Miss Carry My Future


delia2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title Miss Carry My Future
Synopsis After receiving a message in dreams a father tries to convince a mother not to terminate a pregnancy before it begins.
Date April 16, 2011

In Dreams

Twisted skeletons of buildings hollowed out and left to gather ash create a jagged horizon that juts into the sky in jagged peaks. A palate of purples, pinks, and oranges layer over each other as the morning sky awaits the sun. It's pre-dawn, just before curfew is lifted. The streets are empty, even the hobos that usually inhabit the alleyways aren't in their usual places.

It seems the robots sentinels are doing their jobs quite well.

A building of green offsets its ragged neighbours, the sign proudly stating that it's an apothecary, The Old Apothecary to be precise. On the sidewalk in front of it, a woman in a white dress lies straight and rigid. Rigor mortis has taken over the corpse and the gruesome display has been left alone by whomever lives here. Gruesome because she's still staring at the starless sky. Even moreso because where a heart should rest there is only a bloody cavity.

Falling asleep has never been difficult for Jaiden. Night falls and, with a goodnight to the other two fugitives he's calling roommates, he falls into a blissful sleep where darkness swirls around him. Comforting and warm. But then, the darkness claws at him, pulling him down like a swimmer being pulled beneath the surface, and it's only after kicking his way to the surface that he finds himself, gasping, on the streets in a world that truly is horrifying.

Jaiden should not be here. He should not be seeing this.

With his eyes open, Jaiden starts down the sidewalk, his bare feet sending up swirls of dust with each step, leaving tracks that the most inexperienced tracker could follow. It's not normal, this desolation, and even less normal is the greenish building labeled neatly with 'The Old Apothecary.' It's the most undamaged building there, so it's the obvious place to go, but in front of it, a corpse lies, rigid. "Bloody hell…" he murmurs, walking closer, stopping with his toes just at the periphery of the light bathing the body from above, remaining in anonymous shadow. "This has got to be a dream…"

As the sun breaks night into dawn, rays of too bright sun are nearly blinding as they pierce through the bare frames of high rise buildings and smaller neighborhood shops. A few of them catch the crimson curls on the corpse's head, glued together with sticky blood that's been left to harden overnight. The dull hue of blue eyes turned dusky and lips drained of color that remain parted from what was probably a last breath comprise the woman's last facial expression. She was afraid.


The uneven gait of slow moving hooves against concrete can be heard just down the block. The only sign of life for miles, perhaps. As the behemoth of a horse rounds out from a cross streets it pauses and stares at the man looming over the body and nickers slightly. Almost as if it is laughing at him.

Jaiden lifts his hands to block out the light, stepping aside for a moment into the shade, pulling a cap from his back pocket to pull on his head and shield his eyes from the sun, looking over at the sound of hoofbeats approaching from the distance.

He moves, slightly, standing in between the corpse and the horse, his hands at his sides, but ready for anything that may happen. "I don't suppose you know what happened to her, do you, horse?" Jaiden kneels and brushes a hand over Delia's face lightly, frowning. "Someone cut her heart out, it looks like…not a pretty way to go for such a pretty girl."

Silly Australian, horses can't talk.

It's what the horse might be saying if it could talk. As it is, the large mammal just stares at him with one blue eye. Horse pupils are unsettling because they're so oddly shaped, like pregnant Mike and Ike's. Or fat ones, take your pick. A fan of reddish eyelashes sweep down lazily, hiding the disgusting black blotches centered against such a bright blue. A mane that is a little more orange than the hide of the chestnut mare falls forward as the large head dips down toward the body. Nostrils flare at the scent of blood and a snorted cloud of hot breath sends a shower of dried flakes skittering across the walk to land on the bottom glass of the door.

Nonplussed, it lifts its head again and clip clops in an unsteady rhythm toward the window of the shop. A window full of curios and oddities. Pictures and news clippings are set into a framed collage and it's this piece that centers the display.

