A Close Scrape


merlyn_icon.gif wright_icon.gif

Scene Title A Close Scrape
Synopsis Merlyn turns to Wright in the wake of a stressful morning only to find her in bad shape as well.
Date June 17, 2021

Smol Wife
Thursday, June 17, 2021 ᛫ 8:45 pm
Please tell me one of the two of you had a nice, fantastic, relaxing day.
8:45 pm
You’re leaving me in agony here. Day was that bad?
Are you ok?
Not really. Job went very unexpectedly.
I mean, I’m fine but
Also not?
Do you need assistance? How bad
Are you safe
No assistance needed, it’s over now
I’m safe, Joey’s got my back, I’m just shaken
I realize that I’m on Governor’s island, but if you feel the need to talk about it you could come here
It would have to be about pzza though
This is Wright, sorry
I’m supposed to be laying low but I suppose it’s pretty damn safe there
Are you okay though?
You being Wright in this case
Laying low probbly a better idea
I’m fine
Just haven’t slept in seven days lol
Either of us
Jfc why aren’t you sleeping
I’m fine is not a proper answer to that
Constant, superbad ptsd nightmares
The usual
Just kidding this hasnt been problem for years
I know we were talking about me but
Is there anything I can do? I really could come by if you’d feel better having someone familiar there
We could chear each othe up
Hold on, I’ll be right there
If they let me in
I’ll tell them you’re coming
I can get a ferry schedule if that helps
Nope, I got this. I’ll be there as soon as I can.
It’s smoky out

Governor’s Island

Smoke is everywhere these days, but it barely registers to Wright as anything other than a stinging in her eyes. She expects the ferry to transfer a bumping sensation into her unsteady legs when it meets the dock, and wonders why it doesn’t. Merlyn is on this one, she thinks, pulling her scarf around her mouth. She’s bundled up against the smoke, but mostly against people’s comments that she looks like she’s been awake for an entire week. She waves, belatedly, to Merlyn a few moments after spotting the woman.

Smoke or not, laying low or not, Merlyn determinedly steps off the ferry and waves in Wright’s direction before wasting no time in heading that direction. “You wanna sit somewhere before you fall over?” She suggests, cracking a smile that doesn’t quite make it to her eyes. It could be the worry over both Wright and Elliot, the fact that Merlyn is incredibly shaken up, or some mix of the two making it harder to bring her usual humor and levity to things.

Wright laughs. "I’ll be fine,” she assures Merlyn. “But we should go for a walk around the island for a bit.” She doesn’t move in the direction of Fort Jay and its security check-in. She keeps distance between herself and Elliot’s wife, trying not to think too hard about whether or not Merlyn is safe, because it would be heartbreaking to find out he isn’t.

“I could go for a walk,” Merlyn agrees, glancing from the checkpoint back to Wright. “I bet it’s nice to be walking around somewhere outside despite the smoke.” Her tone is pleasant, even if she’s not at all trying to hide the concern in her voice. “It’s good to see you, even if it’s under these conditions.”

"It's good to see you too!" Wright agrees, though she makes no movement that would suggest a traditional hug. "Elliot is especially happy about it. Something about your whole face, he doesn't make a lot of sense when he sees you." The path that leads away from the ferry accesses a street, and Wright leads them along the side of it while cleaving close to the water.

Merlyn makes no move to make a hug. There’s that respectful distance she keeps. If Wright wants to, the option is always open, and she’ll remain respectful either way. “I miss seeing his face too. I love that he gets confusing too. Nice to know I’ve got that effect over a long distance.” She pauses. “You’re great to see too, Wright. Honestly you’re a beacon of safety for me, as weird as that sounds.”

She walks, following Wright’s lead down the path. “I figured this was easier for the both of you, given how unfocused you seemed in the texts. You know I’m worried as fuck now, right? A week without sleep is crazy dangerous.” Not that she hasn’t recently been in danger herself.

"No hallucinations yet!" Wright is happy to report. She fishes her phone from her pocket and taps through her security, getting lost in it for a minute. She stops, attempts to remember what she took her phone out for, then remembers with frustration. She picks up the pace again. "Honestly hallucinations would probably be better than nightmares at this point. Sorry I'm not great beacon-of-safety material right now." Finding what she's looking for, she presses play to release a stream of white nose from her phone, maxing out the volume.

