Kitchen and Other Magic
by Olympian Heights
"In for a penny, in for a pound,
It's love that makes the world go 'round."
It had been a hard day at the office and Bodie was unwinding with his third single malt of the evening when he started at a sudden sharp crack against the window of the CI5 'semi' followed by a low muttering. Normally he would not have opened the door after dark, the pressures of work not only left him plumb tuckered out but as uptight as they come. Acting on a gut reaction he threw the patio door open and glared out.
"Hello, who's there?" he demanded, in spite of seeing nothing. He was about to return to the lounge, warmth and comfort, when his attention was attracted by a fluttering movement on the edge of his field of vision.
"Oh, shit! There go me leathers. Help me, you up there."
"Me?" Bodie knelt down and gently lifted up the tiny creature; only nine inches long, or, more properly, tall. All right, he admitted to himself, in the past he had fallen prey to the one night stands/easy conquests syndrome but by any standards this pick-up was ridiculous. He toted the wee bundle indoors and parked him on the chintz-covered coffee table, figuring this would not give his unexpected guest vertigo. "Come here often?" he enquired politely.
"You don't have to shout and no, I don't," his visitor piped.
Bodie lowered his voice to what in certain circles would have been described as being hoarse with passion. "Sorry. I am William Philip Andrew, but you can call me Bodie. And you?"
"Doyle. Raymond Doyle. I've been kicked out of fairyland. Too progressive for them, that's my problem. I went punk, see?" Doyle indicated the outrageous hairstyle, diamond earstud and clashing bangles.
"It looks right on you, Ray," confided Bodie.
"Yeah, but those others... the rainbow gossamer wings and broderie anglaise gear so square they didn't want to know. That and the graffiti, of course."
Bodie raised an elegantly inquisitive eyebrow. What could this little elf have spray-gunned across fairyland to get himself forcibly ejected?
"You can level with me, sunshine. What was it?"
"It was a game!** Just a game. You play games, Bodie, don't you?" he asked anxiously, changing the subject.
(** The fairy Queen, like her Terran counterpart, was not amused to find FAIRIES DO IT WITH TOADSTOOLS and LOVE IS A TIGHT DORMOUSE sprayed across --- Typist's note: Unreadable)
"Games and then some !"
The CI5 agent's eyes misted with tears as the years flashed back to his glory days in Angola....the torrid time when one moonless night Krivas had got him as high as the proverbial on a mixture of Collis Browne's, Old Recipe Aspirin and Coke. In the darkness and inspired by the motto on the camp beaker (IT'S GREEN) they had gone out and attempted to impregnate a great butch brute of a cactus.
"If you're going to cry, I'm leaving."
Bodie dried his eyes and stopped tripping his ego. "I'm a sorry host. Care for a drink?"
An acorn-cupful of nectar would go down a treat, and some roasted roots."
Bodie's larder was deficient in both items, instead he provided half an egg-cupful of pure scotch. "Best I can do, Doyle."
Only ten minutes passed before the drink took hold of the unfortunate Doyle. "I feel like another," he burbled.
"You look like the Wreck of the Hesperus. Better get your head down. My home is yours," he added in a burst of friendship.
"Love it when you're masterful! I usually sleep on a mossy bank with a cobweb duvet."
"Hard luck. You can share my pillow if you promise not to turn into a frog."
The next morning Bodie awoke to the loud snores of his tiny guest. He rolled out of bed and dressed to boogie beat on his transistor and went to burn the toast. Wreaths of blue smoke flooded into the bedroom and awoke the sleeping beauty. One morning was enough to assure that Doyle was not at his best in the a.m. As a fairy he naturally tended to scintillate in the late evening...when not laid out by the malt. He took a couple of trial flights round the flat, an ill-natured scowl on his face. Finally he landed on the plate rack.
"How can I pay you back, Bodie?" His emerald eyes shone suggestively.
"If you could get rid of the leathers and sorta....well, I mean...you know..."
"Get taller, is that it? Stop being a fairy? Okay by me, got me regulation three wishes left." He giggled at the prospect, crashed from his perch to land on the Cyril Lord. Two lightning spins to the left on his points and the wishes were granted...up to a point.
"Soddin' hell! I said six foot five. Trust me to have a dyslexic fairy godfather," he snorted. He jumped about and added a couple of extra inches before his molecules and genes set.
"I'm away to the office. While I'm gone maybe you could do something about all this." Bodie indicated the mess in the kitchen.
So it started. Doyle was at first perfectly happy cooking, cleaning, washing and polishing but after half a year it had started to pall. Okay, Bodie was kind and protective, but Doyle wanted more; much, much more. After all, there was nowhere he could strut his stuff in those glorious gold Y-fronts Bodie had given him; and the one time he had taken off round the local supermarket in his peacock slumber suit he had been asked to leave because his heels cut into the lino.
"Now I know what Cinders felt like," he sighed.
