Response to the Keys challenge over at ds Flashfic.
God, god, I need something tonight. I don't know what. Anything. Anything. It's too much, is what it is. It gets to be too much. All of it. Any of it. Take your pick. The job, the Mountie, the Stella, the alone, all of it. Too much and sometimes I get strung out and hung up and lost, so fucking lost. Too fucking far from home, wherever the hell that might be.
I hate this. I hate feeling like this, being like this, like such a loser, such a fucking drama queen. Iím strung out and shaking and all I want is a smoke, a drink, a fuck, something. Something to fucking ground me and tell me where I am, tell me who I am, tell me what I am. Even if it's a lie, a lie like you would not believe, I don't care. I just donít fucking care. I'm looking for something to grab onto here. Tell me who Iím supposed to be, and I'll be that guy.
It's kind of what I do best.
Fuck. I'm pacing around the apartment here, running my hands through my already fucked-up hair, and trying to get a grip. Get a grip on things. Get a grip on my life. I feel like Iím flailing here, gonna fall pretty soon, and wouldn't that be just like you, Kowalski, wouldn't that be just your luck? Stupid, anyway, to think you could do this, could hide in someone else's life, what the hell were you thinking? Ray fucking Vecchio: yeah, Kowalski, you're quite the paisano, aren't you?
Seriously: what the hell was I thinking?
I'll tell you. I was thinking I was gonna get a chance to start new. New lease on life, new job, new partner, new Ray, a whole new me. Sure, that's gonna work. Go undercover and all these people are gonna be forced to pretend like you're some other guy. Doesn't mean they're gonna like you the way they liked him. Doesn't mean they're gonna like you at all. With the hair and the bracelet and the attitude and the whole thing.
I mean, Welsh seems like a pretty cool guy, Welsh seems like he's on my side, like he maybe kinda doesn't mind having me here. Maybe that's just 'cause he kinda liked Vecchio. The real Vecchio, I mean, not my knock-off version. Maybe it's 'cause he likes the Mountie, sort of, and wants to make sure Fraserís partner is taken care of. Maybe.
And yeah, the Mountie, the fucking Mountie. What the hell is up with him? Why is he doing this? Keeping Vecchio safe and alive, sure, that's one reason. But he doesnít have to pretend to be so tight with me. That's not cool, that's kind of like cheating or something. Because I ain't him. But I'm still me. And if he's just stringing me along because I'm supposed to be this Vecchio guy, well, then, fuck that. We can just be partners, or what's the word, liaisons, and that'll be enough to keep his friend alive. His real friend, I mean. He doesn't have to play these games with me, pretend like he cares, pretend like I'm the other Vecchio.
I'm too fucking done for these games.
I'm still pacing in circles here. I'm trying to be all right, trying to get it together, trying to be someone else, anyone else, not me. Got nothing left to pull together here. Just trying to keep breathing. Keep moving in circles, got nowhere else to go.
It's on one of the turns that I see movement out of the corner of my eye and whirl around. My door's open and Fraser, fucking Fraser, is standing inside of my apartment. Dressed all casual, jeans and button-down flannel, leather jacket. No red serge today, but still clutching that hat in his hands, that hat that is even more fucking ridiculous when not paired with the uniform. With the uniform, at least, it makes sense.
Anyway. I turn, and see him, and Jesus Christ, just what I need, right? "What the fuck, Fraser, heard of knocking?"
He kind of squinches his eyes at me, then says real calm, "Your keys were in the lock, on the outside of the door." He holds them up, and they jingle in his hand. "I was concerned."
Fuck. I'm an idiot. "Yeah, well, whatever, you could still knock, you know."
"I apologize, Ray. I assure you, I was merely concerned that something was amiss. You seemedÖout of sorts today."
"How the fuck would you know what 'out of sorts' looks like on me?" I snap.
He blinks, startled. Opens his mouth to answer.
"Aw hell, forget it, just gimme my keys, all right? C'mon." I gesture for them, angrily. He continues to hold them up for a second, kind of lost in thought, I guess, studying me. I know I look crazy. I must look crazy. Angry and alone and no reason for any of it. He doesnít know. He canít read my mind. Weíre not even friends, really, heís just continuing a trend or something. Pretending like he cares. Why is he even here?
Yeah. Why is he even here? Concerned. He said he was concerned. For me. Yeah, right. Sure thing. Iím a real worrisome bastard here. Jesus. Itís not like this matters, itís not like I matter, why doesnít he just leave me alone? He pushes this friendship thing like it means something, and Iím tired of it. Tired of the lies, the pushing, the pretending. I know, I know, I set myself up, let myself pretend to be Vecchio. Like I could do that, like I could just take over his life, his fucking life, like all of this really means something. Like his sister would love me, his partner would love me, like Iíd have found something here. Be needed, wanted, something. You know? They needed me here, needed me to be Vecchio. I let myself believe that, that it was me they needed. Turns out it was just a warm body they needed, and once again, I ainít nothing special. Kind of like with Stella: needing me to fill a spot till the real thing comes along.
