At this time we see Ray Vecchio rolling, literally, rolling on the floor with laughter, but not for long. Ray Kowalski is sulking, Benton Fraser looks happy while the Duck-boys and Francesca are fighting. I guess you want to know why, then we must go back a bit...
Lieutenant Welsh was sitting in his office when the phone rang. Picking it up, he said, “Lieutenant Harding Welsh, 27th District, Major Crimes.”
The voice on the other end laughed. “Hello Harding, it's Sister Ann here, how are you?”
Smiling on hearing her voice, he replied, “I'm well and you? Is there something wrong? Something tells me this isn't a social call.”
“You're right, you didn't make Lieutenant for nothing,” she chuckled.
He listened as she told him what she was after. He laughed at some of her ideas, knowing how much fun it was going to be getting his staff involved.
When she finished, he answered, “I can help you with that Sister Ann, it's not a problem.”
Looking out the window of his office, Welsh carefully planned on making sure they didn't let her down. After all, all the other Districts were going to be taking part as well and NO ONE beats the two-seven at anything.
Opening his office door, he called out, “Miss Vecchio, my office please!”
Looking up from her desk she nodded, taking her pen and paper, remembering the “five P's” as Fraser taught her. Proper preparation prevents poor performance, she recited under her breath, mentally praising herself for remembering it.
“Yes Harding what can I help you with today?” she asked eagerly.
Welsh looked at her with a slight smile. “You've been reading those books again haven't you Miss Vecchio.”
He held up a hand to stop her. “That's very good. Now I need you to make a notice for a staff meeting for today at five and attendance is mandatory OK? Make that in big, bold writing so they understand it.”
Writing it on the pad she brought with her, she asked, “Will I say what it’s about Harding?”
Shaking his head, “No we'll talk about it at the meeting.”
Knowing it was her cue to leave, she did, wondering what the meeting was about. Welsh rarely called meetings, so it made her worried. As it was, everyone who saw the notice soon started whispering about what the meeting may be about.
Kowalski joked that it might be about them finally getting a pay rise. Others joked it was about the coffee machine. No one was prepared for what it was actually about.
At the meeting, they whole team sat around facing their boss and listened as he spoke. “Nice to see you could all make it and on time. You're probably wondering what this is about, and its not about a pay rise Kowalski, or a new coffee machine Miss Vecchio. I got a phone call from a friend, Sister Ann, she asked if we could help her with a charity costume party, where I get to pick what you wear.” Holding up a hand to stop them before they cut in, he continued, “Before you start, I said yes. The charity is for sick children with rare illnesses, so you’re doing it for them, you got me?” They all grumbled in their response. “I didn't quite hear you.”
“Yes sir,” they all chimed in.
Doing his best not to laugh at them acting like children, Welsh carried on. “OK, Fraser I’d like you to bring back Miss Fraser for this. Would that be possible?”
“Yes Sir, that can be arranged,” Fraser answered eagerly.
“Very good Fraser and just for fun, Kowalski you will be Mr Fraser.” Welsh bit his lip to keep himself from laughing at the look on the blonde’s face.
Sitting up straight, Kowalski whined, “Awe but Sir do I have to? No offence Fraser, but why can't Vecchio, or the Duck-boys do it? Or hell even Frannie could Sir?”
Frannie took her chance clutching at Fraser's arm, “I would do it Benton, for you.”
Sending her a glare Welsh spoke, “No, Kowalski, it's you so suck it up.” Folding his arms Kowalski sat there sulking while his boss carried on. “OK Vecchio, when you have quite finished laughing you get to be Spiderman and as for you Huey and Dewey, you are going to be Tinkywinky and Dipsy. Finally Miss Vecchio, since you are so fond of Mounties, you are going as a Mountie. Now any questions? No I didn't think so. There are cards on my desk with details of where you can get costumes. Now get going and DO NOT let me down, you hear me?”
They were all still grumbling as they made their way back to their desks.
