Time to Sort It Out
Part One: Alone
I don't know you...and you don't know the half of it
I had a starring role...I was the bad guy who walked out
They say be careful where you aim
Because where you aim you just might hit
You can hold onto something so tight
You've already lost it
--Dirty Day - U2
Bodie was sitting at a table in the corner of the pub.
It was half empty, not quite time for the night crowd, and the early evening crowd were finishing off and going home to wives, husbands and home-cooked meals. Ordinary people who had no idea that the civil servant in the corner had just been in a fire fight that had cost one life and very nearly three, all supposedly in order to keep this little piece of the world smelling ever so slightly of lavender and roses. Every so often he would raise his head and scan the bar, looking for nothing in particular, instinct and training keeping him sharp and alert even when he felt neither of the two.
He lowered his head and gazed again at the drink in front of him. Beads of condensation were travelling slowly down the glass and pooling on the table--there was no beer mat to blot the moisture. He really didn't know how long he had been there nor why he really didn't feel like finishing the drink; he just sat, watched and brooded. It was rare that he felt so powerless. He was as hard as they come and as a rule he never let things get so far out of his control but this had never been in his control from the beginning.
He had never questioned the Controller before, but after the fiasco today he wondered whether he would ever really be able to trust the old man again. Blind faith in George Cowley--at least near-blind faith--had been called into question. Bodie was used to taking orders and had followed George Cowley's to the letter most of the time. Yes, he broke the rules sometimes, only the stupid ones, but no rules were broken today, they had done exactly what had been ordered of them only to find that George bloody Cowley had, at the last, betrayed them.
Bloody operation Susie. He knew that there would probably be a very reasonable explanation as to why the old man did what he did but for the moment he needed to hang on to his anger a little longer, if only for the sake of a young woman killed by people supposed to be on his side of the fence. Jesus, he was really getting to be a soft bastard. Doyle would be proud of him, Doyle who held such a monopoly on guilt and anger. Well not tonight. Tonight it was he who was the king of the guilt trip. He allowed himself a small smile at that thought.
He had asked his partner to join him to drown their sorrows after such a day but Doyle had declined, opting instead for a long bath and an early night. Suddenly the thought of that sounded so much better than sitting in a pub alone and not really drinking.
A sudden feeling of desperate isolation swept over him and he shivered from the intensity of it. It must be because of the op, he told himself, something about the senseless waste of life for reasons beyond his comprehension. He just wasn't feeling himself.
He wasn't feeling himself if he was feeling anything at all. It was his job to do things like that, to kill a person if so ordered. He definitely wasn't feeling himself.
Well that wasn't strictly true. He was beginning to feel like this a little too often. What the bloody hell was going on? He had always prided himself on the way he could cope with the job and be on his own but lately, well since Doyle was shot, some need, some want he couldn't explain was distracting him more and more. He felt empty and it was a feeling he did not like. At first he had tried to bury the feelings of discontent tugging at his subconscious by burying himself in a string of warm and willing ladies, procuring some for Doyle as well, but that pursuit had done nothing to quiet the increasing pull of the loneliness.
He shook himself. He was not lonely: he was a loner. Always had been, always would be, look after number one, that was his credo. Soft, he was getting soft and it would stop now. If this is what CI5 did for him, he should have left it by now. Why the hell was he still here? He had never stayed with any mob for this long.
His head shot up again as the door opened; secretly he hoped it was Doyle, change of heart, come to have a pint. It wasn't, two men still in work clothes out for a drink after a day on the site. They walked to the bar and ordered, joking and laughing with each other as they waited for their drinks. He should never have come here alone, yet he hadn't really wanted Doyle to come to the pub with him at the time and had been somewhat relieved when he refused. He had been in no mood to try and quiet Doyle's demons when he was having enough trouble quieting his own, but now he wished Doyle was with him. He missed the bloody bastard. He allowed himself a sardonic laugh at himself for that little revelation. They had been apart for--he checked his watch--only two hours and he missed the wilful, stubborn, bloody-minded, snarky bastard. Hated Doyle to be out of his sight for any length of time if he could help it. Just feeling a little over protective, that's all, he reasoned. He decided to go round to Doyle's. With that decision made he suddenly felt himself relax a little and wondered why? Panic set in at that point.
He really didn't like today; there was definitely something very off, very wrong with him, but try as he might he could not shake the idea that he wanted to see Doyle now, more specifically that he needed to see Doyle, no matter that he would have to listen to the rants and the guilt and the concern for bloody strangers and try to pacify his partner when he could not pacify himself. That thought scared him more than anything. That and the fact he needed Doyle and he had never needed anyone in his life. They could have been killed today. Not that that was unusual in itself, they could be killed on any number of operations, but today was too close and not altogether a situation they could really do much about. He hated feeling so powerless; he was beginning to hate taking orders; he hated the fact that Cowley had betrayed them; but most of all he hated the fact that when it came down to it he had almost lost Doyle again. He could look death in the face, stare it down, but when it came to his partner he would much rather die himself than see Doyle dead or in a hospital bed fighting for his life. He'd seen that enough recently. Bloody hell!! What was wrong with today?
He was out of the pub, drink abandoned, without another thought. He began the long walk in the direction of Doyle's flat, unsure of his welcome but willing to risk the wrath of his partner if it meant not feeling like this, if only for a while.
