Nikki Harrington


Willie wonders if Neil will talk to him.

An established relationship story.

Written: March 2009. Word count: 300.



They stand together beneath the trees looking at the map.


"We've come too far," Neil says grimly.


Willie bends his head nearer to the map. It's still dark and the persistent rain doesn't help visibility. That's why they had missed the turning. That's why he, the one with the map, had missed the turning. "Sorry, Neil," he says.


Neil doesn't answer. He just pulls the collar of his coat up and turns around.


Willie can't stand it any longer. He catches Neil's arm. "Neil," he says. "About last night."


Neil turns back and looks down at him. For a moment Willie's certain Neil won't answer.


Finally, in the tone Neil usually only ever adopts when he's giving Willie an order he knows Willie won't want to obey, Neil says, "We'll talk about it later, Willie. Come along, we still have a job to do."


But still Willie holds his arm. "Will we?" he demands. "Will we, Neil? Or will it just be like all the other -"


"I said we'll talk about it later." Now Neil's tone is cold, distant, angry. He shakes Willie's grip off and strides away.


For a moment Willie stands and stares after him. Then with a quiet sigh, he begins to follow the man who is his boss, his friend and his . . . And his what?


'Lover' seems the wrong term to use; it implies something more than Willie fears Neil thinks it is. That is if Neil ever thinks about it at all. But he doesn't like any other term, because none of those fit either; in fact they fit even less well. So 'lover' it will have to be.


As he catches up with the tall, upright figure, Willie wonders if maybe, just maybe, this time will be the time they talk about it.



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