Jenna took a sip from her cocktail and stared out onto the ocean, the rushing of the waves, the cries of seagulls and the indistinct chatter of people at the restaurant softly lulling her into a state of peace and maybe even exhaustion. She couldn't quite say what had caused the exhaustion because the last few weeks had been rather quiet, especially the one she was spending on Tenerife right now with one of her dearest friends. They had both craved some time away from the cold January air in England and the weather on this island was pleasantly warm. Jenna knew she should feel relaxed and carefree and yet. . . she didn't.
“Do you want to go to bed?” her friend suddenly tore her from her train of thoughts and Jenna turned around to look at her, smiling.
“Not yet. Why? Do you?”
Her friend shook her head. “You seem tired.”
She did feel tired. It seemed to be her default setting these days and no holiday seemed to be able to change that. It had taken her a while to realize it, to admit it to herself, but Jenna didn't feel happy. She wasn't depressed or particularly unhappy, but that certain spark that had always made every day a little bit special was missing and had been for a while. She wanted that spark back.
“Tell me,” Jenna said after a moment, pushing her cocktail aside, “You've been talking to that therapist in London for a while, haven't you?”
“Yes,” her friend confirmed, “Why?”
“Oh, uhm,” she paused, “I was just wondering if she is trustworthy. Like, she wouldn't give out information to the press, right?”
Her friend laughed in reply. “She wouldn't, but you're not seriously considering talking to a therapist, are you?”
Jenna swallowed. She had, in fact. Maybe not seriously, but the thought about it had been on her mind. She just needed to do something about that state she was in.
“Jenna, you're the most emotionally stable person that I know,” her friend said, “If you need a therapist, there's no hope for the rest of us.”
Maybe her friend was right, maybe she was going about this all wrong, but what else could she do? Jenna had her amazing friends, she had a wonderful boyfriend waiting for her in her beautiful house back in London, she had the job she had always dreamed of and it still didn't seem to be enough. If only she could call Peter and talk to him about it. Peter always knew the answer to everything. But Peter was also very busy filming the latest series of Doctor Who, this time without her, and Jenna didn't want to bother him unnecessarily. They would get together and have coffee as soon as he was taking a break.
Jenna sighed. “You were right,” she admitted, “I am tired and our plane leaves early tomorrow. I should go to bed.”
“Probably a good idea,” her friend agreed.
When Jenna lay in bed that night, however, she didn't find the rest she had been hoping for. Sleep hadn't come easy to her of late and she often found herself tossing and turning for more than an hour before finally dozing off out of sheer exhaustion. It couldn't go on like that. Something needed to change.
“Hey, honey,” Tom greeted her at the airport with a chaste kiss on the cheek, “How was the holiday?”
Jenna glanced around nervously, but she couldn't spot anyone taking a photo of her and Tom. The paparazzi were watching them like hawks and just recently they had caught them kissing in front of a camera. Jenna hadn't been amused. It had been her idea to keep a low profile for as long as possible because she had hated the attention she and Richard had always gotten as a couple. It seemed to drive the press mad that Jenna refused to either confirm or deny the rumours about them and she secretly enjoyed keeping up the guessing game. Maybe she even enjoyed it a little too much, much to Tom's dismay, but he was going to have to live with that. He didn't like that she was turning their relationship into a mystery for the press to uncover and to soften his mood she had introduced him to Peter not too long ago. That seemed to have calmed him for the time being.
“Holiday was good. Wish I could have brought home some sunshine,” she smiled at Tom as he took her luggage and they headed outside to where he had parked his car.
“Oh, before I forget,” Tom suddenly said, “Peter is going to give a radio interview tonight.”
Jenna turned to look at her boyfriend, feeling a little surprised. Peter was in the middle of shooting, probably very busy. Why would he interrupt that for a simple radio interview? “He is?” she found herself asking.
“Yep,” Tom confirmed, “They announced it a few days ago. I thought you might wanna give it a listen.”
“Yeah,” she replied, still feeling a little puzzled about the news, “Of course.”
Tom was the ideal boyfriend and she kind of had Peter to thank for him. After her failed relationship with Richard and a few weeks of frustration, Jenna had finally asked Peter for advice.
“How do you do it?” she had asked him one day between takes while they had been sitting on the side, munching sandwiches and drinking coffee.
Peter had arched his eyebrows up. “Do what?”
“Marriage,” she had looked down at the mug in her hands, “You and Elaine, you've been together for so long and you're still happy. How does that work?”
Peter had laughed at her for that. “I married my best friend. There's just a lot that connects us. You'll have that, too, Jen, I know you will.”
And like so often before Jenna had followed his advice. Tom had been single, she had been single and they had known each other for ages. It had seemed to be worth a shot and now, six months later, they were basically living together in her house and she really couldn't name a single thing that bothered her about him, except that maybe he was a little bit boring. But that was adult life, wasn't it?
Tom carried her suitcase inside, prepared her a cup of tea and basically left her alone to settle in and take her time to finish her book in the bathtub. It was then that the doubts started to return to her. Maybe she should see that therapist while she was in London and not particularly busy? She wasn't feeling herself, that much was obvious, and maybe a therapist would know what to do? Then Jenna brushed the thought aside for good. How would a complete stranger know what was good for her when they knew nothing about her life at all?
After a nap and rewriting a couple of lines of the script she was working on, Jenna headed downstairs to where Tom was watching Netlfix on the telly and she reached for the blanket and curled up on the sofa. It was almost time for Peter's interview.
“I'm gonna get us some snacks,” Tom said and vanished into the kitchen while the radio started to play Another Girl, Another Planet.
Jenna smiled to herself when the host welcomed Peter. She had missed the sound of his voice. She missed their time on Doctor Who. If there was a button that allowed her to travel back and relive every single day of it, she wouldn't hesitate to press it.
Tom soon joined her again and she reached into the bowl of popcorn, chewing it as quietly as possible so as not to miss a single word that he said. The host was asking about the new series and Jenna's stomach formed a little knot. She hated to admit it, but she was a little jealous of Pearl even though she knew how silly it was. Jenna had had her time on the show, more time than any other companion before her, and still she felt a little greedy and wanted more. It could have been Peter and Jenna on Doctor Who forever and she would have been content.
Then Peter spoke again, his voice so casual that for a moment Jenna thought she had heard him wrong. It took her a while to really process what he had just said and while the realisation began to dawn on her, her heart sank into her boots.
“It's going to be my last.”
To celebrate Peter and Jenna attending the same event today I decided to spoil you a little and give you chapter 2 straight away :) Thank you for the first comments, guys, and just imagine that somewhere in London Peter and Jenna are probably very happy to see each other right now *_*
Jenna was pacing her bedroom, phone on her ear, listening to the endless ringing that came from the device. Maybe he was busy. He had said he would be going to Bristol that same night, but he had been busy for months and Jenna couldn't believe that there hadn't been a single moment left in his schedule to call and tell her the news.
“Hey Jenna,” he greeted her, his voice sounding happy. Too happy. “Sorry I couldn't answer before. What's up?”
Jenna gasped. “What's up? What's up?!”
There was an odd silence on the other end of the line and for the moment Jenna was glad he didn't answer. She was fuming.
“What's up is that you just announced you're leaving!” she almost yelled at him, “What's up is that you haven't even taken the time to call and tell me, so I had to hear it on the radio! Peter, what in God's name are you thinking, just quitting the show? You love being the Doctor!”
“Jenna,” Peter replied quietly, “I'm sorry, I didn't think you'd listen to that stupid interview.”
“If I hadn't I would have read it in the news tomorrow,” she retorted, sinking down on her bed.
It wasn't exactly that she was mad at Peter for not telling her, but mad that he was quitting at all. She couldn't quite explain why because she had already left over a year ago, but Peter leaving seemed to close that particular chapter of her life for good and she wasn't ready for that just yet. As long as Peter was still the Doctor, there had always been this possibility for her to come back, even if it was just for an episode. Now that hope had vanished.
“I'm sorry, okay?” he said after a moment, “I know I should have told you, but I only made the decision last week and then they suggested the interview. There just hadn't been time. I'm sorry. Can you forgive me?”
There was that hint of a laugh in his voice and it tugged at her heart. Jenna just couldn't stay mad at him for long, no matter how hard she tried. When the anger started to fade away, it left only a deep rooted sadness.
“I just hadn't expected it, that's all,” she admitted, her voice small and sad, “You're really gonna leave?”
“Yeah,” he breathed after a moment, “It's time, Jenna, and you know it. All good things must come to an end some day. I'm not getting any younger and-”
“That's a stupid excuse,” Jenna interrupted him, smiling, “The fans love you, they don't care about your age.”
He chuckled in response. “It's not the fans I'm worried about. There is a lot of running involved if you remember and it's challenging and-” Peter broke off, sighing, “It just feels like the right time. New showrunner, new companion. I've only just gotten used to Pearl, I don't want to start all over.”
Jenna nodded to herself even though Peter couldn't see it. She could understand that better than anyone else. When Matt had announced that he would be leaving, it had been clear to her that her time would end after series eight when her contract ran out because back then she just could not imagine the show without him. Then Peter had come along and changed everything.
“It just feels like the end of an era,” Jenna admitted, “As long as you were the Doctor I could pretend that I was somehow still part of it through you. And now. . .”
“Well,” Peter's voice sounded a little more high pitched.
“Well what?” Jenna frowned at the phone in her hand.
“Uhm, well, it's possible that you might get a call,” Peter said, clearing his throat, “But you haven't heard that from me.”
Suddenly Jenna rose back to her feet, still wary of the mysterious undertone that had appeared in his voice. “What kind of call?” she asked.
“I've already said too much and I'm afraid I have to hang up now. I'm in the car to Bristol and we're about to pick up Pearl,” he explained hastily, “Talk to you soon?”
And then, without any further explanation, the line went dead. Peter had hung up. Jenna lowered her phone and stared at the screen for a moment, huffing in disbelief. She was no longer mad at him, but instead she felt very much confused.
A sudden knock on the door tore her out of her thoughts and Jenna looked up to see Tom standing in the doorway.
“I'm about to go to bed,” he explained, “Separate rooms or-”
Tom looked at her, his gaze hopeful, but Jenna had to disappoint him again. “Sorry, I haven't been sleeping well lately. I'd only keep you up.”
He nodded and granted her a smile. “Try to get a least some sleep. Don't work on that script until 3 am.”
“I won't,” she smiled back at him, “Promise. Good night.”
After brushing her teeth and slipping into her pyjamas, Jenna went to bed, knowing it was a lot easier said than done. The clock was ticking next to her, reminding her of every second that passed and at some point she simply turned over in bed and imagined she was in Cardiff.
It was the ringing of her phone that woke her up the following morning and Jenna cursed herself for not switching it to silent the evening before. It was too early, much too early, and she had only slept for a couple of hours.
“Hello?” she croaked into the phone without even checking who it was. Damn, she should have checked. If this was work related, she would make a terrible impression.
“Hey Jenna, it's Steven,” came a cheerful voice from the other end.
Jenna's face turned into a frown. “Steven?”
The man laughed. “Steven. Steven Moffat. Seriously, Jenna, are you so far gone in your fame that you don't even remember an old friend?”
Jenna sat up in an instant. “Steven!” she blurted out, “Oh my God, of course. Sorry, I was still in bed. Got a little late last night.”
“Sorry if I woke you up,” he said, “Should I call back later?”
“No,” Jenna said immediately, “No, it's fine. I'm up. It's good to hear from you. How's Cardiff?”
“Cardiff is good,” Steven replied, “Cardiff is missing you.”
She laughed. “Well, tell Cardiff I'm missing Cardiff, too.”
“How about you deliver these news in person?”
Maybe Jenna was still a lot more tired than she had assumed because she didn't fully understand what Steven was aiming at.
“Jenna,” he sighed on the other end of the line, “I don't know if you've heard already, but Peter, he's-”
“I know that he's leaving,” she confirmed, even though in her dream world she had momentarily forgotten about the fact.
“Okay,” Steven breathed, “So, are you up for it?”
Now Jenna was fairly certain that she was still tired, because there was obviously something she was missing.
“Up for what? Steven, what are you on about?” she asked, laughing to cover up just how confused she felt at the moment.
“To come back for his regeneration, of course. We left that loophole open so you could decide when the time comes. Well, time's here, I guess. Do you want to come back for the finale?”
“Uhm,” Jenna was lost for words for a moment. She had hoped that one day she would return, one day far in the future, but that future was now. There was only one possible answer. “Yes. Yes, of course!”
“Great!” Steven replied instantly, “I'd love it if we could all sit down together. You, me, Peter. Discuss the direction before I write it all down. Would that be possible?”
“Yeah,” Jenna's heart started beating a lot faster as she heard herself agree. She would be back on Doctor Who. It wasn't a dream. “I'm not going back to Victoria for a while. I've got time. I could come down to Cardiff.”
“Perfect. I'll text you the date when I have it?”
“Looking forward to it,” Jenna agreed and once she had hung up, she noticed that the big grin was still stuck on her face and that it refused to fade away.
For now she tried to ban the thought from her head that it would be the very last thing she would ever do for Doctor Who. For now she just wanted to enjoy the thought of coming back.
Thank you for your sweet, lovely comments, guys :)))
Peter had spent the entire afternoon cleaning this mess that he called his flat. He was actually quite good at household things, but when there was no Elaine around to tell him to put away the DVD he had watched three days ago or to finally rinse the glass he had been using for a little too long, he did become a bit of a slob. Yet there was no need to let Jenna know about that – or to let her sleep on his discarded socks that always tended to gather in crack of his sofa. When finally he was happy with the results of his cleaning, Peter looked around, feeling proud. And also a little sad.
This place had been his second home for years now and it was more familiar to him than the new house he had bought with Elaine after fans had figured out his address. This little bachelor pad had been his refuge for so long after a long day on set where he would retreat either with Jenna or on his own. But Jenna was no longer part of the show and Cardiff just didn't feel the same without her. Even though he still loved being the Doctor, a part of the magic had left with her. And now, when he retreated to his bachelor pad alone every night, he always realized that he wasn't a bachelor at all and hadn't been for a long time and that was for a good reason. Peter felt lonely most of the time.
Then the doorbell interrupted his thoughts and his face instantly lit up, already knowing who was in front of that door. This weekend he wouldn't be lonely.
“Jenna,” Peter smiled broadly at her, his heart jumping with joy at the pure sight of her. Without hesitation he threw his arms around her in a long hug, pressing Jenna as tightly to his own body as humanly possible. “It's so good to see you.”
“Umpf, let me breathe,” Jenna complained, but she was laughing and hugging him in return and Peter didn't want to let go of her. He had missed her terribly.
Finally he released her from the embrace and smiled down at her, tiny, beautiful Jenna. She hadn't changed a bit. “I've missed you,” Peter confessed.
Suddenly a soft punch landed in his ribs and Jenna glowered at him, even though there was something playful in her eyes. “That was for not telling me,” she growled, but her features didn't take long to lighten up again. “I've missed you, too.”
Chuckling, Peter closed his arm around her shoulder and took the bag from her to lead her inside. “Come in,” he told her, “I've ordered from your favourite pizza place. They should be here soon.”
“That sounds amazing. I'm so hungry,” she sighed and sank down on the sofa, glancing around the room, “You've cleaned the place.”
Peter fetched two bottles of beer from the fridge before he settled on the sofa next to Jenna and handed her one of the beverages. She nodded thankfully.
“Well, I can hardly let a lady sleep here when the flat is a tip. Speaking of which, you can have the bed if you want it.”
“Nonsense,” Jenna replied instantly, “Your back won't last an hour on this couch.”
Peter raised his eyebrows doubtfully. “But yours will?”
“Yes,” she said determinedly, “I'm imposing on you, so I get the couch. End of discussion.”
“Okay,” Peter sighed in defeat and leaned back against the couch. He took a sip from his beer and waited for Jenna to say something, to ask about him leaving the show once more, but she never did.
“So, how's life?” he asked after a while, “How are things with Tom and work? Everything in order?”
“Yeah,” he heard her say and when Peter glanced in her direction, he saw that Jenna was beginning to peel the label off the beer bottle, “There's nothing I can complain about.”
Somehow Peter got the faint impression that she would have loved nothing more than to complain about something, but instead Jenna went on.
“I'm keeping busy, working on a script,” she turned around, smiling at him, “And Tom is very supportive of everything I do.”
“That's good to hear,” Peter said because he felt like he had to, “I told you marrying your best friend pays off.”
He turned his gaze away and looked down at the bottle in his hands, swallowing that thought that was at the tip of his tongue. He had no right to say it. Tom was a nice guy, but Peter just couldn't imagine Jenna being happy with him. Or he didn't want to imagine it because she clearly was. It had been his idea, his advice that she had followed. He was simply being overprotective of Jenna, but the truth was: Tom appeared to be one of the most boring people he had ever met.
The doorbell rang once more and Peter rose from the sofa to get their pizza before they could get comfortable on the couch and he vowed to banish all bad thoughts from his mind for this weekend. Jenna was back in Cardiff and he would enjoy that up until the very last second because he really had missed her very, very much.
Peter was just about to make his way back to bed from a nightly bathroom break when suddenly he noticed that the lights were still on in the living room. He frowned and toddled sleepily towards the source.
The light blinded him a little when he stepped into the room, but he could still make out the shape of Jenna in her pyjamas, sitting on the sofa with her laptop in front of her.
“It's 2 am, what on earth are you doing?” he mumbled, trying to suppress a yawn.
Jenna instantly looked up. “Oh, I'm sorry,” she whispered, “Did I wake you?”
“No, but-” Peter broke off, the confusion slowly lifting, “It's the couch, isn't it? It's uncomfortable.”
“No, not at all. I just couldn't sleep. No biggie. Just go back to bed,” she told him, but Peter didn't listen any longer. He was tired and, by the looks of it, so was Jenna.
“Get up, come on,” he said, nodding in the direction of the bedroom.
“What? No, Peter, I'm fine. I'm just gonna write a few more lines,” Jenna protested.
“Bed,” Peter growled, “Now.”
He was exhausted and certainly not in the mood to argue with her. Luckily for him Jenna seemed to had run out of ways in which she could protest, so he watched her throw the blanket aside and follow him into his bedroom. Still, when they were settling in, Jenna appeared reluctant.
“I'm a terrible sleeper, Peter,” she argued, “Are you sure I shouldn't go back to the sofa? I'll only keep you up.”
“Shhh,” he hushed her impatiently, closed his arm around her waist and pulled her down to lie next to him, “Shut up and sleep.”
Peter was so tired that he couldn't even move and he didn't exactly want to. It was nice, sleeping all cuddled up to Jenna, and she finally seemed to have given up protesting. So Peter closed his eyes and drifted off in a matter of seconds.
Ah, what the hell, it's Valentine's Day - have another chapter.
And thank you so, so much for your lovely comments, as always :) I'm glad you like this fic already.
Jenna woke up slowly. First it was the sounds she became aware of, the passing traffic and the soft snoring of a man next to her. Then it was her sense of touch. She was lying in a very soft and warm bed and a strong arm was holding her. Yes, there was a body pressed up behind her. Warm. Cosy. Perfect. She had actually slept well.
The man huffed in his sleep and started to move, pulling her just a little closer and Jenna could feel his breath on the back of her neck. The shape of his body was perfectly aligned with her own and Jenna hadn't even been aware of how much she had missed that sensation. Then the realisation began to dawn on her. She wasn't at home. She was in Cardiff and the man holding her in his sleep could only be Peter.
Suddenly highly alert about how close they were, Jenna turned around in his embrace to be face to face with him. Peter grumbled something in reply, but instead of waking up, he closed both his arms around her and pulled her against his chest. Jenna could feel him kiss her hair in his half sleep and also something hard that was poking into her stomach. Okay, time to wake up.
“Peter,” she said quietly.
“Mhpf,” he huffed and Jenna tried to wriggle out of his embrace.
Then finally he opened his eyes. And smiled at her.
“Morning Jenna,” he mumbled sleepily and inhaled deeply as he woke up properly.
Still he didn't seem to have the slightest intention to let her go and Jenna was beginning to wish she hadn't woken him at all. For just a small moment everything had been okay. She was back in Cardiff, Peter was here, holding her lovingly in his sleep. Now that he was awake she could no longer pretend. He was leaving the show, their time in Cardiff was coming to an end for good and she would have to go back to her life that simply didn't make her happy. It would never be like this again.
“Is everything okay?” Peter asked her quietly, his voice nothing but sincere and Jenna couldn't hold it back any longer. She didn't have the strength to pretend.
“No,” she whispered and then the tears started flowing down her cheeks before she could stop them, “No, it's not.”
Without even asking Peter closed his arms around her and pulled her back against his chest where Jenna cried quietly. She couldn't even say why she was crying at all, she didn't really have a reason, but the sadness had just come over her in a wave that could not be stopped. But Peter was Peter and he didn't question her, he was just there, comforting her with his gentle embrace. It was almost as if he had expected it to happen, as if he had already known last night, which was eerie even for their standards. But right now Jenna didn't care as she buried her face against his chest and cried until there were no tears left.
The next time Jenna woke up it wasn't as soft and comfortable as it had been before. Her throat felt dry and there was a throbbing pain right behind her eyes. Peter's arms were gone and when she sat up in bed, Jenna looked at the alarm clock and realized that it was 11 am. He would have gone to work by now.
Then suddenly the bedroom door opened and Peter walked in, carrying a tray with food and drinks and his face lit up when he saw her.
“Oh, you're up. I was just about to wake you,” he said as he sank down next to her, placing the tray on the bedside table.
Jenna instantly reached for the glass of water and almost emptied it in one go, thirsty as she was, before she set it back down.
“Why aren't you on set?” she asked, her voice still sounding hoarse.
Peter gave a soft shrug. “I thought you might not want to be alone, so I called and told them I threw my back out when I carried in your luggage last night.”
She frowned at him, searching his face for a clue to determine whether he was lying. “No, you didn't.”
Finally he chuckled. “No, I didn't. I said I was having issues with my knee. That still happens from time to time and the crew is very understanding.”
“You shouldn’t have lied for me. You love Doctor Who and being on set. You should be there,” Jenna said as sternly as possible even though she was secretly glad of his company. For a brief moment she had already feared that she would have to spend the day on her own and having Peter here made her feel a lot better.
“At least I get to spend a little more time with you. I was already feeling guilty for leaving you alone all day.”
“There’s no need to feel guilty,” she said and quickly averted her eyes when she realized that Peter was beginning to watch her a little more intently.
“So,” he began after a moment, “Are you gonna tell me what it is that has been upsetting you?”
“I’m not upset,” Jenna tried to argue even though she knew it was no use. Peter knew better. He always did.
“Oh, I must have mistaken your tears of joy for sadness then,” he huffed softly and she looked up, glaring at him. Silly Peter, always making jokes, always trying to cheer her up. But soon his features turned serious again. “Jen, you know you can tell me anything, right?”
“I would,” she whispered.
“But?” Peter asked gently and reached out to take her hand in his own. His touch was so soft and comforting as always and for a moment she hoped he would never let go. “Jenna, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted with a defeated shrug. When she continued her voice sounded more desperate than she would have thought, “I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ve been like this for a while and I just don’t know. I just don’t feel like myself lately. I don’t feel anything. Everything seems wrong and nothing I do seems to fix it.”
“What?” Peter asked her in disbelief, “Are you not having fun at work?”
“No, it's not that. Work is fun. It's not Doctor Who, but it's fun.”
“And your love for Tom?”
Jenna sighed, staring straight at Peter. There was that one question which she had asked herself more than once and she had lied to herself about it on every occasion. But not to Peter. She could lie to anyone, including herself, but not to him.
“I don’t think I love him,” she admitted carefully, “I mean, I do. I've loved him for years, but is that it? Is that the great thing everyone is trying to achieve? Platonic love mixed with sex? It doesn't feel right, Peter. I'm trying so hard but a part of me just isn't happy with it.”
Suddenly Peter started to laugh and that was something Jenna hadn't expected him to do. “Why are you with him if you don't have these kind of feelings for him? I don't get it.”
“Because that's what you said,” she replied defensively, “You said marrying your best friend was the secret to your happiness!”
“Oh Jen,” Peter chuckled and suddenly he closed his arm around her, pulling her back against his chest. He was so strong and gentle and Jenna didn't want him to let go. “Why do you listen to an old fool like me?”
When Peter placed a kiss on her head, Jenna couldn't help but bury her face in his shirt once more, inhaling the lovely scent of his aftershave. Tom never smelled as good. A sudden feeling of relief came over her when she realized that for the first time in months she had been honest, that for the first time she had been open about her doubts.
“Because you're my best friend,” Jenna admitted, “And I love you.”
The words came over her lips before she could stop them and suddenly her heart jumped up inside her chest as the realisation was beginning to dawn on her. In her moment of honesty Jenna had gone one step too far and discovered one other thing about herself that she had suppressed for months, no, years. She loved Peter and the shock about the truth seemed to vibrate through every cell in her body.
“I love you, too,” Peter replied, still chuckling, but he meant it in a different way, “And now let's have breakfast before we get your life sorted.”
When Peter released her from his embrace, Jenna almost didn't dare to look him in the eye, afraid of what she was going to find. Her heart was still hammering in her chest and her hands were trembling a little and her feet just wanted to run and never come back. Jenna had known for a while that there was something wrong, that something about her life just didn't make sense, but she had never expected to just wake up one day and realize that she was in love with her friend and former colleague. She had never expected to be in love with Peter Capaldi.
Thank you so much for your amazing comments *hugs you all*
And, oh dear, what is Jenna gonna do now?
While Jenna was in the shower, Peter racked his brain, trying to think of something nice he could do for her. Jenna was his best friend and she seemed in serious trouble and he would do everything in his power to help her out and yet. . . a part of him, and he cursed himself for that, was secretly relieved about the recent revelations. He should want Jenna to be happy no matter what, but that Tom guy had never seemed right for her and now she had confessed that she might not love him as much as originally thought. Admittedly, he was a better choice than Richard, but a woman like Jenna deserved so much better than that. She deserved only the best and that certainly wasn't Tom.
But now what? They would stay home and talk, that much was obvious, but shouldn't he do something nice for her, something special? Peter switched on the kettle to make some tea and found an unopened package of biscuits in the cupboard. He should have bought Jenna's favourite. There was this one brand that she had always eaten on set, the ones with the chocolate. When Peter heard that the shower was being turned on, he considered it for a moment. Then he grabbed his coat and wallet and made his way out of the apartment.
There was a small shop just around the corner and luckily it wasn't crowded, but when Peter stopped in front of the shelf, he had to admit that he had no idea what Jenna's favourite brand of biscuits was. Damn, he should have asked.
With no idea what else to do, he just grabbed five different packages, all different sorts, and headed towards the checkout.
“Tea party?” the cashier chuckled and Peter granted the young man a smile.
“With the Queen,” he responded jokingly and it wasn't even that big of a lie, “Queen Victoria.”
The cashier looked confused, probably thinking that he had lost his marbles, and didn't say anything else, but demanded £9,94 and Peter paid silently before he headed back towards his flat.
When Peter stepped back inside, Jenna had already finished showering and stood in the middle of the kitchen, looking a little startled.
“There you are,” she said, “The kettle was on and you were nowhere to be seen.”
With a smile Peter held up the plastic bag containing his recent purchase. “Went out to get biscuits. Sorry, I couldn't remember your favourite, so I just brought a bunch,” he explained and dropped them on the table.
Peter hadn't exactly expected Jenna to jump up with happiness about a broad selection of snacks, but suddenly she seemed even sadder than before.
“You didn't have to do that,” she said simply. When she looked up at him, however, she smiled. Peter could tell that it was forced.
He shrugged. “Well, we're gonna be here for a while and talk. Talking's better when you have snacks.”
Finally Jenna smiled for real. “Okay, good point. Unwrap the biscuits, I'll finish the tea.”
Peter took his favourite spot on the sofa and Jenna walked into the living room only moments later, carrying two steaming mugs of tea that she set down on the coffee table before she sank down on the sofa. For some reason she kept a distance between them.
“So, you're not happy with Tom?” Peter asked, trying to get back to the previous subject and Jenna stiffened up visibly.
“Do we really have to talk about me? What about you?” she asked in return, pointing at him, “You're quitting your childhood dream. We should that about that.”
“I wasn't the one crying my eyes out this morning, so we'll talk about you first,” Peter insisted and he heard Jenna sigh as she looked away and into her tea mug.
“I'm sorry about this morning,” she whispered.
“Don't be,” he said softly, “Just tell me what's wrong.”
Jenna took a deep breath, tightening the grip around her mug as she started to talk. “I'm not entirely sure. Tom is perfect basically. We've known each other for ages, we've been friends for ages, we get along, the sex is good.” Peter flinched at the mention of it, even though he didn't quite understand why. He was just very protective of Jenna, he didn't like the thought of her being with a man who might not treat her right. “I should be madly in love with him. But I'm not.”
Peter nodded silently, waiting for Jenna to continue.
“Tom is kind and considerate and supports me in everything I do and I'm-” she paused, “And he bores me to death.”
Suddenly Peter couldn't hold it back any longer and started to chuckle. “I'm sorry, Jen.”
“That's not how it should be,” she complained loudly, “I find a nice guy and he's so dull that it's actually starting to annoy me. I don't want to make our relationship public because I'm not sure I even want to be in it. What should I do, Peter? Should I wait for it to get better or-”
“What?” he asked, raising his eyebrows, “Wait until he becomes exciting? Jenna, I don't think that's gonna happen.”
“So I should break up with him?”
“I didn't say that,” he protested.
Jenna rolled her eyes in response. “Yeah, but it's what you meant.”
There was a moment of silence between the two of them and Peter could feel that Jenna wanted to divert the subject, but he was determined to find out the rest as well.
“And the other stuff? The sleeping problems? Work?”
“How do you know I'm having trouble sleeping?”
Peter simply shrugged.
“I like working on Victoria,” Jenna said instead of replying, “But I liked working on Doctor Who a lot more. It was more than just a job to me. It was-”
“It was you and me, just having a blast all day for two whole years,” Peter finished her sentence, smiling at the memory of it. Oh, what he would give to have those days back.
“Then why are you quitting? And don't tell me it's because of your health because just this morning you said that the crew was very supportive.”
Peter inhaled sharply. Jenna had been honest with him, it would be unfair not to repay her with honesty now. “Because I'm not having that good a time anymore,” he admitted.
“What?! Peter, this is your dream. You're Doctor Who, for God's sake, have you forgotten that?”
“It was. It is,” he said, “And I have so many reasons why it's the right decision to quit now. My health is just one of it.”
“Then tell me!”
He sighed deeply. “The whole show has changed and it's about to change a lot more. It's fun, but it's not like it used to be. Pearl is amazing, but she's not you, Jenna. What we had, this little Doctor Who bubble, that's gone and I miss it. The job is special, but you made it even more so. We pushed each other when we had already done a ten hour day and that's gone. I'm just tired all the time and they're understanding, but I think it would be utterly selfish to keep going at this point. Chris asked me to stay, but he deserves a fresh start. He deserves to pick a new guy to play the part who will be amazing and they'll pick a new companion who will be amazing and it's gonna be sad to turn down that opportunity, but it just wouldn't feel right to keep on doing it. Not if I'm not gonna be able to give 100%.”
Slowly Jenna nodded. Peter knew that she would understand.
“Sometimes I wish we had a time machine of our own,” she said suddenly and looked up to give him a smile, “Just go back and do it all over again. I miss it. I miss goofing around with you every day, I miss running down corridors, I miss the exhaustion of the world tour. I just miss it. I wake up missing it and go to sleep missing it. I just want to make sure you don't end up like me.”
“But I will,” he admitted sadly and suddenly Peter hated the space that was between them. He scooted over and laid his arm around her shoulder. “But we've got the last episode and at least we're gonna do that together.”
“Yeah,” Jenna replied and for the first time she looked happy. Nostalgic, but happy. “Let's make the best out of it, okay?”
Peter nodded. “Absolutely.”
Thank you guys sooooooooo much for the comments!!! Here, have a treat because I wrote over 5000 words for this fic last night:
Jenna buried her hands deeper into her jacket pocket and for a moment regretted that she had turned down Peter's offer to call for a taxi to take them to the café where they would meet with Steven. It was February and it was cold and this walk just gave her more time to think than was probably good for her.
So she had determined that she was sort of in love with Peter, that he met all the criteria she had for a partner and for a moment she felt stupid for not having seen it earlier. Because Peter was the man that had made her set all these criteria in the first place about how a man should be. He was nice and gentle, always put her first, always asked about her day, he was supportive, charming, a true gentleman, good looking, kind, funny, talented. The list was endless. Peter was perfect and Tom had always been a sad substitute for him. For months she had tried to recreate with Tom what Peter and Elaine had because Jenna had always thought it was their marriage that she was jealous of. But it wasn't. It was Elaine because she had Peter. How could she not have seen this before?
“Are you okay?” Peter's voice tore her out of her thoughts and there it was again. Peter looked down at her, a soft smile on his lips while he tried to make sure that she didn't want for anything. It was maddening and Jenna wished that he would just stop being perfect all the time.
“Yes, just cold. But that's fine. We'll be there in a bit,” she replied, “And stop looking at me like that. I'm fine!”
“Just making sure,” he mumbled.
To her relief Jenna noticed the café once they walked around the next corner and she couldn't wait to actually be inside and wrap her hands around a warm cup of coffee and she knew that on her way back she wouldn't decline Peter's offer to call a taxi.
Steven greeted both of them with a hug as he said hello and wrapped his arms tightly around Jenna. For the first time today she actually felt like smiling.
“It's so good to see you,” she said happily before she slipped into her seat. Peter sat down next to her, which was a little too close for her current state of emotions, but at least she wouldn't have to look at him the whole time. Instead Jenna could focus on Steven and what they had come here for.
They ordered a coffee and exchanged small talk about Doctor Who, about the old days, about Jenna's role as Victoria and slowly she started to loosen up a bit. For the moment she could just ignore her newly discovered feelings for her best friend because that was who he was. Peter was her friend and she wanted it to stay that way.
“So,” Steven said after a while, “Christmas special, huh? Are you perfectly sure, Peter? Because there's still time to change your mind.”
“I won't change my mind,” Peter said with a smile, “If I don't stop now I'm going to stay forever and you will only get rid of me by carrying me out on a stretcher.”
Steven huffed. “Fine, but just so you know, I'm going to make your last episode as heartbreaking as humanly possible.”
“Oh, I'm counting on that,” Peter chuckled.
“Have you started writing it yet?” Jenna enquired curiously.
He shook his head in response. “No, I wanted to make sure you'll be in it before I get started. I want you to be present for the entire episode, not just for two minutes like we did it with Matt and Karen. And there's something else,” Steven said and suddenly he looked a little uncomfortable as he threw a glance at Peter.
“Well, what is it?”
“I remember the conversation we had when we first cast you as the Doctor, but I would like you to reconsider one of the things we agreed on,” Steven explained calmly.
Peter looked confused for a moment, but Jenna didn't need to hear more. She knew what Steven was trying to insinuate and all of a sudden her stomach started tingling. She had no idea how Peter was going to react. How should she react? Despite her personal feelings, Jenna was still a professional and she had always believed that the Doctor and Clara should have kissed at least once and she knew from many fans that they had been hoping for the same thing. They would be ecstatic.
“I want to write a kiss between the Doctor and Clara,” Steven stated plainly, “Nothing big. I just thought it would be nice if they saw each other again and the Doctor went 'I'm not a hugger' and kissed her instead.”
“That's actually a cute idea,” Jenna found herself saying, “I like it.”
Peter scoffed next to her. “Cute? You mean the viewers will start feeling sick and switch off their telly.”
Jenna turned around and gawked at him, suddenly feeling a little angry even though she couldn't quite explain why. “Why would you say something like that? Why do you think it would make them sick? Why does the idea of a simple kiss between our characters bother you so much? It's not like Steven will ask us to snog for ten minutes.”
“Because it's wrong!” Peter spat back at her, “We've had this discussion before and it's just not right. Not with you and me.”
Steven leaned forward, trying to get a word in, but Jenna was quicker.
“You're being silly and you know it. The fans would love it if the Doctor and Clara kissed!”
“Jenna, I'm twice your age,” Peter argued, “It's not right for me to kiss a young woman like you. The viewers would be disgusted and rightly so!”
“You think it would be disgusting to kiss me?!” Jenna rose from her seat, glaring down at him. She had known he would not like the idea so very much, but hearing him be so adamant about it felt a little as if he was driving a dagger through her heart. She was a beautiful, young woman and aware of that. A man like Peter shouldn't mind sharing an on screen kiss with her, but he had to be such a damn gentleman all the time.
“Peter, Jenna,” Steven said calmly, “Please.”
“It would be disgusting for you!” Peter spat, “And every viewer who is even remotely my age.”
“Can I please decide for myself what disgusts me and what doesn't?” she asked loudly and when Peter opened his mouth to speak, Jenna knew that she had heard enough for today. There was no reasoning with him about it, especially not if they were both shouting at each other and, frankly, his arguments were becoming too painful to listen to. If they went on like this, Jenna might say something she would later regret confessing to him. So instead she just grabbed her coat and headed out of the café.
Guys, thank you sooooo much for the lovely comments and your amazing support!!!
“I'm sorry, Steven,” Peter blurted out before he reached for his jacket and followed Jenna outside, suddenly feeling very bad for the way he had acted. He knew that she wasn't feeling well and he shouldn't have let it come to a fight, no matter their opinions on the subject. And above all they should have discussed it in private, not in a public café.
He caught up with Jenna on the street when she was just about to step into a taxi and Peter reached her at the last moment.
“Hey,” he said, “Going home?”
Jenna looked at him, swallowing, before she finally nodded. “I'm sorry, I wasn't feeling well and I just-”
“It's okay,” Peter reassured her, “We can talk about it at home.”
Jenna agreed quietly and they both sat down in the back of the taxi before they fell silent. Peter said nothing apart from giving the driver the instructions where to go and then he pulled out his phone to send Steven a message, just letting him know that Jenna wasn't well and that he would take her home. Everything else could be discussed later. When he glanced at Jenna, he noticed that she was staring out of the car window and the ten minute ride suddenly felt like an eternity.
Jenna dropped her bag on the sofa and walked further into his flat, stopping at the kitchen tap to fill a glass of water while Peter carefully trailed after her. He didn't understand her. They had been best friends from the first day, sticking together like glue, able to finish each other's thoughts and now, as she was standing in his kitchen, Jenna suddenly seemed inaccessible. He had no idea what was going on in her head.
“I'm sorry about earlier,” Peter said sincerely, “I didn't want it to turn into a fight. I was just trying to make you understand-”
He broke off when Jenna turned to look at him, her large eyes so sad like he had never seen them before. But she didn't say a thing. She just remained staring at him.
“Jenna?” Peter asked carefully, laughing softly “Come on, no one wants to see you and me kiss on screen.”
She inhaled sharply and her gaze dropped to her feet. “It hurts to hear you talk like that,” she admitted quietly, “Hearing you say how disgusting it would be to kiss me, how wrong, it . . . it hurts.”
“I know you're the perfect gentleman and I know you're too modest and you never meant it in that way, but, back in the café, it hurt,” she said, still not looking at him.
“I'm sorry, Jen, I had no idea.” Peter stepped closer and placed his hands on her arms. He wanted so much to hug her, to comfort her, to make her feel better, but when she looked up at him, Peter stopped and smiled at her. “I would never hurt you intentionally. I love you. But seriously, would you like to kiss an old, wrinkled face like mine?”
And suddenly there it was, his answer, so very plain on her face that even he couldn't ignore it.
“Jenna, I'm twice your age,” was all that he could say as he let go of her arms again and took a step back. How could it be that such a beautiful, young woman like Jenna wanted to kiss him? It couldn't be.
Jenna rolled her eyes. “As sweet as it is, Peter, sometimes you're just too damn modest. Look at you!” She half shouted, pointing at him, “You're perfect! Those fangirls drooling over you, they're not interested in the Doctor, they're interested in you.”
“It's the truth. Why won't you believe that?!”
He said nothing. Yes, maybe some of them fancied him for who he was, weird as it might seem.
“You're looking great, Peter. You're handsome. You're smart and creative and you're always so kind.” Jenna sighed in defeat. “When I look at you, I don't see your grey hair or your wrinkles. I see the man that holds me in his arms at 6 am in the morning when I'm crying for no reason. I see the man who goes out to buy me ten different brands of biscuits cause he isn't sure what my favourite is. I see the man who always asks how I'm feeling, who's been trying to make sure I'm okay since the second we met.”
She paused to breathe and suddenly Peter noticed that there were tears in her eyes again. But this wasn't the moment to comfort her. He was too confused by her sudden outburst to do anything and still he wasn't entirely sure what was going on.
“Jenna, what are you saying?” he asked, attempting to hide his sudden insecurity behind a laugh.
“Oh God, I'm sorry,” she breathed and sank down on the kitchen chair, burying her face in her hands, “I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that.”
“What is going on? Jen, please, just tell me because I have no idea what is happening!” Peter half begged her. He needed to know. He had a terrible inkling where this was headed and he prayed that he was wrong. But if he was right. . .
“I love you,” Jenna confessed, still not looking at him, “I'm in love with you, I think.”
He exhaled sharply and slowly sank down on the other chair right across from Jenna. That wasn't something he had expected to ever hear from her and Peter tried very hard not to let his mind wander. No, what he was feeling was securely locked away inside his heart. He had put it there years ago and he wasn't going to go down that particular rabbit hole.
“I'm married,” he said instead. No, it didn't hurt to say these words. Not at all. He needed to tell himself that. “And you're with Tom.”
“I didn't know. I genuinely didn't know what was bothering me, but I think this is it. I've been miserable since I quit Doctor Who and I thought. . . I don't know. I miss you,” she admitted and suddenly took a deep breath, the determination returning to her voice, “I'll get over it somehow. Just forget about the kiss thing. That's probably a stupid idea anyway.”
Peter reached out and gently laid his hand on hers, but Jenna drew her arms back and looked at him.
“I should leave,” she said, looking him straight into the eyes.
“What?” Peter asked in confusion, “Where will you go?”
“Back to London,” she swallowed, “Tell Steven I'm sorry and that I'm fine with whatever he's gonna do.”
When Jenna rose to her feet, Peter reached for her arm and got hold of her at the last moment before she could leave the kitchen. “Please, stay until tomorrow. It's gonna be dark in two hours and I don't want you driving when you're so agitated.”
“I'll be fine,” she tried to reassure him, “I need to clear my head. I need to be alone, figure things out. I'm probably just overreacting right now.”
He hated to see her like this, he really did, but Peter was probably too confused to comfort her or be of any help to her. No, he wouldn't re-evaluate his feelings. Not now.
“Can I at least give you a hug before you go?” he asked instead.
“Yes,” Jenna agreed and for a moment he thought he heard her sigh in relief, “Please do.”
Peter rose from his seat and carefully placed his arms around Jenna while she clawed at his back in what he could only describe as despair. He didn't want her to leave. He wanted her to stay, hang out, have fun, be her old self. It was like Jenna had said. Sometimes he wished he had a time machine of his own.
“Drive carefully, okay?” he whispered into her ear, “And call me if you need me. Any time of the day.”
To his surprise Jenna giggled in response. “Can you stop being so perfect all the time?”
“I'll try,” he said and eventually released her from the embrace.
Jenna looked up at him and nodded and Peter had to fight the impulse to just pull her back into his arms and refuse to let her go. But instead he could do nothing but watch her leave and his heart had never felt so heavy.
Thank you for the comments!!! Ugh, what drama. . . care for some more?
“I'm home,” Peter tried to call into the house, but his voice just came out weak and hoarse. He was exhausted after another long week on set and all he really wanted right now was a quiet Friday evening in front of the telly and then to go to bed at an unreasonably early time.
But Doctor Who wasn't the only thing that had worn him out. His mind just wouldn't stop going over everything that had happened the previous weekend. Jenna had confessed that she was in love with him and even though he tried not to think about it, his brain just couldn't stop and it was maddening. She had texted him after she had arrived back in London, but when he had asked about how she was feeling the next day, there had been no reply. Peter hadn't heard a word from Jenna since and even though it had only been a week, the silence made him nervous. He understood that she needed to clear her head, but that didn't keep him from wishing that he could be there for her.
“Did I know you were coming home?” Elaine's voice came from the direction of the kitchen shortly before she appeared in the doorway, smiling at him.
“Uhm,” Peter frowned, “I told you, didn't I?”
His wife shook her head.
“Well, I meant to. Sorry.”
“Don't you apologize for coming home,” she said happily and approached him, pecking him on the cheek, “And you're just in time for dinner. I was making sandwiches. Do you want one?”
Peter blew the air out between his lips. He wasn't particularly hungry, but if he didn't eat now and got hungry later, he knew that Elaine would scold him for snacking in the evening. ”Yeah, sure. Why not.”
Elaine, however, didn't move. Instead she gave him a questioning look. “Is everything okay?”
He sighed. “Just knackered, that's all.”
“Alright,” Elaine said, “I'll finish the sandwiches and then you can tell me all about your week.”
A part of him knew that he couldn't tell Elaine about Jenna's confession and, if he was quite honest, he really wanted to forget about it altogether and resume just being friends. But Peter still needed to vent some of these feelings that had been weighing on his mind for the past week and apparently Elaine had sensed that. Once they had finished their dinner, she muted the telly and turned to look at him.
“Okay, what's wrong?” she asked bluntly, “And don't say nothing because I can see when you're moping.”
Peter inhaled sharply. He really needed to get some of it out. “Jenna and I had a fight last weekend when she came to Cardiff to discuss the Christmas episode.”
His wife frowned at him. “A fight? What could you possibly fight about? You're as thick as thieves!”
He averted his eyes and stared at his empty plate instead. He had had this discussion with Elaine before, in fact, by now he had had this discussion with everyone. “Steven suggested a kiss between the Doctor and Clara in my final episode.”
Elaine groaned. “And let me guess: You're the idiot who said Oh God, no, how horrible, at which Jenna felt a little hurt and you started arguing about how she's too young for you and Steven just sat there, feeling awkward.”
Peter looked back up at her and finally cracked a smile. “How do you know me so well?”
She shrugged. “We've been married for a few years.” Then suddenly Elaine's tone of voice changed. “Stop being so stubborn about it. If Steven suggested it and Jenna is fine with the idea, why don't you just go with it?”
“A reason that doesn't have anything to do with age.”
Peter sighed, but he had two reasons for not wanting that kiss to happen and he could only ever talk about one of them, because the other. . . No, he wasn't going to think about it.
“I won't accept it,” Elaine said determinedly, “I want to see a kiss between the Doctor and Clara in your last episode and if I don't get to see one, I'm going to take back all your Christmas presents.”
“No,” she interrupted him once more, “I don't know much about Doctor Who, but I read a thing or two every now and then and I know that there are fans out there who would do anything to see it happen. And no one is going to talk badly about you because you locked lips with a younger co-star. Actors do it all the time and if they are going to blame someone, they will blame Steven for writing it. But I think that the Doctor and Clara had a very loving relationship in those two seasons and it would be a waste not to have them kiss at least once. And above all, this is not a reason to start a fight with one of your best friends. Call Jenna and tell her you'll do it. And give her my best.”
Peter looked at her for a long moment and he knew that he had lost. Once Elaine had set her mind on something, she was going to get it.
“Fine,” he agreed, “I'll call her tomorrow. And now I'm going to bed.”
Peter rose from his seat on the sofa and trudged off into the bathroom. It was just after 8 pm, but he was dead tired and he craved sleep more than anything.
Jenna was pacing her living room nervously, constantly checking her watch and waiting for Tom to finally show up. She needed to get this evening over with, but he was running late after shooting a short film had taken a little longer than expected.
She had been thinking about it all week, hardly eating or sleeping or even working, and nothing seemed to ease her mind. She was in love with Peter and even though Jenna had hoped that these feelings had only emerged in the spur of the moment, they hadn't faded. Her first instinct had been to ignore it all and go on as if nothing had ever happened, but every time Tom had messaged her or called her, Jenna had cringed. She had even avoided some of those calls altogether. She couldn't stay with Tom, no matter how sweet and basically perfect he was, not when she was in love with another man.
Then finally the door bell rang and Jenna inhaled sharply. It was going to be tough.
“I'm back,” Tom greeted her with a hint of a smile and kissed her on the cheek when he stepped inside.
“Hey,” Jenna said, forcing a smile. She just needed to get this off her chest. “Come inside, I've made tea.”
Tom frowned at her. “It's 8 pm.”
“So what?” she gave a nervous laugh, “We're English. We drink tea at every time of the day.”
“Good point,” he agreed and followed her into the living room while Jenna went into the kitchen to fetch the mugs. She felt nervous. Tom had been her friend long before he had become her lover and she had no idea what was going to happen with them after the end of their relationship.
She sank down on the sofa next to him and handed him one of the mugs, desperately racking her brain for a good way to start this conversation and yet nothing would come to mind. Damn. It had been so much easier with Richard.
“So, uhm, are you going to the Burberry event in two weeks?” he asked her and then went on to blow on his tea.
“Yeah, I think so. My stylist already called with dress ideas.”
Tom cleared his throat. “I thought maybe that might be a nice opportunity to. . . you know, attend the event together.”
Jenna's heart sank immediately. She hated the to be the one to end it and yet it had to be done. And she wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.
“Tom,” Jenna began carefully, “I don't think that's. . . I don't want that. I'm sorry.”
“Okay,” he said simply, “It was just a suggestion. Don't worry about it.”
Oh, for God's sake, why did all the men in her life have to be so understand all the time? It was infuriating.
“No, it's not okay.” She took a deep breath. “It's not okay to keep your boyfriend a secret when you're supposed to be in a loving and equal relationship. I've treated you poorly and I need to apologize for that.”
Jenna felt Tom's hand on her own and she knew what he was going to say.
“Do not say it's okay, Tom, please,” she hissed, “I can't do this if you're understanding because you shouldn't understand, you shouldn't be okay with it. I don't want you to be.”
Suddenly Tom started laughing. “Jenna, what's the matter?”
She turned around and looked him straight in the eyes. She had to do it. “I need you to know that you're the perfect boyfriend, you really are. You are everything a woman could wish for.”
Tom nodded slowly. “You're breaking up with me.”
“Yeah,” Jenna breathed after a moment, “I'm sorry. I've tried and I've kept hoping that it would work. I wish you were the one.”
“Well,” he averted his eyes and Jenna could hear him take a sharp intake of breath, “I suppose I'm not so surprised. I mean, I had hoped for the same thing, but when you kept postponing to go public I kind of had an inkling.”
“I'm sorry,” she apologized, “I love you, but I think I love you more as a friend than anything else.”
“It's not your fault. If it's not the right fit, then you can't really do much about it, can you?” he said, looking back at her. He was sad, Jenna could tell, but she thought that he was doing his best to hide just how devastated he really was.
“You can stop being nice, Tom. If you wanna shout, then shout at me. If you want to cry, then do it. But don't say it's okay and don't say it's not my fault because it is! I've been stupid and selfish, I've led you on and you shouldn't just forgive me!”
“Fine,” Tom spat, “Fine, yes, I am angry! At you as much as at myself because I knew! I knew it for months and still clung to the last bit of hope I had because you're the best thing that has ever happened to me. I gave it my best and it still wasn't enough to make you fall in love with me. Also I don't think it's a coincidence you've realized it after visiting your favourite pal in Cardiff.”
Jenna was too taken aback to reply and the hesitation gave her away immediately.
“Did he tell you to break up with me?” Tom asked.
“No, Peter wouldn't do that,” Jenna said instantly and looked down at her own hands.
Tom snorted. “Of course not. Because he's perfect and you're in love with him.”
Jenna looked back up. She wanted to defend herself, tell him that he was wrong, but that would be a lie.
“When you dragged me to meet him in December I went along because I knew he means a lot to you. You talked about nothing but Peter Capaldi all day long until I finally said yes and when we met you only had eyes for him and then there was no shutting you up about it. It was Peter this, Peter that. I knew I couldn't compete, I knew I was second best, but that's one of the silly things you put up with when you're in love.”
“Okay,” Tom spat and suddenly rose to his feet, “I'm done with the apologies for today. I guess I'll pick up my things some time next week.”
“Tom, please, don't leave like this,” Jenna asked him and tried to reach for his arm, but he pulled it away.
“You wanted me to be less understanding,” he said, “Well, you got what you wanted.”
Jenna made no further attempts to stop him when he stormed out of the house and she knew that all of it was her own damn fault. Tom had been her friend for years and now she had probably lost that friendship as well. Just like she had likely lost her friendship to Peter by confessing her feelings. For an attempt to get her life back together, it had all gone horribly wrong.
She rose from the sofa and made her way into the kitchen to open a bottle of wine, which was probably the only solution for an evening like this. However, once she had taken her first sip, Jenna realized how sad it really was to drink alone after a breakup. No, she needed something to do, so she whipped out her phone.
“Hey Sammy,” she said to her friend, “Do you fancy going out tonight?”
Thank you for the comments!!! Oh, did someone ask for drama?
“He's an idiot!” Jenna complained loudly and knocked back her drink. Originally she had thought that going out with her friend was going to make her feel better, but the more time she actually spent at this place and the more she drank, the angrier she seemed to become.
“Who? Tom?” Sammy asked her.
Her friend frowned at her. “I'm sorry, I can't follow. Why's Peter an idiot now?”
“Cause he's perfect, that's why,” Jenna growled and waved towards the bartender to refill her gin martini.
Sammy giggled in response. “Well, I'm still lost and I think you're smashed.”
“Well,” Jenna frowned, “That's what we came here for, isn't it? Get smashed and bitch about men.”
“Personally, I think we should call it a night,” her friend drawled a little, but Jenna wasn't done with her evening plan yet. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more the situation infuriated her. Peter had set these impossible standards that no man could possibly meet. She was probably going to die single.
“I bet he views me as a child,” Jenna spat and took a sip from her refilled glass.
“Peter! Aren't you listening?” She shook her head. “Doesn't even wanna kiss me in front of the camera. He seems disgusted by the thought.”
“Well, you could be his daughter,” Sammy reasoned, “But I still don't understand what he has do with you and Tom breaking up.”
“Because he's right, he was only second best,” Jenna admitted.
“Tom,” Jenna said as if it should have been obvious and suddenly she looked down at herself and then back at her friend. “Do I look daughterly to you?”
Sammy shook her head. “No dad would let you go out like this.”
“Thanks,” she replied and finished her drink, “Okay, bathroom break.”
Jenna jumped off the barstool, but misjudged the distance between her feet and the floor and almost crashed into Sammy, who grabbed her by the arms.
“Jen, you okay?” she giggled, “Do you want me to come with you?”
“No, it's fine,” Jenna made a waving gesture with her hand before she staggered off in the direction of the bathroom.
She felt insanely lucky right now to haven chosen this place that was usually packed with celebrities. No press allowed. No danger of pictures of her night out ending up in The Sun tomorrow along with a ludicrous headline.
Jenna stopped in front of the bathroom mirror to inspect her reflection, which only seemed to fuel her anger. She was looking great. She was looking hot in her maybe too revealing dress. Any man should consider himself lucky to kiss her. Tom certainly had appreciated it and now she had broken up with him. All because of Peter fucking Capaldi.
In a moment of bravery Jenna whipped out her phone, straightened her dress and pulled it down just a little more before she pursed her lips and snapped a picture. He should at least see what he was missing out on.
Something tried very hard to rouse him from his sleep and yet his body refused to fully wake up. There was this odd buzzing sound and lights. He had had a strange dream and as Peter tried to focus on that he was starting to become aware of what it was that was bugging him. His phone was vibrating on his bedside table.
Groaning in his half sleep, Peter reached for the device and looked at the display when the light almost blinded him, but the longer he stared at it, the clearer the letters became.
Suddenly Peter felt wide awake. It was past midnight and Jenna was calling him and somehow he knew that it had to be important, otherwise she would have waited until morning. He sat up in bed and glanced at the sleeping figure next to him, deciding not to wake Elaine and instead take the call outside on the corridor.
“Jenna, did something happen?” he asked, his voice heavy with sleep.
“Did you like the picture?”
Peter needed a moment to make sense of what she had just said. The voice was unmistakably Jenna's, but her speech was heavily slurred and wherever she was, it was loud.
“Picture? What picture? Jenna, are you okay?”
“Just needed to tell you that you're an idiot!” she drawled and suddenly Peter started to feel a little sick. She was drunk and she was out there somewhere, a bar or a club, and he just prayed that she wasn't alone. “It's all your fault. It's your fault I'm gonna die single. There's no one that matches up to you.”
Jenna fell silent all of a sudden and a few seconds later Peter could hear a different sound, one he was all too familiar with since she had started crying in his arms. Jenna was crying again. If there was any moment in which he could have used his own time machine, that moment was now. Jenna was drunk and crying somewhere in a bar and his only instinct was to get to her as quickly as he could. He needed to be with her.
“Jen,” Peter said as calmly as possible, “Where are you right now?”
“This is your fault cause you said get a boyfriend who's your best friend and I did,” she sobbed, “And he was great. Tom was good for me, Tom was solid. He didn't even care I was love with you. And you said I shouldn't be with him, so I dumped him. First great guy I meet and I dump him cause I always do what you tell me to cause you're Peter and perfect. You're so fucking perfect, you don't even wanna kiss me.”
“Jenna, stop,” Peter interrupted her, “Tell me where you are? Is somebody with you?”
“Sammy,” she replied after a moment. She sniffed, but the sobbing had stopped. “Satellite Bar.”
“Is your friend sober? Can she take you home?” he asked before Jenna could continue her rant. She should go home, to bed, before someone could overhear her phone call.
Suddenly Jenna snorted. “We're at a bar. Everyone's smashed. Get smashed and bitch about men – that's what we're gonna do and I am done listening to you, Peter, you're not my dad.”
“Okay,” Peter inhaled sharply. There was only one thing to do. “Jenna, stay where you are. Go to the bar and order a glass of water and something to eat. I'll come and pick you up.”
“Didn't you listen? I said you're not my dad!”
Then the line went dead and Peter swallowed hard. He had to go out and take her home and he had to do it quickly before something bad happened. In her current state, who knew what she might do?
For a brief moment Peter considered waking Elaine, but he didn't want to worry her unnecessarily, so he grabbed his coat, threw it over his pyjamas and reached for his keys when he realized that he hadn't stopped at the petrol station on his way back home.
“Damn,” he cursed and unlocked his phone again. He needed to call a taxi. Great. Peter Capaldi, current star of Britain's most loved family show, on his way to a bar on a Friday night – in his pyjamas. That would make a hilarious headline.
