Happy Independence Day, everyone!
This story celebrates our freedom to express diversity in any way we choose.
Rated NC17 for m/m sex.
Slight to moderate sap alert.
Comments always welcome! ShannonK@webtv.net
It was a hot, humid July day in the city of Chicago. Ray Vecchio was fixing dinner in the apartment he shared with Benton Fraser.
He and Benny had been lovers for about a year, and they had moved in together 3 months ago. Ray had flatly refused to move into, as he put it, Benny's "flea-bitten death trap", so the two men had gone in search of an apartment they could share together. Besides, the idea made sense: new life, new beginning, new home.
It had actually taken less time than Ray had figured for them to find the apartment. Ray himself had only had two basic requirements for their new home: it had to have an adequate heating and air-conditioning system, and it had to have its own bathroom. Benny might be perfectly happy to live without such amenities, but Ray was not.
The place they had found was beautiful. It was on the second floor of a renovated brownstone on a tree-lined street. The neighborhood was actually quiet and peaceful. At least, Ray thought, grinning to himself, it was until his family came to visit.
Ray hummed to himself as he finished the dinner preparations. He felt as if all the pieces of his life had finally fallen into place. He had never been so happy. He heard the front door open and close, and went out to greet Benny.
"Hi, sweetheart. How are you?"
"I'm hot. No matter how long I live here, I don't think I'll ever get used to the heat."
"Well, Benny, it would help at least a little if you didn't wear your uniform everywhere." Ray grinned at him.
"I have to wear my uniform, Ray." Fraser said sharply. "It's part of my job."
Ray blinked, surprised. "I'm sorry, Benny. I know it is. But maybe on your way home from work you could at least take your jacket off?" Ray smiled at him.
Ben grinned back ruefully. "Yes, I guess I could. I'm sorry, Ray, I didn't mean to snap at you."
"Aw, it's ok, Love. This heat's making everyone cranky."
Ben smiled at Ray and gave him a quick kiss. "Dinner smells good. How long until it's ready?"
"About half an hour."
"I think I'll go take a quick shower, then. If that's ok."
"Of course it's ok, Benny."
Ben smiled again and headed off towards the bathroom.
Ray stared after his partner, worried. Something was definitely bothering Benny. And it wasn't the heat. Fraser had been troubled for the last few days. He was moody and edgy. Fraser had also not been sleeping well. Twice in the last three nights Benny had awakened Ray with his restless tossing and turning. And Ray had noticed faint circles under Ben's eyes. But Fraser would not tell Ray what was bothering him, brushing off all of Ray's attempts to broach the subject.
Ray sighed. He tried not to take it personally, but it kind of felt like Benny didn't trust him. Ray knew that Benny had spent a lifetime with basically no one to depend on but himself; and felt that sharing his problems would be burdening Ray. The detective sighed again. He would just have to keep trying, and eventually Benny would learn that sharing his problems was not a sign of weakness.
After dinner, Benny insisted on doing the dishes, feeling it was his duty since Ray had cooked dinner. Almost an hour later, though, Fraser was still in the kitchen. Ray finally went in after him, and found Benny standing at the kitchen window, staring out.
Fraser started slightly, then turned to face Ray. "Hi" he said, all innocence.
Ray decided that enough was enough. "OK, Benny that's it! Talk to me, dammit!"
"About what, Ray?"
"About what has been bothering you for the last few days."
Ben opened his mouth to respond.
"And don't tell me it's nothing, because we both know that's a load of crap."
"It's... it's silly, Ray."
"I don't think so, Benny. Not if it's bothering you this much."
"You'll think it's stupid."
"No, Benny, I won't."
Benny paused, sighed, then finally said "I'm homesick, Ray."
That stopped Ray. Of all the possibilities he had considered, that had not been one of them.
"It's just... Canada Day was two days ago, and everyone here is getting ready for Independence Day tomorrow. And I just feel out of place. I'm not American, and I'm not wanted or welcome in my own country." Ben looked down at his feet, but not before Ray saw the flash of pain in his eyes.
"Oh, Benny..." he whispered.
"I just feel like I don't belong anywhere, Ray. Do you know what I mean?"
Actually, Ray did not know what Fraser meant. Ray had always known exactly where he belonged. He was Ray Vecchio, Italian-American; born and raised in Chicago. He reached out and drew Benny into a hug. He could feel Fraser shaking slightly, and he gently rubbed Ben's back until he was still.
Ray pulled away enough to look into Ben's face. "You *do* belong somewhere, Benny. You belong with me. You belong with my family." Ben smiled at that.
"And hell, Benny, for now at least, you belong in Chicago. Look at how many people you've helped since you've been here. Look at how much you improved your old apartment building. Hell, that whole neighborhood."
"Oh, Ray I don't know if I'd say that." Ben began.
"Oh, Benny, cut out that modesty crap. It really pisses me off."
Fraser laughed. "Yes, Ray."
Fraser kissed Ray thoroughly. Ray could feel the tightening in his groin, and pressed himself into Fraser, feeling the other man's hardness as well.
Reluctantly, Ray broke the kiss. "Benny," he said somewhat breathlessly, let's go into the bedroom.
"Why? So we can continue this, Benny."
"No, I mean why go all the way into the bedroom?" Ben fell to his knees, drawing Ray down with him. Ray thought about asking Benny what the hell he was doing, but then Fraser's hand found Ray's zipper, and all coherent thought fled.
