Fire Held High and Away

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Bodie/Doyle Fanfiction
Title: Fire Held High and Away
Author(s): Miriam Heddy
Date(s): 2001
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links: online here

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Fire Held High and Away is a Bodie/Doyle story by Miriam Heddy.

It is in The Bisto Kids and is online.

Reactions and Reviews

'Fire Held High And Away' by Miriam Heddy - 37pp. The longest story in the zine, and one for me that was better on the second reading. I enjoyed it first time round; I really enjoyed it second time round. Another first time story, and another one where Bodie is bisexual. Told in first person Bodie, it begins immediately after Ann, and then after a few paragraphs skips to some years later.

They are off the street and it appears that Cowley is grooming Ray as his successor, but it might be the two of them. Bodie has taken over from Macklin. They are drifting along together, best friends, still totally as one, reliant on one another, spending as much time together off duty as they ever did--more so in fact--and have matured and gentled somewhat. We see humour, love, partnership, friendship, togetherness and a lot of caring.

They finally, at Ray's persuasion, move in together into a two bed-roomed flat, and finally move beyond friends--although it is not always smooth, and Bodie spends a fair bit of time trying to protect Ray from himself. We see a mix of their lives and new jobs in CI5 and their time spent away from CI5, both in their flat and out in London.

It's a very good, very well written, relationship story from beginning to end. Very good characterisation, I can really see the older Bodie and Ray, and everything we see from their partnership/relationship on-screen is taken and put onto the page in a subtle yet clear way. This really is the story of two friends who finally decide to go where they have clearly been heading for years, in love, together as a committed couple.[1]

One of the most talented writers out there, I adore her view of the lads. This one begins in 1981, just after the mess of Anne Holly, and takes us through 'some years later'. It's Bodie POV, sparkling dialogue and the lads who gradually get everything together. Who needed a wife when I had him to cook for me, boss me around, and drive me round the twist? It's Doyle that takes steps to finally get them to bed, and he's wonderfully in character throughout what Bodie thinks of as 'the longest seduction on record'. And the fire imagery that starts and ends it? Is just perfect.[2]

The title of the story is explained in the first couple of paragraphs which describes how the person who holds the Olympic Torch must to strike a balance when running and holding the Olympic Torch - that the torch must be held high and away or else the torch bearer would be burnt by the fire.

The story is written entirely from Bodie's POV and begins right after Involvement when Ann has left Doyle. The story then skips forward a couple of years and now the lads are no longer part of the 'A' squad but still with CI5. Doyle is being groomed to be Cowley's successor, while Bodie is working in the training centre, having taking over Macklin's job.

Although the lads are no longer partners on the streets, there are still best friends and rely on each other both at work and off work. When Doyle is stressed and frustrated with dealing with the bureaucracy it is Bodie who tries and cheers him up. Most of the time off work they spend together in each other's company. Although Bodie is bisexual in this story, they are not lovers (at least not at the start of the story).

We see the day-to-day lives of the lads both at work and off work, and the sneakiness of Doyle to orchestrate them into sharing a flat together. The move from friendship into something more is well written and I love the fact that Bodie had absolutely no idea of what Doyle was up to.

But what works for me best in this story is the banter between the lads - sharp and witty, and seem so true to what we see of the lads on screen.[3]

See, this, story grabs me, hugs me, and doesn't let me go until I am in a blissful haze...*g*

One of the reasons is very probably that I have a domeistic kink a mile wide, and I love the fact that this whole story is basically these two alpha males locking antlers and taking twelve years of working and eventually living together to wake up and smell the coffee ( I'm cribbing from my own crack-van rec for this..:)

So yes, that's one reason. And the other is as you mentioned, the banter. It fairly crackles off the page at times and feels so very true to how I see and hear them.

Still one of my favourite rereads.[4]

I enjoyed the chance to re-read the story. I hadn't enjoyed it much the first time around, despite it seemingly pressing a lot of my buttons - older B & D still together and in CI5. It's still not a story I'd go back to often, mainly because I don't 'hear' my lads in the story - the fic could do with Brit-checking, and some Americanisms in Bodie's thoughts throw me out every time. The speech patterns don't quite ring true for me.[5]

I like the story of the story, but I have to battle with the actual writing a bit too much to be comfortable reading it over and over...[6]

Older Lads together and still in CI5 is one of my favourite genre as well. I must admit that I don't always pick up the Americanisms in the stories because living in Oz we are bombarded by both British and American shows, and our own version of English has pretty much been influenced by both. So unless the Americanisms are really obvious in the story I don't really become aware of them. Next time I re-read the story I must remember to try and see if I can pick up the differences.[7]

The advantage of first time stories should be that we learn more about the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. But strangely enough that isn't he case in this story. IMO there wouldn't have been a difference if it was a third person story.

Nearly ALL of Bodie's thoughts circle around Ray, everything is RAY centric... Caring about Ray. Playing with his moods. Soothing him when HE is afraid of the job to replace Cowley. Ray..., Ray..., Ray...

Yes, yes, yes – I AM a BB. But I like them equal in the stories. Not a selfish Doyle and a Bodie who soft pedals in everything... "Who needed a wife when I had him to cook for me, boss me around, and drive me round the twist?"

All in all I think the story is ok! It's true that there is enough banter to hold my attention, but it wouldn't have hurt to put some 'action' into it! I don't mean shootings or something like that, just that 'something' would have happened at all... Maybe it is a bit boring sometimes.

