Two (Due South zine)
You may be looking for the Due South zine, Twogether.
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Contents below from the publisher. For a complete table of contents (including poetry and art) click on the image below.
- ‘Canada Dry’ by Gloria Lancaster. (He touched, and let his fingers explore the delicate globes; like his own, but so marvellously different, "You’re lovely, you do know that, don’t you?" Ray said directly to the phallus, seriously, "Very lovely." Trapped in a sauna, Ray Vecchio knows perfectly well how to handle the heat... and an overheated Mountie.)
- The Vigil by Catherine. (The first burst of joy at the news that Benny would recover dissolved at the thought that he would carry Ray’s bullet for the rest of his life.)
- On a Good Day You Can See Canada by Sarah Bellum. (Returning to Chicago, Victoria realises that some promises are forever.)
- Victoria's Revenge by Catherine. (Ray checked his wrist, a drop of blood was welling to the surface. Shocked, he stared down at her, wide-eyed with surprise, and a hint of fear. Fraser searches frantically for Ray, trying to find him before Victoria is able to complete her plans for revenge.)
- All's Well that... by Michelle Christian. ("I bumped into a three hundred pound woman who knocked me on my butt." Slightly inconvenienced by a misstep, the boys have to find new ways to amuse themselves.)
- After the Fall by Cybel Harper. (The shadowy figure in the next bed shifted in the darkness, hands raised to press against hidden eyes. Ray knew the look that would be in them now. He wondered if Adam’s eyes had looked that haunted after the fall.)
- If Your Heart Is Tired by Rachael. (Unable to face another day of desperate longing, Ray decides to break his ties with Benton Fraser. Even thinking about fucking Benny felt like he was corrupting an innocent; he’d never be able to bring himself to touch him.)
- Somewhere In My Heart by James Kythe Walkswithwind. (Unable to change who he is, to be someone he isn’t, Fraser believes he can never be what Ray wants. After a few moments of silence, Ray heard, "I bet your friend doesn’t talk to his father this way." "His father’s dead." "And what am I?" "Annoying!")
- ‘Heated’ and ‘Co-operation’ two stories by Quill. (Red serge, guard duty, and a Chicago heat wave do not mix, but Ray Vecchio has the perfect solution. "Do it, Fraser," was all Ray said. Sighing, Fraser turned around and slipped out of his soiled uniform. Ray sat back and watched, enjoying the whole thing.)
- ‘Sans Souci’, ‘At the Urging of a Mountie’ and ‘Benny Love’ a trilogy of stories by Julien. (Fraser has always been able to get Ray to do what Fraser wants, but this time he’s playing for the highest stakes ever. Old fashioned courting and romance are all he has to get through to a jaded cop. "Don’t go getting any funny ideas, okay? Don’t you be making any plans that involve my butt!" Ray crossed his arms and shuddered a little, then wandered safely out of Fraser’s line of sight.)
Reactions and Reviews
I actually loved Two, the first of these, best, but sold both of them at different times, because I'd moved on from DS and was still heartbroken and couldn't deal. Later I regretted it, and one day opened my mailbox to find a copy of Twogether from Snady, just so I could have a copy again. ♥ This one isn't going anywhere. 
And then Bernice advertised Two, and I bought it, and wow. It was amazing. Twice as thick as the Pack Mates zines, beautifully laid out, chock full of stories, like my old ST zines. I was still very much in my fannish honeymoon phase, and read pretty much anything and thought it was all good, but my memory of that zine is that it was aces. I mean - how can a zine with fuzzy stickers of moose in it not be awesome? (I'm not kidding. Random fuzzy stickers. I loved that zine so much.) It even inspired me to write my first-ever LOC to a zine… 
Reviewer's disclaimer: All that follows is my opinion, mine and mine alone. I neither expect everyone to agree with me nor would want it. It is merely my impressions of a zine as a fan of the show and of slash fan fiction. If anyone disagrees or has a slightly different take on things, please don't hesitate to post them. If you agree with me and think I am truly insightful, please don't heistate to make not of that, either...
