All I Want For Christmas by Pixiecatfish

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Title: All I Want For Christmas
For: belmanoir
Pairing/Characters: Fraser/Vecchio
Warnings:  PG
Vidder's/Author's/Artist's Notes:  Belmanoir requested Fraser/Vecchio, cliché, first time, and secondary Frannie/Kowalski. I think I managed to achieve all of those!

Ray Vecchio was enjoying one of the rarest things in his life- a quiet evening at the Vecchio home.

Maria and Tony and the kids were away for a long weekend, at Tony's family reunion, Ma was at dinner with a bunch of her girlfriends, and Frannie was on a date with Kowalski.

She and Kowalski had been dating for almost a year, and Vecchio figured that he'd better start getting used to Kowalski being a permanent fixture in his life, if recent signs he had been getting from the two of them were any indication.

Ray was happy for his sister, he was glad that something in her romantic life had finally gone right. As much as he hated to admit it, Frannie could definitely do a lot worse than Kowalski. He seemed to be very much in love with her, and he treated her very well and made her happy.

But his sister's happiness only seemed to make his own bleak romantic situation more obvious.

In the past his lack of a love life had been due to the fact that there was no one in his life, and no prospects on the horizon. But now there was someone with whom he was very much in love, but keeping up with his life-long pattern of screwing up his life when things were going well, he had fallen in love with the one person he could never have.

Damn Benny anyway! How dare he be so caring and understanding, and have the rare ability to see Ray as he really was, and like him anyway? And why in the hell did he have to be so damn gorgeous to top it all off?

Ray had thought about telling Benny how he felt on more than one occasion, but he didn't think he would be able to take the reaction he was sure to get. Not that he feared Benny would be angry or disgusted.

He could picture it now- Benny would get that thoughtful, slightly puzzled look on his face, as if trying to figure out exactly how and why Ray had fallen in love with him. Benny would be kind, and understanding, and let him down gently. And that would be the hardest thing to take. Ray would rather have Benny angry at him than face his kind-hearted pity.

The fact that Benny was right at this moment sitting next to him on the sofa, looking drop-dead gorgeous in jeans and a dark green t-shirt, did not help matters at all.

Ray sighed and shifted on the sofa, losing what little interest he had in the movie. It was some boring black and white foreign movie, and it was doing little more than give him a headache. That's what he got for letting Benny pick the movie.

Benny looked over at his sigh. "What's wrong, Ray?"

"We're out of popcorn," Ray said, avoiding the real, much more complicated reason for the downturn his mood was taking. He grabbed the bowl off the coffee table and went into the kitchen.

He dropped the bowl on the counter and went to the cupboard for another bag of popcorn. As he was putting the popcorn into the microwave, he heard the front door open, and Frannie's and Kowalski's voices talking to Fraser. A minute or so later, Frannie came into the kitchen.

"How was dinner," Ray asked her.

"It was wonderful," Frannie said. She was beaming, and as she answered, she held up her left hand, which had a diamond ring sparkling on the ring finger.

Ray felt a huge smile spread over his face. "So, Kowalski found the guts to pull the trigger at last?"

"Ray!"

"Come here," Ray said and pulled his sister into a hug. "I'm happy for you, Frannie, I really am," he said.

"Thank you," Frannie said, pulling away to smile up at him. "I'm happy for me, too. And I need to ask you something. Will you give me away at the wedding?"

Ray paused for a moment, fighting back the sudden lump in his throat. "You know, Frannie, there was a time when I would have been thrilled to give you away. But now that sounds too permanent. What if I just agreed to share you?"

Frannie looked touched, but she covered in the usual Vecchio way. "You're such a girl."

"That's it. I'm going to push you down the aisle on roller skates."

Frannie laughed, and Ray leaned forward and gave her a kiss on the forehead just as Fraser and Kowalski entered the room.

Ray looked over at the two men with a grin. "So, I guess we're going to be brothers, Stanley."

Kowalski groaned. "Don't remind me."

Fraser was smiling almost as much as Francesca and Kowalski. "Well, I think it's excellent news. And Ray has asked me to be his best man."

"That's great, Benny." Ray turned back to his sister. "Have you two set a date yet?"

"Well, we were thinking Christmas Eve."

Ray was surprised. "But that's only six weeks away!"

"Seven," Frannie corrected. "And three days. We're just going to have a small wedding, just family and a few close friends. And instead of a big reception, we're going to rent a room at Tuscany and have a nice dinner. It won't take much to plan that."

"All right, if you say so. Where are you having the ceremony?"

"At St. Cecilia's, of course."

"At the church," Ray asked in surprise.

"Yes, Ray. At the church. We can get married in the church, even though we're both divorced. We just can't have a Nuptial Mass."

"Frannie and Fraser are already discussing and planning things," Kowalski said. "In fact, Fraser even turned off the movie in honor of the occasion."

"Thank God."

Fraser looked surprised and a little bit offended. "Now Ray, if you would only give the film a chance-"

"Fraser," Kowalski interrupted. "As a special engagement present to me, could you can the lecture for once?"

