Thanks: Thanks to Brynn for beta. This was partly inspired by her story, The Sight of the Stars.
Notes: For Isis.
"No, no, no!" said Ray, firmly, definitely, knowing he was going to lose but determined to go down fighting. "I am not sharing a motel room with the human B-movie plot generator. He can sleep in his stupid van."
"Ray, that's not very hospitable." Fraser rubbed his eyebrow as if Ray was single-handedly responsible for the decline of western civilization.
"We've only got one room," repeated the hag behind the counter.
"I get night terrors," said Ian earnestly. "If I sleep alone, I could wake up anywhere. One time when I was in Paris, I woke up at the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The only reason I didn't die was that Brigitte Bardot happened to—"
"I've changed my mind." Ray slapped his hand on the counter. "I'll sleep in the van. Gimme the keys. You can room with the All-Canadian Boy Scout."
"We'll be asleep," Fraser pointed out reasonably, "and you'll be far more comfortable indoors. Please, Ray."
Ray figured it was a point of Mountie honor that he had to have the worst sleeping conditions, and if Ray took the van, Fraser would have to build a bivouac under a waterfall. "Fine," Ray said, fiercely. "He'd probably murder you in your sleep if I wasn't there to stop him." Ray folded his arms. "But he's paying for the room."
"Sure," said Ian, cheerfully. He pulled out his wallet with a flourish. "I'd be happy to, after all you gentlemen have done for me."
The receptionist hag took Ian's card with a suspicious glare and rang it in, while Ray tapped the corner of a UFO-shaped Local Attractions brochure against the counter.
"This one's no good," said the hag.
Ian widened his eyes, feigning shock. "The military must have frozen my account," he said. "Try this one." He sorted through half a dozen cards, none of them from recognizable banks.
"Forget it, forget it," snapped Ray. "We'll be here all night." He breathed deeply and counted to twenty while the motel lady sucked the lifeblood from his bank balance.
She handed him back his sadly depleted card and he signed the book.
Fraser clapped him on the shoulder. "Thanks, Ray."
"I hate you." Ray snatched the key with its dangling UFO tag from the hag and picked up his baggage.
Fraser smiled, undaunted. "You'll feel better after a good night's rest."
"I'll feel better when that little creep is behind bars where he belongs," muttered Ray gracelessly, and stalked ahead of the others to the motel room.
"He's not under arrest, Ray," Fraser defended Ian.
"Only because I haven't found a felony with a long enough sentence that I can pin on him." Ray turned back and raised his finger thoughtfully. "Come to think of it, maybe I should let him murder you. Two birds with one stone."
"That would make you an accomplice," Fraser pointed out. "You'd do time."
"It'd be worth it." Jeez, where was the room? The motel wasn't even that big. He suspected the hag had put them in the last outpost, probably behind a generator or the bar, where they could listen to machinery or drunken revelry all night.
Fraser was reassuring Ian again. "I'm sure he doesn't mean it personally."
"Shows what you know." Ray finally found the room, unlocked it and slammed open the door. He turned on the light and gazed around in horror. There was only one bed, set square in the center of the cheap brown patterned carpet, and it was a small double.
"No," said Ray, outraged. "No way, no fucking—"
Fraser propelled him and Ian inside and shut the door. "You know, Ray, by northern standards, these accommodations are positively lavish."
"Yeah, because there's electricity and an indoor bathroom." Ray went over to the badly painted door and checked that there was actually a bathroom. There was. It was small and it stank of bleach, but at least it was clean. "One day you're going to have to raise your standards to exclude bus terminals and bowling alleys."
"There's a bed and the roof doesn't leak," said Fraser heartily. He put his hat on the ancient TV and took off his coat.
"As far as we know." Ray set his bag on the bed.
"It's not leaks you have to worry about." Ian started tapping his fingers on the walls. "At least, not unless rats have chewed on the wiring. I stayed in a hotel in Rio one time where monkeys were living in the walls, and they'd somehow managed to rewire the whole building so that when you switched on the lights, the TV came on, and vice versa."
"Fraser, make him stop." Ray knew he was whining, but it felt like every word from Ian's lips was edging his blood pressure into the red zone.
Fraser guided Ian away from the wall and sat him in the chair. "Perhaps it would be best if we retired to bed."
"I get the bed," said Ray, and sat on it.
"I have back—" started Ian.
"You know what? Forget it." Ray glared at him. "You take the bed. On one condition. You don't open your mouth for the next twelve hours."
"What about brushing my teeth?" asked Ian.
"Perhaps you should lay low for a while," Fraser told him. "Here, Ray. You take the chair, and I'll be perfectly comfortable on the floor."
"Of course you will be," groused Ray. He waved Ian out of the way and flopped down in the world's most uncomfortable armchair. "It'll probably be the best night's sleep you've had in years." He pulled his coat around him and shifted to alleviate the worst of the aches in his back.
