A Different Beginning


He'd known that there were going to be problems as soon as Cowley had told them to go and pick up George Kingsley, he guessed that Cowley knew it too. Kingsley was surrounded by a hard core of very tough men and it was not going to be a simple walk in and walk out pick up. They had known there was going to be trouble, and that was why George Cowley was sending his best team to handle it.

The trouble they encountered was as bad as they had expected, but they coped with the heavy mob without too much difficulty. The real trouble was the unexpected presence of Albert, George's elder brother. The two men were often described as the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee of the Underworld, both men were as bad as the other. Albert's verbal attack on Doyle had been spiteful, vicious and vindictive, opening wounds which Bodie had hoped were healed if not forgotten.

It was a very subdued Ray Doyle that along with his partner, delivered George Kingsley into the hands of the CI5 specialists, and left him to await his fate as the wheels of justice began to grind into action to wipe out the filth that George and his brother produced.

In the four years he had known Doyle, Bodie had become familiar with all his moods and tempers. Tonight, thanks to the Kingsley brothers, Ray Doyle was radiating waves of subdued anger and depression, compounded with an overall air of despair. They were preparing for bed, each moving silently and automatically around each other, with the ease that only long practice can bring. Bodie followed Doyle into bed and switched off the bedside light, he turned onto his side and held his arms out, quietly offering the comfort he knew was needed. Immediately Doyle snuggled up against him, holding him tightly. Bodie pulled him even closer and ran a gentle hand across the smooth shoulders, then up the slender neck where fingers toyed with curls of soft hair.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"Yes...no...not really."

"I just love you when you get these strong decisive moods." He softened the sarcasm by planting a loving kiss onto Doyle's forehead. The slender body just sighed softly and nestled more comfortably against the solid warmth.

"I'm sorry, Bodie. I feel so stupid when I think that the bastard can still get to me after all these years."

"Nothin' stupid about feeling like that. I don't suppose that the memories will ever go away completely, but surely they don't still hurt as much as they did."

There was a few moments quiet while Doyle thought about it. "No, you're right. It's not quite so bad now." He ended his sentence with a jaw breaking yawn. "Oh God, I'm so tired," he mumbled into Bodie's chest, "G'night lover." He plopped a sleepy kiss on the nearest portion of Bodie's anatomy to his mouth and promptly fell asleep.

Sleep took a few moments longer to reach Bodie, and as he waited to fall into the arms of Morpheus, he found himself drifting back to his first encounter with the irritating, stubborn, scruffy tousle top that was sleeping so soundly, safe within the circle of his arms.

It had started off as a perfectly ordinary day, with no hint of the fact that today was the day he was due to start a new beginning to the rest of his life. His first thoughts on the matter went more along the lines of George Cowley having finally flipped his lid...

Bodie, CI5 Agent, coded 3.7, regarded his boss with a decidedly wary eye.

"You want me to pick him up as he leaves Pentonville and bring him here, so you can recruit him to CI5." He repeated his orders, disbelief at their validity evident in his voice.

"He will be expecting you. He is being released because fresh evidence has proved his innocence, he served two years for a crime which he did not commit. Two years ago I wanted him in CI5, then the corruption charges were laid against him. I believed him when he said he was innocent and it has taken this department two years to find the proof to back up his claim. Now he is coming out I still want him. He's good, one of the best. Providing he's been able to keep himself sound in mind and limb, I still want him."

Bodie knew what Cowley was referring to, life inside the prison system for ex-policemen was not soft.

"There is his file, all that you will need to know about him anyway, as you will be working together."

"I work solo, you know that."

"I want you to work with this man. I've a feeling you will make a good team." The confidence in Cowley's voice made Bodie uneasy.

"We don't even know if he'll accept a job with you. He may tell you to go and--"

"Oh, he will, I'm sure of that."

He found the files of Raymond Doyle to be very interesting. Bodie had entered CI5 through the armed forces, and as such, had had very little contact with uniformed police. Doyle's police record was not outstanding in any particular way. It showed him as a dedicated caring copper, with a dislike for corruption, which made it hard to understand why the charge made against him had stuck. He rifled through the papers, trying unsuccessfully to find the CI5 reports that had finally cleared Doyle. Oh well, doubtless he would find out the details sooner or later. The last file he came to was the record of the prisoner, Doyle, Raymond 147360/75. Doyle may well have been a good policeman, but his prison record showed that there were limits to his good behaviour. The first year was full of recorded fights, aggressive behaviour and disturbances, and showed that Doyle was subjected to the full run of statutory punishments. The medical records reflected his behaviour by showing treatments for a very high number of minor injuries, allegedly caused by falling downstairs and slipping over in the shower room. Not all the injuries had been minor though, six months prior to his release Doyle had been the victim of a very serious attack in which his skull was fractured and his cheekbone smashed, critically ill he had been transferred to an outside hospital for treatment, but was now supposedly fully recovered with no lasting effects.