That thought stopped him short, head reeling with the revelation. He realised suddenly that he only felt this desolate when Doyle wasn't around, the pain went away when his partner was near. He brought that thought out into the light and turned it round and round. Doyle was an infuriating bastard at times and had a tendency to take whatever problems he had out on Bodie. This in itself was not hard to understand. They were best friends, partners, a relationship closer than some marriages given all the time they were required to spend together, but the truth was they spent far more time together than the job required and had practically been living together after May Li. He wondered when exactly his partner had managed to break through his carefully constructed barriers. Not many had managed it, but it seemed that he had woken up one day and Doyle was there. It was something he'd never questioned; indeed it was something he had never examined until now. To examine it too closely would mean that it meant something to him, that Doyle meant something to him, something more than a work colleague. But now Bodie realised he was more, much more.
Days off spent working on the bikes or riding in the country, stopping for lunch and a few pints before heading back to one flat or the other to eat Doyle's cooking or a takeaway if Doyle couldn't be bothered.
How many of the other CI5 partnerships thought nothing of planning their leave time so they could spend it together?
How many times had they ended up together, alone, after a double date? Sometimes it only took a look between them, a slight nod of understanding and their dates would be left chastely with a kiss on the doorstep, times when sex seemed pale in comparison to the uncomplicated companionship they both needed.
How many times had he broken a date to be with Doyle, in time of need or just because Doyle asked him to watch a football match and eat a takeaway? How many times had Doyle done the same for him?
McCabe and Lucas never spent so much time together and they were a very close partnership. Obviously not as close as he and Doyle though, a small voice in his head pointed out.
Then there was the rest of it.
Touching his partner and showing affection for him in a physical way had always been something Bodie did without thinking. Ruffling Doyle's curls, goosing, an arm thrown around his shoulders or waist, a hand on the small of his back guiding him in or out of a room and Doyle never objecting to any of it. Only once did Bodie recall Doyle reacting negatively to a touch given. Maybe he had been feeling more protective of Doyle because of the situation but his hand had lingered a little longer than usual on Doyle's arse and Doyle looking at him over the top of sunglasses, warned him with a glance to lay off. Only that one time though and, Bodie thought now, only because that nutter Preston was watching. It would do no good to show that bastard how close they were. They were definitely very close on that one and Doyle, Doyle had said and did things that would give Bodie pause now, he himself had said things that would give pause now, but he didn't notice at the time. Now though he did notice.
-Send someone in to scrub your back- Doyle had smiled a blinding smile at that comment and peeling the jumpsuit of his shoulders had continued to the bathroom as Bodie turned to leave.
-You'll save me- the conviction in the way he said it the total confidence in Bodie shocked and startled him all at once, he could only smile back at his partner the pleasure of the trust and the acceptance of the burden gladly taken.
-Watch your back- he had told Doyle when he went to use the phone box and Doyle's instruction -you watch it- obeyed. He had watched Doyle's back as he walked away. Studied the unfeigned elegance of the man and Bodie appreciated the view.
Doyle hadn't doubted for a moment that Bodie would save him; the warning look at Brownie's boat had been Doyle's way of saving Bodie.
Bodie knew then that he would not have hesitated. He would have done whatever needed to be done to keep Doyle safe. He would not have felt guilty with Cathy's blood on his hands. He had wondered for a long time after they had got Preston if he had imagined the nature of the exchanges. He knew he hadn't. Bodie was not stupid. He had been at sea and jumped ship into a world where survival meant doing what you had to do and he had done most things. He knew his looks were ones appreciated by both sexes and he believed then that Doyle had an appreciation of them too. He had no problem with that except for the fact that he had no problem with that. It had taken years for the simmering attraction between the two to come so close to the surface and Bodie knew that he would never have allowed it if it hadn't been for Doyle getting shot. Now it was too late to push it away.
As Bodie continued to ponder he suddenly knew why the rest of CI5, never Cowley though, looked at them askance sometimes. Bodie knew that men have boundaries when dealing with men. Bodie knew those boundaries. A slap on the back, a dig on the arm, a swift hug for comfort or congratulations, those were the ways in which men touched each other, each man knowing where to stop. Never would a hand stray to the arse or to the small of the back, no arm would ever go round the waist unless the perpetrator was really looking for a black eye. So what did that make them? He and Doyle had no boundaries when it came to each other. Bodie touched and Doyle did not object but Doyle did not reciprocate in the same way. Maybe he was wrong about Doyle after all. Maybe it was all imagined because he wanted Doyle to want him. Christ! He thought, what does that make me? Why have I stayed in this mob for so long? Why did I let myself become so close to Doyle, too close? Why do I need him so much?
He hated things being so far out of his control but this had never been in his control from the beginning. He thought he had been talking about the op, now he knew it had never been about the op, it had just brought it into the open. For all his pushing away of simmering feelings he realised that they were always going to come out. Bodie needed to answer the questions and he also needed some distance between him and Doyle.
He changed the direction he was walking in and instead made a detour to the nearest underground station where he descended the steps and headed first for home to pack and then out of London. He needed there to be many miles between him and Doyle if he was to get his head straight. Bloody operation Susie, he cursed under his breath.
Part Two: Missing
I don't mean to bleed you dry
Or take you over for the rest of your life
It's just that I need something solid in mine
--Precious - The Jam
It was two days since he'd seen his partner. The Cow had given them two days after that bloody Operation Susie and he'd expected to spend at least one of them with Bodie--after all his partner had hardly left his side since he had come out of the hospital six months ago. He had called at the flat, no answer, he had asked at HQ but they would not tell Doyle Bodie's location, just said that he was out of London, contactable by them but requesting no contact from anyone else. Doyle had been outraged. He tried to tell Control that Bodie would never have meant for them not to tell him where he was but they had insisted that his partner had been very clear and that no one was to be told.
