We Haves, We Havenots


delia2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title We Haves, We Havenots
Synopsis Thrust into the middle of a war, Jaiden finally finds Delia only to lose her one more time.
Date November 22, 2010

The Red Plains

The air is thick with boiling clouds of smoke, loud wails of the dying, clashes of swords, and the battle cries of two armies. The ground, made into red mud with blood and gore, squishes under bare feet as Jaiden scrambles in his pajama bottoms and t-shirt to try to get under some cover. There's none to be had aside from the bodies laying on the fields. The scavengers are already approaching. With one breath left, a man on the ground reaches up to the large Australian and holds a shaking fist toward him, "Help.. me…" Then he is no more.

Through the haze a woman in a white dress carrying a gleaming sword picks her way through the field. Unphased by the carnage around her, her bare feet practically glide a path between the bodies and toward the sounds of war. From her other hand dangles a crystalline orb on a silver thread, it leans toward the thickest of the fray. She passes by the Australian in something of a daze, her sword held at the ready, though in real life she has never learned to use one. Here, she has gained something of a quick lesson or two.

Two or three steps beyond him, Delia finally turns and looks down, as though seeing him for the first time. "You need to arm yourself, they won't be merciful." Her soft voice is a polar opposite to the loud crashing beyond them, almost unheard save that it nearly booms inside the mind of the man.

The last time he was in something like this was during one of the brush wars in Africa. Tribal wars, blood spilled over centuries of conflict, boiling over now and again into violence that scarred the landscape and left countless dead. But there….there he had his backpack, his clothes, his weapons, his power. Here…simply being dropped into the middle of a war zone without any idea of who or what he's facing. He scrambles to his feet, looking around wildly, trying to see where he is, who is fighting…who she is.

The battlefield is wide, a plain that holds very little sanctuary for one dressed as he is, and the men and women who were fighting in this world lay scattered about, like broken dolls tossed aside by a child having a tantrum. At least here, in this place, he doesn't need to worry about snipers on the tree line or random gunfire from a concealed position, scything down men like grain. Jaiden stands, hands scrabbling through the bloodsoaked soil until the leather-wrapped hilt of a sword makes itself known, stabbed into the earth where it's user had fallen, the blade still gleaming and sharp despite the treatment it had gone through.

Muscles flex as Jaiden draws the sword from the earth, holding it in his right hand while his left picks up a discarded shield made of hammered bronze covered in leather which is quickly strapped on. He doesn't know how to fight with a sword, but dammit, he'll learn quickly. "Who…who are they?" he asks aloud, feeling the soil squeeze between his toes as he follows after the woman in the white dress. She seems to be the only one in this place of insanity that makes any kind of sense.

"The Haves and the Havenots…" The simple answer seems explanation enough for the young woman as she begins to jog toward the growing sounds of fighting. Rushing up behind a line of riderless cavalry panthers, she jumps onto the back of one of them and hangs onto the horn of the saddle with one hand as it rears up with a scream of fury. Her sword is held high, mostly because she is trying to be careful not to hurt the beast or herself but the vision it presents is a inspiring.

There's a surge from the Haves as some of them spy the young woman with flaming red hair on the battlecat. It screams once more before launching itself into action and the resulting roar of applause from the wearied soldiers brings renewed life to this side of the field.

There's something inspiring about the anonymous girl with flame-red hair that causes Jaiden's back to straighten, his muscles to tense, his breath to come slowly and smoothly as he enters a place where the goal is in sight and the only trouble to have will be achieving it. He finds himself following, bare feet pounding on the blood-slicked grass, foot catching in the stirrup of one of the saddles, the man swinging his way up onto his, a male that shows the signs of not a few battles, one that gives the rider on his shoulders a look, as if to say 'about time you got here' before growling….

Leaning down into the saddle, the young woman holds the sword out at her side as the cat plunges into the thick of the skirmish. Its forepaws rip into the enemy as though it had been waiting for exactly this moment all its life. On the great cat's back, Delia is hacking away at any who try to come close enough to pull her from her mount. Her white dress becomes spattered with ribbons of blood, spoiling it innocence.

