Sleep Well


delia2_icon.gif unknown13_icon.gif

Scene Title Sleep Well
Synopsis Two redheads, one gay man.
Date March 19, 2011

In Dreams

You hunt dreamwalkers at night.

But it's closer to dawn by the time Delia's search tugs her like gravity to someone reaching for her. Sensation without vision, needy hands that bind themselves to whatever makes Delia's dream self its own entity, and with the same pull of someone attempting to drag themselves from the river and into the boat, she can feel Jasmine— or whatever this thing is— drag at her in turn. But the current is strong, and Delia is drawn painlessly from her own head, as she's journeyed many times, to follow the pull of this other entity, and plunge beneath the surface of some other dream mind.

Erratic. Small. This dreamscape seems that way. Even more contained than that of a dog's brain. The dream is two skies, the night and the day, and Delia pitches for the horizon that comes together in brilliant oranges and whites and reds and golds, fuzzying into a neutral grey of infinity, the eternal press. Wind whips ruthlessly at her hair and her clothing, lashing her face. She falls through cloud clinging wetly to her skin. Insects in the air graze her shins, her face, tangle in her red hair.

It's a dream, at least. One about the eternal plummet.

And something falling for her. A dot in the distance.

A buzz near the redhead's ear causes her hand to come up and tangle in the coppery tendrils, in search of the offending insect. Bugs, who dreams of bugs anyway. After turning a complete somersault in the air, Delia holds out her free hand in order to gain a bit of balance and control over her own momentum. There's no ground in sight, only the horizon that blurs from light to dark and dark to light. The good news is, she's fallen, even better news is she didn't go splat.

Twitching her eyebrows together in concentration, Delia fabricates a chair underneath her. A rocking chair to be exact. If she's going to plunge to her doom, she's going to do it comfortably. As the dot approaches, this is how it will find her; rocking her way toward oblivion, like an old woman waiting for death on her front porch. Only instead of screaming at small children or watching the traffic go by, she's picking tiny vermin from her hair.

Who dreams of bugs is probably a good question. One who can fly high, maybe. One who has.

The horizon never grows, never seems to get closer, even when she can feel the drag of her own momentum. As if drawn by some other direction of gravity, she will see it — Jasmine, familiar in her strangeness, her long spindly limbs, the flood of shiny red hair, and of course, the ever present mask that disguises her in opera logic, this one of rough feathers that grow around her eyes. A white dress, the cling of simple cotton, hiding a human form for all that her arms stretch too long — hideously long, fingers spread like brittle branches, her legs dislocated seemingly, knees bent in the wrong direction.

She pitches straight for Delia, arms reaching, and then wrapping hard around the woman and the back of the rocking chair both, spinning all three things— herself, the woman and the furniture— around under the wavering momentum of Jasmine's impact. It's not an attack, however, it's a desperate cling as they plummet.

As the rocking chair and its now two inhabitants tumble end over end, Delia halts in her task of insect picking in favor or windmilling her arms through the air in counter motion. Once her initial panic is over, once she's certain they're not going to fall out of the chair (mostly thanks to Jasmine holding the two of them there), one of the taller redhead's arms comes around to hold the other dreamwalker to her. The other arm extends and the fledgling cups her hand, as if to grab some of the air that's passing by all too quickly.

It doesn't quite work.

Well, the chair is more trouble than it's worth now.

"I've been looking for you," Delia says with a crooked half smile pasted to her visage, it's uneasy, she's unused to seeing Jasmine in any other state than calm or coy. But… with a loud snap of her fingers, the Ryans girl breaks one of the Gataullin rules of dream walking. Across the sky a silvery cob of webbing makes its own spiraling appearance, in the opposite direction as the duo is traveling. When they hit, they bounce but stay stuck to the weave.

For now, they're motionless, thanks to the threads of silk that seem to be glued to them, or have the two glued to the thread. "That's a little better… as long as a giant spider didn't come with all this."

There is relief for stillness, in the way that Jasmine's posture relaxes, her strange, elongated hands curling around the sticky threads, as sturdy as bridge chord. The wind whistles by them, plays with auburn curls, and in Jasmine's case, feathers of brown, gold, black, spotted like an owl's breast. "I should have looked for you," she echoes back at Delia, lifting her head to look at her. "First. I try to— do things on my own sometimes. It doesn't work out always."

There's a silver glimmer of something around her neck, a chain that dips whatever pendant is on the end of it passed the cotton neckline of her dress, which seems to rise and fall with heavy, shuddery breathing.

"You were looking for me?" she asks, in a small voice.

"For a few days now," the unfeathered young woman confirms. "I'm sorry, I've been a little focused on other things. I didn't know you were in trouble." Delia's eyes drift toward Jasmine's hands and she frowns a little at the sight of them. "Your fingers haven't always been like that… have they?" She can't remember. In a bid to cover any faux pas, she adds with a smile, "you'd make a great piano player. Imagine the range you'd get. You'd probably make Brian jealous though. Old Brian. Not— not new-ish Brian."

With a small shake of her head, Delia peels her arms and torso up from the web and sits up. Like a trampoline, it bounces with every movement she makes. If there is a giant spider laying in wait, it knows they're there. "What were you trying to do on your own?" As she offers Jasmine a pale hand to use as leverage to sit up, Delia uses her other to keep balance.

The hand is declined, if only out of self-consciousness for her strangeness — a wordless shake to her head. No. Her hands were not always like this, the weird fingers, the strange proportions from shoulder to elbow to wrist. Even hesitates in sitting up — nothing looks too wrong with her legs when stretched, belly down, save for a strangely scaly quality along her skin, on bare thighs, ankles to knees. "Help someone. Kill someone. I don't know," is muttered, before Jasmine twists around. Her knees bend the wrong way, and her ankles and toes are longer, something strangely raptor-like in their proportions, shoved awkward into a human frame.

She tips her head back to look at the sky — the daylight side anyway. "Someone who used to love me, and then she died. But her mind is wandering. Not just in dreams. I've been trying to help her, but she's painful." She lays her head back down, eyes squinching shut.

"She put me in a wrong body. I can get back, but I can't— stay there. It keeps pulling me back to the bird."

Kill the bird while you're not in it, seems the easiest solution to Delia. Regardless a sullen frown forms across her lip and brow as she reaches out to stroke her hand down the other woman's auburn curls. "How can I help you get out for good? What happens to your body while you're not in it? Is it the same thing that happens to mine?" Unrousable sleep or coma would be Delia's answer to the last two questions. "Can you control the bird when it's awake? Or do you just… freeze.. until it sleeps again?"

A small sigh escapes the more inexperienced of the two. "I want to help you now but if you want someone better, I can try to find Hokuto or the Bogeyman." Her tone suggests reluctance, at least in the latter of the two. "If I know more, I can think of something to help." Details of the woman, how she's painful, are left for the time. Getting Jasmine out of the bird seems a little more important to Delia.

"No," sounds like it would have been a savage hiss had she the energy. It just comes out like a sigh instead. Jasmine shakes her head, but only minutely, not wanting to discourage the touch that Delia has extended her. "Not Hokuto. Or I'll be like her. When it's awake, I'm— we share it. Like she would, with birds. I've been flying it, the little robin, as high as it can go, all around the city, and it's so tired now. It's close." She opens her eyes again, and seeks out Delia's blue. Apparently, the easiest solution is the one that Jasmine has opted for herself.

With no small amount of fear. She looks down through the spider web, at the sky beneath as reflected above.

"I keep coming back to it like it's my own. So I'm not sure what's going to happen. But maybe you can help— guide me back? I'm sorry, I wouldn't ask, I just— I'm worried about my body. No one knows. Or. I don't think they do. Why were you looking for me?" Because this little piece of vanity is niggling at her, now, despite her own situation that's warped her dream shape as it has.

