All I want for Christmas
By Rebelcat

Dec. 1st

“Mistletoe?” Doyle squinted up at the sorry-looking bundle of twigs dangling from the door lintel.

“The genuine article!” said Murphy. Still holding hammer and nails, he stood back to admire his work. “Thought the rest room could use a little festive decoration.”

Doyle snorted. “You’re just hoping to ambush Sally.”

“You mean, like this?” asked Bodie, appearing suddenly around the corner. He grabbed Doyle’s head in both hands, in much the same manner as one might seize a football, and planted an emphatic kiss on the side of his face.

“Gerroff!” Doyle drove his elbow into Bodie’s ribs, knocking him back into the hallway.

“Ow!” Bodie grinned widely. “Couldn’t help myself. You looked so…”

Doyle spun on his heel and charged, following up with a flurry of punches aimed at his partner’s midsection. Bodie was sniggering too hard to defend himself, and his shoulders hit the wall with a solid thump.

Murphy took a step toward the door, intending to take in some of the entertainment. But then a new voice froze him in his tracks.

“Bodie! Doyle!”

Murphy grimaced and decided to stay where he was, out of sight. Cowley did not sound like he was in the warmest of moods.

“What do you mean by this? Brawling in the hallways! I thought I’d hired professionals, not school boys.”

His answer was a subdued chorus of, “Yes, sir,” and “Sorry, sir.”

Cowley harrumphed, hardly mollified. “You were to be in my office ten minutes ago. Move!”

Murphy, hearing feet retreat quickly down the hallway, let go of the breath he’d been holding. He wouldn’t like to be in their shoes right now...

Cowley suddenly appeared in the doorway, making Murphy jump. He looked up at the mistletoe and said, “While I appreciate your enthusiasm for tradition, lad, that’s going to have to come down. It only serves to spread chaos in the ranks.”

He turned to leave, then paused. “Next time, try holly boughs. Or a small tree.”

It took a moment for the full import of his words to sink in. Then Murphy grinned. He’d just been promoted to the status of CI5’s official Christmas Elf. He rubbed his hands together happily, visions of parties, spiked eggnog, and Sally in a white fur bikini dancing in his head.

Dec 7th

Doyle hardly had time to set the locks before Bodie pounced. He gasped as Bodie’s teeth fastened onto the side of his neck, sending chills down his spine and creating very interesting reactions in all areas south.

He twisted, trying to turn in Bodie’s arms. Bodie tightened his grip, grinding his hips into Doyle’s rear, nearly bruising in his urgency.

The smell of gunpowder and earth, blood and sweat - the detritus of a long day, all of it overpowered by the scent of sex, of desire, of need.... Adrenaline still humming in his veins, Doyle pushed back against Bodie, hearing his frustrated groan, feeling the vibration in his back. They’d never spoken about it, but Bodie knew the deal. If he was going to get what he wanted, then he’d have to give something first.

Bodie’s grip shifted, his hands sliding up from Doyle’s waist to grab his shoulders. In one move he turned him around and pushed him up against the door. His mouth impacted with Doyle’s, his breath hot. Doyle pushed back, feeling the strain in his neck, Bodie’s lips on his, his teeth scraping on his lower lip. It was clumsy, desperate, reaching for something just out of their grasp.

And then Bodie was on his knees in front of him, his expression darkly intent as he struggled with Doyle’s belt. Doyle braced himself against the door, threw his head back, and offered up silent thanks that there was nothing flimsy about the frame, locks or hinges.

Bodie wrapped his hand around him, and took him into his mouth. It was all Doyle could do to stay on his feet. God...

He tried to hold back, tried to make Bodie work for it. But in the end he came faster than he wanted to, his usual control strained by exhaustion and stress. And he would have dropped to the floor then, except that Bodie stood and pressed him back against the door with his forearm across his chest.

Bodie wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, the black of his pupils nearly swallowing the blue of his irises. “Where?” he demanded.

Doyle couldn’t answer immediately. He was still panting, trying to regain his equilibrium. He could feel sweat on the sides of his face, and he tasted salt on his lips. Too much, too soon. This was going too fast. He wanted…


“The sofa!” said Doyle finally. His jeans still unbuckled, he staggered across the room and leaned heavily on the arm. He dropped his head, feeling bone deep exhaustion interwoven with the remnants of his earlier arousal. The bed was too far, and the floor too hard.

“Lube?” Bodie’s voice cracked.

“Think there’s some salad oil in the fridge.”

“You sure?”

They’d tried butter once, and while the sex had been great, the aftermath had been an ordeal Doyle hoped never to experience again. “Or run upstairs and get the bloody Vaseline! Just stop arsing around!” He was sure.

