satisfaction in Fraser's smoke-blue gaze.
        "Six Smarties, right, Ray?" Fraser asks, sounding pleased with himself.
        "Yeah, yeah, that's right, that's. . . good. Thanks." Jesus. Fraser put Smarties in his coffee. Nobody ever did that for him. Not even Stella, and she was, had been, his wife. She'd hated that. Tried to make him stop. Fraser did it for him. Oh yeah. Fraser did it for him in so many ways. Ways that were getting increasingly difficult to hide.
        "I see you've found the file," Fraser says, leaning in again, one hand on the desk, close, pointing. "There's the notation we were looking for."
        A touch on his thigh startles Ray, he pushes back in his chair with a little yelp, spilling hot coffee all over his hand and his desk before he realizes it's Dief. Fraser manages to pull the file out of the way so it doesn't get splashed.
        "Jesus! Sneaky wolf," he mutters, pulling up a corner of his shirt to wipe his hand, but before he can, Fraser's got his hand, and a big white handkerchief, and he's mopping coffee off reddened skin, tsking and shaking his head.
        "Really, Diefenbaker, you might be more considerate, see what you've done?"
        "It's okay, Frase," Ray says, trying to tug his hand free.
        Fraser's grip is firm on his wrist, lifting his hand toward the light, examining it critically. "Not too bad, but this will help," without releasing Ray, he uses his other hand to flip open his cartridge case and remove a small tin, which he manages, somehow, to open one-handed. "Hold this," he says.
        Ray, who, knowing it's useless to protest, does. Fraser dips a finger into the pale contents, then smooths it over the scald. Cool. Tingly. Smells kind of . . . nice, for once. "What's that?"
        "Comfrey and aloe salve, with a touch of wintergreen oil."
        "Oh. Feels good."
        "I'm glad, Ray," Fraser says, finally letting go of his hand, which tingles in more places than Fraser put salve. "I like to make you feel good."
        Fuck. Ray doubletakes. Fraser gazes back at him candidly, not a hint of mischief in his steady eyes. "Umm, yeah. Thanks," he manages. "I, um, better get something to clean up the desk."
        Fraser nods, steps back so Ray can push his chair back enough to stand. Ray heads for the bathroom, trying to walk normally, glad he's never been one for tight jeans. Thank God there's no one else in the can. He ducks into a stall, closes and locks the door, unzips with a sigh, and leans his forehead against the cool metal willing his erection to subside. It's definitely punishment. It has to be. He stands there, fists clenched, for several minutes. His body is not being particularly cooperative. He hears someone come into the bathroom, and turns around so it at least looks like he might be using the john.
        It's all he can do not to groan. "Yeah, Frase?"
        "Are you all right?"
        "Yeah, just. . . had a call of nature."
        "Ah. I see. I was. . . concerned."
        "I'm okay. Really okay. Okay?" Jesus. Talk much?
        "You're sure?"
        Fraser still sounds concerned. Maybe even worried. Fraser's worrying about him. That makes a warm, non-sexy feeling inside him. Helps with the. . . problem. "Yeah, I'm sure. Really."
        "All right, Ray. I'll just get something to clean you- ah- your desk, up."
        What the. . . had Fraser just stammered? He wishes he could open the door and look at his face but he can't. "Okay, thanks, that's good."
        He hears the door of the stall next to him open, and freezes, just use paper towels, Fraser, you don't need tissue, please, don't be so close, he's almost got this licked. . . shit. Should not have thought that word. He grits his teeth, waits it out while Fraser gets cleaning supplies, and finally, finally leaves. He sits down on the john with a sigh, stares at his crotch, mutters "Down, boy."
        The door opens again. Two voices. Huey and Dewey, throwing bad one liners back and forth while they do their duty. Okay, that does it. Thank God. He flushes the john for cover, zips up, and goes to the sink to wash. He's just drying his hands when Fraser reappears, drops a handful of coffee-soaked tissue into the garbage and moves to the other sink.
        "I've spoken to Diefenbaker," Fraser says as he washes coffee off his hands. "He's quite remorseful. He didn't mean to startle you."
        "Know that, Frase. It's no big deal. I'm fine."
        Fraser has a faint, thoughtful frown on his face. "Yes."
        Yes? What kind of a reply is that? Ray's frowning now. "You okay, Frase?"
        Fraser straightens, shuts off the tap, and moves to get a paper towel. "Of course, Ray. None of the coffee reached me."
        "That wasn't what I . . . oh, never mind. Thanks for cleaning up."
        "Not a problem, Ray. It was, after all, Diefenbaker's fault."
        "Yeah, well then you should made him clean it up."
        "Well, I would have, but suspected you wouldn't appreciate his method of doing so." Fraser says blandly.
        Ray chuckles. "Thanks, you're a real friend. Wolf spit on my desk, yeah. Hey, there's a hockey game on tonight. Want to come over and watch? We can get a pizza or something"
        The minute he says it he realizes what a stupid idea that is. Oh yeah, just get Fraser over on your damned couch, Ray, when you can hardly keep your hands off him at work, for God's sake. But it's said, and he can't take it back, and Fraser's looking at him like he just proposed. Except if a guy proposed to another guy he probably wouldn't look like that, he'd probably be horrified. So maybe he was looking at him like Dief looked at a piece of cake. Um, nope, don't think that one either. He's seen just how Dief looks at cake. Fraser looks happy. That's it. That's all. Well, no, that's not all. Fraser looks kind of funny . . . a little, flushed.
        "Why, yes, Ray. I would like that very much. I'm . . . ah . . . very fond of hockey."
        "Cool," he says, maybe a little too brightly, but Fraser doesn't seem to notice. Ray wonders how he's going to make it through the evening.
* * *

        Fraser knows what he's doing is . . . wrong. If Ray wants to tell him he's sexually attracted to men in general, or . . . to him, in specific, he should be allowed to do so in his own time, at his own pace. It's wrong, very wrong, to. . . push him this way. But once begun, Fraser has found it impossible to stop. Slippery slope, indeed. As they walk up the stairs to Ray's floor, he pushes away the imaginings that walking behind Ray and thinking 'slippery slope' conjure in him, and tries to tell himself he will behave, be the perfect guest, polite, and considerate, and they will watch the hockey game and have a pleasant, enjoyable evening. And then he'll go home to his cot in the Consulate and lose himself in images of Ray with . . . . Stop, he tells himself firmly. Just stop.
         They've arrived at Ray's door, he's slipping the key into the lock . . . and it's entirely insane that such an ordinary action should be erotic, yet it is. Ray puts his hand on the doorknob, then hesitates.
        "Um, Frase, couldja wait out here for a second?"
        He blinks. "Certainly, Ray. Whatever you wish."
        Ray gives an embarrassed half-smile. "Thanks. It's just, it's. . . uh, kind of a mess. I want to clean up a little. Shoulda thought of that before I asked you over."
        "Nonsense, Ray. I'm sure your apartment is fine. You certainly don't need to clean up on my account."
        Ray appears to weigh his words, so Fraser tries to give them more weight.
        "After all, I have been here before."
        Ray's eyes flash up to his, and there's something. . . something there. Bright, hot, and quickly hidden beneath an almost-shy lowering of lashes. "Yeah. Invading my castle," he says, but the words have no heat in them. He grins, and shrugs. "Okay, you win." He pushes open the door and they step inside.
        Fraser wishes he could stop making double entendres out of everything. The apartment is a trifle messier than last time, but that doesn't bother him. Just being here is an unexpected pleasure. Ray does a quick tour of the coffee-table, collecting dishes, heading for the kitchen sink with them. He misses a glass, down next to the couch, and Fraser retrieves it and follows him. Ray's running water in the sink, adding dishwashing soap. He reaches over for the glass in Fraser's hand. "Go. Sit."
        "Why don't you use the dishwasher?" Fraser asks, surrendering the glass, trying to pretend there's no spark as those wet fingers touch his. He's truly curious. He would have thought Ray would be the 'convenience' type.
        "There's just a few, seems like a waste to run it for just. . . me."
