The Long Way Home

by brooklinegirl



Summary: He thought sometimes, afterwards, that what happened with Victoria was proof enough that he, of all people, should leave well enough alone.

Written for the Necking challenge over at DS Flashfiction, but it's dedicated to pearl_o whose birthday was - okay, uh, a while ago. Like, okay, maybe seven weeks or so. But! It's here! It's her birthday fic/Necking challenge fic, and it has young queer Fraser and happy birthday, my dear young pearl_o! Many thanks to both lynnmonster and estrella30 for multiple rounds of beta work!

"Necking," they'd called it, when he was at school. The boys would talk while they changed after gym class, about which girls would go walking in the field back behind the church and let the boys kiss them. Fraser would listen, pretending not to, as he focused on tying and retying his shoes.

It was the details that got to him. The thought of being that close. Of touching, and being able to maybe feel her breath warm against his skin, and to think that she might look at him, really look at him, see him, fully, with her blue, blue eyes - she'd have blue eyes, he thought, whoever she turned out to be, blue like the clear summer sky - warm with understanding. Understanding that he wasn't kissing her just because he wanted to tell the boys in the locker room - he never would - and that it wasn't just to see how far he could make her go.

Fraser didn't want to make anyone do anything. He just wanted - something. To be not so alone.

They said the names of girls - that was the whole point, after all: who would and who wouldn't. Nancy McGrath, who had long thick hair that swung around her shoulders when she ducked her head, giggling in class. Sylvia Pierce, who wore her dark hair in a riot of curls that Fraser couldn't help but wonder what would feel like under his hands. It wasn't - Fraser knew he'd never go walking with any of these girls in the field behind the church. He just liked to think about it.

When he and his grandparents moved to Yellowknife, when Fraser was sixteen, he came to the realization that he didnít have to worry about which girls would do what. Because it seemed like most of them would be willing to do anything with him, even if he was strange and awkward. They liked his hair, and his strong shoulders, and his eyes. They passed notes about him, and the other boys teased him about it in the locker room, while Fraser tried very hard not to blush and concentrated intently on refolding his t-shirt just right. He knew, intellectually, that if he joked about it, made rude comments about what the girls wanted from him, that it would be easier. But he couldn't do that. It wasn't him. So he never quite got along with the boys the way he thought he should.

Still, the realization struck him hard, that his awkwardness didn't so much matter. Because when Scott Cole lingered behind in the locker room one late autumn day, he didnít want to talk about which girls would do what, and he didn't want to tease Fraser. And Fraser guessed that it didn't matter so much, about girls, because Scott didnít seem to care either, as he tugged Fraser behind the last row of lockers, and leaned in - as awkward as Fraser himself - and kissed him hotly.

Fraser's hands came up to hold onto Scott's waist of their own volition, and Scott pulled back a little, his face flushed. "Is this okay?" he asked breathlessly.

"I - yes," Fraser said. And he leaned forward eagerly as Scott kissed him again, this time sliding his tongue into Fraser's mouth. Scott's shirt was soft against his hands, and when he slipped his fingers underneath, the skin there was warm, and Scott didn't seem to mind.

So it turned out that girls didn't matter that much, after all.

The opportunities for these swift, groping encounters lessened after his brief stay in Yellowknife. He and his grandparents moved further north, and he became accustomed to being alone, accustomed to his solitary release. He thought, perhaps, he wasn't meant for anything more. Which was acceptable. He handled it satisfactorily. He handled it that way for years.

Not that there had never been anyone. There had been - encounters, over the years. Some with men, some with women. There had been Victoria. Which, as it had turned out, wasn't what he thought it would be. Wasn't anything at all like he'd thought it might be. He thought sometimes, afterwards, that what happened with Victoria was proof enough that he, of all people, should leave well enough alone.

His liaisons were never permanent. That was the one thing that held true. It wasn't until Chicago - more to the point, it wasn't until he met Ray Kowalski - that things changed. Rapidly. Fraser thought he'd always be alone, really. It seemed Ray had other ideas in mind. Ideas that were different from the quick gropes Fraser had experienced in school. For one thing, Ray was an adult, and had an apartment. Said apartment had a couch, and Fraser seemed to be spending a lot of time on it of late. Particularly: on the couch, under Ray. Ray, who was, it seemed, rather interested in the process of necking. Ray, who was extraordinarily limber. Ray, who put his whole body into the necking process, and was driving Fraser very slowly mad in the best possible way.

It was dizzying, the whole process. This was intimacy like Fraser had never experienced. This wasn't arbitrary chance, clumsily necking boys after gym class. This wasn't just making do. This wasn't that at all. Reminders of which Ray would gasp in his ear, as he kissed his way upwards from Fraser's neck. "This isn't just some hook-up, Fraser," he'd say, his breath hot against Fraser's skin as he moved against him on the couch. "This is us, this is you and me, this means something. God," and he'd moan, and shove himself closer to Fraser, and Fraser would clutch at the back of Ray's shirt, needing to just hang on. "Okay? Okay?"

And Fraser would nod and drag Ray's lips back to his own and mutter, "Yes," and "Yes."

Because there'd never been talking before. Not with anyone. Not with any of the boys in school. Not with Victoria. (They weren't her words, he knew now. They had never been her own words.) Not with anyone. There had been that feeling of it being quick and fast and somewhat dirty and shameful. This was different.

"Taking our time," Ray breathed, when he pulled into the alley beside the Consulate and kissed Fraser goodnight till the windows steamed up. "Don't have to rush things, this is the good part. I mean," he amended immediately, his hand straying back to Fraser's lap, stroking him through his pants. "The rest of it will be good too. When we get there. Just -" And then he was kissing Fraser again, deeply, half on top of him in the front seat, Fraser's back against the door, Ray's hips moving restlessly against his. "We'll get there. I want to -" He stopped, breathed, resting his forehead against Fraser's shoulder, his words muffled. "I want to. I just don't want to lose this part of it."

Fraser stroked the back of Ray's head, where his hair was slightly damp with sweat. "It's okay," he said into the dark. "It's good. I like it."

Ray tilted his head to look at him, grinning. "Yeah. Yeah. It's -" He chewed on his lip, looking for the word. "It's - the edge, the build-up, the -"

"Potential," Fraser finished for him, for, of course, that was it. Ray had run headlong into too many bad situations. For him, this was taking it slow - even if, for Ray, "taking it slow" meant this, being on top of Fraser in the car, tugging Fraser on top of him on the couch. Long, wet kisses that Fraser thought would possibly kill him with sweetness and heat. Potential like Fraser hadn't felt in a long time, potential like Ray talked about. Ray wanted this enough to wait for it. Fraser had run headlong into too many empty situations to question Ray's judgement. Besides, this was good, this was so very good.

"Yeah," Ray said, taking Fraser's head in his hands and kissing him one last time. "Okay. Get inside. Um," and he stroked his hand lightly over the front of Fraser's pants. "Think of me when youÖ"

And Fraser had to close his eyes for a second, get control, because his erection throbbed in his pants and he thought he maybe could come right there just from thinking about it. Because he would think of Ray when he got inside, would think of Ray as he took off his clothes, shoved down his boxers, and took himself in hand, stroked himself till he came, shuddering, over his stomach. Would think of the hot, sweet, wet kisses in the steamed-up car.

And Ray would be thinking of him, when he got home, and sprawled loosely on his bed, and -

"Yes. I - " God. "I have to go."

And Ray grinned and pushed him out of the car. "Later," he said, and waited till Fraser had unlocked the front door before driving off.

Later. It sounded like a promise.


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