Bodie got the salad oil, and poured some into his hands, rubbing them together to warm it up. Doyle gasped at the first touch of his fingers, and then pushed back forcing them deeper. Even spent, this still felt fantastic. A tantalizing hint of what he wanted, what he needed… But Bodie was being efficient tonight, his attention entirely focussed on the goal and not on the process of getting there. All too soon his hand withdrew, and Doyle heard him applying the oil to himself.

Doyle could feel Bodie’s hands shaking as he gripped his hips. He locked his elbows, bracing himself against the arm of the sofa as Bodie pressed forward. An initial sense of fullness, pressure, and then… Doyle gasped, arching into the sensation, straining for more.

“You like that,” said Bodie, sounding breathless himself.

Doyle, who was liking it very much indeed, made a noise of agreement.

“Makes sense,” said Bodie. “You having been in art school and all.” He leaned forward and tried to nibble at the back of Doyle’s neck, his hips beginning to move rhythmically.

Doyle’s first thought was, Shut the hell up, Bodie. He’d never understood Bodie’s desire to talk during sex, rather than after sex, when any decent person might actually enjoy a chance to sit back and natter. But then Doyle froze, as the meaning of the words finally hit him. Here he was with Bodie’s cock up his arse, and Bodie thought the fact that he liked it had something to do with art school?

“Would you like to clarify that, mate?” asked Doyle.

Bodie couldn’t have missed the shift in mood. He stilled. Cautiously, he said, “Well, it’s a matter of tendencies, right? You’re just naturally attracted to that side of things...”

“You’re saying I’m bent!” Doyle abruptly straightened and turned, the burn of the sudden separation hardly even registering in his anger. He pushed Bodie back.

Bodie tried to reach for him. “Ray, don’t be like that...”

Doyle knocked his hand away. “So what the hell are you, when you’re sucking my cock? Straight?”

A quick flash of anger crossed Bodie’s face. “Fuck you!”

“You first,” said Doyle, deliberately.


“You heard me.” Doyle crossed his arms over his chest, immovable. His arousal, and his interest in this whole scenario, was fading quickly, unable to maintain itself in the face of his righteous indignation. But he was sure he could get it back quickly enough if Bodie was willing to try being on the bottom for a change.

Bodie simply stared at him, his expression shifting from shock to black fury even as Doyle watched. His movements sharp and deliberate, he tucked himself back into his pants and did up his trousers, his eyes never leaving Doyle’s.

There was still a chance to make this right, to pick up where they’d stopped. It was there, between them. All Doyle had to do was say ‘stay’ and Bodie would. But it would be understood that he wouldn’t take it up the arse. Ever.

And as far as Doyle was concerned, that was no longer acceptable.

Bodie slammed the door on his way out.

Doyle sank down on the couch and covered his face with shaking hands. Abruptly, he grabbed the salad oil and threw it against the wall, taking vindictive satisfaction in the explosion of glass.

It wasn’t until later that he ruefully considered the difficulty inherent in cleaning oil from walls and carpets. And it wasn’t until later still that he stopped in the middle of his cleaning, sat back on his heels and began to laugh.

Because it had finally occurred to Doyle that Bodie had been the one who’d pursued this relationship from the start. He’d initiated the first encounter, weathered Doyle’s temper, and kept after him until he’d conceded that what they had might actually resemble love. Which meant that if this was a contest of wills, then Doyle was going to win.

It’s for his own good, thought Doyle, scrubbing vigorously at the wall. He has to learn that he’s not in charge here.

Dec 10th

“So what are you hoping to find in your Christmas stocking this year, Doyle?”

“Murph,” Doyle said, loftily. “The joy of the season is in the giving, not the receiving.”

And then Doyle leaned back in his chair and propped his feet up on the break room’s battered formica table. His grin was rich with implication of the sort that would have had him immediately on that sainted old gent’s naughty list. If he wasn’t undoubtedly already on it, of course.

Anson, helping himself to some tea from the pot on the counter, sniggered. “Got a certain special stocking all lined up for stuffing, do you?”

“I might,” said Doyle. He folded his hands on his chest, and slouched further down in his chair. Despite his casual attitude, he wasn’t looking at Anson. His attention was fixed on the other end of the room, where Bodie had been messing around with the coffee maker a few minutes earlier.

Murphy turned to look for Bodie and found him halfway out the door already, moving with suspicious haste considering their current inactive status. “What about you, Bodie? Got any plans for Christmas?”

Bodie stopped, his hand on the doorframe. Without looking back, he shrugged. “You know how it goes. We’re all just Cowley’s busy little elves, aren’t we? No time for games. I expect we’ll be working.”

