Nice to Dream


delia_icon.gif lynette3_icon.gif

Scene Title Nice to Dream
Synopsis Finally making contact with Brian's replacement, Delia makes plans to visit home. Her way.
Date April 12, 2011

The Old Apothecary

One part traditional druggist's and one part antique shop, the Old Apothecary does not number among the brightly-lit boutiques that sell similar but more common items at an inflated cost. Lights are intentionally kept low, providing a subdued, intimate atmosphere and a warm glow designed to illuminate the store's wares without banishing the shadows to the far corners of the room. Just to the right of the entrance is a wooden counter with a sign hanging from it that reads: Cash Only. There is no digital register, no accompanying card reader. Apart from the electricity that powers the overhead lights, the most contemporary piece of equipment in the entire store is the French coffee press and unpolished steel carafe, though even this looks as though it could have come from a different era. Coffee is advertised at sixty cents per cup.

The walls - papered in dark green with widely spaced, thin vertical columns of tiny, deep red rosebuds - are lined with shelves made from wood stained a dark brown to match the floorboards, which are haphazardly covered by a collection of faded, Persian-patterned rugs. Many of these shelves are home to a variety of books spanning at least one and a half centuries, ranging from dusty old tomes to more modern reading material that includes a small selection of New Age titles published by respectable authors, all of it non-fiction. Others display glass bottles containing essential oils, jars with more exotic contents - snake wine, roasted crickets and dried tree lizards - as well as small tins of loose leaf teas, painted ceramic bowls, cups and pitchers, although there appears to be no particular ordering to any of it. Beneath these shelves are rows of apothecary cabinets, labeled but locked, their drawers acting as storage for herbs, seeds, roots and other ingredients that the shop's proprietor values enough to keep inaccessible to customers.

Most of the store's floor space is occupied by other goods that have either been specially imported or acquired from flea markets, the quality of which varies from very low to extremely high depending on the nature of the individual item. A selection of pocket watches, ladies' jewelry, fine silver and war medals stands behind glass. One corner features a stack of vibrantly-coloured rugs from Turkey and Iran, another a bin of glass plate negatives, old postcards and water-stained letters still in their envelopes, some dating back to the First World War and in languages other than English. Ornate oil paintings, antique swords, knives and firearms, perfume bottles and decanters of every shape and size imaginable, boxes of brass and silver keys that unlock nothing - the store's collection is constantly changing as new items are purchased and sold by the owner.

Behind the counter is a velvet curtain that divides the front of the store from the back, public from private, and in case anyone should be tempted to cross this barrier without permission, a small monkey skeleton standing on a bird's perch inside an iron cage keeps watch.

While Lynette had mostly been in one piece lately, today she's made an exception. And while one of her hangs back on the island doing islandy things (it doesn't include mimosas and sunbathing sadly), another enters the Old Apothecary, one brow raised for the decor. Cash only indeed.

But Lynette isn't here to shop, no. She's here because finding a certain Ryans is much safer here than over on Staten Island.

So the blonde strolls idly toward the counter, taking her time looking over the knick knacks and for forth before she reaches the incredibly low tech cashier counter. And… a monkey skeleton. Charming. But she announces herself with a sharp, quick knock on the counter.

Stepping out from behind one of the shelves, Delia (armed with a feather duster) shoots a cautious glances toward the counter. She hasn't been robbed, threatened, muscled, or squeezed yet but there's always a first time. The sight of the blonde at the counter elicits a wide smile from the young woman and she skips up with hop and a jump to greet the woman.

"Hello ma'am, are you looking for anything in particular today?" The redhead's smiling face greets the council woman but it doesn't quite reach her eyes. "We have a lovely selection of keychains, I made them myself."

To one side of the cash register is a little crystal bowl containing a rather odd assortment of withered heads, each the size of an eyeball. Some have wisps of brown or black hair glued on, all of them have their lips sewn with a black waxy thread. "They're only three dollars."

That smile gets a bit of a confused one in return, but Lynette can't help but look amused at the sales pitch. She glances over at the bowl, then back at Delia. "The heads of your enemies?"

But she does step over to look closer, lifting them out one at a time as if carefully picking which one she likes. "Actually, I came by to see if you had a free moment. You aren't, by chance, on break soon are you? I doubt my luck has gotten that good lately."

"No, but I'm alone right now so…" Against all the rules but following the example of her employer, Delia steps out from behind the counter again and stalks toward the door. After flipping the lock and turning the sign from open to closed, she heads back, swiping her hands against each other in a soft clap. "There, can I offer you some tea or coffee?" As per usual, the carafe has reached lukewarm without being refilled. There hasn't been much demand for the dark beverage that has all the strength and consistency of aged espresso.

