A/N: Yay! Big thanks to emotionless-stares, sappyromancelvr and Spurlunk for the reviews! They made me very happy. :)


Two days passed. The depressing thoughts about my fleeting meeting with Connor MacGowan didn't.

Going out for a walk every evening was starting to become a habit; the cold, sharp air cleared my head, and the warmth of my flat was always something to look forward to after the walk. One particular night, I even ventured further than the park, to where the river was. At that hour the bridge crossing it was very quiet; no cars passed along it, and the only sound was the gentle rushing of water some way below, and the steady noise of traffic on the main road a few blocks away. I slowly walked along the deserted bridge, under the harsh orange glow of the streetlamps. I stopped halfway along it, and peered over the edge. It was dark, making the water below an indistinct, fluid shadow that caught little of the light. I sighed, absent-mindedly patting the flat cement top of the bridge's parapet. Ages ago, I used to come here with my friends Kate and Julie; we would often sit on the parapet of this bridge and talk together for hours. But of course, Kate soon got her fiancé and Julie got her big job promotion, so we had stopped taking these walks together. We didn't meet up as often now, either, and mostly talked on the phone instead. Taken abruptly by a bit of nostalgia, I climbed up onto the brick wall and sat myself down, not caring what the rough, chalky cement would do to the back of my black coat. Smiling with rebellious satisfaction, I turned myself around so that I faced upriver, my back to the road. It was nice to get away from the world sometimes...sitting here by myself, merrily perched on the edge of the bridge - which probably wasn't all that high to start with - and surrounded by nothing but the night breeze, the lamplight and the quiet sound of the river, actually felt quite relaxing. Besides, I had needed to be on my own - properly on my own - for some time now, just to think about things.

I sighed again, looking downwards at the black, barely-visible water below. I could hear the faint footsteps of a passer-by, and found I didn't really care if they were looking at me like a nutcase.

Wouldn't the world be a much easier place to live in if people's feelings towards one another were equal? If a girl loved a guy with great passion, wouldn't it be far simpler if the guy saw her in the same light? It would certainly save me a lot of heartache. If His Supreme Unattainability Mr Sex-God Connor MacGowan loved me and thought about me day and night, and often wondered where he could get his hands on a photo of me, then there would be a perfect balance in the world.

I kicked my legs idly against the side of the bridge, pursing my lips as I watched the water.

But no, nature doesn't seem to work that way. I would always be the one left obsessively Googling his name and sighing over his oh-so-heavenly photoshoots, while he never even spared a single thought about me because our chance meeting never marked him in any way. Apparently I was doing all the loving and pining for two, here. Or maybe not just two - it felt more like two thousand, judging by how royally depressed I felt with the knowledge that he'd never be interested in me. But then again...I was not the only grotty little fangirl in the world. Oh, hell no...

The soft, awkward clearing of a throat disrupted my musings.

'Er...I'm sure there are plenty of nice things to live for,' a male voice to my right said gently, surprisingly close. I frowned, turning -

I nearly let out a gasp.

Standing cautious and tense by my side - looking as if he was ready to grab me if I made a dangerous move - was an agonisingly familiar man wearing a thick leather jacket and blue jeans. I blinked at him, my mind stalling...but in confusion rather than hysterical surprise this time. No way...what were the odds of me meeting Mr MacGowan himself for the second time in one week? This simply couldn't be real. He should be back in New York at this time, starting a new film! Or in Los Angeles again, taking in the sights and going to lavish parties where movie stars and rich people intermingled...those parties where there were always photos taken of him laughing with impossibly beautiful, well-dressed women, or dancing with them in his arms...What in the world was he doing in the quieter part of town, talking to me as I sat here minding my own business? He was so close I could just reach out and touch him, or ruffle up those beautiful black curls of his...

Oh God...I had just been recovering from our first meeting...if this second encounter meant I would be pining for days on end, then I would rather be somewhere else.

Connor was staring at me (me!) as if he was warily waiting for something to happen. I stared back at him, politely waiting for him to speak, then realised what he had just said to me.

'I'm sorry?' I frowned, not understanding, shifting my weight -

'No, please, don't move!' Connor suddenly exclaimed, putting up both hands. I watched him, rather bemused.

