A Good Night's Sleep


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Scene Title A Good Night's Sleep
Synopsis In the aftermath of an encounter with the Nightmare Man, Logan summons some help, and winds up promising his own instead.
Date December 23, 2009


Blood had felt stunningly hot in contrast to the icy melt of snow. Steam rising off exposed innards as readily as thin breathing creates the same effect, or cigarette smoke, and it's a messy job but someone's got to do it. Logan had only been permitted to breathe, with a visible shiver of spongy lungs, in and out and crumpling as if he wasn't pulling in enough air. He'd known not a sense of relief when Flint Deckard had left him there, for all that he should — dripping knife and pinstripe wool, eyes that flash electric blue and skin that shimmers into translucency to display bones within, lit up and bright white, gone with a crunching of boots through ice.

No relief, because Logan had seen the huddling of ravens in the trees, hunch back skulking things. As soon as one goes in to feast, the others will swarm. So he'd fled.

Unable to run, the world had simply changed to something the very opposite of the winter park, naked branches and night sky glimmering with stars and falling snow both. No, now the blue sky above stretches on and on in a dome, the reverse of a Christmas ornament for all that it shines without flaw of cloud or scratch. The desert is white, stretches like bedsheets on and on, glittering like sugar with its dustier debris blowing off it as fine as cocaine. Blue and white. It was all he could do at a rush, as he uses numb hands to try and pull his fine, blooded jacket over his ruined chest, and resist curling up completely.

Another had come, and with the point of a golden sword, had drawn an octagon around Logan's prone form, and had claimed it was a circle of power that would keep the vultures away, as much as they're free of ravens. He claims, too, that it has magic enough to summon the shadow witch. He'd more or less gone ignored.

"Hokuto." In the impossible desert, it seems impossible that such a thinly whispered name could ever be heard, and Logan doesn't even know the way so many dreams stretch out like stars in the sky, that he is just one. Still, Logan can trust names have power — and he'd been given this one. "Hokuto, you stupid bitch, come back." His voice is as cracked as the stone that lies beneath softer sand.

"That's not very nice," says the bleached white stones under Logan's feet, breaching the sand by just a few inches, egg-smooth and round stones revealed by a gust of wind. "You should mind your language." The wind picks up, blowing hot and stinging grains of sand across Logan's form, swirling up into the wind and coalescing into waves of undulating black. Even when the wind stops, that black sand refuses to crease its movement, not until it has taken the texture of wet ink in the air, streaked with white as bleached as those stones, skin equally pale and hair equally inky. The blindfold is a familiar touch, and ash dark lips creep into a weary smile.

"Someone might call this penance," the dream-weaver whispers, her wooden sandals clacking across the stones, too hollow sounding to be natural. "Others might just say something like just desserts." Black brows lift up over the ragged trim of the blindfold, thin arms swathed in wide sleeves fold across her chest. She leans towards Logan, arm posture and the plunging neckline of her kimono emphasizing her bust in a way only John Logan's dreams could manage, contrast afforded to the mandala and spiral tatoo at her breastbone.

"Why did you call for me?" She's teasing him, he's very upset and she's teasing him.

His hands are rigid around the hems of his jacket, keeping it clasped tight around him upon standing. Logic dictates that even the most expensive of fabric would do little to hem in loose organs, but this isn't really a place for logic. In dreaming, you can hold yourself together with whatever is at your disposal. Right now, all Logan wants to do is keep desert grit out of his injury, eyes squinting when the wind kicks up, when she flows into being with a familiarity that rests him assured, and enough creativity that he can know he didn't invent her himself.

"Abigail said you'd come when called. I want to know what it is you think you're doing." He takes a step forward, his shoes expensive but plain, if inappropriate for desert treks. "I either don't sleep at all or I dream about— about being ripped apart and beaten." And unless the organ reaper had felt it necessary to leave bruises marking Logan's face, or a blow to the head that spatters clotted red through golden curls—

They don't seem to be going away. The gun in his hand is almost like a natural extension of himself, a silver revolver that he levels at the woman, cleavage and all. "Make it stop."

Lifting her shoulders up and rubbing her palms across her arms, Hokuto quirks her head to the side and cants one dark brow. She gives the request some serious consider— "No." Okay so perhaps it was rather quick. "Not to be cruel to you, John, but the bad dreams I afforded you are entirely of your own devising, especially anything involving your family." Her brown eyes angle down to the sand when the wind picks up again, more of those white stones revealed.

