The Damage We Do – Chapter 21
The song in the last flashback is Owl City – Fireflies. Only missed by update target by two days, yay!
Uni is completely kicking my arse; sorry this story is taking so long! Not only do I have lots of work and things to learn but I feel like I'm on a whistle stop tour of the most difficult to find medical facilities of South Wales on placement each week. Never mind, only a month till Christmas!
Thank you kle107, T4mmy88, hearts break souls connect and the amazing Ficmouse for the reviews! They keep me going! Please keep reviewing!
Dylan walked in through the door but the house was quiet. Dervla met him gently hovering around his legs as he walked through the darkened hall to the brightly lit kitchen at the end of the house. That was strange; Sam usually liked some music on while she cooked. He put the bottle of wine down on the table and looked around the kitchen. The oven was still warm but turned off. Where had Sam gone? He had only been gone a few minutes. He patted his pocket for his phone before he located it flashing red on the kitchen counter. She had tried to call him. There was a note under the phone. 'Janey Hedges in labour. Gone to help' written in Sam's characteristic scrawl.
Dylan raised his eyebrows. Poor Sam. He grabbed his car keys and the phone and left, remembering to lock the door on the way out as Sam had not and registering her car still in the car park as he left. She had not left on her own, someone had obviously appeared at the door and she had felt no choice but to go with them. Sam was very competent, had more practical experience than most doctors of her level of training, but she was still an F2 and had little if any experience in obstetrics. She was probably both cursing him and trying to remember her textbook word for word at this moment in time.
He drove the short way to the house, stopping dead outside the terraced house and noting another car parked hurriedly at a rather dodgy angle outside. Poor Sam if she had to suffer that driving, she must have been holding on for dear life. He turned the handle and walked straight in, just as he heard the distinctive cry of an infant. Oops! Obviously he was too late; all the hard work had already been done.
"Dylan!" Sam said as he appeared in the doorway of the living room. She sounded so relieved to see him, but excited at the same time.
"Dr Keogh! It's a little boy!" Miss Hedges's partner said euphorically. Dylan recalled they had been hoping for a son as they already had a little girl of about three.
"Congratulations." He crouched down next to Sam. "Have you done the obs?" She turned to him, with shining eyes and nodded. "He's fine. It all went so fast!" She was shaking slightly and Dylan reflected this was very different to what she was normally used to, being completely alone instead of part of a massive well practiced team. It was probably the adrenaline rush wearing off. He took over from Sam and she let him easily, breathing a sigh of relief and sitting down shakily on the sofa.
"Dr Keogh?" Janey said and Dylan looked up, only to find her looking at Sam. "What's your first name?"
"Samantha." Sam said after blinking at her for a moment looking bemused, she was not used to being referred to as Keogh.
"Jack, that's one of the names we liked. It's a sign!" The woman looked towards her partner and Jack smiled at her, carefully lifting his new son out of her arms.
"Hello Sam Taylor." Jack said quietly to the baby. The phone rang and he gave the baby to Sam while he answered it.
Sam held the baby carefully but their eyes met across the room. Dylan could see the amazement on her face, screaming 'did I just really do that?' He smiled at her expression and went back to monitoring Janey. He couldn't help looking back up at Sam and the baby. She seemed enchanted by him, her hand playing with his little fists which were flailing as he squirmed. She seemed so young then and Dylan suddenly felt old, like he didn't deserve her at all.
He remembered the conversation they had had years ago when she had introduced him to her family. She had been in no doubt then, she wanted a family and watching her with little Sam he could see she still did, it was written all over her face. He had accepted it then as a thing in the far future but now watching her with the baby was making him uncomfortable. The decision he had made the other day not to have children played on his mind. He hadn't considered Sam's feelings at all. Now he thought he could extrapolate what they were.
They left the couple with the ambulance crew who had finally turned up so that the mother and baby could be checked over properly at the local district general since the birth had been so quick. Sam followed him into the car and let out a deep breath.
"That was terrifying. I was praying for you to find my note quickly."
"You seemed to do okay." Dylan said stiffly.
"I didn't have to do the hard bit. It was amazing. I delivered a baby in med school, but I was in a hospital and there were lots of people and it was really sterile and this was just so different. It felt different." Her enthusiasm was making him feel worse.
"Before you had lots of people to fall back on. Here there was just you." He managed to say.
"I knew you were coming." Sam said and Dylan felt undone by her faith in him. If she knew what he was really thinking she wouldn't be looking at him like that.
"Hello, I'm Sam, one of the doctors here. How did this happen?"
The elderly woman held out her hand for her to take and Sam examined it carefully. It looked like a fracture, she would need an x-ray to check the extent of the injury but Sam didn't think it would require surgical fixation. Her husband was hovering worriedly.
"Oh I think I fell." The woman seemed vague but smiled at Sam warmly.
"You think?" Sam glanced down at the file in her hands. "Ivy, do you remember what happened?"
"Yes of course I do." The woman said sharply.
"Ok. Did you hit it on something?" Sam said, knowing the mechanism of injury was most likely a fall.
"Yes." The woman said but she seemed unsure and she looked to her husband anxiously.
"Sweetheart you're a bit confused. She has hit it before but she fell today." The husband said calmly.
"Did you hit your head at all when you fell?" Sam said, pulling out her penlight to do a neuro exam.
"No. It's very noisy here isn't it?" Ivy was looking with interest into the busy area outside her cubicle.
"This is quiet for us. Can you follow my finger?" Sam walked her through the examination which seemed to be fine except for her continuing lack of focus.
"Okay, great, I'd just like to borrow your husband for a moment if that's okay?"
Ivy nodded and lay back on the trolley. Her husband followed Sam away from the cubicle.
"Ivy seems a little confused, is that normal for her?"
"She's not confused. She's just in pain. It was a shock, it's only natural she's a little distressed." His reaction was vehement, though he didn't raise his voice.
"So she's never been diagnosed with any type of memory problem?"
"No of course not. She's fine." He seemed to close off from Sam and she sighed internally.
"When was the last time she was seen by her GP?"
"Year's ago. I told you doctor, she's fine, she doesn't even suffer from high blood pressure."
"That's good news. I would still like to do a couple of simple tests just to check her memory just in case."
"Look, I'm sure you're just doing your job, but I know my wife doctor. You are awfully young. Perhaps if we talked to one of your superiors?"
"If you want. Can I arrange the x-ray first?" The man nodded and returned to his wife. Sam went to ask one of the nurses to ring x-ray for her, not relishing having to be the person to break this man out of his clear denial over his wife's condition.
Sam stood at the desk, looking at the x-ray of Ivy Jacobs's wrist. There was a clear fracture but as she thought, it would just require reduction and immobilisation.
"Everything alright?" Dylan said as he arrived to check something on the computer.