"I have free moments," she says in a lowered voice, pulling the old kettle out from under the counter. "Long enough for a cup at least." The redhead disappears behind the velvet curtain for only as long as it takes to fill the bowl. Upon her return, she plugs it in and then pulls a stool over for Lynette to sit on. "How is everyone?"

"I'd love some coffee," Lynette says as she watches Delia move through the shop. And as she pulls herself onto that stool, she tilts her hand a little. "Better. I think we've weathered the worst of the flu, at least. It's a bit of good news we all needed there."

But she reaches over and puts a hand on the redhead's arm. "How have you been doing?" It's a serious question, and asked as if she expects the answer to be a bad one. Or a secret, perhaps. Or maybe it's just because she has a deep loathing for Staten Island and expects the worst. But one thing is clear. She's worried for the girl.

"Mister Logan's been very good to me," Delia answers quietly, moving another stool to sit catty corner from the blonde woman. Two ceramic mugs, one with a kitten and one with a puppy, are placed on the counter. She's being nice and letting Lynette pick the one she wants before taking the other for herself. "I miss… everyone… but I have Brian, Sable, and Delilah."

Lynette's mug is filled with the thick coffee, strong enough to give off a scent even without being extremely hot. "Can I microwave it for you? Or do you mind if it's not fresh?" The tone suggests that she'd rather not make a fresh pot. "Or there's tea." Which is about to be fresh.

"Oh, I'm not worried about Mister Logan, Delia. But I'm glad he's been kind to you. I hope you know if you— if things go sour for any of you, we'll get you out. Just say the word." Who that we is, she doesn't exactly say. Lynette picks up the cup with the kitten on it, letting Delia fill it for her.

"This is fine. It's probably better than what we've got out there," she says with a crooked smile. "Quinn mentioned… you wanted to see me," she says, her curiosity not letting her wait longer before broaching the subject. "I came as soon as I could get on a boat."

"I can't leave, I made a promise." Her lips twist up at the outer edges, as though she's trying to put on the brave face for the council member. The teapot begins to whistle and before going on with her conversation, she unplugs it again and fills her mug with the steaming water. "Anyway, yeah, I wanted to talk to you. There's a few reasons, actually."

A teabag is dunked into the water and Delia leaves it sit to the side before focusing on Lynette again. "I uhm.. The first reason is.. remember when Mister Gataullin met Hokuto for the first time? When I was lost?" Not the bogeyman anymore, the stubborn redhead is actually addressing the blonde's friend with respect. "I need to find other dreamwalkers, for the dreams."

"I'm just putting it out there, Delia. Contingencies. You, Logan, the girls, Brian… if the worst should happen, don't think you don't have help. I'll come with a personal army, if necessary," Lynette says with a crooked smile. But she takes her hand back, to better lift her cup for a sip. It's a testament to how bad the Island's coffee is that she doesn't flinch. Six months ago, she would have.

When Dema is mentioned, there's just a slight intake of breath, and she looks at her coffee for a moment before she looks up to Delia. "I… I'm not sure how I can help. Last time, I got their attention because of the Refrain. I promised your father — I promised myself no more of that." It's a slightly apologetic look sent Delia's way. Only slightly because she's actually rather proud of her progress on that front.

Nodding at the answer to her first pseudo request, Delia doesn't seem completely disappointed despite the refusal. "I understand, I'm not sure I actually need it anymore, I might be able to find them on my own now. I just— keeping all the options open." There's apology in her expression, the thin smile that borders on uncertainty and sadness more than anything.

"There's more though, before— " This is where she takes a deep breath and chews on her lip. It might just be that she doesn't know how to ask. "Before, when Brian had his power. The one you have now." Struggling, she lets loose a frustrated breath and grabs her mug, flinging the spent teabag into the garbage pail without actually draining it of liquid. "Okay, your mind is like a hive… right? You can see and feel everything the rest of you does. Brian used to use that to carry me places. I can't reach Pollepel on my own and I need to talk to Kaylee— and Dad."

"I'm sorry, Delia. That option can't be open. Not with me, anyway." But, there seems to be no hard feelings, as Lynette gives her a reassuring smile. As she goes on, though, Lynette's expression softens and she chuckles just a little. "I keep one close enough for you to hop into, then you can ride over to the others. Delia, darling… of course we can do that. For as long as I've got this power, might as well be useful. Come and speak with your father.