Fuck it, fuck this. I'm here to do a job, and I don't know what he's here for, but it sure as hell ain't for me. "Fraser, give me the goddamn keys."
I'm across the room in a few lunging steps, reach to grab the keys where they still dangle from his hand.
"Ray," he says slowly, catching onto my arm. I pull away from him. Pace away, then stand there, glaring at him, breathing heavy, holding the keys tight. I'm so fucking mad. Not at him, maybe, but he's here where he doesn't belong, where he never belonged, and it makes me furious.
"What, Fraser, what do you want?"
He tilts his head to the side, furrows his brows, studying me. "What happened, Ray?
I laugh. It comes out harsh. "Jesus, Fraser. There's a loaded question."
He takes a breath like he's going to say something. Stops himself and runs his thumb over his eyebrow instead. Still watching me real close, like he can see through me, like he can read me. Like he fucking knows me.
"I guess it is, at that," he says real soft. Almost like he's talking to himself. Like I'm not even here. Which I guess I'm not. Out there I gotta be Ray Vecchio. In here, who am I? If no one knows who Ray Kowalski is, does he even really exist? Yeah, bright idea, Ray, let's get all deep and meaningful, that'll really help.
"Whatever, Fraser," I say impatiently. "Thanks a whole bunch for coming over to rescue my keys." I let said keys jingle in my hand. "Now can you go?"
The sarcasm goes right over his head. "No, I don't think that would be a good idea."
Fabulous. This is what I need right now, a stubborn Mountie parked in my living room. Jesus. The keys rattle in my hand again.
"Fraser," I say, giving him warning. "I am not in the mood for this tonight."
"No, I can see that," he says. Keeps looking at me.
This is too fucking much. Without thinking, I hurl the keys away from me. They slam into the wall next to his head. He doesn't even jump, just keeps his eyes on me. I look down at my hand where I'd been clutching the keys so hard they'd made marks.
"Fuck." I say it quiet this time. I don't know what else to do here. "Fuck." I run my hand through my hair. Donít want to look at him standing there. "I need a drink." I turn away.
His hand is on my shoulder suddenly and I jump. He's sneaky, moves quick.
"No, you don't," he says quietly.
"Christ, Fraser, how do you know what the hell I need?" The anger is back all of a sudden and I want to hit him, hard, get him to flinch, get him to see how very much I'm not his precious fucking Vecchio. But he's got his hand on my shoulder, tight. Too tight. Pressing into the skin hard enough to bruise, I bet.
"I know," he says real quiet, and he's looking at me, making it hard to look away. No. Impossible to look away. He's looking through me or something, into me, Jesus, those eyes, those fucking eyes.
"You don't have any idea what I want." But I don't sound like such a tough guy anymore. I sound kind of like I'm hoping he'll tell me. 'Cause apparently I sure as hell don't know. He's close to me, still clutching my shoulder. I think I'm shaking, but I can't tell if I'm scared.
"Yes," he says, "I do." There's a flicker in those eyes, then he's pushing at me hard. He slams me against the wall hard enough to knock the breath out of me for a second. He's right up against me and I can feel the length of his body against mine, feel his hot breath on my face. He stares at me, waits till I look back, then he's crushing his mouth against mine, kissing me hard and rough. Whoa. All right. His hands are pinning me to the wall and I can't breathe or think, but I can get seriously fucking hard, seriously fucking fast. And I can buck up against him, till he pushes his hips forward, shoves himself against me.
And I can make these desperate noises, which I guess is me asking for more. Which I guess means yeah, he knows what I want. What I need. A fight, a smoke, a fuck, something, anything. I just need someone to see me. Not see Vecchio. Not see a stranger. But I didn't know I needed him. He's breaking off the kiss, and his breath is coming again in hot bursts against my cheek and he's got his hands threaded in my hair. Pulls hard enough to hurt, to get me to open my eyes. "Ray," he says, and he means me. "Ray," he says again, urgent, and now my body really fucking knows what I need, 'cause my cock jumps. Fraser kisses me again and this is a battle. This isn't about making love or even fucking. This isn't about sex, it's about something else altogether and I don't know that either of us understand it, but I need it and all I can think is thank fucking Christ he needs it too, and knows enough to do something about it.
