WARNING: SPOILERS APLENTY FOR SEASON 3
Dedicated to a) Greate One <G> and b) Grannie 2B <EG>
1. Immaculate Perception: I Think Not!
"Ray? ..." Frannie gaped at the scrubby haired vision before her.
"Oh Ray!" she whispered putting one immaculately polished fingernail
to her cherry red lips.
It took a few moments but Stanley Ray Kowalski eventually remembered
that breathing was a *good* idea. Not for nothing had his distant, if
slimy, ancestors hauled their butts from shrinking ponds to gulp down
a few lungfuls of mother nature's finest brew.
"Uh..hi Frannie." The cop who came back from the cold sported a decent
growth of rough brown beard which he rubbed awkwardly.
"Long time no see eh?" Hardly original but startlingly accurate he
"Come in, come in." His erstwhile sister beckoned urgently for it
was the middle of winter and the howling gale that swirled round her
frozen ex-brother, who was by now surely inured to such weather by the
way he simply stood fixed at the threshold, had plans of its own for
the rest of the house.
"Sure." Ray scratched his nearly beard and stepped forward. In his
path lay all manners of kiddie inspired booby traps.
"Neat lot of um...stuff." He gestured casually at the array of baby
booty each designed in its own particular way to land mom, pop or unsuspecting
visitor in deep cover plaster of Paris-wise.
"Yeah well..." Frannie pushed her hair firmly over her ears wondering
just how much he knew about her current situation. She gave a slight
shrug managing to dislodge a slight dusting of flour from her apron.
This added to the hall's festive appearance, though it was difficult
to imagine Santa making a reappearance given the largesse spread around.
"You know how it is with kids. I guess everyone got uh carried away."
"Sure looks like it Fran. Does a kid really need six Roger the Dodgers?"
"Ah well." Francesca took a deep breath and went with the hair tidying
trick again. For this explanation she needed breathing space and plenty
of it. What was Ray going to think? And Fraser...gee Fraser! Come
to think of it...
She shrugged and retrieved a couple of gun toting desperados. "I
guess no one's told you then?"
"Told me? Told me what?"
The interior gloom was beginning to lift revealing a distinct pattern
- 6 vivid pink bobble hats, 6 vivid pink cutesy coats, 6 pairs of mitts
so cute even Minnie Mouse would surely barf.
Ray frowned, the evidence was all there, but surely...
"Yeah well, six. I mean you know, stuff happens."
"Yeah well...congratulations....I guess."
Unfortunately for Kowalski Francesca's Italian momma radar picked
up his hesitancy at her good fortune. Eyes sparkled, brows furrowed,
the two Rogers the Dogers suffered terribly.
Ray cottoned on belatedly.
"Uh no...I mean yes..." He leaned forward and grasped his former
sister's free hand and pumped it furiously.
"Well done Francesca." These words and the tone they were delivered
in sounded no more nor less to Frannie's ears than a visiting city dignitary
congratulating her on her splendid display of gardenias. All in all
Kowalski was digging himself deeper and deeper into the ole organic plant
food and no mistake.
"So..." began the proud momma, drawing her fingernail carefully down
her increasingly rosy cheek, "...now I'm like best in show or sumthin'?"
Ray held his hands up in defeat.
From behind Kowalski's slumped shoulders came the crisp footsteps
of one whose subsequent lack of tact blew Ray's faux pas out of the water,
into the stratosphere, and then some.
"Francesca...you're looking exceptionally....well."
Fraser stepped beside Ray, clad unexpectedly for the time of year
in a bright blue Hawain themed sweatshirt decorated with vividly hued
parakeets and scantily clad hula girls; a heavy woollen kilt of the little
known MacPacamac tartan rose daringly above his knees.
It was difficult to tell, thought the casual observer at the gate
on her way to San Hose, whether the vapour emanating from the doorway
was steam or smoke.
Ray Kowalski on the other hand had it figured.
