Roses and Lavender

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Zine
Title: Roses and Lavender
Publisher: Allamagoosa Press (Minneapolis)
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1997-
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Professionals
Language: English
External Links: online reviews of the zine
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Roses and Lavender is a slash Professionals anthology. It required an age statement to order.

Regarding the Title

The title of this zine series comes from dialogue from the show spoken by George Cowley:
"That's our official brief. 'By any means necessary.' That's our loophole. Now I'll tell you my interpretation, I'll tell you what it's really going to be like. You'll be paired off and from then on you're the Bisto Kids. The slightest whiff of anything and you move in. Shake 'em down, crush 'em, before they even start to grow, like an alley fight. And that's what this is, an alley fight. So kick him in the goolies first. Do unto others now what they're still thinking about. Oh, there'll be squeals, and once in awhile you'll turn a law-abiding citizen into an authority-hating anarchist. There'll be squeals and letters to M.P.s, but that's the price they have and we have to pay to keep this island clean and smelling, even if ever so faintly, of roses and lavender."

Issue 1

cover issue #1, Kathy Marschall

Roses and Lavender 1 was published in May 1997 and contains 124 pages.

  • Krivas by Elizabeth Holden. Krivas has escaped from prison, and Bodie and Doyle have been sent to find him. But Bodie is finding that his past memories of Krivas are overshadowing the present. Can Doyle help him find a way out of the past? (7 pages)
  • Wings of Morning by Irene. Doyle is a veteran of the 1914-18 war, and Beau is the amnesiac shell-shock victim Doyle finds wandering the streets. What is behind Beau's loss of memory? This is an alternate universe story written from a verbal description of Rhiannon's "Veils of Morning", published with her permission. (23 pages)
  • The Still of the Night by Alexandra. Bodie has found out that Doyle has resigned from CI5. When he goes after him, Doyle is missing. Bodie can probably find him - but what do they have to say to each other? (10 pages)
  • Carrier by Irene. Gen. A strange woman accosted Mickey Hamilton, and he started dreaming that the doctors were letting people die. But now Mickey Hamilton is dead, and it's Doyle who's having the dreams. What's wrong with him? (10 pages)
  • Adrenaline by PFL. At the end of a long undercover op for Doyle, he ended up in hospital. Doyle was raped, and Bodie killed the man who was about to kill Doyle. So why does Bodie want to resign from CI5? (17 pages)
  • One-to-One Correspondence by Jan Levine and Irene. Doyle is up north on assignment and Bodie is stuck in the Archives, and neither one has anything better to do than write letters to the other. An epistolary story. (22 pages)
  • Waking from Dreams by PFL. Murphy and Bodie have been sleeping together for some time but Murphy has been noticing things about Bodie and Doyle that they haven't noticed about themselves. A sequel to Meg Lewtan's "There Has to Be a Morning After." Published with her permission. (6 pages)
  • Epiphany by Alexandra and Irene. At the end of "Man Without a Past," Doyle realises that Bodie is the only one for him. But Bodie doesn't seem to be understanding much of what Doyle is saying. (28 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for The Still of the Night.
See reactions and reviews for Wings of Morning.
See reactions and reviews for Waking from Dreams.
[zine]: I enjoyed the fresh approach to Bodie and Doyle in these stories and feel the writers have been watching the series to get to know the characters. For me, the Roses and Lavender, Bodie and Doyle are believable and behave maturely which makes me interested in how the characters develop. I'm afraid some stories bother me in that my response is that one or both of them are emotionally so immature I just get impatient with them. This is never the case in this zine. The first story, 'Krivas' by Elizabeth Holden, continues the episode and questions their emotional response to the situation. Wings of Morning by Irene is inspired by Rhiannon's 'Veils of Morning". It is sufficiently distinctive to stand on its own and I loved the way both men, in this story, are shown to have been shocked and scarred by the war. In the Still of the Night by Alexandra - I wondered about this at the beginning. Doyle resigns without telling Bodie and runs off leaving enough clues to indicate that he wants to be found ... but the impression I'm left with at the resolution is that this story has a more mature content than most using this plot line. Carrier by Irene - This explores an interesting psychological concept and offers a different approach and link for two episodes. It left me thinking . . . and admiring the insight of the author. 'Adrenaline' by PFL - Doyle is physically injured and Bodie emotionally - but this is more complex than the usual story and the partnership changes. It was delightful to read a story where Bodie and Doyle act as emotionally mature individuals. Very competently handled. 'One-to-One Correspondence' by Jan Levine and Irene (the spoiler titles this "Pillar to Post" - a good alternative) - This is a well plotted and entertaining story and is placed just right as about the middle story in the zine. Not one of my personal favourites and most unfairly, I kept thinking of "No Unicorns" which is one of my all-time favourites. "Waking From Dreams' by PFL - Again, interesting and well written. I was never sure of the outcome but easily followed the author's lead. "Epiphany" by Alex T. MacKenzie and Irene - A darker side to the partnership question. Doyle is more manipulative and Bodie more thoughtful than is usually depicted. Martin's deception is a neat counterpoint to the approaching changes in the B/D relationship... Roses and Lavenders a real treat I understand there are more zines due out from this press. [1]
[zine]: This zine was a pleasure to read. Though I enjoyed some stories more than others, I didn't think there was a sub-standard story in the zine, and the quality of print and proofreading was good. I was very happy with it... "Wings of Morning" by Irene ... This is a real A/U. Doyle's lungs were damaged in World War I and he is living frugally and undergoing medical care. He meets an amnesiac, Bodie, and takes him in. They fall in love in a gentle 1919 sort of way but Bodie regains his memory of his real life with the airplane industry, loses his memory of his friendship with Doyle and disappears. Doyle goes into a hospital after failing to find him. Bodie recovers his memory and finds Doyle. This was a lovely story to read. It's very much an A/U - in character for the period, but I had trouble seeing Bodie and Doyle in the medically-ravaged earlier-world characters here. The things I look for in a CIS story - humour, action, CI5, Cowley - were missing. It was still a fine story. Best line - the last one. "The Still of the Night" by Alex T Mackenzie - I enjoyed this very much; it really touched my sense of the Bodie/Doyle relationship, their personalities, their speech patterns, and most of all - if I may use the term - my sense of romance. Doyle leaves CI5 without talking to Bodie about it. Bodie tracks him to an artist's cottage and has it out with him, guessing that Doyle quit because he was in love with Bodie. And they talk about the ramifications of this, and decide to accept love, whatever the price... 'Carrier' by Irene - An odd story, an eerie story-I loved it but wasn't entirely sure what I was supposed to understand from it. Doyle is upset by the circumstances and the death of Mickey Hamilton. Images of doctors haunt him. Bodie is concerned for his well-being but Doyle can't talk about it or understand his distress. Events with Shelley Hunter and Frances Cottingham tie into the theme, intensifying Doyle's pain and confusion, but he is helped by Bodie's faith and expression of confidence in him. This story had their voices perfectly, overlaid with a dark ambience of disturbing thoughts and unanalysed dreamy. I loved this Bodie: strong, confident, sure, and caring-I loved this Doyle, too. thoughtful and troubled. There actually wasn't much plot or action but the theme made that irrelevant. This story succeeds on its style alone, but deserves bonus points for originality -it isn't that it's about something different, it's that it is something different. There were so many good bits (especially the conversation that resolves things at the end) that I'm not sure what to quote... 'Adrenaline' by PFL -I am reluctant to describe the story here; to say too much really would spoil it, I think. That being said, I liked it more on second and third reading than on first. On first reading, the theme (partner rape) was almost too difficult to handle. On later reading ... There was something about the psychology, the tension, the resolution that make this a very moving and profound story and one that successfully handles a subject I don't think I've ever seen successfully handled before. It isn't partner rape by my definition of the subject, it's something else - mind games at a particularly deep and insightful level. I loved it. I loved the characterisation of Doyle here, too.... "One-to-One Correspondence" by Jan Levine and Irene - This is an epistolary story, and a very funny one. Doyle is sent to a (cold) school to bodyguard a bratty kid and teach French verbs. He writes to Bodie to pass the time between dealing with the student's adventures and fending off the advances of an ageing teacher. Bodie meanwhile is making himself at home at Doyle's, as they discuss cases, and the talk veers to personal subjects such as Doyle's reading matter("Gay Boys in Bondage") and Bodies current problems with women (he can't get it up - until he starts thinking about Doyle). This was delightful in every way - except that they never do get particularly mushy with each other, and the resolution, where they get together, is given short shrift. I was left wanting more. But I was left smiling, too. "Waking from Dreams" by PFL - I love this story. Thoroughly and totally love it, can't be objective about it. I'll confess that I read it before publication and loved it then. Looked forward to reading it again. Have read it more than once, more than twice, more than ... You get the idea. It's based on Meg Lewtan's There Has to Be a Morning After. Murphy, is having an affair with Bodie. He is deeply in love and wants to spend his life with Bodie: but Bodie wants a casual ongoing affair. Murphy sees Bodie s life as balanced between love (with Murphy) and partnership/friendship with Doyle, who has said he isn't interested in men. But Murphy sees the depth of feeling Bodie has for Doyle and realises; that he has been living an illusion. I thought this story was so emotionally substantial, and so emotionally satisfying, that I remembered it as being much longer than it is... "Epiphany' by Alex T. MacKenzie and Irene - This story takes the climax of "Man Without A Past", where Bodie walks in and finds the wounded Doyle in the kitchen and Doyle says, "You dumb crud. What took you so long?- At that moment Doyle fell in love. I love that as a set-up for a story. And I did, truly, like this story. But the reactions of all the characters in all circumstances were so far from what I would have done with the same scenario, so unlike the psychology I would have given the situation, that I was constantly being surprised, bewildered and even a little confused. Doyle's reaction to loving Bodie is to avoid him? Because of embarrassment? Okay. Bodie's reaction is to go for sex, but never consider affection or love? Uh okay. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with any specific moment, just that I kept thinking, "Why would they feel that way? Why would they react that way?' No reason they shouldn't, of course. It certainly kept the story fresh and unpredictable for me. This is entirely a matter of interpretation of characters, of course. Maybe my Bodie and Doyle wouldn't act quite this way - I know they wouldn't - but some people would and it worked just fine in this story. I suppose, if I think about it, that I found Bodie and Doyle here rather shallow, rather belting in insight, self-awareness or imagination. And since I've read many such stories without complaining, the difference here is that the style was good enough to warrant something deeper, something indicating more intelligence and understanding than we end up seeing here. Whatever it was, I was eagerly turning the pages. [2]
[zine]: This is a very plainly put together fanzine. There are no illustrations but plenty of good writing. I'll kick off with my favourite story of the whole zine, Elizabeth Holden's "Krivas". Like the author, I've always felt there was more to Bodie's relationship with Krivas than a fatal argument over a girl. There was just too much violent unresolved emotion between the two. Krivas looked shifty when questioned by Benny about Bodie. Then there was Bodie's rigid reaction to Doyle's questioning. I felt Bodie's feelings about Krivas included 'You bastard, you failed me' for some reason. In this story, Krivas failed by just being himself. I expected to be disappointed by "Wings of Morning" as I'm a fan of Rhiannon's work and this story is a re-working of one of hers. But Irene put a new spin on the plot and it has its own separate charm. "Adrenaline" by PFL is a partner-rape story which doesn't feature the rape. After the event, Bodie is all for resigning, only for Cowley to stop him. Bodie finds it very difficult to accept that Doyle doesn't hate him and can live with it. Though the story is well written, I still feel uneasy saying I like it because of the subject-matter. "One-to-One Correspondence' like "No Unicorns', is composed of a series of letters. Doyle is stuck at a minor public school guarding the body of a spotty little herbert and freezing into the bargain. The only outlet for his feelings is writing to Bodie, who is not in the mood for birds right now, okay!? The Still of the Night" is a chase-me story with Doyle playing the lure. Bodie follows his partner and eventually all is sorted out. [3]
[zine]: The zine contains eight stories by five authors; 124 pp; over 84,000 words. It's well-presented on good stock with clear, clean text, a notable absence of typos, and excellent editing.