“No, honestly, just being around makes a difference,” Merlyn says, though she frowns at the thought of hallucinations. “Do you know you can get permanent brain damage if you go too long without sleep? Personality changes and everything.” That worry lingers as she watches Wright. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

“I mean there has been some sleeping,” Wright says, “In little bits where I’m not paying attention and nod off, but the nightmares are real works of art. So I’m going to have to risk it.”

Her travel doesn’t stop, taking them further away from the populated sections of the island, onto a side road. “How about you, what happened today?”

“I had a job. It was supposed to be a b&e, just grabbing some personal things from a safe house. Guy wouldn’t be around at all, I get the stuff, drop it at a location, and lay low. At least that’s what I was told the job was. I don’t even normally take jobs like that, but the guy had heard of me and wanted me to do it for some damn reason.”

Merlyn exhales, then adjusts her scarf up over her mouth a bit to avoid inhaling the sharp scent of smoke as much as they walk. “So imagine my surprise when I get in there and I hear someone else coming down to the safe room I found. Dead fucking end, nowhere to go.”

“Jesus christ,” Wright says, pinching at her brow and weaving between buildings to break line of sight with the street. “You are here and safe and that is a huge positive right now, but continue.”

“So, the shotgun I found in there was unloaded, and I figured I’d smack whomever it was in the head and make a run for it. Or as much of a run as you can get shimmying behind a furnace.” Merlyn follows Wright’s lead, allowing her to direct them as she simply walks. The story is just distressing enough to recall that she might make herself lost otherwise.

“I got him good in the head, I’m really proud of that hit, but you don’t really stand much of a chance if the fucker turns out to have telekinesis. Before I could even do anything else I was already held off my feet against the wall. I was really and truly fucked.”

Wright visibly pales, despite her already pallid complexion. A telekinetic hiding in a safe house. “Jesus Chriiiiist Merlyn,” Wright says, audibly manic. “Please continue.”

Merlyn continues, “So I tried my best to calm him down, I was trying to get him to chat before he squeezed me like a tube of toothpaste in his words. I name dropped my employer, simply because he’d said if things went tits up I could just blame it all on him. Telekinetic guy seemed confused as fuck but he can’t be for long because he’s suddenly just shot in the head. By my fucking asshole employer.”

Here, her voice starts to crack a little. “Never watched anyone get shot in the head before. It was close enough my ears were ringing for a solid minute or something. Then I had to have a whole conversation and somehow ignore the corpse on the floor.” She swallows hard and her voice shifts to something more tense.

“Turns out he used me as a decoy so he could lure the guy out and kill him. He even has the audacity to tell me not to take a job where the money’s too good next time. As if somehow this were some sort of lesson for me in the middle of a fucking murder.”

Wright stops, reaches out toward Merlyn, retracts her hand, blinks, clenches her fists, then tentatively reaches out to pull Merlyn into a hug.

To her credit, Merlyn doesn’t cry. Had she not done so earlier, when she was alone, she might have from the hug. She contains it, though, and she leans into the much-needed hug. “Fuck, I was stupid to get into the middle of that. I should have seen that coming.”

"It sounds like you were lied to about what the job entailed," Wright says. "Don't beat yourself up because your employer wasn't up front about what they expected from a pickup and delivery." She gives Merlyn a tight squeeze before letting go. Not wanting to stay in one place for too long, she leads them between buildings and in another direction.

“He gave me double, then had me do the drop anyway,” Merlyn says as she follows. “At least now I know who to avoid, should he come knocking.” She settles her gaze on Wright. “Sorry for the surprise visit and everything. You had me worried. You still do.”

Wright laughs in an unhealthy way. "Yeah I absolutely require sleep," she agrees, "but I can't make myself do it. If one of us falls asleep the other one probably will too and then it's just more nightmares. Double pay is cool though!" She pauses on the sidewalk to reorient herself, they're not terribly far from the ferry yet.

