Never Let 'Em See You Sweat, Son!
Disclaimer: Not mine, not a one.
Author's Notes: Thanks to spikedluv for betaing and general cheerleading.
Sergeant Robert Fraser of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (deceased), looked down at his companion and nodded briskly in agreement. "Yes, quite." He looked away from his companion and back towards the object of their scrutiny with a disapproving frown. "I don't know where he gets it from. Why, when I was a young man, in the prime of my life, it took me just three days to woo, bed and wed his mother. There was none of this shilly-shallying about nonsense." Bob tipped his head to the side thoughtfully and allowed, "Mind you, she was a very forthright woman, was Caroline. Very *Canadian* in her outlook. Made it easy on a man."
Bob sighed. "I know. Who would have thought that the Yank would turn out to be so *miss-ish*?" He focused disapprovingly on the subject of his ire. "He's a bit long in the tooth to be playing the nervous virgin now, isn't he?"
Bob looked down at Diefenbaker and scowled. "Well if he's nervous now, then I hardly think being pinned down and *bitten* is going to help matters, do you?" He met the eyes of the leering wolf and added snippily, "And as you are *not* in any position to act on your feelings for the Yank, then I think our best course of action here really is to focus on his *human* suitor and frankly not the disturbing picture of you taking the scrawny little devil as a mate." He sighed heavily and shook his despairing head. "To be honest, I really don't understand the fascination that you and Benton have with him in the first place. He's not exactly what you'd call robust now, is he?"
Diefenbaker tilted his head to the side for a moment in consideration. "Woof!"
Bob blinked. "Really? The hair?" He looked back at Ray and squinted dubiously. "Well, yes, I suppose it is rather eye-catching."
"Woof!" Diefenbaker's mouth opened and his tongue lolled out obscenely.
Bob stopped squinting and glared in reproof. "May I remind you that you are practically a member of Her Majesty's noble organisation yourself? I hardly think that it becomes any person even loosely affiliated with the RCMP to make disgusting comments about lanyards, helpless American policemen and their naked buttocks!"
Diefenbaker ducked his head in what Bob was fairly sure was mock shame and a long pause stretched between them before the dead Mountie conceded reluctantly, "And I'm sure that would never occur to Benton, I'm afraid he is a little too...hesitant...to make so bold a move to express his feelings. That type of behaviour is really more acceptable on a second date. Remember, on the Tundra courting rituals move somewhat more speedily through necessity and...."
"Woof." Diefenbaker ducked his head again, although this time there was nothing mocking about his posture.
"I know you feel responsible, but this cannot be blamed on you." Bob patted him consolingly on the head. "You've done the best you can, no one could ask any more of you." He petted Dief for a few moments more and then straightened with a determined set to his mouth and a firm bracing of his shoulders. "Well, no man ever claimed duty was easy. You've done the right thing calling me in here, Diefenbaker, this situation cannot be allowed to continue a second longer than is necessary." He looked back at his son. "The reputation of the RCMP is at stake, my friend, and we shall not be found wanting! Forward into the breach and know with right on our side we shall prevail!" He looked down at the half-wolf in calculation. "Now, I realise that the lanyard is out of the question for obvious reasons, but how are you with handcuffs?"
Diefenbaker tilted his head from side to side in consideration. "Woof!"
"Really?" Bob smiled in delight and clapped his ghostly hands together in anticipation. "Excellent."
In his place on Ray's couch, Fraser listened with increasing horror to the somewhat ribald conversation his deceased father and traitorous companion held as they observed him and his partner sit in silence side by side while they stared at the hockey game on Ray's television. Perhaps he hadn't been as careful as he'd previously thought in concealing his yearnings for his partner if his father -- a man Fraser considered to be one of the most oblivious men he'd *ever* met in regards to any emotional situation - had picked up on them.
He swallowed and shifted uncomfortably as he felt a trickle of sweat begin to make its way down the side of his face and towards the collar of his serge uniform. If Ray even *suspected*... Oh *dear*.
As if he was aware of Fraser's internal agony, Ray shifted beside him and turned his head to look at him with unbearably penetrating eyes. "You okay there, Frase? You look a little hot, buddy."
Fraser swallowed again, all too aware of his father and Dief still watching attentively from the other side of the room and the trickle of sweat slowing slipping over his skin. "Fine, thank you, Ray."
"You sure?" Ray squinted dubiously. "'Cause you don't look it." He nudged Fraser's shoulder with his own. "No need to stand on your high horse with me, pal. If you're too hot or somethin', feel free to take stuff off, okay?"
Fraser barely managed to conceal his flinch at the approving shout of 'Way to go, Yank!' from across the room and smiled weakly at Ray's concerned face. "Honestly, Ray, I assure you I...." He paused as he caught the swiftly concealed flash of disappointment in Ray's blue eyes, and then took a deep, fortifying breath. "Actually, I believe I am a little warm." His eyes darted, just for a moment, to his father's meddling, hopeful face and told himself to just think *Tundra*. "Would you mind giving me a hand with my lanyard?"
End Never Let 'Em See You Sweat, Son! by msgordo
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