He’s been drinking, not to excess, but enough to get a pleasant buzz. He’s been flirting, too, eyeing the other patrons at the pub, subconsciously looking for ones that might bear a close resemble the woman he secretly harbors feelings for.
Or not so secretly. It must be obvious by now, what with all the little looks of longing he bestows and the numerous lingering touches on and off set. He tries being subtle, dropping little hints here and there, but so far that’s rewarded him nothing. He’s still too stubborn and shy to venture to do anything more daring, afraid of rejection, wary of the possible discovery that he’s imagined all of it, that she doesn’t actually share his feelings.
At least this way he still has hope, delusional though it may be.
His cell phone vibrates from the depths of his jeans pocket and he hastily struggles to remove it from that confined space, staring at the numbers in blurry disbelief that sharpens quickly.
"Hello?" He takes a sip from his glass, setting it back down on the counter perhaps a bit too loudly.
"Dave. It’s Billie."
"Yeah, hi, how are you?" The words run together in a rush and he takes a deep breath to steady himself.
"Not good. My car’s broken down. Listen, I know it’s a hassle, but do you think you could come pick me up?"
Why she’s chosen to call him, of all people, he can’t quite fathom, but he’s not about to miss this opportunity to spend extra time with her.
He slides off the bar stool, his trainers hitting the floor with a soft thump, dropping some money on the counter before ducking out the door moments later, memorizing her instructions on her location.
Pouring rain, the kind that soaks your skin instantly, seeping beneath the surface to lie aching deep inside.
His own car, way past secondhand, coughs in protest at the chill, damp weather before finally clearing its throat, the engine starting. The windshield wipers are fairly new, but it’s difficult to keep pace with the torrential downpour. He squints, feeling his contact lenses chafing his eyes unpleasantly. He runs a shirtsleeve against the steam covered glass to clear a streak of visibility and then eases out of the crowded car park.
He alternates between resting both hands on the wheel or resting one against a denim clad thigh, his fingers twitching nervously. The slight inebriation from the lager has left his head in a rush, to be replaced with a new kind of intoxication. A nervous thrill of anticipation hums through him as he imagines rescuing his favorite damsel in distress. He turns the radio on and off before reaching to crank the defroster on high, sighing with relief when he finally gains clearer vision.
He sees her standing just where she’d promised she’d be, a small, curvy figure with her arms wrapped tightly around her, shivering from the onslaught of nature’s cruel elements. The door on the passenger side of the car sticks something fierce, but he manages to shove it open, granting her rapid access.
She settles into the car’s warm interior gratefully, sighing as she pushes back the strands of damp gold hair that cling to her cheeks before reaching to pull the seatbelt across her body.
"Sorry, no, that’s busted. This car is absolute shite," he says. There’s really no excuse not to buy a more respectable mode of transportation at this point in his acting career; it’s not like he can’t afford it. He’s just grown comfortable with this vehicle’s quirks, feeling like it’s good enough to serve his needs. He doesn’t feel obligated to drive some pretentious luxury car as a statement of professional success.
He’s wishing now he did.
"Um, how do you put the seat back? Is that broken too?"
He now notices that her knees, peeking beneath the hem of a black dress, are jammed against the dashboard.
"Sorry, it’s on the left, towards the back. There’s a lever."
She fumbles in the narrow space between her seat and the car door. “I can’t find it.”
"Here, let me help you." He leans over, resting one hand against the edge of her seat, beside her arm, the other reaching past the curves of her thighs, his fingers scrabbling for the plastic seat control. His face hovers just beside her neck and he can smell her shampoo, the fragrance heightened from the rain.
He finally finds what he’s seeking, the seat sliding backward abruptly, causing him to lose his balance ever so slightly, steadying himself against her thigh, before reluctantly ending that intimate touch with another mumbled apology.
He turns his attention to the flooded streets then, focusing on carefully maneuvering around the puddles with diligence, cautioning himself not to look at and become distracted by the attractive blonde woman sitting beside him.
It’s quiet in the car, the only sounds emanating from the squeak of the super blades against the glass and the furious drumming of the rain on the vehicle.
When they reach a red light he finally allows himself to glance over at her, finding she’s absently worrying her lower lip. The moisture clumps her lashes into dewy clusters, like fine points of stars radiating from her brilliant dark eyes. Her damp dress clings to every curve and he forces himself to look away, his tensed body relaxing slightly when the light signal changes colors once more, granting him permission to proceed.
He thinks he should attempt conversation but can’t find anything suitable to say. He wants to take a risk and tell her that she’s never looked more beautiful to him.
