Sam Tyler is quietly losing his mind. It's quite a change from the way he usually feels like he's going mad – no lights flickering out, no little girls in red dresses, no voices over radios. Just him, sitting at a desk, staring at paperwork that's already been looked over a thousand times, listening to the inane, far too ordinary conversation around him, with nothing to do but sit here and think.
He hates having time to think, these days. It only makes things worse. Sam leans forward and rests his forehead against his desk, closing his eyes for just a second.
He's figured it out, though. One of these days, it's going to be just a little too much. One of these days, it won't matter whether he's in a coma or mad or back in time, he's going to get tired of it all and jump off a roof, step in front of a car... just to see what happens. It's just a matter of what pushes him over the edge.
Maybe it'll be Gene, and isn't that what he's been trying to do anyway ever since he got here, push him just a little too far? Maybe it'll be a too-familiar face, someone's mother or aunt or a child who's just a little too much like a friend from his real life. Maybe it'll be sheer boredom, like today.
And maybe he's actually looking forward to whatever it is.
A hand closes on the back of his jacket, yanking him to his feet as the hand, arm, and body attached to it keep moving. Sam straightens, jerking his jacket out of Gene's hand as Gene continues to the door, starting on about how there's no time to be lazing about, they've got a job to do, or would that be interrupting Sam's nap?
Despite himself, Sam's heart gives a little jump as he falls into step behind Gene. All else aside... somehow times like this, following after his DCI, everything falls into place, and he feels just a little further from the edge.
And if you asked him, Sam honestly couldn't say whether that's comforting, terrifying, or some mad, wild mixture of both.