Anamara: thanks for the advice. I thought it would be easier to reply to the pm like this, so that I can, in effect, kill two birds with one stone. Yeah, my structure is the main problem in most stories I write. There's a short monologue-type thing I was thinking of putting up here, if you'd do another review like that one. I like being able to get an outside view. I just looked at your profile (to see if you've written any other stories) and saw that you like Jhonen Vasquez! -squee!- Damn, he's amazing.

Anywho, this one might seem a bit... scatty, too, so sorry if it does. Please review it and I'll be happy to make changes (if, of course, I agree with you. Which I probably will)


"Look, could you just tell him that I'll be delayed? I know it's inconvenient, but I'll be there as soon as I'm finished! Can't I just be pushed to the end of the list?" Izzy heard the man in the cubicle sigh impatiently. "I'm sure if they want me that much, they'll be willing to wait for a bit!"

Izzy stepped inside. "Urm – excuse me sir, you aren't allowed to use that in here." She closed the curtain behind her as she spoke.

He raised a hand to signal for her to wait, and continued his conversation. "I'm a bit tied up, I can't go racing off, even if it were the Queen herself! Right, you tell him that. Good day!" With that, he closed his phone and lay back.

He had changed quite a bit over the years in some respects, but in other ways he was just the same. He still had the same thick dark curly hair and bright blue eyes, but he'd grown and toned up. His head and hands, which had once been too big and awkward for him, now didn't look as strange, and she could see that he had lost his puppy fat, and had some muscle. He certainly wasn't an athlete, but he wasn't chubby either.

"Yes?" He glared at her.

"Mr. Barrowman?" He gave her a curt nod. "Right. I'll be treating you today." He rolled his eyes, and she looked down at his notes. "Alright then, have you had an x-ray yet?" He gave her the same curt nod as before. "Oh, I don't seem to have them – oh, wait, here they are."

"Are you all inept here or something? I've had three separate giggling nurses dealing with me before you. At least you're not foreign." He made an attempt to cross his arms, but winced when his arm reminded him that it was broken.

"Foreign?" She smiled slightly.

"Yes. I hate their American accents. I don't know how anyone can stand to live here; it's like a sitcom. I wouldn't be here, only I have an audition to get to." He emphasized the importance of his audition; he didn't want to waste his time in a hospital, getting his arm fixed.

Izzy bit her lip and looked at her feet.

"That nurse Clarkepston, she's so lucky! She comes in here, over an hour late for her shift, Greta doesn't say anything, and then she gets to treat that hot actor, Aleister Barrowman! And she does it acting like the world's against her!" A foghorn voice came from the other side of the curtain.

"Didn't you hear about…" The accompanying softer tone faded out as the pair continued on their way, still gossiping.

Izzy's face went crimson, and when she looked up her patient was staring at her intently.

"Clarkepston can't be too common a name, can it?" He cocked his head to one side as he watched her. "Do you live in London?"

Izzy groaned inwardly. That was exactly the thing she had least wanted to hear. "Right, sir, I think I should start on the cast now. For your arm, I mean." She went through the drawers and pulled out everything she would need.

"Do you, though?"

"No, sir. I live here." She gently took his broken arm and straightened it.

He winced. "You know what I mean. You used to live in London?"

She nodded silently, and started on the first layer.

"North?"

She bit the inside of her cheeks and continued dressing his arm, then slowly nodded.

"Really?" He winced again, but didn't say anything about the pain. "Did you happen to know a girl with the same surname as you called Belle?"

"London is a large city, sir." She did the next layer.

"Yes, but you must be some sort of relation. I don't think there could be many people with that name living around there."

"I don't have any relations called Belle, no, sir. Not that I know of."

He left them both to their own thoughts whilst she did his cast; the only sound was the usual humming activity of the rest of the ward.

"You have her eyes." Izzy held her breath, not daring to sway his decision. "Though, I suppose that you must be related, and you both inherited them. What a strange coincidence, that I would meet you so far away from home." He sighed sadly, and Izzy felt that he wasn't aware that he was speaking aloud. "She always said she wanted to help people…"

She looked away as his eyes watered.

"What are you doing here?" His eyes cleared and his head snapped to the side. His guard had shot right back up again, and his eyes were full of the pompous malice that they had been before.

She held up the sling. "Once I've put this on your arm, you can be discharged, sir."

"Finally." He looked at her. "Well, why don't you go ahead and do it?"

"Sorry, sir. I have to wait until the cast has set."

He made a point of looking at his watch for a few seconds, and sighed, exasperated. She smiled to herself and looked at her feet. Part of her wanted so much to talk to him, to connect with him. But her mind kept her firmly planted in reality: she had done so much to escape him and everyone else, it would ruin eight years of hard work to go back now.

"It should be set by now, sir." She pulled the sling onto his arm and over his neck, avoiding his gaze.

"I'm such a fool… Just answer me this truthfully, and I'll walk out of this hospital and not say another word to you. I'd just like to know for sure." He cleared his throat, and Izzy had the preposterous and hilarious thought that he was about to propose to her. "Are you or are you not Belle Clarkepston?"

Izzy took a step away from him. "Sorry sir, I believe you've got the wrong person." She turned and ran out of the cubicle, straight into Nessa, one of the nicer nurses. "Could you discharge my patient for me?" Nessa nodded.

With that, she ran as fast and as far as her lungs would let her.


I have a really bad feeling about that chapter, but I can't quite place it. When I read it, I can't go past the most obvious faults (all of which I think I've corrected) so if anyone could point out the problem, I'll be glad to change it.

I'm supposed to be ill right now, so bye!

R.