Burning Bridges


Written for Discovered on May Day, on the discoveredinalj livejournal community

"Three-seven, come in three-seven. Three-seven! Dammit, Bodie, come in! Bodie!"

Bodie tried to raise his head, but it was more effort than it was worth. He blinked--eyes stinging, nose stinging, there was dust and debris...what the fuck?


The R/T was in his hand. It was easier to move his arm than his head.


It wasn’t the right voice. Never the right voice. "Fuck off." He whispered the words, then closed his eyes and let the darkness claim him. What did it matter?

"Bodie. Bodie. Come in, Bodie." This voice was different, less panicked, and it spoke to a deeper part of him. He opened his eyes and brought the R/T closer to his mouth.


"Bodie." He felt warmed by the relief in Cowley's voice. "Thank God. We're trying to get to you, lad. Hang on, and stay with me."

Trying to...? Christ, his head hurt. "What?"

"You've been in an explosion. The house collapsed around you. How badly are you injured?"

Injured? He wasn't injured...Doyle was injured. He flashed on a vision of blood and Doyle lying still, unable to move. He had to get to him. He'd bleed to death. He had-- Bodie gasped as he tried to move, and the surface under him shifted, accompanied by a creaking sound.


"Doyle, sir. He's...blood everywhere." He swallowed against nausea. He was on his stomach--he could push up to his knees.

"Doyle's not here, Bodie."

Not? No, he'd got to him in time! He'd stopped the bleeding, hadn't he? "Ray!" He pushed up, lunging forward, and the floor collapsed under him. He dropped quickly, but not far, and more debris fell on top of him.

"Bodie, don't move! Don't-- Dammit, where's the rescue crew?" Cowley's voice faded away.

"Three-seven. Bodie. Come in, Bodie."

He still had the R/T. He'd clung to it, as to a lifeline. His head was pounding, sending shafts of pain down into his neck. He coughed.

"Bodie? Is that you, lad?"

"Sir." His voice was a croak.

"Don't move, Bodie. Do you hear me? The house is still settling. It's going to take time to get to you."

"What happened?"

There was a pause. "You've been in an explosion, do you remember that?"


"Yes, you and Murphy were investigating a tip-off. Is your head aching?"

"Yeah. Hurts."

"Can you see anything around you?"

"It's all...broken bits--wood, stone, plaster." Murphy? Had he been with Murphy?

"There's light?"

"Yeah. Where's Doyle?"

"Doyle's not here. He's--"

"Ray!" He had to get to him. The fire escape--

"Don't move, Bodie, that's an order!"

"Sir." Had he fallen? No, Doyle had fallen. Blood and broken bones....

"Doyle is fine, Bodie, do you hear me? He's fine."

"The bitch shot him." He had to get to him. Doyle was on the floor of his flat, unable to move. He'd bleed to death. "Sir. Four-five's flat. There's no answer. He needs help."

"Bodie...that happened a long time ago."

"I have to get to him." He tried to push himself up again and cried out as pain sliced through him.

"Bodie! You saved Doyle that time. He's fine."

"Then where...?"

"He's in hospital, lad, don't you remember?"

In hospital. Bodie let his muscles slowly relax. In hospital. They'd saved him, hadn't they? He'd packed the wound, checked his airway, waited for the ambulance. But...Doyle had fallen...from the roof...from the hospital roof? Bodie had watched, helpless-- "No! Ray!" He could save him if he could get to him.

He pushed up from the floor and got to his knees, ignoring the pain that stabbed through him. He could see a shaft of sunlight ahead of him--a way out. Ray was outside. He lurched forward on his knees, but a wave of dizziness stopped him and he sank down again.

"Bodie, stay put! They're coming to get you out. Bodie?"

He could drag himself towards the light. Ray was there. He'd fallen. Shot by that bitch. "Got to get to him."

"Get Doyle on a bloody R/T. Now!"

His head hurt. The room was spinning; everything was spinning. Bodie turned his head to the side and retched. Gasping, he continued on--he didn't have time to stop. Blood and bone--Doyle's leg had shattered on impact. The bullet had entered his heart. It hurt to move, and he was so achingly slow. He'd be too late; Ray would be gone.