However, the upside was that Peter didn't have to worry about finding his way to the bar Jenna had mentioned. The driver knew it well, but once they had arrived Peter realized in horror that there was press waiting in front of the entrance.
“Yeah, they always camp here,” the driver explained, “Waiting for a celebrity to come out.”
Well, that was anything but ideal. Peter could live with his own silly photo ending up in the newspapers, but if they managed to snap a picture of him and Jenna or just Jenna on her own right now, that wouldn't be good at all. There had to be a way he could spare her that kind of humiliation.
“Is there a back entrance?” Peter asked the driver.
“Sure, but you only get in through the front. Back is exit only.”
He sighed. “Better than nothing,” he commented and started to unbuckle his seat belt, “Can you park right in front of the back door and pick us up there? Make sure the press can't get a clear view?”
“I can do that,” the driver confirmed.
“Good. See you in a few minutes,” Peter said and opened the car door before he could think better of it.
Of course the cameras were clicking as he walked up to the front door of the club, but Peter had pulled his hat down low over his face and, with a bit of luck, they might not realize who he was at all. However, he found himself facing one more obstacle as the security guard stepped into his way.
“Sorry, can't let you in like that,” the tall man said. He was extremely muscled and even towered over Peter.
“Listen,” he said, sighing, “My friend is in there and she's not feeling well. I just wanna take her home.”
Then suddenly the man's face lit up. “Wait, aren't you Doctor Who?”
Peter forced a smile. Normally he enjoyed meeting fans and talking to them, but right now he really just wanted to get to Jenna and make sure that she was okay.
“You can take a selfie if you let me in,” Peter suggested.
“Awesome,” the security guard smiled broadly as he whipped out his phone and Peter did his best to smile for the camera. Maybe he wasn't going to end up in the press, but he certainly was going to end up online. Oh, the things he did for Jenna.
Thank you so, so much for the comments!!! Now, the question is: will Jenna be happy or mad to see Peter?
The place was dark and for a moment Peter felt young again, stepping into a bar after midnight just like he had done so often in his early 20s. But tonight he hadn't come here to knock back a few beers and flirt with some pretty girls. He had come here because he was worried about his best friend, who he spotted sitting at the bar, obviously ranting to her friend. For a moment he wasn't sure how she would react if she saw him.
“Jenna?” Peter asked carefully and she stopped mid-sentence to turn around and look at him.
It seemed to take her a few seconds, but then she finally recognized him.
“Peter,” Jenna drawled, smiling at him, and she moved to get up from her seat, obviously not realizing that her feet were dangling above the ground on that barstool. She stumbled and Peter caught her at the last moment.
When he held her in his arms Peter instantly felt relieved. Jenna was fine and he would take her home. As soon as he was done enjoying the hug that she gave him.
“What are you doing here?” she mumbled.
Peter chuckled. “Taking you home, silly. Do you wanna go home?”
Jenna simply nodded against his chest, but still she didn't seem to want to let go of him.
“Yes, please, take her home,” her friend told him, “Been trying to convince her for an hour.”
“Will you be okay?” he asked her.
Her friend nodded. “Sure, I'll call myself a taxi.”
Peter gave her a smile before he lowered his gaze to look at Jenna, who was still clinging to him. “Hey, lightweight, can you walk?”
“Sure,” she slurred and pushed herself away from him. She was swaying dangerously and Peter decided it would be safer to keep his arm around her waist while they walked outside. He took her purse and helped her into her coat and slowly but surely they made their way towards the back door.
To his utter relief there was no photographer waiting outside and before that could change Peter ushered Jenna inside the waiting taxi and gave the driver her address. When the car started moving, Peter looked over at Jenna and he couldn't help but feel glad that they were on their way home. And he also felt a stab of guilt. Judging by her phone call earlier, Jenna had broken up with Tom – maybe because of him, maybe not – and this drunken excess was obviously the result of it. Maybe he should have called her during the week, should have made sure she was okay. This wasn't Jenna. Jenna didn't go out and get drunk in public, she hardly drank more than a glass of wine or two. The only time Peter had seen her tipsy had been at the wrap party after season 8, but he had been in a similar state back then. Jenna was in deeper trouble than he had originally thought and all of a sudden she looked quite pale. No, she definitely looked pale.
“Are you okay?” he asked immediately.
Jenna swallowed. “No,” she breathed, clutching her stomach.
“Pull over!” Peter shouted at the driver once he realized that Jenna was going to be sick any moment and luckily the man reacted instantly and stopped the car. Peter hardly had time to act as Jenna unbuckled her belt and opened the car door, tumbling out of the vehicle before he could reach her.
Peter climbed out after her and lifted her back on her feet. No wonder she was drunk after a night out. Jenna was almost as light as a feather.
They walked a couple of steps to the nearest patch of grass before Jenna bent forward and emptied the contents of her stomach on the lawn. Peter held on to her, keeping her on her feet and stroking the hair out of her face. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a flash and noticed that the taxi driver was snapping pictures, but right now his only concern was the woman in his arms. Peter would deal with him later.
“Better?” he asked her quietly.
Jenna coughed, but eventually came back up. Some of the colour had returned to her face, but her eyes looked tired and glassy. “Take me home,” she croaked and Peter steadied her as they made their way back to the taxi.
When Jenna was back in her seat and buckled up, however, Peter suddenly thought of something. There was a small 24-hour shop just a few steps ahead and he knew Jenna too well to know that she probably hadn't listened to his advice about ordering water and food back at the bar.
“I'll be back in a minute,” he told her and the driver as well.
Yet Jenna kept a tight grip on his arm. “Don't go.”
He granted her a smile and raised his hand to caress her cheek. “I'll just get you some water. Back in a moment, I promise,” he said and finally Jenna let him go.
Peter rushed into the shop as quickly as possible, hoping that no one would recognize him in his pyjamas. He grabbed a bottle of water from the shelf and some of the snacks they had laid out at the register before he paid and rushed back to the taxi.
Jenna had her eyes closed when he opened the car door, but her skirt had ridden up and Peter caught the taxi driver before he was able to glance away.
“Hey, hey, hey, eyes on the road!” he reminded him harshly and slipped off his jacket to cover Jenna's legs. The last thing she needed right now was some pervert glancing up her skirt. She opened her eyes to look at him, obviously confused for a moment.
“Are you wearing pyjamas?” she drawled.
“Shush,” Peter hushed her, “You just threw up in public. Not your time to judge.”
He unscrewed the cap of the water bottle and handed it to her. “Here, drink this.”
Jenna did as she was told without any protest, however, once he handed her the chocolate bar, she shook her head. “Not hungry.”
“Are you sure?” Peter took a small bite, “Mhhh. This is delicious.”
His joke had the intended effect on Jenna and she smiled at him in response before she took the chocolate bar away from him and started nibbling on it without real appetite. Soon after she had finished it, she dropped her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. With a sigh Peter closed his arm around her.
“We'll be home in a bit,” he told her quietly, but Jenna didn't reply.
She had fallen asleep by the time the taxi stopped in front of her house and the taxi driver turned around and demanded to be paid for the ride. Peter drew his wallet out of his jacket pocket, careful not to wake Jenna up just yet, and had a look inside.
“How about I give you £300 and in return you delete the pictures from your phone that you took earlier and never mention what happened tonight,” Peter suggested and held the money in the driver's direction so he could see that he wasn't joking.
Eventually the man nodded, took the money, and Peter watched him delete the photos he had taken of Jenna, including a disgusting shot the man had taken up her skirt.
“Just so you know, if any of these end up in the papers or online, you will hear not just from her lawyer, but from mine as well, you disgust-” Peter hissed sharply, but the insults he had meant to throw at the pervert were interrupted when Jenna suddenly started to stir next to him.
“Yes, we're home. Come on, let's get you to bed.”
Peter had to hold her up all the way to the house and in his mind he went over everything that had happened tonight. The angry, drunken call, him driving all the way to the bar in his pyjamas just to pick her up, Jenna getting sick, their disgusting pig of a driver. That was so unlike her and Peter needed her to see that. She sighed when he finally dropped her on the sofa.
“Jenna, why are you doing this?” Peter couldn't help but ask and he hardly noticed that he was raising his voice, “Why did you break up with Tom? Why did you get yourself into this state? For God's sake, look at you! This isn't my Jenna! This isn't you!”
When she looked up at him, her eyes red and glassy, he knew that it wasn't sinking in right now and suddenly he felt terribly sorry for having a go at her at this moment.
“Why are you yelling?” she asked quietly.
“I'm sorry, Jen,” Peter sighed as he sank down next to her and cupped her face in his hands to press a soft kiss to her forehead. Then he leaned his forehead against hers. “I love you and I'm worried about you. Your call gave me quite a scare.”
“Sorry,” she mumbled quietly and suddenly he felt her turn her head and he just knew what she was aiming to do, so he quickly distanced himself from her.
“I'm gonna have a look at your knee,” Peter said instead, “Where do you keep the first aid kit?”
“My knee is fine,” she protested.
He rolled his eyes. “Jenna, honey, you fell out of the car. Your knee is bleeding. I need to clean that.”
Jenna looked down at herself and was visibly surprised to find her knee scratched and bleeding. “Oh,” she mumbled, “Uhm, bathroom cupboard.”
Peter returned a minute later and he had half expected Jenna to have fallen asleep in the meantime, but instead she sat in the exact spot where he had left her, waiting for him. He sat back down next to her.
“This is gonna sting a bit,” he said, “Hold still.”
Jenna flinched when he sprayed the antiseptic on her wound. “Ow,” she uttered, but he had already found a fitting plaster and taped it over her knee.
“And now, time for bed,” Peter said and lifted her up in his arms. He regretted the decision the moment he stood up straight, his back aching under her weight. Maybe she wasn't quite as light as feather, but when Jenna wrapped her arms around his neck, he knew that he had to see it through now.
He carried her into the bedroom and was glad when he could lower her back down on her mattress. Jenna was going to be fine from here on, Peter knew it, and yet she wouldn't let go of his hand. Maybe he should stay, just to be sure.
“Don't leave,” Jenna mumbled sleepily. She would fall asleep in a matter of minutes and Peter was still in his pyjamas and also he had no money left in his wallet to pay for the taxi to take him home without stopping at a bank as well and he was too tired for that. Now he could feel the exhaustion creep back up inside him, the exhaustion he had suppressed as best he could because the priority had been to get Jenna home safely. He had done that and now all he wanted was to sleep.
So Peter climbed into bed next to her and covered both of them with the duvet. Jenna instantly snuggled up against his chest.
“Are you okay now?” he asked her, “Sick? Thirsty? Hungry?”
She shook her head. “Dizzy. Bed's moving.”
Peter couldn't help but chuckle. “That's the gin martini moving inside your head, not the bed.”
“Bad gin martini,” she mumbled.
Peter smiled as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer and slowly he started to drift off. It was funny how such a tiny woman could hold such a huge place in his heart, how he was willing to do almost anything for her without giving it a second thought. Yes, he would agree to have Steven write a kiss for their characters even though he knew it was wrong. Because Peter was afraid that when he started kissing her, he wouldn't want to stop.
Thank you so, so sooooooooo much for the sweet comments!!! *hugs all*
Jenna jerked awake, her heart pounding rapidly in her chest, and for a moment she thought she was going to be sick. She swallowed, followed by a deep intake of breath. No, her stomach was turning over, but not badly enough to actually make her throw up. Her head, however, was another matter. It might have been stuck in a jaw vice, Jenna wasn't entirely sure at this moment, but that wasn't the only thing. Her entire body was in pain, especially her knee, and there was a vile taste in her mouth. That had definitely been one too many gin martinis last night when she had gone out with Sammy. The longer Jenna thought about it, the more she started to feel a twinge of panic rising up inside her, mixing with the already annoying nausea. She couldn't remember going home. In fact, there wasn't much she remembered after. . .
Suddenly something moved next to her and Jenna fought the burning sensation in her eyes and opened them – to see Peter lying next to her.
Carefully she struggled free from his embrace, trying her best not to wake him up, and sat up to assess the situation despite feeling as if her head was about to burst. She was in her own bedroom, which was good. Both of them were fully clothed, also good. Was he wearing pyjamas? Jenna frowned at the sight of him and right now she was unable to put the pieces of the puzzle together, but she definitely remembered a very embarrassing phone call that she had made and right now she cringed at the mere thought of it. She had called Peter, cried and yelled, and basically blamed him for the fact that she was single once more. Which was absolutely no explanation for why he was in her bed right now. There was no other way. Jenna had to wake him up and ask.
Carefully she leaned forward and poked him in the stomach with her index finger, at which Peter did nothing but utter a low grunt, turn on his side and wrap his arm around her lower body. It was nice, Jenna had to admit that, and under any other circumstances she would have enjoyed it very much, but right now she was hungover beyond reason, had a massive mental blank and lots of questions that only he could answer.
“Peter,” she whispered and poked him again, “Peter, wake up.”
He growled in response, but a few moments later he finally opened his eyes. Peter obviously needed a second to fully wake up, but then he smiled at her. Okay, smiles were good. It meant she probably hadn't fucked up that much.
“Morning,” he mumbled under a yawn and started to stretch, “How are you feeling?”
“Confused,” Jenna frowned at him, “Sore. Mostly confused. How did I get home? Why are you here? Why are you wearing pyjamas?”
“You don't remember?” Peter asked and struggled into a sitting position as well. She watched as he glanced at her alarm clock and muttered a curse beneath his breath.
“I remember that I called you,” she bit down on her lip and lowered her gaze, “Sorry about that. Obviously I didn't mean what I said.”
“I was worried when you called me, so I came to the bar to pick you up. Forget about the phone call, I know that wasn't really you talking. However,” Peter chuckled, “If there are pictures of me in my pyjamas in the newspapers today, I will blame that on you until the end of days.”
Jenna couldn't help but laugh with him. “Fair enough, I suppose,” she said and suddenly started groaning when she thought of something she hadn't considered before, “Oh God, what if there are pictures of my night out? I must have looked like a wreck!”
“Relax,” Peter said calmly, “I took you out the back, straight to the taxi. No one saw.”
“The cab driver would have seen it,” she argued and suddenly there was a strange look on Peter's face, one that she wasn't quite sure what it meant, “I didn't do something embarrassing, did I? Undress in public? Proclaim my undying love for you at a very loud volume? I don't usually get drunk, so I have no idea what I get up to when I do. Tell me!”
Peter reached out and took her hand in his, squeezing it softly. “Don't worry, Jen. Everything's fine. You were sick on the way home, the driver saw, but I bribed him not to tell anyone.”
“You did what?” Jenna asked in disbelief, “Oh God, this is horrible.”
She slumped back down and buried her face in her pillow, wishing that he could just remember what had happened the previous night. She had yelled at Peter over the phone at an ungodly hour, she had thrown up, he had taken her home and Peter was telling her not to worry when she was currently worrying about everything. She didn't think she had ever felt so embarrassed in her life.
“You're my best friend and I was really worried last night,” she heard him say and suddenly there was a hand on the back of her head, softly stroking her hair, “I don't care that you drunk dial me in the middle of the night. I don't care that I have to pick you up and hold your hair and bandage your knee as long as you'll be okay. That's what friends are for.”
“Thank you,” she mumbled into the pillow before she raised her head to look at him. “You're the best, you know that?”
“Well, I'd certainly hope so,” Peter chuckled, but then his feature took on a more sombre expression. “I've got to go home now, but how about I take you to lunch in two, three hours, mh?”
Jenna wrinkled her nose. Food was the last thing she wanted to think about at this moment while the rest of the alcohol was still wrecking havoc in her stomach.
“You need to eat and I still need to know what happened with Tom. You weren't exactly coherent last night.”
Jenna sighed. “Fine,” she agreed, “Where do you wanna meet?”
“I'll pick you up,” Peter said and suddenly he reached out to cup her cheek in his hand before he leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to her forehead. For a moment Jenna felt tempted to ask him to stay and cuddle for a while longer. He really was perfect, gentle and caring. Jenna had a lot of great friends, but she wasn't sure if any of them would have driven across the city in the middle of the night in just their pyjamas and carried her drunk arse to bed after she had shouted at them. But that was the sort of thing Peter did without hesitation.
After he had left her house Jenna considered going back to sleep for another hour, but the headache made it impossible for her to find any rest at all. Instead, she decided to take a long bubble bath to cure her aching bones. Once she started stripping out of her clothes, she became aware of a plaster that was taped right across her knee and she inspected it for a moment. Peter had mentioned something about bandaging it, but the memory of last night was so fuzzy that she found it hard to focus on anything. Something do to with the taxi, something. . . Oh God, she had fallen out of the taxi. Jenna uttered a groan and swore to herself that she would never drink again. Who knew what other embarrassing things she had said or done? Well, Peter did, but he was too much of a gentleman to rub it in.
She swallowed two aspirin from the bathroom cupboard with a handful of tap water and glanced at her reflection in the mirror. Puffy, red eyes, pale skin and her make up was smudged all around her eyes. She should probably drink two bottles of water for the dehydration before she stepped out of her house today.
When Jenna slid inside the tub, the warm water feeling good and somewhat soothing on her skin, she became aware of one thing that wasn't bothering her. Yes, she was hungover and sore and embarrassed, but apart from that she felt an odd sense of relief. She had finally been honest with Tom and after talking to Peter this morning, she was sure that their friendship wasn't ruined after all, despite her confession. She had finally come clean and she was so glad about it that it currently even overshadowed the hangover of her life. Maybe her life was taking a turn for the better after all.
Jenna leaned back and glanced at her phone, which showed an endless list of notifications. First of all she replied to Sammy's question whether she had gotten home and let her friend know that everything was fine and she was working on curing her hangover. Then Jenna opened her Instagram app to see where all the notifications had come from.
“Shit!” Jenna cursed instantly and had almost dropped her phone into the water when she saw the photo from last night, undoubtedly uploaded to her account. She had completely forgotten about it.
The photo had been meant for Peter, but in her buzz she had accidentally uploaded it to Instagram instead. Jenna told herself that it could have been worse, that she could have been naked or added a comment about how she wanted Peter take the dress off her because that had certainly been on her mind last night. But as it was, the picture merely showed her in front of the ladies' room mirror, her already revealing dress pulled down low, showing off a lot of cleavage and the lacey edge of her bra. The comments below ranged from “Looking hot”, over “Are you drunk?”, to “Need someone to take you home because I certainly wouldn't mind” with a suggestive looking emoji added to it. Jenna closed the app and took a deep breath. Peter had given his best to control the damage last night, but this one was entirely on her. She would never drink again.
Thank you guys for your lovely comments!!! I'm afraid the E-rating will have to wait for a bit longer. But you know me - patience usually pays off ;)
Peter was careful when he stepped back inside his house, already bracing himself for the lecture of a lifetime. He knew he had fucked up – big time. Last night he had sneaked out of the house without leaving a note, without sending a text, and judging by the 23 missed calls and numerous messages on his phone, Elaine was mad. Very, very mad. And rightly so. He hadn't even had the guts to send her a text on his way home, afraid she might tell him not to come home at all.
“Where the fuck have you been, Capaldi?!”
Peter swallowed and looked up to see Elaine standing in the doorway, her arms akimbo and a deadly look on her face. Oh yes, very mad.
“If you say sorry, I swear I'm gonna strangle you with my bare hands!” she shouted and a moment later Peter had hardly time to duck before she threw her phone at him. It shattered on the wall behind him with a startlingly loud noise.
When Peter looked back up, Elaine was crying.
“I wake up at 5 am and my husband is gone! Gone! He's nowhere in the house, nowhere in the garden, he's just not there! There is no note, no message, no nothing! The car is still in the driveway! All that is missing is his wallet and phone! Peter, you scared the living hell out of me!”
“Do you even have the slightest idea how scared I was? I thought God knows what had happened to you, so I called you, but there was no answer! I tried again and again and again and you just didn't pick up! I was going out of my mind, I didn't know what to do!” Elaine continued to yell while the tears were flowing down her cheeks and Peter just felt insanely guilty because she was absolutely right. He should have left a note. There was no flower bouquet in the entire city that was big enough to make up for the scare he had given her.
“Then, after a few hours of pacing the house, I go on Twitter because I thought 'Hey, your husband is famous, maybe someone has seen him' and someone had. At a bar. In your pyjamas.” She sniffed and her voice was starting to calm down just a little, “I was relieved. I though 'Okay, he hasn't been kidnapped, he probably hasn't left you, he just went out to a bar in the middle of the night, wearing his pyjamas'.”
Elaine took a deep breath, staring straight at him. “Care to explain that? And yes, that explanation better be a really good one.”
Peter swallowed. He had to be really careful now about what he said and how he said it. “Jenna called. She was in trouble and needed my help,” he said simply and instantly heard Elaine sigh in relief. “I took her home. I know, I should woken you up or called, but I thought I'd be back before you woke up. I was so tired after everything, I just fell asleep at her place. I'm so sorry, I never meant to scare you.”
His wife inhaled sharply and wiped the tears from her face before she nodded. “You have no idea what went through my head this morning, I thought something had happened, I thought I'd never see you again.” She scoffed. “Of course, you just went out to be a good friend. I should have known, I really should have known. That's what you do, isn't it? Is Jenna okay?”
Peter nodded. “Hungover. She broke up with Tom last night, had a rough evening at the bar, called me. I had to go.”
“I understand,” she said, “But that doesn't mean I'm any less angry at you right now.”
Again he nodded softly and made an attempt to move further into the house when Elaine's harsh voice stopped him.
“Where are you going?”
“Uhm, shower,” he replied carefully, “I'm gonna take Jenna for lunch.”
“For lunch?!” Elaine raised her voice once more, “For fuck's sake, you spent the entire night at her place! Don't you think that's enough?!”
Peter tried to smile at her, but he soon realized that it wouldn't do any good. “I think Jenna is in trouble, I think she really needs a friend right now. You didn't see her last night, she was. . . I've never seen her like that. I'm really worried. Elaine, I'll be back in a few hours, I'll cook something, we can watch that documentary that you've worked on.”
His wife looked at him for a long time, her expression stern. “Go,” she said eventually, “Go before I change my mind.”
“Thank you,” Peter uttered and moved towards Elaine to give her a kiss, but his wife stepped back and turned her head away. Peter nodded. He really needed to buy flowers on the way home.
Jenna had been a little confused when Peter had suggested driving out of the city for lunch, having just assumed they would stop by one of their usual cafés, but when she stepped inside the Petersham Nurseries Café, she swallowed any comment about him having selected the place because of its name.
“Do you like it?” he asked, a big grin on his face. Silly Peter. Of course he knew that she liked it.
“It's amazing,” Jenna said, still somewhat in awe over what technically looked like a greenhouse. There were plants all over the place, the scent of flowers and herbs filled the air and the fairy lights and old fashioned candlesticks made this entire café feel cosy even on a gloomy Saturday like this.
“Come on, let's sit,” Peter said and started ushering her towards a table, “I'm starving. Oh, look, they have cake.”
Jenna giggled when she spotted his excited face, along with the large buffet of what must have been fifteen different kinds of cake. If it had been his intention to cheer her up with this little trip, he had already succeeded. Everything just seemed easier when he was around.
They took a seat at their table and ordered water and coffee, even though Jenna assumed that by now there was more caffeine in her bloodstream than actual blood, but at least the headache had receded to a faint, dull ache.
“What do you wanna eat?” he asked her and buried his nose in the menu.
Jenna glanced at it. “Mhhh, I think I'll have the slow cooked octopus.”
Peter looked at her over his menu, frowning, and Jenna couldn't help but laugh.
“I was kidding. The risotto sounds nice. I think I better stick to something light.”
“The stomach still acting up?”
“No,” Jenna shook her head, “But I don't want to overdo it. I'll have the octopus next time.”
Peter chuckled. “I'll have the risotto, too. More room for cake,” he said, put away the menu and smiled at her. “You look better.”
She took a deep breath and glanced around the room. How could she not feel better if Peter was treating her to this? “I feel better,” Jenna said when she looked back at him, “I feel as if a weight has dropped off my shoulders. I think the relationship with Tom and knowing that it wasn't right has been bothering me more than I had thought. It was the right thing to end it. Didn't feel like it last night, but it's gonna be okay. It's also going to be awkward when we go back to shooting Victoria in two weeks, playing husband and wife and all, but. . . we'll manage somehow, I hope.”
“I'm sure you will. You're both professionals and, boring as he is, Tom is a decent guy. I doubt he'll make it unnecessarily complicated for you,” Peter said sincerely.
Jenna nodded. “Thank you,” she said with a smile.
Peter frowned. “For what?”
“Uhm, everything?” She laughed. “Last night, this morning. I'm fairly certain there are things you didn't tell me about that I should probably apologize for.”
“Now that you mention it, you promised to buy me a new car. A Ferrari.”
She smiled. “Well, in that case we should probably go and buy it right now. Elaine will love it and absolutely won't think you've just plunged straight into a mid-life crisis.”
“She got used to the guitar,” Peter argued, but something about him had changed at the mention of Elaine. Jenna hadn't even considered it before, but now she realized that he had spent the whole night at her place either with or without his wife's knowledge. Either way, she couldn't imagine Elaine to be absolutely fine with it.
“Peter, the things I said to you in Cardiff-”
“Let's forget about that,” he interrupted her, raising his head. There was that look again, that slightly startled look that she had seen when she had mentioned his wife just a minute ago.
“You just want to ignore it?” Jenna asked.
“Jen,” Peter said and reached across the table to touch her hand, “You mean the world to me. I hope you know that. I don't ever want to risk our friendship for whatever reason.”
“Neither do I,” she whispered and for a moment just enjoyed the feeling of his touch. She could tell that there was a deeper meaning to his words, that there was probably a lot going on in his head right now, but that didn't matter. Nothing was ever going to be between them that went further than friendship and right now Jenna thought that was enough. She had that at least and Peter's friendship was one of the most precious things in her life.
*big group hug* Thank you for your sweet comments, babes!!!
Jenna put her hair in a bun and looked at her reflection in the mirror. Better than this morning. Definitely better than this morning. The meal and coffee had brought some of the colour back into her cheeks and now that the headache had faded almost entirely, Jenna was looking forward to a quiet Saturday evening and maybe a bit of working on her script. Yes, that seemed like a good idea.
She grabbed her laptop from the kitchen table and stuffed a biscuit into her mouth as she headed towards the living room, when suddenly the door bell interrupted her in her stride. Frowning, she went to open the door instead.
“Tom,” she blurted out, almost choking on the biscuit in her surprise, “What are you doing here?”
He granted her a shy smile. “Sorry, I had planned to sulk for a few more days, but I think I left my charging cable here.”
“I, uhm, I think I've seen it in the living room. Give me a sec,” Jenna said and turned around to head back inside. She dropped her laptop on the sofa and reached for the cable that was stuck between two of the pillows. That was one of things she certainly wouldn't miss – Tom leaving his things all over the place. It had always struck her as a way of marking his territory, and when he had left on a job, Jenna had usually gathered up all of his things and put them in a remote corner or a drawer. But that would no longer be an issue after he had picked up the rest.
“Here you go,” Jenna said and handed him the cable.
“Thanks,” he uttered and stuffed the cable into his jacket pocket. He looked beaten and Jenna knew that she was the reason for that and despite the fact that they had been friends for years, she couldn't help but feel a little relieved to be out of the relationship. Yet that didn't mean she couldn't be nice.
“How are you doing?” she asked him.
Tom shrugged. “Okay, I guess. Gimme a break, I've just been dumped,” he said and forced a smile.
“I'm sorry,” Jenna replied sincerely, “Hurting you was never my intention.”
Tom nodded. “And you? You okay?”
“Yeah.” Jenna blew the air out between her lips, “Not so much last night. Went out with Sammy, had a few too many. Okay, probably a lot too many. Went out for lunch with Peter. Now I'm. . I don't know. . . getting my life sorted, I guess.”
“You know he's married, right?” Tom suddenly asked, “Jenna, I've been your friend for ages. I'll always care about you and support you, but Peter-”
“I know.” She swallowed and looked down at her feet. “I know he's married. I know there'll never be something between us, I'm not ever going to entertain that illusion.”
“Good,” he concluded, “You're such a wonderful woman, Jenna. I'd hate to see you waste your best years on someone who would never even look at you in that way.”
“God, I'd hate that, too.” She laughed and finally smiled at him in earnest. “Victoria is going to be awkward, isn't it? With us?”
He snorted. “It was already awkward when everyone knew we were dating but you still tried to keep it secret. I think we'll manage.”
“Good point,” she said and went up on tiptoes to give him a kiss on the cheek, “I'll try to gather up your things over the week.”
“That would be good,” Tom said and took a step back towards the door, “Have a nice evening.”
Peter tried his best to focus on the documentary his wife had put together. It was good, he really liked it, but he was just so insanely tired that he could hardly keep his eyes open. He had already been tired yesterday and Peter hadn't actually gotten a good night's rest. Then there was the fight with Elaine, taking Jenna to lunch, cooking dinner for Elaine that he hadn't been so eager to eat after two pieces of cake at the Petersham Nurseries Café. The glass of red wine had done the rest. He was knackered.
“The flowers are beautiful,” Elaine said all of a sudden and Peter turned around to look at his wife, who was sitting on the sofa next to him, nodding towards the bouquet. When he had brought them home, Elaine had still been too mad to actually acknowledge them.
“Glad you like them,” he whispered and faced the screen again.