Keeping a wary eye on the horse as he approaches, Jaiden stands his ground, protecting the fallen body even as the horse looks at him. He blinks and turns to peer at the window, then back to the horse. What's that, boy? You want me to look into the window? Giving a glance down to the fallen Delia, Jaiden turns to peer into the window to see what the display holds.

There are a quite a number of different pictures pasted to what seems to be a crayon rubbing. The words are mostly covered up except at the top which reads a B-E-T, the last letter is hidden by a picture of a fat lilac. Down in the right hand corner is the one picture that presses out much clearer than the rest. A picture of Jaiden himself with a boy in his shoulders.

"Beth…" Jaiden murmurs softly, glancing to the horse again before studying the pictures, one hand resting on the glass lightly, as if to touch the pictures through it although the glass prevents it. And the picture of him with the boy? With JJ. "This has to be a dream…..so far, only two people know about it.

Jaiden's view of the collage is obstructed by a fog created by the billow of hot air coming from the nostrils of the horse. It grows until almost all of the window is rudely obscured in a white haze. Once there's nothing more to look at, the mare turns her back on the Australian and flicks her tail from side to side, swatting at flies that aren't there. With her head bowed, she begins plodding further down the sidewalk, seemingly uninterested in keeping the company of him any longer.

Realization, confirmation, lucidity; all these factor into the dimming of Jaiden's surroundings and before he has a chance to wipe at the window to catch one last glimpse of his son, reality begins to seep in. By the time the horse rounds the corner, everything is gone and Jaiden is alone with nothing but an empty shell of a green building in front of him.

Somewhere between the fogging of glass and the disappearance of a horse, age and decay have claimed the shop. The weathered sign proclaiming its name, The Old Apothecary, still reads visible though a bit faded.

Reaching for the window to wipe away the condensation does no good, because as soon as his fingers touch the glass, the images behind fade, as if they were never there, the pictures vanishing like bubbles popping beneath insistent hands. "The Old Apothecary." he repeats to himself, remembering it, as he wakes with a start.

In the sleeping bag on the floor of the safe house Jaiden stirs, green eyes flicking open, gazing into the darkened room with a shiver. Looks like someone's going investigating in the morning….

The Old Apothecary

The dream was so vivid. So real. It was almost like the times that Delia and he had dreamed together, her in his arms. Before all the interesting stuff happened. Before he was on the run. And while this might be a trap, a part of him just has to know if that dream meant anything. If whoever was in The Old Apothecary knew something about the future.

It took a little work, on his part, to find the green building with the glass windows, and a little more observation to ensure that yes, it was exactly what it seemed to be without any traps and, of course, no body of Delia, sans heart, splayed on the sidewalk in front of it. So, nervously he opens the door and steps into the place.

Behind the counter, dressed in a mish mash of designer clothing and a pair of her old distressed jeans, Delia is studying a book about medicinal herbs. Turning to the grand wall behind her filled with bottles of liquids, vials of oils, and jars of powder, she retrieves one that's got its label covered and pulls the cork off to smell it.

"Valerian— used for insomnia, nervous tension, hysteria, excitability, stress and intestinal colic or cramps.." The words are recited as she tries to memorize the text that she just read. A picture of a cluster of white flowers is prevalent on the page that she's studying. Upon uncovering the bottle, she smiles and emits a hiss of a yessssssssss, self congratulations that she got one right.

The jingle of the bell hanging from the door is what causes her to start and then begin juggling the open bottle between her hands, spilling little droplets of sweetly scented oil all over the place. When she finally catches it and replaces the cork, she looks up at the visitor with a bit of confusion before recognition sets in. It hasn't been that long since she's seen him, it just feels like a lifetime ago. "Jaiden… you got my message…"

Ah, cramming. Something Jaiden remembers from his days of being in the military - wanting to be sure the missions went well or learning his general orders requited a lot of study. A lot of cramming to make sure he knew what was what and where was where. So it's a bit nice to see a bit of normalcy in a world that's gone fairly mad.

