Title: Available Light
Author: Pita Patter
Pairing: Fraser/Vecchio
Summary: Ray of Light illuminates Lonely Benny
Rating: NC-17
Category: AU, Fantasy, Romance
Warning: Beware of sap. Lots of it.
Comments: Thanks to Chris, for that second look. But I’m stubborn, so mistakes remain. They’re mine, though. The title comes from a song, but it's not a songfic.

 

Available Light

 

By the end of the 90’s, on the beautiful northern Canadian wilderness, there lived a Mountie named Benton Fraser. Not only was he a beautiful Constable, Benton was also a very kind soul, helping everyone in need. Having saved a wolf pup from the throes of death at Prince Rupert Sound, he adopted the animal and named it Diefenbaker. The wolf was his only companion.

 As a matter of fact, Benton was a very lonely man. He and Dief lived all by themselves in a wooden cabin far away from the nearest town. They patrolled the woods and chased malfeasants. But mostly, they helped people, because Benton’s heart was generous, and good.

From time to time, Benton went to town, to buy goods. Near the end of spring, Benton and Dief came to town to get provisions for the winter. They saw a very poor ageing man, apparently a beggar, huddled near the grocery store, being harassed by the townspeople. Many of them asked Benton to arrest him and to turn the man to the local sheriff, because he might try to rob them or something like that.

Benton chastised them, because that was a cruel thing to say. He asked the man if he was sick or hurt. The man said he was hungry, that he had no money and nowhere to go. So Benton told the poor fellow that if he wanted to come with him, he could give him some hot food, a warm bed, and he’d try to find a job and a place to live, otherwise he wouldn’t survive when the winter came. The man was very grateful and accepted Benton’s generous offer.

Diefenbaker growled and suggested the man should also take a bath. Benton found the suggestion very appropriate.

That night, the beggar could bathe, shave, eat and even put some clean clothes. Benton made him sit by the fireplace to tell him what his skills were, so they could try to find a job best suitable for him. But the man – who said he couldn’t remember his own name – just smiled and said he had never had the opportunity to develop many skills. Benny then asked him where did he come from, and how did he ended so far up north and the man said he was very tired and he wanted to sleep. Benton respected his guest’s wishes and let the man sleep near the fireplace, in the bed that used to be his when his father was still alive a couple of years ago.

***

In the middle of the night, Benton a strange warmth surrounding him and Diefenbaker whined. The Mountie immediately sat up in his bed, for there was something going on. When he opened his eyes, he saw a tremendously bright light coming from the fireplace. Then he heard voices. He threw the covers aside and padded towards his living room.

Benton stopped walking and gaped when he saw what was going on in his minute living room. His guest was up by the fireplace, and it seemed that he was surrounded by light, a luminosity that emanated from his own body, now draped in rich clothing, as if he was an authority.

That impression was reinforced by the fact that Benton’s guest had an elfish creature kneeling at his feet and gazing up towards him in adoration – a man quite beautiful and impressive. The former beggar now bore regal features, and his whole presence evoked a different vibration, an aura of peace and harmony.

Slowly he turned around and saw Benton’s astonished gaze. He smiled at the Mountie, in a condescending way, gesturing, “Benton, my child, come here.”

Enthralled at that wondrous vision, Benton stepped forward. The elfish creature rose, and his face was even more beautiful than the lithe, gracious body: a small head, a patrician nose, luscious lips, gorgeous chin and – as a piece-de-résistance – entrancing, sparkling green eyes that looked like gems. Benton couldn’t take his eyes off that captivating being.

“You are a very good man, Benton,” said the former beggar, getting his attention away from the beautiful elf. “When everyone rejected me, you took me in, gave me food, shelter. You protected me without knowing who I really am.”

“Who are you?”

“My real name is Lorsden. I am a king of a reign very subtle to the humans. Every now and then I come here to put the humans to a test. You passed the test, Benton, and now I want to reward you.”

The king made a gesture to the beautiful creature to his side, and he came forward. “I saw your heart, Benton, and I felt your loneliness. It’s not good to go through life so alone. So I am offering you one of my dearest children. He will keep you company all the times, and help you in any way he can.” The elfish king turned to his subject. “Let him know your true nature, my child.”

The beautiful creature smiled at Benton. And there was light in Benton’s cabin – coming from the creature’s body. Light as if the Sun itself was inside the place, light as if the fireplace had tripled its size, warmth as if two huge furnaces had been put together.

