Ray Vecchio sighed and tapped the steering wheel of his Riv with both hands. He was not very patiently waiting in his car for Fraser and Inspector Thatcher. Meg was still dressing upstairs and Fraser was standing patiently outside her door. She was going to work with him and Ray today to discuss a business matter with Lt. Welsh.
"Constable, have you seen my earrings?" She peered outside her door.
"The diamond ones?" Fraser asked, turning his head quickly to see his superior.
"Ah, I believe you left them in your office." Fraser answered.
She sighed and walked past him to her office. "You do realize that you don't have to wait for me."
"Yes, I am aware. I just wanted to make sure you arrive safely." Fraser concluded.
"Hey are you two love birds coming or what?" Ray Vecchio said, as he entered the lobby of the Consulate. Obviously bored with waiting even if it was still early enough.
"I believe 'love birds' is not a fitting description, Detective." Meg responded as she finished putting on the backs of her earrings and grabbed her purse.
Fraser observed her black dress suit. "You look lovely, Sir. Black suits you." Fraser said, clearing his throat. Ray rolled his eyes and looked the other way. The two had been acting particularly odd for some time.
"Well, thank you, Constable." She said as she cleared her throat as well and walked out the door in front of Ray.
"Benny, you have got to make a move." Ray said as he stopped Fraser from walking out the door.
"In what sense, Ray?"
"The sense that, we all know you like her, so why don't you tell her before someone swipes her from under your nose!" Ray added. After all this time he decided he wanted to see them together, even if it was a slightly odd concept he wanted his friend to be happy. But at this rate, it would never happen. Even if there was something between them they would always carry on as coworkers.
"That's just silly, Ray. She is my superior and I highly respect and admire her for that, but I'm afraid that's the extent of my feelings toward Inspector Thatcher."
They soon filed into Ray's car and drove to the police station.
"Hey Fraser!" Ray Kowalski shouted as his partner walked in the door with the other Ray and Meg following behind. Dief was, of course, searching for the tray of donuts that he anticipated would await him in the break room today.
"Good morning, Ray!" Fraser approached his partner.
"I guess there's er, new blood in the station today, buddy." He pulled his partner away from the rest of his group and walked him to the break room with Dief. "Welsh just told me we're gonna meet 'em after lunch."
"That's good news, Ray." Fraser looked around briefly for new faces but saw none at the time.
"Dewey says they're girls." Ray raised an eyebrow and grinned.
"Well, there is an increasing number of women joining the police force."
Welsh tapped Ray's shoulder to get his attention. "Kowalski, the newbies are here. Step into my office and bring Vecchio and the Mounties with you."
Kowalski was first in the office, he was expecting the new detectives to have no idea about police procedures and would have to be trained. But, instead, there were two beautiful woman standing there, both dressed casually. One with long brown hair another with shorter curly black hair. Were they the new cops? Dewey said they were girls but he hadn't imagined that was the truth.
"Ok, this is Detective Hazel McCormick and Detective Cassie Muniz. They've been on the force for three years and just transferred here from L.A." Welsh introduced them. The girls stood there as they were introduced to both the Rays. "These are Detectives Ray Vecchio and Stanley Kowalski." Ray rolled his eyes at being called Stanley. "And this is Constable Fraser and Inspector Thatcher both of the RCMP. You can work with them for now and let them show you how things work around here." The girls quietly agreed and shook hands with the two Rays and the Mounties and walked out of the room.
There was something special about the two girls and both the Rays saw it immediately. They dashed out of the room to join them and showed them around. “So, er, this is the break room...and back there is the file room. Where we er, keep...files." Ray Kowalski pointed to two rooms.
Cassie giggled and nodded. "That would make sense."
"Oh my God!" Hazel screamed from the break room.
"Hazel!" Cassie rushed in the room first followed by both the Rays. "Hazel, stay calm and it won't bite!" Hazel froze near the vending machine and watched Dief eating donut crumbs on the floor.
"Diefenbaker!" Fraser barged in front of the group and stood above his wolf. "Oh dear, it appears he ate the entire tray of donuts." He faced Hazel. "This is Diefenbaker, my half wolf. He won't bite you unless you're dressed as an unhealthy food product." Dief whined at that comment.
"Aw, he's so cute." Cassie bravely knelt down next to the wolf. "I have a dog just like this. She's a husky, 5 years old now." Fraser nodded in agreement. Cassie pulled a granola bar out of her pocket and unwrapped it. "May I?" She looked up to Fraser.
Fraser sighed. "Oh, he'll find it one way or another." Dief whined at that comment too. "Just don't come to me when you're constipated tonight."
Kowalski leaned on a chair and watched as Vecchio eventually got bored and slipped out of the room with Hazel to show her around a bit more. He shot a smile to Cassie and she smiled back. He liked that he stashed food like he did but at the same time he was upset that Cassie and Fraser found something to bond over so soon.
For lunch, they went to a cafe near the edge of town and sat down to eat, but the two Rays wouldn't stop talking. "Did you see how Hazel looked at me?" Ray Vecchio said, grinning as he unwrapped a straw from its wrapper.
"Ray, do ya ever not think about girls? I mean can't we enjoy a meal here and talk about somethin' else...like how Cassie was acting around me." They all started laughing a little but the Rays were being serious!
Meanwhile, the girls drove up to the cafe in Hazel's car. At first sight of the group inside the restaurant Cassie grabbed hand and squatted behind the Riv. "What are you doing?" Hazel asked, not liking being thrown behind a car for no apparent reason.
"Hiding, do you want them to think we're spying on them?" Cassie said, peering above the car then back to Hazel.
"We have to talk to them eventually, Cass?"
"I know, I just...give me some time OK?" That wasn't her best answer but it was all she had. She couldn't explain why she was nervous but she was anyway.
"You know" Hazel started with a grin. "Ray kept staring at me. I wonder if he likes me? What do you think Cassie?"
"Isn't that what you want me to say?"
"Why would I want you to say that?" Cassie growled.
"Well I didn't say which Ray!" Suddenly a customer opened the door of the restaurant and the bell rang. Both the girls were startled and jumped up to see who it was. Realizing it was just a customer they slid back down the to the asphalt with a sigh.
"I think you talk to much. Now be quiet or they will come out here and wonder what we're doing." Cassie said.
Hazel was sneering at how Cassie was only watching Ray Kowalski eat a sandwhich. "Cassie, why don't we go in and eat with them?" Hazel asked. She was not prepared to sit behind a car and spy on their co-workers during their lunch break.
"Well, because, ugh. Hazel, you sure know how to ruin a good secret mission! Alright fine! Let's go in and ask them if we can eat with them."
"Now you're talking! Why would they say no?"
