Disclaimers: The due South characters belong to Atlantis Alliance. Written for pleasure, not profit. For adult readers only, please.

Rating: NC-17 for language and sexual content

Notes: This is a sequel to "Layers" and will make much more sense if you've read that one first - don't worry, it's short.

Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski

Spoilers: Mountie on the Bounty.

Thanks are due to Aristide, Dawn P and Crysothemis for beta-reading and encouragement.

Comments are welcomed at JBonetoo@yahoo.com


Layers, Part Two

by Bone


I guess maybe there's worse things to wake up to than the sight of Turnbull taking a whiz behind a bush, but I can't think of any right now.

Oh, excuse me, urinating behind a bush. Canadians don't piss, or whiz, or pee. They urinate. And seeing how long it's taking Turnbull, he must've had like a gallon of tea last night. I can feel my own piss hard-on (yeah, that's what it is; it's got nothing to do with the fact that Fraser's within petting distance) knocking at my zipper. Okay, okay, time to think about something else, or I'll be joining Turnbull at the bush and I don't feel like moving yet.

Recon time.

It's like half past dawn. My teeth are fuzzy, my left arm's asleep, and I've got a hip pointer from something that's probably been poking me for hours but I've been too dead to feel it. And I bet you anything I've got at least one bug in my hair. Don't know when we fell asleep, don't remember falling asleep, but here we are, stretched out on our picnic blanket, in almost broad daylight. Fraser's still crashed - guess saving the entire Great Lakes environment and everything in it took the stuffing right out of him.

He's got one hand tucked under his chin and his mouth's open, like he's got allergies or something, and he looks like a little bitty kid. Looking at him, you'd never know he could make a rocketeer out of you with a hose and a fire extinguisher.

Dief's tucked up in between us; a big, furry, doggy-breath chaperone. He's no fool - he's got the warmest spot in the camp right here. My front side's warm enough, but my back side's bitching about how cold it is. I probably should've stayed in the tent, in the sleeping bag, where I wouldn't have gotten dewed on.

Should've stayed in the tent. Should've.

But I'm glad I didn't. Even if it looks a little funny, two grown men sacked out on the ground in the open when there's perfectly good tents already set up and everything.

I'm glad I didn't. I'm not sorry. I'm not.

Or at least I won't be sorry if he's not.

Turnbull's tucking himself back in - that I did not need to see - and giving me that doofy Turnbull grin, like he's hosting a tea party for the Ambassador.

"Good morning, Detective Vecchio," he says, and, I swear to God, tips his hat at me. Who goes to take a leak at whatever o'clock and takes time to put his hat on?

Freak.

I make shush motions at him. What, he can't see Fraser's still sleeping?

Turnbull doesn't look like he thinks there's anything weird about me and Fraser being out here, but the day I look to Turnbull for what's cool and what's not is the day I stick my head between my legs and kiss my ass goodbye, so I snarl at him a little.

"What's good about it?" I mutter.

"Well, the cold front that was predicted to bring drenching rain has stalled offshore, and I understand we have fresh rabbit for breakfast as a special treat for our American guests, and -"

"Shut up, Turnbull," I growl at him.

Aw, shit, now I've hurt his feelings. And I don't like being down here looking all the way up him. He's tall enough when I'm standing next to him - this is ridiculous. So I sit up, start rubbing some life back into the stump that is my left arm and yawn wide enough to crack something.

"Sorry. Not a morning person," I tell him, and he forgives me, like that.

"Time to rise and shine, Detective Vecchio. Breakfast served at eight not nine," he chirps, then he waves and heads back toward the camp.

Rabbit? Did he say rabbit?

Can I go back to sleep now and maybe wake up for lunch instead?

I drop back down, staring up at the clouds that didn't get stalled somewhere offshore. They're piled up and pink and there's blue starting to show behind them. I turn to look at Fraser. His eyes are open, clear as day, looking right at me. No puffy eyelids for him, no sir. No sleep in the corners, no red zigzaggy lines, just clear blue sky eyes, wide awake and warm.

He's awake. And he's not pulling back, or politing up, or anything. He's just laying there, looking at me.

