Ratings: Slash, m/m. Fraser/Kowalski.
Summary: Post-COTW, Ray prepares to return to Chicago.
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Alliance. Lyrics from "Lake Shore Drive" belong to Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah. Title belongs to Damaris Jackson: "One would expect pomegranates to stain red, but my fingers are the color of tarnish on bronze."

Tarnish on Bronze
by Sitnah

The first thing I'm gonna do when I get back to Chicago is go to Giordano's and order me a large stuffed pizza.

No, the first thing I'm gonna do in Chicago is go to a Cubs game while I still can. Lucky for me the season lasts longer than it used to. And they could contend, this year.

No, scratch that. I'll go see my folks. I know they like it when I come there first. Mom shows it by cooking way too much dinner and giving me the leftovers in a tupperware bowl, which I'll have to scour the mold off of later before returning it. Dad won't ask me any questions, but he'll drop a hand on my shoulder and pat it once or twice before saying good night. I'll, yeah, that's what I'll do.

While I'm there I can pick up the GTO, too. I have this thing I do, when we're back at my place: I run my hand over the dash and whisper, "Miss me, baby?" And the GTO purrs.

Then … then I'll go by Frannie's and pick up my turtle. If her little monsters haven't killed him off yet, that is. But he's a tough bastard. The fact of the matter of the deal is, I don't know if he can even tell the difference between staying with them and staying with me. Not too flattering, but there it is. Still, I gotta get him back, or the apartment just won't feel right.

Then I'm gonna drive all over town. I'll go all around my neighborhood, and cover every inch of the precinct. I'll ride up and down the Eisenhower and the Kennedy till I know all the new billboards by heart. And then I'll finish up with a long, slow, cruise down Lake Shore Drive. Oh yeah. Pretty blue lights along the way, help me right on by.

I might swing by the Consulate, too. Just for old times' sake -- there's no one I know there now.

When I show up at the station again, it's always the same thing. Dewey yells, "Vecchio!", and Huey clubs him. Then Huey yells, "Stanley!", and I club him. While he's rubbing his head, I say something like, "Hey you guys, didja hear the one about the comedy club that closed down? Never mind, it wasn't very funny." After that it's pretty much a free-for-all -- until we hear Welsh clearing his throat in the doorway of his office.

Welsh drawls out, "Ah, Detective Kowalski. Kind of you to join us," and he gives me the evil eye to let me know that I've been letting my fingernails grow in the Great White North while the rest of them have been working their asses off. But underneath that there's a grin. And there's a grin on my own face right back at him.

We've got, it's like, a ritual, is what we've got.

Fraser wanted to fuck me last night. I never know which way it'll take him. But I never argue.

I was up late packing, because I put it off to the last minute like I always do. When I slid in under the covers at last, he put down his book.

"Ray," he said.


"Did you find your checkbook?"

"Uh huh."

Fraser was quiet for a second, and I turned on my side to look at him. He reached over and touched my face. I leaned in to kiss him and I was flat on my back with my hands flailing in the air. His mouth was on my throat and I thought he was going to bite through my jugular. I got one hand in his hair and ran the other down to his ass, what I could reach of it. His breath was hot on my skin.

"Ray," he choked out. "Ray, Ray… Ray…"

"Yeah," and I pulled his head down again, feeling the flat of his teeth against my neck for a second. Then he moved away, down over my chest, skimming my stomach. His hands were busy at my hips, yanking my sweats down, and off, and then a lift and a push and my legs went over his shoulders.

"Ray…" He reached to the side, and I tried to catch my breath. But before I had it, he was back.

"C'mon, c'mon," but he didn't need me to tell him. A moment of stretch, a double-palmed squeeze on my ass, another breath, and his cock nudging me, pushing me. In me.

Fraser thrusting into me, uneven, unsteady. How could he be this close already? Guess he was waiting all the time I was packing. Not far behind him though, every thrust a new shock, new shower of sparks under my eyelids. His face, his expression, now? Opened my eyes again, his were closed, so serious. Mouth open, not my name anymore, just grunts. And bam! the waves shook through him -- two, three. Four.


But he cut me off, kissing me heavy, wet. Still in me, and fingers around me, too, pumping like mad, and kissing me. If he wanted fast, then he got what he wanted. "Ray," and my shoulders came up off the mattress and stayed there. His hand stripping every last bit out of me.

Then Fraser let me go and pulled out, away. He got up one more time. When he came back to bed, I rolled over to him till he put his arms around me and we fell asleep.

Since I've been with Fraser I've never missed a flight. It's a bit of a drive, but he got us here with time to spare.

I try to catch his eye, but he's a million miles away. Kilometers. "Yo, Frase. What's the weather like on Pluto?"

He turns. "Well, Ray," he says --without even having to think about it, gets me every time -- "atmosphere refractivity models have shown that there may be a haze layer at the surface of the planet, at a temperature of roughly 40 Kelvin, although the course of its orbit--"

He's off and running, so I have to interrupt him. "C'mon back to Earth, Frase."

He gives me a weak-ass smile.

I used to say things at this point, things like, "It's only six months," or, "I'll call you every day." Now all I do is grab his shoulders and hold on.

He steps back first. "It's time for you to board, Ray."

I pick up my bag. "See you in April?"

"April," he says.

And the back of his hat is the last thing I see in Canada.