Monkey Suits With Satin and Lace

(alternate death version)

by: Joana Dey


"Marry me, Bodie?"

"Eh?" He opened one eye and peered blearily down at Doyle lying sprawled across his chest, not sure he'd heard correctly.

"Marry me?" It was repeated so softly he barely caught it.

"What rent St. Pauls; you struttin' down the aisle in white satin and lace and me in a monkey suit? Don t think so, sunshine, isn't allowed these days." He immediately regretted his attempt at humor when Doyle wiggled out of his arms and slid to the far side of the bed. "Aw, come on Ray; I was only teasin' ."

"Yeah. Stupid question anyway."

They lay quietly for awhile, Bodie listening to Ray's ragged breathing, wincing as it turned into restrained sobs. Sighing, he reached over and dragged Doyle as close as possible, ignoring the stiffening spine.

"Oi, sweetheart, why do you do these things? Ya know we can't marry, for Christ's sake! Why are you so angry with me?"

"You bloody laughed at me!" The outraged hurt was too much for Bodie, and he man-handled Ray until they were face-to-face, with Doyle's tightly closed eyes and scrunched up nose below him.

"I wasn't laughing at you, Ray. I was laughing...I was laughing..." he stopped, realizing he really hadn't been that amused by Doyle's question.

"I KNOW you were laughing, Bodie," Ray sniffled. His lashes were spiky from tears and the tip of his nose was red; Bodie resisted temptation and kept all comments on Rudolph to himself.

"It hurts that I can't jump up and down in front of the whole world and tell them I love you, okay, Ray? So I joke. That s all. I was NOT laughing at you." He gently rubbed rough thumbs across Ray's cheeks, trying to erase the silvery tracks of his tears, and softly ran his tongue across the full lips. "I love you, Ray. Whether we can marry like a normal couple or not, I love you and wouldn't trade you for all the weddings in the world."

He smiled as Ray s cheeks turned a rosy pink, and his hips gave a suggestive nudge. Bodie gathered him closer, and slowly rocked their bodies together. There were better things to do tonight than worry about a wedding that could never happen.

##########

Stake-outs were just about the most boring part of the job as far as Bodie was concerned. The only good bit was being stuck on them with Doyle. He thought back to last night and the question of marriage, wondering why it had been brought up, and decided to risk asking.

Ray glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, as though debating whether or not to answer. "Um, all the families out Christmas shopping, and the couples together, and...Don t you miss it, Bodie?"

He was a little confused. "Miss what?"

"Being a part of something. Being normal....no, that s the wrong word. I don't know. Forget it."

Frustration was apparent in every line of the lithe body, and Bodie rubbed a palm soothingly up and down his thigh hoping to relax the muscles. He absolutely hated it when Ray started thinking deep thoughts ; he didn t exactly know how to deal with him at times like this.

"I thought we were part of something, sunshine; we're a part of each other aren't we? If we were married, what would change? Are you less committed to me because you aren't wearing a gold ring?"

Ray glanced up at the house they were watching, still dark and quiet, then twisted around in his seat so he was facing Bodie. The total confusion plastered across his face made Bodie groan quietly to himself. Whatever the hell was bugging Ray, it wasn't going to be solved with a few well-chosen words on his part.

"I guess I don't know what I m trying to say; I don't know what I want." He leaned his cheek against the back of the seat and gave a sigh so deep it seemed to come from his toes. "A ring wouldn't make a difference you're stuck with me whether you like it or not," he grinned cheekily at that, before continuing seriously, "it just...hurts...to see other couples out together, buying gifts for their combined families- - together; we can't do that. Guess being married doesn't have anything to do with it, does it?"

Bodie started to lean over for a kiss, when a car came around the corner. Both men jumped to full alertness, relaxing when they realized it was only Murphy and Anson come to relive them. Bodie rolled his eyes in irritation lousy timing on the others part then on second thought smiled happily. After all; he and Doyle were getting Christmas Eve off this year.

Ray laughed and started the car, waving as they pulled out into the street. "Poor Murph! What a way to spend Christmas Eve, choking on Anson's cigar smoke."

Bodie agreed with him, then pulled out the R/T, letting Murphy know everything had been dead quiet while they were there. Closing with a sardonic Happy Christmas, children , Bodie hung up, then asked Doyle to drop him at the Marks and Spencer near their flat.

"Oi, forgot to get me a Christmas pressie, did we?" Ray's good humour was rapidly returning, for which Bodie was very grateful.

"What makes you think you re gettin anything from me? Don't have unlimited funds floating around for non-essentials, do I? Just need to pick up some more shaving cream."

Doyle cocked an eyebrow at him in disbelief, but obligingly pulled up as close as possible to the kerb and let him hop out. "Got a few things to take care of meself, mate, so I'll see you in a bit."

###########

It was dark when Doyle unlocked the front door, but the soft strains of Mozart floating from the front room told him Bodie was home. It had started snowing as he came up the walk, and he devoutly hoped there was a fire already lit. His gift to Bodie was a sheepskin rug for the front of their fireplace, and it wouldn t be quite the same if the grate was cold.

Walking through the kitchen, he stopped in the doorway, not able to believe what his eyes were showing him. The fire was lit, and Bodie was standing in front of it, wearing the blue robe that matched his eyes. A small table was set up for dinner and two tall candles glowed softly. Those, and the fire, were the only source of light in the room. Ray was amazed that Bodie had managed to get all this done in the short time between dropping him at the store and now.

