“What do you think of my new look?”
“I think it’s great, I like the….did you do these holes yourself?”
“And you didn’t make any effort.”
“But it still fits.”
“Still fits. Yep.”
They fall about, giggling helplessly and Billie leans a hand on his chest to keep her balance as she attempts to catch her breath, gasping in air. He looks down at her, his heart swelling with complete love and adoration. Her eyes rise until they meet his and he sees that same old spark, the one which ignites something primal inside his soul. He thinks she feels it too because she quickly looks away and coughs awkwardly.
He nervously fiddles with the baby hairs at the back of his head and thinks about how he’s been looking forward to this for months. Putting on the suit and the character again, sure. But mostly seeing her. Being around her.
Hopefully more than that.
He knew it was wrong to want more but he just couldn’t help it. It wasn’t something he had a choice over. It was fate. Something ancient, something written in the stars.
Something he’d been denying too long. Something he’d been desperate to finally have out in the open. He’d been planning during those long months waiting for filming, plotting exactly what he could say, trying to find the right words.
The first few days of filming without her had been painful. It reminded him of the time after she’d left him, wearing the suit, waving the screwdriver but somehow still not feeling like the doctor. Because without her by his side somehow his costume was incomplete. He’d laughed along with Matt and Jenna’s jokes but secretly he was longing for his own companion to arrive. He couldn’t wait for her to be back by his side, in his arms….in his bed.
But when she’d arrived it had just been a quick friendly hug and a peck and catch up then she’d been flouncing off to repeat the whole process again with Matt, leaving him feeling strangely cold and empty.
After that they’d fallen into their age-old friendly pattern, joking and mildly flirting but always at a distance and always maddeningly platonic. For every touch she gives David she makes sure Matt receives one, determined not to be accused of favouritism.
And god it’s amazing. It truly is. Just to be around her again, just to receive those touches and hugs and wide-eyed innocently sexy glances. It’s more than he could have ever hoped for. But he’s a shameless, selfish man and it still isn’t enough. He wants more from her. He needs more.
So after they cut he persuades Billie, Matt and Jenna to go for drinks. Some nice, normal, completely innocent drinks with friends. It’s fun for them both, a true night away from kids, spouses and commitments. A night spent talking and laughing with their future counterparts, the doctor and his companion. Perhaps two of the only people in the world who can truly understand their bond, he thinks as he notices the way Matt’s eyes stayed fixed on Jenna’s as her and Billie swap gossip and in-jokes about crew members.
“Honestly Jenna, try switching his blue mountain coffee with Nescafé. It’s absolutely hilarious. He went insane. Do you remember David?” she turns to him, eyes lit up with joy at the memories of their shenanigans.
“Yeah, I do,” he smiles warmly at her and, emboldened by alcohol, he places his hand on her knee, giving it an affectionate squeeze. For a moment the world stops and they become entirely lost in each other’s eyes. His heart rises in his throat and he thinks this is it, it’s his moment to tell her.
But then Matt coughs and he and Jenna make their excuses. Billie says it’s really time they got going too and they all head to the door. Billie and David are staying at the same hotel so they say their goodbyes and hop into a taxi. For the first time ever as far as David can remember they spend the five minute taxi ride in an awkward silence. He can’t think what to say to recapture the mood that was lost back in the bar.
They’re on the same floor, 6 rooms apart. They reach David’s door first and pause outside it. They grin at each other awkwardly and then look away.
“So I guess I’ll see you tomorrow…” she says at the same time as he says,
“So, do you want to come in?”
Her eyes open wide in surprise. He’s not sure why, he’s certain he’s been more than obvious.
She looks unsure, wavering in the corridor, looking like she’s struggling to find the right words to convey how she feels. He decides it’s time. Maybe he can help.
“Billie… I love you. I want…. I just want to be with you.”
She takes a gasp and a small step backwards and his heart stops. Everything freezes.
“David… oh god, David no. We can’t. Our time…David it’s done. It’s passed. I mean, I love you… you’re my doctor. I’ll always love you. But… no. If I come in there with you tonight, it’ll just screw everything up. It won’t solve anything. It would just make everything a hundred times harder.”
Tears are rising in his eyes and he curses himself. Get a grip, he begs himself. She takes a step forward and through blurry eyes he sees her face, a picture of utter agony.
“Oh David, I’m sorry. I am so sorry. We just…we never got the timing right,” she says. “And honestly, I don’t think we ever will. I’m sorry.”
She leans in and presses a firm, chaste kiss to his lips and he feels all her pity and pain burn onto his lips. Then she turns and walks quickly up the corridor and she’s gone.
He gathers himself together and fumbles with the key card, letting himself into his room. He leans back against the door and falls to the floor. Broken.