A/N: For Bella, this takes place during New Moon. Edward is gone. Jacob has just finished going through his "changes" and refuses to return Bella's phone calls (Chapter 10, page 234).
The Man with the Watch
I was an idiot to think that this place would hold any magic for me without his presence.
I suppose it was a last ditch effort on my part to cling to my memory of him. Without Jacob's friendship to distract me, I was left to confront the truth of how pointless my life had become.
He left because he didn't want me anymore, and now even Jacob had tired of my company.
That realization hurt because although I hadn't wanted a relationship with Jacob, his interest had actually made me feel a little better. I knew I was a horrible person to feel that way, to use him to fill that void, but it was something.
Staring out at what was more of a field than a meadow, I couldn't help feeling as lifeless as the flowerless brush. There wasn't any magic here, apart from its uncanny ability to reflect my mood.
I heaved a sigh, entirely sick of looking at this tarnished memory, regretting my idea to hike out here in the first place.
A male groan made me stop my retreat back into the trees. I tried to find the source of the noise, but didn't have success until another groan emerged from some nearby bushes.
Lying on the ground was a man in a brown pinstripe suit and trench coat. He looked to be somewhere in his thirties, with long runner's legs and a thin body. I didn't recognize him, but If his rumpled clothes and ruffled brown hair were any indication, he had been through a lot.
My perusal ended when his eyes snapped open, revealing a pair of confused brown eyes. While I normally thought the color of my eyes was bland, his were anything but.
"Where am I?" he rasped, trying to sit up. My eyes widened at the sound of his accent.
He seemed to be having trouble, so I shook myself out of my shock and kneeled down to help prop him up.
"Forks," I answered automatically, although my attention was focused on the field around us, seeking some clue as to why he was out here. One of the reasons he had liked this place was its seclusion, so it seemed odd that this man would be here now.
"Forks?" he wrinkled his nose at the name and I almost wanted to smile. "Where is that exactly?"
"Washington... How did you get out here?"
"I don't..." he trailed off, blinking at the world around him as if doing so would elicit a flicker of recognition. "I can't remember..."
I was looking at him now, searching his body for injuries. Unfortunately, his hair was rather wild, effectively shielding any bumps that might be hiding there. I reached toward his head, but hesitated when I realized how inappropriate the action would be without his permission.
"Do you mind...?" I trailed off, hoping he would get the idea without my having to spell it out.
He began to nod, but winced at the jostling of his own head and quickly stilled.
I slipped my hand into his hair, secretly marveling at its softness while lightly touching his head with my fingertips. I didn't find any bumps, although from his pain a moment ago, I thought it might be a little tender. A pleased sound drew me from my thoughts.
"That feels good..." he hummed, causing me to blush and immediately still my hand.
"Hello," he grinned and despite my embarrassment, it was oddly comforting.
"Hello," I smiled nervously back, my blush returning when I realized my hand was still lodged in his hair. I quickly removed it, looking anywhere but at him.
"What's your name?"
"Bella. What's yours?"
He blinked at me, as if the thought hadn't occurred to him that I would ask for his name in return. His brows furrowed while his smile fell, and I felt a moment of guilt that I had been the cause.
"I can't... I can't remember my name," his eyebrows rose at the realization.
"Maybe you have an ID in one of your pockets?" I suggested quickly, worried that he would begin to panic at his lapse in memory.
He reached into his jacket pocket and I breathed a sigh of relief when he produced a weathered brown wallet.
Seems to have an affinity for that color, I thought, wondering why he would favor one so plain.
"I'm...the Doctor?" he read off, staring at his ID for a beat more before he slipped it back into his pocket.
"The Doctor?" I repeated, my eyebrows rising.
"That's what it said," he affirmed. "Why? Is that odd?"
"No," I lied, averting my gaze.
"I don't think the is part of my name though. Just call me Doctor," he grinned.
"Okay, Doctor," I smiled back. "So...do you remember anything? Anything at all?"
He lurched forward suddenly, and I instinctively reached out to steady him by pressing my hands to his chest.
"All I can remember is...pain," he gasped, his heart racing fast enough that I could feel it through my fingertips.
In fact, his pulse seemed to be beating twice as fast as it should, the feverish hum under my hands—
My train of thought died off and I gasped, pressing my head to his chest. I felt him still, but his heart didn't slow its progression in my ear. I moved to the other side of his chest, sliding the hand that was once there to grip his arm. The same wild thrumming greeted me.
"You have two hearts," I breathed in realization.
"Don't be daft..." he began, before cutting off with a gasp of his own. "Blimey! You're right! I can feel them both..."
"Wow," I whispered in awe, placing one hand over each of his hearts.
It took a moment of his quiet staring for me to remember that I was once again invading his personal space.
"Sorry," I mumbled, removing my hands with a blush. "I guess the hospital's out," I continued, hoping to distract him.
"No..." his tone had turned considering. "Don't think dissection would be a good look for me," he added with a wry grin.
"Actually, for all I know, I could be hideous." He glanced around, as if expecting a mirror to appear.
"You're not," I blurted. My eyes widened when I realized what I had said.
"No?" he asked with a smirk.
"It's getting late," I changed the subject quickly, relieved when he played along.
"Right. We should probably get going then. Shall we?"
He shot to his feet in a sudden burst of energy, causing his knees to buckle. I quickly stood up too, draping his arm over my shoulders to support him.
"Sorry," he said sheepishly, "got a bit dizzy there."
"It's okay. I've been there," I smiled back.
"You've woken in a field with no recollection of who you are?"
"Well, no... But I've gotten hurt a lot. I'm kind of a klutz."
"Really? You don't seem terribly clumsy."
"Just wait," I huffed as I began towing him through the trees. "It's only a matter of time."
"Good thing I'm a Doctor then," he grinned.
Despite my blush, I couldn't resist grinning back.
Love to know what you think.
And anyway, who could resist pressing that button?
I really don't know who I am. I don't know when to stop.
So if I see a great, big, threatening button which should never ever be pressed,
then I just want to do this.