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The Law of Gravitation

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Bill will never forget the first time she sees her.

She's in the middle of her favourite riff in one of their top singles when her eyes fall to a girl in the front row, a girl staring up at her. A girl with a star in her eye.

Bill smiles through the words she's singing, keeping eye contact with the girl and trying not to think about how she nearly missed several notes the moment they met eyes.

There's no shortage of pretty girls at their concerts - Bill can't afford to get distracted by them all, and to her credit, she's gotten a lot better at it over the last six months. Her first few shows had been vaguely disastrous, much to Theo and Nardole's exasperation, and Missy's great amusement.

Bill forces herself to look away from the girl with the star in her eye, and focus on her damn job. She catches Missy regarding her with a large smirk, though, and flushes a bit at having been caught out.

Still, Bill can't resist sending the girl one last grin as they finish the last song of their set for the night and head offstage.

"Good job, Pottsie, you've finally learned to gay multitask," Missy says to Bill as she loops their arms together. "Proud of you."

"Thanks," Bill says, with a little laugh.

"You didn't even miss a note."

"I know!"

"You know what?" Nardole asks, appearing beside them.

"Don't you worry your little bald head about it, egg boy," Missy tells him, smirking, patting the head in question, "you just keep being the bizarrely talented drum master that you are."

"Nothing bizarre about it, babe," he says, grinning before heading off towards his dressing room. Missy snorts.

Bill watches him go. "Seriously, where did Theo find him?"

"Through River," Missy says, tilting her head to the side. "It's difficult to explain, and I'm not completely sure I understand it myself. Still, he's wicked on the drums, and that's all that matters, really. Besides, as much as I hate to admit it, he somehow rounds out our odd little group."

"Speaking of Song, is she gonna be around?" Bill asks, trying not to look too hopeful. It's not like they don't all know about her stupid little crush on Theo's (secret) wife, but that doesn't mean she has to be obvious about it.

"Why would I know?" Missy asks, rolling her eyes. "When does anyone know? That woman just turns up, it's nothing to do with me."

They part ways to get some refreshments from their dressing rooms, and breathing room before the after show meet and greets. Bill splashes some water on her neck and chugs half of her water bottle. She can't help but hope, as she heads for the meet and greets, that the star girl will be there.

She isn't.

That's okay, though, because from the moment Bill walks into the room, there are squealing young women beaming at her, their eyes alight just from her presence.

She relishes getting to meet every single one. A lot of them tell her how she's such an inspiration to them, how her being open about her sexuality helped them a lot with their own.

The whole 'lesbian icon' thing? It's kind of weird, and a bit much at times, but mostly, Bill loves it. She loves meeting all the younger queer girls who look at her with hopeful, bright eyes. Girls she's helped just by existing in the public eye and talking about how she loves women.

Of course, the odd one asks the inevitable question.

Are you and Missy… you know?

Bill is an old hat at tapping her nose and throwing them a wink, grinning and saying, "If I told you that, she'd have to kill me."

She'll always end up looking over at Missy, who is on the other side of the room, and Missy will catch her eye and blow her a kiss, fueling the rumours as much as ever.

Of course, that's rather the point. Any questions about their romantic lives? They reveal nothing. Theodore might be married, but no one outside of the inner management circle knows that. Theo and Missy also have a thing going on, but again, it's a secret.

Nothing actually is going on between Missy and Bill, aside from the odd drunken kiss, which Bill is both mildly disappointed and immensely relieved by. Missy might be obscenely attractive, but Bill isn't sure that she could actually handle Missy in any kind of one-on-one capacity in that respect.

And then there's Nardole, who calls them all "babe" or "babydoll". (He snuggles everyone, but the only people he's shagging are some of the weirder fans, much to everyone else's disgust.) Add that to the fact that Missy flirts outrageously with both Theo and Bill in interviews, and… well.

They have the media tearing its metaphorical hair out. It's fucking hilarious.

Of course, if the media knew the truth, it might be in even more of an uproar, what with all the polyamory going on, so it's probably for the best. 


