Written for "Discovered in the Brandy Butter," on the discoveredinalj livejournal community, to the prompts "pigs in a blanket" and " Theakston's Old Peculier"
"Do your worst, Weaver said."
Doyle bit back the words, 'I was there, pillock.' Bodie needed to talk things out; especially after a mission went tits-up.
"Like waving a red flag," Bodie added.
Doyle felt exhausted. Ever since the shooting, it took less to wear him down.
"Did you see the look on the Cow's face?"
Doyle had. The look in Cowley's eyes had chilled him to his bones.
"Dick Weaver thinks he's above the law because he's a politician," Bodie said. "Daft bastard isn't going to like it when Cowley does his worst."
"None of us are." Doyle predicted.
Bodie elbowed him hard, but Doyle ignored the warning. "It's not right. We're overstepping our bounds."
"What Doyle's saying is--"
"3.7, it's not your job to translate," Cowley growled. "Any more than it's 4.5's job to dictate CI5 policy."
"This isn't about CI5, sir," Doyle countered. "This is a personal vendetta. Dick Weaver beats you at your own game, and --"
"4.5, you will follow your orders or you will hand in your resignation."
Bodie grabbed him by the arm, and Doyle felt his resolve falter. "Yes, sir."
"Idiot," Bodie hissed at him as they left Cowley's office.
"Yes," Doyle agreed.
Doyle couldn't focus on his surroundings. Instead, he kept remembering his old friend, Philip Cook. He'd followed Doyle into CI5, and hadn't lived long enough to see his second child born. Philip's wife, June, had lashed out at Doyle, calling him a selfish bastard. She hadn't spoken to him since.
A warm hand on his shoulder caught Doyle's attention. "You okay, mate?" Bodie asked him.
"Look, he was a bad man."
"Because Cowley said so?" Doyle demanded.
"Cowley's a good judge of--"
"No." Doyle's hand involuntarily crumpled Dick Weaver's suicide note. "Cowley's set himself up as judge, jury and executioner."
This Court of Inquiry promised to be worse than the one after Paul Coogan's death. Geraldine Mather was back for blood.
She grilled Doyle on Weaver's suspected dealings with the Soviets, and CI5's failure to prove anything other than his mistress' preference for red lingerie.
Last time, Doyle had listened to Bodie's arguments that he wasn't responsible. Now all he saw was Dick Weaver, hanging from his neck.
"Mr. Cowley then ordered you to increase the pressure on Mr. Weaver, correct?"
Last time, Doyle had defended his own actions.
"How?" Geraldine demanded.
"We mailed the photographs to his wife."
"I would have done the same, in your place," Murphy said.
Doyle just nodded, and kept cleaning out his desk. He could hear angry shouts from the hallway. After his testimony, Doyle almost expected a bullet in his back. If Tommy were alive, he'd be sure of it.
Bodie stomped in and Murphy retreated. Doyle closed up the box he'd packed. "Stop defending me."
"You're my partner." Bodie's voice was strained.
"You're still my mate, you stupid git!"
Doyle decided it wasn't worth getting punched over. Eventually, Bodie would figure out how much this job held them together.
The two of them held a wake for CI5 at Bodie's local.
"The Cow's lined up jobs for almost everybody," Bodie said. "MI6, SAS, even Scotland Yard. Murphy's taking the civil service exam."
Doyle snorted. "Perfect. What about you?"
"Might go back to the SAS for a bit." Bodie shrugged. "You going on the dole, you lazy sod?"
Doyle remembered joining CI5 for the same reason he'd become a copper. Both times he'd ended up hating his job. Hating himself even more.
Fuck making a difference, Doyle thought. "I'm going back to art school."
"Pull the other one!"
Bodie dropped by every Saturday, driving Doyle barmy.
Life was simple for Bodie. He had a new job that allowed him to play cowboy. Bodie wasn't haunted by his past.
Sick to death of Bodie's determination to cheer him up, Doyle shouted, "All we had in common was the job and sex!"
He expected the shove, but not the hard kiss. Nor the smug look from Bodie. "We've still got the sex, right sunshine?"
Doyle laughed. He'd underestimated the man. Simple didn't mean simpleton.
"Yes," Doyle agreed. This part of his life in CI5 had never caused him any guilt.
"If I could paint like that I'd just paint naked birds." Bodie said, appraising Doyle's unfinished work.
"Not naked blokes?" Doyle asked.
Bodie's grin was cocky. "I'm the only bloke I know worth painting."
"I could paint you in the nuddy."
"Could cover up your dangly-bits. I'll title the masterpiece 'Fascist Pig in a Blanket'."
Bodie tackled him, and soon they were wrapped up in each other.
"Behave," Doyle said, "or I won't conceal your tattoo that says 'Mum'."
Bodie thumped him and then kissed it better. "Paint me with your tongue."
"How I suffer for my art."
During the Falklands War, Doyle had been tempted. However, it was only after Maggie Thatcher's second victory at the polls that he stopped slamming his phone down and actually listened.
Just do it for the dosh, he thought. Bodie kept telling him he made other starving artists look like porkers.
His potential client took one look at him, and yelled at his counsel, "This bastard's one of them!"
"Fine, get banged up under the latest Prevention of Terrorism Act," Doyle said. "Or take the risk of listening to someone who wasn't always on your side."
Geraldine Mather smiled at Doyle.
About to leave the Old Bailey, Doyle came to an abrupt halt instead. "Sir?"
"Stand easy, Doyle." Cowley smiled.
"I thought you were retired," Doyle blurted out.
"Oh I keep my hand in, here and there."
Doyle was suddenly reminded of the old Brigadier General. Cowley was likely more powerful now than when he'd been held accountable to a Minister.
"You've done well with this consulting business of yours," Cowley said. "I'm proud of you, lad."
Doyle stared at his former boss and sometime foe. "Proud?"
"I taught you how to fight."
Speechless, Doyle watched Cowley stride away.
"Keep still," Doyle ordered.
"My nose itches."
Doyle switched brushes. "I'm never hiring another merc as a model."
"It's called private security nowadays. I'm respectable."
"Not to Amnesty International, you're not." Doyle frowned at the canvas.
"I helped those wankers shut down one of your less respectable employers," Doyle reminded him.
Bodie shrugged. "Always plenty of work to be found saving the world."
"That's my job, and stop moving about."
Doyle smirked. "Yes, I'd noticed."
"That tears it." Bodie marched over and snatched away his paint brush. "Time to consort with the enemy."
"Do your worst," Doyle said.
-- THE END --