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due South fic: "Standoff"

Fandom, Pairing: due South, Fraser/Kowalski
Challenge: ds_northernnews prompt#28 RCMP's 'relationship' with gunman may have ended standoff
Summary: Fraser is forced to take extreme measures during a dangerous confrontation.
Rating: PG
Length: 3,381 words
Disclaimer: Alliance/Atlantis own due South. I'm just playing in their sandbox.
Author's Notes: Thanks to nos4a2no9 for the alpha advice, mergatrude for being so forgiving about the deadline, and spuffyduds for her fine beta services.
ETA: My warmest thanks to love_jackianto for the spactacular cover art!


As the gun swung towards me, I reflected that three types of people choose to live in the north. Those who are born here, those who journey here seeking something they can find nowhere else, and those who are on the run.

The gunman, Jeremy Smith, would definitely be a member of this third group. The ones who make postings above the 60th parallel among the most dangerous in the service. They run away from the law, from the consequences of their actions, from their own demons. Men who never stop running eventually crash into the far edges of human civilization, and the RCMP is here to limit the damage.

Jeremy was in his mid-twenties, with shaggy black hair and startling green eyes now smudged with dark circles. These signs of sleeplessness are common among new residents (like Ray), circadian rhythms disrupted by the perpetual sunlight of an Arctic summer. He had come to town with a rush of visitors for the Great Northern Arts Festival, and found himself a job tending bar at Frosty’s. (Ray had kept busy all summer with odd jobs disguised as ‘favors’ for my benefit, bringing home a wide variety of useful and edible barter goods.)

I’d suspected Jeremy might have a criminal record when I first observed him shy away from Constable Anorak and myself as we entered the bar to break up a fight. Jeremy hadn’t caused any trouble locally. In fact, he seemed to be trying to integrate himself into the community. Rather than seek out any possible difficulties with the law in his past, I did my best to welcome him to town. I made a point of reminding Jeremy of community events he might enjoy – dances at the recreation complex (a favorite of Ray’s), a throat-singing demonstration (Ray had flatly refused), a bonfire party in Jim Koe Park (acceptable, once I provided Ray with chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers). Once I made it clear that I wasn’t a threat, Jeremy responded to my suggestions with an enthusiasm that reminded me uncomfortably of Francesca.

Sean, the proprietor of Frosty’s, had been pleased with Jeremy’s work. However, Sean always laid his temporary workers off at the end of the season, and he was concerned about Jeremy’s reaction. In his words, Jeremy was ‘the sensitive type.’ Sean asked me to swing by after my shift, unofficially, to be there when he broke the news to Jeremy. Ray announced that he would accompany me, and we had just started a game of pool when the sound of breaking glass snapped my attention to Jeremy behind the bar.

“No,” Jeremy said quietly, face white. “No, no, no…” he muttered like a lost soul. Then Jeremy reached behind his back, under his untucked shirt, in a familiar gesture that had both Ray and I racing towards the bar.

“No!” Jeremy shrieked, pointing a handgun towards us. “Back up, all of you back up against the far wall and sit down on the floor.” Ray and I stumbled to a stop and froze at the command.

Sean, hands raised, backed away obediently. Ray tilted his head, silently asking if we should risk a rush. I shook my head no, believing I could talk Jeremy down. Ray stepped towards the far wall, interposing his body between Jeremy and the civilians. I held my ground, hands out, trying to appear both friendly and innocuous.

Jeremy advanced on me, clearly terrified, hands trembling perceptibly as he gripped the compact .357 Magnum revolver. His finger was on the trigger, and I couldn’t tell if the safety was engaged.

It would be embarrassing to be shot by accident, by a gunman so nervous that the weapon discharged in his hands. But I felt no fear. Ray was nearby, crouched on the floor with the other hostages, and he had always made me feel rather invulnerable. Not because Ray could protect me in such a situation, though he might try.

