Soul Deep Love

by

Bast

Written 17 July 2002

This work is not to be archived or shared in any way without the
express written permission of the author. Thank you.


"Men have loved men for ages, Ray," I said softly. I had worked myself up to this for what seemed ages, and now it was finally happening, and it was going as I had expected. That is to say, not well.

"And – and you're a man who loves men?" Ray asked, looking somewhat stunned.

I nodded. "I love you." I have loved men before, but none like I love Ray.

Ray bowed his head and then looked up at me with a shake of his head. "Fraser – I –"

"It's all right, Ray," I said with what I hoped was a reassuring smile, needing – and wanting – to reassure him despite the dashing of my hopes. I really did not expect him to fall into my arms. Hoped, yes. Dreamed, oh yes. Believed? No.

"You're not mad at me?" His eyes narrowed and I sighed.

"Of course not. You're my best friend – we are still friends?" I asked, now feeling hesitant, worried.

"Yeah, a'course!" He frowned then. "Isn't it – you know – gonna be hard for you to be my friend if you love me?"

"No, Ray." Firmly. Honestly meant.

"You wanna go to Poppa Joe's and grab some barbeque?"

Undoubtedly our discussion was over. "Yes, Ray, that would be fine."

"Great. Let's head out. Hey, Dief – you want barbeque beef, pork, or chicken?" Ray called out.

Dief muttered his answer from the centre of Ray's bed where he was wallowing. "Really, Ray, Diefenbaker –"

"Hey, he's my buddy. Gotta feed him. Right Dief?" Ray poked his head into his bedroom. "Chicken? You got it."

+++++

"Whattya want, Fraser? Beef?"

"Yes, Ray, that'll be fine," I say softly, staring out the window at the dirty city we're speeding past, my mind on how anti-climatic telling Ray was. Wallowing in self pity would do no good, neither would regrets.

"Ben."

Startled, I jerk my head over at him and he looks at me and frowns for a moment.

"You sure you're gonna be okay? Because," Ray says, deftly pulling the GTO into a space in front of our favourite barbeque restaurant that looks too small to fit a motor scooter, "I could definitely go for you. But… I'm just not sure."

"You're not sure?" I repeat, puzzled. Then, "You could go for me?"

"I'm not sure," Ray says, turning off the car. "I'm not sure I can do the guy-guy thing."

You're not saying no?" I'm astonished. "I thought you –"

Ray scowls then. "No, I'm not saying no. What the hell do you take me for? Love's not all that easy to find, you know. I mean, I love you, okay? But I'm not sure I could –"

"Have sex with me?" My lips twist in a bitter smile, my voice acerbic.

"Yeah." He looks away and drums his fingers on the steering wheel nervously.

I sigh and feel ashamed. Ray's being honest with me, and I'm treating him terribly. "Ray." He looks back at me, looking upset, and I reach over and clasp his arm, near his elbow. "I'm sorry, Ray. I didn't mean to –"

"No, it's okay Fraser," he says with a diffident shrug, his tone stating plainly that it isn't okay.

"It's not," I tell him quietly. "I'm sorry. I'm just at a loss as to what to say to you."

"I thought you said you could still be my friend?" He looks panicked now, and I hasten to reassure him.

"Yes indeed, Ray. I will always be your friend." I smile at him briefly and release his arm. "I'm just – I mean, I would be lying if I –"

"If you didn't think of lying down with me?" Ray asks, his eyes fastened on me, looking solemn.

"Yes."

He takes a deep breath. "Okay. Look. See, this is my problem. I'm nervous. I, uh, I mean, I never was with no girls but Stella. I'm not some great catch, okay? She couldn't even stick with me. I – I meant what I said when I told you I loved you. I do. I mean, soul deep love. I think about you all the time. I've even, uh," his face flames, "had a few dreams about you."

I stare at him, almost unable to believe what he's saying.

He glances over at me, and then looks back out the windscreen, still slightly pink. "I'm just sort of worried – okay, a lot of worried, okay?"

"Ray, I –"

"No, Fraser, listen!" Ray sounds exasperated, and he makes a gesture with his hand. "I'm scared shitless over this. I'm fucking terrified that you're just gonna get tired of me pussyfooting around, and go back to Can –"

"Ray, listen to me. Please." His head whips around and he glares at me, opening his mouth. I hold up my hand and he subsides, looking resigned. "I…" I swallow hard against the emotions that threaten to overtake me – I never expected this much. Hoped, yes, but expected? Never. "I will give you forever to decide if that's what you need. I won't leave the States without you giving me an answer." I touch his knee and say softly, "It's not as if I have an open invitation to go home when I please, Ray."

