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Pairing: Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski
Alternative name(s): Fraser/RayK, F/K
Gender category: M/M, Slash
Fandom: due South
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Perhaps the most popular slash pairing in the fandom
Archives: DSA
due Slash
Red Ships and Green Ships
"illustration of a naked Fraser gently holding an unconscious, and equally naked, Ray Kowalski"
Art from The Full Mountie by KOZ (2000)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Fraser/RayK is the slash ship of Benton Fraser and Ray Kowalski in due South fandom. Although a somewhat divisive pairing at first, it grew to be the most popular pairing in the fandom. With fanworks expanding upon "slashy" canon episodes, focusing on classic tropes like AUs and kidfic, and inspiring a trope of their own, Canadian Shack Fic, which went on to be used in other fandoms.

Fandom History

Due South was already an established fandom when F/K emerged very rapidly in 1997, with the broadcast of the third-season premiere episode, "Burning Down The House" which introduced the new "Ray" character. The ship's skyrocketing popularity caused some tension with already entrenched fans.

Almost immediately the Ray Wars broke out, F/K fen retreated to a number of pairing specific mailing lists. Not until after the fandom had begun to move to LJ did the ice begin to thaw, and communities began to be formed that allowed both RayV and RayK fic, as well as het and V/K and F/V/K. However, because the move to LJ came about when F/K was much more popular than F/V, there was a resentment about the domination of the pairing even in these open communities. Much of the due South fanfic on LJ was F/K centric, at least until the rise of V/K and threesome fic changed that balance somewhat.

Despite the show having been off the air for over two decades, it still draws new fans, and it seems like the majority of those fans are also drawn to the Fraser/RayK pairing. The reason new fans may give the show a try is perhaps because of its advertised "shippiness", although that is not always clear. These fans can come into the fandom without the acrimony that colored the pairing's early fandom.

Common Tropes in Fanworks

Episode-Related stories

Episodes with a high concentration of subtext (or just Ray being awesome) inspired much fanfiction, examples:

  • Burning Down the House, in which Ray wants to be partners with Fraser:
  • Asylum, in which Ray must trust Fraser:
  • Ladies Man, in which Ray solves an old crime:
  • Mountie on the Bounty, in which the infamous buddy breathing scene is mere icing on the cake of slashy goodness

The Quest/COTW and Post-Quest Stories

The last episode of the show has Fraser and RayK going off together on a quest to find the Hand of Franklin. Many writers have written the story of what happens on that quest. Notable quest stories include:

A number of stories start with RayK returning from the Quest, either unable to admit his feelings, or having consummated their relationship, RayK couldn't take the North, and Fraser wouldn't come south again.

Canadian Shack

Fraser and RayK seem about a thousand times more likely in fanfiction to end up living in a remote part of Canada than Fraser and Ray V; in Ray V stories, the pair are as likely to end up staying in Chicago. (This was part of the impetus for the Canadian Shack fanfiction challenge: the idea that it would be fun to put other characters into this situation so familiar to F/K fans of Due South.)

Standing out in this genre is Kat Allison's The End of the Road, a notable fandom tearjerker in which Fraser and Ray try, and fail, to build a life together in Canada. Great White Nothing by ignazwisdom is another such story.

AUs or Alternate Realities

While DS never had the wild diversity of AUs prevalent in a other fandoms like SGA, there's still a fair number of notable F/K AUs.

In the epic novel Hawks and Hands by Dira Sudis, Fraser and Ray are hockey players; in Academic Punk by The Hoyden, Fraser and Ray are English professors; in The Chicago 1947 AU by gearbox, the characters are in a hardboiled detective story; in Genesis by Kalena, Fraser is a geologist, and he meets Ray in Hawaii; in Pas de Deux by Sihaya Black, Ray is a dance instructor; in Somewhere Else to Be by Kellie Matthews, Ray is a mechanic, and Fraser is an archeologist; in They Eat Pizza, Don't They? also known as "The Pizza AU" by Brooklinegirl, Ray K owns a pizzeria. Real Boys by Salieri is a cyberpunk AU in which Fraser is an android.

See also Viciouscats's AU masterlist.


In the second season episode "Some like it Red", Fraser goes undercover as a woman at a Catholic school. Although "Some like it Red" was a RayV episode, RayK writers have embraced the premise of a cross-dressing Fraser--or Ray--with a vengeance. Stories include Double Vision/Single Truth by Crysothemis, A Dare's a Dare by Speranza, Lipstick Vogue by Brooklinegirl, and Woman Like a Man by Lalejandra.

DS_flashfiction also hosted a Genderfuck challenge, which produced many good stories.

See also Viciouscat's crossdressing masterlist.


Where Fraser and Ray somehow acquire a child, usually through adoption, and often post-canon, examples:

Other recurring themes in F/K stories

  • Stella: Stories that spend a lot of time on Stella, and compare and contrast RayK's overwhelming love for Stella with his love for Fraser
  • Hurt/Comfort: Ray being hurt and Fraser providing the comfort appears to be popular, but the opposite can also be found
  • Established Relationship: fanworks where Ray and Fraser are already in a relationship, stories with this trope might also be Curtainfic/Domestic!fic
  • First Time: exploring what their first time together would be like, these can be PWP or part of a larger story
  • BDSM: a smaller trope, that usually seems to feature dom Ray and sub Fraser, but the opposite can also be found

Example Fanworks

F/K Fanfiction

F/K Art

Example Art Gallery

F/K Vids

F/K Zines

For more examples see the "Slash Fanzines featuring Ray Kowalski" section of List of Due South Fanzines


F/K Mailing Lists

Archives and Links

Meta/Further Reading