He could tell that there was something on Elaine's mind, but right now he couldn't be bothered to ask about it. He would fall asleep mid-discussion. It was probably still about last night anyway.
Elaine's hand landed on his thigh and squeezed softly and Peter leaned back against the cushions. If she started to touch him or massage him, he would only fall asleep more quickly. Sleep. That thought seemed so appealing right now.
He hardly noticed that his wife kept stroking his leg until her hand slid further up, palming him through his trousers.
“We haven't done that in a while,” Elaine whispered.
“No,” Peter mumbled in response, his eyes already closed. “We haven't.”
“Do you want to?”
His eyes shot back open and he looked at Elaine in disbelief. “What? Now? Elaine, I'm dead tired. I'd fall asleep before you could take your top off.”
She was right, however. They hadn't had a lot of sex in the last few years, none recently, and it had been Elaine's decision to take a break. She had claimed that menopause was wrecking havoc with her body, that she just didn't feel in the mood at all, but secretly Peter had always thought it was both of them. Elaine was getting older, going through changes. He was getting older, getting more wrinkled, putting on a little belly. It must have been hard to get into the mood when her husband was looking more and more like a grandfather with every passing day.
At first it had bothered him a little. Of course it had bothered him, he was a man after all, but Peter had adjusted. It was just one of those things that happened after 25 years of marriage.
Elaine withdrew her hand and looked at him. “I know we've struggled with that, but I want to make an effort. For you.”
Peter scoffed. “Elaine, honey, you don't have to do anything just because of me. Besides, I'm not the most appreciative audience tonight. I'm knackered.”
He watched Elaine swallow right before she lowered her gaze. “I don't like that we aren't intimate at all and I want to work on that. I know you still want it, I can hear you in the shower.”
Peter groaned and leaned back in his seat. He was definitely too tired for this sort of discussion. “Can we talk about this tomorrow? I'm-”
“I'm your wife and I haven't been acting as such lately.”
“What are you talking about? You're a wonderful wife, perfect actually,” he argued.
“I'm a wife who has been refusing to sleep with her husband and we both know where that sort of thing usually leads,” Elaine spat at him.
“Okay, I'm definitely too tired for this discussion,” Peter said and made an attempt to rise from the sofa, but Elaine grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back down.
“Sit down, Capaldi, I'm serious.”
“You're blowing this out of proportion, that's what you are doing!”
“I'm not and you know it! You spend most of the time in a different city, surrounded by other women and now you're not even spending your weekends here with me, but with Jenna. You even spent the night at her place!”
He frowned at her for a moment and eventually scoffed. He wanted to tell her that this whole discussion was ridiculous – but it wasn't. He knew that Jenna had feelings for him, but what he felt didn't matter. He wouldn't cheat.
“You can't seriously be jealous of Jenna,” Peter said carefully.
“Of course I'm jealous of Jenna. She's young, she's gorgeous, she's smart. Every woman in her right mind would be jealous of her. The reasons for that could fill a book.”
He rolled his eyes in annoyance. All Peter had wanted was a quiet evening and now this. And he really hadn't seen it coming.
“Elaine, I have never cheated on you. What makes you think I would do it now that I'm old?”
“You know my reasons,” she spat and stood up from the sofa.
Peter watched her leave the room without another word and suddenly he felt like he had messed up again when, really, he hadn't messed up at all. All he had wanted was a quiet Saturday night.
Thank you for the comments!!!! Guys, they're about to shoot DW, so a kiss can't be far, right? ;)
A few months later
Jenna arrived in Cardiff even though the universe had tried very hard to keep her from ever reaching the city, but despite its efforts to put as many obstacles in her way as possible, Jenna had finally made it. Filming for Peter's final episode would start next week, with the read-through already happening tomorrow. Jenna would need the weekend to settle into the flat she had rented for the month.
She parked her car in front of the apartment complex and looked up, noticing to her relief that it seemed very nice – at least from the outside. So she grabbed her purse and the smaller suitcase from the seat to have a look at the interior.
She hadn't even made it up the first flight of stairs when she spotted a woman hurry down and stop right in front of her, blocking her way.
“You must be Miss Coleman, right?”
Jenna looked up in confusion. “Yeah, I am,” she replied warily. Oh no. The way the woman was looking at her just told her that there was another problem waiting.
“I'm Mrs Allison,” the woman explained, “The estate agent. We spoke on the phone?”
She nodded in reply when the woman's face took on an apologetic expression.
“I'm afraid there is a problem. A pipe burst in the flat above yours and since no one is living there, we didn't notice until I came here half an hour ago.”
Jenna's shoulders sank as she heard the news and she instantly realized what it meant for her before the estate agent could even say another word.
“Don't worry, I will find you another furnished apartment, but it might take a day or two. Of course the agency will cover the costs for the hotel.”
“It's fine,” Jenna replied weakly, knowing that there was nothing she or the estate agent could do about that at this moment. Her stay in Cardiff was definitely cursed.
As she made her way back out of the building, her phone in her hand, Jenna considered her options. She didn't want to stay at some anonymous hotel. She had hoped for an apartment, a home, somewhere she could put her feet up after a long week on the set of Victoria, travelling back to London to pack and then driving all the way to Cardiff. She was tired. She was beating. She just wanted to relax. So Jenna opened her list of contacts and called the only person she knew that would never turn her down.
Peter smiled broadly at her when he opened the door and something about the sight of him instantly made her feel a little bit better. Jenna dropped her bags on the floor and flung her arms around him in a tight hug.
“Thank you so much for letting me stay,” she sighed against his shoulder, “I swear, I am cursed. No one can have this much rotten luck at once.”
Peter chuckled softly as he released her from the embrace. The smile remained on his face when he looked at her. “Why don't you come inside and tell me all about your bad luck while I finish dinner?”
“You made dinner?” she looked up at him, feeling even worse now for making him go through the trouble even though he was probably tired as well, having only just arrived from London.
“Well, I thought you might be hungry. I certainly am. How does pasta sound?” he asked, beaming at her.
“Perfect,” finally Jenna cracked a smile and picked her suitcases back up before she followed him inside.
She plopped down on one of the kitchen chairs while Peter stirred the pasta already boiling in the pot. She sighed deeply once her feet no longer had to carry her body weight and the idea of not moving for a few minutes really appealed to her.
“Well, first of all we shot as much of Victoria this week as we could to get ahead of schedule before I take a break for Doctor Who. I don't actually recall how many hours I've been on set every day, but it was a lot,” she explained, her voice weary and tired, “I also discovered another article in The Mirror about. . . well. . . you know what photo on my Instagram account. I swear, they'll never let it go. Then my car wouldn't start when I wanted to head back to London. Luckily just the battery. Then, at home, I couldn't find my keys because I had dropped them on the front lawn and then I arrive in Cardiff only to learn that the flat I had rented has been flooded by a burst pipe.”
“Oh, poor Jenna,” Peter uttered sympathetically, “That sounds like one hell of a week. Would you like a glass of wine? Or a cup of tea?”
“Tea sounds great right now. Seriously, I just want to put my feet up and not bother with anything for a while.”
Suddenly Peter smiled again, that sincere, loving smile that always warmed her heart. Somehow the burst pipe didn't seem like such a bad thing right now. “Then off to the sofa with you. Your tea will be there in a minute and dinner will follow in a bit,” he told her.
Jenna frowned at him. “It's really not fair to let you do all the work, you know?”
Despite her attempts to protest, Peter sent her off into the living room and ten minutes later, when Jenna was already sipping her tea, he joined her with two plates of steaming pasta. For a brief moment it made her sad because situations like this one made her painfully aware that Peter probably did all these things for Elaine on a daily basis and she had had a man like that in her life and let him go – for Peter, who couldn't be further out of reach. Ever since Jenna had discovered her true feelings for him she had been hoping for them to start fading. But how could they when he was being so sweet and attentive towards her?
“So,” she began after a while, “I've read the script last weekend when Steven mailed it to me. I must say I was a bit surprised.”
“Why?” Peter asked, stuffing his mouth full of spaghetti, “I thought it was good.”
“You know exactly what I'm talking about,” she chuckled, “The kiss is in there, including a personal note from Steven, reminding you that you've agreed on the lips. When did that happen? Last time we talked about it you were still against it.”
“Uhm,” he hesitated and cleared his throat, “Elaine convinced me that it might not be such a bad idea.”
Jenna's smile widened. “Good,” she determined, “How is she by the way? You haven't mentioned her in your last calls.”
Again Peter was a little hesitant and something about that instantly made Jenna wary. Normally he didn't hold back from telling her how Elaine was and what was going on.
“She's, uhm, she's fine. Working a lot,” he said.
Jenna sighed and put her plate down to look at Peter, only that he wasn't looking back at her. “Peter, I know you gush about Elaine whenever you're in public, but we're not in public right now. Whatever it is, you can tell me. Are you guys okay?”
“We're fine,” Peter said, his voice heavy, “We will be. Couples squabble sometimes. It's nothing major.”
“What could you and Elaine possibly squabble about?” she asked and frowned at him. They seemed like such a dream team that anything beyond a little argument over who had to take out the rubbish seemed impossible.
Peter sighed and Jenna watched as he poke around his food. “It's nothing, really. It's stupid,” he mumbled, “Elaine thinks something is bothering me, which isn't true, so she's trying to do something she doesn't feel like doing to please me because she doesn't believe me when I say it doesn't bother me at all and that is bothering me.”
Jenna couldn't help it. His explanation of the problem simply made her laugh. “I'm sorry, but could you be a little less specific? You're overwhelming me with details here.”
Again Peter took a moment to reply and as he was considering his response, he looked downright uncomfortable, giving Jenna a vague idea of what the issue was about.
“Ah, I don't wanna trouble you with that,” he said eventually and made an attempt to continue eating, but Jenna leaned forward and took his plate away before he had a chance.
“Peter, we're both adults. If this is about sex, you can tell me. There's no need to be all flustered and shy about it,” she told him, still chuckling softly. Sometimes he was too innocent to actually be considered a proper adult.
Then Jenna heard him sigh. “Really, it's nothing. Elaine was going through changes and didn't want. . . that, which was fine. I'm too old for sex anyway. Now she's acting like she's been holding out on me and desperately wants to make up for that even though I keep telling her that it doesn't bother me.”
She snorted in reply. “Peter, you're not too old for sex,” she laughed, “If anything, you're too old to be shy about sex, but you're not too old.”
Finally he raised his head, if only to glower at her.
“I mean it, Peter. I know loads of couples your age and older who still have sex,” Jenna argued.
“Can we change the subject, please?” Peter asked her impatiently. He was still obviously uncomfortable with the topic.
“Fine,” she agreed after a moment, “I need to sleep anyway. Do you mind if I take a shower?”
“Not at all,” he said and finally the smile returned to his face, “I'll put on some fresh sheets in the meantime.”
“I'll take the -”
“No, you're not taking the sofa,” Peter interrupted her, “My bed is large enough for three. And it's not like we haven't done that before, right?”
Jenna hesitated. Sharing a bed with Peter when she was all too aware of her feelings for him was potentially a really bad idea. How was she going to get over him when they continued to be so close? But on the other hand, they would be much closer again in the following weeks. And it wasn't as if they had to cuddle just because they were sharing a bed.
“Alright,” she heard herself agreeing, “But first shower. You don't want me smelling of work and sweat and long car journeys when I'm lying next to you.”
Jenna chuckled as she rose to her feet and made her way towards the bathroom, but suddenly Peter's voice made her turn around once more.
“Hey Jen,” he said, a huge grin on his face once more.
“What is it?” she asked him, throwing him a slightly amused look.
“It's us again,” his smile widened, “The Doctor and Clara reunited.”
Her heart skipped a little beat as he said those words because between shooting Victoria and her car breaking down and burst pipes, she had completely forgotten what she had come to Cardiff for. Peter was right. The dream team was back in the Tardis and the thought about it made her insanely happy.
“Yes,” she agreed, “We're gonna have a blast.”
Thank you for the sweet comments :)
“There will be no cuddling,” Jenna told herself while her hand was still on the bathroom door handle, “Everything is going to be fine, but you will not initiate cuddling.”
She took one more deep breath before he stepped out of the bathroom, dressed in her comfiest pyjamas, and headed towards the bedroom where Peter had just finished making the bed.
“I'll just brush my teeth,” Peter said, “Then we can kill the lights.”
Jenna plopped down on the bed and sighed. She had completely forgotten how soft it was and how much it smelled of Peter even though the sheets were fresh. It was that certain fabric softener he used that clung to all of his clothes and in her mind Jenna always connected it with him.
“I'm so tired I might even fall asleep with the lights on,” she said and fell back into the pillows. Yes, definitely soft.
“Two minutes,” Peter reminded her before he left the bedroom.
“You're supposed to brush for three minutes!” Jenna called after him, chuckling. Then she climbed under the duvet and turned on her side. She would fall asleep in a heartbeat.
Just like he had promised Peter returned shortly after and lifted the covers on his side of the bed to climb in. A moment later the lights went out.
“I have to warn you. I've had a cold last week, so I might snore,” he said and Jenna could feel him shift in bed next to her.
She chuckled. “You always snore.”
“Lies. All of it,” he mumbled, “Good night, Jenna.”
“Good night, Peter.”
She closed her eyes and smiled to herself. The next few weeks were going to be utterly amazing, back on Doctor Who, running around with Peter, chasing monsters. Jenna had missed it so much. What came after was something she didn't want to think about. Not yet. It was just as Peter had said – all good things come to an end eventually.
Suddenly Peter moved next to her and a moment later she could feel his arm around her waist. That wasn't a good idea.
“Peter?” she asked softly, but in reply he merely started to snore. He had already fallen asleep and in his sleep he pulled her just a little closer until her back was resting against his chest.
Jenna swallowed, but couldn't deny that she loved it. And she felt loved in his embrace. The warmth from his body, the way he held her so protectively, not to mention that it would be extremely rude to wake him up. So Jenna accepted her fate for now and leaned back against his chest with a sigh. Yes, she would sleep very well tonight.
Peter woke up before the alarm and soon became aware that Jenna was still sleeping peacefully in his arms. Maybe it hadn't been the best idea. Okay, it really hadn't been the best idea to cuddle, but Peter just couldn't find it in his heart to regret it. He had known last night that Jenna had been trying to tell him to stop, so he had pretended to be asleep and it had worked and he couldn't even really say why he had done it. He just wanted to hold her as close as possible.
Peter had always been the type to cuddle and he had missed the feeling of someone lying in his arms so very much lately. For the past few months he had been trying to tell himself that everything was fine, but every now and then a little doubt crept up on him, nagging him, making him wonder: was it really fine? Were his feelings for his former co-star really as innocent as he made them? Was it the right decision to leave Doctor Who? Was his marriage okay? And if Peter was completely honest, he couldn't answer any of these questions. He hoped. But he wasn't sure. Especially not about Elaine. They had fought a lot in the past 25 years, but never over the same matter over the course of months. No, they were going to be fine. They had to be.
To take his mind off the problems that were waiting for him at home, Peter decided to focus on Jenna instead. How small she was, how soft, how her hair smelled right next to his nose. And she was in love with him. He had tried to ignore what she had said to him the last time they had met in Cardiff, but every now and then it invaded his mind. He loved her, too, but that didn't change a thing. They were friends and Peter wanted it to stay that way. He would rather ignore this feeling and be her friend, sharing innocent hugs and cuddles, than to lose her. And that would happen because he was a married man and his marriage was fine.
Then Jenna started stirring in his embrace, uttering a small sound while she stretched and pressed her arse further against his crotch. Peter had to remind himself that his feelings for her were innocent.
“Good morning,” he whispered softly, “Did you sleep well?”
“Like a baby,” she replied behind a yawn, “What time is it?”
“Around 8,” he said and instantly Jenna started to move, untangling herself from his embrace. Peter hated to let her go, hated the space that suddenly was between them. He just wanted to lie in bed like that for a while longer. Just cuddling. Entirely innocent.
“We should probably get ready. Mind if I go first?” she asked him.
Peter had to refrain him laughing when she turned to look at him. She looked cute like that – sleepy and dishevelled and her hair in a mess.
“Not at all,” he chuckled, “Go ahead. More sleep for me.”
When Jenna trudged off in the direction of the bathroom, he sank back into the pillows with a yawn and drew the duvet up to his chin, but it wasn't quite as comfortable as it had been with Jenna in his arms. And sleep was out of the question when his phone started ringing next to him.
“Yes?” Peter answered, yawning once more.
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” Elaine greeted him, “Just calling to ask whether you've arrived safely.”
“Yeah, I sent you a message when I got here.”
“No, you didn't,” his wife argued and she sounded a little bit cross.
“Hang on,” Peter said and looked at his phone, opening the messages, and there he spotted it – the one message that was supposed to have gone to his wife yesterday and it hadn't sent. He remembered typing it, but then Jenna's call had distracted him. “Sorry, it didn't send.”
Elaine chuckled on the other end of the line. “You and modern phones – you'll never get along, will you?”
“Hey, I'm learning the little smile faces. I'm ancient, give me a break.”
“I forgot my toothbrush! Do you have a spare?!” Jenna's voice suddenly sounded through his flat and Peter could feel himself flinch.
“What was that?” Elaine wanted to know immediately.
“Uhm,” he hesitated, “That was. . . Jenna.”
“She's sleeping at your place?!” his wife asked harshly and Peter could tell that she wasn't amused by the fact. Things had been strange between them lately, even stranger when the topic shifted to Jenna, but no matter how hard Peter tried to play it down, Elaine had been jealous ever since he had fallen asleep at her place that night he had taken her home from the bar.
“Just last night. Her flat was flooded by a burst pipe and she needed a place to crash,” he explained.
“There are hotels for that,” his wife snapped at him.
“Sorry,” she apologized quickly, “Sorry, I was. . . I was just surprised, that's all. Give her my best and have a nice read-through.”
“I wi-” Peter attempted to say, but his wife had already hung up. With a groan he rose from the bed and headed off towards the bathroom to show Jenna where he kept his spare toothbrush. They were friends – nothing more and nothing less. He would make sure that there wouldn't be more between them. Somehow Elaine would have to accept that.
Thank you so much for the comments, sweethearts! Also the last line was borrowed from Magicofvenice on Twitter and it's too heartbreaking not to use <3
“Are you okay?”
Peter turned his head towards Jenna as they stepped inside the building and he chuckled in reply. “That's usually my line. You stealing my lines again before the read-through has even started?”
“Silly,” Jenna laughed and gave him a soft nudge, “I was just wondering. You've been awfully quiet all morning and it's usually the other way around.”
“Maybe I should ask you if you're okay or whether you've started to turn into a morning person,” he joked, mainly to cover up how he really felt.
Jenna had every right to ask. He wasn't okay, not entirely. First Elaine's phone call, facing her jealousy towards Jenna that maybe wasn't just a product of her imagination. And now he was heading towards his very last read-through for Doctor Who. Peter had thought it would feel just like any other read-through they had done, but instead he was close to tears already and they hadn't even started. It was really going to be his last.
“So?” Jenna arched up her eyebrows, “Are you gonna answer my question?”
He let out a long, heavy sigh. “This is the last read-through,” he admitted, “It already feels very final.”
“True,” she confirmed, “But we'll have a month of shooting to look forward to, hugging, blowing up some Daleks, running down corridors.”
Finally Peter's face lit up again when they reached the door. “Yeah, that we have.”
They stepped inside the room and Peter immediately realized that they were the last ones to arrive. Everyone else was already there and sitting in their designated seat, leaving two chairs at the centre for him and Jenna.
“Some things never change,” Steven commented with a laugh, “Let me guess, Peter, you overslept and Jenna was kind enough to wait for you?”
“No,” he chuckled in reply and glanced at Jenna, “I took in a burst pipe refugee and she blocked the bathroom for half an hour.”
“Alright, let's get started then,” Steven announced when they had both taken their seats and a short moment later he started reading the stage directions.
Peter felt instantly sucked into the story and Steven's writing and he remembered that he wasn't the only one leaving. This one was Steven's last episode just like it was his and he had gone all out to deliver an amazing story that would provoke a lot of tears from the audience. Then it was finally his turn.
“Clara?” he asked in disbelief.
“Yes, Doctor, it's me,” she breathed next to him and he could hear Jenna's smile even though his eyes were fixed on the script.
“Clara!” he said excitedly, imagining himself running towards her, “I'm still not a hugger. But this isn't a hug!”
“The Doctor runs up to Clara, closes his arms around her and kisses her. On the lips, Peter, like we agreed,” Steven chuckled.
He was sure that he was imagining things, but all of a sudden he got the impression that everyone was looking at him, waiting for him to do something and it was making him nervous. They didn't expect him to kiss her now, did they?
To end the sudden awkwardness Peter leaned across the table and pecked Jenna on the cheek. She smiled at him for that.
“Clara,” he said lovingly.
“You know,” Jenna giggled, “I usually go by Doctor Oswald now.”
“I thought you hated your surname.”
“Yeah, but I like the title,” she shrugged.
“Well, you've certainly earned it.”
“I did actually. At several universities, not just Glasgow. One was on this gas giant and-”
“I really hate to interrupt the reunion,” Maisie threw in, “But this station is going to blow up in a couple of minutes and recovering from burn wounds is a nasty business.”
“Right,” Peter said, “Not that it's going to blow up with two Doctors here though. Not if we can help it, right, Clara?”
Peter looked at Jenna and found her smiling back at him and for a moment he could ignore the impending regeneration because Jenna was right. They still had weeks of shooting ahead of them and it was going to be utterly amazing with her back by his side. They were Peter and Jenna – the TARDIS dream time.
The read-through continued and even though he tried to ignore it, the feeling of unease returned to him the closer they came to his regeneration scene. There were a lot of jokes, a lot of great dialogue and a lot of action until eventually the Doctor was wounded. Peter could feel a lump forming in his throat. Why did he have to leave the show? Why couldn't it just be him and Jenna forever?
“What about you?” he asked, his voice frail and weak. He couldn't help the tears forming in his eyes.
“I'll stay,” she reassured him and suddenly Peter felt Jenna reach for his hand under the table, squeezing it softly, “Someone's gotta make sure you don't turn all grumpy and Scottish again, right? The next girl won't thank me for it.”
Peter glanced up at Jenna and noticed that her eyes were wet as well. Oh God, they were both going to cry in front of everyone else, weren't they?
“You know,” Peter chuckled, “I've actually started to like the colour of my kidneys.”
“The Doctor slumps to the floor and Clara gets to her knees next to him, holding his hand while he regenerates,” Steven concluded, his voice sad and heavy.
Jenna was very silent when they walked back to the car and if he was completely honest, he didn't really feel like talking either. This last episode was going to be an emotional rollercoaster for both of them and Peter could tell that it wouldn't go down without tears on either side.
“So, uhm,” he began when they reached the car, “Would you like to get lunch or-”
“Actually,” Jenna said, looking straight at him. Her eyes were so sad. “Can we just order some pizza and watch Doctor Who all day? I kinda feel like crying my eyes out right now.”
Peter sighed in relief. “That's the best suggestion you could have made. Let's do this.”
“Perfect,” she said and finally her eyes lit up a little as she climbed into the car. Peter slid into the driver's seat and turned the key in the ignition. They were going to have a nice, quiet weekend together before starting their last adventure and he didn't want to think about the end just yet. For now he still had her and he vowed to enjoy every second of her company.
Thank you for the comments!!!! And yes, I think that's what we all want to see for Peter's regeneration :(
Jenna was still staying with him over the weekend and there was no call from her estate agent and somehow Peter didn't mind that one little bit. He always liked having someone around, especially if that someone was Jenna. They enjoyed a quiet weekend together, watching Doctor Who, learning their lines and cooking their meals together, she read him the script she had been working on for months and Peter was once more amazed that Jenna seemed to show talent in everything she did, whether it be acting or photography or writing. They shared his bed, but Peter knew better than to make another attempt to cuddle, somehow feeling that Jenna wouldn't really appreciate it. On Monday morning a car stopped in front of his flat to pick them both up and drive them to their last first day on the set of Doctor Who.
“I'm feeling a bit nervous,” Jenna admitted on their way to the studios. She let out a nervous laugh and when Peter turned to look at her, she seemed every bit as excited as she had on their first day together.
“So do I,” he admitted after a moment.
“Well, you don't look it.”
Peter leaned back in his seat and sighed. He couldn't tell her the real reason he felt nervous and maybe it was a good thing that the very first scene they would be shooting was the reunion between the Doctor and Clara. Their kiss. Peter felt nervous about kissing Jenna. A part of him didn't want it to happen at all and another part. . . well, another part just couldn't wait to actually do it. It was wrong and he knew it. It was just part of his job. Jenna was his friend. But all these arguments didn't change the fact that he was secretly looking forward to it.
Both of them were instantly ushered to have their make up and hair done, the stylist cursing his hair like she usually did, before she managed to bring it into shape.
“How are you feeling about your last first day?” she asked him with a bright smile. Peter had worked with her for over three years now, like he had with most people on set, and he would miss her along with everyone else.
“A bit like on my first first day,” he chuckled as he slipped on his red velvet coat.
“You'll be great,” she reassured him, “Don't tell the others, but you're my favourite Doctor.”
Again Peter laughed. “I bet you told that to the other Doctors, too.”
“Certainly not,” she reassured him, “And it's great to have Jenna back. You've always made a great team.”
“Yeah,” he smiled sincerely, “Jenna is amazing.”
Peter turned around and headed in the direction of the studio and only now he became aware of just how fast his heart was beating. In just a few moments he would kiss Jenna. God, his palms were feeling damp at the pure thought of it. He was excited and he was also terrified. Peter remembered that Michelle had made fun of their on-screen kiss, all in good humour, but still she had complained about too much suction. Would Jenna make fun of him afterwards? Would she hate it and think he was a lousy kisser? He probably was and Elaine had just never had the heart to tell him.
Peter felt a small pang of guilt when he thought about his wife and how much he was looking forward to kissing another woman. It really wasn't right, but he just couldn't help feeling this way.
“Ready for the big reunion?” Steven's voice suddenly tore him out of his thoughts and Peter turned around to stare into his producer's excited face. He didn't seem sad at all about his very last Doctor Who episode. Quite the contrary, Steven looked as excited and happy as ever.
“Absolutely,” Peter lied.
“Good. And there's Jenna, too.”
When Peter looked up, he instantly spotted Jenna coming towards them. Maybe it was really a good thing that their kiss would be the first thing to happen. At least they could get it over with quickly and then move on to the easier scenes. She looked so lovely today, just like she always did. The costume department had put her in a sweet dress, a leather jacket and boots – Clara's favourite wardrobe – and once more Peter felt the knot in his stomach tighten when he thought about the kiss. He could do it. He had agreed to it. He had to do it now.
The set was the cockpit of a spaceship, a very futuristic looking one, and it was going up in flames, sparks flying everywhere, and of course the Doctor would be right in the middle of it, fiddling with the controls.
Peter immediately started to furiously press the buttons and wiggle some of the controls. More sparks were shooting through the air around him.
“Argh, come on,” he cursed and slammed his flat hand against he console, “Why aren't you working? Why are you never working?”
The door to the cockpit opened behind him. More sparks and smoke from the console. He turned around.
“Clara?” he asked in disbelief, slowly moving towards her.
Jenna giggled and grinned at him. “Yes, Doctor. It's me.”
“Clara!” Peter almost shouted in excitement and started to make his way through the debris strewn over the cockpit floor. His hands were trembling a little at the prospect of what he was about to do. But he was going to do it. Then his foot got caught in one of the metal bars and he could only hold on to the console at the last moment before he fell to the floor.
“Cut!” Steven yelled before he started to laugh, “Peter, please, no fatal accidents in your last episode, okay?”
“I'll try my best,” he mumbled.
“Okay, once more from the moment you shout Clara. The rest was perfect,” Steven instructed them and Peter walked back to his original spot behind the yellow line.
He called out her name once more and this time, as he made his way through the cockpit, Peter didn't stumble, but his heart was beating so fast that he was afraid it might give up any moment.
“I'm still not a hugger, but this isn't a hug!”
This was it. The moment he was going to kiss her. Peter stopped in front of her and closed his arms around Jenna's waist, finally something that felt familiar. He had hugged her so many times that he had lost count of it, but now it was different. Now he was nervous. Now he was going to kiss her. His mouth felt utterly dry. Oh God, she would hate it.
Peter bent down and pressed their lips together before he could think about it any longer. His entire body was tingling in excitement when they finally touched and Jenna opened her mouth to him right as more sparks went off behind them, but Peter had completely forgotten about the crashing space ship. Her tongue found his own and when he tasted her, Peter knew that he would curse the moment their kiss ended. Her lips were so soft, so inviting and he pulled her just a little closer before his hands wandered to her face, cupping her cheeks to keep her in place. No, he didn't want the kiss to stop at all and their lips seemed inseparable for the moment, glued together. The initial hesitation was forgotten completely. Peter wanted more.
“Cut!” Steven yelled once more and Peter knew that he had to pull away from Jenna, as hard as it was. Yet he couldn't bring himself to actually tear his gaze away from Jenna, who was giggling softly. She didn't look like she had hated the kiss at all.
“Okay, can we do that again?” Steven asked, chuckling, “A little more child-friendly this time?”
Finally Peter stepped away from Jenna and smiled at her. He could shoot this scene all day and be happy with that.
“Sure,” he said, his eyes still fixed on Jenna.
