02 February 2011 @ 11:31 pm
Camping with Fraser  
Apparently living on a tropical island with less than two hundred and fifty inhabitants in the middle of God knows where  wasn't remote enough for Fraser, which was why Ray now found himself rolling out a mat on the forest floor and staring at his bed for the night.

After all the mania that came with the sky falling down, he had been glad, and downright grateful, when Fraser had suggested they get away for a bit. Everyone was taken care of now, so they were easily spared and Ray had had blissful dreams of borrowing a boat and doing some fishing with beers, or visiting the second island just in case someone had built a five star luxury hotel since the last time he'd been there.

He should have known the Mountie would have other ideas. Diefenbaker's whining should have given it away; the darkening eyes and flattened ears that had peered up at him like Ray had just sentenced him to a night of horror too. Which he had, but the wolf didn't look particularly horrified right now, scampering beneath Ray's duvet and warming his muzzle between a couple of plumped pillows.

"Get your own," Ray griped, tugging at the end of the duvet like a parent would do to a lazy child on a school morning. Dief grumbled when he was left uncovered and growled lowly when Ray went to remove the pillows. "They're hypoallergenic for a reason!"
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[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 3rd, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
Fraser's side of the camping site was much less cluttered, his bedding for the night much simpler than Ray's. He'd managed to unroll his sleeping bag and collect wood and other kindling for the fire, all while Ray had still been busy unfolding and fluffing.

"Care to do the honors?" Fraser asked, offering his pack of matches up to Ray once he thought the pile of burning materials was up to par.

Temporary blindness and being tracked by a criminal had put a bit of a damper and their last camping trip, so Fraser had figured it was about time he and Ray had another run at it. They had plenty of food and water, and neither of them were paralyzed from the waist down so no one needed to be carried. As long as the clear weather held and there were no freak animal attacks, there was no reason for this time not to be a lot better than the last.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 3rd, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
"Care to tell your wolf to leave off my stuff?" Not that Ray really wanted to rest his head in the same place Diefenbaker had rolled around on.

Taking the matches, he fished one out and touched the end of make sure it was dry. It was the idea of camping that had always appealed to Ray more than the actual thing itself. It was meant to be relaxing but he just found most of it a lot of work. Being one with nature was hard.

Striking the match, he threw it onto the wood and waited for the huge ball of fire to shoot up. When nothing but a tiny flicker appeared, he dropped down into a crouch with a grunt and began puffing at it furiously. "What's for dinner?"
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 4th, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
"He's not facing me," Fraser pointed out. "He wouldn't hear me even if I were to try." It was completely likely that Diefenbaker wouldn't listen to him even if he were facing him and was able to read his lips.

"Uh, well, dinner would completely depend on the fire..." They couldn't really heat up much of anything if the flame stayed at its current size.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 4th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
"Anybody ever tell you size isn't everything?" Ray asked gruffly, wafting his hands over the flame when he started to feel light-headed from all the blowing. There was nothing like camping with a boy scout to make Ray feel emasculated.

But something Fraser had said years ago must have sunk in because this time, Ray had come properly prepared. Fishing out the lighter from his pocket that he'd so secretly filched from Asher, he flicked it on and held it to the wood for as long as it took to increase the flames five-fold. Rocking back on his heels, he peered up at Fraser with a grin and waited for his praise.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 4th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Rather than offering any form of praise, Fraser instead asked: "Have you taken up smoking?"

He hadn't known Ray to carry a lighter before, but he also hadn't seen him smoke since he'd been on the island. He'd never even smelled so much as a trace of smoke on him.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 4th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
Trust Fraser to completely miss the point.

"It's not mine," Ray assured him, pushing himself up and dropping the zippo back in his pocket. "I just borrowed it." Least that was what he'd tell Asher if he found it on him before he could replace it. "Look what always being prepared got us," he added cheerfully, feeling far more manly having lit the fire now.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
"Ah." Well, that made sense. Fraser just hoped that when he said 'borrowed', Ray had actually done so with permission.

