Doyle couldn't help but admire his partner's true chameleon abilities. Cowley didn't see it much, but Alpha One had faith that his agent could pull it together for an operation. Ross, on the other hand, didn't have a clue. She always assumed that Bodie was putting on a front for his own amusement.

Of course, he and Bodie wouldn't be effective if they couldn't go undercover and successfully maintain their roles, but Bodie was underrated by his peers. They didn't see that everything changed when Bodie went undercover. He became his role. His body language changed, his walk, even the way he held himself underwent a transformation. He knew that most of the mob he worked with saw his own undercover abilities, but thought his partner only passable. They thought wrong.

Ray watched as Bodie bonelessly slouched in the chair as he waited for any order, well, any order from him. Whatever his partner may be in the real world, in this undercover op, Bodie was a total subordinate, even his eyes didn't give away the game. He took all orders without complaint, even ones he would have normally objected to. No one, not even Doyle himself, could find the real Bodie at this time.

Doyle knew the only reason that Bodie would consider breaking character would be if his partner's life was in mortal danger. Bodie was always a protective sod. Orders didn't mean a thing if there was a choice to be made.

Under all the rules and regulations, Cowley knew this and used it to his advantage whenever he deemed necessary. As he did currently. It was that damned trait that got them assigned to this case.

An IRA splinter group, operating out of Northern England, managed to catch Cowley's eye. MI6 had yet to be effective due to the leader's idiosyncrasies. The leader wasn't bent himself, but he only surrounded himself with queers. Seemed to think queers wouldn't put up much of a fight and if they did it wouldn't be very effective.

So, here they were, posing as poofs yet again.

Cowley had information that IRA cell leader, Michael McGinny, was planning an attack. A bomb attack somewhere in the North. McGinny had claimed responsibility for a series of bombings in Belfast, and another barrage in London two years ago. Those, Cowley had taken personally and since McGinny had yet to be caught, the old man has had all his feelers out for this one.

Where Cowley got all his tips and information was a mystery to both Bodie and Doyle, but he was rarely wrong. Their Controller had spent several years studying McGinny and felt he now had the perfect plan, with Bodie and Doyle as the pivotal players.

CI5, under Cowley's directive, had purchased a pub, Snookies, several years back in a rather dubious part of Leicester. The pub was in a section of town that one could find anything if one asked right, even a pub with queer leanings. The pub had rooms to be used as living quarters and a couple that could be let out.

Four months ago, Ray Dooly had inherited that pub from his uncle. Said uncle had mentioned quite frequently that he had a nephew with skills and who ran with groups that knew best how to utilise those skills. He had never pinpointed exactly who his nephew was or what those skills were, as Cowley had directed.

No one could declare George Cowley short-sighted.

Doyle, himself, couldn't help but wonder just how many pubs CI5 owned throughout Great Britain. He was almost sure Bodie had been more thrown that CI5 owned pubs than he has been by the nature of the assignment. Bodie probably figured that they should be able to drink for free. Knowing the Scot, though, no one, not even the employees drank for free.

He, as Ray Dooly and Bodie, as Bodie Williams had moved in. Bodie as the barman/bodyguard, he as the owner. And queer. They were both to be queer as the day was long. The pub had encouraged a great number of queer patronage, but it wasn't a homosexual hangout, per se.

The two-room flat above the ground floor would be their home for the duration of the op; one room to sleep in and one that could be used as a kitchen. Wasn't much to look at but it was better than many undercover op accommodations. The ground floor had two rooms that could be let out for paying customers. That aspect is what Cowley hoped would lure their quarry.

When the agents read through the files and notes MI6 had accumulated along with Cowley's intel the first time, they realised that this assignment would require more than what was usual from their undercover characters. A lot more. Probably why Cowley hadn't crammed the assignment down their throats.

That first night they had taken the files and chicken takeaway back to Doyle's flat. They had to read between the lines to determine why MI6 had failed to get their man and how far he and Bodie would have to go to get him.

Doyle recalled that particular evening with great clarity. He got lost in the memory of four months ago.

4 months ago

Doyle stretched as he rubbed the back of his neck, "Have you read through all this?" indicating his stack of papers.

Bodie nodded as he looked up, "Most of it."

"This assignment will be more than putting on an act. Looks like we will have to actually engage in public displays, fellatio, no doubt."

"Humm." Head down, Bodie didn't give any more of a reaction.

"Hey! Mister Modest, are you going to be able to engage in public displays of gay sex?" Doyle put down his file and concentrated on his partner.

"Oi, don't worry about me, mate, worry about yourself. Can you accept it without your distaste showing?" Bodie threw back at his partner.

"And when have I let personal feelings interfere in the execution of an op? Sure, before and after, but during, I am as professional as you are," Doyle reproached.

"Okay, then."

Doyle was perplexed and it showed. The calm demeanour threw him. "Bodie, I've read your file. Girls...girls...girls. There is no hint that you have even read up on the mechanics of male sex."

"Africa was very educational."

"So you know what you're on about?"

"Said so, didn't I." Bodie's answer was less than brief.

Doyle knew he wasn't getting much more than that from his partner on this subject just now. He switched gears.

"This McGinny is a cagey bastard. From all accounts he trusts none and will probably demand visual proof that we are indeed nancy boys. The notes in the margin implied something of this nature."

"Expect us to be limp-wristed as well." Bodie camped as he picked up the folder that MI6 had on McGinny. He took a deep breath and exhaled before asking, "How do you want to play it?"

"At first glance, you look more the role of bodyguard, no question there. Only problem with this guise is that you'll be expected to be more subservient than a usual bodyguard." Doyle looked over at his partner.

Bodie nodded. "Yeah, you're tough, but your slender appearance fools most louts. We don't want McGinny to suspect that. Most poofs are perceived as timid." He already agreed with his partner's assessment of himself.

"Think McGinny counts on that." Doyle tossed his file in disgust, "Files leave us blank on what happens."

"Oh, we know what happens, mate. BOOM!"

"Not the bomb, Bodie, the blokes that help him. MI6 never got a man in to find out who he worked with, how he did, and what became of them. All they ever documented was risqué behaviour."

"Guess that's why they came to the best, mate," Bodie replied smugly.

Doyle half smiled, that was his Bodie, ever modest. "Once the Cow sends us in we have to be in character day and night." Doyle spoke his thoughts out loud as he contemplated the entire role he had to play.

Not only would they have to appear as lovers, they would have to act the part, fully. Touching was second nature to Bodie, but Doyle knew he was disinclined to be touched. Although, he had to admit that he could more than tolerate Bodie's touches. However, a great deal more than touching could be required. Then there was the part of Bodie acting subservient, Doyle knew that he would be the one expected to instigate and engage in the sexual acts. To top it off, Doyle would be expected to reciprocate occasionally, and his character would want to, lovely, just lovely.

He knew if it were a bird, he wouldn't care if he fucked her where others could see, but sucking cock for all sundry was different.

He'd never done it, not sure he could, come to that. How do you practice this kind of shit?

Quite grateful that he was working with Bodie and not one of the other CI5 or MI6 blokes. He turned to his partner and forced out honesty.

"Bodie, straight up, I'm not sure I could do a blow-job cold turkey."

"You need to tell the Cow..."

"Didn't mean that," Doyle broke in roughly. Then his voice tone changed, grew more hesitant, "I just...we should practice."

"Practice?... Okay."

Doyle didn't quite know what response he'd expected, but it wasn't this quiet answer. He was still expecting some lewd addition, "Just okay?"

"Good idea, see if we have the bottle," Bodie agreed.


Bodie shrugged, "Right now's fine."

"Okay, who first?"

"Don't much care. You tell me?"

"Well, you then. Sounds as if you may have actual practical knowledge." Doyle figured that he could just copy whatever Bodie did.

"Art classes less than educational?...Humm," Bodie joked.

"Group wanking, not much learned there."

"Me first then. Sit in the chair, Raymond, my son. Grab the arms, not my hair," Bodie wagged his eyebrows as he grabbed a sofa cushion and threw it in front of the chair. "Open fly's a must here, my boy." Bodie declared light-heartedly, trying to get his partner to relax some. "Close your eyes, lay your head back and think of Claire."

Doyle complied with closing his eyes and laying his head back but it was difficult to think of Claire when the scent of Bodie was anything but feminine.

Bodie knelt between Ray's legs first as he pushed the underwear down, then blew gently across his groin.

Ray wasn't sure what he expected, but he was surprised anyway. His balls were cupped firmly, just right. Not the usual timid handling as done by the birds, the fingers that grabbed him seemed to have knowledge of just what he liked, how to hold him most effectively. Considering the hand, it made sense that. He stretched and grew within that knowing hand.

However, a hand was not all, next came the wet tongue. It licked him like a lolly and again, he couldn't help but compare it to the shy, modest touches from most of the birds that would do this. This tongue knew just the right pressure, a lot harder than the birds ever thought.

Ray could feel the fissure of excitement spread across his belly and his hips bucked upward, wanting more. Then, when the warm, moist mouth took over it became extremely difficult to keep rational thoughts organised. What he did know without a doubt that the hooker in his youth didn't have a bead on Bodie's knowing mouth.

Warm and wet with a pressure that demanded his body to respond, and it did just that. His balls grew taut as his prick pulsed and his need was wanton. He pumped into the moist cavern with unrestrained abandon until he exploded. He was drained of all he had, semen and energy.

Ray blinked owlishly as he tried to regain his balance and remember what he was doing. "Wow."

"Mum told me to always try an' do me best."

"You make her proud." Ray straightened himself and stood up. He pointed to the chair, "Your turn."

Bodie heard the determination in his partner's voice and sat down without a word. He undid his own zip and pushed his clothing aside. He found he was wanting this more than he was prepared to admit.

Doyle may not have had the practice that his partner had but he refused to be outdone. After all, he knew what he liked and would do the same to Bodie. He kneaded and stretched the ball sac the way he did it to himself and Bodie squirmed. Alright then, he was on the right track.

The flesh was already hot and hard and Doyle went straight in. He sucked in as much as he could without gagging and was surprised that he could feel Bodie's moan on his lips. He sucked with more pressure than his birds had ever done. He could feel the pulsing of Bodie's prick as it grew ever harder. He created a rhythm between his mouth and fingers. Bodie responded quickly and with a terse warning of his impending climax. Doyle held on, if Bodie could, then so could he. He sucked out all the odd tasting fluid Bodie had to offer.

Bodie stayed still and dwelled in his lassitude for an extra minute. The image of Doyle's bobbing head between his legs as he sucked him off was one he would never forget.

Bodie gathered his wits by force of habit and smiled at his partner curled up on the sofa. "Your mum taught you good manners, as well."

"Not sure this was what she had in mind with her lessons, but she'd be glad that I could apply her lessons elsewhere." Doyle returned the smile until it turned into a yawn. He closed his eyes for just a second.

