Lunar Eclipse In G Minor
by Wax Jism

Due South © Alliance Atlantis et al.
Homicide: Life on the Street © Baltimore Pictures, NBC.

Okay, here we go: This guy walks into a bar...

Ray Kowalski walked into a bar. It was just a bar, pretty nondescript - dark interior, smoky, crowded.

From the top: This guy walks into a gay bar ...

Not a single woman in here. Good. Something about women - something indefinable, untouchable... Not that he didn't love women, far from it. They were soft and smelled nice, all round curves and gentle swell of breast and hip and shoulder and the smell, that special woman-smell that was like spring - and not spring in Chicago, with dog shit and sludge and tired people, but spring out in the woods. City boy that he was, he still knew how to appreciate fresh air.

Only thing was ... only thing was, when he thought about women these days - or any day, any old day ever, in fact - it was more like thinking about woman, as in one, singular representative of the female sex, and when in god's name had he started coming up with sentences like that? Huh? Inside his own head, dammit! Anyway. Woman, as in one woman, as in the Stella - a subspecies of her own, perfect genetic match for his own subspecies, only not anymore. The thoughts of women he had were Stella-colored - golden for a Gold Coast Girl, of course - now and forever, world without end, amen. Which brings us to:

Once more, with feeling: Ray Kowalski walks into a gay bar for the first time in many moons, with the intent of getting laid.

Enough with the spring smell of women (Stella); the urge was for the absolute opposite: the hard, sun-baked musk of a man. Not something he'd get behind every day, or even every year. Special occasions only, you see. Special indeed. When you got right down to it, it hadn't happened since, well, since college (and how time does fly - tempus whateveritdoes, as Fraser might put it). There'd been intent, maybe, yeah, a couple of times, but the results were ... disappointing. Embarrassing as hell to admit, even to yourself, but it seems our very own Stanley Ray doesn't quite have what it takes.

Speaking of embarrassing: now he could distinctly feel his ears heating up. Aaaaaah.

Okay, beer. Beer is good. Golden, bitter, fresh. Sweaty glass; tiny droplets of water slowly sliding in little bitty rivers - rivulets, right - down the gentle curve...

Wakey, wakey, Stanley. You're a man with a mission today, so no snoozing on the watch.


Think about it: This guy - this Chicago flatfoot, to be more precise - walks into a gay bar in fucking Baltimore, because he's a big old pussy and he's scared to be outed on his own territory.

Aww, jeez.

But still - pussy or not, it's time to get on with the show. This time will be different, you see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury; this time, you're not dealing with that old, sorry-ass loser they kept calling Stanley. Oh no, oh jury of my so-called peers; today is far, far more special, today is extraordinary. Today, it's not Ray Kowalski doing his usual cake-in-the-face, pull-the-other-one-it's-got-bells-on routine; no, today it's going to be Ray (wait for it) Vecchio who gets the cake. And he'll get the cake, too, cause he's the new and improved Ray.

Ray scanned the place, trying hard for a casual look, not really sure if he was pulling it off. He kept trying to imagine what Fraser would do in a place like this. What? Probably chat up the clientele with no ulterior motives whatsoever - just get them all talking and then blush prettily when they came on to him.

Huh. Maybe it was unfair, Ray admitted, looking back at his beer, looking intently at the jump and swirl of the bubbles, to say that Fraser blushed prettily - it was a little, whatsit, condensing or something. Condescending. The guy did blush a lot, though, and truth be told, looked damned pretty when he did. Yes, and if you told him that, there'd be more blushing, and then he'd misunderstand you on purpose, because that would be Too Much Information, even for Fraser the Walking Forensic Lab. And thank god for Mountie denial, because nothing beat the Mountie when it came to just ignoring the obvious, obviously, since Fraser hadn't picked up on any--

And that's not why were here today. Nope, not to sit around moping (cause that's what you're doing, numbnuts!) over Mounties who look good in red, any red. You're here to, that's right, cruise. So cruise, already.

Ray had himself another surreptitious look around. Yup, guy in a gay bar in Baltimore, of all places. In town on business, sure - I came to Baltimore on the trail of some uh, bad guys - but there was always time for a little bit of fun. The case had turned out to be a bust, and instead of heading back home, this was where he'd ended up. Just one night. Some harmless fun; wouldn't hurt no one, just blowing some steam. Getting it out of his system.

