New Year Resolution


Written for Discovered in the Mistletoe, on the discoveredinalj livejournal community.

New Year resolutions were a bit like giving stuff up for Lent when I was a kid. The intentions were usually good, but in practice... well, you get the picture.

Of course, it would have helped if my mum hadn't come up with bloody awful ideas: giving up chocolate for what seemed like eternity ( no point in giving something up that you don't like, Raymond. Carrots aren't appropriate), or suggesting I resolved not to doodle in the margins of my schoolbooks or listen to Radio Caroline instead of doing my homework ( you want a better school report, don't you, Raymond?).

I did try though. For at least a week. Well, sometimes.

I forgot about the Lent stuff as soon as I'd left home, but I still made resolutions every New Year:

Not to piss off Sarge or the small arms instructor by being -- I quote -- 'flippant / bloody rude / downright insubordinate', or not to leave my sweaty sports kit lying around for a week. Put visitors off a bit, that did, because my own sense of smell isn't quite as acute as it could be. Never been the same since they had to screw half me face back together again.

Bodie, now, has a very sensitive nose. Or so he says.

But I digress. Well, sort of.

And let me say that I there are some resolutions I keep. I sort of like the whole ceremonious thing of making 'em for the New Year.

I even make a few resolutions at other times, though, when it seems appropriate: like resolving not to kill my new partner or to shove my resignation under the Cow's nose because of him, both of which I made repeatedly during the first few weeks we worked together. Couldn't wait until 31st December for that, or one of us would probably have been dead or looking for another job by now -- and probably me. Bodie's charm can be more persuasive than me and my tantrums, even when he's arguing with Cowley.

Turned out to be a good idea, the 'don't kill Bodie' resolution. Although the others -- the sub-resolutions about not constantly being rude about his bloody stupid suits or his obsession with Fry's Turkish Delight -- weren't quite as successful. To start with, he rolled up in a brand new smart casual look one morning, and stuck with it (thus opening up the possibility of rude yet irresistible comments on whether his granddad had left him that sweater). As for Fry's, he defected to Cadbury's with a few Mars bars thrown in so I sang the 'Nuts whole hazelnuts -- Cadbury's take 'em and cover 'em in chocolate' advert to him every time he tried to take a nap on obbo. Off key. Well, of course.

By Christmas -- last week -- however, things were definitely looking up as far as Bodie and I were concerned. Cowley had always sighed -- and yelled at times -- when we argued (which happened rather a lot initially), but now he was doing the sighing and grumbling when we played the fool ('flippant' turned up again, if I remember. Seems to follow me around, that word). But they were less irritated sighs, or at least I imagined them to be.

Then New Year's Eve came along. And Bodie and I had a bloody great argument during which I lost my temper rather spectacularly. Not, I hasten to add, over something work-related -- our rows rarely were, oddly enough.

It started over me using Bodie's tea mug and continued from there, becoming more trivial as we went on and ending up with a fair few insults about our little foibles. Bodie whistled between his teeth sometimes, I'd said, and it drove me mad. I apparently snorted all the time, which was infuriating. Chocolate and cashmere was compared unfavourably with vegetables and scruffy jeans -- which I thought, afterwards, was something of an analogy for a whole lot of other differences we never touched on, or at least in words.

Fortunately, we didn't have an audience. Equally fortunately, it all sort of petered out rather than us ending up thumping each other. At least that. Acting like fishwives probably wouldn't have won us any brownie points with Cowley if he'd heard it.

Then our shift ended and we both headed home separately.

A few of us went round to Murphy's later in the evening. Bodie wasn't there -- probably keeping well away from me. Shame, really, because I'd resolved -- resolutions again but dammit, it was the time of year for 'em -- to keep my temper in check. If I was honest with myself, I knew I'd started that particular argument by using his precious mug rather than washing my own.

Well, I'd apologise to Bodie next time I saw him. It'd hurt, but I'd do it. I'd even wash his bloody mug. The one that holds tea, that is.

