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dS Fic: The Christmas List

Fandom/Characters: due South, Fraser and Vecchio
Word Count: 850
Rating: G
Challenge: Written for the ds_flashfiction Shopping List Challenge
Thanks to: brynnmck for a fast beta in my hour of need.
'Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
except for a well-dressed detective and his Mountie, who were serving a warrant.

Ray knocked loudly on the door. "Chicago PD, open up," he demanded in a harsh voice. They waited outside for a minute, and then Mr. Nicholas's landlord unlocked the door. The two of them moved carefully inside, switched on the lights, and established that no one was home. Ray holstered his weapon and glanced around the room, ending with a glare at the Christmas lights arranged around the windows.

Fraser suppressed a sigh. He really hadn't intended to pressure Ray into working on Christmas Eve. It simply hadn't occurred to him – he had always volunteered to work double shifts on the holidays. Other peace officers had family obligations, people waiting for them at home. Not him. So when Mrs. Lepinsky of the Neighborhood Watch phoned in the tip about the suspicious van she had seen parked on her street during the robbery, he had encouraged Ray to follow-up immediately.

"Nothing's out in the open. Let's make this quick – we are not letting this scumbag walk, and Ma's gonna have my hide if we're not back in time to drive her to Midnight Mass."

Fraser wasn't certain what favors Ray had called in to convince Judge Wagner to issue a search warrant on Christmas Eve, but it specifically included wrapped presents of appropriate size.

"Understood. Please do be careful to respect the limitations of the warrant, Ray. Other than the Game Boy we discovered in Mr. Nicholas' possession, the smallest item reported stolen is a DVD player. If we search any area too small to contain a player, I'm quite certain his lawyer will have the evidence thrown out of court."

Ray waved dismissively. "Yeah, yeah, I got it. I'll take the living room and kitchen, why don't you check the bedroom and bathroom."

Fraser was kneeling on the carpet to search under the bed when Ray called out, "Benny? Get in here." There was an odd tension in his voice. Fraser pushed himself to his feet and moved out into the hallway.

Ray was standing in the bright-lit kitchen, snapping on a pair of latex gloves. "Check it out," he said, gesturing at the refrigerator.

"I don't believe any appliances were reported stolen," Fraser replied.

Ray gave a quick sideways nod. "Look closer."

Fraser approached and examined the refrigerator. It was a recent GE model, the beige surface marred with a few dark splashes. Magnets attached several candid photos of attractive young women and a shopping list to the door. Hands behind his back to remind himself not to touch the evidence, Fraser leaned forward to read the list. Ah – not a grocery list. It was a Christmas list, names and gifts to purchase for each, all neatly checked off. Apparently Linda was getting a wide-screen TV, Tanisha a DVD player …

Fraser, startled, glanced back at Ray. "A burglary list?"

Ray nodded. "Now this, this is an embarrassment," he said, mouth twitching slightly. Fraser reached for his notepad to compare the items reported stolen from the consumer electronics store with Mr. Nicholas's list. They were an exact match.

"We need to get a better class of criminal around here," Ray complained as he carefully placed the list in an evidence bag, "before we lose our edge. Couch potato cops, just waiting for the bad guys to come in and confess."

Fraser was distracted by a sudden vision of himself and Ray sitting side-by-side on a couch in the squad room, taking witness statements while watching Christmas specials on a stolen wide-screen TV, Dienfenbaker crouched at their feet with his muzzle buried in a bag of donuts. Despite the implied dereliction of duty, the image was oddly appealing. He shook his head slightly.

"Well, Ray, I'm sure our next case will be more challenging. In the meantime, perhaps we could consider this one a gift?"

Ray's green eyes met his, amusement sparkling from within. "Yeah, I guess we've been good boys this year." He shrugged. "Keep looking. Maybe he's still got some of those Christmas presents stashed around here somewhere."

Fraser shifted uncomfortably. A thorough search and documentation of any evidence found on the premises would take from two to three hours. That would barely leave them enough time to return any evidence to the station house before Mass. Ray needed to provide transportation for his mother, and as the sole member of the choir's tenor section, it was essential that Fraser be on time. And … it was Christmas Eve.

"It's unlikely that Mr. Nicholas is hiding the stolen goods themselves in such a small apartment," Fraser ventured carefully.

Ray looked Fraser up and down skeptically. A tiny smile curled his lips before he turned away. "Right, Benny" he said, stuffing the evidence bag into his pocket and heading for the door. "I'm sure you can bat your baby blues and get Nicholas to confess once he sees the list. Let's just get this logged into evidence, and then we can grab a late supper before Mass."

"I'd enjoy that, Ray." Fraser found himself humming the joyous refrain of Adeste Fideles as he followed his partner to the car.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 3rd, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed that :)
May. 4th, 2007 02:21 am (UTC)
Thanks, Ith! It was my first attempt at writing Vecchio.
May. 20th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
Aww, that was lovely. How did I miss this first time round? The cosy-friendship feeling came through nicely, and what a brilliantly original take on 'shopping list'. Great stuff!
May. 20th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
Cozy-friendship is just what I was shooting for here. Thanks, kill_claudio!
Dec. 24th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
Christmas fic! Yay.! I liked that. And I liked Fraser's vision of couch-potato cops. *g* That was sweet and fun and your Vecchio was believable. Congrats and Merry Christmas. *hugs*
Dec. 25th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
I think the image of the two of them on the couch in the bull pen is just snuggly. Thanks, akamine_chan, and have a lovely holiday!
Dec. 24th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
Nicely done. Great interpretation of the prompt, which is all the more original for having been done in May. Thanks for the Christmas repost.

Happy holidays!
Dec. 26th, 2007 06:25 am (UTC)
This is now the 3rd time I've replied to this comment. For some reason they keep not showing up. Naughty elves at work, perhaps?

Anyhow, thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it, 2_4_joy!
Dec. 25th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I missed this the first time around--what a lovely little look at Christmas Eve and Fraser and Vecchio's friendship. Awwww. Gave me nice warm fuzzy feelings, and I loved Vecchio's complaint that they needed a better class of criminal!

Thanks for the repost, and merry Christmas. *raises eggnog*
Dec. 26th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC)
Thanks, vienna! This one was all about the warm and fuzzy.
Dec. 26th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
as in very kewwwwwt
Dec. 26th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
Re: kewwwt
*grins* Thanks, Moo!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )