Rain Keeps Falling


delia2_icon.gif lynette5_icon.gif mateo4_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif vf_delia_icon2.gif

Scene Title Rain Keeps Falling
Synopsis After trying and failing to make her point, Njörun targets those she considers her enemies. Luckily they have a dreamwalker of their own.
Date December 12, 2018

In Dreams

One moment, each of them were dreaming their own dreams. Then they’re all suddenly somewhere else. It’s not the blurry mindspace that Delia’s used to, though, it’s a garden. A hedge garden. The hedges rise up in impossible towers, miles and miles until they disappear into the sky. And it’s raining. The cobblestones under their feet are dark, but not damp, really. It’s almost like the rain falls onto their heads but never makes it all the way to the cobbles. It’s almost as if the rain forgot to fall all the way.

Mateo materializes first. This is a place he knows well, but it’s wrong. The hedges never went that high, the sky had always been overhead, he reaches out to run his fingers over the leaves, some damp, some not, when Lynette and Nicole suddenly form into being a few feet away from him. He recognizes them, and even fondly whispers their names, “‘Nette, Nicole,” and while he’s surprised for a moment, as is often the case in dreams he dismisses the oddity at first. But he doesn’t dismiss when a third woman appears. One he doesn’t even know.

A red head with curly hair.

She too knows this place. Not the garden, exactly, but the feel in the air. It’s almost like recognizing a smell, recognizing a scent on the wind. And the dream actively resists her push.

Lynette looks up, following the reach of the hedges. She doesn't notice the others until she hears Mateo whisper her name. That's a sound she can't ignore, even in dreams. Seeing him in her dreams doesn't surprise her, although seeing Nicole, too, that's new.

Delia is not new. There was a time when Lynette's dreams were Delia's training ground and seeing her there has Lynette frowning in displeasure.

"Honestly, Delia. I thought we were over this."

"God damnit," the redhead blurts out as she looks around. She's not pleased at all, especially not pleased that she has no control. When she sees the trio, she starts and does a double-take. "Nicole, Lynette—" The third one, she's seen his face around but hasn't exactly had a proper introduction, or even an informal meeting. Their circles are a bit on the opposite spectrums.

Delia rolls her eyes and presses her lips together unhappily and passes a grimace to the mother of her youngest sister. "Welcome to my nightmare," she quotes, her singing skills unapologetically below par. "I don't think you're gonna like it."

She doesn't.

Every. Freaking. Time.

“I’d say something in response to that…” swiping her hands down her sundress, she frees it from wrinkles and then lifts her chin in a bit of a haughty/hurt feefees sort of way. “As soon as I think of something.”

It’s not unusual for Nicole to share dreams with Delia. Usually it’s meant to be something of a playdate for her daughter, however. A quick glance around shows Pippa nowhere in sight. The inclusion of Lynette and Mateo is… new.

“What’s going on?” The dark-haired electrokinetic reaches out with one hand to feel the drops of rain falling. “What do you mean your nightmare? What is this?”

“Actually, I think we’re in my dream?” Mateo responds with a sound of confusion as he squints up at the sky— which he can’t really see because the walls of the hedges around them are taller than skyscrapers. It almost made him dizzy trying to look up, so he looked back down. He glances back toward his wife with a questioning gaze. He assumes she’ll explain it in a moment. He’s not sure whether to call this his dream or his mind or the garden, but it looks similar.

But not all at once. Had the paths been cobble, or had they been dirt? And the usually constant sound of something wasn’t there either, just a soft hum like a note held too long in the distance and the soft sound of rain falling. “Is she a friend?” he asks after a moment, looking between the women.

Something else answers the question, though, the garden hedges shifting as if caught in a wind.

Wind that carried a voice. A voice that was cold rather than angry, and sounded very much like Delia’s. Only Delia’s mouth wasn’t moving. “They killed me.” Nicole and Lynette both feel the hint of fingers touching their necks, the soft sharp smoothness of a fingernail brushing the sensitive skin. But there was nothing there.

