Fandom: due South
Word Count: Around 780 words.
Notes: F/K. Post CotW. I wrote this months ago, intending it to be an epic story. But it never became an epic story. The other parts I had written were less than I would have hoped. So this is it.
In the day, the journey was of the never ending variety. They took every day as it came. Ray was currently in charge of navigation, which was a feat in itself. But then, his sense of direction had always been excellent. He plotted a course which took them far away from civilisation. He, Dief and Fraser were searching for the great unknown. But sometimes, of course, they had to go into a nearby town for the few supplies they could get.
Chicago was a universe away. Sometimes it surprised Ray that he didn’t miss it. Most of the time he didn’t think about it. Being a Chicago flatfoot was another life, a different existence. He’d been reincarnated as an explorer. And whilst he doubted if they had actually discovered anything, like the Hand of Franklin for example, they’d certainly explored. You could get trapped into thinking that if you’d seen one ice glacier, you’d seen them all, but it just wasn’t true. Every place was unique, and it was the difference and sheer beauty that made it all worthwhile.
There were some things Ray missed. He missed eating pizza. Driving his beautiful GTO. He missed his turtle. But anything else was supplanted by Fraser. Fraser, who was more than slightly watchful of him and on occasion overly protective.
“I can handle it, Fraser.”
“I know you can.”
“Then why are you watching me like a hawk?”
“I want to ensure that you’re safe, Ray.”
“I’m carrying a pack, Fraser. It’s not that difficult.”
“I know, but… here… let me help you.”
“I can handle it.”
“But I want to help.”
“I don’t need help.”
“A wise man once told me there’s red ships and green ships, but there’s no ships like partnerships. I’m just being a dutiful partner.”
Of a night-time, the dark was of the all encompassing variety, where actual sight didn’t exist. If they were out in the open, the light from the stars would probably provide plenty to see by. But they weren’t out in the open. They were tucked up in a sleeping bag under a lean-to. Ray’s arm was underneath Fraser but he accepted the numbness for the warmth it provided. Plus, this way he could feel Fraser breathing and for some reason this always calmed him. Every night he was slightly afraid to fall asleep in case there was a chance he wouldn’t wake up. He wished Fraser hadn’t told him this was a possibility.
“Fraser?” Ray whispered.
“Yes, Ray?” Fraser replied. His voice was slightly lower than usual. Ray knew this meant he had just been close to sleep and felt bad for waking him. It didn’t stop him from continuing, though.
“Do that thing.”
“What thing?” Fraser sounded a little bewildered.
“That Paradise Lost thing,” Ray answered, changing position slightly.
“Oh. Can’t sleep?”
Ray shook his head but then realised Fraser might not know what that meant just from the movement against his chest. “No.”
“Alright then. Give me a moment.”
Around a minute passed by before Fraser began to speak again.
“Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat…”
Ray had nestled even tighter into Fraser and closed his eyes as his partner recited the lines he’d learnt in only one night. Fraser did not speak with much feeling. It seemed to Ray that he was only saying words and nothing more. Ray wondered whether Fraser had any more idea of the meaning behind them than he did. But Fraser’s voice was perfect. It was smooth and mellow, not too deep, not too high, with the lilt of an accent that was sufficiently different from his own to be Canadian not American, and therefore infinitely sweeter to listen to. He could feel himself drifting off. Fraser seemed to realise this as well because he didn’t continue speaking. They slept.
As they continued their lives in this way, Ray felt that this was how things were always supposed to have been. He couldn’t think of it any other way. It was some kind of fate. He was always meant to meet Fraser, they were always meant to go on this adventure, and they were always meant to be together. But it wasn’t like he’d seen it when he was a kid. No, it had been all about becoming a cop, and Stella, and children and the ideal American dream.
Life was clearly of the unpredictable variety. You could guess, and choose, and plot, but in the end, who knew?