“I get it. You’ve got to face the nightmares at some point, though. You can’t stop sleeping forever. I honestly wish there was something I could do to help you both.” Merlyn shrugs her shoulders helplessly. “If there’s anything I can do to help whatsoever, day or night, let me know.”

Wright shrugs dramatically, helplessly. “I don’t know,” she says. She spends a moment trying to think of what to do from here, what help Merlyn could be to them, but no thoughts helpfully emerge.

“I could get you a pass to access the building with my room in it,” she says. “We could hang out but we couldn’t talk about pizza. Safe to assume my room is bugged.” She doesn’t sound paranoid when she says it.

“Oh, I never talk about pizza in mixed company,” Merlyn cracks a smile, then studies Wright seriously for a moment or two. “I could hang out, if you’re cool with that. It might help me to have the company, but I don’t know if it helps you. There’s, I dunno, a sense of safety? Not like… physical safety.” She seems a little frustrated at herself for not finding the words she wants. Usually, words aren’t a problem for her. Now, though, she’s off her game.

“I’m here to help you too, you know?”

Wright is silent for a moment, and when she looks back to Merlyn, it seems like she’d forgotten the other woman was standing there for a moment. “Hopefully if the desk people give us any trouble I can wrangle a DOE employee to expedite your hall pass, Mrs. Hitchens.” she giggles and turns back for the main entrance. “If they give you any shit, you just start shouting, ‘Do you know who my husband is?’ and I’ll…” She loses track of wherever that thought was headed, then shrugs.

Merlyn grins broadly at the suggestion of her husband and the idea of pulling a 'Karen' while waving around the idea of being Mrs. Hitchens. Still a strange and exciting experience even when Elliot wasn't physically around. "Yeah, I think the name Hitchens is the only pull I really have. On my own my name and face aren't really any good in any non-pizza spaces. But I can sure put on an act and charm the pants off anyone in my way if I have to." She pauses. "Not literally going to charm pants off of anyone here, but you get my phrasing."

"Excuse me," Wright says irritably, "your face is very good in spaces both pizza and non. Top ten faces easy." It's clear she won't hear otherwise.

As they shamble closer to the building she sighs. "Keep the charm on deck though," she adds. "If pants need coming off, I'm certainly not charming them that way looking like a walk-on in a made for TV zombie movie."

“Top ten, huh? I’ll have to make sure to remember that on rough days,” Merlyn says, her tone a little lighter. She’s finding levity in the humor again—definitely something she has in common with Elliot. “Charm is always ready and prepared. Hell, if I didn’t have it ready to go I’d wonder what happened to make the world delve into chaos.”

She cracks a smile at Wright. “Don’t sell yourself short, some people might be into that zombie thing. I imagine it’d be hard to focus on being charming when you’re that tired though.”

Wright dry heaves playfully. "Ugh," she exasperates, "Monster fuckers. No room in my life. Don't trust 'em. And I realize I'm the monster in this scenario, which should make it awkward but I realize my hands haven't been steady enough to do much about it with makeup. I tried and came out looking like I'd been on a bender."

Wright stops within view of the fort's main entrance, unsure how to proceed. "I guess we just go in and give 'em the old razzle dazzle, then," she says.

“I’m not the best at makeup, but if you ever need a touch up so people actually remember you’re alive, I’ve got some tips,” Merlyn says with a laugh, then looking over to the other woman. “I know just enough to make it look like something more realistic.”

She waits a full minute before she looks at Wright. “I’m prepared for everything, so don’t worry too much about not being the most pants prepared.”

"Well if I finally fall asleep for real, I'll probably need to take my pants off," Wright says. "So at least somebody gets to."

It would be generous to describe Wright's quarters as modest. It's an improvement from the cot that still takes up space in her conference room, but it's smaller and feels barren despite the mess she's made of it. A suitcase is open on the floor, filled with clothing both folded and crumpled. Clothes continue to spoil from it, crawling the floor and climbing higher surfaces. A utilitarian bunk bed provides sleeping space for SESA agents whose responsibilities unexpectedly keep them on the island while waiting for deployment. There's a flat particle board desk littered with makeup kits, books, cups, and a coffee maker that appears to have been stolen from elsewhere.