Then he touches his tongue to his upper lip and gives me a little smile.

Okay, now this guy can put the good in good morning.


It's not like we have time to do anything about it, or even say anything. I guess the smell of rabbit on the spit does something to the innards of Mounties, because before I can even say hey to Fraser, the camp's bubbling to life.

Mounties here, Mounties there, Mounties everywhere.

The row of bushes Turnbull watered is starting to look like the men's room at Wrigley Field, so we just roll up the blankets, take our place at Nature's urinal and start the day like last night wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Oh, no, just a normal night, making out with my best buddy under the stars and the noses of a flotilla of Mounties.

I must be a damn good actor. I'm standing there, doing my best not to sneak a peek at Fraser's… and willing myself to soften up enough to do the deed, and he's yakking away at whoever's standing next to him (sorry, but it's true - with one or two exceptions, all Mounties look alike to me).

I don't get it. These Canadians would be polite to an armed domestic intruder, but they talk while they're going? Talk to somebody at a urinal in Chicago and you'll either get punched in the nose or felt up. You just don't do that. I think sometimes all that cold weather does something hinky to their heads.

I could really do with a shower, a hot one, and clothes that don't smell like lake water and wood smoke, but it's not like any of us are fresh as daisies, and we're just getting on the road anyway, so I rinse my mouth out with baking soda and canteen water, dust myself down with somebody's talcum powder, sniff the pits to make sure I'm not going to bowl anybody over, and shrug it off. If Thatcher can go without makeup, I can wear the same jockeys two days in a row.

I manage to choke down a few bites of Thumper by pretending it's roast beef, just enough so I don't offend the pleased-as-punch junior Mountie, who apparently beaned the poor thing with a rock from a distance of fifty meters, however far that is. I slip the rest of my part to Fraser on the sly, and he's making smack-smack noises -- he likes it, hey Mikey - so if I kissed him now he'd taste like rabbit and powdered milk and one-lump coffee.

If I kissed him… Kissing. We kissed. We were kissing. I might have called it something else, made like it was something different, but that's what it was. Two mouths lined up, puckered. Can't really call it anything else.

Never kissed a guy before. Never wanted to.

I didn't…um… dream that, did I? I mean, I really did breathe in him and lick him some, and he licked me back, right? Cuz it would suck to only have thought about it, and not actually done it, and then have to go through all that again to get to the point where I put my hand on his chest and lean over him and …

Well, shit.

I'm gonna embarrass myself if I'm not careful.

So I concentrate on keeping breakfast down, on watching that crazy Mountie lady's early morning calisthenics ritual, on trying to decide whether Welsh is packing or unpacking - it's 50/50 given the mess he's got piled up around him. Anything to keep from falling down that Fraser hole again. But it's hopeless. I'm hopeless.

I can't keep my eyes off him.

He's all himself again. Looks clean as a whistle. Wish I knew how he did that. We did all the same stuff, right? So how come he looks like GQ and I look like a hard day's night? It's enough to drive you around the bend.

The guy belongs out here. He could tie knots all day long, build stuff, patrol the shores of Gitchagoomee or whatever the hell they call it. Be a real Mountie again instead of a hat rack for the Canadian consulate in the lower 48. If I were a better person, I'd want him to have that.

But I'm not. And I don't.

I want him in Chicago. Back where I know what the fuck I'm doing some of the time, instead of having to lean on Fraser so much. I want him where I can see him and back him up, where it's more like share and share alike instead of city mouse, country mouse.

He's not a hat rack to me, that's for sure.

I can't wait to get home.

Clean sheets, pineapple pizza. Electricity and a can I don't have to deforest before using it.

'Course, the great outdoors has its charms. Like all that dark, and all that air, and the way I could just go be with him without any fuss and bother. Yeah, that was all pretty good. That was sweet.

Maybe I can wait to go home.


"Come on, Fraser, shake a leg."

He's looking at Welsh's car like he's Dief getting ready to go to the vet. He knew, just like Dief, soon as I looked at him. Time to go, Fraser. Time to get back to the real world.

