Title: Our Love
by magique
: The Bill
Pairing(s): Neil/Andrea, Neil/Phillipa.
Genre/Rating: Angst, Romance/K
Word Count: 363
Disclaimer: Lyrics © Rhett Miller (Come Around). Title © Rhett Miller (Our Love) because the song's lyrics fit. Mostly.
Summary: Making do isn't enough for Neil Manson, not after Andrea.
Warnings: None.
Notes: I'm not a Neil/Andrea shipper, but Neil is my favourite character and I wanted to write something about him that isn't completely depressing. It didn't work. Anyhow, this is dedicated to Minion of Sekhmet, because she does like Neil/Andrea and she wrote me a fic for Christmas AND it had an alternate ending that was all Ray Moore-ish and special and best.
100 themes challenge. This is for number 80: Sorrow. Please review!

I'm dressed all in blue,
And I'm remembering you.

"Soul mates" were for gullible idiots. Neil Manson had never been in any doubt as to that at any point in his life.

There was no string of broken hearts scattered through his past as he searched for "the one". He met Phillipa, they had Jake. He didn't think there could be something better than that. Phillipa was intelligent, it wasn't a chore to spend time with her, and she loved him. And that had always been enough.

But then Andrea had come onto the scene. Beautiful, clever, energetic, sweet Andrea. Andrea who didn't hide behind a wall of ice. Andrea who'd shown, so much more, how she felt and drawn out those same feelings in him. Andrea who he'd connected with on a level he'd never known before.

When Andrea Dunbar showed up, he never had a chance. His skepticism almost faded the way Phillipa, his wife of years, dulled beside Andrea's spark.

Neil, who had always prided himself on being a loyal husband and father, began to lie, stay out late, sneak kisses with another woman in his office. He'd never even looked at another woman before but, with Andrea, he couldn't even convince himself what he was doing was wrong.

Worse still, it meant something. It wasn't the fling of a temporarily sour marriage; Andrea was asking him to leave his family to be with her and he'd dug a hole so deep he couldn't climb out.

And then, the most terrible, unexpected things happened. Everything that could go wrong did. Andrea was exposed and then died in the explosion at the station. It all fell apart and Neil crawled back, licking his wounds, to making do – because at least he couldn't get hurt again that way.

Now – now – he could see it. The path he took and the one he should have taken. The mistakes and bad decisions. Andrea Dunbar had been a mistake. Being with her, sharing secrets with her, falling in love with her. It had all been one huge mistake that no amount of time could erase.

Because now he was alone. Life was worse than ever.

And making do just wasn't good enough anymore.