Short Due South Fiction

Assorted very short fiction, including some on the nose drabbles. Many of these were written for people on my livejournal friendslist

Index

Hunting Written for Unhurt, the depressing post-COTW ficlet
Never Quite Boring Written for Bkuebrocade, PG-13 slash
Cabbage Written for Joandarck, Fraser-centric kidfic with added Uncle Tiberius
Family Written for Unhurt, Fraser on sibblings, possibly squick-worthy.
Pearls Before Swine Written for Joandarck, Inspector Thatcher muses
Scent Of Nostalgia Written for Unhurt, more cabbage
The Small Matter Of Broken Hearts Written for Kit Garcia, Fraser/Vecchio G
Allergic To Housework Written for missapocalyptic, Fraser/Kowalski G
The Non-Sexual Adventures Of Fraser's Hat Written for Maryavatar
Harem Pants Written for Maryavatar, Harem Pant crack R
Gold Gash Vermillion Written for Malnpudl, Fraser/Victoria and almost a ghost story
Perfection Is The Price Written for Broken Kite, Depressing, Fraser-centric unrequited f/k
Worlds End Written for the Due South Flashfiction Apocalypse challenge (no real worlds end)
Letter From Ray Written for Epistolary dS as basically fanfic for their incredible adventures
Compliments Written for Kit Garcia, Fraser/Kowalski PG-13, longer than most of these things
Frozen Penguin Seeks Agony Uncle Aunt Written for Aerye and Sheyheyred, Frannie/Huey with a touch of Kowalski/Gardino
Zombie Romance Written for Maryavatar, Fraser/Vecchio kind of.
Canadian Cream Tea Written for Unhurt, Ray/Ray Smut
Monsters Depressing kidfic double drabble
13:13 Deathfic! Ray/Ray and Fraser/Kowalski R

Hunting

Once upon a time there was a mountie called Fraser. He was a very good mountie and had a deaf half wolf called Diefenbaker, who might not have been deaf at all, since he had very good hearing when there were donuts to listen to. Fraser and Diefenbaker lived in a cabin far far away from everyone, even donuts, and went out on sled patrols and saw nobody. Sometimes Fraser shot rabbits for tea, sometimes Dief caught rabbits for tea, but he did not shoot them because he was a wolf. And sometimes Dief would pretend that the rabbits were donuts really, because they lived far away from them and that made Dief sad. Fraser was sad too, but not because of the donuts. Like Dief pretended to be happy and have donuts, so Fraser pretended to be happy but without the donuts, because they were fattening and Dief should be ashamed of himself prefering them to nice healthy rabbit. And they went on very lond sled trips, where nothing happened, and sometimes Fraser took injured birds home with him, but they always died. And sometimes Dief couldn't tell the difference between Fraser and the birds...

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Never Quite Boring

Once upon a time there was a mountie called Fraser, he lived in his office and drank lots of tea. He liked bark tea, which his best friends likened to "dirt", "wood" and "totally gross". So he never told them of its uplifting and drug-like properties, which were the only thing to sustain him when Inspector Thatcher made him stay in and fill out dozens of forms hundred and twenty-eight oblique fours and polish the siilver. And when he's polished the silver he had to set it on the table for the very boring dinner party, throughout which he would have to stand at attention like a decorative hatstand and stare at a point exactly twenty-eight point four centimenters to the left of the Inspector's head until this disquieted her and made her scream at him to get out of her sight. And then he would go and visit his best friend...

...and fuck him through the floor, to use his best friend's vulgar parlance. And sometimes his best friend was called Ray and sometimes his best friend was called Ray and sometimes they were both called Ray and were in fact Confused.

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Cabbage

Once upon a time there was a mountie called Fraser, except he wasn't a mountie yet, he was a little boy, and his father was a mountie called Fraser instead. Fraser (not his father the other mountie called Fraser) couldn't see why it was a bad thing that his grandparents compared him to his Uncle Tiberius, who used to be a mountie called Fraser until Things Happened and he wasn't, because he thought Uncle Tiberius was really quite nice. And he saw more of him than he saw of his father, who was still a mountie called Fraser at this juncture and Very Busy. So sometimes Uncle Tiberius, who was a mountie called Fraser but wasn't any more, would come visiting with his travelling tailoring business and tell Fraser, who wasn't yet a mountie called Fraser, about his theory that you could make a cheap and durable fabric out of brassicas. It smelt like cabbages. Fraser had a sweater made out of it, but his grandmother got all Odd when he wore it. And Tiberius, who was no longer a mountie called Fraser, would let Fraser, who wasn't a mountie called Fraser yet, play dress up in his samples. Fraser liked the green dress and that was when the comparisons started and his grandparents began to doubt whether he'd become a mountie called Fraser at all.

