Not Meant To Be Shared


corbin_icon.gif s_hokuto2_icon.gif

Scene Title Not Meant To Be Shared
Synopsis A long overdue trip to the Statue of Liberty finally happens on Hokuto's birthday— even if she's been dead a month shy of a year.
Date February 14, 2011

Statue of Liberty

From this high up, it's hard to realize the world is so damaged.

Rays of sunilght pierce between layers of fluffy, white cumulus clouds that drift lazily against crisp, blue skies. In the mid-day hours, New York City looks less beaten-down, even if the sparse real-estate created by the Midtown explosion still serves as a stark reminder of the way the world has become. The yellow and orange of construction equipment on the edge of Midtown is a new sight, even from this high up and this far away.

The sudden explosion of wing-beats comes when a flock of seagulls decide to alight in unison from their perch along the patina green ledge they were perched on. Their white wings flap noisily and soon they become dark in silhouette against the sun. Viewed through the observation deck's binoculars, they seem larger than life still, free and untethered to the restirctions of the land below.

Pulling herself away from the binoculars, a dark-haired woman in a floral patterned sundress threads inky black locks of hair behind one ear, offering a faint smile towards the man with a camera taking long-distance shots of the Manhattan skyline as viewed from the crown of the Statue of Liberty. "Corbin," she offers in a hushed tone of voice, reaching out to lay a hand down on the camera and lower it from his view. "Come on, it's a beautiful day out…"

Stepping between Corbin and the narrow window, Hokuto Ichihara rests one hand on each of his shoulders, rises up on the toes of her sandaled feet and arches a single brow towards her hairline. "Put the camera down, and enjoy this with your eyes." It's not that the camera seemed that important to Corbin, but more so that the motion seemed so natural, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but now that Hokuto is here…

"This was your idea," the dreamwalker admits with an impish smile, warm breeze blowing through her dark hair, shielded from her face by one hand. She's right, though, it was his idea.

A long time ago.

The sight through the camera had been just as beautiful as the one that meets pale eyes when he looks over it and laughs quietly. For once, lately, Corbin doesn't feel the constant need to keep an eye out, to look around for potential lurking dangers. "Yes, ma'am," he says as he tucks the camera away into his coat pocket.

"I still can't believe this is the first time you've ever been here— born in New York City and never once visited the Statue… You needed to get out more," he says, hand leaving his pocket to touch the inky locks of hair behind her ear, as if she had one missplaced.

Even if she didn't.

"Wish we could've done this earlier," he adds after a moment, touching the shoulder of the sundress, before he finally casts his eyes out the observation deck to take it in with his own eyes.

"There's still time," Hokuto admits as she steps to Corbin's side, slipping a pale arm around his waist, head tilting to lean against his shoulder. Golden eyes stare out towards the cityscape of Manhattan, where sunlight gleams off of skyscrapers and the water of the Hudson river. "I can see whatever I want now, it's… like the birds," her free hand raises to motion towards the now distant gulls. "I don't have to walk where I'm going, I can see it through as many eyes as I dare… witness the world. I waited for you," Hokuto admits with a fond smile, looking up to Corbin, "before going here. I did go to Egypt though, saw the pyramids… felt the sand between my toes. The sky there is so clear, so blue."

Squeezing her arm around Corbin's waist, Hokuto's brows tense as she considered his stubbled jaw, lifting her free hand to his chin to check the length of the grit. "You stopped shaving again…" is mused aloud, a thumb tracing beneath his chin as that impish smile becomes fleetingly more serene. "Beards are terrible disguises," she opines with a purse of her lips together.

"You should just grow a mustache," Hokuto explains, putting one finger across her upper lip in mock pantomime. "A lip caterpillar. Like one of Gabriel's kitty-brows, perhaps thicker, more daring. Get some aviator sunglasses, and everyone will mistake you for Tom Sellick." Teeth show in Hokuto's teasing smile, and fingers wind into the fabric of Corbin's shirt.

"Daphne doesn't care much for the beard either," Corbin says with a smile, leaning closer to her for a few moments as he looks out into the distance again, blue eyes searching the gray sky. He might wonder just how bright of a blue that Egypt is. "Think that makes it offical, you've seen more places than me after all— but at least you have the freedom to do that, now." Even if it means she had to die to gain such freedom. More than most of those formerly of the Company can claim.

Always hiding, always running.

Always trying to find new ways to pass for Tom Sellick.

