At first Ray thought it was kind of weird, when they'd come up to Tuk. He'd spent his whole adult life being Kowalski, that damned Kowalski kid to Stella's father, who she still wasn't good with, Kowalski the undercover guy: and of course, Kowalski, who hangs with the Mountie.
Up here, he was just Ray. It was weird.
And nobody knew about the Stanley thing, 'cept Ben (obviously) and Suzenne, who did the typing at the Detachment, where he knew his name, his proper name, was in the box on Fraser's file, where it said "husband/wife/domestic partner" and on Fraser's fucking pension paperwork, because Fraser always took the line on being prepared.
That was why they were in 'Tuk's only lawyer's office looking at a damn piece of paper.
And it was tearing his heart apart.
Ben was being prepared.
That paper said that, he, Stanley Raymond Kowalski, had Fraser's power of attorney should anything untoward or unforseen happen.
But it didn't say that.
It didn't say Fraser.
It said Benton Augustus Robert Fraser.
It was there, in wonky typewritter type, that you didn't get in the city no more.
Augustus? Small wonder Fraser had all the sympathy in the world for Stanley. Surely it was the fuck bad enough to have two surnames?
And he looked at the paper, and he knew that, besides Suzenne, the one-woman typing-pool, he was the only person who knew.
Besides Mr Gerrson, the lawyer, and that man lived discrete. If he met Stella, he'd die of culture shock. If he met some of Stella's lawyer buddies, they'd eat him alive.
And he looked at Ben, all proper preparation, and there were tears still running down Ray's face, because he never ever wanted to need this, but knew that this was the same as Fraser always packing a flare gun in the sled.
And he looked at that bittersweet smile and realised, no, it wasn't the same at all.
And there was no chance in hell Suzenne knew about Augustus.