Saturday at the Garage

by Dira Sudis

Thanks to Iulia Mentis for beta!

Ray sat on the stoop in front of his building at two minutes to ten in the morning on his day off, waiting for Fraser to show up. It was a little chilly, and he rubbed his bare arms to warm them up, then went back to picking threads from the knee of his grubby jeans.

Ray had been up for hours already. He woke up at six, and laid in bed staring at the ceiling walking through the steps of an oil change over and over in his mind. It wasn't like he didn't know how--he'd learned when he was ten years old--but all of a sudden Fraser wanted to know how to change oil, and Ray was feeling like he'd agreed to give lessons in skydiving.

He'd warmed up the car already, had everything set over in the garage, so all he had to do now was wait for Fraser to show, and wonder why the hell they were doing this. Because Fraser had asked, of course, but where the hell had that come from? Fraser didn't own a car, didn't know anything about cars, and didn't need to know anything about cars. He walked everywhere, and the Consulate had a contract with a very reliable mechanic to take care of their vehicles. So why the sudden curiosity? Fraser had said something about things a well-rounded individual ought to know, but that was bull, because Fraser had been way too nervous about asking for it to be just curiosity. No, something was definitely up.

It had been nearly twenty-four hours, and the only thing Ray could think of was that Fraser thought he was going to need to know soon. Proper preparation, that was his motto, right? So why would Fraser need to know how to change his own oil?

Ray set his teeth to a ragged thumbnail, coming to the same conclusion he had the last hundred times he'd thought it out.

Fraser was leaving.

Ray hadn't decided yet, whether he thought he'd need to know how to look after a car where he was going--maybe some remote outpost where it'd just be him and a Jeep?--or if Fraser thought that working on the car would distract Ray from the bad news, but he couldn't think of any other explanation.

Ray spit out a fragment of thumbnail and looked around, catching sight of Fraser walking toward him from up the block. He was wearing jeans and a blue button-down shirt that Ray had never seen before, with what looked like dark stains on the wrists and near the front buttons. Fraser smiled, and Ray couldn't help smiling back. He wasn't gone yet, after all, and Ray had never been one to give up before the fight had even started.

Ray got to his feet as Fraser walked up. "Morning, Fraser. Dief get cranky about being left behind?"

"He's seen the effects of antifreeze, Ray. He was quite understanding."

Fraser was lying, just a little, but Ray acted like he hadn't noticed. "C'mon, my garage is a couple blocks down." Ray waved in that direction and started walking, Fraser beside him. "I didn't need one when I first moved in, so I had to find one to rent in the neighborhood, and this was as close as I could get."

Fraser nodded. "Understood, Ray."

They walked along for a block in silence, Ray keeping his hands stuffed in his pockets and his elbows pressed to his ribs, reminding himself he'd warm up once they were working. When he looked over at Fraser, he realized that Fraser was looking at him, at his bare arms and black tank. Fraser quickly turned his eyes down to his own shirt, tugging at the stained cuffs. Nervous, yeah. Ray knew how he felt; he'd been on first dates that were more relaxed, which was crazy. He and Fraser had been partners now for more than a year. "Is this acceptable attire, Ray? You did say to wear something I'd butchered caribou in."

Ray opened his mouth to say that wasn't what he'd said exactly, and then stopped in mid-stride, staring at Fraser's shirt. "Fraser, are you telling me that's caribou blood?"

Fraser raised his eyebrows. "It's a messy and prolonged process, Ray. A certain amount of staining is inevitable, given the length of time the fabric--"

"Yeah, Fraser, I get the picture." Ray did get the picture, actually. Fraser, bloodied up to his elbows, with a knife in his hand and a smear on his forehead where he'd pushed his hair back, his cheeks pink with the work, smiling as he hacked away... Ray tore his eyes from Fraser in his grubbies and started walking again, thinking about glaciers, thinking about Stella's cool stare, anything that would freeze the heat in his groin. That was the last place he needed his mind going today. Fraser was already leaving; Ray didn't need to hurry him along any.

They walked the rest of the way there in silence. Ray let them into the garage through the side door, and flipped on the lights. "Okay," he said, and took a deep breath, letting his eyes run over the goat, gleaming black and perfect and familiar, his tools all arranged, the warm comfortable confines of his garage. "Okay," he repeated, feeling himself settle. Just an oil change, and Fraser wasn't an audience, he was Ray's buddy, hanging out at the garage. He could do this, easy. "First thing we gotta do is get the car up on the jackstands." He pointed--they were already positioned by the front end--and Fraser nodded. Ray knelt down by the jack, waving for Fraser to join him. "Okay, so we'll jack it up and then push the stands under, right? You never wanna trust a jack to hold the car if you're going to be under it." He set the jack, and went on with his little patter, filling the quiet. Usually he had the radio on while he worked on the car. "You just gotta make sure you get the jack under the frame, and not the body, see? Because otherwise you just--"

"Ray." Fraser was looking at Ray, meeting his eyes steadily, and for a second Ray thought, This is it, here it comes, but Fraser said, "When your father taught you to work on cars, did he explain everything he did, step by step?"

