Disclaimer: Characters from The Professionals are © Mark-1 Productions Ltd
and are used without permission but with no intent to defraud.


Story for Professionals Lyric Wheel No 1

You're not alone

Doyle grabbed for the door handle as Bodie slewed the car around another corner, tyres screeching. He'd long since abandoned his usual relaxed, feet-on-dashboard position in the passenger seat, and was attempting to check his gun and maintain a dialogue on the R/T as well as stop himself from being flung about. An extra hand would have been useful at that moment.

"Left into Whitechapel Road!" he managed into the handset, flicking the safety off and snapping the breech back. In the CI5 ops room, someone was attempting to coordinate them with two Met cars that had joined the pursuit, and he heard his instructions being passed on.

Past the tube station, and Bodie flicked the wheel to avoid some pedestrians. One of those police sirens would be useful; maybe he should talk to Cowley and see if they could requisition a few...

"4.5, the Met have retuned to our frequency - the two cars can now hear you direct."

"OK, we've got a blue Escort, registration Oscar Whisky Whisky, seven zero four Papa, travelling east along Mile End Road. We need to stop them, but they're suspected terrorists, probably armed, so don't go getting yourselves shot."

Bodie spared the time for a glance at his partner. "Unlikely. We're right behind 'em..."

"One's coming in from the other direction, Bodie. Could meet 'em head on."

Bodie returned his attention to the car in front. "Give up, chum," he muttered. "There's nowhere to go..."

The Escort took a sudden left in front and Bodie stood on the brakes and hauled on the wheel, feeling the steering protesting. The car pool mechanics would be complaining about having to fix his Capri again soon. A short road, the Escort was already turning left again.

Bodie revved the engine hard and skidded around the corner. This time the vehicle had disappeared completely and Bodie swept left again at the next junction, convinced the Escort driver was attempting to double-back onto the main road.

Doyle's shout and his own reflexes were the only things that saved them from the head-on crunch with an elderly lady in a Morris Minor. Inches from her bumper, the Capri shuddered to a halt, and Doyle swore at him. "Christ, Bodie - you're in a one-way street! Didn't you see the arrows?"

"Hell, no." Bodie waved and smiled at the terrified occupant of the car in front of them, and thrust the Capri into reverse. "I didn't even see the Indians..."

Swinging the back end down the street he'd turned out of, Bodie banged the gearstick back into first and took off in the correct direction, a glance in the mirror showing that the Morris Minor was still stationary.

Doyle was grinning, in spite of the near-miss. "Just have to make a joke out of everything..." He picked up the R/T and reported they'd dropped back from the Escort. One of the Met cars responded. "This is Lima 1. We've just picked it up; it's just turned out onto Roman Road - still heading east."

"Right at the end, Bodie." Doyle used to work this area; he knew a lot of the back streets and was wondering if there was anywhere they could use a pincer movement. With Bodie and other CI5 drivers it would be possible. But the drivers of the Met cars were an unknown quantity; despite the advanced driving courses they were required to take they weren't up to the standard of CI5.

Before he could make a decision, the second Met car radioed through. "We've just sighted them. Taken a right onto Lyal Road, into the estate. If you cut in through Antill Road you should cut them off."

"Another right at the junction, then third on the left." Grabbing the R/T, he acknowledged the instruction. "Thanks Lima 2. Sarge, is that you, by any chance?"

"Got it in one, Ray. Just like old times."

Bodie managed to roll his eyes whilst still concentrating on the road. No doubt this would start off another of Doyle's reminiscences... He took the designated left turn, spotting the Escort just turning out a hundred yards ahead of them. One of the Met squad cars was right on its tail, and he began to accelerate, knowing as well as Doyle that they should be handling this rather than the locals.

The shots sounded out clearly. The partners instinctively ducked, but the bullets didn't reach them. The squad car in front slewed sideways, running on out of control and smashed into the garage block at the end of the street. "Shit!"

Bodie mentally echoed Doyle's reaction, slowing the Capri for the corner, faced with the decision of whether to stop or pursue the Escort.

Doyle made it for him. "Stop!" As Bodie braked hard he spotted what Doyle had seen; the officers inside unconscious and injured and flames already licking around the vehicle chassis. Even as they leapt from the Capri Bodie could smell the petrol and he threw himself into Doyle's path as the former copper tried to run towards the police car, grappling with his partner to hold him back.

"Let me go, Bodie!"

"So you can kill yourself?!" Bodie's remonstrations went unheard as the car exploded, and they both ducked...
 

Cowley arrived soon afterwards. Bodie filled the boss in and Cowley listened in silence, watching Doyle sitting in the Capri, clearly brooding. "What about Doyle?"

"He knew one of the coppers who died, sir." Cowley nodded without replying, knowing as well as Bodie how that would affect Doyle. Seeing he was the focus of attention, Doyle slung himself from the car and joined them. "I'd like to go and see Sergeant Fletcher's wife, sir."