Vecchio walked up to Kowalski and threw an arm around his shoulders. "Welcome to the family, Stanley."

*************************

The next seven weeks were busy, filled with preparations and bridal showers and a bachelor party. The bachelor party was mild compared to most that the guests had been to, but it contained no pemmican or Inuit stories or rituals, thanks to Vecchio's intervention.

Christmas Eve was clear and cold and beautiful, and everyone arrived at the church on time and without incident for the 5:00 ceremony.

Ray knocked on the door of the groom's room and entered to see Fraser fixing a very nervous-looking Kowalski's tie. "How you doing, brother," he asked.

Kowalski shot him a glare. "Shouldn't you be with Fran right now?"

"Ah, Maria's with her," Vecchio replied casually. "Ma just wanted me to make sure you're ready, it's about to start."

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be," Ray answered.

"Good," Vecchio grinned. "Oh, one other thing. If you ever hurt Frannie, I will kill you. And I'm a cop, so I know where and how to hide your body so they'll never find it."

Kowalski and Vecchio both ignored Benny's scandalized "Ray!"

"I'm terrified," Kowalski said, looking both defiant and amused.

Ray just turned and headed for the door. He stopped at the sound of Kowalski's voice.

"Vecchio."

"Yeah?"

He turned back to see Kowalski looking at him, his expression completely serious. "I will never hurt her."

Vecchio nodded and left the room.

*************************

Ray headed to the back of the church, where Frannie stood with Maria, her Matron of Honor. "Don't you two look beautiful."

Frannie was in her bride's dress, of simple yet elegant ivory silk and lace, and Maria was wearing a dress of forest green silk.

Maria was fussing with Frannie's dress, making sure everything was perfect, until the processional music began. "Love you, little sis," she said; then gave Frannie a kiss on the cheek and headed down the aisle.

Ray slipped Frannie's arm through his and smiled at her. "You okay," he asked.

Frannie nodded. "Fine," she said.

But Ray could see she looked very nervous, and her bouquet of red and white roses was shaking slightly. "Come on," he smiled at her. "Let's go get you married."

*************************

The wedding was beautiful, and the dinner reception was lovely, but Ray had the same problem at both events. Even during the ceremony, when he should have been paying particular attention to his sister, the bride, he had found his gaze returning time and again to Benny.

Fraser was looking particularly handsome today, wearing his new suit he had purchased for the wedding. The suit was dark grey, and Fraser was wearing it with a white shirt and a maroon tie. He was smiling and happy, and to Ray, he had never looked more handsome.

It didn't help at all that Benny sat next to him during dinner. Ray had to talk and eat and celebrate like a normal person, when all he really wanted to do was grab Benny and kiss him senseless and ask him to run away with him.

After dinner, the guests saw Frannie and Kowalski off on their honeymoon, and the Vecchio clan went back home for a few hours before heading back to church for Midnight Mass.

After Mass was over, Ray faced the most difficult part of the day- giving Benny a ride home. If being with Fraser in a crowd had been difficult, being alone with him was pure torture.

Of course, once they got to Fraser's apartment, Benny invited Ray upstairs, and of course Ray, not ever able to learn, accepted.

As they entered the apartment, the two men were met by a very enthusiastic Diefenbaker.  After greeting the wolf, Benny started a pot of coffee and put out a plate of Christmas cookies.

Ray grinned. "There's no escaping Ma's baking is there?"

"A good thing, I'd say," Benny smiled.

"Very good," Ray agreed.

Benny slipped a couple of the cookies to Dief.  The wolf devoured them happily, then went to lay down under the window.

Benny saw Ray smirking at him.  "It is Christmas, after all."

"You try hard to be the Grinch when it comes to Dief, but you're really Santa Claus, Benny."

Benny tried to appear offended, but he looked pleased instead.  He poured their coffees and brought them over to the table and sat down opposite Ray. "Is everything all right, Ray," he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, it's just that you've seemed a little... down the past few days."

Ray shrugged. "It's just the holiday blues, Benny. And with the wedding... well, both those events tend to make people think about their lives, and feel depressed with what's missing."

"And what's missing from your life, Ray?"

Damn! How had he left himself be led into this trap? His defenses must really be down. He tried to brush it off with a joke. "What are you, Benny, my psychiatrist?"

"No, Ray, I'm your best friend."

Damn again. Ray squeezed his eyes shut. That simple sentence shouldn't cause such warmth and pain. "What's missing..." He trailed off, not sure he could- or should- say it.

Taking a deep breath, he decided he might as well tell Benny the truth. It was too hard to hide it any more. And it would end the agony. Or at least bring on a new and different kind of agony. "What's missing is... it's... I... I'm in love with you, Benny."

He watched Benny carefully as he made his revelation, and he saw a look of utter surprise on Benny's face, as well as a look of panic. At least Ray thought it was panic, having never seen that emotion on Benton Fraser's face before.

