No Greater Love


(Warning: This story contains Rape/Partner Rape)

Shadows fused into darkness and the greatest darkness was in his mind. He sought a point of reference, a stray thought, an emotion, something stable in the chaos to hold on to. Finally, a face came through, carrying such an echo of feeling that it shook him. There was laughter, but it turned to the cruel chuckling of a torturer. There was a smile, but it dripped maliciousness, delighted at his pain. A voice taught him to remember that face, to turn all his pain and hate and fear towards it, to seek release from hurting it . . .and hating it so much, it gave him strength to go on.

When he had learned all there was to learn, he waited in the maelstrom for the promised redemption.

Doyle paced back and forth before the closed door like some great cat in a cage, stopping every now and then to glare at the door, expression a mirror of his tension. Half an hour he'd waited there, patience wearing thin. It had, indeed, been wearing much too thin over the last six days and only iron control kept it in check.

The door opened at last and Cowley appeared, gesturing him inside.

"Yes Doyle, come in. We may have something."

Doyle followed Cowley inside and moved across to the desk, watching him anxiously. "What?"

"A message from your classic Anonymous Caller. Brief, but to the point. If we want to find Bodie, go to this address", and he handed a slip of paper to Doyle.

Scanning it, Doyle responded, questioning. "Alive?"

"They didn't say as much but the lack of any indication to the contrary makes it possible. Take 6.2, 9.3 and 2.5. Keep me informed."

Doyle was out through the door before his chief had finished talking and calling the indicated operatives on the R/T as he headed for his car .They sped through the city traffic in convoy, then split up a mile from their destination to arrive at the old closed theatre from different directions.

Doyle parked the car in a littered side alley and walked quickly towards the front entrance. Brief radio communication placed the other three agents at back and side entrances, and they timed their entry carefully. Inside, it was dank and cool, smelling of wet vinyl and corroded wood , its once garish art deco elegance stained by age and neglect. Doyle stopped, blinking, allowing his eyes to focus in the lesser light and then looked about, seeking signs of earlier entrance. The dust at his feet was disturbed, but the disturbance could be recent or not, as the place was a haunt for vagrants.. Pushing slowly through the half-unhinged foyer doors, he passed into the main part of the theatre.

Row upon row of seat backs stretched into the gloom ahead, and the far distance was lightened by the large grey screen. Treading carefully, he made his way down the side aisle, eyes switching back and forth, concentrating intently far even the slightest sound. As he looked towards the front of the theatre, he saw dark lump outlined there, apparently seated in the front row. It was very still and a hard cold ball suddenly formed in his stomach. He moved forward again, angling towards the front centre, and as he did so the shape moved, turned towards him. He caught a glimpse of familiar profile and felt a jump of pleasure - then froze for a moment in surprise as the figure gave out a snarl and lifted a hand towards him. Instinct made him move, there was a flash and the sound of a bullet tearing into the wall behind him. When he rolled to his feet the figure had moved away to leap the low barrier and move across the inclined stage in front of the screen.

Doyle hurtled one row of seats and headed for the stage, running low and looking about for his backup. Two men appeared at the side of the theatre and he heard a crash behind the screen as the third came through the back door .The figure on the stage heard it as well and, as if knowing himself cornered, turned to leap back down to the floor. As he did so he seemed to lose his balance and the floor gave out beneath his feet. With a yelp of surprise the figure disappeared from view.

6.2 ran across the gap between the front row and the stage and turned to move with Doyle.

"Was that Bodie?" Murphy's voice was laced with surprise.

"Yeah." Doyle turned and moved across towards the side door, and the two other men joined them. They switched on torches in the near total blackness of the stairway leading down and moved quickly to the basement entrance.

Inside, amongst the rubble of broken rotted wood and tattered carpet they found him. He was struggling to his feet, favouring a wrenched ankle, but still grasping the gun firmly in his right hand. 'Good lad', Doyle thought even as he leapt at Bodie. 'Hang onto your gun, no matter what.' He threw his arms about the struggling man and bore him down.

It was like hanging onto a wild thing. Bodie squirmed and bucked, trying to throw him off, but Doyle held on long enough for his fellow agents to assist. It took only a few wild moments to disarm the thrashing figure and pin him down.

In the torch light the familiar face was a mask of animal fury and his entire attention was focused on Doyle. Through the breathless anger some words were clear.

"Bastard...kill you...kill you..."

Doyle looked out through the one-way mirror at the sleeping man and chewed his lip in angry frustration. This was the first time they'd let him near Bodie in a week, even just to see. As for getting close enough to touch - impossible.

During that week he'd constantly pestered Cowley for news of Bodie's progress as his peculiar mental state was studied by the doctors. At first there wasn't a lot they could tell him - Bodie was sick, mentally sick. Somehow he'd been taken and held for a week, then returned - but damaged, changed. His mind was muddled and the one clear thought was a rabid determination to kill Doyle.