No, I simply knew that I was fated to die alone, like all Fraser men. My father was shot down in the snow like an animal. My grandfather suffered a coronary episode while hauling firewood one brutally cold, clear night, and wasn’t found until morning. My great-grandfather bled out in No Man’s land, too far from the wire for any brother-at-arms to reach. So this warm, beer and peanut-scented bar with Ray looking on was safe as houses, really.

“Put the gun away,” I urged Jeremy. “I’m afraid that there will be a charge, unless you possess an Authorization to Carry Restricted Firearms, but I’d be happy to speak to Judge Simmons on your behalf.” Although a felony, by local custom it wasn’t a serious breach of the peace. Unlike, say, hostage-taking. Jeremy appeared confused, so I continued, filling the space between us with my words. “There’s a saying among the Inuit that I believe applies here -”

“What are you,” Jeremy interrupted angrily, “some kind of freak?”

A freak. The word reminded me of the day when I first truly came to know Ray Kowalski. He had faced his demons in a place where the living honored the dead, as the sun and moon were joined for a moment in the heavens. Ray had called me a freak that day, and I’d felt a surge of affection so strong that I’d wished for a snow bank to throw him into. My lips stretched into a smile at the memory.

“I suppose I am,” I replied, in a voice both warmer and rougher than I’d intended.

Jeremy smiled hesitantly, and stepped a bit closer. Nearly, but not quite, close enough for me to grab the revolver. I should be able to leverage Jeremy’s infatuation to resolve this situation without bloodshed. It would only take a bit of encouragement.

Unfortunately, I’m an appallingly bad liar, and always have been. I’ve tried to turn the disability into a virtue, and a commitment to the truth has served me well over the years.

Now it was endangering Ray, Sean, and the other hostages. Unacceptable. But how could I possibly pretend to find Jeremy desirable, when I’d not even managed to broach the subject with Ray, and he was …

Ray was a warm presence a few meters behind me, alert to every subtlety of my voice and posture, prepared to launch into action upon my signal.

I licked my lips and concentrated on the picture of Ray in my mind, jokingly tussling with Diefenbaker for a place on my couch here in Inuvik at the conclusion of our expedition three months ago. He had settled in with a barbed amiability that discouraged any questions as to what he was doing, why, or for how long. The longer he’d stayed, the longer I hadn’t asked, refusing to even step foot in the gift horse’s paddock. By necessity, I was about to break that stalemate.

Eyes on Jeremy’s face, I addressed myself to Ray.

“I’ve been attracted to you since the first moment we met,” I told him. I heard a tiny gasp of response from Ray and, emboldened, continued.

“When you settled here, in Inuvik, I hoped that you would eventually make a home with me.” Letting the words out was terrifying, exhilarating, like a racing an avalanche down slope.

Jeremy seemed stunned. “Why didn’t you say something?” he asked.

Why indeed. “I … I was a coward,” I confided to Ray. “Afraid that if I asked you to stay, your answer might be no. I didn’t want to risk losing you.”

Jeremy, hope overshadowing the fear in his eyes, stepped towards me. I reached out and wrenched his wrist to the side. The pistol clattered to the ground and slid back towards Ray for him to pick up. Ray ... Ray didn’t move to snatch up the weapon, to cover me. I was disoriented by his immobility.

Jeremy yelped like a hurt animal and dove after his gun. I automatically followed, pinning him to the floor in a half nelson. Jeremy struggled frantically under me, and then finally sagged in surrender.

“It’s all right,” I murmured to him as kindly as possible. “You didn’t hurt anyone. I’ll make sure you get the help you need.”

I looked around for Ray. He was sitting on the floor, staring at me with an odd expression on his face. Sean was beaming, unloading Jeremy’s revolver and offering a round of free drinks to his customers.

