i had this friend. loud, vivacious, and brimming with energy and colour. her sun-bright smile drew others to her like moths to flame; and yet she could always pick me out from the crowd effortlessly. i wondered how she did that, why she’d pick me over many.
she was the kind of person you could never look away from for long, but i saw her better from my peripherals. when she lifted her chin, her face would become awash with glowing light; and then she’d laugh about her pale skin, and the ruddy cheeks and dark freckles would appear again, as if they’d momentarily blanked out. when she grew protective, her blue eyes would spark dangerously and burn white; and then she’d blink, and the glint of her glasses would stand in with explanation.
but i saw her best from the back. when she’d run, her fire-bright curls would flare out behind her like wings.
as flighty as she was, she always came back to me. i wondered why.
she told me, once.
one day, before class had started, when i was in the middle of falling asleep in the sunbeam warming my desk, she turned around in her seat to talk to me. she spoke with her whole body, from her waving hands to her bouncing shoulders.
then she petered off, and settled into stillness. watchfulness. despite all the eyes on her, she only saw me.
“hey,” she said. “could you look at me for a sec?”
and when i lifted my head to look at her straight on, she smiled as if she’d found the answer.
“look at that,” she murmured. “your eyes have halos in them too.”
So my bff wants to read my Campwolfe fanfiction. Only problem is he’s not in the fandom and only has vague idea of who those british lesbian fake surgeons you keep banging on about every time we run Serena Campbell and Bernie Wolfe actually are. In order to bring him up to speed before he reads I decided to create a simple guide. Sharing here for fun and also to make sure my sleep deprived brain hasn’t left out anything crucial. Please feel free to reblog with mistakes or omissions.
Bernie and Serena for Dummies: The Coles Notes Version
SERENA CAMPBELL (has been referred to by Bernie as The Fräulein)
She’s the brunette (51 and gorgeous) that prefers flowing blouses and looks like a cinnamon roll but make no mistake she could actually kill you.
Consultant, surgeon, MBA, former hospital Deputy CEO. Used to getting what she wants. Notorious flirt. Can charm F1’s out of the trees. Co-lead on ward called AAU at Holby City Hospital. Good at paperwork.
Penchant for shiraz and occasionally whiskey. Mostly shiraz - in fact just throw her into the vat fully clothed. Bonus she knows where to find the key to Albie’s (Holby’s local watering hole)
Was married to Edward, alcoholic (he’s a shit), has a grown up daughter Elinor and an autistic nephew Jason who lives with her who takes up quite a bit of her time and is fairly puzzled by relationships but when he’s not sticking his foot in it his mission is to move her love life along.
Has a penchant for holding life-long take it to the grave grudges.
Mom™ and spends a lot of time on the ward listening to other people whinge on about difficulties, consoles them and generally takes care of the people in her life personally and professionally. Hurt someone she is close to and YOU ARE DEAD TO HER. Does not suffer fools gladly. Has no room for fuck ups. Unless said fuck up is committed by a certain blonde ex-army medic with puppy dog eyes. In that case she will forgive almost anything.
Deadpan sass queen of the century. Has a snappy comeback for everything. Her smile could thaw Antarctica. Is good at back massages.
Has been in favour of firing anyone who is involved in inter-office romances. Her own hypocrisy not lost on her now that she has fallen for ex-Army Major.
Died-in-the-wool-heterosexual who has fallen in love with a woman and is concerned that she may now be a washed-up midlife lesbian (if that’s actually a thing)
Wears her heart on her sleeve. Flings herself headlong into love. A hedonist at heart. Takes emotional risks. Deals well with heartbreak by pulling herself together. Gets shit done.
MAJOR BERENICE WOLFE (Bernie - also known as The Big Macho Army Medic or BMAM)
She’s the blonde (51 and gorgeous with unicorn hair) that prefers trench coats and skinny jeans. Looks like she could kill you. Could actually kill you.
Consultant, trauma surgeon, ex British army Major and incredibly brilliant surgeon who takes calculated risks that mostly work out. Considered the most fantastic fearless doctor on AAU (according to Serena - the entire hospital) and emotionally is an actual bona fide human disaster. Crap at paperwork.
Penchant for cigarettes, especially one lone hold out she’s been carrying around for years as a symbol of her freedom and independent self. Tries to smoke it and doesn’t. Has so much self restraint sometimes it’s possible to wonder if she has a pulse.
Was married to Marcus (also a bit of a shit) and has two grown up children Cameron (who is training to be a doctor) and Charlotte, who she is trying to get to know again as she was often stationed away from them as they were growing up. Had an affair with a woman, Alex Dawson, while in Afghanistan. Was blown up there and wheeled into Holby hospital on a spine board in one of the most iconic entrance scenes a character has been given.
In the 99th percentile in caring deeply for those she loves. In the 5th percentile in execution of demonstration of caring for said individuals. When it comes to expressing emotion often loses the ability to speak in full sentences. Has mastered the art of Long Lingering Looks™. Is complete crap at returning texts or emails. Runs at the first sign of emotional trouble. Likes to brood on the roof.
Her hair gets messier as her involvement in the series progresses. Looks really fabulous in scrubs of any colour. Has puppy dog eyes. Appears hot even while expressing unwarranted jealousy.
Fiercely loyal and will have your back in a crisis. Giver of excellent gifts but will leave your office like a complete trash pit if she takes up residence for more than a week. Housekeeping not her strong suit but she’s excellent at boots-on-the-ground-triage. Card carrying member of Club Screw Up.
Is possibly a Lesbian™ but could be seen as bisexual. Fails to notice she has fallen in love with straight female colleague and this needs to be pointed out to her by her grownup son. Once pointed out, ever the action woman, kisses dyed-in-the-wool-heterosexual female surgical co-lead right on the mouth while sitting on the floor in theatre because she ‘wants to’. Has not properly thought out next steps. Back-pedals.
Co-creator (with Serena) of AAU’s new trauma unit. Throws arm wrestling contest in favour of allowing straight co-lead (who she really ‘likes’) to dominate. Excellent at removing tap sets out of patients nether regions without falling into fits of laughter. Is pants at freehand drawing.
Professional life: Nerves of steel. Calm as shit. Personal life: Panics.
Bernie and Serena: The Relationship
They meet. They banter. They operate. They bond. They wrangle. They arm wrestle. They drink shiraz. They smile. They exchange cute nicknames. They Kiss™. They have a sapphic angst-fest. They Kiss 2.0™-The Office Edition. They have a sapphic angst-fest separation. They reunite. They Kiss 2.1.0™ -The Locked Office Remix Edition
Some hospital property might be destroyed in the process.