Written for pipsqueaky! She requested RayK/Fraser, dancing, arguing over who gets to lead. Dunno where the whole ambiguous subplot came from.
“I should be the one to lead,” Ray says. “You got the rhythm of a toothpick, Fraser.”
Fraser clears his throat, his cheeks still flushed from the moment Ray asked him to dance. Ray bets that if the light were better he could see a faint red splash on the tips of Fraser’s ears, maybe across the back of his neck. It’s not easy to make Fraser blush, but when he does, Fraser does it impressively. “I don’t know, Ray,” Fraser replies at last. “It seems like the more sensible option would be for me to lead. I am, after all, not the one wearing a cast.”
Ray grins. He knew Fraser would drag that whole situation into it. “Hey, I’ve danced with a broken leg before. It’s not that hard.”
“Ray, first let me say that you’re my partner and that I trust you with my life. But – taking your current state of injury into account, forgive me if I don’t carry as much faith in your dancing abilities.”
Okay, enough talk. “I lead,” says Ray. “That’s final. C’mere.”
Fraser steps closer to the couch where Ray’s got himself situated, and makes his way around the leg propped up on the coffee table. When he’s standing directly in front of Ray, Ray grabs him by the belt loop. “Help me up,” he says.
“Ray,” says Fraser. He looks uncomfortable, yet slightly amused. Ray wonders if Fraser’s figured out that Ray's trying to distract him.
“Fraser,” says Ray, and gives him a Look, one of those capital-L looks that every boy learns from his mom at the age of seven, if not earlier. “We’re dancing, right? Don’t ask questions.”
Fraser looks torn for a second, probably thinking that Ray’s going to re-break his leg in some unusual way. Ray’s pretty sure that Fraser would leap off a pier with a broken leg if he could, and sure, maybe in Fraser’s case there’d be some lady in distress or some starving baby enticing him to do so instead of the prospect of a waltz, but still. The man has some double-standards. Of course, so does Ray, and they’ve both of them been leaping off of things lately.
“All right,” Fraser says, and braces his feet a little to pull Ray up. And, okay, ow. Ray tries to take some weight off of his cast to compensate, but along with the momentum from Fraser’s tug, that just ends up swinging him a little bit sideways and right into Fraser’s chest.
Fraser oofs a little and grasps at Ray’s arms, keeping him upright. Ray is pressed right up against him; all of his weight is now on his uninjured leg, with his other leg bent to avoid putting too much pressure on it all at once. Now Ray feels kind of like some big human flamingo.
“Well,” says Ray. “You might be right about the leading thing.”
Fraser chuckles deeply, and Ray feels it right up against him, like the vibration is traveling right through Fraser’s skin. “I don’t know about that. I may have to bow to your expertise; you are, after all, the more experienced dancer.”
“Right. You got the rhythm of a toothpick, I got the rhythm of a bedpost,” Ray says, “but you better not actually bow or else I’m gonna fall right over.”
“A strictly figurative bow, then,” says Fraser, still amused-sounding but rapidly getting serious again, and his grip on Ray tightens.
Ray gets both his feet on the floor and thumps on Fraser’s shoulder a little, tries to get him moving. Fraser gets it and half-heartedly sways a bit in that way he has, careful not to knock Ray over. The music has stopped, Ray notices.
Ray brings one hand to the back of Fraser’s neck, which feels slightly hot. Yeah, he was right; that’s the remnants of Fraser’s blush. Fraser’s hair is cropped short against his fingertips, and Ray rubs his palm against the wave of it, ruffling it up. Strange to be touching him like this, but Ray doesn’t care. And all of a sudden Fraser stops swaying, stops everything, and presses his face against Ray’s shoulder.
“Hey,” says Ray after a long moment. “Hey, hey. You know that thing moms are always supposed to say? ‘If all the other kids jumped off a bridge, would you do that too’? Funny, right?” Ray strokes his fingers through Fraser’s hair a little bit, then brings his hand to Fraser’s chin and tilts Fraser's face up to meet Ray’s eyes.
Fraser looks uncomfortable; his mouth is slightly open as he stares back at Ray. He swallows and presses his lips together before speaking. “Ray. I apologize. I shouldn’t have run ahead – left you to -“ he starts. No. No apologies. Ray doesn’t need apologies and Mountie guilt, especially not when it was a stupid chase after a purse snatcher and his own damn fault anyway. He needs friends, buddies, compadres, dance partners. He needs to move.
“You’ve just got more experience than me at jumping off things, Fraser. No big deal.”
Fraser closes his eyes and sighs. Ray draws back from Fraser’s steadying arms; puts one hand on Fraser’s waist and grasps Fraser’s hand in the other, interlocking their fingers. Then Ray takes one tiny, shuffling step to the side, and waits for Fraser to follow.