But of course that would be inappropriate.
Instead, the pair continues on in silent travel, interrupted only by her guiding directions to her flat. Arriving at their destination, he pulls up to the curb and shifts the gear into park, his eyes sliding to meet hers.
"Thanks," she murmurs, flashing him a soft smile of gratitude.
"Sure," he says, with a casual ease he doesn’t feel.
She tugs on the door handle, struggling to open it. He leans across her again to assist, turning his face towards hers as he does so.
This close, he can feel her heated breath on his face.
"Dave, do you want to come inside for a bit? I could make you some tea."
He thinks of entering her flat, sitting at her kitchen table, toweling his hair dry while he watches her spoon sugar into steaming mugs of tea, her fingers brushing against his while she hands him the cup. Then the scene fast forwards to him tasting that melted sweetness on her lips, threading fingers through her still dripping wet hair, pulling her damp and trembling body against his.
His fingers instead rest on the forgotten door handle, his forehead dipping down to rest against hers, his chocolate strands laid across her vanilla ones.
"You. I want you, Bills."
He can scarcely believe he’s broken down and uttered these secret words aloud, drawing back quickly to read her expression, finding it’s a mirror of his own desires.
He lifts her chin up gently, tracing the curve of her lips before placing his own there.
They don’t even notice when the rain finally stops falling.
idk man this is rough bc i couldn’t figure out how or where to end it but david/billiewith david calling billie wanting hair care advice
Long after stage door signings and kissing Georgia goodnight and sending his kids to bed, David calls Billie at 3am.
Her voice is groggy and gravelly and he doesn’t have time to be apologetic because he’s whispering in his loudest stage whisper, “Billie, HOW DO I GET THE KNOTS OUT OF MY WEAVE?”
And that is easily the weirdest thing David has ever called her for (and that includes the time he called her in the middle of the night wanting to know what horseshoe crabs were called that when they didn’t look anything like horseshoes).
Stifling a giggle into her palm and carefully getting out of bed without waking Laurence, she pads softly to her own bathroom, flipping the light on and cradling the phone between her cheek and shoulder.
Ballroom dancing on Doctor Who.
Well, on a science fiction show where anything’s possible, David supposes it’s not too surprising that the Doctor and his companion will have an extensive dancing scene as part of their visit to vintage Parisian royalty in an upcoming episode.
What is surprising is that he’s actually really looking forward to learning how to do it, and that probably has a whole lot to do with his co-star Billie.
They begin their training together one evening with a professional choreographer, a wizened older woman who’s overly fond of using her cane for other than its intended purpose, striking the floor to mark out the rhythm, looking like she’d like to whack him about the legs more often than not, cursing and correcting his every movement.
"Miserable old bat," he grumbles softly after the latest rebuke.
"Shhh," Billie cautions him, trying not to smile.
He settles his right hand slightly beneath her left shoulder blade, his right arm held at what he hopes is suitably close to a 90 degree angle to his body. His left arm is raised at her eye level, forming a support for her own hand to rest in.
Given her background as a former pop musician with dance experience, his partner seems to find no difficulty in assuming the correct position, her left hand draped near his right shoulder, applying just the slightest amount of pressure with her fingertips so she can follow his lead. She determinedly looks away from him, at a fixed spot above his right shoulder, poised and ready to begin.
Disaster strikes the very first moment, when he inadvertently steps on her foot.
"Tighten your arms. They’re too loose at the wrist and elbow. Resistance. Resistance. Resistance," the instructor reaffirms, bringing her cane down to punctuate each word.
He thinks he’ll be hearing it in his sleep tonight.
"Lift your head. Keep your body upright. Gentle motions of push and pull to guide her. Listen to the rhythm of the music."
He can’t believe how complicated something like a basic waltz really is. He’s already breaking out into a sweat, trying his best to follow the instructions. His shoulder muscles burn with the ache of keeping them held taut in the correct position.
Eventually he relaxes, because in truth Billie is an ideal partner, able to anticipate the next step, helping him find the next sweeping movement until he begins to comprehend the pattern, stroking along an imaginary box.
Even the shriveled choreographer seems pleased with their progress, nodding and keeping her cane still.
Overnight it seems he’s forgotten everything he’s learned the previous evening, and the next practice session seems like it will be even worse this time, knowing what to expect.
But once again his friend supports and reassures him, until they make it through the lesson, waiting to hear the last piece of advice from the dance expert before leaving that evening.
"You need to get more comfortable with each other’s bodies. Right now it looks like two strangers dancing. It should look like one person moving across the floor. Practice more together. Get used to the feel of each other."