Ray blinked, then smiled. "Nah. I'd been watching him since I was a tiny kid, so I'd mostly picked it up by the time he taught me anything on purpose. He'd just kinda show me what to do, y'know, grunt and point. Maybe he'd say something if I was about to do it wrong, but that was about it."

Fraser nodded slowly, holding Ray's gaze. "Why don't you teach me the same way you learned, then? Just walk me through it. I'll remember just as well that way, if not better."

Ray swallowed, and pressed his fingertips against a frame edge til they hurt enough for him to say, "Yeah, okay," in a totally normal voice. He was not getting hard from teaching Fraser to work on a car. "So--" No words, right. Ray waved to the jack and then ducked his head, bending lower, and Fraser squeezed down right beside him, raising a hand to run along the frame to feel where Ray was positioning the jack.

"I see, Ray," Fraser said, quietly, and then sat back on his heels when Ray did.

Ray set a hand on the handle of the jack, and Fraser set two hands against it and started pumping the car up. Ray stared at the goat's slowly rising bumper--might be time for a little detail work soon--and listened to the soft noises of the pneumatics pumping, his hand riding up and down while Fraser did the work. "That's good," he said, when it was, and Fraser moved over to the other side of the car to get the stand in place without being told, while Ray did the one on the near side. After a quick glance to see Fraser had done it right, Ray stood up. Fraser did likewise, and when Ray stood at the front of the car and laid a hand on the hood, Fraser copied him. The metal was warm, but not hot. "Feel that?" Ray said. "You have to warm up the car first, drive it around. Thins the oil."

Fraser nodded. "How long?"

Ray shrugged. "You don't want it real hot, but enough for it to get going. If you're running the heat, just go until your feet get warm." He tried not to think about how long that might take, in the Yukon. Fraser driving circles around some little shack, waiting til he could feel his feet...

Ray straightened up and popped the hood. Fraser was on the right, and set the stand without being told, and Ray smiled at him, nodding. Good instincts.

Ray tapped the oil cap and then opened it. "Oil drains better if it gets some air from the top."

"Ah," Fraser said, "Right."

Ray met Fraser's eyes for a second, but Fraser was watching him closely, like he was trying to look right into Ray's brain and learn what he needed to know. Ray looked away quickly--Fraser was gonna pick up more than Car Care 101 if he kept that up. "Okay, tools. Socket wrench, oil filter wrench, bucket." Fraser picked up the wrenches, and ran one finger down the side of the bucket, like he was getting a feel for the size of it. "And now," Ray made a little sweeping gesture toward the space under the car, and Fraser knelt to push the tools underneath while Ray sat down and slid under in one smooth easy motion. Ray watched Fraser's thighs as he knelt up, moving slightly, and then there was a soft thump and Fraser was getting down on the floor, too.

Ray bit his tongue. Fraser had taken off the caribou-blood shirt, leaving him in a white muscle shirt and those faded jeans. Jesus. He slid under, right close next to Ray in the tight, warm, sharply metal-smelling space, their arms and shoulders all pressed together, and Ray said, too quickly, "Uh, you might want to move--helps if our heads are close, so you can see--"

Fraser made a little "Ah," noise, and shifted around until they were lying at angles to each other, not touching except their heads and the points of their shoulders. Ray tried to remember to breathe, and shifted his knees up to help camouflage anything going on in his pants, and thanked God he could do this without any actual brain function.

He looked over and found Fraser watching him instead of the engine, his eyes looking dark and weirdly hungry in the dimness under the car. Ray was reminded of that image of Fraser slaughtering caribou, and reached up, sliding his hand through some of the engine grease he'd inevitably get all over his hands anyway. Before he could think better of it or Fraser could move away, Ray swiped his thumb across Fraser's forehead, leaving a dark smear, and laughed only a little shakily. "There. Now you're blooded."

Fraser really smiled at that, like it meant something to him, and Ray had to look away from that bright look, that tarnished Mountie's face. "Okay. Oil drain plug, here." He tapped it with his fingers, and Fraser's hand slid up next to his, Fraser's fingers pressing into the spaces between Ray's. "Feel," Ray muttered, reaching up with his other hand and patting at the metal of the oil pan, and Fraser's left hand moved up beside his, then twitched back from the heat. "That's how you can tell. See, you don't want--" Ray moved his right hand off the plug, taking Fraser's hand along for the ride, and moved it to touch the transmission fluid plug, and then the cooler metal around it.

