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On the inside, I'm a poet.
No, not literally. I mean, symbolically or something.
Application for Ray Kowalski, from "Due South" 
19th-Aug-2008 09:15 pm
facing death? sing abba, cotw
((Posted.))

Fraser got the bad guy, no surprise there, and even if he'd had to fall down an abandoned mineshaft to do it he was Fraser, so of course when Ray yelled down after him he yelled back up that he was fine, just fine, Ray.

The trouble was, he was also still at the bottom of a mineshaft with an unconscious arms dealer, and now Ray was going to have to figure out how to get both of them back up into daylight and solid ground. Not that Fraser wasn't full of suggestions, politely shouted up from the dark well of broken timbers that divided them: pulleys and ropes and levers and what looked to be the warmup for one of the Mountie's extra special long lectures. Ray thought that was a good sign, that probably Fraser really was okay, and not just too Canadian to mention the minor detail of his severe internal bleeding.

But that did not mean he wanted to stand around in the snow listening to a speech on some Greek guy who thought he could move the world. Which, if you asked Ray, was stupid, because (a) even if you had the stick and the fulcrum, where would you be standing, the moon?, (b) the Earth already moved, so it was more like you'd be swinging a bat at a planet, which was dumb, and (3) he was pretty sure you couldn't lift even a Pontiac that way, at least not for long, or mankind never would've invented the jack. But if they kept arguing about elementary physics Fraser was going to have to knock Muldoon unconscious again, so finally Ray just yelled down that he was going to go get ropes and some more Mounties, and stomped back to the icefields where Frobisher and his guys were handling the arrests of the terrorists on the snowmobiles and the submarine and everything.

(And man, that was all such a mess. Ray had no idea how they were going to get them all back to the nearest town or RCMP outpost - but at least that was some kind of, like, goal. Something to do. The real question, the thing he almost couldn't think about without flipping out was, what happened afterwards? With Vecchio back, and it looked like maybe Fraser wouldn't be... So yeah, other stuff to do right now. Think about that later.)

He managed to get Dief untangled from his parachute (and who'd thought that was a good idea, a paratrooping wolf?), watched him run back towards the woods and Frase. And he was rooting around in the packs on their dogsled, looking for ropes, when suddenly everything got...weirder. Much, much weirder. Which, considering the last couple days Ray'd had, was really, really saying something.

Ray looked down at the packs, then at himself - both bundled up for subzero temperatures, both crusted with snow. Both now standing in lovely summer weather in the middle of some kind of...where the hell was he?

Oh god, that was Mickey Mouse coming towards him.

Damn it, this crap never happened to Steve McQueen.

Mickey coughs theatrically. "'What is your name?'"

"Ray Vecchio," he answers automatically. Undercover training is pretty definite on things like whose name you give when you're asked.

And then he realizes that he's trying to maintain his cover to a walking, talking, cartoon mouse, for Christ's sake, and amends, "Actually. Kowalski. Detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski. But I go by Ray, for, uh, obvious reasons. Vecchio's...that's a long story."

He just, he can't lie to Mickey Mouse. It's like lying to a Mountie, or his mother. It's just not something he can do.

"What is your quest?" asks the Cat. It's perched, suddenly, on the roof of one of the gate-stiles.

"Quest?" The query doesn't strike him as odd, just uncomfortable. "I don't know, me and Frase, we were talking when we were stuck down that ice crev....crevice? crevasse? Big crack in the ice. I was thinking, I wanna go on an adventure. Maybe. There's this hand Canadians try to find, Franklin's hand. Reaching out." He gestures with one hand, then notices he's still wearing his gloves, and pulls them off with his teeth, dropping them on the packs.

"Or, you know, I could try dating a supermodel." That'd be an adventure. "Only there aren't that many supermodels up in the Arctic Circle." Honestly, Fraser was probably the closest thing within a thousand miles. "So yeah, probably the dead frozen English guy's hand. But, uh, first we got some bad guys to turn in. Also a nuclear submarine."

"'What is the average w..?'" Mickey frowns down at the notebook. "You know, I don't really see why that's important." He flips a page. "'If you could be granted three wishes, what would they be?'"

"So you're messing with me here, basically? With these...?" Ray states, squinting at Mickey. After a moment, he nods, runs his hand through the blond spikes of his hair, and shrugs in acceptance. He's pretty good at accepting total insanity in his daily life and conversations. It's a gift and a curse.

"Uh, lemme think. It'd be nice if my partner actually was bulletproof. Or had the rest of the superpowers he seems to think he's got." Or seemed to think he'd got, judging by the, "...stupid stuff he does, god."

"Wouldn't mind being bulletproof myself, or, I don't know. Have underwater breathing, so I couldn't drown. And, uh, I don't know. I'd say being irresistible to women, but that's actually kind of freaky when you see it." He rubs the side of his nose and shuffles his feet. "I don't know, how much deep thought do you want here?"

"Or," the Cat says, examining its tail with interest, "if you were a genie and someone you were trying to give three wishes to was trying to trick you into giving him more, what would you say?"

"Ha. Uh." Ray's pale eyes narrow, and go suddenly, terrifyingly cold, and his whole body shifts forward, practically vibrating with tension and threat. "Listen, dirtbag. You got three wishes, what is your problem? Not everybody gets that much, so stop it. cheating little smartypants, be grateful, before I kick...do something bad, something genie-bad, man, you got no idea. So button it. Hm? Hm?" He jerks one fist back in classic punch you in the head, asshole! posture, and then, abruptly, relaxes back into amusement, bouncing a little on the balls of his feet. "Like that. Unless, you know, I thought he deserved the extras, or something."

Mickey looks rather nonplused at the next, but reads, "'When the revolution comes, what skills will you be able to barter for food?'"

"Huh. Depends on the revolution? Think they probably kill the cops first. And maybe the lawyers. I know there's something about killing all the lawyers first."

Mickey doesn't seem to know the source of this quote, but carries on blinking up at Ray innocently. Oh right, he's supposed to be thinking of things he's good at. Well, crap.

"I can fix cars?" he offers. That's useful, post-apocalyptically, yeah? "American classic cars, mostly. Which, I've also gotten real good at driving a muscle car at 85 miles per hour with a Mountie on the hood preparing to jump onto another car we're pursuing. But that seems like maybe kind of a specialized skill."

The Cat rolls its eyes in a friendly (and rather disconcertingly out-of-sync) way, and asks, "Milk, dark, or white chocolate?"

"Milk. Melts more easy in coffee."

"'Choose the two coolest: robots, pirates, fairies, bears, ninjas, monkeys, vampires, or humans,'" says Mickey, giggling a bit as he goes through the list. "'Explain.'"

"Oh Jesus, not pirates again, please. Um." He considers. "Ninjas are cool. With the stealth, and the cut-through-anything swords, and the secret ninja powers, yeah. Fairies are pretty much the opposite of cool. What were the others? Humans are...actually, most of them are jerks, but I guess I ought to pick them too. 'Cause I am one. And you know, protect and serve."

"Great!" Mickey flips through the blank pages of the notebook at top, cartoon-y speed. "Well, I think that's just about it! Oh, and I'm supposed to ask, 'for your safety: are you carrying anything sharp?'"

Ray raises his eyebrows. "On me? Yeah, Fraser gave me a knife. There's probably half a dozen more knives or mountain-climbing pegs or whatever in this stuff." He gestures towards the packs at his feet.

"Plus, you know. A couple guns, which is what I'd be asking about if I was you."


((RayK, from the eccentric 1990s Canadian TV show "Due South." Ray is arriving from just before the end of the series finale.))
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