Bodie silently doubted the truth of that statement. For the last two years, Doyle had lived, slept, and breathed in hell, all the time aware that he was innocent. It was hard for Bodie to see how such an obviously embittered man was going to be of much use to CI5.

That morning there were two cars parked at opposite ends of the prison carpark. A young woman, nervously fidgeting with her make up in one car and Bodie in the other. Dead on ten o'clock the small door built into the panel of the massive prison gates opened. Bodie and the woman climbed out of their cars and began to walk towards the open door.

All of a sudden Bodie came to a physical and mental full stop. What the hell did Doyle look like, there hadn't been a picture in any of the files. Three men emerged through the door. Each managing to give the appearance of savouring the steps into freedom while wanting to get away as quickly as possible. The first man was rejected as the woman screamed 'Bobby' and ran to him. The second and third man looked on, possibly in envy thought Bodie. Giving the two remaining men his attention he sized them up. It had to be the third man, he seemed the right build for a copper, even had big feet. Ignoring the slightly built man who looked as if a strong puff of wind would blow him over, Bodie made his choice - only to be stopped when 'Bobby' turned and called for 'Jim' to go over and meet his girl. Bodie turned back to the pale waif figure and found two enormous cold green eyes boring into him.

"And then there was one." said Ray Doyle sarcastically. "You must be Bodie then."

Bodie couldn't believe his eyes. Cowley had high hopes for this man. Two years in prison wouldn't suit many people, it looked as if it had half killed this man.

"That's right. I'm Bodie. Car is over there." He pointed to the silver Porsche. "Mr. Cowley wants to see you straight away."

Doyle was already walking over to the car, carrying his small holdall. "Okay, let's get out of here."

The drive was conducted in silence. Bodie just didn't know what to say to someone who had just been released from prison after serving two years for a crime he didn't commit. The stoney face and cold eyes didn't exactly invite conversation either. As he parked outside CI5 HQ Doyle peered up at the building obviously unimpressed by the dilapidated building before him.

"So this is CI5. Doesn't look much."

"It's not the bricks and mortar that do the work, it's the people so don't knock it."

"I'm not mate. It's thanks to Cowley and CI5 that I'm out of that stinkhole. You won't catch me knocking it."

Bodie delivered Doyle to Cowley's office and was then told to wait as Cowley would want to see him as soon as he finished dealing with Doyle. It was nearly two hours before he was called back into the office. Doyle was still there and his boss indicated that he should take a seat.

"Mr. Doyle has agreed to join our Department, Bodie. I am going to hand him over to you to introduce him to the way I expect things done. You will be taken off all assignments for the next three months so you can concentrate on Doyle. All the training facilities and equipment will be placed at your disposal."

Bodie looked at the still, green eyed wraith before him. It was going to take a lot longer than three months to turn that into a fully functional CI5 agent.

"Yes, Sir." He'd do it if it killed him, though it was more likely that it would kill Doyle first. Bodie got the impression that Cowley sometimes expected too much of his men.

"There is just one more thing, Doyle, you will be allocated your own flat as soon as possible, but in the meantime, Bodie, your flat has a spare room, I believe?"

Bodie just nodded, not really liking the turn of conversation.

"Unless either of you have any objections you could share until security have cleared a flat for Doyle."

If either of the two men had any objections they chose not to voice them.

It was several more hours before they were free to leave HQ. First Doyle had to sign his contract of employment and get issued with security clearance and identification, so it was late afternoon before they stood by the doors leading to the CI5 car park. The fact that Doyle had spent his first day of freedom totally occupied with the red tape involved in joining the security services of his country slowly dawned on Bodie. Surely, he thought, that after two whole years inside he would have a long list of more interesting things to do. He tried to imagine what would top his list. A woman; a good piss up; another woman; a long walk over some green hills; another woman. Yes, thought Bodie, he knew what he would want. He cast a sideways glance at the quiet figure beside him. So far, Doyle had not had much to say for himself and had simply followed Bodie's lead and done what he had been told. A real bundle of fun, he thought sourly. Re-introducing an old lag to the finer points of life did not come too high on Bodie's list of priorities - and he had sort of arranged to meet the new barmaid from the Red Lion, now that would be something to look forward to after a long two years - maybe if he just gave Doyle a key and told him the address he could make his own arrangements for the evening.

"Look, I've got plans for this evening, I'll give you a spare key, you can pick your stuff up from wherever, and drop it all off at my place. I'll see you there later this evening, okay?"

The expressionless face turned toward him, recognising the dismissal in the gruff voice. It was quite obvious to Doyle that this Bodie character considered himself lumbered with a dead weight, and his heart sank just a little bit further. Although he was away from the confining walls of the prison he still felt trapped, closed in. He could swear that the number that had followed him everywhere for the past two years was tattooed across his forehead for all the world to see. Why should he have thought an Official Pardon would make a difference?

