Redemption - Of a Sort


Written for the "Discovered in Fallen Leaves" challenge on the discoveredinalj livejournal community.

"You're a moron," Ray Doyle said to himself as he stood on the pavement below Bodie's window. He wondered if his coming here would only compound one of the worst mistakes of his life, but he had to do this. He had to apologise. Had to make Bodie understand.

He buried his clenched hands deep in his jacket pockets and glanced up, letting his gaze play along the brick facade until he picked out the window to Bodie's flat. He stared at the square of glass three floors above his head, wishing he had some special powers so that he could see inside.

He wondered if his partner was home. It was with a wash of anxiety he also wondered whether, if Bodie were home, he would even let him in.

Doyle stood for a few seconds as he tried to decide what he should do. Fate answered his question with the arrival of a group of teenagers, four in all, walking home from the local shops or cinema. They walked by, two boys paired with two girls, arm in arm, and up the steps to the security door. One of the girls flourished a key.

Not giving himself time to change his mind, Doyle ran up the steps and grabbed the door before it closed. The quartet gave him curious glances.

"Visiting me mum," he said in answer to their unspoken questions.

The guys rolled their eyes, and the girls glanced at him through long eyelashes and covered their mouths with their hands, laughing from behind them. He forced himself to give a grin, making them giggle even louder. He saw that they both had accented their fingernails with bright pink nail polish. Then he told himself that was a daft thing to notice. With a final small smile, Doyle nodded his thanks. As the group walked away, the girls leaned their heads together, whispering. No doubt exchanging words about how strange old blokes were.

After a parting glance, he put the group out of his mind and looked about him, unconsciously scanning his surroundings for anything out of the ordinary. Not sensing anything amiss, he took the steps two at a time, and once he reached the third floor, he walked down the hallway towards Bodie's flat. As he rounded the corner, he stopped dead in his tracks, quickly pulling his weapon. Bodie's door stood ajar, a dark, uninviting portal.

On full alert, Doyle edged forward, hugging the wall, grateful that his steps were muffled on the carpeting. Once he made his way to the entrance, he peered into the blackness.

No light filtered out, and as he listened, he couldn't detect any signs of life from within. He gripped his weapon firmly and cautiously pushed the door back against the wall.

"Bodie!" he called softly.

No answer. Doyle silently entered the flat. He stood for a moment, listening carefully, every nerve tense, every sense on edge. The utter silence made him twitch, and with a tense hand, he reached for the light switch.


The voice came from his right, the word barked out harshly. Instinctively, he fell to one knee, gun thrust towards the voice as he spun in that direction.


"Yeah. Who were you expecting? Father Christmas?"

Doyle let out a sigh of relief. The words were light-hearted, yet spoken with -- contempt. And something else...

"Why are you in the dark?"

"Don't turn on the fucking light!"

Doyle paused. Bodie's voice sounded thick and heavy, slightly slurred and tinged with anger, as if he were struggling to control himself, to control his emotions.

"Okay, mate," Doyle said placatingly.

He holstered his gun as he rose. He blinked in the dark, unable to see much of anything. As his eyes adjusted, and with the light from the hallway, he could just about make out Bodie's shape against the lighter material of the sofa.

"I'm going to set the locks."

Receiving no response either for or against this suggestion, Doyle turned and pushed the door shut, flipping the locks and effectively plunging the room into total darkness. Biting down on irritation, he said, "Left the door wide open. That's not very-"

A derisive snicker cut him off firmly, and Doyle immediately knew this evening would most likely not go well, for either of them. He sighed and scrubbed his face with his hands. Generally, he knew how to handle Bodie. After all, they'd been through a lot together, but tonight, Doyle felt at a complete loss.

Bodie had suffered today. Not only had his former lover been killed in front of him, but he'd been betrayed by his own partner. Doyle grimaced. He'd followed Bodie as if he were some common thug. Cowley's orders, but still, it didn't sit right, what he'd done.

Finally, Doyle asked the inevitable. "Are you all right?"

"Explain 'all right'," Bodie said sharply. "Lots of ways to be all right, aren't there? You can be all right when you've just been shot, if the bullet misses vital organs. You can be all right when you've had a few belts of good scotch." Doyle heard the rustle of clothing as Bodie shifted. "You can be all right when you see somebody you once cared -- about-" The words straggled and then stopped. The silence lengthened between them, black as the room itself.

When Doyle could take no more of it, he said, "Come on, Bodie. I can't see a bloody thing! And I want to talk to you. It's important."

He heard Bodie's snort of amusement, but the sound wasn't jovial, and Bodie's tone was cool and smug when he drawled out, "Right. I can just imagine."