"Ah," Fraser said, in his ear, so close Ray could feel his breath, "Yes."

Ray closed his eyes, shook his right hand free of Fraser's though their left ones were still resting against the pan together, not moving, like they'd both forgotten about them even though the feel of Fraser's palm against the back of his hands had taken over half his brain. He cleared his throat, and said, "Socket wrench."

When he looked again, Fraser--his hand streaked with grease, just like Ray's--was holding the wrench close to the drain plug. Ray wrapped his hand around Fraser's, and guided the wrench onto the nut. It clicked right into place, and Ray meant to explain to Fraser that, on another car, he might have to try a few times to get the right socket, but instead he said, "Tell me why you're doing this."

He felt, an inch from his face, the motion of Fraser's head turning toward him. "Ray?"

He didn't look back, kept his eyes on his and Fraser's hands, flattened against the oil pan, curled around the handle of the wrench, streaks of grease standing out on Fraser's pale skin right up to his wrists, and said, "You don't even like cars."

"Well, perhaps not," Fraser said, and it sounded so much like he was going to admit something that Ray shifted away slightly, so he could look at Fraser and still be able to focus his eyes. Fraser licked his lip, and Ray shifted his legs further apart, bit his tongue, and forced himself not to look away. "But you like them quite a lot," Fraser said, quietly, "And--as much as I like you, I must like them at least a little, by extension."

Ray blinked, and frowned. That sounded like one of those questions off of the SAT, except that it was insane. "Fraser, what kind of logi--" Fraser's hands tightened on Ray's, mashing the knuckles of his right hand up against not-quite-hot steel, the instant before Fraser turned his head and kissed him.

It wasn't a great kiss. Ray had barely had time to realize it was really actually happening before Fraser was pulling away, with a look in his eyes like he was going to crawl out of from under the car and run. Ray squirmed closer before he could get away, and kissed him back, awkwardly, with their mouths and hands touching and nothing else, their noses getting in the way, concrete hard against the side of his head. Ray broke it off, and Fraser was breathing hard, eyes wide.

Ray turned his head back, looking at their tangled hands, the familiar and understood underbelly of his car, felt the floor cool against his back where sweat had broken out, and said, "Fraser, do you really want to do this?"

Fraser's mouth moved against Ray's ear. He didn't hear any actual words, but it was a clear enough answer.

"Yeah," Ray whispered, "Yeah, fuck it."

Fraser made a choked-back eager noise at that, and Ray bit down hard on his lip, his dick jumping. He pried his hands free of Fraser's, and said, "Get up, try not to touch anything, we'll have to clean up--" and Fraser was scooting away and gone before Ray could finish. He curled his dirty hands, holding them close to his chest, and stretched his legs, planting his feet and pulling himself out of from under. Fraser was already standing by the deep utility sink, watching Ray roll to his feet without using his hands.

Ray didn't try to say anything, just grabbed a rag to turn on the taps. The lid was already off the tin of yellowy pungent soap, and he scooped out a handful, grabbing Fraser's hands with both of his own and shoving them all together under the water. Fraser scrubbed at his hands as he scrubbed at Fraser's, trying to focus on the lathering soap and getting all the grease cleaned off instead of the feel of Fraser's body hard against his side. But Fraser's hands were strong and hard, and the soap made them move slickly over his fingers and against his palms, and it was all Ray could do not to start humping the side of the tub. When they were clean, or at least clean enough, Ray pulled his hands free, reaching for a clean rag. Fraser reached toward the tap, but Ray said quickly, "No, gotta--" and grabbed Fraser's chin with one wet hand, using the other to shove the rag under the tap and then into the soap. Fraser stood still, tilting his head a little as Ray scrubbed at the smear on his forehead. His eyes slipped shut after a second, and Ray swiped the soap away with a damp corner, leaving Fraser's skin clean again, but still marked, still brought down from that pale Mountie perfection.

As he tossed the rag in the sink, Fraser slapped the taps shut--they were a duet, all right--and then his big wet hands were sliding into Ray's hair, as Ray was running his hands down the sides of Fraser's tank, and they were kissing again, seriously this time, their mouths already open by the time they connected. Fraser's tongue, hot and wet and strong, pressed into his mouth, and Ray sucked and tasted and licked back until he couldn't breathe.

He was shoving Fraser's shirt up from the bottom as Fraser's hands ran down his neck to the back of his tank and started pulling up. They parted to get them over their heads and then they both had their hands over their heads, tangled up in each other and their shirts, and Ray bent his elbows to pull Fraser in for another kiss, pressed chest-to-chest, skin to skin. He couldn't help shoving his hips against Fraser's, felt him hard in his jeans as Ray was in his, and groaned as they both shook their hands free.

