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Torches, Passing

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Lewis pushes out through the swinging doors and stops just to breathe. Further on, there's machines, and voices, but where he's stood it's quiet. One section of hospital corridor just like another, only this one's further from the morgue.

"Alright?" A voice jars Lewis back to earth, from a broad-shouldered man in a nice suit and overcoat, hat under one arm, filling a pipe.

"Yeah, course. Thanks." He's not, and doubts he looks it. "You can't smoke that in here." It's a reflex, but the man smiles at him.

"Ah. Not lit, is it? Just waiting for someone. Go on, sergeant. Get yourself home."

Lewis' 'yes sir' is delivered absently, and after another breath he moves forward again, through the rush of the hospital and towards the outside. Towards the rest of living.

In the corridor, another man fades into place beside the first, white hair slowly flooding with colour, pain-lines receding. Morse watches Lewis' retreating shoulders, bowed forward under the hurt, and his scowl deepens. He pushes his hands deep into his pockets. Does not reach after him.

"Bloody kissed me, didn't he."

Thursday chuckles.

There is light, like beer-warm sunset over the river, and the corridor is empty.