Disclaimer: The characters from The Sentinel and Due South are not mine, but the rest are.

Friends

"Now would you kindly tell me why we are going to Illinois?" Jim asked while they sat in their seats on the plane.

"Because we're on vacation, we need to get out of the state, and I want you to meet an old friend of mine," answered Blair.

"Oh really; what's her name?"

"Why is it that you always think it's a woman when I talk about an old friend?"

"Because it usually is Sandburg."

"Well, it's not a girl this time, it's a guy."

"Did you have a relationship with him also?" Jim asked teasingly knowing the answer already.

"No!"

"I was kidding Blair, Jeeze…what's his name?"

"Benton Fraser. He's going to pick us up at the airport."

"Oh, okay."

The two men sat back and relaxed the rest of the plane ride in silence.

In Chicago Detective Ray Veccio was driving with an irritated Detective Stanley "Ray" Kowalski right beside him in the passenger seat, and in the back seat sat Constable Benton Fraser of the RCMP and his wolf Diefenbaker.

"Benny, tell me again why we are going to the airport?" Ray Veccio asked.

"Well, Ray, I have to pick up a friend that's visiting from Cascade," answered Benton, "I would have driven myself, but I don't have a car."

"Fraser, when are you going to get a car of your own?" Ray Kowalski snapped.

"As soon as I get the money for one Ray," Benton answered.

"Just ignore him Benny, he's just upset because he was hoping to sleep at his desk," Ray V. explained.

"Well, if your sister would have let me sleep instead of making me go out and get her ice cream I wouldn't be so darn tired," Ray K. complained.

"You're the one who asked my sister to marry you and you are the one who got her pregnant," Ray V. accused.

"You're right, I'm sorry, Ray," Ray K. apologized.

"That's quite all right, Ray," Ray V. said smiling, "so Benny, what's your friend's name?"

"Blair Sandburg, and he said he's bringing his friend," answered Benny.

They were silent for the rest of the ride all lost in their own thoughts.

Benton, Dief, Ray, and Ray arrived at the airport. "Benny what gate are they arriving at?" asked Ray V.

"Gate 235 F," Benton answered.

"Oh, man," Kowalski whined.

"Well, let's get walking," Veccio stated.

"Just look for a guy in red surge," explained Blair as they walked off the plain deck.

"Okay, are you sure he was going to come and pick us up?" Jim asked as he looked around.

"Yup," Blair answered as he looked around as well.

"When did you two meet?"

"When Naomi and I went to Canada, I was five at the time and he was twelve. I decided to go exploring by myself…"

(Flashback)

A five year old Blair was walking in the snow not sure where he was. Man, I can't see a thing, Blair thought. He kept walking until he tripped. He picked himself up and dusted all the cold snow off of his yellow snowsuit. When he looked up again he saw he was right in front of a small log cabin.

He walked up the wooden steps and over to the door. Should I knock? He asked himself, well, I am cold and hungry and the worst they can do to me is kill me. Maybe I shouldn't…if I don't I could dye. Oh well. He lifted a shaky small fist and knocked.

From inside he could hear a female voice say, "Benton, darling, can you get that?"

"Yes, Grandmother," said a soft male voice.

Blair heard footsteps walking toward the door and his heart started pounding in fear of the unknown. He did not know what kept him from running, but he just stood there until the wooden door squeaked open. On the other side of the door stood a medium size boy with dark brown hair and deep blue eyes.

"May I help you?' the boy asked looking down at the other boy.

"Ummm," Blair answered, "I guess I traveled too far from the village that my mom and I are staying at and I got lost."

"You traveled in the middle of a white-out?" the boy asked and Blair nodded, "don't you know how dangerous that is?"

"No, I just moved here from Main."

"Oh, well, come on in you must be freezing."

"Yeah, I am." Blair walked in as soon as the boy stepped aside.

"Grandmother! We have company," the boy stated walking into the dining room.

The old woman stood up and looked down at the five year old boy and asked, "Where are your parents?"

"M…my mom is umm…still at the village," Blair stuttered.

"Are you telling me that you went out in a white-out on your own?" she asked. Blair nodded all-of- a-sudden ashamed in himself. "Well, I guess you should stay here until the white-out is over, and then I'll take you to the village you came from. My name is Mrs. Fraser."

"Blair Sandburg."