        There's a hint of loneliness in that statement that he recognizes. He knows just how that feels. Instinctively he settles a hand on Ray's shoulder, comfortingly. Ray looks around, startled, and he reminds himself he wasn't going to do things like that and lets his hand fall, finding refuge in a platitude, as usual. "That's very ecologically conscious, Ray."
        Ray shrugs, smiles. "Whatever. Go sit."
        "May I help?" he asks, not wanting to move away, to be separated by so much space.
        "You're the guest, Fraser. Guests don't work."
        "I'd like to, Ray."
        Ray rolls his eyes in amused exasperation. "Okay, fine. You dry."
        Fraser turns, catching up the dish towel from the oven door, right where he remembered it from his first visit. They finish the dishes quickly and then Ray reaches across the counter and snags his phone, hitting an autodial button. Waits for a moment, then grins. "Heya, Anton, my man. It's Ray." He pauses, makes little nodding motion, still smiling. "You got it. The usual, except bigger. Oh, and throw in a couple of salads, okay? What? Oh, yeah, I got a date," he glances at Fraser, grins, and winks. "A hockey date. Yeah, throws a mean block."
        Fraser prays that enough of Ray's attention is on his phone call that any betraying expression he might have made has gone unnoticed. He turns and pretends to study Ray's cookbooks, wishing it were, indeed, a date.
        "No, Tony, Sandor doesn't need to go pick up a bottle of wine for me on the way over. My . . . date," he grins again, clearly enjoying himself. "My date don't drink. Nope. Yeah, I know, makes it tough to get to first base, but you know, sometimes the hard way is worth it."
        Fraser reflects darkly that he supposes he's earned this. It's only fair that he suffer in return.
        "Dinner'll be here in half an hour," Ray says, hanging up the phone. "We can see what's on Discovery channel until the game starts, if you want. Or we can swap recipes. . ." he's got that teasing note in his voice again, and Fraser turns quickly away from the cookbooks.
        "I wasn't aware you cooked."
        "Don't much, not any more. Used to. Stel had to put in pretty long hours sometimes. I don't know, it feels kind of. . . weird, cooking for one. . . " his voice trails off and he shrugs, smiles an unhappy smile.
        Fraser nods his understanding.
        Ray clears his throat. "C'mon, let's see what's on the tube."
        Fraser starts to take a seat in the wingback chair, and Ray shakes his head. "Nah, you take the couch, Frase. You can't see the TV good from there." He picks up the remote control, hands it to Fraser, and nods toward his bedroom. "Knock yourself out, I'm gonna go get rid of some shit," he says, then winces. "I mean stuff."
        Ben nods, and tries not to watch him walk into his bedroom. Hears cuffs and harness hit the dresser, just as he'd imagined. Hears a hushed expletive, a couple of soft 'thunks,' then the sound of a drawer closing, hard. For some reason he doesn't think it sounds like a dresser drawer, imagines what those thunks might have been, and he's fighting arousal. He suddenly overly warm, and intensely thankful that his tunic covers a multitude of sins.
        There are a few more unidentifiable noises from the bedroom; and then Ray reemerges, barefoot, and looking even more tousled than he normally does, probably because he stripped off the sweatshirt he'd been wearing, and is now down to the T-shirt he'd worn beneath it. Clearly an old favorite, it's plain white and well-worn with a small hole just below the collar ribbing and another at the shoulder. It's instantly a favorite of Fraser's, as well, probably for entirely different reasons than it might be for Ray. The thinness of the worn fabric leaves the lean torso beneath it nearly visible. He suddenly understands the advertisements he's seen for 'wet T-shirt contests.'
        Ray heads for the kitchen, stops, and looks at Fraser. "You going to stand there all night? Sit down, get comfortable." He frowns suddenly. "Shoot, we should've gone by the Consulate first so you could change. You can't get comfortable in that, can you?"
        "It's fine, Ray," Fraser protests, fearing where this is heading. "Really. I'm quite comfortable."
        "Yeah, right," Ray says drily. "You're already sweating."
        Well, he can't exactly confess the reason for that. "You do keep your apartment rather warmer than we keep the Consulate," he explains cautiously.
        "Yeah, seems to pick up heat from the other apartments. Doesn't seem to matter what I set my thermostat on. So peel down, at least," Ray changes course, goes to the closet by the door, takes out a hanger, waves it at Fraser with a grin. "See, you can hang it up, it won't even get wrinkled."
        He sighs, nods, knowing there's no way to refuse. He crosses the room, takes the hanger from Ray, and gives him the remote in exchange. "Why don't you find the correct station," he suggests. "I'm not familiar with your settings."
        Ray nods. "Yeah, I will. Want something to drink?"
        "Yes, water, thank you."
        Ray moves into the kitchen and gets out glasses. Fraser begins the process of removing his tunic. Lanyard, Sam Browne, velcro, buttons. By the time he's out of it, he's under control again. Thankfully. Ray's right, he does feel better, cooler now. It wasn't just his unruly libido, the apartment really is a little warm. He's far more comfortable in just his henley. He hangs up the tunic, places his other accoutrements on the shelf above, and returns to the living room. Ray is standing in front of the television, studying a screen with an information crawl on it. He waves the remote at the TV. "Looks like there's a forensic science thing on Discover, if you want to watch it."
        That would be fine, Ray," Fraser says, settling gingerly onto the sofa next to Diefenbaker, who has co-opted most of it. "Diefenbaker, really," he begins, firmly, but Ray interrupts him.
        "Nah, he's okay, Frase. Let him stay." Ray settles into the wing-chair, and reaches over to pick up a glass from the coffee table, gesturing toward a second glass. "There's your water."
        Fraser nods and picks up his own glass, sipping as Ray unmutes the television. They both watch for a few minutes as a homicide and its aftermath is staged for the camera, and they begin arguing good-naturedly over the preferable method of investigation and the probable method of murder. The food arrives, and they eat, still arguing over the solution to the crime. It's not until they realize they're missing the game and change channels that Fraser notices Ray keeps rubbing the back of his neck. He finally remembers that Ray said the wing-chair didn't have a good view of the television, and as he analyzes the angle, he can tell that Ray has to strain to see the screen.
        "Ray, why don't you come sit here? You'd be able to see much more easily."
        Ray looks over, and Fraser wonders why he looks so flushed. "Nah, Frase, don't want to disturb Dief."
        "Well, that's just silly, Ray. It's your couch."
        "You guys are guests."
        "Diefenbaker is quite accustomed to resting on the floor."
        "I know, but it's a treat for him. I'm okay, really."
        It's clear he's not going to back down about Diefenbaker. Fraser frowns, thinks for a moment, studies the sofa, Diefenbaker's position, and his own, thinks about the narrowness of Ray's hips. It should work. He shifts over against Dief, pushing him a little. Dief grumbles but curls up tighter. "There's room," Fraser says, quietly. "Please, Ray, I can't concentrate on the game if I know you're in discomfort."
        Ray looks at him, sighs. "You're not going to let this go, are you?"
        Fraser shakes his head. "No, Ray."
        Ray sighs again. "Okay. Okay, fine," he mutters as he stands up and moves to the couch, takes a seat between Fraser and the arm of the couch.
        He does fit there. Barely. Once he's settled, the entire right side of his body is pressed warmly all along Fraser's left side, touching along arm, hip, thigh. Fraser begins to think that perhaps this wasn't such a good idea. It wasn't intentional, this time he really was simply thinking of Ray's comfort, but after a few minutes it becomes clear that comfort is not in the offing for either of them. When Ray lifts his hand to point the remote at the television and mute the commercials, Fraser notices that it's trembling slightly. In his peripheral vision he can see Ray moisten his lips, over and over, as if he's nervous, or, something else. He finds himself doing the same.
        Ray is sitting unnaturally still, for him. Fraser can barely feel him breathing, and knows this isn't normal. Ray, even were there not an athletic competition on television that he wanted to watch, would be in constant motion. He usually finds that energy both annoying, and endearing. But now he's still. So still. Moving only his hand, his arm, with the remote. So close. He can smell him. Smell. . . ah, God. He shouldn't have noticed, God, he shouldn't have noticed, that's a scent he knows, on himself, the rich pheromone-laden scent of arousal, and . . . fear. Ray's afraid. He doesn't want him afraid. That's not right.