The good folks in here were mostly middle-aged couples - not exactly a place for your hardcore cruising deal. Ray wasn't exactly sure why he'd opted for this low-profile joint instead of one of the clubs down the street. He was probably regressing. Yeah, or possibly repressing. Or whatever it was called.

So. We have the guy in the bar, and look - over there are more guys in the same bar. Where's the action, Stanley?

He looked to his left - phew, no way. He looked to his right.

This time it was Ray who did the pretty blushing, because he knew the guy. That's right, ladies and gentlemen: Stanley Kowalski strikes again. He'd been in town for three days, met maybe a dozen people, and now one of that dozen was sitting next to him. A cop, to make things extra special. Right there, folks, we've got Detective Tim Bayliss, Baltimore PD.

Once Ray got over his initial blushing awkwardness - grow up, Stanley! - he noticed with some amusement that the good detective (the other good detective, hardy-har) was as much a blushing fool as he was. That helped like magic; awkwardness gone in the blink of an eye. Funny how knowing that someone else was just as bad off could make a guy feel better about himself.

"Hi," said Ray, nodding amiably at Bayliss.

"Hi," said Bayliss. He was still a little pink, and he seemed to have a minor difficulty meeting Ray's eyes, but his voice was calm. "Um, you're Vecchio, right? From Chicago?"

"That's right."

That seemed to be all the conversation was going to amount to. Ray turned back to contemplating the bubbles in his beer. When he caught a glimpse of Bayliss in the corner of his eye (completely unintentionally, of course), the guy seemed to be doing much the same thing.

Oh, for god's sake. Lame, Stanley. Lame.

He turned to Bayliss again. Looked him over with some intent this time. Yeah, the guy was seriously cute, if you got to thinking. Looked like an accountant, but in a good way. Tall, too. Face like an altar boy, except with a little concerned wrinkle in the forehead, one that made him look like he thought about the world and what was in it way too much. Not bad at all - in fact, probably the best this joint had to offer.

"Come here often?" Ray said, shooting off one of his specials - the grin (boyish but knowing) had been his ticket to some good times of spring smell in the past, back before things had started going so wrong; sometimes even after everything was well and truly fucked up beyond repair. Bayliss seemed to appreciate it, too - his face split into one really sunny mother of a smile. Yup, best thing in the joint, no doubt about it.

"No," Bayliss said. A little pause, then, "Yeah. Uh, you know ... sometimes." He ducked his head in a strangely adolescent gesture. Ray decided he liked it. Kind of ... adorable. Oh, Jesus. Adorable, cute, altar boy. What is this, the Disney channel? This here is a grown man - a pretty long stretch of grown man, in fact - and just because he seems a little new to the gig (and really, how could you tell? You're new to the gig) there's no reason to think he doesn't know what he's doing.

Maybe a full frontal assault (heh heh) would be the battle strategy of today?

Feeling wildly empowered by his own daring, Ray leant in just that little bit too close, and said, "Hey. I'm no good at lines, man. So, like ... wanna go someplace?"

"Um..." Bayliss said. He was staring at Ray with this weird little half-smile; a lopsided expression that told Ray absolutely nothing about the emotional weather behind it.

"Hey, just tell me to fuck off and I will. I can handle it."

"No. No, I don't want you to ... to fuck off," Bayliss said quietly, as if there was some serious thinking behind the sentiment, and wasn't it funny how the four-letter word could just roll off Ray's tongue and then sound like it had no business at all coming out of the other guy's mouth - like he was just not made for swearing like that, or something. Maybe it was the voice. It was a very nice voice. Before Ray could squash the thought, it was there: and what would above-mentioned four-letter word sound like coming out of the Mountie's mouth, because Fraser had that same nice and wholesome air around him, that way he did remind Ray of Bayliss, or Bayliss reminded Ray of Fraser, to be exact and dammit stomp on that line of thought before it gets outta hand cause you're about to get lucky, my boy, and don't fuck it up this time.

"All riiight," Ray said, doing the grin thing again, without premeditation this time. "Drink yer beer, then."

