sorry for the break but I've been busy with life and not feeling particularly inspired. But I think Lily's the most interesting character we've had since Dylan (although she will never compare), hopefully she won't go all soppy and normal too quickly

Dylan held up Bella's mug, "Coffee?"

Bella looked up, she was sat on the table in the staffroom, pretending to be interested in a medical journal, "No I'm fine."

Dylan raised an eyebrow, Bella never went without coffee, "Sure?"

Bella lowered the medical journal, "What's that supposed to mean?"

Dylan shrugged, pouring out the coffee, "You didn't sleep much last night."

Zoe laughed, "Oh really?"

Bella rolled her eyes, "Funny Zoe. Are you saying I look tired?"

Zoe shook her head, "Now you've torn it."

As usual Dylan neglected to reply, not wishing to wind Bella up any more than he had inadvertently done already.

Bella slid off the table, "Zoe, do I look tired?"

Zoe made a tactful face, "No comment."

"So I look tired. Thanks."

Zoe realised that she might have made an error with her choice of words, "I mean, you look perfectly fine for someone who has a baby keeping them up all night."

Dylan smiled, "Fancy digging that whole any deeper Zoe?"

Bella scowled, "Thanks for the support."

Zoe laughed, "Sorry Bells. And the consultant meeting is in five minutes, are you coming? I've got a few sheets of paperwork for you to sign."

Bella was pretending to sulk, "I don't know, maybe I should have some coffee. Or go home and back to bed."

Zoe pulled the medical journal that Bella was now scowling at furiously out of her hands, "Come on. There's an E.D full of patients who won't treat themselves."

Dylan drank his coffee, "In that case I'll skip the meeting and actually get on with my job-"

Zoe interrupted, "Uh uh, you're not getting out of it this easily."

Bella rolled her eyes, "When did you become such a slave driver?"

Zoe sighed with a slight smile, "You know, you two can be so impossible. It's just a five minute meeting."

Dylan grumbled, following the two female doctors out of the staffroom, "That's what it starts as, before you know it and we're-"

Bella sighed, "Stop whining Dylan."


Zoe laughed, shaking her head, "As I said, you two can be impossible."


Bella was working her way through a thick wad of paperwork that required her to sign at different places on each page. Dylan was doing his best not too look bored. "You said a few sheets?" Zoe ignored her, she was discussing staffing plans for the next month. They were interrupted by a knock, and the door to Zoe's office opened, it was Noel, "Hi Zoe, this is one of the new F2's-"

A young Asian woman stepped confidently through the door, "Dr Lily Chow, please to meet you Dr Hanna."

Zoe smiled warily at the young woman's so-confident-it-was-almost-aggressive manner, "Hi, this is Dr Ashford Dr Keogh and Dr Jordan, two of our senior consultants."

Bella smiled with what was nearly fake warmness. Dylan didn't even bother to offer his hand for the new doctor to shake. Ash just frowned, "We've met."

Lily nodded, "Indeed."

Zoe raised her eyebrows at Bella, and pulled what must have been Lily's CV from a file on the table. Bella was impressed, Zoe must be getting organised. Zoe scanned the first page before asking, "So you've come to us after a six month rotation in gerantology?"

"Yes, that is correct."

Ash asked, "How was it?"

"Old people are either very sweet or very rude."

Bella raised her eyebrows, avoiding looking at Ash, Dylan or Zoe in case making eye contact with either of them prompted a giggle, "I think Dr Ashford meant medically."

Lily answered without looking towards Bella, "By the time they get to that age you are not really curing them as much as maintaining them."

Ash sighed, "I trust you wouldn't say that to an elderly patient."

"No. I would get stuck talking to them for hours if I did."

Dylan snorted with laughter that was quickly concealed as a cough as both Zoe and Bella shot him a warning look.

Zoe stood up, "Is this your first E.D placement?"

Lily nodded, "Yes."

"What are you expecting?"

"All of human life."

Ash continued the questioning, "And you think you can cope with that?"

Lily nodded, again slightly aggressively, "Of course, a human body is a human body, there are pretty much only so many ways that it can be fixed, and so many ways that it can be broken down."

Bella tried again not to smile, and almost succeeded, "That's not strictly true. Sometimes there isn't a right or wrong answer, you'll work that out pretty quickly here."

"Yes, but if one thing doesn't work, you try another, and if nothing works, they die. That's an absolute."

Ash was looking wearier by the moment, "And what do you hope to get out of your time here?"

"After completing my training and doing a couple of counrty jobs, I'd like to be living in the countryside with my husband."

Zoe raised her eyebrows, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realise you were married."

Lilly shook her head, "My future husband. Whoever that may be. By then I'll be specialising in dermatology"

"Why dermatology?" Bella was curious, although she didn't actually want to know the answer and she was worried that if she didn't say something she would end up laughing.

"It's where the money is. It's a particular interest of mine. I'm making a blog about skincare. What moisturiser do you use?"

Bella answered flatly, "I don't." She smiled, "Zoe?" She didn't bother asking Dylan or Ash.

Zoe was trying desperately to think of a way of ending the conversation without being rude, "A very expensive one."

Lily addressed Bella, "You are looking a little dry, there are some excellent products out there based around animal placenta, I use them myself. I'll get you some."

"I don't really do the whole moisturiser thing, or the whole meat thing either, so I'll give that a miss."

Zoe coughed, "Right, anyway, Dr Ashford here is going to be your mentor. I'm sure you will learn a lot from him."

Ash looked at Zoe with horror. Lily missed the look, "Excellent. Where can I get a uniform?"

Ash and Lily exited through the door and Bella, although she felt sympathetic for Ash, did feel slightly relieved that the onerous task had been dumped on her. "For a moment there I thought you might give her to me."

"Na, I want her to leave this E.D with all four limbs attached."

"Self absorbed and arrogant and-"

Zoe gave her warning smile, "Bella..."

Dylan piped up, "I like her."

Bella swatted Dylan on the arm, "You would. Does my skin look dry? Should I use a moisturiser?"

Dylan just laughed.

Bella ignored him, turning to Zoe, "I'm being serious?"

"You're fine. Not that I'm and expert." And then she laughed.

Bella scowled, "I don't get the joke." She'd finished the paperwork. She dropped the pen and picked up her set of notes, "If you'll excuse me, I've got work to do."

Zoe waited for the door to slam with raised eyebrows, "Is she all right?"

"She didn't sleep at all last night. But it's Bella, what's new?"

"You didn't exactly help."

Dylan frowned, "What's that supposed to mean?"

"You called her tired."

"She is tired."

Zoe shook her head, realising that tactfulness really was beyond Dylan's understanding. "Never mind."