Hanged Man

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Fraser/Kowalski Fanfiction
Title: Hanged Man
Author(s): Speranza
Date(s): 2004-09-28
Length: 33,395
Genre: slash
Fandom: due South
External Links: at Speranza's site (Speranza's Fiction)
on AO3

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Hanged Man is a Fraser/Kowalski story by Speranza. The story includes several images integrated into the text that show the word game Hangman that Fraser and Ray are playing in two key scenes.

It was podficced by nos4a2no9 in 2007.

Fan Art

Reactions and Reviews

rec at Crack Van (2005):

The hanged man in tarot cards is suspended, waiting for his fate to change. Of course, the title isn't merely referring to that. It's also referring to the word game. Which Fraser and Ray play at various times in the stories.

In this one Fraser and Ray enter into a relationship. They are secretive at first not wanting to endanger Ray's undercover assignment. They both well understand the necessity of lying and being discrete, of pretending they aren't in love with one another, for the safety of all involved. They know it, but it's hard to explain something like that to the heart. It's damn near killing them to be stuck in such a holding pattern. They don't want to go back, but moving forward isn't something they can do just yet.

I love the emotions of this piece. Everything so hidden, but not really. Even a blind man could see what they feel for one another. It's constantly threatening to boil over the surface. A fabulous read. As with all Speranza's stories I love it more than I could ever say. [1]

Mog Recs (2005):

Oh, I love it when they're fucked up. Fraser and Ray start a hidden relationship that revolves around a particular room at a hotel. As they get more and more desperate, everything starts to fall apart around them, leading them to try and patch up their relationship as best they can. I'm not sure I liked the epilogue as much as the fic in general, but it deals with the problems of coming out in Chicago, and the difference between Canada and the USA. [2]

thefourthvine's rec (2005):

Best FF That Features a Bonus Photo of an Ice Monster. Or a Sea Goat. Or a Whistling Tentacular Male Naga in Ritual War Paint. I Look at It Often, and I Have No Clue What It Is. Hanged Man, by Speranza, aka cesperanza. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser.

And, yeah. Today I'm recommending stories everyone's already read. Next time I'll go for some that more than one person out there hasn't already heard of, OK? But, see, certain people have to be reminded to read the famous stories, and of course some folks have to be poked to read the great stuff in fandoms they don't know. All of which is a long way to say: I refuse to feel bad about recommending these stories, including this one. Because it is great, my friends. It's about the fear of coming out; it makes the interesting point that you can come out to yourself while still totally being in denial, and you can avoid coming out to everyone else so hard, work so much to preserve Life As You Know It, that you end up making that life - well, fairly sucky. This is totally true. It also, yes, makes the first part of the story a wee bit rocky. But not kill-me-now rocky or anything. And the ending is totally happy - hell, there's four happy endings. Which, predictably, I read twice for every once that I read the whole story. (OK, yes, I'm a happy ending junkie. But that's why I'm this in love with due South in the first place, so I feel entitled to enjoy my fix in this fandom.) And if it always leaves me desperately wanting to hear all about the Basmati rice incident? Small price to pay, really.[3]

Epic Recs (2006):

This is one of my favorites. First of all, it’s Speranza, so it’s well-written and wonderful. Secondly, I love watching Ray and Fraser’s very quick and sudden epiphany, and then a whole lot of them not being able to figure their shit OUT. In the meantime, they have lots of very hot sex, which makes it only a little bit easier to watch them destroy their relationship. No worries, they’ll figure it out, but it hurts a little to get there. Flawless characterization, heartbreaking and hot and wonderful, then happy. [4]

nos4a2no9's reader comments (2007):

This is one of my favorite cesperanza stories. It's a moving and well-observed character study of both Ray and Fraser, and the way Ces crafts the burgeoning sexual relationship between the two men (which comes at the expense of their partnership) is, yes, full of porny goodness, but it's also one of the best examples I've seen of the "show don't tell" principle. Hanged Man is mainly a story about what goes unsaid between Ray and Fraser, and how they learn to find their voice together.[5]


  1. ^ 2005 rec at Crack Van
  2. ^ Mog Recs - Due South: Fic Recs, Archived version, posted Oct. 16, 2005.
  3. ^ thefourthvine. Slashy Nominations 108: The Deadliest Foe to Virtue Would Be Complete Self-Knowledge(archived) posted to livejournal 24 February 2005.
  4. ^ 2006 rec at Rec50
  5. ^ nos4a2no9. New Podfic! "Hanged Man" by Speranza (Complete), posted to livejournal 9 December 2007.