There are times that Jamie McCrimmon thinks that he has gone mad. Like when an odd feeling comes over him as though someone is hovering nearby. He’ll half turn with a smile that he isn’t even sure why he’s wearing only to stare at empty air. Or when he thinks that he hears a sound in the distance, a strange and echoing whirr that makes him bolt in search of something that dances beyond the edges of memory. Perhaps he really has gone soft in the head.
It’s only in dreams that Jamie remembers, for a time and only in brief visions. In one, he follows an older man in strange loose clothing at a close distance toward a clearing in the woods. The man turns to grasp his hand, and chastens him to hurry with a smile. They run, the man leading at a brisk pace despite his apparent age (so old and yet so young - somehow Jamie knows this). The wind on Jamie's face is a comfortably cool contrast to the warmth that blooms in his insides as he matches the half-mad smile of his companion. He focuses on the older man's eyes as he turns to look over his shoulder, eyes as dark as they are kind. Somehow Jamie knows that he trusts him.
But in his nightmares, Jamie is trapped as faceless people push towards him. Then he knows pain, not so much physical as the ache of something precious being torn away, piece by piece, and the horror of being aware as it is done. The fragments start to disintegrate, but he mentally reaches out to grasp a handful, to hold them tight within a clenched fist, pushing them down to a place where they can’t find them to steal. But when he wakes, his chest heaving and breathing labored, Jamie can’t remember the tiny bundle he’d held, left only with a lingering sense of dread, and something nagging at the edges of consciousness.
No matter how many times Jamie tries to hang on to the pleasant ones, no matter how many mornings he lies in bed screwing shut his eyes and fisting his hair in the effort to remember - a box of blue with an open door, that smiling dark-eyed man hovering in the doorway, his arm extended, beckoning - the visions slip from him as they always do. And as always, he is left staring at the ceiling, chasing the remains of a half-remembered dream.