Sunday Author Rec: Speranza
Posted by S.R.B.
I started reading Speranza years ago, when I first got into fanfiction. Well, when I first got into slash fiction. This was in the days before AO3 and dreamwidth, when fanfiction.net had some respectability and Due South was on TNT. That last is important, because I started reading Speranza through Due South and, like most things in my own personal fanon, through osmosis. This one requires a bit of history. The first fanfic I read was Star Wars. At the time, most everything I did was Star Wars related, so that makes quite a bit of sense. I had already devoured every Star Wars novel that was published at the time (I fell behind around the release of the new movies, when I hit High School) and was looking for more. I found a lot of homemade pages (geocities!), even a page with bad gifs and MIDI sound that told me how to meditate like a Jedi. (This was actually pretty useful.) The, the fic I was finding all looked like RTF files written in notepad. I’m not entirely sure why, but they looked dry and were hard to read. Some of you will remember…the ones that looked like they were instruction manuals for microwaves, or tech support reports. Like they should be printed on paper that had the holes on the side for the printer feed mechinism. They looked like DOS. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Star Wars fanfic gave me my very first sex scene (Luke/Callista). And my first crossover, a story called XDS, and it was an epic crossover between X-Files, Due South, and Star Wars. (Basically, from what I remember, The Millenium Falcon crashes on earth, they’re found by Fraser and Ray Vecchio I, and then by Mulder and Scully, who help them all get home.) I looked at it, went: “I know X-Files. I love Star Wars. I don’t know what this Due South thing is, but i’ll give it a shot.” I love it. I had no idea who the characters were, so I looked them up (through yahoo. This was pre-google people) and read the story and decided I wanted to watch X-Files again. So, I went downstiars and turned on TNT and cought, guess what, the end credits of Due South. Thus began a long love afair with the mountie, the detective, and the deaf wolf. THe Mountie was Benton Fraser, (Paul Gross) a Dudly Do Right type character (or so he let everyone think) who was stationed in Chicago, with his partner, native Ray Vecchio. Now, for those of you who don’t know, there are two Rays. The first Ray (David Marciano) left Chicago to go undercover with the Las Vegas mafia (Armando Langustini of the Iguana family, “The Bookman”) in one of the show’s hilarious quirky “what, what?” moments. Cue the second Ray, Ray Kawolski, (Callum Keith Rennie) who was undercover as Vecchio to protect the real Vecchio’s cover. It was reading Due South fic that I discovered Slash. It was, originally, Fraser/Ray V, because I had only seen those episodes and the idea of changing Rays was unthinkable. But…I was also reading Fraser/Frannie and, really, felt there was something lacking from the slash I was reading. So I widened my search. I read Fraser/Ray K, and I fell in love immediately, and went out to watch the new Ray it wasn’t until later that I realized, not only did I now have a ship, but I had my first slash ship. Fraser/Ray K. All because of Star Wars. I spent a lot of time at the Hexwood archive, and, somehow, found Speranza’s With Six You Get Eggroll. It takes place post series. Recently split from Stella (Ray K’s ex-wife) Ray V goes north to visit Fraser and Ray K. When he gets there, he discovers they’ve adopted several childrean, and has to deal. I…didn’t like it. I don’t know why. Maybe I don’t like mixing my Rays. Once I went Ray K, I never looked back. Ray V cemented himself in my mind as Fraser’s brother and Ray K his lover, and that’s the way the cookie crumbled. So, yeah. I didn’t like Eggroll. But I had been to her site and I read…oh, I think it was Scrabble. It must have been, because I was using Netscape at the time, so the two versions, “Netscape” and “Internet Explorer” actually applied to me. It was amazing. Told from both Fraser and Ray K’s pov simultaneously, Bob Fraser (the ghost of Fraser’s father) tells Ray that Fraser has a death wish through a scrabble board. Ray K freaks out, and fixes it by starting a relationship. What sold me, however, was the way Speranza handled the POVs. She, basically, wrote the story twice, once from each POV, and ending with a combined 3rd person pov. Ray is perfectly Ray, Fraser is wonderfully Fraser, and to see the way they both view the same event–what Ray reads into verses what Fraser reads into–it creats such a wonderful dynamic. Go read it. Right now. I’ll wait. So, I was sold. I read every Due South story she wrote, flash fic, too. Then, years later, when I got into Stargate: Atlantis, I read all of her Stargate stories. I admit, that I haven’t read much else. I tried reading her Sentinel fic, but I left that fandom behind and never, really, felt a desire to go back. Her most recent story, however, is Sherlock BBC. I hope it becomes a thing with her, and that she writes more of it. It’s a relaly wonderful story. It’s called Subliminal. It’s from Sherlock’s pov and has a BAMF Watson in a cuddly jumper. What else could you ask for? 