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"There's enough sorrow in the world, isn't there, without trying to invent it."
E.M.Forster, A Room With A View.

Drumming his fingers absently on the counter top, Ray stares down at his beer, at the shaded lip of the bottle, at the blurred label on the outside. He's not wearing his glasses, so everything is just a little bit fuzzy, a little bit hard to see, but it's okay like that, because he's drunk enough to begin with. Even if he'd been wearing his glasses, everything would be just a little bit left of centre and right now he's okay with that. It's easier to be a bit drunk and a bit confused about things than it is to be clear and coherent and keep on wondering where the hell his wife is.

It's late and she went to some party earlier, some law school thing while Ray stayed at home and did some cleaning. He's still just a rookie and he's got a lot of years ahead of him before he even gets close to being detective, but already, he's working long hours that seem to piss Stella off. 'Course, she's just as busy, he's shot back at her during fights in the past. She's just as busy with her law school and her fancy law school friends and her little cocktail parties that she never invites him to.

That's probably where she is now, except it's almost four in the morning and she hasn't come home yet, which makes Ray wonder what the hell is really going on. Is she with some guy? Someone from her law classes, someone who's smarter than Ray and funnier than Ray, someone who can actually take care of her? He doesn't want to think like that, but the thoughts swirl through his mind anyway, completely unbidden, and he's letting them consume him.

Another sip of beer, another beer finished, and the door finally opens. She's taken off her shoes so she doesn't make any noise, but the lights are on and Ray is standing there at the kitchen counter, the empty beer bottle still dangling from his fingers.

"That was a long party," he says when Stella finally looks up and meets his gaze. She winces noticeably and immediately Ray is on guard. Something has to be wrong for her to look at him like that. People don't just make those kinds of faces.

"It wasn't really a party, Ray, it was a study group," she answers, closing and locking the door behind her before she throws her shoes into the closet. She's obviously done trying to be quiet and even drunk, Ray can sense the tension, he can see it in the lift of her shoulders.

"So, what? You guys just sit around and study until after four in the morning?" he asks and the implication is pretty damn clear.

Stella looks at him sharply, then shakes her head and brushes back him, heading for the bedroom. "You always create your own problems," she tells him as she passes. "You can't ever just be happy."

It isn't even a real fight, not like the ones they've had before. It's a little blip on the fight radar when it comes to the Kowalski household, but Ray doesn't go the bed that night. He sits on the couch and continues to drink, the cool beer held between his knees as he thinks about what Stella said to him. He can't ever just be happy.

He creates his own problems.

Yeah, he thinks she's probably right about that.

ooc <3

So today I came to mess around with Ray's 15 icons and found that someone had gifted him with more. LJ didn't send me a notice or anything, so if this has been sitting here for days and I've just been oblivious to it, I'm so sorry!

Thank you so much to whoever this has come from. If it's not meant to be anonymous, you should leave a comment here and I will write fic or something for you in exchange. Or if it is meant to be anonymous... well, you should do the same. Request a fic and I shall write it for you. (If it's an anonymous comment it'll be screened originally, but you should be able to leave one.)

Thank you!!! ♥


What are you afraid of?

Lobsters. No, really. Lobsters freak me out.

Really.Collapse )



That's the number of citations Ray has received while he's been a cop. It's a good number, respectable, and he's proud of it. Well, most of the time he's proud of it. Sometimes he forgets it, when he's down on himself or when he thinks he's done a crap job of something, that's when he forgets that, yeah, he's a good cop. He's got four citations and that there's nothing to sneeze at. That's a hell of an accomplishment.

It's a good thing he's got Fraser around to remind him of it.

In December 1988 a young boy was being held in a warehouse. You went in even though you knew your cover had been blown. You drew fire, you were wounded, yet you managed to rescue the boy. Your first citation. In December 1990, in a jewelry store you singlehandedly held off three gunmen, saving four innocent lives. Your second citation. In September 1993 you faced down three escaped murderers and you brought them to justice. Your third citation.

The fourth one, though, that's the one he likes to hear Fraser talking about the most. That's the one that sticks with Ray because Fraser doesn't just recite the facts when it comes to that fourth citation. Sure, it's great to hear about the first three and Fraser's got all his facts straight, he's got the whole picture, but it's the picture of an outsider. It's the picture of someone who just read the file, who knows about it second hand. Still, no one's ever done that for Ray before, no one's ever memorized the facts of his citations, the facts of the good things he's done and he thinks maybe that moment is when he fell in love with Fraser. Just a little bit.

As nice as it is, it's still the fourth one Ray likes to hear Fraser tell people about.

The two of them together, on that damned plane, flying up north, being throw off into an ice field, snow field, whatever the hell it's called. Muldoon, the whole arms smuggling ring and the submarine. It's a hell of a story and it's not one that Ray feels right telling. Yeah, he was a part of it and yeah, he got a citation for it, but it's Fraser's story. There's something better about the whole thing, hearing it in Fraser's voice, hearing him tell people what the two of them did together.

How he's proud.

The citations are great and all, Ray's never gonna turn one down and he's never gonna say they're not worth a whole lot. But there's something about a million times better about hearing Fraser say he's proud. That's why he thinks his fourth citation is always gonna be his favourite.

Unless, of course, he gets a fifth. And then he'll just make Fraser tell that story.