Doyle stumbled toward the sofa. In his mind's eye, he conjured up a picture of the lamp located next to it. He shuffled forwards, one hand reaching out. His toe connected with a hard surface, and the next thing he heard was the sound of breaking glass as something fell and hit the floor. The sudden noise echoed through the darkness, brittle and sharp, making him jump.

"For chrissake, Bodie!"

A dramatic sigh, clearly exaggerated, echoed in the dark. "If you insist... "

"I insist!" Doyle demanded.

The lamp clicked on, and soft light bathed the room.

"Happy?" Bodie asked, sounding far from convivial.

"Not hardly," Doyle grumbled, slumping into the chair beside the couch. He glanced at his partner, the low-watt lamp still not quite bright enough to dispel the gloom that permeated the room.

A study of Bodie's face told Doyle, much to his consternation, that he was beyond angry, beyond feeling much of anything. His eyes were dark and clouded, devoid of all emotion, and Doyle suddenly wished that Bodie was merely angry. He'd rather have the sharp edge of his partner's tongue than this. This Bodie, with a face that seemed to have been carved from a slab of marble. Smooth and -- dead.


Bodie stared at him. His eyes revealed nothing at all, making Doyle swallow hard. He didn't know where to start, but this had to be done. Bodie had to be made to understand. Doyle refused to let the day end like this.

"Leave it." Bodie suddenly sounded so beaten down, so tired, that Doyle almost conceded, but something urged him on.

"Can't. I have to explain."

"I know."


"All of it. You. Her... She was in the thick of it."

"No! I spoke to her. She sat in my flat and told me! She cared for you!"

"Then she had you fooled as well." Bodie's gaze never faltered.

"I can't believe that. She-"

"She was an actress," Bodie said patiently, giving Doyle a quick look of pity. "That means she was acting. Playing a part. She was good, that much I'll grant you."

Doyle shook his head. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

"No need. Cowley did it again."


"Played his infernal games. Pushed us about like pieces on a chess board. Set me- us up. He put me onto her, you know."

Doyle sat very still. "He knew?"

Bodie nodded curtly.

Doyle was stunned, unable to speak for a few moments. Finally he said, "He knew she was coming to England. He asked you to play her up? To expose them?"

"She was the fall girl. What's the opposite of a fall girl, Ray?" Bodie gave Doyle a faintly curious glance, a cold smile playing on his lips. Doyle hated that smile. It held a touch of the cruelty that Bodie usually kept hidden. "Right. A bloody stupid guy. That's me, all right."

"I can't believe it. He set you on her, then he set me on you?"

"Was a good thing he set you on me. You saved my life. Again. Appreciate that."

"You're not angry with me?" Doyle asked, incredulous. "After what I did? Following you? Nabbing the girl?"

"I'm not angry with you. I'm..." Bodie sighed, dropping his head back onto the sofa cushion. "I don't know what I am any longer. Fucked up, more than likely." He paused. "You knew about the arcade. You nabbed something more important than Mar- her. You nicked the evidence. Thanks to you, I'm a free man. Besides, all you did was keep her safe. At least, you thought that's what you were doing."

Bodie's eyes closed wearily as he went on, "Was in your back garden, watching. You left, and then she was taken to another safe house. I followed them. I was coming over the roof and she had the good fortune to be at the window. That's when she spotted me and yelled out a warning. I was stupid enough to think she was warning me about the bastards chasing me."

Bodie lifted his head to study Doyle intently. "But now I think she was tipping them off. Pointing the way. The thing is, she didn't know that they were actually after her, too. Stupid bitch." His final pronouncement lacked heat.

Doyle hated the defeated note to his partner's voice. Guilt rose in his throat, and he had trouble breathing. It took a moment before he could say, "I'm sorry."

"So you keep saying."

Doyle mustered all the sincerity he could and said, "I truly am. Even if she was -- what you say, she didn't deserve that." When Bodie didn't respond, he felt compelled to ask, "Did you love her?"

"Nah." Bodie shrugged. "Maybe. Once. A long time ago. But when Cowley told me she was coming, I was -- curious. Wondered how it would be to see her again, you know? And Cowley took care of all the details." He let out a wry chuckle. "How else do you reckon I knew to drive by that hotel exactly at the second she was arriving? Dumb luck? In a city this big I just happened to spot her?" At Doyle's own shrug, Bodie shook his head, his tone almost affectionate as he said, "Moron."

Doyle couldn't hide his surprise. "But you read in that newspaper about her coming over." Bewildered, he ran his fingers through his hair. "It's too much to take in. Deception, double agents, assassination, who's following who. Who killed who. Husband against wife. Makes my head ache."