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Family

Fraser hated it when the Vecchios argued, he couldn't understand it and it frightened him. He couldn't understand being frightened either, it was strange and unfamiliar and rather like the Vecchios in that respect. He was particularly frightened when Ray and Francesca started arguing about him. And it wasn't just because it was strange and unfamiliar. He could not understand how it worked, how they could argue, if he had a sister he would not argue with her. It would be so wonderful not to be alone and to have such and understanding as Ray and Francesca had. He would not do whatever Francesca alleged Ray had done to her hamster either, whatever it was. But then, he wouldn't do to a sister what he wanted to do to Francesca and then, if Fransecsa was a sister, than Ray would be a brother and he wouldn't do what he wanted to do to Ray to a brother either.

And then, with all the siblings in the world, he would still be alone.

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Pearls Before Swine

Pearls before swine, that was what it was, thought Meg Thatcher as she tried to arrange her coifure to her satisfaction.

Why had she been sent to this god-forsaken land with its complete failure to understand even the basic of civilities and its total success when it came to discourtesy (and rampant crime)? She had never expected this when she had signed up for the special diplomatic service course; not only was it a way to fill in her mandatory service education requirement, she had thought, she could be posted to new and exotic locales and fill in her fivehundredandtwelve oblique eight under the dappled shade of palm trees and hear the relaxing sound of the surf as it washed up the beach and lapped at her feet.

Instead, she had been sent to this slum, for want of a better word, though she knew there were worse parts of the city and Benton Fraser took a perverse delight in not only habituating them but inhabiting them.

And the staff! Benton Fraser was not even the worse; there was the boy from Victoria who was forever dropping vases and trying to ruin her lines with some infernal pastry concoction cooked in Service time! He was even more infuriating than Fraser.

And Benton Fraser had proved to be nothing more than a disappointment, failing even to realise what diplomatic service offered him or the grandeur of his birth-right and that if he just knuckled down and followed instructions he would reach the pinacle of the Service. Indeed he seemed to delight in his disinterest in such things. And that was wrong...

...they would have made such a wonderful couple.

At the very least, then she'd be able to find out what he put on his damned hair, she thought as she tugged at the brush once again.

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Scent Of Nostalgia

Fraser was, loathe as he was to admit it let alone say it, bored.

He was bored with processing the paperwork for the Canadian Cabbage-Growers Expo, despite some favourable childhood experiences.

He was bored with the obsessive fever that now gripped the Consulate in some sort of Cabbage orientated fervour. It was, he mused, rather like the tulip craze of the seventeenth century only less beautiful and considerably less fragant.

He was bored with Turnbull's plethora of celebratory brasica-based dishes, which he was testing out on the Consulate staff so that he could find the most delightful for the Cabbage Growers' Celebratory Dinner on the coming Thursday.

And he was intensly bored with the way the Inspector would shrilly scream at him and doubt his competence for anything more than picking up her dry cleaning. Three times in a week, it seems she for one was desperate to get shot of the resplendant odour of cabbages.

That was the one thing that didn't bore him (that and Ray and his now-infrequent visits); the smell reminded him terribly of his childhood. It didn't bore him, rather it made him maudlin for a more innocent time and a much smaller world, and that sickened him.

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The Small Matter Of Broken Hearts

One day, when Fraser was young and nights still could last a month, and months could last for eternity, he found a kitten sleeping in the book trailer.

He picked it up and hid it under his sweater. Somehow he already knew his grandparents would disapprove of it. They would consider it a waste of space and food.

Benton kept it a secret the whole of the trip to 'Tuk, his grandparents never knowing that he was sneaking away food from the table and playing with it in the dark. Once he got to 'Tuk, he gave it to a girl called June. He never let her see him cry, he feigned disinterest and pretended her brother's tonka truck was the most exciting thing in the world. The truck didn't even purr, and it wasn't warm and furry and didn't press against his cheek and somehow make him think of his mother.

