Sunday, Bloody Sunday

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Bodie/Doyle Fanfiction
Title: Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Author(s): M. Fae Glasgow
Date(s): 1990 (print), 2004 (online)
Length: 141K
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links: pdf here

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Sunday, Bloody Sunday is a Professionals slash Bodie/Doyle story by M. Fae Glasgow. The story sometimes appears on fans' Desert Island lists.[1]

It was originally in the print zine Paean to Priapus in 1990 and then archived online in 2004.

Reactions and Reviews

1992

I love this story, even though it is so depressing. It is basically about the psychological cost of love when having to choose between saving the life

of your loved one, or an innocent. This story is written in a realistic style, rather than a romanticized version. With great depth and skill.[2]

1996

Stories I *loved* include "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", a story where Bodie hit these kids with his car while he was chasing a bad guy... I read it again about a year ago and actually found things wrong; over the top description, a slightly too-emotional Bodie... but *none* of my quibbles slowed me down in the loving of Bodie repressed and on the edge of utter breakdown. I also loved Kate Ross' characterization: she was a professional in every sense of the word, and at one point Bodie goes berserk and hits her and after he's dragged out of her office she's holding a hanky to her profusely bleeding nose and scribbling notes *furiously*, before she takes care of her injury. Tough person. I liked that. [3]
The very first Pros story I ever read was MFae's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" from Priapus II, I believe. Man, did THAT inoculate me forever against all the cutesy-poo angelfish-teddybear-kittycat stories... [4]

2002

....well, one of the things about fanfic is that a lot of it is written by women, for women. It addresses the sort of things that women like to read. As such, a lot of men can read it and genuinely think it's a pile of crap, because it doesn't have the sorts of things that *they* think belong in a story, and focuses on stuff that they consider unimportant. Yes, this is a Sweeping Generalisation, but it's the great action/emotions divide. As an example, M Fae Glasgow's Sunday Bloody Sunday ...is a powerful piece of writing by an accomplished writer, but I suspect that many men just won't get the point - and won't see anything other than mush about two blokes slapping their bits together. [5]

2003

I reread this MFae story this morning (in Paean to Priapus 2). I'm not the kind of reader who tears up usually with stories or books, but the final scene of this story *still*, after several years and rereads, makes me tear up. I love it that a story is able to continue to pull my strings in the long-run.

I expect many people dislike the level of angst in this story, but I love it. It's horrible subject matter, no denying that, but, as fiction, it's wonderfully rewarding to me on the angst meter.

I also very much enjoy rediscovering--because I have a lousy memory for details--the structure each time I reread this story. We learn incrementally what happened, and how and why. The accident itself, then the reason for the accident, then, eventually, Bodie's acknowledgement of his deepest shame and secret: that he would do the same thing again to protect Doyle, would do the same thing even knowing this time the consequence of his action. The first time was a true accident; he was trying to protect Doyle, but he didn't see the children until it was too late, he didn't know what would or could happen. A "what if" of the kind Bodie torments himself with--thinking of how he would behave exactly the same way even knowing the outcome--is ultimately futile since he can't really know if he would behave that way in the circumstances; he can really only think he would, and beat himself up for that belief alone. It all lends itself to a wonderful probing into the darker side of love as this particular projection of Bodie experiences it.

The evolution of the relationship itself is effective for me, too, interwoven as it is with Bodie's breakdown and recovery and Doyle's discovery of what's important to him as well as the bisexual side of his nature. It's a touch of needed lightheartedness in a grim story when Bodie abruptly notices Doyle staring at someone with his randy look, well known to Bodie, but when Bodie looks for the girl who's caught Doyle's attention, he discovers it's Murphy instead. The revelation that Doyle has become aware of and interested in men finally allows Bodie to believe Doyle isn't just offering a mercy fuck, that there's actual interest in it for Doyle.

The gap between the body of the story, ending with when they become lovers, to the epilogue years later provides lots of pondering room. They appear to have gone on working for CI5 after Bodie's recovery, and they've lived together for a long time. We don't need to be told that Doyle's love for Bodie has evolved during that gap of years into being "in love", that crucial difference in their feelings that is the sticking point in the earlier part of the story having dissolved away in the interim. We don't need to be told outright because these lines communicate the message economically: "But he didn't look for Bodie. Not today, not on Easter Sunday. His Bodie wouldn't be in their house now, wouldn't have been for hours."