They drank their beers in silence. Ray entertained himself with idle fantasies of what he might want to do to Bayliss once he got him naked and eager. There were so many options. Such a tall, strong man. Yeah, there would be opportunities aplenty to go where not many Kowalskis had gone before. Boldly go. Real boldly.

There were a few flashes of red in his itinerant fantasies, but nothing he couldn't handle. Maybe he was getting the hang of it. And Bayliss was pretty damn hot in his own right.

Once they got out of the bar and started walking down the street in a possibly entirely random direction, Ray could almost feel the second thoughts catching up with poor old Bayliss. Not much of a cruiser, that guy, he figured. Bayliss was starting to frown, look a little worried; not like he was gonna bolt - not the type to just up and run - but like maybe he was thinking about saying something like, 'I'm not sure this is such a good idea,' or something just as dumb.

Ray wasn't about to let that happen. Not now that he'd got his own head straightened out. He had such an itch, and this lanky, sweet-faced man would be just the perfect remedy. Yeah, sweet without being effete; gentle without being a wimp. Perfect.

There was still that worried frown to handle, though. It was just a question of occupying the mind with other things ...

There was an alley up ahead - one of those conveniently empty, dark and litter-strewn ones - so Ray made his move; took Bayliss by surprise and managed, with little trouble, to manhandle the guy into the alley and push him against the wall.

"Wh--" said Bayliss, struggling mechanically. Ray pinned his arms to his sides, and dove in - well, up - for a kiss.

There was a second of recoil, just automatic, knee-jerk stuff, and then Bayliss kindly relaxed, opened his mouth and let Ray in.

Ah, sweetness. Ray had always liked kissing; even one-night stands were well worth kissing. Wet and warm, that soft slide of tongue and tongue; exploring new territory; taste and smell and that moment when everything fits and the kiss moves beyond mere physics into the unknown.

This was nice. Nice - fuck it; it was wonderful. Bayliss had a great mouth; a mouth you could really make yourself at home in. Yeah, Bayliss' mouth was a good place to be, so Ray settled in for the duration, let his senses roam, his body mold itself to the planes and angles of the other man's. Pushed and yielded - the play and thrust just so--

It was so easy to let go and just grab the guy and push against the hard surfaces of his willing body, rub against him, yeah, getting yourself all jazzed up, racing towards the point of no return, nudging your eager cock against the sharp ridge of hipbone under its cover of camel hair and cotton; finding a rhythm, feeling the reciprocating rhythm and nudge and push.

Ray was starting to think he was going to let it rip right there in the alley, when Bayliss suddenly seemed to come to his senses; he stiffened and tore his mouth away from Ray's, pushed Ray away. He was panting and flushed; they both were. Good to see it really wasn't a one-sided deal. It wasn't rejection, Ray figured. No way was that a rejection. Not the way Bayliss' eyes glittered in the gloom. Not the way he was breathing: heavily, hitching, harshly.

"Not here," Bayliss grated between pants. Ray grinned and wiggled an eyebrow, thrust his hips forward just a little, to show the guy who was boss or something. To show that there were no hard feelings - this train was not out of steam.

"Something about doin' it right out in 'n alley, though," he whispered, making sure Bayliss could feel his breath fan across sweaty skin. Sure enough - Ray felt the shiver travel through Bayliss' body like a low-grade electrical current.

"Yeah, yeah ... it's just a little--"

Ray kissed him again, maybe to tease, maybe just because it was so fucking sweet. This one wasn't getting away. Not tonight.

"A little what?"

"Uh ... uh, sordid?"

"Yeah, that's it. I like that word."


"You're makin' me all hot 'n bothered here, Bayliss."

"Sordid..." and this time it was almost a purr. Someone was catching on really fast.

"Yeah... But we can go to my hotel room if you want. Now that you mention it, this alley sure is kinda..."

"Sordid." There was a smile in there somewhere, although Bayliss somehow hid it pretty well right now. Ray smiled as well - not a grin this time, but a little smile that crept onto his face without consulting with the brain first.


To switch scenes: two guys come out of a bar--

an alley--

walk into a hotel room.