"Bodie, don't move. We'll get Doyle here. Bodie?"

He ignored Cowley. He was bloody sick of Cowley. It was time to move on, he'd said; you're needed, he'd said. Bodie closed his eyes, fighting a wave of nausea. After a moment he pressed on. It was what he was good at--getting on with it. Act the soldier. Cowley had partnered him with Murphy. Another foul up, another piece of-- Bodie stopped moving. Oh Christ, was Doyle dead? He remembered brown curls under a towel...no, he'd fallen after being shot, sprawled on...his living room floor. Bodie's stomach twisted. Doyle hadn't moved when he touched him--but he'd been breathing. He'd been alive. "Ray." His voice was a cry.

"Three-seven: report!"

Bodie blinked. "Sir?"

"That's right, Bodie. Talk to me. Tell me what you see."

"I.... What happened?"

"You were in an explosion, lad. They're coming in to get you, but they have to make sure it's safe. You're injured, and you can't move. We can't risk you dislodging any more debris."


"Yes. You have a concussion. You fell."

Doyle had fallen. Bodie had watched, horror-stricken. He could still hear the sound he'd made as he landed. "Doyle."

"He's coming, Bodie. Do you understand me? Don't move."

"He needs help--"

"He's fine. You saved him. You can see him if you stay still."

See him? It's over. We're finished.

"I can't."

"He doesn't need your help, Bodie. He needs you to stay still."

No. It didn't make sense. Doyle needed him. Cowley didn't know. Ray didn't even know. Bodie pulled himself forward again, dragging his body over jumbled stone and wood. He'd find Doyle in the light. Behind him he heard a growing roar, and he held on as more of the roof fell on him.


"Fuck off. Sir." When he could see, he pulled himself forward another inch. Doyle was in the light, not in his flat. Not in the rain. Bright sunshine. Waiting.

"What the fuck are you doing?" It was another voice, faint, but full of irritation. Bodie stopped.


"Who bloody else would it be?"

Bodie smiled. "Hallo, Ray."

Doyle was silent for a moment. "Bodie, they tell me you need to stay still. Can you do that?"

"Yeah." He put his head down on his arm, the R/T tucked close to his face. "What happened? Do you know?"

"You were in an explosion, sunshine. You have a concussion most likely."

"Oh." Bodie took in a few breaths. It felt good not to move. "Why aren't you here?"

There was another pause. "I've got more sense, of course."

"Of course."

"Anyway, I'm here now. You just keep talking to me, right? They're digging through the rubble to find you."

Doyle didn't sound like himself--his voice was off somehow. "Are you all right?"

"Of course I am." But there had been another of those pauses before he spoke.

"Don't fuck with me, Doyle." He frowned. "They got the bullet out, didn't they?"


"I watched them, through the glass. Your heart stopped. It bloody stopped."

"They started it again. That was years ago, mate."

"She shot you."

"That's right."

"But you fell. I--I saw you." He tried to swallow. It seemed like he couldn't breathe.

"I'm here, Bodie. I must be fine then, right?" Doyle still sounded odd.


"Can you hear them yet?"


"The rescue crew. They're trying to get to you."


Doyle took in a breath. "You're hurt, sunshine. Remember? You were in an explosion."

"Cowley said you're in hospital."

"I am. I was shot, remember?"

"Your heart stopped."

"No, that was before. This time I fell." Doyle's voice stopped abruptly.

"Christ." He could feel his heart beating in his throat. "Blood and bone.... Hang on, Ray, I'll get help." He tried to lift himself up, but his head swam, and a groan escaped from him.

"No! Bodie, no, it's okay. Stay where you are!" Doyle sounded fierce and Bodie froze.

"Ray." He could hear the pleading in his own voice. He couldn't hide it. He was so tired of hiding.

"I'm all right. You saved me."

Slowly, Bodie put his head down. "It hurts, Ray."

"I know. You just stay there. Stay with me."

"You don't want me." He whispered the words.


