One Night in Bangkok


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

Bodie carefully shuffled over to the biggest, softest chair in the lounge and sank slowly onto the scratchy upholstery. With an irritated sigh, he plucked the sweat-soaked vest away from his body. He didn't know which was worse: being hidden away in a strange flat, being as hot as Hades in the middle of this damned heatwave, or being laid out by somebody hell-bent on killing him.

"Bloody hell," he muttered, dragging the vest over his head and throwing it across the room, where it landed on the floor after hitting the wall. Glaring at the inanimate object, he leaned back and let out a small sigh of relief when the bit of cooler air blowing from a nearby fan hit his over-heated body.

He settled back and rubbed the icy condensation from his cold glass of water across his forehead. The lights flickered once, twice, then went out completely.

"Christ, now what!" The fan's blades ticked softly as they slowed, and even though he couldn't see his hand in front of his face, he knew exactly when they had finally stopped. The air around him went heavy, the humidity practically dripping from it and leaving him barely enough fresh air for a cleansing breath. Bodie let out an exasperated mutter. Twenty seconds without the fan, and he was already so hot he thought he'd melt.

And why was it so dark? Even though his power was out, where was the light from the street lamps? Bodie craned his neck towards the front window. There was no welcoming reflection from outside, and even though the window was partially opened to let in even the slightest waft of a breeze, the partially closed curtains hung heavily on their rod. Even the material seemed damp and lank, just like him. Bodie leaned forward, his ears straining as he listened to the sounds of the night.

In the distance, he could hear cars as they travelled on the hot tarmac, but his own temporary neighbourhood seemed devoid of life for the moment. Worried about the blackness that seemed to invade his hideout, he decided he had no choice but to look outside. The only problem was that he would have to actually get out of the chair and walk to the window. Easier said than done.

With a resigned grunt, he levered himself up. While he was definitely on the mend, his still-healing body vehemently protested much movement at the moment. After the physician had had his hands on Bodie earlier that day, he was feeling especially rough. Bodie hadn't any choice earlier but to endure the physician's exam. Cowley had insisted upon it, and in order for him to even begin to think about working his way back into The Squad, he had to follow Cowley's instructions to the letter. Today's order was that he submit to a thorough examination to be sure he was healing adequately, and to discover what steps his physician would permit as he worked on his slow but steady recovery process. Bodie had been eager to start on a light exercise regime, but after today, he wasn't surprised that he hadn't the energy to do much of anything, even to cross the room. Stupid bloody assassin anyway...

The physician's follow-up examination hadn't been intentionally cruel, but he was extremely thorough. The man had put Bodie through quite an extensive set of tests before he finally agreed that Bodie could be partially released from his care. But he made it quite clear that the healing man must follow a strict list of instructions regarding his recuperation, and the doctor also explained that Cowley would be advised of these instructions as well. There were precise descriptions of exercises to do, the amount of rest Bodie required, and a full, healthy diet that he would need to follow. Doyle would be so pleased about that last bit. After Bodie had agreed several times to the physician's demands, he was finally released from bondage, not required to report back for two whole weeks.

It was an exhausted Bodie who had finally grumbled a curt thanks to the patient doctor before he hobbled out of the man's office and into the waiting car parked at the kerb with a fidgety Raymond Doyle behind the wheel. Bodie wasn't the least bit surprised to see Doyle sitting with his hand on the butt of his weapon, at the ready. Not after Bodie'd almost been killed by an unknown assailant. But at least Doyle had followed his request: to wait outside while he visited the doctor on his own. Bodie would be damned if he'd let Doyle see him struggling against the pain still running rampant in his body, and after the way his exam had gone, he knew he'd made the proper decision. Doyle would have had enough fodder for five years' worth of teasing and nagging if he'd seen Bodie's reactions to the doctor's examination.

Remembering Doyle's clipped tone when he had finally made it out to the kerb, Bodie grinned in spite of his aches and pains. Doyle had demanded to hear each and every detail of the doctor's instructions, what tests he'd performed, and exactly what his interim diagnosis was regarding Bodie's recovery time. Bodie had complained, of course, quite loudly, in fact, that Doyle wasn't his nursemaid and that the doctor's instructions weren't any of his business. But inside, Bodie was quite happy with his partner's level of concern. He needed some pampering after these past few weeks, and Doyle seemed more than willing to indulge him. In fact, Doyle had driven him directly to the safe house, planted his battered self on the lumpy sofa, and made sure he had a fresh glass of orange juice in his hand and a glass of ice water on the lamp table before he proceeded to make a run to the shops, stocking Bodie's borrowed pantry with at least a week's provisions. "So you can concentrate on getting up and about without worrying about the shopping," Doyle had insisted, even going so far as to refuse to take Bodie's money for his purchases. "You'll make it up to me when you're on your feet, mate," his partner had said seriously, his intense green eyes watching Bodie for any signs of discomfort.

Lately, Doyle seemed to be quite interested in Bodie's well-being. In fact, Bodie had noticed that since Doyle had almost died the year before, he spent more time with Bodie than he did with his various birds. Bodie thought about his partner's most recent girlfriend, and it was with a shock that he realised that Doyle hadn't dated since that relationship had fallen apart, well over three months before. It wasn't like his partner to hit such a long, dry spell, and the thought made Bodie wonder what was going on with his best friend. Shifting uncomfortably, the heat drove thoughts of Doyle from his head, and the frustration at his current state took precident.

With the power off, instead of being able to relax and watch the telly until he drifted off to sleep with the aid of the mild pain-killer he'd taken, Bodie was stuck in a miserably hot flat with no fan, and no electricity, and to top it off, the drug seemed to have given him a headache rather than alleviate any discomfort. Not only that, but no power also meant no ice once the bit he had in the freezer was gone.

Bodie made it to the window and glanced out. There wasn't a street light or a house lamp burning anywhere. The only lights he could see were the headlamps of cars moving in the distance. He stood, scratching his belly, wondering how the entire neighbourhood had lost power.

Before he had time to reason out what could have happened to the electricity, Bodie's attention was caught by a vehicle turning onto the deserted road leading to the safe house. Positioned well back from the main road, to get to his hideaway one had to meander through several twists and turns before coming to this house. He reached under his left arm for his gun and was irritated with himself when his fingers landed on his ribcage, remembering that the damned thing was in the bedroom, under the pillow. He briefly wondered why he wasn't wearing his weapon while his assassin still frolicked loose in Greater London, when he recognized the car that approached slowly. It was Doyle's Capri.

A grin crossed his face, even as he considered why his partner had returned when he'd left barely forty-five minutes before for home. As he watched Doyle climb from the vehicle, he thought again about the lack of electricity. There could be a lot of reasons for a power cut. There hadn't been a storm, so it wasn't weather-related, but it could very well be something as simple as a mechanical failure. Or as deadly as terrorists -- or a single assassin bent on destruction, his bothersome inner self firmly reminded him.

Doyle looked up as he came up the pavement, and when he saw Bodie in the window, he raised a hand, waving him away. Bodie was surprised that his partner could see him in the darkness, but apparently, he could. There was some light from the half-moon that had emerged after the clouds had drifted away, and Doyle did have eyes like a cat. Bodie smirked, thinking of Doyle as a huge, green-eyed tom cat, skulking about, meandering through darkened alleys and across rooftops. He wondered if Doyle-cat would like to be stroked or have its belly scratched.

Grinning now, he tried to look innocent as he returned Doyle's wave before he slowly moved towards the front door. By the time he'd unlocked the triple latches and pulled the door open, Doyle was walking towards him, led by the high-powered torch he held in his hand.

"Couldn't stay away from my wonderful companionship?" Bodie asked, a smirk still playing on his lips. It took a good bit of trouble on his part to keep an inordinately pleased look from his face, and he didn't even bother to wonder why seeing his partner made him so very happy.

"Cheers," Doyle responded, shining the light between them so that they could see each other's faces. "I said to myself, Doyle, you can't live another second without your partner's company. You need to rush right over there and feast your eyes on him right now before you die of longing." He chuckled, passing over the extra smaller torch he had taken from in his pocket.

