So Here It Is, Merry Christmas
by Brenda K
Written for Discovered in the Mistletoe, on the discoveredinalj livejournal community.
"Listen to that," Doyle greeted Bodie gloomily as he joined him in the VIP room. "I mean, just listen."
Bodie caught the end of the song on the radio and understood immediately. Time for Doyle's standard speech on how Christmas was all about consumerism: the third world starving while other people ate turkey and gave each other stupid presents they didn't want.
"'Orrible song, that. They should shoot Gary Glitter." Doyle was obviously, and predictably, warming up to his topic. "It's getting worse than the Sound of Music. In fact it is worse. They play this over and over and at least you only get the lonely bloody goatherd once."
"Slade," Bodie informed him, trying not to let 'High on a hill with a castle moat' creep into his brain, where it was sure to crawl around insidiously for the rest of the evening, or even all night if the standby turned into a callout. Well, he could always yodel the bad guys into submission.
"Slayed what could be a decent film if they didn't keep burstin' into song, you mean?"
"S. L. A. D. E." Bodie spelled it out, and sang a few bars despite wondering if it really was worse than Julie Andrews and needles pulling thread or one little girl in a pale pink coat (heard). "So here it is Merry Christmas, everybody's having fun. Except you, you miserable bugger."
Doyle glared. "Christmas is...."
"Christmas is fluttering snowflakes, rosy-cheeked children, twinkling lights on trees surrounded with presents..." Bodie said blithely.
"Right. Except that it's...."
"Frenzied shopping and eating, a slight to the poor and downtrodden and puts money into the wrong pockets," Bodie helped. "You know, I have heard this before."
"Yeah," Doyle sighed, glancing at his watch. "Go on then. Looks like we've got all night, at this rate. Tell me I'm a miserable...oh, you already did."
"You haven't told me I'm an incurable romantic yet though. Think mistletoe. Think hot toddy in front of a log fire...."
"Think the world's criminal population deciding to knock off for a few days. Or Cowley rolling up and announcing drinks all round and a ruddy great salary increase--and cancelling this bloody standby."
"Can't you just forget the bad bits? Remember the good stuff?"
"Like being stuck on some bloody stakeout with a thermos of tea and you singing Silent Night and farting?"
"Farting? I resent that."
"So did I, after that Christmas dinner I cooked for you. Well, the first one."
"It was the sprouts," Bodie nodded. "And whose fault was that? Who decided to invite me round before we went on shift in the first place?"
"You ate them. And the rest. Mind, I always did wonder if it was only because there was no lunch on offer elsewhere."
"A bird would probably have got stroppy about me digging into a home-made Christmas dinner and then buggering off to save the world before I expressed my gratitude in kind," Bodie said wickedly. "You at least understood that sort of thing."
"I'm talking about saving the world, not your own intentions. Which weren't exactly honourable, if I recall correctly."
"And yours were?" Doyle grinned.
"Not particularly, to be honest. Though since we did have to rush out and save the world...."
"Story of our lives, eh?"
"New Year was better," Bodie reminded him.
"It was. Tea, before you start getting mawkish?" Doyle asked, but with no edge to his voice.
"Tea," Bodie nodded. They sipped it silently as the clock slowly ticked the night away.
Doyle's invitation to eat before starting their Christmas shift was a bit of a surprise considering how his partner had been grumbling about Christmas non-stop for days, if not weeks. All the same, it was an extremely welcome surprise, even though he tried to accept it as casually as it was offered.
Considering Doyle had done a good job with the roast chicken and trimmings (although he'd boiled the damned spuds because of the extra fat, the daft sod), he hadn't eaten much of what he'd produced. In fact he was uncharacteristically on edge.
Bodie was lavish with the praise, but once his plate was clean--and even before, if truth be told--he found himself watching Doyle, who also seemed slightly flushed. From the cooking, he'd presumed. Surely.
How would he look when he'd just been fucked?
