Shattered Dreams


dumortier_icon.gif emily_icon.gif bf_kara_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif

Scene Title Shattered Dreams
Synopsis After a failure to successfully unite those made to witness, some stragglers sift through the sharp edges of that shattered dream.
Date January 2, 2020

Cat's Cradle

It's been a number of minutes since gunshots were fired and the crowd at Cat's Cradle dispersed in several directions all at once. Emily Esptein had beaten the crowd out in being one of the first people out the door, a white raven on her arm. When she pushes the door to Cat's open again almost a half hour later, ravenless, she regards the bar space with caution.

She sees a number of semi-familiar faces still on the bar floor. Thankfully, Eve isn't among them.

Not-so-thankfully, she doesn't see Finch's yellow poof jacket anywhere.

"Fuck," Emily whispers, letting the door close behind her as quietly as possible. No need to overannounce her presence in the bar again. She struggles for a moment in determining who to ask about the girl's wellbeing, and in a moment of futility draws her phone from her pocket before remembering Finch didn't have one on her. A strangled note leaves her, inclining her to lift her head and look around the bar again. Her brow lifts as her attention catches on a person less-unfamiliar than the rest.

"Hey, uh—"

She still doesn't know Silas' name. So much had broken out right when they were working on introductions. With a grumble for that, Emily works on closing her proximity to him to eliminate any question on who she was talking to. "Hey, did you see where Finch went?" she asks with a touch of urgency.

Silas glances over at the familiar voice, arching an eyebrow; he'd thought Emily had noped right out. She'd gotten rid of her bird, he sees; probably smart… although judging by her question, she hadn't handed it off to Finch. Or maybe she had, and she'd lost both of them.

"John. John Dantes," he says, nodding. "And no, I haven't seen her for awhile." He glances around; still no sign of Finch's distinctive jacket. "Last I saw, she was trying to bring order to this… whatever this is. When Mr. Sunshine was kicking the crap out of the bartender," he says, the tone of his voice making it clear exactly how he feels about that particular debacle.

He pauses to glance back to Emily. "Hey, Emily. Did both of you have the dream?"

Emily closes her eyes hard when Silas says he doesn't know where Finch is. "Fuck," she breathes out again, like it's a magic curseword that might suddenly solve all of her problems. She could go for time being rewound, sudden teleportation… any kind of magic would do here, for helping her feel like less of a fuck-up.

When she opens her eyes, she turns to look down the bar a little harder, hoping against reason maybe Nathalie stuck around too. "Fuck," she repeats with more distress to it than even previously. She'd have to text her a thanks for looking out for her earlier. For a moment it almost seems like Silas' question to her has gone entirely unheard until she looks back to him belatedly.

The look on her face says it definitely didn't. There's a wariness to it, to her. "… Yeah," she finally admits, quiet, as if that hadn't been the whole reason everyone came and it needed to remain secret. "I thought I'd died in my sleep." Emily breaks eye contact after that, head shaking uncertainly.

Anything else Emily might've said in that particular moment is abbreviated by the heavy footfalls of someone stomping up the stairs from Eve's Oracle Room. It's not Eve who crests them and marches across the floor, but she flinches all the same at the glare the woman gives her, as if she might approach Emily directly over something.

But Kara Prince does not. Still wearing her coat and scarf, she slams an empty glass down on the end of the bar, looking like she'd much rather have thrown it. To the glass's merit, it doesn't shatter or crack. "Rene, we're leaving," she says down the bar, looking scores more disturbed and angry than she had been even when she was wearing the wrong body out in the alley.

Whatever happened down there, it's rattled her.

That Sunshine who started the snafu was deposited inside the building at the back; a time out, in a way. Dumortier huddles in a chair against the back wall, arms crossed and hood up. He's definitely listening in from across the bar, but not at all giving any indication of participating. He only stirs at the loud stomps coming upstairs from below.

"Thank god- -" Rene's first words come out before he gets a better look, eyes moving from the other people he was previously trying to ignore, back to Kara. "Hey, hey, wait, the hell is wrong?"

