Resolutions and Temptations
Written for Discovered in the Mistletoe, on the discoveredinalj livejournal community.
He knew he was in Bodie's bed when he woke. There was no mistaking the room, even in the dim light that was all the blind would allow. More than that, there was no mistaking Bodie lying beside him. Not a part of them touched, there was no sharing of space, yet every inch of him was aware of Bodie's presence. Thank God Bodie was asleep.
Doyle eased from the bed, careful not to jostle the mattress too much. He found his clothes in a heap on the floor and quickly pulled them on. His head was aching, and he didn't want to think about food, but it was certainly not the worst hangover he'd ever had. He hadn't been that drunk. If he had been that drunk, he wouldn't be in the position he was in. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath, steadying himself.
He opened his eyes and looked at Bodie. He was deeply asleep, on his stomach, one arm scrunching the pillow. It always amazed Doyle how self-contained Bodie was when he slept. Awake, he was a force to be reckoned with, drawing attention whenever he wished; asleep, he was quiet and still, as if hoarding his energy, taking a break from the world. He looked defenceless. Doyle knew that if he touched him, Bodie would react instantly. But still the illusion of helplessness remained. It affected Doyle as it always did, making him want to stay. He ignored the ache in his gut and turned away. He left the room, and the flat, and Bodie.
His car was down the street, and he settled into it with a returning sense of familiarity. This was the real world--his world--not...whatever had happened last night. New Year's Eve had been about revelry, and hearty good cheers, and downed drinks. He'd shared it with Bodie. They'd made the rounds of a few pubs and parties and had kissed the girls at midnight. It had been fun--a good way to celebrate surviving another year, another firefight. Together.
Doyle's hands tightened on the wheel. What was he going to do about Bodie?
They'd made it to the bed this time. Hell, they'd made it real this time. It wasn't something you could ignore, was it? Going down on another bloke? He wished he could blame it on the drink, but he'd known what he was doing when he'd grabbed Bodie's arm and tugged him to the bedroom. They'd fallen together onto the bed, both desperate, it seemed, for something they'd only done a time or two before, when need had called. And then it had only been hands or frottage. Nothing too heavy, nothing that meant anything. But this time, oh, this time he'd used his mouth on Bodie, wanting only to make it good for him. So good that he'd.... He'd, what? Want it again? Want more? What the fuck had he been thinking?
Doyle swung around a roundabout, cutting off the driver of a Merc who'd assumed he had the right of way. People ought to be home today, anyway, nursing their hangovers. He could murder a cup of tea right now, along with a bottle of aspirin. He could spend the rest of the day in bed, not thinking about Bodie, or about what he'd done.
The relationship he had with Bodie was all he wanted, so why complicate it? They were the best in CI5, attuned to one another. He liked being with Bodie--going to the pub, watching a game, double-dating. Sucking his cock. Okay, he'd maybe gone a little overboard there.
Bodie had liked it.
Oh, bloody hell. The point was, they had a good thing going for them in the partnership, and anything that threatened it was to be avoided. What was Bodie going to think of him? Cocksucking was a bit different from wanking, wasn't it? Bodie had been...surprised--stunned, more like. He couldn't see Bodie ever going down on him.
And, fuck, he thought he'd left all that behind years ago. It had to be because they were too damn comfortable with each other. He'd let his guard down. Equality was the hallmark of their partnership. It had taken him long enough to reach that parity with Bodie--he wasn't gong to lose it now.
A slow-moving Cortina was in his way. He waited a few moments, biding his time, then pulled out into the other carriageway to get around it. He slid back into his own lane to the accompaniment of a tooted complaint from an oncoming van.
Right. Last night had been an aberration, best forgotten. It was a new year; a time for resolutions. No more sex with Bodie. No wanking, no frottage, certainly no sucking. It might be best if he avoided Bodie--as much as possible, given their job. They were off today and tomorrow. He'd use the time to get himself back on the straight and narrow. No more sex with Bodie. The partnership was too important to mess around with.
