For Auld Lang Syne


Story #12 in the Emma universe

The anticipation had been building all day. It was almost eight and Murphy lit the candles on the table and made a deft switch of radio stations to something rather quieter than he'd been listening to since he'd been home. A quick survey of the apartment told him that everything was perfect, though he couldn't help but wonder if it wasn't just a bit too romantic under the circumstances. But he quickly discarded that notion. He liked a little romance with his sex. Anyway, this was his show and he was going to have fun.

He had a drink while he dressed wondering if the others would be wearing coat and tie as he'd chosen to do. It was mad, this nervous anticipation over something he'd done a hundred times. But this, he realized, would be different. This would be the last time.

For a moment, when the bell rang, he considered scotching the whole evening and going to a movie. Mad. He felt like a teenage virgin again.

The first one in was Ray. "Happy New Year, Sunshine," he said, that wicked, crooked smile lighting up the whole of his beautiful, damaged face. He looked feral tonight, like a hunting cat. And behind him Bodie, looking good enough to eat, all in black. Bodie held out a bottle of champagne. "Our contribution to the evening," he murmured, his long lashes lowered demurely over a hungry gleam. I'm the dessert, Murphy thought as he took the bottle from Bodie. Irrationally, the thought both pleased and frightened him.

"What's on the menu?" Bodie asked as he shed his jacket. "Aside from us, that is."

"Oysters . . . "

"Bananas and asparagus, eh Murph?"

"Crude, Ray, very crude." Bodie hooked his fingers in Ray's belt loops and tugged him down onto the couch. "Let him talk. He'll have his mouth full later." A half turn, and Ray's face was buried against Bodie's throat. Murphy could just see the full lips nibbling the soft skin there. They were ready for it tonight -- hot for it, as hot as he was. Bodie rubbed his face against Ray's mop of soft curls, cat-like and languorous, and Murphy felt his balls tighten. It was going to be a lovely evening.

He was in the kitchen, fixing the salad, when a pair of arms slipped around his waist, and long elegant fingers stroked up and down over his torso. "Hurry up with you," Ray whispered into his back. "We're waiting as patiently as we can. Which is not very patient." And Murphy turned in the circle of the arms and met and upturned mouth in a soft kiss full of promise. Hands full of salad bowl, he couldn't hold Ray as he wanted to, and the elusive creature slipped away with a laugh.

The room was dark but for the candlelight -- a warm illumination of the faces around the table. They ate, they made careful conversation, and beneath the table, hidden by the long damask folds of the cloth, something much less reserved was taking place. Fingers searched, twined, caressed and teased, feet drawn out of their coverings slipped between receptive legs. But above the dinner plates, an occasional smile was the only indication of the activities below.

He had a chance to study them that evening, as they talked about his marriage and their respective futures in the organization. They wanted out of the field they said. They wanted to have a future together in much the same way that he and Molly wanted a future together. "I want to feel like I've lived for something," Bodie admitted. "I want to see Michael grow up." Ray just said: "I want to be with Bodie for a while." Murphy confessed that he and Molly had no plans to start a family, but that he knew how they felt, and that he wanted much the same peace of mind they were seeking. After that they were quiet for a little, not touching. Then Ray leaned forward and blew out the candles. He stood up, stretched and walked over to the couch, where he draped himself -- an odalisque in chocolate tweeds. How very clear it was that Ray knew the power he held over both Bodie and Murphy, and they yielded to it, coming to him, Bodie with love in his eyes and Murphy with an unappeased hunger that startled him in its intensity.

They courted Ray first, then each other, not anxiously, but with a delicious holding back, a slow climb to arousal. Ray drew Murphy down into a kiss -- a tickling, teasing kiss -- while Bodie unbuttoned Ray's shirt and stroked the skin and soft fur of Ray's chest. Then Bodie kissed Murphy and Ray's hands stroked and caressed them both, then they were tangled, half on the couch half on the floor and Murphy hardly knew who he was tasting or touching or whose hands and mouth were pleasuring him. All he knew was sensation, affection, anticipation . . .

