Surviving (due South story)
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Reactions and Reviews
Long and ever-so slightly too-complicated story about Vecchio dying only not-dying and being set-up and Kowalski missing Fraser, and Fraser having left him and Kowalski smoking too much and dying and not-dying. Lalejandra's writing is as sophisticated as ever and I think my slight confusion may possibly have stemmed from never seeing an episode of Due South post-actual-Vecchio. Or something. 
For one of my last recs [as my stint as Crack Van reccer], I’ve decided to highlight an author who is relatively new to this fandom (though I’m sure many of you are familiar with her brilliance in other fandoms, such as The O.C., Everwood, Lotrips, BTVS, HP, Lost, and damn the woman gets around, doesn’t she?). Anywho, if I’m not mistaken, this was her first novel-length contribution to due South, posted just a few weeks ago, and it's definitely an insta-rec.
Set years after CoTW, with Ray in Chicago, Fraser in Canada, and a lot of unresolved issues between them. Naturally, circumstances arrange for them to meet again and…well, you’ll see. But if you think this is going to be one of your everyday ordinary they-broke-up-and-were-unhappy-and-oh!-they've-reunited-and-love-is-triumphant sort of stories, you're in for a surprise.
lalejandra’s RayK voice is amazing- it’s raw, intense, and so, so powerful. Her take on Fraser and Ray is angsty, sure, but it feels so original. Because this is an OTP fandom for sure, a happy ending is practically guaranteed. You don’t find many stories (outside of Ray/Ray) that seriously consider the possibility that maybe Ray and Fraser wouldn’t work out, or even if they should.If that wasn't enough, there are OCs who are sharply drawn and wonderful and you care about them too. What's really great about it, though, is how deftly lalejandra handles the mystery of the piece, so that you have to keep reading to find out what happens, not only with the case, but with Fraser and Ray too. Read it. Trust me, once you start this one, it’s going to grab you and not let you go. 
Okay, we’ve all read those post-CotW stories where RayK and Fraser break up and they’re both miserable and living thousands of miles apart and it’s really all the result of some terrible misunderstanding and if they would just talk to each other everything would be fine. But because they’re boys, they never say the magic words that would fix everything, and that leads to more heartbreak and anguish. Silly boys.
So this is one of those kind of stories. And it isn’t. It’s set four years after a Tragic Event splits the guys up; Ray has been living in Chicago and generally watching his life disintegrate. He’s getting older, he’s drinking and smoking too much, and he’s lonely and horny and heartbroken. The murder of a young gay man and a puzzling mob-related case starts bringing up old history, and Ray is forced to ask Fraser to return to American and help with the case. The story is much more complex and dark and, dare I say it, noirish than I’m making it sound here. Lalejandra has a fantastic gift for dialogue and for getting RayK’s voice to sound pitch-perfect on the page (or screen) and the embedded flashbacks to happier times for Ray and Fraser are scorchingly hot and sad all at once. I also appreciated her original characters: they seem like fully-fleshed human beings rather than the deus ex machinas OCs sometimes become. So: dialogue, great characterization and well-handled OCs; what more do you want?How about teh sex? 
Yes this one is rather long and that's part of the reason I saved it for last another reason is because I had forgotten how good it is. This story has it all drama, humor, love, sarcasm, and most of all it's well written and something I could see happening in real life. WARNINGS: smoking!RayK 
Ray and Fraser stay together in Canada post-COTW, but their relationship ends when Fraser thinks he catches Ray and Stella kissing at Ray Vecchio’s funeral. When Vecchio seems to be connected to some crimes happening in Chicago, Ray starts to investigate him. They bring Fraser in to help, even though Ray and Fraser haven’t seen each other in four years. Lalejandra is a wonderful writer, who conveys so much with her language. I love this story because Ray’s pain is so real and frank and they are just so bitter and still in love. 
- Mog Reads
- 2005 rec at Crack Van by merelyn, crack_van: Surviving by lalejandra (NC-17), Archived version, posted to livejournal 2005-03-28.
- 2006 rec at Crack Van by nos4a2no9. Surviving by Lalejandra (NC-17), Archived version, posted to livejournal 2006-11-02.
- 2009 rec by kari herminone at Crack Van
- 2006 rec at Rec50