Fitz was hungover. Hungover and waiting for a bus. Hungover and very cold as the snow tried to crawl into his boots. Hungover and badly needing a smoke.
He wanted to beg off, he did. Truly. But then he thought of the Doctor's face. The sullen look that would cross those blue eyes made his stomach twist into knots.
So he'd sucked it up, caught the bus and ended up with the same speed racer for a bus driver as yesterday. She smiled at him as he popped in his fare and before he could even get to a seat, she'd hit the gas and he had to grab onto the railing for dear life. Smile of the devil apparently.
Unlike the day before, a few more lights inside The Space were on. The only place on the street lit up at this hour, shining like a beacon as flurries fell on the icy street.
And unlike the day before, The Doctor was standing on one of the plush chairs, trying desperately to hang up a string of paper snowflakes. The Doctor wobbled a bit on the chair as his eyes caught Fitz’s through the glass and waved. And Fitz couldn’t hold back his grin. He walked into The Space and locked the door behind him as the Doctor bounced up and down on the chair with sheer excitement.
“Fitz, you really have a knack for perfect timing. Help me put these up.”
“Yeah, sure. Just please get off that chair. You’ll crack your skull and I don’t know how I’d explain it without becoming a murder suspect.”
“You’ve got a point,” said the Doctor who leaned closer to Fitz with a contemplative look. This was the first time they were at eye level and close. Fitz forgot how cold he’d been on the walk over from the bus stop. Because now he felt warm, too warm before the Doctor’s gaze swept down to his scuffed Doc Martens and then slowly locked eyes with him again.
Then the Doctor broke the spell he’d unknowingly cast as he said with a teasing lilt, “Especially with all that leather, they’ll pin it on you for sure.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Fitz rolled his eyes. “So save me from the gallows and get off. I’ll finish putting these up.”
The Doctor landed on both feet beside Fitz and smiled up at him. Fitz lifted the side of the chain dangling between them. His fingers ran over one of the paper snowflakes. Each of them had an intricate design. Careful and steady hands had made these.
“When did you have time to make this?” asked Fitz as he took a piece of tape from the Doctor’s outstretched hand and easily taped up the other side of the chain.
“Oh I couldn’t sleep. I was so looking forward to today and then it started to snow. Just as well, I finally got this done.”
“What’s so exciting about today?”
“Well, you of course!” Exclaimed the Doctor, looking at him with wonder. Fitz’s heart hammered in his chest. “It’s not everyday I get to teach someone the fundamentals of baking.”
Fitz swallowed and kept his voice steady “You’ll be lucky if anything can get through my thick skull.”
“Oh, be quiet. You’ll be marvelous.”
“You might not be cut out for this,” said the Doctor as they stared at Fitz's sunken soufflé, it’s edges burnt on the pan. “I only walked away for a moment to get things prepped.”
“See, I told you I’d be bad!” Fitz stared down at his poor soufflé, steam flowing from it’s center. “Also, isn’t this a hard recipe? Shouldn’t we have started with biscuits or something?”
“Hush. I wanted to see where we should start,” said the Doctor before he grabbed a spoonful of soufflé and popped it into his mouth. Fitz winced with horror as he watched the Doctor chew. The man had no fear.
The Doctor’s nose scrunched up as if in distaste and then with a tilt of his head, his expression turned contemplative. “This isn’t half bad other than the soggy, burny parts.”
“That’s most of it!” Fitz poked the pan and the soufflé inverted further into itself.
“It’s actually kind of a wonder really. Well, come help me with frosting the cupcakes and we can try again tomorrow.”
They spent the rest of the hour before opening decorating the cupcakes. While his was a bit lopsided, the Doctor made him stand back and they looked over their work proudly before placing a yellow jelly baby on each one.
For the tenth time, Fitz yawned so wide his jaw clicked. He leaned over the counter and took a sip of his fourth coffee.
“Am I boring you?” Sam side-eyed him as she wiped down the counter.
“What? Boring who?” asked Fitz through another yawn.
“I was talking about the refugee crisis and you’re completely ignoring me. It’s important to stay involved, even at your ripe old age.”
“Hey! I am four years older than you, I am not old.”
“Then stop acting like it!”
“I’ll have you know I am fighting a hangover and possible sleep deprivation.”
“You’re probably dehydrated too,” said Sam with a roll of her eyes. She stalked over to where they stored water bottles and threw one to Fitz. His reflexes were especially slow and he fumbled to catch it.
“Aw! Thanks, Sam. I’m glad to see you care.”
“Just drink your water and shut it.”
Fitz chuckled and opened the bottle. As he took a swig from it, and Sam started to clean the espresso machine, she continued to talk about the crisis. He caught a few words and it sounded dire. It really did. He’d have to search online later and maybe (and a big maybe) if he had anything to donate he would. But he couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying.
Because Fitz knew he had to talk to the Doctor about his new schedule. He couldn’t balance his calendar as it was, nevermind getting here before dawn and then working his regular shift and still having time for gigs.
Fitz leaned against the counter and focused so he could hear the Doctor play on his violin. The notes filled the back hallway and poured out into The Space. He didn’t recognize what it was, but it was nice. Real nice.
On the bus ride home, he kept falling asleep. His head drooped against the bus window. And his mind, even in sleep, could only think of those notes. And the Doctor.
His mind was simply full of him.