by Jane Carnall
written in 1988
for David Wiltshire and Jill Knight
and all their kindred
in the hope that they have no heirs
Cowley looked up, smiling broadly, as the two of them came in. Doyle and Bodie glanced at each other, suspecting the worst.
"Ah, Doyle. You look peaked."
"Yes. Six weeks sick leave for you. Report back here on the tenth of July."
"What? Look here, sir - "
"Be off with you now, Doyle. I'll find Bodie something to do."
Doyle opened his mouth to protest again; Cowley's smile died, and a force-ten glare suddenly focussed on him. "Are you arguing with me, Doyle?"
The curly-haired man shut his mouth and shook his head. "No, sir," he said after a moment, with heavy irony. "Not at all. See you in six weeks."
Cowley smiled on him again as he turned to go. "Enjoy yourself, Doyle." Then the smile cut off like turning a switch as the door closed behind Doyle and he turned his gaze on Bodie. "Sit down."
Speculating behind a carefully-blanked face, Bodie sat.
Cowley looked down at some papers on his desk, then up at the other man. "What do you know about Section 28 of the Local Government Act?"
Something inside Bodie froze. "It prohibits," he said tonelessly, "local authorities promoting homosexuality and funding any organisation with the intention of promoting homosexuality."
"Apparently," Cowley said slowly, "some homosexuals resent it. Strongly. There have been, as I daresay you know as well as I do, some demonstrations against it in the past eighteen months. Several marches and rallies, all quite legal; some demonstrations that weren't quite so legal, but nobody was hurt."
Bodie unsealed his mouth sufficiently to mutter, "Abseiling lesbians." Three women had invaded the House of Lords from the visitor's gallery, abseiling down the wall on clothes-lines. They couldn't even be charged for illegal trespass - anyone committing a crime in the House of Lords had the right to be tried by the House of Lords, which would have generated a good deal of anti-government publicity. It had been a joke even appreciated by a dour Calvinist Scotsman with a gammy leg.
Cowley's mouth twitched. "Quite." He was at his dourest and most Scots; a sure sign that he was concealing some unwanted emotion. "However, there is some concern at higher levels that some of these homosexuals may be planning more dangerous stunts. I have been requested to send out an undercover operative who can, so to say, 'pass', to find out the truth of it."
For a moment, Bodie couldn't believe his ears. "You what? You expect me to - "
"No nonsense, Bodie!" Cowley snapped. "I don't expect you to do this - I'm ordering it."
The dark-haired man slumped further down in his chair, regarding Cowley with slitted eyes. "I see. What exactly am I supposed to do?"
"Infiltrate your way into as many homosexual groups as possible. Report back to me at least once a week with a written report on what they are planning. Use this telephone number - " Cowley scribbled it on a scrap of paper and handed it across the desk - "if you hear of anything that would require more immediate reporting, and especially anything violent."
Bodie took the number, glanced at it, and slipped the paper into his wallet. "Just that, for six weeks?"
Cowley nodded. "At least you should have no difficulty in passing. I'll expect the first report in a week's time, 10am on the 5th of June."
Bodie shrugged and shoved himself to his feet. "I'll get going then."
"One moment, Bodie." Cowley's voice was suddenly sharp. "You are to tell Doyle nothing. Nothing. As well as the usual condition, of course."
"I get the picture." His face was impassive but his mind was blazing; This whole thing's ridiculous. The gay community doesn't do things like bombs and assassinations. Gays get beaten up and their buildings get torched and their organisations get threatened, all by straights - not the other way around!
"Just follow your orders, Bodie. Get out."
Bodie reached his flat, checked the defenses automatically - and froze. Someone was inside. After a moment, he slid his key normally into the lock, took one silent pace to the left, turned the key, heard the lock click - and crashed through the door, his gun in his hand, ready for anyone.
On the couch, sprawled comfortably, was Ray Doyle.
The darkhaired man shoved his gun away, glaring. "What the hell are you doing here, idiot?"
"Lookin' for you. Did Cowley decide you looked peaked as well?"
Bodie looked disgusted. "No." Then, as he reached to slam the door shut behind him, he realised that it might have been simpler to agree, as Doyle asked, "So what are you going to be doing for six weeks?"
"An assignment. Which I'm not allowed to tell you about. Cowley's orders."
Doyle sat bolt upright. "He's assigned you a new partner?"
"No. Solo job."
