Disclaimer: *sigh* Ray is not mine. Not even when he's sleepy.
Story Notes: A fuzzy pre-slash! Which is what we all need! And sleepy!Ray!
Ray's exhausted -- so exhausted that he can't even hold the key steady enough to get it into the keyhole. He's going to fall asleep up against the door, here, and then his neighbors're all gonna step on him, and then he'll have shoeprints on his chest to go with the bullet-bruises. Not that he'll notice or anything, 'cause he's so fucking sore -- it'll be just another drop in the bucket --
The key slides in, finally; he works up the energy to twist, and stumbles through the door.
He thinks he remembers where the coffee table and couch are from memory, so he doesn't actually look where he's going -- which is why the first thing he does when he gets into the livingroom is run into the couch arm and pitch head-first into the cushions. He lies there for a minute, considering just passing out right there -- but his shoulder holster is digging into his chest, and the couch arm's bruising his hips, and he might pass out here but he's sure as hell gonna regret it in the morning. Or night. Or the next morning. Or whenever the fuck he wakes up.
He heaves himself off of the couch, somehow shuffles through the mess on the floor without falling over and breaking his stupid face open, and falls through his bedroom door and into bed so spectacularly that for all he knows, he might've flown. God, yes -- bed, bed is fucking heaven, even if the sheets're kinda old and musty-smelling. He reaches blindly with one hand and grabs a pillow to shove his face into -- soft, yes, soft and so fucking good and he's going to pass out in style, because he's a cop and not a surgical intern.
About ten minutes go by before he picks the goddamn pillow up and hurls it at the wall. He's exhausted -- dead! -- except he's had about sixteen cups of coffee in the last ten hours and his nerves're vibrating in place, and every time he starts to drift off he jerks awake and tell himself off for sleeping on the job even though he's not on the job anymore and goddamn! but did he really have to go bust the mob? Couldn't somebody've helped? Just a little? Isn't he supposed to have a partner for the jumping-off-of-buildings shit that, really, he's too old for? Isn't his partner supposed to come with instead of doing his actual job? What about fucking loyalty? What about fucking friendship? What about -- ?
"Ray! Ray, open the door -- I know you're awake; you can't possibly have gotten to sleep, I saw the coffee cups in your wastebasket -- for heaven's sake, Ray, how was I to know that simple petty theft would lead to this?" Geez. If anybody'd ever thought that Fraser's always polite, they should hear the way he's pounding on the door.
"Fuck off, Fraser," Ray groans, and the pounding stops suddenly. Probably nobody's ever told Fraser to fuck off before; Ray feels weirdly proud of himself for about half a second, 'cause hey -- he's thrown Fraser off his stride.
There's a funny metallic clicking sound -- Fraser's probably picking the lock -- so Ray throws his arm across his tired itching eyes, and waits. He doesn't have to wait for long -- maybe a minute later, Fraser's in the bedroom, looking down at Ray and biting his lip like he's afraid Ray might explode.
"How'd you get in?" Ray asks, looking at the ceiling pointedly, 'cause he can't think of anything else to say.
"I took the door off its hinges."
Ray bolts up -- which is a really bad idea, because the bruises on his chest hate him. "Fuck," he gasps, clutching at his chest; Fraser takes a step toward him, looking worried. "No -- 'm fine -- you took the hinges off?"
"Don't worry, I'll put them back on, I just -- you wouldn't let me in." Christ, Fraser looks forlorn, like Ray's kicked him in the ribs for no good reason at all.
Ray rolls over, breaking eye contact before Fraser's kicked-puppy look can get him feeling too guilty, and hugs a pillow to his chest. "Yeah, well -- don't take this the wrong way, but I think I kinda hate you right now."
Doesn't seem to matter too much that he's looking at the other side of the room -- he just knows that Fraser's rubbing his eyebrow. "I -- understood." Ray listens to Fraser breathing for a minute, waiting for the other shoe to drop. "You took a bullet?"
Fraser's voice's gone completely flat and dull, like he's expecting Ray to say Yeah, I got shot and you're talking to my ghost, who just happens to hate your guts. "Yeah. Two of 'em. They didn't get through the vest, though. Bruised me up, that's all." So, okay, Ray's pissed -- but he's not so pissed that he's gonna make Fraser think that he's dying.
More breathing; then, "You might be more comfortable if you took the holster off."
