Bodie realised with sickening certainty that he wasn't going to make it. His injuries had slowed him down too much, his heart hammered hard in his ears, and his breath came in shuddering gasps. His body finally gave in. Excruciating pain inevitably overpowered the adrenalin, and he fell, cracking his head hard on the concrete. The world became fuzzy, but he still felt the explosion. It shook the ground all around him.
But one thought pounded through his aching head. Doyle, dead.
He heard a howl of grief, vaguely aware that it came from him- then blessedly he felt nothing.
Doyle ran at full pelt, just reaching cover as the house blew. Searing heat scorched the ground inches away from him. He stared wide-eyed at the devastation, feeling singed, aware of how close it had been.
Timing was everything, and the stupid bastards had got it wrong. The dampness in the cellar had delayed the fuse for precious minutes, and their knots had been as amateurish as the rest of the outfit, thank God. He cursed the long- bloody long- trek ahead of him, and stood shakily. Bodie owed him big time. He was sure the coin had been heads.
Bodie woke slowly, his head pounding. He rolled painfully onto his side, and struggled to sit up. Hands eased him forward, but he instinctively riled against the touch.
"Don't be a dumb crud, Bodie. Be careful."
The touch remained gentle, at odds with the harsh tone. Bodie gasped, certain he had finally lost it.
He opened his eyes, the bright light threatening to make him vomit. His eyes focused, and amazingly, there was Doyle, watching him, his face concerned.
Bodie reached out shakily to touch. Doyle did not shy away, and his eyes were warm.
"Bad penny, Bodie, that's me."
-- THE END --