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dS fic: "Death-Defying" 3/3

I got to the address, and it was a boarded-up, abandoned house. The kind I used to chase drunks and junkies out of once a week like clockwork back when I walked a beat. There was a light flickering up on the second floor.

I put on my glasses, pulled out my flashlight and gun, and walked up the stairs, quick and careful as I could. They creaked.

"Ray, you're just in time! Come up and join us," Fraser called out.

When I reached the second floor, there was a lantern on the floor. Fraser was standing in the near-right corner of the room. Frankie Drake was duct-taped to a chair in the middle. Drake was gagged, and his hair was greased down with sweat. I could smell him from the stairs.

"How'd you find him?" I asked, trying to buy a little time while I figured out what to do.

"It was easy, Ray – I was certain your investigation would bear fruit sooner or later. So I followed you. When you staked out Mr. Drake's apartment, I knew it must be the place. Mr. Drake came running out less than a minute after you drove off."

"Fraser, that's … really annoying. Do you even know if he's the right guy?"

Fraser held out a photo. I holstered my weapon, walked over and took it from him. The photo showed six men in hunting gear, standing in the snow. Five were respectable citizens in their late forties. And then there was Frankie Drake. Yeah, one of these things is not like the others. I stuck the photo in my pocket.

"Now Mr. Drake," Fraser said, "would I have invited a police detective to join us if I had no intention of letting you go?" He ripped the tape off of Drake's mouth.

Drake spat out a white cloth. "He's your pocket-cop, probably just called him in to get rid of the body."

"On the contrary, Diogenes himself would have been satisfied had he found Ray. Let's get down to business. I need the name of the man who hired you to kill Sergeant Robert Fraser."

I guess Fraser wanted me to sit in on the interrogation. I moved to the left corner of the room, so I could keep an eye on both Drake and Fraser for the duration.

"No way," Drake said, shaking his head back and forth. "No fucking way. He'll kill me."

Fraser pulled out a knife and started cleaning under his nails with it. "I can't be certain, not knowing the man in question, but it's highly unlikely he'd be willing or able to do anything worse to you than I could. I assume you know my reputation?"

"Yeah," Drake said, "but you're quick and clean, not –"

Fraser threw the knife. It quivered in the wood of the chair between Drake's wrists, and he let out a little yelp. Fraser stepped up to Drake, pulled the knife out of the chair, slid around behind him, and bent down so his mouth was right next to Drake's ear.

"But you see, none of those were personal. None of them killed my father." Fraser said.

Drake looked pale as milk. Fraser definitely had bad cop covered, so I stepped in to try a little good cop.

"Drake, all you need to do is give up a name. I'll take you out of here, book you, and get you into a nice, safe cell. You're not the one Fraser really wants. Right, Fraser?"

"No," he murmured, in a voice that promised violence in the dark, "I'd prefer the man who ordered the hit. But I'll settle for the one who carried it out."

I had to swallow a little before I could talk. "See? He'll be satisfied with you in jail. So just give up the name, and we all make it out of here."

Drake looked confused, unsure. This was the point in the interrogation where I'd take a break, get some coffee, let the guy's own nerves break him down. Fraser had other plans.

He strode to the far edge of the room and came back with a gas can that sloshed as he walked. He moved in front of Drake.

"The ancient Persians cremated their dead," Fraser said as he unscrewed the cap. "That's well-established. However, some scholars have recently suggested that if one of their great heroes fell in battle, the Persians would burn a dozen captured enemy soldiers alive on his pyre."

Fraser poured the gasoline over Drake's head, careful not to splash any on himself. Drake choked and gasped as it slid down his face, onto his clothes. The smell of the gas filled the room. "This guaranteed that their hero would be granted the appropriate status in the after-life."

I was pretty sure that Fraser wouldn't really do it, but … fuck. My first partner was a big believer in using phonebooks to get confessions, but he had nothing on Fraser for hardball interrogation.

