Here's another new one for you - felt that my CNL series could use some movement, so I've brought it another step towards the conclusion.
Title: At the End of the End
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Mike Yates, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Prompt: 032. Sunset
Word Count: 669
Summary: Nothing was helping.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author’s Note: Another addition to my Captain No Longer series - almost to the end now.
Mike Yates was frustrated; both with himself and with his circumstances. It had been several weeks now, and every time he would make any progress on regaining his sense of self, it ended up being thrown back by simply working with Benton. Not that he didn’t like the Sergeant, or that he didn’t realize what he’d done after the fact, but he’d constantly keep “defaulting” to acting like John Benton during times of crisis and expecting someone else to take command. This couldn’t continue; people were relying on him to take charge and be the leader for them, and he wasn’t sure if he could do that anymore - at least, not the way people expected him to.
He’d respond to his own name again, and was slowly un-learning John Benton’s mannerisms, but those always seemed to reset themselves during emergencies. He could wear the uniform, but it felt wrong - like he was wearing something that wasn’t rightfully his. He could draw again, but even that felt off now that everyone knew about it.
And that was another thing that bothered him profoundly - that everyone knew. Not all the details, to be sure, but that was almost worse. He was “that officer that went ‘round the bend” to the vast majority of the base, and everyone outside of the small group of people he associated with the most kept giving him odd, pitying looks when he was around and treated him as though he might break down at any moment. In short, nothing felt right at UNIT anymore.
Then there was the other end of the spectrum - the overly helpful ones. Jo and Benton seemed to really be harbouring a terrible case of guilt for the situation Mike was in, and were trying to make it up to him by helping him out wherever possible. Unfortunately, most of their attempts were falling short (not for lack of trying, though - never for a lack of trying), as they ended up either metaphorically tripping all over Mike’s own efforts, or just completely missing the point they were trying to help with.
Mike wondered about that often, actually - the fact that nobody really knew how to help him. Mike had asked the Doctor if there was some sort of technological wizardry he could work, to which the Scientific Advisor had said there wasn’t anything he could do and that his mind had to heal on its own. He didn’t know the Brigadier all too well outside of their working relationship, and he’d never gotten the opportunity to know Jo more personally. And as for Benton, he had come out of the Year with no memory of any of the events that had taken place, so any insights he may have had about Mike’s personality and what would best help were presumably buried in his subconscious somewhere.
If they didn’t know how to help him and he didn’t know how to help himself, what was he supposed to do?
Mike squared his shoulders, and walked into the Brigadier’s office, hesitant to take this next course of action, but knew it had to be done if anything was to ever improve. The Brigadier looked over from where he’d been rearranging some pushpins on his map of England to coincide with the locations of some security outposts he’d recently tasked. “Ah, Captain Yates. You said you wanted to talk to me about something?”
He had a brief flash of memory as he did so; a short glimpse of the way things had been before everything had changed. Struggling to work past the sudden lump in his throat, he handed a bundle of papers to the Brigadier before he could change his mind. “Sir, I’ve come to turn in my resignation.”
The Brigadier didn’t protest, or even look at all surprised by this declaration. He simply took the papers from Mike’s hand and moved to close his office door. “I see. Why don’t you have a seat, Captain?”
Outside UNIT HQ, the sun set.
X-posted to FF.net, Teaspoon, AO3, and unit_family.
See you tomorrow for TiNaB!
A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation
Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...
- Thursday, Week 6 - UNIT!100 - 032. Sunset.