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Oct. 17th, 2010


Karen is in an exceptionally crabby mood. Nonetheless, she's at Habitat, where she's working a Sunday double shift, because obviously the solution to all of life's problems is to work as much as possible before you collapse into insanity brought on by sleep-deprivation.

The truth is, she'd rather work herself stupid than have two minutes to herself. If she has time to herself, she'll end up thinking about the life that isn't hers any more. So after staying up pretty much all night, she came in at 5:30 this morning to open the shop. It's been busy, what with tourists coming in for coffee and cider on their way to go see foliage, and she's given her best faux-cheerful curmudgeon routine, which is always good for tips.

Things are slowing down a bit, and so Karen's out from behind the counter, sweeping up around one of the corner tables.

Oct. 5th, 2010


attn: Morgan

It's been a bad month for Gary, between his own dreams, Mike's revelations, the messy relationship with Karen, and the disaster of a dinner with Cecilia. He's out walking in what's mostly a last-ditch effort to disconnect from everything, praying he doesn't meet anyone he knows--if he doesn't, he's decided to lock himself in the studio for a week.

He looks rumpled and exhausted and cold, and if you offered to buy him a coffee he would probably not say no.

Oct. 3rd, 2010


A Chill In the Air (open, special attn Jim)

Summer was ending.

It had been a long summer, but a quiet one. Jim had been a wonder, giving her space, but not too much space, and they'd settled into something like quiet normalcy. Or the Britannia equivalent anyway.

She would be lying if she didn't confess a small part of her was still waiting for Agravain to come and smash it all to bits. But she ignored that worry as best she could, as often as she could.

She'd even told her mother she was seeing someone, which she hadn't bothered to do in years, which she supposed meant she was somewhat serious about him.

The dreams, though, were still bad. A lot of the more mundane ones had faded, and the fleeting happy ones were all but gone. Now it was shouting and abuse and him a corpse in Camelot with it being the first time she'd seen him in more than a year.

If she could be rid of them, she would be. Instead, she worked. It had gotten to the point where she was working nearly every minute she wasn't with Jim. She said she was extending the store hours to get the tourist season, now that people were coming up for the leaves and the apples. But that wasn't all of it, and Jim, at least would be able to see. She and Ivy hadn't spoken in more than passing in weeks, and no one else probably knew her well enough to see, but she was beginning to fray, a little.

She made a small arrangement with some leftovers to take over to Jim's. It'd look nice in the window.

Sep. 22nd, 2010


attn: Karen, Cecilia

Gary is wearing what almost maybe passes for a suit--at least, he's wearing a clean button-down for once, and a threadbare suitjacket over it, although he's still in jeans. He didn't invite Mike along for this (not being, frankly, totally insane, we mean, really).

He's a little afraid to meet his mother, although he's not quite sure why. She wasn't threatening last time. There's nothing inherently wrong with this invitation.

Still, he can't quite shake the feeling of foreboding that's settling over him now.

Sep. 18th, 2010


attn: Gary [ to others..]

Some time after vacation, the rest of the summer slipped into a blur of relentless work and lost sleep. Cecilia had been to several conferences, was putting in extra hours, and trying to gear everything up for back-to-school. (The last, a hopeless pile of things she couldn't quite get caught up with. Thank god for helpful library pages, at least.)

She's been distracted, keeping to herself more than usual. She doesn't sleep well, but she doesn't really mind that so much. She's been reading the stories of her life, the way other people set them down, and none of it seems to match up with what she remembers or knows. It's painful.

Today, she's finishing up a pile of work in her little corner of the back office. It's supposed to be her day off, but she's been coming in nearly every day anyway. Cecilia feels a bit frazzled, though it probably doesn't show. She's about to head out and grab a cup of coffee and a break.

Sep. 17th, 2010


attn: Ken

Ivy's been grateful for Karen's help with the office--having someone to take over some of the secretarial duties is a relief, partly because she adores company and having someone else there is fun, and partly because she's been so distracted by grief lately that she knows she'd be making mistakes if Karen weren't there to take charge of organisation.

It's the end of the week, and she knows Ken's sister is coming to visit soon, but she's in a fairly disastrous frame of mind. When she finally locks up the office and heads over to the bar for cocktails--which generally cheer her ups, so reliably in fact that she has it budgeted into her monthly expenses under Mental Health--she's dragging her feet a little, and even banter with the bartender and the Friday night regulars she's casual friends with doesn't help.

The result is that she goes over her usual limit; she doesn't really notice until the bartender ruffles her hair and says he's cutting her off, and Ivy grins her usual impish grin to see if it will change his mind, but it doesn't.