        He tries to think of something to say that will put Ray at ease, but he can't because that scent, the not-fear scent makes him feel hungry, in a deep, wild way, and all he can think about is the ways he thinks of Ray late at night in the Consulate, the ways that keep him awake and aware and aroused until he can't keep from touching himself, imagining Ray doing the same, but with that . . . object, he found. And always, at some point, it's no longer that, it's him, there, and suddenly he's shaking too.
        "Ray." The name escapes his lips, his voice dark, and startlingly husky.
        He turns his head, just as Ray looks at him, and their eyes lock. Ray looks as wild and hungry as Fraser feels, his eyes pale and wide and full of terrified heat that turns the amber flecks in them to sparks. He wants to soothe that fear, taste the hunger, know that wildness. He reaches out, lays his fingers along Ray's jaw, then moves that scant distance to seal his mouth over Ray's.
        He tastes so good, smells even better. Bacon, pineapple, tomatoes, but so much better than all that, so much more, so much . . . Ray. Something indefinable. Hot, and sweet, and wonderful. He feels fingers digging into his shoulder, not pushing him away, pulling him forward, and Ray's moving toward him, tilting his head so their mouths align even better, and he's kissing back, hard, tongue sliding out to lick at his own.
        Ray is aggressively taking his offered mouth, and one hand is moving from clutch to caress up the back of his neck, making his skin tighten in response, and the other is . . . the other is. . . he moans as those long, long fingers slide down his chest to mold themselves over his groin. He's both shocked, and incredibly aroused. He never expected that a kiss would lead so quickly to. . . this, but that's Ray, flinging himself in where angels feared to tread. He tries to pull away, which has the simultaneous and unintended effect of inducing Diefenbaker to get down and allowing Ray to push him down flat against the cushions. He's not exactly sure how things slipped out of his control but they definitely have.
        Dangerous territory, that lean, hard body against his. He can feel the heavy ridge of Ray's erection against his thigh, and that mouth, that tongue is on him, in him, and, oh lord, that makes him remember every dark, lonely fantasy he's had in the weeks since he returned from Canada and discovered this exotic stranger in his old friend's place. He bucks up against the delicious weight that pushes him into the couch, and hears a soft, pleased sound from the man above him. Dimly he realizes he should have thought this could happen, Ray's experience no doubt far outweighs his own, and Ray is. . . impulsive.
        Just when he thinks he might black out from lack of oxygen, Ray lifts his head, drags in a breath that makes it sound as if he were the one in need of air, and leans back in to run his nose along the curve of Ben's right cheekbone.
        "Beautiful, beautiful man. Want you, God, I want you. Why didn't you tell me? Thought I was going nuts. . . ."
        Before Fraser can organize his thoughts to answer, his mouth is taken again, teeth catching his lip, nibbling, then mouth sucking, then tongue, again, long, agile tongue, learning his mouth, his teeth, the palate, the soft sublingual tissues. He wants to do the same, and it suddenly occurs to him that he's just lying there, not . . . participating. And that's not just silly, it's stupid, which he prides himself on not being, so he tentatively puts his arms around Ray's back, feeling the bone and muscle close beneath the skin, the heat so evident through the thin fabric of his shirt. He lets his tongue move against Ray's and is rewarded by a sound, almost a purr. It vibrates against his tongue, his lips, and makes him want to feel that, elsewhere.
        Suddenly Ray pulls back, chest heaving like he's been running a marathon, and rakes a hand through his hair. "Jeez," he whispers. "Gotta slow down."
        "No," Fraser says instantly. If Ray slows down, if he gives Fraser time to think, he's afraid he'll stop them, stop this, that good sense may prevail, and he doesn't want it to. He wants this. Wants Ray. Wants to run headlong off this cliff and see if this time, this time he can fly. Ray has already proven he's adept at making the most unlikely things fly.
        "No?" Ray looks at him, frowning faintly. "No, don't keep going, or no, don't slow down?"
        "Don't. . . slow down," Fraser manages in a strangled whisper.
        Ray's answering grin is nearly blinding. Fierce, and ecstatic, and utterly beautiful. "Oh, God, Fraser. Want you, need you, so bad. I can't believe this. This is, like, a dream or something. Don't wake me up."
        Fraser shakes his head. "Don't wake me, either." He touches his fingers to Ray's lips like he's wanted to do since the first moment they met and he'd been shocked speechless by the actinic beauty of him, and then he's reaching up, pulling him down, and their mouths are locked together again, a fusion of wet heat and sensation.
        Time seems to lose all significance, he's lost to everything except the intoxication of pleasure Ray is creating in him. He licks stubbled jaw, loving the roughness against his tongue, the taste of him, better even than he had imagined. Boldly, he kisses down the long line of his throat, the tendon there that catches his eye so often, and he pulls roughly at the neck of the T-shirt to bare the hollow wing of clavicle to his lips, hears/feels fabric give way under his grip. That shocks him back to reality for a moment. "Ray, I . . ." he begins,
        "Shhh, no. No. S'okay. Don't care."
        Ray's words seem to tumble over themselves, said in that quick, harsh, Chicago husk. He can barely speak, then there's no need to speak as his mouth claims Fraser's again, suckling at him, biting him. Hips push at his, bringing their erections together through layers of clothing. Then with a curse Ray is undressing him, almost feverishly, pulling his shirt out of his waistband, shoving it upward, hands brushing, muttering against his bared skin, 'Starving, Fraser, starving, Ben, so damned hungry for you..."
        Lips close around one nipple, and he moans, clutching at Ray's hip with one hand, the other buried in the soft-harsh spikes of his hair. He's surprised, though he's not sure why, that the mouth on his nipple feels so . . . damned . . . good. Hand at his waist, no fumbling at all, just the smooth, sure release of button, the easy slide of zipper down, spread of fabric under knowing hand. He holds his breath, wondering, waiting, and then, ahhh God, yes. There. Just. Ohgod.
        Long fingers, warm, slightly rough, a hand that gets used, and abused. As knuckles brush his thigh he can feel the knotted texture of the healing cuts on Ray's knuckles. Fraser touches his lips to the faint shadow of bruise that still lingers on that angular cheekbone, then seeks Ray's mouth, softly, as he pushes himself up against that exploring hand. He allows his own hand to stray beneath Ray's shirt, brushing against his stomach, up his ribs, then finding one taut nipple, hoping it will feel as good to Ray as it does to him.
        From the arch and moan, it does. That excites him as much as the hand slipping inside his boxers. He tugs at the nub of flesh a little harder, and in return Ray sucks harder on him, fanning a tight, sparking pleasure that seems directly connected to his groin. Fraser slides his hand, fast, up to where he tore the shirt before, grabs, and yanks. The old fabric gives without a fight, and Ray is bared to his mouth. He takes what's offered there, licking, sucking. He moves the hand that had been on Ray's hip around behind to cup his backside, fingers splaying out across those shallow curves, pushing him hard down against him. Ray moans again, lets him go.
        "Fraser, you . . . oh, fuck."
        Said in this context, that word is as erotic as a touch. Fraser pushes, again, frustrated by the heavy denim that keeps his fingers from Ray's skin. He slides his hand higher, finds the waistband, and slips beneath it, beneath the giving softness of briefs, there, finally, skin. Warm, and amazingly smooth-soft, and a little sweaty. He's imagined this, a thousand times, this touch, and . . . more. His fingers trace the slight cleft there, not dipping inside, not daring, but Ray groans and bucks.
        "Oh, God, yeah."
        Ray's moving, putting a knee between his thighs, lifting his weight, then both hands are at his waist and clever fingers are sliding beneath elastic and cotton and pushing his boxers down, freeing his aching erection. He can't help it, he groans, shocking himself with the raw, open need in his voice. "Ray. . ."