“But moving your hands to her face was a lovely idea. Looked great. Let's do that,” Steven said while Peter made his way back to the yellow line, “But remember – this is a show for children.”
“Right,” Peter said and when he looked back to where Jenna was standing, she was still smiling at him. Maybe he could mess up just one more take on purpose?
Thank you for the comments, sweethearts!!! Finally they've kissed. . . would be a waste not to have them kiss again, right?
Jenna followed Peter into his flat, feeling exhausted and yet too agitated to actually calm down. They hadn't spoken much on their way back from set and she was beginning to think that Peter would never speak to her again. The entire day had been surreal. Finally back on Doctor Who, feeling as if no time had passed at all, and then their kiss. It had taken them six attempts to get it just right because every time their lips had touched, Jenna had told herself not to get carried away, but how could she not when she had longed to kiss him for such long time? And apparently she hadn't been the only one who had enjoyed the scene a little too much.
“Peter?” Jenna asked quietly.
He turned around and she got the impression that he wasn't looking at her at all, but at some spot on the wall behind her. Peter was her friend, he was married and they had just kissed when he knew she had feelings for him. Even though he had told her not to talk about it, he must have been aware of it at that moment.
“Uhm, what would you like for dinner?” he stammered, “We could cook or order something. I don't care. You pick.”
“I'm not really hungry,” she admitted.
Jenna chuckled. “You're always hungry.”
Peter sighed and let his shoulders sink, but he still wasn't looking at her and that was beginning to annoy her a little. They had been friends for so long, they had been close for so long, Jenna wouldn't have thought that a simple on-screen kiss could ruin all of that.
“Is it always gonna be this awkward from now on?”
“I'm not awkward,” he argued.
“Peter, look at me,” she said softly.
Slowly he raised his head and there was so much confusion written all over his face that Jenna didn't know what to do. Something was troubling him and somehow she got the feeling that it wasn't just about their day on set.
“It was just work,” Jenna said after a moment, “Just an on-screen kiss. If you're worried that the fans of the show are going to hate it, don't. They'll love it.”
“I enjoyed it,” he confessed, lowering his gaze back to his boots.
Jenna laughed softly. “So did I, but-”
“No, no but,” he said angrily, “I'm a married man and I enjoyed kissing my friend and co-star for more than just the purpose of the scene. Oh, this is bad.”
Peter exhaled sharply and turned away from her while Jenna watched him run his hands through his hair. He was really upset. Their kiss had upset him and she could only imagine what was currently going through his mind, but the truth was that she had no idea. No idea what was happening right now.
“Peter, it was just a kiss. It was work. So what if we both liked it? We like each other and we like our jobs. You weren't cheating on Elaine, if that's what you're thinking,” Jenna tried to calm him.
When he didn't move Jenna took a step closer until she could reach out and touch his arm. If she had known how this kiss would affect him, she would have said no to Steven right from the start. But it was too late for that now. All they could do was to make sure it wasn't going to ruin their friendship.
Then suddenly Peter turned around and looked at her. He didn't say a thing, he just looked. To her surprise he started to chuckle after a moment.
“So, you didn't hate the kiss?”
Jenna laughed. “No, silly. Why would you think that?”
He shrugged. “Michelle hated it.”
“Michelle was just teasing you.” She giggled and placed both her hands on his chest, “Trust me, you have nothing to worry about.”
Peter fell silent once again, but his gaze never left her. Instead his face took on a thoughtful, almost dreamy expression. Somehow she knew what was going to happen. She knew it and she knew she could just step back, turn around and walk away, but when Peter closed his arms around her, Jenna didn't really want to leave his embrace at all. It was wrong, he was already feeling bad, but she had enjoyed their kiss just as much as he had.
Peter slowly leaned forward, giving her enough time to pull away if that was what she wanted, but Jenna did the opposite. She went up on tiptoes, her hands trembling just a little, and leaned against his chest when their lips locked in another kiss. Peter's arms held her in place when he parted his lips and allowed her to explore with her tongue. It was different now, calmer, more careful and above all there wasn't an entire crew watching their every move.
His kiss was so soft, gentle and loving that Jenna thought her stomach might burst any second because of the amount of butterflies that were going haywire inside of it. She had never thought this would happen. She had dreamed about it, maybe even hoped for it, and she had always scolded herself for these kind of thoughts. Peter was married and here they were, in the corridor of his flat in Cardiff, kissing each other until the need for air grew too great to ignore and they eventually pulled away from each other.
“I'm sorry,” Peter whispered and then cleared his throat, “Sorry, I shouldn't have.”
“It's. . . uhm, it's okay,” Jenna breathed. Damn, her heart was beating so loudly that she thought Peter could hear it. “I. . . I liked it.”
“God, me too,” he admitted with a sigh, “Jenna, what are we doing?”
“Kissing,” she replied hesitantly, “I suppose.”
“Yes,” he said, “Just kissing, right? I mean, that's not a bad thing, is it?”
“Peter-” Jenna warned him in an attempt to stop any attempts to justify what they were doing, but her sentence was cut short when Peter bent down once more. Yet right before he could kiss her again her phone started ringing in her pocket. Jenna instantly stepped away from him.
“Yes?” she answered her phone.
“Hello, Mrs Allison here,” came the voice from the other end of the line, “I've found you a new apartment. Close to Cardiff Bay, the rent is the same and it has all the furniture you need. Do you want to come and look at it?”
“I'll take it,” Jenna replied instantly while her eyes were still fixed on Peter. She couldn't possibly spend another night in his flat, in his bed. She didn't trust herself enough for that.
“You haven't even seen it,” her estate agent argued.
“It's nice, isn't it? And I'm gonna need a place to stay. I'll come over straight away, just text me the address.”
After she had ended the phone call with her estate agent, Jenna noticed the disappointment on Peter's face, but she knew that she was making the right decision. If she stayed here, they might do something they would later regret.
“You're not even gonna stay for dinner?” he asked.
“I don't think that's a good idea,” Jenna told him, “Besides, the estate agent is waiting for me there.”
Peter nodded slowly.
“I'll see you at work tomorrow?” Jenna asked, granting him the best smile she could muster. She felt terrible and confused and above all sorry for leaving him like that. But Jenna needed to clear her head.
“Yes,” he said and finally he smiled back, “See you tomorrow.”
After taking a deep breath Jenna walked up to him and gave him a peck on the cheek before she turned around to get her suitcase. It was the right decision. She needed to leave. And she needed to think.
Thank you for the comments :)
Peter was standing on the side, waiting for the crew to finish the set up of their next scene when he was suddenly startled by a slap on the shoulder. He flinched and instantly turned around to look straight into Steven's face – and he was laughing. That didn't bode well for Peter, he could tell.
“There has been a change of plans,” Steven announced happily, “I've rewritten the script after yesterday. Added a few more kisses between you and Jenna.”
“What?!” he almost barked at him in response.
Steven continued to laugh. “I'd have thought you'd be more enthusiastic about it after what I've witnessed yesterday. Relax!” He chuckled. “I didn't change anything. I was just teasing you.”
Peter let out a sigh of relief and hoped that Steven didn't notice. For a moment he had actually believed him. “Very funny. Why me? Why does everyone feel the need to tease me? You, Michelle, Jenna,” he complained.
“Because you're the one kept going on and on about how wrong a kiss between the Doctor and Clara would be and then you deliver something that they would hesitate to put in a movie suitable for 15 year old children.”
He looked down at his shoes. Wasn't the first scene due to start any moment now?
“Again, I was teasing, Peter,” Steven said gently, “I think it worked out nicely in the end. Where's Jenna, by the way? Didn't she arrive with you?”
“No,” he replied, “Got a call from her estate agent yesterday. Moved into a flat at Cardiff Bay.”
“Okay, she should be here soo-” Steven broke off and a smile spread across his face. When Peter turned around he saw Jenna enter the studio. “Speak of the devil.”
“What?” Jenna giggled, “I'm the devil now? That's not very nice. What exactly have you told him about me, Peter?”
When she smiled at him, Peter suddenly felt lost for words. Yesterday had been utterly strange and he had hoped that the urge to kiss Jenna had just been a side effect of the scenes they had been shooting, that it would fade over night, that some time apart would be enough to clear his mind of any thought about that. Yet he had been wrong. Jenna was standing in front of him and he still wanted to kiss her. And what was worse was that she acted as if nothing had ever happened at all. Well, what else was she supposed to do? Maybe he should try the same thing.
“Only that you snore,” Peter replied and then nodded towards the set, “Looks like they're finished building it.”
“Yep,” Steven agreed, “Let's get some work done.”
Peter was relieved as soon as he took on the role of the Doctor again and Jenna became Clara because for the first time since their kiss things felt almost normal. They said they lines, they hugged, they ran down corridors while something behind them was blown up. Normal. Natural territory. He could work with that and he could even ignore the tingling on his skin when she touched him or how his heart skipped a beat every time Jenna smiled in his direction. Yet Peter knew that he needed to get over their kiss as soon as possible if he wanted to have any kind of friendship with her.
During their break Peter retreated to his trailer, hung the velvet coat on the rack with a sigh and switched on the kettle. They had only been shooting for two days and they still had a month to go. How was he going to get through that when his friendship with Jenna had derailed so terribly? How was it that she was able to pretend that nothing had ever happened?
Maybe she didn't have feelings for him any longer. Maybe what she had told him months ago in Cardiff was so far in her past that in the meantime she had forgotten all about it while his own feelings had only grown worse and more confusing. Was he in love with Jenna? Peter couldn't say. He loved her, he always had. But this desire to kiss her was new, it was strange, it was. . .
A knock on the door interrupted his train of thoughts and a few moments later Jenna entered through the door. She avoided his gaze and something about her had changed ever since they had left the set. Peter only felt the knot tighten in his stomach now that they were alone and not surrounded by crew members.
“Uhm, there are fans waiting in front of the studios,” Jenna explained, “I thought maybe you'd want to go out and say hi.”
Peter inhaled sharply. “Sure, after my cup of tea,” he granted her a smile when the kettle behind him clicked and switched off, “Do you want one?”
For a brief moment he felt her hesitate. “Uhm, yeah, sure. Why not?”
He gestured towards the small sitting area and watched her slip into her seat while Peter poured the water into two mugs. The trailers were small and crammed. Tiny bathroom, tiny kitchen holding only the essentials, a seating area with a table and a sofa that Peter had used for a lot of naps between takes during the last season. Normally he hadn't complained about the trailer's size, but now, as he sat down next to Jenna, he became aware of how little space there was actually left between them.
“So, how's the new flat?” Peter asked just to end the awkward silence between them.
Jenna set her mug back down, obviously realizing that the tea was still too hot to drink. “It's nice. Small, but nice. You could come over on Saturday. I could cook something. Unless of course you're going home for the weekend,” she spluttered.
Okay, so Jenna was just as nervous as he felt when no one else was in the room. At least Peter wasn't the only one. “No, we're gonna shoot late on Friday. Not really worth going home for just one day.”
“True,” she agreed.
Peter felt like he couldn't take it anymore. Jenna wasn't looking at him, it felt as if he was talking to a stranger and he thought he might burst any second if the tension grew any worse. He needed to do something about it.
This time it was Peter who was surprised when Jenna turned around and leaned forward just a little until their lips collided in another, careful kiss, but he wasn't going to fight her about that. Instead he sucked her sweet, soft bottom lip while his heart threatened to jump out of his chest. He had been right all those months ago, he had been afraid to kiss her because he had known it would be impossible to stop. But how could something so sweet be so wrong? Was it really cheating? Was it that bad? They were only kissing, nothing more.
When Jenna eventually pulled away there was a smile curling around the corners of her lips and Peter couldn't help but chuckle at the sight of her cute dimples. Jenna was such a beautiful woman that once more he found it hard to believe that she would actually choose him to kiss.
“I could get used to that,” he whispered softly, smiling at her.
“So could I,” Jenna replied, “Though we probably shouldn't.”
“Probably not, yeah,” Peter agreed, “So, wanna go outside and give some autographs?”
“Yeah, that's a good idea.”
Peter followed Jenna outside the studio grounds where several small groups of fans were already waiting. There wasn't a huge crowd today like there usually was when they were shooting in the middle of Cardiff. They would give some autographs, take selfies and have a chat or two with the eager fans. Even after three years it still felt strange to Peter that people would queue up just to take a picture with him, but he just loved putting a smile on their faces.
Jenna had already gone ahead and was in the middle of a selfie while Peter asked for the name of a young boy before he signed his DVD case. His mother smiled proudly when she took a picture of them both.
“Who's your favourite Doctor?” Peter asked upon spotting the bowtie around his neck, “Is it Matt Smith?”
The boy nodded, smiling coyly.
“I liked him, too,” Peter admitted and turned around to where Jenna was talking to a young man.
Peter instantly recognized him even though it had been dark the last time he had seen him and suddenly a wave of anger rose up inside of him. That guy had some nerve showing his face here.
“I really loved you as Clara,” the man told her with a sly, disgusting smile, “Can I take a selfie?”
When the man placed his arm around Jenna, that smile still stuck on his face, Peter couldn't hold back any longer. He had never expected to see him again, never expected him to approach Jenna after what had happened and then some instinct just took over when Peter noticed his hand on Jenna's hips. He wouldn't let that pig get away. Not this time. Peter stepped forward, launched and landed a punch right into the man's face.
*group hug* Thank you guy so much for the amazing comments! Oh, dear, Peter is in trouble now. But who was the guy he punched?
“Peter!” Jenna exclaimed loudly when he punched the man she had just been about to take a selfie with. Peter punching a fan had been the last thing she had expected and it had all happened too quickly for her to prevent it.
Jenna was only dimly aware of the fan's bleeding nose, Peter holding his wrist, still huffing in anger, the bodyguards rushing to their aid, the gawking fans and she had no idea what on earth was going on.
“Peter, what in God's name has gotten into you?!”
He didn't reply, only glared at the man he had punched.
“You should go back inside,” one of the bodyguards said, “Both of you.”
“Good idea,” Jenna hissed in reply and grabbed Peter by the arm, dragging him towards the studio door where Steven was already waiting for them. Oh hell, this wasn't going to be pleasant. Especially not for Peter – but then again, he did deserve that after what he had done.
“Both of you, in here!” Steven bellowed as he held a door open for them and a few moments later Jenna stepped into a room that was usually reserved for the read-throughs. She had rarely seen Steven angry, but right now he definitely was and something told her that he had witnessed what had happened outside. Which meant that he had every right to be mad at Peter because so was Jenna.
“Okay, I can only judge what I've seen and what I've seen was that you, Peter, just punched a fan in the face. Care to explain that?” Steven demanded angrily, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
Peter stared down at his own two feet and Jenna didn't dare to say anything right now while Steven was glowering at them both.
“I'm waiting,” he reminded them.
“He deserved it!” Peter spat after a moment and swiftly lowered his gaze again. Then Steven turned towards her.
“Okay, Jenna, your side of the story, please.”
She took a deep breath before she spoke, not liking the idea of blaming Peter at all, but she was angry as well and just wanted to know what the hell was going on.
“I have no idea. I was about to take a photo with him and Peter just came at him out of nowhere,” she explained coldly, shifting her gaze towards Peter, “I have no idea why, but I would really love to know. What were you thinking?!”
She watched Peter swallow and raise head for a moment to look at her before he quickly lowered his gaze again.
“He's the taxi driver from that night and he's a pig, so he deserved it,” Peter admitted sheepishly.
“What taxi driver? What night?” Jenna asked harshly.
“You know, that night,” Peter replied, now finally looking at her, “That night I picked you up a few months ago.”
“Oh,” Jenna uttered. She only remembered it vaguely and she would have never recognized that man again. Also, she had no idea why on earth he deserved to be punched in the face.
“I'm afraid I'm gonna need a little more detail here,” Steven demanded, now finally joining in their conversation again, “Tell me what happened.”
“Just tell him, Peter,” she groaned, “I'm a grown woman and that night was entirely my fault. There's no need to protect me!”
When Jenna noticed how uncomfortable Peter looked all of a sudden her anger started to fade away just a little. She really didn't know what had happened that night to make Peter, the gentlest and sweetest person she knew, punch someone in the face, but she guessed that it must have been bad. That was just so unlike him.
“He took photos that night,” he blurted out, “Of you. Don't worry, I bribed him afterwards and he deleted the pictures. But he's still a pig.”
“What kind of photos?” Jenna raised an eyebrow at him.
Peter sighed and hesitated for a long moment. “Of when you threw up and-,” another long pause, “And under your skirt.”
“Like I said, I bribed him,” Peter told her calmly, “I watched him delete them all. There's no need to worry.”
For a moment Jenna had no idea what to say. Peter had never told her about that and she wasn't sure if she should be freaked out that someone had taken a photo up her skirt or moved that Peter had apparently bribed the man to protect her. But that still wasn't a reason to punch him. No, for the moment she decided to still be angry with him.
“You do realized that he could have uploaded the photos to a cloud before that, right? There's no way of knowing he no longer has them and now that you've punched him he might reconsider selling them!”
“I, uhm,” Peter hesitated, “I didn't think about that. I'm sorry.”
Steven took an audible breath behind them. “Fact is that one way or another word of this will get out. Fans saw it. It'll be on the internet by now. Someone might even have filmed it. There is nothing we can do about that,” he sighed, “The good news is that the security guards have taken the man inside and they will ask him not to press charges and not to speak to the press. Best we can do is hope that he will listen.”
“Well, I'm feeling less bad about my sexy Instagram selfie now,” Jenna shrugged.
Both Peter and Steven instantly looked at her, but the producer soon shook his head. “I don't even want to know,” he groaned and buried his face in his hands, “You guys really had to pull this on your very last episode, yeah? You really want to go out with a bang.”
“Sorry,” both Peter and Jenna mumbled simultaneously.
“Go home,” Steven said eventually, now sounding more weary than angry, “We'll continue shooting tomorrow.
As they walked back to their trailers to pick up their things, Jenna wasn't quite sure if she was still angry at Peter. A part of her definitely was. Just like the Doctor Peter was opposed to settling matters with violence and the fact that he had resorted to punching a man over photos that had been taken of her still seemed too surreal for now. Then she noticed that he was still holding his wrist.
“Why are you holding your hand like that?” she asked warily, eyeing him with suspicion. God, if he had hurt himself because of that, she would punch him in return.
“It's a good hand,” Peter mumbled in reply, “I like that hand.”
Jenna rolled her eyes. “You've hurt yourself, haven't you?”
“No, really, it's fine, just-”
She didn't let him finish his sentence. Instead Jenna grabbed him by the arm, at which he uttered an ow, and dragged him in the direction of her trailer.
He sat down in her seating area without protest while Jenna rummaged through her small freezer for the bag of ice cubes that she knew was the standard equipment for a trailer during summer shoots. She found it quickly enough and threw it into his lap when she sat down next to Peter.
“I should twist and turn that wrist a little more just because it was your own idiocy that got you hurt,” she growled and watched him pick up the bag and lift it to his knuckles.
Peter looked like he was in pain and all of a sudden Jenna felt a tiny bit guilty because he had done it for her. In fact, he had done a lot of things for her that she hadn't even known about until now.
“Does it hurt badly?” she asked after a moment.
“No,” Peter replied, “Just a bruise. It'll be fine.”
“Good,” Jenna concluded and fell silent for a long moment. Her thoughts wandered back to the conversation they had had with Steven and what Peter had done to protect her. He was an idiot. An adorable idiot, but an idiot nonetheless. “I suppose I should thank you, though I'm really not keen on men defending my honour like it's still the 19th century, but still, you were right, that man sounds like a pig. Thank you for paying him off that night.”
“You'd have done the same thing,” he argued.
“Yeah, unless you had punched someone earlier,” she chuckled and to her relief Peter was smiling back at her when she looked at him.
It was strange how the recent awkwardness that had come between them suddenly seemed to have faded away. This was them. Just Peter and Jenna. Only it wasn't. Jenna had tried her best to ignore her feelings, to act as if nothing had ever happened between them, but it was only working when they were on set and in character. In private she wanted nothing more than to kiss him again. Luckily for her, Peter seemed to have the same idea when they both leaned in and locked their lips in a kiss once more. She really could get used to that.
Thank you so, so, so much for the comments :) How could it possibly go on with those two idiots?
Jenna was amazing, she felt amazing, everything about her simply seemed to blow his mind and Peter couldn't quite believe that what they were doing was actually happening. After sharing a few chaste kisses over the last few days they had once more retreated to his trailer during their break, determined to go over their lines, but not even ten minutes had passed before their lips had reunited in another kiss. And this time it wasn't chaste.
Jenna had climbed onto his lap, her hips digging deep into his crotch while Peter had his arms around her, pressing her against his chest. He was 59 years old and he had never really felt his age, he simply couldn't feel like an old man when he was paid to chase rubber monsters, but Jenna made him feel as if he was a teenager again. Sneaking off in secret, stealing a snog in his trailer or hers or in the changing rooms the day before. It wasn't cheating, Peter had determined. It was only kissing and he wouldn't allow anything else to happen. But he simply couldn't say no to her lips, couldn't say no when she kissed him, when she sat on his lap. He probably should have said no to that, but damn, it felt good to have her so close.
Jenna's hands slid across his chest and suddenly found the first button of his shirt. He should stop her, but he didn't want to. She popped the first button open, then the second and then the third. Peter moaned into her mouth when she started grinding against his crotch. The blood was leaving his brain, making it a lot more difficult to think while he was growing harder under the touch of her body. Then her lips left his, wandering across his chin and down his throat. It felt as if an eternity had passed since someone had touched him like that and it certainly had been an eternity since it had felt so damn exciting. Everything about her was new and discovering just how she liked to be kissed felt like a better adventure than any Doctor Who episode he had ever done.
“Jenna,” he whispered hoarsely, gasping when she startled to nibble at the sensitive skin of his neck. The sensation of it seemed to shoot through his entire body and as if by instinct his hands started to wander. They found their way under her shirt, stroking across the plane of her stomach until one of them came to rest on her breast. Peter wished that he could take off her bra, that he could touch her properly, the mere idea of it making his cock twitch inside the confinement of his trousers that were starting to feel a little tight.
Then he finally came back to his senses and gently pushed Jenna away from him. She looked at him in confusion.
“What's wrong?” she asked him.
Peter smiled softly. “This is.”
“No,” she shook her head, “It's just kissing. We said kissing was okay.”
He let out a groan and lifted Jenna up just a little, his injured hand hurting instantly when he did, and sat her back down a little further down his legs, away from the centre of his arousal. He couldn't think straight when she was pressed against him like that.
“We both know that it's gonna turn into more if we keep that up and I can't,” Peter sighed, rolling his eyes. Why couldn't they have met thirty years ago? “I'm too old for this.”
Suddenly Jenna snorted, laughing. “Peter, for the last time. You're not too old for sex,” he said, the amusement all too audible in her voice. She could laugh about it. She wouldn't be the one feeling ashamed when he failed to please her.
Peter wasn't quite sure where she had found the bravery to do it, but all of a sudden she reached down between his legs and squeezed him through the fabric of his trousers. He instinctively closed his eyes and uttered a low moan. Truth was, he wanted her to touch him there, by God he wanted nothing more than for their clothes to be gone and for Jenna to tend to his growing need.
“Seems to be working fine if you ask me,” she chuckled and eventually he found the strength to reach for her hand and lead it away from him.
“Well, I'm too married for this,” he said and finally Jenna stopped.
She lifted herself off his lap and sat down next to him on the sofa, inhaling deeply before she started tucking her shirt back into her skirt.
“I'm sorry,” she mumbled quietly.
“Don't be,” Peter told her and reached for her hand. He lifted it up to his lips and pressed a soft kiss to the back of it, his eyes remaining on her sad face. “I love you, Jenna. I've always loved you and I always will, but we shouldn't go further.”
She nodded softly. “Are we still on for tomorrow evening?” Jenna asked.
Peter hesitated. She had invited him for dinner at her new flat and of course he wanted to go, he wanted to see how she lived, wanted to spend time with her – but that was where the danger lay. There would be no one else around, just the two of them with no deadline of a lunch break that was drawing to an end. It was a really bad idea to go, but he wanted to.
“Of course,” Peter smiled at her, “Have to check out the new place, right?”
“Good,” Jenna concluded, her spirits lifting visibly at the prospect of the two of them spending some time together alone. It really was a bad idea. “I should get back to my own trailer.”
She bent down and pressed a swift kiss to his lips before she stood up and Peter watched her leave. Whatever was happening between the two of them, it could never have a happy ending and Peter knew it. He knew and he still wanted to go ahead with it. At first he had felt so terribly guilty because of Elaine, but that guilt was fading away the more time he actually spent kissing Jenna. What on earth had become of him?
Suddenly his phone started ringing next to him and when Peter glanced at the display, the guilt he had managed to suppress returned to him in an instant before he swiftly answered the phone.
“Hi Elaine,” he said, trying his best to sound cheerful, “How are you?”
“Wondering why on earth you've punched a fan!”
Peter swallowed. So the incident that had happened earlier this week had eventually found its way to the public.
“Uhm, that's a really long story,” he said.
“I've got all the time in the world.”
He inhaled deeply, knowing that he wouldn't get away with lies and half truths this time, so instead Peter told her about what had happened that night he had taken Jenna home, about the taxi driver and how he had showed up on set. He waited for a painfully long while for her answer.
“Well, he did deserve that punch in the face,” Elaine said after a moment, “Not that that's an excuse.”
“I know and I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me, but when I saw him I just. . . it won't happen again,” he said.
Elaine sighed. “This is what I get for marrying a gentleman,” his wife paused, “I guess I should apologize as well.”
“For what?” Peter wanted to know.
There was another long pause. “I know Jenna means a lot to you, I know you are friends. My jealousy, my comments, that was unfair. I trust you and I know you would never stray. I let my own insecurities get the better of me. I'm sorry.”
Peter suddenly felt a lump in his throat and it prevented him from saying anything in reply. He was doing exactly what his wife was afraid he would do and her apology felt like a knife through his heart. He should be the one to apologize, he should be the one to fall on his knees and beg forgiveness of the woman he had loved for decades. But he couldn't. He couldn't say anything.
“I know we've had a rough patch, but we're going to be okay, aren't we?” she asked.
He swallowed. “Yeah,” Peter breathed eventually and it felt like the hardest thing he had ever had to say.
Sorry about the angst thing :D I promise, I'll (try to) make it up to you and thank you for the comments, faithful readers :)
“Dinner was lovely,” Peter mumbled into her ear, “Next time I'll cook.”
Jenna smiled to herself. They were lying on her sofa, Peter behind her, his arm wrapped tightly around her chest, and some period drama was on the telly that neither of them were actually playing attention to. Jenna felt knackered after her first week back on Doctor Who, her feet were hurting, as well as some muscles she hadn't even been aware of she had. Lying here like that with Peter was the most perfect thing she could imagine right now, but there was still some room for improvement.
Jenna turned around in his embrace and smiled at him.
Peter chuckled at the sight of her. “What is it?” he wanted to know.
Instead of replying she leaned forward and kissed him on the lips.
“Ah, you young people with all your energy,” he laughed softly, but still pulled her closer.
Jenna felt a distinct prickling on her skin where their bodies touched and she wondered if he would ever let it get as far again as it had gone in his trailer the day before. She was fully aware that he was married, that he would never leave Elaine, that he probably felt guilty, but that didn't keep Jenna from wanting it. She had come this far and she hadn't ever believed it to be possible.
Again she leaned closer and pressed their lips together, kissing him hungrily so as not to leave any doubt as to her intentions. Peter responded instantly, parting his lips to let her in. If it hadn't been for Steven and his scripted kiss, they would never have come so far and right now Jenna wanted to thank their head writer for that. She let her hands wander south, untucking his shirt from his trousers and sliding her hands up his chest. It felt so warm and soft beneath her palms and then there was the excitement that he actually let her touch him like that. To her surprise Peter copied her move and his hand was careful when it found its way beneath her clothes as if he still wasn't sure she would want him to touch her. She had left out the bra tonight, knowing that they would only spend a comfortable evening on the sofa and she felt Peter hesitate when he noticed the absence of this particular item of clothing. Then he gently moved his hand upwards, careful, testing, exploring, running his thumb over her nipple. Jenna felt a shiver run over her body that eventually came to rest as an itch between her legs.
When their lips parted she gasped for air and for the first time Jenna became aware of just how much heat radiated from Peter's body, how his chest started to feel a little damp beneath her fingers. He would start to protest any second now and Jenna knew she had to be quicker than that. She took his hand and led it away from her breasts, guiding the way down her leg and back up her skirt until it came to rest just above her sex. He paused, but when Jenna bent forward to kiss him again, Peter started to run his hand over the damp fabric of her knickers. That only seemed to increase the throbbing desire within her and Jenna found herself grinding against his hand, desperate to feel his long, gentle fingers inside of her. She moaned into his mouth when finally his hand found its way past her knickers, his careful fingers sliding into her wetness. He was so gentle at first as if he still wasn't sure she wanted him. He broke the kiss.
“Does that feel good?” Peter whispered and Jenna could only nod.
“Yeah,” she panted as his fingers dug inside of her and Peter bent down to nip at her bottom lip.
In response Jenna lowered her hand as well and somehow she managed to unbutton his trousers without being stopped by him. When she slid her hand past the waistband of his underpants, she found him already hard. Peter made a sound unlike she had ever heard from him before, so carnal, so needy when she wrapped her hand around his member and started to stroke up and down. The idea that she was allowed to touch him, that she brought him pleasure, it only seemed to fuel her own arousal and Jenna moaned without restraint the next time his fingers dug into her.