"So what the bloody hell is this job that's so secret you can't tell me?"
"Need to know, mate." Bodie's smile had small hard edges. "Which you don't have."
"Since when does the Official Secrets Act apply to you an' me? We're partners."
"Not for six weeks, we're not. You're on a sick leave."
"Oh, cummon. Do I look sick?"
Grinning more naturally, Bodie joked "As a parrot."
Doyle grinned back. "Well then, I'd better be getting in some of that rest and recuperation Cowley ordered. Comin' out for a drink?"
Bodie's face was suddenly a blanked-out mask. "'Fraid not. Got to get moving. Some other time."
He took one step backward and ostentatiously opened the door again. "Go on, Doyle."
Puzzled, annoyed, and slightly worried, Doyle went.
Alone in the flat, Bodie took a deep breath, unloading the contents of the plastic bag on to the floor. He went to make himself a cup of coffee, and settled himself beside the pile of newspapers and magazines, working through them systematically. The Pink Paper, Capital Gay, Gay Times, a bunch of leaflets and handouts.
He hadn't read any of these papers for some time, and then only in carefully rationed bursts, dumping them on public transport when he'd finished. He'd never been to a gay disco in London, nor any for some time. There had been that assignment up North, at the end of which Bodie had treated himself to a night out, anonymous, in Manchester, but that had been - God, eight months ago.
It wasn't worth the risk. Being in CI5 was worth it.
He'd go to the Fallen Angel tonight, wander around, make himself known. A Londoner recently back from abroad, that was why he hadn't been seen around before. If you called twelve years recent, it was even true, and he'd moved within the last six months, so his flat didn't look too lived in. Assuming he got the length of asking someone back for the night. Just trying to obtain information, he considered telling George Cowley, and shook his head ruefully.
Doyle was having a great time. He told himself so, often. Lying in late, cooking himself vast complicated delicious meals, going for long drives out into the green belt, getting mildly boozed every night; it was dull without Bodie. He waited a week for his partner to call him up on a free night, and waited another week, and gave up.
When he dialled, Bodie answered on the third ring. "Hi, Bodie, it's Doyle. Remember me?"
"How could I forget?"
"Are you free tonight?"
Bodie sighed down the receiver. "No."
Another patient sigh. "I'll meet you for lunch tomorrow, OK? The usual."
"See you then," Doyle said crossly, and put the phone down.
Back at his flat, Bodie looked at the receiver dubiously and replaced it as though it were fragile. He'd be glad when this ridiculous assignment was safely over. So far the only illegal plot he'd heard mentioned was a plan for gays to refuse to pay 20% of their poll tax, on the principle that under Section 28 they weren't entitled to the same level of local government services as straights. And Cowley would not be in the least interested in that. And Doyle would probably want to know what he was doing. And there was David...
David was ten years or so younger than Bodie, five inches taller, and as appealling as a kitten. Dark hair, big blue eyes, very pretty, good natured, wicked sense of humour -
And Bodie couldn't afford what it would cost. David as a one-night stand would be great. David was not likely to let a one-night stand be just one night, unless thoroughly kicked out the next morning. And Bodie had no particular wish to do that to David.
They had bumped into each other several times at meetings before David asked Bodie out for a drink. As Bodie obstinately refused to make the right moves, he'd asked Bodie if he'd like to come to the disco at the Black Cap. Tonight. He shouldn't go. He'd warned David that he might not turn up; David had shrugged and grinned. "I'm going anyway. If I don't see you then, I'll see you next OLGA meeting, right?"
"Yeah," Bodie conceded. He hadn't realised he had planned to go until he heard himself telling Doyle. It would still be the height of stupidity to go home with David.
He still thought it was the height of stupidity when, one arm round David's shoulders, he found himself climbing the stairs to David's bedsit. At the door, the younger man turned and smiled at him. "I just realised. I don't know the rest of your name."
"William Andrew Philip Bodie," Bodie admitted.
David laughed and groaned at the same time. "Parents. I'll stick to Bodie."
"I'd prefer it."
Inside; a medium-sized room at the top of an old block of flats, with a large window. A comfortable, large bed. Magazines scattered across the floor. "Coffee?" David offered.
Bodie hesitated. "Did you actually ask me back for coffee?"
The younger man laughed, moving closer to Bodie. "No. Not really." With an appealling hesitancy, he bent his head and kissed Bodie on the mouth.
