An incoherent murmur was all the answer he got. Doyle shifted onto an elbow, squinted over in the near-dark. All he could make out was a vague mounded form a foot away.
"Move your bloody bag closer," he hissed in an irritable whisper, and began to hump his own over the ground. "I'm fuckin' perished."
Bodie groaned - but quietly, they were surrounded by presumed sleepers on either side - and complied. He felt the heavy wriggling weight of Doyle encased in padded nylon push against him and wondered rather fatalistically if his comfort-loving partner would be satisfied now.
He was right. He wasn't.
Only seconds passed before Bodie was prodded viciously in the ribs. Bodie opened one bleary resigned eye to see a very close, very cross face inches from his.
"'s not helping," Doyle whispered, "at all. We'll 'ave to get in together, nothing else for it - "
They had to whisper because of the circumstances, which were not such either man would have chosen for a Friday night. Cowley, apparently in one of his more malicious moods, had packed the pair of them off for a weekend survival course - with the army. They had been no more pleased to join the army than the army seemed to be to have them, and they had tramped miles over rough terrain with gritted teeth, swung from ropes like grim yodel-free Tarzans, scaled obstacle courses and swum rivers muttering expletives constantly to themselves. They were both absolutely knackered.
And the relief of bed-time was now turning out to be a decidedly qualified blessing, since accommodation had proved to be a few square feet of hard ground in what seemed to be a pig-sty. It seemed to be a pig-sty for two reasons. One, the light waist-high partitions punctuating the wall, allowing room for two sleeping bags to be placed between each pair. The other reason was assailing Bodie's nostrils that very moment. He was not the happiest of men: every bone in him was aching, every muscle protesting, every nerve crying out for sleep; and here was Ray being bloody awkward. Still, he knew from past experience that Doyle had to be warm. He had to be or he wouldn't sleep a wink, be up all night moaning about it, and whose was the nearest ear?
"You can get thrown out of the army for this sort of thing," he muttered, shaking his mate none too gently out of the layers of slippery nylon.
"Sounds wonderful. Why did we leave it till now?" came the moody reply. They were doing their best to keep quiet, but there was no way they could conceal the deafening rasp of metal zips grating together - Bodie gritted his teeth and did it in one long smooth movement. There was a mumbling and a stirring from the next stalls, but nothing more.
"You 'appy now?" he grunted as they slid into the now-double bag. God, but the smell of pig was strong. There was also a trough running behind their heads. Bodie sighed, offered up a quick prayer to the Lord appealing for a puncture for Cowley while driving through a midden tomorrow, pulled the covers up over their heads and buried his nose in Ray Doyle instead.
Yeah, that was better. He snuffled a noseful of Doyle-scented curls.
"What the bloody 'ell are you doin'?" came a vexed whisper, very close.
Bodie sighed. "No pleasing some people, is there?" he observed pointedly. Doyle had wrapped himself around Bodie like an octopus and was warming his hands on Bodie's neck, the only bare skin available. When he'd cooled that area down beyond further usefulness, he shifted impatiently, pulled Bodie's shirt free of his trousers and stuffed his icy hands under Bodie's vest.
Bodie yelped; but the surrounding folds of nylon muffled the sound. Resigned, he let Doyle soak up his warmth like a predatory leech. "The things I do for you," he hissed into Doyle's ear as Doyle kicked restlessly at his legs. "I hope you flippin' well appreciate it."
"Oh I do, 'm crazy about you," came the unfeeling answer. The bag was twitching and moving as if it had life of its own. "Do something else for me, will you?"
"Bonk you on the 'ead so we can get some sleep?" suggested Bodie hopefully, suffering.
"It's me feet - god, Bodie," Doyle murmured mournfully, his breath tickling Bodie's cheek. "They've gone numb - I reckon gangrene's settin' in -"
"Frostbite, you mean - " With horror, Bodie felt a cold, clammy object touch his own foot, sliding over it, insidiously seeking warmth. Swearing under his breath, he grabbed Doyle firmly to put a stop to the wriggling, and caught Doyle's chilly extremities between his own warm ones, rubbing the smooth cool skin awkwardly until a tinge of warmth began to suffuse between them. Then he kicked Doyle's feet away, worn out.