He did the dishes, planned the evening meal, then opened the window for a breath of sharp, cool air. Bodie tended to prefer Doyle in the kitchen, except for outings on the moped for Sunday picnics in the forest, but in December they were few and far between. He sighed once more and blinked back the tears. "I wish...I wish... I could be with Bodie all the time, that he really loved me. This unrequited love is strictly for the birds. A real no- no." He shook the tea towel out and hung it over his one-time perch. Suddenly he realized he had just blown his last wish. All three had gone to making Bodie happy one way or another.
"I'm tired of boring, repetitive work," he announced to the open window.
An old gentleman's face appeared in the frame and nearly made Doyle start out of his jade V-necked cashmere sweater and cream pants. "You sound like the kind of lad I could use in CI5. The name's Cowley. George Cowley. Shake!"
Doyle executed a swift shimmy and was amazed to see his prospective Controller's eyes turn upwards.
"The hand, laddie, the hand!"
He extended his hand through the window frame, grasped the slender fingers and shook them till the bangles rattled on the edge of the sink. Doyle felt suddenly bold. "Do come in for a cup of Lapsang and some of my pound cake, Mr. C," he chirruped.
"Aye, thank you, I will, laddie."
They sat chatting in the kitchen until the clock struck four and the room was in darkness.
"Oh! Is that the time? I'll have to ask you to go, Mr. Cowley."
"Why? You're not going to change into a pumpkin, are you, laddie?"
"No, but I've got so much to do before my man comes home...fix the meal, fix myself... you know how it is." He blushed.
"Here's my card. Come and see me on the twenty-fourth at five in the afternoon."
"Bye-bye. Be seeing you, Mr. Cowley."
The next two days passed like a dream and if Doyle skimped on dusting the staircase, he made up for it on the kitchen front, producing light-as-thistledown soufflés, delicious steamed veggies, and dreamy sweets in quick succession. Bodie enjoyed them all with murmurs of approval, but on the night of the twenty-third when Doyle sounded his man out about getting a job, all the clairs in the world could not sweeten the way Bodie felt about his fairy being independent.
"You're free to please yourself." There was a thinly disguised note of bitterness in Bodie's voice; he did not look at Doyle as he spoke. "Do what you like, you're a free agent."
"Then you're not angry?"
"No. Go back in the kitchen and do what you're best at."
A strained silence followed; when Ray returned, the lounge was empty. He continued to wander about, automatically performing household chores. It was the first room he had seen when Bodie brought him into his home; his throat tightened as he picked up the black and white plaid jacket carelessly chucked in a corner. He dragged the rough wool across his cheekbone, burning the tender flesh. For a moment he felt like pure shit -- just what Bodie wanted -- then logic raised its attractive head.
"Hell, no, I've done nothing to be ashamed of," he snapped.
Instead of choosing the couch as he had at first intended when under the wet blanket Bodie had left lying around before he withdrew, Doyle made for the bedroom. Once there he could see his host had positioned himself diagonally across the queen-sized bed. He was sleeping fitfully. Even with only the light that threaded itself through the half-open door shining over him, Doyle could see things were far from normal. Bodie's face glistened and was unnaturally pale. He must have heard Ray's soft gasp at seeing him look so young and vulnerable, for he suddenly opened his eyes.
"Anything wrong?" Doyle whispered.
"Don't come near me. Don't touch me," he ordered. "I just wanna die."
It was as well Bodie's fairy godfather had given up on him in kindergarten or else his wish might well have been granted. Doyle at once forgot the off-hand treatment dished out earlier and dashed across to the bed.
"Is it something I've said," he gasped.
"No. I'm sick to my stomach."
Doyle started to reel off the evening's menu when a groan from Bodie made him think better of it. He realized at once the sickness was physical rather than emotional. "Lie still!"
He returned in a moment and managed to make Bodie, with charm and fair words, drink the contents of a small cool glass. As soon as Bodie felt slightly better Doyle began to pull off his clothes.
"What the hell's going on?" Bodie mumbled through his poloneck.
"It's what's coming off," corrected Doyle. "The colder you get the less sick you'll feel. Psychosomatic." By the time the socks had joined the rest of the clothes, Bodie's teeth were chattering like a Gatling gun.
"Stay like it!" It was Doyle that gave the orders for once. He returned from the bathroom in an emerald green floor-length nightshirt.
"I feel like an Eskimo, Ray."
"You look better covered up!" Doyle pulled up the blankets as he sank down on the bed.
"Don't know what you gave me, but it works."
"Just a little kitchen magic. Get some sleep."
Next afternoon Doyle left very early. He almost felt as if he was flying down Whitehall when a voice from overhead startled him. "Hey, Ray baby -- too good for us now?"
He looked up to find he was being addressed by the stone sea horses atop the Admiralty gates. "Hey, Darren, Berchtold! Happy Christmas, guys, and great to see you. Here, catch!" He threw them some of the salt tablets he always carried around in case of black magic assaults. They shimmered from ear to tail and showered him with fivers. Ray collected three gifts for Bodie and was in good time for his appointment with destiny.
