Here are some of my favourite Due South stories.
Click on the author's name for the link to where the stories can be found on the net.

Warning: Description of the stories may contain spoilers.
Stories marked with a         are highly recommended.
I'm happy to supply a copy of any story that has no link supplied - by email on request.

You'll find Ray Vecchio/Fraser,  Fraser/Ray Kowalski,  and even Ray/Ray slash here.

These recs are sorted alphabetically by author name, then story title.


ALICE IN STONYLAND: "Mad Season 1: Hitchhiker."
Ray Vecchio/Ray Kowalski.
Vecchio picks up a hitchhiking Kowalski and realises that something is very wrong.

Kowalski woke up as soon as I stopped the car. I saw panic and fear cross his face, watched a hand automatically scramble for the gun he'd apparently stashed in a holster in the small of his back, before his mind registered where he was. The expression and his action made me wonder just how long he'd been traveling to get here, and what he'd been through in the process.

"Hey, Kowalski, it's all right. You're home," I reassured him, grabbing a hold of the wrist holding the gun just as a precaution.

His eyes flickered to my hand, then my face, and I could swear I could feel him drawing back, slamming an emotional door shut before he grinned sheepishly. "Sorry," he apologized.

There just aren't enough Ray/Ray slash stories out there, so I was very happy to discover this series. This first one delivers a hurting Kowalski and a confused Vecchio - and I love both characterisations.

ALICE IN STONYLAND:"Mad Season 2: Come Undone."
Ray Vecchio/Ray Kowalski.
After Vecchio has gone, RayK remembers what happened to him in Canada - and what went wrong with Fraser.

I waited until I couldn't hear his footsteps echoing down the hallway anymore, then closed my eyes. I didn't have to be a detective to know I hurt -- a lot -- and it was pretty amazing my eyes weren't running. I had something to prove to myself, but all I could think of was that I'd failed. Again. Maybe that was just the tired talking, maybe I was reacting too much because of everything that's happened to me, but I figured I'd probably just fucked up another partnership. Literally.

I found this story a fascinating look at one possible interpretation of what lies behind that Mountie calm.  The Kowalski/Fraser interaction here is one that I find fascinating and love to re-read over and over.

ALICE IN STONYLAND: "Mad Season 3: Manic Monday."
Ray Vecchio/Ray Kowalski.
Fraser returns to Chicago to arrest Kowalski for murder.

Minutes passed without either of us saying anything. I could hear my heart thundering in my chest. The tension between us was so thick, it felt like a living thing. I didn't dare move, didn't dare speak, knowing somehow that one wrong move was going to screw up everything. Then, in a stunned voice, Vecchio asked, "What the fuck is going on here, Kowalski?"

"I -- I don't know." I hated the way my voice cracked, and swallowed hard.

Our eyes met, and I saw desire and confusion warring in his.

This is the longest of the three stories in the series and is the one that most closely resembles an episode.  There's an intricate plot and lots of lovely personal interaction as Vecchio and Kowalski try to come terms with their feelings for each other - as well as their feelings for Fraser.

ALLISON, KAT: "Executor."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
After the death of both Fraser and RayK in a shooting incident, Welsh (their executor) thinks about the men he knew.

It's quiet in here for once, quiet like it never gets in this monkey house, even at this time of night.  Not that I know what time it is.  If it mattered, I could turn around and look at the clock, but I'm too damn tired and it doesn't matter anyway.  Half-past way-too-late, one of those single-digit hours when anyone with the sense to work a normal job'd be home in bed.

Of course, I've never had the sense to work a normal job, so here I am sitting in the office, with the blinds shut tight and the overhead lights off so no one comes in and bothers me.  Just the desk lamp angled down onto the pile of paper in front of me.  Nothing unusual here, I've sat up like this a whole lot of nights, pushing the papers, thinking my thoughts.

Nothing unusual.  What the hell am I saying.  There's not going to be anything usual in a station house the night after a cop funeral.

Kat Allison is one of the best writers in fandom, in my opinion. Her fiction may not be to everyone's taste, as it tends to have a melancholy edge and couldn't really be described as light or sweetly romantic, but you can always depend on on her for great characterisation and intelligent, beautiful prose. These are two stories I like best in Due South fandom but, really, I'd recommend reading anything Kat Allison has written. She writes fiction that makes me envious of her talent - I only wish I could write anything as well as she can.  This is one of those melancholy stories that Kat Allison does so well - and I love a good death story.