"Job well done, Ray," he said, picking up a stick and beginning to stoke the fire. "You're a natural. Perhaps next time you could try the flint and granite method."
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
"Well...uh," Ray glanced around them, making as if he was actually looking at what lay on the ground. He couldn't have been less interested if he tried and really, he didn't want to know what was down there if he was going to be expected to sleep on it tonight. "Y'know, I would've done but I couldn't find any." Neither had he looked but that wasn't the point.

"Shall we eat?" Anything to put off telling Fraser what he was planning to tell him anyway. "Feel free to start talking about Eskimos or Moose Jaw or sea otters or whatever."
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
"I didn't think you'd be up to hunting or fishing just yet." Or digging up worms. "Next time, maybe." Or the time after that. Assuming Ray agreed to do it again.

Grabbing his backpack, Fraser opened it and reached inside, pulling out several cans he'd gotten from the kitchen earlier that day. "Tomato, chicken with rice or chicken noodle. Take your pick."
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
"You are good to me, Benny. Noodle, please."

Wandering off they way they had come, Ray came back a few moments later lugging a big rock. "I knew I'd seen one somewhere..." He dumped it by the fire after much groaning and shortness of breath, then stepped around in front of it and dropped down to take his seat.

"Ah." Much better. Or it would be once he'd gotten comfortable on it. "Not to sound unwelcoming, but are you ever planning on getting your own place?" If Ray thought about he didn't actually know where Fraser spent his nights but he sure as hell did know where Diefenbaker wound up sometimes. Ray might have been experimenting lately but waking up in bed next to a wolf was going a little too far. "We could go hut hunting. Or you could build your own cabin."
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 07:42 am (UTC)
While Ray struggled with his... rock, Fraser had gotten the soup over the fire. Opening the can had also managed to get Diefenbaker to move from Ray's bedding, and he was now seated at Fraser's side, staring at the food simmering away.

"I suppose I should." But the thought of having a hut of his own just made it all feel that much more permanent. "I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I were to move into the IPD office."
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Ray laughed at that, breaking his similarly intense gaze on the food. "Why would you want to live in a cop shop?" Sure, Fraser's apartment hadn't been much to look at, which was putting it politely, but to go from that to sleeping in a police office was actually achieving the impossible by being a step down in standards.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
"It would be familiar, at least," Fraser said absently, only remembering afterward that he'd started living at the consulate after Ray had left. Right after, actually. "My apartment building burnt down before I got back to Chicago. Living in my office was supposed to be temporary until I found another place to stay, but I was there right up till I wound up here. It was certainly convenient."
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
"You lived in your office? Couldn't you have used the regal suite?" It wasn't as if the Queen occupied it often. Unless Chicago had got a lot of royal action the moment Ray's back had been turned. "Wait a second, did your place burn down when my house burned down?" He could smell the conspiracy.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
"I did," Fraser confirmed with a nod. "And I'm not the Queen, Ray." Not to mention the fact that Turnbull guarded that room as though Her Majesty had already taken residence there.

"There was a fire at your house not long after that, yes." And in his car... Fraser decided it best not to tell him about that if there was no reason to. Maybe he already knew and he wouldn't ever have to. "Both were started by the same person. She was apprehended before anyone was badly hurt, or worse." Anyone who wasn't a goldfish, but that wasn't directly due to the fires.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 5th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
Francesca had thought it pertinent enough to tell him about the house during the Muldoon briefing at the station, but Ray was still very much blissfully unaware that his beloved car was sitting at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

"Man, it's stuff like that that sometimes makes me glad I'm here." Sure, the sky fell down and dinosaurs attacked and every day was like freaky Friday, but at least on the island most people were well behaved.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 6th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
"Glad?" Fraser echoed. It wasn't a word he'd use, no matter how bad things got back home. But Ray had been there a lot longer, and what was the island but that vacation to Miami he'd always wanted, extended indefinitely.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 6th, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
"Maybe it's not the right word," Ray shrugged, pulling his knees up and resting his arms across them. "Life's not that bad here. Sure, there's no Bulls, no Olympo's, no...family. But people can become special." He cleared his throat. "You finding it hard to adjust?"
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 6th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
"It's only been a little over a month since I arrived," he answered, shifting to look down into the pot. Diefenbaker inched a bit closer himself, licking his chops.

