TITLE: Listeners Can Hear Good Things
AUTHOR: Darby Brennan
GENRE: Slash. First Time. Fluff.
SUMMARY: This was also written for a challenge on fic_on_demand, for probodie actually. She asked for a story whereby one partner overheard a telling conversation involving the other partner.
“What’s up, Ray mate?”
“Don’t nothing me. You’ve got a face like a wet weekend. Christ, I’m depressed from just looking at you.”
“Come on, Ray. Tell your Uncle Tommy all about it.”
“Piss off, Murphy.” Ray Doyle spat fire at his colleague.
The look on his face, one that Murphy had seen many times before, but not normally directed at a mate, caused the taller agent to inadvertently take a step backwards. He raised his hands palms outward, and said, “Hey, Ray, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to intrude. Forget it, eh?” He turned away.
“Wait,” Doyle called and touched Murphy’s arm. “I’m the one who should be apologising. Sorry, Tommy. It’s just . . . “
“Just what?” Murphy asked, looking down at his friend. He was shocked by how dejected Doyle suddenly looked. The copper curls seemed to hang limply on Doyle’s shoulders, with none of their usual bounce and vitality; the revealing green eyes were heavy with pain and Doyle looked pale and drawn.
“You’ll laugh. That or walk out in disgust.”
“No, I won’t. Promise.” Murphy held up the three middle fingers of his right hand. “Scouts Honour. And I was one,” he added. “Got twelve badges,” he added.
Doyle offered a half grin. “Whereas I just took dancing lessons.”
“So that was true?” Murphy said in surprise.
“Sure was. I know Bodie and me take the piss most of the time and wind one another up ruthlessly, but not this time. I really did learn how to dance. Ballroom too.” Unbeknown to Doyle, as he spoke his partner’s name, the pain momentarily fled from the jade eyes, being replaced with a wistful look that was echoed in the shorter man’s entire stance.
Murphy mentally crossed his fingers. “You could just tell him, you know.”
“What?” Doyle gasped.
“Bodie. You could just tell him.”
Doyle began to impersonate a goldfish. Finally he got himself under control. When he spoke, his tone was cautious. “Tell him what, exactly?”
“Come on, Ray. It’s there for anyone to see.”
Doyle blinked and a myriad of emotions sped across his face. He clenched and unclenched his fists, and his entire body quivered. Eventually he turned on his heel, and began to run his hand over and over again through his long curls. “Oh, yeh, I can just see that, can’t you? ‘By the way Bodie, I’m gay. Oh, and another thing, I’m in love with you. Pass the salt will you’. I’ve had one cheekbone busted when my dad found out I preferred boys to girls. I don’t want another one shattered, thank you very much.”
“What makes you think he’ll thump you?” Murphy asked, moving closer to his friend and sliding an arm around the hunched shoulders.
“Come on, Tommy,” Doyle said, leaning into the embrace. “Bodie’s all man. Of course he’ll bloody thump me. That or he’ll tell The Cow that he wants a new partner. Think I’d rather be thumped.” He sniffed and Murphy tightened his grip.
Then Murphy heard a slight noise and glanced up and across the room. There, mouth open, a look of awe on his face stood Bodie. He put his finger to his lips as he moved stealthily across the room. It was a sign of how dejected Doyle must be feeling, because his ‘Bodie button’ wasn’t activated. Instead he kept standing there pouring out his heart and feelings.
“Loved the beautiful bugger since the moment I met him. Well fancied him anyway. Soon became that if I didn’t see him every day it was a dreadful day. I had to keep touching him too, and finding ways of getting him to touch me. I love his touch, it’s so secure, so special. Makes me feel warm and cared for. Christ listen to me, spouting all this hearts and flowers rubbish. Mills and Boon, here I come. Oh, hell, Tommy, you won’t tell him, will you? Promise me you won’t . . . Bodie?” he whispered as he glanced up.
“Yes, sunshine. It’s me.”
“How long have you been . . . ? Oh, shit. I didn’t . . . It was just a . . . Bodie, please. Hit me. Yell at me, do whatever you want. But don’t go to Cowley. I’ll never mention it again. I promise. I won’t behave any differently. I . . . mhmpphhhh. What the . . .” Only one of them heard the faint click as the door was closed.
When Bodie finally released his partner, as he realised that even CI5’s finest needed to breathe, Doyle blurted out, “Why did you do that?”
Bodie tugged the lithe body back into his arms. “You told me to do whatever I wanted. So I did.”
“But you kissed me.”
“Raymond Doyle, I thought that even coppers had to have a certain level of intelligence. Bodie kissed Doyle’s nose, then his broken cheekbone, then the other cheekbone, before returning his attention to the already kiss-swollen lips. Releasing his love once more, he said softly. “I’ve wanted to do that for ages, Ray. Since the day I met you, if I’m honest. I just didn’t want to lose you.”
Doyle let himself sink into Bodie’s embrace. “Never,” he said decisively. “Never.”