On the side of the Havenots, those who are clearly Haves work to betray their own countrymen. Some believing it the right thing to do, some slaves to their lord. Every time the redhead is faced against one of them, she wheels her panther around it, urging it to leap out of the way. For all of the blood she is spilling, none of it seems to be the blood of kith and kin.

The blue orb in her hand begins to glow and pulls itself from her hand, kept only by the silver string tied to her finger. Toward the end of the field, a great shadow looms behind a man on a giant elephant-type beast.

The animal part of Jaiden - the one that fights, lives, enjoys rich food, hearty laughter, and time with others urges the cat into battle - follows the fire-haired woman as she wades into the fray. His sword, a superbly balanced blade swings in great, sweeping arcs, cleaving into those who are fighting the haves, and even avoiding those that turn against them.

The logical part of Jaiden knows that this is not real. The great cat who's shoulders he sits astride is not real - nothing this size has existed on the planet since prehistoric times. This sword…these people, so vividly different as the haves and the have nots. It seems the only two that are real are Jaiden and the woman in white..

"Delia…" he whispers as his blade bites into a man using two swords, one in each hand.

"Delia." He says with more conviction as he detaches the head of a man with twin daggers, speeding around the battlefield.

"Delia!" he shouts, his voice echoing through the battlefield.

Though the redhead tries to wheel her cat toward the other end, the screeching animal underneath her refuses to go any closer. For now… the shadow is protected by a wall of massive pachyderms. For now. As she captures the orb in her hand, she raises her fist, giving the monster what she believes is a good view of the threat that approaches it. Then with one last forlorn look toward the Havenots edge of the field, the cat rears once more before she urges it to sprint back out of the fight.

With great leaps and bounds, Delia approaches Jaiden just as he is calling her. Hearing her name, her eyes spark blue like the color of refrain and the sword is sheathed behind her. That hand is held out to grab his on her way past, if all goes well, he will be dragged onto her mount rather that into the mud.

Jaiden's shield is dropped into the mud, the man standing up on his stirrups as the old panther he's mounted on bats away an approaching havenot. Jaiden's hand reaches out, straining, to clasp Delia's as she sprints past, her hand strong in the dream, pulling him from his saddle, his sword trailing behind clasped firmly in his right hand.

It takes a little hop and the panther does protest at having two riders, but Jaiden is soon mounted snugly behind Delia on the back of her panther. "God, Delia…What is this? Where are we? Where are you?" There are so many questions to be asked, so many questions left unanswered….

here's hoping there's time enough to answer them.

For now, Jaiden's questions are ignored in favor of fleeing the battleground. Her mission failed, Delia urges the cat to the end of the Haves field and then stops the great beast to climb off. Holding it steady by the reigns, she allows the large man to slip off as well before letting it race back to its fellows.

When they are alone, the young redhead looks up at him, her eyes somewhat dull and blank. "You know me…" What should be a question is posed in the form of a quiet statement of fact. "Do I know you?" A question that shouldn't be asked but is anyway. Her grey-blue orbs drift over his face as she takes in every detail, searching what little memory she has. There's a small spark of recognition before she takes a breath and cants her head lightly to the side. "I know you…"

Jaiden's sword is stuck into the ground, point first, once they have dismounted, sinking in about six to eight inches - deep enough to stand on it's own without too much difficulty. "Yes…yes…" Jaiden's head does a fair impression of a bobblehead - a sweaty, blood-and-mud smeared bobblehead. "You know me, Delia. You and I are a couple. We're in love."

He approaches after scrubbing his hands on his pants, to hesitantly reach out for her, to try and touch her. "Don't you remember, Del? The city? The riots? Going to the island with the rest of the ferry? When you got lost….I never thought I'd see you again, but I heard stories…from people…you popping up in other's dreams."

Delia's head twitches somewhat to the side, almost as if she's about to shake her head no but she doesn't. Slowly bringing it back to look up at him directly, she squints her eyes somewhat, not shying away from his hands. It's something at least.

"W-was that in Central Park?" One of the only places she remembers, thanks to Cat's wall of memories. Unfortunately, Cat didn't know about Jaiden, there was nothing for her to remind Delia about. "Fairies? I haven't met them yet… They live on an island? Do you think they know where the shadow monster is? I think my orb is broken… it's bringing me to places that aren't the lair." Though a brief glimpse back at the field has her eyes narrowing, it did bring her closer to something that could have been the shadow monster.

