Breathing hard, Murphy and Doyle supported each other as they staggered into the locker room. Three circuits of the gym, driven relentlessly by CI5's resident sadist, Macklin, had taken their toll. All Doyle wanted to do was die quietly, without fuss, in a corner. Murph had qualified his last request.
"I'd like a shower before I call an undertaker."
So it was that both men stripped wearily, tossing their sweat- soiled clothes into a festering heap and plunged naked beneath the welcoming waters of the communal shower.
"God, thassgood!" sighed Murphy dramatically, turning his face into the stream from the shower head.
"Soap, Murph?" Doyle tossed him the remnants of a bath-sized bar.
Murph grabbed at it, caught it, and watched it shoot through his wet hands like a unenthusiastic rocket. "Damn, lost it!"
"Where's it gone?" yelped Doyle.
Obliterated by the steam, Murph stepped aside to pick up the errant bar, put his foot squarely on top of it, and would have taken a header out of the shower, but for Doyle's quick reflexes.
Doyle grabbed at Murph, steadying his fellow agent in an impromptu embrace, saving him from injury.
Both men looked up at the voice. Bodie was standing staring at them both, an expression of disgust on his face.
"For Christ-sakes, Doyle, you..." Bodie couldn't quite bring himself to say it. "Playing with your LOVER, in HERE!"
"Bodie, it's not what you think!" called Doyle. But Bodie was no longer there. In a rage, he returned to the gym for an unscheduled forth circuit. That should give 'em just enough time to get decent, Bodie thought...
Fifteen minutes later, unable to concentrate on the exercise, Bodie called it a day and decided to get spruced up before going home. He returned to the locker room, peeled off his clothes and walked into the shower.
Doyle was still standing beneath the jet, water cascading off the hard brown body. Bodie almost turned away in anger ... anger at Murph for being where Bodie had often dreamed he'd be.
"Bodie," Doyle spoke carefully, "It wasn't what you thought."
"I'll bet!" Bodie didn't want to talk.
"Really, Bodie, all I did was chuck Murph the soap like this," and Doyle repeated the action. Instinctively, Bodie tried to catch it. As with Murphy, the soap leapt from Bodie's grasp and ricochetted across the shower.
"There, Bodie," Doyle pointed.
Bodie took one step and slid head-long on a collision course with the floor. Doyle's arms came round him at something under light speed, halting his fall.
"That's just the way it was with Murph," Doyle explained, still holding his partner.
"Okay, Ray, I'm sorry. I jumped to conclusions. I just..." The rest of Bodie's comment was lost in the kiss Doyle planted on his lips.
"Christ JESUS!" came Murph's voice. "Doyle! Bodie! What in the hell d'you think you're DOING!"
Bodie looked into Doyle's wickedly beautiful eyes. "I think," he said slowly. "this is where I came in!"
-- THE END --