David tries not to blush, knowing Billie is watching his face closely.
They decide to take her advice.
It isn’t easy, balancing their frantic work schedules, impatiently trying to perfect their dancing skills before the upcoming deadline. They’re forced to cut back on sleep, spending many late evenings together, combining reciting lines while practicing their waltz.
Maybe it really is an accident, late one night, when he trips and presses her body against the wall, his lean frame colliding with the soft curves of her body, clad distractingly in a black clinging one piece leotard that does nothing but accentuate everything nature ever gave her.
Her startled laugh and his hurried apology fade from their lips as they stare into each other’s eyes. He keeps his body along hers, one hand braced between waist and hip, the other threading through her hair, tipping her chin up. Then his mouth closes over hers and she sighs against him, letting his tongue explore the contours of her mouth even as his hand strokes the curves of her body, finding that he’s memorized it rather well over the last few weeks.
When they return for their final lesson, the instructor notices the change in her pupils’ abilities right away. She always knew they had it in them; they just needed a little extra prodding and some tough love.
The scene on set goes smoothly, and the director compliments them on their hard work.
Behind closed doors, they congratulate each other in a very different way.
"I miss it already," she murmurs, stroking his bare arm beneath the sheets he’s flung hastily over them.
"We could always go back and learn something new. Lambada, maybe?" he suggests, his lips brushing across her ear in a soft caress.
"The forbidden dance?" She shivers with pleasure, laughing softly. "Can’t you just picture it? How exotic. But that’s perfect. Yes, let’s."
"We could start right now. I’ve got some pretty good moves," he says, resting one hand against her abdomen.
"Okay. Show me what you’ve got."
So he does.
I haven’t written a letter in years, but really it’s such a shame, because I think it’s a lost art. People have become so used to texting and twittering and emailing that you never really get to see the person’s original intended thought—it’s just so easy to backspace and delete and spell check until everything becomes artificially successful.
So I’m sitting here waiting for you to arrive—and I know we said 11, I just happened to get here early, the Underground was strangely quiet this morning—and I wonder what you’ll think when you see me. I’m sure you’ve aged with beauty and grace, while I’ve just, well, kind of gone on as before, a little grayer, a few more lines around the eyes, and my hands—well, that’s the finest way to tell a person’s age, to look at their hands—the truth of the matter lies there. Middle age has hit me, and it’s something I’m comfortable with, like my favorite tshirt(there do seem to be many of those, though, don’t there?)
I seem to be rambling, so let me arrive at the true purpose of this scribbling. I have something to tell you, but I fear it’s the kind of secret that’s best revealed in person. I’ve been meaning to tell you for the longest time, but I just always lacked the courage to do so. The timing just never seemed to be right, and it probably never will be.
I can see you through the cafe window, and yes, you are still every bit as beautiful as I imagined you would look. I’m losing courage to say what I want to, now, for I’ve just caught your eyes and seen your smile, and I’m undone as always in their presence. So let me conclude that I hope you will read this later, when you have the time, and find it enjoyable in some manner, though in truth I’ve been speaking in circles and haven’t really said much of anything at all.
One day, Bill. One day I’ll tell you my secret.
Until then, faithfully yours,
They stand outside the cafe, in the wan early afternoon light, he absently clutching a folded piece of paper, the flyer he’d retrieved from the shop to scrawl his note on, finding a napkin horrible to put ink upon at any length, the fine material shredding beneath his pen.
He embraces her one last time, inhaling her fragrant hair that she’s let return to its natural brown, a rich shade between chestnut and auburn that he finds very attractive. She’s slender in his arms, leaner than she used to be, but no less stunningly attractive. It hurts to release her, to think that he won’t be seeing those dark eyes and that gorgeous mouth again for a long time.
"What time is your flight in the morning?" he asks, even though he already knows the answer, desperate for an excuse to stall for more time to spend with her, to prolong their inevitable parting.
"Well, best of luck on your new project." She’s filming her first movie in the United States, starring in the lead role.
"Thanks. Good luck with the theater."
He’s continued to enjoy a steady career with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
“Give me a ring when you’re not too busy.”
"Of course. Oh here, I almost forgot." He hands her the folded paper from the cafe. "I wrote you a letter. Something to read on the plane when you get bored."
"Really? That’s great. I look forward to it. Take care."
Then she’s gone, whisked away in a cab, leaving him to ponder if he’s done enough, or if it’s too little, too late.
