In the Heat of the Night

by


Beta'd by the wonderful Nikki


"What the fucking hell is going on here?"

A furious Bodie strode into the middle of the darkened room, fists clenching as he took in the scene before him.

Two figures, previously entangled in a hot, steamy embrace, jumped apart as if scalded, hastily grabbing at the twisted sheets and pulling them up to cover their naked bodies.

The curly haired figure spoke first. "Bloody hell, what're you doing here? I thought you were in St Alban's, babysitting that minister."

"Yeah, I was. And I would have missed all this, wouldn't I? Nice, Doyle, very nice. Such a cosy set up you have here. And with one of our own. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes."

The other man sat up, bare chest peeking from under the white covers. He glared at the angry agent. "Bodie, what gives you the right to come storming in here anyway? It's up to Doyle what he does in his own time."

"Shut the fuck up, Murph.I have every fucking right. Doyle is my partner, not yours."

"Ahh, that essential word, Bodie, old son. Partner. You only work together."

A flabbergasted, shocked and dismayed Doyle managed to speak again. "Bodie, I think you'd better leave. You too, Murph."

"Don't let him spoil our fun. It has nothing to do with him!"

"I know, but even so." Doyle's voice trailed off, a slow burning pain crawling through his body.

"No need to bother, girls, I'm going." Bodie was at his most caustic. "Go on, Murph, go stick your cock up his arse!" and with that, Bodie turned on his heel and stormed out of the room, slamming each and every door behind him.

He ran for his car and opened the door. The Capri started up with a roar; he rammed the gear stick into first and shot off, tyres squealing. His rage was intensifying, metamorphosing into pain; the reason for which eluded him. This all-consuming pain that encompassed him was threatening to overwhelm his senses, and he stopped the car on a dark, unlit road, thinking about the scene that had just occurred.

Bodie had been working solo on a very much-hated babysitting job. Cowley had insisted he do it, and reiterated that 3.7 be on his best, most polite behaviour. Not easy when the man he was looking after turned out to be a highly aggravating minister, a very high-ranking minister, but still infuriating. The dark haired man had been extremely relieved to finish the job and wasn't at all sorry to hand him over to Anson.

Following this, his first thought was to go round and see Doyle. He'd missed his partner, not that he'd ever reveal that to him, because he knew, without a shadow of a doubt Doyle would be his usual contemptuous self.

Seeing lights on in his partner's home as he pulled his Capri into a convenient spot outside the block of flats, he grinned as he grabbed the keys to the door. Doyle didn't know Bodie had his own set; he'd copied them sometime back, and now, he thought, was the perfect time to spring a surprise on his curly-haired friend.

Creeping slowly into the room, he was somewhat taken aback to find the living room empty. Noises emanating from the bedroom alerted Bodie to where his friend was. And from the way the moans and groans were going, it was apparent what was happening in there.

A sly smile crept onto Bodie's face as he thought of the revenge he could take on Doyle, remembering all the times Doyle had wandered into his own bedroom, shaken him awake and called his bird by a different name. It was time to get a little of his own back, and Bodie slowly and surely pushed the door open, a taunt poised on his lips.

Until the scene before him broke his world apart.

Bodie wasn't aware he'd sat on his own, in the car, for over half an hour until a policeman tapped on his window and startled him.

On automatic pilot, he wound down the window, barely glancing at the uniformed figure.

"Evening sir, everything all right?"

Bodie gave the officer a wan smile. "I'm on my way home, just been working you see."

The officer gave Bodie a very sceptical look, until Bodie pulled out his CI5 ID. "Oh. Sorry sir. I'll let you be, then. Goodnight."

"Yeah, goodnight." Bodie wound the window up, restarted the car and continued on his way.

Eventually he reached home. Once there, he poured himself a generous measure of whisky and slumped on his sofa, recalling the scene he'd just witnessed. Not given to introspection, Bodie found himself really thinking about what had just occurred, and how he'd been feeling. Scowling, his mind's eye supplied him all too readily with the missing image of his partner and Murphy together, kissing, Doyle's legs clinging around Murphy's waist as the taller man entered his lover's body. Try as he might, he just couldn't put a finger on the emotions that had made him want to rip Murph off and smash his face in.

Is it because Doyle's my partner? And because we're best mates too, couldn't he have told me he was gay? Shaking his head, Bodie disagreed with himself. "Not gay, must be bi.all the women he's had!" he muttered under his breath.

An even worse thought suddenly struck him. "Jeez, how many times has it happened then? More than once? Right under my bloody nose too." The glass shattered as, incensed, Bodie hurled it against the wall. Increasingly his fury mounted, as he thought about the two men together. He stood and started pacing the floor, resembling a caged panther. A caged furious panther.

Realising he was very close to losing it completely, he halted by the window and inhaled deeply several times. Come on Bodie, calm down. Relax, old son. Relax and think about this. Does it actually make a difference to our partnership? Bodie wasn't sure whether it would make a difference but, as his anger subsided, fatigue and disappointment crept over him and he made his way to bed, pausing only to complete his ablutions. As he pulled the quilt above his shoulders, he couldn't help feeling it was going to be a long, long night.