A hesitant nod jerks Delia's chin as her lips spread into a closed smile. "I haven't tried to find someone one purpose since I woke up, unless I was touching them— except Eileen but you helped then." Staring into Jasmine's eyes, the nod becomes a little stronger and she sets her lips into a determined line. "But… if you're not there, you'd be a shadow or a dark spot instead of a light or a beacon. Wouldn't you? I can do it, I can guide you back." After all, there can't be that many people without active brainwaves in close proximity. Unless Jasmine lives beside a DEK frat house, then they might be in trouble.

"That's my fake name, you know, Robin… Robin Bristow. If you ever needed to find me." Peeling herself away from the web, Delia first kneels and then wraps her arms around the bird woman. Soon, the web is gone and they are falling again. This time, it's up… until they burst through the sky like a dive into deep water. The ripples as they leave are practically invisible, if it weren't for the odd cloud they would be completely undetectable.

Where they land is completely dark and completely silent. A hidden cupboard.

"Robin Bristow."

The name tasted, repeated, sighed out, before Jasmine simply clings as the web vanishes from beneath them and they go rocketing through the strange skyscape. It takes a great amount of trust, to fall with someone. An even greater amount to fall out of a dream without certainty of a destination. They might both feel it, when the presence of two dreaming entities vacates the very small mind of the bird, leaving it with a certain lack of creativity and light, for all that the most it could offer was skies and all the insects one could eat, blips out.

Dark doesn't fill in with any light, but the silence does with sound — with a small startle at the back of Jasmine's throat. Breathing, warm and damp, and Delia can feel the weight of the woman's forehead resting to her shoulder, the tickle of feather mask, before she's pulling back. Fractionally. Relaxation unspools tension in a way that Delia can almost feel, as if the world around them were giving a sigh of relief.

Like she would one of the flu stricken children on the island, Delia's arms remain around Jasmine, only moving so one can come up to pet her hair. In the dark, the dreamwalker's eyes are wide with disbelief and there's a proud smile spreading across her face. She did it. When Jasmine pulls away, the taller redhead pulls one of her arms away to give her enough room to move in the tight space. "Sorry, I didn't answer your question. I thought it might be better to get you home first."

The free arm moves to feel the one of Jasmine's that's closest, cupping her bicep and then testing all the way down to her fingers, to see if anything has changed. Rather than ask the obvious how are you feeling, she opts for a much different fare. "I was looking, you said before that you're a traveler… Can I ask you some questions?"

There's a small amount of tension when Delia's hand wanders down her arm, but Jasmine allows for it, limb relaxed — no strange bones, with the only bird-like quality being her own skinniness, but certainly within a healthily human realm. Her hand turns when Delia's fingernails brush over knuckles, opening up her palm. In the same way that Delia doesn't ask the obvious how are you feeling, Jasmine doesn't give the obvious thank you — at least not verbally, and at least not yet.

"You can," she asserts, finding that coy ledge on which to perch her voice on.

Just as the world and Jasmine sighed upon arrival, Delia lets loose a long breath when both of her hands feel the normal length of fingers and slight wrist. The arm still wrapped around the other woman gives a squeeze that could be taken as a congratulations or welcome home.

The happiness of homecoming is short lived as Delia tries to focus on the topic at hand, her breathing growing deeper as she tries to find the words to ask her questions. "When I was lost, I met a woman— Her name is Elisabeth, she's the girlfriend of the shadow, she looked like an angel in her mind. She had a dream and wanted me to look in her head to see if anyone had been in there." An invisible but very tangible shrug follows her introduction. "She had a dream, she said my dad had one too… It was in the future. Have you met anyone that can do that? Manipulate dreams to show the future?"

A shuddery exhale follows that question, and as eyes grow accustomed to the darkness, Delia can see the faint, wet reflection of eyes at close proximity, studying sightless in the dark and blinking once. "No," Jasmine says, after a moment of what can be presumed to be thought. Her weight still resting subtle into Delia's side, that faint scent of jasmine starting to ling in the air — slightly soapy, too, like what might bekept with clothing to keep them fresh. "There are people who dream of futures themselves. People who show futures to other people. I don't know of anyone who does both.