He was obviously under the effects of some new and vicious form of brainwashing. KGB perhaps, or some radical group out to ferment trouble within British security. When you couldn't trust your partner from one day to the next, who could you trust? They'd chosen a good subject too - an excellent way to show the authorities that even as strong a will as Bodie' s could be broken. Not only broken but twisted so badly awry as to make him hate his partner enough to kill him.

He heard Crowley come in and stand beside him. "What's the verdict?" Doyle asked eventually, eyes still turned to the glass.

"Dr. Ross informs me that Bodie has recovered well." Even Cowley sounded tired, Doyle realised. To have one of his men treated so and not be able to lash back was telling on him. "He doesn't remember much or at least admit to remembering much. Overpowered when he was entering his flat last Friday night. Drugged most of the time. He remembers a lot of pain, thinks he recalls hearing some German. Not much else."

Cowley paused, and Doyle turned finally to look into the pale, watching eyes. Cowley sighed and looked down at his hands. "He's been badly used, Doyle. Torture, beatings, other . . .abuse."

Doyle clenched his hands till the joints creaked, his expression a frozen mask. "Yes?"

"Aye. But inside his head, that's where they did the most damage, curse them. No matter how we explain to him, the moment he hears your name, sees your image, he becomes irrational. It's like trying to make sense to a madman." He paused. "Whatever method they used - and Ross is certain it was some advanced form of reprogramming involving drugs and neural stimulation - it has caused apparent irreversible changes. I'm going to have to retire him."

"What the fuck. . ." Shocked anger pushed Doyle past the point of normal courtesies. "You can't do that!"

"Doyle. Sit down. Now."

He struggled with the anger, looked into the pale blue eyes of the only man he knew to have a stronger will than his own - and sat. "This is bloody insane! If you do this, just chuck him away like this, those fucks win. How can you know one day it won't happen again? I have to beat this. . "

"You have to beat this? What is your part in this, Doyle? You're no psychologist, man, you can't fix his mind."

Doyle hesitated only a moment. "Give him to me."

"What do you. . ."

"Give him to me for a week." Doyle stood again, ignoring orders, and paced back and forth in front of Cowley's desk. "If at the end of that time I can't wipe that bloody programming for good - then well..."

"A week! You're mad, lad! He tried to kill you, remember! What makes you think you'd survive a week?"

"I will, I know him, I can out-think him. Dr Ross can't, or she would have made some progress by now."

Doyle knew he was fighting for Bodie's life. Cowley couldn't let him free to roam the streets, a walking loaded gun targeted on Doyle. He didn't know, of course, that Bodie's loss or death would mean the end of Doyle as well, that he would go down trying to save the person that meant the most to him in the world. Cowley would lock Bodie up in a mental institution -where maybe he'd die one day, when he tried to escape, as try he would. Sick or hale, William Bodie wasn't a man likely to take well to being caged.

Doyle had expected more argument, had thought perhaps Cowley would even refuse, and was prepared to ignore orders and take Bodie anyhow. When his boss didn't speak for some moments Doyle stopped his pacing and saw that the older man was staring down at his hands laying crossed on the empty desk top.

"I can help him, sir. I can."

Bleak eyes looked up at him. "He'll kill you. He's too far gone, you know. Och, but I must be mad too." He sighed and wiped his eyes. "Where would you be taking him?

"There's a house out in the country." Doyle tried to show a confidence he was far from feeling. "Belongs to a girl I know. She's overseas. I don't think she'd mind me being there for a week. It's secluded and very quiet ." He took a deep breath, considered options. "I've got a few ideas, ways to give me time to talk to him, to dig down and find him."

Bodie ate a hearty meal that night, and his sleep was deep and dreamless. When he awoke, the pastel walls of his room had been replaced by a totally unfamiliar landscape.

Bodie sat up and rubbed his eyes, shrugging off the last vestiges of drugged sleep. He was seated on a wide expanse of flat dirt and about thirty feet to one side was a farm building. To the other side and further away was what looked like a barn. Smaller storage bins and sheds were scattered about, and flat fields stretched off to a distant tree-covered horizon. No other houses were in view.

Feeling suddenly uncomfortable, he looked down and realised that he wasn't free. He was wearing a one piece waterproof army overall, with a wide strong leather belt around his middle. Both wrists had steel bracelets on them, linked together by about a foot of chain. His ankles were similarly encased. Pulling himself up, he heard a rattling and turned. The belt was connected to a long chain in the middle of his back that hung down from a metal pole sunk into the ground.

For a moment he viewed the entire situation in a state of confusion, then anger set in and he tore at the chain. He couldn't reach the connecting bolt at the back and a clever harness system that went over his shoulders and around his throat made it impossible to twist it around. All the buckles for this harness were at the back and no amount of twisting or groping brought them within finger's reach. The length of chain holding his wrists together made it impossible for him to put both hands around behind him, and another length of chain from the wrist to the throat harness stopped him from looping it under his feet to reach the back that way.

