Doll's Eyes


wf_delia1_icon.gif wf_eileen1_icon.gif wf_lucille1_icon.gif

Scene Title Doll's Eyes
Synopsis Knowing what's coming only makes it harder to take.
Date August 15, 2011

In Dreams

Winter months in the Bannerman castle are cold, there are no options for central heat and air but warmth does come in the form of fireplaces that churn out hot breath to make the rooms liveable. In one room, set far apart from any other, a baby too weak to cry is cradled in its mother's arms. Labored wheezes that crackle like dying embers mix in with soft shushes and pleas for just one more. One more sip, one more bite, one more breath. Always one more.

It's been like this for days.

It's hard to tell if the baby fights for life because she wants it or because she's being coaxed by the redhead curled around her. Beth has always been small, always been sickly. When the breakout of H5N10 came it was no surprise to anyone, except her mother, when she contracted it. A pity, as it always is when little ones suffer but the strong carry on.

There's a faint knock at the door before a head peeks in the room to reveal the face of the mother's older sister. Her hair pulled back into a high ponytail, she walks in and takes in the sight before her. She's only just arrived, being on the mainland and working is something that Lu has found that keeps her mostly sane. She couldn't stay on this island for a long time. Just couldn't.

Lucille's stormy grey eyes soften at the sight of her sister and Beth. "Del.." she says softly, a gloved hand comes up to be placed on the side of her head before she begins to move forward towards Delia. Her thick boots clunking on the floor, wrapped in a dark grey sweater and a thick wool coat. She's not that cold, not today.

"I.." she stops herself, she can't just say anything right now. Has to be careful, where the fuck is dad? She makes a mental note to kick him in the ass later before she leaves again, but at the scene in front of her. She's not sure when she'll leave Delia now.

The third woman in the room is not related to either of the others by blood, but the amount of time she's been spending with mother and child suggests otherwise. Although there is important council business that Eileen needs to address and meetings she needs to hold with the network's Special Activities division, she has spent the past twenty-four hours in solemn silence at Delia's side; Beth's illness is too far along for her to offer reassurance, only companionship and an extra set of hands to help when Delia's do not want to leave the bundle swaddled in her arms.

When Lucille enters the room, she does not rise from her seat by the window where she watches the snow churning on the other side of the frosted glass through the eyes of an old raven perched on its stone sill. Bran turns his head just enough to regard the two sisters over his shoulder, gaze gone milky cataract-blue.

Red rimmed eyes open fully and almost seem to stare right through Lucille before Delia focuses and then looks away again. The fact that the redhead isn't wearing a mask means that she's either found a vaccine for herself or no longer cares whether or not she contracts the illness that is killing her daughter.

She whimpers in greeting, not an overly friendly thing that peeps from her mouth. It could be the first syllable of the brunette's name, if there's no consonants attached. After the sound is made, her face screws up like it did when they were children, moments before Delia started to squeal. A sound that inevitably got Lucille in trouble but not this time. The redhead doesn't cry, shut up quickly when a hiss comes from the baby instead.

Halfway through the expelling of its breath, she manages a tiny squeal. It ends with a violent cough that covers not only her own face, but the chest of the mother closed around her. "No.. no.. no… sssshhh…" The cycle begins again, this time with Delia frantically cleaning the child's nose and mouth to clear an airway.

The look that Delia gives her sister is a heartbreaking one, even if she's looking through the darker haired sister. Luc walks forward and kneels down before Delia and offers her hand. "I can take the pain away." It's said rather bluntly in a soft tone. Eileen is given a small glance, she just nods towards Bran and looks back over to Delia. "Let me take her pain away Deli."

Light grey eyes fixed on the small figure in her sister's arms. Her hand trembles for a second before she stills herself and continues to stare. A million questions run through her head. But she keeps her mouth shut, afraid she'll go off on a tangent and then make things worst for Delia.

The raven's feathers gleam metallic in the firelight as he shifts his weight from clawed foot to clawed foot, his plumage fluffed against the cold and bent body shuddering with the low croak of encouragement he gives Delia from across the room.

