True North

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Fraser/Kowalski Fanfiction
Title: True North
Author(s): Crysothemis
Date(s): 1999
Length: 375 KB
Genre: slash
Fandom: due South
External Links: at squidge.org; at mrks.org; at ao3

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True North is a Fraser/RayK, RayK/OMC story by Crysothemis.

Before her brother and Ray can start on their quest for the Hand of Franklin, Maggie Mackenzie unwittingly reveals Fraser's deepest secret."

Reactions and Reviews

The Holy Book. No really. If the universe were a righteous place, this would be canon. Crysothemis doesn't write anything badly, but when she's good, she's divine. [1]
This is one of the best Fraser/Kowalski stories I ever read. What if Ray finds out about Fraser's feelings, but doesn't jump for joy at first? What if he's shocked and confused instead? Well, you get a great story. ;) Very long and very gripping one. Oh and don't let the Ray/other keep you from reading it - this story is far too good and that scene far to short, to miss the story because of it. Enjoy! [2]
This is my most frequently re-read Due South story (though tomorrow's rec, Like a House on Fire, runs a close second) and yet it's also close to a guilty pleasure. Fraser is just this side of a doormat, Ray's gay freakout goes on *forever*, and Maggie keeps making human interaction mistakes that are more reminiscent of, well, Fraser.

And yet, this story is *addictive*. Halfway through The Quest, Fraser and Ray visit Maggie and she inadvertently tells Ray that Fraser is in love with him. Ray has a big gay freakout and goes back to Chicago, where he discovers that life without Fraser kind of sucks. So (after an incredibly awful attempt at gay sex that goes very, very badly), Ray heads up north with a box of condoms and a tube of lube and prepares to grin and bear it. Yeah, Fraser's not impressed either.