"Why would they say yes either?" Cassie corrected her with a smirk and nudged Hazel in the side. Hazel and Cassie had been friends since they met in L.A. at the police academy. They would do everything together, even if that meant spying on a bunch of cops. They walked inside but, no one noticed them yet. "Well, what are you going to say, Hazel? Cassie asked. She was not prepared to speak to anyone at that table.
"What? Are you crazy? I am not going to say a thing! You are!" Hazel said. She always thought of good plans but never had the guts to see them through... that's what Cassie was for. This was their system.
"This was your idea!" At that moment Cassie realized she was nearly yelling at her friend. "Don't yell! They'll hear us!"
"You're the one who's yelling!" Hazel whispered.
Fraser then saw them come in and said, "Look, Hazel and Cassie just walked in!" The Rays turned their heads so fast, to see if thy were actually there, that they nearly broke their necks.
"Girls, would you care to sit with us?" Meg shouted lightly from the table.
"No! Don't ask them!" Vecchio said in a fast whisper.
"What are we supposed to say to 'em?" Kowalski added.
"Ray," Fraser did a double take at both of the Rays. "Uh, both of you. Just relax, they're people."
"No they're women, it's completely different, Benny."
Cassie walked over to the table and Hazel followed a way behind. "Oh, I didn't realize y'all were here? Yeah sure." Hazel stood there and smiled at them while her friend made the seating arrangements.
"Hi." Hazel mumbled nervously sitting across from Ray Vecchio.
"Hi, Hazel." Ray cleared his throat. "So, um, tell me, why did you move from L.A. to the windy city?" Ray asked, trying to spark a conversation.
"Oh, well, Cassie and I didn't really get along very well with our co-workers and all of our families live in Chicago anyway. Seemed like a reasonable transfer."
"Can I get the two of you some drinks?" Fraser stood up from his seat, realizing the girls hadn't ordered yet.
"Sure, I'll have some tea." Cassie answered.
"Water for me." Hazel added.
Kowalski jumped up in front of the Mountie. "Why don't I get it for ya?"
"Very well, Ray." Fraser sat back down, half pleased his partner did that.
They were making good impressions on one another but Cassie and Hazel shot each other a look, remembering simultaneously they were lying to the group. Outside the cafe, a car drove by with two men in it. "Stop the car." The passenger in the car shouted and pointed inside the restaurant.
"There they are." One of the men said.
"Hmm, eating at the cafe are they?" The other man said. "They actually think they can hide from us!" The men started laughing as they drove away speedily.
"Hey, are you alright, Cassie?" Ray asked her, returning with their drinks. She was staring out the window as if she just saw a ghost.
"Yes, um, thanks for the drinks, Stanley."
Ray rolled his eyes. "It's Ray."
"Oh, both of you?"
"You'll get used to it." Thatcher said.
Cassie smiled at the group quickly and sprang up from her seat. "Hazel we need to talk, follow me." Hazel looked puzzled but did as her partner asked. They walked into a corner of the cafe near the restroom.
"Cassie, you're breathing kind of hard, what's wrong?" She laid a hand on her friend's shoulder.
"It's them. They found us." Cassie said to Hazel.
"What? Where?" Hazel said, looking worried as she scanned the restaurant briefly.
"They just drove by the cafe."
"You sure they saw us?"
Cassie gulped then she nodded. "They were pointing even."
"What are we going to tell them, Cassie?" Hazel asked, worried that she would have to move away from her new friends again thanks to their own bad decisions.
"Nothing." Cassie's voice cracked a little. "Nothing." She looked back at the group and back to Hazel who was nodding sadly in agreement.
Tomorrow was New Year's Eve, a day neither of the Rays were looking forward too. There was an outdoor ball tomorrow, the first one and a lot of citizens were looking forward to the new tradition. Normally both Rays would frown at the concept and they had until just a few days earlier. Now there was meaning in going thanks to these new detectives. Vecchio and Kowalski had adjourned to the break room to discuss this situation. Somehow, going to the dance sounded fun? "It's too soon isn't it?" Vecchio asked.
"To ask the girls to the dance ya mean?"
"So you're thinking about it too?" Vecchio sighed. This was a conversation they had never had before. Preferably one that would end peacefully.
"Ya know, she's the first girl to smile at me in years?" Kowalski smiled at the floor.
"Exactly. They're here for a reason. This is meant to be?"
"We're never gonna ask 'em though."
"This is childish!" Vecchio said loud enough for Fraser to hear.
"What is childish?" Fraser asked as he and Dief entered the room.
"Well, we're trying to stall ourselves from asking Hazel and Cassie to the dance tomorrow." Vecchio explained.
"But you both clearly stated only a week ago how disgusted you were with the thought of a dance?" Fraser looked puzzled.
"Things change Fraser...there weren't two beautiful girls here a week ago." Kowalski said, staring into his cup of coffee.
"Yeah, I guess we should practice what we preach, Stanley." Ray added.
"It's Ray." He mumbled into his coffee cup.
"What do you mean, Ray?" Fraser asked.
"We keep telling Fraser to ask the Dragon La... Inspector on a date but, it's harder then it looks." Ray said.
"Tell you what," Kowalski started. "If ya ask the Ice Qu... Inspector, to the dance, then we will ask the girls, OK?" Fraser wouldn't possibly do that so the two had made their point.
Fraser had prepared a handful of good reasons why this was ridiculous, but it was only one night. What would it hurt? And he truly wanted to see his two partners happy and they only would be if they asked the girls out. "Ah, well that sounds like a fair deal." Fraser said as he left to ask her.
"Wait!" Vecchio said as he set his coffee down. "Where the hell is he is going? He's not going to ask her now, is he?" Ray said, questioning himself.
"What if she says yes?" Kowalski ran a hand over his face.
"Oh great! She'll say yes and he'll stand here and wait for us to ask Hazel and Cassie! We're dead!" Ray said.
Fraser left the station, walked to the Consulate, and marched into her office. "Constable? What brings you to my office?" Meg said as she stood up quickly.
"Sir, I have come to ask..." Fraser started abruptly, not leaving her a change to interrupt, except for a moment it seemed more difficult than he expected. "Well, I would like to ask you to the dance tomorrow evening in honor of the new year." Fraser said.
"Constable, tomorrow is..." She assumed she would have an excuse, a meeting or a banquet of some sort but she actually had nothing planned for tomorrow. "A dance?"
"Yes, Sir...if you can of course."
"Oh, I suppose I can, yes." She said calmly.
"Thank you. I will pick you up at seven then?" Fraser added.
"Yes, that sounds fine." Meg said, as Fraser started out the door. "Um, Benton?"
"I will be looking forward to seeing you then."
"Me too. Goodbye." Fraser exited the room quickly, not giving her a moment to reconsider.
Fraser marched back into the breakroom at the station, surprised to see the Rays in the exact same position he left them in. "I am back. She said yes." Their faces dropped. There wasn't enough time to be surprised, only worried. "So, now it is your turn I believe." Fraser said. They both sighed and left the room.