 

Once the meet and greets are over, they head back to the TARDIS, their huge tour bus named for Totally and Radically Driving In Style, by a high off his face Theo, some twenty years ago.

It was back when he and Missy were in their own band with some wanker named Saxon. Bill, like the rest of the world, doesn't know why that band broke up (god, it had to have been about eighteen years ago now? Theo and Missy are old) but knows that whenever Saxon is mentioned around them, they both tense up, just for a moment, and tend to instinctively look at each other in some way Bill can't read. So it must have ended badly, if Theo and Missy seem to barely be able to stand hearing his name - which is happening more and more frequently, with how Saxon has been coming into his own success, with his solo career he'd started up a couple of years ago.

Still, that sounds like drama, and Bill isn't one for drama, so as curious as she might be, she isn't going to pry. Not today, not in two years. Breakups of any kind, be they professional or platonic or romantic, are the worst. They don't bring up Penny, she won't bring up their mysterious ex-bandmate. Simple.

They're all in great spirits from the show tonight and from meeting the fans, and arrive to find their manager, Clara Oswald, lounging on one of the couches in the tour bus.

"Great job out there," she says, smiling at them all as she glances up from her iPad. "Sorry I couldn't make it to the meet and greets. Had to take a call."

"What phone call lasts that long?" Nardole asks, scoffing.

"The kind that involves a lot of plotting," says a voice from behind them.

They all turn around to see River Song leaning against the doorway of the bus. Bill feels herself grinning, but she's most taken with how Theo's eyes light up like nothing she's ever seen, how he rocks on his heels like he's trying to stop himself from running to her.

"Mrs Song!" Nardole greets, beaming. "Good to see you again."

River laughs. "And you, Nardole." Her eyes travel. "Missy."

Missy just nods, with that strange sort of cordial acceptance she and River have with each other. "River. Always a pleasure."

"Isn't it just?" River's eyes finally come to rest on Bill, and they're warmer now. "Hello, Bill. How's my second favourite lesbian?" 

"Gay," Bill replies.

River laughs, throwing her head back. "Oh, I've missed all of you. Four months is far too long."

"Well, that's what you get for trying to have a secret marriage when you're both household names," Clara mutters. "It took an hour to work out how to smuggle you in."

"And what a marvelous job you did," Theo says to her, making her grumble about flattery. He hasn't taken his eyes off River, and hers are fixed on him. They only have eyes for each other, after long separations. It's as heartwarming as it is disgustingly sappy.

Missy makes some gagging noises, only to be ignored by them. "Right, well, there go my plans for the evening, now that the Eyebrows is occupied. And I was so looking forward to a good orgasm, too. Any other takers? Clara?"

Clara doesn't even look up from her iPad. "Not even if you paid me."

"Didn't have to pay you last time."

"You have to spend a solid half an hour annoying me before I'll even considering having sex with you, Missy, and frankly I don't have the time, I have plans with Ashildr. You know, that person I'm dating."

"Fine," Missy sighs, and glances at Bill hopefully. "Bill? Darling? Light of my life?"

Bill, having been on the receiving end of this offer several times before, has to ignore the part of her brain that always screams yes take me now and keep her gay wits about her.

"Um, yeah, I'm good, thanks," Bill says, putting her hands in her pockets. "I'll probably just… take a walk, or something. Clear my head. Or we could watch a film? I'm not adverse to cuddling, just the sex bit."

Missy considers this, glances at Nardole for several long moments, and then seems to think better of it before looking back at Bill and sighing. "Alright, film it is, then."

That's how Bill finds herself curled up in her little bed with Missy, watching Rent, her head resting on Missy's shoulder. Missy is very tactile with her friends, but Bill especially. Although it always instills a bit of gay panic to have Missy's fingers toying with her hair or stroking her arm, it's also just really nice, and Bill is grateful for it.

The pleasant atmosphere is slightly ruined by the sound of Theo and River having sex on the other side of the wall, but it's nothing they haven't dealt with before. Bill's just happy for them really. She wishes there's someone she could love that much, to just light up the moment they walk into a room.

