Well Done, Bodie!
For Darby Brennan, you know why!
Bodie looked at his partner. Doyle wasn't himself lately. Absent-minded, easily distracted, his head wasn't with the job. The thing that worried Bodie however, was the general feeling of sadness that seemed to radiate from Doyle.
He had tried to discuss it with his friend, but Doyle had just shrugged and said that he was tired.
Agent 4.5 was slumped in one of the battered old chairs in the rest room, one leg dangling over the side, staring into space, a mug of forgotten coffee in his hand.
Suddenly the room was crowded with agents returning from a job at the docks--McCabe and Lucas, Anson and Lewis, Jax and Murphy. Bodie's eyes narrowed when he saw Doyle suddenly become tense. What could be wrong? Bodie looked at Doyle and followed the intense gaze he had in his eyes. It seemed as if Doyle was staring at Murphy; had they been into a fight? Bodie wondered.
He looked up as Doyle left the room without saying anything. Bodie was about to follow Doyle, when Murphy called him back.
"Bodie, is Doyle okay?" Murphy asked.
"I was just going to find out. Why are you asking?" Bodie wanted to know what was going on.
"Beats me. But he seems to avoid me. He's been doing that for some time now. I didn't realise it at first, but every time we're in the same room, he leaves. Every time I ask him to go for a pint, he declines. I've tried asking him if there's a problem, or if I've done something to upset him, but he keeps telling me he's fine, just tired." Murphy sounded genuinely worried.
Bodie nodded, "It's the same answer I've been getting from him. Well that's it, he's going to tell me right now what's going on." He stalked out of the room, anxious to find Doyle and get the truth from him one way or another. Even if he had to beat it out of the aggravating little sod.
Entering their office, he noticed Doyle had been there because his jacket was hanging over the back of his chair. But the owner of the jacket was nowhere in sight.
Bodie sat on the corner of his desk, picked up a file and flicked through it. A few minutes later Doyle barrelled into the office looking flushed and angry.
"Okay, sunshine, that's it. You are going to tell me exactly what's going on." Bodie stood and pushed Doyle towards his chair, and loomed over him.
"I don't know what you're talking about, " Doyle growled. "And stop trying to intimidate me. It won't work."
Bodie sighed. "I know it won't work, Ray, but you worry me. Hell, you've even got Murphy worried."
Doyle's head snapped up. "What d' you mean 'got Murphy worried'? You've been discussing me with Murphy?" he asked incredulously.
"Oh come on, mate, he just asked me if you were okay. He thinks you've been avoiding him lately."
Doyle's head dropped to his chest and he mumbled, "I have."
"What? Why?" Bodie looked at Doyle wondering what to think. Then his eyes darkened, "What has he done to you?" he asked, his tone was suddenly cold.
Looking puzzled, Doyle said, "Done to me? Murphy hasn't done anything to me, Bodie."
"Then what is going on, Doyle? Do you want me to beat it out of you? Or better still, I'll tie you to the chair and tickle it out of you." Bodie decided to change his plan of attack.
Doyle chuckled. "You'd have more success with the tickling than the beating," he admitted. He sighed. "I've gone and lost me marbles, haven't I?"
"Well, that's nothing new. I want to know what's wrong now," Bodie joked.
"Piss off, Bodie," Doyle grumbled, "I'm uptight enough as it is."
Bodie was confused. What was Doyle talking about?
"Are you going to tell me, Doyle? Or do you want me to make good on my threat?" Bodie waggled his fingers in the direction of Doyle's ribs.
"Don't you dare, you bastard, I've still got the bruises from last time." Doyle slipped behind his desk, trying to keep it between his ribs and Bodie's agile fingers.
"I promise to keep my fingers in check, if you go and spill, sunshine," Bodie said, trying to look as innocent as possible.
Doyle slumped in his chair and mumbled something that Bodie was unable to hear.
"What was that?" he asked.
"I said," Doyle looked up now, "I've gone and fallen in love."
Bodie recoiled, "Who with?"
Doyle shook his head. "I can't tell you, Bodie. It's not as if I can act upon it."
"Because you're gay? Bloody hell, Doyle, even gay people are allowed to love, you know." Bodie wanted to shake Doyle; trust the little bastard to make things more difficult than necessary. "Who. Is. It. Doyle?" Bodie asked again, making quite sure that he was going to wait until he had his answer.
"Bloody hell, Bodie, you're such a nosy bastard!" Doyle's temper suddenly erupted, another indication that all was not well with his world.
Bodie held up his hands in defence, and put on a hurt expression. "Fine, fine, then don't tell me." He turned on his heel. He was about to leave the office, when Doyle spoke again.
"Bodie.... I'm sorry." Doyle wouldn't have been able to miss Bodie's triumphant grin and grumbled, "Got me again, haven't you?"
"Yep." Bodie rubbed his hands. " So.... Spill. Who is this guy?"
"I thought that was obvious," Doyle replied. He was clearly trying to wriggle out of answering again by wrong footing Bodie.
For one minute Bodie was thrown. His mouth opened, than closed, and he had no idea what to say. Then he looked Doyle in the eye and saw a very obvious mischievous gleam.
