Written for the Bonfire Night "Discovered in a Skyrocket" challenge on the discoveredinalj Livejournal community. This story is a sequel to Fire.
Thanks to the usual suspects!
He was in trouble. Doyle was moving as quickly as he could, but the cane slowed him down and his leg was already complaining. Why the fuck-- But better not to ask that; it was his own fault he was in this mess.
Gardenier had shown up at the obbo, against all expectations. It didn't help that he could hear Cowley's voice in his head: "This is why I am Controller, Doyle, not you." Cowley had set them on the obbo, and they'd blown it. Or, to be more accurate, Bodie had been assigned to the obbo and he and Bodie had blown it. Technically, he wasn't supposed to be on the job, although Cowley hadn't objected to Doyle helping out. Cowley hadn't anticipated Bodie leaving the site. Doyle hadn't either, of course.
Damn it all, where was the bugger going? The streets were more crowded than usual at this time of night--the parties were in full swing and the fireworks would be starting before long. By rights, he and Bodie ought to be celebrating themselves, enjoying a bonfire somewhere, cheering the burning of the Guy and, in Bodie's case, eating toffee apples. Instead, they'd spent the night at an obbo, in an increasingly tense silence.
Fuck. His leg hurt, and he felt more alone than he had in years. He'd called it in as soon as he'd spied Gardenier. They'd been ordered to follow him. He hadn't told Cowley that Bodie wasn't with him. He could only hope that Bodie was monitoring the frequency and would get the fuck back here. He would be useless in a fight, and he'd never keep up if Gardenier spotted him and took off at a run. It had only been three days since he'd been released from hospital. At least he'd got rid of the crutches today.
Gardenier was walking at a normal pace, filtering through the people on the streets, but not hurrying in any way. Why was he here and not at the rendezvous with the rest of Penhall's group? Doyle had heard nothing more on the op tonight that would close the final loop around Penhall. He'd been as eager as any of them to get Penhall--the bullet in his leg just one of the reasons. Bodie had been frustrated at having been left behind. The doctors had cleared Bodie for light duties only, so Cowley had relegated him to the obbo.
He had gone with Bodie to keep him company, and because he hadn't seen much of Bodie since getting out of hospital. Bodie had put it down to being on duty, but Doyle recognised evasion when he saw it. Bodie had seemed pleased enough to have Doyle with him at the obbo but the natural pauses in conversation had turned to uncomfortable silences. It hadn't been like that between them since the early days. The next thing Doyle had known, Bodie had said he'd be back and he had walked out. That had never happened before. How could so much have changed in just a few days? They'd seemed fine in hospital, when he'd told Bodie the truth, and that it was real. But then, before Scotland, he'd thought it best that he and Bodie cool it. Maybe Bodie had had his own revelation after the hospital. Maybe he'd found that having wasn't as good as wanting.
Gardenier took a turning into a small churchyard. Doyle hesitated a moment, knowing that following could expose him, but what choice did he have? He went through the iron gateway. The churchyard was a peaceful haven, even in the middle of London on Bonfire Night. He caught a glimpse of Gardenier heading for the opposite entrance and breathed a sigh of relief. It had apparently been a shortcut, not a trap. He followed Gardenier out onto the streets again. There were fewer people where he was led now, and they were more intent on their own business than on celebration.
He had asked Bodie if it was too late, if his own waffling had blown it for them. Bodie had said no, but Bodie had also said he wouldn't leave. Where was he now? Doyle was well aware of his own culpability for the mess they were in. He'd thought he'd loved Ann. In retrospect he could see it had been more the idea of her than the reality. God, he'd been stupid. But he hadn't lied when he'd told Bodie he scared him. Fright was the only sane response to the situation they found themselves in. How to explain, or survive, the intensity of the feelings between them? It wasn't just the sex, although he knew he was fatally addicted to that. No, it was what he felt, deep down at the core, where truth lived. And it was the driving, sometimes desperate need he had for Bodie that was far more than physical. He'd always wondered how some couples could work together as well as live together--how you could want to spend all your time with one person, and do that without destroying the attraction or the affection. He hadn't been prepared for the sense of loss he felt when Bodie wasn't with him, or for the need he had to always be the centre of Bodie's attention.
