An hour and a half till midnight. George thinks he’s going crazy.

He’s probably paced around his room a million times by now. Even his cat looks annoyed with him. But he can’t help it. George is a nervous wreck. He can’t focus on anything, much less on recording his next video. All he can do is fiddle his thumbs and wait and wait and wait. Count down the minutes, second by second.

Then finally, finally, it’s down to the last five minutes. George stops his pacing, struck with a sudden desire to tidy up. He pushes the blankets to the side, sets Clay the doll on one side of the bed and sits himself on the other. Luca crawls into George’s lap, appearing contented. 

Two more minutes until midnight. George half wonders if it’ll all end up proving to be a lie. That he might wait until midnight, and nothing happens, because Clay lied to him. He wonders what he would do then. Forget that this ever happened? Actually stick the doll into a drawer and never look at it again? Eat that giant pizza he ordered all by himself?

One more minute, George glances at his phone. His leg is getting jittery, much to his cat’s annoyance. Luca leaves his lap, meowing irritably. “Sorry,” George apologizes. His cat turns his head away, nudging the doll. “Hey,” George laughs, “don’t do that.”

Ten seconds. George grabs Luca and puts him back in his lap, gaze focused on the doll. Any second now…

It happens suddenly, and there’s no sparkles or shining or magicalness to it whatsoever. Simply, one second the doll is there. And the next second, Clay is there.

George jumps a little when Clay appears. Actually just appears, out of thin air, sitting cross-legged on his bed like he’s right at home. Clay was real after all. George can’t help the little bubble of relief he feels when seeing him. (Though, he tries to convince himself it’s just because he doesn’t want the pizza to go to waste.)

“Miss me?” Clay asks with a cheeky grin.