Fraser took a few steps back, tossed the empty can aside, and pulled out a lighter. "I think my father might appreciate an escort, don't you, Mr. Drake?" Fraser flicked the lighter, lighting up his cold, empty face.

"Gerard!" Drake screamed. "His name was Gerard. I met him in Toronto, and he paid me 40 grand to off the Mountie."

Fraser's eyes narrowed. "Gerard?" he said. "Was he a Mountie as well?"

"I don't know," Drake said. Fraser raised an eyebrow. "I don't fucking know! It's not like I make 'em fill out a resume!"

Fraser's lip curled. "There's more to being a professional than taking their money, you know."

I pulled out my notepad, asked questions, and wrote down all the details as Fraser paced around the room like a tiger at the zoo. Drake was very, very cooperative. None of it was admissible in court, but I'd know just what to ask once I got Drake back to an Interrogation Room. Finally I ran out of questions.

"Do you have everything you need, Ray?" Fraser asked.

I nodded.

"Excellent," he said, stepping behind Drake and pulling his gun.

"Fraser, stop," I yelled, and my gun was out, pointing at him.

Drake whispered, "You promised."

"It's my nature, said the scorpion," Fraser told Drake, which made no sense.

"I cannot let you shoot this guy, Fraser. You called me into this. You called me. And I get that he killed your dad, I get that, but he is my prisoner now, and I am gonna make sure he goes to jail for it. So you put that gun down, or I will shoot you dead."

Fraser was looking at me with a sunny little smile, his gun still aimed at Drake. "You do what you need to do, Ray."

I breathed out and focused in, finger on the trigger, ready to take the shot.

Fraser's gun hand trembled. Wait. That was wrong. The deadly calm man who had faced me down on a rooftop last week wouldn't do that. I suddenly remembered Fraser asking me if I could kill again, and my answer to him; that I could, to protect someone.

And then I knew why Fraser had called me in to watch him question Drake, instead of taking care of business himself. It wasn't to prove his innocence. And it wasn't to bring Drake into custody. Those were side benefits, sure.

But Fraser invited me here because I was a shooter. And then he threatened Drake, to give me the perfect excuse.

"Forget this," I told Fraser, and holstered my gun. "If your big plan is for me to shoot you, that's just dumb."

Fraser didn't say anything. He blinked at me with his mouth half-open, like I'd just colored his sky in with a green crayon and he wasn't sure what to do about it.

I walked around Drake, pushed aside Fraser's arm, still holding the gun, and gently hip-checked him out of the way so I could get to the duct tape. It was slick, covered in gasoline. "You gonna help, Fraser, or just stand there with your dick in your hands?"

"With my - oh, of course, Ray." And then he was there, with his handy knife, sawing away at the duct tape. I cuffed Drake and read him his rights. Then the two of us pretty much carried Drake down to my Chevy and put him in the back seat. I didn't even want to think about what the combination of gas and, I sniffed, yep, urine was going to do to the upholstery.

I closed the door on Drake, and tilted my head to invite Fraser back inside. We picked up his lantern, blew it out, and walked down the stairs. I talked a guy off a ledge once. I hoped I could do the same for Fraser. I sat down in the deep shadows at the bottom of the stairs, and he sat next to me.

"So what's next for you, Fraser?" I asked.

"Honestly, Ray, I've no idea. I rather thought I was done with making plans."

I listened to him breathing in the darkness; felt him pressed up against my shoulder. "You know, I asked Denny what he wanted to be doing when he was thirty. He didn't think he'd ever get there."

"He was right," Fraser said in a gruff voice.

"Yeah, I think that's the kind of prediction that pretty much always come true. So you need to come up with some kind of plan, Fraser. And if its to try this suicide-by-cop thing with somebody else, I'm gonna get jealous."

That startled a little huff of a laugh out of him.

"Were you serious about retiring?"

"I don't know. It's not that easy, Ray."

