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Title: Every Boy Can't Be Romeo
Author: [personal profile] waltzforanight
Fandom: Durham County/Due South
Pairing: Mike Sweeney/Ray Kowalski
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,985
Summary: It wasn't that Mike had never said I love you before. But this time was different.
Notes: Written for Cat's it's okay to say "I love you" fest. Unbetaed.

“You have to wear a suit, Kowalski, don’t fucking bother arguing with me.”

Ray had been awake for about fifteen minutes (okay, awake was pushing it. He’d been out of bed for fifteen minutes) and in that time, Mike had barely stopped talking. Christ, it was too early even for Ray to be talking incessantly, what the fuck. Every now and then Mike would pause to take a bite of his cereal - he was eating Raisin Bran; sadly, Ray didn’t even have the energy to mock him for it and call him Gramps yet - and then continue on his train of thought. A train of thought which included reminding Ray at regular intervals that Mike had a work dinner... thing tonight, and that yes, Ray had to go with him and yes, he had to dress appropriately for said thing. Mike’s boss had put him in charge of sucking up to some high-level city official because Mike was a hardass, but he could work the good ol’ boy charm like no one else.

Probably because he was the only person in Internal Affairs who had a soul.

“The guy is a complete fucking asshole” - Mike accentuated the words by dropping his empty cereal bowl into the sink; Ray winced and put his head down on the kitchen table - “but I’m supposed to kiss his ass and get on his good side so he’ll give us more money. Typical bureaucratic bullshit. Maybe I’ll get a decent fucking parking spot out of it, something that isn’t halfway to Texas.”

Ray grunted in response, lifting his head about half an inch off the table, just enough so that he could shove half a donut into his mouth. Breakfast of champions, he thought triumphantly.

“I gotta go,” Mike said, draining the last of his coffee in one gulp and putting the mug in the sink - less noisily this time, Ray noted gratefully. Mike picked up his tie and draped it around his neck, sliding it under his shirt collar then tying it with quick, easy movements of his fingers. Ray lifted his head a little higher, his attention fixated on Mike’s hands and all the things he knew Mike was good at doing with them. Now those things, those would make Ray willing to be awake right now. Maybe...

No such luck. Mike finished with his tie, smoothing it down in front with one hand while he grabbed his briefcase with the other. He walked over and grabbed Ray by the back of the neck. “Don’t forget about tonight,” he said again, in that I mean it, Kowalski, if you leave your wet towels on the bathroom floor one more time I’m going to make you clean out the fridge and you know there is some disgusting shit growing in there tone, and Jesus Christ, Ray was a grown adult and he wasn’t going to forget, Mike didn’t need to remind him a hundred fucking times. He was about to tell Mike this when he was interrupted by Mike kissing him and... okay, fine, Ray forgot what he was going to say.

It probably wasn’t important anyway. Mike squeezed his neck and kissed him one more time. “Love you,” he said, then brushed his thumb over Ray’s pulse point and let go. “See you later.” Ray heard him walk over to Copper and mutter something (it was probably embarrassing; Mike talked to the dog like he was actually going to get a verbal response), and then a few seconds later heard the door slam shut as Mike left.

Ray looked over at the dog, who whined and put his head back down in his paws. “You said it, buddy,” Ray told him, then grabbed another donut. “Mornings fucking suck.”


By lunchtime, Ray had forgotten all about Mike’s work thing. But it wasn’t his fault, okay, he was just busy. He was a cop, he had important cop-like things to do. They took a lot of focus, and that meant that other, less important (and frankly, boring) things kind of drifted away and were replaced by a missing bag of money and lost parrots and diamond heists being carried out by guys dressed like the Spice Girls.

Which meant there was absolutely no explanation for why, in the middle of a call to Lou’s Shoes to check on the availability of men’s size 10 platform go-go boots (not for himself, no matter what Frannie thought, but for the case), he suddenly remembered being half-asleep at the kitchen table that morning, eating donuts and drinking coffee. Actually, he was pretty hungry at that point, so that was probably the explanation. But more than that, Ray remembered Mike saying good-bye, and I love you.

Ray sat bolt upright in his chair, fumbling the phone and dropping it with a loud crash against his desk. He quickly hung up on the shoe guy and jumped to his feet, pacing the five-foot distance between his desk and Huey’s.

Love you.

Okay, what the fuck. It wasn’t like Mike had never said that before. They’d been living together for three fucking years, of course he’d said it before. He said it pretty often, actually, more than Ray would have thought he would. Like when they did their kinky thing and Ray was good, when he did everything Mike wanted and took everything Mike gave him. Mike would kiss him and pet him, sometimes, and say you were so good, Ray, so good, I love you. And when they did their other kinky thing, the one where Mike was an emotionally stunted asshole and Ray tied him to the bed to make him talk. Mike would eventually confess whatever feelings he was hiding and he’d usually tell Ray he loved him, too.