ALLISON, KAT: "Heavy Bag."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray goes to his gym  to think about Fraser - and he's in full freak-out mode.

He pulls the door open, one hard yank with a grind of metal on metal, and he steps through and yanks it shut, and just like that, just like every time, he's in another world. The minute he steps through that door, he's in a different world and he's somebody else.

This is a fabulous story - well, it's Kat Allison, isn't it? I love the way she incorporates boxing terminology into her story and the final paragraph is a complete knock-out.

AUBURN: "This Must Be The Place."  No Link.
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Post "Call of the Wild", Fraser asks Ray to stay with him in Canada but Ray refuses and returns home to Chicago alone.

"Right. You've got your old desk. The files on it are Black and White's overflow. You can start with those, I'm going to partner you with Brown since he has half a brain, and he can catch you up."

I shake my head like Dief with a fly buzzing at his ear. "Uh, Lieu, did you say Black and White and Brown?"

I think that's a look of pain and exasperation on his face. It's hard to tell. Could just be constipation.

"Yeah, Kowalski. That's what I said."

Ooookay. First the Duck Boys. Now the Color Guard. I'm back at the 27th, wackiest division in Chicago, even without Fraser around. Some time when I wasn't paying attention my life turned into an outtake from the Twilight Zone. But, hey, at least I got my name back.

Told from Ray's POV, this story deals with life for Ray back in Chicago and how he faces the feelings he has for Fraser.  It's very well done, especially the cases that add authentic background to Ray's Chicago life.  And the solution to their problem is one I think works particularly well.

BARB G: "Return Home."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Post "Call of the Wild", RayK returns home to Chicago alone.

"He's not looking at me. He's not coming back. He's not looking at me and he's not coming back."

Told from Ray's POV, this is one version of what happens after the adventure is over and I keep coming back to this story again and again.

BONE: "Bounty."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Fraser POV. Fraser is lonely and desperately wants someone of his own. Ray advises him to look outside the box.

'You're in a rut,' he finally says.

'I'm what?' I ask, startled.

'In a rut. You keep doing the same thing over and over. What is it with you and these chicks?' he asks.

This is by Bone - what more do you need?

BONE: "Smooth."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray teaches Fraser rhythm: the rhythm of his heart.

'Moving like a block of wood.'

The phrase has been stuck in my head ever since he said it -- matter-of-fact, honest. Succinct in the way only Ray can accomplish, summing up my lifetime of feeling out of step in just a few words.

I hadn't let it bother me before. Certainly hadn't dwelled on it. I'm not sure I'd let myself recognize that something was missing from my enjoyment of music, my pleasure in it. I can hear it. I can look at a score and hear it in my head -- something I've found most people can't do. I can analyze, break down a piece into its congruent parts, discern small ways of making minor improvements. Minor third improvements, in the case of Tracy Jenkins' latest song.

I can sing on key, count the beats, blend my voice to others.

I can do all of that.

But I don't feel it in my bones.

There's a nice rhythm metaphor deployed throughout and Bone's story is wonderful as usual.

BONE & ARISTIDE: "The Course."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Post "Call of the Wild" Ray goes undercover as a teacher and is totally out of his depth - until Fraser turns up from Canada to help.

How was it possible that everything he had once longed for now no longer seemed enough?

How could he have so much of what he'd asked for -- his good name, a home base, air and barren vistas and clear bright skies -- and find it totally lacking?

How could he feel so...empty?

I love this portrayal of Fraser and Ray - the way they interact in the school setting and the way their private relationship develops.  The story is told from alternating Ray and Fraser first person POV's and is extremely well done.

BRIGHID: "Slice."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray and Fraser come back from their adventure and stay partners in Chicago.  They move in together and adjust to each other as lovers.

It was a sweet, sweet thing. And I was scared shitless that I was gonna lose it, that we'd reach the end of the Great White and the reaching out hand would just stop ... reaching. Got almost unglued over the whole thing, couldn't meet his eyes, would jump every time he brushed against me because it hurt to think I someday *couldn't* look at him, touch him.