I asked Ray to please run ahead and get word to Sergeant Forrest at the detachment. He nodded and took off without a word. Out of uniform, I had neither handcuffs nor lanyard available. I was forced to physically restrain Jeremy while I reminded him of his Charter Rights and waited for reinforcements to arrive.

Ray had apparently given a brief statement and left the detachment before I arrived. I processed Jeremy, placed him in a holding cell, and then reported to Sergeant Forrest’s office for debriefing. Rumor of my unconventional approach to hostage negotiations had already reached his ears. I answered his questions as comprehensively as possible, placing my actions in the proper historical context, for an interminable 17 minutes.

“Sir,” I finally interjected, “could we possibly finish this up tomorrow? I’m a bit concerned about my partner, Ray.”

The Sergeant squinted wearily at me.

“You see, this is the first action he’s seen since the Muldoon incident,” I explained, “Studies have shown that law enforcement personnel - ”

Sergeant Forrest held up a hand to forestall my explanation. He took off his glasses and rubbed at the bridge of his nose. His answer was delivered in a resigned tone typical of my superior officers, regardless of nationality. “Go ahead, Constable. You’re not officially on duty until 0900.”

Ray had taken the truck. I rushed home on foot, past a pair of giggling teenage girls perched on a utilidor. It seemed that Ray’s reaction to my admission in the bar had been … unfavorable. I’d known that might be the case. After all, I’d never seen any clear sign that Ray might be open to my advances, which is why I held off for so long. I steeled myself to accept whatever perfectly valid emotions Ray might display in private. Anger. Disgust. Pity. Surely we could work something out, salvage some portion of our friendship. After all, I’d only spoken my attraction to Ray aloud in order to save the hostages. Ray would understand that sometimes extreme measures were necessary to protect civilians.

I took a shortcut through a parking lot full of abandoned vehicles, irrationally convinced that nothing would be left of my rental house but a burnt out husk. I might be over-reacting. As I had suggested to Sergeant Forrester, Ray might be experiencing a stress reaction to being taken hostage in the bar. Although he was well-accustomed to dangerous situations in the line of duty, Ray had been left relatively helpless today. I pictured Ray sitting on the couch, the television he had installed a white noise as he weighed the dubious merits of the extended holiday that had left him without badge or gun when he needed them.

When we embarked on our expedition, Ray had told me he had six weeks of vacation time available. That had run out months ago. Had Ray arranged some sort of unpaid leave? To my shame, I had no idea what his current status might be, or if he had even contacted Lieutenant Welsh since we arrived in Inuvik. He had volunteered to pay the long-distance phone bill each month, and I hadn’t invaded Ray’s privacy to ask who he was calling, or why. Ray might be on the phone right now, informing the Lieutenant that he would be returning on the soonest available flight. As I rounded the last corner, I saw that the house was still intact. The used ‘Jimmy’ I had purchased from Mr. Akesuk, which Ray had painstakingly returned to working order, was parked on the street.

As I stepped through the front door, my fears proved accurate. The shelf where Ray kept his portable stereo and CDs was empty. Grandmother’s quilt, that Ray so enjoyed burrowing into at night, was neatly folded over the back of the couch. The tiny clock radio that he had purchased was missing from the couch-side table.

Ray’s voice came from the kitchen. “Okay, Dief, but this is just for old time’s sake.” Oh, thank God, Diefenbaker had managed to delay him. Clunk of the refrigerator being closed. “Enjoy it, furface,” Ray said in the tones of a fond farewell.

Ray emerged from the kitchen lugging a red hockey bag. At the sight of me in the doorway he hesitated, then pasted a casual smile on his face and hurried forwards. Diefenbaker, a steak clenched in his jaws, dashed past Ray, through my legs, and out the door.

“Hey Frase,” Ray said cheerfully. “You got that arrest report done in record time.”

“I’ll finish it tomorrow,” I muttered, closing the door behind me. “Ray, are you leaving?” I sounded plaintive, like a child disappointed once again.