"I know, Fraser." He stares down at his lap then and mutters, "What if someone else comes along? And I seen you kissing that Janet Morse."

"Are you telling me that you will give it – me – due consideration?" I ask, trying to keep my voice from trembling. "I admit to kissing her. I get… lonely, Ray."

"That's just it! That's just it!" Ray suddenly shouts, hitting the steering wheel. "What if you get lonely and tired of waiting for me to make up my mind, and you meet someone else? Then what?"

I stare at him. "I find it highly unlikely I'll meet anyone else that catches my eye like you do, Ray."

"What's that mean?" Ray asks suspiciously, cutting his eyes in my direction.

"You're everything I admire. Handsome, strong, courageous," I clear my throat, "sexy." He smirks then and I grin back at him. Then I remember what he said. "Soul deep love, Ray?"

"Yeah. Soul deep. I can't picture me with no one but you, but –" he waves his hands helplessly, "I just don't know how."

"Don't know how? I don't understand," I murmur, my heart warming at the thought of being Ray's soul deep love. What a wonderful gift he has given me with those words. Even if we never go any further, I will hold those words to my heart forever.

Ray looks over at me and takes a deep breath. "I don't, uh, the – y'know, what we'd do."

Comprehension dawns. "Ah. Yes. Well, Ray. I could hold you. Kiss you. We could engage in sexual intercourse also, of course." My penis throbs at the thought of Ray spread out for me, his body, his love, for my taking.

Ray sighs, fidgets. "I'm saying I don't know how two guys have sex. Okay? Don't laugh at me, okay?" he mumbles, looking out his window. "I mean, I get the general idea, but…" he trails off with another sigh.

"I could… show you… when you're ready," I offer, my voice hoarse, my hands fisted on my lap to keep from touching him.

"So what does that make me?" he asks, still looking out the window, his fingers twitching.

"Make you?" Once again, I'm confused as to what he means.

"Am I your boyfriend?" He turns to face me, looking endearingly baffled and I smile at him, unable to help it.

"If you'll have me."

"Yeah, why not," he grins at me then, his eyes sparkling mischievously. "I haven't had any better offers."

"Well, thank you kindly, Ray." I glance down at my watch. "Joe will be opening in approximately three minutes." He nods, looking confused, and then I reach over and take his hand in mine, lacing our fingers together. I never thought to get this far with him. It's bliss. "We can sit here for a few more minutes."

He grins, gives my hand a squeeze, and we sit in silence, just holding hands.

Two Weeks Later

I attempted to kiss him last night after the cinema. He shied away from me like a skittish colt, and I refrained from touching him the rest of the night. I try to remind myself to let him come to me, let him move into my arms when he's ready, but it's so damn hard. I want – I want him, I cannot help myself.

I am afraid of love. I have been for a very long time, and yet, I cannot help but to want to be with him. After Victoria, I swore I would never trust another person like that again. I've succeeded for the most part – my failure being, of course, Ray.

Loving Ray is, all in all, very easy. He needs me and he says he loves me – soul deep love – but still, part of me is very afraid of what will happen when he decides that loving a man – loving me – isn't what is best for him. I know it will happen. Everyone leaves me. However, despite that, I'm still determined to enjoy Ray while I can, love him while he lets me, and I push all the depressing thoughts out of my mind, the best I can.

I lay on my bed – the new queen sized bed that I bought in hopes – in high hopes – of intimacy with Ray at some point in our lives. The cot, while theoretically able to hold both of us, is not where I want to take Ray's virginity.

The thought of my hands being the only man's hands on his body enthrals and thrills me. I have imagined our first time and masturbated over those dreams so often that my penis is sore. But it doesn't stop me from touching myself again.

I stare up at the crack in the ceiling of my apartment and then close my eyes slowly, running my hand down to my penis, feeling it's heavy weight in my hand. It almost seems as if I've been aroused forever, but in reality, I've only been erect since Ray called me. We hadn't seen each other all day because of our respective duties. I thought I would surely go mad. But hearing his voice over the telephone lines is the next best thing as to seeing him, I suppose.

His voice was low and quiet when he told me he missed me.

I told him I missed him. And that I loved him. He hesitated and then said, "I love you too Ben."

After we hung up the telephone with promises to meet for – at the very least – lunch tomorrow, I went to bed.

