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8 September 2005 | 21:36
posted by: thoraarwin in the_safehouse

Title: All Quiet on His Front
Author: Thora Arwin
Format: short story
Slash/Gen: Slash
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: I don't own Bodie and Doyle, I'm just playing with them. No profit being made.

Note: A big, big thank you goes to my beta, Vesta! She did a truly amazing job.

Hatstand, Circuit, Pros-Lib: Yes



The house opposite had been bugged and put under 24 hour surveillance; they’d been on twelve-hour shifts since Monday, sitting by the window with binoculars and headphones, taking notes, wishing they were anywhere else.

Doyle had a vivid memory of the last time he’d been on a job like this.

He was partnered with Murphy while Bodie was getting a cast at the hospital. Broke his hand on a job gone sour- pushing Doyle out of a bullet’s way at the last moment.

High on adrenaline, every nerve strung to breaking point - it had been close this time, too bloody close. It felt like they were living on borrowed time, Cowley making a pact with the very Devil to keep them that way for one more day, one more operation.

And Murphy knew. He knew what Doyle wanted from Bodie and couldn’t get, could never ask, could never hope for. So Murphy did it, didn’t he? Slipped his hand inside Doyle’s jeans, found his cock already hard, weeping.


Doyle shook himself out of his reverie and lowered the binoculars. Giving Jax half a smile, he said, "Time flies when you’re having fun."

Jax took his place on the stool, picked up the headphones. "When are they supposed to relieve us?"

Huh? Oh, Croft and Bodie.


"Five more hours to go, Jax." He stretched stiff back muscles and flopped down onto the settee. Tucking the blanket firmly under his chin, he closed his eyes and tried to sleep - but sleep wouldn’t come; Bodie’s handsome face kept forming against his closed eyelids.

Bodie had to catch them at it, of course. Had to walk through the door, had to see Murphy’s hand down his pants, the look of bliss on his face.

The sneer, then. The contempt.

"Well, will you look at that. My partner’s a fucking queer."

"Bodie -"

"Shut up, Murphy." Disgust, all fully aimed at Doyle. "A fucking pansy. You make me sick, Doyle."

You make me sick.

Bodie had asked for another partner.


He couldn’t sleep. He heard Jax rustling about with the papers, heard tea being poured in the quiet room.

"Time yet, Jax?"

"Nah, you got twenty more minutes."

Doyle sniffed. The room was cold. And he felt cold, despite the blanket. Cold inside, too.

"Something happen at our friend’s?" he asked, rolling around and looking at Jax’s back.

Jax was sipping coffee from his mug, staring out the window. "Yeh. He switched the light on thirty minutes ago, went to the loo, switched the light off again. Pretty exciting."


"Go back to sleep, Ray," Jax advised quietly. And then on a lighter note, "You need your beauty sleep."

"Right." A snort of laughter. "Look at me." And Doyle rolled onto his side, faced the back of the settee again.

The room was silent for a while.

"You should sort it out, Ray."

Oh, brave. Brave of Jax, offering help. No one had, yet. Every agent wondered why Bodie and Doyle, Cowley’s best, weren’t partnered anymore. But no-one dared to ask.

"Talk to him, can’t you?" More moving about; Doyle could feel Jax’s eyes boring into his back. "Look, no-one knows why you two went from comrades-in-arms to… to this. You need to talk about it, okay?"

Doyle laughed. "Ross tried that."

"Ray -"

"Didn’t work. I sneaked a peek at her session log a couple of times. Bodie never said a word."

"Did you?"

Doyle ignored him, continuing, "And after a month when they were sure we could still function at a hundred percent, solo or teamed with anyone else, they let it be. So did she."

Silence. Then, "Is that why Murphy quit?"

Oh, sharp, Jax. Under different circumstances, Doyle would have laughed. "You’re quick, Jax. But no. He’d wanted to leave for a long time."

More silence, Jax probably pondering what Doyle had said- and wondering what he’d left unsaid. Would he figure it out?

"You should still try talking to him, Ray. Explain."

God bless him. Jax was a real friend. Here they were on a bloody stakeout, and he was trying to dig him out of his own misery pit.

A queer and a spade. You bastard, Bodie. You bastard.