Sod's law being what it is, Central called soon after I'd got to Murph's. As it turned out they only needed to call two teams in. Of those present -- joy of joys -- it ended up being me and Mac who had to go. Anson was on real leave, lucky bastard, not just on call, so we were both there without our 'other halves'. Mind, I'd heard rumblings that Mac and Anson weren't getting on either, but you didn't ask blokes about that sort of thing, did you. Anson's an arrogant prat...

But I digress again.

As for Bodie, I supposed the night manager working as Central either hadn't called him or couldn't find him so it was easier just to sort of pick two of us at random. Well, I expect crime didn't stop for Bodie's latest bimbo who'd probably chucked his R/T into a champagne bucket. Or had Bodie told them he wasn't going anywhere with me and would resign rather than being partnered with a nasty-tempered little git?

Sitting in the car with Mac seemed odd, and my curiosity (and paranoia) finally got the better of me, so when I had Central on the R/T I asked where Bodie was. She just said he was 'unavailable'. It was that bolshy woman with a face like the back of a bus who looked down her nose at us and called us 'boys' anyway, so I didn't bother laying on the charm.

Bloody Bodie. If he had skipped off somewhere and couldn't be reached (and if it wasn't simply to avoid me), he'd probably try that smirk, or lisp something to Cowley about being 'indisposed' -- one of his useful euphemisms for his little adventures. Just now and then, he got away with being late like that, but the Cow was usually spectacularly unimpressed.

So I sat there and made yet more resolutions, wondering if I had a cat in hell's chance of keeping them.

Most of them concerned Bodie, of course. Stop trying so hard to get to know him better. Stop letting his smugness get to me. Or was it too late? Was Cowley going to reshuffle a few of the pairings? Split us up?

I hoped not, I realised.

The two of us got on all right on the whole, I supposed -- or at least between rows, I reminded myself. We'd been to the pub together a couple of times. Shared sandwiches on stakeouts. Didn't need to be in each other's pockets, did we? And at least Bodie didn't pick his nose. Mac did.

More to the point, I didn't fancy Mac either. But there was no way in hell I'd ever let Bodie know how much I'd like to fuck him as much as wipe the smirk off his face -- and even though I was aware that part of the tension between us stemmed from that. I kept those feelings to myself because I did actually value my life, or at least my physical integrity.

So that had been another resolution I'd actually kept: to keep all that to myself. I mentally give myself a pat on the back for that. And I'd damn well stick to it, I reminded myself. A resolution to be carried forward for the coming year. Definitely.

Since there was nothing better to do, and since fanciful thoughts of Bodie naked were something I'd decided -- OK, resolved -- not to indulge in during jobs (with mixed success) I sat there trying to work out exactly why he got up my nose and attracted me with almost equal intensity. It wasn't just the smugness that irritated, and it wasn't just his looks that attracted.

He wasn't the sort of bloke I'd normally hang around with. We'd been thrown together. Complementary skills, Cowley called it. Ex-plod with attitude -- OK, with temper -- versus ex-several things with an ego the size of the rock of Gibraltar would be more how I'd describe it.

Yet it worked. A few months in the A squad and it was going bloody well, on the whole. In terms of results, at least. And you couldn't really expect more from a partner, could you? So that would have to do. So yes, it was a good job I hadn't killed him, really.

I found myself nodding vaguely at this remarkable conclusion. Mac looked at me and said nothing. Quiet type, Mac. Not that Bodie's exactly inclined to aimless gossip but he can be... entertaining. And easy on the eye.

Bodie aroused and without a stitch on was a most appealing fantasy, actually, and when I thought about it, one that was happening more and more often -- like when I'd pinched his tea mug. I'd actually been watching him and my mind was on touching things far more exciting than his sacrosanct bit of pottery.

No, I wasn't going to think about Bodie hungry for it.

But I did. The thought of actually doing him would normally be next, but I usually managed to keep that in check until I was on my own -- which right now, I wasn't.