"Just… don't mind the nightmares. It might not be an entirely pleasant ride just now."

"It's okay," Delia says of the nightmare, "I can fix it while I'm there… and.. I wouldn't mind if you were there with me when I talk to dad." It might be easier, having another woman to lean on when she tries explaining herself to the old man. Who is old, incidentally, in her own mind.

Reaching down under the counter, Delia pulls a thin folder out from underneath it and places it on the counter. "There's some stuff I need to show him. Show everyone, actually, but him first. You know the dreams, right?" The younger woman is hoping she does, anyway, judging by the worried expression on her face. "Brian, Sable, and Koshka… they found some stuff near Eltingville."

Flipping the folder open, she pulls out one item. A crayon rubbing of a gravestone. BETH RYANS — April 12, 2012 - January 18, 2013. "I had a dream that I visited this gravestone, with Nick. It's my daughter."

"Absolutely. I'll elbow him if he starts being an idiot," Lynette says with a crooked smile. Old he may be, but it's her experience that men of any age have perfected the art of being idiotic. "Oh yes, I'm familiar with the dreams," she confirms, nodding, "Spreading like wildfire among the Ferry, looks like."

She lifts an eyebrow when the folder is produced, leaning forward curiously. "Stuff?" Seeing the name on the gravestone makes her frown, though, and she looks up at Delia. "She's less than two," she says, a bit incredulous, "That's awful."

"She didn't make it to her first birthday…" Delia says quietly, correcting the age without actually trying to be negative about it. "She was born a year from now, which means…" Which means in the next few months, somehow, the redhead is going to find herself pregnant and unwed.

"I don't know who the father is." She adds quietly, staring down at the rubbing and pursing her lips into a downward curve. "Wh-what if it's Mister Logan? Do I stay there or d-do I leave? Is it selfish of me to want to not have her if she's going to just die? In my dream— Nick told me that it's the sickness that's not fair to the little ones. I think she gets the flu. I don't want her to suffer like that."

"Delia, Delia," Lynette says, reaching up to put her hand on the woman's face. "It isn't selfish. No parent should have to go through that and no little… baby, either. I may not be the most maternal person around, but even I know that. You had this dream. It does not have to be your future."

She pulls her hand back, frowning a bit, her brow furrowed. "I think, before you run out and get yourself pregnant, you should ask yourself if it's really something you want. And maybe take this as a warning to get on birth control pills, hun. If you're not even sure if you should stay or go if it happens to be Logan's… I just think you'd be happier if you took a few precautions instead of just letting it happen." Note. She is not offering the advice of just don't sleep with him. She's far too practical.

"I— I made a copy, for Dad… If you could get it to him? Don't tell anyone else yet, please? I don't want everyone to know." That what she's considering is the equivalent of a future abortion. Pulling a smaller xeroxed sheet from the folder, Delia passes it to the blonde woman. Its monochrome tones don't have the same feel and presence as the texture of the crayon rubbing. In this format, it's information and nothing more.

"I just want to talk to him and ask him if I'm doing the right thing by staying."

"I can, sure. And it won't go any further from me, you have my word." Lynette takes the paper, looking down at it for a moment. But she shakes her head and looks back up at Delia again.

"I think it's good for you two to talk. I hate seeing you all strained as you get sometimes," she says, from the point of view of an observer, rather than someone… involved.

Gently folding the rubbing again, Delia tucks it carefully into the folder before placing it back under the counter. "He's not easy to talk to, he doesn't like to listen because he knows what's best for us." He's older and wiser is one way to look at it, another is stubborn and hard. Like how his three apples didn't fall very far from the tree.

"I couldn't talk to him on the phone," she says in a low voice, not looking at Lynette. "I wanted to, I wanted to tell him everything. I wanted to tell him that he's safe now because Mister Logan won't bother him, at all. I'm paying it back, everything I owe him. Mister Logan's really good to me though, I have my own room… He got me registered and a passport even. I can go places now that I couldn't even dream of going before."

Lynette chuckles, nodding, "You Ryanses, all terribly thick headed. But I think it's part of your collective charm. My father's the same way, you know. He's a lawyer, so he thinks he knows what's best all the time for everyone. I usually let him say his piece, take it into consideration and then make my own decisions. He learns to live with it. Your father will, too. Plus, I think it's noble. What you're doing for him. It's something he would do."

She smiles there, indulgent a bit. "It sounds like you got very lucky. If he's handing out deals like that…" She's… so not in the running, but it's nice to dream.

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