Time To Say Goodbye


delia2_icon.gif dema_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Time To Say Goodbye
Synopsis "One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it unless it has all been suffering, nothing but suffering." Jane Austen
Date December 31, 2010

The Mind of Nick Ruskin

They say there’s no rest for the wicked.

They are wrong.

Sunlight spills its golden rays into the spare bedroom of the borrowed house, the dust in the air drifts in tiny flecks between them turning invisible when they float into the shade. The sleeping bag is empty at the foot of the bed and Nick is curled into the warm comforter in the bed. The feather pillows are a tossed in a chaotic pattern around him, a few of them nestled tightly against his body as he slumbers peacefully. In the otherwise empty bed. Opening one eye, there’s a sense of something very wrong with this picture. Something out of place.

With a jerk he starts awake, only to see the dust conglomerating into one area, at the foot of the bed. Before his eyes, the sleeping bag inflates slowly with little tweaks and jerks until the resting form of Delia phases into view. She stares at the little wheel attached to the leg, not seeing it until her body is completely rebuilt. Blinking rapidly, she pushes herself up off the floor and stares at her host. “Where are we?”

This isn’t her room.

Quando sono sola

sogno all'orizzonte

e mancan le parole,

This isn’t her safe place.

Groggy eyes blink in the dusty sunlight, and Nick runs a hand back over his head as he starts up. "What the…" he begins, brows dipping in both confusion and anger. Did he kick her out of the bed somehow? She certainly couldn't have moved him, after all.

He glances around the room as he throws off the comforter and stands, socked feet on the floor before he crouches down beside her. "It's your brother's grandma's place, I guess, but … how… you're s'posed to be in the bed, and I'm s'posed to be in the bag," he points out, reaching out to touch a curl of red hair as if to assure himself she's there.

"'ow'd you get down there?" he asks. "C'mon, you should be in the bed." He offers his hand.

si lo so che non c'è luce

in una stanza quando manca il sole,

se non ci sei tu con me, con me.

Still confused, Delia slips her hand into Nick's and using him for leverage, she pulls herself out of the sleeping bag. "How long have I been asleep?" Asleep she calls it. "How did I get here?" The young woman perches on the side of the bed, seeming not to have enough strength to stay standing. She appears to be suffering from all of his insomnia. Thin and paler than normal, the dark circles under her eyes seem to have grown over the past few days.

"Why am I at Brad's?" Her voice seems a little distant as she glances around the room before looking over at Nick. "I'm supposed to be… You were going to go to Redbird."

Su le finestre

mostra a tutti il mio cuore

che hai accesso,

Once she's on the bed, Nick moves to gently lift her legs onto the mattress as well, then tucks the blankets around her long, thin frame. "A long time. I don't remember exactly — mid Novemberish," he murmurs, moving to grab a water bottle from a nearby table and bringing it to her, pressing it into her hands before plumping up her pillows so she can sit up a little.

"There was a possible problem at Redbird, so we brought you here. I should get your brother, let him know you're…"

Tired blue eyes look down at the sleeping bag again, and he shakes his head. "When you come back from someone's head, you swap places with 'em or somethin, Czerwony?"

chiudi dentro me

la luce che

hai incontrato per strada.

The unconscious is structured like language, some thinkers contend. Not like signifier and signified, where one thing stands in, represents another, but rather a chain of signification, where things stand next to each other, sliding from thing to thing, the looseness of dreams, where things become mother, father, co-worker, or all three at once. Naturally structured metonymically, dreams send out ripples horizontally across their spaces and, to those who know, into adjacent spaces.

And such a ripple spreads out, once, twice, at the twice intonation of a single compound word: 'Redbird'.

This is what Dema has been waiting for. Drifting from mind to mind, discreet always, the Russian dreamwalker is on passive sonar, perceiving and receiving. And when he catches that tell-tale vibration…

Delia is not the only percher.

There's a flutter overhead, a light tapping of claws upon the windowsill. A small, red breasted robin peeks in from the other side of the clear pane of glass. They're in there. She's in there.

Time to say goodbye.

Delia accepts the help in getting back into bed and in answer to Nick's questions, she simply shrugs. "I don't think so? I can't remember anymore.." Her voice is a hoarse whisper, like she has a sore throat or some other malady. "Is my dad here, did he come too? Or Lu?" There's a glint of hope there and her eyebrows tweak up at the inner edges conveying the same sentiment.

When Nick makes his preparation to leave, she catches his hand and shakes her head once. "Don't go, please? Can't you just yell for them?" She's afraid of being alone. The presence of the other mind goes unnoticed by the redhead, but the sight of the robin makes her smile. Pointing to the window with her free hand, she lets out a small bark of a laugh. "Look he's knocking, like he wants to come in."

