Food of the Gods

by




Written for "Discovered in the Brandy Butter," on the discoveredinalj livejournal community, to the prompt "hot chocolate"



"Christ, it's colder than a witch's tit out there," Bodie grumbled, an arctic blast of air accompanying his precipitous retreat back to the comparative warmth of the surveillance van.

Comparative being the key word. Hunched behind the steering wheel, only his green eyes visible above the gaily coloured scarf wrapped tightly around his neck, and only a few stray curls escaping the matching woolly hat he'd jammed firmly down over his ears, Doyle shot his partner a ratty glare.

"Close the bloody door," he snapped, the words lingering in the air like little, emphatic cartoon balloons.

"The thought never occurred to me," Bodie sarkily replied. "Never mind if my feet aren't quite inside. Or that I almost froze me best bits off taking a piss out there."

"Stop swilling tea like there's no tomorrow," came Doyle's unsympathetic advice. "Maybe that will help you keep your zip up."

"Tea is the only thing standing between me and a slow, cold death," Bodie huffed.

Doyle swabbed his gloved hand across the windscreen in reply, clearing a peephole free of fog before frost had a chance to claim it. As it had already claimed most of the glass.

"Christ, Ray," Bodie moaned. "Where in the bleeding rule book does it say we have to freeze our balls off? Can't you crank up the heat a bit now and then? There's no one out there to see. This obbo is rubbish, and you know it."

"I know it," Doyle quietly agreed. "There hasn't been a trace of movement over there in the past three days according to the log book, never mind the past three hours. Yet, here we sit, like a couple of ninnies... My guess is Harnell's lot all scarpered off home for Christmas ages ago. It's obvious the old man has us barking up the wrong tree... But do you want to be the one to tell him that?"

"And chance ruining his Christmas bonhomie?" Bodie snorted. "I don't think so, mate." He wriggled his head a little further down into his collar and fumbled for the thermos safely stashed behind his seat.

Doyle heaved a gusty sigh... and reached out to wipe the resulting condensation away. "You," he predicted, "are going to make yourself sick."

"What? On tea? Nah... food of the gods, this," Bodie said, smacking his lips appreciatively.

"No," Doyle corrected absentmindedly, distracted by a furtive motion that turned out to be a moggie investigating a dustbin. "That would be chocolate."

"Eh?"

"Chocolate," Doyle repeated. "Aztecs. Cacao beans. CortÚs. Any of that ring a bell?"

"I must have slept through the documentary."

"And public school as well," Doyle teased.

"Be that as it may," Bodie said loftily, "I'll take a good, old-fashioned, hot rum toddy over a plain mug of cocoa any day."

"As would I," Doyle nodded. "But we're not talking about cocoa -- or, worse, that nasty instant powder. I mean hot chocolate. Pure, melted chocolate. That's the food of the gods, Bodie. And it's not half decadent when it's properly made. Should be right up your alley, mate. Top it off with a Swiss roll or two. Your arteries will never know what hit 'em."

"Chocolate, eh?" Bodie mused. "Might be you're on to something, old son. Maybe I am due a drink that's worthy of my god-like physique. So, if you're offering..."

"Who says I'm offering?" Doyle barked. "Make your own damned hot chocolate."

"Don't know how, do I?" Bodie fluttered his eyelashes, camping it up outrageously. "Ah, c'mon, darlin', it can be me Christmas prezzie."

"Your mum never--"

"My mum," Bodie said darkly, "did many things. But making hot chocolate for me was not one of them."

Doyle felt himself melting, moved more by sympathy for Bodie's past hurts than he was by his partner's manipulative wheedling in the present. "Ahhhh.... Ummm... Well, then..." he dithered. And knew the battle was lost when Bodie began to gleefully rub his hands together and compose a shopping list.

"That's assuming we get out of here in time to celebrate Christmas," Doyle warned.

"I've been a very good boy this year," Bodie grinned, his confidence unaffected by the unhappy circumstances of the moment. "Father Christmas will reward me."

"Unfortunately, Father Cowley's not as soft a touch," Doyle grunted. "But never mind," he said brightly, a few moments later, in response to Bodie's pout. "If you're wrong, we can always burn the lump of coal he leaves in your stocking."



