Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski
Thanks: Vast gratitude to Sprat for beta. *hugs and flowers*
Notes: For aerye, who was disappointed by the family-friendly rating of my last story.

Every Beautiful Thing

by china_shop


Fraser picked up his hat. "I hope you have a pleasant evening," he said to the attractive blonde woman seated across the table from him, and then he stood up, placed a neatly folded Canadian five dollar bill on the table, and left.

The bar was only twelve blocks from the Consulate and he knew several shortcuts. He'd be home before midnight, and be tired enough to sleep. His footsteps rang out in the dirty alley, where the ground was wet with melted snow.

The evening had started with such promise. Ray had shown up at the agreed time and then, inexplicably, had stood too close in the hallway of the Consulate, staring at him at length until Fraser couldn't help but blush. Then Ray had nodded, his head bobbing as though he were agreeing with something neither of them could put into words.

"Get your coat," Ray said abruptly, "I'm taking you out."

Fraser raised his eyebrows. "Out?" He felt the corner of his mouth twitch.

Ray gave him back an answering smile, tight and nervous, and ducked his head, and Fraser's pulse thudded. Perhaps Ray realized. Perhaps he'd finally put aside the specter of Stella and could see what was in front of his nose. Perhaps he wanted what was in front of his nose.

In the car on the way to the restaurant, the air between them hummed, and Ray's driving was markedly distracted. Fraser mentally rehearsed, as he had so many times before, the objections to their possible involvement—his hands tightening in his lap at the thought—but for the first time he wasn't trying to dissuade himself of his feelings, but instead seeking solutions and workarounds, justifying to himself what would be the necessary breaches of disclosure and proper procedure. Circumstances were against them, of course, but that had never stopped Ray from pursuing what he wanted. Quite the reverse, actually.

Ray had pulled up in the shadowed parking lot of an unassuming Italian restaurant they'd visited only a few times before, and switched off the engine. He glanced at Fraser's hands and then up to his face, a familiar warmth in his eyes. "Come on," was all he said. "I'm starving."

"And I," Fraser replied, determined to meet Ray half-way.

Ray licked his lips, and nodded. He hands hovered in the air for a moment, as though they were going to reach for him, as though dinner were forgotten. But another car pulled into the lot, breaking the moment, and they just smiled foolishly at each other and went into the restaurant. They had plenty of time—or so Fraser had believed.

Once inside, though, things had gone awry. They were seated in the window and Ray seemed too aware of the other patrons, and people passing in the street who might see them. He straightened his silverware and shifted in his seat, and looked away quickly when Fraser caught his eye. He was smiling, though, and his foot bumped against Fraser's boot, perhaps not entirely by accident.

And then Ray ordered a beer. And then a woman called Ingrid appeared, greeting Ray with a cry of delight, and his face lit up. She was a friend, Fraser told himself sternly. It was highly inappropriate to resent her, even when she pulled up a chair and sat down uninvited at their table, and began to recount amusing anecdotes from her life over the last five years. She teased Ray about his dancing, glinted at him through her long eyelashes, and he grinned easily, and Fraser had to look away. Then she asked after Stella and, when Ray admitted he was divorced, she touched his arm. Ray made a few limp attempts to include Fraser in the conversation, but it was clear he was in Ingrid's thrall. She was so like Stella—although much kinder in her manner—that Fraser thought it inevitable that Ray would want to make future plans with her. He'd decided to absent himself to give Ray the opportunity, and walked out into the chill night.

A bitter gust of wind stirred up garbage further down the alley. The clouds hung low and heavy in the sky, threatening further snow, and he'd have to take Diefenbaker out before he could go to bed. He quickened his pace.

From behind him came the sound of hurried feet. Scuffed motorcycle boots. "Stop right there!" Ray sounded angry and tightly wound, and Fraser halted at once but didn't turn.

Ray approached, still talking. "You came with me; I'm driving you home. I swear to God, Fraser, if you take one more step—"

"Then what?" Fraser pivoted to face him. Something flared inside him, something wild and nameless, and he knew he should leave. Don't engage, his instincts insisted, but Ray had come after him. Ray's presence was as magnetic as always, and Ray wasn't the only one with a temper. "Go back to your lady friend, Ray," he said. "She's waiting for you."