"Whatever… else you've been having?" Her attention lifts from the rocks to Logan. "That's not my doing, though I have— " Hokuto's words cut out entirely, the wind stops, and she looks at Logan with a rather withering expression, accompanied by a graying of the skies, what at first seems like a merciful overcast relief from the blistering hot sun, until the boom of a thunderhead is heard rolling behind it. "When did you talk to Abigail?"

The tone indicates a very you should not have quality. He's quite used to it.

Logan sets his mouth in a line at that accusation, pale eyes blazing with anger as much as he doesn't pull the trigger. He'd always been quick to do that, notoriously so in younger years, but he holds back as he darts an uncertain look, skywards. The octogon drawn in the sand is more or less smudged away from the shifting winds, and it's certainly not going to protect him from any storms, even if it works against flesh-eating birds. "She came to me," he says, managing to lever out the harshness from his voice, tone quiet. "To tell me I wasn't worth it anymore."

The gun lowers a fraction, enough that he'd shoot around her legs as opposed to her chest, should he choose to pull the trigger. It seems to be the last thing on his mind. "I dreamed about Deckard just now. I dreamed of Nicholas. I haven't even thought about him until— " Breath slices between gritted teeth in a sharp inhale, resentment angling his expression."Until that fucking Refrain trip. I feel like I'm coming apart at the edges.

"And I've not done anything wrong in— ages." Weeks, even! "Why won't you stop it?"

"Why don't you?" Hokuto asks in that infuriating manner that seers do in fiction, her head tilting to the side, one brow raised. "Because you cannot and I do not for the same reason, because I cannot. That you and I are even able to met here in this place," a pale hand motions around to the desert, "is because he isn't watching you right now. Unfortunately that means someone else is suffering in your place, but I suppose you're no stranger to that." As the storm winds blow harder, holes in those large white rocks are revealed, filled with sand but slowly emptying. "I am not the only person who travels dreams, and I am not the only person who influences them."

Taking a step across those rocks, the wind finally reveals them for what they are, cracked and broken skulls dotting the desert sands, bleached white by the scouring of the sand and the burning of the sun. "That you know my name and to look for me, though, and that you've…" she looks to the mark in the sand, then back to Logan, "protected yourself, means that you might not be as entirely hopeless in this situation as I'd imagined."

Up closer, Logan can see the detail of weakness coursing through her. Tiny tremors in her fingers, dark circles under her eyes evident only at close distance, and a tension in her posture that indicates fatigue and malaise. She's putting up a tougher front than she can back up.

Domes of skulls, broken toothed, halved, bleached by sun and picked clean, stare shattered sockets up at the two dreamers in a way that suggests as much comprehension as it does emptiness. Logan takes a step back, reattaching his attention to her — and she promptly finds herself under scrutiny around the same time he's believing her. That she can't help him. Denial clenches his jaw but no protest is voiced, and he doesn't take heart in her observation either. But someone else does.

"I told you."

It's Logan's voice, but it doesn't come from the man in front of her. He only breathes out a sigh, exasperated, and tucks his gun back into some hidden holster. The nightmare of moments ago seems to have faded from immediate recollection, because guts don't immediately spill out, as much as his shirt is stained and crusted with blood. A foot steps sounds, carelessly spintering desert bone beneath his foot.

The new arrival is certainly Logan, but in contrast to the silver revolver— if just as impractical— is solid metal, shining gold beneath the sun, a short sword of sharp edges and an elaborate hilt. His appearance marks how drab the other one is, as much as the cut of his clothing is expensive — dull black and navy in contrast to the silken white of his shirt, not a trace of blood anywhere, trousers of a similar milky tone and shining black boots that travel up to the knees. Thin ropes of gold and silver decorate his wrists and throat, rings on his fingers. Dilute green eyes are more like cut emeralds, and he holds himself as if he's never seen injury. A slow, appraising look up and down Hokuto ensues, as he begins to pace in a wolfish circle around her.

"I told them both we didn't need you, although your company is certainly welcome, my love. If you'd like to help defend the kingdom, I would be most honoured — as much as I was convinced you had opened the gate to our enemy." Traces of South London Cockney are gone in favour of received pronunciation, noble and defined.

Meanwhile, the other is simply taking out his cigarette case and lighting up, struggling with his lighter against desert winds.

She wilts under his stare like a delicate flower in desert sun, shrinking away from the arrival's gaze. Hokuto's normally ethereal hair droops down, falling limp about her shoulders, eyes lidding partly to hood smoky brown eyes in tired countenance. Swallowing in a way that implies the desert heat finally hit her, Hokuto slouches and steps back, her shoulders hunched and brows creased. "John…" Hokuto's voice is more a strangled whimper than it was a moment ago, and she moves to stand behind him.

"I— I can't— " An exasperated breath slips out of Hokuto, her head shaking from side to side as the rolling peal of thunder from those dark stormclouds grow. The sky is blotted out by their arrival, hot winds turning cold as droplets of rain begin to fall down to parched sands. "John, I— You need to control yourself." The last word is hissed between her teeth, a weary and yet spiteful tone of voice.

Reaching up a small hand, Hokuto lays it on Logan's shoulder, staring over where her hand rests towards his sword-wielding counterpart. "You need to be strong," she whispers, as if that's all she can spare for voice any more.

Well sodding raining isn't going to help any kind of cigarette light endeavors. Logan's nose wrinkles as the water comes down in thin slices, and soon enough, the clotted blood in hair trickles pinkly down the back of his neck, soaks his dark shirt collar and gives off the scent of iron when Hokuto darts around him. The cigarette is discarded, the case pocketed in favour of him taking out his gun again. With all the efficiency in the world, he raises it, and shoots.

There's a blur of movement, shining gold, and a ping as the bullet ricochets off the sword swooping aloft when the other swiftly raises it. "How is that even possible?" the one protecting the dream woman snarls in overt frustration, to which he only gets an infuriating shrug and smile from the sword wielder. "Every fucking time. Look— "

Logan turns back to Hokuto, and while fatigue isn't mirrored back at her, injury and weariness of pain is plain. The gun is pinned between his hand and her arm as he goes to grip her, pale eyes sharp. "You did this. You broke it all apart, when you dragged me back, and it's only getting worse, ever since— the other one starting coming. There's him, now," and said him is inspecting his reflection in his sword, "and the other one. I don't know what to do anymore — I don't know who the fuck I'm meant to be anymore. Just— I called you here to help me. I'll do whatever you like. But—

"I just want to get some sleep."

Hokuto exhales a breath, tiredly, still tense from a wince that came with the sound of the ricochet. "You can sleep when I wake up," Hokuto promises without explaining just how much of a long-con that particular goal is. "I can't help you with this, John, I— " the thunder rumbles again, and Hokuto's shoulder slouch forward, her teeth gnashing together and rain slicking her hair down to mat across her brown, long tresses of snaky black hair as limp as wet paper. "I can't even help myself." Another dry swallow comes from Hokuto, and her hand on Logan's shoulder feels more like a hand used to hold herself up than to reassure him.

"You're the one responsible for this, you— you gave him a way in, to everyone." Waving one hand in the air, Hokuto stirs some of the clouds on the horizon, letting flecks of blue appear like fireflies dancing in the storm. "That— the— the blue." Far away, they are just pinpricks, but the pairing these points of light give are reminiscent of eyes, beacons of blue eyes gleaming in the dark.

"You showed him a way… you— you," some of that venom and strength she had earlier returns, fingers balled up and slapping in a wet fist against his shoulder. "Your Refrain made a door, opened minds, made them glow so he could see them in the dark. Now you have— " Hokuto's other hand rubs around her throat, as if it is tightening, fingers grasping at invisible threads.

"You have to handle yourself bef— " a choke comes out from the dreamseer, "before you can help yourself. That is you, John…" her voice lowers into a whisper, "even if you don't want to admit it."

Logan twitches a glance in the horizon's direction, attention captured on the dancing blue, and doesn't necessarily flinch when she beats her hand against his shoulder — his own fingers tighten on her in warning, before retracting entirely. "Okay, okay." He steps back, abruptly, a piece of jawbone skittering away from the impact of his heel. The other him is looking towards the horizon as well, sight fixed and judgmental, before he's curling two fingers, setting them between teeth, and whistling out a sharp call to something, God knows what.

Causes the bloodied version to wince, but doesn't glance back, just studies Hokuto in front of him, the grain of stubble at his jaw making him look older, tired, and he squints through eyelashes to avoid the rain. "I'm not very good at self-control," is stated, admitted, quite slowly, and unaware as to how much of an understatement it is.

"Self control or sleep," Hokuto rasps against Logan's shoulder as she leans up against him, then looks back at his sword-wielding double. "You— had best figure out w— what you did to break yourself so badly," her dark brown eyes flick up to his counterpart, then fall shut as she shakes her head slowly. "Because the longer you let this go on, the more time he has…" Hokuto is vague with her explanations of the he she keeps referring to, but when the dreamseer's weight is shifted off of Logan and she moves to take a few shaky steps back, rain weighing down the black and white fabric of her robe, there is a weakness in her that Logan has seen in other women before, but usually only after they have suffered a good, sound thrashing.

