So Much for Wishes

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Bodie/Doyle Fanfiction
Title: So Much for Wishes
Author(s): Ellis Ward
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links: So Much for Wishes

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So Much for Wishes is a Bodie/Doyle story by Ellis Ward. It was published in British Takeaway #5 (undated) and is online.

the art from British Takeaway #5 by Suzan Lovett. The original was probably in color.
This story was based on a piece of art by Suzan Lovett which the author had purchased. From the editorial of What If...:

In the beginning, Ellis Ward bought a Suzan Lovett picture and wrote "So Much for Wishes" for British Takeaway 5.

Then Suzan did the incredible "The Declasssizing of Bodie" (Page 96A in Chalk and Cheese 8) and Ellis wrote the beautiful "Breaking Cover."

Reactions and Reviews

Continuing the leave theme, this story is a slight cheat. It does indeed recount what Bodie and Doyle get up to during a weekend off work, when they have plans to go into the countryside on their motorbikes. However, matters go a tad astray for them due to supernatural intervention. Their days off become an oddly charming journey together as they realise the nature of their feelings for each other. Ellis Ward has a style that pays close attention to detail. It's a type of writing I enjoy; it also helps in this instance to ground in a workaday reality a story that could seem entirely wonky. And...I can't say more for fear of spoilers. :g: [1]
I find that I truly adore supernatural stories, sci fi stories, death stories where they are ghosts or angels. I love reincarnation stories. So of course I would love this one. The author brings home the true horror for Bodie of Doyle getting his wish. [2]
I love the details of their day Ellis Ward so beautifully depicts, especially the scene in which they clean their guns, with Bodie compensating for his smaller hands and the companionableness they share even in that bizarre situation. It's a homage to how well they fit together that they are as right together with Bodie's changed form as they are in their normal selves. [3]
You'll never guess what happens to Bodie… *g* This is kind of a silly fic, but it's sweet and funny and eminently likable. [4]
With a rare weekend off work, Bodie and Doyle make plans to go into the countryside on their motorbikes. Matters, however, go a tad astray for them due to supernatural intervention. Their days off become an oddly charming journey together as they try to put their world back to rights while simultaneously realising the nature of their feelings for each other. Ellis Ward has a style that pays close attention to detail. It's a type of writing I enjoy; it also helps in this instance to ground in a workaday reality a story that might otherwise seem entirely wonky. One of my favourite parts is the charming scene in which they clean their guns together. The naturalness of their habitually spending time together at the necessary task of cleaning their weapons is quietly effective in placing them within a workaday world even with the bizarre situation they're in. [5]
I really love all of Ellis Ward's stories. This one is no exception. And here's why.

Be careful what you wish for, especially in front of an amulet with plenty of "juju," as Bodie and Doyle learn, when, after a night of heavy drinking over a case gone bad, Doyle wakes to find that his partner now inhabits the body of a two to three year old.

What I especially liked about the story is that, though Bodie's body is now barely past infancy, his mind is still that of a grown man. When Doyle manages to acquire clothes for him from a next door neighbor, Bodie still wants to wear what he wants to wear, preferring a black polo-neck over Doyle's choice of a blue jumper. And he still manages to clean his own gun, his concentration that of an adult, no matter that his strength is that of a child's. Not that he's lost his childlike qualities, which we see when he and Doyle spend a day in the country. The combination of the two qualities, a childlike man in a child's body, is what gives the story so much of its charm. That and, of course, the protective care Doyle takes of his young charge, especially after Bodie is almost hit by a car....

[story excerpt snipped]

But perhaps what he feels is even more apparent in the way Doyle finds himself playing with the child in very much the easy way he interacted with the adult.

[story excerpt snipped]

Though Bodie can't speak, a perversity of African magic, perhaps, he's finally able to get Doyle to wish him back as an adult, and an adult he what he is when they wake the next morning.

But much has been revealed in the way Doyle interacted with the child Bodie, enough so that Bodie takes it upon himself to grab for what he's long wanted—Doyle. There's a sweetness in their coming together, a mixture of passion and a deep love that Ellis Ward does so well.

Ack, ack, ack. I love Ellis Ward's stories - except this one. There are very few AUs I enjoy, so I was struggling with the story anyway. I just can't get over the premise behind this one. I have an unnerving suspicion that there's something a bit perverted about it. However, I will try and make some comments that are less biased *g*

I quite liked that Bodie was silent - either by choice or by magic, I wasn't quite sure which. It somehow conveys that it is still the adult Bodie locked in this child's body. And the writing and the descciptions are brilliant, and are probably what I enjoy most about Ellis Ward's writing.

