Roman Candle


Written for the Bonfire Night challenge for "Discovered in the Fallen Leaves" on the discoveredinalj livejournal community to the prompt "roman candle."

The November sun was at rest and a cool breeze reminded him that although this country still had the illusion of summer, winter was creeping ever inward. Still, the chance of a late holiday was too good to ignore, especially to here, where passion had ignited long ago in the most unlikely of places. And at least this time they hadn’t arrived by coach.

The pale cobble stones glinted in the half-light, winding upwards through this stretch of the ancient city. Doyle waited, leaning against the cool stone wall, face upturned, taking time to breath. His heart was at peace, the quick-fire days of CI5 many years behind him. He could remember when the only stars he saw were from Macklin’s tender care, and now here he was with the beauty of the heavens above him.

It was Bodie who had seen the small church, door standing open to welcome any who might answer the call. Bodie had looked a question at Doyle, and Doyle, well practised by now, had simply nodded, the arm around his shoulders tightening in an answering squeeze, before Bodie had slipped inside.

Doyle was happy to wait -- too many years as a child inside unforgiving church walls had had an adverse effect on him as an adult. Yet Bodie, never saddled with any religion, was the one who appreciated it more as he got older, that and he was just bloody sentimental.

He had positioned himself to see into the church’s interior, and he could see Bodie’s outline, standing in front of the flickering row of candles. He watched Bodie light one and place it with the others, and Doyle lowered his head, thinking of the same person, dead a few years now. He hoped God had a good stack of malt whisky, and a nearby distillery for distinguished friends.

A moment -- and Bodie was back in front of him, lifting his chin, leaving a smudge of black powder from the candle on Doyle’s face. He smiled at that, eyes crinkled at the edges, as he held up his sooty hand, and Doyle lifted a hand to his own cheek, rubbing it ruefully before hooking it around Bodie’s neck and bringing him closer, letting their lips press, a lick of a caress.

“You silly old sod,” Doyle said, as they resumed their stroll. Somewhere in the distance, a firework bloomed across the velvet sky.

-- THE END --

November 2007

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