Website/link to fic: Speranza's Fiction
Fanlore page: Speranza's fanlore entry
First DS fic posted: January 2001
Full disclosure: I'm simply another one who loves her stories. In fact, her writing hooked me to fanfiction in the first place.
Pairings: She describes herself as a Fraser/Kowalski slasher with Vecchio friendship. Some flashfiction is Ray/Ray and there is some gen. She posted her last Due South fic in 2005 and is now primarily writing SGA fiction. She also wrote for The Sentinel, The West Wing, Dead Zone, and a couple of other fandoms. The links are on her site.
Style and strengths: She is just a wonderful storyteller. She can take an unusual idea (like Fraser, the criminal mastermind) and develops a detailed and convincing scenario that is true to canon, yet stretches it into something new. Her stories often have a complex overall plot with enough detail to make it unforeseeable. It's like watching the show sometimes, or reading a very good book with beloved characters. She involves crimes, action scenes, backstories, the bullpen, quirky events, and full-fledged OCs. Slash is plentiful and special but not always front and center. Every story has something different to it, and it's worth to read them all.
It's close to impossible to boil down the favorites to 3-5. Among her often recommended classics are also: Eight Sessions (amazingly insightful piece about Fraser and Kowalski in therapy), Passion (excellent Fraser backstory), Chicago's Most Wanted (exciting case-fic with a drift), Juggling Act (hilarious undercover-fic in a circus), and With Six You Get An Eggroll (convincing PCotW kid-fic scenario). Other Stories that I love madly are An Admirable Solution (Fraser seems to like his sex casual), Hanged Man (an affair in a motel), A Dare's A Dare (funny and hot crossdressing-fic), A Moment Of Insight (case-fic with special interference of the FBI), Wildly Dangerous Ways (accidental sex on the job), Interrogation (short and powerful, Kowalski interrogates Fraser), Next Of Kin (interesting Fraser/Stella scenario), and About A Dog (unusual Dief helps to solve a case). She wrote some excellent flashfiction, too, for example Number Eight (the boys in a gay bar).
Other DS/C6D activity: She wrote one Wilby Wonderful Story and a couple of HCL fics. The podfics and fanart for her stories can be found on her site. She also posted vids, but not for DS/C6D.
Community-wise, she is an archivist of the Due South Archive, moderates DS mailing lists, ran challenges, founded ds_flashback, and used to moderate dsreporter, ds_noticeboard, and ds_flashfiction. She published in the Duet Zines, won the Best Zine Award for The Bodyguard, and the Best Writer Award in 2003.
Beyond Embarrassment (Fraser/Kowalski, ~11,000 words)
Wonderful spin on the magical realism in Due South. It's angsty, emotional, and very exciting to read.
"Jeezus!" Like a shot, Ray was on his knees in the doorway. Fraser was — well, dirty was the first, wrong adjective that flashed through his mind. True, but not the point. Yeah, the red uniform was smeared with black-brown dirt, and so was Fraser's face and hair and —
Hatless. Yeah, that too, but still the wrong fucking answer — a problem but not the problem right here, right now —
Bleeding — yes, that was the word! Benton Fraser was fucking dirty and hatless and bleeding right here in his hallway at four o'clock in the fucking morning!
Kowalski Is Bleeding (Vecchio, Fraser/Kowalski, ~40,000 words)
Vecchio rushes to be on Fraser's side when Kowalski goes missing. It's very angsty, has beautiful Fraser-Vecchio friendship, and great Vecchio POV. There is also a DVD commentary for this story that explains some of the decisions behind this fic, f.e. the slightly unusual format.
Fraser was sitting at the kitchen table, his head braced on one hand. He looked up when I pushed through the door, and Christ, he looked older. There were fine lines around his eyes and mouth that I didn't remember being there. And maybe it was just the light, but I could swear he had flecks of gray in his hair.
I wondered if I looked that much older to him. "Hey, Benny."
"Ray." The hard lines in his face softened, and he stood up, his chair scraping the linoleum. "Ray..."
A blur of steps and then I had Fraser in the tightest bear hug I could manage. I grabbed so much flannel that I thought I'd split the back of my fancy suit jacket, and moreover I didn't give a shit. Fraser hugged me back with equal force, and I figured he was pretty damn pleased to see me, too.
Ping (Fraser/Kowalski, ~6,900 words)
One of her shorter stories, it's hilarious and much fun to read. Fraser pings on another man and Kowalski is not amused.
Aw, hell. Fraser just went ping.
Fraser almost never goes ping, which doesn't mean he never does. Just almost never. Figure one in a thousand.
Though it's really hard to tell because practically everybody pings on Fraser — even chicks who I personally know to be lesbians ping on Fraser, which is really saying something.
Scrabble (Fraser/Kowalski, ~29,000 words)
At first, I was silly enough to ignore this piece because of the unusual format. The story is told with parallel Fraser- and Kowalski-POVs, presented in a table next to each other. It's just a trip to read, to see how their thinking differs (just look at the exerpt). There are links for two different browser versions to choose from.
He thrusts his hands into his jacket pockets and turns to me. Or maybe I'm just hungry. I mean, that could be it, too. "So whattya say, Frase--Lenny's?" Ray is scowling now; he's really hungry. Yet his suggestion is meant to please me, as indeed it does. Left to his own devices, Ray would as soon have a frankfurter on the street. Three bites and it's gone--and Ray is ready to go, too. It's for me he eats in restaurants, knowing I need peace and quiet to recharge. God bless him. "So whattya say, Frase--Lenny's?" Fraser's looking distracted, but Lenny's'll cheer him up quick. Underneath that starched exterior, the Mountie's got a thing for French fries. Guy loves 'em, and no one ever guesses, but he'll eat all of his and half of mine. Then again, he'll give me his pickle and cole slaw, so we'll come out even like we pretty much always do.
Some Strange Prophecy (Fraser/Kowalski, Vecchio ~53,000 words)
The arrest of Victoria worries Vecchio so much that he urges Kowalski to keep an eye on Fraser. And that is necessary. This story combines apparent lightness with intense worry. Great Vecchio cameos.
"You don't have to understand," Vecchio interrupted angrily. "Because I'm telling you: Victoria Metcalf is dangerous to him, and I mean really dangerous. So if you give half a shit about Fraser—"
And christ, that hurt; Vecchio couldn't possibly know how he felt about Fraser. Who the fuck did this guy think he was?
"—you'll stay with him, and look out for him. Please," and Vecchio was practically begging him. " Please, okay?"
Except Ray knew who this guy was: he was the real Ray Vecchio, Fraser's partner, the guy he'd been hired to replace. Ray wanted to hate Vecchio for out-Vecchioing him, but he couldn't, because Vecchio loved Fraser too, even if not in the same hopeless stupid way, knock on wood.