The room was a mess. Ray admitted to being pretty talented in the making-yourself-at-home-everywhere department, but it always came with side effects. He turned every place he landed in into a disaster area just so it'd look like he lived there. He hated the tidy, sterile look of hotel rooms. He wanted his clothes hanging over every chair, his stuff cluttering the bathroom, his files and folders and papers piled high on the desk. He put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door to keep the cleaners away. He figured that if he were a wolf or a dog, he'd be pissing all over the door posts to mark his territory.

And the scene is set up, the camera is rolling, the director opens his mouth to yell 'action!', when ...

The phone rings.

Ray froze mid-kiss, his hands curling into frustrated fists in Bayliss' shirt.

"Crap," he said, just as Bayliss said, "Shit," and it was kinda funny the way they said those words right into each other, into each other's mouths, so they had to chuckle a little before Ray finally disentangled himself from that wealth of long arms and longer legs and went to answer the damn phone (really, who calls at-- oh, it's only ten-thirty, and really, really, there's only one person--)

"This better be really good, Fraser," he snapped. The absolutely last person he wanted to talk to when he was about to get down and dirty with a handsome almost-stranger in a strange town. Well, okay, his father might be less welcome to call, but for entirely different reasons, of course.

"Ray," said Fraser, and somehow, the tone of his voice made Ray listen up, made the little frustrated internal monologue he'd had going (damn it, always when I'm havin' sex, always - and that happens like, once inna blue frickin' moon, and dammit, he has to call, what does a guy hafta do to get some goddamn privacy here fer chrissakes--) dry up like a puddle in Sahara.

He sat down on the bed, and schooled his voice low and reassuring. "Fraser?"

"Yes, Ray, I wanted to call and--" and here Fraser cut himself off so abruptly that Ray could swear he heard the Mountie's teeth clatter together.

"What?" he said gently.

"Please tell your friend to leave, Ray," Fraser said.

It was a good thing Ray was sitting down already. It really, really was. A good thing. Just about the only good thing he could think of just then, in that wild, endless second when he felt like he was going very fast (falling down very fast, to be exact) and being utterly still at the same time.

"Are you okay?" Bayliss asked. Numbly, Ray noted that the worry-wrinkle in his forehead was deepening. It was still cute.

"Whu--" he said into the phone. His mind was still careening out of control, and could offer no explanation for the turn of events.

"I saw you take him upstairs," Fraser was saying, by way of explanation, although it didn't explain jack, of course.

"Vecchio?" Bayliss was saying, and it occurred to Ray that he was gaping like a fish on dry land, so he closed his mouth with a snap.

"Who is he?" asked Fraser. He sounded jealous, was Ray's thought, but that was just silly. His brain was catching up with him again, or maybe he was catching up with his brain, but whatever it was, thinking actually seemed like it might happen any minute now. He waved at Bayliss. Shut up shut up. Bayliss shut up, and he didn't even look all that put off. Just worried.

So much for recreational sex, apparently. Ray took a deep, deep, deep breath, and said,

"Fraser, what are you doing here?"

There was a short, breathless pause, and then Fraser launched a still somewhat breathless, "I came here to-- that is, during your short absence, I became aware that-- well, I realize I'd been aware for quite some time already, naturally, but I it became increasingly clear that I needed to bring matters to some manner of-- ("Fraser.") it is necessary for me to make you aware of some emotions pertinent to your-- ("Fraser!") I love you."

"What!?" It came out harsher than he'd intended. It wasn't surprising, he thought, being in response to such an almighty wallop - Fraser, love, what?! - and the Kowalski brain had taken a couple of hits already, and wasn't up to par yet, but it figured that the Mountie wouldn't realize that.

"I'm sorry, Ray," he heard Fraser say, hastily, woodenly, "I won't bother you--" and then there was nothing but the dialtone. Not before he heard the pain, though, oh no. Shit. Oh, shit.

"Shit," he said out loud, at the dead phone, at Bayliss, who was sitting next to him now, looking concerned and fuckable and, unfortunately, completely uninteresting.

"Vecchio--" Bayliss started, confounded. Ray shot up, his legs getting it before the rest of him.