"Hey Frase" hissed the cop "That is *not*, I repeat *not* the way
to go." On the other hand Fraser could get away with anything Frannie-wise
"Hmm" Frannie and Fraser hummed the same note.
"How do you think that will upset Francesca Ray? I realise she has
gained some weight..." whispered Mr Insanely-Stupid.
"Some weight!" hissed Ray, turning at a stroke into Mr Insanely-Stupid's
dumber twin, "Yeah like 120 lbs!"
Fraser wrested the crown back from his "sibling" almost immediately.
"In many cultures, even European culture during the..."
From here on in Francesca could only make out the more damning parts.
"....plump....sign of beauty...Rubenesque....dumpling..."
Ray grinned weakly at his ex-sister and began backing rapidly out
into the driveway. Obviously Fraser's powers of observation needed checking
pronto for he sure as heck was missing the ever reddening skin colour
and steadily narrowing eyes which characterised Frannie in a major, but
Ray did the only humane action he was capable of. Manoevering himself
to the back of his friend he bent down quickly, took a handful of kilt
and exposed Fraser's dedication to Scottish tradition.
2. Huffin', Puffin' but diefinitely *no* Sniffin'
Warning! warning!...gratuitous f*rt inference
Later, much much later Fraser began to get some feeling back into his extremities. It had hardly been Kowalski's fault, for he was surely no weather guru, but the remnants of Hurricane Georges had taken a most inopportune and strangely direct route south.
The atmosphere in the cab was just as icy.
"I said I was sorry".
"Humph" wriggle, glare, squirm.
"Listen Frase you want me to make it better - say the word".
"No no, the word is 'please', as in 'please Ray my good friend will you kindly rub my...' "
Ray sniggered and grinned widely he was beginning to enjoy himself.
Fraser was doing a perfect job of heating *himself* up - with embarrassment.
"That's a rosy glow ya got goin' there buddy".
"Guys?" said their driver, a fat man or possibly a thin man swathed in impossible layers of warm
clothing. The parrot by his side said "hi" and winked at Diefenbaker
cramped and cranky down at the front. The half-wolf rolled his eyes
and went back to sleep perchance to dream of sizzling hot donuts or was
that sizzling hot poodles?
Fraser cleared his throat.
"Looks like no-one's home."
Unnoticed the cab had skidded artistically to a halt outside their
destination. Fraser (for once) leaned over and paid the driver to wait.
The last working cabdriver in the Greater Chicago area tucked his bonus
"tip" into his stripey woollen bobble hat.
Zerbe Floors had once been a short order cook in a Mexican cafe.
He had once been a 80 lb weakling. He closed his eyes, wallowing in
nostalgia. He could almost smell the burritos. A slightly embarrassed
Diefenbaker jumped quickly out of the cab. "You pay and pay and pay",
grumped the wolf fanning his tail vigorously.
Mexican's bobble hat danced rhythmically as the taxi carambaed the
hell outta the joint. Kowalski shrugged and dug his head deeper into
his coat. He coulda told the oh too trusting Mountie he'd be better
off tossing his bucks into the Lake somone or other called Michigan.
Huh Michigan Smichigan. Yeah well let the freak make his own mistakes.
Fraser meantime hopped athletically from one foot to the next. Like
he was doing the sword dance on acid or sumthin' considered the cop seating
himself crosslegged, going cross-eyed, on a large wooden chest. Ray
blew hard on his rapidly freezing hands and refused to rise to the bait.
Dief padded to a nearby chest and sank gratefully to rest, ignoring the spectacle
altogether. If alpha male wanted to make a complete tit of himself
who was he to argue.
Moments later a large transit van pulled up outside the building.
"Gee Fraser that's a great audition. If we weren't closin' you'd
be in for sure." drawled Jack Huey chewing thoughtfully on a toothpick,
his dark eyes sparkling with suppressed, well not *so* suppressed amusement
at the Mountie's antics.