I'll look at the stories in order as they appear in the zine:

KRIVAS by Elizabeth Holden. This story is of that sub-genre of fanfiction in which the author takes a brief comment in canon and expands on it to create a fictionalised background for one of the characters. The story's set-up is that Krivas has escaped custody and Bodie and Doyle trail him to Cheshire, where they take a room for the night. The pov is Doyle's, but Bodie does most of the talking. This story is Bodie's, revolving around his girl in Africa whom Krivas killed. The bulk of the story is talk and B/D sex.

Elizabeth Holden isn't usually a successful writer for me as her views of the characters rarely jive with my own. She is, however, a competent stylist whose writing is always smoothly accessible. This story will be successful or not depending on each reader's degree of acceptance of the characterisations of both main characters as well as interest in the background story Bodie relates. It didn't work brilliantly for me, but that's a subjective response rather than a fault in the story's execution.

WINGS OF MORNING by Irene. Irene wrote this story while waiting to get Rhiannon's Veils of Morning from the paper circulating library. Impatient to read the original, she started her own version based on a bare synopsis. I don't know if the gestation of this story is unique in Pros fandom or not, but it's provided a fascinating companion piece to Rhiannon's classic story. If I had to choose only one of the two as a favourite, it would be Rhiannon's, but I enjoy Irene's version of the basic idea (which wasn't original to Rhiannon, either, but adapted from an old film) and reread it frequently. Mostly, I find I want to read both stories when I get the urge to re-visit one. The basic story--Bodie as a WWI soldier with amnesia who meets Doyle--is like enough to set up a resonance, yet the differences in the tales and the styles in which they're told makes each stand entirely alone.

Apart from the obvious differences in the authors' styles, Wings of Morning is a more compact story. It takes place over a period of months rather than the several years Rhiannon relates. The supporting cast of characters that enlivens Rhiannon's tale isn't present here; it's much more a cosy B/D tale. Irene is one of the presently active writers whose writing I love, and this story is one of my favourites.

THE STILL OF THE NIGHT by Alexandra. Set after No Stone, this story has Doyle resigning from CI5 and disappearing. Well, not really--not with Bodie hot on his trail determined to discover what's going on. Bodie fears Doyle has realised his partner is in love with him; what Bodie learns is a bit more complex than that.

Alex's strengths as a writer are her ability to make both characters come alive in recognisable versions of themselves and her attention to detail. She sets scenes well, letting the reader see what the characters see, and she takes a slow pace that takes us through the entire situation a step at a time, mingling serious talk, humorous drunkenness, and sexual developments. She's not a particularly deep or insightful writer, but she offers nicely entertaining stories, and this is one of them.

CARRIER by Irene. Not slash. The story uses incidents from The Madness of Mickey Hamilton and A Hiding to Nothing. I'm not a gen fan and this story isn't one I reread much, but when I do, Irene's writing draws me in as always. She mines the pathos in Mickey Hamilton's and Frances Cottingham's stories with cutting brevity, and moves on to explore the effect on Doyle, who is struggling with nightmares about Bodie and hospitals. And she shows her usual flair for description, such as Doyle's catching sight of himself in a mirror and seeing "he provided the usual scruffy contrast [to Bodie], hair on end and eyes like poached eggs." She communicates the onscreen relationship between Bodie and Doyle with verve.

