Why couldn't he open his eyes? When on duty for a long time, he managed to grab every opportunity for sleep. He could fall asleep within seconds and being wide awake when required didn't take long either. Even waking up in his own bed didn't take that long...his eye-lids felt leaden and he just couldn't open them. The alarm-clock had been sounding for a while He did feel something on his lips, but that wasn't the soft mouth of a girl he had spent the night with...it felt cold and rigid. With a surge of panic he realized that there was a tube in his mouth that snaked down his throat. He was on a respirator! The beeping noise he had mistaken for the alarm-clock seemed to match his heartbeat...gradually he realized that he was in hospital and that things had to be bad considering the cardiac monitoring and the respirator. When he tried to shift on the bed, the pain hit him with full force. His right shoulder throbbed unmercifully and it felt like a fire was burning in his chest. Some of the ribs on his left side seemed to be cracked...what had happened to him? The day's events flashed through his mind as disjointed memories...going to work in the morning, doing some paperwork at HQ, the court hearing regarding Menny Latowa's death, running some errands and returning to his flat. Somebody had been waiting for him in the living-room...he could see a gun pointing at him...a bullet hit him and slammed him backwards over a couch...an excruciating pain in his chest...difficult to breathe...the figure with the gun moving menacingly towards him...getting ready for the coup de grace...closing his eyes, waiting for the shot to his head that would end his life...a bullet passing through his shoulder...lying on the floor and feeling the blood flow from his body...unable to move...a desperate attempt to reach the phone that had been knocked to the floor...to no avail...he wanted to call out his partner's name, but he had neither the strength nor the breath to do that, so all that was left to him was sending out a silent plea for Bodie to get to him in time...then his mind was taken to a world of semi-consciousness and weird dreams and flashbacks...his first meeting with Bodie...the bullets hitting him...a blurry image of the person who had shot him...suddenly Bodie was there...trying to stop the bleeding...holding his hand and thus helping him to keep a tenuous grip of reality...in the ambulance, Bodie yelled at him to tell him who had shot him...silly bugger...didn't he understand that he did hear him, but was far too weak to answer him...he barely had enough strength to give him a weak smile and that exhausted him to the point that he lost consciousness again.

He tried to open his eyes once more and this time he managed to open them a little bit, just to be blinded by a stark light above his bed. His eyes closed again in an instant...so he had been shot and now he was in critical condition in hospital He felt his strength fading away and he could no longer fight the visions that came back to his mind...

walking through a grave-yard with Cowley..."A row of graves. That's the bottom line of all your noble sentiments: Lives wasted."

In his job, he had seen too many lives wasted indeed. Like Brian Cook...he had persuaded the young man to leave his job at the fraud squad to join CI5...more money, more chances for the bright young man at CI5 and he started out in his new position with great ambition...until an operation went terribly wrong and Doyle ended up having to close Brian Cook's eye-lids. When Cowley ordered him to tell Brian's wife, Doyle briefly considered arguing with his boss, telling him to send somebody else. In the end, he realized that it was his responsibility and he drove to the Cooks' house. June Cook was pregnant with her and Brian's second child and when Doyle finally mustered the courage to leave the car to enter the house, he found her in the kitchen where she was busy cooking loads of food.

She greeted him with a bright smile on her face and hugged him. "Ray, what a treat!" That greeting made the knot in his stomach even tighter. The news he had to break to June would change her life forever and it physically hurt him seeing June so happy and knowing that he'd have to wipe that happiness from her face. He listened as she rattled on about how much weight she had gained, that she was busy preparing tons of food for Brian to eat during her stay in hospital after the birth as she couldn't believe somebody called Cook was so hopeless in the kitchen. When Doyle failed to respond to her happy chatter, she asked: "What's wrong?" Doyle answered: "It's Cookie!" Doyle couldn't bring himself to say the words "He died" so he just remained silent when June asked whether Cookie was in trouble or hurt, leaving it to her to figure out that her husband had died. Her first reaction was denial, trying to erase that tragedy from her life by not acknowledging it. When that failed, she tried to ease her pain by putting the blame on Ray as he had persuaded Cookie to join CI5. She called him a bastard and grabbed a pot from the oven and threw its' content at him, forcing him to duck away from the boiling hot water. Shattered, he got hold of June's neighbour to take care of her and then left. On his way out, Benny, the Cooks' golden Labrador, came to him and Doyle absently petted him a bit. He was still shaken by what June had asked him to do just minutes ago.

