Due South and all its characters belong to Alliance Communications
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Story page: http://users4.50megs.com/callie
The lights in the apartment were low, soft gentle music playing in the background. However, the occupant was far from calm; Stanley Raymond Kowalski paced the small apartment. Diefenbaker watched from the couch, his head moving from side to side following Ray's movements as he paced around the living room.
"Why hasn't he called?" Ray stopped abruptly in front of the wolf. Diefenbaker barked softly in reply licking his slender hand affectionately. Ray smiled despite himself. "He said he would call as soon as the day's lectures were finished. We agreed. And it's," Ray glanced down at his watch. "Ten o'clock. So why doesn't he call?" he started pacing the room again waving his arms in the air mumbling under his breath. "It's not as if he coulda been eaten by a bear or something. Not in Toronto."
On his tenth circuit of the room, Ray glanced sideways glaring at the telephone sitting silently on the kitchen counter. He stomped over picking up the receiver checking for the hundredth time for the dial tone. He smiled to himself despite his bad mood - of course Fraser wouldn't let the telephone be cut off, insisting that they paid all their bills on time.
He slumped onto one of the bar stools, resting his head on his hands glaring at the telephone willing it to ring. Ray's thoughts drifted to memories of the past year. He still couldn't believe that Fraser loved him and wanted to be with him. They had finally confessed their love for each other after months of each man agonising over their feelings, both terrified to admit their feelings for one another, fearing that they would be rejected in disgust by the other. Fraser had moved into his apartment and his heart, and Ray never wanted the Mountie to move out of either. Ray was in love and deliriously happy - happier than he had ever been with Stella. He also knew, deep in his heart, that Fraser was just as happy.
Ray fiddled absently with the two small packages in front of him, one elaborately wrapped in gold paper. He cast another angry look at the telephone. "Ring why don't ya?" he cursed silently.
Constable Benton Fraser hurried into the hotel foyer; he was late, the last speech having overrun by an hour and a half. He had been willing the final speaker to finish quickly sighing silently every time another officer asked a question, and the speaker launched himself enthusiastically into a long-winded answer. He snatched the key from the receptionist hurrying towards the elevator. Stepping inside, Fraser watched impatiently as the floor indicator counted off the floors.
He sighed to himself knowing that Ray would be waiting for his call; they had agreed that it would be easier for Fraser to call the apartment. He glanced down at his watch again. "Oh dear," he thought to himself. "Ray won't be happy." Fraser glared at the floor indicator. "Hurry up," he willed the elevator to go faster, hoping that no-one would stop it on its journey to the twentieth floor.
He was in Toronto for a week attending an RCMP Conference on Modern Policing Methods, and although the conference was interesting, Fraser's mind kept drifting to thoughts of his partner. Just when Fraser thought he had been condemned to a life of loneliness, Ray had come crashing into his world bringing with him his constant energy but more importantly his friendship, which had gradually grown into a deep love. Fraser loved Ray more than life itself, and was happier than he had ever been. At last, he knew what real love could be, and he had no intention of giving it up.
With a hiss, the doors opened on the twentieth floor, and Fraser raced along the corridor in an un-Mountie like manner to his room. Closing the door behind him, he switched on the light moving quickly towards the telephone. Two packages lay on the night stand, and Fraser smiled to himself as he gently fingered the untidily wrapped parcel. Shrugging out of his serge, he picked up the telephone dialling the apartment.
Ray was laying slumped over the kitchen counter, his head resting on his folded arms, his eyes staring mesmerised at the telephone. Lost in daydreams of Fraser, he nearly fell off the stool startled as the sharp ring of the telephone echoed around the room. He snatched up the handset grinning to himself.
"You have reached the KowalskiFraser residence. No-one is home at the moment. They died of waiting for the Mountie to call them. Please leave yer message after the tone," he said playfully, mimicking the sound of an ansaphone's electronic tone. He waited silently still grinning to himself.
"This is Constable Benton Fraser. I would like to leave a message for Stanley Raymond Kowalski. Could you tell him I love him very much, and I am sorry," Fraser said politely. "Thank you kindly."
"Love ya too Ben," Ray giggled sensing the smile in Fraser's voice.
"Thank you kindly," Fraser repeated laughing softly. "How are you? Are you eating properly? Is Diefenbaker behaving himself?"
