SUMMARY: A slice of a day somewhere in Canada, sometime in the future.
THANKS TO: bertybertle for the beta. Any still existing errors are mine.
NOTES: Done for the First Line Challenge @ ds_flashfiction
First line: Taken from china_shop's 'A Whey from Home'
Fraser hung his tunic on a hanger in the closet. As per his habit, he slid his hand against the back of the closet, feeling the rough wooden boards against the palm of his hand.
It had been years since the last time he had seen his father's ghost -- and occasionally, he even found himself missing it.
The slow clicking of nails on the wooden floorboards made him turn around. Diefenbaker stood in the doorway to the bedroom, looking old and grey. Fraser reminded himself his lupine companion was not the only one.
"He will be back tonight or tomorrow morning," Fraser answered as Dief whined. Years ago he might have doubted as to whether or not Ray would return from a visit to Chicago.
Fraser allowed himself a small smile. If Ray could hear these thoughts, he would no doubt offer to kick some sense into Fraser's head. Much like he used to. These days he rarely offered. Probably because Fraser had long since accepted that Ray wouldn't be leaving him or Canada for good.
"It will be good to have him back, yes," Fraser agreed with Dief's soft growl. To have their pack back to its full strength. He wondered for a moment what they would do when Dief was no longer with them. The half-wolf rarely ventured too far from their home these days and Fraser winced whenever he saw how stiff Dief's legs had become.
Shaking the dark thoughts off, Fraser could almost hear Ray's voice in his head, telling him to lighten up. They would deal with losing Dief when it happened and enjoy his company for as long as possible.
Fraser himself would not be taking his tunic out of the closet for all that many more years to come, either. At some point even he would feel too old to go patrolling and he still was not sure how he felt about having a deskbound job. Still, that was years off as well. No use in borrowing trouble.
Pulling a sweater over his head, Fraser followed Dief into the main room of the house. Their home was on the outskirts of the town, and although Fraser could have done with a modest cabin on his own, he had bowed to Ray's demands for modern amenities.
Fraser put water on for tea, losing himself in his thoughts for a few minutes. When the water was nearly boiling, he pulled the pan off the burner. A sound caught his attention and he turned his head, cocking it to the side.
There was the faint sound of an engine. Fraser was unsure for a moment if indeed it was... ah yes, as the sound drew nearer, it was quite clearly Bill Patterson's snow track equipped Humvee. It had that sweet, humming sound that only Ray seemed to be able to get it to make.
Fraser smiled as he remembered Bill's initial amazement when Ray had fixed the engine. Since then, Bill hadn't let anyone but Ray tinker with it. It also meant that Bill was more than happy to drive Ray to the airport and to pick him up again on his return.
Pouring grounds into the coffee filter and filling the machine with water, Fraser forced himself to use a lifetime of discipline. Dief was whining at the door, obviously knowing from Fraser's reaction that Ray was on his way.
The coffee was percolating when the Humvee rolled up in front of the house. Fraser went to the front door and opened it, watching the heavy vehicle come to a stop. Ray seemed to be exchanging a few words with Bill, and Fraser could just make out that Bill was shaking his head and laughing.
Forcing himself to be patient, Fraser smiled as Ray opened the door of the Humvee and jumped out, pulling his backpack with him. With a wave, he closed the door and turned toward the house.
The tired smile Ray gave Fraser almost blinded him. It was the kind of smile that said it all, really. Most of all it said 'I'm home, finally'. Fraser stepped aside as Dief pushed against the back of his legs to be let out. Fraser waved at Bill, who was turning back toward town.
Ray leaned down and ruffled Dief's fur, telling him to go back inside, scolding him that the cold weather was no good for his stiff limbs.
Fraser considered using the same line on Ray, but his survival instincts were as sharp as ever, so he pulled Ray inside instead, opting for a quick kiss. Stepping back, he closed the door and then helped Ray out of his heavy winter wear.
"How..." Fraser began, but Ray shook his head, buried his fingers in Fraser's hair and proceeded to tell Fraser just how happy he was to be home.
Ray's lips were slightly chapped, but his tongue was hot and slick against Fraser's. Fraser realized just how much he had missed the physical solidness of his partner in his arms and tried to convey as much to Ray.
Thankfully, Ray always knew what he meant. Years of practice, he had confided in Fraser a little while back.
Breaking the kiss, Ray rested his head on Fraser's shoulder. "I hate flying," he muttered.
Fraser smiled as he heard Dief's grumbled agreement, the half-wolf giving them one last sniff before going back to his warm pile of blankets next to the fireplace.
Opening his mouth to let Ray know how much he agreed, Fraser was surprised when all that came out was, "I'm glad you're home. I missed you."
"I'm glad to be home," Ray said with a soft sigh, rubbing his chin against Fraser's neck, the stubble feeling rough and familiar against Fraser's skin.
"I've got a few days off," Fraser reminded him, knowing perfectly well what Ray's comment to that would be and he was not disappointed.
"I vote for staying in bed, naked," Ray grinned as he leaned back, giving Fraser a wink.
"I suspected as much," Fraser said, putting on a serious tone, though he felt the warmth spreading in his chest. "I have stocked up, and we should not need to go anywhere outside this house for anything."
Ray nodded with a silly grin on his face. "I love how you put those five Ps to work, Frase," he said with a laugh.
"Why, thank you kindly, Ray," Fraser replied as he stepped out of the embrace and gently prodded Ray toward the bedroom. "Go unpack, the coffee should be done."
"Coffee in bed?" Ray asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I take it that you are not averse to that idea," Fraser said pleasantly, squeezing Ray's backside before he turned around and went back to the kitchen.
Ray's laughter followed him and Fraser finally felt that everything was okay again. The house was back to its normal warmth and the air was full of not only Ray's joy, but a contentment Fraser had always dreamed of, but never dared hope to have.