Due South slash
fanfic by joandarck
Length: About 4,500 words.
Rating: R (barely.) Implied sex, roughhousing, sock suspenders.
at my livejournal
You Can't Take That Away From Me
"Hold your fire! Hold your fire! Ray! It's me!"
The thin figure leaned around the doorway. "You don't say!" A bullet
ricocheted off the wall near Fraser's shoulder.
"See, he doesn't remember you either. Come on! Get down!" Huey and
Dewey gestured frantically from behind the upturned table they were
using as a barricade. Welsh was checking his watch. "He shot at you fer
Fraser didn't take his eyes off the other end of the hall. "He wasn't
trying to hit me."
Dewey stopped tugging at him. Huey was mostly occupied trying to keep
all his bulk behind the table. "How do you know?"
"He's wearing his glasses. Ray! Listen to me! It's your friend, Benton
Fraser. I know you're probably very confused right now..."
The potted plant exploded on the sideboard under his elbow.
"Actually I think I'm real in touch with my feelings right now. I feel
like I'm a good guy, you're a bad guy, and if you stick one foot past
that table I'm gonna nail you in the head."
"Can he do that from here?" Dewey wanted to know. Welsh nodded grimly.
"Sharpshooter. Decorated, believe it or not."
"And if it turns out I'm just very confused about my head shot
capabilities – you're four feet wide and bright red. So chew on
Fraser stayed behind the waist-high barricade, hands held steady in the
air. "Believe me, no one is trying to hurt you. I just want to talk."
"Yeah? And why do I want to listen?"
A tinge of irritation crept into Fraser's mellow voice. "Just consider
it sensibly, Ray. You have no food, no water, a limited supply of
ammunition. How do you imagine you're going to resolve this situation?"
Dewey rolled his eyes. "Do you believe this guy? Best friend shoots at
him, he sounds like my aunt Trixie arguing bridge scores. Is he
"No," Welsh said shortly. "And shut up."
"Oh, I got, uh, an end game worked out, don't you worry. I'd tell you
what it is but–" Ray flashed his teeth and shrugged. "You
wouldn't like it."
Welsh tapped Huey's shoulder. "Find out what's in that office he could
use: fuse box, volatile chemicals..." Huey nodded and pulled out his
"Don't worry. He's bluffing." Fraser took a step forward, raising his
voice again. "You're not going to shoot me."
"How do you know?"
"Because underneath, you're not a violent man. And because I only...
want... to talk."
The snake-charmer sincerity finally had its effect. Ray lowered the
gun, running a hand through his flattened hair. "All right, fine.
Whatever. JUST YOU." Now he had it trained at the top of the barricade,
where there'd been some unwise movement. "The rest of you dirtballs
STAY THERE. Oh, and no heat. Drop what you got."
"I'm not carrying a weapon."
"Yeah, right. Take the coat off."
Fraser adjudged that fair, nodded, and efficiently shucked his tunic
and accoutrements. He handed them down to Huey, who pushed them across
the floor to the nurses congregating in the doorway.
"Ditch the suspenders, too." Fraser raised his eyebrows, but unsnapped
the black braces and draped them over the side of the table. "Shirt's
tight but... you could have a knife. Okay. Lose it."
"Take off my shirt?"
"Do you wanna talk or not?"
Fraser removed his shirt, folded it and handed it down. He started to
step out of cover.
"Wait! Wait! Oh, god." Ray was – laughing. He slumped against the
door frame and waved Fraser back. "Wait. Okay. That was good times, but
you gotta take the hat off now. I need my hand steady."
Fraser was frowning as he turned to obey the order. He caught Huey's
eye and muttered, "Is there something wrong with my appearance?"
Huey started. "No. Nope. Nothing's wrong."
"You, uh, look good, Fraser," Welsh soothed.
"Yeah, if you're one of the Village People. Ow!"
Welsh reached up. "Let me take the hat."
