Chapter 1: STELLA KOWALSKI
The date would be a few days after 'Strange Bedfellows'
Sometimes people say that if something is bothering you then you should write it all down and then throw that piece of paper out. Well, usually I don't believe in all that sort of nonsense, but after the last few days I need to sort out things in my own mind, so I'm willing to give anything a try.
I suppose I could just write down three words and throw them away, that would solve a lot of my problems. The three words being, Stanley Raymond Kowalski.
Perhaps that's unfair. He did just save my life. Twice. He and that Mountie friend of his. What's with him anyway? What's with the red suit? He might as well just put a huge neon sign on his head saying "Look at me!" No, that's probably also unfair. He seems to have a calming effect on Ray. Sort of, anyway, so I suppose I should be thankful for that.
The thing is, I've known Ray since I was 12. A lot of things have changed since we were kids. We grew up. Well, I did anyway, I'm not so sure about Ray. I guess that's the trouble, he's still exactly the same. I don't have that sort of energy any more. Maybe that's what I found so appealing about Frank Orsini. Here was someone who treated me like an adult, like a woman. We spent hours just talking, about all sorts of things, really interesting things. It's just my luck that Frank would turn out to be a crooked politician. (I suppose I owe Ray and Fraser for that one too, I could have made a total fool of myself.) I can't remember the last time Ray and I had a real conversation, not one that didn't descend into an argument, anyway. We were never very good at talking. Dancing, now dancing we were good at, really really good.
Still, I let him in the other evening, didn't I? I let him kiss me. I guess those old feelings never completely go away. I wanted him to stay, even though I knew we'd both regret it in the morning. Well, I'd regret it, anyway. Ray still seems to think that one night would be enough to get us back together. He doesn't understand does he? We're divorced now. This isn't like when we were kids. We broke up a hundred times over petty things, but then he'd make me a mix tape or get me one of my favourite candy bars and we always got back together. He doesn't get it. I will always love him, I don't think that will ever change. We had some really great times, but that's all in the past.
I know he's been following me around. I tried to ignore it, but it has to stop. I think he realises that now. When he was talking to that crazy Dwayne Weston in my apartment, I heard him say something like 'When it's over it's over, you've got to accept that, and live with it'. Now I know he was only providing a distraction so that Fraser could overpower him and get the bomb, but even so, those words must have come from somewhere, surely?
It's going to be a little awkward for a while, what with Ray working at the 27th. I never really had much to do with his old precinct, but I'm always at the 27th so we'd better get used to seeing more of each other. Perhaps I should just move away, start over somewhere new. I've lived in Chicago all my life, but a clean break might be for the best. I hear Florida's nice.
I hope that one day Ray will find himself someone to love him the way that I just can't any more and you never know, maybe there's someone out there for me too?
Right, I think I've had enough of this. I'm not sure if I've made myself feel better or not? I guess I better screw this up and throw it in the trash now.
Ms Stella Kowalski
Assistant States Attorney
Chapter 2: Lieutenant Harding Welsh, Chicago PD
The date for this one is a few days after 'Mountie on the Bounty'
Where do I start? The last few days have, without doubt, been the strangest of my career, so I thought I'd dust off this old diary and write some of it down. Otherwise, in a few months, I'll never believe any of it actually happened.
I suppose it all started with that transfer request that arrived for Vecchio (Kowalski, I mean. The detective currently known as Ray Vecchio, as Constable Fraser once put it). Powers that be decided that the undercover thing wasn't necessary any more, I guess they figured the real Vecchio was in deep enough.
Truth is I nearly didn't show him the transfer papers. I didn't want to lose Kowalski. I didn't want to lose Vecchio (the real Ray Vecchio, I mean) in the first place, but I didn't have much of a choice in that one. Geez, I hope neither of them ever read this. When I put out the word that I needed a 'new' Ray Vecchio, Kowalski's was the first file to land on my desk. I recognised the name, of course, Stella Kowalski is a very good Assistant States Attorney (terrifying woman, though). I was really impressed with his file, all those citations and I knew I wanted him in my department. He seemed OK with the whole RCMP liaising business so I brought him in. Now he had a chance to get his old life back and I had no idea if he was going to take it or not. It seemed to me that he'd been more comfortable being someone else these past few months?
