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A Real Bed

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A real bed.

Even at the end of their quest, when they had made it back to the tiniest of lodging houses with honest-to-goodness real beds, thick comforters, and flannel sheets, Ray never really felt like he'd slept, even after one of the most prolonged, hottest showers of his life. But that was probably because, even holding Fraser close, he felt like Fraser may leave him, fracturing him forever. So really, as they reacclimated to civilization, Ray counted the beating of Fraser's heart under his sweaty palm like the seconds before Fraser would announce that he was staying in Canada, leaving Ray behind.

But it never happened. And even as Ray felt something tugging Fraser away from him as they started to pack up their room, that train of thought slid into a ravine as Fraser pulled him close, kissed him, and said, "I look forward to our next adventure, Ray."

Ray was so relieved that he'd passed out to the lulling of the engines before the plane even left the ground.

The problem with sleeping on an airplane (then zombie walked through their transfer in Calgary, where he passed out before strapping himself in) was that it wasn't a bed. That's why, when they walked into Ray's apartment back in Chicago, Ray dumped his bags, forced Fraser to stop unpacking, grabbed his hand, and pulled him into the bedroom. Fraser just smiled at a distracted Ray as he changed into a clean union suit, then sat on the bed and pulled Ray closer.

Ray leaned down for a kiss, interrupted by Diefenbaker's paw on his thigh. "Dief," he said, trying to negotiate with the wolf, "I love ya, buddy, but," he gestured, "Fraser. And a bed. Two of my favorite things."

Diefenbaker muttered something, and though Ray had no idea what it was, Fraser blushed.

"Be that as it may," Fraser said, looking at Diefenbaker, "this is important." After another grow, Fraser shook his head and ran a thumb over an eyebrow. "Ray?" he asked. "Would you mind terribly if we opened the window for him?"

Ray shook his head, crossed to the bureau, and grabbed two more blankets which he tossed onto the bed, then opened the window. "Sure, Frase," he said. "What's not comfortable about an open window when it's 46 degrees and raining?" He helped Fraser spread out the comforters, then stripped down. "Ya happy?" he asked the wolf.

Diefenbaker said nothing.

"Mutt," Ray said, then, "Scoot." He climbed into bed, pulled Fraser into a kiss, then arranged themselves under the mound of blankets, his hand pressing against Fraser's chest. He barely remembered Diefenbaker making a nest at their feet before he was out. And when he closed his eyes, he dreamt of snow, dogsleds, a ship off in the distance, with Fraser at his side.

Sometime much later, sunrise spilling in through the open window, Ray heard the tapping of Diefenbaker's nails on the hardwood floors, then the sagging of the mattress when the wolf rejoined them. He reached down to pet him, and when he pulled his hand back, it was sticky. And when Ray peeked his head out from under the covers, he saw Dief grinning a wolfy grin, his muzzle smeared with pie.