Plastic Fantasies


delia2_icon.gif nicole_icon.gif

Scene Title Plastic Fantasies
Synopsis Delia pays Nicole a visit to ask about what she's seen.
Date April 18, 2011

In Dreams

The music is loud and thumping bass makes the walls shudder and the foundations shake. As is appropriate at a night club, one should imagine. There are hot bodies crushed together in the rhythmic ritual of bump and grind. Flashing lights overhead multicoloured and strobe. A fog in the air that obscures faces and forms, though there's the sense that everyone here is young, and beautiful, the men and women alike. Despite being utterly unmemorable.

In that crowd, however, one woman is like a beacon, in that she's got features that are discernible. Or maybe it's that they don't shift and change when the light plays off of them. Her hair, longer than she wears it in life if only to facilitate the way she tousles it as she dances, is darker than Delia remembers. A shade of black that shines blue when the lights hit her right. The black bra worn under long-sleeved fishnet weave, and a black skirt that avoids rising up due to the way physics work (or don't) here seem to soak up the light. The same is said for the dark shadow and liner aroun her eyes, the black lipstick her mouth is painted with.

It's as though she refuses to glow here. There is no circle around her to make her easier to find or approach. She's not the centre of attention, only part of the crowd. All swaying hips and rotating partners. No one stays with her very long.

Under a spot of black light, someone glows electric blue. Delia sits on top of the bar, her legs crossed at the ankle, fingers curled around the edge of the Formica as she stares out onto the dance floor. Unlike the dreamer, the visitor isn't dancing or mingling, everyone in the room seems to be gravitating toward the woman on the dance floor. Whether they stay or not, they're drawn to her and every time someone leaves, there's another to take his or her place.

She stares for a while, the whites of her eyes taking on a darker hue under the same light that makes her dress so startlingly bright. When she slips off the counter she fades a little, making it easier to move in closer to the dance floor without being noticed… much. She's still the only one in white among a sea of black.

Her feet don't touch the floor as she glides onto the hardwood square. All the better to keep her feet in tact, free of glass and injury from clumsy people in shoes too dangerous for bare toes. "Nicole," the soft voice doesn't need to be loud. Even though the music is much too deafening to hear anything so quiet normally, the name seems to echo through the mind. Seeking attention.

The dark-haired woman's head lifts and she drunkenly steps away from her partner of the moment. A few steps are stumbled forward until she can reach out for the younger woman in white. "Delia!" she cries out over the music, even though she doesn't need to be so loud to be heard. Blue eyes wide, bright, and excited.

Not just drunk, Nicole Nichols is high.

"Delia! Come dance with me," she beckons with her hand outstretched for the other to take. A wide smile, full of energy, for all that she seems to suck up the brightness around her. A perfect converse to the way Delia seems to be made of light for all that she's ultraviolet auroral.

She could dance here, probably very well, but it's not the type of place she's ever been to and as such Delia is somewhat uncomfortable. She does, however, allow her hand to be taken and she lifts one high to twirl the shorter woman around and around. It's sort of dancing, at least Nicole is dancing.

"Nicole," she repeats, making the attempt to garner a little bit of clarity from the woman she's with. Unsure if the woman is simply acting the part in the dream or if her mind is actually fogged from too much imbibing over the course of waking hours. "How are you?"

Nicole does twirl, and laugh. Two, three spins before she tugs Delia in to wrap an arm around her waist. She doesn't grind with her the way she would any other woman at a club. Delia isn't that type of girl. Not the Delia Nicole fancies she knows anyway.

"Is that a philosophical question?" the older woman asks, more gently shifting back and forth with the other in time with the thump, thump, th-thu-thump of techno. "I'm good with philosophy. I majored in it, you know!" Nicole gasps then, suddenly, and leans in to rub the tip of her nose against Delia's affectionately. "Ask me about free will and determinism! I'm good with those!"

"I know, you're very free willed and spirited." At least what she knows about the woman, save one embarrassing moment in a garden at the hotel. She doesn't mention it. "I do have a philosophical question though, I guess. Have you been having any strange dreams?"

The younger woman pulls away, not to be rude but to get a better look at Nicole. Then Delia gives a slight smile, one that's overshadowed with worry for the state that she's found the dreamer in. "It's important, if you can answer me… I have someone I'd like you to meet."

"That's right!" Nicole declares triumphantly, at least until Delia puts some space between them. "Why so serious, Carrot Cake? Life's a party! We should be having fun!"

Okay, that doesn't sound much like Nicole. At least, not the one Delia's come to know. But things are important. To Delia. And so Nicole's movements slow to a somewhat awkward stop. The music grows quieter, for all that it doesn't have to here. The crowd thins out, bodies disappearing in between gaps made by roving lights.