Here I lay, in this big, soft bed, my hand running up and down my penis, imagining it's Ray's hand, imagining the pillow that I hug close to me is him, hearing him tell me he loves me, and I orgasm so hard I see stars. Sweaty and sated, I sigh and just lay there for a moment, a mess, catching my breath.

The Next Day

I'm waiting for Ray at Dino's. It's lunchtime and Ray is late. He sent me an email earlier in the day asking if eating here was okay as he had a hankering for their gyros. I emailed him back, setting a time of one in the afternoon for our lunch date. He called me at noon and told me he'd be here.

He's not, and it's almost time for me to start back to the Consulate.

The proprietor's daughter, a sweet young lady, wraps a sandwich to take back with me, and I thank her politely. I step out onto the hot sidewalk, and take one last look around. I see the GTO parked up the street and start to walk towards it when I notice that Ray has a passenger. A woman. Stella.

My heart dies in my chest when she leans towards him and pecks him on the cheek. I can do nothing but stand there and stare as he kisses her back.

He exits the car, a big smile on his face and then he sees me. His smile falters for a moment and he looks at Stella, who is now also standing next to Ray's shiny black car.

It's as if time is standing still, it's as if everything is in slow motion… I turn and begin to walk away as fast as I am able, throwing the sandwich in the garbage – I can't eat now and I can't look back. I'm unable to deal with confrontation at this point. Besides, what good would it do? At least I had two weeks of him being my boyfriend. Of Ray loving me. Of being able to love him back.

God. I've been shot, stabbed, cut, bruised, and nothing – nothing – could have prepared me for the way I feel right now.

I knew it was too good to be true. I just thought somehow that I would have longer to love him.

"Ben! Fraser!" I hear him shout and I walk faster. "Fraser!"

Before long, I'm running, trying to leave it all behind. I stop at a payphone, leave a message on the consulate's voice mail that I'm ill, and then I run home. I feel as if my heart will pound out of my chest and Dief looks startled when I burst into our apartment. He's got the TV on a talk show and I slam the door behind me, locking it. I feel myself starting to shake, and I go to my bedroom and throw myself down on the bed.

And then I cry.

Good Lord. I take great gulping breaths, trying to calm down. It doesn't work. When Diefenbaker comes and lies next to me and licks my face, trying to soothe me, it somehow makes things worse. Not his fault, it's mine.

I cry myself to sleep.

++++++

I awake, Dief pressed close to my side. A fresh wave of grief washes over me, and I push it down, hide it away.

I run my fingers through Dief's fur and he doesn't say a word.

Finally, I blearily force myself to rise and undress. I put the uniform aside with a mental note to take it to the cleaners tomorrow.

Heading to the bathroom, I decide to shower before fixing dinner. I ignore the flashing light on my answering machine and head into the bathroom.

Stepping into the shower, I wash and rinse my body efficiently, not wanting to linger where so many of my fantasies have taken me – the idea of Ray's body next to mine in a shower was always a particular favourite – and I step out onto the cold tile floor, listening to the answering machine pick up. "This is Constable Benton Fraser and Diefenbaker's residence. Please leave a message at the tone. Thank you kindly."

It's Ray. "Ben, for god sakes! Pick up the phone! I've been calling all afternoon. God. Ben I wasn't – I need to talk to you." He pauses then says softly, "Ben, please."

But I can't. I can't talk to him right now. My soul is far too wounded to even contemplate discussion. I turn the volume down on the answering machine so I don't have to listen to any more words right now. They're making me bleed. I also turn off the ringer on the phone.

Dief asks what I'll do, as I pad through the apartment to get a pair of boxers, and I tell him the honest truth. "I don't know, Dief. I don't know."

In silence, Dief and I eat dinner, and then I sit on my couch and think about Ray's bright, happy smile as he exited the car today.

A loud pounding on my door startles me out of my thoughts and I draw in a shaky breath. It's Ray, I know it is. He begins to yell and when I don't answer immediately, he threatens to kick down my door. I get up and open the door in silence, just as his foot raises to smash my door down.

"Are you all right?" Ray asks, standing there on the landing, droplets of rain on his overcoat.

Dief whines a greeting to Ray and Ray looks over my shoulder at Dief. "Hiya Dief. He been out lately?" I shake my head, gripping the door, trying to keep from shaking apart at the sight of Ray, his hair slicked to his head, his eyes betraying how worried he is. "Well, c'mon then, Dief." Dief woofs happily and runs around me to nudge Ray's leg.

Ray pets Diefenbaker and then starts to turn to go down the stairs when he turns back to say quietly, "When I get back, we're going to talk."

