Night Moves (Professionals story)

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The Professionals Fanfiction
Title: Night Moves
Author(s): Courtney Gray
Date(s): 1988 (paper circuit), 2003 (archived online)
Length: 197K
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links: online here

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Night Moves is a Professionals slash story by Courtney Gray. Pairings: Bodie/Doyle, Bodie/Other M, Doyle/Other M.

The author wrote an alternative ending to this story called Kink.

Summaries

In 2000, two fans Cassie Ingaben and Dagger compiled an index of many of the circuit stories. They also wrote brief summaries:

  • Dagger: Bodie's a high-priced prostitute that Cowley coerces into helping CI5 infiltrate a drug lord's bedroom, teamed with CI5 agent, Doyle. Forced into very close contact while preparing for their mission, both experience unexpected emotional reactions.
  • Cassie: B is a high class prostitute, after Marika left him. C needs to get into the house of Coogan the boxer/ gangster, and blackmails B to help D in this. They have to pose as two whores since Coogan likes this. After initial conflict, B&D practice and fall in love. B rejects Marika when she returns, and tries to dissuade D from the Coogan plan since the boxer is a sadist. Then Coogan dies, B quits his job and joins D in CI5. Happy ending.

Reactions and Reviews

1991

I read NIGHT MOVES, which is the only Bodie call-boy story I know (except I remember this ghodawful Bodie as sex slave story — definitely in the "humiliate Bodie" mold). Enjoyed NIGHT MOVES, except I didn't believe the whole part at the end about him joining CI5. Why couldn't he just keep on his current career, he was quite obviously enjoying it? Of course there are risks with such customers as Coogan, but then CI5 has its risks too. Then there was KINK, the "alternate" version, done by the same author in the UP AGAINST THE WALL stories (available from the Library ). I definitely can't see Bodie joining CIS after that affair. In fact, I suspect that Doyle will resign CI5 [1]

2002

I think that, once again, Diligent Doyle does it for me (and for England). Needing to infiltrate and get in touch with a (deeply disturbed and villain) Coogan, Doyle masquerades as a male prostitute, and Cowley blackmails Bodie into introducing Doyle both to Coogan and to the art of whoring, in which Bodie, ex-merc extraordinaire, excels ... what a surprise! [2]

2007

I’ve never been much attracted to stories which feature Doyle or Bodie as ‘prostitute’ – they seem to stretch my imagination just a bit too far - but Courtney Gray’s own particular treatment of this theme makes Night Moves an exception to the rule and it‘s a story I love and can return to again and again. In her capable hands the scenario of Bodie as a kind of hard-bitten ‘high paid whore’ coerced into tutoring Doyle on the technicalities of male sex for a Ci5 operation is completely plausible; while Doyle’s (initial) reluctance but willingness to act as the necessary ‘hook' for the task, borders on the heroic:

"Doyle fanned the pages in his hands, not really reading. "What do you want me...." His voice faltered as he met Cowley's gaze. "I want to set you up with a hustler, one that Coogan knows...............Cowley drew off his glasses and tapped them against the blotter. "That way we'll have the information we need to topple his organisation from the inside out." Doyle sagged a little in his chair and brushed long fingers through his curls. He seemed to be considering everything that Cowley had left unspoken. "I've never done a cover like that, even with the Special Unit at the Yard," he said softly.

Did I say reluctance?

"I like the taste of you," Doyle told him much later, the first words spoken between them that morning. "I didn't think I would, but I do." Bodie just blinked at him, his body light as air. "I want us to spend the day in bed. I want to feel what it's like to put my cock inside you. I want you to fuck me again. No poppers, no drugs this time. I want to do it every way there is." Bodie was too stunned to speak. When he found his voice, he said the first thing he could think of. "I--I've appointments today." "Cancel them." Big green eyes held him, still shining with sexual heat."

And then there are the lines where you almost forget to breathe:

To feel that someone has become an essential part of you was an exquisite kind of addiction. Bodie was hooked. ""Could you live without me?" he asked Doyle, no flippancy in the question. The answer came immediately, hushed and sincere. "I could exist.""

NB: There is an alternate ending to this story which is called Kink and both are available at all good high street booksellers, failing that, The Circuit. [3] ;[4]
I agree that this was one of the better efforts at this scenario, but I just couldn't buy into it -- although you present some convincing arguments. The characters just didn't ring true for me, and I find the whole prostitution thing inevitably overwrought.... I thought this comment of yours was interesting:

"for me it’s not completely impossible imagining Bodie as a hard-bitten, cynical hooker, a scenario which isn’t a million miles away from his former life in canon, being a mercenary, and again, prepared to sell his body to the highest bidder.So, if we can accept that part of the story...

And that's the crux of it. I can't."

It seems to me that you're looking at this philosophically or logically, whereas I think this particular psychological dynamic actually ties into notions of masculinity and male self-perception. If we accept that Bodie is a certain type of alpha male -- I think of him as the classic rogue hero (and he appears to be written this way in canon) then his SAS and mercenary background is going to fit with both stereotypical expectations of extreme macho behavior and canon-Bodie's own self image.

That kind of guy is never -- well, at least, hugely unlikely -- to view selling his body in the same light as selling his fighting skills. Whoring is simply too...unmasculine.

Now if he didn't have a choice (I don't remember the story well) and the scenario is sex slave or something equally farfetched, I guess it's a little more believable, although it won't work for narrow-minded readers like myself who are thrown by anything AU.

