PAIRING: Fraser/Kowalski
SUMMARY: It's a good thing Ray knows what's good for Fraser...
THANKS TO: j_s_cavalcante for her fab beta work. Any still existing errors are mine.
NOTES: Written for the stop_drop_porn. The prompt was restraint

If anyone asks Benton Fraser, he will claim that he shows a large amount of restraint in life. As a child he held himself back for the sake of his grandparents. As a young cadet, he felt inadequate when it came to socializing, hence he kept to himself.

When he came to Chicago, he let it go a little. He pursued the killers of his father, of which he has often spoken, though mostly without saying anything real... he pursued them with such lack of restraint that he had to stay.

He held himself back when Ray Vecchio joked about his Canadian ways. His 'Canadian' politeness.

The restraint is such a large part of him and he considers himself blessed as well as cursed by it. However, in the time since Ray Vecchio went to Las Vegas and his Italian partner suddenly looked and act very non-Italian, he has leaned harder and harder on his ability to control himself.

Ben looks across the diner table at his energetic partner. Yes, he is glad he can hold his emotions and urges at bay, though there are days, or more precisely nights, when he wishes to throw caution to the wolves and let his control break, to take from Ray what he wants, what he needs.

"You okay, Frase?" Ray's voice is low and tinged with a little worry.

Ben looks up to find Ray watching him with an almost scary focus. For a moment he fears that Ray might see through him, then he laughs silently at himself, a laughter full of bitterness. Ray can not possibly see through it, because Ben is cursed with a level of self-control that would make any priest cry with envy.

"Just woolgathering," is what Ben opens his mouth to say, but instead almost foreign words leave his lips before he can stop them. "No, I'm afraid not, Ray."

Ray cocks an eyebrow at that, his stare no less penetrating. He nods and pops the last of his stale fries into his mouth, making a face. "Thought so," he says, leaning back in his seat.

Ben stays still. He never meant to admit that to Ray. He knows that Ray is his equal in stubbornness and that before the night is over, he will have drawn a confession from Ben.

The thought scares him, though it is also exhilarating, almost freeing, even if he has not yet said what is on his mind, what burns in his blood. Just knowing that he will say it makes his body sing, makes his muscles tremble, makes his mouth go dry...

Ray's head snaps up, and there is an unreadable look on his face. Pulling a handful of bills from the pocket of those tight jeans, he throws the money on the table, not bothering to check how much he leaves as a tip. With a tilt of the head he stands, waiting for Ben to find his feet, to come stand next to him, so close that he can feel the heat from Ray's body.

No words are exchanged between them as they leave the diner. There might as well be no one else in Chicago, because Ben is so caught up in holding himself back, forcing himself not to reach out and touch Ray, that he sees nothing around them.

Doubt creeps up on Ben for a moment. He can not help but wonder if perhaps Ray might not after all be interested in the same things that he is. Perhaps he will not be capable of breaking through Ben's restraint. He may not even be willing to do so, to let himself be used for the sake of Ben's sanity. Ben rarely gets what he wants, why should now be any different?

As they walk to the car, Ben's thoughts turn to an icy rock in his stomach. As they take their seats, Ray's hand brushes, deliberately, over Ben's knee, shattering the rock to pieces. Ben closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and feels feverishly glad that Diefenbaker refused to come with them tonight, opting instead to visit the Vecchio's for an elaborate Italian dinner.

There are few things in life he needs less than lupine advice on human ...mating habits. God, he hopes, with hands trembling, that there will be mating involved, because if they are indeed going back to Ray's apartment, he knows his rocklike restraint will shatter like the most expensive crystal.

Ben hardly notices the streets rushing by, he can not even find it in his heart to admonish Ray for his lack of attention to their speed. He knows the faster Ray drives, the sooner they will be in the privacy that only four walls can supply. They will be on their own, with no witnesses to Ben's downfall.

The car is parked and they move up the stairs, Ben paying attention to Ray's muscles moving under the jeans, and he wonders what they will feel like, flexing, under his hands with nothing to keep him from touching, skin to skin.

Inside the apartment, Ray's home with its knick-knacks and familiar scents, Ben stops.

Ray keeps his back to him, walks into the living room, his head perceptively tilted a little to the side, as if searching for Ben. With a cock-sure attitude, he continues walking, entering the bedroom.

Ben feels as if there is no air left at all. His body is burning and his mind seems to be stuck on the image of Ray, in Ray's bedroom. On Ray's bed... possibly naked and wanting. Willingly allowing Ben to take what he needs.

It feels as if he is stuck for a century, but Ben finally manages to coax his feet into moving in the right direction. He feels flushed and off balance, in a way that is completely unfamiliar to him.

He lost his control with Victoria, a woman who was dangerous to him in more ways than one. But this was, Ray. Ray, who smiled at him, laughed with him, got angry with him on occasion. Ray, who wore his heart on his sleeve, who took a bullet for Ben that first day. He risked his life for a stranger and he continued to surprise Ben with every chance he was given.

The biggest surprise, perhaps, is that Ray's wants might run along the same route as Ben's.

Ben stops in the doorway of the bedroom, watching Ray put his gun away, un-strap the holster that is rumpling his t-shirt. Ray still has his back to him as he pulls the t-shirt up and over his head.

Standing still, Ray turns his head a little. He doesn't move a muscle, but he does seem to be waiting...