“He can keep you warm, too,” said the king. “He’ll take good care of you. His name is Ray.”

Benton smiled. His heart bubbling with joy. If he could, he’d be irradiating light, too. “You are most generous. Can Ray speak?”

The king laughed hard. “Oh, Benton, you will find that he can, indeed. I’m sure you two will get along just fine. Ray will teach you how to share, and how to open your heart, Benton. So when you decide to have someone in your life to love, you will be ready. And then he can do that for someone else when you are ready.”

Some of Benton’s joy waned a little when he thought about Ray leaving, but it passed when the king turned to Ray and said, “Go to Benton, Ray. Take good care of him, protect him and teach him well.”

Ray bowed in respect, then turned to Benny, smiling, and took Benton’s hand. “Hello, Benny.”

It was still night outside, but inside the cabin there was light and warmth like a million suns.

***

Autumn went by quickly because, for the first time in his life, Benton Fraser was having fun. If Ray was enthralling when quiet, when speaking Ray was absolutely adorable. He talked loud, sometimes he was abrasive, but he was very honest all the times. Benton found that admirable and a noble quality, to be sincere and true – a genuine Mother Nature’s son.

To the other people around, Benton explained Ray’s presence as a former colleague, a fellow police officer who took a sabbatical year and decided to be the Mountie’s unofficial partner. Ray’s frank and somewhat harsh nature was explained by saying he was a cop from the US, specifically, one of Chicago’s finest. The whole story fit like a glove.

So people were used to seeing them together all the time, with Diefenbaker. Doing police work, fixing little things around the house, and helping people of the community and the villages near by. They soon became inseparable. Ray was quick to learn, because Benton realised that he didn’t know many things of the humans’s world.

There were few unwritten rules they followed, and the most sacred of them was the secrecy of Ray’s true origin. He was a magical creature – that was all Benton knew and all Benton needed to know. The Mountie never asked what other powers did he have or what was his life as a magical creature in his place of origin. Ray never offered any input about that, so he figured Ray couldn’t say a word about it. He respected Ray’s privacy.

There were things, however, that came naturally from living in close quarters, things impossible not to notice. The first time Ray made breakfast, Benny (as he had adopted the name Ray had given him) realised that he did not require food to keep existing: the food Ray prepared, when edible, would be enough to feed the whole RCMP contingent in Yellowknife. Also, many nights Benny found Ray awake, reading different books. Actually, it happened so many nights that Benny couldn’t remember waking up during the night and seeing Ray asleep. It was possible that he didn’t need to sleep, either.

One thing Benny found out for sure, though: Ray couldn’t get hurt. He found that out in the most bizarre way. When they were chopping wood together, a huge chunk flew from Ray’s log and hit him straight in his bare chest. He yelled out and Benny immediately rushed to his aid, only to find that there was no injury – no blood, no mark, no anything. Ray looked at him rather sheepishly at Benny’s astonished gape and merely said, “I’ll be fine, Benny.”

One of the things that truly amazed Ben to no end was the way that Ray controlled his abilities to radiate heat and light. He was extremely careful in doing so, because of other people who might drop by the cabin, and he never over-used it. During the more mild days of autumn he simply didn’t used it, wearing sweaters like anyone else.

That winter, Benny saved a lot of firewood, in many ways. Ray could be both heater and lantern. Benny was afraid to be taking advantage of him, and he said so. Ray said he was glad to be able to help him this way. In the most horrible days of winter, when they were locked inside the cabin for days, Ray glowed on.

Benny grew used to Ray’s light, and his warmth. At the wee hours of night, when the fierce wind would make even an arctic wolf like Diefenbaker wince, Benny’s heart was calm and safe by Ray’s heat. The Mountie felt safe and cared for.

There were more discoveries to be made. That diaphanous and adorable creature had captured Benny’s heart. Benny had found out that he was in love with Ray, the one whose heat had melted the ice that had been surrounding his heart his whole life long. But Benny still hadn’t built up the courage to open his heart to his beloved.

Until one night.

Benny wasn’t quite asleep. He knew instinctively that Ray was near, for he felt his warmth. He had learned to recognise Ray’s presence just by feeling him.