And ever since Benton Fraser has been very good at keeping secrets, and at not acting on his wants. When Ray Vecchio told him that he was beginning to think he was homosexual, gay, Fraser offered hearty support and kept his secret for him.

And now, Fraser's alone again, and reading his father's journals, and he comes across the entry:

I heard from my mother that Benton adopted a kitten and then gave it to a girl. He must have thought it better for the kitten than the half-nomadic life to which I've condemned him...

and Benton's heart shatters, the ice of it fracturing and melting and the slivers of it cutting him to his very heart. And nobody sees him cry.

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Allergic To Housework

Fraser finally ran out of patience when Ray claimed allergies not only to housework, but to libraries.

And then he found himself not only with one digit extended and pointing (digging) into Ray's chest, but with Ray pressed up flat against one of the bookcases. Ray looked something like a carribou stuck at the top of a mountain path, gazing down at the hunter waiting at the bottom with a loaded gun.

And he was breathing terribly fast.

And his eyes were wild.

It took Fraser a minute to realise that this was not terror, or at least, the breathing was not in terror, though the look in Ray's eyes was, but was merely a secondary reaction. A reaction to Ray's breathing rapidly running out of control.

And then Fraser realised that indeed Ray was allergic to housework and libraries and probably a hundred other dusty things. He hoped this was not the way to dusty death, and did not even inquire as to why Ray failed to take medications for the condition the answer would undoubtably be similiar to why Ray failed to wear his glasses or to why Ray refused to take the medications the doctor prescribed after the unfortunate encounter with the llama-hunting marmoset.

Instead Fraser took a step back, and then caught Ray before he could begin to fall and held him close in the centre of the room, and hoped for this to pass and silently begged forgiveness.

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The Non-Sexual Adventures Of Fraser's Hat

Fraser had hung his hat in many places over the years, from yurts to caravans to the Ministry of the Interior during a sit-in he had organised to protect the native wildlife of the greater Ontario area.

He had never seen his hat hung like this, though.

Not even that night when he had slept in a hole, and hung it on a tree root. Or the time with the hallucinogenic carribou, when he'd hung it on the antlers, loathe to have it streaked with gore.

But he had never seen his hat hung like this.

"So, Frase, what do you think?"

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Harem Pants

"Ray, I do believe that this is the most inappropriate guise I have ever been asked to wear in my years with the RCMP..." Fraser protested as they dressed in a spare interview room, they didn't want to go to the locker-room with outfits this... outre.

"What about that dress you wore 'round Vecchio, do not think that I do not know about that, Ms. Fraser."

"Ray, that was uncalled for, and at least that I initiated that."

"So

that's what you call it then? Initiating. Did you, you know, "initiate" a lot with Vecchio?" Ray Kowalski leered, Fraser found it at once distressing and appealing.

Fraser began turning a colour he knew Ms Fraser would call strawberry sunrise, or rather, Ms Fraser's cosmetics would call "strawberry sunrise", Ms Fraser would call it "embarassing" since there's only so far a man, woman, person could change.

Dief whined, he quite agreed with Fraser on the point, but could not see what the problem was with the coverings, he thought these were much more attractive, and would enable him to display properly and then, maybe the blond would bitch for his packmate and he wouldn't have to listen to Fraser...

Fraser blushed even more, and then found that his body was far more approving of Dief's speech than he was, and...

...he was wearing harem pants, which he thought lacked even as undergarments.

And the gauzy material chafed and was quite fine enough for Ray to see his distress.

"Can't be having you coming all over the fine and beautiful costume Welsh provided, particularly since the guy got it on deposit. Cut budgets, you know..."

And before Fraser could even fathom what Ray was saying, the blond detective had turned around and was lowering his leather hot-pants and offering his... Fraser could not think of a dignified word at this juncture, could not think at all, except of a nature documentary he once saw where a baboon displayed its bottom.

Fraser had not seen the erotic appeal of that. But then, a baboon was ill-comparison to the splendor of Ray and of Ray's ass, Fraser allowed himself to think the word, even if he could not bring himself to say it, as he parted the fabric and reached for his organ and steadied himself against Ray's back.

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Gold Gash Vermillion

Benton looked at the ice crystals through the microscope and tried to convince himself that they did not look like diamonds.

There wasn't even the faintest resemblance, he told himself.