"The first two weeks of which probably shouldn't count due the snow." Which was Fraser's way of saying 'yes', without actually saying it.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 6th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
Thinking back, Ray wasn't sure if Fraser had ever completely 'adjusted' to Chicago, so who knew how long it would take before he got used to the island.

"Y'know, Benny, I'd send you back if I could. But I gotta admit, for purely selfish reasons, I'm glad you're here." The whine from the wolf made Ray roll his eyes. "You too, Dief. Maybe there's something we can do to make you feel more at home. Build a lean-to on the ice-rink maybe?"
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 6th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
"That won't be necessary," Fraser said with a smile. After stirring the contents of the pot, he served it into a bowl and handed it off to Ray.

"This helps. That last time I'd been camping was... in the middle of a park. This is slightly more authentic."
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 6th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
"In Chicago? I'm surprised you didn't catch anything." Or spot anything untoward happening in the bushes.

Reaching to take the bowl, Ray blew on its contents for a long while, falling quiet. Maybe tonight wasn't the best time to tell Fraser about his thing with Asher. He'd said the camping was helping and Ray didn't want to ruin that for him.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 7th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)
"It wasn't that chilly out," Fraser replied, assuming Ray meant something along the lines of a common cold.

Diefenbaker had abandoned Fraser's side completely now, and was practically pressed up against Ray, staring at the bowl. "Ignore him," he said, not completely sure if that would be possible if Dief eventually wound up in Ray's lap.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 7th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
"Easier said than done," Ray replied, holding his bowl away from the wolf breath. He scratched the back of Dief's neck with the other hand in the hope that a second of attention would override his urges to fill his stomach.

"It's weird, y'know. Dief was here before you turned up. He was a little older, little slower, even had kids. They're still around, I think." It seemed the further away Ray held the bowl, the more the wolf strained over his lap to get at it. "Then he disappeared. Makes you wonder where that Dief went."
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 8th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
"Where do any of them go?" Diefenbaker, Ray -- Kowalski and Vecchio, since the Ray seated across from him apparently wasn't the first -- himself and anyone else who'd been there at some point but had since vanished. Luckily for Ray, he wasn't actually expecting an answer. Only the island and the people who'd left it knew, and Fraser wasn't expecting that to change anytime soon.

"...Dief has puppies?"
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 8th, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
"Think so," Ray answered, settling for the tried and tested method of pushing Dief away enough times for him to get the message. He brushed his hand on his pants leg, then took his spoon and helped himself to his soup. "With some dog Frannie used to own. Really white, really poofy, really girly."
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 8th, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
"Ante," Fraser said. She was white, poofy, a girl and Francesca had been her last caretaker. "Poodle wolves... I'm not really sure if belated congratulations are in order," he told the wolf who had finally tore his gaze off of Ray.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 8th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Laughing to himself, Ray stirred his noodles, flicking his gaze over to Fraser a few times as if to gage his temperament.

"Speaking of romance..." There wasn't really any way to word it without making it sound like juvenile sleep-over banter. "You uh, seen anyone around here you like the look of?"
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
"No," Fraser answered as he went back to prodding at the fire. "I mean, not no as in no, because there are certainly plenty of physically attractive people here..." Actually, just about everyone was. "It's just not something I've given much thought to."

Which really wasn't all that different from how things worked back home.

"Have you?"
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
Ray bet if he were to look up right now, he'd see Fraser turning a nice shade of pink.