So she gets back home around 7.00, carrying her heels by the straps. She tries to unlock the front door for a few minutes before she remembers that Ken's home, and it won't be locked to begin with.

Sep. 15th, 2010


attn: Mike

By the time Mike gets home, Gary has finished the shopping and is sitting at the kitchen table drinking a beer and sketching. He's been missing the sex--missing, at least, the way that when Mike didn't know any better he didn't understand why Gary might be hesitant, and his lack of hesitation led Gary to overcome his own discomfort (in the end he always felt better for it). After the last nearly-five-years, especially given Mike's particular passion for him, it feels weird and distant to have barely touched since Mike remembered.

He's decided that possibly it's a night to get buzzed and try to turn in early; it used to work well when in the before-Mike era, and it might suffice now.

Sep. 12th, 2010


Clearly it has to be done at some point. For all their sakes, Mike waits until Gary has gone out to do the Saturday grocery shopping. Then he has a small drink to quiet his nerves, and dials Jim's number.

Aug. 6th, 2010



Nissa has been seeing a therapist. This helps, at least a little, but every little is important, Nissa tells herself.

Nissa has tools for helping herself. She's made a place on the lawn of the manse, right across from the church, where she can write and work in the leafy green sunshine, away from walls and the isolating effects of windows.

It is, she thinks as she sits there, mug of tea at her elbow, a pity her dreamself doesn't seem to ever be able to remember the things she learns while she's awake.

Aug. 2nd, 2010



Andrea's wandering down main street, trying to decide whether to eat out or cook at home. She just finished up at the bakery, flour still dusting her clothes and under her fingernails. While she loves to cook, she still has unpacking to do, and she really should get to that, even if she just wants to curl up on her mattress and go to sleep.

On the other hand, she has no idea where, or even if, there's any place to eat here, aside from Cup o' Tom, but she just left there after working since nine. So, Andrea supposes that she has to cook for herself tonight, which means locating the supermarket. Or general store. Or whatever the equivalent was here in Britannia.

Jul. 13th, 2010


attn: Daniel

School is out for the summer, of course, but in a town as small as Britannia is hard not to know where everybody lives. Thus it provides no trouble at all for Jim to show up on Daniel's front porch with Sheila on her lead and a grocery bag in his free hand, and lean on the doorbell.

Jul. 10th, 2010


For Ivy

Things have been going well for Karen. She's working, things feel normal. She's even sleeping, more often than not. The dreams she does have are vivid; so intense that sometimes she wakes up sick, or weeping. But they don't seem to be happening as often, these last few weeks, and she's thankful for that.

Today she had the morning off, so when she gets to Ivy's office she's well put together and almost cheerful. In fact, she's whistling as she comes through the door.

Jun. 20th, 2010



Between her bad dreams, her father's smothering, and the car accident, Molly's life over the past year has qualified (for her) as a disaster. And as a result of that disaster, she is trying to get control back, however crazily--she just has to be in control of something, she has to make choices, and she's still trying to figure everything out.

She doesn't work at the library any more; as far as her dad knows, she still does, but she usually just goes down to the corner drug store and hangs out with the boys there, most of whom have bicycles, but one has a car. They're the type who wear sunglasses and muscle shirts and give off (not incorrectly) the air of being jerkasses, but they buy her things and the fact that she's a year or two older than most of them make her feel more like an adult, more like she's the one who knows things.

It doesn't really help, admittedly. Nothing really helps. And she doesn't feel like herself, and she doesn't feel like the person in her dreams, and she doesn't see James any more, but she feels less like she's going crazy when they're going thirty over the speed limit on some back country road.

Afterwards they end up back on the corner, where they stand around looking vaguely thuggish and trying to impress her by saying stupid things.

Jun. 14th, 2010


[ ATTN: Larry]

Summer for Cecilia doesn't mean that work slows down -- if anything, it means the library has more patrons on its hands than usual. Which means more desk-time for Cecilia, and later evening shifts while she works to catch up on whatever she can't do from the reference desk. This suits her just fine, for a few weeks anyway, since it means she has less time on her hands to sit idle and brood over her thoughts.

The dreams haven't let up. In the past, she might have sought out Arthur, to check on him, or as some means of comfort for herself, but the last few weeks she's kept to herself. She hasn't even really mentioned it to Larry in their phone conversations. Something in Morgause wants to keep secrets, and Cecilia is finding it increasingly difficult to fight that impulse.

She dreams of her brother, and a kind of angry longing sweeps over her and ruins her whole day. Or she wakes with the sense of all the things she could never have, the sense of being half-exiled to Orkney. The best case scenario is dreaming of her own death -- she never thought she'd find cold resignation to be the preferable outcome.

