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What Happened to the Thunder and Lightning Brigade

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The dark clouds on the horizon had moved firmly in, and it started to rain when Cowley left them, Anson comfortably ensconced in the back seat of the Rover, his prisoner looking alarmed but otherwise docile beside him. At least he'd be sent back for his own country to deal with - one thing that wasn't their problem any more.

It was escaping from the depths of the back end of the middle of nowhere without a vehicle that was their problem... Brown had promised that the Capri was around somewhere, and Cowley at least had taken him at his word.

"Find it, Bodie!" he'd said, "and if you can't it comes out of your pay packet!"

"Find it, Bodie" he muttered to himself as he rounded yet another corner of yet another outbuilding, this one with half the slates fallen off its roof, and a distinct smell of cow.

"You left the window open," Doyle growled, unsympathetic. "D'you know how far it is to the next village?"

Bodie glared at him. "Too far," he said. "But it's gotta be here somewhere - why would Brown nick it and then dump it somewhere else when he needed it to get here?"

"Why's he over here in the first place?" Doyle was uncompromising. "Another cock-up..."

"Not ours this time!"

"If you 'adn't left the window open again...!"

Bodie rolled his eyes, took a deep breath, and ground his teeth. When he got Doyle home he'd... Well, he'd probably fuck him joyfully through the carpet, after three days on this bloody job, but that was neither here nor there. His deep breath hadn't helped, but he found himself watching the clench and sway of Doyle's arse as he strode ahead, peering through this window and that, and the tension of the op began to leave him. It had brought back uncomfortable memories of that mad scientist Nesbitt, who'd tried to poison half of London and had them swimming around in a freezing cold reservoir before they managed to save the day... Doyle was getting all wet now, too, he noted approvingly, dark splash patterns on the pale denim of his jeans. Thunder cracked not far away, and eventually a flash of lightning. Not all that long after they'd started working together, he thought, more reminiscently, back when he was still trying to lure Doyle in, when they were still half at each other's necks.

Well, they still were if you looked at it like that, but they had a much better way of...

Doyle's whistle from up ahead pulled him out of his memories and back to their dilemma - stuck in the middle of a storm in Wiltshire without transport, and Cowley insisting they be back in Town by eight for the trans-Atlantic debriefing. It must be gone six now. Damned...

And there it was, backed into one of the ramshackle outbuildings of the farm, half-covered in wires and boxes and detritus, and scattered lightly with straw, but otherwise looking reassuringly intact. The one thing they could be sure of was that Brown was not a bomber, whatever else he might have been doing in the cellar.

"If 'e's dented it, Cowley'll have your hide!"

"My hide?" Bodie spluttered. "What happened to partners, compadres, share and share alike...?"

"Oh no!" Doyle peered into one of the cardboard boxes and then shoved it unceremoniously to the ground, where it landed with a metallic grunt. "You're on your own mate. If you can't learn to close..."

"...the windows! Yeah, I know, alright? Give it a rest, Ray..."

He felt Doyle's eyes on him then, assessing, and let his lips press together just slightly in a pout, then peered up at him under his lashes.

"You..." Doyle said, drawing it out in disgust. "You'd con a saint, you would. Let's just get out of here before we 'ave to build an ark, alright?"

"Alright by me... oh fuck!"

"What?"

"Look what he's done to the boot! What the hell's this supposed to be?"

"Thinnest spoiler in the world?" Doyle suggested, looking amused. "Some kind of CB antenna?" He reached down and gave it a tug, then tried the boot - neither budged. "Leave it - the lads'll sort it out when we get back."

If they ever got back. And if they missed the Cow's debriefing, there'd be hell to pay for the next week while he worked off his temper on them. "Come on then, Pollyanna," he said. "I dunno why you think it's worth going back - might as well stock up on Fisherman's Friends and sou'westers and head straight for the Hebrides. Or..." He looked at Doyle, and brightened. "We could run away somewhere warm instead - the south of Italy, you and me, kid, what d'you reckon?"

"I reckon the trauma of losing the car's been the last straw," Doyle said, but he was grinning again. "Come on, get in - we can clear this lot up later."

"Yeah..." On the other hand of course, he thought, sliding into the familiar front seat, and finding the key in the ignition, right where Brown had promised them it would be, it was a long straight road to London, and Doyle would be safely beside him, slouched louchely in this seat - good word for Doyle, that, louche. Wet jeans stretched tight across his thighs, and... everywhere.

"Are you gonna start this thing, or what?"

"He did say fast, didn't he?" Bodie agreed, shooting Doyle the kind of wicked look he knew Ray hated and loved at the same time, and pulling them out of the barn and onto the mile-long freshly tarmacced and wide drive that had led them to Brown in the first place. "What's the betting I can get her to a ton before we hit the main road?"

"Oh my gawd..."

But Doyle loved the speed, just as much as he did, and when Bodie glanced at him next, the accelerator pressed hard to the floor, and the speedometer heading for eighty, Doyle was settled back into his seat, the light of it in his eyes.

Eighty... eighty-five... The wet world rushed past and thunder crashed at them over the engine, the wipers working smoothly to clear the view ahead.

"What the hell?" Doyle said suddenly, sitting up straight and peering into the dark evening. "There's something rigged across the road..."

Bodie had seen it too, when the lightning flashed at them again, two poles, getting bigger by the second, some kind of wire stretched between them, something reaching even higher for the sky... "We'll clear it," he said confidently, and they would, the Capri was a low ride.

Eighty-six... eighty-seven... It was a good car this, went like a bomb even in the city, and on this road...

Something flashed behind them, just as the speedometer touched eighty-eight miles per hour, and lightning speared down from above, hitting the rod that had been waiting patiently for it, connecting with the thin metal pole that had been welded through the boot and into the flux capacitor that had been powered up and ready to take Doc Emmet Brown back to the future yet again. Before they could cover their eyes, before Bodie could do more than blink, and wish they had more time, more time in the world, more time together, the blur around them changed, became light, became time itself... and suddenly, they did.

BD CapriMirrorLightFlashingPast

Image by MacklinGirl