Flopping down into his seat Kowalski was still sulking like a child. “It's not fair, why me? I mean why can't I be someone cool like Steve McQueen?”
Waving a hand, Vecchio said, “At least you get to dress in pants, I have to wear a Spiderman costume!”
Kowalski was smiling now, “Oh yeah, that will be fun and the two Teletubbies over there, it should be fun after all.”
Vecchio leaned forward. “Would have been more fun if Welsh had made them dress like ducks and made Frannie their uncle Donald Duck!”
Laughing harder now, Kowalski replied, “True Vecchio, very true. At least now I get to see what Fraser looks like dressed like a woman. I can't believe none of you thought to take a photo the last time.”
Speaking of Fraser, he approached their desk. “Won't this be fun, I will admit to never having attended a costume party before.”
“Really?” Kowalski answered, surprised.
“Yes Ray really,” replied Fraser. “I was thinking if you are going to be a Fraser I should take you shopping for the appropriate clothing.”
Looking at him, Kowalski was worried now. “I...I, ah, don't want to wear flannel Fraser.”
“Ray..Ray...Ray, I was thinking more along the lines of jeans, a T-shirt and leather jacket like I wear on the weekends,” explained Fraser.
Kowalski was now more confidant at the thought of becoming a Fraser for the night. “Cool, that sounds good. Let’s head out after work, you want to come Vecchio?”
Shaking his head, Vecchio replied, “Na, I have to get mine at 'Costumes R Us'. Besides, I have to take Ma shopping tonight.”
“No problem, I’m sure we’ll see you tomorrow, good luck!” grinned Kowalski, clocking out and he laughed as he left. “Poor guy, stuck in tights all night.”
Fraser put his hand on his arm stopping him. “As will I Ray,” he pointed out.
That just made him laugh harder. “I thought this was going to be my worst nightmare, but I think this is going to be the best night ever. Better not forget the camera, I so want to capture every second of this.”
With Ray's arm around his shoulders as always, Fraser spoke, “You're acting very strange Ray.”
Saying nothing just throwing an amusing look his way, Kowalski led Fraser to the car to go shopping for clothes.
Shopping with Fraser turned into a bit of a circus. Every sales lady and the guys were hitting on Fraser, 'Can I help you Sir?' this, 'Can I get you anything Sir?' that. Ray wanted to scream at them to let them know that Fraser was not a piece of meat and to stop drooling all over him. Besides they were here to find him clothes, not Fraser.
By the time they got back to Ray's apartment they were both exhausted, loaded down with everything that they needed. It had turned out to be a lot more fun in the end when Fraser was stuck in the ladies lingerie section, turning beetroot red at the different kinds of underwear that surrounded him.
Flopping down on his couch, Ray asked, “So Fraser, you fancy cooking, or a take-out?”
Sitting next to him on the couch, Fraser replied, “Take-out, I don't think I’ve got the energy to cook Ray.”
Over the following few days, the people of the 27th were taking bets on what their boss was going to wear to this costume party. The guesses ranged from Superman to the Incredible Hulk. They couldn't help but look forward to it now, which was surprising because at the start they had whined and moaned about it.
Fraser was sitting at Ray Kowalski's desk as normal when Ray jerked his head in a 'heads up, Frannie's coming’ look.
It was too late as she sat in rather a revealing manner on the corner of the desk, leaning toward Fraser. “Benton, I was wondering where can I buy a Mountie uniform?”
Clearing his throat, Fraser replied, “Actually Francesca, it is against the law for an RCMP uniform to be purchased by a member of the public.”
Francesca looked surprised. “Really, I didn't know that. How will I dress like one then? Could I borrow one of yours perhaps?”
“Ah am...I think mine would be a little big for you,” Fraser turned very red as he spoke, “I do believe that they have costumes very similar to the RCMP uniform at the place Lieutenant Welsh suggested.”
Francesca sighed, a little disappointed that she was getting nowhere once again with Fraser. “Very well, thank you Benton.”