Paesi che non ho mai

veduto e vissuto con te,

adesso si li vivrò.

Nick is half turned toward the door when Delia catches his hand; it jerks a little, as if to pull away instinctually before he exhales and relents, curling calloused fingers around her finer-boned hand within his.

The bird at the window brings a worried look to his face. "Unless it's a she," he mutters. It could be Eileen — warning them?

"Brad!" he hollers suddenly, his voice seeming too loud in his ears, and he moves toward the window, fingers seeking locks and latches.

Con te partirò

su navi per mari

che, io lo so,

no, no, non esistono più,

When the latch comes undone and the window slides open, the robin formally enters the dream. A tighter, more enclosed thing than most, and Dema can tell why as soon as he's within. The dreamer is ignorant of the dream. This is a true trap, a space too complete. Which presents problems to a man whose M.O. is playing along. The little bird flies up into the space by the ceiling, wings beating with blinding rapidity, circling before diving down to settle on the foot of the bed. Sidling sideways, until it stands just off from dead center, looking at Delia from the side of its birdy head, the robin gives a small series of cheeps. Attention-getting sounds.

it's time to say goodbye.

Shaking her head, Delia gives Nick a grimace before setting him straight in regards to the gender of the fluttering visitor. "No, it's a he. See he's got a red breast, females don't have the colors. They don't need the attention." Unlike human variations, where generally it's the female that's the brighter and more garish of the two.

The redhead's eyelids slowly sink down to half cover her blue eyes as she lays back against the pillows. All of her attention is focused on the little visitor as she folds her hands together on her lap like a queen receiving visitors. She doesn't look anything like the part she plays. "I wonder what he's trying to say…" she breathes out in a soft sigh. Everything is a little too surreal but she's awake now, for better or for worse.

Quando sei lontana

sogno all'orizzonte

e mancan le parole,

"I didn't mean the bird exactly," Nick says with a mutter, not knowing if Eileen's ability is one that Delia knows, and if it's a secret that he should reveal. He frowns at the colorful little bird as it makes its chirrups. "I don't think it's the bird I'm thinking of, after all. Just tryin' to get out of the cold, prob'ly."

He glances at the window — it's cold outside and she's weak, but he doesn't want to trap the bird. Indecision stays his hand, and he turns toward the door again, moving closer to holler down the hallway, one hand lifted slightly in a wait gesture that's meant to reassure Delia he's not leaving the room.

e io si lo so

che sei con me con me,

tu mia luna tu sei qui con me,

And this leaves Demabird and Delia with some small semblance of privacy.

The robin begins to hop across the bedspread, bouncing over the rollicking, blanketed terrain until he comes to rest on Delia's folded hands. A rather bold supplicant before a somewhat disheveled queen. A few more chirps issue from its beak, insistent, before it flutters up to the windowsill again, left graciously open by neck. The bird flaps its wings, then hops twice more. Over here! Over here!

It's a blessing to Dema that, in a world post-Evolved, this sort of display doesn't betray the unreality of what is going on. The standards for the real are substantially looser.

mio sole tu sei qui, con me,

con me, con me, con me.

Canting her head to the side, Delia frowns a little as the bird flies from her hands to the windowsill. Curious, she peels the comforter back from around herself and gingerly places her feet on the floor. A glance is cast at Nick's shadow before she lifts herself up, testing her weight on her feet. Then taking a few steps forward, she practically stumbles toward the window and its insistent little doorman.

"I'm coming, you don't have to be so impatient…" she murmurs in complaint toward the little creature. Furniture is used to hold herself up where she can, the white sundress she's wearing looks more like a nightgown in this setting than outerwear. Slowly, she manages to make her way toward the cracked window, the sunlight has gone and in its place a snowy landscape is left.

Spying the scenery outside, she frowns deeply and then looks back toward the door again. "Nick…" but her voice is little more than a whisper as she turns back toward the glass. Outside, the black skyline of New York city can be seen, spewing smoke much like it did on November 8th. The acrid stench of burning flesh wafts through the window, just as she reaches for the bird in an attempt to protect it from what's outside.

Time to say goodbye.

At the threshold between bedroom and hallway, Nick turns back, eyes widening when he sees Delia getting out of bed and moving toward the window.

"Delia," he says, a rare usage of her name as he hurries toward her to stop her from whatever she's trying to do. "You need to stay in-"

The view out the window stops the words from tumbling out of his mouth and he gives a shake of his head. That wasn't the view just a few moments ago. "Find your room," he says, hurrying toward her, reaching out for her hand.