The obbo was officially a bust. Not a creature was stirring, not even a fucking mouse. Not that Bodie could have spotted that mythical rodent had it poked its furry face right up against the windscreen. It was snowing too bloody hard for that. And it was too damned cold for mice to be out prancing about. Any mouse with a shred of sense was tucked up safe in its wee bed, dreaming of sugar plums -- or whatever the hell it is that mice dream about when they dream.

"S'too bad men aren't as sensible as mice," Doyle agreed, when Bodie proposed the fanciful notion to him later that afternoon, both men shuddering from the cold and thoroughly fed up with their lot in life.

To no one's surprise, it took George Cowley until 18:00 to grudgingly agree to close the op down.

Bodie and Doyle were just relieved to learn that they were heading home at all.

As Doyle eased the obbo van into motion and turned the heater up full blast, Bodie shivered and squirmed in his seat, trying to convince his aching bladder that it could wait a few minutes longer. Until they happened across a petrol station with a nice warm public toilet. Or, better still, they might spot a nice coffee shop. That would go down a treat. Not that Doyle looked as if he could be convinced to stop. Traffic was bumper to bumper, the blind following the blind, inching their cautious way through the vicious storm which had settled across the greater part of Europe, seemingly in answer to someone's misguided wish for a white Christmas.

"No point risking pulling over, is there?" Doyle snarled, knuckles white against the dark leather of the steering wheel. "Might not get moving again."

Bodie was beginning to seriously regret those last few cups of tea.

"Bloody Cowley," he groused. "Bloody waste of time."

Doyle made a humming noise of agreement, and laid onto the horn as the vehicle in front of them came to an abrupt halt.

The cosy glow of a grocer's shop drew Bodie's eye. Wistfully, he eyed the festive green and red lights beckoning shoppers inside, promising a little last minute Christmas cheer at a reasonable price.

Why not? he mused.

He was out of the van before Doyle found the breath to bellow, "Bodie!" And he was back again, bladder problem solved, a bulging carrier bag held to his chest, before traffic had crawled more than a few pitiful car lengths forward.

"Stupid berk!" Doyle said by way of a greeting as Bodie slouched back down beside him. "Don't think I wouldn't have left you standing out there in a snowdrift."

"I know you would, sunshine," Bodie beamed. "I'd do the same for you."



Doyle's flat being marginally closer, by tacit agreement, they made that their destination. It was well past 20:00 when Doyle finally bumped the van's tyres up against the kerb outside his building. He spared an idle hope that the suspicious mound of snow off to his right was just a drift, not a fire hydrant. Not that he gave a flying fuck if the damned van got towed. He couldn't care less if he never saw that bloody freezer on wheels again. Laughing like giddy children as their feet skidded this way and that on the slippery patches of ice that had turned the pristine sidewalk into a minefield, they slogged their way across drifts and up stairs. The sudden blast of warm air that greeted them as Doyle finally coaxed his key into a stubborn lock and tugged the door open wide was almost painful in its intensity. Bodie stifled a moan. Doyle simply closed his eyes and sagged against the wall, too drained to even consider flicking on the lights or closing the door. Bodie quietly managed both tasks, before allowing his carrier bag to drop to the floor.

"I'll rustle up something for dinner," he nobly offered. "You go and have a soak in the tub -- save me some hot water, mind! Then you can whip us up some hot chocolate while I have my bath."

"Have a heart, Bodie. I'll do it tomorrow."

"Tonight," Bodie said firmly. "You promised."

"I never said--"

"It was strongly implied. Ah, c'mon, Ray. It's Christmas Eve -- Christ, it's almost Christmas! What better time for you to share your magic elixir? Let's put a happy finish to this day from hell."

Doyle wandered off down the hall towards his bath, mumbling something about 'the patience of a saint' and 'the bloody cheek of some people'. Bodie grinned, and took himself and the carrier bag off to the kitchen.

