There was pounding at his door, and Bodie knew without looking who it would be. For a few seconds he debated just ignoring it and pretending he wasn’t home – that he’d already left – but knew that Doyle would simply pick the lock if not answered within the next minute or so.
Resignedly, he closed the suitcase lid and walked to the hallway, yanking the front door open.
Doyle spilled in mid-pound, fist still raised and stumbling for a few steps before he regained his balance. He rounded up on Bodie in the narrow corridor, chin raised and eyes blazing. It was like being hit in the face by a small but extremely dangerous weather front, maybe one of those tropical typhoons – localised to Bodie’s persona at the moment, and liable to wreck some serious havoc.
Then again, that was exactly why he was…
“Leaving!?” Doyle shouted, one finger raised in an exclamation point. “Without telling me! I have to hear it from bloody Murphy! What…” He seemed to run out of words and just flailed silently in incoherent rage in Bodie’s general direction. “Why?” Doyle finally spat out. “Just… I don’t understand.”
And oh but Bodie would have given a lot for it to remain like that. It was better for Doyle not to know his reasons, which is why he’d tried to exit stage left while the other agent was on an assignment. Typical for his luck though, the case had resolved itself right quick and Bodie was still in the country by the time Doyle was back. And it was clear that the first thing the man had ran into at the headquarters was the overactive rumour mill.
“What does it matter,” Bodie asked, turning around and walking deeper into the apartment. Maybe if he gave Doyle the cold shoulder he would get angry enough to leave. “We had a good run, Sunshine,” Bodie made his voice as flippant as he could, trying to convince himself it would hurt less like this - quick and vicious like pulling of a plaster, “but you know what they say: All good things must come to an end.”
There was stunned silence at his back which Bodie did his level best to ignore. He went to his bedroom, heaved up the suitcase and walked back out. “Now, I have a plane to catch so if you don’t mind…”
That was as far as he got, effectively interrupted by a punch to the jaw. “What the fuck!” he yelled, mostly on instinct because yeah, he knew very well what the fuck.
Doyle shoved him against the wall, kicking the suitcase right out of his hand. Bodie had no fight left in him and simply sagged against the paisley wallpaper, tasting blood from his split lip.
“That’s it then, is it?” Doyle snarled. He leaned a forearm over Bodie’s chest to keep him pinned. “Sayonara and thanks for the memories? Is that how little this partnership means to you?” There was real pain in the question, deep and jagged like a serrated edge of a knife. “Is that… Is that how little I mean to you?” Doyle’s voice wavered, dipping from fury to sorrow, and betrayal.
And shit, shit, Bodie was prepared to deal with anger but this… “No,” he said, hoarse with resignation. “No, Ray, no. It’s the opposite.” In the end the confession slipped from his mouth easily, like it had been waiting for the opportunity.
“What…?” Doyle frowned at him, backing off just enough to take his weight off but staying within touching distance. He was right not to trust Bodie, who, given the chance, would definitely try to make a run for it. “What do you mean: the opposite?”
Bodie groaned, closing his eyes and banging the back of his head against the wall none too gently. “Come on, man,” he said, “you gonna make me spell it out? What’s the opposite of ‘little’?”
He opened his eyes to narrow slits, watching Doyle puzzle it out. If anything, the frown on his face only deepened. “That… You’re leaving because our partnership means a lot to you?” he asked, visibly frustrated. “What the hell? That makes no sense!”
“Too much,” Bodie corrected quietly. “Not just ‘a lot’ but too much. Our partnership… You. You mean… too much to me.” Slowly he raised his hand, cradling the side of Ray’s face in his palm, thumb stroking over the cheekbone. “Do you understand now? You see why I have to go?” He kept his eyes locked in Doyle’s, watching the confusion clear, change to surprise, and waited for it to turn to disgust, to anger.
Astonishingly, it never came. Instead, Doyle’s eyes went wide and hopeful, the thin line of his mouth relaxing with shock. “Oh,” he said, “oh,” a soft sigh full of wonder that Bodie felt against his lips just a second of two before Doyle’s mouth brushed against his. “It’s not too much,” Doyle said, pulling away just enough to talk, his hands curling around Bodie’s shirt, tight and possessive. “It’s not too much, it’s perfect.”
And when Doyle kissed him again, mouth eager, body warm and familiar against his, Bodie was forced to concur.