Really, Rosemary blamed Kensington. If Kensington hadn’t been the locale of Kensington Gardens and if they both hadn’t had some sort of deep-seated off-the-rocker belief that doing a job near Kensington Gardens was, by way of some cosmic transitive property, tantamount to doing a job in Kensington Gardens, then they wouldn’t have agreed to a ludicrous scheme to plant aquatic life for an indoor river hallway for a man who turned out to be poisoning his great-aunt.
“I am sick of watching you get shot at!” expostulated Rosemary as she helped load Laura’s stretcher into the ambulance.
“Well, I am sick of watching you get shot at!” snapped Laura as the paramedics pulled Rosemary back onto her own gurney and slapped gauze on the gaping wound in her forearm.
“It’s just a flesh wound!” Rosemary grumbled, and then they bickered about it so much that the paramedics asked them how long they’d been married before they were even out of the van.
It was saying something, Rosemary thought, that they neither of them so much as batted an eye at this supposition anymore, though given that one of the medics proceeded to give Laura his phone number, perhaps they weren’t as convincing as she thought. And it in no way bothered her that Laura was constantly getting phone numbers, really. Of course people hit on her, she was still young, perfectly attractive, and possessed of the kind of glowing, full-bodied smile that made men lose their train of thought in mid-speech. Rosemary had seen it above half a dozen times, oh, yes, she knew no one was prepared for the full force of Laura Thyme’s smile. It was full on Jedi-strength, if she knew anything about smiles. So of course she was going to get hit on. It was just—
“—Does it have to be in the hospital of all places?” she said while they carted the two of them into the examination room. “You could sue him for harassment!”
“I’m not going to sue him for harassment,” scoffed Laura. “He’s got a very intense job, he’s under a lot of pressure! Judgment’s probably impaired.”
“Oh, that’s comforting. And stop being so self-deprecating, it only makes men want you more.”
“Oh, do tell,” said Laura, waggling her eyebrows.
“Stop that!” Rosemary tried to swat her from her gurney but couldn’t reach. “I forbid you to make come-hither eyes at people while you’re bleeding from a gunshot wound!”
“You’re the one who just had to add the indoor river hallway to your portfolio,” Laura reminded her.
“Well, you’re the one who kept asking if he knew the queen!”
“I’m still not sure he doesn’t know the queen, you know all those royals are poisoning one another.”
“Can we get back to the discussion about not getting shot,” said Rosemary sternly, “before we get into the discussion where you get us both arrested for slandering the monarchy?”
Laura hmphed and fell silent in what Rosemary recognized as indignation but which probably looked to their doctors like blood loss.
“You can faint but we’re still finishing this conversation!” she objected. “Later!”
“Mm-hmmk,” said Laura, before passing out.
The hospital released Rosemary but kept Laura overnight for observation, which was a state of affairs Rosemary didn’t like one bit. The obvious thing to do, then, was to grab a cab, fetch Laura’s things for an overnight stay, and then hop in the Range Rover and return to the hospital.
But naturally the Range Rover refused to start and refused to start, and suddenly after the third attempt at cranking the engine, Rosemary found herself bursting into tears. It just figured, of course, that the Range Rover wouldn’t start until she’d had a good cry over the whole thing, because honestly, she really hated it when Laura put herself in danger, or when Laura was getting held at gunpoint, or being shot at, or when Laura wasn’t able to joke if off over a cup of tea because she’d been shot and was lying in a hospital bed somewhere where Rosemary wasn’t, and it was just all too awful.
“Fine,” she sniffled at last to her recalcitrant vehicle. “Will you start if I admit that I’ve g-grown attached to Laura?” She gave the wheel a hopeful jerk. “It’s just she’s ever so—quite a wonderful person, really. One might even say that—oh, bugger this, I’m not confessing my love to a sodding car.” And she kicked the undercarriage twice, cranked the engine, and was off.
At the hospital, Laura was under a hilarious amount of painkillers, but she still beamed, sort of, when she saw Rosemary and tried to snuggle her hand.
“Do the yelling thing again,” she said woozily.
“The yelling thing?”
“The thing where you yell at me in order to disguise how worried you are because deep down you really like me.”
Rosemary suppressed a laugh. “If you already know how I feel then I don’t need to yell, do I?”
Laura looked up at her and winked like they had a secret. “No,” she slurred, “but it’s really hot.”
Rosemary’s jaw dropped.
“Ooh, now you’re blushing,” Laura said interestedly. Feeling guilty for being the only one of the two of them who was sober, Rosemary tried to extricate her hand; but instead of releasing it, Laura took it and rolled over onto the opposite side of the bed, pulling most of Rosemary with her. Rosemary spilled over onto her thigh and then awkwardly repositioned herself so she was settled along the opposite bed railing, Laura still clutching her hand.
“S’nice,” said Laura, shutting her eyes.
Rosemary hesitated for a moment, then leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.
“Ooh,” said Laura again.
“You’re silly, now go to sleep.”
“You like me,” Laura crooned.
“I’m just fond of your horticultural expertise,” said Rosemary.
“I’m not so doped up I don’t know that’s a come-on,” Laura said contentedly. “I bet you’re just bursting with flower-related innuendo.”
“Oh my god,” said Rosemary.
"Remember that guy who wanted us to do the landscaping to look like Georgia O'Keefe?" Laura's head lolled lazily. "Mmm hmm. He knew what ws what."
"I'm not going to exchange flower-related innuendo with you while you're high on painkillers, now go to sleep," said Rosemary, but she was smiling.
"But later, yeah?" asked Laura, not sounding uncertain at all.
"Oh, come off it," said Rosemary, laughing, and, "Maybe. We'll see," and, "But you're not getting shot at any more, all right?"
"'kay," said Laura muzzily. "You stick around and remind me in the morning."
Se closed her eyes. Rosemary squeezed her hand for a long moment.
"I'll stick around and remind you every morning," she said.
And she did.