Pippa felt her tits for lumps and peered at moles and did all the things she was meant to do, mostly by habit. She didn’t really expect anything to actually be wrong with her, not when she was still young. Not without a family history, or tests, or some kind of warning. Not at all, really, and especially not something she could actually find herself. And as it turned out, she was right.
It wasn’t lumps and it wasn’t moles. It was blood tests, instead. She had tests, for a routine check-up, which showed up something wrong in a gland in her neck. That led to more tests and scans and ultrasounds to see why it wasn’t working right, and in the middle of this, while they were discussing the situation, without any warning at all, Pippa’s doctor said the word cancer.
“What the fuck?” Pippa said, startled.
“Oh,” her doctor said. “Don’t be alarmed. It’s very unlikely.”
“If you didn’t want me to be alarmed, why didn’t you tell me more carefully?”
“I’m just saying it’s a remote possibility, and you need to be aware of it, but you really shouldn’t worry.”
“Well, I’m worried now.”
“You really don’t need to be.”
“And yet, I am. Because, fuck, you just told me like that? Without any warning?”
“Yes,” the doctor said. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”
It wasn’t cancer, it turned out. It was something else instead, a gland that worked right in other people didn’t work in Pippa. After a week of being jabbed and prodded and scanned, the lab people decided everything was all right, it was all just a false alarm, and Pippa’s life could go on like nothing had ever happened.
Pippa found a new doctor anyway. She didn’t appreciate being told alarming news the way the old doctor had told her, not when the news might be far, far worse than it had actually been.
She went to a new doctor, and then somehow got a crush on the new doctor, and that was just complicated and awkward and a little bit weird.
Weird, but at the same time, at least to Pippa, the crush was completely understandable. Liz the doctor was clever, and funny, and kind of an authority figure, which Pippa liked but didn’t want to admit that she liked. Liz the doctor listened to Pippa, and made jokes as she said hello, and seemed like a kind, considerable person. She seemed like the last person in the world who’d say cancer without warning, and as well, the few times she had to get Pippa to relax while she did something embarrassing, Pippa did relax, and Liz did what she had to with a certain comfortableness that Pippa admired, even as she was being examined.
Once, while Liz was examining her, Pippa suddenly thought about having sex with Liz, and wanted to, and got excited, which was all slightly odd in the circumstances, given where Liz’s hand was.
Pippa blushed, despite herself, hoping Liz wasn’t looking at her face. Then she changed her mind and hoped Liz wasn’t actually looking anywhere, or noticing anything odd at all. Pippa didn’t know why she was suddenly thinking like this, when all Liz had done was told her to breathe and to say if her hands were too cold.
Liz’s hands were never cold, which made Pippa like her more.
It was a bit weird, Pippa thought afterwards, getting that way, in that situation, but she decided she didn’t especially need to worry. She had a crush, and so what if she did, it might help her remember to go for checkups on time. It was all fine, she decided. It wasn’t that bad. She just liked Liz as a person, and she liked that Liz was a good doctor, and she supposed that perhaps those two things were getting mixed up in her head. Probably they were, she decided, because she was still worried about doctors, and tests, and medical things in general. Probably she was just worried, and over-reacting with relief. Probably it was relief, and also that Pippa happened to think that some of the things that made Liz a good doctor would also make Liz fun to have sex with, especially the part about relaxing people when things got complicated and embarrassing. If Liz was someone who could make you feel comfortable enough to be speculumed and still want to fuck, Pippa thought, Liz would probably also make you feel comfortable if everything went horribly wrong during sex. And that was a good thing. That kind of comfortable was good. But it was also neither here nor there, because nothing was ever going to happen.
Nothing was ever going to happen, ever, because Pippa had a girlfriend, and she’d never cheated on someone in her life, so her thoughts about Liz were really only harmless fantasies. Fantasies so that she thought about Liz during sex, occasionally, and once in a dirty dream, but it harmless, and not something to ever act on. She wasn’t going to cheat on Gemma, no matter what, so the whole thing was innocent, and she should just be glad to have a doctor who she liked.
Then everything changed. Pippa and Gemma broke up. They broke up for many reasons, but partly because Pippa had been weird and worried and constantly angry for several months, because of the medical things, and Gemma hadn’t been able to cope. Gemma wasn’t ready for sick people in her life, Pippa thought. And in fairness, Pippa had been difficult to be around for a few weeks in the middle of it all, when she’d been the most worried. Difficult, and probably more unpleasant than she needed to be, so she understood why Gemma left. She understood, but all the same, she spent a month at home, miserable, and took a while to feel better.