The jingling of the bell causes him to look up, to step into the building and close the door behind him before turning to face the woman behind the counter, that same small smile appearing for just a bit. It has only been a few months, true, but in that time a LOT has happened to all people involved. "hey there, Delia." His voice is quiet, as usual as he steps closer, boots on the hardwood floors, causing soft echoes through the place. "Kind of a cryptic way to send a message but yeah…it got through. "How've you been?"

Replacing the bottle, Delia turns back and begins wiping up all of her little spills with her sleeve. When the oil that started out smelling fairly look starts taking on the scent of old cheese, she lifts her arm and sniffs at her cuff. A grimace. A horrified grimace is what finds its way to her face. Not for the man in the store but for what she's going to have to go home smelling like. Unless she can find another oil to counteract it.

For now, the smell will have to stay. "Uhm.. yeah sorry about that, I'm working on something," a quiet apology for no wrong or harm done. But… "I'm good. I'm uhm.. dealing with some things, dreams. You know, the usual."

Jaiden approaches to the other side of the counter and does a fair job of keeping his face impassive despite the smell coming from the spilled oil. It's one of the nice ways that modern medicine has solved that problem - taken the smell out of things that smell horrible but are good for you. "I wouldn't try to counteract it if you're thinking that. The worst thing you can do is try randomly and then you'll just end up making it worse. Ask me about my time encountering a skunk for the first time." He chuckles softly, leaning on the counter, nonchalantly.

"Yeah, I know, the usual. Lots of interesting things going on, here and there. You might not want to go by the garage any time…it's now under the care of the Department of Evolved Affairs." He chuckles again. "I'm on the run, like a few other people. Could be worse, I suppose…being in Eltingville. And from the dreams I've had, it's going to get worse."

A defensive frown appears on Delia's face as Jaiden speaks his piece about being on the run. "I live in Eltingville, it's not that bad." She knows it's going to be, someday, but for now she has a lovely house she shares with lovely people. With a lovely start to the best yard in the ghetto. His comments about the smell and the skunk and not mixing scents gets ignored for now. For now, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out something.

"Tell me about your dreams?" It's probably a test of some kind, to see what he knows. She's not as evasive or manipulative as her mentor, the Asian one not the Russian one. "Tell me what you saw, please? I'm— uhm— collecting them with Kaylee."

It was an unfair shot, sure, but one that Jaiden didn't know that he was actually throwing. He's never been to Eltingville - his only experiences with the place are the dreams of the future, so that's kind of tainted it to something that really makes it something he doesn't want to go to. Still, looking up at the woman behind the counter her frowns slightly, nods his apologies, and sighs.

"Depends on which dream of the future you want to know about - I've had two, and both are pretty bad, as far as things go…you want the one where I'm captured by DoEA for trying to by H5N10 vaccine from a smuggler, or the one where I help give birth to my son in Eltingville?"

One shoulder is raised in a shrug as Jaiden gives his brief description of his dreams. Delia seems satisfied at least, with those two explanations and simply tucks her hand back into her pocket, releasing something and then pulling it out to place on the counter. Her fingers splay across the glass, smeared and cloudy with the remnant of the oil that's been smudged all over but she's clean it up later. For now, she'll just draw little patterns in it.

"You have a son? That's— that's good. Really good, actually. I— I uhm… I saw a picture of you with a boy, he had a hat over his head so I couldn't really see his face. You seemed happy." There's a small glimmer of a smile before she lets her eyes drift from his face down to the counter.

Warm green eyes watch that hand dip into her pocket, leaving something in there that she didn't want him to see. If he knew any better, he would think it was the locket that he carried in the future with his picture of beth, all lace and pink taffeta, looking cute before she passed away from the flu. He closes his eyes for a minute and tilts his head slightly, as if a headache kicked in a bit too soon, but it passes fairly quickly. "Yeah..a son. We named him after me, apparently, and hyphenated his last name, too. Jaiden Micah Dawson-Mortlock, his name is." There's a twinkle in his eye when he says that, though. "But after Beth…" His eyes flick up to Delia's. "You know about her, right?"

