Doyle has an injured right hand. Nonetheless, he is determined it won't prevent him from backing Bodie up. Cowley, however, has different ideas.
An established relationship story.
Written: October 2014. Word count: 3,640.
"The answer is still no, Doyle." Cowley stared at Doyle over the top of his glasses.
"But, sir -"
"No, Doyle. You can't hold your gun, and if you can't hold your gun you're no use to me." Cowley took his glasses off and met Doyle's gaze.
Doyle gritted his teeth and prepared to argue his case. "I can hold and shoot a gun as well with my left hand as I can with my right. Sir," he added.
Cowley sighed. "Aye, Doyle. I know you can. But that isn't the point."
Doyle glanced swiftly at Bodie who so far had been standing quietly by his side. "What is the point then, sir?"
Cowley closed the file he'd been reading and glared at Doyle. "The point, Doyle, is if something was to go wrong and -"
"Nothing will go wrong. See?" And with a swift move Doyle unholstered his gun, cocked it and pointed it directly at Cowley's head.
"Ray." For the first time Bodie not only spoke, he moved, put his hand on Doyle's arm and calmly pushed it down.
Cowley, however, didn't even blink, let alone flinch as he continued to look up at Doyle. "That's enough of the school boy demonstrations, Doyle," he snapped, sounding angry for the first time since Doyle has marched into his office. "I'm saying no. That should be enough for you."
"But, Mr. Cowley, sir. Bodie is my partner."
For a moment a faint smile touched Cowley's lips then it was gone; it was gone so quickly, Doyle couldn't actually swear that he saw it. "Aye, Doyle. I know he is. I partnered you, remember?"
"Partners look out for one another. Partners back one another up. Partners watch one another's backs. Partners -"
"Are you trying to tell me you don't trust anyone else in this agency to watch Bodie's back? Is what you're trying to tell me, Doyle?" Now Cowley sounded very angry.
Doyle froze. Was he saying that? Actually, he guessed he was. But that wasn't what the old man waned to hear. "No, sir," he said carefully. "I'm not saying that."
"I'm glad to hear it, Doyle. All the men and women on my squad are more than capable of watching one another's backs. Isn't that so, Bodie?"
"Yes, sir," Bodie said, coming slightly more to attention as he often did when talking to Cowley.
Doyle shot him a look which both Bodie and (thankfully) Cowley ignored. "Can't I
just go along and -
"No, Doyle! And that's all I have to say on the matter. You will not be involved in this case. You will go home and rest that hand of yours. One more week, that's what the doctor said, and that's who I listen to."
Doyle knew he was beaten; he'd known that long before he'd gone into Cowley's office. Cowley never changed his mind - at least not when it was completely made up. Nonetheless, he hadn't been called 'an obstinate bastard' by his dad on more than one occasion.
He took a deep breath and opened his mouth, prepared for one last try. "Mr. Cowley, sir. I -"
"Be quiet, Doyle!" Cowley stood up sharply and Doyle didn't fail to notice a slight wince race across Cowley's face; no doubt his leg hadn't approved of such a quick move. He put his hands on the desk and leant forward; his face was pale, his expression grim. "When I gave you and Bodie," he paused for a second and glanced at Bodie, before looking back at Doyle. "Permission to," again he paused, and Doyle wondered if for the first time in two years, Cowley was actually going to acknowledge Doyle's other partnership with Bodie. However, Cowley simply said, "Share a flat with Bodie, you assured me - you both assured me, Doyle - that it wouldn't make any difference to your working relationship."
Doyle glanced swiftly at Bodie who still stood partly to attention, his hands behind his back, seemingly staring over Cowley's shoulder. "And it hasn't, sir." He paused, swallowed, looked at Bodie again, who this time actually turned his head and gave a small nod. "I'd still have been as," he paused again, and chose his words carefully, "determined to back Bodie up, even if we didn't . . . Share a flat."
Cowley's lips twitched again. "Determined, eh, Doyle? That's what you call it, is it?" Doyle shrugged and nodded. Cowley sighed, moved from behind his desk, his limp was far more pronounced than it usually was, and not for the first time Doyle wondered if he would ever have the bullet removed. He limped across to the cupboard where he kept his booze, opened the door and pulled out a bottle of Glenfiddich and three glasses and brought them back to his desk.
He uncorked the whisky and poured some into three glasses, pushing two of them across the desk and nodded. Both Doyle and Bodie picked their glasses up.
"Thank you, sir."
"Thank you, sir."
