Bodie and Doyle are sent undercover. The main part of the assignment will involve attending physics lectures. Cowley gives them copies of the lectures to familiarise themselves with them. They seem boring until Doyle realises that the lecture on gravity applies to Bodie and himself.
A first time story.
Written: November 2010. Word count: 2,400.
"Ah, Bodie, Doyle, come in. I have an assignment for you." Cowley handed them each a file.
For a moment or two there was silence as his two agents perused the files. Cowley wasn't surprised to see Doyle's head come up first. "Physics?" he said, looking at Cowley with horror. "You want Bodie and me to attend a load of lectures?" His tone was as horror-filled as his look.
"Aye, Doyle. I do."
"But why, sir?" Bodie asked his tone slightly more deferential than his partner's.
Cowley sighed. Why didn't it surprise him that his top team had both failed to read beyond the first few lines? "Because, Bodie, we've received an anonymous tip that the lectures are merely a cover for something less salubrious. It's all in the files."
He watched Bodie and Doyle glance at one another for a moment, communicating with their eyes rather than voices, as they often did. After a second or two, Doyle shrugged, rolled his eyes and looked down at the file he held. Cowley watched as his eyes flicked back and forth. "Bombs?" he said, raising his head again. Now his tone conveyed anger and interest.
"How reliable is the source?"
"That, Doyle, is what you and Bodie are going to find out. You'll attend the lectures, listen to what's being said, pay attention to how it's being said, and see if Professor Mansion interacts with any student more than the others. Watch him and report back."
"But, sir, Ray and me don't know anything about physics."
"Well, in that case you can view it as extension to your education, can't you?"
"What I meant, sir, was how will we know if something's wrong?"
"Because three-seven, there are copies of the lectures in the files I've given you. There are six lectures in all and they are all set texts. One of the reasons we're taking the tip seriously, is that the originally lecturer - Professional Lindsey - met with what to all intents and purposes was an accident, but could easily have been a deliberate attempt to incapacitate him, thus allowing Professor Mansion to step in. The lectures are to be given as written by Professor Lindsey; deviation is not to be expected."
"You want us to learn the lectures?" Doyle's voice rose slightly.
Doyle stared at Cowley for a moment. Cowley met the stare and held it. After a moment Doyle just shrugged. "When?"
"You leave today to travel up to Cheshire. There is a hotel room booked for you. The first lecture, on gravity, is in two days time. Be ready." Cowley put his glasses back on and returned his attention to the file he'd been reading when the partners had arrived, he was, in effect, dismissing them.
"Yes, sir," Bodie said, his tone resigned. "Come on, Ray." Seconds later Cowley heard the door close.
CHESHIRE LATER THAT NIGHT
"Lectures! Bleeding lectures. We've go to attend lectures." Doyle was sitting cross-legged on one of the two beds in the room. He glanced up from the file he'd been studying for the last forty minutes.
"Should be up your street, sunshine," Bodie said, turning over onto his back; unlike Doyle he'd been laying full length on the other bed. He looked across at Doyle, not for the first time he envied Doyle his suppleness.
Doyle frowned. "What the hell are you talking about, Bodie?"
"Well you're the one who went to art school."
"Yeah, Bodie, art school. Hands-on it was; we didn't have any lectures."
"Life course, was it?!
"Ha, bloody ha." Doyle dragged his hand through his hair, messing up his already disarrayed curls. "Want a beer?" he asked.
"Cowley said we've got to learn these," Bodie replied, but he was already sitting up and tucking the file away in his case. "Here," he put his hand out and Doyle passed his file over. Their hands touched, fingers brushing against one another. It was a normal occurrence; they touched all the time, but for some reason it made Bodie jump slightly, as if he had received a mild electric shock.
Doyle noticed. "You okay, mate?"
"Yeah, you need to cut your nails," Bodie said, pushing both files into the case, shutting it and locking it. "Come on, then. One beer and then we better get back to our studies."
Doyle uncurled himself from the bed and stood up, stretching his arms above his head. Bodie watched his chest muscles ripple under his tight tee-shirt. "Two," he said, pulling on his boots and grabbing his jacket.