“Yeah,” he said, shrugging under the weight of his bag. “I figure it’s time to head back.”

My duties as a host were quite clear. I should help Ray with his baggage, make arrangements for him to stay in town (the Eskimo Inn had rooms available), and assist him in finding prompt transportation back to Chicago.

Only – I wasn’t going to do any of that.

Ray was trying to edge past me to get to the door. I reached for his shoulder, but at the last moment diverted my hand to the strap of his bag. “Don’t go.” I gripped the strap as if it were my last chance, slipping away.

Ray’s smile disappeared. He looked down at my hand and then followed the line of my arm slowly up to my face. Ray’s eyes were hard, fists clenching as his body began vibrating with a tension I remembered from that afternoon by the lake.

My mouth was dry, skin cold, in a sudden adrenal response. Ray radiated a potent violence that eclipsed Jeremy’s threat with a deadly weapon.

“I got no reason to stay,” Ray jeered. Words, not fists, then.

Ray’s lip lifted, showing his teeth in a sneer or a snarl. “Seems like you got a type,” he spat, stepping backwards and jerking his bag out of my hands. “I’m not gonna hang around, lying awake nights on your fucking couch, wondering if I would’ve had a chance if I’d ever pulled a gun on you.”

My eyes squeezed shut in the face of this attack. I’d realized that Ray knew about Victoria. He must have been briefed, as a part of his undercover assignment. But he’d never brought it up, and to hear Victoria’s memory evoked in anger this way, like a volume of poetry flung at my head, was painful. What’s more, it made no sense. Ray was implying that I hadn’t given him a chance, when I had, every chance. I’d confessed my feelings for him in front of … Oh.

My eyes snapped open. Ray appeared grimly satisfied with the effect of his words. “I assure you, Ray, I have no interest in Jeremy Smith,” I said quietly.

His eyes flicked over me and then away, as if I were something to be scraped off his boot. “Yeah, you can try that on the good citizens of Inuvik, Fraser. I’m not buying it. I was there. I heard you. And I know you, Fraser, and you suck at lying.”

“That’s true, Ray, but I wasn’t lying, exactly. It was more a misdirection. I wasn’t actually speaking to Jeremy.”

I paused, catching my breath. It wasn’t fair, that I had to get up the courage to do this twice. Ray tossed his head like an impatient stallion, waiting for me to continue.

“You see, Ray, I’ve been attracted to you since the first moment we met.” It was there, all there, in my voice. I’ve never been able to hide anything, once I allow myself to speak.

I held perfectly still as Ray searched my face for long, uncertain seconds. He dropped his bag on the floor and rushed towards me. I stumbled back against the door.

“Yeah? Prove it,” Ray said from a foot away. His voice was belligerent, but his eyes … Ray’s eyes were pleading with me.

How could I possibly prove to Ray that I was telling the truth? Argumentation and syllogisms flashed through my mind; all Cretans are liars, but I am not. Then it came to me. For Ray, actions speak louder than words.

I moved forward, finally giving in to the current that always pulls me towards Ray. I rested my hands on his tense shoulders and squeezed, reassuring. My lips ghosted along his rough cheek. Ray’s shiver encouraged me. I traced under his jaw to the pulse point, his heart beating frantic against my tongue. Then his lips were under mine, opening. I tasted hops, and yeast, and, oh, Ray, I wanted … Ray was saying something, but really I couldn’t, my hands under his shirt, smooth warm skin. Then Ray was gone, incomprehensibly beyond my reach except for one beautiful long-fingered hand pressing into my chest. I lowered my head awkwardly to lap at his wrist.

“Jesus,” Ray whispered, fierce and reverent. “Wait, Frase, just wait, okay? I gotta …”

He stumbled backwards, picked up his bag, and moved out of sight into the other room. I stood there, slumped back against the door, rumpled, tingling, and dizzy, waiting for the world to make sense. Ray was in the bedroom. My bedroom. Ray never stepped foot in there. I’d urged him to take the bed when we first arrived in Inuvik. Ray had refused, insisting that I deserved some privacy after living in my office for a year.