She speaks in riddles, of fairies and a shadow monster. Things that they have not spoken of or thought about, only in dreams and even then, only fleetingly at best. Still, when one spends so much time in the dream with the other, one does learn a thing or two.

Or at least can bodge something together fairly quickly.

His hands rest on Delia's shoulders. Light, fingernails pressing gently into her skin; a physical sensation in the world of dreams. He scans her, eyes flicking from her dull grey ones to her hair, now going a little pale and lifeless, like someone had put a gray filter over the world in between her and him. Almost a ghost of a girl. He's looking for anything out of place. Anything missing from when he normally dreams with her. The white dress is a constant, as is the scent she carries with her, but there must be something she's lost… "I do not know the fairies, Delia. Or the shadow monster. Your lair is with me, at home in Red Hook, in the basement of the garage. Your body right now is being watched by those I trust, while your mind….wanders. Oh Delia…." He leans in to hug her tightly to his chest, his breath warm against her shoulder. "Please remember."

The strong arms around Delia's back and shoulders feels so familiar, like she belongs there. In response, she wraps her arms around his back, a very tentative touch at first before another spark of memory hits her and her pale hands grip tightly at Jaiden's shirt. Taking a long breath inward, the smell of cinnamon and sandalwood fills her senses and she releases all of her fears and worries in a long sigh.


The whispered name means more than he could ever imagine, possibly. To the young woman in the Australian's arms, it brings about distant memories of vows made and pledges of an eternity spent together murmured in the dark. Instead of looking up at him, she buries her face into the crook of his neck and shoulder, closing her eyes. Her sight fails her, her other senses don't as much.

There are very few things that could make Jaiden weep, and hearing his name spoken in that breathless whisper is one of them. With a gasp, the sensation of tears spattering on the crown of Delia's head can be felt. "It's me, Delia. It's Jaiden." he manages to murmur, the tears coming more freely now. "Let's…let's get you home. Hokuto is supposed to help me look for you in dream, but it's just luck, I guess, that you managed to make your way into mine." One hand moves up to wipe his eyes, the man holding Delia tightly - almost uncomfortably so - not wanting to let her go.

Slowly, Delia lifts her head to look up at Jaiden. When her cornflower eyes meet his olive ones, she gives him a small, sad smile. Leaning up, she presses her lips against his in a rather chaste kiss before drawing back. "I can't go back yet… I have to find… " Like the fleeting mind of an Alzheimer's patient, Delia's memory fails her again and she grimaces as though the loss gave her physical pain.

Ignoring it and the reason for it, the redhead uncurls one arm from around the large man and raises her hand to wipe his cheek with her thumb. "I miss you…"

The taller man nods slightly, taking a deep, shuddering breath as the waterworks close down, either through use of his power or sheer force of will. Either way, the tears stop and the forest surrounding the pair goes deathly quiet, the trees vanishing around them as the light from them is drawn to the center, until all that remains in this place is a single ring of trees surrounding a grassy clearing and nothing else beyond. Stars, even, can be seen where ground and forest -should- and the moon hangs high overhead like a glimmering jewel, casting pale light over the pair, who are glowing.

Jaiden's hands stroke over Delia's shoulders and neck, moving up to twine in her hair. "What do you need to find, Delia? Did you lose something in the dream, somehow? Can I help you find it? Somehow?"

Though the stars can be seen by him, they don't sparkle for the young woman anymore. All she ever sees is the full moon against a blank sky. Sometimes it is filled with smoke, others with clouds, but there are never any stars dotting the surface of the blanket of black, not anymore.

"I don't know… I thought maybe the shadow monster had it but I can't get to him. He's… he out of reach. I can't go that far." The direction that the orb points in is confusing to her, sometimes it points one way, others it leans a direction completely the opposite. "I can't find my body Jaiden… and the boogeyman said that I'm losing myself. That I'm only going to be found in dreams if I can't remember. It's getting harder and harder."