"Yes," Lynette is quick to answer Mateo, to reassure him— and Delia, too. "Delia is a dreamwalker. Delia, this is Mateo, my husband." It shouldn't sound so normal, introducing them to one another in a dream. And yet.

Further explanation gets cut off, though. She jumps at the touch, spinning around to find nothing there. Just then she remembers that someone said something about a nightmare. "Yes, well," Lynette says to the voice, "we've killed a lot of people." Because they have. "But never Delia Ryans." She turns back to look at the more physical Delia, a question in her gaze rather than an accusation. "Are you okay, Delia?" In here, out there, it's an all encompassing question. She also seems to assume the answer is no, and she moves toward the red head. Protectively. As if she could do anything in a dream.

"No, they didn't!" Delia's call is frantic as she twists around, looking up at the sky, at the hedges, everything around them for that faint lick of red hair. For her doppleganger. "They didn't kill you. Nicole would never kill you! She’s family!!"

She won't speak for Lynette, especially so early in the dream. It's quite possible the woman might kill them both after this is finished, if she's able. Right now, Delia has no idea what to do, except argue. “No,” Lynette’s assumption is absolutely correct. Though, the single word answer isn’t enough to convey exactly how not alright Delia is, it’s all she has right now.

"The people who killed you aren't these people, just like I'm not you and you're most definitely not me."

Nicole lets out a startled yelp and whirls around when she feels that brush against her neck. She doesn’t like an adversary she can’t lay eyes on. Slowly, she backs toward the others in the group, as though to form up defensively. Like she might plan a counter attack.

“Carrot Cake, please.” She’s talking to the disembodied voice of her friend, rather than the one standing nearby. “Nobody here wants to hurt you.” Could it be some sort of projection of her subconscious? But… isn’t that what she does already?

Instinctively, she looks toward the sky, as if to blame the aurora that’s been hanging about lately.

Normally, Mateo would offer a hand or something, but the situation doesn’t exactly call for it right now, with something going on. He can hear that ringing, as if it were getting louder, and it’s causing him to grimace.

No one else can hear that, even in this place.

The aurora is more visible when Nicole looks up. It’s as if the walls have shrunk. Nothing but trouble, that sky, as if the world itself were bleeding into each other, which in many ways was exactly what was happening. Little pieces burrowing into the minds of those around them.

And this one starts to form in the shadows, a pale woman, curly red hair, but she looks a lot more like the young Delia that they had first known. At least in age. Her eyes look older, as if they had seen far too much. Most would not have those eyes at such an age. “I might. I haven’t decided yet.” She looks a lot like Delia, sounds a lot like Delia, but those eyes.

“What a soft life you’ve lived, ‘Carrot Cake’,” she muses softly. The form isn’t filled out all the way, as if she’s half there, half not. Partially translucent. “But you might be right. They didn’t kill me. They did. But it’s okay. I killed them too.”

It sounded strange, until that partially translucent hand touches the hedge wall and the area around her hand… just starts to melt with a cry of pain that echoes down the maze walls, turning into a sickly red liquid that drips like thick sticky sap, mingling with the rain.

The cry of pain was coming from Mateo, though, a hand going to his head as he stumbles.

On the other side of the hole being melted into the wall was a room. Walls made of concrete and metal. The edges were fuzzy, but for a frozen moment they could see Mateo— a different Mateo— standing there, staring toward a figure sitting on the floor, the tear stained, unkempt image of Nicole — only not Nicole at all.

“Where is she? What happened?” the other Otter says in a worried voice, strained, sounding as if he’d ran the whole way there, and looking it too.

The Nicole pushes herself to her feet, to move closer, eyes a brighter blue, hiding the red, but not the puffiness in her eyes. “Tomato…”

"Oh…" Lynette's look toward Delia, this one, turns into something more sympathetic, "she's from another timeline. Instead of dying, she slipped through. She's like your mentor." A ghost.

Musing over the nature of this other Delia gets cut off when Mateo makes that sound. She rushes his way, her hands coming to his face in an attempt to be comforting. "I'm here," is what she says. It's the only reassurance she can offer. She doesn't know if it'll be over soon or if he's going to be okay.

