Prompt #27 for [personal profile] malnpudl from [personal profile] primroseburrows

Apr. 11th, 2010 01:48 am
primroseburrows: (dS: fraser hat)
[personal profile] primroseburrows posting in [community profile] pacifi_cant
Title: What Happens and Does Not Unhappen
Prompt: "The wolf said what, now?"
Fandom: due South
Summary: Ray's best birthday ever.
Pairing: F/K, AU, kidfic
Length: 970-ish
Rating: PG
Notes: Graceverse story. (other stories are here and here, until I find a permanent home for them. You don't have to read them to read this, though. It's enough to know that Grace is Fraser's daughter with Victoria, who died when Grace was a baby. I might actually write the whole thing someday, and these snippets might make their way into it). :)




October 26, 2004
Inuvik, Northwest Territories
Canada



"Come in and open your present, Ray!"

Grace was practically jumping out of her skin with excitement as Ray and Dief came through the door. Ray shut it behind him, shaking snow off his coat, hat and gloves before hanging them up on the coat hook. Grace tugged on his hand and was pulling him over to the sofa almost before he could get his boots off. Dief shook himself and trotted behind Ray, flopping onto the floor near where Fraser was sitting on the sofa.

Grace handed him a square package wrapped in brightly coloured paper. "Open it, open it!"

"Hang on a sec, Gracie, lemme sit down first." He plunked himself down next to Fraser and began pulling the wrapping from the package. Inside was a cardboard box. Ray took the lid off carefully, in case something might be breakable, and lifted his present out.


It was a sketchbook, bound in soft, dark-grey leather. It was decorated with painted swirls and a spiral clasp. Inside the cover was a bookplate that read:

'A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.'

~Edward de Bono

To Ray, with love from Benton, Grace, and Diefenbaker. Here's to all the happenings yet to come.



Ray turned the pages slowly, drinking in the image on each page. He knew Fraser could draw, but these were, God. These were beautiful, is what they were.

The first drawing was of Grace. She was lying in the backyard hammock Fraser had put up last year, her knees drawn up and her nose in a book. She was wearing a yellow T-shirt and jeans. Her hair had been drawn with great detail; Ray could practically see the dark curls tangling over and under each other in the warm summer breeze.

The next one was Diefenbaker, lying on the window seat in the kitchen. It was raining outside, and Dief was looking intently at something beyond the window.

Then a drawing of baby Grace, no more than two years old, laughing and looking up at him through a mop of unruly curls. Well, not at him, not really, because Ray didn't know Grace back then. A thrill of regret went through him that he'd never known this laughing toddler, but then he figured hey, he knew her now, and that's what mattered.

Next came Ray and Grace heading up the hill from the garage toward home. This kid he knew--grease-stained overalls that matched Ray's own, her hair tied back in a red bandanna, and dark smudges of grease on her hands and face. This was obviously something Fraser imagined, on account of how Ray always made sure he and Gracie were cleaned up and the overalls off before they went up to the house. He liked knowing that Fraser made up stuff sometimes.

There were more: Ray in the snow with the dogs and all his gear on, Fraser and Grace in front of the television with their stocking feet propped up on the table, all four of them (including Dief) in front of last year's Christmas tree. A landscape of the back yard in springtime, with patches of snow here and there and the first shoots of green springing up from the earth.

Drawing after drawing of Ray's life, here, with the two people (and one wolf, who was kind of a person) he loved the most. Some were from photos Ray'd seen before, some from life, some came only from somewhere in Fraser's brain. It didn't matter what the sources were, though, 'cause this was by far the coolest, best, most amazing thing anyone had ever given to him.

Ray was a pretty verbal guy, but he didn't know what to say. "Thanks" wasn't enough, maybe nothing was enough. All he could do was look at his family and wait for them to say something.

Fraser spoke first. Naturally. "I take it you like the gift, Ray."

"Um, yeah, Fraser. I like it a lot. It's, I dunno what. It's gorgeous. Nobody's ever--" He couldn't really come up with words, so instead he kissed Fraser's mouth and Grace's cheek.

"Toldya he'd like it", said Grace. Dief's really good at ideas for presents."

"Hold it. This was Dief's idea?" Ray was okay with the idea that Fraser--and even Grace-- talked to Dief and even sorta bought that the wolf talked back in his own wolfy way. Ray'd had some interesting conversations with Dief himself, not that he'd admit it. But picking out birthday gifts? Ray wasn't too sure about that.

"Of course, Ray. Diefenbaker was very helpful in choosing the style of the sketchbook binding, and even suggested that I use certain pastels as well as charcoal for some of the drawings in order to make them more lifelike."

"Wait, the wolf said what, now?"

"Wolves have excellent colour sense, despite the fact that they are somewhat colour-blind. They can actually differentiate between shades of grey that we humans are unable to."

Setting the sketchbook on the table, Ray stood and swept Grace up into his arms. "You guys are crazy. And this is the best birthday I've had, ever."

"I think we should roast hot dogs and marshmallows in the fireplace tonight. Ray would like that, wouldn't you, Ray?" Grace was almost as good at the wide-eyed innocent look as her father.

"Yeah, Gracie, I'd like that a lot. You're pretty good in the birthday ideas department yourself." Ray set her down and she ran to the kitchen and started banging cabinet doors in search of marshmallows.

So tonight they'd make hot chocolate and roast hot dogs and marshmallows in the fireplace. And then they'd tuck Grace in and Fraser would sing to her. And after that he and Fraser would go to bed and come up with a few more clever ideas to make Ray's birthday even better.
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