And then he was gone. The words, taken by themselves, were benign enough, but there was an icy frost to his voice that was of an entirely different nature than that normally celebrated at this time of year.

Anson was the first to break the frozen silence Bodie had left behind him. “He’s a merry soul, isn’t he? Just overflowing with the spirit of the season.”

Doyle and Murphy started to speak at the same time. They stopped and looked at each other. After a brief pause, Murphy grinned and inclined his head to Doyle.

Doyle returned his smile. Then he looked at Anson and his expression became deadly serious. “Bodie’s all right.”

Anson gave Doyle a curious look. “He says the same thing about you.” He snorted. “Better than ruining two partnerships, I say. You deserve each other.”

“Fuck you,” said Doyle, genially.

“You’re not my type, sorry.” Anson looked regretful.

“Oh, my mistake, you go for those big beefy lads down at the health club. Isn’t that right?”

“Why? Worried I might poach on your territory?”

Murphy found himself a chair and sat back to enjoy the slanging match. T’was the season to be highly entertained by the less-than-jolly souls employed by CI5.

Dec. 16th

“Your place or mine?” asked Bodie, after work. He was hoping Doyle had changed his mind. It was a stupid argument, after all. Things had been good, the way they were before.

Doyle paused and leaned against the banister of the staircase. “Neither,” he said.

“Oh, got a bird, then?” Bodie tried to sound casual.

“Got a good book.”

“You’d rather have a book?” Bodie was outraged. A bird he could understand. It wasn’t as if they’d made any promises, and he couldn’t see Doyle choosing to remain celibate for very long. But a book?

“You know very well what I’d rather have,” said Doyle, unruffled. He straightened and sauntered off down the hall, all feline grace and sex appeal.

The new girl, coming the other direction up the hall, stopped to watch him go, her eyes wide. Bodie took advantage of her distraction to move silently up beside her, so that when she turned she nearly collided with his chest.

He gave her his best, most charming smile. “Whoops,” he said. “Bit of a tight fit, these halls.” He then raised an eyebrow, just in case she’d missed his meaning.

She was a brunette, slender and pretty enough. And it wasn’t like Doyle was being at all obliging these days. A bloke could live the life of a monk only so long.

But she turned out to be a shy one, blushing and sliding to the side with her files clutched to her chest like armour, so Bodie backed off and let her go. He’d get an earful if Cowley heard he’d been upsetting another secretary. Best to go with the tried and true.

Bodie’s little black book - which was not actually black, but was instead a very nice brown patent leather with a matching pen in its own slip case - had seen almost no use these past three months. There had even been a moment when Bodie, in a fit of entirely uncharacteristic sentimentalism, had considered throwing it out. At the time he couldn’t imagine wanting anyone else but Doyle.

He was glad now that he hadn’t. With a grimace, Bodie took himself down to the phone box on the corner. He’d rather the entire CI5 switchboard wasn’t listening in while he tried to find himself a date.

Opening his book at random, Bodie’s finger first alighted at Cynthia. Tidy little Cynthia, who liked carnations better than roses and who always insisted on putting towels down on the bed before they could do anything. But the person who answered her phone informed him that there was no one by that name currently living at that address. Cynthia had moved. Bodie tried again.

Catherine. Tall, graceful, and entirely devoted to her job in the Solicitor General’s office. She talked a lot, especially during sex, but her sense of humour more than made up for the distraction. A man answered the phone at her place, so Bodie made sure he sounded properly professional when he asked for her.

“It’s me, Bodie,” he said, when Catherine came to the phone. Her response was encouragingly cheerful, but then the full implication of what she was saying sunk in. “Oh. You’re married? No, I’m not... I mean, that’s fantastic. Congratulations.”

Catherine. Married. Bodie shook his head in wonder and flipped through his book again.

Meredith. Dark hair, dark eyes. Meredith liked to be taken out to dinner first, and always insisted on the best wine the house had to offer, which made her a bit more expensive than the others. But she was as generous in bed as she was dear outside of it, so it wasn’t that bad a bargain once all was said and done.

“Merry!” Bodie paused, as the voice on the other end rose in query. “No, it’s me, Bo–,” The firm click on the other end cut him off.

He bit his lip, suddenly remembering the last time they’d parted. Honestly, he would have thought she’d be over it by now. He’d only pointed out her cute little moustache in the most affectionate of spirits.

Deirdre. Blonde and bubbly. She liked to dance, and was inexhaustible both on and off the floor. Had an annoying laugh, but was a bit of alright otherwise.