Christ, was it any wonder he'd tried to cool it? Yet, even then, he'd never seriously considered a real break. He might have quit CI5, in the heat of the moment with Ann, but he could never quit Bodie. And then he'd been shot in Scotland, and falling, and Bodie had stayed with him. Fire and blood. He knew what he wanted now, but he was no longer certain he could have it. Bodie was slipping through his fingers, like a rope he was clinging to over a cliff.
Doyle stopped walking when he saw Gardenier turn onto a smaller side street. Pulling out the R/T, he sent a quiet message to HQ on his location and need for backup, and followed Gardenier. This street was darker, the street lamps few and far between. Gardenier wouldn't think a man with a cane would be following him; he had the best cover possible. He also had the reassurance of the familiar bulk of his gun in the shoulder holster. His right hand, at least, was free.
Gardenier stopped by the entry to an alley, leaning against the wall of a building. The only option Doyle had was to keep walking, knowing he'd draw too much attention to himself if he stopped now. If he got past Gardenier, he'd find a place to wait, call HQ, call Bodie if he had to. There was no one ahead of him on the street, and he feared there was no one behind him, either. He passed Gardenier, heard a sound and whirled just in time to deflect the blow to his head. It landed on his right shoulder instead. Using his left hand, Doyle jammed his cane into Gardenier's stomach. Gardenier doubled over, but he rammed into Doyle, and Doyle fell. He rolled, trying to get his good leg under him, but Gardenier grabbed him. Doyle was forced to drop the cane, dragged to his feet, and then into the alley.
Doyle fought, but his leg gave out under the stress and he couldn't find purchase. The one advantage he had was that Gardenier was set off-balance by Doyle's inability to use his leg. Twisting, and using every trick he could, Doyle managed to break Gardenier's hold on him. He fell to his knees, tried to crawl to gain some distance, and reached for his gun. But Gardenier recovered and wrenched Doyle's arm back, and he felt a knife at his throat. Fuck--
He heard an explosion, and all of Gardenier's weight crashed into him as he fell forward. A few seconds later Gardenier's body was pushed off him and he knew it was Bodie's hands on him. Doyle closed his eyes, trying to catch his breath, his heart beating wildly.
"Doyle. Fuck. Doyle!"
"Yeah," he said, eyes still closed.
"Christ. Is any of this yours? Ray?"
"What?" He opened his eyes, still breathing heavily.
"You're covered in blood. Is any of it yours?" Bodie was kneeling beside him, his hands moving over him."
"No." He pulled away from Bodie, struggled to stand, and had to accept Bodie's help. "It's his." He glanced at Gardenier's body.
"What the fuck were you doing?" Bodie's face twisted in anger. "You're no match for--"
"My job, you bastard!" Quite suddenly he was consumed with rage. All the fear and frustration of the night--of the last few days--took over. He pushed Bodie up against the wall of a building. "Where the fuck were you?"
Bodie pushed back at him, but Doyle kept his hands clamped on Bodie's shoulders. "You should've waited--"
"For what? For you to come back? Where the fuck were you?"
"At the op!"
"Great. Did Cowley see you?"
"He thinks you're with me."
"Are you?" Doyle narrowed his eyes, his hands tightening on Bodie. "Because it doesn't feel like it. Tell me the fucking truth about what you want. I thought it was me, but--" He broke off as Bodie twisted under his hands, and then it was Bodie who was slamming him against the wall, knocking Doyle's breath out of him.
"It's always you." Bodie's voice was low and then his mouth was on Doyle's, and Doyle couldn't breathe and didn't care. Bodie's tongue was in his mouth and his hands were already at Doyle's jeans, unfastening them. Doyle shifted his weight onto his good leg, and held on to Bodie. Bodie pulled back, and one hand came back to Doyle's face, sliding back to support his neck. "Only you."
But Bodie swept down on him again, cutting off the words with his mouth. Doyle found himself being turned, and he almost fell, but Bodie caught him, and surrounded him. Bodie's hand was on his cock and Doyle cried out, and then Bodie's mouth was on his neck, marking him, the pain adding to his arousal. Dimly, in the distance, he heard explosions, but they had nothing to do with him and he forgot them. Bodie was all he cared about.
Bodie came into him, hard and fast, and Doyle heard the savage satisfaction in Bodie's cry. He wanted to be fucked by him, he ached for it. He wanted all of Bodie's anger, and his passion, and his fear. He wanted them buried in him, and he'd do the same to Bodie. This was connection, this was life, this was them.
