Response to the Cliché Challenge over at ds flashfic. Ray's pretty drunk, but he's still got the sense to focus on Fraser.
A huge thank you goes to my number one beta, SnowFlake, who
nags encourages me, curbs my commas, and makes my stories so much more than they would ever be without her input.
I’m only swaying a little as I stand at the top of the steps of the consulate, giving my head a minute to clear before I knock. I hang onto the railing and try to focus on my watch, but it’s a no go, the numbers are swimming and I finally give up. It’s late, is all I know, and not only is the consulate quiet, but the street is quiet, and you gotta know that for it to be this peaceful in this city, it has to be damn late.
Not to mention pretty fucking cold. My breath clouds in the air in front of me and come to think of it, my hand hurts from the cold, where I clutch at the freezing metal railing. I don’t know where my gloves went. Hell. I don’t know where my car went. I turn around unsteadily and in the process nearly plummet down the stairs before catching myself on the railing again. Nope, no GTO in sight. But I guess that makes sense. I can’t handle standing on the stairs, something tells me driving would be way beyond me right now.
But I got myself here, didn't I? Drunk off my ass, but not too drunk to stumble my way to the freaking consulate, was I? Some guys, they go home and crash, when they get this drunk. Me, I go to Canada.
I don't remember where the idea came from, but I know it was suddenly (and still is) real important that I talk to Fraser. 'Cause I was thinking about him, about us, about how I tell him more than I tell anyone else, tell him more than I ever told Stella, even. But that's okay, that's cool, we're buddies, you know, and that's what you do with buddies.
But you know me. Gotta push the boundaries. That's one of my things. I'm a pushy bastard, when it comes right down to it. Take it or leave it. Most people leave it, but with Fraser, we got a balance. He either gives when I push, which is sometimes the right thing to do, or he pushes right back, and sometimes that's the right thing to do, too. I like that he knows what's the right way to go, most of the time.
But I was thinking, there at the bar, after maybe a couple too many drinks, how Fraser protects himself, too damn much, doesn't let himself hurt or feel or hope. How he's all alone, all the time, except when he's with me. And you know what? It feels good when we're together, it feels right, and I guess it just got to me. Got to me that what I want to do is push past that barrier that he puts up, even around me. It's not real obvious, but it's there. Like he can't get personal or something. Like there's something wrong with that.
And I got to wondering if that's the way he wants it. Or if it's the way he thinks I want it. So careful. Too careful.
So here I am. I take a breath of the cold air and turn back towards the door, shaking my head. Mistake. Balance is iffy here and I stumble forward. I’m still getting my balance back, kind of propped against the door with my, um, head, when it swings open and I fall down. For real, this time. Hit the ground and everything. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I look up at Fraser, standing there in the doorway, looking down at me with concern. He’s still dressed, mostly, even though it’s the middle of the night, though the red jacket is off and he’s barefoot.
It pays to have a friend who never sleeps. Canada: Open All Night.
“Hey, Frase,” I say, trying to scramble to my feet with dignity.
“Ray,” he says, with that tilt of his head. His hand is under my arm almost immediately, helping to lever me to my feet. Not that I need the help. I’m fine. A little unsteady. That’s all.
I gain my feet, but his hand stays on my arm, guiding me inside. I consider pulling away, then look at the balance issue again and let him keep hold of me. We make it through the doorway. Once we’re inside I pull away from him, wander over to lean back heavily against the reception desk. It's dim in here, middle-of-the-night dim, and I wonder again exactly what time it is. Lights out, but Fraser's still here in his funny pants and his Henley, looking like he's wide awake. He's standing there, watching me carefully. Like he’s ready to catch me if I fall over. Again. Very politely not asking just why the hell I'm here.
I like it when he watches me like that. He keeps an eye on me and I keep an eye on him. He's just gotta learn that he doesn't have to be careful around me. That he can get, you know, personal, and that's cool too.
Ray's watching me, swaying slightly even as he leans there with his arms crossed. His cheeks are flushed, with cold or alcohol, or perhaps some combination thereof. His eyes are bright and he seems to be in high spirits. It’s quite late, and I am curious what has kept him out and imbibing so late. More curious as to what was the impetus that brought him here. I offer a quick, but heartfelt, thanks to whoever may be listening that the Inspector isn’t here.