Her roommate informed Bodie that Deirdre was out at a Christmas party. With her new boyfriend. Bodie took an obligatory stab at chatting up the roommate, only to be informed that she had many better things to do than talk to strange gentlemen on the phone.

Bodie was almost out of change and beginning to think that he’d have to go home and try working his way through his book alphabetically. Surely of all the birds in London...

But then his eye lit on Sarah, and he decided to try his last few coins after all.

“Hi, it’s Bodie...”

The chirpy greeting on the other end was heartening. Even better was the fact that this was immediately followed up with the news that she’d be off work in half an hour, and why not swing by the shop?

Bodie hung up, feeling considerably happier.

Sarah. She was an odd one. Had an allergy to the pill, so insisted on taking it up the bum rather than the regular way. She said a rubber wasn’t protection enough, and she wasn’t going to be saddled with some sprog just because she liked to get it on every now and then.

The more Bodie thought about it, the more convinced he became that Sarah was perfect. If Ray wasn’t going to come across, then he’d just find someone who would.

After all, it wasn’t as if Ray was irreplaceable.

Four hours later, after a very expensive dinner and not nearly enough wine, Bodie was forced to unhappily reassess that idea.

“Don’t take on so, love, you’re not the first man’s had this happen.”

“Know a lot about that?” Bodie’s tone was dangerous. He yanked his trousers up and came dangerously close to circumcising himself with the zipper.

Not that he would have mourned the loss, under the circumstances.

Sarah was oblivious. “Come on now,” she said, kindly. “You don’t need to rush out. There’s loads we can do, and maybe later you’ll feel a bit better. It was probably a bit of a stomach upset, that’s all.” She patted the bed beside her and smiled encouragingly.

“This was a mistake,” said Bodie, flatly. He yanked his vest on over his head and reached for his shirt. Humiliation and anger made his movements abrupt, and he felt the button on his shirt cuff let go. He heard it hit the floor somewhere nearby, but didn't bother to search for it. The sooner he was out of Sara’s flat, the better.

“So you drank a little too much,” said Sarah placatingly.

He wished he had. This wasn’t something he wanted to face sober.

Sarah got up to kneel on the bed, the covers sliding off. She was all soft pale freckled skin, the tangled thatch between her legs just as golden red as the hair on her head. She caught his sleeve and tried to tug him back down next to her. “Look, it doesn’t mean anything. I don’t mind if you can’t get it up right now. We can still have fun, and maybe when you relax a little...”

To Bodie, it sounded as if she was patronizing him. He yanked his arm out of her grasp. “Look, maybe I couldn’t get it up because I just don’t fancy you!”

He saw real hurt cross her pretty features, followed quickly by anger. “You called me.”

“Like I said, it was a mistake,” Bodie snarled.

He barely dodged the shoe she threw at him on his way out the door. The one she pitched at him from the window, however, caught him right on the back of the head. It might not have hurt so much, if it hadn’t had a solid cork three-inch heel.

His address book almost went into the rubbish bin outside her flat along with the shoe. A monkish existence was definitely looking preferable to a repeat of what was now officially the worst sexual experience of his life. Luckily he remembered just in time that there were other numbers in the book that he might regret losing: contacts and grasses. Doctors.

Not that any of them could help him now.

Dec 24th

While it was true that CI5's Christmas spirit was never the most robust of entities, this year it seemed to have vanished entirely, at least where Cowley’s top team was concerned.

Murphy showed up at the obbo bearing a very robust cider, a fruitcake, and a generous helping of leftover pudding from the party earlier that evening.

“Merry Christmas!” he informed the inhabitants of that dim little garret, usefully situated across the street from the Russian embassy.

Doyle at least acknowledged his existence with a wave of his hand, though his eyes stayed glued to his binoculars as he stared out the window. Bodie, sprawled on the bed on the other side of the room, didn’t offer so much as a companionable grunt.

“Thought I’d bring you a little seasonal cheer,” continued Murphy, undaunted.

That caught Doyle’s attention. He glanced over and the serious expression on his face lightened at the sight of the cider. “Playing Father Christmas, are we?”

Murphy poured a healthy amount into one of the mugs on the table and passed it over. “Someone has to. We’d be here all this year and next if we waited for Cowley to don the red and white.”

“Heard you stomping up the stairs,” said Doyle. He tasted the cider and then whistled appreciatively before taking another, deeper, swallow. “Half thought it was the Russians, come to invite us to their party.”

A long black car pulled up in front of the embassy and Doyle picked up his camera. He adjusted the telephoto lens, and took pictures of the portly man in tails and the blonde hanging off his arm.

“So, they know we’re here?” asked Murphy.

“It’s all for show, isn't it?” asked Bodie.

