It's Frannie that kisses Ray, first, but it's Ray who keeps the kiss going, his hand coming up to stroke at her hair with a tenderness she doesn't expect.
Frannie opens her eyes as their lips move apart.
Ray stares back at her from a few inches away.
"This is a bad idea," Frannie says. "I mean, really stupid."
Ray nods. "I know," he says, and for once he looks serious.
That morning Frannie put on her gorgeous brand-new dress, the one that was slightly more than she could afford, but made her look absolutely killer. She spent three times as long on her make-up as she usually did. She did his nails and did her hair and put on just a spritz of her best perfume, the really good stuff.
She had managed to convince herself that she just wanted to look her best for the wedding, but as soon as she got to the church and saw Fraser standing there, all ready for his best man duties, she knew it was a lie.
Frannie always cried at weddings, though, so nobody thought it was weird.
When the father pronounced them man and wife and Stella and Ray kissed, Frannie watched Fraser beam, and she sobbed so loudly Ma shushed her.
She could only imagine the damage she did to her make-up.
"I don't usually do this sort of thing," Frannie says, biting her lip.
Ray shakes his head. "I don't either. I mean -- there was always Stella. And then since then..." His face flushes some. He reaches around Frannie, pulling the zipper of her dress down, from the nape of her neck past the small of her back.
Frannie pushes the fabric off her shoulders so it pools in a pile at her feet, leaving her in her bra and panties.
Ray looks down at her breasts, and Frannie bites her lip again before he reaches out and cups them through the bra. One of his thumbs makes a slow circle around where the nipple presses against the cloth.
She takes in a deep breath. "I love you, you know, in a different kind of way. Just not--"
"It's okay," Ray says. "This is just you and me." He kisses her again, pulling her in close. Frannie wraps her arms around his thin, warm body and closes her eyes.
At the reception Frannie danced with Fraser for a few minutes. He was polite and sweet and a wonderful dancer. When Frannie asked him about Canada, he smiled again, one of those huge ones he had never given to her, and for a minute he talked all about how much he loved the snow and the ice and wolves and the tundra and stuff. After that Frannie couldn't think of anything else to say to him.
The number of times in her life Frannie's been left with nothing to say is very, very low.
She went back to her table and drank a lot of champagne and ate a lot of hors d'oeuvres. Ray hadn't skimped on the refreshments, at least. Everything was classy.
Frannie was in the middle of stuffing her face when she heard Ray Kowalski say, "Hi, Frannie."
Frannie looked up, meaning to say "Ray" or "Hi!" or something along those lines, but instead she ended up blurting out, "Oh, wow, Ray, you look awful!"
Ray snorted. "Nice to see you, too." He sat down in the chair beside her.
"Sorry," Frannie said, but she couldn't help looking him up and down some more. It'd been a couple of months since she'd seen him -- right after her brother had come back, this Ray had left for a vacation up in Canada with Fraser. Frannie hadn't known they'd even invited him to the wedding.
Ray looked like he'd lost weight, and he'd been on the thin side to begin with, so his suit didn't fit very well. His stubble had grown out some, and his hair was as weird as ever, all over the place, though maybe he'd made an effort to fix it for the occasion. His skin was kind of pale and rough looking, too. He looked exhausted.
"When did you get back to Chicago?"
"I flew down with Fraser a couple days ago," Ray said. He nodded out to the dance floor, and Frannie followed his gaze out there, to where Fraser was dancing carefully and perfectly with some lawyer friend of Stella's.
She turned back around to Ray quickly. "So are you back home for good, then?"
Ray smiled faintly. Or showed his teeth, at least, Frannie guessed. "Yeah, I guess. What else would I do, right?"
Frannie narrowed her eyes at him and took another sip. "Are you okay?"
"Me?" Ray shrugged. "I'm great. I've had my adventure. Now I can, uh, get old and die." He looked back over to her face, his eyes focusing in. "Hey, can you point me to one of those drinks?"
Ray is a lot gentler than she expected. Slower, too. For a while, after they're naked in his bed, they're just kissing, kissing and rubbing. Then Ray's hand is between Frannie's thighs, his long smooth fingers, and then Ray's head is down there instead, and Frannie just stares at the ceiling and tries to remember to breathe.
After she comes, Ray moves to the nightstand, and she helps him put on the condom. Ray takes a deep breath, and then he starts to enter her, bit by tiny bit, till Frannie's impatient with waiting. "Please," she says, and Ray grunts and pushes in further, all the way.
Frannie wraps her legs around him, matching his thrusts, trying to keep her eyes open to watch.
Ray kisses the corner of her eye, and Frannie shivers like she's never going to stop.
Frannie asked a couple of questions about his time in Canada, and then she talked some about the academy when Ray asked, but none of that was what she really felt like talking about.
"The thing is," Frannie said, leaning over the table to him, "is that I'm over him."
Ray said, "Uh-huh."
"I am!" Frannie insisted. She sighed. "It was just... I know Fraser doesn't belong here. I just loved him. I loved him for so long, and now it's gone."
Ray was looking past her, his expression slightly shadowed, withdrawn. Frannie narrowed her eyes, but then understanding hit her like a brick.
"Oh! I guess you know how it feels, though, huh?" she said sympathetically.
Ray's eyes flew back to meet hers. He swallowed heavily. "Huh?"
"I guess the wedding must be hard for you. Stella," Frannie said. "It's hard letting things go. Sometimes people just don't fit." She reached out and put her hand on top of his on the table.
Ray stared at her for another second. "You have no idea, Frannie." He took another swallow from his glass, finishing it off before setting it back down on the table. "Hey. You want to get out of here, come over to my place?"
Frannie hesitated. "I shouldn't," she said, "but sure."
Frannie comes back from the bathroom after she's fixed her hair and face. Ray is dressed now, too, standing awkwardly in the middle of the living room.
"So, you okay?" Ray looks a little worried.
Frannie thinks about it for a couple seconds. "Yeah, I am."
"Oh," Ray says, sounding surprised. "Great. Uh, can I give you a ride home?"
Frannie shakes her head and says,"Nah. I'll take a cab." She crosses the room to him and kisses him on the cheek before giving him a tight hug. "You're a great guy, Ray, you know that?"
"Thanks, Frannie," Ray says, and then he kisses her hair before he lets her go.
During the cab ride, Frannie stares out the window. She thinks she'll fall asleep as soon as she gets home.
Please post a comment on this story.
Fandom: due South
Title: Six Point Four Ounces
Author: Pearl-o [email] [website]
Details: Standalone | R | het | 7k | 07/21/04
Pairings: Francesca Vecchio/Ray Kowalski
Summary: Frannie doesn't usually do this sort of thing. Neither does Ray.
Disclaimer/Other: Not mine. Not mine at all.
[top of page]
|Home/QuickSearch + Random + Upload + Search + Contact + GO List|