To his surprise, the warmth grew and he felt a light, almost incorporeal touch to his right cheek. Benny opened his eyes and he found Ray contemplating him, his hand a few centimetres away from Benny’s cheek, as if something too precious to touch, afraid to shatter like fine china.

In one second, he saw his friend Ray’s face…Well, it was not a friend’s face. His green eyes were sparkling, alit with a yearning that made Benny’s heart flutter. He was not alone in his desires, he knew that now!

When Ray realised that Benny’s eyes were intent on him, he stepped back, embarrassed at being caught, “Uh, Benny, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” He went back further. “I don’t know what came to me, I just don’t know how I… I’m sorry, I’m so – “

Benny sat up. “Ray, it’s fine.” He took Ray’s hand between his. “I liked it. You didn’t have to take your hand away.” Benny brought Ray’s hand to his lips, kissed its palm and put it in his cheeks. “I think I’m in love with you, Ray,” he breathed.

Ray’s glow faltered, “Oh, no!” He took his hand from Benny and stood up, terrified. “No! This can’t be, Benny!” He fled the room and went to the living room.

Benny followed him, alarmed. “Ray! Ray, what’s wrong?”

The elf seemed frightened to his core. “You’re my responsibility! My charge! Lorsden will kill me! This is unheard of!”

“Kill you?” The Mountie was shocked. “Is this true?”

“No, I said that as an expression I heard from a villager,” said Ray. Still, he looked miserable. “The king will never allow it, Benny. It’s forbidden to fall in love with a charge. I’m here to get you ready to love someone else.”

“But I am in love. I love you. I don’t want anyone else.”

“Benny, it’s so dangerous.” Ray looked so miserable that Benny thought he was going to break down. “Lorsden can separate us and order me away from you.”

“Ray, I love you and I don’t want anyone else but you.” He stood up and faced Ray. “I guess the question now is: do you love me, Ray?”

Ray looked at Benny, and something must have happened because he could not control his own radiation. He shone like a million suns as he said, his eyes filled with tears, “I’ve never felt this way before. For the first time in my life, I’m truly in love with someone, Benny. And that someone is you.”

Benny wrapped himself in Ray’s arms, crossing the ocean of light, and Ray let a few tears stream down his cheek. Benny wiped the salty liquid, saying, “Then let’s fight for this love. If we love each other, it’s worth a fight. Let’s live our love to the fullest.”

“What about Lorsden?”

“We’ll deal with the king when the time comes. Right now, all it matters is that we love each other, Ray, and we owe it to each other to try it while we can.”

Ray held Benny tight, feeling all worries in his heart melting away, while his head rested on his beloved’s shoulder. It seemed their roles had been reversed: now Ray was the one who needed to feel comforted, safe and loved.

He felt that and much more when Benny lovingly led him to bed and covered his lips with his own. Ray felt a shiver run his whole body. He had never felt anything like that before. His human body never cease to bring him new wonders.

Prodigies, marvels and a roller coaster of sensations ensued the first wonders of his human body. Benny showed Ray things the other man never imagined possible. He surrendered to that man, body and soul, and Benny made the whole Earth move for him.

They made love the whole night long, oblivious to the blizzard outside, making the temperature inside the cabin soar to sizzling heights. Benny, who had known only one woman in his life, made love to Ray as if he’d know the man all his life. It felt like coming home. His lover’s body, so gracious, was at his disposal, and Benny felt his heart swelling at the proof of trust in him.

 Together they soared in heights of passion, their bodies united, their souls entwined. Nothing could set them apart. 

Or could it?

***

A strong light penetrated Benny’s closed eyelids and he snuggled closer to Ray’s ever warm body. He kissed Ray’s bare shoulder. “Ray, love?”

Ray moved. “Hm.” He had fallen asleep for the first time ever. It had to be the strenuous activity they exerted the whole night long.

“My love, you are glowing too bright.”

A different, portentous voice said, in an icy tone, “That would be me, Benton.”

Startled, Benny scared himself awake to find Lorsden in his bedroom, and sat up, covering himself with the covers, “King Lorsden!”

Ray, having scared himself awake even faster than his lover, jumped right out of bed completely nude, straight to the ground, where he kneeled at his master’s feet. “My lord!”

The king had a very annoyed expression, “At least you still have your manners. Since you forgot the laws of our people, I was not sure of your behaviour towards your king, Ray.” Seeing Ray wince, he asked, “Or did you think you could hide it from me?”