Bodie laughed as he took the torch. "Berk," he groused, reaching out to ruffle Doyle's curls. Doyle playfully smacked his hand away, to which Bodie responded by continuing to try to grab his partner's hair. They quickly reduced themselves to a sparring game, each man trying to land a one-handed slap on the other's head. Bodie reached out too quickly and pulled on his healing arm before he grimaced at the soreness.

Doyle was instantly contrite. "Sorry! Forgot."

Bodie waved off his concern. "Coming in?"

"Yeah," Doyle responded, but he paused in the open doorway, flashing the light towards the bushes and into the dark corners of the porch and front yard.

"What's wrong?" demanded Bodie. From what he could see of Doyle's face, his partner looked decidedly anxious.

Doyle waved Bodie inside, quickly locking the door. "Cowley had a whisper of a kill." At Bodie's raised eyebrow, Doyle nodded. "Yeah, yours. Of course," he added smartly.

Bodie rolled his eyes. "Again?"

"'Fraid so. Seems this bloke, whoever it is, just can't get enough of you."

"So it seems. Apparently, blasting me twenty feet across the road wasn't quite enough sport for this lad. Or lass," Bodie added with a sarcastic bite and a bitter laugh.

Doyle shook his head, his eyes narrowed in exasperation. "I wasn't laughing when I scraped your bloody arse off the street."

Bodie knew his partner's ire wasn't directed at him, but in usual Doyle fashion, lashing out at Bodie was the way he coped. "Thanks, mate." Bodie said seriously.

Doyle eyed Bodie critically for a long minute before a tug of a smile crossed his lips. "You look done in."

"You have a way with words, Doyle. Warms my heart, it does," Bodie said theatrically, his hand pressed to his clammy chest. With a grimace at the sweat coating his body, he grumbled, "God, it's hot."

Doyle let the torch's beam travel around the room, landing on the settee. He gave a theatrical shiver. "You'd think the Cow would have updated this dump." He eyed the sofa with disdain and ran a hand through his hair. "I'll camp out here. You get to bed. Doctor's orders. Past midnight, you know. You need a hand getting ready?"

Bodie's eyes narrowed, his irritation rising at being reminded of his somewhat helpless state. "Jeezus, Doyle, I'm not dead yet. Besides, it's too hot to sleep."

Doyle let out a patient sigh, which made Bodie want to hit him. "Come on, then," Doyle said firmly as he reached out a hand to cup Bodie's elbow. "I'll fix you something cold to drink. Better use the ice before it melts anyway."

"What happened to the power?" Bodie didn't bother shrugging off Doyle's touch as his partner steered him towards the couch. He wondered about his own sanity when he considered that in one moment he was irritated with Doyle's concern and the next, he craved it. Going raving mad shut away like this. But Doyle's touch did make him feel -- cared for. He liked having his friend worried about his health and well-being. Bodie let himself sink into the cushions with a grimace and tossed the small torch down beside him.

"Don't know. Cowley rousted me before I got home, so I turned around and headed back. Was about a mile away when all the lights went out. And I mean everything. Pubs, houses, traffic lights. Won't be long before traffic comes to a stand-still for miles."

"And the looters get out and about for a bit of shopping. He'll be calling you in for crowd control any moment then."

"Won't do any good. I probably couldn't get to HQ even with a police escort. Not with the roads jammed. Can't move deserted motors, even with sirens and blue lights. Besides, he's ordered me to watch out for your sorry arse."

"So I'm stuck with you for the duration," Bodie said, hiding another stab of pleasure. Doyle chuckled, taking care not to blind Bodie with the light even as he inspected his partner's face. Bodie grinned under Doyle's examination, earning him a snort of amusement and a shake of that curly head.

Feeling better than he had all day, Bodie leaned back and tried to find a comfortable place for his aching body. His bruised and battered ribs hurt. His wrenched elbow, wrapped tightly in an elastic bandage, itched like the devil. He had a nasty gash on the side of his head that had been stitched up when he was first injured and now, when he reached up to gingerly touch the spot where the doctor had removed the sutures earlier today, he could feel the tiny raised spots where the stitches had been. He knew that one side of his face where he'd slammed onto the tarmac was a rainbow of coloured bruises, as were his torso and legs. The bruises were just now turning a spectacularly ugly yellowish-green colour as they began to fade.

Pleased to sit back and listen to Doyle rummaging around in the kitchen, Bodie was content. Since he'd been hurt, they hadn't spent nearly enough time together. First, he hadn't wanted much company in hospital when he was in pain and snappish. Then, Cowley had Doyle fetching and carrying for some Lord Muck from across the pond who needed protection while the berk was at some big peace conference. Doyle had barely found time to drop by once a day to make sure Bodie was still alive and well since he'd been sprung from hospital the week before. But now, his partner was all his with no chance of interruption. Bodie was happy something was finally going his way since he'd stumbled onto that half-arsed bomb.

And stumbled he had. Not having had any warning that somebody was out for his hide, he hadn't been looking for trouble as he'd walked towards his car after he'd gone into the chemist's for toothpaste and deodorant. Bodie knew that he'd be a dead man today if not for the fact that he'd forgotten the change from his purchases on the shop's counter.

Bodie remembered what happened in excruciating detail. The shopkeeper had called to him as he crossed the street, "Sir?" He'd turned and when the man held out his hand and called, "Your change!", Bodie had smiled and started back... just as the bomb exploded, throwing him across the road to land in a bruised and battered heap against the kerb.

Cowley had come to his hospital room and told him that the device had been detonated by remote control, and he was still alive only because the bomber had obviously been too quick on the button. While Bodie had been injured, he was definitely still alive: the aches and pains coursing through his body proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. That, and the fact that his assassin had been rather incompetent in the bomb detonating department.

The clink of ice cubes hitting a glass brought Bodie's thoughts back to the present and to the stifling room. He grimaced as he thought about his most recent close call. Not one to take his good fortune for granted, he was thankful that he was still around to be able to complain about the heat and the threadbare accommodations. He knew it would take only one bullet... Or one better-handled explosive device, and he was definitely that dead man.

From the kitchen, he heard the sound of Doyle's R/T crackle to life. Doyle walked into the lounge, torch under his arm, a glass of something in one hand and his R/T in the other. He handed the glass to Bodie as he responded to his Controller's voice.

"Alpha One to 4.5."


"Are you with 3.7?"

"Yes, sir."

"Stay put and keep alert."

"Yes, sir. By the way, we're in the dark here. Electricity's gone for at least a mile in all directions."

"I'm aware of the problem. The Home Office has advised me it is a generator malfunction."

"That's good, then, sir. It would have been horrible if some terrorist group had got to it."

"Oh, aye. Still, it's a damned nuisance for most, but it could be the bit of luck that Bodie's nemesis is looking for. You be careful; the both of you. You've had fair warning now, and I won't be pleased to see either of you killed this night."

"Ah, right. Thank you. 4.5 out."

"Considerate of him." Bodie gave Doyle a rueful grin, shaking his head. "Wouldn't want to inconvenience him now, would we?"

"Best not disobey orders." Doyle grinned. "Guess I'd better keep a keen eye on you. It's so bleedin' hot."

"You doubled back, didn't you?"

Doyle gave Bodie a patient look. "Nobody followed me."

"I know. It's just..." Bodie shrugged, wincing slightly. Damn, but when would his body not hurt?

"It's not friendly having somebody out for your arse."

"Not friendly in the least. Makes me rather testy."

"Don't blame you."

"Did you bring any beer?"

"Nope. Not with your meds."

"I meant for you, moron."

Doyle grinned. "Had a pint with supper. Thanks for asking." He settled into the chair beside the sofa and stretched out, crossing his ankles. "Batteries probably won't last all night."

"Afraid of the dark?"

"Not hardly. Still..." Doyle glanced about. "It's a bit unsettling, everything being black. I'm used to the city lights. Never been one to live in the sticks."

"There's a transistor radio in my bag. It'll give us some music, as well as any news about the power."

"Yeah. Good idea." Doyle rose and took the large torch as he disappeared into the back towards the bedroom, plunging Bodie back into the dark. He could have turned on the extra torch, but he didn't bother.