Whatever the hell that means.

He makes like he's going to give me a hard time about riding shotgun with Welsh. I can't believe we're arguing about who gets the front seat. I think he's just stalling, doesn't really want to go. Can't blame him. I could do with a little more R&R myself. But we're only talking about the four hours it's going to take us to get back to Sault Ste. Marie and our car, and then we'll leave the Lieu to his lonesome and we'll both get the front seat all the way to Chicago.

Just us, all the way to Chicago.

Here's hoping it's different from the trip up. Couldn't be worse; might be better. He spent most of that trip giving me shit about my driving, and I don't care what he calls it, I can do without that kind of helpful advice. The jury was still way out on the whole partnership thing, what was that, like three days ago? Man, time's weird up here. I guess we've got the partnership thing down again, at least until the next time he seriously endangers my life in pursuit of a jaywalker. Now we've got this other thing, the whole making out thing, to deal with, but it can't be any harder than almost drowning, and we got through that okay, so I'm thinking we can handle this.

If I can just get him in the car. "Long day, Fraser, we got a long day ahead of us. In you go; come on, chop chop. Look, Dief's in already."

He's starting to argue, and Welsh is starting to look at us funny, so I just lean over and say, low, low, low, "Oh yeah, Fraser, that's right. Fight me on it. I'll stick my tongue down your throat so fast…"

He gives me one of those patented startled-Mountie looks and snaps his mouth shut so fast I hope he got his tongue out of the way in time. I get one more reproving look from him, a whine from Dief and a "Gentlemen, sometime today please?" from Welsh, and then we're in, we're good, we're going.

Going south.

South we go.

Past white fences as far as the eye can see, on this up and down all around road, just driving. Nothing to look at, nothing to talk about, just three guys and a wolf in a car. It's not like Welsh is this great conversationalist to begin with, and for once Fraser's decided not to regale us with one freaking Inuit tale after another for the duration, so it sort of got left up to me to keep the conversational balls rolling, which means we've had miles and miles of total silence.

It's an understatement to say it's a relief to get to Sault Ste. Marie, and into our own car, where I get to drive like I like instead of passengering like I don't like. My foot's not happy in a car unless it's on the gas pedal.

And if Fraser says one word about how I'm driving, I'm going to pull over and get to know his tonsils one by one.


Every once in a while, Fraser surprises me. All right, all right, in the last three days, he's surprised me about a dozen times. I thought he'd be all "Duty calls, Ray" about getting back to Chicago, thought we'd go lickety-split, that's it, home sweet home, but when I suggested we stop halfway and do the rest tomorrow, he just said, "I think that's a good idea, Ray."

Huh.

So that's how we ended up here, in a double double at a Wayfarer Inn -- the only place that would let Dief in the room -- just about halfway to Chicago. I'd have kept going if he wanted; I'm pretty much on autopilot at this point, but as soon as we stopped, it's like all the tired I wasn't before caught up with me all at once.

I took a nap. What am I, twelve? Got in the room, dropped on the bed and slept right through dinner hour. Now my body clock's all screwed up, like I'm on stakeout detail, wide awake at 10 pm. Fraser's sitting at the desk, writing something. Probably his 108798B-343 form or something. In duplicate. With a #2 pencil. Anal doesn't even begin to describe Fraser.

He's in his uniform pants and however many layers of shirt Mountie law requires. And he's in his sock feet, which for some reason twists my insides right up. His hair's shiny damp, so I must have not only slept through dinner, but Fraser taking a shower. I'm not sure which disappoints me more.

"Did you eat?" I ask him, pushing up on my elbows. Yuck. I thought I felt nasty before, but now I'm beyond nasty and sneaking up on gross. And I'm starving; way I feel right now, I could eat a whole Thumper, fluffy cottontail and all.

"Yes, I did. You were sleeping so soundly, I didn't want to disturb you," Fraser says, turning to look at my nasty self. I make some noise in response, and he says, "There's a surprisingly nice café attached to the motel. I took the liberty of getting you something. The waitress was most accommodating, so I took her suggestion of a club sandwich and some potato salad. I would have gotten potato chips, but I'm afraid Diefenbaker appeared far too interested in them. I hope you don't mind."

