Author's disclaimer: 'due SOUTH' and all related characters and settings are the property of Paul Haggis, the BBC and Alliance. They own all, I own nothing but this story.
Author's notes: I swear this wasn't meant to be a series - it just turned out that way. This first story is the one I wrote for Canada Day, the others are simply sequels.
By Kym Hamilton (aka ^Q the Immortal or Kay Scott)
The Canadian Consulate
Wednesday, 30 June 1999
Constable Renfield Turnbull, RCMP, currently assigned to the Canadian Consulate, Chicago, Illinios, stared absent-mindedly out of the window.
As least, that's what it looked like to the casual observer. The man watching him, however, was anything but casual, and the Constable was anything but absent-minded.
The watcher smiled as he caught a smattering of the Mountie's thoughts. They were sweet and romantic, all roses and chocolates and moonlit nights - only, they were tinged with fear.
The watcher couldn't understand this at all. Love, in his experience, wasn't anything to be afraid of. It was something to embrace and cherish and nurture.
He delved deeper into the handsome man's thoughts, trying to understand this fear. It wasn't easy, this particular man had a very strong, natural, mental shield.
If he could just...ahh! There it was! He saw it all. All of it. All of mankind's shame. The whispered rumour and innuendos, the loud jokes that weren't even funny, the open abuse, the persecution, the hatred, the ignorance and the ridiculous fear that underlay it all.
This was what caused this man's fear. Only, it wasn't fear for himself, not totally. Sure, he was slightly worried about what his superiors and colleagues might say if he entered into a relationship with an American male, but mainly it was fear for the one he loved The one called Ray.
Whoever he was, Ray was very important to this man. So important, in fact, that he would reject him to protect him. He would deny himself the love that he had dreamed of to protect the one he loved.
Well, this simply wasn't right, the watcher decided. Something would be done.
Turnbull stared out of the window, his mind in a whirl. Ray had come to his place last night, and told him...and told him what he'd been wanting to hear for so long.
Three simple, little words, and his whole world had been turned upside down.
"So you punched him? Way to go, Ren," a voice said, practically dripping with sarcasm.
Turnbull looked around sharply. He couldn't see anything - the room was as empty as it always was at this time of day. Where had the voice come from? Out of nowhere?
"No," said the voice, in answer to his thoughts, "It came out of my mouth. I'm over here, by the door."
As Turnbull watched in amazement, the figure of a young man slowly materialised out of the air.
He was, to put it bluntly, gorgeous. His flawless skin was tanned a golden brown and he was dressed in a skimpy toga which showed off his nicely developed muscles. His hair was blond and cropped close to his scalp.
He looked at Turnbull with sparkling blue eyes and grinned, saying, "You really are an idiot, you know."
"I beg your pardon?" Turnbull said, still in a state of shock at the appearance of a gorgeous, scantily clad, man in his office.
"I said," the man repeated with exaggerated patience, "That you are an idiot."
"Who are you?" Turnbull demanded in confusion. "How did you get in here? And why would you say such a thing to me? You don't even know me!"
"Wrong, my dear Rennie," the young man said cheerfully, "I know you better than you know yourself."
"Who are you?" Turnbull demanded again, wondering if a mentally ill patient had escaped from a local institute.
The young man buffed his nails on his toga, held out his hand, and replied, "Eros. God of Love. Pleased to meet ya, Ren."
Turnbull shook Eros's hand, and managed not to stare as a huge pair of wings unfolded themselves down the young man's back. They were like angel's wings, curving at the top to slope downwards to a point at the young man's ankles. Turnbull would bet that the feathers would be as soft as the finest goose-down.
"Who...ah...who did you say were, again?"
The young man smiled and replied, "Eros. At least, that's what the Greeks called me. The Romans called me Cupid. Not a bad name, but I like Eros better. It sounds a lot more...sensual. More fitting for the God of Love, don't you think?"
"Y-yes," stuttered Turnbull, "I suppose so."
"Anyway," Eros continued, "That has diddly-squat to do with the matter at hand, which is - you're an idiot."
"*Why* do you keep saying that?" Turnbull demanded, getting a touch annoyed about constantly being called an idiot.