"Oi, you!" he shouted. He stalked over and wriggled his fingers again, making Doyle yelp as he tried to scramble out of the way. But he wasn't so lucky this time, and Bodie made sure he gave Doyle's ribs a thorough work over, until he was a giggling heap on the floor.
Than he simply straddled Doyle's legs and held his arms pinned, making sure Doyle couldn't move away. "Last chance before the final battle. Who are we talking about?"
Doyle squirmed, but he couldn't get away. Finally he gave in. "All right, you bastard, it's Patrick."
Bodie's mouth dropped open. "Our Murphy?" He noticed his voice was higher than usual.
At that moment the door to their office was pushed open and Murphy stuck his head around it. "Someone called me?" he asked, and then his eyes bulged at the sight of Bodie straddling Doyle. A strange look crossed his face. Then he mumbled, "Sorry to interrupt," and left immediately. The door banged shut behind him.
"What was that all about?" Doyle looked at Bodie questioningly.
Bodie shrugged and climbed off of Doyle, extending his hand to pull him up. "We did look rather cosy I think."
When Doyle realised what Bodie had said, he flushed bright red and closed his eyes. "Oh, bloody hell, Bodie. That's all I need!"
"Sorry, mate. You want me to go to him and explain?" Bodie offered.
"No! No, please, don't mention it, please, Bodie." Doyle pulled his jacked from his chair and strode to the door. "I'm going for a walk. See you later."
Bodie stood for a moment, contemplating his next move. A sandwich would be nice, and then he had some plotting to do.
Bodie had decided that Doyle needed some help, and the CI5 Christmas bash was just the occasion he needed. What he also needed was a partner in crime, and not one of those twits like McCabe or Anson, no someone sensible enough to see that Bodie's way was the right way. Someone like...Jax.
Bodie stalked over to where Jax was sitting, eating a not entirely fresh looking cheese sandwich, and grabbed the man's arm. "Jax, you're elected, follow me."
"Bodie? What? Hey, what's going on?" Jax tried to dig his heels in. But Bodie dragged him out of the restroom towards his and Doyle's office. He hustled Jax inside, followed him and absent-mindedly pushed the door half shut.
"Bodie, what the hell is going on?" Jax was starting to sound annoyed.
"Listen to me, Jax, I need your help, mate." And then Bodie proceeded to tell Jax just what he had in mind.
But Jax wasn't going for it. He shook his head. "No way, Bodie. That's not going to work. If Doyle finds out he'll have my head."
"Jax, don't be such a whimp, it's going to work out just fine." Bodie was convinced that all Doyle needed was a push in the right direction.
"Okay, okay. I'll do it," Jax sighed, sounding less than pleased about the whole thing. Bodie knew his colleague however, once Jax had agreed, he'd go through with it--happy or not.
At that moment the door, which had been slightly ajar, was pushed open further and a voice called, "Be with you in a minute, mate!" And Murphy walked in, a stack of files in his hands. "The Cow wants you and these, Jax." He dumped the files in Jax' arms and left again.
"Got to go, Bodie. Can't keep Cowley waiting." Bodie nodded absently. He was missing something here, but what?
The CI5 Christmas celebration was always a popular do, especially amongst the typing pool. The girls had clear opportunity to pull every available CI5 agent in the building, and did so with ample enthusiasm.
Bodie stood in a corner, eying his victim. Ray Doyle, dressed in his green moleskin trousers, white shirt and dark green velvet jacket, looked absolutely stunning. Many of the young ladies were trying to engage him in conversation, and get him to give them a twirl around the dance floor. Not many succeeded in one or the other, however. He looked bored, and again Bodie was struck by the unhappy look in his eyes. He nodded to himself; he was doing the right thing. Doyle needed help with his love life.
After having made his rounds of the room, which included talking and dancing with several likeable young women, Bodie made his way to a table at the back, where Jax was nursing a whisky. "Have you seen Murph yet?" he asked Bodie in a stage whisper.
"Coming over now," Bodie whispered back. "Better start the show."
Jax nodded, and when Murphy came in earshot he whined, "I can't do that Bodie, why don't you give it a try?"
"Who me? Give over, Jax, you're the chicken around here, not me."
Murphy, none too steady on his feet, looked from one to the other, his beer glass was balancing precariously on the edge of their table. "What's going on here, lads?" He blinked once, apparently to get them into focus.
"Bloody hell, Murph, are you drunk already?" Bodie was disappointed, how could his scheme work now?
Murphy shook his head. "I'm fine. Just need to eat something."
At that moment McCabe, carrying a plate full of food, walked by. Bodie immediately relieved him off it, ignoring his protests, and handed it to Murphy who happily tucked in.
"So what were you talking about? Why is Jax a chicken?"
"Oh," said Bodie airily. "I dared him to kiss a certain someone, and Jax is afraid he'll be handed his own head." Bodie took a few sips from his beer, waiting for Murphy's reaction.
Murphy looked over at Jax with raised eyebrows. "You afraid to kiss, Jax?" he asked.