"Your body is in the infirmary, with an IV drip keeping you hydrated and healthy. It's just like you were asleep when I visit you in the real world, but you haven't woken up yet." Jaiden's eyes close, the glow surrounding them growing a little bit brighter as he takes in a breath. "Does the orb….does it tell you where the thing that is missing is, or where your body is? Do you know how it works? Can you show me?"

Pulling the thread on her finger free, she releases the crystalline orb into Jaiden's hand. All the while, her eyes never leave his, not even to worry that he might not catch the bauble. "It tells me where the shadow monster's lair is… The angel gave it to me. She needs me to find him and to make him tell more lies so she can finish the puzzle and find the truth in them."

Her eyebrows twitch in worry and she raises her hands up to lay them on either side of his face. "I'm afraid, Jaiden. What if I can't find my body again? What if he's right and I'll only ever be in dreams again?"

The orb rests in Jaiden's palm, glimmering like a jewel, outshining the glow that's coming from him, from her, infusing the pair with light. With life. "I'm sorry, but I do not understand, Delia." He sounds mournful at that. She's speaking in riddles that he has no context in whatsoever, and that puts him at a massive disadvantage.

"Don't be…don't worry. You have found me and now that I know you are here, and know what to look for, Hokuto and I…we'll get you back to your body. Safe and sound." The bauble is held out for her to take and once she does, Jaiden presses both palms to his chest, that glow that's suffusing him concentrating there, like a flame or the dull glow of heated metal fresh from the forge. His eyes close and a ball of flickering flame, pulsing in time with the heartbeat of the world, falls from his mouth to be caught easily. "You have a sword, Delia, for protection. You have a gem for guidance. Take this…."

The flame burns brightly in Jaiden's palms, not burning, but putting out a soothing heat that comforts and reassures, coming from a glimmering red ruby the size of a child's fist. "It is my love for you, Delia. It is all that I can give you in this place. It is warmth and life and desire and friendship. It is the link to the real world and, once you have found what it is you are looking for, it will lead you back to me…." His eyes widen slightly, like a light was just clicked on. "Your necklace…the one you always have on…..was that what was lost?"

Before taking the ruby, Delia's free hand goes to her throat, feeling at it. The bare flesh seems naked without the thin chain and crucifix that she always has strung around her neck. Her eyes widen to match his and she smiles as her eyes brighten another shade. "My necklace… that's it! I need to find my necklace. I have to find where I dropped it or else I'll never go home again."

There's a shuddering gasp of relief that comes from the young woman as she throws her arms around Jaiden's neck. Hugging him tightly and dotting his face with kisses, speaks in a low utter between pecks. "I remembered once… and then I forgot again. Jaiden I've learned things here… I know so much more now.." So many things she couldn't even begin to tell him, not that she wants to waste the precious little time that they have.

Unwinding one of her arms from around his neck, she places her palm on top of the one holding the ruby. The glow shines through her pale hand, resulting in a circle of light on the top of her skin. Though she doesn't feel the cold, that small spot of light warms through her and she smiles. "I remember everything about you now…"

“Let’s make sure you can get out of this place with that knowledge intact and back to the real world where you can use it.” Jaiden holds the girl tightly to him, lifting her into his arms when the world around them fades, the two of them floating in space, surrounded by billions of stars shimmering in the blackness, like a blanket thrown over the pair on a sunny day. “If I could lead you out, I would. If I knew how to help you, I would. If I had a metal detector that would seek soul-crucifixes, it would be in my hand now but I don’t.” He lifts his hand, the starry blanket folding, like someone’s drawing back a curtain to reveal the brilliance behind, the sunny meadow where they first met so many months ago revealed but for a moment before the blanket falls back, the night taking this place again. “I don’t know how long we have together tonight, Delia. I know the sun will come up and I’ll be taken from you.”

In the distance a small ember starts to glow, the pair sinking toward it without moving. There’s no wind brushing over them, no sound or sensation of falling. The ember grows larger and wider to reveal a fireplace, a wooden floor, a table and an overstuffed loveseat with a soft rug in front.

“I do not have much control here, Delia…that is your domain. I know I am dreaming now, and I know you are with me, and we now know what you need to seek to find your way home to your body, and to me, but, for a time at least, I hope that I can comfort you.” Their feet touch down on the floor and Jaiden sits on the couch, his arms open for her to curl into.