I pushed off the door, walked across the living room, and poked my head into the bedroom. Ray was carefully arranging his clock radio on the bedside table.

“Ray?”

Ray swung around, the brassy defiance of his body language nearly hiding his fear. “If I’m staying, there’s no way I’m sleeping on the couch, you got that?” he insisted loudly. Then he looked away from me, focusing on the bed. “I don’t snore, or hog the covers. And if you want the right-side, that’s fine, I’m easy, Stella’d back me on that, whenever …”

Ray’s frenetic babbling blurred as I focused on the significance of his shoulders, hunched as if to ward off a blow. His hands twitched and clenched in tiny, useless gestures. I approached Ray slowly, as I would any wild creature trembling on the edge of flight, murmuring nonsense to him about how the side didn’t matter, I’d never had a side, the tone of my voice more important than its content, until I was standing close behind him. I reached my arms around Ray’s chest and tugged him back into the shelter of my body.

“Partners, Ray,” I murmured into the sudden silence, lips brushing against his ear. Ray took a deep breath and huffed it out, relaxing against me for a minute.

“Okay, I’m good,” Ray said after a bit. He squirmed, and I let go. Ray turned, went a bit cross-eyed trying to look me in the eye, and stepped back against the bed. “So anyway, I gave the mutt that big caribou steak you left marinating in the fridge for dinner. How about the Peppermill, my treat? We’re celebrating, right?”

I paused, appreciating the gesture, but not wanting to share him with anyone else right now. “No need, Ray, there’s plenty of pemmican.”

Ray snorted with laughter. “Pemmican? You sure know how to show a guy a good time, Frase.”

I shoved Ray down onto the bed and sank to my knees in front of him. “That’s the plan,” I told him, trying for seductive, but unable to hide the laughter in my voice. Ray looked down at me, eyes dancing bright-dark. The night that followed held many revelations, but I think the surprised delight on Ray’s face at that moment is my favorite memory of all.

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Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
keerawa
Sep. 28th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! Do I write a hot first base, or what? *is quietly proud* I'm so glad you enjoyed it, SB. Thanks!
nos4a2no9
Sep. 28th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
I'm with SB - this really is a great Small Town, NWT, Canada kind of fic :-) It really is a very clever interpretation of the original NN prompt, and I really like the way you explored Fraser's rather creative relationship with the truth. (I love that his first impulse was to confess his feelings for Ray in the midst of a hostage situation. Oh, Fraser). Great conclusion, too: it was a romantic climax and left me feeling all warm and squishy. Great job with this one, Peaches!
keerawa
Sep. 28th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
I researched pretty heavily for this one, Nos, haunting the blogs of people who live in or regularly visit Inuvik, trying to find the rhythms of life there. I'm so pleased that you think I captured it, given you're the closest thing our community has to an expert on small towns in Northern Canada.

Fraser's rather creative relationship with the truth Oh yes. Fraser stone-walling his superior officer with an excess of information amuses me greatly.

I'm happy that you liked the romantic conclusion, Nos!
mackiedockie
Sep. 28th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
That line where Fraser leans down to lick Ray's wrist? That was hot. I don't know why. But it was hot.

When I read this, I was strongly reminded of my time in Alaska, and travelling through the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. There is a flavor to the isolated towns up there that persists. You got it.
keerawa
Sep. 28th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
It's rather desperate. That's the only bit of Ray he can reach. Also, I understand that CKR's hands may have a pornographic effect all their own.