"Suits me. The admin. bloke gave me your address. I'll see you later then," he said flatly, refusing to show how much another rejection was hurting him. At the tone of voice Doyle had used Bodie winced inwardly, he knew that he was not exactly overdoing the 'welcome to the free world' bit.

"Look," he shuffled, slightly embarrassed by the way he was cocking things up, "I've arranged to meet a friend in a pub, if you fancy a drink come along." Even as he said the words he knew it was not the friendliest of invitations he had extended. Doyle, only too aware of the meagre 15 [pounds] sitting in his pocket, looked at Bodie's expensive clothes; as much as he would welcome a free and easy atmosphere of a pub and a few drinks, he guessed that Bodie's tastes in pleasure would be equally expensive.

"Thanks, but no. I've got things to do. I'll see you later." A great weight lifted from Bodie's shoulders.

"Just in case I don't get back until late you'll find sheets and blankets in the top of the airing cupboard in the hall."

Together they walked through the doors and Bodie moved off towards his car. He climbed in and started to manoeuvre the car out of the parking area when he saw Doyle, still standing where he had left him, clutching the small holdall. He pulled up alongside him.

"Can I drop you anywhere?" he offered.

Doyle looked down at him, did he want to go anywhere? he asked himself. The freedom of choice open to him seemed limitless and suddenly terrifying. All day people had been asking him what he wanted to do instead of telling him. For the past two years his day had followed a set pattern in which he had only been able to do as he was ordered. Now - he could do anything, providing it didn't cost more than 15 [pounds], of course. He was still struggling to find an answer when an irritated voice repeated his question.

"I said, can I drop you anywhere?"

"No thanks, it's alright."

Relieved, Bodie shouted a farewell and accelerated out of the car park, trying to leave his feelings of unease behind with the solitary figure still standing on the pavement.

Doyle stood and watched until the Porsche was out of sight. He looked around at the surrounding buildings as he tried to plan what to do first. Bodie's address was in West London, and his suitcases containing his meagre but cherished possessions were stored in his cousin's place somewhere in the wilds of Essex.

Even two years ago 15 [pounds] would not have covered the cab fare for that journey. Heaving the holdall up onto his shoulder he headed to where he thought the nearest underground station was. Ten o'clock that evening saw Doyle wearily lugging two bulging suitcases through the front door of Bodie's flat. It was with a sense of relief that he found the flat empty. He found the spare bedroom and collapsed, trembling with more than just exhaustion. Lying on the unmade bed he listened to the silence. His journey to collect his bags had taken on nightmare proportions when he had unwittingly been caught up in the rush hour. The confusion of noise, colours, and the hustle and bustle of so many people had taxed the little strength he had left. His cousin had treated him like a leper, and had taken some considerable convincing that he had really been released from prison, and hadn't escaped, before he was allowed to collect his bags.

After recovering a little he unlocked his bags to see all that remained of his previous existence. Everything else had been sold, thrown or given away. The bags contained only a few items of clothing, they were full of books, records, and carefully wrapped mementos and photographs, memories of happier times that he had been unable to dispose of. After carefully checking over each item he repacked the bags and snapped the locks shut. He glanced up at the clock, it was just gone eleven. After having had an enforced bedtime of ten o'clock for so long it seemed terribly late, and he wondered when Bodie would get in. He found the airing cupboard and struggled against his tiredness to make up the bed. Bed made he searched for the bathroom, where the bath proved irresistible and before long he was up to his neck in hot water, revelling in the luxury of a quiet private bath.

He just about managed to drag himself back to the bedroom, where he sat on the edge of the bed and looked intently at the closed door. He didn't have to close the door, did he? He knew he was being stupid, but he did it anyway. He got up and re-opened the door, leaving it slightly ajar, then, satisfied, he crept back to bed.

As he walked along the hall to his own bedroom Bodie peered into the spare room, the light was still on, surely Doyle had not waited up for him? No, he was fast asleep. Bodie stood in the doorway for a few moments, looking at the man sleeping soundly in the dim glow of the bedside lamp. He moved to switch off the lamp but stopped as he drew level with the bed and stared down, really looking at Doyle for the first time. The overlong unruly curls falling over the pillow and the sleeper's face, the soft shadows cast by the lamp accentuated the misshapen and scarred cheekbone and gaunt face. The shrugged off covers revealed a frame that was thin, much much too thin, thought Bodie. One week of training would finish him off completely, and then he would be free to return to his real work - alone.

He finally switched off the lamp and quietly left the bedroom, already planning Mr. Raymond Doyle's first and last. week in CI5.