"As you wish." My voice sounds alien to me, and I just stand there, staring after the man I love as he goes down the steps.

Soul deep love… it goes both ways. I feel all taken apart, and I'm trembling again. I shut the door and go and get a t-shirt to slip on. Sitting down on the couch, I look down at my hands and curse my weakness in regards to Ray. He was honest with you from the beginning, I remind myself. You've let yourself fall in love and knew nothing good would come of it, especially when he told you –

"We're back!" Ray calls, stepping in after Diefenbaker. "He didn't seem to like the rain so he hurried."

I just watch his every movement, still not ready – or willing – to speak. When he hangs up his coat to drip dry in the bathtub, he goes into the kitchen and makes us some tea. What a good husband he would be. All I ever wanted was to be with him for the rest of our lives.

But I knew it wouldn't last, and I tried to guard from the hurt that I knew would come, but I guess I couldn't. Didn't guard well enough, any road. I feel my eyes fill again and I draw a deep breath, trying to control myself. I am behaving in an unseemly manner, and it will not do.

He brings me a mug and sits next to me, sipping his tea and leaning against me, as he's wont to do. After a few moments of silence he puts his mug down on the coffee table and pulls off his boots and socks.

I just stare at the wall, determined not to look at him, for if I do, it will be the end of me, I think. Occasionally, I take a sip of tea. It's chamomile, which I keep for upset stomachs and stress. Oh Ray. He must realise how upset I am. My throat closes up at that small kindness and I put the mug down.

"You think I was cheating on you with Stella."

It's not a question, so I don't reply.

"I was saying goodbye to her. She's moving to Los Angeles." Ray half turns on the couch and reaches up to touch me and when his fingers touch my cheek, I flinch. "Oh Ben." He straddles my lap and hugs me close, and I choke then, the tears come again, despite me not wanting them to, and I hug him close, as tight as I dare.

"Ssh, ssh, it's okay. I've been calling you all goddamn day. You been home all this time, upset, ain't ya?" he's rocking us back and forth and I press my face closer to him, just holding on. "You been crying?" I nod and he sighs, presses a kiss on my face. "Didn't mean to hurt you. Wouldn't do it on purpose for nothing Fraser. I was late because Welsh wanted to see me in his office. Gave me a four- day weekend, arranged for you to have one too, since we both worked our asses off on that Peterson case and then Stella wanted to talk to me. Since she wanted to go over to that tailor there – Mister Gummywhatchacallim –"

"Mister Gummicoli," I say, my voice thick.

"Yeah, him. I just gave her a ride. We said our goodbyes. And I told her."

I pull back a little and look at him. "What?"

He touches my lips, and I feel the calluses on his fingertips, and then he smiles that all too rare breathtaking smile that transforms him into an otherworldly creature of beauty. "That I loved you. And that you were forever for me."

I stare at him, stunned. I croak, "You told her that? About me?"

"Well, who else? Dief? Geez Fraser," he teases me, his eyes soft and gentle as he gazes at me.

"I'm forever for you?" I never – I had hoped, dreamed, but to hear him say it…

"Yeah. Me and you. Forever." He slides off of me and sits next to me again, picking up his mug and draining it. "That is, if you want me."

"You decided?"

"Do I need to repeat myself?" Ray scowls at me. "Drink your tea. And let's go to bed. Only to sleep, though, okay? I'm wrung out from being worried sick about you, and I couldn't leave the two-seven to come and check on you because the Dorse case broke."

"I'm sorry, Ray."

"I am too, Fraser. I'm sorry you didn't trust me enough to realise I wouldn't just love all over the Stella right in front of where I'm supposed to meet you for lunch," Ray says, winding up to rant at me, and while I know I deserve it, I can't… not now.

"Please, Ray. I'm sorry. I just… it hurt and I – I wasn't thinking clearly."

He scowls at me again and then sighs. "You're right. Let's go to bed."

I follow him to my bedroom, and he stares down at the large bed. "Fraser?" He turns to me, a question in his eyes.

"I had hopes, Ray." I begin to undress, and while he undresses, I watch him, almost afraid he'll disappear if I touch him, but when he turns to me, wearing nothing but a smile, I suddenly go from afraid to terrified – where is the man who wouldn't even let me kiss him?

He must see something in my face and he comes and stands before me, cupping my face. "I'm trying, Fraser. I need you to try too. I'm… I'm scared, okay? But I need to step through this door, this door that's between my worldview and your worldview, and I need some help."

I nod, realising he's showing me how he trusts me, and I take his hand in mine and lead him to the bed.