Bodie laid his head back and closed his eyes, listening to Doyle as he moved about, humming something to himself. God, but he liked being with Doyle. They worked well together, and in the quiet, with just the two of them, things seemed so right. Easy, most of the time. They had their differences, their arguments, but all in all, they got on well. And lately, Bodie had felt their relationship was changing, moving in a new direction, and he knew he welcomed it. Doyle could feel it as well. Bodie knew this because he'd seen the changes reflected on his partner's face. Seen the interest, and the affection. Doyle didn't try to hide it any more, and for that he was grateful. Bodie knew that Doyle's brush with life and death after the Kuolo disaster had changed him, and that his partner looked at him differently now, although Doyle hadn't really explained everything that he'd experienced while he was in that coma. But no matter, Bodie was ready. Finally. And tonight... Tonight, being with his partner felt good, great even. Calm and peaceful, in spite of the circumstances. He wondered what it was he was feeling, this idea that being with Doyle made him complete. And even as he wondered, he knew exactly was it was. He laughed softly.

"You okay, mate?" Doyle asked, his deep voice entering Bodie's musings, making him start. He knew he should be on the alert, keeping watch in case his determined killer returned, but with Doyle here, Bodie knew he was safe. Doyle would watch his back.

"Fine," Bodie responded, opening his eyes to glance up. He gave Doyle a grin and playfully winked.

Doyle gave Bodie a grin that conveyed his fond exasperation as he flicked on the small plastic radio. Static filled the room from the tinny speaker. He twisted the knob until strains of music came through clearly. "Hey, this is a good one." Doyle set the radio down on the lamp table and started to hum along.

Bodie didn't know the words, but he recognised the tune. He'd heard it on the car's radio a time or two. Doyle's voice was good, having heard a few bars of this and that when they cruised about London. It was rich and deep, throaty, and sounded a bit like Elvis. He closed his eyes once again and enjoyed the sound of Doyle singing along.

"Got to hold your body tight; make you scream and shout all night; I'll do the things that are good to you, baby; I've got the tools I know you're sure to like... My singing putting you to sleep there, mate? Or is it bad enough to knock you out?"

Bodie laughed softly. "Nah. It's good. Pleasant, you know. Don't stop on my account." Opening his eyes, Bodie wished that he could see Doyle's eyes more clearly, so that he could examine his partner's reactions, gauge his feelings, check to see if they were on the same wave length tonight. That there was something in the air, besides the heat, threatening to spill over. But as much as he tried to see Doyle's eyes, they were hidden in the multi-layered shadows of the torchlight. Still, he could understand his partner by his body language and he had a shadowed view of his face. Taking a chance, Bodie said invitingly, "Besides, I wouldn't object."

"To what?" Doyle asked, innocence colouring his tone.

"This and that." At Doyle's confused look, Bodie grinned. "The words to the song, sunshine. Having sex. Shagging. Geez, Doyle, you are thick tonight."

"And you're daft." Doyle finally smiled, but there was something in his tone that brought Bodie to alertness. "You're pulling my leg, right?"

Not wanting to let on exactly what he was doing, he shrugged and responded, "That I am." Then suddenly, Bodie realised with a moment of absolute clarity what he'd heard in Doyle's voice: that Doyle was doing exactly what he had been doing for a while now. He was testing the waters. Gauging Bodie's reactions. He was sending suggestive but vague probes about Bodie's feelings and desires right at him, and waiting to see what came of them.

Hiding a pleased smile, Bodie picked up the glass of water he'd forgotten about and sipped the cold liquid. "God, that's good." Dipping his fingers into the glass, he trailed them across his neck and down his chest. "I'm so bloody hot." Bodie fished out an ice cube and wiped it down his chest, sighing with pleasure. He slid the icy block across his nipple, almost shivering at the sudden coldness. The tightening nub made him grit his teeth, and with as much innocence as he could muster, he raised his head to observe Doyle.

Doyle's eyes were firmly locked on Bodie's fingers.

The melting cube left a trail of cool sweetness, and the resulting water drops skimmed down Bodie's chest toward the waistband of his tracksuit bottoms. Smiling to himself, he continued to move the cube across his skin and up to the hollow of his throat where he wiped the last of the tiny shard of ice up and across his neck. Then, with the palm of his hand, he stroked his chest, spreading the water. Breaking the silence, he finally said, "Wish that fan was working. It would feel really nice having the breeze blowing across my body. Did you know that the effect of the water evaporating makes your skin feel very cool?"

Bodie watched as Doyle swallowed and seemed to have a bit of trouble looking away from Bodie's chest. "Eh?"

Bodie laughed, tickled at the response from his friend. Doyle looked dazed as he blinked slowly, and when his partner shifted in his seat, Bodie knew that Doyle's body was reacting to his wanton display. Keeping his tone casual, he asked, "Sip?" as he held out the glass, condensation dripping down the sides and onto his leg.

"Ta," Doyle said, licking his lips while he shook his head as if to refocus.

With a pleasant smile, Bodie handed over the glass. He saw the slight tremor in Doyle's hand and the quizzical look on his face. Bodie felt his own body start to respond, and he almost shouted his elation at the top of his lungs. Reason intruded, and kept him quiet for the moment. He had to be sure Doyle felt as he did. In the silence, the disc jockey's voice seemed to echo through the room when the title and artist of the completed song was mentioned. Then the disc jockey told his listening audience the chart position for the song, and suddenly, for Bodie, everything click into place the final time.

He had been playing with Doyle, he realised, messing about, seeing what would happen if he flirted, but now he understood exactly what he'd actually been doing. He had been flirting, of course, but it wasn't just for kicks. It was for Doyle. He didn't want to be number twelve with Doyle. Bodie didn't even want to be number seven, or five, or even number three. He wanted to be his number one. With a bullet.

And Doyle seemed quite amenable to Bodie's advances. Or at least responsive to them. Now all Bodie had to do was make a definite move, and see what kind of a reaction he got. He shifted in his seat and with a thought to his current condition, he realised that since Doyle had arrived, most of the aches and pains seemed to have drifted into the background, and while he was still somewhat stiff and sore, he felt better than he had in many days. Without a doubt, being with Doyle made him feel better mentally and physically, and tonight, he didn't bothering to try to argue himself out of that thought as he had on other occasions. He decided to go after what he wanted. Tonight. After yet another close call with death, he pragmatically reckoned that this moment was a good as any. The grim reaper didn't leave calling cards, and Bodie didn't know when he'd be his guest. He was alive and Doyle was close. Having Doyle in his arms tonight would make everything right with his world, no matter the future.

Bodie knew what he wanted and even though he wanted what he desired immediately, he was determined to go about it in the proper manner. He had to approach Doyle carefully. It was important that Doyle was as interested as he was, and that his partner came into his bed willingly, not out of some matey sense of guilt or obligation. From bits and pieces of their conversations over the years, he surmised that Doyle hadn't been with a man before. Needing time to think, he put his head back and closed his eyes. He could practically feel Doyle looking at him. In his mind's eye, he envisioned his partner's careful scrutiny as Doyle took in his chest, his arms, his stomach... He stayed very still, regulating his breathing so that it was slow and steady. Let Doyle think that he'd drifted off to sleep. It would give him time to think, to plan. While sex with men wasn't exactly new to him, having dabbled a bit years ago, loving a man was very new. And with his best friend, it was worth doing this right. He deserved that much. They both did.

Bodie almost laughed, but he managed to keep himself relaxed and under control. He had admitted to himself that he loved Doyle, and the very idea, instead of making him grimace and wonder at his sanity, made him feel quite -- jovial. He and Doyle had been through a lot together. Almost ten years of CI5, and George Cowley, and terrorists, mad bombers, arsonists, and killers, to name but a few. And they'd managed to survive, pretty much intact. Without a doubt, it was because they were together that they had made it this far. With another startling revelation, Bodie knew that they'd always be together and wouldn't willingly be parted for love nor money. He let the warmth the idea brought flow through his body and suffuse into his soul. The idea set well with him, and his heart was content.

Bodie only hoped Doyle would agree.

Bodie broke the silence by saying, "This is a very weird song." His eyes opened, and he grinned as he rolled his eyes.


"You sleeping, mate?"

"No. Just... thinking. What did you say?"

"Said this is a strange tune." Bodie listened for a moment before he repeated the lyrics, "I'll protect you from the hooded claw; keep the vampires from your door. It's creepy. Best not to have a devil's spawn for your bedmate."

Doyle laughed. "It's not all that bad. Some of the words are quite nice. Let's see..." he said, falling silent while the song continued until he started to sing along, "When the chips are down, I'll be around. With my undying, death-defying love for you. Hey, that's very sweet. A bit on the romantic side, but still nice." At Bodie's cocky grin, he hastily added, "If you go for that sort of thing."

"You don't like romance?"

"Do you?" Doyle asked suspiciously.

"I asked first." At Doyle's scowl, he finally admitted, "Yeah, I do. Romance is good for the soul. Ask any bird."

"Ah ha! Birds. Yeah, they live for romance. Flowers, walks in the park, puppies and kittens, St. Valentine's Day. But most blokes aren't romantic on their own. The girls have to push them into it."

Bodie shrugged. "I don't know about that. I'll have you know that I'm a romantic."

Doyle stared at Bodie for a full minute before he started to laugh. "Sure you are, mate."

Bodie groused with good nature, "I am! Well, I can be."

"And just who do you intend to be romantic with, seeing as you're laid up here with nobody around but me." Bodie was silent, their eyes locked on each other, until he saw Doyle's widened briefly as he leaned forward, the torch's beam making his eyes sparkle. After a moment, Doyle laughed again, but Bodie could hear a touch of hopefulness in his words that he covered with his light tone. "You had me there for a second, sunshine. I admit I almost gave thought to the idea for a moment, you were going to say you were going to get -- romantic with me."

While his partner acted like he found the whole idea of being romantic with Bodie daft, Bodie could see the hint of interest in his eyes. He kept close watch when Doyle fidgeted for a moment, his interested gaze flicking down Bodie's bare chest once again. When Doyle's tongue licked his own lips, Bodie smiled, rubbing his chest and making sure to touch his nipples. He was pleased to see his partner's eyes follow his hand as he moved it down his belly to rest on his thigh. He let his fingers drape across his crotch, and idly he scratched himself. Doyle swallowed; Bodie watched his throat ripple, and wondered what it would be like to lick the salt from Doyle's neck and to dip his tongue in the hollow of his throat.

Doyle's scrutiny sent a satisfied thrill through him, Bodie gave a chuckle, waiting until he looked up. "Would it bother you if I did?" Bodie teased, but before Doyle could respond, he said, "It's bloody hot in here."

"So you said. And keep saying. Endlessly, I might add."

"You're an arse."

"Takes one to know one."



When their eyes met, they studied each other. After a moment, they began to laugh, and Bodie felt a bit of satisfaction. The first seed had been planted in Doyle's mind. Now all he had to do was fertilize the crop and see what blossomed.

Doyle restlessly paced the lounge, occasionally peeking out of the corner of the curtains he'd drawn across the window earlier.

"Will you sit down?" Bodie groused. "You're making me nervous."

"Too hot," Doyle responded, once again peering out. Bodie could see the tenseness of his shoulders as his head swivelled left to right and back again.


"Quiet as a grave."

"Oh, ta for that image, mate."


"No matter. Christ, it's hot."

"Bodie!" Doyle turned, hands on hips.

"Eh?" Bodie answered innocently.

Doyle sighed. "Do you want more water? There might be some juice left."

"Any more ice?"

"A bit."

"Water, please," Bodie said, smiling. Feeling magnanimous, he added, "You're a good partner."

Doyle cast him an exasperated glance. "Yeah, right. I'm hungry."

"Could do with a snack. Did you buy any Swiss rolls?"

"Not on your life," Doyle snapped as he picked up the smaller torch and headed towards the kitchen. "I'll get you some fruit."

Bodie grimaced before he finally agreed, "I'll have an apple."

"Good choice."

"Wanker," Bodie muttered.

Doyle poked his head back around the doorway. "I heard that."

Laughing, Bodie shook his head. "Doyle?"


Bodie grinned, listening to Doyle move about the kitchen. "I'm glad you're here," he called, keeping his voice casual.

Carrying a glass of ice water and two apples, Doyle handed one of the apples to Bodie. "You must have been hit on the head harder than I thought." Doyle stared down into the glass before he raised his head. "Been worried about you."

"Thanks, mate. It's -- pleasant, having somebody worried about me." Bodie gave Doyle a warm smile before he purposefully whined, "I've been feeling rather neglected."

After sipping the cool water, Doyle licked his lips, a grin plastered on his face. He pursed his lips before he shook his head knowingly. "Poor bugger. Nobody loves you?"

"You do." The words were blurted out, but once they'd been let loose, Bodie realised that he didn't mind; that it was make or break, and tonight was the night he'd already decided to find out where he stood with his partner. Bodie watched Doyle intently as he seemed to consider Bodie's words.

"Yeah, I do," Doyle finally said with conviction.

They fell silent, comfortable with each other's company in spite of the danger and the heat, and the admission from Doyle's lips. Bodie crunched his apple while he watched his friend, who lay sprawled on the end of the sofa in his usual pose: his long legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles, and in jeans far too tight for the hot weather, Bodie admired the muscled thighs pressed against the denim. He examined more of Doyle's body, and what he saw made him flush. The tight shirt stretched over Doyle's well-toned chest, and the material was thin enough to show the outline of his nipples. From the collar, light-brown chest hair curled. Bodie ached to reach out and stroke the skin along the collar. He turned his face away before Doyle caught his intense inspection and concentrated on his apple, finishing it quickly. At this rate, he'd be begging Doyle for his touch any second. He smiled to himself at his own foolishness and kept a close eye on Doyle when his partner pushed himself up from the sofa to once again check the outside from a slit in the drawn curtains.

The disc jockey talked on, giving the entertainment headlines of the day. When the man told his listening audience that it was the seventh anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, Bodie said, "Seven years since The King passed. Seems just like yesterday."

Doyle turned and nodded. "Yeah, remember exactly where I was."

"With me."

"You remember?"

"'Course I remember. We were on that dodgy smuggling caper with those horrible counterfeit bonds. Waste of our time as I recall."

"Right. That was a waste of valuable time." Doyle paused before he offered, "I used to dress like Elvis when I was a lad. Wasn't more than twelve or thirteen, and I thought I was pretty cool."

"I can picture you in black leather, tight jeans and slicked-back hair. Not much different than nowadays, other than the hair."

Doyle laughed, running a hand through his curls. "Used to plaster it down with handfuls of gloop to smooth out the waves. But I had a hell of a nice curl on me forehead. Birds seemed to like it."

Bodie chuckled, picturing a teen-aged Doyle. "What was your favourite Elvis picture?"

Walking over to the sofa, Doyle sat back. While Bodie thought a young Doyle might be interesting, this Doyle, in these particular skin-tight jeans, was a wet dream on two legs. He couldn't contain his grin, and Doyle seemed to catch Bodie's good humour because he grinned in return. "King Creole."

"How'd that one go?" Bodie asked, hoping to entice Doyle into singing again.

Doyle tugged on his own ear while his forehead crinkled. "Let's see..." He hummed for a moment, concentrating, before he sang aloud, "There's a man in New Orleans who plays rock 'n roll, He's a guitar man with a great big soul, He lays down a beat like a ton of coal, He goes by the name of King Creole... I used to sing that one a lot."

Bodie laughed. "That was pretty good, but I'd stick with CI5, mate. Don't think you'd make much money on the big tour."

Laughing in response, Doyle asked, "What was yours?"


"Why? Because all the birds had big breasts?"

Bodie scowled. "No, you moron. Because I always fancied myself a racing driver."

Both men laughed before silence settled yet again over them, covering the torch-lit room like a warm blanket. The radio droned on and the next selection started. The music was the bouncy sort and Bodie listened for a moment. He hadn't heard this particular song before, and the singer's voice caught his attention. The way the tune was presented was particularly catchy. The singer, a fellow, spoke a stanza or two before he broke into song. The words in the refrain made his eyes widen momentarily as he had a sudden flashback of his younger days. The chorus was particularly telling to him: One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble, not much between despair and ecstasy. Bodie almost stopped breathing and leaned forward.

"What is it?" Doyle asked.

"Nothing. Hang on a bit." Bodie listened to the next line: One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble; can't be too careful with your company. I can feel the devil walking next to me. He was quiet until the song ended, then he said, "Been to Bangkok myself. Was quite the -- very friendly place."

"Oh? When was that?"

