Alison's birthday was September 4th – a noble date indeed, The Moo's wedding anniversary.  Alison was a little slow, though, getting her order in to the moo-machine and I confess to have been a little stalled in getting my fingers wrapped around this one.  Sorries.


Sez Alison:

I'd like a cute gen fic with Ben, Ray K, and some Ottawa tourist attraction.  With no Thatcher :-)
Sounds like a plan. I offer you a pleasant, easy-going, no stress, interlude. PWP without sex.  
A little romp in which the boys can relax and enjoy themselves.


I've been to the Diefenbunker myself, but didn't keep the brochure. The following sites were used for reminder purposes:




Fraser didn't lie and seldom made mistakes, this Ray knew well. Even so, when the Mountie told him that in Ottawa you could see bureaucrats and business people skating to and from work, Ray had trouble believing it. Okay, Canadians were a little strange, but . . . ?


Equally difficult for Ray to believe was that his patriotic friend had never been to his own nation's capitol. The two friends had been planning to go on a vacation together anyway, so they decided to go spend a week in the former logging center of Bytown, aka, the modern name of which is Ottawa. A vacation NORTH in the dead of winter was something new for Ray.


The drive up to Canada in the GTO was much less eventful than Vecchio's drive to the border, seeing as how there was no pathological liar to entertain them.  Fraser was like an excited child, babbling all during the drive about all the things he would see in Ottawa, none of which sounded remotely like major tourist attractions to Ray.  But the Mountie's good humour and anticipation buoyed the American up and he caught Fraser's happy mood.




Fraser hadn’t intended to visit the Parliament Hill in uniform. It didn’t seem appropriate, since he was not on duty. He was a tourist like any other. But Ray had a theory that the Mountie’s red serge would get them easy parking and allow them to stroll into any part of the building past any line.  Fraser agreed to dress as Ray asked him to, but Ray came to regret his plan. Every other tourist seemed to want to stop the handsome officer to pose for a picture or to answer a question. Fraser knew the answer to any question asked anyway, and never said ‘no’ to a picture request, so their tour of the Parliament Buildings didn’t exactly go as Ray planned. He let Fraser wear civvies for the rest of the trip.



It was five in the evening but already the sun was down and strong lamps illuminated the skaters on the Rideau Canal. Ray sat on a wooden bench outside a refreshment stand, balancing a Styrofoam cup of hot chocolate in one mittened hand and a Beavertail in the other. (The frugal Mountie had been a bit taken aback by the price being charged for a lump of fried dough, but Ray insisted on springing for them as his special treat.)


On this most popular section of the world's longest skating rink makeshift wooden buildings lined both banks. There were stands selling food and drink, changing rooms for people to put on skates, bathrooms and benches. Not everyone on the canal was skating. People also paraded up and down the ice in snow boots and galoshes. Strollers were pushed, sleds pulled.


Fraser was having the time of his life. He skated up and down the canal, in one direction far out of Ray’s sight, then back to Ray and then in the other direction. In the more crowded sections he took careful gentle glides, but once away from the crowds in the farther, darker sections of the canal, he bent forward and took off at full tilt. It was bliss, speeding through the crisp night air with the lights of the buildings shining from all around. Fraser reveled in the wild, cold freedom. If you had to be in a city at all, he thought, this was the place to be.


Ray didn’t even try to skate. Normally he was twitchy and unable to sit still for very long, but this evening he was satisfied to sit on the bench watching Fraser enjoy himself and working on the challenge of eating and drinking while wearing mittens. Keep them on and your food gets all fuzzy, he discovered.  Take your mittens off and you have to eat with cold hands.


A little after five, Ray began to see male and female suits come down the canal, clutching briefcases as they skated along. Fraser spied them too and sped over to where his friend was sitting. He made a little spin on the ice and came to a stop right in front of Ray’s face.


“See, see! The downtown area is over there, and there are apartment buildings down that way,” Fraser gestured in each direction so Ray could not misunderstand the situation. Ray nodded agreement.


“Okay, I believe you. Can we go somewhere warm now?”




Ray was leaving the itinerary up to his Canadian friend, but he couldn’t resist checking his tourist brochure from time to time to see if they were covering what seemed to be the requisite spots. On the fifth morning at breakfast he observed to Fraser that they seemed to have already done the highlights and he wondered what was up for today.


Fraser took a long sip of his morning tea and a blissful look came over his face. “Carp,” he said, dreamily.


“Um, we’re going ice-fishing?” They had taken a scenic drive along the Ottawa River and seen ice-fishing huts. Ray had been happy to sit and watch Fraser skate, but sitting and watching a hole in the ice for many hours didn’t sound like much fun.


“No, Ray. We’re going to the town of Carp. It’s just west of Ottawa.  I want to see the Diefenbunker.”


“He’s staying with Francesca and Ante at the Vecchio house, remember?”


Fraser chuckled. “Not Diefenbaker, DiefenBUNKER. It’s the underground bunker the government built during the cold war so that the government could carry on in case of nuclear attack. It’s a museum of sorts now. They give tours.”