That sounds like an amazing trip, Cath, and I'm excited that I caught the flavor of those little northern towns. Thanks for the comment!
jule1122
Sep. 28th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
Are there two more clueless men on the planet? I don't know if I should hug them or smack them. Fraser, being to afraid to question why Ray is still there, why Ray has been there for months to actually figure out it's because of him. And Ray, staying all that time not having a clue about Fraser's feelings. They kill me. Beautiful writing, I could really feel this especially this moment:
My duties as a host were quite clear. I should help Ray with his baggage, make arrangements for him to stay in town (the Eskimo Inn had rooms available), and assist him in finding prompt transportation back to Chicago.

Only – I wasn’t going to do any of that.

Ray was trying to edge past me to get to the door. I reached for his shoulder, but at the last moment diverted my hand to the strap of his bag. “Don’t go.” I gripped the strap as if it were my last chance, slipping away.


and

Ray’s lip lifted, showing his teeth in a sneer or a snarl. “Seems like you got a type,” he spat, stepping backwards and jerking his bag out of my hands. “I’m not gonna hang around, lying awake nights on your fucking couch, wondering if I would’ve had a chance if I’d ever pulled a gun on you.”
keerawa
Sep. 29th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
They are clueless. And the funny thing about it is that, in this story, they're so much in synch at the start of the story, and STILL clueless.

Thanks so much for mentioning that scene where Fraser stops Ray from walking out. It was one of the first parts of the story I wrote, and was the reason why, even after fighting with it since May, I couldn't let it go.
beledibabe
Sep. 29th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
::reels::

Wow.

Okay, there are a whole bunch of fabulous lines, here, but I'm just going to quote two, because these actually leapt from the page and smacked me upside the head:

He had faced his demons in a place where the living honored the dead, as the sun and moon were joined for a moment in the heavens.

and

Ray swung around, the brassy defiance of his body language nearly hiding his fear.

Beautiful Fraser!voice -- just amazing.

::sustained applause and cheering::
keerawa
Sep. 29th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Thank you, beledibabe! That moment in "Eclipse" has an almost mystical flavor. I really enjoy writing Fraser. He has such a unique way of perceiving the world and expressing himself.
slidellra
Sep. 29th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
This is fantastic, keerawa! And this line Ray had called me a freak that day, and I’d felt a surge of affection so strong that I’d wished for a snow bank to throw him into. made me do a little jig around the room. \o/
keerawa
Sep. 29th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
*grins* Our Fraser sublimates like a champ. Glad I made you dance, slidellra!
mergatrude
Sep. 29th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
YAY!

Such a great story - I'm so glad you persisted with it. Thank you for playing.

&hearts
keerawa
Sep. 29th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for letting me get away with teh deadline creep, mergatrude! I'm, happy you liked it.
springwoof
Sep. 29th, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
really awesome story, and the language was really beautiful! I liked: He had faced his demons in a place where the living honored the dead, as the sun and moon were joined for a moment in the heavens. Such a beautiful line!

and I also liked the entire standoff-against-the-gunman scene with: Ray was a warm presence a few meters behind me, alert to every subtlety of my voice and posture, prepared to launch into action upon my signal. It's a vivid, kinesthetic reminder of their partnership.
kudos!
keerawa
Sep. 29th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
Fraser has that effect on my writing, every time. Those two never seem to lose track of each other, even in the most hectic of action and chase scenes. It makes me happy. Thanks for the comment, springwoof!
love_jackianto
Sep. 29th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
'No, I simply knew that I was fated to die alone, like all Fraser men.'
Oh that's sad.

I love Ray's babbling when he thinks Fraser's attracting to some else, that seems like a very Ray thing to do.

'Ray looked down at me, eyes dancing bright-dark. The night that followed held many revelations, but I think the surprised delight on Ray’s face at that moment is my favorite memory of all.'
Awwwe that's sweet.