"You've got to shoot Benny, Ray...promise me that you will shoot Benny. He will miss Cookie terribly and I don't want him to go through this. I wish I could end my life as well, but I will have to be here to raise the kids, so please do for Benny what I can't do for myself!"

The dog started to relax under Doyle's hands and Doyle briefly touched his gun, then shook his head...no, he couldn't shoot the dog, though June had a point when she wanted to spare the dog from missing Cookie.

He's in a very unstable rhythm !

Damn it, do something man!


He was glad when that flashback was over and his heart beating too fast and irregular in his aching chest was a bit closer to a normal pace and rhythm, but the respite was only brief as images of Mickey Hamilton dying in his arms came to haunt him.

He did his best to persuade Mickey to hand over the remote control for the bombs planted in the conference centre where a medical conference was to be held. Mickey was on a killing spree and had already killed three doctors. He thought that doctors hadn't done enough to help his wife and daughter. His daughter had been born handicapped due to complications during the birth and would die soon...she was only seven years old. Mickey blamed the doctors for not having made enough preparations. That was more than a family could handle and Mickey's wife kept putting the blame for her daughter's situation on herself. When she could no longer handle the guilt, she took an overdose. The hospital was rather busy when she was admitted, so it took a while for her to receive the proper medical care and she died. Nobody knew for certain whether she would have lived if she had been treated in time, but Mickey Hamilton was convinced that the medical profession was to be held responsible. Spending time in a mental hospital had not helped him. He became more and more convinced that it was up to him to prevent other families from being put through the suffering his family had been subjected to by killing as many doctors as possible. To do so, he stole explosives from the army base he used to work on and planted them at the conference centre. Then he hid in the rafters, waiting for the right time to press the detonator.

CI5 figured out his plans and arrived on the scene. Doyle went after Mickey and finally persuaded him to hand over the detonator by pointing out that his child had been injured because there were not enough doctors and that he would rob other people of the chance to pull through if he killed all the doctors at the conference. He wasn't sure if Mickey was totally convinced by that, but at least he handed the detonator to Doyle. The sigh of relief he was about to emit got trapped in his mouth as all hell broke loose all of a sudden...a team of the bomb squad with dogs had arrived on the scene and a dog went for Mickey. Things happened so quickly...Mickey running away from the dog...a single shot...Mickey collapsing, shot by Inspector Shannon.

"Shannon...he handed it over" Doyle yelled, then ran over to the dying man. He put his jacket under Mickey's head and cradled him in his lap.

Mickey's last thoughts ran to his daughter and he told Doyle: "She's what this is all about, you know. You ought to have seen her. Go and see her, if she's still... you know. Go and see her. Maybe you'll find out why I thought...I mean, I really thought... they shouldn't get away with it."

Doyle carefully placed the dead man on the floor and walked away, saying "The poor devil!" Cowley got furious with him, reminding him what this was all about and that three doctors had died, leaving eight children fatherless. Doyle took that in, but he was still convinced that somebody should have helped Mickey before.

Though CI5 managed to save a lot of lives that day, Doyle had the terrible feeling that the end to that case was not a total success. He did his best to save all the lives at stake in that situation and that over-zealous Inspector Shannon who was so eager to score points on the way to his next promotion ruined all his efforts to save Mickey. Doyle always aimed to get everybody out of a dangerous situation alive, regarding killing as the last option only to be resorted to if everything else had failed. Having that principle corrupted by a fellow policeman was hard to bear. It was only a small consolation that Inspector Shannon's career came to a halt after that incident as he was confined to desk duty and was not allowed to go out in the field anymore.

Doyle did go to visit Kathy, Mickey's daughter, after a long and furious debate with Bodie who argued that this wasn't part of his job. Making it clear that he both wanted to see the girl and grant her father his last wish, he stormed out of the building to drive to the home that took care of Kathy, leaving an angry Bodie behind. His anger faded soon, after muttering a few choice words about his partner, who had a tendency to throw himself into the cases he was assigned to with both body and soul. Doyle cared and showed compassion. It wasn't always easy to deal with that attitude and the way it often affected Doyle in the aftermath of an operation, but it was an essential trait of his character that made Doyle the man and CI5 agent he was.

Doyle arrived at the home and was told that Kathy was still alive, but that she was expected to die very soon. Sister Agatha was very shocked when Doyle told her about what Mickey Hamilton had done and she wondered if she had been able to prevent all this if she had taken some time to find out what Mickey had been talking about when he had mentioned being determined to do the right thing. Maybe he would have confided in her? Too late!

All that was left for her and Doyle to do was to keep the dying girl company and hold her hand as her breathing slowed and she slipped quietly away, just like Sister Agatha had predicted to Mickey.

Doyle left the home shaken and lost in thought and he was glad to see Bodie waiting for him outside the home.

"She has just died, Bodie...so two members of the Hamilton family died in my arms today... don't you start an argument with me now, just take me home. I don't feel fit to drive, I just want to go home, have a shower and a drink."

Bodie simply did what he was told.

The pain of that memory was about as bad as the physical pain in his chest. Maybe it would be best to quietly slip away as well? End all the nightmares his job brought along? Maybe Cowley was right...he had done more and seen more to make him throw it in than almost anybody his age...

...the memory of his partner Syd Parker lying dead on the floor in Fitch's flat was so clear and intense as if he had lost his partner only yesterday. Syd had taken the young copper Ray Doyle under his wings. They didn't only spend their shifts together, Doyle was an always welcome and frequent visitor in the home of the Parker family. Syd's wife Susan was rather sick and needed a lot of care and attention. Having given birth to two children in four years, Syd thought that his wife was tired out. Doyle liked spending time with the Parker family and helping whenever he could. He liked babysitting Michael and Lisa and both called him "uncle Ray" from the day they started to speak.

The shift of that particularly hot night started with the desk sergeant telling them that Fitch had called in scared as he thought Bill Haydon was after him. When the desk sergeant asked Parker and Doyle to keep an eye out, both nodded and left to start their shift.

Doyle asked Syd to slow down car when he spotted a Harley Davidson. He told Syd that he was sure he would own such a fabulous bike one day. They also talked about CI5, a new department being formed for which you couldn't apply as they found you. Syd told him that if they ran into international jewel thieves that night, Doyle would be the one to arrest them to improve his chances for being chosen for CI5.

All of a sudden, Syd brought the car to a stop as he had discovered Bill Haydon's car and Doyle checked the nearby apartment block and told Syd that Fitch lived in that place. Remembering what the desk sergeant had told them, they went to check on Fitch. Having been told to stay in the car, Doyle waited for Syd's return when suddenly he heard a gunshot, which sent him racing up the stairs. During his dash up the stairs, he heard a second gunshot and when he reached Fitch's flat he found both Fitch and his partner Syd shot dead. Doyle didn't know how he made it to the window from which he could see a man leaping from the last rungs of the fire escape. Doyle turned around and ran down the stairs and when he reached the patrol car, Bill Haydon's car started up and sped away. When Doyle reported the shooting to the duty officer, he told him that he would take a short cut to pick up Haydon at his place. So, when Bill Haydon thought that he was safe and dry, he was knocked off his feet, pinned down and a hateful voice said: " William Haydon, you murdering bastard, you're busted!"

Doyle's testimony was a crucial part of the trial against Haydon, at the end of which Syd Parker's murderer got a life sentence. The Judge recommended that Haydon should serve at least 30 years for his terrible crimes.

After her husband's death, Susan Parker's frail health deteriorated even more quickly and she passed away six month after she had had to bury the love of her life.

Her funeral took place on a cold day in January and Doyle wasn't shivering merely because of the sub-zero temperature. Michael and Lisa were now orphans, a family had been destroyed by a vile criminal. That chilled Ray to the bone. It was a little consolation that the children didn't have to go to an orphanage as they went to live with the family of Syd's sister. Ray kept visiting them regularly and they both occasionally spent a week-end with him.

As Michael grew older, he began to share Ray's love for motor-bikes. A couple of days after his eleventh birthday he was thrilled and so proud when he was allowed to accompany Ray to the purchase of a vintage Harley Davidson Electra Glide. Lisa wasn't that impressed with the bike, she was more looking forward to the ice-cream Ray had promised to them to celebrate the occasion. Michael kept asking Ray questions about the bike and he was happy when Ray told him that he could help him with the restoration of the bike.

