Profound thank you to ms. Pearl-o for the quick beta and for dealing with my tense issues. Summary: Takes place during "Asylum." Fraser loves Ray, and Turnbull loves - cheese.
Ray was asleep on the couch in the lounge, and Fraser wasn't thinking about him. He would have given him the cot to sleep on, but Ray fell asleep on the couch and Fraser didn't have the heart to wake him. Instead, he pulled a blanket over him, and didn't watch him sleep. Fraser turned off the lights, leaving a dim one on in the hall in case Ray woke in the night and got confused.
He headed to his office, and set up the cot quietly. As Fraser sat down and unlaced his boots, Dief wandered in and settled down underneath the cot with a soft whine and a yawn. Fraser intended to strip out of his clothes and go directly to bed, but instead he lay down on his cot, still fully dressed. He closed his eyes, and laced his fingers across his chest, and thought that he could hear Ray breathing in the lounge.
So Fraser was awake in here, alone, and Ray was asleep out there, alone. Fraser thought, sometimes, that there must be some way of bridging this gap. He lay here now, and thought about getting up, about going down the hall. If he nudged open the door to the lounge, just to check on Ray, to make sure he had all that he needed, would Ray wake up? Would he be, maybe, already awake on the couch, lying there staring at the ceiling and thinking he can hear Fraser breathing?
Ray would laugh at him, were he to suggest that, and indicate that Fraser was the one with the acute hearing, and Ray was just the guy who listened to too much rock music when he was young and wouldn't be able to hear Fraser breathing even if he were right next to him. If he's awake at all, it's due to his worry. About being thought a killer, about being made an example. It's ludicrous, of course, and Fraser won't allow that to happen. But Fraser knows from experience that Ray's brain does not rest easily, and he has a way of letting his worries overwhelm him.
It was the thought of that, he told himself, the thought of Ray lying awake with his worry, alone in a strange place, with the cut on his forehead aching, that drove Fraser to get out of bed, to venture down the dim hall in his bare feet. When he got to the lounge, he eased the door open only a crack, stood there peering through the dimness as his eyesight adjusted. He made out, first, Ray's hair sticking up crazily. He had turned in his sleep and had his face buried in the pillow Fraser had eased under his head earlier. His arm had fallen off the edge of the couch, his fingers trailing on the floor. He was sound asleep and from the doorway Fraser could, this time, actually hear him breathing.
Fraser stood there for several minutes, suspended in the doorway, listening to Ray's steady breaths, watching him at rest. He was merely making sure he was okay, and was not distracted by the bare foot sticking out from under the blanket. After a while, he found that he couldn't hear Ray's breathing over the sound of his own, and backed away. He eased the door shut and leaned against the wall in the gloom of the hall.
He stood there alone in the dark for a few moments before exhaling quietly, straightening his back, and turning to head back to bed. He jumped a little as Turnbull appeared suddenly, coming up the hall from the kitchen.
He was peering down at a small porcelain plate of cheese and crackers he held clutched in his hands, and he appeared to be - talking to it? He was still dressed perfectly in his uniform, despite the late hour. But then again, so was Fraser. Fraser's hands unconsciously rose to straighten his lanyard as he said, "Constable Turnbull? What are you doing? Why are you still here?"
"Ah! Constable Fraser!" Turnbull, as ever, greeted Fraser as though they had been apart for months. "What I am doing is having a small, midnight…" He paused, looked down at his watch. "Well. 11:45, that is, snack, of cheese and crackers. The cheese, sadly, is merely cheddar, and packaged cheddar at that." He looked both ways down the dim and empty hall and Fraser found himself bemusedly following suit. Turnbull leaned in close and said, "Cracker Barrel," in a stage whisper, before shaking his head with what looked like profound embarrassment. He even appeared to be blushing. "It was all we had in the larder. A shame, really, since one can hardly really call it a quality sort of cheese, but any cheese is better than no cheese, is what I always say."
"Yes," Fraser said vaguely, trying hard to both follow the conversation and to figure out both how he had gotten into and how he would get out of it. "And the reason you're still here?"