As much as she might try not to look at what Nightmare Delia is conjuring for them, when she hears the Other Otter, she turns her attention that way. She even knows which one it is. Seeing another Nicole there, looking the way she looks— it only confirms what Lynette has suspected about their traveling otter. Since she saw Eve's painting of him making that journey alone. His Lynette couldn't join him. She glances away again, back to her Mateo. As if she might be able to ignore what's happening there.

"I don't have a mentor," Delia's curt answer isn't without its own hurt feelings, but this isn't the time for that. "I haven't had one for years."

She steps away from the rest of them and toward the image, her eyebrows drawing down into a sharp vee. "What are you doing to him?" She doesn't understand, she can't hear the noise that's crippling Mateo. "You need to stop this! You talk and talk and talk about how you just did things to survive…" She points to Mateo and her voice rises to an angry pitch. "Well this isn't surviving, this is just evil."

Her tone drops, quieter but no less angry, and the grimace on her face remains the same. "Mom would be so disappointed in you."

There’s a horrified fascination as Nicole studies the apparition of Delia - the other Delia - then the scene that’s unfolding in front of them. Lynette has Mateo in hand, so Nicole stares at her other self. She can see the pain in her. Feel it in the woman’s posture and the tone of her voice. But there’s also something not quite right about the way she carries herself.

Like it isn’t her.

The scene continues to play out before them, in real time. A horrible scene of a world far away and a time long ago. That apparently this woman knew how to find even if she had to tear through something to show it how she wanted. In the background there’s the hint of a song on the air. A tune familiar to at least some of them. And it’s sung with a voice some of them know. Sad, hoarse, thick with emotion.

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars

Mateo’s eyes lift, blinking through the pain. He’s about to ask what happened when he hears his own voice, hears a familiar one saying the same exact nickname that she used for him here. This Nicole looked nothing like their Nicole, but she still used the same nickname for him, even worlds away.

Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars

“She’s— she’s with me,” the Nicole says quietly. And then something happens. That light fades from her eyes in a flash of lightning that solidifies into Lynette. The wound in her abdomen starts bleeding as soon as she appeared. “‘Nette, no!” the woman she’d left yells, falling to her knees as the woman left her, looking weak and pale from the sudden loss of energy.

In other words, hold my hand
In other words, darling, kiss me

The other Ruiz moves closer, reaching out to take the hand she offers, bending down to hold her. “‘Nette. I’m here, mi luz.” The scene continues to play out, as Lynette suspects it would, with Mateo watching in horror.

Fill my life with song
Let me sing for ever more

The vision seems to shift slightly, skipping like a movie that someone decided to fast forward. Lynette’s pressing something into his hand, a folded piece of paper. And it becomes obvious that he is the one singing it, his lips move over the tears, as he sings as if to sing her to sleep.

You are all I long for
All I worship and adore

The one showing this doesn’t watch, instead focusing on Delia, giving her a look that could only be taken as spite— or jealous. “Even in other worlds, people aren’t that different. Some things don’t change.” one dead woman asks the living one who said it. “You’re just as capable of everything I am and you know it. And if you want this to stop… you know how to stop me.”

The song— or rather, the tone it is sung in— straightens Lynette's posture. Her hands stay on Mateo's face and she tries to keep her gaze focused there, too. But it doesn't last. She looks. Of course she looks.

That song was her favorite. It isn't, all of a sudden.

"Don't look at them," she says, words to herself and to Mateo. Probably to Nicole and Delia, too. "Don't look at them, look at me. Delia— can you get us out of here?" She seems to be planning on dealing with this alternative Delia by ignoring her.

It's a sort of acquiescence to Lynette's request that Delia does not look at the other Lynette and the other Mateo. This is only because she's busy looking at her other self. "Capable and willing are two different things," she replies, still seething. "You say people aren't different, but you and me?" She stops.

And then she frowns and her eyes drift to the ground.

They were both swept up in a war, though for opposite sides in different times, both for survival. "We're different," she spits to her other self. Then pointing toward the trio with her, she narrows her eyes and growls, "They're not the same people, but they're the same. They're good guys and you're pure evil."