Brighid is another author whose writing I admire tremendously. Her writing is poetic and her descriptions are rich with detail, like a medieval manuscript. She shows a wonderful grasp of characterisation and her use of metaphor within her stories is second to none in fandom. Brighid can tell a story about everyday events with such skill and insight that the reader is swept into the reality of her character's lives. Her palette is always full of rich colours like glowing jewels and her writing has an ageless charm to it that never fails to fascinate me. This is one of my favourite Brighid stories in Due South but I'd recommend anything by this author.  "Slice" is an excellent story in which the relationship between RayK and Fraser is explored via the metaphor of fruit pie recipes: apple, cherry, lemon, fruit mince, peanut, lime. The story is very sweet, very well-done <g>, and the language is all, humorous and deep with feeling and nuance.

BRIGHID: "Ukiuq."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
After Janet Morse, Fraser Snr tries to support a lonely Fraser but inadvertently makes him realise that he's in love with Ray - a 'road to Damascus' moment for Fraser.

His words echo through me, and I am like Saul on the road to Damascus, struck blind by realization and forever, fundamentally altered. In Ray Kowalski I have the passion I sought in Victoria, the companionship and camaraderie that beckoned in Janet. He is my best friend, the other half of my soul. Together, we are a circle unbroken. With him, I am never alone.

And I know with painful certainty that I can never have more with him than what I already have; with that realization, I find myself suddenly more alone than ever I was before.

This story is told in three sections - three slices of the lives of Fraser and Kowalski: Fraser's realisation that he cares for Ray in a sexual way; the beginning of their sexual relationship; and a look at their life in Canada five years down the track.  Lovely.

Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray and Fraser return from their adventure but when Ray discovers Fraser's real feelings for him, he freaks and hightails it back to Chicago.

After snowfall, the landscape is transformed. The old landmarks vanish, unrecognizable to the untutored eye. The snow covers everything with a blinding and sometimes treacherous beauty, but the land beneath it remains solid and firm as it ever was, the hidden depths sheltered by the blanket of glittering crystal, the streams and lichens and tundra and trees all frozen for now, but waiting patiently for the thaw.

What Ray discovers about himself both in Chicago and the small town in Canada that Fraser is assigned to, makes for a fascinating story.  This story contains one of my favourite kissing scenes: when Ray returns after an absence there is an absolutely sweet scene at the airport where Ray rushes out into Fraser's arms and kisses him in front of everyone, blocking the walkway. <Blissful sigh>  Well written.

DEVERO, RUTH: "Crossed Paths."
Ray Vecchio/Doug Ross; Carol Hathaway/Benton Fraser.
Ray suffers from an unlucky series of inujuries that result in visits to the hospital emergency room.

So, he loitered, trying not to hear what was going on behind the curtain, eyeing the people who passed in front of him.  Good detective watched everything, watched everybody, out of habit, not because he was looking for any one person-

Ray turned and found himself half a foot from Doug Ross.

They stared at each other; and for a minute there didn't seem to be anything else in the world but Doug Ross, those brown eyes looking a little wary, that strong face just a little flushed, that gorgeous mouth quirking a little in half a smile; and some sort of electricity that just seemed to tingle right through Ray, turning his knees to jello.

"Detective Vecchio," said Ross.

It's unusual to find fanfiction set in the E.R. universe and a crossover is just that much rarer.  I enjoyed this story very much - I love both Doug Ross and Ray Vecchio as characters and it was interesting to see a story that slashed the two of them together.

FINN, C.L: "The Easiest Choice."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Eleven years after their adventure looking for the Hand of Franklin, Ray is a lieutenant at the 27th while Fraser is a sergeant in charge of the Consulate - and they have an established relationship.

It's one of the many issues we've negotiated between us over the past eleven years. Ray likes to drive, I like an orderly house. It's a peaceful treaty.

Most of the time.

There aren't many stories that deal with Ray and Fraser's life in later years, so this story is not only a fresh scenario but a well-told one.  I love the way the two have changed and grown together over the years and their plans for the future.  Lovely.

FINN, C.L: "Indelible."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Another post Hand of Franklin story.  Ray goes back to Chicago and Fraser gets a tattoo on his hip, the last place Ray touched him when they said goodbye.