Ian found his toothbrush and went into the bathroom. "If I'm not back in eight and a half minutes, you should probably come and check that the military haven't abducted me," he said and closed the door.
Ray closed his eyes. "I'm being punished."
"That's ridiculous, Ray." Fraser crouched down beside him. "We have shelter, we have our health. We're perfectly well off."
"We're trapped in a motel room with a man who thinks he's Ghandi, Einstein and Marco Polo all rolled into one." Ray cracked his eyes open and caught Fraser looking at him with a weird expression. "Why doesn't that bother you? I thought you hated when people lied."
"Ian tells the truth in his own fashion." Fraser licked his lip distractedly.
"Right. Ian's fashion makes Frannie look restrained." Ray took a deep breath. "Eight more hours and we'll be on the road."
"All going well," agreed Fraser, swaying towards him.
"It's going to go well," said Ray determinedly. "I don't care if you uncover a plot to commit treason, we are heading back to Chicago straight after breakfast."
"We are law enforcement officers." Fraser was still looking at him strangely.
"I know we're cops, Fraser! But this is not our jurisdiction. You see anything, we'll call the local — mmf!" Ray was cut off by Fraser's mouth. On his. Kissing him.
He pushed him away, startled. "What the hell was that, Benny?"
"It was a kiss." Fraser licked his lip, leaving a gleam of saliva. Ray's mouth watered. "I"ve been wanting to do that for some time," Fraser continued, his eyes steady on Ray's, "and this seemed like an opportune moment."
Ray gaped, torn between dragging him back into the kiss and arguing with him. Out of habit, arguing won, but he grabbed Fraser's arm to keep his options open. "This seemed like an opportune time to kiss me?" he said, incredulously, struggling to keep his voice down. "Here, in this crummy motel in Lalaville with Baron Münchhausen in the bathroom?"
Fraser's mouth softened at the corner. "I thought you could use the distraction," he admitted. "And, well, you know, Ray, it's rare that I'm not the most annoying person in your vicinity. I thought I should make the most of it."
Ray shook his head in wonder and yanked him in for another kiss. A proper one this time, with lips and tongue, and Ray not frozen from the shock. "You being annoying is one of the things I love about you, stupid," he said, and Fraser murmured something in reply and cupped the back of Ray's head, holding him close while his lips slid against Ray's. And Ray finally stopped clamping down on all the feelings that'd been making him crazy ever since they got lost in the wilds of Canada and he'd spent two days cheek by ass-cheek with his best friend and partner.
The toilet flushed in the next room, and Ray came to his senses and pushed Fraser away again. "I feel like he's going to burst through that door and say, 'You're doing it wrong,' and then tell us about how his uncle won the 1968 Gay Kissing World Championships in Dubai. And then I'd really have to kill him."
Fraser grinned. "You know I couldn't let you do that."
"That's the problem! I'd have to kill you, too!" Ray smiled back, despite himself and despite his sudden wish that a UFO would come and spirit both of them away to somewhere quiet and private where they could explore this new development with the thoroughness it deserved.
"Ah." Fraser sat back on his heels and pursed his lips, thoughtfully, and all Ray could see was a kissing opportunity he couldn't take.
"I don't know how you expect me to get any sleep now." He ran his fingertips down Fraser's neck. His pulse was racing.
Fraser's breath hitched and he caught Ray's hand just as the bathroom door opened and Ian came out in a cloud of steam.
"I suspect a certain someone's presence will cool our ardor," Fraser said under his breath, and he let go of Ray's hand and stood up smoothly. "Right. Well, then." He clapped his hands over his pockets. "Ah. Time to— yes." He nodded briskly and headed for the bathroom.
Ian looked at Ray with a curious gleam in his eye. "Did I miss something? You're not plotting to overthrow the Canadian government, are you? Because—"
"Okay, that's it." Ray sprang up and headed for the door. "I can't take it. I'll wait in the van. It'll be like a stakeout, without the bad coffee." He yanked the door open and Dief trotted inside, his tail wagging smugly. "Yeah, don't tell me," said Ray, turning back and shutting the door again. It was cold out there. "You've been scamming food off pensioners. You oughta be ashamed."
Dief woofed, hopped into Ray's recently vacated chair, curled up and went to sleep.
"The universe hates me," said Ray, but then the bathroom door opened, and Fraser smiled across the room at him, and all of a sudden, nothing else mattered.
"Is everything all right?" Fraser asked.
"Dandy," said Ray. "I'm sleeping with you."
He had a moment's satisfaction when Fraser's eyes widened and his gaze darted to Ian, who was busy arranging the many pillows on the bed to his satisfaction.
"On the floor," Ray clarified. And the prospect didn't seem so bad, just this once.