Laughing as she walked away, Ray leaned forward whispering, “She doesn’t give up, does she.”
“Francesca is a strong minded young woman,” replied Fraser, trying to be diplomatic.
Ray shook his head. “You're too nice Fraser, you know that?”
“I just try to see all sides Ray.”
Letting the matter drop they both went back to work on the files.
It was a few days later when there was plenty of ribbing and teasing going on, as the Duck-boys and Vecchio turned up carrying their costumes for the party. Jokes such as, ‘I'm sure it was a WEB of lies, Vecchio’ and ‘Can you SENSE what he’s thinking?’
Vecchio of course was not amused to say the least. The only thing that kept him from killing anyone was the fact that it was for a children's charity. All the Duck-boys got from the others was the Teletubbies theme song all day and and Teletubbies toys left on their desks. The party could not come fast enough for all of them.
Taking off his glasses Kowalski leaned forward across his desk, “So Vecchio, what was Fraser like as a woman anyway?”
Vecchio grinned slightly at his partner’s question. “Actually, he made for a good looking woman, like that is surprising.”
Sitting back now more curious, Kowalski asked, “So, what did look like? Did ye go anywhere while he was dressed like that other than the school?”
Eyes sparkling in amusement as he remembered that time, Vecchio replied, “Benny wore a long red wig, he wore dress suits with skirts instead of pants with high heels. We had to go visit pawn shops while he was dressed that way. No one guessed, it was pretty funny actually. He made me open doors for him, the whole shebang.”
Kowalski laughed at what he told him. “I...I can't wait to see that, only two days to go.”
Lieutenant Welsh walked in carrying a garment bag over his shoulder making them wonder what it was. On seeing him Detective Dewey shouted, “Hey Lieu is that your costume, what you wearing?”
Throwing the Detective a look like daggers, “Never you mind, you'll find out on the night,” Welsh replied gruffly.
Dewey put his hands up in mock surrender. “Sorry Lieu.”
Welsh growled, “Get back to work,” making his way into his office and closing the door. The whole squad-room burst into mutterings of what his costume might be.
Later that night, since a pipe burst at the Consulate, Fraser and Dief were staying with Ray Kowalski and his turtle.
Sitting on the couch Ray could feel that Fraser wanted to ask him something. “Spit it out Fraser, what is with you and all that squirming?”
Looking at Ray he showed his nervousness, “I'm afraid I am a tad nervous about this costume party Ray.”
Ray frowned at him. “Why?”
Sighing now, Fraser replied, “I've never attended one and I don't know how they work. I know that we raised some money already, but what if I get it wrong and let the CPD down Ray?”
Shaking his head Ray turned to face him. “Frase, Benton-buddy, you won't let the CPD down. The only reason we raised any money so far is because of all the talks that you did and for agreeing to bring back Miss Fraser. So don't worry you'll be fine. Besides Vecchio and I will be there, it will be a blast.”
Fraser was smiling now. “Thank you kindly Ray.”
Ray patted his arm. “No problem buddy, now where is that pineapple pizza? It should have been here fifteen minutes ago.”
The next morning as Fraser, Dief and Kowalski walked into the squad-room where they found Vecchio laughing his head off once again.
Kowalski called out to him, wondering what he was laughing at this time. “Vecchio what's so funny now?”
Looking at Kowalski and Fraser made him laugh even harder before answering, “Kowalski, Benny you'll never believe this...”
Looking puzzled, Fraser asked, “Believe what Ray?”
Wiping the tears from his eyes, Vecchio replied, “The Dragon Lady and Turnbull agreed to take part in the costume party. They donated a bunch of money.”
Kowalski joined in the laughing, much to Fraser's annoyance. “You kidding, who are they going as?”
Vecchio shook his head. “Don't know about the Dragon Lady ,but Turnbull said something about Clint Black.”
Sitting down at his desk now Kowalski was still laughing, “Something tells me this is going to be one hell of a party.”