ADRENALINE by PFL. The angstiest story in the zine deals with the aftermath of a traumatic climax to an op, set within a case about political blackmail. One of PFL's strengths is how adept she is at weaving together relationship events and action. She also has a knack of using other agents to create the fabric of a believable CI5; in this story, banter between Murphy, Lucas and McCabe, Turner, and Stuart creates an atmosphere that highlights the simmering emotionalism at the heart of the situation between Bodie and Doyle.

PFL is another of my favourite, currently active writers. She nails the characters every time. In this story, that includes Cowley, who is strongly and believably defined. The centrepiece, though, is a masterful depiction of a Bodie who is roiling in emotion. The pov is omniscient, giving us views of Bodie via Murphy and Cowley as well as Bodie's own thoughts; only Doyle's thoughts are barred to us, which lets us learn the details of the fraught situation at a controlled and suspenseful pace.

ONE-TO-ONE CORRESPONDENCE by Jan Levine and Irene. A rare letters story that's a fun read. Epistolary stories require the principals be separated; in this case, Doyle is undercover as a public school teacher because of a threat to one of the brats, excuse me, pupils. Of course, the idea of Doyle as a French teacher is a bit hard to take, but the letters provide enough humour for me to overlook that stretch in the set-up.

There's fun even in the descriptions of the paper used for the letters, such as "Written on the back of a crossed-out expenses report, where the items listed don't add up to the final total." Bodie and Doyle exchange news on girlfriends, their respective cases, Doyle's sufferings in academe (ie, thinks he's getting a chilblain and wants to know what they're like, so Bodie tells him they're "large purple bumps with red spots on them. If not treated promptly, amputation is the only cure"). And so it goes merrily along with unfolding revelations of their sexual orientations and their feelings for each other, all ending with their preparing to "settle down to a life of deviant and perverted domestic bliss."

WAKING FROM DREAMS by PFL. One of my favourite stories, not only in this zine, but in the fandom. It's an alt ending to Meg Lewtan's Proslib story, There Has to be a Morning After. I'm not going to spoil either story. PFL's story is set immediately after The Ojuka Situation and uses those events to springboard Bodie and Doyle into a changed relationship. It's short (only six pages) but perfect. IMO, of course. A tour-de-force of writing, emotion, and characterisation. It also happens to be one of my favourite types of story and a great example of the genre: third-party viewpoint, taking us through this climactic moment in their lives through the eyes of a third character no less involved than they are.

EPIPHANY by Alexandra and Irene. The final story in the zine is also the longest. It starts with the kitchen scene at the end of Man Without a Past as Doyle--when Bodie fights his way to the door--abruptly realises Bodie's the one for him. Told in sections that alternate their povs, the story unfolds with humour and charm as Doyle tries to deal with the sudden revelation of his desire for his partner and Bodie in turn makes a series of startling discoveries of his own.

The story is nicely written and is good, light entertainment, with well-timed emotional developments and enjoyable sex scenes as garnish. It provides a fine rounding-off to a great zine that offers a range of stories from fun to angsty all with consistently good writing. [4]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Roses and Lavender 2 was published in February 1998 and contains 178 pages.

From the editorial:
Roses and Lavender is intended to a bit grittier and a bit angstier than the average Pros fanzine. As usual, the stories range over the map, from melancholy but sweet a/u to realistic CI5 story to—well, read Morgan Dawn's story and decide for yourself. For those who prefer spoilers for the stories they read, spoilers are included at the end of the zinc. For those who prefer not to have to encounter spoilers, said spoilers are printed upside-down.
  • Hours of Darkness by Alexandra and Irene. Doyle is back on the A Squad, but his partnership with Bodie hasn't been quite the same since his convalescence. Cowley has Bodie and Doyle undercover on a spy probe, and they work well enough together during the hours of daylight. But it seems as if the only real communication between them takes place in the hours of darkness. (1)
  • Edge of the Sky by Blackbird. Everything is going well in Bodie's life - the job, his girlfriends, his friendship with Doyle - so why does Bodie find himself walking off the edge of a cliff? (33)
  • Night on the Town by Elizabeth Holden. Bodie's plan is for one last double-date - dinner, dancing and sex - with two girls and Doyle before leaving CI5 (and Doyle) forever. The only problem is, Doyle has a different plan. (45)
  • Keeper by Irene. Bodie has sailed the seven seas. Doyle has scarcely travelled a mile from the place he was born. How long can the two of them stay together? Yet how long can they stay apart? An AU inspired by Eleanor Farjeon's short story "Mill of Dreams." (52)
  • No-Limit Stakes (called "No-Limit Game" in the table of contents) by PFL. The stakes are high when it comes to Bodie's and Doyle's current assignment to get Cordoba safely back to Colombia. The stakes are even higher when it comes to resolving the tensions between the two of them in the aftermath of a bout of casual sex. (67)
  • Between Dreams We Lie Awake by Morgan Dawn. Bodie leaves the mercenary jungles and starts a new life in CI5, only to learn that there is more to his dreams than he expects. And in trying to understand the dreams, he has only one chance to bring Doyle to his side. (79)
  • Local Time by Irene. As he gets to know his new partner, Bodie decides Doyle may not be the most annoying man in the world. Not quite. But there are definitely limits to what he wants from Doyle. The question is, what does Doyle want from him? (105)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[No-Limit Stakes]:

So I am slowly reading Roses and Lavender 2 (it's a long story, but involves me reading this really long Mad Max zine first for a friend. But I promised, so there). In fact, I've only read one story so far: "No Limits Stakes."

I don't know who the author PFL is (and if she/he is online, oh well). But the story really gripped me. It's a short piece -- nothing really happens as plot points go. Yes, there is an action sequence. Yes, there is a poker game. Yes, there are several sex scenes.

But it's the way the story is presented -- through dialogue and showing and Bodie's internal musings -- that makes the story come alive for me. The little bits of realization flashing back and forth in Bodie's mind as he realizes that he loves Doyle, and that maybe Doyle loves him, that Bodie may have screwed up and that it may be too late for them.

But then, there is the "love scene" -- the one scene that reaches your heart. And leaves you very warm inside.

So I'd definitely recommend this one as a good read. [5]
[zine]: This highly enjoyable fanzine is a good follow-up to R&L 1, with re-appearances from favourite authors and for those who need it, a 'spoilers guide' once again. Alex T. Mackenzie and Irene ground their story, 'Hours of Darkness", in the episode 'Spy Probe', with a Bodie and Doyle going through a rocky phase. Doyle has been pushing Bodie away from him ever since the Mayli shooting. He reveals, after being quizzed, that Twig (one of the thugs in 'Spy Probe') sexually assaulted him, though in a very minor way. It becomes clear that what upset Doyle most about the incident was the reaction to his scars. Later, when the case is wrapped up, Bodie makes a clumsy pass at Doyle only to be rebuffed. This turns their personal relationship into a battleground, Bodie showing a fine line in insults about Doyle's personality, with none of the usual humour attached. Annoyed, Doyle decides to live up to the insults. They do sort themselves out in the end but oh, the winding road to it! "Edge Of The Sky" by Blackbird is a story told from Bodies point of view. While on holiday alone, Bodie almost commits suicide - or does he? Whichever it is, it sets him soul-searching. Elizabeth Holden is back again with "Night On The Town". Bodie has decided to leave CI5 but has yet to tell Doyle. That night they have arranged a double date; Bodie arrives at Doyle's place, only to find that his partner has cancelled their dates ... My favourite story of the whole fanzine was Irene's 'Keeper" - a sweet, sad story which brings tears to the eye and an ache to the heart Lovely. After attending a summit, Cordoba is being escorted to the airport But before arriving there, Bodie and Doyle end up in a shoot-out protecting their charge. So starts PFL's "No-Limits Stake'. With Cordoba safely on his way once again, Bodie and Doyle are sent back to Grove land Manor, where the summit was held, to help with clean-up duty. But the manor is not the only thing to be tidied up by the end of the story. Bodie is not a happy CI5 agent in Irene's "Local Time", having been teamed with a Doyle who, on first impressions, is nothing but a ratty little wanker. The local' of the title, by the way, is the 'Seven Stars'. Morgan Dawn's "Between Dreams We Lie Awake' features a rape, though it is in a dream sequence rather than 'real life'... or is it? To finish, all I can say is: roll on issue three! [6]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Roses and Lavender 3 was published in October 1999 and contains 153 pages.

