Cocoon

A RayK/Ben love story

by

Bast

Copyright July 2001 Bast

This work is not to be reproduced in any way or archived anywhere without the express written permission of the author.

Authors Notes: This story is dedicated to Diana and Shadow, both of whom betaed this, encouraged me to post it and praised me for a certain line that just so happened to be my favourite also. Thank you both.


Ray is visiting me here at my posting, and it's wonderful to be with him again. Not too much has changed with him. He looks much the same as he did when I came back to Canada four months ago after being reassigned. His eyes now hold a sadness that can only be guessed at.

He's been here almost two weeks and we're outside, feeding my team, when I hear him call out.

"Fraser!"

My head snaps up and a snowball hits me square in the chest. I stare down at my chest stupidly, I am sure, and he laughs. Ray laughs and the sound warms me. God, I love him so.

I throw one at him and soon enough we're in a snowball fight. He runs, or tries to, in the snow, and I follow, quickly gaining on him since I'm used to this terrain.

He stumbles and falls and rolls over onto his back, laughing up at the sky. I get to him and reach a hand out to help him up and with a – the only way to describe it is wicked – grin he tugs on my hand and pulls me on top of him.

Dear God.

Sprawled on the snow, we stare into each other's eyes and I cannot help myself. After all, I am just a man. A man of flesh and bone and blood and I've wanted this so very long, so very much.

I kiss him. My lips touch his and out of instinct I believe, his mouth opens for me. I slide my tongue in and close my eyes, tasting Ray, tasting and loving him, putting everything I have into that one kiss.

One kiss.

It's all I'll ever have from him, and I hope he doesn't hate me.

Don't hate me.

As I end the kiss, he stares up at me in a daze, and I stare back, begging silently.

Don't hate me.

"Get offa me, Fraser."

I do so, numbly, unable to look at him.

We walk back to the cabin, and I stare at the ground.

He's silent, and he doesn't seem to be angry. At least he's not yelling and cursing. I sneak a glance at him and he looks perfectly calm.

We step inside and remove our outergarments and I head to make some tea.

"Ben."

My name, seldom used by him, stops me dead in my tracks.

"Didja like kissing me?"

I hear no censure in that softly asked question. I nod, my back ramrod straight.

He touches me and I flinch, so very unused to another person's touch.

"I liked you kissing me."

I feel my knees go weak with relief upon his admission.

"Ben? Are ya mad at me?"

I realise then I've still got my back to him, and I turn to face him. "No, Ray, I am not angry with you."

He looks almost lost, but I don't understand why. "Then… wouldja kiss me again?"

I take him in my arms and do as he asks, careful not to rush, not to push… not to beg.

We make our way to the bed, pulling and tugging clothes off as we go, and my skin burns where it touches his, imprinting this time on my soul.

I don't care what's happening outside this bed, I don't care about duty or loyalty, or anything else – I care only about this man I love who is giving me this. It's all I need right now, the here and now. I can't think about tomorrow right now. I can't.

His mouth scalds me, his hands sooth me, his touch takes me higher than I've ever been – or ever will be, ever again, I think – and I try hard to remember not to say those three words that are on the tip of my tongue.

So I keep my mouth busy with other things, and soon he groans, "Need you... Ben…" He lifts his legs up, showing me what he wants and the way he wants it. I tremble as I smooth Vaseline inside him and on me, and then I give him me. I give him everything I have for him. Entering him is an accolade from heaven.

The way he writhes under me, around me, is something I will never forget.

As I thrust into him, I kiss him, thankful that we are almost the same height, thankful I can touch him like this, see him like this.

He comes first, and I grunt, thrusting into him, holding him to me, never wanting to let go. I come inside him but the spell still isn't broken. I stare down into his sweat-sheened face and I want to say it, say it so badly, but instead I settle for holding him close, burying my face against his neck. He never remarks on my weight, nor does he speak of anything else.

I didn't really expect him to.

Eventually I slip out of his body, and I feel the loss so keenly that I almost can't breathe.

