The Siren Series

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The Professionals Fanfiction
Title: The Siren Series
Author(s): Sebastian and others
Date(s): 1980s, sequels are later
Length:
Genre:
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links:

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The Siren Series is a series of slash stories written in the Professionals universe.

The core series consists of four stories written by Sebastian: Siren, Bound to the Mast, Going for the Shore Part 1 & Part 2. Part 2 remains unfinished.

Helen Raven wrote an authorized sequel "Freezing" to the series which was published in Unprofessional Conduct #3. Anne Carr wrote an alternate ending to "Siren" called "Voyeur".

The series has been cited as being OOC for Bodie and Doyle (they are smokers) as well as for her inclusion of drug use as a major theme. According to one fan:" Pushing the envelope can be a very uncomfortable place. I remember hearing from [M] that Sebastian had received hate mail for allowing Bodie & Doyle to smoke, and Doyle to use drugs in Going for the Shore which is one of my all time favorite Pros stories. "[1]

Years later the author wrote: "This is a dark series, full of torment, and did not go down too well with some readers, particularly Bodie fans, who felt he had to put up with too much and was not loved enough. The first I agree with, the second, never. In my B and D universe, there is never a lack of love.. these men are bound together, forever, however much they beautifully suffer along the way. It's seldom picked out as a favourite of my stories by readers, but still, there are things I love about it - particularly the shootout with the young recruit where I tried to capture, for once, some life-or-death struggle outside the bedroom, the knife-edge danger and excitement of CI5 we see onscreen, which drew me to the series in the first place. It also contains the worst line written by any slash writer ever, in the history of fandom. I've left it in, for nostalgia. I hope you spot it, and smile... "

The Series

first page of "Bound to the Mast"

Reactions and Reviews

By all rights, I should really dislike this series, and I definitely winced more reading this time than I ever have done before, but... there's still something about it that grabs me... something to do with the poetry of the writing, perhaps, the lovely lyrical, slightly melancholic feel to it - this is writing that makes you feel every breath the characters take, deep in their hearts...

It's made up of four parts: Siren by Sebastian, Bound to the Mast by Sebastian, Going for the Shore Part I and Going for the Shore Part II, both by Sebastian, and then Freezing by Helen Raven.

Actually I'm intrigued to see that Hatstand lists GftS II as "unfinished", and it's certainly got that feel to the final sentence - and is perhaps why the final part is by Helen Raven instead - does anyone know the story behind this?

Anyway, I do rather love these stories, although I think my love was formed when I had more tolerance for ever-so-damaged-Doyle and taking-charge-Bodie, which isn't a problem in itself, but I think fanfic writers may have grabbed it and run with it a bit - or maybe that was just the ever-so prolific Jane...

In any case - Doyle has clearly had a bad childhood (now that I'd like to read about!), and Bodie is clearly head over heels for him, and being treated badly as a result of Doyle's problems - but then Bodie has his own too, and Sebastian and HR do show us these actually, although because we're generally reading from Bodie's pov, they're less obvious than Doyle's because of course we're seeing Doyle through Bodie's own issues...

Mostly though, the poetry of the writing takes over for me - just sweeps me off into the stories, so that I can absolutely buy any little stretches in character (and I can see where they've come from, too, which helps, they're not taken too far from "my" B/D).

This series was a very early favourite of mine - I managed to print out Freezing way back when I was nannying, and I took it to Alaska with me as my only Pros fix when I'd only just re-discovered the lads, and wasn't even on lj yet! I remember huddling up with it in a basement flat in Fairbanks, before I had my cabin... And it was lovely then, and I'd definitely recommend it now too! *g* [2]
I've always loved this series, very much for the reasons you've noted. The writing just can't be beat. And I hadn't thought about it but, like you, I read these stories as the beginning of my Pros mania. I find I don't have the same tolerance for oh-so-damaged Bodie and/or Doyle. In some stories, it's hard to imagine that they can function on a day to day level, much less do the job they do. Still, for whatever reason, I can still read Sebastian's and, in the same vein, Kate Maclean's stories and still enjoy them very much. It seems to me Kate's have been toned down some, so Bodie and Doyle aren't quite so bad (or, as in her last story the craziness is being foisted on them.) Unfortunately, there aren't any new Sebastian stories. [3]
In some stories, it's hard to imagine that they can function on a day to day level, much less do the job they do. Yes - exactly! I mean, I adore a bit of h/c, but sometimes... *g* But Sirens doesn't quite cross that boundary, and I can see how it works for both of them... I was fascinated by the idea of Doyle taking drugs voluntarily, mind (okay, made involuntary by emotional pressure?) but it wasn't made too much of, just the right amount of crises to get him to such an out-of-character thing, so... [4]
Actually I'm intrigued to see that Hatstand lists GftS II as "unfinished", and it's certainly got that feel to the final sentence - and is perhaps why the final part is by Helen Raven instead - does anyone know the story behind this?

Sebastian had intended to write more in the sequence. She did once (long after I'd written Freezing)show me the small amount she'd written - but her handwriting was such that I could barely make out a word!