        "I gotcha, Fraser," Ray says, head bent, gazing at him like a starving man looks at food. "God, you are so beautiful. You are so fucking beautiful. Beautiful everywhere, beautiful mind, and eyes, and mouth, and. . . cock. Beautiful. . . " his fingers curl around Fraser's penis, gently, but firmly, and he strokes, and Fraser arches into that touch with a throaty grunt of pleasure. Ray laughs softly. "Oooh, like that, hunh?"
        His reply comes out a wordless moan. He likes it. Loves it. It's amazing, so much better than his own touch, the anticipation and surprise of each touch adding immeasurably to his excitement. Ray strokes him with perfect, knowing strokes. He's so good, so perfect. And so . . . covered. Fraser reaches a hand up, catches a belt-loop, and tugs. Actual words form. "Ray. Please."
        Ray looks at him, frowning, puzzled, then suddenly that daybreak grin flashes into being and Ray laughs. "Yeah, yeah, that'd be good, hunh?" He gives one more little stroke, then his hand leaves Fraser's penis and he feels abandoned, until he sees that Ray's hand is on his own fly, and he's opening buttons in a casual fashion that is infinitely more erotic than a strip-tease. He's wearing gray cotton boxer-briefs under his jeans, and the knit fabric molds revealingly around his erection. Fraser becomes aware that he's staring, avidly, waiting, his tongue laving dry lips.
        Ray chuckles, hooks his thumbs in the waistband, and pushes down, coyly, revealing just an inch of bare golden-pale abdomen. Impatient, Fraser reaches out and attempts to assist. Ray laughs, and lets him, and oh, lord, suddenly Fraser understands Ray's word choice. He's beautiful. Long, and hard, and flushed and utterly perfect. And he wants, he wants . . . so much . . . to taste. He licks his lips again. "Ray - do you - would you mind - "
        "Would I mind?" Ray interrupts before he can finish his question, and he dives like a bird of prey. That provocative mouth closes around his penis and for a fraction of a second Fraser wants to protest that this isn't what he meant, but the impulse lasts only long enough for the sensations of heat, wetness, and suction to slam into him. He groans, hands sliding into Ray's hair. He feels Ray flinch a little, realizes his fingers are catching in the stiffly gelled spikes and tries to temper his touch, but it just feels too good, he can't help himself.
        And Ray doesn't stop, he just keeps doing those unimaginably wonderful things to him, his hand stroking the part of his penis that isn't enclosed in that warm, wet haven of pleasure as he sucks, and . . . licks. Over the years Fraser has used his tongue for a great many things, but until this moment it has never occurred to him that a tongue could be used as an instrument of torture. Sweet, delicious torture, torture that induces him to submit not only willingly but rapturously to his tormentor, but torture nonetheless. His body protests or seeks that tongue, that torture, he's not sure which, as he bucks involuntarily, thrusting into that sweetness.
        Ray leans on him, one arm across his hips, holding him down as best he can. He isn't entirely successful, as he doesn't weigh enough to hold Fraser down through main force, though his wiry strength nearly offsets that. Maddeningly he finds he can only arch a little, and he has to let Ray set the rhythm, which Ray does to perfection. Hand, and mouth, and tongue all working in tandem, fast, and hard, so hard it might hurt if it didn't feel so . . . damned . . . good. Heat seems to flood through him, curling his toes, his fingers into the cushions, and around Ray's shoulder and he surrenders to his need with a broken, breathy groan. Each individual pulse of his orgasm make him shake and whimper as Ray sucks it out of him, and swallows, and sucks, and swallows, until he's drained in every imaginable way.
* * *

        Ray sits back, rolling his neck and shoulders a little, massaging his jaw with one hand. Damn, that'd been harder than he'd thought it would be. No wonder Stella had bitched sometimes. But it's good, too. He feels a kind of pleased-proud feeling to have brought Fraser off like that, especially since he's never done anything like that before. Well, he has, but not with a guy. It's way different with a guy. He kind of gets the feeling that Fraser hasn't either . . . and not just not with another guy. The amazement on his face when Ray had taken him into his mouth had sort of suggested maybe nobody'd ever done it to him before. Jesus, how could a guy get to be Fraser's age without ever having had a blowjob?
        He drops his hand from his jaw and gives his neglected cock a stroke, just to sort of tell it not to worry, and it suddenly dawns on him that he really just blew it. Unless Fraser is Superman, he's going to be out of commission, so to speak, for awhile now. Which meant that Ray wasn't going to get to do what he desperately wanted to do. Or rather, have done. Damn. He sighs, just as Fraser opens dazed blue-gray eyes and gazes up at him.
        "Ray," he says.
         That's all. Just his name. But the way he says it sends a little shiver through Ray. Husky, and dark, and sexy, and deep. He clears his throat.
        "Yeah, Frase?"
        "I . . . that was . . . ."
        A blush creeps into his face, making Ray grin. He can't finish, but Ray knows what he wants to, and can't, say. "Yeah," Ray agrees, rubbing his tongue against his teeth, tasting it again, feeling it again, that swelling pulse, the hot jets of slick salty come across his tongue. "It was."
        Fraser licks his lips. Ray can't resist. He leans down, and they kiss again, and oh, damn Fraser is good at that, even if he's never had a blowjob. His hands are sliding down Ray's back, cupping his bare ass, and Ray can't help but buck and groan at that touch. Oh, damn he's regretting it now, bad. Shouldn't have made him come. He's got Fraser, here, naked (well mostly) in his apartment, thisclose to getting his fantasy fulfilled, and he blows it.
        And this might be the only time, because who knew if he'd ever get Fraser here like this again? It was a big enough shock to have him here now. He felt like a dog with a really great bone, worried that it was going to get taken away from him at any second when Fraser came to his senses and realized exactly who he'd just gotten sucked off by. The only thing Ray could figure was that ham and pineapple pizza and a hockey game must be like some sort of arctic aphrodisiac.
        Fraser gives his ass a little squeeze, then he's sliding one of his hands down to rub at Ray's hip, then he's turning a little, so he can slide it between them, to where Ray is pressed hard, and wet against his abdomen, then it's on him, that broad, square palm curving around his cock, thick fingers stroking him gently. He shivers, and embarrasses himself with a little whimper, not sure which sensation feels better, the hand on his ass, or the one on his cock. God, he wants to be fucked. Wants to feel Fraser inside him, like he's pretended all those times, that hard, slick length, but hot this time, hot and real. It's not fair. "It's just not fair."
        "Mmm, what's not fair?" Fraser asks, not unreasonably.
        Ray feels the blood rush into his face and hides it against Fraser's shoulder. "Nothing. Never mind. Didn't mean to say that."
        The hand on his ass moves in a little circular pattern, fingers dip between his cheeks. Ray whimpers again, bucking into Fraser's big, warm hand.
        Movement stills. "Is that. . . is that all right?" Fraser sounds uncertain, concerned.
        "Oh yeah," Ray sighs. "Just wish . . ." he clamps his lips shut on the rest of his words. Doesn't want to scare him away.
        "Wish what, Ray?" Fraser asks after a moment, his hands resuming their slow stroking. "You can tell me. In fact . . . ."
        He pauses a moment, and Ray feels a sudden heat sweep through the skin beneath his lips.
        "In fact I . . . have something I think I should. . . no, I must tell you."
        Fraser sounds. . . afraid. Ray lifts his head. "What?"
        Fraser won't look at him, his eyes are fixed on some point over Ray's shoulder. "I. . . when I was here, before. I did an unconscionable thing."
        Ray can feel him withdrawing, pulling into himself. He takes his hands off Ray, leaving him feeling alone, and abandoned. "Whatever it was, it can't be that bad, Frase."
        "I invaded your privacy."
        Ray frowns, then he gets it. Fraser is still talking about the day of the eclipse. "Well, yeah, but we already covered that. It's okay. You had to come in to figure out where I was. I know."
        "No, Ray, it was far worse than that. I mean, that was my original motivation but . . . it's not all I did."
        Knowing Fraser, Ray suspects that whatever he did was probably along the lines of stealing a cookie or using a glass and not washing it, so he pushes himself up, trying to ignore his insistent hard-on. "Okay, I can see this is going to bug you until you tell me, so spill."
