A Disturbance


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Scene Title A Disturbance
Synopsis Practice doesn't always make perfect. A leap of faith, aided by her mentor, sends Delia off without getting lost.
Date March 14, 2011

In Dreams — The Mind of Delia Ryans

The rising sun, nothing but a dim whitish blur against a gray sky. Delia's blue eyes are pointed toward it, as though it might be the first and last sunrise she'll ever see. At least from here. From below she looks nothing more than the size of an ant where she sits. Not that anyone is looking. No one ever does.

The pointed green crown of the statue has few places to sit comfortably, not that this particular seat is, it's just here. Like she is. Her white cotton sundress doesn't stain on the oxidized metal, maybe only because it's not real. None of it is. Not the sunrise, not the people, not the statue, not the crown… not the dress.

"It's not real…" she mutters to herself as she gathers the courage to try, just one more time, to let go of her fear. The thing that tethers her to this place and her body. Her movements are jerky and uncertain, not like in real life, not anymore. When she finally comes to a stand, her arms windmill in an attempt to keep her upright. She's tried countless times and this time, when she closes her eyes, holds her breath, and points her foot out into the air…

"It's not real, there's nothing to be afraid of."

The hand at her shoulder feels real enough.

"Are you sure?" Purrs catlike at her back, a familiar voice that always comes in moments unexpected. Atop the crown of the Statue of Liberty, Hokuto Ichihara seems suitably otherworldly, with ink black hair swirling fluid not in the wind, but as if underwater. Traditional Japanese formalwear looks out of place when juxtaposed against the Statue of Liberty's faded greens, the long sleeves of her kimono drifting in a more ethereal wind than would be at this altitude.

"I've seen people fall," Hokuto admits obliquely, stepping to Delia's side with the clack of wooden sandals, golden eyes angled over to the redhead beneath the dark fringe of her lashes. "Fall and not get up again." Those gold eyes turn to look down at the high drop from the statue's crown.

"Are you different?" Hokuto wonders aloud, in challenge. "Am I?"

The hand on her shoulder has Delia jerking forward with a start. The fall begins but the fright brings her back, quite literally in the blinkof an eye, she's standing exactly the spot she toppled from a moment ago. A frown is directed at her mentor, not a malicious one, simple frustration. "I did it before, back at the Lighthouse on the eighth, before I knew what it meant. Remember remember the eighth of November?" The poem is recited all wrong but it has more meaning to the redhead this way than the other.

"Before I knew what it meant, I would just float off of things like it … like it meant nothing." Looking down at her feet, the young woman makes the attempt at recreating something more real than what she has done in the past. The chill of the air, the cold of the metal against her bare feet, turning her toes red and purple. Eventually, if she doesn't make it out of there one way or another, they'll turn blue and then black. Even fall off. Then she would be without dream toes.

"I'm moving again," she emits softly, "this time with Mister Logan to Staten Island. Dad made a deal with him so I would get better… a favor. I took the favor because dad almost died. He's getting old and I think he's getting more careless."

That much has Hokuto's brows furrow in a knit of worry, golden eyes flicking over to Delia, then down to the great drop below. "Your father is many things, but reckless is certainly high on the list… when it comes to protecting his family." The hand on Delia's shoulder is removed, and Hokuto steps around behind her, moving to come and stand at her other side, an arm sliding around her waist as if to serve as gentle anchor.

"John's a terrible man with a good heart, deep down. When push comes to shove, he can actually be quite noble." Gold eyes view Delia side-long. "But push often does not come to shove, so much as push comes to run. If you can get John to look past his own cowardice, he's a strong, good man inside. He just… has a difficult past to get over."

Looking out to the vista of Manhattan bathed in warm sunlight, Hokuto tilts her head to the side, resting it on Delia's shoulder. Wisps of hair track across the lighter dressed and fairer skinned woman's shoulders, drip watery in places like spilled ink, then turn into brush-stroke threads again when caught on the ethereal breeze.