"Mind? Fraser, I love you." It's out, hanging there in the stale motel breeze.

"And I you, Ray," he answers, quick, like he doesn't even have to think about it.

The words just hang there for a minute or two, while I try to decide whether I'm going to smack them down like I did the last time, then I just think, fuck it, let him deal.

"I'm going to take a shower. Feel like one of those seaweedy ghost guys."

"All right. The water pressure's admirable, considering the probable size of the water heater and the relative lack of pitch to the terrain…"

He's still jawing about that when I close the bathroom door behind me.

It's not just the club sandwich and the potato salad waiting for me, although today that might have been enough. I love the guy. It's not just lust, or partner-friend stuff. Nope, we're talking true blue love here. Top to bottom, Stetson to boots, inside and out.

Don't ask me how I know that. I just do. Knew with Stella, know with Fraser. It's only happened twice, but I know the signs; I can read the writing on the wall.

Makes my stomach turn over a little bit, and it's got nothing to do with how empty it is in there. Stella still makes me feel like I got my teeth kicked in some days -- Fraser could probably skin me without even trying. And I couldn't say anything about it, cuz you know he'd be perfectly polite about it; reasonable, logical and shit.

He'd probably give me an outline of all the reasons this is a sucky idea.

This is not good.

It could be good, I know it could, if it was good for him, too, but I'm not so sure about that. Even if he did kiss me back.

Well, it's not like I'm going to solve anything in the shower, right? Might as well enjoy water that's hot and doesn't smell like trout. I guess eventually we'll have to talk about it, and being clean to do it won't hurt.

Over the rush of the water (he's right, the water pressure's amazing), I hear "Ray? Ray? RAY!?"

"WHAT?" I holler back at him. I heard him the first time - I just like to mess with his head.

"Would you like to borrow some clothes? I'm quite comfortable in my uniform, and Turnbull brought me a spare pair of pants and a shirt. They might be rather large on you, but with your belt should suffice for decency," he says through the door.

Suffice for decency. I'll show him decency.

"Yeah, Fraser, thanks. That'd be great," I yell back, and I hear the bathroom door open. My heart jumps at the same time as my dick, but he's just dropping clothes on the floor, and I heard the door close again. Yeah, I take a peek around the curtain to make sure he's not standing there waiting to get wet with me again, but all there is of Fraser is his clothes in a pile.

I dry off, wondering if he included everything, but when I shake them out, it's just a shirt and a pair of jeans. No biggie. Commando's my middle name. I'm wondering if he's thinking about me here in no underwear, but it's so far from what I imagine Fraser spending thoughts on that it makes me grin.

When I step out, he's back at the desk again, bent over his forms. He clears his throat and says, "I'm sorry I don't have the full complement of clothing to offer, Ray."

Guess he did give it a thought. What do you know about that?

"I'm going to give Turnbull the benefit of the doubt and presume he was rushed, rather than make any assumptions regarding what he might consider adequate garb," he says.

"S'okay. I'm good," I tell him, mostly to stop the ramble before I start thinking about Turnbull and whether or not he wears underwear.

I wolf down the sandwich (and having met Diefenbaker, there's no question where that phrase comes from) and the potato salad, and even eat the lettuce leaf the potato salad came on. Between the nap and the shower and the real food, I'm starting to feel like a human being again.

A horny human being.

Fraser's been suspiciously quiet all this time, minding his own business over at the desk, and I should probably just let him be, but that's not going to happen. Not when he's this close, and smells that good, and we're here all by ourselves. No sea of Mounties in tents, no Lieutenant, no Huey and Dewey, no Turnbull and Thatcher. It's just me and Fraser and two beds to choose from.

I'm going to give him a chance to say no. I'll give him more than that. Last thing I want is for him to feel squirrelly about what we're doing. But I'm not wasting this chance if I don't have to.

I catch Fraser taking a quick look over his shoulder, so I get up, go over and stand behind him. "What's on your mind, Fraser?"