Three weeks later, as he sat in the shelter of a doorway with his stopwatch, waiting for Doyle to appear through the teeming rain, Bodie began to review his opinion of Doyle. In the past few weeks Doyle had managed to surprise him more than once. At the end of his first week Bodie had confidently expected him to jack it all in, as, at each days end he would be asleep in his feet, barely managing to get from the car into the flat and eat something before collapsing into bed. By the end of the second week things improved a little, he actually managed to stay awake long enough to watch the nine o'clock news before crashing out.

Now the third week was drawing to a close. Bodie felt he had to give the bloke some credit - he had guts. He knew that Doyle was aware he was really being put through the mill, but so far he had not made one complaint or protest.

The pounding and splashing of feet through puddles announced Doyle's imminent arrival. Instead of a weary, bedraggled man though, Bodie was confronted with the sight of Doyle almost bursting with excitement and joy, apart from being a little breathless he didn't seem tired. The same run two weeks ago had left him in a state of collapse.

"What are you hiding in there for," Doyle enquired, "Scared of getting wet or something?"

Noting down Doyle's time Bodie just shrugged. "Dunno what you're looking so cheerful for, you must be soaked to the skin."

"I am, beautiful innit. Rain makes everything so fresh," he drew in a deep breath, "just smell it, all that fresh air. How did I do?" he enquired as he tried to peer over the top of the clipboard Bodie was busy scribbling on.

"Not bad, not bad. It's not that good either - but it's better than your previous times."

"Blimey, that wouldn't be difficult. I reckon I must have finished that first run on my hands and knees."

"Just goes to show what good exercise and a good diet does for you. Prison life never won anybody prizes in the fitness stakes." As soon as he had uttered the words he wanted to retract them, but it was too late. The happy sparkle in the bright eyes faded immediately and the battered face turned to stone. Any mention of his time spent in prison caused this change, and Bodie only knew that he hated seeing the light vanish from the green eyes.

He was sorry he had caused the bad memories to return but he was also irritated by the fact that any incautious remark he might make was going to cause Doyle to clam up.

"Look mate, if we're going to end up working together I can't ignore the fact that you have spent two years inside, any more than you can. It's two whole years out of your life, you can't just pretend it never happened because it did. You are just going to have to accept it!"

"I can't forget can I, I can't even pretend," his choked voice betraying the depth of his pain. "Every time I try I see my reflection in a mirror, believe me, it's two years of memories I wish I could forget."

He turned away and made a performance of picking up his track suit top from the shelter floor, but he didn't fool Bodie for a second, he'd seen the over bright eyes and heard the crack in the harsh voice.

"How did you get that scar anyway?" he asked mildly, knowing that Doyle had to talk all the pain out of his system because if he didn't all the pain would fester and spread like an infection, and then he would be unable to function properly. It was perhaps unfortunate that Ray Doyle had not read the same psychology books as Bodie.

"It's none of your fucking business." Came the harsh retort, and clutching his jacket Doyle headed off towards the showers at a brisk trot. Bodie took a deep breath, biting back on his own tongue, then followed Doyle into the shower house.

Physically, Doyle was getting better every day, and Bodie was beginning to accept that the wiry frame was a lot tougher and stronger than it looked. But mentally Doyle still had a lot of problems. In the three weeks since his release he had made no social contacts that Bodie knew of. Admittedly during the week Doyle had been too exhausted, but even on Saturday he had done nothing, made no attempt to go out on his own. In fact Doyle kept very much to himself, so much so that Bodie had to keep reminding himself that he was sharing his home with someone. And then there was the nightmares.

Over the past weeks it had become a regular occurrence to be woken up by muffled shouts and screams from the spare room. The first time it had happened Bodie had rushed into the room only to find Doyle already awake and rubbing the remnants of the horror from his eyes. Doyle had been extremely embarrassed and had tried to shrug it off, but after it happened several times he became adamant about the fact that he wanted to deal with it himself and told Bodie to stay away. From then on the door to the spare room remained closed each night.

In the shower room Doyle was already half undressed and he paused as Bodie walked in.

"Your programme for next week. I've asked Macklin, you've heard about him I think," Doyle nodded, recalling Bodie's less than polite description of the instructor, "to run you through the urban survival routines, he'd the best one to instruct you in that. If you survive a week with him you'll survive almost anything."

Bodie made no move to leave, and Doyle watched as he settled himself down on the opposite bench and started scribbling more notes onto the clipboard that seemed to have become an extension of his arm. He watched - and cursed first Bodie, then himself. Forcing himself, he managed to display an outward show of nonchalance as he stripped off his remaining clothing and walked into the exposed shower.

