Title: Stand Still
Author: Ailcia
Slash/Gen: Slash
Summary: Sometimes, standing still is harder than running.
Disclaimer: Neither of them are mine.

The breeze that wafts through the small flat is fresh and full of promise. It drifts through each room of musty flat with a certain springtime determination to make everything seem that much brighter, that much more rejuvenated.

Bodie stands by the open living-room window, tea forgotten in hand, and takes a deep breath, filling his lungs with the dewy air. He can almost taste the pollen, and he wonders idly how Murphy's getting on with his hay fever. As if to prove a point, Bodie tilts his chin up towards the clear blue sky, and takes in as much air as he can, before letting it go in one long, slow sigh of satisfaction.

He loves this time of year; everything all bustling and busy, life getting ready to start again, after shuddering to a halt sometime in mid-October. The effect spring has on people is magic; every sort of new beginning becomes instantly within reach, no matter what terrible things might have been done that past year. Bodie can't help being cheered by it - who knows what could happen between now and winter? Springtime questions everything, sets everything up for the taking, ready to change and transform. Everything outside is so new and green you can barely look at it without wincing in appreciation, and everything inside is whirling and growing in power, brimming with potential, ready for blooming…

A loud snore rolls into existence from somewhere behind him.

Almost everything, that is, Bodie amends himself with a smirk, turning.

Doyle slumps, crumpled and unconscious, in his armchair. His curly head lolls to one side, lips puffing outwards slightly with every expelled breath that passes them. The book he'd been pretending to read - he'd actually been watching the racing on the telly, and if he thought Bodie hadn't known, he was sadly mistaken - is in danger of slipping from those long, lifeless fingers. The TV set booms with the sound of hooves thundering across grass, but it doesn't disturb Doyle, whose always been able to sleep through anything.

Bodie smiles again and, scratching the back of his neck, goes to rescue the book from it's dangerous position half-way down Doyle's inner thigh. It is a mark of how knackered Doyle is that he doesn't fly awake at this briefest touch, just frowns and grunts darkly, before his rough features are smoothed over in a deeper doze.

Bloody Doyle, thinks Bodie, setting the book on the coffee table. The one Sunday they've had off all year; neither of them are hurting - well, not seriously, anyway, few bumps and scratches here and there, as ever - and they don't have to be in til eight the morrow… And Doyle has to go and fall asleep in his chair like some old codger in an old folks home.

The breeze lifts a curl from Doyle's forehead, toys with it for a second, before setting it back down the wrong way. Bodie automatically brushes it back into place, before patting the curls flat and watching in vague delight as they spring back to attention when he lifts his hand. Just like Doyle, the locks are dead set in their ways. Inordinately amused by this, Bodie does it again, and again, and each time the soft, copper strands snap back into curls, no matter how hard he presses.

"Not a bleedin' bongo, y'know."

The slurred words rumbling up into his palm surprise Bodie almost as much as the sudden tilt of the head, revealing the wonky green eyes giving him a familiar grumpy glare.

Bodie covers his start with a smirk. "Could have fooled me, mate."

He kisses his own fingertips before slapping them hard against Doyle's cheek, flying for the cover of the kitchen, expertly avoiding the cushion he had known would be flung at his head.

"Missed!"

Bodie chuckles at the grumbled retort - distorted but entirely predictable in crudeness - and makes them two chipped mugs full of tea, spooning almost-half the sugar in the bowl into one and leaving the other black, dousing it with just a little cold water, just enough to take the edge off. Doyle's neither use nor ornament unless you get some hot liquids into him within minutes of waking up, and Bodie doesn't want to spend half of his day off coaxing his partner back from the edge of a temper.

Satisfied with his handiwork, Bodie carries the steaming mugs into the living room.

"Truce."

"You've got diplomatic immunity if that's my cuppa, old son."

Doyle scrubs at his eyes with the heel of his palms and blinks up as Bodie hands him the black tea. "Cheers." He curls around the mug, sniffing greedily at the vapours that rise and twist in the sunlight before taking a huge, noisy slurp.

Bodie rolls his eyes in fond irritation and goes to sit in the armchair nearest the window. The bright sunshine draws his eye out at the world; even London's rooftops shine under a spring sun, and Bodie shifts in his chair, itching to get out and explore. They could do anything, today, could go anywhere and be anyone they wanted. And no one, not any of their mob, not even The Cow himself, would be any the wiser for being left behind and forgotten about, for just a day. Just one day, just them lost in the wide world. Or, at least, Greater London.

