Lurk the Eyes of a Beast


The summons came right after lunch.

"Bodie, Cowley wants to see you." Blue eyes stared questioningly at the other agent, but Murphy just shrugged and headed off.

The dark haired agent warily raised up from his chair, grumbling impassionedly, "Why us, we're just off assignment. How come no one else here works for a living?"

"What's this 'us', mate? Maybe you're in trouble. After all, he just wants you," Doyle gently taunted him. "Whatever it is, hope it's simple, we're going out tonight."

"I remember, I remember! Give off a little, will ya? You've talked about nothing but this new bird since the op finished." Bodie shot his partner a withering look and headed for his boss's office, annoyance masking his worry over the summons.

As he entered the office, he knew it was going to be bad. The Scot didn't even lift his head from the papers he was reading. Bodie picked the chair closest by the door and tried to stay still, but found himself fidgeting as time stretched on. He finally stood to walk over to the window.

"Sit down, Bodie." Cowley's voice was cold and cutting. "I'll get to you in a moment." He sat again immediately and wondered which of the gods he'd offended to work the old man up like this. After three of the hardest weeks he'd ever had in CI 5, last night they'd finally pulled in the "American connection" drug dealers, and both the press and the Home Office had seemed pleased. Though he'd made Doyle stay, Cowley had let him go without filling out all his paperwork, seeming to realize his wired condition did not lend itself to carefully written reports and files. Oh well, guess I'll know soon enough.

The head of CI5 let Bodie stew for another five minutes before signing the paper in front of him and setting it aside. Cowley slowly looked him over, appearing to measure and assess everything he could see. Bodie squirmed uncomfortably under the gaze--Cowley's heavy-rimmed glasses seemed to focus his gaze to a laser-point. It's like he's reading my bloody soul or something. Finally the older man seemed to reach some decision.

"You did fine work yesterday. This entire op, in fact. It is the first time you've been in charge of such a large team, and my confidence in you seemed to be well placed." Seemed? What's going on?

"The person you were 'with' last night is the son of one of the biggest heroin importers in this country." The Scot's mouth twitched sourly at Bodie's flinch. "Unless you were starting an undercover operation without my knowledge --" His face made it clear what he thought of that possibility, "-- you were taking an unconscionable risk."

Grabbing at his controls, he kept all but a flicker of emotion off his face. Sod it! A tail? No, I'd have noticed. A bug then, or a camera. God! Maybe a video cam--her Majesties' government has been known to play a bit of blackmail. "I had no--" A sharp voice cut him off.

"I don't care. This will not continue." The dour figure flicked a scathing glance over the agent, and away. His tone became even more merciless. "Your lifestyle is a security risk. You will try and find yourself a permanent partner who can be checked through our files."

"Women can be security risks as well." Bodie was afraid he sounded petulant. Oh well, had to try at least.

"The nineteen-year-old barmaids, file-clerks, and librarians that you and Doyle seem to pick up, rarely have anything to do with national security." Cowley set his mouth even more firmly, and looked him straight in the face. "I was going to give you and your partner leave after that last investigation. Now, however, your assignment is to become even better acquainted with Merrick Denby's son. I told MI 5 you were heading our part of a joint investigation."


"Sit down."

"I will not have my personal life be used by CI 5."

"You seem to have mixed them already, 3. 7." He held the dark eyes. "You have no choice. If MI 5 wanted, they could make it impossible for you to work for Her Majesties' government in any position." His expression relented a bit. "You brought it on yourself."

"I won't do it. I'll resign first."

The weight of his voice hung in the air for an instant. Cowley's curt tone cut through it instantly. "You can't resign. But you can be retired." He gave his agent one last look. There was no hint of sympathy. "Dismiss."

"Well, I can tell he took a strip off you. Am I next?" Doyle reached out to grab the muscular shoulder. His partner jerked back.

"No! And leave your bloody hands to yourself, mate." Bodie stormed out of the room, leaving a very confused pair of green eyes staring after him. Right smart of you. Ought to've gotten the golliwog thinking up a storm. If he gets curious enough, he might ask Cowley what's up, and Cowley might even tell him.