'Um...OK, I won't,' I replied slowly. He seemed to calm down. 'Are you alright?' I asked him, feeling a little concerned. He was a bit pale...

He gave me a surprised look, and my heart gave a leap of its own when those lovely blue eyes of his caught the light. 'I think it should be me asking you that, lass,' he answered in a flustered tone. 'You are the one sitting on the edge of a bridge, here.'

I suddenly realised what he had assumed. Oh, dear...I had been so preoccupied with the surreal situation of me being alone with the famous Connor MacGowan that I hadn't properly thought about how he might see my current position. Which in his eyes was quite a perilous, suicidal one. Oh, no...I was glad the streetlights drowned out colour, because my cheeks were now burning. God, he must think me such a lunatic...he would remember me for all the wrong reasons now, and I would probably end up as one of the crazy anecdotes he told at those talk-shows...

'Oh - oh, don't worry, I was only sitting here,' I told him hurriedly, then gave an embarrassed laugh. 'I used to come and sit here with my friends...Mr MacGowan.'

He closed his eyes and his broad shoulders sagged visibly in relief.

'Well, that's good to hear,' he said, then chuckled too, his white teeth exposed as the shallow lines around his mouth deepened. His teeth weren't perfectly square, I noticed with some detached satisfaction. He was real after all. 'Please, just call me Connor.'

I felt my heart give a happy little skip at the thought of being on first-name terms with him, but then I remembered that he preferred it if everyone just referred to him as "Connor", as all of his fans already did.

He turned his head to one side, the glare of the streetlight throwing his good-looking, rugged features into sharp relief, along with the pensive frown puckering his handsome brow.

'I've met you before, 've I not?' he asked thoughtfully, with his bone-melting Scottish lilt.

My eyes were wide.

'You mean you...you remember me?' I uttered in sheer surprise, swinging my legs back over so I faced the road. How was this even possible?

Connor bit his lip sheepishly, looking rather adorable.

'You preoccupied me for a while, to tell you the truth,' he answered. 'I felt so guilty...I'd just rushed off without stopping to say hi or anything. I'm...I'm sorry about that.'

I couldn't believe my ears. He had actually felt guilty? About leaving me? ME? Wow. And there I was thinking he was just a heartless, preening movie star like any other. Preoccupied, he had said...I felt a bigger blush coming on.

'It's OK, really, it is,' I told him bashfully. 'I mean, you can't stop and talk to everyone you happen to bump into...'

'I've always done my best to be nice to all my fans,' he said honestly. My inner happiness deflated at that remark. So I was really just a fan in his eyes, not a normal person...

I narrowed my eyes at him.

'What makes you think I'm a fan?' I challenged him, straight-faced. He blinked, looking a bit taken aback, and slightly embarrassed because he thought he had just made an arrogant assumption. Then he saw my teasing smile and he shook his head chidingly, a grin slowly spreading across his face.

'Ah, that's a good comeback, that,' he said. I laughed with him, feeling oddly light-headed. This was a completely surreal situation...less than an hour ago I had been brooding over my own cursed introverted nature, and thinking bitterly about this movie star...and now here I was, sitting on a wall in the quiet part of town actually teasing him and laughing with him! Almost like an...equal.

It was an odd, fuzzy feeling that I would need to prod and examine later when I was alone.

'You never told me your name,' Connor said, leaning his elbows back against the parapet. I was glad the dark hid my red face.

'Lillian,' I told him. 'But to the old bag who lives in the apartment beneath mine, I'm Miss Harwick. Or sometimes even Young Lady, when she's in a bad mood.' I had no idea why I was telling him about crotchety old Mrs Windsor from downstairs...it seemed like his presence was going to my head.

Connor laughed. 'As I'm not your neighbour, I suppose I can just call you Lillian, then?' he asked me.