"I tried a couple of times, Jax. A couple of dozen times." And then he closed his eyes, felt the numbness creep into him alongside the cold. "He hates me."


The house opposite was as quiet as the grave. Their room was quiet, too. Jax was sleeping on the settee that Doyle had vacated fifteen minutes ago. He didn’t snore.

Not like Bodie.

Doyle picked up the binoculars and scanned the four windows. Hall, two in the living room, one in the bedroom. No light, no movement. Their Arab friend was fast asleep.

Jax’s coffee was cold, he noted absently, gulping down the whole mug in three swallows. Didn’t cold coffee have a carcinogenic effect? He’d read that somewhere, he thought. Or maybe one of his health-freak birds had told him. Could have been Amanda, that pretty nurse. Bodie had chatted her up, of course, the moment he saw her chest.

Christ, what time was it? And what did it matter anyway? He couldn’t sleep on obbo.

Couldn’t sleep, at all. When was the last time he had a few hours kip?

When was the last time he had a life? Cowley made sure he was working almost non-stop. No time to dwell, no time for guilt, for retrospection… the boss had to have some idea of what had happened between them, he thought. What breach of trust could be so deep that it could ruin everything…

Doyle wished he’d told Ross what had happened. But he couldn’t bring himself to say it; and when he'd found out Bodie had never said a word -well, there was no point, was there.

Five am. Time to wake up Jax.


"You should’ve seen her, Ray."

"Huh?" Doyle tucked the blanket under his armpits and blinked at the ceiling.

"The girl in my dream. You should’ve seen her."

"Oh." He turned his head sideways and watched Jax flex his back and bring the binoculars to his eyes.

"Plenty of action," Jax was saying. "Not like over there."

Doyle grinned. "Our little friend went on another trip to the loo ten minutes ago."

Jax looked back over his shoulder and smiled brightly at him before turning back to the window. It took Doyle by surprise -made him realise people had been giving him pitying smiles for weeks.

"Hey, you drank all my coffee!"

"Yummy, yummy."

"Cold? Ew. You've got some weird tastes, Doyle."

Tastes. Preferences.

You make me sick.

"I do, don’t I?" He wanted to say it lightly, but it came out strangled.

Jax tensed, then sighed. "You know," he said, "my sister… she married a white bloke. My father, he hated her for it, you know? Didn’t talk to her for three years."

Doyle closed his eyes.

"Then she had twins." Jax laughed. "They’re gorgeous, you should see them. Tommy and Jesse. My father took one look at them, one look, I tell you, and he’s never turned down an offer to baby-sit or visit them since. He apologised to her, and she forgave him."

"One big happy family."

Jax chuckled. "You can say that again."

Doyle was silent for a moment. Then, "So, a big emotional scene’s what I need? That’s what you’re saying? That’s gonna make Bodie talk to me again?" He couldn’t keep the irritation out of his voice.

"No, all I’m saying -"

"He didn’t even visit me at the hospital."

"Ray -"

"I got shot clean through the middle!" He was half-sitting now, shouting, angry at the whole world. "And he didn’t come, not once! Tell me, Jax, is that emotional enough? Is that emotional enough to make Bodie care?" And then his voice broke and he whispered, "Or do I have to wait for my funeral, Jax?"

Jax said nothing.


Six am. Traffic on the street now, at least; something to watch before the Arab woke up.

Doyle hadn’t had any sleep at all. His head was swimming. He felt the lack of sleep, his body felt it, but his mind wouldn’t switch off.

Last time it had switched off a bit he’d been sloshed, at his own birthday party, three weeks ago, in the rest room. He smiled at the thought. The other agents had decorated it with balloons and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAYMOND sign, stuck to the wall with sellotape. Betty had baked him a cake, which the lads disposed of quickly, and Anson had bought him a box of Cuban cigars, saying he was trying to quit, as smoking was bad for your health. They’d all laughed, of course, and then he got a couple of wrapped presents from the female agents and Lucas handed him a big, hand-made birthday card: YOU’RE A YEAR OLDER, A BIT GREYER AND A BIT FATTER, SO JUST DO WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE DOES and inside it read LIE ABOUT YOUR AGE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, 4.5! And all of them had signed it.

All except Bodie.