So I thought of Cowley, or even Ms Snooty naked and begging for it, and that calmed things down a bit.

A bit later, I noticed -- after counting the nearby lampposts for something to do (three) and the number of cars passing on the main road (sixteen), we weren't that far from Bodie's place, so if he'd been at home it would have been logical for Central to call him...

Well, he wouldn't be. Not on New Year's Eve.

Central called. We were kindly requested to go into a warehouse (where else: warehouses seem to feature pretty highly on CI5's Places to Rush Into list) and remove three people who went in there when they arrived.

They arrived soon afterwards. We went in.

Mac wasn't Bodie (well, obviously), although I had to admit, grudgingly, that he wasn't bad -- in terms of work, that is. Mind, Cowley wasn't given to recruiting amateurs. Nutters, yes. Half-baked idiots, no.

Not much to say, really. Guns were waved, shots were fired, neither of us took a bullet, The uniforms rolled up and dealt with the trio who had decided to spend New Year's Eve assembling things that went bang. Have to admit that it still gives me a kick to order people with stripes and braid around: much as it's not quite as impressive as Bodie's, I do have an ego of my own.

Cowley, who is of course a heartless old bugger, had apparently decided somebody should write up a report there and then, Central informed us, sounding rather pleased to spoil somebody's evening. Nothing more entertaining than typing stuff as the big hand rolled past the top of the hour to herald in the New Year, I remember thinking.

Mac and I tossed for it. I did wonder if Mac was another one with a two-headed coin, because I lost. Mind, I'd tumbled to Bodie and nicked his own coin a while back -- just hadn't got it with me. Well, I could irritate Ms Snooty while I was slaving over a hot typewriter. Small pleasures.

So off Mac went in a plod car, cheerfully predicting he'd be back on the booze before midnight. I gave him the old two fingers, friendly-like.

Resolving -- that word again -- to make it the fastest report in history, I wandered back towards the car. Mac liked the Escort for some reason. Just give me a Rover, or preferably a Capri. Trust Bodie to nab the new pool one regularly. Wish Cowley would get some more.

Digressing again.

Snooty Central, sounding a little fraught, suddenly came on the R/T and ruined my typing ambitions before I'd even set off.

I was to stay put and keep my head down. The trio we'd picked up were apparently a sextet, and the other half had got away (from our other team, she omitted to say but it wasn't bloody rocket science to work that one out) and were probably heading this way.

Did I just think Cowley didn't hire amateurs?

Backup was on its way, she added, clearly attempting to be reassuring. My temper was on its way to making a reappearance too. Three cheers for keeping us informed about the other half of the op, I snapped.

That clearly didn't merit comment. She cut me off.

So now what? First, a white car all on its own in the middle of some rough ground would stick out like a sore thumb. The original trio's van had been packed off to forensics.

Resourceful being my middle name, I went and parked behind a shed, which of course would only help if they came from the main road. If they came up the lane, it'd be the first thing they saw. Half-hoping the shed would hold something like an old tarpaulin to cover the Escort up and make it look out of commission, I slid the elderly bolt and pushed the door open.

A rat sauntered out with a snooty look a bit like Bodie with injured pride. I kicked at it half-heartedly, took in the total absence of camouflage material, and sighed. Then caught my breath as I heard a car coming.

Good -- they'd opted for the main road. I thumbed the R/T on, and to my surprise got Cowley, who informed me that my backup had been held up by what he nicely termed as a 'traffic incident'.

No, I lie. I wasn't really surprised at all that Cowley was back at work on New Year's Eve. He sounded about as happy as I felt, in fact.

You'd really think CI5 wouldn't fall prey to operations being snarled up a traffic jam, but you'd be wrong. Even Cowley can't stop drunken drivers needing to wrap themselves around lampposts, or whatever the 'incident' was.

I passed on the good news that any newcomers wouldn't see me immediately, with a bit of luck, and suggested I wait until they went inside before doing a one-man Rambo number.