Doyle had stormed home and fumed, his anger building and building. Bloody selfish bastard, he could have done with a break himself but oh no, Bodie had gone off on his own or with some bird, fucking some stranger, someone who knew nothing of what it felt like seeing someone die right in front of you. No need for his partner, no thought for how Doyle could be feeling after the op. So he had stewed and opened a bottle of scotch and drunk and thought. It wasn't long before his anger at Bodie turned into concern for his partner. It was so unlike Bodie to do anything like this. His partner hadn't seemed to be that affected by what had happened, however Bodie never wore his heart on his sleeve the way Doyle did.
Doyle had thought that his partner had behaved as normal afterwards. It was only when he thought about it more that he realised how Bodie must have been affected, not necessarily by the death of Diane Molner but by the fact that Cowley had betrayed them. George bloody Cowley. He was the one man that Bodie looked up to more than anyone. He was Bodie's father figure. By all accounts the only real father figure Bodie had ever had and in fact Doyle thought he would probably never know the extent of Bodie's relationship with Cowley.
His own father, as far as Doyle could make out, had died when Bodie was very young. He had been an army man, in Cowley's regiment, on some secret mission that had gone wrong, and Bodie was left without a dad. George Cowley had been the one to break the news to Bodie's mother and had helped her through the worst times with her son. He couldn't stop Bodie though. Bodie had left home when he was fourteen to prove to himself and his father that he could do better. He would be the best of the best and he was, even if the causes he chose to fight for were dodgy, he was the best there was. Cowley had come along again at the exact right time in Bodie's life and Bodie had grabbed on to him like a lifeline. Bodie could see he was on the road to self-destruction and Cowley had saved him. Cowley had made sure he left the mercenary life behind and had encouraged him to join the paras, Bodie never looked back. He even had a tendency to refer to the old man as Father. His partner had revealed this to him during the night they had waited for Parsali to come to sign the treaty. Doyle had dismissed his earlier answer that money was his driving force and Bodie had revealed more than Doyle had thought he ever would. It had certainly explained the old man's soft spot for his partner but Bodie had gone no further and given only the briefest account before clamming up again. It was that night however that Doyle realised that he was probably closer to Bodie than anyone in the world, and he felt very gratified by that.
Bodie's whole belief system had taken a big knock on the Molner case and here was Doyle feeling sorry for himself because Bodie had left him to wallow, alone. Doyle was used to Bodie cajoling him out of his moods and now he wasn't here to do it Doyle found that he needed him. Hell, he always needed him. He had known that much for years.
He supposed it had started when Bodie had gotten himself knifed. Doyle had been lucky to hold it together in the hospital, as it was he had made a bloody fool of himself crying over his fallen partner. He was proud of to have held it together enough to crack the case even though he had taken a very bad beating. The first thing Bodie had done when he had come round and saw that Doyle was hurt was to blame himself for not being there to cover his partner. There he was in a hospital bed having hung on to life by the skin of his teeth and he was worried about Doyle.
His feelings for his partner were strengthened and buoyed week on week, year on year as one way and another Bodie showed Doyle that he was truly valued. That someone cared about him in a way no one ever had. That what they had built on rocky foundations was a strong friendship that would be hard to break. Doyle knew that he and Bodie were inextricably bound together. More than that Doyle knew that he loved Bodie, was in love with him and wanted everything that that promised. Only thing was his partner wasn't in love with him and so Doyle had settled himself to the fact that he would take anything his partner was willing to offer.
Doyle in desperation had tried very hard to find someone else. However in his heart he knew that all the women he picked, all the women he had 'fallen for' were not going to stick around for the long haul. His secret relief when they left was covered up so Bodie wouldn't think it strange that the woman Doyle loved was never missed. The best example of this was Ann of course. He had rushed headlong into that, he knew she was his last chance. It's a hell of a thing you see at thirty-five years of age to finally admit to yourself that you are gay or at least bi and in love with your partner. After Ann he did admit it to himself at least. He knew he would never be married or have children but he felt relief, like a great weight had been lifted and it wasn't so bad, Bodie was there at his side every day, he was everywhere in his life except in his bed.
From then on all Doyle's girls were just cover.
Bodie had always been a toucher and Doyle liked it, wouldn't change it. It could, at times, make him uncomfortable. Not because he felt that his personal space was invaded but because he was afraid that his partner would realise just how much he liked it and he really did like it. Bodie was always touching him. An arm round the shoulder, a hand on the arm, a ruffle of the hair, he could cope with that but Bodie didn't stop there did he? Oh no, Bodie had to slip an arm around his waist, guide him in and out of rooms with a hand to the small of his back and he couldn't seem to keep his hands off his bloody arse. God, if only he knew how much it affected him. There were times when he had to stop Bodie from doing it. It drove him crazy with desire for his partner and there was no way he was going to risk the friendship and partnership because he couldn't control the fact he was head over heels for his best mate. He remembered the time when Preston was after him. Bodie was being so attentive and protective but Doyle was worried, they didn't know who was after him and Doyle had a gut feeling that it wouldn't do to have the bloody nutter know how close they were. He didn't want to put Bodie in danger in any way, he needed him too much. Bodie had saved him just like he knew he would. It seemed to Doyle that Bodie had been shocked at the blind faith he had in his partner's ability to save him but he had been pleased too that Doyle trusted him so much. Doyle, buoyed by the closeness they shared while hunting Preston, had begun to blatantly flirt with Bodie and his partner had played along.