She finds herself thinking about Star Girl again. She can still picture her face, clear as anything, those incredible eyes staring up at her.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Missy asks quietly.

Bill feels her face flush. "It's nothing."

"You're a crap liar, Pottsie, you know that?"

"So? Still don't have to tell you."

"Course you don't. Just making sure you know that I'm here for girl talk if you need to." Missy makes a face. "God, look at me, getting all sentimental. You're lucky I have a soft spot for you."

"Well, I appreciate it," Bill says.

They end up falling asleep together, Missy's smaller form curled into Bill's.


 

The next venue and the setup required is a lot more fun, with River around. She's able to mill about easily enough, with only general crew hanging around, so long as she isn't too overly affectionate with her husband. It's well known that she's friends with the members of Event Horizon, and they've done a song collab with her for the new album, called 'Hell In High Heels'. It's proved a massive hit with the fans, even though they haven't shot the music video for it yet and thus not released it as an official single. 

Bill sits in the seats near the stage, her bass guitar in her lap, absently plucking a baseline she's making up on the spot. Theo and Missy are onstage, meticulously dictating where everything should be and occasionally getting into arguments about it, while their stage manager, Kate, gets increasingly low on patience. 

"And they're off again," a familiar voice says from next to Bill.

Ashildr drops into the seat two down from Bill, once again displaying their unnerving ability to sneak up on absolutely anyone - except Missy.

"Seriously, if you keep doing that, I'm going to die of a heart attack before I hit thirty," Bill says, swallowing. She looks to where, sure enough, Theo and Missy are now shouting at each other about the lighting colour scheme.

"Don't be ridiculous, if you do, it'll be because some pretty girl smiled at you, not because of anything I've done," Ashildr replies, smirking.

Bill opens her mouth, shuts it again, and huffs. "Look, just because you're right, doesn't mean you can be all smug about it."

"I'm smug about everything."

"I know. And it's annoying."

"Well, now you've wounded me irreparably," Ashildr bemoans, clutching their hand to their chest. "I'll never be able to go on. Tell Clara she was a brief, flickering light of beauty in my dark life-"

"Shut up," Bill says, rolling her eyes, and Ashildr grins. "For the record? The dramatics? Totally not you. Stick with your weird, mysterious stoic thing. Works way better."

"I know, but as an artist I have to try and experiment, on occasion." Ashildr makes a face. "I should probably be glad only you witnessed this particular failing."

"You're so pretentious."

Ashildr grins. "Proudly."

"Look, can you go and shut them up? You're the only one who isn't afraid of them, and they listen to you, for some reason," Bill says, sighing.

Other than River, of course, but River is near the exit, talking on the phone and laughing in a sweet, smitten sort of way. Probably talking to her girlfriend, Helen. In other words, not currently about to be any help in neutralising her idiotic husband, not that it would probably be a good idea for her to get too involved with so many people around anyway. As far as most of the venue staff are concerned, she's just a friend of them all who's popping in to see the show.

Ashildr, thankfully, has more guts than any other twenty one year old Bill has ever seen. (Then again, if Ashildr came out and told everyone that actually, they were a vampire or some other kind of being that had lived for several hundred years, Bill would probably believe it with only a bit of convincing. There's just an eerie-ness about them, albeit one that really works for their artist image.) They make a beeline for the stage, interrupt Theo and Missy, and immediately demand that they make a decision in ten seconds because Ashildr needs time to sort out their technical specifics, since blue hair requires more delicate lighting to look good, obviously.

(Though, Bill is convinced that their tech girl, Petronella Osgood, is some kind of tech wizard, because how she manages to do the sound and lights at the same time, Bill has no idea. It's like she's in two places at once, half the time, Bill swears.) 

Theo and Missy storm off stage, glancing at each other with annoyance. Bill knows those looks well; they're about to fuck the argument away. Typical. Still, Kate looks relieved and not like she's about to bash any heads together anymore, so that's something. 

Bill shakes her head goes back to improvising on her bass, working out if she can come up with a new melody or bass line that she likes. It's been too long since she's written anything that wasn't rubbish. Which is fine, since Theo is the real talent when it comes to songwriting, and Missy is capable of churning the odd, usually weird but in a good way, number.