While they had a crystaline structure, they lacked the tough covalent bonds of the carbon jewels.

He was trying very hard not to think of diamonds at all.

Or of ice.

Of ice and a woman lying in the snow, her dark hair spread out like a halo, looking up at him like she was some beautiful saint, trapped moments away from the extacy of God.

He'd awoken last night sweating and his heart pounding in his chest with something that might have been fear. Or lust. Or something else entirely.

It was beginning to form a pattern, every shadow was hers, every reflection half glimpsed, every crystal of ice in the forensic laboratory.

And he's kept dreaming of her, pale against the snow, gold gash vermillion.

And even now, the dreams would not stop, she would not let him escape.

She'd died surrounded by something not entirely like diamonds, lying in the snow at Fortitude pass. Vermillion blood on the snow, dressed only in a pale shift.

She was playing to a legend known only to one man.

And she would not leave her audience even now, trapped in a miasma of repeated encores.

And she brought him diamonds, and stole his soul.

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Perfection Is The Price

It took him a while to realise this, and that in itself was quite remiss of him, but the price of perfection was exactly that, perfection.

And of course, Benton knew full well he wasn't perfect at all, that he was yet to reach that pinacle. Oscar Wilde whispered in his ear about how he could yet be the pineapple of perfection, as Benton furtively logged on to the Canadian Intelligence Agency's network to procure the information that would, as Ray would say, nail the fruit smuggling operation operating out of Otawwa. Ray would also dare him to say that three times fast, and Benton would, and Ray would look up to the sky and talk to God in resignation that his best friend was so perfect...

Except Benton knew he hadn't achived perfection. If he had, that would not have bothered him, nor would his observation on the nature of perfection...

...indeed were he to achieve perfection, he would be pained so by such emotions of failure and futility that stalked him as he woke and as he slept.

He never thought he'd set himself such an impossible goal.

Perfection, was something to be desired and striven towards. He had learnt that lesson young, but never managed to escape his grandmother's disprobation.

Then he found another impossible goal: Ray Kowalski, beautifully imperfect, beautifully alive Ray Kowalski.

And the only thing keeping him from that was his own perfection, he was trapped in an unassailable prison of his own making, and Ray being a pragmatist (Benton could not face the idea that Ray might actually be attracted only to women: another terrible selfish imperfection) would not even try to take the keep.

Because perfection is static, constant, unchanging. And it freezes like ice everything it touches, and around Fraser, whenever something might have happened, it began to draw the vigourous life from Ray's bones.

Perfection was such torture, and yet, Benton could not break free and was trapped in a prison of his own making.

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Worlds End

When the bullets start flying after them all, Rayís secretly glad, Armandoís gone, and he can snipe at Benny to prove it.

As his parents walk into that terrible wonderful light, Benton Fraser wonders if this is the end of the only world heís ever known. Itís his first taste of freedom and it is terrifying.

Ray looks into the mirror and is relieved to see the ghost of Vecchio has finally stopped possessing him, let him go haunt Stella, another old ghost. The cold hard freedom of a world without horizons and a plan only his own await him.

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Letter From Ray

Yeah, what the Wolf doesn't know is that I've been talking to Turnbull. Fraser, I don't know why you are looking at this letter like THAT; I talk to people, you know, I parlay to them, and he's all in hospital in Toronto after he got run over by a bus. Would you believe it was being driven by a manic depressive drunk from Minneapolis with the memory of a frinking GOLDFISH??? Goldfishman forgot to put the handbreak on, and then tried to shoot himself in hed, missed and kicked the accelerator in shock and BLAMMO! Flat mountie. So yeah, I was talking to Turnbull, because, like Frannie had told me what happened and said I was good talking to people and he was all lonely since his old man took a hike calling him AN ACCIDENT PRONE ALBATROUS OF AN OFFSPRING and maybe I should, uh, commiserate with him on the whole Pissing off your father for the best part of a decade. And show him there's more to life than a TOTAL DOUCHEBAG of a father who is clearly one of those cheerleader mom types, you know who makes their kid go to dance classes before she can walk so they might be able to compete with a bunch of other overpressurised kids to wavce a few pom-poms about (Yes, Frase, I know that the first cheerleaders were GUYS, they didn't have their moms running up mini skirts before they got out of elementary school). So yeah, Turnbull's old man makes yours sound real well balenced even the bit about dumping you in the woods with two sticks to rub together.

