Prompted by a Tumblr post.
It's strange how a phone on vibrate still makes noise. And it doesn't make a noise that's quiet and fairly inconspicuous, like a bee buzzing around, nope. It has to be loud, extremely loud, like a chainsaw going through the thickest redwood it can find, grinding and screeching into what was an otherwise quiet room.
Such was the case for poor Rory Williams as he was once again sitting through the night shift at the Leadworth hospital. Being a country facility, it was small, and even more quiet. Rarely was there much excitement, barring the whole "Prisoner Zero" thing that had happened months ago.
Nah, ever since then, the citizens of Leadworth had fallen right back into their regular lives, going about their business as if nothing much had happened at all. After the streetlights were fixed and that one phone booth repaired, there was really no indicator that the event had happened.
It was funny how people had really just ceased talking about it. Oh, it was brought up here and there for a laugh, but rarely was there much musing about it. Weird how the extraordinary could happen in such an ordinary town, and once it was done and over with, that town wanted to go back to being…regular.
Amy called it boring. Rory silently agreed.
And speaking of Amy, she was the reason Rory's phone was buzzing.
He lifted his head from its cemented perch on his palm, taking his eyes off the quantum theories book he had been carousing. A few taps and swipes on the touchscreen of his mobile and there was one simple message waiting for him.
Rory sighed, drumming his fingernails against the screen and choosing to ignore it. What time was it? Tap. Ah. 3:13am. For all he knew, Amy was sleep-texting him or something. People did that, right?
Turning his head back to the book, Rory bit his lip, feeling slightly envious of his girlfriend who could sleep-text him. Working overnight was terrible, but he knew it was a sort of hazing ritual, meant to test the merits of the younger nurses. If nothing else, it meant he could be first in line for a coffee in the morning. And it gave him plenty of time to catch up on his –
- reading. Tap tap tap.
And he ignored it again.
There was one other nurse on duty with him, a young woman with a fake tan and bleach-blonde hair. She was nice enough, just a bit flighty sometimes.
"Who're you getting texts from at this time?" she asked boredly, jamming her finger into her eyebrow as she rested her hand on her face.
"Huh?" Rory looked over at her, the sentence he had been reading slipping from his memory. "Oh. My girlfriend."
"Ohhh." She smirked. "Drunk-texting?"
Rory jammed his mouth shut, thinking over his next words instead of instantly firing off the thought in his head. (Which was something along the lines of badmouthing the inquirer and insisting Amy had only ever gotten drunk a couple times, but always when he was around so he could drive her home.) "No." He looked at his phone. "I think she's just sleep-texting."
"Well, sleep-eating does."
"I 'spose." She shook her head. "You just might be too trusting, Williams."
She raised her eyebrows at him, and even though he didn't want to, he gave the screen a few taps to reveal yet another message from Amy.
Huh. Least she was changing her word a bit. Still, he tapped out of the message, instead glancing back at his previous conversation conspirator. She was grinning a touch too manically for his tastes.
"…I mean, why would she randomly text me if she – if she was –" He had to swallow mentally to get the words out, "- ch-cheating on me?"
"I'm not saying she is, I'm just saying she could be. Liquored up, boyfriend on shift all night, what's a girl to do when she's bored?"
His fingers automatically tapped at the screen, itching in frustration at the previous sentences fired off at him.
"Why would she be texting me?" Rory repeated, increasingly annoyed – and paranoid. "There'd be no need to text me if she was having fun elsewhere."
"Maybe it's the aftermath?"
Had there been a pencil in his hand, he's pretty sure it would've snapped in half. "Are you – are you serious?"
Tap tap tap.
"A bit, yeah." She tilted her head, twirling the pen in her free hand. "Williams, let's be honest. You're a nice guy, but your girlfriend just seems a bit…"
Bnnnzn – tap tap..
Rory darted his eyes from the screen to the nurse, feeling equal bits of fear and comfort squabbling in his brain. "A bit much of what?"
"Oh, come on – like – she's…you know."
He frowned. He knew what she meant. And…it was kind of true, even if he didn't want to come out and admit it. Nobody wanted to do something like that, not in this situation. Not when he had been quiet for so many years and longed for what seemed like an eternity, not when he had finally managed to get her less than a year ago.
Bnn – tap.
"You saying she's out of my league, then?"
She sighed. "Look, Williams –"
But instead, he laughed. It was one single hollow laugh, the kind that teetered on being amused or angry. "Ha! You think you're the first person to tell me that? Definitely – definitely not." It was such a sad remark, the kind that he gave a hopeless little smile to. "But I don't care. I never cared."
Okay, that was a lie. But he was on such a roll right now, a roll that could only be interrupted by –
Followed by the same taps as before.
He stared long and hard at that word, etching the pixels that shaped the letters into his mind, before shooting his gaze back at his co-worker. "It's fine, 'cause, you know. I'm happy."
She sighed and shook her head. "Williams, just – watch out. I just get the feeling she's gonna be swept off her feet by some guy, and you'll be left in the dust."
Rory scoffed. "You really think so?"
He twisted his mouth into a bit of a frown, irked at the complte lack of support for the argument he had engaged in. Was the entire reason really just because Amy was out of his league? With what evidence? That he wasn't as attractive as her? Really?
In the proceeding minutes, his phone buzzed multiple times. But he just didn't feel like checking the messages, because now he was just too lost in his own insecure self. Wasn't he over this? He had convinced himself he was, that when he had been finally able to spit it out (though not really by choice), it meant his woes were behind him.
They weren't, obviously. Not if some words and jabs from a coworker could break his silent confidence.
Rory tapped the screen of his phone and raised an eyebrow at the messages he had missed. Nothing much different – "Darlin", "Sweet pea", "Sweety", Sweety pie", and "Sweetums" had scrolled past, with one final phrase that finally broke him and made him reply back. "Stupid face".
"Omg what do you want" he furiously typed back, his heart racing spontaneously and drumming furiously in his chest as he waited a response.
"Finally!" bleeped the first message, quickly followed by "Cant sleep, help me out here".
He stuck out his bottom lip, thinking. "I dunno." And then, probably because it was 3:30 in the morning and he had already experienced a long day beforehand, he typed out, "Think of me".
What he meant by that he really didn't know, but it seemed Amy did. The first response back was a ":'D", then, "Ok. you get off at 6, right babes?"
Yes. Yes he did. Rory replied back as such, finding it hard to fight off the smile that was edging further into his cheeks.
"Ill meet you for coffee"
Well, coffee wasn't exactly the best thing to have before going to sleep, but that was probably the reason Amy was in the situation she was in right now.
Hmm. Maybe he could send her inane sleep-deprived texts while she was working her shift. It would be decent payback.