Not a good idea, thoughts like that. Thing was, they were cropping up more and more regularly these days, Bodie admitted to himself, scraping up the last of the brandy butter. Then he shifted, feeling the tightness in his cords that had now reached his crotch as well as his waistband.
Doyle was staring at him, as though he was about to say something.
And then the phone rang.
The next few days were hell. Sharing a car with Doyle had become uncomfortable, and not just because of the sprouts. The banter wasn't happening. In its place was a tension Bodie couldn't completely put down to the monotony and frustration of a job that--like many others--was all about waiting.
A couple of times, he nearly convinced himself it was all in his mind but then Doyle would glance over at him and he'd start wondering all over again. .
Doyle wasn't usually a toucher, but then there was that casual slap on his shoulder after they wrapped it all up on New Year's Eve and headed home. His face had a slight flush to it again, as well, which may or may not have been from Cowley's whisky.
Now, he was most definitely wondering. Doyle was sitting there, legs splayed, and watching him intently. Looking as sexy as hell.
Bodie sneaked a casual look at the jeans, but as usual they were tight. Either Doyle was good at self-control, or his pain threshold was really high, Bodie decided. Just looking at that, however, was doing plenty inside his own, more sensibly cut cords.
Was it Dutch courage--unlikely on Cowley's less than generous rations --or was he incapable of putting it off any longer? Bodie didn't know, but took a deep breath.
He thanked Doyle for the meal again, and said something trite about not really rounding it off properly.
Doyle hesitated a moment and Bodie's heart lurched, but then found himself the target of a look that brought even more fire to his belly. The half-open lips, the tiny groan, were already nearly enough, but Doyle suggesting they round it off at his place, straight away, made him put his foot down.
The next touch--a brief but telling stroke up his leg, nearly made Bodie lose control of the wheel, quite apart from his senses. It was a miracle he didn't just park the car and grab for Doyle there and then.
Doyle left his hand where it was, and Bodie reached across and touched Doyle's face. Doyle moaned again, licking his lips and squeezing gently.
The anticipation was as exquisite as it was bloody uncomfortable.
For Doyle, it was clearly even worse. Seeing slim fingers pull the zip open brought a soft curse from Bodie's lips, and he had to fight himself not to reach out, to touch, or he'd be wrapped around a lamp post.
Doyle, voice husky, told him to hurry. He floored the pedal.
Doyle pulled his shirt out over the open fly and bolted from the car almost before it had stopped.
They left a trail of clothes across the floor as they staggered to the bed, hands and lips clumsy, urgent, then suddenly confident.
Doyle's hands shook as he brought the tiny tube out of his bedside drawer. Bodie felt himself shudder, heard himself bite off a sob, as Doyle pulled him down.
The reality surpassed the anticipation.
If the first time was fast and urgent, the second was lingering and exploratory. Highly exploratory, even. Doyle's sexual skills were as inventive as his cooking, Bodie informed him happily.
Doyle proceeded to add another course to the menu. Bodie discovered that he had the appetite to match.
Later, much later, they were curled up comfortably in bed, Bodie's hand nestling equally comfortably between Doyle's legs.
Doyle was still a little flushed, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with cooking.
"Penny?" Doyle asked.
"Could murder a mince pie," Bodie said, improvising rapidly, avoiding Doyle's face. The VIP room wasn't really the best place for that kind of reminiscing, or at least not until Cowley splashed out and installed showers. Cold showers, Bodie reminded himself. Because hot showers and Doyle....
"Another of the good things about Christmas, the food is. Turkey. Christmas pudding, brandy butter..." Bodie babbled on, trying to rid his mind of soapy Doyle.
"Why aren't I surprised food comes into this?"
"And...." Bodie struggled. "Carols. Getting an Action Man."
"Action man?" Doyle sniggered.
"Least it wasn't a Barbie," Bodie chuckled, recovering slightly. "Although I do remember stripping one to see 'er boobs."
"That doesn't surprise me either. Maybe I shouldn't ask how you got your 'ands on a Barbie in the first place."
"Kid down the road," Bodie said. "She never did want my Action Man to get up close and personal with 'er Barbie though, more's the pity."