He sits now on a metal bench in Hyde Park, glancing frequently at his watch, combing his fingers through his hair, alternating between crossing and uncrossing his long limbs over opposite knees.
He’s written an addedum at the end of the letter, deciding that if it’s meant to be, him and her together, fate will intervene. He hopes she’s disregarded his suggestion to wait until tomorrow to read it, because tomorrow will most assuredly be too late.
I might do something foolish like tell you to wait until tomorrow to read this, but I really hope you don’t listen and give in to temptation and curiosity. I can see your wicked smile, your tongue touching one corner of your mouth as you unfold this letter and devour it with those depthless eyes. I miss you—I already know I’m going to miss you the second I watch you get into that cab and ride away from me.
I want to see you, one last time, before you go.
Today is the day. I’m ready to tell you my secret.
Please come see me. I’ll be waiting for you in Hyde Park.
She stares at the creased paper in her hands for long moments, then calls out to the cab driver to turn around and head back to where he’d picked her up.
He’s there, waiting just where he’d said he be, that unmistakable long, lean form draped across the bench.
The driver is forced to park some distance away, and she hurriedly tosses coins and notes at him before exiting the car, starting towards the man slowly, the letter still clutched in one hand.
He rises, moving in her direction, his pace unhurried.
She trembles, quickening her walk, the hem of her dress fluttering against her calves as she moves more swiftly.
His stride lengthens, his long legs covering the ground that separates them faster, until they both break out in a final burst of speed, rushing towards one another. He gathers her in his arms, squeezing her tightly, burying his face against her neck.
"You read it," he murmurs, stroking her hair.
"What did you want to tell me?" She draws back so she can see his face, noting the lines of worry around his eyes. "It’s okay. Just tell me. Dave, we’ve known each other for years. We shouldn’t have secrets between us, after all this time."
He draws in a deep breath, brushing the backs of his fingers lightly against one cheek. “I love you.”
"All this time?" she asks softly.
"Why didn’t you say something sooner?"
He shrugs. “Coward.”
"I have a confession to make, too. I love you."
He smiles, sweeping his fingers through her hair. “How long have you felt this way?”
"That’s too long to wait for this, then." He kisses her mouth, a gentle brushing of lips until she threads her fingers through the silver chased chocolate strands, bringing him more firmly against her.
"I still have to leave tomorrow."
"Will you write to me?"
"Yes. Every day, until you come back home."
This time, when she walks away from him, it doesn’t feel like an ending, but a beginning.
The start of their own story, as it was always meant to be.
Did you just say Bad Wolf?
It sounds cliche to say it is love at first sight, so he tells himself instead that he starts falling for her later on, after he gets to know her a little better.
Maybe it starts on the day he falls ill.
It seems inevitable that he gets sick after an entire day is spent filming in sopping wet clothes, trudging about in the trenchcoat, that, admittedly, had been his idea as part of the costume choice, constantly blasted with industrial fans and then redoused again, undergoing multiple takes until the scene is declared perfect.
Now his throat is scratchy and his nose is stuffed up and cherry red as he battles fits of sneezing and coughing. He pulls his glasses off and settles them on the table, then switches off the camcorder he’s been using to film his personal video diaries that the BBC will be using as bonus content for future DVD releases. He’s too tired to crawl into the bed at the back of his trailer, readjusting the fleece throw over him, sliding down in the chair with his long legs stretched out in front of him, just getting comfortable when he hears a knock on his door.
He doesn’t move, doesn’t speak, hoping that whoever it is will go away, but they’re persistent, whoever they are, and he rises to answer it, draping the blanket over his shoulders like a superhero cape.
"Alright, alright, I’m coming, bloody he—"
He cuts off abruptly when he sees who it is standing there: his co-star, young and blonde, endlessly cheerful and vibrant, carrying a bag and offering him a smile.
"You, too? Thought so. Feel lousy," she says, sniffling. "Anyway, I thought if I was going to be miserable, might as well be miserable with someone else. Brought some goodies. Wanna hang out?"
He stares at her, startled. “Erm…”
"If you’re not feeling up to it, I can just leave this with you and—"
"No, no, it’s fine. Sorry, just a little slow, the cold is addling my wits. Come in."
She’s brought him chicken soup—not processed stuff from the can, but some homemade version from a local restaurant, with tender pieces of chicken and real broth. The bag also contains various cold remedies in the form of syrups and lozenges and capsules.
"Pick your poison," she says with a lopsided grin, spreading the offerings out on the kitchen table.
"All of them," he says, removing their now empty soup bowls from the table and setting down mugs of hot tea amidst the selection. He looks at the young woman, thinking he likes her smile very much, and feels like he wants to smile more when she’s around; even now, when he’s ill.