I don't think Kowalski would have even considered it, but he and the Mountie had been going at each other all week. I didn't want to get involved, it wasn't affecting their work so it was none of my business.
I figured all partnerships go through ups and downs, hell I know they do, from bitter experience, but I also know that usually you can smooth out your differences and things go back to normal. I never expected Kowalski would ever hit the Mountie. I don't know what the problem was, but they'd been working up to something for days. Sure they bicker sometimes, but then Vecchio used to bicker with Fraser all the time and he never actually hit him. He did shoot him once though, but that was an accident.
Next thing I know there's a pirate in my morgue. I knew Kowalski and Fraser wouldn't be able to let this one go, but I didn't expect them to disappear without telling anyone.
Inspector Thatcher came to help with the search. She knew something was wrong because Fraser hadn't filled out his daily report, or something. Daily report! If any one of my detectives filled out a weekly report on time I think I'd fall off my chair! Anyway, turns out Fraser also had a transfer request. RCMP wanted him in Ottowa, I have no idea why. It would have been good for his career I suppose.
So now we had two missing officers. This is what makes my job so hard. I feel responsible for each and every one of my people and when they're in trouble I know I have to do whatever it takes. I just didn't expect that it would involve sailing the Great Lakes on a wooden ship full of crazy Mounties! Kowalski managed to get half a message through to us, four numbers that Thatcher realised were map co-ordinates, so we headed up to Lake Superior. I hadn't tested my sea legs in years, but suddenly the water was calling to me. I used to spend a lot of time up there on my uncle's boat when I was a kid. Got me away from my Dad I suppose.
Anyway, we located a detachment of Mounties. Seems that Sergeant Thorn has been trying to develop some sort of RCMP naval division. They've even built a boat, although apparently the only boat building plans she could find were some old blueprints in a book about the HMS Bounty, so that's what they built! Now, I've met some crazy Mountie's over the last few years, but honestly, Sergeant Thorn makes even Constable Turnbull look normal, well, almost normal. What a woman, though. She really had her recruits in line. If only I could get that sort of discipline out of my staff.
So Fraser and Kowalski appeared out of nowhere in a submarine. This was getting crazier by the minute. They'd somehow managed to get out of the Henry Allen before it sunk to the bottom of the Lake. Not sure of the details. We had to act fast to stop the Wailing Yankee dumping illegal toxic waste into the Lake.
Honestly it was the most fun I'd had in ages and I don't get to have that much fun these days. Maybe I've been sat behind my desk for too long. The Bounty had a full complement of canons and Fraser and Kowalski led the assault on the Wailing Yankee. If I'd been a few years younger I'd have been right out in front. Still, I managed to apprehend quite a few of those clowns, once I got over there. Felt really good and Thatcher was very effective in the field too, not that I was really surprised about that.
Fraser and Kowalski managed to round up the rest of the goons and then it was all over. I was a little disappointed really. I must try to get more involved with cases. Screw the paperwork.
I don't know exactly what happened, but Kowalski and the Mountie seem to have sorted out their differences. I even saw Constable Fraser laughing and usually he's far too uptight for that. They've both decided to stick around and I can't say how pleased I am, although I'd never dream of telling either one of them that. The 27th just wouldn't be the same without them.
Chapter 3: Diefenbaker's Diary (Or The Ramblings Of An Arctic Wolf)
The date for this is some time towards the end of Season 3/4
You know when you do something, make a split second decision and it turns out to be a really bad decision? Well, many years ago, that happened to me. My excuse is that I was very young. I heard the splash as he fell and I raced over to see what it was. I was hoping it was something tasty to eat, but no, it was the Mountie. Ever since he found me in that old mine, after my mother died, we'd sort of stuck together, so I guess I thought I owed him and I jumped in and dragged him out of Prince Rupert Sound . Anyway, I don't remember exactly what happened, but when I came round my eardrums had burst. Apparently it was the water pressure. So now I can barely hear at all (although some days it's better than others), not very useful when you're a natural predator, and Fraser feels guilty about it (and so he should). Still, I'm enjoying making him pay and pay and pay.
