Written 8 December 2002
This work is not to be archived or shared in
without the express written permission of the author. Thank you.
Ray Kowalski stared morosely down at his glass of beer for a brief moment before lifting his eyes. He watched the patrons of the bar, watching most of them do their mating dance. The ones not engaged in mingling were getting wasted.
He wasn't mingling.
He never liked the idea of picking up women in bars. Usually they were only out for a fuck, and Ray Kowalski did not do just fucks. He wanted someone who would look into his eyes and tell him they loved him. He needed that. He needed to be loved, wanted it desperately.
Right now all he wanted was to get shit-faced drunk and forget all his stupid Christmas wishes once upon a time, all he'd wished for was to make Stella happy, and that wish dried up and blew away in the wind like ashes. Recently, before Ray Vecchio came back from wearing another man's identity, Ray had wished for this Christmas to be special he had wanted to tell his partner, Benton Fraser, that he loved him and that he wanted to love him forever and be with him always.
Who was he kidding? Christmas wishes never came true.
He drowned his beer and ordered another. "Gimme a Molson, please."
The barkeep sat the ice-cold beer on a napkin in front of him and he smirked at the bottle. No, he didn't want to pick up a woman. He wanted a certain tall blue-eyed Mountie. And wasn't he so fucked? He slowly poured the beer into a glass. Look at him even drinking Canadian beer. Christ.
He'd never slept around on Stella. Never. Not once. In fact, he'd never even had offers. Women just didn't find him attractive. Hell, he was shocked spitless when Stella pursued him. She pursued him, and he was flattered who wouldn't have been? He let himself get caught and then later, he found he was safe for her. He had the reputation of being a gentleman, and he was, by god, he was, even when he found out after they got married that she couldn't have intercourse with him. He still loved her. He held her close during her nightmares, and loved her. They lived their life together and sometimes, only sometimes, did he regret the way their marriage worked. He regretted it when they would see their friends bringing children into the world, when it was obvious that other couples shared a closeness that Ray and Stella did not have.
Ray coaxed Stella into seeing a therapist because Ray knew that Stella needed to get better, get past the sexual abuse she'd suffered. He didn't do it for him, no. For her. Everything was always for Stella. Always. And when she told him she was better, that she loved him, that she'd always love him, but that she was ready to live her life, and she couldn't do it married to him, his heart broke. Broke into a thousand little pieces, and he'd cried then. Cried and begged her not to do this, not to just throw him away like all their years together meant nothing. But she had. She did.
And then he was alone again.
He drank down his Molson and ordered another. The barkeep eyed him speculatively when he brought the bottle to him and Ray handed over his keys without a word. A look of relief passed over the man's face, thankful, no doubt, that Ray wasn't going to be surly and insist he was sober enough to drive like so many idiots did.
Ray looked up at the shiny Christmas decorations festooning the walls and ceiling of the bar and he frowned, running his fingers over the lip of the bottle. Christmas. Bah Humbug. Christmas was when Stella said goodbye to him for good. Christmas meant divorce and loneliness and tears.
He quickly downed his beer and lifted his hand for another one.
Christmas. They'd gotten married at Christmas too. And that night when he took her to their bed, she'd gone along with him, giving him sweet, sloppy kisses until he lay on top of her. And then she began to cry softly, to his bewilderment. Still, she insisted on going ahead and, unsure, he tried to touch her, tried to make her feel good, and she'd cried harder.
She was to be his first. And he was to be her first. But it didn't work out that way. He cuddled her, told her it was okay, and really, it was. Sure, he wasn't going to lie. He wanted to make love with her, he wanted to press into her body, but if she couldn't, she couldn't. When she'd told him the secret she'd carried from the time she was eleven, he'd been pissed, so pissed that he couldn't hold it in. Ray marched over to her parents' house, punched her father right in the mouth and left the man bleeding and battered, daring him to press charges. He didn't.
Finally, after a while, they found other things to do besides intercourse. Ray was inventive and gentle and she quickly learned to crave his hands and his mouth. Making love was making love. And it was good.
Ray brushed his hand impatiently across his eyes. "Idiot," he muttered.
It was good. But then she didn't want him anymore and it hurt, hurt so deep that sometimes he couldn't breathe from the hurt. But as with all things, time and distance dulled the ache, and it was bearable.
And, of course, there was the matter of falling in love again.