"Alright." Kowalski said, looking at Vecchio.
"You go first!" They both shouted simultaneously.
"OK, fine, I'll be the bigger man." Ray Vecchio approached the girls, they were hunched over their desk and mumbling things. "Hazel?"
"Oh, hi, Ray!" She quickly stood up straight along with Cassie.
"Would you like to go to the New Year's dance with me?" Ray said. Waiting for her to answer seemed to take an hour though she answered in less than five seconds.
"Of course! I mean, I think I'm free..." She shot Cassie a look who shook her head at her friend's typical response. "Gosh, I have been waiting for you to ask me all week!" Hazel responded.
"Oh, really?" She walked off with him and they began making plans but not before Ray nudged Kowalski to get him to go next.
Cassie looked up to Ray Kowalski and back down to her papers. "That's good for them, it's been too long since Hazel's been out with a good man." She picked up her pile of papers and took a few steps away from the desk before noticing Ray had gone pale! "Hey are you there? You OK, Ray?"
"I...I gotta go!" He walked back to the breakroom. They'd been treating the station like a school hallway today.
"Oh, alright." Cassie was disappointed, but also happy that she had longer to think of things to say to him.
"You didn't do it did you?" Vecchio was waiting for him back in the breakroom.
"What are you afraid of? You can't be any worse than you are now by asking her?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kowalski tried to change the subject by getting defensive.
Ray took a step back. They'd gone a while without getting into a fight. He was hoping they could go for a while longer. "Will you just ask her already?" Ray asked.
Cassie walked in suddenly "Ask me what?" Cassie sounded worried.
Ray turned around to see her and sighed. "I, I want to, I mean, will ya, or can..."
"Cassie, he wants you to go to the New Year's dance with him." Ray Vecchio finally blurted out to put the pathetic boy out of his misery.
"Yeah. That's what I was tryin' to say." Kowalski smiled at her and blushed a little.
"Oh, why are men so afraid to ask that?" Cassie added, now grinning from ear to ear. "Why would I possibly say no?" She wasn't cliche, she had to put her own twist on a simple answer. Kowalski went on instinct and pulled her in for a quick hug which she happily accepted. Vecchio was making quiet remarks about it to himself.
The next day at the New Year's Eve dance, the group came in at different times and immediately split up to other tables and sat down for punch until the next song started.
"It's rather cold tonight." Inspector Thatcher said quietly to Fraser.
"Perhaps the concept of an outdoor ball on the last day of December seemed more reasonable on paper?" Fraser suggested.
"Shall we dance?" Fraser stood up from his seat and reached for the Inspector's hand.
"That would be adequate." Meg answered with a smile, almost as if she'd tricked herself into thinking this is some kind of undercover assignment.
The two Rays and their dates embarked on the dance as well. "Ha ha, it looks like Benny and the Dragon Lady are enjoying themselves." Ray Vecchio observed.
"They're nice together, even if they do act a bit odd?" Hazel responded giggling.
"You're learning fast." With the remark Ray dipped her, only for her to burst into another spurt of giggles.
On the other end of the dance floor was the other Ray and Cassie. "Ya look cold?" Kowalski asked.
"Well it is winter." She replied.
"They didn't think the whole outdoor part through did they?"
She didn't answer but instead stared into his eyes and looked away for a moment at Hazel.
"You OK?" He asked his distracted dance partner.
"Ray, I-I tried but, I can't keep a secret from you." Cassie decided she may be falling in love and if the truth came out from someone else it would ruin everything.
"What is it, Cassie? You can tell me." Ray said, trying to ensure trust.
She sighed and looked away from him for a moment, all while still dancing. "Well, I lied. Hazel too. I really hope you can forgive me. The real reason that we came to Chicago is... because, two men are following us."
"Hazel and I tracked down a couple guys that were wanted for illegally selling drugs. We arrested one guy, but somehow he was found not guilty."
"How?" Ray was nearly repeating himself.
"I don't know. I think he bribed the judge. At least that's what Hazel said she saw."
"Did you tell anyone?"
"Yeah, of course. I told our lieutenant and he threatened to fire us because the judge was a good friend of his. So we had to transfer. But now those men appear to be seeking revenge." She took a deep breath. "So, you see why I lied to you? Because of all our friends turned against us when we needed them most. I was worried you would also. I really like it here. I know it's only been a couple days but... I don't want to pack up and leave again?"
For a brief moment Ray was upset that she'd lied of course but it soon passed and he realized she needed help. He pulled her in for a hug, he genuinely believed her. "It'll be OK, Cassie. I believe ya. Don't worry, we'll protect you and Hazel."
Suddenly she broke away. "I don't want protection! We don't need protection. We can handle ourselves." She turned the other way and crossed her arms.
"Look, ya need friends here. People to help ya. Sometimes ya can't do it on yer own."
Cassie sighed and thought about it. She was being ridiculous, she really did need help but she was too stubborn. At the moment Ray seemed like the sweetest person to offer help. "I-I think I love you. Is that bad to say so soon?" She let him pull her back into the dance.
"Nah, I love you too." Ray added. He gently placed a kiss on her lips to make sure she still liked him after all that. Cassie gladly accepted it and that dance was over shortly after.
"I'm gonna get some punch OK?" Ray said.
"Sure." Cassie smiled. The moment he was out of sight she jumped up to search for her friend. "Hazel?" Cassie called.
"Cassie?" Hazel turned around, she was standing by the table, it appeared her Ray had gone for punch too. "You know, I think Ray likes me."
"Yeah, I think mine likes me too. Anyway, uh, don't be mad but I told him about our secret. And he said he would help us."
"What? How?" Hazel was surprised and happy. Part of her didn't want the boys to know, they'd both been living under the impression it would just pass in time but now that wasn't going to happen. They would have help and their troubles would finally end.
"I don't know yet, but..." She couldn't finish because the Rays had returned already.
Suddenly a commotion started as everyone started counting down the the new year. But, there was a loud sound. A motorcycle broke the silence and drove in. The man on the motorcycle was carrying a gun and knocking over the tables and people started screaming and running away. A huge truck came following the motorcycle with another man inside it.
"Colby and Jack!" Cassie yelled, her and Hazel shot each other a sad look.
"What?" Kowalski yelled back over the noise. "Colby Jack? Isn't that cheese?"
"No. Colby Ralph and Jack Michaels. The two men from L.A. I was telling you about!" explained Cassie.
Kowalski nodded in understanding but was surprised they'd found them so fast.
Vecchio grabbed Hazel's shoulder and spun her around. She hadn't got the chance to tell him yet. "What's going on, Hazel?" He could tell she knew something was up.
"Those men are after me and Cassie." Hazel had to tell him. There was no other way now.
Fraser and Thatcher joined the confusion. "Fraser, we have to calm these people down." Thatcher said to him. She made eye contact briefly with one of the men. "Do you have any idea who they might be?"
