KEEPING WATCH

 

By

 

Darby Brennan

 

Bodie and Doyle are on assignment in a graveyard.

An established relationship story.

Written: February 2013. Word count: 3,000.

 

 

Doyle stretched in his seat, pushing his arms and legs out as far as he could get them and putting his head back as he rotated his shoulders.

 

"Hey, watch it, mate," Bodie growled from the driver's seat, "you nearly hit me in the face."

 

Doyle turned to look at his partner. "Sorry," he said. "I'm stiff." Bodie raised an eyebrow and leered at Doyle who, despite knowing the look very well, despite having walked right into it, despite being able to give as good as he got, felt his cheeks begin to burn just a little. "Oi," he said, thumping Bodie's arm, "I didn't mean that. Your mind at times -"

 

"Is as dirty as yours, my son," Bodie said and grinned.


"Oi, I'll have you know that my mind's nowhere near as dirty as yours," Doyle declared.

 

Bodie just stared at him and raised an eyebrow again. "Must be; you knew what I meant." And with that he turned in his seat and went back to looking out of the window.

 

Doyle opened his mouth a couple of times before closing it again; he guessed Bodie had a point. "Well," he said, "it never used to be, not until I met you."

 

Again Bodie turned to look at him. "You know what, Ray, you ought to be careful." Doyle frowned at him. "One of these days your nose'll grow as long as Pinocchio's."

 

"I don't know what you mean," Doyle said crisply.

 

Bodie glanced out of the window again before leaning towards Doyle and letting his fingers brush over Doyle's groin for a moment. Doyle moaned, parted his legs and tried to push up into the caress, but it had gone. "Course I forgot you were poor, sweet, innocent, naÔve Raymond Doyle," he paused and Doyle stared at him, just waiting for what he knew was coming next. On cue Bodie said, "Remind me, Ray, who was it who seduced who?"

 

"Shut up, Bodie!"

 

Bodie laughed and ruffled Doyle's curls before once more turning around and settling back in his seat. "And if you think you're stiff," he said, shifting again, "how do you think I feel? I'm the one behind the bloody wheel."

 

"I offered to drive."

 

"Yeah, sunshine, know you did." Bodie spoke more softly and when he turned his head to look at Doyle, his look was also softer than it had been. They both knew why Bodie had been the one to drive; the one to be forced to suffer sitting in a cramped position behind the steering-wheel for the third night in a row. Doyle was carrying a slight thigh injury, nothing too serious, just the result of an old bullet wound; it wouldn't stop him from running - but it would give him jip if he'd been the one to sit with his legs vying with the pedals for space.

 

"Thanks, mate," Doyle said, briefly squeezing Bodie's thigh before he stretched his legs out again. "What's the time?" he asked after a short period of silence had gone by.

 

Bodie looked at his watch. "Midnight," he said.

 

"Witching hour."

 

Bodie turned to look at Doyle. "Don't tell me you believe in ghosts? I mean I know we're in a graveyard but . . ."

 

Doyle shrugged. "Don't know if I do or not. You?"

 

Bodie made a noise that sounded liked derisory laughter. "Course I don't," he said and then to Doyle's surprise he said more softly, "Least I . . ."

 

Doyle turned in his seat and tucked one leg under him. "Bodie?"

 

"It's nothing."

 

"Tell me, Bodie."

 

"I said it's nothing, Doyle. Just keep watching."

 

"Nothing'll happen, if it's even going to, until one o'clock. But I tell you what, I'll watch, you tell."

 

"There's nothing to tell."

 

"Course there isn't." Doyle turned back and once more looked out of the window into the moon-lit darkness that was the graveyard. "Well," he said after a minute of two, "get on with it."

 

"You know you're an annoying little sod, don't you?"


"Yeah, but you love me anyway," Doyle said, glancing at Bodie for a moment who turned his head and looked at Doyle. Their gazes locked and the intensity in them flared for a moment as they acknowledged what neither of them tended to say aloud, unless it was when they were in bed - and it rarely happened even then.

 

Bodie sighed and turned back and once more shifted in his seat. "It's daft," he said, "just the fevered imaginings of a six year old. It didn't happen."

 

"Yeah, well, daft of not, it'll pass the time. So come on, tell."

 

Bodie sighed. "You're just a terrier me nan had," he said.

 

Momentarily forgetting he'd said he'd watch whilst Bodie talked, Doyle turned to look at his partner. "You had a nan?"

 

Bodie rolled his eyes. "Had two of 'em - just like everyone else, even you. Did you think I was found under a bush or that the stork brought me?"

 

Doyle just shrugged and said, "Just that you've never mentioned her."

 

Now Bodie shrugged. "Thought you were keeping watch," he said.

 

"I am!" And Doyle quickly turned and went back to looking out of the window.

 

"When I was six I got something or other, not sure what, but whatever it was, I got it badly; very badly. The doctors told Dad I wasn't going to live - not that he would have cared whether I lived or died." Doyle forced himself not to turn to look at his partner. "I was in hospital, me nan, me mam's mam had come to visit me - least she didn't blame me for me mam's death - and the way she said goodbye to me made me sure I'd never see her or anyone again." Bodie paused for a moment.

