Silly PWP, sort of Christmas-combi although most of the people/items are mentioned rather than present.
All can be blamed on last Sunday's chat crew from whom I shamelessly nicked the idea, and I apologise for wrecking several popular Xmas carols... <g>
Doyle gloomily regarded the flat tyres and wondered what the chances were of getting the AA out at 3 a.m. on Christmas Day. "How are we going to get home? I don't fancy walking. We could try and find a taxi, I suppose."
Bodie grinned. "I've got an idea..."
By Doyle's estimation, they'd covered less than half a mile. He helped himself to another strawberry yoghurt. "I think we'd have been quicker walking."
"You didn't want to walk. Anyway, it's getting us where we want to go, for nothing, with a healthy breakfast thrown in." Bodie reached for another goldtop and punctured the foil.
The milk float gave a jerk as it started off to cover the next 25 yards, and another jerk as it stopped; the milkman coming to the rear of the float to collect several pints for delivery.
Bodie stared at the slush in the gutters from the snow a few days ago, and then peered hopefully at the sky. "Do you think it'll snow again? Something special about snow on Christmas Day."
"Doesn't look like it." Doyle peered upwards as well, before the practical side of his character cut in. "Anyway, snow causes mayhem on the roads, which isn't good."
"There speaks the ex-copper," Bodie grimaced. "Can't you just enjoy it?"
"I used to enjoy Christmas," Doyle mused. "A long time ago. Never seems much point to it all now."
"I need to fill you up with some Christmas spirit." Bodie turned to rummage in the float. "Do you think there's anything to eat?"
"Doubt it. Try a yoghurt."
"Yoghurt isn't food..." Nonetheless, finding nothing more suitable Bodie peeled back the foil on a peach-coloured pot. "So why don't you like Christmas?"
"It's not that I don't like it. I just find it all a bit pointless. I mean, I'm not particularly religious but the whole birth of Christ thing seems to be ignored by the greater part of the population. It's just become an excuse for a holiday; a reason to get drunk several nights in a row and spend lots of money."
That sounded fine to Bodie. "I haven't noticed you complaining before. Don't tell me you don't enjoy getting presents."
"Of course I enjoy getting presents. Doesn't everyone?" He gestured to the window of the corner shop, adjacent to their current position. "We used to have a toyshop just like that at home. They'd always dress up the windows with lights and tinsel and the most expensive toys in the shop."
"And you were the little barefoot urchin, face pressed against the glass, unable to afford anything..."
Doyle laughed. "Hardly. Me mum would've killed me if I'd gone barefoot anywhere, particularly at that time of year. But it was all magical then, knowing that Father Christmas had got the letter you posted up the chimney and would be bringing the best toys... I gave up believing in Father Christmas a long time ago. Christmas is a time for kids, but if you don't have them you need someone special to share it with."
Bodie supposed he could understand that. He'd be spending the day with his latest squeeze, but Doyle was between girls and hadn't seen anyone seriously since Ann Holly. That's what this was really all about. "You could've gone with your folks."
"Spend Christmas in a dingy hotel full of pensioners? I'm not past it yet, Bodie."
"Well, you could always -"
"No thanks." Doyle grinned, knowing what his partner was about to suggest. "I know what you're hoping to find in stockings and the one fruit you don't want around at Christmas is a gooseberry. I'll be fine. I might even hang around headquarters and wind up the team on standby."
"Uh-huh. When they get their own back it'll be on both of us, and I won't deserve it. Promise me you'll behave, Raymond."
"Me? It's normally you who everyone wants revenge on, and I have to suffer it..." Doyle's grin was all innocence. He enjoyed winding Bodie up. "OK. I won't wind anyone up."
He'd still go in, though. Ruth was on standby this year, and they were both off Boxing Day...
Bodie suddenly burst into song:
"We two men of CI5 are
Using a milk float instead of a car
Milk we're drinking
Strumming an old guitar"
Doyle roared with laughter. "What? That doesn't make any sense at all."
"No, but it rhymed," Bodie told him seriously. "Anyway, it's not easy - you have a go."
Doyle thought for a moment:
"Hark the radio foretold
Of a lonely stakeout man
He was tired, he was bored
This had ruined his Christmas plan
But his boss he much revered, kept his watch till night had cleared
Then he found out to his cost, he'd been set up and what he'd lost
Hark the radio announce
Beware of Bodie lest he pounce"
"Oi!" Bodie grinned. "'s just as likely to be you, if you mean what I think you do."
"True." Doyle had found his stride now:
"Cowley the red-nosed Scotsman
Had a very shiny nose
And when the minister saw him
Even he agreed it glowed
All of the team that knew him
Knew exactly what it could be
Cowley the red-nosed Scotsman
Had been drinking his whisky"
Laughing but not to be outdone, Bodie launched into another:
"While Cowley watched his team by night -"
"Bodie…" Doyle silenced him with a nudge. "It's snowing…"
Together they watched the large flakes soundlessly drifting downwards. "Told you it would snow," Bodie said. He handed Doyle a goldtop and they clinked their bottles together in salutation.
"Merry Christmas, sunshine."