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Halloween Challenge Fic: The Informer

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31 October 2005 | 10:54
mood: awake
music: The Best of Anúna
posted by: enednoviel in the_safehouse

Title: The Informer
Author: enednoviel
Format: short story
Hatstand Archive / Circuit Archive / Pros-Lib: yes
Slash/Gen: Gen
Warnings: none
Summary: We all have something we are afraid of, don't we?
Written for the Halloween-Challenge. My words were "ghosts" and "spiders"
Disclaimer: I don’t own Bodie and Doyle, I’m just playing around with them, having a little fun.
Many thanks to my lovely betas angelhunter and byslantedlight!

I wish everyone a Happy Halloween! :)



Not for the first time that night, Raymond Doyle cursed his partner and his bizarre contacts. It wasn't the first time that Bodie had kept him waiting - but Doyle hadn't felt this uncomfortable for quite a while.

He leaned against one of the larger, slightly lopsided tombstones and rubbed his cold hands together, breathing on them in a futile attempt to get them a little warmer. It was a damp and chilly night and Doyle could think of better things to do than spending it in a bloody graveyard, waiting for his bloody partner.

He could kick himself for agreeing to come. It was Halloween and he was off duty for Christ’s sake! Not that he celebrated Halloween, he never had. But he yearned for his warm flat, a good gothic novel and a cup of hot tea. Or, considering how his teeth were clattering together, maybe something stronger. Doyle cursed again and tugged his plaid jacket closer to his shivering body.

What had started as a wonderful off-duty evening for the partners was turning into a nightmare. They’d been watching a pretty decent match on the telly in Bodie’s flat, relaxing and talking, when Bodie received a call from one of his informers. Doyle didn’t know who Bodie’s contact was, apparently someone from his opaque past. Still, his partner had insisted that it was important and asked Doyle to come with him. Of course, he agreed.

He had no idea that the informer had asked Bodie to come to a graveyard in the middle of the night. Naturally Bodie only mentioned this casually much later, when it was too late for Doyle to back out. Bodie tried to appease his grumbling partner by assuring him that it wouldn’t take long and promising that he’d buy him a large malt whisky in their local pub after the meeting. And then to top it all off, Bodie had to run an errand first, and would Doyle meet him at the graveyard?

And now the cheeky bastard kept him waiting.

Doyle shifted his position, looking around nervously, and suppressed another shiver. He used graveyards for training without thinking twice about it, but for some reason he didn’t like graveyards at night. They were creepy in the dark. Had the night been pitch black it would have been far less spooky, but the full moon was only a few days away and no clouds wandered the sky. He had forgotten to bring a torch, but with the moon shining so brightly, it wasn’t really necessary. The graveyard was bathed in a pale light.

Doyle couldn’t think of a rational explanation for his uneasiness. He was neither afraid of the dead nor ghosts. He’d had so many brushes with death himself and had seen so many corpses that it should last him several lifetimes. But still... there was an eerie atmosphere that he couldn't shrug off so easily. He watched as a thick mist slowly crept over the graves, the tombstones casting moonshadows in its wake.

A few paces away, a large stone angel was holding a sword, guarding his family burial site with a fierce expression. Doyle could have sworn that he was waving the weapon in his direction. He felt like an intruder, in a realm where he didn’t belong.

For what must have been the hundredth time, Doyle scrutinized his wristwatch in the moonlight.

"Trick or treat!" a familiar voice said very close to his right ear.

Doyle almost jumped out of his skin. "Bodie! For Christ’s sake, don’t do that!"

"Caught you off guard, eh?" With a perfect imitation of Cowley’s Scottish accent Bodie said: "You’re getting slack, laddie. Letting me get so close..."

"Cut it out! It’s not funny," Doyle growled at his partner.

"Calm down, Ray! Since when are you so jumpy?" Bodie answered, slightly taken aback by Doyle’s vehement reaction.

"Where have you been? I've been freezing my arse off for almost twenty minutes."

"Your arse looks fine to me", Bodie offered.

"BODIE!"

"Sorry. I had no idea you’d be running all the way to get here!"

Doyle sighed. "Never mind. Now that you're finally here, let’s go and find your informant. I haven't seen anyone around."

"That's because you haven’t looked in the right place." Bodie smiled mischievously. He cocked his head, indicating Doyle should follow him.

A few moments later, Bodie stopped.

"Now what?" Doyle asked impatiently. He just wanted to get this over and done with.

Bodie raised an arm, pointing to the entrance of a burial vault. "In there."

Doyle’s gaze followed the outstretched arm and saw that the vault was almost the size of a small house. In broad daylight he probably would have admired the playful neo-gothic architecture, but after his last half hour he felt as if he had swallowed a lump of ice.

"You've gotta be kidding!"