        Fraser nods, and sighs. "I know it was wrong. I knew that before I did it, I know it now, and I should have told you sooner, confessed what I had done, but I was afraid. I didn't know, didn't understand that you. . . that you felt as I did. . . do. And I needed to know more about you, who you are, things I've learned since then, by simply asking, and I should have asked then, and now. . . ."
        "Frase," Ray interrupts gently, "you got a point?" He's trying hard not to laugh. Leave it to Fraser to get all worked up about being a nosey parker. Goofball.
        Another sigh. "I'm sorry, Ray. I looked through your things. Your medicine chest, your closet, and. . . your drawers."
        That had been a pretty significant pause there. Ray's grin fades abruptly. "All - all my drawers?"
        "Yes," Fraser confesses, sounding perfectly miserable and determined to come clean.
        Drawers. He stares at Fraser, hard. "Even . . . ?"
        Fraser finally looks up, and the answer is plain in his eyes, in the blush that washes across his cheeks. "Yes."
        Ray feels matching blood in his own face, and sits up abruptly, turning away, fumbling with his briefs and jeans. Fraser struggles to sit up too, awkwardly rearranging his own clothing. Then something slinks through the embarrassment Ray's about to die from, something -- well, shit, he's embarrassed, Fraser's embarrassed, they're even. But Fraser's voice . . . he'd sounded almost . . . turned on, breathy, husky all over again, with that second 'Yes.'
        "Yeah?" Ray says tentatively, wanting to hear it again.
        Fraser nods, this time, and his fading blush renews itself. Ray feels his grin reappearing. "All my drawers, huh?" he says thoughtfully. "So, um, you find anything interesting?"
        Fraser blushes harder, but surprisingly, he teases back: "Red and white striped underwear. . ."
        "Oh," Ray says, exaggeratedly disappointed. "Guess you didn't look in all my drawers, then."
        "Well, there were a few other . . . interesting things."
        "Uh hunh. . . ." Ray says, trying to imagine the look on Fraser's face when he opened that drawer. And what he keeps seeing isn't disgust, it's . . . interest. "So, you found it?" he prompts.
        Fraser swallows hard, rubs his eyebrow. "I, ah, I did find it, and I was . . . intrigued. I was . . . to be honest, Ray, I was hopeful. I thought perhaps it might mean . . . well, that you weren't entirely averse to . . . and I tried to see if you really were . . . ah . . . interested."
        Ray stares, stunned, as puzzle pieces fall together all over the damned place. "You mean you were doing all that on purpose? Jesus, you've been driving me nuts! I thought you were the most clueless thing on the planet and I had to sit on my damned hands to keep them to myself, because you sure weren't!"
        "I'm sorry, Ray. I didn't mean to be cruel."
        "But you do a damned fine imitation," Ray puts in, smiling to take the sting out. "So, now you have to . . . make it up to me." He's not above a little manipulation himself, not now, not when he's figured out that Fraser's been wanting this, he's just too controlled and . . . (and it's kind of shocking to Ray to realize this) he's insecure about all this too.
        "I would like that, Ray," Fraser says, his voice dropping back down into that intimate, husky register that's starting to get to Ray bigtime. He reaches out, curls his fingers over Ray's shoulder as he leans forward, bringing their mouths together again. And oh, that tongue, the one that's tormented Ray's dreams for weeks, is licking into him, and he's sucking on it like it's candy, so sweet. He moans, shocked, a moment later as Ben's hand works its way beneath his briefs and wraps around him again. He'd gone pretty soft while they talked, but between that mouth on his and that hand on him, that's changing fast. Fraser turns his head a little, licks at the corner of his mouth, and speaks.
        "What was it you wished, Ray?"
        He's confused for a minute. What does he want? No, that's not what he asked. He asked what he had wish. . . oh. "It's nothing, don't worry about it."
        "I'm . . . not worried," Fraser says, pausing between words to explore Ray's jaw with his tongue. Mud wasn't the only thing he liked to lick. "I just want to know."
        Ray knows Fraser too well to think he'll let this go. He won't. He chuckles ruefully. "Well, um, don't take this wrong, but I kind of wished I hadn't done that."
        "'That?'" Fraser asks, puzzled. "You mean. . . what you did with me?"
        Ray nods. "Yeah. And no, not 'cause I didn't like it, I did. Okay? It was cool. No. I just kind of. . . blew my chance for awhile."
        "Your chance at what?"
        Ray grins, snakes his hand down the front of Fraser's pants and gives the soft cock beneath the fabric a little pat. "You, dummy."
        Fraser stares at him, big-eyed, and Ray can't help but be amused as he blushes. "You wanted me to. . . . "
        Ray grins. "Got news for you Frase, that's why I bought the damned thing. Wanted you, didn't think I could have you, settled for that. Guess I'll have to settle a little while longer."
        Fraser's eyes go even wider, and he chokes, coughs, and his tongue slides out to moisten his lower lip in a way that makes Ray want to suck on both. That conjures an immediate and visceral reaction, and his cock goes from mostly hard to seriously-going-to-come-soon in about a tenth of a second. Fraser's hand tightens on him and neither of them speaks for a few seconds. They're both blushing about the color of Fraser's dress uniform, and neither can quite meet the other's eyes. Ray's just starting to figure he's blown it again, when Fraser clears his throat.
        "I could . . . help," he offers, solemnly.
        Help. Oh yeah. He could help. Lots of ways he could help. That mouth, those hands. Oh yeah. He looks hard at Fraser. Sees the heat in those normally placid eyes. He wants to. Sounds like. Looks like. "Yeah?"
        Fraser closes his eyes briefly, bites his lip, flushes redder. "I . . . if . . . if you'd like."
        If he'd like? Jesus. Stupid question. He looks sideways at Fraser again. Fraser looks back, steady, a little scared, a lot excited. Waiting. He's- no, they've been . . . waiting . . . for weeks. And now they don't have to. Ray stands, a little awkwardly, tugs Fraser's hand, nods at the bedroom. And suddenly Fraser's ahead of him, pulling Ray along with him. Waiting's over. Thank God.
        Now that he's got Fraser started, he's surprisingly aggressive. Within moment of reaching the bedroom Ray has been ruthlessly stripped of the remains of his T-shirt, his jeans and briefs shoved down around his knees. He's flat on his back on his already unmade bed, his mouth occupied by Fraser's as if it's enemy territory in need of taking, and it's so damned good he's already humping against the thigh that's snug between his own, and moaning like he's gut-shot, and Fraser is all, all over him, big, and warm, and wearing way too many clothes still. Ray pushes at him until he finally lifts his mouth, takes a minute to catch his breath, and tugs at Fraser's henley. "Off. Take this off. And the damned pants are itchy," he complains with a grin.
        Fraser leans back down, bites Ray's earlobe, and whispers. "You get accustomed to it."
        Ray laughs, and shoves Fraser up with both hands. "I've got no intention of getting accustomed to it. Get naked, now, Benton Fraser, I don't want to be the only one." Benton. Jesus, what a name. Almost as bad as Stanley.
        Fraser chuckles warmly against his ear and sits up, slipping free of the suspender straps and reaching for the hem of the henley. Ray sits too, occupies himself with getting the rest of the way out of his clothes, deliberately not watching Fraser undress. He knows from experience how hard it is to undress in front of someone else, that weird, self-conscious feeling. Still, he peeks after Fraser gets his boots off and stands up to remove his weird-ass pants. And his ass is as far from weird as it gets. Perfect is more like it. Perfect ass, perfect back-- well, except for that scar, nasty one, looks like a bullet wound. Perfect shoulders and neck, and hair. . . just pretty much all around perfect.
        After Fraser carefully places his clothes on top of Ray's dresser, he finally turns, and Ray's breath catches in his throat. Despite his resolve not to embarrass his partner, he just can't help but stare, because the front side is even more perfect than the back. He sees the blush start, and rise, and he ostentatiously closes his eyes tight and scoots back on the bed, making room, waiting. Feels the bed give, the warmth, no, the heat of Fraser's body next to his, even though they're not touching at all. It's like he's next to a furnace. Another shift, and he feels the heat over him, instead of next to him, knows Fraser is up on one arm, leaning over him, and he tips his head back a little, lips parted, hoping . . . .