The buckles were designed so that both hands were needed to undo them and it was impossible to get both hands even close to them. He could move, walk but not undo the harness.

Doyle, watching silently from within the farmhouse, observed his efforts to undo the harness with interest and a good deal of dejection. He'd tried the harness on to test it, figuring that if he couldn't get it off, then neither could Bodie. It was a little uncomfortable but not overly so and after an hour's determined effort he'd been unable to find any way to get out. He was reasonably certain Bodie would be as unsuccessful - though you could never tell. It had held Doyle for an hour -whether it would hold Bodie for a week was another matter.

Doyle had spent some time with the Squad psychiatrists discussing his partner and deciding the best way to handle him. They couldn't tell him everything, however, couldn't predict his every move or response. Most of that would be up to Doyle -he would have to go on instinct, and experience.

He waited to see how Bodie would respond and was pleased to see that he acted much as Doyle thought he would. After fighting the harness for some minutes Bodie stopped abruptly and sat back down. His expression became intent and he began to look about. He turned his attention to the chain behind him, testing its weight and strength. Standing up again, he moved to the pole and pushed against it. Anchored solidly into concrete, it didn't budge and he gave it only a passing look.

He arched his head back and stared up at the tip of the pole where the chain was joined to a ring. Gathering the chain in, he pulled it taught above his head and sprang up the pole. Like a fireman in reverse, he pulled himself up to the top and studied the link. It too was soldered and had no obvious week sections. Taking a firm grip on the chain, he pushed himself away and swung around the pole, letting his full weight hang on the ring. His momentum carried him around in a circle and after a couple of turns he dropped to the ground. Neither the pole nor the chain gave any sign of breaking.

Step by step, he studied each section of his strange prison. Each ring, each joint that he could reach was given a thorough inspection. He then went over his own person, looking for anything that might be useful. Finding nothing, he went to his knees and began going over the ground, looking for anything, even as small as a nail, that might be used as a tool. He moved out to the full length of the chain and went over the ground twice, his expression intent.

After a half hour's search, he seemed to have reached the conclusion that there wasn't anything to be found. He sat, his back propped against the pole, and stared across at the house, and waited.

Doyle nodded once, relatively satisfied. He'd taken great care to ensure that there wasn't so much as a hair pin within the area, had tested all parts of the harness and attachments against any reasonable force he could think of, had tried it out himself. He believed - hoped - it would hold.

He stayed in the house till noon, giving Bodie time to settle down and think. After making himself some lunch, he put a couple of sandwiches and a plastic cup of beer on a tray and ventured outside.

Bodie's eyes snapped up at the sound of the door and narrowed as Doyle appeared. A dark snarl flashed across his face and was quickly hidden.

"About time you made an appearance. Who's bloody clever idea was this, or need I not ask?"

Smiling very slightly, Doyle walked to the edge of the open ground and stopped. "Course not. I read my de Sade Handbook very closely. I brought you some lunch."

"Oh, ta. Don't tell me, liver sandwich."

For a moment he almost believed it. The tone was so normal, the words so typical that it was almost possible to believe that things were back to normal. Almost - until he looked into those watching blue eyes and saw that the smile didn't touch them. He was waiting, hoping to lure Doyle within range, using all his charming insolence, the tone and words that Doyle knew best. Nothing had changed.

He set the cup and sandwiches down and nudged them forward with one foot, never taking his eyes from Bodie. Then, he moved back and sat on the kitchen step, resting his chin on one hand, propping his elbow on one crossed knee. "Better drink your beer before it gets hot."

Slowly, Bodie rose and walked across towards the tray. He bent, picked up the sandwich and in a flashing movement, hurled the beer across the intervening distance at Doyle. Most of it missed, splashing the door behind Doyle. Ray didn't move, didn't flinch. He watch the sudden wide-eyed hatred flare across Bodie's face.

It hurt, hurt something awful, but he didn't let it show on his face. "Stupid. That's all you get to drink till this evening."

He then went around the side of the house and reappeared a short while later, dragging a very old and battered motor bike. Leaving again, he returned with a box of tools, and set about the one thing that would relax him at that moment . He sat himself at an angle so that he could see Bodie at all times...and be seen.

The hatred was always there, but it slipped dawn to a simmering point, allowing Bodie to think. What was the purpose of all this? He was alive, unharmed, and aside from the mental torture of seeing Doyle and not being able to touch him, not under any kind of pressure. Why let him go then take him back again?...sometimes it was hard to tell reality from dream, to be absolutely certain it wasn't some sort of on-going nightmare created to tease him over the brink.

Things seemed fine, normal-like, till the moment he saw him. Then his mind was flooded by emotion, but the Need. Nothing mattered more than that Need. It dominated his waking moments and haunted his dreams.

To kill him. Doyle. Kill.

Now and then he was able to wonder about it, but not for long. He only had to think of Him and nothing else mattered. Yet if he didn't think about him, if he just looked up at the sky and emptied his mind, the question did sometimes creep in.


