What Dreams May Come, Part I


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Scene Title What Dreams May Come, Part I
Synopsis Hokuto Ichihara visits the home of Detective Elisabeth Harrison in an attempt to ease her pains and fulfill her end of a bargain with Abigail Beauchamp.
Date September 5, 2009

Dorchester Towers

The weekend. Like most people, Elisabeth has laundry to accomplish (a few bits of Cardinal's things thrown in for good measure, given that he's been staying in the apartment relatively often lately) and assorted chores to handle. And although she probably ought to be on duty, there has been no movement on any of her cases lately, and she's available by cell if there is. So …. securely locked in her newly enhanced fortifications, feeling halfway human today, Elisabeth is doing her housecleaning. A pair of yoga pants, a raggedy NYPD T-shirt, her hair caught up in a ponytail, bare feet… the works. The stereo is playing, she's singing along for the first time in a week, and she's getting rid of wine bottles. More than she really thinks is good for her as she takes stock of the 4 of them that she's gone through since she got home. Could be worse…. the bottles of the hard stuff haven't come out. She's proud of that.

Said it was the wrong thing
For me to do
I said it's just a boys' game
Girls play too

If any of her friends could see her now… seriously. Bopping along to the soundtrack to Top Gun!

It's no small wonder, with the music up to the volume it is and in the upswing of her moods, that Elisabeth Harrison didn't hear the knocking the first two times. But the third time, oh the third time is a hammering slam of a fist throbbing against the door to her apartment, three quick pounds that sound like it might be someone doing construction in the apartment across the hall, were it not for the muffled susurrus of a woman's voice drowned out by the sound of the music on the other side.

It's moments like that, where over the din of loud music something is heard where there's that hesitation of did I really just hear that, but when it comes for a fourth and final time, Elisabeth can clearly make out the unfamiliar voice of a woman on the other side of the door. "…if it's a bad time I can try back later!" She shouts over the music, the tail end of whatever it was she's been trying to relay through the door.

Blink! Immediately, the stereo is turned off. The good mood pretty much evaporates entirely and stress hormones race through Elisabeth. Someone banging on the door that loud can't possibly be good. She walks toward the door and calls through it, "Who is it??" She cautiously peeks out the peephole.

On the other side of the door, Elisabeth sees something decidedly not what she was expecting. The diminutive and dark-haired asian woman on the other side of the door is peering up at the peephole with furrowed brows, her lower lip trapped between her teeth in a pensive expression. "I— uh— I'm Hokuto Ichihara. I was told by a young woman named Abigail that— " she considers her words carefully, eyes wandering away fromt he peephole, "that you might need some assistance?"

Rocking back on her heels, Hokuto's focus shifts back up to the peephole. "A— again, if this is a bad time I can always come by later, I apologize for not calling, all she gave me was an address and your number isn't listed."

Oh… oh! Elisabeth's eyebrows shoot to her hairline. Abby sent someone? She opens the door, struggling with the urge to pull the 9mm out of the foyer's table drawer, and murmurs, "Uhm…. Abby sent you? I'm sorry, I was…. cleaning." She inspects the woman closely, hesitant and clearly on edge. "You… please… come in." She steps back, fighting to keep the stress response from overwhelming her good sense or her good manners — some really uptight, demented part of her brain is howling in Alec's voice 'what the fuck good is a security system if you're just going to let any Tom, Dick, and Harry in the dooooooooor???' With a furrowed brow, Liz waits until the woman comes in and then locks the door behind her. Though she doesn't lock the crossbar. (And Alec's voice in her head howls about that too.)

Sheepishly ducking her head and offering an apologetic smile as she slips into the apartment, it's fairly easy on a glance for someone to let their guard down around Hokuto. She's a tiny, fae-like thing in proportions, all large and expressive eyes, dark hair and slim build. As she steps away from the door a few paces, a faint smile crosses her lips — one admittedly tinged with an awkward expression of someone in a stranger's home. "I— don't normally visit many people or… or really ever leave home," her teeth tug at her lower lip again, dark eyes wandering the apartment. "But Abby is a good friend, and when she told me… ah…" how to put this politely, "you were having some troubles I might be able ot help with, well— I wanted to try and go the extra mile."

Turning back around to look at Liz, the light fabric of Hokuto's chalk white sundress skirt rustles around at her legs, bare arms folded across her chest where an large, black bag hands over one forearm. "I don't know how much she told you about me or, ah, what it is I do?" Hokuto's eyes once more begin scanning the apartment, taking meandering steps inside one scuffing, sandaled step at a time.

There's a bit of a headshake. "She didn't…. really say anything. Except that she thought she had a friend who could help." Elisabeth hesitates, crossing her arms defensively and skirting around Hookuto a bit. "She said you might stop in, I'm sorry if I'm a little flaky. Can I get you some water?"

"Actually," Hokuto eyes some of the empty wine bottles, "I think I might need a glass of wine, just a half-glass, best not to mix it too much with medication, but it'll help me into a deeper sleep." With that rather confusing sentence rendered, Hokuto makes her way across the apartment and over to the sofa, setting down her bag on the table near the couch, and then as she straightens up reaches down to her wrist and rolls a scrunchy hair-tie from it, both hands coming up behind her head to wind her hair into a messy bun and wrap that elastic tie around it. "Abby told me you're evolved," her head tilts slightly, "to be fair, I am as well…"

Coming to sit down on the arm of the sofa, Hokuto crosses one leg over the other. "Classification of my ability is dream manipulation, but my mother preferred the term oneiromancy." Her brows go up, smile somewhat impish, "I can enter a sleeping mind, view what they dream, change it or also work with the subconscious to try and— " she makes a see-saw motion with one hand, "fix things. Like hypnotic suggestion in a way; the more open a mind you have the better. But the very least I can do is make sure you have peaceful rest. Everything else— it comes and it goes."

