Intermission in the Third Dimension


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Scene Title Intermission in the Third Dimension
Synopsis A dose of comeuppance in the form of Jasmine's search for the full story behind Christmas Eve events finally catches up with Calvin in the space between spaces while Brian carts his unconscious body around Chelsea.
Date December 31, 2010

A blur of rushing images

Glimmers of consciousness fade in and out like a stalling radio channel, ambivelant towards whether Calvin would want it to hang around or not. Going to sleep is not his decision, nor is staying awake, and eventually, forces outside his own— like a concussion— tip the balance the way it decides. Someone lurks at the edge to catch him, a comfortable, near warm embrace of unconsciousness that wraps him in soft arms.

The charity Christmas gala ended several days ago. In real life.

In a mournful version of Christmas cheer, the words to Silent Night run as slow and apathetic as treacle, a clear and feminine voice that echoes off the walls of a restaurant. The party is not so much over as it is unpopulated, with the music still going like it's coming through from another world, and the presence of people prickling at Calvin's skin for all that he can't see anyone. The air is coming in chilly through the window and toys at the looser edges of his tuxedo and the ends of trailing ginger dreads, as the glass has been shattered open by something mysterious, showing off the darkness, the hazy night time sky, and the rambling view of the ruined city. Maybe Gideon d'Sarthe has something of a sense of humour.

There's a hiss that follows, crisper than the drone of the Christmas carol. A little like sand, but the musical windchime tinkle of glass betrays the source — the broken shards of the window shift as if alive, lifting up in the air in a glittering swarm of sharp edges and dust. It hangs, poised, before it journeys to the window as if magnetically attracted, puzzling itself back together, casually idle.

Calvin is probably not alone. And whoever he is not alone with appears to be in good form, tonight.

Calvin, by contrast, is in very poor form indeed.

Shoulders slanted off balance and vibrant ginger quills dipped down, down, down after his nose tilted for the floor, he comes to to find himself listing numbly on his feet. Blue eyes bleary with sleep (or sheer exhaustion…or head trauama…) take their time in rolling into apathetic focus, countenance above the neck utterly at odds with the flawlessly flattering cut and tailor of his ebon tuxedo.

He breathes loudly when he remembers to breathe at all, rasping inhales and rusty exhales rattling in his lungs against the prickle of company unseen and unheard. Spent glass flecking away from its cast aross his shiny shoes in brittle reverse.


An electric tingle of something like fear isn't discernible in the sharper polish of his glare until he retreats deeper into himself where he stands, grip tightened like an elastic band through his gut when he turns his head to follow glass back to the window behind him.


Like a ghost, a reflection drags across the reforming window, a flash of red and black and vaguely human shaped, gone in the time it takes to blink deliberately darkened eyelashes. There's a snap of stray glass that breaks beneath a heel pointy enough that it might have been designed to break things, and furtherly destroyed shards dragging across the floor to find their place in the window. "It's not a good party," rings a familiar voice, heard due to the fact there are no other voices to compete with save for that broken down memory song playing above their heads, "unless something gets broken."

Jasmine is dressed appropriately, if severely in an evening gown of black satin cut in angles around the bust that suggests the same tuxedo outfit that Calvin wears, red hair left as loose and wild as usual to sit like a creature on bared shoulders, silken gloves as far as her elbows and diamonds at her throat. No mask tonight, just a kind of hard analysis being sent his way.

She pouts. "You've been avoiding me."


No use denying it, really. Circumstances being what they are, he's not entirely sure yet how well-equipped he is to lie, haughty profile turned quicker than an innocent man's to furnish his focus with the whole of her in line with her reflection on the approach.

Heels, gown, diamonds. There's an element of unrelated surprise in his scrutiny — distraction he wouldn't normally have to struggle with. In a way it's more sincere than the usual you look nice, if — perhaps — on the border of unintentionally offensive in that he's caught so off guard it's enough to stay immediate riposte. Brain damage probably isn't helping.

"Well," he says instead, at length and after a hard blink, right hand turned out just enough to indicate the unholy creep of glass back its frame and that lone, silky soul caroling to an empty dance hall. "can y'blame me?" You creepy bitch, spells out his next look. Also delayed.