There was something they weren't telling him. Fraser smoothed the back
of his head anxiously. Well, now wasn't the time for vanity. He
straightened up and moved out from behind the barricade.
"Jesus Pete! You're kidding me!" Ray wiped his eyes. "Take off the
clown pants. Oh, this is too much."
"Take off – my pants."
"Come on, you could have juggling pins in there. You could have another
"I really would rather not remove my trousers."
"And I really would rather you did. And who's more important here?
Let's check. Me."
"Just take 'em off, Fraser," Welsh sighed.
"Very well." Fraser dropped to the floor to start removing his
boots. "The sooner this..." He grumbled inaudibly.
Soon pants and shirt were stacked neatly beside the boots with the
Stetson on top, and Fraser rose up again in his pristine white boxers.
Fluorescent lights glinted off his pale pink back. From the waiting
room behind them came the unmistakeable click-whirr of a camera.
"Who – damn it!" It was no good: there were too many nurses and
they all looked innocent.
Welsh groaned. "Dewey, find out which one it was, get the film." He
held him back and added low in his ear, "We don't want it in the papers
Dewey scooted out of the line of fire, got up, and started in on the
nurses. He had about as much luck with them as he usually did.
Decidedly peeved now, Fraser came around the side of the table and
advanced down the hall. At least no one had made him remove his socks:
he still had some dignity. Ray waited for him, retreating into the room
beyond when he got close and motioning for him to shut the door. He was
wearing an intern's scrubs, a little too big, and his own sports coat
on top, which explained the glasses.
The ordeal had left him even thinner than usual, dark hollows under his
eyes, and his hair was rumpled with sweat. He'd pinned his badge onto
the scrub shirt, which Fraser found unexpectedly touching.
"You see that cabinet? Yeah, the big one."
Hoping it held files and not something breakable like medicine, Fraser
followed orders, wrestling the heavy metal object across to block the
"Okay. Now turn and face the wall. What 'hm,' did I ask you to 'hm'?
No, I said up against the wall."
Well, this was novel. He'd seen Ray perform this procedure many times,
of course, usually on fully clothed subjects, but... familiar hands
checked for an ankle holster, skimmed up the outsides of his boxers,
then the insides. Maybe skimmed wasn't quite the word.
"What's the matter, my hands cold?"
Fraser gazed down the wall, not seeing it. "-No."
"Okay, you're clean." Ray gave him a friendly slap and moved away.
"Here, put this on." He tossed over a hospital gown. "Now let's hear
In truth, Ray's hands had been warm, and as forceful and deft at the
task as he had imagined they must – not imagined, that implied
that he'd been thinking about it, which he – Fraser shrugged
rapidly into the pale blue apron. It wasn't much, but at least it
covered his nipples.
"Yes. The situation. Now listen carefully, please. Your name is Stanley
Ray Kowalski, you go by Ray. You're a detective. Currently undercover
as Ray Vecchio, also a detective, also undercover. I am Constable
Benton Fraser, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, your friend and partner.
I first came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of my father, but
that's simply not important right now compared to the fact that you
have been held prisoner in this hospital for several days and kept
subdued through the use of, among other things, mind-altering
medication. You are disoriented, paranoid, and suffering from some form
"It's a blur, yep," Ray said cheerfully. "Aside from that, is this a
good time to say how much of that I don't believe? Because all of it."
"I know it sounds unlikely, but it really is true. During the course of
a routine physical, you became aware of illicit activities taking place
on the premises and attempted to interfere, but were overpowered before
you could summon aid. Luckily, one of your bullets exited an open
window and pierced a child's red balloon, which – well." Fraser
stopped gesturing, modestly eliding several days of frantic
investigation, urban orienteering, and dumb luck. "Suffice it to say
it's a good thing Diefenbaker is familiar with the taste of your hair
"Sure, that sounds reasonable." Ray's eyes were tracking him from toes
to head and back.
