All in the Pelvis


Written for "Discovered in Graceland" on the discoveredinalj livejournal community.

"You kissed me!"

"Yeah? What d'you want to do about it? Thump me? Have to stay alive to do that, mate."



...ya shoulda heard those knocked out Jailbirds sing, let's rock. Everybody let's rock...

Bodie eased his way into the car, settled himself, and frowned. "Turn that racket off, Raymond. What is with the world this morning? How come all I'm hearing is Elvis bloody Presley? Is it his birthday today or something...what?"

"I don't believe you sometimes."

"What?" Bodie spread his hands wide, and kept his face innocent while Doyle turned the radio off, slammed the car into gear and tore away from the kerb.

"He DIED, you moron. Jesus Christ, Bodie, listen to the news, watch something other than football and read something other than page fucking three, why don't you?!"

Doyle thumped the steering wheel, scowling and tutting, and Bodie reckoned on a count of three before he would swing round to glare. He got to two.

"Died, did he? Well, I never," said Bodie, who loved getting under the skin of one Raymond Doyle first thing in the morning, it set his day up so nicely. His grin got wider as he took in Doyle's expression.

"Mornin', petal," he said.

Doyle stared harder, Bodie was openly chuckling now.

Doyle shook his head and pulled his nose, and Bodie knew he was trying hard not to smile.

"Don't 'morning petal' me. Bastard."

"Me or Elvis?"

"Hoi. Ill of the dead'n'all that. Not done, mate."

"So me, then."

"With knobs on."


Bodie let him have the rest of Jailhouse Rock and a bit of Hound Dog on the way to HQ.

"Let me see, Bodie."

"It's nothing. Will you stop fussin'-" A hiss of pain gave Doyle his chance.

"Yeah, yeah, nothing is it? Always lie curled up with your hand jammed in your side, do you? And blood pouring out your head?"


Doyle paused in his ministrations to give the glaring man on the floor a look of such untethered affection that Bodie had to blink the sweat away to make sure he wasn't seeing things.

And then a hand came up to rest on his cheek, which was odd because he knew that one of the bullets had grazed him high on his head, not his cheek.

"That's my Bodie. You just keep your spirits up anyway you want, mate."

"Maintain radio silence 4.5. You are hereby instructed to check in at 22.00 hours and not before. Any security issues should be dealt with appropriately with the minimum of outside involvement. Over."

"Understood. 4.5 out."

Bodie glanced at his watch, still able to read it clearly in the light of the long summer evening. 17.36. He sighed, completely unimpressed with the situation and the length of the evening ahead. An abandoned farmhouse in the bowels of the Suffolk countryside and some Bulgarians who may or may not be showing up with dodgy weaponry they may or may not be selling to some other Bulgarians, was not his idea of an urgent cloak and dagger mission. He looked over at Doyle in the passenger seat and felt relieved it wasn't a solo op. A bit of golly-baiting would pass the time nicely.

He picked up the binoculars and gestured at the handset. "Bit brusque, isn't she? Cowley's new mouthpiece."

"She turned you down nice and sharply. Was a thing of wonder."

"All right, mate. I didn't see her leaping over my corpse to get to you, either."

"Didn't ask, did I?"


They exchanged a look of perfect complicity. Doyle smiled, one of his rare ones.

"You may be right, there."

A couple more minutes of companionable silence passed and Bodie became aware of the tune Doyle was tapping out on the open window his elbow was resting on.

"I'll turn you into a hound dog in a minute."

The tapping stopped. "How did you know-"

"Because I'm psychic, sunshine." He took his eyes away from the binoculars and spared Doyle a withering glance. "And because you've been muttering it ever since you heard it this morning."

"Yeah, well. The king's dead, Bodie."

Not exactly sure what to make of such a solemn statement, Bodie put the binoculars down and regarded his partner.

"Big fan, were you?"

"When I was younger, yeah. All that hip-swivelling used to go down a treat with the girls. I was good at it, too."

