Paper Flowers (Professionals zine)

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Zine
Title: Paper Flowers
Publisher: Gryphon Press
Editor:
Author(s): Kitty Fisher
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): September 1992
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
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Paperflowers.jpg

Paper Flowers is a slash AU 110-page novel by Kitty Fisher with Doyle as hooker.

It required an age statement to order.

It contains neither an editorial, interior art, nor is it dated.

Easy to Confuse

"Fancy Dancing" by Kathy Keegan is often confused with "Paper Flowers" by Kitty Fisher. "Paper Flowers" is the one where Doyle is a prostitute who used to be a policeman. "Fancy Dancing" is the one where Doyle is club owner and exotic dancer who used to be a policeman.

Summaries

An alternate universe origin story, set before Bodie and Doyle are partnered in CI5. CI5 agent Bodie has been having sex with a hooker named Ray Duncan, an association that isn't as casual as Bodie tries to convince himself it is. Matters take a sharp turn when Duncan turns out to be more than he appears and becomes involved in Bodie's latest op. [1]

An alternate universe novel based in the world of CI5. Bodie believes Doyle to be a high-class prostitute, while Doyle thinks Bodie is a villain - are either of them right? [2]

As Pro Fiction

cover of original fiction edition

This novel was reproduced as original fiction and published by Wayward Books as "Paper Flowers" by Kit Fisher. [3]

A 2008 review of the original fiction novel:
The story is set in London in the '80 of the last century. I wondered on the reason for choosing that period, and apart the fact that it was a period in which police stories were pretty famous (at least in television fiction...), it's also before the AIDS plague, when the danger on being gay arrives only from society and not also from the love act itself.

Byrne is an inspector who is investigating on some corrupt policemen. He is not the classical up-tight by the book policeman, and he has his naughty secrets. No, the fact that he is gay is not his main secret, on the contrary, it seems that Byrne has no problem with it at all, not at work and not in his private life. His main secret is Peter, the hustler he calls everytime he needs sex. Peter is always ready, a perfect sex partner who leaves in the night, relieving him of the embarassment of the morning after. If lately he is always more attached to his little whore, it's only his problem, Peter has never done anything for becoming more "intimate" with him, since the very intimate act is sharing his life, and he didn't do that.

Peter is not what Byrne thinks. True he was a whore, when he was an underage boy, but he managed to re-enter on the bound of law, more, he became a policeman, a very by the book policeman, not like Byrne. So by the book that he testified against some other corrupt policemen and to thank him, he lost his job and any other chance to find a legal job again. So he devoted himself to the quest of cleaning up the police department from the outside and he is collecting all the proofs he can, paying for them. One night, he meets Byrne, and the man mistakes him for a whore; since he fancies the man, Peter plays along and accepts money for sex. But only from Byrne, a man he is starting to feel for, a man he doesn't know who he real is.

Byrne believes Peter a whore, and despite this he loves him; Peter believes Byrne some type of villain, and despite this he loves him... It's quite tender seeing these two men arriving to a bargain with their conscience all for the power of love. They are very similar Peter and Byrne, so similar that Peter can't accept to be a burn for Byrne; Peter is not waiting for the knight in shining armor, for much he loves that knight. Peter wants to reach his target with his own force, to prove to the world, and to himself, that he is no more the boy who sold himself on the street. And maybe also to prove himself worthy of the love of Byrne.

Byrne is quite a difficult character to understand, he doesn't speak much. He is for sure a man with a big heart and one who doesn't judge a man from his past. He was ready to love Peter even when he believed him to be a whore. But he is not attracted by the man since the other is weaker or in need of help. Byrne doesn't need to feel important or the macho in the relationship.

What I like more in this book, apart obviously the romance between Peter and Byrne, that is wonderful, is that even in the most cruel moment, the author doesn't indulge in the details. In a way she veils the story in certain moment, to be on the other side, opens and in plain sight when it's time to deal with love and feelings and passion. The relationship between Peter and Byrne is both sexy than tender, and in both aspect is dealt in a very good way.

This is a romance that I recommend to who likes to read of men in love who are able to share their feelings. [4]
In general, I'm not a fan of fan fiction turned into "original" fiction. For what it's worth, I always recommend that folks read the original zines, even if they do read the revised versions as well. Much of the depth in good fan fiction comes from its draw on canon (at least in my opinion), and those are often the details most likely to be lost in commercial revisions, for obvious reasons. I've read several of the Wayward Books versions of what were originally Pros fan fiction stories, and the differences between the two varies from essentially only a name change for the main characters to more substantial changes. [5]

Reactions and Reviews

1993

Another zine 1 enjoyed is PAPER FLOWERS. Those like myself, who like a Doyle who is androgynous and a bit on the "feminine" side, though certainly not weak or simpering, will enjoy this tale. [6]

1996

I loved it. Poor Doyle suffered so well, Bodie was wonderfully clueless and a Cowley that made sense. As for the end scene --that's my Doyle. A real man. Does what is necessary to get the bad man. The fact that Bodie had to watch it all -- well that's part of the occupational hazard. And the fact that Bodie thought Doyle was a whore for so long and Doyle let him-- yum. Very dysfunctional in a sexy way. [7]

2001

... I love a downtrodden, end of his tether but struggling on bravely Doyle and a sublimely selfish, dawningly aware and frequently pissed off Bodie. Great stuff. [8]

2006

How much you enjoy this fic may partly depend on how tired you are of the Doyle-as-whore plot, but there will presumably always be some of us out there who haven't yet read their way through this particular swathe (so I'm told) of fics - and at the moment I am one of that happy band. Well, come on, the idea of Ray Doyle at the end of a telephone, awaiting your call, to be at your beck and call... *coughs*... where was I?

This is very much a hurt/comfort, angsty fic, and one that had me compelled from beginning to end. How had Doyle become a prostitute rather than a CI5 agent? When would Bodie realise that he was in love? And what about the bad guy that they're all after - because yes, this was mission- and well as relationship- driven.

Kitty Fisher was my introduction to the Pros slash world, and not only did I adore the fics that she has up on her website for their content - dark and twisted bdsm that some of it is - but I was absolutely impressed by the quality of what I came to realise was fandom writing. [9]

2011

This is an extremely well written story. The emotions experienced by both characters are almost painful to read. The characterization is perfect. Ray is as stroppy and stubborn and difficult as we expect him to be, but we also see the softer, vulnerable side of him. Bodie is, well… Bodie! He’s charming, a bit self-centered, heavy handed and uncomfortable in trying to make things right between Ray and himself. But we see his other side too, his worry and caring for his partner. [10]

References

  1. from The Hatstand
  2. from On the Double #28
  3. from The Hatstand
  4. from Good Reads
  5. 2012 comment by taverymate at Camera Shy, Prosfinder
  6. comment by a fan in Strange Bedfellows #1 (May 1993)
  7. Morgan Dawn's personal correspondence to the author dated May 22, 1996, reposted with permission.
  8. from DIAL #20
  9. 2006 comments by byslantedlight at Palelyloitering
  10. merentha13's review at crack van, dated October 27, 2011; WebCite.