Waltzing's For Dreamers
"It's not a dance, you know." Ray looked at the newspaper clipping and crumpled it in his hand. Then he thought better of it, smoothed it out on his knee and placed it back in the envelope. Their mail finally caught up with them in this little town with a name Ray couldn't even try to pronounce without mangling, where they were taking a week in a little inn with bathrooms in the hallways and huge breakfasts featuring moose sausage. This was because the ground was pure mud and there was no going further anyway.
"What's not a dance, Ray?" Fraser put down the long letter he'd been reading.
"Life. You know?"
"Interesting metaphor, Ray. While I have heard it before, perhaps you can tell me what you mean in this context. And, no, Dief. You may not have anymore sausage." Dief shot Fraser a warning look and settled under Ray's chair in a huff.
Ray rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well. I don't know about metaphors, but when you go to a dance, you leave with the person you came with. You don't go switching partners just cause you're bored or you're out of step or something."
"But you do switch partners, Ray. Some dances do call for it, and sometimes people. Cut in. Or are just, as you say, out of step with each other. Especially, or so I've heard, with a waltz."
He stood up. He couldn't sit anymore. He couldn't look at Fraser, either, because Fraser seemed happy his old (real?) partner was married to Ray's wife. "Yeah, well. Waltzing's for dreamers. You think you have a relationship, a partnership, cause even though one of you is following, you're still giving input, and something you let the other one lead anyway. And you move like you're supposed to and you don't trip and you don't bang into the other pairs on the floor and that's that. But you know what happens. Someone cuts in, like you said. Or it all falls apart and suddenly you got no partner, and the music's all wrong. It's just for losers."
Fraser took a deep breath. "The problem with your metaphor, Ray, is that you seem to assume Ray cut in on you and Stella as you were dancing."
"No. He didn't. Stella had already moved on to other partners. Or don't you remember Alderman Orsini? Ray didn't marry your wife. In point of fact, Ray, she was not the one who switched partners."
"No? Then who did? Because I sure ain't dancing with her now. I'm here in Canada with...with..." With this guy who was looking at him the way he used to wish Stella did. But Stella never did. And he'd never thought that Fraser could look at him that way, because Mounties aren't gay. Except for Turnbull, but Turnbull was Turnbull.
"With me, Ray. Because I changed partners. Because I was dancing with Ray Vecchio, who didn't really want to dance but went along because he liked me, and I thought I knew what partnership was. And then you cut in. And now I know."
"I'm an idiot, you know. A brain damage case. Because. I'm dancing with you, and you know all the right steps."
"Yes, Ray. I do." And Fraser had the most gorgeous smile in the world. "If you would let me lead?" He stood and held out his hands.
And Ray fell right into step as Fraser taught him more dances than he knew existed, starting with how lips can move to their own rhythm.