As the afternoon shadows began to lengthen and the sky turned gold, Doyle stood and stretched, and wiped oily hands dawn the already black jeans. He swivelled around and looked across at Bodie.

"Its probably a stupid question - but do you want anything?"

Bodie didn't answer but continued to watch him in a steady, unblinking stare that unnerved Doyle a little. Shaking it off, he walked up into the house.

As soon as Doyle vanished from view, Bodie scrambled across the dirt, dragging the sleeping bag behind him. The motor bike and tools were outside his range, but just inside the added range of the sleeping bag. Stretching full length on the ground, he tossed the bag so that it dropped over the half a dozen spanners and wrenches, then slowly pulled it back.

The first time, the bag slipped over the tools without moving them. Cursing softly, Bodie turned the bag over so that the zipper was towards the ground, then tossed again. The open flap of material caught around the end of one of the spanners. Slowly, very slowly, Bodie pulled the bag towards him. The spanner began to slid from the bag - but was just inside the reach of his outstretched fingertips.

Bodie was back against the pole when Doyle came back outside fifteen minutes later, his hair wet and person clean, in fresh clothes. He moved over to the bike and Bodie watched with held breath as he gathered the tools up and put them away. The bike was pushed against the wall and the tool bag removed from view.

The afternoon turned into night and Bodie waited, his optimism growing as the hours passed. He'd wait till night, the man had to sleep - and then he'd start to work on the chain. Just one small break was all he needed.

At around seven, Doyle reappeared with a lantern and the tray. He put the hamburger and two foam cups of water on the ground and sat back down on the step, watching Bodie as he moved across to collect his dinner.

After a time, as Bodie sat in the semi darkness consuming the simple meal, he spoke quietly. "By the way...what did you intend to do with that spanner?"

Bodie choked on a mouthful of bun and looked across at Doyle, eyes watering.

"Damn you, you bloody mongrel. ..!"

Doyle was laughing, but it was a familiar sound, without rancour or viciousness. Just an easy, pleasant chuckle that ignited some whisper within Bodie he barely recognised as memory.

"That was very clever, using the bag. Knew I shouldn't have given into my softer sentiments and let you have it."

Bodie glowered at him. "Why don't you come and take it off me?"

"I will," Doyle spoke easily, when you're asleep. After all that frenzied mental activity, you're probably all tuckered out. Good night's sleep will do you the world of good.."

Bodie looked down at the empty cup and crushed it in one hand. It just wasn't fair, what chance did a fella have when the opposition cheated.

When he awoke next morning, mouth tainted with the now-familiar taste of drug-induced sleep, the spanner and the sleeping bag were gone.

Two days of boredom and frustration followed, with little true sign of change. Bodie showed less immediate anger at Doyle's appearance, but the frustration of his imprisonment kept his temper boiling, and more than once he verbally lashed his captor, hurling insults, using words to wound that only he could.

Sometimes Doyle came close to surrendering to defeat - there was still so much hate in Bodie, so little apparent desire to break through to reason, that he wondered what chance he could have. He told himself then that nothing would be solved by giving in -Bodie would eventually die, or be crippled, mentally or physically. Destroyed by a false hate, going to madness or death believing that Doyle was his enemy.

And there would always be the knowledge that he had given up. He had four more days to accomplish what was looking more like the impossible with each passing hour. At the end of the third day he tried reason once more. His most recent efforts at persuasion had met with a blank wall of response, as if Bodie switched off when he began. Doyle refused to believe that Bodie just couldn't understand so he tried again, tired in body and mind, frustrated almost beyond his control.

That afternoon it rained at last, as he had expected it would, eventually. Bodie suffered through it stoically, sitting dirty and wet alongside the pole, not trying to avoid the sheeting rain as it struck him but simply enduring it as he had everything else. Doyle sat in the mud, a raincoat wrapped around his shoulders, and looked across at the unshaven dirty face of his friend. He tried to speak to Bodie's mind, to the memories that had still to be there, somewhere.

"Bodie, will you talk to me? Will you listen to reason, mate?"

Red-rimmed eyes glared back at him, animal eyes, seemingly lost to reason. "What?"

"Bodie, I've tried to tell you. Can't you understand, remember, what they did to you? They've put some kind of block on your mind, made it a locked door and every time I try and talk to you, you just close up. Think, for chissakes. You went missing Friday night, we didn't know what happened. We searched, the whole Squad was on alert trying to find you. Then you turned up at that theatre and tried to kill me. God Bodie, you tried to kill me!"

Bodie's head swivelled around and his voice was dry, weary hiss. "I remember. I missed."

Doyle rose wearily and turned to the house, knowing he'd sleep little that night, as little as he had in all the nights since Bodie had disappeared.

Some driving need was growing in Bodie, and the past moments had fired it. He had to get away, had to get lose, knew he was nearing some sort of dangerous territory. There were shadows on the certainty of his hate, and it worried him. At first the mere site of Him had driven him to fury, but now .now he almost looked forward to it. He wasn't sure what he wanted now, but he had to get lose if only to ease the terrible pressure in his head.