Now, for some reason that I still haven't fathomed, we live in Chicago. A dirty, noisy, smelly place. However, they do have something called 'donuts' which are delicious. We didn't have those in the Yukon. Thing is, Fraser is doing his best to fit in, but he expects me to do exactly the opposite? So he takes me out for 'hunting practice' What's the point of that? In Chicago they have grocery stores, in case he hasn't noticed. Apparently I need the exercise because of all the junk food that I eat. Well Ray eats much more than I do, and the previous Ray was just as bad, and neither of them are exactly obese are they? I think I get enough exercise getting Fraser and Ray out of trouble all the time. "Hey bad guys, look, it's a wolf...surprise!" Honestly, they'd both be dead several times over if it wasn't for me and do I get any thanks for it? No, I don't.
What's with this ridiculous name anyway? Diefenbaker – apparently he was a prime minister years ago. Do I look as though I care about Canadian politicians? I don't see what was wrong with my original name, except of course it's unpronounceable by humans. So I stick to Diefenbaker, or Dief for short (which is easier for me to lip read.) Fraser and I seem to have a developed a form of communication that works and Ray is getting better at enunciating, so that makes my life easier.
I think Fraser is starting to get homesick. I do miss the snow and I miss the company of my kind, but I don't think I'm homesick. I like city life. It's comfortable and easy. If he does decide to head north again I guess I'll have to go with him. I think he'd be a bit lost without me now and the truth is I'd be lost without him too, don't ever tell him that though.
Chapter 4: Constable Maggie MacKenzie RCMP
Set a few days after 'Hunting Season'
Wow, I have a brother! I also have a Dad, but that's a little more complicated to explain, so I'll start with Benton.
When I first went to Chicago, on the trail of the killers of my husband, I went straight to the Consulate because I'd heard so much about Constable Benton Fraser. I'd heard that if you needed help then he would help you and I really needed help.
For some reason, a lot of our superiors at the RCMP seem to look down on Benton. They see him as some sort of a liability, as if the things he does, his methods, are somehow inappropriate behaviour for a Mountie. I read all his records before I left Canada, but I couldn't see what they thought he was doing wrong? I thought he had an excellent record, one that all Mounties should aspire to? I cannot understand why he doesn't get more recognition, more thanks for everything that he does? He risks his life every day to help people, total strangers. What more can you ask from an officer of the law?
Anyway, we instantly clicked. I couldn't understand it at first. It was as if I already knew him, even though we'd never met. I should have told him the truth from the start. I should have told him that I'd been suspended, but I was scared that he wouldn't help me. I needed to find the men who murdered Casey. I thought that I wanted to exact revenge in like kind, although when I finally got that opportunity I couldn't do it of course, I just wanted to hear them confess. When I realised what my husband had been involved in, I didn't want to believe it, but in the end I had to accept that I'd made a huge mistake. I don't make mistakes, it was hard to accept, but I suppose I was blinded by love. I can't imagine Benton ever doing something like that, something so stupid.
As for my Dad, I thought he was dead. Well, he is. What I mean is I thought another dead man was my father, but it turns out that my father is, in point of fact, Robert Fraser, or at least he was. I'd heard of him of course, every RCMP officer has heard of Robert Fraser, he is a hero among Mounties and I knew he was friends with my Mum, but I never realised that they were so close, so to speak. Anyway, if that wasn't hard enough to accept, I also have to accept that he is still around, that is to say, his ghost is still around. He's been haunting Benton ever since he came to Chicago, although 'haunting' is not the most appropriate word, that makes it sound like it's a bad thing, which is most definitely isn't. I really hope my Dad will still be able to visit me now I'm back home. It is strangely comforting.
Then of course there's Ray, Benton's best friend and partner at the Chicago PD. He's so different to anyone I've ever met. Oh and he's a great kisser! I think Benton was a little uncomfortable with that. I'm a grown woman and I can kiss whoever I like, but actually it was rather lovely to think that my big brother was looking out for me. He's going to come up to Inuvik soon and help me out with a few things that need fixing up at my place. I'm really looking forward to seeing my brother again. I hope he brings Ray.