"You've had a rough time of it. You shouldn't probably..." Doyle's words died in this throat. He had no idea what Bodie needed, and he wasn't sure he still had the right to even make suggestions. Not after today. Not after what he'd done. His emotions must have played across his face, because Bodie finally sat forward and cast him a sympathetic look.

"Don't dwell on it, mate. Not your fault. You take on too much sometimes. Now, about that drink."

Doyle sat up and leaned forward as well, his gaze searching the face of the man he'd grown to care about deeply. And yes, to love these past years. "You look knackered. How about a cup of tea instead?"

Appearing to give the suggestion momentary consideration, Bodie lifted his shoulders in a nonchalant shrug. "Yeah. Could do with one."

"I'll do it." Doyle rose. Bodie looked completely done in, though Doyle could see him valiantly trying to hide it. "You could take a bit of a kip while I fix something to eat."

"Not hungry, mate. Ta, anyway. But I am tired." Bodie leaned back and closed his eyes.

Doyle stood behind the sofa and watched his partner for a few moments before going into the kitchen to see what he could find. He boiled some eggs, made fresh tea, spread jam on bread, and laid everything out on the table. By the time he'd fixed the Spartan meal, Bodie had already woken up and made his way to the bathroom, quietly closing the door behind him. Doyle waited at the table until his partner emerged looking pale and tired.

"Didn't sleep long," Doyle said.

Bodie shrugged, nibbling the edges of a piece of bread. "Sleep when I'm dead."

Doyle's hand froze halfway to his mouth and part of the hard-boiled egg he'd been eating fell from his fingers. "Don't joke about it."

Bodie again shrugged, an action Doyle was beginning to hate. Bodie seemed to be struggling to stay focused, and his words were slow and slurred as he said, "Going to happen. Sooner than later, if today was any indication."

"No, it isn't," Doyle insisted.

"Sure of yourself, aren't you?"

"I don't want you to die."

Bodie blinked slowly, and Doyle was pleased to see some of Bodie's lethargy seemed to lift a bit.

"Why not? Tired of it all. Most of the time, anyway. Just plain tired, Ray."

"I know." Doyle felt an incredible urge to wrap his arms around his friend. This Bodie was painful to watch. He wanted his friend, his partner back. He wanted Bodie to curse at him and ruffle his hair. To drink the last of his coffee, and steal his bird out from under his nose. To look down at him, cool, suave, arrogant. This Bodie, wan and bitter, wasn't his mate. This wasn't the man he cared about. He had to do something. Had to try and fix this.

"Bodie," Doyle breathed softly. He didn't even think about what happened next. He rose, and in seconds he had his arms wrapped around Bodie's shoulders. He waited, expecting to be shoved away, but instead Bodie wound his arms around Doyle's waist and pressed his face against Doyle's chest. When Bodie let out a sorrowful sigh, Doyle's arms tightened. The words came unbidden. "I'm here. It's all right. I'm not going away."

Bodie said nothing, but he clung to Doyle as if his life depended on it. Doyle's hand stroked down the back of Bodie's head, his fingers light and soothing, and when Bodie finally raised his face, Doyle could see the brightness of his partner's eyes. He felt his throat tighten, and without thinking about anything else but his best friend's sorrow, he leaned down slightly and gently pressed his lips to Bodie's.

Shocked at his own impulsive action, Doyle almost pulled away, but then, amazingly, Bodie responded. All at once, they were kissing passionately, lips exploring, tongues delving deeply. When at last Doyle tried to move away, Bodie's hands scrabbled against his back, holding him tightly.

Bodie looked up, his eyes dark and pleading. "Doyle," he breathed softly, entreaty on his face.

Doyle nodded, grabbed Bodie's hand and hauled him to his feet. He led his partner down the hall and into the bedroom. Bodie stood passively, but his eyes were finally alert, and his gaze never left Doyle's face. Doyle understood. Bodie needed this. He needed to feel something, anything. To feel alive. To know his heart still beat and his lungs still breathed. To feel special, if only for a moment. Doyle knew.

Gently, he undressed his partner and pulled back the sheets. A shared silence endured, but he would use his hands and his body to convey his love, to soothe, to protect. The next step had to be Bodie's, and with bated breath, Doyle watched him lie down on his stomach and bury his face into the pillow, his legs open in invitation.

With quick fingers, Doyle undressed, and after a very fast detour to the bathroom, he returned with what he needed. Bodie lay very still, his face turned toward Doyle, his eyes closed as he waited. Doyle worked on instinct. Bodie needed this from him, and he was willing to give it. Coating his length with lubricant, he climbed onto the bed and gently nudged Bodie's legs apart so that he could kneel between them.