When Kara gets nervous, generally that means to be on your toes.

Silas, too, turns at the sound of heavy footfalls coming up the steps, and… hoo boy. The bouncer — Kara, he thinks her name was? — is moving along at a good clip, with the kind of look in her eye that feels like it should be turning people into flash shadows on the far wall. It's not hard to tell that she is livid.

Even Mr. Sunshine — for whom he now, helpfully, has a name — seems taken aback by how much of a boil she seems to be at. Silas is too, for that matter; she'd been cool as a cucumber from what he'd seen of the bar brawl. Almost by reflex, he looks back to where she'd come from. To the stairs leading down to the Oracle Room. The Oracle Room, where Eve holds court. The Oracle Room, which Eve had retreated to after her little Yosemite Sam incident. "Eve…" Silas growls, low under his breath. What are you doing, Eve? he thinks to himself, frustration showing on his face.

He exhales. "Yeah. I kept thinking am I dead," Silas says grimly. "Or… hearing it, maybe. Used to be, it wouldn't have been weird for me to think like that, but nowadays…" he shakes his head. "And it kept getting worse…" he murmurs, glancing around again for signs of Finch, and once again having no luck.

It is only somewhat belatedly that the small figure of Yi-Min straggles out of the same stairwell that Kara had appeared from minutes ago, her lips pressed together into the thinnest and most displeased of lines.

Finally extricating herself from Eve's unrelenting clutches had been an ordeal.

"Kara, wait," calls out her quietly insistent voice from behind, only a little bit beseeching. It sounds more like a scarcely held back sigh. With slightly more grace, she flips her own empty glass that she had been carrying onto the countertop neatly right next to where Kara had slammed down hers. "Eve things," she mutters softly and dryly across at Rene when she hears his words, as though it should mean anything to him.

It might. The proprietor of the establishment had put on quite the explosive display earlier in the evening, and she had also made quite the exit.

Emily looks away from the scene the other blonde woman is starting with a small shake of her head and a step firmly away from it, but not exactly closer to Silas John, either. Eve business in Eve's bar isn't really surprising to her, but she tries to steer clear of it. It's easy, when he's talking how he is. She keeps a straight face, only a small frown pulling her features down. "The thing, the voice, what it made us see— all that tragedy. I heard other people shout out against it. People I knew, people I didn't. It— it gave me hope."

Something unsettled her, though, through it all. "It said the world wasn't meant for humankind, though," Emily recalls, slow. Cautious. "But us? We're still human. What the fuck was it, then? Are we dealing with actual, literal aliens here?"

Actual ones. Possibly actual facestealing aliens from other dimensions. But for real this time.


The sound of additional footsteps draw both Emily's eyes and Kara's, the young thin blonde legitimately concerned for a moment it might be Eve, whereas the Marine by the bar seems like she'd welcome it. When Yi-Min comes right to Kara's side, it seems like it should eliminate the need for speaking with any kind of volume.

But it apparently doesn't.

"For the record, Yi-Min, I can't turn my back on my past. It is literally, physically impossible!" Kara erupts suddenly, hand sliding off the bar as she turns back to the Taiwanese woman. Her flat mask slides free, anguish making itself visibly plain in a way it hasn't in all the time Yi-Min has known her, save for a blurry flash of a moment when she had been shot. Whatever she's going through, it manifests as anger, one that is barely contained to words.

"Because that's what happens when you have your whole entire world ripped away from you— you are left with nothing. You are blessed if you finally find a shred of familiarity in it; and the rub is that in familiarity there is danger, because none of this belongs to me." There is no dramatic sweep of her arm for that, but she does lift a hand to emphasise her next point with physical punctuation at every pause. "It is not mine, and I have been one false step away from having someone take it from me from the moment I woke up. If it looks like I am running from my past, it is because I do not get to have one if I want any peace."

"I didn't ask… for any of this… to begin with." Kara regains control of her voice to speak that in measured, gruff bursts at a more conversational decibel. She lets her arm fall by her side, still fuming, just more quietly. "The least you could let me do with it is suffer in peace."

