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Prosfic - Sweet and Fitting

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2 October 2009 | 23:25
posted by: byslantedlight in the_safehouse

I seem to be spamming my flist something chronic today, but it's been a while since I posted fic to the_safehouse, so here's a little something I prepared earlier... a really, really little something, just a moment from any one of their days, really...

Title: Sweet and Fitting
Author: Slantedlight
Format: Ficlet thingie
Circuit Archive/ProsLib: Certainly
Slash/Gen: Slash!
Pairing: Always, eternally B/D... *g*
Summary: Another day, another dollar...
Disclaimer: I do not own Bodie, Doyle etc.
Notes: We had an hour and a half to write (I didn't finish then!) and my prompt was that Cowley would be saved by a flat-cap...I know!

Sweet and Fitting
by Slantedlight


"Which way did he go?"

Doyle glanced at Bodie, who'd arrived breathing heavily and collapsed against the brick wall, sending puffs of bright orange brick dust into the air and leaving stripes of it across the shoulder of his jacket. "Dunno. You been on the fried bread again?"

Bodie lifted an eyebrow in disgust. "You try chasing Mulligan up ten flights of stairs, down a fire escape and through the bloody housing estate and see how you feel! And you've gone and lost him!"

"Nah, he's in there somewhere." Doyle shook his head, gestured with his gun at the building in front of them. "It's bricked up on the ground level, and the second floor's long gone. He can't get out unless it's through that door."

Bodie grinned. "Shall we settle in and wait for him then? Get Betty to send us some grub round, get a couple of the lads on silver service, starve him out?"

"You'll do no such thing!" Cowley appeared behind them as if by magic, looking slightly more ruffled than usual, but determined nonetheless. "You'll get off your backsides and do your job - I've lives waiting on that man's information!"

"Yes, sir." Doyle rolled his eyes. "We have been trying, sir."

"Not hard enough! I want...."

"Yessir! Running all the way, sir!" Bodie grabbed at Doyle's sleeve, tugged him away from their vantage point and from Cowley.

"What's got 'im whining away? Anyone'd think we'd been off skiving all night instead of chasing that toerag across half London!" They paused at the end of the wall, the last of their cover before the front of the old factory itself. Bodie ignored him, as he was meant to, and Doyle frowned, brushed absently at the dust on Bodie's jacket as he surveyed the only apparent entrance. "How many shots did he 'ave left?"

"Just one," Bodie said with an unpleasant smile, and Doyle could tell he was tired and feeling merciless. "He won't waste it on us getting over there, not if we split up."

"Right then. Breakfast in bed for whoever gets to him first."

That brought Bodie's smile to him, made it wider, more real. "Breakfast first, or bed first?"

Doyle grinned back, disdained to answer. Get the job over with and they could go home, forget Mulligan, forget Cowley and his twists and turns and political machinations, forget it all. It had been a long ten days, and his brain felt as sleep-gritted as his eyes did.

They scissored away from each other as soon as they left the shelter of the wall, a quick run to opposite ends of the building, and then a cautious sidle along towards the single doorway, pressed close to that wall too, cold in the early morning. Nothing seemed to move anywhere, though London was rumbling to life in the distance all around them, and they knew that Cowley was nearby and Selkirk and Middleton somewhere close behind with the rest of the back up. No sign of Mulligan.

A dim grey glow could be seen through the empty doorway, the roof long since gone and letting in light and rain both, and the door itself lay damp and rotting just inside. From his position, Doyle could see both that there was no cover in the first room, and that there were at least two corridors vanishing into the depths. He held up two fingers at Bodie, pointed to the back wall and the far corner of the room, and got a similar signal in reply. At least three exits Mulligan could have taken into the rest of the building then, though if he did slip past them and out the Cow'd be waiting for him.

He looked again at Bodie, nodded, and they burst through the doorway together, rolling across the muck and grime and splinters to either side of the room, coming to a stop, guns up and ready.

Still silence.

Doyle got to his feet, resisting the urge to brush himself down, or to wipe his hands on his jeans, and flattened himself against the next wall. Through that door and then they'd both be on their own again.

Another glance at Bodie, who was grimmacing as he put his foot to the ground, but shook his head when Doyle widened his eyes in question. Smashed his ankle on a stone, maybe.

One... two... He slid in a rush through the next door, felt the loss of Bodie at his back, his gun arcing around the room even as he saw that it was empty of everything but more debris and mould. Two more doors - he took the one on the left and carried on, through the eerie near-silence. Glass crunched under his feet, loud as bullets, and he froze, listened. Was that a scraping of movement, somewhere distantly towards the centre of the building? Towards Bodie... Or..?

Nothing.