"Don't mind the mess," Wright pleads as she closes the door behind her guest. "It was clean once but nobody is the boss of me so I've reached the 'fuck it' stage."

“Hey, I never judge someone who hasn’t had time to clean up for a guest,” Merlyn replies with a laugh. “You are absolutely allowed to keep it a mess, too. Making yourself comfortable is the most important thing in the midst of it.” She glances around for a long moment, something clearly processing in her head as she does.

“You’re gonna be stuck here for quite a while, huh? Anything I can bring you to make this place more comfortable and cozy?”

Wright looks around the space, unable to think of anything that could possibly turn this closet into a liveable space, then shakes her head. “They wouldn’t let you move in,” she laments, “and I’ll be out of here probably in the next week. With the fires encroaching, the department’s probably going to relocate to KC any day now. Marthe is visiting tomorrow with the Tiny Baby Ames, which is horrifying to comprehend in my current state.”

“Not like you don’t have my number if you need something,” Merlyn laughs, trying to offer a bit of a smile. “KC is a touch harder to get to, but my schedule can be very fluid. If you ever need the company for any reason, I’d be here in a heartbeat. For both of you.” The emphasis seems important to her. “Fuck, I can’t imagine seeing those two when you’re like this.”

Her gaze roams Wright worriedly. “Maybe you’ll get some sleep tonight and it’ll be nice to see your family. One can hope, after all.” It might be wishful thinking, but she doesn’t like the idea of any more complications in the situation.

The idea of Merlyn being close by sends a relief through Elliot that then trickles through Wright. “I’m sure we’d both appreciate that,” Wright says of the offer, looking down at her bed to hide the way her eyes lose focus for a moment. It’s been a long time since she streamed the perspective of somebody who lost consciousness, which Elliot suddenly does. She feels his equilibrium plummet only to have him force himself to stand upright. He blinks purposefully and with force, taps the hallway wall with his fist, repeatedly, in irritation.

Hey, Wright says, in a way that shouldn’t hold a slur but projects vodka.


Elliot slumps back against the wall, scrubs at his face forcefully. “What the fuck?” Wright says, eyes still elsewhere. “I was… Was that a hallucination?”

The good thing is, Merlyn is aware of some of how the Network works. So Wright zoning out a little doesn’t alarm her at first, though she does take a step closer in case there’s a chance she might need to be used as an anchor to physically allow Wright to stay upright. She doesn’t touch, though, simply letting things play out with her presence being there if she’s needed.


The bad thing is, Merlyn doesn’t have an easy way to help. SLC abilities are way beyond her scope of experience, not to mention something as mentally based as the Network. Instead, she just stays ready in case there is something she can help with.

"Might have gotten a little too comfortable," Wright says, then laughs. "Elliot kinda just fell asleep standing. He's making his way somewhere safe right now." Her hands shake a bit, and she sits on the side of the bed looking anxious and distracted.

"I'm sorry," she suddenly says regretfully. "This sucks, I realize. I didn't mean to drag you into it. I may not be off much use to you if he falls asleep. Bad day consolation useful, that is. Probably going to black out when he does at this point. It has been a week."

“Nonono,” Merlyn says quickly. “Being able to see you has been great. I’ve gotten to be around people I feel safe with so it’s been worth it. Joey’s around, so I have somewhere safe and comfortable. No apologies for the sleepiness necessary. Hell, I feel better knowing the two of you are actually gonna crash for a bit.”

She wets her lips for a moment before her smile brightens. “I can stay until you both crash, and given how tired you seem I can imagine it won’t be long.”

"I would like that," Wright says despite her attention remaining distant. She sits on the edge of the bed, mind a world away as she tries to remember how one gets ready to go to sleep. She looks up at Being and smiles warmly, belatedly. "I'll probably just wake up from a nightmare and scream though. Please don't take it personally if I do some moderate to severe freaking out." She laughs again, apologetically.

“Hey, no worries if you do. Not like it’s the first time I’ve sat with someone with nightmares. Might startle me from the jump scare, but it’s never personal,” Merlyn says, her tone casual. She’s relaxed now even if Wright might not be. This is a much more comfortable place than in a telekinetic’s grasp, so pretty anywhere that feels remotely safe is putting her at ease.