Later that night, as, drained, they lay across the bed, David asked "Do you have to be anywhere in the morning?"
"Stay here tonight?"
Bodie grinned, a little sourly, turning his face into David's shoulder. "I was planning to, sunshine," he said lightly. And damn Cowley.
"I like that," David said sleepily, pulling the quilt up around them. "You calling me sunshine."
He woke up out of a blissfully peaceful sleep, the sun full in his face, David still snoring gently into the pillow. How long had it been since he had slept with a man? (Well, he'd slept in the same room as Doyle dozens of times, but hardly like this.) Not for over a decade. He'd needed it. He'd wanted it. He wanted David.
Right now was about the time he should be getting up, getting dressed, making it brutally clear to David that he never wanted to see him again - and Bodie felt a horrible sinking of the heart. Damn Cowley. Instead he put his arms around David and pulled him closer; the younger man's eyes slid open and he smiled. "Morning."
Bodie kissed him hard, forestalling all other conversation; they made love again, tussling under the quilt. In the spent aftermath, David ran a hand down Bodie's arm. "Last man I slept with with muscles like that was a weight-trainer. You?"
"I used to. Well, for three weeks, then I got bored and gave up on it. I like swimming better."
"Yeah," Bodie said noncommittally. His stomach rumbled.
David laughed and patted it as he scrambled over the older man. "I was wondering how to say I was hungry. What do you want for breakfast?" He glanced at the clock. "Or rather - lunch. It's half past twelve - "
"Oh, Christ." Bodie sat up and rolled out of bed, reaching for his clothes.
"Are you late already?"
"Said I'd meet a friend for lunch at one."
"Have a shower first, anyway."
Bodie conceded the sense of that with a nod and vanished, reappearing moderately cleaner ten minutes later, and dressing with speed.
"When will I see you again?" David asked, sitting on the end of his bed and watching Bodie. "I mean, I don't know how you feel, but I don't want last night to be the only one." He was startled by the unreadable look the older man darted at him; for a moment, Bodie looked wary and uncertain. Then he smiled. David's heart turned over.
"How about tonight? Nine o' clock."
"OK. See you then." Bodie vanished; David could hear him running down the stairs. He went over to the window and watched him disappear into his car without an upward look and drive away, very fast.
Doyle was sitting at the table reading the menu, looking impatient. Bodie sat briskly down in the chair opposite, snapping the menu out of Doyle's hands. "Sorry I'm late, I got held up."
"I've been waiting twenty minutes for you."
"This place is five minutes walk from your flat!"
The waiter came over to take their order; she was young, dark, and pretty. Doyle gave her a quick smile. "Fish and salad."
"Steak and chips," Bodie added. "And two glasses of lager."
"Slept somewhere else last night, did you?" Doyle inquired sarcastically.
"Look, sunshine, I'm working, not on sick leave."
Doyle grinned, a lighter note entering his voice. "Oh yeah? That lovebite on your neck come strictly in the line of duty, then?"
For an instant - an imperceptable instant - Bodie froze. Then he grinned back. "Yeah. Cowley's got me nightfighting vampires."
"Look, Bodie - you know me."
"Too right," Bodie interjected. "No."
"I'm not going to tell Cowley you told me, now am I? What the hell are you doing?" Doyle leant forward over the table, planting his elbows firmly, and looked at Bodie.
Bodie looked back. The pause was interrupted by the waiter coming back with their orders; Bodie glanced up and grinned, sharpedged. "Garlic on the steak?"
"Never mind." He looked back at Doyle. "I told you," he said lightly.
"Cummon. What is it?"
"I've been ordered not to tell you." Bodie took a mouthful of steak and chewed. Doyle glared at him.
"Orders? Bodie - "
"Eat your fish," Bodie said indistinctly, "it's getting cold."
"It's supposed to be cold," Doyle said, taking up his fork.
"Then it's getting warm."
They ate in silence, Doyle watching his partner's expressionless face with mild exasperation. When they had finished, and each paid, Bodie swung up from his chair and headed towards the door. He was feeling uncomfortable, uncertain, and as a result resentful; mostly of Cowley. Doyle followed him.
Bodie had parked his car a few yards down the street. As he climbed into the driver's seat, Doyle rapped on the passenger door. Bodie reached over automatically and let him in. "You going back to your flat?"
"I'm coming up for a coffee."
"Thanks," Bodie said morosely, and narrowly missed a bicycle.