"Long ago, mate. Long ago. Wasn't much past sixteen when we docked there. I admit it was one of the more interesting experiences of my rather reckless youth."

Bodie could see the interest radiating from his friend's face. He knew he didn't talk about his old life much, and that Doyle had always been curious. He wasn't surprised when Doyle asked, "What happened?"

Suddenly willing to talk, Bodie still had an image to maintain, so he nonchalantly shrugged. "Let's call it a learning experience. Learnt more in two days than I had in a lifetime before. I was an innocent kid, as far as- Well, let's just say I was still a virgin."

"You? A virgin?" Doyle asked incredulously.

Bodie glared, feigning outrage. "You think I was born shagging birds?"

"No, but I can't imagine you a virgin. What happened, then? Get the clap?"

After an exasperated sigh, Bodie said laughingly, "No, I did not get the clap. I -- found out things about myself... Forget it. Nothing you'd be interested in hearing."

"You brought it up, and now you want me to leave it? No way. What happened, Bodie? Come on, spill it," cajoled Doyle.

Shifting uncomfortably, he wondered if he felt a sudden flush of heat because he was hurting or because he was horny thinking about his younger days. After a long silence, Bodie finally admitted, "Discovered whorehouses, if you must know."


"You're not going to let this go, are you?" Wondering if he was about to blow the best friendship, the best partnership in his life if he continued, he paused.


"All right, then," Bodie said firmly, forging onward. "I didn't know bollocks about shagging. After that night and the next, I knew."

Doyle gave him a questioning look before he finally asked, "Learned a lot, then?"

Bodie couldn't help the small smile that played across his lips. "Honestly, yes I did." In the torch's light, he struggled to see his partner's face clearly. He needed to see Doyle's eyes, to gauge his reactions as he explained what had happened, so Bodie reached out and fiddled with the torch until he manoeuvred the beam to play across his partner's face. Thoughtfully, he drummed his fingers against the wooden table top as he thought about what he was going to say. After clearing his throat, he began his tale.

"Sailors have a sort of an initiation when they're in port. I was the youngest man on board and somehow they figured out I hadn't done it before. Was still a virgin. So my pals took me 'round to the bars, and I was fairly pissed when we went to one of the whorehouses down by the docks. It wasn't one of those filthy holes, but a better class of place." Bodie chuckled at the memory. "The whore was quite nice, as I recall. Creamy skin, almond eyes, red lips. I wasn't sure about the place so I tried to get out of it, claiming I was too drunk to get it up, but the whore promised my mates that by the end of the evening, I'd no longer be a virgin." Bodie grinned. "Explained about the ways to make a man respond, even if the customer, meaning me, was rather toasted."

"Must have been a fun experience."

"It was quite -- enjoyable."

Doyle cocked his head, his interest apparent. "What aren't you telling me?"

"My mates were laughing their heads off when they left. I felt like I'd missed the joke somehow. Hell, they even paid, but I didn't know what was so amusing."

"And did you?"

"Did I what?"

"Perform, moron."

Bodie snorted. "You'd better believe it. The whore took me upstairs, and undressed me. Talented fingers; deadly mouth on that one." Bodie smiled, remembering. "Had me hard in no time. Up 'til then, I'd only known me own hand. When those red lips wrapped around my cock, I was done in. Took less than five minutes," he finally admitted with an amused glance.

Doyle laughed. "Quick on the draw?"

With an answering laugh, Bodie nodded. "Ever so quick that night."

"Did you ever get to the grand finale?"

"Oh, yeah. We had a grand finale, complete with fireworks."

"So you got it up again? You randy toad."

Bodie turned towards Doyle and smiled. "No, mate, I didn't get it up again. But I did get the full treatment. Enjoyed it so much that I went back the next night before we set sail. Made sure I was sober as a judge just to be certain." Bodie waited, letting the silence stretch while he let Doyle's anticipation build. "I liked it even more when he fucked me the second time."

"But you shag women!" was Doyle's surprised response.

Bodie gave him a look of amused exasperation. "And your point is...?"

"You're not queer!"

Shaking his head, Bodie smiled. "Let's just say that I have experimented on occasion, but since joining this mob, I've kept to the straight and narrow." At that, Bodie started to laugh. "Straight and narrow!" he repeated. "Not hardly, but I know when to lay low and how to stay alive. How about you?"

"Me?" Doyle asked, his voice two octaves higher than normal. "I've never... I hadn't thought about it."

Bodie raised an eyebrow. "Oh, you haven't? Not even with -- me?"


Bodie let his gaze move from Doyle's eyes to his mouth and downward. He took his time, examining each inch with relish. "I have. Often."

"Bodie?" Doyle asked quietly, his astonishment at Bodie's revelation still evident on his face. He had to give his partner credit. Once he gave thought to Bodie's admission, his composure returned quickly and his next question was, "How long?"

"Since the moment I first clapped eyes on you, angelfish."

"All that time? But you never -- said anything."

"What was I supposed to say? I want to screw you? Give it a rest. Besides, I wouldn't. It's not for everybody, and certainly not without your cooperation... and your blessing. You're -- the best partner I could ever have. Care about you too much to mess it up." At Doyle's still surprised expression, Bodie smiled, putting a hand on Doyle's arm. "Didn't think I had that much self-control, did you?" Doyle shook his head. "For you, and with you, I'm a different fellow. Shagging women is a hobby, something to pass the time, pleasant enough in its own way. And it's expected of a suave bloke like me," he added cheekily. "But being your partner means my life. In more ways than one, obviously," he added, haphazardly waving a hand around. "Who else would sit with me in a bloody furnace of a safe house through the night and keep me safe?"

Their eyes met. Doyle's were larger than he'd ever seen before. Bodie could see curiosity and surprise, but there was something else... "I would," Doyle said with conviction, "I'll always keep you safe."

"I know," he answered, finally seeing what he'd hoped for in Doyle's eyes. With a tightening in his throat, he said, "Cheers."

"What's it like?"

Bodie raised an eyebrow. "Doing it with another man? Fucking him?"

"Yeah, that -- and..."

"Being fucked?" Even in the bad light, Bodie could see Doyle blush, which made him smile. Doyle was anything but shy when it came to sex and birds. This was a new side of his partner that Bodie hadn't seen before. "It's different. Interesting, because only another bloke can know what it feels like, where it's best, how it works." Bodie studied Doyle when he said, "What places make you scream the loudest."

"Shit," Doyle whispered, quickly pushing up from the sofa.

"You asked. If it makes you uncomfortable thinking about it, we don't-"

Doyle turned toward Bodie, his hands clenched. "No!" Bodie waited, minutely examining Doyle as his partner closed his eyes and swallowed, watching for signs of rejection, of disgust from him. He held his breath when he saw Doyle struggling to gather his thoughts and when he managed to speak again, Doyle's voice was calmer. "No, it doesn't make me uncomfortable. I've... thought about it," he finally admitted. "Plenty of times."

Bodie felt a wave of relief crash through him. He slipped to the end of the sofa cushion. He knew he had to tread carefully lest he scare off his best friend. Outwardly, Doyle was tough and dangerous, good at his job, and hard as nails, but inside, the parts that Doyle kept buried deep and guarded zealously, were vulnerable and easily damaged. "With me?" he asked quietly.

Bodie knew his partner had courage, and he saw that courage rise to the fore. Doyle hesitated for only a moment before nodded. After he licked his lips, he answered firmly, "Yeah."

"You never said."

"You never asked."

"Suppose not."

"Do you want -- it?"

Bodie cocked his head, keeping his face calm. "It's too hot."

Doyle looked at Bodie with a mix of surprise and irritation. "You're saying no because it's too hot? You think because you've had experience that you can play with my head? Tell me you want me and make me want you, then turn about and tell me no? Are we playing games here, Bodie?"

Pushing carefully from the sofa, Bodie moved close to his partner until their faces were inches apart. He wanted to pull Doyle into his arms. He wanted to explore that tantalising mouth and taste every inch of it. But he had to know, had to be sure Doyle was serious about this. His life, and Doyle's, depended on what happened next.