A child seems to ghost her way through the bodies left on the dance floor. "Ingrid!" Nicole shouts after the small girl, breaking away from Delia to give chase. "Ingrid, wait!" She collides with a man and a woman that would be joined at the pelvis if they could somehow smash any closer to one another. "Get out of my way!" the panicked (will-be — would-be?) mother shouts, shoving the pair roughly aside. They tumble to the floor and seem to break apart into the fog that's thickest at their feet.

"Ingrid!" Try as she might, Nicole can't catch up to the little blonde. The remaining dancers have become a maze she can't navigate through quickly enough. Even as she viciously swipes at people, turning them to smoke. Smoke that only grows more dense and causes her to lose sight of her little princess. In terrible dismay, she turns back in the direction she left Delia. To cry out to her, "Help me!"

Deep blue eyes follow the progression of the apparition as Delia aids Nicole in only one respect, thinning the crowd. One by one the dancers and patrons thin to translucent spectres and then fade completely until there's nothing left but the two of them. "She's not here, Nicole." There's a sympathetic quality to her tone and the downturn of her lips. Bad news has never really been easy to break for the redhead. It usually ends up with her own tears.

The little blonde girl is familiar to the dreamwalker, but only in one regard. A photograph. "She's not here right now, but I can help you. Out there." Not outside the club is the implication, out there. Lacing her fingers together in front of her, she gives the other woman a small smile and lets her eyes drop to the floor. Her feet hover a few inches above it, just because she doesn't want to touch down.

The dreamer staggers, catching her breath. The little girl is gone — was never here, accurately — seemingly having disappeared into the haze. Nicole slowly approaches Delia again and the white lights grow brighter over them. "Can- Can you hang out here for couple minutes?" She knows now that this is a dream, but isn't certain how all of that works out for Delia. "I'll be right back. I promise. I just… don't feel so good."

Solstice Condominiums: Nicole's Home

Face still resting against the cool ceramic of her bathtub, Nicole suddenly jolts out of sleep, throwing her weight to the right. She doesn't have to get up or crawl over to the stool. The lid and seat are already up, in anticipation of such an event. Violently, she empties her stomach into the bowl, a groan escaping her lips once she's finally done.

The lid is brought down for the length of time it takes to flush the sick away, then it's reset just in case there's a round three. (This isn't the first time tonight she's thrown up.) This time, she curls up on the tile floor to avoid a sore neck from the awkward angle of the lean against the tub. Unconsciousness doesn't take long to reclaim her.

In Dreams

The space she occupies is suddenly no longer a club, as though it only looked that way when cast in dark and shadow. When bathed in the light, it's Nicole's home. Solstice Condominiums. There's a CD case on the coffee table, traces of white powder still in the grooves at its edges, though apparently Nicole's tried to clean up after herself. A glass half full of scotch sits next to it. She looks pensive, thoughtful as she steps out of the bathroom and makes her way down the hall. "I was thinking about…" Her fingers come up to wrap around the gold ring on the end of a chain around her neck. "Things."

The grains of white powder lift up into the air, aided by no current as they begin to piece themselves into the form of a young woman. Without pigment, Delia looks nothing more than a ghost for as long as it takes the powder to sweep itself from the table and into the doorway of the kitchen that gives way to the living room. Only when she is fully formed does red bleed into where her hair drifts lazily before it settles down around her shoulders. "Thinking about?" Delia repeats before glancing in the direction that's captured Nicole's gaze and a sigh emits from her lips. "Oh…"

For a brief moment, there's an ethereal image of John Logan seated on Nicole's couch. "Keep it," he tells her. Fades out again. A memory. "It's not his," she feels the need to clarify for the dreamwalker.

"What brings you to my troubled mind? These dreams… they're why I haven't been sleeping lately. If you've been trying to find me."

"I haven't, until now," is the shy admission from the young redhead, still watching the blank space where her housemate once stood. There's a guilty expression on her face, omission of fact is still a lie and though nothing untoward has happened between them, she can't rightly explain the circumstances that brought her under the same roof as the man her future sister in law might love.

Delia's pale grey eyes explode to a vivid hue of blue before she opens her mouth to speak again. There's two shades that color the apparition now, a slow weave into the powder that comprises her makeup. "Ingrid, can you tell me who she is?" The name is familiar, one of the others that Jasmine spoke about a few short months ago. Another person that Delia shared a roof with for a few days.

"Ingrid is… my daughter." Nicole answers hesitantly. "It's also the name of a young woman I know who works for the DoEA." That Delia is made of cocaine has colour touching the older woman's cheeks, shame and embarrassment for her vice. The thought crosses her mind to ask her not to tell anybody, but there's an element of trust there. She believes Delia will keep the secret.

"In my dreams, I see a little girl. The one you saw just a bit ago. But not usually like that. In the other dreams, they're… events. Like things that have happened. But… not yet?" Nicole's lips turn upward into a wry smile. "I'm not the expert on dreams," that would be you, "but I'd say she's been on my mind a fair amount, and so… She made an appearance.

"The other is a girl named Ingrid Raines. She's… I think she's maybe eighteen? Nineteen? Pretty, smart, shy. And… I swear she has the same blue eyes. But that's just…" Nicole sighs. "Impossible."

Hardly an expert, Delia is still taking baby steps when it comes to smashing through the subconscious minds of her friends and family. She's not as delicate or as subtle as all of the other dreamwalkers she's come across. In the fine art of sculpting dreams, Delia Ryans' method is akin to taking a sledge hammer to fine marble.

Nevertheless. "I have a picture of her. Your daughter, with you." She says, as she stretches one hand out. The room warps and folds in on itself to bring the two women closer together without either of them having to move. A dizzying effect that has the dreamwalker shaking her head lightly to clear it. After the change it looks exactly the same except smaller, yet still the same size. Somehow.

Delia's fingers are angled in such a fashion that it appears she's holding a piece of paper but there's nothing there. Not until they get closer to Nicole. As the manipulator's hand enters the dreamer's space, more of the cocaine flies from the table and the dust gathers tightly together to form a photograph. Nicole and a little blond toddler outside of a townhouse.

A gasp, audible and entirely unguarded. Nicole stares at the photo, once she can actually see it. "That's her!" She makes a move to reach for the picture, but stops herself, uncertain about whether it will crumble to white dust if she touches it. "That's my Ingrid. And that's… That's our house."

Too-bright electric settles on cornflower. "Delia, in my last dream, the reason I haven't been sleeping… The people in my life that cared about me, that I cared about, came to me to tell me my husband - Ingrid's father - had died." Nicole looks a little scared when she admits, "His name was Ben."

"They're not dreams," Delia explains gently, gliding forward to sits with Nicole in front of the coffee table while the last traces of white powder disappear. "They're memories that you haven't had yet." The redhead's lips are downturned and she doesn't lift her eyes from the photograph in her hand. "Ingrid's father is named Ben?" It's her father's name.

There's a brief smile that touches the dreamwalker's lips as she looks at the photograph. "When I was little, I used to name everything Benjamin and Mary, after my dad and mom. They were the best names in the whole world. I hated my name— I was named after one of my grandma's… sort of. At least it's not Minerva or something just as terrible." She smiles a little and reaches around the thinner woman's shoulders to give her a small hug. "I don't think my mom knew anything about what my dad did for a living. I think if she did, she'd have been worried all the time that he'd never come home again."

"I… I just met your father. The other day." Nicole returns the hug with a bit of out-of-character timidness. "He… seems like a very nice man. And I…" Dark head tips back against the couch, blue-black hair fanning against white upholstery. "He said he hadn't had any dreams about me, or… Or Ingrid. So it's probably just a coincidence, but." No trailing off. Just but.

"Lots of people are named Ben," Delia agrees with a slight nod, her arm pulling from around Nicole as she leans backward. "He has a girlfriend," the frail statement is accompanied by a shrug as the redhead turns away, letting loose the picture and watching the dust reclaim its rightful spot on the coffee table. Another addict. Well it's well within her father's M.O., he loves being the white knight.

A pale hand reaches out and takes the scotch from the other woman's hand, crushing the glass into a puff of bronze and gold glitter that drifts to the floor. "You're not going to be any kind of mother with all this. You need to clean up, this isn't good for you."

Nicole actually looks a little sad by the loss of her scotch. If only for what it represents to her. An object isn't an object, it's an idea. Her fingers close around the gold at her chest again. The ring. "Jenn was murdered. Allen's dead. Logan's left me. Your brother, my protector, seem content to ignore my existence. Danny's dying. My sister is gone."

And that's when the tears slide down her cheeks. It's the first time she's said it. Colette is gone. "I failed her." Nicole leans forward, burying her face in her hands. "I failed her again. Like I did when she was eight. Like I did when she was fifteen." Her breath comes ragged, sobs shaking her body and she pitches over until she's resting her head against Delia's lap, allowing the breakdown in the secrecy of her dreams. "I don't deserve to live. I don't want to live."

A hand rests on top of the blue and raven head of hair and doesn't move. As though the simple touch is enough to sooth.