"It could be." I reached out in the dark and put my arm around his shoulders. "It's like … life gave you lemons, and you made lemonade, right?"

"Yes, I suppose I did."

"Right. And you drank your lemonade, Fraser. The whole pitcher, down to the last drop. So now you could go make some more lemonade. Or maybe, if you want, you could make yourself a nice pot of coffee instead. You see what I'm saying?"

"Yes, I…" Fraser slumped a little. "No, not really."

"I'm saying that your life sucked. Bad things happened. Your Mom, your family, Joe. Lots of bad things. But you did what you could, right? You took out some monsters that would have hurt a lot of people. There's a village down in Colombia that thinks you're their hero. Even Denny – he told me you saved him from something nasty. You did good. More than me, and I been a cop, I been trying. So now, I think you earned the right to walk away from the job, and the death, and all this cops and robbers bullshit. Just walk away from all that crap, and make a real life for yourself."

Fraser leaned in against me. He took a deep, shuddering breath and let it out slowly. I moved my hand up from his shoulder to his head, gently brushed my fingers through his hair. God, he smelled good. "You deserve to be happy, Fraser."

We sat there for a while, until my ass got sore. "Come on. I gotta get Drake back to the precinct."

We walked out to the car together. I pulled out my keys, and Fraser pinned me up against the car from behind, arms on either side. "Ray," he said. I felt his nose move through the short hairs at the back of my neck. He sniffed, nuzzled, and then his lips brushed behind my ear. My skin was electric, alive with the heat of him pressed up against me. "You're my one man in a thousand, Ray."

I felt the cold as he stepped away. By the time I turned around, he was gone.

"See you around, Fraser," I called out to the night.


Drake sang like a bird as soon as I got him into an Interrogation Room back at the station. Only question he didn't answer was when the lieutenant stepped in to ask why he was covered in gasoline.

Driving home, I start feeling down. Real down. Maybe I'd just been working in the same precinct too long, because everywhere I looked in these neighborhoods, I saw a crime scene. I checked them off in my head as I drove past.

The bar where one guy stabbed the other guy. The alley where that waitress got raped. The corner where a little kid got caught in a drive-by. The bookstore where an armed robber assaulted the owner.

A bookstore. I pulled into a parking spot on the street.

'Hammond's Used and Rare Books.' I'd been in there six months ago. Mr. Hammond had gotten beat up, bad, for the $62 in his register. All I'd been able to do was take his statement, and let him ID the body of his attacker when the guy showed up as a John Doe in the morgue two days later from an overdose.

The sign on the door said, 'Closed', but the shop was still lit-up, so I knocked. Mr. Hammond came to the door. He was about sixty years old, tall and skinny, hair gone white, wearing an argyle sweater.

"Detective!" He said, opening the door. "What can I do for you?" He looked tired, but had a smile for me. I could still see where the bastard had broken his nose.

"Hi, Mr. Hammond. I, uh, I had a question, thought maybe you could help?"

"I'll certainly try. Come right in."

I stepped inside. Mr. Hammond ushered me into his shop, and then turned to lock up. I looked around the store. There was one little table for an old-fashioned register, with a comfy-looking chair next to it. Other than that, the place was packed with books, floor to ceiling. It even smelled like books, old and musty, but not in a bad way.

"Would you like some coffee?" Mr. Hammond asked.

"Nah. This shouldn't take long."

He settled down in his chair with a sigh and looked up at me.

I leaned back against the counter. "Okay. So. This guy, he said something to me. It sounded like a quote, maybe, and I hoped you could help me figure out where it's from."

"Is this for a case?" Mr. Hammond asked, perking right up.

I didn't even know anymore, so I shrugged.

"Well, what did he say?" I could tell Mr. Hammond was getting impatient.

"He said … he said I was his 'one man in a thousand.' That mean anything to you?"

Mr. Hammond sat back in his chair with a quiet, "Oh," and closed his eyes. When he opened them they were dark and wet.

"You okay, sir?" I asked.