"Yeah. Right." Ray starts unbuckling it, trying to move his arms slowly so they won't hurt so much -- he knew there was a reason thugs got called bruisers.
Fraser fidgets -- which means that he's shifting his weight from one foot to the other, keeping his arms behind his back. "Ray, I do apologize -- but the fact of the matter is that I had to -- "
"Yeah, okay, whatever, but the thing is that I thought we had this deal here -- "
"I was compelled to abandon my duties to the CPD due to -- "
"I'm not talkin' about that deal, I'm talkin' about the deal we got." Fraser looks confused, so Ray explains. "You know -- you jump off of high places, I make sure you don't break your neck? Sound familiar? See, today -- and yesterday -- and the day before that -- I was jumpin' off of high places, and nobody was watchin' out for my neck. Not even the wolf." The buckle on the holster comes loose, and Ray drags it out from under his shoulder and tosses it across the room.
"I'm sorry -- "
"No, see, what I'm tryin' to say is I'm tired, and I wanna go to sleep, an' maybe I'll be not pissed at you when I wake up." Ray hugs his pillow again and curls up around it -- hey, he might even mean it. He might just be cranky from being awake for three days straight.
"All right, I'll go -- but Ray -- "
Jesus. There's the short answer and the essay that he could write for that, and frankly his essay-writing skills just aren't the same on low sleep. "Mob."
Fraser's spine stiffens even more, if that's possible. "Ah. I see. I -- well. I'll let you sleep, then."
Fraser's boots tap on the floor -- out of the bedroom, into the livingroom, and in front of the couch.
The couch springs creak; Ray snorts, and closes his eyes.
Fraser's been sitting on Ray's couch and frowning at his feet for approximately half-an-hour when Ray comes stomping out of his room, looking decidedly irate and ready to punch something. He paces silently around the perimeter of the livingroom twice before yelling "Okay! So you're right! I can't get to sleep 'cause of the damn coffee! You gonna make something of it?" He glowers down at Fraser; his face is creased with red wrinkles from his pillow, and it's becoming rapidly apparent that he's contemplating kicking Fraser in the head.
Fraser blinks. He rather thinks that he's not going to make something of it. "I'm sorry, I forgot -- I brought these -- " He takes his hat off, and pulls a bottle of sleeping pills out of it. "I passed a drugstore on the way here, and I thought -- "
But Ray's not listening anymore; an incandescent smile has spread across his face, and he's looking at the bottle with an expression akin to ecstasy. "Fraser, I love you," he says, taking it. "I mean it. You're too good to be true. If I could write odes, I'd write you an ode. I'd write you ten odes. I'd write a book of 'em -- "
"Well, you're quite welcome. Would you like a glass of -- " but Ray's already popped two pills into his mouth and is making interesting crunching noises with his mouth. "Okay," he declares. "'M goin' to bed. An' I'm gonna stay there. And when your wolf shows up, he'd better not lick my ears or I will personally come out here and kick you in the head. Okay?"
"Okay," Fraser agrees, heartened by Ray's improved temperament.
"I -- well, that is, I was intending to -- "
"The couch's more comfortable'n your cot," Ray points out, accurately enough.
"True," Fraser admits.
"So stay," Ray says, shrugging. "Watch TV, listen to some music. Order some dinner -- try and wake me up when you do that."
Fraser suppresses a smile. "Ray, it's about ten in the morning."
"So order some lunch before you order some dinner, and try and wake me up for that too. And if I don't wake up, I'm not hungry. Got that?" Fraser nods. "Okay. See ya in a few."
Fraser turns on the television, and wonders if Ray would consider his television contaminated if he found that it had been used to watch a curling tournament.
Fraser'd forgotten, for an hour, to put the door back on its hinges as he'd promised Ray. It's a rather light door -- much lighter than the one on his own cabin -- and the hinges are oddly weak as well. If he hadn't had a screwdriver with him, he would probably have been able to twist the hinges out of shape with his bare hands, or kicked the door in without even scuffing his boots. He should mention it to Ray, sometime. Ray obviously values his security; he wouldn't have purchased such high quality locks if he didn't.
Fraser turns his head towards a soft scraping sound, and finds Ray nudging his feet through the piles of paper and clothes on the floor. "Hey," Ray says, sounding oddly muted. "Whatcha doin'?"
"I'm repairing your door," Fraser replies, frowning at Ray; he's walking oddly, as though he can't lift his feet properly. "Are you all right?"