Fraser looked from one Ray to the other, the only words that came to mind were, “Oh dear.”
Inspector Thatcher was starting to lose what was left of her patience. She was stuck in traffic heading back to the Consulate after picking up her costume for the costume party. She had meant to try it on before leaving the store, but had no time, nor did she have time to listen to anything the man at the store had to say to her. Little did she know that she really should have done. So she just took the bag with her none the the wiser and left as she had a meeting with the French Ambassador later on that day.
Walking up the steps to the Consulate she was glad to see Constable Turnbull on sentry duty, as she was not in the mood for his cheery 'Welcome to Canada' speech.
Fraser greeted her as she came through the door, “Good afternoon Sir.” On seeing her weary face he asked, “Would you like some tea or coffee Sir, perhaps some of Turnbull’s apple pie fresh from the oven?”
That sounded like heaven to her ears. “Tea and apple pie would be wonderful Constable, join me for some won't you?”
Surprised, but happy at her request, he replied, “I would be delighted Sir, thank you. I'll, ah, just fetch some.”
Finally in her office she hung up the garment bag and opened it, letting out a gasp at what she saw. Picking up the phone she immediately rang the costume shop, “What is the meaning of this? This is not the costume I ordered.”
Knowing who it was on the phone the man at the shop answered as best he could. “Ms Thatcher, I’m sorry, but if you had listened to me when I wanted to talk to you in the shop, I could have told you that we were out of the white dress costume and that is all that we had left.”
Using her best Mountie voice, she replied, “That isn't good enough, I am a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, I...I...can't dress in this!”
The man sighed down the phone. “Well if you like to bring it back in the morning I’d be more than happy to change it for you and reimburse you for the costume rental charge.”
Looking at the costume she was worn out. “It will be too late then, the party is tonight.”
“I'm terribly sorry Ma’am, I will still refund your money,” he replied.
With her head in her hands, “No...no that's OK, you tried to tell me. It's just been one of those days today.”
The man nodded even though she couldn't see him. “I know what you mean, we all have those days don't we. I hope the party goes well for you anyway.”
Inspector Thatcher sighed now. “Thank you, I hope so as well,” and she hung up.
Walking over she picked up the costume, 'Better try it on then,' she thought to herself, going to the bathroom to do so. The mirror in her office was bigger than the one in the bathroom so back out she went, just as Fraser walked in. He looked at her and their eyes met and they both turned as red as the uniform.
Stuttering and looking anywhere but at his superior officer, Fraser muttered, “Oh...oh dear...oh dear. I...I...I'm sorry Sir. I'll, ah, I'm just...I'll be going.” He put the tray down and fled the room as if he was running a marathon.
Inspector Thatcher didn't know whether to fall down with mortification or laughter at his face. Slightly laughing she paged him, “Fraser could you please come back into my office, I need your advice.”
Clearing his throat his face still on fire from embarrassment, he mumbled, “Certainly Sir.” When he went into her office he was still very much red faced and looking everywhere but directly at her, “Sir?”
Amused at his behaviour she spoke, “Fraser what do you think of this costume. Do you think it would be OK for the party?”
Still not looking her, he replied quietly, “It's perfectly fine Sir.”
“Fraser, will you look at me,” she said exasperated.
Finally he did, looking her up and down, “Sir, is that, um, is that...”
Inspector Thatcher stood with her hands on her hips. “Yes..yes Fraser, this is the gold bikini Princess Leia wears in Star Wars. I ordered the white dress, but this is all they had left.”
Standing tall, his eyes sparkled as he looked at her once more. “You look very beautiful Sir,” then realising what he’d said he blushed, “It's very nice Sir.”
Smiling now at him, she replied, “Thank you Constable, could you please come back in a moment after I change for the apple pie and tea?”
Bowing slightly, he said, “As you wish Sir.”
After Fraser left the room she tried her best to take it off but it just wouldn't come off. She really tried to free herself but in the end she had no choice but to call him back in to her help her remove it. Hearing her call, Fraser came back to see her still wearing the gold bikini. “Is everything all right Sir?”