So, YEAH, things such if your name is Renfield (poor bastard) with a father called Renfield, an uncle called Renfield and everyone else called Renfield (except possibly his mom). Anyway, I asked him how he kept Dief from licking his curling kettles, or you know, mistaking them for REALLY BIG DONUTS (yeah, Dief and remember you get one if you're good and it won't taste of granite) and he said he threatened to make him little pink crocheed booties that look like doggy mukaluks. And I told him about Dief and he said he had nothing better to do while his pelvis healed...

So there ya go, pink wolf mukaluks. SO BEHAVE, Diefenbaker, I have eyes everywhere.

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Compliments

"A compliment is so much better than a kick in the head, yeah, so I dunno, why don't people compliment each other more. Like this" Ray began and then turned to speak to Fraser, "Fraser, you might be the freaky weirdest person on the planet and that's including Yuri Geller, but you are one hot Mountie, and the very sight of you causes multiple symmetrical... uh... simulacra... simultaneous orgasms and it's the ultimate cruelty that I have to hide them, since who's seen a cop have multiple orgasms in the squad room?"

"Ah yes, Ray, I believe that it was Kinky Kyle O'Donell of the Wetaskiwin detachment, who under the influence of a disgruntled local shaman had multiple orgasms on contact with fresh coffee, unfortunately nobody had told the new civilian aide, what with her being female and they being embarrassed, and she failed to make up his usual instant brew and instead treated him to a double-deluxe expresso from the local Tim Hortons..."

"Benton Buddy, I was talking about compliments not multiple orgasms."

"Well, in actuality..."

"Actuality, actu-shamility, what I want is you and some reality. Come on, Ben, compliment me. I'm a man, I can take it, hard as you like."

"Ah, Ray, I don't think anything I have to say could, uh, be repeated in polite company..."

"Screw polite company, Fraser, on second thoughts, don't screw polite company, screw me," And with this Ray dropped to the floor like a very graceful stone and pulled a half-struggling Fraser after him.

"Um, Ray, perhaps you should reconsider..." Benton begins only to be interrupted.

"Nah, come on Fraser, I know you have trouble with words, when they're not big ten dollar dictionary words, but little ones about you know, real things as opposed to unreal things like modal frequencies and the role of llamas in inuit throat singing rituals. So why don't you try complimenting me by, say, doing. A little "show and tell", you know, like this," Ray's hand began to creep somewhere that Fraser would rather it didn't go at this juncture, well, actually he likes where it is very much, too much, he thinks.

"But... urm," as Ray might say that was bye-bye brain cells, "While this is not the squad room, I don't really think that the... ahh... canteen is a suitable location for such amatory escapades..."

"'Amatory escapades', like that Ben, I really like that. Hell, Ben it's two in the a m, nobody's about, nobody's here, except the caretaker and I'm sure she won't mind a free show on the gazillion to one chance that she wanders in here looking for a spare broom... so why don't you like, amatory escapade with me here? Or am I going to have to do all the running, Fraser?"

"I'd rather, Ray," Benton said as he leaned in for a kiss, "you didn't run at all, it would make everything much more difficult, and I wouldn't be able to do this, or this."

"Oh yeah, Ben, compliment away, fill my world with compliments."

"Well, Ray, what I really like about you is your mouth, not just the way you talk, which is fit for a god, nor the way it moves, which is languorous and luxuriant, but the way it fits so very well..." Benton couldn't say anything else, his mouth was otherwise occupied by a very luxurient Ray Kowalski-Vecchio, who was reciprocating with his own vocabulary of movement, and that hand had returned and was once again on the front of his breeches, struggling to bypass the hooks and eyes and innumerable buttons and gain access.

Benton would have helped, but his hands were also occupied, tangling themselves in the blond detective's hair and pulling him closer, as Ray, his golden wonderful Ray, began to thrust against his hip. And that hand, the one with the bracelet that rubbed so delightfully, stopped struggling with the intricacies of his uniform and instead held still and provided a delightful firmness to offset the heat between his legs, hold it down, hold it in, until it could be held no more.