Ray stifled a laugh as he glanced sideways at the wolf who was finishing of the pizza he had ordered earlier, but hadn't felt like eating. "OK, but miss ya. Yes. And yes," he replied to the Mountie's questions. "But where have ya been? I was worried. Thought ya'd gotten yerself eaten by a bear or something."
"No bears in Toronto. Only a moose on every corner," Fraser chuckled. "I am sorry. The last lecture overran by an hour and a half and I couldn't get away."
"It's OK," Ray said. "Ya here now. Well sorta. Ya know.... on the other end of the telephone thousands of miles of away."
"Well actually Ray," Fraser said. "I'm only 441miles away...."
"Frase," Ray interrupted raising his eyes towards the ceiling in exasperation.
"Or 710 kilometres," Fraser continued oblivious to Ray's interruption.
"Ben," Ray said slightly louder.
"Or 383 nautical miles away from you," Fraser finished satisfied.
"Ya know I love ya more than anything in the world," Ray sighed. "But sometimes ya do sorta go on. And only my Mountie would know how many nautical miles we were away from each other."
"Thank you kindly," Fraser grinned hearing the mild exasperation in his partner's voice. "And I love you. And miss you Ray. My bed is lonely without you. I wish you were here so I could touch you. Kiss you. Stroke you. Make love to you," he said his voice husky with desire.
"He stifled a un-Mountie like giggle as he heard Ray groan. "If ya keep going on like that. I'm gonna swim them 382 nautical miles to ya," Ray murmured.
"But you can't swim Ray," Fraser teased.
"I'll learn," Ray retorted. "Tomorrow." Suddenly lost in thoughts of missing Fraser, Ray fell silent not being able to stop the ache he felt spreading across his chest.
"Ray," Fraser said. "Ray. Are you still there? Ray."
"Yeh Ben," Ray whispered. "Just ..... just wishing that ya were here. Especially ya know .... today. The.... anniversary of .... of the day we first said we loved each other."
"I know Ray. I wish I was there with you," Fraser replied wistfully. "I am sorry that the conference just happened to fall on this particular week. I did try to get out of coming here, but the Inspector insisted."
"Yeh. I know you did Ben," Ray assured his lover. "Not yer fault."
"Would you prefer to do this when I get back home at the weekend?" Fraser asked."We can have a spec....."
"No," Ray interrupted loudly stopping Fraser mid-sentence. "We agreed all those months ago to do it today. And if we don't. It will be like it don't matter. And it does. To me," he finished lowering his voice shyly.
"It matters to me as well Ray," Fraser breathed. "You are with me now in my heart. And you always will be. How ever far apart we are from each other."
"And ya in my heart Ben," Ray agreed softly. "Always and forever."
"Have you got your packages Ray?" Fraser asked, his voice nearly breaking with emotion at the loving words.
"Yeh," Ray picked up the smaller box flipping the lid open revealing the plain gold band inside. "Ya got yers?"
Fraser smiled. "Yes Ray," he said carefully opening the velvet box which displayed the twin of the gold band he knew Ray was holding.
"OK," Ray closed his eyes imagining that Fraser was close to him. "I'll go first. Yer ready?" He heard Fraser murmur in the affirmative as he begun to recite his promise to Fraser. "Benton Fraser. I love ya with all my heart. Yer my best friend, my partner and my lover. Ya brought strength, passion and happiness into my life. Ya made me the man I am today. And I'll never leave ya. Accept the ring as my pledge to ya," he whispered quietly.
"Thank you kindly Ray," Fraser murmured as he placed the gold band on his ring finger. "My turn." Closing his eyes, he could see Ray's face grinning at him, and he smiled lightly. "Stanley Raymond Kowalski. I love you with all my heart. You are my best friend, my partner and my lover. You brought love and laughter into my lonely life. You showed me what love could be. And I will never leave you. Accept the ring as my pledge to you," he whispered softly.
"Greatness," Ray smiled as he slipped the gold band onto his slender ring finger. "Can I open my present now?" he asked ever impatient.
Fraser chuckled. "Yes my impatient love," he teased as he heard the sound of ripping paper from the other end of the telephone.
"Oh Ben," Ray breathed. "It's beautiful."
"I made the frame myself," Ben said. "Do you like it?"
"Oh yes Ben," Ray said running his fingers over the wooden frame marvelling at the delicate workmanship, noting that Fraser had carefully carved the RCMP and CPD crests intertwining them on the top of the frame.