Ben might kick himself later, because of course Ray is waiting. This courageous man has taken more than a few steps onto what he might perceive as thin ice. But he has taken the steps, showing Ben the way, proving that the ice is more than safe.

Something in Ben finally breaks and he takes a step forward. The first one is unsure, he stumbles, but he regains his grace and walks with unaccustomed self-assurance to stand behind Ray.

Barely hesitating, Ben reaches forward and lets his hands rest lightly on Ray's waist, just above the edge of the jeans. He can feel how Ray takes a quick, surprised breath at the touch.

Ben takes a chance and a step forward, bringing his body flush against Ray's. As if that is all Ray has been waiting for, he leans back, almost melting against Ben.

They fit together in a way that really should not surprise Ben. They have, since day one. That they fit physically as well is a blessed revelation.

Ray's hands come up to rest on top of Ben's. "I see something wrong with this picture, Frase," he says quietly.

Ben nuzzles the back of Ray's head, almost missing the words. "And what is that, Ray?" he finally manages to ask. Ray's scent is intoxicating and he wonders if the taste might undo him completely.

Taking the chance, he opens his mouth and licks up the side of Ray's neck. The body in his arms shakes, he takes that as encouragement. He feels intoxicated and reckless. He wants to lift his head to the starry sky, aim at the moon and howl with joy.

Ray might take that the wrong way, and besides, Ben is nowhere near satisfied with his exploration of Ray, he wants as much as he can get. Reaching around, Ben lets his hands slide across Ray's trembling abdomen. He can feel the tightness in Ray's muscles and he is in love with the way that Ray's spine curves against his body.

"Frase, I meant it," Ray gasps as Ben dips two fingers down below the waistband of the jeans. "One of us is wearing too many clothes."

Ben can not agree more, as he pops the button of Ray's jeans and undoes the zipper. He feels laughter roll through Ray's body, hears it like music in his ears.

Ray pushes his hands away and manages to turn around. His face is flushed and his eyes are shining. Ben is unsure as how to label what he sees in them, but there is more than simple lust there, of that he is sure.

"This stops here, unless you get out of your clothes!" Ray says with exasperation. He takes a dancing step away as Ben reaches for him again. He is too far away for Ben's liking, but Ray agilely dances out of reach, at the same time trying to get rid of both jeans and boxers.

"No!" Ray scolds, putting the bed between them as Ben reaches for him again. "Damn it, Frase, I'm not the only one who's getting naked here, okay?"

Ben takes a deep breath and he can smell how aroused Ray is. His restraint is shattered, how can he... Biting his lower lip, Ben forces his needs back a little, mindlessly dropping his jacket to the floor, nearly ripping his t-shirt as he pulls it off. He is insanely happy that he is not wearing the uniform tonight. This is faster.

Finally, Ben is standing there, too caught up in his own lust to be embarrassed at his lack of control. He wants Ray, and if the only way he can get him is by stripping off every layer of clothes as well as his restraint...

Looking up, he finds Ray standing there, one knee on the bed, staring at him as if he can not get enough. They stand there, looking at each other, at the expanses of skin, flushed and wanting until something breaks and they move as one.

Ben pushes Ray down onto the bed; they wrestle for the upper hand, giving and taking as they go, their naked bodies sliding against each other. Sweat gleams on Ray's skin and Ben lowers his head, running his tongue along Ray's collarbone.

He can not get enough of it, and Ray seems to be everywhere, enveloping Ben with his very being. Ben revels in it as he holds Ray down. At least until Ray's fingers close around Ben's erection.

There is no more control in it for Ben. Ray takes him over completely and they grope wildly at each other, rubbing up against any expanse of naked skin as they roll around on the bed.

Ben bites down hard on Ray's shoulder when he comes. He wonders for a moment if he might be crushing Ray with his arms around his body, but Ray writhes lustfully against him as he rides his own orgasm to its end, obviously enjoying it all as much as Ben does.

They lie together in a sweaty heap, panting for breath for a long time. Ben breathes in, the air sated with their release. He is already addicted to the scent. He prays that this is more than a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"When you let go, you fucking let go, huh?" Ray mumbles against his shoulder.

Ben does not answer. He can not even find it in him to feel embarrassed. Ray has managed to burn that out of him.

"Can we do that again?" Ray asks with a small laugh. "I'm not sure I got the license number on the Mountie who just flattened me." This is added with a softness that Ben has never heard from Ray before.

Leaning back a little, Ben looks at Ray's flushed face, the small smile gracing his lips and the softness in his eyes.

"We can do this as often as we wish," Ben says, going out on a limb, even if he is fairly sure Ray has needed this as much as he has. Ray was just the more courageous of them.

Ray blinks at him sleepily, his smile widening. He pulls at the sheets they are lying on, managing to cover them a little. "That's good," he mumbles as he curls up against Ben. "Nap first, then we go again."

Ben is stunned by Ray's acceptance, and he stares at the wall for a moment before a smile forms on his own face. He still has to show restraint, though only when they are in public now. Even that shall prove to be entertaining. The more he has to hold back out there, the more there is for him to let go of when they are in here.

He decides to keep that tidbit to himself, to let Ray find out about that on his own. Closing his eyes, Ben drifts off, his hand resting lightly on the small of Ray's back, Ray's damp hair tickling his neck.

The End