"This is my grandson, Benton Fraser."

(End of flashback)

"…the white-out lasted a week. Naomi was furious when I got back. Benton and I would get together sometimes and hang out until I left five years later then we wrote back and forth."

"Wow, chief, that's some story," that was all Jim could say.

"How far?" Ray K. whined.

"Not far now," answered Ray V.

"Its right over there," Benton said pointing.

Jim looked around with his sentinel eyes and spotted something red, "Chief?"

"Yeah?" Blair answered.

"You said your friend will be wearing red surge?"

"Yup and a Stetson on his head. He's no that hard to miss."

"You're right he isn't that hard to miss."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because I see him; grab your stuff Chief we're going to meet him in the middle."

Blair nodded and did as he was told.

Benton looked around, and then he saw Blair with another man. He started walked ahead and Blair was walking so fast that he was practically running toward him. They met right in the middle and Blair dropped his thing just before the two men hugged as if they were brothers reuniting for the first time in ages.

"Blair, it's good to see you," Benton said breaking the hug and hold him at arm's length.

"It's good to see you too Ben," Blair said.

"These are my friends; Ray Kowalski and Ray Veccio," Ben introduced.

"This is my friend and roommate Jim Ellison Cascade PD," introduced Blair.

"Hello Detective Ellison," Benton said politely, "I've heard so much about you from the letters Blair wrote."

"Oh, I hope it was good things," Jim said eyeing Blair. Blair shrugged his shoulders. "I wish I could say the same thing about you, but I didn't know you existed until three weeks ago. Then he couldn't stop talking about you."

"Oh, I hope it's nothing bad."

"Nope."

"Ben, buddy you've never did anything wrong while I known you," Blair cut in.

"That's not true," Benton stated.

"It is true," argued Blair.

"Excuse me for interrupting this little argument, but can we go now," complained Ray K., "Franny is expecting me home soon."

"Oh sure, Ray," Benton said, "Blair, Jim, do you have any other baggage?"

"Nope, we traveled light this time," Blair said.

"Because you made me," Jim complained.

"We're on vacation, Jim, and I didn't want you to bring anything that had to do with police work," Blair explained as they walked out of the airport.

"My car is this way," Ray V. said leading the way. They walked to the "Riv" and jumped in.

"So how long are you two staying in town?" Ray K. asked.

"A month," Blair answered.

"Oh, Blair maybe I should warn you," Benton changed the subject, "Don't be so surprised when you find a girl at the house…"

"You have a girlfriend?" Blair interrupted, "why didn't you tell me?"

"Blair she's not my girlfriend…she's my foster daughter," Benton explained.

"What's her name?" Blair asked.

"Her name is Chilali (SHL-mah-lis)," Benton answered.

"Oh, that's a pretty name; is it Chinese or somethin'?" Jim asked.

"No, actually it's Native American and it means snowbird," answered Benton.

"Oh, I like that," Blair said, "the name has a sort of ring to it."

"Blair, don't get any ideas," Jim said.

"What?" Blair whined.

"You know what," Jim commented giving Blair the evil eye.

"Oh, come on Jim, she's probably fifteen or sixteen by now," Blair explained.

"Actually she's twenty-one and she's a teacher," Benton cut in.

"Oh, really," Blair said obviously more interested, "What does she teach?"

"Quite a couple of things," commented Benton, "dance, literature, gymnastics, and swim."

"That's interesting," Blair stated with a smile.

"Blair, I said it before and I'll say it again,' Jim said, "no."

"But Jim I wasn't suggest…"Blair stared.

"We're here," announced Ray V. Jim, Blair, Benton, and Dief climbed out of the small car.

Benton bent back in the car and said, "Thank you kindly, Ray, Ray."
"No prob," Ray V. stated.

"Yeah, no prob," Ray K. said.

Benton stood up and closed the door. He went inside with Jim and Blair side by side. "Ready?" Benton asked.

"Yup," Blair and Jim said in unison.

"Okay, here we go," Benton opened the door, "Chilali! I'm home!"

"I'm in my room father!" came the reply.

"Come out and say hi to our guests!" After a few minutes they heard a door slam shut and running. "Chilali, no running!"

"Oops, sorry father!" she walked down the stairs into the living room where her father was sitting with two other men. One had long dark red-ish hair which reminded her of a hippy and the other had a short blond army stile hair cut which reminded her of a solder. "You called for me father?" Chilali asked.