"I got 'you are awfully young'" She said frustrated. "He might as well have said, young girl like you, don't know what you're talking about, I want to speak to a man over fifty since I don't like what you're saying."
"Making friends?" Dylan teased her. She turned to him. "Since you find it so amusing, you can come and talk to me with him. After all, you are my superior." She said the last part so sweetly he flashed her a startled look.
"Just as long as you remember I didn't declare myself your superior, because I want to live."
Sam gave him a smug look as she passed him the tablet with the x-rays and the patient file. "She's confused, no head injury, neuro exam checks out and she apparently hasn't been to the GP in years. Husband seems protective and unwilling to entertain the prospect of memory problems. He doesn't want me to do any checks."
"Let's go have a chat then." Sam took the tablet back and led him to the cubicle.
"Ivy. This is Dr Keogh."
"Is my arm broken doctor?" Ivy said with interest.
"Yes, but the good news is you won't require surgery. We're going to reduce the fracture manually and immobilise it with a plaster cast so the bones have time to heal." Sam said. "I would still like to run you through a couple of questions to test your memory if that's okay."
"I told you I don't think that's necessary." The husband said.
"Dr Nicholls is concerned that your wife doesn't remember the accident. It could be an indication of something more sinister." Dylan said.
"There's nothing sinister going on. Ivy's always been a bit dizzy, haven't you love? It's never stopped her."
"I still keep him in line." Ivy said smiling at Sam.
"It's just a couple of questions. We give you a few words, ask you to remember them…."
"I said no!" Ivy's husband said grabbing Sam's arm suddenly.
"Fine." Dylan said instantly and the man released Sam's arm at once, looking embarrassed. Sam stepped away quickly and she could feel Dylan's hand on her shoulder pulling her away from the man gently. Her heart was pounding in her chest, that had come out of nowhere.
"We're getting her arm seen to and then we're going." Mr Jacobs took his wife's hand and sat down on the chair next to her bed, no longer paying them any attention.
Dylan pulled her out of the cubicle. "Are you alright?" He led her over to the desk where there was a tall computer stool and perched her on it.
"I'm fine. He just put his hand on my arm. It wasn't even a tight grip."
"It gave you a shock though." Dylan said knowingly and Sam realised he was checking her pulse. She dislodged his grip so that he was holding her hand instead of checking her pulse.
"I'm fine. Why did you just give in? He needs to face up to reality!"
"Sam, he won't accept the truth. He's not there yet. He's watching the woman he loves disappear in front of his eyes. It's awful, but we can't force her to have the test. I didn't just give in, but he's in a distressing situation and we were making it worse."
Sam's annoyance faded as she took in Dylan's expression and realised why he was looking at her like that, like she was something fragile and precious. "What did they tell you about my prognosis when I was injured?"
"They didn't have to tell me anything Sam." He swallowed painfully and regarded her seriously before surprising her by smoothing back a strand of hair from her forehead.
She grasped tighter to his hand moved by his uncharacteristically affectionate behaviour at work. "We can't just let it go."
"Yes we can. He doesn't want our help. We let him know we are here when he does and we patch her up." He let go of her hand. "And no member of staff is to be alone with them. Safe distance from the husband at all times. I'll handle the reduction and casting of her arm."
"She's my patient!" Sam said annoyed.
"Her husband obviously has a problem with you. I'm taking you off this case; if you disagree we can call up Zoe and see what she would think of it."
"It's her day off! And she'd just side with you." Sam said sulkily.
"Good, glad that's settled." He walked off. Sam stared speculatively back at the cubicle where her patient sat. She considered it for a moment before she shifted and the ache in her back flared suddenly. She shook her head, and although it took an enormous amount of effort, walked the other way.
Later that night Sam shifted uncomfortably on the sofa. "We should really make an announcement."
"Why should we? It's none of anyone else's business." Dylan said in his typical indifferent fashion. He caught her expression and studied her closely. "What's wrong?"
Sam stilled. "It's nothing." She winced and Dylan gave her an incredulous look. "Alright, it's self inflicted. My backs been aching since I dragged that man out of his tractor the other day. It's nothing."
"Yet here you are wincing a few days later. Why didn't you say anything?" Dylan said and took Sam's hand so she was sitting on the edge of the sofa with her feet flat on the floor.
"It shouldn't have mattered. I've done things like that before. Well, not exactly like that, but not so far away. As far as the army goes that was a calm day."
"Well your back already has to deal with the changes of pregnancy, without you deciding to go hauling grown men around. Any nerve pain?"
"No Dylan, I just said, it's just an ache."
"I should do a full examination; you could have irritated an existing injury from the explosion."
"I don't think so." Sam said, rubbing her back absently and hoping Dylan didn't continue to make a fuss. Dylan sat back down beside her and pulled her hand away. His larger hand soon replaced hers, massaging the tight part gently. Sam leant her head back, enjoying the motion of his hand on her back, feeling some of the ache leave. She couldn't help the satisfied moan that escaped her. She tilted her head to look at Dylan and felt a wave of affection for him sweep through her.
"If I were a cat I would be purring right now." She murmured.
"Please go ahead, I wouldn't object to hearing that." He teased.
She turned to face him and he stopped his massage. "You make me so happy." She blurted out without thinking. The second she said it she regretted it. He would hardly be able to say the same after all, what with her drama and moods and all the misery she had brought to their marriage.
He stared at her, stunned into speechlessness for a moment. She looked away from him, down at her lap, where her hands rested. His larger hands covered hers and she looked up at his face. A massive smile was on his face and he pulled her into a hug. She began to relax until she realised he wasn't smiling anymore. He was shaking and she could feel him taking big deep breaths to control himself.
"Dylan?" She said, not wanting to pull away from him but worried all the same.
"When the notification officer came, I thought you were dead." She realised she had hit a nerve somehow and she had unintentionally broken through his iron-clad collection to his real feelings about her injury.
"I'm not dead." She reassured him, rubbing his shoulder comfortingly.
"No. You're here and you're real." He still sounded like he was reassuring himself, like he was still a bit unsure.
"I'm so sorry Dylan. You've been so strong for me. I wouldn't have made it without you…I forgot how hard it's been for you too."
He pulled away and hid his face in his hands. "I'm fine, really. I don't know what's come over me. It was just everything was getting better and then…." Dylan trailed off before turning back to Sam. "I'd have never been happy again."
Sam felt her heart was breaking for him."I love you and I'm not going anywhere." She said simply, wiping the tears off his face even as they fell unchallenged down her own.
"Good." He pulled her in for another hug and this time Sam relaxed into it, allowing the feeling of rightness to wash over her.
Dylan finally pulled away, sitting facing away from her on the sofa. "Well. It's funny the kind of things that can make a man snap like a biscuit." Dylan said uncomfortably.
