Bodie was pacing like a caged lion. "We should be where it's at, not here in this mausoleum," he complained, not for the first time that morning. His bleating was getting on his partner's nerves.
"Cowley told us to review the files, so the filing room is where it's at." How many times, in its variations, had Ray come up with that argument over the past few hours? He felt he should just record a message and simply play it back every time Bodie unearthed another file and started moaning again.
"I can't see that reading dusty statements is getting us any closer to the Metcalfs," Bodie commented after half an hour's blessed silence. Doyle didn't bother to look up from his reading and note-taking. He just sighed.
"We should be …"
"For God sake give it a rest," Doyle finally snapped. "I'm just glad to be here."
That cryptic comment stopped Bodie in his verbal tracks. He looked at his partner for a while, but he seemed immersed in his studies again.
"What do you mean?"
Without looking up, Doyle murmured. "Think I'm going down with something, that's all, and" he added "your whining isn't helping."
"Well, whatever it is, don't pass it on."
"If it were laryngitis I certainly would!"
Bodie went back to his reading, but found he wasn't taking it in. Doyle's comment was tickling the back of his mind.
"You said you weren't feeling well."
"Just achy that's all - and your moaning's giving me a headache."
"This place is giving me a headache, too. Oh, let's give it up for today, Ray, particularly …"
But Diligent Doyle wasn't going to be waylaid. "Cowley wants a report on all this," he said, sweeping his hand across the room. The gesture just seemed to emphasise the enormity of their task. "Get me the file on Beaton, Frank. I think I'm beginning to see a connection there."
Bodie looked at his partner for a while, but his head was down amongst the paperwork again and Bodie couldn't get a good look at him. He did as he was told, plonking the file on the desk and settling himself across from his partner. As Doyle reached automatically for the file he noticed Bodie still sat across the table.
"What's up?" It was Doyle's turn to ask - though with greater reluctance.
Bodie could now get a better look. A sheen of sweat glistened on his friend's grey face.
"Christ, you look awful."
'You're not exactly an oil painting yourself," Doyle muttered sarcastically.
"Seriously, mate, you should see a doctor."
Doyle looked into Bodie's anxious eyes for a while. "Bodie, I know it's against your nature and God, but if you could just try to help out here and then we can get home sometime this week, eh?"
Bodie sighed and, for his mate's sake, silently set about the filing cabinets again, trying to convince himself that this was - for the moment at least - where it was 'at'.