“There was a bar,” Ray says in a confidential, explanatory tone.
“Ah,” I say carefully.
“My car stayed there,” he clarifies.
“And you did not,” I say, as the situation seems best suited for statements of the obvious.
“There you go,” he says, pointing at me, tilting a bit as he does so. I take a quick step forward, but he catches himself and waves me off. “Because you were closer and my place wasn’t.”
“Ah,” I say again. Then, “Would you like a cup of tea, Ray?”
“Yeah, sure, tea, great.” It's obvious that he's not paying attention and I wonder again just how much he has had to drink this evening. I glance down at my watch. This morning, rather. It is quite a bit after midnight.
I pause for a moment, watch him as he leans unsteadily against the desk. “Would you care to accompany me to the kitchen, Ray?”
“Sure,” he says. He levers himself off the desk and though he is still very off-balance, catches himself from his stumble quite easily. Ray seems to have achieved a state of boneless inebriation where he makes even staggering look effortless. As though he has this definite center of gravity that he always somehow finds his way back to. I wonder again what has brought him to drink quite so much.
Almost without volition, I reach out to steady him as he weaves in place. His hair is an untamed array of almost-white spikiness and he squints at me with peculiar intensity, even from this close a distance, apparently having problems bringing me into focus.
“Ray?” I venture.
“Fraser,” he says gravely in return. A gravity somewhat misplaced, as he takes a step closer to me and stumbles over that simple movement. I quickly catch hold of his arms.
“Shall we...” I trail off, gesturing towards the rear of the building and the warm glow of light from the kitchen, but his gaze remains utterly intent upon me. He steps closer still and is practically in my arms, swaying against me in his loose-limbed manner. His eyes seem to have regained their focus, suddenly, sharply, watching me closely as he presses forward. I can feel his warm breath on my face, the scent of alcohol not as strong as I'd thought it would be.
My arms suddenly feel full of him, like I’ve gone from merely supporting him to something more. I feel myself blush in the dimness of the front hall and have a moment to wonder why before my back hits the door and I realize that I’ve somehow been backing up against his advance.
“Ray.” My voice comes out slightly strangled and I clear my throat before continuing. “I think some tea would go a long way towards offsetting your inebriation. It will not, of course, reduce the effects of the alcohol, but the caffeine might prove beneficial...”
“Hey, Fraser,” he says, still intent, as though I hadn’t said a word. “You and me, we got this thing going between us, right?"
"A 'thing,' Ray?" I can feel the cold air coming in from the cracks around the door, but the rest of me is warm, too warm, as Ray is now right up against me, my hands tangled up with him, half supporting him, half just holding on.
"Yeah, you know, this thing where I push you, or you push me, and whatever, it works for us, right?" He's saying this with great certainty as though it's a continuation of a conversation we've had in the past. I don't know that I'd understand what we were talking about even if I wasn't distracted by his body right up against mine.
He continues. "But sometimes it's like, more than that, right?"
I’m trying to find words here, to somehow bring clarity to what has become a rather bizarre situation. But he is very warm indeed in my arms (and yes, my dim-witted brain becomes aware, somehow my arms are wrapped around him, supporting him only through sheer luck), and I can still feel his breath on my face, and his eyes are so very focused on mine. He says, “Maybe we should just...”
But he doesn't finish the sentence, for his lips are suddenly on mine, warm, no, hot, very hot, his breath sighing into me like this is the support he’s been looking for. I’m startled, my arms so full of him, and he is so warm and trembling with that energy that is innate in him. My mind is whirling, and it is all I can do to stay upright myself, as so much of my energy is being put towards dealing with this very new, very wild thing. I sag back against the door, letting it prop me up, and Ray is suddenly energized, surging harder against me. The kiss turns fierce and his hands move to roam over me, tugging at me, pulling me closer.