He chose the right-hand door this time anyway, to be closer to the middle of the house, to Bodie, in case it turned out to have been Mulligan after all. There was more detritus in this one, remnants of office furniture, fallen filing cabinets, upturned and half-burned desks, as if someone had tried to set them alight but the damp had defeated even flames on old paintwork.

Something clanged deep in the heart of the building, a clear metallic ringing with echoes that seemed to go on and on, and then suddenly there was a shout somewhere further to his right, a gunshot and another cry.

Bodie...

He crashed through two doors to try and get there faster, his shoulder a dull ache after each of them, his gun held unwaveringly in front of him. Not there, not there, not...

There!

And it wasn't Bodie at all, it was Cowley, with Mulligan's gun to his head, and Mulligan's elbow around his neck holding him in place, a human shield.

Bodie appeared behind him in the corridor at the same moment, and they stood shoulder to shoulder, arms outstretched, following Mulligan's movements as he pulled Cowley back with him, through doorway after doorway until they were nearly at the entrance again. No one said a word as they moved in their strange dance - step-step-shuffle - there was, surely, no need.

Finally Mulligan seemed to realise he was safe, that he'd done it, that he was about to get away with everything, a smile stretching his face.

"You'll never make it out alive," Doyle said rebelliously.

"Y'think so?" Mulligan sneered back, jamming his gun more firmly against Cowley's head, so that Cowley winced and closed his eyes briefly. "Let's see, shall we?"

He could shoot Mulligan, he knew he could - it would be a simple thing to put a hole in his forehead, to blow his brains out and away to join the rest of the detritus and rot in this place, but he couldn't guarantee that Mulligan wouldn't pull his own trigger in death throe, kill their boss in a final moment's cheat of justice.

"Think about it," Cowley's voice, slightly strained, but clear. "There's more mileage in giving yourself up, man."

"How'd you work that one out, then?"

"You'll be on the run," Bodie said coolly, "Kill me, or Doyle here - no one'll care, it's our job. Kill George Cowley..." He let the thought trail away, a hundred nightmare menaces and all of them aimed at Mulligan.

"If you don't do anything stupid I won't need to kill him, will I?" Mulligan said with confidence - he'd always had confidence - pausing in the penultimate doorway, nearly outside, nearly ready to face down the rest of CI5 and get away with it. "Leave me alone, don't follow me, and I'll let him go when I get a chance."

"Why would you do that?" Doyle asked, trying desperately to think, "Maybe he's dead either way, maybe we should just shoot you both now, get it over with."

"You wouldn't..." began Mulligan, and then a flat-capped figure erupted into action behind him, smashing what looked like a bottle of Blue Nun hard across Mulligan's head, so that the glass shattered, and Cowley dropped to the ground to sit stunned and dripping, staring at their saviour in something that was almost shock, the unconscious Mulligan half-cradled in his lap.

"That wash my lasht bottle," the man said thickly, "I exsh-... exshtpe... hope you'll buy me another to shuitably expressh your gratitude!"

"Buy you a crate of 'em," Bodie grinned, recovering first. "Are you alright, sir?" He reached down and offered Cowley his hand, hefted him to his feet, ignoring Mulligan completely as he slumped further to the ground, knocking his head against the doorframe on the way.

Selkirk and Middleton appeared behind the slightly swaying, but determinedly dignified drunk, Robby taking him by the arm and leading him outside while his partner crouched down to see to Mulligan. Further away there was the sound of sirens struggling mournfully through the rush hour traffic.

Cowley shook his coat carefully and distastefully, a light shower of glass fragments and sweet, sticky liquid catching the light as it fell around him, reached a hand to his head and smoothed his hair. "Aye, I am, Bodie. Although it might have been more fitting had one of my own men managed to resolve the situation, rather than..." He frowned, turned to their villain, to make sure he was alright, was whole, was alive.

Doyle rolled his eyes, stepped past the lot of them and through the doorway, out to where the air was maybe a little fresher, a little cleaner. He felt Bodie follow him, the tug of knowing it was him, didn't need to look at him when he stopped, closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

Bodie could have died... "You'd think he might have a little gratitude..."

Bodie took his own breath, and Doyle opened his eyes, turned his head.

"Ah, you know Cowley," Bodie said, and let his hand fall on Doyle's back, warm and heavy and pushing him home, so that Doyle smiled before Bodie even said it: "He's still only wining..."
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Comments {20}

~ SCH ~

(no subject)

from: scherwood
date: 2 October 2009 23:36 (UTC)
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sweet! :D *g*

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 06:34 (UTC)
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Thank you! *g*

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ci5mates

(no subject)

from: ci5mates
date: 3 October 2009 02:54 (UTC)
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I love it, great tension while the building is being searched and the caring for each other's welfare without words, loved Doyle's thoughts about how best to resolve the situation, very realistic, thanks for posting it.