He went through to the kitchen and switched the percolator on. Doyle followed. "Bodie - "
He was on the edge of losing his temper, Bodie noted, and wondered why Doyle had fallen silent. He turned around. The latest copy of Gay Times was lying on the table. Oh, shit. Doyle picked it up and flicked through it, grinning broadly. "Bodie?"
"My assignment," Bodie said, tight-lipped.
"What exactly is your assignment?" Doyle was still grinning.
"Cowley got orders to send someone out into the gay community who can pass. To infiltrate gay political groups. To find out what they're planning. There's a big traditional annual festival in a couple of weeks, and with Section 28 last year, a lot of the higher-ups are getting paranoid."
Doyle ignored most of it. "Someone who could pass? You?"
The other man hesitated, trying to swallow a laugh, and then gave up and dissolved. "You? Look gay? Cowley's gone blind!"
Bodie shrugged. Doyle was still laughing. "It's not that funny."
His partner managed to control himself. "I suppose not. I wonder why Cowley sent me off on sick-leave? If he thought you could pass as gay, why not me?"
"Cowley knows my record."
"Cowley knows I'm gay," Bodie said, stony-faced.
"Yes, I suppose it is." Bodie turned back to the percolator. "One lump or two?"
"None, thanks - Bodie, are you joking?"
"Thanks. Bodie, I've known you twelve years - I know you're not gay!"
"Do you?" Bodie handed him the mug of coffee, took his own, and headed back to the living-room, Doyle after him. "If you know I'm not gay, why are you panicking?"
"It's just not that funny. Bodie - "
"I never said it was. Doyle, I'm gay. Have been for more years than I've known you." He sat down, taking a gulp of coffee. Doyle remained standing.
"You never told me. If you are, that is."
"Cowley's orders. CI5 unwritten regs; Thou shalt not be queer. The Cow tolerates me because I'm bloody good at my job, I'm very discreet, and mostly because it comes in handy occasionally. Like now."
Doyle was stuck for words. He looked down at Bodie helplessly, seemed to realise he was still holding his coffee. He set it down absently on the nearest flat surface, turned away, and walked out.
The phone rang. David, on tenterhooks, hesitated. Bodie was ten minutes late. He crossed his fingers, touched wood, and picked up the phone.
"David, it's Bodie."
"Hello," David said with immense relief. "What's happening?"
"I don't feel like going out tonight."
"Oh." David's fingers uncrossed. "Maybe some other time?"
"I was going to suggest you come round to my place. Got a pen handy? I'll give you the address."
David scribbled it down, grinning invisibly out of a feeling of sheer exhilaration. "Great. See you in an hour. Want a take away?"
"No - I eat enough of them at work. I'll cook something."
"Great," David said again, smiling foolishly at the receiver.
"Wait till you try it, sunshine."
David stopped on the way and bought a bottle of wine. He was tempted by a late-opening florist, but decided, regretfully, against it. The block of flats had a security system; he pressed the buzzer, was let in, and ran up the stairs, arriving at Bodie's door hardly panting.
"Best Oddbins plonk," he said happily, handing the bottle to Bodie.
Bodie raised his eyebrows. "Thanks. Lasagne's in the oven. Ready in five minutes."
"Shove it in the fridge and it'll be chilled enough by then." As Bodie crossed the room to his kitchen, David followed him. "Smells great."
"It came out of a packet," Bodie admitted.
"So..." David hesitated. "Listen, you don't have to talk about it, but I'm curious as hell..?"
The dark man frowned, taking plates down from shelves and putting them on the table, adding cutlery and a pair of unmatched glasses. "Sit down," he added to David, who showed signs of wanting to help. Taking the lasagne out of the oven, he helped David and himself generously, took the wine back out of the fridge, and found a corkscrew.
Last time he'd drunk wine had been with Cowley and Doyle. Forget it. That's over. He took a forkful of lasagne and looked thoughtfully at David, who was eating with appreciation and had asked no further questions. "It's my job."
No turning back. "In my job, a man who's homosexual is considered a security risk. I never told anyone till today. I told my partner this afternoon. He walked out."
David nodded. Bodie continued, "And yes, I should think he's told our boss by this time. Which means I'm out of a job."
"Just like that? No chance you can appeal?"
"None at all."
"Shit," David said feelingly. "Bodie, I'm sorry. How long had you worked there?"
"All with the same partner?"