  • Rules by PFL. Bodie knows all about the rule of the jungle. He finished his quest for wild justice to find that Doyle's rule of law influences him far more than he'd suspected. But does Doyle realize it? Can Bodie make Doyle believe it? (22 pages)
  • Never Say Goodbye by Castalia. Bodie and Doyle have a tempestuous relationship. But Bodie isn't comfortable with intimacy, and Doyle isn't comfortable with Bodie's distance. And suddenly, all the choices are being taken away. Are there any last chances? (5 pages)
  • Knaves, Thieves, and Teachers by Irene. Doyle knows where he's going - to pull off a jewel heist on the island of Kiloran. Bodie has his own reasons for sailing to Kiloran. But cat burglars like Doyle can't afford to trust men they've just met, even if they are tall, dark, and beautiful. An alternate universe story inspired by the film 'I Know Where I'm Going.' (32 pages)
  • The White Cloth by Nell Howell. Cowley and Doyle are trapped in a building after a bomb's blast. They're eventually rescued - but what is the true aftermath of the incident? (32 pages)
  • To Love That Well by PFL. Biafra. 1969: Robert Kingsford meets a fellow Englishman, a blue-eyed mercenary named Bodie. Despite the hell all around them, something between them begins. St Victor's. 1999: Robert Kingsford meets Bodie again, this time as a patient in his Resus unit. After thirty years, can something begin again? Crossover with Always and Everyone; pairing is Bodie/Kingsford. (20 pages)
  • Sunshine by Castalia. Doyle thinks it's just games they're playing. Bodie doesn't think so. A story from the darkest depths of Pros. (5 pages)
  • Voice-over by Elizabeth O'Shea. Bodie is unconscious, and the doctor says Doyle's voice might serve as a path back to the waking world. So talk, the doctor orders Doyle - and Doyle talks. Gossip, complaints, scolding - Doyle says it all. And then he says some more. (34 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Voice-over.
See reactions and reviews for Never Say Goodbye.
See reactions and reviews for The White Cloth.
See reactions and reviews for Sunshine.
See reactions and reviews for To Love That Well.
See reactions and reviews for Rules.
See reactions and reviews for Knaves, Thieves and Teachers.
[For the entire zine]: I haven't read all of this new zine yet, but I'm blown away by the stories I've read thus far. First up is "Rules" by PFL. I've loved PFL's work ever since I found the little charmer "Christmas Snow" on the disks last year when I was new to the fandom. None of her stories that I've read since has disappointed - quite the contrary - and "Rules" is one of the longest and meatiest yet. It's set during and after "Wild Justice," a fascinating episode that doesn't have nearly enough stories written about it, and especially about the strains and oddities in Bodies and Doyle's relationship throughout the ep. PFL excels at writing relationship stories, and this one is utterly satisfying on every level, both as a fictive look at the episode and as a delving into their evolving relationship. It's got action, gritty angst, great writing, and a number of truly memorable incidents. I found the portrait of Bodie especially endearing as he moves from smug overconfidence to an ever-deepening awareness of his own true feelings. Irene is another writer whose stories I've enjoyed in previous R&Is. Have many of you read her sweet and poignant "Keeper" in Roses & Lavender 2? Her story this time is another AU; neither particularly sweet nor gentle, "Knaves, Thieves, and Teachers" nevertheless has its own poignancy and is a damn good read from start to finish. The AU world is established right at the beginning as we learn that Doyle is a housebreaker whose partner is none other than Marge Harper. One of the things I love about this AU is the way in which familiar elements from the CI5 world are threaded through the story in delightfully unexpected ways. Right through to the very end, there are little unexpected turns that kept making me grin with surprised delight. Like all good AUs. Irene is a treat in putting together two characters who fit each other like gloves yet don't, in this world, know each other at the start. Oh, and the setting itself is lovely to explore along with the characters as each makes his separate but converging way to Kiloran, off the coast of Scotland. I had a good time all the way through this story about a jewel thief who meets a mysterious, dark-haired stranger and discovers his life unexpectedly rearranging itself into new patterns. Elizabeth O'Shea is an author I haven't heard of before - but oh my, am I glad I've read her story now! It's called "Voice-over", and it's a tour de force that combines moving hurt/comfort with a lovely - if slyly surprising - first-time story. It's all told through Doyle's voice as he talks to his unconscious partner. The doctors, desperate because Bodie isn't waking from a coma as he should, want him to hear a familiar voice, and Doyle provides that verbal stimulus, trying to make a bridge to lead his partner back to life. The story that unfolds takes us to France with them, through awakening feelings for each other, to funny moments and poignant ones and all sorts in between. There's a bit in a church about stained glass and an angel that knocked me out Bodie may be unconscious throughout, but he lives, as large as life and twice as smug, and just as charming and vibrant as we all know him, in the memories and anecdotes and stories which Doyle doggedly relates. Also noteworthy is the second of PFL's stories, To Love that Well", which is a crossover with A&E that hits me where it hurts the most in the heart. It's sad, as only the author of "I Will Lay Down My Heart" can do sad. And that's generally too sad for me! This story drew me in despite myself, however, because the writing is good, yes, but mostly because the emotions are pure crystal. They're dazzling and sweet and irresistible. I've never seen Martin Shaw's new hospital drama, but that didn't matter in reading this story. Robert Kingsford came alive for me through PFL's relaxed introduction to his world of the resus unit. She's an author who is willing to take her time to lay the groundwork for the story exactly enough to clue in the newcomer, and yet not - I think - too much for the person familiar with the show. Threaded through the narrative present are flashbacks detailing Robert's youthful relationship with a mercenary soldier named Bodie, who unexpectedly arrives as a patient in the unit. The unresolved feelings between them surge up, sparking the waves of memories, each of which heightens the emotional impact as their present-time relationship in middle age sparks again in heated ways that neither of them can - or eventually want to - ignore. All in all, this zine has stories which I highly recommend. [7]
[For the entire zine]: I thought this zine was terrific. I approached it with some reluctance because I'm not fond of death stories, nor of other-than-B/D pairings, but I'm very glad I did buy it, and believe most of you would enjoy it, too. Let's get the off-putting bits out of the way first. Yes, it has three death stories, and yes, there's a crossover with A&E as mentioned above. Anyone allergic to either of those things: you have been warned. Okay? But - and this is the important bit - of the 152 solid pages of story in this zine, roughly 120 of them consist of some of the best B/D writing I've ever read. That's 120 pages, folks - longer than some zines. And the stories are wonderful. (Including I have to say, the death stories, which of course I couldn't resist reading. I'm not going to review them here because those of you who like them won't want spoilers, and those of you who don't won't be interested; but in all fairness, I have to say that they were rather too well done for my peace a mind, And I hope their author realises what a sincere compliment that is.)