“No, my lord, never!”

“You’ve disappointed me, Ray. You had a charge and you let this happen, despite the consequences.”

“My king, please – “

He wasn’t allowed to finish. “You broke our rules, Ray, and unless you’re prepared to face the outcome to the full extent of your acts, you’re coming with me to be punished, and you’ll never see Benton again.”

At those words, it was Benton’s turn to jump out of bed, not considering his nudity. “King Lorsden, please don’t punish Ray. This is a victimless crime. Ray couldn’t help falling in love. Neither could I. You can’t punish him. He had no control over that.”

The king was inflexible. “Benton, you are a good man, but Ray knows he cannot fall in love with humans. It is forbidden. His charge is his responsibility. He knows there are consequences. Severe consequences.”

Benton felt a shadow cross his heart at the way the king said those words. He swallowed hard and said things he never imagined himself saying. “I fell in love with Ray. I love him and for the first time in my life I have someone that I want to be my whole life long. But I also know now what it means to protect someone who you love. I don’t want to harm Ray. If my love will bring him any penalty, please take him with you. Don’t punish him for my sake.”

Ray stood up. “No, I can’t. I just can’t go. I can’t live without you, Benny. Milord, I’m willing to face the consequences.”

King Lorsden looked at Ray in a very harsh manner, and then looked at Benny, as if measuring their will. He asked Ray, severely, “Are you sure you want to do this, Ray? It will not be easy.”

There was something in his voice and in the way that Ray looked at his king that prompted Benny to say before his lover answered, “Ray, you don’t have to do that. Really, I mean it. If it’s too – “

Ray turned to him, “Benny, I love you. And I’ve made up my mind. I can’t live without you. My old life seems so empty. I need you now. Now and forever.”

They held hands and exchanged looks, their love growing stronger just by that, the mere touch of their hands, and the comfort of their looks.

The king broke the moment of romance by asking Ray, “So are you willing to face the consequences?”

Ray seemed to shudder, but his voice was strong when he answered, “Yes.”

Benny still had that terrible feeling in his stomach, “You keep on saying this as if Ray could die.”

“He may die,” the king confirmed. “If he chooses you, he will not be one of us – he will become human. The transformation to a human is not an easy one. If he survives the ordeal, he will be mortal. No more powers. He won’t radiate heat or light. He will bruise; he will feel cold, hunger and sickness. He’ll need food and sleep. Will you take him then?”

Benny answered, “Of course.”

The king turned to Ray, “You know the risk. Are you willing to take it and give up your powers?”

“Without a second thought,” was the answer. “All I ask of you, my king, is to grant our hearts’ greatest wish.”

Lorsden looked at them and nodded, “I can see that you have your hearts and minds set. So be it.” The kind nodded and paced. “I will allow it. But let me tell you this: I can’t interfere in the outcome of the events. The risks are yours. I wish you good luck. Both of you are going to need it.”

He clapped his hands and a flash of light blinded Benny for a few seconds. When his eyes returned to normal and he could see around the room again, the king was gone and Ray was lying in the floor, naked, unconscious and pale.

“Oh, no. Ray!”

Benny’s heart almost stopped as he picked up Ray’s light body and put him in their bed. His lover was cold, his lips turning icy blue. Benny rubbed vigorously his arms and a bit of blood began to appear in his faces. He called out, “Diefenbaker!”

The wolf instantly materialised by his side, and Benton said, “Help Ray.” As Dief draped himself in Ray’s body, lending him the heat he so desperately needed, Benny began to take emergency procedures.

He light up the fireplace and made some tea to warm Ray. His beloved was barely conscious, but he ended up drinking a few sips of the hot liquid. Diefenbaker whined, worried. Benny put some more logs to the fireplace and carried Ray until there. Then he took every cover he could find and put them over Ray, who was besides his own naked body.

Never before had Benny felt so worried in his whole life. Ray showed little signs of recovery, and Benny’s heart clenched at the perspective of losing his open smile, his sparkling eyes, or his blissful expression when they made love… The Mountie’s chest ached and his face was wet with tears when he whispered at night, “Please, Ray, don’t leave me. I’ve just found you. I can’t lose you now. I can’t go on without you.”

Under what seemed to be a ton of covers, it was hard to move, but Ray managed to seek Benny’s body and mumble something unintelligible. Benny pressed his body against Ray’s, and although they weren’t illuminating the room anymore, they sure were more comfortable.