When the woman seems to run out of steam, Emily makes a point of quickly averting her eyes. If she had a drink, she'd hide her face in it. Instead, she makes a point of seeming very interested in her conversation with John Dantes.

Though the bar still has its patrons- - and faces he knows- - Kara's outburst is quick to earn his undivided attention. Dumortier freezes some, overly conscious of the dirt on his pants and a faintly forming mark on his cheek. The sulking of moments earlier inches away, only to be replaced by hesitance. Whatever it is that has the tall blonde in a wrenched-up rage, he knows he can't help. Not with the cause, anyway. It sounds familiar and foreign all at once; he knows what it's like, the nothing.

While it's clear that he really wants to say something, or get closer to Kara, Rene can't bring himself to it; instead, for the time being, he looks past to Yi-Min, features creased with worry.

Silas frowns at Emily's question. "Aliens?" he asks, frowning. It takes him a moment to mull over how to even process that one. "I'm… not sure about that," he says tentatively. "But I think what happened at the very end might have some relation to it. Right after it talked about 'humankind' and 'our kind' is when Finch…" he starts, trailing off; there's really no delicate way to say when your friend dissolved alive.

Before he can try to work his way through that, the bouncer's built up agitation finally breaks out in a very loud bout of ranting. Initially, Silas tries to ignore it (although he does file away the name of third member of Rene's entourage, Yi-Min)… but the content of said rant is pertinent enough (and loud enough) to catch Silas's attention very early on. His eyes widen a bit, his gaze shifting towards the bar; he doesn't let his jaw drop, but Jesus Christ on a pogo stick.

Eventually she winds down; Silas stares for a moment longer before he's able to drag his gaze back to Emily. He coughs, trying to get rid of the frog that seems to have materialized in his throat. "Not… not really sure about aliens," he reiterates, awkwardly.

When Kara first turns on her, it is clear from Yi-Min’s expression that she is as taken aback by this development as anyone around her. But the light in her dark eyes soon recedes from a registration of obvious surprise into something much more still, if increasingly troubled.

Like a little tree bowed against the winds of a storm, she remains motionless in her position next to the bar through Kara's tirade, a visible absence of real tension in her frame— just standing there with small shoulders slackened, allowing all of the immense strength of rawness behind Kara's words to break against her form with no sign of a more outward reaction, than quiet acceptance.

Not at first, anyway. But there is an accompanying subdued pain in Yi-Min's gaze too, wound together in thin threads from several sources at once.

"I once had that single part of my world that I best loved ripped away from me," Yi-Min at last murmurs out into the brightly ringing, awkward wave of silence that follows, flitting a low, half-lidded glance into the wood behind the alcohol-laden shelves, and then back. Her brother, who had been her entire world decades ago, and in far too many ways still is. "None of us ever ask for what heaven has done to us. It only falls to us to make do with what we have; and more than that who we have, even if that happens to be… just for a moment in our lives."

As though this serves as a turning point of some sort, Yi-Min smiles the tiniest of smiles that isn’t truly a smile as such, turning the sadness in her gaze into a still-muted, more bittersweet tenderness. Another moment is added to the broadness of silence pressing into them as she considers the other woman’s face, completely uncaring of whatever curious eyes or ears might still be on them at this point. Her voice is quiet yet, but plain. "Let it all lie, then, if that is what you wish. I shall not be the one to press your old wounds further, not now that I know they bring you such pain. Just know that whatever suffering you undergo, you never have to make the choice to do it alone. Not so long as I am here— somewhere on this ridiculous path of yours that you have been made to travel."

And no, at least it’s still not as ridiculous as aliens.

Small blessings?

When Silas makes his point, Emily's brow lifts. She's forced to consider that maybe this entity really didn't think of them as human. Maybe as something more. Maybe that should elevate what she thinks of herself, but it just unsettles her.

Especially when it consigns people like Finch to the fate prescribed in the dream. People like her parents. She can't damn them all just because there exists a murderous, genocidal few among their number. Few, she insists to herself silently.