Turnbull beamed at Fraser, his smile gleaming even in the dim light of the hall. "I felt it would be prudent, given the circumstances of Detective Vecch - or rather, the detective who is now know as Vecch- " Turnbull took a breath, and Fraser closed his eyes momentarily, searching for patience. "…given the detective's circumstances -" Turnbull looked pleased at having solved the problem of nomenclature and then blinked, and leaned in closer to Fraser. "Regarding the possible shooting that may or may not have occurred, that may or may not have been a shooting that came from a gun that may or may not be Detective Vecch - "
"Yes, Turnbull," Fraser cut him off, then darted a quick look at the still-closed door to the lounge. "Yes," he said again, more quietly. "I know about the given circumstances."
Turnbull stood up straight, clutching his plate close to his chest and regarding Fraser with a certain pride. "Of course! You would know, wouldn't you?"
Fraser stifled a sigh. "Yes. And you are still here because…? Wait." Fraser held up one hand swiftly, and Turnbull, his mouth already open, subsided. "You know what? I don't want to know. Just -" He eyed Turnbull, and the plate of cheese, and shook his head. "Just continue with whatever it was you were doing."
Turnbull beamed. "Very well, sir!" He stood still, holding his plate carefully, and smiling his wide, sincere, utterly vapid smile at Fraser. "Would you like to share my cheese, sir?"
Fraser carefully shook his head. "Good night, Constable." He turned and headed down the hall towards his quarters.
"Good night. Ah, Constable Fraser?" Turnbull took one step after him.
Fraser sighed out loud this time and rubbed one hand tiredly over his face. "Yes?" he said, peering back over his shoulder.
"The detective," Turnbull said, tilting his head towards the door of the lounge, where Ray was sleeping the sleep of the exhausted, the worried, the falsely accused. "I'm certain it will all be fine. We won't let anything happen to him, will we?"
Fraser looked at Turnbull for several moments. "No," he said finally, softly. "We certainly won't."
Turnbull nodded, satisfied, to himself. "Canada protects the innocent," he said firmly.
"We surely try." Fraser watched as Turnbull stood straight, saluted with the hand that was not clutching the cheese plate, and disappeared down the dim hall. Fraser - finally - went into his office, shutting the door behind him and resisting the impulse to collapse back against it. He stood still, straight, in the center of the room for a moment, thinking of the detective sleeping on the couch, wrapped up in Fraser's shirt. "We surely try," he repeated quietly to himself. He gave himself a shake, quickly stripped down to his longjohns, and arranged himself for sleep.
The arrest went smoothly - or as smoothly as could be expected, what with the hostages and gunplay and reporters - and with Cahill in custody and Thatcher in a very serious temper, Fraser expected Ray to take advantage of his newly-regained freedom and sprint back to true American soil. Fraser escaped the crowd to head back inside the Consulate to start work on the mounds of paperwork that would have to be done regarding this particular incident, and was startled, when he opened his office door, to find that Ray had somehow arrived there ahead of him and was leaning against Fraser's desk, his arms crossed across his chest, his chin lifted, his expression both thoughtful and belligerent. A combination, Fraser reflected, that he could imagine no one else displaying with such perfect fierceness as Ray Kowalski.
"Ray," he said cordially. "Do you need me to arrange transport home for you? I can certainly have Turnbull -" Fraser started to turn back towards the door, but Ray pushed himself off the desk and advanced on him.
"Uh-uh," Ray said sharply. "Don’t start that polite shit again, not after everything that we've - everything that's happened the past few days." Ray blinked and Fraser, for a split-second, saw nervousness on his face. But then it was gone, replaced once more by fierce determination, the same look he got when he was trying to convince Fraser that his gut reaction was the right reaction. "Listen," he said. "What you said. About partner and, uh, friend." He glared at Fraser from a distance of maybe a few inches, which was when Fraser realized Ray had kept advancing on him, was practically on top of him. He could feel Ray's breath, coming hot and fast against his face.
"Yes," Fraser managed. "What about it?"
"Did you mean it? I mean - " Ray was staring directly into Fraser's eyes. It was disconcerting, and Fraser was having to put considerable effort into maintaining eye contact. He brought his hand up, ran a finger around the suddenly too-tight collar of his uniform. Ray took a deep breath. "Did you mean that? Partner? Friend?"