A glass of wine at … barely lunch? Ooookay. Elisabeth shrugs slightly and slips into the kitchen while Hokuto makes herself comfortable in the living room. Her eyes flicker up at the mention of the whole Evolved thing, uncertain why this is important. And then as she pours the half-glass of wine, it becomes clear. Slowly putting the cork back into the neck of the wine bottle and slipping it back into the fridge, Elisabeth debates the merits and flaws of this particular approach to her problems.

"All right…." she says slowly, picking up the glass and bringing it back to Hokuto. Liz holds it out to the other woman from a full arm's length away, her blonde brows furrowed. "And … so you… and Abby… think that you'll be able to …. make the dreams … stop?" There's some expression of naked hope in her expression, quickly shuttered even as she asks.

"I can't make any promises," Hokuto says quietly, rising up off of the sofa's arm to carefully take the glass with fingers wrapped around the bulb and the stem dipping down between her fingers, "but I've had twenty years of practice with it, so I'm fairly certain I should at least be able to help you manage a little better." Settling back down on the arm of the sofa like some lazy cat, Hokuto louhces on it and rests her elbow on the back of the couch, taking a sip of the wine with a thoughtful rise of her brows.

"I brought some sleeping pills with me, purely over-the-counter variety." Nodding her head towards her bag, the dark-haired woman's lips creep up into a hesitant smile. "The're right on top, feel free to fish around in there and check them out, I'm not sure if you have any medication you're on that might run counter to it. If so, I might have to wait until you can get some natural sleep to really be of any help. But I'm of the intention of fixing this problem of yours as soon as possible."

Managing something of a reluctant smile, Hokuto regards the wine in her glass quietly. "I don't like giving false hope, but…" It seems like she will," there's an outside chance that depending on how accepting your mind is to suggestion, I can help alleviate any number of subconscious problems you might be having. The more you tell me before I go in, however, the less likely I am to be blindsided by something traumatic. So, while I hate to pry, in this case I think it might be necessary. Whatever you… want to tell me, about what you want me to fix, now would be a good time to start." She eyes her glass of wine, then dips those smoky brown eyes up to Liz. "You can join me with a drink if it'd help."

Elisabeth's wary blue eyes follow each movement the Asian woman makes, and once she has the glass in her hands, Liz steps back. The corner of her lower lip disappears between her teeth as they worry at it. "I'm not… taking anything. The shrink I called hasn't gotten back to me yet…" And then she grimaces slightly. "Natural sleep? Natural sleep is in …. short supply these days. I'm getting some. Here and there." With the lights blazing. Or with a nightlight and the knowledge that someone else is in the apartment with her — that she's not alone in the darkness. She moves to settle into one of the armchairs, perched on the edge of the seat as if she'll get up and flee any moment.

"Frankly, Miss Ichihara," Elisabeth finally replies tiredly, "I don't have a clue what to tell you to fix." She looks up at the woman, the surge of adrenaline from the door knock finally starting to taper off and leave her a bit shaky. "I was…. held captive by some people who wanted information. They… did many things to me. And I have no idea whether you'll be able to stand up to what comes in my dreams, though… if you're the person who helped Abby and you could wade through the tongue thing, maybe you'll be okay." Her voice is subdued. "I can list for you the effects… they run the gamut of what you'd expect, psychologically speaking, from anyone held hostage. Anxiety, hypervigilance, nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks. If you can alleviate those with this? That'd be …. far more than I could hope for. There's some level of agoraphobia — being outside too long makes me literally quake in my boots." She shrugs a bit and frowns. "What more do you want to know?"

Furrowing her brows, Hokuto offers and apologetic smile for the wince she gives at hearing about the situation. There's a swallow, followed by a subtle nod of her head as dark eyes wander back up to Liz. "I stopped Abby's nightmare before it got that far. I should be able to deal with this, I've helped survivors of the bomb deal with post-traumatic stress and survivor's guilt, and— in my more reckless moments I've tried to ease the pain of those who weren't going to make it, languishing away in hospitals from radiation poisoning. As long as you want to be helped, deep down, I should be able to help you find some semblance of peace."

Sliding down from the arm of the sofa onto the cushiong itself, motioning to the bag on the table. "Take two of the pills there, then hand me the bottle." There's a rise of her brows at that, "Come sit down, and try to get comfortable, and… given time," she inclines her head, eyes wandering to her own reflection in the surface of the wine. "Well, we'll see what dreams may come."

The uncertainty of even trusting this woman is clear on Elisabeth's face, but Abigail trusts her — and Liz is in no position right now to turn away any help she can get. She gets the requested pills, grabs a bottle of water from the fridge to wash down two of them, and brings the bottle to Hokuto. As she hands them to the smaller woman, Elisabeth says quietly, "I sincerely hope you're going to be able to cut it off at the pass…. because if you don't, all I can do is apologize for what you'll experience." She knows exactly how bad her dreams have been. Then she walks over toward the plush armchair and curls into it — it won't be the first time she's napped in the thing, all curled up like a child — letting herself be tugged into the blackness of sleep with only a very brief struggle against it.

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