The New Year Nose
(Sequel is Noses Are the Breaks)
"Ray, could you make me another cuppa?" That this was the fourth request made by the sick man in ten minutes, wasn't lost on Ray Doyle, but he bit his lip and said nothing as he hurriedly made his way towards the kitchen. Bodie so rarely admitted to feeling sick that it didn't seem worthwhile to complain. Hadn't his partner put aside much of his private time when Doyle had been released from hospital after the Mayli shooting in order to make sure that Ray didn't overdo?
Five minutes later the slender man in New Year's finery appeared in the doorway of Bodie's bedroom. "Here you are, mate. A nice hot cuppa to go with your eggs and toast. There's tissues on the table and I left your cough medicine right next to it. Do you need anything else?"
A blast of sneezing and then coughing was the only answer from the dark-haired man lying miserably in the bed, three blankets and a quilt covering him. "S-sorry. My node tickles."
"I know, sunshine. Shouldn't have gone out in that rain the other day when you weren't feeling good."
"H-had to. Sc-scrooge dinnit" (cough, cough) "believe me." The bleary eyes gazed pathetically at Ray.
"Shouldn't cry wolf, Bodie. Too many times with too many birds. He didn't believe you this time."
Bodie wiped hurried at his dripping nose. "Feel bad (achoo), mate. Hope. . .you don't get it." A wracking cough emerged from the raspy throat.
"What are partners for, but to look out for the weak and sickly? Now you get some sleep and you'll feel better tomorrow." Doyle patted the foot under the blanket in reassurance.
"Great New Year's Eve!" the big man lamented. "Th-thought," (cough, cough) "thought we could drink a toast at midnight." The pouting lower lip came out.
"'m sure Louise is disappointed too. Jenny said she had plans for your gorgeous body." Doyle gave his partner a grin. "I'll be thinkin' of you when Big Ben goes into its routine."
Bodie just lay there staring at his partner. Doyle was always sensuous, but tonight he was positively devastating in his taupe- colored silk jacket, silver necklace that peeked enticingly from the V-neckline and with the softly-combed curls that framed his beautiful face. As sick as Bodie was, he could still feel a twitch in his cock, but considering his feelings for his partner, that was nothing new.
"So do you need anything else before I go?" The jade green eyes flickered with a hint of concern. It was so unlike Bodie to be sick and even more so that he was willing for Ray to hover around providing hot water bottles and Paracetamol. In fact, when Bodie had asked for the hot water bottle, Doyle had almost called for an ambulance!
In the years to come Bodie was never sure if it was the fever he'd developed because of the cold, insanity or what that prompted his answer to Ray's question, but then out-of-the-blue Bodie answered, "Need you."
The intrepid 4.5 stood there speechless for a moment. "You mean you don't want to be alone tonight? Can call Louise. . .no, I just remembered she has another date."
In his best frog imitation, Bodie croaked out, "Don' wanna bird. Want you." After all, he could plead delirium if necessary.
"Bodie. . . ."
"Need you (cough, cough), sunshine. Want you too. Have for a long (achoo) time."
Doyle sat down next to his partner to feel his forehead. "You've got a fever, mate. I don't think you know what you're saying."
"Do too!" Despite his weakness, Bodie definitely knew who he wanted. "Know. . .know I'm a mess now, but give me a (cough, cough, achoo) few days and I'll prove it to you!" Bodie grabbed Ray's hand and held on. "Don' go with Jenny. Sees you lookin' so bleedin' gorgeous, she'll never let you go. C-couldn't take that."
Doyle stood up, heading for the other room, leaving Bodie in the dimly-lit room--alone.
The ex-merc's heart hammered with fear. Had he gone too far? Would Ray abandon him to his fate? Despite the lightness in his head, he tried to struggle to his feet. He could tell Doyle he was joking, hallucinating or something like that. Fortunately, Doyle reappeared just in time to lead him back to the bed before his knees gave out on him.
"What'r you doin' up? Just went to call Jenny. Told her I had a sick friend."
"You did?" Bodie asked. "She mad?"
"Furious but I'll send her a greetings telegram." Doyle chuckled.
"Would too," Bodie remembered his friend telling him about the one he had sent Debra at one time.
"Of course I would. She's a nice girl, but there isn't anyone who's more important to me than you are."
The red-rimmed blue eyes stared into green. "'Cause we're partners?"
"No, 'cause of this." Ray leaned over to kiss the dry lips.
"Get me code!" the sick man gasped.
"I don't think I could be much more exposed to your germs than I already am--but I'm willing to find out," Doyle leered at the sweating dark-haired man.
Bodie smiled wanly at the man. "You sure? Thought it was birds what took your (achoo) fancy."
"I might fancy them, but I don't love them."
The forthrightness of his mate dazzled Bodie. He could only reciprocate that bravery. "Love you too, Ray. Just wish I felt more" (cough, cough) "like doing somethin' about it."
"Don't worry about that. We have plenty of time. I put in a call to The Cow and told him that you were sick. He graciously offered both of us three days off."
"I must be dyin' then!" Bodie speculated.
Doyle grinned. "You're going to be fine with some careful nursing by me and a lot of love--also by me."
"Then how'd you get the time off?"
"Told him I'd send you down to headquarters and let you breathe on the whole squad! He saw reason after that!"
In a small voice Bodie replied, "Always said you were the brains of the team, but I think I'm gettin' cold again. Need a new hot water bottle, one named Ray."
Without a word Doyle stripped off his finery before climbing into bed with Bodie. "Umm, your feet are like icebergs. Let me warm you up!"
The friction of Doyle's feet against his own felt wonderful, but then Bodie pulled the other man into his arms. "Promise me somethin'?"
"Wear that outfit on Valentine's Day. Take you dancin' at this place I know about. Have all the blokes pantin' after you."
"Is that what you want?"
"Nah, just want 'em to know that it's me you're goin' home with."
"It's a deal if you wear your black leathers."
"Just might manage to do that," Bodie agreed.
"Good. Makes me hot even to think about it!" Ray started to kiss Bodie but then frantically put his face into a pillow. A spate of sneezes shook the bed before the curly-haired man turned to face the other man. "S-sorry, mate. Think me nose knows its down for the count!"
"'S okay. At Midnight we can take turns sneezin' out the Old Year."
"And lookin' forward to a brand new year--together!" This time the kiss connected.
-- THE END --