"I'll bet. Do the whole brylcreem thing with your hair, did you?" Doyle started nodding, so Bodie started chuckling. "What? Cowlick and everything?" Doyle nodded even more. "Wish I could've seen you, mate. Don't suppose you've got any pictures?"

"Oi! I'll have you know, I got the biggest girl in the school to go out with me at a fifties dance. She said it was all down to me hip-swivelling."


"Hip-swivelling. It is all in the pelvis, y'know."

"Couldn't agree more, sunshine."

Another look of perfect complicity, another shared grin, and suddenly Bodie didn't mind the bowels of the Suffolk countryside one bit.

"What about you? Can just see you in teddy-boy shoes giving Jailhouse Rock your all at the local-"

Bodie touched Doyle's arm. In the distance a dark van was turning into the lane towards them. Half a minute later a small barn on the far side of the farmhouse blew up, and then all hell broke loose.

Bodie slammed into a crumbling wall next to his partner and listened to the sound of sporadic gunfire and the odd shout and cry in a foreign language. He gulped in a breath, changed his clip and squinted up.


"Out of range, we were using the handset remember?"


"Shot to shit now, mate." They each looked back to what had once been a Ford Capri and what was now a smoking shell on three flat tyres.



"Well what? A bunch of Bulgarians blew up and shot another bunch of Bulgarians, then for some unfathomable reason the ones still alive all left together. Oh, and you got shot, the car got beaten up, and I am going to tear Cowley a new one for sending us in like sitting fucking ducks. Stay still, you pillock."

"Not...his fault, y'know." Bodie was trying to ease himself up, to twist around so he could see Doyle, who was on the other side of the room, crouched low under a rotting window sill.


"Cowley...not his fault." Bodie gave up trying to look at his partner, and lay back down on the floorboards where Doyle had dumped him. "Bulgarians are...mad. Knew one once. In Africa. Ray?"

"I'm here, I'm here. Let me have a look."

"Shouldn't you be...ow!"

"Sorry. Just stay still all right?"

"Bugger off, Doyle. Shouldn't you be over there? Watchin' the mad Bulgarians?" Bodie's world dipped and swayed alarmingly as he was manhandled a few inches off the floor. He closed his eyes, desperate not to be sick.


"Nearly there, just a sec."

And then the world stopped spinning as Bodie's head and shoulders were settled on a jacket in a lap. Cool fingers brushed the skin near the makeshift bandage on his left side, then held him in place while the nausea receded. He opened his eyes, saw Doyle looking worried and knew that he wouldn't throw up.


"Ray? The Bulgarians?"

"Can go fuck themselves."

It was a pity it hurt to laugh, but it was nice not to have to squint to see him.

"We have to get to ground, mate. To that side-door, yeah? Nutters are more interested in shooting each other now, but the car's gone and I'm nearly out. You?"

"Bout...four left." It was a guess. His eyes were stinging from a mixture of blood and sweat and he could barely see his gun in the half-light, let alone count and remember bullets. He could see Doyle, though. Kind of hard to miss the way he suddenly stepped into his face.

"Bodie? Listen, you can collapse when we get behind that door, mate, but I need you upright and with me for about half a minute more."

Bodie shrugged his chin free of Doyle's grip.

"Gerroff. 'M fine. Can stay upright 's long as I bloody want." He tried and failed not to sag when Doyle took his right arm across his own shoulders. They paused for a second while Doyle adjusted his grip on both Bodie and his gun.

"Easy. Count of three, yeah? You just hang on, and I'll cover us."



"Three. Now move!"

"Ray? The Bul-"

"Bodie, if you say the word Bulgarians again, I'll put a hole in you. I'm here and not over there, mate, because they're gone. Apparently finishing us off wasn't on their list."

"Told you...mad."

The light was fading a bit--not that there was a curtain, or even much glass in the window to keep it out of the dingy room they'd crashed into. Bodie couldn't see Doyle so well now, just the white of his T-shirt, which was blotched here and there, and the strap of his holster. But he could hear him, he could hear him breathing and thinking too hard above him.



"Love me tender."

"You what?"

Bodie sighed, "Love. Me. Tender."