Shortly after Ray had started working on the bike, Bill Haydon's daughter Jill began to follow him, demanding a talk with him. He flatly refused at first, but Bodie persuaded him to grant her a talk. She told him that her father hadn't killed Syd Parker, that he had been set up. She asked him to help her to get a retrial for her father. Ray's initial reluctance soon disappeared when he found evidence that made it seem likely that Bill Haydon had been indeed set up. He asked Cowley to draft a statement on his behalf which would start procedures that might end in a retrial. Yet during a restless night for both Doyle and his boss, they independently reached the conclusion that it hadn't been Bill Haydon who had been set up, but Ray Doyle. Jill and her father had moved him along like a puppet on a string to get what they were after.

For Ray, it was hard to cope with the fact that he came so close to letting his partner and former colleagues down by setting the ball rolling that might have ended in a release from prison for Syd's murderer. Ray had walked right into a trap, led into it by his strong desire for justice and a cunning Jill Haydon. As Bodie pointed out, Doyle found out in time, but that did little to ease Ray's anger with himself and his feelings of guilt.

A flashback to the shooting...that girl with the gun moving closer to finish him off...

Finish it! Kill me!

If he died, it would only be payback day, wouldn't it? He had killed quite a number of people in the line of his duty, so it was quite logical that one day HE would be killed as well. The one who plays with fire, dies within that fire.

Exhausted, Doyle sank even deeper into unconsciousness.

He's weakening again. His output's falling off.

Oh, damn, I thought we'd beaten it. Let's try a dopamine infusion.

Another vision...again walking in a misty grave-yard with Cowley. Damn it, he knew that his boss thought he owned his men, but couldn't he at least let him die in peace?

The vision wouldn't go away. All right, Mr. Cowley, what do you have to say?

Think of all the lives your action saved. How many people are alive because of your action. Those people want you well again, doing your job.

Well, he may have called Cowley a ruthless old bastard once and he may have had his rows with him, but his boss had a point there, didn't he?

The face of a young girl, about 15 years old, passed through his mind. It took him a while to put a name to that face...Sandy Copeland. The girl who was abducted and held for ransom. Her father was the personal assistant to Mr. Guthrie, the managing director of a weapons research company. The kidnappers had a simple deal in mind: Sandy's life for a set of plans her father had access to. CI5 got involved in the case by a sheer coincidence which proofed that even on a day off a CI5 agent could find himself battling crime again in no time.

Ray located the farm where the girl was held hostage and suddenly found himself eye to eye with a kidnapper who held a gun to the terrified girl's head. Swiftly sizing up the situation, Doyle realized that man was beyond reasoning, he would not let the girl go...there was only one option...he would have to rely on his abilities as an excellent marksman. In an attempt to make his opponent believe he'd surrender, he lowered his gun a bit. For a moment, the world seemed to stop turning, then Doyle fired a single shot that dropped the kidnapper. A surge of relief flooded through every cell of Ray's body while he hugged and comforted the crying, but unhurt, girl.

Another image came to his mind, the devastated Copelands attending her daughter's funeral, but it was quickly replaced by a sequence of different images: all three Copelands on a family outing, celebrating Christmas together, the proud parents attending Sandy's graduation and Sandy as a bride.

The fact that he was there that day when a kidnapper held a gun to Sandy's head, all his training and his instincts, that made all the difference in the world to the Copeland family.

The nurse monitoring Ray noticed that he had become a bit more stable ever since she had attached the dopamine infusion. She even thought that there was a weak smile on the face of the unconscious man. She was right about that...remembering the day he saved Sandy had brought a smile to Ray's face and if he had had the energy, he would have had a broad grin on his face when he thought about the day he and Bodie took Sandy back to her school. Her friends were all excited and asked a lot of questions and stared at the CI5 agents in open admiration. Neither of them complained about that and they answered all questions about their job, showed their guns and went on an extended tour of the school. It was nice being cock on the roost for a day!

What was that? Some kind of white robe or coat? Another blurry vision was coming to his mind. He couldn't see clearly what it was... Maybe a doctor? No, the vision became clearer and he recognized two white-robed Klansmen trying to kill a black man, the lawyer Mr. Zadie. By holding up five evictions from property owned by a housing company named the Miller Trust, Mr. Zadie had become a target for hostile action for the Empire Society. This "Keep Britain White" movement was being used by the Miller Trust as a scapegoat. The Miller Trust stuck its' attacks on Mr. Zadie on the Empire Society, giving the impression they were caused by racist motives. The true motive was greed...the Miller Trust wanted Mr. Zadie to be silenced as he helped the tenants keep their homes which prevented the Trust from cashing in big time by selling the land.

