Thanks: Sparkly thanks to Sage for beta
Notes: For pearl
"—and that's why the Inuit believe the sun forsakes the earth for the whole winter," Fraser concluded. He was lying, relaxed, on his back in Ray's bed, and Ray was sprawled against him, his fingers sketching shapes on the skin of Fraser's shoulder.
Ray shifted and stretched, his hand slipping lower to Fraser's ribs. "They believe that?" He sounded drowsy, perhaps hypnotized by the story. (Fraser had inadvertently hypnotized him on several such occasions with much shorter anecdotes than this.)
"Well, traditionally," amended Fraser, trying to ascertain whether Ray was in control of his faculties. "They're not stupid, Ray. They understand science—"
"Yeah. Science." Ray bit Fraser's shoulder lightly, then kissed his cheek. "You know, I just can't figure why someone would want to live there in all that snow and dark. It sounds like hell."
Fraser felt his eyebrows go up. "I'm sorry you think so." He managed a soft laugh, although it sounded more like a grunt. "Well, I suppose it is challenging at first, but I assure you, most of the residents wouldn't have it any other—"
"Not hell," murmured Ray. "Haiti."
Fraser blinked up at the ceiling. "It sounds like a poor Caribbean country racked with political unrest?"
Ray smacked him lightly on the chest. "That place underground. You know what I mean?"
Light dawned. "Hades?"
"Yeah. Hades," said Ray, sounding a bit more awake. "That's what I said."
Fraser ran his hand down Ray's back. "In fact, you said—" Ray's finger brushed his lips, and he broke off.
"You know, the cereal goddess and the girl. P—P— Why do I want to say Penelope?" Ray rocked closer to him, his feet tangling with Fraser's.
"Persephone?" Fraser rolled to face him.
Ray nodded, his stubble making scritching noises on the pillow. "Exactly. It sounds like that."
"Ray—" Fraser met his sleepy gaze. There was something lurking there, a light, something just beyond comprehension.
Ray smiled and closed his eyes. "Don't you start repeating my name like I'm the wolf."
"That was the first time." Fraser kissed him, a soft full press of lips on lips, languid and luxurious.
"Yeah," Ray said against his lips, "well, this is a pre-emptive warning."
"I see." Fraser let his hand roam down Ray's side, appreciating every centimeter of warm firm skin, angling down over his hip to slide between them.
Ray's lips parted. His tongue snuck out to wet them. "What's that?"
"Pre-emptive distraction, Ray." Fraser followed the path his hand had scouted out, with his mouth.
"Huh. Funny guy." Ray rolled onto his back and let his legs splay. "Oh, that's good, that's—keep—"
Fraser nipped just above his pubic hair.
"Yeah, uh-huh—keep doing that—" The words dissolved into indistinguishable sounds as Fraser licked the weight of Ray's cock, tasting the faint residue from the earlier condom, and the wonderfully bittersweet taste of Ray's arousal. It was dark and hot under the covers, almost stifling, and Fraser shut his eyes and let himself be wholly absorbed in the physical act of bringing Ray to orgasm, stroking up and down his thighs, caressing his balls, smelling and tasting. Their sweat mingled.
Ray's hands found his face, and a rush of cool air followed, carrying Ray's low groans, inarticulate urging. Fraser shifted his own hips to make himself more comfortable, and redoubled his efforts. He let himself stroke back behind Ray's balls, gentle and slow, alert for any signs of discomfort. (Ray was sensitive there, not always willing to let Fraser touch him. Sometimes it was all he seemed to want, and other times he'd squirm away, distract Fraser with kisses and eager touches. Fraser had learned to approach with caution.) Ray's thighs tensed and Fraser hesitated, but then Ray bent one knee, making a tent of the covers, thrust up into Fraser's mouth, and lowered himself onto the tip of Fraser's finger. Fraser sucked harder, relaxed his throat muscles, and gave Ray entrance, pressing the underside of Ray's cock with his tongue while his eyes watered. So precious, to have this, this heat between them. It was almost like a sweat lodge, a spiritual journey. What need, he asked himself, for snowy wastelands?
Ray groped blindly for his shoulder and squeezed in warning, his cursing muffled by the covers, and Fraser pulled up just in time for Ray to come into his mouth, thick salty spurts on Fraser's tongue. Fraser swallowed greedily.
Ray's body relaxed completely, a physical contentment that evoked an answering response in Fraser's chest. And then Ray's knee slid sideways and the tent of covers collapsed. Fraser tunneled up Ray's body and surfaced, filling his lungs with fresh air and his gaze with Ray's smug and sleepy face.
Ray snaked an arm around his shoulders and pulled him close, regardless of Fraser's sweaty chest. They kissed for a long time.
"You know," Ray said later, conversationally, as though there had been no interruption, "I always thought in that story Hades didn't sound so bad. There was food and stuff, right? All that dark. Thought I might like to check that out sometime."
Fraser cleared his throat. "It was the earth that was in mourning in the legend, not Hades. That's what winter is, and in spring Persephone returns and Ceres rejoices."
"Okay," said Ray, and rested his head sleepily on Fraser's shoulder.
"Okay what?" asked Fraser, feeling mildly frustrated. Honestly, Ray could be obscure with the best of them, and Fraser was never entirely certain whether or not it was deliberate.
Ray smiled against Fraser's skin, arousing his suspicions. "Okay, that then. The earth. I'll check that out." His smile widened, and Fraser felt something inside himself break free, a second before he consciously understood.
He put his hands on the sides of Ray's head and drew him up for a kiss.