He didn't understand the emotions that seemed to be wrapped around Doyle's voice. He thought he should, but all he could feel was fear. Loneliness unending and unendurable. His eyes were drawn to the sunlight up ahead. "It's so warm."

"What's warm?"

"The light. Sunlight."

"It's spring. The sun's strong."

"'And frosts are slain and flowers begotten.'"

"You what?"

"'For winter's rains and ruins are over.'"

"Bloody hell. Trust you. Go on, tell me more of it, then."

He tried to think, but the words scattered and he couldn't catch them. "Can't."

"It's all right."

"I should know it." But the words fled from him, just like Ray.

"You have a concussion--the explosion, remember?" Doyle's voice cracked, stumbling over the words.

Bodie frowned. "Ray?"

"It's all right."

"I'm tired." He watched the dust float in the air, dancing bits and bobs. No order to them, no pattern, just free.

"Hang on. They'll be there soon."

"You'll leave." He closed his eyes.

"I'm here."

His hand slowly tightened on the R/T. "You're not. You sent me away." He heard voices. They were calling him but he stayed silent. There was only one voice he wanted--yet feared--to hear.

"Bodie, please...."

"All I wanted was to be with you." He looked at the sunlight so far away, and the words came back to him: "'The day dividing lover and lover/ The light that loses, the night that wins.'" There was silence on the other end of the R/T. "It's only night for me, isn't it? I can't make it to the light. I let you fall."

"No! Sod it, what is the bloody line...? It's spring--blossoming what-the-fuck. You know it. Bodie! Talk to me, sunshine. Bodie!"

"Mr Bodie, can you hear us? Are you there?" It was a stranger's voice.

"Answer me, damn--" Doyle's voice broke off suddenly, and there was only static on the R/T.

"Ray." He was alone. The soldier's lot. Everyone died alone. He could hear the rescue crew now, but what did it matter?

"Fuck off!" Doyle sounded farther away, and then his voice was clearer: "Bodie? Bodie, dammit!"


"Listen, they should get to you any minute now."


"They'll get you out of there; patch you up."

"He's here! Get the line in. Christ, this damn thing could go at any minute."

"Fuck off." There were others with him, their hands touching him, bringing him back to his life. He'd lose Doyle. Bodie tried to crawl away from them, but they caught him and held him still. "Ray!" He held tightly to the R/T.

"It's all right, mate. They'll take care of--"

"No!" He pulled his arm away from the man gripping it and brought the R/T close to his mouth. "Don't leave me, Ray. Please. I can't...."

"I won't. Bodie, I--"

"It's not over. It'll never be over. It's not finished. Don't give a fuck about Cowley or any of it. Just you. Damn you, you're mine, don't you know that? I'm the only one that fucks you. I'm all you need. Doyle!"

"Take it easy, Mr Bodie. Stay still--"

"I need you, you bastard." He tried to move; tried to shake them off. But his head was spinning, and he was losing the light, and the pain was growing. "Oh fuck, Ray, it's all dark...." The spin took him, his sight telescoping to black, and all he felt was despair.

"Mr Bodie."

He kept his eyes closed, certain he didn't want to find out what had happened to him. The smell told him enough. Sodding hospitals.

"Mr Bodie." A hand touched his shoulder.

"Try slapping him. He likes a little of the rough."

Bodie opened his eyes and found Doyle right away. "You prat."

"Mr Doyle." The nurse was young, but there was no softness to the look she gave Doyle.

Doyle spread his hands. "What?" He was in a wheelchair, his damaged leg encased in steel and plaster, and stretched out in front of him. He was pale, but he was upright. Bodie couldn't take his eyes off him.

The nurse ignored Doyle in favour of seeing to Bodie's needs. He assured her he didn't have to go to the loo and understood the use of the call button, and he dutifully took the tablet she handed him along with a glass of water. All the while, Doyle stayed where he was, offering no comment. When Doyle looked at him, Bodie looked away, uncertainty gnawing at him. He hadn't been able to predict Doyle's reactions since the shooting.

