Some Things Never Change
by O Yardley
Sequel to Rediscovered in a Graveyard and Loose Change, by HG; see also Zoetrope
"They really are very like us," Bodie said pensively. His partner came through from the living room to stand in the doorway, shaking his head admonishingly.
"It is hardly polite to..." He broke off, viewing the couple sprawled on the bed and a large smile spread slowly over his face.
"Very like," he agreed, a trace of mischief in his voice. "I could swear to that perfect posterior anywhere."
Bodie shot him a disbelieving look. "That similar?"
"Down to the last dimple," Doyle told him solemnly.
Bodie shrugged, off-hand. "You would know better than I, of course. You spent enough of your time examining me in the minutest detail."
"A most rewarding pastime," Doyle passed a loving hand over the original, "and at least my efforts seem to have found favour with our descendants so your patience did not go totally unthanked."
Bodie chuckled. "The number of times we have had to distract others from those secret drawers... I always said we should have told Jedediah to have the entire desk and its contents burnt on our death."
Doyle eyed him, affronted. "And destroy works of art! Bodie, you always were a Philistine."
The taller man appeared suitably chastened. "It would have been a shame to destroy the desk," he agreed. "I believe Sheraton became very well-known later in his life."
"It was a lucky chance that brought them down to Cornwall," Doyle said pensively.
"Lucky chance!' Bodie turned amazed eyes on him. "George Cowley sent them down, I thought you were aware of that."
"Well yes, but -- you mean to say it was not only by chance that they happened upon the graveyard? Doyle eyed his mate, feeling more than a little idiotic. "I might have known," he said disgustedly. "You never could let well alone any more than Cowley could."
Bodie preened himself. "I thought I led him there rather neatly, myself. He was never aware it was not his own notion to take that route."
"Next you will claim the mechanical failure to be of your devising," Doyle said.
Bodie shook his head, a rueful expression lighting his eyes. "Mechanical objects have always defeated me," he acknowledged.
Doyle gave a sarcastic snort. "So it was purely fortuitous that they stopped where they did."
"They would have chanced on us sooner or later," Bodie said defensively. "George was quite determined on that."
Doyle was frowning. "When you said 'George Cowley sent them down'," he said slowly, "which George did you mean?"
"Oh, their orders came directly from their own superior." Bodie's lips twitched in a smile and were compressed. "Even our George hasn't worked out a satisfactory way of imposing his will on the modern generation - yet! I believe he is working upon it, however."
Doyle shuddered. "And how came they to be working for this George in the first place?" he demanded pointedly.
Bodie shook his head. "I never cared to ask -- you knew our chief before I did. Mayhap he would tell you of his machinations."
"And why should he begin now?" Doyle demanded in open astonishment. He Shrugged. "Mayhap when he lets us rest long enough to gather our senses we shall learn what he has in mind. At least our task here is at an end for now."
"Indeed." Bodie cast an approving eye at the bed. "They seem to have resolved their problems most amicably."
"Were you watching?" Doyle demanded, shocked.
"Have you not been doing so all along?" Bodie cast a sternly knowing eye upon his companion.
Doyle smirked. "Of course. Was I ever one to waste an opportunity?"
"I will concede that there were very few occasions, certainly...save when desire did outrun performance."
The smaller man drew himself upright. "Towards the end, maybe, but grant that I was past three score and ten and could still match you for all the advantage your comparative youth gave you..."
Bodie smiled lovingly. "Strange how some things never change. Those three years were ever a source of annoyance to you, confess it!"
"It pleased you to think so and me to pander to your foolishness." But Doyle's own smile was soft.
"And we have eternity now..." Bodie's whisper was awed. "We may pander to each other's whims until the end of time."
"And to George Cowley's." Doyle's face bore a look of comical apprehension. "Bodie, have you thought -- one day there will be two of them..."
Bodie's jaw dropped. He shuddered. "Don't even think about it. We will find some place to hide until there are four of us!"
About to offer whole-hearted agreement, Doyle nudged his partner's arm.
"They are waking," he said. "It is time for us to go."
Bodie nodded, reluctant to leave but knowing they must. He slid an arm about his lover's shoulder.
Doyle stretched sleepily, opening an eye.
He came bolt upright, blinking, one fist thumping Bodie painfully in the ribs. His partner groaned. "I'm awake, for god's sake." The blue eyes opened, a little gummily it's true, but the lids were parted. He followed Doyle's popping gaze. "Did I see that?" Doyle asked, panicked.
Bodie studied the foot of the bed. "Nah, can't have done -- or I'd've seen it too!"
"And did you?" Doyle eyed him suspiciously.
"Yeah," Bodie admitted. "But then I am still half asleep."
"Yeah," Doyle agreed thankfully. "So am I!"
Bodie yawned hugely. "That's OK then." He slid an arm around Doyle. "C'mere, lover."
"I am here."
"Nice," Bodie said sleepily. "Very nice. Don't go away, will you?"
-- THE END --
Paper Circuit, probably c.mid 1980s