"Are you sure it's the future? Not a lie?" Her words are quiet, a little quick, a hand moving to grope after the necklace she wears to wrap a fist around the pendant.

"I don't know, I wasn't there so I can't be sure and she wouldn't let me try to replay it. She said it was her feelings that were important, not what was in it. She seemed pretty sure it was a premonition of somekind." Tilting her head, Delia's chin bumps against Jasmine's forehead and she angles it just a little differently to allow the other woman to be comfortable. There's a nervous edge to her voice as though she's not saying absolutely everything, "I don't know why my dad wouldn't tell me if he had one. You'd think he'd at least ask me to find Hokuto for him or something if he didn't trust me to figure things out."

A soft huff of a laugh is let loose before yet another long sigh and Delia's arm tightens a little around Jasmine's frame. "Sorry, I should focus. Anyway, she said there were robots and you needed permission to get pregnant and things like that. Eugenics. It sounded a lot like Midtown or the place that I'm going to be moving to."

"Maybe because he knew you'd go looking," Jasmine suggests, letting gentle amusement colour her voice. "And he's scared of what happened the last time dreams went wrong for you."

Delia can feel a small tug at a lock of her own hair, and then the shift of Jasmine's shrugging in reply. "I don't— know about that. Or what a premonition dream should look like. You know how I work — with memories." But wait a minute— there's a sharp shift with the play of muscles of her shoulders that Delia can feel — Jasmine's head going up to squint at her. A beat, as if debating asking as opposed to maybe just digging up the answer herself, but she's neither feeling that brave nor that ungrateful. "Where are you moving to?"

"Staten Island," Delia's plain answer comes complete with a twitch of her lips. "Don't tell anyone, please? I haven't said a word to anyone except Hokuto." Falling silent, the young woman pulls her arm from around Jasmine in favor of picking at her white dress. The soft fabric is rolled between her fingers as she stares down at it, she can't see due to lack of light. When that thought runs through her mind, her dress takes on a dim luminosity, glowing a faint enough green to allow her to see it.

"You really think my dad just didn't want me to go digging?" The faint whine in her voice betrays a measure of hurt, "I haven't seen much of him since a few weeks before the riots. That was like… five months ago. I used to see him almost every day." The faint luminescent glow highlights Delia's face as though she were holding a flashlight under her chin. The eerie cast is only made a little more frightening when she grin widely, an obviously false smile.

At the subtle glow beginning to shine from the fabric, Jasmine backs away a little — not by much, what with there being little room to move, but enough that she shifts to fold her legs in front of Delia, hands tucked in her lap. In the subtle glow of light, concern seems to etch around her mouth — unpainted, for once, but it doesn't need it especially. The frown is defined, one of concern, even if any creases of tension around her eyes are obscured by the motley feathers that grow there.

"I find that fathers are either protective or distant. No middle ground. Untrue, I'm sure, for some — but those are the ones I know, I suppose." The skin above her own dress faintly pale in the sickly cast of light, pinpointing minor freckles here and there, and the silver swoop of the necklace she wears, and the heart-outline of the token pendant left worn on the outside for once.

Her head tilts. "If I ask you to leave Staten Island, when you can, would you listen to me?"

Delia's lips purse and her eyes drop to the floor as she gives the other woman a small jerk of a nod. "After I keep my promise, after that, I can go." Her eyebrows twitch a little and she tilts her head, narrowing her eyes just a little at the more petite woman. "Jasmine, how do you know if you've met someone that can tell the future? Like, a clairvoyant.. This isn't about Elisabeth's dream."

Blue eyes focus on the necklace and she ducks a little closer to get a better view. "That's just like the medallion I bought for Nick." Delia pauses for a moment and reaches out to lift the pendant onto the pad of her fingers. Just like before with her dress, she runs her fingers over the pendant. Her eyes flit quickly between Jasmine's and the pendant for a moment before she flips it over, looking for an inscription that she likely won't be able to read.

