Diefenbaker's Other Daddy
Written July 18, 2002
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express written permission of the author. Thank you.
"Yeah, Dief, I know it's hot," Ray Kowalski said sympathetically as he unlocked the door to his and Fraser's SUV and let Dief in. He clipped the restraint to Dief's harness and petted him. "Don't worry, I'll have the AC going in just a second."
He locked and shut Dief's door and then unlocked his door, climbing in. Quickly settling himself in behind the steering wheel, he turned the ignition and adjusted the vents for maximum cooling. He glanced in the rear view mirror. "Just a second, buddy. After we're done at the vet, we'll go pick up Fraser and maybe get some takeout."
Dief muttered and Ray grinned as he put the SUV in reverse. "Yeah, I know, but he's in charge over at the Consulate and he can't leave today. You know that. And since I have the day off well, you're stuck with me."
"Wooh," Dief said.
"I like you too, Dief. Now Fraser said you've got a new vet since the other one retired. Let's get going because I'm not quite sure where this new place is."
Ray pulled into the parking lot of the vet's office and stared in bemusement at the lavender painted building. "Uh. Okay." There were no open parking spaces except in the back of the building and he pulled into one that was sort of shaded by the building itself. He climbed out, collected Dief who suffered the indignities of the leash when Ray explained it was the rules as he well knew, and they headed towards the entrance.
"Sun feels good, though," Ray said, rubbing Dief's ears. "This weekend we'll have a blast, going swimming and camping."
"And hot dogs, yeah."
The sun shone down on Ray's bare arms and glinted off his bracelet and watch as they walked up the sidewalk. Dief began to complain about the heat of the pavement under his paws, and Ray walked faster, guiding Dief over to the flowerbed. "Here, walk in there. They need to have a covered walkway or something," Ray grumbled. "I don't want your feet getting burnt."
Dief watered a few of the flowers and Ray laughed.
"Here we are," Ray said as he swung open the glass door and stepped inside. "The air conditioning feels good, doesn't it, Dief?"
A slim blond man with spiked hair and lots of earrings dressed in lavender scrubs rushed over and knelt by Diefenbaker, hugging him hard as Ray stood right inside the door, stunned. He looked up towards Ray and smiled a huge smile.
"Oh hello! You must be Diefenbaker's other daddy," the blond trilled before rising and heading back around the counter.
"Uh, hi " Ray said hesitantly. "Daddy uh "
"Come on back to room seven. Doctor Lombardo is just finishing up with another patient, and she'll be right with you." The blond looked appreciatively at Ray, giving him the eye. "Lucky Sergeant Fraser and Diefenbaker."
Dief grinned at Ray as Ray blushed and stammered as the blond flirted with him, and when the blond left, Ray scowled at the wolf as they waited for the vet. "Laugh it up, fur ball. I'm not the one who got a thermometer stuck up my "
"Hello! I'm Doctor Lombardo, and you must be Diefenbaker's other daddy! Sergeant Fraser has spoken of you often!" A tiny woman bustled into the room, holding out her hand for Ray to shake. He stood and shook her hand. "Dief needs his shots, correct?"
"Uh, yeah. Fraser said that he needed the heartworm shot too," Ray said, his hand going into Dief's fur.
"We'll get him taken care of right away, Ray." Doctor Lombardo set some syringes down on the exam table and then turned to the countertop, scribbling something in the folder sitting there.
"How'd you know my name?" Ray asked, rubbing his stomach absentmindedly.
The vet turned and grinned at him. "Like I said, Sergeant Fraser speaks of you often."
"Oh. Yeah." Ray shifted from one foot to another. "Do I, do I need to put him up on the table?"
"No, this will be fine."
Dief didn't even complain as his shots were given and when the doctor was done, he licked her. "Good boy, Dief!" She handed him a biscuit, which he promptly devoured. "If you'll go to the front counter, I'll have your paperwork and his new rabies tag up there in a few moments."
"Thanks," Ray mumbled, his mind whirling. What had Fraser said about him? And how could he find out?