"Yes, come in here and sit next to me," Benton answered. Chilali did as she was told and sat next to her father. "Chilali, this is Jim and my good friend Blair."

"Hello, I'm Chilali Fraser," greeted Chilali.

Blair just fell in love with her voice and he looked up at her and saw the most beautiful green eyes he had ever seen. He then looked back down at his lap.

"Hello, Chilali," Jim replied, "Blair is just being shy; which is kind of unusual."

"Blair, you don't have to be shy around me," Chilali assured.

"Chilali, Blair is an anthropology professor," Benton explained.

"Really! Do you think you could help me with my anthropology homework?" Chilali asked.

Now that really caught Blair's attention and he looked up into her beautiful green eyes and asked, "You're taking anthropology?"

"Yeah, I teach dance Mondays, Lit for collage Tuesdays, gymnastics Wednesdays swim Thursdays, and I go to anthropology class on Friday to Sunday…so can you help me?"

"Sure."

"Great!"

Blair stood up and asked, "Where's your stuff?"

"Upstairs in my room." They both ran upstairs and in unison Benton and Jim yelled, "Don't run!"

Also in unison, while giggling Chilali and Blair said, "Sorry!" They slowed down and giggled the rest of the way to her room.

Down stairs Benton and Jim were getting acquainted. "Kids, what are we going to do about them?" Jim asked.

"I just don't know," Benton answered with a chuckle.

"I don't know about you, but I'm starving."

"Well, I have to admit that I am hungry. Chilali, Blair are you hungry!"

"Yeah!" came the reply in unison.

Benton turned to Jim and asked, "Does pizza sound good to you?"

"Sounds good."

"Okay." Benton went to make the phone call to the pizza place.

Half hour later the pizza was dropped off and payed for.

"Chilali, Blair! Chow time!" Jim yelled. They heard a door slamming and pounding.

"Stop running!" Benton yelled.

They immediately stopped and walked down the stairs giggling. They sat at the table and ate.

Three weeks later

Jim, Blair, Benton, Chilali, Dief, Ray V., and Ray K. were all shopping at the mall. Blair and Chilali were behind messing around.

"Don't you think that those two back there are getting to cozy with each other?" Ray K. asked.

Jim looked back at the two flirting with each other. He turned back and said to the others, "Yup, they are most definitely getting too cozy with one another."

Ray V. said, "What are we going to do about it? You guys are leaving next week."

Jim and Benton shrugged not knowing what to do with the love birds. Benton then heard Chilali yell, "Father!"

He quickly turned around and answered, "What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong father," Chilali answered, "You didn't hear me call you so I had to yell. Anyway, Bail and I are going to walk by ourselves for awhile."

"All right."

"Blair, no funny business," Jim warned.

"Oh, come on Jim what's the worst thing that can happen," Blair said.

"I don't even want to think about that," Jim commented.

"Jeeze thanks Jim," Blair replied.

"No problem, chief," Jim smiled, "Now go have fun."

Blair and Chilali smiled at each other, linked hands, and ran ahead of them. Ben's and Jim's mouths dropped at the sight of those two holding hands.

One week later Jim and Blair had to go home. Ray, Ray, Jim, Benton, Blair, and Chilali were at the gate to the plane saying their last goodbyes.

"Last call to Washington," the voice declared over the intercom.

"Well, I guess you two better get on," Ray K. said, "It's been a pleaser meeting you Blair, Jim." Ray V. nodded in agreement.

Chilali pulled Blair over to her and said, "I don't want you to go, but I know you have to, so all I can say is I'll see you again. Also if I find out you've been dating anyone but me I'm going to go to Washington with Ray's gun and I'm going to shoot you! Now promise that you will not go on any dates."

"Okay, I promise I will not date," Blair said.

Chilali grabbed a hand full of Blair's shirt, jerked him toward her so they were toe to toe, and kissed him fully on the lips. The rest of the group just stared at them with their mouths hanging open. Jim was the fist one to come out of his shock.

"Okay, come on Romeo we have a plane to catch," Jim said.

Blair and Chilali regretfully broke apart. "Okay," Blair whispered. He reluctantly followed Him into the tunnel. Then he was gone to Chilali's dismay, but she will see him again she knew.

The End