Endgame (Professionals story)

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For other pages with this title, see Endgame.

Fanfiction
Title: Endgame
Author(s): Tarot
Date(s): 1981 (circuit), 1993 (zine), online (2006)
Length: 78K
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links:

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Contents

Endgame is a Professionals slash Bodie/Doyle story by Tarot.

It was originally a paper circuit story, c.1981-1985, and later in Friends Will Be Friends #2 in 1993.

It is a story on The 1985 Hatstand Express Top Ten Lists.

Summary

"B is prisoner in the Middle East and remembers how D died for a bomb. B went back to mercenary but got captured. He resists interrogation until they give him back D's necklace, which allows him to hear D in his head; then behaves so that they execute him."[1]

Prequels and Sequels

Reactions and Reviews

... because it is The Best—best written, best story, best blatant heart tugger—just, the best.[2]
...a death story that rings true. No histrionics, no curtain-chewing, just a good restrained portrait of a man going to bits.[3]
Hated it.[4]
The BEST story I've seen, without exception, is Endgame. It arouses sensations that may make one uncomfortable (personally I threw the whole thing across the room in a jealous rage at the talent of the author), but it is a beautifully written story. It, however, is not one of my favorites.[5]
...is incisive, brilliant, and absolutely chilling!! Bodie is dangerously insane for all the right reasons. The logic of his insanity leaves my hair standing on end. Yes, I knpw it's a death story and I loathe death stories—but it's too good to be ignored.[6]
Endgame (hated it but can't forget it).[7]
I'd almost put The Pillory on a par with "Endgame", which is another story I cannot re-read because it is too painful to do so.[8]
There are those who refuse to read death stories. That is their perogative and, at least in this instance, their grievous loss. The author of this story has spun us an intriguing tale of a man who chooses his death, for reasons that seem sufficient to him and in a manner entirely consistent with his character, and has made it seem a completely understandable and not unattractive choice.[9]
Warning for character death. You cannot read this fic without feeling every inch, every millimetre of Bodie's pain. And therein is why I adore it: because some writers can do that, they can drag you so far in that every word either hurts or makes you sing and that is what Tarot does here. This is one of the very first Pros slash stories, a classic in the genre, and wonderful in its own right.[10]
I know many people have a horror of death stories, but I like them, if they're well written and not sentimental. And with B/D I never see them living happily ever after or even making old bones, poor sods. I think they'll die young - and most likely violently.

I see Endgame and the fic I recced before, These Things Do Not Remember You by Gwyneth Rhys, as sort of bookends and mostly read them one after the other. Both deal with the death of one partner and how the surviving one does - or rather doesn't - cope and finally dies, too. Very depressing, you might say, but I find a sort of dark satisfaction and even comfort in the fact that they're not able to exist on their own.

And both writers manage a beautifully fitting character portrait in their respective stories. I love them both to death. ;) [11]
This is a tough one for me...I don't like death stories at all, but there is, as you say, a dark and strange comfort and satisfaction in the reaction of the one to the loss of the other...if I have to go there, this pushes lots of buttons for me. I think it's brilliantly written, and I always love Tarot's characterizations. And it's one of the earliest Pros slash stories, and a classic in the fandom, so I think of it as a must-read - even though I tend not to re-read it. I can't really even let myself think about it *too* much. But it "lives" in my head nonetheless.[12]
I've always really liked Endgame. It feels triumphant at the end, despite what happens. I have not a doubt that Bodie is, essentially, with Doyle. *g* And the flashback sequences are wonderful, if heartbreaking. It's a story that shows exactly how much they loved each other--how could I not love that? [13]
I think the power of this story is that it could have been, you can feel it really could have gone that way, should Doyle have been killed. The characters are written very true to life, all of them, and the descriptions of the surroundings are so believable. And even though it is sad, the story is brought neatly in a full circle as Doyle was there for Bodie at the end, and whether it was just his madness telling him so, or if he was really there, then all that matters is that in Bodie's mind they were both reconciled.[14]
The first Pros story I read -- before I'd ever seen any of the episodes -- was "Endgame," by Tarot. I'd been in B7 fandom for years, but was ready for a change. I'd picked up Camille Bacon-Smith's Enterprising Women at the San Francisco Worldcon, which means it had to have been in 1993, and there was a three-paragraph excerpt from the story in the book. That excerpt set off all my hurt/comfort alarms (in a good way), and it turned out a friend in B7 fandom had a copy, which she photocopied and sent to me. I loved it, even though it was a death story -- the death story, one might even say. After that, I wanted to know more about the characters, so (if nothing else) I could at least keep straight which one was Bodie and which Doyle.[15]

References

  1. The Professionals Online Library Title List: E sumamry by Cassie.
  2. in 1985, from a fan who listed it as her number one favorite Pros story
  3. from The Hatstand Express #16
  4. from The Hatstand Express #7
  5. review in The Hatstand Express #6 (1985).
  6. review in The Hatstand Express #6 (1985).
  7. review in The Hatstand Express #6 (1985).
  8. from DIAL #5
  9. from Cold Fish and Stale Chips #7
  10. from rec50, June 2006
  11. 2008 comments at CI5hq, Archived version
  12. 2008 comments at CI5hq, Archived version
  13. 2008 comments at CI5hq, Archived version
  14. 2008 comments at CI5hq, Archived version
  15. 2014 comments at The Safehouse
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