In the back of her mind Jenna knew that it wouldn't come to that, not tonight anyway, but as she estimated his size with her hand, as he was growing harder under her touch, she couldn't help but wonder how he would feel inside of her as she brushed his tip with her thumb. She could hear his breathing next to her ear, fast and heavy, and he started to rock into her palm. She squeezed his shaft a little harder and noticed just how slick it was with precum.
“Jenna,” he breathed as he lowered his mouth to her neck. His teeth scraped along her delicate skin. “Easy there.”
But Jenna was past the point where she was in control of anything when she was beginning to feel a little dizzy and her heart was pounding in her chest. It was the body heat of them both, it was Peter's hand that was slowly working her towards the point of no return. She tightened her grip around him when she started to feel it.
“Jenna, stop,” she heard him in the back of her mind just when his touch was starting to overwhelm her. She whimpered when she felt her muscles pulse around his fingers and she was only vaguely aware of his protests as she continued to stroke him while her orgasm rolled over her like a wave of pleasure.
When Jenna came back to her senses and the aftershocks of her orgasm had abated a little, she became aware that Peter was also panting next to her, that he had become completely still and that her hand and his pants were covered in cum.
“I'm sorry,” Peter swallowed hard, “I didn't mean to.”
He removed his hand from her and rolled onto his back, his breathing still heavy. Jenna knew it was uncalled for, but she couldn't help but chuckle. “Too old for sex, huh?”
He laughed. “Jen, I swear, if you tease me about that now.”
“I won't,” she confirmed and turned around to look at him. He seemed so serene for the moment and the guilt obviously hadn't caught up with him yet. “I could do with a shower. How about you?”
“If you're shy about me seeing you naked, you realize that that's utterly silly after what we've done?”
He turned his head and smiled at her. “Shower is a good idea.”
Jenna went ahead into the bathroom with Peter reluctantly trailing after her and she immediately stripped out of her clothes and threw them in the vague direction of the hamper. When she turned around, Peter was still fully clothed.
“Come on, off with them,” she told him, “I want to give those pants and trousers a wash.”
He raised his eyebrows at her. “Thanks, but I'd rather walk home with a stain than with wet clothes.”
“They'll be dry by morning,” she argued.
Still Peter didn't move. Instead he threw her an apologetic smile. “I hadn't planned on staying over night. I shouldn't stay over night.”
Finally he stepped forward and closed his arms around her bare hips with a sigh. “You're a wonderful woman, Jenna. You're intelligent and funny and beautiful,” he said and Jenna watched his gaze wander down her naked body. Yet there was no desire in his eyes, only sadness and regret. “You deserve so much more than I have to offer.”
Jenna looked up at him. That was so typical of Peter. He always put others first. “What if you are, if that is exactly what I want?” she asked, frowning slightly.
“Well, I don't want it for you. I don't want to make you the other woman. I don't want to do that to you or to myself. I feel guilty as it is and I will probably feel guilty about what we've already done until the end of time. If we go further, it'll only make things worse.”
She swallowed and considered his words for a moment.
“Can we make a deal?” she asked, “You stay here over night, you let me clean those clothes, we'll have a nice breakfast together tomorrow and I promise you that nothing will happen. I just want you here, that's all.”
Peter let out a groan. “Jenna-Louise Coleman, you'll get your wish either way.”
“Yes,” she confirmed with a smile and went up on tiptoes to give him a kiss. “Now, off with those clothes.”
Finally Peter complied.
Thank you so much for the lovely comments, especially the very long one by ScramblinRosie (seriously, whenever I read your comments I start humming Cracklin' Rosie by Neil Diamond - is that the intended effect? :D) that displays a wonderful what if scenario. Fortunately for them, Elaine isn't going to visit today :D
Peter hated not being able to stick to his good intentions, only usually he had made a New Year's resolution to diet or to go to the gym more often, eat less sweets, that sort of thing. This time his resolution had been to stay away from Jenna and that seemed even harder than staying away from sweets.
They had gone back to his trailer once again, determined to go over their lines and thrown that idea over board no less than five minutes after they had finished their lunch. Jenna was really good at making him forget all about his good intentions and she was even better at making him fall apart under her touch. She was sitting on his lap, their lips inseparably locked in a kiss and her hand was tightly wrapped around his cock. The whole scenario still seemed insane to him. But here they were and here she was, driving him to the edge of insanity.
Peter moaned into her mouth when she ran her fist up and down his shaft, teasing him. He could feel that she was aiming at him to come.
“Jenna,” Peter panted hoarsely. He wanted to come. He had spent the days since Saturday evening dreaming about this, but there was a time and place. “Jenna, not on the trousers. Costume department will kill me.”
Suddenly Jenna distanced herself from him, a smile on her face that was more than a little suggestive. “Doesn't have to go on the trousers, you know,” she shrugged, “I could use my mouth.”
Peter laughed. Ah, he was tempted to agree, very tempted. “As lovely as that sounds,” he said as he guided her hand away from him, “I'm afraid I'm gonna have to pass.”
“I want to do it,” Jenna said to his surprise and she sounded nothing if not sincere. Somehow Peter could feel that she wasn't talking about what they were doing right now. “Tonight. I want to sleep with you.”
He let out a heavy sigh. “Jen, we've discussed this. We-”
“We both want it,” she cut him off, “I know you feel guilty, but guilt hasn't stopped you so far and sex isn't worse than what we've already been doing. And before you start that again, I know what I'm getting myself into. I know that at the end of this you'll go back to Elaine, I know I'll be heartbroken. But I think I'd regret not doing it a little more than doing it.”
Peter took a moment to let her words sink in. Jenna was right in a way. He imagined confessing to Elaine that he had spent weeks kissing and fumbling with another woman and he imagined confessing to Elaine that he had stepped out, had sex with someone else. Peter didn't think it would make the slightest difference.
But what about his broken heart? In two and a half weeks they would wrap his final episode, he would move back home and he and Jenna would go their separate ways. No more kisses, no more touching. They couldn't possibly sneak off and continue whatever they had started here back in London and they both seemed to know that. It would hurt and maybe it would hurt more if they went all the way. Yet Jenna was right. They both wanted it and maybe, in a few months or years, his regret wouldn't be the sex he had had with her, but the missed opportunity.
“Are you absolutely sure?” Peter asked her.
Jenna simply nodded.
When they walked back on set, Peter and Jenna were soon greeted by an excited Steven who pocketed his phone and had obviously just ended a phone call that had brought them good news.
“Guys, what are you doing tonight?” he asked them.
Peter exchanged a glance with Jenna, but chose not to answer the question truthfully. “Why? We're not in for another late night shoot, are we?”
“Much better,” Steven grinned at them, “I've reserved a table at the new sushi bar. You're both coming, aren't you?”
“We'll be there,” Peter interrupted Jenna's attempt to get out of Steven's invitation. He wasn't very keen to socialize after a long day on set, but he was also a coward and right now he could feel Jenna glower at him. Steven never noticed that.
“Perfect,” he said with a broad smile, “Now back to work. Oh, and by the way. The legal team have had a chat with the guy you punched. He refused to say what it was about and he's not gonna press charges. So you got lucky there.”
Peter sighed audibly. “That's a relief,” he said, “The news is still out though.”
“Which is your own fault,” Jenna muttered under her breath, but Peter still heard her. He had the feeling that she was still slightly mad at him about that, so he decided not to say any more and follow the two of them into the studios.
“Why did you drag us here?” Jenna whispered while the others were too busy to pay any attention to them. The sushi bar was alright, but Peter could tell that Steven had obviously expected more. The drinks were expensive, not that he had to worry about that, but he outright refused to throw that kind of money down the owner's throat, so Peter had been sipping from the same glass of coke for two hours, the food had tasted funny and all of that had had an impact on the group. The evening was downright dull.
“I'm sorry. I didn't think it was gonna be that boring,” he replied in a low voice.
“But you had assumed it would be at least a little bit boring,” Jenna noted.
Peter rolled his eyes. If he could take back the agreement he had made earlier, he absolutely would. Instead of sitting in a restaurant that served expensive drinks and dubious food he could be at home right now, alone with Jenna. He suddenly regretted his earlier cowardice.
“We could leave?” Peter suggested quietly.
He heard her sigh in reply before she turned around and look at him. “I'd love that. But how are we gonna sell that to the others?”
“What are you guys whispering over there?” Steven almost yelled across the table, laughing, “Making fun of us?”
“Actually,” Peter replied when he had a brilliant idea, “Jenna just told me that she's not feeling well. I'm gonna take her home.”
“Yeah.” She slowly rose from her seat. “I don't think the sushi agrees with my stomach.”
The smile faded from Steven's face and he nodded understandingly. Thank God the two of them were actors, otherwise this might not have worked. “Alright. It did taste a bit odd, I have to admit that. Go home and get some rest, yeah?”
Peter noticed the hint of a smirk on Jenna's face, but she quickly put on a stern expression. “Will do. Good night.”
“Good night,” the others mumbled and Peter scrambled to his feet as well, ready to escort Jenna home.
As soon as they had left the restaurant, they both dropped their act and started giggling.
“So, are you gonna take me home like a gentleman or do we go to your place?” Jenna asked, smiling dreamily at him.
“Well, my place is just around the corner,” he argued.
“Your place it is then.”
Peter's heart skipped a beat when she hooked her arm in his and all of a sudden his pulse seemed to have twice its usual speed. He knew exactly what Jenna was planning to do and his mind told him that he should refuse, but the butterflies in his stomach just couldn't wait to finally get home.
Thank you for the comments :) Ahhhh, the heartbreak is inevitable :/ Or is it?
Jenna could feel his reluctance when he kissed her, but she knew that there was no turning back for either of them now. While she was fully aware that Peter would probably regret it at some point, that he would be the one to carry the guilt, Jenna was certain that both of them would regret it a lot more if they didn't go ahead with it. For tonight she vowed to ban all of these thoughts from her head. Tonight he was hers.
Peter was the first to undo her buttons, starting with her blouse and continuing with her skirt. Their lips never parted while she opened every single button of his shirt, his belt, his trousers. It was magnificent to peel him out of his clothes, exciting because it was forbidden – and because it was Peter. Jenna had wanted to do this for a long time. When their clothes were nothing but a messy pile on his bedroom floor, Peter gently pushed her backwards and Jenna landed on his bed. When he pressed her down into the sheets he suddenly started to chuckle.
“What is it?” Jenna asked, amused.
“You,” he laughed, “Why do you put up with an old clown like me?”
She giggled. “First of all, you're not a clown. Second, because it's you,” Jenna said earnestly, “And I love you.”
Instead of replying, Peter bent down to trace her neck with his lips. The sensation of it made her shiver as he tickled her sensitive skin and Jenna could feel her skin ripple with goosebumps. There was a smile on his face while he kissed his way down, his hands stroking her chest, her sides, her tummy. She gasped when he took her nipple into his mouth and sucked it softly and Jenna raised her hands, burying them in his lovely silver curls.
She carefully guided him south, hoping that he would catch the drift, that he would understand what she wanted him to do and tend to the almost burning need between her thighs. Peter's touch was electrifying and it didn't take long until the juices were pooling between her legs. She wanted all of him and she wanted him now, but Peter took his time as he showered her stomach with kisses at an infuriatingly slow speed.
“Perfect,” he mumbled against her skin,” Perfect Jenna.”
Then finally he lowered his head between her legs and Jenna could feel him nibble at her inner thigh. She giggled.
“Peter, I'm ticklish,” she complained, chuckling.
“Good,” he laughed right before he gently bit into the flesh of her thigh.
She wriggled under his touch. “Peter, stop. That's mean,” Jenna sniggered and finally he showed some mercy.
Peter looked up at her, smiling. “You can have your revenge later,” he promised and let his head sink back between her thighs.
Jenna could feel him part her lips before he licked right across her sex that was already wet with want for him. The sensation of his warm tongue caused her to shiver and utter a low sound of pleasure. Her grip in his hair tightened. His touch was gentle at first, testing, teasing and it still tickled, but Jenna didn't feel like complaining about it now. She sank back into the pillows, taking in every single flick of his tongue, every little thrust as he worked her up and she soon felt her breathing coming out a little more heavy. Jenna spread her legs a little wider, allowing him full access as he lapped at her and she found it harder to swallow the moans with every passing minute. She was grinding against his face, practically begging for more the longer it went on, but all he was doing was teasing her – and he was doing it very well.
“Peter,” she panted, writhing underneath his touch. Jenna wanted him inside of her now. “Please, do it.”
The lack of his touch was almost painful when he stopped and he looked up at her, grinning. “It?” he asked innocently. He knew exactly what she was talking about.
“Do me, idiot,” Jenna laughed while he crawled on top of her.
“Uhm,” Peter hesitated for a moment, looking a little insecure, “I don't have protection. You know, wasn't really planning on doing my friend and co-star.”
“Pill,” Jenna smiled at him, “Got that part covered.”
When Peter bent down to crush their lips together, Jenna reached between the two of them and wrapped her hand around his member. He was rock solid in her palm, but still she gave him a couple of strokes, prompting a moan from him. She led him to her entrance.
Jenna gasped when he slid into her wetness. She needed a moment to adjust to his size, but when he started moving she leaned back and hooked her leg around him to guide the rhythm.
“God, Jenna,” Peter hissed and buried his face in her neck as he plunged into her. She felt his breath hot against her skin and all of a sudden he sank down his lips and sucked her skin so hard that he was sure to leave a mark. “You're amazing.”
She closed her arms around him, guiding the speed at which they were going that was becoming increasingly fast. Peter had been so reluctant at first, but he seemed to have forgotten all about his hesitation when he buried himself deep inside of her. Jenna moaned when he hit her sweet spot and she knew that she wanted to do this as often as possible before their time in Cardiff was over, but she was determined not to think about that now.
Instead she focused on Peter and how he felt inside of her, how he panted next to her ear, occasionally whimpering her name when she tightened her muscles around him on purpose. His thrust were coming harder now, a little more uncoordinated and Jenna clawed at his back when every time he plunged into her just it felt a little sweeter.
Peter pressed a sloppy kiss to her lips before he gasped for air and Jenna started to lose her grip on his back, damp as is was with sweat. The scent of him was intoxicating and he was moving on top of her, grunting, working them both towards their climax when finally one thrust hit particularly deep. Jenna could feel her muscles tighten and pulse around him as she came and she whimpered, digging her nails into his skin when her orgasm came crashing over her. Peter plunged frantically inside of her, once, twice, three times before his movements suddenly stilled and his head sank down on her chest. She heard a deep, carnal moan coming from his throat when he spilled himself inside of her.
Peter rolled onto his side and before Jenna could react he had his arms wrapped tightly around her, pulling her against his chest with a sigh.
“Thank you,” he said, still completely out of breath.
Jenna chuckled as she rested her head on his chest. She had heard a lot of things from men after sex, but thank you was definitely a first. But that was Peter, always polite, always a gentleman. That was why she loved him. She smiled to herself. “You're welcome, Mr I'm-too-old-for-sex,” Jenna laughed.
Peter groaned next to her. “You're not gonna let this one go, are you?”
“Nope, never,” she confirmed with a smile.
Peter reached for the duvet and covered them both before he placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “Sleep well, darling.”
“I love you,” she whispered in response.
“I love you, too.”
There was a trace of sadness in his voice, but Jenna pushed the thought about that aside when he turned off the light and she nestled her head back against him. As long as they were in Cardiff she would enjoy every minute of it. The heartbreak could wait.
Thank you for the sweet comments, guys :) I'm trying to keep the heartbreak away from you, I really am. . .
Jenna sank back onto the bathroom floor and inhaled deeply, waiting for the next wave of nausea to hit her. It probably wouldn't take long, she could feel it. She had never felt so sick in her entire life.
Suddenly steps could be heard and Peter appeared in the bathroom doorway, clutching his phone in his hand. He, too, looked sick and a lot paler than usual.
“Just got off the phone with Steven,” he told her, “They're all sick.”
“Definitely the sushi then,” Jenna noted weakly.
“Definitely the sushi,” Peter agreed and sank down on the floor to sit next to her. Jenna felt a little grateful that at least she was in his company, not in her own flat all on her own. She hated being alone when she was ill. “Steven cancelled shooting for the rest of the week. Told me to get well.”
“It really did taste a little funny,” Jenna said with a sigh and leaned her head against his chest. At least she wasn't suffering alone. “You don't seem that sick. At least you didn't puke your guts out so far.”
“I had this other stuff, remember? The fried tuna? I just tried some of the sushi from the gigantic plate you shared with Rachel,” Peter replied as he gently laid his arm around her shoulder, pulling her a little closer. “Trust me. That was enough.”
When Jenna reached for his hand she realized how hot it was and instantly she turned around and touched his forehead. “You're burning,” she realized, sounding more worried than she would have thought.
“Like I said, some of the sushi was enough,” he groaned and closed his eyes for a moment, “Let's go back to bed, okay? I'll make us some tea and we'll just sleep for the rest of the week.”
“Sounds like a plan,” she sighed. It had been so wonderful with him last night and right now the illness just seemed like punishment for what they had done.
When Peter moved to get up, Jenna felt her stomach turn over at the sudden movement and for a moment she was sure she was going to throw up again. Yet, after a few seconds, it calmed down again. From now on she would only eat sushi from places she trusted.
While Peter wandered off into the kitchen, Jenna tottered back to the bedroom and wrapped herself in the duvet. Yes, it was definitely nice to be at Peter's place and not in her own flat. Being miserable was even worse on your own and at least here she was surrounded by his lovely scent that clung to the sheets and in a few moments she could curl up against his chest.
Peter returned shortly after with two cups of tea that he set down on the bedside table before he lifted the duvet and climbed into bed next to her. His arms were careful when he closed them around her chest and Jenna instantly felt the heat of his body against her back. They both had a fever and they'd be too hot to cuddle in a matter of minutes, but right now it was exactly the sort of comfort she needed. Jenna closed her eyes and it didn't take long before she started to drift off.
It took a few days until they were feeling better and by the time the were well enough to resume a life outside of sleeping and eating soup, the weekend had come along. Jenna had gone back to her flat to fetch a few clothes, but quickly returned so they could cure their salmonella poisoning together and if Peter was completely honest, he was beginning to get used to her presence. When Elaine called to ask if he was feeling better, he refused her offer to come to Cardiff and lied about Jenna. What else could he do now? He had done the unspeakable and slept with her and he knew that he would do it again if she offered. Peter loved Elaine, but he also loved Jenna and the thought of their time together coming to an end was something he tried to ban from his mind until the moment had come. He couldn't think about it, not yet. How on earth would they ever return to being friends after this? How was he supposed to pretend that none of this had ever happened?
“Back to a normal body temperature at last,” Jenna announced when she stepped out of the bathroom after taking a shower.
“Great,” Peter smiled at her, “Let's celebrate that with a nice breakfast.”
“Did somebody call this early on a Sunday?” she asked and nodded to the phone in his hands. Peter had completely forgotten that he was still holding it.
“Oh, uhm, no,” he lied. Why was he lying? Because his wife had called and he had lied to her as well, because that's what he would do to Elaine for the rest of his life. Lie about the nature of his relationship with Jenna. “I was just on my way to charge it. You just distracted me.”
Peter put on a smile and rose to his feet to plug the phone into the charger. He switched on the kettle and waited for the water to boil when suddenly he could feel a pair of arms around his waist before Jenna leaned her head against his back.
“Thanks for taking care of me these past few days,” she said and Peter thought he could hear the smile that was on her lips.
“Don't mention it,” he replied.
“How about we use today for a different kind of lying in bed?” Jenna chuckled and her hands wandered down over the front of his trousers, leaving him no doubt as to her intentions.
Peter turned around in her embrace and cupped her face in both his hands. Jenna was so beautiful and finally the spark had returned to her eyes, that little twinkling that he loved so much. He would lie about her to Elaine for the rest of his life, did it really matter how much he was lying about?
“I like that idea,” he smirked at her, “Just don't tire me out. I have some running to do tomorrow morning.”
Jenna grinned up at him. “So do I.”
Suddenly her features darkened just a little and Peter could see that there was something on her mind, something that wanted to get out.
“So, we're doing this?” she asked carefully, “You and me for the next two and half weeks?”
“Well, we probably shouldn't,” Peter argued.
“Right,” she agreed, “But I have a feeling we're gonna do it anyway.”
As soon as Jenna had finished her sentence Peter bent down and kissed her on the lips. They shouldn't. They really shouldn't. But Jenna was right. They would do it no matter the consequences.
Thank you guys for the anxious, ehh, cute comments :) Hang in there, you can make it through the angst ;)
He held her in a tight embrace and Jenna buried her face deep into the soft velvet of his jacket. Somehow Peter had managed to make a deal with the BBC and he was going to keep that after today.
So many things would change tomorrow and Jenna found herself crying, not just because the script demanded it. This was it, the moment she had been dreading for weeks. The final day. The final scene. After that they would cease to be the Doctor and Clara and this chapter of their lives would come to an end. But that wasn't the only thing ending and even though Jenna knew that her life had to go on somehow, she couldn't really picture it at the moment. She loved Peter and Peter loved her. Jenna really couldn't imagine how she was going to move on after what had happened the past few weeks because she was certain that nothing could ever compare to what she had with Peter right now.
“What about you?” Peter asked, his voice so soft, gentle and just a little bit broken.
Jenna raised her head to look at him and put on the best smile she could muster as she moved to caress his cheek.
“I'll stay,” she reassured him and forced herself to laugh, “Someone's gotta make sure you don't turn all grumpy and Scottish again, right? The next girl won't thank me for it.”
Peter smiled back at her, but the sadness remained in his eyes. Then suddenly he flinched and went on to clutch his stomach. Jenna took a step back and a tear rolled down her cheek.
“You know,” he said, his voice strained as if with pain, but still he managed to smile, “I've actually started to like the colour of my kidneys.”
Steven praised them after they had finished the scene, but neither Jenna nor Peter really felt in the mood for that as they watched the crew pack up. They were standing on the side next to Steven with no idea what to do. It was their producer's last day on set as well, his last day on the job that he had loved and done so well, but he didn't seem to feel the same kind of sadness that Jenna or Peter felt.
“I'll see you both a wrap party tonight, right?” Steven asked enthusiastically, “It's gonna be huge!”
Jenna heard Peter sigh next to her and she knew that he wasn't so very keen on going. He hated parties, but this was one he couldn't miss. He was he star and it was his last day, but it was also their last day. Even Jenna would prefer to stay at home with just Peter than go to the party. Maybe they could sneak out early.
“Yeah, we'll be there,” Jenna replied, hoping that the lack of excitement didn't show in her voice.
“Great,” Steven smiled at both of them, “See you tonight. And catch some sleep if you can. Gonna be a long night.”
Peter forced a smile in return and when Steven had left them they were both starting to make their way outside the studio.
“I really don't want to go to that wrap party,” Peter mumbled on his way out.
“Neither do I,” Jenna agreed, “But I don't think we have a choice.”
Just as expected Jenna wasn't really enjoying herself at the wrap party. The music was too loud, the people too cheerful – even Steven on his last day. Jenna thought that most of that was an act, because the smile dropped off his face whenever he thought no one was looking. She had a drink with him, then Rachel, talked to a lot of people and eventually lost sight of Peter, who kept hovering around the back. When he had been gone for ten minutes, Jenna was starting to get worried he might have gone home without her. He wouldn't do that, would he? No, they had had an agreement to go to his flat after the party, so there was only one place he could be. When Jenna stepped outside through the back door, she spotted him sitting on a bannister, clutching his glass in his hands.
Wordlessly she walked up to Peter and made an attempt to sit down next to him, but soon found that the bannister was too high for her to reach it effortlessly. Peter started to laugh.
“Need a hand there?” he asked, the amusement all too audible in his voice.
“I'm fine,” she said and used her hands to propel herself up. Finally it worked. “If you make a midget joke now, I swear, I'll push you off this thing.”
“Wouldn't dream of it,” he replied and fell silent once more.
Jenna would have asked what was weighing so heavily on his mind, but there was no need. She knew because she felt the same. So they just sat there in silence.
“I don't want it to end,” Peter said after a long moment, sighing heavily.
“Me neither,” Jenna admitted quietly, “But you wanted it. You said it was the right time to step down.”
“I wasn't talking about the show.”
Jenna turned her head and Peter did they same. She looked at him for a long while and noticed now just how devastated he really looked. The past few weeks had been some of the best of her life, but Jenna had always known that they were loving each other on borrowed time, that it wouldn't last and she had accepted that. A broken heart was the price to pay for four wonderful weeks, however short they had seemed.
“We knew that,” she whispered, “We knew it would come to an end eventually. There's no other way.”
“There is one.” Peter lowered his gaze.
“Don't even think about that,” Jenna warned him.
“I'm actually surprised you never asked.”
“I would never ask that of you, Peter,” she said a little more harshly than she had intended, “You love Elaine. You belong with Elaine.”
“I know,” he sighed wearily, “I know that. I just wish we had more time.”
More time together was probably the last thing either of them needed, they would only fall deeper in love and it would make the goodbye so much worse. Jenna could feel it, that was why they had to make a clean break after this. Once they went back to London, they couldn't continue their affair for many obvious reasons.
“We have all day tomorrow,” Jenna argued.
“Yeah, but we'll be busy packing and cleaning our flats and all of that. I don't want to go back to London yet, I don't want it to end and I have no idea how I'm ever going to look my wife in the face again,” he blurted out and Jenna was a little taken aback when he raised his voice.
Then Peter raised his head and looked straight into her eyes. “I really love you, Jen, but we should never have done this.”
Jenna opened her mouth to reply, but before she even had a chance, the door next to them opened and she spotted the silhouette of Steven's dark, curly head against the light coming from inside.
“There you are!” he said, “You're missing your own farewell party!”
“It's your farewell party, too,” Peter replied.
Steven looked at them both for a long moment, then let out a loud groan. “Fuck off, both of you,” he sighed, “You've always been useless party guests.”
“You wouldn't be mad?” Jenna asked carefully. She didn't want to be here, but she would also feel a little guilty for leaving so early.
“No, you two bugger off and talk about photography or music or whatever it is that you've been chatting about on your break these past weeks.”
Peter was the first to jump off the bannister and walk up to Steven. While Jenna followed after him, she watched the two of them hug before it was her turn. She closed her arms around Steven as tightly as she could.
“You were amazing, Jenna,” Steven said sincerely, “Thanks for coming back.”
“Thanks for having me,” she smiled as she released him from the embrace.
Once Steven was back inside, she glanced up at Peter. He simply nodded and together they started to make their way to his flat for their very last night together.
Thank you for the sweet comments, guys. I know you're hoping for them to stay together, but come on. . . we still have 10 chapters left ;)
Peter closed his eyes and sank deeper into the pillows, panting heavily while Jenna drove herself down on top of him. He thrust back up, but they had long lost their rhythm as they were both closing in on their climax. A moaned escaped her throat, followed by rapid breathing, and the sounds she made seemed to resonate through his entire body, fuelling his arousal just a little bit more. Jenna was magnificent, wet and tight around him and he was desperate for her. Peter reached up to her hips, pulling her down harder while she started to whimper his name, followed by a series of curse words. Her walls tightened around him and it gave him that last push as a surge of pleasure shot through him. Peter gasped, but not sound came from his throat when he grew still and spilled himself inside of her. For a moment he couldn't hear a thing apart from the blood rushing through his ears.
Jenna plopped down next to him with a sigh and Peter needed a moment to catch his breath. Then she suddenly started laughing.
“Don't say it,” he warned her, “Don't you dare.”
“Too old for sex, he said,” Jenna giggled before Peter rolled onto his side and pressed a kiss to her lips. It didn't last long, seeing as they were still panting from the exercise.
“Which sex did you mean? This or the sex we had an hour ago?”
He growled in reply and moved to climb on top of her. When Peter looked down at Jenna, he thought that she had never been more beautiful – her face flushed, her hair a complete mess. He had also never seen her look so happy.
Peter banned every thought about leaving her from his mind. They still had hours left before they had to leave Cardiff and he didn't want to think about that just yet. He loved her so much, too much, and Jenna made him feel things that he had truly believed himself too old for. If he could, Peter would freeze them at exactly this moment so it could never end.
“Will you shut up about that?” he asked, laughing.
“Make me,” Jenna granted him a mischievous smile before he bent down and locked their lips in another, deeper kiss. Yes, he loved her. He loved her so much that their goodbye would tear him apart.
When he broke the kiss, Peter watched Jenna glance at the alarm clock on his bedside table and she sighed. “We should probably get up at some point.”
“Do you want to?”
Jenna smiled at him and hooked her arms around his neck. “No, I want us to stay exactly like this, but you still haven't finished packing and I bet you're hungry.”
Peter raised an eyebrow at her. “What gave me away?”
She laughed at him in reply. “You're always hungry and right now so I am. Come on, get up. I fancy ham and eggs. Or how about we eat breakfast American style with a huge stack of pancakes or-”
Peter decided to cut her sentence short by planting another kiss on her lips. Maybe they could just lie in bed for a few more minutes.
Eventually it was hunger that managed to drive them out of bed and another glance at the clock showed Peter that it was already 10 am. Tonight he would be expected to drive back to London, to his wife, and Jenna had to leave as well. She had already done most of her packing over the week, but of course she had a lot less to pack than he did. Peter had been living here for the past few years and he had accumulated quite a few things.