"They are looking for Cassie and Hazel." Fraser answered.
"How do you know?"
"I overheard Cassie telling Ray about them."
Just then, the truck came to an abrupt stop and the man jumped out and ran over to Hazel and Ray Vecchio's table. "Hazel, long time no see?" He said sarcastically and out of breath, not noticing Vecchio yet.
"Jack, leave here before I arrest you again." Hazel took a step back and Ray Vecchio jumped in front of her to only to be punched in the stomach and thrown to the ground.
"Cassie, help!" Cassie saw her friend yell only seconds before she was thrown in the truck. Then she realized the other man had snuck up behind her and he kicked Ray Kowalski to the ground and pulled Cassie to the truck as well.
"Cassie!" Fraser yelled. He quickly sprang into action and started to chase the truck but it was too fast for him. They were gone in the blink of an eye and everyone felt awful. Somehow, they felt as if they'd let Colby and Jack take the girls. It happened too fast for anyone to act.
"What the hell just happened?" Vecchio asked as Fraser returned to help him to his feet.
"I'll call Lt. Welsh." Thatcher departed from the group.
"We're gonna find 'em. We know who they are, so we gotta." Kowalski collapsed in a chair, still in shock physically.
"Of course we will." Fraser started. "After all, Dief is following their truck right now." Fraser pointed to Dief who hadn't given up chasing the truck yet.
Fraser held the door open as both Rays charged into the police station. Thatcher walked in casually and said "Thank you kindly," to Fraser who was still holding the door open.
"Lt. Welsh!" Vecchio shouted while he and the others approached the office.
"Come in, Detective." Welsh said, knowing, of course, they would have come in anyway.
"Lieu," Vecchio started while still slightly out of breath, "It's Hazel."
"And Cassie!" Kowalski added to make sure she wasn't left out.
Ray gave him a look of ignorance and continued. "They were both kidnapped at the dance."
"Kidnapped? Isn't that a little drastic, Detective?"
"I was there also and witnessed the whole ordeal take place." Fraser finally spoke. "Two men, one on a motorcycle and the other in a large jeep literally drove through the party and caused a considerable amount of damage to the decorations and seating. Each man left his mode of transportation long enough to collect both of the Detectives in the jeep and drive off again in a matter of seconds."
"Yeah, and he's a Mountie so he never lies! So, ya gotta believe us right?" Kowalski couldn't help but say that since the whole incident sounded rather ridiculous.
"Alright, no funny business though. Now, who did it?"
"Colby and Jack!" The group shouted simultaneously. For the first time ever they all were on the same page and wanted the same goal.
"Oh, great! Two detectives come outta nowhere, go missing only a week since they got here and get kidnapped by some guys that were named after cheese! Is that about it? No other guys... maybe mozzarella or gouda?"
"Oh, please. That's ridiculous, Lieutenant." Meg said.
"And you fit into this how, Inspector?" Welsh hadn't acknowledged her until just then.
"Well... I was there, with Constable Fraser." Meg didn't quite realize what she said till she said it. The dance, 'with' Fraser.
"With?" Lt. Welsh said with a grin. Despite the serious situation, everyone smiled.
"Well, yes, I mean, we were there. Um, together, but that doesn't mean that we were..." She was interrupted by Kowalski
"They were together, as in dating, kissing, all that jazz." Kowalski put it bluntly.
"Ray, we did not kiss." Fraser corrected his partner.
"Alright, alright." Welsh brought the subject back to the kidnapping. "Do you know their last names?"
"Yeah, we got their names. Come on lets go get Frannie to look 'em up." Vecchio said as he and Kowalski marched off and left Fraser, Meg, and Lt. Welsh in the office to let the Mounties to further discuss the details of the incident.
"Frannie!" Ray Vecchio called to his sister with a shaky voice.
"Hey, Ray..." Frannie was at at her desk as usual, doing her nails, "and other Ray." She added upon noticing both of her 'brothers' approaching her desk.
"Alright we need you to look up these guys. Address, history, favorite color, anything you can find on them." Ray Vecchio asked.
"Who?" She sat up straight and put her hands on the computer.
"Don't laugh, Frannie! The names are Colby Ralph and Jack Michaels." Kowalski said.
"Alright, alright!" she giggled sarcastically.
"Ok, they own a factory that makes these fur coats. Don't tell Fraser but they're moose fur!" The boys leaned over her shoulder and stared at the computer screen, mumbling things to each other. Frannie looked at them both and noticed they were agreeing on the subject? "Hmm, I think I heard a cricket chirp. Ok seriously guys, the silence is freaking me out!"
The two had never been this quiet before. They usually fought about something! Everything! But this was serious, Frannie wouldn't understand. "Pitter patter lets get at 'er, let's find those girls!" Kowalski slapped the desk quickly and set off.
"Girls?" Frannie asked herself as the two had already run off. "What girls?"
Now it was time to confront them at the fur shop, just Fraser, Meg, and the Rays... without backup.
"Are we there yet?" Kowalski couldn't believe he just said that! Ray Vecchio was driving the four to the fur shop.
"Ah, I believe we will arrive in approximately two minutes and twelve seconds." Fraser said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Both Rays thought that this was not the time for approximations!
"Actually, it appears we're here now. Ray took a short-cut." Meg added, mostly to show off. Suddenly a dog barking could be heard, most likely Dief.
"I hear your wolf, Benny! We must be here!" Ray Vecchio said.
"Ray, you really should warn me next time you plan on taking a short-cut." Fraser said to Ray once they got out of the Riv.
"Why? So you don't look dumb to Miss Consulate?" Ray said not sure if Meg could hear him.
"Well, that's not what I mean." Fraser mumbled.
"Yeah, sure it's not." Vecchio walked over to the building and knocked on the door.
"Doesn't look like much of a shop to me. Maybe it was ten years ago." Kowalski debated with himself.
"Chicago P.D. open up!" No one answered. "Alright, lets break in!" His impatience got the best of him.
"Detective, we haven't a warrant!" Meg had not really been out with the Rays before, obviously.
"That has never been of importance before to them." Fraser told Meg.
"The Yanks will get in trouble for it someday too, son." Fraser's dad appeared beside the Inspector.
"This really is not the time to discuss it." Fraser said to his father.
"Fraser, there is never a bad time to discuss appropriate prosecuting techniques." Meg said very misunderstood.
"But, of course." Fraser agreed. "Dad?" Fraser turned his head in both directions but his dad disappeared again.
"Your father is dead, Fraser." Thatcher told him.
"Ah, so he is."
"Are we gonna go in there and rattle their chain or sit around here talking about some dead guy?" Kowalski finally broke the awkwardness. Everyone agreed and he kicked down the door. They walked inside the dark business with weapons drawn. Dief ran ahead to the back. Fraser whispered the wolf's name but he continued onward. There were no sounds. Then it finally hit the boys that they could be too late.