He sighed with relief shutting the door to his apartment, stripped off his jacket, and collapsed on the couch. Last night...wired, coming off the adrenaline of the bust, Doyle safely busy... Lean, hard muscled, John Denby had been just what he'd been looking for, in fact, he'd felt lucky to find him. Luck! A little more luck like that and I won't need a love life. No sex in the grave! He glanced at his watch: 6.00. How long have I been lying here like this? He got off the couch slowly and headed for the bedroom. I better go pick up Sandy if I'm to meet Doyle and Linda by 7.00. He stopped in mid-action. Wonder what would happen if I did bring a man-friend to one of these cozy little foursomes. All Ray ever says is "bring a date". He shook his head. Date a man? He stared at himself in the mirror, Cowley's comments coming back to him in force. Ridiculous. Grabbing his best leather jacket and making sure he had his keys, he headed out the door.

Bodie looked at the dead man in the mirror. Well, not quite dead. But given the amount I was drinking last night, I should be. He walked over to sign in, holding his shaking mug with both hands. A life time of Sandys, Lindas, Doras; now I remember why I went for men in the first place. He took another gulp of his coffee, wincing at the bitterness. Damn Cowley, damn it all.

Doyle hunched his shoulders, then stretched his back in the uncomfortable metal chair in the restroom. It was pretty full for this early in the morning, as everybody involved in the last op decided that they'd rather talk about it than write the necessary reports. Murphy and the new equipment man were trying to convince him that nursemaiding the wire had been worse than entering the lion's den.

"I know you've had it rough, Doyle, but think of it for us. We could see you clearly, they'd start to pull a gun or two on you, and suddenly the wire conks out. We don't know if they are just playing with you, or you're about to be shot. By third time it happened, Bodie was beginning to lose it." Murphy laughed. "He nearly killed poor Taylor here a couple of times," clapping the slight blond on the shoulder.

Murphy quieted as Bodie crawled into the restroom. He looks too tired to be worth baiting, Doyle guessed. Handing his partner the tea-pot, he gauged his approachability. Somewhere between merely irrasible and truly off-putting, I'd say. What the hell did Cowley say to him yesterday? He was upset all evening. It's not like him to be this closed-mouthed. He took another sip of his tea, not noticing his drinks and his partner's were synchronized. He looked OK after the op. It can't be what Murphy's talking about. He'd just decided to go over and ask again when Stuart poked his head into the rest room.

"Curly-top? The Cow wants you." He couldn't have sounded more bored as he passed on the message.

Scowling at the sharp-faced man, Doyle caught a glimpse of Bodie's face at the summons. He looked furious, and almost...despairing? Bloody hell. Maybe I'll finally learn something.

He left Cowley's office no closer to knowing what was going on than before he'd entered the lion's den. Forgetting Bodie's earlier queerness in his new perplexity, he walked right up to him. "Has the Cow gone mental? He said nothing for the first five minutes, hemmed, hawed, and harumphed for the next five, and finally said that you already knew all the pertinent information about the case and that I should just ask you." He started walking towards the restroom, still talking. "Why didn't he brief me yesterday when he briefed you? Or if this is a solo job, why bring me in at all?" Gesturing widely, he poked Bodie in the chest. "What's going on?"

His hand was batted away. "Don't ask me, I'm not his bloody mother."

He watched his partner stalk off, and decided to go the opposite direction. What in the hell is wrong? I know it's been rough... He headed toward his desk, still thinking it over. Damn this last case! What with the equipment failures and communication problems, Bodie has been on the edge, and over it, for weeks. Doyle nearly jumped as Bodie shoved him from behind with half a box of files. He turned, looking hard at Bodie, but the other man ignored the questioning look.

He put the box next to another pile of file folders he'd obviously brought over while Doyle was with Cowley, and started, "MI 5 has been working on Merrick Denby for five months. They actually sent over three times this much but I went through and tossed the non-essentials." He pointed meaningfully at his overflowing circular file. "Cowley wants you to read all of this today. We also need to work on our covers, plus make arrangements to meet our 'new partners'."

"Sounds busy," Doyle said, already looking at the top file, personal concerns submerged in the professional. "What is our cover this time?" Looking up, he could have sworn he saw the Bodie's unshakable face redden.

"I'm an acquaintance of his son," he said flatly and turned to go. "Why don't we go over the rest of it after you've read the files. I've got to go find a posh apartment." Bodie leapt for the door like someone was chasing him.

Acquaintance? Curiousier and Curiouser. Doyle let the file drop to the desk, as he stared out to where his partner had vanished. The mystery surrounding this case was probably more exciting than the case itself. Anything that stirs up both Bodie and Cowley... A wicked light shown briefly in cat-green eyes. With a sigh he went back to reading the files.