Ray fell head over heels for his partner. And what was worse was that he knew he didn't have a snowball's chance in hell with Fraser. Fraser was, he thought, in love with Vecchio. He remembered the look on Fraser's face when Fraser looked at that postcard that night in the precinct, right after they met.
That hurt too.
Ray stared down into the empty glass in front of him and glanced at the empties in front of him and he sighed.
Fraser spent lots of time with Vecchio when they were off work now.
Even though Vecchio was a prick to him, he wasn't to Fraser. And really, that's all that mattered, right? That Fraser had someone who loved him above all else?
Someone besides Ray Kowalski.
He stood and unsteadily made his way to the bathroom to take a leak.
While he stood there, his dick in hand, he thought about Vecchio and how he dressed fancy, how he was all these things that Ray wasn't and couldn't ever be, and he shook his head angrily. He couldn't help being what he was a sort of geeky guy who couldn't see well and who bought most of his clothes at a thrift store. With a frown, he closed his eyes, and tried to forget everything, tried to forget Vecchio, Stella, and Fraser. He finished up, tucked himself back into his jeans and buttoned up. As he washed his hands, he looked at himself in the mirror and let himself think of how it was gonna feel to be alone and lonely the rest of his life.
He staggered back to the bar after wiping his hands on his jeans. He hated those air blow dry things, they never worked right.
Fraser sat there at the bar and Ray blinked at him owlishly. Fraser looked back, his face betraying nothing. Ray settled on the stool next to Fraser and gestured for another beer. He didn't say a word. As he took a long drink, Fraser broke the silence.
"Why are you getting inebriated?"
"Why not?" Ray slurred. "It's Christmas. I deserve this."
"Ah. I see." But it was obvious that Fraser didn't see. He couldn't see. After all, he got his Christmas wish this year, didn't he? He got Vecchio back after they were apart all that time.
"Where's Vecchio?" Ray asked, watching Fraser's reflection in the mirror behind the bar.
"He's dancing with a young woman at the far right of the dance floor," Fraser replied, staring back at him in the mirror.
"Doesn't that bug you? Or aren't you the jealous type?" Ray asked, pouring his beer into his glass. "Buy you a beer? How'd you know I'd be here?"
"You told me today at work that you were going to stop by, and no thank you, Ray," Fraser said with a shake of his head. "And why would I be jealous of Ray dancing?"
Ray shrugged, then his good sense fled. "Because you and him, you're in love, right?"
Fraser's eyes widened and he looked shocked. "Where in the world did you get that idea?"
Ray shrugged again. "You spend all your time with him." And it hurts, he wanted to say but he didn't. It's ripping my heart out, he wanted to say. But again, he didn't say a word.
"We've been catching up with each other since he came back from being undercover," Fraser said gently, his eyes seeming to say everything he wouldn't or couldn't.
Sudden blind despair filled Ray at the gross injustice of it all and he stood abruptly. "I gotta go." He left Fraser sitting there, looking startled, and made his way to the end of the bar where the barkeep stood, chatting up a redhead. "Yo. I'm heading out I'll come back tomorrow to pick up my car."
"You got it, man."
Ray stumbled out into the cold night and pulled his coat around him tighter as he made his way up the sidewalk towards his apartment four blocks away. Hunched over, he stared at his feet, willing each step forward, trying not to think about the fact he could never, ever have Fraser.
The Next Day
His doorbell rang and he groaned, pulling the pillow over his head. He wasn't hung over, just tired, even though after stumbling home from the bar, he'd sat down on the couch and drank Luksusowa until he passed out.
The doorbell rang again and he levered himself off the couch with a curse. Running his hand through his already awry hair, he stumbled to the door and swung it open, peering at Fraser through half-closed eyes. "C'mon in."
Fraser nodded and walked in, looking around. "Are you all right?"
Ray headed to the bathroom. "Yeah. Fine. Just tired. What's up?" When he came back out of the bathroom, he found Fraser looking at the mostly empty bottle of Luksusowa. Fraser put down the bottle and turned and looked at him.
"What, Fraser?" Ray asked impatiently.
"You came home and drank more?"
Ray looked at the bottle and back at Fraser and back to the bottle. He thought about being a smartass, but he was just too fucking tired. Tired of everything. "Yeah."
"Ray, I certainly didn't mean to upset you last night," Fraser said quietly. "What did I do that made you depart so abruptly? I would have followed but Ray asked for my assistance and "
Ray sighed, interrupting his partner. "Fraser never mind. Whatcha doing here?"