Suddenly Fraser saw the shadow of a man holding something. The man tried to hit one of his friends in the head with a broom stick. Fraser was fast and grabbed the broom handle. He threw it aside and grabbed the man's collar.
"You've got some nerve breaking into my fur shop!" the man said in a choked up tone, nearly out of breath.
"You've got some nerve kidnapping two cops!" Kowalski argued and attempted to tackle him but was held back by Fraser.
"I don't know what you're talking about! Cops? This is a business, and we're closed so you'd better get outta here."
Vecchio reached into the man's back pocket and pulled out his wallet to read his license. "Colby Ralph. You really thought you could hide from us?"
That's when Kowalski saw Dief run to a back room. He ran back there behind him and saw Cassie and Hazel. They were in chairs, back to back, tied up and gagged with duct tape. He pulled the tape off their mouths and began untying Cassie first. "You ok?" He asked her.
"Yes," Cassie took a deep breath. "you detectives work fast don't ya?"
"You didn't doubt me did ya?" He kissed her on the forehead briefly and started untying Hazel. "Hey, don't worry, that other guy's here too." Her face lit up.
The whole gang rushed in with a now handcuffed Colby. Vecchio immediately let Fraser watch Colby and dropped down next to Hazel. Fraser gave his wolf a pat on the head for finding the girls and made a mental note to give him a donut later. Diefenbaker jumped up and started barking and growling at the other side of the room.
"What's with the wolf?" Hazel asked with a paranoid voice. She didn't like having to put up with Cassie's dog and now she'd have another one to deal with.
A man stepped into the light, it was clearly Jack. "No ones leaving here!" He yelled at the group as he pulled out a gun and aimed it at Kowalski and Cassie.
"Jack, let it go. At least leave them out of this." Cassie yelled back to him.
"Alright, what's it going to take for you to let us out of here?" Vecchio bravely stood up and the gun was quickly pointed at him.
"Nothing. You cops and the Mountie are free to leave but the girls are staying with us."
"I understand." Fraser spoke and glanced over at Dief quickly. "But I'm afraid Diefenbaker won't be as understanding." The wolf sprang from his place behind Cassie's chair and tackled Jack to the ground.
They all jumped up and tried to run out but Jack shot several bullets at them and accidentally hit the florescent light. It was too dark to find the door now. Dief grabbed his gun and slid it across the room like a hockey puck.
Cassie turned around and saw that Jack was running out the back door with a still handcuffed Colby. She was about to chase after him but stopped when she heard an odd sound. It sounded like someone was gasping for air. Fraser opened the door and light from the nearby lamp post filled the room just enough to make out who was who. It was Kowalski, he'd been shot. She could tell by the red patch on his shirt. She reached for his arm and helped him to the floor. "Ray, Ray, look at me! You're going to be OK, just relax." Cassie lied down next to him and looked up at Thatcher who had been particularly quiet the entire time.
"I'll get an ambulance." Vecchio pulled out his cell phone and ran out of the room.
Fraser was now sitting on the other side of his partner and watching Cassie run a hand through Ray's hair and applying pressure to his wound with the other.
"Great scott! I leave you alone for a moment and look what happens!" Bob Fraser appeared again.
"Not now." Fraser mumbled to his dad. This was a hard moment for him to handle and the last thing he needed was to argue with the ghost about the situation.
"Not now what?" Cassie turned her head to Fraser. He could see tears building in her eyes. "Am I doing something wrong?"
"Oh, no you're doing fine, Cassie. Just keep applying pressure to the wound."
She gave a confused nod and looked back down to Ray.
"He talks to himself a lot, ya get used to it." Ray spoke in almost a grunt.
She smiled briefly. "Don't talk, it'll be OK."
"The Yank will be fine, son, don't worry. He's stronger than he looks." Bob spoke again before walked out the door to leave his son alone as he wished.
"I know he will." Fraser agreed and Cassie shot him a look again.
Everyone was seated oddly in the waiting room at the hospital and had been for the past couple hours. Fraser stood up suddenly and offered to fetch some coffee at the cafe downstairs. "Dief, stay here."
Dief trotted over to Cassie who was sitting in a chair in the waiting room. She put her head in her hands and a tear started down her face. Dief jumped into the chair next to her. He licked her face and she tried to smile. "You're a good wolf" She pat his head a couple of times and assumed her old position.
No one was sure what to do. Should they go back out to look for the men responsible for this or stay? Obviously, Cassie and Fraser would stay, no matter what. "He'll be OK, he has to be." Hazel put on a smile and spoke to Cassie who she just realized hadn't spoken for hours. That's a record for Cassie. She's a few years older then Hazel so she was assumed the leader of their duo. "Are you ok, Cass?" She knew the answer was no but what kind of friend would she be if she didn't ask?
"Yes, I'm- I'm fine Hazel." She had to say yes. She's kept her strong image up for years. This was no excuse to let it slip now.
"Here's your coffee, Hazel." Fraser brought her coffee and a cinnamon bun for Dief.
"Detective Vecchio?" A tall, male doctor walked into the room. Everyone jumped up and met the doctor halfway. Cassie was feeling too weak to stand but forced herself up anyway.
"Yeah, how is he?" Ray asked. Cassie was too paralyzed to speak yet.
"Well, we just finished surgery. We got the bullet out, it hadn't punctured any vital organs but it's still too soon to tell." The doctor told them.
Cassie eased her shoulders down a little bit in relief. "When can we see him?" She hadn't quite realized she had just blurted that out.
"Who are you?" The doctor asked and waited a moment as he watched Cassie's blank expression. "I mean, are you family?"
"His fianc , uh, Cassie." Ray said quickly and nodded at her.
"Oh, I see. You can visit him then but he's still unconscious?"
Cassie nodded quickly. It really didn't matter if he could hear her or not, she had to see him.
"Very well, follow me then." The young doctor fixed his coat and led her down the hall.
"Thanks, Ray." Cassie mouthed quickly towards Vecchio before starting off down the hall.
Fraser stood up just as Cassie was out of sight and faced Ray and Hazel. "Perhaps the two of you should take Cassie out for lunch?" Hazel looked over her shoulder at the clock and saw it read 11:30 already. They had been out the entire night.
"Good idea, Benny, I'm starved." Ray looked at Hazel who nodded and tried to smile.
"I'll stay here with Ray and call if I hear anything." He sat back down with Dief who was pacing around, probably already hungry again. Fraser was hoping some fresh air would clear Cassie's head a little but also he wanted to see his partner alone. This was just as hard for him as it was for Cassie.
"I think I'll take pineapple and bacon on mine. What do you want, Cassie?" Hazel placed her order as the three stood in line at a small pizza shop, possibly on the edge of bankruptcy.