In the morning, Doyle had eaten Bodie's artery-hardening breakfast, glad that everything was just as it had been. The ease between them the same as ever. They hadn't talked about it, just went into headquarters knowing they could truly proceed with the assignment.

They had been working the pub almost two months before McGinny walked in and another two weeks before he approached Ray Dooly with an offer. He wanted exclusive use of the two ground floor rooms for the next three months. The money was enough for any owner to agree readily to. Ray Dooly did just that and as soon as the money was exchanged the power base changed and McGinny took charge.

"No one will enter my rooms. No reasons. No exceptions." His voice took on a steel edge absent until now.

The nancy boys cowered in the expected reaction.

The op had begun in earnest.

McGinny watched them, same as he had the past weeks, as they went about their regular duties. They touched. They did that often, the dark one much more so, but he had never seen them kissing. He'd caught some of the patrons necking in the bog, even having it off but never Dooly. Dooly was always so calm, maybe too calm for a poofter, come to think on it. He didn't get this far by being careless about whom he worked with. He'd test them. They'd either pass or he would kill them. He turned to the pub owner.

"Dooly, I want to watch your, ah, bodyguard suck you off." McGinny left little doubt to his opinion of the bodyguard.

"Here and now?" Doyle asked with amusement as he looked about the place.

"Any problem with it?" McGinny's voice was hard.

"Are you looking to join? Ray, here, rarely shares, but I can see possibilities." Bodie eyed McGinny from top to bottom very slowly.

"Not hardly. I look queer to you?" McGinny's voice was serious and deadly.

Bodie sighed, "No, not really, but the golli, there, could turn a man of the cloth."

"It's a way to make sure you aren't coppers." McGinny's disgust showed clearly on his face.

"Coppers," Bodie sighed again before pursing his lips. "I had seriously considered it in my youth, they wouldn't have me. Shame really, all those nubile bodies to select from, so little time." Bodie's eyes glazed off as if in memory.

"Bodie, quit playing and get over here now." Doyle commanded. A coil of heat was already starting at the memory of their one practice and with over three months of just his hand Bodie's mouth would be more than welcome.

McGinny eyed the growing bulge in the pub owner's jeans and relaxed.

Bodie whipped around the counter and kneeled between Ray's spread legs. He nuzzled the bulge with his face first before letting his fingers open the zip. He peeled the zipper sides back as he mouthed the cloth-covered erection. Ray arched his back wantonly and Bodie got serious.

Bodie forgot McGinny and the other patrons as he closed his mouth around Ray's prick. His nose buried in the thatch of hair, he took a deep breath and revelled in the earthy scent that clouded his senses. He'd wanted a repeat of this since the night of their practice. He used his teeth lightly to tease. His tongue was never still and he sucked as if there was no tomorrow.

Ray's moan stopped chatter within the pub, but Bodie didn't notice, he had already switched all but Ray off.

Doyle opened his eyes and smiled, all he could see was Bodie's head. He eyes trailed lower and he noted the straining erection prominently displayed and wanted to deal with it. He just couldn't forget how it'd felt when Bodie's prick had grown harder within his hand and mouth. God help him, he wanted to feel it again.

Was this assignment getting to him?

He remembered where he was and was all set for expediency but Bodie's mouth closed over his balls and licked them clean. He felt an overwhelming need to reciprocate the pleasure as he exploded into the warm enclosure. After a few deep breaths he traced the bulge that Bodie sported with one hand as he unbuttoned, unzipped the impeding clothing and griped the warm flesh. He pulled Bodie closer and kissed him as he worked his prick as he would his own. When his tongue entered Bodie's mouth, Bodie erupted into his hand.

His licked his semen covered hand automatically as he pondered why he had never kissed Bodie before. The flavour of Bodie's essence overpowered any memory of the birds he had been with in the past. He didn't ponder the significance of his thoughts.

McGinny, while disgusted by the fag's actions, didn't doubt their veracity. Coppers didn't tolerate queers. McGinny felt safe...

The pub door opening kicked Doyle out of his reverie. He watched lazily as Bodie jumped up. Gus, a regular, just wanted a beer. Bodie stretched over the counter instead of walking around. Doyle watched as was expected. The tight fitting jeans highlighted the crackline that divided his firm arse. He experienced a fissure of arousal. He found his hand and fingers itching to trace it. Guess, like Bodie, he was also deep into his undercover role as well.

They were almost half way through McGinny's three month period before more players were added to the operation.

An international arms dealer, disguised, but not enough to escape Bodie's memory for faces, was the first to show up. He stayed a week and all but ignored the help. The arms dealer started out irritated, but by the end of the week he appeared extremely pleased with the conclusion of his dealings with McGinny. The arms dealer never knew that he departed with company. Lewis and Marriott tailed him until the designated secondary team took over.

A more interesting player, Red Brigade member, Ian McShane, showed up at Snookies just a few days after the arms dealer departed. He was on a number of terrorist wanted lists worldwide. He left after just two days, but he carried the same contented look as the dealer before him. They weren't taking anything physical away and that only made it more imperative that they be followed and watched.

And so it went, for the next several weeks, an assortment of arms dealers and war merchants passed through. Whether deals were completed or not all, all of McGinny's visitors were followed.

Cowley didn't want any of the men followed apprehended until the McGinny op was completed. One, he didn't want any of the arrests to get back to their quarry. He was cagey enough that he could very well tie the arrests to him and vanish. Cowley would not allow anything to thwart his capture and conviction of McGinny. He would succeed where others failed.

Two, the longer McGinny operated without fear of detection, the more arms merchants they would be able to identify and eventually arrest. Three, this could very well put a major dent into this type of network operating within the UK. Therefore, their extensive use of resources was well worth the price tag.

Cowley kept one of his agents on every dealer followed, but allowed MI6 to provide the other personnel required. It had been their case originally and MI6 wanted to be kept in the loop. This allowed them to participate without losing face.

Murphy and Anson were pub regulars. When they followed a suspect it was only to the town limits, allowing time for other agents to get into place. All vehicles were tagged with locating devices. Most local vehicles were known, but Cowley was taking no chances on losing potential suspects or tipping his hand.

Routines were established by the regulars within that first week of the operation and then kept to with painstaking regularity. Their lives within the pub and town were routine so that they would appear as natural as possible.

Ray Dooly was the only boss. Ray beckoned, Bodie answered without qualm. Bodie eyed all that entered the pub, but only touched Ray. No one messed with Ray or they had Bodie in their face.

Ray Dooly ran five to ten miles each afternoon. He ran two routes that he alternated between without rhyme or reason. Both routes included the forest, meadow and water tower. Bodie joined him three days a week, when the pub closed in the afternoons.

4.5 knew he had been observed during the first week after McGinny arrived. After which, a pattern was set and then ignored by their quarry. Only the agents of CI5 knew that located under manhole covers about the water tower were R/Ts and short wave radios. Cowley wanted daily reports.

During his runs, Ray couldn't help but reflect on Cowley and the organisation he created. His personnel numbers came in at less than a quarter of those of MI6, but he truly had the best. Almost five months and they hadn't broken out of character. Even when he was with the drugs squad he had received brakes, not so with Cowley's mob. Nothing was allowed that could ring false.

His Bodie was gone to all that viewed him. The only time he caught a gleam of his partner was in the bog on mornings they woke together. He found his Bodie lurking within the eyes in the mirror as they took stock and measurement as they had always done. Missing was the acknowledgement of intimate details they now knew.

Intimate details that were now imprinted on his brain. Ray hadn't always slept naked with all his birds, but he did every night with Bodie. Each night they started with Bodie's form spooned to his and the morning found them in the same position. Sometimes Bodie's hand was cupped about his balls, sometimes his prick.

Most mornings, during that lazy wake-up time, Bodie played leisurely with their bodies, which only added to the morning arousal. He never reached climax alone. Bodie's prick wedged tight along his crack always left a wet spot in the small of his back and triggered his own response.

The lack of sexual frustration was more than noted by McGinny. Ray knew he watched them like hawks, like he was never sure they would stay poofters. If he only knew.

Ray didn't dwell on the amount of pleasure he derived from Bodie's hand, nor the amount of comfort he felt sleeping close together. He was a straight man doing a job for Cowley and country.

He switched his thoughts to their quarry, McGinny. He was a cold bastard. He was a maladjusted loner. His hate encompassed no one in particular, most all creation were included as potential targets.

The bomber had no friends, no personal visitors other than the death merchants. No birds, no blokes, no relief. Yet, he seemed to thrive on his internal hate. He did appear to enjoy inflicting humiliation, especially toward Bodie.

Something in Bodie's continued subservient demeanour obviously bothered McGinny. He tried in varying degrees to get Bodie to do something outside the limits. Each time Bodie's eyes would connect with Ray's and Ray would give a slight, but noticeable nod of approval. Sent McGinny around the twist.

McGinny had shifted the power base from the pub owner to himself, but he had been unable thus far to shift the power base between the two queers. Humiliation seemed the best way and he would exercise his power at the oddest of times.

Snookies had a friendly couple in for supper when McGinny had demanded some public snogging. They knew his idea of queers was that they were always hot for it. To refuse, even for public decorum, would raise his suspicions. The couple had been outraged and left without paying.

Ray hadn't known about that until later. He and Bodie had complied and, as usual, they had lost themselves in their undercover roles. Ray understood why Bodie's birds watched his lips. Their talent alone was untouched by all that had come before him. They seduced and he succumbed. More often than not they'd end up grinding up against each other, groin to groin, hands entangled in hair. Hell, half the time they'd come in their pants half way through the kiss.

Ray shifted his arousal absently; he was half-hard half the time as it was. A condition he didn't consciously contemplate anymore. He never wondered why. He accepted his condition as part of the job.

Upon his return on the afternoons he ran alone, Bodie's eyes would follow him from his entrance, across the pub floor and up the stairs until he was out of sight. If he strutted a bit more than usual, it was only to be sure that Bodie's eyes would find him. Nothing else.

McGinny never failed to note Bodie's eyes following Dooly. He thought that Bodie was such a sop. His compatriots didn't understand his desire to be surrounded by such perversion and it made them uncomfortable as well. Part of the reason he did it. Mostly though, nancy boys were no threat to his plans and their perversion kept the coppers away. Bodie seemed to epitomise them all, his head was just a bit thicker than his dick.

However, that didn't stop McGinny trying to provoke the submissive poof into losing his rag. He quite liked putting his customers on the edge as well. He never wanted anyone of them to doubt what he was capable of if they crossed him.

McGinny stood to make a lot of money from his current buyer, Adinn Cooper, but the man irritated him. That irritation grew the longer their dealings took to complete. Finally, it reached the point that the 'I'm doing you a favour' attitude from Cooper had to be squashed. He smiled to himself; he saw a way to kill two birds with one stone.