"One and a half." Bodie opened the door and waved Doyle out in front of him. They both knew it'd be two.
AN HOUR LATER
Doyle kicked off his boots and plopped himself down on the bed, once more crossing his legs. "Let's have the file," he said, holding out his hand. As he waited for Bodie to unlock the case and pass it to him, he glanced at his nails. They didn't need cutting, what had Bodie meant? He dismissed the comment as Bodie tossed the file to him.
"Mind if I grab a shower?" Bodie asked, already tugging off his polo neck jumper. "Need something to wake me up."
"Nah, go ahead," Doyle replied, already opening the file. Bodie had insisted on driving all the way, despite the thunder storm that had seemed to follow them from London to the hotel. It couldn't have been an easy drive with the torrential rain and the repeated flashes of lightning, but each time Doyle had offered to spell Bodie, his partner had refused. In spite of the crashing thunder, Doyle had managed to catch the odd forty winks, so he was awake. "Still with us," he added, now looking up. "The storm," he added, unnecessarily as a crash of thunder shook the room.
Bodie was pulling off his underpants, but other than that he was naked. Doyle found himself looking at the pale white body, studying it with his artist's eye - at least that's what he told himself he was doing. Bodie had said more than once he was tall, dark and beautiful - and he really was! "Reckon I might have done a lot better at art school if we'd had models like you," Doyle said, before he thought about it.
Bodie, about to toss his underpants, socks and shirt into their dirty laundry bag, looked at Doyle. For a moment he said nothing, he just stared at Doyle; Doyle forced himself to hold the stare. Then Bodie struck an outrageous pose, one hand on his hip, the other behind his head, his lower body thrust forward, his head tossed back, one leg lifted up so only his toes touched the ground.
Doyle tossed his head back and laughed. Seconds later, Bodie fell out of the pose. "Have to hold it for a lot longer than that," Doyle said.
"I bet you say that to all the men," Bodie lisped, shoving his dirty clothes into the bag and winking at Doyle.
Doyle made a dismissive gesture, stuck one hand in his hair and returned to the lecture. A minute or so later, over the sound of the thunder, he heard the loo flush and the shower start up. Finally, starting to feel the effects of sitting cross-legged, he unwound himself and threw himself back on the bed, moving around to get comfortable as he held the lecture up above his head and began to read.
What is gravity?
Gravity is the force of attraction between all masses in the universe; especially the attraction of the earth's mass for bodies near its surface. It causes two objects to be drawn together.
Okay, that bit was easy enough.
He bent one leg and crossed the other over it before he returned to the lecture. He read on, frowning in an attempt to understand what was written. He'd never learn it; it didn't make sense, all the stuff about pull and attraction. In a hope to make more sense of it, he started to read aloud. "It's a natural phenomenon in which objects with mass attract one another." He squeezed the bridge of his nose, why the hell Cowley thought they'd be able to learn this, he had no idea. They were going to cock this one up, that was for sure and then there'd be hell to pay.
It was pointless. Then he remembered an old school teacher, one of the ones he'd got on with; a Mr. Mansfield. He remembered complaining he couldn't understand something in a chemistry lesson. Mansfield had told him to try putting into a different context; to try to find a way of explaining it to himself in a way he did understand. Not sure it would work, but respecting Mansfield enough to try, Doyle had; he'd thought about the experiment in terms of cooking and it had helped.
Okay, so how did that - "Bloody hell!" Suddenly it all became clear to him. He rolled off the bed and lecture in hand went into the bathroom. "I've got it, Bodie!" he cried.
Bodie turned around. "Well don't give it to me," he quipped. "Missing me were you, sunshine?" He continued to soap himself, his hands moving over his chest and stomach and coming down to his groin.
Doyle idly noticed Bodie was slightly hard. He swallowed and tossed the file onto the cistern and began to strip. "Was actually," he said, pulling his tee-shirt off and unzipping his jeans. Bodie stared at him, his hand frozen over his groin. Doyle continued to undress. "You see the thing is, Bodie, it's us." He pulled off his socks and tugged down his underpants.
Bodie finally found his voice. "Us?" he asked.