 

Once more Doyle had to force himself not to look at Bodie. However, when the silence stretched on and on, he put out his hand and gave Bodie's thigh a quick squeeze and said softly, "Go on."

 

"Not much else to tell. I was in a side-ward, couldn't risk me infecting anyone else and I woke up to find a woman sitting by my bed stroking my hair. Didn't know who she was, she wasn't wearing a uniform so I reckoned she couldn't be a nurse - but who else could she have been? I couldn't see her face properly, I just could make out she had long, black hair and her hand, her hand was so cool, so wonderfully cool. She talked to me and I'd never heard such a beautiful voice, she sang to me, songs Nan sang from time to time and her voice - it was like an angel. When I woke up, the fever had broken and the doctors were saying I was going to live after all. I asked the nurses who the woman had been, they must have seen her, they'd have come in several times during the night to check on me, but they all said no one had been there." Bodie sighed. "I don't know, Ray, maybe she was just a dream, just my fevered imagination, but -"

 

"You don't think she was?"

 

"Me mam had long black hair; Nan showed me a photo of her once - Dad wouldn't keep any in the house - and she told me Mam had had a beautiful voice and she was always singing." Out of the corner of his eye Doyle saw Bodie shake his head. "It's stupid; it wasn't Mam, it couldn't have been. Ghosts don't exist. It was a dream or my imagination, that's all."

 

Doyle let the silence stretch out before he said quietly, "Did she die in childbirth?"

 

Bodie nodded. "Yeah, apparently she wouldn't let Dad choose to save her. He would have done; he should have done." And he fell silent again.

 

Doyle didn't have an answer so instead he just stretched out his hand and again put it on Bodie's thigh, this time leaving it there until he felt Bodie's hand cover it.

 

They sat in silence for the next twenty minutes until they saw faint lights. "It's on," Doyle said sitting upright as he leant forward and stared out of the window. "Danny was right."

 

"Wonder how he knew?" Bodie said, also sitting upright and staring out of the window.

 

Doyle cast him a brief glance. "Does it matter? All that matters is that we get to rescue the Minister's daughter."

 

"At least we hope we do. Look," Bodie said, suddenly grabbing Doyle's arm.

 

Together they watched as under the light of the full moon four men dressed in long robes carrying something flat with a slim figure dressed in a flowing white long nightdress appeared. They moved slowly and Doyle could just make out that their mouths were moving.

 

The men put the girl (okay, he was guessing here; he hadn't actually seen the person, just seen the long nightdress) down onto a stone table and began to move around her, mouths once again moving. Doyle slowly wound the window down a bit and the sound of faint chanting filled the car.

 

Then as one all four men dropped their robes revealing themselves not only to be stark naked but also highly aroused. Doyle glanced at Bodie and raised an eyebrow. Bodie shook his head, "Let's wait a bit, see what they do next."

 

"Bodie! What they do next is likely to be -" Doyle fell silent and stared in shock as two of the men dropped to their knees in front of the other two and engulfed their swollen erections in their mouths. "Fuck," he muttered.

 

"Be good if they did," Bodie murmured.

 

"What? Bodie!"

 

"Think about it, Ray, when is a bloke at his most vulnerable?"

 

"Oh, right, yeah, you've got a point there. Poor bloody kid."

 

Bodie shrugged. "If they're fucking each other, they're not raping her."

 

Doyle gave a half nod and conceded another point to his partner. Almost unblinkingly they both stared at the men, watching as the two on the ground sucked the two standing; watched the two standing throw back their heads and cry out in pleasure. The chanting had stopped, but the frenzy of almost inarticulate cries filled the air.

 

Once more Doyle risked a glance at Bodie. "On three," Bodie whispered. "One; two; three."

 

As one they silently opened the door and moving quickly, but quietly, not that they were likely to be heard over the now almost animalistic sounds, they made their way to where the four men were.

 

Within thirty seconds all four men were cuffed hand and foot on the ground and Doyle had thrown their robes over their lower bodies whilst Bodie covered them all with his gun in one hand and Doyle's in the other.

 

Doyle stood up, wiped his hands on the sides of his trousers and strode over to where the girl lay. "Hello, sweetheart," he said, as he began to untie her hands and feet whilst Bodie remained alert and on guard. "You're Miranda Cleves, aren't you? I'm Ray Doyle and that there's Bodie - just Bodie - we've come to take you home to your dad."

 

She smiled at him and winced as her hands were freed and he helped her to sit up. "Bodie and Doyle," she said, "Uncle George's best agents and his favourites," she added softly.

 

Doyle blinked. "What?"

 

She pulled her legs up to her chest and smiled at him again. "Oh, yes," she said, "he talked about you two often. He never actually said it, but it was obvious how much he cared about you both; that you were both like sons to him." Doyle didn't know what to say and from a glance at Bodie he saw his partner was as gobsmacked as he was. "And he kept his promise, but then he always did."

 

"Promise?"

 

She nodded. "He once told me, it was years ago now when he'd come to dinner and I'd had a nightmare, that no matter what I'd always be safe. He'd never let anything happen to me. He sent you here tonight."