Doyle realised suddenly that wasn't a new thing. He always competed for his partner's time and attention and strangely enough he was used to getting it. He may not have wanted Bodie to realise that he reacted to him physically but he knew that he had been sending Bodie signals from the day he realised he was in love with him. He flirted with Bodie a lot. He realised that he always came first with his partner and he played on that knowledge. If they were on a date it didn't take much for Doyle to draw his partner's attention away from his latest bird and onto himself and he wondered now if any of the girls had twigged to this.
Sitting in the restroom on his first day back Doyle was glad he was at work. Another day spent alone in his flat thinking about his absent partner would have sent him round the bend, at least he would see Bodie here and be able to give him a piece of his mind for going off like that. But Bodie was late.
"4.5, my office now!" shouted George Cowley down the hall and Doyle jumped to his feet.
"What have you been up to Doyle? Sounds like the Cow's in a very bad mood. Or could it be your glamorous assistant Bodie that's in trouble. Where is he anyway? You lost him again? Very careless of you." Anson sneered, blowing smoke in Doyle's direction, knowing how much it infuriated the other agent.
Doyle was in no mood for Anson today and was eternally grateful that Murphy took that moment to pop his head round the door and warn Doyle to get a move on before Cowley came to get him.
He knocked at the door and walked into Cowley's office. Cowley glanced up from his papers and motioned for Doyle to take a seat, which he did and waited for his boss to speak. Cowley finished his signature on several of the papers before he looked at Doyle again. He removed his glasses and looked at Doyle intently before speaking.
"Whatever is the matter between you and Bodie I want it fixed."
"What are..." Doyle tried to ask a question but Cowley's hand came up to stop Doyle from getting any further before continuing himself.
"I want it fixed and furthermore I want no more of this resignation nonsense that I'm getting from you partner. I can't afford to have one on my best agents leave when I need him here, so you're going to go to him, fix this and bring him back." With that he sat back in his chair and regarded Doyle who he noticed was wearing a look of confusion as if he didn't know what was going on.
"I don't know what to fix. I didn't know anything was broken," was all Doyle could manage, talking to himself as much as he was to Cowley.
"You mean you didn't have a falling out after the Molner case?" Doyle shook his head in reply.
"I...we...Bodie went to the pub after we were done here and I went home. I haven't seen him since the last time we were here at HQ. Control told me he was out of London and contactable by them but didn't want anyone else to know where he was. I assumed he needed time away and that he would be here today, so I don't know what to fix. I haven't talked to him in days, he never told me anything was wrong."
"Och laddie, in that case I want you to find out what's wrong with him and bring him back. I just assumed that you would know what the problem is. After all, you know him better than anyone. I'm giving you three days. Here is the address of where he is staying," Cowley handed him a piece of paper, "you leave tomorrow evening. Bring him back."
Doyle got up and walked to the door. As he opened it he heard the Controller speak.
"4.5, Doyle. Keep me informed, won't you, let me know if I need be concerned for 3.7, this is all so unlike him I'm beginning to worry myself."
"Yes, Sir," Doyle replied and left the office closing the door behind him.
Bodie handing in his resignation was the last thing Doyle had expected to be confronted with today. He had expected his partner in the restroom safe and sound telling tall tales to the other agents about his latest conquest's better assets. He was numb. Had Bodie simply had enough? Doyle knew that he had stayed with CI5 for longer than he had stayed with any other outfit, maybe he was just getting the travelling bug, itchy feet. Doyle knew that if Bodie left he could never stay with the squad. Without Bodie to watch his back and reel him in he would never last. Even if he could be without Bodie in his life he could never work without him in the squad. Cowley knew this and Cowley was concerned.
Part Three: The Cow
George Cowley was worried. He had thought that Bodie's attempted resignation had been nothing more than a hangover from an operation gone wrong. Some sort of fight with Doyle maybe. He knew Doyle could turn everything into a guilt trip but Bodie was usually there to snap him out of it. Not this time it seemed and Bodie had run. Why? The Molner operation had been a foul up. George Cowley had been played and he didn't like it one bit. But 3.7 was a worry to him, always had been, but he didn't think it would be something like this case to break him. Cowley thought if there was trouble to be had that it would be Doyle who would give it. It had never crossed his mind that Bodie would take things so badly. That was assuming that it was the operation that was the problem.
He looked on Bodie and Doyle as the sons he never had. Especially Bodie. His emotional connection with the lad went back a long time. After the death of Andrew Bodie, George Cowley had taken a lot to do with the Bodie clan.
Will was only a baby, not long after the war, when he had to break the news to Aoife Bodie that her husband was dead, a hero's death in defence of his country, but what a waste. For the next twelve years he had looked out for the family of his close friend but had let Aoife down when he was too late to stop Bodie going away. He was a connected man however and all through the years had kept an eye on Bodie and kept his mother informed of her son's health. He had waited for just the right moment, the moment he knew Bodie would come home, and had made sure he got where he wanted to go. He put Bodie on a path, that much was true, but Bodie had made his own way. He got there on his own, proving on the way he was every bit as good as his father had been, better even. When he was seconded to CI5 he passed again on his own merits. There would be no room for slackers in Cowley's outfit and anyone who was in got there on their own steam, Bodie included. Initially it didn't sit right with the lad that the new boss was a close family friend and indeed something of a mentor to him but gradually a few examples of Cowley's even-handedness, either for praise or punishment, made him realise he was being given no favours.
