(with assistance from Elizabeth Helena and Slantedlight)
1. Covert Intelligence
He thinks I don't know.
Sometimes that makes me angry. Arrogant sod, thinks he's the only one who's got brains. Mostly, I'm just grateful. Means we don't have to fight about it, or worse, apologize.
How do you apologize for something this bloody huge? Something you can't do anything about?
You don't. You're just thankful you can keep on ignoring it.
It's about survival, about staying cool. Lose it, start worrying about losing him, and next thing you know....
I hate things I can't fix.
Ray thinks I don't know he's in love with me, but I do.
2. Bad Call
He's a moron.
And I'm as bad for listening to him.
Just a leg over, he says. Won't mean anything, he says. Because what happens in the foxhole, stays in the foxhole--or the tatty little hotel room, as the case may be.
I don't know why I let him talk me into it.
Correction. I know exactly why.
And now the daft sod is twitching when I look at him, watching me when he thinks I won't see.
He'd better get his act together, and his eyes off my arse.
If Bodie thinks this is love...
...he's dead wrong.
3. Military Non-Intelligence
"You egotistical bastard!"
From the look of Ray as he says it, I figure I'm about two words shy of getting punched in the face.
I should keep my mouth shut. I know I should.
Instead, I say, "Me?"
Word one. There's almost no buffer left.
He goes white.
Don't know why he can't just leave it, just keep on ignoring the bloody huge elephant in the centre of the room. That's what I was doing--and very successfully, thank you.
After all, "It wasn't me who fell in love here."
And those would be words two through nine.
4. Interrogation Techniques
Bodie hangs on like an octopus, like it's his life in the balance. Which it is. We're on the kitchen floor and I can't get a hand free, but if I could, I'd kill the bastard.
Thinks he's irresistible, does he?
Finally up on our feet, eye to eye, gasping. Murderous. Wonder what Cowley will say when he hears his two best operatives have beaten each other to death?
But Bodie's got that distracted, cross-eyed look he gets when he's trying to figure out something complicated.
He says, "So...you don't love me?"
All I have to do is agree.
5. Tactical Manoeuvres
Raymond Doyle gets right up my nose. Scrawny, sarky bastard won't admit he loves me, but can't deny it either. Don't know if I want to hit him or kiss him. An inch from his face, my fist in his collar, and I still can't decide.
So I kiss him.
And then I hit him.
Knock him right off his feet. Ha.
But he's not going to stay down long.
Tactically, my position isn't bad. The door's at my back. If I throw the chair at him, I'll make the street before....
Except now the daft sod's laughing at me.
"Just a leg over," I say, climbing to my feet.
Bodie backs up a step.
"Won't mean anything," I say.
His arse hits the counter. A glass rattles.
"What happens in the foxhole, stays in the foxhole." Yeah, we both know who started this.
Bodie's eyes narrow, his expression hardens. He's considering means of exit, avenues of attack, available weaponry. Keep this up much longer, and he'll be handing me my own decapitated head.
The tension between us is electric. My time's up. There's just one thing for me to say.
"Alright, let's fuck."
Ever seen a soldier completely disarmed?
7. Unconditional Surrender
Royally, catastrophically fucked.
Because all it takes is one word from Ray and I'm on my knees.
Survival, my arse. I'm already critically overcommitted. My back's to the wall--well, the kitchen counter--and this is some kind of terrible marriage between the Fall of Singapore and Operation Market Garden. Into the valley of death rides one stupid git.
Not that I'm all but throwing up the white flag already. If he doesn't slow down, this is going to be my shortest, sorriest, campaign ever.
Mind, there are worse things than being fucked.
Not fucked comes to mind.
8. Case Closed
Bodie throws himself face down on my bed, as if he owns it. Correction--as if he's earned it.
Under the circumstances, and considering we're both beyond exhausted, I'm not inclined to protest. I push his legs over instead, making room for myself beside him.
He chuckles. "Admit it. You love me."
I'm seriously tempted to dump him on the floor. "You don't know what love is."
He rolls over. "Tell you something else, too."
He's smirking, because he knows he's right. Someday I might even admit it publicly.
I'll put it on his funeral wreath.
Ray still doesn't believe me. Arrogant sod never will give me credit for having brains.
Doesn't matter. Doesn't make me angry. Not anymore. He may be an arrogant sod, but now he's my arrogant sod.
What's he saying now? Something about an egotistical bastard? Don't know who he's talking about. I'm charmingly modest.
It's still about survival, about staying cool. But surviving is easier done when you've got a mate covering your back. So to speak. Prefer to top, myself, but....
Ultimately, the important thing is...
(Could hardly help himself, could he?)
...he's the one who fell in love first.
-- THE END --