"You invited me to spend Christmas with you," Fraser said slowly, looking around the apartment. "But perhaps you'd prefer to spend it alone, after all?"
Ray scratched his stomach, wondering what he had to eat in the house. "Huh?"
"Well, you don't seem to be celebrating Christmas, Ray." Fraser looked at him questioningly. "I thought perhaps a tree and "
In a flash, as Fraser talked about Christmas and all the rituals of the holiday, Ray remembered Stella in front of their Christmas tree, telling him it was over. He remembered the white lights sparkling in the greenery and the way the lights shone off of her hair. His eyes teared up and he swiped his hand roughly across them, giving himself a good shake, trying to shake the memory out of his head and away from him, preferably forever.
"Yeah, Ben, whatever you want," Ray said as he turned to go to his bedroom. "I'll, uh, go get dressed." He couldn't wouldn't ruin Fraser's Christmas just because he was a fuck up.
A few moments later, he was out, dressed in a baggy blue sweatshirt and blue jeans. "Let's go pick out a tree. Where's Dief?"
"Oh, ah, he's celebrating the holidays with Francesca." Fraser frowned. "I'm terribly sorry, Ray."
"No, it's okay," Ray said, pulling on his boots. "He should spend Christmas where he wants, you know?"
"Yes, I agree."
"We'll have to get ornaments and all." Ray stood, letting himself briefly wonder if Fraser was spending Christmas where he really wanted, or was he doing it out of a sense of loyalty? After all, they had discussed spending the holiday together before Vecchio came back. "Let's get going. We'll have to walk over to the bar to get my car."
Four hours later, they were back with tree and ornaments. Dumping everything in the corner, they collapsed onto the loveseat in exhaustion.
"I had no idea Christmas tree shopping could be so mercenary," Fraser said hesitantly. "That gentleman that insisted that he saw our tree first was quite "
"He was an asshole, and full of shit," Ray scowled. "People are nuts."
Finally, they recovered enough to start setting the tree up and discovered they had forgotten a stand for it. Ray handed Fraser his keys. "Go and pick one up. I'll start dinner."
Fraser stared down at the key ring in his hand. "But Ray "
"Fraser, do you have to argue over everything?" Ray grinned, feeling a little bit better about Christmas. It was probably the Fraser influence. Fraser'd been quite enthusiastic over ornaments and lights, and the tree itself, and somehow, along the way, Ray'd gotten enthusiastic too.
"Of course not, Ray," Fraser said, looking affronted.
"Then just go," Ray said, flapping his hand. "I'll have dinner ready in a little bit."
"I could pick up something if you don't want to cook."
Ray stared at him. Since when did Fraser complain about home cooked food? Granted, Ray wasn't a chef, but he was a good cook. "Fraser, is there something wrong with my cooking all of a sudden? What's up?"
"Nothing!" Fraser said hastily. "Nothing, Ray. I just "
"What?" Ray leaned against the counter and waited.
Looking sheepish, Fraser muttered, "I just want you to have a good Christmas too."
Ray's heart melted. "Aw, Fraser, really, it's nothing. I got chilli in the freezer that I was gonna make for us, and I'll make us some cornbread too."
Fraser perked up. "Oh, wonderful, Ray. I love your chilli."
"You know," Ray said wryly, "you've mentioned that a time or two."
Fraser blushed and leaned towards Ray. Ray stared at him, his heart beating a fierce tattoo in his chest. Was Fraser gonna kiss him? That couldn't be possible Fraser straightened up at the last second, and Ray felt oddly disappointed, even though he knew that Fraser loved Vecchio, and that he had no chance at all with him that he had to accept that being friends was enough. It had to be. He turned and busied himself with getting out a pot to heat the chilli in.
"Yes. Well, I'll be right back," Fraser said softly from behind him.
Ray nodded and found his voice somewhere. "Take your time." He resolved to get his head on straight and his head out of his ass while Fraser was gone.
Forty-five minutes later, Fraser was back with the Christmas tree stand and Ray took the cornbread out of the oven. "Timed it just right, Fraser." He cut it in squares and put the pan on the table before ladling up the chilli. Then, "Ben, you want milk or soda?"
"Milk is fine, Ray."
"White or Brown?"
"White." Fraser sat down at the table.