'Sure,' I replied, feeling like the happiest girl in the world at that moment. I couldn't keep my eyes off him, leaning so casually against the parapet right next to me, looking so devilishly handsome with his leather jacket and wild curls that became ringlets towards the base of his neck. I had seen him in so many movies...in so many different costumes, settings, scenarios...I was right next to the man who had acted alongside Oscar-winning actresses and legendary actors, whose face had graced hundreds of posters all around the world. I remembered seeing a photo of him at a film premiere, looking very smart in his dark suit, strolling down the red carpet with a charming smile on his face as the huge crowds clamoured on either side, cameras flashing. He was so different from most other actors...they all drawled in American accents or watery British dialects, while he spoke with his lovely, gravelly Scottish burr that could vary from gruff and growling to smooth and purring at any time. He crazed photographers with his confident, "bad boy" appearance, and brought the house down at talk shows with his sense of humour. He was fun-loving, charming and immensely kind-hearted despite his slightly dangerous demeanour, consequently making him tremendously popular all over the world. This was why it felt so strange to have him here alone with me, in this dark street where he looked so at ease, even though he didn't come here often.

I found myself giving a little chuckle at the sheer craziness of this situation. Connor looked up at me.

'What?'

'Nothing, it's just...it's so weird that I'm actually with you, right here, right now,' I confessed. 'I never thought I'd ever meet you, let alone talk with you like this.'

His dark eyebrows knitted.

'Why's that?'

I would have thought that was obvious. 'Well...you have so many fans, to start with - practically the entire Japanese population are screaming for you, too, after you went there to promote your film Esquire...and you have so many far better places to be than here,' I told him.

'I don't really think about it that way,' Connor contradicted thoughtfully. 'Anywhere's good for me.' He absently scuffed the toe of his shoe on the ground, then looked up at me pensively. 'It's sad to think that me having so many fans would put you off.'

A question surfaced in my head, one that I had often wanted to know.

'Doesn't it ever get a bit...scary? I mean, having so many fans?' I asked him quietly.

He raised his chin then gave a low laugh. 'I suppose it is a bit freaky sometimes, when I really think about it,' he replied honestly. 'I mean, the thought that thousands of people know so much about you when you've never even met any of them in your entire life can get a little weird. But it's OK really...it has its good points.' He gave a little half-smile, still gazing away into middle-distance. 'You know, I've never really told anyone that before.'

I felt extremely touched by this. He had just revealed his own personal thoughts to me...I felt rather moved.

'Oh...' I responded, in quiet surprise. Then he turned to me with a familiar, cheeky smile on his face.

'Are you a fan, Miss Harwick?' he asked me teasingly.

I narrowed my eyes at him.

'Hmm...I admire your acting,' I replied stonily. Connor raised his eyebrows at me. I gave in. '...A lot.'

'Why, thank you,' he said.

I frowned at him. 'Aren't you supposed to be in New York at the moment? Doing a new film or something like that?'

Connor grimaced. 'In a few days, aye,' he replied. 'But I really don't feel like it. Not that I have much of a choice...'

'Why don't you feel like it?' I asked him, surprised. He always seemed to have so much fun in the US...

He sighed, turning around to rest his forearms on the parapet instead.

'Ach, I don't know...' he grumbled heavily. 'I just feel a bit more...watched there, sometimes. I get followed around by those clatty scunners with their cameras whenever I'm out and about, and there're so many promotional events I have to attend to...But here...' He looked around himself. 'I've not seen a single camera during the whole of the four days I've been around. Well, I have, but that was at my photoshoot, so it doesn't count. But on the street, I can just feel...normal again. It's great.'

'But you've got everything!' I said in surprise. 'Why would you want to be just an ordinary nobody? You're talented, everybody loves you, famous people want to be friends with you, you've probably got one hell of a lovely house...you're just as nice in real life as on the screen...and I'm sure you have your pick of the girls, too...' I was glad that the semi-darkness hid my fiery blush. Connor gave a mirthless laugh.

'You make it sound so brilliant,' he replied. 'It is fun most of the time, but sometimes I really do wonder who my friends truly are. You know, I wasnae always this well-known...in fact, I used to be a depressed, futureless nobody living in Glasgow...'

Of course I knew this, I thought to myself. I had read his very vague biography so many times...

'Most of the lads I went round with in those days weren't exactly part of the right crowd...but I made some other friends at college who I'm still in contact with,' he went on. 'Of course, I dinnae call them as often as I should, but they're still the ones who I know are my real friends - the ones who really know me.'