When he had recruited Doyle, Cowley had seen two things right away. The first was the fact that Doyle had the potential to do the Controller's job someday and the second was he would be a perfect partner for Bodie who seemed to assume he would be working solo. Cowley wanted him teamed because he knew Bodie's potential and a solo agent would burn out much more quickly without someone to share the load.
Cowley intended that his agents be able to carry more than their share. Chalk and cheese, he knew they were opposites but he believed they would balance each other very well and make a good team, he had an eye for these things. He didn't realise just how good a team they would become. After a rocky start the first couple of months in the field, they began to work together as smoothly as a well-oiled machine. The rapport was obvious and the communication between the two second to none. Some of the older agents were convinced that they had worked together before, or had known each other for years, and gradually some became convinced that the two were partners in bed as well as in work. George Cowley knew that this was not the case. When the rumours surfaced he had watched and waited and come to the correct conclusion that they were erroneous. But he didn't miss the fact that the potential was there and had watched over the years to see the potential grow and grow.
They were his best team, the best in all the agencies, he was willing to wager and the thought of losing one of them or both lay heavily on him. They would never know what it had taken for him to give up their position like he had but it was his job and no matter what feelings he might have had for his men it was their job too and they knew this only too well. He knew they would be feeling betrayed and that was why he had given them two days leave. It didn't sit right with him that Bodie, especially Bodie, would be nursing a grudge against him still. Bodie knew the way these things went, he knew his own job and he knew Cowley's. There was something else going on here and only Doyle could get to the bottom of it. Of that he was sure. He knew that he and Doyle were the only two people to ever get around Bodie's defences and he knew that Doyle was the only one ever to get all the way through, he had watched it happen.
He had noticed a subtle change in Bodie's attitude to his partner since the shooting. All the hidden feelings had bubbled to the surface and although Bodie's poker face was excellent, it took a lot more than that to fool George Cowley. He wondered now if either of them even knew how much they meant to the other, how much they relied on each other for almost everything. He guessed that if they did realise they would hide from it, that they would run away. That brought him up short. As soon as he had the thought he knew why Bodie had gone. He only hoped that when Doyle found him they would work it out and begin to understand.
Part Four: Fear
While driving to Bodie's hideaway the next night Doyle began to go over the incidents leading up to Bodie's disappearing act. He could think of nothing out of the ordinary. There were few times in their partnership where he had seen any real emotion from Bodie when it came to the job. That wasn't strictly true, Bodie tended to joke when the situation became too fraught and Doyle was very aware that this was Bodie's coping mechanism. Then there was the Parsali job where out of the blue, Bodie, looking at Doyle through long lashes asked him -are you scared- Doyle had answered in the affirmative and had asked Bodie the same, the answer -all the time- had unnerved Doyle. The vulnerability Bodie had shown to him was a revelation and Doyle had wanted to reach out to him, reassure his partner that everything would be fine but he couldn't. That was Bodie's job, Bodie did the reassuring, Doyle was the one who was comforted. God he was a selfish bastard at times. Bodie must really think he was nothing but a burden to him. Maybe he had finally had enough of his demanding partner and CI5 had nothing to do with it. If that was the case Doyle resolved to resign, ensure that the old man would still have one of his top team in the fold. It must seem to Bodie that Doyle took and took and never gave anything in return.
Bodie must really have needed him after the Molner case and Doyle had all but ignored him, preferring to be seen to wallow in his own self pity all the while hoping that Bodie would change his plans and do it Doyle's way. What a stupid, selfish bastard he really was. He only wanted Bodie close. Like a child throwing a tantrum and getting his own way time and again he had used this tactic to bring Bodie to him, to feast on the emotional and physical comfort that his partner showered on him.
As he got closer to his destination and his partner another thought struck Doyle, his hands tightening on the steering wheel, his heart pounding in his chest and a wave of nausea washing over him as he drove one thought assaulted him. He Knows. Doyle kicked himself for not thinking of it sooner. Bodie had finally twigged to what Doyle felt for him and he was disgusted, so disgusted he ran away.
Doyle's last thought before he pulled into the lane leading to the cottage was that he would rather that Bodie had punched him, kicked him, screamed, shouted, been angry, anything would have been better than cutting himself off, not even wanting to face Doyle. He resolved to tell Bodie everything and steeled himself for the fallout.
Part Five: Realisation
Bodie sat atop the hill looking out across the vista. He had finally come to terms with his feelings and knew what needed to be done for the best, the problem was how to do it. He knew that what Cowley had done was his job and he understood why the old man had to do it. Had made his peace with Father and come to a better understanding of where his feelings had taken him with regard to his partner. He had always thought that it was George Cowley who had saved him from himself, and in a way he had, but it was his scruffy partner Ray Doyle that had really saved him. Bodie knew he had been on a rocky road. He had never let anyone really close and always believed he would be alone. Seeking solace in sex where he could but never becoming emotionally involved with anyone he used in that way. Marikka, had been a brief exception to this rule but he realised now that he had never really been in love with her, in awe of her would have been a better description. No real emotion involved and he had been content to leave it that way. That was until Ray Doyle had come along.
They had disliked each other immediately and each had forced the other to prove himself. After a few months a grudging respect had grown between the two men and they had begun to work together more smoothly than many teams who had been together for years. Cowley had seen the potential in them and had fostered it. Their first real assignments had been long and dangerous forcing them to bond in a way only men in combat situations could. Their war may have been different than previous wars but they became brothers in arms. They began to rely on each other more and more and Bodie never felt safer than when Doyle was guarding his back. He wasn't sure when closeness in the field had crossed to closeness in their personal lives but it had. Bodie remembered he had begun to insist they go to the pub sometimes after work and eventually that led to double dates and sharing of their love of bikes at weekends. He was never really conscious of the fact that Doyle had successfully breached all his carefully structured defences but he had and Bodie hadn't done a thing to stop him.