"Okay." Ray poured them each a glass of milk, chocolate for him, regular for Fraser.
"Ray said he would stop by tonight to bring my gift," Fraser said nonchalantly as they ate.
Ray stared at Fraser, unable to believe his ears. Carefully, he put his spoon down. "Why? Why didn't he give it to you earlier?" He felt his temper fraying. It wasn't like Vecchio didn't monopolise all of Fraser's attention anyway. Why not interrupt their Christmas together too? He scowled.
"I told him it was all right," Fraser replied, looking startled. "Would you prefer that I call him and tell him not to come by?"
"No," Ray muttered, feeling ashamed and sad and angry, all mixed together. Fraser had every right to get his gift from Vecchio, whenever they wanted to exchange gifts. Ray was just replacement Ray and he knew it. Vecchio knew it he knew it and took every opportunity to rub his face in it, too. Fraser knew it, and that's what hurt the worst. He frowned. Guess he should be lucky that Fraser even wanted to spend time with him at all. He looked up from his bowl of chilli and tried to sound matter- of-fact even though it hurt to say it. "If you want to go with him, I understand."
"Go? Whyever would I want to go, Ray?" Fraser asked, putting his spoon down, looking confused.
"Ray, I think you and I need to talk," Fraser said gently. "Yes, Ray Vecchio and I have been spending an inordinate amount of time together. We had well, unfinished business to take care of."
"Oh." Ray stared down into his bowl of chilli and tried not to imagine what kind of unfinished business that Fraser and the Style Pig had to take care of. He was afraid he knew only too well what business they had to take care of.
"Ray, Ray "
Fraser's voice was soft and Ray blinked hard before looking up at his friend. "Hey, it's okay, you know?" He forced himself to sound normal. "So you wanna put the tree up after we eat?"
"Ah, yes, that will be satisfactory," Fraser said, picking up his spoon again. He looked like he wanted to say something else, so Ray started to babble about Huey and Dewey dating the same woman and how he bet they all set up house together. Fraser looked interested, so Ray talked until he felt like he was blue in the face, but Fraser seemed to forget about everything else.
They carefully strung the lights on the tree and hung ornaments. Ray grinned as Fraser seemed to get into the spirit of tree decorating by hanging everything hodgepodge instead of meticulously placing each ornament 'just so' like Ray thought he would.
Ray and Fraser were sitting on the loveseat, looking at the tree, when Fraser spoke.
"Do you like me, Ray?"
Ray looked at Fraser, puzzled. "Sure I like you. Why wouldn't I? We're friends, right?"
"I thought we were best friends," Fraser said quietly, turning to face Ray.
Ray forced a grin. "Me too."
Fraser shook his head. "No, Ray. Lately " he hesitated.
"What, Fraser?" Ray asked impatiently.
"Lately," he said quietly, "you're like Peebles." He gestured towards Ray's turtle's tank. "In your shell."
Ray just looked at him and felt tired all over again. What was he supposed to say? Yeah Fraser, I know? It hurts that you don't love me? It hurts that I know I'm never gonna get what I want? Right. He couldn't say that. He shrugged instead.
"Ray, I "
Just then the doorbell rang. Ray rose without a word and went to the door. After looking through the peephole, he sighed, rubbed his face and opened the door. "Vecchio."
"Kowalski," Vecchio said. He held a large, brightly wrapped gift, and Ray eyed it sourly. He stepped back and gestured for Vecchio to enter.
Vecchio's face brightened when he saw Fraser. "Benny!"
"Ray," Fraser said, smiling. "Please, have a seat. Ray and I just finished decorating."
Vecchio looked around and nodded. He pulled a bottle, adorned with a bow, out of his coat pocket and handed it to Ray. "Here you go, Kowalski."
"Thanks. I got you something too," Ray said quietly, going over to the box of presents he had set aside for the people he worked with. He pulled a box out and handed it to Vecchio. "Here."
Vecchio muttered, "Thanks," as he sat next to Fraser and handed him the present. "Here you go, Benny."
Fraser smiled and put the present on the coffee table. "Please wait, Ray. I have something for you too."
Ray watched them, scarcely breathing, feeling invisible. Fraser rose and went to his coat. He pulled a slim long box wrapped in silver paper out of his pocket and came back and sat next to Ray Vecchio.