“How are you going to fit all of that into your car?” Jenna asked him and pointed at a couple of boxes that were stacking up in the kitchen.
“I'm just taking the important things today,” he explained, “I'll come back next weekend to get the rest and meet the estate agent.”
Jenna nodded, but the thought about returning to London seemed to make her just as sad as it made him.
“I suppose you'll want to relax for a week,” she granted him a smile, “You more than deserve it.”
“Yeah,” Peter breathed, “Might go on holiday, too. Later. Maybe autumn. Spain or Italy.”
Jenna laughed. “I'd love to do that, but I'll be back wearing a corset next week.”
“I'm gonna miss you,” he admitted, but then his face turned into a smile, “Your Majesty.”
She smiled back at him. “You could audition for Victoria. There are talks of a third season.”
“Ah, as tempting as that sounds,” he sighed, “Probably not such a good idea.”
Peter loved that idea a little too much. Going back to work with Jenna on Victoria or something else entirely, yet he knew that it couldn't happen. These past four weeks had made that impossible. And from the expression on Jenna's face he could tell that she knew that as well.
“We're not gonna see each other for a while, are we?” Jenna asked him after a moment.
He shook his head and Jenna nodded reluctantly. Then he couldn't hold it in any longer and Peter stepped forward, wrapped his arms around her tiny waist and pulled her closer for a long, almost desperate kiss. He needed to savour these last moments that he had with her because they would be over in a heartbeat and he didn't want them to end. Right now Peter couldn't see anything beyond this day other than guilt and his broken heart. He wanted to run away from it all, run away with Jenna and never face any of that.
“I love you,” he confessed breathlessly when they broke apart.
His marriage wasn't fine, Peter had realized that during these weeks with her. It hadn't been fine for quite a while, otherwise he would never have strayed and fallen so madly in love with another woman. He had made a vow and he had broken it and now he was supposed to go back and pretend as if nothing had ever happened. How could he do that? How could he do that to the woman he still loved, whom he had loved for decades? But then there was Jenna with her large, sad eyes that were glistening with tears and Peter had no idea what to do. He felt utterly torn.
“I love you, too,” Jenna said before she pulled him down for another kiss and Peter thought he could hear the clock ticking in the background. At some point they would have to stop and he dreaded that moment.
Thank you so much for the lovely comments *hugs you all*
Peter entered his house as quietly as possible, determined not attract Elaine's immediate attention. He knew that he would have to face her in the next few minutes, but that didn't mean he was ready for it. In the past four and a half weeks Peter had done the one thing he had vowed to never do – he had cheated on his wife and, what was even worse, he had fallen in love with another woman. He had loved her for such a long time and a part him still couldn't believe it had really happened. He had loved Jenna and he had lost her.
On his way back from Cardiff Peter had had to stop twice on the side of the road and the tears he had held back in front of Jenna during their goodbye had finally come. He couldn't cry on front of Elaine – but he also couldn't pretend that he was fine. He loved Jenna and he was missing her already.
“Peter? Is that you?” Elaine's voice came from the living room.
He cleared his throat. “Uhm, yeah,” Peter replied, “Just got in.”
He left his jacket on the coat rack and dragged his suitcase behind him as he went into the living room. Elaine was sitting on the sofa, a book in her lap, and the telly ran on mute in the background. She smiled when she saw him and Peter tried his best to smile back, but his features wouldn't budge. He was an actor and they had praised him for his recent work and yet he couldn't even fake a smile right now.
“Come here, sit,” Elaine prompted him, patting the empty seat next to her, “Tell me everything.”
Peter let out a sigh. “Actually, can we do that tomorrow? I'm knackered.”
The smile on his wife's face softened instantly. “Of course. Do you want me to heat up dinner for you? Will only take a moment.”
“No, I, uhm, I ate on the way,” he lied. For once Peter didn't feel hungry at all. Jenna would never believe that if he told her. Which he couldn't because she wasn't here.
“Is it okay if I join you later? There's a documentary on in a few minutes. I'd like to watch that.”
Peter nodded slowly. “I'll probably be asleep by then. Good night.”
“Good night,” his wife replied, but Peter had already turned around and fled the room.
He dragged himself and his suitcase upstairs before he started to strip out of his clothes and search for a pair of pyjamas in the drawer. Peter didn't find them immediately, either because Elaine had rearranged everything or because he still couldn't tell where everything was in this house that still didn't quite feel like home to him. When he had finally found his pyjamas, Peter walked into the bathroom next door to brush his teeth and then finally climbed into bed. It felt empty without Jenna.
He had known right from the beginning that starting an affair with her would be a bad idea, he had known that his feelings were too strong, that he would get too attached, that he would miss Jenna, the way she felt, the way she could make him feel, so young, so energetic, carefree. Now that it was over, Peter just felt reduced to less than he had been before. Old and tired. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep.
Jenna looked at her suitcase, considering unpacking and re-packing it, and then brushed the thought aside. It contained all the things she would need in York and she could wash her clothes there. For a moment she even wondered why she had bought a house in London at all when she hardly spent any time in it. Jenna was fairly certain that the cleaner she had hired to dust off the shelves and water her plants in her absence spent more time in her home than she did. But right now that was probably a good thing, Jenna determined. She needed her work, she needed something to do and Victoria was probably the best distraction she could ask for to take her mind off Peter. Jenna had known it, hadn't she? That their affair couldn't have ended any other way. Yet there was a tiny, little voice inside her head that kept repeating something Peter had said.
There is one way.
Jenna knew it was silly to even think about it, that she should ban the idea from her mind that if she had just pushed a little further, Peter might have left his wife for her. But it was wrong and Jenna knew it. Peter and Elaine belonged together, always had and always would. Four and half weeks were more than she could have ever asked for.
For a brief moment Jenna eyed the bottle on her wine rack, but then thought better of it, remembering her last break up and the consequences all too well. No, this time she would do it differently. This time she wouldn't drink or cry or wallow in self pity. There was only one road she could go down and that was distraction. In time she would stop missing him. In time the memory of his kiss, his touch would fade and maybe then they could even resume their friendship. But the day they could attempt to do that was still far away.
He had tried to read a book, but soon found that he couldn't focus. The guitar had been Peter's second attempt, but somehow his fingers had taken over his mind and he had started playing the simple melody he had played for Jenna in the diner scene two years ago. Doodling seemed like the safest option. A Tardis. A Dalek. Some weird monster of his own imagination that looked so ugly that Peter tore the page out of his sketchbook and crumpled the sketch. Maybe he should give reading another chance?
A knock on the door tore him out of his thoughts and he looked up to see his wife standing in the door way. She looked worried.
“I'm about to make dinner. Do you want anything in particular?” she asked.
“Not hungry,” Peter replied and lowered his gaze back to the most recent sketch only to find Jenna's eyes staring back at him. He hadn't come further in drawing her and maybe he should tear up this one as well.
Then he heard Elaine sigh. “You've been in here all day,” she noted, “I know that leaving the show was hard for you, but you still need to eat something.”
“I will. Later,” he said and out of the corner of his eye Peter noticed that Elaine didn't budge. She wasn't going to go away any time soon.
“Is it because you miss the show that you don't want to tell me about the last episode or is it because of me?” she asked bluntly.
Peter felt a little stab on pain inside his stomach when she mentioned their problems because she was right and eventually they would have to talk, but he wasn't ready. Not yet. Not while he was locked up inside his room, drawing the woman that he had cheated with.
“Peter, I know we've been having issues, but I was hoping we could use the time that you're home to work on them. That we could talk, maybe go on a little holiday together.”
“I, uhm,” he paused, not looking at her, “I thought we had talked about it. We said we'd be fine.”
When Elaine didn't reply, Peter looked at her for the first time and he was surprised to find a hint of fear in her eyes. She was his wife and she was afraid. He should make an effort.
“How about I make dinner, mh?” he suggested.
Elaine smiled. “That sounds lovely.”
Thank you for the comments, my faithful readers :) Can't stand the angst? I haven't even started ;) Ok, now I'm starting. . .
Peter had tried to ban the thought about Jenna from his mind, but it wouldn't work. He couldn't do it and he had never felt so ashamed in his entire life when he lifted himself up and sank back down into the pillows next to his wife. Elaine was happy, he could tell from the serene smile on her face, but Peter felt nothing but shame and guilt to the point that it was making him nauseous. It was too soon, he was still hurting too much and the thought about Jenna was the only thing that had kept him going. Now he felt dirty and it gave him the impression that he had cheated on them both.
Elaine turned around and smiled at him. “No cuddling this time?”
Peter instantly turned his head away, unable to look at her for just a second. He didn't want to cuddle. He wanted to run and leave this nasty feeling behind that was eating its way through his stomach.
“I'm gonna get a glass of water,” he said and jumped out of bed, reaching for his clothes and putting them back on in a hurry. Elaine made no attempt to stop him when he left the bedroom.
As soon as he had reached the kitchen downstairs, Peter tried to take a deep breath, but he was panting instead, desperately gasping for air as he was trying to fight back tears. He couldn't do it. He just couldn't. There was no way back after what he had done with Jenna, no way to resume his marriage as if he had never loved another woman. And he still did. He missed Jenna so much that it was almost unbearable.
Then the tears came and Peter leaned forward, propping himself up against the kitchen counter. He sobbed as quietly as possible so Elaine wouldn't hear him. What if he just called Jenna and told her? Told her that it was too much, that he needed her?
“Peter?” Elaine asked quietly and Peter almost flinched at the sound of her voice. He hadn't heard her enter the kitchen at all and he was too scared to turn around and look at her. She would know. She would be able to tell.
Then a hand touched his shoulder. He had no choice.
“Peter, you're scaring me,” she said, “What's wrong?”
“I can't do it,” he admitted while the tears continued to flow, “I can't. Elaine, I'm so sorry.”
“What are you sorry for? Peter, just tell me,” she demanded, her voice growing a little louder.
Slowly, carefully Peter turned his head and looked Elaine straight in the eyes, but soon he found that he couldn't hold her gaze for very long and he glanced down at the floor.
“What have you done?” Elaine swallowed and took a step back.
She knew. At that moment Peter could tell that she knew and that there was no need for him to say it out loud, to admit to a mistake he didn't even regret. But it wasn't the end of their discussion yet. No, the fight had only just begun.
“Who was it?” his wife demanded to know and her voice was shaking with anger or even panic. “Who did you cheat with?”
Peter opened his mouth, but no sound came out. He couldn't bring himself to speak her name. Even just thinking about her felt as if his heart was being torn into pieces.
“Who was it?!”
Again Peter attempted to speak. He owed that to Elaine, at least that. He really should tell her, but he couldn't. Instead he started to sob again. He had completely messed it up, all of it. Elaine. Jenna. He had betrayed them both and himself in the process.
“It was Jenna, wasn't it?”
When he failed to deny it, Peter saw his wife nod out of the corner of his eye. The truth was out now, she knew everything and it was only the calm before the storm. In a moment all hell would break loose when the truth had sunk in.
“For fuck's sake, Peter, man up and look at me!” Elaine suddenly yelled and he was left without a choice.
Peter swallowed his tears and turned around. He couldn't tell what Elaine was feeling right now, he couldn't possibly imagine, and her face was a wild mixture of anger, confusion and also fear. His wife was scared because of the things he had done that might break them apart – and yet Peter felt just a tiny hint of relief now that she knew. The burden of the secret had fallen off his shoulders. Elaine knew.
“How many times?” she asked and, as he watched her, Peter realized just how much effort it took her to appear composed while she was actually boiling inside with anger.
He merely shrugged.
“How many times?! Tell me!”
“I don't know,” Peter blurted out, “I'm sorry, Elaine, I don't know.”
She huffed and shook her head. “Okay, how long has it been going on then? Can you tell me that or is that too far in the past as well?”
“Just recently, I swear. When we went back for the final episode,” he explained quietly, “Four weeks, that's all.”
“Four weeks?!” Elaine yelled back at him, “How many times can you have sex within four weeks that you've lost count?!”
Peter had nothing to say to that. The only thing he could say was that they hadn't actually done anything at first, but he didn't think that Elaine cared much for the details.
“I suppose you're going to tell me that it meant nothing, that it's over and that you are never going to see her again”, she said, her voice a little calmer now.
Peter hesitated. “It's over,” was the only thing that came over his lips. He couldn't lie to her and tell her that it had meant nothing. It still did. He still loved her.
“Of course,” Elaine spat when she realized he wouldn't deny the rest, “How silly of me because you love her. You've always loved her. You've been waiting for her the entire time, waiting until she was single and the second she's without a boyfriend you jump at the opportunity, ready to fill in for him.”
“That's not true!” Peter argued.
“Oh?” Elaine cocked her eyebrow, “So you didn't sneak out at night to pick her up from a bar? You didn't cancel on me so you could have lunch with her after you've spent the whole night at her place?!”
“That had nothing to do with it!”
“Get out!” she shouted all of a sudden.
Her words hung in the air for an awfully long moment before Peter was able to grasp their meaning.
“What?” he asked carefully.
“I said get out! Get lost! Go be with Jenna if you love her so much, I don't care, but leave this house immediately!”
“OUT!” his wife yelled and pointed towards the door.
Peter knew he was defeated and that he had no other choice, maybe that was even what he wanted, to get out, to leave this house that had never really been his home at all.
He reached for phone, wallet and keys and stuffed them into his jacket pocket once he had put that on and then he stepped out into the fresh night air. That was when it dawned on him for the very first time. His wife had kicked him out. He was no longer welcome and there was only one place he could go, only one place he wanted to be.
Thank you for the comments and I'm sorry you're already suffering so much :/ But you know me. Things usually get better, right?
The ringing of her phone tore Jenna from her sleep and for a moment she cursed herself for forgetting to switch it on silent. Sleepily she reached for the annoying device and made the decision to answer the call now that she was awake anyway.
“Hello?” she croaked.
“Hey. Sorry if I've woken you up.”
His voice was quiet and hushed and there were background noises made up of cars and wind that made it harder for her to hear him, but Jenna still recognized him immediately and she felt her heart skip a beat at the sound of his voice.
“Peter,” she said in surprise and sat up in her bed. A glance at the alarm clock told her that it was approaching midnight and all of a sudden she felt worried.
“How are you?” Peter asked sincerely.
Jenna needed a moment to gather her thoughts. Peter was calling her in the middle of the night and she wasn't even mad. Quite the contrary. She was too happy to hear from him.
“Good,” she lied, “What about you? Why are you still up? Where are you?”
He hesitated for a long moment and it only increased her worry.
“Elaine knows,” he admitted after a while, “I told her. She kicked me out.”
“Shit,” Jenna uttered before she could stop herself, but she soon found her composure, “God, Peter, what are you gonna do?”
Instead of replying he seemed to wait until a motorcycle had passed him. Jenna heard the engine roar through the phone.
“I miss you,” Peter confessed eventually, “I want to see you.”
Jenna felt a knot tighten in her stomach. There was a part of her that wanted to give in instantly, be with him, continue the dream they had been living in for the past four weeks. But she knew it, didn't she? Peter belonged to Elaine and at some point he would see that as well and regret everything. Their relationship was doomed either way and giving in to him now would only prolong her suffering when he returned to his wife.
“I'm in York, Peter,” she said truthfully, “We're back on Victoria tomorrow morning.”
“Oh, uhm,” he spluttered, “I suppose I could catch a train or taxi.”
“No,” Jenna insisted, “That's just gonna make everything worse and you know it. You miss me, I miss you, too, but that's gonna pass eventually. You and Elaine, you've been going for over twenty years, that's not gonna go away so quickly.”
“Jenna, she kicked me out,” he reminded her.
“To be fair, you did just cheat on her. That's the natural reaction about any woman would have,” she reasoned, “You'll work it out. I'm sure of that.”
She swallowed the lump in her throat when she said those words. There was nothing Jenna wanted more right now than to be with Peter and he wasn't exactly making it easy for her to get over him. But she had to.
“I love you.”
“No, Jenna, listen to me,” he said and he sounded agitated, “There are only few people I've ever said these words to, so you know that when I say them, I really mean it. I love you, Jen.”
It was impossible. Apart from the fact that he would regret leaving Elaine, there was also the press and their careers to consider. The newspapers would tear them both apart. Peter's daughter would never forgive him. Jenna's own family, who had met Peter and liked him, would question her sanity. Jenna wiped the tears from her eyes.
“You shouldn't call me for a while,” she said eventually. It was the only way she had a chance of forgetting him. If Peter kept calling, if he kept telling her that he loved her, she would never get over him. “Give it a month, maybe two. If we still feel the same way we do now, we can talk about it then, but right now we're both emotional and sad and making a decision now can have consequences we're not ready for. Go back to Elaine. Talk to her. Maybe in two months you won't even want to call me anymore.”
“Good night, Peter,” she said abruptly and hung up before the conversation could continue.
Jenna took a deep breath, but she was determined not to cry. She had just bought herself two months. Two months in which she either managed to get over him or he would break her heart all over again.
Peter stared at the phone in his hands and then looked up to the dark windows of Jenna's house. It had been a mistake to come here, he had already guessed that, but it had turned out so much worse than he had expected. Now he was standing outside her home, heartbroken, tired, cold and Jenna had slipped further out of his reach. Right now he felt as if he would sell his soul just to be back in her arms.
Two months. Peter knew that his feelings wouldn't fade away in just two months, but Jenna didn't leave him any other choice. Slowly he started to make his way back home.
The lights in the living room were still on when he stepped inside and Peter found Elaine just like he had found her the day before when he had returned from Cardiff, only this time she was sitting on the sofa, staring into the void.
“Can I come in?” he asked carefully.
Elaine waited a painfully long moment before he nodded and only then did Peter dare to set foot into the room. He took a seat across from her, on one of the chairs. Both of them remained quiet for what seemed like an eternity.
“Are you going to apologize?” Elaine asked eventually, her voice harsh.
“Would that help you? If I went down on my knees and begged your forgiveness?”
“Would it be sincere?”
Peter remained silent.
“Thought so,” Elaine noted and then sighed. “I'm not really sure what to do. I mean, every woman at some point in her life is afraid that this is going to happen to her. I always thought I'd kick out the man and never let him back in, that I'd destroy his things, that I'd hate him.”
“Do you hate me?” he asked.
Elaine looked straight at him. “A little.”
“I'm sorry that I hurt you,” Peter said, “And that part really is sincere.”
His wife nodded. “You'll sleep in the guest bedroom,” she determined.
“That seems fair.”
Again a silence fell over the two of them and Peter became aware of just how intently Elaine was watching him, but he had no idea what was going through her mind, he didn't even have an inkling.
“We've been together for most of our lives, we have a child, so I'm going to try to forgive you, but I don't know if I can,” she admitted and paused for a while, “The worst isn't that you cheated, I could have looked past that, I think. But you love her and that is still ongoing, it's been going on for years and I'm not sure it will ever stop.”
Maybe she had wanted Peter to argue with that, to tell her that she was wrong, but the truth was that she was right in what she said. Peter had fallen in love with Jenna and right now he couldn't imagine these feelings to just go away.
“I think we're both gonna have to make an effort,” Elaine concluded and suddenly rose to her feet.
Without a warning she left the room, leaving Peter on his own. Maybe she was right. He would have to make an effort, but he wasn't really sure that he wanted to when in two months time he had a chance of maybe changing Jenna's mind. He had two months to figure out what he wanted.
Thank you guys for the lovely comments!!!
A word of warning and credit: A few weeks back I was discussing this story and possible endings with my friend universe-on-her-shoulders and she made a suggestion that I loved a lot and I decided to put it in this story because who doesn't like a bit further angst? So, if you want to hit someone for that, hit her, not me :D
Jenna nibbled on her biscuit without real appetite this morning as she was becoming increasingly aware of the impending deadline. Almost two months had passed since she had last spoken to Peter and of course her feelings hadn't changed one bit. Missing him had become more bearable on most days and worse on others, but the pure thought that he might call her again very soon made Jenna's stomach turn over. She wasn't ready to open up a new discussion because she still didn't feel confident she would make a reasonable decision.
“You're awfully quiet this morning,” Lucy remarked.
Lucy was her wardrobe assistant and had been with Jenna since her first season of Victoria. She was also currently trying to lace up her corset for her and the tightness didn't really make her stomach feel any better.
“I didn't sleep that well,” Jenna lied. Lucy was a lovely person, but she couldn't possibly tell her the truth. And Jenna did feel tired. “Some cats were making a ruckus outside of my window.”
She felt Lucy tug at the lacing and a wave of nausea came over her as the pressure on her stomach was increased only further.
“Sorry, can you please hold on for a moment?” Jenna asked and Lucy stopped instantly. She inhaled as deeply as the restriction of the corset would allow and slowly but surely the nausea subsided a little.
“Are you okay?” the wardrobe assistant asked compassionately.
“I will be if you stop making this corset so damn tight. I can't breathe in this bloody thing,” Jenna snapped and immediately wanted to clap her hand over her own mouth. When she looked into Lucy's shocked face, Jenna knew that she had stepped out of line. What on earth had gotten into her? “I'm sorry, Lucy, I didn't mean it like that.”
The young woman nodded.
“I've already tied it a little more loosely,” she admitted.
“Really?” Jenna huffed. “Well, that settles it. I'm going on a diet.”
Lucy smiled kindly in her direction. “Jenna, I don't think you need a diet. You've been working too hard lately. Look at you, you're pale and sick and you still drag yourself to work. It's stress. Now finish your biscuit.”
Jenna looked down at the biscuit in her hand and realized that her appetite had faded away completely. Lucy was probably right and she was just stressed. Victoria, Doctor Who, more Victoria, her personal issues with Peter – she certainly had enough reasons to be stressed and she felt tired and unwell most of the time. But there was also the issue of her corset that had never bothered her before and the fact that she found she couldn't breathe in it that told her eating more healthy food would probably not hurt her.
“Jenna, you really don't need a diet,” Lucy laughed as if she had been reading her thoughts.
She raised her eyebrows doubtfully, still convinced that she had taken the comfort eating a little too far. Then suddenly Lucy chuckled.
“You're probably just having the same issues Margaret always has that time of the month. She complains about the corsets every single time,” Lucy tried to reassure her, “No need to diet. Just the natural woes of being a woman.”
And just like that the nausea returned in an instant and Jenna dropped her biscuit back on her plate immediately. That time of the month should have been weeks ago. Jenna had blamed it on the stress, but what if it wasn't just that?
The panic must have been written all over her face because a moment later Lucy reached for her hand and smiled kindly.
“Jenna, you really don't look well. You should go home and rest, you look like you're about to faint,” her wardrobe assistant said with her voice full of worry.
“No,” Jenna protested immediately. Rest gave her time to think about Peter and panic a little more. “I just need some fresh air. Which I will have in a moment. I'll be fine.”
It was probably just stress, nothing more.
The thought of it wouldn't leave her alone and Jenna was scattered and unfocused throughout filming so that the crew had to call it a day in the early afternoon and Jenna excused herself, telling everyone she would go home to cure the early signs of a cold. She made her driver stop at a pharmacy, but hesitated to go inside. If someone saw her, if the press saw her, it would be all over the gossip newspapers tomorrow and that was the last thing she needed, no matter the result. But she had to know, she had to ease her mind, so Jenna bit the bullet and went inside buy the test, praying that no one would recognize her.
Half an hour later she was back in her own flat, waiting for the result. Her hands were shaking a little when she tried to drink from her glass of water.
If the test was negative, she would take it easy from now on, avoid too much stress. But if it was positive, Jenna had no idea what to do because there was only one man who could be the father and he was married. She glanced at her watch, but the time still hadn't passed. If the test was positive she was going to have a child. Jenna didn't mind children, but right now seemed like the worst possible timing when her career was going so well. What would Peter say? Her family? Oh God, what would the press say if she refused to give the name of the father?
When she checked her watch again, the time had finally passed after what had seemed like an eternity and slowly Jenna started to approach the test she had placed out of sight to resist the temptation of staring at it. She stepped closer and her heart sank. Positive. Definitely positive.
Jenna had always thought herself to be a calm, composed person, but right now she was in a state of pure terror and panic. She was at the height of her career, single, pregnant and the father was married to someone else. For the first time in her life Jenna felt at a complete loss.
She needed to talk, needed to tell someone, so she reached for her phone and dialled his number. An awfully long time passed before he answered the phone.
“I screwed up,” she blurted out and Jenna could feel the tears come when the realisation of what she had done was finally beginning to dawn on her.
Okay, I guess I've got your attention now :D Let's see how that develops, shall we? Oh, and as always, thank you for the sweet comments!!!
Tom handed her a cup of tea and Jenna accepted thankfully while he sat down next to her. She still hadn't told him, but it was just a matter of time before he asked. She was probably going to get an I told you so. Because Tom had told her, hadn't he?
“Okay, Jenna, what's going on?” he asked gently, “How did you screw up? Are you sick? You didn't seem well today.”
Jenna shook her head. She had asked Tom here because he was her friend and she needed someone to talk to about it. He was also the only person who knew about her feelings for Peter.
“No, I'm not sick,” she replied hesitantly and blew on her tea to cool it down. She was stalling.”It's actually a lot worse.”
“Why? Did something happen in your family?” Tom asked her, now sounding more than a little worried.
She set her mug down and looked at him and right now Jenna couldn't imagine how she could have ever been in a relationship with him. She loved Tom and she was grateful for his presence, but the only thing he had ever truly been to her was a friend.
“I'm pregnant,” she confessed.
For a second there was an expression of panic on his face until his brain had finished doing the maths and determined that he couldn't possibly be the father. Then his features softened instantly.
“Okay,” he sighed, “So, I'm guessing you're not happy about that.”
“Damn right I'm not happy about that!” she snapped before she could stop herself. Oh, there it was again. The snapping. Jenna should really try to get her mouth under control as long as the hormones were raging a war inside her. “Sorry. No, not exactly happy.”
“So, uhm,” Tom stammered uncomfortably and lowered his gaze, “Who's the father?”
Jenna hesitated and while she failed to speak Tom looked back up at her and he must have read the answer from her face.
He scoffed. “Peter Capaldi,” he said simply.
Jenna couldn't do anything but nod. She watched while Tom took a deep breath and blew the air back out between his teeth.
“Are you gonna tell him?”
“No! Absolutely not!” Jenna replied determinedly, “Peter can never know.”
“Why?” Tom frowned at her, obviously puzzled. “Are you afraid he's gonna ask you to get rid of it?”
Jenna was horrified at the mere suggestion. That was probably the very last thing Peter would ever do.
“Are you afraid he's gonna be mad?”
“No,” she argued, her voice agitated, “He wouldn't be mad. He'd be terrified and he would want to do the right thing and that can't happen. The press would go nuts! They would tear him apart in the newspapers!”
Tom sighed and eventually looked at her intently. She could tell by the expression on his face that there was an I told you so waiting to get out. “Jenna, what are you gonna do?”
She simply shook her head. “I have no idea,” she admitted, “Raise it, I suppose.”
“What, on your own?”
“Do you have a better suggestion?” Jenna asked angrily.
He hesitated for a long moment, obviously considering the options Jenna had mulled over about a hundred times before he had arrived at her flat. None of them seemed very appealing to her right now. Then finally Tom spoke again and he seemed very insecure about what was about to come out of his mouth.
“What if,” he paused, “What if you tell them it's mine?”
Jenna was surprised by his suggestion, to say the least. She really hadn't expected that and she also couldn't possibly accept.
“Think about it,” Tom went on before she could decline, “The press already thought we were dating back when we actually were. Everyone on set knew. They'd never question it and it's a better alternative than the truth or refusing to give them a name because that will most certainly result in speculation.”
“You do realize that the child would eventually believe that, too?” Jenna asked him.
“No, I can't ask that of you.”
“Jenna, we're friends. We have been for years. Would it be so bad if I was the father of your child? You know I'd take care of you both. You know I wouldn't let you down.”
Yes, Jenna knew, but she also knew that eventually they would get back together because of that. She didn't love him, not like that. And yet his suggestion was better than any option she had come up with.
“Is it okay if I think about that?” Jenna asked, “There's still time, there's no need to announce it immediately. I need to think about it.”
Tom nodded and reached for her hand, squeezing it in his own. Jenna felt a sense of relief after their conversation. She had confessed her affair with Peter to someone, she had confessed the pregnancy and she had a backup plan should everything else fail. Tom would be there for her even though he knew that he would always be second best.
Peter stared at the phone on his desk and then at the calendar in what appeared to be his new morning ritual. Jenna had asked for two months and they were almost up, yet it seemed as if the last two weeks simply wouldn't pass. How mad would Jenna be if he called her now? Peter missed her, he missed hearing her voice, her laugh, he wanted to know how she was doing. When Peter was just about to reach for his phone a sudden loud noise made him flinch and tore him out of his thoughts.
“What the hell?” Peter mumbled as he rose from his seat, following the sound of drilling downstairs into the kitchen where he found a surprise waiting for him.
Several handymen seemed to be at work in his kitchen and elsewhere in his house while Elaine was chatting to one of them on the corridor, though how they could even hear each other over the noise, Peter couldn't say.
“What's going on here?” he demanded to know as loudly as his sleepy voice would allow. He had only just gotten out of bed and put on his clothes when the interruption had started.
“They're working on the pipes,” Elaine yelled over the noise.
“Yes, now,” his wife confirmed, “Water will be back on tonight, but this is probably gonna take all week.”
