For A Sharing Of Nightmares

[06:39] * Yanmei was in pain today. Some of it she could recognize as the conditional ache of overusing muscles that had chiefly been confined to bed for the past five weeks. Others were a bit more alien. In any case, she had slept in, restlessly, and was now shuffling toward the bathroom of her suite. -

[06:39] <Yanmei> It was a clean place with lots of soothing blue and white and pink tiles both underfoot and on the walls. She avoided the mirror, turning her back to it as she started to slip out of the fleecy pajama set she had worn to bed. The top gave her a slight amount of trouble, but with some pained wriggling she managed it, and reached out to test the temperature for the faucet to the shower.
[20:47] <GM> [The water was hot! Or at least, comfortably warm. Compared to the chill that permeated the resort usually, any water above 5 degrees was 'comfortably warm'.]
[20:49] * Yanmei fiddled with it, making it to her liking exactly before slipping in. Such things had become extremely important to her lately.
[20:50] <Yanmei> For a while, she just stood under the running water like a zombie, trying to collect her thoughts and wake up.
[20:51] <GM> [And no surprise, that. Yanmei's body (and mind) still bore the scars from that one, horrid night, when death had seemed so close. The burns were sensitive to heat; or maybe it was just her own mind. But either way, sometimes, she could still remember that heat. The intense pain, the spearing, scalding pain- in some places replaced with deadness… A pain she remembered now.]
[20:57] * Yanmei shrank back from the water suddenly, closing her arms around her midsection. Noo, that was not something she wanted to think about now. Instinctively, she moved to escape the shower.
[21:01] <GM> [Yanmei moved… Too fast. Instinct and pain combined to make a poor combination, and her foot caught on the bottom of the shower, sending her pitching forward onto the ground.]
[21:05] * Yanmei yelped as the world suddenly jerked around her! The pain of hitting the ground was at least a different sort than the painful, relentless burning. She was almost grateful for it. On the other hand, it was embarassing, and it -hurt-. She lay huddled there on the floor for a few moments, feeling stupid, before trying to climb back up to her feet, one arm still latched protectively around herself.
[21:08] * Tao has joined #NERVFrance
[21:08] <GM> [Yanmei tried. She'd eventually manage, at first, to get to her hands and knees… But by the time she tried climbing back to her feet, she found the floor had become slippery. Had the shower started leaking out into the floor?-
[21:09] <GM> [She wasn't slipping in water, however. The floor was covered in a layer of orange liquid. Liquid that smelled of the iron scent of blood.]
[21:16] <Yanmei> "N-no…" It registered slowly as she watched the liquid pool out underfoot. Her hands and knees were soaked with the stuff too, and it dripped down from them. No. Had to escape. She moved for the door, sluggishly at first, and then with a desperate frenzy. It was gonna burn, hurt her like before! Had… h-had to run before…
[21:17] <GM> [The heat in the bathroom was already starting to gather. Yanmei could feel herself sweating- could feel the scars starting to itch and tremble with the remembrance of fire. The LCL was starting to rise, and the door… Was jammed.]
[21:23] * Yanmei hammered at the door with her fists and throttled the doorknob. She screamed for Isaiah, and then for anyone who could hear her, tears gathering in her eyes. Pleaseopenpleaseopensomeoneanyone
[21:24] <GM> [There were screams. Screams from beyond the door. They… Sounded like they might be Isaiah's, but… The LCL gathered, burning at her legs. She could feel her skin dying. But- the window! What about the window?]
[21:27] <Yanmei> Window! Yes! She sloshed for it, amazed that her legs could respond to something other than the pain they were feeling, however sluggishly. She reached out to open the window, hands trembling.
[21:27] <GM> [The window… She moved to open it. But something blocked her vision.-
[21:28] <GM> Where once the window had opened up to a wide snowy plain, and the alpine vista of Mount Ouverture, it was taken up… By an obscene, fleshy thing. Something rolled under the skin- which opened- and Yanmei found herself staring into a giant, blue eye.]
