Disclaimer: This story about Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, and
David Tennant is entirely fictional and is in no way meant to
Summary: In the last week of filming Series 1, Christopher Eccleston is
thinking about leaving the show when he recieves a visit from
Author's Note: I promise this is actually still about David and Billie
Christopher Eccleston was sad to leave "Doctor Who" for certain reasons. On
the other hand, he was also happy to leave it behind. It had been a grueling
nine months shoot, especially to someone who was used to short, two-month
filming periods before moving on to the next challenge. Physically challenging
and sporting a wide range of emotional requirements, he had to admit that the
role of the Doctor was rather exhausting. But it was satisfying, as well.
He'd proven, at least to the cast and crew's standards, that he could be both
funny and charming if he so desired. And if he hadn't managed to make too many
friends with his brooding personality, those he had found were proving to be
Having retreated to his trailer following some of his final scenes as the
Doctor, Chris was eager to shed his television guise and resume something more
comfortable. His customary leather jacket and burgundy jumper having been
relinquished to the care of the costume department, Chris hastily stripped off
his sweat-soaked undershirt and breathed a sigh of relief. The cool air felt
good on his bare torso and served to momentarily soothe his aching muscles.
Stretching was in order, he decided, as he bent to unlace the heavy boots he
wore for his role as the Doctor. Wearing only his socks and dark jeans, Chris
bent slowly in half and grasped his toes, groaning piteously as his poor
muscles protested the ill treatment. He held his position for the correct
length of time before erecting himself and clasping his hands together to
stretch his quivering arms over his head. There had been quite a lot of
holding and lifting involved in his last scenes of the day, and his biceps and
triceps were now protesting full-throatedly.
Chris was a runner, really. And though that meant that he was lean and well
muscled all over his body, the use of upper-body strength was always much more
taxing than any amount of scurrying about under the camera's eye.
Continuing with his stretches, Chris clasped his hands behind his back and drew
his arms up behind himself as far as they would reach, groaning loudly and
unashamedly as the pain and pleasure knifed through them. His eyes fluttered
closed as his pectoral muscles stretched with the movement of his arms. It was
so good to not be in action for once, to be merely attempting relaxation.
A knock sounded at his trailer door, and he groaned again at the interruption.
Whatever they wanted, he was not available, he thought firmly.
"Chris?" a sweet voice called through the thin partition. "Wondering if we
could have a chat," it insisted, the good-natured humor always to the fore.
Sighing, he allowed an involuntary smile to spread over his face.
It was Billie, and she somehow always knew how to make him not-quite-as-grumpy
as he was before.
Unclasping his hands from behind his back, he involuntarily ran one palm over
his short-cropped hair, as if it could make any difference at all to his normal
appearance. Whatever. She could take him as he came. It had never made any
difference in the past, after all.
Striding across the trailer to the flimsy door, he opened it and ushered his
co-star in without shame for his half-naked state. Chris wasn't really the
sort who was bothered by appearances or other peoples' perceptions. And Billie
was safe. Immensely safe. Unbelievably safe. She was one of those friends he
had made, those few friends, who could see past the mask and were interested
always in him as a person. Who were interested in his acting techniques and
genuinely wanted to learn from him.
She was so young and he'd been acting for so long, that a sort of give-and-take
had formed between them from their very first scenes together, in which they
learned from one another in a wholly unexpected way.
Billie was not his best friend, by any means, but she was certainly up there in
the Top Ten most marvelous people he'd ever had the fortune to encounter.
Chris loved Billie, and he knew the feeling was mutual; they could tell each
other things, without worrying about the consequences.
"Entree, ma cherie," he intoned with a smirk, waving his hand vaguely in the
direction of the unkempt green sofa.
"Mmmmm," she said, running her eyes up and down his unclad torso unashamedly.
"My, but you're looking fit, mate," she observed, plopping down on his worn
cushions and grinning at him.
"Training for a marathon," Chris explained simply, selecting a dark t-shirt
from his chest of drawers to pull over his head.
"Still," she crowed, a delighted grin stretching her lips, "you'd better watch
yourself, Chris, it's only through Russell's kindness that you're not saddled
with more fangirls than you can handle. They must be beatin' down your door!"
"Oh, stop it, ya flirt!" He grinned as he settled the clean shirt across his
torso. Padding over to the sofa, which was the sole seating option not covered
with piles of script offers, Chris allowed himself to drop heavily down beside
her and leaned his head back with a tired sigh. "One week left," he murmured,
and couldn't quite keep the longing from his voice.
