Bodie had learned to recognise the symptoms of That Dream.

He snapped to full consciousness and moved hastily to the other side of the bed to assess the situation. So far Doyle was still at the threat-mumbling stage, but he was likely to erupt into full-blown attack at any moment, homing in on Bodie with deadly accuracy.

Doyle would be very apologetic when he woke up, of course, and would certainly demonstrate his contrition in various agreeable ways, but the black eye Bodie had suffered last time ... no, not really worth it.


Doyle's teeth were bared now, and Bodie recollected just how sharp a bite he could inflict when he wasn't being playful. "Take the throat out of a bulldog, you could," he had complained bitterly on the last occasion that had happened. Doyle had fussed with disinfectant and ointment until Bodie had been driven close enough to madness to wonder if Doyle had somehow managed to contract asymptomatic hydrophobia last time they were abroad and was now passing it on.

Doyle had made chips three nights running after that little contretemps.... Still not worth it.

"Yrragghh bastard mgggrrr!"

Bodie considered locking himself in the bathroom. Presumably by the time Doyle had run him to earth there he would have woken up -- but what might he do until then? Scare the crap out of the neighbours if his voice reached full volume: bad enough when he was enjoying himself. Or enjoying Bodie. Next door's cat had broken out twice this month already, almost scratching their door down in search of an apparent mating opportunity. Damn creature was fixed, too!

Chair and a whip? Didn't have a whip. Should get a whip ... and a muzzle ... a gag would come in handy ...

"Soddin' lousy mngrrrrsshhhhhzzzzzzzzz!!!"

Trying to wake Doyle by calling his name just provided a homing beacon.

Bodie stealthily grabbed a pillow in one hand and caught the edge of the duvet in the other. He jammed the pillow over Doyle's face, wrapped the duvet tightly round him to trap his arms, removed the pillow, and rolled him twice across the bed, winding the duvet tighter each time, finally pinning Doyle face down on the precarious edge where he could be shoved to the floor if need be, giving Bodie a head start.

"Urrgghhrrrrrrrrrrffffff rip yer fuckin' eyes arrgggggg ... Bodie?"

"You awake now?"

"Urrh. Yeah. Lemme go."

"You sure?"

"Was 'avin' that bloody dream."

"I noticed." Bodie hauled Doyle back to safety and disentangled him.

"God!" Doyle spat out a strand of hair. "You all right?" He eyed his partner anxiously.

"Getting you a straitjacket next birthday," Bodie promised. "Same thing, was it? Taking you over?"

"Ah." Doyle looked pleased. "Know what? I heard the bastard's name this time, the one who'd got my body." His face grew stormy. "The one you were -- "

"No I wasn't! Only you dreaming!"

"Always figured you at least thought it was me," Doyle scowled.

"I did think -- christ, it's your flippin' dream, Ray, not mine!"

"Well ... 'ow do I know what you're dreamin'?"

"When I start waking up the whole street and chewing the furniture and trying to disassemble you before breakfast -- "

"Not what you usually try doin' to me before breakfast."

"So what's his name, this Pod or whatever he is?"

Doyle regarded him with narrowed eyes. "You know somebody called Alan?"

"Don't think so."

"Well, if you meet -- "

"I won't take him to bed, all right? Even if he does look like you."

"Huh. Well ... give us a kiss then."

A while later Bodie pushed the duvet all the way off. "Better get up, sunshine. Got that meet out in the back of beyond at ten. Cowley won't love us if we're late."

" 'Ave to love each other, then, won't we? Is that perishin' cat back again?"

Bodie shoved him off the bed. "You ever find the place on the road map?"

"Yeah. Eastland. Shouldn't be any trouble at all."

-- THE END --

January 1999

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