“The Heavens Pour Out”




Maxine Mayer





* * *


From Santana’s Album “Supernatural”, the lyrics to “Love of My Life”


“Where you are, that’s where I wanna be,

And through your eyes, all the things I wanna see,

And in the night, you are my dream:

You’re everything to me….


“You’re the love of my life and the breath in my prayers,

Take my hand, lead me there….

What I need is you, here….


“I can’t forget the taste of your mouth,

From your lips all the heavens pour out….

I can’t forget when we are one….

With you alone, I am free.


“Every day, every night, you alone….

You’re the love of my life.

Every day, every night, you alone….

You’re the love of my life.


“We go dancing in the moonlight with the starlight in your eyes,

We go dancing till the sunrise –

You and me, we’re gonna dance, dance, dance….”


            - written by Carlos Santana and Dave Matthews




Inside “Mountie on the Bounty” –


* * *


Over and over, Ray repeats it – I don’t understand, I don’t understand. Coupled with – I don’t want to hear….


I – I, Benton Fraser, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, don’t understand.


But I do want to hear.


Oh, so very much, want to hear. To understand.


What’s wrong with you? I shout.


I. Shout. Me. Benton Fraser, RCMP, shout. Flail my arms. Shout.


And Ray strikes me.


He strikes me.


Is he blind?


Totally, emotionally blind? His physical blindness a mere reflection of his spiritual blindness?


How can he not see? How is it that he doesn’t know?


Know me….


Know how I love him, how much, for how long, how totally….


I sigh.




He doesn’t see. Or doesn’t care. Or whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.


I’ve lost him.


 “Detective Vecchio and I….”


For how much longer will I say that phrase? For how many more days, hours, minutes, will I be permitted by a careless Heaven to say those words?


First, I said it with Ray. Then with this Ray, my Ray….


“Detective Vecchio and I….”


And now. Now. I am offered a transfer.


Ray is offered a transfer.


The phone call that clearly heralds the end of my life comes soon after Inspector Thatcher’s revelation that I have been offered a transfer…. When I learn that Ray, too, has been offered a transfer….


And he wants to take his transfer. End it. End us….


“We gotta end it right, Fraser. You gotta do unto me, like I did unto you. Ya know – end it right.”


“No, Ray –“


“Do not argue with me. This once, Frase, do not argue with me. Jus’ – come wid me there, where I did it. Tonight. Nine. I’ll pick you up.”


“Ray, I can’t strike you –“


“Ya gotta, Frase. Please. Then it’ll be over, we’ll be quits.”


I cannot hold out against his plea. I agree to go there with him.


But not to strike him.


I cannot strike him. Will not.


But I will go there with him.


There is no question about that.


Any chance, anything that I must do, to see my Ray, I do.


Old story, old, old story.


Nearly over, that story. My story. All finished now….


I wipe my eyes, swallow away the tears, dress carefully, perfectly, for our meeting.


Enter his car, as if it were any other time, any other pick-up, Ray waiting for me at the curb in front of the Consulate, Ray saying hello, how ya doin’, Frase, Ray smiling.


But he is not smiling. Doesn’t speak.


My heart cries out - I don’t understand!


And I know with complete assurance, certainty, that his heart is crying, too.


He doesn’t know why, either.


It is a shock to me, to realize this.


I cannot believe he will end our partnership and friendship, without finding out. End it thus, with violence. This partnership that tasted so sweet with concord, acceptance, love and trust – he will end with violence….


I am nearly unable to hold back my tears, again.


I cannot do this. Cannot strike him.




Can do it, can strike him, do strike him.




Never done.


He will take me home.


He will not forget, nor will I. He will never be “done” with me, nor I with him.


I struck him, and I understand.


Now, I understand.


He didn’t simply strike me. He… touched me. Touched me true, with all that he is, all that he is….


And I touched him….


We will never be done. Not now.


Transfer, no transfer. Together, apart. Never, ever done….


I see. I understand. But my Ray does not.


Not with his mind. But with his heart and every part of his body. Yes, he understands….


He is afraid.



Inside “Call of the Wild” –


* * *


I am dizzy with the shifting levels of comfort of our partnership.


And now, I am driven nearly insane with these new developments.


My mother, my father, Muldoon….


Ray Vecchio – the “real” Ray Vecchio, returning….


And my Ray, dear to me as no one has ever been, before or since, fading before my eyes, dying.


I must touch him once again. It is the only way, the only way to bring him back. The only hope we have. But I cannot. Not now, not here.