She still didn’t really feel better by the time her best friend Keira decided she’d moped long enough, and needed to start going out again, and meet someone new.
“No,” Pippa had said. “I’m not ready yet. Not for meeting people.”
“So we’ll just have fun,” Keira said. “And cheer you up. Come on, it’ll be fun.”
Pippa went, because it wasn’t worth the argument that would come from saying no. They went out on Saturday night, to a bar that was really for picking up and not much else. They were out to pull, Keira kept saying, as she pushed Pippa onto women neither of them knew. Pippa let Keira try, but didn’t make much of an effort, not really, but she had fun, anyway, when Keira left her alone. She flirted gently with a few new people. She flirted, and was happy, and was glad she was here and not still sitting on her own at home.
Then she saw Liz the doctor.
Liz was at the bar, with her back towards Pippa, and as Pippa watched, Liz turned around, and looked over. She saw Pippa, and obviously recognised her, and then, quite suddenly, she smiled.
Pippa stood there for a moment, staring, with no idea what to do. She hadn’t realized Liz was into women. She hadn’t even realized Liz was single, assuming she actually was, which she might be since she seemed to be sitting on her own, waiting to be talked to.
Pippa hesitated, then quickly waved to Liz, then went and found Keira in a panic, and said, “I need to talk to you.”
Pippa pulled Keira away from the woman she was flirting with, and found a corner to hide in.
“I just saw my doctor,” Pippa said.
“And into women, apparently.”
Keira looked around. “Well, since she’s here, yep, I’d assume…”
“She saw me,” Pippa said. “And I don’t know what to do.”
“I want to,” Pippa said. “I really do. But…”
She stopped, unsure how to explain. Keira looked at her for a moment, and then understood anyway.
Keira grinned. “Oh, you pervert,” she said. “You want to fuck your doctor.”
Pippa blushed. “No…” she said, but they both knew it wasn’t true.
“It’s fine,” Keira said, but she was trying not to laugh.
“I really don’t think it is.”
“Yeah it is. I’m sure lots of people want to.”
“Um, no, but…”
Pippa felt awful.
“No wait,” Keira said quickly, seeing Pippa’s face. “You haven’t met my doctor. She’s very, um, efficient… but not someone you crush on, really…”
“Oh god, I’m a freak.”
“No, of course not,” Keira said. “You just have a crush on your doctor, that’s all.”
“I don’t,” Pippa said, miserably.
“You so completely do.”
“No, I mean, I can’t. I shouldn’t.”
“Um, isn’t it really wrong?”
“Nah, you can ask her. I mean, just ask, and she can say no if she doesn’t want to. Because I mean, it’s actually kind of sexy, isn’t it? In a dirty, dirty way.”
Pippa felt herself blushing harder. “This is bad.”
“It’s not bad.”
“It kind of is.”
“Well even if it is, this is your night, to make you feel better, so you should do whatever you want to.”
“Except Liz the doctor doesn’t know that.”
“So go tell her, and then she will.”
Pippa didn’t answer.
“I can tell her, if you like,” Keira said.
“Don’t you dare.” Pippa sighed. “Anyway, don’t they have oaths or something? Doctors? About doing this kind of thing with patients?”
“Which is kind of her problem, I’d have thought, rather than yours.”
“Um, well…” Keira said, thinking. Then she grinned. “Oh, I know. This is psychological. It’s like a treatment. If she fucks you, she’s helping you feel better about Gemma.”
“I really don’t think…”
“No wait, I mean, it almost makes sense. Like if she doesn’t hook up with you now, you’ll just be in there next week for meds, which she’ll have to give you, and it’s probably better to use a more natural-therapy type treatment…”
“Stop it,” Pippa said. “That’s terrible.”
“What, it makes sense?”
“No it doesn’t. And I should just leave her alone, anyway.”
“Maybe. Or maybe she wants to talk to you, too.”
Pippa just stood there.
“So find out,” Keira said. “Is what I mean. Find out and get a new doctor later if you need to.”
“But she’s a really good doctor,” Pippa said. “Who I don’t want to lose.”
“And who you probably won’t.”
“Except yeah I will, because of her oaths. Because if I try, first she turns me down, then she tells me how she’s creeped out by me now, and never wants to see me as a patient again.”
