“Not to worry,” the Doctor had said. “I’m sure it’ll look better in the morning.” Jamie had given him one of those witheringly pessimistic looks, the kind he saved for the direst of circumstances, and found the softest part of the bunker floor to wait it out. Ordinarily the Doctor would have tried to keep his spirits up — but it’ll look better in the morning was the best he could muster, at present, and it offered little comfort.
It was almost morning, now, not that there was any sunlight down in the bunker. It was dark, and the air smelled sour. They’d been sitting together in silence, shoulders pressed together, for long hours. During the night, Jamie had put an arm around the Doctor, and absently he worried the thick cloth of his coat between finger and thumb.
According to Jamie’s watch, it was almost five. Beside him, the Doctor let out a soft sigh. “What’re you thinking about?” Jamie said, breaking the silence.
“Hm?” said the Doctor. “Oh, all sorts of things.” He lapsed back into silence. “May I — may I be honest?”
“Aye,” said Jamie. They’d likely be dead in a few hours. If now wasn’t the time for honesty, when was?
“Well, I, I was thinking what a shame it would be to die without getting to kiss you,” said the Doctor.
For a moment Jamie tensed, a quick intake of breath. Then, just as quickly, he relaxed. “Oh, aye? That so?”
“Yes,” the Doctor confessed. “You don’t mind, do you?”
“Of course not.” Jamie shifted, and said, “it’s no’ like I’ve never thought about it.”
“Really?” said the Doctor, fascinated.
“Well — aye,” said Jamie. “Now and then.”
The Doctor squirmed, turning to face him, reaching out to touch his chest, toying with the fur of his vest. “Now and then, eh?”
“I think it’d be — nice,” said Jamie. Mere moments ago it had been so easy, to admit to this, but now, looking the Doctor in the eye, he could feel himself floundering.
“Nice?” the Doctor echoed.
“Aye.” Jamie laid a hand on the Doctor’s arm. “You’re always so gentle. And the way you look at me sometimes, it’s —” Special. Warm. Makes me feel cared for. Precious. He froze, cleared his throat. Slowly, he ran his hand up the Doctor’s arm. “And I think you’d be good at it. You’ve had enough time to practice — being so old and all.”
“Oh, really!” said the Doctor. “I’m in my prime, I’ll have you know. And, ah.” His gaze dipped. “I haven’t done as much kissing as you’d think.”
“Aye, even so. Probably more than me,” said Jamie, grinning despite himself, despite everything.
“I wasn’t sure I’d see that smile again,” said the Doctor. Jamie’s face dropped, and inwardly he cursed himself. “I, I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s — it’s alright.” Jamie gave the Doctor’s arm a squeeze. “I feel safe, with you. I always have. I suppose I think, kissing you — it’d be like coming home.”
“I know what you mean,” said the Doctor softly. His hand drifted from Jamie’s chest to his face, fingers brushing the skin of his cheek as if afraid to touch properly, afraid of being rebuffed. “You have beautiful lips, you know.”
Jamie choked out a startled laugh.
“Has anyone ever told you?”
“No,” said Jamie, still laughing.
“Well, you do,” said the Doctor, and his thumb ran across Jamie’s lower lip.
Jamie stopped laughing.
“May I?” said the Doctor.
“You really want to?”
“No time like the present.” Besides, they might not have any more time. Death could strike any second. “Well?”
“Aye,” said Jamie shyly. “Aye, go on.”
The Doctor leaned in closer, ever so tentative, ever so cautious, as if fearing permission might be withdrawn at any moment. His tongue darted out, wetting his lips. Jamie closed his eyes.
Then the Doctor kissed him, and even though he was expecting it Jamie flinched. He opened his eyes, saw the Doctor looking at him curiously in the semi-darkness. A thumb stroked his cheek. He closed his eyes, and kissed the Doctor straight back.
At first it was hesitant, neither of them quite knowing what to do, how to begin. Then the Doctor cupped the back of Jamie’s neck and deepened the kiss, and Jamie melted into him, opening up so sweetly, so easily.
It wasn’t as perfect as Jamie had imagined, but then again, the circumstances were far from perfect; but he forgot all that, soon enough, as the Doctor’s tongue brushed his, as a delicious, dreamy warmth spread through him.
He drew back, rested his forehead against the Doctor’s, breathed. He needed a moment, to think about what was happening, to let it be real. He opened his eyes.
The Doctor’s were still closed, still savouring the moment. “Jamie,” he said in a low voice.
“Hm?” Jamie brushed a lock of hair away from the Doctor’s face.
“I’ve just had an idea.”
“Oh? Does it involve more kissing?”
The Doctor’s eyes flicked open. “Oh, no,” he said. “Much better?”
“Eh?” Jamie’s mind rattled through half a dozen possibilities in half a second.
“It involves us not dying in this bunker.”
In his current state of bewildered contentment, it took Jamie a moment to process what he was saying. “Oh. Oh, aye, that’s much better.”
“Hm. Yes,” said the Doctor, a smile spreading across his face. “You know, it might actually work?”
Then, quick as a flash, he leapt to his feet and darted across the bunker, circling the concrete floor. Jamie struggled upright, hastening after him. “I’m all ears, Doctor.”
“Oh, yes,” said the Doctor, laughing to himself. “We’re not dying here. Not today, anyhow.” Whirling around, he grabbed Jamie by the collar and kissed him firmly.
“Ohhh,” said Jamie as he pulled away.
“Now, you do exactly as I say,” said the Doctor. “And if we’re lucky, we’ll be home for tea.”
“I like this plan already.” Jamie beamed at him again.
The Doctor kissed him again, kissed his beautiful mouth, for he couldn’t resist. “Oh, yes,” he said. “We’re going home.”