He has been up for hours, but Jamie is wide awake. That’s the problem with being chronically ill; his body clock seems to be messed up, meaning he wakes up absolutely exhausted, but is somehow wide awake at bedtime. Which means Jamie hates bedtime, because he is guaranteed a night of very poor sleep, only to wake up feeling even worse than when he went to bed.
The only consolation is that he gets to spend his mostly sleepless nights with the Doctor. His wonderful partner can never sleep very well either (his PTSD means he’s on edge a lot of the time, whilst his autism means his brain, in the Doctor’s words, ‘never shuts up’), so they at least they have each other to help pass the time.
The Doctor often sits up in bed and reads (occasionally reading aloud to Jamie, who struggles with reading), or plays tunes on his recorder. But mostly they just lie side by side and talk: they talk about their day, they talk about how they are both feeling at the moment, and they talk about their relationship and what they love best about each other. And all of this means that Jamie and the Doctor have learned more about each other at three o’clock in the morning that they ever have in the daytime.
Just like every night, Jamie, Zoe and the Doctor head to bed at the same time. But not before they have their bedtime snacks.
“Where are you planning on taking us tomorrow, Doctor?” Zoe says as they all sit in the kitchen, drinking their night time hot chocolate.
Jamie sees the smirk on her face, and he chuckles. “Planning.”
The Doctor raises his eyebrows, but the corners of his mouth twitch into a smile. “Are you implying that I can’t steer my TARDIS?”
“What’s to imply?” Jamie says, laughing. “You can’t. End of story.”
“Charming,” the Doctor mutters, but his hands flap and he gives Jamie’s arm a squeeze.
“Right, then,” Zoe says, drinking the last of her hot chocolate. “Goodnight. See you two tomorrow.”
“Night, Zoe,” the Doctor says. “We better head to bed ourselves, Jamie.”
“Aye, let’s go and do nothing in a different location,” Jamie says, and the Doctor raises his eyebrows.
They head through the TARDIS, Jamie steering his wheelchair expertly and not even getting close to running the Doctor’s feet over. When they get to their bedroom, they go through their normal bedtime routine: the Doctor helps Jamie get changed into his pyjamas (he used to find it embarrassing, but Jamie has got used to needing help with things), they brush their teeth, and then they get into bed.
Jamie groans as he straightens his legs, his knees clicking and his muscles feeling horribly stiff.
“Do you want a heat pad?” the Doctor asks.
He nods, grimacing from the discomfort. “Aye, please.”
As usual, the Doctor grabs one of the heat pads from the cupboard and presses a button on it. And, in a way Jamie still doesn’t understand, the pad heats up rapidly. When gets back into bed and hands it to Jamie, it is hot.
“Thanks,” he says, and he shuffles so the pad is pressing against the backs of his thighs, soothing his aching muscles.
“Is that better?” the Doctor says, laying down and shuffling closer.
Jamie puts his arm around the Doctor, and the Doctor leans their heads together. “Much better, thanks.”
“Do… do you want to listen to some music or anything?” the Doctor asks, and Jamie shuffles closer, resting his head on the Doctor’s chest so he can hear his hearts beating.
“Maybe later,” he mumbles, closing his eyes. “I’m all right like this for the moment.”
He sighs contently and the Doctor kisses his forehead.
“I love you, Jamie.”
Jamie smiles. “Love you too.”