"Thought as much. Right, well you probably shouldn’t mix these two; might end up in a coma." She withdraws two of the choices and he feels guilty for admiring the way the fever she probably has brings rosy color to her pale cheeks and leaves her full lips flushed. Her hair is slightly mussed, tousled after the long day of stressful wetting and drying and coiffing, and he finds himself impulsively wanting to reach out to brush back those strands so he can see more of her features.
Her dark eyes lift, as if sensing him watching her, and he looks away, stifling a sudden fit of coughing. His eyes fall on the camcorder he’s left earlier on the counter. “I’m supposed to be filming my thoughts on the day’s filming,” he says, nodding towards the abandoned device before measuring out and swallowing thick red syrup that leaves him wincing at the taste.
"You should block your nose when you swallow. Then it doesn’t taste as bad. My mum always had me do it that way." He has a sudden clear vision of her as a child with her natural dark hair, her expressive eyes large in that small face. "It must be quite the commentary." She sniffles again, selecting two of the capsules, struggling against the blister packaging before she’s freed them, swallowing them with a sip of her tea.
"You should do it. I mean, let me film you, give some of your opinion. Everyone knows you and likes you." She’s already had a season on the show; he still feels a bit like an outsider.
"Everyone will like you, too," she says reassuringly. "Just give them time. I mean, look at me. I like you already."
His fingers trace the rim of his mug. “Do you really?”
The smile reappears. “I’m here, aren’t I?”
"Yeah. Listen, I really appreciate all of this." He spreads his hands out, gesturing to the collection of items she’s brought with her.
"So you’ll do the thing?" He nods toward the camcorder.
"I’ll let you know."
"You want to watch a bit of telly before you go?"
"Alright, then." She notices the glasses resting forgotten nearby and lifts them up, studying the thin black frames. "How bad is your vision? Can you see anything without these?"
"I see you," he says, and her eyes flicker towards his, thinking there is something weighted and important in that statement.
"I hate wearing contacts. But I think I look awful in glasses. What do you think?" She settles the lenses over the bridge of her nose.
"Beautiful." It’s the first description that comes to mind, and it’s accurate, and he says it without hesitation.
"Get out," she laughs, pulling them off her face and leaning over to place them on his. "They look good on you. You should wear glasses when you’re the Doctor, sometimes. Think they’d suit him," she declares before standing up and stretching. "Right. So, time for telly."
He doesn’t even make it to the first commercial break of the sitcom she’s selected, the combination of the long day at work and the cold and the medicine overwhelming him, drawing him down into sleep.
When he awakens later, he finds her still there, seated beside him, the flickering images on the screen bathing her face in a soft glow in the darkened space. The combined feverish heat of their bodies beneath the blanket draped over them is near stifling and he shifts so that his arms are resting atop the cover, his head tipping to one side to study her.
She turns to face him, the smile she bestows this time soft and sweet. “It’s getting late. Did you want me to leave?”
"No. Not unless you want to go."
"No." She shakes her head. "You’re always staring at me," she says softly.
"Am I? Sorry," he murmurs, but his eyes don’t leave her face.
"Am I that stunningly attractive?" she teases, biting her bottom lip.
"Yes," he agrees, his voice low and raspy. He swallows against the rough feeling of sandpaper in his throat.
"You’re very frank."
"Sometimes. I blame the late hour. And the cold. And the medicine."
"Ah…" She sighs, withdrawing her own arms from underneath the blanket, letting one hand rest on top of his.
"I’d kiss you if I wasn’t afraid of getting you sick."
"I’m already ill." Her fingers interlace with his.
"Good point. I’m probably going to taste like cough syrup, though."
"I probably taste like cigarettes. I had one earlier. Did wonders for my lungs."
"I don’t care," he says, unable to resist her any longer, his lips brushing against hers.
They’re both right about the flavors, they discover, as their lips part, tongues sweeping against one another. It’s difficult to breathe with stuffed noses and occupied mouths and they’re forced to part for a decent amount of air sooner than either of them would like.
"I’ll do it," she whispers, and he frowns at her, confused.
"The video diary thing. I’ll do it."
"Oh. Great." He pauses. "Was that what you were thinking about, just now, while I was kissing you? I know I’m sick and probably not on top of my game, but…"
"Don’t look so insulted! Of course not. It was nice. It was very nice." She leans towards him, capturing his bottom lip briefly. "We’ll have to try it more when we’re both feeling better, yeah?"
But they decide not to wait until then.