Fit to Be Tied


"He went through there," Doyle said, pointing to the side entrance of a warehouse.

"No, he didn't. We'd have seen the door close if he had -- we weren't that far behind him." Bodie frowned and looked up and down the alley.

"Oh, come on!" Doyle barked in return. "It's not like we were chasing him. He had plenty of time to go in there. We know he's around here somewhere, and the warehouse seems the most likely place."

"So says Policeman Ray," Bodie grumbled, unholstering his gun. "Fine. You open it." Everything he did seemed to annoy Doyle lately; they couldn't agree on anything. It was beginning to feel as bad as the first few months of their partnership.

"Well, where else would you stash your supply if you had a cache of guns, eh?" Doyle whispered in a harsh voice, moving silently to open the door. He detested Bodie's mocking of his police background and it drove him into a tightlipped silence.

He gently undid the latch and pushed the door open, quickly poking his head around the corner once to survey the scene, then pulled back instantly. He shook his head at Bodie, and Bodie flung himself forward, dropping to his knees in a roll, then coming up ready to fire. Doyle quickly followed. They cautiously moved through the rear entry of the building, following their pattern of looking and preparing to shoot, until they'd checked out all the main storage area.

"Ray," Bodie said, motioning to Doyle and pointing at a pallet of large crates near a window.

Doyle cocked his eyebrow up, and tucked his gun in his holster. They moved over to the pallets, Bodie still with gun in hand. Doyle looked around for something to unhinge one of the crates. He finally found a prybar and began pushing against the top, which would not give.

"Oh, for Christ's sake," Bodie sighed, taking the bar forcefully out of Doyle's hands, "let me. You'd think you were trying to lever an elephant up or something. You just rest now, petal."

Doyle tried to snatch the prybar back and the two tussled briefly. "What makes you think you're Mr. Universe, eh?" he snapped. Bodie's macho shit had been driving him mad lately. He couldn't possibly have more than one stone over Doyle, but he continually treated Doyle as if he was some fainting flower.

Bodie was having as much trouble as Doyle with the crate. Finally Doyle joined Bodie and they both pushed against it, the lid snapping off with a resounding crack.

They leaned over the crate and peered in, their bodies very close together. Bodie felt somewhat unnerved, but could not put his finger on the source of his discomfiture. It had been like this a fair bit lately. He felt uncomfortable around Ray, and he snapped at him. The two simply could not get along for more than a few minutes. He had doubts occasionally about where all this crossness was coming from, and wondered if he weren't too attached to, and therefore dependent upon, his partner. He was not used to this closeness, and the more he thought about it and struggled with it, the more he was left with the troubled feeling that he would someday be forced to either thump Ray -- or kiss him. Bodie was equally vexed by either thought, and could not for the life of him figure out where such ideas had come from. So he took refuge in bickering.

Doyle seemed to be equally up to the task. Always snappish before, he appeared to have reached new heights of disagreeableness. This op wasn't helping -- a confusing tangle of gun shipments, Irish terrorists, and the potentially explosive situation of someone high in the defense ministry selling guns from Russia and China to the highest bidders; countries Britain was already having enough trouble with. But nothing concrete had yet materialized, until now, as the two looked down into the crates.

Doyle whistled. There were at least ten of the wooden boxes piled into the corner haphazardly.

"Well, we may have found our golden goose," Doyle said. "Look at this lot. AK47s, grenades, and look at that long, narrow crate. Bet you it's a rocket launcher." He fingered one of the guns.

Bodie leaned down and pulled up one of the guns to look underneath. Just then he felt a searing, horrible jolt all through his body, and fell to the ground. Doyle whirled.

He briefly saw a man, tall with reddish/blond hair, who jabbed a small device at him just as he reached for his gun. A sharp, agonizing pain coursed through him, and he fell to the ground, the room around him going white. His last coherent thought was of Bodie, praying he wasn't dead.

Doyle watched vaguely as he was dragged across the floor. He kept fighting the urge to close his eyes, his body paralyzed and his breathing labored. Pain rocketed through his body. Finally he just shut his eyes; it was too disturbing, being awake and yet not awake. After some time, he opened them slowly, feeling a heavy sensation across his chest and hips. His head throbbed, a small army marching inside his brain. His mouth didn't want to work and he could tell he'd been drooling a little. Bodie's face was right up in front of his, and he tried to jump back, startled, but he was held in place.

