Anyway. Here we go -- enjoy, and thank you for encouraging my crack!
~23 K, F/K, and again, alien!kidfic abound. If you haven't read Myerp and Moirrp, I strongly advise you do so.
[Disclaimer: H2G2 ain't mine, it's Douglas Adams's. due SOUTH ain't mine, it's Alliance Atlantis's. I just say ain't at odd intervals.]
Fraser returns to the car an hour or so later, feeling rather pleased with himself -- all right, he hadn't implemented Ray's particular methods, but this way is better. It is based on truth, and as such there is no risk of anyone uncovering anything embarrassing -- or, as is more likely in this situation, incriminating. This way, everything is out in the open, all its ludicrousness plain to see, in one nearly painless conversation. Not only that, but he and Ray have gotten confidentiality, a prize-winning squash, and an open-ended offer for tea in the bargain. Surely Ray will understand.
He pulls the door open and ducks inside, catching a glimpse of vibrating lavender fur in Ray's lap. "Well, Ray, it's all settled," he declares brightly.
Ray doesn't answer. After a moment, Fraser registers the odd tinny sound in the car: Ray's lips are apparently occupied with a tuneless whistle. "Ray -- ?"
Ray responds by transferring Koosh from his lap to Fraser's, rapidly but smoothly; Koosh is still asleep, his fur still humming steadily, by the time Fraser settles him into a stable position. Ray takes a quick, shallow breath, and keeps whistling almost frantically. "Ray, what -- " Fraser starts, frowning.
"Shhhh," Ray hisses at him urgently, then adds, "shit, shit, shit, not again," inexplicably, and stares at Koosh with an expression that Fraser can only describe as horrified.
Koosh stirs; his fur stops humming, and he opens his eyes. At Fraser's side, Ray is coiling tighter and tighter; Fraser can feel him do it, hear him holding his breath, see him not blinking at all. He's waiting for Koosh to do something -- what, precisely, Fraser wouldn't know.
Koosh doesn't do much for a few seconds; he only blinks and blinks, very slowly, at Ray, looking rather confused. Then he turns his eyes to Fraser -- and suddenly, Fraser feels him relax, deeper than he can feel Ray's tension, like he's relaxed a muscle deep inside his own brain, one he didn't even know was tense until it wasn't anymore. Fraser gasps, a little, mildly stunned.
Koosh, for his part, doesn't say much at all. "Myerr -- errrrr -- errrrp," he murmurs, eyelids drooping, and falls asleep almost immediately.
Ray heaves an enormous sigh of relief and slumps forward onto the the steering wheel, looking nearly as exhausted as Koosh. "Guess he missed you," he mutters, syllables slightly distorted from the plastic pressing into his mouth. "Big fucking surprise, kid's got abandonment issues the size of Jupiter -- "
"Ray," Fraser demands tightly, "what precisely happened while I was gone?"
Ray falls back into his seat, eyes closed, head rolling back limply, and swallows. Fraser watches his throat move: long and pale and oddly vulnerable, when he's leaning back like this. "Kept crying," Ray says finally, swiping the back of his hand across his nose and rolling his head in Fraser's direction, but keeping his eyes shut. "He was sleeping in the back seat -- "
"Yes, I know," Fraser interrupts impatiently.
" -- and then I heard him make that noise he makes, I'm guessing he figured out you were gone -- "
"Oh, dear." Belatedly, Fraser tucks his fingers around Koosh more snugly.
" -- and he wouldn't stop unless I whistled." Ray makes an odd, helpless gesture with his right hand, his bracelet sliding down over his wrist, then back again when he drops the hand into his lap. "I mean -- voice's shit, so I figured it'd work better if I whistled a lullaby, or something, and he -- " Ray lets out a brief gust of air, obviously frustrated and not knowing precisely what to do about it. "He'd wake up whenever I quit, and start the waterworks up again, and -- " He rubs his eyes with thumb and forefinger. "I mean, it was like I didn't even matter. Like I wasn't even there -- "
"Ray." Fraser puts a hand on Ray's wrist, pushing the bracelet out of the way so that there's just his palm to Ray's skin, nothing else, and squeezes. "He knows. He knows you're here."
Ray snorts. "Yeah. Yeah, right, that's -- "
Fraser drags his thumb across Ray's metacarpals, hoping to reassure him. "He needs both of us. He does. This afternoon -- " He stops, then, suddenly struck by the image of Ray's acid-reddened hands -- and if Koosh has been crying again, then -- "Ray. Let me see your hands."