Chapter 5: Ray Vecchio
The date for this is post-CotW
I think I'm going to ask Stella to marry me. Or maybe I won't, I just can't decide. I mean we're so perfect together and I love her more than I can explain, but I guess, maybe, part of me is scared of screwing up what we've already got. We've both been married before, although when I broke up with Angie we both knew it was the right thing to do. Don't get me wrong, I mean Angie is a wonderful woman, but she's no Stella is she! I know that when Stella and Stan got divorced, she was the one doing all the divorcing, if you know what I mean. I know she feels bad about hurting him like that, she's all but told me so, but she wanted out of the marriage and what Stella wants, Stella gets!
When I first told Lieutenant Welsh that I was moving to Florida with Stella, he shook me by the hand and said "You're a braver man than I, Vecchio." I think Stella used to scare him, I know she can be pretty formidable when she's working, I mean I've seen her when the vending machine guy turns up two hours late, but she's just standing up for what she believes in, what she knows is right. That's another thing I love about her.
I don't think we'll stay in Florida forever though. I mean Stella's been great about it so far, but I know she's dying to get back to being a lawyer and so she should, all that training and experience wasted just because of me. Thing is, when I came back from the undercover assignment, I just wanted to get away from Chicago, get away from police work. I know I helped put away some of the big guns from the mob, some real lowlifes, but I had to do some pretty low things myself to get the job done sometimes. Some of the things I saw, some of the things I had to do, well, I don't find it easy to talk about it, even now six months down the line. The Chicago PD offered me counselling at first, but I turned it down. I'm not really into all that crap. Sometimes Stella gets me to talk about things though, I don't know how she does it? It's great that she listens to me and she's not at all disturbed by some of the things she hears, or if she is she doesn't let it show. Did I mention how much I love her?
I have this dream for us, sounds kinda stupid, but I'd really like to be a PI. Like Magnum except without the moustache, I think I'm done with moustaches. I can see people coming to me for help, people in trouble, people with nowhere else to turn and then I do all the detective work with Stella right by my side dealing with all the legal stuff. Me helping people in trouble! I'm starting to sound like Benny now!
He calls me from the frozen butt end of who knows where, whenever he can get to a phone. He sounds so happy now he's back where he belongs. Maybe some people just enjoy being cold all the time? He and Kowalski seem to be having a blast on their quest. Quest? Who are they trying to kid? I know it was just an excuse for Benny to stay in Canada and as for Kowalski, Stella said she always knew he'd quit the police one day. She said that he only ever became a cop in the first place for two reasons, one was to try to prove something to her and the other was to try to prove something to his Dad. Well I guess he'd done proving things so he needed to try something new. I'm sure Benny'll help him 'find himself', or whatever that stupid new age expression is.
I can't say I'm not a little jealous, I mean me and Benny had some fun together, but I think he'd hate it in Florida even more than Chicago and there's no way I could live in the snow. Kowalski seems to have fitted right in up there though. Benny said sometimes he takes charge of the dog team and he's teaching him to ride a horse. You'd never catch me on a horse, not in Armani! Maybe Kowalski's already 'found himself' and he's found he's Canadian!
Benny and I will always be like brothers though, even though we're miles apart. We shared so much, some real tough times too. You know I still feel guilty about shooting him, although I know if I hadn't shot him he would have gone with Victoria on that train, so maybe...oh I don't know. I'll never forget the look on his face in that hospital. He loved her and she hurt him more than I'll ever be able to understand. What kind of life would he have had with her? On the run from the law, it would have killed him inside, that's if she hadn't killed him first. I don't believe in fate or anything, but maybe it was all meant to happen like that in the end? I thought she still had a gun, I could have sworn I saw a gun in her hand, but Benny said he'd already taken it from her, so I don't know what I saw, but something made me fire, just at the moment he jumped onto the train, that exact moment. This sounds ridiculous.
Anyway, that's going to be my first job when I open that detective agency. I'm going to find Victoria Metcalfe and then I'm going to kill her. OK I probably won't kill her, that's not what Benny would want me to do, but what if it was an accident, or self defence... Oh hell, maybe I did spend too much time with the mob.
Does anyone know a good jewellery store in Florida?