Ave Maria


s_meredith_icon.gif nightmare_icon.gif



Scene Title Ave Maria
Synopsis The Nightmare Man visits Meredith's dreams by showing her what might have been.
Date December 19, 2009

Ave Maria! Ave Maria! maiden mild!

Listen to a maiden's prayer!

Thou canst hear though from the wild,

Thou canst save amid despair.

Safe may we sleep beneath thy care

The air is crisp and cold, stagnant and without much of a breeze. A light snow is falling and everything is already dusted in enough snow to make a crunch while walking. Outside, it's a field of pine trees, some with small icicles dripping off of their boughs. A farmhouse looms in the background, cheerily lit up with Christmas lights, the windows a glow of yellow warmth. One tree is set apart, nearing the middle of the tiny forest. It has already been decorated with strands of colorful lights and has been cleaned off from snow. There are four separated walls that surround it as well, evoking the idea of a living room if they all connected. Pictures of a smiling family hang from those painted walls showing a mother, a father, a daughter. A fireplace crackles merrily on the left of their 'living room'.

Standing with her hands on her hips, Meredith takes in the view appraisingly. Despite the cold and the snow, she's not cold. In fact, she feels just like she were indoors in a happy home. None of this looks strange to her. In her hand, she holds a bright red ornament bulb by the hook. "Claire, sweetheart, would you hang this up somewhere where it won't get broken? Your father'll be home soon and I want this to be a surprise for him when he does. The only thing he likes to do is the angel, anyway."

Dressed warmly in a dark maroon, turtle neck sweater and a comfortable pair of jean. Bright blonde hair held out of her face with a black hair band, Claire reaches to take the ornament with a warm smile. "Sure, mom." The hand that moves to take the ornament holds the glitter of a gold band, not more then a couple of years old, showing only the first signs of wear. "Brody will be here soon, I checked. Got little waylaid. So we'll have the whole family together for the treetopper."

Claire gives her mother a bright smile, before moving to seek out a safe spot for the very breakable ornament. "This will be a fun year." The tree shifts a bit suddenly and Claire glance down. "Speaking of fun." The ex-cheerleader leans down and scoops up a toddler. With blonde curls the few shades lighter then Claire, a little girl offers out an ornament to her granma, if a bit drooled on.

"I was about to get worried." Meredith moves toward the window - complete with curtains - and looks outside of it, where the snow is still softly falling. "It's not bad out, but I bet there's some black ice out on those roads. You told him to be careful, I'm sure. Now's the time of year for crashes." Not to worry her daughter about how safe her husband drives, but she just worries sometimes. After her worried frown at the weather, she turns back to her family and beams at her granddaughter. Ruffling the toddler's curls, she takes the ornament from her before kissing Claire on the cheek. "I'm just so glad ya'll could make it. I feel like I just don't get to see enough of you. And you know how your father is about it. He doesn't want to say anything, but he keeps bringing up guest bedrooms gathering dust and everything."

Turning away from her daughter and her daughter's daughter, she finds an appropriate branch to hold her ornament and attaches it carefully. A taser gun, slightly drooled upon by her granddaughter twists slowly from it's hook, the metal at the top glinting off of the lights.

"Yeees mom. I told him to drive careful. These business trips… I tell you. Seems like there are more and more lately." Claire rolls her eyes with a smirks. "But ever since he got that promotion he has to go to those meetings." Daughter held tight, the regenerator crouches down to pick up another ornament. "Here Emma… Give this to granma." Setting the little girl on her feet, the toddler takes the object and makes her way toward Meredith with a happy squeel, ornament held out to her. Multicolored lights glint off a blood laced dagger, held up with a hook. The way Claire acts, it's like she doesn't realize what the ornament is.

Meredith gives Claire a smirk over her shoulder. "I can't help but worry, darlin'. You know I love you both." Kneeling down on the ground, she opens her arms to welcome Emma. "I'm sorry, the three of you, of course." Picking up the toddler, the eldest blonde holds her out in order to hang the deadly ornament on the tree near the top. She helps the young girl's small arms to place it properly in a spot that won't fall. Obviously, she doesn't realize the meaning or danger of that particular ornament, either, or she certainly wouldn't have allowed her granddaughter to handle it, let alone hang it from the tree. "Just tell him he should stop working so hard in order to spend some quality time with his girls. Money ain't everything."

With a gleeful whoop, Meredith then tosses Emma and then catches her with a giggle. Ducking down to the ground, she picks up something else from where ornaments are strewn about the ground like pinecones. A few steps more and, she hands off both toddler and ornament to Claire. "Remember this one? It was your first ornament." Dangling from the hook is a burned out cradle.