I roll off of him and he rolls against me and sleeps.

Six hours later, we're still lying together, my arms holding him tight, his long legs intertwined in mine. He's snuggled close to me, his breath warm on my skin, still asleep.

I can't sleep. Rampant thoughts are running through my brain, keeping me from seeking repose.

Don't I have the right to be happy? Don't I have the right to love and be loved? Old familiar feelings rise up in me, and I struggle to tamp them down, to push them away. I deserve this time with him.

He stirs against me, almost as if sensing my agitation, and I stroke his back, trying to soothe him.

I love him and I need him, and I need this.

To be this close to another human being – to be this close to Ray… words cannot describe the feelings that overwhelm me.

I feel tears leak from the corners of my eyes; I tighten my hold on him as if holding him close can ward off the inevitable.

He must go back to the States in two days. And I must stay here.

It's so unfair. I've only just – the thought must remain unspoken, the words as well.

Of course, he is probably ready to leave me, probably ready to go back to Chicago, to everything he knows and cares about. I'm sure I'm not in that equation.

He shifts against me and whispers, "I gotta pee."

I smile at that and release him, watching as he stumbles over to the bathroom. He leans against the doorframe, his eyes closed as he does what nature dictates.

I close my eyes, lost in my self-misery, and his voice startles me.

"Ben?"

I open my eyes and look up at him. He looks worried, and uncertain. I open my arms to him and he slides into my bed – oh I wish it was our bed – laying his head on my chest as he strokes my stomach with his fingertips.

"What's wrong, Ben?"

I remain silent for a long moment and he doesn't push, he just waits. Finally I judge myself able to speak.

"You'll be leaving in two days."

Do those words sound accusing? As if it's his fault? Please don't let them sound that way.

Now he's silent, his fingers twitching against my skin, no longer stroking.

It seems so unfair. But when is life fair?

"I guess…" he says slowly, interrupting my thoughts, "you wouldn't… you know… uh…" he falls silent again, and I know he's thinking. What exactly, I cannot ascertain. I wait, giving him time to continue before I interrupt.

Pushing himself up, he blankets my body with his and looks down into my eyes. We stare at each other for a few seconds and then he lowers his mouth to mine, kissing me gently, ever so gently, and I respond, wrapping my arms around him again, holding him as our mouths move together.

I don't ever want this to end.

Why does it have to end?

The kiss ends and he presses his face next to mine, just… touching me.

My soul weeps at the injustice of our situation. I scold myself at my wayward thoughts. He doesn't want me. Not forever. Last night, yes, he wanted me, and I could pretend that each of his touches was made with love, with utter devotion. I could pretend.

I would pretend.

"So," Ray pauses as he moves to look into my face. He looks so serious, so intent on… what? "I… guess… me, uh," his face changes from serious to upset in a millisecond, and he starts all over. "I guess me asking you to, uh, oh fuck this!" He's out of bed in an instant, pacing across the floor. "I knew it! I'm so fucking stupid! Goddammit!" He sounds perilously close to tears and I sit up, watching him with concern.

"Ray?" I stand, ignoring my nudity, walking over to the stove where he's now standing, his body still, his eyes fastened on the wood floor, his shoulders hunched over.

He is crying, and I make a wordless sound of sadness, pulling him into my arms again. "Did I hurt you? What is wrong?"

"I hurt myself, cuz I'm stupid, Fraser," he sniffles and pushes away from me.

"Don't," I protest, needing to hold him as much as I can, for as long as I can. "Don't, Ray."

"Whattaya want from me?" Ray wipes his face with his hand and I stare dumbly at him.

Your love, I want to say, but I can't. The words won't come. I want him to love me. I want to be loved by him and him alone. But what right do I have to say those words? Those words that he wouldn't want to hear from me anyway?

"You… last night we…" he looks miserable.

"I'm sorry," I say softly, thinking he's regretting the love I gave him, our one night together, our only night together.

"You're sorry?" Ray looks aghast and steps away from me. His voice rises. "You're sorry?"