“Wow, a tour of a fall-out shelter, that’s got to be a thrill,” Ray groused. But he had made the commitment to let Fraser pick the activities and if he wanted to see a fall-out shelter, Ray was going to go along.


Fraser gave exposition as they drove out of the city and into the farmland west of Ottawa. “John Diefenbaker was the Prime Minister at the time. He approved the building of a four-storey underground base just outside of Ottawa. It’s 100,000 square feet, complete living and working quarters for 535 people. They kept supplies for a month. They had a small radio station and even a vault to keep the gold reserves.”


Ray had to wonder, as he drove out, how they would have time to move all the gold once they heard a nuclear bomb was falling, but he kept that doubt to himself. “Five hundred and thirty five people were going to be saved. So, I guess this Diefenbaker guy would be one of them.”


“Of course, Ray. They had a special room set aside for Diefenbaker. As it happens he never even spent one night there. A very modest room, from what I’ve read.”


Ray formed a mental picture a the white wolf sitting on a military cot while mushroom clouds burst all around, but kept the image to himself.


“And they’d have to bring down a radio announcer too,” Ray continued.


“Actually, they had pre-recorded announcements for the public, made by a radio personality of the time, George Rich.”


“That must have been a fun recording job. ‘People of Canada, the Bomb is falling. Kiss your ass good-bye.’”


“That’s not funny, Ray.”



Ray drove their rented car along through beautiful downtown Carp, following the signs to The Diefenbunker. At last a sign pointed to a small parking lot, a modest building of a few rooms and what looked like a metal garage. It didn’t look like there was anything around of interest.


Fraser jumped out and raced over to the “garage”. “That’s the opening to the bunker. Get the tickets, Ray! Hurry!”


He needn’t have been in such a rush. It was quite some time before an old man ambled out towards the parking lot and the half dozen tourists joined him for the tour. First he introduced himself and explained that all the tour guides were volunteers. He himself was the grandson of one of the farmers that had sold land to the government to build the bunker.


He led them to the “garage” which was actually the entrance to the tunnel that led to the bunker. For the next couple of hours, Fraser and Ray were led through a vast complex that gave no outward sign of its existence except that unprepossessing entrance.


They saw the mini-hospital, living quarters, offices, telecommunications headquarters, a situation room and much more. When they got to the cafeteria, the guide told them that the area could rented for private parties and was becoming quite popular for weddings and banquets. Although basically still uninterested, Ray had to marvel at the statistics of the tons of concrete and steel that went into the place. Over 32,000 tons of concrete and 5000 tons of reinforcing steel.


The Prime Minister’s suite was a tiny cubicle with a single cot, and plain wooden table and chair. Ray spent a moment wondering if any American president in recent history would have been satisfied with staying there. Well, if it’s that or be nuked, he supposed they would probably make do.


By the time they got to the Bank of Canada Vault, Ray was getting a little impatient. The guide brought them into a square room and explained it was separately lined with protective material. It never did house any gold. During the time the facility was manned they used it for storage of all kinds of dry goods. But the area was popular with the men stationed there because all around the outside was a narrow corridor, a square enclosed tunnel that they used as a jogging track. The entrance of it was just beside the main entrance to the vault.


That was all the detective needed to hear. He ducked away from Fraser and the others and took off running around the corridor. There wasn’t much light, but just enough to see where the corners were and avoid running full tilt into the vault walls. He went along one side, turned the corner and went along the other towards the second corner. As he got to the corner, all alone in the enclosed box, Ray paused and scratched at an itch in his groin.


Fraser’s voice came through the gloom, “Ray, you shouldn’t do that in public. Especially not in a government facility.”


Ray was about to shout back an irreverent response, but then stopped. How was Fraser seeing him? He was half way around a closed square tunnel. Did Fraser know him well enough to guess when and where he might itch at any given moment? No, that was too far-fetched. Or else, the Mountie’s sharp senses also included X-ray vision. That didn’t seem possible either.


Ray tried an experiment. He held up three fingers in front of his face. “Fraser, how many fingers am I holding up?”


“Three,” Fraser answered promptly, “Ray the tour is continuing.”


“How many now?” Ray put up a fourth fingers.


“Four. Ray, we should be going.”


Ray gave up. “Okay, Fraser, how can you see what I’m doing?”


Ray could hear Fraser’s laugh. “Go to a corner, any corner, and look into the mirror.”


Sure enough, each corner had a mirror positioned near the ceiling. Ray looked into the one just ahead of him and saw Fraser waving. The mirrors were aligned to allow someone to see all the way around the tunnel. “That’s really cool,” Ray said to Fraser as he trotted out of the tunnel and re-joined the group.


The last part of the tour was exhibits of the Cold War era, including a section devoted to images of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath.  In the tiny gift shop they saw pamphlets of the time, telling people what to do in case of nuclear attack and how to build fallout shelters.




“You got to hand it to that Diefenbaker guy,” Ray commented as they drove out of the parking lot. That’s one hell of a building.  Is that why you named Ole’ Fur-face after him. ‘Cause he likes to dig?”


“He likes to be prepared. It’s a Canadian trait, to be cautious. But, you know, I never really thought about it,” Fraser mused as they drove off. “It just seemed like a good name.”


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