[zine info and contact details omitted]
Overall impression--I liked it. It didn't have the number of high angst stories or kinky level I'd been expecting from Bernice, but it had a nice combination of serious stories and fluff, though I think there was more of the latter. There are fewer problems with non-American/Canadian expressions being present in the stories as there have been in the last couple DS zines I've seen from non-N. American publishers and the one of a few minor problems (i.e. Ray says something about "sussing out"what's going on) aren't too much of a distraction from the stories, with one exception. This also manages to avoid (for the most part) my current major pet peeve with the net stories at least, namely Ray calling Fraser "Ben". Argh, I hate that!
Artwork--There were about five illos in all, all portraits two from Bernice and three from TACS. Personally, I liked Bernice's Ray and TACS' Benny. There were also some nice color copies of stills from the show.
Poetry--There were at least two sets of three acrostics by Sterling, but I have to admit that while I write fan poetry, I can no longer read it. I didn't read it, so I won't comment on it.
On to the stories:
"Canada Dry" by Gloria Lancaster--Ray and Fraser are locked in a sauna by some non-descript bad guys for non-descript reasons (it's certainly not to kill since it's pointed out that someone should be there in a couple of hours and the heat isn't pressure cooker hot). I liked Fraser trying not to think of Ray (and failing miserably), but would he really be that uncomfortable with seeing Ray naked? It's not like he hasn't seen him like that before (see the bathroom scene in "They Eat Horses, Don't They?").
"...Or Maybe We Should Just Play Ring Toss" by Trish Darbyfeld--Pure fluff. cute. Benny, Ray, Dief and doughnuts.
"The Vigil" by Catherin--Ray waits for Benny to wake up after his operation at the beginning of "Letting Go". Nice gentle exploration of guilt. Oh, yeah and sex.
"The Man In the Mirror" by Gloria (for Peaches)--Benny overhears Officer Russell and Officer Lancaster conversing. Can't imagine *why* she might think Bernice would be interested in this... :-)
"On a Good Day You Can See Canada" by Sarah Bellum--What if Victoria came back? Well, Ray did make a preomise. Not sure how plausible this was, but it did feel nice to let him do it.
"Victoria's Revenge" by Catherine--a much longer answer to the "What if Victoria came back?" question, not to mention ina story involving a much more, um, active Victoria. Wanting revenge on Ray for ruining her plans and shooting Benny, Victoria kidnaps and torments the cop. While I initially thought it well written, I did have some problems with it from logic (would they make Ray lie on his back in the hospital after he'd been whipped severely; and when did Benny get a bathroom in his apartment) to characterization. The latter has more to do with my general impression of Victoria. Part of what made her such an interesting character for me was that she was so calm and rational and damned intelligent in the show. She set up her plan beautifully and very nearly got away with it (and she did get away). In this story, she comes off as a bit too psycho for the way I see her. Not the cold-blooded killer and cool dealer who planned out the total demolition of Benny's life.
"All's Well That..." by Michelle Christian--can't be that objective, all things considered, but it's certainly fluff.
"After the Fall" by Cybel Harper (the contents page lists her as "Cybel" while the first page of the story lists her as "Cyble")--Ray and Fraser are discussing Victoria after Ray is shot in "Letting Go". Nicely done.
"If Your Heart is Tired" by Rachael--Ray decides to go cold turkey with Fraser. Or would that be cold penguin? Other than the brief use of the dreaded "Ben", there is some good dialogue and good characterization.
"The Canadian Shield" by Gloria Lancaster--Nice short mood piece, but I don't generally like present tense used in stories for two reasons: one, most people seem to have problems keeping it in the same tense (which this story does not seem to fall victim to) and two, there isn't usually a good enough reason, like the need for a feel of immediacy (which, unfortunately, does pertain to this story).
"I Kissed a Guy" by Sarah Bellum--filk based on "I Kissed a Girl" by Jill Souble. Kinda cute and wouldn't be surprised to see more filks based on this song in the next year or so. (And someone might be able to do a short song vid to it using scene from DS9, B5, FRIENDS and possibly even --just because it's there--Roseanne.)
"Somewhere in My Heart" by James Kythe Walkswithwind--This story just didn't work for me. I found the time shifts to be a bit confusing, though they were naked (which I did appreciate) and not necessarily needed. And while I'm fully aware of the 'show, don't tell' rule, I felt it a bit redundant to get *both*. What really didn't work for me, though, was Fraser's characterization. The man is slightly unused to the ways of the urban jungle, but he's not stupid and he certainly knows Ray. Since the entire story hinges on his misunderstanding a typical bitchy remark by Ray as a serious comment...
