The op had been chaotic. Bodie was with Wilson at one end of the warehouse site; and Doyle and a couple of other agents at the other. Somewhere along the line the gang had been tipped off and were waiting in large number and in anticipation. There had been a considerable exchange of fire and an explosion. Ambulances were called, first aid given at the scene. At Casualty Bodie was given a cursory glance by hard-pressed medical staff and patched up quickly. He was wandering off to find his partner when he was waylaid by a friend of his girlfriend. He struggled to remember the guy's name and where he'd seen him.
"Bodie," he said, surprised, "I didn't know you were involved in this." He looked nervous.
Bodie hadn't let his girl know he worked for CI5 so was cautious. He wasn't going to let anything slip. "Happened to be in the wrong place. Know what I mean?"
"Yeah. A few cuts and bruises. You?"
"Oh, I wasn't involved but I'm afraid Lucy got caught up."
If Bodie had been more alert he'd have known the guy was lying, at least in part, but the news had shocked him. Lucy was Bodie's girlfriend. He'd become more attached to her than even Doyle realised. She was quickly becoming the love of his life, despite his best endeavours to keep his heart safe from harm. Bodie made enquiries at Reception while the friend slipped quietly away. Bodie was directed to intensive care, his partner forgotten for the moment. The staff there told him that Lucy was still being assessed. Eventually he was called to a consulting room where he was told the bad news that the prognosis wasn't good. He was allowed to see her and crept in quietly to be with her. The all too familiar bleeps and peeps of the all too familiar medical equipment kept her heart beating and her lungs inflating. She was doing little for herself.
Several hours later, as Cowley called to the hospital, a sheet was being gently pulled over Lucy's face and the equipment silenced. Bodie had his head in his hands and didn't look up as Cowley entered the room. He'd assumed disinterestedly that it was another medic. A quick glance at the bed told Cowley its own story. As the nurse left, he went over and looked under the sheets. Its outline had puzzled him. Instead of a dead CI5 agent, he gazed instead at the face of a heavily bandaged unknown female. It didn't take a leap of imagination to deduce that this was Bodie's girlfriend. He looked over to his agent, who hadn't moved. He put a fatherly hand on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry, Bodie," he said sincerely. Even if he didn't know the female, he knew a man in pain when he saw it.
His agent stirred. Tears were very close to the surface.
"What was her name?" he asked gently.
Bodie took a deep breath and ambled to his feet. "Lucy Williams. A friend."
"A close friend?" Cowley probed, though the answer was clear.
"Have you seen Doyle?"
Bodie looked at him blankly for a moment at the sudden change of tack. Doyle's name had never entered his head. He looked into Cowley's troubled eyes. He hoped he'd interpreted the look wrongly. He couldn't deal with anything else right now. It was clear to Cowley that Bodie didn't know and hadn't asked about his friend. He didn't want to pile on the agony, but he would have to be told sooner or later.
"He's a few doors down. He has a better chance than Lucy."
Bodie knew that 'a few doors down' had to be a further extension of the intensive care suite. He shook his head. He couldn't cope with this. "A better chance?" he snarled, anger rising, "If he had only a 5% chance he'd still have a better chance than Lucy, wouldn't he?"
Cowley understood the anger and ignored it. "You may want to see him," he pushed gently.
"What, so that I can sit by his bed and watch him die too?" Bodie shouted. Hysteria was very close. He bit his bottom lip, but it didn't stop a tear rolling down his cheek. He scraped it away, embarrassed. Cowley said nothing but slipped his arms around his operative.
"Let it out, Bodie," he whispered.
Bodie tried very hard to keep it in, but the emotions were too big. He leaned against Cowley's shoulder and wept. Cowley held him. He had no idea that the woman was this close to Bodie's heart. He was shocked to learn of his own ignorance. Why hadn't he known? If Doyle had known, why hadn't he said anything? Bodie pulled away after a while and apologised. Cowley shrugged it off, and then came to a decision.
"Get some rest," he ordered softly, realising that Bodie was right. He couldn't sit by another bed at the moment. He led his agent to a relatives' room and pushed him onto the cot. Bodie held his head in his hands again as Cowley left. He looked lost. Shortly he came back with some pills and a glass of water.
"Here, some aspirin."
Bodie took them off him and looked up at his boss. "Blood funny aspirins," he commented.
"I see that your powers of observation aren't too compromised," he commented dryly. He admitted that they were sedatives and Bodie dutifully took them anyway, curling up on the bed after kicking his shoes off. He was past caring. Cowley drew the duvet over him. He sat by Bodie's bed and stroked his head.
"My mum used to do that for my sister when she had her nightmares," he mumbled sleepily as the tablets took effect.
Cowley waited till he was satisfied that Bodie was asleep then quietly left. He stopped by Doyle's side ward. He showed his ID to the CI5 agents guarding his room. There had been no change in his agent's frail condition. There being nothing further to do here this night, he ordered a watch on the relatives' room with strict instructions that Bodie wasn't to be disturbed - whatever the circumstances - and he left for home.