Paesi che non ho mai

veduto e vissuto con te,

adesso sì li vivrò.

No no, Nick is not going to keep her here. The robin springs from the sill and makes a swoop at Nick's hand, giving it a sharp peck, marking a spot with stinging red. The frightening landscape outside… that's Delia's doing, and while Dema wishes there were a more inviting exterior, he can't blame Delia for her fears. This place must seem safe, after so much wandering. But it's not. Not by Dema's reasoning.

The beady-eyed divebomber zips back around and flutters over to Delia's head, quickly nesting in the red thatch of her hair. It shifts its feet, little black claws pricking her scalp, though not painfully so much as unignorably. It gives a series of adamant whistles. Don't listen to that joker. Come with me! With me!

Con te partirò

She moves as though the air is as thick as water, the hand swiping at the bird much too slow to actually capture it and pull it from her hair. Delia can't scream, her voice is gone and no matter how hard she tries to get a sound out, there's nothing but a quiet whisper. Pale and thin hands reach clumsily for the bird constantly flitting out of her reach, just as she is out of Nick's.

It doesn't want her to stay.

Neither does he.

Turning toward Nick, the redhead tries to speak, growing more frustrated as the sound is stolen before it has a chance to eke from her throat. The walls of the room are already starting to melt away, exposing the trio to the harsh landscape of Nick's mind. She didn't trade places with him, she never left.

su navi per mari

che, io lo so,

no, no, non esistono più,

con te io li rivivrò.

When the bird comes to peck at him, Nick swats at it, too late, nothing but the airy wake of the bird catching in his fingers rather than a handful of feathers. "Delia! Stop!" he calls out, tripping toward the window even as it's disappearing, even as the carpet beneath his feet becomes dirty gray snow, even as the skyline in the distance turns into the familiar buildings of a far-away place and far-away time, spewing smoke and the stench of burning flesh.

He stumbles forward, despair rising. "Stay, Delia… your body's here, it's here with me," he calls raggedly. "Goddamnit, look and see it!"

Con te partirò

The consistency of the dream is dissolving, and that never bodes well for dreamwalkers. It suggests oncoming waking, a constant threat. Dema feels a flicker of frustration, causing a ruffle in his feathers, a sudden increase to the flush of his breast. This has all gone on much too long. He knows where her body is, now more clearly than ever, and he knows where her mind is. Her mind is right here.

So Dema does something he's not usually a fan of doing. He wears another's face, and brings to bear his own memory. The bird darts from Delia's hair, dipping around then down into the snow, a feathered seed planting itself, one that grows, grows, and takes the white-coated shape of Dr. Harve Brennan. Harried looking, the face of a man who does all that he can without asking for anything in return, he moves towards Delia, extending his hand.

"I'm trying to find your body," Dema says, through Brennan, borrowing words actually spoken by the doctor, "I have a way, I have a way to get you into it, but I need you. I need you to hold on."

Palm lifted upwards, Delia is offered something to hold on to.

su navi per mari

che, io lo so,

no, no, non esistono più,

The young woman's head dips down as she closes her eyes and tries to concentrate. There's a twitch of her eyebrows and a small jerk of her head, like she's a fishing line that's snared something. Suddenly her blue eyes fly open and she takes in a gasp of air, looking between Nick and Dema/Brennan. "I found it… I can feel it." Her voice is suddenly back, no longer in a nightmare, she frees herself from the confines of the room and springs upward, disappearing.

Only to reappear right in the spot that she left.

Her eyes water as she glances around, splitting her attention between Harve and Nick. "I felt my body… Why am I here? Wh— " Her blue eyes find Nick's as her room rises with a rumble from underfoot. Pink walls decorated with daisies close in around them until the trio is fit snuggly inside…

Her anchor.

Shaking her head, Delia lowers her eyes to study the white carpet beneath her feet. "I found my anchor," she whispers, "it's here. Not in my body— " Pressing her lip together in a thin line, she lifts her gaze to Brennan and nods once. The redhead fits her palm against his and clasps it tightly. "Alright Doctor Brennan, I'll hold on."

con te io li rivivrò.

That's all Dema needed. In an instant, the ground beneath them shakes as, outside, a hand vast beyond measure reaches up and cups the entire room in its palm. Immense, somnolent darkness stretches out on all sides, the massive hand's wrist disappearing into vast nothingness. The ground beneath Nick's feet becomes unfirm, and soon he is slipping out and out, tumbling downwards towards the surface of waking. Dema has what he came for. A girl in a room, a room in his hand.

Nick will arise with strange memories, and nothing more.

Con te partirò.

Io con te

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