Due South

"A Conversation Over Theodore Taylor"

Three sharp knocks at the interrogation room door. Ray jerked his head up at the sound. Frannie? Dewey? Huey?

Fraser, perhaps?

“Ray, are you in there?” Fraser. Greatness.

“Right here,” Ray said, standing up and putting his book down on the table. Those nervous butterflies beat at his stomach again, the ones that always accompanied Fraser’s appearances. Would now be the day? The moment Ray told him how he really felt? Or would they just get into another one of those silly arguments that always devolved into name-calling and childishness?

Fraser opened the door. Ray thought: Oh, schmoopie.

“Ray, hello. I’ve been looking over these reports you gave me and I’ve noticed some mistakes...”

And then the meaning of what Fraser was saying disappeared like so much vapor, and Ray could only stare at the lips that were making the sound. Then, trailing up to those cold blue eyes, bombardier’s eyes, icy, cold. Beautiful. Ray felt a surge of...

Then he giggled.

“Ray? What is it?”

“Nothing.” Then he giggled again. “No, really, nothing.”

“Are you sure? Because you seem to find something funny with what I’m saying. Is it my accent? Are you making fun of my accent again?”

“No, it’s just that... Well, okay, I was thinking I felt a surge, and you’re wearing serge, and I just thought it was funny...”

“You make no sense, Ray.”

“I know.”

“What are you reading there?”

“A book.”

“I can see that. What book is it?” Wasn’t that just like Fraser to pry into his reading? Ray remembered with fondness the time when Fraser picked up on Ray’s obsession with Hermann Hesse, and read the complete works just so they could talk about it. Oh, Ray thought, oh, schmoopie.

“It’s Theodore Taylor,” Ray said, picking the book up. “The Cay.”

“Oh, it’s pronounced key.” Ray looked at Fraser. Those smug blue eyes. Cold.

“No it’s not.”

“Yes, Ray, it is.” Fraser placed the book down on the table.

“No, it says it right on the cover. C-A-Y, cay.”

“It’s a Spanish term. It can be pronounced cay, but it’s usually pronounced key. By most people, at least.”

By most people, that was a real Fraserism, wasn’t it? Just stand there in your serge and your boots ... your deliriously sexy black boots, oh ... and judge me. Why are you always judging me?

“Key, cay, does it matter?” Ray sighed and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Oh, it matters a great deal, Ray. In fact...” More of those meaningless words, passing out over those perfect white Canadian teeth. How Ray loved those teeth. “...cayo, which probably came into being around 1707.” Fraser smiled.

Ray didn’t. “You’re real annoying sometimes, did you know that?”

“Certainly,” Fraser said, then turned. That man could be a real bastard sometimes ... but oh, how Ray loved that Mountie ass.

“I’ll leave these reports on your desk, Ray. Look over them later, if you please?”

“Fine,” Ray said, picking his book up again. “I will do that.”

Fraser stepped toward the door. “And Ray?”

Ray looked up, scowling. “Yeah?”

“You’re looking at my ass again, aren’t you?”

Ray gasped. Fraser smirked. The door closed.