He was half undressed when they all pulled back into themselves, not willing that this should end too quickly in a tangle on the floor. "I'm going to get out of these things before they need dry-cleaning," Bodie announced. He got up and walked towards the bedroom, and as he reached the door, he threw a seductive glance over his shoulder. "Anyone care to join me, or shall I go it alone?"

"No fear. C'mon Ray. Or do I have to carry you?"

In the bedroom, Bodie was lighting candles. "I assume these are here to be used for illumination?"

Murphy nodded and picked up a lighted candle to use in lighting the other. Ray did the same and they moved around the room silently like worshippers kindling votive candles. Murphy saw a look pass between the other two, some silent communication that he envied. Then they moved towards him. "Murphy," Ray began, reaching out to slip the loosened shirt off his shoulders, "we're going to miss you in our bed."

"But we're happy for you too," Bodie added as he knelt to unzip Murphy's trousers and ease them down.

"So we want this time to be for you. This time you are the main course, Murphy." He was pushed down onto the bed and they each removed a shoe and stocking. And when he was naked he lay back and watched them undress, watched the slender, compact grace of Doyle and the heavy, powerful musculature of Bodie be revealed as their garments dropped. They were beautiful and he told them so.

Not in so many words, but rather by their deeds they returned the praise. Bodie lay beside him, Ray between his legs and each of them worked with mouth and hands to draw him up towards the edge, suspend him there for endless, gorgeously agonizing moments then plunge him down, his emotions chaotic, his body uncontrolled, spasming, flushed with a kind of pleasure that was infrequently found. From that maelstrom he settled into a profound peace.

"You two are hard to leave," he confessed. A dark head rested on his right shoulder, a curly one on his left. He kissed them both. They kissed.

"Bloody wonderful team, eh?" Bodie asked with an insouciant grin.

"The best. Lucky Murphy," Murphy said.

He must have slept for a time because Murphy came to with a start to find the others laughing on either side of him. "You've been shopping at those naughty stores again, Murphy," Bodie accused. "Now what would the Cow say to these?" He dangled a string of pearls over Murphy's face. Inspiration struck.

"Who do you think taught me about . . . " He shut his mouth quickly.


"Nothing, never mind. Who's going to use . . . "

"Wait a minute, Murph," Ray said, pushing him back on the bed and looming over him, a terrier dominating a Great Dane. "Back up and finish that sentence."

"Who's going to use the beads . . . "

"Not that one. The one that started 'who do you think taught me about . . . ' I presume you meant the Cow?"

"I didn't say that, Ray. I never said that." He glanced from one to the other. "I'd rather just drop it, okay?"

"No it's not bloody okay," Bodie growled. "What were you going to say?"

Murphy sighed. "I was going to say: who do you think taught me about the beads in the first place? Not to mention some of those other little toys."

"The Cow?" Bodie yelled. Murphy shushed him.

"Look, will you two just forget it?"

They stared at him as if he was daft. "How in the name of hell are we supposed to forget this?" Ray demanded. "Are you telling us that you've been to bed with . . . with . . ." Clearly he was having difficulty putting the thought into words.

"With George, sodding, Cowley?" Bodie finished. "Fess up Murphy, or we'll do something dreadful to your body."

"Well how the hell d'you think I got my job?" Murphy demanded, pulling a sheet over himself. He looked up at two hopelessly confounded faces. "Didn't you? I mean . . . Oh God," he groaned. "Just forget I ever said anything." He pulled the sheet higher to cover his face.

Ray tugged it down. "You are having us on, Murphy. Tell me you're having us on."

Murphy looked from Ray to Bodie and back again. The tension and curiosity in the two faces were furious. "Yeh, just joking," he said woodenly.

"You're not joking are you?" Bodie asked.

"I just told you I was joking, Bodie. I was only kidding. I have never slept with George, so stop bothering me about it."

"Yes you have."

"What do you want me to say to you?" he yelled. They shushed him.

