Beds Are Burning


brennan_icon.gif delia2_icon.gif

Scene Title Beds Are Burning
Synopsis The time has come to say fair's fair… Harve gets a visit while burning the midnight oil.
Date November 18, 2010

The Western Desert

The dark sky glows orange, the acrid smell of smoke, and floating embers make this leg of the trek a rather dangerous venture. The only way is forward, ever forward in her search for whatever it is she lost. Her hair matches the color of the fires and flies behind her in wisps not unlike smoke. With every burnt out shell of a cottage she passes, more and more refugee eyes stare.

She is oblivious.

The village had been hit in a raid of some sort by the king's own army, failure to pay taxes or something so minor as that. When the last screams of the warhorses had faded into the distance, the remaining villagers set to putting out the fires and saving whatever survivors they could find. Harve Brennan's family is fine, for the most part, but his eldest daughter is still missing.

His wife, frantic in her own search, is too heavily laden with unborn child to be more than an additional worry to the doctor. He's had a hard time convincing her to stay back while he coughs and yells through smoke and flame, trying to find his deaf and mute child.

A spark flies in front of his dark eyes and he follows its trail until it dies, near the shoulder of a young woman wearing a white dress. In one hand, she carries a gleaming sword that's much too fine for a commoner. Her other hand is curled around something black, an incendiary device of some sort? Paranoia crawls through the back of Harve's mind as he tries to shake the nagging feeling, his daughter is the priority, not the stranger.

"You need to get out of here!"

If Brennan only knew how true that really was for the redhead in her white dress. His arms have been up, one held above his head to protect himself from the smoke and fire the flickers off a building. The girl doesn't look like Marlena, the sword, dress, other item on her hand. It draws his attention even if just a flicker toward her then away, as if he might miss catching a glimpse of his daughter.

He steps forward, attempting to take the woman by her shoulders, give her a shake. "It's too dangerous, you're going to get burned" His voice kicked up to compensate for the roars of fire and the mourning of the village as they try to slake the fire. "It's not safe here, come with me!"

As if shaken out of a daydream, Delia finally notices the man who has grabbed her by the shoulders and gives him a blank stare. She opens her mouth to answer but the only sound that can be heard is the constant cough of a small child. It's not coming from her but somewhere nearby.

Turning her head, Delia tries to locate the source of the hack. She shrugs the hold on her shoulders and walks toward one of the buildings just as a beam collapses down in front of the entrance. Quick to act, she swings the sword and somehow cleaves the burning log in two pieces, leaving the entrance almost completely free. "I can't go in," she says as she turns toward Harve, "I don't have any shoes on."

Sure enough, looking down, her dirty feet are completely bare.

His hands are easily unshrugged, finger spread and falling away from her shoulders as the weak cough makes it's way to his ears. Brennan turns his head like a dog that's caught a scent, eyes fastened on the building adjacent them. "Marlena?!" He's fast on her bare heels, a cry of worry and outrage as the beam falls, cutting off the access to whomever is inside.

But the swing of the sword through the air, slicing the air, giving them back an entrance. Heart bouyed, he's not about to let her go first, it's his daughter in there. Possibly. But she's lacking shoes, pale fee visible and he nods. "Stay out here then. Don't go anyhere" He's already heading in. "Tell them to bring water!"

And in he goes, arms up to protect,calling out for his daughter even though she can't hear him.

The fact that the child doesn't answer when called is a strong indicator that she likely doesn't hear him, pointing to the fact that it's probably his daughter. Sure enough, when Harve enters the room, he can see a little girl curled on the floor amidst the burning furniture. She's unconscious but still coughing up the smoke that's polluting her lungs.

Outside, Delia is uncertain of which of the instructions to follow, stay or go get help. Twisting around, she sees a few men waging a battle against a fire that's taking over one of the adjacent buildings. "Help!!" her voice, hoarse from dissuse and the sweltering air comes out as a croak more than anything. "Help!!" on the second try she catches the attention of one of the others. Using the hand carrying the little black chess piece, she points to the burning building. "There's two people in there!"

This gets the men moving from their current task to hauling buckets over to where Harve and Marlena are. The line shifts from that hovel to this and eventually the line of pails are being emptied through the windows and on the walls of the house that Doctor Brennan is in.

It'll help, in getting the two of them out. Regardless of Whether it is his daughter or not. Brennan eases down low, ducking under the wall of smoke and soot so that he can gets his arms under her legs, around behind her back and heft her up into his arms. "Getting you out" Getting her out, look around to make sure that his exit isn't blocked, see if there's anyone else who's stuck in here.

"I'm coming out" He calls, warns, holding the girl close, nearly crushing, barreling for the doorway, eye's blinking repeatedly against the acrid smoke, lungs burning with it.

Outside, the young woman is standing in exactly the same place as she was told to stay. Her head tilted upward as she watches the column of smoke and flaming ash twist up toward the sky like a spotted tornado. This is the way Harve finds her when he emerges, lost again in whatever daydream he found her.

Sword dangling by her side, its tip is buried in the dirt. Her hand is curled tightly around it, like it's the most precious of her possessions. Perhaps it is. Only the cough of the young child breaks her from her reverie, causing her to stare at the pair of them. Her pale eyes are grey in color, so light that the iris almost matches her pupils. The longer she gazes at the doctor's face, the darker they grow until they reach a dark gunmetal hue.

