Chapter One - Complicated
A re-write of my two favourite characters lives. Hope you enjoy.
Clipping herself into the flimsy harness with a steadiness of hand that only came with years of practice; she peeked over the edge and shuddered delicately.
The drop was well over 100 metres down, from the top of the once white rickety bridge to the seemingly tiny boat 'parked' on the river below them.
Suddenly her many years of abseiling from various heights seemed to count for nothing.
And although she knew she would feel far better once she was actually doing the abseiling, she also knew that it was the wait she always hated.
However, usually whoever she was 'dropping' with at least attempted to make the wait shorter for the both of them
It went without saying that this time her company didn't help her at all.
Watching him, Sam found it amusing that even though they both knew he had never been abseiling before, he still tried to pretend that he knew what he was doing – despite the two needed attendants checking his harness (the third of the original three had left almost bursting into tears, after one of Dylan's surprisingly less snarky remarks).
Finally able to wrench her head away from his direction, she closed her eyes and muttered the same sentence to herself over and over again – attempting to distract herself from Dylan.
"It's for charity. It's for charity. It's for charity," and though he could not hear her words, Dylan heard the faint murmuring and glanced in her direction.
"Scared, Samantha?" He asked, not altogether unkindly, but with a definite smirk in his voice, referring to her face screwed up in concentration.
Her eyes snapped open at the statement, almost offended at the insinuation.
"Never!" She returned with a confident smile – but one that wasn't reciprocated on the inside.
And it was true in one sense – the abseiling itself gave her no sense of fear.
It was the fact that (for the first time ever) she was alone with Dylan, outside of work.
The worst part was that it wasn't an altogether unpleasant feeling.
Just stood there, with her mind wandering amongst fantasy lands, it wasn't until she noticed the instructor was starting to give them the safety warning that she brought herself sharply back to reality.
Finally, they were both ready, positioned to take the single step back at the whistle.
Sam readied herself.
Glancing at each other, an unspoken competition to be the fastest emerged instantly.
Sam bent her legs slightly and perfected her grip.
And then the whistle blew.
At the beginning, Dylan headed the impromptu 'race', but only for the first few moments, and even then simply due to his larger body mass, but Sam's years of practice, and better technique – not to mention the fact that she lived for the adrenaline rush the speed gave her – meant that slowly she inched ahead until she landed on the boat mere seconds ahead of him.
Refraining from laughing out loud at Dylan's slightly put-out expression, she merely unhooked herself from the mass of ropes and wires with an experienced hand, and walked off, leaving him entangled within his own ropes, and two brand new attendants coming to unhook him.
Sipping from a bottle of water, Sam watched Dylan out of the corner of her eye (something she found herself doing more and more often recently), smiling slightly as he argued with the café cashier over what exactly he wanted in his sandwich.
The poor boy was nearly in tears – an apparent habit of strangers near Dylan.
Noticing him finally finishing his rant at the unfortunate teenage boy, Sam forced herself to look away from him, as he passed by her and headed for the door.
Watching his steadily retreating back, she ducked her head, reminiscing on the past.
She remembered the first time they met, just over five months ago.
She remembered feeling so small beside the Great Dr Keogh.
She remembered he looked interesting.
Yet she also remembered that – whilst all the other medical students had shied away from the 'Great Grump' (her personal nickname for him, used only when she was alone – she didn't want the name to reach back to him, despite the nagging feeling in the back of her mind that he already knew about it), more than slightly scared of his … well, just scared of him.
She remembered that she knew there must be more to him than the surface, the shield, he portrayed to the wider world.
She remembered she wanted to be the first one to see behind his shield.
What she doesn't remember is when she found everything just so complicated.
What she doesn't remember is when everything changed.
What she doesn't remember is when she stopped seeing him as just her mentor, or her friend.
What she doesn't remember is when she started to fall in love with him.
Now frowning once again, Sam shook her head violently to clear it of such thoughts, ignoring the strange looks from those sat near to her.
In the months that they had worked and studied, day by day, side by side they had become as close to friends as anyone was going to get with the ever-grumpy Dr Dylan Keogh.
She didn't want to ruin that.
No matter what her feelings.
No matter how strong.
Finishing her drink, she placed the now empty bottle in the bin, and headed in the same direction as Dylan – the way she believed was the exit.
Five minutes and numerous turns later, Sam had to admit – even if only to herself – that she was well and truly lost.
Finally, just as she was at the point of deciding the pros and cons of simply shouting, and seeing if anyone could hear – someone strode around the corner of the previously deserted corridor.
And, of course, who would it be but Dylan.
He raised an eyebrow at her – stood nervous and alone in the middle of an empty corridor, but, for once, said nothing, instead waiting for her to explain herself to him.
"I was … lost," she blurted out after about twenty seconds of silence, but even as she spoke it sounded like a lame excuse – and she knew it was true without exception as well.
Mumbling incoherently as she made to leave, her shoulder brushed faintly against his, and she turned slightly.
And he was just … there.
She couldn't help herself.
Making a spur of the moment decision, she leant in and kissed him.
It was only on the cheek, and she pulled away almost instantly – blushing a furious red, and stammering out her numerous apologies.
She wasn't sure what she expected him to do - walk off, or never mention it again were at the top of her list though.
What she didn't expect was him to lean in and kiss her in return, just as lightly at first but quickly more furious.
Separating only when eventually they both felt the need to breathe, they just stood in total silence, as the realisation of what had just happened swept over them, made the room seem that much smaller.
"That felt … nice," Sam whispered not wanting to break the silence that now fully permeated the room, a pale flush creeping unbidden across her neck and chest.
"Yeah…" Dylan agreed, his voice trailing off – not being known for his eloquence even at the best of times.
"But we should try again. You know, just to make sure." Sam continued – more confidence now than before.
A nod was his only reply – words no longer needed as they leant in for a third kiss.
Closing her eyes and melting into the kiss, Sam idly wondered how she ever found it just so complicated.
For another four months, not a single person suspected a thing.
At work, their dynamic did not change at all – and all still believed they were simply still just mentor and student.
No one noticed any secret glances, or hidden kisses, or concealed touches – simply because they didn't exist to begin with.
So it was really by chance that anyone discovered anything at all.
Well, if chance was eight years old and called Emily anyway.
Thank you for reading, please review,