The Nightmare At Dorchester


devon_icon.gif russo2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Nightmare At Dorchester
Synopsis Sleep isn't always so easy when the mind tries to make sense of experiences.
Date February 23, 2011

Dorchester Towers:Russo's Apartment

It's too late to be called night anymore, too early to be morning. The sky is still dark, a blanket for slumber until the sun decides to wake again. The apartment, like the city, has long since gone quiet save for the hum of appliances. The LED on a bedside clock casting a pale blue-green light on a sleeping face, drawing out the deeper color of the bruises that continue to heal steadily, shadowing where brows knit together in worry.

The dome still reigns, the air stale and venturing toward rancid. No wind blows here to clear it away. The water runs red, pale but undeniable in what stains its body. Devon recalls the scene too well, even in his sleep. The memory too fresh to be easily forgotten, too real in his mind to wake from. His body twists, tangling in sheets, constricting movement and rational thought.

Hands bound behind his back, too tight and slick with blood. It's difficult to breathe against the hand holding his collar, the fabric drawn tightly over his throat. The teenager turns again, face pressing against his pillow, trying to escape. In near panic he calls out, softly, yet loud enough for the sound to carry just beyond his room, indiscernible as anything more than a wordless plea.

There is no rest for the wicked.

Bradley Russo stares at the ceiling of his apartment, considering his options and weighing the last few weeks over in his head. The sound that cuts into his thoughts, however, isn't that of a knock or of a phone call. The sound of Devon's voice has Brad rolling out of bed (quite literally) onto the floor. He shuffles back to Devon's room and listen a little longer. Just a moment more. Giving a kid space seems important (not that Russo would know— he knows nothing about kids).

This time there is no freedom, no knife cutting his bonds, no telling ache that his shoulders can move again. The crackle and snap of a fire, faceless voices jeering or asking for help fill the void where sound is otherwise absent. The images playing out in Devon's mind, a cruel reminder of the chaos sewn in the world, level a sense of hopelessness and forces a renewed panic.

"No!" The word cuts out harshly, laced with the fear that escape had been but a dream. The single word dissolves into wordless, worried grunts and whimpers. Devon kicks a foot, tugging a sheet more tightly around himself. Hands pull at the opposing wrists, twisted behind his back, tearing and plastic ties that aren't there.

The door is knocked on lightly, very lightly at the word, but Russo doesn't hold back. The door creaks open and he peeks in. He cringes slightly as he sees the kid writhing on his bed. His own fear and personal decorum freeze him a moment longer, but carefully he reaches out a single hand to shake Devon's shoulder.

"Hey! Kid— Kid you gotta wake up…" he shakes the shoulder a little harder, "Devon— "

Nightmares have a funny way of making even the best of intentions seem part of the horror. Devon tries to twist away from the first touch, believing it part of capture. "Just a kid," he pleads, though it doesn't seem like he's implying himself. "Don't…" The further shaking, the words, working together pull his mind out of the haze of sleep.

With a start, the teenager pulls away from Russo. Eyes wide and beginning to focus, breathing coming out in gasps, Devon holds himself poised for flight. He takes in his surroundings, eyes darting to random points in the room before settling upon Brad. "…Just a dream..?"

As Devon scurries away from him, Brad actually takes a step back, his hands reach in front of him defensively. "Hey, hey, hey— you're okay— " he soothes as he slides back again, his hands still displayed. "You're okay…" he offers again as he reaches out to squeeze the teen's shoulder. "You're okay now…"

He nods slightly at the question as he eases forward, still displaying his arms. No weapons here. Aside from the hands themselves, but that's another story…

Devon takes a couple of breaths, eyes following Russo. He finds his own hands still tangled, the blankets hastily pulled off. One hand and then the other lifts to hold his head, fingers curling through his hair. His wrists show where plastic ties had actually bit deeply into the flesh, leaving their mark as wounds made angry by the bad dream.

"I'm okay," Devon echoes, as much to assure Brad as himself. "Just a dream." His hands lower slowly, eyes following. "I was back in the dome," he explains. "I was…" One hand lifts again, the V between forefinger and thumb pressing against the bridge of his nose. "I'm sorry…"

Russo's chin drops to his chest, silent acknowledgement of what the dream was likely about. He frowns lightly, before giving a glance to the door. "Come on. We'll get you some warm milk." Although if Brad's honest, it's not entirely sure that ever works. Regardless he begins to tread to the door.