"Oh mistake Keogh! Did you mention a biscuit?" Sam said knowing Dylan needed a bit of a distraction. "Mine's a Bourbon." She laid out full length on the sofa expectantly. Dylan huffed and walked off to the kitchen.
"How did you know?" Sam said seriously as they left outpatients wing of the hospital and entered the main building. "Did you see something on the first couple of scans?"
"I would have told you if that was the case."
"So how do you explain it?"
"I don't know. I just had a feeling." He said sheepishly.
"A feeling?" Sam stopped dead. "Who are you and what have you done with my husband?"
"Ha Ha. So I was right, do I win anything? Naming rights?"
Sam laughed. "Oh no. Not after what you named your first car."
"Persephone is a lovely name."
She looked at him with amusement. "Yes for a Greek goddess, not for a Ford Fiesta!"
"I think it suited her." Dylan said deadpan.
"No, No, No." Sam muttered.
"Well?" Dixie asked Sam excitedly. Jeff sidled up by the side of her, clearly just as interested but being a bit manlier about it.
Sam couldn't resist, looking around to see if anyone else was about before relenting. "Girl." She said.
"Oh, congratulations love!" Dixie said, hugging Sam excitedly.
"Dylan's going to love that." Jeff remarked with a grin.
"What do you mean?" Sam said, puzzled
"Being outnumbered by the fairer sex." Jeff said with a grin. "You, the baby, even the dog. He's going to be living in a footie free household!"
"He'll survive. Anyway, I'm more into football than he is."
"So does this mean you are finally going to tell everyone?" Dixie said teasingly.
"Tell everyone what?" Louise interjected and Dixie jumped.
"Louise, I didn't see you there."
"Of course not, you were too busy gossiping." She said and Dixie's smile became rather strained.
"Time we were going, I think." Jeff said, grabbing Dixie's arm and pulling her away from the pompous little receptionist who still had the ability to rub his wife the wrong way in less than a sentence.
"Lisa Turners lab results." Louise handed the results to Sam. "Something to tell everyone?"
"I don't think so, excuse me." Sam said distractedly. Dixie was right, it was time to tell everyone and she should probably start with her father.
She went outside and stood staring at her phone for a moment before hitting call. He would probably be busy anyway. She was surprised when he answered straightaway. "Sam! Is everything alright?" He asked anxiously and Sam realised he was probably worried she was calling because of the Adeeb situation.
"Everything's fine. How are Maria and the girls?"
"Oh you know, well. Clemency has taken up kickboxing. Maria is not happy, she thinks it's unladylike."
Sam smiled, imagining her step mothers face at that development. "That's great; I bet she'll really enjoy it. Listen Dad, I have some news for you."
"Dylan and I are going to have a baby."
"A baby? When?" He sounded completely shocked and Sam couldn't resist a grin as very little shocked her father.
"I'm seventeen weeks. My due date is April the 10th."
"So I'm going to be a grandfather? Thanks Sammy, I already feel old enough as it is!" He paused for a moment. "Sam, I'm a bit worried that you're telling me this now."
"What do you mean?"
"Sorry I have to be a bit cryptic but that problem we discussed? The money's in Euro's now."
"How long ago was this?" Sam said, icy cold fear dampening the happiness the scan had brought.
"A week or so."
"Any chance the problem will spread to pounds?" She said, too worried to be self-conscious at the clumsy phrasing she was using.
"Yes. There is that possibility. If that happens I'll send in the accountants. The company are trying to close the account as we speak."
"Right." Sam said her head reeling.
"I'm doing my best to sort this out Sam. Tell Dylan congratulations from me."
"Okay." She said dully.
Sam didn't even bother to say goodbye. She stood there looking at the phone. Adeeb was in Europe. She had thought it was extremely unlikely that he would try and come to Britain. It looked like she had been wrong. And he was coming now, when she would find it more and more difficult to defend herself. She had a sudden flash of fury and threw her phone at the ground with force where it shattered into little pieces. Why did everything have to be so hard?
Lloyd and Zoe, who had been waiting for an ambulance to arrive at the entrance to the E.D., were looking her way in concern. Sam coolly bent down and extracted her sim card from the mess of dead electronic device and walked back into the E.D. ignoring Zoe as she asked her if she was alright. She wasn't, far from it. She was terrified and angry and much as she liked Zoe, Zoe was her boss and Sam knew if she talked to her while she was feeling like this, things wouldn't end well.
Zoe watched her go feeling like she was seeing what Dylan saw for the first time. She had realised on Sam's first day back that the Sam they had now was a different person from the Sam that had gone off to Afghanistan those short months ago, but she had not seen the complete loss of control from the ex army medic before. Even when she had restrained Keith Parr, Sam had always given the impression that she was very much in control, even if she seemed to have been used to different standards of behaviour in the army.
As far as Zoe knew Sam had been having a fairly normal phone conversation, there had been no raised voices anyway and then Sam had hung up and bam. Lloyd was looking at her like she should do something, but she could already hear the approaching ambulance, which had to be her first priority. She briefly wondered if she should suspend her after that little display. After all what if she lost her temper with a patient? It was Zoe's responsibility to protect both Sam and the patients. She decided she needed to talk to her first, gauge her state of mind. If the conversation didn't go well, she'd send her home.
"Sam, a word please." Zoe found Sam in cubicles just finishing up with a young man.
"If this is about earlier…" Sam said, clearly putting up her guard.
"Yes it is. My office please." Zoe ordered, stifling the part of herself that still thought of the office as Nick's, not hers.
"What's going on Sam? That was a bit of a dramatic statement earlier, in public, when you were dressed in a uniform that clearly marked you out as one of the medical staff. What on earth were you thinking?" Zoe asked.
"I'm sorry. It won't happen again." Sam said stiffly.
"Can you guarantee that? Because I'm guessing you didn't mean to do it in the first place."
"No. But I'm fine."
"I don't believe you." Zoe said honestly. "I have a duty of care to both you and the patients under your care. If you can't control your temper I'll have to suspend you."
"You don't need to do that, I'm not a risk to the patients!" Sam took a deep breath and put her hand over her eyes. "I just got some bad news that's all. The phone paid the price."
"What bad news?"
"That's none of your business." Sam said and Zoe stiffened.
"That's where you're wrong. I told you before, you are my responsibility. I saw your face Sam, you looked afraid! Tell me I'm wrong!"
"I'm not afraid!" Sam shouted and Zoe knew she had touched a nerve.
Sam glared at her. "It's to do with… It's… bloody hell Zoe, I can't tell you." Sam stood suddenly at attention and Zoe was completely confused. "I can't tell you what the phone call was about. If that means you have to suspend me, you're going have to do it." She looked sick and Zoe didn't really understand why she didn't want to tell her whatever it was.