Ray flinches -- not much, but enough. "They're fine," he snaps, trying to pull his hand out of Fraser's grasp.
"Ray, don't be -- " Fraser turns Ray's hand over and winces. "Ray." The palm is peeling, and there are tender pink spots dotting it -- Koosh tears aren't very acidic, but after this kind of prolonged exposure, they do damage.
"It's nothing," Ray protests, but he hisses when Fraser touches a finger to the center of his palm. "Frase, quit it. C'mon -- look, I'll let you put that mucous gunk on it later, okay? Leggo -- " Fraser does, reluctantly, and Ray takes the opportunity to start the engine and put the car in gear. "So, what'd you do, anyway? 'Cause somewhere between the kid crashing to space in a pod and bawling for an hour straight, I think I kinda forgot that you don't lie."
"Well," Fraser starts, "I have been known to lie on occasion."
"Uh-huh. That true?"
"Well -- no."
"My point exactly," Ray says warmly, grinning at him in the rearview mirror. "So, what'd you do instead?"
"Well, by means of their shoe-rack, I gathered that Mr. Jenkins' spouse is male -- "
Most unwisely, Ray takes his eyes off the road entirely and stares at him, alarmed. "You -- you blackmailed him?" he sputters incredulously.
"Oh -- no, of course not, Ray. That would be illegal." Ray gives him a supicious look, but thankfully turns his attention back to the road. "I merely, ah, acquainted them with the nature of our relationship."
At this, Ray actually spins the wheel to the right with astonishing speed and, rather violently, parks the car in the shoulder. "You outed us to a fucking farmer?" he shouts, looking nearly apopletic.
Fraser doesn't know quite what to say -- it seems that Ray might very well spontaneously combust if Fraser says the wrong thing -- so instead, he turns his attention to Koosh. "Quiet, Ray," he admonishes. "You'll disturb him."
"Don't change the subject, Fraser, he's fine -- you fucking outed us to a -- "
" -- farmer, yes," Fraser admits, because Koosh does, in fact, appear to be perfectly oblivious. "Is there something wrong with that?"
Ray makes some aggressive gestures at him for a while, not looking to be of particularly sound mind, and finally ends the tirade with a familar, exasperated slap to his face. "Ow," he says, dropping back into his seat.
"Yes, I thought so."
"Just -- Fraser, I'm a cop. Hell, you're a cop. We can't -- it's not -- they're gonna blackmail us -- fuck, we are screwed -- "
"Ray," Fraser says gently, "I assure you, they have every interest in not turning us in."
"Oh yeah? Why not?"
"Because," Fraser explains patiently, "they would very much like to keep their son."
"They'd -- oh." Ray drops his hand off of his face. "Oh. That's -- that's -- " He bolts up, pointing a finger in Fraser's face. "You? Are evil."
Fraser blinks. "I beg to defer -- "
"Yeah, yeah, defer all you want. Jesus, Fraser, take a compliment, will ya?" he says sharply -- but his eyes are crinkling with amusement, and Fraser has no doubt that in Ray's opinion, "evil" truly is a compliment.
So Ray sent Fraser up with the key ahead of him, 'cause he's got to check the Goat for acid-stains -- God, what he'll do for kids -- and Koosh's refusing to go without Ray, which counts for something, anyway. They maybe got off on the wrong foot, yeah -- Ray's actually really, really sorry about that fur pulling thing, but c'mon. Koosh was keeping him out of Fraser's pants. Fraser's pants. Desperate times call for desperate fucking measures.
So anyway, Fraser's got Ray's key -- which, yeah, okay, that's a big milestone thing, but if he's lucky Fraser won't notice. He didn't really notice the whole fucking-not-fucking line, either -- just, you know, one fine day he got it in his head to stick his hands down the back of Ray's jeans, and Ray didn't elbow him in the face, and everything was greatness.
At least, that's the way Ray thinks it went. Maybe Fraser thought about it, but didn't let on that he was -- in which case he can just pretend the key's not a big deal, either. And it's not like he hasn't let himself into Ray's apartment before, anyway.
Ray's careful when he picks Koosh up, 'cause the kid's been moody today -- not that he can blame the little guy -- and Ray really, really does not want to set him off again. His hands're sore enough already. "Hey, there," he says softly, rubbing the top of Koosh's head. Koosh blinks at him and wraps a couple of his hairs around Ray's thumb -- gentle, soft, like whiskers. "Yeah." Ray swallows the lump in his throat. "Yeah, I like you too. You ready to go up?"