        His name is a breath, a sigh. Then Fraser's mouth is on his, first gently, but it goes hard, fast. The careful distance between them disappears as Fraser pulls him in so close it's almost hard to breathe, but ohgod it feels so good, all that hot, bare skin against his, and he needs more, needs to be closer yet. He hooks his calf over Fraser's thigh, and rocks against the smooth skin of Fraser's belly, moans as Fraser's hand slides down his back and cups his ass, his broad, warm palm pulling him in even closer. God, it's almost perfect. Almost. There's only one thing missing. Next time don't be in such an all-fired hurry, Kowalski. Don't make him come so fast.
        He reaches back, finds Fraser's hand, and shifts it, just a little, so his fingers are . . . oh yeah. . . there. The touch is light, too light, tentative, but at least it's a touch, and he needs that, needs more. "Frase, please," he whispers against that drugging mouth. "More."
        He feels Fraser tense a little, but his fingers move more firmly. Ray shifts his knee higher, to make it easier, but it's like Fraser's afraid to go there, to do that. He turns his head, panting a little. "It's okay, Frase, feels good, it's okay."
        That gets him a fingertip, pressing gently. He moans, pushing back against it. Fraser's got big fingers, it's nice, real nice. He can't suppress a little flinch as the finger presses deeper; he's not used to doing this without the slick stuff; there's a lot more resistance this way. Fraser, of course, feels that, and yanks his hand away, which is exactly the wrong way to do it, and his little flinch turns into a wince and a gasp.
        "I'm sorry, Ray," Fraser says softly, a hand soothing down his back. "I thought you wanted that."
        Ray's getting a little frustrated. "Fraser, I do want that. I won't break, you know."
        "I don't want to cause you any pain. I'm sorry, I don't know quite. . . how to do it right."
        "You did it fine, we just need. . . " Ray twists, reaches, there, it's just at the edge of his grasp, he gets his fingers under the lip of the nightstand drawer and tugs it open. He reaches in, snags something sort of bottle-shaped and pulls it out. Oops. Wrong something. With a slightly embarrassed grin he drops the toy on the bed and goes fishing again, this time getting the right cylindrical object. . . the lubricant. "Here. This'll help." He puts it in Fraser's hand.
        Fraser pulls his gaze away from the toy to look at the bottle in his hand, and nods, color washing across his face. He tries to unscrew the cap, and Ray reaches over and takes it to show him the flip-top, "Like this." He upends the bottle, trailing a line of thick, clear fluid across Fraser's fingers. "There, see?"
        Fraser nods, glancing distractedly to one side. Ray turns his head to see what he keeps looking at. . . oh, that. Yeah, that color is pretty damned distracting. He wonders if he should put it away, but then Fraser's shifting a little on the bed, and those fingers are right where he wants them, and the lube is cool and slick, soothing, and erotic as Fraser strokes him, making him shudder and buck in anticipation.
        "Like this?" Fraser asks against his ear, tongue tracing the outer edge.
        "Just like that," Ray gasps as Fraser tries a finger again, and this time it slides right in, just so sweet and easy. "Oh Jesus, Fraser, just like that, yeah."
        "It doesn't. . . hurt?" Fraser asks, sounding worried.
        "God, no. I mean, not anymore. The first couple of . . . " Ray suddenly worries that Fraser might misunderstand and he tenses. "I mean, not with anybody, y'know, just with. . . " he nods toward the toy, and Fraser's gaze follows that motion. And his breathing catches, and his eyes get that dark, hazy look they had when Ray was sucking on him, and it hits Ray that Fraser didn't just find the toy and start to wonder if Ray might be into guys. He found it, and got turned on. "What'd you think when you found it?" Ray isn't sure why his voice is hoarse but it is.
        Fraser closes his eyes. Opens them again. "You. What you looked like. What you ... tasted like." His tongue follows the word across his lips.
        Ray's eyes widen, knowing what he knows about Benton Fraser. "Did you ... taste it?" Ray's voice is nothing more than a whisper now as his eyes follow the tongue.
        Color flares across Fraser's face, but his eyes are still dilated, and his breathing uneven. He's excited. Slowly, he nods. "Yes."
        And that's nearly enough to send Ray over the edge, but he wants. . . more. And then the thought of Fraser licking it. . . and, Jesus, he's probably used it since then, knows he has, and Fraser licked it . . . . "Show me?" The words spill from his mouth, unplanned, and the moment they're said he wishes he could unsay them. He waits for Fraser to look at him in disgust, but. . . he doesn't. Instead he looks almost thoughtful as he gently eases his hand away from Ray's body. Ray bites his lip, missing the touch already, afraid that Fraser is going to leave.
        He doesn't, though. Steadying himself with one hand, Fraser leans over and reaches past Ray's shoulder to grasp the toy, and then he straightens, holding it a little awkwardly. Ray watches Fraser's eyes close, his head incline, then his tongue is stealing out, licking from base to tip in a long, slow slide, like a kid with a really good ice-cream cone. Ray moans, feeling his body strain, trying hard to come, and only his own hand tightening hard around his cock keeps it back. He's not even sure how he manages not to come right then and there, but he doesn't.
        And it gets worse as Fraser goes further, sucking the tip into his mouth, tongue stroking the underside. . . he has to close his eyes, can't watch any more. He swallows hard, trying to think of anything but that image that seems etched in his brain. This is crazy, he's usually got more self-control than this.
        "Frase?" he asks huskily, not really sure what he's asking for.
        A big, warm hand closes over his own, where it's wrapped around his cock, squeezes gently. "What do you like, Ray?"
        "You. Everything. Anything." Those three words are all he can manage. He's beyond sentences.
        He reaches out, twines his fingers in Ben's hair and hauls him down so their lips meet again, moaning into Ben's mouth as they kiss, hot, and wet, and fierce. And it is Ben, now, not Fraser. Part of him can't imagine kissing Fraser, having a naked Fraser hot and sweating in his bed, but Ben. . . yes, this is Ben. Elemental. Primal. Kissing Ben is different from any other kiss he's ever had, the strength of it, neither of them holding back, is raw, and powerful.
        He loses himself in sensation, their hands on his cock, their mouths, tongues, a battle they can both win. He feels Ben settle onto the bed beside him and hooks a calf over his thigh, pulling him in close. One of Ben's hands skims along his back, settling. . . ohyeah, there, right there. A single finger returns to circle, press, enter. He shudders and pulls his mouth away, licking at the closest ear, feeling Ben shiver with the sensation before making his request. "More, Ben."
        Ben shivers again, and more is given, two fingers stroking into him, easy. Feels so damned good, and his hips are moving in an ancient rhythm as sensation suffuses him-- hand on his cock, fingers in his ass, he can't decide which feels better. But it's not quite right yet, not quite there . . . he's used to more. Panting, he nips at Ben's earlobe again. "More." he breathes. Feels the hesitation this time. Pushes. "More, Ben, I need it."
        For a moment he thinks he pushed too hard, because Ben's fingers are sliding out of him, and he protests the abandonment only to have Ben hush his complaint with his mouth as sensation returns and . . . ohgod. . . that's not . . . not fingers. Nor is it Ben. His body starts to yield to the familiar intrusion and he moans, a long, loud, embarrassingly needy moan. At that Ben hesitates again, and he slaps a hand over Ben's, twisting his head to free his mouth.
        "Don't stop!" he gasps, knowing Ben needs words, won't understand less. "Do it!"
        Ah, thank God Ben's into obeying orders, because if Ray can't have Ben in him right now, then this is the next best thing, and he can't believe this is happening but it is and he can't believe Ben thought of this but he did and it's unbelievably, wildly arousing, and if it wasn't for the inevitable wilt that happens with initial penetration he'd be coming buckets right now. He turns his head, finds Ben's mouth again, and kisses him wildly. Ben kisses back, just as wild as Ray needs him to. He rocks into Ben's hand on his cock and Ben picks up the rhythm there, and elsewhere, damn, so good, so good.