Doyle was hastily dressing, appalled at what had just happened. How on earth could I be so stupid? What was I thinking of? These thoughts ran riot in Doyle's head. He'd bedded Murphy because he was feeling in the mood and there wasn't a bird in sight. And because Murphy, knowing how he was feeling, had offered his services.

Groaning softly, he slumped on the side of the bed, holding his head in his hands.

"Doyle? Ray.it wasn't your fault, honest mate. It was that bulldog you call a partner. He should never have."

Murphy didn't get chance to finish his sentence before a livid Doyle leapt up and grabbed his colleague by the neck. "Bodie is not, I repeat, not a bulldog! He's my partner, and my friend." Doyle managed to grind his sentence out before he let go of Murphy. "Or at least he was. Both of those. Oh God, what have I done?" Doyle wailed.

Murphy wondered what the hell was happening. One minute he'd had an armful of amorous agent, the next he was facing a ferocious Bodie and a distressed Doyle. Why exactly Doyle was upset and Bodie annoyed was beyond him at this time of night, and he hastily dressed and left, shouting out his goodbyes to an almost oblivious Doyle.

Hearing the door slam for the second time that night, Doyle whispered his goodnight to an empty room. His stomach was churning and he felt.well, he wasn't sure what he felt, but the enormity of what had happened was too much to bear. He stumbled across the room, and vomited into the toilet.



George Cowley sat in his office wordlessly watching the two agents standing before him. On the surface, they appeared to be their usual selves. Even so, Cowley was not Controller of CI5 for nothing. His perceptive blue eyes caught the tension between 3.7 and 4.5 and it was obvious, at least to himself, that something was very wrong between them. Not that most people would notice -- his agents were disguising it very well, despite a lack of their usual banter.

Doyle was.well, mortified would have sprung to mind, had Doyle not been the shameless man he'd always known. The curly haired man was poised; one hip thrust forward, arms folded and blank green eyes staring at the wall behind Cowley's head. Bodie was stoical, stiff upper lipped, standing almost to attention, arms hanging loosely at his side, his dark head lowered. He'd barely cast his eye over his partner once.

Cowley knew asking them outright wouldn't solve anything. They'd both stick together no matter what. He quickly came to the conclusion that they both needed something to occupy their day, something where they wouldn't be in any danger, yet not in close contact with one another.

The Scot finally spoke. "4.5, you'd best go and get up to date with your reports. As far as I'm aware, you have at least five to file with me. 3.7, a day in files, I think."

Both nodded silently and Doyle departed. Once again not a look passed between them and, perhaps even more surprisingly, no protests from either of them. Bodie followed, head drooping and looking as despondent as Cowley had ever seen him.

"Bodie, wait." As the agent turned, Cowley motioned him back into his office. Bodie reluctantly closed the door and made for the chair, and Cowley reached for his best scotch and poured two glasses, offering one to the miserable man before him. Taking a large gulp, Bodie gasped loudly as the drink made an impact.

"3.7, what's wrong with you, man?" Cowley was alarmed to see the other agent shudder and hold his head in his hands. This couldn't be Bodie, could it? The Scot was completely mystified as to how one of his agents could be so close to losing it completely.

What Cowley wasn't aware of were the tears the dark haired man was trying desperately to hold back. Bodie didn't cry -- ever! He was a big, tough CI5 agent, and these emotions rocking his body went completely against the grain.

By now, Cowley's concern was increasing. He shouldn't have favourites in CI5, he knew that, but these two, 4.5 and 3.7, were like sons to him, and he loved them. Argumentative, truculent and obstinate, he knew that they would never, whilst they had a heart to beat, let him down. They were good men. The best.

"I...I don't know." Bodie eventually stuttered, "I...we had an.argument."

Cowley frowned. These two, his top agents, enjoyed an abrasive, if sometimes childish relationship, but rarely did they fall out to this extent. "3.7, what is the problem?" his voice soft, his unease showing.

Bodie glanced up at his boss, unable to believe he wasn't going to be reprimanded. Cowley's blue eyes showed only distress and worry. He lowered his head again, unsure what to say, or indeed whether to say anything at all.

Before he could speak, Cowley stood and walked towards his distraught agent. "Bodie, I really need you and Doyle to be on top form. The Irish lot are starting up again, and the German faction is about to. Now, I can spare you and Doyle for a week's leave, starting from now. You need to go away together, and sort yourselves out. Do you think you can do that?"

Bodie pouted. "I'm not sure, sir. II don't think it would work. No. It definitely wouldn't work." Bodie shook his head as he spoke.

"And why wouldn't it work? You've always managed to rectify your problems before."

"That was before today. Yesterday, I mean. Sir, I'm sorry, but I don't think I can continue to work with Doyle. I don't want to leave CI5, so if it's all right with you, I'll work solo."

George Cowley was seldom shocked. Amused, irritated and furious, yes frequently, but shocked? Rarely. And it didn't bode well for the future of the team if Bodie admitted he didn't want to work with Doyle anymore.