"Um, I don't know." Cassie seemed too nervous too eat. It had only been a few hours since Kowalski was shot and now bed ridden. She'd barely slept at all and pineapple only reminded her of her poor Ray.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Hazel said softly, realizing the pineapple connection. "Should I not order pineapple?" She looked to Ray Vecchio who buried his face in one hand.
"Hazel, it's fine, order all the pineapple you want." Cassie smiled and rubbed her eye for a moment.
"Ray, what do you..." Hazel looked behind her towards Ray and saw a man in line with his hand on a gun sticking slightly out of his pocket. "Ray, that man's holding a gun." She whispered. Ray turned his head quickly and saw the man rocking back and forth nervously with his hand on the gun.
Ray walked over to confront the man but was soon pushed up against the counter by him. "Alright, everyone on the ground!" He threw his gun in the air and pointed it at the clerk followed by others in the restaurant.
"Oh, not again." Hazel whispered partly to herself as she pulled her and a once again paralyzed Cassie to the floor as the gunman commanded.
Cassie began coming out of her trance and noticed the the large jeep in the parking lot, the same one as Colby's. "Hazel." She mumbled quietly and pointed out the window. Hazel pulled at Ray's ankle to get his attention.
"Same car?" He whispered.
"How many oversized jeeps following us around do you know of?" Hazel sarcastically whispered into Ray's ear.
He sneered at her and quickly scanned the restuarant over. "OK, You two slip out the back door. I'll stay here and distract Rambo." Ray nodded towards the back door and the girls crawled towards it. Ray Vecchio wasn't going be a pawn in this game for another moment. He jumped up and spun the man around, grabbing his gun and throwing him against the wall. It was done very smoothly that even the gunman hadn't a clue what just happened. Except when Ray reached into his pocket he realized he had forgotten his pair of handcuffs. "Damn." He mumbled.
"Ray." Cassie called, tossing him her pair of cuffs from the backdoor.
"Thanks, thought I told you two to leave." Ray secured the handcuffs on the man and grabbed his shoulder to walk him out the backdoor with the girls.
"Oh, leave wasn't code for stay?" Hazel rolled her eyes.
"There's codes now?" Ray overlooked the way she was beginning to think.
Ray Vecchio groaned as he slammed the gunman from the pizza shop against his desk. "Alright, who are you?" The man remained quiet. "Come on, I don't got all day. You work for Colby and Jack it's no secret."
"Hey, cool it Vecchio!" Lt. Welsh walked over and pulled the man away from Ray.
"Sir, this guy works for Colby and Jack." Ray actually had no proof whatsoever.
"Vecchio, I want to believe you, but you'll have to show me some proof."
"Ray forgot to mention how he held up a pizza shop." Hazel took a step forward.
"Well book 'em then." Welsh turned back to his office and everyone that paused to watch returned to their work.
"I'll find some proof. I'll grill this bastard if it takes me all day." Vecchio shouted back to his Lieutenant. Ray wouldn't normally go off that easily but this was serious. It involved the woman he loved and her friend. Two women shouldn't be treated like this. He turned towards Hazel and a spaced out Cassie. "I'll solve this case, Benny and I will solve this case." He reassured the girls. Hazel nodded and smiled at him while Cassie continued to stare forward with her arms crossed. "And we'll get revenge for Stanley too." He attempted to get Cassie's attention and it worked. Ray was truly at his breaking point. Even if Kowalski wasn't his best friend they had learned to put up with each other and grow closer. As long as he didn't have to call him Ray.
"Alright, Lucas Creete..." Ray slammed the door once he and Fraser entered the room to grill the man Ray arrested. "I got two innocent girls out there afraid for their lives. Cop girls so ya don't want to mess with them." Ray shot Fraser a quick 'I got this' look and leaned on the table in front of the man. "All I need to know is if you've heard of two guys named Colby and Jack?"
"Yeah, I was walking to pick up a newspaper when these Colby and Jack dudes come out and ask me to go in there and rob the pizza shop. They said they were part of a new gameshow on TV. I asked them why they wanted me to do it and they told me it was to distract two girls inside. I thought it was just a game, honestly! I never done anything like this before I swear."
"I understand." Fraser interrupted to Ray's disappointment. He wasn't at all surprised that Colby and Jack had resorted to fooling innocent pedestrians. "By any chance did you get their license plate number?" Fraser asked.
"Yeah, I wrote it down. I used to work for an attorney. I write down everything since then." He had been staring at Ray since Fraser spoke but finally turned his head to him. "Um, are you a Mountie?"
"Yes, I first came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of my..."
"Not now, Benny." Ray groaned and dropped his face into one hand.
The man pulled the paper out of his pocket and slid it across the table to Ray. The two emerged from the room and Ray headed straight to Frannie's desk. "Frannie, trace this license plate. Fraser, call the Inspector."
Meanwhile, Cassie sat in the hospital praying for Ray and Fraser. She knew what Colby and Jack were capable of. They were not afraid of the police.
"Cassandra Muniz?" The doctor walked in.
"Yes?" She sprang up. Her legs we're so tight that she was feeling numb.
"Mr. Kowalski is awake and asking for you."
"Oh, OK... thank you ." She walked down the hallway quickly. But when she got to the door she was too nervous to open it. She looked over her shoulder at the doctor who smiled at her and nodded for her to go in.
"Hello, Mr. Kowalski." She peered her head into his room with a smile.
His face lit up at seeing her and limply waved for her to come in. "Cassie, are you OK?" He tried to sit up but she rushed in and forced him back down.
"You're asking me if I'm OK? You're the one in the hospital!" She joked and they exchanged a few smiles before she sat down on the edge of his bed and began stroking his hair.
"How long have you been sittin' out there?"
"All but a few minutes to get something to eat." She sighed.
"What're Fraser and Vecchio doin'?"
"They left with Hazel and Meg to find Colby and Jack. I probably should have gone with 'em. I'm a cop what's wrong with me?"
"Yer also a victim. Don't forget that. I should be the one goin' with 'em." Ray tried to sit up again and took a deep breath before collapsing again. Cassie gently laid him back down.
"Hey, you're a victim too after all!" She looked over her shoulder at the clock and back to him. "I want to stay but...I have to go with Fraser and Ray."
Ray looked into her eyes, wanting to tell her no and make her stay somehow but he knew that nothing could change her mind. "Stay safe...please."
She kissed him on the forehead and moved down to his mouth before moving off the bed.
"Hey, it's not hard to find Vecchio," Ray grinned weakly, "Just look for the skid marks on the road, they'll lead ya right to 'em." Cassie laughed, blew him a kiss and slid out the door.
It didn't take long for Cassie to catch up with the gang. She had an idea already of where they might be going...plus the skid marks were a dead giveaway. She walked into the hotel and marched straight to the front desk. "Have you seen a Mountie, a wolf, and maybe a few stubborn detectives?"