"Yes, I -" Fraser found he couldn’t actually breathe too well with Ray so close.
Ray moved forward into the bare inch that stood between them. They were chest to chest and his breath was now falling on Fraser's lips. "Is that all you meant?" Ray asked softly.
"I - " Fraser felt like he was shaking, or should be, but he was, instead, standing absolutely still, frozen, enthralled, both desperate and terrified to see which way Ray was taking this line of questioning. "I - no." He took a breath. "No. Ray. I -"
Ray made a frustrated sound in his throat and, all in one motion, flung one arm around Fraser's neck, yanked him forward, and kissed him, hot and sweet, on the lips. Fraser hesitated not at all, wrapping his arms around Ray and kissing him back, and some part deep in the recesses of his brain was thanking God that his body was able to react quicker than his brain did. Because his brain was frantically rearranging all sorts of previously-sorted information into a whole new order in his head. Even as he wrapped himself around Ray, even as he vaguely realized Ray was pushing, shoving him back against the door and kissing him, still kissing him, Fraser's brain was merely chanting at him, "Ray wants, Ray wants, Ray wants this."
Ray pulled back, panting a little, and swiped his forearm over his wet lips. He was staring at Fraser with wide eyes, and then he nodded, sharply, and slapped the pockets of his jeans, and said, "Yeah. I fucking thought so." There was a sharp rap at the door directly behind Fraser, and he looked at Ray frantically. "Inspector Thatcher," he mouthed.
Ray's mouth curved into a grin. "Good luck with that." He ran a hand through his hair, gave Fraser a sideways look, and pushed him gently away from the door. Putting his hand on the knob and ignoring the second and more irritated rap, he said, "I'll pick you up here after work tomorrow. We gotta talk."
"Indeed," Fraser managed. Ray pulled the door open and Inspector Thatcher nearly stumbled inside.
"Detective," she said coldly, pulling herself up to her full height.
"Just leaving," he assured her with a grin. He tilted his head and grinned insouciantly at her. "And remember? It's Detective Vecchio."
She looked at him as though he were deranged, and he laughed out loud - it was a sound of sheer delight - and sauntered towards the door like the free man he was.
Fraser met Inspector Thatcher's confused glance and shrugged weakly. "I - he's been under some stress," he offered, and Inspector Thatcher threw up her hands, and turned right back around, storming back to her office without offering a reason for the interruption. As she headed down the hall, Fraser saw Turnbull rise from the reception desk and race after her, clutching a sheaf of papers in his hand. "Inspector! I must talk to you! I've decided to join a cheese club!"
Fraser closed his eyes for a moment, then swiftly closed his office door once more, gently, before sagging against it and running his fingertips lightly over his lips.
It was late the following evening when Fraser returned to the consulate, late enough, he hoped, that both Inspector Thatcher and Constable Turnbull would have completed their tasks and headed to their respective homes. Fraser shut the front door behind him and locked it carefully, every movement feeling exaggerated; he had to think through even the simplest task, because his whole mind, his body, what felt like his very soul, was distracted. Fraser felt like he would always be distracted, would never again be able to concentrate properly, because how could he possibly be expected to stop thinking about Ray for even a moment? It was inconceivable.
Fraser headed down the hall towards his office, loosening his lanyard and undoing his collar and buttons as he went. His mind got caught on thoughts of earlier, of Ray's hands doing this for him, only with less skill, more desperation. Fraser actually stumbled, going down the hall in the here and now, thinking about Ray's quick, panting breaths, hot against Fraser's face, as he yanked the lanyard loose, worked Fraser's coat open from the top as Fraser frantically tried to assist him by opening the buttons at the bottom. Their hands met halfway and Ray laughed at him, his eyes bright and intense, and shoved Fraser's jacket off onto the floor. And Fraser didn't care, he didn't care, he was too busy kissing Ray again, kissing him and pushing him back onto the couch, climbing on top of him, and finally, finally they were against each other, holding on and -
Fraser stifled an exclamation as Turnbull's head popped out of the door to the consulate's file room. He closed his eyes for a moment as his heart beat frantically, out of terror this time instead of - lust. "Yes," he said, pinching the bridge of his nose and sighing. "I am. As are you. May I assist you in - anything?" Fraser tried to peer cautiously past Turnbull into the other room. "Are you -" He winced, almost not wanting to ask. "Filing in there, or -?"
