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"Fraser and Ray have to attend eight mandatory sessions of counseling after a shooting in the line of duty that claimed six lives."
Author's CommentsFrom 2016:
I do think about point of view a lot. I don’t have a rule, except that you want to be in the most interesting point of view. Often, that’s not where the action is actually happening, because then you know too much. I did a story in due South called “Eight Sessions,” which was actually one of the ones I’m proud of. I put a note on it being like: “Oh my God, this story was so hard.” People really liked the story, but it was hellish to write. It was a story where the characters, both of them, had a secret that they shared. It was hell, because they had to not think of the thing that should be most foremost in their minds. It was quite tricky, I was dealing with characters who had a secret where I needed to keep the secret. The question was: How do people not think about a thing? How can you not think about something, that you otherwise, should be the forefront of your mind? How do you write about a mind not telling you something? It was brutal. 
Reactions and Reviews
[comments about "Eight Sessions" and Anatomically Correct]: Speranza has written a lot in this fandom, but not all of her due South stories appeal to me. These two, however, do. In both stories, her Ray Kowalski has emotional depths one already got glimpses of from the series, and an instinctive understanding of Fraser's breaking points no one else can rival. He is able to see beneath the polished Mountie exterior and still want 'the nutty guy underneath'. By expert use of his POV, the author lets the readers experience Ray's frustration, realizations and fears, and makes him and Fraser truly three-dimensional people. Add to that flawless characterizations and style, a good balance between humor and drama, and hilarious instances like Fraser's battle of will with his therapist, and you'll be captivated. 
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.... 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. 
One of my favourite Due South fics, and I don't know why I haven't recced it before. It's got everything I love in a Due South story - Fraser and Kowalski realising they like each other, realising they love each other, and then acting upon it and coming to a satisfactory conclusion. It's also got a really great back story - sometimes an indepth crime storyline can detract from the characterisations, but this story is about dealing with the aftermath of the fallout from a bust, and the psychiatrist sessions make for excellent reading. Long and really rather excellent. 
This writer is famous in fandom for her stellar writing. For me, this story rounded up into a neat package what I love about due South. Two lonely, broken people finally reaching out to each other. The amount of love the characters have for each other in this story moves me to tears every time I read it. 
In "Eight Sessions" by Speranza, Ray and Fraser undergo counseling after a shooting, and it's sometimes a tossup as to whether our guys or the therapists are suffering the most from the sessions. They really aren't the easiest patients.... Watch Fraser utterly dumbfound his therapist, while Ray has a battle of the wits with his. What actually happened during the incident comes out slowly, though it's obviously eating at Ray in particular, with the story working up to it. Once again Speranza deftly balances humor and drama, with Fraser's self-ignited breakthrough coming off as hilarious and scary all at once. Plus, you have the banter. I'm a sucker for banter. 
If You Want to Go Right to the Therapy You'll Need If You Pick up Another Fandom: Eight Sessions, also by speranza. This story has enabled me to being more people into DS than any other, and I'm not one to argue with results. It has, again, the perfect balance of angst and humor (studies indicate this is approximately a 1:3 ratio, in case you're curious), and it features some of the best therapy sessions you'll ever, ever read. 
RayK and Fraser are involved in an incident where 6 gang members end up dead. As routine RayK is suspended and has to go through 8 sessions of therapy, and because Fraser is his unofficial partner he agrees to the same. The dynamic between the two of them is great and Fraser's confusion, and his therapist frustration, as he tries to confront his feelings (never Fraser's strong point) is totally believable. Definitely one of the best out there! 
Ok. You want a long, plotty, amazing story, filled with angst and wonderful characterization and really, really, really hot sex? Click here. Now. 
My last rec breaks from my intension to only showcase Fraser/Other fic. I had to add this as well because it includes my favorite sex scene in all of fan fiction, which I won't spoil by saying anything more. Speranza begins with eight mandatory sessions of psychotherapy for both Fraser and Ray after Ray kills someone in the line of duty. I love the therapists' frustrations (can you imagine trying to council Fraser?) and the boys' slow process of untangling their fears and desires. Speranza's legendary deft touch with emotional continuity, characterization and secondary characters makes Eight Sessions an intensely satisfying read. 
After being forced to kill several people in the line of duty, Ray is mandated to take eight therapy sessions. Fraser signs up for his own sessions in a show of solidaridy. I don't think I've ever said this before and I'll probably never say it again, but: my favorite parts of this fic were the bits with the psychologists. Not to say that the rest of the plot (the mystery behind the shooting, IA investigation, Fraser/Ray K first time joy) isn't great, but I can never adequately express the awesomeness of Ray dumping all of his issues on his shrink (yet almost never saying anything important) and Fraser stumbling through his own sessions until he gets the bright idea to start reading up on psychoanalysis. Funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately happy, this fic has a little bit for everyone.
Beautifully constructed, intricate story. The exact details of what went wrong are slowly revealed, layer after layer, as Speranza explores the depths of both characters (complete with fantastic characterizations). 
- from Just a Fan from Brooklyn -- Speranza
- Recs by Allaire; WebCite
- Madrigal's Fanfiction Recs: Due South., Archived version
- Mog Recs - Due South: Fic Recs, Archived version
- Recs: The fics that ate my brain and my heart., Archived version
- Viridian5 Fiction: The Green Room version 3.0 Fanfic Recommendations 2002-2009, Archived version, February 2008
- Fandoms I Have Loved 2: Due South, May 8, 2004
- Due South Recs by primekaos, 2004
- The Shipper's Manifesto - Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser (Due South) (2004), Archived version
- 2004 rec at Crack Van by blacksquirrel
- Eight Sessions by Speranza (NC-17), Archived version, posted in Epic Recs by jane_elliot, 11 July 2007.
- mysticalchild_isis, Archived version, November 2009