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Watching and waiting

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He was watching. All the time.

Alex had noticed it an hour after they had made it on board the small civilian boat. He'd probably been doing it from the minute his oil covered body had been dragged unceremoniously on board but Alex had been too busy trying to come to terms with the fact that he was on a dry deck again. Alive.

For the moment anyway.

Tommy had been quiet. Hell they all had. Shock, disbelief, tiredness, take your pick, add more. Pretty much every and any emotion you could think of had passed through his brain in the last week, let alone the last twenty four hours.

But Tommy had not been exactly been vocal from the moment their paths had crossed however many days ago it was now. Neither of them had. Tommy or his silent French shadow.

He swallowed, shifting in his seat.

It hadn't seemed to stop them communicating though. Jesus, Tommy hadn't even known he *was* French until they'd challenged him.


He ran a hand through his hair and down over his face, feeling dirt and oil caked to his skin, the grit of sea salt scratching against his fingers and stubble.

They'd been like two sides of the same coin. Tommy had been so confident in Gibson's innocence. So sure about why Gibson had stayed on the deck of the destroyer. It hadn't been too difficult a guess in all honesty but Tommy had said it with the certainty, the sureness of close comrades that Alex hadn't questioned it.

Looking at Tommy on the deck of the Moonstone, stood by the side rail his gaze focused out on the water, Alex felt a lump settle somewhere in his stomach. One that refused to move.

Every so often that gaze returned to the deck, eyes travelling amongst the sea of dirt streaked, oil covered faces, stood, sat or lay across the small boat.

It had been the same when they'd been below deck. The same restless, searching look.

The same when they were walking through the sidings heading towards their train. Alex wasn't sure now if Tommy even realised he was doing it.

Alex knew why. Knew what he was looking for. Who he was looking for. Dark curls and mournful eyes.

Alex sighed, breath coming out silently.

On the train Alex lost himself to well overdue sleep. As did Tommy, both of them curled up tight and still in their seats. But each time Alex woke up, the jerk of the train carriage jolting him awake even as the gentle sway of the same soothed him back under, each time his tired eyes had looked over to the opposite seat he'd seen that silent gaze once again travelling the carriage, following the bodies that moved periodically up and down the central gangway. Dark eyes fluttering shut again and again when that expected face didn't appear.

Alex wanted to scream, cry, shout out. Grab Tommy by the shoulder and shake him. Grind out that that face never would. It was somewhere at the bottom of the channel, dark curls floating and mournful eyes permanently shut. It was pointless.


He let another breath.

He didn't.

He kept quiet.

Kept on his side of the table. Kept watching those eyes watch and wait.

And wait.