Cord. He was trussed up like a Christmas goose, lying on his side, his hands bound behind him and his feet tied up behind his bum. And worse, he was tied to Bodie.

Bodie groaned and stirred, pulling the cord taut on Doyle. "Oooph," Ray grunted. Bodie's eyes flickered open. In spite of his pain, Doyle found himself stunned at the clarity of the blue in his partner's eyes and at the muzzy sense of fear they held -- not a common expression for Bodie.

"Wha--" Bodie tried to take in the situation but his brain was fogged, every bone in his body hurt. "What happened?"

Doyle's voice was ragged and trembling. "I think we got hit with one of those shock guns," he said weakly, his breath feathering on Bodie's cheek.

"He hit me first," Bodie said accusingly, voice thick and fuzzy. "Why the hell didn't you shoot him?"

"It happened too fast! Sod off!" he said in retort, his mind too hazy to concoct anything else.

"Too fast for the best shot on the squad? I thought you were supposed to be the Sundance Kid. Shoot better when you move." Bodie snorted in derision but his throat was too tight and restricted, and he began a coughing fit.

Doyle struggled against the cord that bound them together and Bodie yelped in pain. "!" he gasped.

Doyle stopped. The two of them lay panting for a time, trying to regain breath, assess their situation. Neither of them was thinking clearly.

"How are we gonna get out of this?" Bodie muttered. "Christ, I can't believe you got us into this."

"Me! Oh yeah, it's all my fault. Like we didn't come in here together."

"You were the one so anxious to get in here and have a look round." Bodie yanked backwards on the cord tying his arms, which wound its way around to eventually connect with Doyle's groin. Doyle howled in pain as the cord pulled up between his legs, cutting into his testicles.

The two were silent after that, seething into each other's faces, breathing heavily. Bodie could not believe their fate. They were stuck together, on their sides, all their energy drained out of them, and not a chance in hell of getting out of this.

"The guy really knew what he was doing," Doyle finally said, trying to survey their situation, his head craned downward as far as it could go. "He's got us in a real Chinese puzzle here. I can't see how to get out of it. Can you get your knife?"

"Not a chance, mate," Bodie sighed. "You?"

"Nah. Why couldn't this guy be a New Avengers fan? Buy the idea that tying us back to back would be the way to go? Never works like it does on telly."

"Think we could inch over to the prybar?"

"And do what? Pry a limb off and slip out?" Doyle snapped.

"It was just an idea," Bodie barked back.

"What about your R/T?" Doyle wiggled against Bodie, trying to feel if the familiar electronic bulge was there in either of their pockets.

Bodie felt a shiver of excitement run through him, tingling his groin. It was a very disturbing sensation and he closed his eyes against it.

Doyle stopped wiggling as he realized his cock was grinding against Bodie's. More troubling, it was almost pleasant. He pulled backwards and Bodie gave a distinctly unpleasant gasp as the cord constricted against tender bits.

"Must have taken them off us. Geez, this guy covered everything, didn't he?"

"Well, doesn't matter, you called us in so once they realize they haven't heard from us, they'll find us." Doyle swallowed hard. His throat hurt and the pounding in his head was getting louder. He could also feel his lower legs going numb from being bent back so severely. He was tremendously flexible, but this setup was too much of a strain. He tried thinking of some of his Eastern exercises and his meditation relaxation techniques, but he could only relax so much. Being this close to Bodie was putting him on his guard.

"I didn't call it in," Bodie said finally, resentment seething from him.

"You what?" Doyle shouted, and was immediately met by a loud snap, the unmistakable sound of a slide being pulled back on a handgun. He and Bodie both ducked at the same time, their heads colliding. They groggily looked around to see their captor standing a few feet away from them, gun pointing in their general direction.

"Shut up!" he said. "I'm sick of listening to you two idiots. I've got a deal happening here in a few hours and I'll not have your stupid bickering ruin this. Got that?" he shouted, towering above them. Doyle looked up behind him and noticed most of the other crates were missing. He must have moved them while they were lying paralyzed. How long were they out of it so completely?

Bodie's head sagged to the floor and he sighed. "You might as well give it up. Don't you know who you're dealing with here? We're CI5. When our mob finds you..."

"I'm not planning to kill you, you morons," the man said evenly. "If I'd wanted to, I'd've already done it, wouldn't I? I just want you out of the way until I get my money and the deal is over, then you can go. Just shut the fuck up for now, all right? And when I'm done I'll give you a few hours and someone can come find you. By then I'll be long gone."