They finally got together over dinner. Bodie never returned to the office, and Doyle had to set up their meeting via R/T. He'd spent most of the day pouring over the files, and still had more questions than answers. His first comment at the pub was "Why are we involved in this case? There's no interdepartmental request letter in the file, MI 5 has never willingly asked for our help before, and it's not exactly our normal line." Bodie never even looked up from his beer, unknown emotions flickering across the intent face. Green eyes flashed with irritation. It was getting harder and harder to control his own frustration; but he knew his partner. In the mood the ex-merc was in, there wasn't a sinner's chance in hell of getting him to talk about what was up until he was ready. Darting an annoyed glance at his friend, Doyle continued.

"Cowley had me call our contacts. They didn't say why we were helping them either. In fact, they sounded put off." He looked searchingly at the blank face before him. "Come on, mate, I'd like some clue about what's going on." Instantly the stocky man became very busy with his sandwich, refusing to look up. An uncomfortable few seconds passed. Once again, he broke the silence. "We're meeting them tonight at 10. 00."

"Gives us a couple of hours. Where about?" The dark-haired agent mumbled as casually as possible.

"Place called the Green Parrot. I've got the address written down." He started digging through his left jean pocket.

"The Green Parrot!" Food spattered everywhere as Bodie choked on his sandwich, coughing uncontrollably. Concerned, Doyle rose from his chair, planning to pound on his companion's back, when Bodie got himself under control. The abused vocal chords voice rasped harshly, "The Green Parrot. Do you know what that place is?"

"Some sort of private club, I assumed from the briefing sheet.," He eyed his partner quizzically. "Anything else?"

He drained his pint in a single swallow, and smiled tauntingly. "No, nothing." He paused momentarily. "By the way, did Cowley ever give you our cover story?"

Ray's anger erupted. "You know damn well he didn't." His partner was upset about something, but that didn't excuse the song-and-dance that he'd been treated to. "Give over, damn it." He reached out to grab the taller man's wrist but Bodie reacted by standing, kicking his chair back under the table, and walking away.

"Don't you dare walk out on me." There was a definite threat in the words.

The indignant figure froze instantly, then whirled around, grabbed the back of the chair, and used it to lean over the table inches from his partner's face. "You want to know? Fine. You've got a right, seeing as you're part of it." His hand touched Doyle's cheek as he talked. It wasn't a gentle caress. "I play a butch pouf, and you're my date." Flicking the face with his hand he continued insinuatingly, "My place, 9. 30? And wear leather, won't you dove? Ta-ta!"

"Quite a nice place here," Doyle's voice was laden with sarcasm. "Not exactly what you'd expect of MI 5." Bodie watched him look casually around the crowded roomful of men, most sitting in couples and threes at little tables, pushed back against the walls of the large room.

The younger agent shifted uncomfortably in his chair, bumping gently into taut body next to him. The space was so tight they were almost in each other's laps. They'd been virtually ignoring each other ever since Doyle picked him up; he couldn't remember the last time they'd felt so uncomfortable together. Every nerve in his body screamed "Danger", but this time there was nothing he could do. He mentally cursed the team that had set up this meeting, and toyed with the idea of storming out. No, Cowley would tear his skin off of him in strips.

The lights began to dim, and his guts wrenched. He divided his attention between nervously checking out the crowd for former lovers, and surreptitiously glancing at his partner. Incapable of staying serious, he couldn't help thinking, Too bad Ray didn't take me more seriously. He would have looked good in leather. He noticed Doyle's attention pick-up as the house lights went down. The floor show was about to begin. Bodie felt a twinge of regret at his earlier words to his partner. I probably should have warned him.

The light came up on a small stage in the centre of the room. A tall blond man in his mid-30's sat at a large oaken desk. He was dressed in a stylized headmaster's robe. Bodie moaned silently. No! Not this one. Laughter welled up, only to appear as a wicked little grin that vanished instantly. He glanced at his companion. The green eyes were assessing the scene coolly, sliding over everything. They focused abruptly on the wooden cane prominently displayed on the desk, and suddenly grew wide.

They heard the sound of a door knock. The headmaster looked up and issued a clear and crisp "Enter". Everyone in the room could clearly hear the man's rich voice and upperclass accent. A second character entered the scene. He was dressed in short pants, and a vague school uniform jacket over shirt and tie. His dark curly hair escaped riotously from under the dark blue cap. Altogether, he looked about 16; Bodie figured him for at least 21.

"Ah, Smythe," said the blond man. "Come forward." The boy moved to the desk, his eyes fixed down at the floor. "Look at me," the man commanded.