"I— don't know how long I can keep you safe," she rasps out, rubbing her hand at her throat again as a stroke of lighting flashes white-hot from cloud to land on the horizon. Those blue points of light in the storm are drawing closer as well, like a swarm of rat's eyes glowing sapphire-hued in the grey. Underfoot, sand is inexplicably turning to mud, and rainwater is collecting in murky sea-green pools frothing white on the edges and crashing up on muddy shores. "Pull yourself together, John. It's— " Hokuto's voice sucks away in that breath, lips parting and a squeak of breath barely audible as she falls to her knees in the mud, breathing out an exhalation of smoke and ash and a few glowing orange cinders.

"Meredith," she hisses as the soot blackens her lips, "not now." Pleading eyes look up to Logan, imploring his haste. "You're— not the only one in need. I'm already spread too thin. This is your head!" She shouts over the next peal of thunder, "Figure it out!"

Figure it out, she says. Figure it out.


Like the thunder itself, there's another echoing sound. The world is coming apart and its harder to see through the rain, the changing landscape. A flash of white, coiling animal muscle as something canters in response to that whistle. Silk clinging to him, the sword wielder doesn't spare his counterpart and the shadow witch any attention, simply swinging himself up onto the beast, casting a distrustful look backwards towards the spiralling blue and galloping away. Spiraled bone comes to a point and flashes as gold as the tail that flicks, and both princely figure and steed are all but figments of the imagination.

Hands go out to Hokuto, now, Logan changing by the time he's on his knees where she's crouched. Jeans look desired to be spattered with mud anyway, a bulky sweater of loose grey fabric, a silver chain around a long pale throat and a face that is much the same in bone structure but softened in youth. Bleached white hair plasters itself to his smooth brow under the assault of rain, and eyes are imploring.

"I can help," John states, hands on her shoulders. "I'll ff— " An uncertain look back towards the blue fireflies, specks of what he's named the blue fairy so many times before. Or another him. "Figure it out. If he stops it— the Refrain— " Words trail off into uncertainty, thick as they are with South London vowels and soft consonants.

Wet hands come up to grab at either side of Logan's face, dark nails pressing firmly against his skin, and Hokuto rises up just enough to ensure that eye contact is made with the platinum-blonde haired man. "Every person who has had that in them— every single one of them— " her words are strangled now, even if the ash has stopped spilling from her lips and embers cooled on her tongue. "He's going to kill them, he's going to punish them for their weakness." Moving her head, Hokuto looks past Logan towards the mounted calvaryman's retreating form.

"Wendy Hunter," Hokuto rasps out in a hiss of wet breath, the way her dark hair clings to her face from the rain looks like something out of a horror film, cast against the dark circles under her eyes and the parchment pale color of her skin. "Ff— Find Wendy Hunter, she'll be next. She— somewhere, I can't reach her. Not anyone in the blue— too hard. You— " her eyes blink shut and then snap open with a crack of thunder from a lightning bolt landing closer to where the two kneel.

"You have to clean up your mess," Hokuto demands in that weary and croaking voice, her hands still pressed to the side of Logan's head. "Clean up your mess."

The younger man flinches when lightning touches down so close, burning air, scent of electricity and storm reminding him of a particular night in Vegas. It had been raining then, too. "Fine," is sheared out, halfway snarled somewhere between sincerity and anger. His voice laces with edges sarcasm. "I can find her. I know her. Now go before I have to take care of you." Out of the three faces he's shown her, it's abruptly impossible to discern which one he happens to be at this given moment when his hands abruptly clasp Hokuto's jaw in the same way she holds onto his head.

The presence of soot and embers doesn't steer him away from pulling her into a sharp kiss that almost conveys a kind of banishment, the kind of exchange lovers have when departing, save with plenty of demand and frustration communicated in its harshness. One of Logan's many skills might be making a kiss into an assault.

The dreamseer is shoved away a moment later.

Eyes wide in surprise, Hokuto is too tired to fight back against the abrupt dismissal that Logan has brought upon her. She flies back through the air, rain falling in slow and heavy droplets that catch the glow of lightning in the clouds, appearing like glittering diamonds that break into a thousand pieces against her skin and clothing. The way she flows in the air, back arched and hair whipping sharp away from her face is always graceful, were it not so uncontrolled.

The moment she hits the mud, it isn't dirty water that splashes up into the air, but vapors clouds of smoke and ink and clouds of white that discorporate the woman she is into some foggy murk that is dispersed into the air, as if she were little more than ink and smoke woven into a confusing woman's form.

The thunder peals across those thick clouds again, and blue eyes march inexorably from the edge of the roiling black clouds.

It is dark and desperate times when John Logan is turned to as a hero; as a savior.

Very dark, and very desperate times.

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