“Nah,” Keira said. “She’s hot, it must happen to her all the time.”
“I bet it doesn’t.”
“I bet it probably does,” Keira said. “I hit on a cop who’d pulled me over for speeding once.”
Pippa looked at her. “What?”
“True. She said no, like she wasn’t into women, but she also let me off the ticket, so that kind of worked out.”
“Um, okay. So…?”
“So with your doctor, if she’s here, you already know she’s into women, so that’s out the way. Simple.”
“Yes,” Pippa said, suddenly feeling this was getting more complicated, not less. She stopped and thought. “But it’s not just that, anyway. It’s that she’s seen me naked. Well, not naked, but…”
Keira seemed confused.
“She’s given me an exam,” Pippa said. “Like, you know…”
“Well, yeah, since she’s your doctor…”
“But an exam,” Pippa said again.
“Yes,” Keira said. “So what? I don’t get…”
“My bits. She’s seen my bits.”
“Well, I mean, I’d imagine, but so…”
“No, I mean, it’s a thing. She knows what I look like, so now it’s just weird talking to her here.”
“Um, why here…?”
“I don’t know. It’s just different here, to saying hello in her waiting room.”
“Okay,” Keira said, still seeming confused. Or confused again. “Um, why?”
“It just is.”
“Is something wrong with how you look? Is that what you mean?”
“What?” Pippa said, slightly offended. “Where did that come from?”
“I don’t know, I just thought…”
“No,” Pippa said.
“Okay, I just wondered, since you’re being all weird about it.”
“I’m not being weird. And how would I know anyway? I mean, no-one’s never said, but how would I know?”
“Well if no-one’s said, that probably means no,” Keira said. “But haven’t you…”
Pippa glared at her.
“Yeah,” Keira said. “Okay. Well, if the doctor didn’t say then I guess she thinks you look okay, and if she thinks so, and it’s her you’re trying to impress, then there’s nothing really to worry about. Is there?”
“I suppose not.”
“See, logic. Go me. And she knows her way around, too, I imagine.”
Pippa kept glaring. “Stop.”
“I’m just saying. I’d never thought about it before, but when you do, it really kind of makes sense. Like pick a specialist to do the work…”
Pippa flushed and hit Keira, both at the same time. Keira grinned and said, “Sorry.”
“You’re supposed to be helping,” Pippa said. “And you’re not.”
“I said sorry.”
“What if she doesn’t want me,” Pippa said. “Because she already knows how I look.”
“Why would she…” Keira said, seeming completely confused again. “Oh my god, dude, I mean, that’s just bizarre… No-one turns someone down because…”
“Maybe she does.”
“What, because she sees them all the time? So you think she’s like this connoisseur who’s got really high standards?”
“Um, yeah. Maybe.”
“Because of all the ones she sees at work, you mean? Like, in her medical practice. The diseased ones. Ones where people are all oh I have this weird smell and itch and discharge…”
“Um yuk. Stop. Please.”
“I just mean, oh my god, what kind of picture do you have in your head of how everyone else looks…”
“I don’t know,” Pippa said.
“I just…” Keira said, and stopped. “And how many people have you slept with, anyway, and you still think like that? Do you give head with your eyes closed or something?”
“No,” Pippa said.
“I don’t get how you…”
“I’m just worried, that’s all.”
“Yeah, I can tell.” Keira thought for a moment, then seemed to decide something. “We’re stopping this now,” she said.
“This,” Keira said. “Us talking. I don’t think it’s helping, so we should stop.” She tried to push Pippa towards the bar. “Just go talk to her. What’s the worst that can happen?”
“She laughs, and says she’d never look twice at someone as deformed as me, and I never leave the house again.”
Keira stopped pushing. “What? Why are you deformed…” Then she realized. “Oh, right, I see. In your imagination.”
“But maybe I am, and she was just too polite to say, like as my doctor, but if I hit on her she will.”
“Because of her impossibly high connoisseur standards?”
“Dude,” Keira said. “You really worry way the fuck too much about that. Seriously.”
“Maybe,” Pippa said.
Keira thought again. “Do you want me to check?” she said. “I can if you want. I’ll look for you right now, and tell you whether anything looks weird?”
“Are you sure? I can?”
“Nope. Not ever.”