Bill just knows she has a great song in her, somewhere, but she can't find it for the life of her. And it really, really sucks.


 

The second time Bill sees her, she actually does miss a couple of notes.

She's there, Star Girl, in the front row again, and Bill stares for a moment before coming to her senses and picking the baseline back up. Her singing hadn't faltered much, thankfully.

Bill, once she's gotten back on track, makes a point of grinning at Star Girl, who blushes a little. Encouraging.

It's beyond infuriating, though, because Bill's heart is doing absurd fluttery things and it's over a fan. How the hell could she initiate anything, if she decided she wanted to? Talk about the worst possible way to meet someone.

Bill gives her one last wink as she heads offstage at the end of the night.

"Was that the same girl?" Missy asks, her voice particularly Scottish on the last two words.

"Maybe," Bill mumbles.

"Bit keen, isn't she?"

"Shut up, she's just a fan."

"I suppose she isn't the first young sapphic thing to be head over heels for you," Missy says thoughtfully, tilting her head. "Still, she's certainly caught your eye, properly, not in just your usual hopeless lesbian way."

"Tell me about it. She has a star in her eye - the iris."

"Neato," Missy says. It would sound sarcastic coming from anyone else, but Bill knows without a doubt that she means it genuinely enough.

They come to a halt when River comes barrelling in out of nowhere and practically slams Theo into a wall, kissing him gleefully and nearly damaging his guitar in the process.

"You were wonderful, sweetie," she tells him.

His ears are burning. "Oh. Um. Yeah, it was pretty good, wasn't it?"

"They loved it," Nardole says, shrugging. "They always do, I don't know why we keep pretending to be surprised by it. We're good at it and they love us. It's fairly simple."

"It never pays to get too comfortable, Nardie," Missy says, scowling. "That's how you end up on the street and sleeping in alleyways. Or in rehab. Things can change like that." There's a disturbing edge to her voice, one that makes Bill wonder if she's speaking from experience (well, she knows she is about the rehab, but the rest of it is new information, if it's true).

The way Theo is looking at Missy only supports Bill's theory.

"Don't look at me like that, Thete," Missy snaps. "Or I'll shave your head in the middle of the night."

"You absolutely will not, if you value your fingers," River says to her, eyes flashing as she steps between Theo and Missy.

"I'd like to see you try," Missy retorts.

"Likewise."

"Bring it on, Pond."

River's real name - or rather, birth name - is of course, Melody Pond. It's no real secret, but it's also no secret that it's a name she hates.

"Come on, sweetie," River says to Theo, scowling at Missy. "Let's go celebrate in your dressing room. Loudly."

Missy rolls her eyes. "If you're attempting jealousy, Song, it's not going to work. I couldn't care less, and the thought of letting that pitying fuck touch me right now is repulsive, so hard pass."

Theo and River disappear, leaving Nardole and Bill immensely uncomfortable, and alone with a pissed off Missy.

"Are you alright?" Bill asks Missy.

Missy is muttering under her breath in what sounds like Russian, and she barely falters when Bill's question gets her attention. "Fine, he's just a sanctimonious twat."

"He cares about you-"

"Yeah, well, that's stupid of him," Missy replies, getting out her phone and dialling a number into it. She walks off towards her dressing room. "Emil, darling, how are you? How's your Smith? Mine's being a twat. You're all good, all three of you? Excellent."

Emil is Missy's brother, who lives in London with his husband John, who Bill is fairly sure is Theo's cousin, which is pretty weird all things considered, but she's not really about to judge. Also, it's not exactly like Missy has a line of friends going out the door. It's good that she gets along with her brother, if only so she has someone outside of all this madness she can talk to. 

Bill had had that with Penny, before dating a celebrity had just gotten too much for her. Bill misses that anchor of normality.

Still, there's always Ashildr, if she needs someone to bring her back to the world of sense. The tiny blue haired singer is rather good at that.