If it's alright with you, I'd love to do a fanart piece for this story.
keerawa
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you, love_jackianto! Fraser's a sad fella, sometimes. I would be truly honored if this inspires you to create some fanart! *quivers with anticipation*
love_jackianto
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
I just thought I'd let you know that I posted fanart for this story here. Feel free to use it as a cover. I'd love to know what you think.
zabira
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
oh, this is fabulous! i adore the misdirection of fraser's confession, it's not just poignant, but VERY clever and SO HIM.

and then this made me SO HAPPY:

Ray had called me a freak that day, and I’d felt a surge of affection so strong that I’d wished for a snow bank to throw him into.

that scene in 'eclipse' is my favorite LOVE SCENE of ALL. thank you for enriching it with this charming mental image.
keerawa
Sep. 30th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it, Zabira! The snow bank image has sort of a Smithbauer connection, in my mind. I picture the two of them as boys, all happy and energetic (and horny) throwing each other into snow banks. So Fraser's mind just sort of goes to that place.
luzula
Oct. 1st, 2008 07:26 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this a lot! And I can believe that neither of them would say anything. Stubborn, both of them.

Ray had called me a freak that day, and I’d felt a surge of affection so strong that I’d wished for a snow bank to throw him into.

Oh, I love that.

And I love how Ray's presence makes him feel safe, because he knows he'll die alone.

to hear Victoria’s memory evoked in anger this way, like a volume of poetry flung at my head, was painful.

That's such a great way to phrase it.

I love it when sex or kissing scenes are written in a way that deliberately omits details, like the POV character is losing track of time and place, and this is so well done here:

Then his lips were under mine, opening. I tasted hops, and yeast, and, oh, Ray, I wanted … Ray was saying something, but really I couldn’t, my hands under his shirt, smooth warm skin. Then Ray was gone, incomprehensibly beyond my reach except for one beautiful long-fingered hand pressing into my chest. I lowered my head awkwardly to lap at his wrist.

And, mmm, lapping at his wrist...
keerawa
Oct. 2nd, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
They're both stubborn and fearful, each waiting for a signal from the other. like a volume of poetry flung at my head Thanks for pulling that phrase out. I was trying to show that it wasn't the memory itself that was the problem, or talking about it with Ray, just the context.

I've explored Fraser feeling invulnerable around Ray once before, in Death is Not a Threat. I suppose it's a kind of personal canon. And I'm really, really happy with the way the kiss came out. Thanks for the comment, luzula!
sam80853
Oct. 3rd, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
You have such an amazing way with words. I adore this, it's perfect!
keerawa
Oct. 4th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
Thanks so much sam, I'm glad you liked it!
isiscolo
Nov. 29th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
I liked this! The "you've got a type" bit took me by surprise, just like it did Fraser, and worked so very well.
keerawa
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:25 am (UTC)
Thanks, Isiscolo! Fraser had no idea what was going through Ray's head here. It's the chasm between his beliefs and reality that I like best about theis story.
j_s_cavalcante
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)
Eeeee! This is wonderful, K! Lovely story, lovely standoff in every way. And some really great, quotable lines, which I'd actually quote if I weren't so behind on everything.

But the snowbank line--perfection! The book of poetry thrown at the head. I just...amazing symbolism and subtle nods to canon in so many lines, they're like little jewels for us to discover.

The ending is sublime.

keerawa
Jan. 15th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
Thank you, JS! I'm very fond of the volume of poetry flung at his head simile. Glad you enjoyed it.
azamiko
Jan. 24th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
Much the squish. =D
keerawa
Jan. 24th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you, azamiko, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
(Deleted comment)
keerawa
Apr. 1st, 2011 05:27 am (UTC)
Thank you, princessofg! My writing process involves 'listening' to the narrator telling me about the events of the story, and then writing it down. So voice is usually the easy part!
bghost
Jul. 2nd, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
Am on a keerawa fest. This is lovely.
keerawa
Jul. 2nd, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, delightful! Have fun, bghost! I just took the time to re-read this one myself, so thanks for that. I like the tension between the two of them, and Fraser's voice just lends itself to poetry, in my mind.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )