“He was, poor Dave.” Marie replied. “The number of hours the man put into it all was phenomenal. It drained him, he was exhausted. He was absolutely fine after a few weeks time off, but he jumped at the Admin. Vacancy when it came up.” She said. “Anyway, enough of that. Jackie's doing great on his lower dosage of tablets. He wants to marry you.”

“So I've been told.” Dean laughed.

“Better make sure you iron your boxers then, and hope Joe doesn't get the hump.” Marie nodded.

“Ha-ha.” Dean said sarcastically. “Tilly in yet? I'd like her to sit in on the Cooper case, if that's OK?”

“Fine by me. She's playing Twister in the day room with Andrew and Theresa.”

“Would it be unprofessional if I went and joined in?” Dean asked hopefully.

“Yes, Dr. Hawthorn. Staff do not roll around on the floor with patients. Tilly's exempt because she's Tilly.” Marie stated.

“How about if we stopped the patients playing?”

“OK so staff do not roll around on the floor with other staff. Well not in public anyway. Go and find something professional to do.” Marie smiled and shoo'd Dean away.

Mr. Cooper looked very tired as he sat in the office with Marie, Dean, Tilly and Tanya Bentley.

“I slept pretty well.” James was saying. “Better than I was at home anyway. Has Judith phoned?” Judith being Mrs. Cooper.

“No but it's a bit early yet.” Dean said. “She knows you're seeing us this morning so she'll probably call later. I'll make sure you get to know.”

“Thank you.” James nodded. “Poor Judith.” He stood up suddenly and wiped his hands nervously on his shirt. “It's ... it's warm in here.” James looked out of the window.

"Are you OK?" Dean asked.

“Yes. It's just a bit ... uncomfortable.” James forced a smile. Tilly discretely handed Dean a note with the words 'the other one's there'. Marie saw it too nodded slightly.

“Uncomfortable how? Can you describe it?” Dean asked.

“Difficult to describe it really.” James picked at his fingernails. “I often tried to explain it to Judith. It's as though there's something that you've forgotten to do, something you just can't remember but you know it's there and it bugs me.”

“Does the feeling get stronger at any particular time?” Dean asked.

“Yes but I can never pinpoint a time or a reason. Me and Judith made a chart to see if we could see a pattern, but we couldn't.” James rubbed his temples.

“That's quite remarkable, James, that you and Mrs Cooper approached this so sensibly together.” Dean complimented. “So these feelings have been there all the time you've been married?”

“Yes.” James hung his head. “Never as bad as this though. I could always ignore it enough to be able to get on with my life, control it. It bugs me.” James squeezed his eyes shut tight.

“Bugging you pretty bad right now eh?” Dean said and James nodded.

“It's as though I have to fight all day and every day and I'm too tired to do it.”

“What do you think would happen if you didn't fight?” Dean asked.

“Oh go away.” James groaned wearily.

“Did you hear me just then James?” Dean asked and Tilly shook her head automatically.

“Leave me the hell alone!” James sobbed. “No! I'm so fucking tired. So tired of all this. Shh.” He seemed to look through Dean rather than at him. “See? No one cares! Just piss off!” James scowled and looked at Tilly. “Is ... I'm ... I'm sorry about my language.” Another scowl.

“That's OK James.” Tilly said gently. “He's enough to make anyone swear eh?”

“He is, yes.” James contorted his face again. “I know if I go to sleep then something will happen and I'll be blamed for it. I know by the way people are looking at me when I wake up.”

“But that's OK in here.” Tilly spoke up, and the doctor's let her. “There's only us here and no one blames anyone for anything in here. It doesn't matter what happens, even if you are asleep. Dr. Fallon and Dr. Hawthorn will look after you just fine in here, James.” Tilly glanced at Marie, who nodded encouragingly.


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