I nodded understandingly, then Connor paused.

'God, I haven't vented all my problems to someone like that in ages,' he said, giving a little laugh. I smiled at him.

'It's good to have a proper moan sometimes,' I told him. 'I came here for a bit of a think, too.' He returned my smile. It was a different smile, one I hadn't really seen much...a very spontaneous, very friendly one that completely reached his eyes. So this is the non-public side of Connor MacGowan, then, I thought in surprise.

'Why don't you have a rant, too?' he said. 'You listened to mine, so I'm all ears to yours.'

I smiled uncertainly, twiddling distractedly with a lock of my hair. How would I tell him this? I couldn't just say that I had been obsessively pining over our last meeting...

'Oh, it's just the usual crap...' I murmured vaguely. 'I came here because my friends and I used to come here often, but they've all got themselves boyfriends, fiancés and promotions, so they don't have time any more...It's just everyday blues, I suppose.'

Connor nodded sympathetically. It was very odd to have this world-famous movie star listening so attentively to my petty little problems.

'I take it you're the one left single and promotionless, then?' he asked me.

'Yep,' I replied heavily with a humourless smile, letting my hands drop onto my lap. Connor sighed and crossed his arms casually, leaning his back against the wall. He didn't even seem aware of the fact that doing this made him look heart-stoppingly attractive, with his sharp profile illuminated by the lamplight like that. Nice straight nose, I found myself thinking.

'Aye, I've been there, all right,' he told me grimly. 'In Glasgow I was really a complete failure. Hanging out with the wrong lads, getting fired from all the odd jobs I took to keep my head above the water...' He sighed. 'I have some pretty bleak memories of those days...not that I don't get a bit down from time to time now.'

We sat together in the most oddly companionable silence imagineable. I felt pleasantly surprised; I had always thought a meeting with Connor MacGowan would stress me out and make me restless, wondering what to say next...but for some reason I felt so relaxed now, by his side. And he seemed perfectly peaceful, too, just staring at nothing like I was.

For a while we sat there in curious calm, then Connor looked down at his smart, round silver watch.

'Wow, we've been talking f'ra while here,' he remarked. 'It's getting late.' I nodded in agreement, even though I was disappointed that we couldn't simply stay here and talk for the rest of eternity. I got down from the wall, with a bit less effortless grace than I would have hoped to achieve.

'Yeah, I suppose Mrs Windsor will be a bit annoyed if she hears me jangling my door-keys while she's in bed,' I admitted grudgingly. Then I smiled at him, some of my shyness coming back with a vengeance. 'I mean...not that this wasn't worth it.'

He beamed back at me. Gosh, he was tall, I distractedly noticed.

'Aye, I guess I'd best be off,' he replied. 'It's been nice to have someone to talk to, Lillian. I haven't felt so free in a while.'

I felt a lovely warmth spread through me.

'Tonight has added something interesting to my life,' I told him light-heartedly with a smile and a shy laugh. 'Well, um...I'd better let you go.'

Connor was about to start off, then he turned back to me. 'Hey, er...it's a bit dark now,' he said. 'Would you like me to walk you back to your apartment?'

I blushed. 'Oh, you don't have to bother, I'll be fine,' I told him.

'No, really, it's no trouble,' he insisted. He smiled. 'Keep you company?' he offerred, with the most endearing expression on his face.

How could I resist?

'You're really very kind,' I said, and let him start off with me back the way we came.


After a very surreal walk through the town with a reknowned Scottish actor, we arrived all too soon at the door of my apartment block. Connor looked up at the daunting, aggressively dull beige building with some speculation. I felt rather ashamed that he knew I lived in a place like this.

'It's not so bad inside,' I reassured him. 'I survive.' Connor smiled, looking back down at me.

'Well, it's been great, Lillian,' he said. 'I never thought I'd get such a weight off my shoulders tonight. Thanks.'

I smiled at him, not sure what to say or do, feeling a little awkward now. I knew Kate would kill me if she heard I had spent an entire evening with this famous man but kept no solid souvenir of it...but I simply couldn't bother poor Connor for an autograph, of all things.