Doyle nodded and put his hands on his hips. "Gravitation: a natural phenomenon in which objects with mass attract one another. It's us."
Bodie stared. "I donít think, I - Doyle, what the fuck are you -" He came to a spluttering halt as Doyle kissed him, using his deceptive strength to push Bodie back against the tiles. Of course, Doyle was under no illusion that if Bodie wanted to he could force him off; he was stronger than Doyle. But whether it was surprise or something else, Bodie let himself be pushed back.
Using his advantage, Doyle pushed his naked body against Bodie's and continued to plunder the mouth he now knew he'd wanted to kiss from the moment he'd met 'tall, dark and beautiful'. The water poured down over them, soaking his hair and back; this close the roar of the water drowned out most of the thunder.
Finally he had to break away before he blacked out. Still holding onto Bodie, a hand on each shoulder, he straightened up and stared at his partner. Bodie hadn't pushed him off and he had kissed him back, but for the first time since he'd come to the realisation, Doyle felt a wee bit unnerved. Bodie could rearrange his face in seconds if he wanted to - and not just his face.
But Bodie was just staring at him, his navy blue eyes unreadable, his mouth slightly swollen from the kiss, his chin red in parts from Doyle's stubble. Suddenly a crash of thunder reverberated around the room, even drowning out the pouring water. Doyle jumped slightly, Bodie grinned. Suddenly Doyle felt cold, he didn't like that grin; he didn't see it often, but when he did . . .
He swallowed and began to tense his body, preparing for an assault. Bodie raised one hand and against his will, Doyle flinched as Bodie's fingers tangled in his wet curls. But the touch was gentle, caring as Bodie tugged Doyle's head nearer and kissed him.
He went on kissing Doyle until Doyle could see black spots in front of his eyes. Damn it, he's a good kisser, Doyle thought, as Bodie finally took his mouth away from Doyle's.
"Mmm," Bodies said, licking his lips. "Still not sure I understand. Maybe you'd better explain it to me in more detail."
Doyle grinned and licked his own lips. "Maybe I should. You see it's like this. Grav-"
"Nah, Ray, not in words. I'm not the one who went to a fancy art school. I'm an action man, not a words man."
Doyle moved back a little and let his gaze wander up and down Bodie's pale, hard body. He stopped when he reached Bodie's groin. "Yeh," he said, "reckon you are, Bodie. Come on, race you for the bed."
THREE HOURS LATER
"So what made that curl covered brain of yours make the leap it did?" Bodie asked, lazily playing with one of Doyle's curls as they lay, legs entwined, in Doyle's bed.
"Something an old school teacher of mine once said," Doyle said, lightly tweaking one of Bodie's nipples until it became erect.
Bodie looked at him. "Bleeding hell, Ray, you did start young."
Doyle laughed. "Idiot," he said, lightly punching Bodie's arm. "Didn't mean that. You see it was -"
But Bodie gave up listening and instead threw Doyle back down on the bed and kissed him again.
A WEEK LATER
"Well, Bodie, Doyle, I trust your week was a productive one?" Cowley leant back in his chair and looked up at his top team who stood shoulder to shoulder, pressed against one another as if in the midst of a crowd. He saw them glance quickly at one another and then back at him.
"Yes, sir," Doyle replied swiftly. "We did. Mansion's your man."
"Is he now?"
Bodie nodded. "Yes, sir. He started off with Lindsey's lecture, but quickly moved away from it. Not in any obvious way, it was subtly done. But he didn't stick to the script. Ray learnt it, you see."
Cowley's gaze moved to Doyle. "Did you, four-five?"
Doyle nodded. "Yes, sir. Once I figured out what gravity pull was, it was easy."
Doyle nodded again. "Yeh. You see -"
"Ray." Bodie touched his partner's arm. Doyle fell silent.
Cowley stared from one to the other, but saw nothing different about them. "Well done, lads," he said finally. "Write up your report." He reached for the phone.
"Yes, sir." It was said in perfect synchrony.
"Dismissed." He watched them leave his office. He was sure nothing was different and yet he was sure something was. "Och, well," he said, as he waited for the Minister to answer his phone. "No doubt it will all come out in the wash. Good afternoon, Minister."
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