"Beth.." the name is whispered and Delia's eyes stay on her little fingerprint design on the counter, "I heard about her." Felt pain for her, something that she can't help but show a little of with a twitch of the eyebrows. The way her head is angled he might see it, if he's paying attention. "Did.. uhm… did you see her? I just.."

Reaching under the counter, she pulls a xeroxed page from a folder and lays it off to the side of the oily smear. "I just have that." A rubbing of a tombstone.

Well that's a portion of the puzzle filled in - namely who Beth's mother is, or who her mother will be next year, if the timeline continues on the way it is. "I…I never got to see her. Only after." There's a disdainful snort. After she died, apparently, the man leaning down to look closely at the rubbing. There are so many questions - how she got this rubbing first and foremost, but he doesn't ask them. "Apparently I had a picture of her and when I was taken by the DoEA, they crushed it, so…I really only remember that one snippet of her face." He lets out a soft breath. "She was so little. I still remember the feelings I had looking at that image."

The slight twitch of her eyebrow goes noticed, but is not mentioned. It's what Jaiden does, after all. "It's nice…"

"I think Nick bought it for her, he wasn't at her funeral— I remember that much but he brought me after." Delia doesn't look up at him or even at the xerox, the black white and greys of it depress her, preferring the color and texture of the wax to the impersonal feel of the carbon copy.

Her fingers are still a little oily when she pushes it toward him, leaving two little circular prints on the paper. "You can keep it if you want, I— I don't want to look at it." It's dismissive, an invitation for him to leave before she breaks down or withdraws into her shell. Either way, Delia doesn't want Jaiden to see it. "I need to get a cloth to clean up before my boss gets back. I- I'll see you around."

"I don't remember much from the dream…just the intense feeling that she was close to both of us, and we were together when it all happened. Amazing what you can get from just a few minutes of a dream, isn't it?" Jaiden looks down at the paper, the two fingerprints seeping into the hastily photocopied sheet, the finality of the birth, the death - everything that was a life, boiled down into one single sheet of paper. He reaches out and turns it over, the black and white turning to the simple white of plain copy paper, without sign of what is printed on the other side.

"Where did you get this from, Delia?" A simple question, and Jaiden shows no sign of leaving unless Delia orders him to go. "I have a theory, but I need to know your answer before I let anything else out. And…have you had any other dreams that I need to know about? That might help piece this puzzle together any more?"

"Lots of people have had dreams," another defensive statement from the dreamwalker who, while not claiming responsibility isn't letting loose any details of where she might have found the xerox or who she got it from. "J-just put it out of your mind, the feelings you had for her. It's not possible that she even happens now. It's too late." Delia voice wavers a little and her eyebrows tug together into a tight vee, a sharp look directed at the Australian. Mostly to keep the tears from welling in her eyes.

She turns her back on him a moment later, folding her arms across her front before she storms behind the velvet curtain which partitions the store. Water can be heard running and in a moment, she's returned with a soapy rag to begin trying to get the oil off the glass counter top. Seeing Jaiden still there, she heaves a long sigh and flits a glance toward the door before focusing on him again. "Listen, just let the dreams happen and use them as a warning. Like the visions before the riots."

"I think my common thread of 'Fuck time travel' still applies here." Jaiden sighs, pinching his brow, watching her disappear into the back and remaining where he is. "Delia…the feelings I have for Beth." He specifically uses her name, not her, not the baby, making it seem that she's not an afterthought. That it can actually still happen, no matter what happens.

"The feelings I have for Beth - the potential that you and I have her, still…" He shrugs slightly. "I should have fallen from a helicopter to my death. I should have died in Korea. I should have died many times, but here I am. Here you are. And I do listen to the dreams and use them as a warning - it's why I'm here, after all." He leans on the counter, reaching out to take her wrist to still her for cleaning, to have her look at him. "What did the dream you sent me mean? Why were you lying there, with your heart cut out? I think I know, but….I want to hear it from you.