As Ray paid for Dief's vet bill, the blond man behind the counter winked at him. "If you and Sergeant Fraser ever break up," the blond said with a saucy grin, "call me!"
Dief rolled his eyes and Ray growled, "Ain't gonna happen. Gimme those papers." He snatched the papers out of the blond's hand and stomped out of the vet's office, a grinning Diefenbaker in tow. "Shut up, Dief. God."
"Hey," Ray said, looking at Fraser as his best friend climbed in the SUV, "they thought we were a couple at the vet. Kept calling me Dief's other daddy."
"Well, you are," Fraser said, looking back at his wolf. "So to speak. If we were his parents, that is to say "
"What?" Ray interrupted. "You gotta be kidding me."
"We live together, we own property together, we "
Ray made an exasperated noise. "That don't mean we're gay."
Fraser stared out the window, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
Ray slammed his foot down on the brake as they came to a traffic light and stared over at his best friend. "Fraser? God, don't tell me you're gay?"
Fraser looked at him, misery in his eyes. "Yes."
"Oh holy shit," Ray breathed, staring at Fraser. A cacophony of horns startled him back to awareness and he jerked his head back to stare out the windscreen. He drove through the intersection, his stomach aching and hands trembling, his emotions in a whirl. Finally, he pulled over in the parking lot of a grocery store and put the truck in park. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I I'm sorry, Ray. I my " Fraser stammered.
"Goddamn it, Ben. We're almost hitting fifty, and you choose now to come out to me?" Ray leaned his head on the steering wheel.
"I'm sorry, Ray," Fraser said quietly. "I wouldn't lie to you."
"No, I just had to ask you straight out," Ray said wearily. "Why do I mean I don't know what to say to you now."
"We've been friends for years, Ray. I'm the same person you said goodbye to this morning, the same person you made breakfast for."
"It's like we're married!" Ray spluttered. "Listen to you!"
"What?" Fraser looked confused.
"Saying goodbye! I made breakfast for us this morning!" Ray ranted, waving his arms.
"You did," Fraser agreed. "And I did yesterday. That doesn't make us married."
"What, now I'm not good enough to marry you?" Ray stuck his face close to Fraser's and glared. "Ben, I swear to God "
"What?" Ben demanded. "You'll hit me?" His eyes narrowed.
Ray jerked away from Fraser as if Fraser had slapped him. In silence, he put the truck in gear and headed towards home.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, then Ben said, "Ray. I'm sorry. That was unforgivable."
"It was eight years ago. And I've never hit you since," Ray said, his voice strained.
"Ray, I'm sorry. I I'm a bit overwhelmed right now. I honestly never thought "
"You thought I didn't need to know? What, you couldn't share that with me?" Ray's voice shook as he turned onto the highway. "And what, what, all those times you told me you had a function to attend, was that you taking someone out?"
"No! I wouldn't deceive you that way. I don't date," Fraser said softly, his hesitation slight but noticeable.
Ray scowled, pulled a CD out of the CD holder on the visor and put it in the player, turning up the volume. The rest of the ride home was conducted with only the music between them. No words were spoken.
Ray looked out over the garden, wearing only a pair of shorts. Grass poked between his toes as he stood there in silence.
"Ray?" Ben walked up behind him, wearing a pair of cutoffs. "Can I talk to you a minute?"
"Yeah." Ray's voice sounded hoarse.
"Would you let's sit down." Fraser turned and went back to the small covered patio that he and Ray had built four years ago.
Dief bounded across the yard, jumping into the small wading pool that Ray kept full for him as Ray turned and walked back to the patio. Ray sat down across from Ben, his hands on his knees, staring down at the bracelet on his arm.
Ben sighed and shook his head. "I never told you because I didn't want to lose your friendship, Ray."
Ray looked up, startled. "What?"
"It's hard to tell someone such a thing. That you're even less 'normal' than they think."
Ray sort of smiled. "Which my friend, isn't much."
Fraser grinned back at him. "You're right."
Ray sobered and leaned forward. "Fraser, just because you're gay doesn't make you less normal. You know that, right?"