"Sam, anything you tell me won't go any further. Please, I just need to understand."
Sam shook her head.
"You aren't leaving me a choice. Go home. I'll have to think about whether I'm going to suspend you or end your contract."
Sam stood there for a moment like she was waiting for Zoe to take it back. She looked devastated but there was no hint of tears. She turned and left silently and Zoe watched her go, knowing this was going to cause major trouble with Dylan.
Dylan frowned in confusion, where was Sam going? They were supposed to finish at the same time today but there she was, dressed in her outside clothes, coat and bag and everything heading towards the exit.
"Sam!" He called and she turned around, looking like she was in two minds whether she wanted to talk to him or not. What had he done now? If this was about moving again….
"Where are you going?" He asked.
"Zoe suspended me. I'm going home." She snapped at him and Dylan realised she wasn't angry with him specifically.
"Why would she do that?" He said quickly.
"Oh I don't know, perhaps because she finally believed all your crap about me having some kind of combat stress reaction. She thinks I've finally looped the loop! I can't deal with this Dylan, not on top of everything else!"
Dylan regarded her with concern, that was the first time she had ever said anything like that. Sam was not normally one for defeatist statements.
A hundred questions ran through his head. "What else?" He blurted out and cursed his insensitivity almost immediately. Sam was going to rip him to shreds for that little gem.
Instead Sam's face crumpled and she stared at the floor. That was much worse than her yelling at him and he opened his mouth to apologise but she got there first.
"I called my dad. I told him about the baby and he told me…." She trailed off and he followed her gaze to see the mouthy receptionist behind him averting her eyes.
"This can wait." Louise said and scuttled off, no doubt to spread the gossip she had just learned about the hospital. Dylan refocused on Sam.
"What did he tell you?" He said and he felt the cold dread return as he stared at Sam's face. She looked guilty now.
"He said Adeeb is coming here. He made it to Europe and he's coming here."
Dylan felt himself take in a breath sharply. He reached out for Sam and took her arm, feeling like time had slowed around them until all he could see was her. He didn't know whether she was steadying him or he was steadying her.
"Dylan." He heard a voice calling him from far away but he couldn't tear his eyes away from Sam.
"It'll be alright." He felt himself say.
Sam shook her head. "I'm sorry." She broke the connection and took off away from him.
"Dylan!" Zoe came to stand beside him. "What's going on?" He struggled to get his emotions under control, unable to respond to her.
"What's the matter?" She said, pulling him to face her and looking alarmed at his expression.
"Is it the baby?" She asked and Dylan shook his head before walking towards the exit. Zoe followed him as he took deep breaths in the freezing cold 'garden'.
"The man who is after Sam is getting closer." He said finally.
"She knows?" Zoe said, looking upset. "That's what she couldn't tell me?"
"It's army business technically. She's still bound by her orders." Zoe closed her eyes in realisation. "That's what she couldn't tell me. She told you!" She said with frustration.
"No." He said starkly. "Her father told me. He's a politician; he does what he wants like all the rest of them. And I needed to know, he's an idiot but he wants to protect her too."
Zoe seemed to come to a decision and Dylan felt her hand, warm upon his shoulder. "Tell Sam I expect to see her on time for her shift tomorrow."
Dylan sat there for a while longer, dazed.
When he got home that night Sam was sitting at the kitchen table but Dervla was damp so she had probably taken her for a walk. Dylan collapsed into a seat.
"This is a nightmare." He said.
"He's not going to win." Sam said defiantly and Dylan felt on much stronger ground. This was the Sam he was used to. "I'm not going to stop living my life. If he gets to Britain that's one thing. But I refuse to jump at small noises and be scared of my shadow."
"You need to carry that gun from now on." Dylan said, hardly believing he was saying it.
"This isn't Hawaii 50 grumpy." Her words were teasing but her eyes were studying the table top.
"Tough. When you run, to and from work, when you're here alone, it needs to be in easy reach."
Sam smiled sadly. "Civilians. They think having a gun solves everything. I know better."
"I just want you to be safe." Dylan got up and moved around to where Sam sat.
"I want to be safe too." Sam said painfully, jumping up into his arms, burying her face in his shirt. Dylan held her close, aware of the small bump between them for the first time. He stroked her back absently.
"I sorted things out with Zoe."
"So we pretend everything is fine."
"Yes. After all, how is he even going to find me?"
"You don't remember your face splashed across the tabloids? A Google search would probably do it." Dylan said facing facts.
Sam smiled. She drew her laptop so that he could see it. She typed in her name. Nothing. She typed in his name. Nothing. Nothing relevant anyway.
"I don't understand." Dylan said unable to resist pressing the search button again.
"The newspaper articles, blog posts, facebook, my twitter account, it's all gone. My email account still works but it's in a comedy name so I think they've left it alone."
"Your father's doing?" Dylan said, feeling a bit better than he had a few minutes ago.
Sam nodded. "It must have been a nightmare though, getting the tabloids and the BBC to take down those articles. I had been wondering why we weren't getting stalked by reporters. If they knew they couldn't publish the story they wouldn't bother."
"But that would take all kinds of legal manoeuvring." He said. It hit him suddenly. "Gray. He must have got one of those injunction things." He felt guilty. He would have to call him to thank him.
"We can do this." Sam said suddenly.
Dylan considered her carefully. He nodded and she got up, digging out a pizza menu and bringing it back to table for them to peruse. He put his hand over her hand and she returned his grip solidly, neither one of them feeling particularly anxious to let go.
Sam stared across the crowded bar, not seeing the person she was searching for. A pair of hands descended onto her shoulders and she jumped, before turning around and hugging the person the hands belonged to as she recognised them.
"Carly! I went for my sidearm you know!"
"Lucky for me you're unarmed then."
"Where is everyone?" Sam said, thinking she must have missed them on the first pass.
"They'll be along in a minute. I wanted to have a word with you first."
Sam frowned. Was Carly finally going to tell her what was going on between Dylan and Jess? She hoped so because Dylan wasn't budging and Sam hated it. She had never felt they had secrets before, even though it sometimes took them time to share things properly they had always got through it gradually. With this issue Dylan seemed quite happy never to tell her what had gone on and that pointed to a problem more serious than whatever was going on with Jess. If they couldn't communicate then their relationship which could get into serious trouble and that scared Sam more than she would ever admit. It was why she kept bugging Dylan about it, which was having the result of making him close off even more.
"What happened between Jess and Dylan?" She said after they had squeezed into a table in the corner with a couple of drinks.
Carly winced and seemed to be choosing her words carefully as she considered Sam's question. "Jess is worried about Dylan."
Sam sat back, puzzled. "Worried about him? Why?"
"When you were away… I think he got a bit lonely…" Carly said slowly.