Bodie twisted his face and looked at Doyle. They both had no choice right now but to believe him, Bodie thought, and hope for the best. Green fire was flaring at him now, but fortunately Doyle's temper was under some control, and Bodie sensed an agreement, however slight. Normally Doyle's temper amused Bodie, except lately, as it had been directed so nastily towards him. Now he just wanted Doyle to keep calm enough not to jeopardize their situation.

The man pointed the gun towards their faces and shook it like a warning finger. "Now just shut up and give me some peace."

He walked away to the back and climbed up some ladderlike stairs to a catwalk along the back wall. Why hadn't they checked the second floor catwalks? Bodie thought stupidly.

Doyle was still glaring at him when he looked back at his partner.

"What?" Bodie asked, annoyed.

"You didn't call it in," Doyle said slowly, sneeringly.

"Oh, pack it in. We were just tailing a suspect. Nothing special that warrants calling in."

"Oh no? Following a suspect down a deserted alley, with a good lead, to a likely spot where we'll find just what we're looking for, doesn't merit a call in to confirm our whereabouts and actions?"

"Give it a rest, Doyle," Bodie said lamely, realizing he had no good footing here for an argument.

"If you would just quit ignoring standard procedures," Doyle said in a monotone. "Just because you have contempt for the police doesn't mean you can get away with ignoring standard, common procedures. If you didn't think you're so far above the petty details, someone would be here by now!"

"Don't give me that crap. They'll figure it out. That's your problem -- you never want to take action, you have to follow all the little rules."

"Oh, ho, right you are, James Bond. And that's why you're always getting people killed. You refuse to acknowledge the rules exist to help us."

"Sod off."

"Oh, very witty. I'm not the one runnin' around like super agent. That's you, isn't it? Have to be the big man. You could have called in Myer's location, couldn't you, and we'd have nailed them. But nooooo, you had to handle it yourself, with nothing but a gammy hand and a boat."

"Pack it in right now, Doyle. I was perfectly justified in that. Who knew how long it would take for CI5 to arrive, they could have easily left before anyone got there." Bodie's voice was rising, dark and foreboding, a tone that most people knew meant get away fast. Everyone except Doyle, who seemed to thrive on this level of menace.

"You wish. They were returning to the cottage Myer was found in, cretin. You got that vicar killed, and the rest of you almost all done in, because you wanted to be Dick Danger."

"I was not responsible for the vicar climbing out the window!"

"No, but he wouldn't have had to if you'd followed procedure and gone to a bloody call box at the nearest car park, called it in and let us do the job!" Doyle snorted.

"I did the best I could!" Bodie bellowed into Doyle's face. Belatedly Doyle realized Bodie had had garlic for lunch. Lots of it. He winced.

"Come on! Even the greenest CI5 agent wouldn't have done that! Years, Bodie, we've been partnered three years and you're still trying to prove you're better than me!"

Bodie pulled against the cord, jerking it up between Doyle's crotch. Doyle screamed out.

Bodie said in measured tones, speaking slowly as if to a dim child, "Now listen up. I am not trying to prove I'm better than you. I have never thought that. I am sick to death of your bullshit, Ray. I don't know what's got into you lately but it's going to stop." He took a deep breath and continued. "I saw a situation and I acted the only way I knew how. I did the best I could under the circumstances. We all came out of it okay, and if the vicar had listened to me, he'd still be here. I was counting on you to rescue me." He tried a laugh but it came out more like a growl.

Doyle was still gasping from the stabbing pain in his testicles. That guy really knew what he was doing when he'd tied them up, roping the cord over their shoulders, round their waists and through their legs before tying their hands. Not much they could do wouldn't cause them some sort of pain.

"I'm sick of you taking chances like this, Bodie. Now look at what's happened. We're stuck here because you didn't call it in. You were driving and you were the last out of the car. That's when you radio our position."

"Well it's too bloody late for recriminations, isn't it, mum? We're here and we're stuck! Christ, you're like a dog with a bone, you just chew and chew and chew until there's nothing left. Just leave it alone!"

"Oh, that's rich coming from you! Half the situations I worry over are caused by you!"

"Name one!" Bodie challenged.

"How 'bout that little incident at the window at Wimbledon? There was no way I could take that guy out without taking you out, too. You left me almost no room! You're an idiot!"

"You got the shot off just fine. You never miss! I told you that," Bodie bellowed.

"I could have done, that's the point," Doyle shouted back.