"I know that. But I was still afraid. I'm afraid now," Fraser confessed.
"What in the hell for?" Ray reached over and poked Fraser in the side, grinning when Fraser laughed and jerked away.
Fraser looked at Diefenbaker rolling in the yard, his legs waving wildly in the air. "Because you've been quiet all evening." He then looked at Ray, his voice quiet. "Because you're my dearest and best friend, and I'd hate to lose you. I'd hate for you to leave."
Ray scowled at him. "Whattya talking about? I'm not going anywhere. You're not going anywhere." Dief barked at them and they grinned at each other. "And that's right, I'm Dief's other daddy." He poked Fraser in the ribs again, just to hear him laugh.
Ray lay sprawled on the couch, his feet under Ben's thigh. They were both reading and Dief was curled up next to the fireplace.
"Hey." Ray poked Fraser with his toes.
"You know that blond guy that works at the vet?" Ray asked.
"Hm. Yes, Byron," Ben said with a smile.
Ray snickered. "Byron? What kind of name is that?"
Ben stroked Ray's shin as he spoke. "I suspect he's named after Lord Byron."
"He was a poet, right?" Ray wiggled around a little and watched as Ben's hand rubbed across his skin.
"Yes. He was one of the more famous romantic poets," Ben replied, putting his book aside.
"So say something."
"You know, from Byron."
"Oh. Yes. All right." Ben thought a moment then smiled. "'Tis time the heart should be unmoved, since others it hath ceased to move: yet, though I cannot be beloved, still let me love!"
Ray blinked at him and then wiggled some more. "So this purple Byron guy, he hit on you?"
Fraser shook his head. "No. He doesn't. He seems a bit shy."
"SHY?" Ray sat up looking indignant. "He's as shy as I'm gonna fly."
"Why, did he hit on you?" Ben looked amused and picked up his book.
"Yeah. Asked me to call him in case we broke up." Ray lay back with a roll of his eyes.
"Well," Fraser's eyes twinkled, "at least you've got a sure thing, I suppose." He began to laugh and was still laughing when Ray hit him in the head with a pillow.
"Night, Fraser. You got tomorrow off?" Ray said as he headed towards his bedroom.
"Yes, Ray. Four-day weekend. You?"
"Nah. Well, half day. I got paperwork to do. You still want to go get some plants for the garden? If so, you can drive me in." Ray scrubbed his fingers through his hair.
"Yes, all right. I do, and I'll drive you in." Ben started towards his bedroom and then turned back to face Ray. "Would you like me to help you with your paperwork?"
"Hey, that'd be greatness. If you could help me, we could get outta there and get over to the garden centre pretty quick."
"All right, then. Good night, Ray."
Ray shut his door behind him and leaned against it, rubbing his face before stripping down and getting in bed. For a long time, Ray lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling, wondering how in the hell he missed such a detail about his best friend.
Fraser didn't date. Every night, they were together had been since they bought the house five years ago. Nice big yard, old house. Needed work, so they got it for a song, and it looked beautiful now.
Ray didn't date either. Sometimes he thought about asking a woman out, but then he realised that he didn't really have the heart to. He'd rather go home with Fraser and play chess, or read, or any of the other zillion things he and Fraser could do to have fun. He thought about what that meant, here and now. He flopped over on his stomach, scowling. Must be something wrong with him, if all he wanted to do was spend time with his best friend.
Maybe you love Fraser a little more than just as friends, a little voice in his brain sing-songed. Remember six years ago when Fraser got shot?
Ray closed his eyes and swallowed hard. Fuck yeah, he remembered that. How could he forget Fraser lying on his back in that dirty fucking Chicago alley? He remembered pressing the fucking wound, the blood on his hands, and the smell of the bloody wool tunic.
"Oh fuck." He climbed out of bed and started pacing and rubbing his arms. He'd almost lost Fraser then. They hadn't even been working they'd been out to eat dinner. Ray couldn't even eat Chinese now, because that's what they'd just had for dinner. Some dumb punk kid ran out of the restaurant they were walking by, and shot Fraser. Just shot him.
