Priority A3

Anthology

Review by: Metabolick

Review
This is a h/c zine, with most of the stories involving Doyle as the hurtee and Bodie as the comforter. Since this is one of my kinks, it is right up my alley. All of the stories are competently and sometimes even very well written. The artwork consists of black and white line drawings and computer graphics by Joey. They are simple but rather nice. I greatly enjoyed this zine and recommend it if you like a hurt/sick Doyle and a protective/comforting Bodie.

To Err Is Human by Maiden Wyoming - Bodie shoots Doyle in the knee to prevent him from going on a dangerous undercover op. D recovers but plots revenge until he realizes he loves B and understands that B did what he did out of pure love. First time story.

At first I thought that this insane premise would never work, but I was wrong. The key is knowing that Bodie is convinced he himself will not survive the op (he takes D's place), and so he must do something drastic to get D invalided out of CI5 because B won't be around to watch his back any more. As it turns out, Bodie is severely injured and in a coma for months but recovers partially. He counts himself lucky that D will still have anything to do with him. D is hanging around for the right time to take his revenge on B, but his realization that B has already suffered greatly for what he did and that his motive was the purest possible makes it possible for D to forgive him. I love stories with unique premises and this one fits that bill. It is the most memorable fic in this zine for me.

Permanent Change by Jane Mailander - While on holiday Doyle is held hostage in a pub, where the bad guys cut off his hair. D is devastated but Bodie helps him get over it. He tells Doyle that he is in love with him. First time story.

Doyle's crying over his bad haircut does seem a bit farfetched. All the snarky little jokes that the other CI5 agents constantly make at D's expense when they see his shorn head are really funny, as well as his standard comeback - "Sod off, ____!" (even to Cowley!) Bodie is magnificent in this story - knowing just how to handle his very prickly and emotionally fragile partner.

Evening Light by Victoria Racklyft - B sees a vision of 2 old ladies who seem to know something about his future. Doyle becomes more and more distraught as the trances keep occurring, afraid that one time Bodie won't come out of it. The lads love each other but in the past D had rejected B's sexual advances. Now D realizes he was foolish and they become lovers. Finally D has a similar vision. With the encouragement of a doctor employed by Cowley, they set out to discover the meaning of the visions, which takes them on a tour of most of the old churches in London.

I enjoy the advice of the doctor, who is based on a canon character. This author is skillful at conveying emotions; Doyle's anguish when B goes into one of his trances is very real. The climactic scene where D must tell B that he loves him in order to get him out of the trance is wonderful. There is a lovely twist at the end which I didn't see coming and is very clever. And finally, the thought CI5 agents are sometimes recruited by a higher power for service in protecting Britain intrigues me. I normally shy away from stories with supernatural elements, but I'm glad I read this one.

The Ornament by Jeroen - This story of only 7 pages is told in very short segments of mostly dialog. D is cruelly tortured and sexually abused after his cover is blown. Now in hospital, he refuses to talk about it and has a death wish. With a psychiatrist's help he eventually talks to Bodie and decides he wants to live for him.

This story is very painful to read because D is so damaged and B is almost powerless to help him. But I love this B who is doing all he can to be a steady rock for D to cling to. The story ends abruptly just when D makes a breakthrough and starts talking to B about what happened to him, which leaves me rather unsatisfied.

Gut Decision by Maiden Wyoming - This author certainly loves to hurt Doyle in unique ways. This time he gets a severe case of dysentery from eating tainted food and lands in the hospital thanks to B's timely arrival at D's flat. B nurses him tenderly even after D returns home, doing even the most distasteful tasks with love (though we don't get a blow-by-blow description, thankfully). D realizes that B's devotion shows that B loves him very much and that he loves B. First time story.

What I like about this author is the way she conveys the idea that the lads are meant for each other. This is definitely comfort fic of the highest order.

He'll Make It by Joana Dey - This story recounts the events of "Discovered In A Graveyard" from Bodie's pov interspersed with flashbacks to his life with Doyle as partners and lovers. The last few pages cover the time right after B brings D home from the hospital.

All along we get what is going on in B's head during this time, but that doesn't really mitigate the tediousness of rehashing the episode. I'd rather just go watch it. Then, after they get home B keeps hounding D about why he was so careless with security.before the shooting and whether he truly wants to live. I understand his frustration, especially because D is sending him mixed messages, but I just want to smack him and tell him to lay off Ray!
Wisdom Truth by Elessar - D needs dental surgery for impacted wisdom teeth. The dentist mistakenly gives him Pentothal as an anesthetic. Under the influence, D makes a pass at B and tells him he loves him. B puts him off but then decides to give D what he wants because D had really gotten him going. However, by that time D has fallen asleep. The next morning D doesn't remember what happened. B thinks about it all day and realizes he loves D too. He tells D what happened and they declare their love for each other.

The scene in the car where B is driving D home while D is under the influence of the drug is hilarious. D is all over B, trying to seduce him and acting sappy and out of character, while B is doing his best to fend him off and keep the car on the road. Then when D finds out what he did and said his embarrassment is very amusing.

Phoenix Rising by P.R. Zed - Doyle thinks Bodie has been killed in an explosion and grieves terribly but tries to carry on. It turns out that B has only been kidnapped; they rescue him. The next day the lads enjoy a relaxing morning together and talk things over.

One can't help but share Doyle's intense grief over B's seeming death, so skilfully does the author convey his emotions. Her Doyle is a very admirable and brave figure in the way he attempts to hold himself together while he is actually dying inside. Murphy, too, is excellent in trying to follow orders and keep an eye on D while being supportive but discreet and unobtrusive. The final scene is a lovely contrast to the emotional intensity of the rest of the story. This author is great at portraying the lads just enjoying each other's company.

Shards by Jeroen - The lads have been in a car wreck. B is pinned down; D has a concussion and is confused. B talks him through calling for help on the R/T. They profess their love for each other. Some days later when B is ready to go home from the hospital D comes and wants to tell him that he loves him. B says he did that already but D doesn't remember doing it. B says that he loves D too.

This fic is only 3 pages. The last line is worth a chuckle.

Anything For Love by Joana Dey - The lads fall through a hole in a floor and B lands on top of D, who ends up with both arms in casts. B has a broken finger but must wait on D hand and foot. D is embarrassed but B says there's nothing about D that can disgust him. Then it's D's turn to comfort B, who is also tired and in pain.

The vision of B spoonfeeding D scrambled eggs and making a joke out of it is delightful. It seems as though it is far more popular with authors to hurt Doyle, but at least in this story Bodie is also hurt and in need of comfort and reassurance.

Metabolick, July 2008