A/N: Whoo! Fifteen exams done, two to go! Many memorable moments...the day I had to take a taxi on my own with my French teacher to the DELF examination place, and he started talking to the taxi driver (whom I know) in the middle of a traffic jam on the way back about the contraception talk he has to give his tutor group...the very lengthy presentation (gesticulations included) I gave in French to my two examiners during my DELF oral, which started out about security and ended about invasion of privacy and George Orwell...and, more recently, the English Lit exam in which the boy in front of me was high on twenty euros' worth of weed and only wrote about fifty words in two hours...but all that's another story.

Speaking of stories - I apologise again for the long wait. I had a LOT of exams, and the contents of my house is now in England (including my beloved piano...*sniff*). I'd actually finished this chapter and the next a few days ago (straight after writing 3 essays for my English Lit exam...), but I couldn't post it because of the removal people who were over (apparently the same two guys recently did a removal job for someone out of Simply Red, in Paris..). But now, 'tis all here!

Thanks to Spurlunk (Art exam - and exhibition - went fine, thanks! ), FutureWriter (I think I meant he was just outside the building, and getting out was a little...iffy. It's a shame creeps like Clive can be real...glad to hear you liked that little homecoming. :D), walkonair (Well, seeing as I haven't updated in ages, it can be forgiven...XD I suppose guys do have good intentions when it comes to surprising gals with rings...heehee.), casey-kent (Thanks! :D), mellybelly91395 (:D) and Chloeee (I knooow it's been so long :( But now you have your last two chapters! :D)

This is a busy chapter, and some of it was done between reading about Ohm's Law/the Salem witch-hunts/the League of Nations in the 1920s, so do bear with me here!

One chapter to goooo....

Two months and four days later, the drab, familiar, everday working girl known to a small portion of the world's population as Miss Lillian Harwick completely ceased to exist. In her place, there rose a very happy, but still slightly bewildered woman named Mrs Lillian MacGowan.

I felt oddly light-headed and poetic about it - but I suppose I had every reason to, seeing as I had undergone such a colossal change of lifestyle. Not only was I now married - something which I would never have imagined possible about a year ago - but I was married to one of the world's most popular, sought-out actors, who by some freak chance was the very one I had pined over for so long. If that wasn't a miracle, then I didn't know what was...

The night before the big day, I had sat alone on my bed before I went to sleep, and I had thought for a long while about anything and everything. At the time, my soon-to-be-better-half had been benevolently kidnapped by his dear sister and his ecstatic mother, who were fussing and flapping over him in suprise and joy, apparently not giving him a moment to himself. I sat deep in thought, looking out of the stormy window that shed calm, dim blue light into the dark room. I felt strange, but in a very nice way; I was glad that I had time by myself now to accept the huge change that was coming. Marriage...whew. Julie had been so surprised when I had told her over the phone...she certainly hadn't been prepared for such news! It had still brought a smile to my face when the very few, very select wedding invitations had been sent out - I knew that Julie would be beside herself with excitement at the thought of attending a movie star's wedding...as well as that of her shy, once-forgotten friend.

By some apparently pre-arranged and certainly very ironic agreement between the flightly Scottish weather and whichever diety was looking in on my life, the day of my and Connor's wedding dawned dark and rainy. The pavements were slippery, the church grounds were flooded, and on the way out of the car I was positively drenched, no matter how quickly I opened my umbrella - but when the actual service began and I first set eyes on Connor (fidgeting with his tight shirt-cuffs), I forgot all about it. I even forgot about the frantic blow-drying my hair had undergone to get the rainwater out of it, which had consequently made it full of static. The effect of seeing Connor in a kilt was...well, stunning. When I stood up there alongside him before the (Scottish!) vicar, gazing up at his lovely, bashful smile and rather charmingly arranged curls (all grown back), I didn't even notice my tearful mother shaking her hankie about emotionally, nor little Ewan busily picking his nose behind Connor. All that held my attention was his clear blue eyes, which, to my surprise, reflected the same look I had; I realised and then, in a wonderful moment, accepted that he seemed to find me just as breathtaking as I did him.

A surprising, but very warming realisation...it was indeed the day for change.