He couldn't think, the chains were as much mental as physical. He must get lose! Doyle had tested the chains and leathers will all his normal strength, but the power that grew in Bodie then wasn't normal. Driven, maddened almost beyond sanity, Bodie grabbed the manacle around his wrist and pulled, pulled so that the blood ran down his hand from the torn flesh, pulled so that the muscles and bones ached and groaned under the pressure. Wrapping the chain around his right hand, he wrenched it back and forth, unfeelingly. There was a jerk, and the chain was away from the iron.

For a moment he stopped, gasping and surprised. Then, in a rush, he reached behind and went to work on the buckles of the harness.

Doyle always did a final check before he went to his room for the night, and although the temptation was strong to go straight to bed, he pushed it away and walked wearily to the back door. He pushed it open and stopped. The yard was empty, the harness and chain lay in the dirt and there was no sign of Bodie.

His heart did a quick step and he froze for a moment, not knowing what to do. Go for his gun? He might make it, but there wouldn't be a choice thereafter, it would be shoot to kill, if he had time. Go out into the dark, or stay inside?

The choice was taken from him as a shape came at him from the darkness and pulled him forward onto the ground. Rolling away, he kicked backwards, met resistance and pushed himself away and upright, hands out.

Bodie faced him across the small patch of light cast from the open kitchen door. Eyes bright in the dark, he held both hands out, and a large digging tool was clutched steadily in his right. He said no word, made no sound, he was calm and steady and his face held that familiar deadly intent that Doyle had so often seen.

Bodie had always been physically stronger, but Doyle knew himself to be just that little bit faster, and right then he would need all of that speed to survive. he thought flashed through his mind - what if I get close enough, do I go for the kill? Hardly what he'd intended all those centuries ago when this had all started.

Bodie threw himself forward, slashing a wide arc with the big flat blade and Doyle jumped back, fighting for balance. He circled out and around, eyes locked to Bodie, his mind shooting up and rejecting plans at lightning speed. He began to talk, trying to get through while there was still time. "Stop and think, you dumb bastard! Don't let them do this to you, mate!"

As if realising that Doyle could outpace him, Bodie feinted forward, judging from long experience which way Doyle would dodge. He drew left- handed and tended to move to the right to keep his gun hand clear. As Doyle moved, Bodie flipped the tool upright and threw it with all his strength. Too late, Doyle saw his mistake. Bodie had out-thought him. He felt the jarring impact of the blade against his chest, felt the hot sudden pain. He staggered back, pulling the dirty metal from his flesh, feeling the blood beginning to flow from the wide, deep hole. He tried to regain his footing but Bodie was on him in a moment, knocking him backwards with one wide-flashing back-handed blow.

He blacked out for a moment or two as his head hit the ground, came back to awareness as a hand grabbed his hair and pulled his head back. The big hand hit him again and he the pain was intense. . .blood splattered down over his chin. . .

He was on the ground, on his stomach and he felt, more than heard, the sound of tearing fabric as his shirt was ripped away from him. Something heavy - Bodie - landed on his back, a hot, panting voice spoke close to his ear.

"What they did to me, I do to you."

As inhumanly strong hands pulled his belt and jeans away, Doyle knew only too well what Bodie had in mind. In all of his lurid fantasies, rape had never featured. Gathering his strength, he moved his legs and tried to push back, to kick out. He was punched again for his efforts and, nearly blinded by blood and tears, felt his hands being pulled behind him and secured with his belt.

Bodie grabbed his ankles and began to pull him across the ground and Doyle's face was scraped and town by the rocks as he struggled to kick himself free. After one satisfying connection with Bodie's leg he was twisted over, hauled upright, saw a fist heading for his face and then -

It was like coming awake from the worst possible drunk. His head swam, his whole body hurt and nausea swelled in his middle. Doyle couldn't recall how many times he'd been knocked unconscious in life. ..lots, and none of them pleasant. This one was the worst though, as he opened gummy eyes and focused finally and saw his partner sitting in a chair watching him

He tried to ignore all the various pains, especially the sharp one in his chest every time he breathed that showed a probably broken rib scraping on a lung. When he tried to move he realized he was tied at the wrists, ankles and chest, spread-eagled to posts and suspended from the ceiling by a rope attached to the band around his chest. Dim, dusty light shone through dirty windows. ..they were in one of the farm sheds, with shelves and boxes and the unknown shapes of tools and equipment hanging from the walls and roof.

He could stand, just, but not move an inch, or bring his hands together. He was also naked, but that seemed insignificant, compared to his total helplessness. Doyle saw Bodie stand slowly and move out of the shadows. He hadn't changed, was still wearing the overall Doyle had dressed him in, and was carrying a riding crop.

"Your turn."

"Bodie, listen . . ."

The hand carrying the crop moved very fast and Doyle cried out at the sharp slice across his stomach.