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 06:35 (UTC)
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Well thank you! I almost didn't post it, cos it seems like such a... bare moment of a thing, so I'm extra glad you enjoyed it! *g*

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lukadreaming

(no subject)

from: lukadreaming
date: 3 October 2009 09:14 (UTC)
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Nice one! The tension while they're searching the house is great, as is their back-chat. And the drunk is splendid *g*.

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 18:48 (UTC)
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Thank you! I love the drunk in... that episode that he's in... the one with Kodai and all... erm... gawd it's a good job foreverfoxcat was in my team for the quiz! *g*

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heliophile_oxon

(no subject)

from: heliophile_oxon
date: 3 October 2009 09:15 (UTC)
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Worrying title! But fortunately nobody did die for their country (except the bottle of Blue Nun (nice touch!) which presumably shattered to the scansion of there being a corner of a foreign factory that is forever 1970s Liebfraumilch ... *g*).

The state and feeling of the building is very vivid - muck, grime, debris, mould and fallen filing cabinets and desks that couldn't even burn completely really make it feel present - and I like the way Doyle can't help thinking first of Bodie even as he concentrates on the job. Thoroughly enjoyed this - thank you!

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 18:50 (UTC)
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The drunk sacrificed his all... *g* The Blue Nun had to go in there somewhere, it was quite the feature of our Saturday last... *g* And thank you - very pleased you liked it! Doyle always things of Bodie... *vbg*

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JoJo

(no subject)

from: solosundance
date: 3 October 2009 13:13 (UTC)
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a hundred nightmare menaces oh I like that ... and heeee! Blue Nun as offensive weapon *g* Really good scene, I liked Cowley being in danger and having no gratitude whatsoever. Cos ... yeah, Cowley. And the partnerliness of the lads is just lovely. Kudos, me dear, because that prompt ... meeep!

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 18:51 (UTC)
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Meep and meep thought I, when I got that prompt! I think it may be official that I don't want to can't write a Prosfic that doesn't centre completely around our lads... *g* But yeay and thank you very much for the liking! *g*

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snail

(no subject)

from: snailbones
date: 3 October 2009 13:33 (UTC)
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"He's still only wining..."

Evil evil pun, and very Bodie-like too, and an excellent use of Blue Nun, nasty stuff *g*

Really enjoyed reading, ta muchly.

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 18:53 (UTC)
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Why thank you... *g* Turns out Doyle's pun-iness is catching, you see... *g* Actually it also turned out that I didn't mind the Blue Nun we had the other day at all - I'm not mad on dry white, so it was just fruity enough that I could chill with it instead of getting it over with before I was allowed red!

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msmoat

(no subject)

from: msmoat
date: 3 October 2009 14:32 (UTC)
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Good idea, this writing holiday, wasn't it? *g* And we benefit as well! I like the idea of that prompt box and being forced to just do it. And this was nice and atmospheric--love the closeness between the lads--plus...well, since I hadn't read the prompt before I read this, I wasn't expecting Cowley to pop up there in danger. Heh. Lovely resolution. Thank you!

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 18:55 (UTC)
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It wasn't a bad idea at all, was it?! I'd still like to have got more writing done, but I'm saying phew for even this right now! *g* And thank you! I do like to think of our lads all close... *g*

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Callisto

(no subject)

from: callistosh65
date: 3 October 2009 17:01 (UTC)
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You always write action so well, and this was terrific. I loved the way you built the tension up, and then had Cowley save the day with a bottle of Blue Nun - brilliant! Thank you, it's lovely to read a new story from you again.

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 18:56 (UTC)
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Aww - thank you! And it was lovely to write a new story, the prompt box worked really well that morning, I reckon! I couldn't resist the idea of Cowley being saved, but ending up covered in nasty cheap wine at the end of it all though - and having to thank someone remarkably like that old guy in the Kodai ep... *g*

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angel_ci5

(no subject)

from: angel_ci5
date: 3 October 2009 20:14 (UTC)
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Hooray for Pros fic from the Writing Holiday! This is a perfect snapshot of the lads at work, atmospheric and with great tension... Especially like how you capture their 'choreography' on the job, the way they move and work totally in sync, even when apart, and with constant awareness of one another.
Fab, thank you!

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 3 October 2009 20:26 (UTC)
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Oh, thank you! It seems very snap-shot-y actually, I keep thinking there should be more to it - but I'm very glad you like it anyway! *g*

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Sarah K

(no subject)

from: tears_of_nienna
date: 7 October 2009 07:31 (UTC)
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I loved this, especially the line about how Doyle felt the loss of Bodie at his back. It's such a perfect way of describing how they're always aware of each other.

And I definitely giggled at the pun in the last line. :)

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byslantedlight

(no subject)

from: byslantedlight
date: 7 October 2009 18:19 (UTC)
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Thank you! And hee-oops for the pun-line... *g*

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