"Afraid not. Arthur has a weird sense of humour."

"Bodie, if this is some kind of sick joke..."

"Honestly, can you think of a safer place to meet, especially at night?" Bodie’s smirk widened. "Ah, don't tell me you're afraid of ghosts."

"I don't believe in ghosts." Doyle grumbled back, still staring at the entrance. But he had to agree, no one else would possibly want to spend a chilly night like this in a burial vault.

Including him.

"Come on, sunshine. Don't be such a sissy." Bodie gave him an encouraging slap on the shoulder and led the way, opening the heavy metal door soundlessly and stepping inside. Reluctantly, Doyle followed.

"Did you at least bring a torch?" he asked. His question was answered by a sudden flash of piercing light pointed in his direction.

"Ta very much, mate." Temporarily blind, Doyle fumbled after his partner with outstretched arms and almost fell down a couple of steps. He caught himself just in time by grabbing the door frame. Carefully he went on.

He didn’t know what to expect. He’d never actually seen a burial vault from the inside. What he certainly hadn’t expected was a clearly structured room with a high roof divided by a crossed vault. In the centre of the room was a stone table. Two wrought-iron benches rested against the opposite walls, each facing the table. The walls were beautifully enhanced with pointed arches and other gothic elements. It all gave the vault a distinctly sacred atmosphere.

There were no coffins. Marble plaques with golden inscriptions indicated where the dead had found their final resting place. The air was heavy with dust, and cobwebs were literally everywhere, however a large vase with fresh flowers rested on the stone table, surrounded by four sanctuary lamps. Furthermore, someone had lit several candles which were filling the space with subdued light. Bodie switched off his torch.

"Why isn’t this thing locked?" Doyle asked.

"It usually is. But Arthur has the keys. It's his family’s vault and he seems to be a kind of keeper of the place."

"And where is he now?" No one had been waiting inside, they were alone. Doyle couldn’t help but feel annoyed.

"Well, he must have been here already or it wouldn’t be unlocked. Maybe he just got bored, waiting for us. I’m sure he’ll be back soon."

Bodie sat down on one of the benches, watching his partner closely. Doyle still felt cold, so he refrained from sitting down on the hard stone next to Bodie, wandering around to study the inscriptions on the marble slabs instead.

"So. The Blakeney family, huh?" Doyle said, moving slowly from one plaque to the next. Most of the slabs not only had the names and dates of the deceased on them, but a short verse of poetry. He reached a pair of slabs which particularly caught his eye, some of the few to display a photograph of the deceased. The first one was labelled Thomas Richard Blakeney. Born May 23rd, 1896. Died November 1st, 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.

"Poor bastard. Guess you missed all the best parts in life," Doyle murmured.

"Eh?" Bodie asked in his direction.

"Oh nothing, just thinking out loud. This one was only 20 years old when he died. He was a soldier. Died at the Battle of the Somme." There was a verse of poetry on the plaque. "Bodie, listen to this:

'We, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.'"


Doyle paused and then added softly: "That’s very touching, innit?"

"Rupert Brooke." Bodie said quietly. Doyle looked at his partner.

"Oh yeah?"

"He was one of the War Poets. I read some of his stuff back in my army days". Bodie made a point of using a casual tone, not looking at him. Doyle tried to picture his partner in a soldier's uniform, reading poetry. He found he could.

Doyle turned around and studied the picture of the young man again. He had a smooth and beautiful face, almost child-like if it hadn't been for the haunted expression and the uniform he was wearing. Must have caused a lot of grief for the birds when he died so young, Doyle mused.

He was jolted violently out of his reverie, when Bodie suddenly jumped to his feet with a long-drawn "Eeeeeewwwww...!"

Doyle spun around, to see him desperately brushing something from his jacket.
"What’s the matter?"

"Spiders." Bodie gasped, his handsome features distorted with revulsion.

"So what? Don’t tell me you’re afraid of spiders!"

Seeing his partner’s disgusted face flush with embarrassment was too much for Doyle. He burst into hysterical giggles.

"I just don’t like ‘em," Bodie said indignantly.

"Now who’s the sissy?" Doyle snorted, still giggling helplessly.

Trying to regain some of his dignity, Bodie said: "Came to hate them when I was in the jungle. I woke up once in the middle of the night and my body was literally swarming with them." Bodie shuddered visibly at the memory and mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like "hate the nasty buggers", still brushing slightly at his shoulders, just in case another spider had found its way onto his jacket.

He didn’t sit down on the bench again and joined Doyle, who had moved on to the next slab.

"Emily Matilda Blakeney", he read aloud. "Born May 23rd, 1896. Died December 14th, 1949." Bodie looked at the picture of the young soldier and back to the woman again. "Must have been his twin sister. Spitting image of 'im over there!"