We get in bed as does any other couple, I imagine, and he immediately slides next to me, moulding his body to mine. "Big bed," he whispers.

"Well, Ray, we're big –"

"Don't say it Fraser –"

"– men," I finish.

He begins to laugh and hugs me. I'm not quite sure what I said to provoke that reaction from him. He chuckles and puts his hand on my stomach. It rolls and twists and I hold my breath, waiting to see what he's going to do.

"Big men, big dicks," he murmurs, amusement in his voice.

My face heats up. "Oh!"

He laughs again, places a kiss at the corner of my mouth and rolls onto his stomach, one arm now draped across me. "Goodnight, Fraser."

"Good night, Ray."

I lie awake for a very long time, feeling Ray's body warm and heavy against mine. I'm afraid if I go to sleep, I'll wake up with nothing.

As always.

+++++

I wake to a pleasant sensation of Ray murmuring something in my ear and snuggling closer to me. Even though I didn't want to go to sleep, I obviously did. I should have trusted in Ray. I hug him briefly and he brushes a kiss across my cheek.

Dief peers at me from the end of the bed and I nod, taking care to be quiet and not disturb Ray. Diefenbaker jumps down and I slide out of bed, quickly attending to my needs before I get dressed and take my wolf out for a walk. I look at Ray, and he's burrowed down in the bed, under the covers, and I smile, shake my head and precede Diefenbaker out of the apartment.

When we return, Ray is still sleeping, my pillow in his arms, and I decide to be slothful and re-join him. I undress and slide under the covers, pulling at my pillow until Ray decides to release it. His eyes flutter open and he says, "Gah," as I slide my arms around him.

"Good morning to you too, Ray," I say with a smile. His hair is stuck up one side, flattened to his head on the other side, and he's warm and pliant in my arms.

"Gah." He closes his eyes and slides closer to me, resting his head on my shoulder. "Love you."

For a moment, I'm startled speechless. Then, softly, carefully, I trace the sleep wrinkles on his face and whisper, "I love you too, Ray. More than you probably realise."

"You were really upset yesterday." His voice is sleep-roughened and he shifts against me.

I nod. "I thought I had lost you."

"And that's not good."

I squeeze him tight and shake my head no, not letting those memories of yesterday take over.

He squirms around until we're nose to nose and then he opens his eyes. He regards me solemnly for a minute and then asks, "You need me? You gonna try to trust me now? Like I trust you?"

"Very much so. And yes, Ray, I'll do my best," I whisper. I place my hand on his cheek and he smiles at me, turning to kiss my palm. This somehow reassures me that he desires my touch, and I slide my hand back, cupping the back of his head and kiss him. This time, he doesn't pull away. This time, he reciprocates, his tongue sliding into my mouth as his hand fumbles between our bodies, tugging the soft flannel sheet from between us. When he shifts and pushes his groin against mine, I gasp.

He rolls on top of me, and I suddenly can't breathe as he humps against me. He raises up, breaking our kiss, looking down into my face with arousal in his eyes as he keeps our groins together, our penises sliding and slipping against each other with every move we make.

"Oh Ray, oh God, RayRayRay," I gasp, tugging him back down and rolling us over, thrusting against him.

"God, Ben… Fraser," he pants, his fingernails scratching up and down my back.

I hiss and bite at his throat and he groans, his orgasm sliding between our bodies. I'm so close it almost hurts, and I wrap my arms around him and thrust through the wetness that lies between us, letting my orgasm mingle with his.

"I thought," I gasped, "you didn't know how –"

"Just did what felt good," he pants, threading his fingers into my hair. "Just loved you."

Pressing my face into his neck, I can't let go of him. Not ever.

He pets me for a long time, and then softly says, "I love you, Fraser."

"I love you too," I murmur back. "Thank you."

"For?" Ray laughs a little and I roll back to my side of the bed, pulling him with me. When I don't answer right away, he asks again.

This time I tell him. "Because I love you, and I want – want you to be with me forever."

Ray smiles at me. I smile back and he kisses my cheek. "What does this make me?"

"Anything you want –"

Ray shakes his head. "No, Fraser, what does this make me?"

I think back on when he asked me if this makes him my boyfriend, and I take his hand in mind, holding it to my heart. "I want – I want you to marry me. I don't want either of us to ever be alone again."

"Yeah. I can do that." Ray grins then, incandescent, and I tell him what he means to me.

"You're my soul deep love too, Ray."

His eyes light up and he hugs me tight. "I love you, Fraser."

"I love you, Ray."


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