Doyle woke as Bodie turned over in the bed. He blinked for a moment at the back presented to him. He wanted to reach out, trace a pattern along the smooth skin, kiss the scar.... Bugger. He waited a few minutes, holding very still, until he was certain Bodie was sleeping soundly. Doyle slid from the bed, quietly collected his running gear, and fled to the loo. After dressing he headed out, quashing the urge to check on Bodie before leaving.
Fool. Fool. Idiot! He'd shown a remarkable lack of discipline--just what his school reports had said about him. Maybe he should go back to the fucking police. He stalked to his car. He'd go to the cemetery for a run--get himself back into shape.
At the cemetery, he performed a perfunctory warm-up and broke into a slow jog. The sky was grey, the sun revealing itself only by the lighter cast to the clouds that hid it. There was still some frost on the grass, and the chilly air felt good to breathe in--cleansing. He increased his pace until he was running comfortably. His body, sluggish at first, responded to the familiar rhythm of the run. He let himself relax into it, let his mind drift--and there was the ghost of Bodie running beside him, sneaking in shortcuts, complaining constantly, but somehow making it all easier. Dammit. Doyle increased his pace until he couldn't think of anything but the run.
Finally he eased up, forced to do so by an ominous twinge in his left hamstring. He fell into a slow jog, controlled his stride, and the twinge eased. He couldn't just not think about Bodie--his presence was a given in Doyle's life. He had to work out a way to keep Bodie in his proper compartment.
He'd tried to keep him away yesterday. He'd ignored the phone the first time it rang, knowing that HQ would raise him on the R/T if it was work. But the third time it rang, he realised Bodie might think he was avoiding him, which would only lead to emphasising the whole cocksucking incident, which was not what he wanted. The caller turned out to be Cynthia, wondering if he'd seen Bodie. Cyn, with the gorgeous blonde hair, grey eyes, and cheerful, anything-goes personality. No, he hadn't seen Bodie, he had told her, and hung up.
Bodie, however, had arrived on his doorstep, unannounced, in the evening. He'd been bearing food and wine--takeaway Indian and a decent Shiraz. He'd also been dressed to kill the susceptible--all in black, as if to show off his power. The bastard. Doyle had done his best to ignore the effect and had let him in.
They'd shared the chicken vindaloo and the naan and poppadoms, and Bodie had deceitfully stolen all the sag aloo, the swine. Doyle had tried to refuse the wine.
Made a resolution, did you?
Something like that.
My job to be sure you break it, then. Come on, Doyle.
And, really, what could he do? It wasn't the wine that was the problem, it was the wicked look in Bodie's eyes. But it had all seemed to go so well--he'd steered the conversation away from the personal, concentrating on football and bikes and work. He'd kept his distance, and his perspective. It had been a good, matey night, just like a hundred others. Until he'd gone to put the kettle on.
He closed his eyes a moment, remembering the words Bodie had whispered in his ear as he'd put dishes into the sink:
I owe you something, Ray. Come with me. Please?
He'd held still, with Bodie close behind him. Bodie had left him free to choose--hadn't pushed him, hadn't trapped him with his arms. But then, Bodie's voice had been enough to do the trick, along with the look in his eyes when Doyle had turned to face him. What was he supposed to do, with Bodie looking at him like that? He'd let Bodie take his hand, and take him to the bedroom, without any protest.
He had known the danger he was in for years, his relationship with Bodie far more potent than any of his liaisons with women. He'd blamed his romantic failures on the job--but Bodie was inextricably mixed up with the job, wasn't he? And now Bodie was invading every aspect of his life.
It had all been so simple--even yesterday it had been simple. Don't get carried away, don't get in too deep, keep things as they are. They needed equality to survive, and Bodie wouldn't...but Bodie had. He'd held Bodie's head in his hands, felt the texture of his hair; his finger had traced the curve of his ear. And all the while--oh Christ--Bodie's mouth had consumed him, giving him warmth and suction. The build-up had been slow but steady, gaining in momentum until he'd been nearly sobbing with the need to let go. Bodie had taken him over the brink, and then had soothed him, calmed him. He had never expected tenderness from Bodie. It left him with an ache. It opened a place of need within him that was frightening. Reciprocity was no longer the issue; it was far, far more dangerous than that.