Jax took his place on the stool and brought the steaming cup of coffee to his lips. "Mm. Bliss."

"Save some for me then." Doyle was sitting on the settee, blanket over his lap. He flipped through a Playboy.

Jax scribbled something on his notepad. "You didn’t sleep, at all, did you?"

Nice tits.

"Who needs sleep?" Nice arse. "Not me." Nice tits and arse, he thought approvingly.

"Good thing we’ll be out of here soon."

"Yeah." He tossed the magazine aside and reached for another issue.

He wasn’t 'queer', as Bodie put it. More… bisexual, yeah. He’d been an artist, hadn’t he? Had an eye for beauty.

You make me sick.

And suddenly he felt like he was going to be sick. Christ, he hadn’t eaten anything for hours - days, maybe, his body had been functioning on coffee alone. His stomach turned and he bolted for the bathroom, managing to lift the toilet lid just in time.

He threw up, brownish liquid gushing out of his mouth, belly aching with the spasms. He was only dimly aware of Jax calling after him, and then there were more voices, Croft’s sunny "Good morning!" ringing in his ears.


He retched again, stomach muscles convulsing, but finally it stopped and he slid onto the floor, back resting against the tiles, cool against his sweat-soaked shirt.


Doyle blinked, looked up at the source of the voice. Bodie was standing in the doorway; their eyes locked, but Bodie’s were carefully devoid of emotion. "What’s the -"

Doyle tore his gaze away, hurting to the depths of his soul.

"You didn’t come see me at the hospital," he said quietly. It was, ridiculously, the first thing that came to his mind after three months of silence.


"I was in hospital and you didn’t come." Doyle wanted to sound angry, but the tone was full of bewilderment instead. Confusion.

And then Bodie said something that finally cracked the wall between them.

"I came," he said slowly, kicking the bathroom door closed and crouching down next to him. "But you were out of it, mate, never came to while I was there."


"The nurses never said anything!"

Bodie sighed. "I asked them not to tell you. Didn’t want you to know."

"But why? Why, Bodie?"

Bodie lowered his head, jaw tightening. "I was angry. Angry at you for getting shot, angry at Murphy… angry at you for letting him - Christ, I didn’t - I didn’t know how to handle it." He rubbed a hand over his face before meeting Doyle’s eyes again. He looked completely exhausted.

Just like I do…

Doyle sniffed, tremors still running through him.

"You didn’t sign my card," he said. Was it pathetic to want a signed birthday card from Bodie? He didn’t care; it was important.

Bodie chuckled, some of the wariness leaving him. "Didn’t have time, did I? I was running around London like a chicken with its head cut off, getting you that Harley cover you're always on about, sunshine."


Sounding a little embarrassed, Bodie added, "‘Course, I never got round to giving it to you but it’s in my garage." He cleared his throat. "If you want it."

They looked at each other for a moment.

"I can’t change what I am, Bodie," Doyle said finally. "You understand that? I’m bisexual, always have been." He searched Bodie’s face for any signs of disgust or contempt and when he didn’t find any he continued, "I still want you as my partner, Bodie. I’m not going to jump you when you’re not looking."

Bodie gave him a weak smile. "Even if I want you to?"

Doyle stared at him, not believing what he'd just heard.

"I’m sorry, Ray. I’m so sorry," Bodie was saying quickly, "for yelling at you and Murphy. I didn’t mean it, you have to believe me. I wanted - I was angry - I wanted to be the one touching you, okay?"

There. It hung between them, Bodie’s apology and admission. It wouldn’t have felt much different if he’d been hit by a ten-ton lorry.

"You what?"

'Want you,' Bodie mouthed shyly.

"You what?" and Bodie chuckled.

"Obtuse little bugger, aren’t you?"

Trust Bodie. He’d laugh it off as a joke if he let him off the hook. And no way was he going to let that happen…he was grinning himself now.

"Wish those two weren’t standing outside that door listening, I’d…"


Doyle flashed his first genuine smile in days. ‘Kiss you,’ he mouthed.

Bodie laughed, a little breathlessly. "You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for you to do just that, sunshine."

Sunshine again… God, he loved the silly sod.

Doyle felt a delicious warmth spread through his body, but it was gradually replaced by irritation. "Then why didn’t you say something, you idiot!"

Bodie brought his hand up, ran his knuckles against Doyle’s clammy cheekbone. "I'm not big on words, Ray, you know that."

"Now I do."


Doyle turned his head slightly and brushed his lips against Bodie’s palm, a lover’s gesture. "It’s not just sex for me, Bodie. You know that?"

Bodie’s eyes twinkled. "Yeah, I know, Ray. Same for me. Know that now, too."

Doyle groaned, and then they were plastered together, mouth pressed to mouth, tongues clashing, hands roaming.

"Not one of our better ideas," Doyle commented breathlessly, when they drew apart a full minute later. "They probably heard you panting down the corridor."

Bodie was tucking his shirt back into his trousers, smirking. "Come on, Ray, the rumours have been flying since Cowley teamed us. No-one's going to notice if we actually do start screwing each other through the mattress."

"True, I suppose."

"You can bet on it."

Doyle smiled at him affectionately. And then he realised something. "Oh, no…"

"What?" Bodie asked, hand tracing a path up the inside of his thigh. "Don’t tell me you’re having second thoughts," he added wickedly, brushing his palm across the bulge.

"Bodie!" Doyle twisted away from probing fingers, gasping. "Trust you to… no, of course not. I was only thinking -"

"There’s one for the Guinness book."

"Bodie." Doyle gave him a wounded look. "Only thinking - your shift!"


Doyle patiently counted to ten. "You’ll be here for another twelve hours, mate. Which means -"

"No sex." Bodie's eyes widened in horror as the penny dropped.

"Yep." Doyle nodded. "For starters."



Link | R/T open |

Comments {14}


(no subject)

from: shayheyred
date: 8 September 2005 20:31 (UTC)

Cool. You had my heart wrenched there for a bit, you know.

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(no subject)

from: thoraarwin
date: 9 September 2005 16:02 (UTC)

Heh:-) Thanks!

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(no subject)

from: doylebaby
date: 8 September 2005 20:40 (UTC)

You had me worried for a minute, I didn't think they were going to get it together. Very well done, like the use of Jax, always a sensible man. Really enjoyed it. :-)

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(no subject)

from: thoraarwin
date: 9 September 2005 16:03 (UTC)

Jax is so under-used in fics! Even though he's an absolute sweetheart- I think;-) Glad you liked it!

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(no subject)

from: probodie
date: 8 September 2005 21:04 (UTC)

Wow. I echo the other two - I was really concerned for a bit. But I love how you ended it. It's a lovely read, thanks for sharing it.

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(no subject)

from: thoraarwin
date: 9 September 2005 16:04 (UTC)

Thank you very much, darling!

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(no subject)

from: paris7am
date: 8 September 2005 22:05 (UTC)

Lovely story, thank you!

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(no subject)

from: thoraarwin
date: 9 September 2005 16:04 (UTC)

You're welcome, lol! Glad you enjoyed it:-D

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Caro Dee

(no subject)

from: carodee
date: 8 September 2005 22:40 (UTC)

You did a beautiful job of making me ache for Ray. Good use of Jax, who's clearly figured it out and offering advice without getting uncomfortably personal. And Bodie *g* who caves like a wet kleenex the first time Ray gives him an opening. Very enjoyable.

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(no subject)

from: thoraarwin
date: 9 September 2005 16:07 (UTC)

Jax is- yup, kind, warm-hearted, under-used (and I fancy him a bit)- so naturally he had to play a role in my fic;-) And thank you!:-D

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Gilda Elise

(no subject)

from: gilda_elise
date: 9 September 2005 05:06 (UTC)

You really had me going for a minute. Nicely done!

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(no subject)

from: thoraarwin
date: 9 September 2005 16:07 (UTC)

Thanks! Glad you thought so;-)

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(no subject)

from: akin16sk
date: 9 September 2005 16:10 (UTC)

not frustrated I see ;) ...but actually...in places you got guilty of the second sin, i'm sure you know what I mean :))
But we've been writing with each other for too long, because I so damn recognize that Doyle of yours it's ridiculous :P

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(no subject)

from: thoraarwin
date: 9 September 2005 16:13 (UTC)

HAHAHAHAHA Only natural you recognise him, sweetheart;-)

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