"Yes you do," Delia says quietly, only now starting to brush tickling strands away with her fingertips. "Because if you don't, you're never going to see Ingrid and— " she pauses there to close her eyes and lay her head back against the sofa, this would be so much better in person. Except more awkward.

"And I think Ingrid is going to mean more to you than any of this pain right now." She doesn't dismiss any of what the crying woman says, quietly listening as the sobs take over the dream, filling both of them like glasses. The redhead's slender fingers pull back some of the bangs and she lets loose a long sigh, breathing out the scent of lavender and mint, overwhelming the stench of the scotch and sweet dripping flavor of cocaine.

In reality, Delia is far from a perfect singer. Here is a different story. Dulcet tones of her voice are let out with the last bit of her sigh that stop when she feels the need to inhale again. "Sssshhh… Nicole. It'll be okay, I'm still here."

"I'm not good enough," Nicole insists. Her voice sounds weak, and she hates herself for it. It's a tangible emotion that Delia can feel more than she can see. "I'm not good enough for that little girl. She's so sweet, and perfect." Even though she hasn't married Ingrid's father (or even really knows him), hasn't given birth to the girl, Nicole feels connected to her. "She deserves so much better than me."

"You know, she's not going to exist without you, right?" The dreamwalker can be a harsh mistress when she chooses to be. The brutal honesty in her words cut through the depression like a hot knife through soft serve ice cream, in the end the cauterized ends of that tangible emotion are swept away. If only so Delia doesn't have to feel them. "You need to pull yourself together, Nicole."

Setting her jaw, she purses her lips together and then gently lifts the other woman from her lap to look her in the eye. "No one is ever good enough to be a mom or a dad. You can always do better, what's important is that you do the very best that you can and you make sure that they know how much you love them."

Nicole sniffles a little lot miserably and stares back at Delia, searching her face for… something. "I'm sorry," is what she settles on. "She… Ingrid. Did she look happy? Every time I've seen her, she looked so sad." Granted, she hadn't seen anything happy.

But a hand comes up to brush over her own tear-streaked cheek and Nicole remembers the little girl pressing kisses there. "You're right… Ingrid is worth living for. My little princess." Her hand shifts to instead brush her thumb over Delia's face then. "Thank you."

Delia's lips press into a thin smile and she bends to give Nicole a kiss on the forehead, almost an exact mimicry of the ones delivered to her in other dreams. "She looks happy in the picture, yeah." She doesn't comment about the woman who allowed her use of a twin bed for a few days. A woman who, though terribly skittish, seemed like a genuinely happy person.

Pale hands move to either side of Nicole's face and she cups her cheeks to stare into her eyes. "I can't be here every night, are you sure you're going to be okay? Maybe you should get Lu to stay with you for a while? She needs a place to stay… and she can help you."

"I… have someone." Just not tonight. Probably. Though there's a glance given down the hall, as though Nicole's forgotten for a moment that this is just her home constructed in her mind. This conversation can't rouse whoever's sleeping in her bed. "It'll be fine. I don't know if here is the safest place for Lu. I… I'll be okay." She smiles then. It's faint, and it's tired, but it's there. "Thank you. Really. You… have a lot of wisdom for your age. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, Carrot Cake."

Nicole draws the dreamwalker in for a tight hug before she pushes off of the couch, and starts off toward the bathroom, as though returning to where her body rests in the waking world.

dirk_icon.gif nicole3_icon.gif

Solstice Condominiums: Nicole's Home

The stench of appletinis is prevalent in the bedroom, where Nicole's guest has taken over her bed for the night. One suited arm thwumps across the empty side and lands on the pillow. Dainty fingers feel around the empty position before dipping under the covers and letting off a soft sigh. "Oh Barbie… I love you~" Dirk smiles as he pulls the worn toy up onto the pillow that would normally be Nicole's spot in her own bed. Tonight it's just Dirk and Barbie, Nicole is off doing whatever bulemic socialites do at the end of the night.

Pushing up from the cold and, honestly, not terribly comfortable tile, Nicole surveys the bathroom. She does not remember leaving her pantyhose in a wadded up ball in the bathtub, but there was a lot of tequila involved in the evening. She only hopes that didn't happen in front of Dirk.

Speaking of, she pads to her bedroom in bare feet and rumpled wrap dress to make sure there isn't a corpse in her bed, only to find her place taken by a doll. A soft sigh escapes Nicole's lips, a shake of her head. This is what happens when you lose track of curfew. One fond smile, and it's off to sleep on the couch. She'll leave fruity assistants to their nylon and plastic fantasies.

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