"Happy Christmas, sweetheart," Bodie said softly, his voice overflowing with love.

"Um, Happy Christmas...uh..."

"Bodie." He laughed and walked towards Ray, eyeing the wrapped package in his arms. "Is that for me?"

"Greedy sod, aren't ya? Yeah, it s for you. Happy Christmas, luv."

He watched with delight as Bodie plopped down on the floor and began to rip the papers off, ribbons and bows flying every which way. At times like this Ray loved Bodie with a passion that made his heart ache; seeing the joy and happiness on his face was worth more than anything in the world to him.

Bodie finished tearing everything up and crowed happily. "Oi, is this a gift for ME, or you? Think maybe it's for both of us, eh, Ray? I ll thank you on it later, " he added, with a suggestive wiggle of his eyebrows.

Ray slid down beside him and softly stroked the fur, imagining how it would feel beneath him, with Bodie on top. "So, where's mine then? Don't tell me ya made me dinner; I won t believe it. Sides, I m too hungry for chicken and chips take-a-way."

Bodie was quiet for so long, Ray began to wonder if he d said or done something wrong. Before he could start worrying at it, Bodie spoke up very softly.

"Marry me, Ray?"

"Eh?" Doyle peered over at him, not sure he'd heard correctly, or if he had, that Bodie was serious. He felt a hand grasp his, turning the palm up; a small box, rather clumsily wrapped, was placed in it.

"Bodie?"

"Open it, you silly...open it, please Ray."

Very carefully Ray peeled the tape off and unwrapped the small package. He opened the lid to find a small gold band set with a single emerald nestled inside. When he looked back up at Bodie, it was through blurry eyes, and Bodie smiled at him.

"Marry me, Ray?"

"Yeah. But don't get the idea I'm gonna be the damn bride!"

The ringing doorbell interrupted what promised to be a beautiful christening of the sheepskin, and Ray climbed to his feet in resignation, giving Bodie a wry look.

"Can't imagine who it could be tonight, can you?" He threw this back over his shoulder as he walked through to the kitchen door.

Squinting through the peephole, he saw Cowley standing on the step, wrapped tightly against the snow in his heavy coat.

"Sir! Happy Christmas!" Doyle smiled widely as he opened the door and stood back, hiding his surprise at finding the head of CI5 on his doorstep this Christmas Eve. There was no answering smile, and Doyle frowned slightly.

"Sir?"

Cowley laboriously unbuttoned his coat, ignoring the melting snow forming in puddles beneath his feet. Handing Doyle his coat, he took two steps toward the front room, then paused.

"I've come to see how you re getting on, Doyle. You've scotch in the place somewhere?"

Ray nodded slowly, a bit reluctant to take Cowley into the other room where he and Bodie were celebrating their Christmas. The dull look on The Cow's face forestalled any comment he might have made, and grabbing another glass from the cupboard, silently led the way.

Bodie was nowhere to be seen; Ray assumed he was in the bedroom making himself a bit more presentable; no need to rub Cowley's nose in their relationship. Digging the scotch from behind the bookshelves, he poured three glasses, ignoring Cowley s puzzled expression.

"Och, man, you keep your scotch behind the books?" He sounded suspiciously as though he were in pain.

"Was Bodie's idea. Keeps Murph and the others out of it. 'S not cheap stuff you know, sir!." The grin on his face slowly faded when he noticed Cowley s somber expression hadn t changed. "Sir?"

"Aye, laddie, we need to talk..."

"Shall I get Bodie, then?" Ray moved towards the bedroom.

"What?" Startled blue eyes glanced around the dark room, and he flipped a switch, bathing it in harsh white light. "Ray, Bodie's dead, remember?"

The comment caused an almost imperceptible pause in Doyle's stride, but then he laughed and continued on, happy to be able to reassure his boss. "He's not, sir, he's right here. We were just...uh...enjoying our gifts...Bodie!"

Complete silence was the only response. Doyle looked in the bathroom, even checking the shower. Nothing. No Bodie in the bedroom, under the bed; frantically Ray flung open the closet door, although why Bodie would be hiding...Slumping against the wall, he felt his stomach begin to heave as he looked dully around the room.

"He was here...we...he..."

He glanced up as Cowley came and stood in the doorway. Very gently he set about trying to jog Doyle s memory. "He was hit by a car, laddie; skidding in the snow. Right after you left him at Marks and Spencer; you remember, don't you? The car passed by you and hit him."

"He was here...," the whisper was so soft; Cowley barely heard it.

"No, I identified him, after you left the scene. There's no mistake, Ray. I m sorry."

He couldn't really hear the words above the rushing sound in his ears. Bodie dead? No. Not his Bodie; that was impossible, he was indestructible. Besides, he'd been here, he... Ray glanced down at the emerald ring twinkling on his left hand. Surely this was proof? Defiantly, he held his hand out in front of Cowley, fluttering his fingers at him.

Cowley shook his head slowly and turned back to the front room with it's much needed bottle of scotch. "I m getting another drink for you, Ray. I want you to drink it and sleep."

Doyle looked at him, not really registering his presence anymore, and softly closed the door after him. He wondered rather aimlessly around the room, staying far away from the big bed with it s black satin comforter. The charge card receipt on top of the dresser caught his eye, and he padded over to it, examining it closely. One gold emerald ring, signed for by one Raymond Doyle. He crushed the paper between his fingers.

###########

The gunshot was loud, even in the next room, and Cowley's hand shook slightly as he continued to pour his glass of scotch.

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