"Ray, Bodie," McGinny's voice demanded their presence.

Doyle sauntered over with Bodie on his heels.

McGinny spoke to Doyle but looked at Bodie. "Your man hasn't been quick enough in doing his job. I want him punished."

There was no reaction from the submissive poof and McGinny wanted, needed a reaction. Humiliation was the key in his mind; no one liked being humiliated, not even queers. The best way was using what they liked best. He could and would spoil their sex with humiliation. He emphasised the last bit hoping for a reaction.

"I want Bodie to suck you off. You will sit on the edge of the counter, spread out. You can't touch or aid Bodie in any way." He turned to look at Bodie, "After you finish your master off, you will take out your prick for all to see and masturbate in the open, alone. All will see that he doesn't want to touch you."

Bodie looked to Ray and McGinny slapped the table hard. "I say it! You do it!"

Cooper made to stand up and McGinny reacted to him as well. "You stay, you watch. If you turn away or close your eyes, I'll make him do you after." Cooper sat back, the smirk replaced with uncomfortable fear.

Doyle smiled at Bodie out of McGinny's view. He undid his button and zip before he hopped up onto the counter edge. He spread his legs and leaned back. He was getting hard already, anticipating Bodie's mouth. Assignment aside, he found he was looking forward to viewing Bodie handle himself.

Bodie peeled the clothing away from Doyle's groin, freeing completely his cock and balls. Bodie was breathing hard as he gazed upon his partner's pose.

Ray's head had fallen back, his torso arched forward. Instead of the rosy hardness resting on his stomach, Ray's prick jutted outward, beckoning.

Bodie couldn't resist. He sucked it in.

Bodie loved the feel of the smooth, hot flesh in his mouth. It fit without discomfort. Doyle's musky groin odour was strong and addictive. He took in deep breaths of the scent. His exhaled puffs rippled across Doyle's skin and his partner grew harder within his mouth. Bodie's own erection was already pushing against his restrictive clothing.

Bodie forgot McGinny and the humiliation he should be feeling. He forgot the other spectators in the pub. He forgot CI5. His world was Doyle's prick and the eventual climax he would trigger.

He liked that power. He liked how hard he could get Ray to come. He sucked the pulsing hardness in as far as it would fit. He pressed his finger just behind the taut sacs and was rewarded. Ray arched up with a banshee yell and exploded onto Bodie's willing throat. Bodie kept sucking until Ray's shudders subsided.

Bodie stepped back from Ray. He was hard and needing release, desperately needing release. He could see in Ray's eyes that he wanted to touch him but couldn't. The knowledge that Ray wanted to was enough to propel him onward with what he had to do.

Bodie freed himself and grabbed his leaking hardness with the intent to just get relief quickly. However, the look from his partner froze all action immediately as he realised that Ray's eyes' were riveted on his hand and prick. Bodie's glance took in the twitch of Ray's cock and realised that the randy toad was aroused by viewing his masturbation. Well, who was he to deny his partner? He'd put on a show.

He slowed his hand. He grabbed and stretched his balls before kneading them how he liked it. A drop of fluid appeared at the tip of his prick and Ray seemed mesmerised by it. Bodie took a single finger, transferred the drop to his finger and brought it to his mouth.

Ray's convulsive swallow enflamed him. Bodie worked his prick slow, slower for a bit more, then faster and faster until he threw his own head back and squirted his come directly at Ray's legs.

He opened his heavy lids to see a separate mound of milky fluid at Ray's groin. They shared a smile before zipping up.

To anyone looking straight on, Bodie's bent head could have been explained away as though he was examining something close up. If one were looking at the men from the sides, one would see exactly what was going on.

Cooper and McGinny had a perfect view. Cooper watched, afraid not to. He was fascinated and repulsed at the same time. He swallowed hard, hoping he could get out of the pub soon.

Cooper's reaction gave the bomber great satisfaction. He now expected a great deal more co-operation on Cooper's part. On the other hand, McGinny felt cheated by the poofs. Bloody queer put on a damn show and got the other off again instead of being humiliated.

These men would bend to his will, he'd make sure of it.

It was two thirds into McGinny's time frame when some members of his own cell started putting in an appearance. No one man stayed more than a day, most much less. They'd bring a package and leave empty-handed.

The agents of CI5 assumed bomb-making supplies were being delivered.

Earlier, the largest of the packages arrived, so when the pub closed at two o'clock, both agents took off for their run. At the water tower they planned to contact Cowley. This broke routine, but they felt it important enough to call it in.

A quarter way into the route, Bodie couldn't shake the feeling they were being watched, not an uncommon occurrence with McGinny. They took precautions. They chose an area that provided the most cover for their communication. To be safer still, they stripped. To an observer it would appear to be a tryst.

Ray sat his naked body on Bodie's groin as Bodie reached over to retrieve the R/T. Ray gyrated his torso as to give the appearance of a coupling.

Bodie put a call into HQ.

Cowley listened. He knew they were close. "Murphy and Anson will have R/Ts on their persons by the end of the day. They will be switched off, don't want any accidents at this late date. The R/Ts are there for your use if you deem necessary."

Bodie nodded, then said, "Yes, sir." He worked at keeping his voice even to disguise his growing arousal.

Cowley continued, "We have followed the cell members, listened in when we can. They've got an attack planned, but the bastards won't say where, even amongst themselves. They're already gloating about the potential body count. You must determine the location."

"Yes, sir." What else could he say, Cowley clicked off air. Bodie switched off the radio and replaced it.

Bodie would talk to his partner later. Right now, that partner was rubbing against his balls with his full erection and Bodie found he turned on faster than he did in his teens.

Ray grabbed their pricks together with one hand and stroked them slowly. He rocked in rhythm, balls pressed tight together as well. Faster stroking, faster rocking, Bodie arched and together they exploded, come mixing on Bodie's chest. Ray leaned over and licked it up, never questioning his own actions or Bodie's willingness.

They dusted themselves off, redressed and jogged back to the pub. Both caught with their peripheral vision, the man standing at the edge of the meadow watching them.

Three nights later, in the quiet of their room, spooned together, Bodie whispered in his partner's ear, "Bloke came in today, wasn't here long. Didn't talk to McGinny, but I'm sure I recognised his face. It'll come to me, I know it's important."

"Murphy see 'em?"

"Nah, he was in the bog. Anson wasn't in yet."

"You come running with me tomorrow and tell Uncle George."

"It's gonna happen soon, I can feel it."

"Me too, Bodie, me too."

Bodie watched Ray leave to meet up with Anson before their run. He watched his arse, hell he watched the whole package.

Bodie knew he was stretched to the limit of his endurance. He really wanted this assignment to be over. At first, admittedly, he had been intrigued with the hands on sex part of the undercover. However, as now most of his fantasies had been made real he was afraid he had crossed the line, hit a point of no return.

He wanted the sex to be real.

He hadn't lied to Doyle when he told him Africa had been educational. It had been highly educational.

There was pleasure to be had from both genders. It may have been a lesson he didn't speak of, but it was one he never forgot.

He'd be a liar if he denied entertaining erotic thoughts about his partner. With a body like Doyle's, impossible even, but that's all they had ever been; whims of fancy.

When they had played the poof before, all it had ever required was close body contact, not much else. So, when this assignment came up, Bodie had been intrigued enough to agree. To say he had been bowled over by Doyle's request to practice would have been an understatement.

It had been better than all the years of fantasies. When Doyle had reciprocated, touched him, mouthed his...Bodie shook his head from the memory. Bloody hell, he was hard just from the remembrances.

In the past two months, he had been looking forward to any of McGinny's requests for public affirmation of their queerness, but now he just wanted to have the assignment done with.

Sex with Doyle was the problem because he was beginning to hunger for it and that truly worried him. Now, he was afraid that he'd crossed that line, that imaginary line between sex... and more. He was afraid it was more.

So preoccupied within his thoughts, he was startled to hear giggles coming from McGinny's workroom. Still lost in that hazy fog of his thoughts he opened the door to shoo out the intruders.

He stepped in and froze. His stunned looked was replaced by one of horror. He stumbled backward and tripped over a fallen table only seconds before the room exploded. No time to yell out a warning, he was trapped by the flying debris and rubble.

Murphy was down the street in his bedsit when the blast rocked the foundation of his building. He figured the pub blew, he grabbed his R/T and went running.

Doyle and Anson heard the boom of an explosion and saw smoke. Doyle ran faster. Bodie was inside.

When Doyle arrived Murphy was already directing rescue crews to look for Bodie. 6.2 was talking into his R/T anytime he wasn't directing volunteers.

"What the hell happened?" Doyle yelled. "Bodie?"

"Don't know. Inside."

Doyle ran frantic into the burning rubble with the fire brigade.

The side of the pub that housed McGinny was gone. A deep hole in the ground was all that remained. Burning embers that floated into Doyle's hair came from the kitchen area. What fire that was left was small and contained by the firemen. The rest of the pub had either been blasted or collapsed.

Most of the volunteers were shifting through the large chunks of debris looking for Bodie, the only known occupant. The pub had been closed for the afternoon, which contained the body count. Doyle figured that McGinny was blown to smithereens in the blast. Good riddance.

A man jumped up and yelled, " Here! We have someone here." The man bent down and searched blindly with his hand. "He's alive. His chest is moving. Help me shift the rubble."

Doyle and Anson ran to where Bodie was found. They joined the rest to move and shift the rubble surrounding Bodie. As soon as the many heavy pieces were removed all could see that the cave of two hard wood tables had been what protected the lone survivor.

Doyle tried to crawl in beside his partner but he was pushed away to make room for medical personnel as they entered the scene and took over.

Doyle watched, rocking on his feet until he saw that his partner was indeed alive. He jumped in the emergency vehicle and rode beside Bodie to the local hospital.

A helicopter arrived. Once Bodie was stable he was flown to London on Cowley's order. There, they dealt with the broken bones, burns, and lacerations.

Murphy and Anson stayed in Leicester. They were joined by the CI5 forensic squad. Their job was to scour the scene for information and evidence.

Doyle waited. Cowley tried to order him back to the scene. He refused. Cowley accepted Doyle's decision with silence. Bodie hadn't woken as yet and he was worried about him as well.

Doyle paced. When still, he stood frozen in the corner. For the most part, though, he paced. His thoughts, for once, were singularly focused.

Bodie was alive.

He could wait for the damage report as long as his partner stayed alive. He repeated it over and over again like a mantra.

Bodie was alive, Bodie was alive.

He couldn't contemplate his world without Bodie. One didn't come by partners such as this, but more important, one didn't come by friends such as this. There was no one that he trusted like Bodie. Actually, never had been, so in times of quiet reflection, Doyle knew he had something special. It would do no good to let Bodie know, he'd just take the mickey out of him.