"Shame," Doyle said, with a total lack of insincerity. "You didn't try it on with Barbie's owner, then?"
"I was eight. Mind, by the time I was twelve, things improved. Had to teach her what was under Ken's plastic Y-fronts, didn't I?"
"Naturally. So, Christmas is all about plastic dolls and food. Typical."
Doyle was getting back into his anti-Christmas swing, so Bodie decided to fend that off immediately.
"There was permission to hit the booze cupboard as I got older as well. That helped tolerate the Hills are Alive...."
"Another snowball, dahling?" Doyle lifted his little finger.
"Don't. Me mum actually likes those. But seriously--what would it take for you to enjoy Christmas? And I'm not talking about world peace and an end to poverty."
"Already told you: pay rise and not spending the night here. But add to that Cowley producing a Christmas roster without our names on it. Oh, and then sex and sleeping...and then more sex."
"All to avoid the singing nun and tinsel?" Bodie grinned, trying not to let his thoughts run riot all over again. "Well, the idea has certain merits, my lad. Didn't get you a present, so if it was in my power...."
"Of course you didn't. You never do, unless you count that five-year old bottle of Ouzo you brought me once just to get rid of it. So 'op off to Cowley and tell him we're due for a Christmas of lust and debauchery, there's a good chap. I'd like to see that."
"'Course. And I'll tell our beloved Dr Kate that you're under immense, Christmas-induced emotional strain and see if she'll send you off to a Muslim country to recover. They don't have Christmas, y'know."
"Dunno. They can't eat or drink or fuck during the day for a month, y'know."
"Not a religion for you then," Doyle half chuckled.
"I'll treat that with the contempt it deserves. So, the perfect Christmas for Raymond Doyle would be, basically, three days of unadulterated sex. Can't argue with that, come to think of it. Would sir like a little booze and decent grub thrown in?"
"Sir might. And preferably no sprouts. And no bombers to find, like last Christmas."
Bodie disguised a shudder, not really wanting to remember that, or most of it. But like the lonely goatherd, it crept into his mind anyway.
The brand new shopping centre--deserted at five in the morning on Christmas day--looked tawdry rather than festive after the action. Mud and traces of slush smeared once-pristine flooring, along with blood from where they'd carted one of the bodies away. Blood the same colour as the heavy ropes of tinsel and baubles.
Now they'd turned the lights on, a Christmas tree was blinking, the parcels below it scattered somehow in the chase. Polystyrene poked out of the gaudy wrapping of one of them, and Bodie remembered a tiny pang of disappointment that the gold paper and red bow hadn't hidden a real present, big kid that he was.
Doyle was leaning against a counter. Of course, Doyle was a leaner-against-everything, but this time it was probably sheer exhaustion rather than the subconscious (or probably perfectly conscious) posing the daft git tended to indulge in, but at least he was upright.
Something like thirty hours they'd been up, trying to track the bastards down, getting shot at, driving through streets lit up with reindeer and baubles, cluttered with last-minute shoppers.
Even before that they'd had days on end of long hours. Hardly surprising that Doyle had come within inches of taking one of the bullets fired by the fleeing bombers.
But he hadn't. That was a Christmas present in itself.
Then there was been a dull explosion outside, immediately followed by a smattering of self-congratulatory applause by the bomb disposal guys.
Bodie didn't join in, all too aware of what could have been: the damned thing going up amid Boxing Day shoppers. Or going up in Doyle's face, before it was clear there were hours, not minutes to go on the timer.
That was another gift.
Finally getting out of the place was another one.
Both of them fell asleep fully clothed, at Doyle's flat. Bodie was even too exhausted to remember that he should be hungry. Doyle was so exhausted he didn't comment on it.
He'd been hungry the following morning though, he remembered fondly. And not for food.
He'd taken Doyle in the shower, fiercely. It was often like that after a messy job: the whole life-affirming thing, he supposed.
Yet another present in the virtual sack of them, hearing Doyle yell, letting go himself.