Bodie gazed at the suddenly revealed face, attracted by the deep blue eyes, enjoying the contrast to the dark olive skin. He caught himself, and glanced again at his partner, praying his momentary lapse hadn't been noticed. He looked at his watch: 10. 05. Bloody Hell, where are they? He muttered angrily at Doyle, "This is their idea of interagency cooperation?"

"Shhhhh." Ray didn't even look away from the stage. "You're blowing our cover. Look interested, at least."

Thus admonished, he unabashedly gave his attention back to the stage, smiling appreciatively as the dark-haired boy had divested himself of hat, coat and tie. The blond was saying, "You realize you could be suspended for your actions."

"Oh no, headmaster, please don't suspend me." The boy clenched his fists into the waistband of his pants in a motion that was strangely both scared and enticing.

The man was watching the boy with same intensity that a lion uses on lunch, just before he pounces. "And what would your mother and father have to say," he continued, caressingly; almost as if he hadn't heard the boy's interjection.

"Oh, don't tell my parents. I'll do anything."

The blond was visibly having trouble restraining a satisfied smirk. "Even if I don't suspend you, you will have to be punished." The headmaster reached for the cane, fondling it between his hands. "Drop your trous."

There was a sharp staccato sound from in his right ear. It could have been an exclamation, or a smothered laugh. Yeah, I definitely should have warned him.

Bodie's eyes locked on the boy's hands as he hesitantly undid his short pants, and shyly pushed them down around his ankles. He took an instant to check around for their contacts, and realized that every eye was caressing the boy's exposed virginal white linen as it clung to his dark skin and round cheeks. He abruptly slid his chair further under the table with the vague idea of hiding his burgeoning erection.

As the boy leaned over the desk, displaying his cotton-covered ass to its best advantage, men throughout the hall were shifting in their seats. The boy's balls were displayed in relief. The older man ran the cane up and down his satin-covered chest, warming it, preparing it lovingly for its task.

"Thwack!" It was a toss-up who jumped more, the young victim or the overly attentive audience. The release of tension was profound but short lived; it returned instantly when the headmaster lifted the cane again into the air, paused fractionally, and let it fly again.

Bodie caught himself leaning forward, following the cane's movement with his whole body. He no longer dared look at his partner, though he couldn't escape the feel of the other's breath blowing hot and cool on the side of his neck. Coupled with the stage show, the ex-merc wondered he was being deliberately tested to destruction. He smothered his laughter at the thought.

"I don't think you are feeling this, Smythe." The blond stopped the cane just before it struck, teasing boy and audience alike. "You'll have to remove your drawers."

The boy straightened, and looked beseeching at the dean, eyes uncomfortably reminiscent of a baby harp seal. The man repeated, unmoved, "take them off."

Shyly, carefully hiding his privates from both his tormentor and the lustful crowd, he slowly pulled down his linen, drawing it through the dark curls of his cheeks and thighs.

"Reassume the position, do."

The room filled with appreciative sighs as the dark-furred nut-sack came into to view as the boy bent back over the desk. Even as Bodie agreed with their assessment, laugher welled up inside him; this whole thing was insane. He could see the head-master's eyes move languorously over the clearly visible red welts at the same time he heard Doyle's chair creak, and felt Doyle's curly hair brush his neck. "You couldn't pay me enough, mate. Where are those MI 5 guys anyway?"

Bodie couldn't tell if he heard arousal or laughter in the rough whisper. He'd know for sure if he dared look at his partner's face; if he dared let his partner see his own. Grinning inwardly, he consciously repeated Ray's earlier words. "Shhhhh, you're blowing our cover. Look interested, damnit," and breathed in relief as the body next to him returned to its original position.

It was hard to take this seriously; he was beginning to doubt the MI5 men would be coming at all. His barrier against Cowley's words was beginning to fall. He ran through his litany once again. No men, or no CI5 or no secrets. No choice, like I said. He stared back at the stage; the action there more pleasant than his thoughts.

The headmaster had stopped to survey his handiwork. The quivering bum made a perfect canvas for the study in parallel lines inscribed in red thereon. "You're taking this quite well, young Smythe. I wish I could say that this made up for your indiscretion." The headmaster's robe slowly parted, teasing the audience. "If you would be willing to solve a small problem for me, I think I would believe in your honest contrition." The blond let the boy stand up, pushing him gently out of his way, so that he could perch himself on one edge of the desk. The boy seemed mesmerized by the partially hidden cock in front of him, all of his earlier reluctance seemingly quelled by the mere sight. The headmaster pushed him gently to his knees, and slowly fisted himself, holding back just inches from the student's mouth.