Doyle stopped himself, no he wouldn't, not if he said the words. Bodie felt things deep. They just didn't talk about it to each other. He remembered when he had been in hospital, Bodie had stayed by his side talking to him all the time. Some of those times Bodie spoke of deep caring, Doyle just couldn't remember all he'd said.

He'd have to say something, he had a chance, now, Bodie was alive. He had to stay that way.

All thoughts were put on hold as CI5 doctor, Stan Fensor entered the wing restroom and looked for Cowley.

Doyle appeared silently at Cowley's side. He wanted to hear everything first hand. The Controller, impatient as always, demanded, "Report, man."

Fensor spoke to the CI5 men frankly, "Mr Bodie is a lucky fellow. His injuries are due to the movement of the debris and rubble and not the blast itself. No direct burn marks. He only sustained heat burns, along with two broken ribs, a broken wrist, multiple contusions and lacerations. None of which is extremely serious." Fensor paused and his voice altered tone, "3.7 received a very severe blow to the back and side of his head. Most assuredly he has concussion. How severe the concussion or if he received other possible maladies, well, we won't know until he regains consciousness."

"Can I see him?" Doyle asked softly.

Fensor nodded, "Yes." The CI5 doctor had already anticipated the agent's request and had a chair placed by the patient's bedside.

Ray stepped inside the hospital room. Bodie was connected to machines via tubing, not an altogether unfamiliar sight. He could see that Bodie was breathing on his own, confirming that he was indeed still alive.

Doyle sat in the chair and covered his partner's hand with his own. "I'm here, Bodie. We're both safe yet again."

He figured he should say more, he wanted to say more but he said nothing. Instead, he just took quiet comfort in his partner's steady breathing.

The CI5 forensic squad scoured the bombsite. They were unable to provide conclusive proof of McGinny's demise. Where they had determined that more than one person had perished, they couldn't confirm whom they were.

What they were quite positive about were the number of separate bombs ignited. Five. One original ignition site and four secondary sites triggered by the initial explosion. That they had been so clustered together accounted for the deep crater that now resided in place of half the pub. Only one wall remained standing of the CI5 property. After the forensic squad was finished with the site, repairs would begin, Cowley would see to that.

Throughout the UK, warrants were issued and arrests were being made. Bombs and arms were confiscated along with cash or secret account numbers. Cowley and CI5, along with MI6 made a clean sweep of all the merchants and their associates. The best piece of news to Alpha One came when confirmation of the complete capture of McGinny's entire cell.

Cowley planned to lead the interrogations of the cell members himself. He would keep them waiting while he waited news on Bodie. Having them cool their heels for several days to a week may make them more co-operative, especially with Brian sitting with them, saying nothing. Besides, waiting for information on Bodie's condition was more important. Bodie could be holding valuable intel and possibly the coup de gras, confirmation that McGinny had been there and was now indeed dead.

Bodie woke to pain, his pain. He wondered if they got the lorry that hit him. He didn't want to open his eyes, but some pressing worry was pushing him.


His mind focused on his partner. Was he hurt? Why wasn't he here? He struggled to sit up. Between the pain and the tubing he was trapped in bed.

His monitors, beeping off the charts, brought in hospital personnel.

"Ah, Mr Bodie, you're finally awake." The nurse went to his side, "Don't struggle so, you'll pull out your IVs."

"Ray, my partner, where is he?" Bodie continued to struggle. "Why isn't he here?"

The patient's earnest concern touched the nurse's compassionate side and she answered, "He's fine, just a few splinters and scrapes." Those few words relaxed her patient and he ceased his struggle. "The Doctor forced him out of here to get some rest. He's asleep in the waiting room. He's been at your side most of the time since the transport ride here."

Bodie looked blank at the nurse, he didn't know where here was.

The nurse could tell the patient was confused and wanted to ask questions, she forestalled this. "The Doctor will be in presently and he will answer all your questions, Mr Bodie."

"Williams. My first name is Bodie," he corrected automatically.

She looked at the patient with puzzlement but decided not to argue. She looked to the door in relief as the doctor walked in.

Dr Fensor moved straight to the patient's bed and picked up his chart. "Bodie, we shouldn't keep meeting like this." He smiled at CI5's finest.

Bodie just watched the man that appeared so familiar.

"Your injuries could have been much worse. The table that collided with your head actually saved your life by shielding you from most of the blast. The concussion you sustained was quite severe, but I had every hope you would pull through. You may experience ringing in the ears for several more days, but that's quite normal. Your body has sustained broken bones and much bruising. It may actually equal the pain in your head." He scribbled on the chart before he continued, "The Major has secured a private room and Mr Doyle will be permitted in shortly. He has tried sneaking in several times since we chased him out earlier." Dr Fensor expected the agent's smile but was met with a confused stare.

"Who? I want to see Ray, Ray Dooly, my partner."

Fensor sucked in his breath with the unexpected ramification, "Bodie, what is your full name?"

"Bodie Williams. Don't have a middle name, me mum never bothered." Bodie shrugged or moved as much as he could lying in bed. He felt the pain the doctor spoke of with the movement.

"Bodie, what kind of work do you do?" the doctor continued questioning.

"Bartender at me mate's pub. Act as his bodyguard whenever need crops up."

"I see. Okay, I'll get Ray in here shortly."

Bodie smiled at the first piece of good information since waking.

In the waiting room, Dr Fensor sought out Major Cowley. The Major had come straight back when he had told him that his agent showed signs of waking. Doyle came alert immediately and moved to his boss' side.

"Bodie seems to have sustained some memory loss," Fensor began without preamble.

"What kind of memory loss?" Cowley inquired calmly.

"He thinks he's Bodie Williams."

"His undercover name," Ray supplied automatically.

"He's asking for Ray Dooly, Mr Doyle, I presume," Fensor confirmed his guess. He was always on a need to know with CI5 which half the time wasn't much.

Doyle nodded.

"Let him tell you what he remembers. His concussion is severe and he has substantial swelling so this might right itself tomorrow. Let's not worry him needlessly at this point."

Doyle nodded once and left for Bodie's room.

Cowley waited for Doyle to exit. "What's the prognosis?"

"Frankly, memory loss surrounding the event of the head injury is quite common. Short-term memory synapses didn't have time to form before the injury. The concussion was severe, very severe. He will have to be monitored for a week at the least. Depends on how fast the swelling subsides to determine when he can be released. The swelling in itself may have caused the memory loss," Dr Fensor tapped his stethoscope absently, "Not recalling anything but his undercover persona could suggest psychological causes for the memory loss." He knew that meant the organisation's trick pony, Kate Ross. The hospital held the doctor in good standing even though they themselves were unclear about her purely scientific approach.

Cowley nodded. "I'll have Dr Ross here this afternoon." He masked his frustration at having to wait even longer for answers.

"Please remember that he has two broken ribs. He has a sprained arm along with the dislocated shoulder and broken wrist. It was set, but it will still be painful. He has numerous minor burns and lacerations. Both hips are bruised. You both need to remember that." Fensor was more worried about his patient's physical condition at the moment.

Doyle knew his way to Bodie's room by rote. He had sneaked in so many times after hours undetected. He could do it in his sleep.

At the door, he took a calming breath and pushed it open.

Two blue eyes were fixed on the door opening and relaxed as the door was pushed closed behind the man he had been waiting for.

Doyle caught the eyes and smiled, Bodie was alive. "Hey, Bodie-mate, I've seen you look better."

"Ray!" Bodie returned the smiled. "I feel like a lorry knocked me over." He reached for Ray with his unencumbered arm. Ray met the gesture half way. Bodie gave a happy sigh and closed his eyes.

Ray leaned over and gave Bodie a kiss on his forehead.

His partner stirred, "Don't go away," Bodie asked as he forced his eyes open again.

"I'll be right here," Ray assured him, "The nurses will just have to work around me."

Satisfied, Bodie slept.

Worried, Ray Doyle studied his partner.

Bodie looked bad, but not as bad as he had after the time he'd been knifed. Then, he'd looked like death waiting to happen. Now, he only looked battered and bruised. Only problem with the now, Bodie didn't remember who Bodie was.

Doyle felt a keen sense of loss.

Undercover Bodie was a gentler, ever pleasing man, but he wanted his rough and ready Bodie back.

Cowley entered the room quietly. 4.5 held 3.7's hand as he slept. He disliked seeing his men hurt even though it was part of the job. He hated injuries that put his men out of commission. They were no good to him if they couldn't hold a gun.

Yet, unknown to his men, he hated seeing them hurt on a personal level. He knew quite well that his specially trained men gave their all to him and country. His men were never treated like the heroes they were. Keeping all who resided within the UK borders safe from things they never knew about for nothing more than a "good job" or less could disenchant many a man. Not his mob, he had very few turncoats within. He had hand picked every member.

It wouldn't do to tell these men they were heroes, after all, it wasn't why they were here or why they did the job. However, they were heroes nonetheless.

Bodie loyalties weren't as widespread as his own, but Cowley knew that Bodie was completely loyal to him...and Doyle.

Now, agent 3.7 was lost to him and all the knowledge of what happened. The head of CI5 felt that potential loss acutely. More surprising, though, Cowley felt the loss of Bodie, a hard man, but a good man as well.

All these thoughts existed behind his impervious mask. Doyle acknowledged his presence with a nod.

"Didn't say much. Thinks a lorry hit him and asked me to stay."

"I see. Dr Ross will be here this afternoon and we will proceed as she suggests. Please co-operate fully."

"I won't leave until Bodie is awake and understands I trust Ross to stay with him."

"Aye, laddie, didn't expect anything less." Cowley left as quietly as he entered.

The sound of gunfire alerted him to their position and he knew he had to act. Ray! He had to rescue Ray. The helicopter was landing, their getaway. They'd kill Ray soon, he had to stop them. He ran across and made his way to the garage where they had taken Ray. . .Giggles?...Giggles instead of gunfire? No! Giggles trigger...BOOM!"

"NO!" Bodie yelled as he struggled to sit up. "No! Ray!"

"Right here, Bodie. Right here. You were dreaming, mate. Everyone's okay." Doyle stroked Bodie's free arm with one hand as the other tried to keep Bodie down on the bed. His movements were twisting the tubing.

"Ray, you okay?" Bodie asked, more concerned for his lover than himself.

"'M fine." Doyle cocked his head to the side. "Bad dream?"

"Yeah, I don't know. Gunfire -- an explosion. I thought you were hurt."

"Did the dream help you remember anything?"

"No, why should it?" Bodie peered through the half dark room trying to see Ray clearly. "What aren't you telling me?"

"Bodie, you don't remember how you got hurt."

"I was hit."

"You weren't hit by a lorry, Bodie, and you don't remember what did happen. So, that's why the doctors are worried about you."