🙂 So, like last time, my top five stories, in no particular order. (And since I already talked about Scrabble, I can talk about others. Muahahaha). You know what? To make it easier on myself. Top 3 from SGA and top 3 from Due South. Due South: The Bodyguard: Fraser is charged with protecting Olga. Ray is brought in to protect Fraser. Olga is an OFC, who I really kind of love. She’s an ex-pat Russian ballarina who sets her sights on Fraiser. The lengths she goes to, and thus, Ray and Fraser are reduced to, are simply wonderful. Fraser and Ray, while they start as friends, quickly get together in this fic when Fraser admists to why he can’t report Olga’s harassment. Because sometimes, two bad choices is just as bad as having no choice at all. This fic is a) true to the characters, b) deals with the (unfortunate) realities of being gay in policing (even in Canada, where it’s typically portrayed as accepted in fic, is not necisarily welcoming) and c) has Ray able to see/interact with Fraser’s father. It’s a really all around great read. Oh, and Olga pulls through for them in the end. Also: Polish Ray. Eight Sessions: There’s a shooting and, as a result, Ray needs to attent 8 manditory sessions with a psyciatrist. To keep this as above board as possible, Fraser goes to. It gets worse before it gets better. Oh man, Fraser in therapy. His breakthrough, when it happens is more of a breakdown. Ray’s therapist is wonderful, and he actually works through some issues before it all goes crazy. There’s also a groundhog day theme where they keep reliving the same day. It’s about being honest, with yourself and with life, and duty, and love. There’s also a podfic. And they go bowling, which is a great scene. Some Strange Prophecy: Victoria Metcalf is found and Fraser must travel to testify. Ray K is operating under direction from Ray V, who is calling him in secret from Vegas, with the message that Metcalf will fuck Fraser’s mind, and to keep an eye on him. After their meeting, Fraser takes a vacation, with Ray along for the ride trying to keep everything sane as Ray V thinks Fraser’s lost it becuase of her mechanations, and Ray V thinks he’s on a post-divorce bender. The answer to the question: what would happen if Fraser lost his inhibitions, and took everyone up on their offers. For everything. Long and Plotty and the Ray K/Fraser comes like it was freakin inevitable and then Ray V gets even more involved and, really, the only reason I haven’t read this more is because it’s so long. Also: Fraser in New Orleans. Honorable Mention: Enduring Distance: Post-series –the aftermath of Muldoon and the submarine, The Killer Replacements,: Ray K get reassigned as a hitman. Fraser can’t let him go. Not again. Passion,: The history of Fraser’s love life. Ping!, Ray K and regrets and the sounds of attraction. Chicago’s Most Wanted AU Fraser as a master criminal. Ray K is the cop assigned to his case. Their love is inevitable. , Kowalski is Bleeding Ray V is back, but everything is different in the wake of Ray K, who didn’t so much as fill his shoes, but stretched them into a different shape. But Kowalski is missing, people are saying dead. Only Fraser believes otherwise, Juggling Act Ray K and Fraser go undercover in a circus. Ray is an Angry Clown, Between Us: Post Burning Down the House, Ray K needs to clear some things about Fraser’s relationship with Ray V, off the record, Second Chance: Ray K gets a second chance at love, Wildly Dangerous Ways. “Cause Fraser and me are starting to Fuck outside of Crime Scenes!” Yeah. I’m talking about Speranza FOR A REASON. And, Stargate Atlantis: MVP: Rodney sees Shepard’s record and thinks he’s suicidal. Shepard thinks Rodney knows he’s gay, and acts acordingly. It’s the best mistake ever, but there’s still that death wish to deal with. This story is wonderful, Rodney’s POV is spot on, and it really gets to the question, who is the MVP of Atlantis. Funny and touching and hot, MVP remains one of my favorite stories. Friendly: A Marine Dies and eveyone starts acting strange. Sheppard discovers that Rodney has been running an underground hub for the Gays of Atlantis. Sheppard realizes just how seperate he is from his men, and the necessity of public displays. THIS. Oh, man. The miscommunication. Sheppard’s isolation. Rodney, when he confesses, and when he REALIZES. Oh. And when Sheppard goes to the hub. It’s painful in all the right ways, and sweet in all the rest. And, while the ending isn’t necissarily happy, it ends with McShep and a sense of community. S is for Space: War Bride. Sheppard brings Rodney home to meet the family. Rodney is charming. Dave is confused. His wife is delightful. Sheppard’s family was the cause of speculation for many years, and Speranza plays with the canon just enough. It’s about being yourself and loving who you love and families. Plus, it has a great Vid that accompanies it. The McShep relationship is just as married as Dave’s, and you really do get the sense that theirs is a war marraige, but it works. Honorable Mention: 3 Lovers, Teyla centered OT4. She loves all three differently, and it’s best when they’re all together. Family. Sheppards Law, Rodney must travel to save Sheppard from himself while growing up, when they run afoul of some highly advanced aliens. Ordinary Life (with Shalott, but it’s so good I had to rec it twice!) Rodney shows John an ordinary life, when John is his mathmatician/bodyguard/boyfriend. Weddings, Plural and a Yak, The multiple and varied weddings of John and Rodney, and eventually the one that counts. The Wheel, Atlantis, Wars, and So On Rodney gets turned into a dolphin, who are much more highly advanced life forms. John pines,Written by the Victors The documented history of the life and fall of Atlantis, as told in reports by Earth-Based authors. Also, the real history of the rise of the sovereign nation of Atlantis, ruled by John Sheppard with his Queen Teyla Emmagen and the power behind the throne, Rodney McKay, Things to do in Denver When Your Dead: Post season 1, the heads of Atlantis find themselves on Earth with a forced Vacation. Rodney and John get together with Elizabeth’s relationship is falling to pieces in the background and the threat that John might not be able to return to Atlantis hanging over their heads. Also, check out her Vids page. Rumble might just be the best thing ever. So, I was reading this story… A Fan