Cowley drained his glass and sat back down; he seemed relived to have the weight off of his leg. He leant back in his chair and continued to stare at Doyle. "I admire tenacity, Doyle," he said. "I do. It's one of the things I've always liked about you."
"Thank you, sir," Doyle mumbled.
"But there's a time and a place of it. And now is neither of those. Do you hear me, Doyle?"
Doyle again glanced at Bodie who gave him another small nod. Sighing, Doyle turned back to Cowley; even he knew when he was beaten. "Yes, sir," he said, his tone flat. He looked over the top of Cowley's head.
"Ah, you're angry, Doyle. I can see that. Angry with me. Angry with yourself. Probably even angry with Bodie. Isn't that right?"
Doyle gritted his teeth and silently cursed Cowley and his ancestry. "Yes, sir."
"Yes, sir," Cowley repeated. He sat in silence for a short time before sighing and saying, "Go home, Doyle. You can't hold a gun, and you're no good to me when you can't hold a gun."
Doyle bit his lip. "Yes, sir." He turned his gaze back onto Cowley and glowered at him.
For a moment Cowley's lips twitched upwards and his eyes seemed to soften just a little as he looked at Doyle. Then he gave Doyle a dismissive nod and turned to Bodie. "You have your orders, Bodie."
Bodie once again straightened up. "Yes, sir."
Cowley glanced from Bodie to Doyle, nodded and said, "Dismissed."
As one, Bodie and he turned and headed towards the door. Bodie had already opened it, ready to usher Doyle out into the hallway when Cowley called, "And, Doyle?"
Doyle turned around. "Yes, Mr. Cowley?"
Doyle sighed. "Yes, sir. Yes, Mr. Cowley," he added. He didn't miss the flash of humour that shot through his boss's eyes. Bastard, he thought, turning around and letting Bodie wave him out into the hallway.
He waited until the door was closed before turning to Bodie and saying, "Bastard! Him," he added, nodding towards Cowley's door. "He could easily have let me go with you. He knows how good I am with my left hand; how well I can shoot."
Bodie sighed and put his hand under Doyle's left elbow and began to walk. "Yes, Ray. Everyone in the squad knows how well you can shoot with your left hand."
Just for a second Doyle felt his cheeks flush. Okay, so he had been showing off when he'd taken part in the annual shooting competition earlier in the year and had shot with his left hand. Well, he'd won it for the last four years - there really was no one better in the squad with a handgun than him - and he'd been bored. So he decided to give the others a chance and use his left hand; he'd won it again.
"Yeah, well. I'd have managed. You want me there, don't you, Bodie?"
Bodie paused outside the break room and stared at Doyle. "Of course I do, Ray. But you heard the old man: 'You can't hold a gun, Doyle, and if you can't hold a gun you're no good to me."
Against his will, Doyle gave a snort of laughter at the rather excellent impersonation of Cowley.
"That's better. Now come on," Bodie glanced around him, before leaning around Doyle to open the door to the break room and push him inside.
The next moment Doyle was pushed against the door, Bodie's arms were around him and his mouth was being plundered by Bodie's. For a second he tried to fight the kiss, but then Bodie wound his hand in his curls and held him firmly; Doyle stopped resisting and returned the kiss with interest.
The kiss became deeper and for a moment the passion between them intensified and became almost dangerous. Then Doyle felt Bodie relax his grip and gentle the kiss somewhat before finally pulling back, lifting his head and staring at Doyle. "Better?" he said, and quite deliberately let his gaze travel up and down Doyle's body before he raised a sardonic eyebrow.
"Bastard," Doyle said, without any real heat in his tone.
Bodie just shrugged, brushed his lips over Doyle's again before letting his hand fall from Doyle's curls and pulling his gun out and going over to the table.
For something to do rather than because he actually wanted one, Doyle busied himself making a pot of tea whilst Bodie methodically and meticulously checked his gun. Doyle itched to pull his own out and check it, but what was the point?
"Tea?" he said, when the tea had brewed.
Bodie glanced at him. "Thanks," he said, and held out his hand.
Doyle poured milk and tea into two mugs and carried them, with his left hand back to the table. He put both down and then handed one to Bodie; their fingers brushed against one another and for a moment or two neither of them broke the contact. Then after a small nod, Bodie took the mug and swallowed a mouthful, before wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, taking another swallow and standing up.
He put his gun back into its holster and looked at Doyle. "I'd better go," he said. "Jax and Anson will be waiting." He turned around.