"That long..? Maybe he won't shop you."
"No chance. He's an ex-policeman."
"Bodie... what is your job?"
No turning back. "CI5. Internal security."
"Shit," David said again. "What, like high-powered police?"
"Yeah," Bodie agreed. "Drug-running, assassination, that sort of thing."
"God." David looked down at his plate and said, making a joke of it, "Never thought I'd see the day, me eating lasagne with an employee of Her Majesty's thugs."
"We're not thugs."
"Well, I know you're not."
"I was. Ex-mercenary soldier. Ex-paras. Ex-SAS."
"Uh huh." David looked back up at Bodie. X-certificate. "That where you picked up the scar?"
"Yeah. Little deeper and it would've been an appendectomy."
"Anything else?" David enquired, still half-joking. "Like right at the moment you're hunting a Mafiosi which is why the lasagne is full of ground glass?"
"It isn't. I'm not."
"So what are you doing? Or does the Official Secrets Act still apply?"
"Yeah. But I don't think it matters. Investigating the gay community."
Doyle had the other of the only two keys to Bodie's flat. He let himself in and called, "Bodie?"
Hearing his partner's voice in the kitchen, he crossed the room and went in. Bodie was sitting at the table, a strange man across from him. "Doyle," Bodie said. "Hello. Come round for coffee again?"
He'd got up from the table and started the percolater before Doyle found his tongue. He lost it again as the strange man stood up and proved to be three inches taller than him, and smiling. "Are you Bodie's partner?"
"I'm David. David Banner. It's OK, you know - some of my very best friends are ex-policemen."
Doyle sat down. Bodie switched on the percolator and came back to the table; he and David sat down almost simultaneously. "Anything you want to say, Doyle?"
"Yeah." Doyle stuck. "Yeah. About - what you said earlier - "
"That I'm gay, yeah."
Doyle ploughed on. "If it was true - "
David snickered. Bodie snapped "It's true."
"You're not a security risk. I know you're not."
Bodie shoved his chair back and stared at his partner, eyes widening. "Right. So you're not going to tell Cowley?"
More relaxed, feeling expansive, Doyle grinned. "Nah. Since when did we ever tell Cowley anything he'd be better off not knowing?"
His partner grinned back, the old Bodie grin, a little worn at the edges, but relaxed from intolerable strain. "Right."
"Anyway, the old man's losing his grip, right?" Doyle continued. "Sending you out to investigate violence in the gay community?" He shook his head and laughed out loud. "Can you imagine it? Faggots leaving lipstick on their sub-machine guns - fairies paratrooping London! Cummon - the whole idea's crazy!" He lay back in his seat and laughed again, genuinely tickled.
David deliberately unclenched his fists underneath the table, speaking lightly, hiding anger. "Oh, I don't know. Gay Pride's in a couple of weeks - we always march down Whitehall, and we've got Bodie now. You said you were a mercenary soldier - you can help us get weapons, right? So we could smash through the barricades and deal with the policemen before they send reinforcements. Then we blow up Number Ten - make sure Maggie's inside first - and we rape Denis Thatcher on Downing Street. Then we storm the Houses of Parliament and take 'em over - then we could burn down Fleet Street - maybe bomb Buckingham Palace, just as an extra, and shoot all the Royals - all except Edward and Anne 'cos they're gay too - and we send guerrillas in to control the transport system. Blowing up the BBC could be the signal for the countrywide gay uprising - "
Doyle stared, shocked speechless. The younger man was leaning forward over the table, elbows planted squarely, talking fast and enthusiastically, eyes shining as he outlined plans of monstrous violence, exactly what CI5 was dedicated to stop.... About halfway through the tirade Bodie made a choked sound and buried his face in his hands. Seriously worried, Doyle turned to him, and suddenly realised, just as David ran out of control and started to giggle, that Bodie was laughing. There was a moment, poised between paranoia and hysteria, when Doyle sat frozen, watching the other two men laugh as if both were strangers, and then, almost unwillingly, he started to laugh as well.
It cleared the air, and most of the tension; when Bodie got up to pour the coffee, Doyle found that he could drink it.
"OK," he said after a caffeinated mouthful, "you're not a security risk. But he is."
Bodie's eyes slid from David, to Doyle, back to David. He said nothing at all.
David shrugged, a little stiffly, and said perhaps too cheerfully "All my life I've wanted to be a security risk. Will they bug my phone?"