"Finch is SLC-N," Emily shares, believeing she’s confirming Silas's suspicion. She sounds none too happy about it. The distraction of the soul-baring happening nearby suddenly becomes a thing she is less avoidant in noticing. "Jesus Christ," she mutters, earlier thoughts about the display suddenly fumbling from her. Her glances in that direction become more obvious, and though she keeps her voice low, it's, well, rather quiet now as well. She looks back to Silas out of the corner of her eye meaningfully. "I thought people like you weren't supposed to talk about that shit." she murmurs. "She not get the same talk?"

Sure, if you didn't know what you were listening for, maybe you didn't know— but Silas seemed to know. And that just confirms it for Emily.

"The fuck is she, anyway? I don't remember seeing— oh."

Kara seems like, for just a moment, that at the acknowledgement of a similar pain she might inflate again— that the words will perhaps be what sets her over the edge. The attempt to relate to her feels momentarily so foreign because heaven didn't do this, someone else did. But before she can even draw breath in, her pupils shrink with a cold dash of reality. Her ears ring in the sudden absence of the words that almost were said.

Even if she doesn't know what to do with her own pain, she knows better than to tread on Yi-Min's. Not when what had happened to him had never been asked for— and knowing just what cruel twist had taken him.

She stays silent in the face of Yi-Min's consideration of her, the tempest within dying by grades each second she looks into her eyes. The promise of partnership leads her shoulders to lower. Kara might still be angry and hurt, but now she's humbled on top of it.

"Oh shit," Emily is saying in a hushed voice. "I do recognize her. She's the dead astronaut. From the launch. … For fuck's sake." Now she's turning away from them again, almost away from Silas entirely as she rubs the side of her hand across her forehead. Her eyebrows pinch together under her hand. Cool, cool. Just another dead person walking around New York City. This is fine.

Kara glances in the direction of the murmurs with only a slight turn of her head, frowning at it. She looks back to Yi-Min with another moment of heavy silence. Realizing what she wants to say will take words she hasn't yet found, her hand comes away from her side in a gentle motion, fingers curling so she can brush the backs of them on Yi-Min's cheek. After, she turns back to look at Rene, reading his expression and wondering if there's anything she can say to reassure him she'll be fine.

Likely not, she decides. She settles for lifting her chin in a gesture of acknowledgement at him, one void of apology or explanation. "Best we got that out of the way before getting back to the truck," is the closest she comes to it, a dry attempt at humor on her part. It could have been an even more awkward drive back, especially with Kara at the wheel.

Kara glances at the door indicatively.

While Yi-Min is doing her absolute best at soothing Kara's rankled state, Rene chances a look past them to the other people still lingering in the bar. He knows both of the ones he can see, and he can see the whispering. In some measure of protectiveness, he gives them both an unwelcome narrow of eyes.

Still worried, Dumortier lifts his chin when Kara looks to him, partly in question and partly in knowing that if she has anything to say, she'll say it elsewhere. Dry humor is met with a familiar nip, playful as it is.

"You said it. That would have been an even longer drive, amie." Rene turns a crystalline look up to her as he practically crabwalks past both of them. He was less invested in the joking. Moreso in trying to tell her 'it's fine, whatever it is'. The last person to judge would be him.

It's probably a good thing Silas doesn't have a drink, because if he had, then it would have been even odds whether he ended up choking on it or spraying it all over the place when Emily drops the line about how you people weren't supposed to talk about that shit.

Instead, he just has a minor coughing fit; once it's passed, he gives her a flat look. "In the first place, I surely have no idea what you might be talking about," he says, in the blandest and least convincing tone of voice he can muster. "In the second place… I guess not," he says, glancing back to Kara. Mr. Sunshine is squinting at him; Silas shifts his gaze to him and gives him a very unRedd-like look of mild exasperation. Go squint at someone else, ya hippie, he thinks.