Doyle stroked Bodie's opening with well-lubed fingers until Bodie responded by spreading his legs even more and raising his hips. In spite of wanting to bury himself immediately in his partner's heat, Doyle took the time to carefully ready Bodie with his fingers and half a tube of the slippery stuff. Finally, Doyle began to ease himself into the tight passage. Bodie's hands clenched the bedclothes as he was entered. Doyle moved slowly but steadily, one hand stroking Bodie's flank and back, until he was buried deeply inside.

He paused, his breathing coming in ragged gasps as he gave Bodie a chance to adjust to the feel of him. He waited patiently, biting his lip at the incredible sensation of Bodie's muscles clenching him tightly. It was only when Bodie groaned softly and started to thrust his hips in small, sharp motions that Doyle allowed himself to move. He pushed forward as much as possible before pulling back slowly, then again, and again, until Bodie started to tremble under him. A few more thrusts and Bodie was writhing, still ominously silent, his hands clenching and unclenching on the bedclothes.

When Bodie lifted his hips from the bed, then tried to rise, Doyle helped him to his hands and knees, still keeping himself locked inside. Again, he waited. Once Bodie started to push back against him, he began to move again, harder this time, and faster as the feelings mounted. He was surrounded by his partner's heat, and he felt as though he was going to explode from the intensity of it all. With his hands clenched on Bodie's hips hard enough to bruise, he pounded into the willing body until Bodie was shaking and making noises that, to Doyle, sounded increasingly like sobbing.

Doyle wanted to stroke his partner with loving words, to express tender affection, but this Bodie didn't want or need that. Not now. He couldn't give in to his own desires. This was for Bodie. Clenching his lower lip between his teeth to forestall his orgasm, Doyle leaned forward, and latched a hand onto his partner's thick shaft, stroking in time with his thrusts. Only when Bodie stilled under him and, without a sound, came onto the sheets, did Doyle allow himself his own release.

Collapsing onto the mattress, Doyle blanketed Bodie's sweating body for a long while until Bodie shifted under him. Doyle slipped out carefully and moved to the side to flop onto his back.

Bodie turned his face towards him. "This was a one off, Ray. Please," he begged. "Tell me it was a one off. You're not in love with me."

Doyle could see Bodie's eyes fill, and he was suddenly terrified. Bodie didn't get emotional, and this- This was almost as frightening as Bodie's disheartened behaviour earlier.

He swallowed around the lump in his throat before he asked, "Why?"

"Couldn't stand it. Couldn't take you dying. Not if we- Not if you loved me. Better it's just a, a pity fuck. Just between mates. Nothing else." Bodie rubbed a finger across his eyes, whispering, "If it had been you instead of her..."

Rising, Doyle quickly picked up his clothes and turned away, not bothering to stop to clean up. He yanked on underpants and jeans, socks, boots and t-shirt. He had to do as he'd been asked. All of this was his fault after all. His partner deserved to have what he wanted. Could he give Bodie that? Did he even have that choice? Not right now...

When he was able to speak at last, he turned back to the bed and said with a casual grin, "Don't worry, mate. It was a one-off. Wanted you to feel better. Was good, though. Enjoyed meself." When he looked into Bodie's eyes, Doyle felt himself start to waver. Bodie wanted something more. Needed something. He could see it clearly in Bodie's face, but he didn't have a clue what it was.

What Doyle wanted was to crawl back into bed and hold Bodie in his arms; tell him it would be okay. That they'd deal with it together. But at that moment, Bodie seemed so far away. Out of reach. And he had pleaded with Doyle...

Doyle steeled himself and said in a voice he hoped sounded chipper, "You get some sleep. I'll... uh... be 'round in the morning to pick you up."

"Thanks, Doyle."

"Right." Doyle bolted from the bedroom, calling over his shoulder, "Set the fucking locks!" before he raced from the building and out to his car.

He stood beside the vehicle for a long while, hands shoved into his pockets. His eyes prickled, and his nose itched and he rubbed at it roughly. "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." He pounded his fist against the bonnet before he leaned his forehead against the cold roof of the car. Prickles crawled up his spine. Suddenly certain of being watched, he turned around, scanning the street. Seeing nothing to account for the rising of his hackles, he then glanced up.

Bodie watched from the window, and Doyle could just about make out his partner's face. He stood very still as their eyes met. Bodie gave him a half-hearted smile and raised his hand. Doyle returned the wave with one of his own.

"Just this once..." he said softly to himself before he added, "Love you, Bodie," Then he climbed into his car and drove away.

-- THE END --

October 2007

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