"'M fine." Ray plops to the floor next to Fraser, and picks up Fraser's screwdriver. "You keep your screwdriver in your hat?"
"'S kinda big to fit there."
"It folds up," Fraser explains, showing him. "And the bits fit into this compartment here -- "
"Hey," Ray says, his face lighting up, "that's neat."
"I thought so. Very handy, too."
"Yeah." Ray folds the screwdriver up, and unfolds it again. "I woulda let you in eventually."
"I wasn't certain that you would've. I -- Ray?" Ray looks up at him, his eyes glassy and unfocused. "Are you sleepwalking?"
"Maybe." Ray blinks twice. "Am I?"
Fraser takes the screwdriver away from him. "Perhaps you'd better go back to bed."
"Yeah, okay," Ray agrees, oddly compliant, and wanders off to his bedroom.
There's a familiar scrape at the door; Fraser opens it, and Dief bolts in. "And where have you been?" Fraser asks him, feeling somewhat irritated. "You might have followed Ray while you were out -- "
Dief whuffles at him reassuringly.
"Well, he's not mad at you; he's mad at me."
Dief snorts, and trots into Ray's bedroom. "You're not to lick anything," Fraser calls after him softly, not wanting to wake Ray.
The effort's in vain; a moment later, Fraser hears Ray murmur "Goddamn leaky ceiling...Dief?...Okay, there's a wolf in my bed." A pause, while Ray thinks about how to react to that. "Go to sleep, wolf."
Fraser shakes Ray's shoulder insistently. "Ray? Ray, you need to wake up. I've ordered pizza. With pineapple -- I asked for pineapple."
"Mmm," Ray hums sleepily. "Good."
Fraser understand that Ray's tired, but he needs nutrition -- he's already skipped lunch today, though the glass of milk that Fraser left on the nightstand after lunch is empty. "Ray? Wake up."
Helpfully, Dief paws his way to Ray's side of the bed and licks his nose. "Nyagh! -- okay, I'm up, I'm up -- " He sniffs. "Is that pizza?"
"Yes; it's dinnertime."
"I'm starving," Ray declares, sounding surprised, which he shouldn't be. "'Kay, I'm gonna piss -- bang on the door if I'm not out in half an hour, okay? Might fall asleep in there."
As it happens, Ray manages on his own; he also manages to consume more than half of the medium pie that Fraser had ordered. The transition from lethargic to enthusiastic and back again is really quite astonishing in its rapidity -- Ray's gone through his entire meal and is nodding off before Fraser's eaten two slices.
Fraser puts the leftover pizza in the refrigerator, washes his hands, and settles down on the couch next to Ray. Dief nuzzles at his ankles, so he reaches down and scratches Dief's ears -- and abruptly, Ray leans over and puts his head onto Fraser's shoulder, bringing his feet up onto the couch. "Er -- Ray -- "
"Perhaps you should go back to bed?"
Ray considers this for a moment. "Nah. Don'wanna move. 'Sides, you make an okay pillow."
"Ah." Fraser blinks at the top of Ray's head.
"You're shoulders're goin' all tense. Can't sleep on 'em when they're like that."
"I see." Fraser makes an effort to relax his shoulders.
"That's better." Ray curls up tighter, his head nuzzling Fraser's shoulder. "You know, you're okay. I forgive you."
"Yeah. Was only a...a little mob, anyway. No biggie. I'll do it again tomorrow."
"I think not."
"Okay, maybe not." There's a pause; Dief lays his head over Fraser's feet and grumbles deep in his throat, conveying his irritation with his pizza rations. "I think I'm gonna fall asleep on you now. You mind?"
"Oh, not at all, Ray."
"Mmm." Fraser waits, thinking that Ray's going to say something else, but he doesn't -- he makes good on his promise almost immediately. Fraser stares at the television for a few minutes, listening to Ray's breathing and matching it with the rhythm of the warm air blowing through his shirt onto his shoulder. Ray must be uncomfortable -- he has no blanket, no pillows, and his legs look painfully cramped -- so Fraser attempts to get up and at least fetch a blanket for him. As soon as he moves, though, Ray grabs him -- silently, as he's still asleep -- just makes a fist near the collar of Fraser's shirt, and hangs on.
So Fraser stays put 'til morning.
End 72 Hours by Giulietta
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