"Actually yes," The woman smirked. "They went upstairs to, I think, room 843. It's on the seventh floor." The older woman pointed to a staircase and an elevator. Cassie took off to the stairs. She reached the top quickly being a fast runner and managed to pull out her gun too just in case.
"Cassie!" Hazel called from around the corner. Cassie was startled and aimed her gun at the group.
"Oh, sorry." She rushed over to them, still out of breath.
"What are you doing here?"
"The minute I found out Ray was alright I figured I should join you. It's my problem anyway. I have to end it myself."
"I'm pleased you could join us." Fraser acknowledged her.
"Chicago PD! Open up!" Vecchio shouted and banged on the door. No one opened so, naturally, Ray kicked the down the door. Dief ran in first, as usual, and everyone followed. Fraser and Hazel moved ahead first to search though the room and Fraser and Cassie poked around for clues.
"No one's here!" Ray shouted. Suddenly a figure ran by and in a moment the door was slammed shut and locked.
Fraser attempted to open the door. "It's locked." He said and gave it a kick before retreating to the nearby window.
"What is it with Mounties and windows?" Cassie looked to Ray who just shrugged as they watched Fraser jump out the window. Ray and the girls weren't planning on jumping out the window anytime soon so Ray tried to kick down the door again but to no avail this time.
Dief followed the Mountie as they raced down the metal ladder and ran to the front of the building but the man was gone. "Oh dear." Fraser sighed. Dief ran back inside through the front entrance but soon came back out with no luck. The man couldn't have possibly been faster than Fraser?
"Come on, Ray put your back into it!" Hazel encouraged.
Ray grunted as he tried, again, to kick down the locked door. "What kind of a door is this?" Just then his phone rang and he gave the door one last kick before answering it. "Vecchio... no he's busy chasing some scum to who knows where." He looked over to Cassie and his face dropped. "What? OK, yeah I'll tell her. Turnbull...Turnbull, wait we need help. We're locked in room uh, G843 at the hotel down the road from the Consulate, OK? Can you handle that much? Good." He closed the phone and stuck it back in his coat and sighed. Turnbull was not easy to talk too. "That was Turnbull. He's coming down here to unlock this stupid door." Hazel sighed in relief. Ray faced Cassie, she could tell there was something wrong. "And uh, he said the hospital called. Stanley took a turn for the worse and he's unconscious again."
"What? He was doing fine when I left! I talked to him!" Cassie started to hyperventilate but managed to calm herself down in a few moments with Hazel's help.
"This doesn't mean he's dead, Cassie." Hazel hugged her friend. "Just relax and keep faith, OK?"
"I know." Hazel walked her and Ray to the couch. For a while they completely forgot where they were.
Ray sighed and looked at the two girls. "Yeah, I feel kinda bad too. I mean, Stanley..."
"It's Ray." Cassie sneered.
"Ray... and I always fight, but now something's happened to him, I feel like I owe him an apology because I never gave the kid a chance."
"Why not?" Cassie asked, wiping a tear from her eye.
"When I came back from Vegas, I was hard on him. I thought, now that I'm back he'd just disappear. But when he didn't..." Ray sighed. "I didn't need another partner to put up with, but hey, he's not as weird as Fraser, right?" The girls couldn't help but grin in agreement. "He's a good guy." A tear ran down Cassie's face again as Ray put his arm around both girls.
Fraser continued to walk around the side of the hotel, hoping the man would be there somewhere? Unless, of course, he was still inside and Dief overlooked him? The Mountie ran back in the hotel and scanned it carefully. Suddenly he noticed an oddly stacked pile of luggage. He carefully walked up to it and it immediately collapsed in front of him. The man had jumped out from behind it and ran outside. The pursuit was on again and he and Dief chased him outside but they didn't get very far. There was a loud thud and skidding cars as the man crossed the street ahead. He wasn't looking where he was going and was hit by one of them. Not just any car, Turnbull driving the Inspector's car!
"Turnbull!" Fraser called out to the driver.
Turnbull leapt out of the car, hardly noticing Fraser and screamed. "I killed him!" He looked to the Inspector. "It was an accident, I didn't mean to..."
"Relax, Turnbull!" Thatcher said to him. The three knelt down next to the injured man who was completely unconscious at the moment.
"He's breathing." Fraser confirmed as he checked the man's vitals.
"Good," Thatcher faced Turnbull. "Call an ambulance if you want to be helpful."
"Yes, Sir." He jumped, nearly tripped over Fraser and ran down the road to the nearest phone.
"Oh dear, Ray." Fraser stood up. "I forgot, Ray and the girls are still locked in the hotel room."
"Go help them, I'll stay here until the ambulance arrives."
"Thank you, Sir." And with that Fraser darted off back up the road to the hotel.
"OK, enough of this!" Ray jumped up from the couch and the girls did the same. "This is ridiculous!" He pulled out his gun and began firing it at the door knob.
"Ray, enough!" Cassie stopped him. She didn't want him to scare everyone in the building.
"You're right..." He turned towards the window and scanned the room for any other options. "I'm jumping out the window." Ray exclaimed and Cassie agreed.
"Uh, I, I think I'll stay here and wait for Turnbull." Hazel backed further into the room. She was terribly afraid of heights.
"Hazel, Turnbull may never come." Ray said.
"He's got a point, Hazel." Cassie agreed.
"Look, I promise, I'll hold you the whole way down." Ray reassured her. He did love her after all so he wasn't being out of line.
"I don't know, Ray. I trust you but...this is the seventh floor." Hazel gulped.
"I've seen Fraser jump across buildings taller than this." Rayreplied.
"But, we're not Fraser!" Hazel was very good at thinking of ways to talk herself out of things.
"I won't let you fall, I promise." Ray grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the window slowly.
"Hey, If Mounties can do it, so can we!" Cassie reassured her friend and bravely took a step out the window and onto the metal ladder. Ray slowly coaxed Hazel out the window and onto the ladder as well. "See it isn't that bad!" Cassie said as she climbed down the ladder slowly with Ray and Hazel following slowly behind her. They were being careful but she wanted to get this over with as fast as possible.
Hazel sighed with relief. "Yeah, I guess you're..." Her calm voice turned into a yelp as she slipped off the ladder and fell, dragging Ray and Cassie to the gorund with her. The three landed violently on numerous trash bags.
"Everyone OK?" Ray came to the surface of the trash bags.
"I'm good." Hazel said, already pulling trash out of her hair.
"Very smooth, Hazel." Cassie pulled herself out of the trash quickly and helped Ray and Hazel out too.
The ambulance had arrived already and Fraser had to turn back to help Turnbull who had virtually passed out after calling for help. Now he and Thatcher had set off again, up the hill to the hotel. "Do you have a New Year's resolution, Constable?" Thatcher asked.