Murphy looked over, but Bodie still hadn’t moved, not even to open his eyes. He had an arm behind his head and one knee raised, looking the very picture of relaxed.

The image was a lie. Murphy knew that instinctively.

“We watch them, they watch us. There’s agents belonging to at least six different organizations on the street down there, staking out corners and talking into their collars. This place is sewn up tighter than...” Bodie paused, and Murphy saw the corner of his lip curl into something that was far too nasty to be a smile. “Sewn up tighter than our Ray, over there.”

If Murphy had been of the canine persuasion - as had been on occasion suggested due to his rather dogged investigative style - his ears would have perked up literally, rather than merely figuratively.

“Pot calling the kettle black, innit?” said Doyle, evenly. He had his binoculars back in hand, and was looking out the window.

Oh, thought Murphy, as a likely interpretation suddenly occurred to him. Doyle was notorious for being tight-fisted with his wallet. Murphy waited, hoping to find out more. But Bodie failed to come back with a rejoinder, and Murphy’s curiosity went unsatisfied. Bodie returned to looking grim, and now Doyle seemed to be smirking for no reason at all that Murphy could tell.

It was entirely too fraught an atmosphere for Murphy. Wishing them both all the best of the season, he took himself off to more temperate climes, where his impersonation of Uncle Scrooge’s nephew would be more welcome.

Doyle heard the front door slam behind Murphy. He stretched, his spine cracking as cramped muscles protested the long hours of inactivity.

“Your turn,” he said. He could feel Bodie’s gaze on him, so he leaned back a little further in his chair, pushed his hips up, and turned what had been a stretch into something a lot less innocent.

An abrupt clearing of Bodie’s throat told Doyle that he’d hit the mark. But when he climbed casually to his feet and turned, he saw that Bodie had an odd expression on his face. Doyle had been expecting desire, or even anger, but instead Bodie looked simply... hurt.

Doyle had been intending to crowd Bodie, to accidentally bump into him – or innocently brush a hand across his hip – just for the pleasure of seeing him jump. And also to remind him of what his stubbornness was costing him.

But there was no entertainment in that idea now. It felt cruel, rather than justified. Disconcerted, Doyle stepped back and watched as Bodie settled into the seat by the window, adjusting the binoculars to suit himself.

The bed was against the far wall under the slope of the roof, and it was by far the most comfortable seating in the room. Bodie had managed to drag the green candlewick bedspread halfway to the floor. Doyle straightened it before throwing himself down on top of it.

The room was dim, with only a single lamp in the corner. The shadows on the ceiling shifted with each passing car, and Doyle could hear the random creaks and groans of the old building as it settled. Bodie was silhouetted against the window, hunched over the binoculars, the tension in his shoulders plain to see.

Seventeen fucking days.

Or rather, if he was going to be accurate, not-fucking. And with each passing day Bodie seemed to be winding himself tighter. They couldn’t keep on like this forever. Sooner or later something – or someone – would have to give.

“It means that much?” asked Bodie, interrupting Doyle’s thoughts.

“Yeah, it does,” said Doyle. The orange wallpaper was textured. He traced a finger over the fuzzy outline of a chevron as he wondered what else Bodie would say. There was a limit to what they could discuss, given that they were most likely being bugged.

Bodie didn’t make him wait long. “It’s just a matter of taste, is all. Some people like one thing, some people like another.”

“No,” said Doyle. “It’s about being partners. It’s about the fact that there’s no rank in CI5.”

Bodie snorted, and Doyle, easily guessing what had amused him, smiled. Yeah, he could just imagine the Cow’s reaction if they laid this particular argument at his feet. Sir, Bodie’s been sticking it up my arse for the last three months, and now I want a shot at his. Isn’t that fair?

Of course the problem was that it was perfectly fair, and there was no way Bodie didn’t know it, and yet for some reason he was still refusing.

Doyle watched as Bodie shifted uncomfortably in his seat. The silence in the room lengthened, and eventually Doyle got tired of waiting for Bodie to speak. He rolled onto his back, folded his hands behind his head, and stared at the cracks in the ceiling instead. After awhile he pulled out a paperback, but though he turned pages periodically he couldn’t have told anyone what he’d just read.

He was thinking.

Bodie wanted him to drop it. To go back to the arrangement they’d had before, where he did all sorts of stuff to Doyle and Doyle did everything back to him, with one exception. Bodie didn’t take it up the arse. Ever.

And if Bodie hadn’t made that comment about art school, Doyle might have been content to simply let it go. It wasn’t that he objected to the status quo itself. He liked what Bodie did for him. But if Bodie got it into his head that Doyle’s taste in sexual activities made him any less of a man, any less of a partner...