He knew his own heart, knew his own needs. Bodie could be--would have to be--everything to him. His partner, his friend, his lover. He wanted that; could so easily crave that. But to give in to it would mean exposure and vulnerability. He knew, with a sense of dread that nearly overwhelmed him, just how far he could fall for Bodie. He wouldn't be able to retain any sense--any distance--if this went on unchecked. Every single one of his defences, every bit of self-protection he'd developed over the years, would be useless. He'd be lost. Catching a bullet on the job would be a mercy.
Because he knew it couldn't be mutual. He couldn't have what he really wanted. You didn't get your heart's desire like that; fairy tales had no place in the real world. Bodie might, indeed, enjoy making it with him, might just be the superb lover he'd always boasted he was. But his relationships were measured in days--casual affairs, which left no broken hearts behind. His birds understood the score. Bodie would expect nothing less from Doyle--and nothing more. If he let it go on, their differing needs would destroy them. He had to protect the partnership. He had to protect both of them.
As he came around to the entrance to the cemetery he slowed his pace to a walk. Okay, the first day of his resolution hadn't worked out as expected, but he could go on from here. No more sex with Bodie. No falling in love with Bodie. No getting blindsided by Bodie.
Doyle halted as he reached the car, an idea striking him. He'd call Deborah when he got home, and see if she wanted to go out tonight. Yeah, that was the ticket. Distraction would work as well as--better than--avoidance. It had to.
It was a soft sigh that woke him, the breath warm against his neck. Doyle opened his eyes and frowned. Oh, hell. He was on his back, and he knew that was Cyn beside him, and beyond her was Bodie. The bed was warm and inviting--too inviting--he had only to reach over Cyn.... No. No. Fucking hell, no. His stomach muscles tightened around the pit in his stomach--the ache that wasn't going away. Christ, he had to get out of here now, before they woke up. Before Bodie woke up.
He climbed out of the bed, grateful for Cyn's presence, her warmth pressed against Bodie. His clothes...were in the other room, he remembered, where it had all started. Fuck. But it would at least get him out of the bedroom. At the door he couldn't resist an urge to look back. Bodie and Cynthia, entwined together, were a single lump in the meagre light. He'd been welcomed there, but he had no place with them, didn't want to be with them in the light of day. He caught movement, as if Bodie had raised his head, and made his escape to the hallway.
His clothes were strewn in a path from the living room to the bedroom, along with Bodie's and Cynthia's. It had begun as a game, the two of them ganging up on Bodie, who had still had his jacket on, despite the nightcap that had turned into two. Bodie had retaliated, and Cyn had turned traitor--and it had all got a bit out of hand after that. He choked off a groan before it could escape and pulled on his clothes. He left Cyn's flat, only remembering that they had all arrived in Bodie's car when he reached the street. Bugger. Well, he could use the walk to clear his head. He needed his head examined; he should give it to Cowley. Christ.
Distraction, clearly, had not worked as a strategy. He was supposed to have spent the night with Deborah. He should be driving home from her flat right now--no, he should be in her bed right now, still sleeping. Instead, he was walking through the streets, in the dark and the cold, all because of his conniving, irritating, overbearing partner.
And--fuck--Bodie had kissed him last night. He stopped walking and stood a moment, until he could take in a deep breath. Damn him.
Doyle resumed his walk, glad, at the least, that it wasn't raining. A cold wind scurried around his face and neck, but his hands were warm enough in his jacket pockets. He only had about three miles to go before he'd reach his flat.
Yesterday, Bodie had been showering when Doyle had got back to his flat. He'd used the opportunity to ring Deborah at work. It had all been arranged very easily, and he'd had no worries the rest of the day, even agreeing with Bodie that doubling was a good idea. He had thought Deborah and Cyn would get along.
Somewhere, somehow, it had gone disastrously wrong.
You spend more time talking with them than with me. He'd heard that before, but he'd thought Deborah enjoyed Bodie's company--she'd never complained.
Let's go back to my place, Ray. He should have left with her, but when Bodie suggested the pub, he'd wanted to go, and it had seemed an unnecessary hassle to call a taxi. He'd thought she'd enjoy the pub more than the restaurant...but then she'd been jostled at the bar and spilled lager on her dress. Bodie had driven them home after that, and dropped Deborah off first. Cyn had invited them both up for a drink.
