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Hawks and Hands by Dira Sudis (NC-17)

Title: Hawks and Hands
Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski
Categories: Hockey AU, h/c, angst
Length: Epic (~200,000 words)
Warnings: K/male, F/male. Also, the F/male is a little squicky (but I'm pretty sensitive:)

Author on LJ:[info]dsudis
Website: Dira's DS Fic

Review:
You should know that I have no interest in hockey and my knowledge of the sport is limited to the fact that it takes place on ice and occasionally the players stop the game for a fistfight. Despite that fact, I enjoyed every moment of this hockey AU, which says a lot about how well written it is.

Fraser is a potential star for the Chicago Blackhawks, but he's having a tough time settling in with his teammates and it's hurting everyone's playing. Ray is a washed-up player with anger management problems who has gotten into so many fights that his hands are literally falling apart. They meet at a funeral and immediately click, causing Welsh (the manager of the Blackhawks) to offer Ray one last season of hockey, as long as he promises to avoid any fighting. Of course, Ray takes the job.

Let's start with the characters. Everyone's well done, especially Fraser, Ray, and Welsh, but the characterization of Fraser is downright impressive. After all, an undersexed, barely competent with women Fraser doesn't make sense when Fraser's a big name hockey star in a society where professional athletes are expected to indulge in every vice possible. Dira does a fantastic job of turning Fraser into a sexual being while giving him an emotional aloofness that feels very reminiscent of canon!Fraser. In fact, I think her version is closer to canon than many of the fics where Fraser's depicted as a man who has only had sex once in his life. There's also a fantastic cameo by Francesca, playing a sports reporter with a genuine love of hockey.

Nearly as great as the fabulous characterization is the universe itself. The world of professional sports is a high-stress one, and between the constant games and practices, the long months spent on the road, and the constant fear of permanent injury, you have an endless source of tension. Add in Fraser's social awkwardness, Ray's internal conflict regarding his feelings for Fraser, and a gaggle of team rivalries, and you have enough plot twists and confrontations for a dozen fanfics (which, at 1.2 M, this story pretty much is). And I could rave about the writing itself for a whole 'nother paragraph, but suffice to say that it's beautifully written.

All in all, a brilliant, addictive fic and, best of all, it'll take you a week to read!

Hawks and Hands (index page)
Hawks and Hands (complete story)

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
intheyear2004
Aug. 6th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)
So, this is the famous hockey AU? I've heard of it and am looking forward to read it. Thanks for making it available to me! ;-)
jane_elliot
Aug. 6th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
This is the one. I think it'll be right up your alley, as Dira's fic is rather dark. You should thank cynonymous, though, as s/he was the one to give me the link:)
intheyear2004
Aug. 7th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, cynonymous! ;-)
intheyear2004
Aug. 12th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
Uff, this was wonderful! :happy sigh: More please? ;-)

No, really, while I personally could have done with less sex scenes, I know that they are what many people are reading for, so I don't complain. The presence of an actual plot and lovely, lovely damaged characters made it a delightful read for me.

Thanks so much, dear reccer and author!
jane_elliot
Aug. 13th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it! The second longest fic I will ever rec (unless I stumble across another 1+ MB fic, but they're pretty hard to find:)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
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