Bodie/Doyle

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Pairing
Pairing: Bodie/Doyle
Alternative name(s):
Gender category: slash, m/m
Fandom: The Professionals
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: one of the first slash pairings, huge in the past
Archives:
Other:
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Contents

Bodie/Doyle is the main pairing of the Professionals fandom.

The canon partnership between Bodie and Ray Doyle has been in place at least a year when the series begins, although Doyle has been an agent with CI5 slightly longer. The two men are portrayed as equals, a "mobile ghetto" of two, defying all comers (including, sometimes, their boss). Although they usually work together on cases for CI5, they are occasionally used as solo agents: this plot point comes in handy for fanfiction authors who want to have angsty separations and joyful reunions between the men.

Physical Attraction, Banter, and Behaving Like an Old Married Couple

For Bodie and Doyle (and the fans who see them as a couple), their togetherness registers on several levels: verbal, physical, and the unconscious.

Perhaps most obviously, their attraction toward each other comes out in banter. That they know each other far better than mere partners emerges in coded phrases only they would understand within the tv episodes ("remember where the black boy took the count?" "yeah"), or at times when they seem to finish each other's phrases and jokes (Doyle, on Cowley with a woman: "He'd kick the door down, throw her on the bed--" Bodie: "And frisk her."). In many fanworks, humor is part of the steady patter in exchanges between the partners.

Physical attraction and touching between the two partners exists in canon: Bodie and Doyle touched each other or held each other in a number of episodes, including "Mixed Doubles," "Rogue," and "Fugitive." Sometimes the touches occurred as shelter from a bruising third party, or to shield the body of one's partner from further danger; in others, it was mentioned directly (Doyle says they're "never far apart" in "Rogue"). In "Hunter/Hunted" Bodie musses Doyle's curls; in "Stake Out" Bodie wraps Doyle up in his arms to stop him from initiating a fight, and lies to onlookers that Doyle "drinks a lot, you know. I'm trying to sober him up."

The unconscious connection that seems to exist at near-psychic levels has a canon basis in the episode where Doyle is shot and nearly dies ("Discovered in a Graveyard"). While lying in the hospital hooked up to tubes after heart surgery, he makes a curving finger motion--and Bodie instantly connects it to a piece of jewelry Doyle bought from a specific shop only days before. Without words, the two men appear to communicate almost flawlessly (they do resort to rock-paper-scissors on occasion), and in fanfiction, this trend continues unabated.

In many respects they behave as an old married couple. A full list of old married couple moments in the show can be found here. Fanfiction authors have created lots of new examples of banter, bickering, and old married behaviors with almost every story. Stories with Bodie and Doyle as older men (a genre referred to as Older Lads by some) are almost guaranteed to feature them as an old married couple.

Bodie's Devotion to Ray Doyle

The show provides plenty of evidence that Bodie takes Ray Doyle's safety seriously, and fanfiction follows this trend. Bodie is willing to disregard direct orders several times in order to rescue Doyle or prevent him from coming to harm ("Ojuka Situation"). His ability to protect Doyle is something his partner comes to rely on ("you'll save me" in "Hunter/Hunted"). That Doyle is right to rely on Bodie is demonstrated over and over again in fanfiction: when Doyle is captured, drugged, tortured, sexually abused, even loses his mind (or all of the above, in Catch a Fallen Star by Rosemary), Bodie always comes to Doyle's rescue.

In his efforts to protect Doyle, Bodie is often injured on the show; in fanfiction, authors deliver hurt/comfort stories about Bodie by the score. Bodie has been drugged, blinded, gassed, raped[1], knifed, shot, tortured, injured to the point of suffering a coma, strapped to a bomb, blown up and left for dead. He's been an amnesiac, lived through a sex change operation[2], and developed terminal cancer.[1] He's met Death, and died from AIDS.[2] If physical hurt/comfort is too much, readers can find plenty of emotionally fraught fanfiction in which Bodie is betrayed, blackmailed, marooned, returned to childhood[3] via voodoo, wished out of existence (also with voodoo), can't read, mourns his dead family[3], dead comrades, or dead Cowley. Death stories featuring Doyle cause Bodie the highest levels of emotional meltdown,[4] followed closely by stories in which he is separated from Doyle against his will.

Bodie's attraction to Doyle comes out in several ways in the show, and in fanworks. He has pet names for Ray (Angelfish, D'oyly Carte, Sunshine) and they choose to spend their off-duty hours together even when they don't have to. Fanfiction authors sometimes take the nicknames to new heights (Petal, Flower, Ray-mate), but retain Bodie and Doyle's canonical status as best friends. Bodie and Doyle have vacationed in the Lake District, all of Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, the Scilly Islands, and Italy together, fictionally; Bodie has even convinced Doyle to try parachuting for fun. Sometimes authors have placed Bodie's 'loner' quality into tension with his friendship toward Doyle, as if one should preclude the other. In canon, Bodie regularly touches Doyle, mussing up his hair, throwing an arm around his shoulders, and patting his rear--all subjects that reappear in fanfiction with regularity.

Top or Bottom?

In fanfiction, there is a relatively even divide between those who perceive Bodie as either top or bottom in the relationship. Despite his 'tough guy' appearance, a sizable number of authors depict Bodie as a willing or even eager bottom who wants to be dominated. In a series by M. Fae Glasgow, Bodie patronizes a bondage-domination club, and introduces Doyle to the basics of B&D; by the end of the series, Doyle has become a Master at B&D and Bodie is his eager Servant.

Stories Featuring Domestic Life

Fanfiction centered on the domestic life of Bodie and Doyle, aka curtainfic, comes in a variety of flavors. Some authors envision the two men becoming domestic while still working for CI5, sharing a flat and open about their preference for living together. Bodie's tendency to clean, straighten, and organize things (assumed from his army training) usually appears in these works. Other authors prefer to delay the onset of domesticity until after the pair are retired, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The most elaborate and sophisticated of these, in which Bodie remodels a house according to Doyle's preferences, is A Different Game by DVS. There are some trends: Bodie and Doyle may retire to canal boats or the country in domestic fic, but more often than not, they go on living in London. In virtually all of these stories, Bodie is dismayed by (typically Doyle's) clutter.

As retirees living in England, domestic-fic Bodie and Doyle often take up gardening. Bodie breeds a special rose for Doyle's birthday in...

A sub-genre of domestically-oriented Pros fiction centers upon teddy bears (hidden, treasured, boyhood keepsakes). Doylebaby wrote several bear-themed stories. Two tales told from the bears' point of view are the Gruff and Grim stories, in which Bodie and Doyle rediscover their long-lost bears, who then keep watch over the domestic lives of their (now much older) charges.

An entire article would be needed to detail the presence of cats in domestic life Pros fiction. An entire 'zine linked felines to Bodie and Doyle. Suffice it to say that The Hag's Gift of the Moggy is by far the most memorable one told from the cat's point of view. Strangely enough, dogs (and other animals) don't appear in very many Pros stories.

References

  1. In the story "Autumn Rain" by Diane M. in the 'zine Chalk and Cheese 14. Not to be confused with a story by the same name written by Jennifer L.
  2. Another Bodie-dies-from-AIDS story bears a similar title: "Action = Life" by Nina Boal, in the 'zine Continental B&D.
  3. "Far Shore" in the 'zine Never Far Apart, by Angelfish.
  4. Bodie suicide: "Last Option" by India, in Chalk and Cheese 14.
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