"Yes!" Turnbull beamed. "Inspector Thatcher approved my request that the consulate enjoy the services of a 'Cheese of the Month' club." Turnbull made the actual quotation marks in the air. "I explained to her the importance of having various and sundry cheeses on hand with which to delight the palates of any visiting dignitaries to the Consulate, or, my god, can you imagine, should the -" He lowered his voice respectfully. "The Queen ever come here, and all we had to offer her was cheddar?" He shook his head disgustedly and shuddered. "We would never live it down."
"I -" Fraser couldn't even respond, just stood there and stared at Turnbull. It was apparent that Fraser wasn't really a necessary part of this conversation, and as Turnbull ranted on and on and began reciting the catalog of cheeses to choose from, Fraser's mind wandered once again. To the memory of Ray's hands on him, Ray's lips on him. Fraser had gone to Ray's house to talk, that had been the entire plan - Ray's plan, as a matter of fact. Fraser had presumed they would sit down and discuss, seriously, the implications of what was possibly - probably - an impetuous act on Ray's part. That act being, of course, him kissing Fraser.
Fraser had thought about it the entire day. They'd sit, and perhaps Ray would have made him a cup of tea, and they'd discuss that they were partners, first, and then friends, and that those two things surely took precedence over the possibility of a more physical nature to their relationship…
Fraser kept this firmly in mind all through the car ride over to Ray's, as Ray himself stayed strangely quiet, intent on the driving, his fingers tapping restlessly on the steering wheel, keeping the music low. Fraser endeavored to talk about the weather, the events of his day, and even, at one point, in desperation, Turnbull's current fascination with cheese, but though Ray commented and grinned at the proper points, it was obvious his mind was elsewhere and it was rather a relief to finally get to the apartment.
Fraser steeled himself for the conversation ahead, but Ray - Ray closed the door, took off his leather jacket. He slung it on a hook on the wall, and looked at Fraser. And Fraser - well, Fraser swallowed, and took a breath, and then pressed Ray up against the wall and kissed him. And just - kept on kissing him. He couldn't stop if he tried, and if he were to be honest with himself, he didn't even want to try. All he wanted - all he ever wanted, he thought to himself madly - was to be kissing Ray.
And Ray sighed and grabbed hold of Fraser and held him close, and kissed him back.
Fraser tuned back in momentarily, and Turnbull was saying, "...havarti, of course, is a basic yet utterly delicious perennial favorite…"
Fraser smiled bemusedly and tuned back out. Because oh. Oh. Ray on his back, on the couch, and Fraser sprawled out on top of him, half-dressed, undone. Ray's body was lean and lithe and hard, oh, Ray was hard, Fraser could feel it, and couldn't help put press down against him with his own matching erection. Ray tore his mouth away from Fraser's and moaned out loud, unabashedly, and wriggled up against him. "Fuck, Fraser, fuck - god, yeah."
And Fraser stared down at him and felt a surge of what could only be called joy, and bent to once more kiss him, wet and messy and deep. Ray was his, Ray was his, and his body was hot under Fraser's hands, and he wanted Fraser, his want matched Fraser's own, and they were friends, yes, partners, yes, but more, this was more, and better, and -
Fraser blinked at Turnbull, who was looking at him expectantly. "Oh. Ah, it sounds - well, it sounds very exciting indeed, Constable."
"It is," Turnbull breathed, his face flushed with excitement. "You have no idea, Constable Fraser. There are new cheeses every month!"
"Ah," said Fraser again. "Well. Yes. Best of luck with your choices."
Turnbull straightened his back proudly. "Thank you, sir."
Fraser nodded, and edged past Turnbull to head to his room, his bed, and further, very detailed thoughts of Ray, and Ray's couch, and how possibly - next time - soon - tomorrow, perhaps - they could explore Ray's bed.
