This is my first fanfic on . English is not my first language, so bear with me ;-). Your reviews and suggestions are greatly appreciated..
Of course I don't own Flying Doctors, etc.
"I, eh, think we should have taken the other road."
Geoff clumsily tried to fold the large, crumpled road map to a more manageable format. He and Kate had been on a clinic run together, by car. The Nomad was in for emergency maintenance and since the clinic run location, at the Henderson's, was only a three hours drive, they had decided to continue the clinic run as planned initially. Everything had run smoothly, as always when he worked with Kate. And now they were on their way back home, to Coopers Crossing, where they would probably go their separate ways again. He still was not sure how to tell her that he liked her. No, loved her, he admitted to himself. But he simply did not know how she felt about him. The few times they had kissed had only made him realize how much he loved her, wanted her. But every time it had happened, Kate had had gone back into her shell more quickly than lightning, frightened by the passion they had shared only briefly. In the weeks that followed, she would avoid him at all cost, and barely speak to him. He often wondered what caused her strange behaviour. Maybe she did not like him at all; maybe she just tried to be nice to him because they had been forced into a working relationship, or worse, because she felt sorry for him.
He sighed and tried to focus on the road map in front of him. He had never been very good at navigating, but he would never admit it, especially not to Kate. He looked outside, trying to find any reference points that might come in handy in determining their location. But he saw nothing but the red and yellow desert, occasionally decorated with pale-green Spinifex. He stared at the map, frustrated in more ways than one.
"Let me see.." Kate stopped the burgundy RFDS station car and reached over for him to hand her the map.
"Why? Do you think you know better?" Geoff protested, but lamely handed her the map. Kate looked at the map, trying to find out where they were. Ever since they had left the Henderson's, she had had to rely on Geoff's navigation skills that were, to put it nicely, not very well developed. She would have preferred to navigate herself, but Geoff had felt very tired after the clinic run and had asked her to drive the first part of their trip back to Coopers Crossing. He had looked at her with his amazingly blue eyes and she had not been able to refuse him, something she extremely regretted now.
"Do you at least have any idea where we are?"
Geoff had to admit that he had not and Kate sighed, more frustrated than she would ever admit to doctor Geoffrey G. Standish. She tried to remember where they had taken the wrong turn. After all, there were not so many roads to choose from in the Outback. So it must have happened at a crossing. She studied the map and followed the road from the Henderson's station. They had turned left at the crossing near Corindabella station. From there, they had driven about two hours to the north, in the direction of…She tried to think of the name of the property. In the direction of the Jackson property! Oh no! They had driven, for more than 100 kilometres, in the complete opposite direction of where they should have been heading!! Why hadn't Geoff kept an eye on their map?! Angrily, she turned to face Geoff.
"We have to go all the way back. We have been driving in the wrong direction for more than two hours!" she snapped, her eyes blazing with anger.
Tonight was the one night this week, she would have the house she shared with Chris to herself. She had planned a pleasant evening, with a nice hot shower, all kinds of lovely body cleansers and moisturizers, a full box of chocolates, and a soppy film to finish her night alone. Thanks to Geoff's fantastic navigating skills, that night was off, for at least another week. They would not be back in the Crossing before 10 pm. Kate felt anger and disappointment surge inside of her. Why was it that Geoff could not even read a stupid map? Why did she still put up with him? She should have seized the opportunity to be transferred to Western Australia when it was there. But for some reason, she could not do it at the time. She wanted to figure out her indefinable relationship with Geoff first. But so far, it was still indefinable. She did not know what he wanted from her. Sometimes, she thought he was interested in her, romantically. But most of the time, he seemed indifferent, just another doctor bossing her around, driving her up the wall with aggravation. She remembered they had kissed on a couple of occasions. She was not sure what had initiated their kissing, but she had been shocked by her body's response to him. How could she be so passionate when she was not even sure whether she liked him or not?
If she was honest with herself, she had to admit that she liked him. He could be very nice and charming if he wanted to. She remembered the Surf Carnival DJ had set up a couple of months ago. Geoff had been so enthusiastic, even getting himself a genuine windsurfer to take part in the surfing race! She had been really sorry for him when DJ managed to beat him in the last seconds of the race. He had looked very attractive in his shorts, helmet and of course the nice smear of pink sun block on his nose. They had had a nice chat and a nice dinner at the pub that she had enjoyed very much. It had been one of those occasions when she had thought he was a really nice guy. But in the weeks that followed, he had gone back to his normal, professional way of telling her what to do.
Geoff felt guilty. He knew that they had taken the wrong turn because he had been distracted. He did not sleep very well lately and it had been a long day. He must have dozed off.
"What?" She avoided looking at him, keeping her eyes on the road as she turned the car.
"Kate…I really am sorry…" He sounded sincere, and Kate could not help turning her face to him. She stared into his blue eyes.
"I am sorry, I am just so tired.. I think I fell asleep.." he admitted.
"Why? What is wrong with you?" Kate asked, trying to keep her distance. Geoff shrugged.
"I don't know, I just don't sleep very well lately." But he knew very well what caused this insomnia. She did. Or at least thoughts of her did. But he could not tell her that, not without making a fool of himself.
"Maybe you should talk to Chris," Kate suggested. "Maybe you have caught some virus."
"Yeah, I might do that," Geoff mumbled weakly, knowing full well he would not discuss this with Chris at all.
The sky slowly started to display a more varied colour pattern than the bright blue colour that dominated the sky during the day. Streaks of pink started to mingle with the blue, and orange and yellow colours appeared. Kate tried to concentrate on the road again. They had to drive for almost two hours before they were back at the crossing where they had taken the wrong turn.
"Victor Charlie Charlie to mobile 2." DJ's voice, still cheery after a long day at work, sounded through the speakers.
"Hi DJ, how are you doing?" Kate tried to match his liveliness, but she knew she could never be as exuberant as their radio operator.
"I am doing great," DJ answered. "But how are you and our fabulous doctor doing? We expected you back ages ago!"
"I know. We took the wrong turn, we just found out. Our ETA is 10 pm."
"10 pm?! Katie, your minds must have been occupied elsewhere…" he teased her, knowing that she, although she would never admit it, had a soft spot for Geoff.
"Stop it DJ," Kate replied. "I am very tired and not in the mood for your silly jokes."
"Hey Doc!" DJ called. "Could you cheer her up? She really is in a terrible mood.."
"Stop it DJ!," Geoff repeated. We are very tired; it has been a long day."
"All right, all right! I am sorry, I will no longer try to perk you up anymore…I will see you when I see you…take care! Oh Doc," he added, "Paula asked me to ask you if she could clean your office."
"What? She stays out of my office!" Geoff shouted. "Tell her DJ, she is not going to clean my office!!"
"I'll try Doc, but you know what's she's like.. Bye for now! Victor Charlie Charlie, out."