Getting Through Catatonia


f_elisabeth_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title Getting Through Catatonia
Synopsis Elisabeth does as Jessica asks, trying to reach Niki's terrified self through the morass of memories.
Date April 8, 2019

Elisabeth's Master Bedroom

As they walk down the hall past the closed door that probably belongs to the son she mentioned earlier, Elisabeth is watching Jessica warily. After she ushers her in to the master bedroom and closes the door behind her, she asks quietly, "Just how bad off is Niki here? And … how bad off are you, Jessica?" She's in the unique position of having been best friends with both of these women .. or the integrated woman she becomes.. later in life, but…. this is throwing her.

Jessica heads into the bedroom. It's not till she's in that she answers. "Bad. Everything that I'd come out to protect her from, he hit her with. Everything that I'd made sure she didn't remember from when we were kids, he used." Her voice is tight. It clearly has affected her too. "I'll get by. Niki's the priority."

There's a clear grimace and Liz blows out a breath. "Jess… I'm more facile with the hypnotic effects, but they're not stronger with time. I can try to get to her, but I can't promise. I think you're right that she'll need a telepath. And I'm pretty sure I remember the name of the one who integrated all of you. If this doesn't work, we'll get her on the phone. She's good. And she's very very trustworthy." She pauses and says quietly, "I never knew that you got picked up back then. You just … disappeared. When you came back, they'd actually helped you both so much…" She shakes her head. "I'm having a hard time reconciling it."

Jessica looks back. "She might. But I think what she needs right now is a friend." She looks back to Liz at that. "Yeah, they just helped a ton." Her voice is tight, as she moves to lie down. "You ready for this? Last time I forced her up to try and have someone help, it didn't go so well."

Elisabeth nods slightly, sitting on the edge of the bed and waiting for Jessica to make the transition. She hasn't seen it happen in a decade.

Jessica closes her eyes…and it's more marked than usual. When it happens, Niki immediately curls up into the tightest fetal position she can manage. Her hands are clenched into tight fists, brought up to cover her face, arms in tight over her chest.

She's learned over time to use the subsonic sounds with an ease that always astounds her. It still only works with people who are already predisposed to go the way she wants to convince them to, though. She's not entirely sure Niki will fall into that category. "~Niki, it's Liz… Sweetheart, I need you to listen to me. Jessica got you out. You're safe now. I know that a telepath has been tricking you, and I know you must be scared to death to believe in me. But I am here. I am real. And I need you to open your eyes and look at me. I have a story so fantastic even the Company couldn't have made it up… it's 2019, Niki. And you have been one of my best friends for all the time between then and now. You were the first person to hold my son after he was born. You're the one who coached me through the birth. Do you think I could trust just anyone? Do you remember back when we first met? At the Nite Owl. You were just looking for work, and … I remember I thought you looked kind of lost. Like you needed a friend. I want to tell you what your friendship has meant to me… I want to show you the world that you helped bring about. But to do that, you're going to have to trust. Trust that I'm really here. Trust that I'm not going to lie to you. Can you hear me, Niki?~"

The subsonics pick their way through to her in a way most things can't. Helena barely got a word out of her. But she trembles at the words. "He's out there, he'll find me. It's all true." Her voice is rather on the childlike spin, and tiny and quiet.

"~No, hun, he's not. Not anymore, I swear to God. I swear it on my life. On my son's life. He's not here. Jessica got you out. You escaped. Open your eyes, and take a chance. I will not let you down. I won't let anyone hurt you here.~" Elisabeth is saddened to see the state Niki's in.

"…hands on my throat. Couldn't breathe. Hitting me, hitting us, again and again. I didn't do it. I didn't!!" The last rises to a noise that's somewhere between a whimper and a wail.

