Ratings: PG-13 for m/m h/c schlock. And lots of cussing.
Spoilers: Blink and you miss them references to several eps.
Disclaimer: Alliance owns dueSouth and its characters. This is fanfic. No profit, no problem, eh?
Feedback: Yes! All kinds except flames welcome.
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Wired. Hyper. Hyperactive. Damaged, right. Sick in the head. Angry. All those feelings, corked in a bottle, twisting in on themselves, one big tornado of rage.
Right, think you're cool, Kowalski. Think you're hot shit, beatin' up on perps, punching holes in walls. It was my collar! Sure it was, Kowalski. All you got is a bunch of busted knuckles and a lot of paperwork to do. You suck. Got that shooting report done yet? Why did you discharge your weapon at an unarmed suspect, detective? You stupid son of a bitch. 'Cause I wasn't close enough to kick him in the head, SIR! 'Cause my partner's some damn Canadian freak and it was him or the perp, sir. Now why is that, son? You got issues with our fine upstanding Canadian boy? Issues. Issues. Right. You stupid fuck. You suck.
No, but you want to. How sick is that? You're sick, Kowalski, and your dick is sick too. Married for ten years to the best thing that ever happened to you (screwed that one up too, didn't you?) and now your dick wants a piece of white-bread Canadian Mountie ass. You suck, Kowalski. You suck eggs. You suck rocks. You wanna suck cocks. Shit, just quit your day job and get a new career as a rap singer.
Gonna have to, after the Mountie finds out about you. Not good enough to hide it. He'll punch you out in the middle of the bullpen, loosen your jaw worse than he did at the lake. No, he's too good for that. No, you'd get those big Mountie eyes looking all soft and earnest and disappointed, while he told you to fuck off. Politely, of course. Goddamn Mountie. Damn him, for being honest and kind and loyal, and... and... just fucking all-around perfect. As close as he can make himself. Just trowel everything down and cover it up with that honest Mountie expression. And be stupid and stubborn and listen to your partner , because that's the polite thing to do, but don't actually listen to him, oh no. And certainly never be careful for your partner's sake, because he actually gives a damn whether you live or die.
Shit, everything's going down the tubes. Lost the wife, lost your life, got a hard-on for your partner and can't even do anything about it because every time you try those warm blue eyes that called you friend go sick with disgust. Ah, shit. Why bother? Just like it was when he was kid. Stupid little Polack kid. Four-eyed freak, and not enough brains to be called a nerd. Nothing ever changes, nothing's ever gonna get better, should just take your fucking gun and blow yourself away, and if you can manage that, Kowalski, then you won't screw up anymore. Ever.
Electric bite of teeth against metal. Tastes like gun oil and cordite. Finger on the trigger. Safety off. Bite down, 'cause you're shaking. C'mon, you can do this. Just once in your sorry life do something right, even if it's just ending it. C'mon.
I can recognize the signs of depression. The symptoms differ from my own, but the darkness, that I recognize.
Ray Kowalski was sent home from work today on administrative leave. The shooting team has not yet exonerated him in the death of Michael Trevotti, but I am sure they will. After all, Ray did not shoot Mr. Trevotti, he shot at him. The cause of death was drowning, or so Mort assures me.
Ray has been agitated for some time now. I do not know what it is that troubles him. His anger seems directed now at me, now at himself, and sometimes simply at the world at large. Tentative offers of help are met with savage rejection.
It is late, and I am tired, but something itching in the back of my mind makes me pull on my hiking boots and head for the Consulate door. Dief watches me, but shows no interest in coming along. Slothful.
The itching pulls me into a walk, a fast walk, and I want to break into a run for no logical reason. I restrain myself. Instinct is Ray Kowalski's department, not mine. I do not understand Ray's capacity for rage, his impulsiveness, but I understand that it is there. That, coupled with the darkness I saw at the bottom of his eyes, is the source of the itching. Very well, I will trot.
Ray's apartment door is locked, and there is no answer. But his car is outside. He must be home. I knock harder.
No, there's no reason to assume he's home. Perhaps he felt the need for a walk, as I did. Perhaps. Perhaps not. Anxiety takes me, and Ray's door yields to my boot. I will apologize to him later.
Into the apartment, pushing the door shut behind me so that my eyes will adjust to the dimness.
Ray is home. He is slumped on the floor in front of his couch. His gun is in his hands, the safety is off, and he is crying.
The shock of it pierces my vitals and brings me to my knees beside him. I put my arm around him as he did once for me, and pull him close. He leans into me, insensate and sobbing. He smells... I tip his chin, tilt his head toward mine. His... his mouth smells of gun oil.
Oh Ray, was it so near a thing? A violent upwelling of emotion surges within me. Anger swirls within me, and fear and grief and pain. My right hand snatches the gun from his lax grip and flicks the safety on, hurls it across the room. My left arm holds him ever closer, crushing him to me. Ray, my best and truest friend, I could have lost you today.
Oh, God. Please, no.
I find I am repeating his name, over and over. My own voice is ragged, rough with unshed tears.
Now Ray pulls away from me, concerned, and summons up a watery death's-head grin. "Hey, Frase... I didn't do it, you know. Too chicken." His face falls.
"But you wanted to," I rasp.
He hesitates, then nods. Shaking overwhelms me, and the only help for it is to hold Ray as tightly as I can, with both arms and all of my strength. "Don't leave me, Ray. Never leave."
"Fraser," Ray whispers, and his fingers steal around the back of my neck, and his mouth caresses the side of my jaw. Kisses it.
I jerk away. Thrust him from me and hold him at arm's length, staring. Is this it? Is this the trouble I sensed? Ray is shaking, too, and I can see the fear in his eyes. And beneath it the darkness I recognize so well, gathering strength.
"Hate me now?" he asks, with gruff, fragile bravado.
"No, Ray. Never. Just... never." Without volition my hand comes up, cups his jaw. Ray smiles a little, sweet and shy, and the darkness recedes for the moment.
"I want you to talk to someone, Ray. A counselor. Either at the precinct, or a private practice."
Ray shakes his head in negation. "Nope. No need for it, now." His smile settles on his face, uneasy, but as if to stay. He touches my chest, fingering a shirt button.
Emotions are not my strong suit, and romance worst of all, but it is the easiest thing in the world to take Ray's head in my hands and lave away the taste of gun oil with my tongue.
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