His partner Dewey concurred wholeheartedly but could not as yet express
his feelings in words as such, but rolling on the slushy sidewalk croaking
with laughter gave the game away sure enough.
Meanwhile Fraser had ceased his callisthenics and waited for the general
merriment to subside, and waited, and waited. Then, just for a change....he
waited some more.
"Finished?" He inquired ever so politely of his "friends". Icicles dripped from every
syllable; his eyes were ice blue and arctic.
"Oooh Fraser's in a snit, Fraser's in a snit" echoed the Boobie twins.
The Mountie ground his teeth imperceptably and tried waiting some
Kowalski began to giggle and even Dief was making really weird wolf
"I take you have no desire to find out who's been trying to shut your club down. I'll
leave now shall I? Thank you kindly." The Mountie was having a hunch,
well no actually he knew perfectly well who was trying to shut the club
down, he'd read the in depth investigative article in the National Tittletatler
on the last plane back to Chicago. "Huey and Dewey Haunted by Louis?"
He'd found the piece curiously lacking in sense but anything to while
away the time between Ray's moody silences. Could he help it if...well
never mind that now...
Fraser crunched his way through the hardening slush leaving two ex-cops
aghast in his wake.
"Hey wait up man whattin the hell d'ya mean by *that*?" cursed Huey racing after him. His partner hastily joined him and together they sped, gusting wafts of white air behind them. Ray Kowalski however continued to sit on the chest drawing his knees up and hugging them.
He'd let Huey and/or Dewey do all the Mountie hunting they wanted
and it sure looked like Fraser was in season or sumthin' in that get
up. All Ray wanted was a good long soak to wrinklehood in a roiling
hot bath. Ah heat...how he missed the sensation, all those lovely lovely
words like warm, hot, cozy. Nah he had to go an join Mr Freakin' Frosty
on his *great adventure*. Humph some adventure *that* turned out ta
"Eh Dief?" He enquired of the slumbering wolf. No reply. Dief's coat had grown
noticeably thicker during their travels in the butt freezing north
and he looked real snug.
Hmmm Ray considered for a moment the possibilities of a lupine warmer but gave up
when he realised Dief would never let him live it down - he'd be that danged wolf's
donut slave for life.
Huey and Dewey returned. Between them protesting voluably, held in
vice like grips that only a true Chicago detective could apply, was Benton
Fraser, Mountie of indeterminate status within the aforementioned city,
and ,considering his recent escapades, unwelcome status within the entire
national boundaries of Canada.
"Shut yer yap Frase" Kowalski rubbed his hand over bleary eyes.
Unusually, Fraser obliged.
"C'mon guys let's get the Canuck to the 27th. I wanna say hi to Lt
Welsh. He is *still* there ain't he?" inquired the cop whose 42 day
leave entitlement expired in all of 45 minutes.
Aware something was afoot or possibly and most hopefully "avan" Dief
raised his head and belched loudly.
"Ewww Dief" came a chorus of nose holding detectives. "That's *so*
3. Oh what a feelin': "You touch ..."
"Canuck?!" whimpered Fraser to himself...well no-one else was payin'
"What did I due? Oh woe! Wh.where did I go wrong??" He wailed throwing
one arm dramatically over his face.
Huey, Dewey and Kowalski exchanged glances. Well more like really
loud shouting glances - something along the lines of...
"What the "farkin' heck" (ahem) is Fraser on?!"
Huey bent forward, Dewey bent forward, Kowalski joined in.
Kowalski straightened up immediately rubbing his bruising forehead.
Dewey and Huey did likewise.
"Hey where's Doolally Dudley?" queried Dewey picking a couple of Kowalski
spikes from his hair.
A muffled sob or three drew their collective attention to the van.
The by now distraught Mountie sat in the front seat his head in his hands
sobbing politely (well he would, wouldn't he) and giving a fair imitation
of a cast off maiden in true Mills & Boon (Historical Romances TM)
Huey and Dewey glanced speculatively at Kowalski. The ex-Vecchio
rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"Don't do this to me Fraser, not again. Man you are so *pathetic*"
Huey and Dewey speculated some more.
