B&R111: You Again
by Dee Gilles
Disclaimer: For entertainment only.
Benny & Ray 111
Ray's gold ring lay on his nightstand. Underneath it was a small slip of paper, folded in half.
Ben scrabbled for it, fumbling the ring. It landed in the carpet with a thud. He clumsily picked it up, and clutched it in his palm.
With trepidation, he unfolded the note, andread it. Ben gasped, his eyes instantly tearing up.
I'm sorry, but I have to end this. Please don't be mad at me.
His chest tightened and he suddenly felt that he couldn't breathe properly. He began to pant, sliding down to the floor. He tried to catch his breath.
Not believing Ray's scrawled words, he half-crawled, half stumbled to the closet and flung it open.
Ray's things were gone. Ben dropped to his ass, flat on the floor.
He couldn't breathe. He was choking. He couldn't get enough air.
Benton Fraser felt a hand on his shoulder. Startled, he whirled around. He stared up into the concerned eyes of his father.
Ben tried to speak, but he couldn't. He couldn't get past the lump in his throat. Ben took a deep breath. His father held up a hand, to quell his silent scream.
"Take a deep breath, son. Easy. Catch your breath," Robert Fraser soothed. He petted his shoulder, comforting.
It took Ben a long moment to recover enough to speak. "You again! I thought you were...irrevocably departed."
"I thought so too, son. But something was pulling me back here. Drawing me in. Been happening for a while now." Robert Fraser was dressed in brown corduroy pants, a soft cream-colored flannel shirt, and tan boots. He wore a vest with several fishing flies attached.
Bob extended his hand, and Ben used it to clamber shakily to his feet.
"In Canada," he said. "I dreamt of you. You were in the river."
"Just getting a little fly-fishing in, son, since I had some time on my hands."
Ben began to pace. "Oh, Dad. Oh, Dad. I'm in trouble." Benton's eyes filled with tears.
"Oh...uh, you're not going to start blubbering are you?"
"I just might, Dad."
"Buck up, son. All is not lost."
"I fear that it is."
"What seems to be the trouble?"
Benny shook an open palm toward the half-empty closet. "This!"
Robert looked at him, confused. "You need clothes?"
"No, Dad! Ray's things. Ray's things are gone."
"Ah, yes, the Yank. Left ya, did he?"
Ben nodded. He was red-faced, and trying his damnedest to remain composed in front of his father.
"Well, you were always difficult to get along with. Can't say I blame him."
Ben plunked down on the bed and glowered at his father.
"You're obsessive, overbearing, possibly even arrogant. Anybody would get fed up."
"You weren't always a prince among men, either, Dad, when you were alive." Ben put his elbows on his knees and bowed his head in resignation.
Robert only shrugged. "We're not discussing me."
Exasperated, discouraged, Ben flopped back on the bed.
"You gonna take to your bed and mope like a teenage girl?"
Ben sat up, peeved. "I'm not moping. I'm trying to figure out what to do!"
"Now, now. It's obvious what you need to do! We always get our man! Go and get'em! Go after'em!"
"I'm not a Mountie anymore, Dad."
"Since, like four years ago," Ben said, getting snarky. "Where have you been?"
"Been dead, Benton," Robert said, instantly persnickety. "Sorry if I missed the memo."
"I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't mean to snap at you."
"So what are you doing with yourself these days?"
Ben couldn't help but smile, despite the circumstances. "I'm a detective now. At the 27th. I sit at Ray's old desk."
"Oh? And where's he?"
"At the 22th. He's one of the sergeants."
"Bully! Good man!"
"And what about me, Dad?"
Robert came and sat on the bed next to his son.
"Oh right, right. You're doing fine, too, Benton." His tone was decidedly patronizing. He gave his son a delicate pat on the shoulder. "Guess we gotta lot of catching up to do, huh?"
Carie ran into the room at full speed. "Where Papa?" She looked around the room as though she thought he was playing a hiding game. Piglet dangled from one hand.
"Papa's not here right now, baby. We'll find him."
"We play now?"
Ben put on a big fake smile. "In a minute, Carie. I need a few minutes of privacy, okay? Go play with Piglet in your room, okay?"
Robert looked after the little girl.
"Yeah. That's your granddaughter."
A big grin appeared on his face. His eyes twinkled. "Don't that beat all? I'm a grand dad. So, you mean, you and the...?" He made a suggestive gesture. "Finally gave her that leg up, did ya, son?"
"No, Dad! She's Francesca's and my daughter."
"Oh! Well, I always liked her better, anyway. She's a hot ticket. Congratulations on bagging that little prize."
"Must you always be so coarse? Death has done nothing for your manners, I see. Carie was conceived by artificial means. She carried her for us. Ray and me. My only lover...my only lover has been Ray Vecchio."
Robert shrugged and shook his head. "You could do better, you know. Find a woman. Do it the natural way."
"Ray's the one I want. Always."
"Well then, what the hell are you lazing about here for? Go after him! I'll watch my grandchild. Don't you worry; she's safe with me. We need to spend some time together anyway. Bond."
"You're dead. She can't see you. She can't bond with you."
"Ah, true enough," Bob commented. "You know where the Yank is?"
"I'm sure he went to his house."
"Best get a move on, then. Daylight's burning."
Ben slowly stood, groaning. "Yes, I should go. Will you be here when I get back?"
"Depends, I s'pose, on the outcome."
"Alright, Dad." With that, Fraser junior steeled his resolved, collected his daughter and went after his errant husband.
End B&R111: You Again by Dee Gilles
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