Unintentional backhanded compliment has Jasmine tucking her chin in with some shyness, a hand sliding down her hip to smooth satin that doesn't need such attention. Hands link together and she minces some steps forward, strappy heels flashing beneath the shift of luxurious skirt hem. "I don't think blame is the right word," she suggests, then pauses both her approach and her words, roaming another cautious look up and down Calvin. He doesn't look so hot.

Which doesn't portend mercy, necessarily.

The glass continues to hiss and slide, finishing its reforming of the window with a sound like creaking ice. "Tell me about tonight." And she doesn't mean tonight, as evidenced by a wide spread of her arms. "You look just a little off your game. I could make this bad for you." Her tone is apologetic, but is a limp kind of defense against the words themselves, spoken unchecked.

Does he? Breathing already slowed and smothered into a more respectable whisp of faintly foggy air through his sinuses, Calvin is hard-pressed to unwind much further than that, resentful tension coiled staunch in the butt of his spine. Stiff as a rifle stock while he watches her watching him, no slithering effort to made to meet her halfway just yet.

"What about it?" Sounds remarkably innocent. Which just goes to show, you know. That people like him lie sometimes.

"I asked you as my date. Even offered to buy you a dress. Like that one." That she's wearing. That he keeps looking at. And is looking at again now, beard-tufted jaw slacked open on the cusp of continuation in that vein before it takes a more earnest turn instead.

"You could."

"I just want the truth. We all deserve it." Jasmine's eyes go a little dull in unfocused distraction, then, a summoning of power that doesn't need broad gestures or crackling energy, redesigning their shared layout with the same erratic pattern as thought process. The song in the air stretches like wax. The window explodes outwards once more, noiselessly, blinks back into a single smooth surface.

Nora's hand clasps on Calvin's jacket as she drives him for the floor, the agent already bleeding, a skid of polished shoes as Benji is yanked along with the girl's instinctive movement. The press of panicked people filling up the space in connection with that ghostly tingle of presence from just prior. The taste of champagne in his mouth overtakes the ghostlier echo of coppery blood.

Abby Caliban née Beauchamp is on the verge of turning from the conversation on her own terms when staggered memory smooths out, dressed in red with a pixie-ish crop of brown hair. The press of the crowd threatens to swallow her whole.

Not where she was before, Jasmine is abruptly at Calvin's side, sliding an arm around his with the insidiousness of a choking vine, her closeness warm, flowery perfume an intrusion in memory. "Here he comes," she murmurs, not needing to rise to her toes too much to direct that into Calvin's ear. Man in a suit, wire in his ear, Agent Henderson is on his way in slowed down muted replay of things Jasmine would like to talk about.

"Not everyone gets what they deserve." Humorless on that account as he is on few others, Calvin is naturally inclined to wind that same arm around her waist at insidious nearness, conditioned to the power of casual contact as most leaders of men are by necessity. Crisply elegant in his tuxedo with dreads swept clean away from his face and goatee precisely trimmed. Just so.

He doesn't look to her when she whispers, though, focused too blackly ahead on Agent Henderson in his protracted urgency. Did someone say Beauchamp?

"I've been kidnapped."

"Oh Calvin, I think you're exaggerating just a little," Jasmine says, in prim offense, before she second guesses what Calvin might mean by that as her arm curls, rests a steadying hand on his shoulder, and for all that she's asserted her control here in several ways tonight, there is reserved tension that resists casual waist hold. She blinks at his profile, a small crinkle developing in her brow.

She and I have a mutual friend in Robert Caliban, blonde, about… that tall, used to work as an EMT?

Henderson could well be talking through fog and from a block away, but the hazy words still echo in the recesses of Calvin's memory, as much a part of the scenery as music and the clink of champagne flutes. Things are about to get bad soon, or at least, they will for Henderson. If they do for Calvin, he's derailed her just enough for Jasmine to briefly bite her bottom lip in pause. She shakes her head.

"Kidnapped— ?"

Small crinkle is met with a sideways look, aloofly confident despite everything, including the residual tension wound in between Calvin's shoulders. Disadvantage. Suspicion. Caught in the act, more or less, when something in him feels vice-like across iron and steel. There's even a little thrill of private pleasure at the sensation that shows at his teeth when the trigger pulls and the hammer falls in bullet time after the staggered pause in which he should have answered, black powder stipple and muzzle flash muffled in its scald through the older man's suit.

Muscle tics stringy across the flank of Cal's jaw and he turns his head down and aside to face her more directly, smokey eyes heavy-lidded. Too worn thin to nail up any kind of real resistance now that she's finally managed to string him up by the ankle.


