Like a House on Fire

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Fraser/Kowalski Fanfiction
Title: Like a House on Fire
Author(s): Beth H. and Kellie Matthews
Date(s): 2002
Length: 582KB
Genre: slash
Fandom: due South
External Links: at Kellie's website, at Beth's website, at due Slash

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Like a House on Fire is a Fraser/RayK Bayliss/Kowalski story by Beth H. and Kellie Matthews.

Reactions and Reviews

Do I really need to keep recommending stories Kellie Matthews has a hand in writing? Probably not, but this one deserves special mention. Set after the end of the series, Ray returns to Canada after a long, complete absence from Fraser's life. What I loved most about this story was the reversal of some DS fanfic standards. For once, it's Fraser life that is slowly deteriorating, and it's Ray who is the stabilizing force that is needed to make things right. Loved it, loved it, loved it. [1]
Why this must be read: Because Kellie and Beth wrote it! Duh!

No, seriously, it is a wonderful story. It is set about 2 years after COTW and Fraser has gone back to Canada -- without Ray. Ray is still in Chicago working as a cop. They keep in touch, but have sort of drifted apart as friends do who are separated.

Ray gets a chance to go to Canada (taking a prisoner there) and goes to see Fraser and wouldn't you know they immediately get involved in a case together. Plus, they soon realize that they have a lot of unfinished business between them -- like long denied feelings, but will fate and their jobs keep them apart again?

This is an amazingly rich and realistic story, wrought with emotion and yes, humor. I love it more every time I read it. [2]
Set about 2 years after COTW and Fraser has gone back to Canada -- without Ray. Ray is still in Chicago working as a cop. They keep in touch, but have sort of drifted apart as friends do who are separated. Ray gets a chance to go to Canada (taking a prisoner there) and goes to see Fraser and wouldn't you know they immediately get involved in a case together. Plus, they soon realize that they have a lot of unfinished business between them -- like long denied feelings, but will fate and their jobs keep them apart again? [3]
Whenever I think about this story I get excited all over, which is pretty impressive seeing as I've read it nearly as often as I've read Pride and Prejudice. It's got a lovely mix of everything: angst, humor, and an original premise that really works for me.

The vast majority (read: all the fics I've ever read but this one and Blueprint) of post-CotW fic wherein Ray returns to Chicago while Fraser stays in Canada have Ray losing his shit about being all alone until he feels compelled to track Fraser down and (awkwardly) declare his love. Of course, knowing Ray as we do that makes perfect sense, but this story shows us another very possible reality: Fraser, lacking the support network he spent three or four years building and no longer having snotty supervisors to butt heads against, finds himself at loose ends and starts to let himself go. Meanwhile, Ray, having a solid support network for the first time in a very long time (maybe ever), has settled down and matured into the responsibility of his job and his life. When Ray goes to Canada to testify against a Canadian criminal caught in America, Fraser realizes just how far he's sunk (which: this is Fraser, so his definition of 'sunk' and our definition of 'sunk' aren't exactly on the same level) and is forced to confront himself about what that means regarding his life and how much he misses his time in Chicago.

Fraser and Ray are just fabulous in this story: time has passed and they've changed a little (something that doesn't happen often enough in fanfic), but they're still the boys we know and love. They're backed with a whole town of interesting original Canadian characters, cameos from all of our DS favorites, and a long, engaging plot. One of the absolute best DS fics ever written. [4]
Long, plotty, lovely. I'm strapped for words, because they've used all the good ones. Go and read. [5]
Very long but totally engrossing post 'Call of the Wild' story. Two years after the last episode Fraser and RayK have partly fallen out of touch. After escorting a prisoner to Canada, RayK decides to look up his old friend and is shocked to find Fraser isn't as happy and as comfortable to be back home as everyone expected. Slowly they confront their feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction of lives without each other as they hunt for an arsonist with apparent links to Zoltan Motherwell. [6]

Why You Should Read This: I’m newer to the due South fandom, and this came recommended to me. While most post-series stories in due South fandom focus on Ray moving up North to Canada to live with Fraser, this one takes a decidedly different tact. Instead, Fraser has moved up to Canada, while Ray stayed back in Chicago. Ray gets a chance to head North on a prisoner-transport case, and gives Fraser a surprise visit.

Fraser, as we find out, has let himself go a bit, as he’s languished at a boring new assignment in small-town Canada. His care and feelings for Ray, while at the same time being so reserved because he’s gained some weight, makes him feel so much more real as a character. Ray and Fraser dance around each other for a while, even through a Chicago-related case that happens in Fraser’s small town, and the payoff is spectacular. If you’ve ever wanted to read a feel-good first time fic in this fandom, this is the one.

This is an epically long read, but it’s honestly one of the absolute best fics in all of due South fandom. [7]

References

  1. JR.'s Parlor, 2006?
  2. 2004 rec at Crack Van
  3. Whispered Words; WebCite
  4. Epic Recs, 2007
  5. Slash Story Recommendations - due South, Highlander, Various Fandoms, Archived version
  6. Due South Recs by primekaos, 2004
  7. Slash World, 2016