[ooc: Quotes in italtics from the episode 'Eclipse'.]
1. Ask me three questions you want to know the truth to.
2. I will pick two of them to answer.
3. One I will tell the truth about.
4. One I will lie about.
5. The last you have to try to answer for me.
6. Post this in your journal so others can ask you.

Stolen from Fraser


"Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane."

For all the things that have gone wrong in Ray's life, he's relatively stable. All things considered, there's a pretty good foundation under this man and it rarely cracks, rarely shifts. It may not always seem like it, but he's tough and he's strong and he can withstand a lot of crap that gets thrown his way. Being a cop is hard and through the years Ray has seen some things he's never wanted to see. There's been disappointments and shocks that feel like blows to the gut. There's been anger and outrage and the inability to save some people. There's been gunshot wounds and stab wounds and more scars than Ray can count.

He's lived through it all mostly in tact except for one.

There are things that cops don't talk about and, with few exceptions, their cases involving children rarely get passed around as war stories. Ray has plenty of other stories he can tell, most of them because Fraser's a special brand of crazy when he's working, but there are others that he can't tell. Stories he knows can't really be repeated.

The worst was a girl of four.

Ray's seen horrible things as a cop, but he's never seen anything quite so awful as a small, battered body, face bruised, ribs broken, angry, red skin around her wrists where she'd been tied down and he stops listening after that. Whatever part of Ray can hear these things and deal with criminals has seized up and refused to let him hear anything more because he simply can't. If he hears anymore, he'll break and he won't be able to do his job, so he just stops listening.

He works tirelessly for four days to find the man who did it to her -- her mother's boyfriend, some creep she hadn't known well enough, in Ray's furious opinion -- but he does find him in the end. He goes through the motions, he collects his evidence, he gets an arrest warrant, they track the man down to an apartment he's been hiding out in somewhere in a crappy area of Chicago. Ray does everything meticulously so that he can be sure a conviction will be inevitable.

Anger that he's been holding onto for days has boiled over, clouding his vision, blurring his sense of right and wrong, and when they break the door down, Ray's gun is already withdrawn and the butt of it collides with the man's face. His nose breaks, but Ray's far from done. He won't be done until he comes back to himself several minutes later, the suspect down on the floor, blood dripping from his nose and his lip, two of his ribs broken. If Ray's entirely honest, he doesn't remember most of what happened, he doesn't remember the attack or anything that he yelled, although his partner insists he was screaming at the suspect the entire time. The only thing Ray remembers is being so angry that his entire world blacked out.

His partner will testify that the man had already been beaten when they went to pick him up.

The suspect keeps his mouth shut, oddly enough, and Ray suspects it's because he knows he's lucky Ray didn't just kill him.
Although Ray recognizes how stupid it is to be so nervous about a birthday when two people have been together -- both romantically and otherwise -- as long as he and Fraser have been, it doesn't stop him from feeling it. He's nervous to the point where his hands are sweating and he's had to take off his suit jacket in case he gets too sweaty and smells bad once they get to dinner.

He's waiting for Fraser to come home and he's been dressed for at least half an hour already, which he knows is earlier than they agreed on, but he's really that nervous. The present he has isn't much, but he hopes the dinner and the dancing will make up for it. Ray's never been good at birthdays, Stella used to get mad at him when he'd get dumb presents or drop his utensils in the nice restaurants, but he doesn't think that's going to be happening here.

Still, he's pacing, around the sea horses, between the couch and the chair, over Diefenbaker, who's lying by the door, looking at Ray like he's grown another head.

"Don't mock me, wolf, I won't like it," he warns, but Diefenbaker says nothing, of course.
1 question...
1 chance...
1 honest answer...

That's all you get. Ask me one question. Any one question, anything, no matter how crazy it is. An honest answer. No catch.

Well, okay, there's just one. All comments will be screened so your question stays private between you and me, and only you will get to see my answer to your question. But I dare you to repost this and see what people ask you.


Talk about something you lost.

When Ray graduates, he stands alone after the ceremony, shaking hands held in tight fists by his sides, his nails pressing half-moons into the palms of his hands. There's no one there for him, no family, not like all the other kids who've just graduated from the academy and he can't help but hate his father for that. Since the beginning, he's known that this was going to happen, he's been ready for his father refusing to show up at his graduation, but he'd still expected to see his mother there. And maybe a small part of him had even hoped that his father might show up anyway. Bury the hatchet, realize that neither of them were ever going to be happy with what the other had become and put it behind them.

He figures he should've known better.

They haven't been close, not since Ray's been a kid, but that doesn't stop him from feeling like crap. Stella's here somewhere, she's mingling, doing her lawyer thing and he's glad that she's here for him. But it's not the same as having his family and he knows, deep down, he knows that this is the end. They've been fighting for years and now they're finally done.

It doesn't feel as good as Ray once thought it might. For years he's been expecting this and a part of him has always thought that maybe, when it comes time, it'll just feel good. It'll feel like being free, like there's no more stress or expectations and he'll be able to be exactly who he's meant to be.

But it doesn't feel like that at all. The only thing it feels like it crappy. It just feels like he's finally lost his grasp on something that he's been losing for years.


wee little smile (view_paradise)
Ray Kowalski

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October 2008


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