Brave Ray. My so brave Ray. Opens his mouth and asks, are we still partners.


If you’ll have me, I reply.


No need for a response from my Ray. By now, we both know that he will have me. I don’t know why, what I have done to merit his love. Who I am, what I am, that makes him love me with such fervor, such grace, such need. Such courage.


I know only that it is so. It is the truth.


Ray Vecchio nearly died for me, once again. Took that bullet from Muldoon to save my sorry ass.


And now my Ray is dying here, in the snow, in the wilds of Canada, as he terms my homeland, my home, for me.


And now I do touch him, often and freely, and everywhere at once, as he clings to me in the snow, in the cold, on the side of a white and freezing and treacherous mountain.


As I care for him, as best I can, try to preserve his life and my own.


Yes, yes, I touch him. He touches me. We don’t speak – not of love.


Of partnership, yes, of friendship. Of triumph.


Not of love.


The violence is gone. Rather, the violence is outside us now, comes from the elements, from without.


He understands, now. About himself. About how he feels, what he feels for me. That he can no more begin again - without me - than fly….


There is left, there remains, but one more thing to do, the finishing touch, to make all things clear.


I hesitate. I cannot find the words. Start, stop, over and over again.


If I don’t do this, don’t speak, explain myself – if I don’t touch him – I will lose him.



Post-“Call of the Wild” -


* * *


I am given a reprieve. A time to stir up my courage, gird my loins, before I am forced to speak.


My Ray and I agree to go on “an adventure,” in search of the Hand of Franklin.


He shames me. I am ashamed of myself, in the face of his courage. His doggedness. His incredible moral courage and tenacity.


Still, night after night, day after day, I do not speak. Cannot.


* * *




He speaks to me but stares into our fire. We have made camp for the evening, have finished our meager supper, drunk the last of the coffee boiled this night over our now dying fire. It is almost time for us to crawl into our bedrolls and sleep. It is so cold, bitter cold, even for me. I marvel at his physical endurance, in the face of the fact of it - and that it never ends - the cold…


“Yes, Ray?”


“Ya know that time? That time when we got offered the transfers?”


I am alert. I inhale deeply, straighten my shoulders. It is time, then. And true to form, my Ray begins.


“I remember,” I reply quietly.


“I wouldn’ a took the transfer, no matter what.” Spoken quietly, calmly, no fuss.


“Neither would I.”


He looks up, then, from the fire to my eyes. Smiles quickly. If I weren’t watching him intently, I would have missed that smile, which I would not have missed for the world.


“Starlight in your eyes,” he murmurs. Still staring at me, not looking away.




“It’s from a song. I heard it last time we were in a town. New album.”




“By Santana. Carlos Santana,” he adds, not sure I’ve heard of the artist.


“I thought –“ I begin again. “I didn’t know that Santana was still alive.”


“Oh, yeah, he’s still alive. Alive and kicking! Got a new album – bet it’s gonna be the best CD of the year. Mark my words.”


I am quiet for a moment, then ask, “Are there – Do you remember any other words from that song, Ray?”


He looks at me quickly, then, narrowing his eyes. I see a muscle jump in his cheek. Or a nerve. I am sure that we are close, now, to the words….


“It’s called Love of My Life.” He hums for a moment, then adds, “Where you are is where I wanna be, and through your eyes, all the things I wanna see. Something something. You’re everything to me,” he finishes, quoting the song.


“Yes. Beautiful.” I stare at him. “Beautiful and true.”


“Frase –“


“Do you recall any more of the words, Ray?”


He shakes his head, shrugs first one shoulder, then the other, fast. Blows out through his mouth. Whoo. “Yeah. I can’t forget the taste of your mouth. From your lips all the heavens pour out. Something something, maybe before that, maybe after,” and his brow furrows up. “Uh. Every day, every night, you alone. You’re the love of my life. I can’t forget – this might be from before, I can’t remember the order of the words, Frase – I can’t forget when we are one. From your lips all the heavens pour out…”


He finishes speaking, telling me the words. Giving them to me. Offering the words to me.


Doesn’t look at me, but I look at him.


“You struck me,” I say.


“Yeah.” He glances up, then, and there is no regret, no apology in his eyes. Not now.


And no more fear.


Nor in mine.


“You touched me, Ray.”


“I hadda touch you, Fraser. I didn’t get it, then. Or, if I did, I didn’t wanna get it.”


“I got it,” I admit with more bravado than true courage.


“Ya did?” he asks. He is not surprised. Not now. Not after more than a year alone with me. Winter, spring, summer, fall. And winter again.