Jax nodded fervently. "Absolutely, my son. I love my head just where it is, thank you very much. And I bet you wouldn't dare to do it either."
Bodie winced. He hoped this wouldn't tick Murphy off. But it seemed the tall man was ready to answer the challenge.
"So who is this all about? It's Ruth, right?" Murphy asked, looking around to find the cool blonde agent who thwarted them all, as far as getting involved was concerned. Right now, she was dancing with Ted Connors, CI5's Physician.
"No, it's not Ruth, Murphy...." Bodie trailed of, not ready just yet to enlighten Murphy.
"Then who.... Hang on. It's not Suzy is it? We didn't exactly part too well the last time we went out. I'm not going to try and kiss her. I want to have a Christmas without any parts missing."
Jax chuckled. "No it's not Suzy. But like I said before, there's no guarantees on the 'missing parts'."
Murphy looked at him as if he doubted Jax' sanity. "If it isn't Suzy, than I'm not really afraid to lose any body parts. Unless it's Janice--in that case I'm just afraid for my body." A slightly panicked look appeared in Murphy's eyes.
Bodie and Jax both rolled their eyes and grinned. "We wouldn't do that to you, Murph. No Janice for you. She's just a bit too eager to get her hands on any body part that you're willing to share with her."
Janice was a nice girl. But she had a huge crush on Murphy and wasn't afraid to show, and share, how she felt. She'd tried and succeeded a number of times to get him alone, and Bodie knew that Murphy didn't want to repeat any of those times.
Bodie looked around the room to check on Doyle. He found him in the same place, nursing the same drink, with the same far away look on his face. And, to Bodie's delight, standing right under a bunch of mistletoe, which Bodie had made sure earlier, was hanging all around the room. Cowley had already made his appearance and had left, so there was no need to keep the idea of decorum going.
"So now that we've promised it isn't Suzy, and definitely not Janice, are you game?" Bodie asked. He wanted to make sure Murphy wouldn't be able to back out once he'd heard who his victim was going to be.
Murphy waved his hand. "Besides Suzy and Janice, there really isn't anyone who can withstand my charm. I'd say I've won this bet already."
"Bet? What bet?" Jax asked, sounding confused.
"Well, you guys are definitely pushy, so I guess there's a catch after all. But, hey, I'm willing to chance my arm, but I want to know what's in it for me." Murphy looked around with a grin on his face.
Bodie smirked at Jax. Gotcha! he thought. "Murphy old son, don't worry about that, you'll be rewarded. Now about the lucky soul, let me tell you all about it." Bodie put his arm around Murphy's shoulders, and turned him around until he faced the room and Doyle. He pointed towards Doyle and said, "There's your lucky victim, Murph. Make him smile."
Murphy jerked away from Bodie and growled, "What the hell are you playing at, Bodie? You were talking about kissing a girl, not Doyle."
Bodie gave a wide grin and shook his head. "Oh no, Murph. We didn't mention it was a girl. We talked about a person. The only girls we mentioned were those we didn't want you to kiss."
"Are you going to back down, Murph?" Jax asked.
Murphy seemed to be ready to throw in the towel. But than he visibly straightened and squared his shoulders, thrust his glass into Jax's hands and stalked across the room towards Doyle.
Bodie and Jax strolled closer, wanting to see and hear what happened.
Murphy closed in on Doyle and smiled. He thumped Doyle's shoulder, and said, "Hey, Ray, are you enjoying yourself?"
Doyle looked confused, but gave Murphy a ghost of a smile and shrugged. "Yeah, Murph, I'm fine."
"That's good, so you don't mind some entertainment?" With that Murphy grabbed Doyle, dipped him and plastered his mouth all over Doyle's.
It took only a few seconds before catcalls and whistles were heard from their fellow agents. Murphy then pulled Doyle upright again and started to let go of him. However, Doyle pulled him closer and refused to let go. Then Doyle looked up straight at Bodie and winked, closed his eyes and a blissful expression settled on his face as he began to ravish Murphy's mouth.
Bodie gaped, looked at Jax, who looked just as confused as Bodie felt, and then back at the still snogging pair. They had turned a little, and Bodie was now looking Murphy in the face, as he looked over Doyle's shoulder. To Bodie's astonishment, Murphy also gave him a wink!
Bodie shook his head, not really believing what he was seeing. His plan had actually worked. Or.... What exactly was going on here?
Then the look on their faces changed and two things became clear to Bodie. One, that somehow Doyle and Murphy had found out about the plot and were simply playing along. The other thing was, that although it had started out as merely 'playing along', it was now quickly and obviously becoming much more. And he was glad; it was time that the golly found happiness.
A punch on his shoulder pulled his attention back to Jax. To Bodie's surprise, Jax was looking very pleased with himself.
"If I hadn't seen it, I would've never believed it, but that stupid plan of yours actually worked. Well done, Bodie!"
Bodie grinned maniacally, rubbed his hands and grabbed the glass nearest to him; it turned out to be a large scotch. He looked at the mistletoe and raised his glass as in a toast, then quickly downed the contents.
Behind his back, Doyle and Murphy slid out of the door, still holding hands.
-- THE END --
Christmas Eve 2005