Terms of Endearment (Professionals story)
|Title:||Terms of Endearment|
|External Links:||online here|
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It was published in What If... and is online.
Also see List of Fanworks by Jane of Australia.
Reactions and Reviews
I'm going to begin with a story that has been on my personal favorites list for a long time. Kathy Keegan may or may not be (but probably is, in my opinion) the same person as Jane of Australia, one of the earliest Pros slash writers and a particularly prolific one. She is best known, perhaps, for some of her long AUs, like The Hunting (recommended here on crack_van last year).
Terms of Endearment, however, is a CI5-universe fic, and a short one; very little really "happens" in it. The story begins with Ray sitting on a park bench doing some soul searching, fearing that an as-yet-undisclosed incident in recent days may have destroyed his fledgling relationship with Bodie. The author has a nice way of setting a scene; you really feel as if you are there in that sunny park watching Ray talk to Jax while Jax's wife and kids get ice cream in the background. It feels like a lazy Sunday afternoon in London. Eventually Jax convinces Doyle to go see Bodie, even though he fears the worst. During his visit we learn what has happened, and we watch as he and Bodie work through some important issues.
This isn't a perfect story. In particular, sometimes Bodie's and Doyle's actions, and reactions, don't ring entirely true to me (though others feel quite authentic). Nonetheless, it's a story I love, one that pushes all my buttons. I find particularly appealing, and realistic, stories in which Bodie and Doyle jump into bed well before either is ready to admit, even to himself, the depth of his feelings toward the other. I enjoy watching tough guys, basically engaged in mattress athleticism, gradually find themselves more and more emotionally invested, more and more vulnerable, less and less able to maintain their walls - I like watching them fumble toward tenderness; I like seeing them awaken to awareness of their fierce possessiveness for each other, of the fact that this isn't as "casual" as they've been telling themselves.Terms of Endearment has this, as well as a very nice dose of hurt/comfort. Plus there's snarky banter, barely-masked affection, and some nice smut - all my favorite things. Sometimes it can be difficult to analyze why a story hits you the way it does; this one works for me, and I find myself turning to it when I want something short and uncomplicated that just makes me feel good. 
I like this story a lot although I thought Bodie's explanation was a bit unbelievable. I can't believe he would have been so forbearing had the situation been reversed. 
...is the last under Kathy Keegan on the Circuit Archive. Doyle angsts and is in a right sop for most of the fic. He's jealous because he caught Bodie in bed with someone else, and guilty because his preoccupation with his love life had caused him to slip and fall on a job, which in turn led to Bodie catching him and sustaing a rather severe muscle injury. I think this is one of the classic "Doyle feels excessively guilty about everything, and takes his guilt to the extreme" stories. And Bodie, of course, is gentle, kind, self-sacrificing, and knows best.