I haven't read the A&E crossover - I wasn't fond of the series - but I undoubtedly will at some point because it's written by PFL, one of my favourite writers. So that just leaves the four others. And here's where we can take off our stays and settle in for a good read; because they're all B/D, all beautifully done, and all, in their different ways, entirely delightful. (They're also all good and long. None of these writers skimps on her background, her build-up of the situation, or her resolution of events.) It seems superfluous to give the set-up of the stories when Pen's excellent review has already done a good job on that front, so I'll stick to saying what I liked about each one. First, there's "Rules" by PFL. I'm biased about this author - I like her style, her restraint, her economical use of language - so bear that in mind when I say how satisfying I found "Rules". I've rarely come across a really convincing explanation for the way Doyle (as well as Bodie) acts in "Wild Justice" but this, to my mind, hit the nail on the head. Let's face it, it's comparatively easy to come up with eight different explanations for what Bodie does - we're given a lot of clues in the episode, what with his confusion, his distress and so forth - but why is Doyle standing back? Why is Doyle, of all people, so damned diffident? PFL writes a truly thoughtful story around that question; then she takes it further. The part set in and around "Wild Justice" is only the first half of the tale. "Knaves, Thieves And Teachers" by Irene is equally good. Irene's writing reminds me of Rhiannon's - it has something of the same charm, and the same telling use of domestic detail (By 'domestic', I mean the kind of thing that fixes a scene or an action firmly in the texture of lived life.) This is not, however, a domestic story. As Pen says above, it's an AU; and we gradually learn that this universe is rather darker, in many ways, than the one we know from the episodes (I almost said 'from ours'). There's an incident early on with a couple of coppers which made me sit back and think. Hang on, not in the Isles, surely? But it turns out to have been a clever foreshadowing of what we discover later. There's an awful lot to enjoy: Doyle's relationship with Marge Harper (seen only through his recollections but vividly present and very convincing); the 'coup de foudre' effect - so often attempted and so rarely achieved - of Doyle's meeting with the tall, dark stranger who looms out of the mist; the instant rapport between them (again, a lovely idea but one few writers manage to show rather than t f f us about); the excellent original character, Mrs. Potts, with her deerhounds and her cut-to-the-chease manner of speech. (I really liked her; she lived and breathed. And I can't resist quoting this bit, from their first meeting with hen 'The door opened. Glaring at them across the threshold was a woman with white hair and dark brows, with a deerhound at either hand, and another behind her. None of the dogs barked. Instead they regarded Bodie and Doyle with keen interest To Doyle it seemed they had such hopes of being allowed to bite, the prospect of barking held no appeal." Isn't that good? And it's such an inessential, really, just an extra - there was no need to dress that scenelet with writing of that calibre. Mrs. Potts hasn't even spoken yet and all the important stuff about plot and character is yet to come. But it's typical of Irene to scatter little throwaway gems like this throughout her stuff.) It goes without saying that there's a good plot, with an intriguing end to it But the best bit for me, is getting to see Bodie sailing (on a boat called, with tongue firmly in cheek, the Betty). This was just lovely - so convincing and sexy and breathtakingly romantic. No wonder Doyle falls for him. Then there's "The White Cloth" by Nell Howell. I looked at the spoilers for this before I read it and can't decide now whether I wish I had or not so I'm not going to give away the plot here. Ill just say that it's a first-rate B/D story... with another sort of story tucked away within it. I loved it I thought it very well written indeed, with a command of expression and an emotional truth that's rarely found in stories which concentrate (as this does) on the inner workings of the heart. The Doyle we find here does suffer a great deal, but he's neither petulant nor melodramatic; he's s grown-up man trying to deal with almost overwhelming feelings. And, though we see less of him, Bodie too is neither stupid nor childish; his explanation of what one impulsive act led to made me feel poignantly for the situation in which he finds himself. But the triumph of this story, for me, was the portrayal of Cowley. A good portion of it is told through his point of view and for once, he's not the cardboard barker-out of orders we've become inured to. It was really refreshing to see Bodie and Doyle through his eyes, and to have a thoughtful exploration of his attitude towards them. His acknowledgment of their adulthood, while simultaneously filing how young they are compared to his own weary age, was both convincing and touching. I don't much like Cowley, on the whole; but I liked this one. He's a good man, and a compassionate one, and I believed absolutely in what the author did here. Great stuff. The last story in the zine is "Voice-over" by Elizabeth O'Shea, and all I can say is: read it or you'll be sorry. Honest It's a triumph, a tour de force. I mean, I could include all sorts of stuff about the technical achievement of the thing - how she tells a story which includes drama and brilliant scene- setting and wrenching depths of emotion, using only dialogue, god save the mark! - but you'll see that for yourselves when you read it And Pen's review has already told you about the set-up. No, all I want to say is that it made me laugh (a lot - she gets their banter spot on) and then it made me cry. Nice crying; the sort of lump-in-the-throat, isn't-it-lovely kind of snuffling you do when something works out absolutely right And she doesn't put a foot wrong when it comes to how they interact with one another. I frequently found myself nodding Yes, Yes! as the story unfolded in Doyle's unmistakeable voice. If I had to pick a favourite from this remarkable zine - and really, how do you choose between emeralds and sapphires? -- I suspect this would be it.

So there you go - four marvellous stories in one zine. (And three more I haven't written about, for reasons already, given.) Congratulations to the editor for gathering such a collection of talent in one place; and warmest admiration to the authors for their splendid achievements. [8]

Issue 4

flyer for issue #4
cover of issue #4

Roses and Lavender 4 was published in February 2001 and contains 151 pages.

From the editorial:
This is the zine that couldn't make up its mind. Somewhere in early 2009, PFL started muttering about a story that she was working on, set around several successive Christmases. When she gave me the first 30 or so pages to read, back in May, I knew I wanted to publish the story. The only question was whether the then-unnamed Christmas story would be long enough to have its own zine. PFL didn't know; she just kept writing.

Finally, about a month after I'd worn my nails to a nubbin and a week before 1 had to make a go/no-go decision about stories in R&L4, she turned in the final-before-editing version. It was just over 45,000 words, making it novel-length, but a short novel. Does anyone else remember those Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines with "a complete novel included"? Well, that's what this zine is—seven stories, plus one novel. Assembling a zine is always a matter of choices. If I had published "Ringing in the Changes" as a standalone story, some other stories that I'd accepted for later issues of R&L would have shown up in R&L4 instead. I had to ask one author if she would let me bump her story at the last minute because the page count had gone higher than I expected. I am thankful that she said "yes," and you will likely see the story in R&L5, along with several others that I have on hand. My thanks to all these authors who are waiting with various degrees of patience for their stories to see print. Roses and Lavender 4 is not as dark, in general, as Roses and Lavender 3 was. This isn't in response to any complaints from last time, it's a reflection of the stories that I received. I won't describe the stories here; they can speak for themselves, or you can check the spoiler page. As always, I'm happy to publish the full emotional range, from gritty angsty death stories to sweetness and light. The one requirement is that they be good stories. Good stories by my standards, at least—that's the main benefit of being an editor and publisher.