What it is that Jaiden sees is not what Delia can. Through her eyes the meadow and the black night are constant and ever present, when he picks her up and sets her down, they are still in the same place. The fallen log that the Australian man sits down on receives a bit of a smile from the young woman and moving closer, she rests on hand on his cheek before leaning down to kiss his forehead. “I can’t see where you are, Jaiden…” and for a brief moment his scenery dims to the one that he just left. “I wish I could, I bet it’s just like home.”

Still with the invitation of his arms, Delia sits down in his lap and rests her head in the crook between his neck and shoulder. The ruby and the orb are placed into her pack, the young woman certain that the fur lining will protect them. “I don’t know where I lost it, I just never remember having it here. After I got sucked into the black, I woke up here.” A small glance around has her wrinkling her nose and shaking her head. “Not here but in a cemetery. I’ve walked a long way since then.”

“My suggestion would be to retrace your steps, if you can. To return to that cemetery and try to look around there.” The image that Jaiden produced for himself fades, leaving only the clearing, the moon, and the night surrounding them again. Still he’s holding her in his arms, albeit briefly, and that, for now, will have to be enough for them both. “or to try and find the person who’s dreams you were in that brought you here….I don’t know how you were captured, but you were.”

Jaiden’s hands stroke through Delia’s hair gently, soothing her as best he can before a gentle kiss is placed on her forehead, wiped away with his fingertips. “With that ruby, with my heart, hopefully that’s enough of a connection. Hopefully you’ll follow me home once you’ve found your crucifix.”

Delia lids shutter her vision when his lips touch her forehead, the small smile on her face giving her a peaceful countenance. With a soft sigh, she angles her head toward his hands and then slowly opens her eyes to meet his and lean in for a kiss of her own. She’s dirty from battle and the scars of red across her dress sully the once pretty white gown. Her arms snake around his waist and she holds him for a long while, listening to the thrum of his heartbeat, so much like a battle drum.

“It was a ghost… I don’t know how to find her again… I was on Pollepel, do you think maybe she’s there still?” Raising one milk white hand, Delia’s fingertips meet Jaiden’s in a brief touch before she laces her fingers through his. “After I find the shadow monster, I’ll look for the ghost. Maybe I’ll find them together.”

A ghost. Jaiden looks thoughtful for a moment. “Kind of like Hokuto? A person who’s lost connection to their body and has gotten out into the dream world instead of the real?” The physics of that aside, the sheer mental power required to keep one’s soul intact while the body wastes away is staggering in Jaiden’s limited view. He holds Delia tightly to him, as if the contact will give her more strength.

“Why are you looking for the shadow monster anyway? Do you think he may have your crucifix?” Yes, bringing logic into a dream is a crazy thing, but Jaiden tries nonetheless. “And when you find it, what will happen, do you know? Will you have to fight it or trick it or sneak past it?”

“No, Hokuto is different,” Delia says quietly, her eyes drifting down to the ground. “Hokuto’s body actually died… she was killed. I don’t know what is happening with the ghost of Pollepel. Brian said at the meeting that she wasn’t a ghost… she sleeps and dreams, so she can’t be a ghost. That’s what the big Russian man said, if you dream you can’t be dead.”

Melting into his form as he holds her tightly, the redhead smiles a bit at him and traces her fingers across his cheeks and eyebrows. “I miss you, I’ll come home as soon as I can but the broken angel needs more lies to finish her puzzle. When it’s finished, she’ll be able to see the truth and save the boy… She can’t find him herself, she can’t leave the sea… so I’m going to look for her. When I find him, I’ll look for the ghost and come back home.” It hasn’t occurred to her that she might have an easier time outside of this place to find the shadow monster.

“Well, as nice as she seems, what with her being a ghost and all, I don’t think she needs a companion. Not when you have so much to do in the real world.” Jaiden bends to give her a kiss, gentle, on her brow, straightening, holding her tightly in his embrace, the log they sit on comfortable despite the darkness and the unblinking moon. “I miss you too, Delia. This is the first time we’ve talked in a long, long time…”

After a moment or two, Jaiden speaks again. “You should try to make it back to Pollepel Island, to see if you can find the dreaming ghost girl again….if she was the cause of your arrival here, she may be the solution. Or, at least, may be able to point you in the right direction.”

