The afternoon was taken up with an endurance test, the three of us side-by-side on the big treadmill, jogging at a steady forty kilometres per hour. If we’d been on the road, we would have been far away by the time we stopped for a late dinner. Eight hours at a speed we wouldn’t have been capable of a few weeks before. While we were doing it we didn’t think about it, each of us listening to our own music, falling into our own foot-trance, but when we stepped down with our legs still strong and feeling no worse than after a light jog down the road, we shared a wondering glance. James and I knew the Professor was capable of amazing things, but this was passing beyond strange and into uncanny.

That night we slept well, but after a couple of hours – the clock on my bedside table said it was a little after midnight – I woke, and realised I felt rested already, though I knew that if I curled up in my blankets I would doze for a few hours more. As I was drifting off, though, I heard a giggle from the other room. I’d heard it, or giggles like it, before, though, and chuckled lightly to myself as I buried myself in my pillow.

As we were eating breakfast the next morning, we heard the nurse telling the Professor that she thought we needed no more than two hours of sleep, and though she didn’t offer any particular reason, there was something in the tone of her voice that made the Professor agree, and made me glance at James for confirmation. He had a smug little grin on his face, one I knew all too well.

You didn’t,” I said, as though I hadn’t woken at just the right time to be sure he had.

Will, what on earth would make you think I wouldn’t?” His grin, if that were possible, became a little smugger.

What are you guys talking about?” Alex said, glancing from one of us to the other.

James is a filthy man-whore,” I blurted out, and then we were all laughing, and the rest of the breakfast was as cheerful as it could be, when we’d been out of sight of the sun for so long.


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