Better Living Through Chemistry


Written for the "picfor1000" challenge to the prompt "cash drawer"

"That'll be 15 p, Mrs. Harris."

"Thanks, Ray. See you tomorrow."

I knew I'd been undercover too long when I realized I was a fixture in the neighbourhood. That nice Mrs. Harris depended on me for her daily Cadbury Fruit & Nut. That harried Norm Peters always came to me when he couldn't find the nappies. That spotty-faced Terrence only had the bottle to buy a packet of condoms when I was manning the till, though Christ only knew what girl was daft enough to sleep with him.

And for what? So George Cowley could find out if Adnan Rashid, owner of the local chemist's in Stepney where I was currently employed, was a fanatical terrorist or just a nice bloke who'd got pushed out of Uganda when Amin took over and fetched up in London. Me, I was betting on the nice bloke option.

Hard to prove a negative, though, so here I was. And getting close to fitting up Rashid myself, just to end the op.

The problem was Bodie. 'Course it was; the problem was always Bodie. We'd started sleeping, that's not right. We'd started fucking two weeks before Cowley sent me off on this wild goose chase. Two weeks. Just long enough to know we liked it. Just long enough to know we wanted to keep doing it.

But could we? Fuck, no. Not with me stuck in a bloody bedsit in Stepney, with walls thin enough that my neighbours could hear every breath I drew. Not with my contact with Bodie reduced to a once daily check-in to make sure I hadn't found Rashid's stash of C4 explosive inside a case of bog roll.

And Bodie wasn't making it easy.

Wasn't so bad, the first week. He'd come in, buy a tube of toothpaste, get the bad news, and leave. The second week, though, he'd started getting bored. Seemed to try and find the oddest thing in the shop to buy. I'm sure Mrs. Harris wondered about him buying a breast pump.

The third week...oh, the third week, he must have decided to wind me up, good and proper. Started off with buying a tube of lotion. Innocent enough, except it was the same brand we'd used for a spot of lubrication a time or two, when there was nothing else to hand. Bastard knew I knew what he was about. I could see it in his eyes.

Next day, he bought a packet of condoms. Extra large. Purple. Berry-flavoured. Gave me a most suggestive leer over the counter when I took his money, too. The blush on my cheeks could have heated all of Stepney for a week.

Went on like that for days, buying stuff that made me hot and bothered, and made me wish Cowley'd admit he'd got the wrong end of the stick so I could go home and fuck Bodie blind. Or be fucked blind by him; I didn't mind either way. One day, bubble bath that reminded me of the rather athletic use we'd made of the huge cast iron tub in his flat. The next, KY. Touched my hand that day, the bastard. Put three fingers on the back of my hand and just held them there. Held them long enough that I could feel my skin burn, but not so long that anyone noticed the contact. Nearly snapped poor Terrence's head off after that one.

And now he's back. He holds the door open for Mrs. Harris and makes straight for me, an arrogant swagger in his hips and an infuriating grin on his face.

"Can I help you, sir?" I ask as neutrally as I can manage.

"Uncle George has a message," he says quietly.

"Oh, yeah. And what's that?" I'm not feeling charitable toward him night now. I've been too long on the boil with no sign of relief in sight and I'm in no mood for his pratting about.

"Not here," he says with a smirk. "Can you take a break?"

I can and I do and then we're on the street. Bodie steers me around the corner and down the alley that runs behind the shops. We stop in an alcove, hidden from prying eyes.

"What's this message?" I ask. Or try to. Because before I can get the words out I've been pushed against the brick and Bodie's kissing me, his tongue fierce and demanding, his hands kneading my arse.

I struggle to push him away, to tell him to fuck off, but he's always been just that little bit stronger than me in close quarters. Then I decide this is one fight I don't want to win. I'm not pushing anymore; I'm pulling. Surrounding him with my arms, getting under that leather jacket, under his poloneck, till I can feel his skin on my own. He's hiking up my shirt, snaking a hand inside my jeans till I'm panting and aching and ready to burst.

Swearing, I shove him away and tear open both our flies. I don't give a rat's arse about the risk; I just want him. Now.

My cock's hard, but it gets harder when he grabs it. I return the favour, and then he's making me gasp even as I'm stroking him, kissing him, biting him. We're both moaning, each bucking against the other, equal and opposite, as always.

And then it's over and he's grinning at me. Cock still out, come on his hand, looking rumpled and worn and well shagged. Bastard.

I clean up as best I can then remember what he'd said in the shop.

"What's Uncle George got to say?"

"Rashid's clean."



"Gonna kill Cowley."

"Don't do that, Ray."

"Why not?"

"'Cause he's just given us two days off."

"He never."

"He did." Impossibly, Bodie's grin widens. "And I've got an idea of how we can spend them."

I'll bet he does. But that's all right. 'Cause I've an idea that I'm going to enjoy his idea. Immensely.

-- THE END --

January 2008

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