"Uhweelll..." he began in a whiny tone the way he did when he was putting off answering a question, "yes. And no. Yes in that there's this thing and no in that no is kind of a lie," he finished as quickly as possible, spooning more soup into his mouth as soon as he'd stopped speaking, as if to prevent more words from coming out.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
"So... yes?" These sorts of things confused Fraser enough without the addition of brainteasers, but he thought he understood Ray correctly. "That's great, Ray. Who is it?"
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
"It's uh, well it's somebody who wants to kill me most of the time and is cussing my name the rest but that's 'cause I got that hamster thing, y'know. Behaving irresponsibly because I'm in love, or in lust, I don't know, but I mean, there's chemistry," Ray let out without a breath, the words tumbling quickly making it hard to understand what he was saying. "There's no cheese cake but there's chemistry."
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
"Cheese cake," Fraser echoed, immediately growing a bit wary. He did take some solace in the fact that, on the island, it was very unlikely that Ray had met this person after being hit by a car.

"Are you sure it's good chemistry?" Somehow, this individual wanting Ray dead didn't really make it sound that way.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
"Yeah. It's like a spark. You know when women say they wanna kill me when they actually mean they really dig me?" That described pretty much every woman Ray had chased since he'd known Fraser, at least to Ray's mind. Tipping the last remnants of the soup out of the bowl and into his mouth, he leaned down to set it on the ground and pulled his hand back just in time before Dief got to work on the washing up. At least he'd waited for Ray to finish before licking the cutlery to death.

He wiped the back of his palm over his mouth. "This is exactly like that. Except for one thing."
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
"She actually does want to kill you?" Fraser was almost certain that at least some of the women who've said that to Ray over the years actually did mean it, even if Ray chose to interpret it differently.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 9th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
"No, uh. No, see the thing is," Ray began, shifting awkwardly on his rock. When he had arrived on the island, snatched away from his Vegas life twice in one day, he hadn't really known who he was or what he was meant to be. He'd started from scratch again; new rules. There was no doubt in his mind that if he were back in Chicago he'd be chasing skirts instead of blond and very male ex-vampires.

"The thing is, Benny, the person I'm talking about is..." If Ray was going to do it then he wanted to do it right, so he lifted his gaze to face Fraser. "A guy. Asher. Don't freak out."
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 10th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Fraser wasn't sure how long his silence stretched on for, and even after wracking his brain for something to say -- anything at all -- the only thing that came out at first was: "Oh..."

That probably wasn't the best response.

"That's... well, it's unexpected. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, of course," Fraser quickly insisted.
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 10th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
Ray rolled his eyes with fond long-sufferance. "You don't have to do the polite thing either, Fraser."

He hadn't been worried about his friend's reaction - they were best friends for a reason - it was more the fact he was saying it outloud and committing to it in a way.

"You're allowed to be shocked. I was shocked." He'd just had a lot longer to come to terms with it by now. It helped that he hadn't known Kowalski all that well. "Now I'm just kinda going with it. Are you..." Ray splayed his hands and stretched his fingers out. "Y'know. Okay with it really?"

The Mountie spent most of his life looking physically uncomfortable; Ray didn't want to turn that appearance into truth.
[identity profile] dueright.livejournal.com on February 10th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
"Alright, I'm shocked," Fraser admitted, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. At least some of that shock was due to the fact that Asher just happened to look like Ray Kowalski.

"But why wouldn't I be okay with it?" Granted, one of the most apparent similarities shared by those Ray had pursued back home, other than that they occasionally wanted to kill him, was that they had all been female. Or they had as far as Fraser was aware, anyway.

"We can't choose who we develop feelings for. As long as you're happy, that's all that matters."
[identity profile] speakscanadian.livejournal.com on February 10th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
"Eww, feelings, no," Ray waved his hands around, warding off the thought. "Let's not talk about those." They were saved for days when the Island decided to force them to gush out and ruin his nice shoes. "I have some and they're good ones. 'Nuff said." He had yet to question whether he was happy. He wasn't unhappy, so maybe that already answered it. "Eat your soup."