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SUMMARY: After hovering on the brink of death after being shot by Mayli Koulo, Doyle has an epiphany, but before he can share his true feelings with his partner, Bodie suffers trauma of his own, and Doyle wonders if it might be the end of everything.



AUTHOR'S NOTES: Written for Kat, one of my dearest friends, for her generosity and kindness, her love and support… and because she asked so nicely.

Betaed by Annie. As always, thanks sis!

It had been the week from hell, Ray Doyle decided as he threw his jacket on the armchair and turned back to set the alarms on his door and windows. No chance he'd ever slack off and forget to do that again.

He'd been back at work for just one week, having spent two weeks sitting on his arse at home, bored out of his skull, pissed off whenever Bodie called in after work, ranting about the workload he was having to carry while Ray sat at home, enjoying himself.

The minute the doctor had given him the all clear, Ray couldn't get to CI5 to sign back on fast enough. They'd fallen straight back into routine, he and Bodie, as they always did. They'd been together so long, they pretty much read each other's minds. Like chalk and cheese in their personalities, it was those differences that served them so well, each complementing the other. Neither had been too happy when Cowley had first paired them up. Now they'd have fought tooth and nail if they were separated.

Cowley hadn't wasted any time, throwing him back into the job. The Chief wasn't one for mollycoddling his agents, and this time, especially, Doyle was glad. He'd had too much time sitting at home, thinking about the whatifs, and tossing and turning night after night, nightmares ambushing his deepest sleep, remembering her leaning over him, feeling the brush of her hair against his cheek, seeing the hatred in her pretty eyes.

He couldn't really take the praise for busting this case though. Bodie and Murphy had been setting up Ken Calvin and his gunrunning team while Doyle was still recuperating in the hospital. By the time he came back to work, it was just a case of setting the bastards up for the play, which Calvin had fallen for hook, line and sinker - he never had been the brightest bulb in the box - and going in for the kill. The buyer had gotten away, but at the end of the day, it felt bloody good to be back in the thick of things with Bodie at his side.

So, when Cowley had smiled and suggested a drink at the local to celebrate, Ray had been all for it. He knew, as did the rest of the team, that by the time the Cow was ready to call it a night, he'd have several of the finest double malts inside him and not once have touched his wallet. None of them minded really, though they all put up a token song and dance about it, knowing full well it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

Some of them had been given the following day off by a full of good cheer Cowley, who tempered his generosity with a stern "0700, the rest of you, and not a second after," when they all went their separate ways - some to play billiards or darts, others with a girl on their arm, while Bodie and Doyle sat where they were, nursing an ale each, trading their usual sarcastic witticisms back and forth.

In a moment of sudden silence, Doyle looked up from his drink to see Bodie staring at him, a cryptic smile on his face. "What?" he asked.

Bodie just shrugged. "Nothing." He picked up his beer and drained the glass then stood. "We're missing out on all the fun. How about we see if we can pull a couple of birds for the night?"

Disappointment flared. The last thing Ray wanted to do right now was pull a bird, or a bloke, for that matter. He'd rather hoped they could head back to his flat, or Bodie's, and maybe have a nightcap. Maybe, just maybe, something stronger than beer might loosen his inhibitions and give him the Dutch courage to say what he wanted to say, so that it would stop sitting in his throat, choking him.

Before he could speak though, Bodie popped a crisp into his mouth and surveyed the bar. "Couple of likely lasses over there," he said. He inclined his head toward two young women, one blonde, the other brunette, who stood at the bar, watching them and whispering from behind their wine glasses. Bodie gave them a lascivious smile and a slow wink that had them both giggling.

"Actually, think I might call it a night," Doyle said, stretching as he stood.

Bodie frowned at him. "You all right?"

"I'm fine," Doyle assured him. "It's been a long week, that's all."

"You're just out of the hospital. If you ask me, you should have been on desk duty for another week at least," Bodie said. "Murph and I could have handled Calvin -"

"I said I'm fine," Doyle snapped. "And since when have you been a doctor? Or are things working out so well with Murph, you want to change partners?"

Bodie's eyes bugged out then he set his mouth into a thin line. "I'm just saying I don't want you coming back before you're ready. I don't ever want to see…" His words trailed off and he sighed and waved them away. "Never mind." He grabbed his jacket from the back of the chair. "Suit yourself. Two for me, none for you." He walked off toward the women and Doyle reached out and snagged his arm.