I'm really not sure what impulse led me to the tattoo shop. When I left the airport, I felt bereft. I felt numb. And I felt more alone than I had in two years. Something had been ripped away from me when his plane took off, and it left a bleeding wound behind. I was cold-- colder than I had been on any night we'd spent out on the ice. The only warm points on my body were the spot on my cheek Ray's lips had touched and the spot on my hip where his hand had rested. I needed a connection to Ray, a permanent reminder of that warmth. And I happened to walk past a tattoo shop.

This is a very sweet story and I just adored the idea of Fraser getting a tattoo to remind him indelibly of the last place Ray touched him.  Very sweetly done.

FUZZICAT: "Warmth Of Spring."
Ray Vecchio/Ray Kowalski.
Both Rays are in love with Fraser but he leaves both to return to Canada.  Each Ray is jealous of the other and violence finally erupts between them as they are forced to work together.

Something passed between them.

Ray's gut tensed up. Kowalski *knew*.

Somehow, he had given something away, allowed some unbidden feeling to show on his carefully professional exterior. And Stan had seen, and Stan had realized.

What was more, he thought, as he stared back as if frozen into the pale eyes, Stan knew that *he* knew.

There was no going back now. It was out, it was there. The threat to their working relationship could not have been more pronounced if they had brought up the whole subject of the Mountie and discussed him in meticulous detail.

I adore the gradual development of their relationship - the change from jealous dislike to love that fuzzicat develops so plausibly.  Some readers will have a cow at the use of "Stan" for Ray Kowalski but as a story from Ray Vecchio's POV, I find this plausible - plus I don't have any real objection to it per se.

FUZZICAT: "Heat Of Summer."
In the sequel to "Warmth of Spring", Fraser returns, having finally made up his mind who he wants, only to find Ray and Stan have both moved on and are now in love with each other.

"Ray, he came on to me.  Full Mountie charm.  Those eyes, those hands, that mouth.  He came out and told me he wanted to make love to me, can you believe that?  I could be in bed with him right now, probably."

Ray drew a shocked, hissing breath.  Ignoring him, Stan went on.  "I'm not, do you notice that?  I pushed him off me and told him I was in a serious relationship.  And that I wasn't going to allow him to come between us, no matter how much I valued his friendship.  My exact words, Vecchio.  You getting this through that Italian skull or yours?"

"No need for ethnic slurs."

I love these stories, especially as good Ray/Ray fic is hard to find.  I'm not a fan of threesomes generally but this one was developed beautifully and very believably. Unfortunately, these are the only stories I've been able to find on the web by this author - I'd love to read more.

GLASGOW, M. FAE: "No Son Of His."
Ray Vecchio/Fraser.
Over the Christmas period, Ray Vecchio thinks about family and the impact his father had on his life.

Benny here in this zoo?  God, the poor man barely coped with a regular family dinner.  Benny, in the middle of all this?  Definitely cruel and unusual punishment.

I love the fact that M. Fae Glasgow is one of the better writers in Due South fandom and has chosen to write Vecchio/Fraser slash. She's a wonderful writer, although her writing does tend to be on the dark side of the spectrum at times. She seems to be interested in finding different angles from which to explore her favourite characters and this makes her work terrifically interesting. She writes in many different fandoms but, unfortunately for net fans, mostly for zines. The good news is that her work is available through the Oblique zine website, which has published many of it's older zines on the net.  The link on her name above will take you to the Oblique site where you can find her work. This story has a nice, slow development, a sweet story of love and family that doesn't sacrifice realism to achieve its effects.

HONISOIT: "The Cabin."        [No link found.]
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
This is a very unusual rape recovery story, in which Ray never really recovers completely from a violent rape.

The shame, the self-loathing in his voice was thick enough to cut. But he was going to live, I was determined about that. And he would be happy again too, if I could manage it.

When I went back in, Ray was asleep, holding on to Diefenbaker for dear life. Dief was awake and looked at me with wise eyes. I patted his head. "Thank you, Dief," I said quietly - he licked my hand. I owed him Ray's life and he could make me pay as much as he wanted and I would never be able to repay him. I blew out the lamp and went to bed.

What I love about this story is the very matter-of-fact treatment of rape recovery and it's exploration of the bleak concept that sometimes severe trauma leaves such terrible scars that even love cannot completely heal the damage. You would think that this would be a terribly bleak and melancholy story but somehow I merely found it refreshingly realistic. The bravery of people who manage to keep going each day depite the terrible things life can throw at them is highlighted - and I prefer that any day to the artificial "Romeo and Juliet" hystrionics of some stories.