“Good, because I wasn’t going to. But ha, there you go, you’re a liar, because you not wanting me to must mean you don’t really think you’re deformed. Because if you did, you’d be so worried you would actually want me to check. See?”
Keira seemed quite pleased with herself.
“Um,” Pippa said. “Or I know I am and just don’t want you to see…”
Keira stopped grinning. “Oh yeah.”
“But that isn’t why. She’s seen me already, that’s why. I don’t think I’ve ever slept with someone who’s already seen me before.”
“Except, well, everyone, the second time you do with them…”
“Oh stop it, you know what I mean.”
Pippa sighed. “Not the second time with someone. The first, when I first hit on her. So she knows how I look naked before I even say a word to her. She knows, while I’m still deciding whether to even kiss her.”
“Are you going to kiss her?”
“Probably. And so not the point.”
Keira was grinning. “I mean, I sort of understand what you’re saying,” she said. “But I don’t really think that’s weird, is it? I mean not weird. It’s just, I don’t know… people having jobs, and running into each other. Go talk to her.”
“It’s definitely weird,” Pippa said. “She’ll be judging me, and thinking awful things. She probably was the first time she gave me an exam.”
“Like how you look?”
“While she’s about to give you an exam?”
“I really don’t think she was,” Keira said. “I think she’d have been thinking, oh god, I hope this one had a shower this morning and isn’t on her period.”
Pippa looked at her. “Who goes to get an exam when…”
“I have no idea, but I bet people do. And also, you have a really fucked up relationship with other women in your head, do you know that?”
“I mean, really, really fucked up. Like your doctor is just examining you so she can think nasty things about you? That’s kind of weird, dude.”
“Know that too.”
“And also,” Keira said, thinking. “You’ve got changed in front of me before. So does that mean I’m judging you and thinking awful things?”
“Probably,” Pippa said.
Keira kept looking at her, a bit surprised.
“No,” Pippa said. “I know you’re not. But you wanted to fuck me when we first met. Before we were friends. So that’s different. That that makes it all right when you look at me.”
“Because you wanting to is always there now. You wanted me once. That doesn’t go away, no matter what.”
Keira stood there, thinking, like she was trying to work that out. In the end she just said, “Go talk to the doctor.”
“I can’t. She’s seen me already.”
“Yep,” Keira said, sounding slightly desperate. “But that’s good, surely….”
Keira thought. “Um, you’re actually looking at this back to front…”
“Well,” Keira said, sounding more sure of herself. “She’s already seen you, yeah? So that gets that part out of the way. Now you don’t have to wonder whether she’ll like you later on, when you get to that point in things. It’s really much better this way.”
Pippa just looked at her.
“What?” Keira said. “That made sense to me.”
“I don’t think it does.”
“Oh, I do. In fact, I’d almost just go around showing everyone in here mine, so then when I hit on someone later, it’s that much simpler and all taken care of…”
“You would not.”
Keira grinned. “I might.”
“So go on then,” Pippa said, and looked at the woman Keira had been flirting with earlier, who was now talking to someone else. “Go show her, then.”
“Um, no, because that would be kind of weird.”
“She didn’t seem like she’d mind earlier.”
“Um, still no, because totally weird,” Keira said. “I’m fine just talking, thank you. This is your problem, and I think you’re over-thinking it completely. And I think you’re a little too obsessed with your own ladyparts as well. Just go talk to the doctor. See what happens.”
Keira pushed Pippa gently. “Go.”
Pippa didn’t move.
“You like her,” Keira said. “So go talk. If you don’t, I will.”
“What,” Pippa said, surprised. “No don’t, you know I…”
“You’ve had your chance. Maybe I want a turn…”
“You wouldn’t,” Pippa said. She was actually slightly worried. Keira could be quite pushy when she was after someone.
“Actually I might,” Keira said. “Now I know she does pelvic exams so good that people end up with crushes on her, that I’m definitely interested in…”
Keira was grinning, but Pippa wasn’t. Keira pushed again, and this time Pippa let herself be pushed. She started walking, and kept going, even after Keira’s hand was gone from her back. She walked up to Liz, who was still sitting at the bar, and stood beside her, and said, “Hi.”
Liz smiled. “Oh, hi.”
“I saw you earlier,” Pippa said, and then wondered if that was as silly as it sounded to her.
Liz looked at her, a little puzzled, and nodded. They both knew they’d seen each other, Pippa thought. They’d waved to one another and everything.