There was a long, uncertain pause.

"If you insist, only I've got other things on me mind at the moment."

Bodie bit his lip and concentrated. "Not Jailhouse Rock. You said, from before." He waited, gathering oxygen to continue when he got no response. "I sang 'Love Me Tender' once, at a dance. No teddy-boy shoes, though."


"We are both thinking the same thing!" He shot up on instinct but didn't get very far. The world and his stomach lurched alarmingly, and he sucked in a painful breath. "Ah, Doyle, don't make me speak!"

"All right, all right, just take it easy. Jesus." Bodie lay back down, closed his eyes and let Doyle's hands move on him. Bizarre how a lap and a clumsy touch could anchor him so, but they did, and once the fire in his side lessened again, he opened his eyes cautiously to find Doyle leaning close and talking to him.

"...four miles to anything other than a dirt road in any direction and as far as I remember, there are no neighbours. I could go scrambling off and hope that some farmer's lost a sheep and gone looking, and that the mad Bulgarians are not lying in wait somewhere. Or, I could sit here 'til the balloon goes up when we miss our call in."

Atta boy, the same thing.


Doyle looked at him hard when he told him and Bodie knew exactly what he was being asked.


It was twenty past seven. He was thinking it had to be at least nine o'clock.

"Bodie? Mate? Your call."

Bodie hated it when Doyle's voice got all soft like that. Made it so much harder to lie. Especially when Doyle's fingers were on his cheek again.

He swallowed. "Piece'a piss. I'll last. Tell me more about that girl, the biggest one. And don't leave out any hip-swivelling."

"...and there I was, feeling the biggest tits I've ever felt in my life, when who comes barrelling round the corner but the Woodwork teacher, Mr Benson, and he just about...Bodie?"

"What? 'M listening...He just about what?"

"Wait." And Bodie felt himself manhandled again, none too gently this time as the back of Doyle's hand landed heavily on his forehead and then went to his side. He groaned, no way not to--a feather would hurt if it landed there.

"Shit! You're hot, Bodie!"

God, he loved how predictable the golly was at times. Doyle always did this, got nail-spitting angry with Bodie whenever he had the nerve to make him worry.

He attempted a smile. "C-can't be. I'm freezin'."

Wrong thing to say, it seemed. Doyle's scowl deepened, then something weird happened to his face, and for one light-headed moment Bodie thought Doyle was either going to punch him or cry.

Doyle did neither, just slid out from under him so carefully that Bodie bit his lip not to make a sound. He felt the easy prickle of fever-tears when Doyle leaned in close and whispered in his ear that he'd kill him if he went anywhere without him.

And with that, Bodie was alone.

Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go...lovely voice you've got, have made my life complete, and I me tender, love me's have made my...wanna dance, handsome?

Something cool and wet on his face brought him back with a gasp. He opened his eyes and struggled to see anything in the dim light. He was lifted, moved up and then down again. But he didn't mind this time because it didn't seem to hurt much anymore.

He licked a dry lip and had to think.

"Doyle?" Cracked and rough, he barely heard it.

"No, the Queen of Sheba." The cloth pressed gently onto his face and neck, belying the snap, and Bodie's eyes stung again. He was worrying the golly badly this time. The cloth moved down to cover his wrists and hands. "Fuck all else out there, but I found a pump out the back. God knows where this water comes from but it's cold and wet. Wouldn't recommend drinking glassfuls of it, mind."


The cloth stilled.


Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go...

"Nothing...'M thirsty."

He closed his eyes again. It was getting difficult to think, sing and talk at the same time.

The first time Bodie woke up, he was in a white room. The size of the backside of the starched blue and white nurse bending over him dispelled any thoughts of heaven. That and the wart on her face when she straightened up.

"Waking up now are we, Mr Bodie? About time. If you'll just hold still for me now..."

Mr Bodie decided not to and went back to sleep.

The second time he woke up, Doyle was holding his hand and glaring at him.

Bodie blinked, suddenly awake and wary. He cleared his throat.

"'Lo, Ray."

All he got was his hand gripped tighter.