Emily draws his attention back, though. Dead astronaut? "Well then," he says, letting out a long breath. "She's… not a face I recognize," he says, frowning. "And I've got a decent memory when it comes to faces. Especially for people who…" he trails off, glancing to Emily and shrugging; if she really knows what it's about, she'll be able to fill in the blanks. If not…

Her comment about Finch being SLC-N, though, is an interesting one. His lips twist into a grimace. "That's… one thing to look at, then. How many people who had the dream were SLC-E? I think there was someone else who, ah, melted at the end; was she SLC-N, too?" he asks.

One last loose end, before the three of them take flight and presumably, leave all of this behind. This is definitely a whisper reserved for Kara alone, even if Yi-Min has to rise on her tiptoes fleetingly to get up to the level of the other woman's ear.

"…You were wrong about one other thing, you know. And that is about none of this belonging to you."

With that, Yi-Min cheekily tips Kara's face back towards her with the very ends of her fingertips, taking advantage of the distraction of Kara's glance having strayed towards the doorway to plant a swift little kiss right onto the middle of her lips. Then she bobs back down onto the flats of her heels and makes her way towards the exit ahead of either Kara or Rene as though literally nothing had happened, expression aglow with serene, sparkling contentment.

Her gaze can't help but slip with some interest towards Silas and Emily's table before she makes it all the way out, following in the direction of Rene's suspicious squinting, but. Priorities. Neither of them are hers.

There is a chilly, wind-accompanied swing of the door, and Yi-Min is gone.

Kara is the last to follow after, if only because Yi-Min's flurry of activity has arrested her own. She looks after her with lips parted in either answer or protest, a reaction incomplete due to how off-guard she was thrown. Her brusque attempt at bravado and pretending everything was fine because it was now behind them (if only by seconds) has quickly been shattered by Yi-Min's smoothness. She doesn't look toward the murmurers, but she does gape after her partner as she watches her practically sashay away contentedly.

But if she stayed flummoxed at just about every bewildering thing that's ever happened to her, she'd not made it as far as she has in life. So she packs it up quickly, spends a moment being grateful for her fascinatingly infuriating partner, and then sets off briskly after them. A glance is spared to Silas as she makes her way past, and she catches the door to the establishment before it closes all the way, slipping out into the cold.

Emily emits a disaffected, flat tone at Silas' insistence he doesn't know what she's talking about. She doesn't look back at him at all until he trails off with that unspoken indication the woman didn't come across with his group. She has to abruptly turn back, regarding the taller blonde with a more critical eye. If she hadn't come here with Elisabeth and Magnes and all them, then when? How??? Did she come with Astor and Lene and Benji? Or with Eileen, maybe? Or maybe it was something else entirely. Her world spins for a moment as she considers the possibility more groups of travelers could have come across at some point.

Just when she thought she had a grasp on that shit.

After Kara brushes past them both, Emily takes a moment to try and trick her mind back into a state similar to how it was before she started asking those questions. It takes a rough shake of her head and clearing her throat before she returns to the present. "Um— I don't know. I was a little distracted by all the terrible shit that was happening to pay attention to everyone else around me. But if we're judging who had the dream based on everyone who showed up here…"

She shifts on her heel to peer around the bar, like she could still see everyone who had been here earlier. Her gaze grows distant. "… Yeah, everyone I recognized had an ability." Emily's eyes flit up to Silas underneath the shade of her bangs. "I'm assuming you do, too?" she asks, considerably quieter than anything else she's said. "I do, for the record." she adds as she looks away, even quieter still.

Distracted by terrible shit is fair enough; Silas had certainly been pretty distracted by the happenings of that dream. Still, Emily's confirmation draws a nod from him… and at her question about abilities, he nods again. "Yeah, I do," he admits, pitched low enough for Emily to hear, but probably not anyone else. "One thing I will say, too. Eve's talk about bringing the worlds together… that worries me. Some of the stuff at the end of that dream was stuff that, ah, wasn't from around these parts — like the waves breaking against the Empire State Building, for example. And… I've heard it from a couple other directions, too. Nobody who's mentioned it seems happy about the idea."