Sam crossed her arms. "Has Jess been talking to his mother? Because she's a bitch."
"No, Jess doesn't have anything to do with the Keogh's." She seemed to be searching for the right thing to say again. "How much does Dylan usually drink?"
"Drink?" Sam said still confused. "He drinks a bit more than me but no more than any other medic or soldier I know. Bad groups to compare to, I know. He enjoys his red wine and whiskey. I myself am more partial to the vodka." She picked up her glass for emphasis and took a big sip.
"Jess thinks he has a problem. You know about his mother, right? Jess said it can run in families, addictive behaviour."
Sam shook her head in disbelief, finally seeing where Carly was going with this. "You're saying Dylan's some kind of alcoholic? No, that's ridiculous! I've seen patients with alcohol problems, Jess doesn't know what she's talking about."
"Jess knows exactly what she's talking about, she knows addiction. And she's there with him when you're not."
Sam stood up, hurt and anger racing through her. "I can't believe you're saying this!"
Carly stood up too, but she wasn't angry and she put her hands out in a pacifying gesture.
"Look Sam, I'm not having a go. That's just what Jess thinks, she might be wrong, I'm sure you know him best. She's just worried about him. She cares about him; he's the only family she's got."
Sam sat down heavily. "Well she's wrong." She said decisively.
"Okay. I'll leave it with you. Look, there are the others, let's just have a good time tonight eh? For Mark."
Sam nodded, thinking of the young officer she had first met during officer training.
"For Mark." She repeated.
"By the way my transfer finally came through."
"What?" Sam said, mind still on Dylan.
"To the RAVC. I get my dog and start training next week."
"That's great." Sam said. Inwardly she was in pieces. She had definitely been wrong about why Jess and Dylan had disagreed. If they hadn't disagreed over her job, which they clearly hadn't since Carly had just taken on a more dangerous job and she was still going to adopt Millie, then why had they argued? Jess couldn't be right could she?
Sam got back to her hotel room around four in the morning. Ironically the hotel room had been cheaper than the cost of a taxi home. She had enjoyed herself, but her mind had returned, now she was starting to sober up, to what Carly had told her about Dylan. Sam felt sick, she went into the bathroom and sat on the floor, the room spinning around her. Coming home wasn't supposed to be like this. The thought of home had got her through the awful days, the thought of her husband and their dozy dog and their little flat which had become home to them. Now their little flat belonged to someone else and Dylan was a different person to the one she had left. Sam finally gave in and cried. She hadn't cried in Afghan, not once, although she had seen and heard some heart wrenching things. She had tried and failed to save a friend for god's sake and she hadn't broken once. But here, now, she felt so disconnected and confused, like she didn't know which way was up. She was going back in five days. How the hell could she go back like this?
Dylan was working with Fletch in resus. The nurse had a very easy manner, which Dylan was starting to appreciate as it kept the patients out of his hair as he actually diagnosed them. The newly qualified nurse didn't seem as wary of Dylan as he had been though, which was an annoyance.
"Heard you're going to be a dad, Doc." Said Fletch, only just out of range of the patient as Dylan looked on the clinical portal for the patients previous hospital results and he was on the phone to radiology.
Dylan rolled his eyes. That had been quick. "Yes." He said grudgingly, hoping to stop any further discourse on the subject.
"I remember when my wife was pregnant with our first. Every new thing was amazing. Not the cravings though, they were just weird. Chips and ice cream if you can believe that."
"Sam hasn't had that." Dylan said
"Nah, Angela didn't have it with the second either. Course the second was a girl. What are you having?"
Dylan looked over at him. He may be a newly qualified nurse, but he wasn't a teenager. He had three children, or so he told everyone.
"A girl." Dylan gave in finally; it was probably all round the E.D. by now.
"Bad luck mate. She'll have you wrapped around her little finger before she's an hour old." Fletch gave him a grin and paid attention to the phone again as someone came on the other end.
Dylan felt himself actually considering asking Fletch's advice before he shook himself and returned to what he was doing. Three pregnancies, he nearly shuddered. He would be hard pressed to get to the end of this one without Sam killing him. Her mood swings were so bad at the moment he had no idea how to deal with her.
Sam threw up her hands in exasperation before walking off.
"What's up with you two?" Zoe came to stand next to him, picking out a celebrations chocolate from a tin a patient had left as a thank you.
"Sam has decided that we need to move. Apparently my views don't count." Dylan didn't care that he sounded petulant.
"She's trying to make you give up the boat? How dare she! After all, the baby doesn't need a bedroom does she? She can just sleep at the bottom of your bed until she's twenty one." Zoe said mischievously.
"Very funny. I know we need to move eventually, but does it all need to be done at once?" He bemoaned
"Better done now than with a six month old baby." Zoe advised, grabbing her ever present stack of paperwork and a galaxy caramel and making a break for it. Dylan strode off in the opposite direction, refusing to acknowledge perhaps she had a point.
Dylan felt on a very short fuse with this argument, probably because they had been having it for the majority of their married life. Sam was standing in the staffroom waiting for him in an irritated manner. He could see the drive home was going to be delightful. "Come on grumpy."
Dylan was feeling distinctly uncooperative. He didn't mind it when Sam called him grumpy, she usually said it affectionately, but her tone at the moment was not affectionate in the slightest. "Oh you actually want me to come home with you? I thought you wanted to be the one making all the decisions." He turned round and crossed his arms, going slow on purpose.
"Well at least I actually want to make some decisions, not just bury my head in the sand."
"I'm not burying my head in the sand. But why do we need to do everything at your pace?"
"Because your pace is reverse Dylan." Sam said in a particularly patronising tone.
They reached the car and Dylan stood in front of it for a moment. "I think I'll walk."
Sam sighed. "Fine."
Dylan looked at the bright lights on in the boat and sighed. He braced himself for the coming argument and walked in through the unlocked door and locked it behind him. He put the bag of takeaway down on the table.
Sam turned around and instantly looked annoyed. "Dylan, I've cooked! Why didn't you say you were getting takeaway?"
"I just fancied it. Of course I presume this something else you think I'm getting wrong?" He challenged her.
Sam shook her head but didn't say anything else as he sat down at the table and dug into his Chinese. Sam put the sauce on the stir fry she was making and stole one of his prawn crackers before he could blink.
"There's enough for you if you want some." He said grudgingly.
"I'm okay." She said, still clearly annoyed with him and looking at the Chinese like it was her mortal enemy. She stole another prawn cracker and sat down with her stir fry, having glared at him as she put his portion to one side.
"Just because we're back together, it doesn't mean we have to make every decision together. We don't always have to agree." Dylan finally said.
"No, go ahead. Why should I care?" Sam said stonily. Dylan couldn't help rolling his eyes.