"No games, Ray. Not about this. It's too important. I needed to know what you thought, what you wanted, and how you'd respond. I didn't say no because it's too hot... Yeah, I said it, but that's not what I meant. I promise you, I will say no because I won't be your one-off. Not tonight, not ever." At Doyle's silence, he added, "Do you understand? I'm telling you my deepest, darkest secrets so you can think about it. We either stay as we are, or we change everything. I know what I want, but it's mostly your decision."

"Christ, Bodie."

"Don't fret, mate," Bodie said calmly, seeing the emotions flash across Doyle's face. "I'm not going anywhere unless you toss my sorry arse to the kerb. I'm content to keep our partnership the way it is. It's damned near perfect, anyway. I'll always watch your back, Ray. Where we go from here is up to you."

"Bodie... It's too important... We both need to decide. Together."

Bodie smiled, and raising a hand, almost touched Doyle's cheek. At the last moment, he hesitated. Doyle smiled in return and pressed his hand to the back of Bodie's, guiding it the last few inches until his palm cupped Doyle's cheek.

Doyle's eyes were full of invitation when he asked, "Kiss me?"

"Ray..." Bodie moved forward slowly, brushing their lips together. The velvet flesh felt soft and warm under his mouth. He let out a small moan before he pressed more firmly, while still keeping his kisses light. His lips played across Doyle's for a few moments before he let the tip of his tongue lightly flick out. When Doyle's hands moved to Bodie's shoulders, Bodie smiled against the inviting mouth. "Ah, Christ, Ray," he muttered softly, pulling his partner into his arms. Doyle came willingly, making Bodie chuckle as his arms tightened. His mouth touched Doyle's ear and he whispered, "I'm in love with you, you know."

Bodie felt Doyle stiffen and pull back. He was almost afraid to look into Doyle's eyes; afraid he'd see something he dreaded, rejection; that he'd gone too far with his unplanned admission. Bodie tightly closed his eyes and froze, the heavy, damp night air closing around him. He clamped his lips together tightly.

"Bodie," Doyle said, touching Bodie's lips with a fingertip. "Come on, sunshine. Open those eyes and look at me." Bodie did as bid, as usual. Doyle's voice was a familiar as his own, well-loved and meant to be heeded. "Don't look so frightened!"

"Not," Bodie growled, making Doyle chuckle.

"Right. I can see that. Must have been mistaken. Are you listening? I have something to say, and I'd appreciate it if you'd mind my words." When Doyle seemed satisfied that Bodie was paying attention, he said, "I'm in love with you as well. You daft bastard. I never expected... I didn't think you'd ever say that to me."

"Jeezus, Ray," Bodie said as he yanked him close and clamped their mouths together.

They kissed passionately for many long moments before they broke for a quick breath. Barely sucking in air, they returned to their kissing, hands groping each other clumsily. When Bodie shuddered, Doyle abruptly released him. "For God's sake, Bodie! Are you all right? I almost forgot... Sit down before you fall down!"

Bodie allowed Doyle to guide him back onto the sofa. "Sorry, mate. Got a bit shaky there for a second."

"Are you in pain?"

"No. I'm in shock."

Doyle smiled. "My fault, I suppose."

With an answering smile, Bodie said, "I wasn't expecting this either. I'd hoped, of course, but-"

"You expected rejection," Doyle interrupted. With a look of amused exasperation, he said, "Used to it, I suppose, considering all the birds you've run through the past few years. Not from me, mate. You're stuck with me."

Bodie smiled. "Couldn't think of anybody else I'd rather be stuck with. Reckon it's about the best thing that's happened to me, ever."

"You're a slick-tongued devil, aren't you?" Doyle grinned. "Berk."

Bodie nodded happily. "Like to show you just how slick it can be."

"All right."

Jerking back a few inches, Bodie couldn't keep the surprise from his face when he asked, "As easy as that?"

"As easy as that. What do you say we give that mattress a work-out?"

"I'd say yes."

Together they laughed before Doyle tilted his head. With a groan, he said, "We've just declared our undying love to each other. You know what that means, Bodie?" Puzzled, Bodie shook his head so Doyle added, "The song playing on the radio right now? It's our song now."

Bodie listened for a moment before he screwed up his face and crunched his eyes. "No," he whined. "Any song but that one. It's horrible!"

"But it's our song! For all time." Doyle said dramatically, struggling not to laugh. "It's what was playing when we made our vows, so whenever we hear it, we'll be reminded of our everlasting love." Theatrically, he planted his hand over his heart.

Bodie rolled his eyes and snapped up the torch. With his free hand, he tugged Doyle in the direction of the bedroom. He had to laugh when Doyle started to sing along to the silly song: "An invisible man sleeping in your bed. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!"

Stopping at the foot of the bed, Bodie clasped Doyle's upper arms with his hands. "Invisible man, my arse. You're going to see everything I have on offer."

Bodie was very pleased when Doyle returned his intense look with one of his own and said firmly, "Same here, mate. I'm all yours."

In the tiny bedroom, Bodie felt Doyle tense. His hands fell away and Doyle shook his head as he took a step backwards.

"Ray?" Bodie felt a sudden flush of disappointment wash through him when he saw Doyle start to retreat. He briefly closed his eyes and pursed his lips before he forced himself to look at his partner. "You've changed your mind," he said flatly.

In the glow of the torch, Bodie saw his partner shake his head. "No! It's not that! I'd clean forgotten! You're in no condition to be flopping around, bonking your balls off. You've only been out of hospital-"

Bodie moved quickly, his hands returning to Doyle's upper arms and his mouth fusing onto the lips that were talking way too much. He kissed him roughly, plunging his tongue between yielding lips to take him in a searing kiss. When they finally broke apart, both men were panting harshly. Bodie finally recovered enough to growl, "Satisfied I'm game for this?"

Wide eyes met his, and Doyle nodded dazedly, making Bodie laugh. Doyle grinned in response. "You're game for this, but I'm calling the shots."


"You're going to lie back and let me do the work. It's that or you're on your own tonight, sunshine."

"You're serious," Bodie stated as he let his amused chagrin blaze forth. "That's blackmail!" At Doyle's nonchalant shrug and conspiratorial grin, Bodie glared unsuccessfully until he finally nodded. "All right," he answered as ungraciously as possibly. "Wanker."

"Cheers," Doyle said cheekily. "Now lie down, and I'll be right back."

Bodie sighed dramatically, shaking his head. "Now what?" he said, hating the whine he heard in his voice. Doyle merely laughed.

"You'll see," At Bodie's raised eyebrow, Doyle grinned. "Trust me. Now get them off," he ordered, pointing to Bodie's tracksuit bottoms, "and get your arse into bed."

"You are friggin' bossy!" Bodie yanked off his bottoms. "And hurry up!" he called out as Doyle disappeared, taking the torch and leaving Bodie in darkness. He grinned and climbed onto the bed, waiting for his -- lover's return. His lover; that had a nice ring to it. He blinked into the darkness, his eyes adjusting to the lack of light after a few moments. Fingers of moonlight streaming through the window cast enough illumination into the room that he could see quite clearly now. He watched the night sky through the upper pane of glass. The stars seemed to wink in and out against the black velvet of the night sky. As he observed the clear night, he wondered where his partner was. "Doyle?"

"I'm here," Doyle said, entering the room, carrying the torch. The beam of light bounced off the walls as he set it on the bedside table, along with a blue and white plastic bowl.

"What's that? A snack?" Bodie asked hopefully.

"No, it's not food. Pig." Doyle grinned, stripping off his t-shirt. "You'll see soon enough." He tossed his shirt aside and quickly removed his shoes, socks, jeans, and with just a bit of hesitation, finally his underpants.

Bodie watched Doyle intently. "Nice."

"Thanks." He eyed Bodie's naked form appreciatively for a moment before he shook his head. "You'd be fantastic if you weren't covered in bruises from head to toe! If I get my hands on the bastard who did this-"

"Doyle," Bodie held out his hand, "get your arse over here and stop talking so much!"


"No need. I understand. I'm nervous as well. God, you feel so good!" Bodie pulled Doyle close and began to run his hands over warm flesh before he wrapped an arm around the slim waist and nuzzled Doyle's neck. "What's in the bowl?" he whispered, his mouth moving along as it laid a trail of kisses on tasty skin until he reached Doyle's mouth.

They kissed for a few minutes before Bodie felt the bed jiggle and then let out a yelp of surprise.

"Doyle! That's cold! What is it?"