Fraser's hand slid down his back, caught him by the back of his jeans and spun him around, and Ray stumbled back toward the GTO. Fraser was right beside him, snapping the oil cap back on and yanking his hand clear as Ray knocked out the prop and slammed the hood shut, and then Fraser gasped, "Ray--the finish--"

"I'll teach you detailing next week," Ray promised, breathlessly, sitting down on the hood of the car, fumbling his own pants open before he died of the constriction, setting his heels on the bumper and splaying his knees apart. Fraser moved to stand between his legs, unzipping his own jeans with shaking hands. To see him now, you'd never believe he could get himself in and out of that Mountie uniform without help, and that mental image had Ray grabbing his own dick, just behind the head, squeezing hard until he was sure he wasn't going to come before they'd even gotten started.

As soon as Ray started to loosen his own grip, Fraser, tented boxers showing under his unzipped jeans, was pushing closer between his legs, curling his fingers around Ray's. Ray thrust up into their combined grip as Fraser pushed his hand down his cock and then back up, and in the instant that Ray's hips actually lifted off the hood of the car, Fraser's other hand yanked his jeans and jockeys down to his thighs.

Ray pulled his hand off his own dick--Fraser seemed like he could handle things there--and reached for Fraser's boxers, but Fraser backed away, his hand on Ray going still as he pushed Ray's jeans down to his ankles. Then he put both his hands on Ray's hips, pushing him back a little way from the edge, bareassed on the hood of his car. Bossy Mountie, but the little gasp he gave when Ray managed to hook his fingers between sweat-damp elastic and hot-shivering skin was just as desperate as any noise a Chicago flatfoot could make. Ray tugged Fraser close again, right up between his legs, the denim of his jeans soft against the skin of Ray's thighs.

The angle was weird--even with the car jacked up, Fraser was a few inches higher than him--but then Fraser put a hand on Ray's chest and pushed him back, flat on the hood, the metal warm against his bare skin. Ray arched up, looking for contact, and Fraser leaned over him, finally, finally pulling his jeans down, freeing his cock into Ray's waiting hand. Ray couldn't really see, and closed his eyes, learning Fraser by feel; he was thick and heavy in Ray's hand, hard and--Ray's eyes popped open, and he shifted up on one elbow to see--uncut. He thumbed at the novelty of foreskin, until Fraser's hand let go of his hip and curled around his dick again, jacking him slowly until he gasped and jerked and said, "Frase--"

Fraser thrust against Ray, taking his hand off Ray's dick and pulling Ray's hand away, lining their cocks up against each other. Ray thrust up at the same moment Fraser pushed down, and the skid and slide of his dick against Fraser's left Ray gasping again, writhing a little on the car, reaching up for Fraser, who leaned lower over him as Ray got a hand into his hair, and Ray was looking into those dark blue eyes again. "Hey," he said, and Fraser smiled at him.

"Hello, Ray," he said, pulling Ray's hand down to their cocks, holding them together. Ray thrust up again, into their joined hands, against Fraser's cock, lunging up at the same time to press his open mouth against Fraser's. They were both gasping too hard to really kiss, but even the feel of Fraser's breath on his lips pushed Ray closer to the edge, their tongues meeting in the space between their mouths, thrusting as hard as their cocks. Fraser shifted himself lower, sealing his mouth over Ray's, pressing Ray against the car, and Ray was coming hard, pushing up against his weight, licking into the heat of his mouth. Fraser didn't last much longer, breaking the kiss to rest his head on Ray's shoulder, breathing in little startled gasps as Ray stroked him through it.

Ray found the energy from somewhere to lift his head, leaning his face against Fraser's mussed up hair, and muttered, "Hey, pull your feet up."

Fraser nodded, and Ray reached one sticky hand over to his hip, rolling them onto their sides as Fraser rested his weight on the car. Ray tugged Fraser up so they were face to face, and was glad to realize that the goofy grin on his face was echoed by the sleepy little smile on Fraser's. "Never, uh. Never did that on the hood of the car before, Frase."

"Well, Ray," Fraser paused, open-mouthed, catching his breath or yawning, or maybe both, "I've never changed oil before, so it seemed a fair trade."

Ray snorted. "You still haven't changed oil, buddy." His dick, which should have been down for the count, still twitched at the thought of finishing what they'd started under the car. "But, uh, maybe later? After we wash up again and--maybe do some other stuff."

Fraser nodded, and said, "That sounds like an excellent plan, Ray," but he was already closing his eyes. Ray grinned, and hooked his knee over Fraser's legs, getting comfy. The car was warm beneath them, and it was Saturday. They had plenty of weekend ahead of them to get to washing up, and changing the oil, and... other stuff.