Cowley hesitated a second, then told me to wait. I wasn't sure if he was worried about my welfare, or didn't think much of me as a one-man Rambo. So I prepared to do as I was told, cleverly finding a crack in the rough boards of the shed to observe from.

Only two of 'em were getting out of the car. Couldn't people count these days? I decided to share that little gem with Cowley, but before I even opened my mouth, things changed. A second car was coming up the lane. I found another crack on the other side, getting ready to greet my backup, although it would have helped if Central had told me who it was.

Except it wasn't backup, it was number three. The car braked violently and a pistol, arm and body emerged from it in that order. Not good news. They must have split up and got hold of another car, which would have been nice to know.

OK, I could probably take him down but shots fired would mean the other two would leg it (or come out shooting in this direction). So, logically, I needed to take him down quietly and then deal with the others. No shit, Sherlock.

I took up position behind the door, as you do. Waited for him to come in.

He didn't.

I could hear him walking around, but daren't risk peering through in case I came eye to eye with him. Then I heard the bolt slide closed and the footsteps move away.

Brilliant. Did he know somebody was in there? Maybe he didn't, but was sensible enough to make sure that if there was, he wasn't going to get out without a whole lot of trouble.

If I shot the blasted bolt off -- and didn't stand in the way of the ricochet -- the noise'd bring all three of them down on me like a ton of bloody bricks. And cracked the planking might be but it seemed pretty damned solid when I gave the walls an experimental -- and quiet -- shove.

So, did I tell Cowley I was locked in a shed? He'd just love that. I sucked in a breath but then my R/T beeped again and I snatched it, turned it off. Had the guy heard it? Should have turned it off when I saw him coming. Go to the bottom of the class, Raymond.

What now, genius? I watched my jailer go into the warehouse at a pretty fair lick, all ready to return with a three-man firing squad to turn the shed into a sieve if they did think somebody was in there.

I started kicking at what looked like the weakest plank on the wall, without much success. Looked like I'd have to take my chances with the bolt, then. But if I did fire my weapon, good sense dictated it'd be wise to leg it rather than neatly round 'em up once I'd started firing my weapon -- unless he'd taken the key out of the Escort or slashed its tyres. I could hotwire it, yes, but maybe not fast enough and I'd get shot and bleed all over the car. Cowley would love all that as well, so I tried another plank.

The sound of another car was welcome, although at this rate it could be another case of people getting their numbers wrong and a few more of the merry band coming to join the party. This one was coming from the main road, I saw, and...

... it was Bodie. On his bloody own.

No time to get all ridiculously pleased to see him, though. I flicked the R/T on again and called him. Said all three were probably on their way out. Told him where I was -- mortified, of course -- and suggested rather strongly that he come and let me out.

He chuckled, the bastard. Then told me there wasn't time and broke the connection. Now who was playing bloody Rambo?

I saw Bodie whip out of the car with that deceptive turn of speed he has, and then out of my range of vision. Then I saw why there wasn't time -- they were already on their way out of the place.

I heard a lot of shots, one of which was my own as I aimed at the bolt and prayed. Something burned my arm -- a splinter, I thought, but another two bullets punched a hole big enough for me to get my hand through and slide the bolt back.

Right, I thought. Time to find Bodie, which was just a little like pot luck under the circumstances as nobody was in sight. The firing was coming from two directions, from the sound of it.

There he was, running and weaving and firing, and I saw one figure emerge and then fall.

Bodie caught sight of me as I belted over there. He started to smirk, which I took to mean he thought he'd got 'em all rather than a 'so glad you could join us' sort of welcome.

Wrong again about him getting all three. Bodie was off guard, and didn't see the one poking his head and weapon around the corner of the building. I took the bastard in the shoulder.

Bodie's mouth transformed from the smirk to an 'oh' to a smirk again before he told me the other two were inside.