[21:36] <Yanmei> "H-help," she gasped out. She didn't know if she was talking to the horrible creature or herself, or anyone else who could hear her. However half-crazed from pain she was, however, she knew in her heart of hearts that she couldn't expect mercy from that thing, that horrble eye, pinning her in place with its stare. She whimpered.
[21:37] <GM> [The LCL rose. She felt parts of her chest and arms burn. The flesh of her legs was starting to slough away as that eye pinned her in place. Another sensation came- a frantic banging sound. From the window.]
[21:39] <GM> [From the mirror*]
[21:41] <Yanmei> Mirror…? Dying. Someone… there? She could tear her eyes away long enough to look at it. She reached out for it.
[21:43] <GM> [Someone was reaching back, from the mirror. And it wasn't her. Isaiah stared, his hands smashing against the other side of the mirror. He was yelling out, screaming to her. But he wasn't alone.-
[21:44] <GM> [A man stood behind him, a man tall and elegant, with a cold, exquisite face and ice-like blue eyes. Eyes… That seemed eerily like those from the beast that sat outside of her window. The man held up a handful of knives. He stabbed. Five blades- into Isaiah's chest.]
[21:49] * Yanmei had not thought that she could feel any worse. She had been wrong. She didn't cry or scream… it was impossible to do anything but hurt, and stare open-mouthed at the spot in the mirror where Isaiah had been, now occupied by the man alone.
[21:51] <GM> [The man looked at Yanmei, smiling. His eyes glimmered with a haughty pride as he smashed his knives into the mirror. Cracks appeared… And appeared… And just as the mirror burst into pieces…]
[21:55] <Yanmei> Bed. It took a long time for Yanmei to identify that what she was resting on was in fact a bed, and that she could in fact move her limbs and had even thrown her arms over her head to protect herself from knives that weren't there.
[21:57] * GM is now known as Isaiah
[21:57] <Isaiah> "Y-Yan. Yan? Are you awake? Please. -Please- be awake." Cried out a voice. A familiar voice.
[22:01] <Yanmei> Blue eyes burned into her memory. One unthinking eye, and two cruel, haughty ones. She tried to see beyond them, though, blinking slowly and trying to remember whose bed she was in. This wasn't her room or the hospital. Her body ached, and felt hot, but it wasn't burning to pieces. She was safe?
[22:04] <Isaiah> "Yan…?" She felt something cold and wet placed upon her forehead. A cloth? A room came into view- her resort room. The one in the mountains… Isaiah's face, panicky and pale, wideeyed, hovering above her.
[22:07] * Yanmei stared back at him as her memory shuffled back into place. "You're alive," she said numbly. There had never been LCL in the bathroom, or any of that other stuff. A dream. But why did he look so scared?
[22:09] * Isaiah swallowed. He knelt down next to her and tried his very best to ignore that incredibly ominous statement. "I am. I'm here. So are you. You're safe. You were having a nightmare."
[22:13] * Yanmei reached up and touched her forehead cloth with her fingers. "Yeah. That's right. A dream." She was not going to break down and cry, not with him right there watching. She was to… tired to, in any case. If felt like all of her energy had been drained away while she had been asleep. "Sorry," she mumbled. "I worried you this much?"
[22:18] <Isaiah> "Y-you were screaming for half a minute before you woke up." Mumbled Isaiah. "And, you're completely drenched with sweat, Yan. Your skin is hot to the touch… I-I think you might be sick, Yan."
[22:23] <Yanmei> "S-screaming? Me?" She looked outright horrified at that, and tried to sit up, slowly. "Did I really? I'm so… I don't think I've ever done that before?" she chuckled weakly. Feeling dizzy, she waffled between lying back down and throwing the blankets off and trying to stand. "Screaming. And -sick-. This is a relaxing vacation. I can't be sick…"
[22:25] * Isaiah would firmly- if gently- stop any and all attempts at standing up, guiding Yanmei back down into a lying position. "Listen. It might just be a temporary thing. Stay here for a minute or two, Yan. I'll run you a cold bath."
