by Debra Hicks
"Bodie!" Anger tinged Doyle's voice; irrational anger at Cowley for the assignment, cold anger at the dead sniper laying nearby, desperate anger at Bodie for.... "Bodie, you promised. Together, remember."
"Sorry, mate." Bodie smiled, struggled to keep his eyes open. "Can't deliver. Not sure I ever could."
"Promised." Doyle tightened the grip on his partner's hand. His other hand pressed hard against the wound, tried to stop the flow of blood between his fingers. "I'm holding you to it. You're not leaving me alone."
"Ray!" Panic raised Bodie's voice. "Can't see you."
"You don't need to see me. Shut up and listen!" Anger held his tears at bay. Behind him he could hear the sharp wail of the ambulance. "Hold on to me. To my hand. Goddammit, Bodie, hold...."
"Ray," came the sad reply, "I can't feel your hand."
"Yes, you can!" Doyle stretched out on the hard cobblestones. Soft kisses fell across his lover's pale face. "I love you, Bodie." He trailed across Bodie's lips, tasted blood. "Concentrate. I. Am. Not. Letting. You. Go."
A soft sigh. "I love you, sunshine."
"Then stay," was the equally soft reply. "Promised, remember?"
"Yeah." Bodie's eyes focused on the intense green above him. "Hurts."
"I know," Doyle soothed. His grip tightened further. "But you can't leave."
"Won't let me, will you, sunshine?" Bodie smiled tightly.
"No." Simple and true.
A faint spark came to the pain darkened blue eyes. "Better stay then."
Doyle had remained unmoving for the six hours that they had been in the small waiting room. Cowley could feel the utterly silent battle he was engaged in to will his lover's survival.
After long ages the door swung open and a haggard looking doctor stepped into their quiet world. Doyle was the first to reach him but it was Cowley who voiced the question.
"How is he?"
"Mr. Cowley, do your men specialize in seeing how far they can push their luck? He took three units of blood and we had to shock him once." Cowley winced. Doyle remained unmoving. "But he is strong, young and still very stubborn. We will keep a close eye on him but my prognosis is for a complete recovery."
Doyle turned, sank into a nearby chair.
"I'm not at all sure how he lasted long enough to get to the operating room. Which is it, George, sheer strength or sheer stubborness?"
Cowley glanced at the smaller half of his best team. Tears came now, ran unheeded down a flawed cheek. "Sometimes, Doctor, it's more than either."
-- THE END --