Bodie having completed his scribblings glanced up in time to see Doyle walk stiffly into the shower, wondered briefly why on earth Doyle was so tense - but then answered himself almost immediately. He knew what went on in prison, what went on anywhere that men were confined for any length of time. He looked-at the slim figure standing self-consciously under the hot stream of water, yes, Doyle would be just what the doctor ordered to a sex starved man. He probably had it tough inside anyway because word would have soon got around about his being an ex-cop - but looking like he did as well - he probably spent his two years fighting them off. Calling to mind Doyle's prison record, Bodie remembered all the listed so-called minor accidents, and the worst injury received only six months before his release, no wonder he was so uptight..

"I'll see you in the cafeteria when you've finished; Doyle, okay?"

The voice that answered was tight with tension.


In the early hours of the morning, Bodie lay awake listening to the muted sounds of Doyle, caught in the grip of yet another nightmare. He had only just got back to sleep after the last one. Restlessly he rolled over and closed his eyes, trying without much success to block out the harsh cries. This one was obviously a real stinker, usually the cries only seemed to last long enough to wake Bodie up before Doyle would wake himself, but tonight he seemed to be locked in the horror. Unable to stand it another minute, Bodie threw his bedcovers back and headed for the spare room.

Even as he opened the door and turned on the light Doyle was still caught in the grip of his dream, and garbled shouts of which Bodie could make no sense filled the room and the slim sweat slick body twisted and writhed on the tumbled bed. Bodie crouched down and laid a hand on the bare shoulder meaning to shake the sleeper awake.

"NO!" Green eyes snapped open and Bodie found himself flying backwards across the small room, impacting painfully against the small chest of drawers, with Doyle launching an all out attack on him with wildly uncoordinated fists, elbows and knees. It took only a few painful seconds for Bodie to realize that Doyle was still locked within his dreamworld, and set about waking him up properly - without getting himself killed in the process. After a small struggle he managed to wrap himself around Doyle, pinning him to the floor.

"Doyle, wake up. It's alright now, it's over. Common Ray wake up. It's just a dream." He repeated the words over and over, like a litany, urging Doyle to wake up. Eventually his words must have broken through as Doyle's struggles stopped and he became still, clutching at Bodie and taking deep calming breaths.

Bodie continued holding him, talking softly offering reassurance and comfort. He heard the catch in Doyle's breath and he could feel the dampness spreading through his bath robe and he knew that he was crying, at first silently, but than as Bodie continued to offer comfort the tears came harder and faster. This was all Doyle needed, Bodie thought to himself as he gently rocked the shaking form back and forth in the age-old rhythm of comfort. Now that Doyle had let some of that hurt out perhaps he would be able to deal with the rest of the problems. Bodie knew only too well that you had to admit that something hurt before the healing process could begin. Eventually the tears stopped and Doyle drew back from the encircling arms. Noting the fact that he did not feel awkward or embarrassed Bodie had just accepted what had happened and responded with just the right amount of compassion. He sniffed and tried to wipe the tears away on his hand, but then accepted the handkerchief Bodie thrust at him. A few hearty blows and wipes with the square of linen did little to repair the damage caused by the emotional catharsis.

Bodie leant back and watched as Doyle literally pulled himself together in front of his eyes, emotionally anyway, the tear bright eyes still dominated the ravaged face.

Doyle began to take notice of his surroundings and seemed surprised to see that they were huddled in the corner of the room. Bodie just grinned and tried to shrug it off.

"I don't know about you but I'm bloody uncomfortable, and the knob on these drawers is doing nasty things to my spine."

Doyle pulled right away from him and struggled to his feet.

"I'm sorry, I don't know what happened, how did I... did we get over here?" he backed right away and began to pull his own bathrobe on over his pyjama trousers, refusing to even look at Bodie, retreating back behind his own wall.

"Don't back off now Ray, please," Bodie said softly. "You've got to talk about it, allow yourself to think about it. You survived, you're here, it's not going to happen again, that's all that matters now."

Suddenly angry at the advice offered by a man who was a virtual stranger Doyle couldn't keep from yelling back at him.

"What the hell do you know about it? You don't know anything, so just keep your fucking advice to yourself and get your nose out of my business."

"You're not the only man in the world to ever have been raped y'know." countered Bodie, struggling to get through the layers of self pity that Doyle wrapped himself in.

Doyle's face closed off completely, and Bodie fancied he could almost see the shutters slamming down, shutting him out and the horror in. He grabbed Doyle's arm and practically dragged him into the living room and shoved him down onto the sofa. He knew that he needed a drink and poured one for Doyle as well, deciding it wouldn't do him any harm either. For a few minutes they sat in silence, surprisingly, it was Doyle who spoke first.

"They didn't." he said softly.

"Didn't what?"

"Rape me." Doyle coughed to clear his throat, and stared intently into his drink. "Not properly anyway, wasn't for the want of trying though."