"Ice cube, you berk." Doyle held up the small cube, grinning.

Bodie clamped a hand over the nipple that Doyle had touched with the cube. "Are you mad? That's freezing!"

"No, just having a bit of fun. It's so hot. I thought this would cool you off. Now lie back and relax."

"Relax? With an ice cube? Ray! Shit, that's cold!"

"That's the idea." Doyle rubbed the cube on Bodie's chest before holding it against one nipple then the other. As he held the cube on Bodie's right nipple, Doyle's mouth licked and sucked the left, making Bodie squirm. Doyle switched places several times until Bodie was shuddering under his lover's fingers and holding Doyle's head against his skin.

"Feels -- weird," Bodie admitted. "But nice. Hot and cold... God!"

As the cube melted, Doyle licked the droplets, moving up to Bodie's neck. He reached into the bowl and snagged another cube, giving Bodie's face and neck the same treatment. He rubbed the cube across Bodie's skin first, then licked up the water. By the time Doyle had moved to Bodie's stomach and attached his naval, Bodie was panting and hard, his cock leaking from his arousal.

"Christ, Ray...." Bodie whispered, moaning. "Don't stop."

"Like that, do you?"

"Uh huh."

Doyle laughed, moving another cube through Bodie's pubic hair. Bodie raised his head when the licking and nuzzling suddenly stopped and glanced down. Doyle smiled up at him and slowly put the cube into his mouth. With an evil grin, he leaned down and sucked the head of Bodie's cock into his mouth, letting the heat of his mouth and the cold of the cube meld together onto the heated skin.

"Ray!" Bodie shouted, thrusting up into the hot cavern surrounding him. Doyle's tongue stroked the underside as he writhed on the bed, and his lover's hands held him firmly as his hips bucked. The combination of hot and cold felt wonderful. He felt himself teeter on the edge of orgasm and reached down to shove Doyle off. "Ray, jeezus... Doyle!"

"What?" Doyle growled. "Can't you see I'm busy down here?"

Bodie laughed. "Christ, Ray, I'm trying to warn you, you daft bugger!"

Doyle looked truly confused. "Warn me?"

"Didn't want to come in your mouth uninvited. Not polite, you know."

Laughing, Doyle wrapped a hand around Bodie's hard cock and stroked. "You are a nutter. Besides," he said leaning down to lick at the fluid dripping from the slit, "you taste grand." With a final grin at his partner, Doyle's mouth wrapped around the cock he held firmly in his grasp and sucked firmly, making Bodie cry out with the sudden sensation.

"Moron," Bodie muttered affectionately, flopping back to let Doyle have his way. Bodie was pleasantly surprised that his partner was such a quick study. Doyle used his lips, teeth and tongue on Bodie's cock. What he lacked in experience, he more than made up in exuberance, and he brought Bodie to the edge of orgasm quickly once again. Bodie closed his eyes, letting himself float on the sensations coursing through him. Then Doyle momentarily moved away, but before Bodie could protest his leaving, the talented mouth was back, nibbling at him, making him squirm again. Blindly seeking more friction, he groaned, pumping his hips. He reached down to touch himself but his hand was batted away.

"Mine," Doyle said firmly.

Bodie opened one eye. "Eh? Possessive little sod."

"Hands off. This is my show tonight, sunshine."

Bodie laughed wildly at the entire situation, amazed at the very idea that Doyle was doing him at all. Doyle pumped Bodie's cock with one hand, and Bodie let out a yelp when he grinned mischievously and grabbed Bodie's balls. "Doyle!"

Doyle laughed when the ice cube he'd concealed in his hand connected with Bodie's sensitive skin. Before he could protest, Doyle once again took Bodie's cock into his mouth, this time taking in as much as possible while his hand rubbed the freezing cube on his balls. Bodie's eyes widened and his mouth fell open, and he thrust wildly into Doyle's throat. The duel sensations warred against each other. His balls were cold; his dick hot. Almost overwhelmed, he felt himself shudder, but before he had a chance to cry out again, his partner's talented fingers found a sensitive spot right behind his balls and teasingly rubbed. Bodie came with a shout that rattled the windows.

Coming back to himself many minutes later, Bodie sighed contentedly. "Bloody hell, Ray, that was fantastic."

Doyle lay snuggled against Bodie's side, his head close as they shared a pillow. "You're welcome."

Bodie roused himself enough to ask, "What about you? Didn't plan on leaving you behind. Not proper at all."

"Too late."

"Eh?" Bodie raised his head to look into his partner's eyes. Doyle grinned sheepishly. "Did you do it yourself already?"

"Didn't get a chance."

Bodie thought for a moment before he grinned. "Doing me got you that hot and bothered, then? Quite the compliment, I must admit."

"Apparently," Doyle said with an embarrassed smile. "Watching you... It was marvellous. Maybe next time?" he asked.

With a chuckle, Bodie kissed Doyle's forehead. "That's a promise."

"Are you any cooler now?"


"Go to sleep, Bodie. You're definitely defying doctor's orders."

"'Night, Ray."

"Love you."

"Hmmm. Is nice, that. Hearing you say it. Hope to hear it every night."

"All right."

"As easy as that?" Bodie asked again.

"Not by a long shot."

Bodie fell asleep with a grin on his face.

"Bodie! For chrissake, Bodie!"

Bodie surfaced slowly, feeling lethargic and groggy. His lungs hurt, and he began coughing harshly. "Ray?" he croaked.

"Bodie, wake up!"

Bodie was yanked upright, and Doyle's hand connected with his cheek, slapping him roughly several times. "Christ, Doyle!" Bodie growled, shoving Doyle way.

"The house is on fire! Get out now!"

"Fire?" he said stupidly, coughing again. "What?"

"Come on, mate," Doyle ordered.

Bodie focused, the smoke irritating his eyes and lungs. He blinked fiercely as his eyes teared and finally seemed to have some control of his body. The smoke made his eyes burn, and his brain felt slow and thick. As he swayed on his feet, he had enough presence of mind to shout, "Hang on! I'm not running outside naked as the day I was born!"

Doyle glared. "You're joking!"

"Am not!" Bodie complained. "Go on! I'll catch up!"

"You are a first class moron! Here!" Doyle yelled, throwing Bodie's tracksuit at him. "Hurry up!"

Bodie yanked on the tracksuit even as Doyle pulled on his arm.

"Put this over your mouth!" Doyle yelled.

Something smacked into Bodie's face. He grabbed at the material and pressed it against his face. The cloth did filter out some of the smoke, and he was finally able to breathe a bit easier as Doyle, with the torch in hand, towed him towards the door.

"Bodie!" Doyle cried as Bodie abruptly stopped, pulling his arm away. "Now what?"

"My gun!" Bodie answered, stumbling back to the bed, where he pulled his weapon out from under the pillow. His brain finally started functioning more clearly, and he knew better than to step outside without his weapon. "Go!" he shouted, following the torch's beam as Doyle raced to the front door.

Bodie stood close to Doyle as he struggled with the locks. He glanced behind him, seeing the fingers of flame reaching toward them from the burning kitchen. A shower of spark flew through the air and landed on the sofa. It smouldered for a moment before the material burst into flames. The small radio that had kept them entertained earlier started to melt in the heat of the sofa's blaze. Finally, Doyle unfastened the last lock and grabbed Bodie's hand, dragging him out into the cool, clear night.

They stumbled onto the pavement when shots rang out. Doyle threw himself at Bodie, and they both landed on the ground hard. Bodie let out a grunt of pain when Doyle fell on top of him.


"I'm okay," he said between clenched teeth. His body screamed in protest as his various healing injuries were jarred harshly.

Two more shots rang out. Bodie heard the bullets thud into the side of the house, well over their heads.

"We need better cover. Head 'round to the right, behind the house. I'll cover you."


"Go!" Doyle raised up slightly and returned fire.

With a growl, Bodie scrambled to his feet and staying low, scuttled forwards while Doyle laid cover fire. He lurched around the side of the house and fell to his bum, back to the wall. "Doyle!" he shouted, shooting his own weapon towards the wall where he thought he'd seen muzzle fire. Doyle moved quickly, joining Bodie in moments. Skirting around him, Doyle sat down, his back against the wall as well.

"We need to get out of here. This place is going to burn."