My own hands have somehow found their way under his winter coat, pushing it aside, weaving their way under it, under his shirt, seeking out the warmth of his skin. Clutching at him, without volition, my body taking charge where my mind is unable to. I can feel his body against mine, strong against mine, hard and lithe, his loose-limbed drunkenness suddenly abandoned, as though he was able to shed it with enough incentive. His movements are focused and fierce, his leg thrust between mine, his tongue exploring my mouth, his hands holding onto my hips and tugging them forward to meet with his. He's hard; I can feel it against my hip, how hard he is against me.
I respond fully, strongly, my body betraying me, as I am immediately erect and wanting him badly. This wanting...I've felt it before, but it is something I try not to think about. I'm unwilling to put Ray in what might be deemed an uncomfortable situation. But he doesn’t seem to be worried about much just now, and the sheer electricity that charges through my body at the touch of his lips is enough to...enough to make me realize that I should pull back.
Because wanting him this badly does nothing to excuse taking advantage of him in his inebriated state.
But somehow I can't stop kissing him.
My mouth is wet from kissing Fraser and my back feels hot where his hands hold onto me. I’m still drunk, yeah, sure, but I tell you, I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life: I want his hands on me. Here. Now. Foyer of the damn consulate, I do not care. I want his hands on me.
He's arching forward into my thigh and I don't think he even knows he's doing it. I pull back to look because I want to know what desperate looks like on him. His breath is quick and hot against my face, and he looks like he's grasping for those boundaries that maybe dissolved somewhere around the time when he slid his hands down into the back of my jeans. I can see the effort it takes him to not slide right back into kissing me.
"Ray," he says, a little breathless, closing his eyes. "While you may be certain just now that this is what you want, you also have consumed quite a bit of alcohol, and I have no desire for you to regret certain decisions made while intoxicated."
He's stalling, here, and it seems like he's saying no, but his hands are still snug in the waist of my pants. I just smile. Because he thinks that maybe this is a drunken-horny-closet-case type thing. Ray, fucked up and lonely and Stella won't have me, so maybe Canada will? But I'm not looking for asylum right now. I’m just trying to push past his walls a little.
So here I am. And here he is. And I'm kinda drunk, but he's awake at two in the morning, and barefoot, and he's had his tongue in my mouth and his hands are on me, and he's rumpled and flushed, and his suspenders are hanging down (did I do that?) and his shirt is untucked and…
He's still rambling. "I suggest that we retire to the kitchen, and I will get you some tea, and then we can call you a cab and get you home..."
I let my hand ease up around the back of his neck. His skin is so warm. He opens his eyes and they're guarded now, as he tries to be good, to do the right thing.
"You're drunk, Ray," Fraser whispers against my cheek. "You don't know what you want."
"I want you, Fraser." I say the words real low. Christ, his body is warm. I'm like a live-wire here; I'm flooded with heat. I tilt my head towards him a little, as I whisper with my whisky-breath, "And I'm not that drunk."
He shakes his head, and starts to pull away, but then I'm kissing him again. Can't help it. It's just a little lean-in, to lay my lips against his, real gentle, and I'm gonna stop soon, but then he moans against my lips, and my cock jumps, and sorry, sorry, Fraser, slow and careful ain't gonna cut it tonight.
I move my lips against his and trace his lips with my tongue and jeez, I don't think I'll ever get enough of that taste. And he... It's like he cracks. Like he thinks this is wrong, like he thinks I'll change my mind, but he's had that little push, and he's right where he needs to be. He's here with me in the darkness and I bet he likes my whisky breath, the same way he likes my spiky hair (and now his hands are on me again and it's me that's moaning, as he weaves his hand through my hair and holds on). The same way he likes my cock, hard against him (because he's moving his hips against me again, hard up against me, close but not close enough).
He gives himself to me, here in the dark of the foyer, lets down the walls. I’m dizzy still, with whisky, with Fraser, with this. And maybe I’m stumbling still, but he’ll catch me. And he worries that when the morning comes that maybe I won’t be so sure. But like I said, I’m a pushy guy. That’s one of my things. I like to be right, and I plan on being there to say I told you so.
But for now it’s enough to kiss him, and for him to put his hands on me, and for us to be together in the dark.
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