Feeling defeated, she replied, “No Fraser, I seem to be stuck, can you help me get this off?”
His eyes nearly popped out of his head. “Are you sure Sir?”
“Fraser, the zipper is stuck and the French Ambassador will be here soon. Please can you just help me. You are a Mountie for heavens sake,” she snapped out in frustration.
That kicked him into action. “Am, all right Sir, I’ll just...” and with shaking hands he set about trying to release the fastening, but it just wouldn't budge.
Hearing voices outside her office she began to panic. The Ambassador was early and she was still in the damned gold bikini, with her junior officer trying to take it off. This looked bad, really bad. Looking into her worried eyes he kicked into action taking off his red serge tunic and putting it around her shoulders. She was puzzled. “Constable what are you...”
“Sir if I may, if you sit behind your desk, I will see the Ambassador in and explain your injury,” Fraser replied.
Frowning, she said, “My injury but I’m...,” but then it dawned on her what he was doing and she smiled. “Very well Fraser thank you.”
Fraser smiled and clicked his heels at attention. “Certainly Sir.”
Fraser met with the guest and explained that the Inspector wouldn't be able to stand to greet him due to an injury. The Ambassador thanked him as he was shown to her office. The meeting only lasted an hour and went with out a hitch and all was good for the visit for the French President in the new year.
After he’d left she looked at herself in the mirror. She was dressed in her junior officer’s tunic and the gold bikini, would this night get any more bizarre? The party later that night would tell. Yes this was going to be a good night.
The hall was starting to hot up for the costume charity party. You had everything from Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz to spacemen. The people from the CPD and the Canadian Consulate were yet to arrive.
Fraser looked in the mirror adjusting his wig so that it was set just right on his head. He turned to Diefenbaker, “Dief, what do you think? Is this good enough? I wasn't sure.”
Diefenbaker woofed in reply.
Glancing back in the mirror, Fraser said, “Ah yes Dief you’re right, the dress does need a brooch after all, thank you kindly.”
“Woof...woof...woof,” Dief replied.
Looking at his wolf Fraser smiled, “Yes, your costume is very nice. You are very lucky to be given special permission to attend.”
Turning in happy circles wagging his tail he made his way to the door on hearing familiar footsteps.
Ray Kowalski had been panicking the whole time he got ready. Thinking did he have the right T-shirt on? Did he have the right jeans, leather jacket and shoes? Is his hair right? It was silly really, but he didn't want to let anyone down let alone Fraser. He was after all Mr Fraser for the night. That made him laugh, they were in for a fun night for sure.
As normal, Dief greeted Ray in the hallway and they both complemented each other’s costume. Ray shook his head laughing, he was understanding and speaking wolf now. You hang out with a Mountie long enough and strange and wildly bizarre things will start to happen to you.
Looking up from greeting Dief, Ray stopped dead with his mouth hanging open. Fraser stood there dressed in an honest to god flapper dress.
Thinking something was wrong Fraser frowned asking, a little unsure, “Ray is something wrong?”
Snapping himself out of it, Ray replied, “No...no I just didn't expect you to be wearing a flapper dress. I though it would be something more...”
“Something more what? Should I go change? I wasn't sure what to wear to a costume party Ray,” he replied, sounding very unsure of his costume now.
Waving a hand, Ray said, “Nah...nah, you look good Fraser, good for a woman! You will make all the ladies at this thing very jealous for sure.”
Fraser was smiling now. “Thank you kindly Ray and may I say you make a fine Mr Fraser.”
Ray stood taller, like a Mountie. “Thank you, do you think I was worried I’d let you down?”
Using his best Miss Fraser voice, “Oh yes, very much so and Ray you could never let me down.”
Laughing they made their way to the car to go to the party. Opening the car door for his 'wife', he asked, “So how do you think the rest of them are getting on Fraser?”