"Heated" and "Co-operation" by Quill--Ray mother hens Benny after finding him trying to stand guard duty in the middle of the Chicago heatwave. Two short, cute little pwps with some nice exchanges, though I find it hard to believe Fraser would be willing to have sex in his office while he was on duty.
"SansSouci" and "At the Urging of a Mountie" by Julien--Julien is great with Ray/Fraser dialogue and this story is no exception. The first deals with Benny asking Ray on a date and the second deals with Fraser comin'-a-courtin'. Yep, there sappy and I would think even Benny's patience would be strained long before it is, but this works.
"Benny Love" by Julien--Interesting "missing scene" from "At the Urging of a Mountie", this one is from Fraser's pov, though I found it a bit redundant. This is also the one point where we get into what the characters, especially Ray, would use. There are a couple of points in the zine (though not many) where they call each other "Ray love" or "Benny love", which is something that I don't think I have ever heard an American use, even when they're in love. They might call someone "lover", but I don't think most Americans--it certainly seems out of place for Ray, at least--would put the person's name and "love" together like that. Just an observation and someone else might think it's common wherever they are in the States.
"Ringin' in the New Year" by Gillian Middleton--I love the idea of a drunk (sort of) Benny. I also loved Huey and Louie in this one.
"It's Dogs that Fetch" by Trish Darbyfeld--Some nice dialogue again, but more than a slightly whacked out premise. Not that Ray wouldn't try to clean Dief via a car wash (stranger things have happened on this show), but that he would voluntarily go through the thing himself. (Hope that shirt wasn't silk...)
"Silence Keeps the Door" by Gloria Lancaster--This is the last and by far the longest piece in the zine. The 'author's introduction' at the beginning notes that this is not the story the author had set out to write, but it was the one that got written. Considering what I think was the original intent (as gathered by the direction the first part seemed to take for a while), I'm just as glad. The first two parts go through the series up to around "Juliette is Bleeding". And a kiss. Which may or may not be just a kiss. This was a one and a half hankie read for me with my required happy ending for maximum enjoyment. Some very nice dealings with the inner feelings of both Ray (in regards to his feelings for Benny and his own dense of inadequacy) and Benny (in regards to Victoria and Ray).All in all, I'd recommend it. 
This is by far the best all-Due South zine I've seen so far. She has very high quality production values, with lovely graphics, several photo-reproductions (including two color xeroxes), and a goodly amount of art (especially nice are TAC's yummy computer/art images). Bernice also makes very nice use of her Desktop Publishing software to create attractive layouts.
I'm not going to go into a lot of story specifics, but I found the material of a consistently high quality.
The stories I found of special note were:
Julien's trilogy of stories: "Sans Souci," "At The Urging Of A Mountie" and "Benny Love." The middle story is the meat of this trilogy, with a charming premise of Benny admitting early on he would like to woo Ray, and Ray finding te idea both attractive and repulsive (being that he has never had leanings "that way"). Over the course of the story he is indeed wooed, a highlight being when Ray explains how eager he finally is for them to "do it" to an extremely frustrated Benny, who, at the time of this confession, is on guard duty in front of the consulate. Very funny stuff!
On a more serious note is Gloria Lancaster's "Silence Keeps The Door," more a novella than a short story (47 pages). This takes the opposite premise that Ray has been in love with Benny since the beginning of their friendship and has had to keep it hidden. She goes through a number of episodes, filling in "missing scenes," something I have seen done in other fandoms (I happen to like this "gimmick,") and which Gloria handles very well. This is really a story about their relationship and its ups and downs during the course of the series (and she has a very different take on Benny's attitude after "Victoria's Secret" than most writers). She writes with a very good feel for the characters and, I think, more depth than I have seen in almost any other writer in the fandom. (I can also recommend her anthology of stories from Ann O'Neill, "Cry Wolf," although I don't think they match this standard of writing.) In my opinion, this is the best story (I've read) in the fandom.
If you're a Due South fan, or only think you *might* be, invest in this zine!It will make you one if you are not already!