"Laddie, your results are A-OK."
"Thank you, sir."
"Aye, Doyle, Dr. Ross says she hasnae seen anything like them before. The same goes for Macklin and Towser. They say you are pure magic. You're working for CI5, laddie. Welcome to the firm. You are now 4.5 and your partner is 3.7."
"Quiet, Betty! It's to be a surprise." He addressed the interrupter, a woman of no importance, who went on making the tea.
Bodie's technique and timing were usually faultless, but on this occasion, he missed his cue and came in on the word 'surprise'.
"Ah, Bodie... your new partner, Raymond Doyle."
Bodie's smile froze on his face as Cowley's words sank in. Oh, Ray was all right as a decorative feature in the kitchen but anything else was laughable. Then he caught Cowley's eye.
"I know all about his past record and it makes no difference to me, Bodie, understand -- cappich?!"
"Yeah." Bodie nodded and opened the door for Doyle.
They travelled through the Christmas traffic without a word, the silver Capri nosing its way home. Once there Bodie threw himself into an armchair and ordered a meal. Raymond left silently and whipped up something light but sustaining -- Omelette aux fines herbes, tossed salad, peppermint frappe followed by fine old brandy. Bodie destroyed his meal without a word and stalked off to bed and once more Doyle was up to his elbows in the sink. As his tears hit the bubbles, bursting them, he pondered on the meaning of life and his present position. He thought about attempting to return to fairyland but remembered he had burnt his leathers. Slowly he removed his "Herds of the Bible" pinny and for one split second considered using the big knife on his partner of two hours. Mentally he slapped his wrist.
"Oh!" he gasped to himself, "how could I have thought of such a thing? How could I have thoughts of hurting my man!?"
Straightening his hair and brushing away the tears, he returned to the lounge, prepared for more light housework. After all, it was still not ten-thirty.
At first he could hardly believe his eyes -- yes, there on a bar stool was Bodie placing the cutest fairy you have ever seen on the top of a Christmas tree which was ablaze with lights and tinsel.
"Oh, Bodie! It's beautiful -- like a rerun of The Sound of Music!"
Bodie, who had only been pretending to be mad with Doyle and wanted to surprise him, jumped. Unused to kitchen work, he had thought 4.5 safely out of the way for another half hour. It took less than a second for him to fall heavily to the floor and he found himself eye to eye with the toe of Doyle's silver Gucci boot.
"Don't kick me, Doyle," he husked.
"Oh, you're hurting, Bodie. I can't stand it when you're hurting. Can you move?"
"Yeah, guess I can," Bodie stammered as Doyle helped him struggle to the bedroom. He was obviously in considerable pain. They both sat on Bodie's side of the bed holding hands almost shyly, Doyle looking like a fallen Renaissance angel and Bodie like something else again. The worst of the pain and shock were wearing off.
"Wasn't sure if..."
"If fairies had Christmas."
"Course we do...did."
It was to be an evening of revelations and internalizing.
Bodie sat propped up by pillows and covered with a brightly colored afghan; his eyes shone with pride as he watched Doyle prepare himself for bed. The slender knees and short, sexy ankles sure were a real turn-on. God! I could just eat him to pieces, he thought reverently.
Doyle turned from the dressing table and rustled across the thick carpet to sit on the bed. He looked superb in crisp white linen, then he threw himself down to kneel next to Bodie. "For you, lover," he breathed.
Bodie accepted the three gaily wrapped parcels, opening them as Doyle basked in his gratitude. He could not stop himself raising the blue silk shirt till it leveled with Bodie's eyes. It was like them, a perfect match! Bodie placed it with the cigars and cuff links on the bedside table. "I've something for you too, sunshine."
"Oh, you shouldn't have!"
"Can't wait, can I?"
Doyle looked excited and anxious at the same time, temptingly soft lips parted in an almost-smile. Bodie stroked his erect navel -- no, he couldn't wait.
"Go on, you've gotten the right."
His hands closed over Doyle's as he took the box which exactly matched his height when he had first met Bodie.
"Oh! Oh! Oh! Bodie!" His whole face lit up as the naked Trojan fell out on the bed. "How did you know that's just what I wanted?"
"Always knew you had a classical bent. Stands out a mile, reading Sappho stroke Plato."
"I'll put him on the table. Love the way he's smiling and his weapon's out of sight." He placed it where it caught the soft light which picked out the glistening flesh colours to perfection. Already Bodie's hands were at work on the tiny pearl buttons of Doyle's kaftan. The movements were loving and oh! so gentle.
"I love you."
"You're talking commitment there, Ray."
"We're talking the Queen's English!"
"Well -- whatever."
"Still love you, you priapismetic monster."
"Thought you'd never notice, Raymond."
-- THE END --