“I don’t know how to get there, Jaiden… I don’t even know where I am.” Delia’s fingers raise to trace the line of the man’s jaw then draw down to his shoulders and eventually lay flat on his chest. “I’m walking blind… I might be able to find a person but… They have to be in my range and that’s not far enough to get to Pollepel. It’s fifty miles from the city and from the people I visited, I have to be in the city.”

A hopeless sigh emits from the young woman as she rests for a moment, her forehead against his cheek. “I want to wake up,” she whispers softly, “I want to go home… I’m so tired of walking all the time. I feel like I’ve been walking for years.” In a way, she might have been. There’s no sleep for her here, nothing but endless hours of wandering.

“well…I fell asleep in my apartment. Maybe with the gem I gave you, you’ll be able to find me if I go to the island.” It’s a hope, at least. Not much of one, but a hope is always good to have. “Or maybe you can….I don’t know….hopscotch from one dream to the other. Just pass through on your trip to the island. “

He wants her to wake up too, but telling her as much is not necessary. She knows it - she has to know he wants the same thing for her, so why say it? “I love you, Delia. You’ve only been gone for a week….not years, but a week of wandering is not something I’d want to do.”

“I wouldn’t know which way to go… Here isn’t like there. Everything is different.” Delia’s sigh is a long one as she shakes her head and stares at the ground beneath their feet. Slowly, she turns to look up at him again and press her hand against his cheek. “Just think… If I was in your apartment, I’d be home right now. I could wake up beside you.”

So close, yet so far. Just like when she visited Elisabeth. Except this time her body isn’t close enough to feel a tiny bit of pull. A pull she mistook for the other woman’s anchor.

The redhead’s arms tighten around him just a little more and she gazes up at him, the cornflower blue hue slowly returning. Who knows how quickly it will disappear when he does. “I’m so lonely here, every time I make a friend, they leave.” In reality, she’s the one that’s leaving when they wake up, but by her perspective, she doesn’t see it that way.

“You know I’ll be back, though. You just have to hold on to that ember. Every night before this, you and I ran through each other’s dreams. Remember the Little Mermaid? And the whole lion king running through the jungle thing? That was a lot of fun, you and I, being silly. Letting the dreams take us before waking in each other’s arms. Hold on to those memories. Hold on to that light here, in your heart.” Jaiden’s hand presses against her chest, a warmth spreading from him to her. “I need you to come back to me, Delia. I love you too much to not have you with me.”

“And I’ll check. I’ll find whoever you were with. It was someone at the island - I know you. You don’t wander far afield….so that’s only like 60-70 people….” Hell of a lot to track down, but…

As Jaiden begins talking more and more about the real world and less about the one they’re in now, Delia can feel him fading. Her breathing quickens and she turns her head up to look at him with tearful, pleading eyes. “Don’t… Jaiden no…” Her hands slide from around his waist to rest against his cheeks as his body begins to slowly phase from her existence, the sight of it draws the tears from her eyes.

By leaving here, he’s creating a bigger hole than he found.

Before he’s completely gone from her side, she leans up and presses her lips gently against his, smothering her own pleas against his departure. It’s something they both knew would happen eventually, she just didn’t want it to be so soon. “I love you…” she whispers against his lips, the last thing he manages to hear.

He can feel himself waking, but he struggles to stay asleep, to stay with her in the dream, for just a bit longer. But he can’t. The world drags on him, pulls him out of the sleep he is in, and causes him to fade. “I can’t stay, Delia….this is the dream. This isn’t my world like it’s yours. It’s making me leave….” He sounds pained - saddened because of this, but he straightens, pulling her into a tight hug. “I love you, Delia. With all my heart and soul I love you. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget me.” he bends to kiss her on the mouth, his hand cradling her head for a moment. “I love you, Delia.”

Like a sculpture melting away, Jaiden fades from the dream, waking in uncomfortable reality, the sun blazing into his eyes.

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