He glared at Bodie. "You'll do exactly what you are told to do, 3.7. I decide whether you work solo or with your partner. Not you, or 4.5. You two are my top team, and you stay together until I decide you don't. Understand?"

Crushed, Bodie could only reply, "Yes, sir."

"Now, answer me again. Do you two think you can fix your problems?

"I...I guess we can try." Bodie squared his shoulders, and looked his boss in the eye. "We'll try, sir," he reiterated.

"Try, Bodie. Try your hardest. Because if you two can't work together, then quite frankly, I'm not sure either of you can be relied upon by CI5!" Cowley's words were harsh, but they needed to be. He wanted to reach his agents, and this was the one true way of doing it. If he knew his men, and he did, they would reach some agreement; neither of them wanted out of CI5.



Doyle was in files, unsuccessfully attempting to work. His mind was too caught up in what had occurred the night before when he'd been in bed with Murphy, in his arms. To the horrendous scene when Bodie had wandered in, so obviously hoping to catch him with a bird; never expecting to find his partner in the arms of another male body, and worse, a male colleague! To the moment several minutes ago when Cowley had detained Bodie in his office.

He frowned as he wondered what the hell had made the Cow keep Bodie back. Was he asking awkward questions? And if so, what would he say? Would he.he gasped, disbelievingly.tell him all that had occurred?

Thinking logically Ray dismissed this immediately. They were a team; a partnership; a friendship, and Ray knew for certain Bodie wouldn't say anything, like he himself wouldn't if the tables had been turned. Not that Bodie had anything to say anyway. And why was Bodie getting in such a state? This is what he couldn't understand.

Bodie had never been like this with any of Ray's girlfriends. Never shown an iota of interest in the myriad of blondes and brunettes that had passed through his life, other than to chat them up, take them out and fuck them, but only when Ray had appeared to have finished with them.

This was something completely different, and the gamut of emotions that had taken hold of his brain and were now whizzing it around in a hundred perplexing ways were hard to comprehend. Long before he could attempt to reconcile his feelings, the door opened and in walked a gloomy Bodie.

"Got to sort ourselves out." Bodie murmured, daring to cast a brief glance towards the man sitting at the desk.

"Er.yeah.I suppose."

"No. I mean, really sort ourselves out. The Cow has given us a week's leave. We h...ha.have," Bodie stumbled over the words, trying to get them out before Doyle said anything negative, "we have.to get away.on holiday." the words petered out as his downcast eyes lost their will to even glance Doyle's way.

Doyle's eyebrows threatened to leave his face. Obviously Cowley had detected something wrong, despite both of them trying to act normally. "Cowley knows?"

Shrugging, Bodie gave a non-committal grunt. "He knows we had an.argument, that's all."

"And I suppose a fucking holiday is going to fix everything, is it? He has no fucking chance. I'd rather chew my head off than go anywhere with you!"

Bodie grimaced. "I'm not exactly thrilled about it myself, mate. I can think of things I'd much rather do. Like taking on the Irish group single-handedly." He held up a hand to halt the words he knew Ray was about to speak. "However, the Cow literally told me we have to sort ourselves out. It's either that or we are out of CI5!"

"Oh." Doyle paused, and then clarified Bodie's words. "Out of CI5?" At Bodie's nod, he muttered, "Fuck!" Doyle pondered on Bodie's words. He knew Bodie wasn't lying. He also knew Cowley would have no qualms about throwing them out of the squad. "Seems like we don't have a choice, does it? Although I suppose.I suppose he is right. We do need to sort ourselves out, although why it has anything to do with anyon-"

"Don't, Doyle. Don't say anything more. Not here, at any rate. I'm going home to pack some stuff. Do you want me to pick you up?"

"Okay. Yeah, say in about," Doyle glanced at his watch, "an hour?"

Nodding, Bodie departed, ready for some air. The confrontation with Doyle could have gone a lot better, although, if he really thought about it, it could also have been a lot worse. At least Ray had listened to what he'd said. What Cowley had said. And he'd taken it onboard, before finally agreeing with Bodie -- that they did indeed need to sort themselves out.

Taking a deep, fortifying breath, Bodie made his way to the silver Capri and set off for home, eager to at least make the most of his last couple of hours alone.



An hour and half later, Bodie pulled up outside Doyle's flat, ready if not entirely willing, to sort things out. Before he could ring the bell, the door opened. Apparently Doyle wasn't about to let his partner into the 'scene of the crime', as it were. Not just yet, anyway. They clearly had a long way to go, and Bodie could feel the discomfort and awkwardness coming off his partner in waves. Not willing to push the issue just at that moment, he moved to the side so Doyle could exit his flat easily.

"You ready then?"

"Bleeding obvious, isn't it? What do you think this bulky thing is here?" Doyle pointed to his suitcase.

"Make up?" Bodie smiled, then caught himself and felt his face freeze as he looked at Doyle.

"Get out of here.nutter." Doyle grinned back. The couple of hours apart had obviously been necessary, and it appeared as though Doyle was also willing to be conciliatory -- at least for the time being.

