FALLING FOR YOU
Previously published in Secret Agent Men 9.
Bodie tried to stifle the grin that threatened to erupt as Ray Doyle walked out of the shower, a towel secured about his waist. Walked was a rather generous term, he decided as his partner made it to his locker in a rather inelegant half-stagger.
As Doyle reached for the handle, a groan emerged from between tightly clenched teeth and Bodie sat up on the bench, eager to watch the show. A shaky hand unfurled itself from its grip on the towel and slapped onto the metal, fingers splayed widely as Doyle leaned into the open locker with a string of muttered curses.
"Shit! Ow! Ow! Shit!"
Doyle froze a moment, panting rapidly through his mouth, then straightened as slowly as he'd bent, with a dark blue t-shirt grasped in one hand. He turned, then groaned, louder this time, and rolled his eyes as his towel loosened from his waist and slipped to the floor.
This time, Bodie couldn't stop his snort of amusement. Reaching out a finger, he prodded delicately at the huge bruise on Doyle's lower back, feeling the rock-hard tension of muscle spasm beneath his touch. "Ooh." He affected a mincing, effeminate tone. "You are hard, aren't you?"
"Ow! And throbbing." Bodie raised a lascivious eyebrow at that. "Leave it alone, Bodie," Doyle continued with a growl, "hurts worse when you poke at it." He slapped Bodie's hand away irritably.
Hardly chastened, Bodie blew him a kiss. Doyle rolled his eyes then pointed to the floor. "Would you mind?"
Bodie blinked. "I don't mind. If you want to walk around headquarters with your arse showing, Raymond, that's entirely up to you. I certainly don't mind. Don't know what Cowley will think of it, though."
"Bodie! Is that all you think about?" Impatience caused Doyle's body to tense, obviously triggering pain somewhere and he hissed.
Bodie sobered immediately. "Sorry, sunshine. What do you need?"
"Can you pick up my towel and give me a hand with my pants?"
Bodie stood and bent to pick up the towel. He took a moment to fold it then hung it over the open locker door. Reaching inside the locker, he pulled out Doyle's jeans and underwear and tapped his partner on the shoulder. "Might be easier doing this sitting down."
Doyle opened his tightly clenched eyes and stared at him for a moment, looking rather confused. "What?"
Bodie pushed on one shoulder, careful not to press too hard. "Sit."
"Right." Amid much groaning and invective, Doyle managed to lower himself to the wooden seat, then shakily lifted each foot and slid them into the legs of his jocks and then his pants.
"You sure you're all right?" Bodie asked, taking the advantage of his eye-level position to check out Doyle's face. "Heck of a thumping you took when you hit the landing."
Doyle's eyes had closed again. "Headache," he managed between gritted teeth.
"I bet." Bodie could see that Doyle was in some considerable pain. He held himself rigidly, hands fisted on his thighs. His face was rather pale and already sheened lightly with perspiration, despite having just stepped from the shower. His dark curls hung limply about his face as though even they were too exhausted to perk up. A dark, mottled bruise decorated his forehead, a large lump rising up from the skin. His eyes were a little blood-shot, but as far as Bodie could tell, the pupils were equal and his gaze was alert. "Who would have thought a skinny bloke like that would have that much strength?" Bodie said conversationally as he placed a hand under Ray's elbow and levered him upright to zip up his fly.
"Little, maybe, but he was a bloody weightlifter. I swear, Bodie, I never saw it coming. One minute I'm asking him if he's interested in telling us how he managed to get hold of all that counterfeit money, the next thing I know, he's lifted me into the air and tossed me back down the stairs."
"You didn't lose consciousness, did you?"
"You already asked me that and I told you, no." Doyle sat again at Bodie's urging and allowed him to slip his t-shirt over his head. He stopped short as he began to lift his arms, breathing deeply for a moment, then nodded and slid his arms through the sleeves.
"You should have waited for me," Bodie grumbled. "As it was, if it wasn't for my superior reflexes, you would have landed right on my bloody head." That got Doyle's eyes open and Bodie almost withered under the glacial glare. "All right, let's get you up and moving." Quickly, he slipped on Doyle's sneakers and tied them, then hoisted the groaning man upright once more.
Bodie kept close as Doyle wavered a moment on his feet, then stepped with exaggerated carefulness toward the door. He wasn't feeling all that steady himself, he thought, though he only seemed to be shaking now on the inside and the full-fledged feeling of nausea had retreated to a vague queasiness, now he knew Doyle was mostly okay. "Tell you what," he said, placing a hand on Doyle's back and steering him away from the doorjamb before he walked into it. "How about I give you a massage when I drop you home?"
Doyle half-turned, then apparently remembered the folly of such an action and twisted back slowly to face the front. "No, thanks. Got someone in mind for that."
"How do you know about Deborah?" Doyle was at the top of the stairs now, gazing downward in some trepidation.
"Everybody knows about Deborah. At least, if they didn't before, they do now, Murph's told pretty much everyone," Bodie said smugly. "You've been keeping secrets from your partner, Raymond."
"That rotten bugger," Doyle fumed. "He promised to keep it under his hat."
"You know Murphy. Never could keep a secret," Bodie replied cheerfully.
"You don't sound jealous," Doyle said, sounding somewhat aggrieved.
"Nothing to be jealous of, is there?" Bodie replied. "I'm assuming she's a red herring to keep Cowley and anyone else from knowing who you really fancy." He gave Doyle his most lecherous grin. "Namely, me."
Doyle sighed but couldn't keep the smile from his face. "Think it's worked?"
Bodie shrugged. "Mostly." He ignored the somewhat worried expression on Doyle's face and instead surveyed the stairs for a moment. "Tell you what, we'll get out of here a lot quicker if you lean on me a bit until we get down there."
Somewhat grudgingly, Doyle wrapped an arm around Bodie's shoulders and allowed his partner to grip him around the waist. After much moaning and groaning, and not a few decidedly choice words that would have curled the Cow's hair, they stepped off the final riser.
"How about a drink then?" Bodie asked, fishing in his pocket for his car keys and keeping his other hand around Doyle's waist.
"The first one."
"Fair enough," Doyle said agreeably, seeming in no hurry to remove his arm from Bodie's shoulders. "You're driving as well though. And I have to be home by six. Deborah's coming round to do my massage."
Bodie rolled his eyes. "I bet she is and all."
Doyle gave Bodie's arm a conciliatory pat. "But after she's gone, you get to massage the important bits."