It was only then, it that moment of joyous release, both coming simulacra... sorry... simultaneously, as if they shared not only one love, but one soul, one being. It was as if they had always been questing for this moment, and for every moment like this, and lying there on the cracked linoleum, they knew it, they knew love, and they knew they had something infinitely beyond love. They had both tried love before now, and it had left both of them unsatisfied and wounded, and groping around in darkness trying to find something to fill the holes it left within them. For a time it was drink, or duty, or an unrequited and desperate friendship, as fragile a snowflake under a microscope. And then, then they found this, and were at last satisfied and whole, at once here and flying through eternity on silver wings of ecstasy.

And it was only then, that they noticed the hastily abandoned cleaner's bucket, inscribing small circles upon the floor, half trapped by the fallen mop.

"Benton buddy, I think we might be more than a little fucked."

"Agreed."

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Frozen Penguin Seeks Agony Uncle Aunt

Jack stood in the bullpen like a frozen penguin. He'd gone to Fraser, 'cause, yeah, Fraser was The Mountie, and was discrete and wouldn't spread it all over the station, and yeah, face it, the Mountie knew anything. Anthropology professor left a suicide note in cunniform, give it to the Mountie, who could not only read it, but tell you it wasn't suicide and that the note actually implicated his murderer, a mentally unstable ex-cop ex-vet current-nutjob.

And he gone and asked Fraser, and still got it shouted all over the station by fucking Kowalski, who'd lost none of his shit when he'd lost his name. Yeah, Jack knew Kowalski alright, he was Louis's buddy, he'd drag them all drinking when everything was peachy and they'd play pool and shoot the shit, he'd drag them all drinking when his marriage was crashing and burning and he'd be a total shit. What Jack didn't get is why Louis hung with the guy like that, even took him home when Stella, who was way too classy a lady in Jack's humble opinion to have married Kowalski in the first place, had chucked him out for the night like a badly behaved pussy cat. And yeah, Kowalski moved like a cat all right, but he was nobody's pussy, whatever some of the guys in the breakroom might say about him and the Mountie, like that guy in Shakespere Romeo stabbed, King Of Cats. Oh yeah, all attitude, which one day would buy him the fucking farm.

Not that Kowalski hadn't been good when Louis had died, came round, said how sorry he was, how bad it was when a partnership got nixed like that, told him he needed somebody, he got him.

And then Kowalski had vanished into thin air, like a magician. Exactly like a magician, or maybe a quick change artist. Yeah, exactly. Whenever he'd met Kowalski, he'd been enough Kowalski to fill out an entire room. And then one day, his car broke down in a bad neighborhood and he'd been about to step into a bar to use their phone, when a soft voice came, "You really don't want to go in there, man, they really don't like cops none."

It was this blond Billy Idol type, okay, not quite, blond Billy Idol type into guys and crystal meth was closer, but still not quite right. Dealer? User? Jack had had no idea, until yeah, he'd thrown him his cell phone, still there in that alley, and the light had changed just for a moment, and it was Kowalski. And then it wasn't, again.

So yeah, Kowalski was his own good cop/ bad cop. But he was meant to be Vecchio now, and he hadn't changed none, still on that asshole kick, or maybe he was just angry at Dewey, maybe he'd been closer to Louis than he thought. Maybe they'd had long soulfull talks on Gardino's couch while Louis sobbered him up enough to be able to roll into the 1-3 the next morning. Hot sweet coffee and comiserating about the lack of hot sweet women.

So maybe, that was why Kowalski had said it. Hated Dewey for taking his pal's place, 'cause while they knew each other, they weren't close and maybe it was tough being undercover, even when you were barely under the covers at all, answering to a new name and getting none of the credit for your work must suck plenty.

But while he might dream of him and Dewey and a hose, it remained that he couldn't do it, to put it into Kowalski-ese, it wasn't buddies.

So he'd gone and talked to the only person he thought was clued up enough on this sort of thing, Frannie, and she'd been nice and great about it, and wasn't quite as much an airhead as he thought. Funny and smart enough funny that Dewey never suspected they were laughing at him.

And he was going to take her out to dinner tonight.

And it wasn't really a price to pay for the help, because how can it be a price, when you enjoy paying?

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Zombie Romance

"Hey, Benny, how you doing in hospital? Do you want anything?"

"Brains"

"Okay, concusion, I can deal. You sure you want to eat the food, it's horrible and cold? Then again, given what you put in your mouth..."

"Brains."