"Myerp," Koosh says, and maybe Ray don't know what he's saying exactly, but he seems good to go -- so Ray picks him up, and waits for hell to break loose.
It doesn't. Koosh snuggles into his chest, making soft little happy noises; Ray lets out a little sigh of relief and starts up the stairs. He's not expecting much trouble at the top -- okay, maybe he'll go for a beer or something and Fraser won't let him or something, but that's about it. No guys with guns -- though even that, really, he's gotten used to popping up everywhere just 'cause Fraser's around.
What he does not expect is to find Dief growling at Fraser.
It's not just the arguing kind of growling, either -- Dief's got his tail up and his teeth bared and hair raised, and he looks just like those wolves on the Discovery channel. The ones that attack moose and rip 'em apart with their teeth.
Fraser is not a fucking moose. "Fraser," Ray says uncertainly, tightening his arms around Koosh, "what the fuck is going on?"
"I -- I don't know, Ray," Fraser replies, in that too-calm voice he uses when he's really, really worried. "He doesn't seem to recognize me -- "
Dief cuts him off by pouncing on his chest -- "Jesus fucking Christ!" Ray yells, and reaches for his gun -- tumbling them both down the stairs. Halfway down, Fraser flings an arm outto grab the railing, and then he's just lying there across the stairs with a fucking wolf sitting on his fucking chest and Ray's got Koosh in the crook of his left elbow and a gun in his right hand, and he can't shoot, because this is Dief and that's Fraser and god, what if he misses? and even if he doesn't, Dief --
And Dief just sits there, staring at Ben, and Ben stares back, and for a minute Ray thinks it's gonna be okay. And then suddenly -- "Oh, fuck, Ben!" -- like a blink, before Ray can even move -- Dief's sinking his teeth into Ben's neck --
-- wait a minute.
Licking, and then sniffing -- and then Dief starts licking Fraser's face and barking like a maniac, suddenly all friendly again, like the dog Ray's been hanging with every day. "Fraser?" Ray says, trying not to sound as scared as he was feeling a minute ago.
"Moirrp," Koosh puts in, not sounding too happy.
"Language, Ray," Fraser says calmly, pulling himself to his feet and coming back up the stairs.
"Sorry," Ray apologizes automatically, "I swear when I get upse -- no, Fraser, what I'm saying is your dog just -- maybe he's got rabies -- "
Dief looks insulted -- which, where'd he get the balls, anyway? -- and whimpers something to Fraser. Fraser sighs. "He says I didn't smell like myself, and one can never be too careful. And for future reference, he has had his shots."
"Yeah, well, scared the hell outta me," Ray mutters, relaxing a little.
But Dief gives him a look. Okay, he's not growling yet, but he suddenly don't look very friendly. "Okay, what now?" Ray asks, gun halfway to his holster, grinning a little to get Dief to settle down, already. It doesn't work too good.
"Ray," Fraser says slowly, "show Koosh to him."
"What're you, nuts?" Because Fraser's got to be nuts. Put a helpless baby alien out for the wolves, yeah, that's a good idea.
"Please, Ray. Just let Dief smell him. I think -- I think he hasn't met him yet." Dief looks at Fraser and sneezes. "Yes, well, if you could be bothered to turn up once every three days, you might have known before now," Fraser scolds snippishly.
"Hey, you got lotsa experience with parenting," Ray jokes shakily, and takes a breath. "Okay. Okay. Dief, you do anything stupid, I swear to god I will rip you limb from limb you got that?" Dief tilts his head, not saying anything to Fraser, which isn't real reassuring. "Okay," Ray says anyway, and turns a little so Dief can see. He keeps everything loose, fluid, so if Dief pounces, he'll be able to maybe get Koosh out before anybody gets hurt. "Okay, fine, do whatever," he tells Dief.
Dief comes close, nice and slow, and Ray sort of pulls back a little until Fraser gives him a look and shakes his head a little. Koosh, sitting there in the crook of Ray's elbow, sits there and blinks his huge black eyes, like he's never seen anything like Dief before -- which, yeah, duh, of course he hasn't. It's kind of amazing, watching 'em sort of talk to each other like that.
