As he climbed up to the TARDIS, the ache had turned into a throb, desperately tugging away at gut. When he made it past the ladder, he gripped the handrail desperately, unsure if he was going to be able to make it to the top. He knew he deserved the pain, but there was something uneasy about this. Was it the feeling that he might have been caught, with that instinct that told him he was being watched?

Perhaps it was the risky feeling that gave him a touch of adrenaline, as he wasn't entirely sure how he would be affected by this new way he had discovered. He didn't want to be excited when he should have been feeling the appropriate guilt and shame and self-loathing that justified (encouraged, even) his actions. He shrugged that off for a second and started up the steps, biting his tongue to not moan out in pain (River always found out, but only if he sounded like he was in pain, an urge he had learned (was still learning) how to quell).

River finding him would be horrible. She would tell Vastra, who would tell Jenny and Strax and he would lose the little dignity he had left while they together watched his every move.

However, he couldn't just stop: that would be even worse, and it was too late to think about that now. He had swallowed that piece of brick, and now he was going to suffer for it. Not that he minded.

He had reached the TARDIS, and opened the doors, desperately trying to not double over yet.

Ignoring the console, he walked past, and leaned against the wall, just walking, until he could no longer and he fell knees.

He was sweating intensely, holding his stomach while deep inside the TARDIS. He vomited several times, blood mixed with the vomit in a weird egg-yolk and pink swirl.

Distantly, he heard some yelling, and then he was being pulled back and up, into a sitting position.

"The object is still within his stomach," he heard.

Damn it. That didn't sound like River or Vastra.

"Can it come out?" he heard, a separate voice.

He didn't pay much attention after that. Everything was whirling and fuzzy to his eyes.

He felt something press on his stomach, and then a hit on his upper back, and he started choking. The brick was coming up, he could feel it burning at his throat.

Then, suddenly, he felt the pound once again, and he started gagging, until the brick finally entered his mouth, and he spit it out.

"The object has left the body," the first voice said, "He need immediate medical treatment."

"Whatever is necessary," he heard, recognizing Vastra's voice.

He then felt himself being lifted up and carried somewhere. "Let me..." he groaned, "Down."

"You are in serious danger of internal infection," he heard. Was it Strax?

"'M not," he protested, squirming. "Better re-resistance t-to internally regulated bacteria."

"We must check," he heard.

Not accepting this, he continued trying to wriggle out of the persons grip, succeeding in slipping out of the grip of whoever had him.

He woke up restrained in the TARDIS medical bay, his head hurting heavily.

"It real irony, really, Doctor," he heard, "That you stay awake through a high level of pain, only to be taken by a concussion from what must have been a three-foot drop."

"Had to do it some way," he claimed, looking over to the speaker. It was Jenny, who was glaring at him from a few yards away, reading a book.

"I'll go get the Madame an' Strax," she said, exiting quickly.

He waited a few minutes, collecting his thoughts the best he could.

He had swallowed the brick, then he went up to the TARDIS with no difficulty, and then they found him and he fell unconscious.

No, that wasn't it. He went to the TARDIS and then he swallowed the brick, and went up with difficulty- wait no. That didn't make sense.

He swallowed the brick, then he went up to the TARDIS in pain, and then they found him, and he tried to escape but he fell and hit his head. That sounded right.

Vastra, Jenny, and Strax quietly stepped in the room, watching him.

Obliging them, he turned his head and looked at them back, waiting for them for make the first move.

With deep sadness, but an air of calmness and self-stability, Jenny walked toward him.

"The Madame told us 'bout what you've been up to," she said, her voice hardly above a whisper.

"She's been trying to figure out if you were trying to kill yourself or not," she said, glancing back at her wife.

"I wasn't," he denied, "I haven't once since I came here."

"That's good to know," Vastra said, walking to him, along with Strax. "Even if I have trouble believing such a thing."

"River would have stopped me if I even starting honestly considering that," he said, the "again" going unsaid. "The TARDIS calls her."

"River Song hasn't shown up yet," Strax said.

"I find that a bit queer, though," Jenny admitted. "She's here often, isn't she?"

"Depends," he said. "Randomly, or if I-

"If I do decide to hurt myself."

"I called her a while ago," Vastra said. "She's going to come after we're done with this conversation."

"What else is there to discuss?" the Doctor said impatiently.

"How we're going to work out keeping you on suicide watch and enforce it at the same time," Vastra said.

"But I'm not suicidal!" he said, pressing up against the restraints. They were thick and leather, soft enough not to hurt him easily, but strong enough to hold him quite firmly.

"Self-injury watch, then," Vastra said. "The principle's the same."

"For how long?" he asked.

"Until you're not the most immediate danger to your own life," she said.

"What 'bout those drugs you were talking about?" Jenny asked, pointedly.

"Luvecidrian and Vinitrol," Vastra said. "Professor Song agreed. With the exception of the last one we had you take. The effects are too severe on the human minds around you."

He looked away from them, with shame etched into him. They thought the only solution for him would be medication. That was disconcerting in some way that he couldn't identify. Then he nodded.

Then he turned back towards them.

"How did you know that I swallowed that bit of brick?" he asked.

"Lucky guess," Jenny said, rolling her eyes.

"I thought that bit was the most obvious," Vastra said.

"That man who was following me?" he guessed

"Correct. I suspected you would try to find other ways to harm yourself," she said. "That's why the TARDIS only would alert us when you hurt yourself inside of her," Vastra said.

"I shouldn't have ignored my instincts like that," he said.

"Pain is an instinct you've been ignoring," Jenny said.

"I think it's time we let you and your wife speak?" Vastra asked.

He heard the door close, and then, almost at that moment, River came in with the flash of her Vortex manipulator.

"Hello, sweetie," she said.

"Hello, River," he greeted.

"You know that those antidepressants I gave you go together," she said.

"One to suppress the emotion that wants to be felt and the other to increase the hidden ones," he said.

"You can get better," she said. "And we're going to make sure it happens."

"You think," he said with a touch of humor.

"I've seen your future," she said. "I'm going to make sure it happens."

"And soon, my love, will you."