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Transmigration 9: Brave New Worlds

Pan-fandom, SciFi, and Screwed-Up

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Happy for You and I Am Sure That I Hate You [Closed]
Using latent mindcontrol powarz.
i_sell_drugs wrote in trans_9
If you ignore something it goes away, right? At least, that's what should happen, and would be happening if the world were any semblance of fair, which it isn't.

Not that that stops Howard from trying; he has, in fact, been going to a lot of effort to avoid certain people in the Med Bay. He's rescheduled his shifts. He's taken the back way around in to the department. He's mostly been sticking to areas in the city where he's least likely to run into a certain Rory Williams - and that's to say nothing of the 'I hope you die' telepathic vibes he's trying to give off.

Honestly, it's probably a good thing for everyone that Howard doesn't have superpowers.

And yet, the problem with working with only so many coworkers as can be counted on his fingers is that eventually, Howard can't keep scheduling shifts away from one of them. Someone will call him on it, and then he'll have to explain the whole ugly affair, which mostly consists of Howard being a baby and taking things personally and just not wanting to do anything but splash blame all over the place like a loosed firehose full of hatred.

Deep down, he knows that. But that kernel of deep-down knowledge is buried beneath stacks and stacks of rationalizations and defense mechanisms that make it very, very easy to hate Rory and everything associated with him, a list which includes: Romans, the British, that weird dirty blond hair color, people with pointy noses, babies, nurses, and using the word 'biscuit' when you obviously mean 'cookie'.

And that's why he's glaring down at his paperwork in the Med Bay when Rory approaches, thinking that now would be an awfully nice time to develop the psychic ability to smite.

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He knew Howard was avoiding him. It wasn't exactly difficult to guess that, the size of the department made it rather obvious. He knew why, even, which in some ways made it worse.

The trouble was, he wasn't sure how to fix it exactly. He'd not commented on it at first because commenting on it just made the boy more tense if he was called on things.

He paused just short of the desk. "You've been picking up a lot of extra shifts, thought you might be hungry." The food they had stored away was none of it very good, but it was filling, and a few marks better than the slop they served in the mess. "Haven't had much time to go to the mess lately." He set the offering of tea and a protein bar on the desk, calmly turning to his desk to grab a few papers he'd purposefully left behind. "Was stopping by anyway."

Howard doesn't believe that for a second. He's guessing those papers are nothing important, and if they aren't, then Rory's just invading his newly-expanded personal bubble.

And it's hard, wanting to give Rory a hug and tell him 'welcome back', and at the same time wanting to punch him in the face. If Howard were the type to punch people, which he's not.

Hard to see an offering of food as anything less than a test. Like the first time Rory gave him the cookies, prompting a response, judging that response.

So he shoves the tea and the protein bar off the desk. The teacup shatters. "Why are you really here? Because if this is an apology I don't want it. It's not enough."

Edited at 2012-01-08 10:00 pm (UTC)

He glanced at the cup almost absently, going to fetch a broom and a bin before they had a chance to dry. "Because I don't like to see anyone pushing themselves too hard. If I thought an apology might help, I would offer it, but I doubt it will. I can't help what the ship does, or even promise that she won't store me away again as it suits her."

He scooped up the shards, cleaning up the mess and set the protein bar on the edge of his own desk in easy reach.

"Battles make me worry about the people I feel connected to. Old habit, making the rounds to make sure everyone is still breathing." Howard had followed Amy and Molly in his questions, his desperate need to know if everyone he cared for was safe.

He tapped the bar on the desk gently. "If you change your mind, you can have it, if you don't, give it to one of the people on shift after you. Real food's a good tool, I think."

He paused, then sighed, rubbing his face. "I can't promise that I won't leave, Howard, but I can promise that if it's in my power, no matter how impossible, I'm always going to come back."

Howard crinkles his lower lip up into the most poisonous of scowls. The muscles around his eyes twitch and clench with the twin responses of holding back tears and glaring a hole into the desk in front of him.

"No. Take the protein bar. I don't want it. I don't want it here, I don't want it at my desk, and I don't want it sitting around like some kind of stupid peace offering taunting me. So just take it."

His voice gets a little high-pitched, cracking and keening. Rory telling him that they had a connection is exactly the last thing he wants Rory to be saying. He doesn't want Rory to reestablish any connections or reaffirm any (naive, childish, painful) hopes that they had something.

"Shut up, Rory. I don't want to hear it. I don't want you playing your mind games anymore where you get me to go along with your stupid opening-up philosophies just so you can gut me again, okay? You knew you might leave and you tricked me into thinking it didn't matter, so fuck off already."

"I'll leave it, Howard, you can give it to someone else and convince them to trust you, if you like."

He sighed. "It's not a peace offering, Howard, I have more respect for you than that. Long shifts make it hard to get down to the mess and I know you hate feeling hungry."

He wanted to reach for the boy, to offer comfort, but now more than ever it would not be welcome. "It was never a game for me, Howard. I was never playing. I'm proud of you, for using that and making more connections on the ship."

He inclined his head gently. "I'll go, wasn't trying to make a bother of myself." He tucked the papers into his bag, pausing. "Before I came here, I died. Sometimes people leave when they don't want to. We're at war, Howard, as much as I care for Conner and Molly and Amy." And you went carefully unsaid. "I can't promise anything, and neither can you."

"Take your stupid candybar!" Howard ducks under the desk and grabs it, and then in a rush to get back up and throw it at Rory's face, slams his head on the underside of the desk. He pulls himself back up, seeing stars, and tosses it to the far side of the room.

Shaking his head at Rory hurts, but he needs to emphasize what he's saying, so it's a small price to pay. "If it's not a game then why do you do it? You got me all worked up and into this false sense of security and you knew something might happen, so why?"

As if Rory's the reason he's been 'making connections' on the ship. Connections that he's regretting making at all, because he's feeling the wound of connections severed all the more since Rory was podded again.

He runs a hand over where he hit his head. Not the worst head injury he's gotten this week. "I don't make promises. I know better."

He paused thinking, trying to figure out what answer that without setting Howard off. He wanted to step forward, to check the injury, to make sure he was alright.

"Because you're worth it."

He took a breath. "I've seen a lot of people die, Howard. More people than most have met in their lifetime." And how much he sounded like the Doctor right now, it disturbed him, unnerved him and wiggled under his skin. "Good people, bad people, clever people, brave people, and stupid people. Lots of people." He took a step closer, leaning his hands on the desk. "But, Howard, you're worth the risk. We're at war." Either of them could die or be re-podded or any number of horrible things. "But I'd still choose the same, even if I knew how this all would end."

"I've seen people die too, asshole. Or did you just conveniently forget that?"

He's not worth it. It's nothing personal, not any self-hatred or lack of self-worth. No one would be worth it, not to Howard. They're just people, after all. Expendable, fragile, best when looking after their own self-interest and not getting caught up in these types of connections that always end up with people getting hurt.

"Yeah? Well, I wouldn't. Maybe you should have considered that before you messed me up harder."

"I haven't." He shook his head gently. "I remember, Howard. And I understand."

He nodded. "That I will apologize for. It wasn't my intent to make things worse for you, Howard, and I'm very sorry. I'll leave you alone." The words were patient and calm as he moved for the door. "Like I said, if you change your mind."

"I won't!" Howard yells after him, stubborn more than anything.

Once Rory's gone, he whips out his omnicomm and writes out a message to Sakura. And then, for the first time since arriving on this ship, he calls in sick for the rest of his shift.

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