As the boy started his fellatio, Bodie again found himself leaning forward trying to get a better look at what the blond was so carefully keeping hidden. He knew that legally this sort of sex act had to be simulated, but he would have bet his last pence that the boy was actually mouthing the shaft; nothing the boy had done up until then implied that his acting ability was nearly that well-honed. As the headmaster leaned back on the desk and started to thrust his hips, he was hard put not to thrust against his own tight fitting slacks.

Ray's mouth moved close to his ear. When Doyle said, "I think I've spotted them," his voice was just noise.

"Hmn?" Bodies' attention barely left the scene in front of him.

"The MI 5 agents." Doyle put his arm around him, letting the seemingly lover-like act hide giving his companion's arm a wakening pinch. "I think I recognize--yeah, that's Jacobs."

The voice was a mere breath in Bodie's ear, the strong arm feeling perfect wrapped around his shoulder. The thrilling warmth, and his instinctive response to it, called to his very soul. It made him realize he'd just answered Cowley's question, before he'd consciously even taken it seriously. Go the rest of his life without men? No!

The decision made, he was able to relax for the first time since they entered the club. He turned his head into his partner's neck quite naturally, and whispered softly, "It'll be just a couple more seconds. Don't let them out of your sight." Leaving his head on the other's shoulder, he peered over the top at the corner of the room that Doyle had indicated. He hoped that his emotional turmoil hadn't been noticed. He was going to have to tell his partner eventually, but now was not the time.

The minute the centre-spot went off the small stage, Doyle was up and moving towards the two agents in the back of the room. Well, aren't they sporting pound-sized grins, he though grimly. Jacobs' partner looks cut from the same cloth as he: sarcastic, obnoxious and bigoted.

"Bout time you --"

Before he could say another word, Bodie and he were motioned towards a unmarked door off the entrance way.

"You'll get your chance. Just a sec --" The older man motioned them through the doorway, towards the grimy couch against the wall.

"You wait a second --" Doyle had to step in as Bodie started to grab for Jacobs, spinning his partner back against the wall. He jerked Bodie's arm once, and then again, until Bodie in and looked at him. Calm down, he hissed.

"Kenten, just think--these are Cowley's finest." Jacobs was openly smirking at their anger.

Final straw time. He stopped worrying about holding Bodie off of them and started planning his own attack. Grabbing Kenten's leather jacket, he pushed him into the room ahead of them, while his partner did the same for Jacobs. Slamming the door impressively, he turned and said. "Now! What in the hell is this all about?"

Jacob looked down at Bodie's livid face, and straightened his blazer ostentatiously. "Oh, you've upset poor Petal."

Doyle was glad to see Bodie had gotten some control of himself. He wouldn't have liked to be on the other side of the arctic stare the ex-SAS man was giving them, but he knew he could trust his partner to back him up now. "I'm not going to ask why you planned to meet us here, I'm not going to say anything about the fact that the meet was set up for 20 minutes before you two saw fit to show yourselves, I'm not going to comment on your total lack of professionalism --"

Jacobs continued to sneer at the two of them, but Kenten was looking down, his expression hidden. If it wasn't so unlikely, Doyle would have sworn that the older man was laughing. "--But you called us here for a briefing on an important case. Either you have something to give us, or we're leaving."

"You want briefing? Glad to oblige. Your 'acquaintance'," Jacobs motioned slightly at Bodie, "and his illustrious father, were both picked up today on drug and conspiracy charges. It looks like MI 5 won't be needing your help after all."

Ray ignored his partner's reaction in his own anger. "And when were the Denbys picked up?

Kenten's laughter grew louder and more uncontrolled as his partner admitted, "2.00. Just minutes before you called." He smiled tauntingly and continued, "We just thought you might like the outing. Seemed like the least we could do after all your help on our case."

One of the disadvantages of having a wild animal for a partner, is that I never have anyone around to keep me from killing the bastards we so often meet. Doyle had the satisfaction of seeing Jacob's face look worried seeing his reaction, before being utterly astonished by his partner's calm hand on his elbow.

"Come on, we can't kill them," Bodie said soothingly. "Cowley knows we came here to meet them." He turned his stiff partner towards the door, seemingly ignoring the MI 5 men entirely. "We'll go get a cuppa, make little napkin dolls of them, and push pins in them."

He let himself be moved as much from surprise as any desire to let the other two get off easy. "Those cuppa's better have scotch in them."

His partner put on a hurt face as he guided them through the door. "How could you think otherwise?"