The young woman furrows her brow as she listens, taking a moment to consider what’s said. “Okay, there’s only so much vague talking in circles bullshit I can handle,” Emily tells ‘John’ bluntly as she looks back to him. “What do you mean you’ve heard it from ‘other directions’? Here? Elsewhere? Who’ve you heard talking about shit like that, previously?”

Silas arches an eyebrow, surprised. "A good friend of mine, for one. She was here earlier, but she left shortly after Eve lost it and started shooting holes in the ceiling. I talked with her about it outside, before you came back," he shrugs. "She's a fellow Traveler." He grimaces, shaking his head. "She's seen more than I have, and she really didn't seem too keen on the whole merging the strings bit," he says glumly.

Emily mutters to herself indistinctly at hearing that, wondering what to do with all of this. What if they all started trying to figure this out on their own? In the dark? What then? Nothing good could come of that. In a fit of inspiration, she turns and looks abruptly away from the conversation. There's a chalk slate with the food specials written on it hanging from the wall near the front door. She crosses to it even as Silas is still talking, swiping the chalk piece off the top of the board and smearing away the current message with the side of her hand. Sorry, burgers, no one comes to a bar for the food anyway.

Once that's clear, she gets to writing. Dream meaning??? Merge strings? End reality? SLC-N?

She doesn't have the best grasp on it all, but it seems better than just letting it hang. And maybe Eve will see the message even if Emily doesn't want to talk to her again. She frowns at it, offering the chalk out to Silas after. "Traveler," she repeats back belatedly. "That's what you call yourselves?"

Silas eyes the chalk with roughly the same air as someone offered a poisonous serpent… then his expression hardens a bit, and he reaches out and takes it, stepping up close beside Emily. "That's what I call ourselves, anyway. Bear in mind I only joined up with Lis and Company at the last stop," he says, pitching his voice low for Emily's ears. "And in a bar ain't exactly the place to be talkin' too loud about it, unless you want to risk puttin' good people in unnecessary danger. There are some people who ain't exactly thrilled to have us around." He doesn't want to toe that line too hard here.

"Secondly…" he says, glowering at Emily… but then he turns to the blackboard and starts to write. Under SLC-N, he draws an arrow, pointing to the word humankind… and another arrow beneath humankind pointing to the word melted?!. Beside SLC-N, he writes SLC-E with an arrow pointing to 'our kind', then draws an another arrow pointing to '???'. He hesitates for a moment longer, then draws an arrow beneath strings, pointing to the phrase extraneous imagery?

Beneath that, he writes a series of bullet points:
Who sent the Dream?
Why did we receive it?
'Witness'. Why?

That done, he steps back from the board, fixing Emily with a sour expression. "And you can call me Silas. John's my first name, but there's a million of 'em out there; I go by my middle name most of the time, and that's Silas." He thrusts the chalk out at Emily. "Next."

Emily frowns as the chalk is offered back to her. Next? She takes hold of it warily, mouth pressing into a prim line while she considers what next she could possibly offer. In looking at what he’s added, her hand finds the question of who. Her hand tenses in hesitation before she shakes her head, working through the unease of it all. She remembers seeing Kaylee, she remembers the thing that had been draped around her.

Gold eyes? she writes, a line drawn back to who. Dragon. Eve’s voice had been piercing in naming the thing.

Her hand trails down to the question of why next, hesitant. “To witness,” she repeats the line. “As it always was, as it will be.” The words haunt her— there’s no way she can forget them. “Unending circle of death…” She doesn’t remember writing the word Resurrection off to the side of why, but Emily draws a line back to it anyway.

Whatever it is, the voice in the dream had been insistent that it was ‘upon them’.

Remembering the voice is distressing for more than one reason for her, and she lets her arm fall back to her side. “I had a dream,” Emily sees fit to share, hesitant on saying more. But of course she had a dream — they all had. “A year ago.” is the needed clarification to distinguish the event. She looks away from the board back to the stranger by her side, chalk pinched and rotated between her fingers. What she means to say gets lost in the memory of it happening, what little of it she can remember. “I-I heard it then, too. The voice.”