No, Doyle concluded. Either they were partners in every sense of the word, or they couldn’t be partners at all. He felt a brief twinge at the idea that he might lose Bodie over this, but pushed the thought away.

He wasn’t going to lose.

Shortly after three in the morning, when the limousines had turned back into pumpkins and all the mice had stowed away their surveillance equipment, Doyle’s R/T buzzed to let him know that they were off duty.

“My place,” said Doyle, in a tone that brooked no argument.

Bodie glanced at him, but said nothing. He simply licked his lips and nodded.

The drive back to Doyle’s flat was a long one. Bodie watched the road, and Doyle watched Bodie. He noted the way Bodie gripped the steering wheel, and how his knuckles turned white every time they took a corner. And how every time they stopped, he hit the brakes a little harder than usual. A stranger might have seen a cool exterior, but to Doyle’s eyes Bodie looked absolutely miserable.

He’s had enough, thought Bodie, as he took another corner, narrowly missing a milk float stopped behind the bushes. I can’t give him what he wants, so he’s throwing me over.

Bodie knew how it was going to go. Ray would invite him up, offer him a drink, and then he’d explain why this whole thing had been a mistake from the start. They should have just stayed friends and partners. Can’t have your brains in your trousers when your life’s on the line.

Perfectly sensible, perfectly reasonable, and as Bodie parked in front of Doyle’s flat he was wondering if his old Swiss passport would hold up to close inspection.

“Come on up,” said Doyle. “I think there’s some beer in the fridge.”

Oh hell, thought Bodie. I was right.

But the only thing to do was to brave it out, and see it through. Nevertheless, as Bodie followed Doyle inside, he tried to remember if there wasn’t also an Algerian passport stashed somewhere in one of his older caches. There was always work to be found in Algeria, if a man wasn’t too particular about the details.

The last thing he expected was to find himself pressed up against the wall with Doyle’s tongue in his mouth the moment the door closed. He jerked back in surprise and felt his head hit the wall with a solid thud.

“Hey, don’t go putting dents in the plaster. They’ll make me pay for that!”

Bodie tried to catch his breath, sudden arousal making his head spin. “You changed your mind.”

“No, I didn’t,” said Doyle.

Bodie caught the hard glitter in Doyle’s eyes as he spoke. He’s playing games, thought Bodie, angrily. He pushed hard against Ray’s chest, shoving him back. “Fuck off!”

Doyle caught himself against the wall in the hallway, his eyes never leaving Bodie’s. “You’re scared.”

“Like hell!”

“You are,” insisted Doyle. “You’re afraid you might like it. And if you like it, what does that make you? Some kind of pansy? A fairy? A shirt-lifter? A–,”

“I already know I don’t like it!” shouted Bodie.

Doyle took a deep breath. “Yeah,” he said, very calmly. “I thought it might be something like that.”

Oh shit, thought Bodie.

Bodie was going to run. Doyle could see it in his eyes. He looked skittish, as if he might bolt at any moment.

So Doyle did the only thing he could do under the circumstances. Deliberately casual, he turned his back and walked away. He got a glass from the kitchen cupboard, and turned on the tap.

And when, after a long moment, he heard footsteps behind him, he was careful not to show his relief. Instead he stayed where he was, one hand under the running water, waiting for it to grow properly cold.

He almost jumped when Bodie suddenly pressed close behind him, his arms wrapping around him. Doyle didn’t move. He felt a fine tremor pass through Bodie’s body.

“I can’t,” said Bodie, miserably.

Doyle chewed briefly on the inside of his cheek. “Bodie?”


“Shut up.”

Doyle turned around, intent on making sure that Bodie complied with the order. There was resistance at first, and then Bodie’s mouth relaxed. The briefest intimation of surrender before he returned Doyle’s kiss with an intensity that seemed to be composed of equal parts passion and desperation. Doyle tasted sweet cider and felt Bodie’s breathing quicken. The arms that held him tightened convulsively.

He didn’t pull back until there were spots dancing before his eyes. Then he said, “Bed.”

Bodie looked dazed. It was a long moment before he nodded.

Doyle stripped mechanically, his attention focussed on Bodie. He was a study in contradictions. His time in the army hadn’t rubbed off to the point where he was excessively orderly about most things. His flat was tidier than it was clean, and not excessively tidy at that. Clothes might be flung on the floor, or left hung over a door… except when it came to sex.

Bodie had two approaches to sex. Either he retained as much of his own clothing as humanly possible, or he removed it all in the most bloody-minded methodical manner Doyle had ever seen. It was almost ritualistic, the way he took off his clothes.