"So just tell me what happened and then I tell them. Sounds good to me." Bodie tried to smile, but his head hurt."

"Can't Bodie, love. I'm worried, as well. I want you in good working order. Talking to the doctors will help." Doyle hated leaving his partner to Ross, no matter the reason, but right now it seemed the best way. Besides, Cowley ordered it.

"So when does this happen?" The closed look was one that Doyle recognised.

"Whenever you're ready, mate."

Resigned, "Send 'em in." He just wanted this over. He held his breath, that sounded familiar…no, it was gone.

"Ah, the doc this time will be a bird. Don't be using your wiles on her." Green eyes crinkled at the corners.

Bodie went wide-eyed and serious. "Ray, I may not remember everything, but I know I'm committed to you."

"Know that, Bodie-love."

"All right, then."

While Bodie was in with Ross, Doyle rushed to his flat for a shower and a change of clothes. He stopped at Bodie's for his emergency travel bag. He'd most likely recognise his own clothes. He hoped.

He hurried back to the hospital. He wanted to be available for Bodie if need be. Right now, he was all Bodie remembered. Places reversed, he knew Bodie'd be there for him. He could do nothing less.

He returned to the waiting room to find his boss reading through reports as he waited for Ross to complete her assessment.

Doyle stood at the window, staring at nothing, trying to keep his mind from worry. Fat chance, but the effort kept him occupied until Ross exited Bodie's room.

Doyle made to leave for his partner's room, Cowley's hand stopped him. His nod indicated Ross.

Dr Ross looked the agent over before speaking, "I gave Bodie a sedative. He'll sleep several hours. I'll need to speak with you after the Major."

Doyle nodded and entered the room. He took up Bodie's hand and rubbed it gently. Even though asleep, Bodie seemed to rest easier with his presence.

Kate Ross felt that every time she dealt with Cowley's dynamic duo it was like opening a can of beans and getting mushrooms instead. This time was no different. She eyed Ray Doyle dispassionately.

"Mr Cowley has filled me in on your most recent assignment. In light of that and interviewing 3.7, I believe that he has repressed the event, thereby repressing all that would lead him to think about it. By rights, it should have included you, as well. But Bodie, even in the throes of hysterical amnesia, remains unconventional in keeping the memory of you." Ross didn't expect 4.5 to react but she checked anyway. He didn't.

She continued, "His subconscious, while striving to deal with unprecipitated events, has blocked out his CI5 life and his past that led him there, except you. You are his lifeline and his only way to recall. His only memory of you, though, is the undercover persona of you latest operation."

"Why that? Why not something else safe in his past?"

"The role he was required to portray was quite unlike his actual persona so his subconscious deemed it safe enough since Bodie's mind would not let go of you."

"So how do we get him to remember?" He couldn't help wondering why Ross always assumed he was a dummy.


"What?" Okay, maybe he was a dummy.

"Right now, the only person Bodie trusts is you. Not much different than any other time, frankly." The last part was said under her breath. "So, if we hope to regain 3.7's memory in a timely manor, you have to act as if you are Bodie's intimate partner."

"You're telling me I have to have sex with my partner." Doyle repeated. He couldn't help but wonder if this was an official act sanctioned by the Cow.

"If you want to put it crudely, yes. Though, honestly, as I told Mr Cowley, I don't think you are capable of putting aside your macho posturing." Ross stated candidly.

Stung, Doyle retorted angrily, "You don't think I can sacrifice my image for my partner?"

"Frankly, no."

"Bodie has always maintained that you don't know what it means to be in a partnership and he's right, you don't."

"Ray Doyle, there is much you would sacrifice to save an innocent, probably more than you would do to save your self or a fellow agent. However, no matter how well you could play the homosexual, you would be incapable of following through on the actual acts."

Doyle was tempted to spill about the practice sex that he and Bodie had already engaged in. She was obviously unaware of all the public displays of sex they had cavorted in on this op. He knew they had done enough to prove her wrong and throw her assumptions back in her face but he kept silent, betraying nothing. He stared straight back at her. Her damming assessment of their partnership still hung in the air.

He folded his arms across his chest as he shook his head. "You really don't understand a partnership. I will do whatever I must to help Bodie. Lay it on me."

"Good." She kept further doubts silent, she knew that Cowley had expected nothing less. He held illusions of grandeur concerning his agents. Especially Bodie and Doyle. Ross would mind her tongue now, there was time enough for the 'I told you so's.'

"Bodie witnessed something so horrifying in his estimation that his mind has repressed it. All he retains is the made-up story for his cover. He has no real memories of a past. Bodie's "real world" is very limited and fragile at the moment. Your job will be to encourage his remembering. You cannot appeal to Agent Bodie. You must use your wiles on his undercover persona. You should keep notes on everything he remembers. Some of the returning memories will manifest in his dreams or even appear to be stories of the past. Each time, push him a bit but not too much. Whichever persona, Bodie is a stubborn man and will dig in his heels if you push too hard."

Two days and Bodie did little more than sleep. His short bouts of consciousness were full of pain. The brain swelling, while reduced, was still enflamed enough for great discomfort and head aches. Even if he was to find a minute or two reprieve from pain the ringing in his ears continued.

Bodie was better off asleep. If he catnapped on his own, he was usually plagued with nightmares that caused him to yell out and awaken.

He was given sedatives to reach a deeper sleep. When he was awake, Bodie's eyes searched out Ray first thing each time. Ray stayed.

He stayed for Bodie's sake and he stayed for his own. He sat on the bed by Bodie's side, even though drugged, Bodie slept restless.

Doyle brushed back the hair from Bodie's face, then took a few moments to run his fingers through his soft hair.

He thought this was something a real lover would do, use touch to calm a restless sleeper. This was gentle not...something he usually associated with his partner.

A nagging feeling of missing the obvious made him take pause in his thoughts as he realised with a start that this was untrue. Bodie could in fact be very gentle. It was he that wasn't always so. Oh, he wasn't rough with his birds, but he didn't like to stay the night like Bodie did. He didn't want the awkward mornings or having to appear solicitous of their feelings or extend a gentleness he did not feel, such as carding their hair.

However, with Bodie, he had not only seen it but had been recipient of such gentleness and great consideration firsthand. He recalled, oddly enough, how gentle Bodie had been with Frances Cottingham. After she had found out that her love affair had been a sham, Bodie had been considerate, where Ray knew he had been apathetic at best.

In regards to himself, he was a fool. Bodie had been gentle with him on numerous occasions, particularly after Ann. Plus, there was the touching. Bodie touched a lot, well, he touched him a lot. Ray was almost positive that Bodie didn't touch others near as much. His touches would calm without having to use words and on the job it was imperative that they don't lose their rag.

Bodie had used touches to calm a restless sleeper, himself, Ray remembered, after returning home from heart surgery. Guess it wasn't a far stretch for lovers.

Ray looked at Bodie in peaceful repose; his Bodie was a great mixture of hard and gentle. This undercover Bodie was deferring and subservient. It was not his Bodie.

The five plus months of the undercover they'd been having it off, they hadn't really acted like lovers. They had acted queer enough to fool McGinny, but his perception had been based on the idea of queers by a queer hater.

Now, Bodie thought they were lovers, but did he just expect sex or did he expect to be treated the way one treated birds? But, then again, how much different would queers lovers treat each other? A committed relationship would be just that, wouldn't it?

Who did he know that was queer? No one that he could think of, but to be honest, he didn't know that many people outside the job anymore.

Art school had a few queers, some he knew, but they were all the same, straight and queer, mad for sex they'd been. It was the age, not the orientation.

He could be working with queers but he didn't know it. None of us though, would be good at our job if one couldn't keep some secrets. The Cow would know, but that man did keep secrets.

Ray watched Bodie try to shift positions but couldn't. He carded his hair once more. With a sigh, he was guilty of letting his thoughts wander, fracture into different directions, away from where they should be.

Oh, sure, he should be concentrating on how to get Bodie and his memory returned, but that really wasn't what he was avoiding. No, he should be thinking on why he was missing, so bloody much, sleeping alongside Bodie each night. Or why he was missing their sex even more.

Was it just the nature of the job? Could he say that and believe it? Were the inner workings of his mind forcing him to confront what he had worked so hard at ignoring?

Obviously, since he couldn't leave the subject alone.

Okay, Bodie was his partner. His very male partner. Their job required that they act the part of lovers with possible demonstrations of sex. There had been many of those. All part of the job.

Well, then, how did he explain to himself why they had sex most nights and every morning?

Sure, they were just hand jobs, blow jobs and rocking together, but it was sex and no one was about to be witness to it. So, was it really part of the job?

He could claim it was just a pressure release from the job...but...that wasn't it, either.

He had liked the silent closeness they had shared. That went along with the sleeping positions, Bodie spooned to his back nightly, all night. Then there was Bodie's hand rubbing his chest and belly only to have his hand eventually settle in a cupping of his balls. One really couldn't say it was part of the job -- so what was it?

The Big Question.

So, did he turn queer? He guessed by definition he was. He got hard with a male's attention.

Ray really thought about that one. He got hard with Bodie's attentions; not other males, just with Bodie. Still, Bodie was male, so he was queer. Bi actually, he could still fuck a bird.

But did he still want to?

Ray froze his hand, his breathing. Where had that horrid thought come from? Not go back to birds? Not resume their regular partnership?

Bloody hell! Had he gone 'round the twist? Was he fancying the Darby 'n' Joan with Bodie?

Where were the shouts and screams of denial from his head? Why was there a warm curling inside with that very thought?

Bloody hell, this was worse than he expected. He was in love with his partner. No wonder he hadn't wanted to think on it. Where could this get him?

Ray really hoped his thoughts would shut up now with this grand revelation, but he was accorded no such pleasure.

His stupid shit thoughts were still bouncing around, clamouring to be heard.

How could there be more?

Ray took a few deep breaths. He fiddled with Bodie's pillows to ease the cast's weight. Bodie, who even in his sleep, reached out to touch his partner.


Ray's thoughts seem to smile at him. He shrugged at himself, what was he supposed to do with that happy thought?

He held onto Bodie's hand, thumbs twisted together. Ray looked down at the clasped hands and took a moment to wonder why it felt so natural.

Bodie liked his sex; he pulled plenty of birds to provide it. So -- he was just needing the release each morning?

Bouncing thoughts forced Ray to ask himself, whose name was whispered as Bodie nibbled his neck? Whose name did Bodie yell out as he came? Yeah, yeah, he knew.


What did that mean? Bodie knew who he was having it off with?

Then his thoughts rushed the gate. Bodie touched him, shared with him like no other long before this assignment. Bodie was gentle with him, a lot more than he realised. Bodie put up with his crap and snarkiness. Hell, they took holidays together instead of with birds.