"Don't joke," Bodie said slowly. "They might." He looked back at Doyle. "You might."
"Only if Cowley found out."
"I told you I wouldn't tell him - "
"No. I will."
"Bodie!" Doyle and David said almost at the same time. Doyle went on, "Bodie, he'll boot you! He's not the tolerant type!"
"God, Doyle, you can be really thick sometimes!"
"What's the matter, dammit? Look, I've had gay friends before, at art college and places, it's no big deal, but you think Cowley's going to react like that?"
Bodie finally lost his temper. Glaring at Doyle under darkly-clenched brows, he snarled, cold and level "I don't care what you think, I don't care who your best friends were, what's pissing me off isn't anything to do with you, what I hate is this assignment!"
Doyle fell back in his chair, staring at Bodie, shaking his head. "You're going to walk in and tell Cowley that you told me you were gay and by the way sir, I'm not going to carry out this assignment any more?"
More calmly, Bodie turned away from him. "You haven't said anything, David."
The younger man shrugged again. "What's to say? It's your job, not mine. What are you supposed to be reporting on? All illegal demos?"
"No, just anything dangerous."
"Bombs and that?"
"No harm done, then. I don't like bombs, not even if it's gays blowing up straights - anyway, it never happens. I don't like it, but you're not going to do us any harm." He grinned privately at Bodie: "But since you're such an exceptional beauty - "
Doyle smiled, recognising the source, "It's a line from a film. Really appropriate, too."
David grinned. "He's calling you Rocky - and that makes me Frankie."
"An illegal alien. Look, never mind - Bodie, what are you going to tell your boss?"
"That I told Doyle I was gay."
"And about him?" Doyle asked.
Leaning forward, the younger man asked "On what?"
Bodie got the words out. "On whether or not he fires me as soon as I tell him about Doyle."
"Ah," David said quietly. "Then if he lets you stay on in your job, you're telling him about me. What are you telling him? And what will he do?"
"Just that I met someone. And slept with him. And told him what my job was. And asked him back to my flat."
"And that we had lasagne? And what we did - " David cut himself off. "OK. What will he do?"
"Depends. He might fire me. He might let me stay on. If he lets me stay on, and if you haven't walked out on me, then he'll probably have you investigated. And he might even if he fires me - or even if you walk out."
David nodded. He took another mouthful of coffee. "I see."
"So what are you going to do?" Bodie demanded.
"Me? No really murky secrets in my past - I was never a Boy Scout, let alone a mercenary soldier. Few political groups, that's all. What's your boss do with all the information he collects?"
"It doesn't go out of the department," Doyle said. "Not unless absolutely necessary. The Cow's big on privacy - and he hates outside interferance. Unless you've been working for the Russians or selling coke for the Americans or something, no one but him and the investigator'll even know you were investigated."
"You sure about that?" David looked at him, disconcertingly direct.
"OK." He drank some more coffee, looking infuriatingly calm.
"What are you going to do?" Bodie almost snapped.
"Do? Stay with you, at least until you throw me out, and even then I'm going to cling round your neck and wail about being turned out into the cold dark night and really embarrass you. You're not getting rid of me that easy."
Himself considerably embarrassed, Doyle made several excuses and left.
"What the devil are you doing here, Bodie?" Cowley unlocked the door of his office and let himself in. Bodie followed.
"Need to talk to you, sir?"
"Oh?" Cowley sat down behind his desk. He did not invite Bodie to sit.
"I told Doyle I was gay last night."
Shit, the old bugger wasn't making it easy.
"What did he do?" Cowley asked eventually.
"He sat down and had coffee." Bodie swallowed. "With me and David."
"And I told David what my job is."
"And what my assignment is."
"Mphm. And what did... David do?"
"He had coffee too. And he said it was OK by him, there wasn't anything happening worth reporting on."
"Mphm. And is there?"
"No, sir. It's a pretty pointless assignment."
"That's not for you to judge, Bodie."
"Yes, sir. What are you going to do?"
"Do? I'll recall Doyle from sick leave and have him investigate... David. Take that grin off your face, Bodie, you've nothing to be pleased about. Your assignment still has three weeks to run."
This was originally written in 1988, from long-ago memories of watching The Professionals and present anger at Section 28 of the Local Government Act. The title it was circuited under then was "Closets are for Clothes". I rewrote it extensively a few years later, making it rather more Professionals, and recircuited it under the present title.
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