F/K, 3328 words. Um, me being insane.
[Disclaimer: Fraser and Ray and Welsh belong to Alliance Atlantis. A Hrung is one of Douglas Adams's incidental inventions -- if you don't know what it is, go ask somebody who's not going to kill you for not having read H2G2. This person may or may not be me.]
Interrogation Room Two is empty. It is empty all morning, in fact, because it's just too damn cold out and not near enough Christmas for anybody to try anything fancy. Frannie walks by twice, balancing coffee cups expertly; Dief follows her both times, having had yet another tiff with Fraser. Welsh walks by thrice, looking for somebody to yell at and not finding anyone at all. Ray walks by ten times, pacing back and forth with his cell phone to his ear, and occasionally snapping, "Fraser, skip that part." Huey and Dewey walk by once, Huey trying very hard to figure out what Dewey's laughing at.
At twelve o'clock p.m., however, nobody happens to be walking past the door -- and that's a pity, because that's just when Interrogation Room Two is abruptly and inexplicably not empty anymore.
Something whirs to itself quietly, then clicks loudly, just to see if that will attract any attention. It doesn't, so the Something sits quietly. It is patient. It can wait to be noticed.
"Fraser," Ray gasps, fisting Fraser's tunic -- if people don't look too carefully, they'll probably just figure for a disagreement or something. Which, by the way, is perfectly true. "You got the worst timing ever."
"Ah. I'm sorry." Fraser's face is red, and the skin around his jaw's gone all soft and pliable. Kissable, even -- oh, God, Fraser's timing sucks rocks.
"It sucks rocks," Ray elaborates emphatically, just to be sure that Fraser knows this and won't try it again. "You figure this out now -- "
" -- in the middle of a hallway -- "
"Now that you mention it," Fraser says, looking sort of startled and glancing around, "ah, yes."
" -- and now Mr. Pure As The Canadian Blizzard can't keep his fucking hands to himself."
Fraser looks very embarrassed. "I -- well, I didn't mean to impose --"
Aw, shucks. "Fraser, I got no problems with imposing. Imposing's good, imposing's great -- "
Fraser's eyebrows scrunch up together. "But Ray, I thought -- "'
"You just gotta work on the when part, Frase," Ray interrupts. "Like -- figure this stuff out when you're near a bed. A big bed. Or, hell, at least a place with a locking door, you can fuck me on the floor if you want -- "
"Ray." Fraser grips Ray's arms tightly. "Please. Stop, if you'd be so kind."
"Sorry." He's not, really, but if he doesn't say it Fraser'll get pissy, and pissy plus horny equals not good. "Idiot."
"Quite," Fraser agrees sincerely. "Though -- "
"Though?" Ray's paying attention, oh yeah, you betcha, ADD or not. "Though's good, though sounds good -- "
"I was only going to point out that if it was just a lock you wanted -- well -- " Fraser coughs delicately.
Ray stares at him, then follows his little nervous glances over to -- "Christ," he says, figuring it out. "The interrogation room? Never pegged you for that kind of kink, Frase."
Fraser goes even redder -- if he keeps that up, his head might just blow off. "Oh, dear. Ray, I didn't -- "
Ray grins wickedly. It may not be what Fraser wanted in the first place, but hey -- it's not like it's actually a bad idea. At least, Ray's not gonna knock it. It's here. It's now. What's not to like? "I got ways," he drawls, yanking on Fraser's collar, "of makin' you talk, Mountie." He thinks that's actually pretty clever, considering.
"I -- I'm sure you do, Ray," Fraser stammers. "But -- "
"You gonna make this difficult for yourself?" Ray asks slyly, opening the door and pulling Fraser along behind him. "Or you gonna cooperate?"
"Ray, we can't -- someone will surely -- and if we -- "
Ray nudges the door shut, locks it -- there, good, that's all they need. He turns around, so that him and Fraser are pretty much nose to nose. "Shut up," he tells Fraser softly, grinning broadly.
Fraser looks terrified. "Under -- oh," he says quietly, when Ray puts a hand to the side of his face. "Are -- are you going to -- "
"Yup," Ray says, and -- no more talking, they've already talked about this too much -- pulls Fraser closer, brings their mouths together, gets his hands up in Fraser's hair --
"Myerp," someone says -- someone that's not him or Fraser -- and they both jump.
Fraser, for his part, springs practically to the other side of the room, while Ray's suddenly a lot farther from the door than he remembers being a second ago. Not that this is important, because -- "Fraser," Ray asks, one hand going to his holster automatically, "what the hell's that?"
"I don't know, Ray," Fraser replies, getting that annoying fascinated look he gets when you're about to tell him something important and he smells bark tea being brewed six bloxks away. "Do you think it's alive?"
