A/N: This is the sequel to Keep Me Close which focused on Sam and Andrew during the episode "Enemy Fire". This story goes back and forth in the time line, beginning in 1945 when Andrew returns. What has happened while he's been away? And what happened all those years ago?
Thanks to those of you who kindly read my previous Sam/Andrew story. For your patience, here is a story that is very much Sam/Foyle. As always, comments are appreciated.
The village hall was quickly becoming stuffy in the early May sunshine. The large room was abuzz with chatter, clinking tea cups, and the shuffling of leaflets. It would have been any normal Friday at an English village hall, had it not been for the long and uncertain faces of returned service men, the overzealous bunting, and perhaps the subject of the leaflets. Having already flung her green cardigan off, Samantha was feeling hot and wasn't at all sure she was being of much help.
She shifted in her chair, rubbing her back. Married Families Club, leaflets, and cups of tea didn't seem all that useful to these poor men. Though the war hadn't been declared officially over yet, men were straggling back slowly. They had returned to a place they no longer recognised, expected to take up again as if nothing had changed. Sam felt as worn out as they looked.
A warm voice across the room made her start and she looked up in to the soft eyes of Andrew Foyle. He came towards her, smiling shyly.
She stared at him for a moment in relief. He is here; he's alive! The blue RAF uniform he wore seemed to hang on him, as if he had lost weight. She noticed his once boyish faced was more lined and his dark hair had been recently cut. He looked as if he'd been ill, and his smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
"You're back," she said finally with a smile. She didn't get up.
"I am. Arrived this afternoon."
"Back for good?"
"Yes, it's over for me."
"Have you seen your father?"
"Not yet. The desk sergeant … Cooke was it?… said he was in a meeting. He also said I'd find you here. So, here I am."
"Sergeant Brooke I think you mean." She pushed a few leaflets around absently.
Sam finally said slightly stiffly, "Why have you come here? Interested in help with finding work or a suit that fits?"
Andrew gave a short laugh. "No, interested in you. I…um, wanted to speak to you."
Sam bit her lip, "Really? After not speaking with me for three years? After not returning any of my letters?"
He gave a barely audible sigh. "Please, Sam. Even though I didn't write back, I did receive most of the letters you and Dad sent."
"We thought you were captured, or injured, or even dead, Andrew," Sam said, her voice sharp, "no word for months on end. He's been worried sick about you." She noticed her hand was trembling and she moved it to her lap, clutching at the soft material of her dress.
Andrew hung his head slightly, fiddling with the cap in his hands. "It's why I want to talk. I know my last letter to him was awful. I over reacted."
"That," Sam said, nearly spitting her words, "is an understatement."
"He let you read it?" Andrew groaned. "Oh, Sam, I'm so sorry."
He scrunched the hat tightly, "I'm sorry for a lot of things."
Sam tried to control her face and to stop the tears that were threatening to slip past her lids. She was always bursting into tears these days.
Andrew fidgeted uncomfortably, "Look, won't you at least consider speaking with me?"
She sighed. It's all we've ever wanted to do, you silly, infuriating man.
"Andrew, of course I will. I'm finished here in about ten minutes. We'll take the car and have a chat, all right?"
He gave her a grateful smile, "Thanks, Sam."
She heaved herself out the chair behind the wooden table, one hand on her middle, beginning to tidy the leaflets. Andrew unconsciously ran his eyes over her; at once she noticed his face go from red to pale, a brief look of betrayal and pain crossing his features before he looked away.
"Don't look at me like that, please, Andrew." Her voice was imploring now.
"No, no, sorry. Just didn't expect…" He managed a brave, but wobbly, half smile, not meeting her eyes. "I'll wait outside, shall I?"
"I'll be ten minutes."
When she came outside not long after, she found him smoking furiously. His face was still in shock and his hair slightly ruffled, as if he'd run his hands through it many times. She placed a hand on his arm, glad to feel he seemed more whole underneath the uniform. He's home unhurt. Oh, thank God.
"I am glad to see you, Andrew," she said warmly.
Andrew smiled weakly back at her and followed her without a word to the Wolseley.
"I'm going to miss the car when he retires," Sam said as they clambered in.
"Is Dad retiring? Huh…well, I suppose he's had enough after all this."
"I should say so."
"When does his meeting finish?"
"Not until this afternoon. Public Committee Meeting or some such. Sounds awfully dreary." Sam put the car into gear and pulled away.
"Should you really be driving?"
"Of course, why shouldn't I?"
"Well…" Andrew cleared his throat.
"You're as bad as he is. I'm not made of china, you know."
Andrew managed a proper smile then and said warmly, "Well, you're looking marvellous anyway."
She grinned at him, feeling pleased.
They drove to the beach and sat in the car watching the waves for a bit. Though the day was warm, here the wind howled and sent the water crashing up the pebbles. Finally Andrew spoke, heaving a hefty sigh before he did so.
"Has it really been three and half years since I was here last? I've missed it. Missed you and Dad. I'm sorry for what happened. Seems I'm always apologising to you, aren't I?"
She frowned at him, "I should be really cross with you. Putting him through all that when he least deserved it. Why didn't you write? To him at least?"
"I couldn't really believe it…what he'd written…about how he felt...I was angry. Whenever I started writing…well, the words were never right. Then I was shipped out to some God awful place overseas. They made me Squadron Leader and suddenly I was looking after spotty faced boys in the middle of nowhere. Mail often couldn't get through. Did try to send a few letters just before Christmas but the bloody ship got torpedoed. And to put the tin lid on it, I was in hospital for a month or more with sinusitis, which is why I've been sent home. No more flying for me."
"You all right now?"
"Yes, more or less."
"He'll be relieved to know you're home."
"Will he forgive me, do you think? I feel really awful for what happened. I know it was my fault."
She looked over at him, hearing the strain in his voice. Andrew had never been one to easily admit he was wrong, but this time he seemed to realise his mistakes. While she could forgive him because she knew Foyle would be so relieved, a part of her was ready to box his ears for putting his father through the hell of worrying.
"You're his son, Andrew."
"Yes, but I was quite awful." He added, "And it's not just him I need to apologise to. I really am sorry, Sam. For everything."
"It's the War, isn't it?"
"No excuse for me being a complete BF."
"Quite. But, yes, I forgive you. As long as you make things up with your father."
He nodded, "I'll try."
She smiled and relaxed her shoulders, glad that was over. Leaning across, she kissed his cheek. "I am so glad you are home safely, Andrew, and I know he will be too."
He gave her a crooked smile before looking at the waves beyond the pebble beach and sighing.
"What happened? Will you tell me the full story?"
"You really want to know?"
"I do, yes."
She sighed and tapped a finger against the wheel. "Well, I suppose it's only fair you know. Letters and telegrams don't quite cut it when it comes to these things."
"Do you mind terribly?" Andrew asked. "I expect I could demand to know and be childish, but I'd rather you told me with the knowledge that you wanted to."
"No, you should know, Andrew." Sam shook her head, "It's just I'm not sure where to start."
"At the beginning?" He gave her a half smile.
Returning the smile, she said, "Yes, jolly good idea."
She paused, thinking a moment. "Well, it really began with a teapot…"