Disclaimer: All to the Beeb and Kudos.
A.N: If this seems weird, it's probably because I simply typed what came into my head as an experiment. At two in the morning. I now am handing the result over to you to make of it what you will, so please give me feedback, even if it's just: It sucked. –Starlite1.

Endless Numbered Days

There are days, when I sit here, where I wonder if I made the right choice. If, in fact I made any choice at all. This world, dystopia, whatever jargon happens to spring to mind all now seems to fade beneath the mountains of paper work, the smell of cigars and the continuous sounds of life going onward. Of the cogs moving, sometimes not as cleanly as they should, but still maintaining themselves and keeping to their purpose. Our purpose, I suppose he'd say. Not that I can really argue. I've learnt how to choose my battles wisely.

He's sitting there, behind a wall of glass and gruffness, seemingly impenetrable, yet utterly vulnerable. I hate myself, sometimes, for how I once took advantage of it. For a man who began life as a cancer, he's morphed into some kind of avenging angel. A guardian I'd always wished I had, and only now can I truly see that he's something that's been there all along.

A family like I've never known, here, now, surrounding me, only one member missing, and as much as I hate to admit it, I can feel the pain scarring a tiny bit more everyday. Maybe because I know that she's got a life of her own to live, probably is living even as I am here. She's strong, and she's enough to conquer whatever it is I left her to.

In the break room, there's a murmur as the latest arrival on the team once again interrupts her parents, sending a precariously balanced cup flying across the room, to cheers from her proud father. Her godfather looks on, sitting on the outside with the same hint of jealousy in his eyes as lurked in my own godfathers, years ago but only yesterday.

Time once again struggles for consequence here. Not that it hasn't put up a valid fight, pulled out all of its stops in a desperate battle to reassert its authority. But here, the only true meaning time takes is in the time between beer o' clock and lunchtime, between the call coming and the walk down to the cells, between each gaze that I somehow find myself completely locked in, yet somehow unwilling to escape from.

The time it takes for us to meander across the road, arms linked in a manner that has somehow become beyond familiar into something beyond definition. The wind feels real, the slight chill carrying away the last of the heat of the day that still radiates up through my shoes into my throbbing feet.

A bottle of house red, on the bar, worn by years of use. Behind me, a set of stairs that I've become far too used to stumbling up, half drunk. Not quite the way I expected my life to turn out, but it's not bad.

Lazily, I turn towards my companion, who pours two glasses with a well practiced flourish he still has yet to abandon. He raises his glass.

"Seven years today, Bolls." He notes, "It's an 'ell of a long time."

For some reason a shiver goes up my back, as the red liquid stains my white shirt.

A.N: Con crit is greatly appreciated!!