After "Discovered in a Graveyard"
Bodie gently rubbed a finger across the misshapen cheekbone of his partner. The old wound was almost cool to the touch and as much a part of Ray Doyle as his green eyes or curly hair. To Bodie it seemed to represent the mystery that 4.5 played in his life.
3.7 and 4.5. 4.5 and 3.7. Cowley's system of numbering his operatives was bewildering if someone took the time to think about it, but William Bodie didn't bother. Ex-mercenary, ex-para, CI5 agent--a man larger than life in so many ways. Bodie had done more before the age of thirty than most men enjoyed in a lifetime. Yet, for the most part the past meant nothing to the dark-haired agent, except as something which occasionally surfaced with the likes of Krivas or Marikka, only to be pushed to the back of his mind where it couldn't hurt so much.
Loyalty to George Cowley's cause had given the young man a purpose--a reason to leave the beds of the nubile creatures who gave him such pleasure and a reason to risk his life beyond that of a soldier's duty. It had also given him the most important person in his life and now that particular person lay in a hospital bed, recovering from two bullet wounds that had threatened to breakup the 3.7/4.5 partnership forever.
Bodie again stroked the lumpy cheekbone. From the moment he had met Raymond Doyle, he had wondered how the man had received such a horrific wound; but never had the auburn-haired man spoken of it, not even when the two of them had imbibed in considerable alcohol and were prone to discuss things they would never say otherwise.
It had been during one of those sessions that Bodie had nonchalantly revealed his taste for the bodies of men as well as women. He had immediately taken notice of the glint in his partner's green eyes before they had shuttered over, but nothing more had been said.
"B-Bodie?" Ray's eyes struggled to focus on the man at his side.
"Right here, sunshine." Bodie squeezed one of Ray's arms to reassure him of his presence. In the days after 4.5 had been shot, Bodie had been assigned the task of finding Ray's assailant. Mayli Kuolo's death had ended the case, except for the rather heated admonition administered by the Controller about Bodie's bizarre instructions to Lin Foh to remain in the hotel where Mayli lay in wait to assassinate him. Bodie did not enjoy being the target of Cowley's ire, but truthfully Lin Foh's demise did not overly concern him. Ray Doyle's life was another matter entirely.
"Comin' right up. Just take a sip." Bodie held the glass straw to Ray's lips. For the past few days Bodie had spent his time at the hospital, happy to help or just talk to his recovering partner. Sometimes he was just content to watch Doyle's chest move up and down with breath. At one point he had feared that he would never again have that pleasure as the older man had fought for life, but once more the bionic golli had survived. It was now just a matter of time--for recovery, for therapy and hopefully 3.7 and 4.5 would be reunited in the field.
"Bodie? How long?"
"How long what, mate?" Bodie continued to unconsciously caress Ray's right cheekbone.
"How long before you go out on your own?" Doyle stopped. Even those few words seemed to exhaust him.
"Cowley gave me a week off so I could make sure you didn't jump the nurses while you're recoverin' and then I'll be in records for awhile."
"Good. Don't like to think about...you on the streets without...me."
"Goes for me too although The Cow said I could have Murph as backup if necessary."
"Don't...don't get used to him. I'll be back," Ray gritted his teeth together as pain lanced through him.
Bodie couldn't miss that gesture. "I'll get a nurse. She'll give you something for the pain."
"No, stay...minute." Sweat dripped down the straight nose. "Promise 'm gonna make it back."
Bodie leaned over so that his face was the only thing Ray could see. "I know you will, sunshine. Anybody who could put up with me as a partner for four years, can do anything."
"Got that right...even with this." Doyle gingerly touched the snow-white bandages which covered his shaved chest. "Might take time," he whispered.
"As much as you need. 'm not going anywhere without you."
"Promise?" Green eyes joined in the plea.
3.7 held up his fingers in the Boy Scout pledge.
"'S not what I want. 'Sides you weren't a scout."
"Oh, sorry. Told all the birds I was. They like uniforms." Bodie's sapphire eyes twinkled.
"Need...real promise." Ray licked away a drop of sweat that crossed his lips.
"A real promise, huh? How about this?" Bodie's mouth moved closer until he was kissing the delectable lips. "Will that do?"
"Just...just what I had in mind," Ray assured him.
"Glad we think alike. Now, I'm going to get the nurse. You rest easy." It took Bodie only a minute to return with a blue-clad nurse carrying a syringe. Swiftly, she administered the painkiller and left.
Bodie watched quietly as the pain began to ease from his partner's face. "I'll be right here if you want to get some sleep," he assured the injured man.
3.7 smiled sweetly and then delivered the expected promise.
-- THE END --