For those who prefer spoilers for the stories they read, spoilers are included at the end of the zine. For those who prefer not to have to encounter spoilers, said spoilers are printed upside-down.
  • Now Dancing Merry by Irene (Bodie has been injured on an op. His memory is coming back in pieces. He knows who he is, and he remembers Mr Cowley and CIS. He does not remember the man who is his partner, Raymond Doyle. Eventually, it's all sure to come back. But how can Bodie remember when he's not at all sure why he forgot?) (1)
  • Yet Another Wednesday Morning by Castalia. A sequel to M. Fae Glasgow's "Wednesday Morning" in ...As Three £3 Notes, offering an alternative ending to the original story. (Doyle is still trapped in the web ofhis feelings, after Bodie's sudden departure for the Foreign Legion, on that particular Wednesday morning. But Doyle deserved better, and Bodie couldn't possibly be so cruel. Besides, the author ofthe sequel desperately needed even a tiny sparkle of hope for them.) (14)
  • Dancing in the Rain by Nell Howell (When an event shatters the lives of the people at the centre of CI5, what will it take to heal the wounds that Bodie and Doyle, each in his own way, suffer? A story that explores the power and the limitations of love.) (19)
  • All Hallows Eve by The Hag (Doyle is home from the hospital, recovering from being shot. But some of Bodie's comments keep running through his mind. What does Bodie mean, and what does it portend for their relationship?) (27)
  • The Snowman with the Dark Coat by Castalia (Doyle pleads, Bodie retreats. They both get angry. They start to fall apart, but they can't resist each other either. They keep going on, hurting each other. Slowly, like snowflakes, falling apart, yet falling for each other, not seeing, not understanding. Until a final decision is needed, an agreement of a sort, and that could be the greatest mistake of all.... ) (31)
  • Knaves Errant by Irene. Sequel to her "Knaves, Thieves, and Teachers" in Roses and Lavender 3. (In "Knaves, Thieves, and Teachers," Raymond Doyle met Bodie for the first time. Now Doyle is bringing Bodie home to London. It's touch and go what sort of chance they'll have together, given Elizabeth Walsh's plans for them. But before they face the demands of CI-17, Doyle has a trickier task—he must introduce Bodie, his new lover, to Marge Harper, his oldest friend.) (58)
  • The Eve of Destruction by Nell Howell (On Christmas Eve, while ordinary citizens make merry, George Cowley awaits news in a hospital waiting-room. In the aftermath of an operation that went sour, he will have more with which to deal than he ever expected.) (75)
  • Ringing in the Changes by PFL (Bodie isn't sure about his new partner. Or rather, he is quite sure—he wants shut of him as soon as possible. But things improve, and the relationship grows, over several years. A complete short novel.) (81)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for The Snowman with the Dark Coat.
See reactions and reviews for Ringing in the Changes.
See reactions and reviews for Dancing in the Rain.

Issue 5

flyer for issue #5
cover of issue #5

Roses and Lavender 5 was published in October 2001 and contains 135 pages. There is no interior art.

From the editorial:
This zine went down to the wire. I was late in getting started in editing, and the events of September 11 slowed things down further. Of course, on a lighter note, my acquisition of a TiVo also has a great deal to do with a loss of time that had previously been considered available.

I am thankful to all the authors in this zine—some for doing asked-for rewrites in an unreasonable turnaround time, some for providing responses to edits ditto, and all for giving me the opportunity to print their stories. One set of stories probably deserves a special mention. The "pudding" stories were a lovely example of fannish collaboration. The first story inspired the second, and the second inspired the third. They are a bit of a departure from the usual slash zine fare, but they are fine relationship stories—and fine stories, as well.

For those who prefer spoilers for the stories they read, spoilers are included at the end of the zine. For those who prefer not to have to encounter spoilers, said spoilers are printed upside-down.
  • Chances Change by PFL (19 pages) (In the story "Waking from Dreams," Murphy faced the unwelcome realisation that despite his love for Bodie, despite Bodie's true affection for him, Bodie's heart belonged to Doyle. So, as Doyle had done for him. Murphy decided to step aside and give Doyle a chance with Bodie. The problem? Doyle had long ago told Bodie he wasn't interested in men. Now Doyle has to decide how to tell Bodie the truth, how to determine what they both want and need, and, most importantly of all, how to protect Bodie, even if it means giving up their chance at love.)
  • A Man Called Bodie by Elizabeth Holden (Doyle's awakening love for Bodie is put to the test when Bodie returns from captivity and brainwashing by the KGB. Has Bodie been changed forever—or are things not as they seem?) (17 pages)
  • Rice Pudding Again by Irene. Part 1 of 4 in the 'Pudding' series. (6 pages) (Seventeen years ago, Bodie and Doyle put themselves on the line to help Jack Stone protect his wife and kids in "You'll Be All Right." Interdependent stories by Irene, PFL, and Elizabeth O'Shea explore what happens when Linda Stone comes to the attention of CIS and Bodie and Doyle come to the attention of her mother, Chrissie Stone.)
  • The Proof of the Pudding by PFL. Part 2 of 4 in the 'Pudding' series. (9 pages)
  • Stir the Pudding and Make a Wish by Elizabeth O'Shea. Part 3 of 4 in the 'Pudding' series. (11 pages)
  • Christmas Pudding Again by Irene. Part 4 of 4 in the 'Pudding' series (1 page)
  • If I Should Fall From Grace with God by Luka (41 pages) (Four years ago, Ray Doyle experienced a horrendous trauma that caused him to leave CI5 and pursue other paths. Now his path and CI5's are crossing again. Which means that Doyle has to confront Bodie—whom he left on the worst of terms.)
  • The Luck Bringers by Nell Howell (7 pages) (On a freezing New Year's Eve, Bodie is happily basking in the warm aftermath of a day's worth of loving when he abruptly finds himself alone, stranded, cold, and with no resources but his own fingers and toes. Follow along with Bodie as he weathers his first experience of one of Doyle's Old Family Traditions. Warning: for mushy romantics only.)
  • Look After Bodie by Irene (12 pages) (When a blackmailer confronts Bodie with an event from his military past, Bodie tells Cowley of the threat immediately. But even as Doyle works to shelter Bodie from the resulting furor, Bodie is forced to consider other secrets might yet be exposed. Bodie contemplates his deepest secret: his feelings for Doyle.)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Chances Change.
[The Luck Bringers]:This is lovely – snarky and perfectly the lads, but warm with it, and all about what we'll let ourselves be talked into for the sake of love… A real feel-good fic.[9]
[zine]: Chances Change by PFL: This story is a companion to the author's "Waking from Dreams", which first appeared in Roses and Lavender 1 and is now on the Proslib CD. 'Waking from Dreams' was written as one possible sequel to Meg Lewtan's 'There Has to be a Morning After' (on the CD), in which Bodie and Murphy are lovers. 'Waking from Dreams' outines a crucial shift as Murphy, acknowledging in the wake of the events of 'The Ojuka Situation' that Bodie loves Doyle, offers Doyle the opportunity to claim Bodie as his lover. The story ends with the new B/D relationship established, but the events that prompt the changeover occur off- screen as the story is told from Murphy's pov. 'Chances Change' details the off-screen interaction that establishes Bodies and Doyle's relationship, told from Doyle's pov. 'Waking from Dreams' is a compact narrative, beautifully simplistic in its approach and language. In contrast. 'Chances Change' is three times longer and more complex both in its style and content, a difference that suits the complicated matter this text addresses. The story gets down to the nitty-gritty of the emotional upheaval that both Bodie and Doyle undergo as their relationship is stood on its head and turned inside-out. This story puts PFL's strengths on display: the characters' psychology is pried into minutely; emotional nuances are ruthlessly speared and exposed; action abounds; and Bodie and Doyle are the tough, strong, and difficult sods I know and love. They fight, they fuck, they love - and they manage to do it all at the same time.