"Stupid, nosy, fucking Mountie!" he growled, but that wasn't what he meant. What he meant was, probably, wonderful, beautiful, lovable Mountie. My Mountie.

Who was probably in the hotel. Or, right now, heading away from the hotel, probably at that brisk, exhausting Mountie pace. Jeez.

He tore out of the room, catching a last corner-of-his-eye glimpse of Bayliss getting up faster than he should be able to, what with those miles and miles of legs to keep track off, and then he was running down the hall, foregoing the elevators and hitting the stairs, fast as a tall building, uh, speeding bullet, maybe.

He heard footsteps behind him, and realized Bayliss was doing the cop thing and joining the hot pursuit. Whatever. That would make things both harder and easier to explain, once he got a hold of Fraser. If he got a hold of Fraser. Goddammit, why couldn't the man just shut up long enough for a body to get over the shock and come up with a coherent sentence before going off in a huff?

And there is it: Chicago flatfoot in hot pursuit of Mountie. In more ways than the literal, one might add. After the cop from Chicago comes a colleague from Charm City herself, and it remains unclear whether he's chasing Mountie or just cop. Or maybe he's running because it's a nice evening for it and that long, rangy body is just made for running...


Once out in the street, Ray caught himself looking for red, but that was just ridiculous. Not like Fraser would wear the uniform here, now, for something like this. It would probably be sacro--sarco--against his religion to talk about sex wearing the uniform. And that was what Fraser had been doing, hadn't it? Talking about sex. He'd said love, and it could mean a lot of things, a lot of safe and everyday things, but that wasn't it. He'd been talking about the sweaty and private kind of love.

Once he stopped staring after crimson (is it crimson? Scarlet? What is it, officially?) serge, he spotted Fraser's broad, plaid-covered back moving briskly (what did I say?) down the street.

"Fraser!" Ray shouted. Bayliss was next to him, and it looked a little like he was about to pull a gun and arrest the silly Mountie, so Ray had to turn to him and explain, "He's my partner," and Bayliss relaxed visibly, and stopped looking like such a cop.

Fraser hadn't heard, or maybe he wasn't listening. Ray had to run to catch up.

"Slow down, wouldja," he complained loudly, just to warn Fraser of his approach. Fraser stopped in his tracks like someone pressed 'pause'. Okay, maybe he really hadn't heard earlier. Amazing that Mr. Bat Ears could miss anything, but wonders never cease...

"Why'd you hang up on me, Frase? That's not buddies, you know. Gotta let a guy de-scramble his brain first."

"I--" said Fraser. His voice was strangely small. It occurred to Ray that Fraser was scared shitless, and that was such a new and incredible thing it just threw him for a while.

"Come on, Frase, it's all right. It's cool."

"It is?" Now Fraser was turning towards him, and there was hope and budding joy fighting for space with fear and yes, a remaining sprinkle of pain on his face.

"Yeah, it is. But let's go back to the hotel for the rest of the show, okay? I don't know if you've noticed, but we're in the middle of the street."

"Yes, Ray," Fraser said obediently and did a smart about-face and started marching back the way he'd come. Until, that is, he noticed Bayliss standing where Ray had left him, looking unaccountably lost for a guy in his own city. Fraser froze, Bayliss froze; Ray had no choice but to freeze as well.

Take a look: a comedy of errors. And it all started with 'this guy walks into a bar...'

"That's Detective Bayliss," Ray said quickly, quickly because the Mountie had this history of jumping to friggin' conclusions, "Baltimore PD."

"Homicide," Bayliss supplied automatically. Fraser nodded and pulled himself together, put himself in Mountie-mode, as opposed to whatever weird-ass mode he'd been in just lately, reached out a hand and said,

"Of course. Constable Benton Fraser, RCMP. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

"Come again?" Bayliss said. Ray bet that was what most people wanted to say when they got Fraser's introductory litany tossed in their faces. Bayliss just seemed to have less of a problem with looking stupid than most. A pretty positive trait in a guy who wasn't stupid by far.

"Ah. Royal Canadian Mounted Police," Fraser spelled out.

"Really? But Detective Vecchio said--" and there he cut himself short, just as Ray, too, realized how it was a little confusing, how you could misunderstand things. Fraser looked blank for a second, and then Ray saw suspicion followed by understanding blossom. Outstanding. Even the Mountie gets it, and no clue-by-fours in sight.

