Author note: I'm sorry for the almost insane lack of updates recently, but I've been RPing with dear Ruthie and Rachel (Galadriel1010) and it's extremely distracting... And on that note, this one shot is dedicated to Ruth, because without her and her character Roger, I'd never have thought about it. *nod*

This Is How We Cope

Jonathan blinked too slowly, eyes glazed and arms slack around his knees. It was two years to the day since they'd been locked in, he'd worked it out.




Ah, and there's himself. Lone companion in the madness.

"Hey," said Jacobyte, voice soft as he crossed the room and stood before Jonathan. "You okay?"

Haven't been okay for years. Nothing new. Always the fucking same, even without this damned time loop.

Jacobyte frowned down and knelt. "Hey," he said again. Jonathan felt a hand brush his kneecap and disregarded it a split second later. "Jonathan, talk to me."

"There aren't any words. We've run out."

"We haven't run out of words," Jacobyte chided. "Full of chatter and bullshit, that's us."

"Run out," Jonathan mumbled again. His head tipped forward onto his knees, forehead against Jacobyte's hand. "'s all gone."

Jacobyte's hand rubbed his cheek, and he looked around. Untouched bottle on the table and no sign of the Winylum.

Softly, Jacobyte asked, "How much've you had?"

Jonathan's head came up then, bleary confusion smeared across his face. "What?"

"You said you'd go easy on that stuff for a while."

"I haven't touched it. Congratulations, Jacobyte, I am sober and I am sane and I— Deity." Jonathan brought his arms up, hiding underneath them. "I want out, Jackie," he whispered. "Please."

Jacobyte retrieved his hand and stood up again. Padded to the table, returned and knelt again, gin bottle in hand. He toyed with Jonathan's hair. They'd have to try cutting it again at some point. Getting too long. Felt nice, though, between his fingers.

"Drink it," he said, rubbing the bottle against Jonathan's tensed leg.

Jonathan shook his head. A very muffled, "No."

"Drink. It."

Jonathan shook his head again, and from then he couldn't stop. "W-won't. C-can't make me."

Jacobyte sighed. "You'll feel better." The shaking turned into minute trembles as Jonathan tried his best not to come completely undone. Jacobyte put on his best commanding voice. "Lieutenant Holster."

Jonathan's head snapped up.


"Not my name," he mumbled.

"And you think mine's Jacobyte?" Jacobyte asked, a little incredulous and amused despite himself. He let his shoulder slump a little. "You want your real name?"

Jonathan said nothing, and then his eyes flicked shut. He almost sounded like his normal snarky self when he replied with, "No thanks. Trying to quit."

Jacobyte patted Jonathan's knee and proffered the bottle again. Somehow Jonathan found his hands and forced his fingers to close around its slender neck.

"And," Jacobyte murmured as Jonathan took a healthy swig or six, "I'll shag you senseless later on, just to finish the deal."

Jonathan snorted and was rewarded with a nose full of gin. He wiped his mouth and coughed. "Oh goody."

Jacobyte took the bottle out of Jonathan's loose grip, tilted his chin up with his other hand and kissed him soundly, tasting bitter gin and desperate hope. "Oh goody?" he repeated, a breath against Jonathan's lips.

A nod. Their noses bumped together. "Very— very much so."

"You sound a bit out of breath there, love."

Jonathan forced their lips together again. Bastard would just keep mouthing off otherwise.