"The doctor will be in for a neurological check. Keep drinking that water." She turned to Doyle. "It's time you went back to your room, Mr Doyle." She placed a hand on his wheelchair.

"Let me stay, eh?" Doyle's eyes met Bodie's. "Just for a bit?"

"Yeah," Bodie said.

She sighed. "All right. For a few minutes." She gave Doyle a speaking look, then gathered her supplies and left the room.

Bodie waited for whatever might happen, keeping his face expressionless, as if before battle.

"Which one do you want me to answer first?"


Doyle held up his hand, counting on his fingers as he spoke. "You were in an explosion. Murphy's fine, at least until I get hold of him. They know who did it and they're after him. You've had a concussion, you've got multiple lacerations and bruises, but overall you were bloody lucky. And she's angry with me because I swore at her. Anything else?"

"I'm afraid to ask."

"Ah, like when you have a hangover."

"That bad?"

"There are similarities. Do you remember anything?" Doyle's voice was gentle, in a way it hadn't been in weeks. It made him ache, and that, in turn, made him resentful.

"Does it matter?"

"The doctor said I should ask."

"We had a tip about Dunnett. We went to a house...." He could remember entering the house, but after that it was blank. He sought out Doyle with his eyes.

"You were on the top floor when the bomb went off. It was in the cellar. They reckon that's why you survived."

"Where was Murphy?"

Doyle's face hardened. "He'd gone outside to check the garden."

"Not his fault."

"Don't push me about it."

"You're the one wanted me to work with him."

Doyle looked away.

"He's my partner."

"I fucking know that!"

"But he's not the one who got me out of there alive."

Doyle stared at him. "I didn't." His voice was tight.

"You were the only one I was listening to." Bodie couldn't untangle the expressions on his face, but it was as if Doyle had come alive again. He wasn't hiding any more. Whether that would make this easier or not, Bodie didn't know.

"You remember."

Bodie shrugged and his eyes strayed to the far wall, not really seeing it. "Some of it. Impressions. Pain and fear. You--your voice. I thought I had to...." He trailed off, frowning.

"You were all mixed up. You kept remembering when Mayli Kuolo shot me, and confusing that with this." He gestured at his leg.

"You were shot both times." But it had been different the second time--Bodie had been there and hadn't saved him. And as Doyle had fallen, he'd known it was the end.

"Yeah." Doyle looked down at his leg, his brows drawn together. Bodie waited. Any moment now, he would either shut him out or start in on him. Doyle knew exactly how to flay him, and he wasn't shy about displaying his skill. It didn't matter that he knew what Doyle was up to or why he was doing it. He had no effective defence.

Doyle looked up suddenly, and his frown became fiercer. "Don't look at me like that."

"Like what?"

"Like--" He broke off, looking from side to side at his chair, fumbling with the wheel clamps and trying to hump the chair forward at the same time. "Stupid, sodding...I don't know how to move the.... They've bloody well locked the fucking thing!"

Despite everything, Bodie grinned. "Have they?"

Doyle glared at him.

"I don't think they can, actually."

"Just you wait, Bodie."

"Apparently for some time." He watched as Doyle struggled against, then lost to the smile that lightened his face. And Bodie tried to suppress the unreasoning hope that was springing to life within him.

"Prat." Doyle's smile faded as he continued to gaze at Bodie. "I'm sorry."

Bodie's stomach tightened. "For what?"

"Every bloody thing."

"That's a lot."

"I know."

"So all I needed to do was nearly die?" Doyle looked away, his jaw tight. Bodie sighed and relented. "How are you?"

"As you see."

"First steps?"

"Not yet." A flash of the familiar bitterness crossed Doyle's face and was gone. "But in time."

"You're out of bed."

"Yeah. It's a start."

"Cowley got you on the R/T."

Doyle's hand tightened on the arm of his wheelchair. "You weren't making much sense. You couldn't remember what happened, or that you needed to stay put. You spouted poetry, mate."

"Did I? Must've been off my head."

"You were talking about being in the dark, do you remember that?"