"Myerp," it says again. It is small. It is purple. It is fuzzy. It is round. It is poofy. Actually, it looks kinda like a Koosh ball, if Koosh balls made a habit of talking.
"Yeah, maybe," Ray answers. "Look, whaddaya say we leave it here for Frannie. She'll love it, girls love that shit, they go all mushy and -- "
"Ray." Uh-oh, Fraser's gone righteous again. Dammit. "We can't. It'll watch us."
Ray blinks. "Fraser, it's a talking Koosh ball. Okay, it's weird, but -- "
"With eyes." Fraser frowns, tugging at his collar, which is all crooked. Ray feels vaguely triumphant -- hey, he's messed up the Mountie's suit, and he's not getting told off -- and then registers what Fraser just said.
"Eyes?" Ray repeats, looking again -- and yeah, Fraser's right. The -- thing -- has two big, shiny black circles on one side, and as Ray watches, some of the Koosh ball stuff falls down over them, comes back up again. "Hey!" Ray says, astounded. "It blinked at me!"
"I suspect so, yes," Fraser says, going red again. "I also suspect that it was witness to our -- well, to -- "
"You suck, Fraser," Ray informs him in no uncertain terms, folding his arms and glaring. Trust the Mountie to develop a need for privacy when it's a Koosh ball watching, instead of Welsh.
"Not now, Ray," Fraser snaps, exasperated.
"What is it, Vecchio?" Welsh asks tiredly, looking at the purple thing on his desk.
"It's a -- thing." Ray's left eyebrow twitches.
"Oh, well, that just clears it right up." Welsh sighs. "I'll give you a hint, Vecchio -- do not go to a toy store the next time you want to get me a present, all right? Now -- "
"Myerp," says the purple thing.
Welsh groans. "What, it's one of those talking Koosh balls?"
Ray's eyebrows go up. "Uh, no, sir, it's -- "
"I don't even wanna know. Look, you can keep it, Vecchio -- whatever it is you did, just come out with it -- "
"Lieutenant," Fraser interrupts, "we have reason to believe that this -- Koosh ball, as you call it, is alive."
Welsh stares at Fraser until he coughs and tugs at his lanyard. "Alive."
"The Koosh ball."
"Well, not exa -- yes," Fraser amends hastily when Ray shoots him a dirty look.
Welsh tugs at his ear, wondering just what he's done all his life to deserve this. "You know, Constable, last time I checked, Toys R Us wasn't allowed to sell pets. No, never mind," he says when Fraser opens his mouth to explain, "never mind. Why do you think the Koosh ball's alive, Fraser?"
"Well," Fraser says, "it, ah, responds to stimulus."
Ray chokes on his own tongue for no apparent reason. "Stimulus?" he mutters at Fraser, and Fraser goes very red.
"Does it," Welsh says evenly, ignoring this.
"Ah, yes." Fraser runs his thumb along his eyebrow. "I'll, ah, demonstrate. You see, when we were carrying it from the interrogation room -- "
"You found this in the interrogation room? Why'd you go in there -- you get a collar I don't know about?" Welsh hopes they have. Something normal'd be a nice change around here.
Fraser coughs. "That's not important. What is important is that -- well, I'll show you." He leans over and, very slowly, slides his hands under the Koosh ball -- and the Koosh ball wriggles.
"What the -- " Welsh says, sitting up.
"Just wait," Ray advises darkly. "Just wait and see what he does."
Very gently, Fraser picks the Koosh ball up. He cradles it to his chest, giving it a comfortable place to support itself, holding it almost like an infant -- and then the Koosh ball goes, "Myerrrrrrp. Myerrrrrp. Myerrrrrrrrrp."
Welsh blinks. "What's it doing?"
"Hell if I know," Ray says, unhelpfully.
"I think it's an expression of contentment," Fraser says, because he knows everything.
"I see," says Welsh, giving up entirely on figuring any of this out. He feels like his niece's first grade teacher must have when little Karen brought that viper in for show and tell. "That's very interesting, Constable," he adds, just to complete the picture.
"That's not all it can do," Ray mutters. "See, look -- " He makes a move towards Fraser, who suddenly realizes what he's about to do and tries to back away.
"Ray, no -- " Fraser shouts, but it's too late -- Ray's grabbed a handfull of Koosh and has yanked on it, hard.
"Moirrp!" the Koosh ball squeals -- the large black eyes open wide and start to weep, big fat tears dripping into the fur and onto Fraser's sleeve --
"Oh, dear," Fraser says, and hurriedly puts the Koosh ball down, on a stack of old case files, as it happens. "Ray, didn't you listen to what I -- "
Welsh is not listening anymore; he's watching the Koosh ball, which is dripping tears on his files. Well, no -- actually, he's watching the files, which are turning odd colors and curling up where the tears hit them. "Constable?" Welsh says, gesturing at the papers.