“I did.”


“Ya didn’t tell me,” he accuses, but softly, calmly. “Why not?”


“I couldn’t, Ray.”




“No. Not stupid. Frightened.”


“Like me.”


“Yes. No. No, not like you. But frightened, nevertheless.”


The fire is dying. I stand and go to the small pile of wood a few steps away from our camp. Pick up a couple pieces and bring them back with me. Fuss a bit, laying them on the fire just so, making certain that the flames will continue to warm us for as long as we need them to, for as long as this talk takes.


“Them words – to the song, ya know? – from your lips all the heavens pour out?”


“Yes, Ray?”


“I couldn’t get it out of my mind. After. But you said it didn’t change anything –“


“It didn’t. Nothing changed. It was still the same. I loved you before the Henry Allen. I loved you after the Henry Allen. I loved you during the Henry Allen. Nothing changed.”


“Not for me, either,” Ray replies.


I swallow. “Something did change, when you struck me, Ray.”




“I knew.”


“Yeah.” He chuckles. “And I still didn’t.”


“You have less experience with loneliness. With aloneness. The… magic that is touch does not mean the same thing to you. Doesn’t have the… force for you that it has for me,” I explain.


“Always gotta be one-up on me, dontcha?” he teases.


“I love you, Ray. I always did. There is no superiority greater than loving someone gives. To love is the ultimate triumph.”


“You’re a freak, Frase!” Ray tells me with his biggest grin.


It is sweet to hear that word, now. Freak. Ambrosia to my ears. He understands. “From your lips all the heavens pour out,” I make bold to say.


“You mean that?” he asks, serious, tense. If I didn’t know better, I’d say… angry.


“With all my heart, Ray.”


“So, I guess it’s about time something did change, huh?” he asks, diffident again.


“I… I hope so,” I tell him. Waiting, still waiting. Still without true courage….


Ray has all the courage in this duet.


“Am I gonna have to do everything, Fraser?” he asks, already on the move, already making his way around the fire, to my side. To my side.


He grabs my hands. I cannot speak.


“Fraser? Am I gonna have to do everything?” he repeats loudly, as if he thinks I didn’t hear him the first time. “I’m here, already!”


“I’m… I’m happy that you are here, Ray.” And I quote back to him the song lyrics he spoke to me. “Where you are, that’s where I want to be.”


“I guess I’m gonna need to take that as an answer. Looks like I won’t get anything more.” He smiles sweetly at me. “The starlight in your eyes.”


And he kisses me.


Over and over again, he kisses me. Presses his lips to mine, against mine, over mine, holding my hands, immobilizing my hands, my mouth, my body….


At last, finally, he pulls his mouth from mine. Drops his head. His hair is against my lips now. It smells soft and snowy and wild. I catch a strand between my teeth and taste it. It tastes bright and clean and alive. I tug on his hair with my teeth. His head snaps up.


“You still love me, Ben?” Then, “Ya don’t mind if I call ya Ben, do you?”


I laugh. I disengage my hands from his and grab his face.


“No, Ray, I don’t mind if you call me Ben.” I laugh again. I hold his head. I stick my tongue out and touch his lips once. I tilt his head. “From your lips all the heavens pour out,” I repeat, and kiss him as hard as I can, my heart leaping in my breast with joy.


When I break away I find that he’s holding my hands on his face, keeping my hands there. He licks his lips, smacks his lips, shakes his head. “Tastes good, kiddo.”


“I do mind if you call me kiddo, Ray,” I say seriously. He inhales sharply, at the feel of my breath on his face.


“Okay. Ben yes, kiddo no.”


“Will you… will you have me, Ray?” I ask.


“Every day, every night, you alone,” he says. Words from the song, once again.


“It’s a beautiful lyric, Ray. Such lyrics can carry us beyond where we wish to go.”


“Not me, they can’t,” he tells me. “Where you are is where I wanna be.”


“Ray –“


“The lyrics talk to me, Fraser. Tell me what I don’t even understand or know about myself. They don’t tell me lies. They can’t. Not when the music is playing.”


“The music?” I say, bewildered. I know I can hear music without sound. In my head. I didn’t realize that Ray could, too.


“You’re the music, Frase. From the beginning. What you say, how you say it. Who you are. That’s my music. My words. Everything to me.”


“You’re… everything to me…” I murmur, and kiss him again.


He will have me. He has me. He will always have me.


I understand. He understands.


He is the starlight in my eyes. Everything to me.


* * * * * * * * * *


End story, “The Heavens Pour Out” – 1/1

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