The Morning After
by lamardeuse

Rated: PG

Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski

Warnings (highlight to view):  nothing to warn for

due South Flashfiction challenge: jewelry

The morning after the night before, Ray lay in a pool of sunlight and stared at it.

The ring wasn’t expensive, because he couldn’t do expensive on what he was getting paid; they both knew that going in, but it didn’t matter to them.  Not much mattered except that they wanted to get married, and suddenly nothing else was more important than that.  Three days later they were standing up in front of the judge, and on this fourth day Ray was sleepy and satisfied and probably happier than he’d ever been in his whole fuck-up of a life.

He took some time this morning to study the ring, glinting in the morning sun.  The band was white gold with some kind of Celtic engraving on it, flowing grooves and knots that meant something about love and faith and God, he’d been told. 

That didn’t matter much to him either, to tell the truth.  What mattered was the fact of it, the fact that Ray had put the ring on that finger, that his hands had held it, kept it warm until it was time.  He really had to concentrate to get it right on the first try, because his hands were shaking a little.  It wasn’t wedding day jitters or anything, not like you’d expect; just plain old garden variety terror.  Nothing serious.

Because this was—well, it wasn’t this, it was him.  He wasn’t sure he could do this.  He was half convinced he was going to wake up and find out it was all a big practical joke, because Mrs. Kowalski’s little blue-eyed boy didn’t get breaks like this.  He didn’t get miracles like this one handed to him this easily, not ones that looked so goddamned beautiful, anyway.  Not ones that held the promise of happily ever after, like the fairy tales he hadn’t believed in for centuries.

Without thinking, his hand rose to trace a faint frown line as it creased that beloved forehead.  He wondered if that crease signified a worry, one matching his own.  Because he wasn’t the only one who had spent too much of his life uncertain, lonely, searching.  He wasn’t the only one who wondered if one of those happy endings would ever be his. 

He wasn’t the only one.

Looking down at his own hand, he gazed at the matching ring on his finger. 

When he looked up again, he started at the sight of clear blue eyes watching him.

“Good morning,” Fraser said tentatively, as though he’d brought a few of those worries with him when he woke, brought them into their new life. 

And just like that, Ray knew there was no more room for that kind of fear, that kind of doubt. 

They were past that now.

Reaching out, he gripped Fraser’s left hand in his, so that the rings lined up beside one another, catching fire in the early morning light.

“The best morning, Frase,” he murmured, leaning forward to greet him the way a husband should.  “The best.”


September 2004

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