They finished dinner which was entirely conducted in silence and cleared up also in silence. They sat down in the sofa at opposite ends, sitting properly, not touching at all. Dylan hated arguing but he wasn't about to give in either. He wasn't going to sit in silence for the rest of the night though. That was the problem with the boat. It was small. He could always go sit in the kitchen he supposed, but that assaulted his pride. They were both arguing, why did he have to be the one banished to the kitchen?
Sam took a deep breath and switched on the TV. He half expected her to put on something he hated to annoy him. Instead she went for university challenge, which he loved. She shuffled along the sofa until she was leaning against him and he instinctively shifted to put his arms around her. He was confused. "I thought we were arguing."
"We are. We can start again tomorrow, okay? I'm tired."
"Right." Dylan said, still confused.
Sam looked at her watch. "In fact, I like that idea, new rule, no arguing after eight o'clock. What do you think?"
"Fine by me." He was surprised to find it was fine. He had always hated arguing with Sam; both of them were stubborn and could hold onto an argument for longer than was healthy. It felt like something had shifted within their relationship, he couldn't put his finger on it but they could never have called a truce like this before they split up. Sam would never have suggested it and he would never have agreed. They had both changed during the time they were apart and after Sam's injury. He stroked Sam's hair gently before letting his hand drop down so it came to rest on her neat but growing bump. Perhaps they might not be so hopeless at being parents as he had always thought.
"You like the boat." Dylan was unable to resist pointing out the next morning at work when he saw her during a brief quiet moment.
"I can swim." Sam pointed out in return.
Dylan was confused but pressed her anyway. "What's that got to do with it? There's no rush to do any of this. And why do we need to buy a house? Why can't we just rent?"
"Why don't you want to buy a house? You've always dragged your feet over this, even…" She lowered her voice as another colleague came to stand next to them. "…even when we were first married. Why?" She challenged him and Dylan could see she was deadly serious about this.
"I'm not dragging my feet. I just don't see what the rush is."
Sam stared at him. "This is the rush Keogh." She gestured to her stomach. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but we do have a deadline here."
"I still don't see…"
"Fine. I for one am anxious to live on a houseboat with a curious toddler. But it's okay; we can both swim and know CPR." She slung the file down on the desk in frustration and walked off.
Dylan watched her go, uncertain where her fears where coming from. It would be a long time until they would have to worry about that, so why was she being so dramatic? It was very out of character.
Zoe had appeared again. "While I'm sure the staff are really enthralled by your personal life, perhaps you could keep the marital spats to outside work?" She handed him a load of paperwork that he looked at and groaned. He would have to take it home tonight.
"I'd rather skip them altogether." He said glumly. Zoe walked away, before sighing and turning back unwillingly.
"Listen Dylan, I want to be sympathetic I do but… Do you remember Adam, the consultant who was leaving just as you started?"
"No. What's that got to do with it?" Dylan tried to remember him, but he wasn't very good with names and the man had obviously done nothing to distinguish himself to Dylan personally.
"He had a little boy, Harry. He was eighteen months old and he drowned. Adam lost everything. His wife, his son, he stayed here for a while afterwards but in the end he had to move on. However careful you think you are going to be accidents happen. Sam isn't trying to make you conform or change. She just sees the boat as a risk she isn't willing to take."
Dylan just looked at her, speechless. Was that what Sam was getting at? He was such an idiot. Why couldn't she have just said that?
"Just buy a house Dylan." Zoe said and walked off, irritated.
Sam stared up at the house, her arms wrapped around herself, her breath frosty in the winter air. "Why are we here Dylan?" She sounded like her patience was running out.
"The house. It's ours." He said, watching her carefully, hoping he had judged this right.
She looked at him in shock for a moment before she gave him a disgusted look. She turned away, laughing mirthlessly. She walked straight past the jeep, seemingly so angry she wasn't paying any attention.
"You don't like it?" Dylan said, the sinking feeling being pushed aside in favour of fixing things with Sam.
She stopped then and turned around. "That's not really the point is it?" She shook her head and turned away from him again. "You don't understand." Now she sounded upset and that was worse than angry, far worse.
"I wanted to… I wanted to apologise for not doing this sooner, but I got everything on the list."
"The list?" Sam wiped away a tear surreptiously as she turned back to him again and Dylan pretended not to see it, as he knew she hated the pregnancy hormones which meant she couldn't control her reactions as she normally would. Dylan hated to see her cry, but he was sometimes grateful that Sam was showing her emotions instead of hiding them away so he didn't know when he'd said something wrong.
Dylan pulled the handwritten list out of his pocket and moved closer to her. "A garden, preferably big, nice combined kitchen dining room, three or more bedrooms…"
She tugged it from his hand, scanning it quickly. "This is from before. When we were looking for a house in Plymouth, it's the list I left you when I was going away for the first time to Germany. How did you…?" She looked conflicted but then her expression hardened. "I've been through this with you before Dylan. You say it's ours but it's not ours, not really. The baby deserves to have a permanent home, not some rented place, no matter how nice it is."
Now Dylan was confused. "It's not rented. I bought it. I said it was ours."
Sam stared at him. "You said The Hollies was ours and it wasn't. I thought…"She was watching him intently now, like she didn't quite believe him.
"Let me show you." He offered her his hand and she took it and allowed him to pull her towards the house. It was a 19th century brick building, the walls half covered in ivy and the sash windows giving it a grand look. She still seemed a bit dazed but at least she didn't look so upset anymore. He extracted the keys from his pocket and she waited patiently as he unlocked the front door and led her into the hall which looked like it still had the original Victorian tiles. Their footsteps echoed in the empty house and Sam looked around with interest, placing her hand on his arm suddenly.
"You bought a house, on your own, without asking me." Dylan swallowed; he had meant it as an apology, not as the massive mistake it had clearly been. This kind of thing was not his strong point.
She smiled at him suddenly, her smile as always causing him to relax and appreciate her beauty all over again. She was hugging him then. "You're bloody lucky it's a really nice house." Dylan hugged her back, letting out a deep breath as he realised that she seemed happy and it looked like he had got away with it.
She let him go. She was still smiling that smile that made him want to give her anything she wanted and he couldn't help the smile that came to his face too as if her happiness was infectious.
"It's so big! How can we afford it?" She said as she followed him to the kitchen. Dylan stopped dead and she nearly walked into him.
"Apparently we need to sit down and have a conversation about money." He said and she looked at him apprehensively.
"We've more or less got through six years of our relationship without talking about money. Why break the habit now?" She said lightly but there was an uncomfortable edge to her voice.
"Because when your contract ends you won't be able to work for a few months. You're going to have to allow me to support you for a while."
"Support me?" Sam sounded like he may as well have just sworn at her. "I don't need to be supported, as you so patronisingly put it."
