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Written for the Discovered Out of Context challenge on the discoveredinalj livejournal community

Death has been following Bodie around like a shadow since he was fourteen years old and witnessed his cousin knifing a man in a back alley because he wouldn't hand over his wallet. Bodie was a thin and weedy teenager, and when his cousin informed him of 'what happens to annoying little gob-shites who squeal to the pigs', Bodie weighed up his options and took the one least detrimental to his well-being.

He stowed away on the next ship out of port, and Death stepped into the shadows. A year later had Bodie weighing up his options again. He was taller now, broader in the shoulders, with well-defined muscles from working on board ship and an air of self-confidence. Some of his crew mates appreciated the change in him and didn't hesitate to let him know by pinning him to a convenient surface whenever they got the chance. Tired of fending off unwanted advances from men who turned his stomach with their grubby fingers and halitosis, Bodie fought back one day, not realising his own strength, and broke the First Mate's neck.

His best option this time was to jump ship, and Death took a step closer.

The next few years saw him fighting in other men's wars, serving the side that paid him the most. He was a natural soldier and eager to learn, bartering with the skills he had in order to acquire new ones: sewing patches on worn trousers for some knife tuition, taking over cooking duties for a week to learn pressure points, or a quick fuck under the tarpaulin in the back of a jeep to learn how to kill a man with his bare hands.

Death followed him, watching and waiting, close enough to touch.

Bodie came back to England when his father passed away, mainly to spit on the old man's grave, but also to escape the bounty on his head put up by a government unwilling to turn a blind eye to his gun-running activities. Deciding to fight for the 'good guys' was as good an option as any he'd considered, and he joined up with the Paras who valued his expertise and encouraged his resourcefulness.

The SAS was a natural progression after that for a man of his abilities and Death patiently marked Time.

He's in CI5 now. An organisation where its agents don't expect to make old bones, even though they repeatedly buck the odds trying to do so. Bodie has been partnered with Ray Doyle, an ex-copper with high morals and an ideal for justice -- the complete opposite of Bodie himself. It shouldn't work, but it does and the two gel together to form an efficient and deadly fighting unit whose allegiance is to CI5. It doesn't take long to discover their first loyalties are to each other, and that either man would step in front of a speeding bullet if it meant saving the other.

Death knows when it's outclassed. It takes three steps back and allows Bodie to live again.

-- THE END --

June 2008

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