Her piece said, the hedges begin slowly knitting themselves back together, closing the hole between the worlds and hiding the scene Lynette doesn’t want them to watch.

Nicole’s breath comes in quiet gasps, distress overtaking her at the sight playing out before them. Despite all her good sense and Lynette’s urgings, she can’t tear her eyes away. Tears flow, further betraying her grief at the sight. Even though it isn’t her, even though those aren’t her friends, they are.

The horror of watching her best friend die in her husband’s arms is unfathomable. “Make her stop,” Nicole hisses, unsure of which of those gathered she’s asking.

The hedges begin to knit back into place, but seem thinner than they should be, leafless more than full and bushy and green. The scene also blurs, fades out, only the soft sound of singing heard in the background. It could be what Delia has done, it could be what the other woman did. It could be anything. But that singing is wrong. It’s no longer Mateo singing. It’s the sound like the song recorded on vinyl, the soft whisper of sound that no other form of recording device could ever quite get right.

And it’s skipping.

In other words, in oth


In other words, in oth


Over and over, like a memory that doesn’t want to finish, like a second of time that wanted to be held in place as long as it could. It sounded far off, whispered, but clear all the same. The walls have lowered, too, as Mateo looks up at Lynette and tries to nod, as if he’s attempting to agree with her. He tried not to look, but he saw enough. Enough to tell him that what they saw was real. Enough that he wanted to find the woman he sometimes met in this garden and…

His head still hurt, from the way to pressed his hand against the side, but he looked toward the strangers, the two redheads.

“Oh yes, they are so good. Following the words of a man who didn’t care who died as long as he got what he wanted. Who didn’t care if those he sent to retrieve his prize would burn children alive rather than set them free. Maybe everyone’s capable of evil. Maybe you are too.” The darker redhead steps forward. “He called us Njorun.”

In other words, in oth


In other words, in oth


“But you can end this, forever. Or do you want to see how she died?” she points a finger toward Nicole. On that word the Garden shifts, until they see a bloody hand clawing at the floor, trying to pull itself into the corridor from another path. A hand that’s sparking with electricity.

Lynette saw enough, too. Heard enough to know the other Ruiz's heartbreak. But she takes in a shaky breath and leans in to rest her forehead against Mateo's. It takes her a long moment, but she pulls away from her husband to look toward Njorun.

"No one is pure evil," she comments, almost to herself. Her work now exposes her to all sorts of people who lash out and hurt others. Rarely is it because they decided to be awful on purpose. Most of the time, it was because they were in pain. Or scared. "I'm sorry," she says to the other dream manipulator. "He used people, especially vulnerable people. It doesn't mean you're evil." And that isn't bullshit, she believes it. "It doesn't have to be like this," she says with a gesture toward where the other Lynette died. "What do you need?"

She certainly doesn't want to see how the other Nicole died. But also, she doesn't want this other Delia to do things she might regret doing later.

The finger pointed in her direction has Nicole standing straighter. How she died. It’s not inconceivable that there are other worlds in which she didn’t survive to this point. Hell, the war was a near thing on many occasions. But the infinite universe theory doesn’t provide any comfort when she sees her own hand clawing at the ground, covered in her own blood.

What Lynette wants is not what she gets because this Delia, her Delia, is growing more angry and frustrated. When she flings her arm, Lynette is pulled away from Mateo and hurled up into the air, tumbling through the nothingness until she's no longer visible. Then she turns to Nicole and with a flick of her wrist, the other woman is yanked in the opposite direction. Before she disappears completely, an apology reverberates through her mind. It's not a voice as much as a feeling that simply explodes through her, love laced with a potent amount of guilt.

"I'm ending it," she says, stooping next to Mateo and resting a hand on his shoulder. She whispers something into his ear and stays by his side, not in the same capacity as Lynette but it's an attempt at comfort. It doesn't take long before it happens, the world around them dissipating as the fog of consciousness takes over. Then she rises.

"… forever."

In that final moment, she lunges at Njorun and they both disappear with a pop.

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