One Too Many


It had been one too many times. One too many times that he had to see his partner lying in a hospital bed, clinging to life by his teeth.

Bodie's fist hit the table next to Doyle's bed with a bit too much force, and he winced as it shifted and rattled the metal frame and Ray's unconscious form with it. But he'd been on edge ever since he heard that Ray had been knifed, and his frustration was looking for a way out. Stupid bastard, going into that house without backup. Without his partner to watch his back. He guessed he should be used to it by now, to this feeling of utter helplessness, a black thing eating him from inside. Only that he never seemed to be able to get used to it, it hurt the same every damn time, again and again.

It was also the same, every time Ray opened his eyes, the way he did now, eyelids fluttering in the same rhythm as Bodie's heart. He quickly let go of Ray's hand, which he'd been clutching pretty much since entering the room.

"Bodie..." Ray smiled at him shakily, and Bodie felt the knot inside of him loosen. He was going to be alright, once again death had spared him.

The relief made him feel almost dizzy - and maybe a bit stupid, because the next words escaped him uncontrolled: "Damn you stupid bastard - don't you dare do that to me again!"

Green eyes widened in surprise, and Bodie wanted to kick himself for letting his guard down so much, letting Ray see how scared he had been, how much seeing him like this got to him. Then Ray collected himself, and Bodie could almost hear his thoughts racing, trying to get them back on track, back to their usual light-hearted banter.

"Why, Bodie - I didn't know you cared!" He actually grinned at him, as if nothing special had happened, and the force of the anger suddenly welling up inside of him surprised Bodie. It had been one too many times, one too many occasions where they'd ignored what was between them and gone back to business as usual.

"Of course I care," he ground out from between clenched teeth, aware that the look on his face probably scared Doyle shitless. But that was alright - after all, he'd scared him first.

Obeying his sudden impulse to break this cycle they were stuck in, Bodie leaned over, closing in on Ray, who couldn't move from his spot on the bed. And then he pressed a kiss to Ray's closed lips, firmly and with no trace of gentleness, letting it linger only long enough to make his point.

Pulling back, he surveyed the look of utter shock on Ray's face with a certain satisfaction. He leaned back in his chair and smiled, his rage replaced by the familiar tenderness no one except for Ray Doyle could wake in him.

"Of course I care, Ray - and you know it."

The look on Doyle's face was hard to read, even for his partner of several years. But Bodie did not regret his move. He'd been pushed one too many times, and whatever the consequences - it had been worth it.

Then Ray let his head fall back on his pillow with a thud. He groaned and blinked up at Bodie with a strange mix of amusement and frustration.

"You're timing is impeccable as always, mate. Trust you to make your move when there's nothing we can do about it."

Bodie laughed, warmth and happiness spreading through him. He shrugged and scooted even closer to the bed, taking Ray's hand in his again.

"Good thing, then, that I'm a very patient man, isn't it?"

With a grin he lifted Ray's hand to his mouth and pressed a feathery kiss to it, ignoring the annoyed look Ray shot him even has his fingers tightened around Bodie's. After all, as he had pointed out, there was nothing Ray could do about it. At least not right now. And Bodie found he was actually looking forward to finding out what happened when Ray Doyle was pushed one too many times.

-- THE END --

July 2005

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