Clutching the bottle that Vecchio had given him, Ray watched in utter misery as Vecchio opened the present and lifted out a watch. "Benny "
"I hope you enjoy it, Ray," Fraser said solemnly as he carefully opened the box that Vecchio had given him. He lifted out a Stetson and grinned. "Thank you kindly, Ray."
"Remember when you got shot in your hat?" Vecchio laughed. "This way you got a spare or two."
They laughed together, then Ray Vecchio said quietly, his voice full of meaning, "Ah, Benny "
Ray swallowed hard and muttered, "Be right back." He couldn't watch this. He couldn't.
He went into his bedroom and shut the door, plunking the bottle down on his chest of drawers. He sat down on his bed and stared at himself in the mirror on his closet door. Pulling off his shirt, he tossed it in the laundry basket, trying not to let himself think about what was going on in the other room. He couldn't help it though . Were they kissing? Touching each other?
"Argh." Ray lay back down on the bed, closing his eyes. When he heard raised voices in the other room, his eyes opened. He couldn't quite make out what was going on, but he didn't feel like he could go see, either.
Ten minutes later, he heard a tap on his door. "Come in."
Fraser walked in and Ray glanced up from where he lay on the bed. "You leaving?"
"No," Fraser said shortly. "You didn't need "
"You two looked pretty, uh intimate, so I figured I should "
Ray closed his eyes, unwilling to see what he couldn't face. "What?" he felt the bed dip as Fraser lay next to him.
"My affections have changed. I've changed, Ray."
Ray opened his eyes and turned his head and looked at Fraser. "I don't get what you mean."
Fraser looked back, steadily. "I told him that I loved someone else."
"While I will always love Ray Vecchio, I'm not in love with him anymore."
Ray's eyes widened.
Fraser licked his lips and went on. "I I regret that we argued in your home, Ray. But when I explained the way I felt, he was angry and told me to well, needless to say, Ray, it's over. In all actuality it never really started he knew I cared for him, but neither of us said a word. I think we both perhaps assumed that someday -- but then he left. He left me with nothing."
"Oh." Ray couldn't seem to say anything else. He wasn't sure whether he should be elated or afraid.
"I love you."
Ray blinked. He blinked again and then croaked, "Huh?"
"I love you," Fraser repeated. "I have for quite a while now. But I wasn't sure if I should say anything. I didn't know if you would be amiable to my attentions." Ray just stared at him, so Fraser ploughed on. "I want you. To be with me."
"Me?" Ray squeaked. "Me?"
Fraser's eyes softened and his lips curled up in a small smile. "You. Only you."
"You really want me?"
"I really want you." Fraser must have seen the terror in his eyes, because Fraser nodded and murmured, "I do want you. In my life, in my arms, in my bed."
"Bed?" Ray felt more afraid and more excited than he ever had in his life.
Fraser grinned then. "Bed. The thing we're lying on?"
Reluctantly, Ray grinned back. "Smartass."
"Will you? Would you?" Fraser breathed, moving closer to Ray. "Could you love me, Ray?"
"I already do," Ray confessed. "I've been making myself nuts over you and Vecchio. Thought I'd lost you to him."
"No," Fraser murmured, pulling Ray into his arms. "No." He kissed up Ray's jaw and licked the edge of his ear before sucking on his earlobe. "No."
Fraser's arms tightened around Ray and they lay there, holding each other, for long moments.
Ray felt incredibly confused and happy how had his life changed so rapidly? Was this for real? Could Christmas wishes really come true? "Fraser?"
"Do you mean it? For good, I mean?"
Fraser nuzzled Ray's throat. "Yes. For good. Forever, if you'll have me."
"No matter what?" Ray asked quietly.
Fraser pulled back and looked at Ray. "I know you and Stella "
"I loved her, and took care of her, and in the end she didn't need me after all," Ray explained. "I want to be needed and loved. I want I want to wake up next to you for the rest of our lives. I want you to tell me what you need and what you want, and if I can give it to you, I want you to accept it."
"I can't help but need you, Ray," Fraser said, running his hand down Ray's chest. "You accept me no matter what. You get angry at me and you tell me so, and you accept my apologies, and most of all, you know I'm human."
Without another word, Ray leaned over and kissed Fraser, his hands tugging at Fraser's shirt. With a sound akin to a moan, Fraser caressed Ray through his jeans, causing Ray to buck into his hand.
"Fuck," Ray swore, pulling away from Fraser. "Get naked, Fraser. Now."