"You two gotta problem with your chins huh?"
"OK so two gotta breathing problem....cuz iffin ya don't quit....you
won't" Kowalksi raised his best beating-a suspect-to-a-pulp attitude.
"Nuthin' nuthin'" Jack shrugged.
Dewey took his life in his hands and patted Ray's shoulder. Body
language was not really one of his best subjects you could tell.
"Yeah whatever...you know...like it's cool....you know....uh...cool."
Kowalski however was giving a master class in 'Do Not Touch 101' and
he was good, very good.
Dewey backed off quick and slithered behind the shelter of his larger,
and most would say smarter, partner.
4. When I'm Calling You: Listen Up!
"Yeah he sounded....uh....wild"
"Wilde called and he sounded wild eh?"
"And Wilde would be...?"
"Uh....about his handbag."
"OK I'll bite...what about *his* handbag?"
"Sorry sir I wasn't listening."
"I said.....and I shall say this only once more....*what* *about*
"Oh. No I mean I wasn't listening to Wilde. I mean I really would
have liked to listen to Wilde because I am fully aware that as your new
Civilian Aide I need to make a good impression and sometimes, well sometimes
"Yeah well that's debatable."
"What I mean is I was distracted."
"You see sir there was a...a....rodent, well no not actually a rodent
as such...but there was this really really creepy picture of a rodent
and....Did I mention my rodent phobia?"
Welsh closed his eyes and slumped back in his chair. Why on earth
had he stayed? What had possessed him to turn down his brother's offer
of a share in the lottery win? Why was he being punished like this?
What was the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Was it really
42 or was that simply Turnbull's IQ.
Why oh why had he given in to the quivering wreck that had presented
to him a mere 3 weeks ago....or was it a lifetime.
"They (gulp) won't let me back (gulp, sniffle)."
"I see. Any reason?"
"I think...I think they think I betrayed them by running for office
in an American city. (sob) But I didn't. I didn't even want to do it,
truly I didn't. (sniffle) My Uncle Mortimer...he...he pushed me into
it, and then when I had my accident...(gulp)...he abandoned meeeee...."
Turnbull pulled out a very large, very wet pocket hankerchief and sobbed
loudly into it.
"Oh sir, I'll do anything. Please I *need* to be in law enforcement.
Please! Pretty please with sugar candies!!"
Welsh sat mesmerized by the ex-Mountie and somehow found himself drawing
up the necessary paper which ensured that in a very short space of time
his life would be one living Turnbull hell.
5. All Done in the *Best* Possible Taste: Ewwwww!
Rapid bursts of gunfire rang out overhead, illuminating the desert
sands briefly. A dark figure ducked and wove between the dunes.
'Darn it sand gets *everywhere*' she cursed silently as she threw
herself bodily into the best cover she could determine.
"Ow!" protested the solid lump she rolled into, the protest was soft
however with a strangely familiar twang.
"A Canadian?" breathed Margaret Thatcher, brand spanking new, straight
from the shell, special agent of the aforementioned nationality.
"Yeah...so?" Prickly and defensive, not a desert rat so much as a
Meg waited till she'd got her breath back and assembled at least part
of her scattered senses. An ally was an ally was an ally after all.
"Um want a sheep's testicle? In maple syrup of course."
"Thank you kindly."
And thus a strange alliance was formed. Let's face it some alliances
are a lot stranger than others and as Margaret was later to record in
her memoirs (Memories of Miss Mountie aka Desert Storm in a C cup, $199
CDN, pub Benton Free Press 2005), Victoria Metcalf was not *all* bad.
"So you see Leftenant, Ray let me down....badly..."
Welsh sighed impatiently and with some difficulty. Fraser and he
were the only ones left in the office. The rest of the precinct, Kowalski
and the wolf, even the janitor had quit exactly 2 hours ago.