"Sorry," Doyle said. "I'm a daft bugger when I'm tired, you know that."

Bodie's expression softened. "You're a daft bugger most of the time. Get some sleep, I'll see you tomorrow."


He really was a daft bugger, Doyle decided as he got ready for bed. He had no idea why he thought that all he had to do was tell Bodie he had the hots for him and his partner was going to fall into bed with him. Bodie had had his share of male companions, Doyle knew, but that didn't mean he was the slightest bit interested in him.

Even a handjob didn't appeal tonight and Doyle firmly told his dick to lay down and behave. Disgusted with himself, he turned off the lights and went to bed.

He slept surprisingly well, testament to the fact that he was still recovering from his injuries. He ran his hand lightly over the puckered scars on his chest, pondering once more what might have happened if Mayli had not had a moment's compassion, then shivered and shoved the thought away.

He put on water to boil for tea and dallied over his preparations for work, hoping that Bodie would show up, as he often did and give him the chance to apologize again for his outburst the night before. By 6.30, he gave up waiting, tossed the dregs of his tea down the sink and hurried downstairs to his car.

Bodie hadn't arrived yet and Doyle stole a surreptitious glance at the clock, knowing Cowley's good mood from the night before would have dissipated by now. Sure enough, the intercom on his desk sputtered and his boss's voice came through.

"Doyle, Bodie, my office."

Doyle stood and wandered in the direction of Cowley's office, hoping to see Bodie come tearing through the door.

Murph grinned at him and raised an eyebrow. "Where's Bodie?"

Doyle shrugged. "Probably still sleeping off last night. His problem, not mine." He knocked on Cowley's door and waited for the gruff invitation to enter.

Cowley didn't even bother looking up. "Where's 3.7, 4.5?"

"Not sure, sir. I'm sure he'll be here shortly. You wanted to see me?"

Cowley looked up at him then and gave him an impatient glare. "I want to see both of you, Doyle. Find Bodie and get back here with him."

Doyle forced himself not to salute. "Yes, sir."

Following Cowley's orders and finding his wayward partner wasn't as easy as it should have been. Doyle tried Bodie's home phone and car radio with no luck. No one from CI-5 who'd celebrated with them the night before could recall seeing Bodie after Doyle had left.

"Did he head off with the brunette?" Murphy mused. "I saw him chatting her and her friend up at the bar."

"Name?" At Murphy's confused look, Doyle repeated, "Did you get her name, Murph? Do you know her?"

Murphy shrugged. "Never seen her before. Wasn't she with Sheila?" At Doyle's equally blank stare, he added, "Just not on the ball these days, are you, Doyle? The blonde bird, Sheila something… hangs around at the Buxton Arms most nights." He paused a moment then added, "You sure he's not just sleeping it off at his place - or hers?"

"I'm heading round to his flat now," Doyle replied. "Can't check the girl out unless I know where she lives." He picked up his car keys and pulled on his leather jacket. "If Bodie comes in before I get back, tell him to buzz me." Striding out the door, he muttered, "When I catch up with you, Bodie, anything Cowley does to you will be mild in comparison."


Bodie wasn't at his flat though and neither was his car. Doyle pressed the buzzer on the front door once more then gave up and hurried back down the stairs, the knot of worry in his gut tightening more with every passing moment. This was trouble, Doyle knew. There was no way Bodie would have remained incommunicado for this long unless he had no choice.

Sitting in his own car, Doyle pondered his choices. Making up his mind, he started the engine and drove toward the Buxton Arms.

Paddy Wilkins raised an eyebrow and made a show of checking his watch when Ray walked in. "Little early, aren't you, Doyle?"

"Seen Bodie?" Doyle asked without preamble.

"Not since he left last night with the mysterious brunette," Paddy said. "And before you ask, no, I don't know her. She's only been in here a couple of times." He put down the glass he was drying and leaned his beefy forearms on the bar. "Trouble?"

Wilkins was an ex-copper and Doyle knew there was no point keeping things to himself. The man had been a good officer in his day and might be able to offer some information. "Not sure, but I think so. What about the other girl she was with - Sheila?"

"Sheila Walker. One of our regulars. I've got her address here somewhere. She's in the Social Club."

Doyle waited while Paddy scrawled down the address then took the proffered piece of paper. "Thanks, Paddy."

"Hope Bodie's all right."