Ray still had nightmares about it. As he climbed into bed, he wondered if Ben did.
"It'll be okay, Fraser, holy shit, don't you fucking leave me, okay? Don't you leave us, okay?" Ray said, his teeth clinched as he pressed on the wound in Ben's side. Dief howled.
"Ray, I " Ben looked pale.
"One of you fuckers call 9-1-1," Ray shouted at the crowd that formed to watch the man on the ground. "Ben, I need I need you to hold your hand over yeah," Ben pushed his hand where Ray needed it, and Ray kept one hand over Ben's and managed to get his phone out and promptly dropped it, slick and wet with Ben's blood.
Dief picked it up and Ray grabbed it. "Thanks, Dief." He pressed 9-1-1 just as he heard sirens coming their way. Giving the information to the operator, Ray tucked his cell back in his pocket and looked at Ben.
The Mountie was sweating and he looked bad to Ray. "Ray take care of Dief "
"No! No! Ben! God, don't!" Ray pleaded as Ben closed his eyes.
"Ack!" Ray sat straight up in bed, panting, shaking, sweaty and cold all at once. "Hell." He pulled on some shorts and went to the bathroom, then on to Ben's room. He knocked on the door and waited.
"Ray?" Ben called out.
Ray pushed open the door. "Who the hell else?"
"What's wrong?" Ben looked at the clock and sat up in bed. "We've got to be up in two hours."
"You ever dream about it? About getting shot?" Ray stood in the doorway, hesitant to come in further. He rarely came inside Ben's bedroom, and never without being asked. He respected Ben's space.
"Which time?" Ben asked, turning on the lamp over the bed. "Ray? What's wrong? You look "
"Yeah, I'm flipping out, just goodnight, okay?" Ray backed up and started to pull the door shut.
"Wait." Ben yawned and stretched. "Come in."
Ray stepped inside the room and stood there, his arms crossed. "I feel dumb."
Ben looked at him curiously. "Why?"
"Because I I " Ray fell silent.
"Did you have a bad dream?" Ben scooted over, giving Ray room to sit down on the bed. "Is that why you asked "
"Yeah. I did. It it sucks. I thought you were gonna die and I was gonna lose you," Ray said softly, sitting down on the bed.
"But I'm here," Fraser said with a small smile. "You saved me."
Ray looked at Ben with wild eyes. "It shouldn't have ever happened, Fraser."
"No, but it did, and I'm fine. See?" Fraser reached over and touched Ray's arm. "I'm fine."
Ray twisted around to face Ben and nodded. "Yeah. I know. I just it freaks me out."
"Come here." Ben pulled the covers back and Ray moved to lie down. As Ben clicked off the light and lay down next to him, Ray scooted closer to him, his back to Ben.
Ray spoke. "You ever miss not being with someone?"
"No, Ray. I'm with you, and Diefenbaker, and that's plenty," Ben said, his voice gentle.
"Do you love me?" Ray held his breath.
Ben answered immediately, no stammering, no putting him off, no half-truths. "Yes Ray."
Ray turned around and looked at his best friend. "Like that? Like like we're married?"
"Yes Ray," Ben said softly. "I'm sorry."
"For loving me?"
"Yes. I know you like women "
Ray flopped onto his back. "Come on, Fraser. When's the last time I had a woman?"
"Three years and twenty seven days ago."
Ray laughed. "And I didn't even get any."
"Ray!" Ben said with a laugh.
"It's the truth." Ray reached up and turned on Ben's light. He saw something in Ben's eyes and wondered if it had always been there. He reached over and traced Ben's lips with his fingertips and then leaned in and kissed Ben.
With a soft exhalation, Ben opened his mouth and let Ray's tongue in, his arms wrapping tight around Ray. Ray shivered and pressed himself against Ben, and then he pulled away. Ben watched him, but didn't move to touch him.
"You really love me?" Ray asked, his voice raspy, his lips wet.