Relief ran through Bodie, and his smile tentatively returned. "Come on then, sunshine, let's get this thing to the car." Bodie proceeded to fake being unable to lift Doyle's case, making out it was far heavier than it indeed was, and generally fooled around hoping to make Doyle laugh.

Doyle raised his eyebrows in mock exasperation, and chuckled softly. He too wanted to forget their troubles, at least until they'd got where they were going. "Where are we going anyway, Bodie?"

"Yorkshire coast.er.Scarborough."

"Yorkshire? Bleeding hell. It's far enough away, isn't it? And it'll be bloody cold too. Hope you packed a hot water bottle, is all I can say!"

"Stop moaning Doyle. It's not meant to be a proper holiday is it? And Cowley booked the thing." his words trailed off as the implication once again dawned on him. They had to talk and the sooner the better. Not that he was looking forward to it at all.

Doyle grimaced and followed the suddenly silent man to the silver Capri. Opening the passenger door, he slumped into the seat, wriggling until he was comfortable. The slamming of the boot told him that Bodie had managed to get his case in and as the driver's door opened, a rush of cold air sent shivers through his body. "Shut that friggin' door, Bodie, I'm bloody freezing!"

Wordlessly, Bodie did as directed whilst starting the engine and as the car kicked into life, he put the gear into first and they shot off.

They travelled up the M1 in relative silence stopping only for toilet breaks, both eager to arrive at their destination. Although neither was looking forward to their talk, they both knew they had to get through it if they were to survive this hiccup in their relationship.

A relationship that had been happily rolling along without a care in the world. They both trusted one another implicitly; they hung around together after work, whether it was going out for a drink or staying in watching telly. They'd both had their fair share of birds, swapping, changing and sometimes even sharing, on a regular basis.

This was the first crisis they'd had, and it had forced them to look at one another in a completely different light. Although both secretive by nature, as the partnership had grown closer, so they'd each taken one another into their confidence. Bodie had spoken definitively about his experiences in Africa and the army; Doyle of his childhood and working in the police.

This predicament had opened Bodie's eyes, showing just how little he actually knew about his partner. He knew he was the closest person to Doyle, family included, but he was upset that Doyle hadn't thought to share this part of himself with him. Ahh, but Bodie, wouldn't you have had the same reaction as you did yesterday? A small voice taunted Bodie. "Shut up" he mumbled to himself. Hoping Doyle hadn't heard, he cast a swift glance his way, satisfied when a small snore escaped from the sleeping man.

"Doyle?"

"Hmmm?" A sleepy Doyle opened his eyes, blinking slowly. "Where are we?"

"I think this is the place." Bodie said, his eyes alighting on the house's nameplate. He turned the Capri into the gravelled driveway, startled as a beam instantly illuminated the small, neatly maintained garden. As he killed the engine, he glanced around the area. A hedge fenced them in from all angles, and, excepting the small car entrance, the house was private.

Doyle stretched his body and then opened his door, ready for some fresh air. The blustery cold that hit him sent him quickly back into the warm of the car.

"Fucking hell, it's even colder up here. Are you sure we aren't in the Arctic?"

"Come on mate, move your arse, we need to get indoors. The front door's only there." Bodie pointed to the faded yellow wood.

Bracing himself, Doyle jumped out of the car and raced towards the door, only to remember he hadn't got the key. Bodie was making his steady way, observing his shivering mate sympathetically. He dropped the case and fumbled with the key. As luck would have it, it turned easily, and opened readily, spilling the two men into a warm, cosy living room.

The cottage was decorated in bright warming yellow. A roaring fire was blazing in the grate, reflecting flickers of flames around the room. Obviously the owners had been astute enough to realise their guests would be freezing and had made sure the cottage was toasty warm. The two tired men thankfully warmed themselves for a moment as they glanced around their residence for the next five days.

A comfortable yet huge sofa rested against one wall, with another, smaller armchair at a right angle. A wooden cabinet lay opposite and contained a television and stereo. A small coffee table was angled in front of the sofa, with a larger table and four chairs at the opposite end of the room.

Bodie moved into the small kitchen, noticing the modern conveniences of a fridge freezer, and washing machine. A kettle and toaster sat on the wooden work surfaces.

Bodie filled the kettle and pressed the on button. After that long drive, he was ready for a warm drink. As he opened cupboard after cupboard, he found mugs and the welcome tea and coffee. "Ray? Coffee or tea?"

Receiving no answer, he wandered back into the living room. Still no sign of his friend. Hearing noises from above him, he found the stairs and climbed them. "Ray?"

"Er.Bodie? I think.Cowley booked this, did you say?"

Puzzled by the question, Bodie swiftly followed Ray's voice, and found him in the bedroom. Quite a large bedroom, from what Bodie could see, decorated in a neutral warm terracotta colour, with a small window. Ray was stationary, and there was a weird expression on his face. Glancing around, Bodie couldn't see what was wrong. Until.

"Oh. Shit." Bodie's stomach lurched. There was only one bed. One very large bed, covered with an enormous fluffy quilt and several pillows. The two men exchanged mortified glances. "Surely.there must be another bedroom?" Bodie nervously asked.

