How Ray Got His Groove Back

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Fraser/Kowalski Fanfiction
Title: How Ray Got His Groove Back
Author(s): Bone and Aristide
Date(s): April 2000
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: due South
External Links: at slashcity.com
at mrks.org
cover art for this story by by Crysothemis

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How Ray Got His Groove Back is a sexually explicit Fraser/Kowalski slash story written by Bone and Aristide. The title is a play on How Stella Got Her Groove Back, a film released two years before the fic was written. Ray Kowalski's canonical ex-wife is named Stella.

In the story, Ray hasn't recovered from the divorce and is soured on romantic relationships. Fraser interrupts him when he is watching porn, and one thing leads to another.... Fraser has had a crush on Ray for a while, but Ray is unaware of his own attraction to men and only comes to realize that he has feelings for Fraser after they have a lot of sex.

The fic was made into a podfic by Zabira in 2007.[1]

Reactions/Reviews

Laura Jacquez Valentine:

On a general oral level, this one is very hot. Blowjobs (including one Ray calls "the world's most amateur"), and Fraser licking everything in sight. [2]

rec50 on LiveJournal:

This is a smutty smut fest, a very well written one, that includes some really lovely moments between Fraser and Ray. The premise is that Ray is sexually frustrated, and Fraser wants to help him out. Ray has to come to terms with being with Fraser and being with a man, and figuring out what it all means to him. He draws lines that he keeps crossing, if you know what I mean. *g* There’s also a wonderfully hot little epilogue that should be read in conjunction. This is still, behind all the scorching sex, a love story, and it really comes through.[3]

epic_recs on LiveJournal:

Bone and Aristide do Due South. You know what that means -- sex! (It shouldn't take long for you to see a running theme in B&A's fics.)

In this case, Ray's having a bad night, so he goes home to watch some porn. When Fraser stops by to check on him, well, the porn party gets a little bigger. And Fraser really is only human, after all. Which leads to moderate amounts of angst (and scandelous amounts of sex) as their relationship develops.

Like all of Bone and Aristide's collaborations, HRGHGB is sweet and smutty and really, really hot. A wonderful mood lifter at the end of a bad day. [4]

fuckyeahfraserkowalski on Tumblr:

If you're looking for some nice F/K porn, then look no further. This thing is teeming with sex. On top of that, it has realistic relationship building and the ending is a nice, subtle pay off.[5]

mysticalchild isis on Dreamwidth:

One of those stories that pretty much boils down to Fraser showing Ray a whole new world, and Ray realizing just how much he likes it; but it is smokin' hot and well characterized. [6]

estrella30 on LiveJournal:

HRGHGB should be required reading for the Due South fandom, as far as I'm concerned. The voices are so amazingly spot on the whole thing reads like an episode from the show. Except for the fact that it's All. About. Sex. [7]

from The Slash Slut:

Ray is in that protective place you get when your heart is broke and you just don't think you could stand to feel that one more time. So you swear off love and do alot of that other bullshitting crap that is only really going to last about 5 minutes in the grand scheme of things before you get hit upside the head with an 'I don't think so pal' kindof thing. Fraser is in love with him and thinking himself an idiot because he always seems to fall for the unattainable. Some things aren't so unattainable though. Ray and Fraser help each other out of a long dry spell sexually that leads to finding their way out of the desert of the heart too. This is a wonderful story that just hits the characterization of these guys so on the head that you feel like you are watching a Due South ep. Except with lots of hot sex, and I do mean lots. The way to realizing what he feels is slow for Ray, he has to get through a bunch of hetero denial about what this is to get there, but he does. He eventually stops looking at the outside and sees inward and finds out what all this is really about. It is a great story by two wonderful writers, what more could you ask for in a collaboration. Bone is one of my faves in the Sentinel fandom and she does wonderfully here too. Did I mention there was lots of hot sex in this? I did. Well, it bears repeating. This one is steaming, with a wonderful writing and characterizations to make it so much more than idyll smut. [8]

a 2003 Crack Van rec:

How Ray Got His Groove Back has been called the "ultimate slash story," and though most dS fans will have read it, no rec site worth its salt could fail to mention it. When Bone and Aristide get together, the result is magic, as any who have read their Sentinel fic will know. This is arguably their best story in any fandom, and certainly it's the most often-recommended due South slash story of all (to see the many places it's been rec'ed, you can check out my due South Slash Resources page).

Like all B&A's fics, this one is heavy, heavy, heavy on the smut - it comes by its NC-17 rating honestly. The premise: Ray is jaded and lonely after his divorce, ready to give up on love, and Fraser is longing for him in his uniquely repressed fashion. Somehow, events conspire so that Ray finds himself introducing Fraser to "the coping mechanism of the modern American male": [dialogue snipped]

So Fraser watches porn with Ray - or rather, he watches Ray watching porn, and seeing Ray's reaction finds that his legendary self control has deserted him. The result: a string of the hottest, sweetest, most sizzling sex scenes you could possibly imagine - and the sweet and tentative evolution of, yes, true love.