 

The star girl is at the next two shows they play. Still in the front row. Still beautiful, still smiling up at Bill and making her almost miss notes in her solos.

Bill starts dreaming about her. About those eyes, with the star shining in them, and the iridescent smile underneath.

It feels real. It feels like this girl really likes her, but without the hero worship in her eyes that usually makes the idea of dating a fan so implausible to Bill. She looks at Bill like she's just the girl at an open mic in a pub that she'd been when Theo had discovered her by accident.

"Help," Bill says to Missy one day. She must be out of her mind to be asking Missy for romantic advice, but given that her alternatives are Theo or Nardole, she has no doubt that this is her best option.

"Help with what?" Missy asks, looking up from the thick sketchbook where she's painting with watercolours (vivid, violent images for the most part, and yet Missy always looks so completely serene as she paints).

"You know," Bill says slowly. "The girl."

"Oh, right, the star one, yeah, she's been properly persistent, hasn't she?" Missy has turned has attention back to her painting. "So, you want to woo her, then?"

"Well, yeah, but I don't know what to do," Bill says, shoving her hands in her overalls pockets.

Missy blows an escaped strand of hair out of her face. "Now, if only there was some big, clever way to tell her how you feel - a way you could get across your thoughts and emotions, elegantly. Now, what could that be? I've no idea, but maybe your little brain could get there in the end."

"Does the extreme sarcasm help?" Bill asks, unamused.

"Does asking me obvious questions help you?" Missy retorts. "You know you need to write her a song, Pottsie, so either ask for my help with that or go and get on with it."

"I don't need your help."

"And yet you linger."

"Okay, okay, fucking off, thanks for - well, whatever," Bill mutters as she walks off, "great pep talk."

"I know, I'm a font of supportive wisdom."

Bill snorts as she closes the door to her own room and goes to pick up her bass guitar.


 

It turns out that writing songs, without the perfect burst of inspiration, is fucking near impossible.

After several hours yields nothing more than one line of lyrics that she isn't convinced she doesn't hate anyway, and a four note riff that she's vaguely attached to, Bill puts down the notebook and guitar and picks up her phone instead.

Going into the Twitter app, she decides to broadcast her struggles. After all, it never hurts to have her fans know that their idols struggle with things too.

 

 

 

 

@pottsalotts the struggle when you're gay and in a band and so there's only one real way to express emotion but writing songs is hard

@pottsalotts -  seriously how do @thedoctor and @missymasters do this? help

Her twitter immediately fills with sentiments of encouragement and excitement, from fans eager to hear a song written by her, since that's something they've yet to be able to enjoy. Bill smiles and replies to a few, and likes a few more.

Of course, there's the speculative replies too. 'Who are you trying to write gay songs for?' and variations thereupon. She spots a few people with 'Potsy' icons or handles and has to grin.

 

 

 

 

@missymasters (replying to @pottsalotts) I'd be happy to give you a private workshop <3

Bill has to roll her eyes at Missy's response, which is such a classic tease for their fans - but not really queerbaiting, Bill has to remind herself, since all four Event Horizon members are out as queer in some form to the public. Theodore has never gone into any more detail than that, and only a few interviewers and fans have been stupid enough to try and get more out of him in that regard. (Bill knows that he identifies as non-binary to at least some degree, but has no idea about his sexuality, and doesn't really want to know, although if she had to guess, she would say demisexual as hell.) Missy used the words 'raging pansexual' in an interview, and had the phrase blow up so much among her fans that there's usually a few wearing shirts with the phrase underneath a flaming heart in the pansexual flag colours. Nardole breaks out into the 'Bi Bi Bi' NSYNC song any time someone inquires after his sexuality.

 

 

 

 

@pottsalotts (replying to @missymasters) tempting, might take you up on it later if this blank notebook keeps mocking me :P

Unsurprisingly, the Potsy shippers lose their minds over this exchange, and Bill leaves them to their fun with a grin on her face and picks the guitar back up.

She's going to write a beautiful gay-ass song for this Star Girl even if it's the only song she ever writes. And if she dies trying, well, what other way was she ever going to go?