|Aura Castillo ∴ Hel (calaveritas) wrote in paxletalelogs,
@ 2010-06-18 00:56:00
Who: Aura and Billy
What: Dream log
Where: Their heads
This is not the dream spam you are looking for.
Aura wasn’t at home.
She was at the hospice, in the room of a dying man who had no family to speak of, and she should have gone home hours ago. It was three in the morning, an she was curled on the couch in the room, and she could tell it would be soon now. Aura never liked to leave them when it was almost time.
Still, sleep overtook her after a time, exhaustion dragging her under and down.
The dream was hers this time. It was underground, cold and shadowed, but it didn’t frighten her. It was a familiar dream, a comfortable dream, a dream she felt at home in. She walked to the end of a long, stone dock, and she knelt at the end. The water below the dock was dark silvers and blacks, and she reached down to touch it, the waters parting as soon as she touched them with a tip of her fingers.
She was dressed in a long, black dress, and her hair was loose around her shoulders. She was sickly in her paleness, and in the dream a heartbeat could be heard in the background, beating slower and slower and slower.
Billy brought with him an inner light that didn’t so much shine as glimmer, very faintly, and only if you weren’t looking at him directly. As he came up behind her, the light cast long shadows against the coolness around them. “Hi.” He knew who she was, and the familiar greeting was in the same spirit regardless of where they were or how different she looked from the last time he had seen her.
Billy wasn’t in a hospital bed, and the fact alone made him look so much healthier that it was miles from the beach in every way. He was wearing a hospital white shirt and hospital green pants, and no shoes. He looked happy to be on his feet. “What’s up?”
She looked back at him, taking in the hospital attired, and then she looked back out at the water, which could be seen to pulse with the heartbeat in the distance. “I’m waiting,” she said, because she was. “My waves are better than yours,” she said a moment later, looking back at him and giving him a small, serious smile. In fact, the waves in the thick, silver water were minimal at best, barely visible. Then, “you’re not in your bed.”
For once, he could not smile at the tease. Billy just wasn’t the kind of guy that appreciated peaceful dark. It was too dark, too peaceful. Even quiet was always too quiet. “I am,” he replied, apparently unaware that made no sense. “Just not forever.” That inner light gleamed with pride, and then died down again so that she could make out his concerned look directed out over the water. “What are you waiting for?”
He might not appreciate the peaceful dark, but the glow he brought with him illuminated the dream in a way that was soothing, white and pure and not at odds with the somber surroundings. She stood, and she walked over to him, and she leaned in and sniffed the crook of his neck. No, still not dying. Not his time; not even close. “For someone to die,” she said, but she said it without sadness or fear, and she gave him a beatific smile in the very next moment. “I think forever,” she said.
This dream, this place was hers, and it was more inside her mind than any of the dreams before. She looked around, and the scene changed. A marble hall and two high-back chairs, the heartbeat still slow and steady in the background.
He was patient as she came near, but his eyes met hers with confusion and curiosity as she pulled away again, though he did not attempt to follow. “People die all the time,” Billy said, with a new caution in the conversation. He didn’t know why he kept meeting this girl, but he knew she was no guardian angel. She talked about death too much. Billy was not reassured by all the cold marble, either. “I smell funny?” He narrowed his eyes at her face to see if she was going to try to sell him a lie about how he smelled fine even if he forgot deodorant.
She laughed, and it was warm, despite the coolness of the marble. “You smell alive,” she said, “and like bleach. I’d recommend a better cologne, if you’re trying to catch women.” It was a familiar comment, a jest between friends. She hadn’t forgotten his inclination toward romanticizing relations; it was quaint, and she liked his quaintness.
The air around them and the somberness of the place gave her a maturity and seriousness she’d been lacking in the other dreams, and she leaned forward on bare toes, elbows on the knees of the endless black fabric of her dress. “You make it better here.”
“Live people don’t smell like bleach,” Billy said, a little disappointed that she only had negative things to say about how he smelled. He brightened up quickly, though. “My idea is to have them try to catch me. Especially since I’m not much in the mood for running.” He liked being told that he improved the cold, abstract place of her mind, however, and he sat down next to her. It was a little awkward because he didn’t use his hands to catch himself as he settled; in fact, they were strangely inert and unresponsive. Last to recover. “Why’s it so empty?” he asked her.
She noticed his hands, but she didn’t stare or mention it immediately. He was walking, and she thought that was quite an improvement; she didn’t want to minimize it by mentioning his arms. “Some females of the species aren’t interested in chasing, you know. Unless you’re a Starfleet captain, and we’ve already said you aren’t one of those.” She leaned forward, and she made a show of checking his ears in utter seriousness. “And still not a night elf,” she said in a perfectly morose tone as she sat back again.
Then, “I like empty. It’s crowded where I live. What’s it like where you live?” She didn’t mean the hospital, where she already knew he lived for the present. Some hospital somewhere else, but a hospital all the same.
Billy seemed honestly concerned about not being a night elf right up until he figured out what the reference was (from the last time they met) and then he laughed readily. “I don’t know. We--my friends and I--we were on the move before the accident.” He didn’t pause or try to gloss over it, he just said it, ‘accident’ and it happened, and now he was moving on. “We didn’t get to go to Japan though,” he said, with the first sign of regret. “I was totally looking forward to saying ‘domo arigatou’ on stage. Like Styx. Epic.”