“Black box,” Wright says, anxious that any effort on Elliot's part to stay in her perspective will waste what energy he needs to get to safety. She feels him recede, but he will feel her remain. She looks to her feet, her shoes, and begins to clumsily kick them free.

"The locket is surprisingly comfortable," she says next without explanation for her previous words. "But it's got a nice heft to it. He's not watching right now but he has that."

The prior words don’t seem to bother Merlyn too much. Given the way Wright and Elliot communicate, plus the fact that they’re both badly in need of sleep, Wright saying anything weird is absolutely par for the course. She leans over, collecting Wright’s shoes and neatly setting them down next to the bunk.

The mention of the locket brings up a swell of emotion that Merlyn wasn’t expecting, and she swallows hard at the words. “That honestly means a lot, knowing that’s there with him. I know it’s not some kind of good luck charm, but I hope somehow it keeps him safe.” Her hand reflexively touches where her bracelet rests under her sleeve, reminded briefly of the exchanging of jewelry. Her hand drops back to her side before she can think too hard about the emotions behind it.

“I know I don’t need to thank you for watching out for him, but I’m going to anyway,” Merlyn says with the tiniest hint of a smile. “I’m also going to thank you for looking out for me. I know you think you’re bad company because of the whole sleep deprivation thing, but I feel a lot safer. A lot more than I did before, and a lot more than I realized I needed.”

She rubs at the back of her neck. “I’m going to stop babbling now. The cute and awkward babbling is Elliot’s job.”/

Wright smiles warmly throughout Merlyn’s assistance and explanations. “No,” she disagrees, “never stop, please and thank you. You will both be adorable or else.” She reaches out, closes her hand into a fist, then reopens it to take Merlyn gently by the wrist where the bracelet sits. She focuses on it for just a moment to remember for Elliot, then lets go.

She thrashes at her jacket for a moment before dropping it on the floor and going for the hem of her hoodie. Pausing, she blushes and clears her throat. “How uhhhh,” she begins, then shakes her head. “I should put on pajamas or something.”

Merlyn almost seems reverently thoughtful as Wright focuses on the bracelet. Once the jacket is abandoned, she hangs it over on the back of the chair at the desk. "Pajamas would be good, I would imagine," she says with a laugh. "Don't worry, I'll turn my back to give you your privacy. You can ask for help if your head gets stuck in an arm hole or something."

Wright trusts Merlyn to follow through, shucking all of her upper layers of which there are more than she remembers putting on. She stands to lose her pants next, which remain where they fall as she steps out of them to her open suitcase. She studies the heap of clothing there, pawing through it confusedly for a moment before humming.

“So uhh,” she says, looking over her shoulder across the mess of the room, “They’re uh, dark green?”

"Dark green," Merlyn echoes, proceeding to search the room for anything pajama-like, keeping her back to Wright politely the entire time. "Okay, looking." As she does, she finds herself almost neatly arranging whatever she finds. "Do you want me to, I dunno, clean up while you rest? I know that sounds kinda weird, but I find I rest better in a clean space than an unorganized space." It gives her something to occupy herself with too.

Wright scoops up a soft t-shirt as Elliot collides with a passerby and stumbles toward the dock where Yeah Buoy is tied up. She slides the shirt on, better than nothing, then returns to her seat at the edge of the bed as she watches the final leg of Elliot’s journey. A shudder passes through her as he hits the cabin’s couch and blacks out before he can fully curl up on the short bench. “He’s asleep,” she says quietly. “Safe location.” Her eyelids feel like bricks. She’s already forgotten to answer Merlyn’s question.

The actual answer to the question isn’t needed, Merlyn plans on at least straightening some things before she leaves. She lets out a breath she didn’t know she was holding at the mention of Elliot being safe. She turns and offers Wright a tiny smile. She reaches around her to pull the covers back for her.

“You’re safe too, Wright. Get some sleep.”

Wright nods, watching Merlyn as she readies the bed for her. The other woman is kind and small, both high-ranking qualities in Wright's book. The closeness brings up memories of Elliot's powerful love for her, but also her own disgust at the thought of being touched. Merlyn is safe, isn't she? She's touched the other woman twice today, so she might be. She hates that she still shies away as she contorts to get under the covers. She hates that she wants to be held as she falls asleep. "Are you safe for me?" she hears herself ask as if from a great distance. Black sleep approaches, she's surrendered to the possibility of inescapable horror.