It had been such a turn-on, when he realised what she was offering. The two of them, with her--seeing Bodie in action, sliding into her. Oh, Christ, he'd been hard. And Cyn had had no qualms. She'd reached to suck him, but Bodie intervened, placing her hands on Doyle's cock. She'd stroked him while Bodie had fucked her. Bodie had watched them, and shared a smile with Doyle. After Bodie had spent himself in her, he'd urged Doyle to take his place, guiding him into her. She'd felt so good--warm and welcoming. And all the while, Bodie had caressed him, his hands moving over his body, sweeping down to centre on his arse. He'd known what Bodie's intent was and he'd wanted it. He'd come in Cyn, as she'd come, with Bodie's fingers in him--caught between twin, yet opposite, sensations.
And afterwards, oh, afterwards, he'd fallen to the side, and Bodie's mouth had found his, and spent as he was, he'd responded to that kiss, needed it as he'd needed air. He'd heard Cyn's laugher, and Bodie had murmured something, and he'd surrendered to sleep with the two of them.
It had been wonderful--and he wished to God Cyn hadn't been there. What the fuck was he going to do? He wanted Bodie's kisses for himself. He wanted to explore his mouth, taste him, turn him on. He wanted to make Bodie beg for release. He wanted to fuck him until he couldn't move, couldn't leave the bed, couldn't leave Doyle. He wanted all that power and grace to surrender to him, and, oh Christ, he wanted to be taken. He wanted Bodie's cock; Bodie's attention. He wanted every-bloody-thing. Partner, best mate, lover.
Was it worth it if he had him for a night? For a week? Could he live on memories? He knew his own nature. He wanted something far more dangerous, and unlikely, than Bodie's body. He wanted--needed--commitment. At least an honest attempt at commitment. He needed Bodie to need him as badly as he did Bodie--equals in everything. And that was as likely as Cowley turning traitor. As likely as the sun rising in the west.
What did he have to offer Bodie? He had no doubt--not after last night--that Bodie might want his body. He had no doubt that Bodie enjoyed his company. But that was a far cry from what Doyle wanted. And pushing that need for commitment--pushing him--would lead to the destruction of the partnership. If it wasn't doomed already. Unrequited love was the stuff of poetry. It was bloody well the worst possible thing for a partnership. How could he have been such a fool?
He rounded the corner of the street leading to his block of flats. His resolution had failed both days. He had to make it work now; he had no choice. No choice. He'd learn to live with this ache in his gut. He'd keep Bodie safe--from the villains, and from him. There'd be no emotional blackmail. So, it had to end now. This time he had to make it stick. No more sex with Bodie. No revelations; no pushing. No hope.
It was a sudden transition from asleep to awake, as if he were still on the op. But it was over, over--they'd survived. Doyle wanted to go back to sleep, where it was safe, where there were no consequences. But he couldn't. Just as he couldn't ignore the fact that Bodie was in the bed with him, or that he'd fucked Bodie last night.
Christ. He moved, sliding from the bed, as he'd done every morning of the new year. But this time he was caught--Bodie grabbed his wrist and held on.
"No." Bodie's voice was rough, still heavy with sleep, but his grip was strong.
Doyle stayed on the edge of the bed, his muscles tense.
"I'm not letting you run away this time, Ray."
Doyle glanced at him and acknowledged the right he had. "Just the loo." Bodie released him, and he made his way to the loo, not looking back.
After he relieved himself, he looked in the mirror, the harsh light showing all too clearly how little sleep he'd had. The shrapnel cuts were still visible on his face. He knew Bodie had far worse.
They'd been called in on a sighting of Connell Moran and had spent the day in an increasingly urgent search. In the end, they had found him, along with three others, and the fight to take them had been fierce and deadly.
Keep an eye on him, sunshine.
Bodie had dragged Moran into the front room, where Doyle had been checking the man he'd shot. Bodie had tossed him his gun, and it had taken him precious moments to realise what the bastard had intended to do. He'd secured a laughing Moran, and he'd run after the fool.
His throat still felt raw from the shout.
Doyle left the loo and found Bodie leaning against the wall next to the door. Only Bodie could look menacing while nude.
