Title: Three Out of Three

Author: Seana Renay.

Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski.

Rating: Slash, PG-13.

Summary: Wherein there is something tragic, something forgotten, and something good.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No money. Don't sue.

Feedback: Comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Notes: There was a shooting at my old high school today. It hit me kind of hard. This is me being cathartic.

Date: March 7, 2001.


"I don't get it, Fraser." Ray banged the heel of his hand sharply against the steering wheel. "Do you get it? Because I sure as fuck don't." He hung his head and breathed, his body shuddering with tenuously controlled emotion. Whether it was anger, hurt, or fear, Fraser could not be entirely certain.

Fraser placed a soothing hand on Ray's back. "I'm not sure there's anything to get, Ray. Sometimes bad things happen, and no one can know why."

"I don't want a story, Fraser," Ray warned.

"I wasn't going to offer one, Ray."

"Good. Because I don't want one." Ray breathed deeply several times, trying to calm himself, trying to relax under Fraser's gentle touch.

"Do you want to talk about it, Ray?" Fraser asked.

"What's there to talk about?" Ray snapped. "Nothing. Fucking....It happens all over the fucking country, Fraser, it happens everywhere. I'm surprised it took so long to happen here. Some kid gets picked on and wants, you know, wants fucking revenge, wants to send a message, so they go and..." Ray broke off, turned his head, and sniffed loudly. His hands rose to his face, and Fraser realized he had begun to cry.

Careful to mind the gearshift, Fraser wrapped an arm around Ray's shoulders and pulled him closer, letting Ray's head rest against his chest. Ray's arms awkwardly circled around his waist, and Ray clung to him.

"They were just kids, Fraser," Ray said quietly, after a time. "Just fucking kids. Nothing's more unfair than this. It's wrong and it's sick and it's..." He jerked back suddenly and punched the steering wheel again. "It's just fucking fucked up."

"It certainly is, Ray."

"I do not want to live in a world where kids get shot at school. I do not want to raise kids in a world where that happens."

Fraser closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. "I know, Ray. I know." He looked at Ray, empathy and concern plain on his face, and took Ray's hand. Slowly, as though he was trying to be inconspicuous, he brought it to his lips and placed a soft kiss on Ray's knuckle. "You're a very good man, Ray," he said. "You're good to care so deeply."

Ray let Fraser kiss his hand, let him hold it. It seemed to settle him, but cause little reaction beyond that. Fraser was glad to help Ray, and to be allowed to help. He knew that Ray was an emotional man, but also knew that sometimes Ray's emotions overwhelmed him, and in those moments, Ray could be best reached by simple physical gestures.

Ray shook his head. "What's good, Fraser? What's good in a world as shitty as this?"

"You know, Ray," Fraser said.

"I don't. Not anymore."

"There's good in the world. There's kindness. And friendship. And love."

Ray nodded and grinned wryly. "So that's what's good, then. You. For two out of three, anyway."

Fraser's hand tightened around Ray's, his thumb stroking gently across the back of Ray's wrist.

For a long moment, there was silence.

"You've miscalculated, Ray."

Ray looked at him blankly.

"All three, Ray," Fraser clarified. "Three out of three."