A tsk sound follows, blue eyes wide and open and receptive to the physical nuances in Calvin's expression that comes before gunfire and in its immediate wake, Jasmine unflinching at the sound of the blast or the way stare is leveled to her at this proximity. The hand at his shoulder peels up, the edge of long nails brushing against his tense jaw along that line of clenched bone beneath, before fingers curl against palm.

"You, kidnapped?" is sarcastic, borne of irritation that he had to go and be kidnapped when she finally got a hold of him, and for all that he's a lying liar, something has Jasmine believing it. A step to the side is a little like dancing in that she brings Calvin with her, ignoring where Henderson is now bleeding fashionable jewel colours on the ground, and angled now to see the shape of FRONTLINE like phantoms through the window over her shoulder.

Irritation manifests as concern, and being irritated about concern. "Where? Are you hurt?"

"You didn't really think you'd caught me all on your own," teasing more than admonishing, Calvin follows the progress of her fingers with his eyes and then steps fluidly along with her, receptive in turn. He has less of a choice, granted, poor Mister Henderson left behind without a second glance. Much as before.

"I dunno. Probably. I'avn't woken up yet." There's an h lost in there somewhere to a touch of slur. Not deliberate. Or promising. "Everything's sort've fuzzy and fine. Do you think this is how Lene feels all the time?"

"Mean," is amused chastisement, but meekly delivered. The realisation that you're dealing with someone who is unconscious instead of just asleep comes with a certain amount of guilt on Jasmine's part, apparently, but not enough so that she's creating a world of frolicking kittens in a field of daisies for him to last out the remainder of his coma, if such a thing is within her influence. They remain standing by the window that's destined to break, with blood crawling from a gunshot wound just over there, and phantoms fleeing in blurred motion.

And Silent Night is starting up again, insistently drawling as if to imitate the drowsiness it had created back then, but doesn't really translate now. The hand not perched bird-like on Calvin's shoulder wanders to tweak and straighten his tie. "I'll make my rounds. I'll start with the ones on the island and move south.

"And then I'll come back."

Destined to break but not broken yet, time slowed still further under applied pressure. Silent Night as performed by a humpback whale, phantoms on the retreat too sluggish to be anything more substantial than a trick of eye and shadow. Subtle influence over his own mind still possible in a state of mild retardation.

His control over everything else — most notably his own projected exterior — is…less. He breathes out slow relief at the promise of her imminent departure, though it could (conceivably) be for the promise of her return while she touches at his tie and he touches at the low V of her neckline. Even though he probably shouldn't.

"Can I have a kiss?"

Bared shoulders curl a little concave in a self-conscious response ingrained enough to translate into a dreamworld. Jasmine's hands rest with less flirtatious unnecessariness on his shoulders, blue eyes flashing. Departure is cued with the sudden wrenching of time, sped forward all of a sudden until the window is blowing inwards in cracking finality, a dramatic shatter of glittering shards flung knife-like through the air, and in the same moment, Jasmine takes her leave.

She seems to come apart as well, surging forward like a kiss might as well have been a request for her to tear his throat open. A flash of white teeth that are sharp and too big for a human jaw, and eyes gone from liquid blue irises to burning fire and sharkish glassiness, all angles of her looking distinctly unreal and nightmarish. Appropriately. Calvin will inevitably stumble back beneath the sudden shove of motion, black satin unfurling like dragon wings. She leaves, through him it looks and feels like, and is gone by the time he hits a glass stewn floor.

A simple no would have sufficed.

Except that a smudge of fingertips or a glance in reflective glass will show the red press of a lipstick mark on his cheek, tingling like ice.

Holy fuck.

Honest fright blanches Calvin's face pale when he's thrust backwards from that blast of ice and teeth and glass, a buckle at one knee all it takes to turn his reverse trajectory into a downwards one as well. He lands almost flat on his back, teeth bared, slivered glass raining down to either side of forearm and elbow turned up instinctively to protect his eyes.

Breathing faster now at a whispery, bone-rattling shiver, he's creakily slow to roll up onto his side, starched white cuff to nose and then the sting at his cheek. He hesitates when it comes away with a sheen of lipstick instead of blood, put upon confusion furrowed deep between his brows before he hazards to scan 'round the hall in its entirety.

Empty as before.

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