My take is that canon-Bodie (given historical gender roles and expectations) would always need to see himself as seducer and controller, which is why the romantic dynamic between himself and Doyle (equally alpha and equally macho despite the occasional glimmerings of sensitivity) is so damned amusing. The conflict -- romantic tension, if you will -- is always there merely because of who they are.

That said, part of the fun of this AU stuff is that it stands all the canon expectations on ear. [5]
Doyle admits he could survive, go on breathing without Bodie, but he'd never call it living.

And that Bodie does exactly what Doyle wants--cancelling all his appointments--that's when you know something special is going on.

I have to say, I find both endings have their appeal. Never seeing Coogan in the original version does have the feel of bait-and-switch-the-reader, set up a partiuclar scenario and then never make Doyle do it. However, Kink is a bit abusive (exactly as Bodie said it would be) and pushes the extremes of the abuse really hard. I've wondered if there might not be another alternative.[6]
Do you know I can't remember if I've read the Kink ending or not? I think I must have done in the past, but I didn't read it this time because I just don't *get* those sort of situations.....they don't offend me or anything like that, but they just strike me as being slightly ridiculous and boring - collars, whips and things. I've never understood what that kind of setup has to do with attaining sexual highs etc. But anyway, yes, I agree with you, the first ending was disappointingly abrupt and a third ending would be fascinating - maybe one stresses the emotional battles Bodie has to go through, watching the man he's fallen head-over-heels in love with being humiliated by a thug.[7]
Oh, you've picked another of my favourites! I know what you mean about the-lads-as-whores being difficult in many many ways - actually one of the hardest such scenarios I found was in The Rainbow Chasers by HG, for all I love it in so many other ways - Doyle as hooker just doesn't ring true for me there, and Bodie hardly ever would, but it does in Night Moves somehow... I wonder what the difference is...

I think that if you don't like AUs then you're bound not to be able to get on with something like this, it's AU, pure and simple - it's that thing of stretching the canon characters to what if, and I know I had to get to a certain place in reading other fic before I was ready to wonder what other ifs might be interesting... (You remember! But eventually I loved The Same River...)!

We talked about things being edgy a while ago, the idea of slash itself, to start with, and I think that a fic like this follows on from there. If we accept that the lads braved all else (basically, the culture of the time) to have a relationship, then something like Night Moves, and bdsm fic in general seems to push the edges a bit further out, for me. If I can see a way to believe that something might happen - Bodie didn't sell his "expertise" as Geraldine Mather put it, he actually sold his body, so he never joined CI5 - then it raises the question of how would the lads meet, how would they each find their "soul mate" (which, no matter how much you like to cool-it-up is what most of us think of when we think of B/D) - and how would they then reconcile each other's past...

Same with the bdsm (which I'm a fan of in B/D fic, when it's well done) - if the lads did take that route of working out their tension/conflict etc (and it's not unknown - think about people who self-harm in order to keep control over their emotional life, there's a difference of focus, but the theory is pretty similar, I'd say - using physical pain to overcome mental pain), then how might it go, how would they deal with it, and what would be the outcome of making a choice that "extreme" (in many people's eyes)? It's all rather interesting, I think, but you have to be able to push out the if to make it work...

Well, that's what I reckon, anyway. *g*

Oh, and yes - the fact that they're both doing something so distasteful, something that is rather shocking, and would be absolutely disgusting to many people just as an idea, but that they both not only accept it in each other, but find that spark of understanding and love despite that... Well - now that's romantic... *g* [8]
Whenever I think of this story I am washed by a particular emotion - a melancholy but lush feeling of something very sad but very beautiful. The way she sets up the two of them is very powerful, and to me at least, it felt convincing.

Reading the previous comments and the debate about Bodie - would he or wouldn't he? - in the context of this story I personally think it works, and he would, because he's in control. It's his choice, it's his way, he's in control of the occupation and he appreciates the lifestyle in many ways. I agree that it has to do with his pragmatism, but also with his pride - his pride in his self control, in his physical discipline. Also, in his ability to separate himself, hold himself apart from his situation - that ascetic/sensual dialectic that seems to exist so perfectly in him. I'm not sure that I'm making sense and it has been a while since I read the story, but this is what comes to mind.

Once again, thank you for a beautiful review.[9]
Hello - cheers for this fic rec! Nightmoves was probably the first AU I read and I didn't think I would like it, but I did, a lot. I agree with the comment paris7am made, it is Bodie's choice and he controls how much of himself he gives away, so it all teeters for him when Doyle comes on the scene - in fact everything paris7am says above is why this fic is believable to me. The only thing is imagining Coogan to be that sort of villain, I guess the lads being younger and him older (and if I squint) it works... As faramir_borimer says, both endings have their appeal, but the fact the same story has a choice of ending sort of jolts me out of it, as my mind doesn't know which to focus on as the 'proper' ending. I would like it to be definitely one or the other and whichever one to be ended in a satisfactory way – I need equal measures of hurt / comfort I suppose! [10]
Thanks for this rec. It's a set up I wouldn't necessarily choose to read, but I'm glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I know what you mean about almost forgetting to breathe sometimes. Love the way she depicts the emotions growing between them, with neither having a clue quite how to identify or cope with them.[11]

References

  1. ^ from a comment in Short Circuit #4 (January 1991)
  2. ^ from Discovered in a Letterbox #24
  3. ^ from Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007
  4. ^ reference link for all the comments on this page
  5. ^ from jgraeme2007 at Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007
  6. ^ from faramir_boromir at Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007
  7. ^ from noble sentiments at Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007
  8. ^ from byslantedlight at Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007
  9. ^ from paris7am at Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007
  10. ^ from magenta blue at Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007
  11. ^ from callistosh65 at Nobel Sentiments, posted July 2007