But on the whole, this one's not for me. I was interested to see what you liked about it, and I will read everyone else's comments with interest, to see what I am missing.[7]
It's not my absolute favourite by any means, as I'm just not that into kidfic generally, but... I think EW does successfully convey the love and non-sexual physical intimacy between Doyle and child!Bodie (as in the extract above), while keeping it feeling perfectly right for this love and physical intimacy to include a sexual dimension when Bodie is restored to his adult form. In fact as a non-kidfic reader, by and large, I make something of an exception for this one - I think I've read it twice (um, that compares with favourites which I've read more times than I can count *bg*). Keeping child!Bodie silent is crucial to the plot, of course - works nicely all round - and there are some funny moments ... although it annoys me the way Convenient Women are all-too-often conjured out of thin air when there are kids to take care of in a fic. If the fic is entirely or partly about how the not-used-to-kids bloke has got to cope, then let him bloody cope, dammit. Palming the kid off on a Convenient Temporary Woman is not that. Though come to think of it, I should clarify that this is very much a general gripe about kidfic; Doyle has a handy neighbour, but on the whole I'd have to admit that this fic actually does better than many on that particular front! So, lots of good aspects but overall still not a big favourite. [8]
I don't really see this as a kidfic, either, mainly because I see Bodie as still being an adult in mind. Given that, the sexual dimension that evolves once Bodie is returned to his adult form wasn't a problem for me, either. And it never even dawned on me about the Convenient Woman. Maybe if she'd babysat, but I saw her as basically there so that Doyle didn't have to drag Bodie to a clothing store. But I know where you're coming from, since I have seen that trope in plenty of other stories (not necessarily Pros ones.) [9]
Am just re-reading this, and again, I can't quite get into this story, as I normally can with Ellis Ward's.

Maybe it's the whole premise of the juju, or possibly that only one of them is a child now, with the other the caretaker, but mainly, I can't quite figure out if Bodie is supposed to be himself, with all his memories and skills intact (apart from not being able to speak), or is a 3 year old in mind, too, apart from remembering a few things. If he is essentially "our" Bodie, trapped in a child's body, why would he wake up Doyle by pulling the hair off his arm, or poke his fingers into his nostrils, or run away, straight in front of a car? We see him being devastated by what happened, but that's not how he acts, especially at first. And why does he have the knowledge and dexterity to clean his gun, but can't write? All so Bodie can't communicate what Doyle needs to do, to reverse the "wish"?

Or my misgivings may have more to do with my general dislike of kid-fic, because so often the child is either written much younger than the age given, or smarter than all the adults around.

I just couldn't lose myself and believe in this one.

Her other stories, though... glances at Harlequin Airs, the first AU I ever loved![10]
I think a Bodie in a child's body would behave differently. Not so tamely. And wouldn't it be 'realistic' that they would work out a solution – together as partners? Assuming that his mind is of a thirtysomething, why should Bodie give it all away to Doyle? This Bodie isn't right. LOL! You should read Potztausend's story about Bodie as a bunny! That was far more convincing! ;-) [11]
I tend to see Bodie's actions as something he'd do even in his adult body. *g* The running in front of the car was an accident caused by his inattention. And given his predicament, totally understandable. I do think EW gets around the illogic of the situation with Bodie's comment, "African magic can be pretty perverse, in case you hadn't noticed. I didn't ask to be a bloody infant, after all." I can buy that explanation. :-) [12]
I'm afraid it's not my cup of tea either.

Bodie isn't 'right'..., and why is the child so young anyway? I think the reason for such a wish is always to change your live. To make things better. To get a new chance... So for me it's a bit silly to go back to a body of such a young child. There will be many years before you'll get any control over your own fate. If ever... ;-) *Sigh* And the result of all that fuss is just another first time...

All that just to make Doyle aware of his need to touch Bodie? As a child? The child of course in a non sexual way, but the grown up sexual? Oh come on...

No, the story really doesn't work for me. [13]
But I do think the truer theme of the story was "watch out what you wish for," rather than the chance for the new start. A small complaint for me would be the fact that they've been partners for eight and a half years already! I know anything's possible, but most people figure this sort of thing out way before then. *g*[14]
...I'm with you in really liking this story - although I feel as though I shouldn't in many ways. Bodie as a young boy?! Doyle feeling fatherly towards him (or older brother-ish, or...?) as a result, rather than anything else? And yet I do like it... Maybe because it's evidence that their relationship is even deeper than romantic/passionate love - the whole soulmate thing. I remember blinking at the idea that Bodie had his own mind but in a boy's body, but couldn't talk... could clean his own gun still, for instance, but not work out a way to tell Doyle what had happened to him. But the ju-ju explained that sort of weirdness well enough - and yet satisfyingly sketchily enough, so that you didn't know what might come next - that I could go with it. Loved the lads in the pile of leaves - and I could totally see that they'd both revert to little-boys-that-mess-around, cos I think they'd both act like that even as adults! So the idea that Bodie might take advantage of being little to seize the opportunity worked well for me...

So yes - good fun, this story! *g*

I like the idea of Doyle's feelings being more than just romantic, that his friendship with Bodie has built a foundation that that love is built on, so that different feelings, more that of an older brother, come to the fore as he takes care of the "child," Bodie. It's only afterwards that Doyle allows his romantic feelings to take precedent. I think EW did a great job of getting those feelings across. And, yes, I do so love that scene of the lads in the pile of leaves. Like you, I can easily see them doing something like that as adults. [16]
...I love this story, too!

EW very cleverly manages this bizarre scenario, which makes it totally work for me. She brilliantly balances the child-Bodie body's and the adult-Bodie's mind, so it's not kidfic to me, because we know he's still our Bodie! And Doyle's behaviour is just right, too, as he has to cope with this predicament.

There's a lovely tenderness to the story, which I especially like. [17]


  1. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  2. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  3. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  4. from a 2006 rec50
  5. 2010 comments by istia, prosrecs, Archived version
  6. 2012 comments at CI5hq; reference link
  7. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  8. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  9. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  10. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  11. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  12. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  13. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  14. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  15. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  16. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  17. 2012 comments at CI5hq