Even if the no touching felt a little bit of a strange askance, Merlyn was being respectful first and foremost. Once Wright is settled under the covers, she very carefully tucks the blankets in around her before she stands up fully. “Don’t worry about it,” she murmurs before standing up straight and assessing the full situation of Wright’s current living conditions.

It only takes a moment for Wright to show signs of sleep. It's likely she never heard Merlyn's response to her strange question.

The room is tiny and, while cluttered, not dirty. A week's worth of clothing is stored across the room in various states of cleanliness. Some articles are folded, some draped over the back of the chair. Some hang on a hook inside the door, some peek out from beneath the bed. Some are strewn about the floor with as much care as her recently discarded pants. Several appear to have been washed but never folded or returned to the suitcase she uses as a bureau.

The desk is covered with stacks of books and makeup, a combination vanity and study area. The books are a strange assortment of user manuals printed from scans; appliances and motors and boats.

Given that it just needs tidying, Merlyn takes her time. Clothes that need to be folded are, then carefully stacked in the suitcase, jackets are hung, worn clothes end up neatly in a pile. The desk is last and Merlyn neatly sets the makeup on one side with the books stacked on the other. As she finds the room fairly organized, she pulls the desk chair a touch closer to the bunk so she can be there if the sleep becomes troublesome.

Merlyn doesn’t really watch Wright sleep as much as she instead rests her eyes and keeps an ear out for anything that sounds like fitful sleep.

Wright sleeps like the dead for over an hour, still and tranquil. Eventually her eyes begin to flicker beneath the lids. She seems to be at peace despite it for several minutes. Whatever her nightmares have been, this doesn’t seem to be one of—her body tenses suddenly, and her breaths come more rapidly. Not the staggered gulps of air of a night terror, she seems alert, active the way she would be in combat in the waking world.

It's not much of a vigil, but Merlyn remains–there's something to be said about someone feeling safer if you're there and she feels just as much that this experience is for her as it is for Wright to have someone there. Mostly she relaxes, looking thoughtful, but it's the faster breath that catches her ear. She sits up a bit from her chair, bridging the small gap between it and the bed. That sort of sleep doesn't look restful in the slightest. It's fight or flight and that's never good in a dream.

She nudges the mattress of the bunk, trying to stir Wright from whatever fitful experience she's stuck in. "Hey, none of that on my watch, get yourself out of whatever that is and make sure Elliot does too," she says, giving the mattress a firmer shake just to make sure. She doesn't want to just directly shake Wright, not wanting to initiate the contact that seems to be a fairly important thing.

"Yeah, the door's reset now, that's a different sector," Wright says dreamily, relaxing and coming to. She looks confused for a moment, her words clearly not intended for Merlyn. That echo of Facilities is already fading from her mind as she tries to shudder away the fear that still seems to encroach from the gymnasium they just fled.

There's a moment taken to register that it's Merlyn in the room looking concerned for her, saving her from the nightmare. "Thank you," she says, then tentatively reaches out toward her partner's wife. "Thank you." She kept her safe from the Bad Memory, and even though she knows it won't be permanent, she desperately wants to cradle the other woman to herself while she can.

"May I…" she behind, then blushes, retracting her hand. "Sorry, but would it be cool if I got a hug right now?"

Merlyn sits on the edge of the bunk. “I would have hugged you immediately, I just wasn’t sure how okay you’d be,” she says, cracking a small smile. “I didn’t want to accidentally get hit in the face either. Accidental black eyes are not a good look on me.” She moves to hug the other woman as requested, looking like she might need it just as much.

Wright gently reaches out and takes Merlyn’s hand. She thinks of moving the covers to close the space to the other woman, but remembers she isn’t wearing pants right now and doesn’t want to make things weird. She’s only partially successful, forced to shimmy toward the end of the bed while remaining under covers and holding someone’s hand.