Doyle gave him a tight smile. "He might not be if I catch up with him and find out he's just slept in."


Sheila Walker opened the front door, dressed in a filmy negligee that left nothing to the imagination. Her face lit up with a smile when she saw Doyle. "Changed your mind, love?" she purred.

Doyle adopted a casual pose and leaned against the doorframe. He gave her an apologetic smile. "Sorry, got to go to work. I was just wondering, did you happen to see my friend after I left?"

"Bodie?" Sheila gave him a lascivious look from under her eyelashes. "Now there's an eager one." She pouted. "He was interested in Marcia though, not me."

"Did he leave with her?"

"You his keeper or something?" Doyle dropped the easygoing attitude and gave her an intimidating glare. She pouted. "Yes, they left together. Happy now?" She started to close the door but Doyle put his foot in the doorway. "I only met her last night," she added. "She said she was new in town, trying to make new friends. Trust me, as soon as she had her claws in your mate, she wasn't so friendly with me."

Doyle's hopes deflated. "All right." He fished in his pocket for his notepad and pen and scribbled down HQ's phone number. "Look, if you see her - or him, give me a call here. They'll make sure I get the message."

She tucked it into her nightgown without a glance. "Sure I can't take your mind off your friend for a little while?"

"Maybe another time." Doyle turned and headed back down the stairs. He sat in the car for several minutes, turning possibilities over in his head and coming up empty. Mind made up, he reached for the radio and got patched through to Cowley, requested an APB on Bodie then began a methodical and thorough search for his partner.


They'd come up empty. Two days had passed and there was no sign of Bodie. Feelers put out on the street, and to Doyle's most trustworthy snitches, had revealed nothing. As far as anyone knew, there was no one out for Bodie's blood, and a careful check of prison records showed that no one with a grudge against CI5 as a whole or Bodie personally had been released recently. They'd lost the girl too. Seemed she too had disappeared off the face of the earth the same time as Bodie.

Doyle was exhausted. He hadn't slept since Bodie had disappeared and didn't plan to until he found him. While the mood at HQ had become somber - even Cowley had voiced aloud his own disquieting thoughts that they may never find him, or at best, a corpse - Doyle knew deep down that Bodie was still alive. It wasn't unlike the epiphany he'd had concerning his feelings for his partner: a certain, unequivocal surety that Bodie was out there somewhere.

He had to admit that mouthing off at Cowley when his boss had suggested Doyle go home to get some sleep hadn't been in his best interests. The Cow had fixed him with a gimlet glare and ordered him home, telling Murphy to follow him there to make sure he didn't get sidetracked on the way.

By the time he got back to his flat, he was beginning to see the sense in Cowley's suggestion. He was so tired, he could barely see straight, but the thought of laying down, of switching off when Bodie was still out there, probably hurting, needing him, had his brain back on hyper-alert once more. He sat on the couch, a rapidly cooling cup of tea on the coffee table in front of him and stared at the TV. The static on the screen had accomplished what nothing else could and he'd almost drifted off when there was a scratching sound at the door.

Doyle had one hand on the knob, his other on his weapon when he heard it.


The voice was hoarse, barely a whisper but unmistakable. Doyle wrenched open the door and stared at the bloody and bruised man in front of him. "Bodie! Thank god," was all he had time to say before Bodie collapsed into his arms.

Doyle allowed himself a brief moment to relish the feel of Bodie in his arms, alive and breathing, then shook himself from his shock and half-carried his partner over to the couch. Gently laying him down, Doyle studied Bodie's swollen face, his anger and concern warring for dominance.

Bodie's eyes opened, his gaze unfocused at first then he blinked and gave what was either a small smile or a grimace. "Thank god you were home," he whispered.

Doyle reached out and cupped Bodie's abused cheek, his thumb stroking gently across the stubble. "Take it easy. I'll call an ambulance."

"No!" Bodie's hand snapped out, grasping Doyle's in a surprisingly strong grip.

"Don't be daft, Bodie," Doyle protested. "You've had the living daylights beaten out of you. You could have internal injuries!"

"I don't," Bodie gasped, his hand releasing Doyle's to rest splay-fingered over his chest. He groaned softly. "Nothing important broken. Got here, didn't I?"

Doyle studied him for a moment. "No ambulance for now… until I've got you cleaned up, then we'll see." He turned back and picked up the phone. "I need to call Cowley though. Let him know you're here. Two days, Bodie! What the hell happened to you?"