The snowstorm blasted three days and three nights, obscuring the sun – which made the days feel even colder. For three days and three nights, Benny struggled with Ray’s health and with his own doubts, because there were times when he thought his lover wouldn’t make it.

His worst struggle was with his feelings. He had to be strong for Ray, to tend to him, and he tried to concentrate on that. But there were times when Benny contemplated the possibility of losing Ray. Desperation came over him, and his tears weren’t enough to drain the pain that held his heart when he thought about it. If Ray were taken from him, there wouldn’t be enough tears in the world for him.

“B-benny…”

Benny rushed to his side. “Ray?”

“Hi…”

Benny caressed the sweat-covered faced and greeted, “Hello, my Ray, my love, my honey…”

“I’m wet… Water… Drink…”

Benny got a glass of water. “You had fever. Now you’re better.” Ray managed to take a few sips, thirsty. Eager, he coughed up. “Easy, easy… You’re much better.” He kissed his forehead. It felt cooler.

“Benny,” Ray’s voice was still weak, “Do you still love me?”

“Of course, my love,” he kissed the palm of his hand. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“I’m mortal now,” Ray sighed. “I can’t protect you anymore. I’m only human.”

“I’ve been only human my whole life, too, and it’s never bothered me. You’ll see it’s not so bad as you think.” Benny kissed his forehead again. “Rest some more, while I make dinner. I hope you can eat.”

Ray looked at him, puzzled. “Now I understand hunger. When you said dinner, my body reacted.”

A different, now familiar voice, completed from the door, “Reactions like that are typically human. That means you are totally mortal, my child.”

Both men turned to see the noble king dressed in his regal robes, his expression now as calm and soft as Benny first remembered him. The king seemed contented. “I see the transition has been successfully completed. And you survived. I’m pleased.”

Benny was relieved. “So it’s over?”

“Not quite. It will be once I erase your memories of my child’s true nature.”

Benny blanched, “You’ll make me forget about Ray?”

“No, you’ll forget what Ray used to be. It’s for your own protection. And the kingdom’s, of course. Ray won’t be able to remember what his life used to be, either. All his friends on the kingdom, places, and names - all will be lost and gone to him. Even me.”

Ray said, “Not remembering you makes me sad, my lord.”

“I’m no longer your lord, Ray. But I’ll always consider you my child.”

“I’m honoured.”

“Your great adventure starts here. You, Ray, will learn physical pain and pleasure, and the daily struggle for survival. You will be sick, grow old and die, one day. Benton won’t always be by your side to help you and you have much to learn.

“You, Benton, have just had a glimpse of what it means to have someone you love by your side. You’ve felt the pain of worrying over a loved one and you’ll feel the joy of sharing all good things in life. You don’t have to be lonely anymore, Benton, and your heart doesn’t have to be empty.

“I’m glad you both have passed the test. Your love is strong and real. Take good care of it. The rest can take care of itself. Now look at me.”

King Lorsden gradually radiated a white blinding light, one that made Benny close his eyes, and Dief whine. For some reason, Benny felt a strange need to climb into bed and hold Ray. They held each other inside the white light and immediately fell into deep sleep.

***

Ray woke up next to a warm, soft body and smiled. It was his Benny next to him, and this knowledge, even though not different for the past ten weeks months, still made his heart flutter. Ray heard Benny’s heart beat under his ear, strong, and it made him feel safe, wanted, and loved.

“Good morning, lover.”

Ray’s smile grew even wider. “Good morning. Did you wake now?”

“A few minutes ago. I was watching the sunrise. But now that you’re smiling, there are a million suns inside the room.”

“Oh, Benny.”

The compliment made Ray lean in to capture Benny’s lips. They kissed for a long time; a leisure kiss at first, and then the hunger for each other grew.

Temperatures rapidly rose in the bedroom and Benny flipped Ray until he was flat on his back, thrashing while his chest was thoroughly kissed, and a wet trail was formed from his neck straight to his navel. He moaned and groaned, but the Mountie was after his man, licking and lapping all of his hot skin.