He should have recognised how he felt about his partner a lot sooner. Some bloody agent he was if he couldn't even work out his own feelings or recognise them reflected in Doyle. The problem was not the fact that he found himself in love with Doyle, he was fairly certain his partner felt the same about him, the problem was what to do now.
I am not a bloody queer.
This statement had been rolling around in his head for the past two days and he couldn't seem to get past it at all. How the hell could he be queer, he had fucked more women than he could even begin to count. How could he have let himself get so involved with Doyle? Stupid bastard. He should have recognised this much sooner.
The Ann Holly incident, as he preferred to call it, was the only time, looking back, that his feelings had threatened to spill out. He knew his behaviour towards her was irrational, he had definitely been jealous. Apart from the fact that she had been a cold bitch and all wrong for his fiery, passionate partner, he had wanted to tell her to lay off, that Ray was spoken for. He had wanted to shake his partner, to ask what the hell he thought he was doing with this woman when they both knew Doyle loved him. And then there was Cowley, asking him to spy on her, the small print stating that any agent to get married must have Cowley's approval, remarking that it was never likely to affect Bodie. That had hurt him more than he thought it would and he had wanted to tell the old man that he was already bloody married and his spouse was just about ready to become a bigamist and it was then he knew he had definitely gone stark raving mad. He had put it down to, he had put it down to...hell he didn't know how he had rationalised it at the time but he had been pushing the feelings away even as he had escorted his partner to the pub in the wake of the bitch's departure.
Going to bed with Doyle was something he wanted, needed, but he knew that when they took that step that there would be no going back, that it would be the last chance either of them had for happiness. He wasn't sure he could do it. Could he commit to Doyle? He already had in a way. He had been committed to their partnership from the start, well as near as, and gradually that commitment had spilled over into that of caring for his partner on and off the job. He wondered if he could be responsible for Doyle's happiness. He wondered if Doyle would be content with him or would he leave him when things got tough and he realised that Bodie was just a vulnerable as everyone else and unable to take the pain away every time. His father had left and he couldn't take away his mother's pain. Krivas had made sure that the next person he had come to care for had been taken from him. Marikka was killed and Doyle had run into the ice queen's arms. Would he do it again when he realised Bodie wasn't nearly as perfect as he thought? That scared him more than admitting to himself that he could be gay.
Suddenly, from his position on the hill he could see Doyle's car pull into the narrow lane leading to the cottage. Bloody Cowley, he cursed under his breath. The car door opened and his partner stepped out and looked at the cottage, breeze ruffling his hair. With the grace of a cat he walked to the back of the car, opened the boot and leaned in, affording Bodie a sensational view of arse encased in the ever present tight jeans. He was a sight for sore eyes for Bodie and one he had missed dearly as he lifted a holdall from the boot and walked to the door. Bodie, cock hardening with just the sight of his partner, made his decision. He let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding and feeling a calmness and sense of purpose he hadn't felt in months he stood up and began to walk down the hill towards the cottage, his waiting partner and the rest of his life.
Part Six: Revelation
The space between us for days has been so far;
I've spent a lonely week
Now I wanna be where you are
We've got a headstart for happiness, for our part
Guess we must be kissed by this force I feel inside
Now I'm not gonna hide
--Headstart for Happiness - The Style Council
"Doyle," Bodie started as he reached his partner. The other man turned to face him and Bodie saw the worried look etched onto his face. He longed to reach out and smooth the lines off the face he knew so well but held back knowing that there would be time for that later when they had talked and cleared the air, so he continued.
"What are you doing here? The Cow send you to change my mind?"
"Hullo Bodie," Doyle answered a weak smile tugging his lips. "He did as a matter of fact. Seemed to think your moonlight flit was all my fault, wants me to fix it and bring you back." The frown was back on the face and in a softer voice, "Did I do something Bodie? Because I don't know what it was but I'll fix it if I can. If you give me a chance--just tell me, Bodie." Doyle stopped abruptly knowing he had been rambling. He looked down embarrassed.
"Sorry." Softly spoken he looked back up at Bodie not quite meeting his eyes.
"Let's go inside shall we Sunshine. We'll talk inside." Bodie replied, opening the door and gesturing his partner in.
Doyle was getting more and more nervous. Bodie was looking decidedly relaxed and was smiling. He just kept smiling and Doyle found himself lonely for the times when all his partner would do was pout and complain. Bodie was too calm. Doyle had a feeling he was being lulled into a false sense of security, that any minute Bodie would pounce and confront Doyle about his feelings and Doyle wasn't sure he would be able to hold it together.
"Cuppa?" asked Bodie cocking one eyebrow and smiling at Doyle.
"Sure. Got any food in? I'm starving, could eat a horse after that drive," replied Doyle deciding that the best course to take would be to revert back to their usual way of dealing with each other and that if Bodie was going to punch him he would wait for Bodie to do it in his own good time.
In the kitchen they busied themselves making dinner. The routine was a well-known one for both of them and they fell into their roles, Doyle cooking and Bodie assisting, Doyle giving orders and Bodie taking them. Still Doyle could not shake the feeling that something was about to give.
He watched Doyle as he prepared the food, giving a hand when asked, but mostly he just watched his partner make his way around the kitchen with a grace that he had always admired. He knew he was crowding Doyle a bit but he couldn't stop himself preferring to be as near his partner as possible after so long without him. Doyle was stirring the vegetables and Bodie was watching over his shoulder, close enough for each to feel the heat of the other and to feel slightly uncomfortable with it. Bodie moved back as Doyle asked him to set the table and get some wine from the fridge.
