Point of Law
Written for the "Discovered in the Fallen Leaves" challenge on the discoveredinalj livejournal community.
"That's treason, y'know." Doyle took a slurp of his tea and waved the cup in Bodie's general direction. "And just three days after Bonfire Night. Put you in the Tower, they will."
"Treason?" Bodie looked up from his scribbled figures. "Paying me gas bill? Extortion, more like."
Doyle picked up the envelope between thumb and forefinger. In his best PC Doyle voice, he intoned: "It is an act of treason against the crown and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, defender of the faith, etc., etc., to place a postage stamp on an envelope in the reverse position."
"You're joking." Bodie snatched the envelope back. Sure enough, the stamp was upside down. And now that he noticed it, there was something unsettling about the expression on the old girl's face when her eyes and mouth were in the wrong places.
Doyle shook his head. "Says so right here." He rattled his newspaper. "Can't put a stamp on upside down. And seeing as you're CI5'n all and should know better, it's the Tower for you."
"Nah. Tyburn." Bodie grinned. "Whipped to the gibbet, hung, drawn and quartered." He signed another cheque with a sigh, then brightened. "Did you know, they used to cut people down half-way through the hanging? That way the crowd could really appreciate the drawing and quartering part."
Doyle picked up his mug, then set it down with a grimace.
"Is there any nasty way to kill people you don't know about? No, forget I asked." Doyle buried his head back in the paper. Whatever else may have been lacking in Bodie's education, he seemed to have absorbed an unlimited fund of grisly stories in the murder and mutilation line, along with a freakish ability to remember the date--and outcome--of every battle ever fought in Europe.
"Hmm," Doyle said after a minute's silence. "Next holiday, we ought to invite Cowley up north to go hunting."
"What?" Bodie's eyebrows rose. "Cowley? Hunting?"
"Yeah. Says here that in York, it's legal to murder a Scotsman, provided he's carrying a bow and arrow."
"Forget it. You know how he feels about out-of-date weaponry. Besides, not really nice, knocking off Cupid, is it?"
To Bodie's unconcealed glee, Doyle blushed bright red.
"Our Cupid," Bodie declaimed. "Our Cyrano, our, our...Miles Standish!"
Doyle sank lower in the chair, raising his paper defensively. "Not like he was thinkin' of romance, was he? More like how to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working agents. Like yours truly."
"Worked a treat, didn't it?" Bodie licked the last envelope, and stretched happily. "That's the lot. Gas, water, electric. Might even be enough left for that holiday in York after all."
"We could do with some entertainment right now though." Doyle put down the paper and came to stand behind his partner, kneading the broad shoulders gently. "Maybe a more modern form of crime?"
Bodie tilted his head back and wriggled his shoulders happily. "Rob all the women and rape all the men?"
Doyle leaned down for a quick kiss. "Got anybody in particular in mind?"
"Yeah." Bodie rose. "And unlike Lillibet, I've got no problem with being upside down."
-- THE END --