Benny didn’t waste time and went further down, his tongue hot and his eyes intent on Ray’s. The debauched, wanton look on such a beautiful face with which Benny swallowed every inch of Ray’s engorged penis in his throat almost made Ray howl with pleasure. He threw his head back and his hips forward. Benny tasted him as if it was the first time. Ray’s precum flowed through his throat and danced on his tongue as he licked the great vein of his undershaft. More than never, Ray thrashed, his hips bucking towards that wonderful mouth.

 “No, Benny, wait… Wait…”

Benny raised his head, puzzled and Ray slid sideways across the bed, until he was facing his lover’s creamy thighs in a 69 position. “Now that’s better.” He brought Benny’s erection towards himself and heard, satisfied, his gasp. Ray licked the head, and produced another gasp, followed by a deep, happy moan. He tried to concentrate on licking his lover’s engorged shaft as he felt his own being engulfed entirely by a sweet, hot mouth.

Benny sucked greedily at Ray’s cock, and Ray tried not to buck his hips as he swirled his tongue all over Benny’s rosy erection. Benny began sliding his lips up and down Ray’s length. His lover felt himself going faster towards the glorious end, groaning louder and losing his rhythm on Benny’s sweet cock.

Suddenly Benny rose to his knees, whispering, “Ray, I want you.” Without talking his eyes off his lover, he pleaded, “Love me, Ray.” He lay on his back and spread his thighs, opening himself to Ray, trusting totally on the love of his life.

Ray felt a knot on his throat, and could merely say, “Whatever you want, my love.”

After preparing them both, Ray positioned himself and consulted Benny with his eyes – that were dark with arousal. In response, Benny’s eyes twinkled and his legs were wrapped around his waist, “Please, please,” he breathed, impatient. “Love, me, Ray.”

Ray slid inside his lover and couldn’t help to thrust hard, deeply. Benny firmly cupped his buttocks and pulled him even closer, deeper inside him, setting a fierce rhythm. They soared in such urgent pace the explosion, coming quickly and screaming louder than the blizzard outside.

They lay wordlessly for a few minutes, and then Benny got up and brought a warm washcloth. Gently, he washed himself and Ray, caressing his lover’s body with the cloth, exchanging mute looks of love, trust and devotion.

Benny went back to bed and Ray snuggled to him, listening to his heart beating right under his ear and feeling his hand on his back, giving ff heat, caressing his skin. Ray sighed, content. Benny felt in peace.

“I love you, Ray.”

Ray kissed Benny’s chest. “I love you, too, Benny.”

There was a pause. “Benny?”

“Yes, my love?”

“Tell me again, please?”

Benny chuckled. “You don’t ever get tired of hearing it, do you?”

“Nope,” Ray smiled. “Besides, you always say something new every time you tell it. I learn something new every time.”

“All right then. Will you pay attention and not interrupt this time?”

Just like a kid eager to listen to a favourite bedtime story, Ray pulled the covers and promised, “I’ll try, Benny.”

“That’s good,” Benny nodded. “All right, then. The story is about how you got here, and how we met, and how everything began for us. Springtime was coming to an end when Diefenbaker and I went on a fishing trip near Lake George. We were by the fire, when we heard a plane, and it sounded like flying very low. Suddenly, I saw what looked like a body being thrown from the sky in the water and the plane was losing altitude fast. There was a crash far way, and I went in the water to retrieve the body. It was you.

“I pulled you out of the water, naked, cold, barely alive. I applied emergency procedures to ensure your body temperature, since you showed no sign of bone fracture. I put you inside my bedroll and carried you to the cabin. Your fever was so high I didn’t dare take you to the clinic at that moment.

“The next day your fever broke a bit and you opened your eyes, but you didn’t seem to be conscious, for you just looked at me, and you looked so scared. I talked to you a bit, gave you water, and you lost consciousness again. I thought it was safe to take you to the clinic and I finally warned the RCMP about you.”

Ray wasn’t feeling particularly patient that morning. “What about that part that I kept calling you, and that I gave the people in the clinic hell asking to be with you?”

“Ray, you’re interrupting.”

"But you're not telling it right,” complained Ray.

Benny chuckled. "I know I made no reference to the way I immediately fell in love with your lithe body and the way your patrician nose seemed to fit your perfect features at first sight. When you woke up in this bed, before I took you to the clinic, you seemed like a scared animal, frightened, not knowing where you were, trying to escape. I had to shush you like a fretful horse, offering you hot soup, asking your name. Weak as you were, too tired to eat, you let me hold you. And you held me in such a grip until exhaustion and hypothermia claimed you. I held you in my arms, and you finally quieted down. And I loved to have you in my arms and comfort you."