 

Doyle looked from her to Bodie and swallowed hard. "I -"

 

"He did, Mr. Doyle. I know he did. Somehow he found out where I was and it was he who made certain you'd find me. Look," she added swiftly, "I know that sounds foolish, I know you think I'm just a young girl, but - what other explanation is there? Uncle George knew I needed help so he sent you. He's still keeping watch," she said.

 

Doyle just stared helplessly at Bodie who shrugged but remained as silent as Doyle was. Doyle turned back to Miranda, "Come on, sweetheart," he said, helping her off the stone table, "let's get you into the car and get you home."

 

Bodie radioed in, asking for the men to be collected, whilst Doyle settled Miranda on the back seat with a couple of blankets to help warm her up. He didn't know what to think of her assurance that it had been Cowley who'd sent them - how could it be and yet . . .

 

"Ready?" Bodie got into the driver's seat.

 

"Yes, thank you, Mr. Bodie," Miranda said.

 

"You warm enough?" Doyle asked, glancing over his shoulder.

 

Miranda nodded. "Yes, thank you."

 

They made good time getting across London and within twenty minutes Bodie was bringing the car to a stop outside an impressive looking building. "That was exciting," Miranda said, her voice confirming her words.

 

Doyle glanced at Bodie and said, "Probably best you don't tell your dad quite how quickly we got you here."

 

She laughed. "There are several things I won't tell Daddy," she said. "He doesnít need to know and it would only upset him." Her steady gaze told Doyle just what she meant.

 

He leant over the seat and squeezed her hand. "That's up to you, Miranda," he said softly. "But if you decide to, I'm sure your dad will . . ." He trailed off, suddenly unable to give the usual platitudes. After all, he didn't really know the Minister; he had no idea how he'd react.

 

At that moment the door to the house was flung open and a man, Doyle recognised as the Minister, hurried down the steps. "Miranda?" he cried, pulling open the backdoor and staring down, tears filling his eyes, at his daughter. "Oh, Miranda, you're safe."

 

He reached for her and Miranda scrambled out of the car and flung herself into his arms. "Hello, Daddy," she said, tears falling for the first time down her face. "Yes, I'm safe; I'm safe thanks to Uncle George - he made sure Mr. Bodie and Mr. Doyle knew where to find me. They rescued me, Daddy."

 

The Minister wrapped his arms more securely around his daughter and as she put her head on his shoulder he looked at Bodie and Doyle. "Thank you, gentlemen," he said quietly. "George always said you were his best agents. Thank you," he said again. "Thank you."

 

Doyle swallowed hard. "Just doing our jobs, sir."

 

"I suspect you do them just that little bit better than anyone else."

 

"I'd get Miranda inside, if I were you, sir," Bodie said.

 

"Yes. I'll do that. Thank you," he said again. "I'll be visiting CI5 tomorrow and, gentlemen, I'll expect to see you there. There's a proposition I wish to put to you - to both of you." He looked from Doyle to Bodie and back again.

 

Doyle nodded once. "We'll be there, sir. Goodnight, Miranda," he said softly.

 

She raised her head. "Goodnight, Mr. Doyle; goodnight, Mr. Bodie, and thank you."

 

They watched as the Minister, his arm still around Miranda, led her inside and shut the door behind them before they got into the car and Bodie pulled away from the kerb.

 

"Well," Doyle said, after they'd travelled in silence for a few minutes. "What do you think? Could the Cow have . . ?"

 

Bodie shrugged. "Don't know, Ray. Sounds far fetched to me."

 

"You were the on to who asked how Danny could have known - how anyone could have known. And Danny was the Cow's best informant. He respected Cowley and the old man had a grudging respect for him too and despite everything he trusted him."

 

"Come on, Ray, Cowley never trusted anyone - not really."

 

Doyle frowned. "You're wrong, Bodie, he did - and you know it."

 

Bodie shrugged. "Okay, maybe he did, but he'd never trust someone like Danny."

 

Doyle sighed. "Bodie, there's only one way Danny could have known where Miranda was: someone told him."

 

"Or he was involved."

 

Doyle shook his head. "No, not Danny. That's not his style. Come on, Bodie, kidnap, rape, Satanism, none of those are Danny's style - it's all far too dangerous, far too messy for him to be involved. You know he never likes to get his hands dirty."

 

Bodie shrugged. "Okay. So you're saying that the Cow came back from beyond the grave to tell Danny where Miranda was so that he could tell us and we could save her?"

 

"Why not?" Doyle said quietly. "After all your mam saved you."

 

Bodie glanced swiftly at Doyle for a moment and then he turned back to the road. They travelled in silence for several minutes before Bodie said quietly, "I miss him."

 

"Yeah, so do I. Tell you what, when we get home we'll drink a toast to him and thank him for doing his job one final time."

 

Bodie shrugged and said, "Ah, why not? And when we've done that, I'm going to take you to bed and ravish you."

 

"Only if you can keep me awake," Doyle said.

 

"Oh, I promise you, Raymond my son, you will not want to go to sleep."

 

Laughter filled the car as they drove the rest of the way back to the flat they'd shared for the last four years.

 

 

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