        Shaking, he tries to brace himself with a hand on Ben's waist, but it slides on sweaty skin, and stutters across Ben's groin and under his hand he feels the stirring of a firming erection. Instinct closes his fingers around Ben's half-hard cock, he strokes, feeling the unfamiliar slide of his foreskin. He curls a finger upward, touching the slick, satiny tip, and Ben makes a sound against his mouth, a deep, soft sound that's half groan and half grunt, hardening rapidly now in Ray's hand. Oh yeah, yeah, this is it, perfect, yeah. Maybe he'll get his fantasy fulfilled after all. After a few more strokes he's sure of it, Ben's hard, and thrusting into his hand, and Ray can't wait any longer, because if he waits any longer he'll be gone. He reaches back, catches Ben's wrist in his hand.
        "Ben, you now," he whispers against Ben's ear.
        That earns him a flat out moan, and Ben leans his head into Ray's shoulder, shaking like he's freezing and Ray's a fire. "Ray. . . you're. . . you're sure?"
        "Yeah, Ben, yeah, I'm sure." He pulls back on Ben's wrist, easing the toy free, and discards it in favor of something far better. "Now."
        "How. . .?"
        He rolls, gropes in the drawer, finds the rubbers and opens one, sliding the contents free as he grabs the still-open lube and coats his fingers, then Ben's cock before sliding the thin sheath over him and slicking the outside with a little lube, too. Okay, now. . . Jesus, can't do it his usual way, that's not going to work right. He thinks for a minute, grabs a pillow, and leans in for a quick, hot kiss before rolling onto his stomach, the pillow under his hips. Ben's smart, scary-smart, he can figure this out. . . .
        From the harshly indrawn breath, he has. A hand skims down his back, settles over his ass. "Ray?"
        "Now, Ben. Just like before. Except. . . you this time."
        Fingers on him, sliding in, easy, he's relaxed, he's turned on, and he can't resist a buck into the pillow. Stroke, again, again, then gone, and broad, blunt tip, hot, living heat, he can't even tell there's that layer of latex between them, it just feels like. . . Ben. That hits him rocks him, this isn't a fantasy, it's real . . . steady, gentle forging inward. He's breached, occupied, taken. He moans, and Ben stops.
        "Ray?" Uncertain voice, worry.
        "Good," he gasps, reassuring, encouraging. "Jesus, so. . . good. Please, Ben . . . need you."
        Lips against his neck, his shoulder, a hand soothing his hip as Ben continues, deeper, finally. . . there. . . he can feel their bodies locked, flush, together, and it's so good, so much better than he imagined, so much more than he imagined. He can feel trembling in the big body over his, realizes Ben's waiting for him, waiting for a sign that it's okay, that he can move. Vaguely remembering a suggestion from his book, he manages to push up and back, so he's on hands and knees, taking Ben's weight on his back.
        Ben clutches at him like he's afraid of falling, and shifts, on his knees now, hands on Ray's hips. He makes a sound, an exhalation, startled, hoarse, then a word, a single syllable. "Ray!" It's a sound full of wonder. Ben moves, finally, a slow pull back, equally slow thrust. "Oh, Ray." Hoarse, almost broken, and as needy as Ray feels.
        His name said over and over, a familiar chant, yet never said like this before, almost moaned, in time to the drugging pleasure of motion within him, over him, around him. One broad hand slides down from his hip, curves around his cock, strokes him once, twice, and that's all he can stand, everything is too intense, too damned perfect, and he's coming so hard he thinks it might just kill him, but it's a hell of a way to die. Teeth on his shoulder sting just enough to add a grace-note, and the sobbing growl Ben makes as he shudders to a halt sends a final shiver echoing through him.
        He's shaking, all over, and his knees won't hold, and he slides down into a heap on the bed, covered by an equally limp Fraser. It's a little hard to breathe with all that weight on him, and he's lying in the world's biggest wet spot, but he doesn't care about either at the moment. All that matters is that he's here, and Ben's here, and they're. . . together. Finally. And it's good. It's better than good. It's greatness.
        He just lies there, quietly, enjoying the feel of Ben on him, the strange sensation of softening cock in him, slowly slipping out, feels nothing like the toy, it's a lot easier, weirdly. . . sweet. Because he did that. He made Ben come, made him collapse like he'd been sucker-punched. Maybe he has. That's kind of how Ray feels. Like he's a 'toon and someone clobbered him over the head . . . or maybe some little naked fat kid with wings shot him with an arrow, and now he's got hearts and roses swimming in a circle around his head. Oooh Stanley Raymond Kowalski, don't go there. Do not go there. You know better. Sex is one thing. Just because you're a sappy romantic freak doesn't mean Fraser is. It dawns on Ray suddenly that this is the longest Fraser's ever been quiet since the moment they met, and suddenly he starts to get a little worried that he's passed out or something. He reaches over to touch Fraser's hand where it's lying near his on the bed, and when he does, Ben catches his hand in his in a strong, firm grip, and squeezes lightly.
        It's just his name. Nothing special. But. . . special. Different. A kind of dark richness, like it's been dipped in chocolate or something. He starts to relax a little until Ben doesn't say anything else. And he worries again, and wishes he could see Ben's face, but he can't, and the quiet is killing him, so. . . "Um, you want me to get a washcloth or something?" he asks, because he has no idea what to say now.
        Ben squeezes his hand again, he feels lips against the back of his neck. "Shhh. No. Let me . . . hold you?"
        All the building tension melts out of him like butter in a microwave. Oh, yeah. He can do that. He can so do that. He sighs and closes his eyes, nodding.

* * *

        Beyond his wildest dreams. Fraser has never been quite sure what that phrase meant, until now. Now he knows, because even in the most heated of his fantasies he'd never imagined it would be like this. So intense. So unfettered. So. . . perfect. Nothing in his experience had prepared him for this. Certainly not his disastrous liaison with Victoria. And not Mark, or Eric either.
        He'd had a schoolboy crush on Mark, but as adults they had never gotten past the sexual tension stage-- there were just too many barriers between them by that point. With Eric there had been a certain amount of adolescent 'fooling around,' as Ray would no doubt put it, no more than kissing, and touching, and when they'd come together as adults it had remained at that level, neither of them willing to take it further. This, with Ray, was so extraordinary-- Ray had gifted him with such total surrender, and complete trust.
        And it was trust that was the most important, and strangely erotic, aspect of what had just happened. His most recent experiences with desire had been utterly without trust, and the consequences had led him to bury his own need as deeply as humanly possible. Yet, somehow, Ray has found it, buried as it was, as unerringly as if he had a map. He draws in a deep breath, lets it out slowly, and Ray's grip on his hand tightens reassuringly.
        "You okay?" Ray asks quietly.
        "Oh, yes, Ray."
        "You sure?"
        "Very sure."
        "Okay. Cause you're like. . . kind of quiet."
        "Is that a problem?"
        "Um, no. Not a problem. Just not used to it."
        It strikes Fraser that Ray sounds a little strained, and instantly he starts to worry. "Ray, are you all right?"
        Ray laughs a little. "I am way past all right, Ben. . . I, uh, I mean Frase. . . um. . ."
        "No, Ray," Ben interrupts. "I like 'Ben.'"
        "You do?"
        "Yes. No one here calls me that. I would like for you to."
        "Cool. Ben it is, then." He's quiet for a moment, then he speaks again. "Um, I'm not really complaining, but, well, you're a little . . . heavy."
        For a moment Ben doesn't understand, then it hits him. He's rather solidly built, and doubtless Ray is having a little difficulty breathing. No wonder he sounds strained. "Oh, good lord Ray! I'm sorry!" He doesn't want to let go. Not yet. He still wants to hold him, doesn't want to deal with the regrettably awkward details of sex just yet. But there's one he's going to have to take care of before it becomes problematic. He slips a hand down and holds the condom in place as he eases free.