Refraining from putting a hand on her friend, Elisabeth continues to reassure her, lacing every word with calm and gentleness. "~I know, Niki. God, I'm sorry for what you've been through. I can't begin to take it from you. But I swear to you, NO ONE is going to lay a hand on you again. Trust me. Just open your eyes and look around. Look at me. This is real. You're really here, and I'm going to look out for you.~"

Again, the subsonics find purchase where other words wouldn't, and she slowly opens her eyes. Just a tiny bit. Eyes dart about the room, flicking here to there like a rat in a cage, frantically, as she tries to get some sense of what's going on.

"~See? I'm right here. It's going to be all right,~" Liz assures her gently. "~You're in my apartment, and we're just sitting here. There's nothing to be afraid of anymore. Jessica got you out. You're going to be okay.~"

If it had been someone other than Liz, or perhaps Abby, Niki would probably just have gone right back in. But it -is- one of those two. Tears fall freely from her eyes. "Oh, god, Liz…so much. Micah, D.L., they're still alive." Or else the telepath has convinced her of it.

That can't be right. Niki never said anything to her about D.L. and Micah being alive in the nine years they were friends. But then again… who knows if they're actually from the past or from an alternate timeline? "~Niki… I don't know what he showed you. I don't know what parts might have even been true. But I do know this much. Right here, right now… I have no possible way to confirm it for you. I think if it were true, you'd have told me long before now, sweetie. But if we can get you well and functional, I will use every resource at my disposal to determine the truth.~" She now reaches out to touch Niki gently, soothing her with a hand rubbing her back. "C'mon, sweetie…. it's time to come out and really see where you've landed. It's going to be okay."

Niki flinches at the touch, but then bursts into tears again, moving to cling to Elisabeth, sobbing openly. "Oh, God, Liz, the things he put in my head…this is real? You're real?"

Wrapping her arms around Niki tightly, Elisabeth holds her friend close and lets her cry. "Yeah, sweetie…. I'm real." Though how Niki's going to cope with the fact that it's been ten years and she's actually dead? We'll leave that last til she's more stable maybe. "This is real. The telepath can't get you anymore. The Company…" She grins a little. "Well, in this time and place, the Company is dead. The agents have been largely executed for their actions."

There's a long pause, and finally Niki wipes at her eyes, and moves to sit up a bit. "Where am I? Time and place?" She hasn't exactly been watching what's going on.

When Niki sits up, the changes in Liz, though subtle, are evident. She's 45 nowadays, and the lines of her face show a bit of that. "You're in my apartment. The one I bought… after my son was born in 2012. When you were rescued out of Moab, it was 2009… you've been flung ten years through time." Easiest way is straight out. "Jessica brought you here to me, hoping I could help you."

Niki doubletakes. She stares openly, wide-eyed, as she looks around. "Wait. I…I'm in the future? You have a son?" Her brain just boggles. And then the logical question comes up. "Where am I?"

Elisabeth hesitates. "The future you, you mean?" She smiles just a little. "You're…. not here anymore, Niki. You are … godmother to my son. You were my birth coach. You've been one of my best friends. But there was an accident a couple of years ago that was… very bad." She clenches her jaw and then says, "It seems that all of you who came through time don't have a current incarnation." And then she pauses thoughtfully. "I wonder if there's a connection there…"

Niki nods. "The future me, yes. The…" She smiles at some of the news about what happened, though she seems sad at the news about future-her. "Well, at least we're still friends." She leans out to hug Elisabeth. "Thank you for being here for me."

Hugging Niki once more, Elisabeth grins at her philosophical response. "Where the hell else would I be?" she wonders. "Now… " She pulls away and looks at the blonde. "You — *both* of you — need to get some real rest. So …. now that you know you're safe, I want you to settle in here and crash for an hour or so. It's a lot to take in… and I've got a couple things to take care of while you rest. I'll answer more questions for you when you get up, okay?"

Niki nods. "That sounds like a good idea." She's worn out after that emotional explosion. "Thank you." And then she lies back on the bed. Sleep is a good thing.

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