Gown. Nipples. Covered. Good. "We entered the building two hours ago
and encountered some resistance, easily dealt with, and seized some
files. It seems it all hinges on the sale of some tainted blood packs
from a nearby prison, rather an amateur racket, hence your continued
survival. The leaders panicked and couldn't agree on what to do with
you. At any rate, all involved are in custody or will be shortly, and
you are quite safe. We'll bring you to a trustworthy doctor as soon as
we can; in the meanwhile I've been sent in to ask you to stop firing at
"Uh-huh." Ray leaned against the desk and patted his jacket. "And it's
nothing to do with anyone wanting to get their hands on this evidence I
got here, because it's only enough to shut down the whole lousy
Interesting. "A tight case is always preferable, of course, but we have
more than enough to convict as it is."
"So I guess you're not trying to get the evidence."
"And they're not waiting out there to pile on me and jab a needle in my
Ray studied him some more, eyes gold and feral.
"You're a good-looking guy," he said gently.
"I- I- thank you. As are you."
"Yeah, I can see that." Ray jerked his shoulder at the big mirror by
the door. "I don't know why I don't just stay home all day and kiss
myself. But you, you're like, unreal."
Fraser opened his mouth and closed it again. He had a strange sinking
"That why they sent you?" Ray pushed off the desk and started to circle
him. "Because I go for that?"
"Oh dear." Fraser turned with him, trying to get through to him with
his eyes. "Ray, I am not working for the miscreants. I am your friend
and partner. You've been rescued and I simply want to get you medical
attention. And as a side note, you were married for much of your adult
"I'm not now?"
"Okay then." Ray brushed that off. Unworthy thought, but Fraser was
glad to be spared the irritating hangdog expression that talk of Stella
usually induced. "Partners like how? Cop partners? If we're partners,
show me a roster."
"Oh, I'm afraid – that is, our partnership has no official
standing with either the local law enforcement agencies or the Canadian
consulate. It's just something that we... do."
"Uh-huh." Ray looked like he understood, but Fraser had an uneasy sense
that he didn't. "Okay, we'll play it your way. Hit me."
"How many–! Ray, as I keep telling you, I have no desire to hit
you, and what's more, you may wish to consider therapy of some
Ray waved him silent. "I mean lay one on me. Do what you came for. Give
me the sugar." He crooked his fingers, come on, come on.
Fraser gawped at him, pulled himself together. "I assure you. We are
partners, we are friends, we are not, physically, involved."
Ray came towards him. "Yeah? That's not what my gut tells me." He
cocked his head and grinned like a shark. "Or maybe that's not my gut."
Fraser swallowed and closed his eyes.
"Pretty quiet in there, sir."
"That's good. That means Kowalski hasn't shot him yet."
"He could have strangled him," Huey said thoughtfully. Welsh glared.
"Nah, nah, are you kidding?" Dewey smacked his partner's arm. "Kowalski
loves that guy, you know that. All the Mountie's gotta do
sweet-talk him a little, and it's kiss and make up in no time." Welsh
glared at him too. "What? That's how it always goes down with those
"Sir, we've rounded up the last of the orderlies. We're taking them to
the station now."
No need to glare at the rookie. "Good. We can start sending people
home, then. Oh, and Thompson – search all the nurses."
"What are we looking for?"
"Film of the –"
"Film. Just film."
"Yes, sir." Thompson scurried off.
"You hear something?" Dewey was looking around.
"Like a kid crying."
Welsh shook his head and looked back at the closed door at the end of
the hall. "The maternity ward's in a different wing."
"I'm telling ya, I heard it. My sister has enough kids I know what it
sounds like. Never stops, day or night."
"Must run in the family."
"What's that, sir?"
Huey put a hand on Dewey's arm and guided him a few steps. "Come on,
let's get in position."
"...your baby blues and I'll just roll over and hand you the disk, huh?
How dumb do you think I am? How dumb? Oh I'm sorry, does this hurt?"
"Yes," Fraser said into the desktop, a bit strangled.
"That's too bad. I guess crude intimidation tactics are not my forte.
