Bed.Or Something Like It
Written for the livejournal Pros Slash Proliferation challenge. Thanks to Izzie for the beta.
The first time, it was Doyle who climbed into bed with Bodie. Only it wasn't so much climbed as shuffled, it wasn't so much lust as hypothermia, and it wasn't so much desire as desperation.
"Let us in, Bodie!"
"Absolutely not, Raymond. You want to go falling into puddles fully-clothed, your prerogative, mate. Mine is to go to sleep toasty warm. G'night."
Silence reigned for approximately thirty seconds before a sound like china vibrating through an earthquake reached Bodie's ears. Cursing Cowley for training exercises in the Brecon Beacons in November, and a partner for having two left feet around flooded ditches, Bodie sighed and unzipped his sleeping bag.
"Ah cheers, m-mate, you're a diamond." Sounds of another zip, and of a scuffling along the floorboards towards him.
"No, a mug is what I am, and if you so much as breathe one soddin' syllable of -- Bloody hell!"
"S-Sorry, said I was cold." Said with a gulp, a chatter and Bodie would swear, a smirk. Like a snake shedding a skin, Doyle had eased out of his sleeping bag and into Bodie's, pressing in and all around.
Bodie sucked in a breath and wondered if a person's heart could actually stop because of instant and total heat loss. Doyle, it seemed, was oblivious, leeching on and wriggling himself around in the confined space.
"Christ, that's better, mate, never thought I'd be grateful for you and your jumpers. C'mon, budge over a bit, can hardly swing a starving c-cat in here. Ow!"
Bodie had clamped his hands on Doyle's shoulders. Hard. There was enough moonlight to see the eyes that drew back to blink at him as all movement abruptly ceased.
"You, sunshine, will shut the fuck up, stay the fuck still, and sleep where I put you."
With that, Bodie manouevred Doyle onto his side, facing away from him. Making the most of what he was sure was a temporary lull, he then pulled him back enough to trap any wandering clammy hands firmly in front with an arm banded across his partner's chest.
There. Not bad actually. Bodie now also had an extra bit of warmth, all along his front. Or would do once the damp sod steamed dry. Might get a decent night's kip after all.
Jesus suffering fuck.
"Move your hands, Bodie, they're freezing. 'M cold enough without them clamped to me forearms."
He could do it, he could. They were in the middle of nowhere, alone on a deserted farmhouse floor, and Bodie could sell it to any sympathetic jury as self-defence...
The second time, it was Bodie who climbed into bed with Doyle. And this time it wasn't so much into bed as onto bed, it wasn't so much with Doyle as around Doyle, but the one thing it really was, was a climb.
"He doesn't like to be touched, Mr Bodie," said the nurse, half as an apology for the upended plastic water jug on the floor, and half as a warning not to approach the figure on the bed.
Bodie turned. She was young, pretty and only trying her best. But she had no way of knowing how to handle her patient. He smiled in commiseration.
"Not at his sunny best today, eh?"
She nodded, too tired, or maybe too inexperienced to disagree. She glanced over. "He'll be better when I can give him his next injection, but he's got half an hour yet." Bodie opened his mouth; she anticipated. "There's nothing we can do, Mr Bodie. The bullets are out, the muscles are mending. It just hurts to heal sometimes, especially now in the early days."
Oddly touched and impressed by her answer, Bodie found himself smiling at her again. She smiled back. "Uhm...if you'd like to wait in the visitors' room, I could call you when he's more..."
"Approachable? No need, sweetheart. Between you and me? Never been approachable a day in his life."
A sound from the bed interrupted her soft laugh and both started. Bodie watched, and across the room Doyle tensed and shifted, another groan sliding out as he did so.
"Do me a favour, love?"
"Of course, if I can."
He took his eyes off the bed and forced a lightness back into his voice.
"Off you go and have a cup of tea while I watch Grumpy over there. And bring us back one, yeah? With a couple of biscuits." He winked. "Chocolate, if you've got them."
She wavered, biting her lip in a gesture which Bodie would have found adorable at any other time. And then she was backing away with a small grateful smile. "If you need anything, press the call button, I'm just down the hall."
