Charting the Decline: Part Two
But Ray cut him off. "I'm going to shower, Fraser," Ray said, and turned toward the gym's musty locker room, and somehow Fraser could only sit there in mute horror as the future fell out of his world.
"Eh, just ignore his little tantrum, son. When Buck was younger he used to chuck me into snowbanks every now and then, and sew beetles into my hat. He soon grew out of it, once he found a wife and settled down."
Fraser looked up at his father, blinked, and leapt off weight bench.
He tore after Ray, as Bob nodded and said, "Yeah, city food can have that effect—
I remember one time, after eating too many double-squid-lichen-burgers at Clem's Squid Hut..."
Fraser hesitated in the entrance to the shower room, seeing Ray standing slumped under the farthest nozzle. He took a couple of quick breaths, grabbed a bar of soap and walked nonchalantly into the room.
"Good gracious!" he said loudly, tossing the soap down next to his feet, " I seem to have lost my balance!" He stepped near the soap, slipped in an artistic fashion, arms flailing, and said "Oh no! Any assistance rendered would be deeply appreciated!"
Ray turned, eyes wide, to see Fraser slide past him and fetch up lightly against the opposite wall.
"Ahem," said Fraser, reaching over to pluck another bar of soap from Ray's unresisting hands. He gracefully fumbled the soap onto the floor, saying, "I seem to be having some difficulty. Really, I would be most grateful if some kind soul would come to my aid."
"You've lost your soap?" Ray asked, frowning.
"I've lost my friend," said Fraser, looking away and swallowing nervously.
Ray said nothing, and Fraser finally looked up.
"Nah," he said, "I dunno what friend you're talking about, 'cause you still got me."
"Really?" Fraser's eyes lit up, and he stepped towards Ray, directly onto the soap.
He slid into Ray's feet, knocking them both down into a tangle of limbs.
"Fraser," said Ray, "Stop already. I get it. We're good. And still alive, if you stop now."
"I really didn't mean to slip that last time, Ray, it truly was an accident, unlike the time Josef claimed to have inadvertently inserted a ptarmigan into..."
"...his neighbor's horse's feed trough. What did you think I was going to say?"
"Fraser...nevermind. And it really isn't a good idea to drop soap in the shower room— It gives people ideas."
"Really? What kind of ideas? Would they suspect that I had damaged our relationship and was attempting to make amends?"
Ray coughed and said, "Uh... yeah, about that— What say we go get some pizza and not talk about it?"
"Sounds marvelous!" said Fraser, beaming.