Anyway... I'd long been haunted by the way that GftS II ended and so had Kate MacLean, and I promised her that I would write an ending for her as a birthday present. I was hoping that my story would give Kate closure but I didn't expect it to work for me, but it turned out that it did. Kate was happy for the story to be published more widely, and HG asked Sebastian for permission on my behalf (I didn't know Sebastian at that time), which she granted very graciously. [5]
I feel the same way about this series. A few years back when in a discussion on lj of our desert island fics I listed this series as one of mine. I might not today, as I've read many more stories since then, but I still like it a lot. This is Sebastian at her best with the way she paints pictures with words. [6]
Sebastian can nearly be a bit too much for me sometimes - Doyle's face in your quote is apparently fierce and sad and desperate and absorbed and excited and evocative of a fallen angel... *g* But she doesn't quite tip over - or if perhaps she does, then she rescues herself with something gorgeous in the next line, so... *g* It's beautifully shown though, rather than "told", and that makes all the difference to me... [7]
Sebastian packs an enormous amount of emotion into those pages, but for me it never wandered into melodrama. In Siren she made me experience Bodie's desire for Doyle rather than as most fan writers would, merely give me a framework to project my own desires for Doyle. That I could sympathize with Bodie's desire made the story that much more poignant for me as a Doyle fan.[8]
Also don't like stories where one character is irrevocably an emotional cripple. (If I had been warned, I would not have read Sebastian's "Siren", "Bound to the Mast" etc. series.) [9]
In 1993, Sandy Herrold posted the following question about the series to the Virgule-L mailing list. The exchange below is quoted with permission.
I was reading the three parts of Siren last night, and I got to this point in the last part that confused me; it has confused me every time I've read it!

I want you all to read this, and then go home tonight and reread Siren (especially part 3, Going for the Shore) and then come back tomorrow and explain!

They have painfully acquired a relationship, though definately not your standard hearts and flowers one. After a misunderstanding, Ray leaves and comes back hours later, very drunk. Laying in bed before sleep, he says to Bodie,

"You wanna fuck me? 'S all right if you do."
This thunderbolt, delivered in a sleepy slur,
startled Bodie wide awake; but funnily enough did not
shock him, nor anger im; nor did it fill him with happiness.

Next day, they are talking and Doyle admits that he has been fucked before, but that it had not gone well, that he had been hurt. Bodie 's POV

His grip on Doyle tightened. "I'd never do that to you,
Ray," he muttered fiercely into nutbrown curls. "Never
hurt you like that." He thought in his evangelism that they
had never been closer.
Then Doyle looked over at him, perfectly sincere.
"I know that. That's why, last night, I told you you could,
if that's what you wanted," he said; and then was left to
wonder why Bodie, frozen and bleak and absolutely
alone in the chasm that had suddenly split them apart,
left the bed with cold dead eyes.

Now, I'm with Doyle. I just don't get it. What pissed Bodie off so much, huh? I love this trilogy, in fact, I love most all of Sebastian's stuff, but this I just don't get. And, it occurs to me, that if Pam Rose is a Doyle-lover's writer, Sebastien must be a Bodie-lovers writer, since we normally get to watch as Bodie suffers the torments of the damned, watching Doyle flaunt his lightly tanned taunt little rear in Bodie's susceptible direction...

I need you guys, now--don't let me down!
Among the many answers to Sandy Herrold's post was the following from Megan Kent:
I read it a little differently. I always thought that what Bodie was so pissed off about was that he (Bodie) was making this up as a really important special, significant sharing, and it really meant something for Doyle to offer it. When it doesn't turn out that way, Bodie once again is convinced that he and Doyle will never have the intimacy and communication he longs for. Dunno. Has anyone asked Sebastian about it? BTW, I also LOVED them both being smokers and Doyle using drugs in this story. Neither one of these ideas had ever occurred to me, but as soon as she presented them, I bought them 100%! The mark of a good writer in my book.

In 2008, fan artist shooting2kill combined photo-manips with text from "Goring For The Shore". It can be read here.[1]

References

  1. Megan Kent's post to the Virgule-L mailing list in 1995, quoted with permission.
  2. by byslantedlight at Pros Fic Rec - the Siren series, by Sebastian and Helen Raven, posted February 2010; WayBack Machine link
  3. by gilda elise at Pros Fic Rec - the Siren series, by Sebastian and Helen Raven, posted February 2010
  4. by byslantedlight at Pros Fic Rec - the Siren series, by Sebastian and Helen Raven, posted February 2010
  5. by Helen Raven at Pros Fic Rec - the Siren series, by Sebastian and Helen Raven, posted February 2010
  6. by metabolick at Pros Fic Rec - the Siren series, by Sebastian and Helen Raven, posted February 2010
  7. by byslantedlight at Pros Fic Rec - the Siren series, by Sebastian and Helen Raven, posted February 2010
  8. posted in 1994 to the Virgule-L mailing list, quoted anonymously.
  9. posted in 1996 to the Virgule-L mailing list, quoted anonymously.