It is her decision to make — the mother's decision to make — whether or not to end the infant's suffering before nature takes its course and does it for her, but if she chooses to it's clear that Delia has Eileen's support.

She always has.

It's Eileen's counsel that Delia looks to first, tears spill down her cheeks and she cradles the little baby closer to her chest. Turning her gaze to Lucille, she shakes her head and sniffles in a long breath. "Nooooo— " she begins with a cry that sounds too much like one of Bran's croaks. "No, she needs to f-fight. Sh-she has to get better."

Beth is too far gone, a fact that everyone in the room can see but Delia is just too distraught or stubborn to face it. Finger tips that curl out over the blanket are tinged with blue, as are her lips. Tired little eyes, the same color of blue as her mothers and her grandfather's, open and close slowly, always focused on the face hovering just above hers.

"We had a dream last night…" The redhead sniffles as the streak down her face in rivulets. "I broke Hokuto's rule and I stayed with her… I tried to keep her with me but I couldn't hold on— I'm not strong enough to told her inside of me. Lu… you can keep her asleep, then I can hang on, she won't wake up. She can live inside of me like Hokuto, we can keep her."

There's a short pause before Lu shakes her head.

"Del.. that would drive you more insane then losing her." Lucille won't drive her sister insane, she won't be responsible for that. Though it would seem her sister is already on the edge of sanity. The grey eyed woman stands and goes to stand behind Delia, placing a firm grip on her shoulder.

"Mom would be so proud of you right now. You'll doing so well, you're a great mom." She barely whispers to Delia, Lu's eyes on the baby in front of her. Her mouth set in a tight line. She rubs Delia's shoulders. "I'm sorry." She says simply.

Sorry that she can't grant Delia's wishes.

Sorry that dad isn't here.

Sorry that mom isn't here.

Sorry that Beth is dying..

"You can't," says Eileen. "Not in the way that you want." As she rises from her chair, she offers Bran her wrist and the raven takes it with two powerful strokes of his wings. Claws hook into the dense wool of her sweater, and she transfers him to her shoulder where he can tuck his body against her pale neck and huddle there, recuperating strength. "She'll never age, never know anything about the world except what her mother chooses to show her, and even then none of it will be real.

"She won't be real. An impression of something you loved. Stagnant."

"I can— I can, I just need to be strong enough. I just need to figure out— " The baby quakes in her arms and Delia's thoughts are lost in favor of pouring attention to the girl. Sitting up, she bounces the blanketed bundle a little in her arms to encourage one more little wheeze from her lungs. "Please Beth, please…"

But there are no more.

Like a doll's, Beth's eyes turn glassy and pale as she stares up at her mother with pupils too wide for the amount of light in the room. She lies still, the crackling finally silenced after too many days of labor. One warm finger slips into the tiny hand, thumb rubbing on top of her little fingers to heat a quickly stiffening body.

"Beth.. no Beth…. No.. no no no.." Delia lays the infant down on the bed and roughly strips the pink cloth from her body, exposing the tiny girl from the chest up. "Beth, Beth?" Then the redhead begins to to the unthinkable. Picking the baby up, she begins to shake her, gently at first to maybe wake her from a daydream… then it turns a little more panicked.

Eyes close as Lucille watches her sister begin to shake the recently deceased infant and as a tear rolls down Lucille's face she reaches out a hand to caress Delia's cheek. Her eyes flaring that golden color when she uses her ability. The redheaded mother would feel the drowsiness automatically, off to dreamland. Away from this horrible place called reality for a while. The oldest sister just stands there, caressing her sister's cheek. Keeping her under and not moving, she'll stay here all night. All week, to make sure that Delia has peace.

Though Delia is probably exhausted enough to not need Lucille's constant touch to stay sleep. It's as comforting to Del as it to Lucille. The dark haired woman closes her eyes again and speaks over in Eileen's direction. "Can you find my father please, send him a message or something. Please."

All the family is going to need to come together to get through this, it's the only way.

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