Ray Vecchio pulled up outside the Canadian Consulate where Fraser was waiting for him as usual. As the Mountie got into the car, Ray asked,"What's with the fan club there, Benny?"

"Fan club?" asked Fraser in bewilderment.

"The girls, Benny! The ones who've been standing there watching you since I got here." He indicated a small group of teenage girls who were very intently watching Fraser's every move.

Benny looked embarrassed. "They've been there for a few days. Ever since Turnbull got sick and I had to start doing sentry duty again, they've been there, watching me, every day."

"Like I said, fan club," said Ray.

Fraser sighed. The girls had been doing more than just watching him. They'd been harassing him. They would deliberately walk up to him and brush against him. They kept trying to get him to answer their questions, questions about where he lived and what his phone number was. And there had been some offers, some not at all polite offers, which, of course, he had ignored. "I don't know why they keep hanging around. It must get terribly boring for them," stated Benny.

"They're in love, Benny! Or at least, in lust," laughed his friend. "They like to watch you. They think you're good-looking. You're probably the object of more than a few of their fantasies."

Fraser turned as red as his uniform. Ray laughed again and took him home.

The next day, Fraser was summoned to Inspector Thatcher's office instead of going out on sentry duty. "You wanted to see me, sir?" he asked politely.

"Fraser, sit down," said Meg Thatcher. "There has been a complaint made about you, regarding your conduct with a young woman."

"I don't understand, sir. What kind of complaint, regarding what conduct?"

"Fraser, she says you assaulted her."

"I haven't assaulted anyone, sir," answered Fraser.

"I believe you, Constable," said Thatcher, "but this requires an investigation. The complaint has already been given to the Chicago police. One of them will be here to question you shortly. Do you want me to call an attorney?"

"No, sir. I don't think that will be necessary. I'm certain this is simply a misunderstanding."

"I hope so, Constable." The phone on Thatcher's desk rang. She answered it and spoke a few words. She turned back to Fraser. "Detectives Vecchio and Huey are here to see you," she told him.

Fraser was relieved. If Ray was in charge of the investigation, he would certainly know that Fraser was innocent, and the matter would be taken care of quickly.

"Ray!" Fraser hurried to his friend when the detective entered Thatcher's office.

"Benny, I'm not on this case. It's Huey's case," Ray told him. "When I heard it was about you, I made him bring me along."

"I see," said Fraser in disappointment. "Thank you for coming."

"That's what friends do, Benny," answered Ray.

Huey asked Inspector Thatcher to leave while he questioned Fraser. He was going to ask Ray to leave too, but a look from his fellow detective made him change his mind.

Huey removed a snapshot of a girl from a file folder. "Do you know this girl, Fraser?" he asked.

"I've seen her around, but I don't know her," Ben answered. "She and several of her friends often stand on the corner, and they watch me."

"Watch you how?" asked Jack.

"Well, sometimes they just stay on the corner. Other times they approach me. Sometimes they ask me questions. Sometimes they make offers to me."

"What kind of offers?"

"Offers of a personal nature," Fraser evaded.

"You mean sex," stated Huey.


"Have you ever accepted any of these offers?"

Ray jumped up. "Jack, you know Benny wouldn't do that!" he protested.

"Ray, sit down," Huey ordered. "You know I have to ask."

Muttering Italian oaths under his breath, Ray sat.

"Now, Fraser, did you take any of these girls up on their offers?" Huey asked again.

"No, Detective, I did not," replied Fraser.

"Did you at any time touch any of these girls?"

"Not intentionally, but on occasion they would, er, bump into me, or brush against me."

"Jack," Ray interrupted again, "exactly what is Fraser being accused of?"

Huey ignored Ray. "Fraser, this girl says that you took her into an alley behind the Consulate and fondled her. She doesn't say that you raped her or anything like that, but it's still enough to lay a sexual assault charge."

"Do we have any physical evidence, Jack?" Ray asked.

"No, Ray, we don't. There was no rape kit done because she said she hadn't been raped."

"Then it's her word against Benny's," stated Ray.

Huey sighed. "I have a warrant for your arrest, Fraser. I'm sorry, but you'll have to come to the precinct with me." He started to read Fraser his rights.

Ray exploded. "Jack, this is ridiculous! You know and I know that Fraser would never touch anyone like that! Anyway, this is the Canadian Consulate. We don't have any jurisdiction here."

"Inspector Thatcher already gave me permission to carry out my investigation," said Huey.

"It's all right, Ray. I'm certain this will be cleared up soon. Detective Huey is just doing his job." Ben held out his hands for handcuffs, but Huey said that as long as Ben was willing to cooperate, there was no need for handcuffs. Huey was also afraid that if he tried to handcuff Fraser, Ray would go ballistic, and might even hurt him.

Fraser went quietly and cooperatively with Huey and Ray. Huey looked uncomfortable, Ray looked downright miserable. "Benny, do you have any idea why this girl would lay charges against you?" Ray asked.

"None at all, I'm afraid," answered the Mountie. "Though as I recall, she and her friends were upset that I did not pay any attention to their offers of companionship."

"You think this could be her way of taking revenge?"

"Possibly, but I have no way to prove it. There were no witnesses to the young lady's conduct, and as you said earlier, it's my word against hers."