He leaves one hand in my hair, holding tight, grabs hold of my hip with the other. I jerk against him again, because I can feel how hard he is and I want more of that. And he's kissing me rough, his tongue in my mouth, and mine meets his. Neither of us gives an inch, it's all pushing and pulling and it's fierce. I've got my feet spread, bracing myself, shoving against him and his coat is on the floor where I pushed it off. And I've got my hands in his hair, on his ass, and finally I manage to get one in between us, pushed against his cock, can feel him so hard and hot through his jeans. My hand on him makes him yank his mouth away from mine with a gasp, and I get a surge through me, like I've won something.
"Why are you doing this?" I mutter it against his mouth, but I don't think I want an answer. Doesnít matter, 'cause he shakes his head mutely, and takes my mouth again.
His hands are on my hips and he's taking me, moving me. He grabs my t-shirt, tears it off over my head, and I stumble against him, push against him, and I donít know who's leading, who's following, but we end up in the bedroom, and that's a good thing. We hit the bed, don't stop, topple down, me on top of him. I'm grinding into him, fumbling with his shirt buttons, about ready to rip the damn thing off of him.
"What do you want, Fraser, what do you want? Why the fuck are you here?" It sounds like Iím fighting with him, but he just arches under me and helps me with the buttons. We get his shirt open and then he pushes me to my back. I wrestle against him for real now, not gonna let him be the one in charge. But he pins me down hard, and looks at me and whispers harsh, "Let me do this, Ray."
And it's like it's me he's talking to. I don't know how he does it, how he makes me hear. "I don'tÖ I want toÖ Dammit, Fraser, I need toÖ" My brain isn't connected to my mouth anymore, and my voice sounds so fucking desperate.
His mouth is on my lips, my cheek, my neck, tasting, biting. He's murmuring something, but my heart is beating loud in my ears and I barely hear him, think maybe I'm just feeling the vibrations of his voice against me saying, "I know, I know, I know." So fucking quiet, like he's telling me something true.
We're struggling with each other, still. But he gets my jeans open, shoves them down as I push against him. He somehow lets my fierce fighting movements work for him. His face in the darkness is intent. Watching me. My hands scrabble against his fly, pressing, again, against him there, and he gasps and jerks against me clumsily. I finally get his pants open, he helps me push them down, and then it's like hurry, hurry, no time to lose here, no time at all. He's feeding into this. Not trying to calm me, just trying to take me or maybe trying to give himself to me, but it all feels like the same thing.
"Fuck, Fraser, fuck," and he's pinning my hands up and I'm rearing up against him like a wild thing, feel wild and lost in this because I have nothing, nothing left to lose. He's hot against me, sweating, we both are, slick and hot and Jesus, his cock against mine feels right, feels like Iím grounded here, plugged in, permanent. He thrusts, hard, but I need more.
"Harder," I hiss against his shoulder, where he looms over me, then I bite down hard, taste his skin and sweat and need.
"Yes," he grunts, thrusting. "Harder."
Jesus. He's as lost as me. He's jammed against me and then he gasps, loud, and comes all over me, hot over my stomach and my cock. It hits me like lightening and my cock jumps and my come mixes with his on my stomach. He sags on top of me for a second, then slides over and collapses on the bed beside me. I'm trying to get my breath back; lie there staring at the ceiling in the dark, and finally I let my head fall to the side so I can see him. He's stretched out beside me, watching me in the dark.
I'm drained here, worn-out, but it's not so bad. Better than being strung-out. I get lost in my head sometimes. Too much, sometimes, to fit in there, it feels like. "What the fuck was that, Fraser?" Supposed to sound angry, but my tone is more sleepy than anything else
He blinks slowly. "That was us, Ray." He reaches out and draws his fingers through our come mixed on my stomach. His voice sounds like it's in slow-motion, lazy. Like this is something he knew would happen, this thing between us.
I'm trying to focus, but I'm so fucking sleepy it feels like I'm drunk. "Why?" I'm not even sure what I'm asking. Why me. Why now. Why us.
He moves a little, like he might get up, and my heart speeds up, like I don't want him to go. Like I don't want to be left. But he settles down closer, peers at me sleepily in the dark. "BecauseÖI get tired, Ray."
I see it flicker in his eyes. Tired of being the outsider. So bright in his red serge, can't even hide. Tired of not being home. Tired of not having someone to be when he's alone. I can see that.
He takes a long breath. "And sometimesÖ" He pauses, like he's looking for the word. Traces his bottom lip with his tongue, thinking. Shakes his head and looks at me.
I nod slowly at him there in the dark. "Yeah," I say. "Me too, sometimes."
"Yeah," he whispers low.
"Yeah," I whisper back.
We end up laying there looking at each other for a real long time.
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