“It’s a bit weird seeing you here, isn’t it?” Pippa said, after a moment.
“Well, there’s only so many places like this in town.”
“I suppose,” Pippa said.
Pippa was thinking, trying to work the situation out. It felt like running into someone from work at the weekend, so what had been casual suddenly became all formal and professional, because work was suddenly hovering over you both again. She wondered if Liz was being aloof on purpose, then realized that of course Liz was. Liz had to be, at least until she knew for sure Pippa wasn’t just talking to her as a patient. Liz couldn’t be anything else, not until Pippa made it clear why she was standing there. This was all on Pippa, really. Keira was right. If Pippa wanted anything to happen, she had to start it, to take the risk. Liz simply couldn’t until she knew why Pippa was talking to her.
Pippa had to put herself out there, and just see what Liz did. And suddenly, Pippa couldn’t see any particular reason not to.
“Are you here by yourself?” Pippa said.
“With friends,” Liz said. “But I’m not sure where they got to.”
“But here, like to meet someone, because you’re single…”
“And you like girls?”
Liz looked around the room. “Well, yes…”
“Yeah,” Pippa said. “Of course you do.”
Liz sipped her drink, and kept watching Pippa. She wasn’t making this easy. Of course she wasn’t, Pippa thought. She wasn’t allowed to.
“So I’m going to take a chance,” Pippa said. “And please don’t be upset…”
Liz looked puzzled. “I’m not.”
“It’s kind of a thing. I only just…” Pippa stopped. “It might upset you.”
Liz nodded. She was looking at Pippa again, and thinking. Like she might be starting to understand.
“There’s some kind of rule about sleeping you with patients, isn’t there?” Pippa said.
“There is,” Liz said.
“A rule saying you can’t?”
“Okay,” Pippa said. “So you’re fired. There’s that. I’m getting a new doctor on Monday.”
Liz kept looking at her.
“I mean it,” Pippa said. “You’re not my doctor any more. I won’t even go to your clinic again. We’re done and finished and over.”
“All right,” Liz said. She didn’t actually seem offended, more just amused.
Pippa took out her phone. “Should I send a message saying that?”
“No, it’s fine.”
“So now you’re not my doctor,” Pippa said.
“No, I’m not.”
“So now I’m going to hit on you.”
Liz grinned. “I’d kind of assumed.”
“Unless you mind. Do you mind?”
“Not at all.”
“Oh,” Pippa said. “Well, good. I want to hit on you, but I keep thinking how you know me already.”
Liz didn’t seem to understand.
“I mean,” Pippa said. “You know what I look like.”
Liz looked at Pippa’s face, slightly puzzled. Puzzled in exactly the way Keira had been. “Well, yes,” Liz said.
“No, what I look like, down…”
“Oh,” Liz said, and grinned. “Oh yes. Yes I do.”
“So that just seems weird,” Pippa said. “That’s all.”
“It’s not weird. It’s just… me being me. How doctors are. I know what diseases you have too.”
“What?” Pippa said, startled. For a moment she actually thought she had something, and it had only just showed up in a test, so no-one had told her yet. “Oh my god, what diseases?”
“Sorry,” Liz said. “I’m… That was a joke. You were being funny, so I was trying to as well.”
“I don’t have anything?” Pippa said, worried.
“You don’t have anything,” Liz said. “I was teasing, I’m sorry.”
“Oh thank fuck,” Pippa said. She thought of her old doctor. “You’d so be fired for that if you weren’t already,” she said.
Liz just grinned.
“So I was saying something,” Pippa said.
“You were. Slowly.”
Pippa was tempted to glare, but she didn’t. “I like you,” Pippa said. “I always kind of liked you.”
Liz nodded. “I know.”
“You know?” Pippa said, suspiciously. “How?”
“When?” Pippa said, suddenly worried, suddenly thinking of that particular exam, the time she’d thought awful things and blushed and perhaps been obvious how she felt about Liz.
“I don’t really know,” Liz said, thinking. “I suppose I just had the impression. Each time you came in, you got friendlier and flirtier, that’s all.”
“I thought. I don’t really know. I mean, I wondered, that was all. And you’d said you had a girlfriend.”
“I did,” Pippa said.
“Um,” Liz said. “So about that…”
“Not any more,” Pippa said.
They both went quiet. Pippa was wondering how to say what she wanted to say. She wanted to be clever and flirty and fun, but that didn’t seem to be happening. Perhaps direct was better, she thought. Perhaps simply saying things clearly, and out loud, was the best thing to do.
“I like you,” Pippa said. “Lots. And I always kind of did. And then I saw you here tonight and I wanted to…”
Pippa stopped, uncertain what she actually wanted to do.
She stopped, and Liz just kept looking at her. Liz was waiting, Pippa could see, but Pippa had got embarrassed, and didn’t know what else to say.
Liz sat there. After a while, she said, “Was that the hitting on me?”
Pippa blushed. “It was meant to be. I didn’t do very well, did I?”
“You did fine.”
“I really don’t think I did.”
“Well I got the idea, so that’s enough…”
“Pretty much,” Liz said. “Yep.” She looked at Pippa. She thought. “Do you want to dance?” she said.
“We don’t have to,” Liz said. “But if you do…”
“It’s just that it might be easier than sitting here watching you feel uncomfortable.”
“I’m pretty sure it would.”
Liz grinned, and stood up, and took Pippa’s hand, and pulled her gently out onto the dancefloor, and put her arms around her.
They danced. Liz danced well. She danced sexily, somehow, without actually moving much. She was being sexy, without Pippa having to feel like she actually had to do much to keep up, and Pippa liked that.
“I wondered,” Pippa said into her ear, after a while. “Is it weird to be self-conscious because you’ve already seen me naked and I haven’t seen you?”
“God no,” Liz said. “I would be.”
“Like seen me down there?”
“Yep, I got it. And I’d be worried too.”
“Oh,” Pippa said. “You would?”
They danced a little longer.
“I can’t remember, though,” Liz said. “What you look like. Just if that helps.”
Pippa wasn’t sure whether to believe her. “Really?”
“Really. It’s just all the same, after a while. I can’t remember anyone, especially, if you see what I mean.”
Liz smiled. “I do.”
Pippa felt better. She went back to dancing. Over in the corner, Keira was watching them, and grinning. She waved as Pippa looked at her, and the woman she was talking to, the woman from earlier, waved as well.
Pippa and Liz danced a little longer, and then they went back to Pippa’s. They kissed on the sofa for a while, and then Liz said she really ought to undress first, just to be fair.
“Okay,” Pippa said, and Liz did, while Pippa watched, and then Liz asked for a paper gown to wear, just to make everything completely even. Pippa said she didn’t have one, and Liz said there might be one in her bag, and Pippa said, “Really?” believing her, and Liz just sat there until Pippa realized she was teasing, and said, “You don’t have one, do you.”
Liz shook her head no.
They kissed again, and Liz had already undressed, so Pippa did too, actually forgetting to be worried. And little while later, from between Pippa’s legs, Liz said, “Oh yeah, I remember you now.”
Pippa sat up, and blushed, and almost shrieked, “What?”
“Teasing,” Liz said, trying not to laugh. “I’m so sorry. I just had to.”
“You said you didn’t remember…”
“I really don’t. I have no idea.”
“But you just…”
“I was teasing. I’m sorry, but you’re so nervous about that.”
“You’re sure you don’t remember?”
“Completely. I mean, seeing you now, you’re perfect, and I like lots and lots, and we’re going to have wonderful fun, but right now it’s like seeing you for the first time. I honestly have no idea.”
Pippa nodded, and lay back down. “Perfect?” she said.
“Oh god, it is.”
“I promise,” Liz said.
“What does perfect mean?”
“I have no idea,” Liz said. “It just is.” She licked Pippa gently, and then Pippa didn’t care why, or what perfect was, or want to ask any more questions.
She just lay there, feeling Liz’s mouth.
Liz licked Pippa, and then Pippa licked her, and then they had sex as well, and then Liz stayed the night because it was easier than going home so late, and then stayed half the next day too.
“Can I see you again?” Pippa said, as Liz was finally leaving.
“Once you have a new doctor.”
“She won’t be as good as you.”
“Oh,” Liz said, and seemed quite surprised. “Really?”
Liz kissed Pippa, and smiled. “You still need to get one.”
“As soon as you can.”
“Good,” Liz said. “Because I can’t want to see you again.”
“Me either,” Pippa said, and let Liz go.
Pippa got a new doctor, first thing on Monday morning, and later, when she had an appointment, the new doctor did turn out not to be nearly as good as Liz, but by then Pippa didn’t especially care.