What works for me in this fic is the palatable *longing* between Fraser and Ray, coupled with the way that Ray slowly comes to grips with the idea of sleeping with men (trust me, it's not a short process). You've also got lots of trust issues (by now ya'll must have realized that's one of my biggest kinks), and misunderstandings, hope, fear, and angst all rolled up into one big ball of awesomeness. It's a story to be savored time and again. [3]
What Ray discovers about himself both in Chicago and the small town in Canada that Fraser is assigned to, makes for a fascinating story. This story contains one of my favourite kissing scenes: when Ray returns after an absence there is an absolutely sweet scene at the airport where Ray rushes out into Fraser's arms and kisses him in front of everyone, blocking the walkway. <Blissful sigh> Well written. [4]
Note: This story is mainly BF/RK, but there is a little RK/OMC in here too. It's mainly when Ray is freaking and having some big old hetero angst. Trying to decide if he could ever be attracted to a man and whether he wants to be with Fraser in that way or not. Don't you think it's about time I rec'd something by Crysothemis? I sure do. It took me forever to be able to read this story. It was mainly that RK/OMC thing I mentioned above. As far as I'm concerned RayK and the Mountie belong together, the end. So when I started out in the fandom and wasn't sure which writers I liked and which I didn't, I tended to skim through a story just to see if it appealed to my tastes. When I saw Ray fucking some guy other than Fraser I hit the back button. I kept seeing the story rec'd all over the place though, but still I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I eventually read some of Crys' other stories and finally my curiosity got the better of me so I said to hell with it and read True North. Well, once I read the story I loved it. Took me a while and several re-readings to rec it though. I had to figure out what I wanted to say about it and how to convince someone who, like me, had gotten turned off by Ray and that OMC to read it. First off, mainly all you need to know about that guy is Ray is trying to figure himself out at that point and he really doesn't like being with the guy that much. You can get the general gist of it and skip over it if that part bugs you. I skimmed it and got why he was doing it. So you can skim over it too if that helps and still get the understanding of the why's if you don't like anyone but Ray and the Mountie. There's plenty of BF/RK in the story, I promise you. In this story Ray and Fraser are on their adventure together. Right at the beginning we come in on the moment when Ray inadvertently finds out that Fraser has feelings for him that extend beyond friendship. When Ray finds out he gets a little pissed wondering if that is the only reason Fraser wants him around. He gets uncomfortable, has a moment of homophobic angst, freaks out, and goes home. Once he gets there though all he can think about is Fraser, he misses him, and wonders if it wouldn't be so bad to be with him. So he tries to sort himself out so he can get back to Fraser. That's only half the story really. Once he does find his way back, he has to work through what is some heavy denial so that he can really be with Fraser. It's a slow process for him figuring out that he really is in love with the Mountie and opening himself up to it. It's not all that difficult for him once he does to realize he really is attracted to Fraser. It's a nice long read. That's filled with plenty of angst, denial, love, acceptance, and hot sex. What more could you want really? If you haven't read this story already and loved it, maybe you should give it try. I did and wasn't disappointed. Go ahead, give it a try. You know you just might want to.<g> [5]
An instant favorite of mine, one that's probably been recommended from here to kingdom come and back, but that's because it's so damn good. What if Ray didn't instantly fall into Fraser's arms - what if, in fact, he needed some serious time and distance to come to his own conclusions about being with Fraser? This story makes it seem plausible, natural, and absolutely worth waiting for. It's another long story, but every word is precious, and I hated to realize I was nearing the end. [6]
"Post-Call of the Wild fiction" is practically a genre unto itself in dS fanfic--stories that follow Fraser and RayK after that moment when they sled off together into the sunrise, and conjecture a future for them. Within this genre, "True North" is a classic; it was one of the first (if not *the* first) long, substantial post-CotW stories out there, and I think serves as a kind of landmark for everyone else writing such stories (even if one is sort of writing against it, as I have done). I'll admit it's not my favorite post-CotW story--I have quibbles with the characterizations here and there--but it holds an enduring place in the affections of dS fans, or at least those of the F/RK persuasion. Crys is a solid and skillful writer, and she does a lovely job of leading the reader into an emotionally convicing dark woods, and then back out into the sunlight of a happy ending. [7]
This story hit every one of my angst buttons. I was sniffling through most of this long (384K!) meaty, post-Call of the Wild piece. Fraser sister Maggie accidently lets the cat out of the bag about Fraser's feelings for Ray, and Ray bolts. What follows is a long, emotional journey for Ray, one that I find incredibly honest and down to earth. I believed it, and thoroughly enjoyed going on this rollar coaster ride with Ray. [8]
During the quest to find the Hand of Franklin, Fraser and RayK stop over to see Maggie, who accidentally reveals Fraser's love for Ray. Unable to cope with his partner's feelings, Ray returns to Chicago, but finds himself unable to forget about Fraser and move on with his life. True North deals with Ray coming to terms with both Fraser's and his own feelings. Beautifully written! [9]
I’ve been meaning to rec this story forever, but every time I read it again (yes, I have read it *that* many times), I kept forgetting to move it to my ‘must-rec’ folder. This is, IMHO, one of the absolute best RK/BF stories out there. When Maggie accidentally reveals Ben’s secret, Ray runs back to Chicago. What follows is a long, beautifully written journey of self-discovery for Ray. Painfully realistic, I cannot praise Crysothemis enough for writing this gem. [10]

This is one of those stories, where, when you finish reading it, you suddenly realise that - hey, you're actually *not* in a cabin in Inuvik, that your eyes and back kinda hurt, that the sun's moved quite a lot since you sat down, and that the cat's been demanding to know where the fuck you get off forgetting to feed him for quite a while now.

This is what a really well researched story looks like when a writer as good as Crys pays attention to detail. One to savour. [11]

References

  1. ^ 2000 rec at Recommended stories -- mostly due South
  2. ^ Recs by Allaire; WebCite
  3. ^ Epic Recs, 2007
  4. ^ Madrigal's Fanfiction Recs: Due South., Archived version
  5. ^ Slash Slut's due South Recs Page, Archived version
  6. ^ Slash Story Recommendations - due South, Highlander, Various Fandoms, Archived version
  7. ^ 2003 rec at Crack Van
  8. ^ Slash Recs by Xen (2000)
  9. ^ Due South Recs by primekaos, 2004
  10. ^ JR.'s Parlor, 2006?
  11. ^ Recs by Mia, around 2001