"If I upset you in some way, yes," I say, choosing my words carefully.

"You sorry about last night?" Ray's fists are tightly clenched, ready to hit me, I imagine.

I shake my head no. "Never," I admit.

His face clears but he still looks bereft. He still looks so alone, and – scared?

"I wanted… it to be good for you," he mutters, turning away from me, his eyes fastened to the floor again. "I wanted… you… to…"

Hope blossoms in my heart. "What?" I choke, my hands opening and closing at my side, struggling not to touch until given permission.

"I wanted you to love me, dammit!" Ray shouts, turning to face me, fire in his eyes. "I wanted you to LOVE me! To want me… to need me like I need you!" He's shaking and my eyes widen.

"I –" It is like my heart bursts free from the cocoon that it's been hiding in all my life. I feel free.

"Forget it, Fraser, I understand. I ain't your kind of thing." Turning away from me again, he heads to where his jeans lay on the floor, pulling them on. "I'm not good lookin' and I don't know shit compared to you, and –"

"I love you, Ray," I blurt out, a smile on my face, "I love you and I don't want you to leave me."

"Huh?" Ray's mouth hangs open as he turns to look at me, his pants unzipped, one shoe on.

"I love you," I repeat. "I –"

"You love ME?" He turns pale and starts shaking again. Is he still angry? Oh, dear. Before I know what's happening, he's pressing against me, looking at me, his eyes bright. "Say it again," he demands of me, his hands on my shoulders, his fingers digging into my flesh.

"I love you," I enunciate carefully, my hands going to his waist to steady myself.

"For how long?"

"Since the day I met you," I answer softly, not wanting to meet his eyes.

"Look at me. You've loved me since then and only now think I should know?" Now he's angry.

"Ray," I look at him then. "I… I couldn't risk losing you."

"And now I've gotta go back to Chicago. Just fucking great, just goddamn fucking great," he mutters, taking a deep breath.

"Do you…" I need to know if he feels the same, but it's something I'm not sure I can ask.

"Love you?" Ray laughs bitterly. "Oh yeah. I love you. I love you."

"You don't sound very happy about it," I venture. This is not the way I always imagined it would be – our declarations of love, I mean.

He pushes away from me and kicks his shoe off and pulls off his pants, giving me a very good view of his ass. My tongue darts out to moisten my lips.

"C'mon, let's go back to bed," he mutters, running his hand through his hair. I follow him, confused and hurting. He looks so unhappy. Have I hurt him? If so, how? I would never wish to harm Ray. Never.

He waits until I lie down and then he snuggles around me again, placing a kiss next to my right nipple. That reassures me slightly and the hurt eases a bit.

We lay together in silence, and I'm stroking his hair with one hand, holding his hand with the other.

"You said I didn't sound so happy," he finally says. "Well, I ain't. I've got to leave you here and go back without you. Why ya think I'm unhappy? I don't wanna leave you behind."

"I don't want you to leave," I confess.

"But I gotta, huh?" He sounds as miserable at that prospect as I feel.

"Yes," I affirm. "You have duties to perform in Chicago."

"This ain't fair!" he grumbles, wiggling around.

"Yes, well…" I blush as his half hard cock presses against my thigh. I kiss him then, my hand tightening on his, feeling him squeeze my hand in return. "I love you the way you are – no matter what you might think of yourself."

"I'm glad, Ben. I'm glad," he whispers against my cheek. "I love you."

"I love you, Ray," I swallow hard, my heart overflowing with the love I feel for Ray Kowalski.

"Forever?" Ray whispers.

"Forever and a day," I vow. "For eternity."

He sighs and slumps against me as if relieved and covers my heart with his hand. We lay in silence for a few moments when he speaks.

"I'm gonna come back."

"Are you sure, Ray? After all, there isn't that much here for you to do."

"I can fix anything," he says, and I hear the stubbornness in his voice. "I could do that. Fix things."

"I know you can."

"Dotcha want me here, Frase?" Ray is holding his breath, waiting for my answer.