Ray rocked back on his heels. "What're you talking about?" His words were written in the air in bite-sized white clouds.

Fraser could smell the beer on his breath from here, three and a half feet away. "You're drunk." It was an ugly accusation, but easier than the alternatives. What else could he say? Any demands or reproaches would sound pathetic.

Ray shrugged it off. "I've had one beer, Fraser. This isn't drunk. Jesus, even you—"

And it was true. He knew better than to think a single bottle of beer would make much difference, and yet it was as though Ray's dalliance with the blonde had disengaged his brain from his mouth, and his mouth was now on autopilot. "Your judgment's impaired."

"Yeah?" Ray narrowed his eyes and studied Fraser in the light from the street. Fraser held his gaze. "So, what," Ray said, "you think I'm not in my right mind? You're not going to hold me responsible for my actions? Is that it?" He leaned forward, until his mouth was only a breath away, and added softly, "What if I do this?"

Fraser pushed him away. His fingers, numb with cold, clenched in Ray's coat. "Ray, you're—"

Ray snorted, and wrapped his hands around Fraser's. Ray's hands were warm and Fraser felt an inconvenient jolt of awareness, so that he nearly missed what Ray was saying. "—you keep telling yourself that. I'm drunk, I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what I want—"

"I believe her name is Ingrid," Fraser reminded him. He pulled his hands free and took a step back.

Ray shook his head. "No! You cannot possibly be this brainless. I know you, Fraser." He stepped forward and jabbed the air between them with his fingers. "You smell things, you understand people, you know exactly what's going on."

Fraser opened his mouth to speak, but before he could decide where to begin, Ray took one more step forward, put his hands on either side of Fraser's head, and kissed him on the mouth.

The chasm between them was bridged. Fraser's mouth fell open in shock and Ray took full advantage. His hot insistent lips, the caress of his fingers, and his beery breath overwhelmed Fraser's senses. Without thinking, he pushed Ray back against the rough dark brick wall and leaned in, feeling the contours of Ray's body hard against him through his coat. Ray's hands let go, slowly and carefully as if Ray were unsure whether Fraser would take the opportunity to escape him now, and slid down Fraser's arms to his waist, his hips. Fraser nipped at Ray's lower lip, and Ray moaned and canted his hips forward, pushing in, heating their embrace until it was far more than just a kiss.

Fraser pulled away. "Ray, this is—"

"What?" Ray looked blurry and disheveled. His swollen lips were as dark as the brick wall, his pupils big and black.

"Well, for starters, it's illegal." Fraser considered stepping out of reach, but couldn't bring himself to break contact. This was sudden and complicated, but so very welcome, even if— "Or it would be if we—It's also unethical."

Ray shifted against him, drawing attention sharply to the fact that their hips were aligned, and their thighs and bellies and everything in between pressed together. "Not making any sense," Ray murmured, and reached for Fraser's head again, presumably to pull him in to resume the kiss.

Fraser caught his hands and held them. "It would be irresponsible for me to take advantage—"

Ray's gaze flew to Fraser's face, and he stopped trying to get his hands free. "It's not you who's taking advantage here." He tilted his head. "Is it?" Without waiting for a reply, he bent forward and took Fraser's mouth again, this second kiss urgent and uncompromisingly sexual. Fraser closed his eyes and surrendered. Let the heavens fall and the earth be torn asunder, he couldn't help himself. His jealousy of the last half hour burned to ash in the heat of their embrace: Ray was with him, focused upon him, kissing him in all earnestness, and Fraser cupped the back of Ray's neck—that much admired, often dreamed of territory—and held him there, mouth to mouth, sharing breath.

Ray ground his hips against him, his erection hard and obvious, and Fraser gained self-awareness long enough to wonder whether they should discuss this before they—Ray's hands curved around his rear, bold and possessive, and all conscious thought flew into the night. He would have this. He would take Ray and be taken by him, and damn the consequences.

But not here. "Ray." He tried to pull his mouth free, but Ray followed him, so he grabbed Ray by the hair and held him off. "Ray, not here."