"Oh you know him, he tries. He just wants the best for us. Though I am jealous of the Rio trip he recently took for that conference or the Hawaii one. I haven't been on a trip since the honeymoon." She gives a little sigh. But then, Claire arches a brow at her mother as she takes the littlest blonde, oofing a bit as the little toddler tangles a fist in her mothers hair. "Of course I remember that one. Always been a favorite." She twists to hang it on the tree before she swoops down to deposit her daughter in the middle of a pile of garland. It crinkle under the little girl getting giggles, while she picks up part of the strand the green almighty dollar strung from it. A corner of a hundred dollar bill is chewed on, while Claire picks up a pair of ornaments, one is offered to her mother while the other is placed on the tree. "What's the story behind these? Always meant to ask."

Taking the other end of the strand, Meredith smiles at the long strand of money that has been strung into a garland. "Oh, I know he does, sweetheart. Just talk to him. Your father goes on a lot of business trips, too. It just seems to come with the territory of marrying successful men." When Emma starts chewing on their decorations, the pyro stoops over and plucks the part away from her granddaughter. "Don't put that in your mouth, honey. It's old and likely to have a lot of germs on it."

The other ornament is palmed and she smiles at as she hangs it onto the tree. It's a train that's been derailed. Flames lick up underneath it, giving it a kind of glow of it's own. The one Claire holds is it's companion ornament - it's a piece of stationary that says 'Primatech Paper' written at the top of it. "Oh, sweetie, those are from so long ago. They were going away gifts from an old job." Once those are placed in the right spot, she rustles the garland. "Help me wrap this around, sweetie, then I think we'll almost be done."

"Alright.." Claire picks up a length of the cash strand and starts to drape it loosely around the tree. She pauses to touch a partially melted rattle, twisting it between her fingers. "There has to be a lot of memories on this tree.. seems like each one has a story to it."

Wanting to help, Emma toddles over and picks up some of the garland and tries copying the older woman draping it on the tree. "Em Hep!" The tiny blonde declares proudly, when Claire scoops her up and takes a few steps back to look at the work they have done.

Meredith takes a step backwards with Claire to proudly take in their decorated tree. The lights twinkle brightly. "Oh, you bet it does, honey. I'm sure it's the same with everyone's trees, though. Memories associated with everything." She reaches out an arm to drape around her daughter's shoulders. "But, of course, ours is the best." With a laugh, she nods at Emma. "You sure did, sugar." In the background, there's the sound of a baby crying. It hasn't just started, in fact it seems like it has been there all along behind their happy chatter and decorating. Only, now Meredith has picked up on it.

"What's that?" She frowns and turns around, one way and then the other. This doesn't look right, this doesn't sound right.

Leaning against her mom, Claire gives her a bright smile. "It really is… And just think.. as the years go on, we'll add so many for Emma." She hikes the little girl up to give the toddler loud kisses to the cheek, which gets giggles in return. Her mothers question, makes the fun stop and Claire glances over at Meredith with a confused look. "What's what, mom?" Claire glances over her shoulder, but she doesn't seem to hear anything. She's distracted again by her daughter who grabs the regenerator's hair in two fists so that she can pull her mommy's face down to plant drooly kisses on her cheek in return.

Behind them, something bright bursts into action, casting dancing shadows on their pulled apart living room and tree. Meredith doesn't answer Claire's own bright views of the future, or even her question about what she's hearing. Instead, she turns her entire body around slowly to see the farmhouse behind them on fire. It must have been slowly burning for quite a little while for now it is raging, flames licking out the top of the roof, parts of it's side collapsing into sparks and smoke.

In the doorway to her happy Christmas scene stands a man horribly burned, impossibly tall. He makes Meredith feel as if she were ten again: small, helpless, rooted to the spot. How he got there is a mystery - there are no footprints in the snow leading up to his current position - he may have been standing there the whole time unnoticed. The cry of the unseen baby's cries grow louder. "Claire. It's Claire," Meredith whispers to herself, horrified.

The man says nothing, but reaches a hand up and the blonde can see that it's still smoking and on fire. "No-no-!" But, it's too late. He puts his hand on the wall and it bursts into flame, engulfing Emma, Claire and Meredith in smoke and flame immediately. There's screaming and she can't see anything. While she wants to move, she cannot. Brought down to her knees, it's as if her ability is gone from her. The fire burns, the smoke chokes her and she is helpless. She is simply rooted to the spot. The baby Claire's screams reach a trembling pitch, mingling in with Emma's and her grown up, non-existent Claire's.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License