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Fic: Death is not a threat

Fandom: due South
Summary: A rooftop chase doesn't end the way Fraser expected.
Rating: PG
Length: 425 words
Challenge: An over-grown and late response to ds_snippets challenge #2:
When are you thinking of disappearing?
When are you falling off the map?
When the unknown that you're fearing's in the clearing?
When your world's gone flat?

(from "Nothing But Heartache In Your Social Life," Gordon Downie)
Thanks to: My beta, somewhatdeluded for a spotting where I was losing momentum.


Benton smiled as the suspect, Thomas Jefferson, swarmed up a fire escape and fired on them from the roof. Rooftop chases were the most exhilarating.

Diefenbaker jumped through an open window adjacent to the fire escape to intercept their target. Ray laid down covering fire, then climbed to the rooftop as the suspect retreated. He paused, cursing, to clear a jam from his weapon. Benton had climbed to the roof of the adjacent building and ran at full-speed, pulling ahead of Jefferson. He hurled himself over the gap, skidding to a halt directly in front of the arms dealer.

"Kindly stop and hand over the illegal automatic weapon, sir."

This was a maneuver he and Diefenbaker had perfected over a hundred chases. Benton would provide a distraction while Diefenbaker … where was Diefenbaker?

A distant thump and anguished yelp answered his unspoken question. Diefenbaker was trapped behind the rooftop door, chained shut in clear violation of fire regulations.

Ah.

Six meters separated him from the gunman. Too far to rush; too close to hope for a missed shot.

A woman's voice whispered seductively through his mind. Death is not a threat, but a promise made at birth. The world flattened around him, losing all color and sound. Benton shivered at the sudden chill.

Sunlight glinted on the barrel of the AR-15 as Jefferson raised it to his shoulder slowly; so slowly.

So this was how it ended. Not frozen in a desolate crevasse. Not drowned in deep waters. Not kicked to death in an alleyway. Not blown apart in a fiery explosion. Just the clean, echoing shots of an assault rifle on a Chicago rooftop. Fallen in the line of duty.

It was no worse than Benton had expected, and far better than he had feared.

Benton met Jefferson's gaze and saw the man's stance change, bracing against the recoil for an accurate shot. Ray tackled Jefferson from behind just as he fired. Bullets stitched across the rooftop within a few feet of Benton as the two men crashed to the floor.

Curiously, the arms dealer seemed more intent on shooting him than on winning the wrestling match with Ray. Jefferson kicked his way free and leveled the rifle at him once again from his prone position. Ray reached out and grabbed the hot barrel, pulling it out of line. His choked-off cry of pain roused Benton from his slack-muscled daze.

Benton moved forward to assist, dizzy and fey with relief at his escape. Not even Death could touch him. Ray would not allow it.

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Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
dessert_first
Feb. 24th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Very good. I find action so challenging to write, and you've done such a great, vivid job, and such good POV. Also? Ray saves the day, *and* gives us kind of a creepy ending. What's not to love?
keerawa
Feb. 24th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dessert_first!

I personally find the middle just as creepy as the end, but that's me.
(no subject) - dessert_first - Feb. 24th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keerawa - Feb. 24th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dessert_first - Feb. 25th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC) - Expand
kill_claudio
Feb. 24th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
Wow, I really love this. It's incredibly difficult to write about Fraser and death, to get that balance between the natural fear of death we all have and Fraser's ultimate acceptance of his fate. I thought this was pitched perfectly. \o/

And, just out of curiosity, where's the title/quote from?
keerawa
Feb. 24th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you, kill_claudio!

cesperanza's "Scrabble" made one hell of an impression on me when I read it last year. And although I wouldn't push it as far as her interpretation does, I'll say this. The risks Fraser takes, he either doesn't believe he can be killed, or he doesn't really care if he is. This story touches on both.

As for the title, when the line first popped into my head I assumed it was a quote. But when I went searching for the original, I wasn't able to find any trace of it. A few dark jokes were a bit like it, one Buddhist text followed sort of the same idea, but nothing that close. So either it's obscure, or I'm quoting myself.
(no subject) - kill_claudio - Feb. 24th, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
sam80853
Feb. 24th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
RAY!!!!!!!!!!! \o/

OMG! This could have ended bad ....