But Bodie wasn't listening. He had already moved to the bed, to where Doyle was a tight, awkward huddle under the thin cover, his head dipped so far down it was almost off the pillow. Bodie couldn't see his face, so he put a hand out. He flinched at the feel of the sweat-slicked curls and he bent lower.
"Sunshine, you in there?"
Doyle didn't look up, or change position, and Bodie wondered how awake he could possibly be in all that sour heat.
"Fuckin' hurts. Bodie. Fucking hurts." A growl said into the pillow. Low, full of anger, tears, and punctuated by a ragged gulp of air.
And then Bodie was moving, with no deliberation or decision. With an eye on the drip paraphernalia to Doyle's right, he took a second to plan his route and began hauling himself up the left side of the bed, all the while praying the bloody thing wasn't on casters.
He got a hot clench of fingers pushing into his right side for his trouble.
"Off! Bodie... off me...too fuckin' hot, Bodie,...hot!"
Bodie wrapped his right arm around the wire-tense shoulders and settled back on the pillows, trying to take Ray up with him on his side, into what he was sure would be a more comfortable position.
He got another fist.
"Bloody hell, Doyle!" He grabbed the clenched hand before it connected, stilling it, perversely relieved by the resistance his tenacious partner was still capable of, yet fearing for any and all hospital equipment in the vicinity. Doyle's breathing was harsh and laboured near his neck as Bodie brought the hand out and began trying to ease the fingers open.
"What are you getting so excited about, Raymond? Seven stone weakling like you. Not going to do much damage to something as beautiful and well built as this now, are you? You'll bust your drip or your stitches, and I'll be left with me best shirt ruined, and no cup of tea from the lovely Florence."
Aware that Doyle was a million miles away from listening, something in Bodie couldn't stop. He'd spent too much time alone since Mayli, pacing the halls and streets, his stomach tightening everytime he'd heard Cowley's phone ring, his R/T bleep, or a doctor approach him. No, Doyle could do his bit now, could let Bodie hang on a bit and anchor them both through the next thirty minutes.
So he carried on, telling the rank curls all about Cowley's latest brush with the Minister, Murphy's new partner, and the tenner Doyle still owed him. By the time he reached a quick gloat over Aston Villa, the fist was open, Doyle's head was not digging quite so stubbornly into his collarbone, and the wire tying all those angry muscles together in one pain-ridden knot had been cut. Literally. He now had a boneless mass to contend with, snuffling wetly on his shoulder.
Well, how about that then. Horlicks Bodie.
Absurdly moved, he took a moment. He took a moment to lord it over the NHS, the Chinese fuckers, Doyle, and every single dark thought the universe had seen fit to send him these past couple of weeks.
And then another moment came, and he pressed the first kiss of his life to another man's head.
The third time, it was hard to tell who climbed into bed with whom. And this time, it wasn't so much climbed as fell, it wasn't so much bed as the bit of carpet in Doyle's hall, but the one thing it really was, was desire.
Said by Doyle on an uneven exhalation. He had the rising whine of an electric kettle somewhere to his left, the edge of a counter top behind him, and the press of his partner in front.
It was turning out to be a day of firsts all round.
He'd run today, full pelt, gun out, target returning fire, and had brought the man down beautifully, winging him from an awkward angle. Cowley was pleased and had almost shown it, since non-lethal bullet wounds and a lack of painkillers always made for fast interrogations. And the number of claps on the back Doyle received from other agents had obscurely touched him. An occasion to be marked then. And here was Bodie, marking it too. With a kiss, for crying out loud.
He'd been babbling, he remembered that much, high on the fact that he'd run without falling over, and been the one to get someone Cowley had wanted forever. Bodie had just stepped up when he'd turned from preparing two mugs for tea. He'd put an open hand on his face, smoothed his cheekbone once with his thumb, and looked from Doyle's left eye to his right until he'd shut up. Then he'd looked at his mouth. And kissed him. For about four stunned seconds Doyle reckoned. No tongue, no teeth, just two lips pressing on his.
He didn't even know he'd shut his eyes, until Bodie'd dropped his hand and pulled back slightly, and then that soft 'bloody hell' had slipped out, as his eyes had opened to find his partner still close.
"Take your best shot, sunshine, right on the jaw. I can take it, y'know."
And Doyle heard the uncertainty through the bravado and understood some of what it had taken to get Bodie to plant his feet that close and stay there.