"But you're a Mountie! Everyone knows that Mounties don't lie."

"That's a misconception, Ray. Mounties do lie on occasion. We have to swear oaths in court, just like everyone else."

"Yeah, well, you don't lie," responded Ray.

"Not normally, no. But I don't know if a court of law would believe that."

Fraser was taken to the precinct, where Huey questioned him some more. Ray tried to get him to accept a lawyer. Fraser finally agreed, more to calm Ray than for anything else, and the interrogation ceased. An attorney arrived from Legal Aid, and after she questioned Fraser she said she would 'look into the matter.' Fraser was booked, processed and taken to jail. Ray immediately followed to bail him out.

"You don't have to bail me out, Ray," Benny told him. "You did that once before, and it didn't turn out very well."

"Well, Victoria isn't around, so I don't think I have to worry about you taking off on me," Ray muttered. He didn't want to think about the last time he'd bailed his friend out of jail.

Ray took Benny home, and they sat in the Mountie's apartment drinking coffee. "Thank you for bailing me out, Ray. I know it must have been hard for you," Ben said.

"Wasn't hard at all, Benny. I know you didn't hurt that girl. And I know you're not going to jump bail on me."

"You're a good friend, Ray. Thank you again."

Ray looked a bit embarrassed, and he changed the subject. "So, what are we gonna do about this girl? How can we convince a judge and a jury that you didn't molest her?"

"Perhaps we won't have to. She might reconsider her story when she has to go to court and realizes she will be committing perjury. Or perhaps she will lack credibility."

"I don't think so, Benny. This girl comes from a rich family. They have high-priced lawyers and they can coach her before she goes into court. And her family name gives her credibility right there."

"It's such a shame," murmured Fraser.

"What is?" Ray asked curiously.

"That so many women who have been genuine victims of assault and rape aren't believed because people like this young woman make false claims of sexual assault."

"You could see it the other way around, Benny. Women are believed even when they tell lies like this one."

"No, Ray, I believe that women are still the ones who are not likely to be believed. But that's not what's important. What is important is trying to find a way to prove that she is lying."

"What if we told the court you were gay?" Ray suddenly suggested.

"Even if I were, how would we prove it?" Benny asked.

Ray thought for a moment. "If you had a lover who was willing to be open about your relationship, he could testify to it," he said finally.

"Well, since I don't have one, that won't work," said Fraser.

"We could tell them that I'm your lover."

"That would be a lie, Ray," Ben admonished him gently.

"Doesn't have to be," Ray muttered so quietly Benny almost didn't hear him.

"What did you say, Ray?"

"I said it doesn't have to be. A lie, that is."

Fraser looked at his friend in surprise. "Are you saying that you would sleep with me just so that I could stay out of jail, Ray?" he asked.

"No, that's not what I'm saying," the detective answered.

"Then what are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I would sleep with you, but not for the reason you think."

"Then why?" Benny inquired in a puzzled manner.

"Because I love you, damnit!" shouted Vecchio.

Fraser sat in stunned silence, not knowing how to respond to this unexpected declaration.

Ray got up. "I guess I should go," he said miserably as he started to leave. Fraser shook off his astonishment and jumped up after him. "No!" he cried. "Don't go," he added in a calmer tone of voice.

"Don't worry, Benny. I'll come back to take you to work tomorrow," Ray said. "I should just go now, before I come up with any other stupid ideas. Forget I said anything, okay?"

Fraser grasped his partner's arm gently. "What if I don't want to forget it, Ray?" he asked in an almost whisper.

Ray turned to look at Benny, hope in his eyes. "You mean it, Benny?"

"I do, Ray. I love you, too. And if you want to come to bed with me, I'll show you just how much."

"You don't have to prove anything to me, Benny. Just hearing you say you love me is more than I ever hoped for."

"I want to, Ray. I want to love you. May I?"

"You bet, Benny," Ray answered with a grin, and followed his love to the bedroom.

The next morning, Ray drove Fraser to work at the Consulate. He noticed that the same group of girls was standing outside. With a shrug, he turned and gave Benny a passionate kiss goodbye. "That'll have to hold you for the rest of the day, but I'll be here to pick you up the minute your shift ends."

Fraser returned the kiss. "I'll be waiting."

One of the girls in the group, the same one who had originally laid the complaint against Fraser, gave a gasp of astonishment. "He's GAY!" she said with a wail. "No wonder he wasn't interested in me!" The other girls sighed, turned as a group and took off down the street.

"Looks like you lost your fan club there, Benny," Ray noted.

"I can't say I'm sorry about that," Benny replied as he left the Riv and went up the stairs into the Consulate. Turnbull was back on duty, and Fraser was once again working in his own office. Not long after he arrived, he was called to Inspector Thatcher's office.

"I have good news, Constable," said Meg. "The sexual assault charges against you have been dropped."

"That is good news, Sir. Thank you for telling me."

"Constable, would you be interested in going out tonight to celebrate this good news with me?" asked Thatcher.

"I'm sorry, Inspector, I have a date already. But thank you kindly for the offer."

"A date? With whom?"

"With Detective Vecchio. If you will excuse me, I have work to do." And Fraser left Inspector Thatcher with her mouth hanging open, while he planned how he and Ray were going to celebrate that night.