For the most part, the men fighting the fire are ignoring the trio, leaving the doctor to care for the wounded. Of course he's a respected man amongst them, having birthed nearly all of the children and healed practically all the sick and wounded. One man, however, is eying the sword in the young woman's hand.

Marlena is safe, curled in his arms, the physician turning away from the group so that he can bring her back to the others, take stock of the injuries of his people, figure out how to rebuild, where people will stay. He's three strides away when he remembers Delia, turning around to stare at the woman who seems off, out of place, as if something might be wrong with her.

The stare from one of the men of the village, a quick following of the gaze to realize it's not to her but to what she wields has him returning, interposing himself between her and him, a sharp rebuke for the man and his idleness while the village burns. "Come with me" He mutters, a glance back down to her feet, using a shoulder to nudge her along, lost for a moment in the grey eyes. "Come, we'll find you shoes, find your family" Wherever they are. "We'll protect you" Marlena clutched close.

As mute as the man's daughter, Delia simply nods and begins padding behind him like a lost puppy. She seems exhausted, everything about her stance and expressions are haggard and distant. "I don't have any family…" her admission comes through in a dull voice, dazed and confused. "I don't think I do…" She can't remember.

With a long sigh, she filed behind him to where he left his wife and the other children. Of course, she stands back a ways as the family reunites. Crying over the found lamb, celebrating the joy of having each other, and the loss of everything they owned. Looking back at the village, it's plain to see that everything they had is gone.

But those are just material things, there's always more wood in the forest, hay in the fields, stone in the terrain, things can be rebuilt, and people are not replaceable. Marlena is safe, tended to by family, coo'd over and fretted about. But Delia isn't forgotten even though she's quiet, standing there in her solitude and seeming despair. Tearing away from the small mass that is his family, he examines the young woman, really taking her in this time. The state that she seems to perpetually be in. Cast adrift and looking. The sword is eye'd again, not with the same fervor that the other village man had done, looking to see if it might have some indication of where it is from, or the other item in her hands, the chess piece. "You can stay. Here. With us. We don't have much, we'll have to rebuild, but you can stay. We can help you find your family."

He looks back up, reaching out to lift her chin a bit, as if that might give him a good look at her, recognition flickering in his eyes. Subconscious rising, noticing something. "Delia" He says it automatically. "You're name is Delia" Why does he know her name.

The name has her pausing and she mouths it, testing it and craning what little memories she has. Her eyes spark with a hint of forbidden blue before she glances back up at Brennan and nods slowly. "Delia.." she repeats, "My name is Delia." Beyond that, she's lost.

Looking back at the village, she stares at it for a little while before the offer is answered with a small shake of her head. "No, I have to find something that I lost. It's not here." Clinging tightly to the chess piece, she pulls it close to her abdomen and uncurls her fingers to look down at it. "I need to find…" There's a slight pause before she stares into the doctor's eyes and tilts her head slightly to the side, "Do you know where I am?"

Where are they? Brennan looks away, to the burning village, the others who have gathered, injured, non-injured, the sky above. It doesn't seem right. "I don't know, I don't…" He looks back down to the chess piece and the sword, unsure of what they mean, if they have any meaning. Brennan raises his hand, rubbing at his jaw. "Dreamer" It niggles in the back of his mind. "You're a dreamer" She's a dreamer right?

The lucid thought causes a flutter in the landscape and Delia's head turns toward the crumbling village. With every deduction another building topples to the ground, causing the women and children here to gather, screaming. A sound he's heard far too much of in the past few weeks.

Turning toward him, Delia's eyes are as brilliant as the color of Refrain, the danger he poses to her in waking up already shifted as her soul searches for yet another host to become desperately lost in. "I'm not the dreamer…You are." Her quiet words ensure her own expulsion but not far away there's another. "Doctor Brennan, I can't find home."

She lost. He wants to reach out, grab her, keep her close. This isn't the first time that she's trespassed accidentally into his dreams. The oniermancer is lost. How long? "How long" Thought and spoken the same. "How do I, how do we get you home" He'd look towards the screaming woman but he's afraid if he does, Delia will disappear and he won't get an answer.

"Tell me how to help, I can help you"

Lifting her shoulders into a helpless shrug, she shakes her head. "I — " She doesn't know. In a place where time has no meaning, where watches and clocks wind up and down at whim, there's no way for her to tell. "I can't remember."

The ground shakes beneath them as it begins to crumble and fall into darkness, knowing that he's in a dream is the fatal blow to sleep and to her time there. "I can't find my body…" she repeats, giving him a sad smile. Slowly, her eyes drift away from his face and around them. The world disappearing until they're standing, facing each other on a circle of earth no larger than a small area rug.

"I have to go now… you're waking up…"

The light from the desk lamp pierces into Dr. Brennan's eyes as he jolts to a seated position. The slip of yellow note paper stuck to his cheek is peeled off and as he inspects it, the words remind him to call his wife. The coffee mug on the corner of his desk as been tipped over somehow in his sleep and the puddle on the floor has spread to fill the spattered pattern of the initial spill.

Lifting it up, the remaining swirls of cream in the cup are a reminder of the swirls of smoke most recently seen in a dream…

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