Christmas Plans (Professionals story)
|Date(s):||December 19, 2007|
|External Links:||Story Link on The Circuit Archive|
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Reviews and Reactions
Were you fooled by the seemingly innocuous title? One might think this was going to be a nice seasonal story to get you in the mood for the upcoming holidays that I picked it for our first Coroner's Inquest. Not so!
After voraciously reading in the Pros fandom for over 6 years now my tastes have become rather selective. To really hold my interest a story has to have something out of the ordinary - gorgeous writing, good characterization, and ability to invoke emotion in me are a few. One thing is guaranteed to get my attention, and that is a unique premise.
At the start of the story we find that it is Christmas and B has come to an abrupt decision about something to do with D, who has gone north to Derby, presumably to spend Christmas with his family. The point of no return, crossing the Rubicon, burning your bridges. This is serious - something that will determine their future. I'm curious to know what it's all about. The author builds up the suspense very skillfully as B doubts himself but then firmly resolves to go through with it, whatever it is. We are led to believe that B loves D, though it's not spelled out in so many words, and his attempts to protect D (from what?) are what have led to this separation. (I love a B who is protective of his partner.)
We find out that B has a deep dark secret he has kept from D. He was a member of a group who carried out Cowley's "special assignments" i.e. B was C's Terminator! He hasn't filled that role in quite some time and he's not proud of what he's done but he has determined that D must know the truth despite wondering …how far could Doyle understand that he wasn't now the same man who had done those things? How far could Doyle forgive those things? He is going to drive to see D and tell him (almost) everything, letting the chips fall where they may and hoping for the best.
The detail about the bullet holes in the Capri are a nice touch and one I hadn't thought of before.
So B arrives at D's mum's home in Derby in time to celebrate Christmas with him. Even though a number of D's relatives are present we only get to meet his mum. It's quite plausible that B would have met her after D was shot and that they would have built up a rapport at that time. I think in fic D's mum is depicted as a sympathetic character more often than not, and this is no exception. I like her. The dialog between the lads during this entire segment is believable and very canon-lad like.
Again we get some more charming details to flesh out the story. The lads win at charades because, of course, they can almost read each other's mind. The contrast between their Monopoly strategies is interesting and true to character in my mind.
Detective Doyle knows all along that B had an ulterior motive for driving north, so after some satisfying sex (very briefly described) and a night's sleep cut all too short (I feel their pain!) he makes B 'fess up. B wants them to quit CI5. I want us to be able to have a normal life, be together like regular people…. I just want to be with you when I want to be with you, which is about all the time really." Awwww! What a lovely marriage proposal!
D comes up with some alternatives that aren't quite so drastic but then B drops the bombshell. He warns D that Cowley finds out about us and chances are one or both of us will end up dead. He then confesses some of his dark secret about the "special assignment" squad and his role in it. B's remorse and pain during his disclosure and his need for D's forgiveness is very touching. The author cleverly takes canon occurrences and dialog and weaves them into her story. Despite B's fears D takes the news very well and forgives B unconditionally. He knows that B is a changed man and that he would never do such a thing again. He also knows that there was something a bit fishy about the terms of joining CI5 that he had sort of ignored.
Now all that is left is for the lads to put into effect B's well thought out plan to leave CI5 without raising C's suspicions. Bodie felt the heavy dread that had blanketed him finally drift away. It would be alright, they would make this work, they had to. I have every hope that they will succeed.
The Cowley depicted in this story is definitely not canon C - he is far more unethical and cold blooded. Some time ago while discussing this story someone said that it was "character assassination" of C, and I suppose that's true. It doesn't prevent me from enjoying a well-written story that explores a scenario I've never seen written elsewhere in Pros.
So can you get over the "character assassination"? If so can you believe that B would participate? Would D forgive him? The story works for me, obviously, but I'd like to know what you think.I had hopes that this author would write more Pros stories after she posted this one and told her so. Alas, it has not happened. I'd love to see more from her.