"What happened then?" prompted a soft voice. Cowley regarded Bodie as his best interrogator, he always found the right approach to encourage people to trust him, to give him their confidence, and he was using those very skills on Doyle right now. "Common Ray, just let it out this once, I'll never talk about it without your consent, never even mention it again if you say so, just tell me now, tell someone, you can't keep it inside you much longer. Let me help you - please.

Doyle downed the last of his drink and held the glass out for a refill. He took a long swallow before beginning.

"When I first went in they all knew I was, had been, a policeman. The guards kept an eye on things, but they couldn't watch over me twenty four hours a day, every day - and some of them didn't care much anyway, in their books a bent copper got what he deserved. At first it was no worse than I'd expected and after a couple of months the worst of the baiting eased off." He took another drink and sat back against the sofa with his eyes closed. The silence stretched on and Bodie was beginning to think that Doyle had finished all he was prepared to say when he saw Doyle take a deep breath and he knew that the worst was yet to come.

"I had to share a cell with two others. Phil was about my age, he was a bit - simple, slow, anyway he was in for a bit of b+e. The other bloke was Kingsley, Bert Kingsley. He's about forty and built like a tank; he had a lot of friends and influence inside and out. He was the top dog in the wing I was on; no one was allowed to even breathe without Kingsley's say so."

The name had sounded familiar and Bodie racked his brains trying to put a name to the face. Got it, Albert Kingsley, Murder and Mayhem Incorporated, his brothers still ran a powerful organisation in the porn shops and vice dens in Soho. Doyle's voice was still relating the sorry tale.

"Kingsley had Phil right under his thumb, used him for just about everything, took everything he had and at night he used him sexually. Phil was too scared or too stupid to complain and Kingsley was too clever to get caught by the guards. About two months after I moved into the cell Phil was released and for the rest of the time it was just Kingsley and me. He tried it on, like he had with Phil, and I told him that I wasn't interested, but he just wouldn't take no for an answer. Then he changed his tactics. Said that rape just wasn't his scene, that it took too much effort, made too much noise and attracted too much attention from the screws, he wanted co-operation or at the very least, no resistance. The baiting started up again, worse than the first time. He said that if I changed my mind, become more cooperative he would make it stop. When I continued to refuse he ordered the baiting to be stepped up. Even then he still wouldn't take no for an answer. At night, after lock up, he just wouldn't leave me alone, couldn't keep his hands to himself. Most nights I'd be woken up by him touching me, pawing me. Then, about five or six months before Cowley got me out, some of his cronies took the baiting a bit too far. We were in the wash room, there was some kind of industrial dispute going on and there weren't as many screws on duty as usual, and the one guard that was watching us was called away, deliberately I think, I'm not sure though. Anyway, there were four of Kingsley's mates and they decided that they wanted a bit of what they thought Kingsley was getting. I don't remember much about the fight but the screw got back before they actually managed to get anywhere."

Bodie could only guess at the real truth hidden behind the quietly spoken words, the constant fear, with no-one to turn to for help, or to confide in.

Even now, Doyle could only relate the bald facts, he was still unable to talk about the fear he'd felt, or the panic that had settled on him as he'd seen the four men approach him as soon as the guard had been called away. The shower room had been full of men, but no-one would look at him, or even help him. From the corner of his eye as he had begun to fight the four heavies, he had seen the others' single minded determination on getting out of the room without becoming involved or implicated in any way. The constant baiting and sleepless nights, coupled with having existed on his nerves alone for eighteen months had worn him down but he'd fought back harder than they had expected. In agony from the pain where his head had been repeatedly slammed against the ceramic wash basin, he could still feel the cold floor tiles as he was thrown onto the floor and they took up position to pin him down. He was still fighting though, struggling against the insistent hands and fingers that were touching, probing and hurting, as he lost consciousness he realised that what he had avoided for the past eighteen months was about to happen.

It was over a week later, before he finally woke up properly and took notice of what was happening around him. He had only a few hazy memories of arriving at the hospital and of doctors and nurses moving around him. When he finally found the strength to move his broken face and the courage to ask, he had been told that the men had been prevented from performing the act of rape, but that knowledge had not helped to ease those last feelings of fear and degradation as he had lost his grip on reality on the cold tiled floor. Then his last thought had only been of the absolute certainty of what was about to happen, the doctor's assurances that it hadn't really did not seem to help.

But now he had spoken a little about what he had suffered, he knew that he felt better. Bodie had been right, talking it out had helped. In retrospect he supposed that it could have been a lot worse and he even managed to crack a small joke about his fears.

"I've gotten so used to walking about with my back to the wall that I still feel a bit vulnerable when I find myself in the middle of a room."

That Doyle could at last begin to joke about the ordeal told Bodie that the healing had already begun.