"More than anything, Ray. More than anything." I kiss him then and we hold each other tight, never wanting this moment to end.

Two Days Later

I have taken off from my duties this afternoon to accompany Ray to meet the plane.

Once we arrive in town, he bades me to wait in the small bar near the landing strip while he goes on a small errand, and I sit dutifully as I promised him I would. I would not break my word to Ray.

He comes back after thirty minutes and gestures for me to come with him outside.

I hear the plane coming and I look into his face, reaching up to stroke his cheek. It's too soon to say goodbye. But before we know it, the plane lands and unloads. We've lost ourselves in just looking at each other.

"I'm sorry you had to wait so long, Ben," he says as we walk towards where they're waiting for him.

"I would wait forever, Ray," I tell him.

He smiles then and hugs me tight.

I hug him back, committing even this act of goodbye to memory.

He fumbles in his pocket and looks into my eyes. "Will you marry me, Ben?"

My mouth falls open and I blink hard.

"I know we're two guys, but… I want to be with ya always," his jaw juts out like it does when he's determined, "and I'd marry ya if I could. So will ya?"

I nod, unable to speak.

"Gimme your hand, then, you freak," he laughs, grabbing my hand. He shoves a ring on my ring finger, and I stare down at it in wonder, the plain gold band slightly loose. "Damn. Go have it resized, okay? I had to guess from just licking on your hands last night."

"Sir? We need to go!" The pilot yells.

"Shit. Shit. Okay. I'll be back soon, Ben. Please…" Ray looks flustered. "Don't forget me, okay?"

Like I could?

And then he's gone, climbing into the small aircraft, and I stand and watch it until I can no longer see the speck in the sky, my hand clenched in a fist so I don't lose my ring. My wedding ring. We're married, or as married as we can be at this time in our lives.

His love for me is returned. I know this as I turn to go, and I swallow hard. All my dreams have been realised – all but one.

Now if only he will return as well to fulfil that dream.

Six Weeks Later

I'm sitting at my desk, tapping my pencil on the surface of the blotter, feeling out of sorts and lonely.

I've gotten letters from Ray almost every week. He's never mentioned returning. He says he loves me, but I worry.

I worry that my love won't be enough to sustain him across all these miles. I love being home, but I'd love being with him more.

Enough. These thoughts do him a great disservice.

I love him. He loves me. This ring on my finger proves that. Old worries are not to be listened to.

I purchased him a matching ring, and long to slip it onto his hand. It waits in my coat pocket for the day when I'll see him again.

I long to take him into my arms and make love to him until neither of us can walk.

I lean back in my chair and jump when the telephone rings, lost in a sweet fantasy of loving Ray.

"Constable Benton Fraser, RCMP. How may I help you?" I listen to the gentleman on the other end launch into a long rambling talk which boils down to the fact that a package has arrived, addressed to Diefenbaker and me, and I need to come and pick it up at once.

I smile, putting on my coat and head out the door. Ray playing a joke, no doubt, addressing a package to Diefenbaker. I shake my head as I walk the short distance to where the package awaits. Dief is with my sister still, and I should go fetch him. He needed the exercise with her team.

I enter the small building that is our mail centre, and wait my turn in line. It's clear the plane has recently arrived by the fact I do have to wait behind three other residents.

As I step up to the corner, the elderly man points. "Around the corner out there, Constable," the gentleman wheezes. "Too big to bring in."

"Thank you sir," I say politely. Now I really wonder what Ray's sent.

Too big to bring in… I turn the corner and stop dead in my tracks.

Ray.

Dear God, he looks… gorgeous. He's leaning against the building, chewing gum, watching me approach.

"Ray?" I whisper, unable to believe my eyes.

"In the flesh, Fraser," he laughs. His huge smile does me in.

Regardless of anyone else in the world, I pull him into my arms, kissing him hungrily, one of my hands on the back of his head, the other on the small of his back.

He responds eagerly, and we hear the cheers erupt behind us.

Blushing, I release my beloved, and we turn to smile at the small crowd behind us.

News travels fast here, and everyone knows about us.