He faces forward again, staring at the blank wall like it's showing the last two minutes of the international curling championship or something.

He's quiet for a minute, then clears his throat again and says, "Our altered circumstances."

"Our altered circumstances? What would those be?" I ought to give him a break, but the man's been driving me nuts in about eight different ways for like a year now, so giving his chain a yank is hard to resist.

But then his head drops toward his chest, and I feel bad about teasing him. Talking about shit like this is tough for anybody, and for Fraser… well, I'll go easy on him.

I put my hand out, take hold of the back of his neck. His damp hair's slippery cool against my fingers, and his skin is hot on my palm. He lets out a breath and I can feel him relax a little.

"We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to," I tell him. "And we don't have to do anything, either."

Yeah, it's a sacrifice, what with the whole zipper tattoo I'm getting in these borrowed jeans, but if he's not into it, or not into it here, or not into it now, better to find out before it's too late.

He raises his head again, pushing against my hand until I move it up into his hair, then he leans back, letting his back rest against my front, leaning his head on me. He's got his eyes closed and he's breathing through his mouth.

Just when I think he's never going to talk again, he takes a deep breath and says, "Do you think we could… that is… could we do something without talking about it?"

Takes me a minute to figure out what he's getting at, then…Hell, yes. Hell yes.

"Sure," I say, and I'm totally proud of how cool I sound, when cool is not at all what I am right now.

He nods once, and I can feel it against my stomach, feel his heavy head against me. I make a fist in his hair and tug on it gently, which makes him catch his breath. Hair as an erogenous zone; who'd have thought? So I do it again, and again, and put my other hand on his shoulder and slide it down his chest. Pretty soon he's rubbing against me like a cat, up into the hand in his hair, down onto the hand on his chest.

He's got to be able to feel how hard I am against his shoulders, but it doesn't seem to be bugging him, and the next time he wriggles against me, I'm pretty sure he's rubbing the front of my jeans on purpose. Don't know what I expected, but this isn't it. Thought we'd have to gibber jabber about it, thought he'd get all theoretical and technical on me, thought maybe he'd just realize who he was with and what he was doing and beat a strategic retreat.

Thought he might go polite on me.

That's, um, not at all what's happening. The opposite of that is happening, the 180 degrees of that, the whosiewhat… antithesis… of that is what's happening.

Now he's got his hand over mine on his chest, and he's slouching down in the chair (Slouching? Mr. Perfect Posture slouching?) and pulling my hand down into his lap.

Okay. Okay. Oh my God.

He's losing layers by the minute.

Reaching around to get to him brings my face even with his neck, so I zip on in there, nibble a little, suck some, get him even more hot and bothered, which is pretty hot and bothered, cuz he wasn't exactly just sitting there before. I finally let go of his hair and wrap that arm around him, turn him so the chair back's not in our way anymore, then lean over and hold him tight.

Under my hand, he's a live thing, hot and hard, pushing up against me, and he's holding my hand there, like I wouldn't touch him if he didn't. Like that's something he needs to worry about. Nuh-uh. I'm there, I'm there for however long it takes, which, given how hard he's breathing and the noises he's making, isn't going to be very long.

"I got it, Fraser," I mutter into his neck, pushing his hand away. He lets me go, and next thing I know he's got his hand up in my hair, doing that fist-grip thing I was doing to him, and I get it now, I totally get it, I get it so much I'm starting to hump his back, which would probably embarrass me to death if he didn't moan out a "Yes" and start rocking back against me, just the right pressure, just the right rhythm. Should be awkward - I'm practically bent double trying to keep my dick somewhere on his body - but it just feels good.

He feels good. He tastes good and smells good, and I love feeling how hard I got him. I fumble around for the buttons or zippers or whatever the hell these pants of his use for fastenings and it's a sign of how far he's gone that he's not even offering to help. Takes me longer than it should, but hell, my hands are shaking, and he's filling up most of the available space down there and it's not like this is something I do to someone else, like ever, so I'm not gonna worry about being smooth. Fraser doesn't care.