It works.

At first she stares down at the hand clamped around her wrist and then Delia's blue eyes slowly drift up to meet Jaiden's green ones. Her eyebrows are still furrowed angrily and with one jerky twitch of her head, she dismisses the possibility he brought up.


There's a quiet anger in that one word, a bitterness that seems to fit her like skin. "No," she repeats, accompanying it with a shake of her head. "If she's born, she going to be sick and she's going to die. You can't give a flu vaccine to a baby that small, it would kill her." Even though she died anyway. "The only reason I would have her is a selfish one and that's not good enough."

It's not clamped - a light grip that's easily broken with a slight pull, twist, yank, or tug. He's not holding her there in any way, and at that look, at that final-sounding 'No,' he slides his hand over the counter and remains standing there, hands hooked in the beltloops of his jeans, watching her.

"That's not a good reason, Delia." Jaiden's voice is soft. "The chance that she dies is there. It's there, every day, for every one in the world. And if you had her? It would be because you wanted to be a mother. And you'd be a good one, too. I talked to someone with knowledge of that." Jaiden tips his hand just a little. "I talked with someone who said that, when Beth died, it tore you up terribly. She was small to begin with, but the flu, from what I know, was the end of it. But it doesn't need to be that way, Delia..it doesn't have to be like that. The future changes. That's something we've seen hundreds of time, and probably a million times more that we don't know about." Jaiden leans against the counter.

"And not giving her the chance means that she's never born."

The implication? Isn't that like killing her?

"I'm a good mother because I was torn up?" Delia squints at Jaiden and clenches her jaw tightly, pursing her lips. "Of course I'd be torn up…" She still torn up about her own mother. "Who did you talk to? Who told you about me?" There's a little bit of anger there, maybe due to the fact that she's already being whispered about for something that hasn't happened yet. I'm so sorry Delia, the words that she already hates hearing and they haven't even been spoken.

"It can't happen, not between us. I'm sorry." The words are spoken like a recording, automated and impersonal. "I don't want to live my whole life hurting because she died. I want to be a good mother to any children I have after and not make them feel like— feel like there's a hole in me."

Jaiden could tell her where he heard about Delia - but let's be honest, telling someone that you've spoken, face to face, with your son from 2040 who came back in time to help make things right in a Quantum Leap-esque situation does kind of come off as crazy. So he doesn't. Not yet, at least.

"It can happen, Delia. It has happened, according to that bit of paper." He indicates the sheet on the counter, face down, taking a step back from the counter, taking a short breath to organize his thoughts a bit better. "Look….Delia." his voice goes calm again. "I can't tell you who told me, I'm sorry, but I only know what the dreams told me and what I feel. And I feel that if that does happen, it can be changed. That we'll see her first steps. Her first date. Her wedding. All of that important stuff."

"You're a good mother because of the woman who raised you. Because of the way you care so deeply about people. Because of who you are from the experiences you have. I was with you long enough to know how much love you have in you.”

"I can't Jaiden, I'm sorry," the repetition is quiet, resigned and with a slight shake of her head, Delia looks away. "Not just because of her, not just because she dies and it'll hurt. It's because the entire time I'm with you, I'll be thinking about Nick. Just having her isn't a good reason to me to bring a child into the world, especially this one."

Shaking her head again, she begins wiping small circles on the glass, clearing away the pungent oil from its surface. "Maybe if I had listened to Jasmine the first time, when I got lost. I wouldn't have stayed with Nick for so long…" She shrugs and presses her lips together tightly, refusing to look at the Australian at all. "I did think about it though, I thought hard about it. If it's meant to be, it'll happen, right? If it's not… then it won't."

The redhead turns her back to him then and pulls the velvet curtain open. Not once does she look over her shoulder at Jaiden as she walks through, holding it open just enough so that he can hear her voice. “You should go now, I don’t want to fight. Just don’t get your hopes up about her.”

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