HRGHGB has been called a PWP, but in my book that label doesn't fit - this is one of those rare stories in which the plot is the relationship, and the relationship is the plot. As I said, I'm a big fan of (well-written) smut myself, but I recommend this fic even to those who don't typically search it out. Because though HRGHGB, like all B&A's fics, is highly smutty, it's also - again like all of B&A's fics - so much more than "just" smut. The relationship and character development are amazing, the voices staggeringly good, the dialogue witty and perfectly in character. It's funny but not farcical, sweet and tender but not sappy. Fraser's and Ray's confusion and fear and hope, and the deep underlying affection they have for each other, are so poignantly and touchingly portrayed, it makes your heart just quiver. The sex scenes are quite explicit, but they're always incredibly sexy and never crude (except when they're supposed to be, like the description of the porn vid Ray's watching). And the sex is integral to the story; through it we see, and come to understand, the characters and their relationship, their motivations and thoughts and deepest feelings.

It's hard to overstate the brilliance of this story. It's truly a classic, standing up to countless re-readings without ever losing a bit of its magic. Better yet: Bone wrote a wonderful little epilogue, which closes the loop, giving us the most satisfying ending imaginable. [9]
a 2000 rec by Xen:
I know, I know, every Due south rec page on the net recs this story, but I just discovered it, so ttthhppptt! Can we clone Bone and Aristide and force them to write 24/7? When these two get together the result is always magic. Sex magic, perhaps, but magic nonetheless <g> Ray introduces Fraser to porn, and lots of fucking ensues. How's that for a summary, heh? [10]
a rec by JR:
Geez, like this page needs another rec for a Bone and/or Aristide story. I guess it wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t such amazing writers. But they have outdone themselves with this F/K first time story. Things get a bit out of hand (pun intended) when Fraser unexpectedly drops by while Ray is... ‘coping’. Keep a glass of ice water nearby for this one. You’re gonna need it. [11]
a 2016 rec at Slash World:

Why You Should Read This: Okay, so I need to make a confession. Usually with NC17 stories, I tend to skip over a lot of the sex scenes. Not because I’m a prude or anything, but sometimes it just gets a little monotonous. There’s only so many fingerings, areola licks, rimjobs, nipple play, and blowjob scenes that this gayboy can read without rolling my eyes and going, “Been there, done that, got the glowstick.” (Yes, I know skipping sex scenes may be sacrilege. I shall submit myself for spanking post haste.)

But this fic is just so different. You’ve got Fraser, who has such a longing for Ray. And you’ve got Ray who’s only known the love of a woman, figuring things out as they go along. It all starts during a case where Fraser gets jealous of Ray paying attention to a woman, then Ray speeding off and leaving Fraser to walk home – making Fraser drop by to make sure Ray is okay. Of course Ray’s on his couch, watching porn (which he accidentally turns up to 11 in an effort to stop the tape), then invites Fraser inside (mind the boner, please!) where they sit too close to each other on the couch and Ray shows Fraser his first porn. Yeah, that’s all the beginning – and then, well, things happen.

The thing about most fics (NOT this one) is that most character development happens through a long transformative processes, lots of inner exploration, and dialogue between the characters. But in “How Ray Got His Groove Back”, forget all that mental crap. You’ve got Fraser, finally opening himself up to Ray as they masturbate on the couch together. And you’ve got Ray figuring out the “guy on guy” thing when Fraser’s got his dick in his mouth. Or when Fraser’s giving him his first rimjob. Or when Fraser comes on his face at the mere suggestion of Ray sticking his polish sausage in Fraser’s backside.

This fic is such a fun read – for so many damn reasons, but most of them the hot, hot porn. And let’s face it – if you skipped the sex scenes in this one, you’d only need like 4,000 words tops – and miss out on all the good stuff.

ps. I hope no one was offended by my attempt at humor. [12]

References

  1. How Ray Got His Groove Back entry at the Audiofic Archive.
  2. Oral Sex Fic Recs
  3. justbreathe80. How Ray Got His Groove Back, Beguiled, Posted to rec50 LiveJournal community on 6 January 2006. (Accessed 19 July 2014)
  4. jane_elliot. How Ray Got His Groove Back by Bone and Aristide (NC-17). Posted to the epic_recs LiveJournal community on 25 July 2007. (Accessed 19 July 2014)
  5. 7 February 2012 Tumblr post. (Accessed 19 July 2014)
  6. mysticalchild_isis, Archived version, November 2009
  7. The Shipper's Manifesto - Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser (Due South) (2004), Archived version
  8. Slash Slut's due South Recs Page, Archived version
  9. 2004 rec at Crack Van
  10. Slash Recs by Xen (2000)
  11. JR.'s Parlor, 2006?
  12. Slash World, 2016