"Yes, yes, I'm fine. The quote is … quite familiar to me. Just a moment."

He stood up and walked along one aisle, bent down slowly and pulled a small book from the shelf. He looked in the front, and then flipped to a particular page as he walked back to me. "Here," he said, holding it out.

I took the book and read what was on the page.

ONE man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin you.

His wrong’s your wrong, and his right’s your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men’s sight—
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can’t bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot—and after!

I swallowed hard. "Could I … could I buy this book, please, Mr. Hammond?"

"Of course, Detective. That'll be five dollars."

I turned the book over. It was a pretty little thing, covered in red leather. Old, but in good shape. "You sure? It looks like it's worth more."

He looked at me sharply. "I think I know what to charge for my own books."

Yeah. Just like I know what to do with a criminal when I catch him. I handed over a five-dollar bill and took my book back to my darkened apartment.

The next day I was trying to finish Drake's arrest report. It was hard to concentrate. I kept opening my drawer to touch the little red book I'd tucked in there when I got to work that morning. I was just getting to the creative part of the report when a call came in.

"Kowalski, one of my men spotted Ben Fraser at that grave, just like you said," Sergeant Harahan told me. "You want in on the arrest, you'd better hustle. Sounds like we've got a high-speed chase on our hands."

I slammed the phone down, grabbed my coat off the back of the chair, and ran. I bullied Transportation into handing me the keys to a patrol car. I'd need the sirens and lights. In the car I put the radio on, and threw the car onto the roads. The sun was already sinking below the horizon, and I was running out of time. I navigated the traffic that didn't pull over by instinct and peripheral vision, all my attention focused on the radio.

Fraser was heading north, out of the city. He'd pulled onto I-83. State Patrol had picked up the pursuit. There were two choppers on him now. And I was gaining on him, almost there, but they'd set a trap, had him boxed in on the Kingery Highway Bridge.

I pulled up behind six state patrol vehicles blocking this side of the bridge, flashed my badge at a cop that wanted me to stop, and ran up the bridge. There was a man with a bullhorn bellowing something. Fraser was pinned by a chopper's spotlight at the highest point of the bridge, leaning on the railing.

"Fraser!" I yelled.

He turned, waved at me, and then jumped over the side. Without thinking, without letting myself think, I ran for the side and jumped off after him. I hadn't even looked, but as I was falling, I realized the water was further down than the 15-20 feet that we had for Chicago bridges.

I took a deep breath, held it, and the water smashed into me. It made me let go of my air, and when I tried to get a breath, cold water poured into my mouth, then I was, I was surrounded by it, and it was dark, and I couldn't tell which way was up. I tried kicking but it didn't help. Something grabbed me from behind, and I tried to hit it, but then I recognized Fraser's big, warm hand. I went limp and let him do his thing.

He dragged me out onto the shore, facedown. It was muddy, and rocky, and ow. Fraser was petting my hair. "Ray, oh god, Ray, not you too."

I pushed up onto my hands and knees and puked out some water. "I'm okay," I gasped.

Fraser stood up. "What the hell were you thinking, jumping like that?" he said in a loud, angry whisper.

"You did," I choked out.

"Yes, but a) I was fleeing the police, and b) I can swim!"

"Couldn't let you get away," I told him, panting.

"Well you certainly deserve a medal then, jumping off a bridge to apprehend –"

"I came to stand by your side," I said.

Fraser sank down next to me, but it was too dark for me to see his face.

I coughed little bit. "Fraser, I want to make you a better offer. Okay?"

He didn't say anything, so I reached out a hand, found his wet shoulder, and pulled him down to me. My lips found his chin first, cold from the water, with a little prickle of stubble. I worked my way up to his lips, and then pulled him closer. And Fraser, he melted into me, hand in my hair, mouth warm and hungry on mine, just exactly what I needed, until I had to stop, cough, take a breath.

"That a yes?" I asked.