[22:28] <Yanmei> "No!!" Her panic slipped out before she could stop it. She swallowed, and tried to compose herself again. "Let's forget the bath? Maybe if I just lie here for a while, I'll feel better. What time is it?"
[22:29] <Isaiah> "It's 3:20 AM." Said Isaiah. "Listen. Do you want me to bring you some more cold cloths? I can try to cool your body down until the temperature kicks in…"
[22:38] <Yanmei> "Yeah… yeah, that'll be fine. After that, go back to bed, okay?" She smiled at him tiredly. "I know you've gotten in the habit of keepin vigil, but I know I'll be better by morning. I'm already feeling a little improvement?"
[22:42] * Isaiah frowned slightly, his lips pursed worriedly. "We'll see." He said. "I'm going to be in the bathroom for a bit, getting those cloths, so if you want to get out of those pyjamas, it might be an idea. Otherwise we could end up with you catching a chill." And- as promised, he slipped into the bathroom, but not, as Yanmei might note… Without a good dose of hesitation beforehand, teetering on the threshold first.
[22:47] <Yanmei> Pyjamas? Ah. She had been sweating quite a bit, hadn't she? How gross… she waited until he was gone, and then did as suggested, climbing to her feet and stumbling for her suitcase. She had brought along a spare set- plain, orange colored, a little ugly but clean and dry. She slipped out of her old clothes stiffly and slowly, and shrugged into her new ones. -
[22:48] <Yanmei> Then she was doubling back toward bed, still buttoning up the front of her top. She slumped back down onto it without any hesitation. God, she hurt all over. And so sleepy…
[22:52] * Isaiah returned, shortly after she'd fallen back. He still looked very pale, and his eyes were pained. He put a stack of cloths onto the bedside table, and gently started to place them along Yanmei's arms and ribs. They were ice cold, and the moment he applied them, it felt as though steam were rolling off of her body.
[22:58] * Yanmei flinched at first, but then she realized how good it felt for something to penetrate the uncomfortable heat she had been feeling. "Thank you," she mumbled.
[22:59] <Isaiah> "It's alright. How're you feeling?" He asked gently. "I-it's just you and I here. You can tell me."
[23:02] <Yanmei> Just the two of them. No bugs or recordings either. "Just tired. And that dream…" she shuddered, and almost turned away. "LCL everywhere… burning…"
[23:04] * Isaiah let out a sharp gasp, as though she'd just said something he hadn't wanted to hear. "W-well. Such dreams… Aren't uncommon for what happened." Another few cloths, on her stomach and around her calves. "… I died, didn't I?"
[23:07] <Yanmei> "Yes. You were in the mirror, and you died. And there was a man with blue eyes, and an Angel too." She laughed faintly. "I sound like a loon."
[23:08] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah started to shake. He grabbed Yanmei's hand, and put it to his chest. Right where the knives had… "… Here, wasn't it? He stabbed me here."
[23:09] * Yanmei pulled her hand away. She looked confused and a little… nervous. "Why do you know that?"
[23:12] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah looked down. "There was an eye in the window. A big blue eye. And you were banging on the door, screaming my name… And I was watching, in a room, through the mirror, trying to get out…"
[23:14] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei started to shake. She couldn't help it. Fleetingly, she glanced over toward the bathroom door, half-expecting to see LCL leaking out from under it.
[23:15] <Isaiah> [No LCL from the door.-
[23:15] * Isaiah was trembling faintly, too. "Y-Yanmei. What's going on?"
[23:19] <Yanmei> "I don't know. It was a dream. It wasn't real." She swallowed, closed her eyes briefly, and tried to put some iron back into her voice. "Did you recognize him?"
[23:21] * Isaiah shook his head. "No. B-but he said something to me."
[23:21] <Yanmei> "What's that?"
[23:22] <Isaiah> "'Stay away.'"
[23:24] * Yanmei looked puzzled. Disquieted, too, even beyond her intial shaking. "I don't understand."
[23:25] <Isaiah> "I… I-I don't… Either." Isaiah took a shaky breath. "Y-Yan, t… This scares me."
[23:28] * Yanmei reached out and caught his arm, and tried to give it a comforting squeeze. "It'll be okay. It will!" she insisted, trying to make herself strong. "Like I said before? It's not real. It can't hurt us."
[23:31] <Isaiah> "Right. It… It can't." Isaiah nodded firmly, trying to believe. He sat on the edge of the bed and patted her hand. At some point the gesture turned into a comforting squeeze of his own. "M-maybe it's just some odd thing with the Evangelion?"
[23:35] <Yanmei> "Maybe. Those things run on thoughts to some extent. You had contact with Unit 04, so maybe something happened that's causing this now." It certainly sounded plausible.
[23:36] * Isaiah suddenly averted his eyes. "U-um."
[23:37] <Yanmei> "Huh?" She blinked at him. "What's wrong?"
[23:38] <Isaiah> "T… There was something I wasn't supposed to tell you." Said Isaiah, fearfully.
[23:39] * Yanmei kept her eyes on him worriedly, reluctant to pressure him one way or the other. "Something about Unit 04?"
[23:42] * Isaiah nodded, fretfully. "D-Do you know how, when you were in hospital, how in the 3rd week or so, sometimes I wouldn't come by for a day or two?"
[23:44] <Yanmei> "You were getting medical training weren't you? Or resting?" she tried to think back to how she had explained those absences, but her head was terribly fuzzy.
[23:46] <Isaiah> "N-Not all the time. Mostly, if I'd finished training, I'd go and watch you, and just sleep there." Isaiah took a deep breath, and plowed on. "T-they… They did synchronisation tests."
[23:49] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared at him, disbelieving. Then, with a wild, fiery anger that grew and grew. "Could you… please get my phone for me? I need to scream at Dorian, but I can't get up right now."
[23:50] <Isaiah> "N-no." Isaiah shook his head. "It wasn't his fault. It- there was that big hologram screen, right? And that woman- Commander Fontaine- ordered it. Dorian didn't want to do it, but they had no choice. It -really- wasn't his fault. Please don't hate him."
[23:53] <Yanmei> That was easy enough to do, once Fontaine's name was brought up. How dare she. That -bitch-. "I'm sorry," she choked out. "I'm sorry that they made you do that."
[23:55] <Isaiah> "It… It wasn't your fault." Whispered Isaiah, staring at Yanmei. There was a sudden, deep hurt in his eyes. "The… The Synchronisations failed. They tried three times, and each time… It'd synch for a second, then it- 04…"
[00:00] <Yanmei> "04 has been described as being very picky about its pilots. It's rejected others as well. It's not a reflection on you." She studied him carefully. No. That wasn't all he was worried about, was it? Something in the back of her head buzzed, and she felt a little dizzy. "What happened, Isaiah? What else happened?"
[00:01] <Isaiah> "It spoke to me." Isaiah choked. "It… Said things."
[00:04] <Yanmei> Oh no. No no nono… "Angry things," she guessed, watching him. "Hurtful things."
[00:06] * Isaiah nodded. He opened his mouth, but he could barely speak. He had to cough first. "It… It told me you hated me. That I was a burden. That I was this pathetic thing that weighed you down, and that you'd never love me because I was so weak. -Too- weak. It said you had to stop yourself from killing me because I was so weak. That it'd be better if you did."
[00:11] * Yanmei was actually gaping at that, left momentarily speechless. That was worse than even she expected, good god.
[00:14] <Isaiah> "T-three times." Isaiah let out a quiet yelp. "E-each time it just… It just kept… It…" Isaiah pulled his knees up to his chin. He was trying desperately not to cry.
[00:17] * Yanmei tried to sit up again. She reached to hug him, and comfort him, fighting for her own voice. "It's just wrong. All of it! Both 04, and them making you do it three times. It shouldn't have happened."