The next morning both men were awakened at about 6:00 by the noise of firecrackers going off in the street outside. Ray grinned. So much for the peaceful neighborhood. He turned to Fraser.
"Happy Independence Day, Benny."
"The same to you, Ray." Ben smiled at him, but he was feeling slightly nervous. Ray had vowed to show him how to celebrate the 4th of July like a true American. Fraser was all for that idea, but combining the entire Vecchio family with fireworks didn't seem like the best plan to him.
"Come on, my love," Ray said, jumping out of bed. "It's time I showed you what Independence Day is all about.
By that evening, Ben thought he knew what the holiday was all about.
Apparently it was about eating. Oh, sure, he and the Vecchio family had
done all the traditional 4th of July activities: they had gone to the
parade, and gone to all the festivities in the park; the speeches, bands,
games, etc. But each activity seemed to require the consumption of at
least one food item.
And that was before the traditional dinner barbeque.
Fraser groaned and rolled over onto his back. Ray looked over at him and grinned.
"You ok there, Benny?"
"I believe I am fine for the moment, but if I eat so much as one more bite of food, I will vomit."
"Well, that's a holiday tradition, too."
"I think I'll skip that particular tradition, if it's all the same to you, Ray."
"If you say so, Benny."
The whole family was in the park, spread out on blankets, waiting for the fireworks which would start when darkness fell. By Benny's estimation, they still had about half an hour to wait.
Ray looked down at Ben thoughtfully. "Hey Benny, c'mon, I'll show you the best tradition."
"It doesn't involve food, does it?"
"Nope. But it does involve you getting up and walking."
Ben groaned again and slowly got to his feet. He looked around for Diefenbaker, but the wolf seemed perfectly content to stay where he was, curled up asleep on one of the blankets.
"Ma, Benny and I are heading out. We'll see you back at the house." Ray told his mother.
"All right, Caro." Mrs. Vecchio did not seem at all surprised at the two men leaving early.
Ray took Ben back to the Vecchio house, then took him inside and up to Mrs. Vecchio's bedroom.
"Ray, what are we doing here?" Ben asked nervously.
Ray was opening the window, which looked out over the backyard. "Come on, Benny!" he said excitedly, climbing out the window.
Fraser followed his lover outside. The roof here was not as steep as over the front of the house, and both men could sit comfortably.
"Best view of the fireworks in the city." Ray grinned triumphantly.
Ben smiled back at him. He loved seeing Ray like this: relaxed, carefree, totally happy. In a few short minutes, the fireworks started. Ben watched the light show in the sky. He had to admit that he too was feeling very relaxed and happy. He turned to Ray.
"So, have I had the full Independence Day experience?'
"Well, Benny, not quite yet."
"You see, there is a school of thought that says the holiday is not complete unless you have been kissed while watching the fireworks." Another blast of color lit the sky, bathing Ray's entire face in purple. For some reason, Ben found this strangely erotic.
"Well, Ray, I would not want to miss out on any part of the tradition...."
Ray leaned over and kissed Benny, then drew away and smiled. But that was not enough for Benny. He leaned over Ray, and kissed him again, deepening the kiss. He tugged gently at Ray's lower lip with his teeth, and Ray eagerly opened his mouth.
Ben was sliding his tongue slowly in and out of Ray's mouth, and he slid his hand down between Ray's legs and started stroking Ray's penis in time with the thrusting of his tongue. But there was too much cloth between Ray's penis and Ben's hand for Ben's liking, so he unzipped Ray's shorts.
Ray gasped and pulled away. "Benny, what are you doing?!?!"
"Well, Ray, I think that should be obvious."
"Benny, we are on the roof!"
"Well, then, we'll just have to be extra careful, won't we?"
"Oh, my God, Fraser. The neighbors might see us."
"I don't think so, Ray. Everyone is watching the fireworks right now."
"Yeah, Benny but what if someone does see us?"
"Then we'll all have a 4th of July we'll never forget, won't we?" Before Ray could protest any further, Ben slid Ray's shorts down enough to expose his penis. Ben looked at Ray's cock and smiled.
"It would appear that you really want me to do this, Ray. Or am I wrong?" Fraser took Ray's cock into his hand and began gently stroking up and down the shaft. Ray gave a strangled groan.
"What was that, Ray?"
"Oh, God, Benny, yes!!"
Ben bent over and gently ran his tongue along the length of Ray's cock. Ray collapsed back onto the roof. He was suddenly, morbidly sure that he was going to fall off the roof, taking Benny with him. He got a sudden mental image of his family finding his and Benny's dead bodies in this position and started to laugh. His laughter was abruptly choked off, though, as Benny took Ray's penis into his mouth.
Benny began sucking urgently, and Ray dared to take one of his hands off the roof, placing it on the back of Fraser's head. He twined his fingers into Ben's hair. Ray cried out as the heat from his cock spread throughout the rest of his body. He saw a sudden burst of color before his eyes. Weather it was from the fireworks or his orgasam he couldn't tell.
Fraser swallowed instinctively as Ray's hot juices filled his mouth. He then collapsed onto the roof, his harsh breathing in counterpart to Ray's. When he had gathered the strength, he crawled up to lay beside his lover. Ray turned his head and kissed Ben, sliding his tongue into Benny's mouth. Ray could taste himself on Benny, a sensation which never failed to arouse him. Ben nestled his head onto Ray's shoulder. Both men lay there for a long moment, watching the fireworks which now seemed insignificant next to the sparks they had just created. Finally, Benny spoke.
"Ray, did I ever tell you how much I love America?"