Awkwardness or not, Merlyn doesn't seem too bothered by it. Really, she's focusing on trying to give the comfort necessary for the situation. She cracks a smile, watching Wright for the moment. "You're gonna be okay, I imagine that it's all… not great in nightmares the both of you share, but if you ever need anything, even just a call, you know I'll be here in a second. Well, be where you are, given that you're not always going to be here in this exact physical location." She pauses. "Sorry, I'm babbling. I'm usually pretty good at catching myself when I do, but usually it's because I notice the other person's staring at me."

“I’ll stop staring then,” Wright says as she pulls Merlyn into a hug. “Please continue.” If she is serious in her desire for Merlyn to go on adorably at length, it’s somewhat undone by the way she crumples into her in exhaustion. Her breath catches like she’s waking up a second after making contact, and she has to release one arm to hold herself upright.

Merlyn laughs, but lets Wright sink in against her, moving to try and let herself be a support physically if needed. Or even if Wright needs to sleep again. “I can babble at you for hours, pretty much. I miss that with Elliot. He’s a strong competitor for ultimate babbler.” Really, she’s just hoping Wright will fall asleep again and sleep well. The babbling is just a stream of soft chatter to relax.

“Usually Joey’s good at reminding me I’m doing it so I stop, but I think she really lets me go on a bit before she stops me. She probably finds it just as amusing.” She pauses, letting there be a moment of silence where she just breathes.

“Hours,” Wright muses, sounding intrigued but barely lucid. “Whatever Joey doesn’t want you can save for me.” She disengages from the hug and once again awkwardly shuffles back to her previous position. She tucks herself in for modesty, then pats the bed beside her.

“Elliot is still sleeping,” she says, “but I think the worst is over. I think something changed. I think I can sleep.”

There's a small laugh from Merlyn at the words and she shifts so she can sit down next to Wright. She even does a little tuck in just for the humor of it, cracking a smile. The mention of Elliot being asleep gets a slow nod from her. "That's good. If the nightmares are at bay, even if it's just for a short period of time. If you want, I can stick with you another hour or so just to be sure you're actually getting the sleep you need?" She lets out a slow breath, her face seeming a little less concerned now that something changed.

Wright seems relieved to tears and can only nod at first. She sniffles, hiding her face in her hands as she works up the strength to keep her complicated emotions in check. She doesn’t do a good job of wiping away her tears, but she breathes in deeply to collect herself. “Elliot loves you like the light of the sun,” she whispers, pressing her hand over her heart. “I feel it all the time and it’s wonderful.”

Merlyn stays close on the bed, just in case another hug or something is needed, and her smile broadens at the words, though there's just the slightest glimmer of water at the edge of her eyes. "I was going to make a joke about how the sun is pretty hot but that's one of the most touching things anyone has ever said to me and I kinda don't want to ruin it. I don't get a lot of moments like this." Her smile turns into something a little fonder. "I'm glad you get to feel it. I know it's probably weird, feeling that… but if it's good, I'm able do some good for two people, and the world needs more of that shit."

She wipes away whatever moisture was collecting at the corner of her eyes and clears her throat. "I like knowing he's still got that connection even if he's not here. Like a piece of him is safe here with you." Merlyn glances down at her wrist, admiring the bracelet. "Maybe even a bit in here too, though I don't think it's quite as tangible as what you've got." A laugh bubbles up for a moment. "You get to feel what I feel too, in a way. We both get to feel how wonderful it is."

Wright hums in agreement, eyes closed. “The sun is hot as fuck though,” she says. “It’s okay to be correct about that.”

Her eyes open enough to reach out for the bracelet once more, not turning it over because the words aren’t for her and she already knows what they say. “This feels pretty tangible too, not gonna lie,” she chuckles. “Your locket feels equally invested with love. I feel that every time I stream his perspective.” Her breath is evening out, her touch becoming less intentional.

Merlyn is determined not to choke up, but it's clear by the way she swallows that it touched her. "Good. I hope it keeps him safe, or at least is there when he needs to be reminded of what it feels like to be here." She puts a hand over her heart, then smiles, clearing her throat again to regain all composure. "You rest for a while, I'll stick around for like another hour to double check that you're okay and then head back to Joey's."

Wright sleeps like the dead.

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