It was fortunate he'd made a mad dash into the shop. Mother Hubbard's cupboards were decidedly bare. Not an unusual happenstance given the irregularity of their working hours, but unfortunate indeed, when time off coincided with a public holiday. Efficiently, Bodie set a pot of water on the cooker to boil and emptied spaghetti sauce from its bottle into another pan. By the time the sauce was simmering and the spaghetti was ready to be drained, Doyle's nose had led him back to the kitchen. He sliced a loaf of bread while Bodie set the table. Together, they sat down and tucked into the feast, their first decent meal of the day consumed in a comfortable, companionable silence, marked only by the whisper of snowflakes against the windowpane and the occasional scrape of cutlery against a plate.

Bodie mopped up the last of trace of tomato with a crust of bread, and leaned back with a satisfied sigh. "My turn in the tub," he declared. "Leave this lot, I'll tidy it up later. I don't want you weaselling out of making me my treat with some lame excuse that you were too busy cleaning up my mess to be bothered."

"One track mind," Doyle muttered, rolling his eyes because he knew it was expected of him, but there was no venom behind the jibe. Dry and warm and fed, he was prepared to be magnanimous. "Go on, then," he gestured towards the bath, "I assume you know where everything is?"

"Have done since I was a lad," Bodie tipped his partner a cheeky wink and quickly ruffled a hand through freshly laundered curls, dancing lightly out of reach when Doyle aimed a half-hearted punch his way.

"Prat," Doyle said affectionately.

Bodie stuck out his tongue and swaggered off down the hall. Soon his dulcet tones and happy splashing informed all within hearing distance that he believed in miracles. "Where you from, you sexy thing," he warbled joyfully.

Doyle laughed and dragged himself over to the cooker. He took great pleasure in the preparation of the promised drink, diligently melting the sweet chocolate tucked in Bodie's shopping bag with a care to not scorching it or the hot milk. A dash of vanilla... a sprinkle of cinnamon... Doyle was just whipping cream into a froth when a familiar presence padded up behind him. Standing close, but not quite touching, Bodie peered around Doyle's shoulder and gave the saucepan an appreciative sniff.

"Mmm," he said approvingly. "That smells fantastic."

Indeed it did, but then, so did Bodie. Doyle's eyes widened slightly, and he quickly turned to the cooker to give the chocolate an unnecessarily vigorous stir.

Where did that thought come from? he wondered uneasily. That's my soap, my shampoo and my deodorant that he's got on. Nothing new about that... nothing new about Bodie helping himself to my after-shave either... or my dressing gown... or my best pair of socks...

A large splatter of hot chocolate landed on the back of Doyle's left hand and, automatically, he brought the droplet to his lips, gently suckling on the flesh to ease the pain. He felt the weight of Bodie's eyes upon him, watching his every move. But when he lifted his gaze from his burned hand, Bodie's face was a careful blank. Not a trace of what he was thinking was in evidence.

"Hand us over a couple of mugs, Bodie," Doyle said quietly. Quickly he tilted the saucepan and poured each of them equal measures of the chocolate. A generous dollop of whipped cream, topped with nutmeg, followed. He was vaguely pleased to note that his hand was completely steady as he handed one of the mugs over to his still silent partner, even though their fingers brushed as the exchange was made. Bodie's little flinch at the brief contact did not seem worthy of mention.

"Careful, it's hot," he warned.

Bodie nodded and gave the rich liquid in his mug a careful sip. His eyes closed, a look of ecstasy upon his face as he took a second, deeper taste.

Doyle swallowed too, though he did not touch his drink. "Is it good?" he whispered.

"Oh, yes," Bodie sighed, his voice a reverent murmur; a rumbling, contented purr of delight. "It's good. Bloody good." A warm blue gaze fastened on Doyle's lips, then slid quickly past them to focus on his untouched cup. "Why aren't you drinking, Ray?"

Doyle hastily took a mouthful and sputtered as it promptly went down the wrong pipe.

"Careful," Bodie chided, thumping him solidly on the back. "Mind what you're about."

"M'fine," Doyle coughed. "Stop fussing."

"But you've sprayed it all over me." Bodie complained, pulling the vee of his borrowed dressing gown a little wider, revealing moist beads of chocolate dotting his creamy bare skin, and a rosy nipple peeking shyly out from a sparse nest of dark curls.

Doyle busied himself with gulping down another mouthful of the scalding liquid.