As Connor had promised, it had been a quiet, friends-and-relatives-only wedding, even if afterwards he had obligingly posed for many photos with those who were meeting him for the first time. It didn't escape my notice that the vicar's gaze had lingered quite a bit on Connor, as if barely able to believe what he was seeing. If vicars went onto gossip sites - which I strongly disbelieved, for some reason - then there would be a lot of very juicy news for all of Connor's fans coming soon...but the news was sure to leak out through some of the other guests, anyway, so I didn't particularly care.

Quiet though the wedding was, it was still long, and involved quite a bit of talking, mingled with some customary dancing later on in the evening. When it ended at about eight, I was whisked away by Connor in a sleek car to the charming little place where we were to stay for a few nights. As he drove, I found my gaze gravitating admiringly to his formal attire. He looked more dashing than ever in his smart black jacket, white shirt and very fascinating kilt of muted scarlet tartan. On his lap there rested the ornate silver and fur-trimmed sporran (that I would have to investigate later), and on his feet he wore the traditional long white socks with dark shoes that laced up his calves. Connor caught me looking and grinned.

'Awful, 's it not?' he chuckled in a long-suffering way.

'I find it very attractive,' I replied earnestly. 'I really can't see why you hate it so much.'

I saw him pull a face. 'Hmph. Well, I'll be glad to get out of it, that's all I can say.'

I gave him a sweet smile. 'And I'm sure your dear wife would be glad to be a part of that, too.'

It was certainly exciting to be finally married. Every morning after the wedding seemed oddly brighter, even though the population of Glasgow might disagree, due to the fact that it had been raining almost without cease. But to me, at least, everything made me smile, and that was all that mattered.

What was even more exciting and wonderful was the long-awaited honeymoon. About a week after our wedding, we took a series of long and rather gruelling plane flights which, despite their sheer length, ended up to be very well worth it.

The following Tuesday found me - Mrs Lillian MacGowan (whee!) - trailing dream-like across the breathtaking beaches and along the beautiful white sands of the Fijian island Connor's contacts had helped him reserve for us. It was like a waking dream...the turqoise water, the palm trees and that silky white sand all seemed barely real, as if at any moment I was about to wake up and find myself back in my dreary apartment. I had only seen this kind of splendour in films and on pretty postcards - never in real life. But when the mosquitoes began to attack at sundown when the torches on the quay were lit and my arms and legs itched the next day like no one's business, I concluded that if there was a downside, then maybe this really was real.

The sun was bright, the sea was blue, and I clutched the railings of the boat we had hired, dizzy with exaltation as we drifted near the green, white-fringed island, the sunlight illuminating the water to a depth of a good few metres. Connor came behind me and kissed my cheek.

'Great, isn't it?' he said joyfully. 'I'm so glad to have a chance to actually relax in a place like this, and not have to get up at four in the morning each day to drag myself about in front of a camera...'

'Well, I'm afraid you might have to look sharp, because I brought my camera,' I told him with mock seriousness. Connor laughed.

'Oh, God, no!' He put on a exaggeratedly tortured air, and I cuffed him one playfully.

'Relax, I just want some holiday photos like anyone else,' I told him, walking across the dry wood of the front of the boat and rummaging in my fabric bag, extracting my trusty old digital camera. As I picked it up, running my fingers around its familiar edges, I paused, realising that this was the first time my old camera would be taking photos of my most beloved movie star.

'Allow me!' Connor swooped in and took it eagerly, backing away and frowning at the buttons. 'God, it's been ages since I've tried to work one of these wee jobbies...' He turned it over a few times, then found the "on" button. Holding my humble camera in his large, ever-steady hand, he grinned at me. 'Big smile!'

I managed a sort of bemused grin as he clicked away. Behind him, in the shelter of the boat's cabin, our esteemed driver blinked blankly at Connor, then went back to reading his newspaper, cigarette bobbing at his lips.

'Let's have one together,' I suggested, rather embarrassed at being photographed from all angles by my very eager new husband.

Connor grinned, then drew me close to his side, putting an arm around my shoulders and resting his smiling face against mine as he held the camera at arm's length. He took the photo, and then turned the camera around to see it displayed on the little screen. He gave a laugh. 'Why're you making that face?' he asked me.

'You have scratchy cheeks.'

Connor rubbed his fingers upon the stubble and shrugged. 'Shall we see what the water's like?' he said, his gaze falling upon the crystalline waves all around us. 'The guy said this place was good for taking a dip.'