He wrapped his arms around his mate, very firmly. "Now can we get some bloody sleep? It's a six am start, and I heard talk of a nice refreshing twenty-mile run over uncertain terrain, so much as I'm enjoying this cosy midnight chat we're having, I just think it might be a good idea if we got our 'eads down for some kip, okay?"
"Yeah, in a minute," came Doyle's drowsy murmur, right into Bodie's ear. "Nice an' warm - comfy - lemme just enjoy it a bit longer - can't hurt - might be the last fun we ever have, when you think about tomorrow - you're so warm, Bodie - "
He yawned, immensely, and stretched - Bodie felt the tense of muscles resist, fleetingly, his own encircling arms - then huddled close to the bigger man, moving gently against him, a gentle night-time ride, taking them all the way to an easy oblivion -
Bodie was startled awake, eyes flying open - he'd been just about to tumble over the edge into beautiful sleep. "What now, for godsake - "
"Wish you'd do something else for me," Doyle's whisper very close, a hint of wistful mischief in it.
"What?" Bodie was instantly suspicious: Doyle's voice had that mournful, wanton-urchin tone to it he always used when he was after something. Bet he wants a bloody drink, Bodie decided; and if he's expecting me to drag myself up, pick my way through all those bloody bags in pitch darkness and go to the outside tap, well, he's got another think coming, that's all. No way. Doyle could do his own fetching and carrying; he had Bodie on enough of a string as it was, not good for him...
"All right, all right, I'll go," he heard himself hiss.
Doyle gave a throaty little chuckle, prevented Bodie's intended drawing away. "Don't want you goin' anywhere, mate - no, for this I need you right 'ere - "
"What the hell are you on about?" demanded Bodie, but almost inaudibly. He could hear hefty snores from either side of them and had not the slightest desire to wake anyone up, probably be debagged or worse; he and Doyle weren't exactly popular as it was.
Doyle sighed again, and pressed himself very close. "How would you feel about lovin' me to sleep?"
"What?" enquired Bodie, sure he must have misheard, but he was left in no doubt as to what Doyle meant the next moment, when Doyle took his unresisting hand, opened it with a flick of his thumb and pushed it open-palmed down his chest, over his belly and belt, and onto warm denim.
The night changed colour.
Bodie leapt a mile.
Or would have done, had it not been for Doyle's swift, restraining arms. "Sssh!"
Bodie pulled the cover over his burning face, wriggled furiously down in the bag. "No way, mate," was the first thing he could manage. "You want to play those games, you play them by yourself." Strange, he felt very odd: kind of light-headed, very wide-awake all of a sudden.
Doyle gave that little chuckle again, deep inside the bag. "What, all by myself, with you right next to me?" he whispered, very close, dangerously close. "Might 'ave to, if it comes to it, but - be more fun, nicer... if you did it - "
He was leaning up, the cover right over his head and Bodie's too so neither could see a thing, but Bodie knew his mouth was a bare centimetre away; he knew it was nonsense but he had the strangest feeling that Doyle's body was live - an electric current sparking through it, and if they touched they'd light up.
Just as he was about to panic, he felt Doyle move away, turn leisurely away and onto his back; he felt Doyle's elbow bumping him as his hand travelled down his own body...
Tight as a wire with tension, Bodie waited, scarcely able to believe this was happening. Only a moment ago, they had been nearly asleep, the world much as it had always been - just neutral-tinted and such - whatever had got into his partner to change it so? Doyle always had some bloody surprise in store...an unconventional creature, his Doyle; Bodie'd always suspected he hadn't yet explored to the limits of Doyle's strangeness...
Did he want to, that was the question. One of them. The other being, could Doyle really be going to do what he had hinted at, right here and now, six inches from Bodie?
Jesus Christ, the bloody idea was turning him on.
He screwed up his eyes, bit his lip, telling himself he couldn't be excited, not that way, not just by the idea of another man tossing off in his presence - he just wasn't kinky that way -
Not any man. Ray Doyle. And every sense was alert, waiting, listening, for Doyle's next move -
"Ah, please, Bodie," came Doyle's quiet, rough-soft whisper. "Do it for me...Be good, you touchin' me that way...you could make me come, so easy..."