“You’re a musician,” she said. It wasn’t a question, but a statement. “It’s the pretty boy looks and the freckles, isn’t it?”
“That make me a musician?” Now he was insulted.
“No, but I bet it helped you get to Japan.” She said it with a smile that said she didn’t much appreciate music, and she didn’t think very much of your average music fan.
He gave her a steady look with the expressive hazel eyes. “You want me to apologize for how I look?”
She cocked her head to the side, her expression still entirely serene. “No. Do you sing?”
“Yes.” The looks thing she kept harping on still bothered him, and he looked away, still unwilling to pursue it if she did not. He remembered she commented on it every time she talked to him, and he wondered if that was something he should worry about, or something she should worry about.
“I don’t listen to music with words,” she said plainly; she say no reason to lie to him. “Something I said bothered you?” she asked, not as observant in this place as she normally was in his dreams. It was different here, it was about waiting and even the peace was holding its breath.
“No,” he said, not entirely truthful, but because he didn’t like coming off as an attack. “But you seem like you’re pretty caught up in how I look, and... well, yeah, I guess it bothers me.” What she said about listening to music, that didn’t bother him, surprisingly. He wasn’t insulted; not even close. It didn’t even register on the same scale--it was her preference, and as such she was entitled to it.
“Oh,” she said, not hiding her surprise. “I’m not pretty, and I always hear about what I could do to look prettier. I thought being pretty would be a good thing for you.” It was simple and almost childish, the statement; completely incongruous to the space and time around them. “I don’t think I normally trust pretty things,” she added, and it was apologetic, if blunt.
“I’m not saying it’s not a good thing for me. But it’s not the only thing that’s good for me. If it was, it would be all I have left, and that wouldn’t get me very far, would it.” It wasn’t a question that expected answering. Billy had never been this hard before. The glow, at least, was not affected, and though he was serious and his usually effusive voice was flat, he was not angry. “I think I got that impression right off,” he said, after she spoke again.
“I didn’t say it was the only thing,” she clarified. “I don’t think many musicians have talent. I think fangirls only see pretty faces and prince charming on a stage. If you’re talented, it doesn’t matter if you’re pretty.” She didn’t add that it didn’t matter if he could walk or not either; she didn’t think he would appreciate that.
“I think you only see pretty faces before you get to the rest,” Billy observed quietly. He directed his eyes out over the marble thoughtfully.
She didn’t get upset at the criticism. She just looked at him thoughtfully, her dark eyes intelligent in her thoughtfulness. “You’re right,” she admitted without any anger. “Jealousy?” she asked, crinkling her nose as she voiced the question. “My mama would be thrilled if I have telenovela level jealousies against beautiful people.”
“I don’t know,” Billy said, shaking his head and shifting his elbows on his thighs. “That’s your deal, I got nothing.” But he gave her an encouraging smile nevertheless. At least she was thinking about it. Billy didn’t go around fixing people, or getting into arguments about how he thought they should be. He defended the music and his right to play it or sing it or be it, and that was about it.
“Sing,” she said after a moment. Not a demand, but not a request exactly either. Just one word and the patience to wait and see what he did with it.
He thought a second, and then he opened his mouth and sang a verse from a song about summer and distraction and finding someone worthwhile to spend it with. It started low and mild, and raised up in a long note that went high in a winding way, imitating a lift from the ground. Fly, the verse said. Then he tipped his chin to her and smiled easily through the glow.
The glow wasn’t distracting; it was soothing, and she wanted to keep it in the dream as long as she possibly could. She gave him the widest grin she’d graced him with thus far. “You’re officially hideous now,” she said, and it was very obvious that it was a compliment to his singing.
“Your eyes are in backwards,” he laughed.
She laughed. “Careful, or I’ll call you pretty again.” The smile on her lips was reserved, as her smiles generally were, but it was genuine. The heartbeat, which had gotten stronger as he sang, slowed again, then slowed more, then slowed more.
The heartbeat--he knew what it was, sang to it and played to it--it took all of his attention. “I can bring it back,” he offered, so quiet it was almost unheard.
She shook her head slowly. “It’s his time,” she said. She had a few minutes still, but no longer, and the dream around them shifted to a room in a hospital room. It wasn’t reality, and they weren’t awake, but it was the room she was in at the hospice.
Billy stood up with more haste than was wise, stumbled, caught himself with a sharp stab of pain he was not expecting in a dream, and then righted with a soft curse. This wasn’t like going from the water to the marble palace. This was a hospital, and he really, really didn’t want to be in a hospital. His glow was the same but the colors around the edge of the room started to bleed away, leaving an old black and white film strip and white noise. Billy’s dreams of hospitals were always, always nightmares.
She stood as quickly as he did. For her, the hospice was exceptionally soothing, so the dream turning to a nightmare was entirely unexpected. She moved in front of him, to block him and guard him, the gesture completely unthinking. “Wake,” she told him. “Ahora, Abilio. Vamos.”
He tried to move again, retreat this time, but his limbs weren’t working right and he went down all at once. There was an impact first, before he woke up, and the dream flared bright with a painful white that was nothing like his own internal soft glow. Abrupt, automatic, Billy woke up, and fuck, he hurt.