But his body was rigid now, and he said "ssssh", so quiet I could barely hear it. So I listened. There were voices in the woods, and flashlights coming towards us.

Fraser was looking back at me. "Ray," he whispered.

"Go," I whispered back. He didn't move, so I pushed against his chest. "We'll find a way, but you gotta go now, Frase, 'cause that whole prison romance thing? Not for me." A breath of a laugh drifted across my face, and then he was gone.

"See you around, Fraser," I whispered after him. Then I lay there, shivering on the cold ground, my nose and throat sore from the water, until the State Patrol found me.

When I got out of the hospital the next morning I contacted the Constable Brighton over at the Canadian Consulate. I told her I had a witness willing to testify that one of their Mounties had put out a contract on another one, and that they'd better get Gerard into custody ASAP.

She transferred me to her superior, and he had me call somebody in Canada, who passed me further up the chain of command. I ended up spending about five hours on hold, before they finally had me dictate a report to some girl in Toronto who sounded like I was keeping her from watching her soaps. I tried to follow up the next day, but apparently no cop work could possibly get done on Saturday. No one would take my calls. By Monday Gerard was dead.

I'm still not sure if that was just a generic red-tape fuck-up, or if somebody up there thought a dead dirty Mountie was better than a live, talking one.


The postcard came addressed to me at the station two weeks later. On the front there was a gorgeous beach with the sun setting over the water. On the back, there was a postmark from Chiapas, Mexico, and the message

Ray –
If retiring to margaritas on the beach is your cup of tea, you might look for me here. I'll wait for a few days. I hope you'll join me.
– Ben

Of course, I barely got to read the postcard. IA grilled me about it for a couple of hours while they contacted the Federales and sent every warm body they could to go looking for Ben Fraser in Chiapas.

Once IA was done with me, I asked the lieutenant if I could take a half-day. He grunted, which I took as a yes. I spent an hour at the library, made a few phone calls from the pay phone there, and then went home and packed a bag. I went to the bank and closed out my accounts, got out a few hundred in traveler's checks, the rest in cash, and pulled a driver's license from an old undercover job out of my safe deposit box. I dropped by a courier service, packaged up my badge and guns, and arranged for them to be delivered to my lieutenant late tomorrow afternoon.

I cruised around the city for an hour. Drove through my old neighborhood, passed Stella's new condo, down Lakeshore Drive, and parked by Chicago Stadium for a few minutes. My dad used to take me there to see the Blackhawks when I was little. The Bulls just played their final game at the stadium last week. It was scheduled to be demolished, piece-by-piece, over the next year.

I left my car at the far end of the long-term lot at the airport, with the keys in the ignition. Then I marched in and used my credit card to book a flight from Chicago to Tapachula International Airport in Chiapas, Mexico, with one stop in Mexico City. No luggage to check. Just my one carry-on. The flight wasn't boarding for 90 minutes, so I got some coffee and paced, waiting for some guy in a uniform or a suit to stop me. No one did.

Four and a half hours later I walked through Mexican customs in Mexico City, nothing to declare, just going on a little vacation. I went to the john, changed, shaved, combed my hair down flat, sprayed on a little tanner, cut Ray Kowalski's driver's license and credit cards up into bits and flushed them down the toilet. The rest of the wallet got tossed in the trash. Then Darren Hennessy walked straight to the Air Canada desk, showed his driver's license, and bought himself a one-way ticket to Inuvik, Canada with cash.

Because, sure, margaritas on the beach would be most guys' idea of a perfect retirement. But Fraser wasn't most guys. And I remembered the longing in his voice when he read poems about wild, snowy places. So instead of Chiapas, the southern-most tip of Mexico, I was headed as far north as I could get. Which meant Canada. Inuvik seemed like the best bet. According to the maps and travel guides in the library, that was above the Arctic Circle, as far north as you could get by road. So I'd fly there, and hope Fraser was waiting for me in Inuvik. If I didn't see Fraser within 24 hours of landing in Inuvik, I'd use what money I had left to try and charter a flight up to this tiny little place even further north, Tuk-something. And if Fraser wasn't there … I'd figure something out.