Within minutes they were sitting down to dinner. Doyle regarded his partner as they ate. They were making small talk about the Cow, the latest ops and the latest football scores but Doyle could see that Bodie was holding back, that things needed to be said and he wished Bodie would just tell him one way or the other what it was going to be. The one thing he knew was that whatever happened between then now he was glad to have Bodie in his life for these few years. He would never regret joining CI5 simply because he had met this charming man, one he would never have met had circumstances been different. For all that he questioned the role CI5 played and wrestled with his conscience, he had never been so happy as he had since he joined the squad and that had been all to do with the man sitting in front of him now, munching his way through the majority of the food while talking bollocks about some football game. He smiled then, a full smile that lit up his face and he felt replete.
Bodie's breath caught. Doyle was smiling at him, one of his rare blinding smiles that always made him look like an angel and Bodie was moved to action. He got up from his chair and moved round to face Doyle and knelt in front of him. Bodie reached up and placed his hands either side of Doyle's shocked face, leaned forward and kissed him.
The kiss was soft and tender and filled with emotion. Gently he probed Doyle's lips with his tongue until with a sigh Doyle opened up for him giving him access to plunder the moist cavern. He could feel Doyle's gradual surrender to him and the kiss deepened and became more passionate, his hunger returned by Doyle, Doyle's tongue battling his own. Finally needing to breathe Bodie pulled away, breaking the kiss. He looked into his partner's face, a smile lighting his own, as his partner opened his eyes slowly, blinking, giving Bodie a window to his soul, and Bodie knew he had been right and was glad.
"How long have you known?" Doyle asked looking away from Bodie afraid to see in his partner's face that this had been a test or a trick to make him admit his feelings.
"Not long. Only really figured it out the past couple of days but I'm guessing it's been going on a long time. How long, Ray?"
"Since you were knifed I suppose, nearly lost it at the hospital. I'm sorry, Bodie, I should have asked the Cow for another partner once I knew, but I couldn't bring myself to be out there with someone else when I only trust you to cover my back and I only trust me to cover yours. It doesn't matter now anyway. Bodie you can't resign, it would break the old man's heart to lose you, I'll resign, it's my problem after all, not your fault your partner went queer for you." He stopped and stood up before continuing. "I'll get my things and leave. But Jesus, Bodie, I wish you'd have punched me rather than kiss me." He turned to walk away but Bodie caught him by the arm and spoke.
"Ray, I feel the same." Said quietly but he had said it and Doyle felt a great weight being lifted off him and a smile returned to his face as he turned to his partner seeing his smile reflected there.
"Really, Bodie?" Bodie nodded and Doyle moved toward him, his hand cupping the side of his partner's face, and Bodie heard a soft "Thank God," before Doyle captured the pouting lips in another searing kiss that shot an arrow of arousal straight to his groin and brought his cock up hard against his jeans.
So this it what love feels like was the only thing Bodie could think as he was swept away in a flood of emotion and lust for this man in his arms. He tightened his hold on his partner and pulled the other man flush against him, bringing their bodies into full contact for the first time. He could feel Doyle's arousal and moved then so Doyle could feel the answering hardness in his own cock. When they pulled apart Bodie looked again at his partner's face which was flushed. He leaned forward and whispered very gently into Doyle's ear.
"It's time for us to go to bed Ray."
"Past time," was the breathy response from Doyle as they broke apart and Bodie led him by the hand to the small bedroom.
As soon as they entered the room Bodie again grabbed Doyle to himself and started to kiss and caress his face. His lips moved lower and he began to suck and lick at the pulse point in Doyle's neck, relishing the fact that he was responsible for the acceleration in his partner's heartbeat. Doyle was breathing hard and Bodie started to unbutton his shirt, Doyle reciprocated and soon they were bare chest to bare chest. That first touch of skin on skin sent tingles through the both of them and served to heighten their passion more. Bodie had wanted this to be a slow loving of Doyle but now realised that they would have trouble holding back if the slightest kisses and caresses evoked this kind of response.
"I want you naked, Ray. I need to see you now." His voice was rough with lust and he could see the effect his words had on his partner. Doyle's eyes closed for a second as if trying to calm him self. When his eyes opened again he looked straight at Bodie, eyes dark with lust and need and love.
His hands went to the belt of his jeans and he made short work of it and the jeans themselves, leaving him standing in front of Bodie in only his briefs. Bodie dropped to his knees and began to mouth his cock through the small scrap of navy fabric. Bodie mouthed his cock and balls while his hands reached round to cup Doyle's arse still covered with his briefs. Bodie's fingers dipped into the cleft of his arse as he sucked the head of Doyle's cock, all the while looking up at his partner. Bodie peeled the briefs away, setting his manhood free from its confines; Doyle's cock jutting proudly from his body was encased in Bodie's mouth where he began a slow sensual sucking. He ran his tongue along the veins from root to tip and swirled it around the crown, dipping into the slit and tasting Doyle's essence before swallowing the shaft and sucking again. Doyle's head was thrown back in ecstasy as Bodie sucked him. He had never experienced anything like this before He could feel his knees going to jelly and suddenly Bodie's finger was in his mouth and he was sucking it just as Bodie was sucking his cock, and then it left him and he could feel Bodie kneading his arse and parting his buttocks and a finger teasing his anus and a slick digit entering him suddenly and it felt fantastic. He had never let anyone up there before, he had only experimented alone, and he was so glad he had waited for Bodie. He could feel himself close to the edge.