It was the early afternoon of the next day before Bodie woke. At first he was confused that he was in a single bed in a strange room, then the awfulness of it all began to seep into his memory. He closed his eyes again and wanted the world to go back to where it was, but knew it wouldn't. It had to be faced. He got up and washed in the en suite bathroom. He peered into the mirror. Swollen, red eyes peered back at him in a gaunt unshaven face. He remembered what Cowley had said about Doyle being 'a few doors down'. He had to find the courage to find out what that was all about. No point in entertaining theory and imagination. He needed facts. He braced his shoulders and prepared to face whatever needed to be faced. His stomach reminded him that he hadn't eaten for nearly 24 hours. That could wait a while longer. He was surprised at the guard on the door as he left and another outside Doyle's room. He had to show his ID to the two operatives who knew him by sight anyway. They told him that even Cowley had to show his ID. Strict orders. Bodie tried to interpret what the guards meant but without facts he could only wonder. He tried to keep his emotions and face in neutral in front of his colleagues and entered Doyle's room. A nurse was in attendance.
"How is he?"
"He had a scan this morning and the bleeding in his brain has stopped and the swelling is reduced. The consultant is pleased so far," the nurse reported cautiously, assuming that Bodie knew the background to Doyle's head injuries.
There seemed to be a hell a lot of equipment around the bed and the left side of Doyle's face was alarmingly swollen. He didn't like to enquire about what was happening under the sheets. Bodie waited by the bedside until Cowley visited in the early evening. A nurse had brought him some tea and sandwiches to keep him going.
"How is he?" It was Cowley's turn to ask.
Bodie repeated what the nurse had told him earlier as there had been no change and the consultant hadn't come back to do any more prodding and poking.
"What happened, sir?" Bodie asked. He hadn't wanted to put the question to the nursing staff or his colleagues. It was only now, as the initial shock of his girlfriend's death had passed, that Bodie was beginning to ask himself questions and getting no answers.
"I was told," Cowley said, "that Doyle tried to push Lucy out of the way of falling masonry and scaffolding after the explosion. They both got hit with it. Jax said that Doyle could have got out of the way if he hadn't turned to help her."
Bodie was confused. He had assumed that she had nothing to do with their op. That she was, say, involved in a nearby traffic accident, or got caught in the periphery of the explosion. "What the hell was she doing in the warehouse then?" He also began to wonder now what Lucy's friend was doing at the hospital, too. His brain was going into alarm.
Cowley had another decision. Did he tell Bodie what he'd recently found out about this Lucy Williams? That she was linked to the gangland heavy they had been looking for; that she was a former prostitute; that her brother was into some dirty business across the river? If he had known that Bodie was getting into deep emotional waters, he would have ordered Doyle to check her out and all this could have been avoided. He made a mental note to check out even seemingly casual acquaintances in future. He was sure that Bodie wouldn't have revealed his occupation to Lucy, but the fact that she and a gang of heavies were waiting in ambush at the warehouse needed to be explained somehow. They were lucky not to have lost anyone - yet.
"I don't know why she was there, Bodie." - which was strictly true. It was the kindest thing to say. He hoped that Bodie would bury his curiosity along with his lover. Cowley's next problem was Doyle, and how much he knew - if anything. As he was pondering, the consultant came in. He asked them to leave while he did whatever mysterious things consultants did. When he came out, an anxious boss and friend were steered into a small office.
"He's doing well, gentlemen," the consultant announced, to the relief of his audience. Apparently his patient had been reacting to stimulus and should be coming round fairly soon. He'd be assessed properly when he regained consciousness, but the consultant was cautiously optimistic that there was no brain damage. Bodie offered to return to bedside duty but Cowley and the doctor persuaded him to go home and rest and to come back next day when Doyle should be showing signs of rejoining the world. Cowley also had his own agenda. He wanted to get to Doyle before Bodie did. After dropping his relieved and grieving agent home, he put in an order for a vigil to be kept by Doyle's bedside. As soon as he regained consciousness, even if it was the early hours of the morning, Cowley was to be informed immediately. As it turned out, it was the early hours of the morning. Cowley returned to the hospital a few hours later to find that Doyle had been moved from Intensive Care to a side ward. He was making progress. On entering the room, Cowley found that his agent had gone back to sleep but at least it was sleep now and not coma and most of the equipment had been removed. While the doctor's back was turned, Cowley woke him up.
"Doyle," he hissed into his operative's ear while shaking his shoulders firmly. Doyle couldn't resist the provocation and prised open his good eye.
"Sir?" he ventured hoarsely.
At least Doyle knew who he was. It was a good start. Cowley had a glass of water ready for him and forced it down his throat. Then he demanded to know how much his agent knew about Bodie's girlfriend.
"How is she?" he asked first before he gave a statement.
Cowley broke the news that the girl was dead. Doyle closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
"He was keen on her, sir. How did he take it?"
"Not well, I'm afraid. He's resting at home at the moment and he'll be in to see you some time this morning.
"I did try …"
"Tell me what you know about her."
Doyle didn't have much to relate and Cowley had to hold on to his patience while his agent drifted in and out of sleep under his probing questions. After some time Cowley concluded that his agent didn't know much about the woman's history, and had been very surprised to see her at the warehouse. Bodie had told him little about her, and Doyle hadn't recognised her when they'd finally met. Cowley deduced that he hadn't encountered her then from his police days. The Controller decided not to fill in the gaps. He knew that Doyle would be discreet, but he didn't want to burden him with secrets. Cowley would decently bury her past. It was of no consequence that anyone knew now. Cowley would keep his secrets.