"Oh, Benny." He leaned to capture his lips and they kissed quickly. Ray snuggled back to Benny's chest, content.

"When I entered the clinic with you in my arms, the doctor called the RCMP so I could report what happened. Constable McKinnon told me of a plane that crashed and burned a few miles from where you fell from the sky. The place burnt entirely. Strangely, there was no record from where that plane could have come from. Preliminary examination from the debris had also revealed no significant information from its point of origin or nationality. No black box was found.

"I couldn't say much about your identification, either. All I know was that you seemed pretty scared. We didn't know your name, or if you fell, jumped or was pushed from that plane. Your fingerprints were taken, as well as pictures and samples of your DNA. Your medical condition, fortunately, was non-life threatening, but you slept thought two more days, IV feeding you. When you woke up, you thrashed everything, demanding to see me. I was there, and you called me. I tried to talk to you, but all you knew was my name, which you spoke with an American accent. You didn't know anything else. You had lost your memory. Everything was gone from your mind. Clean slate.

"You were fiercely attached to me, and you trusted only in me and Diefenbaker. Social assistants tried to commit you to institutions that take wards of the State but you wouldn't go – you said you didn’t want to be away from me. And your identity didn't come through any channels: CISC, RCMP, FBI, CIA, INS, IRS, Interpol, nothing. It's like you didn't exist. I signed papers making myself responsible for you and took you here, to the cabin. Now we are still trying to make you a Canadian citizen."

"The story", as they usually called, seemed to have a good effect on Ray. It always left him all excited like a little kid listening to a bedtime story, and Benny loved the light in his eyes as he heard the words, the narrative. But now Ray was quiet, pensive.

Benny was puzzled. "Ray? What the matter, my love?"

"Benny, don't you ever get afraid?"

"Of what?"

"Of what I might have been. Or what I might really be."

"You’ve asked me this question so many times. I’ve always said that, and I mean it every time: whatever it was, we can handle it. I love you, Ray."

"I love you so much, Benny." He held him tight, and Benny could feel him shivering a bit. "I'm afraid to lose you sometimes. I sure have a past but I can’t remember it. Who knows if one day comes walking through that door a horrible wife that says I have six kids?"

"I hope you get a divorce."

"Or if they find I'm a gruesome murderer? A serial killer wanted in 15 states in the US and seven Canadian provinces?"

"We'd have found that out by now."

"On the other hand, I could be a millionaire. What if I'm filthy rich?"

"You can invest in Canada, then."

"I'll never leave you, Benny. As long as you want me. Do you want me by your side?"

"Ray, you fell from the sky into my lap. If that doesn't mean we're meant to be together, I don't know what else does."

"You saved my life, Benny. I owe you literally everything I own and almost everything I know. You did so much to me. I can never repay you."

"All you need is to take good care of yourself. You temporary papers should grant you access to a good doctor, and then you can start therapy sessions to recover your memory. As soon as spring comes, we can work to recover your memory, Ray. If that’s your real name."

"I feel my name is Ray, somehow. But does this mean our honeymoon will be over when spring comes?"

"Maybe. We can go out of the cabin more. The days will be lighter. The sun will come out. It will be warmer."

Ray sighed, then said, in a low voice, as if remembering something from the deep recesses of his mind. "That's something I remember very well. Lots of light. Lots of warmth. In here."

Benny sat up in bed, bringing Ray with him. "Are you having a memory? That would be your first, Ray."

Ray said, "I'm not sure. I think I remember a place so bright, Benny. It could be just a dream. It can't be true. It has to be a dream. So much light... and warmth. There's just not that much available light inside the cabin."

"What a pity." Benny lay back, and Ray returned to his favourite spot near Benny's heart. "For a moment, I could feel it so close."

"Don't feel so bad, my love", said Ray, before kissing his chest. "We can always make new memories." He continued kissing his chest, biting nipples until they were hard nubs. Benny groaned, his body stirring as his lover applied different licks and strokes to the pale pectorals and elegant neck.

Diefenbaker woofed as he felt a different light stir in the fireplace, then resumed his sleep. Inside the fireplace, the king of the subtle world, invisible to men’s eyes, smiled, satisfied that his child had brought happiness to another lonely soul.

The End

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