[00:19] * Isaiah quickly fell into the hug. He turned his eyes toward Yanmei, a deeply haunted look in them. Blue eyes… Nothing like the cold, murderous blue of that man. "W-why me…?"
[00:22] <Yanmei> What could she say to that? Hadn't she asked herself the same before? She felt ashamed that she didn't have an answer for him that would make it all better. "I don't know," she said quietly. "It wasn't fair. I know it wasn't."
[00:24] <Isaiah> "It wasn't." Mumbled Isaiah. "It's… Never fair. It's never ever ever ever fair." He choked. "I-I'm sick of these things happening to me, Yanmei! I…" A panicky swallow. "04- 04 was lying. 04 was lying… B-But why do I feel so weak?"
[00:27] <Yanmei> "Don't listen to it!" She hugged him tighter. "You rescued me from a burning entry plug! You watched over me for weeks. You're more than strong. You just need to believe it!"
[00:30] * Isaiah shuddered. Finally, he returned Yanmei's hug even as the tears started to come. "N-never again…"
[00:38] * Yanmei patted his back. Raw hate shone in an unseen gaze that she directed over him. She'd prevented him from taking that damned Recovery field medic position, and -this- was what happened behind her back? So much for saving him from pain. She couldn't do anything for him after all. Disgust filled her - for herself and NERV as well.
[00:41] * Isaiah continued to cry. His own mind… It was awhirr with thoughts and feelings. Even as he clung to Yanmei, a feeling of awful despair fell over him. 04… This is what 04 meant, wasn't it? Here he was, weak, shivering. Crying. He didn't have the strength to stop even that.-
[00:42] <Isaiah> It took a while. But eventually, the tears stopped rolling and the shivers came to an end.
[00:46] * Yanmei felt that dizziness wash over her again by then. It didn't take away her bitterness, but it did make it easier to hide. Most of the cool cloths had fallen out of place during the embrace, but it was only now that she noticed.
[00:47] * Isaiah turned his head. His own thoughts were swimming too- he was feeling rather dizzy himself. "A-ah… Your cloths…"
[00:51] <Yanmei> "It's okay," she murmered. "I think we could both use some more rest."
[00:53] * Isaiah nodded shakily. "W-we could. It's… Mm." Isaiah squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. "I'm sorry. D-do you want me to go back?"
[00:55] <Yanmei> "If you stay, you have to sleep. Or try to, anyway." She moved over, trying to make room for him, grabbing one of the cloths and pressing it against her forehead again.
[00:56] * Isaiah nodded. "M-My head is swimming too much for me to do anything else…"
[00:58] * Yanmei frowned a little at that. "Don't you start getting sick too. I don't know anything about medical treatments…"
[01:00] * Isaiah started to settle in. "I… I think I'm just tired. It'll go away in the morning."
[01:04] <Yanmei> "Oh, okay." Tired. She could relate to that. Maybe she would feel better in the morning too. It took a long time to fall asleep even after saying goodnight. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw the dream, and 04, and the figurehead of NERV. Fear and rage poured in, and she grappled with them long into the night.
[01:08] * Isaiah on the other hand… No, he didn't really get to sleep easily at all. He snuggled under the sheets and closed his eyes. But for Isaiah, the nightmare he'd dreamed was secondary to the horrible thoughts made by his head. Thoughts… About how he'd been used. Abused. Constantly thrown around like a ragdoll. He resented it. His resentment had always been there- every failure trying to snuff out his few successes. But now it was building.-
[01:08] <Isaiah> But now it was building.-
[01:10] <Isaiah> Finally, after a good half hour of tossing and turning, sleep started to finally reclaim his mind… The same phrase, 'Stay away', playing over and over in his head. He hadn't recognised that man. It's true. But he recognised the voice.-
[01:12] <Isaiah> He clung to Yanmei. Both physically (as, in fact, he was doing right now) and emotionally. And he was sick of having to fight -so hard- just to keep what little happinesses he still had. As he embraced her, he decided that no mere -Evangelion- would tell him what to do.

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