(Written for the_safehouse livejournal community "Missing Scene" challenge (Missing Scene: "Rogue"-- what happened after they left Cowley's bedside, with Doyle's image of his mentor shattered and Bodie's shoulder patched up?))

NOTE: I had dreadful trouble with this for a couple of days because, B&D eye candy aside, it isn't a favourite episode of mine. And what to make of the rather nonsensical ending? I owe a lot to the b/f, who gave several helpful suggestions after I told him it would be safe for him to read *g*

"He wouldn't have given you a drink anyway," Doyle said, "you're wounded."

Bodie raised an eyebrow, "This? A mere scratch, my son. Besides, you've got a head injury."

"Head injury! Nah, just a bleedin' nose. You were lucky not to puncture a lung." Doyle poked casually at the offending shoulder, causing Bodie to wince.

"Oh, I dunno, Ray. Intra-cranial haemorrhage, very possibly. Nasty. One minute upright & breathing, the next, in a coma for the rest of your life. Seen it happen."

By this time they were out on the pavement, where sunlight and birdsong filled the late afternoon. Doyle stared into the distance while Bodie, his left arm supporting his right, looked at Doyle.

Doyle said, "Look, you can't drive with your arm like that. Come back to my place, we can pick up some takeaway. I don't feel like cooking."

And he thought, I don't want to be alone tonight either.

At the flat, Doyle found plates and made a pot of China tea. The takeaway containers were dumped unceremoniously on the tabletop and they dug in, shoveling food down, not really tasting it. Barely half a dozen words passed between them for a good quarter of an hour. Then, full of food, if not good cheer, they finally looked up at each other. Doyle rose and went to the bar shelf where he poured two Scotches, passing one to Bodie.

"One won't hurt, on top of all that food."

They moved away from the table to more comfortable seating. Doyle slumped on the low couch, while Bodie didn't exactly seat himself in the armchair, more perched atop it, bum almost slipping off the front edge. Bodie sighed. "It was a foul-up, Ray, a complete cock-up from start to finish. We all missed the ball, including Cowley. Because we were blind to the possibility that Martin had gone bad, he almost got away with it. So don't blame yourself because you couldn't shoot him."

"I know. And strangely enough, I don't... well it's not what worries me the most, Bodie. Despite today's mess, CI5 does good work and I'm proud to be a part of it. You could say I have faith in us. But the scary thing is, what's going to happen in 10, 15 years? I know Barry was a believer too, once upon a time. If it could happen to him..."

And what about you, Bodie? Doyle thought to himself, Are you a believer? Will I be able to trust you, always?

Bodie didn't reply straight away. His hand was moving slightly, rubbing back and forth on his knee, the Scotch in his glass sending a golden flickering over his skin.

Finally, he spoke, "I don't expect to last that long, Ray. How many scars do we each have already? But if we get lucky enough to live until we come out of the field, I think we'll be alright."

He looked directly at Doyle, "When I say that there isn't anyone else I would rather have watching my back. I don't just mean that you're the best at looking out for the other guys with the guns. I'm talking about the way you keep me on the straight and narrow. And I like to think I do the same for you. Maybe that's why Martin went rogue, because he didn't have anyone to look after him that way.

A slight pause, and he continued. "But if l go bad, you'll have to take me down. Like you couldn't with Martin. It has to be you, no-one else." And he thought, Just don't ask me to do the same for you, sunshine, I couldn't bear it.

Doyle raised himself on one elbow and met Bodie's eyes with his own. His voice shook, "Not going to happen, mate. I won't let it."

He picked up his drink and Bodie picked up his. The two glasses clinked together and they drank. With the affirmations completed, now the healing could begin.

-- THE END --

July 2005

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