Notes: Another sequel to Soft Arithmetic. For Sprat.
It was 11.30 and Ray had just gotten home from dinner with his family, and there was an empty bottle of lube on the bathroom floor. He picked it up and stalked into the living room, where Kowalski and Fraser were watching a movie.
"Should go to bed," said Kowalski, without moving a muscle. He was slouched back into the corner of the couch, legs crossed, his foot nudging Fraser's knee.
"Indeed." Fraser seemed equally relaxed. They were both wearing old sweatpants and t-shirts.
"Jesus," said Ray, walking around the couch to stand in front of them. "You guys fucked without me."
Fraser flushed like a kid caught shoplifting, and licked his lip. Kowalski stuck his chin out, but he reached for the remote and switched off the TV. "Yeah," he said. "So?"
"So you could've waited," Ray said, hearing that old whiny note in his voice and hating it, but unable to stop because, dammit, he felt whiny about this.
Kowalski uncrossed his legs and sat up, and rubbed his hands up and down his thighs. "You were at your folks' place, Vecchio. Not once in the seven years we've been together have you gotten home from your folks' house horny and desperate to fuck."
"Ray," said Fraser reproachfully. He got up, and stood at parade rest, which looked ridiculous in their tiny living room and reminded Ray of all those years ago when Fraser had worked at the Consulate for the Dragon Lady. "Ray, is this a problem? What are you proposing?"
Vecchio paced the length of the rug and back. "Don't fuck without me. We should all be here when we fuck."
"That's crazy." Kowalski leaned back again. "It wasn't like we said, 'Hey, Vecchio's gone out! Let's have some fun!' It wasn't like that. Fraser came into the bathroom to ask me something while I was in the shower and—I don't know—it just happened."
"It's true, Ray," Fraser chimed in. "It was entirely spontaneous."
Kowalski nodded. "Yeah. Anyway, what if I was going away for a couple of weeks—visiting my parents or something? Would you and Fraser really be all monk-like while I was gone?"
"A couple of weeks is completely different. I was gone for four and a half hours." Ray pulled off his tie and undid the top button of his shirt. "If it was weeks, I'd get a—a dispensation."
"Ray—" said Fraser, and Ray didn't even know which of them he was talking to, but Kowalski talked right over him anyway so it didn't really matter.
"A dispensation?" Kowalski gestured around the room. "What does this look like, the Vatican?"
"Ray," said Fraser again, impatiently. Being Canadian, Fraser'd never really got the American tradition of bickering. "I'm sure we can come to a mutually agreeable arrangement."
Ray looked at him standing there, all sleepy and earnest-eyed. "I don't know, Fraser." He turned back to Kowalski, who was really the person his beef was with: they were supposed to be a team. "You want to get home from a long hard day at the office to find Fraser and me sleeping it off in bed?"
"I'm not sure that's a very productive approach." Fraser actually thumbed his eyebrow, something Ray hadn't seen him do since they all moved in together.
Kowalski tilted his head, considering. "I'd wake you up." There was a wicked gleam in his eye.
Ray barked a laugh. "You'd wake Fraser? Yeah, right. And what about Fraser?" Ray turned to him. "How are you gonna feel if Ray and me get it on without you?"
Fraser smiled without a trace of reservation. "Ray, I consider myself extremely lucky, no matter what happens."
Ray took a step forward and said quietly, "Yeah. Me too, Benny."
"The thing is—" Kowalski moved up so he was sitting on the back of the couch, his feet on the seat. "The thing is we all got history here. None of us is the third wheel. You just gotta trust that."
Ray shook his head. "It's not that. I fucking trust you. Jesus, it's you and Fraser! I trust you guys with my life. I just—" He rubbed his face and then looked at them, both so fucking strong and sexy, both his. More than he ever expected. Far more than he deserved. "I don't want to miss out on anything."
Fraser came over. "Would you be more comfortable if we limited our, ah, repertoire on occasions when we're not all here?"
"How do you mean?" asked Kowalski.
"Well, we could restrict ourselves to, say, oral sex and mutual masturbation."
"Blowjobs, you mean," said Kowalski, teasing him, and the crinkles deepened around Fraser's eyes. "Sucking and stroking."
Their gazes held. "Precisely." That was Fraser playing at being the prim and proper Mountie, just like the old days. Then he laughed and leaned against the wall by the bookcase.
"How about it?" Kowalski winked at Vecchio. "Or, hey, we could tape it. That way you could relive it whenever you want."
Fraser raised an eyebrow. "I beg your pardon?"
"Video camera, Fraser," Kowalski said, speaking extra-clearly. "Don't tell me you never heard of them."
"Oh yeah, right, Kowalski." Vecchio held up his hands in disbelief. "You're gonna stop in the middle of getting it on to cue up a tape? You? I don't think so."
Fraser scratched his head. "I don't think taping our, er, us is a very good idea, Ray. Those kinds of tapes are notoriously difficult to keep under wraps. Just think of Ms. Hilton."
"Fraser!" Kowalski sounded both shocked and impressed.
Ray felt a little that way himself, but he wasn't going to let it distract him. "Videotape is stupid." He tried to keep a straight face, but it was a losing battle. "Even Fraser thinks so."
"I don't see why you'd say 'even Fraser'," muttered Fraser, but he was smiling, too.
Ray and Kowalski let that pass, and they all looked at each other. Was this stalemate?
"Okay, Fraser," said Kowalski. "So what's your plan? How can we do this to keep everything fair and aboveboard?"
"Well, I—" Fraser folded one arm across his chest and rubbed his jaw. "I'd suggest we continue on as we have been. Expressing ourselves as the spirit moves us."
"Yeah, but—" Ray frowned.
"I'm certain that it'll all even out in the end, Ray." Fraser pushed off from the wall.
"Exactly," said Kowalski.
"And if, for whatever reason, someone should feel hard done by—" Fraser came right up to Ray, and put a warm hand on his shoulder. "—I'm sure we can make it up to him." He leaned forward and kissed Ray, wet and dirty. Ray didn't think he'd ever get used to this side of Fraser, this wild, hungry side. He opened his mouth and slid his tongue against Fraser's, and behind the strong tomato and basil flavors of his mother's cooking, and Fraser's favorite tea, Ray could taste Kowalski, the faint bitterness of come. Ray's knees went weak.
There was a soft groan from the couch. Fraser smiled against Ray's lips, and ran his hand down Vecchio's back, pulling him up close against Fraser's hard, hot body.
"This is inducement," Vecchio murmured, pulling away to catch his breath. "You're contravening the Ibrahim Rule."
Fraser breathed a laugh against his cheek. "True enough." He bent his head and bit gently on the side of Ray's neck.
"It sounds good to me, though," said Kowalski, his voice tight. Ray would've bet a year's wages he was turned on.
"Yeah," said Ray, looking over Fraser's shoulder at Kowalski's dark heavy-lidded gaze. "Yeah, okay. Make it up to me."
One so-called rule of confession, sometimes called the Ibrahim Rule, deals with persons in authority and inducements. This rule does have the force of law in Canada and states basically:
The crown must prove that the statement was free and voluntary in the sense that it was made to a person in authority without inducements.
-- from the RCMP training site.