A hand touches the upper lip of his beard, as if trying to imagine how he'd look with said mustache, he finally cracks out a wide smile. "I saw Gabriel a while ago— I think he still misses you, but last I saw Lydia was taking good care of him. Hopefully he's still okay within the Dome, and the bookstore too. I won't be able to check til it's down— but your store has been through so much I don't think a Dome or riot will bring it down."

"Dome?" Dark brows furrow together and Hokuto looks momentarily perplexed. It isn't there, out the window, isn't shimmering dirtily on the horizon between Manhattan and Queens. "What's— " a moment of thoughtful scrutiny crosses Hokuto's features before she recognizes the context of memory, tilts her chin up and steps around in front of Corbin again. "You mean the sinkhole?"

One dark brow lifts, and Hokuto considers Corbin's face for a moment, noting the lack of recognition. She seems embarrassed, perhaps for him. "It's— " golden eyes droop down to square on her feet. "I see it differently. It's like… emptiness. It's nothing, there's no one there. No minds, no thoughts, no dreams. They don't exist." Worry bleeds into Hokuto's features as she looks back up to Corbin, lifting up a hand to rest at his shoulder, trying her best to pay as little attention to the mention of Daphne as possible; it's easier that way.

"They're all gone," Hokuto explains with a slow shake of her head. "They— just don't realize it yet. But I do, I— they're gone, Corbin. There's nothing inside of that sphere. Nothing but foggy fingerpainting on glass."

"They're inside there, Hokuto— you're lucky it happened when it did, or I might have been caught inside," Corbin says with a shake of his head, not wanting to imagine how things would have been if he got trapped there the day he finally broke down to visit the Bookstore after all those months. He hadn't taken the bridge, and certainly didn't flash ID— there's not much of an ID to flash these days.

He's not sure if he's on the most wanted list, or the shoot to kill list, and he'd rather not find out— He imagines they'd want to take him alive, if only to find out what happened to the files he helped 'transfer' or 'misplace'.

"Your mother's store will make it through this," he says, leaning down a bit as he closes some of the distance, to press his lips against her forehead. Which unfortunately means she also gets scritched by the beard on his chin. He can't give any promises beyond hope though. "The forcefield, or whatever it is, must be able to keep anything out— even abilities like yours."

Gold eyes looks askance, and Hokuto offers a slow shake of her head, teeth worrying at her bottom lip. "They're like me," Hokuto insists, withdrawing from Corbin, crossing her arms over her chest and looking to the other tourists standing at the windows, peering out to the sunny sky. "They don't know they should be…" Hokuto can't make herself say what she intended to, can't force herself to admit what others have said about her. That she should have moved on, as if she were some sort of apparition.

"Corbin…" Drawing her bottom lip between her teeth, Hokuto allows those cat-yellow eyes to lift up to the man in front of her, coyly regarding him through the dark fringe of her lashes. "If— If I told you there was a way…" she turns to more fully regard him. "If I could be back," dark brows crease together, a certain anxious emphasis placed on the last word spoken.

"Would it change things?" Hokuto's lips twitch up and down, unsure of whether to smile or not.

If she told him there was a way… Corbin looks away from her as she puts some distance between them, hands disappearing into pockets of his dark colored coat as he stares off into that gray sky, remembering something, that seems like a lifetime ago.

Not long after she died. When he was suddenly faced with the possibility of a man who could ressurrect the dead, turn back time for a body, and make it so they hadn't expired as they were supposed to. Where he considered, more than he should have, bringing her back using him. Even if it meant sacrificing himself to do it.

The only reason he hadn't asked it of the doctor is because… she wouldn't have wanted that. Or so he convinced himself.

"I think there's a lot of things that could happen— or that could have happened— that would change things," he finally says, taking in a slow breath. He doesn't seem to notice the other people around at all. The only one that matters is the one he looks back toward. "What would the cost be?"

Cause there's always a cost.

"I have a student," seems like Hokuto is diverging onto another topic, but it's not that at all. "Her name is— " Dark brows furrow and Hokuto looks away from Corbin for a moment, then back up more guiltily. "It's Benjamin's daughter, Delia." Little, tiny, carrot-topped dee-dee. Benjamin carried pictures of her around with him wherever he went, and when he was the assistant director of the Company Delia's photograph along with her sister's graced his desk.