Out of the corner of his eye, Chris could just make out Billie's sympathetic
expression as she reached out to squeeze his nearest hand. "Yep, not long now,
an' you'll be shot of us for good," she promised with a smile. "An' I'm sure
you'll find some excellent script among that pile of rubbish, soon enough," she
added, gesturing with her free hand at the precariously balanced stacks on his
small dining table.
Turning his head on the sofa back, he gave her a small, tired smile, and then
gave into a sudden impulse. "Come 'ere," he ordered quietly, dropping her hand
and stretching his long, still-aching arm out to coax her closer to him.
Billie settled happily against his side, his arm draping across her shoulders
and her head propped under his chin, and let out a contented sigh. Chris knew
she liked to touch people, just to connect to them, and it seemed to make her
feel safe when she could snuggle up to him like a little girl.
Squeezing her shoulders affectionately, Christopher allowed the silence to
stretch, content as always to just sit and think, Billie's calm, quiet presence
being no hindrance.
Eventually, Billie's lilting voice emerged from somewhere in the vicinity of
his chest, asking, "So what'cha gonna do next, Chris, apart from the acting, I
A quiet smile of anticipation spread across Christopher's face. "It's back to
Lancashire wi' me, least for a bit. Catch up with me mates down the pub.
Maybe meet with the theater manager in Salford an' see if they've any need for
an out-of-work actor," he said, chuckling.
She joined in his laughter, appreciating the ridiculous notion that any theater
company in the country would even contemplate turning him away after having
played the Doctor. "Oh!" she exclaimed, pulling out of their comfortable slump
and turning to face him with unbridled glee written across her face. "Did I
tell you earlier? I finally got to meet David Tennant last night over dinner
at Julie's house!" Billie bounced like a playful child next to him and
clutched at his arm with elation.
Chris let a pleased grin stretch across his lips, not at all bothered that his
co-star was so excited about meeting his replacement. He was her friend after
all, and he wanted her to have as pleasant a work environment as possible. And
he had few regrets about his decision to leave the show. David Tennant was an
excellent actor, so Christopher was content to leave the role he'd continued in
capable hands. If they'd picked someone rubbishy, it'd be a different story,
but Chris had no worries about his successor. "That's fantastic, Bill! So,
did you like him? Did you two get on?" he asked, though the answer seemed
pretty obvious from her behavior.
"Like a house on fire!" Billie crowed excitedly. "It was a bit weird, I
suppose, but it was like he was instantly my best mate! We talked endlessly
about all sorts of rubbish, an' he's very funny." She smirked cheekily and
added, "Not at all like you, you old grouch."
"Oi!" he protested, though he knew she was only teasing. He reached out to
pinch her cheek playfully. "I'll 'ave you know, you cheeky devil, that I
happen to be the life of the party!" He paused, rethinking his assessment.
"Well, alright, maybe not, bu' I'm still undeniably hilarious," he insisted
with a smirk.
"'Course you are, Chris! Don't know what I'd have done without you these long
months. I mean, Russell coulda chosen a complete bastard to play the Doctor,
so I'm very glad I ended up with you," Billie said seriously, reaching down to
squeeze his hand. "An' now it seems I'm to be lucky again! I think David is
"Fantastic?" he queried with an indulgent smile.
She giggled happily. "Yup, fantastic! Though I'll have to think of another
description, as I'm sure you hold the copyright to that word."
"Well, let me know what you come up with, love," Chris ordered, smiling still
as he rose easily to his feet and plucked a much-thumbed script off the top of
the nearest stack. "So, Bill, I was wonderin' if you'd read this one over for
me in your minimal spare time an' tell me what you think of it. There's some
excellent writing there, an' I'm really tempted to take the part," he said,
passing her the bundle of paper and resuming his seat.
"'Perfect Parents'? It's certainly an interesting title, I'll give ya that."
She grinned at him and leant her head against his shoulder. "I've got nothing
planned for tonight, so I'll settle down with this long read and a cuppa. An'
I've already learnt my lines, anyway, not that there's that many of 'em left,"
she smirked, knowing that Chris would appreciate the thought of finally being
done with filming.
"Oh, yes," he moaned, reaching up one solidly built hand to rub at his weary
eyes. Wrapping his free arm around her again, Chris squeezed her
affectionately to his side. "It's been fun, Bill, lots of fun, but I can't say
I'm not eager to move on. New horizons, an' all that. An' I know you'll still
be carryin' the torch for me." He looked down at her, catching her gaze and
saying seriously, "Your new Doctor's a good man, kiddo, an' I'm chuffed you
"Oh?" she asked in surprise. "Have you met him, then?"
"Not that often, really. We did a scene together in 'Jude,' and I have to say
I was very impressed with him, a good lad an' a fine actor. An' o' course, I
had a chat with him the other day, along with Russell."
"Oi, you prat!" she exclaimed, smacking him on his hard thigh in remonstrance.
"Why didn't ya tell me? I'd have liked to have your take on him before we had
dinner. Mighta been more prepared to be bowled over by his puppyish
enthusiasm." Her broad grin belied her scolding, however.
"Better to let you make your own mind up, I thought," he smirked, not looking
the least bit sorry for keeping her in the dark.
"Well, thanks, I suppose," she muttered grudgingly. And it hadn't mattered in
the least, she thought. Billie couldn't imagine not having liked David Tennant
instantly, regardless of any prior information. He was just so witty and
smiley and daft. He lit up a room, and Billie was positive he would light up
the small screen without any obvious effort. "Hey," she said, leaning her head
back onto her co-star's shoulder, "d'ya think they'll have him use his Scottish
accent, or not? He's already demonstrated that he can do any number of voices,
but I have to say I'm quite a fan of the Scots burr."
"Don't know," Chris murmured, his eyes slipping closed sleepily. "I expect
not, though. Fun as it would be to make the new Doctors a 'tour of the
regions,' I think Russell will want to make the new Doc more accessible to
children all over Britain. Maybe a bit of Cockney, though, eh?" he posited,
Slapping his chest playfully, Billie said, "Nah, I think Rose has got that
covered, thanks. Can't have clashing accents. An' I've got too used to you,
" 'Lots of planets have a North,' " Chris intoned with a chuckle.
Billie giggled. "That line gets me every time!" she crowed.
A comfortable silence settled between them for several minutes, before Chris
felt himself startled out of a doze as Billie shifted against his side.
Groaning and rubbing his eyes again, he gave her one last squeeze before
pulling away. "I'm falling asleep, lass. Better go home before I'm not fit to
drive," he said briskly, smiling down at her tousled blond head.
"Right-ho, mister. 'Sides, a friend gave me this script to read, an' I can't
let him down," she said, grinning cheekily.
"Slave driver, me," he replied with good humor.
They stood together, and Billie couldn't help moving toward him once again and
wrapping her arms around his torso in a fierce hug. "I'll miss you lots, you
old humbug," she whispered, feeling herself tear up a bit as his wiry arms
squeezed her to his chest.
One big hand came up to stroke her hair soothingly, and he bent his head to
kiss her forehead. "I know, sweetheart. I'll miss you, too," he said softly
and sincerely. "You'll be just fine though, Bill, an' I'm only a phone call away."
Billie sniffed wetly as she pulled away slightly, looking up at him with a
watery smile. On impulse, she stood on tiptoe, bracing herself on his broad
shoulders and planting an affectionate kiss on his rough cheek.
Chris smiled warmly at her and, seeing that her mascara was beginning to run
with her tears, he reached into his back pocket and handed her his clean cotton
handkerchief. "Buck up, lass, ya still have an entire week to put up with me,"
he reminded her, smirking.
Billie was grinning, even as she dabbed at her streaming eyes. "Suppose I'll
manage to survive it, grouchy," she said, her lips stretching wide and her
tongue poking out between her teeth. Looking down at his now stained
handkerchief, she bit her lip in chagrin. "Sorry 'bout that, mate. Looks like
I've ruined it."
"No matter," he said easily as they walked toward his trailer door. "Nothing
me mum can't get out, I'm sure."
Tucking the script under her arm, Billie took his hand one last time and
squeezed it affectionately. It had always seemed natural to hold his hand,
even before they'd acted their first scene together as Rose and the Doctor.
"I'll see ya tomorrow, Chris, an' you'd better be prepared for my critique of
this role of yours," she warned, giving him one last smile before releasing his
hand and exiting through his flimsy trailer door.
"Bye, then," Christopher called and smiled as she gave him a hearty wave and
skipped away in the direction of her car. He sighed then, allowing himself to
acknowledge that this, leaving Billie behind, was probably the largest of the
few regrets he felt over leaving "Doctor Who."
It was always hard to say goodbye, he mused, grabbing his keys and jacket and
vacating his trailer for what would be one of the last times. But the
experience was always worth the pain.
I decided to write this story about the transition from Christopher Eccleston's
time on Doctor Who after watching a bunch of interviews, the first series, and
"Elizabeth," in which he is brilliant and quite hot. I felt I understood him
enough to be able to write him believably. As it strikes me, I think Chris is
a Thinker, and David is a Talker, which isn't to say that David isn't a smarty
and Chris isn't very articulate. The contrast between the two predominantly
Contemplative and Active men interests me. And I thought it would be
interesting to see how Chris would react to Billie's enthusiasm over her new
Hope you liked it!