The Grand Plan

by Loui

Disclaimer: Alliance and Tribune own the rights to Due South, I don't. Just borrowing them temporarily.
"The Grand Plan" is © Loui.

Disgusted with the over-commercialization of the holiday, Ray Kowalski surveyed the squad room. Even here in the precinct there was an overabundance of Valentine's Day cards and more than one discarded wrapper from a chocolate heart. This sucked.

Christmas had almost been a disaster - thankfully, they'd got Warfield and Fraser seemed to have no permanent scars from the beating he had suffered. New Year had been a nightmare; then again, it always was. Too many people getting wasted and doing something stupid, too many suicides. Now Valentine's Day was here and Ray felt like he was drowning in sugar... and from the looks on Frannie's face, she was actually feeling the same. Fraser had been spared the squad room today; the Ice Queen was out of town again and the Mountie was covering her duties.

Next came Easter and the inevitable sight of detectives on a sugar rush - fun, not. Did it mean he was getting old if he was thinking back fondly to the Easter gift that he got every year from his grandma? Wait a minute... maybe he could do one of those pre-ump-- pre-empt-- those advance plan thingies.

"Frannie, you got a second," called Ray. If he enlisted his 'sister's' help and that of the Mountie, this might be doable.

Ray watched as Frannie's frown was replaced by confusion, not realising that she was trying to figure out why her 'brother' was standing, rocking on the balls of her feet with an impish gleam in his eyes. Ray had a plan... the question was, what was he up to?

Three hours later, sitting in the Vecchio's living room, Ray related his idea to his best friend, his sister and Ma Vecchio. There was surprise at the suggestion at first, but, as they thought about it, grins appeared on the faces of Frannie and Fraser; Ma Vecchio clapped her hands in delight saying, "Yes, Raimundo, it is an excellent idea. We will all help you. If Fraser makes the eggs - you will help; Francesca and I will make the chocolate for the gift, Maria will take the eggs to her arts class in the local community center - they will decorate them for you."

And, as simply as that, the Fraser/Vecchio/Kowalski Easter plan was born. For the rest of February and the first two weeks of March, Fraser and Ray carved little wood eggs. Ray proved to be an apt pupil and very soon they had dozens of little hollowed-out wooden eggs ready for decoration. The whole Vecchio clan threw themselves heart and soul into the idea and Maria's amateur arts and crafts class painted simple decorations on the eggs; bunnies, chicks and so forth.

The first weekend in April, wonderful aromas permeated the kitchen of the Vecchio household as Francesca and her mother made flavoured chocolate truffles for the eggs; two per egg.

Good Friday was the day they implemented the final stage of the plan. Fraser had the day off, so he and Ray - both dressed in black jeans and dark blue t-shirts - acted as a guard of honour for Francesca Vecchio as she walked round the precinct with a huge wicker basket full of hand-crafted wooden eggs. Bemused detectives, uniformed officers and civilian staff opened the eggs to find the chocolate treasure contained within.

Having tasted one of the heavenly chocolates, Lieutenant Harding Welsh said, "Francesca, much as I'm enjoying the chocolate, is there any particular reason you are distributing eggs throughout my squad room?"

Grinning happily, Francesca said, "Because Ray wanted this holiday to be less fake and commercial than we normally suffer through. He came up with the idea and asked the rest of the family to help out. We've been planning this since February; it's nice, isn't it?"

Welsh turned his attention to his suddenly blushing detective and his openly grinning partner, saying, "Vecchio?"

"Uh... I just thought it might be kinda nice, Lieutenant. It's all right, isn't it?"

Popping his second chocolate into his mouth and munching happily, Harding Welsh responded to the hesitant question, saying, "Perfectly all right, Vecchio.

"A Happy Easter to all three of you, and to your family too, Ms. Vecchio. You did good."

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Last modified June 1st, 2002.
Trudy A. Goold/