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Sep 22, 2021 3:54 PM
have you ever actually tried to blink one eye at a time? it doesn't work very well
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(For a moment he feels - not exactly better, but less bad about not being okay.)

(But it passes.)

He heads up the stairs, toward the control console.

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Sarah Jane is there, sitting in the console chair, paging through a well-loved paperback that Bryce doesn't recognize.  She looks up as he enters.  "Hello again.  Sleep well?"

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"Yeah," he says distantly.  "Uh.  Can I charge a phone here?"

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"I think she can work it out, but you might ask her, if you think you can."

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"...yeah."

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He approaches the console.

"Hey.  Uh.  Maybe this is a stupid question but.  Can you charge my phone?  - uh if you're still not up to talking or if it would be hard you can say no."

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I'm doing better.  Not seaworthy yet but I can talk.  I can put an outlet in your room.

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"...actually I don't know what I was thinking you'd do but.  I don't even have a charger."

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Probably I can be configured to charge it wirelessly but I can't do that myself, I can't operate myself that way.  Sorry.

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"It's okay, it doesn't matter."

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"...Are you doing okay?  The trip seemed - rough."

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Seven months is a bit long for a Catalax.  It hit me harder than I expected.  But like I said, I'm healing up.

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He looks away.  "Sorry."

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It's okay, hon.  It was an emergency.

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"Yeah.  I - "

Jesus Christ why is he welling up again, he cries too much -

He gulps down the lump in his throat.  "Thanks.  For saying that."  His voice only shakes a little.

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...TARDISes aren't very good at talking about - big complicated things.  But I can listen.

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No pressure.  Just, if you ever want to.

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"Thank you.  I think - I'm gonna go back downstairs."

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All right.

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He goes back downstairs.

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He cries in his room for a while, and goes back to sleep.

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An interesting new thing is happening to him whenever he wakes up.  For a second or two he doesn't remember all of the completely apeshit things that have happened to him over the past few subjective days - he'll lie in bed for a few moments with a feeling of lightness, like his body's expecting something to be weighing on him but his mind hasn't gotten into gear enough to obsess about it yet.  Then his heart will skip a beat when he remembers that he got sent seven months backward in time, and is stranded in the past but for the kindness of a magic telephone booth that he communicates with telepathically.

It's a lot.

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But if he's honest with himself that's not even the heaviest part.  The thing that's really worrying him is that, once he gets back to his own time, he doesn't have a job or anything waiting for him.  He's got however much time it takes the TARDIS to heal up, and however much time it takes the Doctor to get around to dropping him off, before or after he deals with the angel, and then - that's it.  He'll be back in the city, in his shitty apartment, with no prospects for not dying on the street in a few weeks.

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It was so liberating, at first, when he realized he was doomed; but all of a sudden he's afraid of death again.

Fuck.

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