We did another clear-up job with handcuffs on two (both bleeding) and ignored the one who wouldn't need tying up. Dead bodies don't. We didn't talk much until we ended up leaning on Bodie's car.

"Thanks." We both said it in the same moment.

Bodie then decided to ask what the fuck was going on. We pieced together a few bits: Central had apparently called him when he'd been in the shower, and already put Mac on the case with me by the time he'd got out.

I explained about the shed. Bodie said something extremely uncomplimentary about Mac and something even less complimentary about our lot losing the second three jokers.

I retorted that Mac was all right, and how we'd thought it was all wrapped up anyway. Bodie calmly informed me that Mac was green behind the ears and I had I noticed he picked his nose? Then he whisked out a handkerchief with one hand and pointed at my arm, and snapped the R/T on with the other.

The other team -- the one who'd lost the second three in the first place (if that makes sense) rolled up at that point. Bodie pointedly ignored them and called Cowley to report in. He finished off -- in a cold voice I hadn't often heard him use before -- by saying that despite crappy organisation and me being virtually hung out to dry because of not being given enough information, we'd wrapped it all up and since I was injured, we'd be in the following morning.

Cowley asked to talk to me. Bodie muttered to me to play along with the 'injured', and I didn't refuse. Was bleeding like a stuck pig anyway: must have been half a bloody plank rather than a splinter.

I more or less reiterated what Bodie had said, although in slightly more diplomatic terms (for once). I thought I probably needed my head seeing to for daring to criticise at all, but to my utter amazement Cowley agreed with it all, and even wished us a happy New Year. I wouldn't have liked to be in Snooty Central's shoes, I must say.

Bodie continued in masterful mode with the rest of our team, leaving them in no possible doubt what he thought about their own performance. Then he ushered me to his car, issuing instructions for somebody to get the Escort back to HQ.

Once ensconced in the driving seat, Bodie sucked in a huge breath. I half-expected another lecture on being sloppy, but it didn't come. In fact, he suddenly looked... odd. Not tired, not shaken. Just odd.

Suddenly more than tired, I leaned back, happy to be driven and even more happy that it was Bodie doing the honours. He didn't drive off, though, so I opened my eyes again and looked over. Wondered aloud if there was any booze left at Murphy's as it wasn't midnight yet.

Not now, Bodie said curtly.

I asked if the bad mood -- because it looked like that was what it was -- came from having his "shower" disturbed to come and bale me out. And I made sure he heard the inverted commas.

The "shower", Bodie threw the inverted commas right back at me, was genuine. He'd gone out with some ex-army mates but come home early. Couldn't get pissed seeing as how we were on standby, and no point in sitting watching other people get pissed, was there?

He could have come to Murphy's, I said. Bodie shrugged. Then said he wished he had, simply to keep a bloody eye on me.

I reminded him about his two-headed coin and said that if he had been with me, he'd have buggered off home like Mac had done, and I'd have been stuck there without him -- God's gift to CI5 -- rolling up in the nick of time.

He started the engine then, and drove in silence for a while. Then he asked me if that was the impression I got -- the God's gift stuff.

How the hell do you answer that sort of thing? I tried a shrug, like he did just before, but the silence hung.

No, I told him. Well, yes. But CI5 didn't exactly hire shrinking violets. We all had egos, including me, even if mine was a bit battered at the moment. But out of interest, I added, I supposed I could handle his bloody smugness as long as he could handle my temper.

Bodie said nothing to that. Then surprised me again by admitting he'd been a bit quick to think he'd got all three of the blokes at the warehouse. Maybe been a bit too smug, in fact. Good thing I was a halfway decent shot.

We'd already said thanks, I told him gruffly. But good thing he was a halfway decent driver and got himself there when he did, for that matter. Particularly considering my temper earlier.

Right couple of prats, weren't we, Bodie said almost cheerfully. Did I fancy a drink at his place to see the New Year in? Or did I need my arm seeing to?