Within seconds he had gotten rid of his light shirt and loose beige shorts, and was standing on the edge of the deck in his swimming trunks. I raised my eyebrows in silent appreciation. He was still in very good shape, and under the sunlight - which was bright and warm even though in the Northern hemisphere autumn was drawing near - he looked extremely impressive indeed.

'You coming?' he asked with a grin, then jumped lightly into the water. Even though his jump was very clean, he still managed to send a huge splash of water towards me, as an added incentive to get me out of my now-soaking wraparound skirt and vest top.

'Ugh...okay...' I muttered in reply as he resurfaced, his hair jet-black with moisture and sticking in wet ringlets to his scalp.

'Whoo! Hurry up, Lilly, the water's amazing!' he laughed, swimming a few strokes to prove his point. 'It's nice and warm, too...'

Timidly I shed my beach clothes and laid them out to dry, feeling a little self-conscious in my bikini. Was that a hint of an extra roll on my stomach there? I hoped the boat's driver was still engrossed in his newspaper -

'Come on, Lilly, what're you waiting for?' Connor said playfully, climbing back onto the boat, water dripping onto the spotless wooden planks. 'Come here...'

'Ooh - oh! What are you doing?' I yelped as he lifted me right off my feet. 'No, no, no -!'

'One!' counted Connor cheerfully, swinging me in his arms. 'Two! Three...!'

With shocking ease he casually tossed me overboard, barely giving me time to scream in outrage. I landed with an ungainly crash into the water, which I sank down through immediately. As I floated there a short way beneath the surface, stirring my arms and legs and feeling disorientated, I realised that the water was indeed quite nice and warm. And a lovely blue colour, too -

A stream of white bubbles abruptly burst into view a little distance from me, buffeting me to one side, as Connor smoothly dived down after me. He saw me, and grinned, reaching out to take my hand. I complied, and we both surfaced, laughing a little breathlessly.

'That was completely unnecessary,' I panted, shaking my head at him as I bobbed beside him.

'But hilariously fun,' finished Connor with an insolent smile, taking me in his arms. 'Shame I had my hands full - it would have made a nice photo.'

Thanks to some odd chance, it did make a nice photo.

"Connor MacGowan and Lillian Harwick in Fiji," proclaimed the newest article's title when I curiously went on Connor's laptop one evening before we went out for dinner. I frowned. The paparazzi had eyes everywhere; there was a photo of our boat, taken from the shore, with Connor and I in each other's arms upon it. I blushed at the sight of myself in a bikini on such a public site, but found myself also looking admiringly at Connor in his lovely sky-blue swimming trunks. The other five pictures along with it showed us kissing in close-up zoom, chatting, taking photos of ourselves, and also (surprise surprise) Connor laughing as he threw me overboard. So we weren't the only ones to be taking holiday photos, then...nevertheless, I couldn't help giggling at the sight of Connor's cheekily grinning face, and myself falling ungracefully into the sea with legs flailing.

I read the article with a lingering smile:

"Scottish sex-god and star of The Silent Island (released this Tuesday) Connor MacGowan has been sighted off the coast of an island in Fiji, in the company of long-term girlfriend Lillian Harwick. The couple were seen swapping spit aboard a small rented boat and taking turns at pushing each other into the sea. Connor also had a camera with him to take their holiday snaps, and was modelling a sexy pair of blue swimming trunks for the occasion, which Miss Harwick reportedly seemed to appreciate."

Indeed I did! I scrolled down to read the comments.

"Bimbo23 - 23rd July, 16:02 p.m:

haha look at her face

TehNinja - 15th July, 16:02 p.m:

FIJI!!! omgzzzz I WENT THERE 2!

