thermidor (thermidor) wrote in ship_manifesto,

Ray/Ray, a due South manifesto

Title: Swinging Both Rays
Pairing: Ray Vecchio/Ray Kowalski (due South)
Author: thermidor
Spoilers: The whole run of the show
Email: thermidor AT Gmail DOT com

A long time ago in a fandom called due South, a Mountie named Fraser came to Chicago. He had a partner named Ray Vecchio, and lo they were slashed. After two seasons, the actor who portrayed Vecchio left the show and Fraser got a new partner, Ray Kowalski. Lo, he too was slashed with Fraser. Some said he was new and improved. Others maintained that he was an interloper who never lived up to the original. The new Ray was Fraser’s true love! The old Ray was! No, the new, no the old!

You can see where this is going.

And behold there was a War of the Two Rays and the fandom, though not dead by any means, had some seriously inflamed parts.

Sometime later, some soul or souls who were motivated by the Spirit of Reconciliation or perhaps by The Spirit of Smut decided to slash the Rays together.

And that’s how this ship was born.

For those of you new to the fandom, here’s a little introduction to the Rays.

The first Ray is Ray Vecchio a/k/a Ray V. He was Fraser’s first partner in Chicago. Like Fraser, he’s occasionally visited by the ghost of his father with whom he had a less than wonderful relationship. After his father’s death Ray Vecchio became the “man of the house” and in fact, the family home does belong to him. His mother and his sister Frannie live with him. Sister Maria and her husband Tony round out the family. Ray V. also has an ex-wife, Angie. Ray V. is a good detective, but he’s not opposed to bending the rules just a little bit if it helps catch the bad guy. This causes some conflict with upright Mountie Fraser, but it also creates some nice interplay. Ray V. is also incredibly loyal. He likes to gripe about Fraser’s habits, but he’ll do anything to help his pal in a pinch.

Ray V. is apparently a dead ringer for mobster Armando “the Bookman” Langostini so at the end of season two, the feds take Ray V. off to Las Vegas to head up Armando’s crime syndicate there. What Ray V. does in Vegas and how that undercover assignment might have changed him is not dealt with overly much in canon, so the fiction dealing with this time and its after effects can be fascinating.

Ray V. likes to think of himself as a suave guy. He likes to be fashionable ( some episodes show him in bright shirts and slacks, some in more sedate nicely tailored suits). He hates it when Fraser’s often-unsavory chases make him dirty. He loves his car , a 1971 Buick Riviera.

Ray V. is not the type of guy who’s have motorcycle boots. He probably doesn’t even know where to buy them.

That brings us to Ray Kowalski, or Ray K.

Ray K. becomes Fraser’s second partner when Vecchio goes undercover in the mob. In fact, Ray K is supposed to be RayV. Despite his assignment, Ray Kowalski is of Polish descent and sports spiky blond hair, jeans, T-shirts, and often, boots. Other than being a slimly built white guy, he looks nothing like Ray V. He probably couldn’t tell an Armani from a Versace, nor would he want to. He loves his car, a classic GTO and would rather change its oil than go shopping for suits. He’s not all tough guy, though. He loves to dance and is very good at it. The spiky exterior hides a deeply romantic guy. He claims he’s a poet on the inside.

Like Vecchio, Kowalski has had some family issues. He spent a long while estranged from his parents as his father didn’t want him to be a cop. Kowalski also had a rough time when his wife Stella divorced him and he still carried a torch for her long after their marriage ended.

Now that we’ve met the guys, let’s discuss the mountain of evidence in canon for this pairing.

::sound of crickets chirping::

Um, ok. One of the trickiest things about this pairing is how little canon evidence there is for it. The Rays are only together in the series finale, an episode that is hailed by many (including myself) as being a RayK/Fraser love fest. When the Rays first meet, they hate each other. Each is jealous of the other’s relationship with Fraser and tempers begin to flare. They insult each other and even start a fistfight. The fight is really inspirational for many Ray/Ray fans though as the Rays’ physicality can be seen as, "look! they can’t keep their hands off each other!"

The rivalry between equals here is a key element for me and a big reason why I like this ship. In addition, these are two characters that are very physical, very sensual and don’t need to 50K of backstory to get it on, as the high proportion of very sexy PWPs in this pairing demonstrates. However dS canon really has fleshed out these characters so some talented authors have used this material to weave some more complex, romantic and relationship-based stories.

I really think this pairing will appeal to those who like a healthy dose of snark, rivalry and competition in their slash. If you have liked pairings with Lex Luthor or Slytherins, chances are you’ll find something to enjoy here.

Hopefully, I’ve piqued your interest a little and you want to find more. Following are a few of my favorite Ray/Ray recs. I hope you enjoy them!

These three stories are great examples of how talented authors can make an excellent story out of a PWP. There’s hot sex here, but a lot more as well:
Honestly Do by LauraKaye
Breaking Cover and The Sporting Life by Speranza

This ship also has a wonderful, long story (actually a story and its sequel totaling 560K)
The Warmth of Spring and The Heat of Summer by fuzzicat

Hth has a very intriguing series here ; just scroll down to What It Is I See In You.

Another great place for yummy Ray on Ray goodness is cmshaw’s LJ. This is just one example of her great PWPs. (I asked for this one, and she delivered.)

Tags: due south
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