Unconditional Love


Doyle pressed his nose against the window, watching hopefully like an anxious child. He'll be back soon. He promised, and Bodie doesn't break his promises.

He stared out at the dismal day, unheeding -- deliberately ignoring -- the brooding clouds... He WILL be back -- dear God, let him come back safe this time...

Behind him, Murphy came into the rest room, and smiled as he saw Doyle there, elbows resting on the back of the old leather sofa, gazing out at the courtyard. He knelt up alongside him, draping an arm around narrow shoulders, and peered down.

"Bodie's old enough to look after himself..."

But Doyle ignored him, even when Murphy ruffled his russet- brown hair affectionately. Poor Doyle! Murphy shook his bead, grinning...unconditional love...

I hate waiting. I hate it when I can't be there to watch over him, to guard him. I wish Cowley'd let me go with him this time. Damn it, he knows Bodie needs looking after, and he knows I'm the only one who can do it properly. Oh, I'll die if anything happens to him...GOD, PLEASE LET MY ROME BE SAFE... PLEASE.

The slam of a car door drew his attention, followed by the sweet sound of a familiar laugh. Doyle breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed. Of course Bodie was safe. What WAS he thinking of? He'd play it cool, this time, wouldn't let him know how afraid he'd been... He turned around and sat down on the seat properly.

The hurried tread, as Bodie raced up the stairs to the rest- room and pushed open the door...

Forgetting his resolve, forgetting everything the moment Bodie walked into the room, Doyle threw himself into his errant protege's arms, and kissed him frantically.

Laughing, Bodie hugged him close and soothed the trembling body with hands and voice.

"Did you miss me, then?"

Stupid words, undeserving of an answer.

"Must be the only one who would," chuckled Murphy, emerging from his chair in the corner. "Him, and the Cow, of course."

Embarrassed, Bodie slackened his hold on Doyle, who eyed Murphy with annoyance. The agent noticed and made to leave the room, pausing at the door.

"You know, if the Cow catches you with him up here..."

"Bugger off, Murph," Bodie told him with a smile, as he toyed with the chain around Doyle's neck. "He's turned a blind eye to it so far..." He cuddled Doyle again, stroking the silky-haired chest.

Doyle heaved a delighted sigh, and gazed lovingly into Bodie's eyes, hopeful of...

"All right, mate," Bodie laughed. "Let's go home."

And, slipping the leash from his pocket, he clipped it to the spaniel's choke-chain....

-- THE END --

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