"Oh, for chrissakes. You always have to have the last word, don't you?"

"What? What are you talking about?"

"Just that. No matter what I say, you always have to say something in return, something in rebuttal. The last word." Bodie shook his head in disgust.

"I do not."

"See? There. You just did."

"Bollocks! I was denying what you said. That's not the same as having the last word. How am I supposed to defend myself against your accusations if I'm not allowed to speak in my own defense, huh?" Doyle's face was red with rage.

Bodie mimicked him in a smarmy voice. "How am I supposed to defend myself? Well you wouldn't have to if you didn't have to have the last word!"

"That's ridiculous! It's a Catch-22! I can't say anything I want in response, or else I'm playing into your theory. That's entirely unfair." He bared his teeth and put on his most feral look.

"Because you can't keep your bloody mouth shut. You've never been able to. Bodie's always in the wrong, isn't he? Always needs Ray Doyle, student of humanity, to tell him what's what. Bodie, you're a bigot. Bodie, you're reckless. Bodie, you're stupid. Well, just once I'd like to see you not be the one to finish a conversation. You can't do it!"

"I bloody well can!"

"You just did it again! You had to have the la--"

"Shut up!" their captor's voice exploded at them. They immediately stopped their arguing and looked sideways at him. The gun was pointed ominously right at their faces.

"Shut the fuck up right now or I will have to renege on my promise not to kill you. I mean it. I don't have any more cord or I'd take one of you and put you in the boot of my car. Jesus Christ, how does CI5 get along with people like you in it?"

He was fuming and redfaced, and Bodie wisely chose to swallow his retort, which would have centered around Doyle's incompetence.

The man stormed off, muttering harshly, hands running through his hair. "Can't believe I'm stuck with these morons. Just my luck. Deal of the century and I have to get these two in the middle of it."

Doyle watched him go before laying his head against the concrete flooring and sighing heavily. He didn't enjoy the arguing, contrary to what Bodie thought. It hurt him to have Bodie call him names. Now he felt cut to the quick over the insults about having the last word. It felt as if he couldn't do anything right lately. Easier to hammer Bodie every chance he got, even though he didn't really want to. Just defensive measures.

After a time, he looked at his partner, whose eyes were closed. He waited some more time before declaring, "I suppose he's right. We'd better get on with each other if we're going to find a way out of this."

"Doyle. Look at us. We're tied together in such a way that every movement I make almost castrates you, and vice versa. Our hands are behind our backs, so there's no way we can aid each other. And on top of it, I can't even feel my legs anymore, they've gone beyond hurting now."

"I know, but aren't you always bragging about how you've managed to get out of situations Houdini couldn't? All those tales of Africa? Haven't I heard you say that before?" He peered at Bodie with intense scrutiny. Just another chance to catch Bodie in his tall tales, Doyle figured. He had no patience for Bodie the braggart.

"I'm trying, Ray, I'm really trying. But I'm not having any luck, they're too tense."

"Here, look," Doyle said, "what if I get closer to you, maybe we can create some slack." His own hands were twisting and turning as he tried to find a way out of the bindings.

Bodie looked like a frightened colt, the whites of his eyes showing huge around the dark irises. "Uh, I don't think that will help..."

Doyle scooted closer -- not that there was much room already -- pressing his body even tighter against Bodie's. Bodie felt a little slack in the cord but not much. He began flexing his wrists, trying to find a loose spot he might be able to use to his advantage. But Doyle's breathing against his neck was stealing his concentration.

Doyle felt keenly aware of Bodie's intense body heat and the scent of his skin, a warm, masculine smell that made Doyle's nostrils flare, trying to take it in. He was so close he could feel Bodie's beard stubble against his skin, a soft scratching. Bodie's heart beat erratically in his chest. Must be feeling as uncomfortable about this as I am, Doyle thought wonderingly. Christ, we look like a couple of bondage queers.

He started to giggle, and Bodie ceased movement.

"What's so bloody funny?" Bodie demanded crossly.

"Suppose it's a good thing you didn't call us in," Doyle said, in between giggles. "Just imagine the ribbing we'd take in the squad room for being found like this." He was hoping the laughter would take his mind off the disturbing tightness of his jeans in a particular point of his anatomy.

"Very funny." Bodie gave a startled "ooph" and his arm jerked. "Hey, hang about, I think I'm getting something. Jesus, this hurts," he noted for effect. The skin along the inside of his wrist was becoming heavily abraded and he could feel something warm there, undoubtedly blood. But he felt something give, if only a little, and knew he must keep going. He had to get away from Doyle if it killed him. Either that or Doyle would soon be noticing the bulge at his crotch making itself known.

