Bodie was still in his dressing gown and just pouring himself a glass of milk when the doorbell rang, and so he put the drink down on the coffee table and went to the door. For a moment, he hesitated to turn the handle -- it was only the day before that someone had broken into his flat and left a little surprise for him in the telephone. But then he shook his head, shamed to react with fear even for a moment, and opened the door.

Doyle was leaning against the doorframe wearily. "I had to press the bell twice," he complained. "Can you still not hear?"

"What?" Bodie said.

The brief flash of mischief in Bodie's eyes told Doyle that he was just being playful now, and so he elbowed him lightly in the ribs as he pushed past and entered the flat.

Doyle went through to the main room and sat down heavily on the sofa, pushing aside some magazines and items of clothing that were lying around. "This place is a mess," he grumbled.

Bodie raised an eyebrow, out of concern rather than surprise, and went to sit in a chair near his partner. When Doyle turned up in the morning looking grumpy, there could only be one of two reasons: he had received a call from Cowley, or he was upset about something. From his current mood, the latter seemed the obvious conclusion.

"So what's up, mate?" Bodie asked, trying not to sound too concerned. That would only make Doyle suspicious.

Doyle seemed for a few moments to be searching for a way of saying something. Finally, he shrugged. "Cowley wants us in at 12 for a debrief about yesterday." So that was the reason after all.

"A debrief!" Bodie exclaimed. "We were all nearly blown to pieces yesterday!"

"Yes, and he wants to make sure it doesn't happen again," Doyle said, before looking at his watch. "So you better get dressed or we'll be late."

Flashing his partner a smile, Bodie got up and went through to his bedroom, leaving the door open just enough for Doyle to be able to see through. As he got changed, he checked to see whether his partner was watching, as he usually did -- but it seemed he wasn't, because he seemed to be looking at something on the table. Something was not right with Doyle.

When Bodie came out again, he tried flashing Doyle his most seductive smile. "Come on, sunshine," he said cheerfully, and waited for his partner to get up and smile back at him.

But instead, Doyle continued to sit on the sofa, staring into space. Bodie sighed and sat down next to him, close enough that their arms touched. "Come on, Ray. Tell me. Is it something about yesterday?"

Doyle turned and looked at him. "You..." But he trailed off.

Well, if he wasn't going to say anything, Bodie thought, they might as well get in to work. Maybe Doyle would open up in the car. "Well, let's not keep the Cow waiting," he said, clapping a hand on Doyle's thigh as he stood. This time Doyle followed him.

Just as they were about to leave the flat, Doyle put a hand on Bodie's arm, and Bodie turned. "You could have died," Doyle said simply.

Bodie suddenly grinned. "Or worse -- I could have been maimed! And I wouldn't want to spoil this face..."

At last, Doyle smiled, just a little. Bodie ushered him out through the door, and as he brushed past in the narrow hallway he caught Doyle's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

-- THE END --

June 2008

Circuit Archive Logo Archive Home