He's finally out, even bigger than I expected from feeling him through his clothes. It looks almost… angry… shaped different from mine -- uncut, stockier -- and I take a minute to learn how we're not the same. Shouldn't surprise me. It's not like we're so much alike in anything else, either.

He's spitting stuff out the top, slicks things up nice, and now we're doing it, now we're moving and shaking, earth quaking, and I'm not even doing my own thing anymore, just getting him his, and he's pushing on me, pushing and damn it all, now he's talking. Now he's talking?

"Ray, no, no, wait." He's panting, pushing on me, his hips still doing that dancing thing up into my hand.

"You're kidding," I say, cuz I know he can't really stop now. Nobody could stop now. I can't stop now and I haven't even got my clothes off yet.

"My uniform," he says, planting his feet on the floor and heaving himself up in a lunge. A second later all his shirts are on the floor, and two seconds after that he's standing there in just his socks, his pants draped over the chair, saluting the Queen from hip height.

"Okay now?" I ask him, and he turns bright red, from the belly button up. Never saw anything like it.

He nods, and before he can go all shy on me, I've got him again, one hand reaching out to pull him close, the other back to its home on his cock. He's melting all over me, loose as a goose, all his layers peeled down to this sweet, sweaty man shivering under my hands. He's strong as an ox, but I'm the one who's got him now. For a minute or so, he just stands there, then his arms slip around me, brings me in as close as he can without disrupting what I'm doing in between us, and ducks his head into my shoulder, nuzzling under the loose collar of his too-big shirt, rubbing his lips back and forth on my collarbone.

Every time I jerk him, I'm brushing against myself, too, and he's got his tongue out now, licking up my neck, so I rub us both a little harder, a little faster.

He's close, but turns out I'm closer. When he slides his teeth along the vein in my neck it makes me crazy crazy crazy, and I squeeze him too hard, let out a yelp and come inside my borrowed jeans. The squeeze must just do him in, too, cuz next thing I know he's got ahold of me like he's dying, and he's jerking under my hand and against my stomach and then I've got come on the outside and inside of these jeans. Shit. Now I'll be back in my stinky lake water pants tomorrow.

And you know what? It's totally worth it. I'd wear a motel towel if I had to. I'd wear nothing at all, cruise down the I-43 in my altogether. Could have its advantages, you know? Easy access, none of that fumbling for zippers thing to muck up the works.

God, does he feel good. I run a hand down his back. Smooth as a baby's bottom. I can feel him breathing against my neck, feel him wipe his sweaty face on my shirt. Oh good, yeah, let's wreck the whole outfit.

"Ray," he says, squeezing me tight again.

"Yeah?" I say back.

"That's all."

Right. I get it. I got it. It don't take much sometimes.

"Pick a bed," I tell him, and he falls on the closest one. Can't say he's not a practical man. I pull off his socks (the last of his layers) and toss them in a corner, then strip myself down, make a flying pass with a washcloth at the stickiest parts of me and my pants, and by the time I crawl into the bed with him, he's already got his eyes closed and his mouth open, curled up on his side in what I guess is the way he always sleeps.

I click off the light and then watch him in the dark; I like looking at him. When I put my hand out, rest it on his side, I can feel him breathing. He rolls so he's on his back and reaches for me. For me? Or for whoever's warm and near him for once? Doesn't matter. Warmth is important.

I make up my mind I don't care if he knows it's me there, make up my mind to take what I can get. It's not like I've been getting any anywhere else. So my mind's not minding, not at all, but I've gotta admit, my heart likes it a lot when he says "Ray" again.

"Yeah," I whisper, not sure if he's sleeping still, not sure whether to be more thrilled with a sleeping Fraser saying my name or an awake one.

"I…" He stops and tries it again. "I…"

I put him out of his misery with a pat to his belly. "I know, Fraser. Me, too."

Not much point in talking about it, is there? I mean, come on, I can feel it.

Seems to be good enough for Fraser, and it's certainly good enough for me, so we're just going to sleep off the last of the adrenaline, chow down something wicked bad for breakfast and drag out those last few hundred miles as long as we can.

My lead foot's gonna be on the brake this time.

The end.