He sat up, pulling off his boots and tossing them into his closet. Standing up, as he watched Fraser undress, Ray unbuttoned his jeans and shimmied out of them and his underwear.
He climbed back onto the bed. "Umph." Ray found himself face down on the mattress with a half undressed Fraser licking his back.
"God," Fraser muttered, nibbling at Ray's spine. "Wanted to do this God "
"Ben God," Ray whimpered as Fraser licked down his asscheek and up the other before licking back up his spine. Fraser's jeans were rough against his skin but it excited him and his cock hardened even further as Fraser blanketed his body with his own.
"Can I fuck you, Ray?" Fraser mumbled into his ear, between licking and sucking at Ray's shoulder and the back of his neck.
Ray whimpered and nodded, grinding his ass into Fraser's groin. He hadn't ever thought about anyone ever doing this to him, but he wanted it now, and he wanted it to be with Fraser, wanted him more than anything in the world.
Fraser bit him gently on the shoulder then he was gone. Ray whimpered again, having lost all capacity for speech. He twisted around to see where Fraser had gone and he was nowhere to be seen. As he started to get out of bed, Fraser stepped back into the bedroom with a tube in his hand.
Ray rolled onto his back and watched Fraser's eyes get even hotter. Fraser hurriedly stripped the rest of his clothes off and climbed back in bed with Ray, licking him again.
"God, Fraser "
"Ben," Fraser breathed as he licked up Ray's ribcage.
"Ben please " Ray tugged at him and willingly, Ben slid upwards, blanketing Ray's body once again with his own, kissing him hard and deep.
"Have you ever made love with a man?" Ben asked, moving to suck at Ray's collarbone.
"N-no," Ray stammered, lost in the pure pleasure of Ben's mouth on his skin.
"I'm your first?" Ben pulled back and looked down at Ray, his eyes wide.
"Yes," Ray moaned, arching up, rubbing his cock against any part of Ben that he could reach. "I want you now."
Popping open the lube, Fraser spread some slick on his fingers. He knelt between Ray's legs and reached down and touched him, smiling as Ray moaned and wiggled. Gently, carefully, he pushed two of his fingers inside Ray, twisting them as he stroked Ray's cock.
"God, Ray," Fraser breathed. "I want in you so bad. I want "
"I want, too, Ben. C'mon ."
Fraser nodded tersely, pulled his fingers free of Ray's body and slicked up his penis. "I love you, Ray."
"I love you too c'mon, Fraser, don't make me die of waiting here!" Ray reached up and tugged at Ben.
Ben took a deep breath, spooned himself around Ray and held him tight as he pushed into Ray's body.
"Fuck," Ray swore, tensing. "Slow, okay? Slow?"
"Yes," Ben muttered, stroking Ray's cock slowly. "You feel so good, Ray holding you in my hand, touching and tasting you, it's a dream come true. Something I always wished for."
"Me too, Ben," Ray said softly, rocking back and forth a bit on Fraser's cock. "Fuck me, fuck me, okay?"
"Yes," Ben murmured, kissing Ray's shoulder as he rocked his hips against Ray, pressing further inside the man he loved. "You feel so damn good, Ray. Better than I imagined. God so fucking wonderful "
"You too " Ray gasped, covering Fraser's hand with his own. "Stroke me faster, Ben c'mon!" His hips moved back and forth wildly, his cock sliding through Fraser's slick hand, trying to reach orgasm. Fraser moaned, pressing harder and faster into Ray's body, his teeth worrying at Ray's shoulder, trying hard not to bite, but as Ray moaned, "Love you " and orgasmed, Fraser lost the battle. He bit down hard as he pressed forward into Ray's body as hard as he could, his orgasm making him tremble. Ray moaned and twitched in his arms.
"God, I love you," Fraser whispered, stroking Ray's sweat-soaked body as they lay together in Ray's bed. "I have loved you and will always love you, Ray."
Ray sighed as Fraser slipped free of his body. "Promise me, Fraser. Promise me that Christmas'll always be this good."
"I promise," Fraser said, kissing the bite on Ray's shoulder.
"Sleep, now, okay?" Ray yawned.
"Yes, Ray," Fraser hugged him tight.
"Christmas wishes do come true," Ray mumbled, falling asleep in Fraser's arms.
Fraser kissed his shoulder once more before closing his eyes. "Yes, Ray, they do."