KASS, ALANNA & STARFISH: "Parental Guidence."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray is busy leading his life solving crimes and spending his off-time with Fraser – so it takes a while for his parents' behaviour to impinge onto his consciousness.  Then it hits him - his parents not only think he's gay but that he and Fraser are married!

There are two conversations any self-respecting thirty-something single guy must at all costs avoid having with his mother. One starts with, "It's such a shame you couldn't work things out with Stella. It must get so lonely for you." The other one goes, "My friend Marge's daughter is moving to Chicago, and she doesn't know anyone here, Stanley."

Faced with not one but both of these conversations at once, Ray did the only sensible thing. He lied.

This is a wonderfully funny story and I love it.

KASSANDRA: "Busted."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Months after his return to Chicago alone, Ray arrives in Canada still damaged from an almost fatal gunshot wound but determined to tell Fraser how he feels about him.

I dare anybody, anybody, to try sleeping in a double sleeping bag with the Mountie and not react....

I rabbited. I went back to Chicago like I had something to go back to. Fraser got a promotion and stayed in Canada, and that was that.

Only, you know, sometimes you realize things even if it takes dying to do it. Fraser wouldn't freak out. He might feel bad, not feeling the same way, but he wouldn't freak out. He'd tell me some Inuit story or something, and that would be it.

"Busted" and its sequel "Tapestry" are two of my favourite Due South stories that I re-read often with enjoyment. I think the Ray Kowalski voice in thse stories is briliantly captured and Kassandra is one of my favourite writers. She is very talented and her prose has a vigour and life that practically jumps off the page. Whenever I read one her stories I usually find I can't put it down until I've finished - she just keeps me enthralled until the very end. Kassandra's fiction can be found under the name 'Anonymous co' on the main Due South archive. This is a long, sweet story set in Owlcreek, Fraser's new post, and it beautifully captures small town atmosphere.

KASSANDRA: "Tapestry."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
This sequel is set several years after "Busted" and deals with Ray Vecchio, who arrives in Owlcreek with his young son.

Vecchio might not be the most sensitive guy in the world, but nobody said he was stupid. You can't do undercover and get away with it for a year if you're stupid. He's asking me if this is a part of Stella that doesn't work right and that's why we broke up.

I wish I could tell him why we didn't make it. I wish I knew, at least for sure. But can you ever see into anybody else's head?

I love this story for many reasons, not least of which is the portrayal of Vecchio.  It's wonderful to find a story that can incorporate both Rays without trashing one of them.  This tendency to expend vitriol by the bucketfull on the "other" Ray - the one not favoured by the writer - pisses me off and has ruined many an otherwise decent story for me.  Luckily, this story avoids that pitfall and presents a range of original characters that are a pleasure to meet.  Kassandra is another author whose work I will always want to read.

LaDROIT, MANNA: "The Fan."
Ray Vecchio/Fraser
Someone is trying to "out" a non-gay Fraser and Ray to the Chicago police - and then they are kidnapped.

"The letter is suggesting that you and Detective Vecchio are engaged in a personal…relationship."

"We do have a personal relationship," Benton countered, feeling very slightly hurt.

"It ain't that personal!" Ray exploded. Outside the office, Elaine turned to the open door with a frown. Ray turned from her, blocking her out.

Benny tried again: "Well, in all honesty -"

"Don’t be so damn honest!"

"Ray…" Benton's eyes had grown somewhat large. Welsh waved for their attention.

"Constable, the letter suggests a sexual relationship between you and Detective Vecchio."

Fraser blinked, then blinked again. "Ah."

Manna LaDroit is another of the rare talented authors who write Vecchio/Fraser fiction in this fandom. "The Fan" is one of the first Due South stories I ever read and it remains a favourite. One of the things I like best about her stories is that actually contain plot. Very nice angst, great sex,  and a very hot emotional component.  This is one of my favourite Vecchio stories.  I love the way the two get together and the emotional intensity of their union.

LaDROIT, MANNA: "The Cabin."
Ray Vecchio/Fraser
(Sequel to The Fan). Ray and Fraser go north to fix Fraser's father's cabin, while trying to get some time alone to consolidate their new relationship. Unfortunately, events seem determined to conspire against them.