As if Doyle's words were the catalyst, a shower of sparks exploded from the roof to rain down on their heads and around their feet. "Shit!" Bodie rose, keeping his back firmly pressed to the wooden wall while he brushed a hand through his hair as the sparks fell.

Doyle leaned closer to Bodie. "We can't go out the back garden. It's open for miles that way. Whoever this is, he's bound to see us in the moonlight. If he has a long-distance scope..."

"We can't stay here, mate. We'll be well toasted in minutes. This place is a tinderbox."

"I'll draw his fire, and you go for the car. Here are the keys."

"I don't bloody need the keys! You hold the keys."

"If I don't make it, you'll need the keys!"

"Moron," Bodie growled. "I'm not going without you!"

"One of us needs to call for help."

"Where's your R/T?"

"In the sodding house!"

"Oh, good plan that is. The car it is, mate. You go first."

"Not on your life."


"Dumb crud."

"Doyle!" Bodie said with exasperation.

"Ready? On three. Three, two-"

Bodie quickly wrapped his hand around Doyle's neck and brought their lips together roughly. He kissed him hard for a moment before he let go. "One."

Doyle leaned out and fired while Bodie raced for the Capri. Shots rang out from the sniper. Bodie chanced a glance to his left, taking better care to mark the sniper's muzzle report as Doyle fired. He dove to the ground, but not before he realised that none of the shots had even come the least bit close. They were wild and poorly aimed. Ignoring his body's protests at the rough treatment, Bodie scrambled to his knees and rested his elbow on the bonnet as he took aim and started shooting to lay cover for Doyle. Even the most inept sniper could hit a target once in a while, he reckoned, and he'd be damned if this bastard's target would be his partner.

Doyle sprinted across the distance from the house to the Capri. The house was now fully engulfed in flames, and the light from the fire lit up their hiding spot clearly. The sniper shot again, but once more, the bullets didn't even hit the car, let alone either man hiding behind it.

"Sodding amateur," Bodie growled, checking his clip. "I'm down to one round."

"I have a spare clip.

"Where'd you have it? In your arse?"

Doyle chuckled dryly. "We all have our secrets, sunshine."

"You're a daft nutter, Doyle."

"Ta for that."

"Did you notice this idiot can't hit the broad side of a barn?"

"And you're complaining?"

"No, just making mention of the fact. You'd think a sniper would be better trained."

"Lucky for us."

"Strange... The bomb was poorly made and detonated too soon. Now he's a bad shot."

"What are you getting at?"

"Whoever it is, they're not very good at the assassination game."

"And you'd be happier if they were more competent?" Doyle asked incredulously.

"No, berk. I'm saying he's an amateur, and that we can take this nutter, for once and for all. We're better than he is, after all," Bodie added smartly.

Doyle raised an eyebrow. Another shot rang out. The bullet went wide, thudding into the dirt twenty feet away. They both scrunched down instinctively before they looked at each other. "What's the plan?" Doyle asked.

"There's enough cover for me to go straight at him. He's behind that wall, forty yards ahead. I saw his muzzle fire."

"I'll go 'round back."

"Give you two minutes."


Bodie watched his partner as he carefully kept out of the fire's light and disappeared from sight. He laid out his path: around the Capri, behind the wooden fence, across a small garden bordered by a four-foot hedge, then through the opening in the wall behind which the sniper lay hidden.

With the ease of experienced partners, Bodie knew exactly when Doyle was within striking distance. He knew that Doyle would give the sniper a chance to surrender if he could, and he wanted to be sure to be where he needed to be in case the nutter pulled anything and he could cover his partner. Doyle might give the arsehole a chance to give up, but Bodie might not be as amenable this night. He made his move.

When Bodie advanced, another shot was fired at him, but he wasn't surprised any longer when the shots, while definitely aimed at him, missed by a wide margin. None of them seemed to come within four feet of him since he'd been noticing the poor marksmanship. Either this moron was half-blind or half-pissed, or plain incompetent. With a snicker, he hoped that the assassin hadn't been paid in advance for his services.

Bodie had made it to the opening in the brick wall when he heard Doyle's voice call out, "Drop the rifle, or I'll drop you where you stand!"

Bodie ran forward just as the sniper was surrendering. In the moonlight, he could see the glint of the weapon as it was tossed aside. Doyle was already on the sniper, turning him and shoving him hard into the brick wall.

"Hands back!" Doyle ordered. Bodie could clearly hear the snap of Doyle's handcuffs.

Bodie arrived as Doyle grabbed the sniper by the back of the shirt and spun him around, pushing him back against the wall.

Bodie looked into the shadowed face of the sniper. "What the-," he growled, grabbing the man by the shirt and dragging him forward a few feet into the flickering light of the house's blazing fire. He pulled the man's cap from his head. Long, dark hair fell around the sniper's shoulders. The sniper's face turned towards him. The eyes were wide, but the mouth was turned upwards in a cold grin. Bodie's eyes widened as recognition set in. "Bloody hell! It's a damned girl!"

"Carol Forrest. I'd never have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself." Bodie sighed tiredly, his head falling back against the headrest.

Doyle shifted into fourth and turned onto the motorway, merging into the early morning traffic. "Wasn't your fault, Bodie."

"Didn't think it was. I'm just -- surprised. She seemed so quiet and friendly when I met her at her folks' place."

"Before or after you burst in, accusing her father of being involved in two bombings?"

"You know he was guilty as sin!"

"Calm down, mate. I know he was. She's a nutter, Bodie."

"I didn't know about her folks... that Forrest died in the nick, and that her mum turned alcoholic. Not her fault her family screwed up." Bodie fell silent, remembering the fresh-faced girl he'd spoken to that day, right after the restaurant bombing.

Bodie could feel Doyle's gaze on him, but he stayed quiet. Doyle finally said, "Thank God she was an incompetent criminal, or you'd be history."

Bodie snorted with cold amusement. "I'm grateful."

"I didn't mean- Christ, Bodie, I'm glad you weren't hurt any worse, but you were still injured! I care about that, in case you've forgotten! She did hurt you and would have killed you if she could have!"

Bodie sighed, closing his eyes. "Sorry, sunshine. Don't pay any attention to me. I'm plain knackered."

"I know you are. I'm sorry as well. Shouldn't have snapped at you like that. You've had a rough time of it."

"I'm fine." Bodie opened his eyes to glance over at Doyle. The care and concern for him radiated from every pore of his partner's being. He finally smiled. "And hungry."

Doyle cast over a warm smile in response. "Of course you are."

"Your place or mine?"

"Mine. I have that big bath."

Bodie stared at the side of Doyle's head as his partner focused on his driving. "Eh?"

"Yeah," Doyle said with a grin. "You need a good scrubbing. And I'm just the man to give it to you."

Bodie smiled. "That sounds quite interesting."

"You'll like it. Trust me."

"That's what you said last night."

"And did you?"

"Did I what?"

"Like it, you moron!"


They both grinned.

"Be home in ten minutes," Doyle offered, changing lanes.

"Like the sound of that -- home. You and me, mate."

Bodie watched Doyle intently, and he was pleased to see a grin cross his partner's lips. "Yeah," Doyle said simply.

Grinning himself, Bodie leaned forward to switch on the radio. "Shall we try our luck again?"

Doyle nodded. "Might as well. Who knows? Today might be our lucky day again."

The radio crackled to life, and the words to the song playing echoed through the Capri: The wild boys are calling, on their way back from the fire; In august moon's surrender to a dust cloud on the rise...

Bodie looked at Doyle, who glanced back at him before they both started to laugh. Doyle pulled into the car park next to his flat block and turned off the engine. They sat and listened to the rest of the song together, Bodie's fingers entwined with Doyle's.

Wild boys never lose it; wild boys never chose their way; wild boys never close your eyes; wild boys always shine...

"Come on, you," Doyle said. "I have plans."

Bodie smiled. "Cheers, my wild boy. Lead the way."

-- THE END --

August 2007

Songs references:
Eugene Wilde -- Gotta Get You Home Tonight
Frankie Goes To Hollywood -- The Power of Love
Elvis Presley -- King Creole
Murray Head -- One Night In Bangkok
Ray Parker Jr. -- Ghostbusters
Duran Duran -- The Wild Boys

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