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dS Snippet: A Very Merry Unbirthday

Fandom; Character: due South; Ray K
Rating: G
Word Count: 291
Challenge: Written for the ds_snippets Complete Amnesty Challenge, prompt: gift
Author's Notes: Thanks to my beta, luzula. None of these characters are mine. I just feed them when they follow me home.

Ray was helping Huey recover from his kick-boxing match with the cabbage when Frannie Vecchio sashayed into the bull pen. She shoved a gift-wrapped box into Ray’s hands and beamed a smile at his partner.

“Hey Fraser,” she cooed. “Some party.”

“Francesca,” Fraser said, bobbing his head awkwardly.

“Umm, Frannie?” Ray asked, shaking the box a little. “What’s this?”

“What?” Frannie challenged him with a sharp look. “I can’t get my own brother a present on his birthday? Come on, open it, it’s for your new place.”

It was good for his cover, so Ray made a big, public deal out of tearing open the present. A Braun coffee-maker.

He had a coffee-maker. A nice one they’d picked out together, with an insulated pot, almost a thermos, so that if he brewed up some coffee after getting home from the late shift, it’d still be hot when Stella got up in the morning. His coffee-maker was sitting on the kitchen counter of Stella’s new condo. And he was stuck drinking instant.

“Hey,” Frannie said, suddenly up close and quiet, a hand on his arm. Fraser had turned his back and was neatly screening them from the room.

“Don’t worry, Ray,” she said. “I can afford it. The insurance covered the fire damage, and I’ve got a new job lined up, so…”

Ray forced a smile onto his face. “No, Frannie, it’s great, really, thanks.”

“Well, you’re always complaining about having to drink that stuff from the break room,” Frannie announced at her normal piercing volume. And she was good. Her voice and body language were almost perfect. You had to really look close to see the sadness in Frannie’s eyes when she said, “Happy birthday, Ray.”

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
luzula
Jan. 20th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
I love your ending in this version! It's so much better than both your original ending and my suggestion. Because now there's an underlying sadness in both Ray and Frannie. I love the symmetry of that, and how they don't show it to each other, even if they show each other a whole lot more than they show in their act for the whole room. If that makes sense. : )
keerawa
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
Thanks luzula! That's what I love about the beta proces - the mutual creation of something greater then either of us could have arrived at alone. There are layers of secrets and hiding going on here, definitely.
cyberducks
Jan. 20th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
I love it when Frannie isn't merely the comic relief. And that some of her ....Frannieness is an act.

Poor Ray. And poor Frannie.

Also:

Fraser had turned his back and was neatly screening them from the room. Aware and protective Fraser is lovely.


keerawa
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
I think we all tend to find a role that we are comfortable with, and then play it. Frannie's is pretty goofy. And I imagine she has her own (far from goofy) reasons for going with it.

Protective of them AND Ray Vecchio. I'm still convinced that party in Eclipse is meant to establish Ray's cover.
love_jackianto
Jan. 20th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Great snippet.

'Her voice and body language were almost perfect. You had to really look to see the sadness in Frannie’s eyes when she said, 'Happy birthday, Ray.'
I love the ending. I just want to give Frannie and Ray hugs
keerawa
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
Thank you, lovejackianto! They could use some hugs!
brigantine
Jan. 21st, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
Aw, Frannie's such a sweetie!

I've always enjoyed the way RayK and Frannie actually do treat each other like siblings sometimes, including the times when they commiserate.

It's a small thing perhaps, but the idea that this is his coffee-maker that Frannie gave him, and that he'll remember that every time now, instead of thinking about Stella having the other one makes me happy.

Also, that she's got a new job lined up... heh heh! :)
keerawa
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
*nods* They do, sibling rivalry and all. Good point about Ray having a happy-ish new memory. Even if it is a gift for Ray Vecchio.

Like conspiracy theorists everywhere, I have to think that Frannies job at the 2-7 is meant to back up Ray's identity, just in case. I get a little tin hatty about this, because the undercover thing is so absurd that it needs a lot of support!
mizface
Jan. 23rd, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
This was lovely and sad and sweet. Frannie picking up on Ray's discomfort and Fraser protecting them both so they could have a moment... just really, really nice.
keerawa
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, mizface. It's a rather delicate moment, composed of equal parts attempted empathy, misunderstanding, andcrossed wires, but a moment none the less.
spuffyduds
Jan. 25th, 2009 05:42 am (UTC)
Aw, this is sweetly complicated. Nice.
keerawa
Jan. 26th, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)
Thanks, spuffyduds!
j_s_cavalcante
Feb. 20th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)
Awwww! This is wonderful. I love the line where Fraser screens them from the room, that's just...wow. And both Ray's and Frannie's sadness. Ouchy and true.

Also, I LOVE the explanation for why Ray makes that hideous lukewarm instant coffee! :)

Nice work!
keerawa
Mar. 1st, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
Fraser is deeply committed to preserving Ray's cover. The coffee thing - I actually started my RayK/Stella vid, "Don't Tell" with the image of Ray and that coffee, because (in my head) it's a sign of his involuntary bachelorhood.

Thanks, JS!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )