If youíd told me last week that Fraser was going to lose his voice, Iíd have just spun round and said, ďWell, yeah, silence is golden.Ē
I mean itís not as if you can ever get him to shut up. Iím normally up to my ass in Inuit stories and useful information about Canadian Impressionism or how to catch a Caribou with only a piece of twine and a toque. Sure, it could be halfway interesting, but normally I donít want to hear about any of these things when weíre staking out some illegal Llama smuggling operation, not if I want to stay alive at any rate. Those Columbian Llama Barons are mean, and they have really good hearing. Must be all that fresh air up in the Andes, like Canada but in the opposite direction. And all these badass smugglers have, like, hunting rifles, just in case those Llamas are rabid or something, and all I have is a mental Mountie, a ballistic wolf, and a gun in the hands of a cop who canít shoot straight minus glasses. And where are my glasses? In the wolf-basket. The wolfís not just a florist, heís a freaking optometrist.
But now, Fraser canít talk and itís driving me nuts. How nuts? I havenít been this nuts since the great peanut heist. What do you mean you never heard about the great peanut robbery? It was the duck boysí finest hour. All I can say is never offer a cop from the 2-7 nuts. The least that could happen is that you end up in the freaking nuthouse, and from what Vecchioís files say, that is so not a good place to be. Unless, of course, you have a Mountie, who can cut you out of a rubber room with his hat.
And if this silence thing is driving me nuts, god only knows what itís doing to him.
The thing is, it ainít just Fraser, itís the whole freaking consulate. All three of them.
Sure, with Turnbull thatís a small mercy. No more conversations about curling or the divine beauty of her majesty the Queen Ė just his handy little flashcards, which are cute if clearly the product of a disturbed mind. Letís see thereís the one with the maple leaf and a big tall tower, thereís the one that says ďNo, I donít sing Ďcoo looí, ask again and I will show you my curling memorabiliaĒ (so, Turnbullís more self aware than I thought, maybe he just takes a perverse joy in boring the pants off folks), and finally there is that classic, a quite good picture of Dudley-Do-Right with a big fat cross through it. Clearly a lot of thought and effort has gone into those.
But Thatcher, sheís another matter entirely. Iíve seen the memos sheís been sending Fraser Ė via Turnbull, thatís how icy sheís got Ė she was saying, insinuating (a Fraser word, Iím compensating), that it was the tea Fraser bought that did it. Yeah, right. I think the Ice Queenís brain has finally frozen.
ďI really think they ought to get one of those handwriting/personality analysis people into the Consulate.Ē
Graphologists, Ray, They are called graphologists.
ďYeah, thanks, Fraser. Quick on the pen there. See hereís my case in point, not at all like the Ice Queen, all spiky and aggressive, or all limp like Turnbull.Ē
There are times when I think that the application of that appellation to my senior officer is deeply inappropriate. I think youíre referring to the lack of definition in the formation of RenfieldísÖ
ďFucking well everything, Fraser. Itís a wriggly line with the odd dot on top. And youíre not objecting to me calling her the Ice Queen now, are you? Youíre mad as I am. The Mountie with the magic tongue would know if his tea was contaminated with anything.Ē
Thatís very flattering, Ray. But I still canít talk.
ďYeah, donít think Iím not making the most of that. Donít look at me like that, Fraser, Iím just fooling. Back to the programme, unlike the other two reprobates working on approximately 300 thousand cubic feet of Canadian soil, Fraser has readable writing, what it says, though, is another matter.Ē
Really, Ray, what do I say?
ďItís so old fashioned, what with all the loops and shit, itís practically prehistoric.Ē
If my writing were prehistoric, Ray, Iíd be painting pictures of buffalo on cave walls.
ďI donít mean that! Itís kinda Victorian, starchy, repressed.Ē
The words were out before I could think and now Fraserís sulking, heís just retreated inside himself and heís blanking me out. Somehow, that he canít talk just makes it a hundred thousand times worse. I feel like Iíve been punched in the gut, and my best friend hasnít just called me as a repressed Victorian guy, if I was him, Iíd seriously consider trading the idiot best friend.
Heck, if I was Fraser, Iíd kick the idiot best friend in the head.
But then I wouldnít be mister repressed Victorian guy with the handwriting that speaks of restraint and desperate control. That and it must be really hard to kick somebody in the head if youíre wearing the pumpkin pants.
Somehow I talked forensics into checking out the water supply over at Little Canada. I told them that it took out our freaking language specialist and Canadian liaison officer, and boy, those Canadians can be hard to liaise with. Somehow I kept a straight face through that little speech; me liaising with Fraser. I wish.
Too right it wasnít the tea; there was some kind of microbe colony living in the pipe work. That stuff is out of the freaking ark. I wonder if the Ice Queen is skimming off the maintenance budget or Turnbullís spending it all on deluxe curling kettles. They probably have pink diamond encrusted handles, will do some detection work on that front.
I stuck my head into the mortuary to ask Mort, Mr Cheerful Morbidity himself, about the micro-whatsit. Heck, heís the only medical person I know.
I nearly chickened out though when I found him munching on what looked like some baby wieners whilst going through an entire jar of pickled and detached fingers. And yeah, he was doing the whole opera thing. With his mouth full of pseudo wiener. ďAh, Detective Vecchio, what can I do for you this fine morn? Would you like one? Theyíre chicken!Ē
Then my stomach decided it was leaving the room and whether I was leaving the room with it was my own choice to make.
So, Mort and the mortuary freak me out. And not good freak, like my freak, the Mountie, who is currently heading up the freakometer. I mean, what are the chances that the mortuary guy would be called Mort? Or maybe he just changed his name. All he needs now is tomb of Dracula music and heís made. Maybe itís a bit like those ďcomicĒ gravediggers in Shakespeare. Heh, Iím not a total idiot, Fraser isnít the only guy who knows the greats of English Literature. Shakespeare, Dickens, Stan Lee; I know them all.
Fraser, library boy, where is he? I canít leave him in the wilds of Chicago, unable to speak for himself, unable to snark his way out of any situation. Sure itís subtle, but I know snark when I hear it, stealth-snark thatís it, it sneaks under radar and is all sharp angles and darkness, but it canít hide from me. So what do I have, that everyone else doesnít? Snardar sounds so sucky, beyond-the-valley-of-suck sucky. Doesnít work like Gaydar, say, that sounds great, but I donít think mine works all that well. I mean I keep getting these weird signals round him, and I donít have any idea what they mean, Ďcause since when did I read the handbook to anything? No, ďCanadian Impressionism For DummiesĒ does not count. No, itís not the handbook to the Mountie. Look, Impressionism is simple; what they saw, you get. The Mountie isnít simple what you see, you donít get, especially if you have a blind spot for sarcasm like most people round here. Or was it irony? See thatís why I prefer ďsnarkĒ, it leaves linguini, linguistic analysis aside and goes to the heart of the matter. The smile means nothing, the Mountie is probably dreaming of feeding you to a friendly neighbourhood Polar Bear and writing it off as a tragic accident that happened to some poor ignorant Yank who was foolish enough to wear white in Bear-season, and is surely on his way to a better place, like the bearís small intestine.
Oh Jesus, thereís Frannie taking advantage of my Mountie while heís all incapacitated. Iím trying real hard to concentrate on Frannie here, rather than that I just called Fraser ďMy MountieĒ. I do not own Benton Fraser RCMP, I need to write that on a blackboard a few dozen times. Heís rubbing his eyebrow, make that a few hundred. Fraser is his own Mountie, realise that, Ray. Doubt Frannie realises that, or that Fraser canít talk, or that sure as polar bears donít eat penguins, Fraser is not interested.
Actually, what does interest Fraser? And I donít mean like Tim Hortons, the Dudley-Do-Right hate club, and cooking with Caribou. I know exactly what I mean. And looking at Fraser point at me and give a genuine smile that so knocks the crap out of the one that he usually wears, I realise he knows exactly what interests him.
Itís me. Oh fuck. Itís me.
Sure, everythingís greatness. Really. Honest. Told Frannie that Fraser was staying at mine Ďcause there are no water borne contagions there and I do a mean macaroni and cheese. Used a donut on a stick to lure the wolf, who can still howl, dammit, from under Dueyís desk, where he was munching on god knows what. Got a little note from Fraser that said, uh:
the amount of snack foodstuffs that the good detective consumes probably attracts mice, and I could confirm it if only I could lick the desk, since mice are basically incontinent and urinate everywhere.
Told freaky Mountie that licking mouse piss was an unnatural and perverted desire and that I had a natural and totally not perverted desire, that wouldnít get sorted unless he got into the goat fast. Considered doing pizza, rethought it, would be doing Mountie instead, and pineapple only has so many attractions. Remind self that Iím going to tell every pizzeria in town that Vecchio likes pineapple on his pizza but canít admit it for fear of being taken in by the Mafiosa for unitalian activities. Drive through five red lights. Get stopped by traffic, show badge and say I have an urgent mission. Yeah, heís in the seat next to me and likes licking things. Think about licking. Decide I have to drive more slowly because I canít frick- fucking concentrate. Think about licking and new uses for pineapple rings, sticky sticky uses. Finally reach the apartment minus road crashes and plus Mountie and deaf half-wolf, thank God. God might hate gays, but right now I freaking love him.
Fraser pulls his notebook out of the Sam Browne, how he does that Iíll never know, itís like some Mountie utility belt, and looks at me. He hasnít opened it yet, or got the cap off his pen, heís waiting, isnít he? Waiting for me to say something. So I do, ďnah, Fraser, nice gesture, but thatís an absolute passion killerĒ
So what do I do? Fraserís still incommunicado. He might believe that actions speak louder than words, that his father being a good Mountie was better than a single fucking ďI love you, sonĒ, which makes me ask myself what I am doing with somebody more fucked up than me, besides planning on, yeah, fucking. But, thing is, I donít. If Fraser canít talk, canít make a sound at all, how am I meant to know if Iím doing things right? Itís not as if he can say ďFuck me kindly, RayĒ. Okay so Iíve fantasised about getting him, but that doesnít make me a sick son of a bitch, hey everyoneís doing it, so heís my partner, look even if Schwarzenegger was Fraserís partner, even then he would be thinking about him naked and sweaty and the worldís most polite fuck. The only person who ainít doing it is Vecchio, Ďcause from what I know of the manÖ letís just say I think itís impossible, okay?
And then I look on the bright side, something hard to do when youíre hurtling to the ground with only a dumpster full of fish heads to break your fall, but easy when you know youíre going to lay or get laid with a sexy Mountie. Hey, Sexy Mountie, S and M, okay maybe I shouldnít go there, but there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong about lusting over your buddy, when he lusts right back at you, just more politely and quietly. And course, I said that actions speak louder than words (though heís got a load of those too) for Benton buddy here. So all I do is stop him prevaricating, procrastinating or any other type of ating. Actually I can think of a real good type of ating, possibly with pineapple, but thatís putting the sledge in front of the Dief, and I havenít got that far yet. Christ, I need to remind my dick that I havenít got that far yet, that or get that far, fast. Guess which I prefer.
So yeah, procrastination, First Nation, and every other type of nation stops now. Like this.
I just back him up against the door (fuck the neighbours, Iím fucking the Mountie Ėhopefully), and grab his head with my hands, tangle my fingers in his hair, and blammo, kiss him like heís examiner of the advanced buddy breathing class. And his mouth is hot and open against mine, and his lips are so fricking soft, girl soft almost, is that lip balm I can taste behind the pemmican and the bark tea?
The warm hands making their way under my snazziest bowling shirt and moving slowly around my spine and pulling me in close, now thatís not too repressed, maybe heís learning from me, maybe heís loosening up. And then one of those hands goes walkies (maybe not the best choice of word, makes me think of Dief and unsexy licking) round to my front and down, and oh fuck, not repressed at all. Ghosts his hand down the front of my shorts, really not repressed, and I push hard against him, trying to suck his mouth to death before I go all happy on him. And then that hard, dry, hot and cold hand takes the plunge and squeezes and itís sayonara brain cells.
Waking up to the first light of dawn as it creeps across the city like something poetic, now thatís romantic. Waking up to a beautiful, awake, and very horny Mountie, who just has to open his damn mouth, thatís sexy. I just didnít expect him to use it like this.
ďOh Ray, I trust you found our amatory escapades as enjoyable and satisfactory as I did. I do hope that you reciprocate my feelings in this matter andÖĒ
I open my mouth to say that I love him too, and how Iím now going to make all that dictionary talk go away, and nothing. Nothing comes out. And my throat feels all kinda scratchy. And are those my tonsils? I thought they were a pair of curling kettles, the pink diamante ones that Turnbullís pushed down my throat for safekeeping until the auditors go.
Oh crap. I so shouldnít have chickened out on my little talk with Mort. I should have checked that the water-borne strephacockathingy bacteria werenít communicable. Though really, would my favourite dead people and spare limbs guy tell me that it could only be transmitted orally? More to the point, would he tell Welsh?