Not even Death could touch him. Ray would not allow it.
keerawa
Feb. 24th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yet another close call. Fraser has lots of them. Diefenbaker and Ray, between them, just manage to keep up.

Thanks for the comment, sam!
j_s_cavalcante
Feb. 24th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
Wow--really good! It's suspenseful...I wasn't sure you weren't going to kill him at least temporarily. And how much do I LOVE Ray saving him???? YAY!!

(And then they had sex.) :)
keerawa
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
Kill Fraser ... temporarily? *boggles* Well, it's fanfiction. I suppose I could do that, if I wanted to.

I'll leave the porny epilogue to the imagination.

Thanks for the feedback!
(no subject) - j_s_cavalcante - Feb. 25th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC) - Expand
springwoof
Feb. 25th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
excellent character piece--even better, within an action sequence. I love poor Dief's anguished yelp at his failure to provide backup.

And "Not even Death could touch him. Ray would not allow it."
::swoons:: it's interesting what that says about *Ray* as well as Fraser
keerawa
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
Dief knows how much Fraser relies on him.

True, it IS a comment on Ray, as well. Wanna hear a secret?
*whispers* I don't know which Ray this is. When I was writing the piece, my mental picture shifted between teh two of them.
(no subject) - springwoof - Feb. 25th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
slidellra
Feb. 25th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
Oh, this is disturbing and fascinating and exciting and beautifully written. And YAY for ds_snippets helping inspire it.
keerawa
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
I love me a Hero with Issues. Thank you, slidellra!

I'm terrible with deadlines, but challenges do inspire me.
mickeymvt
Feb. 25th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
Oh Fraser. So brave yet always taking risks. Sure glad that Ray's around to save the day.
keerawa
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
Me too! Thanks for the comment, mickey.
eledhwenlin
Feb. 25th, 2007 11:35 am (UTC)
This was lovely. :D
keerawa
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it, Eledhwenlin!
viciouscats
Feb. 25th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
I love this. :)
keerawa
Feb. 26th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know, viciouscats!
themoo37
Feb. 25th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
Almost Deathfic
When I first started reading I was thinking it was a deathfic and you might have forgotten the warning, hee hee. Nice piece of work, very suspenseful. Tight and meaningful. Good form.
keerawa
Feb. 26th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC)
Re: Almost Deathfic
I would NEVER post a death fic without some type of warning. Thank you for letting me know you liked it, moo!
vsee
Mar. 3rd, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC)
:::turns virutal page over, looking hopefully for the rest of the story:::: (Which is not to say that this isn't incredibly cool on its own!)

Great tension and creepy mood. Well done.

Vee
keerawa
Mar. 3rd, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Vee! I was sort of going for creepy here.
unovis
Apr. 5th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
Echoes of the others -- nicely described action, and I see what you were talking about. It works well.
keerawa
Apr. 6th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
Thank you, unovis!
luzula
May. 23rd, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Here's your surprise birthday feedback!

I'd missed this one, probably because it's one of your earlier fics. I find it really intense, partly because of the good details in the action scene, but mostly because of Fraser's response to the threat of dying. *shivers* I wonder whose voice that is he's hearing. And this is a good line:

It was no worse than Benton had expected, and far better than he had feared.

Also, the arms dealer trying to get loose in order to shoot him is fascinating to me. It's like Fraser is breaking the logic of what you can do when you don't have a gun and the other guy does, and the arms dealer wants to put him down because Fraser's kind of asking for it.
keerawa
May. 23rd, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
Yay birthday feedback!

Fraser's response to the threat of dying
This Fraser is really quite broken. I'm glad you mentioned the arms dealer's response to Fraser - I noticed several 'bad guys' in the show who respond to him this way.

Thank luzula, I'm glad you enjoyed!
(Deleted comment)
keerawa
Apr. 1st, 2011 05:24 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's incredibly dysfunctional, but I can so see Fraser thinking it.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )