/Then I wouldn’t be tha wiseass ya know an’ love/
Flickering into reality hurts less than he’d anticipated, like being thrown into a freezing bathtub after a bad hangover. Every nerve is well and truly alive for a moment, his mind a blissful blank, overloaded by pure sensation.
He buckles to his knees in the next moment, the hum of minds around him, singing like birds in pride over getting them through. Except Messy, Messy who still has a physical body and strains to worry about.
John doesn’t even notice dropping Bobbi’s hand, or register crawling over on his hands and knees to mesmiranda. He has her head in his lap and her hand in his chin in a moment. His heart stops for a moment, hot on the heels of the shock of recorporating, he’d forgotten to close his Sight. He could see her, all of her. From her exterior web of nanites to the vortext at her very core. An endless painting, an endless but finite being sprawled acrossed faith. A soul as mysterious and powerful as the abyss he kept at bay, kept trapped in the ring on his hand. He couldn’t look away.
The nanite particles are all offline from the effort; the body he holds is a doll, lifeless and synthetic.
But the soul inside stirs, flickering in his mind’s eye and reaching out mutely and questioningly. Looking for him—reassurance, worry, confusion, did it work? Are you proud?