Dazed, Bodie felt his hand taken again, but this time Doyle made no move to place it on himself, just held it gently, waiting for Bodie's answer -
"What's the fuckin' matter with you," Bodie whispered shakily, "you turned queer or something?"
"Nah, just in the mood - "
" - to play around," Bodie snapped, but almost silently. God, if anyone around could hear them...
Strangely, that idea aroused him too even as it chilled; a sweet tang of excitement at the thought of the two of them silently playing this kind of illicit game in a sleeping bag surrounded by somnolent soldiers who could wake and hear them at any time...
"I suppose you picked up this habit in the bloody Met.?"
"'s not a habit - just a new idea - " Doyle's subtle, dreamy voice in his ear was waving a definite spell on Bodie. "I'd kill anyone else who tried it on with me the way I'm trying it on with you. But - we're us, not anyone else. An' I keep thinkin' about how it would feel, you touchin' me... please touch me, Bodie, just hold me..."
Somehow Doyle's steadfast intense whispering was discharging Bodie's surprise, his panic, his original dissent; though his tension remained, making his heart race, his voice shake a little: "All right," he murmured into Doyle's ear, "but I hope you know what you're doin', sunshine; hope you're sure - "
Why not, if Doyle wanted it? It wasn't much to ask... wouldn't be as bad as warming his bloody feet, and he'd suffered that without hesitation...
"Yeah, course I'm sure," came Doyle's muffled voice, husky with relief, and something more. "'s easy, you'll see - " And, holding his breath, shutting his eyes, Doyle moved Bodie's willing, hesitant hand over himself once more.
There was a breathy rustle of careful movement as Bodie, his heart pounding noisily in his ears, manoeuvred himself onto his side, slipping an arm beneath Doyle. Hard to believe all this was happening, but the amazing fact remained: Doyle wanted this to happen, wanted Bodie to - what had he said? love him to sleep - and had had the courage to ask. Bodie admired that courage. He was also recognising the signs of sexual excitement in himself with some surprise; but he wasn't alone in that. Bodie felt a leap of pleasure, a touching tenderness as he slid Doyle's jeans' zip down with shaky fingers, touched him through the warm cotton pants; and found him already hard for him.
He heard Doyle's breath leave him in a long sighing gust, and felt him lift his hips so Bodie could part the jeans wider, slip his hand inside the pants to take hold of him.
Denied sight, Bodie relied on the sensory impressions of his fingertips; Doyle was warm and hard, and satisfyingly bulky to hold; surprising, how pleasant it was to touch another man's body this way. Bodie squeezed him gently; how the hell did one...? The angle was all wrong... He felt Doyle's hand reach out, seeking him; settle reassuringly on his hip.
"That's nice... Beautiful... but harder, Bodie, it won't break, you know - " on a teasing, slightly breathless note. And as Bodie squeezed him again - "Just like you'd do to yourself - oh, for godsake - " in half-laughing impatience he closed his hand tight, tight over Bodie's; still, taut-trembling... "Ah, christ, mate, but you turn me on - " squeezing his eyes shut as the sweetness rose...
Bodie had just arrived at a better idea. Touching Doyle's aroused genitals was having the weirdest effect on him, not to mention hearing Doyle's tiny noises of pleasure; butterflies in his stomach, a heavy throbbing in his own groin, so that he was no longer concerned with Doyle's pleasure alone. He let go of Doyle, sshing that young man's inarticulate murmur of protest, disappointment, unzipped and unbuckled his own trousers, pushing them impatiently down so he too was naked from belly to thigh. Then he slid his hand beneath Doyle's armpit to shift him. Doyle, always quick on the uptake in a sexual situation, soon cottoned on. He slithered over and settled himself on top of Bodie, head leaning back on his shoulder, wriggling so his buttocks accommodated Bodie's hard shaft of flesh.
