Fandoms/Characters: Due South. Fraser/RayK, Bob/Caroline and Dief. Frannie/Turnbull mentioned.
Word Count: 1,306
Summary: Bob would always bring Caroline flowers.
An: Originally written for the dsc6dsnippets prompt: I'm sitting here wanting memories to teach me.
An: Original version here on AO3
An: For Vic32 who's comments always make my day
Five year old Benton Fraser was playing with his green plastic army men. He lined them up in two neat rows and with a swipe of his cubby hand they fall down onto the wooden floor of the cabin he shared with his father and mother.
The cabin was warmed by a crackling fire in a stone fireplace.
His mother was sitting in a wooden rocking chair and was sawing a rip in a shirt. She hummed as her needle moved through the air. She looked up at her son and smiled.
'Put your toys away and we'll have lunch.'
Benton was about to say something when he heard the crush of snow from outside and ran to the window. He saw his father walking to the cabin. His red uniform stood out against mounds of white snow.
Bob opened the front door and snow swirled around him as he came in. Caroline sat down her sawing and walked up to Bob. She smiled as she kissed his cheek.
Bob gave her a bouquet of yellow flowers. Even in the dead of winter he would bring her flowers whenever he came home from patrol.
Caroline held the flowers close to chest and buried her face in their petals.
Benton went up to his father and hugged his father's legs.
'Stand up straight, son,' Bob said.
Benton let go and straightened his back.
Later that night, Caroline picked the flower petals off the stems and pressed them in a book.
The weeks went by and one day Muldoon destroyed Benton and Bob's world as surely as if he had shot them as well.
Decades later, the sun shown down and warmed his skin as Benton walked through the woods to his cabin. Even though his muscles ached from exhaustion his stepped quickened as he saw the smoke rising from the chimney. He could smell the sweet scent of the flowers Dief had planted in front of the cabin.
Dief ran ahead. They had finished their patrol and were almost home.
Benton grinned as he thought of it as home. In Chicago he had had an apartment and an office he slept in, but neither of those places were just places to rest his head.
The cabin wasn't just home because it happened to be in Canada, although that helped, but also because he shared it with Ray and Dief.
The last time he had a home would have been when his mother was alive. All he remembered about the day she died was that Caroline told him to hide. He pushed the thoughts of his mother's death from his mind and walked into his cabin. He was greeted by the sound of Ray's music.
'Welcome home, Benton!' Ray exclaimed as he came to Benton and planted a kiss on Benton's cheek. Ray's lips were warm and rough and he smelled of grease and motor oil. Benton revelled in the scent.
'Hello, Ray. Have you been having a good day?'
'Yep. I've just been fixing Mrs. Mills snow mobile. It's even better now that you're here.'
Benton rubbed the back of his neck. He had been thinking about his mother and wanted to ask Ray something. 'Do you like flowers?'
Ray's eyes went wide. 'Huh? You mean like in the ground? Not really a flower guy, more like a rock guy.'
Now it was Benton's turn to be surprised. 'You like rocks?'
'Yep, when I was a kid I had a tumble and polished them. I even made Stella a necklace out of tiger eye.'
As Ray talked about his rocks his grin got wider and wider.
Benton grinned. Even though they had had known each other for years Ray was still surprising.
'Yeah. You like flowers or something?'
'Oh yes. Dief's flowers have a certain charm to them.'
Dief barked in agreement.
Ray just laughed. 'Come on it's time for dinner. I made stew.'
They went to the kitchen and as Benton sat down at their kitchen table Ray went over to the stove and poured stew into two bowls.
Sitting the bowls down on the table Ray took his seat at said table.
Benton brought his bowl up to his nose and breathed deeply the scent of meat and vegetables. His mouth watered. For all of Ray's complaints that he was a horrible cook, he made wonderful stew.
As they ate Ray talked about his day, his hands flew through the air. Benton decided not to mention that every so often Ray would 'accidentally' drop a piece of meat to a waiting Dief.
'Frannie called me today. She says that Renfield Jr. is a little firecracker.' Ray said as he ate.
'I would assume so, I'm sure she takes after her mother.'
'Yeah. You think she's want to be a Mountie like her dad.'
'If she does I'm certain we would be lucky to have her. Do you regret not having children?' Benton asked.
Ray rubbed the back of his neck. 'Sometimes, but I think being an awesome uncle makes up for it.'
Later that night Ray and Benton were sitting on their porch. Ray was sitting behind Benton, his chest was against Benton's back. His hands were splayed across Benton's chest and Benton was surrounded by Ray's warmth. Dief was snoring at their feet.
It was strange that Ray was so quiet and still, Ray was usually sound and motion personified, but Benton was certainly not going to complain. Ray's closeness was comforting after so long on patrol when he rarely saw another person and had only Dief to talk to.
Benton stared up at the stars that twinkled in the inky black sky. While he had been in Chicago he had missed the stars. The stars in Chicago were dim.
'You know the constellations.' Ray's voice broke the silence.
'Of course. Would you like me to show you some?'
Benton began to point out constellations, but his mind was elsewhere.
As he stared up at the stars he thought that if Ray wanted rocks then that is what he would get.
Months later, Benton once again came home from patrol. His ruck sack was heavy. He sat it on the floor of their cabin and watched as Ray danced. Ray movements were fluid and graceful.
He spun around and grinned wide when he saw Benton.
'Hey, welcome back. Have a good patrol?' Ray asked as he moved close to Benton.
Benton brushed his lips against Ray's 'Yes. I brought you something.'
Benton opened his sack and poured out a collection of small rocks. Each one had been picked up along Benton's travels while on patrol.
'You brought me rocks. That's cool and all but I can't polish them.'
'I've taken care of that as well.'
Benton went outside and carried a rock tumbler inside.
'Wow! You did all of this for me?' Ray asked as he took the tumbler.
'Of course.' Benton couldn't help but grin as Ray grinned.
The months went by and Benton grew use to the sound of rocks rolling against each other in the tumbler.
One day Ray seemed nervous. After they had eaten breakfast he held out a bracelet. Benton took it an examined it. There were several small, dark rocks surrounded by metal attached with metal links. The rock were polished as smooth as glass.
'Do you like it? I know you don't wear bracelets. If you don't like it I'll take it back. Ray grabbed for the bracelet, but Benton snatched it back and held it close.
'I like it very much,' Benton said as he rubbed his thumb across the polished stones. He put the bracelet around his wrist and the weight was strange.
To anyone else the rocks might have been worthless, but he vowed never to take it off.