Commodore_JN - 15th July, 16:03 p.m:

he looks like he is certainly having fun

Sstalker462 - 15th July, 16:04 p.m:

Noo dont do it connor

mAcy - 15th July, 16:04 p.m:

:) rawr i love those shorts

HannaH - 15th July, 16:05 p.m:

OMGZ those blu boxers rule...i have to get some for my bf.

kayleeee - 15th July, 16:05 p.m:

whooo get a roooom

wibl - 15th July, 16:07 p.m:

i dont get it is sshe an actres?

balletluva123 - 15th July, 16:08 p.m:

i hope she gets eaten by a shark, silly ho.

kllbs - 15th July, 16:11 p.m:

awwww ^_^

They are so made for ech other!

esbs-samurai - 15th July, 16:11 p.m:

not a hookup as we first thought. This could be going somehwere

yayabear - 15th July, 16:12 p.m:

Go back to yr movies scotty boy

jamaicabaker103 - 15th July, 16:15 p.m:

i think people should give these guys a break - they look real happy together.

prettyinpink - 15th July, 16:16 p.m:

I heard a rumor on that they were MARRIED."

I grinned at this. It seemed the news was filtering out already. Well, let them speculate and gossip - I had far better things to do at the present time! Closing down the laptop, I walked over to the open window of our small rented place. As I looked out at the lazily waving palm trees, I found myself thinking again about how lucky I was. If I had never come face-to-face with Connor, then I would probably have eventually married some ordinary, dull guy and spent a honeymoon in a crappy hotel in Spain, as everyone I knew seemed to be doing nowadays. I fleetingly thought of Kate; she must have tied the knot with David by now...I wondered whether Julie had told her that I had definitely not fallen on some hardship in the US, and was now happily married and having a wonderful time in Fiji.

I smiled. Even if she hadn't, I knew it was only a matter of time before Kate picked up a magazine and found the happy news written in bold lettering all over the front cover...

Unfortunately for me, not all was lovely and relaxed during the last few days of our honeymoon. The meal we had eaten at the cosy restaurant we had visited one night must have had something very wrong with it, because the day after, Connor and I both fell ill. Instead of exploring beaches and secret little coves as we usually did, our morning was spent lying weakly in bed, comforting each other by murmuring words of reassurance or by simply holding hands. I myself felt awful; the mere thought of food made me feel sick, and my stomach seemed to have a life of its own. Connor didn't look much better: his curls were damp with perspiration and his skin was a pale greyish colour, sweltering hot. I shivered, nestling close to him and putting my hand gently against his burning forehead.

'Poor thing...' I sighed, kissing his shining cheek. He turned his head towards me, with a feeble smile.

'You look like you need a glass of water, pet,' he told me croakily. 'Go have a drink.'

I groaned. 'I don't feel like...ohgod.'


'Be right back!' I yelped, leaping out of bed and just about making it to the bathroom. I had already been sick about four times already during the past few hours; Connor only three. One have thought that we'd flushed the remnants of the bad meal out of our systems by then...

I shakily got to my feet when the ordeal was over, and staggered to the sink, where I brushed my teeth yet again. The way things were going, we would probably need about ten more tubes of toothpaste between us...I looked up at myself in the mirror. I looked a sight; my face was just as white and drawn as Connor's, and I had purple circles beneath my eyes to top it all off. My hair hung limp and lank, and I certainly did not look like the wife of a movie star.

Grumbling, I splashed my face with some cold water, holding onto the sides of the sink queasily. I hadn't eaten since yesterday, but there was no way anything was going to stay down before my stomach had settled. Weakly I trudged back to the bed and sat down. Connor was lying on his back, spread-eagled under the sheets. He opened his eyes blearily and raised a hand to stroke my cheek.

'This really is no fun, is it?' he chuckled feebly. 'What a way to end our honeymoon, eh?'

'We had a great time before, though,' I reasoned optimistically, then looked at him sympathetically. 'Would you like some water, Conn?'

He rubbed his eyes. 'Aye, that would be nice,' he replied. 'I've been sweating and throwing up all night, after all.'

I kissed his forehead lovingly, then left the room to fetch him a glass of water. I padded barefoot across the tiled floor and entered the kitchenette, where I took a bottle of mineral water from the small fridge and a blue glass. When I carried them back to our dim bedroom, Connor was sitting up, leaning against the bed's headboard and fanning himself with a hand, his bare chest gleaming with sweat.

'Here you go,' I said, putting the glass on the bedside table and filling it up. Connor took it gratefully and drank from it with careful sips, then pulled a face.

'Tastes funny,' he remarked.

'You're ill, Conn, that's why,' I told him. He sighed, then put the glass down, picking up the bottle instead and placing the cool plastic against his forehead.

'Ah,' he murmured. 'That's nice.'