Bodie felt the same way.

All was finally quiet within his head.

It was another five days before the headaches subsided enough for Bodie to truly enjoy being awake. In fact, Bodie would be ready for discharge if the doctor wasn't being overly cautious about the head injury.

At this point, Ray wasn't worried about trying to retrieve memories, he just wanted Bodie to find some degree of comfort. Broken ribs meant time on his back. A bruised shoulder and broken wrist further immobilised him. Bodie was grumpy.

In atypical behaviour, Doyle was patient. Bodie was the most like his real Bodie when he was grumpy.

Bodie played idly with the pudding cup on his tray. He had already wetted his napkin and made spit balls. Some rested on the ceiling, some the door, but most Ray was picking out of his hair.

Bodie never really tired of looking at his partner, but said partner had been ignoring all his hints.

"Ray, do you think the anti-swelling meds affect the whole body?" Bodie asked as innocently as he could.

Doyle's lifted eyebrows indicated clearly that he was not taken in by the innocent act.

"Usually with these kind of meds it quite normal to find yourself non-reactive." Ray smiled at his mate's distressed sound.

With a petulant, hard done by look, Bodie uttered, "But I want to try."

"You do recall we're in hospital, don't you?" Doyle eyed his partner, trying to gauge how serious he was in his request.

"Yes. But, Ray, it's all I think about." He hissed, "I miss you." He thought a moment, "We're in a private room." He said it as though it answered everything.

With his newfound awareness, Ray actively looked forward to touching Bodie. He'd put his heart into the ministrations. He didn't want it to be more for the job than love.

Bodie wouldn't be able to move much. Even his hips needed to stay still. He didn't want a painful movement to cloud any good feeling created.

Ray smiled into Bodie's blue eyes, "You don't move. You let me do everything."

"Bossy, as usual."

"Common sense, twit. You hurt with any movement."

"There is that." Bodie smiled, "Lock the door."

Half wanting Ross to enter and see them, he locked it to give Bodie peace of mind.

Ray pulled down the cover first before leaning over to kiss Bodie softly. A gentle licking of the lips, an expression of joy.

With Bodie's happy moan, Ray moved south. He pushed aside the drawstring pants and held Bodie's flaccid sex in his hand. He investigated it with unbridled curiosity. Something he'd been unable to do fully as partners. He stretched and moved it from side to side. He felt a twitch of life and lifted his head to smile at his partner.

Bodie hummed with contentment, glad to be feeling at all.

Ray continued with his inspection. His hand cupped the loose sacs and gently pulled while rolling the testicles with his fingers.

Bodie tried to move only to groan as his hips complained.

"Let me, Bodie, stay still."

Ray moved his left arm to lay it across Bodie's abdomen. He had to keep his hips and legs immobile. His right hand continued to tease as he leaned his mouth close. He licked the length and was pleased to watch it gain size. Fresh from a sponge bath, Bodie's unique odour was still present and Ray buried his nose before taking Bodie full into his mouth.

Ever careful of his partner, Ray licked and sucked until Bodie's was at full hardness. He used his finger to tease and explore while his head bobbed a fast pace to prevent Bodie's need to move.

His efforts were rewarded with several strong pulses of come in his throat. Bodie, worn out with the exertion, relaxed with soft sounds and fell into a light sleep.

Ray ignored his own need, instead, he laid his hand on Bodie's thigh, content with his partner's release.

A sharp knock brought Doyle awake. He covered Bodie before unlocking the door. Staff with a meal wanted in. Doyle held the door open for her.

Bodie lay in that state of semi-awareness one has just before falling into a deep stage of sleep. On a conscious level, Bodie may be avoiding his CI5 life, but on his subconscious level, he was still an alert, highly trained agent.

That intuitive ability let Bodie know immediately that it wasn't Ray or medical personnel slinking into his room. He waited until the man was close to his head to smack him with his cast. The intruder fell back against the wall with the impact. He got up and stumbled close to the bed and Bodie kicked out instinctively. The intruder headed for the door as Bodie howled out in pain.

When medical staff rushed in, all Bodie could relate was that a large man had come into his room and tried to hurt him. He didn't remember actually hitting him. He did complain that his cast was damaged.

Cowley assumed it was an attempt on Bodie's life, he just didn't know who from. Doyle figured it must have something to do with the operation at the pub.

Cowley was almost sure that it had to do with the mention in 4.5's report about a man that 3.7 had recognised that no one else had seen. That information was lost to him as well as long as Bodie's memory was lost to him.

He needed to get 3.7 alone with 4.5 as Ross suggested and no sleeping aides. They needed the possible information from his nightmares.

Cowley badgered Fensor to release Bodie early as it would be easier to protect him outside the hospital. Dr Fensor agreed only with the proviso that Bodie was not to be left on his own.

"Doyle will be with him. Give the instructions to him."

Doyle was more than happy to get Bodie out of the hospital.

Murphy acted the chauffeur and drove them to safehouse eleven. A dwelling far from both Bodie and Doyle's flats. It was stocked with plenty of food inside and Doyle knew that a twenty-four hour eyeball would be conducted outside.

Bodie wasn't up for more than beans on toast and being tucked in bed to watch the box. After the washing up, Doyle crawled in beside his partner.

Bodie waited for his lover to get comfortable. It felt off having Ray take care of him, but then, everything felt odd here.

"Ray, why don't we go back to our place at the pub?" Bodie didn't care for the austere flat.

"Bodie, the pub burned down." Ray told his partner what Cowley and Ross suggested.

"We lost it all?

The lost look combined with the sharp intake of air reminded Doyle to take it easy.

"Yeah, love," Ray said with a sad sigh, "We lost it all, but we're okay. Just want you back on your feet."

"Was it my fault?" Bodie's agitation was evident in his restless movements.

"No, Bodie, not your fault. You were hurt, though, you were hurt," Doyle wrapped his arms around his partner, realising at that moment just how close he really had come to losing him.

Bodie turned as much as he could into the embrace, relaxing at last in the arms of the one he loved. He fell into a dreamless sleep, allowing him to get some real rest.

The following day was an easy one. Ray made Bodie's favourite foods, which seemed to please Bodie no end. For even if he couldn't remember what they were, Ray hadn't forgotten. They watched movies or Benny Hill all the day. Bodie wasn't really up for much more.

Ray kept an eye on his partner. He knew that throughout the day Bodie was experiencing bits of memory. He would have a puzzled or confused expression for a fleeting moment, but it would vanish as quickly as it came. Bodie didn't speak of it and Ray didn't push. He was waiting for the nightmares.

On that he didn't have long to wait. Even without the sleep aides, Bodie fell asleep easily. It was staying asleep that he found difficult.

Bodie would wake with a yelp that would change into a groan of pain as he tried to move or sit up.

"Ray!" Bodie blinked into the night, "Ray, are you okay?"

"Right here, sunshine. Why wouldn't I be?"

"I was dreaming...you were shot, bleeding."

"Feel my chest," he moved Bodie's hand to his bare skin. "See, not bleeding."

Bodie fingered the chest and his fingertips found the scares. "Something has happened." His fingers grazed across a nipple and it hardened immediately under his touch. Bodie smiled in pleasure.

"Was shot, do you remember it?" Doyle didn't volunteer information but he wasn't going to lie if Bodie remembered right.

"There was lots of blood. Was scared that I'd lose you." Bodie didn't want to probe the memory any further.

"You didn't and you won't."

"Ray, can you just kiss me. I'm not up for much else." Bodie asked simply.

"Kissing's good. Real personal."

"It is, isn't it." Bodie liked the sound of that.

Ray cupped his neck before leaning over and kissing first his eyes, then his nose. Bodie's lips were parted in the smallest of smiles when Ray covered them with his own.

This may be a secondary assignment on Ross' order stemming from the primary assignment on Cowley's order, but neither were the reason that Ray kissed. He kissed to convey to Bodie all the love that was hidden within. Kissing can mean so many things, but this one kiss was love. A love that had no words as yet and may never have. But, here and now, that love was spoken loud and clear.

Sleeping came easier after they finished.

Bodie pushed the brush aside with his rifle. The village was just up ahead, he had to keep an eye out for his partner, friend or foe, looked the same out here. Different villages, same war.

He crept to the edge of the woods. BOOM! He was thrown back onto his arse. Someone else was taking out the village. Running children were picked off like sitting ducks..... giggles. This wasn't the time to giggle...wait....STOP! BOOM!

Bodie struggled to sit straight up but the pain from his ribs prevented that much movement.

"Shush, Bodie, bad dream. You're okay." Ray talked until he could see that Bodie's eyes lost that wild look.

Bodie took in a couple of breaths, "Yeah, like a war movie except children were hurt. Didn't like it at all.

Ray draped himself around his partner's form so that he could feel embraced without pain.

Bodie held him back.

Doyle made notes on all the dreams. One section was on all CI5 related nightmares and another section was other. Most fit in the other category. Those disturbed Doyle more that the work related dreams. Doyle was sure that Bodie had reason to hate both his father and uncle and never spoke the truth about the mercenary days.

Ross was delivered the dream notes each evening but there hadn't been anything real current in the nightmares to give clues to the amnesia.

Two days at the safehouse and Bodie was ready to make a break for it. Instead, Ray suggested a walk outdoors.

It was slow going, but the fresh air put both men in a better frame of mind.

Talk was prattle and joking most at the expense of Bodie's injuries. It all felt very normal to Bodie. Most of the time since the accident, life had such a surreal feel to it, that something as mundane as teasing was a welcome change.

The fresh air and exercise, while good for the mind was tough on the bruised and battered body. Doyle recognised the fatigue long before Bodie would ever comment on it. He turned toward home and slowed down the pace.

Bodie required food but he required gentle love making more. Ray took it easy and slow. He caressed and licked and kissed all areas that were free of pain. He brought him slowly to the peak and pushed him over into a glorious finish. Bodie's hand never left Ray's own erection and he fell over with his mate. Sated, sleep wasn't hard to find.

"Well Bodie, you seem to be healing well." Dr Fensor reported as he retaped the ribs. "Two weeks and we'll be able to x-ray the wrist and determine if it'll need a lighter cast or just a splint." He checked Bodie's eyes and felt the back of his head. "The swelling has subsided and your eyes indicate that all is back to normal. Your progress is better than usual. The inactivity has helped a great deal." Dr Fensor smiled, Bodie was usually one of the worst during convalescence.

Bodie felt uncomfortable with the familiar reference. It bothered him, not knowing what he forgot. He just nodded to the doctor before looking to Ray. The warm smile he received was reward enough for enduring the poking and prodding.

"Thank for making the house call. Sitting in a motor is still very uncomfortable for Bodie." Ray walked the doctor out as Bodie redressed.