"I'm afraid not." He thought about it for a moment. If he could wish for anything it would be to redo the past couple days. "It has been a rather horrifying year as of yet."
"I agree." She looked at the ground.
"Do you have any, Sir?"
"Any what?" She looked back up quickly.
"Any resolutions for the new year?"
Thatcher hadn't a chance to open her mouth before a man jumped in front of the two from around the corner. "Stop right there!" Of course it was Jack, he was pointing a gun at the two already. "I know you hit my pal Colby with your car!" He was furious.
"It was an accident, Jack. I suggest you surrender your weapon now as there is no escape from here." Fraser told him. Meg was worried. He had already shot one officer and he certainly wasn't afraid to shoot another.
"Yeah, well this is an accident too!" He cocked his gun and began firing at them but not before Fraser pulled himself and Meg around the corner.
"Are you alright?" Fraser asked her.
"Yes, I'm fine." They ran around the next corner but again, this man was also faster than they were and had already beat them there.
"I had fun playing this game..." He started. "It's a shame it has to come to an end so soon."
Fraser scanned the surroundings for an escape but found none.
"Freeze!" Cassie shouted. "Drop your gun, now!" She yelled her with voice cracking a little. She had snuck up behind Jack and held her gun to the back of his head. He wasn't sure who was behind him but he dropped his gun as she ordered. "I should kill you!" Cassie felt so much anger and pain towards him but she wanted to do the right thing.
"Cassie, let the law handle this. You've done your part already." Fraser reached for her gun. "It's not worth it, you'll regret this for the rest of your life."
"I know but..." She sighed and moved a piece of hair that was sticking to her face. "I don't know what to do. Ray is in the hospital because of him!" She shouted with all the energy she had left.
"Cassie, do you think Ray would want you to kill him?" Fraser asked.
"No, I guess not." She lowered her gun a little.
"Give me the gun, Cassie" She gave it to Fraser slowly. But before Vecchio could pull out his handcuffs, Jack was on the run again!
"Aw, great! We have to run after him again?" Ray exclaimed.
"No, Dief appears to be taking care of that just fine." Fraser pointed to his wolf who had disappeared for a while but returned just in time to tackle Jack.
"Good boy Dief!" Hazel said and slapped her handcuffs on him.
"Cass, how is he?" Hazel met her friend in the hallway of the hospital after she'd just seen Ray.
"He doing really well. Doctor said he might release him at the end of this week even." Cassie smiled.
"Terrific!" She threw an arm around Cassie. "It's over...can you believe it?"
"I know." The girls sighed and enjoyed a few moments of peace before they went back to giggling and nudging each other like sisters. Cassie broke apart from Hazel and stared at Ray Vecchio who was sitting with his head in his hands in the waiting room. "I'll be back OK?"
Cassie walked straight up to him and put her hands on her hips. "Hey, you wanna go talk to him?"
"Nah..." Ray looked up to her and saw she wasn't prepared to take no for an answer. "Uh, Benny should talk to him first."
"I already did, Ray." Fraser answered, sitting next to him.
"Uh, OK then." Ray stood up and Cassie gave him a pat on the back as he walked down the hall to the other Detective's room.
He knocked on the door once before going in. "You're looking better." He said as he walked in, somewhat startling Kowalski.
"Hey, Vecchio, good job catchin' the er, cheese boys." Kowalski responded, quite shocked that Vecchio cared to visit him?
"Yeah, thanks. That's not why I came in here though." Ray Vecchio gulped. Why was this so hard? It wasn't hard to talk to Fraser. Kowalski was so different though. "I actually need to talk to you about something. Ya know how we're always fighting?"
"Er, yeah?" Kowalski wasn't really sure what the other Ray was getting into.
"Well, It's just, I wasn't expecting you to stay here once I came back. I guess it's kinda selfish of me. I never accepted you because I didn't know you. Does this make any sense?"
"Yeah, it kinda does. Ya know, since we're talking about this, I er, always sorta looked up to ya before I met ya even. Fraser was constantly telling me about the great times you two had. So, I guess, I always wanted to be like you." It was an awkward conversation for both of them. After hating each other all this time it was something that needed to be said.
"I didn't know that." Ray Vecchio replied. They both looked around the room for a few minutes. "I'm sorry," Vecchio continued, "I judged a book by it's cover and I'm sorry. I hope this conversation hasn't been to corny for you?"
"Er, yeah a little? Does this mean we can't slam each other against stuff anymore?" Ray Kowalski grinned.
A week later...
"Fraser?" Cassie called the Mountie from the entrance of the Consulate.
"Yes, Cassie?" Fraser spun around to greet her.
"I, um, have a friend that Diefenbaker might want to meet."
"A friend? Oh, your husky?" Fraser smiled.
"Yeah, her name is Misty." Dief ran over to meet the dog. They ran around in circles and chased each other all across the Consulate. Tripping Turnbull and causing the Inspector to call Fraser's name.
"Aww... love at first sniff." Hazel joked.
"Constable Fraser!" Inspector Thatcher raced over to the Mountie and watched as the two dogs sat down together at the end of the staircase. "Dear God, not another dog, Constable?"
"No, of course not, Sir."
"And Dief's a wolf, not a dog." Cassie corrected the Inspector.
"Outside!" She pointed out the door and the two dogs did as she said.
"Wow, I wish she'd listen to me that well." Cassie observed as her dog obeyed unlike she'd ever seen. "How do you do it, Inspector?"
"I was actually inviting you two to leave."
"Oh." Cassie and Hazel mumbled some things to each other and stepped outside.
"Is everything alright, Sir?" Fraser was concerned.
"I just wanted to make sure you knew that...well...the dance didn't mean anything it was strictly a...a..."
"Understood." Fraser nodded and the two stared at each other for a moment.
"You're excused Constable." She walked away.
"Yes, Sir." Fraser spun around again to collect his winter coat and his hat but was immediately face to face with his father. "Dad!"
"I like those girls, son." He said calmly.
Fraser recovered from the shock quickly and moved behind the ghost to find his things. "Cassie and Hazel you mean?"
"Yes, they're good girls. Mysterious maybe but that's all the fun isn't it."
"I guess so, Dad." He placed his hat on his head and picked up his coat. "I have to go now."
"They're going to be healthy for your partners."
"Dad, I have to leave."
"Don't mind me, Son." The ghost walked to the doorway and watched the two dogs playing in the snow with Cassie and Hazel and both their Rays. Fraser smiled at the sight and stepped out the door only to be bombarded with snowballs by the girls.
"Hey, it's about time!" Vecchio stood up from sitting in the snow with Dief. "Now you can be messy like the rest of us!"
"Ah, so that's how it is then." Fraser reached down and made a snowball quickly and threw it at Ray Vecchio, but he ducked out of the way and it hit Kowalski who was standing behind him. Cassie burst into laughter. Fraser turned around to see if his father was watching but he'd disappeared.