But while we're here maybe you could take this time to think twice
about who you're screwing with."
"I'm not screwing with you, Ray," Fraser repeated indistinctly. "I'm
trying to help you."
"Yeah, help me into a ditch by the interstate." Ray eased up on his
arm, but kept the gun pressed to his back. Fraser felt the muzzle nudge
under the hem of his hospital gown, which had slid to the sides. He
shifted his chest uncomfortably on the desk. There was a pause. "That's
uh... quite a scar you got there."
"They weren't able to remove the bullet."
"You do this kind of thing a lot, huh?"
There was a draft on the back of his legs. "Not exactly like this, no."
"Hang on a sec." Ray left him entirely and began to pace around the
room, scratching the back of his head with the gun. "It occurs to me I
may have gotten my wires crossed here, 'cause you're not trying real
hard to seduce me, are you."
"No, Ray." Fraser watched him walk in and out of his field of vision.
"Okay, so, forget that. No hard feelings?"
"Great. So if that's not it-"
"May I get up now?" Fraser started to lift his head.
A blur of angry, wiry muscle slammed him back down into the desk, the
cold metal of Ray's badge pressing his skin, the hand on his head
resolving to individual fingers, parting his hair. The gun ground
painfully against his spine.
"You could... have just... said no."
"-then why'd they send you in here, huh? You're a distraction. That's
it, they're getting ready to do something out there. Send in the Grade
A Canadian beefsteak, catch me with my tongue hanging out. What are
they up to? Spill it." The gun dragged down along his vertebrae.
It was highly uncomfortable. He couldn't move, could barely think. It
was almost electric, the pressure on his lungs, the adrenaline rush
that went straight to – oh no. No, please. Not here. Not now.
"Look, you think you're safe with them? You think whatever they're
doing's only going to hurt me?" Ray's voice changed, lost its
belligerence. "Fraser, you seem like a decent kinda guy. I don't know
why, you just do. You don't owe those slimebags anything. Do you know
the kind of racket they're running here?"
About to explain it to him again, Fraser was struck by a sudden
thought. "Do you?" he asked slowly, still deeply distracted.
"Maybe... maybe, maybe not. I'm kinda confused about stuff. But I know
it stinks a mile high. And I know I got the evidence right here, and
we've got to get it out of the building."
And Ray was across the room pulling up the window, and Fraser was free.
"Come on, let's go. Second story. Think we can jump it?"
"Come on. You can get up now, it's okay."
"I'd... rather not."
"You really go for getting pushed around, don't ya?"
"Studies have shown that taking a non-threatening posture can aid in
"Congratulations, you got a really non-threatening butt. Now get up and
let's go. Jump time. Oh, you're gonna get hurt, all skin like that, you
better wear my jacket."
"Hello, hostage situation, not a democracy?" Ray indicated that he had
reached his limits of exasperation with the sound of a firearm's hammer
cocking. "You gotta argue every step of the way? Get up, turn around,
take the freakin' jacket!"
Mustering every mental technique he knew, including biofeedback,
negative visualization, the memory of a long-ago bout of hypothermia,
and a sincere prayer that the ground open and swallow him, Fraser did
as he was instructed.
Ray lowered his gun. "Holy Moses."
Fraser stared into the middle distance. Unfortunately, that included
the mirror. The man who looked back at him was pale-faced with distress
and still had a sizable disturbance to the front of his thin cotton
"Where did... Okay. You cannot just jump out a window like that."
He looked hypnotised. So did Ray.
"Was that - do you want - hell." The room was getting smaller. Ray
dragged a hand across his mouth. "I don't, I don't mean to get all
personal with you here, but... could I?"
Given that the gun seemed to have been forgotten, Fraser had a number
of defensive options open to him at this point, most of which would
probably have allowed him to regain control of the situation. None of
them included sinking back against the edge of the desk and choking, "I
thought this wasn't a democracy."
The man in the mirror couldn't explain it either.
It wasn't until Ray's dampened lips were about to close around him that
Fraser remembered that the window was open and Detectives Huey and
Dewey and Lieutenant Welsh were nearby in the hall, quite possibly just
on the other side of the door. At that point it was too late and all he
could do was bury his mouth in his arm and try – not – to
"Listen and attend, Thompson, because I think this is important. Now.
This woman works in the X-ray department. She's carrying X-ray film. Do
you see something wrong with this picture?"
"No, sir. Neither do I. You can go, ma'am." Sometimes Welsh wondered
why they didn't just hand parts of Chicago over to the criminal element
on a platter. It would be easier. "What about this young lady?"
"She works in the psychiatric ward, sir."
"And what kind of film is she carrying?"
"Here, take a look, sir."
Welsh thumbed through them, then looked up slowly. "Never thought I'd
say this, but these are very interesting."
The nurse sniffed. "It's perfectly normal to carry baby pictures."
"Four hundred of them?"
She gave him a hard smile. "I've got a large family."
"That's nice. I like that. Huey! Dewey!" No response. His second-best
detective team, having moved the sideboard, were busy prying a duct
cover out of the wall.
"Hey, somebody get me a screwdriver."
"While you're at it, get me a martini!"
A very large platter, engraved 'With love from my blood pressure,
"Gentlemen? Any reason you feel moved to investigate the ventilation
system at this particular juncture?"
"I'm telling you, sir, it sounded just like–"
A baby crying.
Or several of them, echoing mournfully in the vent.
After a long metallic scraping noise, the door to the far room burst
open, and Kowalski lurched out. He looked like hell. "You've gotta stop
them! They're taking them out of state!"
The Mountie followed behind him, like the star of some loony-tunes
burlesque show in his sock suspenders, hospital gown and too-small
sports coat. It was an embarrassment just to be near the guy. On the
other hand, along with the jacket he'd managed to get Kowalski's
glasses and gun, so things could be worse.
"Ow!" The psych nurse kicked Thompson in the shins and tried to bolt
for it. Thompson showed unexpected skills in preventing this, and it
turned into a struggle. Kowalski saw her and pointed violently. He
looked like he would have tried biting.
"She's in on it! The whole department's in on it. The whole floor. And
the maternity people."
Welsh looked at Fraser; Fraser nodded discreetly. "All right, book
her." He let Thompson deal with that and sauntered over. "Although,
when you got a minute, would you mind telling me what for? It looks so
good on the forms."
That got him bright-eyed lecture Mountie. Chipper and looking a hell of
a lot healthier than Kowalski. Course, he hadn't been shot full of
drugs. "Apparently, the tainted blood cover-up we encountered was itself
a cover for a much more elaborate black market baby-smuggling
operation. The perpetrators of which made several errors in judgment,
the greatest perhaps being putting details of their entire operation on
a floppy disk."
"You don't say. Huey, Dewey... thank you." They were already spreading
the word on the new set of perps. Good men. He didn't want to get ahead
of himself, but this could possibly turn out to have been a good day.
"I dunno," the remaining detective said, swaying on his feet. "A cover
for a cover? Sounds kinda hinky."
Welsh stabbed a finger at him. "Live it, love it, Vecchio."
Kowalski looked confused. Not an attractive look. "Evidence. You need
"It's all right, Ray. I've got it."
He craned around to look at the Mountie, all pathetic-like. "Oh. So, I
guess I trust you now?"
Fraser smiled at him. "You must have." He patted one of the pockets
significantly. "You gave me your jacket."
"Oh, that's good." His eyes rolled up in his head and he fainted. Of
course, Fraser caught him.
"Lieutenant?" Fraser was trying to signal him with his eyebrows. "Would
you be so kind as to – thank you. I think you'll find that disk
is very useful in locating the hidden holding area for the children and
identifying the perpetrators. I'd assist but Ray is in need of medical
"Hey, lucky we're in a hospital," Dewey said. "What, what!"
