“Why didn’t you tell me, Ray? Why didn’t you say? Why? Why did you do this? What were you thinking? Damnit Ray, answer me!” The questions blurred together in his brain, hurting like his throat, like his mind, like everything had been for a long time. He kept his eyes tightly shut, refusing to acknowledge that Bodie was even there. He didn’t want to see him. He didn’t want to see anyone – not his boss, not his friends and especially not his partner. Not his partner who wouldn’t even allow him to die like he was supposed to. He wanted to reply, really, he did, but his voice was lying dead under the bruises that collared him like some animal. It looked to him like a dog chain fastening him to life against his will, a fierce reminder of why he wanted to leave in the first place. “I know you’re awake, Doyle.” Bodie’s voice was full of empty resentment and he reached over to Doyle, not sure whether he was going to hit him or just make sure he was still there. Doyle croaked out a violent protest and jerked away from the touch. Bodie’s hand withdrew sharply as if he’d been burned. “Why didn’t you say anything?” Bodie demanded again, “I could’ve helped – I’ve always tried to help before, haven’t I? What about Cowley? He’s not that heartless.” He might as well have been voicing these questions to a stone wall. Doyle neither moved or signalled or gave any indication that he was listening. The fury was filling the room with a tangible, precarious presence. Finally Doyle pushed himself up against the white pillow, the bruises making his face look even more ominous.
The voice, when it came, was rusty and painful and almost remorseful in its sincerity. “It would’ve been over by now.” Doyle paused, trying to force his voice to obey him, “I wouldn’t be so much trouble.”
Bodie grabbed his shoulders, “Why would you think that, Ray?” he wanted to know, “why the hell would you be trouble?” Doyle shoved him away roughly.
“Leave me alone.” he snapped hoarsely. “Go away, Bodie. I don’t want to talk to you.” That stopped Bodie in his tracks. For a second he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. The venom in his partner’s tone stung him far deeper than anything else from these wretched hours in the hospital.
“Oh, that’s gratitude,” he snarled back, each word designed to wound, “who found you? Who cut the fucking rope? What did you think? That I was going to abandon you if you told me? I thought we were partners, Ray. I thought you trusted me,” Bodie yanked open the door, thankful that there was no one else on this ward, “and I thought I trusted you.”