And then he'd been starving.
Christmas breakfast-cum-lunch was scrambled egg (on wholewheat toast, of course), when they were clean and sated. Bodie hoped Boxing Day wouldn't be marked by salmonella, but that was the sum total of what was to be found in Doyle's fridge.
They went into HQ. Wrote reports. Accepted a generous shot of malt with the old man--the measures seemed to be increasing as the years went by--and finally went home.
Later, images of Doyle's hands around the bomb casing flickered in his mind even as the slender fingers grasped his cock. And then, they faded and slid away.
Doyle's face was relaxed, contented, in the pale light of the television...it could even have been Julie and Christopher warbling away, but Bodie didn't really care because a skilful tongue was tantalising him and two expert fingers were deep inside him.
This was better than any gift-wrapped parcel, although it gave him an idea. He pulled the ribbon off the parcel from his mum, still unopened and no doubt containing some horror like a mustard-coloured cardigan for Doyle to bitch about, and pushed Doyle onto his back.
"...roster," Doyle said.
"Roster?" Bodie blinked, mind still on ribbon, Doyle's anatomy adorned with it, and fast-forwarding to Doyle thrashing on the bed with his wrists encased in it, pleading and moaning.
"The Christmas roster for next week," Doyle told him. "Murph just brought it in. Wake up, Sleepin' Beauty. Oh, and we can go 'ome."
"We're on it?" Reality hit Bodie properly.
"We're on it. Christmas Eve at two until Boxing Day at two. Not exactly a surprise, is it? But, if you were listening, the job's off. We can go."
"Excellent. Perfect. You could cook us an early lunch on the 24th, then. Just...no sprouts and preferably something better than scrambled eggs," Bodie suggested, recovering rapidly and grabbing for his coat.
"Inviting yourself, are you?"
"Better than me cooking stuff you turn your nose up at, innit? And on Boxing Day evening...."
"We could do something exciting like watch telly?" Doyle raised an eyebrow. "Lonely goatherds, maybe. Or you got something more interesting in mind?"
"And it has to wait until Boxing Day?"
"If you stop grumbling, maybe not. I mean, what wouldn't I do to keep you happy?"
"So kind," Doyle murmured. "So selfless."
"Glad you noticed. Careful, though. You're looking almost cheerful."
"Suppose I don't hate Christmas that much, really," Doyle said thoughtfully. "Not nowadays. Not all of it. And that's a compliment. Enjoy it while it lasts."
"I am, I am."
"So what were you thinking about just before? Sitting there grinning like a Cheshire cat?"
"I did. Last Christmas. Randy sod."
"And you're not a randy sod, of course. You got any tinsel?"
"Silly question, I suppose. But you can do creative things with tinsel. Like with ribbon."
Doyle flushed. Bodie chuckled.
"Better stop off and get some ribbon then," Doyle said casually. "Less prickly than tinsel, I'd say. As you'll be the one tied up with it this time around."
"You wicked lad you. Maybe the takeaway's still open as well?"
Doyle rolled his eyes.
"For afterwards. Or between, as the case may be. And better get something fart-safe as we're back on tomorrow."
"Oh the romance," Doyle sighed.
"You want romance? You can have romance. I can do romance. Remember me bringing you tea in bed last week?"
"Oh right. Definitely on the list of amazing romantic situations, that. Almost as good as cooking me a packet Chow Mein and trying to convince me it was healthy."
"You're grumbling again. Now I'm hurt."
"My heart bleeds for you. Too hurt to play games with ribbon?"
"Maybe not," Bodie admitted. "In fact almost definitely not. Lead on, Raymond."
Doyle gave him a full-blown grin and started humming: "So here it is Merry Christmas everybody's having fun...."
"Look to the future now, it's only just begun," Bodie helped. "And that's romantic as well, if you think of it."
"Still a bloody 'orrible song. Just can't get it out of me 'ead. I hate it when that 'appens."
"High on a hill..." Bodie started, and then ran for his life.
-- THE END --