"Christ, you're a messy beggar," Bodie said fondly, setting his half emptied mug on the counter and reaching out to remove it's tilted, still full mate from Doyle's desperate grasp before its sticky contents spilled to the floor. "It's all over your face..." A gentle hand reached out to scrub at an offending spot of chocolate, fingers cool against the pink flush which was slowly rising to Doyle's cheeks.

Doyle's eyes were huge as his gaze warily lifted to meet Bodie's. But if he expected to find mockery on his partner's face, he did not find it. Bodie's smile was sweet and unguarded. Unblinking, Doyle stared at a matching blob of chocolate on Bodie's cheek. Unthinkingly, his hand came up to touch the dark smear, further melting it into the pale skin. And there they stood, frozen statues in the warm kitchen, as slow minutes passed and the hiss and patter of the storm faded before the drumbeat of two swiftly pounding hearts.

Bodie was the first to drop his gaze, though it fell only as far as the whipped cream moustache dangling above Doyle's slightly parted lips. "You know, professor," he managed in a hushed and husky voice, "in many cultures, chocolate is considered to be an aphrodisiac..."

"I wouldn't know," Doyle whispered. "Never needed to, did I?"

"No... No, I don't suppose a sexy little bugger like you would need any outside assistance..."

Whatever response Doyle might have made to this startling pronouncement was interrupted by two very firm lips capturing his own.

And, oh, the taste of chocolate might be sweet, but the taste of this first kiss was sweeter. Bodie's arms were sure and warm and welcomed Doyle home; his tongue carried the heat of the hot chocolate deep into Doyle's soul, warming every corner of his heart.

Doyle melted into the embrace, returning it as fiercely as he could, demanding more... and Bodie eagerly complied, deepening the kiss, his hands petting and soothing, exciting and inciting all at once.

Bodie licked the final remnants of cream and chocolate from around Doyle's mouth, then meekly submitted as Doyle returned the favour. Nor did he offer a word of protest when Doyle's head bent down, chasing the scattered drops of chocolate on Bodie's chest. But a startled gasp of pleasure escaped his lips as Doyle's clever tongue began a thorough investigation of a sensitive nipple, and Doyle's heavy-lidded gaze instantly lifted, a shy smile quirking the corner of his mouth.

"Like that, do you?" Doyle murmured.

Beyond words, Bodie merely nodded.

"Yeah... thought you might." Doyle's head bowed back down to its self-appointed task. "Can think of some other things you might like," he whispered wickedly, rubbing his cheek against Bodie's breast, and he felt the startled hitch Bodie gave as he gulped in a breath of air.

Again Doyle's eyes lifted, and he felt his own breathing quicken as he took in the dazed look of longing suffusing Bodie's face.

"You're beautiful," he said quietly. "Told me you are often enough... but did you know that I happen to agree with you?" Lithely, Doyle straightened from his folded pose, and reached out to hold Bodie's face between his hands. "Did you know that I've wanted to paint a portrait of you for, oh, forever? That I've tried a hundred times, but I can't capture your likeness on canvas..."

"Ray--" Bodie started, but Doyle leaned forward to silence him with a soul deep kiss.

"I've worked it out, Bodie. I've finally worked out a way to paint you." Doyle reached past Bodie and dipped his fingers into a slowly cooling mug of chocolate; deliberately, he smeared a line of the creamy liquid down Bodie's ribs. A second dip into the cup, and Doyle traced a careful path to Bodie's heart. A third time, and his touch inched its way down, down towards Bodie's straining cock. And, then, Doyle's lips followed where his hands led...



"Happy Christmas, Ray," Bodie murmured, much, much later, as dawn found them curled around each other in Doyle's rumpled bed. The litter of their eager unwrapping of each other lay strewn in a telling trail from the kitchen to the bedroom. Stubborn remnants of melted chocolate stained twined limbs and dribbled onto twisted, satin sheets.

"Happy Christmas, love," Doyle replied, contentedly nuzzling his way southward on the finest gift he'd ever found stuffed in his stocking.

And a very happy Christmas it was. Quite the best either man had ever known. On this, and many other delicate points, they wholeheartedly agreed. But it took considerable persuasion on Doyle's part to get Bodie to concede that, from this day on, they would take it in turns to make each other hot chocolate -- and they'd share in cleaning up the resultant mess as well!

-- THE END --

December 2007



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