Fanfiction: Due South

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Feedback: Please!
Notes: This is one of those weird little scenes that popped into my head and wouldn't leave. It wouldn't find itself a story to live in either, ornery thing.


"Color me curious, Ray. How long does it take him to do one of these?" Stella calls from the kitchen.

"How long does it take who to do one of what?" I ask, rubbing a towel over my head and wandering in to see what she's talking about.

"Fraser. The crossword puzzle," she replies, holding up the morning paper, which she must have taken off the top of the recycling pile.

Oh fuck.

"How the hell should I know?" I answer with an exaggerated shrug.

"I wondered what they were writing about the Hanrahan appeal," Stella continues, scanning over the newspaper in her hands. "You never leave a paper open to anything but the boxscores, so..." She trails off, then smiles apologetically. "Then I realized who the mysterious puzzler had to be."

She laughs a little at my unasked question and sips her coffee. "The penmanship, my God! And no eraser marks. Although at least he has the decency not to use pen -- that's just smug. Even got thirty-two down, the bastard," she mutters with grudging admiration and puts the paper aside. "I wasted my whole morning on that. Thought it started with an 'E'."

"I don't know," I toss off as casually as possible. "He was here before you came over, I was wallowing over coffee, not running a stopwatch. I'm still not awake. Can I get dressed now?"

"If you want." Stella's eyes flicker over my chest, settling on the towel at my waist, and when the hell did that go from feeling oh yeah-good to just kind of weird?