"Ran into an old friend," Bodie grunted. "Call Cowley then. No cops though."

Doyle paused in dialing Cowley's number and looked at Bodie in surprise. "Why not? You want CI5 to handle it?"

Bodie shook his head and closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them again and stared at Doyle. "I don't want anyone to handle it. It's finished, all right?"

"Bodie -"

"My rules or I'm out of here, Doyle."

"Okay." Doyle quickly made the call to Cowley, informing him that Bodie was safe and assuring the blustering Chief that he'd get back to him with details as soon as he had some. He hung up the receiver and hurried into the bathroom to gather first aid supplies.

Bodie had drifted to sleep while Doyle was on the phone and Doyle took the opportunity now to take in Bodie's appearance. His face was badly bruised, his right eye puffy and his lips split. Doyle reached out a hand then hesitated, anxious to know what had happened but reluctant to wake his injured partner. Carefully, he rested his hand on Bodie's chest and allowed the gentle rise and fall to reassure him. Bodie reeked of stale booze and Doyle noticed now that the button on his jeans was undone and the zipper of his fly half down, allowing a glimpse of dark pubic hair. He forced his thoughts away of what that might mean until he could get the answers from Bodie himself.

He set about unbuttoning Bodie's shirt and carefully peeled it back. Here too was evidence of a beating, the smooth flesh shadowed by blue-black bruises.

"Like what you see?" Bodie asked in a hoarse whisper.

"I might if it wasn't for the damage," Doyle replied, then clamped his mouth shut when he realized he'd spoken aloud. He turned away from the questioning look on Bodie's face and busied himself wetting a cloth in the bowl of disinfected water he'd brought with him. Gently, he wiped it over Bodie's face, dabbing gently at the cuts.

Bodie hissed and stiffened. "Oww! That stings! Did you have to use that much disinfectant? It's supposed to be diluted, you know."

Doyle couldn't help smiling. Bodie could take a knife in the back or a bullet and keep going like nothing had happened but a little disinfectant had him whingeing in his usual way. "Big baby," he said affectionately. "I'm almost finished."

He finished cleaning the cuts and dirt then packed everything away. He tipped the water down the sink and left the bowl to be washed later. For now, there were too many questions gnawing at him. It wasn't like Bodie to want to drop something like this. Normally, he'd be up and running for the door, vowing to get the bastards.

"You going to tell me what happened?" he asked as he settled on the sofa next to Bodie. "I know you left with the girl from the bar. What was it, jealous boyfriend?"

"Yeah." Bodie winced as he shifted to make room for Doyle. "Only not hers."

Doyle raised an eyebrow. "Want to explain that? You said you ran into an old friend."

Bodie held out a hand. "Help me up."

Doyle hesitated. "You might be better laying down. I wouldn't be surprised if you've got a cracked rib or two." Bodie just frowned and shook his hand in Doyle's face. Sighing, Doyle did as Bodie had requested, pulling his partner carefully upright then reaching around to position a couple of cushions behind Bodie's back.

Cursing, Bodie lowered his feet to the floor and sat, leaning forward, one hand wrapped around his ribs. He took a couple of slow, deep breaths. Finally, he looked up at Doyle and spoke. "We've got no secrets between us, right?"

Not until now, Doyle wanted to say. Instead he shook his head and waited for Bodie to continue. After all, it seemed both of them had been harboring secrets this time.

"Marcus Woodbridge and I were in Special Ops together. We became best mates pretty much from the time we met," Bodie began. "Spent most of our downtime together: in bars, picking up sheilas, all the usual bloke stuff. We'd been stationed in Africa for a couple of months, reconnoitering some local unrest the government was worried might blow up into a full-blown coup. It was as boring as hell and lonely to boot. We were given a night off, but couldn't go off base, so I managed to score a bottle of scotch. We sat around and got blind drunk… I don't even know when we crossed the line from mates to… lovers, but the next thing I knew, I woke up in bed with Marc."

He stared hard at Doyle as though expecting him to react in shock or disgust but Doyle just nodded for him to go on. "It started out as just a buddy-fuck thing, whenever we were horny and couldn't get hold of a couple of birds, but it didn't take long before we were sleeping with each other pretty much exclusively. Back then, I never thought of myself as gay or bi. I mean I still liked the ladies, I just didn't want to fuck anyone else. Nobody else seemed to satisfy me the way Marc did, and he seemed to feel the same way… or so I thought."