With an amused smile, Miss Fraser replied, “I'd imagine the same as we are Mr Fraser.”
Starting the car Ray chuckled, “Oh ya, can't wait to see what Welsh is wearing and the poor Duck-Boys will be roasting in those Teletubbies costumes and Frannie, god only knows what kind of Mountie costume she will turn up in.”
As they parked they saw a sight that only could be seen in a Carry On film. There, walking down the street, were two Teletubbies, Lieutenant Welsh dressed as Elvis Presley and someone in a stripper style Mountie costume. Only when they looked close did they realise that it was Francesca. It was the same costume that the girls wore in the lap dancing club that Fraser and her brother investigated before.
Kowalski looked at Miss Fraser and ‘she’ looked back at him saying, “Oh dear.”
“You said it buddy,” sighed Kowalski, “jeez, I’ll have to cover her up if Vecchio doesn't get to her first.”
Miss Fraser nodded. “I agree Ray, he will not be best pleased.”
Since Vecchio still hadn't arrived, Kowalski himself kicked into action going over to a waiter asking, “Would you have a spare tablecloth or something?”
The waiter gave him a quizzical look. “Why do you need a tablecloth Sir?” he asked, wondering what on earth he needed it for.
Waving his hand in the direction of Frannie, Kowalski explained, “I have to cover her up or her real brother will blow his top and since I was her stand in brother for a time, I feel it's my...ah...duty. Come on don’t you have a sister or someone you would want to protect?”
Handing over a tablecloth, the waiter replied. “I do sir, good luck.”
Taking it, Kowalski thanked him and headed straight for Frannie. He flung the tablecloth around her wrapping it tight. “Frannie cover up,” he said through greeted teeth.
Her eyes widened. “What do you think you are doing Ray?”
Holding the cloth around her, he replied, “Frannie, you cannot go around dressed like that. You are barely covered. What do you think Vecchio would do if he saw you?”
A voice boomed from behind him. “Kowalski, what are you doing with my sister?” Vecchio called out.
Kowalski turned around, if he wasn't trying to keep Frannie covered he would have fallen down laughing. There stood Spiderman, Elvis, two Teletubbies, Clint Black and Princess Leia.
Using a frustrated voice, Kowalski replied, “Vecchio, she is dressed in the Mountie costume from the Kit Corral lap dancing club! That is why I am trying to cover her up.”
Vecchio moved closer so he could look his sister in the eye. “This true Frannie, are you wearing that?”
Trying and failing to put her hands on her hips as she was so wrapped up, Frannie replied, “Yes bro I am. It is a costume party and I am a grown woman.”
Hanging his head in defeat knowing he was going to lose this battle, Vecchio said, “OK, but you better keep the jacket zipped up or buttoned up, you hear me Frannie because I mean it!”
Smiling because she won the battle over her brother, Frannie replied, “Yes I will keep it closed. Now Ray can you let me go now so I can go dance with your 'wife'.”
Reluctantly he unwrapped her and handed the cloth back to the waiter with his thanks. Turning to Fraser, “Come on Frase lets dance. We are after all meant to be man and wife for the night.”
After that, sometime during the night, three men dressed like characters from Sesame Street burst into the room grabbing the chest that held the Charity money. It was a sight to see Teletubbies, Spiderman and Elvis pulling out guns. Where they had the guns hidden only they would know. It didn't take long for the situation to be under control and they got back to having a good night.
As the night wore on everyone relaxed, even the Ice Queen. They danced, ate and sang songs. They had to admit that the party was a fantastic idea. Ray didn't know that Fraser could dance like that, or that the Ice Queen could relax enough to not only dance more then once with him, but actually talk to him as well.
Welsh really enjoyed the role as Elvis, even singing on stage after a few drinks and doing a duet with Turnbull as Clint Black.
Sister Ann could not have been happier with how it all went. Lots of money was raised and everyone had a fantastic time even talking about doing it again next year.
What could next year bring that would be more bizarre then this one, only time would tell.