"Bodie?" Doyle caught his arm. Bodie stopped and looked back at Doyle. "Take care," he said softly.
Bodie met his gaze. "Always do, sweetheart," he drawled.
"Bodie!" Doyle growled, moving a step nearer to Bodie and trying to intimate him.
Bodie shrugged and said something he rarely said. "Sorry," he touched Doyle's head. "I'll take care, sunshine." For a long moment they just held one another's gazes and silently said things they had never, not even after two years of sharing a bed, of being exclusive, said. Bodie again brushed his hand over Doyle's head and said quietly, "And, Ray?"
Doyle sighed. "Yes, Bodie."
"You can cook me something nice. You know I've always fancied going home to someone who'll cook and clean for me and look after me."
"Screw you!" Doyle spat.
Bodie grinned and then said, "Later."
Doyle stared at him. "Later?"
Bodie nodded. "Yeah, later. Now be a good boy and go home." He grinned, and after a moment or two Doyle let the smile he'd been trying to hide appear.
He briefly put his hand on Bodie's cheek and cupped it, before he whirled on his heel and strode across to the door, yanked it open and hurried out into the corridor. "Damn it," he muttered, dragging his hand over his eyes and sniffing. He hated, he'd always hated, how easily he became emotional, and how often tears would fill his eyes or his voice would become broken. It was bloody stupid, but it was something he didn't know how to stop.
He decided to walk home; it was a nice day and if he walked maybe he'd get another glimpse of Bodie in the car on the way to his 'assignment'. Bloody Cowley and his bloody rules. Why couldn't he bend them for once? He really was as good with a gun in his left hand as he was with it in his right; why couldn't Cowley -
He jumped at the sound of a horn being sounded by a car racing by him. He recognised it as the car Jax preferred to drive. "Drive slower," he yelled, glaring after the car and shaking his head at the hand which waved out of the window - Bodie's hand. Bloody Bodie.
THREE HOURS LATER
Doyle threw the book he'd been reading, been trying to read, down onto the couch, stood up and paced across the room. It was the fourth book he'd started and the fourth he'd abandoned, just as he'd abandoned a film, some kind of quiz show and some medical series. He'd prepared dinner and proved not only could he use a gun in his left hand, he could handle a knife as well. He'd even managed to wash up the breakfast plates and mugs, and he'd hoovered the whole bloody flat and cleaned the bathroom. And he'd done it all with his left hand. Bloody Cowley; why did he have to be so bloody obstinate?
He stared out of the window and noticed how grubby they were. With a sigh he headed towards the kitchen to get a bowl of water and cloth. He had to do something to pass the time, even if it was more cleaning. The bowl was full of hot water before the futility of what he was about to do hit him.
He wasn't a cleaner; he was a CI5 agent. He shouldn't be in his flat cleaning; he should be out there backing up his partner. Bodie; his partner. And he didn't care what Cowley thought about how everyone was capable of backing Bodie up. He didn't care about Jax or Anson's competence; Bodie was his partner and his place was out there backing Bodie up.
He grabbed his gun, holster and jacket and put them on. Seconds later he grabbed his car keys, slammed the door behind him, listened to the dead lock drop into place, before turning and jogging down the stairs and out to his car. He revved the engine and tires squealing took off along the road, heading for the place Bodie would be.
As he drove, wincing every time he had to change gear, thus had to grip the steering wheel with his right hand, he had to admit that driving one-handed wasn't that easy. In the end he resorted to slipping the clutch from time to time, rather than actually change gear. By the time he reached his destination, his right hand was throbbing.
He brought his car to a stop next to Jax's and got out, scrutinising the area as he did so. It was quiet; in fact it was too bloody quiet. He had a sinking feeling that something had gone wrong. If it had, if Bodie was dead then he'd -
He stopped and slipped behind a tree as he heard footsteps and a dragging sound. Gun already in his hand, trying not to breathe, he shifted slightly in an attempt to see around the tree. What he saw made him swallow hard and bite his lip.
Bodie, his head bleeding, one eye completely closed, dried blood under his nose, what remained of his shirt torn, was being half-pushed, half-dragged along. His hands were cuffed behind his back and his ankles had been shackled together. Something had gone wrong; something had gone badly wrong.
Bodie seemed defeated, something Doyle had never seen before; Bodie was never defeated; never. He always . . . He always knew Doyle was there to back him up. But today he didn't know that; thanks to obstinate bloody Cowley he didn't know that. He thought he was alone. For a second Doyle spared Jax and Anson a thought and hoped, assuming they were dead, which seemed likely, it had at least been quick.