God, this was his life now, a Mountie and a wolf comforting him in a rented jeep about two thousand miles north of anywhere man was meant to live.  Only the fact that he felt about a thousand million times better when he pulled away kept him from running off into the woods screaming. He put a light kiss on Benny's lips, then rubbed Diefenbaker with both hands behind his ears.  The wolf ended up licking his face, but not even that was enough to ruin the moment.

Some fans I've talked to haven't enjoyed this one as much as The Fan, but I loved it. It's very well written and contains some very hot sex. I also liked the spiritual element that was present throughout. Despite the misuse of "lay/lie" (one of my personal bugbears in fiction) and the confusion of pronouns to which this author is prone, I admire her ability to tell a fascinating story and I reread these two stories with enjoyment.

MATTHEWS, KELLIE: "Northern Comfort."
Billy Talent/Benton Fraser.
Fraser is alone at the Consulate when Billy Talent turns up late one night for help after he's been mugged.

"So. You wanta talk about it?" Billy asked.

Fraser sighed. "There's little to tell."

"You ever touch him?" Billy asked suddenly, his voice strangely fierce, his body as tense as a drawn bow.

"Well, of course. All the time. It would be difficult to work together without touching..."

"Not that way, idiot. I mean touch him. Fuck him."

Ben was shocked speechless for a moment, then he finally managed to find his voice. "Good Lord, no! Of... of course not! That's just... just... no!"

The tension seemed to flow out of Billy like water. "Okay. Okay, that's good. I mean, if he's not like you said."

This story can be read in conjunction with its direct sequel, "No Secrets", or "Shadow's Fade", which is sort of a sequel to both, but it does stand alone.  I love this story and this is a Fraser I can believe in implicitly.  I think the sex is pretty hot, too.  This is one of my very favourite stories in any fandom and I can't recommend it highly enough.

NEON BLUE: "First Base."
Ray Vecchio/Fraser.
Fraser comes over to watch a game of baseball with Vecchio.

"What do you mean, 'That's okay'?'" Ben asked, drying his feet. "What can  'okay' possibly mean in a situation where I am having a conversation with a ghost who appeared while I was in the bathtub?"

I really like this story. It's a lovely , slow, sweet build up to a relationship with absolutely no faux angst anywhere in sight - and I think that qualifies as my absolutely favourite type of story.  A story which takes an everyday situation and gets the guys together in a perfectly natural and lovely way. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any other stories by this author on the net.

RAYMOND, DENISE: "All The Comforts Of Home."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Vecchio comes up to Canada to ask Fraser's advice about his failing marriage to Stella.  He is shocked to discover that Fraser and RayK are lovers - but why are they behaving so oddly and why won't they even mention the other one's name?

"Y'know, Loomis, that joke just gets funnier every goddamned time," a voice said, and my gut turned to ice. Oh, no. Oh, no no no no, I prayed, this has to be a coincidence, some sort of hallucination. Maybe I dropped acid some time and never knew it. Please let it be that, Holy Mother, please let it not be a scrawny rat bag named –

"Stanley Kowalski?" I croaked, rounding the corner to the front of the store.

This is a fascinating story.  I love the intensity of the relationship between Kowalski and Fraser is gradually revealed and the OC's that populate this small Canadian town are wonderfully well drawn.

SPERANZA: "Anatomically Correct."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray sees Fraser through a variety of different eyes and realises that he's the only one who knows the real Fraser, the human being inside the proper mountie façade.

"I assume he's anatomically correct?" Phyllis asked.

"Christ!" Ray leapt off the desk and whirled to stare at her. "What the fuck is the *matter* with you?"

"Well, I've got a naturally suspicious mind." Phyllis shrugged and one sequin detached itself from her forehead and fell into her lap. "I used to undress all my dolls."

If you read Due South fiction at all you should already know that Speranza is the bee's knees in this fandom. (You might also have come across her in The Sentinel fandom under the pseudonym Francesca - she's the bees knees there, too <g>.) Her stories are often absolutely hilarious but are always full of psychological insight, terrific characterisation, wonderfully intelligent writing, and often manage to cleverly twist well-known fanon stereotypes into something totally unexpected <g>. Her stories have an originality in plot or structure or slant that is always fascinating. They make me think - and I love that.  But the best thing about Speranza's writing is its sheer entertainment value - her stories are just bloody good. This is a very sweet, very insightful look at Ray and Fraser's relationship.