"Ah. Well. It seems that the creature's tears are mildly acidic," Fraser says, glancing pointedly at Ray, "which Ray ought to have known, as I specifically remember telling him that the first time he -- "
"You said a lot of stuff, Fraser," Ray retorts. "I figured you were about to tell me not to ostichize it just because it don't look like me -- "
"Ostracize, and you're quite right -- "
Welsh claps his hands over his eyes and drags them down his face. And then his doctor wants to know why that St. Jospeh's aspirin never works. "Constable! Detective!" he booms, and they turn around sharply. "If you don't mind, your pet's destroying a significant portion of the CPD's offical archives, so -- "
"Oh, dear," Fraser says, reaching for the Koosh ball again.
"She's not my pet!" Ray protests angrily. "It, I mean. It's not my pet."
"Moirrp," the Koosh ball says quietly, eyes -- they are eyes, aren't they? -- brimming with tears. Fraser, being unhinged and Canadian along with everything else, shushes it and pats it reassuringly.
"Well, I don't want it," Welsh says. "So it's you or the dumpster. Go on, get outta here, make yourselves useful for a change." He waves his arms at them impatiently, and eventually, they listen -- Ray doesn't look too happy about it, but they go. Good riddance, Welsh thinks, and goes to see if he can salvage those files. No, he's not worried about the damn Koosh ball, whatever it is -- somehow, he knows it'll be all right.
Ray is sprawled over his bed, muttering curses irritably with his head under a pillow. After a little bit, he shuts up and listens.
"Myerrp," the Koosh ball says from the living room. "Myerrp myerrrp. Myerrrrp. Myerrrrrrrrrp."
Somehow, he cannot get over the fact that at this moment, he's insanely jealous of a Koosh ball. A talking Koosh ball. With eyes.
Ray sits up abruptly, chucks the pillow on the bed, and stomps off to the living room. That is it. That is the last straw. Finally, finally Fraser decides to let Ray into his stupid Canadian pants, and then this Koosh ball's gotta get in the way of things? Even worse, it's gonna eat the last slice of pineapple pizza on the first night in months that Ray's gotten Tony to put the pineapple on? Uh-uh. No way. That is not the way Ray Kowalski operates.
"Fraser," Ray calls as he comes into the living room, "I'm going to bed without you."
Fraser looks up from the couch. He's got his tunic off; he's bundled the Koosh ball up in it and put the whole package on his lap. The Koosh ball seems to like being there -- it's squiriming around, making those noises it makes when Fraser's being nice to it. Then again, that's no surprise -- who wouldn't like being in Fraser's lap? "Oh, hello, Ray."
"Myerp," the Koosh ball adds.
"We were just discussing," Fraser says calmly, like talking to a Koosh ball instead of fucking your brand-new partner-partner is perfectly normal, "what sort of name would be appropriate."
Ray blinks. "For the Koosh ball."
"Yes. Do you have any preferences?"
Ray rolls his eyes -- but Fraser's giving him this real hopeful look, and Ray's never been good about ignoring those. "How about Koosh?" he suggests lamely.
Fraser, the freak, beams at Ray like he's done something really amazing. "Oh, that's perfect, Ray. Koosh -- "
"Yeah, okay. Fraser, we've got a problem."
"A problem?" Fraser bounces his knee; Koosh squeals and abruptly changes color.
"Yeah, a -- Fraser, what'd she do?"
"The -- Koosh."
"Oh. Ray, Koosh is a boy."
"And I suppose he told you that."
"Well, yes. I'm sure he'd know."
"Fraser, he's purple. Actually, he's more of a lavender, now, which just makes it worse -- and I repeat, what the hell was that?"
"I fail to see what his color has to do with anything," Fraser says, frowning. "And that, if I understand you correctly, was Koosh informing us that he's happy."
Ray drops his chin to his chest. "Like a fucking mood ring."
"Well, I hadn't thought of it that way, but that's a very apt -- "
"Fraser," Ray says woefully, "I'm horny."
Bam -- Fraser instantly drops the crazy parent-act and starts looking more like himself. Not that this isn't Fraser, too, but Ray wasn't exactly going for Fraser's parenting skills when he was trying to gets his pants off in the interrogation room. "Ah," Fraser says unsteadily, licking his lip.
"And you are mothering a koosh ball, and I am jealous. Of a koosh ball. Something strike you as kind of weird, here?"
"Well." Fraser looks down at the Koosh ball, who seems to be humming to himself. "I suppose I could leave him alone. For a moment. He's eaten already, and -- "
"He did not eat, Fraser," Ray corrects. "He zapped the pizza with something, and it disappeared."