Ray twisted his head, trying to break Fraser's grip. "Don't—"

"Your car," said Fraser, and Ray stopped resisting, nodded.

"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, okay." Ray kissed him again with renewed fervor. It took them a moment to unwind their limbs, and when Fraser steeled himself to step back, Ray staggered after him, apparently unsteady on his legs.

Fraser reached for his hand, found his wrist and clasped that instead, the beads of his bracelet caught between them, and urged him toward the car, in the dark parking lot, where they'd at least have some measure of privacy. The brisk air seemed to bring Ray back to his senses. "You're okay with this," he said, unlocking the car. "I didn't know—I had a hunch but—" He pushed the driver's seat forward and Fraser folded himself into the backseat. Ray followed.

"Yes," said Fraser, and lay back in the corner with one leg bent along the seat and the other foot jammed into the footwell. "Please." The door slammed shut and Ray landed on top of him, and their mouths found each other again, already familiar and easy. Fraser slid a little further down the seat, hoping to relieve the tight pull of his pants across his erection, and oh, now they were almost horizontal and as near to privacy as Fraser could hope for in the immediate future. He relaxed what was left of his guard, and pulled Ray's clothes aside recklessly, seeking skin.

Thankfully, Ray cooperated, and seconds later, Fraser threw Ray's coat, sweater and undershirt into the front seat and feasted his hands and mouth on Ray's torso while Ray gasped and groaned, and writhed into his touch, apparently unaware of the sharp scrape of buckles and brass buttons across his skin. "Oh fuck, oh fuck," Ray hissed, and Fraser contorted himself as well as he was able and held Ray, half suspended on the edge of the seat, and licked his nipple. There were arms and legs everywhere, and no room. Maneuvering was almost impossible, and yet Fraser had never felt freer. Negotiating the constraints of the car distracted his logical self, and every other ounce of his being was concentrated in this moment, this connection with Ray, and his own arousal.

Ray's moans grew desperate, and Fraser had to answer their call. He undid Ray's pants while, at the same time, Ray fumbled with his own, and soon they were both released—their desire plain and uncontested, no defenses. It was a new level of intimacy between them that made Fraser's head spin.

"God," he gasped. "I've wanted you—"

Ray kissed him hard. "I know," he said against Fraser's mouth. "It's okay." His hand found Fraser's erection and touched it, first tentatively—their kisses deepening with excitement—then with urgency. Ray's fingers circled the shaft and stroked firmly, up and down, making Fraser stiffen. Every beautiful thing in the world narrowed to that point—Ray's hand on his cock. Fraser flung his head back, struggling to get air into his lungs, and tried to mirror Ray's movements, but he couldn't think, couldn't manage even to find Ray's erection. His hands landed on Ray's hip and shoulder blade, and he hung on, his glutes and thighs tightening, and blood pounding through his veins.

"Come on." Ray's voice was hoarse. His teeth scraped Fraser's neck just above his collar. "Give it to me."

And no, it was too soon. Fraser wanted to suspend himself in this moment forever, in the heat and the dark, and the strong musky scent of Ray's body. The unbearably sweet pull of Ray's hand on his erection. He wanted to hold onto this, but his body betrayed him. Sweat broke out across his skin, prickling down his back, across his upper lip, and then everything rushed to his center, whirling like a tornado inside him. He braced his foot against the side of the car, the back of his neck against the window, and shuddered as his orgasm swept through him and he spilled into Ray's hand, across the uniform, and onto Ray's skin.

Ray held him through it, pressing his face into Fraser's neck and gentling his hand. His breath was heavy and damp, and Fraser felt a fierce tenderness which drove him to bring Ray's face up to his and kiss him.

"Fuck, this is crazy," said Ray, and then kissed him again, delving into Fraser's mouth. Fraser licked his tongue and Ray responded, seeming to forget his objections. "Do me. Christ, Fraser, I need—"

Fraser silenced him with his mouth, and scooted toward the edge of the seat, managing to turn them so Ray's back was to the seatback and Fraser was half on top of him, fingering his ribcage, sliding his hand into his open pants, into his briefs to cup his rear. It would have been better without clothing, without the confines of the car, perhaps—certainly, it would've been more graceful—but Fraser nonetheless contrived to hold Ray close while he pushed the clothing aside and found his erection. He fondled him with diffident strokes that grew passionate as Ray voiced his pleasure. But what moved him, even more than Ray's vocal responsiveness, was the way Ray curled into him, wrapping his arms around Fraser's neck like affectionate vines and apparently trusting him to tend to his needs.