Benny dropped his eyes to the table. "You shouldn't be, Ray."

"I shouldn't be? I shouldn't be in love with you?"

Benny shook his head. "No."

"Why not? Because we're both men?"

Benny shook his head again. "No. I don't deserve it."

Ray was stunned by what he had just heard. "Everyone deserves love, Benny."

"Not like you have to offer."

"Not like I have to... so what do you deserve, Benny? Love like Victoria has to offer?"

Benny flinched at the mention of that name, and looked up at Ray again.

"That wasn't love, Fraser."

Benny sighed. "No, I suppose it wasn't."

"How long are you going to wear the sackcloth and ashes, Benny? You made a mistake. You need to let it go, leave it in the past. I forgave you a long time ago, don't you think you should forgive yourself?"

Benny sighed and looked down at his hands, which were clenched around his coffee mug.

Ray sighed. "Maybe this whole conversation isn't even necessary. Do you love me, Benny?"

"It doesn't matter, Ray."

"Yes it does, Benny. It matters a hell of a lot to me."

Benny just sat there in silence, giving no sign of answering. "Benny," Ray asked again, trying hard to hold on to his patience. "Are you in love with me?"

Benny looked back up at him at last, with a look of despair on his face. "Of course I am, Ray. How could I not be in love with you?"

Ray felt a feeling of relief and joy spread through him, warming him all over.

"You accept me for who I am, Ray. Me. Benny. Not Benton Fraser, RCMP. You put up with me, and all my faults and quirks, and even seem to enjoy them. Most of the time, anyway," he amended.

Ray laughed.

"But Ray, I don't-"

Ray interrupted him. "You know what I think, Benny? I think this whole thing about you being guilty and undeserving is a bunch of crap."

Benny looked at him in surprise.

"I think it's just a good cover story, to hide the fact that you're scared."

"Ray..."

"You think I'm not scared, Benny? I am. I'm scared shitless. There's about a thousand things that could go wrong here. But you know what? There's a million things that could go right. And I'm willing to take that chance."

Benny kept looking at him, and Ray could tell that he was softening. "The way I look at it is we've already gotten past the trickiest part of most relationships- the getting to know you part.

"We know each other completely, all our faults, and all our good qualities, and we still want to be together. I'm not saying it's always going to be easy, Benny, but it's not going to be all hard work, either. It can be really great between us. We've just got to talk to each other, Benny.

"As much as we hate that sometimes, if we just talk to each other honestly, we can get through anything. Hell, we've been through everything there is already." He took a deep breath, praying he would get the right answer. "Are you willing to take that risk, Benny?"

It seemed like forever before Benny answered. "Yes, Ray. I am."

Ray felt his world explode into a billion pieces, and rearrange itself into something new and more wonderful than he could have ever imagined.

"I want to be your boyfriend, Ray." Benny blushed slightly at the use of that word. "I want to go on dates with you, and hold your hand at the movies, and have candlelight dinners, and all the other romantic things I've only read about or seen in the movies.

"And I want-" he looked over at the bed, then quickly back at the table, his blush deepening.

Ray laughed again, in delight.

Benny looked back at him, the same happy expression on his face that Ray could feel on his own. "But right now, I want to kiss you, Ray."

Ray's heart started pounding. "Then get over here," he said.

He and Benny stood up and took a step towards each other, then wrapped their arms around the other's waist. They both stopped then, uncertain how to continue, and both let out a nervous laugh.

After a second, Ray shrugged and leaned in, and suddenly, unbelievably, magically, he was kissing Benny. The kiss was tentative and slightly awkward, but it was beautiful as well.

After a minute he pulled away to see Benny smiling at him with an expression he had never seen before. Ray realized that it was Benny's love for him that he was seeing, no longer hidden away behind the Mountie mask Benny so often wore. Ray swallowed heavily, hoping like hell he wouldn't cry.

"Merry Christmas, Ray."

"Merry Christmas, Benny." Not knowing what else to say, Ray leaned in and kissed him again.

 

THE END

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6 Comments

belmanoir said:

OMG THIS WAS SO CUTE! Thank you so much! Awww, Ray and Fraser being in Frannie and Kowalski's wedding party! Yay!! Just what I wanted for Christmas. You're the best, mystery author!

exbex said:

Well I almost got through Christmas without tears in my eyes...*sighs happily* This is lovely.

Awww! This is adorable, start to finish.

What a sweet story. Wedding plans and the holidays and awww. \o/

Linden Author Profile Page said:

Awwww! I loved the Vecchio/Fraser, but I must admit that I was completely taken with Frannie and Kowalski being so extremely cute together, and Vecchio's interactions with Kowalski. I think you made me fall in love with the characters just a little bit more, with this one :)

snoopypez said:

"Frannie and Fraser are already discussing and planning things," Kowalski said. "In fact, Fraser even turned off the movie in honor of the occasion."

"Thank God."

HEE!

Very cute. :D

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This page contains a single entry by agent155 published on December 18, 2009 1:09 AM.

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