"Weren't you taking a hell of a risk?" Doyle managed to get out, his throat tight.

Bodie gave him a sharp look, and Doyle explained. "The gay thing, especially in the military…" He trailed off, unsure of explaining further in case Bodie took his words as a condemnation.

Bodie shrugged. "We were careful. Marc paid a local lad to keep watch for us so that we'd be warned if there was a chance of someone stopping by."

Doyle nodded. "What happened?"

"A couple of weeks later, he was caught, in flagrante with a local lad." Bodie's mouth twisted in distaste. "It wasn't the first time and this one was younger than the last." He sighed and leaned his head back against the couch cushions. "Guess you can figure out the rest."

"He blamed you," Doyle said. He hesitated a moment before asking, "Did you shop him?"

Bodie opened one bloodshot eye and glared at him. "What do you think? I would have thought you'd know me better than that, Doyle!" He pushed himself up, groaning, one hand clutched over his ribs. "I'm going home."

Doyle reached out and grabbed his arm. "Don't. You can stay here."

Bodie raised an eyebrow. "You sure? After what I've just told you -"

"I'm sure. At least I can keep an eye on you, make sure you don't get into any more trouble." He thought a moment. "Why don't you want to get this bastard?"

Bodie shrugged. "Let's just say all grievances are paid." He fingered his puffy lip. "He got as good as he gave."

"Did he…" Doyle felt his cheeks heat. "Your fly was undone…"

"Did he rape me?" Bodie snorted. "No, that part was mutual. At first, I thought that was all he wanted. It wasn't until after that he let me know what it was really about."

Doyle couldn't stop his mouth from gaping open in surprise. "Payback? You made love and then he… and then he -"

Bodie gave him a derisive smile. "We fucked, Doyle. We didn't make love. For old time's sake and all that, I thought, until he hit me. Bastard!" He reached down and laid a hand on Doyle's shoulder. "I'm knackered. Thanks for… for being here. Look, I think I should go home." He rolled his eyes. "Still got to face the Cow in the morning. Have to think up some kind of story."

"Stay here," Doyle offered again. "You shouldn't be on your own… in case…" He trailed off, uncertain how to voice his concerns.

Bodie shrugged. "Guess my poor aching muscles could handle the couch."

Doyle rolled his eyes at Bodie's blatant hint. "I'll take the couch," Doyle said. He stood and looked around. "I've got spare blankets in the other room. You have my bed."

Bodie stared at him for a long moment. "I've already caused you enough bother, Sunshine. I'll take the couch."

Doyled nodded, capitulating. "I'll get the bedding for you."

"Not going to come and give me a massage, kiss me better?" Bodie's mouth curled up in a smile but Doyle couldn't be sure if it was genuine or sarcastic.

Doyle felt his cheeks heat. He stood and looked Bodie squarely in the eyes. "I would, you know," he began. He scrubbed a hand through his hair. "At least I've wanted to… for a while now. Now…" He trailed off and waved a hand uselessly in the air.

Bodie's lips thinned. "Now what? Don't like what you heard. It's not like it is with women, Ray. It's not always pretty and safe."

"It could be," Doyle replied. "With us, I mean."

Bodie shook his head. "Let's not get into this tonight, Ray. I'm tired and still half-pissed." He turned toward the door. "All right if I take a shower?"

"Of course." Bodie raised a hand in farewell and Doyle rushed his words out. "You don't seem surprised - about me feeling the way I do."

Bodie smiled, a genuine, warm smile and tapped his head. "I've known about you for a long time, Raymond."

"You never said anything."

"Not for me to take the first step. I already did that with Marc and look what it got me."

"It wouldn't be like that with us," Doyle said.

Bodie's eyes narrowed. "Sometimes I think you don't know me nearly as well as you think you do." With that, he limped out of the room.

A moment later, Doyle heard the shower start. He stood flat-footed in the middle of the room for a minute then sighed and went to find bedding for the couch and headed into the bedroom. He lay awake, heard Bodie come out of the bathroom and go into the lounge, soft groans and muttered curses coloring his efforts to get comfortable. Then there was silence. Ray was exhausted, relieved Bodie was safe and relatively unscathed, but sleep still eluded him. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Bodie bent over, a faceless man pounding into him while Bodie groaned in ecstasy. Ray shifted in the bed, disgusted to find he was hard. He reached down and jerked off quickly, almost savagely, finding no satisfaction in his release. The night dragged on and he lay, filled with sadness at what he had lost.