And then Koosh falls right out of Ray's arms. He didn't let go, and Dief didn't jump -- Koosh just fell right down on the floor all by himself and started rolling around and around Dief's feet. Dief's looking confused as all hell, and Koosh is getting paler and paler and paler --
"Oh," Fraser says, sounding odd. "Oh. Ray, I think he -- "
And then -- like slow motion, knees crumpled and head dropping and shoulders slumping all separate -- Fraser passes out.
Fraser's brain is filled to bursting with information, raw and unadulterated, interpretation entirely unnecessary, because fact isn't at all distorted when transmitted like this. No, understanding is not the problem -- it's just the sheer quantity. The portion of his brain that had been occupied with feeling Koosh's emotions and thoughts has -- has -- exploded, almost. It's almost as though he's embodied by nothing but Koosh -- and yet he knows this will pass. It's merely the quantity, and the nature, too difficult to absorb. It's like a flash flood -- too much water, trying to be absorbed by too wet ground. Too much data, trying to be absorbed by a too different mind.
Fraser breathes deep, and tries to open up, let everything in.
-- mother father brother sister child --
-- hjenka noush riji --
-- too much --
-- blind --
-- deaf --
-- mute --
Ah. "Ray." Not mute, after all, then, or deaf. That's good. "How are you?"
"Freaked out," Ray answers without hesitation. He seems to have pulled Fraser into his lap, and propped his head up with his shoulder. "What the hell just happened?"
"Ah. Well. That." Fraser lifts his head, and spies Diefenbaker and Koosh. Koosh is resting against Dief's belly, and Dief has curled his tail around Koosh protectively. They are both the same shade of off-white. That's good, Fraser's information-numbed brain finally realizes. That's very good.
Fraser leans back against Ray's shoulder and swallows, not knowing where to start -- but of course that's ridiculous. One must always start from the beginning. "Koosh," Fraser says, steadily, "is a semi-telepath."
"Myerp," the Young Porcupine tells Dief matter-of-factly.
"Rrrf," he agrees. The humans are really rather silly, sometimes. They talk too much. Having a pack with pups -- even porcupine pups -- is not good enough. They must discuss what it means to be a pack, as well. Blockheads.
"So what you're saying," Porcupine Ray says, plucking at his quills, "is that he can get in your head?"
"Essentially," Fraser replies.
"Wish I could do that," Porcupine Ray mumbles. Dief doesn't like that. It's difficult to lip-read when people mumble.
"Myerp," the Young Porcupine says sympathetically.
"Rrrrrrff." He wraps his tail around the Young Porcupine tightly. "Whhffff whffff?"
Having made themselves comfortable, they settle in to entertain themselves with their humans.
"So okay. He beams some stuff into your head." Ray pokes Fraser's forehead for emphasis, which Fraser puts up with, because he is a good guy like that. "And you're saying you got his whole city in there?"
"Social structure, to be precise -- but yes, the city, too."
Ray whistles. "Damn good memory."
"It's his home, Ray," Fraser points out -- and yeah, Fraser'd know about that, wouldn't he? He carries all of Canada around in his head, and he hasn't been there for four years.
"Yeah," he says quietly, reaching out to touch Fraser's ear, where it curls in; Fraser's tongue peeks out to wet his lips, and he smiles a little. "So what'd he say?"
"Ah -- well, they don't appear to have parents in the same way as you or I."
Ray frowns. "No parents? So then who the hell took care of him?"
"No, no -- he had parents, but their method of reproduction was -- different. They didn't have genders, for instance -- "
Ray sits up. "So, what -- no mommy and daddy?"
"No mommy and daddy," Fraser confirms. "Two...parent-figures, I suppose you could call them, called -- well. It sounds very different to them than it does to us -- "
"What's it sound like to them?"
"Myerp," Fraser says with a straight face, sounding exactly like Koosh -- which is just too fucking funny for a regular guy like Ray to resist. "Ray?" Fraser says, frowning at Ray, who's cackling like an idiot. "What's -- "
"Never mind," Ray sputters, trying to stop, and eventually getting enough air back to talk. "What's -- what's it sound like to them?"
"H -- hjenka," Fraser says, hesitantly. "The pronunciation's off, I'm sure, but -- "
"That's okay; I got you," Ray breaks in, because Fraser's a geek when it comes to languages, and he really doesn't want to get into that now. "Hijenka."