Turnbull pivoted by millimeters so he could continue beaming straight at Fraser.
"Good night, Turnbull. Do lock up on your way out."
"Yes, sir! Just as soon as I finish filing the cheese catalogues, sir! Good night, sir."
Fraser shut his office door firmly behind him.
"Come on, Fraser, pitter patter." Ray's eyes glinted and he ran his hand lightly across Fraser's back, a simple enough touch, but it made Fraser's entire body shudder. Ray, knowing precisely the effect he was having, grinned at Fraser. He leaned in close, resting one hand on his shoulder, and said, warm against his ear, "Get your bag. Get your stuff. Get your wolf, and let's get out of here, yeah?"
"Yeah," breathed Fraser, caught in the spiral of Ray's closeness, his heat, his intent. He shook his head quickly, and said, "I mean, yes. Give me just one moment, will you, Ray?"
Ray leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest and resting one foot against the wall behind him. He eyed his watch. "One minute, Fraser, and don't think I'm not counting."
Fraser cocked an eyebrow at him, and was just about to throw caution entirely to the wind and kiss Ray right there in the corridor, when a shriek of excitement came from the back of the Consulate.
Ray blinked, and dropped his foot to the floor, leaning forward to peer past Fraser down the hall. "Frase, what the fuck was -"
"Turnbull," Fraser said. He didn't want to know. He really, really did very much not want to know.
But Ray was pushing off the wall and heading cautiously down the hall. "What's he doing?"
Fraser sighed dispiritedly and trailed after Ray. "I don't want to know," he explained.
Ray glanced back over his shoulder at Fraser, his face full of curiosity. "He's in the kitchen. What, is he curling in there or something?"
"I don't think so…" Fraser trailed off as he and Ray both paused in the doorway and peered into the kitchen.
Turnbull spotted them immediately. "Constable! Detective!" He threw his arms up in the air in what was apparently a gesture of welcome. "Come see my cheese!"
"Cheese?" Ray mouthed at Fraser, and Fraser shrugged helplessly. They looked at each other for an additional moment before easing cautiously forward and looking over Turnbull's shoulder into the refrigerator. There, arranged with obvious care on the top shelf, was a veritable array of cheeses.
"There is plaisance, cuvee Leonard, lascaux, and of course serra da estrela, all packaged and shipped with pride from the very best cheese makers in all the world." Turnbull had his arms clutched around himself, gazing happily at the cheeses with all the pride of a new parent. "Isn't it amazing! It's supposed to be one cheese per month, of course, but I just - I couldn't hold back!" He looked anxiously at both Ray and Fraser. "You understand, of course? Just one cheese? How is that possibly enough?!"
Ray widened his eyes at Fraser, then patted Turnbull gingerly on the shoulder. "Nice cheese there, Turnbull. That's just - uh, awesome." He jerked his head at Fraser, backing away as Turnbull reached in and made some minute adjustments to the arrangements of the cheeses. Ray made a twirling motion next to his ear as soon as he was out of Turnbull's line of sight and Fraser nodded in profound agreement.
"I'll just, uh, get your wolf. We'll be in the car. Let's get at 'er, Frase." At the doorway, Ray pivoted on his heel and made his hasty escape.
Fraser shook his head to clear it and looked at Turnbull, who was closing the refrigerator door gently so as not to - disturb the cheese? "Turnbull," Fraser said finally. "Turnbull."
Turnbull jumped, and eyed the refrigerator for a moment before turning his attention to Fraser. "Yes, sir?"
"Turnbull, just- what is with this newfound cheese fixation?" Fraser asked exasperatedly.
Turnbull looked at him, his face intent and serious. "Sir. You have your passions," He tilted his head minutely towards the door Ray had just disappeared through. "And I have mine."
Fraser was quiet for a long moment, then said, "Quite true. Carry on as you will, Constable."
Turnbull swelled with pride. "Thank you, sir," he said. He turned back to the refrigerator, opening the door just a crack and peering inside, and he did not turn around or even notice when Fraser headed out the door to go to Ray.
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