"I'll let George know. You can push him more if necessary. He's healing up. All the swelling is gone. No real medical reason for the continued amnesia, unless of course it's permanent. But, as I have indicated, there is no medical reason." The doctor didn't think the agent before him was all that surprised.

"I'm sure that Mr Cowley will pass all that along to Dr Ross."

"It's only been two weeks."

"The villains don't wait for medical recovery of their potential captors." Doyle smiled to take the sting from his words.

"Normally, I'd say the patient will know his limits regarding pain. With Bodie," the doctor shrugged, "He shouldn't be lifting anything that would require effort. He's not yet healed."

Doyle didn't need to tell the doctor how well he could read his partner's pain.

Doyle watched the doctor leave then locked the door behind him. He looked around, having expected Bodie to put in an appearance before now. He went in search of his wayward partner and found him in the shower.

Instead of grousing aloud about Bodie getting the bandage wet, he decided to join him. He shed his clothes quickly and stepped into the water behind his partner. Bodie stepped back into Ray as though it was as natural as breathing.

Ray washed Bodie's hair with massaging fingers. Fully soaped, he worked his fingers long after the hair was clean. After which, he soaped his back and chest gently, treating the injured area with care. His hands luxuriated in the feel of Bodie's skin.

He longed to tell Bodie how he felt, but not while he was still suffering memory loss. He didn't want him to use it against him later. If Bodie discovered that Ross had suggested sex as part of the operation, he wouldn't believe any of what was said.

He moved all the way down to his calves and feet. He kissed the back of his knees as he picked up each foot. He twisted his position around to face the front. With a fresh handful of soap he took the full, erect organ in his hands and thoroughly cleaned its long length.

Bodie's throatily growl vibrated off the tile and surrounded Ray. His slick fingers worked faster as his other hand slipped behind the taut sacs to explore the opening beyond. If Ray wasn't clued in by the heaving gasp, the blatant spreading of legs would have given him the message.

Ray worked a single finger in and explored. One touch to the hardness within had the hardness in his hand explode. Semen hit the tiles well out of range of the water spray.

With rubber legs, Bodie leaned back against the tiles. Their cool feel a stabilising feature to his sizzling body. Excitement hummed in his veins and Bodie was afraid without the help he'd collapse before he could take care of Ray.

He reached out to pull Ray close. He felt his hardness pulsing against his thigh. Just a few squeezes and strokes finished Ray off. With his belly fully coated, he needed to wash off again. He kissed the wet head resting against his shoulder. Bodie knew peace as contentment filled him.

Ray stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel. He handed it to Bodie, all glistening wet. Ray captured the image in his mind. Batter and bruised, Bodie was still beautiful.

Whenever he was with Doyle out of doors, Agent Bodie lurked just below the surface. He appeared in dreams, but the conscious Bodie ignored him.

The instincts of Agent Bodie could be read in his body language and Doyle was an expert at doing that.

Their walk today had Bodie's body language screaming which only matched Ray's own neck hair standing on edge. Without words, both agreed to cut the walk short and turned back toward their temporary home in tandem.

The rest of the evening Bodie was fidgety. Cards nor the box could hold either man's attention. What made it worse was neither man knew why, just a sense that something was about to happen.

That edge, the instincts of the highly trained man saved their lives. Bodie picked up a scent that tickled his memory. He tried following it and it took him to the wash room. Connected to the water heater was a bomb. Four minutes.

He ran to Doyle's room as fast as he was capable and grabbed his arm. "Bomb. Three minutes. We gotta get out of here."

Doyle never questioned Bodie's actions, he just slipped into shoes and kicked out the window. He grabbed his pants and carried them with him. Bodie was right behind him.

Bodie moved as fast as he could and Doyle stayed right by his side.

Doyle steered them to Anson's car across and down the road. "Bomb. Call it in," he yelled as they got close.

Anson didn't get his hand on the button before the house blew.

The vibration of the explosion knocked them off their feet. Dust, smoke and debris filled the air. The sounds of another scene still so fresh in Bodie's memory had Bodie to his knees. Bodie grabbed his head and stayed down, moaning.

Doyle pulled his jeans on before getting up. He checked the area for any other immediate danger before crouching down with his partner.

Neighbours emerged in night clothes as sirens were heard in the background. Anson went to check for casualties as Doyle pulled Bodie's inert body into Anson's motor.

Murphy jumped into the driver's side and started the motor. "Cowley wants you two at safehouse five on the double." Murphy backed up around the milling neighbours, slipping around the incoming fire brigade. He made for their destination as fast as he could.

Bodie mumbled into Doyle's lap, "They were children, just children," over and over again. He couldn't shut out the ringing in his ears. He couldn't shut out his thoughts.

While one hand cradled Bodie's head, Ray's other hand stayed connected to his back, the circular motion soothing to both men.

No one spoke on the ride. Murphy's fast speed only matched Ray's desire to get Bodie far away from the danger. His thoughts were on overdrive.

"Check to see if we're being tailed?"

"Been checking the whole time. We're okay." Murphy answered concisely, he knew Ray worried as much as Bodie did when a partner was down. Always the reason he was doubly glad he remained partnerless.

Doyle backtracked the day's events in his mind. He worked it out aloud. "We've been fine, different today... Dr Fensor came, did a house call for Bodie. Must have been followed. Other attempt was at the hospital. Didn't know where he was, the doctor's the only link. Bloody hell."

Doyle's rambled thought process made perfect sense to Murphy. He called it in to Anson so he could ask about any vehicles that might have been spotted just today coinciding with the doctor's visit.

"Anyone hurt?" Doyle asked after Murphy finished his call.

"Anson doesn't think so. All are accounted for anyway. Bomb squad is ready to move in as soon as the fire is out. Old Man's not going to be happy losing another property."

"S'not like it's out of his pocket."

"Always acts like it is."

Murphy pulled up into the driveway and straight into the open garage. Before he could get out to close it another car pulled in along side. Betty arrived and was loaded down with food and drink for the lot of them. She brought with her a change of clothes for Bodie and Doyle as well. Ruth Pettifer stood guard at the door as the rest of the house was being checked out by Jax and Marriott.

Once the all clear was signalled, Doyle hustled his partner out of the car, bypassed the kitchen and headed straight for a bedroom. Sleep was what his partner needed most and Doyle wasn't about to let anyone, including Cowley, disturb him. He stripped him down, hunted up a couple of aspirin and crawled in beside him. He could let the rest of CI5 work on the bomb and bomb maker. He pulled Bodie in close and felt him relax within his embrace.

Morning, though it came early, saw both men more clear-headed. The haunted look in Bodie's eyes told his partner that his memory had most likely returned.

Cowley, ever in the know, assumed the same thing and ordered 3.7 and 4.5 into HQ at their soonest.

After nothing more than toast and tea, they did just that. A subdued Bodie sat quietly in the passenger seat. Doyle figured that Bodie only wanted to tell the story once.

Cowley waited for his agents to be seated. Bodie looked like hell, but that would not deter him from what must be done.

"3.7, I need your report."

"The bomb was in the washroom."

"The McGinny op. I believe your memory has returned."

"Yes, sir, after the pain lessened this morning."

"Get on with it," Cowley was unable to curb his impatience.

Doyle patted Bodie's thigh out of the line of sight from Cowley. He hoped his partner could draw some comfort from his touch.

Once started, words tumbled out of his mouth. "I couldn't believe there were giggles coming from within McGinny's rooms. I opened the door to shoo away the children, obvious to me by the tone of the giggles, I didn't want them to get into trouble." Bodie paused in his recollection, what he seen as he opened the door had appalled him so, it was hard to describe aloud. "Two little girls were trying to tickle one another. That in itself was normal, what was anything but were the bomb vests secured about each child. He was using children, Ray. The bastard." Bodie looked into his partner's eyes and found what he needed.

Despite his own anger and horror, Ray knew he had to keep Bodie on track, "What happened next?"

Bodie stood up and walked across the room. "McGinny saw me and turned to get his gun but saw what the children were doing, same as I did. The little girls were pushing at each other. I stepped back, my mind screaming to get out of there, go for help. McGinny lunged forward. My last glimpse was McGinny trying to stop the inevitable, one girl grabbed the other's vest and must have detonated the bomb." Bodie moved back to the seat next to his partner and dropped his head into his hands.

"What else did you see in the room, Bodie?" Cowley asked quietly.

"There were three more vests on the table, but I didn't see any other children in the room. The bastard uses children to deliver his bombs." Bodie turned to Cowley, "Sorry, sir, I don't recall anything else. There were no plans visible. No hint of the destination."

"So you can confirm that McGinny was indeed in the room and blown up by his own creations. You've done well, 3.7. This will give Brian and myself enough to get the needed information out of the others." Cowley's voice held no doubt. "Bomb squad found a piece of the timing device at the safe house and we were able to process a print. Antoine Pellimeir, usually he's just a middle man to some of the most dangerous men. He must have felt that Bodie could ID him and took measures to prevent that."

"That's why I remembered his face, I'd seen it on the board." Bodie nodded, mostly to himself.

"Do they have a line on him?" Doyle asked, allowing time for Bodie to regain his composure.

"As we speak." The Controller looked to Bodie once more, "You're still on the battered list. Three weeks. Be careful, I already have Fensor breathing down my neck." Cowley's tone changed to commanding, "Bodie, you will need to see Dr Ross before leaving today."

"Yes, sir." Bodie didn't look at Doyle as he made his way to the door. When Doyle made to follow, Cowley called him back. Bodie slipped out quietly.

"Good work, 4.5. Three weeks as well. 3.7 will need some help even if he doesn't ask for it."

"Yes, sir," Doyle nodded in agreement, anxious to follow his partner.

"On your way."

Doyle didn't wait for more he shot out the door in search of his partner. A search in vain. Bodie was nowhere to be found in headquarters. Knowing that Bodie would follow orders, he went in search of Dr Ross. She proved to be as elusive as his partner.

He ended up at dispatch, Gordon was the best chance now of finding the whereabouts of either Bodie or Ross.

"Safehouse five. Bodie wanted to collect his gear and Dr Ross said it was more convenient to meet there." Gordon told Doyle.

"Thanks." Doyle figured he had enough time to pack a bag. He needed to talk to Bodie away from here.

Cowley made his way to safehouse five. He waited on the terrace reading reports until after Bodie departed. He joined Kate Ross inside. She made tea before they started.

"The involvement of children was only part of the reason for the amnesia. The other half had to do with 4.5." Ross told the Controller.

"What about 4.5?"

"From what little I can piece together, it's about his relationship with Doyle."

"That relationship is ever fluid."

"It's unhealthy. Without hypnosis I won't be able to get more from him. No matter what facet of Bodie I deal with, he is skilled enough to reveal nothing of great consequence unless desired."

"They are my best team for a reason. No hypnosis. I've sent 4.5 after 3.7, they'll have over a fortnight to work it out. I'm sure they'll find an agreement."