"Shut up. You can scream, just don't talk."

"You must listen. . .aaah!"

Another slash, driven with the full force of Bodie's arm - this time across Doyle's face, missing his eye by a fraction. He kept trying, kept talking, and kept being hit. Again and again, back and belly, legs and arms, until he was patterned by red welts and sobbing for breath. Still he tried to speak, in stubborn, frustrated determination. Finally, Bodie dropped the crop and grabbed Doyle's throat, tilting his head up.

'I gotta give you points for trying, or maybe you're just stupid." He squeezed Doyle's throat. "Why don't you just shut up. They told me you would talk, to kill you, so just shut the fuck up will you. ..please?"

Doyle's mouth hung open as he fought for breath, and he looked across into those familiar eyes, to the so well-known features shadowed with beard growth and something like a desperate madness. In a flash of understanding he guessed Bodie was fighting some sort of programming, one that said, don't let him talk to you, just kill him Doyle wasn't dead, not quite, so maybe. ...He blinked and nodded once against the confining hand.

After a moment Bodie let him go and stepped back, nodding in a strange duplication of Doyle's movements. He walked back to his chair and took an item from the table. ..a bottle of some sort. Turning back towards Doyle, he unzipped his fly and released his cock, before pouring a handful of what Doyle realised was Olive Oil onto his palm. He rubbed his hands together and began to spread the oil over himself.

Now was the time to talk. To beg. To plead. To say something like, please mate, don't do this. not to me because I've had these feelings for you for God knows how long and please don't do this. He didn't, though, knew that saying anything might put both of them beyond help.

So he watched in silence as Bodie walked back, his cock hanging half-erect from his open trousers, his hands slick with cooking oil. The thumping headache returned, along with an increasing nausea as those hands touched his hips, leaving a trail of warmed oil across the skin as Bodie moved around behind him. The oil stung where the hands touched welts but it was nothing like the pain of having two fingers shoved inside him, opening him up with careless force. He tried not to moan as the fingers moved deeper into him, twisting and pushing and stretching him.

"By the by - partner - the oil's not for your sake, its for me." He shoved deeper, probing, hurting. "I don't happen to like a dry fuck."

He tried to kick backwards, cursing, twisting his head around to try and knock Bodie aside, fighting with every ounce of strength he had left to deny the act, the ineveitable. He wasn't hit again, was let go to writhe and shout and curse until he had worn himself to bloodied exhaustion, handing limp and bruised in the ropes, dripping with sweat. He sobbed in a breath as the fingers slid inside him again, the number increasing until he was stretched open by three blunt, slick digits. Numb with pain, he felt them slide out slowly - but not completely. They held him open so that a larger, blunter flesh could force its way into him in a violation made more painful by its source.

He was rocked back and forth against the ropes as Bodie fucked him, making small grunting sounds with each deeper thrust. It wasn't gentle, it wasn't done for love or even for pleasure, and it hurt in ways he'd never thought to know. When he thought he could take no more without sobbing, it all shifted somehow, as Bodie touched him deep inside and the pain was swallowed by an ever-increasing pleasure. As Bodie continued to nudge that sensitive space and to squeeze and touch, Doyle wondered if he should to be shocked as his own growing arousal. .

He did scream finally, gasping for breath as Bodie thrust into him again and again. Big hands gripped his hips and he finally let go, hanging suspended between moments of pain and a reaction he couldn't ignore.

It hurt, he suspected he was being torn, but a part of him, some unexpected treacherous little perverted sinner, liked the violent sodomy being forced on him. The whole tactile package drove him to an excruciating climax so that he convulsed and screamed and came, pouring his spunk onto Bodie's fist moments before his partner came as well with a hoarse, exhausted cry.

Then those hands, still slick with his seed, closed around his throat and squeezed until he couldn't breathe. . . couldn't . . .

He was stiff from having been sitting in the one place for so long and he really needed to empty his bladder, but he thought that if he moved he might miss something. Might miss the flicker of an eye lashes, the movement of the mouth, a change in breathing. He thought that if he left and Doyle woke while he was gone, Bodie thought he might not have time to say anything before Doyle remembered how much he hated him.

Bodie had remembered everything. It had all come back like flood waters through an opened door the moment Doyle had slumped against him as he'd choked him to death. The moment he stopped breathing, Bodie had been realised. Whatever subliminal programming had been set deep in his mind had cut off as Doyle died.

The doctors weren't certain of much, except that Doyle was in a coma. He might not wake, me might wake. If he did wake, he might have brain damage. He might not. About all they could say for certain was that he was alive. Sort of.

Bodie sighed and wiped a hand over his stubbled face. They' d checked him over, cleaned him up, given him new clothes. The coppers wanted to talk to him really badly, but Cowley was keeping them off, at least until they knew. One way or the other.

And if Doyle did die, or woke up a vegetable or just lay there until he faded away, then the coppers wouldn't have to worry about the expensive of a trial because he' d just put a gun to his mouth and blow what passed for his brains out of his head.