(And it was in a hospital that Ray woke the next day, just as he had
every day for a week. He hated this. The food, the smell, the needles,
the knowing he was going to get shot any minute. He faked
unconsciousness for a while before starting to notice some of the
differences in his situation.
He had an IV in his arm. Ouch. He wasn't strapped down. Cool. He was
alone. Alone. Really? He lifted his head. Definitely, alone.
Ray let his head fall back on the pillow and started to remember.)
It took two days before Fraser could make himself visit. He had spent
the time helping with the difficult task of tending and sorting the
infants and returning them to their correct legal guardians, at which
he believed they had been mostly successful. He told himself that he
was acting for Ray in this during his recovery, which excuse failed to
fool Diefenbaker, let alone his own conscience.
Finally he was there in the correct corridor, properly remote in his
brown uniform, hair brushed into complete submission. The door to room
315 was open. Ray was dressed and moving around, ready to leave already
although he wasn't due to check out until later that day.
Fraser knocked politely on the door frame. "Hello."
"It's good to see you on your feet again."
"The doctor tells me your condition is much improved."
"Yeah, they rehydrated me, all the drugs are out of my system, now I'm
just supposed to eat a lot of pizza. Where's the wolf?"
"There's a... nurse. It seems they have a rapport." Annoying animal.
Ray swung around on him. "So where've you been, buddy?"
"Skip it. What happened back there?"
After a few false starts, Fraser asked, "How much do you remember?"
"It's fuzzy, but I got notions."
"I see." He put his hands behind his back. "Well, in your distressed
state, you had difficulty telling friend from foe, but ultimately you
produced the vital evidence that allowed Lieutenant Welsh and his
officers to shut down the baby-smuggling ring and arrest the
malfeasants, all of whom have at this point been captured. Currently
the focus is on tracing any earlier activities..."
"Did I hurt anybody?"
Oh, poor Ray. "Property damage only," he assured him. "You were
confused, but still yourself."
"That's what I was afraid of." Ray folded in on himself and looked
away. "Listen to what I'm asking, Fraser. Did I hurt anybody."
Fraser's eyes narrowed. "The drugs they kept you on strongly affected
your memory and judgment. It wouldn't be a'tall surprising if you'd
"Do not try that with me, Fraser. That not-lying lying thing. I could
taste it." He lowered his voice shyly. "When I woke up. I could still
...Ah. Speaking of embarrassing autonomic reactions. Fraser's heartbeat
went on a jagged detour that left him lightheaded and sick.
Ray looked up. Ray's face was burning, his eyes were burning. Fraser
"You let me do it," Ray blurted.
Unable to think of anything to say to that, Fraser turned to go.
"What – did – did I remember that wrong? Did I... Jesus. I
had a gun."
Fraser froze in the doorway and struggled with himself. This was his
chance to escape, but he couldn't leave Ray behind in the fire.
"Don't tell me I made you let me. Please." He heard Ray collapse onto
the bed. "Oh god. I want to die."
Enough was enough. Fraser shut the door with unnecessary force and
strode back to the bed, sitting down in the visitor's chair. He leaned
on his forearms, a bit helplessly. "I'm sorry. You didn't make me. It's
true. I let you, I as much as told you to. I... wanted you to."
It took a while for that to sink in. Ray pulled his head up from his
hands for a tentative sideways glance. "You weren't on drugs," he
"No, I wasn't."
"Then did you kiss me, too? On the stretcher?"
"I'm afraid that really must have been a delusion." He didn't know
which of them sounded more wistful.
"You know..." Ray sat up. His voice shook. "Some guys, if they were
doing something like, driving a flaming car, they'd think it was a good
idea to stop and get out."
"Ray." Fraser stared down at his hands, getting angry. "This is a
terrible idea. Consider our professional working relationship,
prevailing social mores, your present state of health–" and then
he lunged onto the bed and pushed Ray back across the pillows and
kissed him, and took him. Just took him. Well, he was his.