I smiled at him. 'You're lucky I haven't got it as bad as you,' I said. 'Who'd take care of you if I wasn't?' He laughed.

'I do love you, Lilly,' he mumbled affectionately, then put the bottle down, stretching himself out again on his back. 'I think I'll catch a few more hours of sleep, if I can...'

Though we both dreaded the long flight home, we managed to recover to some extent before our departure. As we went back on the plane, Connor quipped: 'Now I fully appreciate the meaning meaning behind "in sickness and in health"...'.

Dry remarks aside, Connor arranged for an appointment with his most trusted doctor, just to be safe. 'He'll prescribe us something, just in case it was something seriously odd that we had...' he told me. I didn't object; even though I could almost say "calamari" without wanting to gag, I felt that medication would definitely be welcome. Truth be told, I also felt a bit guilty, seeing as I had chosen the restaurant we had had that meal at...

In between the handful of tests and nasty little blood samples we had to provide, Connor and I managed to more or less relax together and begin to get used to married life. Not that much had changed with us; it was just the idea that was still sinking in.

After I had dutifully sent off a small collection of our best holiday photos to my mother (and also to Connor's mother, come to think of it), it was but the work of a moment to print out my favourite ones and put them all around Connor's penthouse in their frames. Before, I had felt that his home was lacking in personal touches...now, it was no longer the case. Candid photos of our trip bedecked just about every bare surface I could find - even on the dinner table there was a picture of me posing seriously while Connor, without me noticing, was baring his teeth at me as if about to bite.

Seeing all these silly photos we had taken, Connor didn't seem to particularly mind. When I laughingly told him that I loved waking up in the morning and seeing the close-up, cross-eyed photo of him I had put on the bedside table, he simply chuckled too and said: 'They do make a change from all those serious photoshoot pictures...'

The following week - after Connor had skipped several promotional gigs through the need to relax after being ill - the two of us were sitting before Connor's doctor, whose smart nameplate read "Dr J. T. Langford", and both waiting to hear what it was that we had been stricken with in the final few days of our honeymoon. I sincerely hoped it wasn't anything serious...trust something bad to happen on my honeymoon...

'I have the diagnosis for each of you here,' Dr Langford said finally, putting a piece of paper onto the table. I tried to read it, but as it was upside-down and very complicated, I couldn't make any sense of it. 'Mr MacGowan, you are indeed recovering from a mild case of food poisoning, so you will need to take the medication prescribed here once a morning for a week. Mrs MacGowan, on the other hand...' He turned the sheet of paper over, and in the suspenseful pause I felt a jolt of fear, Connor's hand tightening reflexively around mine. 'You should be expecting a child in about seven months.'

For the entire drive home, Connor did not say a word. I didn't really notice it; I myself was absolutely thunderstruck. When I got out of the car, my knees were very wobbly indeed and hardly able to support me. All I could think about was what Dr Langford had told us.

Expecting a child, I thought, dazed. Life must really be fond of dropping bombshells on me...The doctor had calmly explained that I hadn't actually eaten anything that disagreed with me then, contrary to Connor. It had been complete coincidence that I had gotten that dreaded attack of morning sickness at the same time that Connor had gotten food poisoning. All through this explanation Connor had remained silent.

I glanced at him now; his face was pale and his eyes were fixed with shock, his jaw clenched. Oh, God.

'Don't you like the idea of babies, then?' I asked him later on with a frown, attempting to find the reason for his continued angsty silence when I had already begun to gradually grasp the idea. I was already tentatively prodding my stomach as if it was something dangerous.

Connor gave an angry sigh of frustration. 'No, I do not like the idea of babies,' he replied firmly.

I was appalled. 'Why?'

'Well, all they ever seem to do is either throw up, cry, wet themselves or any of the three at once!' Connor said, gesticulating widely to make his point. 'Either that, or they just sit there and...and bubble.'

'What's wrong with that?' I challenged heatedly, in defiance.

He stared at me as if I was crazy. 'What's wrong with it?' he repeated. 'Lilly, I can't tell you how many bad experiences I've had with bairns throughout the course of my life. When Gracie's Heather was wee, she just leaked everywhere. She was a nightmare! Sure she's cute now, but before...' He shuddered. 'And there was also a time when I was on the set of a film where I had to hold a baby, and as soon as we started shooting it was sick all over me - don't you dare laugh, it wasnae funny at all! They showed it in the outtakes and everything, and a still of me holding a wean at arm's length with my shirt covered in regurgitated baby food did a tour of the whole Internet!'