        Ray murmurs a soft protest, which despite Ben's embarrassment brings a foolish smile to his lips, since it seems to indicate that Ray likes having him there. Snagging a tissue from the box on the nightstand, he discards the condom. Then, finally, he rolls onto his side, taking Ray with him. Ray shivers a little as air touches the film of sweat and semen on his stomach and chest, and Ben wraps himself around Ray more tightly, pulling at the disordered bedding with one hand until they're protecting whatever skin Ben can't cover himself. Ray's hands come up to cover his own, and he sighs.
        Ben nods against the back of his neck, unspeaking. He just can't quite find the words to express how he's feeling right now, although 'nice' is definitely one of them.
        Ray laughs softly. "Finally figured out how to keep you quiet."
        Ben forgets himself enough to nip the back of Ray's neck in warning, which also draws a laugh.
        "You got more in common with Dief than you like to let on, don't you? Don't worry. I won't use it against you at work or anything. . ."
        Ray's voice trails off, and a sudden tension in his body betrays him before he even speaks again.
        "Oh, geez. Work. Oh man, I am in so much trouble."
        "Um, well, there's rules, you know, about partners not fu. . . uh, scr. . . um . . ."
        "About not having a physical relationship?" Fraser offers, realizing that Ray is having trouble coming up with a verb that won't offend him.
        "Yeah, that." Ray sounds relieved. "Not supposed to. The boys upstairs don't like that. And that's just with guys and chicks. They'd really flip out at guys and guys."
        "Then I suppose we are fortunate in that I am not your partner," Ben says carefully.
        Ray turns his head sharply, trying to look at Ben, but the angle is too acute. He squirms a little until Ben lets him go finally, and he turns immediately, pushing Ben over onto his back and half-covering him with one arm and thigh. "You're my partner." Ray says, looking at him searchingly, a hint of distress in his eyes, the golden flecks in his blue irises seeming to blaze.
        Suddenly realizing that Ray misunderstood him, Ben quickly corrects himself. "Yes, of course I am, Ray, but not officially. As I am not a member of the Chicago Police Department any regulations which might apply to official partners don't hold any force. That should absolve you of any legal difficulty, I believe."
        "Oh. Okay." Ray relaxes, sighs. "Don't scare me like that."
        "I didn't mean to," Ben says, contritely.
        "I know. I got that."
        Ben looks at Ray, and a worry crosses his mind. "Ray, are you all right with . . . this? With, as you put it, 'guys and guys?'"
        Ray gives him what he's come to think of as the 'You're Unhinged' look.
        "Well, duh, Ben. Like, I'd be here if I wasn't?"
        "I wasn't sure. . . you've never evinced any interest in, ah. . . " Ben falters, not quite sure how he should put it.
        "Making it with guys?" Ray asks, grinning, his turn to supply needed words. "Yeah. I know. Never even thought about it until you. Well, okay, I thought about it, but never thought of doing anything about it. Then you came along and all the sudden I couldn't think of anything but doing something about it. And, damn it, you kept. . . being there, in my space, making comments, doing stuff-- but I thought you were straight as an arrow. . . . It's not like you 'evinced interest' either, there, Benton-buddy."
        "No, you're quite right. I suppose we were both laboring under the same misapprehension. And there is a certain stigma, especially in our profession . . . ."
        "You got that right," Ray says, sighing. "Cops're kind of like soldiers. Not supposed to do the. . . physical relationship thing. That goes way back forever, I guess."
        "Actually, no, it doesn't."
        Ray looks at him, curious. "No?"
        "No. In fact, in ancient Sparta, a city-state renowned for the skill and valor of its warriors, their elite soldiers were actively encouraged to form such relationships with their fellows. It was felt that it enhanced the partnership bond, and made the soldiers fight more fiercely on the battlefield to protect their . . . lovers."
        Ray thinks about that for a moment, then grins. "Cool. I can see that. I mean, I'd fight . . . for you."
        Fraser remembers that moment on the docks when Ray deliberately came between him and a bullet. And there had been no guarantee that Ms. Garbo would aim for his torso, the head had been as likely a shot, and utterly unprotected. A shudder goes through him and he pulls Ray to him, holding him hard. "I wish you wouldn't. I would. . . not want to lose you." he confesses.
         "Like I don't feel the same?" Ray says, looking frustrated. "You make me nuts! You walk up to some guy who's got a gun, because you're pretty sure it's empty?"
        They've had this discussion before. "I counted the rounds," Ben says defensively.
        "Yeah, but what if you miscounted? Hunh?"
        "But I didn't," Ben points out reasonably. "And you were counting, too."
        "I counted, and I was wrong. You could've been wrong. And then on top of that you get him to throw his knife at you, so you can pull some kind of Xena stunt and catch it? Jesus, what if you'd missed?"
        "I didn't miss."
        "I know that! I was there, you know." Ray looks and sounds quite exasperated. "I was the one threatening to beat him to death with an empty gun, remember? That's not the point. The point is that you risk yourself all the time. And I gotta put up with it, because that's what you do, that's your job. And I got the same job so you have to put up with me just like I have to put up with you, even though you do way crazier stuff than I do, and damn it, if I want to fight for you, I will. Got it?"
        Fraser opens his mouth, then closes it again, knowing better than to argue with Ray when he's in this mood. He nods, because there is no other answer. Ray is right. He has little say in it, after all. One cannot dictate another's actions, no matter how much one might desire to. Ray looks at him for a long moment and slowly starts to smile.
        "Y'know, I like this. I gotta get you in bed more often. You're a lot mellower after sex."
        Ben eyes him skeptically. "I'm generally quite 'mellow,'" he says guardedly.
        Ray makes a rude noise. "Oh yeah. Mellow. That's what you call that quiet, stubborn, gonna-get-your-way-no-matter-what Mountie thing you do? I gotta remember that." Ray's grin takes the sting out of the words. "But I do like you this way. You're . . . different."
        "In what way?"
        "Well, first off, you're naked," Ray says with a wink. "What's not to like about that? But no, you're. . . relaxed. You don't usually do that. You're. . . turned off. Like all the little things you do, all the barriers you keep up most of the time, are gone. It's like I'm finally seeing who you really are."
        Ben can't help but tense as Ray speaks, even though he tries not to. Sometimes Ray is disturbingly perceptive, and he has a tendency to forget that until moments like this. Yes, he has let his guard down, in a way that hasn't happened in a very long time, and he's suddenly feeling vulnerable and far too exposed. Ray's eyebrows draw down suddenly, and he reaches out, grabbing Ben's chin in his fingers, holding him still, gazing into his eyes as he slowly shakes his head.
        "No. Don't, Ben. Don't push me out again. We only just found in."
        He struggles against a lifetime's hard-learned lessons, the ones which fostered the instincts which tell him to close off, to pull in, to hide. It feels as if gravity has suddenly increased, pinning him down, making it hard to breathe. Somehow he lifts a hand, touches fingertips to the stubbled line of Ray's angular jaw, closes his eyes, swallows.
        "Yes. We have. I won't. I'll try not to. It's just. . . hard. It's what I've learned."
        Ray nods. Ben can't see it, but he can feel the movement with his fingers.
        "Okay. I get that. I do. Trying's good." Ray shifts, and suddenly there are lips on his again, startling him, surprisingly soft, and warm. "Stay tonight?" he asks when he lifts up again, his voice husky, inviting.
        For some reason that makes tears sting Ben's eyes, and he's glad his eyes are closed. He nods, not trusting his voice. Ray makes a pleased sound, and settles in against him, his head on Ben's shoulder, arm and thigh flung casually across him once more, anchoring him, proving the reality.
        "Good. Good. Stay tonight."
        Ray brushes his lips against the skin of Ben's shoulder, mutters something Ben can't quite make out that sounds a bit like 'fever', which makes no sense, but then, Ray doesn't always, and he seems to be dozing off. Ben is feeling surprisingly sleepy himself. He lets his hand slide down to Ray's shoulder, curves over the smooth curve of biceps, and his finger traces the blue-green weal of his tattoo. Ray sighs, and squeezes him a little.
        "G'night, Ben."
        "Good night, Ray."
        Yes, it is. Very much so.

* * * Finis * * *

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