"We want details," Ray said, very close to Murphy's face.

"And we'll get them one way or another," Bodie added, also hovering a few inches from Murphy's face.

"I can't tell you . . . for God's sake, do you have any idea what sort of trouble I could get into?"

"Talk fast, Murph."

He sat up and scowled at them. "Do I have your word that this is going no further?" They both made heart-crossing gestures and nodded, so Murphy continued. "As I said, it was when I joined the squad. I guess George took a fancy to me. Say," he said, "didn't he ever try it on with either of you?"

They looked at each other then back to Murphy and both of them shook their heads.

"Well, I guess . . . I don't know why he chose me, but one day he invited me into the office and just . . . propositioned me. He didn't make it a condition of being hired or anything, I'll give him that, but I had the feeling that if I turned him down, my position in CI5 wouldn't be quite so cushy. Well, be fair," he said to two disapproving frowns. "If you'd had the chance, wouldn't you have done?"

Ray opened his mouth to protest but Bodie only smiled sheepishly and told Murphy to continue.

"Well, it only really lasted a few months and then he stopped calling me for the most part, though occasionally I still get a call when he's feeling depressed or worried."

"What's he like in bed?" Bodie asked, half whispering.

"Fantastic," Murphy confided. "You wouldn't think it to look at him, y'know . . . dry old Cowley and all, but I tell you that man has polish where it counts. He has more little . . . tricks . . . " Here Murphy leaned forward a dropped his voice to a confidential whisper. "He does this thing with his mouth . . . I shouldn't be telling you all this. This is private."

There was a howl of protest and two pairs of arms pinned him against the headboard. "Murphy, you'll tell us all about it or we will take a horrible revenge on you, old son," Ray promised between clenched teeth.

"All right, all right! I never took you two for voyeurs -- not like this. Well . . . he has a bit of a kink about discipline. Nothing heavy, mind, no S&M or anything nasty. He just likes . . ." He put on his most embarrassed looked and paused agonizingly. "He's into spanking."

The others were struck dumb. They released him and sat back on their heels. Bodie was crimson from nipples to hairline. "My God," was all Ray said.

"It sounds worse than it is, really. It was rather . . . well, I enjoyed it," he said defensively. "It's just that sometimes he'd want to tie me up too and at first I wasn't too sure. . ."

"Like we've been doing?" Bodie asked, his blush subsiding to a pleasing pink. Ray was open-mouthed with shock.

"Yeh, well, that's where I learned how much fun it could be," Murphy admitted. "Like I said, it was never anything weird or nasty . . . except this one time . . ." He bit his lip. "I really shouldn't tell you this because if it gets out I'll get sacked. You probably would too. God, if this gets out, Cowley'll get sacked."

"Tell!" they chorused.

"Only if you swear on whatever you consider sacred or important or whatever that you will never let this go beyond the three of us. Swear it," he demanded, pleating the sheet between nervous fingers.

"We swear on anything and everything. Now tell!"

"Well, you know when Paul Coogan bought it how much strain he was under? I thought I'd be hearing from him after the inquiry, and sure enough I had a call from him the day it ended. He'd been out drinking with you, Bodie, hadn't he?" Bodie nodded. "He invited me over, and I had a fairly good notion of what he wanted, so I said yes. I don't mind it really because I like George. If I can help him with his problems I will.

"I got to his place late and I was a little tired, so when he asked if I wanted a drink first, I just said: 'No, let's get to it." He followed me into the bedroom and told me to undress and lie face down, and I thought: Oh oh, here comes the spanking, but what he did was to grab my wrists," He caught hold of his own wrist to illustrate, "and tie them to the posts of that big bed of his . . . you remember it, don't you?" They nodded. "Well, okay, I thought, this is serious tonight. He's really in a state. But he'd never hurt me or anything so I wasn't worried.

"I waited for a while, then I heard him ask me: 'Agent Murphy,' he said, 'd'ye have anything to say in your defense?' At this I half turned as much as I could to see what he meant, and I couldn't believe what I saw!" He paused dramatically.