I had a little red leather book of poems to read during the flight.

Eighteen hours later, in Chicago, Lieutenant Renton opened a courier package containing Ray Kowalski's badge and gun. In Inuvik, the two men who had greeted each other on the tarmac with a kiss hot enough to melt the ice roads were already long gone.

They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you're a credit to their teaching --
But can't you hear the Wild? -- it's calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go.


( 131 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 7th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
Hooray! This was awesome -- I love the whole idea of the AU and the way that Kowalski is so clear, straight and true throughout.
Apr. 7th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
Thanks, lynnmonster! Even when he's right on the edge of burning out, Ray's still a good cop, and a good man.
Apr. 7th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Wow, very nice. Made me rather inarticulate.
Apr. 7th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC)
Thank you, bleedtoblue. I'm delighted to have inarticularized you. *winks*
Apr. 7th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
I tend to avoid most AU's..but when they are as well done as this; I just cannot help myself.

Apr. 7th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
I'm glad that you enjoyed it despite the AUness. Thanks for the comment, sirjimmy!
Apr. 7th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
I have an AU kink :) I was so excited to see this one! And it was a fun, engrossing read. Nicely paced and detailed.
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
Hurray! Thanks for letting me know you liked it, galenlisle!
Apr. 7th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
*flails like a flailing thing*

I have a raging case of plot-envy going on here, b/c me and plot are not mixy things. You, OTOH, are clearly a plot genius. With poetry.

And how exactly do you make a fic so hot when all they do is kiss a little?

Bitchin' fic, K.
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
I take no blame for the plot. It's all the Muses. Honestly, I was surprised to find out that Fraser came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of his father.

I write hot kisses because my porn is broken. PG kissing slash FTW! Thanks so much, hurry_sundown!
Apr. 7th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
I'm just about to start reading this, I only wanted to state right now that I really do hate you for being done already when I'm still -- somewhere else ::head desk::
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, I've barely started my remix_redux fic that's due this week.
Apr. 7th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
Hooray! You posted! And K, the changes are fabulous. I think you absolutely made the right decision re: Denny, and I love the subtle alteration to those final lines. It feels perfect now, whole and complete just like the arc you took Ray and Fraser on. I love this so much!

Again, fabulous job on the story. I know it took a lot of time and effort to perfect, but every frame and beat of this story are perfect. It's terrific. I'm going to pimp this one out the ying-yang!
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
Thanks for all the hard work YOU put into this one, Nos. Interestingly enough, Fraser didn't say no because it was wrong, or an abuse of trust, or any of the reasons we discussed. He wouldn't touch Denny because he's so messed up that he honestly believed that he was dangerous.
Apr. 7th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
Great read, yes! I enjoyed this very much ... Poor Denny, he never had a chance really, heartbreaking!

GREAT job!
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:29 am (UTC)
Thanks, sam! I know, I liked Denny too. That funeral ... *shivers*
Apr. 7th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
The premise took me aback, but I trust you, and so I dove in. And I'm so very glad I did.

What a beautiful Ray you have painted, trusty and true and weaving the hard-to-see path. And poor, broken Fraser--completely believable and so painful to see.

I wept for poor, brave, lively Denny, and when I hit the Thousandth Man my little heart shattered into bits.

Fraser was petting my hair. "Ray, oh god, Ray, not you too."


You are amazing.
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Thank you for such beautiful feedback. I know I've created something when a reader FEELS for the characters.

I mourn Denny right with you. Fraser is a real mess, and the scary thing is that it's not a a complete 180 for his character, it's just a deflection from what we see of him in canon. He needs Ray so desperately.

*hugs arrow00*
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this twisted, star-crossed Benton, and his twisty tale. I felt really bad for young Denny. Benton seemed quite empathetic and protective of him, in a weird, Dexterish way.