He chuckled, perhaps a little manic still. He couldn't help it. His heart and lungs had done him proud today, he hadn't felt a single, solitary twinge. Only here they were, banging and constricting in his chest like a clapped out steam engine, and not because of a bullet whining past his ear, but because of the hand and kiss of his partner.
"Look, Doyle, if you're just going to stand there and bloody laugh-"
Aware that he was on the verge of being misunderstood and too fucking pleased with himself to let Bodie muck it up, he had time to think tit for tat before he did just that. He grabbed hold and cut Bodie off with a kiss that was anything but gentle, and one that did absolutely nothing to quieten his heart.
The adrenaline had them too high and hard for finesse. In a frantic scrabble of fingers on buttons and hands on zips, they began an ungainly dance in the vague direction of the bedroom, trying to help each other step out of as many clothes as possible on the way. Doyle took his lips off Bodie's long enough to fasten them on a nipple, nipping and licking until he got a groan from somewhere above his head. He yanked Bodie's shirt out of the way, the empty holster aleady gone, and revelled in the feel of that creamy expanse under his hands at last.
"Beautiful, Bodie. Fuckin'nnnh..." He was cut off yet again. Not by a kiss this time, but by a hand on his suddenly freed and straining cock. He growled, returned the favour, and as his head was pulled up to meet Bodie's mouth and tongue, their chances of making it to the bedroom disappeared.
Semen cooling on his belly, Bodie's chest heaving under his ear, trousers and jeans in a knot around legs he couldn't untangle even if he wanted too, Doyle found energy from somewhere to raise his head. They'd slid down the wall and ended up out in the hall, about half a foot away from the small table he kept his telephone on.
He smiled and put his head back down. Bodie's heart rate was slowing.
When there was no immediate answer, he lifted his head, wary of what he might now see and hear.
Bodie's face was lit with a beam from ear to ear. A hand came up to rest heavily on the back of Doyle's neck.
"I think," Bodie swallowed, still catching his breath, "I'll have that tea now, Raymond. With a jaffa cake for services rendered, if you don't mind. And have one yourself, sunshine." Doyle was hauled forward for a sloppy kiss, right on his forehead. "Fanbloodytastic. Knew we would be. Now move your arse."
And with that, Doyle was hauled to his feet and led back to the kitchen and the kettle, laughing and staggering and trying not to trip over a sock that had never made it all the way off. And suddenly he knew; in one blinding piercing moment, he knew. That this was about as romantic as he was ever going to get, and that it was all he would ever need.
He thought about telling Bodie, just saying it in this moment of euphoria, but his throat wouldn't work. So he cuffed him instead.
His eyes must have given him away, because Bodie's smile faded when he turned to look, and he raised the hand that had cuffed him and kissed each of Doyle's bare, scarred knuckles.
"You alright, sunshine?"
Doyle was not stupid, he knew what he was being asked. He took a deep breath, steadying himself. He leaned forward.
"I'm fanbloodytastic, remember?" He squeezed the hand that held his and sobered.
Much, much later, after tea, a round of sandwiches (Doyle had no jaffa cakes, Bodie had finished them off the week before), and a shower which turned into something else entirely, they were stretched out in bed and Doyle was yawning. A lot.
Bodie's hand was in his hair, wrapped around a curl, and Doyle was listening to that heartbeat again, slow and steady now. There in the dark he found the courage to ask and hear the answer.
"You've done this before."
He meant it neither as a question nor an accusation. He had an experimental streak himself, one that had taken him into an adolescent fumble or two, and he also had an instinct for pleasure which always served him well. But in the shower Bodie's hands and mouth had been unerring, teasing and stroking him to perfection. Sweeping the power from his legs at one point.
There was no hesitation.
"The deed, mate? Yes. This?" Doyle felt a kiss graze his temple, and he heard Bodie swallow. "No. Never this."
Unaccountably content with the answer and the manner in which it had been given, Doyle scrunched in tighter and snuffled comfortably on the shoulder he found himself on.
"Bloody typical, sunshine, you did that the first time I kissed you there."
Nothing more than a murmur in his ear, it took a while. Doyle was tired, and adrenaline had let him go sometime after falling to his knees in the shower.
Nevertheless, he opened his eyes in the dark.
The first time?
-- THE END --