"Yeah, and blubber, and lichen, and raw seal..."

"Brains."

"Okay, and raw seal brains."

...

"Benny, you're looking at me kind of funny."

...

"Fuck, that's a short robe. Who do they make these things for, the seven dwarfs? Benny, are you trying to tell me something? 'Cause, yeah, this is kind of hard to say, and..."

...

"Hugging's good, Benny, just let me breathe a bit. Anyway Benny, I love you, and yeah, if you want me back, you can have anything you want..."

"Brains"

"Oh fuck."

... weird noises...

"I never thought you'd be interested in my mind... and, oh, christ, I'm gonna die, eaten by my partner stroke secret crush, movie at eleven"

"Brains"

... weird slurping noises...

"Brains"

"Yeah, Brains"

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Canadian Cream Tea

"Tea's not made like that, Stanley"

"Yeah, so? Whaddayouknow?"

"Benny always warms the pot first, and are they teabags."

"Vecchio, the thing is to get her full of tea stat, not do a full Canadian Cream Tea."

"So that's what he called it..."

"Called what? Vecchio."

"Ah, Detective Kowalski would you like to suck out my Canadian Cream Tea?"

"You're one sick fuck."

"I didn't go round the artic in a teeny tiny tent."

"So nothing, repeat, nothing happened. And I got chapped lips, could have stayed here and licked a fire hydrant in winter, and, talking of tents, is little Vecchio getting a little antsy back there?"

"Stanley, you... fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck."

"Like that, Vecchio? You all tight up against my skinny Polish ass?"

"Yeah."

"Fuck, Vecchio that's good."

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Monsters

Stanley Kowalski has a monster under his bed. It is called Monster. It eats socks and broken rollerskates and icky things like vegetables and girls. Sometimes he feeds it his brotherís books full of girls with no clothes on. He doesnít mind, Momís never found Monster.

(Little) Ray Vecchio can see his monster coming in the dark. It has the shine of a belt buckle and smells of booze. It mumbles and thunders words his Ma says he shouldnít know. Ray doesnít want to be a monster when he grows up.

Benton Fraser doesnít believe in monsters. He has been told unequivocally that there arenít any. And his books donít have any monsters either. So the things that come to him in his sleep canít be monsters. But he does not ask what they are. He hates them and he needs them.

Renfield Turnbull knows there is a monster, but Mother told him that Fang would keep him safe. He knows there are monsters because Mr Edmonton told him about them and they eat up little boys who lie. And their mothers. And he holds Fang tighter, so tight his stuffing might burst except Fangís a real wolf really.

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13:13

It's a hot night. The cloud's lying low, like a perp, waiting to come out the woodwork and raise up a storm. I wasn't expecting to sleep through the night. Get up a couple of times, get some water, maybe some tylenol or the valium I don't have stashed... nights like this remind me too much of Vegas, of the sinful heat there. It's body memory, the body remembers, and I don't like it one bit.

So, when I wake, it really isn't unexpected.

Kowalski being awake, now that's unexpected. He's pale and lean and sometimes the heat just kills him; it's like he's pining for the fjords or whatever cold and frozen things his grandparents had when they were eating turnips in pollack-land. I don't use that word to his face much, now. Pollack. There's something sharp and bitter in the taste of it on my tongue.

Nothing to do with Johnny the Pollack, the drug baron, missing since '97. Nothing at all.

I didn't expect the Pollack to be awake, and kissing Benny.

Benny's knealing up on the bed, between me and Stanley, he's wearing his jodphurs and the suspender on his right shoulder is making a break for it down his arm as he kisses Stanley. And Stanley's got his fingers in Benny's hair and is kissing him back, cool pale fingers twining in the hair, just below the point were...

...there's a dark crust of blood and I just want to know how he can do this, Kowalski, kiss that mouth that tastes like blood and brains and gunpowder. I'm not thinking about what Benny's mouth would taste like, not at all, and suddenly I'm glad I can't see into Kowalski's eyes, they're shut.

The last time I saw Benny's eyes, they had pennies on them.

And I just turn over, and stare at the digital readout blinking red in the dark, I can't quite make out the numbers and what I think I'm seeing, I know is wrong. The clock, not what's behind me. And I stare until I close my eyes and go somewhere else, anywhere else, maybe even Vegas.

Suddenly, it doesn't seem so bad.

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