It had taken the Mountie *that* long to blurt out this much. How
long, oh lord, how *gulflarking* long? cursed Welsh. If only Turnbull
hadn't thought to mend his chair with superglue. If only he were within
gripping or even ripping distance of Fraser's throat. If only the demented
Canadian hadn't trashed his phone. If only...
Welsh glared at the demented Canadian and mumbled imprecations under
the duct tape.
Fraser's eyes opened wide. Surely the Leftenant didn't really mean
he'd like to...and well surely it was physically impossible...wasn't
"Come and have a go if you think you are hard enough..." slurred a
familiar voice from two inches behind the Mountie.
Fraser whirled round.
"Hiya Benny!" hiccuped an exceedingly happy drunken Ray Vecchio (yeah
the *real* one) brandishing a empty bottle of Dom Perignon in one hand,
in the other an extra large bowling ball, *very* sparkly green. A pair
of grey and red striped bowling shoes hung round his neck. Chicago's
ex-finest swayed elegantly and rested against the doorframe.
"We got stars directing our fate...." he continued singing happily
"So Benny you a prawn? huh?.." Ray shook his head vigorously then
thought better of it and winced.
"Nah nah...a...a...pawn...yeah man...yeah...yo Benny...." Overcome
by sudden and complete exhaustion Ray slid bonelessly down the wall making
an elegant puddle of Armani on the floor.
"Oh dear" was all Fraser could find to say, at this juncture. At
the next juncture he said or rather yelled...."Yeouch!!" as the bowling
ball rolled leisurely yet oh so heavily over his sock clad left foot.
With his characteristic thoroughness Fraser had found it necessary to
utilise his boot laces to ensure Lt Welsh's complete co-operation, glue
or no glue.
Vecchio had an excellent view of the rapidly swelling sock.
"Hmph" he said comfortably.
"Good" he added with satisfaction and slept the sleep of the fully
justified, and the full on squiffy too.
Fraser sank to the floor beside his ex-friend cuddling his aching
foot. Ever so slowly and carefully he removed his woolly blue RCMP issue
sock shuddering as he revealed the bruised flesh below.
"Oh, oh oh" he moaned swaying back and forth over his tenderised tootsies.
"Ya big girl's blouse!"
Ray Kowalski looked in scorn at the scene. His *hero*, supermountie
- yeah right. He bent over Ray's recumbant body and retrieved the not
quite empty bottle of champagne and emptied it in one swig.
"Hmm.. good stuff Vecchio, yeah deffo a good year." he said appreciatively
and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
The Vecchio on the floor rolled over and opened bleary eyes.
"Whaddever." Ray rolled back, sighed and started to get up. Kowalski
took his arm and brought him to his feet.
Ray Vecchio perched on the side of the Lieutenant's desk. Both men
ignored Welsh's frantic struggles. Maybe just a little tacky for the
office but hey his sex life was his own business.
Kowalski bent down and retrieved the discarded bowling ball, hefting
it easily to shoulder height. Ray glanced at Ray. Both Rays considered
the seated, kilted Mountie and grinned. One Inuit story too many, one
pedant point outta line...
Ray Vecchio slipped into his bowling shoes. Ray Kowalski bowed and
offered his new buddy his ball back.
Diefenbaker paused briefly from his consumption of the excellent turtle
soup his new alpha male had so considerately provided. A curious twinge
travelled through his groin as the spirit plane was shaken by the massed
crossing of innumerable male spirit legs.
Their work done, Ray and Ray shook hands solemnly. Ray Vecchio took
a quick photo opportunity or two for future reference and promised copies
to any interested parties.
Fraser's mouth was *still* open.
Never one to let a friend down Raymondo Armondo Languostini Vecchio
retrieved Lieutenant Welsh's last donut (with sprinkles) and stuffed
* Big thank you to Robbie Williams for Millenium <G>