Oh, yeah. Robert Service and Benton Fraser, that's a solid match. Love how Ray gets seduced by the call of the wild...*g*.

I've always been partial to the ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew, too, and could defnitely see Benton as the piano player in your AU land of the midnight sun. Though you'd come up with a better ending. Probably something with the Lad that's known as Lou smuggling the wounded Benton out ahead of the Mounties on a dogsled led by a big wolf. Yeah, that's it. Not pushing you into a sequel when you are rightfully basking in the glow of this great tale...I'm just sayin'...!
Apr. 7th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
Thanks, Cath! Denny's a very sympathetic young fellow. It's thanks to Nos we get to see as much of him as we do. In my first draft, half the story took place over his dead body.

Of course, in canon, the final episode is called "The Call of the Wild", and Ray rides off into the sunset on Fraser's dogsled. I don't think that even qualifies as subtext anymore.

If I did write a sequel, it might be a fusion with The Law of the Yukon, which would be interesting, but gruesome.
(no subject) - mackiedockie - Apr. 7th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 7th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)

Now I have to write dS/LFN as some sort of karmic settling of accounts. Because this was fantastic, and in-character, and with just enough heat to really work. And clearly Fraser as an effective killer totally works.

Dammit. *g*
Apr. 7th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
Yep, you GOTTA write it!

Fraser as an effective killer totally works I thought it would be hard to write, hard to convince readers of. Actually, it's a frighteningly easy switch for him.
Apr. 7th, 2008 10:03 am (UTC)
at the end of the tale Denny told, i was wondering if he turns into Dief by daylight..

the lovebirds go into the north.. i'm sure that's the best happy-end for them, but i also can't help feeling a little sad that they'd possibly have to live out the rest of their lives being hunted by the RCMP? however, since Call of the Wild (not the episode) is a central theme here, they probably also love it there, so it's good.

then i got to wondering how this ending isn't that much different from the Call of the Wild (the episode) where they end up way north and still isolated from the rest of the world, and they'd just be as happy. uhm, i'm not making much sense, but this story is brilliant and made me think a lot.. also very lovely; it's achey because both boys have lost so much and are painfully lonely, so it's good that they have each other.. still.. woobie!

thank you so much for sharing this story! ♥
Apr. 8th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
He could be Dief! Denny's story's actually an authentic Inuit legend ( according to the Internet, anyway) and it is traditionally told over multiple evenings.

Fraser been dodging the RCMP all this time, doing it with Ray won't be any more difficult. I'm sure they'll be happy together.
Apr. 7th, 2008 10:30 am (UTC)
this is amazing, keerawa! it's fascinating how you've managed to make fraser completely believable as an assassin, add touches to his character and back-story that feel real, and YET keep him completely recognizable AS FRASER. it's a tricky feat. he's such an interesting character to begin with, is our benton, and the way you've highlighted certain (canonical) aspects of his personality to create a credible hit-man is BRILLIANT.

plus? OH, RAY, darling, wonderful RAY. their connection and care for one another comes through loud and clear.

Apr. 7th, 2008 11:42 am (UTC)
A MOVIE!!! Brilliant!

Anybody know how to do that stop action stuff with the little clay dudes? :-)
(no subject) - keerawa - Apr. 8th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 7th, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
Oh my god! I love this! It's AU but it's still so THEM, and even as a bad guy Fraser is still Fraser and the SHOW is there! And coloring his sky with a green crayon and see I'm totally inarticulate! And poetry!

claps wildly for you, then goes back to re-read
Apr. 8th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Thanks, chikan4! I'm glad you mentioned Ray coloring Fraser's sky in with a green crayon. It's such a Ray-ish metaphor, and I love it to bits.

And you found the perfect icon, too!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 8th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Fraser isn't any better at expressing his feelings here than he is in canon. Thanks for lketting me know that Denny's death affected you, capt_spork.
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