Even though it deeply annoyed him, I could not help laughing at this.

'I think I've seen that one...' I chuckled fondly.

'Don't laugh at me!' he ordered in indignation, with a stormy frown that only made me laugh even harder. When I didn't stop after three seconds, he turned on his heel and marched off.

'Conn!' I called after him, jogging to catch up. 'Conn...' I repeated more softly, grabbing onto his arm and looking up into his brooding face. 'Look...I know it's come as a huge surprise and you might not feel ready -'

'Too right there.'

I chose to ignore this. 'I still need time to get used to the idea, but think about it. This is our baby, Connor.' I made an attempt at an encouraging smile. 'Don't you like the thought of having a little daughter or son?'

He pouted stubbornly, inconsolable. 'No.'

I stopped and crossed my arms in outrage, glaring at him.

'You are the most insensitive, unkind -'

'Lilly, please!' Connor growled, wheeling round to face me, fully serious now. 'I never even thought about having weans during the past fifteen years. Of course I don't feel ready to become a father, for God's sake - I'm no paternal figure at all. I'd make a shit parent...I mean, look at me! I'd never be at home, and the bairn would probably pick up all my bad habits -'

Now his negative attitude was getting me angry. 'Well, if you hated the idea of having kids so much, then you should have been more careful!' I yelled at him, incensed.

'We were bein' careful!' he yelled back. 'How was I to know it didn't always work?'

'I thought you liked kids!'

'Yeah - when they're past the dribbling stage and they're somebody else's problem!'

My face coloured with rage, hardly believing how selfish and heartless he was being. 'Problem? Problem?'

Connor seemed to have realised he had not expressed himself decently in his temper, and closed his mouth.

Hurt as I was, I managed to fix him with a steady, albeit resentful, gaze. 'So...you think I should probably have an abortion, then?' I demanded bravely in a quieter, but far colder tone, my heart still thumping.

The fire seemed to have gone out of him; that blazing temper had cooled. His lips parted briefly, but he could not seem to find what to say. Finally, he sighed and hung his head.

'Lilly...you know that's not what I meant,' he told me in a low, soft voice. The way his gaze could not meet mine told all of his sudden flood of guilt. 'I...I'm so sorry. I just...panic...' He shook his head slowly, and then sank heavily down onto the sofa. 'I'm not a reasonable guy...I get angry when I get scared - that's what we all had to learn to do back when Ten-Pints MacGowan was still roaming the streets, and I've never been able to get rid of it.' He sounded so bitterly dejected that I slowly came over and sat beside him.

'But why are you scared?'I asked him gently.

Those wide shoulders shrugged. 'It's just a bit of a shock, that's all,' he replied, knowing full well what an understatement that was. 'It'll take a lot of getting used to...'

'Speak for yourself,' I answered drily. 'Who has to go through all the hormone crap and the -' I gestured vaguely around my stomach, 'bigness.'

Connor sighed. 'Hmmph,' he said. He seemed to have fully calmed down now. 'To think all this has happened in consequence to me walking into you, just once.'

I chuckled, then my eyes widened in mild horror. 'And what am I going to tell my mother?'

'Ooooh...' Connor murmured in sympathy. I looked at him. He put on a "guilty little boy" expression for my benefit, complete with the finger on the mouth. 'She's going to know we've been a bit naughty, isn't she?'

I knew he was trying to cheer me up to make up for the fight we had just had, and I didn't care, allowing myself to laugh with him.

'Well,' I said thoughtfully, leaning back and resting my head tentatively against his chest. 'Even though this might not exactly be the right time for all of this to happen - seeing as we happen to be in a city penthouse with white carpets...' I nibbled my lower lip. 'I suppose we do have time to sort of...get used to things. I mean, the doctor did say seven months...that's a large part of a year, isn't it? We have time.'

'Mmm,' replied Connor, then gave a laugh.

I frowned, curious. 'What?'

He smiled at me. 'I'd like to congratulate you for winning our first married-couple argument,' he told me. 'And for magically calming my infamous temper.' He winked at me, then added: 'There's no' many that can do that.'