Bodie looked down. He remembered despair, but that was nothing new. He forced himself to speak. "I was in a fucking explosion, what else would--"

"No. You weren't talking about where you were."

Bodie clenched his jaw, all too aware of what he might have meant.

"You kept thinking I needed help. I needed help! Christ, Bodie, you were trapped in a bombed-out house!"

"Damn it, Doyle." This was worse than the bitterness, worse than being shut out. "You don't want me."

"I do."

"Because you thought you might lose me. But--"

"No, that just made my priorities clear." He took in a shuddering breath. "I told you. I won't leave you in the dark."

"You fucking put me there!"

"And you let me!"

"What? What?" He could feel his own anger stirring now. He hadn't let it out in front of Doyle for a long time.

"Since when do you not fight for what you want?"

The injustice of it burned him. "You bloody-- You made it very clear you didn't need me around."

"And yet when you were concussed and out of your sodding mind, all you could talk about was how I needed you."

Bodie looked away. "So what? Habit."

"No. Truth."

Bodie closed his eyes, striving for control. No one else ever made him feel as exposed as Doyle did.

"Christ, Bodie." Doyle's voice fell to a whisper, but the emotion in it was clear. "I was so fucking scared. I couldn't get to you, but you needed help. That house could've gone at any--" He broke off.

Bodie opened his eyes, and what he saw on Doyle's face made his heart lurch. "I told you, you're the one got me out of there."

For a long moment Doyle looked at him. "What did you mean when you said you let me fall?"

Bodie flinched.

"Fuck--so that's it."

"What?" Bodie felt his defences kick in, along with anger.

"Why you gave up so--"

"Leave it."

"You bloody fool."

"Get out of here, Doyle."

"Not till I get through to you. I should have known. If I hadn't been so wrapped up in myself-- I never blamed you for the fall. Never."

Bodie shifted his gaze to the wall. He had nothing to say.

"Oh, no, you're not playing that fucking soldier stuff with me. Look at me, you bastard. Bodie!"

Reluctantly Bodie looked, and saw the temper, the passion that was always a part of Doyle--and it drew him just as it always did. That was what had been missing, buried by bitterness and the wall Doyle had built between them.

"It wasn't your fault. If you had held on, we might both have gone over the edge. For God's sake, I'm alive because of you!"

"You didn't want me here. You--"

"I was a pillock. I was feeling sorry for myself and angry at the world." His eyes narrowed. "But in all of that, with everything I threw at you, I never threw blame."

"Then why?"

"Because you were sodding ready to resign! Did you think I wanted your bloody self-sacrifice? Christ, and now I see why you did it, if you were blaming yourself like a stupid sodding prick."

"It wasn't out of guilt!"

"When I think-- How long would we have lasted then, eh? You resigning for guilt, and not telling me. You'd've resented me--"

"It wasn't out of guilt! Christ, I'd throw you off the roof now if we were anywhere near one!"

"Better than resigning!"

"Fuck you!"


"No! For once you're going to listen to me, Ray. Christ! If I want to resign I can damn well do it. Soldiers retire, you know!"


"Shut up! It's not guilt driving this, though I'll live with that the rest of my sodding life. It's you! Get it through your fucking head! I don't care about any of it but you. You're what I want, you bloody-minded bastard. God knows why!"

Doyle stared at him, his expression fierce, but gradually a change came over his face, the anger giving way to something else. A smile that Bodie immediately mistrusted curved the edges of his mouth. "Well, that is what you said, isn't it?"


Doyle tilted his head, and there was definitely a malicious glint in his eye. "Concussions and you don't mix, mate. It's a good thing the Russians didn't know. Bonk you on the head and you spill your guts."

"What are you rabbiting on about?"

"Spouting poetry was one thing, but...."


"You don't remember?"

A pit opened up in his stomach. He glared at Doyle.

"Resignation doesn't come into it, mate--you're out of a job. "


"You announced to the world that we were having it off."

"I did not!"

"Oh, but you did. Cowley was not amused."

"Oh, bugger."

"You said you didn't give a fuck about Cowley or any of it. That I was yours."


"Your very words." The smile disappeared. "And I do wish you hadn't made it seem quite so one-sided."