During the course of the investigation, Bodie was seriously injured and Doyle infiltrated the Empire Society. His cover was blown and he was worked over badly and left for good in a disused water tower. Tommy, a kid whose friend had been killed by the Empire Society as he had come across evidence for the involvement of the Miller Trust, found him and helped him to get back on his feet. Together, they went to the Miller Trust to force Dinny to give them the details about the trap that had been laid out for Mr. Zadie. Doyle hurried to that place and managed to shoot the Klansmen attacking the lawyer. He was running on sheer determination and adrenalin as the pain in his abused body was intense, but he made it. He saved a life that day and Mr. Zadie was able to help a lot more clients fight against injustice. A year after the events, Mrs. Zadie gave birth to a baby boy, who was loved and adored by everybody who saw him. Tommy adopted the little boy as a kind of brother. By the time the baby was born, he had become a regular guest in the Zadie home and Mr. Zadie had managed to find a job for him. Doyle also liked spending time with him, taking him for soccer games or going for a run with him.

Cowley was right, he did save lives. Of some of the people he saved, he knew the names and faces, like Sandy Copeland or Mr. Zadie...or Asher Biberman, the Israeli Minister, who was freed from the hands of his kidnappers by him and Bodie. A huge reception was held at the Israeli Embassy to celebrate the happy outcome of that kidnapping and the good cooperation of British and Israeli authorities.

Some of the people who were still alive because of his actions would remain name- and faceless to him forever. People who would have become victims to the hideous schemes and plans of terrorists, traitors and madmen if he hadn't intervened.

So, he saved lives and took lives. In his job, accomplishing the former often required the latter. Moreover, he had to protect himself, he carried a gun to prevent people from killing him and not for killing people in the first place. Was it really that simple? Things in life rarely could be divided into black and white...there were a lot of shades of grey in between.

His goal was always to get all the people out of a dangerous situation alive and unharmed and many times his training and instincts made him succeed, but he wasn't infallible, was he? His mind flashed back to a confrontation with a young man high on speed and out of control. The kid waved a gun at him and Doyle wasn't able to read the signs right...couldn't tell whether the tightening of the finger on the trigger meant that the kid would start firing wildly or not. For the first time after a long while, Doyle's nerves failed...the kid was buried in Harrow cemetry and the incident haunted Ray more often than he liked.

Doyle remembered Paul Coogan, who died in a CI5 holding cell after Doyle had gut punched him. Sure, Paul had provoked him even after Doyle had warned him not to push his luck. Moreover, Paul had been sparring with his brother before and may have been bleeding internally already when Doyle punched him. Yet Doyle was haunted by the thought that Paul Coogan might still be alive if he had had his anger under control that day.

Bodie's face appeared on his mind and he heard him say: To the pure, all things are pure.

Oh great, Bodie quoting from the bible, couldn't he just stick to poetry? Well, but why did he choose exactly that quote? To remind him that whenever he killed, he didn't kill for a lesser reason? That he was pure at heart, even when he did have to kill as he did so to save lives? That he remained pure in spite of what he had done in the line of his duty so far? He would always feel bad about having to take a life, but could he at least forgive himself for what he had done so far and would do in the future? As a matter of fact, he had to do that. Otherwise, the feelings of guilt would become unbearable sooner or later. In order to carry on he would have to forgive himself and learn to handle his feelings of guilt better. There was little point in constantly putting the blame for the invention of gunpowder on himself.

Hmm, but Bodie had something else to say: C'mon, Doyle, don't let them beat you.

Maybe Bodie was right, he should fight for his life and not give up. It wasn't like him anyway. He didn't give up easily. He remembered his painful encounter with the men responsible for planting a bomb in a restaurant where Bodie dined with his girl-friend, leaving her seriously injured. They were at the wrong place at the wrong time as the bomb had been meant for somebody else. Investigating the case, Ray was run down by a car and was taken to the flat of one of the baddies involved. Doyle was seriously injured, broken ribs, concussion and bruising all over his body. Yet he didn't give up...when he spotted a telephone in his room, he made an effort to get to it to call for help. The way there was painful and there were moments he thought he'd pass out, but he managed to get his call through to CI5. Later, when that nutter Arthur Pendle tried to smash his skull with Doyle's gun, he used all the strength in his aching body to kick that vicious man as hard as he could, thus gaining enough time to make it to the kitchen and lock himself there. More villains arrived and he managed to fight them off with a pepper pot until Bodie got there to take care of them.

