disclaimer: BBC owns everything, I wish I did, but I don't.

Just getting rid of some writers block before I start my coursework, hope it's not too shabby.

Hal had met a fair few ghosts in his time, but he had only lived with three. Hal suspected he would meet many more ghosts, but he vowed never to move in with any more unless it was absolutely necessary. Meeting a ghost, letting them stay in your home for a few days even, was very different to living with one. Ghosts were human beings once, that is what other people forget, and they have annoying habits just like everyone else.

Pearl was the worst, but Hal still had a soft spot for her. Maybe he felt for her because he knew Leo cared so much about her. Or maybe he had become so used to her being around all time, she had become like a piece of furniture. Pearl liked order, almost as much a Hal. She had to have everything perfect, clean and tidy. Time after time Leo had assured her she could have a break from house work and get out, or come downstairs and sit in the shop, but Pearl always refused to leave the flat for more than an hour at a time. She constantly thought she was being judged on how clean her home was, and how perfectly her cooking was presented. Hal thought it was the magazines she read. They told women what appliances they should have, what make-up to wear, even how to dress their husbands. Pearl was a nuisance most days but Sundays were the worst Hal thought to himself. He had a lot of time to think now a days. Being tied to a chair in the living room of an old B&B really didn't offer many other activities, so he was often left to get lost in his own thoughts.

Sunday 1955

It was raining that day, chucking it down. The wind howling and the heavy raindrops threw themselves at the window panes. The room was dim, this was partially because of the tedious grey clouds outside blocking the sun but mostly due to the dingy flat they lived in above the barbers shop. Hal was sat at the dining room table lining up his dominos, Leo was downstairs tending to the one of the last regular customers who had braved the weather outside for a short back and sides. Hal often wondered why Leo bothered opening on a Sunday . Leo just shook his head, and explained Sundays were just like any other day and he couldn't let his regulars down. But Sundays were not just like any other day to Pearl. The ghost took great delight in cooking a Sunday roast. A Sunday roast that she couldn't even eat. Never the less she enjoyed cooking it. She looked so strange stood there in her navy dress, and high heels, with immaculate make-up that will never ever smudge or come off, she was frozen in time. She looked as though she should be going out dancing, not slaving over a stove. That was Pearl all over - all dressed up with no where to go.

Pearl was flitting about upstairs, much to Hal's annoyance. She was opening the oven door every five minutes to check on the chicken. Then she was checking the vegetables, then she wanted to set the table.

"Come on then!" She sighed holding the red and white checked table cloth "Clear all that off, I need to set the table."

Hal just stared at her, blankly.

"Well?" She asked "What are ya waiting for?"

"I haven't finished." Hal gestured to the dominoes on the table, all neatly placed in a spiral.

"Oh, come off it Hal, just.. I don't know clear them up, knock them down, what ever it is you do, just get rid." Pear flounced off to pull the chicken out of the oven.

"I cannot just, clear them up or knock them down, I have a system!" Hal was appalled.

"Oh fer God's sake!" She huffed as she began to cut the chicken. "Look the dinner is done now and the table is not even set, what are we, barbarians?" Pearl was clearly getting aggravated.

"Fine!" Hal began to take down his dominoes on by one.

"You'll 'ave to do it faster than that, the dinner will get cold!"

"I'm going as fast as I can" Hal spoke through gritted teeth.

"Well if you want to eat cold chicken and potatoes, be my guest! Poor Leo has been at work all day on his feet and-"

Hal cut her off, "Why you feel the need to have all the silverware out for a Sunday dinner you cannot even eat I will never know!"

"Oh excuse me for doing something nice, you know what? you'd soon miss it if I dint bother!"

Looking back, she was right. Hal did miss the little things she did. Such as Sunday dinner, Christmas dinner, even making them a cake each on their birthdays - Pearl never forgot a birthday.

Their argument ceased as soon as Leo appeared in the flat. Hal looked down at the tabled picking up his dominoes one by one, and Pearl tended to plating up the dinner.

"Are you two quite done?" Leo asked, a tone of authority in his voice.

"Well, she started it" Hal never looked up from the table.

Pearl just scoffed, while she placed the gravy in the gravy boat and shined the silverware "I only wanted to set the table.." She muttered.

"You two, honestly can I not leave you alone for an afternoon without you bickering? What if I had customers downstairs?"

Hal looked up at Leo this time, "You never have any real customers on a Sunday Leo."

"Oh, so who were they downstairs? Imaginary friends?" Leo took a seat at the table.

"They were just people you know from the pub, wanting a cheap haircut." Hal stated bitterly, he was in a foul mood now and needed to vent at someone.

"Friends from the pub who think I am the only one living above this shop, do you want to be found out?"

The room was thick with silence. Pearl was the first to break it.

"Sorry." She practically whispered. That was a hard thing for Pearl to do, she was usually so proud, but Leo bought out a side to her nobody else could.

"And Hal, what do you say to Pearl?" Leo, looked down at his friend, as if talking to a naughty child.

Hal was taking down the last couple of dominoes. "Yes, well.. Sorry"

The room was silent once more, until Leo went over to the record player and put on some Louis Armstrong to break the tension. Hal retired to his room to put away his dominoes, and to allow Pearl to set the table. In the end it was their mutual respect for Leo that bought them together, Leo had saved them. Hal would still be drinking blood, and Pearl would be lost and alone with nobody. That didn't excuse the fact she irritated Hal, she really knew how to get on his last nerve.

It irritated him that she always went over the top with Sunday dinner. The silverware polished to perfection, the dinner presented identically to how it was presented in the magazines she read on house keeping. They sat down to eat, even Pearl had a plate. Hal understands now that the plate of food she made for herself made her feel human, made her feel as if she was still apart of the living. It made her feel normal. Hal never did tell Pearl, none of her efforts were in vain. He understood she was only trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

"Hal you must lay off Pearl" Leo said half way through dinner. "She just wants to make the place homely, I know she hasn't been here all that long, but she's trying."

Hal didn't respond, she had been ages, Leo was just soft on her, at that moment in time Hal saw Pearl as a well tolerated pet.

"And Pearl" Leo looked over to the ghost, Hal noticed his face soften every time he looked in to her eyes. "You know Hal has his routines, leave him too it, he needs them, you understand don't you?"

No, Pearl was not the worst ghost he had lived with. It was cruel to say that, she did well keeping them together, she was just overly houseproud. She tried to make the small flat above the shop, a home. A safe and comfortable home. Pearl looked at her life with such pessimism. She never got married, so she thought she was unloved, but she wasn't. Hal loved her too, in his own way. Though he'd never ever admit it.

She nodded at Leo, and smiled at Hal. It was a sad smile, a apologetic smile almost. Not for how she had spoken to him, but almost as if to say she was sorry for what he was. She was sorry he had to complete routines, sorry he was so old and tortured. He was sorry for her too. Sorry for how she had died so young, to him she was a baby. He was sorry she didn't cross over. Sorry she was stuck with him for company. Pearl started sitting in the shop with Leo a lot more after that dinner.