Doyle came against the wall, crying out again, and then Bodie came in him, his arms wrapping around Doyle, his own shout ringing in Doyle's ear. Doyle held them up for a moment, and then his leg collapsed and they fell together to the pavement.
"Damn it, Doyle." Bodie groaned.
"Wasn't my idea." He was breathless from the shock, and a surge of pain from his leg blocked everything out for a moment. When he opened his eyes, Bodie was beside him, checking the condition of his leg. Doyle pushed him off, but accepted his help to tug up his jeans. They sat together against the building, Bodie's arm and leg touching his, Bodie's hand on his leg.
"Are you okay?" Bodie rubbed the inside of his thigh.
"Yeah. Give me a minute."
"I'll give you as much as you want."
Doyle turned his head. "That's what you haven't been giving me."
Bodie fell silent, and Doyle waited. In the sky above them he caught the edge of a fireworks display, and realised that was what he'd heard before. Bonfire Night. Maybe they would have a celebration after all. Maybe. "You want to explain it to me?"
Bodie sighed. "Can't explain it to myself."
"Perhaps it's the old be careful what you wish for?"
"No." Bodie's hand moved from his thigh and found Doyle's hand. "It's not the having you that scares me."
"Ah." Loss was inevitable, but the odds were higher in CI5. It was one reason why marriage and the job didn't mix very well.
"I keep having nightmares."
"We're in a fire, and I...let you go." Bodie's fingers gripped his.
"It's not gonna happen."
"Not that way."
"Christ, Doyle, it already did!" Bodie released his hand, and wiped at his face. In the distance Doyle heard more launches of fireworks.
"What are you on about?"
"At the croft. The fire."
"You got us out, sunshine."
Bodie's voice was low. "I can't remember."
"Of course you can't remember, you had a concussion, you daft sod. We did it together. I woke you up, you got us out."
"I keep hearing...." Bodie shook his head.
Doyle turned to him, and put his hand on Bodie's face, rubbing his mouth with his thumb. "It's over; we made it through. We're here. We're alive. You saved me, just like you did tonight. Don't let the fear win."
"Is that what it is?"
Doyle's leg spasmed, and he sat back against the wall again. "Yeah. I know that fear all too well."
"How'd you deal with it?"
Doyle closed his eyes for a moment. "Ann."
"Oh." Bodie's hand found his again.
"Better to deal with it together, don't you think?"
"Keep it in the family, so to speak?"
Doyle smiled. "Yeah." He looked up as the explosions in the distance became a continuous roll. It was the grand finale most likely. "Fire and blood. That's our lot."
Bodie leant around and kissed him. "A second chance?"
"Always." He tilted his head. "Within reason, mind."
He caught a glimpse of Bodie's grin. "Duly noted." Bodie climbed to his feet and reached a hand to help Doyle up. "You're a bit of a mess."
Doyle gave him a wide-eyed look. "Do you really think so?"
"Maybe we should get you home before Cowley sees you."
Doyle's gaze was on the entrance to the alley. A couple of cars had arrived on the scene, lights flashing. "Too late." He took a step forward and would have fallen but for Bodie's hand. "Dammit."
"Looks like it's the hospital for you." Bodie put his arm around Doyle, supporting his weight as they moved towards the street.
"No way. You can look after me as well as they can."
"Ah, but do I want to?"
"Yes, you do. Because your life will be hell if you don't."
"Doyle? Bodie?" Cowley appeared at the entrance to the alley. "Where's Gardenier?"
"There's a difference?" Bodie murmured into Doyle's ear.
"Oh, yeah." He slanted a look at Bodie.
Bodie coughed and Doyle took over as they approached Cowley. "Gardenier's back there. Dead. Sorry, sir."
"Oh, great." He looked sharply at Doyle. "Do you need an ambulance?"
Bodie answered before Doyle. "No, sir. But he does need to get off the leg."
"Well, go on. Get in my car. We'll talk after I take a look. This had better not impede your return to active duty, Doyle."
"I hope not, sir."
"Bodie, look after him." Cowley turned and walked into the alley.
Bodie grinned at Doyle and bundled him into the car.
"Don't get carried away," Doyle told him irritably.
"Would I do that?"
"Yes, you would." Doyle settled into the back seat, and let his hand rest against Bodie's leg. "Your place tonight?"
"Yeah." He waited a moment, then looked at Doyle. "Any particular reason?"
Bodie smiled, and there was relief in his eyes. "Already accomplished."
-- THE END --