I raped him. I raped Doyle. Then I choked him. The words and memories, sadly all still there, circled around his mind like carrion birds over the remains of his soul. The only reason he was letting himself live at all was to give Doyle the opportunity to hurt him in whatever way he wanted. He was simply waiting to deliver himself for punishment.

A rational part of him tried to provide excuses. He recognised that the beastie that had abused and mounted his partner hadn't been him. Oh, it had been his body, but the Real Bodie Man had been lost back there somewhere behind the brutal alter ego implanted by someone with some sort of sick agenda. He knew that nothing should shock him, not after what he'd seen in his life. What really appalled him, though, was that the worse thing he'd ever seen happen should have been done by himself.

The memories kept replaying in his head like an X rated version of Blair Witch, all black and white and jerky, flashing from scene to scene, badly lit, grotesque and frightening. The images were bad enough, but the feelings - enjoying it, enjoying hurting him, enjoying making the person dearest to him in life writhe in pain. Those images would haunt him beyond bearing. Life simply wasn't worth the agony.

So he waited, to give Doyle the chance to spit in his face, before he did what had to be done.

The slightly irregular beeping was the first thing he heard. When he could finally think anything at all, he thought that it meant he was alive, and in hospital. He knew those sounds, the sounds of medical monitors. Sending out their little signals, saying, he's alive, he's alive, he still alive. . .

He finally opened his eyes and when they focused he saw a nurse hovering over him - it had to be a nurse, it was some strange young man in hospital blues with a stethoscope strung around his neck and a blurry name tag on his chest. The stranger smiled.

"Welcome back, Mr Doyle. Just rest please, the doctor will be in to see you shortly. Would you like some water?"

Water sounded good. His throat was dry and very sore and he was grateful when the nurse held his head up so he could sip the cool water through a straw. When he'd taken a few mouthfuls the nurse settled him back down and left.

It was then he saw he wasn't alone. Bodie was sitting in a chair on the other side of his bed. His partner was pale, his big hands clasped tightly in his lap, his eyes fixed on Doyle's face.

It was a frozen moment that extended through the length of half a dozen suddenly rapid heartbeats. Then Bodie stood and moved closer to him, edgily, with an odd shuffling gait.

"You're alive."

Doyle tried to talk, to say, yes, no thanks to you, bastard, but all that came out was a croak, and it damned well hurt. He swallowed, winced and Bodie straightened, his face even paler.

"Don't try and talk. Your larynx is mangled, I did a good job on it. I just waited to see if you were all right. I'm going now."

He didn't know how he knew: maybe the posture, the dead flat look in the blue eyes, the body language that said Walking Dead Man. His hand moved before he realised it and he grabbed Bodie's wrist. It was a weak hold, Bodie could break it without effort, but he didn't. He simply stood, waited. Doyle tugged on the wrist and he bent his head.

"Mine," he whispered. "You're. Mine. Wait."

Colour returned to Bodie's face then, as he straightened. "But. . ."

Doyle swallowed against the pain, physical and. . .the other pain, inside. . .and shook his head slowly. "Wait." He sank back, energy gone, and let the wrist go. Bodie stood waiting, then nodded.

"Ok. Yes. Whatever you say." He hesitated, then turned and left the room.

His injuries were surprisingly few, and, considering how close he'd come to checking out, relatively slight. The stab wound in his chest had been more wide than deep and had clotted fairly well on its own. His throat was badly bruised and very sore, like the worst laryngitis he'd ever had, and he couldn't speak in more than a croaky whisper. He had bruises all over his body, those long slender welts caused by the beating, and his ass was also bruised and sore, of course. The doctors had sewn up the tearing there, after checking inside for damage, and finding very little beyond more bruising. They gave him the usual spiel about trauma counselling and the fact that he'd have to be checked for HIV and he heard it all in a daze thinking, they're looking at me that way because they know I was raped.

Cowley arrived shortly after Bodie left and sat down next to the bed, and Doyle saw he was very tired.

"How are you feeling, Doyle, if it's not a daft question?"

"Not too bad. Sir, about Bodie. . ."

"Aye. He did this to you. I thought he might kill you, lad, but never this. Never Bodie." He wiped his face with one slender, wrinkled hand and looked everywhere but Doyle's face. "Will you be pressing charges?"

Charges? He laughed and then winced at the pain. Oh no sir, I don't think so, going into court and explaining how his partner tied him up and beat the shit out of him before sodomising him. "No." He swallowed carefully. "When can I leave?"

"Doyle. . ."


"Well, if you absolutely have to, tomorrow. You've been knocked about, lad, you need to recover."

No, he thought, as he turned away from the older man's solicitude, recover isn't the word for what I need to do...

He spent a restless night, hating the painkillers that he finally had to take to give him some peace. He dreamed constantly of flashing strange images that made no sense, except that he felt he was tied up and when he woke shouting and struggling it was to find the sheets wrapped around him and a concerned nurse looking in on him. Just a dream, he told her. Just a dream.