"You're right." Doyle said. Both men wandered around for a little longer until there was nothing interesting left to see.

Finally, Bodie grew impatient himself. "Where is that stupid git? It's a bit too chilly to keep us waiting this long, innit?"

"Oh? Whatever gave you that impression?" Doyle grumbled sarcastically.

"I'll go and have a look around, maybe I can find him". Bodie headed for the door.

"Oy! What about me?" Somehow Doyle didn't like the thought of being left alone in the burial vault.

Bodie turned around to his partner. "Someone has to stay here, or we might miss him! Don't worry, sunshine, I'll be right back." Before Doyle could say anything else, Bodie disappeared outside.

"Oh, brilliant." Doyle let himself drop down on one of the benches.

A few seconds later, the door slammed shut.

Caught off-guard, Doyle stared disbelievingly at the closed entrance. What was Bodie playing at, slamming the door shut behind him? Irritated, he got up and went to open it again, feeling somewhat trapped.

Which, in fact, he was.

There was nothing to open the door with from the inside. Not quite believing what was happening, Doyle stared at it.

All right, don't panic.

With both hands he pushed, but the door didn't move an inch.

Doyle’s heartbeat raced and he felt sick. Angrily, he pictured his giggling partner standing outside, probably savouring his revenge for Doyle’s laughter a few minutes ago. He pressed his forehead against the door.

"Oh yes. Very funny. You can open the door now. You’ve had your laugh!" Doyle yelled.

Nothing.

"Come on, Bodie, open the door."

Silence.

Doyle tried to suppress a wave of panic. He slammed his shoulder violently against the door but the bloody thing didn’t move an inch.

Why for Christ’s sake was there no way to open the door from the inside?

Because usually no one needs to open the door from the inside.

Doyle breathed heavily; his heart hammered in his chest. "Bodie, if you don’t open that door at once, I’ll bloody kill you!" he roared, beating his fists against cold surface.

No answer.

Doyle stepped back. There had to be a way to get out of here. If he only had a little more light... He remembered the torch that Bodie had brought. Had he taken it along? Doyle turned back to the bench where Bodie had been sitting. Luckily he had left the torch there and Doyle grabbed it hastily. He was just about to return to the door, when for some reason he looked back at the stone table. He froze.

Someone was standing there, watching him.

No, Doyle thought, it was his mind playing a trick on him, the dark form was just a shadow. Curse Bodie and his sick pranks. He wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that he had succeeded in scaring the shit out of his partner. Doyle held his breath and determinedly switched on the torch. What he saw in the flash of light made his blood run cold. With a crash, the torch landed on the stone floor, the glass splintering into a myriad glittering shards.

The pale apparition of Thomas Richard Blakeney was standing behind the table, regarding Doyle with sad, empty eyes, wearing the uniform he had very likely died and been buried in.

Unable to move, Doyle watched in horror as the form glided slowly to the slabs that he and Bodie had studied only shortly before. Hovering in front of them, the spectre raised his right arm, as if to stroke the stone tenderly. Then, he turned back to Doyle, looking at him with such an expression of longing that Doyle’s heart felt it would break. It was as if Blakeney was waiting for a reaction from the living man. For a moment, the two beings from utterly different spheres eyed each other silently.

Just as Doyle was about to regain something of his self-control, the apparition moved again. It drifted slowly towards him, the pale, handsome features distorted by an expression of utter despair.

A fresh surge of panic grabbed Doyle and he staggered backwards. A dull moan reached his ears, but the spectre had not opened its mouth and Doyle realized it had been himself moaning in terror.

Still backing off, not daring to look away from the approaching form, Doyle had forgotten about the stairs. Stumbling, he lost his balance and fell backwards, his arms flailing. He reached out to the wall to catch his fall, but in vain. With a sickening thud, his head smashed against the edge of a stair, exploded in pain.

Ray Doyle was thrown into the bliss and ignorance that was unconsciousness.

*

"Ray? Speak to me, Ray!" A concerned voice reached him through the thick haze as he slowly came to. He felt strong, tender hands touching his face.

Bodie.

Doyle opened his eyes, trying to focus, but a wave of dizziness forced him to close them again.

"Easy, Ray. You're sporting a huge lump on that pretty head of yours. What happened for Christ's sake?"

And Doyle remembered.

Ignoring the dizziness, he opened his eyes again, tried to sit up. He looked into Bodie’s worried face. "Where is he?"

"Who?"

"Blakeney."

"I'm here," a voice responded somewhere above him.

Doyle raised his head and regretted his move immediately as pain shot through him. Squinting back tears, he saw that the speaker was a very lively man. Not a ghost.

"But... I meant Thomas." Doyle said, his voice croaky, his eyes searching the vault for a sign of the spectre.

Bodie and the other man exchanged meaningful glances.

