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Good Intentions - a Pros ficlet

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  • Good Intentions - a Pros ficlet

    Disclaimer: these characters and all else connected to CI5 belong to those lucky souls at Mark 1 Productions. I have borrowed them for this story and am making no profit from this.

    This story started life as a response to the Christmas Combinations Challenge of 2003. However, since I then did not actually start properly writing until March 2005 (shame on me) both the Christmas and the combinations element were then dropped, with only the minor character of Sister Noel being retained.

    This story contains spoilers for anyone who has not seen the episode 'The Madness of Mickey Hamilton'.

    With grateful thanks to Sue.

    Good Intentions

    "You're a bloody idiot, you know that?" Doyle grumbled, fidgeting uncomfortably on the narrow plastic seats in the waiting area.

    "It's not that bad," Bodie protested cheerfully enough, taking his hand away from the gash on his head and thus prompting a fresh rivulet of blood to trickle down the side of his face. The hand was hurriedly replaced. "'Sides," he continued, as casually as if nothing had happened. "Head injuries always look like a vampire's breakfast, don't they?"

    "Yeah, tell that to the doctor," Doyle retorted.

    "Yeah, I will." Bodie waggled his eyebrows suggestively as a very pretty nurse called his name, and headed off to have his war wound seen to, leaving Doyle to wait. Again.

    He fidgeted some more. It had been a long night, and these bloody plastic seats weren't helping his mood any. Seeing Bodie knocking holes in himself hadn't helped his mood any either, even if it was only a scratch ? a rather bloody scratch at that ? and entirely his own fault for not watching what he was doing. It could have been worse.

    It was the could-have-beens that could haunt you in this job, if you weren't careful.

    "Hello, it's Mr Doyle, isn't it?" An unexpected voice broke into his thoughts.

    Glancing up, it took a second to register the speaker. A nurse: blue uniform, black skin, kind eyes and a gentle voice. Another second and he'd placed her. It was that nurse who'd helped with the Hamilton case, only a couple of weeks earlier. Bad business, that. Left a really bad taste in the mouth. This nurse had handled it well, though, even if he couldn't remember her name for love nor money now. She had to be either a genius or an angel to remember his, with the amount of bodies passing through here on a daily basis.

    "Oh, hallo again." He fished out a rather tired smile and offered it to her even as the word 'angel' triggered a memory. What was it now?

    She sat down next to him with a gentle smile. "Is everything all right?"

    Something Christmassy, wasn't it? And with that tiny clue, the name came back to him at last. Sister?Noel. That was it. Had reminded him of Christmas carols and his mum's roast dinner. "Oh, yeah. 'S'fine. Just waiting for my partner." He gestured to his head with another crooked smile. "Bit accident prone."

    Sister Noel smiled again, nodding with understanding, and then gave him a rather more serious look. "I read about what happened in the papers. That business with Mr Hamilton. Oh, that poor man."

    Mickey Hamilton again, and that bad taste was back in his mouth. Amazing how generous the Sister'd been even at the time, at the height of the action, when 'that poor man' had just gunned down three of her colleagues. Forgiveness and understanding were remarkable things, and he didn't think he could have managed it himself if it had been his colleagues. Bodie.

    "Yeah, it was a bad business," he agreed, sombrely.

    The hospital seemed to be running smoothly enough now considering they'd had three doctors shot dead on the premises in one fell swoop just recently. Maybe they had contingency plans or something ? you had to have contingency plans for just about everything these days, didn't you, up to and including nuclear war. Although how anyone could plan for a nutter walking in off the street and shooting people at random was beyond him. But Mickey Hamilton hadn't been just any old nutter, had he? That was the bit that tasted so sour, even now.

    Maybe it was Sister Noel's compassion that had helped soften his own attitude toward Mickey Hamilton. Before that they'd just been hunting for some murdering madman. But thanks in large part to Sister Noel's input he'd become a person, a man broken by tragedy, and that was how Doyle now remembered him. Not as a mass murderer, but as a pathetic, tragic figure, who'd deserved something better than he got.

    But he'd still killed people. Those murdered doctors had deserved better than they'd got, too. This was where forgiveness and understanding took you ? round and round in bloody circles until your head span off.

    "Well, I should get back to work." Sister Noel stood up again. "It was nice meeting you again, Mr Doyle."

    "Yeah, you too." Doyle managed another smile for her. She deserved it. "Take care."

    Watching her go, Mickey Hamilton was still at the forefront of his mind. One of those cases he found so hard to let go of, for whatever reason. Angry and frustrated about how the case had turned out, he'd insisted on going round to notify Hamilton's sister himself. What was her name again?? Kay Costa. Bodie'd thought he was nuts, but then Bodie hadn't talked to the man, hadn't talked to his sister, or to that nurse. Hadn't understood. Didn't want to understand, maybe. He preferred things in black and white, and that case had been grey all the way through.

    No, that wasn't fair. Bodie could be complicated enough when he wanted to be, and he cared deeply about lots of things, even when he pretended not to. Especially when he pretended not to. But that case hadn't got to him the way it had Doyle.

    Kay Costa had cried when Doyle went round to tell her of her brother's death, but they'd been tears almost of relief as much as anything, she'd admitted that willingly enough, had almost talked his ear off when she calmed down enough to get the words out. The end of a seven-year nightmare, she'd said, because in every way that mattered she'd lost her brother the day his daughter Kathy was born, brain-damaged beyond repair. It was his wife's suicide three years later that pushed him over the edge into his first breakdown, but Kathy's birth that first broke him. And the news of Kathy's impending death that caused this most recent, and ultimately fatal, breakdown.

    That was the bit that stuck in Doyle's craw, the bit that tasted so bad: the tragedy behind the killing spree, and the fact that no one had been able to help before it got out of hand. The fact that any of it had happened at all. Someone should have done something, even if there was nothing that could've been done. There had to have been, didn't there?

    You should go and see Kathy, Mickey Hamilton had whispered moments before he died. Go and see her. Then you'll understand. Doyle didn't want to go and see Kathy, had no reason to, but he thought he already understood, maybe just a little. No children of his own, but he did have nephews and nieces, and some of them about the same age as Kathy Hamilton. Didn't see them all that often, but they existed and were happy, healthy children, happy and healthy the way that Kathy should have been, deserved to be.

    No, Mickey Hamilton's despair was easy to understand and sympathise with. It was the actions his despair had pushed him into that were almost incomprehensible, and totally unforgivable. And so the not-so-merry-go-round turned.

    Thinking of the nephews and nieces, there was a birthday or two coming up, wasn't there? There usually was, anyway, and he always forgot. Always just sent money orders stuffed into cards that invariably arrived two weeks late, if he remembered to send anything at all. Was always being given hell about it on the rare occasions he was home at a sociable hour to answer the phone. So maybe this time he'd make more of an effort to check the dates and buy actual gifts, not to mention shelling out on the extra postage. In memory of Mickey Hamilton and his little girl.

    God, it was amazing the good intentions that could come of a chance meeting with an angelic nurse.

    Bodie arrived back at that moment, patched up and raring to go.

    "No joy." He shook his head sadly, glancing back across the room at that very pretty nurse. "Fancy a pint?"

    Good intentions could wait till tomorrow. Doyle grinned, glad to put troublesome musings out of his mind once more. "Now you're talking." He stood up. "Come on, let's get out of here."


    ? J. Browning, March 2005