First the shirt, folded and placed on the seat of the chair. His belt came off next, to be neatly coiled and left on top of the shirt. Then the trousers...

Doyle was briefly distracted by the movement of muscles under the skin of Bodie’s thighs, dark hair on pale skin...

He blinked, refocusing. The trousers were also folded, and hung over the back of the chair. It never varied. Shirt, belt, trousers – completely ignoring the fact that other shirts and belts and trousers lay tossed into the corner, had done for a week or more – all had to be carefully placed in exactly the right order.

Bodie stopped, his thumbs hooked inside of the waistband of his y-fronts. “I wish you wouldn’t stare at me like that.”

“I’m enjoying the view,” said Doyle, innocently.

Bodie glanced at him sideways, suspiciously. “Usually you’re the one putting on the show.”

“We’re going to turn things around.” Doyle saw Bodie’s back stiffen, his head coming up, and he added quickly, “Trust me.”

The look Bodie gave him did not speak volumes about trust, but he pulled his pants off the rest of the way... and folded them as well, of course.

Doyle threw the covers back, inviting Bodie into the bed. Bodie climbed in, and pulled the blanket all the way up, a clear indication of his unease. Under different circumstances, Doyle might have teased him about acting like a blushing virgin or he might even have turned off the lights in an attempt to make him feel more comfortable. But the comment would be horribly inappropriate under these circumstances, and for what he had in mind, it would be more useful if Bodie could see where he was and whom he was with.

First things first. No need to rush things. Doyle rolled over and found Bodie’s lips again. Familiar, comfortable, and almost reassuring for the number of times they’d done it before. After a few minutes, Bodie nipped his bottom lip, and then nibbled his way down Doyle’s throat, finding the small indent at the base of his neck.

Doyle closed his eyes, shivering as he felt himself grow harder. He slid his leg between Bodie’s thighs, feeling a corresponding heat there. He twisted his hip, applying pressure and heard Bodie growl, felt him move against his thigh.

Deliberately, Doyle pulled back, controlling the tempo, forcing himself to slow down. He trailed his fingers along Bodie’s side all the way down his lower abdomen, smoothing the fine hairs. It was only a moment outside of the normal flow of time, but he wanted to hold onto it for as long as possible. To hold onto Bodie…

Bodie ducked his head, his teeth fastening onto Doyle’s nipple, his tongue teasing, and Doyle almost forgot his plans altogether. He pressed his lips against the top of Bodie’s head, breathing in the scent of his shampoo.

They’d done this before, snogging and grinding together to completion. Not this time. Blindly, Doyle threw his arm out to the side, trying to find the pot of Vaseline by the bedside table. He felt a small pinch as his nipple slipped from between Bodie’s teeth.

“Who’s that for?” asked Bodie, suspiciously.

“You,” said Doyle. He felt Bodie jerk back immediately and he held on tighter with his other arm. “Settle down!”

“I told you–.”

“I’m not going to force you, you dumb crud,” said Doyle. He could feel Bodie against his thigh, becoming less aroused with each passing second. Going right off the boil at the thought of what Doyle had in mind for him. Best not to waste any more time, then.

Doyle quickly unscrewed the lid and scooped some of the Vaseline onto his fingers. “I’m just going to touch you. We’ve done that before, and you liked it.”

Bodie looked troubled, and Doyle knew why.

“Worried that liking it makes you bent?” asked Doyle. He reached down and grasped Bodie’s flagging erection with one greasy hand, then he slid his other hand between the cheeks of Bodie’s arse.

Bodie’s only answer was a half-strangled, “Berk!” But he stiffened up quite nicely at the same time, so Doyle decided it wasn’t a serious objection.

And again, Bodie had let him get this far before, though never after he’d reached for the Vaseline. In fact, Doyle took it as quite a good sign that the Vaseline hadn’t already been flung out the window, considering Bodie's reaction the last time.

Doyle worked on him until Bodie's face was flushed and his hair clung to his forehead in small damp curls. Sweat shone on his body as his hips moved helplessly, thrusting up against the hand that held him.

Judging the moment right, Doyle released him, and rolled over onto his own back. “C’mon,” he said. “You’re on top.”

Bodie lifted himself up on one elbow and gave him a look of frustrated incomprehension. “Eh?”

With his foot, Doyle shoved the blankets the rest of the way off the bed. He reached down, resisting the urge to finish on his own. “Look,” he gasped. “This way I’m not doing it to you, am I? You’re doing it to yourself!”

Sudden comprehension lit up Bodie’s face. “That’s what you want?”


Bodie nodded sharply, then he threw his leg across Doyle’s body. Poised above him on his knees, he took a deep breath and lowered himself slowly down.