"Bodie, I'm going to come, you're going to make me come...oh God," he ground out and Bodie's mouth left his cock momentarily.
"I want you to, Ray, come for me, love." And his mouth returned to work its magic as his finger was doing. Bodie was rotating the finger, working it in more and more until he could feel the spot he was aiming for and caressed it making Doyle cry out in helpless abandon as he saw stars. Bodie sucked harder, again and again, and when he felt that Doyle's cock was becoming impossibly bigger he grazed over the spot deep within him again and felt his partner's satin slick cum pulse out of Doyle and down his throat.
Still dazed from the orgasm Doyle felt himself held in strong arms and Bodie was kissing him again. He could taste himself in Bodie's mouth and longed to do the same for Bodie.
"Bodie, please get your clothes off. I need to taste you," he gasped when the kiss ended and Bodie quickly removed his trousers. Doyle steered them to the bed and climbed onto Bodie, blanketing him with his body, kissing him quickly before moving down to enjoy the body he had dreamed about so much. He kissed his way from mouth to neck to collarbone, kissing, nipping and licking till he reached the light brown nipples. He settled onto the right one and laved and sucked it into his mouth, gently biting and licking until Bodie hissed in pleasure as the nipple hardened to a peak, then he turned his attention to the other until it was as sensitised as the first, evoking moans and gasps from his partner. He left Bodie's nipples and travelled down his body, licking and kissing and leaving what felt to Bodie like a trail of fire in his wake.
Bodie's cock felt as though it was about to explode as he felt Doyle's warm breath over the crown. He knew that if he didn't stop Doyle soon he would come in his mouth and he didn't want that. He wanted to be inside Doyle when he came. He wanted to see his lover's face as they made love for the first time, he wanted to feel Doyle's heat surrounding him as he pounded all his love into Doyle, he wanted to make it very clear to his partner that he was in this to win. Doyle was doing great things with his tongue, lapping at Bodie's precum and swirling his tongue around the head and the glans. Bodie could feel his balls tighten and needed Doyle to stop before it was too late. He pulled Doyle up the bed to him and answered the questioning look on his partner's face with a hard passionate kiss and then--
"I want to fuck you Ray. I need to. Will you let me?" The question asked in a rough voice was all it took for Doyle's cock to harden again. The thought of Bodie taking him in that way had always been one of his greatest fantasies. He groaned, his arousal becoming more urgent.
"God, yes, Bodie, I want you to, please."
Bodie flipped Doyle onto his back and reached for the KY from the bedside drawer. He always liked the way it felt and always used it when he was getting himself off. He was glad now that he had packed it.
Bodie could see that Doyle was aroused again at the thought of being fucked by him and he marvelled that he could do this to someone as sensual and sexy as Ray Doyle. He prepared his partner gently. One finger, working it round, relaxing the tight ring of muscle, a second finger and the muscle relaxed further enough for him to begin to scissor his fingers, stretching the tight channel. Doyle was keening and gasping and pushing himself down onto the intruders, wanting more, ready to take another. Bodie complied, pushing a third slicked finger into Doyle. He began pulling out and pushing in, fucking Doyle with his fingers and Doyle was writhing on the bed, canting his hips and fucking himself on Bodie's hand. Bodie withdrew his fingers and slicked his cock with the KY.
Doyle had his hands behind his knees, presenting himself to Bodie, and the sight wrenched a strangled moan from Bodie as he positioned Doyle's legs over his shoulders and slowly began to sink into his partner's heat.
Doyle cried out as the head of Bodie's cock penetrated the tight ring of muscle and his body fought the intrusion.
"Breathe, Ray--you want me to pull out?" Bodie asked, concern colouring his voice.
"No, Bodie, don't. Give me more, I need more."
Bodie obliged as Doyle's body got used to the invader and finally he felt Bodie's balls against his arse.
"That's it, love, that's all of me," gasped Bodie, sweat dripping from his forehead as he fought to control his urge to fuck Doyle through the mattress. Doyle finally relaxed as the last of the pain was replaced by a delicious feeling of fullness, of knowing that Bodie was in him to the hilt. He began to cant his hips, spurring Bodie on to move in him. Bodie pulled out slowly then thrust back and again and again.
"God, Ray, you're so hot so tight, I love you, I love you," he was saying as he leaned down and captured Doyle's mouth with his own. Bodies pressed tightly together, Bodie fucked him with his cock even as his tongue fucked his mouth and their bodies, slick with sweat, moved on Doyle's cock trapped between them. The sensation was like nothing Bodie had ever felt before and it was as if nothing existed outside this room, outside of the two of them and this final expression of their love for each other.
"Aw fuck, Bodie, yeah, yeah ahhh." Doyle came with a yell and as his muscles contracted around Bodie he erupted inside Doyle spraying his seed deep into his body, branding Doyle as his own. He collapsed on top of Doyle and gradually felt his spent cock slipping from him. Doyle cried out, a feeling of emptiness replacing the feeling of fullness and he knew which one he preferred. He would be happy to have Bodie in him always.
Bodie arranged them so they were lying with Doyle's head on his shoulder. He dropped a kiss on Doyle's head and he looked up. Blue eyes met green and Doyle spoke.
"I love you."
"Love you too," Bodie replied smiling.
"'Bout five minutes after I met you. It took five years for my head to catch up to my heart though."
Doyle hugged him and they both drifted off to sleep.
-- THE END -