He heard Bodie enter the room just as dawn broke. Doyle closed his eyes, pretending to be asleep, waiting for Bodie to shake his shoulder and was startled when the bedclothes were lifted on the other side of the bed and Bodie slipped beneath them.

Bodie's hand reached out and touched Ray's bare chest then stroked gently over Doyle's shoulder and down his arm. Ray froze and fought not to flinch away. "Bodie?" he asked, his mouth dry, his heart pounding in a weird mix of exhilaration and nervousness.

"Couldn't sleep," Bodie said, his own voice sounding hoarse. "Guess the old bones aren't up to the couch after all."

"That's okay. I was getting up anyway." Doyle moved to sit up but Bodie's hand clasped his wrist, holding him still.

"Don't," Bodie whispered. "Stay."

Doyled rolled onto his side and stared at Bodie, unsure where this was going. His dick was already hard with anticipation and his chest felt tight.

Bodie just looked back at him for a long time, his hand resuming its languid caress along Ray's arm. Finally, he spoke. "You said it would be different for us. You're so sure of that?"

Ray nodded. "I don't know what you and Marcus had, but I love you, Bodie. I think I always have, only it took realizing I might never have seen you again after Mayli shot me, to make me realize that life is too short for regrets. Even if you can never return my love, I had to tell you."

Bodie nodded then moved closer, his lips brushing Doyle's with the lightest of kisses. "Let me show you," he said. "Show you how I want it to be with us."


Bodie pushed Doyle onto his back, following him over, blanketing Ray's body with his own. He held Doyle's face between his hands and feathered light kisses over it. He reached up and stroked a hand over Ray's damaged cheekbone and Ray pulled away slightly.

He'd never been overly sensitive about his looks but he hated the imperfection there, a constant reminder of the accident in his youth that had killed his first lover. "Don't," Bodie said. "It's part of you, part of who you are."

His mouth moved down to nibble Ray's throat, eliciting a moan from Ray's tight throat. Ray couldn't help pushing upward and he gasped as his erection pressed against Bodie's.

Bodie pulled back a little and grinned. "Not so fast, Sunshine, or this will be over before it starts."

"Sorry," Ray panted. "It's just… I can't help -"

"You've never been with a man before, have you?" Bodie asked, stroking a hand through Ray's damp curls.

Doyle felt a lump lodge in his throat. Jon. "Not for a long time," he admitted, "and we never got the chance… not all the way." He grabbed Bodie's hand and kissed the palm then rushed on. "But I want to with you, Bodie."

Bodie leaned down and took Ray's mouth in a deep kiss. Cupping Ray's chin in one hand, he smiled. "We will, maybe not tonight though. It's something we should work up to, if you get my drift. Besides, I'm not sure if the old body is up to it just yet."

Doyle smiled back at him, a little relieved at Bodie's decision. As much as he had Bodie now where he'd wanted him for so long, he wasn't entirely sure he was ready to take things that far. "I was right though, wasn't I?" At Bodie's quizzical expression, he added, "That it would be good between us."

Bodie kissed the tip of Doyle's nose. "Better than good."

Leaning forward again, Bodie sucked the lobe of one ear into his mouth, his hands moving restlessly over Doyle's chest, until he found a nipple. He bent his mouth to kiss it, and Doyle arched up toward him as the desire for more flashed through him.

Bodie kept moving down Doyle's body and Doyle splayed his legs open, anxious to feel Bodie's mouth on him again. Bodie's lips and tongue traced the path his hands took, swirling patterns through the hair at Ray's navel, dipping into the crevice there, tickling the rim.

Bodie nudged Ray's legs further apart with his thigh and settled himself between them. He grasped the base of Doyle's cock with one hand, and Ray shuddered at the intimate touch, then groaned loudly when Bodie bent his head and licked all the way along the underside.

"God, Bodie," Ray whispered, his hands twisting into the sheets.

Bodie bent his head to Doyle's penis and sucked the head into his mouth, slowly moving down. He slid his lips back up the shaft, humming with pleasure at Doyle's needy moans.