“And you didn't think to mention this to me? I haven't even brushed my teeth yet!” Peter argued angrily.
“I've been mentioning it for months, Peter, you just didn't listen!”
Peter opened his mouth to speak, but Elaine was faster than that.
“Don't even try to complain to me, Peter,” she warned him, “If you don't like it, then maybe you should engage in household matters a little more. And if you'll excuse me now, I have to make sure they're doing their job well.”
When Elaine stomped off, Peter had half a mind to go after her and continue the discussion, but he eventually thought better of it. Instead he reached for his jacket and grabbed his laptop. He would simply spend the day somewhere else and return when the house was more quiet.
Thank you guys so much for the comments! Wow, I'm really flattered to see how invested you all are in the story and the big question has been asked - will I go for the happy end or the realistic end? ;)
Jenna was in the worst mood possible. She was hungry, her feet felt sore and Tom was dragging her through a mall on their weekend off because she had had the stupid idea to agree to help him find a birthday present for his mother. She just wanted to go home and put her feet up – was that really too much to ask?
“Jenna, look,” Tom said enthusiastically and Jenna turned her head. She felt like rolling her eyes when she saw that he was holding up a pair of baby shoes. “They're on sale.”
“Don't you think it's a little too early to buy baby shoes? You can't even see that I'm pregnant yet.”
Tom shrugged. “You can see it a little,” he argued.
Jenna glowered at him. “No, you can't,” she spat, “And now put them down before anyone sees you.”
Finally he complied and set the shoes down where he had taken them from, but a part of her couldn't deny that they actually looked adorable. For a moment she wondered if she would end up buying the blue or the pink ones and Jenna couldn't say which one she would prefer. Some days it still felt too surreal. Some days she even forgot that she was pregnant at all before the morning sickness reminded her of it. Slowly Jenna was beginning to warm up to the idea of having a baby, but Tom was certainly too enthusiastic about it even though she knew that he would be a good father to her child. He had suggested to make it official soon, but Jenna wanted to keep it a secret for as long as she could, determined that the pregnancy would not get in the way of finishing Victoria.
“You like the shoes,” Tom noted with a smile when Jenna had glanced at them for a moment too long.
She raised her head and smiled back. “Yeah, I like them. But it's still too early.”
“Fine,” he agreed, “Now, let's get the present shopping over with, shall we? We can have lunch after.”
“Split up? Cover more ground?” Jenna suggested.
“Great idea,” Tom agreed and bent forward to give her a kiss on the cheek. Jenna flinched a little under his touch, but tried to not let it show. Tom was still hoping that they would get back together, but that would never happen. She wouldn't make the same mistake twice. He was a friend and he would be the father of her kid, nothing more, nothing less.
When Tom had walked off in the direction of the home décor department, Jenna decided to check out the make up and perfume section, but when she turned around she almost crashed into the last person she had expected to see.
“Elaine,” Jenna blurted out and she suddenly felt as if she was frozen to the spot.
“Jenna,” she said politely, but her face was ice cold, her anger and resentment hidden behind a mask of composure. Elaine knew. Peter had told her that she knew. This meeting really couldn't be any more awkward and yet Jenna had to refrain from asking how he was doing. She hadn't spoken to Peter in so long and she really wanted to know whether he was okay, but his wife was probably the last person who would tell her.
“Shopping for baby clothes?” Elaine asked.
Jenna swallowed. “For a friend, yeah.”
The woman nodded.
“I'm sorry,” Jenna apologized quickly.
A frown appeared on Elaine's face along with an expression Jenna couldn't quite place. “For what?”
Jenna opened her mouth to speak, but no word came out. Elaine knew, didn't she? Peter had said so. But why was she acting as if she didn't?
“For sleeping with my husband perhaps?”
“Uhm,” she hesitated, “Yeah.”
Elaine scoffed. “Well, at least one of you is sorry,” she said in turning around and Jenna watched Elaine walk off before she could even say anything else.
Awkward didn't even begin to cover it.
One week. He had to wait one more week before he could call her and Peter couldn't wait to talk to her. He still loved Jenna, still missed her and if she even felt remotely the same, Peter would pack his bags and leave this house because the tension had become too much to bear. He and Elaine were fighting almost constantly and when for once they weren't fighting, she ignore him. There was no trace of making an effort on either side and he was tired of it, tired of feeling like an unwelcome guest in his own house.
The door to the kitchen opened while Peter was still making tea and he had no chance to flee before Elaine stepped inside, carrying several shopping bags over her arms. She and Cecily, who was still unaware of her parents' fight, had made plans to visit a wellness hotel and spa next weekend and Elaine had undoubtedly been shopping for that occasion.
“Guess who I saw in town,” Elaine said and the sudden cheerfulness in her voice instantly made him wary.
“No idea,” Peter replied reluctantly, “Who?”
Elaine set her bags down and smiled at him. Okay, that really wasn't a good sign for him, was it?
“Jenna,” Elaine explained all too happily.
Something tugged at his heart at the mention of her name and Peter immediately wanted to ask how she was, how she looked, but he thought better of it.
“Oh?” he asked instead, “And, uhm, how. . . how is she?”
“She looked really well,” his wife told him, an undertone to her voice that sounded too excited for the circumstances. “She's back with Tom and they seem really happy together.”
“What?” Peter asked before he could stop himself. His heart had instantly sunk into his boots at her words and a part of him just couldn't believe it. Jenna back with Tom? Jenna happy? No, that couldn't be, not when she had been so relieved to be rid of him.
“They were shopping for baby clothes,” Elaine went on, smiling broadly. Oh God, she was enjoying this. She knew her words felt like a dagger though the heart and she was enjoying it. “Jenna said it was for a friend, but I don't think she and Tom are gonna wait much longer. They seemed so in love.”
Peter was ready to shout at her, ready to call her a liar because he didn't believe a single word of it. Jenna wouldn't take Tom back, right? Right? But what if she had? What if she had suddenly decided that she wanted a normal relationship after she had been with him? No, it couldn't be. It just couldn't. Jenna had asked for two months. Surely her feelings for him couldn't have changed that much? Surely he hadn't driven her right into the arms of another man?
“Something wrong, Peter?” Elaine asked innocently.
He had no idea why she was doing it, why she was hurting him so deliberately. Did she want to see him suffer? Make him pay for the pain he had caused her? Did she want to start a fight? Whatever it was, Peter was determined not to give her the satisfaction.
“No, nothing wrong,” Peter said coldly, “Good for her.”
He grabbed his mug and went back into the room he was currently occupying and the phone was waiting for him on his desk. The two months weren't over yet, but that didn't matter. Peter needed to talk to her right now, so he picked up the phone and called Jenna. He needed to know if she was really back with Tom, if she was okay, if she missed him as well. But the phone rang and rang and eventually only the mailbox answered. Jenna never picked up.
Big hug and thanks for the amazing comments!!! And sorry about the pain, but come on. . . you've come this far, you can survive the rest!
After a careful knock on the door Elaine stuck her head into his room. She looked stricken, uncertain. Peter glanced up from the script he had been reading and put on a smile.
“Something wrong?” he asked.
“No,” his wife paused, “I can leave you for the weekend, can't I?”
“Of course. You and Cissy should take some time off. The spa sounds lovely,” he said more enthusiastically than he actually felt. But he needed to get rid of Elaine for the weekend.
Still she seemed hesitant and Peter instantly realized what it was about. His wife hadn't left him out of her sight ever since she had learned of his transgressions and she was afraid that it might happen again.
“Elaine, I'll be here all weekend. I have scripts to read, remember?”
Eventually she nodded. “Fine. See you on Sunday,” Elaine said coldly and closed the door behind her when she left.
Peter walked up to the window and watched while Elaine heaved her suitcase into the boot and closed the car door. He waited until she had driven off and he was certain that she wouldn't come back. Then Peter darted into the bedroom that they had once shared, opened his own bag and stuffed a few clothes in it. He had tried to call Jenna every single day for the past week and as of tomorrow her two months deadline would be up. If she didn't want to speak to him on the phone, she would have to speak to him in person. Peter certainly couldn't wait any longer, so he packed the most important things, pulled off his wedding ring, leaving it on the bedside table, and headed outside in the direction of his car. If the traffic was kind on him, he could be in York in the early afternoon.
When Peter had stepped inside his car and driven north to York, he had had no idea what he would find there. Maybe they would be filming, maybe it was a day off for Jenna that she would spend in her flat, but when no one answered the door bell, Peter realized that she was probably at work and he had no clue where that could be.
Peter had to think, figure out what to do next. Hadn't he read somewhere that they would be filming in and around the York Minster? It seemed like a better option than waiting in front of her flat, so Peter got back into his car and drove off. He was tired by now, exhausted from the long drive and also very hungry. If he couldn't find Jenna at the Minster, he'd stop for food before he continued his search.
However that thought was pushed aside when Peter had to stop his car close to the Minster due to a road blockage that seemed all too familiar to him. Crowds were gathering and people obviously at work were running around and he knew that he had come to the right place. Peter recognized a film set if he saw one.
He parked his car as close as he was allowed and walked the rest of the way, pushing his way through the crowds, and Peter considered himself lucky that no one seemed to pay any attention to him at all. If he was recognized, that would only draw unnecessary attention to their private matters and he would very much like to avoid that.
Peter spotted a few actors in period clothing and his heart skipped a beat, but he soon realized that Jenna wasn't one of them. How would she even react when she saw him? Would she be happy? Mad? Would she even want to talk to him after she had already been ignoring his calls for a week?
Then finally Peter spotted her and he felt more anxious than ever before. Jenna was so tiny, so small even in such a huge dress and he wanted nothing more than to walk up to her and hug her until she couldn't breathe. Peter had thought he had missed her these past two months, but only now did he realized just how much. Then he noticed something else while Jenna was still arguing with someone over something. She looked pale, almost sick, and when Peter spotted Tom on the side he looked just as worried as Peter suddenly felt. His intention had been to wait until they had wrapped up the scene, but that idea was scrapped when Jenna saw him in the crowd. He knew she had seen him because her face suddenly turned the colour of ash and she gawked in his direction.
“Peter!” Jenna called out his name and before he knew what was happening she was marching in his direction, only coming to a halt when she was standing right in front of him. “What on earth are you doing here?!”
For a moment Peter was completely lost for words. She was so beautiful and angry and he just wanted to kiss her. Two months had felt like a lifetime.
“You said two months,” he blurted out, but couldn't say any more.
Jenna sighed in front of him and let her head sink. Something was wrong. Oh God, what if she was indeed back together with Tom? What if that was the reason she hadn't answered his calls? What if she was over him?
“They're not even over yet,” Jenna argued weakly, “Tomorrow. They would have been over tomorrow.”
“Would you have answered my calls then?” Peter enquired.
Jenna simply looked at him and that was the only answer he needed. She wouldn't have answered.
“Jen, I just want to talk,” he said in a hushed voice.
She seemed to consider his words for a long moment and Peter was afraid she would deny him even that. And there was also the fact that she seemed truly unwell and was struggling to breathe in her corset.
“After the scene,” she said eventually, “I have to finish this, then we're done for the day.”
“Are you sure you should? Jen, you look-”
“If you finish that sentence you can drive back home right now,” Jenna warned him sharply, raising her index finger at him, and Peter was suddenly taken aback by her tone of voice. That was that convinced him that she truly wasn't well because the Jenna he knew didn't just snap at people like that. But if he wanted to speak to her afterwards he had no other choice but to comply.
Jenna turned around and walked back to he spot behind the red line and another woman in Victorian clothing soon joined her. The scene started.
Peter watched her in action and was once more reminded of how much he missed acting alongside her. She was amazing in everything she did, but today didn't seem to be quite her day. Jenna appeared scattered, unfocused and her skin grew paler with every passing minute. She was struggling, Peter could tell, and then all of a sudden Jenna stopped altogether as the rest of the colour was drained from her face. He didn't hesitate for a moment when she collapsed, but darted forward and into the scene to catch her. And so did Tom.
*gives everyone a group hug* Thank you so much for the lovely comments! And now you know why I wrote the last 5 or 6 chapters on one day, huh? I couldn't bear the suspense either XD
Jenna had no idea what had happened, but the whole world had suddenly gone black. When she came to and opened her eyes, she realized that she was on the ground and that two men were bent over her. Tom and Peter. Jenna tried to take a deep breath, but the corset seemed to prevent any kind of breathing and instead she gasped for air. The job, Tom, Peter, it was too much. She couldn't do.
“Jenna, are you okay?” Peter asked worriedly and she felt him reach for her hand. God, she had missed him, but it was too much.
“Corset,” Jenna managed to say and it was Tom who realized what she meant. He propped her up and instantly began to unlace the back of her dress. Once it was loosened Jenna could finally breathe freely and she noticed just how Peter glared at Tom.
“Do you want to go home?” Tom asked and Jenna nodded. It was no use. No one would let her continue the scene after she had fainted. They had been trying to talk her into calling it a day for over two hours because everyone had insisted she looked pale. They had no idea.
“I'll take you,” Tom said and made an attempt to help her up while Peter still hovered over her as well, looking as if he had no clue what he was supposed to do.
“No,” Jenna said and glanced at Peter.
He understood instantly and reached out to help her up. Jenna clung to his hands, not because she needed to, but because she just wanted to touch him for a moment. It was silly, but she had missed that so much.
“Are you sure I shouldn't come with you? Tom enquired.
“Yes,” she confirmed, “I just need to get changed first.”
“My car is parked just around the corner,” Peter said, “If you tell me where the trailers are, I'll pick you up there.”
“On the other side of the Minster,” she said and took another deep breath. It felt so good when the corset wasn't restricting her entire chest.
Without saying anything else Jenna tore herself free from his grasp and made her way towards the trailers. So many things were going through her mind that she struggled to make sense of them. Peter was here and she would have to tell him something. Jenna couldn't tell him about the pregnancy or about the fact that she still loved him. He would do something stupid. She also couldn't lie and tell him that she was happy with Tom. So what was she supposed to tell him? What was he going to tell her? Jenna had a vague idea she wasn't going to like that conversation.
When she emerged from her trailer again, she found Peter's car parked as closely as they would allow it and he was waiting next to the vehicle with a large paper bag from Pret in his hands. Jenna's spirits lifted instantly at the prospect of food and she couldn't help but laugh. That was Peter, the man who would buy every brand of biscuits in the shop because he didn't know what her favourites were.
“Did you rob the restaurant around the corner?” she asked him, nodding towards the huge bag.
He smiled in reply. “Hey, I'm starving,” he said defensively, “And I figured you might want to eat something as well.”
She did indeed, so Jenna got into the car as quickly as possible so they could go home to her place and eat.
They said very little during the car ride and Jenna was extremely grateful that they had obviously both decided to save the talk until after they have had lunch and no less than twenty minutes later they were both sitting on her sofa and she bit hungrily into her sandwich. Peter reached deeper into the paper bag and pulled out two muffins.
“Also brought these,” he announced. “One for each of us.”
“Not a chance,” Jenna mumbled, her mouth still full, and when Peter turned to frown at her, she laughed. “Kidding.”
Jenna felt as if the food brought a little life back into her body. She wasn't really used to it yet – the pregnancy, the morning sickness, the stressful work routine. Sometimes she ignored the demands of her body for a little too long and the revenge was bound to follow, just like today when she had skipped lunch to finish the scenes on time.
And then there was Peter. She hadn't seen him in two months and yet here they were, acting as if no time had passed at all, instantly jumping back into their old routine. Her feelings for him hadn't changed one bit. Jenna still loved him more than she had ever loved anyone else. She couldn't even tell how he did it, but in his presence it seemed as if everything was going to be fine.
“You look better,” he noticed with a smile, but then, after he had scanned her with his eyes, it faded from his lips. “You look good in fact.”
Jenna swallowed a bite and decided to properly look at him as well. He was just Peter. Wild hair, some stubble on his chin and-
“Peter, where's your ring?” Jenna found herself asking once her gaze had dropped to his hands.
“I, uhm,” he hesitated and glanced away, “I took it off.”
With a sigh Peter looked back up, directly into her eyes. “Because I came here to talk. About us. You said to give you two months, I did that. Nothing's changed, at least not for me.”
“Elaine told me you were back with Tom. I didn't want to believe it. Now I'm not sure.”
“I'm not back with Tom,” Jenna said. She couldn't lie to Peter when he already looked as if the mere idea of it brought him pain. She just couldn't bring herself to do it. “But it's complicated.”
Jenna had wished that Peter would let her finish, but before she could do anything to prevent it, he had closed the distance between the two of them and bent down to kiss her. The moment their lips touched Jenna knew that she couldn't possibly make a reasonable decision. Peter was the best man she had ever met, loving and gentle, and she would give about anything to be with him. She opened her mouth to him when their kiss deepened and Peter kissed her in a way that made her feel as if he wanted to make up for the two months he couldn't be with her. It was wrong and yet she closed her arms around his neck, pulling him closer, while Peter's hands wandered under her jumper, to her stomach and then stopped.
He broke the kiss and looked at her, his eyes so full of confusion and fear that he looked like a startled cat.
“That's the complicated bit,” Jenna admitted and moved away from him to pull up her jumper and confirm what Peter must have already guessed. Her bump was still small and easily hidden away under a loose shirt, but Peter obviously recognized it for what it was. He stared at her belly for an awfully long moment, not saying anything.
“Peter?” she asked carefully, “Please say something.”
“Y-y-ou,” he stammered and pointed at her belly.
“Pregnant, yeah,” she finished his sentence.
Even after she had pulled her jumper back down, Peter appeared to be unable to tear his gaze away. He seemed utterly in shock and it took him an awfully long moment to ask the question that should have been the most obvious one.
Jenna nodded. “It's yours without a doubt. I haven't been with anyone else since,” she explained.
Peter exhaled sharply and sank back into the sofa cushions. He looked pale all of a sudden and Jenna thought that he probably needed a moment to let the truth sink in. Still she decided to continue with her story. Maybe that would ease his mind.
“I've told Tom,” she admitted, “About us, about the child, and he said that he would be there for us. That he would say it's his.”
Peter's head shot around. “Why?” he asked harshly.
She let out a nervous laugh. “Well, I can hardly tell them it's yours. And they're gonna spread rumours if I don't give them a name. I don't want you coming up in any of them. Tom is a safe bet. They would never question it.”
Peter didn't reply to that, instead he sat back up and reached out to touch her belly. His caress was gentle and Jenna found herself guiding his hand back under her shirt. For a moment Peter seemed completely mesmerized. Either that or he was only touching her stomach to make sure it was true.
“My doctor said it might a boy,” Jenna went on to explain, “She can't say it for certain yet but it did look like it on the ultrasound.”
“A boy,” he repeated quietly and then suddenly he bent forward again and pressed a swift kiss to her stomach before he came to look at her. “I have no idea what to say.”
Jenna laughed. “Neither did I at first. Well, except maybe stop making me sick in the morning, you little brat.”
Peter laughed with her, obviously still lost for words. Then eventually he seemed to find his voice again.
“If it really is a boy, I'm going to teach him all the guy things,” he said, smiling.
She snorted. “Like what? Trying to kick a ball and falling over while doing it? Peter, you suck at most guy things. Besides, you can't hang around my child all the time,” she reasoned, “The press knows we're close, but they're not stupid. If you hover over my kid and it looks even remotely like you, they'll do the maths.”
Peter turned his head and looked at her. He still seemed confused as if the truth hadn't really sunk in yet. “It's our child,” he argued.
“Not where the press is concerned,” Jenna told him, “For them it's Tom's and my child as soon as we decide to make it public. But I want to wait until after I've finished Victoria and-”
“No,” Peter interrupted her determinedly.
Jenna looked at him and she knew that she had seen this coming. He was Peter and he wanted to do the right thing, which was why she had originally planned to lie to him.
“Peter, you're married. I knew that from the start and I knew what the consequences would be. In a perfect world we could be family, but this isn't perfect. You have Elaine and Cissy and the press would be all over us.”
“My marriage is over, Jen,” Peter stated plainly, “Elaine never forgave me.”
“She won't,” he argued, “Especially not with a child on the way. And I've spent the past two months missing you, counting the days until I could call you. I just want to get out and be with you.”
Jenna only had to look at him to know that he was serious and a part of her was happy to hear those words, yet another part was anxious about what was to come. It wouldn't be easy, that much was obvious.
“Whatever happens next, Elaine and I are over and I will be there for my child, but I want to be with you. If you tell me you're over it and you don't want me, then I'll go away and won't bother you again, but only if that is truly what you want.”
Jenna huffed. This morning had started with so many good intentions and now there was nothing left of them. Maybe that was what Peter had felt when she had first convinced him to go all the way.
Then she started to chuckle. “Do you always get what you want?” she asked him and sighed in defeat right before Peter realized that she had just said yes. He cupped her face in his hands and pulled her closer for another kiss.
Aaaaaaaaand we're almost there :D Thank you guys so much for the sweet comments!!!!
Peter was the happiest man on earth and no one and nothing could dampen the joy he was currently feeling while he stripped Jenna out of her jumper and skirt. He had her back and this time there was no deadline, this time nothing could tear them apart. And he was going to be a father again. The prospect of that was exciting and scary and completely irrelevant right now while she kissed him. They would figure it out, he had managed it once before. It was going to be fine because he would be with Jenna.
Peter kissed her back hungrily while she started to undo his buttons and he pulled her down to sit on his lap. How he had missed the feeling of her, how he had missed her. From now on, Peter vowed, nothing could break them apart.
He moaned into her mouth as her hips dug down against his crotch, brushing his member that had already started to harden at thought of what they were about to do. He was desperate for her and, luckily for him, Jenna seemed to have had the exact same thought. She reached down between the two of them and opened his trousers, pulling them down until his erection sprang free. Peter almost jerked up when her hands touched his skin and he instantly started rocking into her palm.
“Mh, Jen,” he mumbled against her lips, “I've missed you.”
“Same,” she panted and with the hand that wasn't wrapped around his cock she reached for his wrist and led his hand to her sex that was already hot and wet with desire for him.
It was as if someone had flicked a switch, flooding his brain with endorphins and arousal that left him unable to think straight. Jenna gasped when his fingers entered her, that sweet sound that he dreamed about so many nights. Now he had her back for real and it was so much better than those wet dreams that just left him hard and aching for her.
Peter lowered his lips to her throat, kissing his path along the line of her neck and suddenly her grip around his member tightened.
“Jen,” he panted, “Will you let me?”
“Yes,” she keened and when he withdrew his hands, Jenna led him to her entrance.
Peter was careful when he sank into her, but Jenna was on top and she was guiding their rhythm and she instantly started moving. He could help the moan that came over his lips when he dived into her. This was perfect, Jenna was perfect and he loved every second of it and everything about her. Peter pulled her down for a sloppy kiss when Jenna increased the speed and he felt her whimper into his mouth as he lowered his hand back between them and started rubbing against her clit.
In the heat of the moment Peter lowered his mouth back to her throat, sucking her skin hard until she moaned. It was rough and desperate, the way she drove herself down on top of him and his head sank back against the sofa cushions when he realized just how close he was. Their rhythm was maddening and he wouldn't be able to hold back for much longer. Then Jenna cried out and her muscles tightened around his cock as he thrust up harder. He gasped when he could feel his own orgasm come over him and as he spilled himself inside of her, Peter had Jenna's name on her lips.
Jenna giggled when Peter's gentle fingers were tickling the sensitive skin of her tummy.
“You seem to have a very odd fascination for my belly,” Jenna chuckled.
“Excuse me,” Peter made an effort to look hurt, “I made what's in it. Let me be proud for a moment.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Please don't say it like that.”
Suddenly he rolled over in bed and pressed a long, soft kiss to the spot right below her belly button. Then Jenna could watch how the smile slowly faded from his lips and she could tell that their wonderful weekend was about to come to an end. It was Sunday morning and they had spent two days together that had felt better than any day they had had together in Cardiff. Almost two whole days of kissing, making love and relaxing in her flat with nice meals and a couple of movies. She had missed that a lot. She had missed him.
“I have to go to back to London,” he admitted, his voice heavy.
“I know,” Jenna confirmed.
Peter looked up at her and he seemed as sad as she felt. “I'll be back as soon as I can,” he promised her, “But Elaine returns today and there are things we need to discuss. In fact, I'm fairly certain I'll come back soon because I won't have any other place to stay.”
“You can do it,” Jenna reassured him with a smile, “And if you need me, I'll only be a phone call away.”
Peter climbed back up to be on eye level with her, but his features didn't change. They remained as serious as they had been before.
“I never actually asked, but,” he paused, “You're happy, aren't you? I mean, with us, with the baby, you want that, right?”
She smiled broadly at him. “Yeah,” Jenna nodded, “I'm still not entirely sure that I've wrapped my head around the baby thing, but yes. Seems a bit surreal, all of it. Can you pinch me so I'm sure I'm not dreaming?”
Peter grinned. “I can do better,” he replied before he bent forward to kiss her. Even though he was very convincing Jenna thought she would need a while before she realized that she wasn't caught up in a dream.
“I love you,” she whispered.
Peter smiled back at her. “I love you, too.”
Then suddenly he bent back down and kissed her belly once more. “And you, of course.”
Jenna laughed and pulled him back up to lie next to her. Peter had to go back to London today, but she was fairly certain that there was still some time left for more cuddling.
6 months later
Jenna woke up and for a moment she wished she could just go back to sleep. At least for the next year or so. She felt exhausted and sore, but when she opened her eyes the sight in front of her instantly lifted her spirits.
“Can you say Are you my Mummy?” Peter whispered to the baby in his arms and he was grinning from ear to ear when he noticed that Jenna was awake.
“Not an expert on babies, but I'm fairly certain he won't be able to say anything for quite some time,” Jenna mumbled as she slowly lifted herself into a sitting position.
“He's the most beautiful thing in the world,” Peter smiled at his son, “And he has your nose.”
“Thank God,” Jenna joked.
“Kidding,” she giggled and held out her arms so Peter might hand her the child and she could take a proper look at him as well. Jenna had only held him for a short moment after giving birth and she had been too exhausted to appreciate it properly. Yet Peter didn't budge, even after he had noticed her outstretched hands.
“You need to rest,” he told her gently.
“I can rest and hold my baby,” she protested, “Give him to me.”
“You've been holding him for at least an hour.”
“Not true,” Peter argued, “Okay, maybe, yes, but look. He's asleep.”
Jenna rolled her eyes, but she couldn't hide the smile on her face when she looked at the adorable pair of them. “Peter, will you please give me our son so I can hold him, too?”
Finally Peter complied and rose from his chair before he carefully set their son down in her arms. The moment she spotted his tiny face, Jenna knew that Peter had been right. He really was the most beautiful thing in this world with a tiny button nose and tiny fingers.
“Steven called. He sends us his confused congratulations,” Peter chuckled.
Jenna raised an eyebrow. “Confused congratulations?”
“Yeah, he and Sue have been travelling for two months and the news hadn't quite reached him yet. He was slightly puzzled.”
“Poor Steven,” Jenna chuckled, “Has anyone else called?”
“Your family. They're on their way. And,” Peter hesitated, “Cissy.”
“What did she say?” she wanted to know. Things between Peter and daughter had been rocky ever since he and Elaine had separated and she had sided with her mother, maybe even rightly so after everything that had happened. She hadn't been thrilled to hear that she was going to have a half brother, so it must have been a big deal for Peter that she had called at all.
“She wants to meet him at some point,” he admitted, “But not immediately.”
“That's a good start though, isn't it?” Jenna asked, “I mean, her parents just split up, you found someone new and immediately had a baby. That would be tough on most people.”
Peter sighed. “I guess you're right,” he said and bent over their baby's sleepy face, “Your sister says hello.”
Jenna looked down at her son and smiled. “We really should have picked a name before you were born. I still don't know what to call you.”
“We'll think of something,” Peter reassured her, “In the meantime we can call him gorgeous.”
Jenna giggled. “Yeah, that won't make him vain at all.”
“No,” he determined, “He'll be like me. A hopeless geek with a huge geek collection. Only he will have a girlfriend because apparently girls like that nowadays.”
“Oh?” Jenna cocked her eyebrows at him.
“Well, you're living proof of that. You took me.”
She smiled at him. “Yeah, but it's not exactly the huge geek collection that I like about you,” she giggled.
“Shush,” Peter hushed her, “Don't crush his hopes before he even has a name.”
“Wouldn't dream of it.”
When Peter bent down to kiss her, Jenna was suddenly overcome with a feeling that everything would be okay. They had handled Elaine, they had handled the press so far, Cissy was coming around and their son was healthy and more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. There wasn't a lot that could still come between them and Jenna knew that she would personally fight anyone who tried. No, this time they had truly found their happy ending, no matter how hopeless it had seemed. They said that all good things must come to and end, but not this time. Not them.
First of all: thank you all so very, very, very much for reading, leaving kudos and above all leaving a comment! You guys are the absolute best readers one could wish for and, as always, I had a blast writing this one for you. I hope you all find that ending satisfactory because I sure as hell do :D I wrote the last 5 or 6 chapters of this in a single day because I was so into the story and eager to finish and then I realized I wouldn't be able to write it any longer once it was finished. I always get a little sad saying goodbye to a large piece of work like this one, but at the same time I'm excited to start the next.
Now I'm gonna take a little break from Colepaldi and write a new Whouffaldi fic called "Lost & Found" which I'll start posting tomorrow. Hope to see you again for that one and once more: big thanks and group hug!!!!