"Didn't trust me?"
"Not recently, no." Bodie had switched the lamp on, and the bruises and cuts on his body showed up starkly against his pale skin.
He looked at Bodie and could only hope his expression was neutral. "Are you all right?"
"I will be."
Doyle nodded towards the bathroom. "Let's get you cleaned up."
"That's not what I need." Bodie straightened. He took Doyle's hand and led him to the bed. "We are having a talk, Ray." He pushed Doyle onto the bed.
"No. Here." Bodie climbed into the bed next to him. "Where you can't hide." He pushed Doyle back against the pillows, his arm across his chest. "No drink, no food, no birds. Just us."
A knot formed in Doyle's stomach. "If this is about last night...."
"It's about more than that, and you know it." His hand tightened on Doyle. "We can't go on like this."
Doyle looked away. He bloody well knew that, didn't he?
"You've been avoiding me, haven't you?" Bodie took in a deep breath. "And yesterday, on the job--"
"You screwed up." Doyle looked at him.
Doyle tried to sit up but Bodie's arm held him still. "There's no 'maybe' about it!"
"I was checking--"
"For a bomb, I know. Well, you fucking found it, didn't you?"
"I didn't die, Ray."
"Because I stopped you from going into that shed. Because I happened to pick up the cuffs when we were called out yesterday. Because I'd killed Flynn and could use the cuffs on Moran." He dropped his voice to a whisper: "Christ, Bodie."
The shed exploded outward, catching them both in the blast zone, knocking them over. No time to react. No time to think. Only the instinctive response to hide, to seek cover, to grab on to whatever was near at hand. Bodie.
Who had been too still, too long after the debris settled.
"It's why we're partners, Ray."
"Partners!" He moved against the arm across his chest, but Bodie pressed down on him, using his weight. "Partners don't go in alone."
"Oh, you mean like you on the Ackerman op?" Doyle stilled and looked at Bodie. "Yeah, I thought so. Slipped your mind, did it?"
"That was last week."
"Not to me."
"Dammit, that was--"
"Don't you dare say that was different."
He met Bodie's eyes. "We've always shared the danger."
"And guarded each other's backs." Bodie looked down for a moment and then straight at Doyle. "We're only alive because of each other."
Doyle couldn't look at him, but he ran his hand along Bodie's chest, to his arm.
"That's what last night was about." Bodie's voice was soft. Doyle let his hand fall.
Anger was riding both of them, banked while they reported to Cowley, but all the more potent for the wait. Neither remembered the promised drink when they arrived at Bodie's flat. As soon as the door closed, Bodie grabbed him, pulling Doyle's jacket off, ripping at his holster, swearing in a low and furious voice. Doyle retaliated, stripping Bodie, unmindful of injuries. The medics had passed him fit, and Doyle would have him.
"You let me win."
Bodie stroked his cheek. "You needed it more."
You bloody bastard. You reckless bastard! Your life belongs to me!
Bodie continued: "And next time you do something bloody stupid, it's my turn. It might make you think."
Bodie smiled. "Or not."
"This is bloody stupid." Doyle touched Bodie's mouth with his fingers.
Bodie nipped at Doyle's fingers, then kissed him. There hadn't been any kisses last night. Doyle closed his eyes, his heart shuddering.
"I'm not giving this up. I'm not giving you up. Look at me, Ray." Reluctantly, Doyle opened his eyes. "Your life belongs to me, too."
"If it messes with the job...."
"How?" Bodie's hand travelled over Doyle's chest. "It makes us stronger."
"We've been involved for years--you know that."
Since when did you ever handle anything on your own?
Yeah, well, since when did you?
That was the problem. It had gone too deep in him, invaded everything, made him dependent. The intensity of it could destroy him--them. He had no choice but to tell him, to start the process of disentanglement. "Bodie." He hesitated, and then got on with it. "You're not--"
"I'm exactly what you need."
"Yeah, you are." Doyle pushed himself up, forcing Bodie back. "That's the point.
Bodie frowned. "What?"
"I can't do this casually, all right? I can't...what I need...."
"Who the fuck said anything about casual?"
"So am I. Christ, Doyle, we'd kill each other. We set the lines up right now."