"Don't bend your arm back too much," Doyle noted, "or you'll hyperextend your elbow, and then where will we be?"

"That's nice, isn't it. You're always thinking of someone else's welfare, aren't you? Generous sod."

Doyle's eyes narrowed. The pain in his crotch was beginning to subside a little but he still felt an intense pressure there.

"You're certainly pleasant company, aren't you, these days? Do you ever have anything to say that's not a clever retort or an insult?" He wanted to give a jerk on the cord, but did not wish to affect Bodie's progress, so restrained himself.

"Me! Hah! That's to laugh. You haven't said a civil word to me in months. I've been thinking of asking Cowley to reteam me, you've been so damn unpleasant."

"How can anyone be pleasant with an oaf like you for a partner? It's a wonder we're still alive after all this time, the ridiculous things you do." Doyle grunted as Bodie pulled tight against the cord. "That was not to get more slack. You did that on purpose."

"Bloody well right I did. I told you before, if you don't give it a rest I will make you very sorry for that nasty mouth of yours when we finally get out of this." He was having trouble focusing his eyes on Doyle's face, they were so close together, but he could see the green eyes narrow even more against this warning.

"Don't you threaten me, you ox."

Bodie twisted his hand and it popped loose of one of the loops around his wrist. The surprise made his body go rigid and he heard Doyle gasp.

Doyle's head suddenly shot down, and Bodie was faced with the top of his hair, curls tickling against his nose. Then Doyle's head snapped up again, eyes huge.

"You... what the hell is wrong with you!" His heart was pounding in his chest like a jackhammer as he stared at Bodie in dumb surprise.

Bodie could only stare dumbly back, his excitement at getting his hand ever so slightly loose dying quickly. "Wha..."

"You're've got... you mad bastard!" Doyle pulled his body hard away and Bodie thrust his torso forward to keep the cord from digging into his body. Doyle jerked away again and Bodie did the same forward inch.

"Get away from me!" Doyle shouted, though he was hard pressed to figure out exactly how Bodie should do just that.

"Doyle, listen. I..." he was too hopeful about his possibly free hand for this argument. "My hand is almost free!"

Doyle was having none of this. "And I bet I know what you'll do with it when it is!" he sneered, as he tried to move his hips backwards away from Bodie's tumescent manhood.

"Oh, bloody hell." Bodie was getting exasperated. He was losing momentum. "Look, just give me some more slack. Move forward."

"Like hell I will," Doyle said angrily. "What is wrong with you?" Take the offense, he told himself. Don't let him know it's not entirely unappealing.

"I'm sorry. It must just be the friction, that's all. It doesn't mean a thing, it's just the circumstances. Don't be such a prick, move over." Somehow that had not come out right -- move over and prick in the same sentence. He cringed, waiting.

"Who's the prick here?"

Bodie's patience evaporated into the air. "I'm not touching that with a barge pole."

"Oh, and speaking of barge poles."

"That does it!" Bodie hollered. "Listen, you poisonous little dwarf, if you can't stop focusing on yourself for one minute and think about how we're going to get out of this, when your simple cooperation will give me a little more slack on this cord, then..."

"Fuck you, you oversexed lummox, you're not the one lying here with your partner's cock throbbing against your hip. You're like some stupid dog humping my leg!" Doyle knew he had gone too far this time, but could not stop the sense of momentum he was building.

Never one to step back when he knew the you've-gone-too-far line was so near, Bodie ceased his motion and took a deep breath.

"You little wanker," he said in a singsong cadence. The Liverpool boy he once was came out in his speech patterns whenever he got angry. "As if you have a right to be cheesed off. You go round showin' off all the time, wearing those tight jeans or those moleskin trousers that fit like a glove, lettin' the world see what you've got. You pose and you primp, you wear shirts that anyone can see right through, making sure everyone knows what's there for the taking. Don't try to tell me--"

Doyle's lips were pulled back in a grimace, teeth bared and looking very feral. "You've been looking at me?" A vague sense of vain pride crept in around the edges of his annoyance.

Suddenly flummoxed, Bodie opened and closed his mouth but nothing came out.

"I...I can't help it, can I? No one can. You're a tease, Doyle."

"Yeah, except I'm not teasing you, you great idiot."