Cowley shook his head. "The local station will handle it. I need you and Bodie to get back onto tracing that car again."

Doyle flushed angrily. "But I know Lucy! And it's our fault her husband is dead..."

"It's not your responsibility, Doyle!" Cowley's retort was backed up by Bodie. "They were unlucky -"

"Unlucky?" Doyle favoured his partner with a scathing look. "Is that what you call it?"

Bodie's R/T crackled. "3.7, relay message to Alpha. Terrorist car has been located on Newham Way. 6.2 is following but needs back-up."

"Get onto it." Bodie was already halfway to the Capri, and with a final, frustrated shake of his head, Doyle obeyed Cowley and followed.

Bodie glanced across at his partner as Doyle slumped into the seat. "Sorry. It was a bad choice of words." He would have added more, but Doyle stopped him. "Leave it, Bodie. Let's catch these bloody terrorists and make Cowley happy."
 

"Drop me here."

Bodie pulled the Capri up at the kerb outside the tube station as instructed. "Where are you going?" Doyle had been brooding all afternoon, and Bodie was concerned. They'd lost the Escort, which had done nothing to help the situation; Cowley was hopping mad.

"Home."

"I'll drop you off, then, you don't have to take the tube." Muttering something about wanting to be on his own, Doyle slammed the door behind him, and Bodie frowned. His partner was far too transparent; he knew exactly where Doyle was going.

He lifted the R/T. "3.7. Can you find me an address?"
 

Emerging from the stairwell, Doyle turned automatically towards Stepney High Street. The phone call he'd placed earlier had confirmed that Sergeant Fletcher still lived at the same address he remembered. He couldn't believe he'd be welcome, but he had to go and see Lucy, to make sure she was OK...

That was stupid. How could she be?

The young woman who opened the door had red, puffy eyes, and had grown up a bit since Doyle had last seen her. "Melissa?"

"Yes?" She didn't recognise him. "Ray Doyle, I used to work with Barry..."

"Oh, yes..." After a moment's hesitation, she stood back and ushered him in. "Mum's lying down, the doctor left some tablets..."

"That's OK." Doyle took in the untidy lounge, strewn with baby toys and clothes. The toddler on the floor crawled towards Melissa, and Doyle bent to scoop up the child. "Yours?"

"Yes." She bit back a sob, taking the boy from Doyle. "He's too young to understand..."

Fortunately. Doyle didn't add the word. "Melissa, I was there, earlier -"

"Did he suffer?" The question came from behind him, and Doyle turned to face Lucy at the bottom of the stairs.

"No." At least he could be honest about that; neither of the police officers had been conscious, although he didn't know whether they were dead before the car blew up. "He wouldn't have known about it."

Lucy nodded, moving past him into the lounge, walking as though the floor was shifting beneath her feet, and slid onto the sofa. "The station said something about terrorists... what were you doing there?"

"I work for CI5 now. We were chasing the car." Doyle paused as Lucy looked up at him.

"Then why was Barry's car the one to crash, and burn?"

They were unlucky. Doyle caught himself before he repeated Bodie's words; remembering how he'd felt when Bodie said it, how much worse would it sound to Barry's family? "I'm sorry," he said, inadequately.

"He was due to retire in just a couple of months." Melissa moved closer to her mother, cuddling her son. "We were going to move, all of us, make a new start... all our hopes and dreams..."

"If there's anything I can do..."

"You can leave."

Faced with the two bewildered, angry and hurting women, Doyle gave in. "I'm sorry," he repeated.
 

Outside it was starting to get dark, Doyle paused at the gate and looked back. He'd call in a couple of weeks; make sure they were all right.

Turning out of the gate, Doyle stopped. The Capri was parked at the kerb, Bodie leaning against the bonnet. "You following me?"

Bodie's grin was slightly sheepish. "Of course. Thought you might need a ride."

Shrugging, Doyle made his way to the passenger door, thoughts still with the Fletchers. He was thankful for Bodie's silence as his partner started the engine and drove them away.

When they reached his flat, Doyle focused on Bodie. "Are there ever times in this job where you feel like you can't take anymore?"

"All the time." Bodie gave him a glance. "You're not alone, mate."



© Carol Good - November 2000


* * * * *

Lyrics reproduced without permission but with no intent to defraud

Crash and Burn - © Savage Garden

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild wild heart
I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you
It's hard to find relief and people can be so cold
When darkness is upon your door
And you feel like you can't take anymore
 
Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone
 
When you feel all alone
And a loyal friend is hard to find
You're caught in a one way street
With the monsters in your head
When hopes and dreams are far away and
You feel like you can't face the day
 
Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone
 
And there has always been heartache and pain
And when it's over you'll breathe again
You'll breathe again
 
When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild wild heart
 
Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone