"Listen, you big...I don't want to talk about it." Ray closed the door to his bedroom. Fraser could hear the click that meant he'd even locked the door. Not that Fraser couldn't open the door easily with basic tools or silverware, but he understood the symbolism as well as the facts of the matter.
But given Ray's state of mind after their rather interesting dinner with Ray and Stella, he also could not see leaving his partner alone for the evening. So, rather than go into his own bedroom, he sat on the floor outside Ray's room. Diefenbaker came over and put his head on Fraser's lap, looking plaintively at the door.
"Yes, Dief. But if Ray doesn't want to talk to us, we can't make him." Dief licked his fingers in understanding and to get the last of excellent bracciola that Ray and Stella had served them. "However, I would hope he knows that we are here when he does care to change his mind." Dief whined. "I think he will. He won't let us spend the rest of the night camped out in front of his door, not when he knows we are on the early shift tomorrow and Lieutenant Welsh has a new assignment for us."
The door opened. A pair of bare feet that connected to a pair of legs still clad in the "good jeans" appeared. And then Ray dropped to the floor. He reached out to scratch Dief's head. "Okay, Fraser. You win."
"I assure you, Ray, that I was quite prepared to wait until you were ready."
"Yeah, yeah. Sitting here on stakeout, talking to Dief all night about how patient you gotta be - that was how you were going to wait, until I was so nuts I would come out in self defense. So. I'm coming out now." He ran his hand over his hair. "Maybe I should say that differently."
"Well, given what occurred around the Vecchios' dinner table tonight, you might want to think about that."
"Ah, don't remind me. I was a complete idiot tonight." He took a deep breath, quivering with energy. "I'm sorry, Fraser. I shouldn't have done that to you."
"I...we will discuss that later, Ray. What I want to know is, why? Why did you do that tonight?"
"You mean, hold you hand? You mean, pretend like you were my boyfriend? You mean like kiss you?"
"Yes." There was nothing more that could be said - those were the very points of Fraser's confusion.
"Damn it all, I don't know."
"Ray." Fraser looked at him until he grinned.
"You got me there. I do know."
"Was it because Stella used to be your wife?"
"Bingo. That's why we're Welsh's best team - that...insolent detective work. Yeah, because Stella's my ex, and you're Vecchio's ex. And he got Stella, so now I got you. Except, he got Stella as a wife, and I only got you as a partner, so I had to. Not be poor, lonely Ray who does not have anyone in his life."
"You know Ray and I were simply best friends, don't you? Our partnership, such as it was, was never official."
"Official, unofficial. You guys were partners and now you're not." He rose to his heels and started rocking.
"Still. That doesn't explain the boyfriend bits. I would assume, given the general police culture in the USA, which is more homophobic than even the general US culture, that pretending to be gay would be dangerous to your career."
"First, all Vecchio does is consult with the cops now, so he does not figure. Second, Stella thinks that sort of thing is a load of bull, so she doesn't figure. Third."
"Third is that I was not pretending at that particular moment. Which is what I've been not telling you for a long time, so if this makes you want to stop being partners or roommates or something, that would be. Very uncool, but you know." He did get to his feet then, to pace around the apartment.
Fraser could not take his eyes off Ray in his good jeans and the sweater Ray's mother gave him for Christmas and the bare feet, and then there was this extra knowledge Fraser now had. "Well. You did lie to me, but it was a lie of omission, and I have to admit to a similar sort of lie myself."
Ray stopped in midpace. "You cannot be bothered only by the lie, Fraser."
"Ray. I am a poor detective when it comes to normal human emotions, as you are well aware. But, perhaps as you are also well aware - this sort of deception improves with practice to the point of being second nature. So, it doesn't bother me that I didn't realize your inclinations before."
Ray frowned. "You're aware. Wait. Let me. What are you telling me, Fraser? What are you trying to say?"
There were times Fraser hated his lack of facility with personal communication. He sighed, pushed Dief's head out of his lap and came to his feet, ignoring the twinge of pain in his back. Ray was only a few feet away from him. He covered the distance quickly.
"I am trying to say. I'm trying..." He gave up and pulled Ray closer and kissed him - not the peck on the cheek Ray had bestowed upon him before leaving Ray and Stella's, but a true kiss. And if he were not practiced in the art, it seems Ray did not care because, after a moment of what had to be pure shock, he kissed Fraser back with enthusiasm.
"Buddy breathing, Fraser ol' buddy?"
Fraser smiled. "Of a sense."
Fraser had only one answer for that. He kissed him again, and then took his hand and led him to his own bedroom, closing the door between them and Diefenbaker.