Ray knew the words spilling from his mouth were just nonsense words but all the blood in his brain seemed to have headed south at the feel of Bodie's warm, wet mouth enveloping his cock while Bodie's other hand rolled his balls with a gentle touch.

Doyle stilled his frantic movements and watched breathlessly as Bodie licked one finger, using it to rub beneath his scrotum, along his perineum. He lifted his hips, pushing his cock further into Bodie's mouth then pushed tentatively down on the finger he could feel tracing circles around his anus.

Bodie pulled his mouth back from Doyle's cock, hearing his partner groan with disappointment. "Not too much, Sunshine. I don't want to hurt you."

Need warred with common sense but Ray nodded. "Just a little more, Bodie, please."

Bodie grinned outright then. "Never thought I'd see the day when you'd beg me for something, Doyle."

Doyle wriggled again, allowing Bodie's finger to push into him again. "Don't care," he said petulantly. "Just don't stop."

"Impatient little bugger, aren't you?" Bodie bent to take Ray's cock in his mouth again, sucking strongly, using his tongue to trace wet patterns along the length and at the same time, pushed his finger a little further into Ray's hole, stroking rhythmically.

Ray tensed, feeling a wave of heat rush through him. "God, Bodie!" Then he was coming, his body rising to push his cock into Bodie's mouth then pushing down onto the finger tickling his anus. It felt endless and yet all too fast and Doyle slumped back onto the bed, exhausted and sated, still shuddering slightly through the final ebbing of his orgasm while Bodie continued to suckle his softening penis.

Bodie pulled away then and collapsed onto the bed beside Doyle. Pulling him into his arms, Bodie ran his hand through Doyle's hair. "I take it you liked that."

Doyled pressed a kiss to Bodie's chest. "I did." His hand stroked down Bodie's chest, over his abdomen, skirting the bruises he knew were there, and he scratched gently through the light patch of pubic hair, feeling Bodie's erection brush the back of his fingers. "Can I…?" he asked.

Bodie groaned. "If you don't, I won't be held responsible for what I might do to you." He rolled onto his back and closed his eyes. "Please, Ray."

Doyle grinned. "Begging…"

Bodie stuck his tongue out and reached his hand down toward his cock. Doyle slapped the hand away. "Mine," he said. He lowered his head and blew a warm draught of air over the burgeoning erection. "All mine."

He wrapped his hand around Bodie's cock and gave it a tentative stroke. It had been so long since he'd done this, since he'd been with a man. Not since Jon, and after the accident that had killed him and left Doyle fighting for his life, it had been easier to put that part of his life aside, to mourn what they'd had and then move on.

"Doyle? Ray?" Bodie tugged gently on a lock of Ray's hair then leaned up, resting on his elbows. "It's okay. You don't have to…"

Ray shook his head. "I want to. I've imagined doing this to you for a long time now. It's just… There was only one man before you, Bodie."

"Bad memories?"

Doyle shook his head. "Not all of them." Tears stung his eyes, the pain still too raw, the grief too overwhelming still to speak of it.

"Come here," Bodie said.

"No, I want this, Bodie!" Ray protested but Bodie grasped his arm and pulled him into his embrace.

"Plenty of time for that," Bodie said.

Ray relaxed against Bodie, enjoying the feel of Bodie's warmth against his skin, the feel of Bodie's slick, still hard cock pressed against his thigh.

"I lied, you know," Bodie said after a moment. "About not knowing it could be this good between us."

Doyle gave Bodie's chest a soft tap, but was too sated, too at peace to really be bothered by his lover's admission. "Why?" he asked.

Bodie shrugged. "Because I knew how good it would be, but…"

Doyle leaned up and kissed Bodie softly, chastely. "But?"

"I was scared," Bodie admitted.

"Bodie scared?" Doyle snorted. "Of me?"

Bodie stared at him, his expression suddenly solemn. "Of fucking it up. Scared of committing to you and then screwing it up."

"What changed your mind?"

Bodie reached up a hand and stroked it gently down Ray's cheek and this time, Ray didn't flinch away. "You did," he said. "It was what I saw in your eyes tonight. That what was in my past doesn't affect how you feel about me."

Doyle smiled then, a big beaming smile that made his cheeks ache. "I love you, Bodie, past, present and future. Nothing will ever change that."

Bodie pulled him back into his arms. "Maybe one day you'll tell me about him, the first man you loved. But for now..." He took Ray's hand and rested it on his cock. "We have some unfinished business to attend to."