"Don't apologize. I'm sure I've had… " his lips strain into a tight uncomfortable smile, "…weirder dreams." Where he talked to his sister. Yeah, those were good.

With a small nod, Devon gropes for a hoodie, left somewhere upon the strewn sheets, untangling himself in the process. He makes no further comment of the dream as he tugs the hoodie free and drags it over his head and pushes his arms into the sleeves, hiding the bruises and bullet wound from sight, covering his wrists. Blocking out the memory. After, he stands to follow the way into the kitchen.

The milk is already on the stove, put in a pot to be brought to a scald. "You know.. " he begins with that easiness he so readily draws from, "…I realize we could just heat up some milk in the microwave and call it a night, but my mom was a purist." He grins as he grasps two large white mugs from his cabinet. "So there was no room for microwaves to cut down on work. And I know she's not here now, but in a weird way, warming milk on the stove is like honouring her memory." He shrugs lightly.

"Microwaving is cheating anyway," Devon says quietly as he steps into the kitchen. His hands slip into the pocket of his hoodie, withdrawn expression on his face. "Your mom sounds like a good lady. Smart, I mean. You must've had a good relationship with her." His eyes lift briefly, leveling on Russo, then flicking away to the pot upon the stove. "— I should have told you about… They keep getting worse."

"She was. A good lady. Protective, strict, a nurse— " Brad stirs the milk with a wooden spoon, carefully reaching the bottom to keep the milk from burning. "She played the role of both parents in my life." His eyebrows creep upwards, "I'm a self-proclaimed mama's boy, just.. don't tell anyone about that fact." He sighs lightly at the mention of the nightmares, "I think… have you thought about talking to anyone about them. Like a shrink or whatever."

Brad being a momma's boy, even a self-proclaimed momma's boy, manages to draw a small grin from the teenager. Whether intentional or not. The idea of seeing a shrink has Devon taking his turn at sighing, and shaking his head. "It's been mentioned a few times." Especially recently. "I haven't… decided if I should. I don't… don't really care to talk much about it." Far easier to suffer silently than to tell someone what's going on inside your mind.

"Talking about it is better than letting it just exist to just flood." Brad releases another quiet breath as he stirs the milk a little slower. "You should. It'll stay in your thoughts long term if you don't figure out how to get it out. The nightmares could get worse." He pauses and tacks on, "And you're too young to drink. So drowning yourself in your sorrows into a coma'd stupor isn't an option either…"

"I'm not too young to drink," Devon counters, much though he'd agree to an extent. His mind holds too many images of what went on inside the dome to make him agree he's too young for anything anymore. He sighs and rubs a hand across his face, fingers picking at the cut that nearly took out his eye, then does what any good kid would do and changes the subject. "You should get Mayes on the panel. One of the Frontline people, too. Make it a three-part series, the work outside, life on the inside, and a final discussion to lay the whole thing on the table."

"You are. Don't drink until you're twenty-one. More likely to become an addict if you start early," Brad counters. Of course it takes one to know one from AA. Alcoholics Anonymous had taught him a few things in his day. Someday he's going to have to get back there. If he can. He moves the pot from the stovetop to divide between two mugs— pouring carefully into each in turn. He pushes the mug carefully at the teen. "It's possible, maybe. If we can get Mayes onboard. And there are lots of people we could grab from inside, although I'm not sure how many of them would want to be on television."

Devon picks up the mug, looking dubiously at the warmed milk inside. "Inside would be… difficult." He'd met a number of people inside the dome, and chances are many of them wouldn't care to share those experiences on television. "Wouldn't hurt to put word out, however." He lifts the mug, sipping at the milk. "Just a thought, since it's been pretty big news."

"And we live for big news, don't we, Devon?" Russo gives a large toothy grin to Devon as he clasps his mug and shuffles towards the hall. He takes pause, however, just out of view. "We could put the word out. Or we could count on the experts. Experts know what they're talking about too…"

"You're the master," Devon calls after Russo, eyes peering into his mug again. "I'm only learning." Though he's not so sure the experts would be entirely right. His own dark thoughts disagree that they'd know what went on inside. He leans back against the counter, falling silent save for the sipping of warmed milk. Bed will be sought out eventually, and hopefully sleep will be more restful.

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