It felt incredible, like nothing he’d ever experienced before. But what held Doyle riveted, what made it possible for him to grip the sheets and keep perfectly still, was the expression on Bodie’s face.

It was a tortured blend of intense concentration and absolute determination. Bodie was a man caught on the knife-edge, maintaining control only by the slimmest of margins.

Then Doyle felt Bodie’s full weight settle on him, and he couldn’t hold on any longer. He arched upward into that tight, slick heat. He couldn’t tell if he was seeing pleasure or pain on Bodie’s face. He thrust again, and then the rhythm of it took him and all he knew was the intensity of his need. He was vaguely aware that someone shouted, but he didn’t know whether it was Bodie or himself.

When Doyle finally opened his eyes again, panting, he found Bodie braced on his arms above him, looking down. The blankness of his expression made Doyle catch his breath in sudden anxiety.

Then Bodie grimaced and said, urgently, “I’m getting off. Now.”

Before Doyle could react Bodie was off him, and shrugging into his bathrobe.

“Where are you going?” Doyle imagined him storming off in a fit of wounded masculine pride, disappearing for good.

“The loo!”

Oh. Not exactly the most romantic of endings to the evening. As Doyle sat up he noticed that his stomach was damp and sticky, and rapidly becoming cold. As he reached for a towel he belatedly realized the significance of the mess. Bodie had come, too.

Heartened by this evidence that Bodie had been well served at least on a physical level, Doyle set about tidying up. He had the bed pretty well back in order by the time Bodie returned. He’d also completely failed to come up with an appropriate thing to say to a mate you’ve just taken up the arse, somewhat against his will.

Bodie looked around the room, and nodded. “Ta, appreciate it.” Then he climbed into the bed, and pulled the covers up over his shoulders, evidently prepared to bunk down for the night.

Doyle gaped at him for a moment, then poked him firmly in the back. “Hey!”


“So? Was that the worse sexual experience of your life?” Doyle wasn’t sure what he’d do if Bodie said yes.

“No,” said Bodie, thoughtfully. “That was not the worse sexual experience of my life.”

“You ever going to want to do it again?”

The pause this time was longer. “Felt weird,” said Bodie. “But...” He rolled over and looked at Doyle, soberly. “Could try it again, I suppose.”


“Yeah.” Bodie paused. “I mean, it’s only fair, right?”

Doyle thought he saw a lingering shadow of doubt in Bodie’s eyes. “It’s perfectly fair.”

“Well, I suppose that might work out all right. Yeah…” Bodie’s expression lightened. “We can take turns. Give some to get some. I think I could really go for seeing you sitting on me like that.”

Doyle collapsed on the pillow next to Bodie. “You’ll love it,” he said, grinning.

Victory was sweet.

Bodie woke once that night, kicked out of his slumber by nightmares that he couldn’t remember. But then he rolled over and saw Ray fast asleep next to him, his bare shoulder outlined against the darkness. Bodie listened to the soft sound of Ray’s breathing for several minutes, before his eyes became too heavy to keep open any longer. Reassured, he contentedly burrowed further down under the covers and went back to sleep.

Murphy got to the briefing room early the next day, only to find Bodie and Doyle already there. Bodie appeared to be asleep, leaning on Doyle’s shoulder, a half-eaten bacon sarnie congealing on the desk in front of him.

“Merry Christmas,” said Murphy loudly, in honour of the day. It had, after all, finally arrived.

He grinned as Bodie nearly fell off his chair. And then he laughed out loud as Doyle gave him the extra shove needed to propel him all the way to the floor.

Bodie landed with a crash and looked up at the two of them, his initial expression of shock turning to one of good-humoured disgust. Murphy helped him up.

The atmosphere in the room was completely different. Bodie and Doyle had been at odds during the obbo yesterday, but now they were back to their old double act.

“That’s what you get for sleeping on the job,” said Doyle. He reached for his coffee mug, looking so much like a smugly satisfied tomcat that Murphy wouldn't have been surprised to see him pull yellow feathers from between his teeth.

Bodie made a face at his partner, then turned to Murphy. “And did St. Nick bring you everything your little black heart desires, or was it another year of nothing but coal?”

“Wouldn’t mind some coal. My heater’s on the blink!” said Murphy. “Generous with you two then, was he?”

Doyle suddenly choked and started coughing. Bodie obligingly thumped him between the shoulder blades, saying, “Watch that sunshine, it’s for drinking not inhaling.”

Tight as those two were, Murphy knew he’d never hear exactly what had happened to make things right again between those two. He still thought it must have something to do with money… But ultimately, it didn’t matter.

The important thing was that it was indeed a very Merry Christmas, and all was right with the world.