Eventually, she makes up her mind that it's time to get out of town for a bit. So she arranges vacation time, and calls up Larry to see where she might catch him. Then she heads into town to run errands, doing her best to look open and approachable.

Jun. 1st, 2010


all hailing frequencies open

Ivy has never had bad dreams before. She's probably the only person in Britannia with these memories who hasn't, and it isn't that she doesn't dream about it, just that her dreams are usually quiet, almost insignificant; her husband and children, her forest, happy or mundane things. But this night is different.

What she dreams about is Gawain dying, and how it ran through her body like an electric shock, like a lightning bolt striking a tree into flames, like a shovel thrust into the earth, like an axe blade into a trunk. It hurts: she wasn't there for it, but she felt it anyway, and it hurt like nothing else she ever experienced, and it hurts now.

Ivy has had little shields up to hide her magical activity for ages now, ever since she realised she had it. She doesn't shield herself from other people's, as she's trying to monitor Britannia's magic content a bit, but she tries to hide what she's doing from the sort of magical party line. When that death strikes into her, though, she retaliates with a piece of magic that's stronger than anything she's ever done before. It's like a replica of the same feeling, the same fierce piercing hurt, and anyone in the town and its outskirts who doesn't have shields of their own is going to feel it. It isn't subtle, it isn't pleasant, and it pretty much blows any cover she had going.

It doesn't wake her up immediately, though. That comes a few minutes later, when she sits up in bed and reaches for Ken frantically, feeling feverish and empty and no idea why.

May. 31st, 2010


Return of the Queen [open, but attn. arthur]

Adia gets back into town late in the afternoon, and parks her car a few blocks away from the apartment. She's not totally sure she feels like going in just yet. Leaving her suitcases in the backseat, she walks the three blocks down to the park and finds a bench by the small, man-made lake to sit for a while.

After a few hours, just as the sun is going down, she comes back to the apartment. She gave the lease to Arthur, along with her keys, with the intention of severing all ties; the result is that she has to ring the buzzer to get in.

May. 15th, 2010


attn: Karen

Ivy is just finishing up her real work for the day and getting ready for Karen; she has some forms that will need signing, particularly privacy forms. She also hasn't been sleeping too great lately, which she can't really explain, but it annoys her.

On the other hand, someone in the office will be nice, as will having papers that actually are in the files they're supposed to be.

May. 14th, 2010


attn: Jim

After ringing up Gary's purchase, Laurel closes the shop early. She's really not in any state to be running it, even if she's calmer now.

This is the second time talking to Gary has opened something in her mind, but this time, it won't shut. Things feel weirdly out of focus, and at first she suspects she just needs to lie down for a bit.

But it turns out she's too restless for that. And she really doesn't want to fall asleep, just at the moment.

So, an hour or so later, she turns up at Jim's, unannounced, which isn't like her at all. There's a bit of a sour taste in her mouth, but she tries to make herself calm as she knocks.

May. 13th, 2010



It is time yet again for Gary to venture out of the house for art supplies and groceries and a pretense at normality, which isn't easy right now. His nightmares are getting bad again, a kind of searing white-hot slicing that rips him out of sleep and leaves him lying awake sure that he's covered in blood--he has to lie in bed breathing slow, in out in out, until he can convince himself that he's fine, it's fine, and her blood washed off a long time ago.

He looks exhausted. The nightmares have come with their usual side effect, and he wakes up in the night trying to shove his fist in his mouth to muffle the screams, whimpering into the pillow at the memory of her empty eyes staring at him from the floor. It's making him lose weight again, and his clothes are too loose for his body, his eyes red-rimmed and sleepless.

On his errand run, he stops at the coffee shop, the grocery, the art store, and Laurel's shop to buy flowers for Mike; it's their fifth-year anniversary, and he's not feeling so bad that he doesn't remember that and set a lot of store by it. Gary still isn't sure some days why Mike's let him stay so long, or how it's continued to work out, when he's so crazy (and he knows Mike is up at night sometimes watching him, he knows that). But he can be bothered at any of those locations, before he finally returns home.

May. 10th, 2010


Open {attn: Arthur}

Ever since Larry's late-night call, Cecilia's been arguing with herself about what to do, and who to talk to. She doesn't have anything concrete to tell anyone -- just Larry's vague sense of worry and her own insistent, unclear dreams.

Still, she feels she ought to check in with Arthur, not least because she promised Larry she would. So this evening she's out and about, running errands, and oh-so-coincidentally taking a leisurely walk past Arthur's apartment building.

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