"How could you let them do that? " The echo of the door-slam hadn't yet faded before the auburn-haired man restarted his tirade. "We should have made them sweat!"

"Doyle, you've been complaining for seven klicks and two flights of stairs. Leave be, eh?" He threw his coat on the couch and walked over to the drink tray.

"I just --"

"Doyle, shut up, or I'm keeping your Scotch."

"Oh, all right." He stretched out on the couch, accepting a glass from Bodie, and put his feet up on the table. "Bloody day."

"Bloody fuckin' day."

"Bloody fuckin' month you mean," Doyle contradicted as he sat next to him. "I can't remember a worse."

"What was so bad for you? Living in the lap of luxury, driving a fancy car --"

"--gettin' guns held to my head daily, spending my days surrounded by coke fiends, never getting any rest, much less sleep...

"...eating and dressing on an expense account--"

"--never hearing from my partner, even after the case was over; you'd already gone before I was even back to HQ--"

"Oh, so that's what this is all about." Bodie leaned back in the couch, grinning derisively. "You missed me." His partner looked disgustedly at him. "Didn't know you cared."

"Oh, go on."

He drained his glass with a choke and stood, swaying gently. "Want another?" He watched Doyle's face echo his inner search for a safer topic, as he refilled their glasses again. Waiting curiously, he settled himself back into the couch cushions.

"That kid." Doyle swallowed another sip of scotch, twisting his mouth from the bite. "Back at the club."

Bodie's eyebrow raised.

"Forced and not forced, ya know?"

Bodie's questioning look was becoming less a pose and more a reality. Where was he going with this?

"Have you ever tied someone up?"

What? Partner, you're worrying me... "Once a week on the job, sunshine. Fringe benefit, innit?"

Doyle ignored the flippancy he'd expected, and continued, "I had a bird used to talk about it a lot. She said it gave you permission... Let you do things you wanted to do, but didn't feel you should."

"I don't need someone to help me do things I oughtn't." He started to laugh quietly, thinking, I may never get a better opening to do my confessin'. Just need to think of him as my priest.

Noticing his shoulders quake, Doyle raised an inquiring eyebrow, making Bodie laugh the more, grateful for the scotch, everything, even the potential end of their partnership seeming hilarious to him now. OK, how do I say it? Make it sound like a CI directive? You know, "Cowley informed me that I am to inform you...?" or maybe..."Hey Ray, did I ever tell you about me and my company commander in Angola?" By now he was laughing uncontrollably. Or, I've got it. Ray, you know the definition of Bi-sexual, if they want sex, they have to buy it? Well , do'ya know a bloke 'at wants to make 50 quid?

"Damnit, Bodie." Doyle leaned over and caught his shoulders, holding them still. "Stop laughing!"

He's mad already, and I haven't said anything! He couldn't control his hiccuping gulps of air, and Doyle's deepening frown set him off again. As his partner seemed prepared to swing on him, he thought I thought he might hit me after I confessed, but I haven't even told him yet. A small part of his brain checked the remaining level on the scotch bottle, measuring how much they'd drunk.

Even seeing the taut figure pull back his hand to swing couldn't quite sober him. It took the look he was given as his partner dropped his shoulders in disgust and got up off the couch.

"Mate?" He rose smoothly, avoiding the arm he knew would be holding him off, and grabbed Doyle in a rough hug. Looking him straight in the eye, he tried, "Wasn't laughing at you. Laughing at me, and that stupid show, and those stupid MI5 jerks, and ..." He could feel when Ray stopped fighting and relaxed, laughing in his turn. I'll tell him sometime. Not tonight. Still keyed up from the show, he felt his body react to his partner's closeness as he released him, and pushed the form back on the couch. Doyle? Nah... I couldn't. That's practically incest!

He watched the fine-boned face twist as he drank the last swallow of cheap scotch from the glass. Nice face... I've always liked his face.

"Well, I've got to go." Doyle grabbed his coat off the chair, and headed past his partner for the door. Rising, Bodie brushed against him, questioning himself. Cowley's already got him vetted...

"It's been quite a night." Putting on his coat, he ran his hair through the curls on his neck, lifting them over his collar. "You sure know how to show a fella a good time." He reached for the doorknob, and pulled the door part-open.

I could tie him up, see what he says...

"You know Bodie, it was interesting seeing how the other half lives. Gave me a bit to think about."

"'Night!" Bodie watched him walk to his car, and shut the apartment door. Me too mate, me too.

-- THE END --

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