Rating: PG
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski
Thanks: Thanks to aerye and mergatrude for beta
Notes: For the Five challenge on ds_flashfiction

Five Times Fraser Said No

by china_shop


The new Ray's hair was dark at the roots. His hands were lean and quick, with faintly scarred knuckles. On his right earlobe there was a tiny pucker as though he used to wear an earring. He sat across from Fraser in a booth, graffiti scratched into the wall beside them, and ordered a cheeseburger and fries from the tired waitress. "And a Coors." He looked at Fraser. "You want a beer?"



With the car window rolled down, Fraser could hear sirens—two ambulances and a police car—as well as the distant barking of an excited dog, three people further down the block arguing about money, and voices from a television in an apartment across the street. Inside the car, there was the sound of Ray's breathing, his fingers rubbing restlessly against his denim-clad thighs, the squeak of the soles of his boots against the rubber mat at his feet, and the rusty groan of springs when he shifted in his seat.

It was a more-or-less companionable silence, but perhaps Ray's restlessness was contagious. Fraser had to remind himself not to pick at the stitching on the outer seam of his uniform pants. It was a relief when Ray leaned over and switched on the radio, glancing at Fraser as he did so. "You mind?"

Jazz music filled the space between them.



Dief nosed at Ray's hands and then his pockets, and Ray laughed and pushed him away. "You're delusional, furface. What danish?"

Dief whined and sniffed the air, which was redolent with the unmistakable scent of apple and pastry.

"Yeah, well, I don't smell a thing." Ray's eyes were bright with laughter. He winked at Fraser. "How about you, Frase? You smell anything?"



The heavy bag shuddered under Ray's blows, and Fraser steadied it and watched—helpless to tear his eyes from the rhythmic movements of Ray's arms, the muscles working under the sweat-sheened skin. Helpless to deny his own attraction. Helpless to ease Ray's frustration—or his own.

"I don't care," said Ray, and Fraser forced his attention back to the matter at hand. "So Welsh suspended me. So what? It was worth it, just to see the look on that stooge's face."

"I don't think it helps matters if you refer to the Mayor's personal assistant as a 'stooge'," Fraser told him. "And as long as you're on suspension, you can't—"

"You know what?" Ray's voice was breathless from the exertion. His jabs tight and focused. "Maybe I'll take a vacation. Yeah. Welsh says 'suspension', I say 'vacation'. I can't remember the last time I left town."

Fraser frowned. "I'm fairly sure that the terms of your employment require you to—"

"It's nearly the weekend, Fraser. Live a little." Ray ceased his pummeling and leaned his forearm on the bag. "Huey and Dewey can make the collar. I don't care." He looked at Fraser. A trail of sweat gleamed on his cheek. "You, me, road trip. Does that sound so bad?"



The motel room smelled overpoweringly of cleaning products, and Fraser could still taste the hotdog from the greasy roadside shack they'd passed ninety-five minutes earlier, but none of that mattered. Ray was rolling out his shoulders, obviously relieved to be out of the city. He flipped through the limited range of television channels, switched the TV off again and dropped the remote on the cabinet. He executed a dance step, changed direction and picked up Fraser's hat from the nearest bed, smoothing the brim between his fingers.

Fraser stood by the window, ostensibly to look out at the sky and check the weather, but he couldn't help watching Ray's reflection when he came closer. "So, uh." Ray's voice was low. Fraser turned to him, catching a complicated scowl that mixed uncertainty and determination. "Fraser."

Fraser nodded, ignoring the way his pulse quickened.

Ray looked down at the hat in his hands. "If I—if—" He ran his hand through his hair, leaving it lopsided and ridiculous. Fraser's heart swelled.

"You—you have to say no to this, if it's not your thing, okay? No big deal. I won't—" Ray took a deep breath.

Fraser took a step closer. "Ray?"

Ray dropped the hat on the floor and raised his hand to Fraser's cheek, his thumb skating over Fraser's jaw like a whisper.

Fraser turned his head into the touch, too moved for words. He took another step forward, right into Ray's personal space—it was stunningly easy now that Ray had finally allowed it, had bridged the gap—and he leaned in and kissed him, softly and simply.

Ray's mouth moved against his, careful at first, then sparking into passion that tugged at Fraser, pulling him closer, deeper in. And then Ray broke the kiss. He leaned his forehead against Fraser's, a wry, tender curve to his lips. "So I guess I'm not going nuts after all—to think you want this, too."

Fraser kissed him again, and wrapped his arms around him, holding him tightly. "No," he said against Ray's mouth. "No, you're not nuts at all."

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