"'I'm the only one that fucks you,' you said."

"Ah." He looked away for a moment, then back. "Well, it's true." He tried a smile.

"I'd be careful if I were you." Doyle was looking at him narrowly.

"I was concussed! You can't blame a man for what he says--"

"Cowley can."

"You really reckon...?"

"That you're unemployed? Yes, I do."

"Well, all right. Fortunately I don't mind being a kept man, and you have your pension."

"I could never afford to feed you."

"You'd let me starve?"

"After you told half of London that you fuck me? Yes."

Bodie thought about it. "I could get on the R/T and--"

"No one's letting you near an R/T ever again."

Bodie looked at him. "So we're through."

"With CI5? Yes."

Bodie kept looking at him.

"I'll never be on the street again." Doyle's voice was hard.

"No. But I don't give a fuck about the street."

"I may never walk."

"You will."

"Can't count on sex."

"You what?"

Doyle grinned. It wasn't steady, but it was a grin.

Bodie pushed the blankets away. Bloody hospital gown.

"What do you think you're doing?"

He eased his legs off the bed.

"They wouldn't approve."

Using his hands for support, he pushed himself to his feet, then waited to make sure he was steady.

"If you fall down I won't be of any bloody use."

He moved forward gingerly until he was next to Doyle's wheelchair, one hand on the arm rest. "Shut up, Doyle."

"Oh, very masterful, but--"

Bodie kissed him, pleased beyond measure when Doyle kissed him back. When he finally pulled away, they were both breathing quickly. "If you ever bloody put me through that again...."

Doyle shook his head, and his hand on Bodie's arm tightened. "I thought I'd lost everything. Nothing mattered. Then Cowley called me...."

"And it did."

Doyle nodded. "I was wrong--so bloody wrong. I was pushing away the only thing that matters to me." His gaze was steady and open. "We need each other, mate."

"Well, that's all right, then, isn't it? We'll start fresh, eh?"

"No. Balanced, but not fresh. There's too much between us." He paused for a moment. "Sometimes I ought to be thrown off a roof. And sometimes there are excuses for failure."

Bodie tried to pull back, but Doyle's hand was still tight on his arm. After a moment, Bodie whispered, "You slipped through my bloody hands."

"Yeah. But you kept me alive until they got there." His eyes searched Bodie's face. "And I paid you back by trying to drive you away, and hurt you when you wouldn't go."

Bodie sighed. "All right. Balanced." He brushed Doyle's face, then slid his hand to cup his head. "As long as we're alive."

"No more bullets, no more bombs, no more fucking roof edges."

"I'm bloody tired of it."

"Just wait until I start my physio."

"Reckon Cowley would take me back?"

"Not after I told him it was mutual. The fucking, I mean."

"You didn't."

Doyle smiled.

"Fuck, Doyle."

"Don't start that again." Doyle's hand moved and he pulled Bodie down. "We're well out of it, sunshine. In the light." He kissed him. Apology and forgiveness, reminder and promise all in one.

The door opened and the same nurse came back into the room. "I might have known. Mr Bodie, what are you doing out of bed?"

He pulled back. "Just checking to make sure Doyle's...."

"Breathing?" She ushered him back to the bed, and Bodie caught a slight twitch to her lips.

"Well, look at him. He's--"

"Yours, yes, I heard that." She helped him into the bed. "But not here." She rounded on Doyle. "He needs his rest, as I'm sure you do."

"Yeah, but...."

"I'll take you back to your room, Mr Doyle." She released the brakes on Doyle's wheelchair and pushed him, protesting, from the room.

Bodie lay on the bed, his eyes on the ceiling. There was a feeling very like joy rising within him. He nurtured it, not quite trusting it to grow on its own, but thinking it would in time--like a newborn bud.

And words came to him, from a poem he'd heard long ago: "'And frosts are slain and flowers begotten/ And in green underwood and cover/ Blossom by blossom the spring begins.'"

He laughed.

For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

- Atalanta in Calydon, Swinburne

-- THE END --

May 2007

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