"What? What?" they shouted, advancing on him with a menacing air.

"He was wearing gloves . . . those surgical gloves, you know, and a black leather jacket and he was holding a whip . . . " Two pairs of eyes saucered so perfectly that Murphy finally lost his composure and began to howl with laughter. "Good Christ," he gasped between bouts of hysterics, "will you two believe anything?"

Their outrage was deafening. Bodie grabbed Murphy's wrists and Ray tied them loosely but securely to the bars of the big bed, and all the while they were calling him every name in the book . . . and a few he hadn't heard. He was helpless with laughter and didn't attempt to fight back. It had been too perfect -- the best joke he'd ever played.

"You're going to pay, agent Murphy," Doyle promised, an evil gleam in his cat's eyes.

"Spank me, spank me," he gurgled. "Punish me with kisses!"

"Oh shut up, Murph."

"Oh fuck me hard, you big butch thing," he said with a wicked chortle. Bodie's face cracked into a half-smile which was impossible to suppress entirely.

"I hope your neighbors are listening," Ray snapped. He raised a hand to strike Murphy's backside, but Bodie caught his arm.

"Wait. I'll bet he'll enjoy what you're planning to do. He doesn't deserve it, does he, Sunshine?"

"No, he doesn't." Ray smiled in return. "Maybe some other form of punishment might be more . . . fitting?"

"Some sort of . . . denial?" Bodie suggested.

"Good thinking, oh clever partner." Ray glanced down at Murphy who lay half on his side watching them curiously. "Oh, Murphy, you're going to suffer." He pulled Bodie down into an embrace, grinding mouth against mouth and pelvis against pelvis. They were both soft when they began, but Murphy watched them become aroused very quickly.

They were very close to him, almost touching, so that he could feel their heat on his flesh. Ray was uttering small, helpless cries as Bodie slid against him; and even Bodie -- normally a quiet lover -- was moaning as he approached orgasm. Murphy could hear the glide of sticky skin, the sound of their kisses -- deep, wet suction, their increasingly irregular breathing, and the longing caught him like a fist closing in his belly. His cock was achingly hard and he tried to rub it against the sheets, but with his wrists bound above his head he could get no purchase. He could smell the musk rising off them in heated waves, and Ray's cries became an almost inhuman howl of ecstasy as he arched up, lifting the much heavier Bodie with the force of his pleasure, then falling back to the sheets to gasp for breath, sucking the air between clenched teeth. Bodie lifted himself off the spent body and straddled Ray's chest, and Ray reached up, his arms circling Bodie's hips, and took his lover's still-erect cock into his mouth. Murphy moaned in frustration as he watched Ray's talented mouth work at Bodie. He imagined that mouth on him, sucking him dry and he shuddered. "All right, I'm sorry!" he snarled. "Please!"

Bodie's head snapped back and he gave a bark of pleasure as his body jerked, out of control for a moment that Murphy could imagine, could almost taste and feel. Then his head drooped, a line of sweat beading his upper lip. He lowered himself carefully, stiffly onto the bed to lie beside Ray, his head on the smaller man's shoulder.

"Should we help him, lover?" he asked lazily, his hand tracing patterns in the hair on Ray's chest. Murphy whimpered plaintively.

"Dunno," Ray said. He glanced at Murphy. "Only if he swears. . . "

Bodie chuckled.

". . . on everything that's holy," Doyle continued, "that he's a bastard for having us on like that."

"I'm a wretch," Murphy gasped. "Now somebody do something erotic to me before I go stark, staring mad!"

"I think you deserve a spanking, Murph," Bodie announced, rolling him onto his belly. Murphy groaned in lustful anticipation, tears squeezing out through half-closed eyes.