"Listen, you walking mop--"

"You make me sound like I'm some slapper you picked up in a wine bar! You're just jealous because you're nothing but a big, clumsy simpleton who--"

"Jealous of a mangy, scrawny hairball like you, who always looks like something the cat brought in?" Bodie roared.

"You pignosed, hedgehog bristled, smug bastard! You--"

"Shut the fuck up!" their captor screamed from behind them. "Jesus Christ! That does it." The man looked around but his gaze didn't linger on anything. He finally sighed and took off his dark wool jacket, then ripped off a large section of the cotton plaid shirt he was wearing. He leaned over Doyle and pulled out the Taser gun the two had been zapped with previously, and Doyle jerked his head back in surprise. The man shook the device at Doyle and said warningly, "Don't you move." He took a strip of the fabric and tied it around Doyle's mouth; then a moment later did the same for Bodie. Then he stood back.

"Finally. Some peace and quiet. I swear to the almighty if I had any time to spare I'd get rid of both of you, but as I can't leave here until my business is finished, I'm stuck with the pair of you. But I'm not listening to any more of your shite, got that? You can lie there and drool into that for all I care, because I've had it with you two. Worse then any married couple I've ever seen, y'are," he said, mumbling as he walked away.

Doyle stared at Bodie. Bodie stared at Doyle. Whatever arousal had been growing between them had ceased, and now the two could only lie there, breathing through their noses and feeling their hearts beat against one another's chest. Bodie could see Doyle's eyes traveling to the gag in his mouth.

"Ooee," Doyle said around the gag.

Bodie looked at Doyle, who nodded in the direction of his mouth. Even through all their arguing, he could still feel the easy unvoiced communication they shared. He nodded, trying to swallow some of the spit back. His heart hammered in his throat, and he could feel himself begin to sweat. Those lips, which he had admired for so long...

Doyle leaned forward and, pulling his lips back, hooked his front upper teeth over the edge of Bodie's gag. He could smell Bodie's skin, feel the smooth warmth against his lips. His breathing became deeper and more labored, his face pressed deeply into Bodie's cheek. He pulled on the gag with his teeth, pulling it away and down. It caught against Bodie's lower teeth, but Bodie slipped his jaw backwards a little and let his lips go as slack as they could.

After pulling for a while, the gag finally came down over Bodie's chin, raking against Bodie's lower lip and causing a tearing pain. Bodie gasped in a deep breath, not noticing right away that Doyle's face was still right next to his. When he finally realized it he froze, not knowing what to do. He tilted his face slightly sideways, his lips brushing Doyle's. A machine gun burst of excitement rifled through his body and he stopped a tremble through sheer force of will.

"Easy, sunshine," he panted. "Your turn." Bodie took Doyle's gag in his teeth. He pulled away, then down, but the gag did not give easily. His mouth pressed against Doyle's, he tugged harder and with Doyle's harsh whoop of pain, yanked it down successfully. Once it was out of Doyle's mouth, he pulled it down gently with his lips until it hung at Doyle's neck. He did not, however, take his face away from Doyle's. He could not see Doyle's eyes, but felt the lashes flicker against his own as he raised his face slightly.

Bodie moved his face slightly sideways and up, until his lips were millimeters from Doyle's, their breath mingling into one warm mist. His nose rubbed delicately against the side of Doyle's, and he let his forehead touch Ray's.

Finally, Doyle moved forward, locking his full, if slightly aggrieved, lips with Bodie's. They plunged into the kiss, breathing heavily through their noses, their swollen lips pressed firmly together. Bodie's tongue penetrated the barrier of Doyle's teeth, encouraging his mouth open, exploring the silken wet feel of it. Doyle responded in kind, their tongues fencing with each other's until they finally broke away, panting, staring at each other with shockwide eyes.

"What the 'ell was that?" Doyle said, gasping.

"You tell me, golliwog," Bodie said, his voice trembling.

Neither one spoke.

Finally Doyle sighed. "Ohhh," he groaned. "I don't believe it."

"Me neither," Bodie rushed in. "My god, I've been wondering what was wrong with me for the past few months. I couldn't figure out why I wanted to thump you all the time, but at the same time I couldn't stop thinking about you, usually at the worst moments. But I didn't want to know." He took a deep breath to continue his headlong rush into confession, but Doyle interrupted him.

"No. I meant I can't believe it. I have to piss." He looked sheepishly at Bodie.

Bodie remained frozen, his mouth open. "Oh." His voice was flat.

