Notes: For woolly_socks
"Fraser, get off me!" Ray's body whipped against Fraser like a sapling in a storm.
Fraser held him back. "I'm afraid I can't do that, Ray."
Behind them, Anton Guzman's taunts rang out, echoing off the dirty brick walls of the alley, the littered ground.
"Did you hear that? Did you hear what that scumbag called you?" Ray swelled with fury. "Let me go!"
"It's not important, Ray. What's important is that you made an arrest and followed procedure, so that Mr. Guzman will end up behind bars where he belongs." Fraser glanced over his shoulder at the uniformed officers escorting the perpetrator to a squad car.
Ray shoved forward in protest, catching Fraser off-guard.
Fraser turned back to face him. "Sticks and stones can break my bones, Ray," he recited, wincing at his own pomposity even as he said it, "but names will never hurt me."
"Is that what you think?" In the flashing lights from the squad cars, Ray looked old and tired. "Try getting divorced. Names can hurt you plenty." But the fight went out of him, and Fraser slowly released him.
Ray turned away from the lights, the scene of the arrest. "Those things Guzman called you? Stella called me all that and worse while we were breaking up." He laughed suddenly, the bitter noise scraping through the air. "I thought it wouldn't hurt 'cause—" His hands tightened into fists at his sides. When he continued his voice was low and resigned. "—'cause it was true. But, uh, but there's no way to make 'cock-sucking faggot' sound like something you wanna be, you know?"
"Ray." Fraser drew him around the corner into the relative privacy of McKinley Drive. "Are you all right?"
Ray met his gaze quickly, then scanned the street. "Yeah, I'm—Why doesn't it make you mad, Fraser? Is it true? Do you—?" He hunched his shoulders.
"Mr. Guzman is an ill-educated homophobe," said Fraser. "Of course it bothered me, but why would I give him the satisfaction?"
"Oh." Ray's head swivelled, eyes searching Fraser's face. "So—"
"Yes, Ray." Fraser let his hand brush lightly down Ray's arm, over his taut knuckles.
"I beg your pardon. I didn't mean—" The rest of the sentence was never completed. Ray hurled himself into Fraser's arms and held on tight. Fraser hesitated a moment, then wrapped his arms around Ray and held him for a long time, until Ray could find enough composure to take this conversation—so long delayed—to what Fraser believed was, for them, its logical conclusion.
It was the fruition of many accumulated moments of connection. When Ray finally raised his head and eased his hold into an embrace, Fraser forgot their public surroundings, forgot Anton Guzman and the sculptures he'd broken, forgot everything but the vibrant passionate man in his arms. Fraser touched Ray's cheek and opened to their first kiss without thought or preconception, letting the taste of Ray fill him and the wet heat of his mouth change everything.