Author's Note: This story was inspired by, and is loosely based on, an anecdote I read in the book "Can't Keep A Straight Face" by Ellen Orleans.

It was a brisk fall day in Chicago. Benton Fraser and Ray Kowalski were on their way to lunch. The two men were deeply in love with each other, but were very discreet about their relationship in public. Even if they were in a big city, they knew that same sex couples couldn't just walk around holding hands or kissing in public. They tried to satisfy themselves with casual touches and loving looks without being overly demonstrative.

As they passed the downtown convention center, Ben noticed some picketers outside. "What's happening over there?" he asked his partner.

Ray shrugged. "There's a national PFLAG conference going on this week, so the local homophobes are out protesting. The PD is keeping an eye on them. They seem to be a non-violent group, but there have been a few threats."

"But PFLAG is a group of supportive families and friends of gay people &mdash they're not actually gay themselves," Fraser commented. "I didn't think they would attract protesters."

"Anyone that's supportive of us queers is a target, Fraser. You should know that," Ray answered. "There's even a group for parents of ex-gays who keep trying to tell the PFLAG people that they shouldn't be supportive of their kids until they 'see the light' and go straight. They call themselves PFOX."

"PFOX? What does that stand for?"

"Parents and Families of Ex Gays," said his partner. "Which goes to prove that homophobes can't spell." He sighed. "I've been trying to get my mum and dad to go to PFLAG, but so far they refuse to acknowledge that I'm actually gay. They think I'll get over it."

Fraser continued to watch the demonstrators. "I wish there was something we could do to stop them," he said sadly.

"They have a right to be here, same as anybody else," stated Kowalski. "No matter how we feel about them, it's a free country and a public sidewalk."

Suddenly Fraser got an idea. Taking Ray's hand, he pulled the detective with him as he approached the protesters. Surprised that the Mountie would hold his hand in public, Ray went along, wondering if his lover was going to try to talk the picketers out of demonstrating using some Inuit story about tolerance or something.

Instead, Ben simply put his arms around Ray and kissed him quite thoroughly. Ray happily kissed him back, mentally grinning as he imagined the reaction of the demonstrators watching them.

As the two men continued to stand there kissing, the picketers gradually started to move away. Obviously, they weren't prepared to see a happy gay couple kissing in front of them. Shouts and threats they could deal with - they'd been trained in non-violent confrontation. But two men who loved each other? This they couldn't deal with. Soon, Fraser and Kowalski were alone.

Well, not quite. From just inside the lobby of the conference center, a group of parents and families cheered them on.