"Do that to me again, and you will be bloody tender, Elvis. Because I'll shoot you, never mind any mad Bulgarians."

Understanding the tone more than the words, Bodie did what was required of him and nodded. No one could promise not to get shot. This was just something the two of them did sometimes, a first-words ritual to help the partner who'd had the scare. He glanced down. Not that it had involved hand-holding before.

Love me tender, love me true...

He frowned at Doyle, who was resplendently scruffy in a green T-shirt, jeans that had seen better days, and about two days worth of stubble. Something plucked at the edges of his mind.


And just like that the scowl went away, and everything lightened. He felt himself respond in kind, even if his own smile was a little less certain.

"Yeah, you sang, well, warbled, 'Love Me Tender'. While we were waiting for the cavalry." Doyle had let his hand go and was sitting back, looking relaxed and far too smug. "Was lovely, actually. You should be on the stage, mate."

About to deny such nonsense, Bodie frowned as another memory assaulted him. He sat up with a jolt and a wince as his stitches pulled.

"You kissed me!"

"Fertile imagination you've got there, mate."

"You did, you bloody kissed me!"

"Easy there, tiger, you'll have Nurse Ratched in here if you burst something."

"Don't change the subject, Doyle. You--"

"--kissed me, yes, I heard you, Bodie. Broken bloody record."

Bodie swallowed, heart hammering, completely thrown by the unruffled reaction he was getting. He was speaking, yes? Aloud? This wasn't some weird post-surgery hallucination?

He gathered up his energy and tried again.

"You kissed me!"

Third time was apparently the charm, because Doyle scraped his chair back and pushed to his feet. He whirled away and then back round, jabbing an angry-looking finger in Bodie's direction.

"You sang to me!"

"I thought you were a bird called Alice!"

"Yeah? Well, I knew you were a berk called Bodie!"


He wished Doyle would stop fucking shouting at him. Didn't he know he'd been shot? You weren't supposed to shout at sick people, you were supposed to be nice to them, you were... -ove me tender, love me long, take me to your heart... Yeah, that was it...if he could just... For, my darlin', I love you and I always will... but he'd left it too late...too late... always too fucking late...

And then a pair of lips pressing on his opened his eyes, and Doyle filled his world.

A pair of furious gazes locked, and Bodie could hear his own breathing, harsh and ragged, matching the flare of his partner's in the stale air of that hospital room. Then maybe it was the painkillers, or maybe it was the relief to still be around to lock gazes with the man, but as Bodie's indignation thought about the absurdity of Doyle's confession, the giggles hit. And a clearly surprised Ray Doyle was a mere second or two behind him.

Bodie subsided first, hand to his side.

"Shut up, you tart. Don't make me laugh."

He sat back on his pillows, too tired to either stay angry or think about any of this right now. As he watched, Doyle hiccupped one last giggle and came back over towards him. He sat down carefully on the bed, on Bodie's right side, facing him but not looking at him. He plucked at something invisible on the sheet.

Bodie wondered what was coming next. You never could be quite sure with Ray.

"You owe me a thump, mate. If you want."

Accompanied by one of Doyle's smiles, it was altogether too warmly said for anything that had existed between them up to this point. What was more, Doyle leaned forward to say it, and Bodie had a second to wonder if he was about to be given a repeat performance of why he was supposed to hit his partner.

He found himself smiling back.

"Nah. Waste of a punch, sunshine, I couldn't tear a tissue right now."

Doyle patted him awkwardly on his neck, nodded, then slowly got up from the bed. Bodie wanted to know what had just been settled in Doyle's mind, but he shut his mouth just in time. It would probably come out all wrong--he had been caught singing to him, for Chrissake.

"I'd better be off. Cowley's got some Bulgarians on ice for me."

But no harm in giving him some food for thought...


Doyle turned at the door, and Bodie made sure that the smile on his face was one of his knicker-dissolving best, and that his eyes were where they needed to be on Doyle's body.

"You're absolutely right, sunshine. It is all in the pelvis."

-- THE END --

August 2007

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