Doyle could see the guards being put in place, the faint clanging of the portcullis gate as it went down.

"Well, you know what mum always said -- you should have gone before you left." There was a slight hint of anger there in Bodie's voice, only enough that Doyle could notice.

"We gotta get out of here."

"Oh, you just figured that out, did you?"

"You know what I mean." He sighed. "Bodie, I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to put you off. I just wasn't expecting you to start spilling your guts. I don't know what to say. And I do have to piss."

"My hand is free," Bodie suddenly announced. He was glowering.

"Really?" Doyle could tell Bodie was happy to have a change of topic. Whatever opportunity they'd had to discuss their arousal and the kiss was gone, due to Doyle's inopportune bodily functions.

"Yeah," Bodie breathed heavily. He twisted his arm a few more times before he finally pulled the arm out and waved his bloodied, mangled hand at Doyle. "Houdini."

"Yeah!" Doyle said excitedly. "Can you untie my hands?"

Bodie froze. "'ll have to move over, lean towards me." He waited with held breath.

"All right." Doyle rolled his hips and shoulders tightly against Bodie's. Bodie was warm, soft. Doyle's head rested against his throat, and he could feel the heavy pulsing of Bodie's jugular vein.

Bodie reached around and fumbled at the cord on Doyle's wrists. "Damn!" he muttered, his breath hot against Ray's ear.

Doyle shivered as that breath skittered over his skin. "What is it?" He tried raising his head but it collided with Bodie's chin, and Bodie's teeth snapped shut.

"Ow!" he hollered. "My god! You made me bite off half my tongue!"

Doyle pulled his head away and looked at him. "Open up and let me see." Scowling, Bodie opened his mouth. "No blood, you're fine. Kiss it and make it better?"

Bodie snapped his mouth shut and glared at Doyle, but his partner persevered, bringing his face forward to Bodie's. He touched his lips lightly to Bodie's, waiting to see if there would be a response. The only signal he had was a panting breath from Bodie's nose, but he pressed his lips harder against Bodie's. Finally his mouth opened to Doyle's, and the two of them began kissing in earnest.

At length, Doyle broke away from Bodie and looked at him. "So you were saying." He felt slightly smug, and forced a smile at his partner.

"Huh?" Bodie asked, his mind slightly fogged. All his brainpower seemed to have moved south to his trousers.

"You said 'damn' before, when you were trying to untie my hands."

"Oh." A frown creased Bodie's face. "Yeah. There's no knot there. I can't tell where this bloke's tied the ends. Christ he's done a good job. If I can just--" He leaned harder against Ray, his hand moving down the cord to Doyle's feet.


"Found it?"

"Yeah, around your feet at least. I think I can get your legs loose."

"Good, they've bloody gone to sleep."

"Well, I can't even feel mine. I think I hit my head when he stunned me, was out cold. Maybe I'm paralyzed."

Doyle shot a glance at his crotch. "I don't think so. There's plenty of life in that appendage."

Bodie felt slighted, but he was not sure he was being insulted this time or not. "I didn't see you resisting this time."

"Course not. I started it."

"I know! So stop making sarky comments." His fumbling paid off and the knot came undone near Doyle's feet. It was excrutiatingly hard to untie a knot with only one hand.

"I'm not sarky."

"You're always sarky. There."

Doyle tried to flex his legs but couldn't tell if they were going in the direction he wanted them to, so rubbery and deadened were they.

"I am not. You just have thin skin. How someone with such a thick skull can have such thin skin is beyond me." He shook his legs, the friction of his body rubbing hard against his partner.

The free hand came round and Bodie poked a finger against Doyle's chest repeatedly, emphasizing each word he spoke. "You have the worst temper and most obnoxious mouth of anyone I've ever met. You're a spitting cobra, is what you are."

"Hah! And you're Pollyanna, aren't you?"

"I'm not a pit viper, at least." Bodie's voice was rising again and his eyes were narrowed.

"At least a pit viper has brains. You're just a great bloody yak runnin' around in Saville Row tailoring." Doyle's voice was hard edged and angry. Somehow all their changes of the past minutes had vanished into thin air.

Bodie became livid. He remembered an incident only days before on an obbo, when he'd been occupying his time with a crossword puzzle. "Five letter word for fop," Bodie'd asked. Doyle had thought briefly. "B-O-D-I-E." Bodie had only fixed him with a steely glare then, but now the remark came back, stinging like a cold, wet slap.