Doyle frowned. "Since when do you talk about lines? Jesus, Bodie, I said I was serious."
"You aren't known for your lasting relationships either, Doyle."
"I'm bloody talking about commitment. You don't know the first thing--"
"I've been committed to the partnership. It's the longest I've been with anyone."
Doyle looked at him. "That's different."
"Equal on the job and off. You're the one who taught me that. It seems a good foundation for us."
Doyle stared at him. He forced his voice out through a constricted throat. "I've fallen for you. Do you realise that?"
Bodie again put a hand to Doyle's face. "I hoped. Is that why you've been so off these last few days?"
Doyle searched his face, his expression. "Don't fuck with me Bodie." Bodie's mouth twitched, and a smile lit his eyes. "Well, I do want to fuck you, but...." He kissed Doyle, softly. "I've fallen for you, too, mate. A long time ago. You ought to make an honest man of me, you know."
"Not possible." He stroked down Bodie's arm to his hand, and his grasp was returned. Bodie's eyes told him all he needed to know. "It'll take years."
"Very likely." Bodie grinned at him. "So, why have you been abandoning me every morning?"
Doyle sank down a little on the bed. "Resolution."
"I took a bloody resolution! To give you up." Doyle looked at him. "Go on, have your laugh."
"Sorry." Bodie's smile vanished, but his eyes still laughed at Doyle. "That's why I had to track you down on New Year's day, then? And that's why you rang Deborah? I thought it was over between you two."
"It was. And, yes, for all the bloody good it did me."
Doyle, caught by the tone of Bodie's voice, looked at him with narrowing eyes. "What?"
"I--ah--took a resolution as well."
"You what?" Doyle sat up.
Doyle attacked, changing their positions, and pushing Bodie down beneath him on the bed. "What?"
"I swore to keep you close. Whatever it took."
"Food, wine, sex...."
"How could you resist?"
"You bloody--you sabotaged me!"
Bodie nodded. "Yeah."
"You seduced me."
"It wasn't difficult." His put his hand on Doyle's chest, stroking down his stomach in a firm caress. "And I did owe you."
Doyle squirmed, then gave Bodie a quick, biting kiss. "And Deborah...?"
"That was a little more difficult. I'm sorry about the lager--but it worked a treat!"
"Bloody hell. Cyn?"
"Randy devil like you? I knew you'd fall for it."
Doyle rubbed his beard stubble against Bodie's nipple.
"Will we be seeing Cyn again?"
"No." Bodie's voice was decided. He cupped Doyle's neck with his hand. "You scared me to death on the Ackerman op, Doyle. It was time to stop pratting around."
Doyle shook his head. "Fear."
"Fear might have been the trigger that opened the door, but this thing between us is years in the making." He rolled them, so they lay side-by-side. "Fear doesn't explain the hard-on I get when I see you. So bloody gorgeous." He kissed Doyle, his urgency clear. But he pulled back. "I know my mind, and my heart. I waited until I knew for certain."
Doyle closed his eyes. His heart was beating fast, but the ache in his stomach was finally easing. "What lines, then?" He looked at Bodie.
"Bloody hell. Honesty."
Doyle leant forward and kissed Bodie, tracing his lips with his tongue. "Love."
"Love." Bodie's hand was in his hair, cradling his head.
Doyle opened his mouth, accepted Bodie's tongue, and twined his own around it. His, now, for the taking. He had all of Bodie's beauty, his loyalty, his trust. He'd guard him well, as he knew he would be guarded. He broke the kiss. "Bodie?"
"Hmm?" Bodie smiled at him, his face already flushed, his eyes soft.
"Do I really need to wait until I do something bloody stupid?"
Bodie's smile widened. He moved, more quickly than Doyle expected, tumbling him over onto his back. "I believe your resolution qualifies."
Doyle grinned up at him. "Yours was more successful, I'll grant you that."
"Care to join me? It's a good resolution." Bodie nuzzled Doyle's neck.
Doyle stretched, arching his neck. He let his hands roam freely on Bodie's skin, charting the territory that belonged to him. "The best."
-- THE END --
Thank you to Elizabeth O’Shea & Justacat. Also for inspiration while running.