It was raining. Judging by the colour of the looming sky, it would be raining for the foreseeable future.

"Know what I hate most about this bloody job?"

Leaving his feet propped dangerously on the passenger dashboard, Doyle leant over until his head was almost on Bodie's shoulder. Miraculously, the cup of coffee in his lap stayed upright, and Bodie allowed himself a small smile of admiration before resuming the ferocious scowl he had been perfecting for most of the morning.

"No, but feel free to enlighten me - you know I'm just *dying* to hear your innermost thoughts."

Overcoming the sudden desire to breathe in the smell of the hair that brushed against his face, Bodie strove for his most nonchalant tone.  Perhaps if he had achieved it, rather than the snarling sarcasm that actually emerged, things would have gone differently.  Quiet as the grave, Doyle straightened, elegantly tucked and folded his legs back under the dash and leaned as far away from Bodie as the car would allow. Reaching over with impossible grace,  he grabbed the binoculars on the back seat, and resumed his observations of the house across the street.

"Sorry to bother you with idle chat."

The words had no inflection, no expression, but Bodie heard the pain behind them, the disappointment, the tightly furled anger. Until last night, there had never been this kind of tension between them, this kind of coiled, unspoken emotion. Very occasionally they had serious disagreements, but one or the other of them always took it to an extreme; a row, a fist-fight, a good belly-laugh.

"We shouldn't do this Ray. 'Xactly what we both thought would happen. You said it last night, before we...after I..."

Zeroing straight in on a problem was usually Bodie's strong point, and Doyle was moved by the uncharacteristic confusion and doubt he could hear in his partner's voice. After the focused intensity of their passion last night, the tight, hot friction of their coupling, he was strangely reassured. Bodie was having trouble expressing himself, and that meant that he was in over his head.

Coming to a sudden decision, Doyle reached out his hand, low and slow, as if to calm a startled animal.

"Don't worry Bodie. Eventually we'll work out how to be normal again.  For now though, I'd like to know how I'm going to get through the next four hours without kissing you."

Gratified by the sudden intake of breath beside him, Doyle felt rough, blunt fingers tangle with his own, the warm frictionheating his skin. Holding hands, they sat silently in the car, learning the language of lovers, and it rained, and rained, and rained.


Summer 1999