A Man Called Bodie by Elizabeth Holden: The story begins with Doyle frantically searching for his missing partner. When Bodie is found, the story takes elements from the episode 'A Man Called Quinn': Doyle is told that Bodie has been subjected to the same psychological treatment Quinn was. He finds Bodie in an asylum with his brain wiped, his memory of even the simplest things in life gone... Like Quinn, Bodie escapes from the asylum. When Doyle finds him, however, the story veers sharply away from its expected course and serves up a nice mix of conspiracy alongside first-time relationship. I enjoy stories that give me a few surprises along the way.

The Pudding Sequence: A series of three inter-related stories set in the future, seventeen years after the events in the episode 'You'll Be All Right.' This sequence is, imo, the centrepiece of the zine and a wonderful example of the results when one fanfiction story catches the imagination of other authors, who are then inspired to write their own entries. I consider all three of these authors to be fine writers and at the top of their forms here.

Rice Pudding Again by Irene: The sequence starts with an introduction to Linda Stone, the little girl from the episode now grown up and in the Met. The story is written in Linda's pov in the first person. She is presented as a strong personality who has weathered the pressures put on her because of her criminal father's past—pressure not only from her fellows in the Met, but from her own family for not being true to her background. Despite it all, she has persevered, true to herself before all else... The breaking point comes at a bigwig wedding, where her attention to her duty gets her into trouble with her superiors. At that raw moment, she has a serendipitous encounter with a "middle-aged gent" who gives her a card with "W. Bodie, Assessment" printed on it. And so the story begins ....

The Proof of the Pudding by PFL.: Bodie's and Doyle's tale of their encounter with Linda Stone, told in the first person from Doyle's pov. While the first story allows us third-party views of the Lads in middle age, this story takes us into their shared home. We're given insights into the situation with Doyle's crippled leg - introduced in the first story - and hints of the conflicted past that lies behind the committed peace they've now achieved together. Humour and tenderness imbue their very solid partnership.

Stir the Pudding and Make a Wish by Elizabeth O'Shea. 21 pages. The first-person narrator here is Chrissie Stone, Linda's mother, as she receives an unexpected visit from Bodie and Doyle, two reminders of her own darkest time (familiar to us from the episode) who now appear to be the key to her daughter's future well-being. To Chrissie, CI5 is a "bunch of thugs." Her struggle is the need to reconcile her bitterness with her love for her daughter, who wants to be in CI5 more than anything else. Chrissie is a beautifully realised character, yet the story's strength lies in using her to illuminate those characters in whom we have a primary interest, particularly Bodie and Doyle. Through Chrissie's naive eyes, we gather further information about Bodie's and Doyle's jobs as assessors and about their joint pasts. While she has no idea that the pair are lovers, her gaze allows us poignant views of the emotional ties between them. This is a story, like the others in the sequence, that rewards re-reading, full ofsubdety and detail.

Christmas Pudding Again by Irene: A charming coda in which, with coded aplomb, Linda introduces her partner on the squad, Finlay, to her mother in a letter. If Linda comes across in the sequence-as she does to me at least~as a young version of Doyle, Finlay has the earmarks of Bodie, all offered up succinctly with a light and masterful hand.

If I Should Fall from Grace with God by Luka: . The zine's longest story is set after Doyle has left CI5. Bodie is now partnered with Murphy, and Cowley is aging. The focus is primarily on Doyle. The new life he has forged for himself is presented with detailed care. The story begins when CI5 intrudes into his life after a hiatus of several years, which brings to the fore Doyle's memories of his rift with both CI5 and Bodie after an operation went wrong-and also brings him back into contact with Bodie for the first time in four years. The detailed fabric of Doyle's new life is well done, and there's sufficient tension from various sources to keep the interest throughout. The case on which the relationship story rides is engrossing. I enjoyed the way the author skilfully doles out information about past events incrementally, using both memories and present-time confrontations to give the reader insights. Various subjective factors, however, militate against the story's being entirely successful for me. Too little positive interaction between Doyle and Bodie is one major issue. An ending that is somewhat up-in-the-air isn't necessarily a bad thing; my problem lies mostly in Doyle's indecisiveness, a character trait I find as difficult to buy as his refusal in the story to carry a gun into a dangerous situation. I also have reservations about stories in which all the principal characters are gay. Doyle's best friend and working partner is Kate Ross; Kate's female lover's brother becomes Doyle's lover in a cosy gay familial setting that I felt was too convenient. A thread of gay agenda similarly weaves through the story and doesn't work for me. Doyle left CI5 and was estranged from Bodie because of homophobia, and Kate Ross, we're told, was "shat on" by CI5 because she was both female and gay, so that "bloody Cowley ...[ignored] every recommendation she made." Since the one episode in which we meet Kate Ross, 'Wild Justice,' shows Cowley acting on her advice, this assertion rings hollow. As always, other readers' mileage in these areas will vary.

Look After Bodie by Irene: A blackmail story that takes us along a path that is less trodden than often seen: instead of using sexuality as the grounds for blackmail as often occurs in slash stories, this text exposes Bodie to blackmail for something that happened when he was in the Army in Northern Ireland. The story takes us along with the Lads as they deal with the implications and effects of a CI17-engineered plan to discredit CI5, giving us a look at an unromanticised CI5 and a Cowley who is tough and conniving, "colder than crushed ice." The story is both a first-time tale and one about the characters moving on into a changed future as both their personal and professional lives undergo serious yet invigorating change. There's no graphic sex, but the emotions are deep and layered. The story is written with Irene's usual smooth style, and ends on a high note with the potentiality ofa wide-open future facing the Lads, who will greet whatever comes together. This story provides a positive note on which to end a zine that I personally found almost wholly satisfying from cover to cover.

Also in the zine is The Luck Bringers by Nell Howell. [10]
[zine]: This Pros slash anthology contains eight stories by six authors in 135 pages of text and approximately 88,000 words of fiction. The cover is the usual design for this series, this time on rose card, with a spiral binding; the layout and printing meets the usual excellent standard for this press, with clear, dark type in a double-column format and good editing. The zine has no illustrations.

The stories in order are:

CHANCES CHANGE by PFL. 19 pages. This story is a companion to the author's Waking from Dreams which was published in Roses and Lavender 1. Waking from Dreams was written as one possible sequel to Meg Lewtan's There Has to be a Morning After (on the Proslib CD), in which Bodie and Murphy are lovers. Waking from Dreams outlines a crucial shift as Murphy, acknowledging in the wake of the events of The Ojuka Situation that Bodie loves Doyle, offers Doyle the opportunity to claim Bodie as his lover. The story ends with the new B/D relationship established, but the events that prompt the changeover occur off-screen as the story is told from Murphy's pov.

Chances Change details the off-screen interaction that establishes Bodie's and Doyle's relationship, told from Doyle's pov. Waking from Dreams is a compact narrative, beautifully simplistic in its approach and language. In contrast, Chances Change is three times longer and far more complex both in its style and content, a difference that suits the complicated matter this text addresses. The story gets down to the nitty-gritty of the emotional upheaval both Bodie and Doyle undergo as their relationship is stood on its head and turned inside-out.

This story showcases PFL's skills: the characters' psychology is pried into minutely; emotional nuances are ruthlessly speared and exposed; action abounds; and Bodie and Doyle are the tough, strong, and difficult sods I know and love. They fight, they fuck, they love--and they manage to do it all at the same time and conveyed with PFL's wonderful, controlled style.