"Why not? In fact you only work part-time now. We should have already sorted these things out Sam. You were right about the house and this is the next step."
"No. I'm perfectly fine with the way things are and I can look after myself!" He seemed to have touched a nerve but he knew to back down now would be to allow her to avoid the conversation for the foreseeable future. Previously he would have done that, but this was a problem in which he was determined to have his own way. Sam was being irrational.
"That may be so, but we are both responsible for the baby. Would you still be working part-time if you weren't pregnant?"
"Of course not." She looked insulted at the idea.
"Then I don't see the problem. We aren't housemates sharing the rent and bills anymore Sam. We're married with a baby on the way. It's not unreasonable for us to join things up properly."
She rubbed her forehead. "Dylan, I don't want to rely on you in that way. I'm not going to be one of those women who has her husband's credit card and lives the life he can afford. We're supposed to be equal partners."
"We are equal. I rely on you. Why shouldn't you rely on me?" Dylan tried to keep the hurt out of his voice. "Would it be so bad?"
"You don't rely on me. You got along perfectly well without me." Sam sounded certain of this.
"You really have no idea do you? I was miserable without you." He admitted, feeling uncomfortable.
"You said you were miserable when we were married." Sam said softly, looking like this upset her. She moved away from him self consciously, pretending to examine the view from the window. Dylan was confused for a moment before realising that she was remembering his rash words from a year ago, after the fire. It told him just how much he had hurt her.
"I was miserable when you were away, not because you made me unhappy."
Sam regarded him carefully, obviously trying to process this. He could see she desperately wanted to believe that. She moved to stand in front of him, placing her hand on his chest. "I'm not very good at relying on other people."
"That's not really news to me Sam." He said and she broke out into a smile.
She looked around, not moving her hand. "This needs a bit of work if we're going to be in here before the baby is born."
"Leave it to me." Dylan promised.
Sam looked at him in disbelief. "Did you qualify as a kitchen fitter while we were separated?"
"Er… I'm not doing it myself. I'm going to pay people who actually know what they're doing. Because I would like our house not to fall down" Dylan said and Sam laughed.
"Good thinking grumpy."
Sam was looking forward to getting home tonight. Both she and Dylan had a couple of days off and most of that time would be spent on their new house, working out what needed to be done before they moved in. Sam couldn't help smiling at the thought. They would finally have a permanent home and Sam hoped it would mark a new beginning for them as a couple.
Sam turned at the sound of Louise calling her and took a mental deep breath. The woman seemed to think as she had problems with her hearing everything needed to be shouted. Every other member of staff treated her normally.
"No need to shout Louise." She repeated.
"Of course not doctor. There's a man here to see you."
"He said he's a colleague of yours from the army."
Sam's heart sank. Ian, it must be. She really didn't need this now. If Dylan even suspected the soldier who had given evidence at her hearing was the man she had broken her vows with it would bring everything back to the surface, and she was not sure he had ever really forgiven her, he had just buried it so deep that he didn't have to think about it anymore. She had to keep them apart. She dropped the patient file she had been writing notes in and followed Louise out to the waiting area, approaching the casually dressed man writing a text in front of the reception desk.
"Ian." She surveyed him carefully, unsurprised to find she was a little happy to see him, despite the problems. They had always got on well. They were very alike in some ways. He was the Ian she remembered, handsome and relaxed, the Ian who had been her best friend out in Afghan before things got so complicated.
"My phone met with a bit of an accident and I haven't replaced it yet." She turned and walked towards the outside entrance to the E.D. and he fell into step beside her.
"So how are you? I was there when they brought you into Bastion. I didn't think you were going to make it."
Sam pulled her oversized hoodie closer around her as they came out into the cold November air grateful for its voluminous nature which was successfully hiding her pregnancy. "I nearly didn't. I was lucky Ian. And of course I had the best medical team in the British Army."
"Nah. That was me and you Nicko." He grinned at her and nudged her with his shoulder.
"Yes." She looked back to E.D. "I haven't got long."
"You're back with him, aren't you?" Ian pulled her to face him and was suddenly very close to her.
"Yes." Ian took her hand to survey her wedding ring.
She closed her eyes, wondering how to put this. "You were my best friend Ian. I wouldn't have got through it without you, but Dylan…." She looked away, leaving him still holding her hand. "He's my husband and there's a history there that you could never compete with. You know that don't you?"
He didn't step back, instead using his hand to bring her face back towards him gently. "You were my best friend too. I'm going to miss you. I get the feeling if we had never spent that first night together you would still be my best friend."
"You might be right. Are you going back?" Neither of them was in any doubt to where she was referring to.
"Till they kick me out." Sam nodded and he let go of her hand. "I'm glad you're okay. I guess I just had to see for myself. Goodbye Sam."
"Goodbye Ian." She stepped back and he walked away. She watched him go, before turning back to the E.D. entrance. Dylan was standing there watching her, his face as unreadable as she had ever seen it. She walked towards him and stopped beside him, expecting him to say something. He didn't look in her direction, keeping his eyes fixed on a far off point. She shook her head and walked straight past him, knowing his MO by now.
She went back and was stopped by Louise. "Dr Keogh was looking for you."
"Well he found me. Thanks for that." She snapped at her before retrieving the patient notes from where she had left them, feeling nauseous. The whole conversation had taken less than a few minutes, but it felt like it had the potential to reopen a gaping wound in her marriage which had never really healed, had just scabbed over. She started to finish her notes but the words started swimming in front of her eyes. She left them again, this time to compose herself in the ladies.
These bloody hormones, she was not a crier she told herself as she once again found herself leaning against the cubicle wall with her hand over her mouth trying to stifle the tears she knew she wasn't entitled to be crying. It was her mistake, her fault and she knew he was paying for it, even now. How she felt was nothing to what she had done to him. Dylan took his time, he didn't trust easily, but when he did he did so wholeheartedly. He had loved her without reservation and she had let him push her away. She had let him down. She wished once again to go back and change what she had done. She wished she could give her younger self a good talking to. It was the worst mistake of her life. The crying was giving her a headache and making her nausea worse. She had to get herself under control. Instead it was all going through her head, Ian and Dylan and the man she had killed and Ryan who she still hadn't visited and Sarah and Jonny and the man who wanted her dead until she felt she needed to scream.
"Sam? Sam are you in here?" Sam went silent quickly, listening, hoping Tess would leave her in peace at the same time as she didn't really want her to go.
"Sam are you okay? Louise said you were upset." Sam couldn't help rolling her eyes. That woman was completely oblivious to everyone else's feelings except it appeared, the time they most wanted her oblivious. She dashed at her eyes quickly, finding control was not so out of her reach now there was someone else to put on a front for.