"No. I already checked. There's this room, the bathroom, and a small box room. No other bedroom." Ray didn't dare look towards Bodie. Of all the stupid places to come and tackle problems of the sort they had, this couldn't have been worse. "Are you sure you didn't tell Cowley?"

Bodie made a disgusted noise and remained silent. He refused to answer such a question.

"Guess we'll have to toss for it, then." Ray made the pacifying offer.

"Guess we will." Bodie moved out of the suddenly stifling room and made his way downstairs. Once ensconced in the kitchen, he busied himself with the drinks. It was a while before Ray found his way into the living room.

"Cuppa for you there, Doyle." Bodie gestured towards the cup on the coffee table. "Should still be hot."

Doyle blinked, his mind apparently still occupied by the unforeseen problem of where they were going to sleep. "Oh, ta."

"You got a coin?"

"Huh? A coin? What for?"

"Forgot already, eh? When your mind goes, it's a sad, sad thing." Bodie attempted to make a joke, but was not surprised when no further response was forthcoming. "Who sleeps where?"

Comprehension swept across Doyle's face and he reached into his jeans pocket, fumbling around until his hand happened upon a ten pence piece. He removed it and threw it towards his friend.

Catching it, Bodie warmed it for a second or two, before asking, "Heads or tails?"

"Tails."

Bodie tossed the coin. It landed on the plush carpet and both men crouched down to see who had won. It showed tails. "Looks like you won, sunshine." Bodie gave his friend a small smile.

"Well then."

"Well then. Seeing as you won the toss, may I take first shower?"

"Sure, just don't use all the hot water."

Bodie nodded, and headed upstairs.

Doyle, meanwhile, made himself comfortable on the sofa and began to think frantically. Why, oh why had Cowley sent them to a place like this? He must know, somehow. Bodie wouldn't have spilled the beans.he was too proud and they were too close.

Maybe that was it! Maybe they were too close.
Doyle heaved a sigh; he was no nearer to an answer now than he was when they were back in London. And he was certain Bodie was feeling the same. Taking a sip of his coffee, he decided not to think anymore about it tonight and just relax.

Fifteen minutes later, Bodie was shaking him awake.

"Doyle? Ray, come on, shower is free. I found some spare blankets and a couple of pillows in the wardrobe upstairs. I want to get settled down for the night. I'm knackered."

Ray stretched his body feeling every bone creaking, and dragged himself off the sofa. He peered at Bodie, noticing how his eyes were evading Doyle. Softly, he spoke. "Right, Bodie. See you in the morning then?"

"Sure. Goodnight."

Ray walked to the stairs and started to ascend before turning back. Bodie was already underneath a blanket on the sofa, curling his legs under to fit. Although the sofa was large, Bodie was a tall man and he didn't quite fit perfectly onto it.

Guilt rippled through Ray and he was about to speak when suddenly his voice failed him, his mouth dried up and he couldn't have spoken if his life had depended on it. Dismayed, he continued on his way up the stairs.

Managing to have a brief shower before the cold water kicked in, Doyle jumped out and towelled himself down before finishing his ablutions. Feeling cosy and warm, he decided not to bother with his pyjamas and he went into the bedroom and climbed into the bed.

Guilt overpowered him once again as he thought of Bodie asleep on the uncomfortable sofa downstairs and he himself, cosily snug in the huge bed. He was so ill at ease, he spent the first part of the night worrying about it, and it took him far longer than usual to go to sleep.

Bodie had felt Doyle's eyes on him as he'd climbed the stairs, but through sheer strength of resolve had managed not to glance up at the other man. He snuggled further underneath the blanket; glad he'd had the foresight to bring his seldom used pyjamas. Willing himself to slumber, his mind blanked out, and he fell into an uneasy sleep.



The sun blazed in at the small window, sending ripples of sunlight dancing across the bed. Doyle stretched lazily, yawned and carefully opened his eyes, blinking as the light hit them. He was quite content to lie there, snugly warm and comfortable.

Bodie, however, hadn't had the best night ever. He was stiff, cramped and as he moved his stiffened body, he felt his muscles protest. Stifling a groan, he rolled unsteadily off the sofa and carefully unfurled himself. Reaching his arms above his head, he stretched, attempting to unkink all of his taut muscles.

Another more pressing need urged him upstairs to the toilet. Whilst in the bathroom, he took time out to splash cold water on his face and brush his teeth. Feeling a little more human he wandered back out, noticing the door to the bedroom was slightly open.

He wondered if he dared peek in, ostensibly to see whether Doyle was awake. The decision was taken out of his hands as the door opened fully and a very naked, ruffled Doyle bumped into him. "Bodie? What are you doing?"

Stunned, Bodie was speechless. He hadn't expected Doyle to come out at that particular moment. He certainly hadn't realised he'd be naked. Heart pounding, he shook his head, trying to clear his mind.

"Bodie? Are you all right?" Ray was worried. Bodie was acting very peculiarly. Frowning, he made to go past his friend.

"Fine." the words stumbled out, "fine.I'm fine." Turning on his heel, Bodie fled downstairs, embarrassment and another, as yet undefined emotion flooding his body.