A hand twitches, like maybe Jasmine would tug the pendant out of Delia's clasp when she flips it, but ultimately stills herself, head tipping to the side as she glances down at it. Even allows for a little bit of gleam to shine off the silver, from some unknown light source, until With Love, Czerwony can be faintly read with a squint and careful looking. "You wanted to keep him safe. And he wore it to remember you. What does that word mean?"

The question is innocent, tipped up lightly at the end in girlish query.

"Red," Delia's cracked whisper is as faint as Jasmine's breathing. Letting her hand fall from the bit of silver, she gives a dry swallow and furrows her eyebrows. The confused look that follows has the dreamwalker grimacing a little bit, as though she's trying to put pieces together in her mind. "How did you know it was there? The inscription, did he tell you? He was wearing it when I saw him. How did you know it was there?" Taking a deep breath, she lets it out with a little bit of a shudder.

"You didn't seem to like him very much when we were with Eileen… I don't understand." She can't help the little bit of jealousy that creeps into her voice, or the hurt. The taller of the two averts her eyes to stare at the floor, still pressing her lips together to keep from bursting most likely.

It takes a moment or two but then Delia's expression smooths and slowly her eyes widen. Turning her head, she looks back over at Jasmine and parts her lips. "Wait— wait. You said wanted and wore, why are you talking like it's over?"

Shrinking back a little into the opposite side of the closet, Jasmine blinks under the suddenly flurry of questions, but not in surprise — some dismay, perhaps, mouth parting in silent objection at the soft sound of injury in Delia's voice. A shoulder going up in shy shrug, chin tucking near it and letting red hair curtain her features some, even further than what her mask already hides. "No, it's— it's not over, I just mean— I don't mean anything. I'm sorry. I get confused sometimes."

It's weakly delivered, and her hand comes up to clasp the token, and slip it beneath the white hem of her own dress. "I should go. I've been asleep for a long time. I'm sorry I don't know anything."

"I'm sorry," Delia emits softly, the wrinkle of her nose is the first bit of distortion to her face. She doesn't look as Jasmine tucks the pendant away, just stares at the floor. Pushing her hands to the floor, she rolls to her knees and kneels in front of the other woman. "Sorry, I really am. I just didn't expect him to give the necklace away… not without saying anything to me." The apology matches the expression on her features. The slight upturn to the inner edge of her eyebrows, the minute downturn to the corner of her lips, and lastly the silent plea in her eyes. "Just please make sure he doesn't get hurt. And make him smile, I like it best when he smiles."

Sliding one foot forward, she bends over her knee like a runner about to take part in a race. "If you need me, just call, I'll be there. I don't want to not be friends because of this. It's just a guy, right? They come and go…" Her slight smile widens just a little and then she nods once before pushing herself up to a crouch. "Just make sure he doesn't get hurt." She straightens, oddly enough, and seems to shrink. Then wink out of existence just as a fat little robin picks its way onto her shoulder. It nestles into her long hair and shivers his whole body before taking off.

If the light from Delia's dress was still there, a ripple in the air might be the only trace of her passage out of the cupboard.

Mostly, Jasmine can only sit helplessly as Delia talks, her blue eyes wide and mouth a little slack, for all that no words are coming out. Perhaps she'd follow, if she had've been lying about needing to wake up, but instead, she watches the other dreamwalker disappear and out of her small, dark dreamscape, throwing it into thick black shadows with her disappearance. A huff of a disbelieving exhale, before Jasmine tips to curl up on the wooden floor bottom of the closet, folded an arm beneath her head.

She closes her eyes, and when she opens them, it's to the early morning coming through a window, damp sheets, the stale smell of a recluse, if only over the past day or more. A note crumples beneath searching fingers, the well meaning scrawl of a friend's note, Sleep well, that is crumpled up before those fingers seek silver.

And what Delia wakes up to is a robin outside her building, turned on its back and motionless. As if asleep.

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