"I'm okay. I just felt a little nauseous and upset. I'll be out in a minute." Sam said, hoping that was a strong enough dismissal. Tess was silent but she didn't leave and Sam realised she was going to have to come out and face her.
She went straight past Tess to the mirror. "Stupid hormones. Driving me nuts." She said cheerily, splashing water onto her face to try and shift the tear marks. Tess handed her some paper towels to dry her face.
"Louise said you had a visitor. A former colleague?"
"Yes. We served together in Afghanistan." Sam tried to control herself but she could feel the tears sneaking up on her again.
"Brought it all back again?" Tess said sympathetically and Sam felt like a fraud. She shook her head. "I slept with him while I was married to Dylan. It's the reason we split up." She blurted out, unwilling to let Tess think this was related to her army service, and therefore deserving of any kind of sympathy. "Dylan never knew who it was I cheated with. And now I think he does. All I do is hurt him." She was becoming incoherent again now and Tess was quick to step forward with a hand rubbing her arm.
"I'm sure that's not true. Dylan loves you. You should have seen him when he showed me your twelve week scan. I've never seen him smile so much." Sam was taken aback by this.
"He told you about the baby after the twelve week scan?" She regarded Tess with new eyes. If Dylan trusted her enough to tell her about the baby before everyone else maybe she knew what she was talking about. "Am I being a drama queen?" Sam said suddenly. "Never mind." She said before Tess could answer. She returned once more to the sink and cold water, trying again to get herself under control. "I feel a bit ridiculous. I'm not normally the crying kind of girl. And now I've gone and told you personal stuff I'm sure you didn't want to know. I was just really upset, I'm sorry"
"When I was pregnant with Sam, my son, I once sobbed for an hour because we had run out of custard creams. I was inconsolable." Tess said and Sam laughed in spite of herself. "Blame the hormones, that's what I did." Sam took a deep breath and nodded. "This thing with Dylan, he might be angry, but I don't doubt you'll sort it out."
"How are you so sure?" Sam asked her.
"This is all in the past, however much it hurts, you and the baby are his future, and he knows that." Tess passed her another paper towel and she blotted at her face, feeling like her seesawing emotions were evening out a little.
"Thanks Tess." She said. Tess gave her a little smile and left and Sam took another deep breath and followed her out before she could change her mind.
Sam went home and stood in the kitchen of the boat, turning on the radio and staring out of the window at the driving rain.
She decided to warm up something from the freezer, she couldn't be bothered cooking properly she was too drained by her little outburst and the uncertainty of what may be still to come. She changed and showered, allowing the hot water to soothe away her back ache, which was still bothering her three weeks after her little escapade at the farm. By the time Dylan was due home she was tucked up cosily on the sofa with half an eye on some American sitcom she hadn't seen before.
She startled awake to the feeling of the sofa dipping next to her and the press of lips against her forehead. She opened her eyes and looked into his. He had that same unreadable expression he had when he had seen her with Ian earlier for a moment, before he smiled at her and Sam relaxed. Maybe he hadn't worked it out.
"Wakey wakey sleepyhead. You haven't even had dinner yet."
"I'll have to take that program off my list of things to watch. I was asleep within two minutes." Dylan offered her his hand and she used it to pull herself upright and her swing her legs over the side. Sam stood up but she suddenly felt the oddest sensation and let out a little gasp, clutching her stomach instinctively.
"What is it?" Dylan had his arm around her waist in a second, probably worried she was going to faint, his casual expression replaced by one of worry. Sam grabbed his hand and brought it to her stomach quickly.
"I think she kicked!" Dylan looked relieved. Sam felt it again and Dylan expression changed to one of confusion as he flexed his hand on her stomach.
"I could feel her." He said slowly.
"I thought I was feeling her move, but I thought I was imaging it, it feels so odd. She definitely kicked." Sam laughed; delighted by the new sensation and by the proof of their unborn daughter's fighting spirit. Dylan was still standing incredibly close, his arm still curled around her waist and she kissed him on impulse, putting her arms around his neck. He moved his other hand from her stomach and used it to pull her closer deepening the kiss.
The Hollies, 2010
Sam watched her husband carefully. He had done a morning surgery and she had been for a run with Dervy. Sam had found it really weird, though her neighbours had not recognised her, they had recognised Dervy and so she had been greeted by a smile by everyone she saw. She had even been stopped three times to talk about the baby she had delivered. The people of Carybrooke clearly thought they had got a two for one deal when they had acquired their new doctor.
"Let's go out for lunch?" Dylan had said and Sam had agreed. They had walked to the local pub, where the food wasn't bad to be honest. Sam had felt herself watching Dylan as he ordered alcohol with their meal and had hated herself for even thinking what Carly had said was true. He had seemed a bit surprised she wasn't drinking too but he had not let it spoil his fun. Sam knew if it was not for what Carly had said she would be drinking along with him without a second thought.
When they got back to the house Dylan clicked the radio on and there was a song they liked playing.
'I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems'
He held out his hand and bowed and she laughed at his behaviour trying to put her fears aside and just enjoy the time with her husband in the here and now. This was their first dance in their new home and she was leaving again in four days. Jess was wrong. This was her Dylan.
Dylan felt out of place and awkward. He looked around the church at the mourners. There were so many there had been loudspeakers set up outside church. He couldn't help feeling he didn't deserve to be there, that maybe someone who had actually known Lieutenant Mark Radcliffe should be sitting in his place. That didn't mean he would leave of course. He had married an amazing woman and she needed to be here to say goodbye to her friend. It was times like these when Dylan really appreciated what a male dominated profession Sam was in.
Dotted all over the large church were people dressed just like him and Sam. One person in uniform and one person in black. What was different with him and Sam was that she was the one in full dress uniform, not him. They probably weren't the only ones. It just really struck him then, hard, like it did once in a while when he wasn't expecting it, that he was only one stray bullet, one missed IED, one helicopter crash from walking behind her flag draped coffin himself.
He felt the now familiar panic fill him at the thought. He really needed a drink. He deserved one after this, definitely. The widow was unbelievably young, clutching a young child tightly to her chest, unable to summon the strength to quiet his babbling. She was young enough to start over. She had her child, a living reminder of the man she had lost. She still had a life ahead of her. What would he have, if he was in her place? He couldn't start again, he wasn't capable of it. He had taken one chance in his life and he couldn't see himself making the same decision now.
Sometimes he wished he never met her and then he felt unbelievably guilty because he loved her, he really did, but she came with this massive risk that he was no longer sure he was capable of standing. She sensed it too, he knew she did, sensed his doubt and his desire to pull away. He kept telling himself it was only three more years, but the truth he didn't want to admit to her and himself, was that he didn't think he was capable of lasting three more years. When she went to Afghanistan again, he wasn't sure he would be here when she came back.