It's not every day a wedding band is purchased. That in itself would be remarked upon but to have two sold in less than two months? Well. Two and two does equal four.

No one here will give us grief.

Best wishes echo in our ears as I take as many of Ray's bags as I can, and he carries the rest to the, no, to our cabin.

As we enter, I set the bags down and light a lantern, turning to look at him.

He shifts under my gaze and then mumbles, "Couldn't stay away any longer."

"I am glad, Ray. I missed you," I say, walking towards him, pulling him into my arms.

He melts against me, and I kiss him again, a gentle kiss, a reaffirming kiss.

When we're looking into each other's eyes again, I slip the ring out of my coat pocket. "Will you marry me?"

He stares down at the ring and then looks back up at me. "You mean it?"

"Of course I mean it," I say, slightly exasperated. "I already accepted yours. Will you accept mine?"

"Yes." Trembling, he raises his hand and I slip it on his finger.

"Forever and a day, Ray," I remind him.

"Yeah," he says in an awestruck voice, looking down at our hands. "Ben?"

"Yes?"

"I'm here to stay."

"You are? How?" I lead him over to the table and we sit.

"Can't you take off your coat?" Ray complains as he looks at me.

"Oh, yes. Indeed." I pull it off and drape it on the back of the chair for a moment.

Quietly, we sit there, before I take his hand in mine again. "You were saying?"

"I ain't going back. I gave my notice an' quit. I told everybody goodbye and I ain't never going back unless you're with me." Ray looks determined and I am moved that he would give up his old life for me.

"Are you –"

"Dammit, Fraser! Don't say 'Are you sure'! If ya do, I'll… I'll pop ya one," Ray fumes.

"All right," I say, trying to placate him. I do not want to argue.

"I wanna be with you." He searches my face. "Don't ya still want me?"

I stare at him, stricken. How could he think I wouldn't? "You… you are everything to me, Ray. I never want you to leave me. However, in clear conscience, I could not let you just give up everything you know without –"

"I'm a grown man, Ben," Ray says softly. "We're married… as married as we can be anyways. Our places is with each other."

"Yes, Ray, you are absolutely correct," I say softly.

"I'm here under visitor status," he informs me. "If I can find a job, I'll apply for a work visa."

"I could sponsor you," I tell him, rising to make us tea. "I make enough money to sponsor you."

Ray scowls then. "That means you gotta support me, right?" He's picked up some things about immigration from being with me while I was at the consulate in Chicago, I suppose.

"Yes, well, theoretically," I say calmly. "But I know you'll want to find something to do."

"Understood," he laughs, and I smile at him, feeling my heart soar.

Ten Years Later

I have risen in rank, and Ray has his own business now. We're as happy as we've ever been, still deeply in love. That has never changed, never wavered, even through the bad times.

Our rings are scratched and scuffed now because neither of us do easy work, but they shine as brightly as they always have, a reflection of our love for each other.

He's supposed to start supper tonight, but I know he's got three snowmobiles to get done today, and I don't expect him to even be home until late tonight.

I'm surprised as I step into our cabin. Dief is lying by the stove, soaking the warmth up in his old bones, which tells me Ray is home. I smell a casserole in the oven.

Dief stays with Ray now more than me, and Dief's son goes on patrol with me when I need to leave home. I crouch down by Dief, petting him gently.

"Ray?" I call out, taking off my Stetson and coat as I rise, hanging them up by the door.

"In here, Ben," Ray says from our small bedroom.

I step into our bedroom and smile. He's sitting in the middle of the bed, looking happy.

"I love you," he says, and it's just as wonderful hearing it this time as it was the first time.

"I love you too." I sit down next to him and he hugs me.

We lean back together, our arms around each other and before I quite realise it, we're naked, our bodies fitting together as perfectly as can be.

We make love, slowly and gently, him buried inside me as deep as he can be, spooned around me, his arms holding me safe in the cocoon of his arms as we love.

I close my eyes, intertwining my fingers with his, and let him take me to heaven.

For eternity.


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