As the next day was free they didn't return to their respective beds until much, much later, they sat and talked, about CI5, themselves, their families, about everything and anything. Bodie always dated their friendship from that night. His resentment at being given a partner vanished and within the time given to him by Cowley he trained Doyle as well as he could. As a team they just seemed to click, at first Bodie took the lead because of his experience but it was not long before Doyle caught up. It took Doyle longer to regain control of his social life, but in time he managed that too. The dreams returned from time to time, but as the memories faded and his new life took over even the dreams began to fade, not completely though.

When the first flying fist caught him right in the face Bodie was not in the least bit surprised. Instantly awake he turned to the agitated sleeper beside him, and just barely deflected another blow before it connected. Practice had taught Bodie that he had to immobilise Ray quickly or one of them would get hurt. Swiftly pinning the flailing arms to the bed, Bodie rolled against him, stilling the restless movements with his own body weight. His actions caused a sudden stiffening of muscles and a harsh gasp, followed almost immediately by a sigh of relief and relaxation as Doyle became aware of where he was. Still trembling from the aftermath of his dreams, Ray curled his arms around Bodie.

"Sorry," he mumbled, "did I hurt you?" guiltily recalling similar dreams where he had attacked Bodie before he had woken up properly.

"No, woke up just as you began to get restless," Bodie lied easily, "You okay now?"

"Yeah. Christ Bodie. I don't know how you put up with me and my dreams.

"Cut it out Ray. It doesn't happen that often, tonight is the first time in over a year and that's only because of seeing the Kingsley's." He did not have to add that it was also the first time since they had begun to live together.

A lot of water had passed under the bridge since that night he had first pulled Ray from the grip of his nightmare. A lot of years, a lot of hard work, chances taken, risks, pain, hurt, and eventually love. After Doyle's experiences in prison it had taken them nearly three years to even begin to admit to each other that their feelings were going deeper than friendship. But, and Bodie gave Doyle a hard squeeze, it had been worth waiting for. He looked down at the man in his arms, and, for a moment he saw again the skinny, fragile, cold looking man he'd seen clutching his holdall outside the prison gates. He blinked and looked again. Doyle was still there, but replaced by a tanned, slim stretching body that was pressing so enticingly at his own. Huge hazy green eyes peering at him through a fringe of overlong auburn curls. Bodie gently tugged on a wayward curl and spoke affectionately.

"You need a haircut mate." But secretly he hoped that Ray wouldn't take him up on it, as he derived enormous pleasure from running his hands through the luxurious growth.

"Nah, couldn't bear to see a grown man cry."


"What would you play with if I turned up with short back and sides?" Doyle teased, fully aware of the pleasure his mate found in touching his hair. He sometimes wondered if Bodie realised how often his fingers ended up teasing the curls, not only when making love but before, during and after. Knowing that he had been caught out Bodie gave an embarrassed grin.

"I'm sure I could think of something." And his hand slid down the lean body, skimming across the smooth hips, down across the tensed stomach and into the dark warm tangle, his fingers combing through the body hair until they reached the furred sacs, touching them lightly, feeling them stir and tighten beneath his questing fingers.

"I'm sure you could too." Agreed Doyle with a gasp as the tickling fingers became more adventurous.

Bodie tipped Doyle's head back, pushing him onto the bed and following him, neatly covering the pliant body and warm accepting mouth with his own. Locked in a kiss, their tongues duelling softly, tenderly, imitating their bodies as they pressed against each other. Ray slowly moved his hands down the smooth back until they rested on the mounds of Bodie's arse, gently squeezing them and pulling their lower bodies closer together. He could feel Bodie's hands caressing his own body, their warmth sending shivers of desire down his length as one hand slid up over his shoulders to comb through his hair and to hold his head still, while the other moved down over his ribs to settle on his flank before pulling at his leg.

In response to the unspoken request, Ray lifted his legs and wrapped them around Bodie's waist. Still not breaking the kiss, Bodie rose carefully to his knees, lifting Doyle slightly then resting his lower body on his knees, then shifted Doyle's legs from around his waist to rest on his shoulders. Finally breaking the kiss, slightly breathless and rather flushed he drew back to look down on Doyle who was in much a similar state. After a few seconds of waiting expectantly the green eyes opened to see what Bodie was up to, only to find the indigo depths watching him, drinking in the wanton, abandoned pose.

"Bodie," he whispered urgently, "Bodie please - oooh," as his plea was answered, a firm hand wrapped itself around his sex, holding him tightly. His eyes closed again as the hand moved over him, the sensations already building to a peak. He felt the tingling feeling start to spread outwards and his muscles tightened in anticipation, but then the hand was removed. Before he could voice his protest though, he was swallowed by a gloriously hot, moist cavern that proceeded to suck deliciously and a tongue that coiled lovingly around him. He felt that. His body was already receiving all the sexual stimulus it could handle when another touch, rimming and then centring him impinged on his somewhat overloaded senses. His body clamped its muscles tightly on the invading fingers and then stiffened as he came and came into the hot mouth.