Her gaze goes unfocused as she strains to recall. “I heard it in the static of a radio. It … spoke to me. It told me I was more. It told me it would show me. It told me to wake up.”

Emily’s voice is featherlight as she admits, “So I did.”

She offers the chalk back to Silas.

Silas's eyebrows shoot up at Emily's confession; that one had to come from deep. For a moment he doesn't move as she offers the chalk back, simply studying her. "I think that that's important," he says quietly. "Thank you."

He takes the chalk, but doesn't move to draw right away. "I don't recall getting anything like that, myself," he says slowly, looking thoughtful. "But some of the others might have." He wonders how long ago Kenner started his ranting; had to be more than a year ago, but… still. Could be interesting to know. That would be a Chel question, he thinks to himself, grimacing. Looks like he might need to go take a look at the greenhouses after all.

Now he moves to write. Under Dragon, he writes previous messages (dreams)?. "If it sent dreams to people, there had to be a reason for that. Digging into those dreams might give us a… frame of reference, or point to a pattern, or… something."

He sighs, considering the chalk again for a moment, then lays it down. "So. Did it show you anything, then? Did anything happen that might have shed some light on what it was hoping to accomplish by sending that dream?" he asks quietly. He pauses, frowning as something occurs to him. "Was that when your trick manifested?" he asks, his voice quieter still.

That's not a thought Emily has ever entertained before, but now that the idea is out there, she retreats inward briefly with a wide-eyed quiet. When did she manifest? She'd never known, had always assumed it had been later than that… but she goes back in time. What if it hadn't been spring, and she had been able to use her gift much sooner? To calm Magnes and convince him he needed to wait to see his Addie?

… To convince Nathalie to heal her, even after she'd offended her?

Her understanding of everything that's happened to her and around her in the last year goes shattering all over again. On the side is the lingering echo of the thought of— God, what if Silas was right? Emily finally remembers to breathe, and the rise of it feels like her chest is pushing up through shattered glass held in place by tape.

She starts to shake her head, trying to find the words for it. “It was a memory I didn’t remember having. It was… um…”

Suddenly, she looks off, rechecking the bar surroundings as if something she was looking for might make itself abruptly apparent in a way it hadn’t before. It doesn’t take a superpower to realize she’s not okay, and that it’s sudden. The longer she thinks about this, the worse it gets. So maybe it’s not a surprise when Emily announces, “I should go. I need to find Finch. She could be lost, and the Lighthouse will kill me if she doesn’t make it back home after this.”

Silas watches Emily with concern, tilting his head slightly. She looks like he'd jabbed her with a live wire there; apparently whatever the Dragon had shown her had been pretty bad. When she mentions Finch, though, Silas blinks, glancing around the room once more… but sure enough, there's still no sign of Finch's puffy jacket. Or Finch, either, for that matter. "Shit. I was hoping she'd pop back in while we were… talking, theorycrafting, whatever," he says. He looks back to Emily. "Yeah, go. Make sure your friend's alright…" he says with a nod… then, glancing at his watch, he grimaces again. "Truth be told, I gotta get going, too."

Despite his words, though, he hesitates for a moment longer… but then he shakes his head. "I'd offer to help you look, but… I really do have to get going. Promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, all that," he says with a certain regret. "But. If I happen to run across her on the way home, though, I'll tell her to give you a call; she's got your number, yeah?"

The thought appears to count for something, as Emily looks back to Silas without regarding him as someone she’d like to get away from as soon as possible. “Yeah, she does. It’s just she left her phone at home— I had one, so why would she need one, and all.”

That’s not irony. That’s full-on sarcasm in her voice— prickling with embitterment.

“I’ll have to text the fucking group chat and out myself, looks like, just in case she did head home already,” she mutters to herself after. Her hands find the pocket of her coat and she lets out a sigh through her nose. For just a moment, she starts to look back to the chalkboard with their theories served up like the daily special— but she moves on from it quickly.

“See you around, Silas,” Emily says, already leaning into the door.

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