The Bodyguard (due South story)
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Reactions and Reviews
Ray meets Fraser's dad.
Okay, so that's not the plot of the story (or even a very significant part of it), but OMG, it's hilarious. And awesome. And reason enough to read this fic, all by itself.
For those picky people who actually want to know about the plot: Fraser gets sexually harassed by a demented formerly-Russian, now-Canadian ballerina that he's guarding (well, this *is* due South) and calls Ray in for support. Then they have sex (*not* with the ballerina).There a *lot* of gay cop angst, but this story was written a few years ago so it's fitting for the time. To make up for it, you've got plenty relationship angst, a wonderfully outrageous OC, and the aforementioned bit with Ray and Fraser's dad (which, it cannot be said enough, is *awesome*). 
Vaguely surreal piece in which Fraser's stuck acting as a bodyguard for a frisky ex-Russian Canadian ballerina, and Kowalski's along for the ride. 
It's hard to know where to begin talking about Speranza. It's almost redundant these days to rec her due South stories - she's so prolific, so amazingly talented, so active and involved, and such a presence in the fandom that it's easy to take her for granted. In fact, it's difficult for me to believe that I've yet to rec a Speranza fic. I do have an excuse, though it's a feeble one - I just haven't been able to figure out where to start! So many of her stories are on my list of favorites, and even those that aren't are nonetheless incredible and should not be missed. I've struggled endlessly to decide what to rec - I've vacillated and changed my mind a thousand times. I'm tempted to just throw up my hands and say simply - go read everything she's written.
But that would be cheating, and besides, it would deprive me of the opportunity to talk about her stories - which is something I love to do. So I've decided that the next few days will be "Speranza days" - I'm going to rec two or three of my favorites. These are not necessarily the ones that get recommended most often, but they are the ones that I read and re-read the most. I'm beginning with The Bodyguard, which was originally published in zine form and so, in my opinion, has not received the accolades it deserves. I think it illustrates a number of Speranza's many, many strengths.
In particular, one of the things Speranza does best is capture the wacky, bizarre, slightly surreal humor that characterized the show, and The Bodyguard is a great example. Fraser finds himself responsible for babysitting a word-famous Russian diva ballerina who defected to Canada in the early '80s. Olga's a prima donna, gorgeous and high-strung and accustomed to getting what she wants, especially, it seems, when what she wants is a man. She hits on Fraser relentlessly and predatorily - if the situation were reversed it would clearly be sexual harassment - and in desperation, Fraser beseeches Ray to stay at the Consulate for the duration of her visit so he doesn't have to be alone with her. It's a great setup for zaniness, and Speranza makes the most of it, playing up the humor and surrealism of the situation without ever going overboard. In particular, Ray's conversation with Fraser's dead father about Ray's intentions toward his son is not to be missed - it could have come straight out of an episode.
But like the show itself, Speranza's fics are never one-dimensional, and there's much more to The Bodyguard than humor and zaniness. At heart this is a story about oppression, and how it takes away choices and puts people in the untenable position of having to lie whether they want to or not. It's about the consequences of having to hide - from others but also from oneself - and the difficulty of reconciling who one really is with what one must seem to be in public: [dialogue snipped]
Pretty wrenching stuff in there, seamlessly interwoven with the humor. This is a story with real depth, one that stands up to repeated re-readings (although I must say, that could describe any number of Speranza's stories).
And yet it's ultimately a happy story. There may be angst along the way, but in the end, Speranza is all about happy endings, the romantic, "fairy tale" aspect of slash - which really is canonical in due South, since Ray and Fraser literally sled off into the sunrise together in Call of the Wild, a true and classic fairy tale ending. When you pick up a Speranza fic you can count on the guys transcending whatever difficulties confront them and ending up together and happy and in love - while always remaining indisputably guys ("men only better," I think Speranza described it once). You can count on great guy-like love and tenderness, which is always incredibly satisfying - along with wonderful guy-like hot, smutty, physical sex scenes, which are also incredibly satisfying! The Bodyguard has all these things in spades.In fact, The Bodyguard really epitomizes what I love about Speranza - her trademark mix of funny, silly, deep, sweet, touching, and hot. The writing (as in all Speranza's fic) is top notch, the voices and characterizations and dialogue are deadly accurate, Olga is one of the best original characters I've ever read, the sex scenes are sizzling and real, and the guys are so damn in love you can't help but smile. It's an utterly satisfying read on every level. 
Woohoo, another Speranza! I had forgotten how good this story was until I was rereading everything by Speranza last month, and read this again. Wow. Pretty much blows me away. Anyway, the basic premise is that Fraser is responsible for guarding a Russian-born Canadian ballerina named Olga, who wants to get in his pants. Fraser pleads for Ray’s help, and in the midst of the chaos they discover secrets about each other and their own feelings. This story is wonderful, and the final sex scene is so scorchingly hot, it might possibly ignite your computer screen. Guh.