"No, it's -- "
"Fraser. I'm trying to understand the next generation, here, you gonna make it difficult for me? No? Okay then." Ray scrubs at his face. "Okay. Hijenka. Right. So -- how they make kids?"
"Well, it's really very interesting, Ray," Fraser starts, getting that excited look he gets about things like press meetings. "Hjenka exchange a certain amount of fluid via their sensory tendrils in order to reproduce -- Koosh doesn't know what it is, precisely, but I suspect it's an enzyme of some kind -- "
Fraser snaps out of it right away. God, Ray loves this man. "Two hjenka will impregnate each other simultaneously, as far as I understand it -- incidentally, each noush -- "
"Noosh? What the fuck is noosh, Fraser?" This would be a hell of a lot easier, Ray thinks, if he could just plug into Koosh's brain and do it that way.
"Noush," Fraser corrects. Moron. "Offspring. And each noush associates with itself a kindred riji, considering him as important to a stable family life as -- well, his parents." Fraser blushes. "I'm sorry, Ray, I'm not explaining this properly -- a riji is -- "
"No, wait, lemme guess -- the other guy's kid."
"That's very good, Ray," Fraser says, looking pleased. "How did you -- ?"
"I'm a detective, remember?" Ray reminds him grumpily, but really, he's pretty proud of himself. He can hack this. Piece of cake. "So, what, what's this got to do with -- "
"Koosh is of the opinion that you and I are companion hjenka, and Dief is his riji," Fraser says -- and how does he do that, anyway? Use words he's just learned without even thinking about it? -- oh. wait.
"So you mean," Ray says slowly, "that he thinks we're a family? I mean -- Dief's your noosh, and then he's -- " Ray stops, winds that back in his head. "Yeah. He's -- mine." Fraser's eyes are soft and dark, and Ray can't look at them for too long. He drops his eyes to his hands and thinks that over for a while. "So, wait a minute," he says finally, understanding finally dawning. "He thinks we're a family. Like, two point five kids and a picket fence kind of family?"
"Where he's from, yes," Fraser confirms.
Ray grins at Fraser. He probably looks like a dope, but then Fraser's grinning at him too, so who's gonna judge him? "Hey, Fraser," he says, a little giddy, "we're normal. Who'da guessed?"
Fraser laughs, and Ray feels like kissing his curved lips, his teeth, feels like surprising him with it -- so he does. Fraser doesn't take long to catch on, he just gets his fingers in Ray's hair, holding their faces together while Fraser sucks and licks and tries to get at Ray's tongue. Ray closes his eyes, lets Fraser do it, and hopes to God he won't remember where Koosh is.
By the time they pull apart, nobody's giggling anymore. Nuh-uh. This is serious business, here. "Fraser," Ray croaks, and -- without thinking about it, because if he does, he probably won't do it at all -- gets down on his knees.
Fraser's eyes go huge, almost as big as Koosh's. "Oh, God," he says, and looks a little sick. "Ray -- "
"Shut up," Ray says. "Just -- shut up and let me think for once, will you?" Fraser shuts up, and Ray doesn't think. Ray has a very deep and meaningful conversation with his gut which -- okay, is maybe a little queasy right now, but seems to think it's going good places. Places with no more waiting and no more nausea, that's real good.
Ray takes Fraser's hands in his, looking how their hands are different -- thicker fingers, stronger wrists, blunter fingertips -- before turning his face up to Fraser's. "Fraser, he says, and his voice is barely a whisper, "you wanna be a hijenka with me?"
Fraser's not crying, and neither is Ray. They're not. They're guys -- okay, they're hijenka, but Ray bets they're not supposed to cry either. "Ray, you -- you're so -- you -- " and then Fraser actually stops talking all by himself, and decides to kiss Ray instead. Which means yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes --
-- and that, see, is about when Dief snorts, and Koosh says, "Myerp," and Fraser goes real red because apparently Dief's laughing at him. So then Ray tackles Dief, and Koosh says, "Moirrp," 'cause he thinks they're actually fighting. And then they've all got to hug Koosh, because Koosh is the little kid who thinks every little thing's a disaster. And then Fraser kisses the top of Koosh's head, and Ray almost forgets that Dief sheds. Almost.
This is Ray's family. He's got himself a hijenka and an alien kid and a wolf -- and it's funny, but he's pretty sure this is his idea of normal, too.
ETA: Annnnnnd I don't seem able to stop writing these things, do I? Koosh, Meet Park