"And you're willing to accept their conclusions?" Ross asked, incredulous.

"I believe our expectations differ," Cowley was content with the eventual outcome.

In an attempt to put Cowley off his stride, "I'm quite sure that Bodie is in love with Doyle."


"Doyle is incapable of compromising his internal image to engage in anything so unmasculine."

"You continue to under estimate the pair." Cowley appeared amused.

"I'm not sure you quite understand."

"I understand perfectly."

"Bodie is going to want sex," she announced baldly.

"As will Doyle," Cowley agreed.

"You can't seriously be considering condoning a liaison?" Incredulity didn't half touch the tone of her voice.

"I'm sure they'll find a solution that will be acceptable to them."

"Mr Cowley, in my professional opinion..."

"Dr Ross, it's been noted. Dismissed." Cowley resumed reading the report he had brought with him.

Bodie wasn't at safehouse five. He wasn't at his flat. He wasn't at Doyle's flat.

Doyle changed clothes and packed a bag. He was on a Bodie hunt. He knew it was imperative to speak with his partner as soon as possible before Bodie closed himself off.

Bodie didn't like being vulnerable.

Bodie didn't wear his real emotions on his sleeve. More often than not, he tried to convince all that he didn't even possess any. Most were convinced. Cowley never bought it, though.

In the beginning, Doyle had, but as they worked together, he learned that Bodie did feel, just deep inside. He soon learned to view action instead of listening to words.

On the op, Bodie did what Bodie had to do, it was all part of the job. Problem was that with the amnesia, the op persona followed him home and that left his emotions exposed.

And Bodie didn't like being vulnerable.

So, he would hide away until he could get his mask back in place and isolate his emotions. Though, Ray realised, Bodie never really isolated himself completely from him.

The Bodie that protected him was always lurking just under the surface. It was an automatic on his partner's part. The sex had been deliberate and that would be the hardest for Bodie to reconcile.

Doyle had to find Bodie.

So, where would he go? Doyle went back to Bodie's flat and let himself in. He rummaged around. After a thorough search he wasn't even sure that Bodie had returned at all. The only indication he found was the phone book open to the rail schedule.

Now all he had to do was figure out the destination. Bodie's boltholes were unknown. Ray didn't think that Bodie was leaving for good, just seeking out somewhere safe or familiar.

Doyle got a crazy idea, the most familiar place for the last half-year was also the place that he lost time. Leicester. The pub may be gone but their section of town was still there. Doyle jumped into his motor and speed off.

Bodie's shoulder ached. His ribs ached. His wrist throbbed. He knew the rail was a smart move, but he was impatient. He just wanted to be there. To do what when he got there, he wasn't sure, but it would beat just sitting here thinking.

Doyle would be angry that he left without a word, but he had to reassess. It was all too much, he hadn't reconciled anything. Emotions, desires, fantasy, horror. Amnesia for crissakes.

Just thinking about those kids blowing up turned his stomach, but bloody hell, he'd seen worse in Angola. His mind dwelled on that last bit he'd seen. The two girls laughing, no idea what would become of their roughhousing. He took small consolation that they didn't know.

McGinny had known, that moment of terror when he knew he was done for. That was an image he'd live with gladly. McGinny was a bastard, using children. Who'd suspect children here in England? He was worse than a bastard and at this moment, Bodie wished he really believed in hell -- and even there might be too good for him.

Bodie looked out the window at the speeding scenery, grateful he was unable to see any image clearly. The blur was like his thoughts.

What was it that Ross was hinting at? She didn't say it outright, she wouldn't, but she didn't think it was just the horror he witnessed that caused him to block out everything except...except his undercover role. Ross had almost been giddy with it. He'd failed her, though, didn't say anything either way. What could he say? Anything said would have been a guess. He didn't like shrink head games on a good day, let alone when he didn't know the answer himself.

Ross tried to drag Doyle into it, but he'd clamed up there but good. She never had anything good to say about their partnership and he wasn't about to give her grounds for more.

Doyle was his problem.

His partner would not be happy. Doyle did not like to be vulnerable. Doyle cared about Joe Public openly, to a degree as the mood struck him.

But private emotion?

They were off limits to most all folk, period. He'd been privy to some occasionally, more though, because he was at the right place at the right time. His partner could be so many people and still reveal nothing about himself.

Difference here, Doyle had been made vulnerable in this op and afterward, when he had to play the poof for him.

His shoulders slumped, his head hung down. Bodie felt crushed.

He'd come so close to having something he hadn't even known he wanted. Now all was lost to him.

On the op was one thing, they both compartmentalised, but in their off duty life...well maybe not for Doyle, he was most likely still on duty. Only he, amnesia boy, had been living his fantasy life.

How could they go back to the partnership? How could he loose what they've recently had? Either option was more than he could bear.

Why did this all ache so? What did he want?

All in all, the answer wasn't that difficult.

Life with Doyle at his side, mate, partner, lover, that's what he wanted. He couldn't imagine any other way anymore. That's why...he didn't want it ended. He wanted it to be real.

Well, no more. He couldn't do that to Doyle. He'd close it up. Keep it hidden, even from itself.

Bodie let his head fall and rest on his chest. He began rebuilding his wall. He had three weeks, he could do it. He'd done it before.

The train pulled into the Leicester station just before dark. Bodie picked up his bag with his good arm and disembarked the stairs carefully using the sides for support. He looked for a taxi rank and found Doyle instead.

Bodie cleared the panic away. Okay, so, he didn't have three weeks, he'd just have to play it like an op. He took a steadying breath and started over toward Doyle.

"Hallo, sunshine. You nick those grapes?"

"Of course not, put them on your account at Fortnum's, I did."

Bodie couldn't help the half smile. Bodie'd half expected him to throw a wobbly straight off. How like Doyle to be so contrary...decent instead of snarky. But it was just a reprieve. He knew it was coming.

Doyle took his bag and led the way. Another unexpected move by his partner. Bodie shrugged best as he could and followed behind him.

Doyle threw Bodie's bag in back next to his own, opened the passenger door before getting behind the wheel.

"You have a booking?"

"Nah, didn't plan that much."

"Okay then." Doyle took off for the east end.

The drive was made in silence. Both had too much to say or not say. Silence was easiest. Once there, Doyle stopped in front of the inn closest to their once pub. Bodie got out and headed to the front desk.

Doyle groused out the window, "Thanks for the kerb service, Ray -- oh no -- think nothing of it, your smile is recompense enough."

"If you feel hard done by..." Bodie's hand indicated back the way they came. "Cowley send you?" He finally asked.

"No, I'm three week leave, same as you."

"And you figured to come here."

"I am a detective of sorts."

"Of sorts."

Doyle shook his head, "Come on, let's see if there is a vacancy."

There was. One room and Doyle paid for it. Doyle shifted their gear into it while Bodie opted to go back to the motor. Movement was still painful. Task completed, they went looking for a pub close by.

They recognised and were recognised by a few of Snookies' regulars. They ate, drank and discussed the remodel of the pub. A basement was being added in the hole that McGinny had provided, more room to let and a bigger kitchen. After a few more lagers, they couldn't put off returning to their room. They left in silence, a tense, expectant silence.

Bodie expected something and this time Doyle didn't disappoint.

Doyle's belligerence showed in his aggressive body stance, back against the door. He fixed his partner with a baleful glare, but he caught himself, his temper would only alienate Bodie. He wanted, no he needed answers, then, he had to set about convincing Bodie that they would be all right.

"What's going on in that head?"


"I can see the bells and lights whirling, unusual that."

Bodie rolled his eyes, "Nothing that concerns you,"

"Honest truth, Bodie, everything about you concerns me."

"Going a bit far for Georgie, or is it the trick pony? Eh?"

"Just me."

"Sod off, you want to make this into a bloody production."

"Everything's okay."

"Everything is not okay, Doyle, there are things you don't know and are better off not knowing."

"Try me."

"This isn't a game."

"Never thought it was."

"Bloody hell, Doyle..." Bodie caught himself and tried a different tactic. "Look, I'm knackered. Let's talk about it tomorrow."

"I'd love to give in right now, let you have your way, but I know you, Bodie, you'll bury it deep and you have more resolve tomorrow, after you've rested. We're talking now," Doyle's tone was more than adamant.


"It was the op, wasn't it?"


"The amnesia?"

"No, damnit."

"Talk to me, Bodie."

"I've gone queer." Bodie said it aloud, got it off his chest.

Doyle laughed.

"It's true. Laugh all you want." Bodie was hurt by Doyle's laughter.

"I'm not laughing at you, just happy."


"When did this all come about? Turning queer?"

Bodie moved over to the window, "Just did is all."

"How do you know? We we're on the McGinny op a long time. Our lives depended on our acting skills. We both did what we had to."

"S'not that. Look, you know now, just drop it."

"So, you're out there now checking out the blokes instead of birds?"

"No!" Bodie whipped around, "No."

"So it's not blokes, still birds?"

"No, damnit Doyle, it's you."

"Bent for me? Told ya, it's just the job." Doyle's energy level went up a notch.

"You want it all, don't you? Won't let up. The amnesia, it was you. I didn't want it to end. I wanted...I want you."

"So that makes you queer?" Doyle was smiling but Bodie wasn't looking.

"Look, I don't want to act the nancy boy, but I do want to stick it up you. But more, I want the same back... Guess that makes me queer. Got it? All right?"

"Bi. I figured we were bi. We can still do a bird, it's just not number one anymore."

Bodie needed to shake his head clear. He was experiencing selective hearing. However, Ray stood there, arms akimbo, staring at him like an excited wee laddie on Christmas morn. "What?"

"I missed sleeping skin to skin. I liked waking up with my balls in your hand. See, I turned as well."

Bodie was sure he was misconstruing something. "What did I miss?"

"Me, probably as much as I missed you."

Bodie looked, really looked at his partner. He didn't think this was just a wind up. Ray really did look happy.

"When did this happen?" Bodie knew he couldn't start if this was just an itch to be worked out of his system for Ray.

"Mid-op. Realised I looked forward to waking up beside you each day. Had to start taking a hard look at myself. Discovered I love you. Discovered you love me. Then everything blew up...literally. Then -- I had to wait for your memory to come back."

Bemused and totally captivated by Ray's honesty, he could do no less. "Close to the end, I woke up one day and knew I'd crossed that line -- fantasy to reality. Wanted a real relationship, whole thing...with you. Didn't want to lose it, so it was the only thing I remembered. Only thing I'm sure of still."

"Be sure of me, mate. We're in this together."

Bodie moved to face his partner, both bodies responded to the other immediately. Bodie sank his fingers into Ray's hair and his lips hovered as he whispered, "Together, it is."

Lips met and the vow was sealed.

-- THE END --

June 2007

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