Bodie was sweating. He held Doyle close-pressed down against him, kissed the side of his face, just beneath a feathery curl. He slid his hands down Doyle's sides, over the sharp hip-bones, veering in to take his penis once more - yes, now he had the right angle, now it was just like fucking his own fist, only so very, excitingly different, because it was Doyle who sighed and tensed on top of him and pushed himself upwards into Bodie's gripping, tunnelled hands, his parted buttocks working rhythmically on Bodie's own cock, and the hardness pressing there against him exciting him even further. When he came, Bodie's thumb rubbing over his sensitive foreskin too sweet to bear, he turned his face towards Bodie, his mouth searching; it was too awkward to kiss although he longed for it, but Bodie was flooded with love and an aching surge of tenderness as Doyle's moist lips touched his throat, a tiny whimper and then another breaking loose as his pleasure peaked, and broke, and spilled over into Bodie's waiting, accepting hands.
Bodie tensed, heart pounding into Doyle's shirtclad shoulderblade, his own rock-hard penis caught between in a channel of firm, sweet flesh, his hands still cradling the limp softness, the precious puddle of warm semen, his thumb still gently, spasmodically stroking him. He was so close himself, now... If Doyle just moved on him, just gripped him with those firm, muscular buttocks, just let him graze once more over the exciting pucker of flesh he could feel there that roused such wild, exotic flights of eroticism in Bodie's inflamed mind...
Instead, Doyle moved off him, extricating himself gently from Bodie's hands, leaving him bereft, and lost in the darkness.
"Ray - ?"
"Sssh - "
Doyle was back, face to face now; the heavy weight of him settling astride Bodie's thighs. He leaned over him, kissed his mouth once, fiercely. Though Bodie opened his eyes instinctively, it was still impossible to see, too dark to make out more than the glitter of Doyle's eyes. His own urgency gone, Doyle let Bodie invade his mouth with his tongue, searching, flicking there, with all the desperation of arousal unresolved; then he drew back, shrugging off the bag from his shoulders impatiently. They were taking a tremendous risk, he knew that, didn't care, didn't believe it could happen; this was too right to be spoiled.
He took Bodie's hands, moist and slippery from his own outpouring, held them carefully so none of it was lost. He leant very near Bodie.
"Say you love me."
Bodie said nothing. Doyle could hear his racing heart, his harsh breathing, sense his need, electrifying the muggy warmth of the little world that enclosed them, scented now with the tang of his own sex.
"Say it," he demanded, very low. "Say you love me."
"I love you," Bodie whispered; Doyle could make out the shape of his nose, the planes of his cheeks, the wide-open, helpless gleam of his eyes.
Without another word, he brought the other man's hands together around Bodie's own straining cock, keeping them covered with his own, moving them, keeping control; as Bodie, caught tight between his own hands, slippery with the evidence of Doyle's pleasure, thrust, went rigid, and spurted out his own to mingle with it.
Now it was all over, Doyle collapsed on top of him, more exhausted than he'd thought. Bodie gathered him up, pressed fierce silent kisses onto his face. Doyle submitted to it, even gave him one or two of his own. All around them was darkness, warmth, and silence punctuated only by snores, snuffles, the restless shifting of thirty whacked men deep in sleep, oblivious to the heady, passionate turmoil that had been taking place while they only dreamt of wild things.
"I love you," whispered Bodie; a free offering, and the truth.
Doyle didn't speak, only hugged him tight, putting all he felt into the desperate strength with which he gripped the other man. He was very close to sleep, Bodie safe-held in his arms.
But maybe Bodie needed the reassurance of words, just as he had done. Doyle roused himself enough to say, mouth moving against Bodie's cheek: "Love you...You know that... tell you more tomorrow, hold your hand while we're on that fuckin' run if that's what you want 'cause I'd do anything for you, okay?"
"No - yeah - course I know that. What I meant was - you got anything to wipe me hands on?" Bodie, sounding abashed, but amused with it. In answer, Doyle took hold of his hands, dragged them down over the front of his own cotton shirt. Then he uncurled the fingers, kissed each semi-cleansed palm in turn. His mind dwelt on the symbolism of it all, their mingled semen, the essence of their lives, of life itself; now indistinguishable, inextricably fused together, never to be parted...
"Nice warm feet," he mumbled, still holding onto Bodie's hands, snuggling very close; and then he fell asleep.
Bodie stayed awake a bare moment longer, his heart full of wonder, and peace; and then he deliberately lost himself in the security of the warm body pressed into the curve of his and he too fell into the arms of Morpheus, to dream beautiful, prophetic dreams.
-- THE END --