Hurrying into the kitchen, he let out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. The image of a naked Doyle was foremost in his mind, drowning out any other sight. In such a short amount of time, Bodie had taken in Doyle's muscular, slim body, hipbones sharply sticking out and his well-defined chest, abundantly covered with auburn curls. His trail of hair arrowing downwards, tempting Bodie's eye towards the rich thatch of dark hair nurturing the, even unaroused, large, thick cock. Bodie even had time to register the fact that Doyle was uncut.

Gasping, the sudden realisation of what his pain, his anger, his fury had been about hit him with all the strength of a ten ton truck. He was jealous, pure and simple. And from jealousy, came love.

Astonished, Bodie realised he'd fallen head over heels in love with his partner. With a scrawny, tousle-headed, grumpy rat bag called Raymond Doyle. A large green-eyed golly with a predilection for birds, booze and bikes -- not necessarily in that order. A gorgeous morsel of luscious temptation with come-to-bed eyes, kiss me slowly lips and a curvaceous arse that would entice a nun into sin.

He had known for some time he loved his partner, just as he knew Doyle loved him. That it was inevitable was true; there had to be some element of trust and love in a partnership that had lasted several years, otherwise what good would they be? They were virtually psychic, each knowing what the other was doing without having to speak, and this reliance made them Cowley's best team.

The trust and dependence hadn't been easily gained, especially at first. Bodie had not been at all pleased when Cowley teamed him with a former copper, despite all his protests. Doyle had been even less happy to be partnered with an ex-mercenary, ex-army, and ex-SAS bastard. But Cowley insisted they continued, confident they would be able to work together.

And so it had shown, time and time again. They'd learnt to work together, learnt to trust together and finally made an almost impenetrable team; the one team held in high regard by Cowley and, though they were loath to admit it, by every other squad member.

Slumping further into the chair, kettle merrily whistling away, Bodie was completely unaware Doyle had entered the kitchen and was watching him intently, his green eyes focusing on the dark, drooping head.

After the extremely strange and disturbing meeting outside the toilet, Doyle had finished his toileting and had returned to his bedroom. What was that all about, he wondered, and why had Bodie acted like he'd seen a ghost? Did I do something wrong? Doyle pondered on this, somewhat worried about his friend. Shrugging, he reached for his dressing gown and donned it before walking downstairs.

Seeing no one in the lounge, Doyle made his way into the kitchen and stood stock-still. There, slumped in a chair and looking for the entire world like a hurt little boy was Bodie, head lowered and a weary air about him.

Doyle remained silent; certain Bodie would know he was there. After several minutes there was still no acknowledgement of his arrival and Doyle frowned. Concerned by the lack of movement from the dark-haired man, he was about to move when.

"I'm.sorry." A whispered apology.

Doyle was puzzled. "Sorry? Whatever for, mate?"

"For acting like an arse the other day. Wasn't my place, shouldn't have gone off like that. You have every right to thump me."

Doyle understood the time was now upon them. Admittedly, he would have preferred it to be a little later in the day, and somewhere comfortable, but hell, he hadn't made the effort to talk the night before, had he?

"And why would I want to hit you?" Doyle was shocked as Bodie raised his bloodshot eyes to his own. Bodie had the look of a condemned man upon him, and the desolation and misery was enough to send Doyle towards him, crouching as he reached his friend.

He didn't fail to notice the shudder and slight pullback from Bodie as he got closer. As Doyle reached to touch the man before him, he felt the tremors in Bodie's body. Apprehension coloured Doyle's thoughts. "Bodie-mate? What's wrong?"

"Just...just go away Doyle, before." his words trailed off before he could get himself into further trouble.

Doyle shook his head. "Oh no, not now, mate. I'm not going anywhere. What's this all about, anyway?"

At this, Bodie looked up into the emerald eyes of his friend. Could he trust him? He trusted him implicitly when out on a job. He trusted him with his innermost thoughts. Well, most of them. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound, he mused.

Making his decision, Bodie took a deep breath. "Ray?" he whispered, closing his eyes, fearing what would happen if he left them open. "Ray.I. Oh God," Bodie stumbled to a halt; this was more difficult than he could ever have envisaged.

Ray watched the troubled man silently, not wanting to scare him from saying what he needed to say. He reached out and stroked the nearer hand to him, attempting to convey his understanding. He was startled when Bodie grasped it like a drowning man.

"Rayiloveyouimsorrydonthateme." The words all tumbled out without a breath being taken.

"Pardon, Bodie? Sorry, mate, but I didn't catch any of that." Ray wasn't being deliberately cruel; he'd honestly not heard the jumbled words.

"I love you."

"Oh."

The silence grew into a very uncomfortable pause. Bodie still had his eyes closed, and couldn't see the scope of emotions vying for attention on Doyle's face. Couldn't see the conflict there.

Doyle collected himself and, standing, moved away. A small gulp escaped from Bodie's mouth as he realised what this meant. "Doyle.forget I said anything."

"I can't."

"Then I'll leave CI5."

"Where will you go?"

"Dunno. I'm sure there," his voice caught in his throat, "there will be places I can go.far away from London."