"A question," Hokuto asks of her student, "have you felt… a disturbance, of late? Dreams where memories do not belong?"

Delia's blue eyes widen at Hokuto's assessment of the Briton, her lips parting just a little in shock. "I— I thought that. I defended him against everyone, I knew he wasn't as horrible as… " Her eyebrows furrow and she presses her lips together in a tight line. "I saw some of his past, Hokuto, in the Nick's mind. They were— they were together.. then Mister Logan had him beaten for being in love with him." Still, the redhead seems relieved enough that she relaxes and wraps her arms around the smaller woman. "Thank you, for giving me that to hold onto again. I lost faith in him and got scared," scared enough to run away.

When the rays of the morning sun break through the clouds, illuminating the duo, Delia looks up at the blinding spotlight and shakes her head a little at the next question. "I've been focused. Focused on getting better, grounding myself, and helping someone very special. Besides, my range is much more diminished than it used to be when I didn't have a body." A reason for this. For jumping. "I'm sorry, I haven't felt anything stranger than usual, not really. Although… Elisabeth, the angel that sent me after Richard Cardinal— the older one— she had a strange dream. Said my dad had one too, like a premonition from the future."

Curling her freezing toes, Delia's head tilts down toward the ground to eye the tiny little shrubery and geometric landscaping. "Do you think I can help him? That I can make a difference to him?"

"Yes and no," Hokuto opines, though it isn't clear who she's referring to, much as it isn't clear who Delia's referring to. "Differences are made in small battles, not large wars. Take small steps, one at a time, because it's the small victories that are resisted the least. Then, before you know it, the war's over and your opponent hasn o idea why they lost so much ground, or when."

Looking down to Delia's foot, Hokuto's brows furrow thoughtfully, the corners of her mouth downturning into a frown. "Jasmine is still out there," warns the dreamwalker, resting her chin briefly on the younger woman's shoulder before leaning away, fingers gliding across the small of Delia's back. "Finding her hasn't proven easy, I don't think she much likes me, and I've a hit and miss record with hunting down the locations of other dreamwalkers as of late."

A thoughtful look is offered from foot to eyes, then back again. "You may need that," Hokuto admits, "if you're going to go find her."

It isn't worded like a request.

"Jasmine…" Delia breathes in echo to Hokuto's statement. "Is she in trouble? I— I haven't seen much of her since I woke up. She came for hot chocolate, in a dream, we talked. I don't think it's that she doesn't like you as much as she's afraid of what you can do." A one shouldered shrug accompanies the small statement, a habit borrowed from someone else.

Whether it's what Hokuto wanted or whether it's just a play of words that Delia mistoook the meaning for something that it shouldn't have been. She gives a small smile to Hokuto before she takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. Unlike before, there's an expression of serenity on her face instead of determination. Something that she had before she knew all about this falling business and getting lost. "I'll try to find her, she seems to like me."

Letting go of her mentor, she holds her hands out to her sides, palms up, like she saw in a movie not too long ago. Instead of stepping, she simply tips forward and allows the gravity to take her where it will.

As Delia slips away from Liberty's crown, Hokuto reaches out into the air where she was, gold eyes wide for only a moment, as if unaware of the delineation between waking and dreaming. Pale fingers curl in the air, and Hokuto slowly casts her eyes down towards where Delia falls, watching the white of her sundress fluttering in the breeze, watching coppery hair flowing like a wild mane back from her head as she sails towards the concrete below.

Her mentor's eyes narrow, golden crescents behind dark lashes. When Delia hits the ground, there's a splash and a plume as if she'd struck the surface of water. Concrete ripples like the surface of a disturbed pond, continues up the metal folds of lady liberty's robe.

Hokuto turns her back once the ripples have subsided, arms folding around herself and eyes upturned towards the clear sky.

"Jasmine…" comes as a whisper on Hokuto's lips; curious and distrustful all in one.

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