A familiar grunt makes him glance round; Doyle is stretching his legs out, plonking his bare feet on the coffee table and picking up his book again, squinting at it through sleep-heavy eyes and trying in vain to ignore the results flashing up on the telly screen, obviously settled for the moment. Something like disappointment, something like irritation climbs up Bodie's throat, urging him to speak.

"You'll fall asleep again."

A flick of a page and a pointed glance upwards. "That's my prerogative, sunshine."

"Thought I smelt something funny," the joke sounds half-hearted even to Bodie. Doyle doesn't notice; or else ignores it.

"If I fall asleep, I fall asleep, don't I? S'my day off," Doyle says, arching and rounding his back where he sits, wriggling to get the kinks out of it.

"S'mine, too," Bodie mutters to himself, knowing Doyle has gone back to concentrating on his book, and looks out the window once more.

It seems such a shame to waste such a glorious day like this, and Bodie shifts, feeling uncomfortable with the idea that it bothers him.

The urge to break out, to run, to escape surges up within him, then, and his muscles brace in expectation. Preoccupied with his thoughts, he doesn't even notice that he automatically works out what his escape-route would be if he needed to get out of Doyle's third-floor flat in a hurry… Window-ledge, drain-pipe, wash-house roof, wall, bins, open road. Bodie wonders idly how long it'd take him; could probably make it within the ten-second bracket, less under fire - Bodie knows he's always worked better under fire.

He wants to reach out and grab hold of the day by the throat, shake the life out of it and have it as his own. Before everything that could have been is lost forever. There'd be nothing he could do about it, and Bodie hates that feeling. Tomorrow, he could be dead; sitting inside while the sun is blazing and time is rushing by outside seems like madness. He wants to be out there, chasing the sunshine.

Familiar lips brush across the back of his neck; Bodie, startled out of his stare, shivers and turns round. Doyle has somehow managed to cross the room without making a sound, and snuck up on him. He hits Bodie the side of the head with his book.

"What's up with you, then, eh? Got a face like a foot."

"Nothing. Just thinking." Bodie rubs at the new sore-spot on his head before taking a long sip of his tea, hoping Doyle didn't see him jump.

"Careful. You hurt yourself last time."

"Doyle."

"You know what it does to you."

"Ray."

"What?"

Bodie's not quick enough to stop the smile dropping from Doyle's face - the glint of silliness suddenly disappearing from his eyes, which become hard and intent again, searching Bodie's face for any sign of upset. An expression of pure emotion flickers across Doyle's face, and Bodie can't work out exactly what it is before it disappears again in the next breath. Something warm and wonderful flickers deep within Bodie then, and he smiles.

"Nothing. Actually doesn't matter at all."

Doyle doesn't look convinced, but it doesn't matter because he never does. Suspicious little git. Bodie's smile only widens as his eyes narrow. And the warm something or other in the bottom of his chest grows bigger with each passing second as they hold each others' stare.

Eventually, Doyle rolls his eyes and shrugs, clearly deciding he has better things to do with his day than niggle and nag at Bodie, for once.

"Fair enough. Kiss you better, whatever it was."

And he leans down and kisses Bodie; a quick, tender press of the lips, as warm as the sun streaming in through the window. His fingers brush lightly across Bodie's cheek, as light as the breeze, and Bodie leans into the touch without even realising, completely disarmed, as always.

Doyle pulls away and squeezes his cheek, a small smirk playing at the corner of his mouth. He turns, wandering over to the sofa, stealing the cushions from his chair as he goes. "'Nother brew?"

Bodie suddenly finds he cannot take his eyes off Doyle, and he's smiling like a dopey half-wit for no reason at all. "Ta."

"Yeah, I'll have a biscuit and all. When you're ready." Doyle stretches himself out flat on the sofa, all knees and elbows. He thumbs open his book once again, resting it on his chest and squinting down his nose at the close text, seemingly determined this time.

Bodie doesn't say anything. He goes and makes another round of tea. And when he comes back into the living room, he settles down on the sofa, pulling Doyle - half-asleep and mumbling, curly head bobbing - close to him. They watch the repeated match highlights all afternoon as the day drifts on outside.

--END--