A hand fell, making contact with a sharp crack, then another and another. Above him, the two of them were laughing. Then, just as he was getting close, one of them pulled him to his knees. Ray's tongue probed him gently while Bodie lay under him and teased his swollen cock with the tip of his tongue. Murphy began to beg. Sharp crack of flesh against flesh and he jerked away, losing the contact of both tongues. They found him again, teasingly light and non-committal until he thought he would scream with frustration. Then Bodie took him into his mouth and in a moment shattered him.

"I've never heard you scream before, Murph," Bodie said in a light conversational tone. Murphy laughed weakly.

"Better than George, are we?" Ray asked.

"Oh, God, yes," he gasped.

The scarves that held his wrists were untied and he collapsed face first into the pillows. Two wonderfully warm bodies curled up beside him and he was covered with the duvet and made comfortable. He felt boneless. He felt sated. "Time for sleepies now. Later we'll have Murphy's revenge, eh Murph?"

He mumbled something into the pillow and fell into a deep sleep.

Someone was kissing the back of his neck as he woke up. Since the hair that tickled his nose was dark, he assumed that the nibbler was Doyle and he lay still and enjoyed the feel of the sensual mouth against the too sensitive skin there. Ray's mouth trailed down his spine and Murphy shivered. "I know you're awake, Murph," Ray whispered into his back. "You're twitching."

"What time is it?"

"About three-thirty. Does it matter?" Murphy disengaged himself from the still sleeping Bodie and rolled over to face Doyle. "You're all wet. Bodie's been drooling on you."

"I meant it when I said I'm going to miss you two. It'll be hard not to remember things like tonight . . . "

"We want you to remember us. Isn't it better to have the memories to replay from time to time?"

Murphy pondered that. "Better . . . but much harder. If I didn't know what I was missing I might not care about missing it." Ray snuggled up against him, face in Murphy's throat. He was small and solid and warm, and vaguely androgynous. Murphy understood only too well why Bodie adored Ray. The attraction was undeniable. "I'm going to miss the bionic golliwog."

Ray chuckled, a warm, rich sound deep in his throat. "You know, you're always welcome."

"I know. I can't. Molly's too important."

"I wonder what that says about my relationship with Bodie," Ray muttered, disengaging himself smoothly and sitting up to stretch like a large, tawny cat. In the light from the few candles still burning, Ray was burnished gold -- a pagan idol, Dionysus with tumbled curls and a dented face.

"No judgment intended. If Molly could play too it'd be fair. She can't. She won't, so neither will I."

Ray smiled a crooked smile. "Do you know how much I love Bodie?" he asked. "More than anything in this world, is how much."

"Does Bodie know that?" Murphy pulled Doyle down into an embrace, resting his hands on the small, perfectly rounded backside. "You ought to tell him," he said between kisses.

"He's the hardest one to tell." He reached out and stroked Bodie's back very lightly. "There are so many locked rooms inside him. He's strange to me, Murph. I don't really understand him even though I know him so well. But I love him which ought to be enough."

"Love you too, Sunshine." The deep voice was muffled by the pillow that cradled Bodie's face.

"You fraud!" Doyle smacked Bodie's buttocks sharply making him yelp. "That's not nice, listening in on other people's conversations."

"I have no manners." Bodie rolled over. He was sleepy-eyed and temptingly rumpled.

"And I talk like that to keep your spirits up," Ray grumbled. "I don't really mean it."

"Mmmm, well, I'll keep it in mind, shall I?" He nipped Ray's shoulder.

"Bloody biter. I'll have you shot one day, I swear."

"Nudge, nudge . . . shot, eh? Way-hey-hey, know what I mean? Nudge-nudge."

"Fool, lout."

"Keep my spirits up, eh? Eh? Know what I mean? Nudge-nudge, eh?"

Ray slid off of Murphy's chest onto Bodie and pummeled him lightly, slapping his face and kissing him. Their laughter was sweet and only for the two of them. It made Murphy wistful. As much as he cared for Molly, it would be years before they knew each other well enough to have this sort of easy affection. Bodie and Doyle had been an old married couple long before they were regular lovers.