Fraser tilts his head accomadatingly. "At any rate, I think he'll be all right." He lifts the Koosh ball carefully and puts it on the couch. "Perhaps we should adjourn to a more appropriate location," he says stiffly, not coming any closer, which is -- weird. Fraser kisses good enough, long as he's not worried about somebody coming in to watch them go at it -- oh. Koosh. Right.
Ray turns his back on Fraser -- which is pretty hard, but he's a cooperative kind of guy -- and leads the way back into his bedroom. He can feels Fraser's eyes watching him all the way down the hallway, can hear Fraser's breathing getting a little heavier as they get closer to the bedroom door. And then he pushes the door open and gets inside --
-- and Fraser is slamming the door closed behind them, and he's somehow wrapping himself around Ray at the same time, and that dark, heavy breathing is right next to Ray's ear, because Fraser's turning his face into Ray's neck -- "Fraser," Ray whispers. "Fraser, you're crazy."
"Yes," Fraser whispers back, hands sliding up Ray's back -- steady, steady -- and then back down again to slip under his shirt. "Yes, I know."
"Could've done this hours ago," Ray points out, twisting the buttons open on Fraser's shirt.
"No." Fraser doesn't seem to have any objections right now, though; he's got his mouth and nose pressed into Ray's neck, tasting, breathing him in.
"But -- "
"Shut up, Ray," Fraser says sternly, and then methodically sets about burning all the words out of Ray's brain. Man doesn't leave anything to chance.
Fraser wakes up to a constant, comforting murmur. He doesn't move for a while, too warm and sleepy to even consider it -- but after a few minutes, he realizes that the voice is Ray's, and that Ray is not in bed with him.
He pushes himself up, knuckling at his eyes, and pushes the covers off of his legs. Following the sound of Ray's voice, he pads down the hallway, squinting against the lights that are on in the living room -- and finds Ray on the couch, mussed and drowsy, with Koosh and Fraser's tunic in his lap. "Ray?" Fraser says softly.
Ray starts, and raises a finger to his lips. "I think he's sleeping," he whispers, as Fraser goes over to sit next to him. "Hard to tell, but he hasn't said anything for an hour or so."
"Mmm." Fraser considers Ray's ear for a moment, then leans in and kisses it. "It's lucky he's diurnal."
"He doesn't stay awake at night."
"Oh. Yeah." Ray keeps his eyes trained on Koosh, his expression almost curious. Fraser looks as well -- the creature has burrowed into Ray's belly, and Ray seems to have curled himself around him protectively. Koosh's fur is vibrating slightly, and has turned almost translucent -- he's fascinating, really. "Fraser," Ray says suddenly, "where'd he come from?"
"Hm? He doesn't seem to know," Fraser says, pulling his feet up onto the couch and resting his head on Ray's shoulder. "All he knows is that a Hrung has collapsed on his planet."
"Planet? He's an alien?"
"Surely you've guessed," Fraser says, closing his eyes and turning his nose into Ray's neck -- Ray's scent is wonderful there, concentrated and almost bitter, like dark chocolate or strong coffee.
"Yeah. Maybe." Fraser feels Ray's arm shift and coil itself around his waist. "What's a Hrung?"
"He doesn't know."
"Don't know much."
"Well, he's only a child, Ray," Fraser says reasonably.
"Yes. Aside from which, no one seems to know what a Hrung is, or why it should choose to collapse on his planet particularly." Impulsively, he opens his mouth over Ray's pulse and grazes the artery with his teeth. Ray shudders.
"Thought you didn't like him watching," he chokes out.
"He's asleep," Fraser points out, but pulls back a little anyway.
"Little kids, though, they got big ears. Or something."
Silence -- well, aside from the low hum of Koosh's fur, and their breathing. "So he's all alone now, huh?"
"Yes. Well, except for us." A thought occurs to him. "You're not going to leave him, are you?"
"Nah." Ray tucks the sleeve of the tunic into Koosh's side; Koosh's fur makes a soft whirring sound when it touches Ray's fingers. "Though I gotta tell you, Fraser, this is not what I meant when I said I wanted to get married and have kids."
"I know." Fraser shuts his eyes again, enjoying Ray's warmth, the slight absent stroking of his fingertips on Fraser's ribs.
A few minutes later, Fraser feels Ray's head turn; Ray makes a noise in his throat, and then his lips are brushing Fraser's hairline.
"Do you want to go back to bed, Ray?" Fraser asks, turning his face up to Ray's mouth.
"Christ, you're such a tease," Ray mutters against his cheekbone. "I thought you'd never ask."
"That would have been singularly unproductive, Ray."
"Yeah. Right. Shut up, Fraser," and oh, good God, that's certainly an efficient way of ascertaining Fraser's cooperation.
Wanna know what happens next? Not sure if you do? I shall provide the link for the sequel, in any case: Moirrp