This is my contribution to the spring flowers lyric wheel on Two Axes. Jenny sent me some poignant Sarah Mclachlan lyrics (in detail below) and the following lines in particular caught my attention.


I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do 'cause you're to good to fight about it”
Even when I have to push just to see how far you'll go
You won't stoop down to battle but you never turn to go.
That made me think about Italian Ray and WASP Benny and their different ways of dealing with emotions. 
Ray: all Mediterranean bluster but settles down to business when things are really serious.
Benny: the placid exterior but when things happen to him he broods and broods, as witness “Letting Go” and other episodes.
TYK to Jenny for the song. And I also remembered we were supposed to work flowers into it somehow. Well, here goes:

Since his consular work had much more regular hours than Ray’s detective duties, Fraser

was usually the first one home from work in the evening. Ray was accustomed to coming home to find his lover in the kitchen cooking dinner. Instead he found the kitchen empty of Mountie and the stove, both burner and oven, empty of food. Fraser’s leather jacket hanging on the hook in the vestibule confirmed that Fraser was indeed home, so Ray headed towards the bedroom. From the corridor he could see Fraser in the bedroom pulling items of clothing out of his dresser drawer and stuffing them into a knapsack.


While still standing in the hall, Ray sighed and rolled his eyes. He paused to give silent thanks to his Mediterranean upbringing that had taught him to howl wildly and loudly with the annoyances of life and then get over it. Fraser had never really learned how to let off steam properly. So as even-tempered as he appeared on the outside, when something went awry in his personal life he bottled up the hurt and didn’t know how to deal with it.


Ray stood in hallway a moment longer then advanced to the open doorway. “Packing?” he said casually.


“Don’t try to stop me this time, Ray. The best thing is for me to just get out.”


There was an armchair in the bedroom. Ray settled into it saying, “What happened this time.”


Fraser only stuffed in a last pair of socks then did up the buckle on the front flap of the knapsack, giving the strap a definitely tug. It was one of the Mountie’s favourite gestures of finality, and Ray had to smile to himself. But he wiped the smile from his face when Fraser turned towards him.


“I’m not worthy of you, Ray. You’re better off without me. I’m . . . I’m . . . despicable.”


“You sound like Sylvester. Okay, tell me what happened.”


“This isn’t a joke, Ray. I’ve done something horrible. I’ve betrayed your trust. I can’t expect you to love me after this. So I’m doing the honourable thing and leaving you.”


“Uh hunh.”


The Mountie slung the backpack over his shoulder and formed a tight-lipped look of determination.


Ray ran his palm over his sparse hair, in anticipation of becoming exasperated. He wasn’t exasperated yet, but he knew the pattern of these conversations. Exasperation was about four minutes away if things went true to form.


“Tell me what you did, Benny. I’ll decide if I’m kicking you out over it.”


“You’re better off not knowing.”


“Try me.”


Fraser tossed the backpack onto the bed again and spun around to face the seated Ray. “All right, if you insist on knowing: I cheated on you. I made love to someone else.”


A shudder went through Ray at these words. This was serious. But he wasn’t going to say anything rash until he knew the full story. Fraser, for all his calm demeanour, took everything to heart and held it there. Ray was never sure if he loved Fraser for this trait or in spite of it.


“So, now you know,” Fraser said, still standing and staring defiantly at Ray.


“I’m entitled to know the details,” Ray said calmly. He gestured towards the bed and said “Sit down and tell me about it. If you’re leaving me anyway a few more minutes won’t make a difference.”


Fraser did as Ray said and dropped himself onto the edge of the bed. “Very well. You may as well know what a monster I am and that I’m not leaving you over something trivial.”


“So this guy you cheated on me with, is it someone I know?”


“Not a guy, Ray. A woman. And, yes, you know her. It’s Inspector Thatcher.”


Ray burst out into sudden relieved laughter. The Dragon Lady had been plying Benny with flowers and throwing herself at him ever since the Mountie had let his superior know he was taking an apartment with Ray. For some reason, Ray hadn’t felt threatened by all this. The Dragon Lady was a strong-willed bitch and he was sure she didn’t want Fraser for a permanent relationship. She only wanted to get even with her subordinate for daring to lose interest in her and move on to a more appreciative partner.


“Benny, the way she’s been pestering you, it was only a matter of time until you gave in. Hell, I’d nail her myself under that kind of pressure.”


“You’re making light of this? Ray, I had sex with her.”


“Did you enjoy it?”


Fraser’s whole face contracted in sudden puzzlement.


“Did you? Think about it.” Ray insisted.


Fraser did think about it and the effort of the cogitation showed clearly in his expression. Ray thought he could actually see the brain cells whirring about and tumbling over one another as Fraser worked on the question.


“I . . . I was so . . . angry,” Fraser said finally. “She’s so insistent.”


“As long as you were mooning over her, she had the upper hand. Once you realized you could do better and stopped chasing her, she lost her power over you.”


“That’s true,” Fraser admitted, “And power is important to her.”


“Duh – uh. So she pushed you and pushed you and finally you got mad and fucked her.”


Fraser flinched at the word but realized Ray had pretty well summed up what had happened. “But, I don’t understand. Anger isn’t supposed to lead to sex.”


“Sure it does. Soldiers rape all the women in the village after a battle. Little girls, old ladies. You think it’s because they’re in love with them?”


As Fraser sat there, deep in thought, Ray came over and sat beside him on the bed. “Tell me this. Are you in love with the Dragon Lady? Are you going to go out of our home and move in with her instead?”


Fraser was aghast. “Ray! Don’t even say such a thing! I hate myself for what I did. I’m not even sure how I’m going to face her tomorrow. I may have to resign from the Force.”


Ray put an arm around his beloved. “I got a better idea. Report her for sexual harassment.”


It was Fraser’s turn to burst out laughing. “I really could, couldn’t I? I really could do it.”


“May not help your career, though. For now just hint to her that you’re going to and watch her sweat. By the way, I think you put a pair of my socks in your bag. You better empty it out and check.”


“Ray . . .” Fraser barely breathed the word and pulled his lover’s face close to kiss him.


Their lips had barely been together an instant when Ray pushed him away. “You don’t touch me after being with her. Shower first,” he teased.


“I already have. Twice. Once at the consulate and again when I got home. I just felt so . . . unclean.”


Ray initiated the kiss this time. “Unclean. Only you could say something like that,” Ray murmured as they paused to get air.




Every time I look at you the world just melts away
All my troubles all my fears dissolve in your affections
You've seen me at my weakest but you take me as I am
And when I fall you offer me a softer place to land
You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You're the one true thing I know I can believe in
You're all the things that I desire, you save me, you complete me
You're the one true thing I know I can believe in
I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do 'cause you're too good to fight about it
Even when I have to push just to see how far you'll go
You won't stoop down to battle but you never turn to go
Love is just the antidote but nothing can cure me
There are times I can't decide when I can't tell up from down 
You make me feel less crazy when otherwise I'd drown
But you pick me up and brush me off and tell me I'm OK
Sometimes that’s just what we need to get us through the day


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