Happily Ever After Series
|Title:||Happily Ever After Series|
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The series comprises:
- East O the Sun, West O the Moon
- Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down
- The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Reactions and Reviews
the Happily Ever After series, by Hth, which has two things that normally send me screaming for the hills: a kid, and reference to Ray K as "Stanley" (though in this case it's only Fraser who refers to him that way, and for a specific reason). Yet it is among my very favorite dS fics, and it never fails to move me and astound me with its amazing characterization and gorgeous, haunting, masterful writing. And it is for me just about the ultimate Fraser/Ray K love story.
Happily Ever After is a series of three post-CotW fics, each from the (incredibly distinctive and in-character) first person POV of a different character: the first, East o'the Sun, West o'the Moon, from Fraser's; the second, Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down, from Ray V's; and the third, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, from Ray K's. It begins with Fraser and Ray K in Canada where they've been for six years, their roles in the series reversed with Ray now the liaison, partnering with Fraser to patrol vast expanses of the Northwest Territories. An unexpected phone call from Ray V, married to Stella and living in Florida, stirs up all sorts of feelings that Fraser has never dealt with or faced and results in a visit to Florida that ultimately changes their lives in a way they never asked for or anticipated.
Ray, perhaps predictably, responds to the changes better than Fraser. Hth's Fraser is tortured - he just can't seem to clearly see, either himself or others; he often chooses to ignore what he cannot face, and he is stubborn, stubborn, stubborn, unable to accept being wrong, or losing. Ray ultimately is forced to confront Fraser with his failures, and he fears that Fraser will not be able to forgive him for making him face unwelcome truths to which he has been almost wilfully bind. Ray turns out to be wrong, but his judgment of Fraser is an accurate reflection of history - it's just that Ray has underestimated himself, his own influence over and importance to Fraser.
Hth's Ray K is simply ... amazing. She perfectly captures his prickliness, his pride - "raucous, aggressive, exuberant, fiercely resilient Stanley, who found himself when he slipped the leash of the civilized world"; "urban and wild, flexible and instinctual, gentle and predatory" - and also his vulnerability, his gentleness, the depth of his feelings. Her descriptions of Ray's struggle in STS, the brutal honesty that compels him to do what is necessary to protect someone who cannot protect herself even at the risk of losing what he himself values most, and his pain at the thought of that loss and amazed joy when it doesn't materialize, are simply gorgeous.Their relationship ultimately weathers the storm, of course, and is stronger for it. That relationship - odd, subtle, mystical, almost magical - is the thing that draws me back time and again to these stories. On her site Hth says the series strikes her as kind of a ghost story, and I think I know what she means, even if there are no ghosts. [...]