Bodie waited until the muscles holding his fingers so tightly in position relaxed, and Ray fell back, totally spent after arching up into his mouth. He gave the softening cock a final lick then moved up, pushing Ray's knees up onto his chest. He was so completely relaxed that Bodie encountered no resistance at all and he slid all the way home in a single thrust, the hot channel causing him to come straight away.

"Love you, love you, love you," into his ear, but he was too far gone to reply. He could feel Ray pushing him off and straightening their arms and legs as he drifted back into sleep. As he held Bodie in his arms he recognised the complete reversal of the way they had initially settled down to sleep. This time it was Bodie who was safely curled within the circle of his arms. The dream which had caused their sleep to be disturbed was already fading away. As he lay there holding Bodie he conceded that there were times when his nightmares came in very handy - although he couldn't always have them to order and sometimes it had been downright embarrassing. More than once in the early days, he'd been woken up by an irate girlfriend who didn't take kindly to being attacked in bed - not in that way anyway. He couldn't remember when exactly he first knew he wanted Bodie, it was always something which just grew as he got to know him better. He had always known that Bodie cared about him, but it hadn't been until after the Ojuka business that he had known for sure that Bodie loved him in return.

Making the first move to get them to admit to each other what they wanted had been very hard, almost impossible. Doyle had tried just about everything from subtle hints to not so subtle hints, but all to no avail. Bodie was so wary about physical contact between them because he thought he'd known how much Doyle had resented and feared the approaches made to him while he was inside. What Doyle never got around to telling him was that it had been the lack of choice in the matter, even before going inside he had been approached, several times in fact, but he had never felt he had wanted to take any of the offers up. Even though he was wary of physical contact Bodie didn't mind sharing a bed when the occasion called for it. It was something they had got used to, at the beginning of their partnership they had shared Bodie's flat for nearly three months before security and maintenance could reach an agreement over a flat for Doyle. At first, Ray had taken up residence in the spare room, but after one awful night when each time he'd gone to sleep the terror had re-claimed him, Bodie had decided that enough was enough and told Doyle to share his double bed, explaining as tactfully as he could, that while he didn't mind being woken up, he did mind having to traipse down the hall Just to dig him in the ribs. If they shared the bed all he'd have to do would be roll over and poke Doyle before the dream could really get a grip on him.

It had worked out rather well, and, as time went by and Bodie moved to a smaller flat it had seemed a bit daft to sleep on an uncomfortable settee when they were used to sharing a bed.

It had been on just such an occasion when Doyle, despairing of Bodie ever catching on that he was available and agreeable, had hatched his plan. As he waited for Bodie to fall into a deeper sleep he wondered how on earth he was going to do it. He could only ever remember a sickening fear and overwhelming terror by the time he woke up, and his heart would always be pumping away. He knew that he sometimes lashed out, Bodie and his girlfriends had all suffered from that, but did he ever say anything, and if so - what? It had been so long since he had last had a nightmare he couldn't really remember much about it.

He began by twisting and fidgeting and a few carefully aimed elbows into Bodie's ribs. After a few minutes he heard Bodie's breathing change rhythm and knew that he was awake. Hoping that he was not overdoing it, he began to move around a bit more, mumbling nonsense words which gradually got louder as his movements grew more frantic. He felt the bed shift as Bodie moved and he ignored the first tentative, sleepy "Ray?" which was followed by a grunt as a flying fist encountered with his chin. Properly awake now he felt Bodie reach for him, and he fought against the hands, trying to get away, his mumbling turning into a loud cry.

"No, no don't touch me. No." He was sure he was overdoing it, but he had to carry it through to the bitter end. "No, no." Bodie grabbed hold of him tightly and pinned him down on the mattress.

"Ray...Ray...wake up, Ray. It's alright, wake up...please." He pretended to wake up, opened his eyes and found Bodie only inches away above him, their mouths so close a small pucker would make them touch. Hoping that his acting abilities wouldn't let him down at the crucial moment, he injected what he hoped was the right amount of bewilderment into his face and voice.

"Bodie...I'm sorry..."

"No need to be sorry mate, I think I'm used to your crazy dreams now."

"Oh Bodie!" It was no good, he couldn't pretend any more, he pulled the dark head down the fraction of an inch necessary and their lips finally touched. After a split second's hesitation, Bodie responded, and responded, and responded. A year later the echoes of that first loving still brought a tingling feeling to Doyle's stomach.

Somehow he had never got around to confessing to that little piece of subterfuge, and now it just didn't seem important.

He knew that tonight's dream had been caused by seeing Albert Kingsley again, it didn't worry him, not now. He hugged Bodie tightly, so tightly that the sleeper mumbled a protest. In fact, when he really thought about it, he quite enjoyed Bodie's method of calming him after his nightmares. Maybe he ought to have them more often.

-- THE END --

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