Doyle only nodded, sealing Bodie's fate. "I'm sorry."

Bodie left the room and threw on his clothes. The room was stifling and he had to get away, if only to hide the hurt he was feeling. The power Ray had to cut him to the quick was unbelievable, and he wasn't sure how he would make it through the rest of the day, never mind the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, Doyle had collapsed into the nearest chair, his mind in turmoil. Bodie loved him? But.but he had been furious when he'd found Doyle in bed with Murphy. Ray tried to imagine himself in Bodie's position. I would have been the same, he thought gloomily. And what assurances did I give him? None. Not one tiny thing. I just asked him where he'd go if he left CI5. These thoughts raced through Doyle's mind as he sat there, considering his future.

A future without Bodie.

His heart immediately sank, and yet-to-be-identified emotions surged forward. Okay, so I was going to bed with Murphy. I'm bisexual; I like men and women. Could I go to bed with my partner? Doyle's cock stirred and sprang into life. Guess that answers that question. Trouble is, Bodie actually loves me. Could I give him what he wants?

Once again he thought about a world without Bodie. A world without his partner. No one to watch my back. No one to get drunk with, to gossip about the rest of the CI5 gang with, to comfort or get annoyed with when things went wrong. To even slag off Cowley with. He shuddered; this new idea of being without Bodie was completely alien to him. Glancing down at his rapidly softening cock, he reflected on this new impression.

Obviously, he loved Bodie in his own way, just as he had known Bodie loved him. But could he love him, actually love him -- as a bi man could love another man? The hardening once again at his groin told him he could.

And suddenly it hit him. He did love his partner. Loved him so much he'd gone to bed with another man. Murphy wasn't and would never be Bodie, but he was the nearest thing to him. Murphy looked like Bodie, with his dark hair, handsome looks and height. Shit! That was why I accepted Murphy's proposal, Doyle thought unexpectedly.

Not because he was desperate to get laid, although if truth be told Doyle considered he was! But it was to cover up the fact he'd wanted his partner for so long! How could I have been so foolish not see where this was going?

Hearing a noise from upstairs, Doyle realised what his friend was doing and made his way into the hallway. Just in time too, he was relieved to see, as Bodie was slowly coming down the stairs, complete with suitcase. "Bodie? Can I.can I talk to you?"

Bodie instantly sensed the hesitation and shyness in Doyle. Reluctant as he was to stop, he knew he wouldn't refuse his partner anything. He looked anywhere but at Doyle as he replied, "Sure."

Walking further into the room, Doyle sat in an armchair, watching as Bodie dropped his case, and seated himself on the sofa. "Bodie?"

"Yes?"

"You were so wrong about me, you know? I don't do one night stands." Doyle could see the puzzled look on Bodie's adorable face.

"Er.right." The penny suddenly dropped. "Oh! I've got you now. Murphy." Bodie commented, succinctly.

"Murphy." Doyle lowered his gaze, seeming to find the patterned carpet fascinating.

The tension in the room mounted as the two men became lost in their own thoughts. Suddenly Doyle jumped out of his chair and paced the room, his footsteps loud after the long silence. "Cowley would be awfully annoyed at you, you know."

Bodie lifted his head, confused at the non sequitur. "What?"

"If you left CI5." Doyle clarified. "He wouldn't be happy at all. Well, even less happy than he is already anyway."

Bodie nodded. "But he'd live. Anyway, he'd probably be happy to see the back of me."

Doyle interrupted him angrily. "No, don't you dare say that! You know damn well what he thinks about you. You, more than any other agent -- and I include myself in that -- get away with a hell of a lot more than anyone else, and you know it. So don't you come the innocent with me. You know you leaving would devastate him."

Bodie almost missed the whispered aside. "And me."

Shock and helpless desire vied together on the handsome features. Trembling, Bodie scrambled to his feet. "Ray, I...I'm sorry. I didn't think."

"No, no you didn't. You never do, that's your problem. Has always been your problem. Well, you're going to have to think now."

And with that, Doyle grabbed hold of the still shaking Bodie, clasped one hand behind his head, and brought their lips together in a searing passion-filled kiss. Doyle thrust his tongue against Bodie's lips, asking for and receiving admittance to the hot cavern.

Bodie clutched at Doyle, his arms clinging round the slim waist as if he'd never let go. He tried to pull his lips away, to inhale some badly needed oxygen, but no sooner had he let in a breath than Doyle had fastened his mouth on his once more. Bodie's body was reacting faster than he'd ever known, his cock filling and hardening, and his heart rate increasing. He was within a maelstrom, a whirlpool of sensation. All at once confident of the outcome.

Doyle felt his partner's reaction to his kiss. He was overcome with emotion, feeling less like a man, more like a lover. This was something he'd never felt before, despite all his previous heterosexual relationships. He wanted to hold, kiss, thrill, love and keep this man. Bodie. His partner, and now soon to become lover. From this day forward, from now until forever. Amen.

Still entwined around one another, they dropped to the floor. Gasping, Bodie clutched at Doyle, his breaths coming in short, sharp pants. Doyle slithered down Bodie's body, pulling clothing off without regard; marking his territory with kisses, nips and gentle bites.