"Listen mate, I think we should get you to a hospital," Bodie said softly.

"I don't need a bloody hospital," Doyle exclaimed angrily, gingerly rubbing his head. "Help me up, will 'ya?"

Bodie pulled his partner up, but grabbed him again, as his shaky legs still threatened to give way. Leaning back against the wall, Doyle tried to regain his balance, breathing hard from the effort, his face pale as death itself. He closed his eyes, wishing that the room would stop spinning.

"Bloody hell, Doyle! I can hardly leave you alone for a second, can I?"

Feeling a bit better, Doyle opened his eyes again.

"Bodie, why did you close the door behind you? Is that your idea of a sick joke?"

The shock in Bodie’s face seemed genuine.

"What are you talking about? I didn’t close the door. I was hardly gone for five minutes. When I found Arthur, we came back here. Then we heard you screaming. We found you lying here, knocked out cold. And the bloody door was still ajar as I left it!"

Doyle didn’t answer. He was still staring in Bodie’s direction, but he seemed far away.

"Ray, what happened?" Bodie stepped closer to his partner.

"I think he saw a ghost." Both agents looked at Arthur Blakeney.

"What?" Bodie snorted, not taking him seriously. But when he looked back at his partner, the grin disappeared from his face.

"You even know his name. Thomas. You saw him, didn’t you?" Blakeney asked
Doyle, who nodded slowly.

"Would someone please tell me what’s going on here?" Bodie snapped angrily.

"I never believed the stories, you know." Arthur walked towards the niche where the two slabs of the twins were situated. "This place is supposed to be haunted by one of my ancestors. Thomas Richard Blakeney to be precise. He had a twin sister."

"Emily," Doyle offered.

"Yes. They were very close. They were inseparable before the war. It broke her heart when her brother fell at the Battle of the Somme. Before Thomas left, he asked that in the event of his death his body be returned to England to be buried here." Arthur touched the slab with Thomas’ inscription. "However, fate had something else in mind and Thomas was buried in France."

Now it was Bodie’s turn to look confused. "His body isn’t here? But why the plaque?"

"There were attempts to bring him back, but for several reasons it never happened. And now he is said to haunt our family vault - but I never believed the stories." He looked back to Doyle.

"I think he wants to come home." Ray said quietly.

"And I think we all need a drink now." Bodie concluded.

FIN

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Comments {9}

Doylebaby

(no subject)

from: doylebaby
date: 31 October 2005 16:07 (UTC)
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Oh my, what a wonderful ghost story, so fitting for Halloween, but I wouldn't mind reading them on other days as well. You sure know how to keep up the suspense.
And I wasn't biting my nails, honest! More please. :-)

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Enednoviel

(no subject)

from: enednoviel
date: 1 November 2005 16:48 (UTC)
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Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Crimson

(no subject)

from: crimson_37
date: 31 October 2005 16:34 (UTC)
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Eerie! And kind of sad. Is there anyway to get him home? Please!
Great story though. I did believe that Bodie had done that on purpose, I wouldn't past him...LOL Thanks for sharing!

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Enednoviel

(no subject)

from: enednoviel
date: 1 November 2005 16:50 (UTC)
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Is there anyway to get him home? Please!

I think Arthur got the message! ;)

I did believe that Bodie had done that on purpose, I wouldn't past him...LOL

In fact, I was playing with the thought as well (Murphy and Bodie playing a Halloween prank on poor Doyle), but... well, the characters had their own idea of how the plot should turn out.

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probodie

(no subject)

from: probodie
date: 31 October 2005 20:06 (UTC)
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Wow, great story - love how Bodie crept up on Doyle in the graveyard - and I love the suspense in the vault. Lovely piece of writing :-)

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Enednoviel

(no subject)

from: enednoviel
date: 1 November 2005 16:51 (UTC)
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Thank you, I'm glad you like it! :D

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Caro Dee

(no subject)

from: carodee
date: 1 November 2005 15:48 (UTC)
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Noooooo, Ray. Don't go into the graveyard at midnight on Halloween. Don't you watch slasher flicks? Aargh.

The ghost broke my heart, poor thing. And the spider thing was great, very believable.

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Enednoviel

(no subject)

from: enednoviel
date: 1 November 2005 16:53 (UTC)
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Noooooo, Ray. Don't go into the graveyard at midnight on Halloween. Don't you watch slasher flicks? Aargh.

LOL!!! Ah... what would a horror / ghost story be without the usual clichés? *grin*

And the spider thing was great, very believable.

I think I've read somewhere that Lew hates spiders, too, so why not Bodie? ;)

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empty_mirrors

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from: empty_mirrors
date: 3 November 2005 16:27 (UTC)
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Oh great. Very spooky and also sad. They need to do a collection and get that body home, toute suite.

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