Ray turned his attention to the picture that he remembered had been taken on a weekend hiking trip into the hills. Smiling to himself, he recalled how they had giggled at each other trying to work out how to use the self-timer mode of the camera they had borrowed from Constable Turnbull.
The photograph showed them sitting in the bright spring sunshine in front a large rock, Ray nestled between Fraser's legs. Fraser had his head resting on Ray's shoulder, his strong arms wrapped around his upper body. Ray was resting his hands on Fraser's arms. They grinned at the camera happily, their love for each other captured forever.
"It's beautiful and we're gonna give it pride of place in our home," Ray said. "Now open yers."
Fraser tugged at the tape that seemed to be have been wrapped around the package several times. "I can see that you need a lesson in how to wrap a parcel," he teased. "Have we any tape left in the apartment?"
"Funny guy. Ya know I aint good at wrapping things up," Ray lowered his voice slightly. "Good at unwrapping though. Especially red parcels," he grinned as he heard Fraser's breath catch.
Fraser finally managed to get the paper off the package. Speechless, he gazed down at the modern red frame with a photograph of the two of them taken on the same hiking trip into the hills, as the one he had given Ray. They stood on the edge of a hill with the countryside in the background; arms wrapped around each other, they were looking into one another's eyes smiling - identical happiness mirrored on their faces.
"Ya hate it right?" Ray said quietly. "Knew I shoulda got ya a book or something."
Fraser dragged his eyes away from the gift and back to Ray's voice. "No Ray. I love it," he breathed. "It would seem, as you say, that we are on the same page."
"Aint that the truth," Ray smiled relief evident in his voice. "But it's kinda good. Ya know.... being on the same page. Feels right," he twiddled the gold band on his ring finger. "And it goes right next to my picture. OK?"
Fraser grinned fingering his ring absently. "Ray. I love you," he suddenly wanted and needed to hear himself say the words.
"I love ya Ben," Ray whispered. "It's just ya and me forever. OK?"
"Understood," Fraser replied as he glanced down at his watch. "Ray. It's late and I know you have to be up early in the morning."
"Yeh. I know," Ray replied wistfully. "Wish we could talk all night."
"I would talk to you all night Ray. But I don't think the RCMP would be very happy if I fell asleep during tomorrow's speeches," Fraser said. "And I am sure that the CPD would want you to be awake at your desk."
"Suppose yer right. As usual," Ray said sadly. "But it's lonely without ya."
"I know Ray," Fraser agreed. "But I'll be home on Saturday. Only 48 hours. 2880 minutes. And 172,800 seconds," Fraser chuckled as he heard Ray groan in mock irritation. "Then we can have our honeymoon. A whole week alone together. Away from the precinct and the consulate."
"Ben," Ray moaned. "Yer a cruel man."
"Sorry Ray," Fraser said guiltily. "I'll be counting the hours, minutes and seconds until Saturday."
"Me too," Ray agreed. "Night Ben. Love ya. Miss ya."
"Good night Ray," Fraser whispered. "I love and miss you."
The two men hung up the telephone at the same time, each feeling lost and lonely without the other.
After he hung up the telephone, Ray paced around the room for a while trying to lose himself in the soft music. He distractedly twisted the gold band round and round on his finger, his mind full of thoughts of Fraser. Suddenly irritated with his own company, Ray decided on an early night.
Diefenbaker was asleep on the couch; Ray stroked the furry head affectionately before turning off the apartment lights and locking the door. He ambled towards the bedroom, his gift tucked firmly under his arm. Placing the photograph carefully on the night stand, Ray stripped quickly casting his clothes untidily on the floor. Slipping under the blankets, he lay on his side staring up at the photograph in the dim light.
He reached up to the photograph tracing Fraser's face with his finger. "Love ya," he said as he closed his eyes; Fraser's face being the last thing he saw before sleep claimed him.
441 miles, 710 kilometres or 383 nautical miles away, Fraser stared at the telephone distractedly after he had hung up. His mind full of Ray, he made his way slowly towards the small bathroom for a quick shower before an early night.
Half an hour later, he emerged a towel wrapped around his hips. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, he gazed down at the gold band flexing his finger admiring how it seemed to glint in the light. Sighing, he slipped under the blankets turning onto his side. He gazed up at the photograph that he had placed neatly on the night stand.
Reaching over, Fraser traced his finger over Ray's smiling features. "I love you," he murmured as he closed his eyes; Ray's face being the last thing he saw before sleep claimed him.
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