For a second tears prickled his eyes, they had been good mates. He blinked them away as he slowly and quietly followed the man who sported a large rifle and Bodie, keeping as close to the trees as he could. He couldn't spare any time to grieve for Anson and Jax; he couldn't spare any time to think about them. If they were dead there was nothing he could do for them, not now. Later he'd help carry their coffins and he'd shed tears for them, but for now he could do nothing.
For now he couldn't do anything for them, but maybe he could do something for Bodie. He had to time it well; he had to time it perfectly. He'd get one shot at it, he knew that. The bloke with Bodie was a large man; 'know your enemy', was one of Cowley's mantras and Doyle knew him - well his type. And he knew that even with both of them having two arms, even he and Bodie would find it hard to take down the bastard who led Bodie along.
He couldn't count on any help from Bodie, he seemed almost out on his feet, and from the angle of one of his arms, Doyle reckoned it might be broken. Great, that gave them two good hands between them and given Bodie was handcuffed it didn't help the odds.
No, it had to be a shot. But given the way the bloke was holding the rifle under Bodie's chin as he dragged him along, it had to be the perfectly timed and executed shot. And what if he missed? 'When have you ever missed'? He heard, quite clearly, the words Bodie had said to him on more than one occasion - occasions when had Doyle missed, Bodie almost certainly wouldn't be here now.
Suddenly he ran out of tree cover and still the bastard kept dragging Bodie along. A handgun had a limited range, no matter how good a shot someone was, and that range was getting closer and closer. Doyle brought his gun up and sighted. But something made him wait; not hesitate: wait.
A second later, the bloke pushed Bodie down onto his knees and then the rifle was being held at Bodie's temple. Doyle could see the trigger had already been squeezed which meant . . . He had one shot at this - well two.
Praying to a God he had never actually believed in and trusting in Bodie, he yelled, "Bodie! Down!" His first shot hit the trigger hand, causing the man to scream and drop the rifle even as he wheeled and pulled a handgun from under his coat. His second and third shots hit the man's heart as he dived to the ground out of the way of the bullet the bloke had managed to get off a split second before Doyle's had torn into his chest.
"Bodie!" he cried. He scrambled to his feet and, gun still in hand, eyes never leaving the body of the man sprawled and bleeding on the ground, taking care, he ran towards Bodie who also lay still - deathly still.
He spared half a second to look at the man and confirm he was dead before, for good measure, smashing his gun on the bloke's temple. He then turned to Bodie and dropped to his knees by the side of him and stared at him. He lay still, unmoving, his eyes closed; for a moment he didn't seem to be breathing. Had a bullet caught him? Had one of Doyle's own bullets caught him?
"Bodie!" He shook Bodie's lifeless body as a chill began to move through him. "Bodie," he managed, no longer trying to prevent his voice from shaking or the tears from forming in his eyes. "Bodie!"
A moment later as a tear slipped from his eye and he dashed is away, Bodie's eyes opened and he looked up at Doyle. "Hello, sunshine," he said, his voice as calm as if Doyle had gone out for a pint of milk and returned home. "Crying again, I see."
"Damn you, Bodie," Doyle snarled. "Damn you. I should -" He silenced himself by bending closer to Bodie and kissing him brutally for a moment before gentling it and finally stopping it. "What happened?" he said, helping Bodie firstly to sit up and then stand up. He removed the shackles around Bodie's ankles and used the key to his own handcuffs to uncuff Bodie.
Bodie was silent for a moment before saying, his voice flat (the tone Doyle knew meant he was repressing all hint of emotion), "Jax and Anson are dead."
Doyle squeezed his hand and allowed thoughts of Jax and Anson finally to penetrate his mind. Now he could do something for them; now he knew Bodie was okay, he could do something for them. "But you're alive," he said, turning to look at Bodie.
He knew Bodie would read his expression and know he wasn't being dismissive of the deaths of their mates and fellow agents. It was just -
Bodie nodded, his expression was grim. "Yeah," he said. "I shouldn't be. But thanks to you being the obstinate bastard you are . . ." He let his words trail off.
Doyle nodded. "Come on," he said, and putting his arm around Bodie's back to help steady him, they made their way back along the road. Back to Jax and Anson. He swallowed hard.
"We're alive," Bodie said, his tone flat. His eyes however showed the emotion he felt.
"Yeah," Doyle said. "Yeah, we are." They were silent as they continued to walk.
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