Partners in Crime
by Joana Dey
"That's murder," Doyle said flatly. "I don't want anything to do with that."
Bodie continued to stare implacably.
"It is," Doyle insisted.
"You can come or not, Doyle. I watched my back on my own quite well for any number of years. I can do it again." Off-balance, he hefted the rifle. "It's not you pulling the trigger anyway, is it?"
"It's my partner. No difference." Doyle shuffled a few steps, physically completing the distance between them.
"We know he did it." Bodie turned away.
"There's no proof. Bodie, there's no proof and if you get caught they'll chuck you in to prison and throw away the key." Doyle stretched an unseen hand towards his partner's stiff back.
"I won't be caught, Doyle. Don't worry, none of my blood will soil your precious skin." The bitterness hung in the air, waiting to strike.
"That's not what I'm. They'll kill you."
"Save you spending time visiting me in jail then, won't it? Assuming you'd have bothered, of course. Don't waste your money sending flowers, either, sunshine. Never did like 'em." He strode off down the hallway, clutching the 180 like a babe in arms.
"Bodie! Wait." A few quick strides and Doyle was beside him.
"For what? For you to worry this to death and try to talk me out of it?" Bodie stopped suddenly, shoving Doyle away as they collided. "Tell me this, partner: do you believe this man killed Cowley?"
There was really no other answer. "Yes."
"And do you believe your infallible coppers will collect the evidence needed to arrest him?" Blue eyes stared calmly into green.
Again, no alternative. "No."
"Knowing this, you're willing to let him get away with it?"
Silence. Bodie waited patiently for an answer.
A barely heard negative.
"Then what are you afraid of, sunshine? My breaking the law? Or the destruction of my very soul?" he added mockingly.
The answer came quickly. No waiting this time.
"You getting killed."
"Not if you're there to watch my back," Bodie pointed out sensibly. "Murder or justice, Doyle? You have to choose."
"Whatever I think, it doesn't matter. We go together."
They walked down the corridor in step with each other, as always.
The blinding sunlight hit them in the face as they left the building and Doyle squinted before sliding on his sunglasses.
"Where do you think he is, then?" Bodie asked, his equilibrium restored now that Doyle was next to him.
"You're joking, right?"
Bodie just looked at him, one eyebrow raised.
"What were you planning to do, Bodie, stand in the middle of Piccadilly Circus and call out his name?"
"I was planning on you helping me find him."
"Sure of me, weren't you?" Doyle asked. Bodie's smug little smile was all the answer he needed. "Right. He's a fence. A posh fence, but still. If anyone knows where he is, I reckon it would be Marge Harper." A heavy sigh followed his words.
"I'll do anything for you, lover," Bodie mimicked. It was a line she'd used often over the years when they'd contacted her for help.
"Shuddup, Bodie. Or I'll let you go and talk to her all on your own. See how far you get."
"Not very," Bodie muttered, remembering her opinion of him. Completely misplaced, of course.
"Why'd you pick the trains?" Doyle asking, swiping at his sweaty face with a dirty hand. The last time he'd been here was when that young student, Diana something, had died.
"Because it's hot and dirty and-"
"It's a heat wave, Doyle, it's gonna be hot no matter where we kill the bastard," Bodie rolled his eyes, exasperated.
"A heat wave in October?
Bodie sighed. "You're right, it's actually the Gates of Hell opening for us. Waiting for us to do the dirty and walk right in. Christ, Doyle, it's a sodding heat wave. Give it a rest, will you?"
"Sorry." Doyle settled down on the now tattered and torn First Class cushions. "How much longer before they get here?"
Bodie glanced at his wrist. "'Bout five minutes. Where's your watch?"
"Broken. I'm surprised Marge agreed to help us like this."
"She'd do anything-"
"For me. Yeah, I know. But accomplice to murder?"
"We're not gonna get caught, Ray."
Suddenly Bodie straightened. Doyle stood up and peered carefully out the window.
"You sure about this, Bodie?"
"Now is not the time to ask." Then: "Are you?"
Out in the heat, Marge dropped her handbag and bent down, waving the man to go ahead of her.
"I'm sure, mate." Doyle handed Bodie the bullet and watched silently as it was loaded into the rifle.
"It's your finger on the trigger, Bodie, but I'm right here with you," Doyle said needlessly.
"I know." He raised the rifle, putting his eye to the scope. He was better with a rifle than Doyle. They both knew it.
They also both knew it was Bodie who could best live with being the one to kill in cold blood. It was made bearable only because of the man standing at his side.
Both men watched as the man walked closer. Marge finished collecting the contents of her handbag and straightened up. The man stopped and turned, waiting for her to catch up.
Calmly, Bodie pulled the trigger.
-- THE END --
Response to "DJ's Bored" challenge on a fanfic list: Short story, no more than four pages. Must include trains from Operation Susie, the 180 rifle from Hunter/Hunted, Marge from Backtrack and an unseasonable heat wave.