It wasn’t just a sex thing, though. There were other times, non-kinky ones, where Mike said it. When Ray was having a breakdown over how his dad disowned him again, for example, and when Ray had bought Mike a new Leafs jersey to replace the one Copper had eaten when he was a puppy. (Ray was still gleeful that the dog sided with him when it came to hockey, and he was not above rubbing it in Mike’s face at any given chance.) Sometimes Mike said it after he called home and talked to one of the kids, or when he had a long day at work, or -

The point was, it wasn’t like this was new. Ray had no reason to be obsessing over this. Except that this was different, somehow, he just couldn’t figure out how. It didn’t matter anyway, really. This whole thing was stupid. Ray was just going to let it go. Get back to work, do some detective-like things. Yeah, that.


Three minutes later, Ray was hiding in the supply closet with his cell phone pressed to his ear. He chewed nervously on his thumbnail and chided himself for being a complete idiot while he waited for Mike to pick up the phone.

“Yeah, what?” Mike’s voice was low, almost a growl, and he sounded kind of distracted. Like he was too busy to deal with whoever was on the other end and he’d only answered the phone because it was better than listening to it ring.

Ray was beyond thinking it was fucked up that he found that tone hot. He’d accepted that fact a long time ago. But fuck, he shouldn’t have called. Why did he call? This was so stupid. Mike was going to either be pissed or make fun of him for acting like a girl, so he should probably just hang up and forget about the whole thing before Mike realized who it was -

“Kowalski, I have caller ID, you dumbass. I know it’s you.”

“Why did you tell me you love me?” Ray blurted out, then promptly slammed his head back against the wall because stupid.

Mike didn’t answer right away, but Ray could still hear him breathing, which meant Ray was not lucky enough to have had his call unexpectedly dropped. Fucking technology, being all reliable at the worst time ever.

Finally, Mike spoke up. “Yeah, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Want to explain?”

“Forget it,” Ray mumbled. “It’s - stupid, just forget it.”


Ray sighed and closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the wall. That was Mike’s I phrased what I want to know as a question only to be polite, so don’t make me repeat myself tone, and as much as he might want to ignore that, Ray couldn’t. “I - Fuck. When you left this morning. You kissed me and told me you love me, then said goodbye to the dog and went to work.”

“Yeah, I remember,” Mike said shortly, like he was... defensive about it or something. Fuck, that wasn’t what Ray wanted at all. Why were they having this conversation? “What’s the problem?”

“You never do that. Say it, I mean, not without...” Ray bit his lip, debating whether to continue. Fuck, it wasn’t like this conversation could get any more embarrassing. “Not without a reason. So I thought - that maybe... thatthereasonmightbesomethingbadlikeyouweregoingtoleavemeandtheni’dbemiserableforeverbecauseyou’dprobablyeventakethedogjusttorubitinworseyousadisticbastardandi’dmissyoufuckareyouhappynow.”

Really, if a black hole could just come and erase him from existence right about now, that would be great.

“Ray -”

“Shut up. Just forget it,” Ray snapped. He felt tense, angry, and - fuck, he hadn’t even realized that was what he thought. He’d thought he was over this shit, he really had, and even if he hadn’t he wouldn’t want to actually admit he still worried about Mike leaving him. It was really not cool that his brain was all talk first, think later about this.

“I’m not - fuck, why would you think that?”

Mike was annoyed, Ray could tell. Which meant he should just apologize and start thinking of ways to make up for being a freak. Instead, he ended up asking, “Why did you say it then?”

Mike let out a frustrated breath. “Because I fucking felt like it! Christ, Ray. If it makes you feel any better, I take it back. You’re a pain in my ass and I hate you. That better?”

Actually, it was. That was the Mike that Ray knew and loved, the one that snapped at him and told him he was annoying. The one that was normal, and would probably yell at him later when he wasn’t ready to go to that stupid schmoozefest because, God, he really hated wearing a suit.

“Yes,” Ray admitted sheepishly, and he felt even better when that made Mike laugh, short and rough, but honest. Normal. “Hey, Sweeney?”


“I love you.”

He could practically hear Mike rolling his eyes. “Yeah. Don’t forget about dinner, asshole. Black tie, it means no Misfits t-shirts. Be ready when I get home. If you aren’t, you’re not getting laid for a week.”

Ray grinned as he hung up the phone. He knew Mike didn’t mean that, about him not getting any. Mike talked a good game about that, but he liked making Ray come too much for that threat to have any real meaning. But it was good and Sweeney-like, which meant balance to the force had been restored and Ray could get back to his go-go boots.

And maybe think of a way to refer to this case that didn’t make him sound like a weirdo.
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August 2010

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