"I think I love you too. Is that enough?" Ray asked, his hand on Ben's chest. "For now?"
Ben nodded. "I'll take what you can give me."
"I don't I won't go out on you or anything, won't cheat on you," Ray mumbled, pressing a kiss to Fraser's smooth chest. "I just gotta get my head straight."
"Time, Ray we've got time," Ben said quietly, stroking Ray's cheek.
Six Months Later Christmas
"Argh, c'mon," Ray grumbled as he wrestled their tree down from the attic.
"Be careful, Ray," Ben called up the steps.
"Better move. This fucking thing is more of a hassle every damn year. Bah Humbug! Fucking Christmas!" Ray ranted, as he reached the bottom of the steps. "Let's get it out of the way and then I'll go up and get the ornaments."
"I can "
"You're not carrying those down the way your back's been hurting. So just forget it," Ray stated flatly, giving Fraser an even stare.
"What part of no don't you get? You make me crazy," Ray shook his head. "C'mon, move," he coaxed the box. Finally it slid on the rug he had sitting at the ready so the box wouldn't scratch the hardwood floor. He looked back over his shoulder, "Why don't you make me some coffee, if you don't care?"
Ray trudged back up the attic and began to carry down the boxes. When he got down with the last one, Dief began to cavort around the tree box. He knew these boxes meant presents. Ray laughed and ruffled Dief's fur. "You ready for Christmas?"
"Here you are, Ray," Ben said, handing him a mug of coffee.
"Thanks, Fraser." Ray sipped the hot brew carefully.
"It's snowing outside," Ben said with a smile. "Come and see."
Ray, Ben and Dief went to the patio door and looked out. Dief wagged his tail and Fraser opened the door and let him out.
Ray leaned against Ben, still sipping his coffee. Casually, he asked, "You miss it?"
"Miss what?" Ben looked at him, sliding his arm around Ray's waist.
"Home," Ray said, jerking his head towards the snow.
"No, Ray. I'm already home."
"Yeah?" Ray grinned a blinding grin.
"I love you, Fraser." Fraser looked at him in surprise and then hugged him tight. He'd waited so long to hear the words. "Thanks. You know. For not pushing me." Ray's eyes were fastened on Dief snatching at snowflakes.
"I love you too, Ray." Fraser dropped a kiss on Ray's ear. "I love you too."
Late That Night
Ray writhed under Ben's kisses and his touches. "God, yes," he sobbed as Ben took him into his mouth as two fingers penetrated him.
He was lost in a maelstrom of pleasure and heat and then, suddenly, realised he wanted more. For the first time ever, he wanted Fraser's dick inside him, not just Fraser's fingers. He tugged at Fraser's hair and when his lover looked up at him, he croaked, "In me. You."
Fraser's eyes darkened and he slid his fingers out of Ray's ass and let Ray's cock slip free of his mouth. Reaching for the lube, he lubed up his erection and then made sure Ray was good and slick and slid into him.
"Ohhh," Ray moaned as Ben opened him up with his cock.
"I love you, Ray, oh, I love you so much," Ben whispered, watching the white lights of their Christmas tree sparkle across Ray's skin. "Thank you for giving this to me, for saving it for me," he panted, thrusting harder and harder into Ray's body.
Ray met him thrust for thrust and stroked himself as hard and as quick as Fraser could pound into him. He came with a shout of Ben's name, his hand tightening around himself. Fraser leaned over and kissed him hard and deep and Ray moaned into Ben's mouth.
All too soon, it was over, Fraser grunting as he pushed inside Ray one more time, gripping Ray's hips so tightly that Ray wondered if he'd have bruises.
They lay together on the large braided rug by the Christmas tree, holding each other tight when Ray said suddenly, "I love you."
"I love you too."
"Forever, I love you, Ben."
Ben hugged him tight, and when Diefenbaker came to investigate them a little later after waking up from his nap, Ray petted him and murmured, "I'm glad I'm Dief's other daddy."
"So are we, Ray," Ben said softly, reaching over to pet Dief. "So are we."