He's been waiting a while for the facade to crack.
Fraser would say he was waiting on tenterhooks. He had to look that one up and he's still not really sure what it means.
Ray is well used to keeping secrets. Working undercover means you have to be, so he has had a lot of practice.
He's known Fraser for a long time now and for most of that time he's been keeping a secret.
He knows that Fraser puts on the calm that he presents to the world every morning in the same way that Fraser used to put on his uniform. Hasn't said anything, knows Fraser would deny it if he did.
He'd seen beneath the facade a few times now, but those glimpses have never lasted long. One day, Ray knew, the facade would drop for good and then all hell will break loss.
And that's exactly where they are now. It's not hell exactly, but it is different, and Ray is struggling to understand, to help.
He might diagnose Fraser as suffering with depression, but he's no expert, even though he's suffered in the past.
"Fraser needs professional help." That was Francesca. He knows she means well, but he disagrees with her assessment. What Fraser needs right now is Ray, and so that's what he's gonna get. He has time enough to help Fraser, to figure out what's wrong and what he can do about it.
He suspects as well that Frannie is only echoing what Vecchio has said. Yes, he called him, they are sorta related after all, and asked about Fraser. He hated having to do it, hated having to admit to Vecchio that there are parts of Fraser's life he doesn't know about.
What he learnt wasn't exactly reassuring, but it did confirm that there are aspects of Fraser's character that the man puts on like armour every day. The trick is going to be helping Fraser to find the real parts.
He's known Fraser for how long now? Three years, almost four, and it's hard for him to acknowledge that in all that time he's not really got to know Fraser at all. How can you be in love with someone and yet not know who they are?
Diefenbaker lying next to him on the couch, raises his head and whines. The wolf is a good way of knowing when Fraser is on his way home.
Early on he tried to stop Fraser from going out without him but all that earned him was a black eye, so now he lets Fraser go wherever he wants, with the stipulation that he comes home afterwards.
Ray sits, and waits, and worries. He worries that he made the wrong decision, that bringing Fraser back to Chicago was a mistake, that something has broken inside the mountie and, despite what he tells everyone, he can't fix it.
The door swings open and Ray steels himself for whatever is about to walk through it.
The first thing he thinks when he sees Fraser is how good the man looks. Fraser is wearing blue jeans, a plaid shirt. He is wearing his hair longer now and Ray really likes it, even though it's yet another sign of how much Fraser has changed. Today Fraser's eyes are gleaming, a clear sign that he's been drinking.
"Are you hungry?" Ray stands up. There's meat loaf in the oven, a salad ready in the fridge. He does his best to make sure they eat.
"Only for you." It is Fraser's voice that he hears, and Fraser that he sees, but he is still not used to this more sexually aggressive Fraser.
Diefenbaker jumps off the couch. The change in Fraser has confused him too.
"It's okay," Ray tells the wolf and Diefenbaker lies back down again, but he doesn't take his eyes off Fraser.
"You're wearing too much."
He's nose to nose with Fraser now, and he can smell the alcohol on Fraser's breath. It is a smell he's getting used to.
Fraser has unzipped his jeans, his cock is jutting proudly through the gap.
Ray closes his eyes. Remembers a shy fumbling encounter in a tent. Fraser so unsure of himself and of Ray, that Ray could almost have thought it was his first time. Even when sex became a normal part of their relationship Fraser still exhibited a strong streak of shyness. Ray misses that.
Yesterday Fraser asked Ray to suck his cock, and the day before that he was content to have Ray watch while he jerked himself off.
Today a command from Fraser sees Ray undressing himself. Diefenbaker gives him a look, that Ray might interpret as disgust, then walks off to the bedroom. Fraser doesn't care whether the wolf is there or not as long as Ray does what he wants. Ray on the other hand feels a little uncomfortable, he suspects Dief knows this.
Another command and Ray positions himself on his hands and knees. His whole body is shuddering, but he can't decide if it's desire or fear. Perhaps it's both.
He can't read Fraser any more, can't work out if he's going to get pleasure or pain this time. The not knowing drives him mad.
Fraser's hands are on his hips and Ray spreads his legs apart a little further, Fraser likes it when he's compliant. Not that Fraser has ever forced him, not yet.
Fraser's cock pushes against him and then it is inside him, and Ray lets out his breath, nice and slowly, as Fraser pushes deeper into him.
Today it's pleasure, his partner taking care not to push too hard or too fast. The man moans and his thrusts become a little faster. Ray pushes back against him and Fraser groans out his approval.
He feels inexplicably happy and then a flash of self-loathing destroys the happiness. His knees are beginning to hurt and he shifts, trying to ease the pressure.
"No." Fraser pulls him back, digging his fingernails into Ray's skin. Fraser is a lot stronger than he is. Ray likes to tell himself that he could stop this if he wanted, putting that theory to the test however, well, he's not ready.
Fraser is thrusting faster now and his grip on Ray tightens. His own cock aches and Ray longs for Fraser to touch him, so he can come too.
"Ray!" Fraser calls out as he comes and damp stickiness flows down Ray's thighs. Then Fraser's hand is wrapped around Ray's cock and Ray orgasms while Fraser holds him.
He collapses on to the floor, post-coital fatigue sweeping him away, and he thinks he hears Fraser murmur, "Sleep well, Ray," as he slides into unconsciousness.
When he wakes he finds supper is waiting. Fraser surprises him like this all the time, and it is for this that Ray resists the entreaties of his friends, because this new Fraser can be loving and caring every bit as much as he can be self-centred and destructive.
Sometimes he wonders what part of Fraser is facade and what part is real. He may never find out. Ray knows he has to make his peace with that. One day he will.