"Because you are," said Eros, smiling slightly, "The one you love tells he loves you too, kisses you, and you punch him out. Idiotic. What else could you call behaviour like that?"
"I only did it to protect him," Turnbull said in his defence.
"How is rejecting him going to protect him?!" Eros practically yelled at the hapless Mountie, his hands going to his hips in a typical tantrum stance. "You absolute moron! You've hurt him so bad I can feel it wherever in the world I am!"
Turnbull dropped down into his wooden chair and fell forward, cradling his head in his hands. "I had to do it, don't you see? Ray is a police officer and being with me could put his life in danger. I don't want him to be hurt. You don't understand what this world is like."
Eros shook his head sadly. "You do," he said slowly, "So, I do. I've looked into your mind, Ren, and I've seen what humanity has become, but things are changing - things always change."
Eros placed a finger under Turnbull's chin and gently lifted his head to look directly into the Mountie's dark eyes. "Why do you fear to love?" he asked gently.
Eros smiled a sweet, gentle smile. He nodded, understanding. "I felt Ray's heart breaking, and I didn't like it. But your heart is breaking, too, and that I cannot stand. You belong together, and I'm going to make sure you are together."
Eros leaned closer and whispered in Turnbull's ear, "Love is not fear, Ren. Never fear what your heart tells you. Never."
Eros stepped back and reached for his quiver, drawing a golden arrow and taking aim.
"W-what are you going to do?" Turnbull asked, stuttering again in his nervousness.
Eros smiled that gentle smile again and loosed the arrow. It flew, straight and true, and pierced Turnbull's heart, filling him with a joy and peace he'd never felt before. He loved Ray, he realised, and nothing else mattered.
He loved Ray. He loved Ray. He loved Ray. He loved Ray. The litany played in his mind and he replayed all the times Ray touched him, all the times Ray smiled at him, all the times Fraser did something crazy and Ray had come to him for comfort. Ray was his life, how could he not love him? How could he reject him? Never! Never!
Thursday, 1 July 1999
Detective Ray Vecchio (real name Kowalski, he's just undercover as Vecchio - shhh, don't tell anyone) sat at his desk and tried to concentrate on paperwork.
This wasn't very surprising, considering he'd just lost his best friend and the love of his life. He'd thought Rennie returned his feelings, but, obviously, he didn't.
Rennie had punched him! A bruise was developing on his cheek and it throbbed as a constant reminder of his foolishness. He never should have come out to the Mountie. He should have realised Turnbull would react that way.
He'd just never figured the Mountie for that kind of behaviour. He didn't think Turnbull had a prejudicial bone in his body. He didn't seem to be homophobic. But he'd decked him. His fist had connected with his face and he'd hit the floor. Then he'd left, too shocked and hurt to do or say anything.
In the midst of his misery and depression, he heard footsteps. The sound of running. Someone was heading for the bull pen, and in a great hurry, by the sounds of it.
He heard a door slam and the footsteps grew closer. He barely registered them, until they burst into the bullpen and headed for his desk. He heard the sound of rapid breathing, and looked up into the face of the man who had been dominating his thoughts.
"I love you, Ray," Turnbull said, and Ray barely had time to take in the words before the Mountie swept him up into an embrace and kissed him.
The kissed was hard and hot and fierce. It demanded submission, but encouraged defiance as well. Unthinkingly, Ray gave as got as good as he got. He wrapped his arms around Turnbull's waist and opened his mouth, capturing Turnbull's tongue with his own and trying desperately to suck it out of the maddening Mountie's mouth.
The kiss lasted for several minutes, and, when the pair broke apart, gasping for breath, they were met with dead silence of the bull pen. Everyone was staring at them. Ray only had eyes for Turnbull, though, and, as he gazed into his Mountie's dark ones, he saw understanding, not hatred. He saw sincerity, not deception. And he saw love. Not fear. Love.
"I love you, too, Rennie," he said clearly, not caring who heard.
The bullpen was filled with the spontaneous applause of a dozen people. The cheers, claps and whistles echoed through the room as the pair kissed again.
And, hovering unseen above the crowd, Eros grinned. One mountie down, one to go.