Rating: R for liberal use of expletives.
Word Count: 931 words.
Fandom: due South
Notes: F/K and V… not to be mistaken with the current wonderful movement of F/K/V. Third person limited, from Kowalski’s point of view.
Kowalski felt it was all some grand mindfuckery on Vecchio’s part. Oh, he and Stella had broken up because Vecchio’d wanted kids and she hadn’t? Kowalski didn’t believe in coincidences that coincidental. Yeah, they may have shared the same identity, but they weren’t the same person. There Fraser was, all compassionate and caring and calling Vecchio his best friend. They had to let him stay. He had nowhere else. Never mind Frannie and the rest of the Vecchios with their various homes across broader Chicago. Best friend. If Vecchio was Fraser’s ‘best friend’ then what was Kowalski? His quick-fuck? Thanks Fraser. Bastard. Kowalski wanted to imagine what he would feel like in Vecchio’s shoes, but despite having spent several months doing exactly that, it wasn’t happening. He was pissed. He wanted out. He wanted his cabin back. A person shouldn’t be forced to finally figure out who they were only to have some jerk come and try and steal it all away. Again.
He stepped outside as Vecchio poked about with a log on the fire and Fraser prepared the evening meal. In his shirt pocket he had a pack of toothpicks, in his jeans a pack of cigarettes. His right hand hovered around his chest as his left fidgeted near his hip. Would he choose splinter or death-stick? He settled on neither. Instead he shuffled in the light coating of snow on the ground, tossing about what must have been fire-wood that never made it to the fire. He mimed kicking a suspect in the head. He strained his ears to hear what Fraser and Vecchio were discussing.
“… along. Tomorrow we could take Dief out and…”
But it wasn’t all that interesting. The trouble was, he knew he wasn’t exactly being the world’s nicest guy. He’d kinda been goading Vecchio. Constantly. Cracks about Stella, cracks about policework, cracks about thinning hair and too much Italian cuisine. Usually he didn’t care how unkind he was being to someone with whom he wanted to create a longlasting animosity, but there was Fraser with his imploring looks and his touch on the arm and his quiet words of reassurance. And even though he made it clear from the get-go that he was not some kind of pet or dutiful house-husband, he generally attempted not to do things which made Fraser pissed, depressed, rant-tastic or all of the above.
He kicked about some more, pushed his hands into his pockets and looked at his breath as it spiraled in upward arcs of mist. He liked it here. It was calming. The bulb which usually cast some light into the yard was broken, so in the dark all he could see were the outlines of trees. But if he looked up, there were the stars. He gazed and tried to remember the constellations Fraser had taught him on the hunt for the hand of Franklin, and every time he thought of one, the name was intermingled with words from Paradise Lost. Because that’s what had happened of a night-time, they’d looked at the constellations, recited Paradise Lost and fucked. And it was fucking wonderful, and mindblowing, and right.
Now here they were and Ray didn’t even want to talk to Fraser, because the other Ray, the wrong Ray, was there too. There he was, just messing everything up, being Fraser’s best friend again. What was the perfect word to describe it? Usurping. That’s it. Vecchio was usurping his rightful spot. And no, it wasn’t like he’d already usurped Vecchio, because that hadn’t exactly been a real choice on his part, had it? If it had been a choice, if he’d really known what he was getting himself in for, he might have run a mile the other way. Or not, because, well, it wasn’t like he had much to run away with.
The cold was starting to creep up into his bones, so he decided he might as well go back in. And there was Vecchio still poking at the fire, and Fraser still preparing the meal, and Dief lying comfortably on the floor. This was to be his scene for the next few weeks so he had better get used to it. If, instead of attacking Vecchio every time he opened his mouth, he let him talk, and if he maybe tried to talk to Vecchio himself, without mentioning Stella, things might not be as bad as the potential occupying part of his brain suggested. In fact, things could, perhaps, not be bad at all. Fraser would be happy. Vecchio would be less miserable. He’d be surviving.
Alright, that was the plan. He was going to bite the bullet. He was going to try and be civilised. Perhaps not welcoming, but at least not completely cruel to the other, wrong Ray. And uh, he’d do his share of the housework. Yeah, this could be okay. It could totally be okay. He would make it be okay. Then, after his period of escape from the finer realities, Vecchio would go back home to Chicago to babysit Frannie’s darlings, and he and Fraser would go back to living the life they were supposed to. Everything would end happily ever after. Yeah. Greatness.
He wished it was that easy. He wished he could convince himself it was that easy. But at the back of his mind, he couldn’t help but concentrate on every look Vecchio gave Fraser, every smile Fraser gave Vecchio, every discussion they had about the ‘good old days’. When that happened, he didn’t want to bite the bullet, he wanted to shoot it.