The doctors were unimpressed when he climbed gingerly out of bed and dressed himself. He ached, especially where he'd been torn and sewn up, but he knew some painkillers would fix that. Murphy arrived to drive him home, talking about the Manchester United game and the new secretary in the office and just about everything but what he was obviously really wanting to talk about. He handed Doyle a bag of groceries and waited with him at the door of his flat.

"If you need me," he said in his deep, calm voice, "you call and I'll be here before you hang up."

"Thanks, Murph." Doyle smiled up at his co-worker, unlocked the door and stepped inside. He closed the door, switched on the hall light and paused, bag of groceries in hand. Though still weak and aching, his senses were just as sharp and he recognised the smell.

It was blood.

He stumbled forward, dropping the groceries and found Bodie sitting in the couch in the living room. It was dark and the familiar frame was lit from behind by the street lights coming through the window and Doyle could see him sitting there with his shirt rolled up to the elbow. He was making slicing cuts in his arm and the blood ran down onto his leg, soaking his trousers.

Driven by a fury he couldn't begin to explain, Doyle slapped the knife out of his hand, then slapped Bodie across the face.

"Bastard!" he croaked, hurting at the sudden movement, the loud cry. "Told you. . ."

Bodie looked up finally and Doyle couldn't see his face in the dark. "Didn't kill myself but, see, I need to get outside my skin. I was just sitting here, waiting and I drank all your beer and all your scotch and I just couldn't lose it. So I thought, maybe if I cut myself up into bits, slowly, I could concentrate." He looked down at the stinking mess of his left arm. "It worked for a bit."

Doyle knew he had to get Bodie's mind off himself and he pointed to the bag in the hallway. "Get that. Put it away. Now, Bodie!" He watched the other stand an inch at a time, unfolding himself like an old man, before walking slowly over to pick up the bag. He moved to the kitchen and Doyle followed, turning on the light and digging out clean towels from the supply in the hall. He grabbed Bodie's arm, washed it under the tap, applied almost a full bottle of antiseptic over the half-dozen slashes and wrapped the arm in a towel.

"Hold it there." He put Bodie's hand on the towel and looked up to find dark, unfocused eyes wandering over his face. "What?"

"How can you stand to touch me?"

"I'm in denial. Now back and sit down and don't go slashing yourself again because I'm too tired to clean up after you."

Bodie sat, obedient, holding the damp towel on his arm, aware of the pain in an abstract way. It didn't matter. The lump of misery in his belly was so enormous it blotted out all the minor things. He watched his partner enter the room and wondered how such a sturdy, strong person could seem suddenly fragile. He was pale and obviously tired and his voice was still raspy.

"I know what you're thinking," Doyle said, as he slumped into an armchair across the room. "You think you want to kill yourself, right?"

"It seemed like a good idea."

He watched Doyle watch him and felt oddly at peace. Whatever Doyle said to do, he would do. There was no freedom quite like giving up your life into the hands of another. He wondered if Doyle realised that.

"It's an idea all right."

The knot inside him twisted tighter. "So give me a gun. They took mine away from me, and I'll use yours, that seems sort of fair - -"

"Shut the fuck up!"

He blinked, looked into the angry green eyes. "What?"

"I said shut up. Is that all you can do, run away from it? How gutless are you, Bodie? A man of honour doesn't duck out on a debt of honour. You owe me, mate, and I play to make sure you repay the debt."

Bodie groped for understanding through the fog of alcohol and pain. "But. . .if I do myself. ."

"Then all you are is dead. Maybe I don't want you dead, you ever think that?"

Doyle's face wavered and Bodie wiped a shaking hand over his eyes. "Why?"

Doyle searched through the rubble on the table and found a half-empty bottle of room-temperature beer. He swallowed some, grimaced, and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. "Fact is, I didn't want to kill you, I just wanted you to go away. I never wanted to see your face again. Then I thought, wait a sec, those bastards that did that to you, to me, they'd win. After all the shit and pain, it would mean nothing because we'd still be wrecked. So we get past this somehow, we find who did it and we bring them to some really serious justice."

"Will that makes things better?" Bodie asked, doubtful and Doyle almost smiled.

"No, but it will help get out minds off things. And one day, William when some of these scars of ours are healed, we will need to have a serious talk about things we can't talk about right now. I own you," he said, pointing a finger at Bodie, "you're mine. You understand me? The Cow might think you work for him, but you're mine, my property, and whatever I say goes. You got it?"

Bodie nodded, feeling oddly lighter as the knot inside him started to unravel. They weren't together, not the way they were before, but it might be a way to start healing.

"Nothing's the same," Doyle said quietly, echoing his thoughts, "it can't be. But you pull something down, all the way down, and then you build something better on it. It might take forever, but we just do it a day at a time."

Bodie straightened and took a deep breath. It was a start, a handhold, and that was all he'd ever need to finish the job.

-- THE END --

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