He hadn't given up in that situation, so why should he give up now? It wouldn't be an easy way back to active duty, that was certain. He had been in a good deal of pain during his recovery after his encounter with Pendle and Crabbe and this time, the road back to health would even be a lot harder. But that didn't mean he shouldn't give it a try! He usually didn't take the easy way out...he had come a long way since his days as a tearaway. He had been on the wrong side of the law for quite a while when he was attacked by some thugs who beat him up and left him in the gutter with a fractured skull and a smashed right cheek-bone. Fortunately, he got help in time and recovered from injuries that could have been fatal. Yet his face was altered forever and it took him a long time to get used to that fact. He changed his life completely after that incident and he joined the police force. His determination was enormous and he turned into an excellent copper who was recruited by CI5, an organization that had room only for the best. It would be damned stupid to throw all that away just because some bitch had shot him. He had joined the police force to make the world a better place and to prevent innocent people from being victims to mindless crime. That wish was still as strong as it used to be when he first joined the police force. Of course, the shooting had added some new scars to his body and soul and he would have to learn to live with them, but he felt he was up to the challenge.

He's done more, seen more to make him want to throw it all in than almost anybody his age.

Then, let's hope he's got more reasons to want to go on.

Yes, he did have more reasons to want to go on. He wanted to get back to his job with Bodie by his side. His job was worth coming back to, his friendship with Bodie meant so much to him, he just couldn't throw that away. He was more than lucky to have found a partner whom he could rely on every time. Their relationship hadn't been easy at the beginning, two very different egos had to find common ground and develop mutual trust. As time went by, they developed a telepathic connection and proved everybody wrong who had predicted that Cowley had made a mistake in pairing them.

Apart from his job, he had more reasons to want to go on as well. One day, he would like to start a family. That wouldn't be easy, he knew that, but it wasn't out of the question.

He loved spending time with friends, riding his motorbike and horses, reading, going to the cinema and painting. He loved to be out and about early in the morning to catch the light of the rising sun in his paintings. One morning, he had painted a beautiful sunrise over the Thames and that painting hung in his bedroom, right above a framed print of his favourite poem. The last words of that poem echoed in his mind:

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Yes, it was a beautiful world and he wanted to live.

That's much better. He's holding his own. His pressure's up to 110.

When he tried to open his eyes this time, it was easy. He saw the blurry image of a man sitting by his bedside. When his eyes finally managed to focus on the man, he saw Bodie's beaming face. Bodie felt so smug that moment, he had known all along that Doyle would pull through. When his boss had wondered whether Doyle's will was strong enough to pull through, Bodie had reassured Cowley that Doyle's will was the strongest and he turned out to be right. He addressed his partner:

"Good morning, sleeping beauty! Have you finally done enough napping? I know that I keep telling you that every time I see your ugly face, it makes me feel so incredibly handsome, but that doesn't mean you need to get such a long beauty sleep. I mean, you could never catch up with my stunning beauty anyway, so why bother to try?"

Doyle would have given his partner a piece of his mind, but the tube in his throat saved Bodie from a right bollocking. He just rolled his eyes and gestured with his left hand to make that insensitive prat of a partner come closer.

Bodie got up from a chair by Doyle's bedside and sat down on the bed very carefully. Doyle gave him a slap on the thigh. If he couldn't rant at his partner, some physical punishment would have to suffice. He expected Bodie to wince a bit as he had hit him with full force...at least, he thought so. Obviously, he was light-years from fighting fitness as Bodie barely flinched.

"Hey sunshine, that is not a kind way to treat your partner who saved your life"

"Yeah, maybe," thought Doyle, "but it is the right way to treat your partner who starts winding you up the moment you're back from the dead."

He reached out to hit Bodie again, but Bodie was quick enough to get up and avoid the feeble slap.

"Better get the doctor to remove that tube so you can enlighten us with your words of wisdom again."

"Best idea you've had in a long time, mate. This tube is driving me insane...can't wait to get rid of it and treat you to some choice words."

He couldn't keep his eyes open any more and decided to get some more kip till Bodie came back with the doctor. Probably Bodie would spend some time chatting up a nurse, so it would be a while till he'd be back with the doc.

Doyle's eyes drifted shut and he fell into a peaceful sleep. A little smile curled his lips. This time, there were no visions or painful memories...this time he just felt comfortable and safe.