“He wasn't always like that you know?” Peri said as she pulled herself upright in the booth again. She'd been having trouble sitting up straight for the past half hour, but she hadn't given up the fight yet. Unlike her drinking partner who had propped himself up against the wall.
“Unlike what?” Adam questioned as he took a sip of his drink, “A complete wanker?”
“I wouldn't have put it that way, but yes.” Peri frowned at him, then at her glass, then at the bottle before giving in and pulling herself over to the wall as well. “When I first met him he was the kindest man I'd ever met. Me and Erimem used to tease him about it. He'd never have just left me. He'd never have left you. Not like that.”
Adam grimaced and snapped his fingers twice. He no longer found the sensation of the panels in his head opening weird, but he was still afraid he'd forget it was open and a bug or something would fly into his brain. “What happened then? I shouldn't have to worry about bugs flying into my brain. It was a mistake. An honest mistake.”
Peri nodded at him as she tipped the last of the bottle into her cup, “When I first met him he'd have forgiven a mistake. Or at least have fixed your head. I thought he would have still done that even after he changed. Clearly I'm wrong though because I'm here aren't I?”
“Changed?” He didn't say anything else for a second as he held the empty bottle up to a passing waitress. “So what changed him?”
“Death. He died, but he didn't die, but he did because he wasn't my Doctor anymore. Thought he was, but clearly he wasn't.” Peri giggled bitterly into her cup before sinking down to lay on the bench.
“So he died, but he didn't die and that made him an asshole?” Adam took the new bottle from the waitress in exchange for some money and set about refilling his cup. “That makes no sense you know.”
“I know.” She held her cup above the table for Adam to fill, “One minute he was all nice and beige and crickety and the next he was loud and multi-colored. Only the multi-colored came later, after he changed. He liked words. Big words, small words, non-words, ishes. He once made me go to a conference about words. A dictionary conference. It was the words that tricked me. Made me think he was the same.”
They drank in silence then until the bar closed and they were forced to stumble out into the street. “Is my forehead closed?” Peri looked at the offered head very carefully before nodding and almost falling over. “Oh good. Sometimes it isn't and that always causes problems.”
“Not always.” Peri pulled him over to lean against the wall, “I wouldn't have met you if I hadn't noticed it open. I'm a good thing.”
Adam nodded at that. She was a good thing. Peri was nice and hadn't screamed at his head. “You didn't scream at my head. Most people do.”
“I've seen scarier things. Thanks for buying me drinks.” She looked a bit lost then before smiling up at him.
“I should get you home. Where do you live?” he asked as he dug around in his pocket for cab fair.
“No where,” she gave that bitter laugh again. “I'm in the wrong country, thirty years into the wrong time zone, and I don't have any local currency.”
“Come on then,” he held the money up triumphantly and used her to support his way over to a cab. “I have a couch. It's a good couch.”
“Couch it is.” Her voice rang with false cheer as she slipped into the backseat and scooted over. Her eyes shinning brightly before she turned to look out the window. The ride back to his place was quiet for the most part. Peri continued to look out the window, her reflection in the glass showed silent tears streaming down her face.
It was with some hesitation that he reached out and touched her shoulder when they arrived. He carefully helped her out of the cab and once again used her for support to walk to the door. Once inside they made it to the couch before Peri started crying full force. Her tears had the same bitter sound to them as her previous laughter. He held her close as she cried hating the Doctor a bit more every time she questioned why he'd left her.