Response to the 180 degree challenge over at ds Flashfic.
Getting his attention has never been this hard before. I mean, I’m not a particularly tough-to-notice guy. Matter of fact, I think I’m kind of...unique. I mean sure, I might not be the only Ray Vecchio around, but that other guy’s not answering to the name right now. And Fraser was more than willing to point out our, okay, kinda obvious differences when I first showed up. But whatever. The point is, Fraser and me, we’ve been pretty much side by side every day since, and I tell you, the guy notices everything, whether you think he’s paying attention or not. He does not get distracted easy.
So why the hell is he still walking away from me?
“Fraser. Fraser! Fraser!”
“Hmm?” He stops, finally, and looks at me without seeing me, if you know what I mean.
I blow out my breath in frustration. “Um, the car is this way, yeah?”
“Oh,” he says, reversing direction. “Right, Ray.”
And he lapses right back into that distracted, annoying state where it’s like he’s not even here. I’m gonna strangle the guy, he keeps this up much longer. I mutter quietly to myself on the way to the car, and he doesn’t even notice. He’s just lost in thought, and I manage to hold off till we’re in the car, till I’ve started the car, before I just can’t take it anymore. I slam the ignition off and turn on him. “Okay, what are you doing?”
He turns to me, mildly startled. “What, Ray?”
“That...this thing you’re doing, where you’re not here. What’s up with that?”
He looks at me steadily, eyebrows raised. “I’m…right here, Ray,” he says slowly. Like maybe you’d talk to a mental patient. “Next to you. In the car,” he clarifies, just in case I missed it.
“Okay, all right, fine.” I whirl away, start the car again. “That’s the way you wanna be about it, fine.”
Any response he makes is lost as I rev the engine and peel away. Man, he knows how to get to me.
I am just not letting this one go. It drives me crazy that he can read me, that he can know what I’m thinking. All he has to do is look at me, and it’s like I don’t even have to say anything. He just knows, and it really bugs me sometimes.
But he decides to shut down, and I tell you, it’s like I never met the guy. Like he’s some cardboard Mountie in a “Welcome to Canada!” display, and there ain’t never been a time where we worked together so close it was like reading each other’s minds.
I start to head towards the consulate, when he finally decides to come back to earth. “No, let’s go to your house, Ray,” he says firmly. “We’ll get some dinner.”
Um. Okay. Not like, “perhaps we could have dinner together this evening, Ray, if you’re not otherwise engaged.” Nope, he’s not asking, he’s telling, and that, my friend, is really weird on the part of the Mountie. “Oh sure,” I say, real sarcastic-like. “You wanna just go back to my place, hang out, have a few beers?”
“That sounds fine, Ray,” he says, all distracted again, and I know he didn’t really hear me, because let me tell you, a few beers with Fraser? So does not happen. He’s more a tea and crumpets kind of guy. He’s just real straight, you know, and we ain’t never kicked back and had a few beers.
“And dinner?” I ask, still sarcastic, because he’s not noticing, so I don’t bother to hide it. “Whatever shall we get for dinner?”
He’s studying the road out the windshield, like there’s some sort of math problem he’s gotta solve out there.
“Fraser? Fraser.” I’m real close to the end of my patience here.
“What? Oh, pizza. Let’s order a pizza.”
Okay, let’s see how weird this evening’s gonna get.
He leaves his hat in the car.
So, pretty damn weird, I guess, is my answer.
He’s casual, sorta, having taken off the red jacket, looking way cooler in suspenders than he has any right to. He’s still doing this wandering around thing, not looking at or even near me, picking things up, putting them down. He’s actually got an open bottle of beer in his hand which, let me tell you, makes a pretty damn strange picture. Fraser, without his hat. With a beer. My mind is so not keeping up with the weirdness here. I catch myself starting to scratch at my eyebrow with my thumb and quickly drop my hand. Uh-uh, so not going there.
I order the pizza, following him with my eyes the whole time, because, man, he does not stop moving. Talk about edgy. I turn to lean against the wall as I hang up. Cross my arms over my chest and try to figure this out. I mean, I’m a detective, you’d think I’d manage to have even a clue. But all I get is more and more pissed off as he continues to not notice me, like, at all. Christ.
Then. Then he does the weirdest thing of all. He goes over and sits down on the couch. No, not sits: slouches. Fraser. On my couch. Holding a beer. No hat. Slouching.
What the fuck.
I launch myself away from the wall before I can think about it, because god knows my mind can’t take any more of this. I’m right beside him on the couch, really in his face, because I don’t think he’d even see me if I wasn’t. He pulls back a little, startled. Startled is good. Startled is at least noticing.
“Fraser.” Real calm. Scary calm. This-close-to-kicking-him-in-the-head calm.
His eyebrows go up. “Yes, Ray?”
“What the fuck.”
“I’m…not sure if I follow you, Ray.” Inquiring. I think I might have to kill him.
“What. The fuck. Is going on with you.”
“Don’t say ‘nothing.’ I really don’t want to have to hurt you.”
“Ah.” He sits quietly for a minute, and finally, his eyes are on me, and jeez, I think he actually sees me there in front of him. Amazing. “I apologize if I’ve been rude this evening.”
“You haven’t been rude,” I snap. “You just haven’t been here.”
He cocks his head to the side. “I’m sitting right here...”
I cut him off. “Do not start with me.”
“Yes. Right.” He knows just what he’s doing, how he’s baiting me, how frustrated I’m getting. I can feel him weighing that, looking at me, reading me like he does, and I’m just ready to belt him one. Or something. The tension is edging up inside me and something’s gotta give. “I’ve been thinking.”
“About this.” And he... Well, he... Okay. Fraser, all hatless and suspenders and slouching, well, he puts down his beer and he reaches towards me and he pulls me towards him, not hard, but seriously, and then he’s kind of (well, not kind of,, but really) kissing me, like, kissing me, hard and serious, and oh. Oh. Well, that sorta explains it.
I don’t think I’m a very good detective.
He lets me go, but I’m still sort of sprawled half across him on the couch, ‘cause my limbs don’t seem to want to cooperate and I guess I’m kind of shaking. “Oh.”
“You’ve been thinking.”
“Oh. So you’ve been...”
“Distracted.” He looks at me worriedly.
“Yeah. By what again?” I’m still half on top of him on the couch here.
“Oh. Um. This?” And he slowly leans in again, like he’s waiting for me to pull away.
I’m not pulling away.
He kisses me again, and this time I’m prepared enough to do something about it, to kiss him back. ‘Cause, it’s good. ‘Cause I’m here, all wound up with being annoyed with Fraser and all his damn distraction, but it turns out he’s distracted by me, and I’m kind of okay with that.
I’m kind of very okay with that.
He pulls back again. I have one hand braced against his chest, so I can feel how hard his heart is beating here. He’s either really turned on or really scared. “Oh,” I say. “Well. You just confused me, you know? I mean, you’re usually right on top of things, right here, and then suddenly you’re all sidetracked and stuff and...”
“...you don’t even listen to me and you come over here and you have a beer, for Christ’s sake...”
“And then you don’t even bring your hat in and I thought something was really wrong, you know...”
I only shut up when he kisses me again, which I guess isn’t the worst way in the world to shut me up, when you come right down to it. Matter of fact, I could get used to being told to shut up this way. I could very seriously get used to this.
back to brooklinegirl's due South Page