"Clearing the plates away and starting on them myself to forestall another lecture, it occurred to me again that we might well look like a pair of old fairies who'd got bored with the sex bit. I'd run into a few couples like that, too far gone to need to be discreet."

Is this a so called 'curtain fic'? [8]

his is such a patently ridiculous thing to do when teaming people for the field that I felt there had to be a different reason, and yet even with access to what he was telling us, I couldn't be sure.

My reading of that is that of course Bodie had better reasons for pairing them - earlier in that paragraph he talks about how they behaved in training, both distinguishing themselves and showing this and that. To me that was why he paired them, whether he consciously thought so or not - and probably he didn't, probably he acted on instinct and then had to come up with a reason for himself later. No doubt if he was asked why them, he'd simply tap his nose and look all-knowing and mysterious - which would be closer to the truth than any reason he could actually come up with! I think Bodie does work on gut-reaction alot of the time, and is happy replying on that - that's ultimately why he knows he couldn't do, and wouldn't want to do Cowley's job. Doyle, on the other hand, drives Bodie mad by trying to think things through, to analyse, philosophise, double- and triple- think, and that's why Cowley might choose him for the job over Bodie - different skills, rather than unequal ones...

I thought the same as you about the torch analogy every time I read this - until now, when I was wondering what interesting parts of the story might be talked about today! Then I took the time to actually try and work out what it might mean, and came up with all sorts... For instance, the smaller fire could be their usual relationship on the job having lit the bigger fire, their love. Or their work for CI5 as agents having lit their future, the bigger picture of it all...

And in general, Doyle's the flame and Bodie's been holding him too close, so close, as he ran through life, that he couldn't see past what he thought he knew himself and that was what burned him. So he'd let himself be numbed to anything different - in other words it took him longer to realise that Doyle really had fallen in love with him too, and to believe it. So when Doyle ended up thrusting the torch (of his lurrrrve, by moving them in together) into Bodie's hands, Bodie fumbled it and nearly dropped it... If he hadn't been focussing so closely on how he couldn't have Doyle, if he'd watched Doyle from a different angle, perhaps with that analytical part of himself that he usually doesn't bother with, if he'd held his flame a bit higher and further away, then he might have seen the bigger picture of the relay, rather than just staring into the beauty of the fire... Or, you know, summat like that. *g* [9]

I did like this story, mainly for the banter and I'm a sucker for first time stories. It was well written and had some good ideas. But I did have one problem with it. I don't see why, characterized as they are here, Bodie loves Doyle. I don't find much very 'likeable' about the Doyle in this story. He's selfish, sarcastic, quick tempered and self absorbed. (I understand the reasons as discussed above by BSL.) But I don't think the author ever gives us a clue as to what Bodie sees in Ray that makes him love Doyle. Did I miss it? [10]

I think it's just a fandom thing, that we know they love each other for everything we've seen in the eps. We're not told why Doyle might love Bodie either, after all... (though obviously it's in Bodie's pov, so that would have been tricky!) I actually believe it more without any declaration of love from Bodie though - after all, we don't exactly sit around thinking "the reason I fancy Such-and-Such is..." (we just do love them, and appreciate their outward moments/looks etc) and we're so closely in Bodie's head that we're thinking his thoughts with him...[11]

I do love this story to pieces, there´s so much love involved, and Bodie is like somebody who would like sth VERY much, but knows he´ll never get it, so when it´s finally presented to him, he goes like: "What? For me? Nah, can´t be true..."

And I sooooo love the way Doyle is contrite about the cherrychocolate episode, it hints, no waves like crazy, that he did sth like that before to Bodie, and that he knows exactly how he affects Bodie with that. He knows that Bodie loves him, or at least desires him, so he plays along and wants to take it further.

And I love the way Bodie get´s a bit mad at him, but can´t stay mad, cause Doyle needs him...

Ahh, I just so love the domestic bliss. And how the reader knows what Doyles up to, even though Bodie still can´t believe it.[12]

I like their banter and the way they act with one another, and I nearly always like first-time-stories with them ;-). It's believable for me and I enjoyed reading.[13]

I wasn't keen on the story the first time I read it and wasn't sure why, but I dutifully re-read it this week. I still wouldn't re-read it other than for discussion purposes but it was interesting to think about the reasons!!

Like one or two others I am put off by the Americanisms. They really throw me out of the story because they prevent me from hearing our Brit lads talking so the banter and the thoughts don't work as well as they should.

Then, like others, I would prefer more 'action' or at least reference to case-work; I don't necessarily want a shoot-out every time but in a story that is quite long and refers to their roles within CI5 quite a lot I would like more 'show' and less 'tell'.

I am irritated by the amount of time devoted to Cowley's manipulations with no conclusion or follow-up. Why don't we get some hint of what he actually wants? Once the sexual relationship is established the rest of the story is abandoned.

There is some nice writing (phrases like 'secret pornographic fantasy' spring to mind and the paint job in the flat is a lovely touch) but things like the use of the torch metaphor and the food/body shape issue strike me as slightly pretentious and not properly followed through.

I have to say that on this second reading the final sex/love scene really appealed, but the story as a whole still leaves me unsatisfied.[14]


  1. ^ review by Nikki Harrington at The Hatstand, Archived version
  2. ^ 2008 comments at CI5hq
  3. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq, Archived version
  4. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  5. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  6. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  7. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  8. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  9. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  10. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  11. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  12. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  13. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq
  14. ^ 2011 comments at CI5hq