SPERANZA: "Enduring Distance."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
After Muldoon's arrest, the Canadians and the Americans duke it out in court in Inuvik over who gets the right to try him - and for what crimes - first.

"There's one snowmobile left."

Ray reached down with his hand and patted the snowmobile underneath him. "No there ain't. This puppy's mine. How're we supposed to get back?"

"We could walk," I suggested.

"Up yours," Ray replied.

There are lots of lovely scenes in this one, especially where Fraser shows Ray his secret hiding place as a kid, when Fraser breaks down in court, and the scene where they change their friendship forever.  "Enduring Distance" is full of quirky little moments that are a lovely mixture of sweet and tart, and that blend seemlessly into a beautifully satisfying whole.

SPERANZA: "Beyond Embarassment."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray is woken up at 3am by knocking and finds an injured Fraser at his door.  Fraser tells him he's dead and that he's moving into his closet.

Christ, what was happening here? Some part of him was now completely certain that this was a dream--a hot dream, a wet dream, a weird dream, the weirdest dream he'd ever had. His dreams were generally pretty mundane--your typical late for school, late for work, late for your wedding type of thing, where somehow you managed to show up without any pants. But this--this was just nuts. Making out with a dirty, hatless, bleeding, cold, dead Fraser on the sofa in the middle of the night.

This is a very funny story - I espeically love all the crazy "closet" stuff Fraser pulls that leave Ray bewildered.

SPERANZA: "Scrabble."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
An amazingly brilliant, unusual, innovative story with a double parallel perspective:  Fraser and RayK tell the story from their own perspective's in parallel columns (see below).

I can't pass a sky-rise without thinking of her. All that bronze and silver and whirling, spinning glass. The doors revolve, the cylinders defining the space they enclose. And within them I can see softly falling snow, and dark hair, and blood. Westlake Avenue is lined with these orbiting capsules, and outside some of them, men in formal coats stand stiffly at attention, ready to offer assistance. All the women look like Stella--Stella now, not Stella then. Stella then hung out in jeans and sneakers. Stella then wore her hair long and pulled back in a sloppy ponytail. Stella then spent all her time sitting at our crappy linoleum-topped kitchen table, surrounded by books and gnawing her pen. Stella now--well, the pen's sterling silver, and she'd probably break her teeth if she tried.

Fraser is an adrenaline junkie who craves danger as a substitute for love.  This is a wonderfully complex Fraser who's quite wild underneath his Mountie calm and this is a characterisation I can believe in implicitly.  This story has wonderful sex, is brilliantly  written, and has an intelligent Ray who knows he's gay.  An unusual, provocative story that I enjoyed very much.

SPERANZA: "The Killer Replacements."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Fraser gets a call in Canada from Ray, who tells him he mightn't be there to pick him up when he returns.  Fraser reads between the lines and charges off to Chicago to see Ray before he disappears on him, just as Vecchio did.

Lieutenant Welsh leaned back in his chair and scrubbed at his face. "Constable. You're back early. How wonderful for us all."

"Yes, I adjusted my itinerary with the hope of perhaps catching Ray Vecchio. Or the person we have come to call Ray Vecchio. Who is not that person," I said, pointing toward the door. "That person," I added acidly, "calls me 'sweetie.' "

Lieutenant Welsh had the good grace to wince.

This is a brilliantly funny parody of the whole Ray/Ray changeover plotline from the TV series.  It's excellently done and has a totally non-fanon original perspective.

SPERANZA: "Eight Sessions."
Fraser/Ray Kowalski.
Ray has been involved in a shooting and has to endure 8 sessions of therapy, afternoon sessions with his union representative, and an AI investigation of his actions.

Welsh went on relentlessly. "You do the hearing, you get cleared, and you're back to work the next day, end of story."

"I wanna die. I want to be killed. Kill me now."

"Unfortunately, that's not an option," Welsh growled.

"All right, all right, all right, all right, all right. Fuck me hard, but all right."

"How wonderfully you accept the inevitable."

Fraser volunteers to undergo therapy as well - and the results are fascinating and, at times, hilarious.   Despite the seriousness of the plot, I enjoyed this story very much.  Speranza nails the characterisations of both men perfectly.

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