We hovered on the pavement outside the apartment, our faces lit by the streetlights and passing cars.

'Thank you, too, Connor,' I said. 'I had a really nice evening.' I knew we couldn't stay on the pavement all night, no matter how much I wanted us to. 'Well...good luck with your next films, then...I'll be following your future with interest!' I told him with a smile, pulling my keys out of my pocket. God, how stalkerish did that sound...but Connor didn't seem to take it that way, giving me a gracious grin.

'Goodnight, then,' he said, and I turned away to the door, starting to miss him already.

'But wait - just a minute,' he said quickly, stopping me, and fished around in his tight jeans pockets, then in the pockets of his dark jacket. After some hurried fumbling he drew out a biro and a scrap of crumpled paper that looked like an ancient receipt. I watched him in hopeful interest, hardly daring to believe that he was going to give me his autograph even having to be asked.

Connor took the cap off the biro and put it between his teeth.

'What's your number? I mean...it would be nice to be able to give you a ring now and then, if that's OK,' he said to me. I stared at him in disbelief, completely thunderstruck. Connor MacGowan...Connor MacGowan...had just asked for my number? This couldn't be happening...my knees threatened to give way beneath me.

Quickly seizing control of myself, I hastily gave it to him, sounding very breathless. I wouldn't have been surprised if even he could hear how loudly my heart was pounding now. Connor calmly noted the number down, along with my name, then wrote something else below it, which he tore off and handed to me.

He grinned.

'Just in case you need someone to talk to,' he told me as I took the other half of the piece of paper with trembling fingers. 'You can have a moan whenever you feel like it...I'm always open.'

'Th-thanks...' I whispered, hardly believing it. Just when I had thought nothing more in life could shock me...

'See you soon, Lillian!' Connor said jovially, and then was off with a wave.

I stared after him dumbly, standing there frozen as he strode off down the pavement, hands in his pockets, a particular vigour in his walk. Other people walking past him didn't even look twice at him...he strolled along like a free man.

See you soon, he had said...

I stayed where I was for a full minute, until he was completely out of sight, then I looked down at the torn piece of paper in my hands. On it, written in round, scrawled letters unblemished even by the blotchy biro, was his name...and a number. Connor MacGowan, lead actor of so many award-winning films, had actually given me his mobile phone number.

I felt something uncontrollably building within me, which needed to be let out quickly. Hurriedly, I unlocked the door, ran up the dingy flight of stairs half-lit by the automatic light, then arrived in front of my own apartment. Fumbling with keys, I opened my door and rushed in. As soon I was inside, I paused, closed the door, then calmly walked through the main room and into my bedroom. Once there, I serenely sat down on my bed, put a pillow to my face, and then let go. I muffled the wild scream of pure hysterical euphoria that had been bottling up all night, kicking my legs in gleeful excitement. Once I had screamed myself hoarse without waking up Mrs Windsor or any of the neighbours, I threw the pillow away and collapsed onto the bed, beaming and out of breath.

I hadn't been this happy in a while...I couldn't stop grinning. Connor MacGowan...who would have thought anything like this could happen to me? I bounced through my flat, lighting all the lamps and carefully putting Connor's number in a safe place, after copying it out in my phonebook several times just in case. Still exhilirated and too restless to go to bed just yet, I skipped over to the TV - being careful to make no sound on the floorboards, of course - and knelt down by the shelf that held my extensive DVD collection. Beaming, I picked out my favourite one: a DVD with a glossy, dark cover that had a very dashing picture of Connor's brooding face on it, lit from behind. I bit my lip excitedly as I hungrily took in those familiar, alluring features and bewitching blue eyes, as well as the combed-back hairstyle he had for that movie. The glowing, fancy letters above his head spelled out "Esquire", the title of the movie that had come out a couple of years ago with Connor as its lead actor. I opened the box, and soon I was curled up on the sofa, engrossed in the movie, enjoying it more than I ever had because I knew I had so recently met the star of it himself, and his number was now sitting securely between the pages of my phonebook...

Life was good.

A/N: Feedback is much appreciated! :D