"Yes, quite," he said in that I'm-really-busy-and-I'm-only-polite-because-I'm-Canadian voice he only used in emergencies. "If you'll excuse me for--"

"Fraser," Ray said. "Cool it. Um, Bayliss, look--"

"It's okay, Vecchio. Who am I to come between partners?" Bayliss said, and there was something about his sad little smile and the way he chewed on his lower lip that made Ray want to tell the man that he might be just the thing to put between partners, but then again, not these partners, so what was there to say? "Um ... well, I'll be off. Goodbye."

And he ambled off. Ray stared after him. Kept staring until Fraser grabbed his arm and shook.


"Yeah, okay. I'm coming."

"If you--" Ray recognized the shutters coming up in Fraser's eyes before anything else was spoken, and he was getting pretty sick of the gratuitous conclusion-jumping going on, so he just waved a hand to shush the silly Mountie.

"No, no, I wouldn't rather be with him, shut up, and let's go back to the hotel before I do something to get us both arrested."

That shut the Mountie up like magic.

Here we go: Two guys walk into a hotel room...

"Would you like the opportunity to explain what precipitated this venture before I commence to rip yer clothes off and have my evil way with ya?" Ray said, and the look on Fraser's face was worth all the planning it had taken to get that sentence out in one piece.

Fraser took a deep breath. "Well, I--"

"On second thought," Ray interrupted, recognizing something potentially long-winded and incoherent, "why don't you just repeat what you said on the phone and we can just move on to the bit where I rip off your clothes?"

And he knew the Mountie could do oblivious like nothing, yeah, but apparently there were times when oblivious didn't do it, and one of those times were now, because Fraser just smiled at him - that was a beautiful, gorgeous smile there - and said,

"I love you," and what more does a guy need? Not much, not much at all. He pushed Fraser towards the bed. Things were very simple right now. Surprisingly simple, after so many complications, or maybe it wasn't surprising at all, maybe it was expected that things would be simple once the pieces were aligned.

"You know, Fraser, I love you too," he said and took his first taste.

And now, finally: I think the director is saying something about a money shot, dear ... make it count.

It was a beginning, and as far as first times go, it wasn't bad. Ray really had no complaints about being the target for all that Mountie concentration. It was, at times, obvious that Fraser didn't do this often (this being sex in general, or maybe sex with guys), but he made up for what he lacked in finesse (and, hey, it wasn't so much a lacking as, well--) with thoroughness and enthusiasm. There was something endearingly boneheaded about the man's absolute determination to lick every square inch of available (yeah, available and ... uh, less available, you could say) skin on Ray's body. Ray had to fight a dangerous impulse to wave his hand limp-wristedly and intone: 'The boy has a mouth like a hoover ...' In the end, the impulse was easily thwarted, though, mostly because that hoover of a mouth went to town on him and it all left him just a little out of breath, and definitely out of smart-ass comments.

Well, after such a beautifully executed blowjob, it is only fair to give back in equal measure. Ray had never given his cock-sucking technique much thought (no, it's not something I linger over, why?) before, but he put down a lot in this performance. It was going to be the best that lovely Mountie dick had ever experienced. It was a good thing it didn't occur to Ray until afterwards that given Fraser's spotty sexual history, that wouldn't be much of a stretch. Wouldn't have done to have given less than a hundred-and-ten percent.

The punchline: Time for a post-coital close up...

"So, Fraser - Ben..."

"Yes, Ray?"

"Why did you come all the way to Baltimore just to skulk in the hotel lobby and then call me on the phone?"

"Well, I--"

"In fact, why come down at all, when I woulda been back in a couple of days, and it would have been a lot more convenient to just do it at home?"

"Well, Ray, it felt pressing."

"Pressing? It felt so pressing you had to just, what? hop on a plane?"

"Yes, Ray. I suspect that perhaps I can pass some blame on the lunar phase, as I occasionally exhibit behavior that can be classed as somewhat erratic when--"

"Wait, wait, just wait! Fraser. You're blaming it on the full moon?"

"Yes, Ray."


"Yes, Ray."