"I've been teaching her, she's a fast learner. She— she wants to learn how to project herself far out of her body, like I could." Lips downturning to a frown, Hokuto looks away and turns her back on Corbin, arms crossed over her chest, wind blowing her hair over one shoulder. "I told her I wouldn't. I— I don't want her to become like me. She's already…" Unable to finish the comparison, Hokuto instead bites down on her bottom lip gently, and stares at her bare feet in their sandals.

"She made me an offer, of… trading places. My being able to live in her body, while her mind wanders free. A symbiotic relationship," sounds better than what Dema would have called it, would have called Hokuto.


"Christ— She can't be more than…" Corbin looks away as he tries to figure out just how old the little carrot-topped daughter of Ryans' had been the last time he inquired about the girl in polite conversation. "She's barely lived long enough in her own body to try living out of it— I can't imagine there aren't a lot of risks to such an offer, either," he adds, visibly frowning as he watches her.

Risks for both of them, and not the Tom Sellick kinds of risks, either. A bad mustache can be shaved off, but trading places isn't quite as easy to fix if something bad happens.

"What exactly would you want to change, Hokuto?" he asks after a second, question toned rather carefully. As if he's not quite sure if this answer is one that she's going to give. There were many questions and possibilities they dodged while she was in her own body.

"It— it wouldn't be permanent," is Hokuto's way of dodging the question. "I just— While she's out dreamwalking, I could borrow her body." What Hokuto isn't considering, or what she's choosing to ignore, is the physical strain that would put on Delia. Dreamwalking is taxing enough on the body, but never actually getting any sleep could kill the girl. It would be a sparse tradeoff, were Hokuto to be cautious about it. Even then, damage could be done.

"I just… There are opportunities— " Slinking forward towards Corbin, Hokuto lifts her hands up to either side of his face, a bittersweet expression dawning on her face as she tries to smile and fails. "I— I wasn't ready," sounds childish, but it's the first time she's ever been honest about what happened. She's trying her best not to cry, though, for Corbin's sake.

"I wasn't ready to say goodbye…" is Hokuto's whispered plea, piteous as it is.

"I wasn't either," Corbin admits quietly, biting down on his lower lip as he moves to put his hands on both of her shoulders. "But I didn't have to. You're still here— not the same as you were, but you are still here." Even if he wondered for quite some time if he'd gone crazy, or if he was, perhaps, the victim of someone's ability.

A victim of her ability somehow seemed easier for him. If it had been someone else, it would have been cruel.

"I know there's a lot that you… missed out on. If there were other options… But, Hokuto, one body isn't meant to be shared by two people, and I think you know that…" There's a slow inhale, before he adds in a quieter tone, "This— this is enough for me."

In some ways it's far more than he'd had before.

Hokuto's eyes avert from Corbin, down to her feet as she manages a faintly bittersweet smile. Tears finally well up in her eyes, one hand rising to brush them away across the side of a finger. Sniffling, she looks up to Corbin and chokes out an awkward laugh that masks what might have been the start of a sob that never quite makes it out.

"This was a good birthday…" Hokuto admits as she takes a step towards Corbin, lifting up a hand and pressing it to his cheek. Dark brows rise slowly, furrow, and the dreamwalker's jaw trembles and her lips quiver to try and keep a frown from ruining everything. "You— were always so sweet, so good at birthdays, and Valentine's day." Hokuto brushes her thumb across Corbin's lip, then moves her hand away and curls her fingers behind one ear gently.

"Thank you for making this one special…" It's whispered as Hokuto leans up on her toes again, heels coming out of her sandals as she rises to press a kiss to the corner of Corbin's mouth, her fingers at his ear gently squeezing, before she slouches back down onto the flats of her feet, eyes still full of tears. "But— you're right."

Hokuto's voice cracks at that acknowledgement as she parrots back.

"Two people were not meant to share one person."

The Memorial Ampitheater

Arlington National Cemetary

Arlington, Virginia

*Beeb, beep, beep**

Jostling awake abruptly, Corbin Ayers feels like he'd just startled himself awake from a troubling dream. Nestled into one of the stiff, uncomfortable seats in the memorial ampitheater on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetary, it's a miracle that he was able to sleep at all.

The sun has fallen some since he'd first come out here to sit around noon, spring-like air much cooler now that he's finally been headed more northernly in the last few months. It's a far cry from a Californian winter, but Virginia still has its charm, and it's a sight warmer than New York ever would be this time of year, even if dreams make it deceptively comfortable.

His watch beeps three times again — three p.m. — the same sound that had woken him up in reminder.

He has a meeting here to attend.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License