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25 January 2005 @ 04:22 pm
Rant the First: Doormat!Fraser/Asshole!Rayk  
"I hate you," screamed Ray, smacking a hand against the wall. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!"

Fraser paused while giving him a blow job. "Then, should I go? I'd hate to inconveince you --"

"NO!" Ray yelled, this time louder. "No, you freak! Keep doing that, but remember I'm not gay, and I'm not ever going to want you back and you disgust me, okay? Don't get ideas, or nothin'!"

"Understood," Fraser said, before bending his head again.

Benton Fraser is, above all else, a man of resolution. His principles, too, are a large part of who he is, but more than anything the essence of Fraser is determination. Stubborn, obstinate, unyielding determination.

He goes after things he wants. The whole damn series is about him going after things he wants -- "I came to Chicago on the trails of the my father's murderers..." He forsook his country, his solitude, his *element* in order to get what he felt he deserved: justice.

So, I find it pretty damn hard to think of him as a doormat.

Now, I see where you're coming from, here: Fraser's awkward, and uberpolite. But he's always polite in a *determined* way; he's never wishy-washy. But, there comes a time - even with Fraser - where etiquette takes a backseat to his desires.

With Rayk and particular, his politeness tends to fall away. I mean really, y'all: he is a straight up *bitch* to Rayk a lot of the time. Which I like! Rayk needles him out of his complacency, and makes him be a pushy, prissy, fussy *person* -- and oh boy, is he. Think Mountie & Soul.

Fraser is a complete *ass* to Rayk there. The tone of their relationship just isn't *conducive* to doormat Fraser, even if I thought that was a possibility; there's too much inherent snark.

And there's too much inherent snark because RayK is, certainly difficult. But difficult and balls out asshole are two completely different issues. He is prickly, sure. And he is on equal footing with Fraser in terms of stubborness, and he talks without thinking a lot of the time.

But he is not inherently mean-spirited. He's more likely to say something in the heat of the moment, and then immediately apologize for it than he is to set up and execute any kind of maliciousness.

On top of that, Rayk is, in fact, a good guy. He feels bad when he hurts other people, and has a genuine vulnerability to him, an insecurity, that would make it hard for him to push away *anyone* who professed to love him. So by that token alone, a RayK "Uses and Pushes The Loving and Patient Benton Fraser Away From Him" scenario doesn't work for me.

I have another problem with this pair of characterizations, and it's a purely story telling one: when I don't care about either love interest, I don't care about their romance. By making Fraser spineless and submissive, you make him uninteresting to me -- and unlikable, really. And the same goes for turning RayK into a massive, unreedeamable fuckwit. I just stop *caring* about him, and find myself not actually *wanting* them to get together.

Because, shit man, who the hell really is rooting for a relationship predicated on one party treating the other like a useless fucktoy? I mean, really? Unless it's adversary slash, but the difference there is that adversaries are, typically *equals* and what's interesting about that is the conflict between two people of similar ability, and emotional state.

This? Is not that. It's borderline abusive, and it's just no fun to read.

Here endeth the rant.
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Teeny Gozer: TeenyGozerteenygozer on January 26th, 2005 04:54 am (UTC)
So, I find it pretty damn hard to think of him as a doormat.

Hee! I think that idea comes from Victoria's Secret, where we see in the opening that Fraser is paying to get a vacuum cleaner fixed that was loaned to him by Mr. Mustafi... and it becomes obvious during his coversation with Ray V. that Fraser's neighbors are purposely lending him broken items because they've figured out that, since the item was fouund to be broken while in Fraser's possession, he will dip into his own pocket to pay for the repairs. Over the course of the 2-hour episode, he then actually allows Victoria to deconstruct who and what he is, so there was a certain amount of allowing her to treat him as a doormat going on. He was willing to destroy himself for her, only Ray V.'s bullet in the spine stopped him from joining her on that train.

Ooh, I'd love to see an AU story where Ray doesn't shoot and Fraser joins Victoria on the train... I like to think that eventually he'd come to his senses, but the odds are good that they'd become quite a successful criminal duo. Oh, dear; indeed.

How that plays into some sort of doormat relationship with Ray K., I dunno. I agree with you, it seems out of character for both characters by the time we get to third season. Fraser's changed so much from that fragile man, and Ray K. is grumpy, but kinda a sweetie under it all. Maybe the fic-writers in question think that Fraser will become a doormat for the people he *truly* loves? Which is... creepy.
spainjaspainja on January 27th, 2005 01:08 am (UTC)

Yeah, but Fraser/Victoria was supposed to be a fucked-up relationship. He was consumed by guilt and she by revenge, and of course she walked all over him. So Fraser's doormattiness works in that episode--it's not like there was ever a chance of a happy ending there, anyway.

With Ray, on the other hand, we want to see a happy ending and a healthy relationship. The doormat/asshole dynamic is not conducive to that, at least not believably. We want to believe that these two guys are good for each other, that they can be happy together. And we want them to do all this while remaining true to their characters. It can be done--it has been done by many wonderful writers. There's no need to assassinate their characters just to create a little drama.