Fraser swallowed around the lump in his throat, and pressed Ray's face into his shoulder, vowing to himself not to hurt Ray, never to hurt him. Never to leave unless Ray sent him away. It was a painful moment, the relinquishing of his dream of home, but it passed in a flash, and Fraser was brought back to the here and now, the compelling present, by Ray's hands clenching in his hair, tugging Fraser's head back. Ray was thrusting into Fraser's fist, as much as he was able, the drag of his pants rustling in the dark, his belt buckle jangling. "Oh Jesus, Fraser. I'm gonna—" Ray gasped, and Fraser looked down, wanting to see Ray's erection in his own hand, needing the evidence of sight, but their bodies were in the way, there was no room, so instead he closed his eyes and felt the hot swell and spurt of Ray's orgasm on his wrist, wet and real, and the pulse in Ray's neck racing against his arm.

They both slumped. Fraser started to slip onto the floor of the car before he saved himself, and Ray pulled him onto the inadequately sized seat. The heat of the moment had passed, and Fraser experienced a flash of awkward self-consciousness, and fumbled to tidy himself away and refasten his pants.

"Fraser," said Ray. "It's okay." He followed suit, but without haste or embarrassment. "I mean, it's okay with me. You're on board with, uh, with this, right? You said—"

"Yes." Fraser reached into the front, found Ray's undershirt and sweater, and gave them to him. "Yes, of course. It's just that, well, Ray. This is, legally speaking, a public place, and as officers of the law—" He pushed Ray's legs out of the way and sat on the seat, scrubbing at the ejaculate stains on his uniform with the heel of his hand. He felt foolish and clumsy.

"Fraser," said Ray again. He'd gone very still, Fraser realized. Fraser forced himself to look at him, noting his serious expression, the tension that had already returned to his frame. In the small space, he looked a million miles away.

Ray met his gaze, and swore softly. "This isn't what I—I planned this different, but—" He took a deep breath, and reached across the distance to touch the back of Fraser's neck. His fingers were gentle and sure, and then they dropped away. "I wanted to take you someplace nice. I thought maybe we could get to the bottom of this, uh, this thing we got here. I didn't mean—I didn't know Ingrid was gonna be there, and Christ, I swear I didn't mean to push you, make you uncomfortable—"

"Ray," Fraser interrupted. "Take me home."

Ray licked his teeth and squinted at Fraser. "Which, uh, which one?"

Fraser summoned a smile. "Your apartment, Ray, if that's all right. I—"

"Sure thing. You got it." Ray was obviously relieved. He dug into his pocket for keys, and clambered hastily over the seats into the front.

Fraser continued, half talking to himself. "—just, I'm in uniform, Ray. A stained uniform, and we've just broken the law, and—" He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, calming himself. "I could use a shower."

"Me, too. Christ, yeah." Ray nodded from the front, and started the car.

"Yes," said Fraser, leaning forward between the seats and watching Ray's face in the rear view mirror. "I was hoping you'd join me."

Ray's eyes flicked up to meet his in the mirror, and his shoulders relaxed. "Be glad to." He smiled, and pulled out of the parking lot.

"And lend me some clothes," Fraser added, aware of the reception he'd get if he were caught walking into the Consulate in such obvious disarray.

"Yeah, sure." Ray cracked his neck and sped up to run an orange light. "But I, uh, I might not be able to find anything to fit you until tomorrow, though. Think you can wait that long?" He kept his gaze fixed on the road ahead.

Fraser smiled, already imagining the two of them freshly showered with nothing to wear, and the generous expanse of Ray's bed available to them. "I can wait," he said, and paused before he added, "for the clothes."

Ray grinned and gunned the engine, and the GTO sprang forward as though it couldn't wait to get home.


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