The storm outside was only getting worse, the snow swirling thick and white. Every flight in or out of the airport was coming up delayed or worse. Fraser was telling a story about a manhunt he once took part in during a blizzard. Ray went in and out of listening, so it might actually have been two or three different stories about manhunts- that would explain some things, since Ray wasn’t exactly sure what a world-renowned jewel thief and some infamous (well, infamous-ish, Ray had certainly never heard of it) soft cheese heist could possibly have to do with each other. Then again, maybe they were closely related in some obscure, Canada-type way. Fraser always had a weird story for everything, but add snow into the mix and suddenly the stories were bigger, weirder, just... more.
This would teach Ray to let Fraser talk him into attending a conference about advances in law enforcement techniques in the middle of winter, anyway.
The pen Ray had been flicking just for something to do with his hands flicked all the way across the ratty airport carpet and rolled underneath the kiosk just across from them.
Ray looked at the empty space where he’d seen it last. He itched to shoot up out of his chair, just to move.
Fraser’s hand landed on top of his over the arm of the chair and suddenly Ray wasn’t sure he could move.
“This is ridiculous,” Ray said. “We’re probably gonna be here all night.”
“That is a possibility, Ray.”
“Well, it’s a stupid possibility, Fraser. I’m gonna go talk to that airport lady again.”
Fraser’s hand stayed tight over his. “It’s unlikely that her answers will have changed measurably since the last time you spoke with her. Or the time before that.”
“It behooves a traveler to be prepared for any eventuality,” Fraser added, his thumb starting to trace whirling patterns across the back of Ray’s hand- just like the whirls of snow outside. “It’ll be an adventure.”
Ray considered a crack about Fraser’s somewhat skewed sense of adventure. He had claimed this conference would be one too, and Ray supposed it had been. An adventure in boredom, anyway. He also considered... something else. An apology, maybe, or an explanation. One of the many he’d trotted out over the years for how he could never seem to sit still, how he knew he kept fussing like a kid but he could never seem to stop, how he wasn't sure why it happened, only that it did. Again and again and again.
But Fraser, he thought, wasn’t actually expecting him to do any of that. Fraser never did. He didn’t need banter or reasons or apologies. It made Ray feel light-headed and weak-kneed, just like the weight of Fraser’s hand on top of his.
That was probably why what he actually said was something he didn’t even want to: “You holding my hand, or what?”
“Ah,” Fraser said. But he didn’t pull away. He only changed his grip to thread their fingers together.
Ray watched the white outside. He listened to Fraser’s voice as he resumed one of his blizzard stories, obviously not expecting it to do anything for Ray other than fill the silence and give him something to huddle up against from his roaring thoughts.
He could wait to talk to the airport lady a little longer.