Which brings us to the final scene, Bodie in the graveyard with the Easter baskets, which is what makes me tear up. <g> Arrant heart-string pulling, that's what that is, yet effective (on me) despite its lack of subtlety. Then we get the final image of what Bodie's life has been since the accident, in which colour and warmth and love have all been "bought and paid for". With the violence in their lives even without such an accident ever happening, those few final words always strike me as a wider commentary on whatever good we might conceive--in any story or projection of how their lives might go at all--these two characters being able to scrabble together for themselves.

Yup, I love this story. [6]

2004

Continuing the holiday theme, today's rec is set at Easter. It's as far from bunnies and chocolate eggs as one could get, though the latter play a significant role. M. Fae Glasgow has already been recced here. That's because she's one of the most prolific and best writers we've had in the fandom, having written every type of story from lightest to darkest. This one is at the darker end of the spectrum, yet has its own brand of happy ending, hard won though it be. MFae employs an imagistic style in this layered and moving story about the effect on Bodie--and, through him, on Doyle and their relationship--when the unthinkable happens. One of my favourite angsty stories. [7]

2013

I'm not the kind of reader who tears up usually with stories or books, but the final scene of this story still, after several years and rereads, makes me tear up. I love it that a story is able to continue to pull my strings in the long-run.

I expect many readers dislike the level of angst in this story, but I love it. It's horrible subject matter, no denying that, but, as fiction, it's wonderfully rewarding to me on the angst meter. Set at Easter, this story is as far from bunnies and chocolate eggs as one could get, though the latter play a poignant role. MFae employs an imagistic style in this layered and moving story about the effect on Bodie--and, through him, on Doyle and their relationship--when the unthinkable happens.

I love MFae's ability to shred the reader's heartstrings even while we see precisely what she's doing. There's little subtlety in the emotional manipulation, yet she gets away with it--at least with this reader--with the pleasure that comes from watching her use repetitive imagery and well-placed revelations to keep the tension up and interest fixed. MFae's prose sometimes gives me the sense of a galloping horse, but she usually manages to keep it reined in just enough to establish the reassuring sense of authorial control. A great story, not to everyone's taste, but the ending satisfies my desire for as happy a resolution as possible of a terrible situation.

I also much enjoy rediscovering--because I have a lousy memory for details--the structure each time I reread this story. We learn incrementally what happened, and how and why. The accident itself, then the reason for the accident, then, eventually, Bodie's acknowledgement of his deepest shame and secret: that he would do the same thing again to protect Doyle, would do the same thing even knowing this time the consequence of his action. The first time was a true accident; he was trying to protect Doyle, but he didn't see the children until it was too late, he didn't know what would or could happen. A "what if" of the kind Bodie torments himself with--thinking of how he would behave exactly the same way even knowing the outcome--is ultimately futile since he can't really know if he would behave that way in the circumstances; he can really only think he would, and beat himself up for that belief alone. It all lends itself to a wonderful probing into the darker side of love as this particular projection of Bodie experiences it.

The evolution of the relationship itself is effective for me, too, interwoven as it is with Bodie's breakdown and recovery and Doyle's discovery of what's important to him as well as the bisexual side of his nature. It's a touch of needed lightheartedness in a grim story when Bodie abruptly notices Doyle staring at someone with his randy look, well known to Bodie, but when Bodie looks for the girl who's caught Doyle's attention, he discovers it's Murphy instead. The revelation that Doyle has become aware of and interested in men finally allows Bodie to believe Doyle isn't just offering a mercy fuck, that there's actual interest in it for Doyle.

The gap between the body of the story, ending with when they become lovers, to the epilogue years later provides lots of pondering room. They appear to have gone on working for CI5 after Bodie's recovery, and they've lived together for a long time. We don't need to be told that Doyle's love for Bodie has evolved during that gap of years into being "in love", that crucial difference in their feelings that is the sticking point in the earlier part of the story having dissolved away in the interim. [8]

References

  1. Close Quarters Desert Island Episode/Zine/Fic dated July 18, 2009; reference link.
  2. from a fan in Short Circuit #11 (December 1992)
  3. Charlotte Hill's post to the Virgule-L mailing list dated Nov 27, 1996, quoted with permission.
  4. Jane Mailander's post to the Ci5 mailing list dated July 19, 1996, quoted with permission.
  5. Advertising for Pterry Fanfiction at alt.fan.pratchett dated August 2002.
  6. In 2003, istia posted a longer review of the story to the Pros-Lit mailing list. It is quoted here with permission. Ten years later, she reposted it here; reference link
  7. review at the crack-van dated March 4, 2004.
  8. prosrecs, Archived version, see more of this review