"So that's two cheeseburgers, two diet cokes and one large fry," the waitress said at the counter.
"Uh, no," Constable Benton Fraser said. "That's one cheeseburger, one regular hamburger, a large coffee, a tea, and no fries."
The waitress stared at him and rolled her eyes. She yelled at the kitchen behind her: "Lou, the red guy wants to change the order."
"Actually, Miss," Fraser started, "I didn't change the order, since technically that's what I ordered in the first place."
"Whatever, sugar." the waitress seemed very bored by the whole thing and her eyes were becoming glassy. Fraser nodded. He started to say something else, but decided against it, and merely nodded again.
"Okay," the waitress said after a few moments. "Here's yer order of two quarter-pounders and onion rings."
"Uh, miss," Fraser started, "That's not right."
"What do you want now? You changing the order again?" She seemed very put out by all of this.
"No, miss, I'm not," Fraser explained. "But what I ordered in the first place was one cheeseburger, one regular burger, one large coffee and a tea."
"Yeah, I heard ya the first time," the waitress snorted. She turned back to the counter with the tray of food.
"If you heard me the first time..." but Fraser trailed off, since he realised the waitress wasn't listening.
Finally, the waitress behind the counter brought out a tray that was loaded with: one cheeseburger, one burger, one large coffee, and a tea. Fraser sighed with relief. Finally he could get back to his partner Ray, who was no doubt starving by now.
Starving, and grumpy, if Fraser knew Ray at all.
Fraser picked up the tray. "Thank you kindly," he started, when a gruff man suddenly yanked the tray away from him.
"That's mine!" the man snarled. "Don't you try and take my order. It's mine!"
"No, sir, I believe you are mistaken. This order is mine," Fraser said, backing away slowly. He looked over to the waitress for confirmation, but she wasn't paying any attention.
"Look, you freak in red," the man yelled. "I have been waiting for an hour to get my order. My wife and I are starving. That is our order!"
"No, sir, it is not," Fraser replied, drawing himself up to his full height. "And I am a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is why I am dressed in red."
"A mountie in Chicago?"
"Yes, sir. I first came to Chicago on the trail of my father's killers and for reasons that we do not need to go into at this juncture I have remained in Chicago attached as liaison." Fraser replied in one breath.
"Oh." the man was confused for a second, but soon recovered enough to try and grab the tray.
"Excuse me, sir," Fraser said. "What exactly did you order?"
"What? I ordered two cheeseburgers, two cokes and fries." the man said.
"Please look to what I am carrying on my tray," Fraser said politely. The man did. He let go of the tray, ashamed.
"I'm sorry," he said sheepishly.
"An honest mistake," Fraser replied. "No harm done."
He clapped the man on the back and began to head off when a woman suddenly yelled behind him: "You've got my order!"
He turned. The woman was next to a small boy of about five, who was fingering some of the condiment packages from the dispenser. The child looked extremely mischievous, and Fraser thought to himself silently: Oh dear.
"I assure you, ma'am," he said slowly, "This is not your order."
She glared at him, then glanced down at the child.
Fraser sighed as he placed the tray down on the table. Ray picked up his cheeseburger and looked at it strangely. "Is this cheeseburger flattened somewhat, Fraser?"
"There was a small mishap at the counter," Fraser replied, trying to wipe the mustard off his uniform. Serge was dreadful when it came to stains. He leaned over to his partner and whispered in a conspiratorial voice: "I don't think we should frequent this establishment any more, Ray."
"I don't think we should come here any more." Fraser repeated.
"Oh, no, of course not," Ray replied, chowing down. Suddenly he stopped, and took the burger out of his mouth. He flipped the top over and swore.
"They forgot the pickles! I'll have to go back and get some," he said, picking the tray up and leaving. Fraser sighed and dropped his head onto the table. Right into his hamburger, which Ray had left on the table top. Fraser straightened up, ketchup dripping down his face. He gingerly peeled the burger off, and patted his forehead clean with a flimsy napkin.
Next time Ray wanted to go out for dinner, Fraser would brown bag it.