Ray had stopped slapping Bodie and was half-straddling his chest, bending forward, his forearms resting on either side of Bodie's head, to tease Bodie's mouth with his tongue. There was a look in his eyes that Murphy hadn't seen before -- one that Bodie frequently wore when he looked at Ray. He felt a little like a fifth wheel, and began to climb out of bed, intending to leave them alone when a strong hand gripped his arm.

"Not so fast. Where were you on the night of December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven?" Bodie asked in his best constable's voice.

"Wot's all this then?" Ray added.

"Yus, I done it. I confess. I was in bed with me mates. . ."

"Sodomy! That's a serious offense, laddie."

"I'm very, very sorry and I promise not to do it again." Murphy made his eyes very innocent.

"Bloody hell," Bodie exclaimed. "Inspector Dim, what d'you think we should do?"

"Why do I always have to be Dim of the Yard?" Ray complained.

"Type casting, love."

"Hmmm. I think we should . . . tie him to a bed . . . and spank him!"

"We've done that."

"Oh . . . bugger 'im?"

"Good idea, oh Ray."

"'Course it's a good idea! Turn over, agent Murphy and take your punishment like a man."

Murphy rolled over, giggling helplessly. He felt not the least bit erotic. Petulant cries of "me first" and "no me, I thought of it!" filled the air. He began to laugh out loud and buried his face in a pillow.

"I don't think yer takin' this with proper decorum, lad," Ray admonished as one of them lubricated Murphy. It was getting worse. He couldn't stop laughing. He felt Bodie's cock nudge the ring of muscle and he laughed even harder.

"'E's putting me right off," Bodie grumbled.

"It's yer technique, Sunshine. Does it to 'em every time."

"You don't laugh." Bodie pressed forward, penetrating easily without discomfort. Murphy couldn't stop laughing.

"I have no sense of humour," Ray said. He scooted on his back under Murphy, on whose face tears of laughter were running. "Hmmm, let's see if the chassis needs work."

The feel of Doyle's lips nibbling at his penis sobered Murphy quickly. "Hah," said Ray, "I found the off switch."

It took them a while considering that he'd already had two orgasms that evening, but diligence was rewarded and they brought him off neatly, Bodie inside him and he inside Ray; and afterwards when he and Bodie lay on the bed, Ray, sporting an imposing erection, knelt between them and asked which one was going to be a mate and help him out. Murphy began to laugh again. He felt limp and foolish and loved.

"Romance your hand, young Raymond, you insatiable thing."

"Insatiable? Who's the one who's gotten off only once, eh?"

"Oh go on, you know how I love to watch you." At which Ray relented and lay back against the footboard of the bed, his slender legs spread wide so that the other two could see him clearly. He wrapped his right hand around his swollen cock and pumped it slowly, sliding the foreskin up and back over the reddened glans. His left hand cupped his balls, drawing them upwards with each stroke. His right thumb caressed the slit, spreading the moisture there in a wide circle that caught the light from the candles.

He looked like a faun, like an elf, in an uninhibited display of auto-eroticism that, had he not been completely drained already, would have driven Murphy into a state of active arousal. Ray was beautiful, lost in himself, hand slipping faster and faster, down to the short strokes, tense -- toes digging into the sheets. And just before he climaxed, his eyes flew open -- golden in the candlelight -- and he smiled a heartbreakingly loving smile at Bodie. He came with a shout, showering himself and the sheets.

"Voyeurs," he gasped.

Bodie crawled down and began to lick his chest and belly, and Murphy joined him. They licked him clean.

They slept entwined until well past noon, Ray cuddled between Murphy and Bodie. The sun was bright at the windows -- a cold, crisp day, and Murphy awoke with a feeling of well-being. What he felt for the two beside him was clearly not the sort of love they felt for each other or which he felt for Moll, but it was strong with the bonds of their work and ways of life and frank enjoyment of each others' bodies. They would always be his lovers even if they never again made love or kissed or even touched. "Love you both," he whispered to the sleepers. "Just so you know."

-- THE END --

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