A MAN CALLED BODIE by Elizabeth Holden. 17 pages. The story begins with Doyle frantically searching for his missing partner. When Bodie is found, the story takes elements from the episode A Man Called Quinn: Doyle is told that Bodie has been subjected to the same psychological treatment Quinn was. He finds Bodie in an asylum with his brain wiped, his memory of even the simplest things in life gone:

A nurse walked in with a tray. "My, what a number of visitors you have, Mr Bodie!" she said cheerfully. "I hope they aren't tiring you. I brought your breakfast." She put it on the table before him, and took off the cover. The smell of bacon and eggs filled the room.

Bodie looked at the tray, the fork, the food. He gave the nurse a look of ineffable sadness. "Don't know," he whispered.

Like Quinn, Bodie escapes from the asylum. When Doyle finds him, however, the story veers sharply away from its expected course and serves up a nice mix of conspiracy alongside first-time relationship. I enjoy stories that give me a few surprises along the way and Elizabeth Holden does a nice job here.

THE PUDDING SEQUENCE: 47 pages. A series of three inter-related stories set in the future, seventeen years after the events in the episode You'll Be All Right. This sequence is, imo, the centrepiece of the zine and a wonderful example of the results when one fanfiction story catches the imagination of other authors, who are then inspired to write their own entries. I consider all three of these authors to be among our finest writers, and they're at the top of their forms here.

RICE PUDDING AGAIN by Irene. 6 pages. The sequence starts with an introduction to Linda Stone, the little girl from the episode now grown up and in the Met. The story is written in Linda's pov in the first person. She's presented as a strong personality who has weathered the pressures put on her because of her criminal father's past--pressure not only from her fellows in the Met, but from her own family for not being true to her background. Despite it all, she's persevered, true to herself before all else:

Protecting people, that was my thing. Even if I never made it past wopsie, I needed to defend. Little kids, old ladies, wild-eyed drunkards sleeping on the street, didn't matter. Ever play that game where you pick what kind of tree you are, what kind of flower? Well, if I were a dog, I'd be pure Alsatian.

The breaking point comes at a bigwig wedding, where her attention to her duty gets her into trouble with her superiors. At that raw moment, she has a serendipitous encounter with a "middle-aged gent" who gives her a card with "W. Bodie, Assessment" printed on it. And so the story begins....

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING by PFL. 9 pages. Bodie's and Doyle's tale of their encounter with Linda Stone, told in the first person from Doyle's pov. While the first story allows us third-party views of the Lads in middle age, this story takes us into their shared home. We're given insights into the situation with Doyle's crippled leg--introduced in the first story--and hints of the conflicted past that lies behind the committed peace they've now achieved together, though not without struggle. Humour and tenderness imbue their very solid partnership.

STIR THE PUDDING AND MAKE A WISH by Elizabeth O'Shea. 21 pages. The first-person narrator here is Chrissie Stone, Linda's mother, as she receives an unexpected visit from Bodie and Doyle, two reminders of her own darkest time (familiar to us from the episode) who now appear to be the key to her daughter's future happiness. To Chrissie, CI5 is a "bunch of thugs." Her struggle is the need to reconcile her bitterness about the past with her love for her daughter, who wants to be in CI5 more than anything else.

Chrissie is a beautifully realised character, yet the story's strength lies in using her to illuminate the characters our interest primarily centres on: Bodie and Doyle. Through Chrissie's naive eyes, we gather further information about Bodie's and Doyle's jobs as assessors and about their joint pasts. While she has no idea the pair are lovers, her thoughts allow us poignant if oblique views of the emotional ties between them:

Doyle unlocked his gaze from Bodie's and turned back to me with his smile still lingering in his eyes and, as I do sometimes, for no reason at all, I found myself suddenly, horribly lonely for Jack.

This is a story, like the others in the sequence, that rewards rereading, full of subtlety and detail.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING AGAIN by Irene. 1 page. A charming coda in which, with coded aplomb, Linda introduces her partner on the squad, Finlay, to her mother in a letter. If Linda comes across in the sequence--as she does to me, at least--as a young version of Doyle, Finlay has the earmarks of Bodie, all offered up succinctly with Irene's light and masterful hand.

IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE WITH GOD by Luka. 42 pages. The zine's longest story is set after Doyle has left CI5. Bodie is now partnered with Murphy, and Cowley is aging. This a Doyle-centric story. The new life he's forged for himself is presented with detailed care. The story begins when CI5 intrudes into his life after a hiatus of several years, which brings to the fore Doyle's memories of his rift with both CI5 and Bodie after an operation went wrong--and also brings him back into contact with Bodie for the first time in four years.

The detailed fabric of Doyle's new life is well done, and there's tension from various sources that keeps the reader's interest focused throughout. The case on which the relationship story rides is engrossing. I enjoyed the way the author skilfully doles out information about past events incrementally, using both memories and present-time confrontations to give the reader insights.

On the negative side, I wished for a bit more positive interaction between Doyle and Bodie and I found Doyle's indecisiveness difficult to buy. Similarly subjective is my reservation about a thread of gay agenda. Doyle left CI5 and was estranged from Bodie because of homophobia, and Kate Ross, we're told, was "shat on" by CI5 because she was both female and gay, so that "bloody Cowley...[ignored] every recommendation she made." Since the one episode in which we meet Kate Ross, Wild Justice, shows Cowley (eventually) acting on her advice, this assertion rang hollow for me. As always, other readers' mileage in these areas will vary, and this is an absorbing and rewarding read on many levels that I often return to.

THE LUCK BRINGERS by Nell Howell. 7 pages. My story, so I won't comment on it other than to say it's a New Year's Eve story about First Footing that doesn't take itself in the least seriously.

LOOK AFTER BODIE by Irene. 12 pages. A blackmail story that takes us along a path less trodden than often seen: instead of using sexuality as the grounds for blackmail as often occurs in slash stories, this text exposes Bodie to blackmail for something that happened when he was in the Army in Northern Ireland. The story takes us along with the Lads as they deal with the implications and effects of a CI17-engineered plan to discredit CI5, giving us a look at an unromanticised CI5 and a Cowley who is tough and conniving, "colder than crushed ice."

The story is both a first-time tale and one about the characters moving on into a changed future as both their personal and professional lives undergo serious yet invigorating change. There's no graphic sex, but the emotions are deep and layered. The story is written with Irene's usual smooth and inspired style, and ends on a high note with the potentiality of a wide-open future facing the Lads, who will greet whatever comes together.

This story provides a positive note on which to end a zine I found satisfying from cover to cover. [11]

Issue 6

cover of issue #6

Roses and Lavender 6 was published in 2007 and contains 85,000 words.

  • Where the Knavery Ends by Irene. The third in her Knave sequence, following "Knaves, Thieves, and Teachers" in Roses and Lavender 3 and "Knaves Errant" in Roses and Lavender 4.
  • On Manoeuvres by PFL
  • It's a Long Winding Road to Bethlehem by Castalia
  • Mercenary by PFL
  • Something Blue by Cassie Ingaben
  • Descent by P. R. Zed (Author's summary on AO3: "Bodie doesn't expect an average obbo to turn into a visit to the Underworld. Not a death story. Honest."
  • And You Can Have This Heart to Break by PFL. The long-awaited sequel to her story "I Will Lay Down My Heart" in Night Music in B and D.
  • A Midwinter Night's Dream by Irene
  • The All-Conquering God by Cassie Ingaben
  • The End is Where We Start From by PFL
  • Two in the Morning by Irene

References

  1. from DIAL #3
  2. from DIAL #3
  3. from DIAL #5
  4. from Nell Howell at The Hatstand
  5. Morgan Dawn, February 12, 1998, posted to CI5 Mailing List, used with permission
  6. from DIAL #2
  7. from DIAL #12
  8. from DIAL #12
  9. from 2006 rec50
  10. from DIAL #21
  11. from Nell Howell at The Hatstand