Ray Kowalski is thinking of glasses.
These glasses would be cool and slick and let him see better what Vecchio is doing.
No offence, because what Vecchio is doing feels great and terrible and Ray’s bound hands have Ray’s nails digging in hard enough to draw blood… except it can’t really be blood, not here, not now… but Ray so wants to see what is going on, see better than this fuzz.
He means; if this is the afterlife, he wants to enjoy it a little more.
Not that he could see much, right now, Vecchio scribing swirling patterns in the sweat beading down Ray’s back with something hard that feels like what Ray would imagine having your skin massaged with a giant pearl would feel like.
So? Ray’s weird. It’s not hot news; move along, folks.
And anyway, Vecchio’s weirder.
You can take a boy out of the Mob, but you can’t take the Mob out of the boy.
And right now, that sentence has disturbing connotations that Ray doesn’t really want to think about. But he does…
And just as he imagines the Bookman bent over the board-table, the paper of his numbers games scattered under his bare chest, trying not to come over them as mobster after mobster take his ass made soft with buttermilk cocktails; just then, Vecchio fades into the snow of Ray’s vision and takes his mouth in a kiss.
That’s the only word Ray’s got for it, but it’s hard and savage and full of resentment and something that might be love.
And that something’s the best thing that Ray’s got right now.
Ray’s finally remembered the way that curly bit behind the ears goes, somewhere between potential asphyxiation and the ache in his dick, he can finally see through the snow into those dark eyes.
And Vecchio? Is greatness, Ray doesn’t want him to move ever again, doesn’t want anything to change ever again, everything is perfect. The ache in his arms, his dick screaming for some release, the way Vecchio is holding his head so damn tight that the spikes of his hair feel like they’re trying to come themselves. Ray doesn’t know how that would work but his brain is otherwise occupied with sub-verbal thoughts and the niggling idea that it would be perfecter if he just had something up his…
…ass and fuck, he has, and it’s teasing at the perfect spot, and he leans back a bit, Vecchio not letting go of his face for fucking anything.
Maybe the mob had big ponds full of super sucky lampreys in their offices and people who dissed the Bookman got eaten or something, but really, Ray’s not thinking about that at all.
Not thinking about anything at all, except how everything’s snowing out even though he has his glasses on, and his lungs are kind of burning, but he doesn’t really care.
And anyway, for reasons not to be explored at this juncture, Ray and Vecchio are dead, pining for the fjords, pushing up daisies, after an unfortunate incident involving a ton of herring and a very suspicious importer. The importer was suspicious of them, not they were suspicious of the importer or anything; they were suspicious of somebody else.
For further reasons not to be explored at any juncture whatsoever, because they were disturbing and kinky and involved them fucking each other after both fucking the other two people who made up their little universe… Okay, so Ray didn’t know whether Fraser and Vecchio fucked, never discussed it with either of them, it was too sharp and awkward and Ray never wants to be a substitute for anybody.
Which might explain why he kept on talking about Stella so much. He wanted to get across to Fraser that they might both be pernickety perfect-haired super smart sirens, but they were as different as chalk and cheese, baseball and ice-hockey, and many other different things that Ray can’t really name at this juncture, being the one on the receiving end of what Fraser would call erotic asphyxiation and Ray calls fucking hot.
Of course, that totally screwed with the balance of the relationship, which might explain that Ray was back in the Windy City before you could say inukshuk. Ray knew things were getting bad, so he got out.
Sane thing to do really.
Ray hasn’t really talked about it, to Vecchio, to Stella still in Florida and wiping the floor with the losers they call attorneys out there, or Fraser still writing those terribly earnest letters from Runmukaluk that Ray had read until they fell to bits, trying to find some coded message in the stories about walruses and foetal alcohol syndrome. Please come back, and I’ll fuck you so hard that your legs will be igloo shaped, thank you kindly. Except it was never there, Ray went cross-eyed looking for it, and then passed out on the sofa courtesy of Mister Vodka dreaming dreams of Fraser inventing a way to fuck on a dogsled as well as off it. The plan involved airlocks in their snowsuits. It was fun, and Dief watched and Ray didn’t even fucking care.
Was almost worthy dying for in a big pile of suffocating, crushy, smelly fish-product-based death. And now, Ray’s thinking about suffocating and his brain and his body are finally singing the same song, and it’s that all time classic, “Argh! I need some air! I have lungs and bronchioles and they aren’t getting any!” And Ray can’t pull back any further and Vecchio seems to have surgically attached himself and plain isn’t quick on the uptake, because his brain is exactly where Ray’s brain was five seconds ago. Okay, not exactly, because that would be freaky and there’s no way Vecchio’s brain lives in Ray’s penis, even if the fucking thing has a mind of its own. You get the idea though, don’t you, unless you live under a rock fifty miles out from Runmukluk.
And Ray can feel a draft and thinks it’s like dying.
Like those last moments when nothing is real at all.
Like those last moments when Ray thought that Fraser loved and would love him forever.
Though now, Ray knows, that forever is never ever real, like the draft across his back.
And Fraser’s voice as he steps into the room, stomping snow off his boots, which sound like his proper snow boots not the granny boots he wore all lick spit and shine in Chicago. And Ray knows none of this is real, and the words don’t make sense any more because it’s like dreaming.
Ray’s heard a lot of things about death being like a dream, from Hamlet to the song he was playing in the Goat before he took it in for a service, the day before he took a ride down to the docks with Vecchio and had an interesting on head collision with a bunch of fish.
The words, mantra, whatever, “Ray, Ray, Ray,” are almost washed out by the waves Ray can hear in his ears, “Ray, please, stop, you’re hurting him, he needs to breathe,” that means nothing at all, Ray is far away, sailing on the Beaufort sea.
He’s like a ship in a bottle, watch him sail, sail forever and never reach harbour.
It feels more like dying and less like it did then, on the docks, wondering sharply where the light had gone and a rush of pressure and then, snow.
The snow’s clearing from Ray’s vision now. And he finds himself in Fraser’s arms, held against that much patched coat of his, the one made of things that once swam in the Beaufort sea. Ray hasn’t got his glasses, now; perhaps Fraser has taken them, maybe Ray just stopped thinking about them, perhaps Ray just doesn’t want them now, content with the smell of old fur and the feeling, the sensation, the everything of being held so tight.
He almost doesn’t hear Fraser’s voice, suddenly strained and curious, “Oh dear, it was the closet in my office, wasn’t it?”
And that makes no more sense than anything else now, because Ray is safe within a dream, and maybe Vecchio is too.