Finally he snapped. "Who's getting us out of these ropes, eh? Is it you, you coldblooded little reptile?" Bodie bellowed.

"Who are you calling a reptile, you boneheaded mental pygmy?"


Doyle began jerking against the ropes and started to open his mouth but Bodie suddenly clamped his lips over Doyle's, effectively stopping the next round of insults. Doyle at first tried to jerk away but then gave in, little by little, until he was avidly returning Bodie's kisses.

There was a sudden noise at their feet. "I don't fucking believe this! You two are snogging!" their captor yelled, his hands on either side of his head. "Oh my God! Oh my God!" he shouted, stomping around the room in circles. He bent down and was trying to reach for the gags when Doyle kicked out viciously with his legs, twisting himself up and over Bodie, who was rolled around before he knew what was happening.

The man flew backwards as if punched, and he fell a few feet away. Trying to right himself, he slipped sideways, his head connecting with the ladder to the catwalk, and he slumped down to the floor, unconscious.

"Wow," Doyle said in wonderment. "I didn't expect that to happen."

"Quick," Bodie said, "we've got to get the rest of the ropes off you and get out of here. We've no idea when his buyers are turning up." Bodie wrestled with the cord and finally managed to unloop Doyle's hands. Ray threw his hands forward and worked at the threaded tangle around their bodies until he had them both free.

They stood weakly, their legs tingling furiously from lack of circulation, every muscle aching. Bodie grabbed the man's gun and used the cord to tie him up, every bit as tightly and securely as they had been. Doyle motioned that he was going for the R/Ts.

Bodie watched after Doyle as he walked stiffly away, staring at his bum. Now what? he wondered briefly, but there was work to be done.

Doyle could feel Bodie's eyes on him as he dashed out of the room. He put a little extra shimmy in his walk for good measure. Bodie would notice and get the point, he thought confidently. What Doyle would do when Bodie got that point, he wasn't yet ready to consider.

Doyle followed Bodie up the stairs to his flat, bone weary and every nerve feeling frayed. He did not care to think about how dangerously close their timing had been, narrowly getting untied and securing the site before the arms buyers showed up. Nor did he want to go over the brief synopsis of the events they'd tersely given Cowley. For that matter, he couldn't have left fast enough, knowing full well how furious the Old Man would be when he followed the chain of connections to its inevitable end, with a high ranking defense ministry member, just as had been predicted.

The controller of CI5 could rail furiously for hours about such a breach of ethics against Merrie Olde Englande, and neither Doyle nor Bodie would really rather stay there for that performance.

No, dealing with Bodie right now seemed infinitely preferable to mopping up that whole mess.

Bodie threw off his jacket and began unpeeling his shirt. "I'm for a bath," he said under his breath. "Make yourself at home. God, every bone in my body aches." He twisted his shoulders round in circles a few times for emphasis.

The door to the bathroom closed and Doyle was left standing there. He thought briefly of food, then gave it up and went into the bedroom. He peeled off a few of his own clothes and lay down on the bed, waiting for Bodie to finish so he could have his own hot bath and work the kinks out of his muscles. He felt himself drift off and decided not to fight it. He could worry about the developments of their relationship later.

It could have been hours or minutes later, he wasn't sure, but he woke to feel heavy weight over most of his upper body. Bodie lay above him, leaning on his elbows, hands caressing the sides of his face.

Bodie admired the shocked openness of Ray's face. Not a look one usually saw from him. He moved his hands along Doyle's face, down his neck, and across the clavicle covered in soft, downy hair. He massaged gently the muscles at the base of Doyle's neck, then moved over the rounded, muscular curve of his shoulder. Bodie felt reckless, he wanted to go for broke. And he didn't think Ray would mind.

"Oaf, huh?" he said, moving his big hands gently under Doyle's back and kneading there.

"Yeah." Doyle closed his eyes. "You're a moron." His whispered voice feathered across Bodie's neck.

"Berk." Bodie leaned down and kissed lightly along the outline of Doyle's lips, a hint of what was to come. His nose nuzzled against Doyle's earlobe.

"Cretin," Ray whispered. Doyle brought his hands up and moved them over Bodie's warm, damp buttocks. His skin was impossibly smooth, Ray thought.

"Prat," Bodie whispered, his mouth sinking over Ray's full lips, devouring them.

Doyle did not care to have the last word.

-- THE END --

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story was inspired by a scene from the movie "The Ref." Apologies to anyone involved.

Circuit Archive Logo Archive Home