I felt it gingerly, and told him I thought I'd prefer a scotch to Casualty, and it was only a scratch.

Half an hour later, we were sitting in comfortable silence. My left arm was wrapped in bandages, and my right hand was cradling what I think was the second large glass of scotch.

Bodie's company was, by now, more than welcome. Once the adrenaline had worn off, my arm throbbed and I kept seeing the gun on Bodie, kept hearing that bloody bolt slide into place.

What, Bodie asked suddenly, would be a good resolution to make? We had about ten minutes to come up with one.

Did he have any ideas, I asked? Apart from me becoming sweet-tempered and him becoming modest?

He could live with my temper, he said again. As long as I didn't get locked into any more sheds. And he wouldn't have gone off with Mac but come into work with me to supervise my typing.

How much scotch had he been drinking? Mind, I was feeling fairly mellow myself, so I suggested he kept out of showers when I was off doing my single-handed number and might need him to do the 7th cavalry stuff.

Then I realised that sounded really daft. So I promised not to nick his coffee mug again.

New Year's resolutions always were daft, he said. His mum actually wanted him to give up chocolate. No, that was Lent. Ooops.

So what did he resolve, I asked?

Tonight, or in the past?

Both, I told him.

Oh, mostly to keep out of trouble, he says airily. You?


Bodie's eyes had a strange light to them.

And did I keep all my resolutions?

Course not, I retort. Where was the fun in that?

Ah, fun, Bodie nodded. So I did like fun, did I? Moody little sod that I was.

How come I didn't notice Bodie was sitting forward in his seat, and so was I, facing him?

I snorted. To hell with him not liking it when I did. I expected him to say something, and was all ready with a come-back if he did.

But he didn't. He just sat there staring at me.

I said, in a voice that wasn't entirely my own, that I liked fun well enough. I wanted to add something about him being a condescending bastard, but then he reached out and touched my cheek. Thoughtfully. Had that been the result of too much fun?

I said it'd been smashed up in a fight. He just nodded faintly and rubbed his thumb over it. I admitted I'd been a scrappy little bastard, which made him smile -- one without a trace of smugness or condescension.

Some resolutions, he eventually said in a voice that wasn't his own, were a bit pointless right from the start, however good the intentions. Not worth fighting them.

His voice hitched a bit as he said it.

Such as? I wanted to be bloody sure what was going on here, so I had to ask, didn't I?

Bodie just kept on rubbing my cheek. I probably looked like a guppy.

Standoff, Bodie said eventually. Somebody had better move things forward a bit. Did I want more whisky? Or did I want...

Guppyhood seemed to have robbed me of the power of speech, and he stalled before he got the question out completely.

In the end, I leaned forward a bit further, deciding I thought I knew what he wanted and was absolutely certain about what I did.

If I was wrong, he could lean back and come out with some platitude like 'did I want to crash on his settee', and I could play along. Then I'd deal with the hangover that would come after grabbing for the bottle again, because I'd need that, sleeping a few feet away from him.

He didn't say anything. He leaned forward.

We missed midnight, because we were... busy. Very, very busy. And however good we were -- are -- at the job, we were bloody dynamite in bed. If Cowley had offered praise for sexual prowess, we'd have been basking in that. Mind, we basked quite happily anyway after the first time. And the second, which turned from basking into sleep.

Sometime during the night, we moved on to round three, which was luxurious and slow and felt sort of established and comfortable already -- which as Bodie said was a good sign.

In the middle of it all, we also made resolutions: Lots of daft stuff about smugness (just because Bodie knew exactly what turned me on and was smug about it, but I was equally smug when I made a few discoveries of my own). A bit about temper (Bodie preferred mine sweet and decided he knew how to keep it that way, and I wasn't going to complain, was I?).

And we also decided, as we got our breath back -- we'd needed to take a break with the talking for certain technical reasons involving other things to do with our mouths -- that there were a whole lot about things we most certainly weren't going to give up for Lent.

-- THE END --

January 2007

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