Upon arrival at Bodie's groin, Doyle raised his head. Tenderly, he smiled up at Bodie, and then lowered his head. As the molten heat of Doyle's mouth surrounded his cock, and his tongue licked its way around the hooded end, Bodie groaned.

Doyle heard it. His cock heard it and he couldn't prevent himself from spurting his seed against Bodie's shin. He was coming and coming for what seemed like an eternity of orgasmic bliss.

Spent, his head bowed against Bodie's abdomen and still hard erection, Doyle felt as if his face would explode in embarrassment. A gentle soothing hand was stroking his head, calming him. "I...I'm sorry Bodie. Couldn't help it.so sorry. Forgive me?" Doyle managed to raise his head to look at his friend.

Bodie's blue eyes were shimmering, so close to tears was he. Forgive Doyle? For what? For being so overcome with desire and lust that he'd orgasmed even without Bodie touching him? Bodie felt as if his heart would explode, he was filled with so much love, so much yearning for the man before him.

Swallowing several times, he managed to whisper, "No need.no need to forgive you. I." he stumbled to a halt, words not coming easily. He pulled Doyle back up until they were eye to eye. "I have to tell you something, I have to tell you how sorry I am."

Doyle was shocked. Bodie apologising was the last thing he thought he would hear just then. He had actually hoped to hear something else from those kiss-swollen lips of his partner. Was waiting for it with baited breath.but an apology? "Why? Sorry? What do you have to be sorry about?"

Bodie grimaced. "I'm sorry I burst in on you and." he refused to name the other agent again. "Well, you know who. I'm sorry I went raving mad. I'm sorry I stormed out. I'm sorry I got you into this mess."

Doyle glanced down their entwined bodies. "You didn't get me into this mess, I did it by myself." Now it was Doyle's turn to look disgusted at the cooling liquid that was sticky against the carpet and their legs.

Bodie poked him with a finger. "Not that mess, you lunatic. The mess with Cowley. Threatening to chuck us out of CI5." Bodie grinned at the misunderstanding, and was delighted to see an answering chuckle escape.

"Ohhh." The penny dropped for Doyle. "Right, gotcha. Oh well, that's okay. Least we got a free holiday out of it, away from terrorists, London and well out of Cowley's reach."

"Is that all? A free holiday?" Bodie's heart sank, his eyes shuttered. The defensive shield came down with a clang, and he made to move.

Fortunately Doyle could see through those shields, and he refused to let Bodie out of his arms. "Bodie, don't be daft, love." The endearment slipped out inadvertently. "Why do you think I managed to, er," Doyle blushed again, "come on you when I heard you groaning?"

Bodie shook his head, still trying vainly to keep his emotions in check. Still trying to wriggle his way free. Doyle was having none of it. "I bloody love you, you great daft berk!" Doyle eventually spluttered. Those words stilled Bodie. Eyes widening, his mouth opened but no words were uttered.

Doyle brought the beloved face down and blazed a trail of love across Bodie's face with sweet kisses. Gently, he reiterated the point. "Bodie, I love you. Have for ages, I think. Want you, need you. Only you." He emphasised. "No one else."

Bodie finally managed to speak. "No.no one else? What about.you know?"

"Nope, don't want him. He was a substitute because I thought I couldn't have you."

A tentative grin appeared. "You haven't had me, yet."

"No, I haven't, have I? But I will, won't I?" A predatory gleam appeared in the green eyes, and butterflies took up residence once again in Bodie's stomach.

With no hesitation this time, Bodie answered, "Yes. Doyle. Ray. Got something else to say to you too."

"Another apology looming?"

"Nope."

"You want feeding?"

"What're you trying to say? That I'm always hungry?"

"Well, you are always hungry."

"That's true, I guess. But not this time. At least, not for food anyway."

"Bodie, just get on with whatever you want to say. Then we can get on with.whatever we want to get on with."

Bodie gazed tenderly at his soon-to-be lover. The green eyes were shining, and the sinfully wicked lips were parted, his tongue just peeking out provocatively.

"I love you, sunshine. You're my whole world, and I.I just love you. Don't want anyone else, just you. Don't even want any birds. Haven't for a while now, but didn't know what the reason was. And when I saw you with the smurph.anyway, just wanted you to know."

"For richer, for poorer?"

"Huh, knowing how Cowley pays us, it's likely to just be for poorer for poorer."

Doyle giggled. "In sickness and in health, then?"

"In sickness and in health. Till death us do join." Bodie raised an eyebrow.

"Should have known you'd get that in somewhere."

"Well, got to tell you that whither goest thou.er.so I go."

Laughing now, Doyle shook his head. "Thought you knew that quote backwards?"

Sheepishly Bodie joined in the laughter. "I do, but you're distracting me."

Doyle thrust his hips forward, bringing their genitals into contact with one another again. Rising heat took over the two men, but before they could continue, Bodie grabbed Doyle's face and spoke those three little words that joined them together for eternity.

"Forever and Ever."

-- THE END --

Originally published in Secret Agent Men 5, Devious Developments Press, 2005

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